Monday, December 31, 2007

It's New Year's!!

Eve. It's New Year's Eve.

A Dating Tip

These are unattractive qualities: insecurity, desperation and emotional breakdowns. Try to downplay them when attempting to attract others.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Christmas with the Folks

So slightly personal but anecdote-relevant, I recently had a falling-out with most of my friends (fixed in part now, but there was a good month, extending past Christmas, where there was a dearth of friendship in my life. And I hate that).

So, my parents, with their wisdom that comes with age, mentioned a great new way for me to make friends: financial seminars in Raleigh. You know, learning about investing, 401(k)s, all that ... jazz.

I retorted that I would mostly be meeting middle-aged married couples and thirtysomething businesswomen who are late for their pilates class. They retorted that I was too narrow-minded. Both valid points.

They also had this Christmas party filled with middle-aged men and women I couldn't distinguish from one another, asking me about what I'm going to do now that I've graduated. It was like The Graduate without a hot older woman. I texted several friends that just in the hopes that someone would text me back, "One word: plastics." Thanks, Alicia! <3

OMG

My blog's kind of good. I bet it could be a thing. Like a fad thing. Like everyone goes around saying, "Oo, let's see what Brett blogged about today."

Go get people to do that. Go on. Go.

Brett in the Closet!!

Remember that game? Well it really wasn't a game, was it. It was more of a skit. (More of? It was a skit).

For the ignorant few, Brett in the Closet was a series of skits (well, two skits) written by Kenton deAngeli†. It was a bit of a parody of a sitcom, the Three's Company kind, wherein David Hardee Watkins was a struggling performance artist and Kit Fitzsimmons his wacky next-door neighbor, an accountant always throwing wild accountant parties, coming up with get rich quick schemes, and trying to get laid.

What made Brett in the Closet unique was that when David Hardee Watkins moved into his apartment, it came with an unusual feature: a Brett in the closet. Whenever David Hardee Watkins had the blues or a conundrum he needed to work out, he would seek out Brett's guidance, which was childlike yet sage.

Every episode (ALL TWO!!) ended with David Hardee Watkins going to bed and having late night talks with his Brett in his closet. It was very poignant and touching. The good kind.

Me taking my craft seriously and thus being a character actor (the only true kind of actor. !), I actually lived in David Hardee Watkins' closet. Well, tried to. Not that he wouldn't let me; he was practically JUMPING at the idea of me living in his closet (seriously jumping up and down, giggling, like really happy about the idea – he even lit some sparklers after I suggested it), but his closet was full and we were both so tired from all the jumping we didn't clean it out. Then we kept forgetting to, then whenever we'd talk about it again we'd get all worked up and then the jumping would happen, blah blah, same scenario.

Anyways, this brings me to my point. David Hardee Watkins has since moved out west, to live in some town somewhere that's not here. Manitoba, I think. That's beside the point. I still wanted to live in someone's closet. I still want to live in someone's closet. You know, for kids. I mean kicks. Not kids, kicks. Kids doesn't make sense in that context. It doesn't at all. >:(

Kevin Michael Clair, I know you'd be all about gettin' some Brett up in your closet, but sadly you live in ... Amish country? Somewhere far away and probably cold. Any other takers? Paul?? ::expectant look::

Does anyone even still read this thing?

†Kenton has since moved on to publish his own book, happily marry and move to Manitoba, I think.

Moose vs. Elk! And Other Games.

So I had this dream. This beautiful, glorious dream. There was a video game in it. A video game titled Moose vs. Elk.

You know the graphics from that "I want my MTV" Dire Straits commercial? These were the graphics. You played as a little smooth lego man. The game was basically "The Floor Is Lava" in the suburbs - jumping from house to car to tree to – you got it – mooses. Moose? Meese?

Anywho. The elk don't come into play until level three, but I never got that far. I think at some point they fight? Or you have to avoid the elk and only jump on the moose? I do not know. I did not get that far in the game.

Yet, a new game was born of it. Remember the friendship deck? Of cards? The friendship deck of cards? WELL, you take the cards and get a group of friends together and turn over the cards one by one. As such:

[Alicia]

Then everyone has to decide whether Alicia is a moose or an elk. You can make the odd people out drink. So a sample game:

[Kenton]

"Moose!"
"Um..., yeah, total Moose."
"Elk!! ... Oh goddamnit." ::drinks::

Then there's the sequel (same canon), Moose vs. Elk, but Sometimes Lamprey. This is a three-player game. Each player gets a card. Then the group decides which one is the moose, which is the elk, and which is the lamprey. Elk doesn't drink, moose drinks once, lamprey twice. For example:

[Helen]
[Paul]
[Liz]

"Well, Paul's clearly the moose."
"Really? I think he's more elk."
"Not more than Helen."
"Oh, good point. Yeah Paul's the moose then."
"And Liz is the lamprey."
"Well, obviously."

And people drink accordingly. Helen zero times, Paul once, Liz twice.

Then there's Obstacles. This is a video game with two levels (only two).

The first level is a birds eye view, Nintendo® quality graphics. Your character has to make his way from point A to point B without running into any obstacles. The level is a park. Just walk, sidestep if you come across a tree or a bench or a a bird fountain, and then continue. Each step comes with a small "beep" noise. If you hit an obstacle, you stagger back three steps, stunned. Then you may continue. This level is called "Literal Obstacles."

The second level is titled "Metaphorical Obstacles." The graphics are ... think Mary Worth. The obstacle (there's only one) is the glass ceiling. You are a woman with an entry-level position at a corporation. The goal is to work your way up to a management level position. Characters with artificial intelligence will talk to you. Your boss will sexually harass you. You will have three choices of dialogue. Your answers will determine whether you can overcome the glass ceiling of being a woman in the workplace.

We are still trying to think of a way to play Obstacles with the friendship deck.

What we have figured out how to play with the friendship deck is Strip-Frank. I shall teach you!

Take the friendship deck, and make sure you have plenty of friends around. Shuffle the deck up. Real nice. Shuffle it real nice and good. Then suspensively (not suspensefully – that's not a word) flip over each card, one by one. As such:

[Cameron]
[Daniel]
[Leilani]
[nickd]

etc., etc. ... until ...

[Frank]

At which point everyone yells, "FRAAANK!!" and takes off one article of clothing. Then continue ...

[Breniecia]
[Susie]
[Tyler Thomas]
[Cole]

etc., etc., until you have gone through the entire deck. If you want, I suppose you could re-shuffle and go through the deck again. But this is not necessary. Actually, it's frowned upon
in some circles. Most circles. Like so:

:(

Hey Everybody

Let's go DIY.

Who wants to DIY with me?

I do, fuck yeah. Let's go DIY the shit out of this place.

