Saturday, June 30, 2007

It's like going to Kenya for safari, but more white and with slightly more frequently occurring running water.

Let's go gawkin' now / everybody's learnin' how / come on a safari with me...

A church leadership commitment led me today to Willow Pond Retreat in Very Southern Indiana -- specifically, the part of the state that would best be described as the area nearest Oakland City that isn't Oakland City. For those of you unfamiliar with the Hoosier State, Very Southern Indiana is different from Southern Indiana. And VERY different from Central Indiana.

As an example, in Central Indiana, people tend not to lose their minds with signs in front of their church. In Southern Indiana, it happens, but it usually stays apolitical. In Very Southern Indiana, one sees signs like this one, which I am not making up, from First Christian Church of Petersburg (I didn't have a camera, so I have recreated it with the Simpsons Church Sign Generator):

Putting aside the separation of church and state issues, I have to think God had other things going on when Jesus died...1,743 years before there was an America for God to bless.

Also, in Very Southern Indiana, the local community theatre's signs have great potential to make you cringe. For example, you'll typically see things like:

Elnora's own
TAMMI LOLITA WATKINS
is
Dawn Quixote
in
GAL OF LA MANCHA

Which I am totally making up. But today, I learned that the Veale Community Theatre is currently selling tickets for the cringe-worthy "Meshuggah-nuns!" Which I have learned is an actual show...the exclamatory fifth in the exclamatory Nunsense! series. But if you don't know that, seeing "Meshuggah-nuns!" on a sign makes you wonder how creative someone has to be to be anti-Semitic AND anti-Christian in one fell swoop. (Answer: Very Southern Indiana creative.)

Overall, the trip was great. The retreat center was beautiful, and we got some good work done. But next time, I'm bringing my passport...just in case I'm stopped on my way back into Central Indiana.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Ladies and Gentlemen...The Supremes!

The Huffington Post recently ran a headline story about the US Supreme Court's decision on a case about school desegregation, with this picture:


It's unclear to me where these photos came from, but I actually fear they may be official court pics. I mean, they're all robed up and everything. The only one who looks remotely Supreme is, dare I say it, Justice Samuel Alito.

Let's review the others and think about what their photos say.
  • Justice Kennedy: "I wonder if that Judge Judy is still married."
  • Chief Justice Roberts: "Yeah, no. I don't know how I got here either. You tell me."
  • Justice Scalia: "I've been a pain in everyone's ass since March 11, 1936. Wait! No! Since June 11, 1935, the night I was conceived and therefore my life began."
  • Justice Thomas: "Whatchoo talkin' 'bout, Scalia?"
  • Justice Breyer: "YES! Fart jokes never get old, bro!"
  • Justice Ginsburg: "Why don't you come up and see me some time?"
  • Justice Souter: "Think they might put me on Mount Rushmore if I clench my jaw hard enough?"
  • Justice Stevens: "Does anyone know where I left my pills? It's cold and I don't know what time it is. Mommy, tie my bow tie?"

Zig-a-zig...uh-oh

Can you imagine a more terrifying headline than "SPICE GIRLS REUNITE FOR WORLD TOUR"?

Am I horrified? I am.

Will I see the concert when it comes to a local venue? I will not.

Did I immediately log onto iTunes and download "Wannabe" and "Spice Up Your Life"?

No comment. This interview is over.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Mama, Eunice, and Ed play Sorry

Roughly 12 years ago, after a particularly ugly incident, I imposed upon myself a lifetime Sorry moratorium. I am an extremely sore winner -- there were victory laps, there were chants, and there was much taunting.

Except for the avocado green kitchen and the Southern accents, this is my story.

The Miracle on 29th Street: Realizing Dreams ... Building Community

Over on the Broadway UMC website, you'll see a new little logo here and there. The image is the symbol for the Miracle on 29th Street, a campaign to expand capacity for ministry at the church and, more importantly, outside of the church.

Click on over -- and if you've got a spare $2.2 million that you're looking to get rid of, let me know!

Monday, June 25, 2007

BICENTBLOGIAL!


Yes, it's true. My 200th post -- and still NO information of any value whatsoever.

(It's a gift.)

