Monday, April 27, 2009

Play List: Twitter

It was either Jon Stewart or Joel McHale who this week described Twitter as the Internet's Macarena. That's pretty fair, although I doubt there will be a wedding where everyone decides to start tweeting or a board meeting where everyone starts dancing -- though I'm waiting for someone to prove me wrong. It's an interesting medium that is still in its infancy, but I'm curious to see where it will be six months from now. That is, if it is still relevant.

The one feature that simultaneously intrigues and concerns me is the "Trending Topics" list on your twitter homepage. This is where you can find ten topics that are featured in a significant number of tweets. On the one hand, it is pretty cool that you get to see what's on the collective consciousness of the users of Twitters (I don't think they're called "Twits", so I'm resisting the urge to name them such). At the same time, I'm not too keen on having the the words of my tweets entered into a Top 100 countdown.

Anyway, I looked at the list of trending topics at around 9:15pm Sunday and found an interesting list. My challenge: come up with a soundtrack for the Tweet Countdown. The good news: Susan Boyle was not on the list at that moment, so I don't have to encounter that song again.


Swine Flu





#therescue

I had no idea what this topic was about. The use of a hashtag (#) allows other users to show up in searches based on whatever follows the hashtag. In this case, #therescue refers to an organization called Invisible Children that works on trying to stop the fighting in Uganda and DR Congo, particularly child soldiers. I had not heard of any of this before writing this paragraph.



Amazing Race

Originally I thought of "Roam" by the B-52's, but I couldn't find a postable video that wasn't muted by Warner Music Group. I think this is an appropriate Plan B.



Red Sox and Yankees



Mexico



Bea Arthur

Dammit, Warner Music Group. I wanted to post the theme to Maude ("Thank You for Being a Friend" seems a bit sappy to use now) but that is also muted. Rosie to the rescue.



CDC


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Thursday, April 23, 2009

Idol Rules: Top 7 Redux

Let me share with you a couple of tweets that one of my friends posted during last night's results show:

way to go america, your entire bottom three is the brown people. i hate you. if allison goes, so do i.

just because you already voted for one person of color recently doesn't mean you used up your quota!


I find this response to be somewhat baffling. The underlying assumption here seems to be that the voting public should be considering the demographic balance of the remaining contestants when making their selection. For a show that is a popularity contest disguised as a singing competition I fail to see how last night's results are based exclusively on racism.

Lil Rounds needed to go home last night. It has been obvious the last few weeks that her passion for this competition has been extinguished and she was just trying to skate by. There are two issues at play here. First, she was put in the (arguably racist) Whitney/Mariah/Mary J. box where she had to be this season's "diva" (an incredibly loaded term). However, I think Lil's ultimate problem was that she is not a pop singer. That is not to say she is not a singer, she just lacks the bravado of a pop star. For example, let's take Josh Groban and ABBA. Josh Groban is a singer, but he isn't really a pop singer -- if he tried to do a cover of "Dancing Queen" it would be a hot mess. Conversely, if ABBA were to phonetically learn "You Raise Me Up" it would probably cause a rash of some sort in your earhole. Both Groban and ABBA have enjoyed success at their ends of the singing spectrum, but Idol is at one end while Lil is at the other.

Then there is Anoop. His race has nothing to do with why he was eliminated. His odious personality was the cause of his elimination. Performance-wise, he has shown improvement the last couple of weeks yet he kept finding himself in the bottom three. Obnoxiousness outweighs a good performance -- it is a popularity contest, after all. Frankly, I'm a little surprised he lasted this long.

Allison's appearance in the bottom three was disappointing but not all that surprising. You have five contestants left: Adam, who is probably still the frontrunner; Danny, who is a weakening contender; Kris who is the dark horse of this competition; Matt, whose fanbase was probably working overtime trying to keep him alive due to the save; and Allison who has been middling in the eyes of the electorate. The third person in the B3 last night was going to be Allison or Matt and it will be one of those two who go home next week, so I don't believe her skin color is playing a role in her appearance last night.

