Saturday, December 27, 2008

The Movies of 2008

As I was stepping out the door to drive to NY a couple days back my roommate says “Hey Chris, what was the best of movie of the year.” This was problematic because I hadn’t ranked all the movies from this year. Admittedly, that’s the kind of thing I would do, but it was still odd that he assumed I’d already done it and could give him the result. To further complicate things, this roommate and I have nearly opposite taste in movies, so my suggestion wouldn’t have been very helpful. In any case, I just looked up all the movies that came out this year and have ranked them below.

1. Forgetting Sarah Marshall – Pretty sure the Academy is going to disagree with me on this one. But I loved the comedy, the characters, the story, and most everything about the movie and no other movie can claim that this year.
2. The Dark Knight – I don’t really have anything to add about this one. Most everyone agrees that it turned out better than anyone thought.
3. Role Models – Even though seeing it 2 days in a row was a mistake, it was still hilarious. It was also cheesy, but intentionally so. If it had Kristen Bell in it, it might’ve been #1.
4. The Fall – The only problem with The Fall is that it was uneven. The 2 halves of the movie didn’t mesh very well. But both halves were good independently.
5. Iron Man – Batman was the better movie, but this was more fun.
6. Hellboy 2 – Batman was better, Iron Man was more fun, but Hellboy was interesting and beautiful. I wish it had been better and more fun, but I’m pretty sure Hellboy 3 will be amazing.
7. Be Kind Rewind – Dunno, I liked it. It was amateurish at times, but I liked the concept and feeling of the movie so much it overcame it.
8. Let the Right One In – THE vampire romance to see this year.
9. Cloverfield – People dumped on this movie, but I thought it did everything right. I was engrossed. Few movies are actually engrossing.
10. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button – It was good, but not engrossing. I was amazed by the visuals and touched by the story, but not remarkably so. Good but not great.
11. Get Smart - I fully expected this movie to be terrible. And then it wasn’t and I was happy. It’s fluff, but it’s funny and for the most part family appropriate.
12. In Bruges – Not family appropriate. But both funny and hefty. But also somewhat plodding, so it didn’t score higher.
13. Pineapple Express – This one was funny, but not hefty, and still fairly plodding. You’re talented comedians, but hire an editor already.
14. Incredible Hulk – I’m biased because I think The Hulk is awesome, but this was a darn good flick. It served up exactly what it promised.
15. Quantum of Solace – This one was a bit of a letdown. It was still quite entertaining, with guns, fighting, girls (2 of them!) etc etc. But I had higher expectations.
16. Wanted – I had low expectations, and it easily overshot them. A thoroughly ridiculous movie (Shoot Em Up is the only thing I can think of that was more ridiculous) but when they do it intentionally you can’t really fault them for it.
17. Speed Racer – You can’t listen to critics (me included.) This movie was fun. It was clearly aimed squarely at 8-12 year olds, but it was still a good time.
18. Burn After Reading – Meh. I laughed a couple times and was impressed by twists a couple times. But all in all, meh. It may get better with a repeat viewing.
19. The Bank Job – Jason Statham is, amongst other things, the man. This movie is a little unnecessarily complicated (due to the retelling of actual events) but still a good heist.
20. Body of Lies – This movie was very well done, I just didn’t know what the point of it was.
21. Man on Wire – I don’t get French people. I just don’t.
22. Baby Mama – I wanted this movie to be better. It was fine, just very formulaic.
23. X-Files: I Want to Believe – I’m a big enough fan of the X-Files that I enjoyed it, but most people don’t need to see it.
24. Death Race – See number 19. Jason Statham is the man. I really liked this movie but couldn’t put it any higher because I fully realize that it’s terrible. But also sweet.
25. The Ruins – Well worth the dollar fifty I paid. I’m sure this will come as a huge shock, but the book was better.
26. The Foot Fist Way – I laughed very hard a couple times. I was bored for the rest.
27. Tropic Thunder – I hate Ben Stiller. That limited this movie’s ability to score higher.
28. Doomsday – To be fair, I’ve only watched the first 1/3 of this movie. But seeing as I haven’t gotten around to watching the last 2/3, that tells you something.
29. Semi-Pro – I’m ready and willing to laugh at dumb humor, but this just didn’t do it for me.

I was pretty surprised that I’ve seen this many movies this year. But to give you a little context, I’ve included below the movies that I wanted to see, but didn’t get to. Stupid medical school.

RocknRolla
Slumdog Millionaire
Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Repo! The Genetic Opera!
Synecdoche, New York
Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist
Hamlet 2
The Strangers
Ghost Town
The Changeling
Frost/Nixon
Rachel Getting Married
Teeth
Funny Games
Smart People
How to Lose Friends and Alienate People
Choke
Fanboys - I hate Star Wars, I just need to see the Kristen Bell scenes.
The Signal
The Promotion
Appaloosa
Blindness
The Wrestler
The Mongol
Defiance

If you want see any of those, we’ve proven that I spend 2.4 nights a month watching fairly current movies. Chances are pretty good we can work something out.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Things you Didn't Know About Christmas

(Unless you attended my Sunday School Lesson)

Santa Claus is real, despite what your friends whispered to you in kindergarten. As real as Davy Crockett anyway. Saint Nicholas was Turkish and died in 340 AD. He was a Christian and was tortured by the Romans until Emperor Constantine (famous for being the first Christian emperor, or at least famous to those of us that took 4 years of Latin in high school) set him free.

As with patron saints, he’s pretty willing to patronize things. He’s the patron saint of children and travelers, which makes sense. Maybe also the patron saint of hypercholesterolemia. He’s the patron saint of both Russia and Italy. In Greece he’s the saint of sailors. In France he’s the saint of lawyers.

Saint Nicholas was popular among the Dutch, who thought he put toys and candy in their kids wooden shoes. Saint Nicholas is Sint Nikolaas in Dutch. Sint Nikolass eventually got contracted to Sinterklass. Sinterklass got anglicized to Santa Claus. So Sarah Silverman is wrong, he’s Dutch/Turkish, not German (Give the Jew Girl Toys It’s Sarah Silverman, so it’s going to be offensive.)

Switching subjects, What’s the Deal with Mistletoe? (Incidentally, when I say What’s the Deal, I always say it in an annoying Seinfeld impersonation.)

Druids were the first ones to dig on Mistletoe. Since it’s an evergreen they thought it had special qualities. There are lots of evergreens, so I’m not sure how they picked it out, but who can explain druidism. The Celts believed mistletoe had special healing properties. The Romans felt it was connected to peace and any 2 Romans who met under mistletoe had to hug it out instead of fight. Our current romantic connotation with mistletoe comes from the Scandinavians. Mistletoe is the favorite foliage of Frigga, the goddess of fertility and love.

The Catholic church didn’t like mistletoe. They thought it was pagan and sensual (which is probably exactly why people like it.) So they decided that mistletoe shouldn’t be used around Christmas, and we should use holly instead. Holly leaves are meant to represent the crown of thorns that Christ wore, and the red berries represent his blood. Not really as fun as mistletoe.

Changing subject to another plant, Christmas trees. Christmas trees have been used since pagan times (ie before Christmas.) Again, evergreens were thought to have special qualities, so were used for the festivities around the winter solstice. These got wrapped in with Christmas in the middle ages. Christmas trees were decorated, frequently to represent the Tree of Life (the one in the Garden of Eden, not the MTC.) Pageants would often include a scene with Adam and Eve and their tree, looking forward to the coming of the Christ.

Who invented Christmas lights? That’s right, Martin Luther! None of you guessed Martin Luther, I’m sure. As the story goes, he was walking home one Christmas season and saw the starlight shining through the boughs of the Christmas trees. He liked it so well that he hooked a bunch of candles to his tree. And lighting the Christmas tree was born.

One last one: candycanes. Invented in Germany (Cologne to be exact) to keep kids quiet during church. Before there were cheerios, there were candycanes. Except they were just white sugar sticks, not the current version. But that’s how they got started. It’s a little unclear who did what, but perhaps there, perhaps somewhere else they decided to bend the sticks so they looked like a shepherd’s crook, since Christ was the shepherd of men. The sticks are white to represent the purity of Christ. Traditional candycanes have 3 red stripes: 3 for the Trinity and red for the blood of Christ. The first sighting of candycanes in America occurred in none other than Wooster Ohio. I thought of them as I passed the Wooster exit on the way to NY yesterday.

That’s it for today. I’ll try to dig up some dirt on St. Patrick or St. Valentine in a couple months.

Merry Christmas
Happy Hanukah
Happy Kwanzaa
And Festivus for the rest of us.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Ho Lee Cow

I can't decide if this is awesome or sad, but I'm leaning towards awesome.

Thundercats

I thought I was good at wasting time.

Monday, December 22, 2008

ChrisMix 08



Below are my 22 favorite new songs of 2008. Why 22? It’s lucky. And it’s how many happen to fit on a CD. Plus my annual Christmas song, and a bonus track. And some hidden PC content. The first track is the Christmas track, the last the bonus track, and we countdown from #22 to #1 in between.

1. The Christians and the Pagans - Dar Williams.
I didn’t discover this song this year, but I found my own copy of it. I’d heard it years ago on the radio (WBER in Rochester, my favorite radio station) and decided to track it down. I called up the radio station and asked them, “Hey, what’s that lesbian Christmas song you played 8 years ago?” I would’ve been truly impressed if the DJ on hand could have told me, but they couldn’t. But they did email me their catalogue of Christmas music. Once I saw Dar’s name, I knew I had my song.

2. Standing in the Way of the Connection - A plus D
My favorite mashup of the year. Take my favorite song intro from 1994 (really one of my favorite song intros ever) and a quality number from 2006 and you’ve got a great combo. This song has made it into most of the mixes I’ve made for my daily life this year.

