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Tuesday, August 31
9:20 PM : : pyramid scheme. i've spent some time the past week trying to figure out the difference between "emotional investment" versus "emotional attachment." i used the terms to describe two different emotional states but now i'm a little confused about what separates them. are the two mutually exclusive? inclusive? is one predicated on the other? is one better than the other? who knows? in an attempt to order my world (and yours), i will define these terms once and for all.

when i say "emotional investment," i mean it as something that may not affect me on a day to day basis, but instead is an investment of emotion into a particular person. investment is defined as "to spend or devote for future advantage or benefit." that means that although you/i/me may not be tied into a particular relationship daily, your emotional happiness is somewhat dependent on their well being. the emotional investment relationship is giving a part of myself to someone else and letting them do with it what they will. this doesn't mean that if they are having a bad day, you have a bad day; but maybe if they're feeling shitty about you, you feel shitty about yourself and want the situation to be rectified.

now how is this different than being attached? well, to be attached is to be bound by emotional ties, whether out of affection or loyalty. in the state of attachment, you accept a piece of someone into your life, creating an opening in yourself and allowing that relationship to affect you so being attached is perhaps more surface-y and transient in nature, but its power cannot be underestimated. being emotionally attached is similar to being emotionally involved -- and involvement brings with it the ability to be influenced and affected. but wait you say, aren't you influenced and affected in an emotional investment relationship too? what's the difference?

i think the difference comes down to, say it with me, feeling. with an investment, you just put something in and you might not necessarily feel anything about it. an investment is very very important to you but you are able to take a step back and live with the ups and downs. with attachment and involvement, you feel the need to rectify the situation immediately, or when something is wrong, you feel like it needs to be addressed as soon as possible. i feel like if you break it down, investing is about you putting something in, while attachment is you accepting something from someone else. note that an investment is not necessarily a two way street, which could be the fundamental difference. by definition, attachment requires two parties while investment requires only one (and don't get technical on me or this will all fall apart).

what does it mean then, to be emotionally attached to someone but not emotionally invested? in a real world situation, it's like your emotions ride on the ebb and flow of every day situations but your personal happiness is not dependent on this relationship. if the qualifications were reversed (being invested but not attached), then your overall karmic happiness is dependent on this investment but you are not there in the nitty gritty all the time. is that enough of a difference? i'm not even sure. i'm not even sure if there should be a difference between the two. but since i've separated the two into comparable parts, i will stick to my guns and try to define them. although here, i've only managed to thoroughly confuse myself as well as you, gentle reader.

and so i'll sign off a bit lost and pretzel twisted, lost in between semantics and strict definitions. any commentary, clarification or opinion on the matter would be appreciated.

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Sunday, August 29
1:24 PM : : you are seventeen going on eighteen. this summer, i've hung out a very little bit with a few younger siblings of my friends. they are of varying age but the ones that have impacted me are the ones about to head off the college. so young, so enthusiastic, so growns up but yet still so naive. i talk to them about what they want to do in school, what they hope to major in, what their thoughts are post-high school. but even as i seriously listen, i don't take them seriously. not because they aren't serious about what they think, or that they're immature or anything, but i think "yeah, you think you have all these plans going into college but four (or five, six, seven) years later, it'll be totally different." it's like i eliminate the possibility that they'll emerge from college exactly the way they have it planned. after all, how many of us did that?

so when they speak about wanting to be a doctor, a political science major, a businessman, i nod and say "good luck" while thinking about how much they'll change in four years. in retrospect, nobody has any clue what college will do to them. so much of your life changes -- socially, mentally, emotionally -- that i feel like it's impossible to predict what might happen to you as a person. so when i talk to these eighteen year olds, i'm trying to capture an image of them so that i can compare it to what they become in four years.

and i also feel old. so old. i'm like eight years older than these kids who are going off to college this year. from the outside, these kids seem much more prepared. they are physically more mature, mentally older and generally, much savvier than most of my peers were at eighteen. and in truth, most of the people i knew at eighteen and then at twenty two remained pretty much the same. but the experiences of college shape and change us, even if not dramatically. i wonder if these eighteen year olds have any idea what's in store for them. i kind of want to say to them, "you don't know nothing kid. come talk to me in four years."

but even as i think this, i am stunned by how old they seem. i relate to them, even though they are almost a decade younger than i am. they've read and studied stuff that i barely know anything about. sometimes talking to them is infinitely more interesting than talking to people my age, just because they have fresh thoughts and new perspectives. something about talking to youth is kind of invigorating, even as it showcases how i really am in my mid-twenties and not a teenager anymore. and even though i've always been inclined to think that i could pass for a high school student, i don't think so anymore.

i wonder if this is how older people felt talking to us. when we were freshmen in college, talking to seniors or people who were out of college. they must have looked at us like "man, what tards." i think i'm setting the lower and upper limits for people i can relate to at precisely eighteen and a half years old and thirty two, respectively.

