Friday, November 30, 2007

The Hauntening: When Poltergeists Fail To Rehearse

I do more before 9am...

...aw, who am I kidding?

Just because I had one 7:00am meeting, that doesn't mean I'm some fierce Army warrior. What it DOES mean is that I'm going to crash in a few hours.

BUT! Things are going pretty super, my friends.

The occasion for my laying my corrupt soul bare a couple days ago was a telephone audition for the new CBS gameshow, "Do You Trust Me?" The interview went well -- a nice half-hour conversation with a delightful person named Lacey (or Lacy or Lacie or Lacee) and I'll find out soon if they're going to pick me.

Also, we had a terrific Miracle visit last night (US: "We'd like to ask you to consider a gift of $X." THEM: "Well, yeah. At LEAST that much!"), and got some good news in a follow-up Miracle contact, too.

And my 7:00am meeting was with a contact from the Broadway neighborhood -- the big boss at one of our corporate neighbors, who, in the span of 45 minutes, impressed me as a cool, humble, strong, caring leader...one of the good guys. It comes as no surprise that the 7:00am meeting wasn't my idea, and my body didn't quite know what to do at 5:45 when I told it to wake up, but it was great to have the meeting and start building the relationship.

And it's FRIDAY! Woohoo! God is good, all the time -- and especially on Friday.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Scratching the Quidd Itch

Normally, this brand of nerdery would turn me off, but I am strangely attracted to Muggle Quidditch:

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

World's Fastest Clapper

But why is he so creepy?

It's like Grandma Semester always said: "Good personality and fast clapping are mutually exclusive."

You (have really, in no way, at all) Asked For It!

I can't really go into details about why I am making this post. Just accept it, dear reader, and love me anonymously and unconditionally, the way you always have.

There are some things I need to get off my chest:

  • When I was 7 years old, I stole a key chain from a gift shop at Busch Gardens. When my mom found out, she made me take it back to the specific gift shop it came from and apologize.


  • When I was 8 years old, I said the word "damn" while playing with my Fisher-Price Adventure People. My big brother turned me in. I did not swear again until I was 17 years old, alone, in the privacy of my car. Nowadays, I swear like an angry, drunken sailor, except when I am at work, where I swear like a quiet, sober sailor.


  • On a dare, I stole a poinsettia from a restaurant in Chicago in December 2001. It is possible that I was the originator of the dare.


  • While on the way to my first mission trip in West Africa, I may have ended up at a strip club in Rome.


  • I once inherited a cat from a roommate who moved away and when I had to give her up when I myself moved to Canada, I took her to the Humane Society but told friends that another friend with a big happy cat family had adopted her. This is a fib that I have maintained -- with pretty elaborate untruths, including updates on the cat's liver disease -- for over four years...until literally right now. (But I totally kept track online and she was adopted in two days!)


  • And in that vein, when the third of my three office goldfish died within six months, rather than admitting I couldn't keep goldfish alive, I told friends that I had released him in my friend's backyard pond.


  • The United Methodist Church, my religious denomination and also my employer, is strictly opposed to gambling, characterizing it as "a menace to personal character and social morality," and yet I play the lottery frequently and aggressively.


  • At the age of 24, I began working at a university career center with no experience or relevant education at all. It will come as no surprise that I excelled as an interview coach.


  • I have had 19 different mailing addresses in 15 years.


  • Things I have in common with Carrie Underwood include blond hair, being the youngest child, and polythelia.


  • I lived with my parents for a year and a half in my early 30s.


  • My terribly immature behavior led to a lifetime ban from the boardgame Sorry.


I'm not sure it would be wise for me to talk about why this list is appearing here, but I may have news for you in the future. Please forgive me if any of the above specifically affected you! And if you can think of anything else I need to get off my chest, feel free to submit ideas in the Comments!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Perhaps you should close it and open it

Post #365 -- A year's worth, if I had been doing one a day

Sadly for all of us, I did not do one a day, so it took 13 months for me to do 365 posts. But this one's a good one -- a new game called Angular Momentum, which you can play by clicking below:

Sunday, November 25, 2007

BUY THIS NOW: Asian Pears

I'm starting a new weekly feature, an endorsement/recommendation article which I was going to call "Me Likey" but considering the first item I'm recommending, that doesn't seem like a good idea. I reserve the editorial discretion to change the title of the feature in the future.

Anywho.

