As Woody Allen said, the heart wants what it wants. So, why are you here?
Monday, June 30, 2008
I don't know why this makes me so happy...
...but it does. Here's a guy named Matt who decided it would be fun to a really lame dance he does all across the world, a project he started after quitting his job and not really having anything to do. It's surprisingly watchable the whole way through.
Where the Hell is Matt? (2008) from Matthew Harding on Vimeo.
And, it does tricks!
Mightygodking is having fun with Photoshop:
Presenting: The Anti-GarnettThis is Tyson Gay, who ran the 100 meters in 9.68 seconds yesterday, besting the world record time posted by his rival, Usain Bolt, in a qualifying round earlier this year. Gay was also running in the race in which Bolt posted the record, finishing a distant (for world-class sprinters) second with 9.85 seconds, a lopsided loss that forced Gay to reinvent his running style in the past few months.
Making the day more interesting is that Gay's time won't be a world record, since the wind was blowing too hard from behind him for it to be allowable for world record consideration. All it all, quite an interesting day for Gay, who responded to questions about the race that left him the fastest man in the history of the world and yet not the world record holder by saying:
"It was okay."
Monday, June 23, 2008
TravelingI'll be traveling to South Houston all this week to film a youth mission trip, followed by at least one week of pure craziness at work, so I'll put the blog on official hold for a couple of weeks (as opposed to normal, where I just stop posting).
Bull Durham celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, and while watching it this week, I decided it's now officially stood the test of time as both a classic film and a fun baseball movie. While going to school in LA, I once made fun of Kevin Costner movies with some sort of Uwe Boll-type rhetoric, and one of the professors chastised me for it, pointing out that if you skip out on Costner movies, you never get to watch any good baseball movies. She was right: Bull Durham, Field of Dreams, For The Love of the Game... that, right there, is a career regardless of any sort of Waterworld/No Way Out/Robin Hood/The Postman/etc. nonsense.
For the record, The Hoax, the Clifford Irving movie about the fake Howard Hughes autobiography, is out on DVD and more than worth watching. It's great to see a collection of solid character actors get together and just tear it up - Alfred Molina, Stanley Tucci, Julie Delpy, plus a perfectly-cast Richard Gere. How often do I get to type that last part?
Friday, June 20, 2008
This post is about 97% for my mom, who likes to know these things.The apartment is finally completed, and pictures are up!
Let's start with a guide to my apartment area. I live in one of these:
Good start. On to the kitchen!
Wood floors, people. Wood floors. It's a whole different lifestyle. Now, the dining room:
Nice, nice. You'll note that I own a tablecloth, and that should count for something. This room also has a well-organized closet that the cat is a big fan of.
Once, while I was unpacking, the cat managed to get himself shut up in the closet for several hours, something I found out only after the cat started ramming his head into the door repeatedly. He didn't seem that unhappy about it. Okay, here's the bedroom:
As you can imagine, my bed is always that neatly made each morning. Here's the closet:
Y'know, this might be the moment to compare this place to my old apartment when I first moved in. Pretty much the same, right? Lets take a look at the living room.
And the flip view. The door leads out onto a patio and into my laundry room on the other side.
Well, there we go. I'll put up pictures of the whole apartment complex later, so you get an idea of the luxury I'm living in, in comparison with the old place. But it's been great to tour an apartment with one of those forms for writing down everything that's wrong, and only being able to come up with "the freezer smells a little funky." I've been humming "Movin' On Up" for weeks.
Thursday, June 19, 2008
Y'know, he probably DID.SCL found this and posted it, and as soon as I saw it, I knew I had to add it myself.
Click to enlarge:
Okay, several things here:
1. First, let's just point out that somebody has already gone through the trouble of watercoloring this picture, which one would assume would take considerable time.
2. We can probably safely assume that this is not real, but even so:
a. That's awesome.
b. Someone has apparently always imagined Jesus wearing a cape somewhat similar to Magneto's.
c. That dinosaur seems to be a cross somewhere between velociraptor and a hippopotamus, so Jesus seems to choose to both ride and crossbreed dinosaurs, which might be the answer to the question of how he spent his time between 12 and 30.
d. really, that's awesome.
e. if Jesus had rode this thing triumphantly into Jerusalem, the gospels would probably end a little differently.
3. And finally - somewhere out there, someone is making joke Christian coloring books for kids, and I totally need one. My birthday's in September, people.
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Champions!Final Score: Boston Celtics 131, Los Angeles Lakers 92.
And it wasn't even that close.
