Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Nothing like a backhanded compliment to get you going in the mornings...

So I recently helped produce a documentary about life at my school, and sent a copy to an old friend of mine, who wrote that it was "hilarious", which made me smile. Of course, she then continued to say "I gotta say though, yall must have been pretty fried from studying when u made that vid b/c the commentary was borderline retarded at best."

I love America.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Barack Obama finally does something I approve of:


http://music.msn.com/music/article.aspx?news=352678&gt1=28102

It only took him 27 days, which far exceeds my expectations. And a concert for Stevie Wonder? Only one of my favorite artists of all time? Perhaps the new president will do something worthwhile after all.

Or maybe Mr. Obama is trying to lull me to a false sense of security. I'll be keeping a very close eye on you, son.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Selections from "Breakup's Greatest Hits, Album One" (first disc)
The Author and ****
(Taken from the exact transcription of an AIM conversation, circa 2005)

WFS: hey [Author], hows life with you and ****?
The Author: she dumped me.
WFS: WTF? but you had so much chem
The Author: o well.
WFS: so, seen any good movies lately?
The Author: batmn bgins was good.
WFS: yeah, i saw that w/you, remember?

The Author and *****
(taken from a hypnotic-suggestion-revealed repressed memory)

So there I was, sitting at the lunch table, trying to piece together what remained of my ego, picking away at the first plate of Thai Chicken I had eaten as a bachelor in three months. The very sweetness of it seemed to repulse me, the over-breading, the syrupy saacharine "flavor" seeping into the tiny nugget of chicken at the center and rendering a mushy mess, like my life.
Friend 1 and Friend 2 sat down next to me, shadows playing over their faces like the midnight ravens heralding death. Jay had heard the news, and patted me on the shoulder sympathetically. Or maybe mockingly- with Jay it was impossible to tell.
Friend 1 said blithely, "So Maria invited me to [Other School]'s prom next weekend, and I think we should start planning."
Friend 2 said, "Well, not all of us have been invited."
fPendl came over with a bag of greasy tater tots, deftly dancing around the outstretched arms of Friend 3 as he sat down, and said, "Invited to what?"
"[School]'s prom."
"Oh yeah. I haven't been invited."
Friend 1 rolled his eyes. "I mean, come on, you know what's going to happen. I mean, take [the Author] here."
I sighed. "I really don't think I'm going to be invited to Clarke's prom, dude."
Friend 1 snorted. "What, it's not like you're not dating ***** anymore, right?"
I winced slightly.
Friend 1 patted my back. "I keep telling you, man, that Thai chicken will get to you."

Later, as I was walking away, Friend 1 caught up to me. "Did ***** really dump you?"
I sighed and nodded.
Friend 1 shook his head. "I'm sorry, man. Damnit, why does nobody ever tell me these things? I mean, Maria and ***** are best friends-"
fPendl came up behind him. "Wait, you and ***** broke up?"
I glared at him. "Dude, I told you about it this morning!"

K and *******
(taken from an essay entitled "Show and Tell")

I don’t understand my roommate sometimes.
I was sitting alone in our room when he walked in. His shoulders were slumped and his eyes were downcast.
I looked up from my work and said, “Hey.”
“Hey,” he replied.
He went over to his desk and sat down. He spent a moment hooking up his laptop to all its umbilical cords, plugging in his mouse, strapping on a headset, and hunkering down slightly as he started voice-chatting with his teammates.
I went back to staring blankly at my hand-scrawled notes about SN1 and SN2 reactions, turning the page at arbitrary intervals. My roommate occasionally yelled at his teammates or at the computer, but I wasn’t startled at all.
About a half hour later he said, “Hey, do you have a minute?”
I turned around. He had removed his headset and was leaning over the back of his chair, looking at the ground.
“What’s up?”
“She and I aren’t dating anymore. Just thought you should know.”
“Oh. Was it a mutual thing, or—”
“She just didn’t want to do it anymore,” he said.
“I’m sorry, man.”
“Thanks. I’m doing alright, I just don’t want anyone to worry.” He kept staring at the ground. I did too. “Also, I ate the rest of the brownies your mom sent last week.”
“Oh.” I wasn’t sure if I should laugh or frown.
He shrugged, turned back to his computer, put his headset back on, and said, “Sorry guys, I was AFK roommate.”