3. Right as Rain – Adele
I’ve got to be honest, Adele wasn’t going to make my top 22 until I realized how American my list was. After last year’s staggering British presence, I felt it unbalanced to wipe them off the list completely. Plus, I really like this song. Maybe all these British soul chanteuses are starting to sound alike, but they’re still catchy.

4. Ten Things - Paul Baribeau
I went to a number of local shows this year, and only one of the artists is available on iTunes. Probably not the best reason for him to make it on to the list, but I do really like this song. I’m not really into Lo-Fi (though my number one song is from a famous Lo-Fi artist) but I think the live sound of this track really enhances it. He was a lot of fun to see, even if we were in a gross basement. Maybe because we were in a gross basement.

5. Fruit Machine - Ting Tings
I really like the Ting Tings, but I can see where others won’t. They’re not musical masterminds, they’re not particularly good singers, and I think the beat might even be a little too funky for dancing. But I know what I like when I hear it. Check out Great DJ and Shut Up and Let Me Go to see if you agree.

6. A Drop Filled With Memories - Hirasawa Susumu
I decided only to let one instrumental number into my top 22. Sorry Ratatat. Instrumental numbers are hard to pull off. You don’t want them too simple or they’re not interesting. You don’t want them too complex or it just becomes noise. This is just right. I’ve used this song and the rest of the Paprika soundtrack as relaxation music all year. Go see Paprika, anime won’t kill you.

7. California Girls - The Magnetic Fields
Those Beach Boys weren’t right about much. Kokomo? Not an island. And California Girls? Most of them suck. If you’re a California girl, prove me wrong. The Magnetic Fields and I agree on the subject. And they’ve got some awesome distortion to back up our view.

8. Black Hole - She & Him
If I were a celebrity, I’d totally form a rock band. And my own clothing line, brand of soda (which would probably taste just like Dr. Pepper, because how could I improve it?) and tons of other stuff. Not to make extra money, but because I’d be famous and would get to produce whatever entertained me at the time. Zooey Deschanel didn’t go for the rock band, but instead for an alt folk one. And I applaud her. When everyone else is going to the 80s for retro, she goes for the 50s and 60s. Kudos for doing whatever you feel like, and having it work out.

9. Windows - N.E.R.D.
According to a source that I don’t particularly trust, the Neptunes worked on 43% of the songs played on US radio in 2003, which sounds ridiculously high. That’s like saying they worked on every song featuring a guitar. In any case, they decide to call themselves N.E.R.D. some of the time, and produce some pretty slick beats. This one is great, as is My Drive Thru.

10. The Immediacy of Now - Paul Fidalgo and the Conflict of Interest
I love me a vocal distorter. So true story: I have no idea how I found this song. I know I bought it through iTunes, but can’t for the life of me remember how I came across the artist in the first place. Evidently Paul has some kind of subliminal advertising in my textbooks.

11. Any Other World – Mika
So I probably shouldn’t have included this song on the list. It’s great and all, but half the point of the list is helping people find obscure artists they wouldn’t normally come across, and everyone knows that Grace Kelly song. Plus I had downloaded the album a year or two ago, and just never got around to listening to it, so it’s not new either. But it turns out the whole album is great. So skip Grace Kelly (or listen to it, if you somehow missed it) and that grating Lollipop song, and enjoy the rest of a great album.

12. Step by Step - Jesse Winchester
I played this for a friend and she said it was country. It’s definitely not country. I wouldn’t have a country song on this list. It’s bluesy folk indie rock. Ok, I don’t know what it is, but it’s not country.

13. I'm a Lady – Santogold
Misheard lyrics: “And I like sometimes to whip it out, so everyone can see I’m a lady.” Incorrect, but funny lyrics for someone else to write a song around. Santogold is a little bit of a cheat since she appeared on a track on last year’s ChrisMix, as a guest vocalist for Mark Ronson. Very tricky Santogold; way to work the system so you get to be on my yearly mix twice.

14. Acknowledge Me - Elias and the Wizzkids
We’re now in the top 10 songs of the year! Exciting, I know. I had a hard time picking this one, since I like most every song on this album. So if you’re last minute Christmas shopping, get someone this album. It’s a good one.

15. The Baltic Sea - The Social Services
As a Dane, I’m always on the lookout for songs criticizing Sweden and Norway. It’s your fault that people spell my name wrong you stupid Swedes. Surprisingly, these songs are fairly difficult to come across. So when I found this one, I knew it would be in my top ten. Plus they sing about Ikea and wind power and all kinds of topics that are underrepresented in the music industry.

16. The Old Prince Lives at Home – Shad
As a doctor, I’m always on the lookout for songs criticizing dentists. Surprisingly these songs are fairly difficult to come across. This song is good, until you reach two minutes in, when it becomes awesome. Holla.

17. Visit From The Dead Dog - Ed Harcourt
This may very well be my album of the year. Every track is very distinct, and very great. If being very great is possible. It’s also the first artist I learned about through a commercial. Advertising does work once in a great while.

18. Bad Things - Jace Everett
I’m in denial. There’s a country song on this list. How could such a thing happen? I could claim that it’s bluegrass, but the sad truth is that it’s country. It’s the theme song of True Blood and it got intractably stuck in my head. Screw you HBO for making me do this.

19. Hedonistic Me - Born Ruffians
This is another album I had a hard time picking apart. This song may have won out simply because it had a sweet name. If you’ve actually been listening to these songs as you read the list you’ll probably notice that it’s been a pretty indie year. There’s been some rock, hip-hop and (blag) country thrown in, but indie has definitely made its presence known.

20. Bohemian Like You - The Dandy Warhols
I almost gave this spot to another Dandy Warhol’s track, We Used to Be Friends. But I thought it fairly ridiculous to have 3 tv theme songs on the list. True Blood uses Jace, Skins uses The Gossip (a song used in the mashup from track 2) and Veronica Mars uses the Dandy Warhols. But this song is equally excellent, and not a theme song.

21. No Sex For Ben - The Rapture
Instead of taking this song from a tv show, I took it from a video game. I don’t actually have the time or money to play Grand Theft Auto, but it does have a pretty good soundtrack. Although I try to avoid overtly sexual songs from this yearly mix, I felt ok about this one. Sure they say SEX about 800 times, but each time they’re saying NO SEX. It’s really about abstinence.

22. The World Should Revolve Around Me - Little Jackie
I’m not going to lie, this song is better with swearing. But for you I got the edited version. It takes away some of the sassiness. I’ve got talent and I’ve got wits just doesn’t have the sociological contrast or alliteration of the original lyric. Oh well. This album is great, though Imani doesn’t really show her range from song to song. If you want to hear some crazy stuff, get her Black and White Album. Much crazier, but this Little Jackie album is better despite its homogeneity.

23. Love Love Love - The Mountain Goats
This is it, the top song of the year. Most people’s response is: really? Really. After listening to Heretic Pride (which is not the album this song is from, but his most recent album and is amazing) I got pretty hooked. People in-the-know have been listening to the Goats since the early 90s. They tend to be artsy, elitist folk, with vinyl collections. I’ve actually never met one, but that’s what I’d assume. Anyway, the Goats have been doing Lo-fi stuff up until recently, and honestly, Lo-fi often drives me crazy. But in any case I’ve been listening to a lot of their more produced albums, and enjoying them greatly. And I’m sure each and every one of those artsy elitist folk would give you a different Mountain Goats song as their personal favorite (they’re very prolific, I already have 390 of their songs.) This is mine.

24. I’m Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How To Dance with You -Kate Nash
This is a secret track because it’s not eligible for this year’s mix. Sorry Kate, you can’t get back on the ChrisMix unless you change your name. I like The Black Kids version, but I like this one much better. I’m not really sure why the Black Kids, the lead singer of which appears to be a Native American male, sing about being a little girl, but it makes more sense when Kate sings it. And it sounds better. And she should email me if she reads my blog.

That’s it for this year. If you’re getting your ChrisMix through iTunes, you can go here:

ChrisMix 08

You don’t get the nifty CD case I designed, but you do have the option of downloading 3 additional songs to round out the top 25 tracks of the year:
23. The Re-Arranger – Mates of State
24. Cheap and Cheerful - The Kills
25. Esmerelda – Speech

Have a Merry ChrisMix.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

DeDating

Stormcloud and I were supposed to go out the other night. I wanted to go get my lobster before the holidays kicked in. You know, when everyone else gets their lobster. So she kindly obliged and I headed over to her house.

The trek to her place was hazardous, fraught with icy roads, adult bookstores (turns out there are 2 between our homes) and people who don't know how to drive on icy roads or past adult bookstores. A minute from her house I get a call. "Hey . . . so . . . some of my family just stopped by and want to go to dinner. Do you want to come with us?"

Ladies, FYI, it's really annoying when you invite people along on a date. It doesn't matter what the circumstances, it's annoying. It dedatifies the evening. We'd paired off, I'd planned something and unless the lobster ended up being free, was going to pay for it. Maybe lobster is free, I don't know, since I didn't get any. Point being, I'd done everything within my power to make it a date, and she dedated it.

Did she do it intentionally? Probably not. Though, doing it intentionally sure is a way to send a hint. Problem being, when you do it unintentionally, the guy may still take it as a hint. Were there extenuating circumstances? Kind of. Certainly, this was her last chance to do something with family members, which generally trump friends/prospects, and that makes it less egregious. Did it ruin the evening? No, her family ended up being pretty enjoyable. It was definitely the first time I heard a married woman make a scrotum joke. And I appreciated that opportunity. But the fact remains, she dedated me. And I didn't get my lobster.