"age ain't nothing but a number." or is it?

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Friday, August 27
4:17 PM : : i'm ain't talking to ya, i'm just talking through ya. i love it when books distill all of human civilization down to a twenty four hour period and then tell us when such and such came about on the timeline. like "if humans had existed for twenty-four hours, writing would only have come along around 11:08 pm. for the twenty three plus hours -- or 144,500 years -- before this, language worldwide was (only) spoken." i find that really helps to put things in perspective. then again, sometimes it's misleading because in order to make this a relevant fact, you would also have to know what time spoken language came into existence. you would assume from this statistic that language started in conjunction with mankind but what if spoken language has only been around since 9:13pm? then it doesn't seem quite as remarkable that the written world has only been around for fifty two minutes.

anyway, the above quote is from "doing our own thing: the degradation of language and music and why we should, like, care." it's fascinating reading so far. it's nothing particularly new, since many books address how our formal language is being replaced by the colloquial, but when the author shows you speeches from the past compared to speeches from the present, the differences are very striking. nowadays, even our politicians and leaders, who are used to giving speeches left and right, suffer from the malady known as "craptastic speaking."

the book also briefly touches upon the difference between talking and speaking. everyone can talk. stringing together a random combination of words is talking. talking doesn't mean you're making sense though. like a baby spitting gibberish, talking could just be a jumble of random words and sounds. and it's not just babies either. many people who are beyond the baby stage of life are prone to talking incoherently -- and sadly, incessantly. these people are not speakers. speakers use the power of words to convey a point, a message, or a story. speakers are in fast decline in our day and age. speech classes used to be mandatory for school children but i think that most people now are incapable of speaking. we've gotten so used to having everything "dumbed down" around us that we can only relate to words that sound like they might come out of our mouths on an everyday basis. everyone just talks and babbles and conversates, but who among us is truly speaking?

you may not know the difference between the two until you've been exposed to a great speaker. watching someone who is proficient in the art of speech (not restricted to people merely making a speech), someone who possesses a command of the language is impressive indeed. when i happen to encounter people who are able to express themselves coherently, i think "wow, this person has really cut down on their extraneous talking motions" and i feel like i need to pay attention because whatever drops out of their mouths must be finely sifted gold. people with the composure and ability to directly convey a thought should be exalted and admired.

the book points out that speaking is a trained ability. people are not born speakers. speaking is an art form that can be taught to everyone, young, old, dumb, smart. too often, we accept the idea that speaking is something we either can or can't do. but that's not the case. speaking is like any other subject or skill that can be taught -- math, history, sports, drama, music. so, for people like me, who are not speakers but rather talkers, what can we do to get better? join a speech and debate team? practice narrowing down our thoughts into words? think before we speak? how does one begin to learn how to speak and not just merely babble? maybe i should work first on cutting down on the written babble, and then hope that translates to the verbal. or maybe it would be more efficient to do it the other way around. alternately i could also just be mute. after all, according to our sixteenth president, "tis better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt."

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Wednesday, August 25
7:23 PM : : brush that bird off your shoulder. just like you have a place for your things, you need a place for your friends. this is a very different concept from putting your friends in their place. that's a very mean thing to do, although sometimes necessary. however, putting your friends in a specific place is always a necessity. i've already discussed the value of having a consistent place to put your wallet, your keys, your ipod. you know where to find them, they know where to be found. it's an efficient, if not overly ingenious, system.

a better analogy is perhaps sports. yes, it always comes down to sports or movies, that's just the way my world works. sorry. anyway, in our lives, each friend fills a particular niche. some friends are good to talk to, some are good to hang out with, some provide intellectual stimulation, some provide free food, some teach you things, some aggravate you, some understand you, some withstand you, some friends are useful for certain activities but useless everywhere else, some friends provide transportation or advice; basically, each friend does something different. much like individuals on a football team.