Whilst shopping at Ye Olde Costcoe Trading Post and General Store this afternoon, I ran into my friends Lilia and Jim -- friends of my slumlord friend Jenny. As we talked about a bunch of stuff, Lilia noted the Bartlett Pears in my cart and suggested that I try Asian Pears instead. Jim's eyes lit up as he and Lilia described the pear-like taste, the watermelon-like texture and the apple-like appearance. Enough so, that I decided to look past the price difference ($5.99 for 12 Bartlett Pears vs. $7.49 for 8 Asian Pears) and go the Asian Pear route.

It was only then that Lilia mentioned, "Oh, you have to actually peel them. You can't eat the skin." To which I almost responded with a hearty kick to the solar plexus, because come on. But I decided to overlook that shady sales technique and purchase the Asian Pears anyway.

Well!

I am here to tell you that even despite the additional effort required in the peeling process, Asian Pears are where it's at. They really do look like apples! And have the texture of watermelon! And taste like pears!

They're simply ... awesome.

Wait -- wait, what?

In this clip from 80's hit "Kids Incorporated," Stacey Ferguson (later "Fergie" -- the meth-mouthed hip-hop princess, not the weight-watching flip-flop duchess) sings a Lionel Richie song to a clown.



I don't know -- you tell me.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Irony, Thy Name Is Banner Ads

Jeff Rubin, over at www.jeffrubinjeffrubin.com, has developed some fake banner ads, one of which I displayed at the top of my blog for a day or two.

Check 'em out:





Friday, November 23, 2007

Next time you're at the checkout stand and you hear the beep...

...think of all the fun YOU could have on Supermarket Sweep!



So apparently the dude part of the winning team posted this to his YouTube account, for all the world to see. He also included some behind-the-scenes secrets, such as:

  • As contestants, prior to the taping of your episode, they let you walk through the supermarket for 10 minutes, so you can get an idea of what things cost. That's one of the reasons you never saw people really looking closely at the prices of things while they were shopping. You had to have a game plan (and I did!)

  • The studio audience isn't nearly as big as they want you to believe. There are mirrors on both sides of the stage. With the exception of the contestants, the audience that is there are paid extras, which is why most of them are only slightly enthusiastic. They tape the inros of several episodes at once, so that once the game play begins, there is no audience. The rest of the game is done in an otherwise silent studio! So all of that extra clapping is added later. The store really was as big as a real grocery store (so to see it put together on a soundstage was pretty amazing). The food was expired, though. And some of them (like the meat) were, as you would expect, props.

  • The winners go home with a check in the amount of their sweep, but the 2nd and 3rd place contestants only got a sweatshirt! So it really was all or nothing, in terms of winning.

  • I am thisclose to starting a write-in campaign for some network to bring back The Sweep. I'll keep you posted.

    As we embrace the Christmas (Story) season...

    Here is a coded message for you to enjoy:

    01000010011001010010000001110011011101010111001001100101
    0010000001110100011011110010000001100100011100100110100
    1011011100110101100100000011110010110111101110101011100100
    01000000100111101110110011000010110110001110100011010010
    110111001100101

    Should you require an online decoder pin, click here.


    Blatantly stolen from Kevin Corrigan

    Viva la lip dub?

    Maybe no viva la vlog, but have you seen the Lip Dub?

    This new internet phenomenon involves one or more people lip-synching to a song in a new and/or innovative way.

    For example, the original lip dub, seen below (and, not coincidentally, featuring Jake and Amir and the other cool kids at Connected Ventures), features a group of people at their office after work, hastily throwing together a newly-imagined music video for Harvey Danger's "Flagpole Sitta."



    But it doesn't always have to be that complicated. Sometimes all it takes is a wind machine, a giraffe, some animated stars and a friend with a cactus:



    Or, in this case, all you need is a Billy Joel song and some sophisticated video-editing software:


    Thursday, November 22, 2007

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    If you watch no other video on this blog, watch this one -- it's only 52 seconds long.

    Monday, November 19, 2007

    Viva la vlog?

    You tell me...is there enough "there" there?



    Again, the choices are:

    (a) Nerdy Indianapolis resident commenting on Indianapolis current events and culture,

    (b) Hip, yet churchy, church hipster commenting of faith and post-millennial life, or

    (c) Hooker with a heart of gold sharing life-transforming stories of hope and inspiration.

    Leave your comments here and help me decide!

