Monday, September 30, 2002

CD: Wipers, various mix CD

Happy Birthday, Sis. Since it's my sister's birthday, and I have nothing else to write about, this topic will be about her. Ask my mother, and she will say my first memory of my sister would be me looking at her from her cradle and saying "That's my sister and I love her." I don't remember that at all. Then again, I was probably two at the time it happened. The first memory I DO have of my sister is when I was about three, and while playing with my blocks realized my sister, brother, and box full of blocks were positioned in a close, perfect line. Ever the boy genious, I thought of dominoes. Now to test the theory! But my brother moved out of the way before I could reconfigure the calculations in my still-developing brain, and the end result was me pushing over my sister for no real reason whatsoever. I got scolded big time for that one. After all, she probably barely knew how to walk by this point. True story. Sadly, worse was done to her by her brothers during the next few years.

Sunday, September 29, 2002

CD: Nirvana, rarities mix (cleaning out my hard drive)

Here's a story I heard from my supervisor at work today. Now remember, my supervisor is about my age, but looks smaller and younger. Anyway, this guy walked into the restaurant the other day, smoking a cigarette. Which is illegal. "I'd like to order x___." "You gonna put that out?" she replies. So he throws it on the floor and stomps it out. "I'd like to order x___." "You gonna pick that up?" she replies.


"Then I'm not going to serve you."

"You're what?"

"I'm not going to serve you."

"There aren't any ashtrays in here anyway."

"Gee, why do you think that is?"

"So you're not going to serve me?"

"Absolutely not."

So he leaves. But not the building. He finds someone older and asks where the manager is. Somehow he is directed back to the same counter.

"I wanna talk to your manager."

"You're lookin' at 'er."


"How about I call up your company and tell them you refuse to serve me?"

"How about I have the state police come over and fine you a thousand dollars for smoking in a public building?"

I guess the guy leaves at this point. But yes, he did call the company the next morning. To which the franchise manager says she wouldn't have served him either. I love happy endings.

Saturday, September 28, 2002

CD: Beatles, "Beatles For Sale"

I often don't do this... Okay, I do this a lot. I'd like to comment on the CD I'm listening to. "Beatles For Sale" reminds me of the Beatles story I heard where the original cover for the album had the band cutting up a bunch of toy dolls. The record company thought it was too risque and had the new covers pasted on the old albums, and if you can find any of those first printings, they're worth a lot of money. But more importantly, the title reminds me of a schoolmate I once had named Sal. Once in what I think was third grade, our class was coming back from a field trip from who knows where (do we ever remember what we did on those field trips? or just who threw up on the bus) when Sal saw a car parked in someone's driveway with the sign "For Sale." "HEY!" he yelled, "FOR SALE! THAT MEANS IT'S FOR ME! FOR SALE!" And I just thought that was the most intellectual pun I'd ever heard. So now, if I see "For Sale" signs anywhere I go, or even the title of this record, I think to myself, "Wow, the Beatles--for Sal!" What a lucky guy that Sal must be

-15 miles on the Erie Canal-

Friday, September 27, 2002

CD: Beatles, "A Hard Day's Night"

Today I had the pleasure of trying to be a substitute teacher on a Friday, a shortened class schedule, AND Homecoming Day, all rolled up into one. Which, of course, means the kids didn't come to school for any other reason than to put on face paint, eat lunch, and prepare for a full ninety minutes of foot-stomping on the bleachers during the end-of-the-day gym rally. I competely disagree with the idea that children have a short attention span, because if you saw how much time and care they spent in applying glitter....Anyway, it was a lucky coincidence that the day I decide to wear a red shirt is the day I'm called in to a school whose colors are red, whose mascot is an Indian chief, and who practically made crimson clothes a one-day law for students and faculty. Go Chiefs, dude. Go Chiefs.

