Monday, February 27, 2012

Music Monday: Opposites Attract

Whenever I've fallen out of the habit of blogging, I ease my way back in with a Music Monday.

This week I'm going to give you a bit of pop fluff, and a bit of pretentious gloom, and hope it averages out to some good listening for you.

Nicola Roberts was a member of Girls Aloud, the height of manufactured pop. She was known as the ugly one (cue Teen Girl Squad) presumably because she's pale and ginger. Anyway, now she makes her own teenybopper beats, and sometimes bothers to put on pants. But not in this video.

Perfume Genius has a horrible horrible name. He caused a bit of a stir last month because of this perturbing video, which youtube has deemed unsafe for family viewing, but you'd be hardpressed to say exactly why. Homoerotic cuddling? I would have picked another song for you, but those he has made videos for are about 10 year old serial killers (true story), statutory rape and suicide (fictional? sad nonetheless) and sexual exploitation. So that being said, this song is a bit sad but beautiful, but you may not want to delve deeper as they get sadder, and less beautiful.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A Valentine's Poem

I've been informed that my blog can come across sexist. This is likely a combination of a tongue-in-cheek style combined with unconsciously being sexist. Today however it is intentional, as I have created a horrible "poem" to celebrate the day.

Flattery Will Get You Nowhere

Girls are the worst.
They’re petty, boring, self centered, fickle and fragile.
But for the most part, you’re not.

It’s almost like you’re not a girl at all.
I’m not saying that you’re manly, per se.
Mannish maybe.

My null hypothesis regarding us,
No, my thesis statement regarding you and I together,
I’m not sure of your level of education, nevermind.

Like all women, you confuse me.
But it’s a pleasant confusion, like your stomach on a rollercoaster.
Or sniffing glue, or so I’ve heard.

I like your face.
I don’t want to seem superficial, sexist or immature.
So I’ll leave it at that.

I could compliment other body parts, but I won’t.
I’ve seen a lot of women, some brain-blisteringly attractive.
So I’m something of an expert; well qualified to judge.

I’m not going to say that with you I’m never bored.
But I’m bored much less than when I am with other girls.
And I suspect that this trend will continue.

With you I feel no dread,
No sense of impending doom,
At worst uncertainty.

But I have a great imagination,
And I have a hard time imagining us worse off
Than we are right now.

In a box of crayons, you’d be Red and I Green,
Christmas is most definitely my favorite holiday.
My friend Jimmy would be Purple.

To be honest, you’d make my life worse in many ways.
I’d have less time to myself, less money, and I’d have to give up other women.
But I think it would be worth it.

You’re better than rainbows, flowers, kittens, babies and shopping.
As a disclaimer, I don’t really like any of those things, but you do, I’m sure.
And if I like you more than things you like, that’s a lot, right?

I had this great dog, and I like you better than him.
I saved up for this fancy GPS, and I like you better than it.
I like liberty, as far as ideals go, and you’re better.

You are the most beautiful girl, that I think that I can get.
I’ve tried others who are objectively more attractive, by popular convention.
But practically speaking, you’re the most beautiful.

I should wrap up, as I don’t want your head getting too big.
Would you like to go out / make out / spend your life with me?
If not, is one of your roommates home?

Sunday, February 12, 2012

7 Levels

I am, amongst other things, quite flippant. I say facetious things spontaneously, expecting that the person I’m talking to will understand I’m not to be taken seriously. One time I was on a trip with someone who didn’t know me and within the first hour I’d said how I was gaga for waterfalls as we passed a tiny replica waterfall. For the next 6 months she made a point of pointing out every waterfall we came across. And if there’s anything that doesn’t really require someone pointing it out, it’s a waterfall.

A while ago a friend and I were chatting and I said that I had 7 levels of friends. This lead into a conversation as to which level she was on and how people go from level to level and whatnot which of course I was making up as I explained it. But in order to make myself less of a liar, I’ve created a 7 level friend hierarchy.

Level 1 – I’ll fly to your wedding. You mean enough to me that barring unforeseen conflicts, I will take the time, expense and bother of air travel and vacation time to attend an event that I do not enjoy.

Level 2 – You are a member of my posse. I invite you to most everything, excluding romantic rendezvous. We likely have inside jokes. I’ll do you favors readily, such as going to your wedding reception.

Level 3 – You used to be in my posse, but distance, scheduling or marital status have removed you. We still keep in contact regularly, because we recognize each other has high caliber individuals.

Level 4 – We share a common interest, such as music, television, or conspiracy theories. Primarily it would be this interest that brings us together, but we also just hangout sometimes. Includes most workmates.

Level 5 – You’re not in the core group, but you’re an alternate. We have fun together but it would be odd for me to invite you to do something without a group involved.

Level 6 – You’re a cute girl that I don’t dislike.

Level 7 – You are only technically my friend. You have become a technical friend because I want to exploit you for some resource but don’t actually like you that much. Alternatively I may not really know enough about you to like/dislike you, but we have enough co-friends that you’re in my circle.

There you go. My 7 levels of friends. The pool of people in levels 1-5 are fairly limited. 6 and 7 blend into Acquaintances, which encompasses most everyone else I know. Maybe later I’ll make up 7 Levels of Enemies.

