Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Dangers of Being an Imposition

So, I had an epiphany of sorts, which is peculiar in and of itself. Because why? you say ungrammatically. Because, O ghostly and non-corporeal readership, usually epiphanies come to me after I've had a shocking and amazing experience, sometimes dealing with nature. Be that as it may, I had an epiphany.

As most of you nonexistent people know, I've struggled recently with one of my greatest fears in life, which is NOT a stupid fear at all. I'm mortally afraid of being an imposition, of imposing my considerable personality upon people, and their innate politeness being too well-developed to allow them to tell me to step off. Even worse, I'm afraid of being so dense and self-centered that I can't see it when people do try to tell me to leave them alone.

I've had people impose themselves on me, and it's no fun. Politeness and a Judeo-Christian standard of ethics dictates that someone being imposed upon can't just say Buzz Off. What to do? And I'm mortally afraid of putting someone else in that position, related to me.

But today, as I've mentioned, an epiphany came. I need to stop thinking only about myself, because that's what I have been doing: it's all about Ian, what effect he has on people, how he's going to ruin someone's happiness. If I can convince myself that I'm not really that important--if I can instead direct my energies outwards, to serving others--who knows what I can accomplish? Everyone likes being served; nobody will be Imposed Upon if I'm serving them.

So that's the theoretical solution. Those of you who know me well--none of you, probably--know that my theoretical, hypothetical concoctions aimed at self-help seldom translate into action. But this is a possibility...there's a first time for everything.

Long live epiphanies!

Ian Is Hooked On Finding Weird Links

I'm sorry, people. What can I say? This is way too much fun. The Internets is a good place to find crazy stuff.

We all know just how important studying is. We all know that sometimes, Other Things can interfere with our study time. So why not invent--or reinvent--an ancient device for keeping people in one place? Like...the ball-and-chain. No, seriously.

For all you Bikers (meaning bicyclists, not motorcycle fanatics) out there, Mom now has a way to track where you rode...guess this innovation means you'll pray for more rain.

Gamers beware: real-world stuff can happen in your MMOGs. Real-world stuff, as in epidemics. Actually it's fascinating even for a non-gamer like me.

At least British soldiers will be protected from stray bullets. As they say, give a man a duck and you'll feed him for a day. Teach a man to duck and he'll be able to dodge gunfire for a lifetime.

Finally, a rather sobering (and disturbingly sensible) speculation about death. Creeeeeepy!

Long live teh internets!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A New Poem. Gosh, I Need To Get Creative With My Post Titles


Again the short sweet walk across the courtyard

Whispers sublimity to my soul.

Again the soft spit of rain against my upturned face,

Spitting compassion, not disrespect,

Again the drab dark grass,

Again the spotlit maples,

Their adolescent leaves drooping sharp against the white wash of color.


Why, Father, do you taunt us with touches of heaven?

Why do you show us what we must die to obtain?

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,

Yet in my flesh shall I see God.

I rail at the glimpse

And yet I ever yearn for another.

Long live Inspiration!

A Few More Links

This is easy! I like it! Wooooo!

Okay, so I hate LeBron James with a passion. The guy is worshiped--Worshiped--and I don't care that he's great skill-wise. I refuse to call him The Greatest until he wins a championship. People, especially LeBron homers, don't like to hear this, and they trot out all sorts of bogus comparisons. Allow me to make one of my own: the USA men's basketball team for the 2004 Olympics had LeBron, Carmelo Anthony, Tim Duncan, Carlos Boozer, Allen Iverson, Dwyane Wade, and several other big names. But they didn't win the gold. The 2008 team was quite similar: stars were added, including Kobe Bryant, but the roster was definitely similar to that of the 2004 team. The difference was that the 2008 team won gold. My point? Even though the teams were similar, the 2008 team has a measure of respectability, because they won gold. LeBron won't gain my full respect until he gets a ring. Oh, and here's a link which says what I think, pretty much.

In other news, for those of you not passionately interested in sports, aerogel is still out there, and the stuff creeps me out. Seriously, whoa.

Muslims aren't allowed to eat pork. I remembered that, and that made this brief doodad make a lot more sense. The Afghanis are doing a good job keeping sickness away.

