Monday, February 27, 2006

Lord of the rings

I must have one of these next year.

Ladies, would anything get you hotter?

Thursday, February 23, 2006

The Biggest Loser, Week 5

Week five. Crunch time.

This Biggest Loser thing is a six-week program, which means the final weigh-in is one week from today. Last week, I had gained two pounds, and taken myself out of the top 10 contenders. In fact, I eventually found out I had plummeted all the way to #18. Something drastic was called for.

Sadly, something completely drastic was near impossible. I mean, I'm not sacrificing partying on my 30th birthday for any amount of money. I ate like Dom DeLuise at an all-you-can-eat lard bar last night, and will be acting like it's my 21st birthday at a party tomorrow night (if you haven't gotten an Evite and want one, just let me know).

However, I did go from Sunday to Wednesday without eating a single bite of food.

Like I said, drastic.

A quick recap, yet again:

Week one: lost 6 pounds. Ninth place out of 43.
Week two: lost 1 pound, due to vacation. Fell out of the top 10.
Week three: lost 5 more pounds, resting easy at #7.
Week four: Up two, bloating my way down to #18.

Over the past seven days? I've lost eight pounds. Eighteen pounds overall, sailing up to #4 out of 43 (we're doing percentage of body weight lost, not pounds). Some quick math reveals I have to lose five more pounds to match where the leader is now, so I probably have to lose another 7 or 8 this week to have a legitimate shot at this thing.

I mean, damn. Even though I'll be an idiot tomorrow night, Saturday through the final weigh-in next Thursday is going to be hardcore. As in, hardcore in a completely unhealthy way - my top-secret Master Cleanser recipe (top-secret in a just-Google-it-and-you'll-find-out kind of way) and bottled water. Not a bite of food.

And yes, $1,000 at the end of it.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Thirtysomething... Well, actually, just thirty

At 12:59 p.m., I will turn 30.

It's nice to remember the exact hour and minute I was born, just so I can stretch my 20s out a couple extra hours. Nobody else is fooled, of course, but it's widely known I am in fact easily fooled.

Thanks to Meghan for her recent comments, assuring me women are more attracted to men in their 30s. And as much as I hope that means I can finally hook up with her, all I think of is when a friend dated a 30-year-old when we were college freshman.

"What are you doing, he's so old!?" I told her.

And despite the fact I had a jealous crush on her, I actually meant it. Thirty was freaking old. Has it been that long since my freshman year? (And yeah, eat me if you feel the need to answer that).

Honestly, I think all 30 means to me is now is I am officially too old to hit on 18 year olds. It was creepy back then, and I grudgingly admit it might be a tad creepy now. And while that may have been technically - or at least morally - true for a few years now, 30 just makes it real. I mean, if a girl was born the year Rain Man came out, it's probably best to stay away.

Well, unless she's real hot, of course.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

XXX

Today is the last day of my 20s.

I've been wondering whether or not it should really be that big of a deal, and I - despite whining to anybody who will listen - don't really care. I mean, I think I should, but I just can't muster up any genuine emotion.

My parents had me when they were both 30. And because of that, I've always thought this would be the age I welcomed my first child into the world. And here I am, wifeless, childless - hell, even girlfriendless - and I still can't find the time to worry about it.

Somebody tell me the cold, awful truth, and put me in the mood I think I should be in.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

The Biggest Loser, Week 4

Week four was destined to fail.

The past Saturday night's open bar played havoc with my blood alcohol level, which led to a late trip to Waffle House, which effectively ended my no-carb diet. Monday included late night shopping for Valentine's Day (mostly treats for my students, unfortunately), which took me past a Taco Bell, which led me to think, "I already ended the diet, and I haven't had a beef combo burrito in forever and I really think I deserve one and I'll start no-carb back tomorrow," which led me to ending my near-record three months with no fast food. Tuesday was Valentine's Day, and I was given a Hershey factory worth of chocolate by my kids, which of course led me to think, "Well, it's not like I've officially started the diet again, so what will one day hurt, and plus, it would be like totally rude not to eat every last bit of this." Thursday was a Bon Jovi concert, where mixed drinks were $12, so since I hadn't officially started the diet again, I drank beer (and regular beer instead of light beer, because regular beer has a higher alcohol content and I need a higher alcohol content when I'm paying $8 per beer).

Which brings me to today. The weigh-in day.

