Monday, December 31, 2007

2007: Year in Review!

'007 was a pretty good year, in my opinion. Let's review some of the highlights (in no particular order), shall we?

Birth of my blog!

The social event of the year, the CraKenzie Wedding

I survived not only Grad School: Year One, but also Being a Teaching Assistant for History of Science (which, I have to be honest, I wasn't exactly, y'know, "qualified" to do

My roommate got two groovy cats (free tip: roommates' cats are great--all of the catnip-induced fun, none of the poop cleanup)

Aggie basketball: it was the year of Acie Law IV, and about time, too. And the Ags got to the Sweet Sixteen (and I suppose it's best to focus on that instead of the being a mere layup away from the Elite Eight). Sure, Billy left us, but A) we have The Turge now, whom I really like so far and B) Billy is now crashing and burning. Ags 1, Billy 0. (Come to think of it, Ags 2, if you count Billy's attempted luring of DeAndre Jordan.)

Aggie football: lame season (although slightly better than I predicted) highlighted by the thinly disguised blessing of the email newsletter scandal, which sealed the deal on my favorite firing ever. Also, we Beat The Hell Outta t.u., and that's always fun (you know, the two times I've experienced it).

I snagged me a gentleman caller.

We got to experience the (probably) last and (certainly) most powerful burst of HARRY POTTER MANIA!!! That was good times.

I was on that one show.

Big TV!

I got to see "Albuquerque" performed live! SO AWESOME.

Still , I think that 2008 is going to be even better. More on that later.

Of course, if you think I've neglected to mention anything important, let me know.
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Monday, December 24, 2007


My sister just told me--to give me sweet Christmas dreams, I'm sure--that people can make synthetic diamonds out of ashes.

Human ashes.

It's supposedly a great way to remember loved ones. Did your great uncle pass on? Well, just put his earthly remains through this 16-week process, and you can wear him as a tasteful solitare for years to come!

Seriously, though, I am uber-creeped-out by this. Come on. It's like the Soylent Green of jewelry.

(And on that note, Merry Christmas, everyone!)
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Best Lineup Introductions Ever.

My dad found these--I didn't see this game, but I wish I had.

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Sunday, December 23, 2007

I Really Really Dislike Nicholas Cage

I was thinking about HOW AWFUL Nicholas Cage's hair is in National Treasure 2: Apparently There's Some More Treasure, and a Sarcastic Guy. I was wondering whether it looked more like a toupee, or more like the hair of a chimpanzee, or more like a toupee for a chimpanzee.

And then it occurred to me. It's like a toupee than not even a chimpanzee would wear. (Those little guys are pretty smart, after all.)
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Saturday, December 22, 2007

History + Fiction = ?

I have a problem with historical ficiton. Not a moral problem or anything; I'm ok with the existence of historical fiction, I certainly don't mind other people reading it. I just have never been able to bring myself to do it.

There's just too much fiction and not enough history, for my taste. I can see needing to use fiction to fill in the gaps of what we just can't know, but what actually happened is often so interesting that I don't understand why writers need to change around major stuff.

Like Anne Boleyn. I don't know why you need to make stuff up in order to make her life more suitable for the big screen. Admittedly, I haven't read The Other Boleyn Girl, so I'm not an authority on What Its Deal Is.

I am somewhat intrigued, though. In fact, as far as the movie goes, I was sold until about the 1:45 mark of the trailer (Then my condition was downgraded from Sold to Intrigued):

I think I want to see it, even though the innacuries may, at the end of the day, just annoy me.

