Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009

2009. The year things started to happen. Again...

Talking with The Girlf(?) made me think. What's happened in 2009 that is so good? I moved to DC and started Graduate School, that's what.

I will look back on this year as the beginning of my coming out party (and I don't mean that I moved to DC and became a homo).

2009 is the year everything changed. I started the rest of my life. The saying goes, "The first day of the rest of your life." This may just be the first year of the rest of mine.


happy too those end and tan!


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

An Open Letter to Kelley's Blog

Dear Kelley's Blog,

This is Kelley's Boyf, in case you weren't aware. I wanted to inform you of the reasoning behind her recent behaviors. First and foremost I feel it is important to point out that she is not ignoring you, instead she is going in a new direction. With all of the end of semester exaustion and the excitement of Christmas she forgot that she had only blogged 45 of the 50 times! I recognize there is a possibility you may not have realized this, but it's true.


With this in mind I propose an alliance. Me, the Boyf, and you will have to find a way to actually get Pete (My brother's name for Kelley) to blog.

Some would say working on a project - like a blog - is all about inspiration, but Edison would say it has more to do with perspiration.

This makes one wonder if he wore extra deodorant when working in the lab.

Seriously though, Blog, Kelley still loves you. She wants you to be happy and full of wonderful content, but I feel like the timing was just off. Maybe you should just be friends and try again sometime in the future...

It's not you Blog, it's her.

I'm here if you need me.


Regards and Well Wishes,

Trace a.k.a. "The Boyf"

Shoppe

Today was a shopping day. I went to best buy, two malls, macys, DSW, Comcast, and many other stores and establishments.
I've learned quite a few different rules ans observations.

1. You can go to Best Buy four times before you get really bored of the items at Best Buy. 2. You can go to target to loo for a digital camera and end up paying 30% of the original price.
3. Luggage sales are amazing after Christmas when the people working at Kohls forget to take their 50% off signs down when they put up their 'Buy 1 Get 1 Free' signs.
4. DSW only employs high schoolers with tight pants.
5. Macys has dressing rooms that only exist because BCGC? CBGB? ICUP?... Because the fashion company pays to have them there.
6. Don't let your guard down or you'll end up buying lots of great stuff... And Grama will give you a corona box full of Korbel Champagne.

A good day? Mmmmmmmmm hmmmmmmmmmmmmm!


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Same jeans

It's been days.

On Christmas Eve the girlfriend and I exchanged presents (or prezzies as the Brits say).

I received jeans and a new sweater and gave her the amazing Freedom Tray (www.freedomtray.com) and White Christmas on VHS. (HA, just kidding! I got it on DVD)

The next morning, I wanted to look good, so I woke up and looked good. However, I also wanted to dress nice so I put on my new clothes and went to gmas for the much contested and dramatized Family Xmas. It was a lot of fun, the food was great and I ended up seeing Kelley long after it was all over.

Another morning passes. I spend the entire boxing day in the "walk of shame" outfit. I even (attempt to) go to a Red Wings game.

I've decided I am now thoroughly breaking in my new jeans. It's been two days, I might sleep in metro Detroit tonight. Let's keep the party going.

>> end (46/50)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, December 25, 2009

A Blog-pology

Merry Christmas Friends & Readers! The Family Drama is what it is. It will not define Christmas, but will affect it.


I accidentally took Xmas Eve off from blogging. Looks like I'm getting a spanking!!

I wanted to say:

I feel like prize jerk.

MB was angry because of my last blog post. I wanted to say here and now that I apologize for any offense I made to His Girl and MB.

Apparently, I was a jerk for posting and His Girl was offended. That was not what I meant to accomplish, and in no way did I want to give the impression that His Girl was disliked in any way.

This blogger saw His Girl and MB at NogFest 10 days ago and had a great time. I don't know if the two of them enjoyed themselves, but hanging out with them was good fun. Egyptian Rat-Screw, Nog, Music, Friends and Family... Aside from the Nog, it's similar to what we can look forward to at Grandmas.

For those who participated in my Crowd-Sourcing... Thank you for commenting, the comments were insightful and heartfelt. I really appreciate it.

MB Commented as well, but I didn't want to air any more family drama to Teh Internets, so that comment was hidden.

Prior to this post (as I understand), MB was not planning on coming to Xmas Morning due to a combination of work and transportation issues. I wanted to specify that Grandma didn't say No Girls At All for Anything, it was just during the Present Exchange. Any number of reasons have been postulated, but regardless of the reason, friends (female or otherwise) are always welcome at the rest of our always secular Christmas festivities.

I hope anyone who knows the family wasn't shaken, and anyone that doesn't know: Our family will offer nothing but hospitality to those who come to Christmas - Family or not. I think our record speaks for itself there. Xmas Morning and Gift Exchanges can be awkward if gifts are not obtained for unexpected guests. Even more awkward, however, is waking up and having a stack of presents for MB and His Girl that we know will go unopened for some time.

Long story short. His Girl, I apologize if I hurt your feelings, you are welcome at Grandmas holiday and if you show up I will apologize again in person.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Family Angst

It's too bad the ångström is already a unit of measure because family angst needs some kind of unit of measure.


