Wednesday, April 29, 2009

A Heartwarming Story (That Also Involves Pokemon)

I particularly liked this:

"I watched a bit more of the tournament and I was really impressed with the sportsmanship of the kids. I've been watching the cartoon with Gabe and it really stresses the importance of winning and losing graciously. Each of these kids when they lost shook the others hand and thanked them for the match. The winners complimented the losers Pokemon and strategies while impressing on them that it really was a very close game."

Ahh, videogames...

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Some More Great Moments that took too long to fit on

[Scene: We are playing Apples to Apples. The adjective on the table is "Shallow". Friend A has played "Ocean", Friend B has played "Advertising", and fPendl plays...]
fPendl: Here's my card.
*throws down "My Love Life"*
Me: How is My Love Life shallow?
fPendl: KAITY.

[Scene: We are playing a basketball marathon for charity. I have invited That Girl to watch/she has to be there to take pictures for the yearbook. Our coach trades our best player, Ken, to the other team. We lose by 30 points.]
Me: Well, I hope you at least enjoyed some of that.
That Girl: I did! I got lots of great pictures!
Me: Really?
That Girl: Yeah! I have this really good picture of all five of you standing there with your hands up while Ken dunks over your heads!

[Scene: fPendl and I are sitting in the basement]
fPendl: You know, you're a really nice guy, and girls would really like you if they got to know you better. But you're not hot, so no girl ever will.

[Scene: We are walking along in the mall, talking about TV shows]
Me: And Dollhouse is a *great* show if you can get past the first five episodes or so.
Other Girl: That's exactly what my mom said!
Me: Huh.
Other Girl: She also was the one who recommended I watch Firefly. You have the exact same taste in TV shows as my mom!

Friday, April 24, 2009

The Rules of Kings, a.k.a. Circle of Death

(Inspired by a ridiculous debacle where we were sitting around for at least 10 minutes yelling about how to play the game before someone looked it up online. Yes, someone looked it up online)

Kings is a great drinking game, because it is fun, requires many different skills, gives many opportunities to drink, and you don't have to play it with alcohol, so even people like me can enjoy it. But people often get confused about this. So, once and for all, let's get this out of the way: here is how you play Kings.

A standard 52-card deck is used, minus the jokers. All of the cards are laid facedown in a circular array (in some variants, around a can of beverage). Each player in the circle flips over a card and people follow the rules the card provides. In some variants, whoever flips over more than one card by accident has to drink the contents of the can; in others, each card flipped is stuck under the tab of the can until the tab pops, and the player who drew the card that broke the tab has to chug.

To remember the rules, use the rhymes:

"2 is You": When you draw the 2, point at someone and they have to drink.

"3 is Me": You drink.

"4 is Floor": Everyone has to touch the floor (or alternatively, everyone has to point to the ground). The last person to do so has to drink.

"5 is Guys": Male players drink.

"6 is Chicks": Female players drink.

"7 is Heaven": Everyone has to point to the ceiling. The last person to do so has to drink.

"8 is Dates": You point to someone to be your "date" for the rest of the game; for the remainder of play, every time you drink, they have to drink as well.

"9 is Rhyme": Going around the circle, each players says one line of verse, with the last word of the first person's line being the one that everyone has to rhyme with. The first person to say a line that does not rhyme (or who says a line ending with a rhyming word already used) has to drink.

"10 is When": People play a two-, three-, or sometimes four-fingered (if there is a very small group) game of "Never have I ever"; each person in the circle says something they have never done, and the people who have done that action have to lower a finger. The first one with no fingers left drinks.

"Jack of All Trades": The player who flipped the card names a category of objects, people, places etc. such as "Books of the Bible" or "Presidents", and each player must name something in that category. If they can't, or if they name something someone else has, they drink.

"Queen is Questions": The player who flipped directly addresses another person and asks them a question; that person must answer with another question, or ignore it and direct a question to another player. The first person to make a statement drinks.

"King is Lawmaker": The player who flipped the card makes a rule which all players have to adhere to, which can come in a variety of forms; for example, "Anyone who asks a question [including if a Queen is flipped] has to drink", "Everyone has to make bat noises when they talk", "Every player who flips a card has to compliment someone" etc.

