August 05, 2009

Unintended Consequences?

I've been thinking about posting a few words related to healthcare, but then Scholl cornered that market for the time being and this video crossed my path. It's 15 minutes long, but that's pretty short for a documentary, and it's very compelling stuff.

It's the story of what happened after a massive immigration raid last May saw around 20% of the population of Postville, Iowa (mostly Guatemalans) arrested. If you don't already wonder exactly what we're trying to accomplish by cracking down on illegal immigration, maybe this will make you scratch your head a bit and ask, "Who is supposed to benefit from this?"

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June 20, 2009

Story

Garrison Keillor once remarked: "If you can't go to church and, for at least a moment, be given transcendence; if you can't go to church and pass briefly from this life into the next; then I can't see why anyone should go. Just a brief moment of transcendence causes you to come out of church a changed person." Commenting on this observation, Ken Gire writes, "I have experienced what Garrison Keillor described more in movie theaters than I have in churches. Why? I can't say for sure . . . movies don't always tell the truth, don't always enlighten, don't always inspire. What they do on a fairly consistent basis is give you an experience of transcendence. They let you lose yourself in somebody else's story." What many churches have forgotten and preachers ignore, the movie theater recognizes: "story reigns supreme."

-Robert K. Johnston, Reel Spirituality: Theology and Film in Dialogue

I think there's a lot of truth packed into this paragraph, although there is also a great deal left unsaid that would need to be unpacked. I guess the reason it resonates with me is that I'm just not sure what the Church is peddling sometimes. I don't think the Church is very aware, either. Whatever it is, though, it's something I'm often not interested in.

Not only does the Church not have the market cornered on truth, all too frequently I find that it's not even one of the best sources of truth. The Church has been hijacked by people who are far less interested in truth or faith or even love than they are in rigidly defining a very dubious worldview, manufacturing an enemy that opposes that worldview, and then destroying that enemy. Well, I'm not interested in a war. I'm interested in hearing other people's stories and telling them mine, and in having a conversation about what our stories have to do with Story and what that has to say about how we should live.

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May 08, 2009

A Star Trek Blockbuster? Zounds!


Trekkies Bash New Star Trek Film As 'Fun, Watchable'

My sincere, half-hearted apologies to all of my Trekkie friends.

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April 22, 2009

The End Justifies the Screams

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
The Word - Stressed Position
colbertnation.com
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorGay Marriage Commercial

I never thought that we would actually do anything about Bush and the war crimes perpetrated under his administration . . . But, at least Colbert can get some hysterical comedic mileage out of our mighty powers of rationalization.

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April 01, 2009

Avoid Layovers in Prague


Prague's Franz Kafka International Named World's Most Alienating Airport

I <3 The Onion.

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March 22, 2009

Unsettling

Ludwig Feuerbach says a wonderful thing about baptism. I have it marked. He says, "Water is the purest, clearest of liquids; in virtue of this its natural character it is the image of the spotless nature of the Divine Spirit. In short, water has a significance in itself, as water; it is on account of its natural quality that it is consecrated and selected as the vehicle of the Holy Spirit. So far there lies in the foundation of Baptism a beautiful, profound natural significance." Feuerbach is a famous atheist, but he is about as good on the joyful aspects of religion as anybody, and he loves the world. Of course he thinks religion could just stand out of the way and let joy exist pure and undisguised. This is his one error, and it is significant. But he is marvelous on the subject of joy, and also on its religious expressions.

Boughton takes a very dim view of him, because he unsettled the faith of many people, but I take issue as much with those people as with Feuerbach. It seems to me that some people just go around looking to get their faith unsettled. That has been the fashion for the last hundred years or so.

-Marilynne Robinson, Gilead

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February 24, 2009

I'd See It

Mel Gibson is cool again.

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February 04, 2009

A Hindenburg of Progress

Colbert shows his support for Rush Limbaugh. We are amused.

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January 31, 2009

January 21, 2009

You're the Same Rhetoric

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January 13, 2009

I Should Have Posted This Months Ago

Real update coming soon.

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December 08, 2008

Geeking Out

Check out what I found: an audio recording of Flannery O'Connor speaking on "Some Aspects of the Grotesque in Southern Fiction" (slightly different from the version in Mystery and Manners) and reading "A Good Man Is Hard to Find." Awesome!

And let me just confirm, the reports of her accent are not exaggerated.

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December 01, 2008

Art Imitating Life

A few weeks ago, I was reminded of the existence of PhD comics by my cousin, who is currently doing graduate work in sociology at UT Austin. The link to the comic is still down there on my list, but sadly I gave up regularly reading comics about a year ago. It was sort of odd to read PhD again and realize that I hadn't visited since I started at Baylor. It was even more odd (and frightening, and depressing, and etc.) to stumble across a few scenes stolen directly from my life as I trolled through the archive. Check it out:

dosomething.gif

viciouscycle.gif

Oh, magical time management skills, why do you continue to elude me? (Let the snarky shots at the timestamp on this post begin.)

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November 21, 2008

Don't Close the Money Hole!


In The Know: Should The Government Stop Dumping Money Into A Giant Hole?

Personally, I think we should outsource the Money Hole.

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November 11, 2008

Shillelaghs and Shamrocks!

An Irish band called "Hardy Drew and the Nancy Boys" (yes, really) presents a celebratory election song: "There's No One as Irish as Barack Obama."

You can tell they're really from Ireland because they think Texas is celebrating McCain's loss. Catchy song, though.

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October 29, 2008

What?

I just like this song . . . No, seriously, what?

>.>
<.<

And, for the record: Yes, comparing Sarah Palin to Evita is probably totally sexist.

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October 16, 2008

Last Night's Debate Is Up!

(teehee)

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October 02, 2008

"Unknown" Candidate '08?!

As you've no doubt seen by now, the Internet is abuzz with the news of this "effort to elect an unknown random person as President" . . . and imagine my surprise to find that they're all talking about someone we know personally. Maybe I will vote 3rd party this year, after all.

Details here.

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September 25, 2008

Head of Skate

After Matt Damon compared Sarah Palin's spot on the ticket to "a really bad Disney movie" a few weeks ago, it was only a matter of time before someone went and made the trailer for that movie. Here is Head of Skate:

See more funny videos and funny pictures at CollegeHumor.

I have to say, first and foremost this is a hilarious, spot-on dig at the unbearable committee-written crap that Disney churns out for families these days. I'm pretty sure I've seen movies just like this a few times . . . The Pacifier, for instance. "From the producers of The Mighty Ducks and Syriana." Lol.

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September 18, 2008

You and Your Tina Fey Glasses *Update*

Tina Fey on Sexism

Emmy Red Carpet Guy: The McCain campaign...I guess they thought it sexist? They responded...kind of the whole thing was...

TINA FEY: I saw one lady trying to form a thought that it was sexist on the news, but she didn't really get it together. Probably because she was a lady and she was dumb. ... Wait. Is that sexist?

Nailed it.

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September 17, 2008

Research and Bibliographic Methods, Lesson #1

"What we become depends on what we read after all of the professors have finished with us. The greatest university of all is a collection of books."

--Thomas Carlyle

"I think it is good that books still exist, but they do make me sleepy."

--Frank Zappa

"Of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh."

--Ecclesiastes Chapter 12, verse 12

"The multitude of books is making us ignorant."

--Voltaire

"The number of books will grow continually, and one can predict that a time will come when it will be almost as difficult to learn anything from books as from the direct study of the whole universe. It will be almost as convenient to search for some bit of truth concealed in nature as it will be to find it hidden away in an immense multitude of bound volumes."

--Denis Diderot

I've never heard of Denis Diderot, but he was a prophet. You have no idea. Seriously, you don't.

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September 15, 2008

The Renewed Mind is the Key

I promise you've never seen anything like this before.

Don't be a big chicken. Sit still for the whole thing (rocking with laughter is permitted). The dance solo that starts at around 1:50 is totally worth it. Apparently the source of this is a non-trinitarian cult called The Way International. There's another video of there's up on YouTube called "Our Promised Seed" but I can't get it to play for some reason. Probably just as well. It couldn't possibly live up to my expectations.

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August 21, 2008

A Joyful Noise

"Play it again."
"Oh, right."

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August 19, 2008

Thunderbolts, Saints, and Blue Tigers

So it is also, of course, with the contradictory charges of the anti-Christians about submission and slaughter. It is true that the church told some men to fight and others not to fight; and it is true that those who fought were like thunderbolts and those who did not fight were like statues. All this simply means that the church preferred to use its Super-men and to use its Tolstoyans. There must be some good in the life of battle, for so many good men have enjoyed being soldiers. There must be some good in the idea of non-resistance, for so many good men seem to enjoy being Quakers. All that the church did (so far as that goes) was to prevent either of these good things from ousting the other. They existed side by side [...] the paradox of the prophets was fulfilled, and, in the soul of St. Louis, the lion lay down with the lamb. But remember that this text is too lightly interpreted. It is constantly assured, especially in our Tolstoyan tendencies, that when the lion lies down with the lamb the lion becomes lamb-like. But that is brutal annexation and imperialism on the part of the lamb. That is simply the lamb absorbing the lion instead of the lion eating the lamb. The real problem is: Can the lion lie down with the lamb and still retain his royal ferocity? That is the problem the church attempted; that is the miracle she achieved.

-- G.K. Chesterton (from "The Paradoxes of Christianity" in Orthodoxy)

Silly examples are always simpler; let us suppose a man wanted a particular kind of world; say, a blue world. He would have no cause to complain of the slightness or swiftness of his task; he might toil for a long time at the transformation; he could work away (in every sense) until all was blue. He could have heroic adventures; the putting of the last touches to a blue tiger. He could have fairy dreams; the dawn of a blue moon. But if he worked hard, that high-minded reformer would certainly (from his own point of view) leave the world better and bluer than he found it. If he altered a blade of grass to his favourite colour every day, he would get on slowly. But if he altered his favourite colour every day, he would not get on at all. If, after reading a fresh philosopher, he started to paint everything red or yellow, his work would be thrown away: there would be nothing to show except a few blue tigers walking about, specimens of his early bad manner. This is exactly the position of the average modern thinker. It will be said that this is avowedly a preposterous example. But it is literally the fact of recent history.

-- G.K. Chesterton (from "The Eternal Revolution" in Orthodoxy)

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August 14, 2008

Dancing with the Star Wars

*snicker*

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May 27, 2008

Horton Goes to Japan

I should probably post about that whole wedding in California thing, but I'ma wait a few more days for that. Things are feeling a bit hectic after the trip . . . I slept for about 16 hours on Monday, and today was my first day at the new job (part-time at the Waco Public Library), then there were errands to run and whatnot. So this evening I took Rachel to see Horton Hears a Who! at the dollar theater (Tuesday is $0.50/ticket all day!) and relax.

It was a pretty funny movie, and probably the best feature-length Seuss adaptation to date. Definitely worth the fifty cents. There was a great scene that I found on YouTube to share. Funny stuff. Oh, and if anyone knows of a blog entry about the wedding elsewhere, feel free to speak up (especially if they have pictures, which I do not).

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May 12, 2008

Want

Also, can you relate to this? I can:


watch more at aniBoom

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May 04, 2008

Who Designed the Dawkins?

This rather pointed little parody is quite amusing.

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April 15, 2008

Jon Stewart on Elitism

Cue in at about 7:25 if you don't want to watch the whole thing, though it's all good. In part:

Doesn't elite mean good? Is that not something we're looking for in a president anymore? I know elite is a "bad word" in politics and you wanna go bowling and throw back a few beers, but the job you're applying for, if you get it and it goes well, they might carve your head into a mountain. If you don't actually think that you're better than us, then what the @!$# are you doing? In fact, not only do I want an elite president, I want someone who is embarassingly superior to me.
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April 06, 2008

A Pair of Essays

Oh, I guess I should say something here . . . for those of you who are not yet aware, I got accepted into the Baylor English MA program on Thursday. I'll be starting in the fall with 6 hours of classes (not yet nailed down) and a research assistantship. So that's cool . . . I'm very excited and looking forward to preparing myself (and stocking up on "fun") during the next few months.

Anyway, that really should be its own post and I should make another post for this (things are sparse enough around here already). But nevermind that . . . here are 2 cool items worth reading.

The first is the best graduation speech I've ever encountered. It begins thusly: "Members of the faculty, parents, guests, and graduates, have no fear. I am well aware that on a day of such high excitement, what you require, first and foremost, of any speaker is brevity. I shall not fail you in this respect. There are exactly eighty-five sentences in my speech, four of which you have just heard." And then it goes on to ask the question, "Are you an Athenian or a Visigoth?"

The second is an essay by Jeffrey Overstreet entitled "The Eagles Are Coming!" It examines the affirmation of hope in fairy tales and fantasy.

Enjoy.

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March 13, 2008

So Where Was She Born?

Surprise ending. She's from Latin America.

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March 08, 2008

Super-Size Me

Have a look at this fascinating and eye-opening photo-essay entitled "What Is Eaten In One Week Around The World." It features 9 photos of families from six continents posing with a display of the food they consume in one week. Above each picture is where the family is from, and how much the spend each week (in their currency and in American dollars). The photos are ordered from most to least spent, with a family from Germany at the top ($500) and a family from Chad at the bottom ($1.23). Take a really close look at the American table and see how many fast-food brand names you can pick out.

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February 19, 2008

If you haven't yet . . .

. . . do your country a service and go here to see No End in Sight. It will take an hour and 42 minutes of your time. Watch it in chunks if you have to. This eminently fair and balanced Oscar-nominated documentary not only dares to suggest, through interviews with the very first people on the ground in Iraq, that our invasion of that country was one of the most poorly-planned and ill-advised military operations in our history (perhaps all of history) . . . but that it didn't have to be.

Information is power. Go watch the documentary.

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February 16, 2008

January 28, 2008

What a Waste

Posted on Day #1,768.

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December 15, 2007

Eine Kleine Weihnachtsmusik

For lack of anything better to post just at present, Merry Christmas from Chiron Beta Prime.

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November 30, 2007

A Devastating Deception

Jeffrey Overstreet has a great Q&A about The Golden Compass up at CT Movies. It's all good reading, but one part in particular caught my eye.

Isn't this just the Harry Potter controversy all over again?

No. This time, there really is a serious problem. But God forbid that we respond to Pullman the way we've responded to J.K. Rowling. We've just been through a decade in which fearful, judgmental people have burned Harry Potter books, called J.K. Rowling a witch, and warned us that children who read her books will become warlocks. (This reminds me of those folks who told me, when I was ten, that if I saw The Empire Strikes Back, I might be lured into Buddhism.) What we missed with Harry Potter was the power of fairy tales, which use magic metaphorically and symbolically to help us understand mysterious concepts and appreciate the marvelous, otherworldly reality of grace.

And we encouraged a generation of children to believe that you can't be a Christian and also value fairy talesóa devastating deception. As Lewis and Tolkien have discussed and proposed, fairy tales reflect the truth of the gospel in a unique and timeless way. In fact, Lewis became a Christian through discussions with Tolkien about fairy tales.

Many Christians also overlooked the fact that, in damning the Potter series, we were persecuting a Christian woman who has admitted that the process of telling those stories was a journey of sorting out her own faith and persistent doubts. We missed that there were Bible verses woven through the stories and glimmering with truth.

But Pullman is a different storyteller. He says, "I've been surprised by how little criticism I've got. Harry Potter's been taking all the flak. I'm a great fan of J.K. Rowling, but the peopleómainly from America's Bible Beltówho complain that Harry Potter promotes Satanism or witchcraft obviously haven't got enough in their lives. Meanwhile, I've been flying under the radar, saying things that are far more subversive than anything poor old Harry has said. My books are about killing God."

I hadn't thought about it in those terms, but it's true. It's really true. We are in the process of teaching an entire generation of Christian kids that fantasy is wicked and dangerous. Fortunately, a lesson that off-base doesn't take too well. Still . . . what a cataclysmic screw-up.

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November 11, 2007

Cry "Guatemalan!"

Via Vengeful Cynic

William Shakespeare

A Guatemalan! A Guatemalan! My kingdom for a Guatemalan!

Which work of Shakespeare was the original quote from?

William Shakespeare

Brutus says he was ambitious;
And Brutus is an honourable Guatemalan.

Which work of Shakespeare was the original quote from?

William Shakespeare

The Guatemalan doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a Guatemalan

Which work of Shakespeare was the original quote from?

William Shakespeare

Uneasy lies the head that wears a Guatemalan.

Which work of Shakespeare was the original quote from?

William Shakespeare

The Guatemalan doth protest too much, methinks.

Which work of Shakespeare was the original quote from?

William Shakespeare

Nay, faith, let me not play a Guatemalan; I have a beard coming.

Which work of Shakespeare was the original quote from?

William Shakespeare

A Guatemalan on both your houses!

Which work of Shakespeare was the original quote from?

Get your own quotes:

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August 19, 2007

Yellow Fever

jaredsimpson

It's the Springfield me. You can do this, too. Just go here. I've known about it for weeks, but I didn't want to go hunt up a picture and so on and so forth. And then I finally just did. Fun.

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August 14, 2007

This Never Happened to Me

But it would have been funny.

Aha!.png

(Thanks, xkcd)

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August 07, 2007

Knowledge?!

Just a few things:

Stephen Colbert's Word is College Credit (via onegoodmove, QuickTime required).

Also, OMG this is the best website evar!!!!1

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August 01, 2007

Heck Yeah

87%How Addicted to Blogging Are You?

Via Ma Hoyt.

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June 26, 2007

Reader Beware

Amusing little thingamabob . . .

Online Dating

More at Moviegoings.

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May 01, 2007

Rejected!

I got this letter from a book I read today: Life's Little Annoyances by Ian Urbina. It's a fun little collection of passive-aggressive responses to things that drive us all up the wall. It is a rejection letter to send people who send you rejection letters. It made me chuckle.

Dear __________,

Thank you for your letter rejecting my application for employment with your firm.

I have received rejections from an unusually large number of well qualified organizations. With such a varied and promising spectrum of rejections from which to select, it is impossible for me to consider them all. After careful deliberation, then, and because a number of firms have found me more unsuitable, I regret to inform you that I am unable to accept your rejection.

Despite your company's outstanding qualifications and previous experience in rejecting applicants, I find that your rejection does not meet with my requirements at this time. As a result, I will be starting employment with your firm on the first of the month.

Circumstances change and one can never know when new demands for rejection arise. Accordingly, I will keep your letter on file in case my requirements for rejection change.