I'm guessing if Matt was in the B3, this post would not be happening. It is unsettling to see the contestants of color on the danger side of the stage, but the reasons they were there had very little to do with their skin tone.

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Monday, April 20, 2009

Play List: Eulogy

Two of the classes that were part of my Religion major were "Issues in Medical Ethics" and "Ethical Issues in Death & Dying" (or, Deathics). One of the topics highlighted in both courses was to make sure your final directives are made clear to your loved ones before you are in the situation where they will come in to play. I think at the time the lesson dealt more with life support issues, organ donation, and cremation versus burial, but the first directive I came up with was music oriented. NO bagpipes, NO "Amazing Grace", NO BAGPIPES PLAYING "AMAZING GRACE".

Last week I caught this article on Yahoo News about what songs are the most popular at funerals. The study was commissioned by the British company Co-operative Funeralcare and they do this study every couple of years or so. Their findings, which can be found here, are interesting in a dark humor sort of way.

The top popular song choice was "My Way" by either Frank Sinatra or this version by Shirley Bassey:



Neither version would be my choice. If I wanted something that theatrical, I would probably go with "The Impossible Dream", though chances are I would avoid any song with such pomp.

The only song on the top ten that I was not familiar with was Gerry and the Pacemakers' "You'll Never Walk Alone":



I can see why this one would be popular for this context, but again I wouldn't want something so over the top. Maybe it's my Irish heritage talking, but I think I would want the music to be celebratory rather than making people sadder.

The alternative, I suppose, would be to go to the "quirky choices" section. My favorite item on that list: The Trammps "Disco Inferno"



It's a good track, but not quite how I would like to be remembered. It is in the ballpark being an up-tempo dance number, but unless I died in a fire or too much funk it wouldn't be all that relevant.

Here are three choices I'm tossing around:



Bjork "New World"



Stevie Nicks "Landslide"



Elvis Costello "Everyday I Write the Book"

I realize it is kind of morbid, but what song or songs would you be considering for this situation? Are there some songs that are totally inappropriate or ones that you think the list overlooked?

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Sunday, April 19, 2009

Boyle-ing Point

This Susan Boyle thing is really starting to creep me out. For those of you who don't know who I am talking about, let me give you a rundown.

Susan Boyle appeared on the program Britain's Got Talent last week. She sang the song "I Dreamed a Dream" from the show Les Miz. After her performance, the audience was cheering and the judges all gave reviews that led to three "Yes" votes for moving her on to the next phase of the competition. Pretty typical reality show sequence of events, but that doesn't explain why Boyle is being described as an internet sensation. Some other facts to color the scene: Boyle is 47, unemployed, and, in her own words, lives with a cat and has never been kissed.

And then she broke the interwebs.

The consensus is that Boyle gave a good performance on the show. Many would say excellent and I have yet to see a review that called it anything less than good, so let's go with the less extreme opinion. However, that's where the joy ends. Many of the blogs that I subscribe to have shared their positive opinions on the Susan Boyle Experience and have since been inundated with flame wars about the varying degrees of opinions and the application of semantics.

People have taken offense at Boyle being referred to as "older". 47 is older than me, so I would describe her as older. But those in their 50's, who do not consider themselves "older", have expressed contempt for that term being applied to someone younger than them. There's "older" used as an adjective of comparison, which seems to be the more common usage in this case, and "older" used as a pejorative adjective which I don't think has been the intention of any use of the term.

The other issue that has come up is physical nature of Ms. Boyle. She is not ugly, she is not glamorously beautiful, she is just...average. I don't have any of her measurements, but she appears to be average in just about every dimension. If anything, she is the human manifestation of beige. This has created intense debate about lookism, particularly in the realm of talent based reality television. It is an interesting conversation topic, but the vitriol is getting a bit much.