Zach and *******
(taken from a stream-of-consciousness conversation at ~1 in the morning)

Yeah, I mean, we're not dating anymore. I went over to *******'s house the other day and she and I went up to her room and, and I was like, happy birthday, and she was like, let's not date anymore, and then her parents came in, and they were like, for *******'s birthday we're going to Macaroni Grill, do you want to come along? and I was like, sure, why not, and so we went and I got a nice lasagna and then came back and then we watched a movie and then I went home.

You went to Macaroni Grill with her family...after she just broke up with you?

Yeah, I mean, it's free food, right?

fPendl and Siella
(taken from a phone message check)

Record your message after the tone. *beep*
Hey buddy, I don't know if you saw the Facebook update, but, uh, Siella and I are no longer together. Just thought you should know. Uhh, gimme a call when you can.

Record your message after the tone. *beep*
Uhh, dude? I'm kinda dying here. Why aren't you calling me back?

Record your message after the tone. *beep*
OK [Author], you just drunk dialed Friend 2, how could you not see you missed a call from me? Seriously, I'm DYING here.

Record your message after the tone. *beep*
Hey, did you know that they can arrest you for smoking cigars on top of a parking garage? Call me. And bring bail money.

The Author and *****

(taken from the transcript of a conversation between Kosta and Max)
M: OK, I tap Wrath of God. That's seven damage. *cough* Man, I'm glad you let me build my own deck.
K: Man, I'm down to...ummm...thirteen. Hey, did you hear about [The Author]?
M: No, what happened?
K: It was weird, I was sitting there doing my 104 homework and he came in and booted up Starcraft. He played a Tower Defense map for a while and then turned and asked if we could talk. Then he told me that him and ***** aren't dating anymore. And then he told me he ate all the bahnitza my mom made last week.
M: That's unbelievable.
K: Yeah, I really was hoping to save that bahnitza.
M: No, man, that he was playing Starcraft right after he broke up with *****.
K: It's those Blizzard games, man.
M: God, I love Blizzard games. It's too bad they're banned in my room now.

Friday, February 06, 2009

About mental illness

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/kidsonline/
Please go here, click on "watch the full program online", and skip to Chapter 5 to watch the video of a girl talking about anorexia. If that 2-minute snippet doesn't chill you to the bone...(the rest of the video has nothing to do with it).
Anorexia is not a lifestyle choice or a social belief, it is a disease and one without an easy cure. People like me are at fault for 1) thinking it's some sort of weakness or aberration of choice and 2) egging them on with out deification of women with unnatural body figures.

If you know someone with anorexia please be there for them. They need your help.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Some more fun facts for Valerie

So my friend Valerie was peeved that I didn't tag her in the posts about "16 things about myself" and "25 things about myself", so I wrote this little ditty to cheer her up:

1) My friend fPendl and I have developed an elaborate code-naming system for girls that we want to talk about without them knowing, which includes a rotating cipher and Spanish. One of our code names is "Valerie", which works out really well, except when we're actually talking about a girl named Valerie.

2) One of my favorite blogs, www.ourhonordefend.com, is written by an Ohio State fan deep in "enemy territory", specifically Alabama. It contains somewhere on there a really, really, REALLY funny story about one of the authors (Vico) getting into a fight with an alcoholic single mom. Go here: http://www.ourhonordefend.com/2008/04/better-know-a-buckeye-shawntel-rowell.php and scroll down to comment #5.