Please do not regard this letter as a criticism of your qualifications in attempting to refuse me employment. I wish you the best of luck in rejecting future candidates.

Sincerely,

_____________

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April 21, 2007

Do Bureaucrats Have Souls?

Joshua Bell, one of the greatest violinists in the world (he played the music for The Red Violin), set up shop in a Washington D.C. Metro station a few weeks ago during morning rush hour. He pulled out his violin, a 1713 Stradivarius (one of the finest instruments in existence), set up his open case in front of him with a little "seed money" in it, and played some of the best classical pieces ever composed for nearly 45 minutes. Literally thousands of people passed within earshot during that time. Fewer than half a dozen people actually stopped to listen. He pulled in $32.17.

This article ("Pearls Before Breakfast") has the whole story (and I do mean the whole story . . . it's really long). It is an excellent article. Asa sent it to me. Go read it.

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April 04, 2007

Divertisement

Read my VisualDNA Get your own VisualDNA™

Via Randy

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March 28, 2007

Deathly Hallows News

Okay, you've probably already seen it, but . . .Harry Potter cover art! And this will be the second-longest book in the series behind Order of the Phoenix. But I'm still bitter about the release date. Why not 07/07/07? Why not?!

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March 14, 2007

Happy Reading

One of my favorite websites used to be theforce.net; the place for everything Star Wars. I discovered it back in 1998, and it had everything (it also looked a lot better . . . the site was "revamped" sometime between Episode II and Episode III, and I don't like the change). One of its several dozen features was periodical editorials about all sorts of topics. The first one was about the superiority of Star Wars over Star Trek, but there were all sorts of topics: merchandising debates, endless thematic analyses.

Then, during darker times, there were defenses of, and predictions for, the prequel trilogy. They had titles like "Why Episode I is Brilliant." Never underestimate the power of denial. I don't know whether the people involved ran out of topics or ran out of enthusiasm, but either way the last editorial was posted in April of 2003. My own rabidity towards the subject flickered and went out a little over a year later, and I haven't thought about those editorials at all in a few years.

I don't remember what I was doing at Strange Horizons. Just one of those things you stumble across when you're wandering the interwebs. On the site, I found this essay . . . a smart, funny, and scathing critique of the prequels that should be read by everyone who either enjoyed them or was vaguely bothered by them (I guess I was both). The author addresses too many points to summarize, and references everything from Oedipus Rex to Dune along the way. Great essay. Check it out.

And while you're at it, take a stroll through the article archives. Just this afternoon I've read several fascinating essays on such disparate topics as the variety of "megastructures" in science fiction, the use of maps in modern fantasy, firewalking, a scale for assessing horror flicks, linguistic misconceptions in constructed languages. I think I found at least one topic to interest every single member of the Shadow Council . . . and more than one that would interest most of us. Happy reading.

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February 21, 2007

A Triple Feature

This is rather an interesting piece (albeit a few years old now): Juxtaposed interviews on faith and film with Michael Medved, Jeffrey Overstreet, and Todd Rendleman (if you don't know who they are, their credentials preface the interview). I especially liked this question:

Q: What do you think is at the root of the historical tension between people of faith and Hollywood? Why are some people of faith threatened by film?

MEDVED: It goes right to the fundamental difference between cinematic and religious communication. Movies are a visual medium; psychologists who have analyzed the way they reach audiences estimate that films rely on visual images for 70Ė75 percent of their impact. Judeo-Christian faith, on the other hand, relies on words. Whenever God has communicated to his people, he has used spoken or written words, not images. Neither Moses nor Jesus drew pictures or created visions for their followers. Movies that appeal to the eyes touch us on an emotional level, while faith messages that appeal to the ears reach for the mind and soul.

OVERSTREET: Christians are quite accustomed to preaching. Art seems threatening to us because it is more about exploration than exposition. We hastily look for "the message" of a movie, failing to understand that art is for reflection, contemplation, discussion and discovery. Further, in categorizing as "Christian" versus "secular," we prescribe where and when God can be revealed. A beautiful photograph of a mountain becomes "Christian art" when a verse is printed on the sky above the peak. Then we think we know what it means, and we do not have to think for ourselves. This cultivates an environment of lazy and reactionary intellects, and we fail to train ourselves to discern evidence of God in the excellence and beauty of art outside the walls of the church.

RENDLEMAN: Historically, this debate has always been a question of sex. Movies have the potential to move and excite us ó emotionally, intellectually and sexually. Since the birth of film, a key factor in its appeal has been the promise of sexual excitement. For Christians, this is often at odds with Christ's warning to not look lustfully at others. This has created a strange, conflicted relationship between many religious persons and the movies. Art needs to thoughtfully address all aspects of human life, and the issue of sexuality in film remains a sensitive one. I can't think of an issue that merits greater discernment and reflection from people of faith.

Medved's response is dumb dumb dumb. The more I think about it, the dumber it sounds. Of course, my opinion of Medved is not generally high, but there it is. He actually surprised me with a few of his responses, though. Seems he can actually be reasonable when he's not pushing a . . . oh, what do they call those? . . . Oh, yes. An agenda. Rendleman's response is both true and thought-provoking, but too limited, I think. There's more than just that at work here, and I would have liked for him to keep going. Overstreet's response, however, is what prompted me to post this interview. Awesome stuff.

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February 06, 2007

Charming

Someone requested a book from the branch library, and when it came I just had to leaf through it. It's a children's book about the CIA. Special. There are plenty of quotables, but I was particularly amused (enraged?) by two excerpts:

The CIA has carried out many covert actions throughout the world. It has tried to change governments in Laos, Vietnam, Guatemala, and Tibet. It has also made changes in Iran, a United States friend and enemy at different times over the past 50 years. The CIA helped return the shah of Iran to power in 1953. The shah is like Iran's king. The CIA also trained Iran's secret police. In 1979, these CIA-trained police helped Ayatollah Khomeini take over the shah's government.

It's fascinating, isn't it, how that paragraph is true without being the Truth? This portion is after a brief segment explaining the CIA's commitment to fostering democracy, so I suppose it would be a little confusing for the kiddies to explain that two of those countries were just getting used to their first-ever democratically-elected governments when the CIA came in and screwed everything up. And it would make them look a little silly to explain how much Ayatollah Khomeini hated the US and how bad it was that those CIA-trained guys helped him take over the country. Still, I can't help but think that there's a way to teach the kiddies a little history without distorting their perspective so very, very much.

All covert actions are ordered by the president of the United States. But some covert actions break the law in foreign countries. If the U.S. government gets caught, it has to be able to say it did not know about the actions. This is called plausible denial.

Wait, wait, wait . . . so if even children know that all covert actions are ordered by the president, how plausible is the denial reeeeally? I think "plausible" may need to be one of the vocabulary words of the week, class. Oh, and when the American government does it, it may be "plausible denial," but when you kids do it, it's still . . . what's the word? Oh, yeah. Lying. So don't get any ideas.

We make me sick.

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January 18, 2007

Mayans, Mirth, Mendacious Manipulation, & Many-Happy-Returns

So, a few random things:

Chattaway over on Filmchat tells me that Mel Gibson is creating a stir on my home turf. I should see if I can find that article on the Prensa Libre website . . . It kind of makes me want to go see the movie in March, surrounded by a group of Guatemalans (I haven't seen it yet, and may not). That 43% pure Mayan statistic, though . . . not sure where that came from. First, it's kind of like saying "pure European," and assuming that all Europeans are a unified nationality of some kind. Second, I don't think there are very many "pure" Mayans left, whatever that means. But maybe I'm wrong . . . I have been shockingly ignorant before.

I was clearing in a cart of new books today and I picked up Reduced Shakespeare: The Complete Guide for the Attention-Impaired [abridged] by Reed Martin and Austin Tichenor. That made my day. It is sitting on my desk, waiting to go home with me.

Returning, for a moment, to Filmchat, here is a report of some pretty shady dealings between FoxFaith and the evangelical community. I foresee nothing but bad for the truly artistic and the truly spiritual in an unholy alliance between corporations and congregations. I can only hope that movies of the FoxFaith variety continue to get wait they deserve and the whole business meets an imminent and sudden end. In better news, I hear that The Nativity Story pretty much bombed, making films that hope to capitalize on The Passion's success a harder sell . . . at least for now.

Finally, Rachel joins me at 23 years of age today, so wish her a happy birthday. I guess I'll eventually have to stop reporting her age, but for now youth continues to abound (she thinks she's ancient, I know we're not). And on that note, I adjourn this blogpost for festivities. Adieu.

Posted by Jared at 05:50 PM | TrackBack

January 04, 2007

Old News and Bad News

I am peeved. After months of attentive awareness interspersed with periodic active searching, the title of the 7th Harry Potter is finally announced, and I miss it for 2 solid weeks. And I don't even know how it happened. Something is dreadfully wrong with that.

Anyway, the title is Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. This is by far the most mysterious and intriguing title to date as it uses a word which is neither immediately familiar (as with "goblet" or "chamber" or "prince" or "stone") in addition to making reference to something within the book which is not already familiar to a reader of the series (as with "Azkaban" or "Order of the Phoenix"). As a result, speculation about the meaning of the title is apt to be a bit more varied than with a previous volume. This is also a very dark, somber title. It suggests a certain adult seriousness not really found in the other titles.

Of course, the very first thing the title suggests when broken down is a vague concept of holiness through death, which would certainly line up with John Granger's theory that each title is a reference to Christ. Granger himself flirts with this possibility in his own clumsy way over on his website (I have rarely known anyone to make such brilliant connections in such stupid ways).

But speaking of brilliant connections, this essay makes, I would say, the true case for the meaning of the title. In a nutshell, it discusses the significance of "hallow" as a reference to the grail relics of Chretien de Troyes, which opens up a rich, deep field of symbolism and significance (as fellow students from Dr. Watson's Grail Quest course will know all too well). How appropriate that this brilliant series, already so filled with canny bits of Western mythology and lore, should turn at last to draw from the quest for the Holy Grail in its final chapter. It's all speculation, of course, but I would say that this theory is right in line with everything we know about the way Rowling writes fantasy. It just feels right.

Anyway, in the realm (while I'm discussing books) of the not-so-exciting, I ran across this a few moments ago. Do you remember when libraries were repositories for the preservation of cultural history and heritage rather than a cultural outhouse doubling as the local Blockbuster where the unwashed masses can wallow in paperback romance trash, best-selling excrement, and the latest top-grossing redneck flick without having to shell out? They're throwing out Faulkner, Hemingway, Henry Adams, and Harper Lee! Can you imagine?!

Happily, this sort of thing runs contrary to our library's ideas of how things work, and we are in no danger of running out of shelf space in the forseeable future. Why shouldn't libraries shape the cultural tastes of their communities at least as much as they are shaped by them? That's public service for you.

Posted by Jared at 05:53 PM | TrackBack

November 15, 2006

Purgation

DESCENDING THEOLOGY: THE RESURRECTION

From the far star points of his pinned extremities,
cold inched in--black ice and blood ink--
till the hung flesh was empty. Lonely in that void
even for pain, he missed his splintered feet,
the human stare buried in his face.
He ached for two hands made of meat
he could reach to the end of.
In the corpse's core, the stone fist of his heart

began to bang on the stiff chest's door,
and breath spilled back into that battered shape. Now
it's your limbs he longs to flow into
from the sunflower center in your chest
outward--as warm water
shatters at birth, rivering every way.

--Mary Karr, Sinners Welcome

Posted by Jared at 11:11 AM | TrackBack

November 13, 2006

Edification

"Ode to LeTourneau University" by Patty Starnes Healey (as printed in the latest issue of NOW magazine)

LeTourneau has for 60 years sent its Christian students out
into the world armed with godly knowledge to turn the world about.

Integrity, wisdom and fortitude are in short supply today,
LeTourneau has taught thousands to live their lives that way.

Discovering purpose, broadening knowledge and deepening professional skills,
These traits are taught at LeTourneau to strengthen its students' wills.

Students learn there's a mighty God who leads a willing soul,
they put on God's armor as He shows them where to go.

Grounded in godly values, students show others that they care
as they volunteer thousands of hours in communities everywhere.

If one person can make a difference, how much more will thousands do?
Alumni are spread throughout the world to help God's will come true.

God has blessed LeTourneau University as its successes can attest,
it has sent godly leaders into the world, it has sent its very best.

May other universities follow the path that LeTourneau has defined,
education and excellence in all one does, following God's Word divine.

Posted by Jared at 02:18 PM | TrackBack

November 08, 2006

Early Christmas Present

This is the best news I've heard all season. Although, as of this writing, the defeat of Senator Macaca has not been confirmed.

Bye-bye, Rummy.

Posted by Jared at 03:30 PM | TrackBack

Seasoned on Impact

This was far too good not to share. Moore in particular should sit up and take note . . . shotgun shells loaded with tasty goodness. Comes in: Cajun, Lemon Pepper, Garlic, Teriyaki, Honey Mustard.

Posted by Jared at 11:37 AM | TrackBack

October 31, 2006

Because I'm Thoughtful

Bill O'Reilly: Do you want the United States to win in Iraq?

David Letterman:*heavy sigh* First of all, I--

O'Reilly: It's an easy question. If you don't want the United States to win--

Letterman: It's not easy for me, because I'm thoughtful.

Posted by Jared at 10:55 PM | TrackBack

October 26, 2006

Spasmodic Dysphonia

I'm trying hard to get a post out soon (like, before November). I've been working on it for the last week or so. Meanwhile, check this out. It's an incredible story from the blog of Scott Adams (creator of Dilbert).

Posted by Jared at 11:00 AM | TrackBack

October 19, 2006

You Make Me Sick

Take Four: As I listen to and observe the well-nigh incessant whining, complaining, outrageous rudeness, and (yes) even stupidity of our patrons here at the library, I am frequently tempted to blog about them. However, these occurrences are so frequent, and the specifics pass out of my memory so quickly, that it just generally doesn't happen. But seriously . . .

What is it with you people who don't wanna talk to me? You walk up and throw a stack of books and a library card at me. I start to check them out to you only to discover that they're already checked out to you. Perhaps you want to turn them in? Perhaps you'd like to renew them? I don't know . . . You didn't tell me. Sometimes you shove a driver's license in my face instead of a mysterious stack of books. What? No, really, what? I'm not a cop. I didn't just pull you over. What do you want?

Let's not kid ourselves. I know you can talk. Remember last week? When I told you you had a fine? I don't recall you having any trouble telling me off then. Did a truck happen to run over your voicebox in the meantime?

Look, I'm not asking for a friendly greeting. I don't care for small talk. Don't feel bad if you don't have a witty remark ready for me . . . Chances are I've already heard it 4 times today anyway. I understand your dilemma. Here I am, this obnoxious total stranger with whom you must establish contact in order leave with what you want. Honestly, I don't relish our fleeting interactions any more than you do. But, for both our sakes, bite the bullet and tell me exactly what you want so I can get you out of my sight that much faster. Because . . .

You make me sick.

Posted by Jared at 10:17 AM | TrackBack

October 18, 2006

Library Pr0n?

Check this out. As Moore would say, "Hot book-on-book action!"

I think my two favorite shots were of the British Library and Trinity College Library. I should visit these. All of them. Longview needs a top-notch, horizon-broadening employee exchange program for stuff like this. Note to self: Drop by a city council meeting on my way home some evening.

Posted by Jared at 11:18 AM | TrackBack

What Is It With You?

Take Three: As I listen to and observe the well-nigh incessant whining, complaining, outrageous rudeness, and (yes) even stupidity of our patrons here at the library, I am frequently tempted to blog about them. However, these occurrences are so frequent, and the specifics pass out of my memory so quickly, that it just generally doesn't happen. But seriously . . .

What is it with you people who can't read? Why are you here? We're a library. What do you think we have to offer you? You stand next to the signs that say "No Cell Phones," conversing loudly with someone neither of us can see. Sometimes you do it while I'm trying to check out your books for you. You know, the ones you can't even read, you illiterate twerp. You walk right past the signs that say "All Computers are in Use" and ask me if there are any computers available. What are you going to do on the internet if you can't read? We don't allow porn on our machines.

You know what . . . new policy. You're an illiterate idiot. Get out of my library. You can come back when you're literate. Unless you're still an idiot.

You make me sick.

Posted by Jared at 10:31 AM | TrackBack

October 17, 2006

But Seriously

Take Two: As I listen to and observe the well-nigh incessant whining, complaining, outrageous rudeness, and (yes) even stupidity of our patrons here at the library, I am frequently tempted to blog about them. However, these occurrences are so frequent, and the specifics pass out of my memory so quickly, that it just generally doesn't happen. But seriously . . .

What is it with you people who don't understand me when I say, "All of the computers are taken"? No, really. They are. All of them. No, I don't have any special computers set aside for college students. Or old people. Or people with 11 fingers, people who prefer Burger King to McDonald's, or freaking Somolian refugees. No. I do not have a computer that I am saving just for you, Mr. John Q. Public, you egomaniacal freak of nature. You are not important. You are not special. You are not even very well-liked. Take a number and wait like everybody else. Or better yet, go buy your own dang computer. I promise it'll always be set aside just for you. Unless you have relatives or friends who visit you at home (which I find doubtful, at best).

You make me sick.

Posted by Jared at 10:52 AM | TrackBack

October 16, 2006

Don't Get Me Started

As I listen to and observe the well-nigh incessant whining, complaining, outrageous rudeness, and (yes) even stupidity of our patrons here at the library, I am frequently tempted to blog about them. However, these occurrences are so frequent, and the specifics pass out of my memory so quickly, that it just generally doesn't happen. But seriously . . .

What is it with you people who show up with movies that are multiple days overdue and say, "Can't you cut me some slack? I didn't even get to watch them!" Are you kidding me? No, seriously. You had a week to get those back to me, and you didn't. Now I find out that you didn't even make good use of the extra time you took. Since you obviously couldn't come up with even so much as half an hour during the past 10 days to pop down and turn them in, it's no wonder you didn't quite find the time to watch all five of them.

No, I'm not going to reward your poor time management. No, not even if you come up with more examples of just how bad you are at getting stuff done. The only real question is, "WHY DID YOU CHECK THEM OUT IN THE FIRST PLACE?!" Well, that and the ever-pressing, "Is it that everyone else in your life panders to your every need, or is your self-centered excuse-mongering entirely a product of your own pathetic lack of any sense of personal responsibility?"

You make me sick.

