Thursday, May 29, 2008

"Missouri Compromise." Oh, that's clever.

A friend of mine has long maintained that every country in Europe claims to be the birthplace of foosball. In that case, the mullet is the anti-football, because according to this article, every country blames the mullet on somebody else.

• The Argentines call it the "Cubana."
• The Danish either call it the "Bundesliga" (after Germany's top soccer league) or "Swede hair."
• The Dutch also blame the Germans, calling it the "German mat."
• The Finns and Poles call it "Czech hair."
• The French refer to it as the "Coupe a la Waddle," after former English footballer Chris Waddle.
• West Germans blame the East Germans by calling it the "Ossispoiler."
• Hungary also calls it the "Bundesliga."
• The Italians either call it "German-style" or "MacGyver-style." It's also known as the "McGyver" in South Korea. (I'm pretty sure North Korea doesn't have mullets.)

Bonus. I think if I had small children I would show them pictures of the meth addicts in the Portland jail and say, "See, kids, this is what happens when you don't brush your teeth twice a day."

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

A revelation and an inquiry

1. The Revelation. It was only just now that I realized that the venerable Baskin-Robbins flavor "Baseball Nut" is supposed to be a pun. Oh, the "Baseball" part was easy. The ice cream is vanilla with a strawberry ribbon, representing the white baseball with red stitches. But the "nut" part? It's not just because somebody decided that this would taste better if it had nuts in it. It's a play on the idea of a person who is nuts about baseball - a Baseball Nut, if you will. Once I figured this out, the true meaning of "Tax Crunch" followed.

2. The Inquiry. Gentle readers, I posit to you a question, which I would like you to consider and answer in the comments. Which of the following is preferable:

Keep It Real. Recognize the flaws in your personality, but do not attempt to change them, because they are an integral part of your identity.

Fake It 'Till You Make It. Make concerted efforts to overcome your flaws, even if it means being emotionally dishonest with yourself and others.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Shooting fish in a barrel, falling off a log, making fun of Cosmo

Take a look at the cover of this edition of Cosmopolitan, on newsstands now:

Was there a word that kinda jumped out at you?

Let's review the headlines.

"His G Spot: Yup, He's Got One Too…" Connotations: pleasant connotations with sex and romance.
"The Girlfriend Habit That'll Deepen His Love" Connotations: pleasant connotations with sex and romance.
"Sexy Hair: Fresh Looks You'll Adore" Connotations: pleasant connotations with sex, romance, and self-improvement.
"Dragging Ass Lately? New Energy-Boosting Advice" Connotations: pleasant connotations with self-improvement
"PLUS How to Dress This Summer" Connotations: pleasant connotations with self-improvement.
"4 Things All Guys Crave Hearing" Connotations: pleasant connotations with sex and romance.
"Carmen Electra Shares Her Secrets In Sexy Confidence" Connotations: pleasant connotations with sex, romance, and self-improvement.
"The Hottest Things to Do to a Man (IN 60 SECONDS OR LESS)" Connotations: pleasant connotations with sex and romance.
"5 Signs a Guy Is Capable of Rape" Connotations: RAPE, a horrible crime associated with sex or romance gone wrong.

The suggestion of sex crimes on the cover leaves all the other talk of sex seeming downright creepy. If your man were a potential rapist, would you still want to know about his G spot? Would you still want to know what he craves hearing? My guess would be "no" and thinking about it makes me a little queasy.

I don't know what those five signs of a potential rapist are, but I would be willing to guess that they might include "drinks or uses drugs a lot" and "violent." Which leads to the question: if you were still spending time with this man even though he is a drunk/druggie/thug, would an article in Cosmo be the impetus for your leaving?

(And now, guessing at the answers to the other headlines: It's on his penis. Listen to his problems. Comb it. Eat a balanced diet. Wear loose-fitting layers to guard against mosquitos. "I love you." Be really, really, ridiculously good looking. Show him your boobs.)