I have seen dozens and dozens of championships, in multitudes of different sports, on the professional, college, and high school level, and I have never, ever, EVER seen a happier team than this one.
How many times have you seen the Gatorade dump at a basketball game?
(the answer, by the way, is never)
How many times have you seen a seven-foot superstar so overcome that he gets down on his knees to kiss the parquet floor?
I've rooted pretty hard for some teams, and while I don't think any championship will mean as much to me as the 2004 World Series, this one came pretty close. Watching the team during the fourth quarter as they celebrated on the sidelines, even as their bench continued the domination on the court, and then seeing that bear hug between Pierce and Rivers as the final seconds ticked away, it all gave me goosebumps.
But it was seeing Garnett at the end as Michele TaFoya tried to interview him, unable to look up, unable to speak, too choked up to do anything that really got to me. Garnett has been in a zone all year, his head totally dedicated to this one goal that's eluded him the entirety of his storied career. And tonight, getting it, he looked like it was all worth it.
And then Pierce, holding that MVP trophy over his head, standing on a bench in the middle of the parquet and yelling at the crowd, too excited and proud to even notice the microphone ABC was trying desperately to hand up - that's when I got the lump in my throat. Pierce has been the face of the Celtics for 10 long, tough years, and we've always loved him for sticking with us. For years, the Pierce moment that defined his toughness was the day, two weeks after he got stabbed 11 times in the chest by a crazed fan, where he went out and played in the Boston's first exhibition game. That was when we knew we had someone special.
Bill Simmons has written a great piece about seeing the Celtics finally take home this championship, and of course it talks about this being the 17th championship for the Celtics. That's been the focus of all the articles written in the past 24 hours, but to me, it's not the 17th championship, it's the first. I've grown up with a Celtics franchise completely lost - I've followed them for 12 years with barely a hint of any kind of hope. I don't have a golden era to look back on; this is my golden era.
Almost exactly a year ago, after the 2007 lottery when our bad luck turned on us again and we only got the number five pick in a draft we'd specifically been losing to get Kevin Durant or Greg Oden, I wrote a post giving up on the Celtics. We'd just thrown an entire season on what proved to be the false hope of landing a superstar, and there was no light at the end of the tunnel. We were going into another season with a collection of young guys who'd combined to win 24 games the season before, plus one more raw, unpolished talent like Yi Jianlian in the mix. One more year of wasting Pierce's prime. I was done with the Celtics, I was done with waiting for someone in the front office to wake up and say "y'know, we're never going to compete with this bunch of kids." I've been a diehard NBA fan since I was in the sixth grade, and I'd seen teams rebuild their way into contention, and whatever it was we were doing, rebuilding wasn't it. I gave up.
And then, suddenly, the front office did wake up. We traded the #5 pick and pieces to Seattle for Ray Allen, then managed to send 7 different players to Minnesota for Kevin Garnett, and suddenly - we were a real team again. We had players who wanted to play hard, who wanted to win, who believed that they could. And for the first time in my life, I got to root for a team that I could actually believe in.
And for the first time in my life, I got to see them win it all.
And it feels good.
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Thursday, June 12, 2008
I shall now use the phrase "verbal canary" as often as possible.I've been reading the "Stuff Christians Like" blog since the author, Jon Acuff, started posting a few months back. I've avoided linking to it since the signal-to-noise ratio is a little high - he writes five or six posts a day, four of which can easily be skipped over, plus updating two other blogs at the same time. But today's post - #291, "Saying 'I Was Just Flipping Channels' When You Watch Something You Shouldn't," had a great bit:
Lean in close and I'll tell you a little secret. Sometimes, I used to throw out ideas just to see how you'd react. I would say something like, "Yeah, this guy I know went to that new night club and said it was crazy." Then, I would pause and get your reaction. If you responded by saying, "I hate night clubs and so does God," I would agree and say something like, "Amen, God wants to smite them. Probably use sulfur, if I had to guess." But if you said something like, "Let's go check it out," I would say, "Yeah, that sounds fun." It's kind of like how coal mines used to have a canary down in the shaft with them. If the bird died, something was wrong with the air quality. Well what I do is introduce a verbal canary. Then, if you kill it, I can still look holy and say something like, "yeah that bird sucked anyway."Here's the link if you want to take a look around. Personally, I recommend checking out these first:
- True Love Waits
- Confessing Things Around A Campfire
- Drinking Coffee In Church
- The 'First Time Visitors' Message
- Putting The Devil 'On Notice'
- Clapping our Hands (The Death of Rhythm)
- Not Knowing How to Hold Hands
Religulous TrailerBill Maher has made a documentary about religion. As you can tell from the clip below, 100% of those people who go to see this movie will already be in 100% agreement with Maher from the start, plus three pre-offended movie reviewers from Christianity Today.
