Thursday, May 31, 2007


So ARod's publicist decided that this was about the best time for the superstar hunk philanthropist to be seen entering and leaving a hotel, and then going to a strip club with "an unidentified woman" whom I believe to have been "busty."
"Cynthia Rodriguez, A-Rod's wife and mother of their 2 1/2-year-old daughter Natasha, was nowhere to be seen," the Post said.
The best part of this article is that they decided to interview Johnny Damon about this:
"I think everything probably got blown out of proportion like always," outfielder Johnny Damon said.
Unreported by CBS, Johnny continued:
Like this time once, when I was doing 2 chicks at once, and then I realized that I was on the Diamondvision - if my wife didn't care, then why should you guys?

The Opposite of Phallic

A few months ago, Chris Hall told me that the female equivalent of phallic was "yonic." This interested me enough to not do anything about it until I remembered it yesterday, and then look into it. The OED defines "yoni" as
A figure or symbol of the female organ of generation as an object of veneration among the Hindus and others.
I'd prefer to find the Greek-root antonym. I found a discussion board that claims that the two best possibilities are "hysteric" (not a great possibility, for obvious reasons) and "uterine." But I'm not sure that the uterus is the appropriate opposite organ in this case - when we use phallic, we really use it to refer to the physical act of...copulation. I think the antonym should refer to the female portion of the physical interface between man and woman.

I guess I'll conclude for now that yonic is appropriate, because of this note on the etymology from the OED (and because of the general consensus online):
In nature-worship, all natural orifices were reverenced as representing the yoni of the mother-earth goddess.
So I don't think yoni refers to the uterus...Sorry if this is an awkward discussion for my less mature readers. But I do plan to start using "yonic" in conversation as soon as possible.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Facebook Ad

Is this an ad for the clothing she's wearing...or the clothing that she isn't?

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Announcing my Roadtrip Blog 2007

For those of you who do not know, Mr. John Friedman and I will be enjoying a cross-country roadtrip from June 13-July 1, or so. No doubt many have asked Mr. Friedman how he could stand to be with me and me alone for so long, but rest assured, we will have a break halfway in between while he zips to and from Las Vegas for activities otherwise unspecified. During much of the driving, we will be occupied with the five-part biography of Andrew Mellon that I downloaded from in a paroxysm of studious historical interest.

I promise to use this blog both to document our trip, and, more interestingly, to post a daily "Friedman Acceptability Reading." I'd like to, if possible, find appropriate thermometer graphics. Also if possible, I will record a "Friedman quote of the day" word for word and transmit it to you through this medium. Mr. John Friedman may indeed read my blog and be aware of this feature, but there's no way he can go a whole day without generating at least one quotation worth recording for the kind readers of this humble blog.

What Would Al Roth Say to This?

Apparently, those Dutch are at it again. Someone is broadcasting a show in which three ill "contestants," each of whom is deathly in need of a kidney, compete for a healthy kidney. On a cheery note, the donor is terminally ill.
She will make her choice based on the contestants' history, profile and conversations with their families and friends. Viewers will be able to send text messages advising her during the 80-minute show.
Ah, text messages, how did we survive without you?

Andy Roddick: Consummate Loser

These days, I don't really care who wins tennis tournaments, as long as "ARod" loses horribly, like he did today.

Email to my Landlord

Dear Barry,

We have a list of concerns about the apartment, some of which we consider completely unacceptable, some only mildly unacceptable, most of which we have told you about in the past, and none of which you have mollified. We pay an enormous rent, and we are morally, legally, and I believe contractually entitled to better service on your part.

Here is a non-exhaustive list of the problems we have recently been having:

- The power goes out in our unit and we have to go into the basement to reset circuit breakers.
This has now happened 4 times.
- The air conditioning, which contributes to the power's going out, is utterly ineffective when it is on.
- The sink in the upstairs bathroom does not drain as it should.
- The toilet seat in the upstairs bathroom is broken.
- The lights in the downstairs bathroom have never worked properly.
- The bulbs in the chandelier above the stairs to the first floor are broken and preclude us from replacing them.
- A bulb in the upstairs bedroom is dead and not extractable.
- The wiring in the kitchen is faulty, so the lights are often difficult or impossible to get on and off using the dimmer switch.

