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Public Service Announcement

David Sedaris is funny as fuck. Here are some links to free versions of some of his best stories, read by the man himself. Most of them are from This American Life, so some of them are later in the program. He can turn mouse-mutilation, feline lukemia, and drug addiction into comic gold.

Fatty Suit
Nuit of the Living Dead
Still Life – Performance Art gone horribly wrong
Papa was not a Rolling Stone – what happens when you force your children to play instruments
The Youth in Asia – This is about pets, not Asia, fyi.

Stuff of the Week

I dressed up like a fairy last night for Tracy and Donald’s party. I have enough costume shit in my various closets to construct several fairy costumes without ever having to leave the house. Maybe I shouldn’t be admitting this.

I don’t know if I can say I’m especially pumped about anything right now. Perhaps I’m just a bit grumpy. Ooh, I am excited about the spell check feature in Firefox 2.0 though. It gives you a little dotted red line under anything you type that looks funky, and if you right click on said word, it gives you the correct spelling. For notoriously shitty spellers, such as myself, this is a godsend.

I am over my dubiousness about my current class, Leadership and Team Development. The professor has won me over, and I think it’s going to be a valuable experience. Even though I have to read Stephen Covey. Do you think it’s not a coincidence that the guy who plays Locke on Lost looks like him? Seriously. Think about it. Of course, I think the end of season 5 of Buffy is based on the Fisher King myth. So I can pretty much find an allegory in a bag of potato chips, given enough time and caffeine.

I was introduced to the concept of allegory/analogy in the seventh or eighth grade. I was introduced to Jung in the 11th. I didn’t understand either for crap for a long time, but I get it pretty well now. In my critical thinking class, we were told to beware of analogies when looking for data for research – they can be misleading. I believe this, I think analogies that are familliar and simple can keep you from looking at a problem objectively, the way a buzzword or cliche can do the same. Because it sounds familliar, it seems true. In fact, I think analogies can be used to hoodwink people into accepting stuff that’s pretty unfounded, and herein lies my difficulty with Covey. I think analogy can be used very effectively to clarify a difficult concept, but I don’t think it should be used to justify or codify it.

I’ll write more about this when I’ve clarified my own thoughts around it. For now, imagine my distrust of oversimplified analogies is like being locked in a phone booth without a quarter when you have to pee really bad.

p.s. I know this entry is repeating like three times, blogger is pissing me off.

Current Addictions

My New Hair Color
Note the black streaks:

Mad props to my hair guy, Christian at Orbit.

IMovie on my MacBook
My first ever movie. Simon is chasing a laser pointer, sort of. His elderly dog eyesight is not so great. I learned how to do this at my ProCare mac lesson today. Sweet.

Justin Timberlake
Yes, I have a not-so-secret addiction to hip hop and pop music. JT collaborates with Timberland on his latest CD and it is fierce. I love the way he layers sounds, and the guy really can sing (he also plays actual piano, who knew?). If you’re not completely averse to music of the now, check it out.

I know this isn’t breaking news, but I love Wikipedia. Searches run this week:
Enki – Sumerian Deity (I was reading a Sci-Fi book that talks about him)
Pope John Paul II – This was for some info for my final Ethics paper.
North Korea – Tired of only understanding half of what’s going on there, I did a bit of reading up.

Tiff’s Treats
A local gem, this company makes ungodly good cookies fresh daily and delivers them to your office with milk. Warm. Gooey. I sent some to David’s office this week when he and his peeps were working around the clock. Who needs sleep when you have sugar, chocolate, butter and milk?

Like a Laser Beam

That’s how focused I am.

Laser-beam focused on doing anything, and I mean anything, but my homework. Do you know what it takes for me to break down and clean my office? Setting time aside? Drinking a lot of espresso? Not being able to see the floor? No. What it takes is my inability to sit down and work on the four, count them, four deliverables I have due on Weds, the last night of my Ethics class.

So now I can see the floor and the surface of the guest bed for the first time in months. I may even get really crazy with it and vacuum. Or, I could do my homework. Except I haven’t scrubbed the kitchen, done the dishes, exercised, showered, or washed the dog yet. And all of those things, things I could put off indefinitely on a normal day (except the shower part) sound amazingly enticing when I need to do my homework.

I have mastered the fine art of procrastination.

The colliding of worlds

As I am a gigantic dork, I love it when the different fantasy worlds I like to visit make reference to each other. I’m a big fan of two unintelligible eggs named Weebl and Bob. In their latest adventure, they reference Strongbad, of whom I am also a big fan. This is almost as cool as when, in the very last episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, they mentioned Trogdor the Burninator.