Thursday, September 26, 2002

CD: Ani DiFranco, various mix CD (3 of 4)

Sitting here in the school library (I have been here about eight hours now) has helped me invent a new game. It's called Name That Ringtone. That's right, folks! A brand new, reality-based game show (two television fads in one!) that pits the one half of conscientious, minding-my-own-business, trying-to-finish-a-paper students against the other half of "Hey-baby-wussup," "Okay-I'll-meet-you-in-the-computer-lab," "DON'T CALL ME NOW, I'M IN THE LIBRARY!" students. The game is easy. Listen to all the different cell phones going off (phones-to-minute ratio: 1:4), and try to guess 1) What song is incessantly blurting out of it 2) Where that noise is coming from, anyway 3) Will someone please answer it?! before losing your cool. Remember, cell phones are not allowed in the library facilities. But don't lose your cool, or you lose the game! Brought to you by these fine sponsors:

Centrum Silver
Wonder Bread
Carnival Cruise Lines

with special promotional consideration by

Milton Bradley

guests receive accomodations at the fine

Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills

"Name That Ringtone" is produced by Merv Griffin Enterprises and filmed in front of a live television audience in Television City, California.

[Portions of the taping that do not change the contestants' outcome have been edited for time constraints.]

Copyright MMII Merv Griffin Enterprises

Distributed by Viacom Entertainment

Wednesday, September 25, 2002

CD: Ani Difranco, various mix (CD 1 of 4)

Today I went from 0 to Sick as Hell in two hours. This is messed up. One minute you're up and ready to face the day, the next you've got water pouring like an open faucet out your nose. I seriously wonder where all this water comes from. Is it from the blood? In that case my blood must be extremely thick right now. It FEELS like the water came from my brain, which makes a lot of sense--my brain being a watertower and all, I mean. That would have explained the high pressure in which the water left my nose when I sneezed. (And did I ever.) I have easily gone through thirty Kleenex or Kleenex substitutes, such as toilet paper, paper towels, the backs of my fingers (in emergencies, and there were a few of those) and who knows what next.

The saddest part of all is that I went through all this while substituting a class. I lucked out because the missing guy has a student teacher, and that guy did all the work (not getting paid) while I sat in the back trying to prevent the snot dike from breaking (while getting paid). I am warm and I am tired. Good thing I also have class today, or I wouldn't have had a reason to get up this morning! Ugh.

Tuesday, September 24, 2002

CD: Sleater-Kinney, "One Beat" (Rocks!)

"You," if that is your real name, probably knows by now that I buy a lot of records. What to do if four great records come out on the same day but you only have enough money for two? Believe it or not this has happened to me before. Have you ever noticed that payday is always a day or two away from the time that you actually need the cash? Well, after mulling different travel plans ("Okay, I'll go to the bank on Tuesday, then the store on the way to class, and on Wednesday...") that would enable me to reallocate resources adequately--something the Soviets could have done if they implemented worker incentives right off the bat--I realized, Hey, I have a Credit Card! Click click click, done on the internet in two minutes. No gas money, bank hours or spare change needed! Why didn't you guys tell me about this before! It sure beats hiding a couple grand under my mattress....

Monday, September 23, 2002

CD: Tenacious D, "Tenacious D"

Guess what! I'm named after my grandmother! I finally asked my mother why my name is "Fred." On her side of the family, she had a grandfather named Fred that died right before her and my father were married. She also has a brother named Fred. BUT, and this was the point she emphasized TWICE in the conversation, her mother's nickname is "Fred" as well. Yes. Grandma's real name is Catherine (coincidentally, my sister's middle name) but those her age apparently call her Fred as a gesture of compassion and friendly jesting. Let me reiterate: I have a Grandma Fred. The genes are strong enough to perpetuate the family line. Aren't you worried about this? Do you understand the implications? These people are breeding!!

Sunday, September 22, 2002

CD: Beatles, "Yellow Submarine"

So I was making chocolate chip cookies at work today. Sue me, I'm in food service! Anyway, two of the chocolate chip cookies fused together in the oven, creating an uber-cookie of mass proportions and comparable, in political terms, to the NATO-Russia alliance. Can't sell it, but dang, why put it to waste? It was an hour before my break....OH, by the way, you should know first is that I work 10-hour shifts, and don't eat lunch. Therefore, the prospect of chocolate chip cookies is more than mouth-watering, but mind-blowing. It's like an inspiration; a muse; a raison d'etre for the rest of the work period....ANYWAY! I was looking for the perfect moment to sneak the uber-cookie into my packback (I brought homework, but never did any of it).

Enter Ted, the 81-year-old dishwasher. I was gone for FIVE SECONDS. I come back, there's no uber-cookie, he's chewing on something! Big mouthful, can't even talk, hiding his face in the corner. That bastard took my cookie! My hideously malformed, illicit uber-cookie! @%#^*@&! I was really, Really hungry and it was gone! Man. You don't know how much that hurt. Like taking candy from a baby. And for him, it probably was. Schwag.

