Saturday, October 31, 2009

You Should Totally Come: THIS THURSDAY AT ST. LUKE'S

If you are going to be in Indianapolis this Thursday night, you should totally come to a free dinner at St. Luke's United Methodist Church. Butler Men's Basketball Coach Brad Stevens will talk about his journey from the world of business to the world of collegiate coaching and why he and his family are part of the St. Luke's community.

Anyone who is not a registered member of St. Luke's is invited to come to this complimentary dinner and be inspired by Brad Stevens and our entertainment, which will include special music from Ken Knowles and -- for better or for worse -- me!

I'd love for you to come as my guest. If you're not already a member and want to come, just let me know and I can RSVP for you, or you can RSVP directly to Sylvia (info below). If you are a St. Luke's member, then join us as our guest by bringing a friend, neighbor, relative or colleague who doesn't currently have a church home -- just RSVP to Sylvia with your name and your guests' names, and we'll make sure we've got a seat saved for you!

Non-Members: This is one way we'd like to invite you into our faith family and see what makes St. Luke's the community it is. There will be information available about St. Luke's and how to become a member, but you can expect NOT to be subjected to a hard sell. We'll do way more showing than telling, and we're just eager to share a meal with you and invite you into our spiritual home.

Members: If you invite a friend who can't come to the dinner, you should come anyway, and tell us about your friend so we might reach out to them with information about St. Luke's and invite them to consider uniting with our faith family.

Call Sylvia at 846-3404 or e-mail her at ForbesS@StLukesUMC.com to RSVP and arrange for childcare during the dinner, if needed.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Decades in, we haven't mastered "netiquette"

The ways we treat each other online are still catching up with the ways we treat each other in real life.

Over on the IndyStar.com, anonymous commenters consistently appall me with their insensitivity, racism, and other forms of general jerkiness.* From deriding a car thief who died in progress to reviling each other as conservatives and/or liberals, haters and fools and boors of all stripes pollute the Indy Star and the rest of the Interwebotron with negativity and vitriol in a way that, one would hope, they would never do in real life.

I guess a comment system that links the user to a profile with some sort of verification (and a picture) would mitigate this to some degree. But that would also drastically reduce comment traffic. (See Also: The Great Indiana Blog Contest Debate, in which the merits of voting anonymously are pitted against the merits of a voter registration system.**)

But I shake my fist at "Kids today!" not just for spewing forth things that we'd never say to each other in person or for running two simultaneously irrelevant blog voting contests.*** For me, it's also about how we make and accept apologies. A couple times in the last week, I've apologized (via Twitter) to people whom I have offended (via Twitter) -- once for holding steadfastly to an opinion, once for stupidly wording something and not realizing what an insensitive jag it made me look like. The details of my offenses (one, not really an offense and the other, an unintentional but real faux pas) are inconsequential, but I'll share them with you if you're curious.

What I'm interested in here and now is that I apologized, using the words, "I seem to have offended you and I apologize" in one case and "You're right; I'm sorry" in the other. But in neither case did the person or persons acknowledge the apology. Which, by the way, is not cool. How hard would it have been for the person to tweet, "Thanks" or "I appreciate it" or whatever?

It just goes to illustrate (for the 4,512,209,115th time in my life) that I am different from other people. I guess people use the Interwebotron for different reasons than I do. In the cases of the Indy Star commenters and the Twitter people I apologized to, I really got the sense that the others were looking to pick a fight, and I'm not really into that.

OK, I'm done for now. This is the part where you rail me with hilariously ironic fight-picking comments in three, two, one...GO!


* "General Jerkiness" was one of the rejected character names for Star Wars Episode -3: No, Really, This All Happened Before All That, a claymation homage to George Lucas now in production at Mom's Basement Studios. Barry Dunman, Blockbuster Clerk and Level 18 Elf Wizard, is directing.

** Also: Vote for my blog -- anonymously! -- here. Click the little teeny word "VOTE" under the number of votes I currently have.

*** But, seriously, vote for my blog.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

AutobioGraphic Content

Over on the Imagination Prompt Generator (I'm dry on blog ideas, can you tell?), one of the recommendations was: Brainstorm 10 titles to your autobiography. By which I think they mean "Brainstorm 10 titles for your autobiography" but, you know, po-tay-to, po-tah-to.

Here goes:
  1. To Err Is Humor: Getting to funny, in spite of myself
  2. Club 84, "Fat Man, Big Belly" & Other Adventures Along the Way: Tales of travel and merriment
  3. Apologize Early and Often: Learning and learning and learning
  4. A Perfectly Lovely Runner-Up: Second place, but not in an angry, second-place-is-first-loser sort of way
  5. Faithfully Humorous, Humorously Faithful
  6. Hopefully Naïve: The Inexplicable Achievements of the Inexhaustibly Enthusiastic
  7. Robert E. Lee ≠ Ron Ely and Other Things I Learned, Hilariously, In Fifth Grade
  8. A Cautionary Tale: The Life and Times of Scott S. Semester
  9. A Semester with Scott (submitted by the tweanut gallery, aka my Twitter friends)
  10. I Am Mostly Kidding

To smile or not to smile

I don't think I've posted this, have I?