and like any good football team, you need to have depth at your "positions." having only one friend you can consistently go shoot the shit with is extremely dangerous. if he/she goes down, your team is suffering at that position and you are left with a big gaping hole in your life. in the same vein, maybe you have too many friends who are log jammed at one position. if life were really like sports, you could trade away a position of strength to bring in a player who covers a weakness. "okay, i'll give you my friend brian, who's good for clubbing and meeting girls, for your friend gina, who's good at listening and being empathic. do we have a deal?"

but this does not happen in real life. at least not this directly. instead what you have is the slow acquisition of friends of friends, who may slowly fulfill your invidual team needs. also, let me point out that not every personal friend need requires fulfillment. some people are comfortable with not having friends for a certain niche. you don't necessarily need both a running and passing game to succeed. if you are the type of person who revels in hanging out by yourself, you wouldn't need too many friends to hang out with. that's a wonderful and beautiful thing. the key to this entire system is identifying a friend strategy, identifying how you want to "win" in life and then sticking to that plan.

skeptics of this analogy might say, "but what about friends that fulfill multiple needs? don't they make your positional theory irrelevant?" no it doesn't. because the game of friends does not have strict rules for minimum or maximum number of roster positions. for example, you could be playing the equivalent of friend basketball (twelve players/friends to a team), you could be playing friend football (fifty plus players per team), or you could be playing mixed friend doubles (just one teammate of the opposite sex). whatever friend sport it is that you're playing, just make sure to have enough depth to not be left high and dry.

friends will also vary in importance and ability. some "best friend" types will be franchise players, capable of fulfilling many needs at once. these are the cornerstones of your friend franchise, you've built your friends circle around them. but aside from your stars and superstars, you'll also probably have some specialists (a friend whom you call for car advice), role players (a friend to watch sappy movies with perhaps), and your bench players (you know what these are, the backups). you'll might also have the flakey friend who seems like they would be great but their talent never quite matches up to their production -- the ubiquitous "full of potential" player. and sometimes, a new friend will give you something totally unexpected (like someone who inspires you to start surfing and fulfills a niche you never knew you had open) and suddenly your team has an added dimension to it. the point is, friends have roles depending on their abilities and talents and you should be aware of what positions you have assigned your friends -- consciously or unconsciously.

this analogy could really go on forever but i'll stop here, for your sake and mine. i suggest we all make lists and define who fulfills what in our lives. then we can commence actually trading friends around so that we can all be shiny happy people with no friend holes in our lives. because really, what could be worse than having friend holes? we might even want to go so far as to make it a collectible card trading game with pictures on the front and stats on the back. i've lost you, i feel it.

oh it's james' birthday today. he's a franchise type player on the right team, anybody want to trade me for him?

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Tuesday, August 24
1:28 PM : : what once was lost but now found. this is a dark tale, be forewarned. a few weeks ago, in a moment of complete and utter stupidity, i lost my ipod. yes, the very same ipod that was given to me earlier this summer by these fine people. the same ipod that had rarely been out of my room, james' car or the computer room. how could i lose it? where could it go? an ipod is many things but a walking sentinent being it is not. my fellow ipod owners were quick to shun me. they teased me relentlessly and said that i must not have loved the ipod enough, and that's why it left. some people suggested that a higher power was punishing me for my forgetfulness and what amounts to essentially, infidelity. james said that if his son ever lost an ipod he would probably disown him, and he wasn't joking. people tried to vilify me for my absent mindedness. and rightly so. an ipod is the gift that keeps on giving. nothing could serve better as an earthly reflection of agape love than an ipod. it's beautiful, compact and capable of drowning out dull conversations. how could i lose it if i loved it? if you love something enough, you should know where it is at all times right?

after everyone was done haranguing me, they offered to help me look. and look they did but still no ipod. my robotic exterior remained calm during this search and i said "oh, it'll turn up, it's gotta be in my (incredibly messy) room. i don't take it anywhere else." but my human inside was dying. i went through all the scenarios which could possibly result from me being ipod-less. none of it involved beautiful birds and/or bumblebees. life post losing an ipod was mainly a desolate barren area filled only with cobwebs. not pretty. i did manage however, to find the earphones, the charger, the orange sock that served as a safety holder for the ipod. but no apple created gem. james was still freaking out and calling me names. he was being very helpful.

