Monday, January 28, 2008

I'm Excited

How fitting that on this Kansas Day Eve, Kansas's governor may be getting herself ready in the wings of the national stage.

CNN's story "Dems tap Kansas governor for State of the Union response" caught my interest, but even more so when it turned out it's mostly about how Kathleen Sebelius would be a very attractive running mate for one Barack Obama. (Of course, she wouldn't get picked by Hillary, because a lady/lady ticket?!??! THAT'S INSANE!!!!!!)

(Tangent: I think it's a shame that when we finally get a viable woman presidential candidate, it's darn ol' Hillary. The upside is that if she loses [*fingers-crossed for at-the-nomination-stage*], we'll know it's because she's Hillary, and not because she's a woman. I am confident in my believe that people violently dislike her because of who she is, not because of her gender.)

(In a tangent to a tangent to a tangent, I do of course know that there are people who wouldn't vote for a woman simply because she's a woman. Those people certainly may post such opinions here, though with the caveat that I will eviscerate them.)

I'll lay my cards on the table for you here: I think I love Obama, but I'm nervous that it's for the wrong reasons. It's not because of specific policies, it's because of his philosophies, the way the thinks about things, and the way everything (ok, almost everything) is something I really want to hear. I want politics not to be about picking sides and throwing mud at the other kids. I want it not to be lobbyist-driven. I agree with him that applying Christian faith to public policy means you ought to help people who need help. (Also, he's received what is probably one of the best-written endorsements ever.) Picturing him as President genuinely suffuses me with a warm, fuzzy feeling. I need to compare the policies and positions of the three (although I think even Edwards has given up and decided to run for vice-president) before the Wisconsin primary (February 19th, so I doubt it'll be important anyway) . . . but I already know what I hope the ticket will be. (Hint: Obama/Sebelius '08!)
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Friday, January 25, 2008

Deep Thoughts I've Had Today

  • What if Guns, Germs, and Steel had been written not by Jared Diamond, but by Dustin Diamond?
  • It must be hard for O. J. Simpson to get dates.
  • "I'm a Little Teapot" and the Jeopardy! "think music" are eerily similar. Here: sing "Tip me over and pour me out," except slow down on "pour me out" and then add a "bum bum" of typanies at the end. . . . See?
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Thursday, January 24, 2008

Keeping Up With My Correspondence

Dear bus people,

Just because it is (as WeatherBug matter-of-factly informs me) "bitterly cold" outside, that does not mean you should eschew deodorant.



* * * * * * *

Dear Project Runway,

I wish you could be shown by a major network as a Writers' Strike Special. You're so much better than Dexter.


* * * * * * *

Dear Fightin' Texas Aggie Men's Basketball Team,

Are you trying to kill me?

OK, that's unfair. I guess what I should be asking you after the (admittedly epic) quintuple overtime games is: are you trying to kill yourselves?

Let's focus on the positive, of which there is some. You certainly improved from the last two games. I paid $6 to watch last night on my computer, which besides turning out to be a pretty good deal, dollars-per-minutes-wise, was not a horrible, root-canal-like experience like paying to watch the K-State or Texas Tech games would have been (especially considering that I barely wanted to keep watching the former, even though it was free. And did quit listening to the latter partway through). You managed to stay in there against the best Big XII team you've faced so far. (And how weird is that to say about Baylor?!)

Also, on personal note to Bryan Davis here--you did good. You are now formally admitted to the prestigious rank of one of My Boys. That's right. I'm going to be saying things like, "Bryan Davis! He is MY BOY!" when you complete impressive plays. Congratulations.

However, let's not pretend you don't have major problems. Again, it seemed to me like you lost not because of the innate awesomeness of your opponent, but because you just couldn't get it together. Spotty defense, intermittent offense, and--most annoyingly--horrible free-throw shooting.

I'm going to put this bluntly: it is STUPID to miss 40% of your foul shots. Just stupid. You play Div I college basketball; it should not be a problem to make an uncontested and untimed shot. (Personal note to DeAndre Jordan: if you took a second or two before you randomly threw the ball near the basket, that would at least make it look like you care whether you miss or not.)

There were parts of the game where you, as a team, were hovering around 50% from the line. You know what? I shot 50% in the Dominoes Halftime Free Throw Challenge.

Listen, you know I still love you. Just--try to step it up a bit more, ok?


* * * * * * *

Dear Fightin' Texas Aggie Women's Basketball Team,

I am even more perplexed about what your deal is. Holy cow. Do you think Gary Blair needs to be meaner? That's the only thing I can think of.

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Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The . . . Snippy Beatle?

"Ringo Starr walks off 'Regis and Kelly' "

Apparently, if Ringo doesn't get to sing for over three minutes, he doesn't sing at all!