Monday, May 19, 2008

It was only a matter of time

I have previously informed you about the Eurovision song contest, traditionally home to brainless pop acts, which in recent years has become a self-parody. In 2006, Finland scored a record-setting victory with Lordi's death-metal opus "Hard Rock Hallelujah."

This year, Ireland said "the hell with this." They're sending a turkey puppet. If Dustin the Turkey carries the day it will be difficult for future acts to find a more bizarre angle.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Today's Targets: Japan and Israel

1. There is a minor league soccer team in Japan called "Black Pecker Hakodate."

Any half-skilled comedian can run with this premise (stiff defense, good penetration, rose to the occasion, etc.) but I'm only going to jog with it. At English soccer games, the fans all wave their scarves to show support for their teams. What do the fans in Hakodate wave? Well, whatever it is, it should be emblazoned with the team motto: "Black Pecker is hard to beat."

2. The premise of Adam Sandler's new movie doesn't strike me as all that funny, because just about every Israeli was in the military and can probably kill you, including the hairdressers. Plus, there actually is a famous hairdresser who was in the Israeli army.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

A Dead Week

So what, apart from that ill-advised attempt at music, have I done this week?

- Been compared to Frank Miller.
- Saw an actual black man on "The Lawrence Welk Show."
- Spent nearly three whole hours exercising.
- Got Football Manager 2008, in which my Preston North End side is sitting respectably at mid-table. Nobody's figured out how to break the game yet, so I probably won't be able to repeat some of my Championship Manager 01-02 feats (like leading Carlisle from Division 3 to the Premiership and letting Kim Källström score 45 goals a season). I am a fan of the new ability to call out other managers in the press, and would like very much for one of my footy-following readers to get a copy and try an online game in which we carry out a merciless public feud.
- Realized how to fix the previously-noted lack of comic relief on "Galactica" - whenever the drums start to dominate the soundtrack, just start singing "George, George, George of the Jungle, strong as he can be…" (Also I'm betting on a 2001-style bullshit ending.)
- Considered taking up the mandolin.
- Got a Northern Ireland jersey on eBay for twenty bucks.
- Debated possible Halloween costumes - would I be more convincing as John Hodgman or as Garth Marenghi?
- Discovered that the home Tesla coil amp will be going on sale this fall. Considered taking up the electric mandolin.
- Oh, and because it bears repeating.


Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Salieri Composes!

Most of you are aware that despite my pseudonym, I am not a musician. The extent of my musical experience was a lamentable attempt to play the clarinet during elementary school, and I took to it with my usual motto in mind, "If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. Then quit. No use being a damn fool about it." (Stolen from W. C. Fields, possibly.) So the last thing any of you would want to hear would be "I wrote a song."

Well, I didn't write a song. But I had a lot of free time and I mucked around with GarageBand and used what the kids call "sampling" to put together this little number.

As usual, I found myself with an idea and without the skill to implement it properly. I am aware that this piece sucks and I shouldn't have saved it - in fact, I probably should have deleted GarageBand lest I be tempted to play Icarus again, soaring towards the sun of well-rounded adulthood only to plunge to my death on the rocks of not being much good at anything (including extended metaphors). But I thought maybe one of the ten or so people who read this blog would find it a useful waste of two minutes.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Fox just gave me a graduation gift

GodDAMN am I glad I remembered that House is on Monday nights now, because this is a terrific episode.

GodDAMN. Terrific.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

My Law School Outline For Law School

I graduate today: feel free to use this outline to help you in your studies.

  1. The Law

    1. People choose their lawyers because of perceived affinities - clients want lawyers who resemble them

      1. Corollary: Asshole lawyers only get assholes for clients, and while assholes deserve representation, it makes everyone's life a little less pleasant

    2. Every jury pool will contain some intelligent, free-thinking people who will question your argument. This is why you have peremptory challenges

    3. Appellate judges have probably already decided your case by the time you get an oral argument. The oral argument is just there to give you a sense that someone listened to you

    4. Test for determining if you should loan a significant amount of money to someone - Does your business card contain the phrase "Member FDIC?"

