February 28, 2005

Creepy

I read this story on CNN the other day, but it didn't have any pictures. I just now happened upon a a picture, and OMG, I am so creeped out. I will admit that it feels really wrong to be gawking at a child, but still? Creepy.

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Oscars Post-Mortem

Okay, so as promised, here are my thoughts on the show last night: Eh.

Oh, you want more than that? Fine.

Seriously, it was boring, overall. Like I said, I hadn't seen most of the movies that were nominated, so I didn't have much invested in the awards themselves. Given that, I'm happy Million Dollar Baby won big, because if nothing else, it will torque the right-wing religious nuts, and that is always a good thing. (If you don't know what I'm talking about, you either will have to see the movie, or read a review that spoils it, because I'm not going to do that here.) Still, I doubt I'll ever have much desire to see it myself, because I really, really hate boxing. And yes, I know that's not what it's really about, but I don't care. It's about boxing. And I hate boxing (why is a story for another time).

I enjoyed Chris Rock's opening monologue, although I take issue with his dissing of Jude Law, because Jude is so very, very pretty. Please leave the pretty man alone. Anyway, I don't usually watch the Oscars for the host. To me, Oscars hosts are like film editors and offensive linemen - you should only notice them if they screw up. If you don't notice them, it means they did their job. I think Chris Rock did a fine job.

I hated the new thing where they gave some awards in the audience, and for others, had all the nominees up on stage. Did it really save so much time that it was worth making the "minor" nominees suffer such indignity? There is so much other filler they could have cut out. Or god forbid they should just start the telecast an hour or two earlier, so it doesn't end so late on the East Coast.

Definitely had way too much Beyoncé. I even had a minor medical emergency when my ears started bleeding after hearing her sing in French. So, so wrong.

Unfortunately, I really didn't get to do much of what I like best, which is looking at the outfits. With no cable, I couldn't watch any pre-show coverage, and the bad reception really limited how well I could see the gowns. From what I could see, I absolutely hated Hillary Swank's dress. It looked like it was about to choke her. And I really didn't get Renée Zellweger's dress - she couldn't even walk in it. I was cringing as she tried to walk across the stage. In general, I really hate the "mermaid" style that is obviously so popular now. And her hair - ick. She looks awful with dark hair. As I've said before, I'm not opposed to hair coloring on principle, but it has to look natural. Hers did not. Nor did Scarlett Johansson's or Kirsten Dunst's - both of them were way over-bleached (although Kirsten's almost looked like a wig, which is even worse).

I don't know, that's about it, I guess. I think I've already forgotten 80% of what I was thinking of commenting on. But hey, you get what you pay for here.

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February 27, 2005

Liveblogging...Eh, maybe not

So when I made the big announcement in my last post, I didn't know at the time that they were on ABC. See, I no longer have cable, and my ABC reception sucks. And I think we all know that the real reason I watch the Oscars is to see the outfits. Do you think I really care about the awards? Hell no. I think the only movie I've even seen that's nominated for any of the major awards is Hotel Rwanda. So anyway, the crappy reception will really cut into my ability to see just how ugly the dresses are, and that kind of defeats the purpose of the liveblogging now, doesn't it? Maybe I'll just write something tomorrow, after it's all over. Meh. Sorry for taunting you like that. I know how disappointed you must be.

...Just remembered - I have also seen Sideways. And I'll just say now that it's absolutely tragic that it was nomiated for Best Picture and Hotel Rwanda was not (since I have seen both, I can at least compare them to each other). Hotel Rwanda was amazing, and I want to marry Don Cheadle. Sideways? Eh. It was funny, in a slapsticky kind of way, but nowhere near the level of quality I expect from a Best Picture nominee. I really couldn't stand either of the two main characters, and I'm not into wine, so I couldn't appreciate the wine-porn aspect. Don better win for Best Actor, or I will not be happy. I mean, have you seen some of his other movies, like Traffic or Devil in a Blue Dress? That is a man who can act like nobody's business, people.

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It's Oscar time!

