Saturday, May 31, 2008

Whew!

As Barry Manilow would (not, apparently) say, I made it through the rain. It was pretty severe, but life goes on.

Here's an idea of how much rain we got: Remember this tree at the edge of the pond lake loch? Well, here's how it looks this morning, post-deluge:



The pond lake loch is about two or three feet higher than normal right now. It looks like it has already receded a little bit -- don't know if you can tell from the debris in the pic, but Milo and I were darn near flooded out of the condo! (Not really, but it makes a better story that way.)

Friday, May 30, 2008

Storm of the Century of the Week

It has come to this. I write to you huddled on the floor of the downstairs half-bath. Computer on my lap, Milo at my side. Because of this:




Milo and I live at the top of the D in "Indianapolis". The storm is moving east-southeast. We are prepared to be hunkered down here for much of the evening. Will send reports when able.

DO THIS NOW: Donate to support Alzheimer's research, support, and care

My brother and I recently accepted the challenge to QUASH and raise funds in support of the Alzheimer's Association. I need your help to reach my goal...

What is QUASH? It's the Quest to Unravel Alzheimer's, a citywide Scavenger Hunt. My team (JJ and I? Working together? Unprecedented!) will solve puzzles and complete physical challenges as we follow clues around the city in pursuit of the finish line.

As a participant in the scavenger hunt, I am also raising money for the Alzheimer's Association. And even though Alzheimer's has nothing to do with being bald, to make it interesting, I'll add in the shaved-head element, as I did a few years ago with the Komen Race for the Cure. (Remember that?)

Here's the deal: depending on how much you donate before 9:00 p.m. on Friday, June 20, I will either shave my head or not shave my head. Dig the breakdown, based on total amount pledged:
Less than $500: Scott shaves head
$500 - $1,000: Scott does not shave head
$1,000 - $1,500: Scott shaves head
$1,500 or more: Scott does not shave head
Giving online to my QUASH team is fast and easy. Just click here to make your tax-deductible donation. Help my team to change the path of Alzheimer's by donating today. Every gift counts!

THANKS!

I have no idea what this is...

...but I think we can all agree on its awesomeness.

(1) Because the kid has mad slapping skillz
(2) Because Japanese designers incorporate classical music into their video games
(3) Because I am easily distracted by bright, shiny things.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Harvey Korman, you will be missed.

Comedy lost a legend today: Harvey Korman died at age 81.

Here's some classic Korman-and-Conway:



A dollar to the person who can explain why watching Harvey Korman break up mid-sketch is hilarious, but when it was Jimmy Fallon or Horatio Sanz on SNL, it's infuriating.

Gorgeous Tiny Chicken Machine Show

I don't know why, really, other than because it makes me laugh. And because I can consider it research for my trip to Hirosaki Japanese Steakhouse for an article this weekend.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Weekend Recap: Sunday with IKEA and Stephen King

On Sunday, as we were still recovering from the wedding festivities, Myrna and I drove about an hour from Portage to the IKEA in Schaumburg, Ill. Myrna is moving this weekend, and she needed a dresser and an entertainment center (which, for some reason, I felt compelled to badly Spanishize, repeatedly pronouncing the phrase "centro de entretenemiento").

Anywho, Myrna found her centro de entretenemiento but not a dresser, and we both bought some other stuff, too. I got a chair for the deck off my master bedroom, as well as a 59¢ wooden spoon set, some knives, and a stainless steel bowl.

After a great BBQ dinner with Myrna's family (including her adorable nephew Christopher), I headed back to Indy. I had just bought a RoadTrip FM transmitter for my iPod, and about ten minutes down the road, I realized that I had audiobooks on the ol' 'pod that I hadn't listened to. So, my companion for the ride home was the creepy, scary Stephen King and his short stories from Gray Matter.

Here's a tip from your Uncle Scott: do not stop at a deserted rest stop after three Stephen King short stories. No matter how bad you have to pee.

Weekend Recap: Buki and Maria get married on Saturday

On Saturday afternoon, after my clearness committee to explore some issues around church and work and life, I drove a couple hours up I-65 to the wedding of a cousin of a friend at an arboretum in Valparaiso (in a hole at the bottom of the sea).