I need some crowdsourcing on this. My Aunt and Uncle are coming from Texas on Thursday with my cousins (who are in their 20s). They stay at my Grandma's house and we all have Christmas together. This is the tradition. We've been doing this every Christmas for my entire life.

This year, Grandma (who hosts the event) said to my brother and I that she did not want any girls there. Basically implying Grandma wanted a 'family only' event.

I told the girlfriend and she was upset. Girlfriend didn't see the purpose. She felt that if I were to show up at any of her family events I would be welcome. It made me feel like she thought we were an unfriendly bunch jerks.

The girlfriend put up quite the fuss, but I told her that Grandma gets what she wants.

Passing the news on to those who it affected... Younger brother is single so that was no problem. Middle brother however... had a bit of an issue. Middle brother is dating a baby. She is the baby of a family, and you can tell. This girl is very nice, but she's got my brother by the balls.

If you are familiar with the narrative format then you might have picked up on the foreshadowing here. Middle Brother's baby girl wanted to come. MB called Grandma to ask if Baby could come.

An argument ensued. Pops felt that MB should have respected the wishes of Grandma. There was a shouting match, various phone calls and admissions of who cared the least about the other's opinions.

Now it seems MB isn't going to come to Christmas. On the ångström scale, this would be a pretty big family angst problem. Like 957 Å.

My question is:
Was Grandma out of line? Was Middle Brother out of line? Was Pops out of line for yelling at MB? Was Baby out of line?

I know someone fucked up, but who was it?

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Post 2001 a Blog Odyssey?

Without realizing it, I hit 200 posts on this blog.

I thought to commemorate this milestone I would post some analytics. Unfortunately, I don't really have any. So, I signed up for GoogleAnalytics. Maybe by post 300 I'll be able to give some actual stats... Instead I'll see what I can do...

I started this in Oct 2006. I did it because I was moving to Europe and wanted a way to keep people informed of what I was doing. If you're interested I highly recommend going back and checking out 2005/2006 archives.

I've done podcasting, pictures, quotes and all sorts of great stuff. Lived on two continents, dated various girls, lived with various great roommates and started grad school. It's a pretty great chronicle of my post-undergraduate mid-20s life.

Anyway, I am going to the Michigan Brewing Company so I don't have much time to discuss post 200 here on post 201, but heres my quarterly breakdown since the beginning!


It seems that 2008 was a bad year, but late 2009 is pretty awesome! Keep it up! I've had over 9,000 visitors in the last 3 years... and a lot more since the 50 posts in 50 days... I wonder if I can keep this up?

>> End (42?/50)

Monday, December 21, 2009

The 90s are the new 80s

Why are the 80s in still. We need to get over them. You know what is better than the 80s? THE 90s!


Lets have a 90s revival. Beginning with the white tube socks pushed down and saggy, our 90s model will wear stonewashed light blue jeans complete with pre-sandblasted wear. On top our model is wearing a grey long sleeve waffle/thermal shirt. Over the waffle shirt our 90s model will sport a button-up plaid flannel playfully tied around his waist.

Once correctly dressed we need to grab the proper hairstyle, long, flat hair was really popular. Any facial hair is of course optional, but not altogether common.

Hats (if worn) should be either severely cupped and pre-worn/faded to imply cred'.

Shoes? All Airwalks all the time.

Of course this is just ONE of the many options available as the 90s was an era of versitility and diversity in fashion and character.
I think this look never really went out, maybe thats why it's not popular yet. However, the day kids start wearing Starter jackets will be a big push toward the next vintage revival.

While looking for a picture of a Michigan State University Starter Jacket I found this blog. It is funny:


  1. Every time I have to spell a word over the phone using 'as in' examples, I will undoubtedly draw a blank and sound like a complete idiot. Today I had to spell my boss's last name to an attorney and said "Yes that's G as in...(10 second lapse)..ummm...Goonies
  2. I find it hard to believe there are actually people who get in the shower first and THEN turn on the water.
  3. Shirts get dirty. Underwear gets dirty. Pants? Pants never get dirty, and you can wear them forever.
  4. I would like to officially coin the phrase 'catching the swine flu' to be used as a way to make fun of a friend for hooking up with an overweight woman. Example: "Dave caught the swine flu last night."
  5. I can't remember the last time I wasn't at least kind of tired.
  6. Bad decisions make good stories
  7. Whenever I'm Facebook stalking someone and I find out that their profile is public I feel like a kid on Christmas morning who just got the Red Ryder BB gun that I always wanted. 546 pictures? Don't mind if I do!
  8. Is it just me or do high school girls get sluttier & sluttier every year?
  9. If Carmen San Diego and Waldo ever got together, their offspring would probably just be completely invisible.
  10. Why is it that during an ice-breaker, when the whole room has to go around and say their name and where they are from, I get so incredibly nervous? Like I know my name, I know where I'm from, this shouldn't be a problem....
  11. You never know when it will strike, but there comes a moment at work when you've made up your mind that you just aren't doing anything productive for the rest of the day.
  12. Can we all just agree to ignore whatever comes after DVDs? I don't want to have to restart my collection.
  13. There's no worse feeling than that millisecond you're sure you are going to die after leaning your chair back a little too far.
  14. I'm always slightly terrified when I exit out of Word and it asks me if I want to save any changes to my ten page research paper that I swear I did not make any changes to.
  15. "Do not machine wash or tumble dry" means I will never wash this ever.
  16. I hate being the one with the remote in a room full of people watching TV. There's so much pressure. 'I love this show, but will they judge me if I keep it on? I bet everyone is wishing we weren't watching this. It's only a matter of time before they all get up and leave the room. Will we s till be friends after this?'
  17. I hate when I just miss a call by the last ring (Hello? Hello? Dammit!), but when I immediately call back, it rings nine times and goes to voicemail. What'd you do after I didn't answer? Drop the phone and run away?
  18. I hate leaving my house confident and looking good and then not seeing anyone of importance the entire day. What a waste.
  19. When I meet a new girl, I'm terrified of mentioning something she hasn't already told me but that I have learned from some light internet stalking.
  20. I like all of the music in my iTunes, except when it's on shuffle, then I like about one in every fifteen songs in my iTunes.
  21. Why is a school zone 20 mph? That seems like the optimal cruising speed for pedophiles...
  22. As a driver I hate pedestrians, and as a pedestrian I hate drivers, but no matter what the mode of transportation, I always hate cyclists.
  23. Sometimes I'll look down at my watch 3 consecutive times and still not know what time it is.
  24. It should probably be called Unplanned Parenthood.
  25. I keep some people's phone numbers in my phone just so I know not to answer when they call.
  26. Even if I knew your social security number, I wouldn't know what do to with it.
  27. Even under ideal conditions people have trouble locating their car keys in a pocket, hitting the G-spot, and Pinning the Tail on the Donkey - but I’d bet my ass20everyone can find and push the Snooze button from 3 feet away, in about 1.7 seconds, eyes closed, first time every time...
  28. I wonder if cops ever get pissed off at the fact that everyone they drive behind obeys the speed limit.
  29. I think the freezer deserves a light as well.
  30. I disagree with Kay Jewelers. I would bet on any given Friday or Saturday night more kisses begin with Miller Lites than Kay.
  31. The other night I ordered takeout, and when I looked in the bag, saw they had included four sets of plastic silverware. In other words,someone at the restaurant packed my order, took a second to think about it, and then estimated that there must be at least four people eating to require such a large amount of food. Too bad I was eating by myself. There's nothing like being made to feel like a fat bastard before dinner.
Yea, it was pretty good. Here's the link to the original: http://bit.ly/zl1lu

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Be Somebody

I used to be somebody.

In my circle of friends here in Michigan there used to be a running gag. "Trace knows everyone!" Ray used to say. It wasn't true, but I did have a number of excellent coincidences. I would go to the store and see people I knew, go to the bar and see people I knew, go to Disney World and see someone I knew... People started to think I knew everyone.

Tonight, I went to a restaurant and knew two of the servers. I think in this case it is more likely that I frequented this establishment.

I think my best coincidental meetings were both on trains.

The first was in London. The London Underground moves millions of people a day. One day, at random I boarded a car on the Central line in Europe's most populous city. Stepping into the car and sitting down I looked to my left and there were two people I knew.

The second was in DC. The Metro moves millions of people a day. Standing on the Red line platform in the Nation's Capitol was a friend of mine. We started talking and waiting for the train. When it stopped the two of us picked a door and walking into the car I saw another acquaintance! The three of us began to converse. As the train moved into another station and the doors opened I heard someone shout my name. It was yet another friend disembarking from the same car!

These were not isolated incidents, I have met random people in train stations, amusement parks, gas stations while on road trips, foreign countries and in various other strange places. Perhaps I have some kind of gift for running into random people... I wonder if I can use this skill of random serendipity and turn it into some kind of employment skill.

Does anyone else have these coincidences? Leave your favorite random meeting in the comments!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Smartest in the Family

Today was the "Sibling Dinner" for my mom and her central family. In attendance were me, my mom, my dad, uncle Tom (aunt barb is sick), uncle Jim, aunt Nancy, aunt Carmen, uncle(?) Danny, uncle Eugene and his girlfriend (who's name I have forgotten).






The dinner was prime rib. Very tasty. And we had quite the spread of both food and alcohol. I don't get to see this side of my family often so I learned a lot about my cousins and the Emery side of things. One of my cousins' had a grease fire start while she was in the bathroom and it burned down her rented trailer home. I feel bad hearing on many levels when I hear things like that.

The family are all so friendly and so salt of the earth kind of people. They hunt and fish and build things and farm and are strong of will and mind... My uncle said to me, "Smartest one in the family!"

They are so proud of me. Tom almost cried when I hugged him goodbye. He kept saying he was so proud. I feel a little strange being an M.A. candidate from Washington D.C. with all of my farming/carnie family, but they make me want to work hard for them and for me.

Thanks uncle.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, December 18, 2009

Margaritas

Today I saw AVATAR. It was fantastic. 4 out of 5 stars. It was really good. I want to see it again now.

