Tuesday, March 25, 2008

A nicer Haiku for Zoe

Lips oh so floppy
The long claws of stretchiness
Zo Zo Zo Zo Zo

Monday, March 24, 2008

Haiku to Zoe

Zoe’s farts are rank
So much so they wake me up
I want to kill her.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Poker's a lot like...

It's my favorite Poker TV phrase. No matter what your profession, the interviewer always gets you to start a sentence like that. Like "Poker's a lot like playing professional soccer" or "Poker's a lot like being a waste manager for the city of Chicago." At some point it reaches a ridiculousness level where you either have to just laugh or cry. I choose laughter. (For a good poker analogy, check out the Kermyfrag's latest blog.)

All this stuff led me to think about what I would say if I was interviewed. Back when I was working at the wildlife rehab place I had a great line: "Poker's a lot like rehabilitating wildlife. Some days are rewarding, but other days you just get shit on."

Now that I work in a more mainstream line of work, that line doesn't fly quite as well. But the other night while we were bowling, I picked my new poker analogy.

I will never claim to be a good bowler. I think I'm averaging a 130-somthing, which is actually really good for me. But for some reason I'm leading all the women in our league with the most games won. I have 25 wins under my belt out of a total of 33 games played (I think... correct me someone if I'm wrong). And I roll against good bowlers too! But for some reason they keep bowling badly against me and I keep scoring the big Ws.

How is this possible, you may ask. I can't rightly say, but I will give you my theory. I show up to bowling on Mondays, grab one of the alley's 12-pound balls, and during warm-ups consider myself lucky if I get one spare. My opponent thinks, sweet, here's an easy 3 points for me. But then the real bowling begins. I go out and get a few spares, maybe a strike or two, and they realize that I'm not quite as bad as I first seemed. Then they get all thrown off that this mediocre chick is beating them, and they just get worse. Perhaps they start drinking more heavily to try and deal with the pain they are feeling. By the end of the night they are both wasted, and they got their ass handed to them by a girl who doesn't even know how to put spin on her ball.

By the end of Monday they leave broken men. And the Pickett racks up another 2 or 3 points.

So... in my future poker interview, I'll say: "Poker's a lot like my bowling league. I'm such an unassuming person that other players think I suck. They'll go easy on me because they think I'm out of my league. And then before they know it, this young lass with a beguiling smile has taken their stack. And their dignity along with it."

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

ASOIAF Casting: Part VIII

Baratheons and Associates:

Robert Baratheon: Jeffrey Dean Morgan
Stannis Baratheon: Gerard Butler
Melisandre: Famke Janssen
Davos Seaworth: Gary Oldman
Patchface: Zach Braff
Renly Baratheon: Joseph Fiennes

Monday, March 17, 2008

ASOIAF Casting: Part VII

At the Wall and Beyond:

Jon Snow: Justin Long
Ygritte: Reese Witherspoon
Sam Tarly: Jonah Hill (okay, I don’t really think he’d be that great for the role, but he’s the only fat actor I could think of)
Jeor Mormont: Brian Cox
Allister Thorne: Nick Brimble (John Little from Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves)
Maester Aemon: Anthony Hopkins
Janos Slynt: Alan Rickman
Mance Rayder: Jim Carrey (think Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind)

Craster: Willem Dafoe
Rattleshirt: Steve Buscemi
Dolorous Edd: John Turturro

Thursday, March 13, 2008


Across the Narrow Sea:

Dany: Michelle Williams
Viserys: Elijah Wood
Ser Jorah Mormont: Jean Reno
Khal Drogo: Sala Baker
Mirri Maz Duur: Kathy Bates
Illyrio Mopatis: Vincent D’Onofrio

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Good Communication

A couple of my co-workers went to a "good communication" seminar, and they relayed what they learned to us in a meeting this morning. One thing that really caught my attention was this fact: only 25% of what is communicated by the speaker is actually received by the listener. So my question is, if they only got 25% of the info from their session, and I'm only getting 25% of the info they're telling me, how much am I honestly getting out of this meeting?

Monday, March 10, 2008

Top 10 Drinking Games

10. Drinking Ro Sham Bo
9. Olives to Olives
8. Power Hour
7. Flip Cup
6. Drinking Jenga
5. Quarters
4. Hat Game (when applicable)
3. Kings
2. Short Bus
1. Beer Pong

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Growin' Up Ghetto

Alizzle, Kermy, the Zo and I watched Step Up tonight— a movie that I enjoyed, despite it being a mediocre movie that has a plot that’s been reused at least a dozen times now. A boy from the ghetto meets a preppy girl and they dance the night away, falling in love with each other despite their different backgrounds because they love dancing so much. The part that caught my attention was, beyond mocking the generally lame parts of the plotline, Alizzle and Kermy criticized the ghetto boy’s clothes. Everything he wore was too baggy, and why on earth was he layering a t-shirt over a long-sleeved shirt? To which my thoughts were, why wouldn’t he wear that? I went to a high school where that was generally accepted to be the cool outfit. Even better if topped off with a toboggan (ski hat) with three tassels bursting from the top.

I usually don’t think of my childhood as particularly unique or special by any means, but tonight I was very aware of my roots.