Cool. I'll hit that.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

At Least I'll Get the Joke

Turnaround, Every now and then I get a little bit lonely and you're never coming round
Turnaround, Every now and then I get a little bit tired of listening to the sound of my tears
Turnaround, Every now and then I get a little bit nervous that the best of all the years have gone by
Turnaround, Every now and then I get a little bit terrified and then I see the look in your eyes
Turnaround bright eyes, Every now and then I fall apart
Turnaround bright eyes, Every now and then I fall apart

Turnaround, Every now and then I get a little bit restless and I dream of something wild
Turnaround, Every now and then I get a little bit helpless and I'm lying like a child in your arms
Turnaround, Every now and then I get a little bit angry and I know I've got to get out and cry
Turnaround, Every now and then I get a little bit terrified but then I see the look in your eyes
Turnaround bright eyes, Every now and then I fall apart
Turnaround bright eyes, Every now and then I fall apart

And I need you now tonight
And I need you more than ever
And if you'll only hold me tight
We'll be holding on forever
And we'll only be making it right
Cause we'll never be wrong together
We can take it to the end of the line
Your love is like a shadow on me all of the time
I don't know what to do and I'm always in the dark
We're living in a powder keg and giving off sparks
I really need you tonight
Forever's gonna start tonight
Forever's gonna start tonight

Once upon a time I was falling in love
But now I'm only falling apart
There's nothing I can do
A total eclipse of the heart
Once upon a time there was light in my life
But now there's only love in the dark
Nothing I can say
A total eclipse of the heart

INSTRUMENTAL

Turnaround bright eyes
Turnaround bright eyes
Turnaround, Every now and then I know you'll never be the boy you always wanted to be
Turnaround, But every now and then I know you'll always be the only boy who wanted me the way that I am
Turnaround, Every now and then I know there's no one in the universe as magical and wondrous as you
Turnaround, Every now and then I know there's nothing any better and there's nothing I just wouldn't do
Turnaround bright eyes, Every now and then I fall apart
Turnaround bright eyes, Every now and then I fall apart

And I need you now tonight
And I need you more than ever
And if you'll only hold me tight
Well be holding on forever
And we'll only be making it right
Cause we'll never be wrong together
We can take it to the end of the line
Your love is like a shadow on me all of the time
I don't know what to do and I'm always in the dark
We're living in a powder keg and giving off sparks
I really need you tonight
Forever's gonna start tonight
Forever's gonna start tonight

Once upon a time I was falling in love
But now I'm only falling apart
Nothing I can do

A total eclipse of the heart
Once upon a time there was light in my life
But now there's only love in the dark
Nothing I can say
A total eclipse of the heart

Monday, December 3, 2007

Well There's No Sense in Denying a Good Drink its Glory

So I seem to have a knack for inventing yummy drinks. This one may be a harder sell, however.

In trying to find a happy medium of caffeine between an iced Americano and and iced tea, I tried an iced tea with a shot of coffee (not espresso). HOW UNORTHODOX!!

The result was actually pleasing. I added a little cream, and I rather like it. It tastes like an iced, subtly herbal tea. And I don't like herbal teas. The coffee desiccates the cloyingness from the typically overwhelming sweet iced Southern tea and replaces it with some earthy, aromatic notes. It's kind of like a chai, but less heavy.

Try one for yourself!

Title in progress.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

On That Note ...

Take that last post as indicative. Or appropriate.

There may not be as many posts in this blog for the upcoming few weeks. As the title indicates, friendship fuels the blog, and a recent friendship genocide is causing a friendship blog blackout.

So like me, just watch that ABBA video over, and over, and over ...

It really is haunting.

Hey? Who wants to watch Muriel's Wedding?

Friday, November 30, 2007

Knowing Me, Knowing You

This is a lazy update. A Lazy Ass update. But this song has been in my head. Haunting. Then I found the video amusing.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Hi Mom!

Hi Dad!!

Seems we have two new readers ...

Monday, October 29, 2007

Three Exchanges I Witnessed Recently, All of Which Made Me Laugh

1.

[A middle-aged woman and a young girl approach a man in the Harris Teeter parking lot]

Woman: Excuse me, but do you know of any good Mexican restaurants around here?
Man: Are you a Republican?
Woman: [defensively] Well! I don't see how that's relevant, but yes, I am.
Man: [inaudible] Republican [inaudible]! [walks away]
Woman: [laughs] Okay then. [looks pleased]

2.

[A middle-aged couple and a man with a thick Slavic accent sit at a table outside of Weaver Street]

Slavic Man: [to woman] You must try the pomegranate wine!
Woman: Oh no, I couldn't. I got sick off some pomegranate wine once.
Slavic Man: [forcefully] No! You are mistaken!
Woman: [taken aback] I'm not mistaken. It happened.
Slavic Man: What you had was not pomegranate wine!
Woman: It certainly was.
Slavic Man: Pomegranate wine would make no one sick!
Woman: Well I drank some and it made me sick.
Other Man: It's true, it did.

3.

[Two 20-ish girls sit next to each other on a couch at a small gathering]

Girl #1: I wish I had a purse that was just ... always full of pot.
Girl #2: That'd be my favorite purse.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Superpower Assignments (updated! ... some more!!)

All right everyone (and I do mean everyone), you've all been assigned superpowers.

Anyone can assign anyone else, including themselves, a superpower.
All superpowers are sovereign.
You can change the superpower you assigned someone else if you like.

RECIPIENT
  • POWER [ASSIGNER]

Aikta Wahi
  • Self-induced sleep [Brett]

Alex Henderson
  • Can travel back in time five seconds (five seconds to recharge) [Brett]
  • Powers of lightning (fury) [Alex]
  • Can make bread rise or resurrect fallen bread (one in every 1,000 attempts will misfire and give Brett an approximately 30 minute erection) [Cameron]
  • Can hover four inches above the ground [Megan]
  • Can generate shockwaves with ~5KJ of energy twice per day [Daniel]
  • May memorize one extra spell per day per caster level [Sean]

Alicia Gurley
  • Perfect balance [Brett]
  • Always has one cigarette left [Daniel]
  • Personal opinion determines critical reviews/general esteem of any pop culture medium (books, film, TV shows, etc.) [Megan]

Amanda Hurley
  • Has the only proper title to a djinn that will grant her seven wishes; the djinn is located in a lamp at the bottom of the sea in an unknown location; she is unable to give any indication to anyone that she is looking for something in the ocean [Brett]
  • Can replicate calico cats under 6 weeks of age [Daniel]
  • For one day per month, can make a person of her choice see themselves completely accurately & objectively [Megan]

Amy Olson
  • An incredibly extensive arsenal [Brett]

Anna B-R

  • Sex is always amazing [Brett]
  • Can summon a horned helmet and whale-bone javelin at will [Daniel]
  • War cry resounding for miles [Megan]

Anna DeWitt
  • Astigmatism [Brett]

Annie Blakeney-Glazer
  • Dances better than anyone else in the room [Brett]
  • Can dehyphenate surnames [Daniel]
  • Excellent intuition for midwifery [Megan]

Bobo Deng
  • When talking to people in person, knows what they least want her to [Brett]

Breniecia Reuben
  • Can pinpoint the location of any post-pubescent female within 50 miles [Brett]
  • Can make any marinade perfectly [Megan]
  • Can survive tornadoes, hurricanes and any other rotating meteorological phenomenon [Daniel]

Brent Williams

  • Excellent gaydar [Brett]

Brett A. Bumgarner
  • Social capital [Brett]
  • Anything made eventually turns out just as wanted [Kate]
  • Powers of amber (preservation) [Alex]
  • Knowledge of all components of all songs [Cameron]
  • Truly probing questions elicit honest answers [Megan]
  • Can carry on as many conversations at once as needed [Tim]
  • Can deliver messages via cats that paint [Jankers]
  • Can turn anything into psilocybin mushrooms when sober [Daniel]
  • Never encounters pot holes [Alicia]
  • Has visionary prescience of clothing about to enter his life [Jared]
  • Can wink at someone and control their mind for 10 minutes [Jen]
  • May throw urticating hairs at attackers if disturbed [Sean]

Brice McGowan
  • Can't get bored [Brett]

Cameron Hartofelis
  • Has no necessity for many bodily functions (eating, breathing, sleeping, drinking, sweating, burping, sneezing, coughing, vomiting, urinating, defecating, menstruating and ovulating) [Brett]
  • Perfect first impression of what someone is really like upon meeting them [Kate]
  • Powers of vegetation (entanglement) [Alex]
  • Queen of the cats [Cameron]
  • For one hour a week, can make anyone else see things from her perspective [Megan]
  • Can create artificial sunlight at any time of day or night for 30-35 seconds [Daniel]

