Friday, December 23, 2011

Thursday, December 22, 2011

My boss wants those spreadsheets done ASAP, but if the extra work means being able to afford a nice Christmas gift for my kid sister, then it's worth it.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

I was walking around Union Square, having done Christmas shopping and eating one of the free latkes that a girl had given away. Not far from her table, one of the Hasidic Jews stopped me.

"Excuse me, are you Jewish?" he asked.

"Uh, yeah, pretty much," I shrugged.

"Well, is your mother Jewish?" he asked

"No," I replied.

He seemed a little disappointed.  I added: "But, my father is."

But it was too late.  He had totally lost interest in me!  Awesome!

Monday, November 21, 2011

In case I continue not to update, I should use the top post to link to this interview I did with Mindy Kaling, at Dartmouth back in 2005:  http://dartmouthindependent.com/archive/news/the_women_behind_the_men/

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The main reason I subscribe to the New York Times crossword puzzles is so that I won't be tempted to buy the New York Times each morning.

Monday, October 24, 2011

I found a filled-in and signed Father's Day card on the street. It wasn't mine, though.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

My apartment has cable now.  Which is good, because it means I waste less time on the internet.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Friday, October 21, 2011

Durkin got me drunk, and because I'm drunk I'm willing to go out.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

People shouldn't kiss on the subway platform.  Or at the supermarket. 

Some friends and I were riding in a truck, and we came up with the idea of a superhero who only kills happy people.

So, if two people were kissing on a subway platform, he'd rush in and push them onto the tracks.  And then he'd fire off a witty one-liner, like: "Now you can kiss her...in Hell."

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

I made a visit to Zuccotti Park for the first time yesterday.  (I mean, for the first time since the hippies moved in there.)

Monday, October 17, 2011

I actually saw a dude riding a Segway down the street this morning.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Again there is baseball going on.  It's relentless, in a way.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

I realized recently, I don't currently own a single Apple product.

Friday, October 14, 2011

I was browsing www.theweek.com to learn what interesting news stories I'd missed during this past week.

What I learned is that, as of right now, I hate The Week.  And that's mostly due to one article: 

Title: A real flying carpet?
Heading: Princeton researchers excite Aladdin fans by developing a tiny carpet-like device that can float on air.

There are Disney fans, and Battlestar Galactica fans, and even fans of vampires.  But it seems weird to say someone is a fan of an individual movie.  So I clicked on the link to find out if these so-called "Aladdin fans" really existed.

Apparently not.  There was no mention of Aladdin fans, or of Aladdin, anywhere in the article.  In none of the sources cited (BBC News; International Business Times; PC World; PhysOrg) was Aladdin--whether the movie or the character--mentioned once.  And yet whoever wrote that heading said a specific thing happened.  He or she specifically said that, thanks to the work of Princeton researchers, Aladdin fans were excited.     

I don't think whoever wrote that heading is a liar.  I just think they're a lazy-ass writer, who saw the opportunity to get extra page hits by mentioning a popular cartoon.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

I hope everything I've forgotten is still stored in my brain somewhere. And that everything that's useless can be forgotten.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Whenever I post something in the A.M. I tend to grow dissatisfied with it midway through the day, and think about making an additional post--two posts a day, or more.

But that would be a disservice to people who surf the internet.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The baseball scores have all been settled.  All is right with the world.

Monday, October 10, 2011

How can I concentrate on work, when, potentially, there are baseball scores being updated right now?

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Well, my friend is in L.A. and I'm just blogging on the internet.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

I'm not sure who reads this blog, but I'll have to assume that everyone in the world does.

Friday, October 7, 2011

J. D. Salinger's "Franny" was published as a short story in The New Yorker in 1955.  It should have stayed that way.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The problem with having an Irishman as a houseguest is that, when morning rolls around, you can't be certain if he's gone missing or if he's just keeping to his normal schedule.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

I went running through Central Park today, then switched over to jogging mixed with a good deal of walking.  I reached the stone structure featured in The Running Man, and it was like I was starring in my own movie, called The Walking Man, and it just featured me walking past the structure trying to catch my breath.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Here is the Heroic Destiny Squad video that led indirectly to the abolition of monarchy in Nepal.





Sunday, October 2, 2011

I won't blog about Brookly rugby again until November 6th, by which point we'll either have won or not won the Div III championship.  But yesterday was a pretty fun match to watch.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Thursday, September 8, 2011

I realize the numbers are rounded, but it just seems weird that, yesterday, Baseball Prospectus said the Tampa Bay Rays had a 0.0% chance of making the playoffs, and now it says they have a 0.1% chance.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Hmm...I didn't make a post yesterday, but I don't feel guilty about that. 

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Ok, my roommate wants to sell his computer for $250, and I may take him up on that offer.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Friday, August 26, 2011

Jeez, am I actually going to restart the "make one blog post per day" habit?  It seems I must, since I'm back in New York.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

When I returned to New York, around 3 A.M., a bunch of Verizon workers were tented out next door in the street.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Here is some old H.D.S. footage of a conversation about Tucker Max.


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Here is "War of the Worlds," starring a young Clapton Von Hendrix III in his American debut.



Monday, August 22, 2011

Whenever I sign into Facebook now I'll type facebook.com/{insert random letters}.

That way, I'm taken to a blank page that simply says "The page you requested was not found", and I'm not inundated with other people's wall updates.  (Because, once you see one person's update, the compulsion is to scroll down and read ten more...)

By the way, did you know that typing http://www.facebook.com/dkdkdkdkd takes you to the page of Abdallah Chahine?

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Monday, August 15, 2011

I'm watching an episode of Silent Library featuring Jimmy Fallon.  How the fuck is Jimmy Fallon going to be able to keep silent?

Thursday, August 4, 2011

The great Joe DiMaggio began his 56-game hitting streak on May 15th, 1941.  The hitting streak ended on July 17th, when DiMaggio went 0-for-3 against Cleveland.   

From reading Moneyball, I learned that baseball scouts nowadays prize a hitter's on-base-percentage, of which walks is an important component. 

In the 4th inning of that game, DiMaggio received a walk.  So how many games in a row did DiMaggio actually reach base?  And should not reaching base in consecutive games be considered a portentous record as well? 

I don't know the answer to either of those questions, and I'm not particularly interested in looking the first one up.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Most hotel rooms (and some hostels) in London provide free coffee packets and electric water heaters in the room, so when I woke up I figured, "What the hell.  Free coffee."  I don't normally drink coffee.
About half-an-hour later I felt the urge to gag my throat, and so walked over to the toilet, gagged myself, and felt the bit of regurgitated matter that, maybe once a month, spontaneously leaps up my throat into my mouth--and which, more often than not, I swallow back down.  It's not an entirely unpleasant experience.  But this turned out to be a different matter.    

Four cycles in total, once I finished.

And afterwards I could smell the stench of stale coffee on my breath.  My sense of smell isn't usually keen, and to be struck by a scent is kind of rare. 

And afterwards I wondered to myself, "Is that why creative people--by which I mean, creative people as I imagine them--like to drink coffee, and smoke cigartettes?  And why they always write about characters with the smell of coffee and cigarettes on their breath.  Because the scent is so strong?" 

Water has no scent.  You could drink water while doing anything. 
But if you're surrounded by the stench of coffee and cigarettes, then...

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Listen, Jason Islas, I'm going to write this so even a simpleton can understand it.

I know what it's like when you're stalking someone online, and you're like, "Why hasn't this person updated their blog? When is this person going to update their blog?  How am I supposed to gain insight into this person if they don't update their blog?"

We've all been there.

But I'm on holiday, and I didn't bring my laptop with me. Which means the only chances I have for updating my blog are when I'm borrowing my friend's laptop (which could often mean my friend is waiting to get his laptop back), or when I'm sitting in an internet cafe paying 2 euros to stare at the screen, or sitting in a hostel surrounded by Eastern Europeans who A.) Are idiots and B.) Don't even bother to speak English, which makes them sound doubly stupid.

So at the time I wrote "Sometimes I don't give a shit about updating my blog", I was sitting in a new city, surrounded by French people, and thought "Screw it, I'd rather just walk around."

