Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Do you YouTube?

A writer from ESPN recently listed his favorite YouTube videos of all time. This is decent list, but mostly a killer time-waster.

There are two videos in the article that are deemed too vulgar to link on ESPN. Here they are for your viewing pleasure:

Worse than Michael Jackson
Fan of the Game

And it's true: this just gets better with age.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Trip the Light Fanstatic

From L'Allegro by John Milton
Haste thee, Nymph, and bring with thee
Jest, and youthful Jollity,
Quips and cranks and wanton wiles,
Nods and becks and wreathed smiles
Such as hang on Hebe’s cheek,
And love to live in dimple sleek;
Sport that wrinkled Care derides,
And Laughter holding both his sides.
Come, and trip it, as you go,
On the light fantastic toe;
And in thy right hand lead with thee
The mountain-nymph, sweet Liberty;
And, if I give thee honour due,
Mirth, admit me of thy crew,
To live with her, and live with thee,
In unreproved pleasures free ...

In keeping with the theme of dancing, free and uninhibited, please see the video located at www.wherethehellismatt.com. This guy is living my dream (sans the bad dancing).

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Words of Wisdom

"An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind."
- Mahatma Gandhi

"When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen."
- Ernest Hemingway

"Whoever undertakes to set himself up as a judge of truth and knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the Gods."
- Albert Einstein

"Iron rusts from disuse, stagnant water loses its purity, and in cold weather become frozen: even so does inaction sap the vigors of the mind."
- Leonardo da Vinci

Zen Poem

A man traveling across a field encountered a tiger. He fled, the tiger after him. Coming to a precipice, he caught hold of the root of a wild vine and swung himself over the edge.

The tiger sniffed at him from above. Trembling, the man looked down to where, far below, another tiger was now waiting to eat him. Only the vine sustained him.

Two mice, one white and one black, little by little started to gnaw away the vine. The man then saw a luscious strawberry near him. Grasping the vine with one hand, he plucked the strawberry with the other.

How sweet it tasted.

Monday, June 19, 2006

And the world is queer, and the human is strangest of all…

One of my all-time favorite CDs is David Byrne's Grown Backwards. Maybe my love of that CD is why I am drawn to Byrne's tree drawings. Both the CD and the drawings focus on simple themes that are injected with smart commentary on our contemporary existence.

Byrne is a true Renaissance man who appears just as comfortable behind a computer or camera as he is writing music. He's got a website that he keeps updated more than regularly, and even streams a monthly music selection.

On July 28th, David Byrne will release his latest book, Arboretum. I have no idea what to expect from it, but he gets an assist from Dave Eggers, so it is sure to be somewhat interesting.

Better living through chemistry?

Not for this guy, who chronicles his experiences with Paxil, an anti-anxiety drug. He compares it to ecstasy (which sounds good), but then says he has no feelings and has the urge to get drunk all the time (which sounds bad).

Happy Morning.

This commercial for Folger's coffee from director Steve Ayson is bizarre, witty and spot-on with regards to my personal relationship with mornings and coffee.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Wild Geese by Mary Oliver

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting--
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

If you ignore it, maybe it will go away.

Jason Kottke says it better than I ever could:

Please stop


I know everyone's upset about her new book. I'm not going to use her name, but you know who I'm talking about; she's blonde, leggy, confident, radically conservative, radically full of shit, and you hate her with the fire of a million suns. But she's also a huge troll. Wikipedia defines a troll as:

...someone who comes into an established community such as an online discussion forum, and posts inflammatory, rude or offensive messages designed intentionally to annoy and antagonize the existing members or disrupt the flow of discussion.

And the best strategy against trolls? Ignore them. If I see one more blog post, newspaper column, or debate on TV attempting to refute this woman's claims, I'm going to scream. Claims? What claims? She wrote that book to piss you off and get you to respond, thereby legitimizing her ramblings. That smile of hers? That's her celebrating a victory that you handed her without any effort. YOU'RE SMARTER THAN THAT...KNOCK IT OFF!

Please pay attention to him.

Now where have I REALLY heard that before?

Tenser, said the Tensor took a closer look at the list of common expressions attributed to Shakespeare that I posted about last week, and found that several of them have earlier citations in the OED.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Cereality.