Ladies, be cognizant of your dedating. Use it as a way out of an awkward situation if you must, but please be aware what you're doing. Saying no to a guy is less annoying that hijacking the date away from him. Inviting your friends, even mutual friends, may seem fine to you, but be aware that you're dedating. Unless you've gone out, I'll arbitrarily pick 5 times, you can't invite people without it being an affront. And it matters who you invite. Family can be intimidating (Oh no, I'm prematurely meeting the family!) but are less offensive. Girls can be annoying (because girls can be annoying) but can be invited sooner. Guys are just out of the picture until things are pretty firmly established. It doesn't matter how long you've been friends or how shortly he'll be in town or how much he's into other guys, you're still dedating by bringing him.

Dedating. Use it with caution.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like ChrisMix

Evidently my linkage wasn't clear in past posts. In recent history I've posted the following:

ChrisMix 2005
ChrisMix Oh Six
ChrisMix 007
ChrisMix 2008: Disqualified

I think a major problem is my color scheme, which may make links less obvious. I may overhaul the site's look in the near future. Thoughts? I've heard that light lettering on a dark background strains the eyes, but I've also heard that about dark lettering on a white background. You just can't win.

Today I'm posting a new mix:

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like ChrisMix 2008 .

Unlike previous years, this year I ranked my top 50 songs. This list contains songs 26-50. 1-25 will get posted next week. I know, try to contain yourself. Follow that link above if you'd like to give Apple some money. And maybe the artist will get some too. I'll ask Paul Baribeau about it.

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like ChrisMix 2008

26. Bad Before Good - Day One
27. The Ark - Dr. Dog
28. How We Do - Mount Sims
29. I'm Always Manic (When I'm Around You) - A Big Yes and a small no
30. Dura - Ratatat
31. Dreadlock Holiday - 10cc
32. Thin Captain Crackers - Augie March
33. Brand New Day - Neil Patrick Harris
34. Bring Me Down - Lenka
35. New Soul - Yael Naïm
36. Academia - Sia
37. Dark Road - Richard Hawley
38. Title Music (From Merchant Ivory's Film "Bombay Talkie") - Shankar Jaikishan
39. Aht Uh Mi Hed - Shuggie Otis
40. 99 Luft Balloons - Saintseneca
41 . The Crook of My Good Arm - Pale Young Gentlemen
42. Carpetbaggers - Jenny Lewis
43. Ocean of Lust - DeVotchKa
44. CERN - Alpine Kat
45. Calling and Not Calling My Ex - Okkervil River
46. The General Specific - Band of Horses
47. Paradise - Ana Laan
48. Miss Myrtle - Albert Hammond Jr.
49. Walking On Air - Kerli
50. The Opposite of Hallelujah - Jens Lekman

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Stop being productive

I was going to post a hilarious commentary on why I don't like salt, titled What's the Deal with Salt?, but decided to spare you. Instead I'll provide you with a couple links to waste your valuable time.

I was reminded of this clip as I was studying this morning and my phone said "Second tip: Go to bed early, you doofus!" I realize that most people don't have jokes as their text-message alerts, but hey, I'm not most people. I highly suggest watching it several times in a row, because it gets funnier.

Brule's Rules: Living

Increasing on the offensive scale: The Retarded Policeman. They claim (the actor and his brother the writer) that it's not offensive or exploitive because the actor (who has Down's) knows what he's doing and likes entertaining. Maybe it's not exploitive, but it's definitely offensive. And awkwardly funny.

Goodbye Officer Monkey

Moving further up on the offensive scale: Children's Hospital. Wrong in pretty much every way imaginable. That's talent. They particularly target Grey's Anatomy, but no one is safe from their wrath. Did I mention this was offensive? Don't blame me when you don't like it.

I just lost 50 minutes of my life.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Living in the Project

The Sexy Chris Project: Phase 1 is half over. I'd expect that most people that are going to contribute have contributed (evidently some girls were very eager to tell me how to change very quickly) but I'm collecting responses for the next couple weeks. Then over Christmas break I'll compile my data into some kind of a report. I'm sure some meta-analysis and fancy binding will be involved.

The results have been very interesting. Unfortunately I love playing detective and am pretty good at recognizing writing styles, so anonymity has been compromised to some extent. But I'm trying to be good and consider the advice without deciphering the writer.

Some responses have been very specific, others very general. Some are very much catered to my deficits, others seem to be blanket statements for men in general. Some writers end up talking about themselves for a good portion of the email. Focus people! This is about me. One writer challenged me to post theirs, and I found it especially entertaining, so I'll oblige.

You are very insecure and have attachment issues. Possibly from childhood most things are. You are extremely vulnerable and emotional therefore you do your level best to hide this from the world and paint yourself as an unsmiling jerk. You are afraid to get close to people and you set unrealistic expectations on the people you want to date because they don't want to date you - so you are engaging in a bit of self sabotage on purpose.

You try if you can help it not to indulge your emotions in any meaningful way however you pick up on everyone and everything and you know what people may be thinking about you because you consciously choose to have them think that way by your words and your deeds.

You don't like men and you don't like to be challenged by men because you're afraid you'll fail. You and your father's relationship was a disaster and you had zero modeling from him. Therefore the job was left up to your mom who you didn't entirely trust could meet your needs either.

So what did you do? You went it alone. You still feel alone. You still feel like no one does or ever will understand you. There is a good reason for that. Because you will not let people in on that level. You've never divulged most of this to anyone so they are educated guesses. But I know I'm right.

Share this on your blog if you dare. I doubt you will however.

Well, we've got proof that you were wrong about one thing at least: I did post it on my blog. Looks like you don't know me very well.

Others have been, shall we say, softer.

first of all, no probs who you share this with. Second of all-- I've called ALL my best-every guy friends before and had them hit me with it.... (and tell me why I wasn't sexy) so I know EXACTLY how you feel. My only advice is be happy. Simply put, be happy just how you are- single, and totally the most fun guy ever.. Oh, and what made me fall in love w/ my husband was the fact that he played NO (that means ZERO) games. He was terrified to ask me out but he did anyway. He was TERRIFIED to kiss me but he did anyway... the hard way... on a doorstep, when it was still kind of light outside! But it was all very real and very sincere. Not afraid to be a dork... and totally HAPPY in his own skin. :0) You do have a bit of the tortured poet in you-- (which you should never change!) but maybe make it the "tortured poet who is totally comfortable just how he is and know's he's a catch... and that any girl who won't go out with him is destined to a tortured life without a tortured poet. :0)

You're radness... .so never think anything's wrong with you. The Hus and I both agree that providence was ABSOLUTELY involved in getting us together-- and it was just the right time for both of us.. so take a deep breath, and relax, and just keep believing in love and mush-- and know it will hit you when it hits you. Otherwise go about your life and enjoy every moment! :0) And dare yourself to hit on girls, and double dog dare yoruself to say things you would never normally say. :0) And terrify yourself by trying to kiss girls you would never try to kiss... and laugh about it when it goes wrong. :0) like "oops. I guess I won't do that again."

So here's to the misery of being single, where you lose your stomache over and over again on the crazy rides.... and to the misery of being married where it's just a long, twilight walk down a dirt path that never ends. :0) The trick is to try and love them both. :0)

*muah*


I mostly posted that one because I like being called a tortured poet. Though, as some advice for you single guys out there: I've found that poems aren't very effective honey. Maybe mine just weren't any good. The last one I wrote was about pyruvate.

I know who both writers are, and consider one of them a friend who knows me well. I'll leave you to guess which is which.

Anyway, if you're going to submit to The Project, try to get it in before Christmas. I'll still read it afterwards, but you won't get your own footnote in the report.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Not really a substantial post

I'm blogging from work! Probably not very professional. But when they make me work 30 hour days, I don't feel too bad.

The sad news is that for as much as I've talked about music lately, probably 50% of the rest of the month's posts will be about ChrisMix 08. Sorry, but I'm going to be crazy busy so posting links to iTunes mixes is about all you're getting for a little while.

Today you get 30ish songs that were disqualified from ChrisMix this year. The following offenses can get you disqualified:
1. Being played on the radio.
2. Having explicit lyrics.
3. Being from a band I've listened to before 2008, even if the song is new.
4. Being my 2nd favorite song by a new band (the 1st getting into the ChrisMix proper.)

So these songs all had one of these factors working against them. But they're still a great bunch of songs.

ChrisMix 08: Disqualified

Both Hands (2007 version) Ani DiFranco

All I Want Is YouBarry Louis Polisar

You Don't Know Me (feat. Regina Spektor) Ben Folds

F*****g Boyfriend The Bird and the Bee

Music Is My Hot, Hot Sex CSS

We Used to Be Friends The Dandy Warhols

Valerie Plame The Decemberists

From Dr. Dog

Mercy (feat. The Game) [Remix] Duffy

The Pristine Claw Ed Harcourt

I Wish Elias & The Wizzkids

Jungle Drum Emiliana Torrini

Inside of You Infant Sorrow

Number One John Legend

Liked You Better Before Little Jackie

Paper Planes M.I.A.

Drive On, Driver The Magnetic Fields

Time to Pretend MGMT

My Interpretation MIKA

Autoclave The Mountain Goats

Young Folks Peter Bjorn and John

Falcon Jab Ratatat

Lights Out Santogold

Why Do You Let Me Stay Here? She & Him

Drama Queen Switches

Shut Up and Let Me Go The Ting Tings

Oxford Comma Vampire Weekend

Nobody Knows Me At All The Weepies

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Just so you know I'm not dead

I feel like I should post something, but don't have anything to post.

The problem with working in a hospital all day is that I'm legally restricted from telling you parts of my day, I'm professionally restricted from telling you others and the remainder is too boring for you to want to read. Leaving music and dating theory as the lone topics of the blog.

Speaking of which, Kate Nash is kind of adorable. Here's some proof.

I hear she's horrible in concert, which kind of makes me like her more. I was at a dance on Friday and I found myself strangely attracted to a couple girls who couldn't dance. Evidently I don't value performance.