i hated myself right then and there for not having a place for my ipod. i have a place for my keys, a place for my wallet, a place for my gum, my cigarettes, a place for my cash savings, a place for my cash withdrawals (conveniently located one cement cinder cubby up from the savings department), a place for my friends, in short, a place for everything important. if you're going to be a person of clutter, you have to have a specific place to put important things. this even applies to your everyday walk abouts. my keys are in my right pocket, my wallet in my right cargo pocket, my gum and various slips of paper in my left pocket, my cigarettes and lighter in my left cargo pocket. nothing changes. why?

because in order to keep track of things, you have to make sure that you place items in their proper places every time, or else you lose them. gene, being possibly the most cluttered person i know, keeps his wallet on a chain. amazingly, he's lost his wallet a few times, even though it's supposed to be attached to his pants at all times. how he does it, i don't know. that's the magic of gene.

i found my ipod. many hours later. it was in my room, just where i knew it would be. it wasn't lost, it was just misplaced. but now it has a place and i'll never lose it again. is this what it feels like to lose your kid in the grocery store? the whole time he/she/it is gone you're thinking to yourself "i can't believe i just lost my most important possession!" your world crumbles and you want to kill yourself. that's how i felt. and when you finally get your kid (or ipod) back you promise to never let it out of your sight. but invariably you do it again. and then what? trauma, absolute trauma.

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Monday, August 23
7:50 PM : : the game of life. one of those "uh oh" moments that are said to occur in our lives: when an ex-girlfriend (or boyfriend) tells you that she is getting married. if life were to be a romantic movie the situation would unfold thusly. ex-girlfriend calls you out of the blue, you reminisce and start to get to wondering "why did we ever break up?", and then right when you start to get into the groove of the time you're spending together, she drops the "oh by the way, i'm getting married" bomb.

at this point, if life was a revenge themed tarantino movie, all hell would break loose and many people would get maimed and obliterated -- even as they exchange witty dialogues. but no, clearly life is more akin to a romantic comedy. you know, the one where a beautiful a-list actress (julia roberts?) responds to the news by pretending to be happy but really panicks inside and wonders "why aren't i married yet?" cue laughter and lots of confusion as ms roberts tries to find a worthwhile date to bring to the wedding. actually, life isn't always like that either. life as a movie is surely just like reality bites, because anything important is somehow related to realty bites.

anyway, here's a worthy question. do you invite your exes to your wedding? actually, this is a terrible question since there is no objective answer and you only invite your exes if you are still cool with them, and they with you. a duh. so, barring any animosity between you and your ex, why wouldn't you invite them? at a wedding, don't you want everyone who was an important part of your life to be there? and wouldn't that naturally include your exes? i'd say so.

i've heard rumors about people who refuse to let their fiances (or brides-to-be) invite their exes. this seems ridiculous to me. if you can't handle your fiance having his ex around for one day, you probably have some issues to work out before you get married. that's just me though. maybe you people think differently about the whole thing. i can see however, how this might make for interesting wedding dinner conversation. "so, how do you know (insert name)?" "oh, i was her ex-boyfriend for five years..."

the point of all this is that as of yesterday, i found out that my first "real" girlfriend (my chronology includes 3.5 girlfriends, i think) was proposed to last week and happily accepted. stacey was the first real girlfriend i had in the sense that we were definitely going out and were mature to the point where we were in a "relationship." we went out for about eight months or so, almost all of it long distance -- her in santa cruz, me in ann arbor. she was not only my first real girlfriend but also my first kiss. and now she's getting married, a mere five years after we broke up.

and how do i feel? i feel great, fine, stupendous. because the guy that stacey is marrying, tim, is a friend of mine that i truly admire and respect (and not only for his awe inspiring basketball skills). in fact, when the two of them initially got together, i thought "wow, they make so much more sense than we ever did." and obviously, i've been proven correct. they are both happy happy happy. as was i to hear the news of their impending nuptials. interestingly enough, all three relationships stacey has been in have been with people that all grew up within ten miles of each other in san diego. as they say, "third times the charm."

i have this theory: after dating me, the next person someone dates will be able to make them very very happy. the semi-proof of this theory is that so far, every ex-girlfriend i've had is now in a wonderful relationship with a man that they might get married to -- in stacey's case, will get married to. call it "jon's cupid touch." after you date me, you'll think so lowly of men that the next one you ensnare will seem like a godsend. i am apparently the batch of love potion mixed right before number nine; failed formula number eight i believe.