Monday, February 06, 2012

Quizmaster on the Resume

This weekend I threw my first trivia night. After a year of going to noisy bars with subpar food, I decided to bring the trivia experience to someone house. This did mean I had to come up with some questions, and that I couldn’t compete in the event. But it also finally afforded my the opportunity to wear my brain hat, given to be the BYU Neuroscience Department to show that they don’t know how to spend their funding. See how well you can do:

Name 4 movies featuring David Bowie

Round 1: Moons, Planets and Stars

Most of the moons of Uranus are named after characters from the works of which author?

What was the 1st planet to be discovered using the telescope, in 1781?

Only one of the following celebrities has a star on the Hollywood walk of fame. Which one is it? Clint Eastwood, Robert Redford, Mel Gibson, Harrison Ford

Round 2: Geography, Geology, Greek Mythology

Which of these cities is the furtherest west, Reno Nevada or Los Angeles California or Walla Walla Washington?

What is the term for lava before it breaches the earths surface?

Hercules had 12 famous labors. In one, he decapitated a fierce creature that rudely recapitated. What is this creatures name?

Round 3: Presidents, Presidents of the Church, POTUSA

Two different women attempted to assassinate this president within 17 days. Who was this ladies man?

This President of the church also served as Secretary of Agriculture.

Who sat alone in a boggy marsh, totally emotionless except for her heart?

Half Time Challenge
Who used the following forms of time travel?

Flux Capacitor
Quantum Accelerator
Phone booth
Time Displacement Equipment
Time Turner
Counter rotation of the earth
WABAC Machine

Round 4: Sports, Winners and Losers

Now played at the Olympics, what sport has also been known as Battledore, Poona and Shuttlecock?

Television spinoffs usually do poorly, but this one has won 37 Emmys, the current record. What show is it?

What is the name of Willy Wonka’s chief rival in the candy business?

Round 5: Nations of the World

Which country has the highest population of Catholics?

In what country were toothbrushes invented?

On February 4th, 1948, the island nation of Ceylon declared independence from the British Commonwealth, a year after it’s neighbor. What is the name of this country today?

Round 6: National Foods, International Foods, International “Foods”

What candy replaced the cigarettes given away at the White House starting in 1988.

What company buys more sugar and vanilla than any other on earth?

Within 2 years, when was the first McDonalds built in Moscow?

Final Question:
IMDB measures “star power” by the number of page views an actor receives. Rank the following actors from highest to lowest star power in 2011.

Christian Bale, Mila Kunis, George Clooney, Emma Stone


Labyrinth Zoolander Twin Peaks: FWWM The Hunger The Man Who Fell to Earth Arthur and the Invisibles Spongebob Squarepants Movie The Last Temptation of the Christ The Prestige Yellowbeard Just a Gigolo

Round 1
Shakespeare, Uranus, Harrison Ford

Round 2
Reno, Magma, Hydra

Round 3
Gerald Ford, Ezra Taft Benson, Lump

Flux Capacitor Doctor Brown
Quantum Accelerator Dr. Sam Beckett
Tardis The Doctor
Phone booth Bill and Ted
Time Displacement Equipment Kyle Reese
Time Turner Hermione Granger
Counter rotation of the earth Superman
WABAC Mr. Peebody and Sherman

Round 4
Badminton, Frasier, Slugworth

Round 5
Brazil, China, Sri Lanka

Round 6
M&Ms, Coca Cola, 1990

Final Question
Mila, Emma, George, Christian

Friday, February 03, 2012

New Hobby

I suspect that I have the world’s most random vinyl collection. Now there is no way I could compete for randomness with someone that has hundreds of albums. But compared to anyone else with 8 records, mine is pretty darn random. One month into my vinyl collecting, I am now the proud owner of:

Radiohead – The King of Limbs
Danse Macabre by L’orchestre de la Suisse Romande
The Who’s Greatest Hits
David Bowie, Live at The Tower in Philadelphia
The Best of Stan Getz
Belafonte at Carnegie Hall
Burt Bacharach’s Greatest Hits
The Soundtrack of FM

I’ve never heard of FM, but it was a quarter so why not. I’m not particularly a Bacharach fan, but for 50 cents why not. My Why Not budget may be surprisingly high this year.

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Charmless Man

It has never been important to me to follow social conventions. I don’t need to answer the phone by saying hello. I don’t need to say goodbye to people when leaving a party. If you’ve told me a story, I’ll let you know. If my eyes are better used elsewhere, I won’t give you constant eye contact. And I don’t feel bad about any of these things, but I do think I’ve gotten progressively worse over time. And while my social incongruities may have been quirky before, they may well be just annoying now.

It could be argued that I lack social intelligence, but I don’t think this is really the case. I’m almost always aware of my lapses, so it’s not that I’m oblivious or incapable of being more polite. But I have started to do things unintentionally. Someone introduced themselves to me the other day and only later did I realize that I never told them my name. I hadn’t done it because I didn’t care if they knew my name, but even for me that was a bit much. I can bother to tell people my name. It doesn’t mean I have to go to their kid’s bat mitzvah.

But it’s not a simple matter of turning a switch. It’s one of those horrible situations where I don’t actually want to change. I want to want to change. That’s a much bigger hurdle. Every few years I make an effort to smile more often, and it never lasts. Because I don’t want to smile more often. I want to want to smile more often. All the while a little voice shouts, in monotone, NOT SMILING IS YOUR THING. DON’T LOSE YOUR THING.

But I can smile a little more often. I can tell people my name. I can actually try to meet new people. I don’t think I’ve tried to meet new people for about a year. I’ll up my small talk a smidgen. But I’m still going to leave the party when I feel like it, so if you’re not between me and the door you’re out of luck.