Thursday, January 29, 2009

So Crosby Is Feeling Better

Check out this quick clip from the Pens' 6-2 victory over the Rangers last night. Unfortunately I couldn't catch the game, but through the magic of Youtube I finally got to see the no-look backhand score by Crosby in the third period.

Even if you don't like hockey (or Crosby, and I know that applies to a good amount of people) it's worth watching.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Just In Case You're Not Convinced Scientology Screws People Up

Nancy Cartwright, the voice of Bart Simpson and noted Scientology follower (she donates more than even John Travolta and Tom Cruise), left voice messages promoting a Scientology event on people's voicemail.

This in itself is pretty bad, but if you listen to the message, she keeps going in an out of character. For some reason, that's more disturbing to me.

Also, as WWTDD pointed out, uh...really, you think a cartoon 10-year old is the key to recruiting?

Sunday, January 25, 2009

You're So Money And You Don't Even Know It

I finally got around to seeing Swingers, and I have to say I can see why it has its devoted following. It's a great movie. It's not a Comedy that makes you hurt laughing, but it is engaging and smart. It's got that "let's go out and make shit happen" momentum that makes me wish I watched it Friday night instead of Sunday. It's funny how movies have that effect on me from time to time.

Apparently it took only Jon Favreau 2 weeks to write and all the key characters were modeled after his friends, who would go on to play them. Also, it introduced the dating context of the term "Wingman" to the social lexicon. Pretty cool shit.

Note: Be careful to specify more than just "Swingers" when you do a Google Search for the Image above.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Quantum Jujit-sucked

Last semester, my friend Brian and I happened to notice a flier on one of the bulletin boards in the White Building. It was an advertisement for Quantum Jujitsu, a Martial Arts class that met three times a week and welcomed beginners. Brian suggested that we attend not only for the extra fitness, but get improve our self defense. The latter was particularly attractive to me, as my current self defense strategy is as follows:

1) Be approached by belligerent stranger
2) Soil myself
3) Sue someone

Flipping someone in a controlled throw onto the cold asphalt of Calder alley was a much more pleasing outcome to my psyche.

So, we both concluded that come Spring Semester, we supplement our current exercise regimen with thrice-weekly sessions of Jujitsu. But it's always much easier when you're PLANNING to exercise in the future than to actually go do it.

Leading up to the first class, I became more and more reticent. It sure as shit didn't help that I had a meeting for Onward State and that LOST was premiering. But I reassured myself that I don't stray from my comfort zone often, and it may be good to be open to something new for once.

Once we got to the IM building, the hallway was lined with somewhere between 60 to 80 other students. Not a great first sign. Eventually the Akido class that was using the wrestling room before us ended, and all of us moseyed on in.

We were all instructed to take off our socks and shoes to protect the mats, and eventually circled up to warm up. The next bad sign: I had a cramp during stretching. I knew I was out of shape, but we're talking 2 minutes into the class here. Jogging ensued, and with it, more cramps.

Ok, this is unpleasant, but this is something that will become more enjoyable as I get in shape, I thought as I rested on my hands and knees while the rest of the class did push ups from their fingertips. Just don't stand out as a slacker and you'll be fine.

Eventually, the Sensei has us all line up against the back wall to start the class. You know you're in trouble when you aren't even capable of doing the proper sitting position. I wisely didn't speak up to ask for instructions on sitting on my feet.

It certainly didn't help that the Sensei - whose name I didn't catch - looked remarkably like Derrick Comedy's Dominic Dierkes. So when I was supposed to be hearing "pull your partners left arm across your body to restrict his movement," I was hearing this:

Sadly, "pull out your gun" was never part of what we practiced.

When we started the first technique, which was essentially to have our partner break an invisible plane twice, grab them by the neck to headbutt them, and put another hand on their neck to bend their torso over our knee, I had already garnered the attention of one of the more experienced students. He saw that I was completely hapless. In their defense, they were very patient and kind considering my ineptitude, but it was an instant flashback to my first experiences with all other sports:

Sensei /Basketball Coach/Soccer Coach/ Baseball Coach/ Rugby Coach/ Snowboard Instructor/ Ski Instructor: OK, so you need to position your body like this.

Me: Like this?

Sensei /Basketball Coach/Soccer Coach/ Baseball Coach/ Rugby Coach/ Snowboard Instructor/ Ski Instructor: No, put your hand here.