A quick recap, yet again:

Week one: lost 6 pounds. Ninth place out of 43.
Week two: lost 1 pound, due to vacation. Fell out of the top 10.
Week three: lost 5 more pounds, resting easy at #7.

Week four? Well, I gained two pounds, but after re-reading that long paragraph above, I consider that to be an f'in miracle. I'm out of the top 10, but re-energized.

We're hitting the home stretch, and there is ABSOLUTELY no more cheating to be done. I'm going to be exercising every single day, I will be ingesting zero carbs, I will cut down to five drinks a day, and I will look seriously into colon cleansing. Seriously, I say.

To tell the truth, I just bought a new car, and could really use that $1,000.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Diary of a confused white boy

As an average protestant white boy, I feel I must admit when I don't see eye-to-eye with other races and religions. After all, confronting our differences has to be the first step in true understanding. That said, I'm not sure which of the following I'm more confused about...

... The fact that this is the result of an editorial cartoon:



... Or the fact millions of people find this funny:



The mind boggles.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Apple still sucks, but here's some more free promotion for 'em

Alright Doug, I'll play your game, you rogue.

The iPod (or iTunes, fuck you very much Apple) survey:

How many songs: 2,470

Sort by song (alphabetically):
First song: "40," U2
Last song: "Zooropa," U2

(Yes, I have a lot of U2.)

Sort by artist:
First artist: 3 Doors Down
Last artist: Zero 7

Sort by time:
Shortest song: "Rage of the Dane," Carter Burwell, 0:05 (from the Miller's Crossing soundtrack)
Longest song: "'Bad/40/Where the Streets Have No Name' (Medley - Live From Boston)", U2. The longest actual file I have is Eddie Murphy's "Delirious," clocking in at 1:38:39. The longest single song is Bruce Springsteen's live "Light of Day" at 12:19.

Sort by album:
First album: "0304," Jewel
Last Album: "Zooropa," U2

Top Three Most Played Songs:
1. Elvis Presley's "An American Trilogy" (63)
2. Sister Hazel's "Champagne High" (62, and one of my top 5 songs ever)
3. Jerry Reed's "East Bound and Down (from Smokey and the Bandit)" (60)

Damn, I kick ass.

Song That First Comes Up On Shuffle:
"Indefinitely," Old 97's

Search . . .
By "sex," how many songs come up? 15
By "death," how many songs come up? 6
By "love," how many songs come up? 166
By "you," how many songs come up? 218

Friday, February 10, 2006

Friday Random 10: Rave to the Grave

iPissed.

This week's Friday Random 10 is brought to you not through the courtesy of my iPod, but rather my home computer's iTunes. Why? Because after only 13 months, my $350 "Special Edition" U2 iPod has died. Turn it on, and you no longer get the soothing sounds of Bono, Hootie, Kelly Clarkson and the love theme from Teen Wolf. Instead, the hard drive clicks, whirrs - and dies.

Thirteen months. I'll give you three guesses as to what the warranty is, and the first two don't count.

I took it to an Apple store in Atlanta, where I was told the bad news. The helpful employee, in no way a walking computer store cliche with his nasally voice, 95 lbs. and glasses so big they magnified his acne, followed up by saying, "You know, this would be fine if you had just purchased the extended warranty."

I haven't really wanted to punch a guy in a couple of years, and it felt a little refreshing to be honest. But hey, he did offer me a 10% percent discount on my next iPod if I give them my current one. Pardon my French, but baisez-le.

1) Green Day, "Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)"
And the thing that sucks is that I'm going to have to shell out to either repair this one or buy another damn iPod. There's nothing like complete market dominance to stunt a relatively technology-impaired guy like myself. However, I can promise this little experience has made me a Windows guy for life.

2) Saturday Night Live, "Celebrity Jeopardy"
When was the last time you actually sat down and watched "Saturday Night Live" when it was, you know, actually LIVE? Other than reruns, how do skits like this become so widely known? I know "Lazy Sunday" was an Internet hit, but I don't get where these other ones - cowbell, Turd Ferguson, Dodge Stratus - become so ingrained in popular culture when so few people see them originally.

3) U2, "Daddy's Gonna Pay For Your Crashed Car"
But Apple won't pay for my crashed U2 iPod,... sorry, I'll try to let this go.


