Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Heath, Bars, Gays, Races and Book

Another interesting celebrity has died. I wonder if there are stats on celeb deaths? You know, like, the avg life expectancy of a Male: 65* and the * is dependent on fame status.

Maybe you'd have to say Male: 65*$#% (et cetera)

That way you could have categories:

  • Childhood fame for the * increasing stress early on and decreasing overall life from drug addictions in your teen years - i.e. Britney or Lohan
  • Teen idol for the $ with a slightly higher status than the previous but unfortunately due to high levels of liver damage due to alcohol consumption decreasing their overall span of life...
  • # could be like Peter O'Tool ... a low level fame throughout the adult life that increases life span to say 83 because of the love and money coming in.
  • % could be for Brad Pitt or someone else who is exceedingly famous... stats probably aren't available for those kind of things... tho I would bet on acquiring some debilitating illness from one of the 53 poor kids from developing countries that his hot wife chooses to pick up and carry around for months at a time. Let them walk dammit! She's going to end up with kids like that boy from the Secret Garden!
Other symbols would have to be created for political fame because their life expectancy would be something crazy... It might be like 95 because of jack-asses like Strom Thurmond, but then again the Kennedy's could bring down the average...

Either way, upon hearing about Heath Ledger's death (in case you've been under a rock he's dead as of 330 Tuesday afternoon) i was pretty surprised - as I am sure many of us were, but this was my thought process:

  1. No way. Not possible. Wtf^^ he can't be dead!
  2. I hope he finished filming Batman: Dark Knight! What would we do if we had to wait and re-film? It would suck like Aaliyah in the Matrix - or not in it rather.
  3. Man that previous thought was kind of insensitive...
  4. But really! Batman!? What are they going to do?!? I wonder if they killed him off at the end... maybe they'll have to film him tripping over something and dying now, like using a blooper reel or something...
  5. What is wrong with me? He died shouldn't I feel bad?
  6. Hehe, the Joker falls and dies... what a shitty way to go. But fitting in a way. They could use a banana peel.
  7. ... I need to stop thinking about this.
At that point I re-focused my attention on Super Mario Galaxy and decided to forget the whole thing.

So I've had a lot of things going on in my head over the past few weeks, and this was driven mostly by the lack of things going on outside my head. The torpor of my life has struck me silly. I feel fatter, more boring and generally lame most of the the day, however I have spent a lot of time out.

I went to Karaoke (which means Empty Orchestra - isn't that hauntingly beautiful? - thanks Awesome Ted and Mostly-Sober Trudy) with Biff, Ashlee, Joe and Andrea at Crunchies, headed out to Burgerama at the Riv for the last two Thursdays (the first time having 5+ pitchers in 5 hours... not bad) built Duncan, the new computer, and watched a lot of West Wing.

But lets move aside for a moment from the things I've been doing (as the next post will most likely be about my up & coming North Carolina trip) and more to the thoughts.

Firstly, Gays. I can't tell you how happy I am that this social issue hasn't yet made it to the forefront of the political race. I was thinking the other day...

A man decides to date a woman? That's socially acceptable.
But if a man decided to date another man. That is not socially acceptable.
A woman decides to date a man? That's socially acceptable.
But if a woman decides to date another woman. That is a socially grey area.

This is fundamentally unfair. I have been thinking a lot about women lately, and as a femenist I am proud of many of the women I know, they are strong, proud and full of life. The problem lies in one little thing that I know I am going to get reamed for saying, but here it goes. PMS.

Thats right ladies and gentlemen (because that is the order that the genders are affected), those three little letters that stand for Pre-Menstrual Syndrome. It's an odd things, that has of course many times been utilized by many women as reasoning for any number of oddities from heightened sexual activity, cravings, and of course irritability.

My question is this females in our audience, I have studied math, science, gender and politics and when they all collide how is this still being used as an excuse? It's a monthly cycle that causes bloating, cramps, breakouts, cravings, withdrawal, hormone changes; uncomfortable feelings all around. My point is it's a monthly cycle and for many women regular as clockwork. Couldn't you go on a trip with the girls for a long weekend? It's a waste as far as we men are concerned... no sex and we have to go to Culver's three times that weekend because you're craving the Nerds candies and custard on fries.

Honestly, we'd rather stay at home playing Half-Life 2 or shoveling the snow... Anyway, this is not the point, we'll come back to this though.

Senator Clinton is not quite the powerhouse candidate that everyone thought she would be, but she's still coming in into the top few places in every race so far... I for one will not be voting for her for a number of reasons. One being, she was on the Board for Wal-Mart... and we all know my feelings on that big lovely box. Another being her gruff demeanor toward others in her race and the idea that she told the media she had no knowledge of Bill's behavior over the years (this either means she's an idiot - or she's lying either way = bad).