Remember the American version of Godzilla? Well, obviously NOW you do, because I gave you that refresher link. But the movie begins with, and accounts for the origins of the monster with, nuclear tests in the Pacific, which mutate iguanas. (Stick with me--this is going somewhere.) Obviously, when you nuke something, it gets big and angry and goes to smash up New York. Lesson learned: don't nuke animals. Especially, don't nuke this sucker. Think what devastation it could wreak. It probably wouldn't stop in New York: it'd probably hit D.C. and Boston, maybe head inland to Ohio, destroy Cleveland...though, maybe that'd be a good thing. Seriously, though! Yeesh.

Okay, that's almost all for today. But just in case you were wondering: there Is a conspiracy. Big Corporations are including subliminal messages in their logos. Don't believe me? Now you do.

Long live linkage!!!!!!!!!

Also, long live lots of exclamation points!

Baseball Games Do The Strangest Things

When I was little, one of my favorite books was a picture book called Animals Do The Strangest Things. It was all about crazy animals and the crazy things they did: I wore that book out. IT was one of my favorites.

Soooooo...I'm thinking about writing a sequel, only for older audiences, and about baseball rather than animals. It'd be called Baseball Games Do The Strangest Things. Here's a link to illustrate my point.

Aaaaand here's another one. To understand this one, you need to understand that a few days ago, the Twins (may they rot in Hell) whooped these ChiSox 20-1. So, what do the skidding ChiSox do? Only go and clobber the L.A. Angels 17-3. And this makes sense how?

Long live America's Pastime!

Sunday, May 24, 2009


Structure, it seems, is quite important.

And yes, I'm doing my best to begin my posts with inane, obvious sentences. It's a fun thing to do.

And yes, that was an inane sentence. Also, it was obvious.

This is not going well. Perhaps I'd best get to the point.

So during this past semester, my life was all structure. What with 22 hours of class per week, 9 hours of work, and the inability to say No when it came to theatre, I had few hours to call my own. At the beginning of the semester, especially, I was freaking out, rather, because I didn't know if I could handle all the work. Apparently I could, because I did. By the end of the semester, I wasn't exactly Reveling in the responsibility, but I survived.

Towards the end of the semester, things got really, really rough, because all sorts of things, like projects and papers, began to Throng upon me. But eventually, the March of Time marched me right through Finals week, and I found myself stranded on the desert island of Summer.

(This, dear readers, is where the story gets interesting.)

So now, I find myself missing the structure of the semester. I have nothing happening, except work, which doesn't exactly count because there's nothing happening down there. So it seems that what my grandfather said in his book Teaching For a Change was true: people are in love with boundaries, and without them, they're unhappy.

I mean, I'm not unhappy. I am loving the whole Not Doing Stuff thing. I'm loving sleeping in.

But I'm thinking that by the end of the summer, I'm going to be pretty tired of Not Having Structure.


Long live structure!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

An Amazing New Video Game

Your cell phone rings: it's a husky voice claiming to have kidnapped your brother. Naturally, you ask some questions, like Who is this? and Where is he? and What do you want? and I have a brother? and Why is your voice all husky? The voice, even huskier, tells you that it belongs to a shadowy corporation with ties to the government. Naturally (again), more questions leap to mind, like What government? and What sorts of ties--like, silk ties? However, instead of asking more questions, you keep quiet like the sissy you are. The voice continues to spin some yarn about people showing up at your house to kill you, but you don't pay any attention. Instead, you take your guns off the wall and out of the cabinet and all the other places you keep your guns, and...well, there was a news report on this. So watch this video.

Long live The Onion!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Don't Try To Teach Me My Job!

I'm miffed: understandably, I hope. As was previously mentioned, this is my blog, so I can do what I like with it, and right now I like to rant about old, arrogant, technologically-challenged stupid people who think they know my job better than I do.

So I was just sitting peacefully at my desk here in Audio/Visual when a professor, who shall remain nameless, but with whom I've had trouble before, barged in and asked rudely for a VCR and a TV on a cart to be brought to the classroom in which he was teaching. He said he had booked the VCR and the TV, but it wasn't there (effectually accusing me of not doing my job.)

I consulted my calendar, and lo and behold, there was the booking, and sure enough, he'd asked for a VCR/TV cart. But that room had a VCR connected to the LCD projector in the ceiling, which meant that there was no need for a VCR/TV cart to be brought there. So when I had delivered his laptop earlier in the afternoon, I had not brought the unneeded equipment.

