December 27, 2006

Baby it's cold outside

I hope everybody's Christmas was as fun and family-filled as mine. I have been enjoying the time at home to relax these past few days. I had even nearly forgotten what it is I research. But then last night after a few beers with my friend Voce99, I started to remember how much I actually hate grad school. I've been meaning to talk to the parents about this past semester's school-related unhappiness but haven't gotten around to it yet. For those of you who don't know what I'm referring to, I'll likely post more details soon. But for now, let's just say I've been going through a quarter-life crisis in which I've decided I have talents and passions (namely music and theatre) that I am not using to their potential. Meanwhile, I find myself caring less and less about the field I am in. Anyhow - enough of that.

In other news, my brother and his wife are taking the family out to The Melting Pot in St. Louis as their present to us all. I'm quite excited as I've been dying to try the place. The word on the street is "over-priced" but I have a feeling it's still going to be delicious and fun. And besides...I'm not paying.

Finally, I've discovered another obnoxious thing about being home... the phrase "Don't you think you should wear a coat?" and all variants thereof. For some reason, my parents trust me to do many things - but not dress myself. I can't leave the house without hearing "It's a bit chilly out, better take your coat." For crying out loud! If I'd wanted it, I'd have it in my hands already!

TinRoof arrives tomorrow to meet the parents. I'm excited.

December 23, 2006

Left to my own devices

As my readership has diminished the past few days, I can only assume that most of you are travelling or busy with Christmas preparations. As for me, I just arrived back in the StL last night. It's nice to be home with family. And I'm looking forward to Christmas eve when my mom's side has a big get together which is always fun. But the one thing I hate about being home is the bed. The bed that I have to sleep on here is not the bed I slept on in high school. It's some phantom bed. And it's uncomfortable as all get out. Each day I wake with ridiculous lower back pain. Last time I was home, I slept on the couch each night. My mom won't let me do that this time around though since we are more likely to have company around the holidays.

This past week I was left alone in Charlottesville. TinRoof had already headed back to TN. As it turns out, when left to my own devices, I return to my ways of seeing a movie every chance a get. I saw 5 movies in 4 days. (And am seeing another one tonight with the fam which will make 6 in one week). I re-discovered two facts this week:
  1. I remembered how much I love seeing movies in the theater. Despite how awesome my TV at home is (and it is supremely awesome... 50" DLP), nothing can compete with the silver screen.
  2. I remembered how much I hate seeing movies with too many people. Kind of a catch-22 of my love for the movie theater. Basically, I prefer to find times when the theater is almost empty. It's quieter and I feel like the movie is being shown just for me. Whereas attending a movie on a Saturday night...not such a good idea. Ticket lines are long. People are talking, in my way, making noise with popcorn and candy, and just generally making me feel claustrophobic.

To conclude...

Movies I saw this week: Pursuit of Happyness, The Fountain, The Departed, Casino Royale, Borat, The Nativity (pending).

Best 2 of those 6: The Departed and The Fountain

December 20, 2006

The Abominable “O Holy Night”

I've been waiting to share this with you all since I first stumbled across it around Thanksgiving over at the Burnside Writers Collective. It is quite possibly the most craptastic song ever recorded. How someone can turn a beautiful song such as "O Holy Night" into this hilarious monstrosity is beyond me. Really, it's beyond all description. So if you haven't heard it yet, now is your chance. Follow this link and you'll find the music player a few paragraphs down.

Merry Christmas to all!

December 18, 2006

Hysterical pregnancy

The joke about university student health services seems to be that no matter what you come in with, you've either got mono or are pregnant. Though awkwardly enough, a friend of mine who was recently hospitalized with mono had doctors suggest to him he might also have HIV. They asked him if he was involved in any needle drug use. He laughed. And then the doctors had my friend's mother leave the room so they could ask him if he was involved in any "risky" sex. I suppose this sounds less funny than it did when he told it to us at Bible study last week.

Annnyway... I've been feeling pretty crappy the past several days. (No worries, I didn't make out with my mono-friend. He's a dude.) I'm not really sure what I've got though. Maybe the mumps. I hear UVA has had a bad outbreak of those this semester. I blame the undergrads. Whatever it is, I hope it goes away by Friday when I head home. I hate being sick over vacation. And for some reason I have a great deal of experience with the phenomenon. Two years ago I was hospitalized with the flu just before new years. I spent New Years Eve by myself eating ice chips and drinking Sprite. Woot. Anyhow, I have a lovely Christmas song to share with you all. But I think I'll save that for tomorrow. I think my 3 hours in the office are enough for today.

Doctor: Mr. Burns, I'm afraid you are the sickest man in the United States. You have everything.
Burns: You mean I have pneumonia?
Doctor: Yes.
Burns: Juvenile diabetes?
Doctor: Yes.
Burns: Hysterical pregnancy?
Doctor: Uh, a little bit, yes. You also have several diseases that have just been discovered -- in you.
Burns: I see. You sure you haven't just made thousands of mistakes?

December 15, 2006

A John Dorian Christmas

JNell actually already posted this, but for those of you who haven't seen it, I felt the need to re-post. It's A Charlie Brown Christmas as performed by the cast of Scrubs. I love Scrubs and...sympathize with Charlie Brown. Enjoy!

P.S. The clip is about 10 minutes long.