The upside is "With Starr absent, fashion designer Michael Kors and the winners of CBS' "The Amazing Race" [punctuation sic] did extra segments to fill his time." And come on--who wouldn't rather listen to Michael Kors for another minute or two than listen to a Ringo song?

(I'm not trying to unfairly impugn the "musical" "talent" of Mr. Starkey. Just fairly impugn it.)
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Monday, January 21, 2008

Today's Achievement

I did nine loads of laundry.

New record!
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Weird Al RULES.

As a reminder of that, and in celebration of my 200th post, I bring you my personal favorites of Al's videos.

White and Nerdy

One More Minute

Headline News
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Sunday, January 20, 2008

I'm Worried.

Well, I watched the Aggies play their second lackluster (to put it politely) game in a row yesterday. And, as the title of this post informed you, I'm worried.

We are now off to a 1-2 conference start. However, this is not an insurmountable problem--this is basketball, after all, and we've overcome worse.

In the 2005-06 season, for example, we started at 1-3, had to battle to 6-6, but then finished 10-6. That was enough to get us into the tournament, which is really my hope for the team this year. After all, under a first-year coach, it seems unfair to demand improvement upon last season (which was, as you will recall, the greatest season in Aggie basketball history).

But this is what worries me: when we were 1-3 in '06, those three losses were by 2 points, 1 point, and 4 points. We didn't win any of those games, but it was plain to see that we could have. But this year? Losing by 15 points to Tech and 21 (twenty-one!) points to K-State? I ought to be worried.

Now, I've only gotten to see one game so far (my friend Lindsay had a great idea: "You and Neal need to get cable. It can be your wedding present to each other!" Hear, hear); then of course, I don't really know that much about the nuts and bolts of basketball (the only way I'd be able to tell a zone defense from a man defense is if ESPN developed a graphic for the top of the screen for it). Nevertheless, I believe I have identified the major problems that the Ags just need to fix to be successful.

One: my Aggies are getting out-hustled. No no no no no. I understand when you have an off-night and get out-shot. I can sympathize if, on defense, you get out-manuevered. I can't come up with any solution if God just did not make you as tall as guys on the other team. But there is no reason to let yourself get out-hustled. Dive for that loose ball! Do it now!

I know this team has more natural talent than it has in the past, so hustle is no longer the only thing going for it. But imagine if the talent was coupled with hustle! Oh, what a wonderful thing that would be.

Two: I hate to say it, but there's no Acie. It sounds mean, because nobody but Acie needs to be exactly like Acie. Still, there are some roles Acie took (besides the whole clutch shot gift he had, which--how could you replicate that?) that need to be filled. Sometimes yesterday, it just didn't look like there was a whole team on the court. There were five guys, sure, but they weren't gelling right or complementing each other. (It was like those episodes of Monty Python's Flying Circus from Series 4, where there's no John Cleese, and the whole thing just seems off.) Acie not only knew what he needed to be doing, but he made sure everybody else was doing what they needed to be doing.

More than that, Acie would take the responsibility for winning. When it was necessary, he would ut the team on his back and do what needed done. (This is why Acie was a much bigger asset to the Aggies than Antoine Wright was. [And, as a note from The History Has Vindicated Me Department: I always knew Acie was better than Antoine.])

Somebody on this team has got to get that "This is my team!" mentality. It could be Joe, or D Kirk, or Josh, DeAndre . . . anybody. But somebody has to be willing to be the leader, somebody has to feel personally accountable for how the team performs. (Obviously, it would be easier for everybody to play well at all times, but that's never going to happen.)

In any event . . . just please, please, beat Baylor next Saturday. PLEASE.
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Saturday, January 19, 2008

Marriage Quiz!

As I had hoped, when my gentleman caller and I went to meet with the minister this week, he gave us a take-home quiz. (He probably called it a "questionnaire" or something, but I prefer "quiz.")

It was pretty good. There were about 160 questions, so it was fairly comprehensive. However, I've easily been able to think of some important questions that were left off.

For the following, answer A (agree), D (disagree), or U (unsure):

Toilet paper should be hung in its dispenser so that it is pulled from the top, not the bottom.

My future spouse and I agree on the appropriateness/inappropriateness of naming our children after sci-fi/fantasy characters (examples: Luke, James Tiberius, Frodo).

If in the future, my future spouse gains significant weight, I will truthfully inform him/her that he/she has done so.

If in the future, I gain significant weight, he/she should by no means throw that fact in my face!

Cable tv is a necessary quality-of-life expense.

Beer is a necessary quality-of-life expense.

My future spouse and I are in agreement about how many hours a week we should play video games (whether together or separately).