Catherine Kronk
  • Can allow one animated character at a time to become real [Brett]
  • Always remembers to turn off the lights [Alex]

Chelsea Flowers

  • Can draw a perfect circle [Brett]
  • Can turn strawberry jam into raspberry jam [Megan]
  • Can sell anything to anyone for any price, given that the buyer is a crackhead and/or Batley from Eureka's Castle [Daniel]

Chris Erb
  • At the moment of most import in his life, a mysterious and wise old crone will approach him with an omen he would be wise to take heed of [Brett]
  • Can create and destroy Stalin doppelgangers when struck [Daniel]

Chris Lauderdale (Dr. Feathers)
  • Can guess anyone's astrological signs [Brett]

Cole Goins
  • Smells like what is most inviting to each individual [Brett]
  • Can surf the internet with 56k dialup speed on any computer connected to the internet [Daniel]

Colin Fleisher
  • Can bear children yet retain the same physical body [Brett]
  • Can see the past [Daniel]
  • Hates cockroaches [Megan]

Daniel Fleisher
  • Can communicate with the dead if in the place they were put to rest [Brett]
  • Has bat wings that attach under his arms and allow him to fly [Kate]
  • Powers of fog (occlusion) [Alex]
  • Can see in any light [Megan]
  • Can enthrall people with anything he's writing and it's meaning and intent is always lucid [Tim]
  • Can warm the heart of a recalcitrant child [Jankers]
  • Can make yogurt factories go under [Daniel]

Dave Moore
  • Skilled metalworker [Brett]

David Brown
  • Can like anything if he wants to [Brett]
  • Irresistible to kickdogs [Daniel]
  • Prescient knowledge of approaching people whenever in an embarrassing/compromising situation [Megan]

David Hardee Watkins
  • Wolf animagus [Brett]
  • Speaks every variation of British dialect immaculately [Alex]
  • Can make bats listen [Daniel]

Dustin Baugham
  • Is friends with Lea Thompson [Brett]

Emily McKendry-Smith
  • Levity [Brett]

Emily Morton
  • Once a year, can apprehend America's most wanted fugitive without experiencing serious harm [Brett]
  • Elicits fear in predators [Megan]

Emily Withers
  • Can grow and un-grow a mustache in any styling [Brett]
  • Can emit a warm and balmy glow from her hands [Megan]
  • Can understand all orbits (e.g. Kepler's laws) [Daniel]

Eric Foss
  • Rapport modulation [Brett]

Erin Watson
  • A small vole lives inside her abdomen which she can regurgitate and swallow back (neither unpleasant); it can do her bidding and report back to her; if it dies, she gets another [Brett]
  • Opposable toes [Megan]
  • When in the presence of solar-powered machines, can occasionally see through them [Daniel]

Esther
  • Expanding throat - can swallow eggs whole! [Brett]

Eugene Yacobson

  • Has knowledge of what all people honestly think about him, even if they don't know themselves [Brett]
  • Ultimate empathy [Megan]
  • Can inflict Delhibelly on invertebrates [Daniel]
  • Always comes when beckoned [Alex]

Forrest Oliphant
  • Controlled somnambulism [Brett]

Frank Gallaugher
  • Knows all institutional rules that apply in his spatial and temporal existence [Brett]
  • Will die with honor [Megan]
  • Has the power to make sense. Ever. [Daniel]

Garrett Davis
  • Loved by all children [Brett]

Heather Livengood
  • With her thoughts, can (1) kill people, and (2) resurrect and summon the dead directly to her (resurrections will be as they were a month before they died) [Brett]
  • Affinity for Jews [Daniel]

Helen Kearns
  • Can brew coffee that gives people extremely vivid and memorable dreams determined by how she brews and serves the coffee [Brett]
  • Sonar [Megan]
  • A green thumb [Alicia]
  • Can inflict mild myopia on Brett A. Bumgarner for several minutes once per day or when stressed [Daniel]

Hunter Simpson
  • Can assign truancy penalty immunity [Brett]

Isaac Sandlin
  • Hears envy [Brett]

Jacob McLean

  • A daily, novel, humorous anecdote [Brett]

Jadrian Miles
  • Musk [Brett]
  • Tusks [Daniel]

Jankers
  • Punctuality [Brett]
  • Eternally clean socks and underwear [Kate]
  • Infinite arithmetic abilities [Megan]
  • Can get to the logical root of any problem [Tim]
  • Can generate and restore light in literal and metaphorical senses [Daniel]

Jared Brothers
  • Two lives but no save point [Brett]
  • Can transport himself through stone [Jared]
  • Can switch back and forth between male and female genitalia at will [Megan]
  • Is stone [Daniel]

Jason Maxwell
  • Can pass as a statuesque, thirty-something female [Brett]
  • Can temporarily deactivate a single power of an acquaintance if angered [Daniel]
  • Can seduce 5 people of his choice in his lifetime [Megan]

Jen Choi

  • Birds pick up spare change for her [Brett]

Jen Toledo
  • Can live the life of a 17th century British sea captain when she so pleases [Brett]
  • Can use any musical instrument as a flying device [Jen]

Jenny Cigmalia
  • Origami takes on the properties of the folded animal [Brett]

Jesse Anderson

  • Propriety [Brett]
  • Lives in the Bog of Eternal Stench [Daniel]

Jonah Garson
  • 25% improved odds at games of chance [Brett]

Jonathan Page
  • Bird's-eye view [Brett]

Jordy
  • Has a safety place in the outskirts of southern Sydney he can teleport himself to (takes several minutes to manifest) [Brett]
  • Can make his hands look like anyone's hands [Megan]
  • Can regrow own teeth [Daniel]

Jose Boyer
  • Can control how sober he is [Brett]
  • Can grow roots 3-5 feet into soft earth [Daniel]
  • Can transmute kale into the same mass of any other type of food of his choosing [Megan]

Josh Dull
  • No scent or taste is too cloying, and is instead too peppery [Brett]
  • Satyr legs [Megan]
  • Public transportation runs on his time [Alicia]
  • Wings too small to actually carry him to the heavens [Daniel]

Kareen Boncales
  • Gets every joke [Brett]
  • Power to be known to Daniel Fleisher [Daniel]
  • Disarming [Megan]

Kareena Jasso

  • Can elude security guards with ease [Brett]

Kate Wheeler
  • Can remember everything, effective retroactively [Brett]
  • Powers of sunlight (restorative radiation) [Alex]
  • Shoes that always endure, always protect and are always perfectly worn in [Cameron]
  • Power over one ungulate at a time (can communicate with it and it will do her bidding) [Megan]
  • Can make any prescriptivism obsolete [Jankers]
  • Once per week, can view and store the entire genetic code for any species [Daniel]
  • May perform reverse osmosis as if it were regular, forward osmosis [Sean]

Katie Almirall
  • Can't be embarrassed [Brett]

Katie O'Neil
  • A large dowry [Brett]

Keith Hodson
  • Has a Pegasus [Brett]

Kenton deAngeli

  • Always gets to be the designated driver [Brett]
  • Can survive syphilis [Megan]
  • Can survive [Daniel]

Kevin Clark
  • Coldblooded [Brett]

Kevin Michael Clair

  • Can change anything’s color [Brett]
  • Can only immolate oneself in libraries all of whose books are composed entirely of blank pages [Daniel]
  • Control over all water (position, grouping [e.g. can condense all water out of the air, create tsunamis, etc.]). Basically the Magneto of water. [Megan]

Kevin Wood
  • Can always find closure [Brett]

Kristen Orr

  • "The Rachel" [Brett]