Saturday, September 21, 2002

CD: John Lennon, "Live In New York City"

I keep strange things, and put them in strange places. No, not there! Let me explain my ambiguous statement. Today I was driving to the gas station (an irony in itself) when I spotted tons 'o stuff being thrown out at one guy's house. I think it used to be the house of Harold, the nice and really old guy that used to be a janitor at my grade school. He must be long passed or moved by now. He was at Pearl Harbor, you know. "Weeee KNEW they were comin'!" he'd say.

What was I talking about? Oh, so a piece of refuse caught my eye. It's one of those carpeting sample things, 4 samples by 7, and each rectangular sample the size of an index card. Where some would pass by without thinking, I glanced at it and decided the sampler was a lovely piece of post-modernist art. I mean, you got your fabric, you got a progression of ever lighter hues, and you got an emotionless, manufactured arrangement that says "Warhol" all over it. You should see the other crap I have in my room.

And stop comparing me to Christopher Lowell!

Friday, September 20, 2002

CD: Oasis, "Be Here Now"

Oftentimes I will listen to music and just not "get it." I can read pages and pages of press about a band and think yes, I WILL risk fifteen dollars on this one ($15! Thank goodness for KaZaa, lucky broadband people!) listen to it once--usually while reading a newspaper or writing this bloody thing--and think "eh." This happened with my Sleater-Kinney album about two days ago. But then, at some future date I will put it in my car and the moon will be in just the right place and suddenly I will achieve musical oneness with the songs. I will feel the minute nuances in the vocals and the rhythm and melody and I will say to myself "This is genious. So THIS is how you're supposed to listen to it. They were right!" In a metaphorical sense, what I think I'm trying to say is that gardens are nice, but flowers in the desert are nicer. Is that understandable? I hope so. Thanks for the indulgence.

Thursday, September 19, 2002

CD: Jimi Hendrix Experience, "Axis: Bold As Love"

It's regrettable that we live in a society where women cannot walk alone in public places. Then again, at least they can be in public places, unlike Iran, and at least they can walk, unlike pre-colonial China. Still, one out of every five women in America are victims of sexual assault. So while I was going to start off this post by saying "Why are people so paranoid?" I've rationalized a bit more. Here's the problem, however. I'm a very fast walker, and it has made me look like a ravenous predator. At places like the college campus or anywhere with a sidewalk, it seems, I have somewhere to go while the women walking half a block in front of me apparently do not. This means that at some point I will pass them. Now sure, they might hear footsteps coming behind them, but it's even more possible that women have a sixth sense that a lone young male is coming up behind them, even from forty yards. (Maybe they have eyes in the back of their head, just like mom!) I instantly become a threat. You will observe the quick "I'm turning my head slightly but I'm not looking back and I'll pretend like I'm going along my business without looking worried about you" glance. As you come closer--staying as close as possible to the exact opposite side of the sidewalk so as not to look like you want to engage her--a minority percentage will tersely change their direction. Most just keep pretending like they don't notice me, which is the best thing, but the least amount of people consider slowing down and actually letting me pass them. What the heck, am I really that creepy?

Don't think it only happens between sexes, either. I was walking down Bleeker Street one Saturday night in NYC when, after several blocks, I was coming closer to a man going in my direction. He eventually started walking faster, and then quickly crossed the street. Mind you, I was still about half a block away. We walked parallel until I passed him about five blocks later. Ironically, I was suffering from an inflamed knee joint at the time and was trying Very Hard not to look injured and get assaulted myself; the only reason I was walking fast that night (I had nowhere to go) was that it hurt too much to stay on one leg for too long. If the guy had actually started chasing after me, I wouldn't have been able to run. So in conclusion, if a guy's walking up from behind you ON A BRIGHTLY LIT STREET, IN FULL VIEW OF DOZENS OF OTHER PEOPLE, LET THEM PASS YOU. We just want you to move out of the way; we're late for class dammit! Thank you!

Wednesday, September 18, 2002

CD: Jimi Hendrix Experience, "Are You Experienced?"