I am willing to compromise with my future spouse on which television shows we watch (example: will watch one PBS documentary in return for one episode of American Gladiators).
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A Link I Meant to Share with You Long Ago

I saw this a couple of months ago on TexAgs, and thought it was pretty sweet (because it is).

It's the College Football Victory Chain Linker! That's right--it's the way you can claim transitive victories by any team over any team!

For instance, if I wanted to spuriously argue that Texas A&M could have beaten "national" "champion" LSU (no offense, LSU, it's just that I'm spiritually obligated to heap scorn upon the BCS at every opportunity), the Chain Linker tells me to point out that

Texas A&M beat
Louisiana-Monroe who beat
Alabama who beat
Arkansas who beat

or, say I wanted to point out that our loss to Texas Tech was yet another fluke:

Texas A&M beat
Oklahoma St who beat
Texas Tech

Well, that's easy. (Not quite as easy as Texas A&M beat Texas, I feel I should point out. And, ha.) But what if I wanted to demonstrate that, if only they had played, Texas Tech would clearly have lost to Fort Hays State University?

Fort Hays St beat
Emporia St who beat
Central Oklahoma who beat
Abilene Christian who beat
Texas St-San Marcos who beat
Cal Poly SLO who beat
UC-Davis who beat
Northeastern who beat
New Hampshire who beat
Delaware who beat
Northern Iowa who beat
Iowa St who beat
Colorado who beat
Texas Tech

I could do this all day. However, I'll just do one more:

Texas A&M beat
Oklahoma St who beat
Indiana who beat
Iowa who beat
Illinois who beat
Penn State

Ahh. That feels better.
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Friday, January 18, 2008

Wee Updates

1. New post over at doppelblog. (Movies!)

2. Remember how I was telling you about ordering a wedding dress, on or about January 3rd? (So, I didn't mention ordering. But that is what happened.) They told me I'd get it in March or April. Turns out? Got it January 17th.

I shall never suffer anyone to say anything less than glowingly positive about David's Bridal in my presence for the rest of my days.

3. The high tomorrow is still going to be 0. (WeatherBug had been saying -2 for awhile, so . . . hooray?)
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Thursday, January 17, 2008

I'm Trying Something New

I have set up another blog. (A doppel-blog, perhaps.)

Now, some of you may be thinking that I don't update this blog enough, and I shouldn't start a new one if I can't properly take care of the one I already have. I mean, suppose I had a kid that I only remembered to feed once or twice a week, and then I decided to have another one. That would be a poor idea. (I feel like there should be a Britney Spears joke somewhere in here, but . . . it's not really worth it.)

If you're thinking along those lines--frankly, I think you should be more supportive.

New Blog is going to be an entertainment blog (because the internet doesn't have enough of those already. Seriously, I'm filling a gaping void). As you will notice, I even have an ad up over there (although they're not trusting me with real ones yet; I just have a non-profit thing so far). I am going to put my thoughts about tv and, to a lesser extent, movies and whatnot, over there, and hope that If I Write It, They Will Come. I don't know who They are yet, but if you guys would mosey over there every now and then, it would definitely put They off to a good start.

Anyhoo, it's called Love/Hate, because I tend to adore things or revile things, so it seemed like a good/simple theme. I'll be honest with you; I don't think the first post is my best work, but I think I'll get better with practice. (And maybe when I talk about something I hate. That's always fun.)

Thanks in advance, and I hope to see you over there.
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Three Terrifying Words

The weatherman's forecast for Saturday here in Madison:

"High near zero."

Click here to read more . . .

I Was Afraid This Would Happen.


What is it about Texas [note my lack of restraint in not putting an expletive here] Tech? Their team is NOT AS GOOD as A&M's, and yet they keep beating us!

Twice by two points apiece last year (the second one causing me to swear really loudly in a public place, not to mention slam my hand down so hard on the table that I wasn't entirely sure that I hadn't broken something in there), and now this.

However, the worst part isn't that we've lost to them three times in a row. The worst part isn't even that it was Bobby Knight's 900th win (although that would be the worst part had the game been in Reed Arena). No, the worst part was that the Ags played horrrrrrrrrribly. I didn't get to watch the game (I somehow continue to to make it through a life without cable), but I did try to listen to it. In a rare display (I flatter myself) of un-Aggieness, I stopped listening early. I think it was about the time Joe Jones travelled for the fourth time? Or when Josh Carter racked us up yet another offensive foul?

I forgive missing shots (except free throws), because I understand that a player can sometimes have an off-night. Sloppy play, however, I just do not care for. Again, I don't know how it looked (and I don't know if the refs were being unfair to the Aggies, though it did sound like they were calling it both ways--and Dave South didn't complain about it, anyway) but it was like torture to listen to.