After the movie I ran some errands for my mother. I forget what it's like to be home sometimes. Mom and Dad bantering to no end. Our fat purebred Siamese wandering the house looking for love. My drunk of a brother telling mom to avoid getting his non-girlfriend a christmas present because it would send the wrong message.

My mom sent me on a number of random tasks: Austin Powers style. My mom watched me play Mario Bros. Wii for a while, and by watch I mean she sewed washcloths together with soap in them to give as gifts. While sewing she was watching LoveActually. "I might start singing in a minute." she warned.

Shortly afterward, I left.

Long story short 60oz of margarita makes everything better.

>> End Post (35/50)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Google Chrome for Mac

For those of you that are Mac users, I hope you've downloaded Google's Chrome browser.


I am typing my post on it as we speak, and I've been using it for maybe 10 days now and it is fantastic.

The reviews talk a lot about the browser and it's speed in comparison to other browsers. I think that is important, but really a browser is not just about speed when loading a page, it's also about starting the program itself, ease of use and a number of other features.

Firstly, this is GoogleChrome BETA for Mac, so it is missing many of the features available on the Windows counterpart that as been out for some time now (I used Chrome for Vista before I switched). But even with the BETA "handicap" Chrome still offers a good browser for Mac.

My favorite thing about Chrome (because you can read a full review by someone who gets paid to do it rather than by me) is how fast it starts up. It seems almost instantaneous! I click on it in the dock and it's open, ready for me to type into it's glorious address/search bar.

I love the autocomplete for both searches and web addresses. I love the simplicity of the whole web experience, no stupid bars and tabs and pop-up areas to get in my way of seeing the web. Even the status bar (the little loading thing at the bottom left of the browser) slides out of the way of your mouse pointer, sometimes I just chase it around for fun... A game of Mouse and Bar...

Anyway, I highly recommend trying it out. It's not perfect yet, Facebook's chat bar doesn't like it, indicating some limits in the Java code yet, but overall it's fast, clean and simple. I like it.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Michigan Winters

Michigan winters are cold. What with the biting wind, the snow and the wet feet. It's great. One of the best things about Michigan winters is how pretty they are. The big falling snowflakes and the rolling farmland covered in snow. All in all it is a really nice place.


Sadly, I can tell I am not as accustomed to the cold as I used to be.

D.C. has ruined me for real weather.

It rains there for days on end, but it has yet to get really cold.

I will have to resume laughing at my classmates from Maryland and Virginia who say it gets cold. Today's high in Michigan was 22º.

My friend Jill posted some great photos of Mackinac in the snow, I can't wait for New Years!!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Is a Twitter User a Twit?

Today did a Tweet Experiement. I Tweeted (via Twitter) the following line:


"Is #Twitter interesting? intelligent? inspiring? insipid? what are your thoughts? Post them here: http://bit.ly/6RllpI"

With a link to the comment's section of this post. I wanted to see if anyone in the Twitter-verse (and the Facebook verse) I sent this into actually go two-ways with their communication.

I guess we'll see! I'll post the final results before midnight.

Well I guess no one cares. But those who do say:
  • It can be interesting and informative re: sharing news and ideas, but it can get old very fast! - E. Lawton, Mass.
  • loose #tweets sink fleets twitmate! - S. Henry
  • twitter is as retarded as this question - M. Vander"slut"
Long story short. No one reads my blog. Thanks guys!

>> End (33?/50)

Monday, December 14, 2009

My house.

Today, I hung out with my family for a long while. My Dad and I installed Windows 7 on my MacBook Pro and my Mom and I bought gifts, wrapped them and made fun of my Dad.

Overall I'd say that hanging out with my parents is the same as it was in August before I left. They don't seem much older but my Mom does seem to be turning into and older lady.

She walked into the sun room with a glass of clear liquid in her hand...
"What's that?" I asked.
"Gin and tonic," she replied.
"Are you going out anytime soon?" Mom inquired.
"Nope," I said.
"Okay, because we are out of gin."

Now I stopped and thought, does she mean 'Go get me some lime flavored gin?' or did she mean, 'if you're not driving you could have one, but we are out of gin anyway.'

I'll never know, because I assumed the first and said,

"Sheesh Mom, if you take up smoking you could turn into a regular stereotype! - *drag* Go get me *wheeze* some gin! *cough*"

Dad collapses into fits of laughter.

This is what it's like at my house.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Playlist of Awesome!!1!

I have to say, I've been out of school for only a weekend, and I already miss it. Not just the people involved but also the work. I know it's crazy, but this is why I went to graduate school. I didn't go because it was a bad job market or because I had just graduated and thought, "eh why not?" I went to learn new skills that can earn me a 'real job' and because this is something I've always been passionate about.

Long story short, I have a massive literature review due tomorrow. 20-25 pages on Internet video and it's power to shape messages. I put it off till the weekend in favor of more pertinent projects, now I am sitting in the Human Ecology building on Michigan State University campus typing my handwritten corrections and I honestly will miss doing work. It's crazy and I can't believe I am going to say it, but after three weeks of mind-numbing Michigan, I can only hope my brains are calm and ready for some more knowledge.

