Wednesday, August 27, 2008

I'm Short.
Sarah and Michael Shanks aren't.

Well, Sarah was a pal and went with me this past Saturday to Chicago for 1 day at the Stargate convention to see Michael Shanks/Daniel Jackson/Daniel Shanks/Michael Jackson. THANK YOU, SARAH! You were a true trooper, coming with me to a convention featuring not only a specific show, but an entire GENRE that you dislike. A+!

Look, we got our picture taken with Mr. Shanks! This is a tiny picture because it's only the thumbnail and I haven't got the pic sent to me yet. But as far as I can tell, he isn't smiling. Sarah, did you grab his butt or something?? And I look like a midget.

Nothing much else to say right now. I have my school orientation tomorrow. It lasts ALL day. Seriously. 8:45am through dinner. WTF? Overkill, much? I'm debating whether I should drive or take the bus...hmmm. Free or $3 for parking? More environmentally friendly or less environmentally healthy? Motivated or lazy? I think the lazy will win out and I'll drive.

I watched a movie the other day called The Fog of War. Eleven lessons from the life of Robert S. McNamara. It was really very good. Anyway, he quoted T.S. Eliot in it, and it was a quote that I really liked:

"We shall not cease from exploration. And the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time."

I'm reading a book called The Rape of the Nile about...well, the rape of the Nile. The pillaging and whatnot of Egyptian antiquities and stuff. So far, so good. There was a part in this book that also got me thinking, "Hmmm..." I mean, when I read about the destruction of the pyramids by Egyptians (ancient Egyptians, but not ancient ANCIENT Egyptians) themselves when they recycled the stones to make their own buildings, naturally my reaction is, "Oh no! That's so sad! What a travesty!" Yadda yadda yadda. But then there is this field of thought--this quote from some French dude (Constantin-Francois Chasseboeuf, Comte de Volney) in the 1700-1800s:

"While the lover of the arts may wax indignant when he sees the columns of the palace being sawn up to make millstones, the philosopher cannot help smiling at the secret malice of fate that gives back to the people what cost them so much misery, and that ssigns to the most humble of their needs the pride of useless luxury."

Because, you know, they were built by kings using slave labor.

I'm sad that I missed Bill Clinton's speech at the DNC tonight. Right now Biden's talking. I wanted to hear (Bill) Clinton!!!

Ummm. That's it.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Video Spamming
Apologies to the video-h8erz of the world

Presidential campaign TV ads. They make me want to vomit and/or throw something large and heavy at the TV. Like a grand piano, or something (I love a piany!).

There was this one blaming Obama for the high gas prices. WTF? Like, seriously. How could anyone actually believe this? Morons, that's who.

Then there's the one touting McCain as "the original Maverick." Uhhh...yeah. I can maybe see them claiming he was a plain ol' maverick, but the original maverick?? Ok, whatever you say.

Then there was that one saying that Obama was just a celebrity. And not just any celebrity--The Biggest Celebrity in the World. That's quite the claim. Which is also truly doubtful. This ad annoyed and confused me in many ways. First of all, he became famous through politics, not...acting, singing, or socialiting. And they randomly stuck in videos of Paris Hilton and Britney Spears, presumably comparing Obama to them. Huh?? My brain almost shut off at that point in self preservation. It seems so random. Then it completely switched tactics and veers off in a totally new accusational direction. It's just a very WTF?-inducing ad. Then I saw that Paris Hilton had responded to that ad with an ad of her own. Now, I'm not the biggest fan of Paris Hilton, but I have to say that this was pretty funny.

for your viewing pleasure, I have embedded the 2 clips for you--the original "Obama is like Britney and Paris" ad, and Paris's response ad. Enjoy!

See more Paris Hilton videos at Funny or Die

Random Acts of Violence
This title has nothing to do with my post

So, the Brewers lost the game to which we went. Boo. The did, however, win the game before and after it. Not sure if that makes me feel better or worse. Miller Park is a really neat stadium. Beats the pants off the Metrodome. We tailgated prior to the game. We got there a bit late (seriously, how long does it take to get into a parking lot??) so we missed out on the first 2 innings (while we were grilling 'dogs). Of course, the only runs the Brewers got were in the first 2 innings. So it goes.

I was listening to the US Olympic Men's Volleyball coach talking to Bob Costas just now (the guy whose wife and mother and father-in-law got stabbed in Beijing). He sounded mostly American, but every once in a while a bit of an accent came through. I thought it sounded Kiwi because of the way he said his 'e's...senseless sounded like "seens-less." And he is from Enzed! Yay.