    5. Laws don't solve problems, they just trade old problems for new problems

    6. Some lawyers submit motions and briefs to the court that I wouldn't have submitted to Ms. Schwagler, my 12th grade Government teacher

    7. The most entertaining law site on the Internet is Sui Juris, where conspirazoid whackjobs try to concoct magic scrolls such as Repel Taxman and Enchant Speeding Ticket

    8. Many of the assumptions on which our legal system are grounded, such as the common experience of the jury and the reliability of eyewitness testimony, are completely flawed, but nobody can think of a better way

    9. Your city probably has a lot of bizarre ordinances on the books that seem completely absurd, but just because they're dumb doesn't mean they can't pass them

    10. If you fight authority, authority will always win

      1. Exception: There is a well-recognized exception for people who play football for Rick Neuheisel

  2. Society

    1. Four percent of life is good. It's easy to find friends who will help you enjoy it. Four percent of life is miserable. It's a little more difficult to find friends who will help you through it. But ninety-two percent of life is just drudgery - washing dishes, standing in line, loafing on the couch after work. The best friends are the ones who will make that drudgery more interesting

    2. A friend of everyone is a friend of no one

    3. If you can't think of anything to do for the vocal track of your metal song, just leave it out - growling won't make it better and it won't make you scarier

    4. Rage Against The Machine hate many things. Among them are the tendons in my left hand

    5. Never put your faith in anyone you don't know personally

    6. "Battlestar Galactica" could really use some comic relief

    7. Nobody is entirely sure what it means to be a libertarian

    8. If the one-sentence episode description of an episode of "Star Trek: Voyager" contains the phrase "The Doctor," you should watch the episode. If not, you shouldn't

    9. Comedy arises from insecurity, but becoming a comedian requires a lot of self-confidence. This is why so few comedians are funny

    10. Men in the front row of strip clubs usually have the same expressions on their faces as high-stakes poker players

      1. Compare: Never make eye contact with a stripper

  3. Myself

    1. I cannot reinvent myself as successfully as Madonna can

      1. But: Madonna pisses away hundreds of dollars on magic string from that Kaballah guy, so we're even

    2. The more rapidly you hit your snare drum, the less likely I am to like your band

    3. I am now better at recognizing regional accents, as well as recognizing smoker's voice (I'm looking at you, Nana Visitor)

      1. Corollary: I am developing a regional accent myself which makes me sound like I'm from Chicago. I hate it

    4. Women will only flirt with me when I'm dressed in drag, which is very disappointing

    5. Sometimes an unrequited crush can work out okay

    6. I'll never really be "part of the gang" because there are usually only one or two interesting people in each "gang" and I hate putting up with the rest of them

    7. I am very popular with women over 35

    8. I want to be a different person, but I don't know how I should change myself

    9. There is at least one member of my high school class who has aged worse than I have

    10. Someday all that will be left of me is memories. I hope they're good ones

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

An extended "In Russia" joke

In case you haven't heard, the 2014 Winter Olympics are scheduled to be held in the Black Sea town of Sochi, and they've got a bit of preparation to do, starting with roads, electricity, and sewage.

What can we expect from the Games six years from now?

• Steam-powered Zambonis
• Opening Ceremonies to include missile trucks
• Biathletes facing return fire from angry Chechens
• Israeli team closely monitored by security, to make sure they don't steal any Christian babies
• Due to equipment failure, ice dancing replaced by slush dancing
• New demonstration event: all-in brawling
• Some misunderstanding over the meaning of the word "mogul"
• About the same amount of corruption as usual

Monday, May 5, 2008

But maybe I was wrong

Y'know, I had always thought that a "24-hour take-home exam" was an exam which you would take home and have to hand in your answer 24 hours later.

Turns out one of my professors seemed to think that it meant a take-home exam which should actually require 24 hours to complete.