Kristen Pallotta
  • Can identify future stroke victims [Brett]
  • Everyday, can make any two books disappear forever (only that copy) [Daniel]
  • All clothes are flattering on her [Megan]

Larsy
  • Can make bubbles come out of her mouth that last up to a day [Brett]
  • Extra vagina on roof of mouth [Daniel]
  • Paws instead of feet [Megan]

Lauren Brenner
  • Divining rod [Brett]

Laurin Gioglio
  • Expert scrimshander with infinite whalebone supply [Brett]
  • Can detect all masons within 50 meters [Daniel]
  • Can communicate with the person on the exact opposite side of the world from her, if there is a person at that spot at the moment of attempted contact [Megan]

Leilani Trowell
  • Can temporarily relieve herself of all stress [Brett]
  • Can't fly [Daniel]
  • Can slightly change the appearance of one body part (of hers) at a time (when changing another, the first body part returns to original appearance) [Megan]

Libby
  • Dignified composure in times of grief [Brett]

Lillian Morris
  • Commands respect [Brett]

Liz Yockey
  • Can forget anything she wants to [Brett]
  • Can spit pure RNA [Daniel]
  • Can levitate all vegetables at will [Megan]

Llael Maffitt
  • Can survive intense cold [Brett]

Lockamy

  • Will always be generously tipped when working in the service industry [Brett]
  • Poisonous [Daniel]
  • Excellent at all Vaudevillian performances [Megan]

Matt March
  • Always knows the exact time [Brett]
  • Can be distinguished from Will Moore [Daniel]
  • Welcomes people with warmth and cheer [Megan]

Matt Thomas

  • Can summon rainbows [Brett]

Meg Lyon
  • On every new moon, experiences the life of an elderly invalid for a day, and shall return to her life without any actual time having passed [Brett]
  • The biting strength of a man [Daniel]
  • Can emit sparks [Megan]

Megan Somerday
  • One and only one established being of mythology must be in play at all times as summoned by Megan (e.g., a mermaid, Santa Claus, Yahweh or a vampire) — beings that exist only in the plural may be summoned as such [Brett]
  • Can end any argument/discussion with one irrefutable statement [Kate]
  • Powers of clouds (neutralization) [Alex]
  • Can immediately summon any one person (known personally to her) at any time [Tim]
  • Can evoke whimsy with a pointed look [Jankers]
  • Can speak and understand all human languages [Daniel]
  • Infinite disarming charisma [Megan]
  • Prescience of spills [Liz]
  • Can control electricity [Jen]
  • May measure position and momentum simultaneously [Sean]

Melanie Singer
  • Lays eggs – a random variety every time! (nothing with an exoskeleton) [Brett]

Michael Harwood
  • Can fit into smaller spaces than one would expect [Brett]

Michael O'Shea
  • Fortune cookies always come true [Brett]

Mike Lebov
  • Debonairness [Brett]

Montgomery Morris
  • Speaks Esperanto [Brett]

Nate
  • Appliqué [Brett]

Nebula Li

  • Stilts [Brett]

Nicole Bittner

  • Excellent instinct for the stock market [Brett]

nickd
  • Knows the extent of his abilities [Brett]
  • Banished from Chicago [Daniel]

Nick Snyder
  • Loves Gallagher [Brett]

Niky Ring
  • Alacrity [Brett]
  • Werewolf blood (detectable by sorcerers and clerics) [Daniel]
  • Reasonable knowledge of aquatic creatures [Megan]

Nureena Faruqi
  • Can make blood come out of any orifice [Brett]
  • Venomous fangs [Megan]
  • Bulldozer-proof (though I know she's not a Palestinian :D) [Daniel]

Owen Fitzgerald
  • Red-green colorblind [Brett]

Palmer
  • Can survive off mosses and lichen [Brett]

Parks
  • An uncommonly mordant wit [Brett]
  • Can pave flat areas at will [Daniel]
  • Glows in the dark [Megan]

Patrick Reynolds
  • Irrefutable evidence for all things he is wrongfully accused of [Brett]

Paul Smith

  • Wins every award he is nominated for (up to 25 nominees) [Brett]
  • Intimate knowledge of all buggery [Daniel]
  • Can survive in space with no protective gear [Megan]

Princess Ojiaku
  • Friends with Ghostwriter [Brett]
  • Can temporarily acquire the characteristics of another and a concomitant indicator of that person (think Kirby) [Megan]

Rayven Plaza
  • Can control how much physical pain she feels [Brett]

Reece McGowen
  • Every month, gets to pick a day where it goes as it would have, yet is only for practice [Brett]
  • Can swim and dive through the earth, as a dolphin can through water [Reece]

Robin Sinhababu

  • Speed-reading [Brett]

Ronnie Johnson
  • Can approach and pet herbivores without intimidating them [Brett]
  • Perfect navigational skills (perfect internal compass and map) [Megan]
  • Total immunity to contagion [Daniel]

Ros Schwartz
  • Frightens people [Brett]
  • Has 'It' [Megan]

Sarah Wilson

  • Can accurately assay her ability to seduce others [Brett]
  • Has the most pleasantly soft skin and hair of all time [Megan]
  • Metal fingertips (perfect for shredding! (on a guitar!)) [Daniel]

Seamus
  • Stealth [Brett]

Sean Hill

  • Revolutionary cellist virtuoso who will always be regarded as the cellist of most import should he choose to capitalize on his skill [Brett]
  • Can temporarily legally change name to Hean Sill [Daniel]
  • Uncommonly flexible [Megan]
  • Can jump any height as long as doing so is in response to an explicit challenge [Sean]

Stanton Kidd
  • Never gets nauseous [Brett]

Stefan Mlot
  • Can restrict people's bodily movements with his mind [Brett]

Steph Russ
  • Tastes like each person's favorite ice cream flavor [Brett]
  • Can smell fear [Megan]

Susannah Tysor
  • Immunity to headaches [Brett]
  • Sterility stare [Susannah]
  • Can make locking joints unlock if needed [Daniel]

Susie Simpson
  • Parseltongue [Brett]
  • Can shed skin all at once (think: snakes) [Daniel]
  • Vertical, transparent eyelids (never has to blink!) [Megan]

Tess Pendergast
  • Hibernates [Brett]

Tessa Lee
  • Can always find a safe ride when hitchhiking [Brett]
  • Can perceive all objects as if they were coated in Vaseline [Daniel]
  • An unquenchable thirst for knowledge [Megan]

Tim Stallmann
  • All things that belong to him will automatically be neat, clean and organized [Brett]
  • Has knowledge of interesting secret places nearby [Kate]
  • Can recast any situation in a positive light to himself and others [Megan]
  • Can convince anyone of anything about himself if speaking to him/her in person [Tim]
  • Can restore English longbowmen's fingers that have been cut off [Jankers]
  • Can fold space and time three times in his life and create a separate copy of himself that will live its own life, but he will know what it is doing [Daniel]

Tony Shaff
  • Can conjure craved foods [Brett]

Travis Smith
  • Excellent rhythm [Brett]

Tyler Boyd
  • Whatever he wears is automatically the most stylish [Brett]
  • Can jump slightly higher than he currently can [Daniel]
  • Can change minute details of already-recorded songs at his pleasure [Megan]

Tyler Thomas
  • Perfect knowledge of everything's location outside the Earth's atmosphere [Brett]
  • Color coordination [Alicia]
  • Knows the full life-story of every character in Harry Potter but doesn't care [Alex]
  • Platemail [Daniel]

Will Moore
  • Sings with a beautifully plaintive voice [Brett]

Zachariah Cox
  • A noble bloodline [Brett]

Zane Beckwith
  • Hospitality [Brett]
  • Can cartwheel for miles without stopping [Daniel]
  • Subtlety [Megan]

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Equivocating Bumper Stickers

Are you tired of hidebound, provocative bumper stickers? Well so are we. That's why we're introducing a new line of bumper stickers for those who don't have a strong opinion, or much of one at all. Among the catalogue are:
"I think it's difficult to pinpoint the exact point when a fetus becomes a child."