Monday, July 11, 2011

I'm at the computer right now, so I may as well keep up the habit for another day.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

I feel like my "update every day" regimen may have outlived its usefulness.  I can still write every day in my notebook, as a way to maintain the habit.  But there are days when I just don't give a shit about updating my blog.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Friday, July 8, 2011

I'm really tired, but I must follow the way of the hero and go out drinking right now.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

It appears to be 0:48 here in Dublin, and I just woke up from a __? hour nap.  I can only assume that, by posting now, I'm keeping my streak alive.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

I noticed an odd change in Facebook recently, but I'm not sure I should share it.  Besides, I'm not 100% sure the change actually happened.  I'm mostly sure, though.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

This is the short film "Jimmy is Gay", which won top prize at the prestigious Sundanse Film Festival.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Here's an old commercial for the Heroic Destiny Squad, featuring Cloud Starchaser.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Here's "The Davidson Report," starring Justin Massler, some chick and a pineapple. 


Thursday, June 30, 2011

Actually, the book I requested a week ago still hasn't arrived at my branch.  (Its status is: IN TRANSIT +1 HOLD.)  So that's approaching one week.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

I should be avoiding Rite-aid.

Aisles are too narrow.  Cashiers always have pained expression on their faces.  Makes me feel bad.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

I got an e-mail from the library around 10:00 P.M. saying the two books I requested Wednesday evening had arrived.

On Thursday evening I'd asked another librarian to transfer a different book to my branch, and that one has yet to arrive.

So it looks on average to take five days for a book to arrive at my library.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Maybe I should switch my daily habit to something more useful.  Like flossing.

No one finds it weird if your resolution is to floss every day.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

I wonder what will happen if the day arrives when I forget to blog?  Since I can't give up my current streak, will I, nonetheless, feel the need to start a new streak, and either equal or surpass my previous one?  Probably.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Friday, June 24, 2011

It may be time to change the name of this blog, or at least my handle.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The camera operator mentioned he felt sorry for the girl who'd just left, and the guy sitting next to me asked why.

"Well, we had the blonde girl in here for about 10 minutes, and that girl just came in and we had her do one take.  And you can certainly hear what was going on from the waiting room."

I'd perceived the same thing too, but as someone who was supposed to be helping make the decision, I didn't feel right bringing up the point.  Besides, the blonde girl was much better.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Monday, June 20, 2011

I'm no expert on basketball statistics, but when your +/- for a game is -24, and it leads your team by a significant margin, that seems to indicate you're the most worthless player on the team.  

Shortly after Game 6 somebody in some forum quoted a FiveThirtyEight tweet that said: 
For the series, Heat were outscored by 36 with LeBron on the floor. But they outscored Dallas by 22 with him on the bench.  

It wasn't an obscure statistic to find, but it's as though a statistic is somehow more authoritative when it comes from that guy's blog.  Maybe it's because people know he won't just cite random statistics?   

Over in Shake Shack, the episode of Sportscenter on TV compared Lebron James and Dirk Nowitzki's crunch time performances for the series.  James's point total was 0, Nowitzki's was rather high, and a couple kids behind me had a chuckle at that.  I was watching too, of course.


---------------------------------------------------


I still haven't described what Nate Silver wrote that really annoyed me.  I wrote a draft of it, however, in checking some of his subsequent posts, noticed he sort of acknowledged everything I was going to say.  Then I asked myself, "If I had read this at the time, would I still have written my draft?"  I still think everything in my draft holds true--and expect Nate Silver not to change his mindset in the future--but the question is, would I have felt compelled to write it?  Probably not.  So I'll file it away in my drafts folder for later.  

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Now feels like a good time to take stock of the blog.

Counting today, I will have blogged every day of June.
My current streak started on March 1st, so today marks the 111th consecutive day of my current streak.

To date in 2011, I've blogged 167 out of 170 days, for a completion percentage of 98.2%
Going back to the modern-day genesis of this blog (December 10th), I've blogged 187 of 192 days, for a completion percentage of 97.4%

Saturday, June 18, 2011

YES!  I'm declaring victory over Conan O'Brien!  His show on June 14th wasn't a rerun, which means he was back on the west coat by then.

My streak is now longer than yours, pal, and you'll have to try damned hard to regain that edge.   

You can quibble it was only a 15-minute delay, but when I'm talking about you on my blog, you're playing by my rules.  And my rules state that the daily blogging and/or tweeting window closes at midnight.  

Thursday, June 16, 2011

It doesn't take a lot of courage to blog about crossword puzzles, but it does take courage to do so intelligently.  (I've made a couple tries before.)

There's a crossword blogger named Rex Parker who solves the New York Times puzzle, and he usually places quite high in the official NYT crossword tournament.  When I consumed crosswords regularly, his blog was my resort whenever I couldn't solve a particular section.  He gives a summary of the puzzle, goes into his own solving experience, and describes what clues he thought were good, or what clues he thought were bad.  And he always makes sure to embed at least one YouTube video, because who doesn't love watching YouTube videos over their morning coffee?

In one Sunday puzzle from several months back, the clue for an across fill was: "Homeric hero."

It took me about 30 seconds to solve.

It's six letters.

ACHILLES? No.
ODYSSEUS? No.
DUFFMAN? No. 
AJAX? No.
AENEAS?  Yes.

For anyone who's not sure, the definition of "Homeric" on m-w.com is:




1
: of, relating to, or characteristic of the Greek poet Homer, his age, or his writings
2
: of epic proportions : heroic <Homeric feats>

There are two definitions of the word.  Neither of those definitions is obscure.  They're both quite common--especially for anyone who went to college and had to wade through a "Great Books" program.

So to solve the clue you need an epic hero from Homer, or a different epic hero who enjoys performing epic feats.  Aeneas was a Trojan soldier who briefly appears in the latter part of Homer's Iliad, and later Virgil composed the Aeneid with Aeneas as the central protagonist.

I thought this was an excellent clue.  "Epic hero" would have been terribly vague.  And since Aeneas, in fact, appeared briefly in the Iliad, the mental association is a dead giveaway he's the correct answer.  So it was an ingenious thing the crossword designer did, phrasing it that way.

Rex Parker blew a fucking gasket over this clue.

He wrote:
19A: Homeric hero (AENEAS) — I'm calling massive bull$#!* on this one. It is true that AENEAS is in Homer's "Iliad," but calling him a "Homeric hero" is kind of nonsense. He's pretty damned minor, compared to the (many) other "heroes" in that poem. Why the *&$! do you clue AENEAS via Homer and not Virgil?—Virgil named his damned epic after the guy, for pete's sake. Boo. Cheap. Bad. Etc.

It's true that Aeneas is a minor character.  In terms of importance to the Iliad, he'd be like that soldier who holds Frodo and Sam hostage in the second Lord of the Rings movie, and whose name I don't remember.

The problem, of course, is that Rex Parker doesn't know the definition of some words.  And, upon finding himself at a disagreement with a word, he goes on a tirade without bothering to look up the word in a dictionary.

"Homeric" does not imply ___ was in Homer.
Yes, Aeneas was in the Iliad, but that's just a bonus association.
"Homeric hero" simply means an epic hero.  It could be used to describe Beowulf just as easily.
Aeneas is an epic hero, and he's also associated with Homer.

Rex Parker has a lot of people who comment on his blog, and I was waiting for somebody to point out how plainly wrong Rex was about the clue.  This is what the people had to say:


Matthew G. said...
The only thing I enjoyed about this puzzle was looking forward to Rex skewering it, and I'm glad to see he hated everything I did about it.
Big ditto on hating AENEAS -- refused to accept it initially because I thought it had to be a trap given "Homeric" in the clue -- AARON, MCLI.
10:46 AM


twins4reading said...
Definitely didn't feel the anger of some of the solvers but agree with Rex's ANGST about AENEAS. I also couldn't fathom how WADEIN could be described as "energetically". Other than that I thought the puzzle was fun---2 Melville themed clues!
11:01 AM

archaeoprof said...

I agree with Rex about both AENEAS and NANCI Griffith
11:25 AM

George NYC said...
This is one of those days where I rejoice at the exist  ence of this blog. This puzzle just pissed me off until I finally asked myself, "Why are you doing this?" So nice to have Rex et al as a reality check.