Buki Long (oddly, the brother of a guy who, unbeknownst to me prior to the actual wedding, lived on my floor at IU) and Maria Hernandez, my friend Myrna's cousin, got married in a beautiful pond-side ceremony in the stone pavilion on the arboretum's homepage. (Did you click it?)

The wedding itself was pretty quick -- less than 15 minutes or so from start to finish -- and then we went to the Radisson Star Plaza for the reception, where three important things happened (to clarify, many unimportant, yet fun and meaningful, things also happened, but these are the important, dear-diary ones):
  1. In the lobby of the Radisson Star Plaza, I discovered a beverage station with two different containers -- one with water, ice, and lemon pieces (often, I'm told, called "lemonade") and the other with water, ice, and sliced strawberries. I opted to sample the strawberry-water ("strawberryade"?) and my world was rocked to its very core. It was light, it was sweet -- it was very refreshing! If you have any strawberry-water recipes, please let me know.
  2. We danced like crazy all night long -- well, I danced like crazy, as usual. Sadly, unlike "as usual," I hurt a lot more, for longer.
  3. Because Buki and Maria are IU grads with many IU-grad friends, the DJ played the IU fight song. A group of us, aged I would guess 21 to 35, bonded as we sang "Indiana, Our Indiana" at the top of our lungs.

And the Award for Outstanding Wildly Hilarious Quote of the Evening goes to Myrna's aunt, Minerva:

"Oh, Myrna, you look just like me. You're gorgeous!"

You Should Go: Wiggles in Danville

Here's my latest restaurant write-up, spliced together from pages 36 and 38 of the April/May (or possibly May/June?) issue of Hendricks County Magazine.

If you actually take the time to embiggen and read it, know that it was, shall we say, severely edited between my computer and the printing press.

Please keep your arms and legs inside the Internet until it has come to a complete stop...

...which is now.



Ladies and gentlemen, you have now seen everything on the internet.

You're ... welcome?

PS -- How great is Japanese Bruce Springsteen?! And Japanese Tina Turner?! And Japanese Cyndi Lauper?! And Japanese Lionel Ritchie?! And, the best of all, Japanese Stevie Wonder?!

Weekend Recap: Friday evening with the Weisses

On Friday, my friend Renu and her family, who live in Chennai and whom I visited in December and January, came to have dinner with me, my folks, and some other friends. We had a great time with a ton of food.

Renu and her husband (also named Scott) have two sons: Naren, age 17, and Navin, age 15. (I think.) The weird thing is that their sons act nothing like their American counterparts might -- they're well-behaved, articulate, bright, happy to be there, and just overall delightful! (As they were when I visited India...but my parents were pleasantly surprised by their demeanor.)

Having lived in San Antonio while Renu was in med school (I think), the family was eager to watch the Lakers/Spurs game. Sadly, as the game wore on and the Spurs, shall we say, failed to thrive, they became less and less eager.

But we still had a great time with lots of great food and terrific conversation. A winner of an evening!

Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo.

I am not kidding: this is a correct, grammatical sentence.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Placeholder

There's lots to write about -- this was a busy long weekend. Here's a pre-cap of my re-cap:
  • Saturday morning: A Clearness Committee
  • Saturday afternoon and evening: A Beautiful Outdoor Wedding & Indoor Reception
  • Sunday morning: A Trip to IKEA
  • Sunday evening: The Trip Home with Stephen King
  • Monday, all day: Loafing, and then Dinner & A Movie

Not sure if each of those will get its own entry, but a good handful of them will...more to come!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

America's Funniest Best Buy Security Videos

While I imagine there are literally thousands of hilarious things that happen at Best Buy each day, I'm pretty sure this ranks up there among the hilariousest.



Big ups to the big boy for breaking it down, and also to the girls for high-fiving him at the end for his trouble. It's clips like this that Dr. King was talking about -- keep the dream alive! (I'm only being partially ironic.)

