Thursday, January 31, 2008
Look, girls, political fetishes lead down dark paths, like cocaine use and worse political fetishes.
A while back, we talked about what would constitute a mortal sin: no lightsaber games for the Wii. And then two were announced. And now we have a trailer for one of them. The ridiculously awesome one of them. The one where you play a Dark Jedi.
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Okay, now we have an official celebrity crush watch.
Target? Emmy Rossum. Rawr.
(Submitted by Larke.)
The spoof genre does need some fixing, and the man to do it is a Zucker brother. Be warned, there are spoilers in this.
This is written in honor of something that happened seven years ago today.
I avoided it for seven years. How can I go back? Yet I went to that parking lot. Back to that asphalt just to cut a little bit of walking time. Wasn't that what Margaret told me so many years ago? I went along in my infinite freshman wisdom, not knowing the horrors that would face me for listening to her. Today I stepped carefully, even if I knew I was safe this time.
What's scary about a parking lot? Cars, pavement, those little lines that tell you where to park... there shouldn't be anything to worry about, alone or with an older sister. Yet this parking lot back in January 2001 brought me down, the sister suspiciously at my side.
Margaret and I walked our normal route, a comfortable one. Comfortable was not how the winter liked it though. The wind whipped, hooted, and howled about us, but the snow on the ground was undaunted. It remained unmoved, icing everything below our feet.
As always, we waited in that at the Harlem station, and another companion, Kristina, met up with us. We huddled under the mostly broken heat lamps with the other commuters. When it finally came, the train provided a reprieve and a false sense of security. The time came for the walk from the Halsted station to school--the normal march made into a death trap.
Margaret remembers the day. She remembers that we never cut through that parking lot since that winter day. The trek was brutal, but not as brutal as what would take place.
Almost reaching Harrison Street, one last obstacle met us. The cars in the lot were all very far away from this spot, avoiding it: we should have paid attention. Black ice swept me straight down. Margaret and Kristina fell, too, on top of me. I broke their falls (Kristina thanked me later--less can be said for my sister). They helped me to my feet after helping themselves up first.
I hobbled to school, and Margaret and Kristina dropped me off at the deans' office. They, of course, shoved me off on the hospital.
I knew what the doctor was going to tell me. All I could think was, not again! I did this over a decade ago! To the same arm! Sure enough, I had a fracture along my left elbow--again.
Ironically but not surprisingly, Margaret was there over a decade ago. The old woodchip-covered playground on Desplaines and Harrison Street was not to be underestimated. Under the watch of our parents, Margaret and I created a King-of-the-Hill, shoving each other atop playground equipment. No one was supposed to fall.
Of course, someone did fall, and it wasn't Margaret. I lost by going off one edge of our dueling platform onto my arm, and the loss was further cemented by a broken arm at the tender age of three. Mom and Dad ran over. I looked up pitifully and pointed the figurative finger, "Margaret pushed me."
You expect an older sister to beat up on her baby brother, but this bad? She tells me the first time was my fault. I played; I lost. The arm was simply a play-action injury. The second time, in that parking lot, she had nothing to do with it. It was the ice. She plays innocent.
I have two scars on my left arm now, both along the elbow. The scar from a decade later is much smaller than the older one. There's also a metal pin in there. Thank God medical technology isn't leaving such nasty marks anymore.
The first time, I spent a week in the hospital. I recall I received a few visits from my sister. The second time, not so much happened. Margaret just waited for me to get home. Never mind the fact that I was there overnight and was back at home and school within 48 hours.
In the parking lot I stood. There were a lot more cars here right now than there were in 2001, but the asphalt is only slightly changed. There's more lawn area carved out of the lot by the university that owns it. Things change. I recall the infamous woodchip-covered playground, scene of my first broken bone, is gone. It's been gone many years. Yet Margaret still beats up on me, though not on playgrounds or parking lots anymore.
I gazed way over to the fall's spot on the parking lot. I didn’t want to go over: besides, I had places to go. I was still cutting through the lot. I broke my arm on this damned asphalt, and I can't even get an apology from my sister.
Labels: Longer Stuff
Monday, January 28, 2008
I listened to the State of the Union address tonight, but I couldn't hear any of it over Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, John McCain, Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee, and Rudy Guiliani. Also, at some point, I think President Bush quacked.