"You don't need to stop watching TV completely, but you should probably watch a little less."

"I think civil unions aren't a bad compromise for the time being."

"It would be nice to reap the benefits of stem cell research without encountering any ethical quandaries."

"Unitarian universalist."
Okay, that last one was just a cheap joke waiting to be made, but I really would like that stem cell one.

For the more adventurous (or equivocating) among you, feel free to submit your own!

A Joke: What is the best ring that there is?

The ring of the dinner bell.

Trimming the Fat off of English

In most usages, the following words are so blunt and insipid that they don't mean anything to me anymore. I think they should be used less frequently, unless used in meaningful and impactful new contexts.
Awkward
Quaint
Weird
Love
Quirky*
If I've overlooked any, let me know.

On a related note, read George Orwell's Politics and the English Language. It's not advocating what you might immediately think.

*I heard Adrian Brody's nose described as "quirky" once. I think that was an acceptable (and refreshing!) context.

How to Land that Crush

I've discovered the best way to land that crush you've been pining after. All you have to do is isolate them from all the people they like more than or as much as you. Then just make yourself present, and you'll stand out as #1!

Just try and make sure they don't meet new people.

Exploring Chinese Culture through "Survivor"

In the last episode of Survivor: China* one of the challenges was actually this: picking up fireballs with chopsticks and trying to light fireworks with them.

Next week, I hear they're going to lay railroad tracks.

The reward for the challenge was somewhat enlightening: the winning tribe spent a day with a Chinese fisherman and his family. Apparently Chinese fisherman have several trained water fowl that simultaneously catch the fish for them. The birds have rope lightly tied around their necks so they don't swallow the fish. After catching the fish, they then hop back up in the boat, and the fisherman just sticks his hand in the bird's mouth and it spits up the fish. Huh. Clever. And kind of gross.

*Yeah, yeah, I know I said I wouldn't watch it, shut the hell up.

Featured Cocktail: The Dutch Livingston

This cheeky little mixed drink is making a move. A move on the Chapel Hill / Carrboro scene! It's dry, aromatic and refreshing with a trace of tartness. It awakens the mind, enlivens the spirits, and enervates enemies!

How to make one:

1) Start with a gin & tonic (don't forget the lime!) ...
2) Add a healthy splash of grapefruit juice ...
3) And a hearty dash of bitters!

Who's drinking them:

Brett.
Cameron.
Chelsea.
Emily Morton.
Alicia.
That Sean guy I met at Fuse.
Helen!!

Where to get one:

Fuse
403 W Rosemary St
Chapel Hill, NC 27516
(919) 942-9242

The Spotted Dog
111 E Main St
Carrboro, NC 27510
(919) 933-1117

Ya Know, Bars
Chapel Hill / Carrboro
411

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

The Grad School Personal Statement

In my quest for insight on how to write a personal statement for my grad school applications, I came across this tip:
Don't Bore the Reader. Do Be Interesting.

The best way to grip your reader is to begin the essay with a captivating snapshot. Notice how the slightly jarring scene depicted in the "after" creates intrigue and keeps the reader's interest.

Before: I am a compilation of many years of experiences gained from overcoming the relentless struggles of life.


After: I was six years old, the eldest of six children in the Bronx, when my father was murdered.
Oh, okay, thanks for the advice, Geoffrey Cook. I'll try to use concrete examples of my father's murder, that pogrom I escaped, my expedition into space, or losing my legs in 'Nam.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

New Games with the Adventures in Friendship!™ Deck

So remember my suggestion to make a deck of index cards with the names of your entire social circle?

Everyday we're learning new uses for this deck: trading cards; sex, death or marry; gin rummy; war; tarot; 52 pick up†; etc.

Try to make your own!!

†Not anymore fun with this deck.



**Update: You can also play Friendship Charades, simply by pulling a card at random from the deck and then acting them out. The game gains in complexity as different players draw the same person, and must invent new ways to evoke them! Extra points earned for very very derogatory portrayals. - Alex

nickd

Daft Punk is playing at my existential crisis.

The last week has sounded uncannily like LCD Soundsystem's "All My Friends" on repeat. Music is supposed to be that great unspoken catalyst that opens us up to the feelings we need access to in order to feel happy, or at least to know what it is we *are* feeling. Then why is this the song I'm listening to? Do I find familiarity in the endlessly repeating piano note that reflects the monotonous grind of my life? Do I sense an uncomfortable inevitability in James Murphy's narrative point of view -- that I'm destined to, like him, become a 37-year-old looking back on his life regretting things and hoping to replace those things in the ever-dwindling future? Does the wistful melodrama of the song reflect my own yearning for something that probably doesn't exist, even when my knowledge of its nonexistence does nothing to mitigate the yearning?

But what about all of the things this song gets wrong? I mean, how stupid of a decision did he make, and how do we know it *wasn't* worth five years of life? You'd think that this disconnect between my own situation and that of the song would must-needs diminish the resonance the song is having with my life right now, but it's not. Those tired echoes with which the song dies, before its corpse is re-animated by the fun, but utterly verve-less "Us v Them", seem to me to signal a kind of all-too-God-damn-unavoidable termination not just of Life, but of all the things in it that make it worth Living. The people we know, the places we're able to go (apartments, road trips, concerts, sleep-overs, her couch, his favorite bar, the library when it's raining out), the books we want to read and then the ones we do, ideas we have and think about without ever telling anyone else, the jokes we can't get out of our heads weeks after we've heard them...these are the things -- the drums, the cymbals, the electric rush of guitar, James Murphy's voice, and that gloriously obnoxious piano -- that come together to make the entire song of our lives. Or at least my life. Maybe only parts of my life, the parts that are meaningful, that I remember, and that I look back on as the foundations of my identity. So if that's the case, then those resigned, undefined fuzzy blobs at the end...what do they mean? Is that the part where you're thrown off the train of life, and all you can make out is the blurry lights of the caboose as it goes around the last bend? I mean, is that when you *die* and that's it? Or, if you follow the structure of the album, is that where all the real meaning of your life goes on ahead without you, and you're stuck trying to construct something out of your memories of what was good? "Us v Them" is a great song, but it's merely a simulacrum of the heart of "All My Friends." Is that what we're destined to? Do we not get a choice, or is that the challenge of the whole thing, to figure out how to make that meaning last? By the six minute mark, the climax is in sight and every element of the song is in place, like the Tour de France, the Iditarod and the New York City Marathon all converging on one finish line, but they're not there yet. It is beautiful, but it is excruciatingly temporary.

Those runners, those instruments, that layering of sound that magically becomes a song -- those are the things in our lives we don't even notice at the time but realize at some point later on that they are what gives our lives meaning. They are Kleist's untestable, impermanent truth. But imagine, for a second, that, as fast as our lives go, and as hectic as this modern world is, we are able to fixate on one thing, one real thing that has real meaning for us. In the whirling tumble of the song's last 35 seconds, you've latched onto something that makes your skin prickle, lifts your hair from your hair like someone turned off the gravity, speeds up your heart and puts the rhythm of anxiety in your legs.