Posted by Jared at 10:14 AM | TrackBack

September 30, 2006

"Special Interest"

There are web comics for everyone. The more I browse, the more convinced I am that this is the case. Take Wilson for instance, chilling (quite literally, soon) up there at Syracuse, staring approximately 3 decades of higher learning in the face.

For Wilson, there is Piled Higher and Deeper: a grad student comic strip:


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Well, soon after I started working at the library, I began to notice a few choice strips pinned up here and there, and eventually I went hunting for the source. What I found was Unshelved, a librarian comic strip. I spent the last week burrowing through the entire archive (4 years of an everyday comic strip is not to be taken lightly, it turns out). I decided to finish the whole thing before adding it to my "Funnies" list over to the right . . . And I just had to share a few of my most favoritest ones. So . . . enjoy, and be sure to "check out" (har!) the rest at your leisure.


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Posted by Jared at 11:59 PM | TrackBack

September 28, 2006

Quizzage

It's been awhile since I did one of these, and I found some fun ones. Enjoy.

You scored as A classic novel. Almost everyone showers praise upon you for your depth and enduring relevance. According to your acolytes, everything you say is timeless, erudite and meaingful. Of course, none of them actually listen to you. Nobody listens to you at all, but it's fashionable to claim you as a friend. Fond of obscure words, antiquated notions and libraries, you never have a problem finding someone to hang out with. The fact that they end up using you to balance their kitchen tables is an unfortunate side effect, but you're used to being used for others' benefit. Oh the burden of being Great.

A classic novel

75%

A coloring book

50%

Poetry

50%

A college textbook

43%

A paperback romance novel

39%

The back of a froot loops box

36%

An electronics user's manual

21%

Your Literary Personality
created with QuizFarm.com
Which British Literary Period are you?

Restoration

1660-1785--Pope, Swift, Johnson. Times they are a changing. You're very cynical and you like looking out for the little guys. You have a sense of humor a lot of people just don't get.

Personality Test Results

Click Here to Take This Quiz
Brought to you by YouThink.com quizzes and personality tests.
Orpheus
33% Extroversion, 100% Intuition, 72% Emotiveness, 76% Perceptiveness
You are an artist, an aesthete, a sensitive, and someone who has never really let go of that childlike innocence. To you, all of life has a sense of wonder in it, and the story of Orpheus was written about someone just like you.

When the Argo passed the island of the Sirens, Orpheus played a song more beautiful than the Sirens to prevent the crew from becoming enticed. When his wife died, he ventured into the underworld to charm Hades but, in his naivete, he looked back becoming trapped there.

You can capture your unique world view and relate it to others with the skill of a master storyteller. Your sensitivity and creativity make you a treasure to the human race, but your thin-skinned nature and innocence can cause you a lot of disenchantment and pain. What's doubly unfortunate is that, if you try to lose those traits, you never will, and everyone will be able to tell that you're putting up an artificial shell to prevent yourself from being hurt.

Famous people like you: Hemingway, Shakespeare, Mr. Rogers, Melville, Nick Tosches
Stay clear of: Icarus, Hermes, Atlas
Link: The Greek Mythology Personality Test written by Aleph_Nine on OkCupid, home of the The Dating Persona Test
Posted by Jared at 02:23 PM | TrackBack

September 27, 2006

Someday, Somehow, Some way . . .

. . . I must see this film.

Somehow, as I was jamming through the online catalog for the [Los Angeles film] festival, I just went right past Hot Chicks. But had I been paying closer attention, I would have been almost as enthusiastic as Luke. The screening was of 9 short films, each based on one of what are known as Chick Tracts.

Apparently a few clips from one of the short films can be found here. Further information available from IMDB here. Official site (worth a visit) here, complete with the original tracts, a trailer, DVD purchasing information, etc.

Posted by Jared at 04:32 PM | TrackBack

September 24, 2006

More Than Just a Fiction

Trolling through Arthuriana (The Journal of Arthurian Studies) on an unrelated quest the other day, I came across this gem. I was reminded again how stringently I object to the popularity, premise, supposed appeal, and general lack of quality that make up The Da Vinci Code craze. And I was reminded of how equally annoyed I am by those who found it necessary to go out and generate further interest in the pulpy stuff by stirring up controversy (i.e. dignifying it with religious objections) and publishing entire books devoted to the deconstruction of Brown's cooky borrowed theories.

Norris Lacy (Professor of French and Medieval Studies at Penn State) does a more than adequate job in a mere 13 pages (counting endnotes!) and maintains an admirable detachment from the sort of pro- or anti-Christian agenda that gets under my skin the most in debates such as these. He also provides a quite satisfactory answer to the question of whether it is silly to complain so heatedly about a novel, a work of fiction. I've been idly searching for just such an answer ever since we discussed the book in our Grail class last semester.

Anyway . . . a highly enjoyable read for those of us who were irritated (particularly if they weren't quite sure why) by the book, and a highly informative read for anyone who wants to know what our problem is.

Posted by Jared at 11:41 PM | TrackBack

July 23, 2006

A Trend

You know you've been buying the right things when Amazon.com notifies you via e-mail of the availability of Slavery, Family, and Gentry Capitalism in the British Atlantic: The World of the Lascelles, 1648-1834 (Cambridge Studies in Economic History - Second Series)

That is all.

Posted by Jared at 06:23 PM | TrackBack

July 20, 2006

Yoink!

(Borrowed/Hijacked/Stolen from Wilson . . . but I don't feel bad, he snagged it from someone else, too . . . Someone with my name. So, really, I have a more legitimate claim than he does. Also, Wilson tried to take all the good ones, daghorm it. I agree with a number of his picks, but will avoid them where possible.)

1. A movie that made you cry

Finding Neverland, Big Fish, Night and Fog.

2. A movie that scared you

As a kid, Lady in White. I saw most of it quite by mistake when I was four or five, and it was pretty much the first thing I can remember being a cause for fear. I had trouble sleeping in a room alone for years afterward. The Bad Seed, a movie made when moviemakers knew that what we can't see is always scarier than what we can. The Sixth Sense. The occurrence is a rare one, partially because I don't watch horror movies (I find them largely inferior) and partially because I don't scare easy unless I'm, say, alone in a big house at night while I'm watching (which almost never happens). I watched The Sixth Sense late at night with Brett when I was in high school. Not a movie, but the original Thief computer game was really scary . . .

3. A movie that made you laugh

Dr. Strangelove, Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?, Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

4. A movie that disgusted you

Hannibal. I mean, seriously.

5. A movie you loved in elementary school

Peter Pan.

6. A movie you loved in middle school

Jurassic Park.

7. A movie you loved in high school

Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi.

8. A movie you loved in college

Fiddler on the Roof, Schindler's List, The Godfather . . . and any of the movies that made me laugh.

9. A movie that challenged your identity or your faith

I'm a bit unsure about how to answer this one. If I'm interpreting it correctly, I'd say that what it wants is more the province of books and really good college courses. I guess I'll just go out on a limb and say Pleasantville and Dogville.

10. A series that you love

I just love any series, pretty much. The Godfather parts I and II, of course, Back to the Future. Oh, and lets not forget Planet of the Apes (any series).

11. Your favorite horror

The Exorcism of Emily Rose, or Psycho, if that counts. Horror films as a genre lack depth and variety, they come and go. There will always be a popular new one floating around, but there's not much rewatchability.

12. Your favorite science-fiction

The Empire Strikes Back . . . no matter what Wilson thinks he knows about the line between sci-fi and fantasy.

13. Your favorite fantasy

The Fellowship of the Rings . . . but I don't think it's a fair question. All fantasy until just a few years ago just flat-out sucked because of the technology (and a few other reasons). Now that LOTR has opened the door, just wait another decade. Harry Potter has started a revolution in published fantasy, and its movie series will wrap up in the next few years . . . the Narnia movies will take off . . . and then, who knows?

14. Your favorite mystery

I wonder how far I can stretch this category . . . A Passage to India, Rear Window, Se7en, Rashomon, Anatomy of a Murder, Gattaca, Clue.

15. Your favorite biography

Amadeus.

16. Your favorite coming-of-age

This is really more my thing when in book form, but . . . The Graduate, The Last Emperor.

17. Your favorite not on this list

Ha! Road to Perdition, The Seventh Seal, To Kill a Mockingbird, Judgment at Nuremberg, The Red Violin, Lolita, A Streetcar Named Desire . . .

Posted by Jared at 10:33 AM | TrackBack

July 13, 2006

Jared, Circulation Assistant

The blog is not abandoned yet . . . really. I hope to have a longer entry up soon, but meanwhile, amuse yourselves with this:

Longview Public Library Newsletter

Visit it soon, cuz it'll change next month and I sha'n't be in it anymore.

Posted by Jared at 11:44 AM | TrackBack

May 04, 2006

Gone Tomorrow

Today I am a single college student. In 36 hours I will be a married college graduate. I can do this . . . I can do this . . .

Paradigm Shift!

Posted by Jared at 11:59 PM | TrackBack

April 29, 2006

An Analogy

Planning a wedding is like having a nightmare where you are forced to plan a nightmare for yourself. All of your friends and family and the people involved gather around and offer suggestions and seem to think that you ought to be getting everything just right, and all you can think is "I'm planning a freaking NIGHTMARE here! Even if it's the best nightmare in human history, it's still . . . y'know, a nightmare! Are you people insane?" But of course they are, because this is a dream, and nothing is supposed to make sense. And still they clamor on as if they think I'm going to enjoy this . . .

Six days 'til nightmare, seven days 'til morning.

Posted by Jared at 01:59 PM | TrackBack

April 27, 2006

Required Reading

Drop whatever you're doing and go here to read Wilson's hilarious rendering of our visit to the Renaissance Festival in Waxahachie. It's quite the funniest thing I've seen today.

Posted by Jared at 09:56 PM | TrackBack

Self-Identification

From Wilson:








Dixie Royal
You are 88% true Southern!
You are pure belle or gentleman! You know your Jones Soda, Nehi and RC colas, your Moon Pies and sweet potato pie; you'd absolutely die without air conditioners in the summer, and you've seen Steel Magnolias and Fried Green Tomatoes (or read the book!). Your grandmother lives in an antebellum home and has a cook who makes the best fried chicken and asparagus casserole and summer squash and everything else in the world. And you know the taste of honeysuckle and the feel of grass between your toes. You are blessed.







My test tracked 1 variable How you compared to other people your age and gender:










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You scored higher than 82% on Southerliness
Link: The Southern-ness Test written by gwennykate on Ok Cupid, home of the 32-Type Dating Test

It's not a very good quiz, actually, but it was fun. Relies too heavily on all-but-outdated stereotypes, and doesn't properly account for multiple types of Southerners. It takes all of the prototypes and mixes and matches characteristics from each.

Anyway . . . I'm still pretty Southern. And this reminds me: I need to go to Vicksburg this summer.

Posted by Jared at 02:16 PM | TrackBack

February 15, 2006

Now There's a Shocker

Courtesy Sharpton.

I Am A: Neutral Evil Elf Bard Thief


Alignment:
Neutral Evil characters believe in Number One. Their personal gain takes precedance over all else, and they will work with whomever necessary and whatever institutions necessary to further their own goals.


Race:
Elves are the eldest of all races, although they are generally a bit smaller than humans. They are generally well-cultured, artistic, easy-going, and because of their long lives, unconcerned with day-to-day activities that other races frequently concern themselves with. Elves are, effectively, immortal, although they can be killed. After a thousand years or so, they simply pass on to the next plane of existance.


Primary Class:
Bards are the entertainers. They sing, dance, and play instruments to make other people happy, and, frequently, make money. They also tend to dabble in magic a bit.


Secondary Class:
Thieves are the most roguish of the classes. They are sneaky and nimble-fingered, and have skills with traps and locks. While not all use these skills for burglary, that is a common occupation of this class.


Find out What D&D Character Are You?, courtesy ofNeppyMan (e-mail)

Posted by Jared at 10:02 PM | TrackBack

February 11, 2006

If Only . . .

. . . I had known this earlier, I would have switched majors. Oh, wait.

(Courtesy Martinez)

You scored as English. You should be an English major! Your passion lies in writing and expressing yourself creatively, and you hate it when you are inhibited from doing so. Pursue that interest of yours!

English

100%

Mathematics

100%

Philosophy

92%

Journalism

83%

Linguistics

83%

Sociology

75%

Anthropology

67%

Engineering

67%

Theater

67%

Dance

58%

Art

33%

Psychology

25%

Biology

0%

Chemistry

0%

What is your Perfect Major? (PLEASE RATE ME!!<3)
created with QuizFarm.com
Posted by Jared at 02:15 PM | TrackBack

February 06, 2006

Whiling Away

Now, here's a subject which has generated a great deal of curiosity in recent days. At least one person (I think) has asked me what I do with my time when I'm sitting in the library for hours on end. Well, when I'm not reading, for pleasure or homework, or blogrolling, or reading the comics (see related links at right) I'm trawling through the Internet for entertaining stuffs.

This, for instance, is a fantastic site which has caused me to completely lose my composure on multiple occasions . . . It's the library in here for goodness sake!

I found this list quite interesting and entertaining . . . I've read through it a couple of times.

This op-ed fascinated me because I have lately been wrestling with the concept of patriotism, what it means, and whether there is any appropriate form which it can take.

Stuff like this makes me shake in my boots.

And that's all the time I have for today . . . And yes, I was just desperate to get some content up.

Posted by Jared at 02:09 PM | TrackBack

January 24, 2006

On the Scarcity of Recent Blogposts

Most of life is so dull that there is nothing to be said about it, and the books and talk that would describe it as interesting are obliged to exaggerate, in the hope of justifying their own existence. Inside its cocoon of work or social obligation, the human spirit slumbers for the most part, registering the distinction between pleasure and pain, but not nearly as alert as we pretend. There are periods in the most thrilling day during which nothing happens, and though we continue to exclaim, "I do enjoy myself," or, "I am horrified," we are insincere. "As far as I feel anything, it is enjoyment, horror" - it's no more than that really, and a perfectly adjusted organism would be silent.

-E. M. Forster, A Passage to India

Posted by Jared at 11:59 PM | TrackBack

October 29, 2005

Speaking of Partisans

You are a

Social Liberal
(73% permissive)

and an...

Economic Liberal
(36% permissive)

You are best described as a:

Democrat




Link: The Politics Test on Ok Cupid
Also: The OkCupid Dating Persona Test

I'm not certain that this is entirely accurate, really. But it's close enough for government work. I took some other quizzes, but they didn't have results I could paste into my blog, sadly. One of them told me that I will die in March, 2063.

On a lighter note:

You scored 15 Intelligence, 13 Wisdom, 14 Charisma, 7 Strength, 11 Constitution, and 14 Dexterity!
All stats are based on the original D&D system of 3-18. 3 being tragically weak and 18 being olympic level ability. Odds are you will be more towards the middle for most things (the middle being 10-11), as that is where most people should be. Taken properly, it is not possible to get above an 18 on any stat, unless you' over 70 years old. Get the other half of your stats at this companion test. My test tracked 6 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:
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You scored higher than 50% on Intelligence
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You scored higher than 39% on Wisdom
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You scored higher than 76% on Charisma
Link: The D&D stats - Mental Test
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You scored higher than 8% on Strength
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You scored higher than 42% on Constitution
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You scored higher than 67% on Dexterity
Link: The D&D stats - Physical Test
Posted by Jared at 03:56 PM | TrackBack

October 13, 2005

The Big Jump

Discussion this week was over the years 1870-1920 in American history, often referred to as a Transitional Period. That's a tricky term to use, because it seems to require further explanation. History is transitional in nature. As a description of events transpiring over the course of a flow of time, it presents with constant movement from one state to another. What, then, makes these particular fifty years in American history so transitional? Is it because we can't think of anything better to call it?

Basically, the Civil War was the pivotal event around which American history hinges. Most of the differences between the Young America of the Founding Fathers and the Modern America of the 1920s have their roots in the shift caused by those four years of bloody conflict. The 50+ years that followed are just America adjusting to this shift: Reconstruction, The Gilded Age, Industrialization, Closing the Frontier, the Progressive Era . . . It's almost as though the South was holding the country back, and when it suddenly lost the ability to do so, we leaped forward with a vengeance.

Considering all of the things that gained a solid hold in the United States after the Civil War, this seems to follow. Put another way, a number of important developments arose to coincide conveniently with the defeat of the South in the Civil War. Without their agrarian interests, America industrialized rapidly. Without their religious fundamentalism, Naturalism and its brethren took hold in the American mind. Soldiers from both sides, and many others, headed West and conquered the frontier.

Not that the South was not still a potent force in its own way, and not that it would never be again. The Ku Klux Klan began during the Reconstruction, and were nearing the peak of their influence by 1920. Southern authors and artists were influential and nationally popular during this time and afterwards.

Basically, though, I don't have a great deal of meaningful reflection from this week's class, which should be readily apparent by now. The Transitional Period is difficult to try and capture quickly and effectively, and I just can't seem to latch onto one particular element that interested me enough to generate a significant firing of the synapses, flowing of the creative juices, or stimulating the little grey cells.

Posted by Jared at 11:59 PM | TrackBack

July 20, 2005

Christian Charity

"There is a limit to human charity," said Lady Outram, trembling all over.

"There is," said Father Brown dryly; "and that is the real difference between human charity and Christian charity. You must forgive me if I was not altogether crushed by your contempt for my uncharitableness to-day; or by the lectures you read me about pardon for every sinner. For it seems to me that you only pardon the sins that you don't really think sinful. You only forgive criminals when they commit what you don't regard as crimes, but rather as conventions. So you tolerate a conventional duel, just as you tolerate a conventional divorce. You forgive because there isn't anything to be forgiven."

"But, hang it all," cried Mallow, "you don't expect us to be able to pardon a vile thing like this?"

"No," said the priest; "but we have to be able to pardon it . . . We have to touch such men . . . We have to say the word that will save them from hell. We alone are left to deliver them from despair when your human charity deserts them. Go on your own primrose path pardoning all your favourite vices and being generous to your fashionable crimes; and leave us in the darkness, vampires of the night, to console those who really need consolation; who do things really indefensible, things that neither the world nor they themselves can defend; and none but a priest will pardon. Leave us with the men who commit the mean and revolting and real crimes; mean as St. Peter when the cock crew, and yet the dawn came."

-The Secret of Father Brown by G. K. Chesterton

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June 29, 2005

Academician Jared, BA, BS, MA, MS, MBA, PhD

2_fbi.GIF

I got this in my e-mail inbox today. So . . . It looks like I'll be dropping out of LeTourneau, then. Job prospects are looking up now, too. I dare any fast food restaurant or retail store outlet in Longview to turn me down now! Haha! I bet I could even make manager at, like, Burger King or somewhere.