The upside to this is that if the Ags step it up, maybe--maybe--they can finally beat Tech when they come to our place. I asked my gentleman caller after I looked up the final score last night, "Why can't The Turge, Joe Jo, D Kirk, D Sloan, D Ro, DeAndre, B Dav, and Josh beat those guys?" (His reply: "I don't know.") But I know they can.
They've just got to try A WHOLE LOT harder.
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Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Wedding-O-Rama UPDATE

First of all, thanks to everybody who has sent along their congratulations, whether by blog comment, Facebook wall post, email, phone call, or simply happy thoughts. I'm glad other people are excited, because I know I am.

For those of you interested in how the Plans are going, here's the UPDATE:

There is no date as yet, but we're shooting for "summer." I've heard that's a pretty popular choice.

We may iron that out tomorrow, as that is the day on which we are scheduled to meet with The Minister. I've mentioned this to a few people who have said to me, as if in mild warning, that he may make us do some sort of marriage counselling. I don't see why that would be a problem. After all, from what I've seen on TV, marriage counselling seems to involve answering questions about each other, your values, and future plans. And if there's one thing I enjoy, it's a quiz!

(I was saying to the gentleman caller the other day that it would be pretty cool if they asked us a bunch of questions, and we did really well, and they said we were a realy good couple, and they gave us an A [or something]. He replied, "You really are Monica, aren't you?")

One thing I do have? A dress! Of course, I can't post a picture of it here, as it is confidential. You know, from my gentleman caller. If anyone else is seized by curiousity, I could email it to her or him (but probably her).
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Sunday, January 13, 2008

Not a Medical Breakthrough!

Google News, in the Health section, informed me that:

Too much sugar-free gum linked to bowel problems

But I already knew that. Once this clinic patient complained about getting diarrhea after quitting smoking, and House told him that it was because of all the gum he had been chewing to replace cigarettes.

Way to be slower on the uptake than a fictional Vicodin-addicted doctor, German scientists.
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Saturday, January 5, 2008

2008 Will, In All Likelihood, Rock My Face Off

As I previously mentioned, I forsee that 2008 will be a pretty sweet year. If all goes according to plan, these are some notable things that will happen this year.

1. Finally, the completion of my set (fine; anybody's set, who has a set) of State Quarters!

2. Whoever it is--choosing new president! ('Bout time, is what I'm saying.)

3. The rebirth of American Gladiators (tomorrow at 8 CST)!

4. We'll get to see if the Coach Sherman Era will bring Aggie football success (even without Money Bennett)!

5. John Adams miniseries!

Oh, and one other thing--

That's right. I'm going to become Mrs. Gentleman Caller!

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Small Towns are Fierce!

I've been watching VH1's Super Modelthon (all 9 cycles of America's Next Top Model, which lasts all week long!) and--SHOCKINGLY--many of the contestants have said stupid things.

What's really bothered me is when girls from small town abuse their small town status. For instance, Kimberly (Cycle 9) is from Ocala, Florida, population 49,749. She had to do a runway walk in some crazy "high-fashion" dress and did not do well. Her excuse was "We just don't have designers in my town!" I believe there are no designers in her town. But you know what her town does have? TV. Also? Magazines. Here's a tip: if you're going to try to be a model, check one of those out.

This pales in comparison with the egregious statement made by Samantha (Cycle 8). She talked about her hometown, Pinson, Alabama, and said: "It's like the smallest town in America." Uh no, honey, it's not. There are 5,000 people there. I don't know if you've heard this, but there are like, more than 4,000 numbers smaller than 5,000. But in all seriousness, it's not even the smallest town in its county. There's no excuse for you not to know of towns smaller than yours, much less not be able to imagine the existence of such a thing. Plus, Pinson is a suburb of Birmingham, so in reality, you're from a million-person metro area.

I feel like I should come up with a clever putdown here, but I'm just going to go with: you're an idiot.
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Friday, January 4, 2008

So . . . There's Such a Thing as Too Many "Your Mom" Jokes? Interesting.

(from xkcd)
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Thursday, January 3, 2008

Shut Up, Dorothy

I'm watching the [product placement suppressed] Orange Bowl, and wouldn't you know it--a Virginia Tech fan made a sign that says "You're not in Kansas anymore!"

Here's a tip, people not-from-Kansas. If you make that joke to a Kansan, they have heard it before. I don't care if you're talking to a non-English speaker from Dodge City or a four-year-old from Topeka; you will not be the first. (The Wizard of Oz came out in 1939, so that joke must have gotten all the life throttled out of it by 1941.)

In conclusion, stop it.
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