Voting with both wallet and feet

We have entered into a social contract, you and I and those from whom we acquire goods and services. I pay you for foodstuffs, you pay me for fundraising services. I pay you for home repairs and you pay me for semi-professional photography. We trade in the free market according to established, but often unspoken, guidelines.

Lately, though, it has seemed that the bigger the provider of goods or services, the less likely these guidelines are to be upheld. Tonight, as I upheld my end of the bargain, WalMart failed to uphold its end. And so, after standing in line for more than 10 minutes without any visible progress toward the cash register, I violated our shared contract for the first time ever.

Some background: I had stopped by the new WalMart on Lafayette Road near I-65 to pick up some greens for my rabbit, Milo. (He’s awesome. You should totally get a rabbit.) Along the way, I also picked up PopTarts (frosted strawberry flavor, naturally, because I am not a savage*), trash bags, a couple things from frozen foods, and a few other items.

As I proceeded to the check out, I saw that there were at least six customers in each of five open lines. (Five check-out lines – not including any Express lines – were staffed, out of more than 20 lines in the store.) Naively, I assumed that the cashiers would be at the top of their game and move me out of the store quickly. But, as I said, I stood there for ten minutes without taking even a courtesy step forward.

And then…it happened.

I did it! I pushed my cart a few steps, left it off to the side in front of one of the unoccupied aisles, and walked calmly out to shop elsewhere.

I did not return my items to the place they belonged. I did not make any effort to register a complaint with management. I did not act as a responsible citizen, but I’m pretty sure I acted as a responsible consumer, asserting myself by managing my resources within the market.

My time is worth a lot. Standing in line would have cost me not only time and money, but also added stress and anxiety. Over a mere $20 worth of groceries? I think not.

So I proceeded to the nearby Meijer (at Pike Plaza Road and Moller Road) and within ten minutes, I was home with the greens for Milo, dinner for me, and time left over to blog about it.

Now, then – was I wrong for leaving WalMart? Was I right for leaving, but wrong for not putting my stuff back or talking to management?

What say you?


* I'm not really sure what that means, either, but it makes me laugh to think of myself as someone who pronounces people as "savages" if they eat PopTarts of any other flavor besides frosted strawberry.

Fun with science!

...and then they all died from the nitrochloric acid fog that turns you inside out.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

I am stupid...

...but this made me laugh out loud.

Lifetime Reading Plan - A new sidebar feature

You guys know that guy Clif in Michigan? (If you don't, you should. Check my Links in the left-hand sidebar more often. Gah!)

Anyway, he once mentioned on his blog that his name is not Clifford but is, rather, Clifton. And then he mentioned someone named "Clifton Fadiman, for whom I was not named but I wish I had been. He was pretty smart."

I, as Clif surmised, had never heard of Clifton Fadiman, but I did some research "research" and learned that, in addition to being a radio host and all-around good guy, he also wrote "The Lifetime Reading Plan: The Classic Guide to World Literature."* This is an annotated list of 100 books that you are less than nothing if you haven't read provides entertaining and informative introductions to the great works of Western civilization.

Anyway, whether or not it was written by the same Clifton Fadiman, I've acquired "The New Lifetime Reading Plan: The Classic Guide to World Literature, Revised and Expanded," and I have decided to work my way through it from start to finish, starting with the world's oldest surviving narrative poem, "Gilgamesh."

I plan to keep a running total of my progress through the hundred books. I'm imagining it'll take me at least a few years to do it, as I'm also mixing in fun reading and also periods of no reading. It would also be cool if you wanted to buy me an Amazon Kindle with a gift certificate for about $1,000 (link to my wishlist here) so I could download all the books to it and work my way through them conveniently, rather than going to the library like a chump and trying to explain to the punk kid what "Gilgamesh" is.

Ahem.

Check the left-hand sidebar in the future for updates on my progress through The Plan.



* Of course, I have a pattern of misreading Clif, so it's possible this Clifton Fadiman is a different person from the one to whom he's referring.

What do you do with Google Alerts? (Especially one like this)

When I went to that Web 2.0 workshop a couple weeks ago, the woman suggested setting up Google Alerts with your name and other helpful terms so you know what people are looking for when they look for you.

