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Socks with Sandals.
Because it feels too good not to.
4th-Apr-2008 04:29 pm - Lies? On the Internet?
The main page at Ok Cupid lists "Recently Joined!" users, with the date in parentheses right behind it.  This would lead you to believe that, as of today, the thumbnails below are of people who joined, y'know, recently.

I've logged on a few times since last night, just to check, and of those times, every other time I see either Cimmy, her friend Natalie, or both.  Each of them has been a member for years, plural (Cimmy slightly longer than I, and that's four or five of 'em).

That's all I've got today.  I've been painting and I'm tired.
31st-Mar-2008 08:36 am - The Crimson and the Blue.
Most people know I'm not into college basketball.  While it's about ten times more engaging to watch than the sack of bastards that is the NBA, I don't have the energy to have an opinion about sixty-four different teams.

"What do you think about Gonzaga?"
"Theirs is a funny name."

However, there is a point at which I'm not going to fight my school spirit, and that's when KU wins a close game against an apparent Team of Destiny and makes the Final Four.  That was a fun last seven minutes of any game.  Brett had been watching the game at Brothers and I'd watched at home, so I walked to Mass Street to meet him for dinner at Chipotle.  Our Chipotle has window seating that faces directly onto the main drag, and it could not have been a better place or time to fill up on burritos.  The sidewalks were crowded with people walking and running by, triumphantly pumping their fists in the air, high-fiving, and chanting.  When we make the Final Four, half the town gets into their cars just to plug up every major street and honk their horns.  Things began to escalate about ten minutes in; men (boys, really) ran by waving their own shirts in the air and others plastered themselves to the window to shout their joy to the people in Chipotle.  Then quite literally thousands of people started to stream down Mass, down the actual street.  Traffic slowed to a trickle and eventually one lane emptied entirely.  At that point, Brett and I had to join in.

We walked down to the Eighth Street intersection in the gray mist, surrounded by screaming, happy people.  A man in jeans and galoshes had tied his shirt around his waist and held a mop in the air.  Triumphantly.  A tuba, trumpet, and snare from the KU band played the fight song and we stood in the middle of the intersection, with cars essentially parked around us, and mumbled our way through the alma mater (most of the crowd had either forgotten half the words, never knew them, or was too drunk to recall), bellowed the Rock Chalk chant, and stood in a circle around dancing people.  The police stood in pairs on each block, keeping an eye out just in case, but none of them tried to stop any of us who'd ducked into a bar to get a beer and take it out on the street, the reason being that damn near all of us were doing it.

Soon as we were done at that intersection, someone yelled, "We're going back the other way!" and sure enough, as one person the throng did a one-eighty and headed south.  For the first time I really understood how in other, larger, and more rabid college towns, this sort of thing leads to cars being overturned and lit on fire.  Brett and I thought about how we could probably have pointed this crowd toward Columbia, Missouri and with enough beer, they'd have marched down there and burned it to the ground.  GO SCHOOL.

I got more high-fives last night than when I graduated.  Once it got to the point that some drunk asshole was getting the whole group to do Rock Chalk Jayhawk every three minutes, I knew it was time to go home.  Also, we'd wound up at Quinton's, and I hate that place.

If we beat Roy Williams's Tarheels, this will have been like a tea party.
1st-Mar-2008 06:11 pm - The Other "The Tudors."
If you're considering going to see "The Other Boleyn Girl," quit while you're ahead.

...that could've been a pun!

This film is bad.  I can forgive enormous liberties with history or with the source material or both if it serves the presentation of the story in the given medium.  Since none of the many liberties in this film do that, I don't feel the need to be forgiving.  Of all the main characters, only Mary is remotely sympathetic, and even when she is, they've spent so little time investing you with any involvement in her character that you just don't care when, shock of shocks, things go badly for her.  When they go badly for everyone else too, I found myself wishing they'd make the ultimate fast-forward and jump-cut at the same time and start running a print of "Elizabeth" before Act Three started.