Witty blogger, 33, seeks wedding date

Me: Meaningfully employed, reasonably intelligent, occasionally goofy, voluntarily celibate. Progressive Christian in possession of all of my teeth, most of my hair, and a snarky sense of humor. I love to dance.

She: 25 - 35 (or 45, whatever -- yeah, I admit it: I watched Age of Love last week). Enjoys getting all gussied up for weddings, fundraisers, and galas. Tolerates of my use of the phrase "all gussied up." Excellent speller, passing familiarity with conventional grammar. Must be willing to dance all night long.
Here's the thing: I don't date, so when the invitation to a wedding or whatever comes, I've traditionally asked a friend to come along. But my previous stand-by wedding-date friends have recently themselves gotten married or otherwise hitched. I am wedding-date-less!

So I'm sending out an SOS (Save Our Scott) -- if you have a single female friend that you think would be a good match to join me at weddings, bar mitzvahs, fundraisers, etc., drop her my info or drop me her info. I have a few events coming up in the next several months (and God knows my mom and dad are hopeful that Jon and Jenny will give me one more) that would be more fun with a platonic "and guest."

Help me out, y'all -- friends don't let friends seek wedding dates on Craigslist.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

1998 Scott would have LOVED this!

However, 2007 Scott's hair is thinning and he doesn't want to risk losing any more of it.

The UK's Daily Mail is reporting that scientists are refining the technology that could allow TV watchers to change the channel with their minds.

All you have to do is put on this hot and itchy brain cap that's attached to an actual remote control and make sure your blood flows correctly in your brain.




Like, I mean, I guess this seems like a good use of researchers' time. Because who among us hasn't felt the thumb cramp of a particularly slothful Saturday afternoon on the couch? But if it involves an actual headgear apparatus, I'm really not in for it.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Juxtaposition, Juxtapart Two

Come on, IndyStar.com ... figure it out. Again.

OK, I get that the crashed plane pic goes with the "Pilot makes emergency landing in Boone Co." headline.

But, really, on first glance, what do you see? Big picture of plane (crash)landing, and headline that says, "Yahoo visitors LAND ON Indiana Beach."

Not to mention the underlined "Multi-car accident includes detective" headline...

I suppose this is slightly less bad than the curfew sniper, but still.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Take it from Brandon Tartikoff...

The late Chairman of NBC Entertainment teamed up with the Saved By The Bell kids for this PSA. His hit idea for the fall season transformed my life to its very core.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

...that's it?

Bob Barker ended his 35-year run as host of The Price Is Right on Friday.

The fact that I took Friday off from work is purely coincidental.



But don't you think that his 20-second farewell wasn't really fit for his sign-off from his last show?

I mean, yeah, he got the spay-and-neuter thing in one last time, but other than that, I really was left feeling empty. I hope they find a new host soon, although I'll be mourning the loss of Bob for a while...

Friday, June 15, 2007

Britain's Got Talent - 6 year-old Connie

If this adorable little person's performance doesn't move you to tears or at least goosebumps, it is my duty to inform you that you officially have no soul.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Most Likely Not To Have Children

This is funny and then tragic, and it happened in our own backyard.

Apparently two teachers at Decatur Intermediate Something Something had some end-of-the-year superlatives of their own to present, and it went too far.

They even made certificates!

The teachers crowned sixth-grader Matt Porter "Sir Clowns-A-Lot" (which: meh, it's probably funny to a sixth-grade teacher) and also "Most Likely Not To Have Children." Which I do not even understand, but which is, on its face, mildly amusing, but then tragic, because can you imagine how your life would be different if your sixth-grade teacher told you, in front of your class, that you were the least likely sixth-grader to have kids?

Never Rarely Occasionally Often one to judge a book by its cover (that link is only funny to perhaps one person), I must say this wholesome-looking ragamuffin does strike me as a bit of a mischief-maker. A trickster, if you will. I will allow the lame "Sir Clowns-A-Lot," as the moniker does convey a bit of frivolity and lightness.

"Most Likely Not To Have Children" is another story altogether. (You all, aloud or in your head: "Most Likely Not To Have Children is another story.") That's pretty damaging to an 11- or 12-year-old, I'd say. Again, I hasten to add that I have no idea what it means -- does it mean he's got no game with the ladies? That he'd never pass a home study for adoption? That he is infertile? WHAT DOES IT MEAN? AND IS IT FUNNY?

