A much more important poll

You hear a lot these days about polls. This being an election year and all, it seems every other day, there's a statistically irrelevant, poorly worded, completely biased, and totally pointless poll talked about in the media. And most those are just about people's reactions to Lindsay Lohan's first pop song. (By far the most common reaction: IT SUCKS. Even for a movie-star-turned-pop-star offering.)

But far more important than that, and even more important than those stupid presidential polls, are my own personal polls. That's right - the dry erase board poll has returned.

You see, my room is right at the top of the stairs of the 4th floor. Besides letting me scope out the hot girls on the floor (especially as they come back from working out. Rroww...), it also lets me communicate with everyone in a way that promotes intelligent, socially responsible debate. In other words, I ask people who would which of two unlikely characters would win in a street fight.

These are classics like Tony the Tiger vs. Cap'n Crunch, Indiana Jones vs. Han Solo (no weapons), and the like. I would like to share a few recent polls that I'm particularly proud of.

A couple weeks ago, I had my dad vs. each passerby's respective dad, under the pretense that my dad could totally beat up all of their dads. (This is obviously a ridiculously playgroundish argument, which was the joke.) Unfortunately, my dad got the ever-loving crap kicked out of him in the polls 12-1.

Then we had the Philosopher Street Fight: Socrates vs. his pupil, Plato. I voted for Socrates on the basis that the Socratic Method also applies to beat-downs. But then someone else made the point that Plato could be molded into any type of fighter he wanted, which I thought was the most intelligent joke ever made on my dry erase board. At any rate, Socrates won a close one 7-5.

This next poll was possibly the funniest one think I've ever come up with. It was the sphere from Sphere vs. the cube from Cube. If you don't get that, then you're not cool. You should read more books by Michael Crichton and watch more Canadian films about giant, booby-trapped cubes. Then you'lI think it's hilarious, as I do. Anyway, no one else on my hall got it either, so they tied 5-5.

Finally, the current poll is a classic cartoon rivalry. The Flintstones vs. The Jetsons. Family vs. family, no futuristic technology allowed. That means no Rosie, no Barney, no Bam-Bam. But wooden clubs are okay, because they're not futuristic. Now it's your turn to weigh in. What's your opinion on any or all of these polls?

Except on Lindsay Lohan of course. That's a given.


Are you a friend of Sonic?

Thanks for all the great comments on the midget post, guys. Goes to show - nothing draws people together quite like midgets. They might be the closest thing we have to a universal language. I thought I should conclude that story arc by mentioning the other strange guy we saw.

Shortly after the midget had driven away in his giant Suburban, we saw a pair of gentlemen walking in the direction of one of the chain restaurants at Jordan Creek. They looked perfectly normal until they passed us. At that point, we saw something that horrified us.

He had a tail.

It obviously wasn't HIS tail, unless the X gene has begun to kick in. If that is the case, we need to get Professor X over here right away and slap this guy around for looking so ridiculous. Mutants are going to have to look a lot cooler than this guy if they want to be accepted.

No, it was attached around his waist or something. It was a long, bushy, raccoon-esque tail. If he had another one, he could have been Tails, a character from Sonic the Hedgehog. But Tails can use his tails as a helicopter-like rotor to fly around. I did not see this guy do anything like this. His only special power was to attract stares from shoppers.

The strange thing was that he seemed to be wearing the tail just as an accessory. He was not in costume - just normal street clothes, heading into P.F. Chang's or whatever the crap is out there. He seemed pretty comfortable with it, which made me wonder if it was something he wore often. Is he one of those people who really wants to be an animal? Or was it a statement of some kind?

I bet that midget would know.


Not the shortest post ever, but you're in the ballpark.

Okay fine. You want the midget post? You'll get the midget post.

Friday night, a group of friends and I went to see Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow. (Amazing film, by the way. Incredible visual style and artistry. Good story and a great cast. It also had a bold comedic flair, which pleasntly surprised me. Especially when such an epic film ends on a silly joke. Very risky. But very bold.)