"Ace is WATERFALL": The players get into a circle facing in one direction. The player who flips starts drinking. The player directly behind him/her starts to drink, and cannot stop drinking until the first player stops. The player behind the second player starts to drink as soon as the second player starts, and cannot stop until the second player does, and so on and so forth.

There. Is it so hard?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Foods I Have Eaten Today (in chronological order)

-One Chipotle burrito: carnitas, rice (with cilantro?), tomatillo mild salsa, sour cream (2 dollops), lettuce (3/4 handful), cheese (1/2 handful)

-A handful of Chipotle chips, three with medium salsa, the rest with mild

-3/4 of a cup of lemonade

-One Snickers bar

-One bag of store-brand microwave popcorn (~1 month from its expiration date)

-2 Pop-Tarts (or maybe just one, I haven't made up my mind yet)

And yet my friends staged an intervention for my friend Jess' eating habits, not mine....*sigh* It really goes to show who's the priority these days.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

A Brief Line Analysis of the 18 Short Stories Workshopped in My Creative Writing Class This Semester:

Number of references to EasyMac: 3

Amount of EasyMac consumed during paper-writing period: 100+ packets (estimated)


Number of evil male characters: 10+

Common characteristic of evil male characters: Infidelity

Number of evil female characters: 3

Common characteristic of evil female characters: unreliability

Number of male writers in the class: 3

Number of female writers in the class: 15


Number of redheaded (or "Scarlet", "auburn", "Titian", "Copperhead", "ginger" etc.) characters: 8

Number of evil redheaded characters: 7

Number of freckled redheaded characters: 8

Number of sexually active/oversexed redheaded characters: 6

Number of female redheaded characters: 8

Number of attractive redheaded characters: 8

Number of actual redheads in the class: 2 (arguably 1)


Number of acts of murders, suicides, violent attacks, self-mutilation: 20

Number of depressed or socially inept main characters: 18

Number of acts of love, tenderness, self-expression: 2

Number of happy endings: 1


Most common positive workshopping comment: "I really liked your little details and descriptions"

Most common negative workshopping comment: "I really didn't like your little details and descriptions"


Number of inappropriate jokes: 50+

Number of inappropriate jokes made by The Author: 49+

Number of inappropriate jokes made by other members of the class: ~1


Number of stories set in the 1960s: 1

Number of stories set in the modern day: 17


Number of stories based wholly on real life: 1

Number of writers who lie: 17

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Useful Ideas for a Dollhouse

So I've been watching "Dollhouse" on since it began, and it never astounds me to see the leap in quality between the first five or so episodes and the episode run starting with "Man on the Street"- in the space of one episode and a geeky internet entrepreneur (whose "wife" Echo provides one of the best lines in the entire show's run), the show went from being an absolutely atrocious show salvaged only by the memory of "Firefly" and the sheer hotness of Eliza Dushku (and the sneaky hotness of Olivia Williams, Amy Acker, and even the unlikely-named Miracle Laurie) to an excellent character drama that rivals some of the better episodes of Firefly (nothing touches "Our Mrs. Reynolds", though).

But it got me thinking: what would you hire Dolls for, besides the inevitable prostitution and murder services? Here are some great ideas I've had:

1) Wingmen: A Doll could be a perfect wingman, imprinted with knowledge of icebreakers and drinking games, as well has having the psychological background of being able to "push" his client into going for her, without a hint of self-interest.

2) Relationship Coach: the female version of the above role.

3) Halo trainer: This could actually be done without a Doll, but nonetheless Doll imprinting would make them useful. Imagine an opponent who is just skilled enough that beating them is a challenge but not enough of a challenge that you can't win. I'm surprised Xbox Live hasn't come up with this yet.

4) Air Marshal: A "sleeper" agent who would be imprinted as a person inexplicably compelled to take random airplane flights all day, all the time. Programmed with kung-fu skills and piloting ability just in case something might go wrong...

5) Spare band member: Drummer got "laid up" with a curious disease? Not to worry, a Doll with perfect rhythm is on the way! This would also solve the constant problem of having only three people to play Rock Band.