In what is now becoming an annual tradition (mostly because I have no imagination, because I have no life, and because I will use any excuse to not do actual work), I will be liveblogging the Oscars telecast. If you are a faithful reader of this blog, you may notice that this is the first year I have actually used the word "liveblogging." That's right, I was liveblogging before there was liveblogging, bitches. Or, at least before I knew what it was called. Whatever.

Disclaimer No. 1: As in years past, I will likely be doing my laundry at the same time I am watching. Since the laundry room is a non-trivial distance from my apartment, this means I will likely be away from the TV for substantial portions of the telecast. With my luck, all the interesting things will happen while I'm not watching. Anyway, please, no angry letters if I miss something.

Disclaimer No. 2: What I write may not be very good. If you're looking for Oscars liveblogging that is actually funny and entertaining, you should probably read the Defamer. If you're looking for the best in Oscars outfit mocking, you should probably read what the Fug Girls have to say. I'm just saying, if my accounts of the evening do not live up to your expectations, don't say I didn't warn you.

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February 23, 2005

There are no words

Karl Rove as political heartthrob.

(Although, psssst, Newsweek, this is satire. But I still feel dirty for having looked at it.)

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Are you kidding me?

I don't care what people believe. I don't. If people want to be Catholic and think that the Pope should have moral authority over them, that's their business. But honestly, why should the rest of the world be forced to listen to this guy?

Gay marriages are part of an "ideology of evil"? Abortion is analogous to the Holocaust? And we all know what he thinks about AIDS and condoms. It's like he sat down and said to himself, hmmm, what's the best way to sound like the most arrogant, offensive fuckwad on the planet?

"It is legitimate and necessary to ask oneself if this is not perhaps part of a new ideology of evil, perhaps more insidious and hidden, which attempts to pit human rights against the family and against man," he writes.

I mean, he openly admits that human rights should be secondary to "the family" and "man," whatever the hell those things mean. I'm sorry, but that is fucking insane.

ETA: After I posted this, I saw this post over at AmericaBlog, and realized I completely forgot about the part where the Catholic Church actively covered up the priest sex abuse, as well as ignored the actual Holocaust while it was happening.

So to summarize: gay marriages = evil; child sexual abuse = not evil unless we're caught, then it's evil, we guess; abortion = Holocaust, which is now evil, even though we kind of didn't care when we actually could have, you know, saved some people.

Amazing. Absolutely fucking insane.

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February 18, 2005

Ho hum

The downside of knowing that people actually read this thing is that you feel a minor obligation to post on some sort of regular basis. That's hard when you go for days on end feeling exceptionally uninspired. Also when you are operating on only a few hours of sleep a night, as I was when I wrote that last post (in case you couldn't tell from its incoherence).

Dweeze said I should I should write about him, but silly Dweeze, you know I don't kiss and tell.

My life has been quite uninteresting lately (I mean, less interesting than usual), so there's not much to write about there. The most exciting thing I did this weekend was go to the store to try out the the new bed I really want to buy. I've been sleeping on the same cheap mattress I bought when I started grad school so many years ago, and now that I can actually afford it, I want a better one. Problem is, my apartment is a sty, and I need to get all the crap cleaned up before I buy it, because there's no way they could set up a new bed in the middle of all this mess.

See, that was really not very interesting, was it? I'll try harder next time.

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Um

See, there's this project I've been working on at work the last few days, and it's sapping my will to live. So I haven't been able to think of anything to write about. Mostly, I just wanted to add another post so I could bump the last post down and not have it be the first thing you see when you open up the blog.

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February 15, 2005

Gregg Easterbrook is an idiot, and also an asshole

I know, what's new, right? I've never actually read anything he's written about politics. I only read his football column because he leaves politics out of it for the most part. Or if he does inject anything political into it, I just skip it (actually, I usually skip about 90% of the column - mostly, I just like to read what gets written about my favorite team, because I'm provincial like that).

Anyway, one thing he does is pepper the column with little rants about random, seemingly stupid things. Okay, nothing wrong with that. It's not like I don't do that here. However, most of the time, there actually are reasonable explanations for the things he complains about, but he's either not smart enough to understand that, or he's intentionally ignoring it in order to make himself look clever.