Quite lame of him.
Sunday, January 27, 2008
Target is, shall I say, off target here.
(Submitted by Larke, whose boyfriend is the photographer.)
Friday, January 25, 2008
This should be fun and totally should not upset ANYONE at FOX News, unless you happen to beat the game with Obama or Clinton. Or Edwards. Or McCain. Or Romney. Or Guiliani.
Do they like anyone anymore, by the way?
(For further reference, here.)
First off, this scares me on a primitive level.
Next off, this scares me on so many levels that I cannot comprehend it.
Why does technology move at such a rapid pace when I'M alive?! HUH?!
(Second link submitted by ars_gothica. First link just stumbled on after many years of searching, camping, and grinding.)
EEE! Get Smart trailer!
Thursday, January 24, 2008
I should start a charity for people with this debilitating disease.
(From Dave Barry's blog.)
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Starting this THURSDAY:
ARE YOU A MAN? NO, YOU ARE NOT.
SKETCH COMEDY OF THE GUY SHOW EXPLORES LIFE AS A "GUY"
CHICAGO, December 20 – pH Productions, a Chicago-based improv and comedy theater company, has announced the premiere of the latest sketch comedy revue from the pH Spotlight Series, The Guy Show.
The Guy Show - Are you a Man? No, you are not. In today's world, the real Man is extinct and a "Guy" is all most males can hope to be. pH Spotlight's latest sketch show explores the how-to's and the how-come's of being a Guy. These are Basic Aggressive Life Lessons of Survival or B.A.L.L.S. And if you thought that was funny, you'll love this show. Ladies, this is for you too, if you ever hope to understand the mystery that is the less-fair sex.
The Guy Show opens Thursday, January 24 and runs Thursdays @ 11PM through February 25.
Stage Left Theatre, 3408 N. Sheffield Avenue in Lakeview/Wrigleyville.
Tickets are $8, $5 for Students with ID. All pH shows are BYOB.
More info and tickets will soon be available at spotlight.whatisph.com and through the pH Box Office @ 773.732.5450.
The Guy Show is written by Chris Edwards, directed by Matthew Mages, and stars: Sally Anderson, Chris Edwards, Vinnie Lacey, Wes Perry, Brandon Taylor and Guy Wicke.
Andy the Tech Guy's doing lights.
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
The first thing I did when I heard Heath Ledger had died was laugh. I feel bad about that in retrospect. I thought the person was just trying to trick me and come off as an asshole. Funny enough, I got a text message within the hour from someone else, who does not know the person I first heard it from. Wow.
Ledger's last role was in the next Batman film, The Dark Knight. The appropriate thing, though, is that I thought the first person was joking. A Joker, if you will. And I laughed nervously. Appropriate? You be the judge. At least it's better than a joke here about how sophisticated The Dark Knight's viral marketing is.
Monday, January 21, 2008
The temperature outside today was around 20 degrees, or 5ish with the wind chill. So it's been the past three or four days. The Weather Channel today told me that snow was coming all week, and the temp. would stay about the same as now. Then it went into commercials for Florida and Key West, end-to-end.
Go to hell, Landmark Communications.
Sunday, January 20, 2008
This blog is only for the very smart and very lonely.
(Submitted by Pacman.)
Friday, January 18, 2008
Today my roommate Dan and I played good Samaritans to someone's lost phone. After lecture, we were waiting to talk to the professor. A girl brought up a phone she'd found on the floor, saying it must've been left. We immediately took up helping this person, checking the phone and offering to take it to the Student Union.
We first figured out this phone's owner was a girl (there were pictures). Next we called the most likely contact to reach her: Mom. Mom was very happy to know the phone was in very capable hands. We told the woman to contact her daughter and tell her the phone would be at the student union. We were walking there anyway.
Minutes later, Dan looked up and told me, Andy, we might have to tell some other people. I wondered why. He answered, "Her mom just texted her where to find her phone."
"What kind of family IS this?!"
Cloverfield left me motion-sick. No, not just motion-sick. It's more like--
IMAGINE THIS! As if you spun around blindfolded with your head down for an hour and 24 minutes. On a helicopter that's going down. And you're strapped to the rotorblades. Which, yes, are still moving (no loopholes). Times ten.
That's pretty much it. Cool movie though!