I told you I was a dork.

Latest Obsessions

My new MacBook
I love it so. My now former iBook crashed yesterday. Blue Screen of Death – couldn’t even get it to start up from the emergency cdrom. Yet the fine people at the Apple Store not only saved all my data, but transferred it in place to my new computer, applications and all. So not only did I not lose the paper I spent all weekend writing (and all my other crap), but I didn’t lose another day to reconfiguring my new computer. This is a beautiful thing. The new computer is lighter, has better resolution, better sound, a freaking fast processor, and other things I’m still discovering like this handy built in camera. Observe:

Pretty swank, eh?

Rodney Yee Yoga DVDs
David and I have been doing workouts from this set of DVDs every other day. They’re great – a good balance between clear instruction and working your ass out. You can get them at for pretty cheap.

Stila Makeup
Notice my creamy complexion? My flawless visage? No that’s not photoshop (okay, maybe a little), it’s all my fab Stila makeup. I’ve been diggin on their eye shadows, lip glosses (not sticky!), blushes, and pressed powder. Plus, they encourage you to buy items free of packaging and stick them in handy, magnetized pallettes, reducing waste. They have some nice perfumes too, if you like that sort of thing.

Bad Buddhist Radio
This is a great podcast that provides a clear, if somewhat irate, introduction to the four noble truths and the eightfold path of Buddhism. Those are kind of a combination of the constitution and the ten commandments, but for Buddhists. Ryu Cope does an introduction to each concept, strips off all the additional mystical crap, and explains what these guidelines really mean. Interestingly enough, they really align with my own values, and also come in handy for discussions and writing in my ethics class. A great place to start if you’re interested in the basics of Buddhism.

New Time Wasters
Joe Mathlete Explains Today’s Marmaduke
Gaping Void
Zuma – or The Game Responsible for my Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Ultimate Pie Theft – PacMan, but with Pie
Perez Hilton – I can’t decide whether I should love of hate this guy, he’s sooo snarky, but his blog is extremely addictive.

Austin Food Bytes – Remember the Alamo

Drafthouse, that is. And this is really an arts review masquerading as a food review. So let me cover the food first, and get it out of the way. The Downtown Alamo Drafthouse has a menu that consists of mostly burgers, pizzas and sides, in addition to a wide variety of beer and wine. The quality ranges from acceptable to decent. No, that’s not much range. The chicken sandwiches are good, the fries, not so much. The pizzas are okay, and the occasional specials can be quite nice. The spinach quesadilla is actually quite good and filling, I recommend it. For dessert, you can’t go wrong with Amy’s Cookies and Cream ice cream covered in chocolate sauce.

What I really want to plug is one of the ongoing signature events at the Alamo Downtown, The Sinus Show. Formerly known as Mr. Sinus Theater, The Sinus Show is loosely based on the Mystery Science Theater model – play bad movies and make fun of them. The three founders, Germ, Owen, and John do this live, almost every weekend. The Sinus Show concept has morphed somewhat over time – they rarely show obscure B-movies anymore, having found their especial niche in iconic 80s flicks. And what a special niche it is. You will never see Footloose, Pretty in Pink, Point Break, Red Dawn, Speed, Showgirls, Xanadu, and a slew of other former blockbusters in the same way again. The Sinus boys have instituted several of their very own traditions, including a drinking game – yelling a response at the screen when a character does or says something repetitive, and “stop the movie” – a point halfway through the movie where they stop rolling and perform a skit based on the film itself and whatever theme has emerged in the commentary. You’ve never truly seen The Terminator, until you’ve seen the penultimate scene re-enacted as a ballet to Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody.

Mr. Sinus is reviving my favorite piece in its repertoire, Dirty Dancing, in November. If you’re a Sinus fan already, and you’ve never seen it, you must. If you’ve never been to a Sinus Show, this is the perfect opportunity to see the Sinus boys at their most obscure, sophomoric, intellectual, political and hysterical. Be warned, the Sinus Show can be raunchy, and the language risque, so you might want to see it for yourself before you bring your parents for a family night. Another Sinus tip – if they’re premiering a new movie, wait for late in the run to see it, as they’ve usually ironed out the kinks by then. When it’s a revival of a show they’ve done before, any night is a safe bet.

Mr. Sinus on Myspace
Mr. Sinus Website
The Alamo Drafthouse