In addition, we find it difficult to impossible to reach you or anyone affiliated with you when we have urgent problems that require immediate attention.

Please let us know if you consider our requests above unreasonable, or, if not, how we can begin addressing each of the concerns.

Thank you,


Monday, May 28, 2007

Bathtime in Clerkenwell (a short film)

From Andrew Hall, who describes it as "the best movie ever made."

Also, watch the trailer for Live Free, or Die Hard. Right now.

Bluesipher, The Original Dog from Hell

As some of you no doubt know, I'm being paid $40/day to dogsit my uncle's dog while he and my aunt are off in NYC. The dog's name is "Blue." He is a Prince Something's Spaniel - very round in shape, somewhat smelly, moody, and, I am sorry to say, he seems to be of the persuasion that consumes its own waste to ward off anxiety.

Luckily for me, all of my duties were carefully spelled out for me in a single-spaced, 2-page memorandum left in triplicate (quite literally) throughout the house. Blue requires morning and evening medicine, as well as three square meals a day - so far so good. Blue's other requirements are more irregular - for example, I am to sleep with him every night in the master bedroom:
[Blue]'s a good bed-mate and sleeps with both of us in the bed. In the morning he loves to be ruffled up (push him on his back and rub his stomach and he'll sound like he's growling, but he's just happy).
If I take him on walks, I can let him off leash, and, to retrieve him, shout "Blue, Come! In a loud commanding voice - then give him an occasional reinforcement with a half-biscuit." To say that this dog responds to biscuits as reinforcement would be an exercise in meiosis.

Blue and I had our differences at first - when his mommy and daddy left, he became a bit disoriented and decided it was no longer safe to use the outdoors as his bathroom. But the truth is, our relationship has steadily improved. And it ends Thursday. Which is for the best.

What I've Been Reading

Sitting around with nothing to do, I've been reading books from/about the early 20th century.
  1. Of Human Bondage
  2. Cakes and Ale
  3. The Remains of the Day
  4. When We Were Orphans
Of Human Bondage is the best - it's about a poor, introspective chap who, despite constantly analyzing his own feelings and situation, can't seem to get rid of the people who clearly want nothing more than to giznank him horribly.

I'm almost embarrassed to have read The Remains of the Day, since everyone else seems to have read it and liked it, but it really is good. It's narrated from the perspective of an old-school English butler, and as such there are some very amusing and remarkable lines.

I've also been slogging through "Omensetter's Luck," which is Faulkner-esque, most of all in its unbridled incomprehensibility. But it does feature a preacher who spends most of his time mentally undressing the nymphets in his congregation.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Red Sox Update

As of right now, the Red Sox have scored more runs than any team in the majors, and given up fewer than any team in the majors (including, yes, "National League" teams). They also have the best record in baseball. The question on every Red Sox fan's mind is, when will they collapse?

Sunday, May 13, 2007

CS Rap

Some Stanford students rapping about computer science.

The chorus:
Kill-9, no more CPU time
Kill-9, and your process is mine

Thursday, May 10, 2007

27 Unique Ideas for Dates

Over the past few years, Yahoo! has decided to make its front-page content increasingly low-brow, to the extent that it now reads like an extension of the ads they show during weekday soap operas (or at least, the ads i imagine they show on such soap operas). Check this out if you're looking for a great way to impress a date on your first time out.

Are you two "homebodies?" If so, Yahoo! recommends
Watch a full season of your favorite show on DVD for a TV marathon night.
What about "true romantics?"
1. Create love coupons for foot rubs and back massages and cash them in.
2. Go all out with a traditional candlelight dinner.
3. Reserve a B&B getaway.
All three recommendations strike me as remarkable - but seriously, what girl wouldn't go to a B+B on a first date? "Traditional" is not a word I'd use to modify something I'm selling as "unique."

