It's like Mardi Gras meets the bombing of Dresden...
Friday, April 27, 2007
ABC Polling Data
Can anyone explain to me why this poll oversamples African-Americans? Is there a reason? Or is that just how it worked out?
Monday, April 16, 2007
So It Goes...
Since I'm leaving work in a few months and 90% of what I used to do was related to things now made irrelevant by my leaving, I am now in possession of exactly what it was that I decided to force the issue with work over: time. It's fantastic.

Today I finished up early and took off to Barnes and Noble where I sat in the cafe and knocked out Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse Five in an hour. Now that I've completed it, I vaguely remember reading it a long ways back- most likely something I picked up and read because of its pariah status. I don't understand the movement behind banning books. I can understand why certain individuals would protest a certain book's place in educational required reading, but the effort to remove it completely from the library seems counter-productive. Slaughterhouse Five is a book that I never would have read before if I hadn't been curious to figure out what exactly was so offensive, and it always seems that the material is never worth the fuss. Slaughterhouse Five is certainly no Backdoor Sluts 9. (By the way, that link is totally SFW, feel free to click the link if you don't get the reference.) As for Vonnegut's death, well, so it goes.

After, I was driving home when I passed by a section of Lake Erie where the wind was whipping waves through a hole in the breakwall protecting a marina and trapping them up against a pier and another breakwall on the coast. The waves rebounding off the coastal breakwall were interfering with the ones being driven in, churning the water into enormous swells that would sometimes slap against the pier, washing up against the rocks and pouring onto the walkway. I happened to be in the lane adjacent to the pier exit, and I happened to have my camera in my coat pocket (the reason I bought an ultra thin camera ) so I pulled off to take some pictures. I walked out next to the railing just in time to fully experience the phenomenon, as crest met crest next to the pier, splashing thirty feet up into the air, cascading over the side, drenching me in filty, probably flammable, Lake Erie water. I had intended to wait out a bit to capture some of the more impressive waves, but the thirty plus mile an hour wind on a forty degree day off the water coupled with my soaking had a negative effect on my enthusiasm. I took some video that is a bit more impressive than the following pictures, but I don't have the time to upload it to YouTube and then embed it back in Blogger, so this is what you get.
Friday, April 13, 2007
Friday Quiz
Today at work I didn't have anything to do, and my bosses couldn't come up with anything for me to do. Why? Leaving at the end of June has made roughly 90% of the things I used to do irrelevant, so I sit at my desk and try to look busy. I'd leave early, but most of the people at work wouldn't understand why I'm leaving early every day, and doing it everyday would lead to problems. As a result, I made this quiz this afternoon using Wikipedia and emailed it to friends around the office. The current high score without using the internet is eight/fifteen.

  1. The band with the most number one weeks on the Billboard modern rock chart (81) is:

A) U2

B) Red Hot Chili Peppers

C) Green Day

D) Marcy Playground

  1. The original Nintendo was released in the following year:
    1. 1985
    2. 1986
    3. 1983
    4. 1981
  2. Mark Curry, host of “Hanging with Mr. Cooper” lost to which of the following B-list celebrities in “Celebrity Mole: Yucatan”?
    1. Angie Everheart
    2. Dennis Rodman
    3. Stephen Baldwin
    4. Tracy Gold
  3. Name two American Gladiators, and two events from the show:

  1. In Seinfeld, the character responsible for allowing prostitutes to work in parked cars in a downtown lot also plays which other minor character?
    1. Kramer’s caddy
    2. An employee of Elaine’s boss, Mr. Pitt.
    3. A dump worker who refuses muffin stumps.
    4. The thief responsible for snatching Jerry’s man purse.
  2. Besides being an inspiration for Ice-T, the rapper Schoolly D created the theme song for which Adult Swim cartoon:
    1. The Boondocks
    2. Metalocalypse
    3. The Venture Bros.
    4. Aqua Teen Hunger Force
  3. In Batman: The Animated Series, the actor responsible for providing the voice of The Joker is:
    1. Mark Hamill
    2. Jim Carrey
    3. Jack Nicholson
    4. Don Johnson
  4. While credited as being the Center of Hollywood by the game “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon”, the actual center of the Hollywood universe is:
    1. Dennis Hopper
    2. Harvey Keitel
    3. Rod Steiger
    4. James Caan
  5. Which of the following is not a tagline for the movie “The Princess Bride”?
    1. Heroes. Giants. Villains. Wizards. True Love.
    2. It's as real as the feelings you feel.
    3. The Fire Swamp. Lightning sand. Dread Pirates. True love has never been easy.
    4. She gets kidnapped. He gets killed. But it all ends up okay.
  6. Which is the coolest fad of the last twenty-five years?
    1. Pogs
    2. Slap bracelets.
    3. Laser pointers.
    4. Member’s only Jackets.
  7. Which formerly intimidating NBA player had a brief cameo in the 1992 film Singles?
    1. Xavier McDaniel
    2. Wilt Chamberlain
    3. Mitch Richmond
    4. Charles Barkley
  8. According to Wikipedia, which of the following activities is “usually free of the common race, gender and age boundaries of a subculture?”
    1. Live Action Role Playing
    2. Body Building
    3. Break Dancing
    4. Drifting
  9. When not executing his wives, King Henry the VIII could be found:
    1. Playing golf
    2. Dieting
    3. Playing Badminton
    4. Playing Shuffleboard
  10. What fan of classical philosophy is known to have said “I’m like the Pythagorean Theorem- no one has an answer to my game” in reference to his on-court basketball ability?
    1. Jalen Rose
    2. Shaquille O’Neal
    3. Allen Iverson
    4. Mark Madsen
  11. What famous mathematical problem should he have been referring to?
    1. Fermat’s Last Theorem
    2. The Bridges of Konigsberg
    3. Zeno’s Paradox
    4. Any math problem not easily understood by sixth graders.
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
Tuesday Night at the HOB
I woke up this morning at 5:20, and couldn't fall back asleep before my alarm went off at 6:15. It was, without a doubt, the most alert I've felt in the morning in at least the last six months. I felt fantastic. I didn't even really want to stay in bed, I wanted to get up and go into work early, but I didn't. There is a difference between waking up feeling good and waking up retarded, and I did not wake up retarded. Sadly, this was to be the best I felt all day.

Things started turning against me about a half mile in on my walk to work. The morning was crisp and clear, and I stopped long enough to take this underexposed picture from the bridge crossing the magnificent Cuyahoga River (Trivia Question: Why is the Cuyahoga River famous? Answer: It once caught on fire.) As I started walking again, I started to feel what would soon become a vicious hangover. It started in my stomach, with the feeling that I'm starving yet nauseous, and I finally realized that I felt good in the morning because I was still drunk, and regaining sobriety was going to be a bitch. By the time I got to work, I had been staring at the apple I had in my pocket for a full five minutes, weighing the consequences between eating the apple and either feeling better or throwing up, and not eating the apple, where I would feel miserable and probably throw up. I ate the apple. It helped.

Ten minutes later the apple was probably fully digested, as the potent brew of stomach acid, Pabst Blue Ribbon, Vodka Cranberry, and at least a couple of Jagerbombs finished breaking down the apple into its respective nutrients and now started working on eating its way through my sphincter and out onto my office chair. While I managed to retain the solid waste, I couldn't help but drop a couple bombs and I opted out of the morning meeting. The rest of the day was spent building mindless spreadsheets, taking frequent bathroom trips, fighting major heartburn from pounding a couple of Gatorades and a BBQ beef sandwich, and feeling really, really awkward and uncomfortable around a specific female co-worker.

Tuesday had been a fairly normal day, but I skipped my evening workout in order to go get drinks with a friend of mine, who is in the process of dealing with some of the issues that I recently dealt with at work, and is probably on his way to finding something else to do as well. We stayed at the bar until 7:30, drinking Miller Lites and reaching the conclusion that nothing proves The Fall quite to the extent of a typical white-collar job, before I had to run back to my apartment to meet another friend of mine for some pre-game action before the Stephen Kellogg and the Sixers concert at The House of Blues downtown.

He stopped on the way up to grab a fifth of vodka, and we put a good portion of it away along with a freezer pizza before heading out to the HOB around 9:00. My move downtown was a strategic masterpiece, and I'm now becoming to free parking in the city what George Costanza is to public restrooms in New York (the emerging similarities between me and George Costanza are deserving of a post on their own, probably while I'm on vacation enjoying my severance package during the upcoming "Summer of Jackscolon"), and I found a place within a half mile from my place across the bridge where I had a straight shot home and a short walk down to the HOB on E. 4th. I fully intended to take copious amounts of pictures at the concert for this intended post, but I left my camera in my coat in the car on the corner in downtown Cleveland.