But again, lets fast-forward. Clinton Wins the Presidential Nomination and asks Obama (of course) to be her Vice. She wins the election - with a large point bump from the women's vote as they want to see a female in the highest office of the land - and becomes The President. of the United States of America. Now all this happens, and then after a few weeks in office she's going to meet with the President of Iran, but then it happens.

You know where this is going?

PMS strikes.

Lets tie these two together: President H. Clinton has the President of Iran in the Oval Office, they're talking about peace and things get heated. Does she lose her cool because of that craving for pickles and peanut butter?
(not together, just in general... maybe a PBJ and a good dill from the mess)

Now ladies think before you answer, are you saying that years in a harsh political environment have hardened her to the Irritability that you yourself have probably experienced from the bloating or cramps? Then you're saying that she is not only politically more powerful but just in general a more powerful woman mentally for her ability to cramp and not be grouchy.

What about menopause? Another interesting question... Anyway, this is not a campaign against a woman, I believe Senator Clinton would have had a problem already if she was going to due to any menopausal or pre-menstrual issues, but I was just commenting on women in general. If Senator Clinton can get through years without being irritable once a month for a week why can't a woman we date?

Not to accuse women of lying or anything, just saying, this is an interesting situation and I am sure many of us out there have thought about it so I thought I would bring it up! Maybe someone would be woman enough to comment... maybe?

Personally, I don't think it matters. I think that any woman could learn to control her PMS symptoms, especially if they make a concerted effort, which we would hope a powerful politician would do, but that most women either don't have time or the interest to make an effort. There are many women in politics and we don't suffer the constant media barrage of PMS-related discourse.

I think women have cramps, it hurts and when you are in pain it can cause problems with your moods and make you irritable, but on th esame token what if a man has a knee that hurts when it rains and every time he gets knee pains and can't hardly move he yells and rants and bitches at his woman, would his woman take it? Lets say it rains fairly regularly, in fact once every four weeks almost like clockwork... would the woman be entitled to tell him he knew it was coming? or would they just have to sit back and take it. It's called a double standard and I wanted to know what women think about it. Thats all... comment ladies, and be specific and don't hide behind your gender...

Moving on again... not much else has been happening around here. Maybe I'll post again soon when I have something to post. Those of you that know I have been working on a book... I lost it when I formatted my computer. I thought I had it but no... and I was on page 60 and was almost ready for Italy then Spain then France then done. It was pretty sad, but I'll live. I've started over and it's already better! Below are a couple of page previews! I'll be selling it when I am done so if you're intrigued, keep an eye out!



A couple of pages from the section on Ireland

A great spread of the pyramids! (Photo by S. Fitzwater)

The chapter title page for Italy

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Who Am I? You Dare To Ask?






Harry Potter Character Combatibility Test
created with QuizFarm.com
You scored as Albus Dumbledore

You are Albus Dumbledore. Calm, perceptive, forgiving, and wise beyond your years.


Albus Dumbledore


69%

Harry Potter


69%

Sirius Black


69%

Oliver Wood


56%

Hermione Granger


56%

Remus Lupin


50%

Bellatrix Lestrange


50%

Luna Lovegood


50%

Draco Malfoy


50%

Neville Longbottom


47%

Lord Voldemort


38%

Severus Snape


38%

Percy Weasley


31%

Ron Weasley


31%


Monday, January 07, 2008

I hate UPS

Waiting for a package is really terrible. you order it and then you wait, and you wake up and then you wait. It's torturous! The implication that humans have this sort of patience is really prevalent in our media on most levels. People seem to be fine waiting for a shipped item, but of course on TV it only takes a few minutes, you don't have to sit through the hours of tapping your foot sitting at the kitchen table straining your ears for the UPS truck...

What can brown do for me? get here faster!

I have created a montage of Calvin and Hobbes comics to illustrate my meaning.


The problem is that the mail is just not as fast as our "microwave" society. We can get anywhere in the world via our computer screens in a matter of seconds but when it comes to geting a physi- THE DOORBELL JUST RANG!

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Podcast! Blogcast!

Hey everyone! Check this out! I made a podcast called my blogcast!

It's awesome.

Listen here!

Thursday, January 03, 2008

A Responsible Brassiere Worn Irresponsibly Warrants Response


What you are about to read is true. Only the names have been changed to protect the people from prosecution and potential hunting-downedness buy the hosts of the party involved... where party connotates not a group, but in this case a gathering/get-together/lame-ass activity. But I digress...


New Years Eve, a time of resolutions and revelations the day (er two days?) of the year when the whole world* celebrates the ending of one year and the beginning of another.