Homeric hero = Aeneas is at best misleading, at worse, just plain wrong. If the Aeneid had never been written, maybe it would pass. But as Rex says, Aeneas is a minor character (compared to others) in Homer's The Iliad. It's like cluing the Mona Lisa as "painting that once hung in the Metropolitan Museum of Art."
2:43 PM

You fucking retards.  You solve the New York Times Sunday crossword puzzle, which means you probably read the New York Times Sunday edition.  And you obviously spend time on the internet--perhaps on the parts that enlighten people, and you clearly participate in blog discussions.  Isn't that a stereotype of modern-day literati?  And not one person recognized that "Homeric" was, in fact, used correctly?

Here are their respective blog profiles:

George NYC:  Industry: Publishing  Occupation: Writer, Editor
Archaeoprof:  Industry: Education  Occupation: Professor
Matthew G:  Nothing about his occupation
Twins4reading:  No profile, but he blogs about publishing; appears to be an avid reader

That definitely sounds like people who are aspiring to be part of the educated class.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

A while back I saw an interview with some guy who was trying to dismiss the "SI Cover Jinx."  I seem to recall he was an employee of Sports Illustrated.

One of his arguments was: "Lebron James has been on the cover ___ times, and I'd say his career has turned out pretty well."  

This could've been either before or after the Finals against the Spurs, by my connection is..."Not necessarily." 

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

So far Lebron James has compiled a not-very impressive record in Finals games.  This got me thinking about a simple SAT-style question.

Let's say Derrick Rose compiled a 7-8 record in Finals games.  Would this mean he was in:

A.  2 series, and won once
B.  2 series, and lost twice
C.  3 series, and won once
D.  3 series, and lost once

What, you don't like SAT-style questions?  Fuck off.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Now that the Heat have been vanquished, I can stop caring about sports storylines for a while.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Only 24 hours, 36 minutes left to make two separate blog posts.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Most of my roommates in New York have implied that they follow recycling habits.  As a result I've become self-conscious about my own trash, and have been saving anything made out of paper, plastic, glass or aluminum--and by "saving", I mean tossing these products beside my desk, under my bed, or piling them onto my shelves.

Yet by worrying what others would think about me, I've neglected my own environment.  If "eco-friendly" means not harming one's own environment, and I consider my environment to be where I live, then I've made a big mistake.

My immediate environment--my bedroom--is populated with empty cans, bottles, and old newspapers.  I've yet to toss them away, because I've yet to develop an efficient system. Granted, in the long term that could be an altruistic goal, but in the short-term my behavior demonstrates a startling lack of concern for my own surrounding environment.  By not throwing away my containers and newspapers into the general trash, I've been the opposite of eco-conscious.

This is terrible.  Immediately after posting this update, I'm going to toss all my trash into a large bag.

Friday, June 10, 2011

According to my upstairs neighbor, all the mailboxes in our building's lobby have "dummy" names on them, and the current names were only put on to fit quickly with some sort of compliance.

But nobody in my apartment actually gets mail delivered to our building--at least, not any personal mail.  The bills get delivered to our door, but all our personal mail gets delivered elsewhere, so the three of us have no real stake in amending the mailbox situation.  And I feel a bit awkward whenever my neighbor brings the topic up, saying we need to put more pressure on the landlord, and I mentally shrug it off a minute later.  

Thursday, June 9, 2011

There seems to be a certain margin, in any sport, that if a team is up by that amount, they're bound to lose.  It's inexplicable, and it's probably not the least bit true.  But it feels that way.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

I may have unjustly disparaged the M50 bus when I wrote about its poor performance earlier: http://jeremymassler.blogspot.com/2011/05/m50-cross-town-bus-runs-on-my-street.html

There are a couple different buses that I see travelling down 50th and 49th streets on a regular basis.  Some of them are clearly charter buses, and some are MTA buses with a "FERRY" sign on the front.  One such "Ferry" bus was fully adorned with an advertisement for "Stomp," while others look pretty much like normal buses, and it was doubtlessly this type of "Ferry" bus I saw on the heels of the regular M50 bus.

So my expectations of the MTA bus system have risen from "quite low" to just "selectively low."  I know for certain the M35 bus once experienced a "lap" when I got off at Ward's Island (after having waited 20 minutes too long at the normal departure point), looked back behind and saw the trailing M35 bus sitting 50 yards away.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

In the battle between making a good blog post and drinking at a bar, bar wins.

Monday, June 6, 2011

I was browsing on Facebook, when I noticed my friends counter dropped by one, from 212 to 211. (Of whom, two are fake profiles, and once is a deceased dog.)  Maybe it was in response to something I'd posted.  Maybe it was a sore Red Sox fan? Maybe it was just a coincidence.

But who?  Who was it?

It wasn't any of my family members.  It wasn't any of my co-workers.  It wasn't that person...or that person...or her...or her...or him...

After five minutes of review, I got a hunch (about my 5th hunch) and typed in the name of a girl I knew from freshman year in college.  She goes to UChicago, and I had filtered out her posts a while ago because 90% of them were about food.  If she was the girl who unfriended me, it would be like opening the penny suitcase on Deal or No Deal.

I typed in the first three letters of her name, and saw her profile pop up third from the top (beneath Minute Maid and Slim Jim). Since I'm not friends with Minute Maid or Slim Jim, I knew already it was her.  Her wall and info were mostly private, but we still shared six mutual friends.  

So that solves one drop.  But I could've sworn my friends list dropped a couple weeks ago too, perhaps during finals time?  I hadn't been able to resolve the mystery then.

I doubt it was any of the people from my theater semester...Most of them are aspiring actors.  No aspiring actor would ever unfriend someone on Facebook.
Unless...
One girl recently swapped her theater ambitions for more selfless ambitions.  I typed in her name and sure enough she appears to have left Facebook.

So that solves another of my drops.

There's also one other guy at Stanford who I think deactivated his account around finals time:  A monstrous Italian who was regarded as my college rugby team's best player from the last five years.  He returned occasionally as a ringer, and I only friended him after getting man of the match honors in a game we'd both played.  Granted, the award is kind of subjective, but I can reflect on that and think, "For one day, I was the same caliber as that guy."

Now it'll be tougher to convince people I know that guy.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

I had a dream I was driving to a wedding with a friend, and we stopped at a pit stop in a mall somewhere in New England,  (I've driven through this same setting before--not in real life, but my dreams seem to have somewhat consistent geography.)  I took a nap in a back room, and after a while she knocked on the door and asked if I was ready to keep driving and I said sure.  After leaving the mall I realized, "Shit, I should have bought some dress clothes at Macy's."  The only clothes I had in my suitcase were informal, and wrinkled to boot.  But while we were stopping at a restaurant for some food, I saw a sign for a 24/7 tuxedo rental, which was supposedly located right next to the chapel.  I can't remember how the dream ended, but either way the problem was solved.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

The top post on Reddit is an observation about RPGs that Justin and I both made long ago.  Anyone who has played an RPG has made this observation.

But they (the original poster) expressed it in such a way that left me feeling instantly retarded.

And it took me a while to figure out why:
Whenever this thing occurred in RPGs, Justin and I had a different reaction than this poster did.  And for a while I forgot what my original reaction had been.  For a while I just thought, "Yep, I agree with this guy."

Friday, June 3, 2011

I was waiting the other day (May 31st) for Deadspin to write a post about Jo-Jo Reyes winning his first game since 2008.

After all, they'd written a post on May 26th about Reyes's very long winless streak.

I expected them to use some clichéd title like, "Our Long National Nightmare Is Over."  But when I checked back a few hours into the day, I noticed they had already used that title for a different post about mlb.com embedding videos.

Maybe they didn't write the post because they couldn't come up with another title.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

If you write "cliched", Blogger offers "clichéd" as an alternate word.

But this same approach doesn't work when trying to spell "resumé."   You can bring up the spell-check after typing "resumee", yet none of the alternate words have an accent over the e.  And "touché" isn't an alternate for "touche", either.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Merriam-Webster.com now allows visitors to leave comments for every word via their Facebook profiles.

When I noticed this, the first word I looked up was "retarded", because I wanted to see what retarded arguments the commenters would have for not using the word.

Here is the first commenter's retarded argument for not using the word.  I'll call her "Sarah H.":

Sarah H:
retarted is used as another word for stupid or dumb. When in truth it means use just don't learn the same way as others, or as fast. So please stop saying the word retarted for calling someone stupid or dumb. It doesn't just hurt people with developmental problems, it also hurts people who know someone like that or understand what how cruel it is, and how truly beautiful they are inside and out.So please just stop!