What really irritated me this week was the following:

Today's TMQ Is 6,678 Words and Has a Single Author, Which Makes Me 152 Times as Productive as an Author in Science Magazine

A running amusement of modern science and medicine is the practice of many people, sometimes dozens, signing their names to a research paper. This is done so that all signers can take credit for the paper on their CVs, and all get brownie points whenever the paper turns on in a citation index. When the list of authors is long and the article itself is short, the practice becomes comic. Check this article in a recent Science magazine, technical journal of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Listing 28 authors, the article is 1,225 words long -- that's 44 words per author! Either people put their names on this article solely for citation-index credit, or each of the 28 authors was assigned to write two sentences. ("Nigel, you write the introduction to the third paragraph. Gina, we need you for a transitional sentence in the conclusion. Phillipe, you supervise the adverbs…") Since no one believes for a minute that a 1,225-word article actually was written by a 28 people, why do prestigious scientific journals go along with this silliness?


For those of you not in the know, scientific authorship has nothing to do with the actual writing of the words. It's about who did the work that produced the data described in the paper. Authorship is not granted just so a person can "get brownie points." It's done to give credit to whoever did the work (which, incidentally, usually amounts to several person-years, as opposed to his column, which probably takes only a day or two, at most). In fact, most of the time, no one but the first and last authors has anything to do with the actual writing at all. Granted, 28 authors is a lot, even for a scientific paper, but we have no idea what the subject matter is. He conveniently gives no citation, only saying it's from a "recent" issue. I browsed the contents of a few of the most recent issues and didn't see any papers with that many authors, so I wasn't able to actually look at the one he's referring to. However, many subjects, particularly genomics, do lead to papers with huge numbers of authors because of the massive amount of work involved. (UPDATE: I just realized he did actually give the citation, but you can't read it unless you have a subscription, which I don't. It does actually appear that this is not a research paper, but some sort of policy statement by a group of ecologists, which would indicate that the "authors" aren't actually authors in the traditional sense, but more like endorsers of the policy statement. It's hard to be sure without knowing what it says. In any case, given that he calls this a research paper, and uses it as an example of what's wrong with scientific pubishing in general, it would seem that he makes no distinction between what this is and regular multi-author papers, so my argument still stands.)

So, does Easterbrook not know this, or is he just ignoring it because he knows most of his readership won't know it, and therefore will think he's really funny and clever? I honestly can't tell. At best, he's just an idiot who's too lazy to be bothered with a little simple fact-checking, and at worst, he's dishonest. Also, what really pisses me off even more is that the whole paragraph reads like the words of a bully who thinks it's funny to make fun of the geeks. You'd think an adult would be beyond that, but then, you have to remember his political persuasion, and you realize it's not surprising because bullying is standard operating procedure. *sigh*

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February 14, 2005

People Who Need To Go Away

Lindsay Lohan

George W. Bush

The creepy guy who works at the convenience store in my neighborhood

People who don't look where they're going

Anyone and everyone associated with American Idol

Scarlett Johansson

George Steinbrenner

Lawrence Summers

The Osbournes

The screechingly loud woman in my office who has a giant mullet

James Dobson

The Desperate Housewives

Jared

Sarah Jessica Parker

The people who agressively shove The Metro in my face when I get off the subway

Mel Gibson

Mischa Barton

The Verizon Wireless guy

Joe Buck

The woman in my office who really won't go away unless you explicitly tell her to

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Well

Apparently, I need to stop blaming my problems on drinking, and start blaming them on what's really wrong with me, which is that I am an idiot.

What I'm really trying to say is that I didn't lose my cell phone after all.

See, I had my phone and my keys in my purse, and I was holding the purse backwards, and it's really hard to describe in words, but just trust me that at some point during the night, I came very close to dumping its contents out because I tried to open it from the wrong direction. I remember this very distinctly, because I remember worrying that I had almost dropped my keys out. What I couldn't remember was when or where exactly it happened. But I assumed that that must have been when the phone fell out.

So anyway, I have a file cabinet next to the front door of my apartment (I'm all about the fancy, high-class furnishings), and that's where I throw my keys and shit whenever I walk in the door. And my purse and my keys and my scarf and my gloves were all there, but the phone was nowhere to be found when I checked Saturday morning.