When will Kansas City get one of these? I am guessing never, but one never knows. I'm just excited that UMKC may be getting a Starbucks. Did I just say that out loud? Oh well. Share in my joy, ye coffee lovers at UMKC. I think I had to put that may in there.

Anyway, every morning I have my own Cereality experience as I mix together my current favorite combination of Cocoa Dyna-Bites (yes, the stuff in a bag), Count Chocula, and a handful of Frosted Flakes. A few months ago I was on a Life kick. Before that it was Frosted Mini Spooners. I think it was just that I like the word "spooner" in reference to breakfast food.

Where was I going with this?

"There is more simplicity in the man who eats caviar on impulse than in the man who eats Grape Nuts on principle."
- G. K. Chesterton

Monday, June 12, 2006

John Yossarian would be proud

I was watching the NBC national news last night, and they did a story on how a 2002 executive order from the President grants fast-track citizenship rights to individuals (and according to the story, their families) who sign up for the military.

From migrationinformation.org:
Foreign-born members of the military can apply for US citizenship without the mandatory five-year waiting period. In general, when the foreign born apply for citizenship, there is a five-year waiting period from the time they get their "green cards" until they can apply to become naturalized US citizens.

Under previous rules, the five-year period was reduced to three years for military members. Since a July 3, 2002 executive order, there has been no mandatory waiting period for military personnel. The naturalization process typically takes eight to 10 months from the time an application is submitted until the oath of citizenship is administered.

Even though this policy has been in effect for a few years, I can't help but see how this will play into the whole immigration debate here. We crack down on illegal immigrants and threaten to send them back to their native countries, but then not-so-subtly hint that they could become instant citizens if they would just sign up for a stint in the military. Voila - we've fixed the problem of low recruitment numbers without a draft. And, since according to the story, of the more than 2,400 U.S casualities in Iraq since 2003, 270 have been Latino, we might not have to worry about them stealing our jobs when/if they return.

Storms by Margie DeMerell

Storms by Margie DeMerell

There will be storms, child
There will be storms
And with each tempest
You will seem to stand alone
Against cruel winds

But with time, the rage and fury
Shall subside
And when the sky clears
You will find yourself
Clinging to someone
You would never have known
But for storms.

On humility.

A raindrop, dripping from a cloud
Was ashamed when it saw the sea.
'Who am I where there is a sea?' it said.
When it sa itself with the eye of humility,
A shell nurtured it in its embrace.
- Saadi of Shiraz, Persian poet

Color blind.

Check out this very cool and simple optical illusion, then go here to see how to make your own version.

Rats!

We have to wait until next summer to see the movie, but here is the first trailer for Ratatouille, by Pixar and Brad bird (who did The Incredibles and The Iron Giant). It is visually stunning, and the story doesn't sound bad, either.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

The ValleySchwag came…

...and it was, as expected, Schwagtastic. I have to admit that I was a little dissapointed, though - I didn't get the condom or the hat like some others have reported receiving. It was my fault - Mr. Awesome signed up for ValleySchwag under his address, and I blog and left comments to ValleySchwag using mine, so it's no wonder we didn't get the super special stuff this time. Maybe next month. Or the month after that.

We did get a fabulous Rubyredlabs shirt, that Mr. Awesome has lived in for the past week, and some fantastic stickers, some of which may be making an appearance on the Jeep very soon.

Tuesday, June 6, 2006

Mutual of Omaha is people!

Riding back from lunch today, someone mentioned the old Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom television show, which reminded me of their earworm jingle:

Mutual of Omaha is people... you can count on when the going's rough.

I have memories of watching that show on Saturday afternoons when nothing else was on. Marlin Perkins was always in his well-apportioned study, surrounded by books, describing the crazy shitstorm they send Jim Fowler into this week. Jim was the original snake charmer, bear wrestler, antelope tranquilizer and crocodile hunter.

So on the ride back from lunch, I keep singing the jingle about how Mutual of Omaha is people - and that make me giggle, because isn't any Soylant Green reference a good one?