Sarah H:  Unable to spell a word despite looking it up in the dictionary.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

It would be nice if Amazon had an option to turn off star ratings.  Currently it's impossible to locate any book without spotting its corresponding star rating.  When you click on a book's link, its star rating sits below the author's name and above the price.  It's repeated again in the "Product Details" area, and once again in the "Customer Reviews" area.

YouTube has done away with star ratings, and I didn't notice their absence until I deliberately looked for them just now.  At the same time, YouTube doesn't show you a video's Like/Dislike ratio until you actually click on the video's link.  And even then, you need to scroll down a few notches to see the ratio, so you're allowed to watch the video with a comparatively clear mind.

Monday, May 30, 2011

There's a hotel near my apartment called the Skyline Hotel, which strikes me as an odd name, because the building is about as tall as a Motel 6.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Conan O'Brien isn't exactly my arch-rival, but he's getting closer.  Yesterday I read Dartmouth College is planning to give Conan an honorary degree.  This despite the fact I attended Dartmouth for one year longer than Conan ever did and *I* never received a honorary degree.  What bullshit.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Based on the suggestion of Jason Islas, I decided to re-allow comments on this blog.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Faced with the choice between the subway car slightly to my left and the car slightly to my right, I naturally chose the car where a couple attractive girls were sitting.  But it turns out they were dressed up in hawking gear for Onion Crunch, and they both looked incredibly glum.

There was a guy sitting to my right reading a Scott Pilgrim comic, and he seemed more interesting.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

I dislike when clicking on someone's e-mail link automatically causes your computer's e-mail program to open.  I've found this feature to be useful in 0% of all cases.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The M50 cross-town bus runs on my street, and for a minute I thought, "Maybe that would be useful if I ever needed to go cross-town for some reason."  I checked the schedule, and saw it comes around once every twenty minutes.  Of course, my tolerance for buses is proportionate to how closely it hews to its schedule.

Then, as I reached the end of the block, and watched the most recent M50 bus had off eastwards, I turned around...and immediately saw the next M50 bus pull up next to me.

Monday, May 23, 2011

While interning at the Boston Phoenix, I noticed ads in the newspaper giving the times and locations of gay and bisexual meet-up groups.

The ads had a drawing of a man dressed up in a 1950s-style suit, smoking a corncob pipe and with a thought bubble above his head showing a shirtless male body.  It struck me as a liberal person's idea of how a conservative man who's pretending on the outside that he isn't gay would look.  It didn't seem realistic--definitely more like a caricature.  The message seems to be: "Conservative men are hypocrites because, deep down, they're all secretly gay."  I realize that's not the (consciously) intended message.  But I wondered whether the ads had always been this way.

I checked some older issues of the Phoenix, and sure enough the "Are you gay or bisexual?" ads featured a different image.  It was a photograph of a man sitting and looking wistfully away.  The tone of the writing was different, too.  It described differently-themed meeting groups, including one group for men who thought they might be gay.  It didn't make assumptions about whether coming out as gay was an obvious question to resolve, or that it was the way of truth for conservatively-dressed people.

The older ads seemed more aware of reality.
The newer ads seemed more concerned with proving a point.

I bring this up, because there's a new Lady Gaga commercial for Google Chrome that shows clips of Gaga fans dancing in homemade YouTube videos.  One short clip shows a conservatively-dressed man dancing on his rooftop in a flamboyant fashion. The title of the clip is "On the Edge of Glory (on my roof!)" I took one look at him and thought, "He looks fake."

I became more convinced his video was fake after observing three things:
1.)  The username (dwnttwn90dj) links to a profile page whose videos have been removed.
2.)  The username joined YouTube May 16th, and the last visit date was 6 days ago (so May 17th?)  So the original video was removed long before the commercial which featured it was ever aired.
3.)  If you look closely at the clip, the guy's YouTube video is only three seconds long.  It's as if someone decided, "Let's get three seconds' worth of dancing and upload it."  Even if you filmed your own YouTube video as an audition piece for Lady Gaga's commercial, you'd damn well make sure it was longer than three seconds, so as to give the editors some leeway.

There is one other seemingly fake clip, titled "GAGA INSPIRED FASHION SHOW", with a full running length of four seconds. Most of the other clips in the commercial appear to have been made by legitimate fans:  People who either had their own YouTube channels beforehand, or who at least made minute-long audition clips so as to give the editors some leeway when making their cuts.

Granted, I'm assuming the usernames in the commercial are unaltered.  Would it really be that hard to photoshop them?  (Answer: No.)

But my impression is that the editors of the commercial felt it important to include at least one shot of a "conservatively-dressed" man dancing.  As well as one guy in eyeliner with a giant yellow flower.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Oftentimes these days I've got to remind myself:  "Bloody hell, Jeremy, you don't have to distract your mind from unpleasant school work.  School is done."

And further:  "Bloody hell, you don't have to distract your mind in anticipation of going into work.  Your current job doesn't suck."

It's a very ingrained pattern.  And that's what the internet used to be for.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

They say that success is the best revenge.

However, if you plotted to kill someone, then got away with the crime, that would qualify as a success.

Friday, May 20, 2011

I had a dream where I was standing in a parking garage, talking to a man in a suit.  We were both in the United Arab Emirates at the time, and I told him I had to go back to Jordan, because I'd been in a plane crash there, and all 50 survivors had been taken hostage. I was granted only a short period of freedom.

The man expressed his condolences.  I said, "Well, I knew flying over Jordan was a risk to begin with, because of the oil situation."  And the man asked me why I had to go back there and become a prisoner, since I was standing right now in the United Arab Emirates.  "That's a good question," I said.  "I don't know why I have to go back there.  In fact, I'm not even sure if I was a part of that plane crash to begin with."  I thought about it some more.  "In fact, I'm not sure there was even a plane crash reported in the news. Sometimes I just make things up like that, and I don't know whether they're real or not."  I thought about it some more.  "In fact, I don't even know if you're a real person I'm speaking to."  And I looked at the man, and it was like a moment in the Twilight Zone where you realize you've been dealing with a mannequin the whole time.  And suddenly the fabric of reality ripped open, and the man and the parking garage all zoomed away in a flash of light, as though it were all getting sucked into a black hole.  And I fell to the ground and felt blood dripping out of my nose.  As I lifted my hand to feel the blood, I thought for sure I was having some sort of seizure.  Then I woke up, and realized I'd been lying in bed the whole time.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

During downtime last Saturday, as the guys discussed the next match, it reminded me of all the similar passages in The Red Badge of Courage.  And I'm sure such discussions go on all across the world.
........
"Anyone know when our next match is?"
"I heard 6:00 o'clock."
"Really?  Where'd you hear that?"
"That's way too late."
"I heard it's going to be 40-minute halves."
"Are you serious?"
"That's ridiculous.  We won't get out of here until it's dark."
"Does anyone know where it's going to take place?"
"I heard it's going to be at Field 1."
"Oh, really?  Should we pack up?"
"No, let's just stay here, and move our equipment when we know for sure."
........
"It's going to rain."
"It's not going to rain. It is raining."
"Anyone have an extra garbage bag?"
"Just make a big pile with all the covered-up bags on top."

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

When I get bored, I read blogs.  And this is a bad habit.  

There's a certain style of writing prevalent in blogs that I just can't understand.  I'll call it the "I went to a college" style of writing.  
To illustrate my point, here is a passage from one of the comments on Scott Adams's blog.  Like my brother, Scott Adams was recently made the object of Gawker's derision, which explains why I'm paying attention to his situation.  Adams wrote a post about a value system for judging people.

The comment's passage reads:
@magilnor...
The only difference of opinion I have is that your post implies that our current macro society and its value systems are part of a natural course, inevitable cultural evolution so to speak. I beg to differ here...

Scott Adams is supposedly a smart guy.  The people who read his blog are supposedly smart.  But I read that sentence, and it makes absolutely no fucking sense at all to me.  It makes no sense because I can't understand the mindset of the person who wrote it.  I don't comprehend, on a gut level, how such a person as wrote that sentence exists.