It happens to you every couple of years. You have one in your closet right now. In fact, you wore it just a couple of days ago. The Pants With the Loose Zipper. We all have one. The kind of pants where you're walking down the sidewalk and then realize "it's time to check." The pants whose zipper refuses to stay up. Were they made wrong? Maybe you could get a safety pin and... No. That just wouldn't be right. Anyway, what if I accidentally pricked my... Yeah. Why do they do that? And why is it I always forget THESE are those pants until it's almost too late, right before I'm about to walk into a room full of people, or as I'm talking to someone while standing up? It never fails. No, wait, it ALWAYS fails. And I really like these pants, too.

Tuesday, September 17, 2002

CD: Alice In Chains, "MTV Unplugged"

I realize now that it takes one hour to get here--my college--and then one hour to get back from my two hour class. I am not amused. Granted, I save thousands by not finding an apartment in the city, and even another $100 or so by parking across the street, about two blocks from my classroom. Why do I mention this today, and not three weeks ago when classes started? Because--and this is the saddest part of all--I had a paper due today, so I procrastinated for a week until I finally sat down and wrote it, then on the way to school remember it takes a WHILE to get there and ended up ten minutes late. And I can't blame traffic or weather or accidents or a poorly running car or horrible road conditions or a parking problem or the police or the suspected terrorists from Lackawanna or my mother or President Bush or even Frank Stallone. And THEN, to make up for my lateness, I had to force myself to participate in class to look like I hadn't missed anything and really cared about the discussion at hand! I almost NEVER participate in class because it bothers me so! Cursed space-time continuum, forcing me to find witty comments and universally accepted syntax and diction to spew forth like dandelion seeds towards a group of people I would hardly recognize on the street! Curses, me!

Monday, September 16, 2002

09 16 02

CD: Patti Smith, "Gung Ho"

My table is cluttered with unfinished business. From the far left to the far right: 1.) The book I have to finish reading for class next week. I'm about 20% done. 2.) Education loan forms that must be compared to my old tax files. Descrepancies must be forwarded to the bank for re-examination. 3.) The bill from grad school. I'm expecting a check, which help pay for #2. 4.) Four CDs that must be copied by the 19th, before they're due back at the library. 5.) CDs I actually bought, that must be entered into my database with the CDs I'm about to burn. 6.) The crate of copied worksheets that should be organized chronologically for use in a school setting. You know, for that job you want to get? 7.) Reciepts and work slips that must be put into appropriate folders. 8.) AOL E-mail printout, which must be saved in case they bill me $23 for an account I never bought (and they said they would fix). 9.) Blank videotapes. I'll use one tonight but these should be put somewhere else. 10.) Newspaper clips that require a typed-out summary for a class, due Wednesday. 11.) An ad for the new Danko Jones album. Just finished writing an E-mail asking for free tickets. 12.) CDs that must be put back in their cases from their rotation in my car. 13.) That reminds me, look up the costs/benefits of trading in my 2001 car for a 2003 that has a no-interest payment plan. Dude, I better do that one now.

Sunday, September 15, 2002

CD: R.E.M., "New Adventures In Hi-Fi"

Dangit. I wore pants tonight. I want some more shorts weather so I don't have to deal with full coverings. Sooner than you know it I'll have to wear a long-sleeved shirt, too. Ugh. And in my free time! There's always that one momentous day in, oh, late October where you transmogrify from a summer wanna-be shorts-wearer to a temporarily permanent, leaf-rakin' pants guy. Think about it. You can never pinpoint the date, but in hindsight you think back on it and realize Hey, we don't live in the Arctic Circle, but there are 6 months of pants and 6 months of shorts, and now everything is dark again. Time for 5 PM sunsets, examining the walls of your house for egg and shaving cream remnants, and the manditory "AAA says more people will be traveling during Thanksgiving than any other time of the year" reports on the local news. Must...fight...power....Must...take off...pants...

Saturday, September 14, 2002

CD: PuffyAmiYumi, "An Illustrated History"

Not that I want to make Buffalo State a home away from home, but it's getting there for me. I joined the radio station club, and have to go through "training." So far so good, especially when training gives me the time to read the newspaper and the liner notes to CDs I don't own. Yet. Bwah ha ha. After noticing I actually had some of the CDs in their rotation in my own collection, I started feeling more like a musical genious and went shopping for some more of the stuff. After picking up the CD I'm listening too right now, the alt/college clerk asked me "are you ready for the invasion?" "You mean, the invasion of..." "PuffyAmiYumi," we said in unison. So today is a first; I had a conversation with a record store clerk about Japanese pop music. And I actually new more than he did. I'm in. I am SO in now.