My apartment complex is undergoing a makeover. They just re-painted the hall walls (still the off-white color that looks bad in artificial lighting, Sarah). I almost passed out going up the stairs to my apartment the other day. The stairway area has zero ventilation as there's the door to the outside and another door to get to the main hallway area. And it's always very hot. In the summer, anyway. they painted that area and didn't prop open any doors to ventilate it. I was seriously only in that area for like 10 seconds, but I was actually fearing for the safety of my lungs. They were burning. Another 20 seconds, I probably would have passed out. I hope they had the doors open when they were painting, otherwise they must all be brain dead...

Now they're re-paving our parking lot, which is nice since it was pretty crappy. Which means none of us can park in the lot until Tuesday night. And street parking is very limited. Much jockeying for parking going on now.

Today I noticed a sign in our vestibule stating that the hallways will be re-carpeted sometime in the coming weeks. Nice.

I guilt-tripped Sarah into going to Chicago tomorrow for one day at the Stargate convention where we can listen to Michael Shanks. Sarah, you rock! (I'm very impressed with her since she actually actively hates Stargate). Maybe she'll be converted into a Stargate fan by the end of tomorrow. :)

I feel like there was other stuff I wanted to post. But I can't think of what. Huh. Oh well.

Here's a Family Guy clip that I thought was hilarious (I saw this episode the other day and found this clip online). I thought is was appropriate what with the presidential election hooplah. Enjoy. (Family Guy RULES)

Monday, August 18, 2008

I don't know what to title this.

Stupidest Olympic events I've so far heard about: Power walking (apparently called race walking) and horse walking (is this dressage?). Hahahahahahaha!!!!! I'm kinda sad I haven't seen any of these. But I HAVE seen approximately 78 volleyball matches. Any other ridiculous events you've heard about?

Stupid Aussie gymnastics judge over-blowing He's score. Liukin totally should have won gold!!! :D

The Chinese national anthem sans singing sounds kind of like it could be a TV show theme song.

I'm going to a Brewers game tomorrow. They play Houston (Astros?). Go Prince Fielder! (the only Brewer player name I know)

It was hot and humid today.

That's all.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

I find men's trampoline-ing really humorous. Actually, trampoline-ing (men's or women's) in general, I find funny. Even more funny, is seeing a trampoline-ing person sitting next to their coach. "Hi, I'm a trampoline-ing coach." I mean, just how popular IS trampoline-ing on the global stage?

How do you spell trampoline-ing? Trampolining? It just looks weird.

Hurray for the US men's water polo team upsetting...whichever eastern European country they just upset!

Welcome to Bigfork!
Part 2 of 2

Here we are in Bigfork! Note: Sarah only has one leg.

Hangin' with Paul Bunyan.
No free ride at our cabin! You must work to earn your stay!

We played Scrabble. We're dorks. I didn't win this game, but I did kick ass on our last game. Which is misleading, since we wre actually helping each other out during that game:

"Don't put a word there! I have a really good one I want to put there!"


Sarah, hanging out on the dock.

Hanging out and enjoying the weather. Drinking wine out of a little plastic cup. I really don't enjoy wine. And how skilled am I, operating a jet ski backwards?? ;)

Sarah and Brighton, enjoying the jet ski. Brighton even got up on skis for the first time! Impressive for someone who has never even SEEN anyone waterski. She did very well!

We saw the sunrise in Tofte, and the sunset at Turtle Lake.

We went nightswimming (which is a great song by R.E.M., btw). We could see SO many stars at night. It was beautiful. Plus, it was the early stages of the Perseids, so I also saw a decent number of shooting stars. It was awesome to float on your back in the lake, looking up at the stars.

Congratulations to the happy couple!
Post 1 of 2, in which I regale you with pictures and words about our trip "up North."

Since I'm not too invested in watching indoor track cycling (or whatever it's called), I think I'll compose my wedding/cabin blog entry. (Although a Kiwi is currently battling it out for the gold medal...Go NZ! Beat the Brit!)

So, Brighton arrived in Madison and stayed with me for a few days. She had enough luggage to last about 2 months. ;) On thursday afternoon, Sarah, Brighton, and I left Madison and headed for Tofte, MN...the site of Laura and Michael's wedding (a couple hours north of Duluth). Considering it was an 8-9 hour drive, it didn't go by too slowly. The perks of having 2 other people in the car with you...

We arrived in Tofte around 9, and after eventually finding Liz's room, we snuck in (we are cheap...Bluefin Bay Resort is not). It seemed really pretty, but kind of hard to tell since it was dark). Sarah composed herself an ambitious schedule for the next day, including swimming, visiting the gym, biking, kayaking, and hiking. I composed my own schedule of doing whatever the hell I felt like at the time.