Except it actually was there. Want to know where? Well, the top drawer of the file cabinet was open (because I am terrible and lazy and never bother to shut drawers when I open them*), and last night, I happened to look down into it, and HEY, THERE'S MY FUCKING CELL PHONE nestled in among the electric bills and last year's tax returns. GOD.

And here's an instance where being a slacker actually benefitted me - I still hadn't gotten around to calling the cell phone company to disconnect the phone, so it still works! Of course I am keeping it, what with it being charmingly old-school and all.

*When I was in high school, I took a drama class, and we had to do some sort of exercise that involved miming the opening of cabinets. I got yelled at by the teacher because I opened them but didn't close them. "Do you do that in real life??? No, of course not! You would close them!" "Well, no, actually, I don't close them, because I'm LAZY. BITCH."

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February 13, 2005

Reason No. 1 why I will never get rid of my land line

Because I'd be screwed if I ever lost my cell phone.

Like I did Friday night.

FFFFFUUUUUCCCCCKKKKK!!!!!

Let this be a cautionary tale to all of you out there who, like me, have little in the way of alcohol tolerance. When you start drinking, PAY CLOSE ATTENTION to your possessions so you don't lose them. This especially applies if you happen to be talking to a distractingly cute boy at the same time you are drinking.

I guess it's not all bad, though. I probably needed a new phone anyway. I always liked to claim that I had an ancient, featureless phone because it was charmingly old-school, but really, the reason was that I was just cheap.

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February 09, 2005

If Dweeze says jump, jump I must

So I see here where we have this musical questionnaire I'm supposed to complete. Okay, then.

1. Last CD you bought

Probably was Autumn Thunder: 40 Years of NFL Films Music (10-disc box set) or the newest from Tears For Fears, both of which I bought a few weeks ago. At some point recently, I also bought a CD sight-unseen (or sound-unheard, I suppose) from some Andean musicians who often sell CDs in the shopping district near my office. What can I say, I'm a sucker for a pan flute.

2. Last song listened to before this message

"Live Until I Die" - Ass Ponys

3. 5 songs you listen to a lot or mean something to you

I'm not sure I like this question. "Songs I listen to a lot" and "songs that mean something to me" are two entirely different things. Also, songs could mean something to you in a good way or in a bad way, and "meaning something" could mean that the lyrics mean something to you, or maybe that the song as a whole is meaningful. Like, every time I hear "What's Up" by Four Non Blondes, it makes me think of this time in college when this guy I was going out with dumped my ass right before we were supposed to go to a movie premiere that he'd gotten free tickets to, and for some unknown reason, I still went with him, despite the fact that I was nearly boiling over with rage, and that song was playing in the car on the way there. Or there's "Whiter Shade of Pale" by Procol Harum, which I always used to listen to in college when I was depressed. I don't think I want to make a list of songs that mean something bad, though, because that's no fun.

But leaving those out, the question still taunts me with its ambiguity. If I sort my iTunes by number of times played, the five that come up on top are, starting with most times played:

"Du Hast" - Rammstein (Interestingly, this song also came up here.)

"You Win Again" - The Bee Gees

"White Flag" - Dido

"Another Night" - Real McCoy

"Lambada" - Kaoma

Not all of those are recent, though. Lately, one song that I keep playing is "True Faith" by New Order. It is just a fucking brilliant song.

As for songs that mean something to me (in a good way; see above), this is harder, because I can't really look at iTunes to jog my memory, unless I want to scroll through nearly 3500 songs, which I don't.

Probably the oldest one I can think of is the Bee Gees' "Stayin' Alive", which, besides being an awesome disco song, reminds me of when my Dad used to play it for me when I was a little kid, and I'd dance to it in his study - that's where he kept the record player. Yes, people, I do remember record players. In fact, one day, I wanted to listen to it so much that I decided I'd try to play the record myself, and of course I ended up scratching it. When my Dad discovered this, he wondered aloud how it had happened, not appearing to have any idea I could have done it, and I certainly didn't volunteer the information. Even to this day, I have never told him, and man, suddenly I feel so ashamed. Maybe this isn't such a good memory after all. Anyway, moving on...

