Friday, July 27, 2007

I guess The Phillipines has never heard of "cruel and unusual"

You know I *heart* Sister Act. I really do.

But come on.

I think there should be some sort of provision in the international treaty on prisoner treatment that specifies that "inmates will at no time and under no circumstances be forced, coerced, or otherwise invited to perform choreographed musical numbers or final monologues from popular music videos or full-length feature films starring werewolves, zombies, nuns, talking dogs, or hookers with a heart of gold."

What say you?

Thursday, July 26, 2007

... Rutherford B. HAYES!

Here's a cool game that tests your knowledge of US Presidents. In ten minutes.

Actually, it just asks if you can name all the Presidents. You don't have to know anything about them, per se, just who they were.

I could only name 33 out of 42, but I was surprised to see that 25.5% of people who play the game can get them all.

What's your score?

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

I'm a sucker for a romantic comedy. Especially in a cab.

I'll admit it. This cool story makes me cry little sparkly happy tears every time I read it.

Improv Everywhere is a rotating cast of comedians, actors and other interested participants that travels around New York to carry out what they call "missions" - bizarre, anonymous happenings such as staffing the restroom of Midtown McDonald's with a bathroom attendant, shopping in slow-motion at The Home Depot, or performing a synchronized swimming routine in the fountain at Washington Square Park. And performing the Starbucks Moebius -- my God, the Moebius!!

Or, in this instance, carefully planning and flawlessly staging a romantic comedy specifically for the benefit of one cab driver.


Monday, July 23, 2007

These PEOPLE have a damn HIPPO in their damn LIVING ROOM!

Remember that lady who was convinced that the leprechaun allegedly sighted in Mobile, Alabama, was actually "a CRACKHEAD who got hold to the WRONG STUFF and it told him to get up in a TREE and play a LEPRECHAUN"?

OK, use her voice to say the headline of this post, and you're just about there when you watch this video:

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Madelynn at home

Here are a few more pics of my awesome, fantastic, beautiful, brilliant, wonderful niece:

Getting her hairrr did

Bonding time with Daddy

Plum tuckered out

It's close to midnight, and something evil's lurking in the dark

Beyond organized crime ... I give you choreographed crime:

And if that's not Thrilling enough, I give you the most awesome wedding party ever:

Friday, July 20, 2007

All Together Now: "AWWWWWWWWWWWWW!"

Since it's looking like I'm posting pics of my new niece Madelynn every other day or so, I feel I should keep up the pattern.

So get ready for the adorable-est, angelic-est, perfect-est picture you ever did see:

Thursday, July 19, 2007

OUT: Singing Bee (for now) / IN: Do You Trust Me?

As noted earlier, I chose not to try out for NBC's The Singing Bee. This was stupid -- I watched it the other night and knew 95% of the answers without even trying hard. I have thus learned to seize Opportunities in Reality TV when they arise.

So CBS has a new game show that they're casting right now, called "Do You Trust Me?" and hosted by conservative TV talker / wooden Star-Dancing-With-er Tucker Carlson.

(Oh, wait -- he was the Star that we were Dancing With a couple seasons ago.)

Anywho, despite not knowing anything about the show other than...
Two contestants who are total strangers play as a team in pursuit of over $1 million while testing their ability to trust one another. The two players work together to build a bank of cash, and their game play will be influenced by how much (or how little) trust each contestant has for the other. Throughout the show, Carlson reveals surprising facts about each contestant, providing clues to how trustworthy they may or may not be.
...I'm totally dropping my application for this show in the mail today.

I'm trustworthy, right? RIGHT?

And can you think of any "surprising" facts Tucker Carlson might reveal about me?

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Breaking News: Madelynn Still Cute

One week later, unbiased parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles agree -- she's adorable! And I won't name names, but a friend from church last night told me that a friend of hers had a baby last week, too, and Madelynn was way cuter than that other baby.


Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Man, I just have this BITING headache!

I'm not saying Ben Czislowski is not smart. I'm not. Really.

All I'm saying is that if you play rugby, a sport that involves regularly colliding with other humans, often leading to broken bones and other unfun episodes, you can't really be all that surprised when another man's tooth gets lodged in your forehead and, left to fester for ... wait for it ... THREE AND A HALF MONTHS, leads to blinding headaches, eye infections and lethargy.

I'll take quidditch any day.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Ways to Change Your Life

For the better: Keep a backpack-bedecked bulldog with you at all times. Incorporate video-game-style music and graphics into your every day life.

For the worse: Allow three or four Japanese celebrities to comment on your daily activities. Invite a studio audience -- or, at least, a convincing laugh track -- to watch your every move.

"Off target"? I wonder...

I love how the report ends with "He'll have a lot of explaining to do."

Hmm -- "a lot of explaining," indeed.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Dear Inner Mongolia: What's up with your people?

There...are no words.

This is creepy and fabulous and odd and awesome and freaktastic and splendiforous. It's creebuloddsometasticorous!