By the way, in my opinion I'm sticking with the Pizzicato Five. Puffy is too synth for me, and I prefer the retro lounge feel I get from Nomiya Maki's vocals and the richer instrumentation in P5 releases. Now that Bis is playing in my stereo, I'm having a bit more fun. If I had heard Puffy before I heard Pizzicato, I'd probably be enamored with both bands by now. Odd equation:

Bis + Pizzicato Five + Natalie Imbruglia = PuffyAmiYumi

Now go listen to your Puddle of Mudd album.

Friday, September 13, 2002

CD: Oasis, "Be Here Now"

Last night I was two seconds from impulse buying Jaffa blocks at Tops; 2 for $5. That's a good deal! They're the ones that you can either use as milk crates--like for my records, which I could really use--or for hanging files--I could really use that, too, for all of the teaching supplies I've stolen over the years--there are too many dashes in this sentence. Nevertheless, I just came back from The Mall, where I suddenly thought "I should buy some posters, because the only interesting thing in my room is the paint falling off the ceiling." I walked into that hippie place and found two pretty good ones, 2 for $12. That's a good deal! One was a Sistene Chapel close-up of God's and Adam's fingers; the other was a Radiohead poster of the U.S. blowing up, or something eerie like that. But I chickened out again. I don't buy gum, candy bars, bottled water, or anything else from the checkout line. I don't supersize my value meals because I pack peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I only read free newspapers, or take the ones already paid for from lounge room tables. I'm a lousy, incompetent capitalist. Sorry.

Thursday, September 12, 2002

CD: Led Zeppelin, "BBC Sessions"

Nobody's noticed, but I'm getting fatter. I know because I have a really mooshy tummy when I sit, in medical terms. I only used to have a smaller, moderately mooshy tummy, but now sometimes it's bigger, but softer. My lack of nutritional or health knowledge tells me that all that water will eventually solidify into fat. On a more scientific note, I also know I am getting fatter by my boxer shorts. Where they used to only ride part way, now they ride waaaaaay up. Luckily my fat self still wears shorts, so I can reach up in there when behind my car or in an empty hallway. Not that I did that today. By the way, when I mean "fat" this means about three pounds, (measured my friend Joe's grandmother's bathroom scale) now putting me at the average weight for my size. Still, the water is hardening; who knows what the future might bring? Thank goodness for new McDonald's low-fat cooking oil. [TM]

Wednesday, September 11, 2002

CD: Money Mark, "Push the Button"

Tonight (actually "last night" because I'm writing this on September 10th) I was driving to the magical Truck Stop to meet my parents for dinner when I spotted quite a large fire burning in an empty field. It looked pretty cool. Then I thought about how it was strange nobody was watching the fire, especially when the house not too far from it seemed to be empty. Usually in this rural town you will see the smoke from controlled field fires, or illegal backyard burnings. Being uneducated in agriculture, I figured they were doing it to enrich the soil, and they were doing it in the dark so they could catch any stray sparks before they flamed up. Or something like that. Either way I didn't give it much more consideration. Then, driving my father back on the way home (my mother left early to watch "Emeril Live!" on the Food Network [?]) I asked him, "hey, did you see the fire on the way here?" Just as it came out of my mouth, we saw smoke, we saw fire trucks, we had to take a detour around a hill. Chances are, lightning caused the brush fire, and the whole field was ablaze. Had I known then what I knew now, I probably would have done something, even though it probably would have ended up happening anyway. And somehow, I think this sums up how everyone has looked back at the past year.

Tuesday, September 10, 2002

CD: Smashing Pumpkins, "Reel Time Sessions" [disc II]

The original idea behind starting a weblog was so that I could work on writing, especially about myself, for job applications, school papers, and the like. And while I have written much more than I would have under the cirumstances (nearing seventy entries, each at least a half-page of text in an ordinary word processing program), it now gives me yet another excuse to avoid doing the very thing it intended to improve! As of this writing I have just finished a two-page paper that took me two hours; it should have taken me 45 minutes. After every half page of text--exactly one paragraph in the paper, coincidentally--I got mental block. Like right now. And coincidentally again, I am at one-half page of text.