There's nothing that bothers me about Susan Boyle personally. Her performance is a joy to behold, which also seems to be part of the general consensus. If anything, the presentation is a bit overwrought, but that is a fault of production and outside of her control. However, all this joy is eradicated as soon as people have shared their reactions on the web. Civility is beginning to go to the wayside because one person's joy does not necessarily synch up with another.

What I'm taking from the clip is that extraordinary talent should be celebrated, regardless of the source. Why does that celebration need to be shouted down by other celebrators?

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Thursday, April 16, 2009

RGT: Eggshells

I've not been in the best of moods recently. This is what came up when I put "rube goldberg grumpy" in the YouTube search box. You may want to watch with the sound muted if you're at work.

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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Idol Rules: Top 7

I've been skipping out on the last couple of weeks of this section of the blog mainly because there wasn't too much to write about. Megan Joy and Scott MacIntyre were on borrowed time and the themes weren't that interesting either (songs that are available on iTunes and songs from the year you were born).

This week, however, SUCKED so there should be plenty to write about. Spoilers abound, so if you are still unaware of tonight's results read at your own risk.

Top 7 week revolves around the theme of fatigue. For the contestants, this is their 7th competitive week. That's seven weeks of rehearsals, 6 Ford commercials, countless interviews and public appearances, as well as being sequestered with the same dozen people the entire time. On the flipside, the audience is getting pretty fatigued as well. The show has been on twice a week since mid-January with over 48 hours of programming so far. That's 2 days worth of Coca-Cola product placement, off-key auditions, and Tatiana. It has taken 6 weeks to get rid of all the dead weight on the show and it is now reaching the point where a quadruple elimination sounds like a good idea.

The show tends to compound the fatigue by having the top 7 theme be something incredibly tedious. In the past it has been Billy Joel (season 2), Barry Manilow (season 3), the Great American Songbook (season 5) and this week's theme of movie soundtracks. Granted, this week's theme is pretty vague yet we end up with 6 ballads, two of which are attributed to Bryan Adams. The group sing this week was "Maniac", which would have been awesome if someone, anyone, had performed that on Tuesday. Instead, it was one snoozer after another with Adam Lambert being the only high energy performance. Then, because the show refuses to invest in a stopwatch, only two judges would critique each performance. This could have worked if Simon critiqued all the performances and they rotated who the second judge was. Instead, Paula and Simon critiqued the odd number performances while Kara and Randy flapped their gums for the even number performances. And the show still ran over. Way to go.

There is one thing to look forward to with the Top 7 elimination: Solomon. Two groups of three would be formed on stage. The last ungrouped contestant would then be asked to join which group s/he thought was safe. Yes, it's manufactured drama, but depending on who the show made Solomon could make things interesting. I could see Danny or Anoop being totally assy about the whole thing while Matt or Kris would likely be devastated. The last couple of seasons Melinda Doolittle and David Archuleta were the Solomons and they refused to make a choice. Maybe that's what the show was trying to avoid by not doing Solomon this year. Thanks, show.

This week's bottom three were Anoop, Matt and Lil. It should be noted that the two guys were evaluated by Randy and Kara. It was then revealed that Matt was on the block this week. He might be next week also because the judges decided to save him. In other words, this tedious week was pointless. Not cool show. Also, we're going to be stuck with a Top 5 situation which always makes the show awkward.

But that's a couple weeks away. Next week is disco which could go really well or really badly.

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Monday, April 13, 2009

Play List: Counterpoint

There were two internet destinations that figured prominently in my freshman year of college: Art of the Mix and Audiogalaxy. The former allowed me to share with others the carefully crafted mix tapes I devised during my high school years while the latter allowed me to build a rather extensive mp3 collection for future mixes.