Improv Everywhere: always amazing. I'm surprised I didn't hear about this! Or see this! I would've worn some nice snowman-patterned undies!
(Submitted by Larke.)
Okay, this I understand PERFECTLY. Any Jew would wear it. There are limits to the Hebrew world though. Would a Jew be wearing one of these? Or even worse?
(Sorry, this is a part-Jew/part-sports/part-Irish joke. Boo accordingly.)
There's worse around the water heater at my place.
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
I was cleaning up bookmarks last night. I found a lot of old Internet quizzes on there, including a link to one I had created (which has since decayed out of existence). I am Wakko, Master Chief, Conan the Barbarian, and the color Blue all at the same time. See? You can really tell a lot about a person and/or computer user--these are not mutually exclusive. And so we're gonna try it.
In fact, they're all deleted. So we're back where we started, because there are no more bookmarks. So much for my psycological theory!
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
You know part of what makes Mass Effect (1) amazing? INTRICATE CHARACTER CREATION (2)! You know what makes intricate character creation amazing? MAKING X-FILES CHARACTERS (3)!
(Submitted by Larke.)
Monday, January 14, 2008
Sunday, January 13, 2008
To all you college students going back to school right now and complaining: cheer up! There's only 23 more days 'til Mardi Gras!
Oh, right. Not all of you are going to New Orleans with me. Sorry.
Saturday, January 12, 2008
And my state's official state dance is the square dance. They forgot that.
(Poached from Dave Barry.)
On Christmas Day 2007, San Francisco Zoo felt a mighty roar. Three men were attacked and one was killed by a 300-lb. tiger, which we assume roared. The debate began. Some accused the zoo of having faulty safety and not enough of a barrier. Others accused the victims of taunting the tiger. Others still accused the tiger of being a tiger.
With all this talk about zoos and safety, what could I do? With the funeral occurring just days ago and accusations right and left, some might accuse a late opinion piece of stomping/stampeding on the one victim's grave. Instead, I will do the public a service: become a rogue zoo safety inspector. Brookfield Zoo in the Chicago suburb of Brookfield (where else?) was my target.
Meerkats were my first stop because I love meerkats. These ones were cuddled up, but some quicker (and blurrier ones) were standing. Thankfully, their enclosure was tall enough to keep them in, even with them on their hind legs.
While standing with the meerkats, I heard a sound. My hair stood on end. In the corner of its cage, a porcupine sneezed. I've seen enough Looney Tunes to know that's bad news. While protected from this incident, I tread carefully, not knowing what I'd run into next.
Yes, that's a chicken. An extraordinary chicken.
Yikes. You really do never know what you'll run into next. Safely behind chicken wire, I suddenly wanted to see what its eggs look like. Alas, that's a different investigative reporting project.
These are "Spotted Draft Horses," meaning they come fresh from the tap.
The horses plotted peacefully behind their fencing.
Little known fact: this is actually an elephant in disguise.
This little creature is called a rock hyrax. While you couldn't see it in this picture, he actually had a 20-ft. impenetrable wall of steel and glass in between me and him. There were also landmines, as the keepers would take no chances. I hear he's a jumper.
Remember, the focus of this piece is on the enclosures, not the animals! RIMSHOT!
No jokes here, really. Shut up.
The noble, enduring symbol of freedom and our country: the caged eagle. It was kept in check, probably to stop it from putting out someone's eyes.
I also visited the aquatic creatures. I checked high and low, and made sure their tanks were secure. While I would have had pictures, these creatures are much less photogenic due to my camera not being waterproof.
All these areas seemed very secure, yet the real test was next. The tigers. According to newspaper reports, TV reports, radio reports, Internet reports, traffic reports, and hearsay, the San Francisco barriers were too short by recommended zoo standards. Tigers leaped over the pens with ease. Tigers leaped over their pens (and back in) for daily exercise. How does this stand up at Brookfield?
I'm not taunting you!
I'm still not taunting you!
I'm still not taunting you, especially with this enclosure in between us!
The tigers were safely behind a large pit. I couldn't do the measurements myself, but I assume they're perfect, as a tiger was not eating me while I took these photos. This one in the photos seemed to like pacing, very non-suspiciously.
But it wasn't all rainbows, puppy dogs, and barbed wire. I did find some problem areas. There weren't any loose animals, but I noticed some pens were lacking.
Oh, the indignity.