At any rate, we went to the new cinema at Jordan Creek, which is ridiculously expensive but a really nice place. It is also my new favorite place to go people watching. Because we saw some great people.

We were all hanging around outside after the movie, when one of my friends said, "Tim, look over there." I turned, and there stood the smallest midget I had ever seen. I mean, we're talking two, two-and-a-half feet at most. I quickly turned my head and began to laugh.

Now, it's important to note at this point that I was not laughing AT the midget. I was laughing at how utterly unprepared I was to see a person that small before me and how inappropriate my reaction was. It should be said that for the rest of the night, no one laughed AT the midget. He seemed like a nice guy. Very friendly, well-dressed, obviously doing well for himself. He drove off in a giant red SUV, for goodness sakes. (Okay, that we laughed at. A midget driving an SUV? That's funny.)

But the memorable point came in the car as we drove home. We were still talking about the guy when Raph said, "Midgets are the most under-represented minority in America. If you laugh at other minorities, you're a racist, but if you laugh at them, it's okay."

Under-represented. He actually used the term "under-represented" in reference to midgets. As you can imagine, that only opened the door to more terrible puns. And it wasn't a small door. It was a giant, Sky Captain plane hangar pair of doors that we drove our bad comedy zeppelin right through.

Here were the responses:
Me: "Yeah Raph, they really got the SHORT end of the stick on that deal. I bet people wish they could see MORE of them."
Emeric: "Yeah, they really don't have great STATURE in society."

Now in retrospect, that's nothing more than a series of terrible jokes that happened to follow the comedic rule of three. But at that moment, in that car, it was as if magic happened. We were laughing so hard, we had to pull over.

So that's the midget story. All that, and it basically amounts to "you had to be there." Good job, Tim. Oh, there was also a guy with a raccoon tail, but that's a story for another time.

Celebration of dorkitude

Star Wars Trilogy - 2004 DVD Changes

The original Star Wars trilogy comes out on DVD today, and that can mean only one thing: Dorks everywhere are upset about George Lucas making changes. The link above spotlights some of the major differences between the 1997 special edition and the 2004 DVD edition. If some of the changes make you really mad (as they did for me), congratulations, you're a dork.


Screaming on kids like Bobcat Goldthwait

It's been quite the weekend. I have many fun stories to share, but I'm going to split them up so I don't make a mondo long post. I know you guys have short attention spans and are only willing to read for so long. I can sympathize. Sometimes I get tired reading the comic page in the paper.

Here's something interesting: I'm gaining more and more respect for hip-hop. This is a somewhat startling development for a kid whose most adventurous musical selection is Stryper. But I think I've made a deliniation in my mind between rap and hip-hop and there is most definitely a difference. For example: Black Eyed Peas - cool. Chingy - ridiculously uncool.

The title of this post is an actual lyric from my new favorite hip-hop group: Psyche Origami. I got their CD in the mail at our campus radio station. Here's my favorite stanza so far:

"Call the paramedics while I work you all to edits/
Psyche O's the main feature, comin' first up on the credits/
You comin' up last, just like a dolly grip/
After I confronts for twenty years, you'll have to switch to Super Poligrip/
With Efferdent to polish it."

Who would've guessed that it would take lyrics about film credits and dentures to turn me on to hip-hop? Not me.

More posts about midgets and poker to come...


A bid for power

Last week was Rush Week at my school, which is hilarious enough in itself, but that's not what I'd like to talk about today.

I'd like to talk about Bid Day.

This is the cumulative event of Rush Week, in which the new people actually get to know the house they've become a part of. I laugh everytime someone just uses the term "Bid Day" because it always makes me think of The Price Is Right. I just picture Bob Barker up on the CBS stage saying "The contestant who bids the closest to the actual price without going over will get to pay for her new group of friends!"