Hopper by David Lehman

Hopper by David Lehman

The disappearance of a cat is a good omen,
He said when she told him that hers was missing
A week after moving into her new house.
Cats in captivity violate the natural order,
He said. They should be out prowling, left
To fend for themselves in the streets and alleys
Of cities whose night life depends on them,
On having them in the picture along with a cigarette,
A lamppost, the lid of an aluminum garbage can,
A police siren, an off-duty nightclub dancer
In a flimsy frock, with a run
In her nylons. A searchlight, a spotlight.
Strapless. The theater poster on the wall.

Read more David Lehman poetry here.

Read more about Edward Hopper here.

My favorite “philosopher”

If you haven't read anything by Robert Green Ingersoll, do so now. The first time I read his brilliant essay, Why I am an Agnostic, I thought for sure it had been written yesterday. Imagine my surprise when I realized it was written over 100 years ago.

Here's a gret quote from Ingersoll:
I am not an Anarchist, a Nihilist, or a Socalist. I am simply a human being willing to give to all other human beings every right that I claim for myself.

Now go read more of his stuff.

Where have I heard that before?

Here's a list of lines from Shakespeare plays that have become cliches. Shakespeare lines are like Beatles songs - if you hear a really, really great line (or song), chances are it was written by Shakespeare (or the Beatles).

Friday, June 2, 2006

What could have been…

in 2000, Spike Jonze made a fantastic little get-to-know-you video for Al Gore. Watching this again makes me wonder what kind of country we missed out on thanks to Dubya and his pitiful excuse for governing.

Now watch the trailer to An Inconvenient Truth, then go and see it in the theater, and finally, pray that 2008's election result is more environmentally friendly than what we have had for the last several (long, depressing, stressful) years.

Thursday, June 1, 2006

Happiness is…


  • a heated matress pad

  • Mr. Awesome's egg frittata skillets

  • finding an interesting documentary on TV - Easter Island, Giant Squid, etc.

  • Spaghettios

  • electric toothbrushes

  • people asking where Mr. Awesome and I were registered (when we got married)

  • getting email from long-lost relatives

  • "talking" to Rags

  • phone calls from Adam

  • eating Junior Mints and popcorn at the same time (best movie snack combination ever)

  • The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry

  • the fact that Mark Twain rented cats from locals while on vacation to keep him company

Spoken words…

"Nothing is more signifigant of men's character than what they find laughable."
- Johann Wolfgang Goethe

"We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak."
- Epicurus

Loveliest of Trees by A.E. Housman

Loveliest of trees, the cherry now
Is hung with bloom along the bough,
And stands about the woodland ride
Wearing white for Eastertide.

Now, of my threescore years and ten,
Twenty will not come again,
And take from seventy springs a score,
It only leaves me fifty more.

And since to look at things in bloom
Fifty springs are little room,
About the woodlands I will go
To see the cherry hung with snow.

Love Songs - For E. by Sara Teasdale

I have remembered beauty in the night,
Against black silences I waked to see
A shower of sunlight over Italy
And green Ravello dreaming on her height;
I have remembered music in the dark,
The clean swift brightness of a fugue of Bach's,
And running water singing on the rocks
When once in English woods I heard a lark.

But all remembered beauty is no more
Than a vague prelude to the thought of you --
You are the rarest soul I ever knew,
Lover of beauty, knightliest and best;
My thoughts seek you as waves that seek the shore,
And when I think of you, I am at rest.

(Type)face lift.

Sometimes, it’s the little things that make a huge difference. For the last several years, Times New Roman has been the default typeface for Microsoft Word, making it the standard for documents and term papers everywhere. In Office 2007, however, the life of documents will change forever as the new default font is something called Calibri. The change is being made because developers find it easier to read on-screen. Find out more about the font that will change the world here:

http://poynter.org/column.asp?id=47&aid=78683

Note to self: don’t name a band while under the influence of drugs.

The worst and best-worst band names of 2006, thus far. From the Onion's AV Club.

Things marijuana use can help alleviate the symptoms of: glacoucoma, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, and now a horrible reality.

Holy smoke (no pun intended) - someone else in Kansas City has noticed those ridiculous billboards, too. God bless you, Tracy. She makes the same point I rant about whenever I pass one of these horrid things - that they are in no way designed to keep people from smoking weed. In fact, given the current state of our country, what with all the high gas prices and civil rights infringements and first amendment nullifications and terror terror terror all the goddamn time, I think many Americans would LOVE something that would make them care a little less.