    And PS -- If this becomes a permanent feature, I will fix the lighting issue. Hair and make-up, I make no promises -- but lighting I can manage.

    And PPS -- Does the left side of my mouth not move like that, ever? Why has no one told me this?

    HAVE YOU SEEN THIS: Minisode Network

    Wow. Just, wow.

    Now, on MySpace, you can find the Minisode Network, which takes full episodes of some of your favorite shows (Silver Spoons, Diff'rent Strokes, Facts of Life, TJ Hooker) and condenses them to five-minute, bite-sized portions. Yum!

    For example, you can watch "Angels in Springtime," a fantastic example of televisory awesomeness, which features arguably the best trio of Angels that Charlie ever gathered (Chris, Kelly and Sabrina), a pretty awesome wheelchair chase, AND a bit part played by Beulah Balbricker from the Porky's franchise. Dig:



    So, check out the Minisode Network today!

    King Juan Carlos: “¿Porqué no te callas?”

    ¡Esto es muy awesome!

    So, last week Venezuelan President Hugo ("OOOO go, gurrrl") Chavez was going off on the former prime minister of Spain, at which point King Juan Carlos lost his cool and, in no uncertain terms, told him to shut his wordhole asked him to please be quiet.

    Well!

    Now, around a half million people around the world have downloaded King JC's words as their ringtone.

    This is hilarious.

    So you can have an angry Spaniard scream, "¿Porqué no te callas?" to announce all your incoming calls.

    Es simplemente...awesome.

    Sunday, November 18, 2007

    The beat of a different drummer

    My friend Mike is going to Tokyo in January. I kind of think this is what it's like at the airport, once you've made it from the plane to baggage claim:



    Or that's the Tokyo Marathon.

    You know, one or the other.

    Saturday, November 17, 2007

    Missed Opportunities

    When I was growing up, there were many things I wanted to be: veterinarian, attorney, physician, etc.

    At no point in my adolescence did anyone mention that it was appropriate to consider the career choice of Disco Chicken:



    I mean, I guess there's still time, but it really seems like something you study for and do I want to go back to Disco Chicken School at age 34?

    And, as with Rappin' G-Hog, any resemblance between Disco Chicken's dancing and my own is purely coincidental.

    Thursday, November 15, 2007

    "Reconsider yourself before you wreck yourself."

    For my milestone 350th post, I present to you the phenomenon that is Daxflame.

    This is a young man (think "teenage French-Canadian Jeff Goldblum with a mild-to-moderate behavior disorder") who posts lots of videos that get mad views.

    For example, this video was posted two days ago and it has already been viewed 133,636 times:



    I don't know how this kid got so popular, but if you click over to see some of his other videos, you can learn about his life, including his noble quest to woo the fair Annie to be his girlfriend.

    Let us all pause to say a prayer for Annie.

    "Go, G-Hog! Go, G-Hog! Go! Go! Go, G-Hog!"

    The people of Pennsylvania have got some explaining to do.

    Why is it that I am just now learning about G-Hog, the rappin' rodent who's wild about careers in healthcare?



    G-Hog has just assumed his rightful place as my favorite g-hog, narrowly defeating Punxsatawney Phil.

    Any resemblance between G-Hog's dancing and my own is purely coincidental, although I am, in fact, "homies with Pennsylvania's guvnah."

    Bridge Over Troubled...Bridge

    Anti-Bush Sign Has Bridge World In An Uproar

    Upon winning the Venice Cup at last month's world bridge championships in Shanghai, the US women's team (almost half of whom, interestingly, are named Jill) held up an impromptu protest sign that said, "We did not vote for Bush."

    The bridge world has been rocked to its core ever since.

    Because apparently, there's corporate sponsorships involved with high-level bridge. Who knew? And it just took one little sign written on the back of a menu to potentially screw things up for the rest of the admittedly small in number, yet mighty in spirit, American female professional bridge community.

    Informally, the women have been accused over e-mail of both treason and sedition (which I had to look up), and the president of the US Bridge Federation has formally proposed that the women be barred from competition for one year, be on probation for a year after that, do 200 hours of community service which furthers the interest of bridge, and offer an apology drafted by the federation's lawyer. Jeepers!

    Debbie Rosenberg, apparently the one actually holding the sign, said, "I earn my living from bridge, and a substantial part of that from being hired to compete in high-level competitions. So being barred would directly affect much of my ability to earn a living.”