Ambitious? Me?

Posted by Jared at 10:06 PM | TrackBack

June 22, 2005

Self-Deprecation

I have arrived in West Texas, safe and sound, and I'll be here until next Monday. The reason for this trip is the 50th wedding anniversary of my dad's parents . . . EVERYbody's coming in, and it should be fun. Meanwhile, I just thought I'd share with you a few jokes told to me by my brother Ian:

A group of globetrotters were travelling aboard the same airplane, swapping exaggerated claims and tall tales. After a few real whoppers, one of the more silent ones pipes up with one of his own. "I can stick my hand outside the plane," he says, "and tell exactly what country we're flying over."

This statement is, of course, met with scoffs and demands of proof, so he sticks his hand outside the plane and, after a moment's thought, says, "We're flying over Egypt." "How do you know?" his fellow passengers inquire. "Well, I just felt the tip of one of the pyramids."

Awhile later, he sticks his hand outside the plane again, and this time he says, "Ah, we're flying over the United States now." "How can you tell?" "I just brushed the crown of the Statue of Liberty."

Finally, sometime afterwards, he sticks his hand outside the plane a third time and immediately calls out, "Aha! We're definitely flying over Guatemala!" "Now how could you possibly tell that?" "My watch just got stolen."

_____________________________________

You know, they recently invented a device that totally eliminates stealing, robbery, and theft of all kinds nationwide when simply placed inside a country and switched on. It was tested with great success in Mexico last month; all of the thieves were just gone. So, last week they thought they'd give it a try in Guatemala. Three hours later, it had disappeared.

_____________________________________

A number of people of various nationalities were sitting around chewing the fat one day, and the topic of conversation turned to the question of what makes each country truly great and unique. Going around the circle, a Swiss man proudly said, "Well, Switzerland is home to the most beautiful mountains in the entire world." "Oh?" rejoined an American, "Well, the United States was the first country to put a man on the moon."

"That's nothing," piped up a Guatemalan, "Guatemalan scientists are hard at work right now preparing the first manned expedition to the sun. Soon, all of the glory will be ours."

"A trip to the sun?" asked the American, confused. "How do you plan to deal with the problem of the sun's intense heat?"

"That's not an issue," replied the Guatemalan. "We're planning to go at night."

_____________________________________

Two Guatemalan prisoners were planning a jailbreak. "Alright," said one, "here's what we'll do. If the perimeter fence is short, we'll go over it. If it's tall, we'll tunnel underneath. I think that covers all contingencies . . . let's go take a look."

Stepping outside, they stared around them in open despair. "Well, now what are we going to do?" moaned the second. "They don't even have a fence."

_____________________________________

Well, there you have it . . . the latest word in humor from Guatemala, brought to you today by my little chapin . . . err, brother. I'll catch you all later, I'm gonna go see if he's got any more . . .

Posted by Jared at 09:20 PM | TrackBack

June 01, 2005

Sith Happens

Real post coming very soon, I promise. Meanwhile, this just in, via Randy. Episode III: The Unofficial Script by "Maya." It's really, really funny, and not as long as it seems (lots of comments down below).

Key quote-

PALPATINE: Yo, Yoda.
YODA: Fight, shall we?
MAYA: I want the Emperor to win. I know he's pure evil, but at least he doesn't abuse the English language.

Warning: I take no responsibility for what you might find in the comments section or in the following of any link on the page. Or for anything else, really.

Posted by Jared at 10:18 PM | TrackBack

March 23, 2005

A Twisted, Tortured Industry

Today's assignment: If you are or have ever been in any way associated with the education of children, read this.

By the way, since, presumably, you were a child yourself once, and since, presumably, you are able to read this now, I think I can safely say that all of you should have followed the link and read the article.

I knew a lot of this already, but not all of it . . . and I really wasn't aware of the full extent of what the textbook industry has become. I mean, I knew that textbooks sucked as a general rule, and that "conscientious citizens" are more often than not the number one enemy of a well-rounded education of any value, but this is ridiculous! Be sure to note the reference to Longview in the article . . . I just stopped dead for almost a full minute when I read that. Somehow, though, I really wasn't surprised.

Posted by Jared at 06:33 PM | TrackBack

March 07, 2005

I Have a Strong Aversion to Mondays

But I fully realize that nothing can be done to fix the problem. Any attempt to do away with Mondays would be akin to removing the 13th floor of a high-rise building. Sure, you can tell them they're on the 14th floor, but everybody knows . . .

Anyway, the last week or so has been pretty much a blur . . . Outside of the movies I've watched and classes I've attended, I really don't remember much . . . and I am now trying to slide gracefully down into Spring Break (which, for me, begins at 12:15 PM on Friday). I'm not too picky about the graceful part, and I'll probably wind up flopping clumsily into my well-earned, greatly-needed, much-desired vacation. I'll be spending my ten days on-campus this year, for various reasons. I plan to do nothing (for the most part) but eat, sleep, watch movies, and catch up on my reading. Rachel, Uncle Doug, and Martinez will all be here as well, and I look forward to a grand time with the three of them.

But I'm not there yet. I still have a short essay about differing perspectives on the French Revolution . . . Psych, American Lit, and Texas midterms . . . an extra credit essay on the Spanish expeditions into Texas . . . and 10 pages of Psych journals (well, technically about 8 now, I think). I've had worse workloads, but as I say, the 10 days of bliss are not upon me yet.

Here goes nothin' . . .

Posted by Jared at 11:47 PM | TrackBack

February 16, 2005

Putting Myself in a Box

Well, a few quizzes caught my eye here and there, and I realized it's been quite some time since I took any. So I figured, Why not? They're all close enough to accuracy for government work, I think. I like the last one best, but if you try to take it you may need to try and refresh 2 or 3 times, depending on Quizilla traffic.

You Are A Romantic Realist

You are more romantic than 50% of the population.




You tend to be grounded when it comes to romance.
Sure, you can fall hard... but only for someone you've gotten to know.
And once you're in love, you can be a total romantic goofball...
But you'd never admit it to your friends!

Are You Romantic or Realistic?
You Have A Type B+ Personality
B+


You're a pro at going with the flow
You love to kick back and take in everything life has to offer
A total joy to be around, people crave your stability.

While you're totally laid back, you can have bouts of hyperactivity.
Get into a project you love, and you won't stop until it's done
You're passionate - just selective about your passions

Do You Have a Type A Personality?

modbrits
You are a Mod. Yeah baby.


What kind of Sixties Person are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

slytherclaw
You're a Slytherclaw!: By nature you are rational
and a realist. Some people may call you cynical
and elitist but this doesn't matter to you. You
don't depend on other people's opinions to
determine how you live your life. You are
generally cautious and prefer to weigh the
consequences before you act. In conflicts you
prefer to remain neutral and aloof. You value
intelligence and you are a natural diplomat,
you can convince people to do what you want
them to do. Your weakness is that you sometimes
think more with your head than with your heart
and it leads to isolation. With the
intelligence of a Ravenclaw and the subtlety of
a Slytherin you will be sure to achieve all
your goals!


Which Mix of the Hogwarts Houses are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Posted by Jared at 01:11 PM | TrackBack

February 15, 2005

August 24, 1983 - February 22, 2005

I really hope that the above dates do not appear on my tombstone. Well, the first one can, I suppose, and the second might . . . but I really hope not. Now, as to why that second date could potentially be carved into my own personalized hunk of granite . . .

After a day spent frantically completing an assignment for Historiography, wondering how I could possibly hope to finish my two book reports by Thursday, and examining various syllabi so that no other enormous assignments would be able to sneak up and catch me unaware, I discovered the following about next Tuesday:

--American Lit II: My first five journals fall due, all of which will require at least two pages of writing for me (though that is well above the minimum limit) plus a review of the lit that I'm writing about which could prove to involve a good bit of reading (but not too very much).

--Twentieth Century Russia: Dr. K decided he'd roll my book report back to next Tuesday. This is a good thing. After all, I still have 200 pages to go in the book, and it involves a 3-5 page paper. So, as I say, good . . . Right?

--Texas & the American West: Dr. J decided he'd roll my book report back to next Tuesday. This is a good thing. After all, I still have 250 pages to go in the book, and it involves a 3-5 page paper. So, as I say, good . . . Right? Wait, that paragraph looks really familiar . . .

--Historiography: I must read Maccabees . . . both of them. And write a 2-3 page analysis of them.

So, what I'm basically looking at is something like 18-25 pages of writing and . . . a lot of reading, all for next Tuesday.

Why, God? Why?

Posted by Jared at 09:30 PM | TrackBack

February 08, 2005

The LeTourneau Amateur Yankee Historian Society

**WARNING**
If you don't like rants or the venting of steam, keep on scrolling. I'm just talkin', don't nobody have to listen.

If you live in any one of the 37 continental states that is not in the south, I just might have a bone to pick with you. I have decided to declare today, February 8th, to be my own personal "I Hate Arrogant Damnyankees" Day.

I have taken this step because it has come to my attention that I truly despise non-Southern Americans who wander about complacently with their noses in the air and speak in shocked, superior tones about how scandalizing and difficult to comprehend they find the historical treatment of the African American race in our region of the country. They speak as though their lily-white ancestors, those indian-slaughtering, slavery-tolerating, immigrant-exploiting men of young America, didn't accrue a single ugly skeleton in their pristine historical closets from the moment they set foot on this continent . . . to say nothing of exploits in Europe, Asia, Africa . . .

Now I should probably clarify a few things. To begin with, yes, slavery and racism are really really really bad. I am painfully aware that we are smack in the middle of Black History Month (don't get me started) and even if we were in some distant portion of what is apparently "White History Rest-of-the-Year" I wouldn't think of making light of the plight of minorities in American history. There is almost nothing I hate worse than mindless prejudice. Which is probably why I'm so irritated at the stupidity of a certain two people in my lit class this morning.

We're studying Huck Finn right now, so of course the topic of racism reared its ugly head. And a certain non-southern type announced that he had been driving by a local high school with his Texan girlfriend, and she had pointed it out as a school that had been segregated. And he saw fit to inform us that he was stunned, not only that such a thing had taken place, but that anyone would actually admit to it.

Ummm . . .? Yes. And I'll also be pleading the fifth on the subjects of Auschwitz, the Inquisition, and the Trail of Tears. What's that look for? No one in history has ever done anything evil or wrong!

Then the guy who thinks everything literary is either allegorical or satirical spoke up, speculating that Twain was indulging in a little satire on slaves. "I mean, things weren't really this bad were they? And those people weren't really that superstitious, right?"

Seriously, this guy once asked (during a discussion of "The Outcasts of Poker Flat") whether it was allegorical since the name of the town is Poker Flat and the main character of the story is a professional gambler.

And don't even get me started on the religion of "don't steal massuh's chickens." I can't handle it right now.

Posted by Jared at 11:21 AM | TrackBack

February 06, 2005

Let Me Know If You Win

I know I've mentioned this before, but . . . You take 15 hours of classes, work 14 hours, and find a very special girl, then try to keep up a blog with anything resembling regularity. Or just sit there and watch me do it. Anyway . . .

Wilson found me the link to this great article from the Journal of Religion and Society, which I found very enjoyable: Christian Theology as Depicted in The Lord of the Rings and the Harry Potter Books. Go check it out.

And speaking of Wilson . . . The characters in this comic are fictional and do not intentionally resemble any persons living or dead that I know of. Neither Wilson nor I know Bill Watterson personally, to the best of my knowledge . . .

I'm the one taking a nap.

CalvinHobbes.gif

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January 17, 2005

Of Mustard Seeds and Motherships

To anyone who dares to state categorically that the serious modern scientist is a man of little or no faith, I say, "Oh, yeah?"

Key quote: We have pulled together various recent discoveries and theoretical issues that collectively point to the strong probability that we should be in the midst of one or more huge extraterrestrial civilizations.

I sure hope the Vulcans find us first.

Posted by Jared at 03:27 AM | TrackBack

January 06, 2005

Life With My Friends

(The following is sung to the tune of "The Sound of Silence" by Simon & Garfunkel)

Hello blogger, my old friend,
Iím writing from the labs again,
Because the Ice Cave is too damn freezing,
And Waffle Shoppe has poor Wilson sneezing,
And the warped link that was planted in my brain
Still remains.
That's how life is with my friends.

Near 5:15 I took a stroll
'Cross the berm to visit Scholl.
íNeath the shadow of the bell tower,
I'd just looked up so I could check the hour,
When my ears were split as the Gallagher called out "Whore!"
Here came some more.
And I was joined by my friends.

Then in the fading light I saw
a dozen people, maybe more.
There was Scott and he had on his hat.
Rachel was running late (imagine that).
Everyone was arguing so loud that people stared,
Though no one cared.
That's how it sounds 'round my friends.

Fools, said I, let's go to Bode.
Be careful as you cross the road.
There goes Martinez! Someone grab the door!
Let's all make sure that last in line is Moore!
And then Uncle Doug walked right on in himself,
And ordered
Before the rest of my friends.

Then we wondered who should pray,
And Sharpton finally said "Okay."
Then Scholl said, Wench logic's very slight,
And he made a joke 'bout Ardith's height.
Anna sighed and her elbow dug its way into his sore ribs
While Ardith glared.
Life's so fun with my friends.

***

I'm not quite sure where that came from . . . Wilson sang a few lines of a modified version earlier and I was inspired. I wouldn't have picked this song if I were in my right mind . . . it wasn't the easiest to work with. Anyway . . . enjoy.

Posted by Jared at 09:26 PM | TrackBack

January 05, 2005

Homerun

Safe!

Posted by Jared at 07:06 PM | TrackBack

January 02, 2005

The Christmas Break Doldrums

And so we arrive at that dull, not-as-lengthy-as-it-inevitably-seems period when all of the holidays of the break have passed but the break itself has not yet ended. Few people have any stories of note to record. The hapless dial-uppers are rarely to be found online. The internet becomes a wasteland.

And I still compulsively sign on every few hours to check things out, which makes it all the more depressing. Oh, yeah, and Rachel is now off wandering the wild, wild west. Hrmph.

I've done some fun, quiet things during the past few days. I'll be leaving here on Wednesday to return home to the Ice Cave and I have plans to indulge in further indolent behavior between now and then. I'll blog before I go. I'll blog again when I get there.

Meanwhile, the chief purpose of this post (aside from a bit of whining) is to direct you all here for a far more entertaining account of my time with Andy than I provided . . . plus some fun pictures.

Posted by Jared at 11:10 PM | TrackBack

December 28, 2004

Awww . . .

Hmmm . . . I just noticed my dad's desktop picture (beneath the fold), and it made me think of something. The picture you see up there is of me (of course) . . . Age one or so, I suppose.

Why am I posting these? Well, I can't really say for sure . . . but I think it would be entertaining if friends on my blogroll would do the same on their own blogs. If you happen to bored some afternoon, and you have the necessary resources at hand, put up one of your baby pictures . . . I'm sure we'd all love to see what various SCers looked like 16-21 years ago.

That's me on the right, Ashley on the left. Considering our age difference, I'm guessing that I'm about 21 months old, and she's about a year old . . . but I actually haven't the foggiest idea.

Posted by Jared at 01:17 AM | TrackBack

December 26, 2004

We Sang It in Church

The Twelve Meals of Christmas

For the twelfth meal of Christmas, my grandma served to me:
12 gag-me gag-me's
11 yucky yuckies
10 beenie-weenies
9 globs of spinach
8 yummy peaches
7 smelly red things
6 smelly green things
5-layer cake!
4 black-eyed peas
3 meatballs
2 balls of rice
And a Big, Giant Broccoli Tree!

I guess I just don't understand modern praise & worship.

Posted by Jared at 07:11 PM | TrackBack

December 24, 2004

My Revised Christmas List

- One stupid, sappy, Hollywood-style Christmas miracle.

I need it bad, and I need it now.

Posted by Jared at 06:59 PM | TrackBack

Feliz Navidad

Well, I had hoped to upload a few pictures of myself out enjoying the Winter Wonderland, but unfortunately this frigging computer sucks. It sucks it sucks it sucks. And I hate it. It is an infernal piece of crap, designed (no doubt) to torment me and push me to the very edge of insanity.

But I'm not going to let it. After cursing loudly and vehemently at it, I am continuing to use it, just as sane as I ever was. (Read: Uh-oh)

Meanwhile, all of the presents and overnight bags are loaded into the cars, and we are about to drive to Christmas. I suppose this is the best place to note that I didn't wrap any of the presents I bought because I have discovered that Ian is one of Santa's elves. He wrapped them all for me (except the one I bought him, which my mother wrapped . . . yes, I am pathetic) free of charge. In fact, if I had felt like being crafty I could probably have squeezed a bit of cash out of him for allowing him to wrap them for me. But it is Christmas after all . . .

Anyway, Christmas Eve will be spent at my grandmother's house, and Christmas Day will be at my grandma's. Sunday morning will find me grumbling through a Toti sermon, and on Sunday afternoon (hopefully) I will be spending some time with my good friend Andy (GlitBiter). He'll be in town visiting relatives as well.

By the time I return here sometime on Monday, I expect that I will be all Christmas-ed out, so I'm taking this opportunity to wish you all A Very Merry Christmas (whether it be white, yellow, black, red, brown, green, blue, or hot pink). I'm sure I'll have one, in spite of myself.

Posted by Jared at 03:17 PM | TrackBack

December 22, 2004

I'm Dreaming

I woke up this morning and looked out my window to find that this ugly, brown West Texas town . . . was still an ugly West Texas town. But now it is covered with a beautiful, soft blanket of sparkling white snowflakes!

Even as I wrote the preceding two sentences, I've opened the curtains in front of me half a dozen times to stare out at it. I love the snow. There are only a few inches of it, but my grandmother says they've got a full foot around their house. Looks like it's going to be a white Christmas for me.

*contented sigh*

Posted by Jared at 11:30 AM | TrackBack

December 16, 2004

Welcome to My New Sidebar Item

You've probably already spotted the picture in the sidebar which signals the arrival of a new feature to this blog. I've been playing with the idea for awhile now, and now that the semester is over I was suddenly motivated to see if I could make it work. At the moment I have no idea how often I'll change it. In all probability it will be changed once every three days to a week.