It was nothing serious though. Having checked off the serious hazards, I made all my marks and began leaving the zoo. It seemed very safe to me thus far, and I wouldn't insult the zoo further. But I would not go far.
Note: the tiny sign on the clubhouse says "No People Allowed."
They're everywhere! The goats escaped, right when the zoo was closing! I wondered if this was normal, and a zookeeper told me there was a second fence holding them in, the one I was standing in front of. And no, I couldn't feed the goats right now. Or that's what they would've told me had I asked and not fed the goats. I hustled away.
While leaving, a hawk swooped and perched majestically in front of me.
Blurry, but I DID say it swooped.
Outraged, I demanded an explanation! Since when were wild creatures allowed in the zoo? I'd seen sparrows and other birds all over the place, eating and hopping and flying, and now this? While impressed by the rest of the zoo's safety beyond the goat in the water dish, this violation will not be ignored.
I hereby send my report into a few zoological societies. I await swift action.
Friday, January 11, 2008
Could someone tell the governor of my state he's batshit insane? Free rides to seniors on the CTA, but we're in a budget crisis? Buying Wrigley Field (as much as that might protect the stadium)? And, oh, the BUDGET CRISIS, JESUS!
Thursday, January 10, 2008
Being a consumer advocate and a video game connoisseur, I will print this public service announcement from a fellow Flower of Happiness.
r0xx0r's guide to buying video game systems
Wednesday, January 09, 2008
The votes are in! The winners are Change and Hope... or Clinton and McCain. And don't take that as a former/latter endorsement of either of them. I'm a neutral political blog.
Tuesday, January 08, 2008
We're in the full swing of the New Hampshire primaries, and I can't do anything: I'm down with the flu. And no jokes about Avian Flu. Those are old, like Horsemen-of-2005 old.
Saturday, January 05, 2008
With politics going full-steam, this is a great website to get yourself started at!
Ha ha! You think I'm serious, don't you? Just find the Ed Helms video.
Or what English ale does to you.
(Submitted by Larke... quite the birder.)
Friday, January 04, 2008
This is what I should be doing.
Thursday, January 03, 2008
To end my intermittent coverage of the Iowa caucus, Dave Barry:
Oakland, PA: What is the funniest thing about the Iowa caucuses?
Dave Barry: My favorite thing is when a candidate, for photo-op purposes, has to admire a pig. They used to have the candidates actually pick up baby pigs, but I think they stopped doing this, because of the danger that the pig would catch a disease.
I'd write a poem about them, but I'd rather not.
While the guys battle it out in the caucus, here's some street a cappella for you.
(Sent by Larke.)
There's a debate over Leno's crossing the line yesterday, as well as the fact that he did a monologue. Which is allegedly against strike rules.
Surprisingly, most are saying that Leno without his writers was funnier than Letterman with his writers! Huh!
This has no bearing on my own writing career, I swear. Please hire me.
Wednesday, January 02, 2008
Also, I'm watching the Tonight Show right now with captions and here's a valid question: are caption writers on strike, too? 'cause "is" is not spelled "es," "daughter" is not spelled "dauger," and "...I will come away..." is not spelled "I vino."
Leno's jokes weren't much of a change from the usual, except the topic was mostly focused on making fun of not having writers. His "reality" segment, talking to the audience and naturally reacting and telling anecdotes, was not half bad... not funny, but not bad, so it won't carry the show long.
JibJab.com is also apparently crossing the virtual picket lines.
Also, Mike Huckabee looks even more awkward when not behind a podium.
It's the beginning of an odd era in television for everyone. Jay Leno and Conan O'Brien will be crossing the writers' strike line. The question I pose is not whether this return will be a train wreck or not. It probably will be. As for the other shows coming back in a similar vein (The Daily Show and The Colbert Report), who knows.
What I ask is, do the writers blame these guys for finally giving in, even though it was (they claim) to keep the staffs they had intact and unfired at least until the strike is resolved?
And when did employers stop using fire hoses for strikebreaking and start using underhanded, subtle tactics? The former was so much more fun.
How many double entendres with weather-forecasters can you think up?
Tuesday, January 01, 2008
And here's my new favorite blog besides mine.
I was poking around at the new Blitz game site today. You know a game doesn't have an NFL license when the two-time league MVP is the Chicago quarterback.