    [Which kind of made me wonder where the insubstantial part of Debbie's bridge-based income comes from. Bilking seniors at the retirement home? Pick-up bridge for milk money on the playground after school? The notorious bridge parlors of Cleveland's Lakeshore Heights?]

    Anyway.

    What I would like you to do is go see this write-up of the story, and tell me what you think is weird about the cards in the picture. (If you said "UNSOLVED HOMICIDE," you're on the right track.)

    Ahora, yo quiero un XBOX 360.

    Y yo compraré cualquier cosa que esta mujer vieja está vendiendo:

    Tuesday, November 13, 2007

    Pull Shapes

    (v.) To dance, usu. enthusiastically, with limbs akimbo

    Last year this UK girl group wrote and sang a song about how much they like to dance. Dig it:

    Monday, November 12, 2007

    My Future Me Looks Strikingly Like My Past Me. Alien Me, Not So Much.

    Svedka Vodka (voted the number one vodka of 2033) wants to help you see what you'll look like in 26 years at their clever marketing site. You can use their site to create a funny picture of yourself, using an existing picture of yourself and a sophisticated survey.

    Strangely, when I asked them what I might look like in 2033, this was one of the options, even though any of my friends from college will tell you this is pretty much what I looked like in 1991...


    So I tried again, answering the survey somewhat differently, and here's what I got. I am a hot alien in 2033:


    Click on over to see how you might look in 2033.

    Finding My Voice: The Blogger Wallows a Bit, in Three Parts

    Part the First: Pride, in which our hero makes his professional singing debut

    On Saturday, our Cole Porter adventure came to poltergiest-free fruition. I managed not to throw up and only forgot a few words to one of my songs.

    Carolyn and I sang five Cole Porter songs after the Cole Porter dinner party, and the Ghost of Cole Porter (who, earlier in the day, was threatening me with tummy troubles) was nowhere to be found. It turns out that, for my first-ever paid singing gig, I was not at all worried about singing; rather, for the pre-singing dinner, I was seated next to our hostess, so I was so busy being terrified about using the right fork and not spilling my water glass that I didn't have time to be worried about the singing.

    We had a terrific time (well, I did at least -- I assume the others did, too) and after Carolyn and I sang, Carolyn and her husband sang a song, and then all ten of us gathered 'round the piano for a singalong of massive proportions.

    It was awesome and scary and fun to be on stage -- and I found it hard to believe, let alone accept, the compliments that the dinner party guests and our hosts gave. I've done public speaking all my life, but until Sunday, October 28, I had never sung solo in front of people before. (That's when I sang "Home," the finale from "The Wiz" at the Stephen Ministry retreat.) Now, I've done it twice in two weeks, and I'm afraid I may have caught the bug. Are voice lessons in my future?


    Part the Second: Frenzy, in which our hero participates in a ridiculous annual exercise

    One of my life goals is to write and publish a novel, so I am participating in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) right now. You may have noticed the NaNoWriMo button over in the left-hand column.

    The goal is to write 50,000 words toward your novel in the month of November. (That works out to like a 175-page book.) I am a touch behind where I should be, but I've spewed out almost 18,000 words so far. (I should be at 20,000 or so -- 1,667 a day.)

    Depending on how things go, I may post some excerpts here...we'll see. In the meantime, please pray for focus and energy and plot and character and all that stuff.


    Part the Third: Self-pityawareness, in which our hero wonders why the things he says often go unheard

    Lately, in almost all aspects of my life -- and especially this evening -- I've been feeling like what I say is either unheard or un-listened-to by the people I'm with. Like, I'm either not fast enough or not interesting enough or not accurate enough or not experienced enough or not [BLANK] enough.

    In cases such as this, it is not in my nature to raise my voice. Rather, when unheard or misunderstood, I tend more toward closing down and stewing than speaking louder or more emphatically. But I'm not sure that's what serves me or others.


    If only I could put that into words.

    Sunday, November 11, 2007

    As a little brother...

    ...I find this video hilarious:



    The little boy's accent, his willful insertion of his finger into Charlie's mouth, and his subsequent utter! amazement! that Charlie would bite him (again) make this a monument to awesomeness.

    But the punchline comes 41 seconds in. Charlie's snorting laugh is the Best. Thing. Ever.

    R.I.P. Olive, Bess, Nate, Nibbler, and the rest...