* Note: This is used in Westernized countries where Christianity is (overly?) important. These parts of the world rely on the Gregorian calendar based on the Julian calendar which had some flaws. The New Gregorian method included the adoption of a more accurate leap year which was unfortunately motivated by the confusing movement of a couple of arbitrary days based on assumed figures of the birth and rebirth of the son of their deity and of course was all financed by the catholic church under Pope Gregory MXLII or who-the-hell cares

Anyway! So In honour of that lovely occasion I decided it was a night to meet Lazy-Eye, Bugs Bunny, Dalmation with her Fireman and Hello Nurse. Also you will not find the word Drunk in this post. The Word drunk has been replaced by Awesome. e.g. "How awesome are you right now?" or "Dude, Brian fell down the stairs onto his aunt! He must still be awesome from last night" or "Okay I can't get awesome tonight I have to study!" or "We were SO awesome, wow. I haven't been that awesome in a while..." Following? Good... lets move on then.

Braving the falling snow I arrived in Kalamazoo just in time to open one of the bottles of champagne, because lets face it, anytime is good for Champagne... especially when I dropped $3.68 PER BOTTLE on it. Yea! I know.

We spit the champagne in mason jars - nothing but class people - and headed downtown to the Tower Place Apartments, which was known to Hello Nurse only as "The place where the old people live... I think..." We arrived and to kick off the evening Bugs Bunny asked if she could touch the hostess' dress. We should have known then, but we didn't. We continued into the party and walked in as if through a swinging door, strutting our stuff and feeling great only to discover we'd walked into Insipid's Not-Gonna-Dance Hall in the middle of Dullskatchewan!

yea, i totally made that postcard. Me. I did it. I know, it's sweet.

Later we decided they were all probably Republicans based on their demenor, dress and lack of interesting social function that would make them unique and ultimately shunned by the group (as uniqueness is a trait attributed to the most hated of all Repub demons, the Bleeding Heart Liberal - characterized by it's red chest, universal health care plan tucked under it's wing and willingness to help fellow members of its species, even the ones that smell)

We proceeded to liven up the party as best we could by first eating food, talking to people and generally attempting to mix. Or at least I did... First I spoke with a guy named Corey, in a suit. He was a chatty fellow, and quite pleasant, and after a short break from Corey to finish my Guinness and scope the scene I met Rob, even friendly-er. When Rob and Corey met we somehow were immediately driven to the topic of Corey's military service, which was part of the reason I'd left the first Corey-Convo. Rob seemed to agree so after a while it was a relief when the New Year banner they'd hung over the sink fell and Rob and I could spring into action like only two people not wanting to know about the deaths and dismemberments of his comrades in Iraq could do.

** ASIDE TO READER: I am not belittling his contribution to our surge and fighting of the idea of terrorism (does that sound as funny to you?) I shook his hand and looked him in the eye and thanked him for his service. He was very happy I did so, and I meant it. I do thank him for it, but I don't want to awkwardly stand there and pretend to admire his tie while he talks about the dismemberment during a party. **ASIDE OVER**

We re-hung the sign and I went to make myself a drink. The party-goers in this establishment were an interesting bunch. It was a great party space with couches, a bar area, good music and plenty of unused dance floor, but the "party-ers" instead elected to populate small circles with the people they knew.

As I drank my scotch and scotch, with some coke for colour and lime for kick, I looked around the room and realized it was like high school again.

In one corner, the Sexually Active Band Geeks: looking awkward by expression while dressing to impress - even if they didn't approve of the amount of skin they were showing - and quietly chatting only with each other.

Mid-room we had, the Moderately Hot Crowd: females which once dolled up in their makeup would be more than happy to grant you a dance because they're not getting it anywhere else, but would much rather show off to the ones they really dressed up to show off to - each other. It's a mediocre race to see if you can win the best average prize.

By the food you'd find, the Jocks: with a gait like a car salesman at a convention of cocktail waitresses these cronies aspire to convince you that they are way cooler than they are. They would be more than happy to tell you a few white lies about their recent purchases and impress you with their comprehensive understanding of the workings of a small-block V8, but ask them to repeat your name afore 25 minutes and you might be short-suited.

And then the Cool Kid: he's just frickin sweet. You may not think so, and you could tell him, but he's still frickin sweet. Nope, don't care what you say. Whats that? I have ketchup in my hair? HA! That's just my style baby, I'm frickin sweet, I know you wish you'd thought of it first...

there were also other singles floating around tacking onto similar groups attempting sociality...
the Thespian,
the Aren't-You-Too-Old-for-High-School Girl,
the Last Decade Dresser Guy,

and even the rare, but celebrated:
I Graduated but Came Back for 3 More Proms guy

Finally in this case there was also the other group... Us.