Now, if I had to analyze it and answer a corresponding SAT question about that sentence, I could.  I can pretend, temporarily, to understand it.  But if my brainwaves can't align with, or mimic, those of the person who wrote the sentence, I don't bother trying to assimilate it.

--------------------

The other day I planned on writing a long blog post about American Apparel.

Gawker and its related sites (e.g. Jezebel) seem to dislike American Apparel.  I vaguely remember that American Apparel used to be cool.  But now it's uncool?  There must have been a shift somewhere, like how John McCain used to be really cool, but then he quickly became both uncool and sinister.  Both these events probably occurred around 2005.  I went through the Gawker archives, and found links to other posts and articles about American Apparel dating back to 2000.  

But I couldn't write anything, because I wasn't yet sure about anything.  The only thing I know for sure is that the models in the American Apparel ads are hot, and that by itself is not a newsworthy-enough post.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The other night Nick Swisher came up to bat with two runners on and a chance to give the Yankees the lead, and I thought, "It's a good thing I'm no longer relying on Nick Swisher to solve all my problems."

Then he struck out.

Monday, May 16, 2011

If I were less choosy about my posts, I could have posted something a long time ago.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

There was a small street fair one block from my apartment, but, it being a post-rugby and post-drinking Sunday, I slept in until late afternoon, by which point it had ended.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

A guy wearing black-rimmed glasses was reading a pamphlet with the words "Holy God" on the subway.  Clearly he'd been handed the pamphlet on the street, and was sharing the pamphlet's quirky wisdom with his friend, who was wearing a pinstripe shirt with "23" on the back.

As the subway made its stop, the friend noticed the street number:  "Wait, 42nd street?  Is this...?"

"We're going south," I said.

"We're on the wrong train," he said.  Then he added, "Thanks."

Friday, May 13, 2011

I've got to stop relying on Nick Swisher to solve all my problems.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

I woke up yesterday morning and was walking around my room in that early-morning daze when you're not sure what time it is and can't find your glasses or contact lenses.  I looked out into the courtyard, and saw somebody wearing a blue jacket sitting in one of the chairs.  This was a little irritating, since I wasn't wearing my underwear, and now I had to go find some underwear.

Only later did I figure out the person in a blue jacket was actually a reflection of the blue sky bouncing off the black surface of my windowsill.  That's the oldest trick in the sky's playbook, and I fell for it.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

For some reason, when choosing a gym, I decided I didn't want to walk through a separate section of a building to reach my workout.  This would disqualify gyms located in basements or on 15th floors.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

A recent New York Times Magazine cover story was called "A Beast In The Heart of Every Fighting Man."  Glancing at the cover, I assumed it was a profile of the warrior spirit, and what it takes to prove yourself as a soldier.  Because, in any combat sport, a 'beast' is someone who excels.    

Instead the story was about "American soldiers accused of killing innocent, unarmed civilians in Afghanistan."

What a misleading title.

Monday, May 9, 2011

I went to the Whole Foods located at Columbus Circle for the first time last week to buy a salad.

The express checkout section was divided into three lines, and each line had a marker: Blue, yellow, and green.  An overhead monitor was divided into blue, yellow, and green bars, and as the next register became available, one of the bars would light up, and a computerized voice would announce the register's number.  The order proceeded from left to right:  The person at the front of the blue line would go, followed by the person at the front of the yellow line, followed by the person at the front of the green line, and this repeated.

It took me a while to even notice the color-coded system.  I assumed people were just going in order and being sensible about it.  

An Asian girl, who looked to be in her early 20s, was standing in the yellow line, and after however many minutes she reached the front of her line.  Soon after, when the green line's turn came, she went to the register that had been announced.   The person from the green line met her at the register, and, I guess, told her to go back.  Then the blue line's turn came, and the girl again stepped out of line, went to the register, and the person from the correct line met her at the register.  By now most people in line had noticed what was going on.  Most of them found it funny, but I was getting pissed off, for a number of reasons.  

1.)  No one took the ten seconds to explain to her how the system works.  Someone could have said:  "Look up at the monitor.  Since you're in in the yellow line, you only go when the yellow bar lights up."  This was apparently too difficult.

2.)  While the girl was talking with the person from the blue line, the yellow line's register was announced.  The person standing at the front of the yellow line now had a choice to make:  Either he could wait for the Asian girl to return to the line, and tell her, "Your register is #18."

Or, he could take the available register, and completley ignore the Asian girl, who would subsequently return to her line and have to wait through another cycle.  In my opinion, this would constitute cutting in line, since the Asian girl had been waiting ahead of him.

He claimed the register and ignored the Asian girl.

3.)  When the girl's next turn finally came, the surrounding patrons all egged her on her way, but they did so with the supressed joy of rubberneckers, as though it made their day to see a girl fuck up in the Whole Foods checkout section.  There was an overweight man standing in the yellow line.  Once the girl had stepped out he said, to no one in particular, "There you go sweetie."

Then he added: "Sayonara."

He then turned to the woman next to him and, with a smirk on his face, started whispering "I hate...", and I didn't try to listen; and anyway I assumed the woman was his wife.  Then, when his number was called, he went to the register...and the woman stayed behind.  So apparently he was just sharing his displeasure of the Asian girl with a random stranger in line with him at Whole Foods.  I don't like to ask rhetorical questions in my blog, but seriously...who the fuck does that?

I wonder what his job is?

I imagine he's a full-time writer for Slate.com

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Today should be my last day without internet. Then I'll have no more roadblocks in the way of becoming the best blogger in the world.

Friday, May 6, 2011

According to my observations, if Osama bin Laden hadn't been killed on Sunday, then the cover story of this week's Village Voice would have been, "Guys Who Like Fat Chicks."

The world has truly been made a better place.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

I was walking along 57th street, and there were three or four production trucks lined up in a row, which isn't too unusual.  The back of one truck (which said  "Paramount" on the side) was open, and a plush Spider-Man doll was hanging from one of the shelves, at which point I realized, "Oh, I know what this is for."

Farther down the street were several more production vehicles, and at the corner the crew was lighting a shot for a body-double wearing a "Peter" nametag.  The entire production seemed fairly efficient, since no street traffic was being diverted.  And a couple minutes later Andrew Garfield showed up, with his Andrew Garfield-esque hair, and they filmed him walking up to the building, gazing upwards, and heading inside, much like a guy mentally preparing for a job interview.

(My guess was he was walking into the Daily Bugle building, but according to the IMDB page J. Jonah Jameson isn't cast in the movie.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

One after-effect from Kobe Bryant referring to Bennie Adams as a "fucking faggot" is that he's now guaranteed a spot on the Boston Phoenix's 2011 "Unsexiest Men" list.  Most likely in the Top 10.

I doubt that there's any way he'll be #1, considering a different black athlete--Tiger Woods--was #1 last year.  I think the Phoenix would want some racial variety for their #1 picks.  So I think two of the more-likely candidates this year for that spot are Donald Trump and Rex Ryan.  And, while Rex Ryan is certainly fat, I think it's more likely Trump would become the first two-time winner of the award.  But I don't know how the Phoenix feels about repeat winners.

Mark Zuckerberg will probably be in the top 25 too, but I'm not going to go wild with guesses of who they'll pick.

I mean, they once put Hugh Jackman on the list, and that's just...not only does it not make sense...but it's so flagrantly incorrect...it's like...there are six billion people on the planet, and I think only one person out of six billion would be weird enough to put Hugh Jackman on the list, and that person works at the Phoenix.  So it's not always easy to predict what they'll do.

There used to be a comment section under Hugh Jackman's entry, and it was seven pages of people calling the entry's author a retard.  And not just in a "I disagree with you" sense, but in a "You deserve to be living on the street" sense.

It's one of the few times I've felt reassurance by what random internet commenters have said.

I wrote earlier about seeing an entry from last year's list that made me want to smash the author's face with a sledgehammer. That wasn't the Hugh Jackman entry.  But I'll get to that soon.  This was kind of like a warm-up.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

I don't like making posts with my phone, since I can't bloody edit them afterwards.

This post has, in fact, been edited on a computer.

Monday, May 2, 2011

I find it interesting that, around 30th street, Broadway is a one-lane road.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Day 5 without internet.  I don't even feel like trying to make good blog entries until I get it back.  And I don't feel like making blog entries in a Starbucks or a Borders, either. 