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
I love these.I used to read all those Richard Lederer books when I was little, so I always love when something like this rolls along: Mental Floss put together some excellent newspaper mistypes and bad clip art choices. It's worth a quick gander.
Friday, June 06, 2008
I'm feeling grateful today.Remember, no matter how bad your job is, it will likely never be your job to be the guy designated to take the axe away from the madman when he attacks your copier.
Wednesday, June 04, 2008
Celtics Vs. LakersAs a Celtics fan, I've been pretty nervous all the way through these playoffs; if you've followed
these playoffs at all, you'll understand. Seven games against the Hawks, seven against the Cavs, six against the Pistons - if the Lakers series goes to six games, it will be the most playoff games played by any one team in the history of the NBA, that's not the path a championship team follows, that's a bizarro world version of Moses Malone's "fo', fo', fo'," and I don't like it.
Still, watching that last game of the Pistons series, I saw, one more time, the Celtics I fell in love with over the regular season - a team that destroyed their opponents with defensive rotation, star power, and sheer determination and force of will. A team I could believe could beat this Laker's team.
With all the talk of how strong the Lakers are and how quickly they're going to stomp on the Celtics, it's fair to point out that the Celtics match up very well against the Lakers. Look:
PG - Derek Fisher vs. Rajon Rondo
Fisher is steadier and more capable, but he's got no upside. Bryant's the playmaker and the man who stays in control of the rock, that's why Bryant's assist numbers are double Fisher's. Fisher's responsibility is to play second fiddle to Bryant and not mess things up - eleven points, three dimes, and a steal a game in the regular season, and his numbers have dropped even further in the playoffs (though his steals are up). He's a good man for the job he's got, but he's never going to step up more than he has.
Rondo might. No one's made more strides over the course of this season than Rondo, and he continues to move forward over the course of these playoffs - his assists are up one and a half per game, and he's hit as many three-pointers as he did over the course of the whole season. He's obviously much more of a wildcard than Fisher and might implode at an inopportune time, but on the flip side, he could also suddenly explode for 15 dimes, and his playmaking continues to take so many strides that his defenders are starting to give him that extra step - even established point guards like Billups. Fisher's no Chauncey Billups.
SG - Sasha Vujacic vs. Ray Allen
Vujacic is a long-range gunner with no other skills, Allen's a fading superstar with a little left in the tank. Vujacic gives the Lakers 8 points a game on 44 percent three-point shooting but can't be trusted to do anything else, Allen's will get twice as many points, twice as many rebounds, three times as many assists, and for once will not be a liability on the the defensive end as Vujacic is not suddenly gonna become a drive-and-dish slasher.
Slump or no slump, bad ankles or no bad ankles, Advantage: Celtics
SF - Kobe Bryant vs. Paul Pierce - It's closer than people think, but, not much closer, so yeah... it's a dumb question.
By the way, speaking of Kobe, he's launching his way into becoming one of the top-10 players of all time, but there's a caveat - as great as he is, he's always going to be that player who bitches and whines until he gets his way, even if his way isn't the best way.
Look at it like this: if you were to play a pickup game, two-on-two, you plus any player in history in their prime, with the punishment for losing being death, how high on that list would Kobe be? I'd pick Wilt and MJ first, but after that... I mean, I'd pick him over Bird. I'd pick him over Magic, the big O, West, Russell, Hakeem, Duncan, Shaq - I really think he'd be my third pick in that situation.
Now, let's say that you're building a team that will compete for several seasons, with two superstars, one that will be picked at random and one that you get to pick. You can pick any superstar from history. How far down is Kobe on that list. 10th? 20th? 30th? Further? You would take far less talented players just to avoid the possibility of everything blowing up in your face. Everyone would.
Just thought I'd settle that. Moving on...
PF - Lamar Odom vs. Kevin Garnett
Bad reputation aside, Odom's been strong, both this season and these playoffs. Shooting well, 15 points and 10 boards a game, he's a legitimate third option for the Lakers, a position that fits him much better than second option ever did. If he takes it up a level, it'll negate the effect Garnett has on this series, and likely swing the whole series in favor of the Lakers.
Garnett's still a mystery to me. The whole playoffs, he's been reluctant to establish himself as a force down low, relying on jump shots and high post moves. If he takes Odom to the rim consistently, this matchup is gonna be a lot more important than just the extra five points per game Garnett offers.