my love lawyers however, would have a defensible case for the fact that i was a decent boyfriend to stacey. it being my first relationship, i was an excellent boyfriend. this was all pre my transformation and metamorphosis into "jon the bastard." not to be confused with "john the baptist." i remember, with stacey, a good amount of crying, missing, a morass of emotions and all that fun stuff. after her, my views on relationships (and partly, life) changed a lot and i became a very different type of boyfriend. you know, the one most common to mars and earth, the asshole boyfriend.

anyway, i get to go to stacey and tim's wedding. so there. and if you need someone to ensure your romantic happiness, my services will be available for a small fee. if you date me for a few months, it's almost guaranteed -- by the cosmic karma gods -- that you will have eternal happiness in store for you when we break up. just like stacey does, with tim.

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Friday, August 20
5:46 AM : : are you that somebody? in amazing news, after approximately nine months of waiting, anna and eric have their baby. in full health, isaiah agustin's birthday can henceforth be celebrated on the 20th of august every year. if you take a close look at the pictures, it seems like baby isaiah has the biggest head of hair of any baby you've ever seen, considering he's straight from the womb. what does this portend? a great political career? a hairstylist's dream? girls swooning? steve nash like nba skills and hairstyle to match? who knows?

in his answer to question #34 of my quiz (if you had four kids, what order would you want them to come in?), eric answered thusly, "point guard, center, power forward, shooting guard." clearly, great things are in store for isaiah. i mean, his name is probably more biblical in reference than basketball related but there is little doubt that this first born son of eric will be the beneficiary of eric's many talents, skills and experiences. combine all that with anna's not to be overlooked talents, skills and experiences and you are essentially looking at the next generation of super baby. one who will sing, dance, laugh, talk, tumble and inspire. just like his parents. super congratulations to eric and anna. and when i say super i mean super super with cherries on top.

quote of the day - via eric's blog: "can’t tell if isaiah is cute because we’re the parents and we love him no matter what or if he’s actually really cute..."

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Thursday, August 19
1:49 PM : : "writing that has a voice is writing that has something like a personality. but whose personality is it? as with all art, there is no straight road from the product back to the producer. there are writers loved for their humor who are not funny people, and writers admired for their eloquence who swallow their words, never look you in the eye, and can’t seem to finish a sentence. wisdom on the page correlates with wisdom in the writer about as frequently as a high batting average correlates with a high i.q.: they just seem to have very little to do with one another. witty and charming people can produce prose of sneering sententiousness, and fretful neurotics can, to their readers, seem as though they must be delightful to live with. personal drabness, through some obscure neural kink, can deliver verbal blooms. readers who meet a writer whose voice they have fallen in love with usually need to make a small adjustment afterward in order to hang on to the infatuation.

the uncertainty about what it means for writing to have a voice arises from the metaphor itself. writers often claim that they never write something that they would not say. it is hard to know how this could be literally true. speech is somatic, a bodily function, and it is accompanied by physical inflections—tone of voice, winks, smiles, raised eyebrows, hand gestures—that are not reproducible in writing. spoken language is repetitive, fragmentary, contradictory, limited in vocabulary, loaded down with space holders (“like,” “um,” “you know”)—all the things writing teachers tell students not to do. and yet people can generally make themselves understood right away. as a medium, writing is a million times weaker than speech. it’s a hieroglyph competing with a symphony."
-new yorker review of “eats, shoots & leaves.”-

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11:22 AM : : "be kind to your reader. capitalization and punctuation are the easiest ways to indicate exactly what you're trying to say. it's time for a little tough love, people: anyone who types in all lowercase needs to be taken out back and beaten. you are not e.e. cummings; you are not being "artistic." you're just too lazy to hit the shift key. if you can't be bothered with the extra keystroke, i can't be bothered to read your site. don't turn off readers before they even get to your words. (a refusal to capitalize is just one grammar horror that can be spotted at first glance. i can also spot an overuse of the ellipsis at 50 paces. there are two reasons to use an ellipsis (and neither one is because you don't want to write a transition): use an ellipsis to indicate words omitted from a direct quote or to trail off intriguingly. if neither of these are your intention, try a period. dot. full stop. terminal punctuation can be your friend.)"
-eats, blogs & leaves-

i write entirely in lower case and in the past, dropped ellipsis like they were loose change from my pocket. i've stopped doing that at the insistence of friends, family and people who cared. maybe i should consider going back to using capitalizations. i've heard some psycho babble about people who use no caps, like they have small egos or something (or was it big?). i'll have to see what that theory was and then adjust accordingly because i wouldn't want to misrepresent myself through my capitalizations -- or lack thereof.