I explained to this dunderhead that there was already a VCR in the room, and there was no need for a--but he cut me off, saying quite doggedly that there was no VCR in the room, that I was mistaken, that he and his twelve students had all looked, that there was no VCR in the room. Now, according to him, I wasn't just a slacker, but I was also a liar.

I found his claim that there was no VCR in the room extremely suspect, especially because I had helped install the VCR in the room last winter. But being a respectful, well-trained worker, I swallowed my ire and got a VCR/TV cart out of the storage room. I brought it upstairs to the classroom and left it outside the door. I went in, opened the cabinet where the VCR was supposed to be, and there in its conspicuous, obvious, and visible glory was the VCR.

I showed it to him; he said to his students, and I quote exactly: "See? I was right and you were wrong. There IS a VCR in this room." That was the final straw: I was not a liar, I was not a slacker, and I did not get an apology. Instead, he deceived all of his students.

There is really no reason I should post this all here on my blog, except for the fact that I can write what I want here. If the professor in question, and all of his ilk here at my school, were to read this, though, I would say to them the following: I am trained specifically to do what I do well. If you want help, come down here humbly and professionally, and accept my professional opinion. Then, accept my help OR, humbly and professionally, point out how I'm wrong. However, if you just want to be a jerk to someone, don't choose me. If you want to take out your frustration on someone, don't choose me. I am not your whipping-boy. If you can't be humble or professional, what are you doing a) teaching at a "Christian" school and b) teaching at all? You'd be better off breaking rocks somewhere.

Long live humanity...

Unfortunately, I think it's already dead. Anyway...

Long live humanity!

Pontificating Is Hard To Do...

...especially when one doesn't have a protein-rich diet. My mind is not functioning at its usual high level today, so I'm doing the links thing again. Yes, yes, I know I'm lazy, but hey! This is my blog, and I can do what I like with it. Of course, I have to be careful what I like, because treason and criminal stuff will probably get me in trouble, but...

Okay. On to the links: got a couple for you imaginary readers today. First, grillz. Grillz are disgusting, in my opinion, but a lot of other people disagree with me. For instance, ancient Mayans liked gems in their teeth: it's true! There is, indeed, no accounting for taste. Yeesh.

Here's another link for you, and this one is difficult for me to post. Why? Because, as I've previously mentioned, I despise the Minnesota Twins, and I adore the Chicago White Sox. But today, unfortunately, the Twins managed to steal one, beating my beloved ChiSox 20-1. Oh dear me--please excuse me while I weep tears of rage and disappointment.

Finally, the kind of professionalism and dedication one would like to see spread across America: some pranksters go all out. Imaginative, too.

I have online gaming to do. Also, I can't wait for the season premieres of Burn Notice and EUReKA. Which are coming sooooooooon!

Long live the Internets!

Dwight Howard Is NOT Soft

For a long time, I thought Dwight Howard was soft. I mostly thought this because all sorts of media peoples told me to think it. And, of course, there was a little bit of evidence, like how he hasn't led his team to a championship like D-Wade or Kobe have. Maybe, ya know, he's quit on a few games. But tonight's game proved that Howard--Superman--is not soft at all.

First, he led his team to victory over LeBron, who's arguably the best player in basketball right now. Notice how I didn't say he led his team to victory over the Cavaliers: Dwight Howard led the Magic to a win over LeBron. Without LeBron, the Cavs would be nowhere. So, Dwight Howard and the Magic beat LeBron, which occurrence has not happened yet these playoffs.

And then, as if that's not enough, there was this thunderous dunk. I am no longer a doubter.

Dwight Howard is NOT soft.

Long live course corrections!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

A-Cruisin' of the Internets

It seems that successful bloggers are the ones who can find random and awesome videos, pictures, articles, and other electronic things online. Well, far be it from me to avoid copycatting, so I found y'all some Media and stuff to check out.

First, something from SNL. And let me preface this--or rather, since these words are coming after the link, let me epilogue this by saying that I don't condone everything SNL does, but this is pretty funny.

Second, a whole website for you website-lovers. Engrish first leapt onto the scene with Zero Wing's famous cutscene dialogue "All your base are belong to us." Since then, the collection and documentation of Engrish has become a widespread and hilarious practice.

Finally, proof that racism is really dead. Ah, those Eckspanics.

Long live laziness!

(A little alliteration there.)


