Tuesday, December 30, 2008
"Where have you been hiding out lately, honey? You can't dress trashy 'till you spend a lot of money." --Billy Joel
Went to the mall today, in search of a pair of new jeans, for less than $30. Ideally.
After a while, malls scare the hell out of me.
More specifically, name brand clothing stores scare the hell out of me.
Who the crap pays $69.95 for jeans that are already ripped and worn?!
It can't be a generational gap that causes my disgust. Because people have paying too much money for worn jeans for at least 20 years.
Scars from middle school? (And high school, for that matter...) Do I automatically endow teeny bopper/young college kid brand clothing with the cruelty I suffered at the hands of Yuppie Teen America in my secondary school years? Possibly.
Or is it because I know I could get the same pair of jeans for under $10 (ideally) from the local thrift store, if I want it complete with worn knees and holes? To each his own, I guess. I know I got a lot more mileage out of my jeans, having bought them new first (for under $30, really), wearing them until they were worn, then keeping them in my wardrobe for those days when I want that ripped and worn jeans look. I don't have a problem with the ripped jeans look inherently...I have a problem with paying up the wazoo for them. Because of a tag.
Maybe its the fact that $69.95 can do a hell of a lot more than give you an old pair of jeans look. Like immunize about 86 children against the measles. Or immunize about 140 children against polio. Or provide over 1,300 disposable syringes to third world immunization campaigns. Or provide roughly 1,165 children with rehydration salts (severe dehydration is the leading cause of death among children in many third world countries). Or give 66 children a paper pad, a pen, and a pencil. Or purchase high energy protein biscuits to keep 12 children alive for one more month.
I'm not saying that all brand-name clothing is the devil. I'm not saying you should be bargain-shopping in order to send every penny to Unicef (which is the source of those statistics up there). If we're talking spending money on THINGS when there are people out there who need NECESSITIES, I'm just as guilty, and maybe even more so because I'm conscious of what I'm doing. And I suppose this entry is just a vague attempt at therapy for my very long and difficult day...my frustrated thoughts as I wandered from store to terrifying store in search of jeans. So I'm not saying it's time for socialism, or that everyone needs to join the Peace Corps or that we need to start boycotting clothing chains. I'm saying that this is a problem. I'm saying that people don't have clean water. I'm saying that teachers are trying to teach without chalkboards or paper or pens. I'm saying that children are dying of dehydration and malaria. I'm saying that just closing your eyes to a problem doesn't make it go away.
Then again, neither does just talking about it.
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
One of my best friends Annie read this to me a while back, and I thought it was hysterical, so I'm sharing it with all of you in honor of Christmas! A more reverent Christmas post will probably follow, but here's something to make you laugh in the mean time.
I wish I could give more credit where it's due...but I don't know the source here. Just something from off the internet. Anyway, enjoy.
As a result of an overwhelming lack of requests, and with research help from that renowned scientific journal SPY magazine (January, 1990) --here is the annual scientific inquiry into Santa Claus.
1) No known species of reindeer can fly. BUT there are 300,000 species of living organisms yet to be classified, and while most of these are insects and germs, this does not COMPLETELY rule out flying reindeer which only Santa has ever seen.
2) There are 2 billion children (persons under 18) in the world. BUT since Santa doesn't (appear) to handle the Muslim, Hindu, Jewish and Buddhist children, that reduces the workload to 15% of the total - 378 million according to the Population Reference Reference Bureau. At an average (census) rate of 3.5 children per household, that's 91.8 million homes. One presumes there's at least one good child in each.
3) Santa has 31 hours of Christmas to work with, thanks to the different time zones and the rotation of the earth, assuming he travels east to west (which seems logical). This works out to 822.6 visits per second. This is to say that for each Christian household with good children, Santa has 1/1000th of a second to park, hop out of the sleigh, jump down the chimney, fill the stockings, distribute the remaining presents under the tree, eat whatever snacks have been left, get back up the chimney, get back into the sleigh and move on to the next house.