Speaking of intrigued, but in more of a confused way--there's some miniseries next month, Comanche Moon? And it's a Western? And it's all gritty and whatnot? And . . . Steve Zahn is in it? I don't get it, Steve Zahn. I don't get it.
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Keeping Up With My Correspondence: TA Edition

Dear my students,

Despite what you may believe, I'm not an idiot. When I told you that you had to write a six page paper (and clarified for you that it meant at least 5 1/2 pages, less than 7 1/2), I did actually mean six pages. It will apparently surprise some of you to know that I'm not fooled by any of the following:

1. 1 1/2 margins on all sides.
2. a header like

Your name


Professor's name

My name



Beginning of paper.
3. or, most of all, the use of Courier New. (Seriously. How dare you use Courier New? Not only is it--AS I KNOW PERFECTLY WELL--150% as big as Times New Roman, but it's so ugly it makes my eyes bleed. Reading more than a paragraph of it gives me appendicitis. And stabbing pains in my brainstem. It's Satan's own font. Really. His secretaries use it on all official Hell memos. . . . I could go on.)

So, to that sizeable minority that gave these "techniques" a shot: nice try but . . . no, no it wasn't even a nice try.

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I Really Like This Picture.

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Saturday, December 15, 2007

Internet Hiatus 2: Electric Boogaloo

It's all crazy with school up in here, my blog-readers. (Or something.) At this point, I'm so disoriented that I don't know how far away December 22nd is, but I do know that I can't give any of my time to internet pursuits (beyond, of course, email and maybe some news) until then.

In the meantime, here's "The Twelve Days of Christmas." After a fashion.
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Guess What? It's Snowing.

Here in Wisconsin, we haven't had any devastating ice storms or things like that, but we have had lots and lots of snow. Since it had been snowing since about 10:00 this morning, I decided to check out the hour-by-hour forecast on, and here is what I found for the rest of today:

That's just ridiculous. Thanks, Wisconsin.
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Thursday, December 13, 2007

Check It Out!

I'm officially much too busy with end-of-semester schoolwork to be blogging, but . . . I'm in the paper!

Specifically, I wrote a letter to the Aggie sportswriter in the San Antonio Express-News. Mine is the penultimate question in the Aggie Mailbag.

As he said, he edits for clarity/brevity, and he changed mine slightly for (I hope) the brevity. When I sent it, it said " . . .Yes, Aggies ought to pack Reed--for their own good as well as the team's".

I was agreeing with the larger point he was making in his previous column: that Aggie fans ought to go watch the team no matter who they're playing. I don't care if the opponent is someone you've never heard of--the other team, your team, is a top fifteen team. They'd be a huge draw anywhere else they play, so why not in Reed?

Go. Fill seats. Be loud (except when our boys are shooting free throws). Intimidate the other guys, encourage our guys. But the easiest thing of all to do at an Aggie basketball game is have fun. You totally will.

Still, though, saying that Billy Gillispie would still be in College Station if he'd played to a packed house every night--I'm sorry, no way. He was getting national exposure, big bucks spent on his contract and on new facilities, and the attendence was steadily going up. Plus, of course, he was well on the way to becoming A&M's one and only basketball god. All he had to do to get deified was stick it out for ten, maybe just five years. The man is Ambitious, and once one of the basketball schools of all basketball schools called, he was going to go. I don't care what Brent Zwerneman says otherwise (and, of course, you'll notice that Brent doesn't really say anything otherwise. He musters no proof, he just restates his [wrong] opinion).

Not that it matters now, because now we have The Turge . . . but Brent Zwerneman is right that The Turge wants, and ought to get, more attendance. Just like his predecessor.
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Monday, December 10, 2007

There Really is No Accounting for Taste

Editor's note: Readers, if you have ever watched Two and a Half Men of your own volition, you probably shouldn't read this post, because I'm going to trash talk you. Sorry.