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Aw, cool. The Grizzlies beat the Spurs last night. I just found this out.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Without the internet, I'm forced to read the newspaper like a sucker. It's kind of relaxing, actually.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

I guess people in this neighborhood aren't big fans of sharing their internet for free.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Whenever I'm walking down the street in the early dawn hour and I see a homeless guy sitting down, my first thought is, "Congrats, man--congrats on making it through the night!"

Monday, April 25, 2011

The XKCD guy just put up a comic in which he posits the "Falcon" part of "Millennium Falcon" doesn't make sense, due to etymology. 

I can tell the point he's trying to make, but he could've tried using better material.  I soon thought of a similar example that feels 10x better, from "The Lion King." 

(Incidentally, I made an earlier post in which I pointed out how the XKCD guy claimed to know "The Lion King" word-for-word, and in that very same comic he messed up one of the quotes.)

Late in the movie, Simba is talking to Rafiki, and Rafiki whacks him on the head with a stick.
Simba:  "Ow!  Jeez, what was that for?"
Rafiki:  "It doesn't matter.  It's in the past!"

Things like pop-culture references can be chalked up to coincidence.  Maybe when Pumbaa shouts, "They call me Mr. Pig!" that's just what he would shout normally.  Maybe when Zazu sings, "It's a small world after all," that's just an actual song popular in the grassland.  But how is Simba able to make a slangy reference to Jesus, considering he's a lion in Africa?  Does Jesus exist in the "Lion King" universe?  Was Jesus a human?  That's a reference to a historical figure, and not just a case of etymology--which is a step beyond the suspension-of-disbelief normally required when lions are speaking English.   

For the record, merriam-webster.com lists the origin of jeez as:  Euphemism for Jesus; first known use: 1923.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

I had a dream where Scarlett Johansson was dating one of my roommates, and as I was sleeping in bed she called and asked me to tell my roommate that she'd be arriving in five minutes.  My roommate was in the shower at the time, so this was no problem.

Then I remembered that a friend and I were interested in getting tickets to her new show on Broadway, so I texted her right back, something like:  "try gfew 6 ticlts for me n fridmd too show" and because I was really tired, and this was a dream, my text message was full of spelling errors and barely comprehensible.

Anyway, she came to the house, and I said 'Hi' to her.  And apparently she found my retardedly-worded message to be really funny and/or pathetic, and later in the car she posted it on her Facebook page as an example of how not to ask celebrities for favors.  And then some of our mutual friends starting sharing it, too.  I think she mentioned it in a radio interview as well.

So I went to one of these mutual friends and I told her to tell Scarlett that, if she kept this up, that I was planning to go all "Match Point" on her ass the next time she came to my house, which is a really clever thing to say in the middle of a dream.

(Note:  I do not actually have any ill will towards Scarlett Johansson in real life.  Besides, I wouldn't want Sean Penn to try and kick my ass.)

Saturday, April 23, 2011

I finally managed to fix my laptop, by using a pair of scissors and just hitting and cutting away at it.

Friday, April 22, 2011

My problem with paper notebooks is that I've got about 10 of them, and each is 1/10th full.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Uh-oh.  I'm too drunk right now to make a good blog post.  So I'll just make a bad blog post and blame it on drunkenness.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

I noticed the image from yesterday's post moves three times faster in Chrome than it did in Internet Explorer.

Explorer:  3.40 seconds per rotation.
Chrome: 1.02 seconds per rotation.

I can still get her to switch directions easily, but my water sprinkler analogy isn't as easy to imagine.  And the movie as a whole is less hypnotic.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

I stared at this movie for thirty minutes today.  It supposedly indicates whether you're using the right side or the left side of your brain, depending on whether you view the dancer moving in a clockwise or counter-clockwise direction. 

I immediately assumed she was moving in a _____ direction.
Then I tried to picture her moving in a _____ direction.
Then the test was to figure out how to make her switch directions whenever I wanted.  (My personal solution below.)





The movie is on a loop.

If you're familiar with lawn sprinklers, think of her entire motion as like one of those sprinklers that makes high, arcing shots in one direction, and then switches directions and makes rapid-fire, low-to-the-ground shots.

1. At the beginning of the loop, her swinging foot is at 9 o'clock moving clockwise. This is the rapid-fire, low-to-the-ground motion.

2. At 12 o'clock she jumps off with her left foot, and her right foot begins a long, arcing motion.

3. At 3 o'clock she is at the height of her jump. This is where the change occurs. Her right thigh, which should be passing in front of her left thigh (closer to the viewer), instead slips behind the left thigh (farther away from the viewer), and emerges from behind in a counter-clockwise direction. So it's like a satellite coming out from behind the far side of the moon.  The trick is to wait until the moment when the two thighs meld together, without any space between them.  Then imagine the switch occurring.

(Another way to consider this, in case the thighs aren't distinct enough: When the foot on her extended leg is at 4 o'clock, it immediately teleports up to 1 o'clock, and is now moving in a counter-clockwise direction.)

4. She continues to float slowly to the ground in a counter-clockwise motion, eventually hitting the ground at 9 o'clock. At this point, she immediately switches directions like a sprinkler, churning clockwise and low to the ground until 12 o'clock, at which point she jumps off again.

Monday, April 18, 2011

I'm pretty sure the clock on my computer desktop is accurate, but I'll find out right now whether it happens to be two minutes slow.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

The January issue of Vogue featured Natalie Portman on the cover, shortly before she announced her pregnancy, with the blurb: "Expect The Unexpected...Natalie Portman...The Good Girl Takes on Her Most Provocative Role Yet."

I wonder if that was a coincidence?

Saturday, April 16, 2011

One time Justin and I were sitting on the grass by our house, and one of the neighbor girls and her identical twin brothers came by, so we struck up a conversation with them.  They all looked to be around 5 or 6 years old.   

Justin looked at the girl and asked, "Which of your brothers do you like better?"

The girl paused for a moment and then pointed decidedly to one of the brothers.  We both cracked up.

Friday, April 15, 2011

A friend and I were walking towards the Atlantic Avenue subway terminal last night and saw Zach Galifianakis across the street.  I wonder if he lives in Brooklyn, or if he tends to walk around that station regularly at that time each night?  (Probably not, since he was filming a scene for his TV show, but you never know.)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Just because I'm short on time, that's no excuse to make a bad blog post.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

All my recent keychains have had "mystery keys"--keys whose purpose isn't known by either myself or the lease holder.  I even have an entire keychain lying in my suitcase, containing keys that--I'm pretty sure--went to my house in New Jersey; but the keychain contains six keys, which is more than the number of locks my house had.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Quiznos on 23rd street had a hand-written sign which read:  "Restroom for customer only.  No exception pls.  Public restroom cross the street."  Whoever wrote the sign had used the back of a weekly report for New York City, which showed the net profits for all 15 Quiznos stores in Manhattan.  The stores were also ranked.  The most profitable Quiznos was at W. 34th street.  The Quiznos where I had just eaten was ranked 12th out of 15, which only cemented my opinion that the sandwich I'd eaten was below average.

It also had a "Q-Way" rating of 74.0, which was by far the lowest of the group.  The other 14 restaurants all had "Q-Way" ratings in the 80s or 90s.

Monday, April 11, 2011

There are a handful of requirements for being considered, biologically speaking, alive.  And while I don't have my biology textbook with me, I think the number is seven. (I remember remarking a few years ago that on a given day I'd completed 4 of the 7 requirements, and that this was good enough to win the World Series.)

Suffice to say...Living things grow.  Living things consume.  Living things eliminate waste.  And living things respond to their environment.   

For example, if a room is cold, a living person will put on a sweater, turn up the heat, or start moving about in order to warm up.  This is normal behavior.  If there's a stimulus, you respond to it.  If there's a sudden bright light, you blink.  You can't help it.  That's what living things do.  And if you can sense that there are other people walking closely behind you--if you can hear their footsteps, or if you just use common sense, (since you're walking in New York City in the middle of the day)---then that's a stimulus.  You're supposed to respond.  If you are walking slowly in the middle of a narrow sidewalk, and there are people shuffling slowly behind you, either move decidedly over to one side of the sidewalk or else quicken your pace.

