Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Potpourri No. 13

Days of Hour Lives
It’s that time again. I’m now viewing life in terms of hours and not days. As I write this post, I have less than 67 hours until I’m done with school. While the semester ending is always a joyous occasion, I’m actually graduating. I did this once with my philosophy degree, but because I was sticking around to complete another degree, it didn’t seem as significant. Now I’m leaving the school I’ve gone to almost daily for four years (including most summers). Wild.

Bustin’ a Cap for My Cap and Gown
Speaking of graduation, I’ve not actually applied to graduate quite yet. Given that graduation is only about a week away, this undoubtedly looks problematic. Because I’m not planning on walking, I’m not all that worried about having my name on the graduation program, nor am I worried about the $10 late fee I will be charged for applying after the deadline (which was last September). I’m only concerned about getting my degree, and it’s fine with me if it doesn’t post until later this summer. But, wouldn’t you know it, the same instructor who has made my education a living Hades for three semesters in a row is also the undergraduate advisor. This means he has to sign my graduation application. For some odd reason, he doesn’t want to do this until I’ve completed all of my graduation requirements. This doesn’t make sense, of course, because, as I said, you’re normally supposed to turn in your application at the beginning of your senior year. Other students have certainly applied for graduation by now, but I guess my procrastination has been just long enough for the man’s senility to set in. He seemed quite leery when I asked him to sign the application, like I was trying to get away with something. Anyway, I had another class to get to at the time so I didn’t push the issue, but it looks like I’ll have some confrontation to look forward to. What joy.

Striped Coca-Cola?
Having spent the last couple of weeks locked in front of my computer working on final papers, I’ve had to the chance to listen to some new CDs (some of which I purchased long ago but only recently opened). One album I’m quite fond of is The White Stripes’ latest, Get Behind Me Satan. I think this duo is seriously threatening to become one of my favorite bands. And, though I haven’t yet seen this on TV, the band’s frontman, Jack White, has written a pretty cool jingle for a pretty cool Coke commercial. Some may find it weird, but you can’t deny that it’s intriguing. Through the magic of YouTube, I now present the commercial to you:

You Had to Be There
A quote-that-could’ve-been has kept me laughing all week long. While attending a wedding reception over the weekend, a woman came and sat at the same table where I was sitting. Someone else sat down with her, but my glance was so brief that I felt temporarily uncertain as to who the person was. After a brief moment of careful observation, everything became clear. In the meantime, however, my mind had imagined the following exchange which, I am quite happy to report, did not actually take place:

Me (quite friendly): And is this your life partner?
Person that sat with the woman (quite perturbed): I’m her son!

Yeah, as I said, you had to be there.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Heads Up, 7UP

School is keeping me too busy to write anything of merit. Or even anything slightly interesting. In the meantime, I hope you’ll enjoy the below video, which comes courtesy of YouTube. It’s a 7UP commercial from 1982 and it reeks of the 80s. If you think about it too hard you’ll realize it’s quite nonsensical. It seeks to capitalize on the Pac-Man phenomenon that was then underway, but it really gives you zero reason for thinking you yourself ought to drink the beverage (alternative “Bette Davis Eyes” lyrics notwithstanding).

I’ve ran into a handful of quirky and/or cool videos on YouTube. I’ll probably post some at a later date. Until then…

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

If I Weren't an Optimist, I'd Kill Myself

I have good news and I have bad news.

The good news: in just over two weeks, the semester will be ending. The bad news: in just over two weeks, the semester will be ending.

The amount of reading, writing, translating and studying that I must accomplish over the next sixteen days is absolutely terrifying. On the one hand there is a tangible giddiness swelling daily within, on the other hand I am paralyzed with dread. I continually take comfort in the thought that, because it must get done, it will get done. Somehow that will be the case. Don’t ask me how. I haven’t time to feign a scientifically feasible reply.

Should anyone be interested in the final results of my applications to graduate school, I’ve now heard back from every institution to which I applied. Five of the ten programs have accepted me, but Georgia State University remains the lone school to offer me an assistantship. As I reported a couple of weeks ago, I’ve already accepted their offer. This means my recent acceptance by Virginia Tech is beside the point, but in the interest of pride I thought I should report the final outcome. To refresh your memories I was also accepted by Claremont Graduate University, Northern Illinois University, and Saint Louis University.

P.S. Tears for Fears’ “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” contains some of the greatest guitar soloing in New Wave history.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Math by Chocolate

Today I received the email shown below. It is a mildly amazing way of proving two not-so-amazing facts:
  1. Math is consistent and reliable
  2. If you make something complicated enough, you can impress just about anyone


This is pretty neat.

It takes less than a minute .
Work this out as you read ...
Be sure you don't read the bottom until you've worked it out!
This is not one of those waste of time things, it's fun.

1. First of all, pick the number of times a week that you would like to have chocolate (more than once but less than 10)

2. Multiply this number by 2 (just to be bold)

3. Add 5

4. Multiply it by 50 -- I'll wait while you get the calculator

5. If you have already had your birthday this year add 1756 .... If you haven't, add 1755.

6. Now subtract the four digit year that you were born.

You should have a three digit number

The first digit of this was your original number (i.e., how many times you want to have chocolate each week).