The world's tallest man (previously known as the World's Tallest Getter Of Things Out Of Dolphins' Tummies and also the World's Tallest Groom) and the world's allegedly shortest man (heretofore unblogged-about, at least on this page) met recently to read through the script for an upcoming buddy-cop film they're both slated to star in.*

Here's a shot:


It turns out that Bao Xishun is, as we all know, from Inner Mongolia. His new buddy He Pingping, that short guy, IS ALSO FROM INNER MONGOLIA!

How can the same region of Mongolia be responsible for both the world's tallest and the world's shortest man? It defies all logic, destroys all expectations, perpetrates all manner of mind-blowing-ness. Like, is China's nuclear program headquartered there? Do they have some sort of hole in their ozone layer? Radioactive spiders?

All I'm saying is this: if you ever go to Inner Mongolia -- which, why would you, so don't, but if you do -- do NOT drink from the bottle that says "Drink me" and do not eat from the box of sweets that says "Eat me."

* Which I would pay $1,000 to see, but which I am totally making up. The pic above and the linked story, however, are totally true.



This video is awesome, then weird, then awesome again.

And then weird again.

And, finally, awesome.

Video via

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Too bad she's PERFECT

I admit to no personal bias. It's pure, empirical truth: this new niece of mine is beautiful.

Exhibits A through C:

Tuesday, July 10, 2007


Madelynn Bertty Semester: 6 pounds, 11 ounces ... 19½ inches long ... unquantifiably adorable


Her Royal Highness Princess Madelynn of Weaver Woods North
("You may adore me now.")

Madelynn and Daddy JJ
("Now what do I do with her?!")

Madelynn and Grandpa Jim
("Hold her like a football, right?")

Madelynn and Uncle Bugs
("The holding will come later...I don't want to break her mere hours after she was born.")

Beth, JJ, and Madelynn are all healthy and happy.

I'll still be BennyHilling my way through the dog-and-cat situation (see below), but that's gotten a lot easier thanks to the patented Semester Family Teamwork™ -- the very SFT™ that got me through book reports and science fairs for years. My mom and dad have helped out a lot, and it's all good!

More pictures as they become available, over the next 18 to 25 years...

Monday, July 09, 2007

Babies, pets, 'n' things

If I was Jack Tripper right now, I'd be feeding the dogs with a baby bottle and Beth would have a squeaky chewtoy in her ... delivery room.

So I got the call today -- Beth and JJ are going into labor! Exciting news! Wonderful, joyous occasion!

Crappy timing!

Long ago, when a physician-approved due date of July 16th seemed like decades away, JJ and Beth asked if I would take care of Hagon and Agnes (the dogs) and Smokey and Leroy (the cats) whilst Princess Madelynn made her pinkish, gooey debut. Shortly thereafter, I agreed to take care of Jack, my friend Jenny's black lab, whilst Jenny enjoyed one last fling at the beach before moving to Yuma.

The fuzzy math I employed in my head led me to rely on timing that would make a knife-juggling-plate-spinner scoff, as Jenny's beach trip evolved into two weeks (7/2 - 7/16), with her arriving back in Indy on Madelynn's exact birthdaystimate. So if everything worked out perfectly, there would be no conflict and I could just move from Jenny's place to JJ and Beth's place without incident et voila, eet ees, how you say, "seamless"?

Sadly, Madelynn had other plans and decided to get this party started today. So the reality of driving all over creation to care for two dogs, two cats, and multiple fish in Fishers and one irascible mutt in Eagle Creek, whilst visiting the hospital and upholding other commitments, has made me lose my mind. In my head right now, it's like this, only slightly more farcical:

So, anyway, the moral of the story is this: Madelynn's on her way, and I'll be logging some serious drive time to make sure that the various menageries are fed, watered, pooped and played with, so that JJ and Beth can focus on feeding, watering, pooping and playing with Madelynn.

And once I step outside of It's All About Me Land (the slightly less well-known neighborhood in Walt Disney World), I realize this whole adventure is win-win! I just can't wait to see my new niece! Of course, pictures will be plentiful as soon as they're available.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

This is why Indy needs public transportation

This weekend, I fell prey to Al Gore and his Green Minions, and I signed the Live Earth pledge.

They ask you to do one or more things to help delay climate change: replace lightbulbs with better ones, take public transportation, etc. I couldn't promise to use public transportation because Indy doesn't really have a comprehensive bus system.

But in addition to the environmental benefits of a better bus and/or light rail system, there would be numerous opportunities for performances like this one. This was one of the things I liked most about taking the el in Chicago. Most of the street performers sucked, but every once in a while, you'd get a cool one, like the one in the video.

Rock on, Subway Quintet. Rock on.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Borderline: No-Frills Video, Great Song

This is brilliant.

Not only are there no wardrobe costs for this Jody Watley video, but it also looks like they did it on her webcam.

So truly, the only expenses for this shoot seem to have been $3.50 for eye shadow and lip gloss, and twenty bucks to keep the hairstylist away from the set.

Awesome song, though.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Like they say: Victory is like a brain...

I will not be voting for Zombie Steve in '08, because I do not think the US is ready for an undead president, and I do not wish to waste my vote.

But really, is he that much worse than the others currently in the running?