    Early Saturday morning, a fire broke out at the Indianapolis Zoo, and many of the Zoo's ambassador animals died. Others remain under observation for health concerns.

    According to the Indianapolis Star, three turtles (named Olive, Bess, and Nate) and a snake named Nibbler died from smoke inhalation, as did several unidentified Zoo residents: two birds, an armadillo, two rodents and several hissing cockroaches. Those names will be released once the victims' families have been notified.

    All zebras seem to be present and accounted for, and one of them, selected at random, will represent the other zoo animals at the upcoming memorial service.

    Saturday, November 10, 2007

    Jake and Amir (.com)

    I've added a new link under the PG-13 section on the left-hand side: Jake Hurwitz and Amir Blumenfeld work at College Humor and have their own website chock full o' short-video-based comedy gold.

    Most of their videos are based on the "big brother/little brother" or "alpha male/beta male" premise that Jake is cool and Amir is annoying.

    This video, however, is a little more even-keel in its portrayal of the guys as they sit at their not-quite-partners partner desk at the office. It's just one of many videos on their site ... so click on over after you watch this:

    Dentists Gone Wild

    As Tony Aiello and the CBS2 HD newscrew were heading out to cover all the major happenings in Westchester, the news found them.

    Right in front of them, a dentist lost his ever-loving mind and flew into a road rage episode that allegedly involved bad words, spitting, and physically assaulting a woman whose father died the night before.

    You can click here or click the pic for link to the two-minute news video.

    Three things about this story are noteworthy:

    1. In this age of instant information, there are cameras literally everywhere. From cities conducting their own surveillance via traffic-light cams and all manner of other public-safety efforts, to people with cell-phone cameras at the ready at all times, you're pretty much not gonna get away with [BLANK] Rage these days.
    2. But I bet you're more likely to get away with it if you don't do it in front of a news crew and then get all up in the cameraman's grill.
    3. I'm not sure why -- to add credibility? maybe? -- but reporter Aiello saw fit to interview an expert for his story. The expert he inexplicably chose? Dr. Joyce Brothers, and I am not kidding:

    I must tell you, the years have not been kind to Dr. Joyce. She would do well to consider a clause in her expert-witness contract that specifies no close-ups. To wit:


    Despite her scary look, I agree with Zombie Joyce Brothers: "[The dentist] is using the physical altercation to deal with his stress. I wouldn't like to be a patient of his..."

    Woman: "Ben-Gay" Other Contestants: *agreeing nods*

    Friday, November 09, 2007

    Jack Bauer in the age of AOL, circa 1994

    I got (circadian) rhythm / Who could ask for anything more?

    I freakin' could ask for something more.

    'Twould seem my nights and days are shot all to hell. Rather than sleeping like a normal person, here I am, wide awake at 3:00 a.m. in the morning. I didn't even know there was a 3:00 in the morning.

    This has happened for the last three or four nights -- clearly, there's something going on...

    Thursday, November 08, 2007

    About the Scout Shout-Out

    You may have noticed that I have added a link and logo in the left-hand column for the National Eagle Scout Association. It is true that I am an Eagle Scout, and it is also true that I had disavowed the Scouts for a while because I think their policies against homosexuals and atheists are pretty dumb.

    In 2004, I asked the Scouts to remove me from their mailing list until they changed their policies. But recently, I've talked to a number of people who were absolutely flabbergasted that I wasn't actively promoting my Eagle Scout status on my resume or whatever. So after lots of research and soul-search, I decided to join the National Eagle Scout Association for a trial period to see what happens. I support what NESA is about: using my efforts and influence toward forming the kind of young men America needs for leadership. I also happen to believe in using my efforts and influence toward forming the kind of young women America needs for leadership -- and for that matter, doing what I can to form the kind of young people the world needs for leadership.

    Anyway.

    The more I've thought about it, the more I feel that there's something else to be done. Change things from within, as it were. Therefore, in addition to joining NESA, I've also joined Scouting for All, an organization that advocates for Scouting that is inclusive and open to all, regardless of spiritual belief, gender, and sexual orientation.

    I'm not sure I have the time or energy right now to become an in-the-trenches advocate -- for either side -- but I know two things for sure:
    1. My Scouting experience was good for me, and I'm proud of what I accomplished, even if the Scouts did let me down by embracing idiotic policies that would prohibit some of my friends from serving, and
    2. I believe that the Scout Law ("A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent.") can apply to everyone -- including gay and atheist Scouts and Scouters.
    It's kind of like with the United Methodist Church's policies. I think the Church is great overall, but lots of its policies suck. Same thing with the Scouts -- great organization that does a lot of good, but its policies suck.