The next two numbers are

YOUR AGE! (Oh YES, it is!!!!!)


Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Stargazing in my Sleep

Last night I had my 82nd recorded “celebrity guest appearance” in a dream. That’s right—I’ve had dreams about at least 82 celebrities over the years. And that’s a low estimate, because not only do I usually count rock bands as just one entity, but I also took a six-year hiatus from keeping track of what superstars made a dream appearance. Furthermore, I don’t count dreams wherein I see a celebrity on TV or something—they must “really be there” just as if I were keeping a list of celebrity sightings in the real world.

For the record, I don’t know why I so often dream about celebrities. While I have a decent interest in pop culture, I’m not a celebrity hound. I don’t read the tabloids or watch shows like Entertainment Tonight. I don’t obsess over anyone famous. I wouldn’t even want to bother meeting most celebrities. I’ve seen a very unimpressive handful of them in real life, but not once did the experience thrill me. The most excited I’ve been is at a rock concert, and that was purely for the music. Seeing the band in-and-of itself didn’t do anything for me.

It wasn’t until the last year or so that I started recording details about what the celebrities were actually doing in my dreams. This means that, at this point, I don’t even remember dreaming about several of the people on my list. Nevertheless, they are there. Also, don’t assume I was dreaming anything wacky about any of these people, even when their personalities or reputations might prompt such ideas (Monica Lewinsky, for example). Plenty of the celebrities that have appeared in my dreams are not ones in which I have the slightest bit of interest. Why my brain chose to cast them in supporting roles is beyond me.

And so, for nothing more than pure curiosity’s sake, here is my most recent list of celebrity guest appearances—including one fictional character (Freddy Krueger)—but without the details of those dreams (which would simply prove too lengthy a post). They are listed in chronological order, with repeat visitors being listed according to their initial appearance. When I began my list about eight years ago, I did not include the dates of the dreams. This information appears only on the last 30 or so entries. Also, the earliest celebrities listed were taken from memory at the time I created the list, and thus occurred more than eight years ago. Enjoy!

1. The cast from Growing Pains
2. Freddy Krueger
3. Bill Murray
4. Eddie Van Halen (thrice)
5. Marilyn Manson
6. John Travolta (twice)
7. Jonathan Taylor Thomas
8. John Malkovich (twice)
9. George Clooney
10. Chris O’Donnell
11. Paul McCartney
12. Howard Stern
13. Anna Paquin
14. Hanson
15. Tom Hanks
16. The Rolling Stones
17. Kevin Spacey (twice)
18. Jim Carrey
19. Pamela Anderson Lee (apparently this occurred when she was still with Tommy)
20. Valerie Bertanelli
21. Tom Cruise (twice)
22. Bridget Fonda
23. Skeet Ulrich
24. Dave Matthews
25. Martin Scorsese
26. Roger Ebert
27. Jewel
28. Jeff Goldblum (twice)
29. French Stewart
30. David Arquette
31. Kevin Costner
32. Michael J. Fox (twice)
33. Jodie Foster
34. Martha Stewart
35. David Cassidy
36. Michael Jordan
37. Cast of The Real World: San Francisco
38. Jerry Seinfeld (thrice – ?, ?, 8/08/99)
39. Neve Campbell
40. Lacey Chabert
41. Debbie Gibson (twice)
42. Blues Traveler (twice)
43. David Duchovny
44. Billy Corgan
45. Drew Barrymore
46. John Cusack (twice – ?, 08/28/99)
47. Burt Reynolds
48. Billy Bob Thornton
49. Samuel L. Jackson
50. Rosie O’Donnell
51. David Schwimmer
52. Monica Lewinsky (twice)
53. Catherine Zeta-Jones
54. Howie Mandel – 10/21/98
55. David Letterman
56. Anne Heche – 12/05/98
57. Robert Plant – 12/05/98
58. Jimmy Page – 12/05/98
59. Sheryl Crow – 12/07/98
60. Drew Carey – 12/08/98
61. Barenaked Ladies (twice – 12/14/98, 08/29/99)
62. Mark Paul Gosselar – 2/1/99
63. James Van Der Beek – 2/1/99
64. Britney Spears – 5/14/99
65. John Flansburgh (of They Might Be Giants) – 6/06/99
66. Scott Foley – 7/7/99
67. Jordana Brewster – 7/10/99
68. Christopher Guest – 9/11/99
69. They Might Be Giants (twice – 9/20/99, 9/24/99; see also #65 above)
70. Dan Aykroyd – 9/20/99
71. James Cameron – 10/13/99
72. Chuck Berry – 10/13/99
73. Larry David – sometime in early 2005
74. Fred Willard 11/14/2005 (I wrote about this one here.)
75. Bruce Willis – 11/20/2005
76. John C. McGinley (from Scrubs) – 12/01/2005
77. Sarah Jessica Parker – 12/22/2005
78. Zach Braff – 02/12/2006
79. Jack Johnson – 03/03/2006
80. Mandy Moore – 03/03/2006
81. Katie Holmes – 03/26/2006
82. The White Stripes – 04/03/2006