25 June 2008

Mitch Hedberg

The late Mitch Hedberg was hilarious. Listening to him makes me laugh so hard I snort.

I love the bit below. It includes his take on catch and release fishing. He says it's for people who "don't want to eat the fish but do want to make it late for something." And, "I find that ducks' opinion of me is very much influenced over whether or not I have bread. A duck loves bread but he does not have the capability to buy a loaf."

Here's another. Includes, "I saw a commercial for an above-ground pool. It was 30 seconds long. You know why? Because that's the maximum amount of time you can depict yourself having fun in an above-ground pool."

Random: "If you are flammable and have legs you are never blocking a fire exit."

23 June 2008

Dumb Dare

I have a Dumb Dares for the Office flip-a-day calendar. It's a daily dose of lovely silliness. A couple of the the latest:
Circle a few personal ads in your local newspaper, indicating assorted preferences, and leave the page open on your desk all day.

Crawl around the outside of the building on all fours with a stick in your mouth.
On a completely unrelated note, "hell" is the German word for bright. (The English word "hell" is die Hoelle in German.)

22 June 2008

A good book/a geek from way back

I'm re-reading The Charterhouse of Parma by Stendhal. (It's my pick for book club.) I read it first in high school after getting sucked into the mini series on Great Performances (PBS). In high school I was watching a lot of PBS. A geek to the core at an early age.

The main character in the book is Fabrizio del Dongo. (A fun name to say!) He's quite the naive guy who wants to go off and join Napoleon's army. Later he becomes a prelate in the Catholic church. Stendhal is quite clever and mouthy but you have to pay attention or you miss it.

From a review of the new translation in The New York Times (1999):
The quick pace of the narrative and the vividness of the characters are balanced throughout by a coolly sardonic assessment of human nature and, in particular, of politics. Stendhal ... found himself living at a time of almost unprecedented political cynicism in post-Restoration France; disgust with the bourgeois complacency of his countrymen played no little part in his admiration for the Italians, whom he considered to be more authentic -- more profound and more susceptible to violent emotions, as he wrote in his diary. More.
If you like this one, you'll surely like The Red and The Black, also by Stendhal (the red represents the military and the black represents the church).

20 June 2008

Viva la Vida is fabelhaft (fabulous)!

I simply love Coldplay. They are masters of the big, energetic sound. A sound that makes you want to stretch your arms out and move. I love all the keyboards, too. (All those years of piano lessons left their imprint.)

The sound on their new CD, Viva la Vida, is a bit different than their last CD, X&Y. On this one you can hear more of Brian Eno's influence (he has produced several of U2's albums). Lovers in Japan/Reign of Love is a particularly lovely song. It starts with Coldplay's big sound and then segues to a very sweet, slower song.

The bands worldview shines through on several of the tracks, especially Violet Hill and Viva la Vida. A reviewer compared the sound on Violet Hill to Pink Floyd. I interpret Viva la Vida as a commentary on the fall of the American empire. The juxtaposition of a grand, energetic sound with the dark story is quite powerful. A bit of the lyrics:
When the future's architectured
By a carnival of idiots on show
You'd better lie low
Was a long and dark December
When the banks became cathedrals
And the fog
Became God
Viva la Vida:

The following is a video not produced by Coldplay. But with lines like those above, I don't think they'd quibble with it. Dancing, goofy-acting politicians inter cut with protests, soldiers with rocket launchers and torture.

16 June 2008

Stupid git

In April, Congressional candidate Tony Zirkle (Indiana) agreed to speak at a gathering of the American National Socialist Workers' Party. His platform consists mainly of opposing pornography and prostitution. He's also in favor of bringing back the guillotine. The gathering was a birthday party for Adolf Hitler.

Zirkle claims that he didn't know that the group was pro-Nazi because they were called National Socialists, not Nazis. This despite the giant portrait of Hitler, everyone at the head table wearing swastikas and the Happy Birthday Hitler banner. The Indiana Republican party is distancing itself from Mr. Zirkle.


13 June 2008

Andre Jordan

Andre Jordan creates the best doodles. I love his stuff.

I'm posting these today not just because it's been a long week and my brain feels like mush. I also want to share a couple examples of his fabulousness. But I am tired and lazy, too.

I don't know why I think this is so funny but I do.
This needs no explanation.

07 June 2008

Mental Floss is beautiful

I've talked about mental_floss here before. But as I just finished the latest edition (at right), I'm compelled to talk about it again. It's just packed with info and trivia that you wouldn't likely learn elsewhere without quite a bit of effort. Much of it you don't need for day-to-day life. But that's part of the fun.

If the magazine is a really good meal, then the Web site is the equivalent of a mile-long buffet. (A good one, not the Old Country Buffet.) For example, on the trivia page you will find the following treats:

06 June 2008

Not sure why I have this

I found this in my purse today. It must have come from my nieces' school on rollerskating day. I'm not sure why I, or one of the girls, put it in my purse.

05 June 2008

Beware the rollerskates

Last week I went on a field trip with my niece Tori's 3rd-grade class. Rollerskating! I haven't been rollerskating since I was 13 or 14 years old. It was a hoot! It took me a bit to get used to the skates but then I did OK. Had a couple of falls -- see bruise on knee at right (about 2.5 inches or 6 cm). Until I figured out how to make turns I'd skate all the way down one side, skate into the wall, turn, skate to the next turn, repeat. It was all quite comical.

Tori and I had a great time. She is much braver than I am. She wore inline skates. I opted for the more stable, four-wheel option. She's also a great skater! She can almost do the splits while skating. I didn't try that. I would have deserved whatever injury I received at that point.