Congrats to me, back to music and dating.

For some variety, here's a quick movie review:

Role Models - hilarious. So hilarious, I watched it two nights in a row, which was a mistake. Turns out no movie is funny enough to watch two nights in a row.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Where are they now?

I’ve put up ChrisMix-Oh-Six and ChrisMix 007 on iTunes. Go get some good music, if you’re into that whole downloading thing.

It was interesting to look at some of these songs now. A few quick observations.

Bands I don’t listen to much anymore
1. KT Tunstall. She had her 15 minutes of fame shortly after I discovered her, which always ruins it for me.
2. Lady Sovereign. I moved on to Lily Allen, then onto Kate Nash for my cockney fix. Listening again she’s still fun, just not terribly interesting musically.
3. The Blow. It’s tricky making a mix for a whole year. I really liked this song for a couple weeks, which happened to be the couple weeks I was making the mix. It’s certainly not a bad song, just not one that frequently gets added to my normal mixes.
4. Eskimo Joe – Another song I loved last December, so it made it. Though listening to the whole album, it is pretty good.

Generally though, the songs have held up very well. Chances are pretty good that any given mix I’m listening to has a song or two from these lists. And I’ve continued to follow lots of the bands. For instance:

The Weepies are still great. I wanted to add Nobody Knows Me At All to this year’s mix, but the rules of ChrisMix prevent it.

I really like a track of Kate Nash covering The Black Kids’ I’m Not Going to Teach Your Boyfriend to Dance with You. It’s funny that I got both the original song and this cover within a day of each other. Again, in my top songs of the year, but a rehash from last year's artist.

ChrisMix 08 is nearly done. Put in an order if you’d like one.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Shout out

1. To my old ambiguously named friend Pat. Some of my fondest high school memories are Pat, Scott, Shane and I, hanging out in Pat's attic, playing Soul Caliber until our eyes bled. Kind of sad, but fun nonetheless.

2. To Pat's most recent recommendation: Auditorium. It's a beautiful little piece of gaming. To play it is to love it.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

The Sexy Chris Project

Last year my New Year’s resolution was to eat a lobster. I haven’t accomplished it yet, but I’m pretty sure I will. I don’t have to eat the whole thing or anything, so it’s pretty doable. So with that presumed victory under my belt, I’m taking on a bigger task for 2009.

I’ve come to the conclusion that 2008 Chris just wasn’t very sexy. I think 2007 Chris did alright, though he was nothing to write home about either. But there’s still hope for 2009 Chris.

But I need you, internet, to help me accomplish this goal. If I knew how to be sexy, I’d be doing it, and be married to Evangeline Lily. I know each of you has at least one thing you know about me that has kept you from dating me. For some of you it’s your sexual orientation, marital status or familial relation, which admittedly isn’t very helpful. But I’d like to know all the other reasons.

The question is, how can I best fish for insults? I think I’m going to get better info if the tips are anonymous. I know that you can’t hurt my feelings telling me face to face, but I’ll provide the anonymity to make it more comfortable for you. I also think I’ll get more honest suggestions if the answers aren’t posted directly on the internet. So here’s how it’s going to work:

Sign in to the group email account: thesexychrisproject@gmail.com . The password is sexyin2009. From there you can anonymously email my receiving account, sexyin2009@gmail.com . Simple. Probably overly complicated, but still in the realm of simple. If you don’t want people other than me to read the suggestions you send, make sure to delete them from the Sent Mail box. And presto, you’ve anonymously told me a way I can improve myself, and if Spam pirates or identity thieves try to get involved I can just delete the accounts. Perfect.

What do I mean by sexy? As I said, really I want to know things that limit my dating, because it seems pretty limited right now. So physical observations are fine, but not something I can do much about. Fashion, behavior, habits, personality traits, these are the things that would be more helpful. Obviously those who interact with me regularly will have better insight, but random internet folk should feel free to chime in. Also, input from womenfolk would seem to be more helpful, but maybe you fellas have some great tips.

So please, send those suggestions to me in within the next month so I can have a little list for 2009. If you don’t mind me sharing the tips on the old blog, please say so in the message. Otherwise I’ll assume it’s for my eyes only. Thanks in advance, and here’s to being sexier in 2009.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Steel City

I wonder if somewhere in Pittsburgh they have a Superman statue. I would. Except I hate Superman.

Here's pictures of my trip: pictures of my trip

So here's the story: I got free tickets to this Schizophrenia conference (because I'm a med student and was remotely interested, so they waved the 50 dollar fee.) Pittsburgh is 3 hours away, which is just about exactly the distance I'd be willing to go for a conference. 3.5 and I would've stayed home.

The trip there was uneventful. I widdled my ChrisMix 08 from 200 to 100. I ate Donettes (my preferred car food.) I regretted having to wake up at 4, but enjoyed not having to wake up at 5 and go to work.

The conference itself was pretty good. Most of the speakers were doctors, but we also had some advocacy groups, schizophrenic patients etc. I kind of got lectured out around 3 so the last couple presentations were lost on me. Oh well, I won't get my patients to quit smoking, or whatever the last guy talked about.

I wanted to do something fun while I was in Pittsburgh, but the fates conspired against me. I had a couple museums that looked interesting (Mattress Factory, an Internation exhibit at Carnegie Melon etc) but they all closed at 5. In retrospect I should've left the conference early and visited them. You live and learn. I contemplated driving the extra hour to Fallingwater, but it would've been dark, and it was freezing.

I did visit Mt. Washington, which is kind of a suburb or Pittsburgh that is 400 feet higher than the city. It was pretty nice, but it was freezing outside (15 degrees maybe) and I was just in my shirt and tie (and pants, if you were wondering) so my exploring was pretty brief.

Driving home was a nightmare. Combine driving in a new urban environment with the first ice of the season, with stupid drivers, with steep hills, with a poor sense of direction. Those sum up to a 5 hour drive home. Oi. Thanks to the Spaniard for guiding me home. She was rewarded.

Go to Pittsburgh some time. It's probably better than you think.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Back in the day . . . 2005

Amy's comment last post reminded me of my yuletide tradition of the ChrisMix. Post haste I began working on this year's mix, which won't be ready for another couple weeks. But in an effort to not study acute coronary syndrome, and to provide a soundtrack for my trip to Pittsburgh, I decided to look back, all the way to the year 2005.

I started making ChrisMix in 2006, so it took some sophisticated scientific manipulation to formulate ChrisMix 2005. I had to dig out my old laptop to see what songs I downloaded in 2005. Then I sorted them by playcount, cut out multiple songs by the same artist and snipped various outliers. And since I don't have to put it on a CD, here are the top 35 songs of 2005. For the first time ever you can purchase ChrisMix 2005 on iTunes. They didn't have all the songs, but most of them can be found here: iTunes does my bidding

And without further ado:

ChrisMix 2005
1. These Colors Red - Nathan Duprey
2. Wise Up - Aimee Mann
3. I Changed My Mind - Quannum
4. Show Me Your Heart - Need New Body
5. Catch My Disease - Ben Lee
6. 27 Jennifers - Mike Doughty
7. Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, Pt 1 - Flaming Lips
8. Haven't Tried It - Piebald
9. Birthday Song - Spookie Daly Pride
10. CHerry Lips (Go Baby Go) - Garbage
11. Hazel Eyes - The Darkness
12. Gay Bar - Electric Six
13. Twisted Transistor - Korn
14. Chasing My Shadow - James Wolfe
15. Space Ho's - Dangerdoom
16. Call Call - The Faint
17. Blow It Out - The Features
18. I Predict a Riot - Kaiser Chiefs
19. The Future Freaks Me Out - Motion City Soundtrack
20. Fit But You Know It - The Streets
21. Bleed Like Me - Garbage (I cheated, 2 Garbage songs, but very different, and from different albums)
22. One Evening - Feist
23. Daft Punk is Playing at My House - LCD Soundsystem
24. Blue Orchid - The White Stripes
25. Tech Romance - Her Space Holiday
26. The Influence - Jurassic Five
27. Goodnight and Go - Imogen Heap
28. Kiss Me - Shelly Fairchild
29. Extraordinary Machine - Fiona Apple
30. Running Up That Hill - Placebo
31. Jellybones - The Unicorns
32. Never Grow Old - The Cranberries
33. Such Great Heights - Iron and Wine
34. Get Over It - OK GO
35. Feel Good Inc - Gorillaz

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

What I think about during Rounds

I can't tell people how to be happy. I haven't really figured that out yet. But I'm pretty good at having a good time.

Most people think that the key to having a good time is fun. Rookie mistake. The key to having a good time is the fun quotient. This involves doing some math (which slightly decreases the fun) but I assure you that you can do it in your head. But it may help to have your cell phone calculator ready.

Take the activity/event and rate how fun it will be. The unit for fun is the plesik.

Amateur fun-havers stop here. 80 plesiks? I'm definitely doing that. Incorrect.

Most, though not all, activities have a cost. There's no such thing as a free lunch, or a free plesik. It may not cost dollars and cents, but it will at least cost time and potentially effort.

Fun/Cost = fun quotient.

But wait, that's not the whole story. You need to add in the collateral damage and fringe benefits, namely, the people. Going to a concert may have a pleasing fun/cost ratio, but to make it worthwhile it nearly always requires the fringe benefit of going with friends. If no friends are going and you need a ride from Dweeby McHusky that counts as collatoral damage and it will almost never be worthwhile.

Some further examples from this week.

Bowling is fun, most likely 10 plesiks. But the cost is also relatively high, so your fun quotient ends up pretty close to 1. Is 1 worth doing? Probably not. Staying home and reading can probably break a 2 or 3. Add in a lot of fringe benefits (friends count as 1, cute girls count as 3) and you have a formula for a good evening.