    So, bear with me while I figure out what it all means.

    Flight Patterns

    Pretty cool video -- click here or click the pic.
    To see a bunch of videos about this topic, click here.

    Short Fat Toddler ("Oh.")

    From a link from a link from a link link link:

    Mr. Shain: I need to get this prescription filled.

    Pharmacist: Alright, what’s the date of birth for the patient?

    Mr. Shain: October 30, 2004.

    Pharmacist: So he’s got a birthday just around the corner.

    Mr. Shain: Uh-huh, guess so.

    Pharmacist: I’m sorry, there seems to be a mistake on this Rx. The weight is listed as 50 pounds.

    Mr. Shain: No, that’s correct, we just weighed him.

    Pharmacist: No, he couldn’t possibly weigh that much.

    Mr. Shain: What? Why? He’s really fit. Dr. Biles said he’s the perfect size.

    Pharmacist: Well, how tall is he?

    Mr. Shain: How tall? I have no idea. Maybe a foot 'n a half? Why?

    Pharmacist: So you’re telling me your three year old son is only 18 inches tall, weighs 50 pounds, and your pediatrician thinks he’s fine? Do you realize the average three year old is twice as tall and half the weight of your son?

    Mr. Shain: My dog.

    Pharmacist: What?

    Mr. Shain: My dog. The average weight of a three year old is half the weight of my dog. Did you notice that the Rx was written by a vet?

    Pharmacist: Oh.

    Wednesday, November 07, 2007

    "Because when someone gives you a wedgie ... [dramatic pause] ... it hurts."

    Hey, Why the Long Face?

    Former Marine with no political experience Greg Ballard defeated two-term incumbent Bart Peterson in yesterday's election for Indianapolis Mayor.

    When reached for comment late last night at the Indianapolis Zoo Plains Pavilion, zookeeper Dewey Schmidt said, "You know, I knew there wasn't really a chance that one of our zebras would end up in the Mayor's Office, but a guy's gotta dream."

    While the zebra write-in vote was higher than ever before, analysts cite what they're calling "The Random Zebra Effect" as the primary driver behind the defeat of Indy's hopes for its first-ever ungulate mayor.

    "Rather than picking one zebra and writing in his or her name, voters selected various zebras at random to write in, thereby ensuring that no single zebra won a plurality and, ultimately, canceling each other out," said Dr. Fritz Miller, director of the Institute for Urban Policy and Zebra Studies at IUPUI.

    But supporters are taking the defeat in stride. Schmidt vows that he and his friends will be better organized and do more to get out the vote next time.

    "We're in it for the long haul, and we're ready to show our stripes. And, no that is not a zebra joke. I'm serious. No, really."

    Tuesday, November 06, 2007

    Viola Dreams

    I played the viola for about eight years -- from 6th grade to my freshman year at IU. I've been thinking a lot about that lately, and I'm considering pulling the instrument out of mothballs and starting up lessons again. There's a violin program at Broadway for young kids, and I'm wondering if Corinne, the teacher, would take me on as a student; after 15 years of not playing, I'm probably back at a fourth or fifth grade level, so I'd fit right in.

    In the meantime, here's Vieuxtemps's "Capriccio for Viola" interpreted by Giovanni Pasini. I think it'll be my "target piece" -- the one I want to master.

    Monday, November 05, 2007

    There is NO WAY this is true.

    Either this is not true, or I am officially an over-the-hill square.

    Via The Drudge Report (.com), I have learned that The Smoking Gun (.com) is reporting that there is a new drug sweeping the nation -- or at least Collier County, Florida.

    It is allegedly called Jenkem (street names: Waste, Winnie, Might, and -- I am not kidding -- Butthash) and it is composed of -- again, I am not kidding -- fermented sewage.

    It apparently originated in Africa -- Lusaka, Zambia, to be exact -- and according to the information bulletin on TSG, it's taken hold here in the US.

    You bottle human waste, wait a month, and then use it as an inhalant to experience major hallucinations.

    I've heard a ton of stupid stuff in my life. But this is, without question, the damnedest thing I have ever heard.

    Now, are you ready for the REALLY weird thing? Yes, even WEIRDER than huffing poo.