All I'm saying is this: teachers, be good to your students, or watch for them in the shadows as they haunt your very dreams. Hell hath no fury like a sixth-grader scorn'd.

Panic! at the Bubbles

So there's this new game called Touch the Bubbles on eBaumsworld.com

Despite its creepy name, TtB is actually quite harmless. All you have to do is use your mouse to run over the bubbles to pop them and they make a pretty, mellow vibraphone noise.

Soothing.

But it gets difficult really quickly, and I would claim that it's more a test of your panic response than a test of hand-eye coordination. Your game doesn't end when the first bubble hits, so it's all about keeping your cool and letting the hard-to-reach chips go.

I could Touch the Bubbles for hours. (Now that sounds creepy.)

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Even I would not eat this.

I like Hershey's with almonds.

I can't imagine liking Hershey's with bacon.

But if you want to order it ($7 per, with a shelf-life of 8 weeks), click here.

The girls that started Vosges Chocolate are pretty cool. They had a store in the same Michigan Avenue mall that the gallery was in, in Chicago. Every now and then, the gallery would partner with them on a promotion, and we'd get all manner of free chocolate products -- truffles and whatnot.

But never chocolate-covered Baco Bits. Thank God.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Sometimes work sucks.

Just a few inches to the left, under the PG-13 Links section, I've posted a link to www.OverheardInTheOffice.com, a site that allows you to send in the dumb, ridiculous, stupid things you've heard in the course of your business day -- and read the dumb, ridiculous, stupid things others have heard in the course of their business day. For example:
Office peon: "When I was little I Dream of Jeannie always made me tense. I think it was the chaos."
There's some occasional coarse language, but overall it's an entertaining site to visit. And the reality is this: sometimes work requires coarse language. We all need to decompress, let it all hang out and vent. Because we are human and imperfect, sometimes it takes a bit to get ourselves back on course and up to speed.

In the spirit of Overheard In The Office, I give you a snippet from an AOL Instant Message conversation I recently had with a friend who started a new job last week complete stranger I've never met before:























Also: Do you think it's weird that I'm pink in my AIM image? I mean, I guess in real life, I'm pinkish, so there you go. But still.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Living As If Indy Were Paris

Inspired in part by Paris, Je T'aime, and in part by Mike's letter that Rachel shared yesterday at worship*, I've been thinking a lot about travel and adventure and romance and all that.

What occurred to me is how differently I view a city that I'm visiting, compared to my own hometown. That is to say, having moved back three years ago, I really know roughly as much about Indy as I do about Paris or Tokyo or Rome. But I experience those cities completely differently than I do my own. For example:
  • In foreign cities, I visit historical sites and museums and one-of-a-kind big-deal places. In Indy, I haven't been to the Benjamin Harrison House or the Speedway in 20 years.
  • In foreign cities, I choose to eat at independent restaurants and sidewalk cafes. In Indy, I typically choose the chain restaurant or the fast-food place.
  • In foreign cities, I go to a park and sit on a bench and watch what happens. I can't even tell you where the parks are in Indy.
  • In foreign cities, I don't have a car and rely on public transportation. In Indy, public transportation is hard to come by, and I drive my car everywhere.
  • In foreign cities, I try to squeeze out all the thrill and excitement of being there all the time, because I know my stay is brief. In Indy, the urgency and adventure aren't there, because it's so everyday.
So I'm going to try an experiment.

In August, when I move into my friend's Eagle Creek-area condo, I'm going to treat it as a travel adventure -- like I was house-sitting in Paris or doing study abroad for a year in Mexico City. But I get to speak English.

One of the things that will help with this, I think, is my decision to go TV-free once I move. So I'll actually be forced to find other things to do -- whether that's enjoying Eagle Creek Park (1.9 miles from the condo) or going to the IMA on a Saturday or finally finishing that novel or whatever. I still have to decide if I want the internet, but I've decided no TV for sure. (For now. We'll see how it goes.)