I couldn't even hate this movie.  It didn't offer enough to hate.  Now, "Sex and the City" is something I can get behind hating.  I wonder how it feels to know you're making a comedy whose minimum box office take is guaranteed despite it not being, at any point, funny.  Even the trailer wasn't funny, and that's supposed to be a trailer's job.  Instead, it hung out its shingle and said, "Coming soon: new content featuring the cast of Sex in the City."  Is this what people thought when I told them about "Serenity"? In some cases it's nigh impossible for me to believe that one man's unbearable vapid shitstorm is someone else's hour and a half of entertainment.
29th-Feb-2008 07:48 pm - Stimulus response.
Thanks, Kelsey (pixie37373), for the caffeinated soap--it's works.  Having done the math, we figured out that the 200mg per shower dose of caffeine is roughly the same as an entire two-liter of Coke, absorbed directly through the skin.  I offered to test it out, just to be sure it wouldn't be too harsh for Cimmy, whom it was meant for as part of her birthday present.  In another century, I would have been her food-taster.

First, it's peppermint-scented, which is neat.  Second, it takes affect at least as quickly as drinking it.  Third, it's pretty potent.  I purposely only used it on about half my body to avoid the full dose, and though I was about three hours short of sleep, I didn't need to stifle a yawn for hours.  For the most part, I associate the sensation of caffeine with the taste of soda (I don't drink coffee or tea), so separating the sensations is really kind of weird.  It's like a silent buzz in your spinal column.

Final analysis--this would be a great way to treat caffeine addiction, like nicotine gum.  It would also be a great way to hide your caffeine addiction from others., though they'd probably start to think you were compulsive hand-washer.
28th-Feb-2008 06:40 pm - A seventeen-minute break.
Sometimes words lose potency over time; it's inevitable in any living language. Excruciating came to be because it was felt that no existing word was sufficient to describe the effects of crucifixion. Starving once only applied to someone dying of malnutrition. You get the idea. It's not arresting anymore to use the word insane. I wish Americans could use "mad" like the British without ambiguity. Regardless: For seventeen minutes yesterday, I spoke to a man who is insane. I mean it.

He's in late middle age, possibly older. He sounded avuncular, friendly, matter-of-fact. He opened by saying that, in his state of Utah, the Mormon church was into everything, and it pushed a certain agenda. This is not an unfamiliar opening; there are plenty of Utahans who don't like that they can't have an alcoholic drink at their neighborhood Applebee's. While they're used to it, they're still weary of having to follow someone else's morality because it happens to be popular.

For the entirety of the conversation, had you listened only to his tone and not to the content, you could imagine this was fishing he was talking about. It wasn't until the word "kill" came up that I started to think that maybe this call was going to run long.

"They sort of, you know, push an agenda onto people that maybe, well, and you know that they've, well, it's clear that they've had people killed when people, you know, when they disagree with the agenda."

Had he been in a rage, I could have taken this comment in stride, could have thought of it as sarcasm. What stripped my gears was that you could hear the resigned shrug. They kill people. Them's the breaks.

He visited one of our locations near his town, he said. He began to describe being seated, then told me that his time was short. "They've killed everyone who's tried to help me, you see. It's because I've said things. I speak out about them on, y'know, on the Internet. They're trying to, y'know, tear me down." it wasn't a tirade or even a lament. As far as I could tell, it was back story.

The reason his time is short is that they're poisoning him. They're doing it slowly. He has chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. He knows why. Slow food service, like he had at our restaurant. When his meal takes a long time to arrive at Applebee's, McDonald's, anywhere, it's because they've found out that he's at a different restaurant than usual, so they have to stall him while they rush over the poison and add it to his food. It's worth noting that I didn't consider until after the call that the man knows this and still goes out to eat. Suspension of disbelief was that easy—that is, suspension of disbelief that he was sincere. Still that even tone, rambling but not escalating.