December 13, 2006

Tonight (x5)

I think an awesome song would be a medley of Tonight, Tonight from West Side Story and Tonight Tonight Tonight by Genesis (or was it just Phil Collins). The song could be called Tonight Tonight Tonight Tonight Tonight.

I suppose I can't really post about great Christmas songs or movies (Dubs has already covered these topics). But interestingly enough, he left out what should be the most obvious genre for an English major...books. Now, as I am illiterate, I am unable to provide much food for thought in this discussion. But I would suggest a few...

A Christmas Carol: I'm not sure if I've ever actually "read" this story. But I am quite certain it was a book (by some Dickens fellow) before it became the Disney version with Ebenezer Scrooge played by...well... Scrooge McDuck.

'Twas the Night bef.... I mean... do I even need to finish?

Polar Express: I always loved this book when I was a kid. As for the movie? Well, let's just say it's better in 3D at the IMAX.

And finally, a new addition. One I was read last night...

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever: Tin Roof read this to me last night by the fire. It was a lot of fun. The story is funny and has a nice message. I quite enjoyed myself.

December 11, 2006


Winter unofficially arrived in Virginia last week (though seems to have departed again temporarily). And while I am sad to report that I have begun to feel more accustomed to the beautiful weather of VA - and thus, less acclimated to the cold than when I was in Chicago - I am even more sad upon realization that the arrival of winter also spells the arrival of one of my most hated fashion trends...Uggs.

Now, I do not have anything against fashion in general. True I find the clothing worn by models on the runway to be absurd. And I have yet to see any of those "fashions" debut on a person on the street. And perhaps I didn't find Zoolander funny (though I'm willing to give it another viewing). But I don't have a problem with people wanting to look nice. However there are at least two instances where I hate the trend so much... I... spit on them.

My first fashion hatred is those over sized sunglasses. It drives me nuts seeing these girls walk around pretending to be movie stars or something with obnoxiously large frames on their faces. Have they never looked in the mirror with those things on? They look ridiculous! I pretty much can't be friends with a girl if I know she wears those. Or at least, I can't take her serious while she's wearing them.

Second, and to the point of this post, I despise Uggs. To be more specific, I hate those tall boots that are really furry and that girls tuck their jeans into as though they were some snow bunny in Aspen. I don't know what it is really. They just look silly to me. And something about them seems so pretentious. Same with the face-glasses I guess. While we're on the subject... I also hate popped collars.

In closing, whether you think you can or you think you can't... you're right.

December 08, 2006

Yo, that's shizzle

Close your eyes. Picture a convict. What’s he wearing? Nothing special. Baseball cap on backward, baggy pants. He says something ordinary like, “Yo, that’s shizzle”. Now slowly open your eyes again. Who are you picturing? A black man? Wrong. That was a white woman. Surprised? Well shame on you.

December 06, 2006

a One that is not cold, is scarcely a One at all

Just a quick addendum to yesterday's post regarding fast food. Coincidence or not, I found it humorous that yesterday two stories broke in the news regarding health scares and food chains. Taco Bell had an E. coli outbreak spanning three states. And now it seems Jamba Juice is concerned about smoothies contaminated with deadly bugs! I suppose that isn't funny after all.

In other obscure news, some crazy lady shot her husband for serving her a warm beer. I guess us St. Louisans really do love our cold brews. She must be a strict student of the property of ones. You know...the ONEitude is directly proportional to the Colditude of the ONE. What confuses me is - this was a house that has been without power due to the recent ice storms. The house must have been freezing! How did the beer get warm? If nothing else, set it on the porch or something! Also, this other crazy lady had her son arrested for playing with his Christmas present before Christmas.

Anyhow, sorry for the news-link post. I won't make a habit of it. I promise my next post will be more irrelevant.

December 04, 2006

The Demise of Ronald MacDonald

I've decided it's about time I forced some audience participation on you all. So I want to pose a problem I've wondered about for years. Tin Roof and I discussed it on the drive to TN before Thanksgiving.

The question: what would it take to bring down MacDonald's?

I'm talking worldwide. Doors closed forever. Goodbye Fry Guy. Sayonara Grimace. Try White Castle, Hamburgler.

Let me explain. We have all seen businesses come and go through the years. Perhaps the demand for a product fades. Perhaps a corporate scandal undermines the company's finances. But some businesses - like MacDonald's - seem woven into the fabric of America (and for that matter the world). But surely MacDonald's isn't invincible, is it? The way I see it, a few things would be necessary in any scenario that might result in the eradication of MacDonald's...
  1. MacDonald's would have to take a serious financial hit.
  2. Something should prevent investors from reviving the franchise.
  3. Global demand would have to shrink greatly.
So what do you think? What kind of scenario would it take for this to happen? Corporate scandal? Massive sanitary crisis? Worldwide healthy-living? Knowing my readership as I do, I dare say we have enough diabolical minds to plot the demise of Ronald. After all, we're the crew that once planned to rob Northwestern's Dance Marathon charity - Ocean's Eleven style.

December 02, 2006

Ever heard of the Seattle Seven?

Just posted a few recent recordings of my jazz combo here at UVA. They are a bit larger files, but I hope you will take a moment to check out my singing and let me know what you think.

Yeah...that was me. And...uh...six other guys.