We'll see how it goes. Meanwhile, I should also mention an important point to keep in mind. Note that I'm calling this "Featured Book" not "Favorite Book." As a matter of fact, my favorite books of all time will likely not find their way here for quite some time to come. Meanwhile, the books you do see will be there for no particular reason outside of mere whimsy. I might not even like the book I have up, and my review will reflect this.

Another thing which will reflect my general opinion of the book in question is the rating you will see next to it. The rating next to the current book is 3 out of 5. This rating is not nearly as useful as the percentage rating I give to movies, but a similar process would be impossible in rating these books. The rating I give a book will not necessarily make it the equal of all other books that get the same rating . . . It's just a very rough indicator of the overall quality and entertainment value that I found personally.

Enjoy.

Posted by Jared at 04:13 PM | TrackBack

December 14, 2004

One Purchase to Rule Them All

I made a little trip to Wal-mart this evening, and I return having successfully purchased a copy of this.

It says (and I quote), "Feature Run Time: Approx. 250 Minutes"

*evil, vaguely-nerdy (or more likely very nerdy) cackle*

Must . . . hold out . . . for Wednesday . . .

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December 12, 2004

Breathing Deeply Again

It's called clearing the air, and it's a beautiful thing.

And yes, I am still up, and this is my third all-nighter this week. So sue me.

Somehow I feel as though this is the only one that was worth my while . . .

Posted by Jared at 06:43 AM | TrackBack

December 04, 2004

A Heaping Helping of Home-cooked Humor

Wow. This is funny.

Head over to Hell's Kitchen and have a look at Sartre's Cookbook (yes, as in Jean-Paul).

Thanks, Wilson.

Posted by Jared at 02:28 PM | TrackBack

November 22, 2004

(lip)Id, Ego, and Superego

It's been three weeks or so since I did an online quiz. So here's an online quiz.

Lipid
You are a lipid. You know whom you like and whom
you hate, and you like hanging out with people
who think like you do. People who disagree with
you annoy you to no end. You either love
Abercrombie and Fitch or you despise it, but
there's no middle ground. You're polar.


Which Biological Molecule Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

I could have said quite a few different things in response to the questions, so I played around with it a bit. This one seemed to be . . . close. There were others that were close, as well. I turned up "pheromone" a time or two, and "enzyme" several times in a row. But I guess I'll hang with the lipids for now.

Posted by Jared at 01:03 AM | TrackBack

November 21, 2004

Bis-remarks

One is always pleased to find that one is not alone when one has these little opinions about this and that. And when one finds a kindred spirit among the great names in history, well . . . One feels, as they say, "like pigs in clover."

In 1847, Johanna Puttkamer (who was engaged to Otto von Bismarck) sent a letter to her betrothed which said (among other things), "Loyalty is the very fire which always vivifies and sustains the heart of existence."

Bismarck replied, "[That strikes me as being] one of those nebulous, misty phrases from which it is difficult to derive any clear meaning and which not infrequently have injurious results when they are carried over from poetry to actuality - especially by women who as young girls have observed life almost exclusively through the spectacles of the poet."

As the author of this book (From Bismarck to Adenauer: Aspects of German Statecraft by Gordon A. Craig) observes, "This was perhaps less than ardent; but then not even love should be allowed to excuse bad prose."

How true.

As a random aside in keeping with the ongoing Yiddish Project, and the ever-popular Personal Amusement Project, give the following site a visit. I promise that you will be entertained unless you're a nudnik.

Yiddish with Dick and Jane

Posted by Jared at 04:11 PM | TrackBack

November 01, 2004

Genuine Post Forthcoming . . .

Global Personality Test Results
Stability (67%) moderately high which suggests you are relaxed, calm, secure, and optimistic.
Orderliness (29%) low which suggests you are overly flexible, improvised, and fun seeking at the expense too often of reliability, work ethic, and long term accomplishment.
Extraversion (47%) medium which suggests you are moderately talkative, outgoing, sociable and interacting.
Take Free Global Personality Test
personality tests by similarminds.com

trait snapshot:

messy, tough, disorganized, fearless, not rule conscious, likes the unknown, rarely worries, rash, attracted to the counter culture, rarely irritated, positive, resilient, abstract, not a perfectionist, risk taker, strange, weird, self reliant, leisurely, dangerous, anti-authority, trusting, optimistic, positive, thrill seeker, likes bizarre things, sarcastic

Via Sharptiano. Not dead on, but just about as close as online quizzes get.

Posted by Jared at 09:21 PM | TrackBack

October 25, 2004

I've said it before . . .

The best, funniest things are just flat-out unbloggable. I call it the "Unwritten" Law.

Get it?

Posted by Jared at 07:03 PM | TrackBack

October 20, 2004

English Reviewed, or "Ow! My Grammar!"

This evening we were inspired (by a froshie exegesis paper) to compose the following list of terms that would look good in red ink at the top of a graded paper. I call it:

The ABCs of Wretched Writing

A is for Asinine
B is for Bollixed
C is for Crap
D is for Dregs
E is for Excruciating
F is for Freaking awful
G is for Godforsaken
H is for Hellacious
I is for Inhumane
J is for Jacked up
K is for Knife in the eye
L is for "Let me hack off your hands."
M is for Mercy killing
N is for Nauseating
O is for Opprobrious
P is for Putrid
Q is for Quite bad
R is for Really, really wrong
S is for Suck
T is for "Try again . . . No, wait. Go shoot yourself in the face."
U is for Unbearable
V is for Vacuous
W is for Why?!
X . . . just X
Y is for "You, hanging from the highest Yardarm."
Z is for Zzzz.

If you think of any delectable additions . . . Well, the comment section is open, please make use of it. C'mon, Drs. Johnson, Kubricht, Hummel, Coppinger, Watson, Solganick, Woodring, and Hood . . . you know you wanna . . .

Posted by Jared at 09:39 PM | TrackBack

October 06, 2004

You almost filmed WHAT?!

Okay, it's been over two months since I devoted a post to something sufficiently geeky (and English geekiness doesn't count) so here we go.

Return of the King: Extended Edition will be released on December 14th. This is clearly unacceptable . . . a full month after the last installment was released a year ago. What is that?! That doesn't leave me nearly enough of a comfortable margin to squeeze in a trilogy marathon before we go our separate ways at Christmas.

Unacceptable.

They'll try to make up for this with the promise of 50 extra minutes of footage . . . and I'll admit that I am slightly mollified by the prospect. Here is a fairly detailed listing of the new stuff we'll see. I am even more mollified.

And there is a floating rumor of a possible Thanksgiving-ish theatrical release of the EE in select theaters. It is possible that I will be even less upset, but I'm not banking on it.

Oh, and by the way, if any of you have a problem with new material that screws with the canon, I found something that might provide a bit of perspective. While scrolling through the titles of various special features that will be included in the two discs of "Appendices" I came across the following: "Abandoned Concept: Aragorn Battles Sauron."

*sigh of relief* That was a close one, my friends.

Posted by Jared at 04:30 PM | TrackBack

October 05, 2004

Why I Changed

Within an hour the morning classes were under way. At an ink-stained desk, with his chin cupped in his hands, Titus was contemplating, as in a dream, the chalk-marks on the blackboard. They represented a sum in short division, but might as well have been some hieroglyphic message from a moonstruck prophet to his lost tribe a thousand years ago. His mind, and the minds of his small companions in that leather-walled schoolroom, was far away, but in a world, not of prophets, but of swopped marbles, birds' eggs, wooden daggers, secrets and catapults, midnight feasts, heroes, deadly rivalries and desperate friendships.

--Mervyn Peake, Gormenghast

Posted by Jared at 02:56 PM | TrackBack

September 23, 2004

The Hijacking of a Short Paper

But aside from a bit of shameless self-glorification, what was John Smithís chief motive for writing and publishing his accounts? Both the introduction to the piece and the final section of the excerpt indicate that My Brain is Bleeding. If you think thatís gross, Iím sorry, but . . . Iíve often wondered about people who couldnít quite catch onto the whole ďblood and goreĒ thing . . . I mean, what do they think theyíre full of themselves, really? Itís about as logical as hoping for a golden whistle. In the end, some flamingo is just going to come along and take everything you have away from you and sell it to white slavers just to make a buck so it can buy itself a fake leather chair. None of that is really worth the effort. Why, for instance, do you bother to empty the trash? What are you throwing away? One manís trash is another manís treasure, right? You could be swapping that crap for Porsches and gold bars, dude . . . If I had a big gold bar, Iíd set it in a prominent place in my living room, and everyone who came by would stop and stare at it, and ask me if it was fake. And I would tell them that yes, it was. And they would believe me because people are just that credulous. I mean, what would I really be doing with a gold bar sitting in my living room anyway? Iíd be much better off with an orange recliner right? One of those really big comfortable ones that you can kick back in and be asleep before you even have the footrest all the way out. The problem with those is, you canít read in them, or even watch movies, really. And I do like to do both of those. I get little enough real reading done as it is, I donít need some random piece of furniture putting me to sleep as well. Not that I donít get enough sleep . . . I get far more than I need to stay alive, and nearly enough to be fairly comfortable, all things considered. I donít stay awake on caffeine more often than is absolutely necessary, and at this time of year it rarely is necessary. When I do go with caffeine, my drink of choice (if I can get it) is Cherry Coke because of all the sugar. Of course, Dr. Pepper or any number of things will do in a pinch. Thatís a pinch of sugar or a pinch of cheek . . . whichever you prefer. When I say ďcheekĒ of course, I donít mean mouthing off, I mean that part of your face that old ladies grab and shake when they come up to you at funerals and other such places. I donít think I recall ever attending any funerals, actually, so I wouldnít know about that I suppose. Iíve been in the same building as a funeral a number of times. I remember when I was younger my grandparents would be taking care of me, but theyíd have a funeral to go to, so Iíd tag along and hang out in the upper floors of their creepy old church while the funeral took place somewhere under me. I suppose I should have found the whole situation vaguely creepy, but the real concern was to be quiet and not disturb the old people. If I disturbed them theyíd probably have swarmed up and tried to pinch my cheek or something, and I didnít want that. I donít know what I wanted. I never wanted anything like a pony or a fast car or a toy jabberwocky or a box of tequila or a painting of a sunny day . . . which is good, I guess, because I never got any of those things. And if I had, I would probably just have traded them for gold bars or something equally worthless which would just sit and collect dust for eons and never do anyone any good unless someone needed a handy murder weapon in a pinch. But Iím not going there again.

Posted by Jared at 01:09 AM | TrackBack

September 05, 2004

Blessed Annual Day!

Today, September 5th, is officially declared to be Annual Day . . . after all, it only happens once a year and I feel that it is high time we recognized that fact.

Do something special to celebrate . . . I know I will.

Posted by Jared at 03:01 AM | TrackBack

September 01, 2004

Peaceful Coexistence?

pvp20040831.gif

Not bloody likely.

(Only at PVP)

Posted by Jared at 10:20 PM | TrackBack

August 05, 2004

"Fie upon such witless notions!"

-- Useful phrase frequently intoned by the wizard Zulkeh during his travels, Forward the Mage (Ummm . . . Scholl says it sometimes too. I think he stole it.)

Anyway, work sucks. The Big Summer Movie Project continues, but (with the exception of the few movies that inspire me to post, see below) I'll be reporting in full on that at the end of the . . . y'know . . . summer.

I see that Anna mentioned my oh-so-special (not to mention brave) excursion to Bodacious BBQ with the usually-frightening-and-most-certainly-carnivorous denizens of Apartment 15B. Yeah. Special times.

Anna: "Hey! We should all hit on Wheeler!"

That wasn't what she meant, but I wasn't particularly keen on being punched, either.

Anyway . . . did I mention that work sucks? I suppose I did . . . only three and a half working days left! I suppose I can hold out that long. Meanwhile, my book (the one quoted above) is very much a lot of fun (as, of course, are the other three I'm reading for fun . . . Can't believe I waited nearly eight months to read the next Aubrey/Maturin book. What was I thinking?!).

That's really all that's going on at the moment, although I have every confidence that things will pick up very soon. In the meantime, I should like to share the following particularly entertaining excerpt from my current sojourn into the realms of the "screwball fantasy" genre, Forward the Mage (quoted above), which is, thus far, every bit as amusing as the book it follows.

I have every confidence that it will bring a great deal of either laughter or pain to each and every single one of you . . . and possibly a mixture of both. Read on:

"But master, I don't have anything else to make a sack from," whined the dwarf.

"Bah!" oathed the mage. Zulkeh rose from his chair and stalked over to a shelf, from which he drew forth a book and a box.

"Thoughtless lout!" The mage extended the box to Shelyid. "Have you forgotten this?"

Shelyid gingerly took the box.

"But, master, you told me never to open this box. So I don't know what's in it."

"Do not attempt to excuse your ignorance with ignorance, wretched gnome! Of course I forbade you to open the box, for it contains nothing less valuable than the hide of a guthfish."

Shelyid's brow furrowed.

"What's a guthfish?"

"Lazy dwarf! The nature of said magical piscoid is recounted in this penetrating volume by the Potentates Laebmauntsforscynneweeld, The Guthfish of Grotum, its history and natural philosophy."

The wizard now extended the book.

"Had you but read this tome - instead of lolling about in idleness - it would have opened up to your understanding the divers uses of the creature's hide as well as the strange and wonderful characteristics thereof."

"But, master, you told me never to read that book, lest I should be felled in my mind - actually you said the cluttered pit which passes for my mind - by the subtle and cunning things which are contained therein."

"Bah!" oathed the mage. "Do you seek to excuse your disobedience with obedience?"

Zulkeh thrust the book into Shelyid's hands.

"Read this, unworthy wretch! - and proceed to fashion the sack according to its instructions."

"Yes, master," sighed the dwarf, seating himself on his stool.

Shelyid quickly read through the first chapters, in which was recounted the history and habits of the rare guthfish of Grotum. Therein he learned the fabled fish had once - or so, at least, was the legend - swallowed the entire universe when it was tiny and disgorged it back out when it was huge. He was then introduced to the lore of the guthfish hide itself, its many attributes and curious characteristics, which included the fact that it was not only the strongest and most elastic material known to exist, that it could not only conform to whatever object or objects it encompassed, but that, in addition, it possessed the strange power of infinite expansion - this last property being apparently magical, since it could be analyzed by the use of mathematical formula known to man, including several which were mutually contradictory.

The last chapter contained instructions for fashioning the guthfish hide into a useful sack. This Shelyid read carefully, noting that the hide could only be cut with a singularity (left drawer, upper cabinet), could only be sown with a needle made from the square root of -1 (middle shelf, small box under the curious amulet from Obpont), and could only be stitched with superstring thread made from the Theory of Everything, of which, needless to say, the wizard had a vast amount stored on spools scattered all over the abandoned death house.

After reading the last chapter twice, Shelyid took up the box and examined it. The following was written on the front of the box:

GENUINE
GUTHFISH HIDE
100% Pure and Undiluted!
Large Economy Size!!
Use It For Everything!!!
Fits Anything!!!!

WARNING: Studies by pettifogging government agencies and alarmist environmental fanatics have indicated that guthfish hide is toxic to the health of some people. Further study, however, by sober and reputable industrial scientists has shown that such people are not worth a damn and would be better off dead anyway. Symptoms may include the onset of bad nerves, pox, palsy, jitters, quivers, tremors, convulsions, paroxysms, fevers, the staggers, the jerks, shortness of breath, frequent and uncontrolled excretion, irregularities of the pulse, lockjaw, ague, fidgets, timorousness and a general feeling of social inferiority, these, of course, the classic symptoms of that most dread of nervous conditions, hysteria follicularia. Use at your own risk.

Posted by Jared at 06:47 PM | TrackBack

August 04, 2004

Relieved for Medical Reasons

The Finnish Defense Force - a military after the LeTourneau Geek's own heart.

Key Quote: Doctors have found the young men miss their computers too much to cope with their compulsory six months in the forces.

Makes me wonder what sort of excuses I might be able to come up with . . .

"But . . . you can't do this to me! I'll miss the next 6 months of Men in Hats!"

Posted by Jared at 07:17 AM | TrackBack

July 13, 2004

Geek Hierarchy Update

I humbly submit that Anime Freaks are without doubt the most frightening of any group of people in existence.

P.S. I blame it on the ratio.

Posted by Jared at 04:49 PM | TrackBack

July 12, 2004

Ingrates

Being a bachelor is a lot like being five years old.

This thought occured to me earlier today as my mind was wandering in the midst of painting, and a couple of Fallen Ones were swapping stories in the next room.

To begin in with, there are the comparisons that will laughingly be drawn concerning how much each cleans up the house or otherwise displays general signs of responsible behavior. That's not what I'm talking about . . . (Well, maybe a little).

Both bachelors and five-year olds have the general ability to hold a carefree (or even careless) attitude about life in general. Both can afford to be extravagant with their free time. Neither has any particular reason to care what anyone else thinks about them.

But the chief similarity that struck me was this: Neither of them seem to have any appreciation at all for this ideal state! How unfair is that? They are both ridiculously preoccupied with advancing to the next stage in life, never realizing how well off they are until the current stage has passed and they can never return to it. So sad.

So few demands on time . . . So few responsibilities to keep track of from day to day . . .

What a waste.

That is all.

Posted by Jared at 10:58 PM | TrackBack

July 01, 2004

That is too funny . . .

I must see this movie . . .

Posted by Jared at 12:42 AM | TrackBack

June 30, 2004

And so it begins again . . .

"Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince," huh?

Onward to book 6!

***Update***

And that's not all that begins again and continues onward . . .

I love this site.

Posted by Jared at 12:14 PM | TrackBack

June 18, 2004

Not recommended

My last three days have been spent with Scholl scraping approximately 120 square feet of carpet glue off of a flat, gray wall, serenaded by the banging of hammers and the grinding and squealing of various cutting and sharpening tools, and choking on the noxious fumes of paint thinner and PVC pipe cement.

And now it is the weekend.

I am a happy camper.

Posted by Jared at 05:27 PM | TrackBack

June 13, 2004

I Don't Get It

Dilbert-Liberal  Arts major.gif

Martinez was kind enough to supply me with this little gem. I'm not quite sure what it all means, or if he's trying to tell me something, but . . .

Go Liberal Arts Majors! Yeah!

Posted by Jared at 09:45 PM | TrackBack

June 11, 2004

What I Did During Summer Vacation . . . (Yeah, I Wish!)

Jared.gif

The cartoon Me enjoys his summer vacation in tropical paradise. Ahhhh . . .

Posted by Jared at 04:37 PM | TrackBack

June 04, 2004

Jared the Legendary



You are a siren.