Worst of all, no one is ever going to see that paper. It was optional, and I wanted to get some "practice" in before class discussion. Beyond that, even I may never see it again, because it costs ten cents per page to print in this bloody library. Man, funk dat!

Monday, September 09, 2002

CD: New Kids On The Block, "Hangin' Tough"

Recently my former roommate Dave commented to me that recently he has not been able to "notice my distinctive scent" anymore. Though I have tried a number of subtle tactics to reduce my alleged odor, including perioding bathing, the washing of clothes, and even a diet including moderate to large amounts of liquids, I must also think that Dave's olfactory keenness was fine-tuned over time to notice my scent while I was living with him. Why, just recently I was doing homework when I simply stopped and looked up. Something was just not right, and I could not pinpoint it for several minutes. Then I realized: I could hear myself think. After four years of being a collegiate resident, living with at least three other people and their varied eating/sleeping/blaring music times, unplanned nights out, and impromptu wrestling matches, I can now read a book without interruption. Which means I can't. Every few pages I have to go get a drink of water, put on a CD or--stranger yet--read another book. Dorm life has destroyed my sense of continuity.

Sunday, September 08, 2002

CD: Smashing Pumpkins, "Reel Time Sessions"

Sometimes a person can do something that will make them smile. Smiling seems awfully goofy and awkward when you're by yourself, however. I once saw a show that asked the viewers if they've every really laughed when they were alone; no contact with the human race like television, radio, books, or people-watching in the mall is allowed. The man may be on to something. Nevertheless, I'm smiling because I got into my father's room (usually locked), installed the microphone to his computer, and made brand new sounds to temporarily replace the normal AOL defaults. Instead of "Welcome" I now ask him personally, "Hey, what's goin' on?" Instead of "Goodbye" when the phone line cuts him off, he hears me say "Hey, I'm trying to use the phone!" which is usually what he hears from the phone anyway. But my favorite is the famous "You've Got Mail", now my impersonation of the now-popular skit from "Crank Yankers" starring Special Ed. If you've never heard it, download it from Kazaa. My father is going to give me a piece of his mind this time tomorrow, but I'll be smiling then, too. Hey, at least his microphone's installed.

Saturday, September 07, 2002

CD: Remy Zero, "The Golden Hum"

Yesterday I came into the house to find the cat eating last night's casserole. Apparently no one fed the cat, or the cat was still hungry. Either way, the casserole from last night was left out uncovered for the cat to feast upon. I should have thrown it out right there, but after shooing the cat I put the rest on top of the fridge with the sign "Cat was eating the casserole."

My mother, who likes to keep a bucket of compost in the kitchen just a little to long as habit, responded. "Well I'm still going to eat it, I'm hungry!"

Today I came home and looked in the fridge. Day-old tomato soup. Browning salad. Hot dogs hardened by exposure to air. And a spider, sentry keeping watch over the Tomb of the Unknown Leftovers. I wasn't going to eat that crap anyway, but tonight I'm going to take a stand for sanitation. Something tells me I'm going to be much hungrier by the end of the week, or at least a much more efficient, single-serving cook.

Friday, September 06, 2002

CD: Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band, "Live In New York City"

As Dagwood Bumstead would say, "OHMIGOSH!" A celestial mix of free time, applicable websites and useless chore recollections have finally got me to install--and run successfully this time--an NES emulator! Hot diggity dang! That means I can play my old Nintendo games on the computer! Super Mario Bros. 1, 2, and 3! Mega Man 3 with the really cool music (okay, the music sucks today). Tecmo Super Bowl, with Bruce Smith! Ninja Gaiden, The Legend of Zelda, and Tetris! Tetris, everybody! I know somebody's reading this. TETRIS!

Contra and the Konami Code! Up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A, B, A, select, start! All of Middle School is flashing before my eyes and yes, by "all" I mean my ENTIRE middle school life! Stop laughing!


Thursday, September 05, 2002

CD: George Harrison, "All Things Must Pass (anniversary reissue)"

My sister recently broke up with someone. She told me very little about the actual person, but did tell me a lot about his parents' pet lion. As I remember hearing it, a long time ago (before this person was born or not I don't recall) the father got the family a pet lion, and kept it in the backyard with a very high fence. The police, not wanting to have to deal with future lion problems, would actually come on the property and taunt it, trying to make it do something illegal so they could have it taken out of town. In retaliation, the father installed spike strips on the driveway whenever the family went out Eventually the trap worked: the police drove in to taunt the lion again, their tires busted, they called for backup but the backup got their tires busted too, the family came home and the father says "Hey, what are you guys up to?! You were going to taunt my lion again!"