Nowadays, I find mixing to be somewhat uninspired because there are fewer limitations. I didn't get a CD burner until twelfth grade, so all of mixes up to that point were actual mix tapes. Mix construction at that time required extensive planning. First you pick a theme and then select songs related to that theme. After repeatedly listening to specific tracks, you narrow down your list and create a dossier that included the length of each track. Once you narrow down your list to 12-15 tracks, you have to create a flow from one track to the next. It could be a drum beat, a choice of tempo, some connective fiber linking one song to the next. However, with a tape you are limited to either 30 or 45 minutes to a side, so you need to structure your tracks so that connections can flow without a tape flip cutting into the middle of a track or having over two minutes of silence. I probably went through a ream of paper in high school just from adding up the total minutes of a proposed list -- but it was worth it.

CD Burning adjusted those limitations. Instead you could have up to 80 minutes of continuous music expounding on a theme of your choosing. Arranging flow was also easier as shuffling tracks just involved a click and a drag instead of swapping CDs and skip-searching track numbers. Also, with services like Audiogalazy and Kazaa, if there was a song that you needed to complete your thesis it was only a short download away. There is a distinct disadvantage to the switch from tape to CD: If you want to present a point/counterpoint type mix (such as God/Devil), you don't have the flipping of a tape to facilitate that transition of thought.

Modern music technology has made this process almost impossible. A playlist, as Nick and Norah have shown us, can be infinite. Synthesizing an idea is no longer necessary because there is no technologically forced limitation. I still use my first generation iPod Shuffle on a daily basis, but 8.5 hours is way too much when conveying an idea, particularly if you want to present a dichotomy.

A playlist idea that I have been batting around revolves around the idea of Point/Counterpoint, Rebuttal/Response, A-Side/B-Side. Since my music library has exploded in the last few years, I feel like I have missed music based discussions between tracks that may not have realized they were in conversation with one another. I feel the list is incomplete, partly because my library will always be incomplete, partly because sometimes I will only make the connection if the right synapses fire at the right time. Here is my list so far:

  • "The Way I Are" Timbaland /
    "My Love Don't Cost a Thing" Jennifer Lopez

  • "My Humps" Black Eyed Peas /
    "Thong Song" Sisqo

  • "Shut Up and Drive" Rihanna /
    "Little Red Corvette" Prince

  • "Lovestoned/I Think That She Knows" Justin Timberlake /
    "Layla" Derek and the Dominos

  • "Southern Man" Neil Young /
    "Sweet Home Alabama" Lynyrd Skynyrd


  • That last item would probably get cut in the final draft, since the rebuttal is explicit in the latter song, but hopefully you get the idea. As you can see it is a rather short list and not enough for even a cassette.

    What songs do you think would work for a mix like this?

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    Friday, April 10, 2009

    Anti

    For the most part, I'm ambivalent about the gay marriage issue. Some might consider this surprising since I am part of the dudes-kissing-dudes coalition, but I think there are more important issues that the gay rights movement needs to address. Such as being able to walk down the street without fear of getting jumped or preventing discrimination in housing and employment. To me, fighting for gay marriage is like trying to put the roof on the house before building the walls.

    Then today in my Google Reader I get this tidbit from the folks over at AdFreak:



    Let's parse, shall we?

    "There's a storm gathering, the clouds are dark and the winds are strong, and I am afraid."

    I sincerely appreciate the honesty in this statement. The motivation, as this ad presents it, is fear. Is it fear of change? Fear of others? Fear of accepting differences? I do find "I am afraid" to be a more convincing argument that "um...because" or "Leviticus says so".

    "Some who advocate for same-sex marriage have taken the issue far beyond same-sex couples. They want to bring the issue into my life. My freedom will be taken away."

    This is where things get murky. I'm not entirely sure what they are referring to here.

    "I'm a California doctor who must choose between my faith and my job."