Google Alerts then alerts you when someone googles the specific search term you've specified. (Hence the name.)

So I did it. My specific search terms:
  • "scott semester" carmel
  • "scott semester" indianapolis
  • "scott semester" broadway
And, just for fun:
  • "scott semester" naked
I wish I was kidding. I'm childish that way. But I'll be gol-darned if that last one hasn't come up as one of the more popular Google Alerts I get. I am not kidding:


Thankfully, the site that comes up isn't a picture of me naked -- or anything having anything at all to do with me being naked, really -- but still.

Who is searching for "scott semester" naked?

(And I swear it's not me googling that search string. But I don't blame you for wondering.)

Monday, May 19, 2008

I shall live neither in the zip NOR by the code. Discuss.

Will I watch this show? Probably. Will I feel good about it? Probably not.



I am afraid, though, that this teaser preview for the 90210 remake raises more questions than it answers. Like, such as:
  • What about all the former West Bev kids who are said to have signed on?
  • Will former Full House star Lori Loughlin spawn the new acronym ffhsilf?
  • How does West Beverly's Journalism Department budget compare to similarly sized high schools? My God, the Journalism Department! Although it's a nice nod to the original series that the journalist kid looks fifteen years older than the others.
  • How is this not just a west coast Gossip Girl?
  • Which of the following is true: (a) America's high school students are way more into sex and drugs than they were when I was in high school, (b) I just wasn't hanging out with the right crowd in high school?
  • What manner of unspeakable acts did Annie Mills's principal-father commit so as to have to leave his school district and transfer all the way from Kansas City to California?
  • Will Jessica Walter as "not your typical grandma" adopt a Beverly Hills Annyong?
  • Is 90210 really America's favorite zipcode? (I just learned the zipcode for Cool is 95614. That's the zipcode for Cool, California! Bwahaha!)
via Radar Online

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Is this a real thing?

This evening when I was leaving the church choir party, a couple were riding their bikes right past me and the man said something that made the woman exclaim, "Outstanding!"

Which made me think about the old joke that a farmer is a man out standing in his field.

When I got home, I started visiting websites that I hadn't visited in a while, and the very first one I visited was Mimi Smartypants. Every blog entry that Mimi writes, she signs with a funny or random phrase ("mimi smartypants steps through the fog and creeps through the smog." or "mimi smartypants left bitemarks on your piano." or "mimi smartypants sets it and forgets it. "), and today's was:

mimi smartypants is out standing in her field.

So, is this sort of synchronicity something to be aware of and use for evil good? Or is it just a coincidence?

Seriously, can this be exploited?

Saturday, May 17, 2008

No wonder you don't listen to me...

...the things I tell you to go to suck.

I went to Inherit The Earth / The Earth Mass tonight -- it was a joint performance by Encore Vocal Arts, an Indianapolis choral ensemble, and the St. Luke's Chancel Choir, whom I used to sing with.

If you watched the video I posted (do you actually watch the videos I post?), you'll know that the Earth Mass is a combination of instrumental and vocal music, along with animal sounds (harbor seals, humpback whales, arctic wolves, etc.). What the video did not show you was how challenging it would be to be in the audience for the performance.

First of all, the concert featured WAY TOO MUCH soprano saxophone. Tom Meyer (our saxpert for the evening) is an excellent musician, but I'm afraid one Kenneth Gorelick has ruined the saxophone for all of us, forever. When Mr. Meyer ably and professionally played his first song, I thought, "Huh. Not what I was expecting, but nice." By his third solo in about an hour, I was done.

Second of all, the introduction of animal sounds into a musical performance is interesting in concept, but the implementation can lose a little in translation. It is possible that my opinion is colored by the fact that I sat right in front of one of the speakers broadcasting the whale, wolf, loon, and seal noises OR by the fact that the animal with whom I share a home makes no noise to speak of. But by the time we got to the end, I was all grunted, moaned, and barked out.