Center: Pau Gasol vs. Kendrick Perkins
The question isn't whether Gasol is better, or if it's even close, but just whether Perk can stand up to Gasol enough to handle him. These playoffs, Gasol has increased his rebounds and assists - he's now averaging an 18-9-4 with 2.5 blocks a game. That's domination down low there.
Perkins is a young guy, he's up and down like most young big men. He'll disappear in some games and come out strong in others. At least once this series Gasol will take him for 28 points and 16 rebounds, at least once in this series Perk will play him head to head. We'll lose Gasol's good game and win Perk's good one. And we better hope he's got more than one good one.
Bench - Lakers vs. Celtics
James Posey could legitimately start for any playoff team, and there's no one like that on the Laker bench. The Lakers have a talented point guard in Jordan Farmar and a strong big man in Vlad Radmanovic, and no one else of interest. The deeper you go into the benches, the more the Celtics have the advantage - between Sam Cassell and Eddie House, they've always got a backup PG option, plus an experienced big man in P.J. Brown. Plus, some good young big men in Leon Powe and Big Baby Davis that can pound away down low.
Coach - Phil Jackson vs. Doc Rivers
Heh. Heh heh. Ha ha ha ahaha hahahahahahaha! Ha ha ha!
Massive Advantage: Lakers
So, despite the large coaching gap, that doesn't look too bad, does it? That looks like a legitimate series right there, not some runaway train pounding a sad-sack newcomer? I say yes.
1. If the Celtics win the series and Pierce is named Series MVP, he becomes a lock for the Hall of Fame, something he wasn't before.
2. Whoever wins Game 1 wins the series.
3. Kobe has at least one game over 40 points.
4. Pierce has at least one game over 30 points.
5. Garnett destroys Odom by a painful degree in one game.
6. Same for Gasol with Perkins.
7. Anytime Ray Allen scores more than 20, the Celtics win.
8. Rondo has one game with more than 12 assists.
9. There will be hundreds of articles trumpeting the even-better-than-expected ratings for the series.
10. Garnett will have one point where he will go so ballistic even the announcers are scared.
11. Celtics in 6.
Tired of Playing "Spot the Meme"?If anyone wants to know all the references on Weezer's "Pork and Beans" video, news.com has posted a list with corresponding embedded videos, plus brief descriptions of the clips and how they got big. They missed one or two, but it's mostly pretty comprehensive. I hadn't seen a couple myself - the Afro Ninja, "Shoes," K-Fed's disaster, or anything Kicesie had done, so it was nice to finally figure those out.
If Christ returns tomorrow...... Most of you can probably expect an email from me.
That's right, crew, there's now a service run "By Christians, For Christians" that'll take care of your loved ones after you're swept up in glory by our Maker. For a mere $40 a year, a website will send out up to 62 emails exactly 6 days after the return of Christ to Earth - which, depending how you read Revelations, is the day all Christians will be taken to Heaven, leaving the unsaved to suffer through 7 years of Tribulation led by the AntiChrist.
The idea is a good-hearted one, I suppose - while you're gallivanting about Heaven, playing street hockey with Apostles, you still have a large contingent of friends and loved ones left behind. Don't you want to give them the most personal gift you can in that situation: a form-letter email sent by an now-unmanned server telling people "hey, looks like you guessed wrong."
The emails are triggered by a lack of attention - if three out of five Christian staffers scattered around the country fail to log in for six days in a row, the emails are sent out. Now before you click away with credit cards in hand, think about that for a second. What if, through a crazy storm of coincidences, three of the staffers don't log in for six days in a row? Let's say that one of the staffers goes on vacation in the mountains for a week, while two other employees quietly quit over bad blood between them and management? Six days go by, no log-ins, and boom! Suddenly, thousands of email boxes are flooded with "I'm in Heaven, wish you were here!" messages from cousins, squash partners, and cubicle mates the world over. In my mind, it seems that would cause a lot more hurt feelings than come-to-Jesus moments - I dunno if that's a risk worth taking, guys. Tread carefully.
To be safe, I think I'm just gonna have my email look something like this. One way or another, I'll get my point across.
"I Shall Believe" - The Music Video Premieres!Matt came by the other day and we finally finished a final cut on the music video. There's chunks I'm still not happy with, but it's a compromise between Matt and myself, and he's not always wrong. I just think the escalator bit is a little silly.
Tuesday, June 03, 2008
If you liked that...I figured that "Pork and Beans" might be a couple people's intro into the world of Weezer videos, so I thought I'd post a link. Weezer's worked with some of the world's best music video directors (Mark Romanek, Spike Jonze, etc.), but their best video is for "Buddy Holly," where Jonze digitally inserted them into an episode of "Happy Days." Check it out.