If you don't respond to the presence of people behind you, either you're retarded, of you are not techinally alive, and in either case you ought to be brushed aside like strands of beads suspended in a doorway.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

I was talking to Justin on the phone, and he wanted to know what the news articles had been saying about his case.  I told him the AP picked up the story, and most stories contained the sentence: "Massler, who gave his address as a volcano on Hawaii..."

Justin immediately got annoyed, since he'd told the police his hometown was Volcano, Hawaii, which is an actual town in Hawaii where he once stayed for a few weeks:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volcano,_Hawaii

Justin:  "It would be like if I was in Hell, Michigan, and decided, 'That's a cool name for a hometown.'  And then the newspapers all claimed, 'Justin Massler says he comes from Hell.'"

Saturday, April 9, 2011

I had a dream about a man who smelled like fish, and because he never left the apartment, all his roommates complained that the apartment smelled like fish.

Friday, April 8, 2011

There's a girl staying on the third floor of the Gem Hotel. Nearly every time I pass by the light in her room is on, and half of the time she's at the open window, often times looking down at the street. She has long dair hair, and once the window area seemed particularly smoky. There's a boy in the room too, and once as I walked towards the deli I thought I saw her in the window, and when I walked back it was the guy at the window frame--an irritating transformation. He seemed to be casting a suspicious eye at my sidewalk, and I made sure to avoid eye-contact with him.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

I had a dream where I was standing at a particular girl's science fair table. She had a tray with apple-flavored cookies, orange-flavored cookies, and lemon-flavored cookies, and she told me to pick one. So I ate a lemon-flavored cookie. It was supposed to alter my taste buds.

Then I ate an apple and it tasted like an orange. It had the same texture and juiciness, and after a while the girl told me not to get drool on the table. Then she handed me a lemon and I was hesitant, because who wants to bite into a lemon? But she insisted, so I bit into it and it had the same taste and texture of an apple.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

I walked one avenue to the ATM, withdrew $100, and walked back to the laundromat, and was relieved to see the glass on the door hadn't been cracked. 

I'd come in to pick up my laundry, which was about $13.  When I tried to use my debit card, the counter lady told me they had a $15 minimum for debit cards.  As it was early in the day, and my brother was scheduled to be in court sometime soon, I wasn't in the mood for this.  So, after taking a moment to silently register that she was serious, I strode out and swung open the door full-force until it hit whatever door-stop mechanism they had installed. 

The counter lady seemed unusually subdued when I got back.     
  

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Navigating through a slow-to-load website shouldn't feel like a goddamn game of labryrintspel.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Someone left a stack of magazines in the bathroom.  On top was an ESPN magazine.  Under that was a Maxim with Olivia Munn on the cover and the tagline "TV is sexy again."  Under that was copy of delight! magazine with Betty White on the cover. 

Is this someone's idea of a practical joke?

Saturday, April 2, 2011

The cover of this month's Esquire says: "Hard as it is to say, it's time to forgive Tiger Woods."  I wasn't mad at the guy in the first place.

Friday, April 1, 2011

A girl in the laundromat had a hand-written note with her, and was asking the attendant for access to the security cameras.  She said time was of the essence.  The note clearly had to do with a parking space, and began with the line "You are one selfish fuck!"  The rest was to the effect of: 'This is not New Jersey.  Spaces are extremely hard to secure around here.'  As I left, I tried to figure out whether the girl had written the note, or if she had discovered it on her vehicle.
 
All I could decide was that the line "You are one selfish fuck!" is more likely something a girl would think than a guy.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A rather famous singer was using our green screen Friday, and apparently at one point he was eating by himself at the conference table and I walked by and grabbed some food without even recognizing him.

The last time something similar happened it was with Peter Dinklage, and although he's not as big a celebrity, I recognized him almost immediately.  

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

I'll need to do some more research on Proposition 8 before writing my next post.  But here's the final paragraph from Nate's February 5th Super Bowl article:

Here, then, is a bet that you might be able to sucker one of your friends into, especially after a couple of pregame beers. Offer to bet him that the game won’t be especially close: one team will win by at least 7 points. He may think the bet is too good to be true, but you have a 60 percent chance of winning.

Final score:  Packers--31, Steelers--25.

That's petty, I know.  The Packers could have easily scored one more point.  I don't care.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Oh snap.  I think Nate Silver's methodology went 0-for-4 in predicting this past weekend's basketball games.  The new projected winner is Kentucky.    

Incidentally, I found his original bracket: http://ncaabracket.nytimes.com/2011/bracket/men/FEzi6i920VN

Also incidentally, Nate Silver wrote a fresh New York Times article this morning, but unfortunately I couldn't get past the first sentence without an intense feeling of rage overwhelming my core.  That sentence reads:

Somehow, my N.C.A.A. tournament bracket still ranks in the 76th percentile nationwide, a result which it owes to having performed very strongly in the first couple of rounds.

Oddly enough, Nate didn't link to his original New York Times bracket, which shows he's in the 33rd percentile.  Nor did he link to an ESPN bracket (http://games.espn.go.com/tcmen/en/), which shows, very clearly, any bracket's percentile--and which is also, I think, the largest bracket compiler in the country.  Instead, he linked to his "Yahoo Fantasy Sports" bracket, which conveniently doesn't list a bracket's current percentile, nor does it tell you how many brackets the system is tracking.  (The New York Times contest tracks about 35,000 brackets, while ESPN tracks about 6 million brackets.  No data could be found for Yahoo Fantasy Sports, because their navigation system is fucking terrible, but my guess is somewhere around 100,000 brackets.)

It took me a while to figure out why Nate linked to his "Yahoo Fantasy Sports" bracket, rather than his New York Times bracket.  After all, the Times is his employer, and both his blog and methodology article are located on the Times server.  It turns out his New York Times bracket has predicted 31-of-60 winners correctly, while his Yahoo bracket has predicted 38-of-60 winners correctly.  So clearly Nate Silver filled out multiple brackets and only linked to his most successful one.

Well, no shit.  If I had several different bingo cards, odds are one card would perform better than the others.  When you fill out multiple brackets, odds are one of them will not look pitiful.  Maybe Nate Silver will have some complicated reason for why his personal New York Times bracket isn't official, but his "Yahoo Fantasy Sports" bracket is.  But, truth be told, I don't feel like giving this C-3PO knockoff the benefit of the doubt.

Nate should try to have some integrity, like President Obama, who filled out his one NCAA bracket on national television.  As it happens, Obama, like Nate, didn't get any of his Final Four participants correct.  But Obama's bracket is still in the 94th percentile over at ESPN by dint of his having done well in the earlier rounds.  And that bracket is linked to on the front page for everyone to see.

Tomorrow I'll write more about how Nate Silver pissed me off in the first place.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

My team was trying to organize a B-side scrimmage at the Four Leafs tournament.  There were about 60 clubs in total, mainly from New York, Connecticut, and Massachusetts.  It was twenty-two degrees outside, next to the river, and very windy.

At one point I muttered "Fuck you planet Earth."

A teammate said, "Would you rather play in Jamaica?"

 "Jamaica the country or, uh, Jamaica, like, the city?"

"The country."

"I wouldn't mind that."

"Yeah, but it would be so hot we'd lose twenty pounds of sweat every time we played."

Eventually a match was scheduled with the team from Turks and Caicos--who, to my surprise, were actually scheduled in this tournament.  We predicted we would have the elemental advantage, because they were, in fact, coming from an island in the Caribbean.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

I wish there were a way to see Nate Silver's original NCAA bracket.  But the link to his bracket just shows a daily updated version, which now has Kansas as the most likely winner.  (Which is the third different pick, after Duke and Ohio State.)

Friday, March 25, 2011

A guy was playing as a one-man band on the ACE platform, and, it being midnight, I listened for quite a bit before my car came.  He mostly played drums, cymbals, and gimmicky sound effects.  

I bought one of his CDs for $5, saw by the artwork he was part of a two-man band, and later found out I couldn't stand any of his CD's songs for longer than three seconds.  There seemed to be no clear reason why his subway playing was decent but his CD was terrible.  (I mean, it was attributable to the synthetic humming which accompanied every song.  But there was no clear reason why they decided to add that sound.) Even worse, he has now ruined my proclivity to sample CDs from other subway music-makers.  