Anyway, the list goes on, it's pretty hilarious. Everything from racecar driving school to takin' an underprivileged kid to a circus. They throw in a "double date with the folks" for family types.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Free Paris

Yahoo reports that Paris Hilton has some pretty hilarious stuff on her MySpace petition to be pardoned for her crimes. Choice quotes:

The petition, looking to appeal to "all fans and supporters and all that are outraged by injustice," describes Hilton as someone who "provides hope for young people all over the U.S. and the world. She provides beauty and excitement to [most of] our otherwise mundane lives."

In exchange for her global good deeds, the petition contends, she should not be locked up.

"otherwise mundane lives" - "mundane" is a pretty big word for a girl like Paris. I bet that's just her daddy talkin'.
"If the late Former President Gerald Ford could find it in his heart to pardon the late Former President Richard Nixon after his mistake(s), we undeniably support Paris Hilton being pardoned for her honest mistake as well, and we hope and expect The Governor will understand and grant this unusual but important request in good faith to Ms. Paris Whitney Hilton."
This actually reads sort of like it was (literally) written by Paris herself. She managed to pick up the fact, maybe one day in school if she went to school, that Ford pardoned Nixon, and naturally, since her world revolves so tightly around herself, she concluded that a pardon was a reasonable solution to her crime. After all, she does so much good in the world.

Somehow, the article neglects to mention that Paris was slated to appear in an Indian-made movie as (no joke) Mother Theresa. I wonder what the status of that project is, though I'm too lazy to google it right now.

Evil Foreigner Tries to Lower Gas Prices, But Caught by Vigilant Law Enforcement Officials

Yahoo reports on the state of Wisconsin's ordering a gas station owner to raise his unfairly low prices.
But the State Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection says those deals violate Wisconsin's Unfair Sales Act, which requires stations to sell gas for about 9.2 percent more than the wholesale price.
The station owner's name is Raj Bhandari, so we can assume that he stole the job from a hard-working American hick in order to send his multitudinous hard-working and of-above-average-intelligence offspring to superior institutions of higher education. He wanted to offer discounts to the elderly and local youth sports boosters, yes, but this is a slippery slope - had the state not intervened, he might start giving discounts to all consumers!

Friday, May 4, 2007

Party at 20 Ellery #2

Tonight is the joint birthday party for Chris, Josh, and myself. Mention this blog and get a free Rolling Rock. Also, if you know anyone who is in economics and has the birthday May 8, please introduce us, because then we can include Ian, May 9, in the string of consecutive birthdays...

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Chickamauga's Where I'm Bound, Solitude is Where I'm Headed

I'm battling through a (minor by many standards, including my own expectations) girl-induced depression. I've been through it enough times before to know that it's both very unpleasant, and temporary, and I'm taking the opportunity, as clinical as this sounds, to observe myself carefully.

I'm vaguely aware of "research" that claims that talking about your problems is not long-run helpful, and this seems right to me. Talking about the recent unpleasantness does feel instantaneously pleasing, but it keeps the unpleasantness in mind. I've found that the most relaxed and pleased I've been is when I've been working on physics or writing (I'm setting down ideas for my novel this summer). Of course, moments of bored solitude are the most miserable.

On a related note, I've found myself listening to the same three songs over and over again. In this case they happen to be from Uncle Tupelo's album Anodyne. Give Back the Key to My Heart->Chickamauga->New Madrid, with the final song resonating a lot. These songs are not happy songs, they're basically all about girl-induced depression. And they feel temporarily therapeutic, but after listening to them I feel attracted again to feeling sorry for myself. The other songs on my iPod have no attraction to me, but I felt better after cranking up the volume on Beyond Good and Evil than I did listening to Uncle Tupelo (or listening to nothing).

This blog is NOT a live journal, I intended the above to be intellectually stimulating in nature. Comments should be left with this in mind please.