Monday, August 29, 2005

Anderson Cooper and Brits in Roman Clothing

Who the hell did Anderson Cooper piss off at CNN? It seems like he's been in the crosshairs of both of the last two major hurricanes this season. Jesus, Anderson...just apologize already. He needs to be careful, or as John Stewart put it, a flying piece of debris might make him "Anderson Cooper 180."

On a completely different note...why is it that Hollywood feels the need to drape every production involving the Roman Empire in British accents? I began watching HBO's Rome tonight, and every actor/actress was British, or an American faking the accent! Is most of America stupid enough to believe that any sort of European accent provides even a little autheticity to a saga about a people who's language and accents died a long long time ago? I am pretty confident that he entire line of Caesars are rolling in their tombs knowing that Brittania is representing their culture.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Tips From Jackie

My good friend Jackie and I had dinner tonight, and over the course of devouring a pizza, I realized that she's one of the wisest people I know. One would never expect wisdom on the scale of Confucius to exist in the Jackie's tiny cute little frame, yet she always astounds me with her ability to solve any problem with a blunt and effective analysis.

Today's Tip From Jackie (many of which I plan on publishing)...

Have you ever eaten at a restaurant and asked to have your leftovers neatly boxed up so that you could enjoy a tasty nosh in the middle of the night...only to forget them on the table as you leave? Jackie's got it covered...

"Whenever I get a (takeout) box, I never leave it on the table. You forget it, right? If you're in a booth, put it on the seat next to you or your lap. Then you'll never forget it because it's between you and out."


Saturday, August 27, 2005

Can't We Just Have One More Season? Pllleeeaaaassseee?

I just wanted to give a nod to the amazing final episode of Six Feet Under, the strange little show about a messed up family that runs a funeral home that I was sure I was going to hate when I first watched it five seasons ago. Instead, I was a devoted watcher most of that time and am finding myself sad to see it go. There are so few TV shows that can dump than much pure raw human emotion into a script and have it turn out well for this long.

I hope you get a chance to see the final episode. I find myself still haunted by the scenes and the song at the end of the show ("Breathe Me" by SiA...I made a point to track it down), probably because I'm not sure if anything on TV will be as good again. Maybe I'm just not sure what to do with that hour of my Sundays now that I won't be planted in from of the tube. Anyway, you get the picture.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Still Trembling at 11:03pm

Just like most people, my day at work consists mainly of sitting in front of a computer, answering and sending emails, chatting with co-workers, lunching with friends, and a lull in energy around 2pm. Fortunately, or unfortunately if you consider a caffeine addiction unfortunate, I have access to a Starbucks within about a three minute walk from my desk. Anywhere between 1pm and 3pm, I usually begin to argue the merits of obtaining a latte with myself around this time every day. I need to stay awake to work, but it costs $3.24 every time I go. Having this every day can’t be good for my system, but the ancient Columbians had lattes for every meal and they turned out OK, right?

Eventually I just find myself over there with a warm cup in one hand and a five dollar bill in the other facing the cashier with no idea how I got there. Today, however, was different since I thoroughly rationalized the decision, and all the voices in my head spoke with one coherent voice…"let there be latte." And because this was a full and actual decision with reasoning and logic behind it (insomnia had robbed me of 2 hours of sleep the night before), I asked the man behind the counter to include an extra shot of espresso in my large drink.

Espresso, my friends, can be a dangerous thing. Maybe Mr. Starbucks measured poorly. Maybe the coffee was stronger than normal. Maybe my friendly barista added several shots of espresso thinking that the wink I gave him meant much more than it did. In any event, I was “loaded” all afternoon. What began as the tapping of my feet to music that didn’t exist gave way to a full blown caffine overdose. I began cleaning my office for no reason. I made three phone calls in five minute for reasons that are still unclear to me. I actually counted the number of windows open on my computer desktop at 31, and I’m still convinced that at one point my mouse was telling me that my last haircut was too short and that I need a new hair stylist. We argued for 20 minutes, and eventually, I saw the merits of his argument.

The moral of today’s story? Loss of sleep can only be countered with…sleep. Caffinating yourself leaves you stuck in this viscious cycle of needing caffine to stay awake, which in turn disrupts your sleep, causing you to need more caffine. I’m convinced that a shadow corporation with Bill Gates, Henry Kissinger, and Hillary Clinton as board members are the real owners and operators of the Starbucks chain, and their plan is to leave us all in an over-caffinated but fatigued state – too weak to function or question their eventual take-over of the world. Any resistance to this revolution will be crushed instantly when those that question the new overlords have their coffee switched to decaf. Viva le…mocha?