From now on I'm sticking with CDs from Peruvian flute bands.  They always bring the goods.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Some tenant had placed an old desk, a cabinet, a chair, and computer books onto the curb, along with several plastic bags full of trash.  A tall guy who looked like a skateboarder was quickly combing through them, and he already had a copy of Applied Cryptography nooked in his arm.

"That one is really good," he said, pointing to Operating System Concepts.
I picked it up.  "Really, you recommend it?"
"Yeah, I've got an older version of it myself."
I examined it and shrugged.  "Guess I'll take it."
"May as well, right?"  And then he bustled down the sidewalk. 

So now it's sitting here on my bed.  There are pictures of dinosaurs on the cover.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

I had a dream about a man who befriended a female bear outside of his home.  The man took the bear inside and showed her his living room.  The man's wife was coming home later, and the man wanted the bear's opinion on the furnishings.  The man had a magical remote which could change the style of the furniture and decor so that it borrowed from any culture imaginable.  He hit a button and the living room had an Iraqi theme.  He hit another button and the room was now decorated in an Indian fashion.

He asked the bear whether she was impressed.

The bear said that the man's taste was still terrible no matter what culture he borrowed from.

The man asked how this could be, given the vast variety?

The bear further explained that sampling from different cultures doesn't actually enhance your ability to pick well.  The bear then went back into the woods to tend to her cubs, and the man stood there defeated.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Dogs always look like they're on a mission.  And that mission is to smell things.

Monday, March 21, 2011

My life always seems so bland in comparison to the people in the iPhone tutorials.  They're always telling their friends about hiking trips or rafting trips that they went on with their other friends, or with little girls who may or may not be related to them. And they take lots of pictures to document their day.

And where was I on Saturday evening?  Lying drunk on a couch watching "Billy Madison."

I mean, I did some fun stuff before that point.  But I didn't take any pictures of it.

I probably should have bought some Trader Joe's Wine and had a cooking party or something.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The power cord accepter on my laptop is cracked and somewhat smashed-in.  It no longer accepts power, which is its primary job.  Now I've got to make weekend posts either via my phone or at the Apple store (which is where I currently am).  In theory, I could also schedule posts ahead of time, but I prefer to make one post each day, rather than setting up a long queue.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

I wonder if one of the larger subway hubs (e.g. the 14th street/8th ave. one) would be a good place for a Subway restaurant?  The challenge would be you can only serve people who have already passed through the turnstile, and who, after passing through the turnstile, decide they want a sandwich. 

You know, I don't usually say this about things I write, but that's a goddamn terrible idea.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Back on Valentine's Day I was walking along the Hudson River Greenway and found a couple sheets of folded notebook paper lying by the curb.  My first thought was: "Hilarious love letter found in the street!"  But instead it was a diary entry all about how the person detested herself.  That's not hilarious.  And it's not something I can quote, either.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

I was browsing some old XKCD comics, and in one the author (Randall) mentions that "The Lion King" is one of the movies he knows word-for-word.  However the only line quoted from "The Lion King" is misquoted.  It's the line: "But thick as you are, pay attention!"  Randall writes it: "But as THICK as you are, pay attention!" That line is part of the opening stanza of a song, so it's got a memorable rhythm.  The moment I read that, the error was ridiculously obvious.  (And I don't bother to boast about knowing certain movies word-for-word.)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

One of the 6-subway stops features large windows that look into the adjacent K-mart.  So you can watch people shopping while you wait, which is kind of cool.  I made up a song about the people inside, which goes like this:

I'm just shopping at K-Mart...
K-Mart is where I shop.
I'm just shopping at K-Mart...
K-Mart is where I shop.

And it's sung to the same tune as "Mellow Yellow."

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

A while ago:
I was riding on a bus at night.  The bus was mostly empty, and I thought, "Right now I don't need any company.  My reflection is sitting right here beside me in the window; he's all the company I need."  I leaned my head against the window so that our two heads met.
  
I looked across the aisle and noticed my reflection in the other window had no one to keep him company.  There were three of us, after all, and he was also leaning his head against the window, expecting someone to meet him there.

Monday, March 14, 2011

The lights at the Red Hook fields won't turn on until April, so for now all practices will be held in relative darkness.  Tuesday, during stretching, a cop car mosied alongside our circle and continued down the path. 

A guy remarked, "Little does he suspect, this entire rugby practice is just a cover for us to do drugs."

(Couldn't that philosophy apply to most people's entire lives?)

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Borges played with the idea that there existed a single word which encompassed all human knowledge.  I wonder if, likewise, there exists a single nap which encompasses all the naps of a lifetime?  I'm not talking about naps as, like, a metaphor for death.  I mean naps in the literal, non-metaphorical sense.  Thus whoever experiences this one nap will have their mind refreshed for their entire life. 

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Three guys I'd like to fight:

1.  Joseph Gordon-Levitt
2.  Urijah Faber
3.  Michael Cera

I think I'd have a good chance of winning two of those fights. 

Friday, March 11, 2011

I wish I could take 100 naps right now.  But I know I have to resist that temptation--no matter how tempting it is; there's work to be done, and only one man who can do it, and that man just happens to be me.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

I napped my way through parts of a training seminar today.  It felt like old times.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Sometimes I feel discouraged, thinking I will never become a true blogger of legend.  But since I only have to write once sentence per day, there's no reason *not* to continue on.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

At work I couldn't get the Flash to work for our lastofthebreed.tv website.  It required Flash 10.2, and Flash 10.2 wouldn't install itself on my computer because it was a "PowerPC."  Not knowing what "PowerPC" meant, I found a two-week old article titled: Adobe strikes back! Adobe Flash Player 10.2 doesn’t support PowerPc based Macs.  The author gave a pretty good recap, and ended with: 
"...the news should send shivers down the spines of all those Mac users still revving up their ole’ Emacs or whatever other kind of PowerPC based Mac they still happen to have lying around and depreciating in market value.
Update: This was all tongue in cheek folks, we realize this is everything but a big deal. Carry on."
You ass-munch.  I'm directly affected by this!

Monday, March 7, 2011

I had a dream of sitting in a large auditorium, and the lector had an image up on the projector screen:  It featured a red-haired girl whom I didn't recognize, a bunch of other random images (including an axe), and some numbers (488, 545), and the riddle for the audience was to try and figure out what phrase this giant image represented.

After a while I blurted out, "Is the answer: 'She's smoking hot'?"  This turned out to be the correct answer, because the numbers could be combined to form 451--which, as everyone knows, is the temperature at which books burn.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Boy do I hate Mo Rocca.  I mean, I just can't stand the guy!  Whether it's a "CBS Sunday Morning" segment, an episode of "Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!" or a 30-second Blackberry commercial, his presence always makes me want to change the channel.  He's the type of guy you might have accidentally listened to as a teenager, back when you were too young to realize that most of the people who have jobs in creative fields are just older versions of the people you went to high school with. 

One day during the Fall of 2008 I was riding an Amtrak train.  I picked up the copy of Arrive magazine and saw Mo Rocca on the cover, looking befuddled and perplexed while wrapped up in an American flag.  (Dammit.  Get out of here Mo Rocca.  Nobody likes your style!)  The cover story, which featured additional photos of Mo Rocca, was about crazy presidential campaign stories throughout American history.  This exact same theme had been done in Mental Floss magazine, not more than a month ago.  I began browsing the piece, and discovered that Mo Rocca and the Mental Floss writer had used the exact same source material to research their respective articles.  What luck!  What a coincidence!  Here was a case study to determine whether or not Mo Rocca, working with the same material, could fashion a better article than a no-name, non-celebrity writer at Mental Floss.

I read the article from start to finish. 

It turns out....Mo Rocca's article was fucking terrible!

It wasn't funny.  It wasn't informative.  It wasn't entertaining.  It wasn't intelligent.  It wasn't insightful.  It wasn't compassionate.  It wasn't mildly pleasant.  It wasn't the least bit inspiring.  It didn't accurately portray the human condition.  It didn't accurately portray the mind of a person doing hard research.  It didn't accurately portray the mind of a person trying to write a good article.  And it didn't accurately portray the mind of a person who gets offended when he reads lousy articles in Arrive magazine--because if Mo Rocca were such a person, he wouldn't have written this article.