But even that mental image does not compare with the theatrics of Bid Day. Let me see if I can give you a rundown of the events. From what I understand, the girls read a list at some point during the Sunday after Rush Week that tells them what house has given them a "bid". ("I'd like to bid $375 on that freshman, Bob." Sorry, but I can't get that out of my head.)

Then all the new sorority girls head up to the second floor of our student union for some kind of orientation. While they're up there, the current batch of sorority girls gather around the main entrance. And they're all in costume. You might not notice it, because some just go with the black dress, but each sorority has a dress code. My favorite is the sailor outfit worn by the DG house. (They have an aquatic theme that they really stick to all year. I respect that.) Once they're all there, the real fun begins.

They start singing.

I'm not joking about this. Each house has cute little songs and cheers that they sing while they're waiting. Some are original, some more chants than songs, and at least one (I swear) was to the tune of "Boom Boom, Ain't It Great to be Crazy?" So they're singing, more to each other than to the girls upstairs, and waving their signs and whatnot. Every so often, a girl will peek through the upstairs window at the cheering throng. That is the throng's cue to go crazy. And if you've never heard that many girls screaming at such a high pitch, then you've probably never been with me when I walk in public. Hi-yo!

So eventually the new girls get to come down and much hugging and screaming ensues. Then everybody crams into the few cars they have (I saw about a dozen girls in the back of a pickup) and they drive to Greek Street, honking and probably singing all the way.

I watched the whole thing this past Sunday, which, in retrospect, probably creeped the girls out quite a bit. Sorry, ladies. It's just how I operate. I just think it's the best show on campus - the costumes, the songs, the choreography. It's like a Broadway musical, only with more shattered dreams in its wake.

I don't know what the frat guys do on Bid Day, but I assume it's much the same, only with even more latent homoeroticism.


Tide you over, Emmanuel Lewis!

Hey, sorry for the lack of posting. Turns out my professors are actually going to make me do stuff this semester. How lame. Don't worry though, I have lots of ideas. I just need time to flesh them out. So look out this weekend - it could be blogging mania. For now, here's a random childhood recollection:

When I was a kid, I was astonished by Webster's Dictionary, because I had no idea how such a large book could be written by a small black child.


Still drunk with power

Had a pretty exciting experience last night. KDCS (our campus radio station) was hired to provide the music at Drake athletic events. And last night was our first home football game of the season. To top it off, it was at night - the first night football game at Drake since 1960. So there was a huge crowd there (almost 9,000 - last year's season high was less than half that), and I was in charge of the music being piped over the speaker system before and after the game. No pressure.

Early in the evening, I decided that the worst possible thing I could do would be to play something during the moment of silence for September 11. And if I didn't do that, everything else would be okay. Well, I didn't do that. And everything else was okay.

(That's a good technique for dealing with pressure. Think of the worst thing you could possibly do, then don't do it. Man, I should write a book.)

So I had 9,000 people there to force my musical opinion on. So what did I do? I played The Format. And of course, something cool happened. Some other guy working for Drake athletics came up and complimented my music choice. Turns out he went to high school with Nate, the lead singer. They were good friends - went to prom together and everything. So that was really cool, but I wonder if he gets mad when he hears the line "Old classmates please drop all your pens, don't write a word 'cause I won't reply." I probably would. Stupid Nate - thinks he's all cool because he's in a band.

My brother's girlfriend thinks that line is "Old classmates, please drop all your pants." I think that's gross. (Yeah, that's right, Allyn. I said it.)

The booth where I sat in the press box was ridiculously hot because we couldn't get the window out. That was not awesome. What was awesome were the three opposing coaches in the booth next to me. They would periodically get really excited and yell at their team. I found that hilarious. And almost 9,000 people listened to music that I like. Hence the "drunk with power." And here's the best part:

I only had to play that stupid "Hey" song once.

Timmy Tapeworm - making stadium soundtracks better, one song at a time.


A disturbing trend

I've noticed something very disturbing as I walk around campus this fall. It seems that all of my worst fears have been realized. The very essence of my nightmares have taken form in reality. This could only be a sign of the Apocalypse.