On another note, I used the iTunes genius to make a playlist based on a 90s Rap song, and the playlist is perhaps the best thing ever. Here's some highlights:

Boom Boom Boom - Outhere Brothers
Whoomp! (There It Is) - Tag Team
Come Baby Come - K7
Push It - Salt-N-Pepa
Shake Ya Tailfeather - Murphy Lee, Nelly & P. Diddy
Let Me Clear My Throat - DJ Kool
Me So Horny - 2 Live Crew
Miami - Will Smith
Right Thurr - Chingy
The Humpty Dance - Digital Underground
Da Dip - Freak Nasty
Wild Thing - Tone-Loc
Shoop - Salt-N-Pepa
Country Grammar - Nelly
Apache - The Sugarhill Gang
1 2 3 4 (Sumpin' New) - Coolio
Whatta Man - Salt-N-Pepa
Wanna Be A Baller - Lil' Troy
Insane In The Brain - Cypress Hill
Hard Knock Life - Jay-Z
Bust a Move - Young MC
Brass Monkey - Beastie Boys
Ms Jackson - Outkast
Ugly - Bubba Sparxxx
My Name Is - Eminem
Can I Get A... - Jay-Z
The Message - Grandmaster Flash
Ghetto Supastar That Is What You Are - Pras, Ol' Dirty Bastard, Mya
Fresh Prince Of Bel Air - Will Smith
Parents Just Don't Understand - DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince
Can I Kick It - A Tribe Called Quest
Sabatoge - Beastie Boys
We Be Clubbin - Ice Cube
Welcome to Atlanta - Ludacris
She Wont Let Me Fuck - Afroman
You Can Do It - Ice Cube feat Mack 10 & Ms Toi
Bring It All To Me - Blaque


Yes. It's good.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Delay of the Conchords

I'm at the airport. My flight is delayed. Awesome. Thanks Delta/Northwest. Sorry, but once my Uncle Roy stopped working for you you went way downhill. Or maybe, to use flight terminology, you went into a steep dive.
In honor of my delay (and my good fortune at getting FREE WI-FI from Google. Love that company. Thanks Googs!) I am going to recall Eugene Mirman's story of Delta Airlines.

Eugene Mirman is a comedian that works with Flight of the Conchords, when I saw them live earlier this year he was their opener and told the audience a terrible story of loss and confusion. He flew Delta, the flight was crappy and then his baggage didn't make it. After many months it turned out his luggage had been delivered to someone else. It was sitting on this guy's porch and Delta had been called to move it. Never happened. Long story short he finally got a check from Delta for his lost items and used this money to print 1000s of postcards that he hands out at all of the Flight of the Conchords concerts and all of his shows.

The postcard (with a few edits because my mom might read this) is as follows

Dear Delta Airlines,

My name is ________. I am a fan of comedian and actor Eugene "horsedi*k" Mirman (who you may recognize from his small, recurring role on HBO's Flight of the Conchords). Mr. Mirman flew on your airline from Seattle to New York, where you lost his luggage.

Quick exposition: you delivered his luggage twice to the wrong address in Atlanta, GA, refused to pick it up, then said you would pick it up, then never came, and then told him to file a claim and wait to hear back within 10 weeks.

Eugene described his traumatic incident with your terrible airline on stage. As a result, I will never ever ever ever fly with you again. your airline is worse than someone dressing up like Hitler as a joke and not understanding why that's offensive. If your airline were drowning, I would save you, but give you a look like, "I can't believe I'm saving such an assh*le"

To make things right, if I were you, I'd formally apologize to Eugene on television, give him controlling stock in Delta Airlines or $10,000 (whichever is greater), and lastly make a video of yourself hitting yourself in the balls while going, "Why am I hitting myself?" and put it on youtube.

yours truly, _______

The front of the postcard is:


Genius. Thanks Eugene. If I find my copy of this I might actually send it.

Friday, December 11, 2009

The dumb and the short of it...

As a hold-over from my time as a historic interpreter at the magnificent Fort Mackinac it often makes me upset when people use the words, "The Olden Days." The olden days is such vague terminology and usually presupposes something being better in the past, or often that people were dumber/shorter/leaner/stronger/funnier in the past.


I find most of these things silly. Especially the people were dumber/shorter.

First, the Dumber:
"I am not included within the pale of this glorious anniversary! Your high independence only reveals the immeasurable distance between us. The blessings in which you this day rejoice are not enjoyed in common. The rich inheritance of justice, liberty, prosperity, and independence bequeathed by your fathers is shared by you, not by me. The sunlight that brought life and healing to you has brought stripes and death to me. This Fourth of July is yours, not mine. You may rejoice, I must mourn. To drag a man in fetters into the grand illuminated temple of liberty, and call upon him to join you in joyous anthems, were inhuman mockery and sacrilegious irony. Do you mean, citizens, to mock me, by asking me to speak today?"
Fredrick Douglass, July 1852

How is it, that 157 years later, there are High School graduates, who probably wouldn't understand all of the words in the speech of a pre-abolitionist ex-slave. Who is dumber?

Now, the Shorter:
Many people look at buildings erected before 1900 and think to themselves (or out loud informing anyone who is nearby of their stupid incorrect assertions) that people, "sure were a lot shorter back in the olden days!"