Garrison Keillor is coming to town. I enjoy PHC, so this activity probably gets a 20. Maybe a 30. But for me (unfortunately plesiks are relative, confounding group calculations) it definitely doesn't break a 40. The show costs 50 bucks AND is an inconvenient time. Sorry Garrison, the numbers just aren't in your favor. Unless you add a lot of fringe benefits.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Not cool Universe, not cool

Yesterday's post may lead you to believe I expect everyone to be good at everything. Not so. Obviously everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses. Except Dorota Rabczewska.



Let's start with the obvious, she's gorgeous, albeit skanky. Not that it's really a measure of beauty, but she has posed in Playboy. The Polish Playboy, but still.
Add the fact that she was nationally ranked in track and field. Polish track and field, but still.
Add the fact that she's one of Poland's most popular pop stars.
Add the fact that she has her own tv show.
Add the fact that she's in Mensa. Polish Mensa, but still. Actually Mensa is an international organization.

Is that fair universe? I submit it is not.

If you enjoy Britney Spears videos (and at least 50% of you do) here's one I rather enjoyed:

Avoid looking at her belt buckle

If any of you know Polish and would like to let me know what clever wordplay she's crafting using her genius IQ I'd appreciate it.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Heisman

There’s a certain kind of guy that’s preoccupied with how his partner looks: all of them. But certainly, there’s a spectrum. We’re all shallow to different depths. There’s also a type of girl that’s compatible with every possible measure of shallowness.

PGS: Pretty Girl Syndrome. A sad affliction of our times. Actually, it’s almost certainly an affliction common to every time period. Pretty girls have everything they need. They’re pretty, they’re a girl, they’re set. With such an advantage in life, they can be successful without improving themselves in any other way. They don’t need to be smart, fun, interesting, kind or talented. That’s not to say a pretty girl can’t be these things, but one who has PGS isn’t. They depend solely on the prettiness to carry them through life. And frequently this works.

It’s worth noting that there are worse things than PGS. Such as PS: Princess Syndrome. This is a step more extreme. A girl realizes that she’s pretty, so develops PGS, thus doesn’t work on having any other positive attributes. She then realizes that men are shallow, so not only does her prettiness compensate for not having any other positive characteristics, she can also be extremely high maintenance. Her prettiness gives her power to make unreasonable demands. And frequently this works (though generally a higher aesthetic plateau is required.)

I write these potentially offensive things, which I generally consider to be true, to discuss a related topic: trophy wives.

When I see an annoying guy with a boring pretty girl, I think trophy wife. We men are shallow creatures, but it takes a certain kind of guy to say “What I need is a beautiful woman. She doesn’t need anything else, just looks. Then I’ll be happy.” Similarly, it takes a certain kind of girl to say “I’m happy relying solely upon my looks, and being with a guy who measures my value accordingly.” I don’t think this conversation ever takes place, but maybe trophy wives and hunters have very frank conversations. The amazing thing is that this works out reasonably well. Sure, sometimes the shallowness of the partners mix, resulting in a fiery explosion of pettiness, but sometimes they live happily ever after. I think as long as the shallowness levels are about equal, they have a reasonably good chance of surviving.

But consider this: there are ugly trophy wives and blind trophy hunters.

The popular conception of a trophy wife is a beauty queen. But really, it’s someone who has put all their eggs in one basket. She’s beautiful, so hasn’t needed to be smart, fun, interesting, kind, talented etc. Her one attribute outweighs all others. But isn’t a woman who uses a different attribute as her one focus instead of beauty afflicted with something very nearly PGS? Isn’t a guy who’s seeking just one thing, single-mindedly in his partner just as shallow?

I calculated last night and 77% of my college roommates are now married. The stats of my mission companions are equally depressing, and I’m not going to bother calculating the percentages among my friend population as a whole. Point being, I’ve watched a lot of people hook up. Some have been shallow in the traditional sense and have gone after the beauty queens. Another popular option among Mormons is being domestically shallow. I’ve had more than one friend tell me their favorite thing about their spouse is that she’ll be a good homemaker and mother. You can’t fault a guy for wanting a girl that will be a good mother. But it baffles me that the thing they were looking for was cooking/cleaning/child care. Personally, those things are perks, but pretty low on my list. But here are my friends and associates, who have picked the one thing they’re looking for, and are willing to ignore so many other aspects of their partner. There are many different types of trophy wives and trophy hunters.

I too, am a trophy hunter. I’m shallow, I admit it. Socrates said that the only true wisdom is knowing you know nothing. I hope that acknowledging my shallowness may make me less shallow than my oblivious brothers. Certainly when I’m dating I think about what people will say when they see the wedding announcement. Will they be impressed? Shallow, I know. Despicable perhaps. But a thought you’ve most likely had. Unless I’m the only bad one; however, experience leads me to believe otherwise.

I have passing thoughts about the wedding announcement, but it’s not what worries me. What worries me is that first dinner we share. Will she get their jokes? Will she be able to run with mine? Will she know that current event? Will she mispronounce that author? I’m hunting for an intellectual trophy wife.

And it’s shallow. I realize this. I’ve gone out with pretty, fun, kind and talented girls, and when I my roommate asked me how the date went, I respond “She doesn’t know what the Louvre is.” I think it’s perfectly fair to have that as a strike against her, but I probably shouldn’t be eliminating girls outright for such gaps. But I’m getting better. I used to eliminate girls if they liked country music; now it’s just a strike. Maybe 2 strikes.

So there are more trophies and trophy hunters out there than we might think. We give ourselves tunnel vision and focus on just one aspect of ourselves, and expect others to do so as well. Multifacetism. That’s where it’s at.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Pie Heaven

I held a pie election on Sunday. It was election week, it’s Thanksgiving season, it seemed like a good fit. I was in charge of FHE for the next day so wanted to give the people what they wanted.

Naturally, I used pie charts to record people’s votes. I always think that my handouts are perfectly clear, but invariably they confuse people. So there’s most likely some user error, or creator error I guess. But the results were interesting.

Banana Cream - 9 votes
Key Lime - 8 votes
Pecan - 8 votes
Chocolate Silk - 8 votes (minus 1 for suspected tampering)
Pumpkin - 8 votes (minus 2 for witnessed tampering)
Apple - 7 votes
Lemon Meringue - 5 votes
Cherry - 3 votes
Shepard’s - 1 vote
Write in for Peach and Custard

Obviously, it wasn’t a landslide, but Banana did win by a vote. Who knew? I was also surprised that Key Lime and Pecan were in the top running, as I’d considered them specialty pies. Maybe we have more southerners in the ward than I thought.

I thought Pumpkin would use it’s November-charm to win, but I guess people figure they can get enough of it in the coming weeks. Cherry’s failure surprised me, as it seems like such a pie staple. I guess the people have spoken.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

For you non-facebookers

Step 1: Get on Facebook.

Alternate Step 1: Look at these pictures that I posted on facebook.

Octoberween

They're of me, a dance I went to, a party I threw, and various people. If you're unfamiliar with my costume, the following may be helpful:

Dr. Horrible does laundry
Dr. Horrible plans an assassination

Party review: Pretty good. I get an excellent turnout, but with a number of notable no-shows. I threw a dance party for the first time, and was reminded that people have bad taste in music. There's only so much I can do. I was kind of lame and wore the same costume twice, but it was just so good. I daresay it is the finest 16 dollar Dr. Horrible costume ever created.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Plants and Beasties

On Thursday I saw the Beastie Boys, which was awesome. It was a Rock the Vote concert, which meant it was an Obama rally, but that was a small price to pay. Well that and the 35 dollars. And having to listen to Sheryl Crow.

Sheryl actually did a good job, apart from a fifteen minute rendition of A Change Will Do You Good. That woman hates oil, let me tell ya. Ben Harper was a little disappointing. He did a good job, he just didn't play any of his songs that I really like. Ben Stiller and one of the Robert Kennedy's son showed up pretty randomly.

The Beasties were great. It was pretty much a greatest hits playlist, which was fine by me. It's kind of funny to watch 3 middle age guys rapping, but they really got the house rocking.

Here's some pictures

Also included in that picture set is a trip I took to the Franklin Park Conservatory on Friday. Hands down the best conservatory I've ever visited. It was actually a pretty sweet museum. Ohioans take note.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

"vacation"

What’s the most aggravating day possible? Combine being on hold, doing computer repair, and waiting in line for 3 hours.

My computer’s been on the fritz for 6 months, so I finally took the time to get it fixed. To be fair, I was only on hold for five minutes, then I decided to hang up. I’m a med student, I pay ridiculous sums of money to OSU, they forced me to buy this computer, they can fix it. So I brought it to the library and told them to fix it. At first they thought it would just take a few minutes. Twenty minutes later I decided it wasn’t going to take just a few minutes. So they told me to come back in a couple hours, and I did so. It still wasn’t fixed. So I came back five hours later. It was done, but the guy on staff didn’t know where it was. Eventually we found it, hopefully freezing-free. So far so good.

To be fair, I live a five minute walk from the library, so my combined wasted time for the first project is probably under an hour. My second project for the day (I’m on vacation, so force myself to have projects so I leave my room) was voting. Holy screw people, bring a book when you go to vote. I’m doing cardiology next week, so know there’s a significant chance that I’ll be at the hospital for 12-16 hours on Election Day. So I used my afternoon today to go. And wait. For 3 hours. The good news is that the first half of The Road is pretty good.

Here’s an idea: NOT having to wait for 3 hours to vote. Now I think we can all agree that it would be discriminatory to charge people to vote. But what if we had the option of paying for a shorter line? You show up at your local place of voting and look at the two lines. From there you decide, do I want to wait for 3 hours and vote for free, or do I want to pay twenty dollars and vote in 5 minutes? That’s freedom. And it would raise money. And it would get me back to my room faster.