I spent years 2-12 growing up in small town Vermont. It was 99% white, upper class, rural America. We lived in a town of 3,000 people. The nearest movie theater was a 30 minute drive away. We only got a handful of radio stations, and so I spent most of these years listening to my parents’ cassette tapes. I grew to love Paul Simon, Johnny Clegg, and Peter, Paul and Mary. But once my sister and I reached a certain age, my parents decided to move—for a number of reasons, but amongst them was so that my sister and I could experience what true diversity was. When I insisted that I did know what diversity was, my mother said, “You don’t even know any black people” to which I replied, “Of course I do. Mei Jing is one of my best friends.” The fact that Mei Jing was an adopted Korean girl only furthered my parents’ resolve.

I was just starting 7th grade when we arrived in Durham, NC. I had more culture shock then than when I studied abroad in Kenya. Everything was different. First of all, there were so many people! The middle school I attended probably had more students in it than my entire elementary school. One class I remember in particular was my 7th grade Social Studies class, where the boy sitting behind me would every day pull out his compass from math class and poke me in the back with it to try and make me bleed, while one of the kids in the back would try and get high on his asthma inhaler, and the teacher got fired because she was caught dealing pot to her 12-year-old students.

I took Honors classes, but I was very careful not to stand out too much. In Vermont you were encouraged to be smart, but in my middle school, smart kids were ridiculed and left friendless. We had a spelling bee in which I purposefully misspelled the word “herring” because I knew that if I spelled it right I’d be outed for what I truly was.

High school was much the same. Parents tended to choose which high school their child went to based less on which school was the most academically sound, and more based on which school had had fewer knifings. I had a solid group of friends, all of us pretty dorky, but I was on the softball team too, which certainly added cool points in my favor. (At least I like to think it did.) But even among talks with my fellow nerds we were more likely to be discussing whether DMX or Jay-Z was hotter rather than Hollywood celebrities. (I thought DMX was, because Jay-Z did too much “white” rap.) While most of the friends I have today were listening to Dave Matthews and Matchbox 20, I listened to Tupac, DMX, and Master P. And the louder your car stereo system was to blast this music, the better. Everyone cruised around town with their drivers’ seats pushed way back, so it almost looked like you were trying to catch a nap while you drove home from school. It was the cool thing to do… only later did I learn that this style originated because when your seat was that far back the side bar between your front and back seats would protect you better in a shooting.

Not that I was ever shot at, or even was worried about being shot at at any point in my life. In general I was simply a good student, an athlete, and led a very sheltered life. This is just to show how much the “ghetto” lifestyle infiltrated my entire school, down to the lowly geeks. The boys in our school would inevitably be wearing outfits exactly like the guy from Step Up, only showing a hell of a lot more underwear. My most-worn pair of pants was sweatpants that almost enveloped me, accompanied by wife beaters. Once I even gave myself corn rows.

After high school my ghettofication stopped almost instantaneously. I went to Duke, then moved to Boulder. I gave up rap and started listening to Dave, Michelle Branch, and other groups that I can’t name. I turned in the sweatpants for more form-fitting jeans. But there are still some times when I find myself in the confused, either about a huge gap in what I know, or a huge gap in what other people know. I can't name most bands or their songs to save my life. Or when my friends don’t understand people wearing baggy clothes or I meet someone who’s never drunk sweet tea or know what Bojangles is.

I neither miss my “ghetto” life nor do I resent those years. I think back on that part of my life as an adventure, sometimes wondering if that really had an impact on who I am; maybe I’ve gone back to that Paul Simon-loving child of 15 years ago. But then I’ll be driving and listening to my radio and Tupac will come on. Without even realizing it, I sing along, and I still know all the lyrics. That ghetto girl is still inside me, and I like it when she visits.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Survivor: Season XVI Picks - Go Chet!

Alia, defending champion:

Pickett, putting all her hopes on Ozzy:

Dr. Coins, who likes the chicas:

Moon, picked the fluffy-haired guy first... enough said:

Bag, likes beauty and brawn but not brains:

As far as strength of each team, I think that I'm in the lead, only because Ozzy has the immunity idol. Then Alia, with no serious stand-outs yet, but all with the potential to come on strong (plus, as defending champion, she's always dangerous). Then Bag and Dr. Coins, each with 2 solid picks and one who probably will go out sooner than Chet. Last, and I must say least, is Moon. Out of his three picks the only one who's gotten serious air-time is Chet, and that's only because people keep talking about how horrible he is. Fluffy hair aside, I think this team has no stand-out potential.

p.s. Kathy was the only one not picked, and rightly so, I think. This woman has less chance of winning than Yau-Man, and he's already been voted out.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

ASOIAF Casting: Part V

The Ironborn and Associates

Asha Greyjoy: Maggie Gyllenhaal
Damphair: Guy Pearce
Victarion: Ray Stevenson (Titus Pullo from Rome)
The Crow’s Eye: Russell Crowe
The Reader: Michael Caine
Theon Greyjoy: Jonathan Rhys-Meyers

ASOIAF Casting: Part IV

Tullys and Associates

The Blackfish: Jeremy Irons
Edmure Tully: Michael C. Hall
Hoster Tully: Christopher Plummer
Walder Frey: Zeljko Ivanek