Well, that my friend is what it is like to be incorrect. While people were shorter than modern Americans, the average was actually not SO short. According to a Plimoth plantation website specifically focused on height myths, todays average height is 5'9" for American Males and 5' 3.75"for American Females. Lets look at some numbers...

They then break them down throughout history:
  • Medieval (averages based on remains): M: 5’ 6 ¾" F: 5’ 1 ½"
  • Early 17th-century English: M: 5’ 6" F: 5’ ½"
  • American Colonists: M: 5’ 7 ½" F: 5’ 2 ¼"
  • 1980s Britian: M: 5’ 7 ¾" F: 5’ 2 ¾"
So Mr. 6'0" I guess the grow 'em big and dumb in your county because as you can see, dating back to the Medieval times (no not that place where you don't get silverware - focus gigantor) you've gotten a whole 3" taller on average. Nice job. Good work. Go away.

Of course after all that... I went looking for the Tallest Man in the world and I found this:

He seems nice. I feel bad for him though. Poor fella.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Spicy drinks

I have to say, alcohol should not be spicy. Yesterday, I ordered a beverage at Enology wine bar in Cleveland Park. It was called Sex on Fire and contained among other things Chipoltle Vodka.

At first, this sounded intreguing, but jn practice was not.

The drink arrived in a neckless martini glass and was a cloudy orange with a distinct smell of jalepeños.

Drinking it was a slow and laborious process, prompting discussion of Bloody Mary's as a template for spicy drinks. The agreement was that Bloody Mary's are acceptable but the Sex on Fire was not.

It was back-of-the-throat spicy with a bitter finish. Thoroughy different but also off-putting. Trace votes no.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

happy birthday?

Today was going to be about how I downloaded the new Google Chrome Browser for Mac, but instead I went to a birthday party.


It strikes me that while I am now in Graduate School getting a Masters Degree, there is still inter-cohort drama. We are all working on advanced degrees here, and yet there's still the drama about one of the boys in class - who in this case may be the only single one...

Also, it was interesting to think how different people celebrate their birthday. I met a girl here at school who is really funny and interesting, she's very different from a lot of girls I know and she had her 25th birthday today. We went to a restaurant, had a beer and relaxed with some meatloaf and some friends. My mother had her 60th birthday today and she stayed in and was on the phone constantly. Family kept calling and calling wishing her a Happy Day.

I wonder how I will celebrate my next birthday... it will be the first birthday spent outside of Michigan. It's nice to be 27 and still have firsts...

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Oh the weather outside is weather...

Here I am at 75%. I have 75% of my work done for Grad Semester #1. I completely finished two classes, have only one paper to really "finish" as the other is a group paper and is more or less completed. The last days are upon me.


Tomorrow, I have to select what sites I want to visit during my New York Trip after the New Year. This will be the second time in a row that I spend the first week of the year in Manhattan. This time, however, instead of just fun, I will be there to explore the potential employers. I am excited but I've been thinking...

Did I cash in my idealism for security? I would like to say no. I still want to change the world for the better, but like Marshall Ericksson I don't think my goals are as easy to obtain as I had originally hoped. I might have to be The Man to help change The Man. This is a bit sad, and scary.

Hey at least NogFest is next weekend! Woo hoo! Who wants to come? Visit the Facebook Invite for more info.

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Monday, December 07, 2009

Capitalize on Something

Being out of school for a long time I really can appreciate the educational environment. You wake up, you go to class you get out of class and if you don't work today (or don't have a job at all like some students) then you're done! That is what it meants to be IN SCHOOL. It might be only 12:30pm and you've got nothing else on your plate for the day - officially.

Now unofficially, your day may have just begun. While enrolled IN SCHOOL you are somewhat free to do as you like, however unlike work you are paying them. So when you are not actually in class you are not actually free to do nothing. Not at all! This is where the majority of your responsibilities will find you. If you are not actually IN SCHOOL then you probably have projects and papers, readings and assignments, books to skim and summaries to write.

Lets contrast this to being AT WORK. When you are AT WORK you have to wake up, go to work, and spend your entire day there, AT WORK. When you do get out (at the same time everyday – or thereabouts that’s it, you're done! You are not expected (most of the time) to do anything else because you are not actually AT WORK.

See when I worked 30-40 hours a week over the past two years, I had so much free time. For the first time in my life I began to understand how crappy television can become popular, because there is really just nothing else to do with one’s time when you are not AT WORK or IN SCHOOL. It’s fascinating to think of all the free time we really have and all that we could be doing and instead we sit in front of a computer or video screen and do nothing.

Really the difference between IN SCHOOL and AT WORK is that IN SCHOOL never ends. AT WORK (for many people) is just 40 hours a week. How many hours are there in a week? One Hundred and Sixty Eight in a WEEK. That’s a lot of frickin’ hours. Lets see then so if AT WORK = 40 plus the ideal (not even average) SLEEP of Eight hours per night then we get:

(WEEK – (AT WORK +(SLEEP x 7))) = FREE WORK

(168 – (40 + (8 x 7))) = 72!!

You know what this means? When you are working full time, if you only work from 9 to 5 every day and you get the recommended amount of sleep every night that leaves 3 days of your week open for free time.