Assuming that each of these 91.8 millions stops are evenly distributed around the earth (which, of course, we know to be false but for the purposes of our calculations we will accept), we are now talking about .78 miles per household, a total trip of 75-1/2 million miles, not counting stops to do what most of us must do at least once every 31 hours, plus feeding and etc. This means that Santa's sleigh is moving at 650 miles per second, 3,000 times the speed of sound. For purposes of comparison, the fastest man-made vehicle on earth, the Ulysses space probe, moves at a poky 27.4 miles per second - a conventional reindeer can run, tops, 15 miles per hour.
4) The payload on the sleigh adds another interesting element. Assuming that each child gets nothing more than a medium-sized lego set (2 pounds), the sleigh is carrying 321,300 tons, not counting Santa, who is invariably described as overweight. On land, conventional reindeer can pull no more than 300 pounds. Even granting that "flying reindeer" (see point #1) could pull TEN TIMES the normal amount, we cannot do the job with eight, or even nine. We need 214,200 reindeer. This increases the payload - not even counting the weight of the sleigh - to 353,430 tons. Again, for comparison - this is four times the weight of the Queen Elizabeth (the ship, not the monarch).
5) 353,000 tons traveling at 650 miles per second creates enormous air resistance - this will heat the reindeer up in the same fashion as spacecraft re-entering the earth's atmosphere. The lead pair of reindeer will absorb 14.3 QUINTILLION joules of energy. Per second. Each. In short, they will burst into flame almost instantaneously, exposing the reindeer behind them, and create deafening sonic booms in their wake. The entire reindeer team will be vaporized within 4.26 thousandths of a second. Santa, meanwhile, will be subjected to centrifugal forces 17,500.06 times greater than gravity. A 250-pound Santa (which seems ludicrously slim) would be pinned to the back of his sleigh by 4,315,015 pounds of force.
In conclusion - If Santa ever DID deliver presents on Christmas Eve, he's dead now. Merry X-mas.
Monday, December 22, 2008
'I'm youth, I'm joy,' Peter answered at a venture, 'I'm a little bird that has broken out of the egg.'
Wrote this for a friend a while back and thought I'd share it here. This is for anyone who's ever felt any sense of an identity crisis, whether it be a twinge of doubt or a longing to completely redefine oneself.
Because You Inspire Poetry
All children (but one)
“Curiouser and curiouser”
as we tumble down rabbit holes
and eat the things that make us smaller.
We wander in a world
where kings are talking backwards.
Far from the cornstalks and twisters
We move from room to room
until we outgrow the house,
wondering which side of the mirror
we are on.
In our metaphysical pockets
we carry a handful of absolutes, of constants.
The speed of light,
the book of Nephi,
and Cocoa Puffs never being on sale.
Because we are bundles of
Resume and cover letter self
Painter and poet self
Wife and lover self
Mother and nurturer self
it girl self.
We are defined and categorized
drawn and quartered
while some nebulous other
We look in mirrors for her.
Forgetting that a cake
is not separately flour, sugar, eggs, etc.
We are defined by the
painful whipped up combination
and the heat of a burning oven.
Sunday, December 21, 2008
(Or “ Wishful Thinking”)
If I’ve lived in Idaho
for the last four years
this shouldn’t feel cold to me.
I am a natural redhead.
Men with commitment issues
are an urban myth.
is good for you.
Janis Joplin never did
Comic Frenzy will be
I will be a part of it.
I’ll never have acne
during this mortal
I’ll make a habit
of going to the gym
There was nothing
I could have done for him.
We’ll both be accepted
at The Actor’s Studio.
And then interviewed
by James Lipton.
He never slept with her.
One day I’ll see
Chef Boyardee is the same as
and home-made sauce.
When I get back, it will be my turn.
This is the semester that
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
One of the great joys of life is knowing that there will ALWAYS be more music I've never heard before, and books I've never read before. Here are some recent discoveries. Some of these artists I'd heard of before, but never fully appreciated, and some of these books I have yet to read, but it warms the cockles of my heart to know that they exist.
"She & Him"
Zooey Deschanel, who is gorgeous and talented, formed a little Indie group with one other guy. The result is chill Indie awesomeness.
I'd heard two songs of hers before, but um, there are a lot more incredible ones. Totally funky, and occasionally really weird. I dig it.
