Monday, February 27, 2006

I've heard you can tell a lot about a man by perusing his mp3 playlist. I wonder what a peek at some of my song selections reveals about me:
2 Live Crew - Can a Nigga Get a Table Dance
AC DC - Back In Black
AC DC - Big Gun
AC DC - Hells Bells
AC DC - Highway To Hell
AC DC - Thunderstruck
Ashlee Simpson - La La
Beastie Boys - Hey Ladies
Beastie Boys - Sabotage
Bjork - Human Behavior
Britney Spears - Toxic
Chess Soundtrack - One Night in Bangkok
Daft Punk - Da Funk
Elvis Presley - A Little Less Conversation (JXL Remix)
Finley Quaye - Electrical Dice
Fortunate Son - Creedence Clearwater Revival
Franz Ferdinand - This Fire
George Thorogood - 1 Bourbon, 1 Scotch, 1 Beer
Hotei Tomoyasu - Kill Bill Teaser
Jamiroquai - Canned Heat
Kid Rock - Bawitdaba
Lynard Skynard - Black Betty
Mooney Suzuki - Alive and Amplified
Ohio Players - Love Rollercoaster
Pink - Get This Party Started
PJ Harvey - Down By The Water
Presidents of the USA - Peaches
Primus - Wynona's Big Brown Beaver
Propellerheads - History Repeating
Rage Against The Machine - Killing In The Name Of
Rage Against The Machine - Testify
Sarah McLachlan - Elsewhere
Sarah McLachlan - Into The Fire
Spice Girls - Who Do You Think You Are
Spirit of the West - Home For a Rest
Stan Rogers - Barrett's Privateers
The Cult - Fire Woman
The Tragically Hip - Blow At High Dough
The Tragically Hip - New Orleans Is Sinking
The Tragically Hip - Poets
The Von Bondies - C'Mon C'Mon
The White Stripes - Blue Orchid
Weezer - Hash Pipe
Yes - Owner of a Lonely Heart

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Color me happy today, folks. Life in the sticks just became a little more bearable.

The City of Phoenix finished a key piece of the North Valley Parkway that runs near my house. Now I can ride leisurely down to WalMart without adding 3 miles to my trip and contending with the worsening I-17 congestion. In fact, I'm thinking of christening the road on my lunch hour. Do I need any junk from WalMart to justify the trip? Hot dog buns or light bulbs or salad tongs, perhaps?

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Though most of us will never find ourselves in the midst of a very bitter, very public feud, it's important to know exactly how to handle one's nemesis when they take a verbal shot at you while the cameras are rolling. Most people are naturally inclined to take the high road by ignoring the comment ("I won't dignify that with a response"), while others let anger get the best of them and go way over the top ("Fuck you, Prick!"). The former projects weakness, while the latter smacks of brute aggression. Either way, you're going to lose the debate in the public square.

There is, however, another option: the zinger. Perfectly timed one-liners are the staple of every smartass's repertoire. A great one-liner defines the moment, neutralizes your opponent, draws a huge laugh, and makes you look witty and fiesty without being "the asshole".

Chad Hedrick had the perfect opportunity to deliver a one-liner knockout blow to his skating teammate Shani Davis last night. With their percolating feud bubbling over at last night's press conference following the 1500m speed skating event, Shani took this potshot at Hedrick, who was sitting in front of a mic just a few feet away:

"It would have been nice if after the 1,000 meters, he could have been a good teammate and shook my hand, just like I shook his hand – or hugged him – after he won the 5,000 meters."

At this point, Hedrick had just a few seconds to size up his opponent, assess the tone of the attack, and formulate a cutting zinger to play for the cameras. Chad's inner smart-aleck could have replied:

"Could somebody get Shani a tissue?"

Six little words, cleverly delivered, and the feud would be as good as over. Instead, Hedrick did his best deer-in-the-headlights routine and rambled on about feeling betrayed, blah, blah, blah. The result: Advantage Shani.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Yes, I’ve been watching the Olympics

Let me just say upfront that I believe I’ve firmly established my reverence for all things American. That said, I think I have license to offer some criticism of the public’s expectations of the US team in Torino without sounding like a rabid America-bashing foreigner. So, let’s begin…

What the hell is your problem, America?! All I’ve been hearing about is how the US team isn’t doing so well, how they’ve had a tough week, how their stars aren’t rising to the challenge, etc, etc, etc. Do you need reminding that the Americans have led the pack from the outset with the most gold medals? That they're in the top 3 for most medals won overall? Is that not good enough?

So, who are you lagging that’s got you so upset you’re crying in your beer? Norway and Russia? Helloooo…it’s the Winter Olympics, ‘tards! Last I checked, Norway and Russia were very wintery countries. Is it beyond the realm of possibility that nations with land masses inside the Arctic Circle would produce world-class athletes in such wintery sports as ski jumping and the biathlon? Is it really inconceivable that Vladimir Vladimirkov from HellHole, Siberia is better at winter sports than Chad BeachBum from Southern Cal? Please...

What? You’re disappointed with your star athletes? Like who, Apolo Anton Ohno and Bode Miller? Ohno stumbled in the 500m Short Track semis. So fucking what? He won gold in Salt Lake after tripping a Korean skater. What goes around comes around. It’s called karma. Get over it. Bode straddled a gate on the combined slalom run and got disqualified? Big fucking deal. Here’s a little secret: Bode’s a pompous, loudmouth prick. If he spent less time boozing and more time skiing he might have won. Alas, he chose Jose Cuervo Gold over Olympic Gold instead. Suck it up, America. Aren’t you at least happy that underdog Ted Ligety mounted a huge comeback to win the event? Judging from all the whining in US press, I’d say not. Poor Bode didn’t get his medal. Boo-fucking-hoo!

Everyone is so down on the "lacklustre" American performance that the press has starting reporting on salacious back-stories to divert the public’s attention away from the sporting results. On Thursday morning the news resorted to uncovering the burning question of this Olympic season: Is US skater Johnny Weir a homosexual? Johnny Queer...I mean Weir, won’t say, but I think his effeminate lilt, his Chanel sunglasses, his Fendi scarf, and his Louis Vuitton “man purse” do the talking for him. Still, the press is enraptured by the mystery. To Johnny's credit, he says his sexual orientation is irrelevant. That's true, but hey, he’s a male figure skater! That means there’s a 97% chance he goes for Brokeback. Get a clue, people!

Ok, that’s off my chest. Now I can go back to watching women’s curling on CNBC. We’re cool, right America? Still friends?

Friday, February 17, 2006

Two things occurred to me this morning. One, I've barely written a thing in the past few weeks, and two, it's been nearly 3 years since my inaugural blog posting. To refresh our collective memories about what was going through my head at age 29, here are my vintage posts from February 2003.

Friday, February 10, 2006

I received my acceptance to the MSIM graduate program at Arizona State this week. Not that I’m surprised. No offense to my Sun Devil readers, but it is ASU after all. I’ve been so busy with work lately that I haven’t given this news a second thought. Therein lies the big question: will my work commitments keep me from enrolling in the program? Time for a frank conversation with my boss, I guess.