Monday, October 27, 2008

I came, I Saw, I was not impressed

I've watched a Saw movie every night before going to sleep for the last 3 days. Admittedly this isn't how most of you prepare for bed. I also frequently drink a Dr. Pepper before going to sleep so I'm an aberration. I've been doing this for 3 reasons.
1. It's Halloweek! I've watched a horror movie a day since my exam last Friday.
2. I'm on vacation. When better to watch bad movies?
3. Shawnee Smith.



Really I should've listed Shawnee 3 times since that's the most important reason. Though I should've realized that this isn't the best way for me to get my Shawnee fix.



My conclusion: these movies aren't very good. You're shocked, I'm sure. They're not scary. Movies can be scary in different ways. They can be creepy, startling, unsettling, or horrific. That's really the order in which I like them. But I wouldn't even describe these movies as horrific. They're just bloody. And due to a combination of my callous nature, real life experience with gore and overexposure to extreme situations in movies, the blood didn't bother me. I wasn't really grossed out, and certainly wasn't scared.

The first movie was a bit of a mystery, which was fun. The second movie had some good puzzle solving, much like a video game. The third movie didn't really add anything. And 4 and 5 won't have Shawnee so aren't worth my time. The plots jump from simplistic to convoluted, every tiny thing is explained three times, the victims are all too dumb and the villain is unreasonably prepared and/or lucky.

Conclusion: Shawnee Smith is hot and Saw isn't worth your time, even if you can stomach it.

Mini Review: Jacob's Ladder. Also not very scary. But a much better movie. Some good performances and sweet imagery. A much better choice for your Halloweek.

Up tomorrow: The Thing.

Risky Business

I probably won't post any more political stuff before the election. Most likely. Expressing non-Obama thoughts and feelings has garnered some pretty harsh reactions. It’s going to be a long 4 years. But here’s an interesting article, as well as a funny video.

Orson Scott Card (a Dem btw) weighs in

Sarah does her part

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Birthday History

As I’ve remarked before, I have a very spotty memory. Conversations stick very well; it’s very rare that someone will refer to a conversation we’ve had and I won’t remember it. My grasp of chronology on the other hand is horrendous. I have a very hard time remembering when things happened and I tend to merge similar events together. After compiling all those Halloweens a couple days ago, I decided to look at my birthdays.

1982-2000 I was at home. All these birthdays have pretty well merged together.

2001 – My freshman year of college. My main birthday experience was with my one sister who was also at BYU. I had 3 friends from home who were also in Provo, and the 4 of us had a “party.” I also celebrated with my FHE group, which coincidentally had 2 other people who were also born on March 22.

2002 – A mission birthday, which are pretty unremarkable. This one was funny because our dinner appointment couldn’t make it, so they dropped off tacos at our apartment. 3 of them. Who buys 2 twenty year old boys 3 tacos to share?

2003 – I’m pretty sure I was with my Mongolian companion who hated me. I didn’t tell him it was my birthday.

2004 – My friends tried to throw me a surprise party. Unfortunately they didn’t realize which door I most frequently used and I ended up surprising them. But it’s the thought that counts. Plus I’m pretty sure I got multiple Apple Crisps.

2005 – I spent most of the day filming my Cops parody. At the end of shooting we got together and had a little social gathering. I had to leave this to go home to meet with another friend with a mutual birthday. I’m pretty sure there was an amusingly awkward gift exchange (courtesy of my roommate’s lingering.)

2006 – Not much. A friend made me a cake which we ate together. I think I had dinner with my sisters.

2007 – My newfound Ohio friends attempted a Roast. Roasts are hard to do, especially if you’re avoiding dirty jokes, and when your subject is as infallible as myself. But kudos to them for trying.

2008 – Nothing.

By looking at these 8 days, I get some view of how the last 8 years have gone. Certainly, a day is a meager 365th of a year, but with my memory I need to use these benchmarks to measure of how I’m doing. Some of these birthdays were great, others not so much. What happened? I think a lot of it goes back to the cycles I wrote about a month ago. You’d hope that every year would be better than the last, but that’s not necessarily the case. If you’re not mindful of growing your social life, it’ll crap out on you. My posse has pretty well died, so I’ve got 5 months to build a new one. Applications are available.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Halloween History




As I discussed my Halloween plans for this year with a coworker today, she asked if I was a costume person. I’d never considered myself as such, but I guess I am. I’ve already established that I’m a Halloween person, though the costumes have never been a conscious draw. But I wear my leprechaun hat at St. Patricks, dress as Dwight for Office parties, wear my Cuban shirt when I eat Hispanic food, etc. I like to get into things. So I guess I am a costume person.



I much prefer high concept costumes. 3 Hole-Punch Jim is a great example. On the Office Jim put 3 black circles on his shirt and was 3 Hole-Punch Jim. That’s really my kind of costume. Buying a costume is pretty worthless. You need to make something yourself, preferably with little to no budget.

Here’s my Halloween History.

I gave up on Trick or Treating pretty early, so don’t think I dressed up much after age 12 or so. Before that I don’t have much recollection. I know I was a vampire at least 2 times, perhaps more. Not surprising. I know I was The Shadow one year, almost certainly the year after that movie came out. I was also The Flash once, again the year after that show became popular. Beyond that, I don’t recall.

In the year 2000 I was Tie Man. I wore every one of my ties. Not my best year, but it was fun to fashion the ties into various articles of clothing.

2001 – I was on my mission. I swapped nametags with my companion for the church Halloween activity. There were a number of old people who never recovered from the confusion, so we didn’t repeat this in 2002.

2003 - I was half of Kris Cross. My roommate Curtis and I did this together. Chris and Curtis, pretty close to Chris and Chris. If I hadn’t done this already I could’ve been more authentic when I moved in with another Chris the next year.

2004 – For one party I was a cowboy. Not high concept. But I did get to wear my giant belt buckle. For another party I was an undercover cop, posing as a beat poet. That once was better.

2005 I was in China, so didn’t dress up for Halloween per se. I did participate in the Fall Spectacle, where I dressed as a farmer and Agnetha Faltskog.

2006 I was Wolverine. I thought this was clever because I dressed as a hybrid of the Wolverine character and wearing Michigan apparel. I figured there wasn’t anything scarier in Ohio than Wolverine wearing wolverine apparel.

2007 I was the one, the only, Jemaine Clement. Almost no one knew who I was, most thinking I was being Dwight again. Lack of recognition didn’t really concern me.

2008 Yet to be revealed.



Saturday, October 18, 2008

Low level obsession

I started watching True Blood this morning, because I have academic suicide ideation. But how could I resist? HBO, vampires, not studying. It seemed like such a good idea.

And I enjoyed the first 2 episodes. I then had to throw my computer out the window so I could study. But really, how often do vampires let me down? The presence of a vampire in any story makes it almost irresistible to me. They’re dark, sexy and I'm a sucker for mythology. Here’s a list of the good and bad of the vampire canon.

Good
Buffy the Vampire Slayer (movie) – Luke Perry, Pee Wee Herman, AND cheerleaders
Underworld – I love you Kate Beckinsale
Underworld Evolution – not as good, but still pretty sweet
Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust – best vampire anime
Vampire Hunter D – not as good as the sequel, but pretty good
Blood: The Last Vampire
Nightwatch – those crazy Russians and their Matrix/Lord of the Rings/vampire movies
Monster Squad – for nostalgia purposes mostly
Dracula (original) – old timey, but good
The Lost Boys – sweety 80's goofiness
Interview with a Vampire – slow but worthwhile
Blade II – the best of the trilogy, and pretty worth watching
Dracula: Pages from a Virgin’s Diary
Dracula – the ballet
Nosferatu – still creepy
Hellsing
30 Days of Night (the graphic novel [ie pretentious comic])
Bunnicula
Duckula
The Historian
True Blood – so far so good

Not So Good
I am Legend – so much promise, with little payoff.
Bram Stoker’s Dracula – weird, with lots of weird sex.
30 Days of Night – a couple excellent moments, but a whole lot of wasteland
Blade
Blade Trinity
Masterpiece Theater’s Dracula – pretty dull. From masterpiece theater? How surprising.
Bordello of Blood – I have a love/hate relationship with Dennis Miller.
Queen of the Damned
Van Helsing – I should probably rewatch it, but I hated it in the theater
Ultraviolet – SO bad. You’ll be surprised how bad.

On my to-watch list
Buffy (the series) – never seen it surprisingly, and don’t want to until I have more free time to watch all bajillion hours of it.
From Dusk til Dawn
The Hunger – David Bowie!

Not on my list – Twilight. Sorry Mormon hack lady, you won’t get me.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Cancerable

They say lots of things will kill you. Microwaves, cell phones, diet soda. Doctors debate all of these things. There’s proof, there’s not proof, there’s not enough proof, on and on and on. And I can’t speak for the first two, but you don’t need to worry about the diet soda. Do you know why? Because the doctors will start dying long before the rest of the population.

I’ve never been a lawyer, businessman or firefighter. Maybe when they have their annual firefighter convention, everyone orders a Diet Coke. But I doubt it. But every time we have a lunch meeting (and my current rotation has 4 a week) the vast majority of the physicians present are chugging down diet soda. The really good doctors, who pay attention to nutrition articles, are drinking water. But it’s pretty rare to see a soda of the nondiet variety.

So once the doctors start dying off en mass, they’ll have proof diet soda kills you. But until then, I consider it pretty medically sound to keep enjoying my DDP.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

A Fair Trade

I consider myself something of a creative genius, but I’m stumped. When I got called as Sunday School President last month my bishop gave me a unique challenge. He wanted me to come up with Sunday School Activities. Events sponsored by the Sunday School, and relating to the Sunday School curriculum, that took place outside of church. Huh? I’m supposed to come up with something churchy for the ward to do on a random Thursday night? Fun I can do. Lessons I can do. Fun lessons even. But spiritually uplifting activities that have my unique flare? This I’m not sure about.