    I'm not sure what sort of medical decisions would be affected by gay marriage. Usually when I hear about conflicts of faith and medicine they involve either abortion, fertility, or right-to-die situations. I don't have any hard statistics, but I think it is safe to say that the abortion rates for same-sex couples is incredibly low. What about fertility doctors? I question where the a doctor in this situation has drawn the line between acceptable and unacceptable in determining who should benefit from in vitro. I suppose the difference lies in whether the egg and sperm donors are from the same parental couple, but then all of the heterosexual women who want to be single moms who are using sperm donations would also fall into this category. The only plausible possibility I can think of would be medical decisions. If a doctor believes that medical decisions can only be made by a heterosexual life partner, then next-of-kin and legal guardianships could not be used as a means of making those decisions. If there is some area of medicine that I am missing here, please let me know because I fail to see the problem here.

    "I'm part of a New Jersey church group punished by the government because we can't support same-sex marriage."

    I had to look this up and was pleased with what I found. This group is being "punished" because this particular church owns a property that a lesbian couple wanted to rent to host their civil union and the church's refusal violated New Jersey's public accommodation laws. The Church (as in, the Methodist faith) is not being punished, just this individual church that didn't want to play by the rules. Of course, it is difficult to hear the distinction between church (little 'c') and Church (big 'C').

    "I am a Massachusetts parent helplessly watching public schools teach my son that gay marriage is okay."

    You can check out the Massachusetts public school curriculum. I recommend the History and Social Science listing, particularly if you are a History/Government dork like me. From what I could tell, the state is not requiring a close reading of Goodrich v. Department of Public Health. Perhaps instead of being helpless, why don't you talk to the teacher, principal, or school board if you feel like the class is getting too far off-track from the curriculum?

    "But some who advocate for same-sex marriage have not been content with same-sex couples living as they wish. Those advocates want to change the way I live. I will have no choice. The storm...is coming."

    What? I don't see how Bert and Ernie living together with a contract indicating their promise to each other till death do they part really has any affect on my or your day-to-day life. The same goes for Bob and Carol getting hitched or Ted and Alice getting all official.

    "But we have hope. A rainbow coalition of people of every creed and color who are coming together in love to protect marriage."

    I'm so glad the national game of Smear the Queer does not discriminate on who gets to play. Seriously?

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    Thursday, April 9, 2009

    Rube Goldberg Thursday: Election

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    Monday, April 6, 2009

    Play List: 80's One Hit Wonders

    Last week VH1 added to their list of lists with the 100 Greatest One Hit Wonders of the 80's. This is my cocaine and I was giddy all Friday. I am not embarrassed by this, but now that I've come down from the high it's time to look at the list.

    This is not going to be a critique of all 100 items because I'm not insane. But as with any of these lists there are 5 reactions: "Right on", "I hate that song", "That's too high on the list", "That's too low", and "Wow! They included that one!" Let's go through the highlights, lowlights, and alrights(!).

    #95 - Midnight Oil "Beds Are Burning"



    Status: Too Low


    It took me until hour three of this countdown to realize that this isn't the top 100 one-hit wonder videos. Although the video, if there was one associated with a given song, may have factored into a voter's opinion it most likely was not a deciding factor. Ubiquity seemed to be a dominant factor, particularly as you get higher in the list. Even though this is a really awesome song, Australian aboriginal land rights was not the most ubiquitous topic in 1989 from what I recall. Although I can see how the sound of the lead singer's voice might be a turn off for some, I still think this should rank a little bit higher. At least it should rank higher than the next entry...



    #89 - Rodney Dangerfield "Rappin' Rodney"



    Status: Too High


    Don't get me wrong: I like Rodney Dangerfield. I think Back to School is an underrated film. But there are no redeeming qualities to this "song" or video. This is one of a small handful of novelty songs that also made the countdown, yet the "Super Bowl Shuffle" did not make the cut. Maybe the 1985 Chicago Bears had a rock anthem or ballad that also charted that I'm not aware of. Regardless, the fact that this track made it as far up as 89 is a real disappointment. Also: why is he being executed?