As everyone knows, the sitcom is in sorry, sorry shape. I mean, According to Jim is still on. Horrible Brad Garrett vehicle Til Death somehow got picked up for a second season (it's not that I've ever watched an episode, but when you figure they put the best parts in the commercials . . . no thanks). But, most tellingly, the number one sitcom on the air is Two and a Half Men. Have you tried to watch that show? I've made like three attempts, and have discovered to be, in a word, unwatchable. It's NOT FUNNY. It's not ever trying that hard to be funny. I can't even fathom living people finding it entertaining . . . although the laugh track thinks it's a riot. Here is an actual transcript (no exaggeration) of the four seconds I managed to watch of it (keep in mind, all of the actors are barely bothering to inflect their lines, let alone give some kind of funny delivery):

Charlie Sheen: Junior high, huh? That brings back some memories.
[laugh track]
Other guy: Can we please not go down that road?
[laugh track]
Fat kid: What do you mean?
[laugh track]
Other guy: It's just that kids in junior high can be kind of judgmental.
[laugh track]
Sassy fat housemaid: Especially if you're knocked up.
[HUGE laugh track]

That's right; one (unfunny) joke, five laughs. America, for watching this, you're stupid.
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Sunday, December 9, 2007

New Venezuelan Time Zone!

Hugo Chavez decided (because he can, world! Take that!) to change Venezuela's time zone by a half hour:

Speaking ahead of Sunday time change, President Hugo Chavez told reporters that he doesn't care if people think he is crazy. He said the new time will go ahead anyway.
The Venezuelan leader has said the time change will give schoolchildren more daylight.

But if he were really as big a rebel/socialist cowboy as he tries to make everybody think he is, he would have changed it by, like, 47.2 minutes. Or 4 hours. How's that for more daylight for schoolchildren, huh?
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The Golden Compass

The Golden Compass didn't do as well as it was supposed to this weekend. USA Today thinks it's because of the antipathy of religious groups. And I suppose that's possible. But it also could be because it probably, you know, sucks.

If it were getting good reviews, I--for instance--would totally go see it. Sure, the author is some sort of atheist, but any atheists who decided to boycott The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe missed out on a pretty sweet movie.

But then, of course, that movie was actually good, and not (as The Golden Compass apparently is) all talky exposition and no character development.

I just don't think that a movie should get let off the hook for being lousy just because "those darn Christians are riled up again!" I guess we'll see if it holds up in final analysis. It would be like that time people decided Fran should be fired for the amoral email newsletter, making everyone forget that he should have been fired for being a lousy coach.

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Friday, December 7, 2007

Bad News, Texans . . .

That thing about how Texas's is the only state flag that can be flown at equal height with the US flag? Not true.

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Schadenfreude: Double-Edged Sword

I thought it was pretty when t-sips kept getting arrested. But apparently, in criminality as in all other aspects of sports, Aggies keep trying to keep up with the Joneses.

Police: Aggie Football Arrests Stemmed from Drug Deal

There are many parts of that story that gave me pause--the utter cliche of an excuse of "I was just keeping those drugs for my friend" and the nightmarish quality of the crime they committed (breaking in and duct-taping the mouths of the people shut, just to get $40 and a cell phone) come to mind--but the weirdest part was this:

"Authorities called Babalola at his number claiming to be a ficticious basket company. He confirmed his current address was on Welsh in College Station."

. . . A ficticious basket company? As in, baskets? Odd choice, CSPD. Or is that the go-to undercover phone identity? Should all criminals beware of basket-related cold calls?

In any event, you are idiots, Yemi Babalola and Brandon Joiner. Way to throw away promising futures for the possibility of weed, and for $20 apiece. Morons.
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I was wasting time on the internet (shocking!) and I came across a thread on TexAgs with hilarious FAIL and FAIL-related pictures. Here are the best ones:

And, of course:
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Tuesday, December 4, 2007

World Events of Unequal Importance

I had an above-average news morning today, finding out several very interesting things from the powerful combination of Google News and TexAgs. In no particular order:

Some dude in North Dakota found a dinosaur with fossilized skin and muscle! That's totally awesome.

Venezualans are wising up. Way to block dictatorship, university students. Way to block dictatorship.

Bob Stoops is a little bit petty. Voting for LSU at #6? Very objective, sir.
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