Long live laziness!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Dangers of Self-Expression

Nowadays, it seems the Thing To Do is express yourself.'s been that way for a while, and I also feel like an Old Fogey for using the word "nowadays". Be that as it may, self-expression is the new self-reliance, which is interesting because Emerson sort of propounded self-expression as an outworking of self-reliance.

Self-expression is now, in fact, a measure of quality. Critics still look at absolute or even relative aesthetic standards when critiquing media, but the question, "Is it real self-expression?" is rapidly overtaking other standards as THE unassailable measure of quality.

If someone doesn't truly express what they're feeling, they're ridiculed as wearing masks. If they do bare their (sometimes hideous) selves, they're lauded for bravery and amazingness, even if what they do express is despicable and disturbing.

I don't know what I'm trying to say here. I guess my point is that sometimes, I don't want to see people express themselves fully and intimately.

Long live meandering!

Monday, May 18, 2009

A Stupid New Movie

Okay, so let me go on record as a fan of Sam Raimi. He did a great job with all three Spiderman movies. But his new horror flick Drag Me To Hell? No. Not.

I do enjoy well-made horror films (which means that I don't enjoy many horror films), but Drag Me To Hell does NOT look well-made, horrifying, or possibly even a film. For starters: the trailer seems to intimate that the reason the evil creepy old lady takes out after the victim is...that she's denied a load extension?

If I'm watching the trailer right, the old lady applies for a loan extension, and the female who is to become her victim has to deliver the bad news that the application has been turned down. So the old lady freaks out and...well, that's the beginning of the end.

Seriously? Gosh. Of course I'm not going to see it...I'd be surprised if it gets 10% on the Tomatometer.

Stupid Hollywood.

Long live movie trailers!

The Beginning is the End is the Beginning

A good song, by the way. I think its inclusion in the first Watchmen trailer was pure genius. Interesting: much of the music in the movie was quite appropriate. No matter what the film's problems, at least it had good music.

But the purpose of this post is not to rave about the music in Watchmen (how about using Simon & Garfunkel's The Sound of Silence during the burial scene? eh?). The purpose of this post is--what is the purpose of this post, again? I've forgotten. If there ever was a purpose.

It's funny how everything is always the same and never the same. I know, I know, this is scraping the bottom of the barrel cliche-wise (by the way, in case you hadn't noticed, "scraping the bottom of the barrel" is a cliche as well), but I've noticed it over the past week. Everything stays the same: finals roll up again, as they do at the end of every semester, and students move out of the res halls, and people break up and hook up, and students graduate and leave behind their college careers forever, or not forever.

And yet everything is winding up for Beginnings already. Student Orientation And Registration (SOAR, very clever and despicably corny) days are thronging through here, and people are getting married, some of them in Omaha, some of them during the run of the fall musical. Schedules are being set for the fall, people are planning their extracurricular activities, and I need to find some people to work backstage for Will Rogers Follies. Interested?

I'm not sure what I'm trying to communicate here. Maybe my point is that we mustn't get too wedded to what we're doing right now, our current situation. We've got to be flexible, able to work with change. I know some people who really can't do that--they're inextricably wedded to the past, the way things used to be, and that really hurts them. I'm trying to stay's sorta working. Sorta. But I feel that changes are coming, and coming soon. And that's hard to swallow. (Another cliche there...)

This has been a quiet and introspective post. Not a lot of fun, I fear. I'm sorry, all you my ephemeral readers--not a lot of explosions or swearing or blood and guts. Deal with it: I'm in a quiet and introspective mood.


Long live introspection!

Wait, I've used that one before.

Long live the inexorable passage of time, and its effect on our decision-making!

Nah: too long and too stupid.

Let's try this one...

Long live moving on!

There, that works. That works.


Sunday, May 17, 2009

Into The Woods--My Opinions

So, as you creepily-stalkerish and ethereal readers of mine are well-aware, I went to see Shorewood High's production of Into the Woods last night. I figured I'd put my thoughts about the show into my blog, for the following and nicely-numbered reasons:

1. I want to preserve my opinions for posterity, and God knows that my brain is not a good place to store things.

2. I can't remember what this reason was.

3. People wanted to know my thoughts. So I decided to blog them (my thoughts) rather than communicating them in a marginally more personal way.