6) Sorority girl: Wait, nevermind.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Some things to make you feel happy about humanity

It's pretty easy to think about the negative aspects of mankind, but it's important to remember that there are examples every day of kindness, hope, and serendipity every day. Here are just a few examples (all of these are either incidents I know personally, or things I can verify with sources):

A man waiting for a train with his daughters sees a stranger having a seizure and falling onto the tracks. He jumps onto the tracks in the path of an oncoming train and covers the stranger's body with his own as the train passes overhead.

A village in the Netherlands unanimously decides that each of its 117 households will provide shelter to at least one Jew during the Holocaust, so no one person can betray the others.

One news anchor, tired of reporting on the recession and the failure of Wall Street, goes online and asks for people to send in stories of kindness and people helping others. He gets 25,000 responses in two days.

A quarter of a million men and women march in solidarity to Washington DC in the face of violence from their enemies and disapproval from their elders, to represent themselves and their rights.

After Hurricane Katrina, a big chain store tells its managers to open their doors and let people just come and take what they need, without regard to the cost.

A little boy tells me he wants to become a Big Brother when he grows up to help kids like his Big Brother helped him.

One teacher tells her students to write lists of good things about their classmates to help their self-esteem. At the funeral of one of her students 30 years later, the students she meets still have those lists.

A coach decides to let his autistic student manager put on a uniform and play for a few minutes at the end of a basketball game on Senior Night, in gratitude for the four years he has spent helping the team. He scores 20 points and is carried out of the gym by an ecstatic crowd. Now he helps raise money for autism research.

A woman is told that her as-yet-unborn daughter will grow up physically deformed, retarded, or both because of exposure to chemicals in the womb, and that the pregnancy will be difficult, dangerous, and possibly deadly for the mother. She chooses to have the child, who is now a beautiful girl studying at one of the top universities in America.

Through his clumsiness, a Scottish biochemist leaves a Petri dish open and discovers an antibiotic that saves millions of people from death and opens the door for dozens more to be discovered.

A marketing executive is sick of supporting ads and television glorifying gratuitous violence and nudity, and walks away from a $250,000/year job to start his own media company that reflects his own values.

After hours of drinking and dancing and more drinking, a girl tells a boy she will do anything with him. He tells her it wouldn't be right because she still has a boyfriend in Iraq, and takes her home to rest.

A breakfast restaurant serves two million free meals to customers one day.

A little baby is found lost along the side of the road by a group of chain-gang inmates. They watch over and play with the child for hours until its parents can be found.

A self-described "gang-banger" is forced to join the Marines to avoid going to prison. One drill instructor takes it upon himself to mentor the young man, whom everyone else has given up on. A year later, that young man is named Marine of the Year. Three years later, he is graduating from college, and starting his own record label company.

A family inundated with medical bills for their young children decides to sell "everything they own" on eBay. The top bidder promises them $20,000 for it, and tells them to take the money and keep their belongings.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Some Great Quotes I'm Excessively Proud Of

f: I live in *Symmes*
Me: No you don't.
f: Yes I do.
Me: Hey, what school district did you go to before you came to $t. X?
f: Indian H- shut up.

L: I may do sketchy things, but I'm not trashy like those other girls.
Me: Really now?
L: Yeah, I don't ever get *black-out drunk*, 'cause I don't drink.
Me: So what you're saying is, you do sketchy things even when you're in full control of yourself?
L: Well, ye- shut up.

K: OK, first of all, my favorite color is *not* pink. I don't have a favorite color, I just happen to have a lot of pink stuff.
Me: Uh-huh.
K: I like plenty of other colors too.
Me: What color is your top?
K: Well, I mean, it's pink, but-
Me: What color was your top yesterday?
K: It was pi-shut up.

Me: So there was a girl in my [grad student] class who was like, "Oh, I just turned 22 today, I'm so old" and all the older students in my class just groaned.
L: But 22 *is* old!
Me: No it's not.
L: Yes it is. Your best years are behind you at 22.
Me: Would you get married at 22?
L: Oh, God no.
Me: Why not?
L: Because I'd be too yo- shut up.