Third of all, the emcee for the evening (Trisha of the cleverly branded crime-fighting duo impossibly perky high-school cheerleaders stereotypical preppies in an 80s movie where the stereotypical misfits ultimately triumph over the stereotypical preppies news anchor team Todd-n-Trisha) was either improperly miked or improperly oriented to the sanctuary's acoustics. Almost everything she said was garbled and, even though she's great on the evening news, it was damn near impossible to understand her this evening. In fact, there were lots of times when the choirs were unintelligible, too.

Fourth of all, the audience was encouraged to stand and sing along a few times throughout the performance. The first time, "All Creatures of Our God and King" was the hymn - traditional, familiar. But the other two times, we were invited to sing songs that we had just heard for the first time seconds before, and I hate when that happens.

Here are some excerpts from my notes, sanitized because this is a family blog:

  • I didn't realize this was a Kenny G concert.

  • I'm glad I didn't pay twenty bucks* for this.

  • Too many typos on the screen with lyrics. (One is too many. Three is way too many.)

  • No, audience, don't clap. That wasn't all that good. (Although Tommy V. was rockin' out.)

  • I didn't realize this was an effing Kenny G concert.

  • Audience populated mostly by women with sensible haircuts and sturdy footwear, affirming St. Luke's as an open community, but not a lot of St. Lukers here tonight.

  • Singing in English?

  • I didn't effing realize this was a gee-dee Kenny effing G concert.
Overall, I will give the concert two dancing, if apprehensive, stars (out of four). I grant the performers a B+ for skill and effort, but the material they had to work with was way subpar (D+/C-).

Big ups for hardworking musicians, for sharing a new-to-me Longfellow poem which I enjoy immensely (and which I shall take with me to Ile à la Croix), and for promoting environmental stewardship as an act of Christian faith. Big downs for crappy musical selection and for audiovisual challenges.



* Tickets were $20 for the general public, $15 for seniors, $10 for students. I got my ticket as a gift from a friend.

Private Island Dreams

If I suddenly disappear, check here first.

Friday, May 16, 2008

And thus, poised and prepped to singlehandedly stimulate the economy...

My economic stimulus check direct-deposit has arrived! My economic stimulus check direct-deposit has arrived!

Look out, economy, here I come!

More like, look out, good folks at Capital One, here comes that money I owe you! But still.

I'm trying to be patriotic. So let's think about what I would be buying if I hadn't already spent my economic stimulus direct-deposit:
  • Time-Life's Ultimate Rock Ballads Collection, even though I don't, for the life of me, know what "8 CDs + 1 free!" means. Also, pay no attention to the fact that I could get the same 153 songs on iTunes for about the same amount, but it would actually be even less because I wouldn't have to buy the ones that suck. ($149.95)
  • An Amazon Kindle, because come on. ($399.00)
  • Aaaaaaand, I'm spent. (Actually, there's still $51.05 left over, so maybe I'd go out to dinner somewhere moderately nice.)
See, I think this is why I'm destined to financial struggle -- I'm just too good at blowing cash.

I mean, it's not like I put Benjamins in the shredder or anything, and thank God I'm not snorting away thousands of dollars with the cocaines or the LSD marijuana PCP whatever the hell other drugs you snort. But still, I'm a good spender.

Not a big spender, just a good spender.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Always a red state...

via whatilearnd.com

Gasoline prices by county. As usual, redder = badder:

The gauntlet, she is thrown down!

This is a 30-second video of my newest co-worker, Max McAleavey. (His mother, Karen, also works with us.) Adorable, right?



But what you should really take away from this is that I am deeply disappointed in my brother and sister-in-law, for they have not yet provided internettable video of Madelynn. JJ and Beth, I shall expect video soon -- I'll even go in on the Flip Video with you!

Would you do me a favor?

If you don't know, just say you don't know.

Honestly.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

SPAM is younger than John McCain

Some enterprising netizen has started a blog called ThingsYoungerThanMcCain(.com).

It is a scintillating exploration of things which are younger than John McCain, including, but not limited to:
  • Defibrillation (with the interesting designation, "On People")

  • The chocolate chip cookie

  • Both of Barack Obama's parents

  • Mount Rushmore

  • Superman

  • Keith Richards

"The Strangers" is FREAKING ME OUT

If you've been paying attention to my Twitter stream (at left), you will know that one of my recent tweets indicated some random, paranoid dreams I'd been having. Like, home-invader dreams.