4. I don't want this blog to become a list of what I'm watching on TV at the moment. That ain't cool, nohow.

There, the list is done. On to the thoughts: and please note, this will not be a review. I don't do Reviews. I just do awesome, complicated, random, discernible-only-to-me collections of thoughts. So my thoughts were as follows: I loved the show. Of course it's difficult to judge objectively--to even judge--when one's experiencing a movie or a show for the first time, and I think my emotional and sensory involvement in the experience definitely influenced me favorably.

The singing was...interesting. I thought that for the most part the actors had seriously good voices. Red Riding Hood, for instance, had a delightful voice, as did the Baker, the Baker's Wife, and Cinderella. The Princes, although they didn't have many songs, acquitted themselves well, and the song Agony was my favorite of the entire show. The characters were very present in the songs for the most part, with a few exceptions: singing style, facial expression, physical carriage all signaled the characters quite clearly. The dancing, too, was remarkable for a high school production. Part of this is due to the deceptively simple choreography: there were few numbers with complicated or varied dance steps. But full credit must be given to the dancing abilities of a very talented cast. The physicality of the cast, again with a few exceptions, was remarkable. Not to be overlooked was the performance of the orchestra: I didn't hear a single false note.

The acting was equally praiseworthy: as has been previously mentioned, characters--so important to the show--sprang beautifully to life. The one weak point, if it can be called such, was in enunciation and diction: projection was fine, but some lines were hard to understand. I attribute this to the relative inexperience of the cast.

Technically, the show was marvelous. During one of the songs, the Witch disappeared through a trapdoor in the floor, fog swirling about her, red lights playing about her, cacophonic music whipping wildly from the pit. The spectacle was quite memorable, and Gary Pruitt's work on the show as technical director was unparalleled. Shorewood will sorely miss him (he's retiring, and this was his last show.)

Overall, given the suspect nature of my opinions, I give the show four stars out of five. I will definitely see it again, next time I find somewhere it's playing.

Long live pointless preservation!

Brief Thoughts. Yes, I Said Brief. Meaning, Not Long.

A few brief points before The Great Divorce closes this afternoon at 3:

1. I'm watching a Yanks-Twins game on TBS. Who should I root for? The Yankees are evil and the Twins are evil. Gah!

2. Why does TBS have baseball in its programming? For that matter, why does USA have tennis and the Westminster Kennel Show? Actually, let's go back to the first question--it's more puzzling. USA is more eclectic, but TBS is pretty much comedy.

3. At the restaurant last night--Fishbones in Pewaukee--the waitress brought everyone strings of beads with our drinks, to "get the party started," as she said. Seriously? You think cheap plastic beads are going to snap 4 middle-aged men into a Party? Good griffin.

4. I really really need to post my thoughts on Into the Woods: it was a great show. But I have a Facebook message to compose, and pizza to expect that review later, you figments of my authorial imagination.

Long live long lists!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Where to Begin?

Seriously, where does one begin? (I think there was some movie, maybe Spiderman 1 or 2, where Peter Parker's whining about picking up threads of lives. Moron. But if I could just remember the quote, I'd put it in here. Since I can't, you, my imaginary readership, will just need to be Tantalized.)

How's that working out for ya?

Thought so.

Well, before anything else, I must give madd propz to Twitter for re-hooking me on blogging. Of course, I planned to restart, or reboot, this venue of self-expression once my 22 credit-hours of class and several theatre productions were over and done with, but I was frankly concerned that I wouldn't have the drive to post stuff. Then I remembered that I had signed up for Twitter a while ago (I tend to sign up for things and then forget they exist) and that I could quickly and easily mini-blog using That medium. So I did. And thanks to Twitter, I am now Back In The Saddle with the whole exposing personal details online thing.

Speaking of several theatre productions, this might be a good time for me to inflate my ego and impress all of you nonexistent readers by reckoning the reckoning of different shows in which I've been involved. So, with little further ado:
Alice in Wonderland
2009 ACTstravaganza
The Great Divorce

So yeah...that actually did not inflate my ego much...but when one considers that I worked all those shows in a 5-month period, that's kinda cool. Or something. I guess. Maybe. OH! I got a free Amp this morning. For those of you who don't know what an Amp is, a) I pity you, Foo', and b) it's an energy drink.

I have hulu to be surfing, so we're going to call a halt to this inaugural, or perhaps re-inaugural, post. Peace, all.

(That's funny, because nobody's going to read this.)

Long live Comebacks!