4) Gladys Knights & the Pips, "Midnight Train to Georgia"
Last week, I was teaching my 5th graders how to make bar graphs. A good example, I thought, would be to take a classwide poll finding out each student's favorite musician. Hands shot up, and I heard some usual 11-year-old suspects - Green Day, Chris Brown, Daddy Yankee (some Hispanic singer I've never heard of). Well, one of my guys threw Ms. Knight in there, and then belted out a verse of "Midnight Train to Georgia" like he owned the damn song. Somebody is being raised right.


5) Julee Cruise, "Falling"
From the "Twin Peaks" soundtrack, this song always makes me sad. One, because it's legitimately depressing. Second, because I wish that damn show was still on the air.

6) Outkast, "Player's Ball (Original Version)"
On an unrelated note, because I don't have anything to say about Outkast: You may have noticed all my Friday Random 10 titles allude to movie sequels: The Quest For Peace, Jason Takes Manhattan, Electric Boogaloo, etc. I'm trying not to repeat franchises (ie. not putting both Freddy's Revenge and Dream Warriors), and thus I'm quickly running out of ideas. Thus, Rave to the Grave, which is actually the subtitle to what is sure to be the immortal classic Return of the Living Dead Part V. Of course, don't get me started that the first Return of the Living Dead was supposed to be a sequel-of-sorts to Night of the Living Dead, which had already had two direct sequels, so really it should be Night of the Living Dead Part VIII: Rave to the Grave. Dammit, I said don't get me started... Anyway, if you have ideas for future FR10 sequel references, please let me know.

7) Andrew Lloyd Webber, "The Music of the Night"
God, I hated this movie. Which, of course, means I actually saw it. (I had planned to explain why I hated it, but I'll stop now).

8) Stereophonics, "Girl"
I downloaded it about a year ago with the idea of eventually listening to it. And I will. Eventually.

9) The Pogues, "Repeal of the Licensing Laws"

St. Patrick's Day countdown banner


10) Bryan Adams, "Heaven (Live)"
No, no, no - not the studio version, because that would obviously be totally gay. This is the live version. You know, the manly version. With, like, screams from the crowd and stuff. Um, did I tell you about my iPod?

Thursday, February 09, 2006

The Biggest Loser, Week Three

After last week's vacation-inspired standstill, my Biggest Loser mindset was back in full force.

My friends certainly didn't help things - eating pizza around me Saturday and Sunday night. However, after declining to eat even a single slice, my dedication seems even more fierce. So, uh, thanks guys!

So, to recap:

Week one: lost 6 pounds. Ninth place out of 43.
Week two: lost 1 pound. Fell out of the top 10.
Week three: lost 5 more pounds, and now #7 with a bullet.

With a little under 12 pounds gone, I'm actually the single biggest weight loser. However, we're going by percentage lost, so I have to lose a lot more lbs. than my smaller female competition. Specfically, I've lost 4.96% of my original body weight; the first place contestant has lost 7.66%.

I got this bitch.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Not my father's Atlanta

It's like, I probably should see this, and I will probably end up doing so, but then I'll end up shaking my head and burying my face in my hands for two hours, and then I'll wonder why I bought a ticket, and then I'll see the MARTA train or something on screen and think "Oh, cool," and then the embarrassment will wash itself over me once again.

My question: Did the local tourism board embrace this or totally flip the fuck out?

As far as popular entertainment with titular cities: Philadelphia got a crummy, overrated AIDS flick. Dallas and Savannah got over-the-top TV soap operas, though one admittedly a lot more memorable than the other. New York played host to a Robert De Niro movie - but it was a musical. Miami and New York got cop shows, but both starred David Caruso. Mystery, Alaska got,... OK, I don't think that place exists. Kansas City got a Robert Altman flick nobody saw. Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles. Cincinnati got a cool Steve McQueen movie, but it also got that radio station sitcom. Boston saw a host of silly shows - "Boston Public," "Boston Legal," "Boston Common," etc.

So what cities have movies or TV shows they are actually proud to claim? Fargo? Is Salt Lake City fond of SLC Punk? Does Reno look at "Reno 911" with pride (as they should)? Am I forgetting any?

Shades of Wellstone, but somehow even worse

As pissed off as I am by the Republicans these days - and I have returned to my small-l libertarian ways - there was a good example today of why I will never, ever, never, ever, never, ever consider myself a Democrat.

I refuse to be associated with whores like this.