Luckily, I've gotten over them.

Unluckily, there is a new movie coming out, starring Liv Tyler and Scott Speedman and called "The Strangers." It has completely re-freaked me. To the point where, when I saw some random man standing literally in the middle of nowhere on the sidewalk by my house on the way home tonight, and he looked directly at me and smiled, I just whimpered a little and prayed that he didn't watch which garage I pulled into.

Here's the trailer -- freaky, right?

Monday, May 12, 2008

Crime Scene Investigator?! I don't even know 'er!

I am watching CSI: Miami at this juncture. I find it kind of ridiculous, and yet the super-microscopic views of bullet wounds and whatnot is strangely appealing.

Here's what's odd: I like the original CSI which takes place in Las Vegas, and the Miami version (the second one to come) is also oddly compelling. But I do not like the third iteration: CSI: New York. This is odd because the same pattern holds true with the Law and Order franchise: I like the original and the first spin-off (SVU), but I do not care for the third one: Criminal Intent.

This is a clear pattern: good original, good first spinoff, lousy last spinoff.

When spun off of Three's Company, I liked The Ropers, but not Three's A Crowd. Baywatch spun off Baywatch Nights (weird, but at least intriguing) and then the awful Baywatch Hawaii. It just goes on and on:

  • 90210 --> Melrose Place (good) --> The Heights (unbearable)
  • Diff'rent Strokes --> Facts of Life (classic) --> Hello Larry* (huh?)
  • The Golden Girls --> Empty Nest (brilliant) --> The Golden Palace (really.)
  • Who's The Boss? --> Living Dolls (featuring a young Leah Remini) --> Mona (which, come on)
Am I the first to document and report on this pattern?



PS -- In my research "research" for this article, I learned that Jake and the Fatman was a spinoff of Matlock. "Maaaaaaaaaaaaaatloooooooooooooock!"

Roller rink?! I don't even know 'er rink!

A friend acquaintance friend of mine is moving to Philadelphia in a week, and he had a farewell party at World of Wheels roller skating rink this evening.

Meana and I showed up around 7:00, laced up our skates and rolled right in. With a touch of falling but mostly remaining upright, we had a blast!

The highlights:
  • The DJ played 70s & 80s music all night long. When we weren't skating we were dancing the night away.
  • I got to see Jim Bridenstine, a friend from high school whom I've only seen once in the last 17 years! And I met his fiancee Rachel, too -- what a great surprise!
  • A Spec. Tac. Ular. fall, committed by yours truly, during an ill-timed "hop two times" in the middle of the Cha Cha Slide. I was skating and dancing ("skancing," if you will) and I managed to land the first hop, continue forward and was airborne for the second hop, but I failed to stick the landing. I proceeded to just barely land and then instantly my feet flew forward and I was horizontal, in mid-air, about three feet off the rink. Fortunately, I have some built-in padding, and I think I'm gonna be OK.
  • I made friends with a beautiful one-year-old named Hazel, with whom I played peek-a-boo and general smile-trading throughout my non-skating time. What an awesome kid!
  • A fun time with a ton of people enjoying each other's company in what is perhaps the World's Most Wholesome Farewell Party.

Viva la roller rink!

Bachelor?! I don't even know 'er!

Tonight seems to be the finale of The Bacheleh: London Cawling, Guvnah!

Looks like the Bach, some Brit named Matt, is about to destroy one woman and fake-propose to another (only to publicly break up with her in the coming weeks). Putting aside the ethical issues of choosing a lovah on a TV program, can we just take a look at how ridiculous the notion of putting yourself out there in such a manner is?

I think he's just in it for the green card.

"Do I need to remind everyone that this is a murder investigation?"

This SNL clip made me laugh my [BLANK] off.

Friday, May 09, 2008

X = Y do I watch this show?

Math is hard! (out here for a pimp)

It is 10:13 on Friday night. You guessed it: NUMB3RS.

