This is all I care to update.

Second City was hilarious, my interviews all went well, Chicago was frigid, the show I caught at ImprovOlympic was great, I flew to Florida, it's much warmer here.

Hope you're all enjoying your break.


Hey, I think I've finally sold out!

I'm writing this entry from a Starbucks.

I shall now pause while my street cred, dignity and wallet all simultaneously shrivel away.

They say that necessity is the mother of invention, but in this case, necessity is the mother of selling-out. I'm currently in Chicago for the first few days of my spring break and I have limited options for Internet access. I'm crashing at a friend's place, so I suppose I could use his, but that involves a lengthy process of installing SBC Connection Manager software. And once you get that thing on your computer, it starts getting all uppity and thinks it should manage every connection you try to make. Honestly. So pretentious.

And it seems that everywhere I go, these places that promise wireless Internet make you pay for it. Stupid T-mobile hotspots. That was the only way I could get on at my hotel last night and now it's the only way you can use connect at Starbucks. So I finally caved and paid money. Stupid free-market economy. It's not a bad deal though - only $6 for a 60 minute session. Cheap way to kill time before I catch the Second City etc show tonight with a couple Drake friends.

I have a couple "interviews" this week. I guess that's what you would call them. Can't believe I'm doing "real world" stuff all of a sudden. Looking for jobs, thinking about apartments. So bogus. I feel like I'm definitely done with this whole "going to class" thing, but I don't know if I want to leave college. Pres. Maxwell has threatened to not sign my diploma. That doesn't sound so bad these days. I could hang out, take all the classes I've always wanted to take. Eh, probably time for a change of scene anyway. New mountains to climb and all that.

I caught a little of Fight Club on TV today and nodded along with Tyler Durden as he ranted about material possesions and consumerism. Then I bundled up my laptop, flipped on my iPod, and went to the El station. So now I'm a sellout and a hypocrite. But I'm a sellout and a hypocrite that's going to Florida in a couple days. I'm okay with that.


The Vandals. No, not the band. The bad kind.

I love living in a college residence hall. The atmosphere of having a bunch of crazy kids living on their own for the first time in their lives is often intoxicating, both literally and otherwise. I love that I can go visit friends without going outside, because I'm both lazy and thin-skinned. Also, having someone fix my meals and clean my bathroom is awesome.

Unfortunately, that last perk only applies if you're allowed to get in your bathroom, which, for the last week, I have not been able to. I got back from a Saturday night of rabble-rousing (which for my circle of friends usually implies board games. We're a wild bunch.) to find a sign on my bathroom that read "Due to excessive vandalism, this bathroom will be closed until further notice." Apparently some jerk just went in there and tore up EVERYTHING, which is quite an accomplishment.

I responded with a note on my white board that everyone walks by on their way outside. I thought I tempered my bitter rankor with self-deprecation quite well:

"To the idiot(s) who vandalized the bathroom,

Congratulations! Your childish exploits have inconvenienced an entire floor. You should be very proud. Not that I couldn't use the exercise, but I prefer floor hockey to walking downstairs to use the shower. Now even more people will be forced to see me without a shirt on. Trust me, this is not pleasant for anyone involved. But hey, thanks for the good times. Hope you had fun.

Now feel free to grow the hell up."

I felt better after that, but I really do have to go downstairs to shower, which sucks. What's weird is that the bathroom I'm now forced to use has a symmetrically opposite floor plan as my usual one. So I feel like I've stepped into some bizarro, alternate universe. Which I guess would mean that instead of tearing up the bathroom, people actually deposit their paper towels in the trash and actually pee IN the toilet. Ah, a guy can dream...


"Hit Me, Mike - I'm Open! Come On! Pass the Ball, Mike!"

Saw the Drake Theater Production of "Pippin" this past weekend. It was a 60's-influenced musical documenting the life of one of the sons of Charlemagne. This surprised me, as I went in with the impression that it was about the former Chicago Bulls power forward. But it turns out he spells his name Pippen, which should have tipped me off. But I was really looking forward to some of the musical numbers I imagined. Here's the song order, in my mind:

"Man, Pro Basketball is Hard."
"Living In Michael's Shadow."
"Three-peat, Foo!"
"Come Back, Michael. You Suck at Baseball."
"Three-peat Again, Foo!"
"You're Letting Kukoc Take the Last Shot? Forget It, I'm Out."
"Forever the Wingman."
"Trade Me, For the Love of God"
"I Play for Who Now? The Trailblazers?"
"I Miss Michael."
"Geez, the End of My Career Sucks."
"Come On, ESPN! I'd Be a Good Analyst!"
"Whatever Happened to Me?"
"Man, Pro Basketball is Hard (reprise)"

I smell Tony...