I’ll make a trade with you. I’ll provide some fun activity ideas for you and yours. In exchange you can provide me with an idea for a Sunday School activity. Scripture Chases will not be accepted as a valid answer.

1. On Friday we went to a haunted corn maze. It was pretty sweet. Lame, but simultaneously awesome. They had the most ridiculous booths set up. Rabbit petting, a goat obstacle course, stacks of mattresses to jump on, and best of all, a giant pile of sand. Just a pile of sand. Go find your nearest equivalent and have yourself a ridiculous evening.
2. Last week we had Tacos and Dominos night. I bought a fairly sizable quantity of Mexicany ingredients and we spent a couple hours cooking/eating and then played Dominos. Dominos is a pretty good mix of luck and simple strategy that makes for a good party game.
3. The week before we went Mormon Barhopping. I decided that it would be fun to visit various ice cream parlors in Columbus and sample their wares. The route I planned included five of my favorite ice cream shops, but we crashed after four. Even though we shared dishes at each location, there’s still only so much ice cream that can be eaten in a night.

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

For better or worse (almost certainly worse) my mind works in a negative direction. When my eager Greenie companion asked me my favorite hymn, my immediate response was “I hate In Our Lovely Deseret.” And I do, it’s stupid. It’s hard for me to pick favorites, but easy for me to pick my least favorite. I was given a list of 10 options for my next rotation, and the only way I could pick what I want to do is to pick which 9 I didn’t want to do.

But Fall is my favorite season. And contrary to my normal M.O., I don’t have anything against Summer, Winter or Spring. I’ve got pretty good cold and heat tolerance and no allergies. There’s just something pleasant about Fall. Stepping out the door to 60 degrees and sunshine makes me happy in a way Summer just can’t understand. Perhaps it’s a laziness thing: the best season is the room temperature one. The leaves don’t do anything for me, so I don’t think aesthetics play a role. But I guess I like them better than the alternatives. Snow reminds me of shoveling, and Spring has an unpleasant moist connotation.

Fall may win (and although Autumn sounds more sophisticated, it’s not how I think of it) simply because of Halloween. I like candy, I like ghosts and I like misdemeanors. Can any other holiday compete? Plus Jim brings up a very good point for Halloween:

Jim talks about Holidays

In honor of Halloween being pretty much the best holiday ever, I’ve listed some of my favorite October movies. Do yourself a favor and pick a couple up for this holiday season.

For the kiddies (not R)
Tremors – good at any time of the year really.
Beetlejuice – my favorite movie for many years
Labyrinth – All hail David Bowie.
Ghostbusters – All hail Bill Murray.
Addams Family Values – better than the first one
Willy Wonka – Gene Wilder is freaky.
The Ring – pretty good the first time.
The Worst Witch – you’ll want to see it after this: Tim Curry singing his heart out
R (it’s hard to find scary PG movies)
The Orphanage – if I have a Halloween movie night this year, we’ll probably watch this.
28 Days Later – Believe it or not, there are great zombie movies.
Descent – pretty sweet.
Alien – Psychologically designed to be creepy.
Shaun of the Dead – Funny and scary. Twofer!
Silent Hill – creepier than you’d think.
Slither – similar to Tremors, though admittedly not as good.
Blair Witch – great once, and just once.


You could watch Gremlins, Edward Scissorhands or Nightmare Before Christmas, but I watch those around Christmas instead, to spread the morbidity.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Fringe Finally Flies

The biggest problem with med school is that it wreaks havoc upon my tv watching. I’ve got weeks of Pushing Daisies and Terminator and How I Met Your Mother just sitting there, languishing in misuse. So I was pretty behind on my Fringe.

Fringe seemed perfectly designed for me. Take plot of the X-Files and combine it with the remarkable track record and vision of JJ Abrams. Throw in some actors from shows I like (The Wire, not so much The Mighty Ducks) and you’ve got some promise. Turns out, the first episode wasn’t so great.

Problems with the pilot:
1. The girl wasn’t hot enough. Shallow I know. But when you’re standing in line next to Jennifer Garner and Evangeline Lilly, almost anyone is going to have trouble.
2. The guy wasn’t funny enough. Is this equally as shallow? That’s a debate for another time. Suffice it to say the character was designed to be a wiseacre and instead was just a pest.
3. It cost too much. I have no idea how much it cost and don’t care to research it. All I know is it looked like they were trying to spend a ton of money to make things look cool, which is grating, and I’m pretty sure they can’t continue to spend that much money on every episode.
4. The mythology wasn’t immediately interesting. Lost was immediately a delicious mystery. Alias was immediately an action thriller. This didn’t stand out.
5. The world’s rules weren’t defined. Science fiction is tricky. You need to quickly establish what can and can’t be done in your world. True, the show is about weird stuff happening. But one particular scene (a woman pulls the skin off her arm to reveal a robotic hand) clashed too much with the vision of a pretty realistic 2008.

But it was good enough to watch episode 2. Episode 2 got better. We didn’t waste a bunch of time meeting everyone. Lead guy got much less annoying. There was only one problem: it was a pretty close copy of an X-Files episode (Tooms/Squeeze.) This is the problem Sliders had: every episode was a dumbed down version of a classic sci-fi movie. Heroes very nearly falls into this trap by so closely mimicking X-Men stories. I enjoyed the episode, but I’m not going to spend my precious free time watching a show that’s copying another show which has already earned my lifelong devotion. I’ll just go watch my X-Files dvds.

Episode 2 was good enough to get me to episode 3, which in turn got me to 4. Each was good enough to warrant another hour, but not much more. Until episode 4, last week’s episode. And really, this episode wasn’t monumental, but it started to get some very important things right. Not-Jennifer-Garner has become a smidge more interesting with each episode, and is now pretty watchable. Whiney lead guy looks to have stopped his whining. Cranky Old Genius looks like he’ll be more of a character and less of a caricature (thus far he’s by far the most interesting character.) And most importantly, the mystery is opening up. This episode introduced tasteless bald guy and mind-reading, sonic-pistol-wielding guy, who were both pretty awesome. The MacGuffins have become interesting and I am actually starting to formulate theories about what’s going on. If I can't be theorizing as I watch, a show like this isn't going to be worth watching.

It took you 4 episodes JJ, but you just earned me to the end of the season.

Monday, October 06, 2008

On the Bad List

50 Cent

I discovered last week that my movie, The Legend, had been removed from Youtube. Not the whole thing, just the first third. Why! I cried to the heavens. First I cursed the name of David Hasselhoff. Surely his lawyers somehow found the clip of him I used in the video. But after searching through the Youtube records I discovered that 50 Cent demanded my video be removed due to his song playing in the background of the credits. Real gangster 50 Cent. Whine about me using your song behind my back. I didn’t even get a complaint, they just took the video away on the sly. It’s a bit strong to say that I hope you get shot by a rival rapper 50 Cent, but I certainly hope you get tased or something. My apologies to David Hasselhoff. You are still awesome.

Obamaniacs

I registered to vote today, the last possible day in Ohio. That’s my style. In my defense I’m pretty sure I’m registered (I voted 2 years ago) but I thought I’d go through the paperwork again just in case. The med school, knowing that we’re cripplingly busy provided the forms in the back of our classrooms. Only one problem, they’re not so much registration forms, but more registration for Obama forms. The top half was appropriately neutral, but then the bottom consisted of a liberal checklist. Did I want to register as a Democrat? Would I be voting for Obama? Would I like to participate in the Obama campaign? I didn’t check any boxes.

I was sitting at a stoplight the other day and noticed a couple walking down the street. Hurray for cardiovascular exercise! I then saw the man walk up onto a lawn, pull the McCain sign out of the ground and throw it in the next house’s trash. As I drove away the couple continued walking down the street. Really guy? You need to destroy someone’s sign? The 20 Obama signs on the street were offended by the 1 McCain one? There’s a slight chance that this was his own home and something on his walk had convinced him to become a Democrat. But seeing as he kept walking away, chances are much higher that he’s a douche. I really wanted to follow them home so I could spray paint GOP graffiti all over their house. Not because I love tagging or want to destroy their property; just so they’d think the Republicans have satellites watching their actions at all times.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Things from Skins

Warning, the following contains mixed metaphors. I started to proofread it, but decided I’m just going to post it as a jumbled mess. This is how it came out of my head.


I’m a pretty linear thinker. A leads to B leads to C. I like organic pathways, but the feedback loops always mess me up. I like to think discreet actions result in discreet consequences and that these progress in a relatively logical fashion. Part of this is science based, and part religious. I think Mormons are linear thinkers. Eternal progression, lists of principles, sequences of ordinances, steps in hierarchy. It’s a relatively logical and flowing religious ideology.

I don’t think life travels in a straight line. It probably does for some people, supermodels for instance, but not for most of us.

I think it’s a pretty common concept that you need the bad to appreciate the good. If your life was all great all the time, you wouldn’t actually appreciate it. Without the contrast, that life would be pretty meaningless. If your life was all bad all the time, you’d probably shoot yourself. Again, pretty meaningless. So to be maximally beneficial, life must be a mix of good and bad. This is what is most educational for us, and what results in the highest end level of happiness (despite the all great all the time plan’s lack of trouble, it only results in a mediocre level of contentment.)

Another common concept, among Mormons at least, is the pride cycle. You rely on God and you get blessings. Blessings make life good, you get proud and you forget God. Without God your life becomes bad and you’re humbled, turning again to God. The goal is to stop the cycle by not becoming proud. In a worst case scenario people stop the cycle by never becoming humble. Call it the pride cycle, call it hubris, in any case pride cometh before the fall.