His mother's fatal stroke back at the family home in Texas, at the age of eighty-seven, was likely because of something similar. I think he said that he suspected his brothers of being complicit in poisoning her such that it would appear natural..

The Mormons, or more likely Dick Cheney, had one of the Walton family murdered. This was to punish Wal-Mart for helping him. Their store was willing to sell him a bicycle, transportation he can afford, and either the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints or the Bush Administration want him to have transportation only on their terms. He must either ride the bus, which runs on their schedule, or buy a car, and every car he buys breaks down. In this way they keep track of him.

Toward the end, he said he was waiting to hear the little double click on his phone line that meant the FBI was listening in. He hopes I'm really who I say I am and not an FBI agent myself. I assure him that I am who I say. He chuckles and says, "I hope so." He'd like to believe that, but it's hard to be sure.

He called to say that his meal took half an hour to get to his table, but he wasn't complaining about it. It was only right that he tell us that one of our restaurants was now part of the plan to kill him, in case we might be interested to know. He wasn't desperate, or for that matter even worried, just resigned and certain that something bad would befall him soon.

I couldn't say with certainty that I had ever been in contact with anyone who had lost his mind. Then I spoke to a very nice, if long-winded, paranoid delusional from Utah, and though people find it funny when I tell them, it doesn't make me laugh. Not that it upsets me, either. It's fascinating, and a little troubling, but mostly just strange. I'm increasingly of the opinion that our minds aren't so much ours as leased to us, under terms that we are not going to be told and from someone we haven't met.
17th-Feb-2008 08:32 pm - Science!
A friend and I are exchanging books, the better to expand one another's horizons.  In exchange for Snow Crash, I get to read A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson, and I can't say enough good things about it.  Bryson knows exactly how to combine basic concepts of how the world works with historical context; he spends as much time on the odd lives of the people who made the Big Discoveries as he does on the discoveries themselves.  Whereas books like A Brief History of Time showed us that lofty scientific concepts are within the grasp of the layperson, at least in their basics, Bryson refines the idea by broadening the scientific scope and looking at the process to a greater degree. I get the distinct feeling that human nature is at the same time one of science's greatest assets and its biggest liabilities.  We're in love with the unknown and afraid of that which doesn't fit our worldviews.  And I used to wonder why I'm often of two minds on a lot of subjects.

That's all I've got.  Brett and I went halfsies on a sizable bottle of gin and went through a bottle and a half of tonic before conking out around four, so I'm not as together as I'd like to be today.  Also I got to play with Boris, whose mother is a pug and whose father is a miniature pinscher.  He's the most spastic dog I've ever met, and he likes ears.
14th-Feb-2008 07:46 pm - Twenty Love Songs, Vol. 0

This one goes out to anyone who wants to claim it. I seriously opened iTunes, filtered for the word “love” and pulled out the songs that I liked the best. If the overall tone seems to lean one way or another, this is because of my taste in music.  Happy today, everyone.

01 Nouvelle Vague Love Will Tear Us Apart (Joy Division) is it something so good/just can't function no more?
02 The Velvet Underground Who Loves The Sun?
03 Stars Elevator Love Letter i'm so hot for the rich girl/her heels so high and my hopes so low
04 Air Playground Love (vibraphone version)
05 Wilco I'm The Man Who Loves You but if I could you know I would/just hold your hand and you'd understand
06 The Beatles You've Got To Hide Your Love Away

07 ELO Love Is Like Oxygen
08 The Magic Numbers Love Is Just A Game
09 Beulah Popular Mechanics For Lovers i hear he wrote you a song, but so what/some guy wrote 69 and one just ain't enough
10 The Evening Episode New Love
11 Nada Surf Inside Of Love
12 PJ Harvey To Bring You My Love i've laid down the devil, curse god above/forsaken heaven to bring you my love
13 Moxy Früvous Fell In Love
14 Silver Jews Sleeping Is The Only Love
15 Jeff Buckley Lover, You Should've Come Over
16 Björk All Is Full Of Love maybe not from the directions you are staring at
17 Tom Waits Sea Of Love (Phil Phillips)
18 David Bowie Modern Love
19 Eels Damn I Wish I Was Your Lover (Sophie B. Hawkins)
20 The Magnetic Fields Love Is Like A Bottle Of Gin but a bottle of gin is not like love