What legend are you? Take the Legendary Being Quiz by Paradox
mermaid
Mermaid:
Mermaids, similar to Centaurs, have a torso of a
human and the body of a fish. You are curious
yet reserved in your actions. You like to have
fun but never at the expense of others and you
never roughouse. You love water and the
creature in it and feel it is your job to make
sure they stay safe.


What Mythological Creature Are You (Many Results and Beautiful Pics)
brought to you by Quizilla

So, the alternate title for this post would be something like "Shocked and Disturbed Silence" . . . Dunno if anyone can explain this one, but I'd be grateful if you wouldn't take a crack at it. I pretty much discounted the first result . . . and then the second one turned up.

I don't wanna be a freaking mermaid!!! I mean, really . . . What the heck?

The irony of the whole thing comes sliding in when I decided (so long as I was classified thusly) to go ahead and take this quiz:

Fairy
You are a Fairy. Wait a minute, a fairy? Well you
are not a mermaid at all. But you enjoy all
things and love all. You blossom every morning
and enjoy the simple pleasures of life. There
are so many fairies, I can not count them all.
Will you rate my quiz since you enjoy all?


What kind of mermaid are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Now, just for kicks, here's a bonus quiz . . . one that finally didn't disturb me:

speak and spell
You're a Speak & Spell!! You nerd, you. Just
because you were disguised as a toy doesn't
mean you weren't educational, you sneaky
bastard.


What childhood toy from the 80s are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

I'm actually working on a genuine post, but . . . Well, painting saps time and energy, that's all. Not to mention reading and watching movies during my happy seven hours of non-work and non-sleep.

Posted by Jared at 05:06 PM | TrackBack

May 19, 2004

Sensory Overload

Yeah, I know I need to blog. In fact, I need to blog even more than usual . . . So many thoughts running around in circles in my head. I've got 8 great movies to think eloquent thoughts about for class (or will by this weekend). I've just watched the most thought-provoking movie I think I've ever seen and I can't not write something about it. I'm reading books that I desperately want to finish and to write about. It's bad. So very bad. Especially since the words won't flow . . . I sit down to write and I squeeze and squeeze and nothing much seems to come out. And just when I think I've done a fairly decent amount of writing, I realize that it has taken me 6 hours to do it . . . It's taking too long, and I'm tired of that. I need a weekend, soon.

So . . . there are a dozen or so posts in the works, it'll just be a few days before any of them begin to appear. I'll probably tell some film class anecdotes in a few days when I have time, to tide you/myself over. Meanwhile, though, I really need to get to bed. (Have you noticed how many posts end that way? Most distressing . . .)

Posted by Jared at 11:57 PM | TrackBack

May 16, 2004

This Weekend Hates Me

Bah. It's the freaking end of the freaking weekend and I spent so much freaking time on freaking moving my freaking loads of crap that I didn't have any time to get any of my freaking homework done. Nor did I get to read anything for fun. Freak.

On the upside, there are new features on the blog for all to enjoy . . . Over on that sidebar, under the Yiddish Word of the Week (yes, Wilson, I changed it). So, have fun with that and I'm going to try and get some sleep.

The apartment is done . . . That is, we have unpacked everything and/or stowed everything where you can't see it ("Don't open up that closet, McGee!"). We'll try and get some pictures for you, but that may or may not be feasible without Wilson and his handy digital camera about. Be that as it may, I am going to bed now. Continue to stay awake at your own peril . . .

Posted by Jared at 11:59 PM | TrackBack

May 13, 2004

Where do you see yourself in ten years?

At your ten year high school reunion... by robbiewriter
Your school name
Your name
Your job will bePresident of a small country
You will be worth$976,309
Everyone will think youlooked cuter in high school
Created with the ORIGINAL MemeGen!

Well now . . . Who'd of thought it? I can't help but wonder which country, of course . . . And only one comes immediately to mind . . .

I did another one as well, but Wilson won't let me post it for fear that I might get myself blocked. Let's just say that it predicts that I will be cast consistently in important roles in . . . shall we say . . . movies known for, among other things, their low-budgets. I should also note that this second . . . "occupation" doesn't pay nearly as well as the first.

If your imagination just won't fill that one in for you (you lucky devil, you), and you've gotta know, just change all of the letters in my high school to lower case. And don't say I didn't warn you.

Posted by Jared at 05:59 PM | TrackBack

May 07, 2004

The Wonders of Bruce's

So, for our first supper of the summer, Ardith, Scholl, Anna and I decided it was finally time to get ourselves over to Bruce's (now that Moore is gone, you know). And we did. And it was absolutely wonderful.

Our order was taken at the car, and brought out to us. I got a large root beer (as did Anna and Ardith) and a bacon cheeseburger. So, they bring out the drinks, and the root beers are in these enormous frosted mugs . . . and when I say "mugs" you should be thinking "pitchers." Seriously . . . we're talking, like, more than a liter of root beer here. Ardith hefts hers with both hands and notes that it is as big as her head. We were very happy. The burger was also a thing of much beauty and deliciousness. I'd forgotten what real burgers tasted like . . . they are truly a worthwhile food.

No doubt we will eat there again this summer, and if Moore behaves himself maybe we will take him with us next semester. Until then, he'll just have to dream and drool.

Meanwhile, it is the first day of summer . . . or, rather, it was. And I got a lot of quality slacking out of it, since I got up at 8:45 to take Martinez to the airport. I stayed there with him until his flight was called at 10:15, but I wasn't much for brilliant conversation, I fear, as I fell asleep while we waited. Sorry 'bout that, Martinez . . .

Lunch was Taco Bell/KFC with Wilson, and the bulk of the afternoon was profitably spent dividing my time betwixt computer games, reading, and hanging around with the SC summer skeleton crew in MSC-1.

Upon our return from supper, we wandered over to Berry to watch The Godfather, Part II. It is truly an amazing movie. Personally, I prefer the first one, but that in no way belittles the second. Never before, to the best of my memory, have I been so immersed in a movie. I forgot that it was a movie, forgot the people were acting and the sets were fake. All of the acting is of the absolute highest quality, but I must especially mention DeNiro's role as the young Vito Corleone. He is totally channeling Marlon Brando, and it is amazing. Even more impressive is Al Pacino with his transformation from the soft-faced, bright-eyed idealist we saw at the beginning of the first movie to the rock-hard, ice-cold, wild-eyed and ruthless head of the family at the end of the second. The contrast is absolutely shocking, and his range is incredible. Anyway, good stuff . . . However, there is graduation to attend tomorrow, and sleep to be had inbetween, so I shall say good night.

Ummm . . . Good night.

Posted by Jared at 11:59 PM | TrackBack

Missing

Pardon me, I seem to have misplaced two years of my life. Let me see . . . I was just having a good time with a few friends . . . taking some courses on the side . . . I think I might have slept at some point . . . acquired this blog . . . played D&D . . . You know, just a few things like that. Apparently the years slipped out for a bit while I wasn't looking. If you happen to come across them . . . Well, I don't want them back or anything, but I'd like to know that they're doing well, and whether they're happy . . . That sort of thing. And maybe you can get back to me and tell me what's happened to them. I'm mildly curious.

I am now halfway through college, and I'll be 21 by the time the next semester begins. Now how did I allow that to happen? Suddenly I don't even have most of my college experience ahead of me anymore. And I'm still supposed to be, like, 17 or something . . . I refuse to believe that I am this old. And if you know me, you may well agree.

*sigh*

Anyway, so long as I'm typing up a little post after a long, hard week (which was, by the way, a smashing success from beginning to end), I'll note the interesting events of the evening . . .

Tonight I watched two vastly different World War II movies, consecutively: Schindler's List (which I hadn't seen before) and The Great Escape (which I had). Both of them are truly great movies, for totally different reasons. And both present fascinating, and mostly true, snapshots of a historical period which is so vast in scope, (though crammed into such a short time), that no single movie or angle could ever hope to take it in.

Conclusion: I need to watch Schindler's List again very soon. Which is rather easy . . . I'll be watching it during my first "Studies in American Film" class with Dr. Watson next Wednesday. And I'll have to write very extensively on it, so I'll save any further ramblings until then, in favor of the sleep that I need so badly at the end of this week.

But first, one more thing: I would simply like to note that clearly blogging has been a bad influence on almost everyone. I do not remember the world at large getting this freaking melancholy at the end of last spring. Geez. I'm gonna go . . . cry or something.

Good night, and good summer, to you all.

Posted by Jared at 02:09 AM | TrackBack

April 29, 2004

A LeTourneau Political Cartoon

This struck me as funny. If I could draw it, I would, but I can't. So I'll just have to paint you a nice, vivid, word picture. Oh, and you'll only understand this if you've been following the latest fun SC goings-on . . .

Picture a political cartoon-style drawing of a bus, hurtling rapidly towards a cliff. Emblazoned on the side are the words "Committee Selection." You have various people in the back, talking amiably: Dr. Sumrall, Dr. Coppinger, Dr. Kubricht, some other VPs . . . that sort of thing. One of them pipes up: "Say, who's driving this thing?"

And hunched over the steering wheel, crazed expression on his face, we have David Eaton.

Anyway, what else goes on with me . . . ? Let's see . . . So I decided at the last minute to not take Intro to Philosophy this summer after all because some weird stuff cropped up here and there and I looked all my options over and . . . to make a short story long . . . I am taking Dr. Watson's Studies in American Film class for my 4000 level English elective. Much w00tage. Picture this:

I will spend the first 10 weekdays of my summer watching movies with Dr. Watson and Scholl, and writing about them (the movies, not Scholl and Watson . . . silly). I will walk away with 3 hours of Senior-level English credit. Beat that, if you dare to try.

I went and talked to him about it today, just to see what I could find out. I wanted to know where he started his history of American Film.

Watson: The Beginning.

Me: The Beginning?

Watson: The Beginning.

Me: Birth of a Nation?

Watson: Yup.

Me: *gasps* All of it?

Watson: Yup.

So then I wanted to know where he ended . . . Where are we now with American film? After a bit of Q&A we settled on Steven Spielberg. Apparently, he is Hollywood right now . . . or something like that. Anyway, so the history of American film = Birth of a Nation to Spielberg. We'll see how this goes. And you know I'll keep you posted because . . . duh.

So let's see . . . One last order of business, and then I'm off to take care of real business. Please to note the new linkage over there . . . *waves hand vaguely to the right and down* . . . somewhere. A couple of brand-spanking-new ones and one that ain't so new . . . And . . . yeah. There they are. Now, back to your lives, citizens.

Posted by Jared at 11:59 PM | TrackBack

April 28, 2004

Late Night Study Break Activities

So I go take the latest in random quizzage . . . are they accurate at all?! Dunno. Don't care. I just needed to be doing not-journals for few minutes. Enjoy.

I want my rubber ducky!
Volo anaticulum cumminosam meam!
"I want my rubber ducky!"
Okay, so you're a little childish. You know how to
have a good time.


Which Weird Latin Phrase Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

You are DORY!
What Finding Nemo Character are You?

brought to you by Quizilla

bub
You're bubblegum!!! You love to have a good time,
and enjoy being around others who feel the same
way. You tend to be the life of the party, and
people like to be around you as much as they
can.

Which kind of candy are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Oh, yeah . . . and I did sense the trend there. So, yes. Subconscious desire to be out having a good time . . . ?!

Posted by Jared at 01:30 AM | TrackBack

April 23, 2004

It's Official

Life is a farce.

"There are times when one would like to end the whole human race, and finish the farce." -Mark Twain

Posted by Jared at 02:56 PM | TrackBack

April 21, 2004

"O for a Muse of fire"

Calliope
~Calliope~
Your muse is Calliope, the Fair Voiced, Chief Muse
and the Muse of Epic Poetry. Her symbol is the
writing tablet. I wonder if you'll end up as
the next Tolkein...?


Which of the Nine Muses is your muse?
brought to you by Quizilla

Interesting. The fact of the matter is, if I am fortunate enough to have one Muse, then I have at least three more. I could be equally comfortable with Calliope, Clio, Melpomene, and Thalia. And I have more than a little interest in Erato, Euterpe, and Polyhymnia, when it comes right down to it . . . although I wouldn't claim any of them as my Muse. If you're confused at all by the name-dropping, try this.

Posted by Jared at 11:59 PM | TrackBack

April 19, 2004

"Happiness is Overrated"

The text of Sunday's (4/18) "Pearls Before Swine:"

"The Adventures of Angry Bob" by Rat

Angry Bob was sad. "I do not want to be sad," thought Bob, "I want to be happy. I will start a parade."

Bob organized the "Toot for Joy" parade and handed out flyers and gave everyone kazoos and asked them to march in the parade and "toot for joy." Bob even signed up a sponsor, the global fast food chain, Mickey Donalds.

On the day of the parade, a heavy rain fell. And no one came. Except Bob, who stood in the middle of a downtown street, with his kazoo, and a shirt that said, "Toot for Joy - Brought to You by Mickey Donalds."

"I will not be sad," thought Bob. "I will toot for joy alone." So Bob began to march. And as he turned the first corner, he saw heading toward him a different kind of parade . . . a parade of 100,000 angry people protesting the spread of large American global chains in the biggest anti-globalization rally ever organized. And there was Bob, kazoo in mouth, wearing his shirt.

His Mickey Donalds shirt.

Enraged, the mob attacked Bob. With each blow upon his person, Bob exhaled, involuntarily blowing the kazoo and tooting for joy. Many toots-for-joy later, Bob died.

Happiness is overrated.

Have a nice day, everyone.

Posted by Jared at 11:05 PM | TrackBack

April 15, 2004

Well, everyone else was doing it . . .

From "The Complete Saki" by . . . care to take a crack at the author?:

"Then there are the people who troop in with an-unpleasant-duty-to-perform air, as if they were angels of Death entering a plague city."

1. Grab the nearest book.
2. Open the book to page 23.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the text of the sentence in your journal along with these instructions.

Via Half the Known Blogging World.

Heeheehee. For the curious and ignorant . . .

Posted by Jared at 12:22 AM | TrackBack

April 13, 2004

That explains everything . . .

"Woman is a belated survival from a primeval age of struggle and cunning and competition; that is why, wherever you go the world over, you find all the superfluous dust and worry being made by the gentler sex . . . Man has moved with the historic progression of the ages. But woman is a habit that has survived from the period when one had to dispute with cave bears and cave hyenas whether one ate one's supper or watched others eat it, whether one slept at home or on one's doorstep. The religions of the world have all recognized this fact and kept womankind severely outside of their respective systems. This is why, however secular one's tendencies, one turns insinctively to religion in some form for respite and peace." -Saki

I think this quote pretty much speaks for itself. However, as regards the "altercation" in the library this evening, I feel that I must point something out. It didn't take Anna very long to resort to clocking Scholl with a folder full of math assignments as opposed to, say, ignoring what even he will admit was a mere string of inane rhetoric (as I insistently and repeatedly suggested).

I just wanted to mention that in order to place my audience in a better position to judge the value of Saki's words. As Wilson would say, "Talk amongst yourselves."

Posted by Jared at 11:59 PM | TrackBack

The Birds and the Bees

So I was standing in Dr. Johnson's office this afternoon, staring out through his precious window, when suddenly my gaze fell upon a familiar little drama that was playing itself out not far away.

We have a male and a female, busily engaged in everyday outdoor spring activities. I didn't recognize them. They are carefully pretending not to notice one another, moving quietly about within their own little spheres, but it is clear that they are quite aware of each other's presence. Suddenly, the girl makes a very female-like move. She slowly and casually ambles towards the guy so that he has to notice her, and, this accomplished, she moves away. She wants to be chased, ladies and gentlemen.

And chase he does. They move about a bit more, "jockeying for position," perhaps exchanging a few words of polite conversation (I really couldn't tell). Then, she apparently decided he needed further encouragment, and swiftly made another move. He got a peck on the cheek and a squeeze of the hand before he had time to breathe and she moved away again. After a few more seconds of "jockeying for position," he finally made a move of his own. She got kissed. It wasn't long before they were behind a tree, and I couldn't see them anymore.

Ah, LeTourneau in the Spring.

Oh, yes. Did I mention that I was talking about two cardinals?

Highly pertinent quote: "A woman who takes her husband about with her everywhere is like a cat that goes on playing with a mouse long after she's killed it." -Saki

Posted by Jared at 04:15 PM | TrackBack

April 12, 2004

Writer's Block

I'm going to write something, soon. I swear. I'm really quite desperate to write something . . . but I'm rather busy with this annoying simulacrum of life that I'm currently experiencing. Yes, a few blogworthy things are happening . . . And even if they weren't I have a few blogworthy topics to write on. The thing is, when I'm not busily engaged in bloggable activities, there is actual work to be done. That doesn't mean that it is getting done, particularly, of course. Here is my basic dilemma (we shall see if I can figure out how to put this):

I go to the computer to get work done and/or to blog . . . but the two cancel each other out. I want to blog, but I can't think at all because I have all this work to consider. I need to work, but there's the potential for a fun blogpost floating around in my head and I can't focus on these inane homework assignments.

So instead, (to chronicle the evening), I take my laundry down (finally) and get it done while I amuse myself muchly by reading. I return to my room with a number of things on my mind that will not leave me alone. I trot over to Mabee and unload them on Wilson. And Randy wandered out to join us. It was quite a fun exchange, really. But it has been two hours now and I'm getting up soon. Ummm . . . relatively. And you may have noticed the decided lack of blogposts. Except for this one. Duh.

There are two currently waiting to be completed. One is on Henry IV, which we had much fun performing on Thursday night. The other is concerning the Easter Egg Hunt that Scholl dragged me to at around 12:30 today. And I have a comment to answer . . . I shall take care of that soon, as well. We'll see what today holds. For now, I need bed in a very bad way (but not half as bad as I will in about 5 hours). Good night.

P.S. As some of you know, and some of you don't, I am currently interested in pursuing a Masters in Library Science upon completion of my current course of study. With that in mind, I decided I wanted to keep track of this quote:

"[She] is one of the secret masters of the world: a librarian. They control information. Don't ever piss one off." -Spider Robinson, The Callahan Touch

P.P.S. I have also been reading Saki . . . more . . . still. I am thoroughly troubled by two things as a result of this. First, that there is too much good stuff to blog it all, and picking any one thing is like trying to decide how best to waste a three-day weekend. Second, that Saki is encouraging and reinforcing my current outlook on life at a stage when encouragement is quite the last thing it needs. Naturally, I am both pleased and annoyed at having this done to me. I have a pertinent quote . . . perhaps you'll see what I mean:

"It is the fashion nowadays to talk about the romance of Business. There isn't such a thing. The romance has all been the other way, with the idle apprentice, the truant, the runaway, the individual who couldn't be bothered with figures and book-keeping and left business to look after itself . . . Whenever I feel in the least tempted to be business-like or methodical or even decently industrious I go to Kensal Green and look at the graves of those who died in business."
-Saki, Clovis on the Alleged Romance of Business

It's a horrible position for an English major to be in . . . I can't get a degree without filling out worksheets for Dr. Batts, and I can't come out of this with anything that is at all worthwhile without living, breathing, laughing, loving, reading, writing . . . experiencing.