As we walked down to the HOB to get tickets and get into the show, we carefully picked our way through the gathering homeless who flock downtown on event nights, stopping only to give money to a one-eyed man talking in the third person and waving some papers releasing him from prison. As we neared the entrance, I received a text message from the physically stunning and remarkably personable girl (who will be referred to in the rest of this post as "Jane") who sits in a cube across from mine at work informing me that she had decided to come as well, and she was bringing her roommate to hang out with my friend. In all honesty, my phone didn't really ring as much as scream "Yahtzee!" and I immediately nicknamed my friend "Wedge" for the remainder of the night and started saying things like "I can't see the exhaust port!" and "That's impossible! even for a computer!" He, not being a giant nerd like all of us, didn't get it.

She arrived soon after with her roommate, and we pushed our way back to the bar in the concert room while everyone else pushed closer to the stage. While Jason Spooner warmed up the crowd for Stephen Kellogg, Wedge and Jane's roommate warmed up to each other, and I discovered that Jane had also been pushed out the door at work, and was leaving the same time I was. Apparently, if there is anything that can push an incredibly attractive girl down a few rungs on the ladder to my level, it's lots of alcohol and shared misery.

As they dimmed the lights to change the stage for Stephen Kellogg and the Sixers, I took the opportunity to jump on the make out train, and the conductor went ahead and waved me up to first class. What can I say? I'm a sucker for a girl who presses up against me to keep her balance while looking at me with some glassy, half-drunk eyes. Unfortunately, I had only consumed just enough alcohol to overcome to hesitancy to make out at a bar in front of a hundred people, but not so much that I didn't feel stupid making a spectacle of myself.

As Stephen Kellogg started playing, Jason Spooner and his band worked their way back to the bar. We struck up a conversation (him being from Maine, me being born there) bought some Jagerbombs, and I just may have mentioned how envious I was that they traveled around playing gigs in bars, made a toast to doing what you love, and then listened to how miserable it is to travel for ten years and be stuck opening for a guy who didn't even sell out the small room at the Cleveland HOB, and heard some hilarious stories about how Ray LaMontagne is a dirty, weird, musical genius. We then tagged along as Jason Spooner used his all-access pass to get us into the big theater to see G-Love and Special Sauce, but I didn't actually see any of it. I only made it to the bar, and then got pulled into a back hallway for some more making out while the security guards walked by and yelled at us to get a room.

I'm not sure what else happened, but somebody ended up driving my car home (me) and then I woke up four hours later feeling fantastic.
Wednesday, April 04, 2007
It's That Time Again
There are few things that can get me drunk at 4:30 in the afternoon. No, wait... scratch that. There are quite a few things that can get me drunk at 4:30 in the afternoon, and Jagerbombs and Miller Lite in sufficient quantities fit the bill. Fortunately, the mile long walk home from the bar across from work with a 40+ mph wind coming off the lake on a forty degree day, followed by reading a magazine on the pot for enough time to make my legs fall asleep is enough to sober me up enough to finally post something. Why the extended absence? Why not? It's now official that the blogs are dying to make way for Web 3.0 or something, and we can get plenty of incidental contact from each other now that Facebook is open to everyone. Care for a poke, anyone?

Regardless, my six month struggle to adjust to my job has finally come to its dramatic conclusion, a frank discussion about my long-term suitability for the profession, followed by a generous severance offer and help finding something else where I don't work seventy hour weeks in order to get a promotion I don't want to earn money I don't really need, and I'm taking it. I've got a few months to start looking before I stop working, followed with a few months of pay after I officially leave, and I'm excited.

What am I going to go do? I'm not really sure, but I'm sure I'll find something. I always do. My immediate goal is to move out of the Midwest, most likely to Colorado. There, I'll be too busy climbing mountains and transcending reality to worry about my pending unemployment, and I'll probably find a job anyway, because in all honesty, I'm a totally sweet employee if you can get past the fact that I've never stayed at a job for longer than nine months. However, in my defense, most of the jobs I've been hired for in the past three years were intended to be for short periods of time.

All in all, I've developed at least one major complex over the past four years. I've become a nomad. Working a bunch of different short term jobs in different parts of the country (I'm averaging a new state every 6.8 months over the past three years, and I've had a different residence something like ten times over the past 2+ years) has made me incapable of thinking of any place as "home", it's just somewhere I stay until it's time to move again. I don't even bother unpacking what I do take from place to place anymore, it just stays in boxes hidden away until it's time to move again.

In conclusion, trees don't die until they put down roots. Seeds are eternal.