In a stunt-casting promotion described as "a match made in alphanumeric heaven" (which I am not making up), Three 6 Mafia is special guest-starring in tonight's episode about hip-hop music and associated whatnot.

Believe it or not, even rap feuds can apparently be solved with math.

God is ... a large elderly woman on a Rascal?

There's literally no way you will watch this ten-minute video right now, but when you have time, you should check it out.



Liberty Mutual has started a site called The Responsibility Project, with short films featuring ethical dilemmas and moral quandaries built right in, ready for e-discussion. From the original two commercials, the folks at Liberty Mutual branched out with five shorts related to what it means to do the right thing.

Not a lot of people have contributed to the discussion, though, which makes me wonder whether people want to talk about doing the right thing. Do people think they typically do the right thing? Or do people just not care to think about it?

YOU SHOULD COME: Earth Mass @ St. Luke's, May 16 & 17

You should totally come to Motus Dance Theatre's event "Pairings" on Friday, May 16. And then you should come to the performance of Missa Gaia, the Earth Mass by St. Luke's Music Ministry and Encore Vocal Arts on Saturday, May 17.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

New facial statistics

Home, slightly sick, and very bored, I just now put another one of my pictures on FaceStat.com, to be rated by total strangers. The cool thing is that FaceStat has made some upgrades, so rather than "Attractive: True/False," or "Trustworthy: True/False," there's a range of choices. Also, they've added a feature where you can write one word to describe the person in the pic.

Here's what the strangers think of my Blogger profile pic. Finally, they've gotten closer on ethnicity and age than on my previous tries. And the one-word answers so far: specs (because o' my glasses, I guess), laidback, happy, cheerful, business, and then the real stumpers: pharmacist, salesrep and -- wait for it -- footballcoach.

You tell me. Because, come on.

Long time, no blog. Here's a thinker of a video.



This is the intro to Benson, the mid-80s sitcom spin-off about a butler who, ultimately, becomes lieutenant governor. It raises some significant questions -- five or more of them, to be exact:

  • What was it about the mid-80s that gave us so many theme song/intros featuring two doberman pinschers?
  • This is one of the earlier seasons of Benson's theme song. You can tell because of how young Katie (Missy Gold) is and by the presence of Caroline McWilliams and Lewis J. Stadlen and the absence of Didi Conn and Rene Auberjonois. Why do I know this, and what do you think I'm unable to do as a result of the brain space that is taken up by this knowledge?
  • Does it come as any shock that my concept of "German accent" comes from Inga Swenson's Gretchen Kraus character?
  • This synopsis of the series indicates that Benson ended up running for governor against Governor Gatling, whom he had faithfully served lo, these many years. The whole butler-becomes-lieutenant-governor-of-Minnesota plotline is totally believeable, but that series finale plot twist is undisbeliefsuspendable, right?
  • Why is the screencap for this video Marcy (Caroline McWilliams) twirling in the governor's mansion's kitchen? You'd think it would be Robert Guillaume. And why do I know how to spell Robert Guillaume's last name without looking it up?

Monday, May 05, 2008

Instant Text Flashback!

Since this is post #666, I figure I can post about me being naughty via text messages I sent during a meeting this evening:

Me: Can u please activate the kill switch in my brain and release me from this meeting into sweet, sweet death?

Nat: You have to take the hidden capsule. I can't work it remotely.

Me: U hateful cow. End it for me, PLEASE!

Nat: LMAO! Sorry babe. I promise I would kill you if I could. :)

Me: I know you would, Nat. I know you would. BTW, we are on slide #38. Powerpoint is the Devil.

Luuuuuuuuuuke, I am your primary election opponent.

Bottoms up?

I didn't have a beer until after my 21st birthday. I've never done a shot. Wine mostly makes my head hurt. I don't really have any interest in drinking, and I believe this makes me a bit of a freak among my peers.

I mean, I guess as a professional fundraiser, I should have at least a passing interest in wine, and as somebody who tries, when in Rome, to do as the Romans do, I should be able to drink a beer and/or buy a lady a bottle of champagne. (That's a story for another time, friend.)

But it has lately become more and more evident that my teetotalism is quite the exception.