That...is that happiness? Is that meaning? That one thing, that one person, or place, or discrete process, is that the thing that gives your life meaning? And if it is, how much more terrible is Murphy's cry, "You forgot what you meant when you read what you said/ And you always knew you were tired"? He's seeing the future here, for him only a dozen or so seconds' worth, but for us that's the rest of the week, the rest of 2007, the rest of our lives. How can we ever be happy when the things that fill us with meaning are as transient as the soundwaves coming out of our headphones? Is it necessary, to save your sanity, that your last thought be, "over and over, 'Hey, I'm finally dead'"? Is it necessary, to save yourself from immeasurable pain, that your last action be a self-defensive reflex of forgetting, forgetting all of these things, all of your friends, until at last you've even forgotten whose friends they were to begin with? Are we destined to cry out alongside a confused Murphy, "Where are your friends tonight?/ Where are your friends tonight?" I don't want that destiny, but I don't see how to avoid it. I don't want all of the good things in my life to pass out of relevance. I don't want to face a stage in which I remember people's faces without remembering the gut-punch of how much they meant to me.

The five distorted snare hits that bring the song to silence might not indicate actual physical death, but they're the death of importance, the death of a single instant of personal truth, and like sea-sinking cannonballs tied to ropes that stretch back across the beach and into the mainland, when this truth is lost to us, it pulls with it the meaning it brought. So how come we don't all just kill ourselves now? Facing the horror of the ultimate meaninglessness of all the meaning in our lives, why do we go on? There's got to be a reason, because we do. And the thing is, the longer we go on, the more we encounter and accumulate, and the more we ultimately lose. Why?

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

A Snippet of Conversation Between Megan and Alex

Alex: Hey, how come you never hear about the religious left?

Megan: Because they're boring.

Monday, September 24, 2007

This is what happens when you forget to make yourself shut up:

I wrote this/these between two and three am this morning. Please enjoy responsibly:

____

I sure am alive. I wish I knew how I knew, though. There’s no way for me to actually prove to myself that I am. That whole thinking-therefore-being idea is bunk. Who’s to say that I’m not some recursive blip of data or information floating around in the ether of reality that has somehow managed to trick itself into interpreting itself as real, completely independent of the actual physical world? The answer to that is other people, I guess. Another person’s brain is the only proof that I exist. That doesn’t make sense, you’d say. I have to explain it to myself this way: everything I think might as well never have been thought at all, if I can’t expose it (or air it out, vent it, so to speak) to someone else and then have it returned to me with their fingerprints on it. This doesn’t mean proposing a business plan to a partner and then revising it to incorporate their suggestions. This means looking at someone’s face and knowing that I have a face. Telling a joke to my friend and hearing them laugh tells me what humor is, when paired with both my own laughter at my joke and my laughter at theirs. To contrast this, an example of something I might as well never have thought at all would be a joke I told myself, that I laugh at (or don’t). If I tell myself the joke, and then forget about it, and so it never influences anything else I ever do, then there is absolutely no point in having told it, which means that it was a wasted thought, which essentially means it was an empty thought, in that it is a period of time in my life during which nothing (might as well have) happened. A life of nothing but these empty stretches of time would be functionally and essentially indistinguishable from non-life. The only thing that fills these stretches of time with meaning is the way they influence further action towards the end of perfect mutual comprehension with someone (ideally, everyone) else. So, a lack of others to commune with voids one’s life entirely of meaning. That’s what I think.

But what do I mean when I say “meaning”? Very quickly, this question reduces to “What does it matter if I live my life entirely in a state of un-ending excruciating physical pain versus a life of uninterrupted blissful pleasure?” Basically, why does anything matter? We have to draw a baseline at the physical, but exclude the hedonistic. “Meaning” is drawn from the balance between the physically painful and the physically pleasurable, at its basest, but it can only really be understood once it is contextualized by thought. A person who I am attracted to can influence me to any number of feats that perpetuate our interactions without ever resulting in actual, physical pleasure (i.e., sexual satisfaction), but that doesn’t mean that all of the benefit I derive from our interactions doesn’t reduce to physical pleasure. If I find someone physically attractive, it absolutely shades everything I think about them. The significance I give to the time we spend together is measured in terms of good (being with them, thinking that I mean something to them, etc.) and bad (the opposite), but these terms, i.e. being with, meaning something, ultimately are built on the foundation of physical pleasure and pain. (We can expand the definition of pain to include the absence of pleasure when we are expecting it, which leans towards disappointment.) One question to ask is what hurts more, the presence of something painful or the absence of something pleasurable? At first the answer seems blatant, i.e. that a red-hot poker on your arm hurts far more than an absent pleasurable stimulation. But when you look at what these things “mean,” a contradictory answer arises. AT THIS POINT I GOT TOO TIRED TO KEEP WRITING.


THEN I COULDN'T GO TO SLEEP:

I always open up a blank document on my laptop when I feel like I am in the mood to have something particularly significant to say, but I never actually say anything. Mostly it’s when I am in a lonely mood, or am feeling restless. I mainly want to say, most of the time, that I am unsatisfied with my life as I perceive it at this exact moment, despite the fact that I am satisfied with it at almost every other point in the day/week/whatever. The reason for this is pretty simple. I want something I don’t have. What I want is something that may or may not exist: someone who makes me feel like I have something I don’t deserve while simultaneously making me feel like I have something I deserve. Another way to phrase this is: I want to feel as if I have managed to attract the attention of someone who, under ‘normal’ circumstances, would never deign to spend their attention on me, while at the same time never having to worry about losing their attention. This is the same thing as holding out for a super model girlfriend. So that’s what I invariably want to express whenever I open a new Word document, and instead I ramble and obfuscate my paltry whining with what I take to be fancy wordplay and philosophizing until I get tired enough to fall asleep.

So what does everyone else think? Is there something to this life, or is it chemical and nothing more? Does that feeling we sometimes get exist independently of ourselves, or is it only our perceptions of reality phrasing something too grand to comprehend in language we can interpret? Is there really something called love, or is it what happens when two people want to have sex with each other? Is there really something called love, or is that what we say when our brains want specific things that fall in specific categories? There are only two categories, though. Hard, physical, empirical truth; and subjective, un-testable noumena. The first category is only comprehensible to our minds through the language of mathematics; the second category is only comprehensible to us through the language of culture (so, the language we speak and write in, and all the images we instantly can interpret without having to process them). The first one is there whether we are or not. The second category only exists with human beings. So what does that mean? I means that, because love is not measurable with math, it doesn’t exist without us, which means it’s essentially a fabricated device to help facilitate interactions between humans, much like language is. So we, as humans, stand halfway between the two. Math came first, and we have to understand it. Love comes after, and we have to understand it. This is existential ramble #2 of tonight.


Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Is the World Flat?

You know, I don't know. Never thought about it.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Dreamy Babies, I'm dreamin' a dream of you...

Brett: woah i just remembered my dream
after bri's wedding
my parents started planning for my wedding, to hunter simpson
they thought we'd be a perfect couple because we were both captains
but he was a sea captain and i was an army captain
so their reasoning was fallacious
and me and hunter kept getting into captain fights
and we went out on his boat
but i was scared of the ocean
and he said i made a terrible captain
but i said i was a captain of the army
and we bickered some more
then at some point i realized my parents just set this wedding up and never asked me about my feelings toward hunter
and i told all my friends that they did this
and everyone said that was really creepy
and i said, "yeah! it is creepy that i'm marrying some guy I barely know just because we're both captains and that no one even asked me if i wanted to marry him
then i woke up

Monday, September 17, 2007

nickd

Now We Have Dreams!