When I was about 14, a bunch of friends and I were at summer camp, and we made up a dance for some sort of talent show thing that was set to "She Drives Me Crazy" by Fine Young Cannibals. It was a pretty lame dance, but we had fun, and for years afterwards, it was all I could to keep myself from doing the dance every time I heard the song. I've since forgotten most of it, but I can still do part of the chorus.

When I was a freshman in college, my two roommates and I had this thing where, when we got really stressed out (which was quite often), we'd blast "Life is a Highway" by Tom Cochrane (yes, it's a cheesy song - I don't care) at two in the morning and dance around in our room. I'm sure our neighbors loved that.

And then there was grad school, where the song "Gangsta Trippin'" by Fatboy Slim will always remind me of this one party at the apartment of my friend the former Calvin Klein underwear model (I am not making that up - he really was - and now he has a Ph.D., so there), and our other friend got really drunk and put handprints on his own ass using fluorescent body paint.

Oh, and I just remembered this last one. "Lonely Planet" by The The will always have a special place in my heart, because I won a radio contest by knowing the lyrics. The contest was that they would read (not sing) a couple lines from a song, and you had to call in and say what the song was. I am usually terrible at this - whenever someone sends around one of those lists of 100 song lines, and you have to guess what the songs are, I can usually get about five of them - so I was amazed that I got the answer. I was actually the third person who got through, but the first two got it wrong. I won a Timberland backpack, which is probably the most random prize I've ever heard of, and which I still have.

Anyway, those are some songs that mean something to me, I guess, in the sense that they all have significant memories attached to them. I'm not sure if I properly followed the rules of the question, but hey, this is where I invoke the this-is-my-blog-and-I'll-do-whatever-I-damn-well-please provision of the blogging laws, so screw you all if you have a problem with it. Ha!

4. Who am I going to pass this stick to?

Well, ExI says he's looking for more ways to waste time.

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February 08, 2005

I thought there was something fishy about that Napster Super Bowl ad

And indeed, there is. You don't actually get to keep the music you pay for, unless you keep paying the subscription fee. As the article says, it's not necessarily unreasonable - like, say, paying a fee for satellite radio. But the problem is that the ad is misleading when it compares the Napster service to iTunes and says that filling up your iPod would cost $10,000, while doing same with Napster would only cost $15/month. Yeah, not quite. Also, apparently, iPods (as well as most of the other players currently in use) aren't even compatible with the Napster service, which they conveniently failed to mention.

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February 07, 2005

Bingo! We got bingo!

Wheeeeeeeeeee! Happy happy.

That is all.

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February 04, 2005

Interesting statistic of the day

How many times in life will you ever wish you were in Jacksonville instead of Palm Beach? In my case, exactly one time.

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February 02, 2005

Trouble in Bloggerland

It has come to our attention that a certain someone's comments are getting lost in Blogger's cybernetherworld. Please be advised that we here at Major Disaster Co., Inc. are working tirelessly to resolve the problem, mostly consisting of posting a test comment. While this seems to have temporarily provided a fix, please bear with us, as we cannot guarantee that it is permanent.

This might be a good time to tell no one in particular that we ourselves are just slightly annoyed that the comments left here on this blog no longer get emailed to us, except for the comments left by Wheezy. We have no idea why this would be, except for maybe that Wheezy has magical powers or something.

Anyway, we will continue to provide status updates as the situation warrants.

Thank you for your patience,

The Management

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Pudding Cream Sand Crispy Gaufrette

That is the name of a sweet, tasty snack I just ate. Thankfully, there was no actual sand in it. Also, no pudding. And yes, it came from Japan. How did you know?

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February 01, 2005

A philosophical question of great importance

The local news just did a story about this kid who's a freshman in college, and who had so much fun at his high school prom, that he's auctioning himself off as a prom date so he can go again. So they show film of the kid dancing, and he's kind of dorky, and the anchor guy is all, "I don't think Denny Terrio has anything to worry about."

What I want to know is this: which is more disturbing - that a news anchor in 2005 would make this reference in the first place, or that I actually knew who Denny Terrio was?

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