So, there it is: living as if Indianapolis were Paris. "Indianaparis" -- which I will pronounce Indianapa-"French sound for R"-EE.

* Mike sent a letter from Spain talking about how he had wandered around the old city enjoying the street musicians and other artists, the sidewalk cafes, and the overall spirit of the people, and how he imagined one day that the Mapleton-Fall Creek neighborhood could be that way. Sounds pretty good to me.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

See This Movie. Now.

After church today, I treated myself to "Paris, Je T'aime"...here's the trailer:



Eighteen different love stories told by eighteen different directors, featuring eighteen different areas of Paris. I laughed and I cried. And I laughed some more and I cried some more.

Go see it now -- it's at the Landmark Keystone Art Cinema, and it's worth the $8.50. Which, really, I don't say that all too often. And here's something I say even less often: I will see it again in the theater, and I will buy the DVD the day it comes out.

See this movie. Today.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Off of the allosaur and into the fire (and brimstone)

Uh-oh.

It seems like there's trouble in Paradise. Or at least in the Creation Museum's dinosaur-laden Garden of Eden.

Multi-slash Eric Linden (actor/model/graphic designer/webtrepreneur/ladies' man/man's man/man about town) starred as Adam -- yes, the Adam -- in a video at the Creation Museum in Petersburg, Kentucky.

But it turns out that outside of starring in those scientifically (and, for that matter, Biblically) questionable cinematic escapades, Mr. Linden has a somewhat tawdry past on a website called Bedroom Acrobat. (Don't worry -- that link is to the AP news story, not to Bedroom Acrobat itself.)

He is accused of "flaunting his sexual exploits online and modeling for a clothing line [SFX International] that promotes free love."

Huh? Wait: "free love"? When Daylight Saving Time happened, did we turn our clocks back 40 years?

I mean, I suppose if you're going to star in a video for an allegedly Bible-based museum, it's probably unwise to do much of anything with your sexual exploits, let alone flaunt them online.

And yet, I can't help but wonder -- when did we become so interested in each other's sex lives? And what business is it of mine that the dude who pranced around the Garden of Eden IN A MOVIE models t-shirts that look like they say SEX from a distance?

I seriously think that those few of us who are happily celibate or happily married are the only ones who will ever be able to run for office or maintain any credibility any more. I'm confused by the intersection of religion and romance, of spirituality and sexuality, of faith and love. Are followers of Jesus allowed to have, ahem, relations and still consider themselves Christian? Or are they destined to be "AHA! Hypocrite!"'ed by one side and shunned as filthy by the other?

"A History of Christian Sexuality" would be a fascinating study -- and also a good name for a rock band.

All I'm saying is this: if a dude who played Adam for 40 seconds in one film clip out of over 50 in your museum shows up on some freaky-deaky website, I think it's a touch extreme to launch an internal investigation and announce to the world that you'll quit showing the clip. Of course, I think the Creation Museum itself is a touch extreme, so there you go.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Bloo-duh

See, this is why I think kids are not in the cards for me.

I mean, I think it would be hilarious to have a small person around, saying stupid things like "Bloo-duh?" all the time.

But my response to the child in question would be howls of laughter the likes of which Camcorder Dad can only imagine, thereby scarring young Bloo-duh/Not Funny(!) Kid for the rest of his disproportionately-large-headed life.

Any parents out there care to share their techniques for coping with something like this?

(I mean, other than videotaping it and putting on the Interwebotron for the entire world to see and mock?)

The Singing Bee

OK, y'all -- time for game show prayers again. Brush off your Family Feud rosaries and Gospel According to Whammy. My Next Big Break may come this weekend (or next Thursday).

I am (I think) auditioning for NBC's new game show, set to sweep the nation this fall, The Singing Bee!

Apparently, this is the game-show version of the board game "Songburst." As contestant coordinator Nancy enthusiastically informs me:
"The Singing Bee" is a variety competition show that challenges contestants to accurately sing the lyrics to popular songs -- even when the band stops playing. In this karaoke showdown, you don't have to sing well, you just have to sing it right. Contestants have the opportunity to win HUGE MONEY!!!
No word yet on how HUGE the HUGE MONEY!!! is, but for Nancy to use three exclamation marks, it must be something special, right?