Chat with Megan Somerday

Sep 17, 12:55 pm

12:55 PM Megan: I just dreamt that I went to this used bookstore that had a room for performances in the back
12:56 PM and Sarah had made a local name for herself singing covers of Nina Simone, so she was performing there that night
and everyone was there
to see her
and for the first performance, she had a guitar, but a surprise guest which was you
and you were playing drums and you did vocals for the first song
12:57 PM and it was "this charming man" by the smiths
and everyone was really excited and i was near kenton and frank and they were dancing a lot
except you couldn't really play drums
so you were clearly just pretending to in time to the song
12:58 PM oh, and jose was really excited about it too
12:59 PM literally everyone was there

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Drowning Out Sex

Sitting here in my room, I'm trying to figure out which songs I should blare to discomfit my roommates having sex the most.

I think the themes to M*A*S*H and Kids, Inc. both worked well.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Nancy Grace v. Elizabeth Smart



I've developed some fetish for Nancy Grace embarrassing herself.

TheThingsIWant

This site is not as user-friendly or crisply designed as I would like, but at least now I have a place to let my consumerism run rampant.

Fads! in Critical Theory

IN!: :D
Space

Dialogue
Identity
Heidegger
Liminal spaces
Kierkegaard

Public and private spheres
Chomsky
Ritual and performance
Cultural geography
Camus
Cultural industry
danah boyd
Northrop Frye
Gilles Deleuze
Pierre Lévy
Walter Benjamin
Marcuse
New musicology
Convergence
Engagement media

OUT!: =p
(Post-)post-modernism
Critical race theory
Deconstructionism
Orientalism
Objectification
Voyeurism
Comparative literature
Foucault
Luce Irigaray
Judith butler
Meta
Derrida
Post-humanism
Sartre
Zeitgeist
Heteronormative
Patriarchy
Baudrillard

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Social Preferences Betrayed by Facebook

I've recently taken to delineating people's social preferences with Facebook.

When invited to an event, I look at the invitation list and write down all of the people I know (luckily, Facebook puts these people at the top of all the lists). Then I view the mutual friends I share with the inviter and mark off everyone who was on the invitation list. From there you can see who wasn't invited to said event.

It sounds too obvious, that people wouldn't be careless enough to essentially make accessible whom they do and do not like, but sure enough, a recent event invite I received led me to a list of people someone clearly didn't want to invite somewhere. Sometimes it was informative, sometimes it was confirmative.

It's fun!! I even made a spreadsheet! ("X's Who's In and Who's Out List")

I've started making webs based on who invites whom to events when they're being discriminatory,
who writes on whose walls and with what frequency, who appears in photos with whom, etc. Well, started. Then I realized it was a massive task and abandoned all efforts to demarcate clique boundaries (which are fluid, anyway, and whose connections are non-binary) w/o some studied method.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

animation inspiration

So who wants to make an animated short with me?

Inspiration:

The Belittled

Trampdance! flyer, now with crowning touch.


A little contest: a prize to the first person who can find the detail I was laboring over for 4 hours today.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Superpowers!: The Movie

... or perhaps just fantasy book series, TV show, slash fiction, etc.

The set-up:

A group of friends gets together, has some drinks, and eventually start playing "Hey! Let's hypothetically assign our friends silly superpowers!" (like so). After a few powers are assigned, one friend yells out, "Wait, wait, I've got to write these down! These are great!" and pulls out a recently purchased notebook. Little do they know that the notebook is a magical, mysterious notebook, and anything written down in it comes true. After many superpowers are delegated, the group disperses, the notebook is closed and set aside, and then the magic slowly starts to eek out of the pages.

At first, the friends think there are just a few odd coincidences occurring. In one sure to be classic scene, Chelsea Flowers is absent-mindedly doodling in class when someone sitting behind her whispers in awe, "Wow, Chelsea, you can draw perfect circles." Suspenseful music sets in as Chelsea begins to wonder if maybe she does have those superpowers she and her friends were assigning ...

In a twist of fate that is both unfortunate for the friends and very fortunate for the plot, the notebook is accidentally destroyed in a freak, accidental superpower usage accident. It's not long before the friends are rushing to remember all of the superpowers they assigned and to warn all the recipients of them.

The friends are left with their powers (some more like curses), and set out to live their lives as such.
They never stoop to fighting crime or anything — they just live as any average person who just discovered he could will yogurt factories out of business would.

I am most excited about the slash.

Nancy Grace Crew Mutiny

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Nick Shepard!

nickd

Dream Boys!

A game that, due to its grade school giddiness, is catching other rather quickly.

First, make a list of all the boys you and the other players know. Next, disregarding sexual orientation and availability, pick out and order the boys by how likely you are to become involved with in some fashion. Then try picking out Dream Boys for your friends, too! Don't forget to sing the Dream Boys song† while you play!

My Dream Boys were Daniel Fleisher and David Hardee Watkins. Who are your Dream Boys?
__________________________________________________
†Dream Boys song: [To the tune of the Muppet Babies theme] Dream boys, we're dreaming a dream of you | Dream boys, here's hoping that dream comes true | Dream, dream, dream, dream | Boys, boys, boys, boys | Dream Boys! (Dreams can come true!)

Noah's (Plant) Ark

Here's a game I got from one Paul Smith.

Pick 19 people (you'll be number 20) and explain to them this scenario:

God has destroyed the world. You and 19 others have been selected to continue life on a new planet, perfectly suitable for life. The only problem is that all the plant life is completely useless to humans. Not a single plant can be tapped for a single human use. Each individual can select five Earth plants to bring with them to the new world (mushrooms count as plants here), and these selections must be made without any communication with the other survivors. Any overlap in plants doesn't bring any extra benefit — you still get the same number of those plants that you would have had only one person selected it, and you don't have the variety of plant life that you potentially could have had.

I suppose you could play with animals, too. I suppose ...

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Trampdance! Flyers

In the interest of self-promotion, I've drafted up a few flyers for our apartment (christened "Trampdance!"). Here are a few of my favorites:







You might reasonably ask what exactly it is that I'm advertising. Yes, that would be reasonable.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

nickd


Survivor: China Cast Announcement

I know, I know, I vowed that I was done with Survivor, and I stand by that, but I couldn't resist getting a peek at the recently released cast announcement. Here's a very brief overview of the cast — see if you can pick up on a few themes:
  1. Aaron: Surf instructor (read: actor)
  2. Amanda: Hiking instructor (read: model — former Ms. Montana)
  3. Ashley: Professional wrestler / (Playboy) model
  4. Chicken: Chicken farmer (salt of the earth, blue collar male)
  5. Courtney: Waitress (read: model)
  6. Dave: (Former) model
  7. Denise: Lunch lady (salt of the earth, blue collar female)
  8. Erik: Model / musician
  9. Frosti: Athlete / student (read: dancer — toured with Madonna)
  10. Jaime: Student (read: actor)
  11. James: Gravedigger (novelty job!)
  12. Jean-Robert: Pro poker player (novelty job!)
  13. Leslie: Christian radio show host (read: former model — Ms. North Carolina)
  14. Peih-Gee: Jeweler (read: dancer — in Madonna music videos)
  15. Sherea: Teacher (with modeling shots)
  16. Todd: (Gay) flight attendant (with modeling shots)
Huh. That's a lot of models, former models, and people who seem to want to model, and then when you throw in the actors and dancers, you get 12 out of 16 who work(ed) as a model/actor/dancer or are attempting to. Then two former Ms. States, and two Asian dancers for Madonna (o_O).

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Unabashed Moppetry

At the tender age of three, Cleopatra Stratan has become the hottest new star on the Romanian Toddler Pop charts. Check out her big single, "Ghiţă," from her album La vârsta de trei ani (Translation: At the Age of Three).

Saturday, August 18, 2007

"OK, you'll love this pitch: what if we had the same show — but they're *babies*?!"

I can't decide which show idea I like more: M*A*S*H Babies or Ally McBabies.