Thursday, August 11, 2005, Becky, look at her pack...

Either I am really old or I just stepped into a new dimension. Have you seen the new "Baby Got Pack" commercial from Target? It's nearly impossible for me to describe this with words. Take a look.

Am I so old that the people I was in high school with have now had tons of children, and they are the ones that think this is hilarious? Do they remember the original version of "We like backpacks and we can not lie. With a cell phone pocket on the side"? I'm envisioning a high school hallway full of "rap guy's girlfriends".

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Sure, what the hell. Just put THAT on our national tab too!

Out of all the news in the past few days, for some reason this one caught my attention...

"Last year, 4,008 motorcycle riders were killed in highway accidents, up 7.9% from 2003 and 89% higher than in 1997, according to a new National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report. Meanwhile, passenger car deaths dropped 3.2% to 19,091 last year.

The increase in motorcycle deaths has spurred Congress to add $3 million to a federal transportation bill for a study on motorcycle crashes. 'What we need now are answers, not theories,' said Tom Lindsay, spokesman for the American Motorcyclist Association."

I am still amazed that Americans are surprised when people die on motorcycles. Federal standards mandate that automobiles, which travel at the same speeds as motorcycles, have seatbelts, airbags, and a rugged structure designed to protect passengers. Yet, motorcycles offer absolutely no protection against impacts or accidents of any kind! I'm surprised that anyone survives a high speed accident on one of these things. And now the Bush Administration wants to spend $3 million of our tax dollars on trying to figure out why 7.9% more people died last year? What wonders could our researchers come up with if they were allowed to use this money on stem cell research, or this money was used to buy proper equipment for our troops in Iraq?

No one deserves to die on a motorcycle or really in any other kind of tragic accident. However, people who get onto motorcycles KNOW the dangers involved and decide to ride anyway. Hell, half don't even wear helmets! This may make me sound like even more of a liberal prick than I am, but I think our money could be better spent.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

How I Wasted My Summer

Are we all hooked on Big Brother 6 yet? Yeah, I didn't think so. The usual response when I mention to someone that I watch this is "You really watch that?". I can understand their confusion. This is the sixth year in a row in which I watch the first episode of the season, swear that I will never watch that season or any other, and then promptly return the next week for another dose. No one has yet to describe to me why it is that I may be attracted to this show. Is it the allure of something our President is rumored to have once called "strategery"? Is it the bogus excitement of the nomination and eviction of houseguests? Is it the over-the-top dramatic soundtrack? Likely, it's the boys. In any event, BB has captured my attention yet again, and the hokey alliances and strategies have now taken over my summer. What would I be doing with that time that I spend in front of the TV if BB6 wasn't aired? Writing my next novel? Working at a homeless shelter? Backpacking across Europe? Oh, Big Brother, why do you torment me so?!

Monday, August 01, 2005

To CD or not to CD? That is the question...

I recently decided to purchase Marty's August 2005 Album of the month (see previous post). Now, I have declared recently that I will be going totally digital with my music, and that CD's will now be a thing of the past in my life. Besides, if we believe what we're told by our geek friends, there should be no difference between the digital music we pay $9.99 for online and can download at our desks, than the music we pay $15.99 for in the music store that requires us to show up in person. I used to be one of those faithful, vowing to never purchase a CD again.

Then, along came digital rights management. Remember the good old days when an MP3 was really just an MP3? Those days have passed. My favorite conglomeration of software monopolies and the members of the RIAA have gotten together and created new formats of music files that are music files, with a little bonus "fuck you" included - a feature that allows those distributing the music to control how many machines you copy the music to, what kinds of devices you can use to listen to the music, and sometimes even how many times you can listen to a song. Yes, the days of personal decisions of how to store and use your music seem to be coming to an end. Sure, if you listen to your music on one computer for the rest of your life and never loose your license files (sometimes required to allow the music to be played), this will never affect you. But if you happen to loose those license files, or if you happen to try to transfer the files more than five times, you really no longer own the file, and you basically have to purchase the file again. I don't know about you, but I've owned more than five computers in my lifetime, and am planning to probably own more.

So what to do? I've found myself turning more and more to the antiquated CD as my preferred music format of choice. Sure, you now have this thing that you have to store and keep track of, but so far no one can tell you how many times you can replicate the music on that CD. I can play it in my car, on my iPod, and transfer it to as many computers as I wish. But how long do we have until CD music files are corrupted with this DRM as well? I have, in the past, been one of the biggest proponents of selling and buying music over the internet. However, I may not be able to sustain this position, given current trends. Thoughts?