    #72 - Swing Out Sister "Breakout"



    Status: Yay!/Too Low


    I LOVE this song and video. It was a favorite growing up and one that I had forgotten from time to time only to experience great joy whenever I rediscovered it. My first rediscovery was in high school at the library I worked at. Someone had returned a 20th Century Masters: Swing Out Sister CD, causing me to question the legitimacy of that particular CD series (I didn't know SOS was ginormous in Japan). My most recent rediscovery was a couple years ago shortly after rediscovering New Order and following iTunes' suggestions. This track has since become a staple on my iPod.

    #62 - XTC "Dear God"



    Status: Yay!


    This is an amazing track. Back in my high school sociology class we had an assignment where we had to pick a song that talked about a social issue, write a couple of paragraphs about the issue, bring in a copy of the lyrics, and bring either the song or video for the class to partake. I had recently acquired this video from MTV2 and thought it was a perfect match for class. This was just one of a number of projects I did in twelfth grade that was met with stunned silence by my peers. You are probably not going to hear this on American Idol and the lines "the father, son and holy ghost/is just somebody's unholy hoax" are pretty incendiary (though awesomely constructed). The only issue I have is that XTC did have a minor hit with "The Mayor of Simpleton", but I guess it was so minor that VH1 let it slide.

    #58 - Don Johnson "Heartbeat"



    Status: WAY Too High


    BOO! I can't believe this outranked "Rappin' Rodney", let alone almost half the list. There is nothing redeeming about this song or video. The only time I think it was ever enjoyable was during the MTV special 25 Lame, where Jon Stewart, Denis Leary, Janeane Garofalo and Chris Kattan (one of these things is not like the other...) were snarking as the video played. By the way, if you are ever able to catch that special or find it archived anywhere, it is a joyous two hours.

    #50 - Neneh Cherry "Buffalo Stance"



    Status: Yay! / Right on!


    This is another song/video that I absolutely love. I remember my sister Kathy really liking this song and every time it came on we had our own 4 minute dance party in the living room. I was only 6 at the time and didn't really grasp the concept of prostitution, but I know a jam when I hear one. This was another "joy of rediscovery" track. It must have been a good fifteen years since I last heard this song, but the first time I heard the album Arular by M.I.A. my immediate reaction was "she reminds me of Neneh Cherry." This song is another iPod staple.

    #34 - The Waitresses "I Know What Boys Like"

    Status: Too High


    I think the fact that this video is not available on YouTube gives some sort of indication that this song is not all that popular. I'm just not a fan of new wave punk (as opposed to new wave pop) and this is one of the only new wave punk entries in the entire countdown. I think this line from the song sums it up best: "nyah nyah nyah nyah nyah / nyah nyah nyah nyah nyah". Seriously.

    #27 - Stacey Q "Two of Hearts"



    Status: Right on!


    Don't laugh, but I think this song was a bit ahead of its time. The video is incredibly dated, which I think is what caused me to remember it as being catchy but not all that special back in 1986 (even at the age of 3 I could be a harsh critic). It wasn't until the summer of 2004 when my friend Brad had me take a listen to his cover of the song that I realized how intricate the song was in its simplicity. The song has a clear message, an awesome hook, and Stacey Q sounds amazing. I might even go so far as to call it the "Superstition" of the Synth-pop generation. I'm totally sincere in that assessment.

    #19 - Dead or Alive "You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)"



    Status: Too Low / Right on!


    This song's placement baffles me somewhat. I realize that with the top 20 the list enters into "iconic" territory and different icons carry different weights. Taking a look at the list there are some significant heavyweights, though Animotion's high placement is a bit surprising. I think this is a case where the video does come into play, as "Obsession" is much better served by its video than this song is.