It sounds like Aesop should attach a moral to this one. "Don't tap the glass" or "Make sure you have a warrant" or something.

Wednesday, September 04, 2002

CD: Steve Fisk, "999 Levels of Undo"

Canadian money has gotten really messed up lately. I don't know if it's the bad exchange rate, or the new dollar redesigns in the U.S. that are making them jealous, or the fact that they ran out of all their old change while using American vending machines, but Canadians have tried a lot of tripped out changes. The first one was the dollar coin, which is a good, rational idea, but then they thought about the TWO dollar coin, which really looks like a little coin melded with a big fat donut of a coin around the outside. Then they thought "Hey, why don't we add a shiny hologram looking thing at the corner of this bill" and "Hey, what if we use twelve colors on this bill" and "Hey, while we're at it, let's use this picture of my kids playing hockey in the backyard and put that on there too, and here's this poem about World War II that I like, we can fit it in somewhere." Even stranger, if you look at the back of some of the newer quarters you can find moose, spacemen, stick drawings of people, and Thor knows what else. In conclusion, since the NHL started migrating south Canadians have basically lost the will to live. Their search for new hobbies has come up dry (it's not like they have anything to clean up there) and this is the result. Sad, I know, but it keeps them occupied. But I fear for their stamps.

Tuesday, September 03, 2002

My college is quite diverse in terms of age demographics. Today we "introduced" ourselves to the class, where we have your forty year olds, your twenty year olds, your sixty year olds, your parents (not YOUR parents, but people with kids, in fact one guys wife was going into the hospital tonight for induced labor) and your people that came in thinking it was the economics class next door. The first person to introduce himself was a guy who, instead of just giving his name and occupation like the rest of society expects of him, spoke for ten minutes about how he came from Senegal and then moved to China for a year with a scholarship, had to learn engineering in Chinese AND Chinese at the same time, then excelled in his grades so greatly that he was able to get another scholarship to learn English and then come to the United States. And had he spoken last, we would have been very proud of him. Instead we all gave each other glances as if to say "I hope I'm not going next." "I have nothing to say. This guy won." "Shut up already, we're impressed, leave us alone." "This is only supposed to take a minute; I have to go soon, I have a baby on the way dammit!" We hope he doesn't talk again for the rest of the semester.

Monday, September 02, 2002

CD: Collective Soul, "Disciplined Breakdown"

Natalie Imbruglia saved my life last night. And this morning. After a long day that started after a four-hour-night's sleep, I found myself driving home at 5 in the morning so I could go to sleep for another 90 minutes. Ms. Imbruglia could be depended on for her soothing yet introspective song stylings that not only kept my attention, but got me to sing along to her catchy refrains at the top of my voice, keeping me awake and alert as well. It does not have to be mentioned that I was alone and my car windows were closed shut during this exercise. And this morning, after said ninety-minute-night's sleep, when I had to drive another forty miles to take my sister to work, and my eyes were 80% shut during the entire drive, the album "White Lilies Island again deliverd vibrant pop soundscapes for me to croon too as I feigned consciousness. Because of the dozens of times I have found myself listening to a certain musical genre this summer that would normally reduce me to nausea, I declare this the Summer of Natalie Imbruglia. Sorry, Nelly, but it's too hot in herre for you!

Sunday, September 01, 2002

CD: Bruce Springsteen, "The Rising"

Mad shout-outs tonight. First, shout outs to the gas pumpers at the Totem Pole for doing their job, rain or shine, snowstorm or heatwave every day. Second, mad props to the school secretaries for keeping it real with politeness and sincerity even in the midst of the jungle. Third to my peeps on the Thruway, the toll-takers, construction workers, travel plaza associates, and miscellaneous that keep everybody moving. Fourth, everybody at the IHOP on Maple (what a coincidence, the names are!) for their high standards of quality and wide selection. And last but best of all, everyone at the many Blockbuster locations in Buffalo for their mad crazy phone tree system. We found the perfect movie at 12:30 in the morning, and couldn't have done it without the support of my B-Buster peeps on Delaware. Everybody watch "Fear of a Black Hat"!