Me: OK, so now what?

Sensei /Basketball Coach/Soccer Coach/ Baseball Coach/ Rugby Coach/ Snowboard Instructor/ Ski Instructor: Now you're doing [insert appropriate motion for sport] wrong.

Me: Is this right?

Sensei /Basketball Coach/Soccer Coach/ Baseball Coach/ Rugby Coach/ Snowboard Instructor/ Ski Instructor: No.

Me: I know that there is a different end result...but I'm not quite clear what I'm doing differently in the process.

Sensei /Basketball Coach/Soccer Coach/ Baseball Coach/ Rugby Coach/ Snowboard Instructor/ Ski Instructor: Alright, keep practicing with your partner.

I now know what Dyslexic kids feel in reading class.

As if my unintentional exposure as a Martial Arts special needs student within the first 15 minutes wasn't enough, the excessive contact with partners did the trick.

Now I may be being incredibly immature, but pretty much every technique seemed a little too much like a big ol' man hug. Even when we practiced a choke, it ended in us leaning our head forward to rest it next to theirs. This lead to thoughts like, You know, if the only way to overpower an enemy is to straddle him like this, maybe throwing the fight isn't so bad.

Every single partner I worked with (including Brian) was very nice about my disability (I can't say the same thing for former teammates, but I many first practices of sports as a child are blocked out), but honestly, I really didn't feel like putting my body against theirs that much.

I had run into a guy I had freshman seminar with - whose face I had all but forgotten - and the awkward moment of him saying he knew me after I introduced myself was enhanced by the bath house soundtrack of groans and grunts as we walked through a hold technique.

By the end of the 2+ hour session (almost 3 when considering the dressing/undressing and drive over), It was clear that I wasn't cut out for Jujitsu. It was also clear why I rarely tend to leave my comfort zone - especially for matters involving physical fitness.

Brian has already said he's planning on returning to the class. Me - I'll save the $100 in dues and watch how things turn out with the Oceanic Six next week.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

'Snuff' Review

A little awhile ago, Jared/Murtaza introduced me to Goodreads, a site all about books. Being an avid reader, I have come to really enjoy this site, and am starting to log my impressions of every book I read right after it's end. Here's a quick review I wrote on Chuck Palahniuk's 'Snuff':

Snuff Snuff by Chuck Palahniuk

My review

rating: 2 of 5 stars
So far, it's my least favorite Palahniuk book. But really, that's not to say that it's a complete waste of time. A waste of the hefty $24.99 cover price? Well, that's another story.

First off, the good: Palahniuk does many of the things he does well in this book. He does a great job with expository dialogue, mainly because his style isn't really dialogue at all. As in previous books, we learn about our protagonist(s) through anecdotal soliloquies to the reader: sermon-like rants that keep us reading his literature. They're well-described, straightforward, and engaging. That's all here.

The bizarre, hard to believe myths, legends, and little-known facts presented in nearly every Palahniuk book are all here. He doesn't get enough credit for the research that it takes to yield this information.

Porn titles like "Twat on a Hot Tin Roof" make the book worth at least borrowing.

Also is the crazy premise any Palahniuk book is almost guaranteed - the idea of a porn star sleeping with 600 men is provocative by itself, but the possibility of one of those 600 being her long-lost son takes us into Palahniuk territory.

The bad: It doesn't really seem to get past the premise. I would call the end anticlimactic, but looking back, it doesn't really even build suspense. The relatively short book (just under 200 pages, which took me somewhere around 5 hours to read), doesn't take the reader anywhere but a seemingly inevitable snafu. At the end of the book, I found myself asking why I care? The characters aren't very remarkable. Neither are their revelations.

It's just a remarkable premise carrying the book, which is, unfortunately, not enough to reach the high standard faithful readers have set for the subversive mind behind "Fight Club" and "Choke."

View all my reviews.

Sunday, January 18, 2009


Here We Go, Here We Go. Pittsburgh's Going To The Super Bowl.

[Photo via ESPN]

Thursday, January 15, 2009

There's Just Something About Tim Meadows

...That makes me find him absolutely hilarious. It's a shame this guy's career didn't take off after a long stint on SNL.

Here he is on the Colbert Report as P.K. Winsome, a recurring character that pops up from time to time so the Report isn't all Stephen.