Or maybe a Tony...


An existential crisis

My pocket watch has stopped ticking. This upsets me greatly. I'm sure it's just an issue with the battery and easily fixable, but I love my pocket watch. I love it to the point that I think I have some sort of symbiotic relationship with it, which makes me worry that now 1 of 2 things will happen:

I will stop aging completely, much like Dorian Gray.
I will die.

I'll keep you updated.


Chanting Cherry Coke

Okay, great. Glad to see the fake tribute album issue makes you as mad as it does me. No no, I don't want your pity comments. Save them for some otha sucka.

I was shopping for groceries this weekend at SuperTarget and was in the juice aisle looking for Gatorade, because that's the only thing that sustains me sometimes. I looked up at the huge hangy sign they use to tell you what's in each aisle. I've loved these signs in the past because they use code words for sensitive items. You know, like "Incontinence" for adult diapers and "College Drinks" for alcohol and "Feminine Hygiene" for those terrible items that exist just to gross me out.

Okay, so "College Drinks" was invented by Strong Bad, but I needed a second beat to make the rhythm of the joke work out.

But on this day, I saw a category I had never seen before. Right in the mix with "Sports Drinks" and "Juice Boxes" and "Pure Sugar Drinks for 5-year-olds" was (and I'm not making this up)

"New Age Drinks"

What the crap are New Age Drinks? Is it like "Meditation Dew"? Do you drink it and suddenly ethereal, tranquil music begins to play? If it was Orbital's "Halchyon & On & On," I'd buy the entire lot, but I highly doubt that's the case. (The Hackers soundtrack is still awesome, I don't care if they use Macs to hack.)

I looked in the aisle, expecting to see those huge cans of Sobe tea or something, but didn't really see much of anything, except for some weird drink called "Izze," which I just assumed was Snoop Dogg's new energy drink.

In other news, I may be going crazy. I'm talking to myself a lot more these days. When I got to the Gatorade, I literally had this conversation aloud. With myself:

"Geez, this is their Gatorade section? There's like one six-pack of Glacier Freeze! Oh, you know what it is? The girl's state basketball champeenship is in town. They probably took it all...my God, I'm so lonely."

Then I laughed in the New Age Drinks aisle for two minutes straight.


A tribute to this post...by Flickerstick

My life has been so much better ever since I bought Kidz Bop 7.

Okay, I'm lying. It's actually been going steeply downhill. Okay, I'm lying again. I didn't really buy Kidz Bop 7. But I could have, which bothers me. It seems there are quite a few stupid trends in music right now, and I'm not even going to waste my time with the obvious ones like Clear Channel and the NOW series.

I've been really confused with the recent rash of tribute albums. Now, I'm not complaining about the traditional view of a tribute album: a bunch of bands each covering a track by a well-known artists. That's cool. I hear the Police tribute album is amazing. I'm even cool with alternate versions of entire albums. I'm particularly fond of the Strung Out series, where a string quartet plays arrangements of popular songs. I enjoy studying to Strung Out on Jagged Little Pill, and my brother swears he's going to use songs from Songs You Have Come to Love the Most in his wedding.

What bothers me are these new-fangled tribute albums where an unknown band covers every song off an album that was released less than a year ago. Have you seen these? They're usually stocked in the same section as the artist they're covering and they say, "A Tribute to Sum 41." And it's the exact same order of songs as the Sum 41 album, only the band playing IS NOT SUM 41! I'm not making this up, people! Look, some dude made a whole list of them. 3 Doors Down is on there, Justin Timberlake, even Ludacris! I didn't even know you could cover rap songs. How do you put your own stamp on rhythmic talking?

I have a few questions:
1) How is this even legal? Don't the artists own the rights to their songs and who can cover them for a profit? Or do the tribute people get around it because they record in Canada?
2) Who the crap buys this?! Is there really someone out there who thinks, "I simply can't get enough of the adorable pop-punk stylings of Sum 41. I really think I'd enjoy hearing their entire album covered by someone OTHER THAN THEM." I have to assume people are buying, because there's a lot of them. I'm so freaking confused.

I want some unknown blogger to cut and paste this entry to make a tribute to me. That would be rad, but they would have to be from Canada.


Got Legalism?