Anyway, this is the picture I referenced here. My friend Julie posted this to her Facebook albums a while back, but I can't remember if I ever shared it here.

For a while in 2000 or 2001, this was the most recent picture of me, the one that I was terrified would be the photo that would be used on the evening news over the words "Missing Person" or "Northside Homicide," or, you know, "Donut Hut Tragedy" or whatever. My deep, abiding fear was that if I were ever abducted or otherwise the victim of foul play and/or lethal circumstance, the newsfile picture of me would be the above.

The problem, of course, is that almost every picture of me has me looking similarly cheesy. Therefore, I'm pretty much convinced that if I am ever abducted/murdered/maimed in a hilarious donut bakery accident, the file picture of me is just going to make people laugh out loud, rather than feeling urgency to find me/sadness that my life was cut too short/curiosity as to whether part of me was in the donut they ate that morning.

My friend Sonja took a bunch of pictures of me a couple months ago, and I wasn't really allowed to smile in them. I used one of them as my Twitter profile picture for a while but ultimately switched back to the more washed-out but also more smiley pic I had been using, because I like my face a lot better when it's smiling.

I guess when I get my Driver's License renewed in a few years, I'm not allowed to smile in the picture. This will be decidedly vexing for me, as (a) my natural impulse in front of a camera is to show off the teeth that Mom and Dad Semester spent lots of money to keep clean and cavity-free, and (b) I will very much miss the woman at the Virginia Avenue license branch who, a second before snapping my pic for my last license said, "Show me that Tom Cruise smile. Flash me them pearly whites, baby!"

Which was awesome.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

It's a popularity contest! And I want to be popular!

On Twitter recently, I've seen a bunch of folks soliciting votes for themselves and their blogs in the Top50IndianaBlogs.com contest. This struck me as odd, as I had seen another Indiana blog competition (Linking Indiana? Or something?) recently, too. Do we need multiple Indiana blog competitions running simultaneously? (Correct answer: We do not.)

But, being the sporting chap that I am, I clicked over and started exploring. Since I hadn't updated my blog in three weeks and had kind of gotten out of the rhythm of posting, you can imagine my surprise when I found out that I was a nominee. You can vote for me in one of the contests!

When I first looked at the Top50IndianaBlogs page, I was ranked 52nd out of the couple hundred Indiana blogs in the Top50 contest. Now, if I had been 98th or 72nd or even 55th, I would have hmphed it off and forgotten about it. But being so close to the Top50 ignited the dormant, yet ever-present competitive spirit within me. 

So, if you've gotten something out of my blog and would like to vote for me, click here, make sure it's my blog "Scott Semester - All I'm Saying" and then just click VOTE under the number of votes to add your support. And maybe leave a comment on this post or on that site, and let me know what you get out of this blog.

I know I won't win 1st place, but it's fun to be in contention for the Top50. Let's see how far up the rankings I might get!

The hot beverage that changed my life (and I am mostly not kidding)

The other night, I got to enjoy something I've waited my whole life to discover: Café Orzo.

This is not a paid endorsement, although I did get the sample for free from my my awesome friend Naomi, aka Fontina, aka my Briscoe Quad partner in Lawrence Welk crime. (Don't ask.)

Café Orzo brews like coffee, but it's made from roasted barley, so it's caffeine-free. I actually had an Orzo-latte, with lots of milk and sugar, and it was delicious. Not sticky sweet like hot cocoa, not heavy bitter like coffee, just mellow and sweet and yummy.

Caffe d'orzo is apparently a mainstay of Italian warmbeveragery. Why it's taken so long for it to get to the States, I have no idea. Because OMGoodness, it is delizioso: warm, strong, and soothing.

Naomi had told me that she thought Café Orzo with milk and sugar tasted kind of like Frosted Mini Wheats, and I'd have to agree. It took my taste buds a second to process it all, but the Orzo-latte was awesome! I literally drank, like, ten cups of Orzo-latte on Tuesday night.

I'll DEFINITELY be ordering some more and sharing with friends...reluctantly, though, because I want to save it all for me! But, in the immortal words of Levar Burton, you don't have to take my word for it. Watch Omar drink some caffe d'orzo in Italia.

Whoops!

Oh, my gosh, y'all! Remember the promise I made here? Yeah, it hasn't been two weeks since my last blog post -- it's been THREE weeks since my last blog post! 

The prevailing theories are that Twitter and Facebook have diverted my blogging attention of late, and I must admit that that's probably the case, but also, you know, a lot going on, feeling kind of blue, etc. So, three things:
  1. You should get a Twitter account and follow me.
  2. Assuming you're not reading this on Facebook, we should be Facebook friends. So get a Facebook account and friend me.
  3. I promise to try to do better about updating ye olde blogge. In the meantime, here is a video of a 4-year-old kid reciting the Herb Brooks pre-game speech from Miracle:

Thursday, October 01, 2009

THE CUBE OMGOMGOMGOMG!

The nice man over at BuzzerBlog has indicated that FOX has picked up the hit UK gameshow "The Cube" for a run in 2010.

I am literally begging you to tell me if you have ANY indication about casting for this program. I would do pretty much anything to be on it.