I regardless, I find it fascinating that we spend so much time doing things and complaining about it only to spend so much time then NOT doing things. There are people out there that take advantage of their FREE TIME. I am often envious. We try and fill our precious FREE TIME with activities like GYM or RECREATION or SPORT, but when do we fill it with HELPING OTHERS, or MEETING NEW PEOPLE, or VOLUNTEERING, or MENTORING.

72 hours a week to do anything we like and all we do is WATCH TV, and TRY TO GET TO THE MEDIA-IDEAL BODY TYPE?

My favorite excuse for not going for a walk in the District of Columbia is: “But ____ is on tv tonight!” This is the internet age, if you don’t have a DVR you can always find it somewhere online. There used to be this advanced piece of equipment called the V – C – R that recorded the stuff that came out of the TV box… I find it funny that we moved forward from VCR to DVD and lost that capability.

Regardless, this meandering post illustrates one thing. I am IN SCHOOL, and I should be doing something productive, but instead here I am in front of my computer doing this instead. I guess after all this my Dad was right, “Talk is cheap.” I guess blogs might be even cheaper.


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Sunday, December 06, 2009

Law-yer stupid.

I'm sitting here with $30 worth of printing trying to figure out whether I did it right.


This is one of the best and worst feelings ever. The night before you unveil what you are absolutely sure is a great bit of work. Shefali, Julie, Jessica and I have spent hours and hours working on this Strategic Plan. We started way back when we were all new to grad school, and now here we are - it's the end of our first semester and we've got a client coming to the school to see what we can help them with.

This is so nerve wracking! I took the plan to Kinkos and got it printed and pretty. It's in a binder and then I found a text mistake, something is one font bit smaller than it is supposed to. I am not going to say anything because they'll never notice... but it's still amazing that after all of this work and five different people pouring over this document for the last few months, something small like that would make it into the final thing.

It kind of makes you wonder about government documents. Bills and laws. They used to be written simply and easily. Don't kill people. Your property is your own and you have a right to defend it. Now it's all in legal speak. When did we stop writing laws that we didn't need a lawyer to decipher? Let's get back to that.

Maybe one of the reasons people break so many laws is because they are so complicated that no one is positive that they are broken! Why do we have to spell it out so perfectly? Because lawyers would exploit other lawyers otherwise. Isn't that the judge's problem? No, because they were probably a lawyer too and appreciate a good bungling of the lawbooks. If you can find the loophole you're set free! Why is it like that? It seems stupid. When Hammurabi laid out the laws in stone there wasn't a lawyer present, and that was fine. They didnt have any affidavits that was fine too, but they did have respect. Respect for the law, because they knew what they were, they could read them, touch them and they knew the punishments for breaking them!

I think this one is one of the better laws that 'ol Hambi put out there:

If any one bring an accusation of any crime before the elders, and does not prove what he has charged, he shall, if it be a capital offense charged, be put to death.

that would cut down on frivolous lawsuits would it not?

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Searching for a Public Home

Since leaving Britain in 2006 I've been searching for an ideal. The ideal of the true British pub.

People say that the number one export of Ireland is their culture, and the Irish Pub. I wish there was a real English export: the English Pub.

English Pubs are characterised by:
- Squashy bench seats around the edge
- cask drawn ales, bitters and tasty non-American beers
- it should be dim, just bright enough to find your beer and your way to the barman
- they shouldn't have good service: they should instead require you to actually go to the bar an talk to people
- the glasses should match the beverage: beer, like wine, needs to be put in the optimal glass to ensure optimal flavours
- the food should mostly be meat based or fried: nothing beats a good fried food late in the night

I've been searching for years and so far have only found elements of the English Pub. Bars with squashy bench seats are far too bright. Bars with great fish and chips have too much open space. Bars with beer in the right glass are bohemian and not Anglo enough. Bars that are dim often only can afford the Bud spread on their taps.

Long story short. I'm at a bar now, the Lucky Bar. One of those in The District that was supposed to be like an English Pub. They fail on almost all counts. They have bench seats, it's dim yet their beer sucks and when I ordered a Guinness it came in am American pint glass and was poured all at once (if that doesn't make you cringe visit the Guinness website and please educate yourself).

My search will continue until I can find that place that makes me feel at home like I did in those dark dungeony pubs in Britian.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

P.s. - the music at the Lucky Bar tonight is actually pretty amazing. It's been a 90s/jock jams night. Love it. Shout out to Erica, Robbie and Yussi who braved the new winter snow to pub. And double thanks to Erica for the "Going Out" suggestion - we all need a break from this finals frenzy.

Friday, December 04, 2009

The Pub Runners

If you didn't already know. Next satruday I'll be back in Michigan for the remainder of 2009. Thigh over the turnover of the first double-digit of this millennium I will be on Mackinac Island.

The Island is still one of my favourite places on Earth. I am so excited to go back there. Although, I have to say without Jerry and Doug (The Pub Runners) or Myk Rys, Mackinac would be pretty lame.

Venues that would be lucky to hold 50 people including the band and their family (who should be in attendance at least once a season). I love live music.