I'm sure I won't be able to live-blog my way through auditions, but I'll definitely keep my reader (yes: "reader." Singular.) posted after the fact -- at least, as much as I can. One tends to sign away all manner of rights and engage any number of responsibilities when participating in a televised game show, so I'll share as much as I can.

So, as they say, STAY TUNED...

UPDATE: I ended up not auditioning for the show. We'll see how it goes in its first season and, if it makes it to a second, maybe I'll try out when they come for a casting call, like I did with Millionaire.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

The dangers of Google ads

Mike and his family are off for a four-month adventure around the world and the US. They're keeping us posted on their TravelJournals.net journal.

One of their pics online was this one...notice anything odd?


Nice photo of the family, everybody happy...click here to take a closer look.

Ads by Google, indeed. I imagine this isn't the first instance of awkward Google ad placement, but come on!

Maybe I'm just saladophobic, but honestly...

Many things in life are special: special guest stars, special announcements, Special K™ cereal.

I, myself™, for example, am special. (God made me that way, I learned in a pre-school song I remember to this day.) Puppy dogs and birthdays are special, too.

But despite Yahoo's tantalizing headlines to the contrary, I do not believe "salad" -- no matter how you "experiment" with "delicious" "ingredients" -- is special.

Ever. At all.

Monday, June 04, 2007

9O21Oh no they di'n't.

I was always an Ahhhhhndrea Zuckerman fan, myself. Who was your favorite student at West Beverly?

(If you say David Silver, you're kicked off this blog forever.)

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Totally. Not. Worth. It.

So here's to you, Joey Chestnut -- Jesus loves you more than you will know. Whoa, whoa, yuck.

Joey "Jaws"* Chestnut, a 23-year-old from San Jose, CA, yesterday beat the existing world record for hot-dog eating (as opposed to hot dog-eating). Takeru "The Honcho from Honshu"** Kobayashi thought his previous record of 53¾ hot dogs in 12 minutes was solid. Until Chestnut came and snarfed down 59½. Which makes me wonder:


A) At some point, will the immutable laws of science and nature bring an end to this ridiculous high-sodium-and-nitrates arms race?

B) 60 hot dogs in 12 minutes = 5 hot dogs a minute, one every 12 seconds. With bun! CAN YOU IMAGINE SUCH A THING? AND CAN YOU IMAGINE THE CONSEQUENCES?

C) Why did they choose 12 minutes as the official eat-as-much-as-you-can unit of time?

D) And finally, did you see what the prizes are? A trip to New York (potentially cool, but probably ultimately "meh"), a $250 mall gift card ("Look out, Hillshire Farms, Wetzel's Pretzels and Dippin' Dots!") and a year's supply of ... wait for it ... hot dogs. 59½ is literally about a ten-year supply of hot dogs for me. I can't imagine wanting to win more after gorging on them.
Totally. Not. Worth. It.


* Which I am totally not making up.
** Which I am totally making up.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Swedish Chef, Improv Master

Here's the thing: the Swedish Chef doesn't speak English. He does not, insofar as I can tell, have eyes. Nor does he have a lower body.

And yet, you get exactly what he means from his hand gestures and full-body movements.

A brilliant showman.



Friday, June 01, 2007

My Heritage (.com)

Let's just pretend, you and I, that the entire world hasn't known about MyHeritage.com for two or more years and preserve the illusion that this post is cutting-edge.

Over on MyHeritage.com, you can participate in any number of genealogical exploits, if that's your thing.

That not being my thing, however, I took advantage of their facial recognition software and ran their Celebrity Look-Alike Matchfinder on my own face (above, left and below, center). You can click here for my results, or check out the collage below:



But let me tell you this: aside from my striking resemblance to Scandinavian alternarock drummers and South Korean actors, I don't particularly think that the software really works all that well. Diane Keaton? Lawrence of Arabia? Mother Freakin' Teresa?

And not a Drew Carey in sight...although, depending on how you crop me, other celebs do emerge. Israeli singer Yehoram Gaon, John Candy, and Gary Busey all pop up, under different crop configurations.

But always this Aki Hakala character. Perhaps I should download some The Rasmus off the iTunes?