3) I feel really bad because the more friends I make from Alabama, the more jokes come to mind about it. Also, of my friends from Alabama, one showed me the glory of GirlTalk, and one is one of my closest friends at school, so I can't really make any more stereotypes about it. I can, however, say bad things about Auburn. Tommy Tuberville, this is karma for you. Go learn what it's like to be fifth best in your conference- oh, wait.

4) I've always had good luck with roommates.

5) Of my closest friends, I would say probably at least 60% are female. And that's with me going to an all-boys school.

6) I got all my athletic talent from my mom (who is a great musician), and all my musical talent from my dad (who is a great athlete). It's like getting the worst of both worlds. And my brother got the best. It makes me upset.

7) I simultaneously hate and love formals and formal events. The feeling of getting dressed up, the awkward dates, the dancing, the sweat...I still can't tell if I love it or hate it...

8) My roommates always study more than I do, and it makes me feel really guilty.

9) Some days I just go to my room, lock the door, and waste hours surfing the web to no great effect. It's the 21st century equivalent to channel-surfing for me. I can't deal with too much order in my life, unfortunately.

10) I know just enough CSS, HTML, Java, Unix commands, FTP protocol, and video editing to impress people who don't know anything about it.

11) I love ginger beer and other ginger-based drinks. So did my old roommate, K, though I didn't find out until after he had drank his way through the 12-pack I was saving for exam time.

12) A lot of my writings about womenfolk tend to spring from experiences with ex-girlfriends, which is one of my many terrible writing habits.

13) I was the last kid in my kindergarten class to learn how to read, and I still shudder sometimes at how humiliated I felt when all the other kids would go into the library and pick out books they could read by themselves, and I felt like a stupid baby.

14) Not only was I once basically bilingual in English and Spanish, and let that die, but I was also once basically bilingual in English and Korean- I would speak to my mom in Korean and my dad in English as a small child, and would not realize I was speaking a different language.

15) I think I have a preference for blondes at first sight, but have only dated one.

16) I have picked up an embarassing amount of my musical knowledge from movie and TV soundtracks, Guitar Hero, and other such trivial pursuits.

18) Bill Withers' song "Use Me" is one of my favorite songs of all time, even when I'm not feeling cynical (and that's a whole other blog post).

19) I am really, really lazy when it comes to simple things like mailing stuff on time, or buying more toilet paper/floss/garbage bags.

20) I'm a neat freak, but I hate cleaning things.

21) I have NO CLASS ON FRIDAYS. It made me happy. Then I met a guy who only has class on Tuesdays and Thursdays. That made me sad.

22) I really need to rein in the privacy settings on my Facebook and cull my friends list down a bit. Yet I'm really afraid of offending people by defriending them, even if they never talk to me.

23) I often fantasize about my life being a slow-motion montage set to music in which the camera follows me in a long tracking shot as I smoke a cigarette, bump fists with a macho friend, and raise a suggestive eyebrow at some ladies.

24) I've never been able to successfully complete the friend-to-boyfriend transition.

25) I profess to hate these 25-things-about-yourself things, but my narcissistic side always wins out. What can I say? I'm a vain *******.
History is funny...

I read a very interesting Wikipedia article today in my History class. In response to the 1922 Washington Naval Treaty, which limited the number of battleships that the signatory nations could build (by way of "tonnage" or total weight of each ship), here's what the major powers all did:

Each nation used a different approach to circumvent the treaties. The US used high strength boilers for higher speeds in a smaller ship. Germany used high strength steels for better armor and lower weight (although this was in response to the Treaty of Versailles, not the Washington Naval Treaty). Britain designed ships that could have armor added after a war began, and in the case of HMS Rodney and HMS Nelson enhanced their armour by using boiler feed water tanks as part of the protective scheme. Japan withdrew from the treaty in 1936, and continued the building program that they had previously begun, to include placing 18.1 inch (460 mm) guns on battleship Yamato. Italy simply lied about the tonnage of their ships.

I love history. And the Italians.