    Remember that cartoon a couple posts down? The one that came from Wil Wheaton's blog? I just went there for the first time this morning and one of the posts referred to jenkem.

    Two references to poo-based hallucinogens in one day. What are the chances?

    Fix your pets...oh, and something else

    So when Bob Barker retired from The Price Is Right, Drew Carey took over for him, including the now-famous ending tagline: "Help control the pet population; have your pet spayed or neutered."

    But now Carey is engaged in a somewhat more controversial advocacy issue -- online mini-documentaries promoting the across-the-board legalization of medical marijuana.

    While experts don't see this as a career-threatening move, some viewers may be turned off by both Carey's personal opinions and his willingness to publicly speak about them.

    But the keeper of a Price Is Right website believes that TPIR is bigger than the man who's hosting it, saying "Price Is Right is an icon in and of itself. I don't think (Carey's videos) would stop people from watching."

    We shall see...

    It's funny because it's true...

    From something called XKCD, via Wil Wheaton's blog, via my friend Julmille:

    Saturday, November 03, 2007

    A Political Zoo

    I just read the first letter to the editor that ever made me laugh out loud.

    The people of Indianapolis will be voting for mayor on Tuesday, and because of property taxes, public safety, and a variety of other issues, folks are pretty fiercely divided.

    One citizen writes in today's Star:

    Now let me see if I've got this straight: Bart Peterson, when confronted with astronomical increases in our property taxes, responded by raising our income taxes. When confronted with a soaring serious crime rate, he responded by giving away the police department.

    A zebra, selected at random from the Indianapolis Zoo, would be an improvement over the incumbent mayor. Fortunately, in Greg Ballard, we have a far better alternative. Ballard will restore common sense and accountability to the mayor's office; he will contain costs and, most important, he will make Indianapolis once again a safe place to live.

    For emphasis, please allow me to repeat:

    "A zebra, selected at random from the Indianapolis Zoo, would be an improvement over the incumbent mayor."

    This is at least among the top three funniest things ever submitted to the Star.

    For you see, it was not enough for Jon D. Kindred to say "A zebra from the Indy Zoo would be an improvement." Rather, he had to say "A zebra, selected at random..." as if to say, "Now, I know there are bright zebras and dumb zebras at the Zoo. What I'm saying is even if you picked, at random, the dumbest zebra at the Indianapolis Zoo, that randomly-selected zebra would be better than the incumbent mayor. Not the one elected by his peers. Not the one chosen on the basis of appearance or outstanding achievement in the zebraic arts. But any one that is randomly selected."

    All I'm saying is that this specific brand of zebra-differentiation just makes me laugh. (I also like that he explicitly points out that his candidate, Greg Ballard, would surpass even the randomly-selected zebra in mayoral performance.)

    She's Also Adopted A Lion To Guard Her Pet Gazelle

    Brooke Simmons, described by Inside Edition's April Woodard as "a Katie Holmes-style beauty," just got engaged...

    ..to John Mark Karr, that batpoop insane dude who claimed to be with JonBenét Ramsey when she died.

    Which, I suppose, is great, because even crazy men-who-went-to-Thailand-for-gender-reassignment-surgery-to-avoid-being-caught-by-the-law need their fairy-tale ending.

    It will be his third marriage (he married a 13-year-old when he was 19 and a 16-year-old when he was 24). It will be her second marriage.

    But even with all that going for them, I'm not sure it's really for the best, as the 23-year-old Simmons has a three-year-old daughter.

    Creepy.

    I can't grab the video to post here, but if you click the picture above or click here, you can watch the two lovebirds describe their happiness -- oh, and also the time he got arrested on a domestic violence charge at her house.

    C'est l'amour!

    Thursday, November 01, 2007

    If I Only Had the Nerve...To Say "No, I Will Not Dress As The Cowardly Lion For An Entire Weekend"

    This past weekend, the Stephen Ministers from St. Luke's went to Middle of Nowhere, Indiana, to enjoy a retreat at Waycross Conference Center.

    Our retreat theme was "The Wisdom of Oz" and we explored the symbolism and the psychology of "The Wizard of Oz." Sadly, for all involved, it required that I was dressed as The Cowardly Lion for the better part of Saturday.

    Here are some pics of my star turn as His Highness:




    We had a great time, and I think the folks enjoyed our presentation. However, I will never ever ever ever ever ever ever ever wear a synthetic fur jumpsuit again.

    Ever.