I recently went to an information session for an association of young professionals who were trying to recruit new members, and the guy in charge referenced drinking five times in about 40 minutes. ("We had our major launch last week and the best part was the open bar." "Our webmaster is a volunteer -- to get the site updated, I just have to buy him a couple drinks." "Our first major member event is a winetasting." "The organization was founded by four drinking buddies." "Our big fundraiser is a microbrew festival. I can't wait!") I am not exaggerating.

Two or three other incidents have reinforced how odd I am because I do not drink (and am also not a recovering alcoholic).


Am I the only one for whom drinking is not "part of the game"?

Sunday, May 04, 2008

My roommate learned a new trick

Milo, whose worldview was previously limited to about eight inches above ground, has developed a new skill. Rather than staying just on the floor and hopping around, Milo's adventurous soul has finally manifested itself in a new behavior: hopping onto chairs and looking around. Like, such as:



I'm not sure he knows exactly what he's doing, but at least he's branching out and trying new things.

Just this evening, I worried if he was getting enough mental stimulation, because he doesn't really enjoy any of the toys I have for him. But I'm confident now that he's been exploring and I'm thinking he'll be just fine.

Hey, you've always wanted a pet, right?

The Marion/Grant County Humane Society is closing its doors, and there's a bunch of four-legged friends who need a home.

Click here for details -- and if you know of a rescue group that might be able to help, forward this to them. If you want to help on your own by adopting one of the pups, you'll need to visit the shelter in Marion yourself.

Click on over and pick your new friend and then head out to Marion for your first date!

Bleak and also dark: Pacman, explained

via alexbalk via elpasajero via goonfleet



Saturday, May 03, 2008

Alfredo news

I went over to the hospital and visited Alfredo and spent some time with Antonia earlier this week and things were really not good...it looks like they're SLOWLY getting better, though.

Here's Iván's latest update:

Dear Friends,

My apologies for not writing earlier but every time I started writing something changed, something happened. It is almost impossible to keep up with everything that is happening.

The best way to describe the last few days is like a rollercoaster going up and down at 100 miles per hour. It has been 2 steps forward, one step behind.

By Sunday, things had improved compared to the situation we had on Friday. He was responding well to the dialysis and Alfredito's breathing was getting better.

But Tuesday it was really a bad day. All of a sudden the dialysis machine would not work and his lungs began to fill up with liquids again. By Tuesday afternoon he had to have a chest tube implanted in his right lung to drain it. About half of his right lung was collapsed. The dialysis machine was on and off and it would not work for more than a few hours at a time.

Wednesday and today were days to mostly make up for what happened Tuesday. As of 6 pm on Thursday May 1, his right lung is much better, much better. And they were able to bring down the breathing machine to 45%. Remember on Friday he was at 100%.

With regards to the dialysis, the team of doctors agreed that the current line was no longer reliable and that a new one should be placed. Right now I am waiting for the surgeon to take Alfredo to remove and replace the current line. We hope that the new one will be stable enough to sustain the pressure and speed that they want for the dialysis machine to be working at.

Looking at the bright side, ALFREDO IS MUCH BETTER than when he arrived Friday. He still has a long way to go but if we continue with 2 steps forward one one backwards, we are always moving in the right direction. And that, for me, is what matters the most.

I am hopeful that by next week, we can get done the biopsy of the kidneys to find out what happened and that Alfredo will be breathing on his own. It will be a challenge, but if anybody can do it is Alfredito.

Please continue to hold Alfredo in your thoughts and prayers. As additional information becomes available, I'll share it with you.

My unintentional creative genius

When I developed the graphic for the MLK-RFK walk (which, because of yesterday's rainy weather, turned into a community gathering), I thought the simple black-and-white image with reverse print would look cool and striking:


What I didn't realize until yesterday about an hour before the event, though, was that if you put the postcards together, they would make a checkered flag, perfectly appropriate for the month of May in Indianapolis:


Pretty clever, huh? We put together a display of the postcards arranged as above for the backdrop behind the kids and adults who recreated speeches from MLK and RFK and poetry from Langston Hughes and Chude Pam Parker Allen.
Brilliant!