The preppy look is back.

That's right. There's been a sudden increase of Izod polo shirts, pressed khakis, and (this is the worst part) flipped-up collars on Drake's campus. Seriously, flipped-up collars. All these frat boys wearing brightly colored polo shirts are flipping up their collars like they've been doing it all their lives. But here's the worst part:

They're doing it without a trace of irony.

No wink-wink, nudge-nudge, "I know this looks ridiculous but it's okay because I'm aware of it" attitude can be detected in these specimens. They honestly think it looks good. And that, my friends, is the saddest part of all.

So if you know someone that's been afflicted with this sudden and terrible disease, be a real friend and do them a favor. Show them some pictures of people in the 80's when the preppy look was in. Then make them look in the mirror. We can only pray that the jagged shards of their shattered psyche can make the connection that indeed, they too look ridiculous.

God save the wannabe-preppies.

(This message has been brought to you by your friendly neighborhood wannabe-emo kid.)


It means "No Worries." Did you know that? It does.

Proving once again that random musical encounters are not limited to large metropolitan cities, I had a particularly strange one today on Drake's campus. While walking across our quad, two girls passed me walking the other way. They looked pretty young, probably freshmen.

Here's the kicker: they were singing, in unison, "Hakuna Matata." Yes, the cheery happy song from The Lion King. Not overly loud like they wanted the entire world to hear them, but loud enough to make you think they maybe wouldn't mind if you were a talent scout and heard them and immediately signed them to a record deal.

It made me laugh. I mean, one person singing to themself isn't anything to blog home about - God knows I get some looks for doing just that - but these girls were obviously putting some effort into coordinating their Disney show tunes. Crazy.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go stick my head out of my door and rap at people as they walk by.


There and back again

Current mood: Ponderant
Currently listening to: Snow Patrol - Final Straw
(Xanga and Livejournal people can put these things at the top of their posts and they look all cool. Sometimes I get jealous.)

I went home for a few days this weekend, to see the fam and enjoy a little time together before we once again scatter across the country. It was great to see them, especially my brother and his girlfriend, even if they were so freaking cute that they made me ill. But since our age group likes lists, here are some things I learned this weekend.

- Some planes are very small. The plane that flies between Des Moines and St. Louis is not Tim-friendly. The plane that flies between St. Louis and Springfield, IL is downright Tim-hostile.

- Hotshot business kids from Texas think they're all bad because their state was once its own country. Whoop-de-do.

- Don't put your luggage in the way of hotshot business kids from Texas. They will show no mercy.

- My brother's girlfriend has a really funny laugh, but only sometimes. Doing a horrendously exaggerated version of said laugh is now one of my favorite things to do and may count as our first inside joke. That's exciting.

- If there's a competitive person around, anything can become competitive. ANYTHING.

- It's not a good idea to watch a movie that concludes with an emotional scene in an airport (i.e. Garden State) if you're going to have your own emotional scene in an airport the next day.

- The Drake Admissions office is not open on Labor Day. So if you're a Student Ambassador, don't wake yourself up at 8:00 on the national holiday and walk all the way over to the other side of campus, because the building will be locked and dark and you'll be left cursing your own stupidity.

And finally,

- I have the greatest family and friends ever. For serious.


Isn't this a great post?!

I've mentioned this to a few people because I learned it during my internship and found it fascinating. So I thought I'd share it with everyone. Here we go.

Did you know that ?! (as in "Isn't this a great post?!") is an officially recognized punctuation mark known as an "interrobang"? In typography, it's formed by superimposing the exclamation point over the question mark and is used to "punctuate rhetorical statements where neither the question nor an exclamation alone exactly serves the writer." Seriously, check it out. http://www.interrobang-mks.com/ I just thought I'd mention that because "interrobang" is the greatest name for a punctuation mark ever. Ah, the things you learn during internships...

I'm going to start a band and call it "Interrobang".