    Of course, looking at the Top 10 it is nothing but heavyweights. Here is how I would rank them (VH1's ranking in parentheses):

  • 10. Kajagoogoo "Too Shy" (9)

  • 9. Frankie Goes to Hollywood "Relax" (10)

  • 8. Tommy Tutone "867-5309/Jenny" (4)

  • 7. Bow Wow Wow "I Want Candy" (8)

  • 6. Flock of Seagulls "I Ran (So Far Away)" (2)

  • 5. Dexy's Midnight Runners "Come on Eileen" (1)

  • 4. Toni Basil "Mickey" (6)

  • 3. Soft Cell "Tainted Love" (5)

  • 2. Modern English "Melt With You" (7)


  • And number 1 (or 3, according to VH1):



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    Friday, April 3, 2009

    Drunk

    Last night's league session made me extremely uncomfortable. One of the bowler's on the other team was completely plastered before the lanes were turned on. I'm sure this isn't the first time this has happened in my Thursday league, but this is the first time where I was getting ensnared by the environment as a result. The guy decided to pick me as his "buddy" which means that every time I was within 5 feet of him he felt the need to interact with me. I know that sounds really arrogant on my part, but when most of those interactions are along the lines of "I thought you were good, dude" and "did you see that? He missed the spare" (referring to one of my teammates) I think I'm entitled to a little disdain. Also, I'm not the chattiest person anyway, so when he was trying to get me to talk by instigating instead of conversing that just causes me to close off more.

    By the second game, after a few more rounds of drinks, he had progressed from "tipsy/chatty/buddy buddy" to "overly aware of his surroundings/asshole". He noticed that Bukie, our anchor bowler, was the namesake of our team "Bukie & Associates" and kept on chanting "Bukie". Towards the end of the third game, after a string of open frames caused by an inability to aim, he threw a ball so hard and fast into the gutter that it bounced over the lane divider, hit the gutter on the next lane over, bounced out of that gutter and went down the lane. The machine was cycling, so the ball bounced off the rake and caromed back and managed to get back to the approach. Even his teammates were all "Dude, seriously?" I just wanted to get out of there.

    I do not object to drinking. I don't even object to a light buzz where one is still giggly or perhaps chattier than usual. When you get beyond that point though, all of my defenses are at red alert. I get nervous that interactions will go awry. I get uncomfortable that I will be the only person lucid enough to act like an adult. I get anxious and feel like I'm struggling for control of a situation that has suddenly become very unpredictable.

    After last night, I felt the need to unload that baggage. Thank you.

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    Idol Rules: Top 9

    This installment is a bit late this week because I had to think off what sort of political lesson could be gleaned from this week's episode. Well, it's almost 72 hours later, which leads me to think that there really isn't anything all that surprising about the how's and why's that caused Megan, Anoop and Allison to be in the bottom three. The three of them gave performances that ranged from bad to tepid and they were in the front half of the broadcast which doesn't help them in the memorability department.

    However, I did find myself surprised that Megan was eliminated this week. If you followed my Idol Tweets on Tuesday, I predicted that Anoop and Allison would be joined in the bottom three by Matt and that Anoop would be going home. I also stipulated that VFTW, Vote for the Worst, would be able to keep Megan in the competition one more week. I think if this was any other season, that prediction would have held up with a larger pool of mediocre performers to sloosh through.

    In short, I'm kind of phoning it in this week since there really isn't much analysis on how to best navigate the theme of "pick a song that was downloaded by somebody that one time". At least, there's nothing that hasn't already been covered in the previous weeks. Hopefully "Songs from the Year You Were Born" (AKA De Facto 80's Night) will offer some more insight.

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    Thursday, April 2, 2009

    Rube Goldberg Thursday: Bowling

    From Guzer.com:

    Rube Goldberg Bowling
    A Rube Goldberg machine is one of things where you set off a chain reaction to accomplish something at the end. These guys use it to go bowling.


    I wonder how the designer would go about picking up spares.

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