Aw, hell. I'm going to bed.

Posted by Jared at 03:50 AM | TrackBack

April 01, 2004

I've had enough!

Okay, people. This is it. I'm done. I have decided that I am far too busy and stressed to keep this up. I'm not getting the sleep I need. Homework has fallen completely by the wayside, and the grades are dropping. My time is clearly far more valuable than this.

As such, this is my last entry ever. It's been fun, but I now bid the blogosphere a very fond farewell and get back to . . . Wait. Okay, fine, so I didn't really have a life before I started blogging. But maybe now that I'm quitting I'll have time to go look for one. In any case . . .

Goodbye.

Posted by Jared at 02:00 PM | TrackBack

March 31, 2004

It's pretty much over there . . .

This evening's . . . errr . . . morning's post is actually to be found here. But I did take a quiz.

Morpheus
Morpheus


?? Which Of The Greek Gods Are You ??
brought to you by Quizilla

Posted by Jared at 02:25 AM | TrackBack

March 29, 2004

On the General Topic of Sugar Highs

Clearly I simply cannot leave Scholl alone with the rest of the SC . . . ever. You people are completely unable to control his sugar intake. For crying out loud . . . He comes into my room at 12:15 and begins to bounce around.

Naturally I wanted to know who was responsible for this travesty, and it seemed fairly obvious that Gallagher would be the ideal scapegoat. His answers over AIM were unsatisfactory, so I agreed to accompany Scholl to visit him. There we were treated to . . . ummm . . . Airheads all around, and (under the influence) allowed ourselves to be drawn down to Quad 3.

And Bear gave him a cup of . . . well, it was basically syrup. He called it sweet tea. So Scholl downed that. And then he went to see Ardith, and I let him, because clearly Ardith was also responsible, having been present (like Gallagher) at both points today when Scholl was taking in large amounts of sugar. Heather offered him chocolate chips.

Then we went and visited Anna, and railed at her. She refused all responsibility and went back to work. I'm surprised she didn't toss down a pack of smarties or something on her way back inside . . .

Finally, we visited Caleb, and I was initially pleased. Caleb, of course, responded with a physical attack, and it was very good. And then he gave Scholl a Dr. Pepper. *curses*

So, with all of this in mind, and considering the fact that Gallagher has totally ditched me at this point, I decided to roll with the punches. Sort of. I gave him a flower to wear, and allowed him to visit Uncle Doug. Actually, that's what we're doing right now. I'm writing this from Uncle Doug's computer as we wait for him to get out of the shower.

I would like to go on the record with the following statement: Something is wrong with this picture. Clearly someone needs to stand up and take a little responsibility in controlling sugar sources here. And I am highly disturbed by the fact that everyone we visited had more sugar to contribute. I think you are all terribly irresponsible . . . and immoral. I hate you all. Good night.

P.S. As I posted, I have had Scholl standing behind me drumming on my shoulders and head. Just thought you should know.

Posted by Jared at 11:59 PM | TrackBack

March 28, 2004

"When Great Minds Collide," or "Ker-splat!"

So, I'm digging through My Documents because it contains about 5,500 files and it's taking up over 11 Gb and I thought a little spring cleaning might be in order. You never know what I might have saved on here for no reason in particular. And I found the following saved AIM conversation that I had with Wilson a few months back during missions emphasis week. I had just been to see that "Behind the Sun" movie, or whatever-the-heck it was called. Wow. Observe . . .

Wheeler: Well, I'm back

Wilson: He's back!

Wheeler: :-D

Wilson: He's smiling!

Wheeler: lol

Wilson: He's laughing out loud!

Wheeler: Ha!!! so predictable . . .

Wilson: He's predictable!

Wheeler: d'oh!

Wilson: He's Homer Simpson!

Wheeler: *is still laughing*

Wilson: He's still laughing!

Wheeler: Anyway, did you hear about the things and the stuff?

Wilson: He's asking a question!

Wilson: No.

*insert random discussion of how I got in to see the movie*

Wheeler: *shrugs*

Wilson: He's shrugging!

Wheeler: heh

Wilson: He's scoffing!

Wheeler: The movie really was decent (although we made fun of it throughout)

Wilson: He's being charitable!

Wheeler: quite

*brief discussion of the movie itself*

Wheeler: Bah. Christian movies

Wilson: Bah.

Wheeler: He's a sheep!

Wilson: He's not very perceptive!

Wheeler: touche

Wilson: He's French!

Wheeler: He's about to meet an unfortunate end!

Wilson: He's threatening me!

Wheeler: Straight up!

Wilson: He's describing the methods he will use!

Wheeler: *is confused*

Wheeler: *doesn't want to know*

Wilson: He's confused!

Wilson: He's naive!

Wheeler: He's having it made too easy for him!

Wilson: He's being a spoil-sport!

Wheeler: Me?! Never . . . I'm making it easy for you!

Wilson: He's being easy!

Wheeler: See?!?!?!?!

Wilson: He's asking me about my visual skills!

Wheeler: My point has been most effectively made . . .

Wilson: He's sharpening points!

Wilson: He's a swordsmith!

Wilson: He's an armorer!

Wilson: He's a knife sharpener!

Wilson: He's a pencil sharpener!

Wheeler: Are you quite done?

Wilson: He's impatient!

Wheeler: He's impetuous!

Wilson: He's accusatory!

Wheeler: He's defensive!

Wilson: He's offensive!

Wheeler: He's got no case!

Wilson: He's one to talk!

Wheeler: He's being random!

Wilson: He's being petty!

Wheeler: He's being ugly! (Wait, you said "petty")

Wilson: He's being deaf!

Wheeler: He's being tech-impaired! (One doesn't hear through this medium . . .)

Wilson: He's pedantic!

Wheeler: He's contentious!

Wilson: He's annoying!

Wheeler: He's a pest!

Wilson: He should know!

Wheeler: He's using cheap tactics again!

Wilson: He fancies himself a tactician!

Wilson: (Or an economist!)

Wheeler: He's using a fancy form of "I know you are but what am I?"!

Wilson: He's not capitalizing or spacing!

Wilson: He's being verbose!

Wheeler: He's not!

Wilson: He's pathetic!

Wheeler: *Drat, I was so sure we'd done that one already*

Wilson: He's dejected!

Wheeler: He's right!

Wilson: Well, I need to get some work done.

Wilson: On that note...

Wheeler: He needs to get some work done!

Wheeler: j/k

Wheeler: talk to you later

Wilson: OK.

So much fun . . .

Posted by Jared at 03:24 PM | TrackBack

March 25, 2004

Have a Peanut

So, this is me . . .

Marcie
You are Marcie!


Which Peanuts Character are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

But I definitely felt the need to take this quiz multiple times, because the answers were . . . weird. This was me, in high school . . .

Charlie Brown
You are Charlie Brown!

And I think I'm drifting this way . . .

Woodstock
You are Woodstock!

I hate questions where multiple answers (like, four) could easily apply.

Posted by Jared at 03:03 PM | TrackBack

March 23, 2004

Yes, I am still here.


Which OS are You?

Ha!

Anyway, my schedule for next semester looks like this . . . provided I get into all these:

M-W-F: History of the English Language with Dr. Watson (senior level English req.) 2:35-3:30

T-R: American Literature I with "Staff" (junior level English req.) 9:30-10:50 (I have discovered that it will probably be taught by Dr. Olson, unless a shiny new professor is hired over the summer)

War & Revolution (1789-1914) with Dr. Kubricht (senior level History el.) 1:30-2:50

Journalism-Publications with Col. Payton (junior level English req.) 3:00-4:20

R: "Honors" World Literature through Film with Dr. Solganick (junior level Literature el.) 6:00-9:00 (yeah . . . that would be PM, duh)

Real post forthcoming soon! I promise! However, I'm going to go clean my room now.

Posted by Jared at 06:00 PM | TrackBack

March 03, 2004

If I was a book that you've never heard of or read . . .




You're Loosely Based!

by Storey Clayton

While most people haven't heard of you, you're a really good and
interesting person. Rather clever and witty, you crack a lot of jokes about the world
around you. You do have a serious side, however, where your interest covers the homeless
and the inequalities of society. You're good at bringing people together, but they keep
asking you what your name means.



Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.

Actually, I originally came up being "Lolita" and that was just all kinds of special. So I went back and changed an answer that could have gone either way, and I think this one just generally works better. Quiz brought to my attention courtesy of Scott.

Posted by Jared at 11:29 PM | TrackBack

February 29, 2004

The Yiddish Project, Phase Two

Some of you will recall (and most of you will not) when Wilson and I decided that it would be fun to pick up Yiddish. I believe it was sometime during last October, as a matter of fact. *checks* Yes, you'll find it at the end of my entry for October 1st . . . And we did pick up some Yiddish. We learned a number of words, and derived much amusement from dropping them into conversation. In fact, we still do . . . But I shan't bupkeh anymore than is necessary about that.

The point of all this is, the Yiddish Project moves forward with the added feature you will notice on the right. Yeah, right over there. Well, look harder! Under Recent Comments . . . Over Archive by Category. Yeah. That. You'll find an identical feature on Wilson's blog. It is high time that the Yiddish Project became a community experience.

And before I go, I'd like to share with you all a very special link that I ran across last night. It's the latest aid for you and your . . . ummm . . . "partner" to get your children in bed and to sleep. Where they will spend the night tossing and turning, with visions of sugar-plum fairies dancing in their cute little heads. If you only read a few, make sure you note the ones at the bottom, they're the best.

Posted by Jared at 03:35 PM | TrackBack

February 16, 2004

Frustration sets in . . .

Aw, crap. Here I go again. You know, I don't believe it's been quite like this for a good two and a half years.

I have work to do, dadgummit!!!

Ah, well. C'est la vie. *sits back to weather the storm*

Posted by Jared at 06:20 PM | TrackBack

February 14, 2004

You are too hot.

Alright, folks, in the general spirit of St. Valentine's Day, and because I do this every Friday: this week's dramatic endeavors by the Shadow Council Players.

Ah, yes. And that title needs explaining rather desperately, doesn't it? It won't take long . . . You see, Gallagher was turning in his usual highly amusing performance as Lady Capulet, and that was one of his . . . her . . . their lines, spoken to Capulet when he is angry. Gallagher placed the emphasis of the line precisely where I have it, throwing in a flirtatious lengthening of the "o" sounds in both words. Hilarity ensued. ("What, ho?")

See, the problem is, Movable Type just officially ate its first post, and the above is pretty much all I've got left. The timing is rather bad because it's later than you think, and I'm going to sleep now rather than rewrite it. I'll just do this later today.

Posted by Jared at 02:29 AM | TrackBack

February 10, 2004

You may address us as "International Mogul" or "Supreme Potentate," henceforth

A very interesting, potentially humorous, and all-around screwed-up article . . . check it out.

Also, we have succumbed to the latest Internet bandwagon to roll by, and you should too, because it's just that fun!

Our cadre of nations:

The Rogue Nation of Gran Puchica

The Theocracy of Galleta

The Free Land of Como-Se-Llama

The Kingdom of Trenobia

All of these lovely nations are located in the up-and-coming region of Shadowlands. Pay us a visit, and get your own nation in there! It takes, like, a very few seconds a day (if it didn't take even less time than Kings of Chaos, we wouldn't be doing it), and it is boatloads of fun for the whole family!

Oh, and if you are feeling particularly subservient and want to rapidly use a combination of both of our titles at once, you may call us "IMPS." That is all.

Posted by Jared at 10:07 PM | TrackBack

February 09, 2004

My First Attempt to Join the Literary Types: Phase Two

I'm in. I just got the notification e-mail and my paper was accepted for presentation at the 7th Annual C.S. Lewis and The Inklings Conference. I have a funny feeling that they accepted everything, but that is irrelevant at this point. Once again, my paper is entitled "What Dreams May Come: The Purgatory of Dante and Tolkien" and the conference is being held April 1-3. Further details are available here.

By the way, they are so desperate for papers that they have pushed the deadline back to the end of February . . . So if you were in the Inklings class, submit your freaking paper. Geez. That means you. *glares pointedly at all SC members from the class save Randy* Seriously, in all likelihood they will take it and it's a great opportunity and it will be a great experience and not very many people will laugh at you. I swear. Probably. Now I go find people to look it over and offer suggestions, again.

Posted by Jared at 04:25 PM | TrackBack

The Perfect Metaphor

I'm generally annoyed that I didn't include this in my previous post, but I want to remember it for future reference, so here it is. Even if you've never read this book, this may still work for you.

The Sound and the Fury is like the cursed carousel from Something Wicked This Way Comes (note picture on cover at link). You climb on and it begins to spin like mad . . . color, flashing, blinding . . . lights, strobing, whirling, dancing . . . noise, half-music, crashing, deafening . . . and you can't get off. Around and around and around and around, and as you continue to go around, revisiting (reliving) the same little path over and over again, you get old, and then you die. And you've spent your whole life trapped in the craziness, living and reliving more times than you can count.

There. I'm glad I got that out of my system.

Posted by Jared at 08:30 AM | TrackBack

February 01, 2004

Yet Another Random Quiz



What Classic Movie Are You?
For the record: I have never seen this movie, and I'm not exactly hopping up and down with impatience to see it.
Posted by Jared at 01:51 PM | TrackBack

January 31, 2004

Jared's Little Box/Range of Motion

Link from the Limey Brit, try it out!



create your own visited country map
or write about it on the open travel guide



create your own visited states map
or write about it on the open travel guide

Hmmm . . . compared to some, I am a fairly well-travelled individual. But compared to some, I've barely been out of my own backyard. Never been out of the Americas, never been farther north than Ohio, farther west than Colorado, or farther south than Nicaragua. That leaves me a lot of room to play with, but I definitely need to get out more. I'm less worried about travels in the US, however . . . I already focused on the really important region of the country, right?

Posted by Jared at 03:03 PM | TrackBack

January 27, 2004

The Move is Complete (essentially)

Okay, all the archives are over here, where they belong . . . minus everyones' wonderful comments, I fear, but we'll see what we can do about that in future. Meanwhile, take a stroll through the past, my past, (muahahahahahaha) . . . Now with Titles!

And read this, because I thought it was kinda funny. It's at least worth making the trip to see the picture. I knew I had a good reason to like John "F'ing" Kerry that went deeper than his great nickname!

Posted by Jared at 12:21 AM | TrackBack

January 25, 2004

"Only at LeTourneau (#7428)," or "The Shadow Council Holds a Regular Mass (Hysteria)"

Things I experienced/witnessed this evening:

-Four people staring at a computer screen and laughing at stupid people for an entire hour

-Dungeons and Dragons with Mickey Mouse

-The beating of a small flashlight with an umbrella until both were broken

-Different things IHOP could stand for (i.e. The Inexhaustible Harem of Persia)

-Six males escorting a single female to her place of residence . . . There was also chanting, but I have blocked it from my memory

-A friggin' shopping cart modified (by engineering students with way too much time and way too many resources) to be driven on the (currently) empty streets of the LeTourneau campus

And of course, mixed in with these few events and fragments of events that I have noted were innumerable jokes (good, bad, and incomprehensible), puns (good, bad, and incomprehensible), quotable quotes (good, bad, and incomprehensible), anecdotes (good, bad, and incomprehensible), poems, songs, arguments, discussions, rants, scuffles, murder attempts, beatings, stranglings, foods, drinks, frolickings, plus an all too heavy dose of sights, sounds, smells and tastes that utterly defy description or categorization (lucky for you).

And yet, it was a fairly ordinary, quiet, run-of-the-mill night with little or no departure from the norm. How can so much of all that is bizzare, strange, unusual, weird, crazy, wrong, and inhumane take place all around me in a ten-hour period? How can I not even register that this is the case except on a purely intellectual level? How have I already been doing this for a year and a half, and how will I continue to do it for another two and a half? How can I be looking forward to it?!

And how is it that I'm absolutely certain that I'll miss it forever once it's over . . . ?

Posted by Jared at 03:23 AM | TrackBack

January 22, 2004

The Titleist

Due to one of the many fleeting topics of conversation we entertained at dinner this evening, I thought it would be a grand idea to post these things that have been sitting on my computer for quite some time now. They're all real titles of Country-Western songs . . . Read 'em and weep.

"I'll Marry You Tomorrow, But Let's Honeymoon Tonight"

"Dog Poop On the Pillow Where Your Sweet Head Used to Be"

"I Just Bought a Car From a Guy That Stole My Girl, But the Car Don't Run So I Figure We're Even"

"She's Looking Better After Every Beer"

"I Wouldn't Take Her to a Dog Fight, 'Cause I'm Afraid She'd Win"

"I Ain't Gone to Bed With No Ugly Women, But I Shore Woke Up With a Few"

"If I'd Shot You When I Wanted to, I'd Be Out of the Pen by Now"

"Get Your Tongue Outta My Mouth 'Cause I'm Kissing You Goodbye"

"I Still Miss You, Baby, But My Aim's Gettin' Better"

"Her Teeth Were Stained, But Her Heart Was Pure"

"How Can I Miss You If You Won't Go Away?"

"I Fell in a Pile Of You And Got Love All Over Me"

"I Wanna Whip Your Cow"

"I'm Just a Bug On the Windshield of Life"

"If My Nose Were Full of Nickels, I'd Blow It All On You"

"Thank God and Greyhound She's Gone"

"You Can't Have Your Kate And Edith Too"

"You Were Only a Splinter In My Ass as I Slid Down the Bannister of Life"

"You're the Reason Our Kids Are So Ugly"

Posted by Jared at 06:00 PM | TrackBack

January 21, 2004

"Festive Tension Relief"

I found this link during my wanderings, and I'd like you all to give it a try. It's a little late, but Wilson and I don't care (title is his suggestion, btw). I haven't been this relaxed in weeks.

Posted by Jared at 12:37 AM | TrackBack

January 20, 2004

Well, there it is.