DC has quite a few small live music venues available, but I have only been to a few so far. Any suggestions? Let me know!


Do you think it's a coincidence that love music is only one letter from live music? I don't.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, December 03, 2009

People of the District

After living in DC for a while, I've come to a few conclusions.

  • People like shopping, but they do a lot of the pricier shopping in Maryland or Virginia due to lower Taxes.
  • The Metro is the most fun late at night and probably on the Blue or Yellow line, because there is an amazing conductor that makes fun of people, calls people names, and has excellent diction.
  • People dress nice, act nice and behave well – except during Happy Hour and afterward.
  • We all have iPods. No Zunes. iPods. And if you don't have an iPod you buy white headphones and use them with your Sansa. Still no Zunes.
  • NPR are totally in.
  • No one is from here originally, nor will we be here for very long, but while we're here we may as well party.
  • Georgetown is for Frat Boys and Cupcakes.
  • Dupont is for Clubs, Pubs and Gay People.
  • Adams Morgan is for Bars and Food (massive Pizza, great Falafel).
  • U Street is for Music and Minority Groups (and is lots of fun).
  • Bill Cosby is the only one who eats free at Ben's Chili Bowl (because Obama pays).
  • We love CNN and the Weather Channel, as they play at almost every bar.
  • We have a lot of ethnic people but not a lot of quality ethnic food.
Anything to add?

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Corporate Sodomy

What is it with large American companies? Why do we hate them all?


I have AT&T and it is terrible. I hate it. I am currently broke. I am okay saying it, I literally have no money. I deposited my living stipend check today into the PNC Bank ATM. PNC purchased National City almost a year ago, but they are still not merged, don't even get me started on that.

Once deposited, Comcast (another company I hate) instantly took the money out from a paper check I sent them. Why is it that when I send a check to a corporation, the Bank instantly takes care of it, but when I deposit money they decide to wait a while to accept it. Again, this is the wrong problem...

I was paying my AT&T bill. I was on their website and clicked OKAY to make my payment. Unfortunately, PNC had still not accepted my payment and rushed (literally instantly debited if from my bank account) creating an overdraft.

Calling AT&T, I talked to a nice man named Ken who said he can "reverse the payment" which I would hope means that AT&T would tell the bank that they didn't want to debit me. While all of these items are pending, I am sure National City/PNC would rather charge me for overdraft. This is just all crap.

Now I know ultimately, this is my own fault for having no money, but I am in grad school. I literally work 10 hours a week at work, and like 40 on class. Either way, it's as if corporations are in a big club. They all want to screw us and take the profits.

Ken says he reversed my payment and emailed me the confirmation. Lets hope I don't have to call National City tomorrow...

UPDATE: It seems as if the payment was truly reversed. While iPhone plans are still overpriced, AT&T you won the day.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Airline Safety

Over break, I recalled a game that I played with Ray the few times the two of us flew together.

We would take out the Flight Safety Manual, look through the pictures, and give them improved and more accurate captions. With this in mind, I thought I'd write down a couple of them that I've saved. I apologize for the blurry cards, often I didn't have a lot of time to snap pictures are the effeminate male flight attendant stood over me requesting that I shut off my phone.


1. If you need to breast feed your large baby please assure the flight attendant that s/he is under 4 years old.
2. In case of emergency breast feeding, please pretend you're upset and crying. It helps if you can curse his missing father's name. Assuming you know the father. This will keep people from looking at you funny while you breast feed on an enclosed flying tube.
2. If a midget attempts to cop a feel lean forward and suffocate him, don't worry the seats are small and he can't escape.

1. Please don't, "cross your heart and hope to die," it makes the other passengers nervous and they will likely lock you in the toilet.
2. While listening to Heart's on Fire by Bryan Adams please don't actually set your heart on fire. We know, he's Canadian and was dreamy like 20 years ago, but please, control yourself.
3. If your ex-boyfriend sends you that last minute text before the plane takes off please don't burn him and the girl he said he was cheating with in effigy. Also, there is no voodoo in the lavatories.

1. While your baby is dancing, make sure you put on the baby dancing bumpers.
2. If you want to learn to samba, please follow the visual instructions located in the Ally McBeal section of your manual. (The dancing baby needed some work once Flockhart finally succeeded in becoming two dimensional)
3. If your baby is going to explode, pull the yellow "Baby Decompression Bag" from the pocket of the seat in front of you.

1. If you have never before used an imaginary table, please concentrate before you place your orange juice on it.
2. Please put down your own tray table before helping the cro-magnon man.
3. If you find yourself on the "Short Plane" just remember anything is possible in your imagination.


1. For the white men on the plane, please wait for the minority guy to open the door during an emergency. Once open get the fu*k out of there and let that guy take care of getting the women and children out.
2. In case of a landing on a pretty green pasture, run like hell because obviously if we could deploy the landing gear and land in a field you must either be dead already or in the Twilight Zone.

1. In case of crotch explosion, pull down on the white tab and avert your eyes.
2. I got nothing. That first one was pretty good.


I highly recommend you come up with some of your own. Ray and I always laughed our way through the safety card and it makes the whole flying experience much more enjoyable!