This Indian-born pop lady singer has a sound like nothing I've ever heard of before. It's rap/pop with an occasional Indian edge, and the result is a hard beat and great rhymes.
More slightly weird electronica. They did the theme song for Grey's Anatomy. Chill but funky.
Cheerful Indie, reminiscent of Sondre Lerche with a dash of the Shins. Although I hate to limit artists to the other people they sound like, so I'll also mention the fact that they've got a sound all their own.
"House and Philosophy: Everybody Lies" by Henry Jacoby and William Irwin
A few fellows with loads of intellect and excellent taste in television dramas have applied the ideals of the major philosophers throughout history to Gregory House's brilliant and ego-driven mind. The book goes through and identifies the ways in which House follows the ideals of Socrates, Marx, etc. etc. I'm such a nerd, but I was so thrilled to find this book while working late last night.
"Jeff Herman's Guide to Book Publishers, Editors, & Literary Agents 2009 (19th Ed.): Who They Are! What They Want! How to Win Them Over!" by Jeff Herman
Most of this book is literally an enormous, totally comprehensive contact list for publishers/editors/agents. For each one, it specifies the best way to contact them and what to send. Perfect resource for anyone who has ever written anything that should be published (cough cough Jeff Otero).
"The Power of the Actor" by Ivana Chubbuck
Ivana Chubbuck is one of the most sought-after acting coaches in the business, and she's got these visualization techniques (similar concept to Alba Emoting) to allow an actor to organically create the feelings of being drunk or high, of having romantic chemistry with someone, of being pregnant, etc. without actually having to go out and experience those things. Instead of method, it's visualization. Apparently her techniques are so powerful that some people have been able to kick drug habits, because they're able to manufacture the resulting feelings without actually getting high. I was reading through some of the book at work, and it's now on hold for me to buy with my next paycheck.
"The Big-Ass Book of Crafts" by Mark Montano
I actually bought this one last week. A few of the ideas/projects in it:
• Light fixtures out of 2-liter soda bottles or drinking straws
• Boxes made of dominoes
• Re-upholstering a chair with colored duct tape.
• Window treatments out of paper dolls, or garbage bag ties.
Totally funky and creative. I love it.
I highly recommend check-outage of all of the above.
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Today was one of those days when the world seems against you. When everything is frustrating and going wrong.
But there is a pair of rose-tinted glasses for every half-empty glass, I suppose. Here are a few of mine from today.
RANT: When you leave for the day, Oma and Opa, please leave me the keys to open the truck canopy and get the bike out. Or leave me a note telling me where the keys are.
RAVE: I found them eventually. Every man over 30 keeps his keys and spare change on top of the bureau, and thankfully you do too.
RANT: Lloyd's donuts should not be sold out at 1pm.
RAVE: Lucky's chocolate milk does pack more chocolatey goodness for your dollar.
RANT: If the public library catalogue says that "Dead Until Dark" is on the shelf, it should be more specific about which one. And furthermore, the book should be on the shelf. In general paperbacks, or fiction, or mystery, or even teens. Any of the shelves the system said it was on.
RAVE: Good thing I have a job where I can take out my frustration at bad book cataloguing systems by organizing and shelving books to my neat-freak, data-systems mind's delight. Getting paid for my own organizing therapy.
RANT: When you're driving in a car, you should be aware of someone nearby, even if they're on a bicycle and not in another car.
RAVE: I can bike on sidewalks or streets, thus saving time and energy. And I don't have to pay for gas.
RANT: The post office outlet in the Hallmark store near my house should send packages to APO addresses. It really should.
RAVE: There's something somehow fun and special to owning the unusual challenges of your family living in a third-world country.
RANT: Christmas presents. And birthday presents.
RAVE: Christmas presents. And birthday presents.
RANT: I filled out how many forms at the FedEx office? Four? Five? How many times did they mess up on which forms to fill out and what lines to sign? And how long was I there? Forty-five minutes?
RAVE: Did you know that if you label a package "Gift Shipment" and name it's value at under $10, it gets through customs faster?