Ooooookay, everyone. Time to move on. Further up and further in. Anywhere but here. Now vamos, pero ya! Perhaps in future I will refrain from posting polarizing, subjective opinions on things I don't really care about. But probably not.

Problem: I have little or nothing to post on right now. Martinez and I watched Harvey this afternoon. And it was very good. Part innocent fun, part hard-edged, dry wit (on the part of the writers . . . the characters have no idea what they're saying), all good movie. There are interesting comparisons to be made to Don Quixote and the ideal Christian walk with God/approach to witnessing. However, I am neither lucid enough to attempt to be coherent on the former, nor tired enough to attempt to be heretical on the latter. So just watch the movie yourself, and look for it yourself. I promise, it's there. And it would be worth the trouble, even if it wasn't. Hmmm . . .

One of my favorite parts: When Veta Louise Simmons, sister of Elwood P. Dowd ("Here, let me give you one of my cards."), returns from being mistakenly committed while trying to get her brother into the sanitarium, she is indignant about the questions they've been asking her.

"Judge Gaffney, is that all those doctors do in places like that - think about sex? Because if it is they ought to be ashamed of themselves. It's all in their heads anyway. Why don't they get out and take long walks in the fresh air?"

When questioned further by her daughter, she replies: "Myrtle Mae, you have a lot to learn, and I hope you never learn it."

Describing her experiences there: "As I was going down to the taxi cab to get Elwood's things, this awful man stepped out. He was a white slaver, I know he was. He was wearing one of those white suits, that's how they advertise."

Also in the same conversation: "Oh, Myrtle, don't be didactic. It's not becoming in a young girl. Besides, men loathe it."

Of course, it just isn't the same without hearing it from Josephine Hull, who won Best Supporting Actress for her performance, but you get the idea.

But that's all I have for the time being. Especially since I need to get to sleep, like, now. G'night.

Posted by Jared at 01:38 AM | TrackBack

January 16, 2004

Quote of the Day . . . so far

Wilson: "Moore, it doesn't matter whether you're being sucked or blown by this class."

Now, to be fair, the context: Gallagher and I had just agreed that really the only complaint about Creation (without having attended yet) is the time, which sucks, as I noted, falling late on Friday afternoon as it does. Moore disagreed, stating that, in actuality, the time blows. He explained that, due to its proximity to the weekend, clearly it blows you into Saturday and Sunday. I noted that I preferred to be sucked into my weekend, but Moore got insistent. And then Wilson busted out the magic.

I must now go to Shakespeare. Yay.

Posted by Jared at 01:23 PM | TrackBack

January 12, 2004

Up and Crawling . . .

Well, "it" is here, such as it is at the moment. I'll need to figure out (read: "get someone to show me") how to move everything over and get that done now . . .

Posted by Jared at 06:43 PM | TrackBack

January 10, 2004

The Solution

"It might be just as well if everybody were impotent. It would save a world of trouble."
Capt. Jack Aubrey, Master and Commander

I'll be back tomorrow . . .

Posted by Jared at 07:19 PM | TrackBack

January 07, 2004

Moments now . . .

Okay, it's late and I just got back from my 5th viewing of Return of the King. And it is definitely time for bed. I want to make it clear to everyone that I will be moving soon . . . note the link to the right.

Posted by Jared at 10:55 PM | TrackBack

January 01, 2004

Long Live 2004!

Not wishing to attempt to compete with Scholl, or especially Wilson, I simply have this to say: Happy New Year, everyone. I hope 2004 treats you all as well as I shall require it to treat me.

Posted by Jared at 02:43 AM | TrackBack

December 28, 2003

Complete and Utter Randomocity:

Today's sermon introduction was like a Godsend . . . if only my mother had been paying more attention. The pastor talked about logical fallacies. I was highly amused. My mom didn't appreciate getting elbowed four times.

The quote of the day comes from our very own Rigoberta Menchu. Today is the run-off election here in Guatemala. None of the presidential candidates got 50% or more of the vote in the first round, so the two front-runners have to have a run-off. We're all rooting for Oscar Berger (pronounced Bear-ZHAY, believe it or not). Alfredo Colom is a commie. And his last name is entirely too close to "colon" for me to be comfortable with him being the president of a Central American nation.

Anyway, Rigoberta's political quote of the day (paraphrased because of translation issues): "Everyone needs to go out and vote. We must do our civic duty and vote for the right man to lead our country. So tomorrow, be sure you vote. Even if you are drunk, go vote." Thank you, Rigoberta . . . That's just freaking brilliant . . .

In other news, a dry crack is a happy crack. And speaking of colons, as I was a moment ago, that headline has to be the worst pun ever . . . except maybe for this one. So, did this paragraph have a theme? You tell me . . .

Hmmm . . . A few more things . . . First of all, a warning. Don't click here if you have food or drink in your mouth . . . or if there is anything in your stomach. It most assuredly will not stay put. For all of my good, Christian, antitriclavianist friends out there, many with similair beliefs seem to be grouping around here. Don't forget to get that logo up on your website, ASAP. And, finally . . . Got an STD or other really nasty disease or sickness? Let us know with the Herpes tie (etc. ad infinitum).

Posted by Jared at 05:19 PM | TrackBack

December 25, 2003

Doing the latest quiz . . . like everybody else

HASH(0x8501b70)
Seer

The ULTIMATE personality test
brought to you by Quizilla

Actual post coming tomorrow . . . but probably not until after I've seen *drums roll and trumpets sound* THE MOVIE!!!

Posted by Jared at 02:24 AM | TrackBack

December 20, 2003

Jared tries to stay sane while the rest of the world enjoys RotK . . .

Some interesting tidbits on the RotK:EE from a reliable source.

Stuff we'll get to see:

Gandalf and co. bringing finality to the Saruman storyline, as per the books . . . except for Saruman's new demise (a plummet from on high to get impaled on one of his own spiked wheels).

Merry pledging himself to Theoden and the Rohirrim.

Aragorn using the palantir to reveal himself to Sauron.

Aragorn healing Faramir in the Houses of Healing and Eowyn and Faramir . . . doing that whole thing.

Sam and Frodo in disguise joining a column of marching orcs as per the book.

Aragorn and everyone riding up to the Black Gates and being greeted by the Mouth of Sauron (played by the Trainman from Matrix Revolutions) with Frodo's Mithril vest, leading the heroes to believe that all hope is lost, as per the book. This obviously changes the emphasis of Aragorn's "Frodo line" as well.

Anyway, cool stuff . . . too bad it isn't the theatrical cut, but . . . Well, there it is.

And while you're wandering the internet, go check this out. I love good throwback cinema, and this looks promising . . . It's kinda cool, anyway.

Posted by Jared at 02:50 PM | TrackBack

December 11, 2003

The Truth Will Out . . .

merry
Congratulations! You're Merry!

Which Lord of the Rings character and personality problem are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Posted by Jared at 05:35 PM | TrackBack

December 10, 2003

Father Brown Still Rocks

The inimitable Father Brown, on Happy People:

"You see," said Father Brown, blinking modestly, "I'm not sure that the Armstrong cheerfulness is so very cheerful . . . for other people. You say that nobody could kill such a happy old man, but I'm not sure. If ever I murdered somebody," he added quite simply, "I dare say it might be an Optimist."

"Why?" cried Merton, amused. "Do you think people dislike cheefulness?"

"People like frequent laughter," answered Father Brown, "but I don't think they like a permanent smile. Cheerfulness without humour is a very trying thing."

Posted by Jared at 10:54 AM | TrackBack

December 08, 2003

"Children Are Evil," or "Jared Has Been Watching too Many Horror Movies"

What is it about small children that scares us so much? I have my own answers to the question, but I'll let you draw what conclusions you will. When I ask that question, I am referring, of course, to scary movies. Over the past few days I've been watching (or re-watching) some scary movies, suspenseful movies, etc. Almost inevitably, the creepiest character is a child. Why this widespread trend in scary movies? Well, because it works. Little kids apparently scare us more than almost anything else. I don't watch very many movies that can be described as "horror" and those of you who do probably have half a dozen titles in your head right now which don't involve children. First of all, "slasher" movies can be largely discounted. I'm not talking about movies that rely solely on "jump out in front of the camera very suddenly and yell" tactics to scare you. Those scares don't really last. No, at least think movies that involve the supernatural, movies that really leave a lasting impression. Just look at, for example: The Others, The Sixth Sense, The Ring, The Exorcist, Ghost Ship, Child's Play, Children of the Corn, The Poltergeist, The Bad Seed, Lady in White, The Shining, The Nanny, Audrey Rose, Paper House, Salem's Lot, The Omen . . . Well, it's a long list. And . . . wow. I am not linking all of those. Anyway, random thought process of the day (coming on the heels, specifically, of watching The Ring just now). Make of it what you will. Or don't. Makes no difference whatsoever to me.

Posted by Jared at 04:37 PM | TrackBack

November 25, 2003

Wheeler is Concerned

People are looking for love in all the wrong places. Literally. The top search hits on my blog are currently "love" and "cookie." Other interesting hits include: tragical, chili, accents, matrix, coppinger, faustus, unknit, and friends. I don't remember using half of those words . . .

Posted by Jared at 02:30 PM | TrackBack

November 15, 2003

Three Disturbing Quizzes

Be afraid. And take the quizzes, if you dare. (As always, I am not responsible for content, etc. But feel free to blame me. Because you were going to anyway.)


Which Genocidal Maniac Are You?
Brought to you by Rum and Monkey


Take the Affliction Test Today!


Which Famous Homosexual are you?
Brought to you by Rum and Monkey

Posted by Jared at 03:03 AM | TrackBack

November 08, 2003

What? Can't You See the Resemblance?

Which Fantasy/SciFi Character Are You?


A likeable character with a lust for life, you do what gets you by while continually pursuing your own interests.

"Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father, prepare to die."

Posted by Jared at 03:55 AM | TrackBack

October 16, 2003

Gah!

How messed up is this, exactly? You tell me . . .

Seen on a LeTourneau flyer promoting talks on Sexual Abuse for those who have experienced it:

"Sorry guys, this is a girl's only thing."

Note the very messed up use of an apostrophe. 'Nuff said.

Posted by Jared at 01:40 AM | TrackBack

October 15, 2003

English Profs and Mexican Jokes

Spent some time in Dr. Watson's office this afternoon . . . again. He loaned me a few books to look over concerning my conference paper. While I was there I heard the following amusing exchange:

Dr. Watson: Who are you waiting for?

Random student passing by in the hallway: Dr. Batts.

Dr. Watson: I'm sorry.

There was also this:

Dr. Watson: I was a Math major for a whole semester.

Wilson: You saw the light?

Dr. Watson: I saw the grades.

Learned something interesting in English Lit today (again . . . go figure) which prompted me to go and find this little gem. Further proof (which we didn't really need) which shows that all Trekkies are certifiable . . .

And so long as you're despairing over the sad condition of the human race, check out Green Acres from Hell. I'm not sure that even Gabor was ever this bad, but I could be wrong . . . No, I'm not wrong. We are going downhill. We have to be.

And now, some amusing, but rather PI (politically incorrect) jokes:

Gallagher's joke: Why were there 10,000 Mexicans at the Alamo?

Because they only had two trucks.

Martinez's joke: Why isn't there a Mexican Olympic team?

Because anyone who can run, jump, or swim is already here.

My joke:

A Mexican, a Texan, and a Russian are in the dining car on a train. The Russian is feeling particularly patriotic after a slug of Vodka. He picks up the whole bottle, "We have too much of this in my country," and throws it out the window. The other two passengers are initially shocked, but the Mexican quickly recovers. "We have too much of THIS in my country," he says, as he throws a bottle of Tequila out the window. The Texan, not to be outdone, picks up the Mexican . . .

Anyway . . . sorry. I was amused, therefore it showed up on the blog. I'm not anti-anyone, least of all anti-Mexican. If you have any great Texas jokes (appropriate for mixed company, Scholl) stick them in the comments section. You won't bother me. And now it is time to get to work. More later, perhaps . . .

Posted by Jared at 07:03 PM | TrackBack

October 14, 2003

Is There Method in Their Madness?

Read it and laugh . . . or weep . . . or nothing. Do what you want. See if I care. And yes, there is a bare smattering of actual Shakespeare in there . . . credit where credit is due.

Apmrtnz: Good comrade, hast thou yet the email wherein is described the Time Cube?

Defel Seven: Yea and verily.

Apmrtnz: Prithee, seek therein for the name of the witless knave who did write said monstrosity.

Defel Seven: Why, that name . . . 'tis well known to me, for he is a fobbing, motley-minded joithead . . . 'twas Gene Ray, of a fact.

Apmrtnz: Thou speakest true, friend; ne'er have these eyes seen such tomfoolery as is set forth within that scoundrel's writings

Defel Seven: His words seem to me as those of a wenching, lily-livered whey-face.

Apmrtnz: My bowels do turn within me at the mere mention of his name; it is profanity upon my lips.

Defel Seven: You speak justly, friend, his name falleth from my lips as a churlish turd falleth from the hindmost regions of an ox.

Apmrtnz: Wow.

Defel Seven: Verily.

Apmrtnz: By my troth, would that I should meet the rapscallion, I should smite him a blow such as has not been seen in many a day.

Defel Seven: Were he to spend word for word with me, his wit should bankrupt itself anon.

Apmrtnz: Ah, there art thou mistaken, friend; for how is one to bankrupt that which is already void of substance?

Defel Seven: Verily, sir, he speaks an infinite deal of nothing. Were some learned scholar to take the measure of the lout, he would find most truly that the knave
possesseth more hair than wit . . . and more faults than hairs.

Apmrtnz: The sheer folly of his speech moves me to disbelief, and his inanities stir up my wrath.

Defel Seven: One might draw from his head not so much brain, as ear wax . . .

Apmrtnz: And if one should ever find his way into the man's head, he should have to contend with a large and bloated spider, fat from the atrophied grey matter
that did once reside therein.

Defel Seven: Surely I see that thou speakest as thou dost see most fit, and thy words do fall seemly before mine ears. Beyond any doubt, the fellow be a gorbellied, knotty-pated moldwarp.

Apmrtnz: The wisdom of thy words, when set in comparison to his, is as the warmth of the sun before the frozen wastes of the nether reaches; thine a melodious tune, pleasing and soothing to the ear, his a cacaphony of horrid noise, an abomination to the senses, and just plain wrong.

Defel Seven: Nice touch at the end there.

Apmrtnz: Why thank you.

Apmrtnz: Alas, mine eyes do perceive that the hour has grown late; I must retire to my bed, for the morning comes all too soon. But truly, I have enjoyed this foray into the world of wordplay; mayhap we shall meet again there.

Defel Seven: At the sound of those words, my heart doth weep most piteously within my breast, knowing that the sun always riseth in the east, unable to be stilled . . . bidding forth the night is such sweet sorrow, for we know how inevitably day doth follow night, even as the bear doth seek the honey pot, and the lecher the bed of his mistress.

Well . . . We had fun.

Posted by Jared at 12:22 AM | TrackBack

October 12, 2003

The Dante's Inferno Test (and Moore)

The Dante's Inferno Test has sent you to Purgatory!
Here is how you matched up against all the levels:

LevelScore
Purgatory (Repenting Believers)High
Level 1 - Limbo (Virtuous Non-Believers)Low
Level 2 (Lustful)Low
Level 3 (Gluttonous)Low
Level 4 (Prodigal and Avaricious)Low
Level 5 (Wrathful and Gloomy)Moderate
Level 6 - The City of Dis (Heretics)Very Low
Level 7 (Violent)Low
Level 8- the Malebolge (Fraudulent, Malicious, Panderers)High
Level 9 - Cocytus (Treacherous)Very Low

Take the Dante's Divine Comedy Inferno Test

Wow! Ummm . . . yay . . . I guess

Anyway, had a grand time with Moore and Wilson and Sharpton and Martinez and Uncle Doug with a four-player game of Trivial Pursuit this evening. If you're quick, you've already noticed that there are six people involved . . . I started off with Wilson, Martinez, and Uncle Doug at 5. The latter two left at 6 and were replaced by Moore and Sharpton. Wilson left just before 7 and was replaced by Martinez. I alone stood firm and consistent. Which is fitting, since I eventually won after almost 3 hours.

A few amusing tidbits gleaned from the game:

When the "Got Milk?" ad campaign was translated into Spanish for display in Mexico, it became "Are you lactating?"

On a Spain travel brochure describing one of its mountains: "It is black, svelte, and slippy . . . like Naomi Campbell's loins."

David Moore thinks that Brad Pitt has sexy legs. (Sorry, Moore . . . dashed bad luck, but opportunities like this can't go ignored by successful bloggers.)

In explanation for that last, Moore had the dreadful misfortune of receiving the question asking who's legs were voted the sexiest in the world. He was required to pick between Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise, and RuPaul. It was for a pie slice, and he got the question right, so we'll just assume that it was worth it . . .

Posted by Jared at 08:30 PM | TrackBack

October 10, 2003

Not the 80s!!!

Can anyone tell me how to get away from this freaking decade?!

Posted by Jared at 01:56 PM | TrackBack

October 01, 2003

He's Been Hit!

I had a good-sized chunk of tonight's entry worked up, and was ready to finish . . . but I can't do it tonight. It has nothing to do with staying up late. I have been unexpectedly hit by something, and I can't finish writing it. I just need to . . . I don't know. I can't really talk about it here. Maybe I'll tack what I've got onto tomorrow's entry. See you all in the morning. Maybe. Good night, all.

Posted by Jared at 01:16 AM | TrackBack

September 27, 2003

It's almost here!

Go. Just . . . go.

Posted by Jared at 03:32 AM | TrackBack

September 24, 2003

The Saga Begins . . .

Alright, then . . . I am now the proud owner of a blog that's been started on a whim. Where can I take this? Where CAN'T I take this? (Answers: Anywhere and Nowhere . . . answers are interchangeable).

Scholl basically just made this thing for me . . . and I sat here and watched him do it. There's no saving me now.

So, we shall see how often I post. The really interesting stuff will, no doubt, be found mostly at the places I shall link to (when I figure out how . . . and don't expect that to happen all at once, I'm Fuzzy).

Wilson, of course, is very helpful as well. "Write stuff," he says. "Find something to post about." Yeah, I can tell he'll just be full of wonderful advice. But then, he always is, isn't he?

This, however, is neither here nor there. I must go to bed so that I will be in proper condition to waste time effectively tomorrow. Hasta maŮana . . . y'all.

Posted by Jared at 02:19 AM | TrackBack