Monday, June 02, 2008
Congratulations......to George Brownridge, my new hero.
Have you seen this?Weezer - always famously awesome in the music video world - have outdone themselves. It's already being called "the Ultimate Geek Anthem." A lot of you out there don't watch music videos, but trust me: if you've ever watched a YouTube video, ever, you owe it to yourself to watch this video and catch all the cameos... Tay Zonday, Judson Laipply ("The Evolution of Dance"), the Numa Numa kid, the groundhog, Chris Crocker, Miss South Carolina, the Afro Ninja, Charlie the Unicorn... you'll love it.
We'll tear our own to shreds.Reviews of former Gawker editor Emily Gould's New York Times Magazine piece have been... I'll say "mixed" rather than "vitriolic," to be nice.
Naturally, when you have an online op-ed piece about people commenting online to blogs you write about yourself, the reactions that people have to a piece like this speak volumes. The whole basis of the piece boils down to Gould relating the story, in exacting detail, of how she opened her arms wide to the flood of audience response available in the blogosphere, and how it destroyed her. Gould's piece is as candid a bit of full disclosure as you'll ever find in the New York Times, she's astonishingly open about her need for attention and her desperation to find acceptance online.
The nature of the disclosure implies that Gould is, at least in some fashion, past all of this now, though that thought seems not to have occurred to the bloggers responding to the piece. When a writer says that while an editor for one of the most famous and wide-reaching blog sites in the world, she kept a personal blog that gave intimate details of an illicit relationship with coworker, assuming that no one would ever find it, you are given the freedom to respond to that in a number of acceptable ways. Some people might say "that's a grave mistake, but, y'know, I can see myself doing something similar in that situation," or they might say, "you have to doubt the intelligence and general aptitude at her job of someone who would make a mistake that boneheaded," or anywhere along those lines. We all read and respond to things differently.
The issue is that the pervasive response to this disclosure is the same response that most bloggers give in this situation - they don't view it as disclosure, they act as if they've just stumbled upon the information themselves through their own powers of digital investigation. The response is near-gleeful - "can you believe how stupid this girl is? Who would do something like that? I can't believe she thought no one would find out! How pathetic is she?"
But that's nonsense. No matter their exultation, these bloggers didn't exactly just make the digital equivalent of barging in on Eliot Spitzer with a prostitute here, they read a New York Times article. How you discover information should always make a difference - nobody discovered and leaked Gould's secrets here, we're not reading some sordid "TMZ" accusation of depression and poor judgment. She wrote a piece about how she dove into the viciousness of the internet blog world, and it ate her up. It's a confession. Nobody gets to play holier-than-thou here.
It's not surprising though. Couple this with the outrage at Buzz Bissinger, and you start to see that this is the tip of the iceberg in how the blog world defends its own. There've been millions of articles on the internet and free speech, and how allowing people to say what they think is an important part of our freedoms as citizens, and that's all true. But the blog world's belief goes deeper than that - it feels, basically, that the internet is a venue where you shouldn't have to called on whatever it is that you say.
In public conversation, we can't say certain things, but all that disappears once someone's behind the protection of an online alias and the knowledge that most of the people reading what you right don't know you from Adam. It's freeing, and it allows people to be a lot more honest. We need to accept that sometimes that isn't a good thing.
Pieces like Gould's highlight the problem with open communication like this - her life was about posting scathing pieces on the internet, occasionally opening parts of her life up a little to a ravenous audience. She lived and died with every response, between those who loved her and those who despised her. But ultimately, her readers didn't really know her, so when she made a few missteps, her email box became clogged with viciousness and degradation, and people would stop her on the street to tell her how much they despised her. Our response to that should be "it's terrible that people would turn so harshly against someone they've never met," but instead our response is "well, that's the price you pay."
That's really why the blog world is eating Gould alive right now. We defend to the death our right to be assholes, and she called us on it. We don't want to be called on it.
Well, maybe we should. Maybe the Megan Meier case is an anomaly, but I don't think it is. We're entering an age where virtually all of our contact with other people is, well, virtual, and people feel freer and freer to allow the internet to be not just the online version of ourselves, but a whole different person entirely. A person free from social niceties and emotional baggage, a person free to say whatever they want, however they want.
I'd just like to point out that those people aren't necessarily the people you actually want to be around.
Sunday, June 01, 2008
Sigh.Christian Group Angry at 'Slutty' Starbucks Logo.
Best quote from this would have to be, "they might as well call it 'Slutbucks'."