I got kicked out of a function this weekend.

Let's pause for a moment. Okay, now read that sentence again.

I don't think I've ever been kicked out of anything in my entire life, but it happened this weekend in grand fashion. Let's flashback to Friday night.

This year, I've been fortunate enough to make the acquaintance of a couple of nice girls who go to Drake. Both of these girls were homeschooled, yet surprisingly social and well-adjusted. (They break a lot of the normal stereotypes.) And apparently in Des Moines, there is this consortium of homeschoolers called The Network, which plans social events and brings in teachers to teach chemistry so the parents won't have to blow up stuff in their own kitchens. You know, cool stuff like that. I've been obsessed about this organization for a while, mostly because of the cool name. The Network. So cool.

At any rate, last Friday The Network held its annual formal. This is an excuse for high school-aged Networkers to get all dressed up and have a prom-like event of their very own. (Albeit under very strict rules. I heard the girls' dress straps had to be at least three finger widths wide. Those are some wicked wide straps.) So they go have a nice, formal dinner. But there's no dancing. Because dancing is "like having sex standing up," according to one local pastor. (Actually, the way our generation dances, he's not that far off.) But they do have an afterparty, which we crashed.

My friend Keri (the former Networker) convinced Raph and I to go visit her sister at the afterparty, so we drive out to a local church to see what we can see. What we can see is the church's gym, stocked with food and soda and fun afterparty-type events. (Apparently, Dance Dance Revolution is not a sin, whereas for-real dancing is. A strange distinction that I suppose comes from a lack of pelvis-on-pelvis contact.)

We see her sister and are talking to her for about 30 seconds before we attract the attention of a chaperone who comes right over and asks, "Are you in The Network?" like it's a Freemasons meeting or something. Right away, Raph says no, I say yes, and Keri says, "We're her ride." So right off the bat, we've screwed up. (We're the worst party-crashers ever.) So this lady won't leave us alone, telling us we can either take her with us now or come back later, but making it pretty darn clear that we're not welcome.

It should be noted that I knew this lady. I didn't know her personally, but I knew the type. If you've ever known a mom that goes around calling neighborhood kids heathens, you know the type too. (Josh, you know who I'm talking about specifically.)

At this point we've pretty much attracted the attention of every chaperone in the place, due to our extreme tallness and our obvious age. (In retrospect, my plan of claiming to be in The Network was seriously flawed.) So we make our retreat to the hallway outside the gym and continue talking to Keri's sister, but they follow us out there. So we finally admit defeat and head to the car, only to be followed THE ENTIRE WAY OUTSIDE by a dad who tucked his tie into his shirt. We laughed all the way home.

Now, I can understand that this was a closed event and they didn't want us crashing their party. That's fine. But you should have seen this lady's face when we walked in. She was nervous beyond belief, like we were going to pull knives or secular rock music from our pockets. Or maybe deal drugs and impregnate their daughters just by looking at them. And trust me, the three of us were about the least threatening characters that could have tried to crash the party. I can't imagine what her reaction would have been if I had anything pierced. Probably would have passed out in shock. It's this kind of Christian-bubble, shut-out-the-world-and-shelter-your-kids, praise-the-Lord-and-pass-the-ammunition attitude that gives homeschooling a bad name. Which is really too bad, because, if done for the right reasons and done correctly, is not that bad of a thing.

Anyway, that's my story for the weekend. Hope you slogged through it. Read it through Gizzogle - it's probably funnier that way. Everything is. Sorry, I just can't stop doing that.


Other people are much funnier than me.

Thanks for all the kind words about the speech, everyone. I'm glad a lot of you thought it was funny. Trust me, it's even funnier when viewed through Gizoogle, which is quite possibly the funniest and most ingenius site I've seen on the Internet for a long, long time. How they figured out how to do what they do is absolutely beyond me, but I try not to question what is obviously a miracle of Internet comedy.

Here are some of my other favorite sites filtered through Gizoogle:
(Warning: may contain language that some find offensive, but many others will find hilarious.)

CNN Headline News

Internet Movie Database

Josh and Allyn's website

Oh, that's good. I would also like to briefly take this time to introduce you to the greatest trend in music today: Kidz Bop. It seems that there is a huge market in this country for the NOW hits, resung by some studio singer who kind of sounds like the original artist, backed by a large group of kids. I don't know why we haven't thought of this before. Listen to their cover of Modest Mouse's Float On, then if you have iTunes, listen to a bunch of samples from their new album. This stuff is gold, people.