I think life’s not that linear, but contains a lot of these cycles. Sometimes the cycles are our fault. We get proud, we make mistakes, we travel backward instead of forward. Sometimes the cycles aren’t our fault. Accidents happen, challenges arise, things change. And although I think we should TRY to live linearly, continually building and progressing, I think the cycles may be what helps us the most.

Back to Skins, my subject of the week. The kids of Skins are a fun loving, hard partying bunch. As you’d expect, get a bunch of angsty, dramatic kids, throw in a variety of drugs and alcohol and bad things happen. Sometimes catastrophically bad things. Sometimes the misery and woe they live through are clearly a consequence of their unwise actions. But sometimes it’s just bad luck. But a theme of the show is living through the pain. Picking yourself up when things go horribly wrong and starting over. Here’s a neat montage with the fitting music “It’s gotta get bad before it gets good”:

Contains some minor spoilers, a fair amount of dancing and one F-bomb (stop at 2:15 to avoid)

So bad things happen, whether due to our faults or happenstance. Instead of continually climbing up that stairway of life we tumble down, perhaps to the bottom, often bruising ourselves along with way. Now what? You’re back where you started. Everything’s been taken away from you. What do you decide to do?

The easy answer is to give up and stay where you are. It’s easy to get bitter and just sit there on the stairs. You tried already, so why try again? All you got was bruises. So you just sit there instead of climbing up the stairs again. Or worse you say Screw This and intentionally go down the stairs, slumming your way through life, intentionally living below what you know you’re capable.

Climbing those stairs a second time is hard, but it teaches us a lot. Repeating the climb can be either harder or easier than the first time, and I think both are valuable. It can be harder if you’ve become discouraged or bitter or fragile. But overcoming these new internal challenges can teach you even more than when you first climbed the stairs. Once you’ve faced these internal challenges the climb becomes easier. You’ve done this before, so you have experience to help you on your assent.

Over the course of the show the kids of Skins almost all tumble down the stairs. They’re proud, unlucky or both and wind up falling. Often they end up losing everything they cared about, and are forced to reevaluate most everything about their life. But by helping each other, they decide to start rebuilding, step by step. I’m not saying this was a groundbreaking show or a philosophical masterpiece, but it made me look at challenges differently.

Although I’ve traditionally thought of these cycles concerning spiritual progression, I saw in Skins that it could apply to other areas as well. We can be at a certain emotional level, only to plummet to an earlier emotional period, and have to build our maturity back up. We can operate at a certain intellectual level, only to collapse to a lower level due to emotional or motivational problems. One that I hadn’t considered before was social progression. I’ve never thought much about social progression, but it’s something we all do. We built the quantity and quality of our friends and acquaintances. And through our actions and happenstance, what we’ve built can collapse. When this happens, we have to start all over, rebuilding our network step by step. I’d never thought about this, and have certainly missed opportunities to do this, instead just sitting on the stairs, socially stagnant. This post has gone on far too long so I’ll delve into this more later.

Some more spoilers, swearing and things that won't make sense out of context

Monday, September 29, 2008

Pardon my British

I don’t swear. At times I think it’s a bit hypocritical of me. I watch movies that contain swearing and listen to music that contains swearing. I swear in my head. But I don’t swear out loud. I’m not really that temperant (not a word according to spellcheck, but I say it is) of an individual, it’s just that I don’t like speaking very much. So my speech is pretty deliberate, so it’s relatively easy to choose not to say certain things.

Which is not to say that my language is pristine. I had a missionary companion who told me sucks was a curse. I say sucks pretty often, so screw him. I also saw screw, and a variety of other words that I realize aren’t classy. But they’re emphatic, which is the argument people make for why they swear. And really, I don’t have a huge issue with it. It’s true, sometimes swearing makes me think less of people. But sometimes it makes me like them more. And there’s one particular girl who makes swearing cute. Using that language is gamble.

In addition to my low grade vulgarity, I do enjoy British swearing. My recent stint watching Skins reminded me of this. (Incidentally, I’m going to talk about Skins again next post, so deal with it.) If you’re British, you’ll probably be offended by this next sentence, so consider yourself warned. British curses that I enjoy include, but aren’t limited to: wanker, bollocks, shag, piss off, slag, bugger, balls, sodding, bloody and crap. I don’t consider myself British enough to pull off sodding or shag, but I’ve been known to use the rest on occasion. I was reading a BBC report on cursing and was surprised how highly some of these words ranked. Wanker for instance, is considered the 4th most offensive curse. I was also surprised that the C word beat out two F-bomb variations for the top spot, and wondered if it held the top spot on this side of the pond. I was also surprised to find crap and whore in their top 25. I use whore like water.

I don’t really have a conclusion, so here’s another Skins clip, which includes a fair amount of swearing, so should be avoided by civilized folk. It’s of Chris, who is probably my second favorite character.

Chris trying not to swear

Sunday, September 28, 2008

That's so Cassie

My favorite show of the last month is Skins. Yes, the competition was slim. But this show is great regardless.

Here's Cassie, my favorite character. This particular clip doesn't show any of the show's humor (or humour, since it's exceedingly British) but is still a quick glimpse into her damaged mind.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

I hate my hippocampus redux

The other night we happened upon the topic of The Chipmunks Adventure. No, I have no idea what brought it up. But sadly, I found that I was able to remember the plot fairly well and even had bits of songs left in my head. After a debate as to whether the dolls they smuggled contained cocaine or not (kidding, it was diamonds and money) I decided I had to find a copy of the movie.

The saddest thing about this story is probably how quickly I was able to find a full copy of the movie. I had it downloaded in under an hour. Why in the world are people streaming this? But in no time I had the movie (along with the soundtrack!) and was ready for a flashback.

I have no idea how recently or how frequently I saw this movie. I do know that in the first ten minutes nearly every line sounded familiar. I didn’t know what the Louvre was in 1987, but I remember Alvin and Simon talking about it. Once again, I desperately wish I could choose what information I retained.

Some funny observations jumping through the movie

1. Didn’t these voices drive parents insane? The 7 main characters are all the same 2 voices, just at different pitches. Dave, Alvin and Simon are all one guy and Theodore and the Chippettes are all the same girl. You can find clips on Youtube where they’ve taken out the voice tweaking.
2. Getting Lucky With You? That’s a creepy song for pre-teen anthropomorphic chipmunks to be singing.
3. The Girls of Rock and Roll? There are few things I can think of less rock and roll than The Chippettes. But holy Flashdance, check out this video: Girls of Rock and Roll

Monday, September 22, 2008

Easy Cheese

Jim Gaffigan has a bit about Easy Cheese. Unfortunately I can’t find a video clip of it online, so I’ll have to paraphrase it. I realize of course that paraphrasing a standup bit renders it nearly humorless, but I see no way to avoid it. (Addendum: I found a audio sample of the clip here, but you still need the visual to do it justice: Spray Cheese ) Jim notes that people are incredibly lazy. How else can you explain Easy Cheese? People are so lazy that they don’t want to go through the tremendous hassle of eating cheese. Instead they want to move their finger ever so slightly, causing “cheese” to spray onto their plate/cracker/tongue.

It occurred to me today that I’m no different. Well, slightly different in that I realize Easy Cheese is pretty gross. But equally lazy. I opened my Google Reader and saw that I had 606 blog entries to read. 606 blog posts have been written either by people I like, or about things I like, and I’ve been too lazy to read them. I have to note here than none of you should be using Google Reader since that prevents me from counter-stalking you using Google Analytics, which I do. Which leads me this point: have I become precipitously less interesting since September began? Or did you all just discover Google Reader?

Admittedly, reading blog posts involves reading, which as a doctor I do get to count as working. So maybe I’m not horrendously lazy because I don’t get around to reading these blogs. But I’m also lazy enough that I don’t get around to watching videos. In years past I was a regular viewer of Homestarrunner, Ask a Ninja, Red Vs Blue and countless other silly internet videos. My first explanation would be that I’ve outgrown these shows, so no longer spend my precious time watching them. But when I do occasionally stumble across one of them during my surfing, I do think they’re funny. Perhaps not as funny as they were to 21 year old Chris, but still chuckleworthy. So the only conclusion is that I’m too lazy to nudge my finger a few times to bring myself to the site where I know the funny content to reside. Free of charge. On my computer, which is nearby 18 hours a day.

It’s just a flex of a finger, and I’m too lazy to partake of the metaphorical Easy Cheese. Though the metaphorical Easy Cheese may be as unhealthy as the Easy Cheese actual, so perhaps it’s for the best.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Do as I say

I’m currently on my family medicine rotation. I think the common fear for med students is that they’ll be doing nothing but physicals and colds for 2 months. Perhaps things will change in flu season, but I haven’t done much of either. Instead it seems that everyone I see has the following: hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, and diabetes mellitus. Put in more common terms, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes. Put in simplistic terms, too much salt, fat and sugar in the blood. As you’d guess, this trio follows obesity pretty closely. Get rid of obesity and I’d be twiddling my thumbs for much of the day. (That’s not really true, as I’m sure I could fill my day with patients on pain and depression meds, but that doesn’t support this post.)

Which is why I nearly laughed out loud at Grand Rounds last week. Grand Rounds is a lecture doctors can go do once a week if they feel like it. A major benefit of going is that a drug company will buy you lunch. Normally this is pizza, barbeque, subs, burritos, or anything that’s relatively cheap and easy to buy in bulk. Last week our drug rep decided to think outside the box and got us food from The Winking Lizard, a local tavern. Have you ever had tavern food? The spread included the following: pizza, sliders (mini-hamburgers, for non Ohioans), quesadillas, grilled cheese sandwiches, buffalo wings, onion rings, French fries, potato skins and fried ravioli. I didn’t instruct patients on diet changes for the rest of the day.