RANT: You're going to charge me HOW MUCH to send this to Honduras????!!!???!! One-forty-nine-seventeen?! As in ONE HUNDRED AND FORTY-NINE DOLLARS!???!!! Yeah, NOT happening. I just wasted 45 minutes of my life in your office, FedEx. Screw you, FedEx.
RAVE: Oma will drop the package off for me at the US Post Office tomorrow. Where they'll charge $16. At the most.
RANT: What the hell just happened? Did I just accidentally...inadvertantly...ask my co-worker out? Or, like...invite myself out with him? Like...a date? It was not my intention to, but then why did my other listening co-workers make those faces and laugh so hard...? That was so awkward.
RAVE: I guess I'll be able to cross "Pulp Fiction" off the AFI list sometime soon.
RANT: While I enjoy the novelty of working in a "haunted" bookstore, the whole knocking books off the shelf thing is really annoying. Especially when it's the end of the night, and the whole point of what I'm doing is to put books neatly back ON the shelves. And make sure they're tidy. And not falling/being thrown onto the ground.
RAVE: Although I gotta admit, choosing the book "Ghosts Among Us" to knock over repeatedly was a nice touch. Our resident ghost seems to at least have a sense of humor.
RANT: It's nearly 1am. And I'm hungry. Oma and Opa are light sleepers, so whatever I eat had better just be something munchy that I can quietly take to my room.
RAVE: Oma finally replenished the house's chocolate-covered raisin supply.
RANT: Retail Christmas music.
RAVE: The Lindsay family daily facebook Christmas song.
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
JUST FOR FUN....
Feel free to do this yourself.
1. Put your iPod, iTunes, Windows Media Player, etc. on shuffle.
2. For each question, press the “next” button to get your answer.
3. YOU MUST WRITE THAT SONG NAME DOWN NO MATTER HOW SILLY OR NON-SENSICAL IT SOUNDS
1. IF SOMEONE SAYS "IS THIS OKAY" YOU SAY?
“Love You I Do” from Dreamgirls
2. HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOURSELF?
“Hanginaround” by Counting Crows
3. WHAT DO YOU LOOK FOR IN A GUY/GIRL?
“Only In Dreams” by Weezer
4. HOW DO YOU FEEL TODAY?
“Bleeding Love” by Leona Lewis
5. WHAT IS YOUR LIFE PURPOSE?
“When a Man Loves a Woman” by Bette Midler
6. WHAT IS YOUR MOTTO?
“Radar Love” by Golden Earring
7. WHAT DO YOUR FRIENDS THINK OF YOU?
“You’re Looking At Me” by Diana Krall
8. WHAT DO YOUR PARENTS THINK OF YOU?
“Magic Dance” from Labyrinth
9. WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT VERY OFTEN?
“Oogie Boogie’s Song” from Nightmare Before Christmas
10. WHAT IS 2 + 2?
“Opening of Act Two” from The Spitfire Grill
11. WHAT DO YOU THINK OF YOUR BEST FRIEND?
“The Island” by The Millenium
12. WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE PERSON YOU LIKE?
“Childhood” by Michael Jackson
13. WHAT IS YOUR LIFE STORY?
“Anoranza” by Chuscales
14. WHAT DO YOU WANT TO DO WHEN YOU GROW UP?
“She Blinded Me With Science” by The Coats
15. WHAT DO YOU THINK WHEN YOU SEE THE PERSON YOU LIKE?
“Hot and Cold Runnin’ Tears” by Sarah Vaughan
16. WHAT WILL YOU DANCE TO AT YOUR WEDDING?
“Singing In the Rain” by Jamie Cullum
17. WHAT IS YOUR HOBBY/INTEREST?
“Roadtrippin’” by Red Hot Chili Peppers
18. WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST FEAR?
“Purpose” from Avenue Q
19. WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST SECRET?
“At the Beginning” from Anastasia
20. WHAT DO YOU THINK OF YOUR FRIENDS?
“Matthew Scripture” by Matt
21. SONG THEY WILL PLAY AT YOUR FUNERAL?
“All Because of You” by U2
22. WHAT WILL YOU POST THIS AS?
“It’s Friday I’m In Love” by The Cure