6th-Feb-2008 07:55 pm - Everyone gets famous.
Danny, who likes to climb geography for fun, once made an arrangement with some of his fellow climbers concerning their official last words.  Should one of them make a fatal error halfway up a rockface, odds are his last words would either not be worth committing to paper (should he, understandably, not have the presence of mind to say any) or not be audible.  They agreed to set down, in advance, what each of their last words would be, with the understanding that the survivors would swear blind that, for example, Danny's final cry as he Dopplered away was, "I regret nothing."

After I misjudged my speed on the exit from K-10 to Renner Boulevard this morning and did a two-seventy in the right lane, I reflected just before I got out to dig the snow from under my tires that I should make the same arrangement with my closest friends.  Otherwise, the evidence shows that if I die in an accident and someone is with me who survives, they'll almost surely have to admit that the last thing I said was either "shit" or "fuck."

The car was fine and I was fine.  I just feel the need to come up with something believable to have said, now.
This evening Sterling, Danny, Cimmy, and I did our duty, registered as Democrats, and caucused for Barack Obama.  We went to the fairgrounds, crowded into what amounted to an enormous metallic barn with electricity and bathrooms, and started shouting loud enough to drown out the smell of cattle.  Despite our best efforts, Clinton got more than the 15% necessary to get any delegates at all from our district, but regardless, it feels really, really good to have voted with the majority in this state for once, even if I had to declare myself a Democrat.  Sterling's serious enough about it that he's going to the courthouse tomorrow to re-register as an independent.  I'll do it sometime before November.

We had record turnout in Douglas county.  This week they changed the venue for our district at the last minute; it turned out to be a prescient move, since we more doubled the capacity of Liberty Hall at the fairgrounds tonight.  That's pretty fuckin' good.

Now I'm watching CNN on mute and wringing my hands.  I thought stuffing myself full of buffalo wings was what got my stomach hurting, but now I'm more and more convinced it's the idea of a Clinton nomination.  I need a drink, followed by five drinks.
12th-Jan-2008 09:05 pm - Godspeed, sir.
Ten years after the rest of his family got out of their braces (Mom, Erin, and I got a package deal in 1996), Dad went to the orthodontist.  He wore braces in high school, but his wisdom teeth helped push the rest back out of kilter and the following decades didn't help.  It's never been a serious matter, but he finally decided he wanted straight teeth.  As Mom's date to the company's belated holiday party, he briefly displayed his new brackets, then beat feet to the bar and had three beers in half the time it took me to drink two.  Poor Dad.

Unless it's a matter of some importance or unless he actually solicits the opinions of others on his own, my father does not take advice.  Unlike his wife and two children, he won't rinse with Listerine to keep the inevitable sore mouth at bay.  Had the bottle been left out on the bathroom counter and he thought of the idea himself, he'd probably have a well-scheduled mouth-cleaning regimen.  Because Mom suggested it, he'll be doing no such thing.  He's not contrary.  He'd just like to do things his own way, for the most part.  He'll figure out some other way, and it'll turn out to be even more simple and efficient; if you cut him in half he'd say "engineer" all along the inside.

I don't think I'll ever forget what it was like the first time I bit into a cheeseburger after I got my wires installed, sophomore year.  The ensuing full-body paralysis gave me a few moments to think about how awful it could be to own a head.  Dad will be a bit more stoic about it.  He tends to find ways to occupy himself privately if he's in pain or stress. and he just got a brand-new Gibson SG to play with, so he'll soldier on.
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