You gotta know when to hold 'em

As of today, the Vegas odds on who is going to win next year's Super Bowl:

Indianapolis Colts - 4/1
New England Patriots - 4/1
Seattle Seahawks - 5/1
Carolina Panthers - 6/1
Pittsburgh Steelers - 6/1
Dallas Cowboys - 10/1
San Diego Chargers - 10/1
Denver Broncos - 10/1
New York Giants - 15/1
Chicago Bears - 15/1
Tampa Bay Buccaneers - 15/1
Cincinnati Bengals - 18/1
Miami Dolphins - 20/1
Philadelphia Eagles - 20/1
Washington Redskins - 20/1
Jacksonville Jaguars - 22/1
Kansas City Chiefs - 22/1
Atlanta Falcons - 25/1
Minnesota Vikings - 25/1
Green Bay Packers - 35/1
Baltimore Ravens - 40/1
Cleveland Browns - 50/1
St. Louis Rams - 50/1
Buffalo Bills - 50/1
Detroit Lions - 50/1
Oakland Raiders - 60/1
Arizona Cardinals - 60/1
Houston Texans - 75/1
New Orleans Saints - 75/1
San Francisco 49ers - 100/1
Tennessee Titans - 100/1
New York Jets - 100/1

The Colts is a wasted bet, as Peyton Manning will never win a big game, at any level.

Picking the Patriots is too predictable. The Seahawks will drop from the big game to 9-7 max (Shaun Alexander will be elsewhere, and the effect will be felt more than anybody anticipates). Dallas? Seriously?

The Steelers could repeat, but that's no fun. Let's at least look at the double digits for the "smart money." And of course it's on my Atlanta Falcons, who are due for another on-year because they always have one every other stinkin' season. Also, Carson Palmer is,... well, he's freaking good, and if he's healthy it can't be too surprising to see his Cincinnati Bengals hoisting the trophy at the end of regulation.

So if you had $100 and had to lay it entirely on one of these teams, obviously knowing the payout would be bigger with the greater odds, who would it be?

I gotta say I'd try to turn my $100 into $1,800 with the Bengals.

Monday, February 06, 2006

What a steel

It was late May 1996, and the University of Georgia final exams were coming to an end. My roommates and I had yet to find anybody to sublet our four bedrooms, and it looked like we'd be on the hook for summer rent and bills - even though none of us would be in town. As poor undergraduates, we all agreed on how much this sucked.

The phone rang. A guy wanted to come and take a look at the place, and we eagerly welcomed his visit. He came over with a couple of his friends, looked around, and effectively told us they'd take it.

However, he knew we were in dire straits, and he was a negotiator at heart. There would be one condition: they'd take the apartment if we paid for half of the summer bills. In no position to make a counter-offer, we accepted.

A few days later, I cut him a check for $300. It hurt, but not as much as three months rent and bills to boot.

Today, ten years later, I'm a 5th grade teacher and that $300 still looks like a big amount. I could certainly use it.

The other guy?

He's the reigning Super Bowl MVP.

I want a refund.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

He's your density

Just when you thought all the Brokeback Mountain jokes were completely drained,... here comes Brokeback to the Future.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

The Biggest Loser, Week Two

A quick update for you sad souls who don't read this blog every day: my school is running a Biggest Loser contest - whoever can lose the biggest percentage of their weight over six weeks wins over $1,000.

Week one: Lost six pounds. Ninth place out of 43 entrants - altogether, not a bad result.

Well, that was then, this is now - and now is after an extended 4-day vacation in which I consciously avoided all thoughts of my diet, my health, or my supposed intelligence. I drank, I gorged, I prospered.

I also promised to publish weekly results here each Thursday, moreso to keep myself on track with a mindset of avoiding public embarrassment. I knew this second week would be tough, so I stepped on the scale this morning with even more trepidation than usual.

Between week one and week two: lost one pound, and I no longer place in the top 10 (the top 10 are the only ones announced).

And you know what? I'm thrilled. Seriously, I was honestly worried I'd put my original six pounds back on, and then six more on top of that. To know how poorly I treated my body and I still lost a pound - I mean, I'm winning this thing. The next month is going to be a completely unhealthy crash diet, mixed in with actual exercise from time-to-time. Crash diets don't work in the long run, I know (and trust me, I know, after losing 40 lbs. four years ago only to put most of it back on). But hopefully, I can be a little smarter this time with the whole "adjusting back to a healthy diet" type thing.

Even if I don't, though, I plan to be a grand richer.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

The Oscars are just glorified industry masturbation, after all

Anybody else find it funny this is the official Academy Award poster in the year of Brokeback Mountain?