Friday, August 17, 2007

nickd

The Titular Post

Adventures in Friendship!™

I have created a game (title above) wherein you take index cards, write down the names of as many people as you know, and shuffle them. Next, get with some friends, and have everyone draw a card — that's the person you're hypothetically friends with! Fun inevitably ensues!

"Yay, I get to be friends with Larsy!!"

"Hahaha! Helen! That's hilarious!"

"You got Jose?! I'm so jealous!"

"Aw man, I got Alex again!"

Try it out for yourself!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Guess Who: This Time, It's Personal

A game for 2+ players.

Equipment Needed:
1 Pencil
A list of 20 mutual friends and acquaintances (number flexible).

Rules:
One player selects a person from the list and poses as that person. The other players take turns asking yes or no questions to try and determine the identity of the person. E.g., "Would I feel comfortable getting dinner alone with you?," "Do you have a good sense of style?," or "Do you affect indifference in order to seem cooler?" The guessers narrow down the list until they guess the identity of the player.

nickd



Friday, August 10, 2007

A(n Almost Entirely) True Story About Bed Sharing

When I first decided to share a room with Trevor, the idea seemed exciting. In our mutual interest of cheaper rent, Trevor agreed to be the fourth person squeezed into our modestly sized three-bedroom apartment. The immediate benefit was obvious — our already inexpensive Carrboro apartment had become inexpensive even by 1970’s standards, and since I was to be sharing a room with him, the bulk of the savings fell in my lap. A month’s rent would become about the price of 10 large pizzas.

“Of course, we’d have to share a bed,” Trevor said.

If people actually did spit-takes outside of tired comedy gags, I’d have done one. Trevor seemed to pick up on this.

“Well your room isn’t big enough for two beds,” he started, “and I’m not paying for bunk beds, and I doubt you are either. Besides, it’s only for a few months.”

He had a point. And, I had to admit, the idea of two unrelated and sexually uninvolved men sharing a bed piqued my interest in the name of novelty. The comedic jewel of this scenario was Trevor’s girlfriend, living 500 miles away in New York City. It would be a good conversation piece, I thought, an icebreaker. I could regale people with hilarious anecdotes about it at parties. It was exactly the kind of madcap sitcom frolic I was looking for in my life. Only how would we explain things to Mr. Roper?

“Alright,” I exclaimed. “Let’s do it!”

Our friends were unsurprisingly nonplussed. “Wait, this is insane, you can’t do this,” they would say. “What about his girlfriend?”

“Not a problem,” I would reply without hesitation. “She lives in New York. She’ll probably never even come down in the few months we share a room. And besides, she doesn’t mind.”

She really didn’t. In fact, Beth was veritably jubilant over the idea. “Aw, that would be so cute!” was her response to our proposal. “You just make sure to snuggle up close to Trevor on those cold nights.”

This didn’t satisfy my still aghast friends. “Well, what if you were going to have sex?” After a skeptical and hearty, “Ha!” from me, however, my friends nodded and acquiesced. “Okay, point taken.”

The newfound presence of Trevor in my room went relatively unnoticed. His spartan decorative style did little to disrupt my room’s meticulously designed layout, save the addition of a few extra sweaters in the closet. His droll and unassuming persona was at its worst unobjectionable, and at its best mildly pleasant. He was unable to be embarrassed — everything he needed to do in the bathroom he felt comfortable doing with the door wide open. (This was a quality I found strangely admirable at the time but would later come to regret.) Though Trevor would sometimes mild-manneredly mumble on about computer programming or the latest episode of This American Life, he typically remained silent. Trevor was, essentially, furniture. It was like having a nightstand with a dry wit. Sharing a bed wasn’t even odd. We could both sleep comfortably in our roomy, Queen size bed and someone could still park a motorbike between us.

A couple of months into our new living arrangement, I took a long weekend up in Indianapolis to attend an academic conference. I returned tired and cranky from all the 5:30AM mornings I’d just endured and determined to get a long night’s sleep in my own bed. It was to my not-so-pleasant surprise that I opened the door to my apartment to find Beth and Trevor sitting on the couch. All three of us immediately attempted to mask our horrified shock with enthusiasm.

“Hi, Beth!” I shouted, trying to bare all my teeth with my grin so that the next thing I said wouldn’t seem rude. “What are you doing here?”

Trevor spoke for her. “Welcome home!” he said in an unconvincingly chipper singsong tone. “Beth is in town visiting. You’re back early!”

“Nope, right on time!” My cheeks were starting to burn from the strain of my exaggerated smile. For a moment, we quietly looked up with quizzical expressions, all calculating the best strategy for getting dibs on the bed. I pounced first. “Well, I’m beat. Night!” I briskly strolled to our bedroom, flushed but smirking.

Sometime around 2:00AM, that imaginary motorbike had finally arrived at its parking spot, and it felt uncannily Beth-shaped. I dreamily pushed the Beth-shaped motorbike out of my mind and returned to saving my high school from a swarm of locusts and Lord Voldemort.

Come 7:30AM, the Beth-shaped motorbike had become increasingly difficult to ignore, as it had begun to emit girlish gasps and moans amidst a din of smacking lips. My eyes sprung open. “This is not happening,” I thought. “This is not happening.” It was happening. I hugged the wall as tightly as possible and squeezed my eyes shut, trying to drown out the noise by humming “Show Me the Way to Go Home” in my head.

A few minutes later, what had been difficult to ignore became impossible to ignore, as the rhythm of a bouncing bed joined the chorus of gasps, moans and smacking. My entire body was rolling with the undulations of the mattress, bobbing in time with their thrusting. Out of the corner of my eye I saw a leg askew.

Sure, I could have simply left to go sleep on the couch, but my stubborn pride wouldn’t let me. I felt entitled enough to the bed to lay there in silent protest.

Looking back, I wish I had thought of all the ingenious ideas my friends had come up with later. I wish I had sat up, turned around, and stared unflinchingly at them. I wish I had started jumping up and down, belting out show tunes. I wish I had feigned masturbating. Instead, I turned to the only tool I could think of: my mother. I grabbed my cell phone and, trying to steady my hand against the jerking of the bed, text messaged my mother that I loved her.

Somehow I thought that surely nobody could have sex next to someone communicating with his mother; to do so would be indecent. I was wrong. “Who are you texting?” Trevor calmly asked, mid-thrust.

“My mother!” I huffily replied.

“Oh, neat.” Trevor and Beth continued, unfazed.

Moments later, the situation climaxed with a call from my mother. “Hi Mom!”

Bounce, bounce, bounce.

“Nope, no reason.”

Bounce, bounce.

“Just wanted to say I loved you.”

Bounce.

“Okay, I’ll talk to you soon. Bye.”

The bouncing had stopped. I lay there, livid, yet simultaneously impressed with their unflappability.

Beth left the next day, only to return once more during the unusual living arrangement. This time it was directly on the heels of a camping trip she and Trevor were on that was cut short by a cold snap. Upon seeing them, I quickly resumed my phony enthusiasm. “Hi! Good to see you guys! You’re back early.”

“It’s freezing out there,” Trevor said, him and Beth both visibly shivering. “We couldn’t take it anymore. We just want a hot shower and a warm bed.” Both dashed off to the shower and a sly smile crept over my face as I came up with a clever ruse.

A few minutes later, a scream came from within the shower. Trevor popped his head out of the bathroom door. “Is the hot water heater broken?”

“Oh yeah,” I lied. I had turned the washing machine on and flushed the other toilet as soon as I heard the shower come on. “It’s been like that the last few days.”

“Nevermind this,” he said. “We’re going to a hotel.”

I smirked to myself as I walked back to my room and settled down for the night all alone in my roomy, Queen size bed.

The names have been changed to protect the not-so-innocent, lol. :|