I like to think of us as the TV/Film Group or as I like to call us the Cameron Crowe/Molly Ringwald Personification Team. We fulfill everything that you saw in those movies that were supposed to be real life, and you were jealous of their success. When that song comes on at the right time to dance too close for jesus, or whether you realize that you might have just done the most stupid (yet amazing) thing you've ever done in front of that hot girl/guy. That's us.

I gravitated to us of course, tho the moderately hot crowd were tempting, and after a while of drinking and observing and listening to just really good music a number of things began to happen... no I relate this not having been with everyone at the same time, but still... I will attempt to place them in chronological order... I make no promises.

First, Bugs Bunny was in the coat area on the way to the bathroom, some ladies entered the party - they'd be Teachers in our earlier High School metaphor because they were much older. They asked Bugs Bunny if she, "was the coat girl!" Which entertained her to no end as she was just waiting for Dalmatian to come out of the washroom... She replied that she wasn't but would be happy to hang up the womans coat ... yikes...

Then Lazy-Eye was recorded by my voice recorder saying something unintelligible culminating in "but luckily I have on a responsible brassiere!" Which was a lot funny later. At this point we were pretty awesome and only on our way to how awesome we'd be later...



Dalmatian, also waiting by the loo early in the night, had screamed at a guy who "felt unappreciated" having brought the chocolate fountain and not been, in his view, properly apprecaited for it. Dalmatian I can only assume must have endured for a while before barking out, "Fuck you and your stupid fucking chocolate fountain!" Igniting a wave of response that escalated quickly until he was being hauled outside to cool off.

In case you don't see where this is going, we hijacked this party. Rather than continue with every detail let me simplify each of our lovely isolated incidents that created an overall scene by the end. We can only assume the Repubs were thinking, Who the FUCK are these people... and how do we know them?

The answer would of course be they are friends with a girl who works with the girlfriend of the guy who lives here and is hosting the party duh!

Bugs Bunny had met a boy and been chatting with him when the clock struck 12. He got a kiss on the cheek, later around 2am we were all AWESOME. Except the Fireman, he was responsible (yay!) and the boy sought Bugs out for a "real" new year's kiss and instead she mumbled and then burst out "Oh Carrots!" and ate a handful of carrots while scuttling off.

Lazy-Eye sat on the couch and after a deep conversation about life and love met one of her students! She was awesome by this point. Then she mosey-ed over to the fridge district for more scotch with scotch and some Vernor's for bubbly and met up with a guy who happened to be her students boy. They proceeded to get in a yelling match about teachers unions and their protections. She should have known when he started the conversation, "You're a TA in the Spanish Department? I used to be one in the Geography Dept! What do you think of the Union?" Then some sort of snide tone or remark followed to get L-E's dander up.

I got locked out of the place upon answering a drunk Dial originating from Ohio and proceeded across the street to an open bar. Ordered a beer and hung out in the upstairs of what appeared to be a house and drank with some 45+ married men with a definitive marital chip to try and massage out on the local ladies. I eventually made my way back to the party when the door was opened so some of the ModHots could cool off...

I was awesome at this point so it gets fuzzy. Eventually, Bugs was talking with someone who said something to her... maybe the boy from before? - so she slapped him twice - not hard but substantially probably due to her high level of awesome - and then proceeded to want to find out if that was bad, so she re-enacted the whole bit on my face too...

Hello Nurse was gettin' around the place more than a cow in a tornado, chattin' with anyone and everyone in her classic style, tho she was getting pretty awesome herself.

I was back on the couch watching while the ladies cut rugs. This was the most successful as it encouraged others to join up and most of the Sexually Active Band Geeks were out there with the ModHots, most of them were female so I was dragged in to keep the 7th Grade feel down and out, before the party started to die out. I did manage to alienate most of the crowd around us by booty dancing doubled over with Hello Nurse and Bugs Bunny... some reacted in what would have been good in the 50s but now was just sad... Hand-over mouth and step away while gasp!!



By the time it hit 230am or so when most everyone had left Hello Nurse put the exclamation point on this - now our - party by managing to vault the couch and unplug the speakers and lights before running out into the street and chase traffic in the 8" of snow.

Bugs tried to call her back feigning chest pains (which were only sort of feigned) but there was no luck, we piled into the truck and after a short while we'd passed out back at the homestead.

It was overall an amazing night and I can't post pictures here but I do recommend that you CHECK OUT THE ALBUM OF PHOTOS FROM THE NIGHT HERE!!

The next day was filled with egg eating, re-hashing (as we were all so awesome that took a while and was full of laughter and embarrassment) and watching/not-watching a 'spaghetti western.'

What a night. Wow. 2008 Started Awesome. Let's keep this train going.