(update: the Kiwi lost. :( Now it's on to women's badminton--China v. China)

After awaking, we did various stuff to fill up the day until the wedding (which was at 6:30). We went swimming (in the pool, not Lake Superior...that's a bit cold). Sarah DID end up going biking with Brighton, but it was a short 20 minute ride. Let's just say that Brighton's not going to be competing in the Olympics in a cycling category anytime soon.

I hung around and enjoyed the pretty view. Talked a bit with Laura and Michael that morning. Talked Laura down from the ledge...she was thinking about becoming a runaway bride. (haha, kidding)

Then we got dolled up and headed to the main event. It was VERY pretty. I don't have many pictures because the lighting wasn't good for my camera and I felt intrusive snapping pictures.
So feel free to share your pictures, Laura!!! The ceremony was short and sweet, just how I like them. :)

Then we went to the reception where a good time was had by all. Our table got just a bit rowdy. :D After the reception we headed out to the beach and made s'mores around a campfire. All in all, a very enjoyable time was had by all. Congratulations Mr. and Mrs. Bendzick!!

I wanted to get up and see the sun rise over Lake Superior the next morning. We found out that the sunrise was at 5:43. So I set my alarm for 5:35, prompting Sarah to complain that I was setting it 8 minutes early. I promised not to wake her up until 5:40. Fast-forward to 4:30am...I'm awakened by Sarah who says to me, "I think the sun is rising now!" I get up and check and it wasn't. It was just getting a bit light because sunrise was approaching. You'd think after complaining about being woken up 5 minutes early, Sarah could at least go out and check to see if the sun actually WAS rising before waking me up an HOUR early. Haha.

The next day we (me, Sarah, Elizabeth, and Brighton) left Tofte and headed for my cabin where'd we'd stay for the next week. That was another 3-4 hour drive. We serously had to drive for 2 hours before we found a place to eat. And this wasn't us being super picky...there was just NOTHING. Unless you count a trailer selling bait and groceries acceptable. We ended up eating at the McDonald's in Hibbing.

Then we arrived at my cabin. Now I'm getting sick of writing. But rowing is on, and I don't really care about rowing. So I'll continue. But in a new post.

The Games of the XXIX Olympiad
[cue majestic NBC Olympic music]

I have loads of pics to post from the wedding/cabin extravaganza, but I'm not going to do it tonight because I don't feel like it. Bu tI will give my random thoughts on the Olympics.

I'm addicted to watching the Olympics. Even thought they make me want to kill myself at times, due to being forced to watch events I don't care about (water polo), events I've seen WAAAAY too much of (beach volleyball), and an insanely high number of commercials and inaction (men's gymnastics team finals competition, anyone?). But I love watching swimming, gymnastics (when they're actually doing something on an apparatus and not standing around waiting for scores or setting up equipment), and now track has started which is interesting. Since I don't get cable, I'm limited to watching events on plain ol' NBC. I suppose I could watch things online, but...I'm not.

Jesus (pr. Jeeziz) Christ. Michael Phelps is INSANE. I just about died watching the 100m fly finals. And that's after I just recovered from dying from watching the 4x100 free relay.

The 50m free (which determines the fastest swimmer on the planet) is bizarre to watch. Apparently, it's called the Splash and Dash, which is very accurate. They swim one length of the pool at a crazy fast pace, and water flies everywhere. I found it very humorous.

Awesome job with the two US women going gold and silver in gymnastics.

Bela Karoli is only 68% intelligible.

Kobe Bryant speaks Italian and Spanish. I was impressed.

After watching the opening ceremonies, I am convinced that the Chinese are all robots.

I need to go to World Market and buy some Tim Tams (not Olympics-related, but important nonetheless).

Watching people compete on the pommel horse gives me heart palpatations.

I was was sitting outside Genna's last night (a bar on Capitol Square) when two cops came running up with guns drawn, yelling "Get down!" They then proceeded to tackle a scraggly looking guy to the ground and drag him off in hand cuffs. Very exciting. After watching the news, I deduced that he had threatened a woman with a knife and strangulation or something, then ran off. I happened to have a front seat for him getting caught. Rock on.

That's all for now. Olympic coverage is now repeating itself. I wish NBC late night coverage would show stuff that they played on other NBC affiliates instead of replaying the primetime stuff they've already showed. Because then I'd have an excuse to never leave my couch. Ever. Except for the few hours NBC still shows Days of Our Lives and Martha Stewart.