do not take grammar lightly. lilly has a strict policy about grammar mistakes and many of her pet peeves center around this very issue. in a recent email she asked me, "is it bad that i really take it personally when people misspell, or use "u" and stuff? you don't do that with me, i know. because i scared you. but misspelling. bad grammer. it's like this big "ugh. this would NEVER work" thing with me." that's how serious this problem is. gentlemen, get on your grammar game, otherwise be prepared to be single for quite some time.

what's worse ladies? bad grammar or bad table manners?

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Wednesday, August 18
9:36 AM : : "i was feeling slightly jittery, as i usually do shortly before my photograph is taken. i don't like the idea of any of my facial expressions being preserved forever. facial expressions work in real life because they are fleeting, nobody has enough time to scrutinize them because they shift, blend, and change as quickly as emotional states. when you capture one on film, you give it eternal life, you make a monster of a mortal. and when you see it afterwards, printed onto glossy 4x6 paper, the smile can't help but look strained, the eyes can't help but seem false."

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Tuesday, August 17
12:03 PM : : jordan's defiance of convention early on in his career was not unlike what the trio run-dmc was doing in its music. the air jordans, along with the adidas "shell toe" favored by dmc, went on to became staples of the hip-hop wardrobe. jordan's shaved head and his long baggy shorts eventually became the style as well, both on and off the court. he was not only a trendsetter and style arbiter, but he was a young rebel intent on gettin' money and dominating the game. these things would become mantras in hip-hop, too, over time.
-the convergence of basketball and hip hop-

hip-hop started out as a counter-culture expression of pain-laced, defiant joy by new york's penniless and angry. you make studio time and instrumental tuition too expensive for me, place me in ghettos i lack any means to escape or improve, cut off the power to my housing block, keep me locked down in a miserable job for pathetic pay and generally treat me as a politically powerless and racially inferior minority? i will mix records together with no respect for their discrete heritage or creators; set your anthems as backing vocals for the rhymes i've spent my fruitless hours of drudgery whetting with pent-up bitterness; paint your greyly hideous constructions wildly, vibrantly beautiful; and funnel the electricity from your streetlights into my decks and speakers, to dance with my peers in new and explosive ways that pay homage to our frantic, cooped-up energy. and i will tell my people that they are beautiful, and that you cannot hold us forever, for this raucous, rhythmic, illegitimate music will bring us together, and in its crude but irresistible power we will find and share our impoverished strength and soul once more.

...now, any musical genre that becomes so successful that it becomes the mainstream inevitably becomes homogenized, its own swollen girth obscuring beneath it many of its most talented originators. indeed, many are those who have been loudly proclaimed rock's death for the last few decades. yet hip-hop has not become commercially marginalized, nor has it run out of fresh, hungry artists with something to say and an interesting, original way of saying it. it's quite the opposite in fact. it is just that hip-hop bears within its body of listeners not just the usual commercial/obscurest rift, but also a mobius strip-like cultural one, and the two intersect.

...perhaps my hopes for a racially unattached hip-hop, where only the music and the mc's ability and personality matter, is both naive and potentially a setback for the black community. yet in their need to keep their music, and themselves, united, they are holding on to both the past and the populist present too tightly, stymieing themselves and their art, limiting what could be a liberating outlet for all the facets of their souls to superficial party music presided over by ineloquent, aggressive stereotypes.
-how hip hop music is slowly transcending its circular culture-

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11:11 AM : : "espn has announced some of the artists that will be featured on the soundtrack for the upcoming espn nba 2K5. the basketballer will include the work of 22 hip-hop groups when it is released this fall." some of the artists featured will be: aceyalone, madlib, aesop rock, del the funky homosapien, hieroglyphics featuring goapele, people under the stairs, the roots, skillz and so much more.

man, that is one hell of a soundtrack and potential concert. whoever espn is getting to pick their music, they are doing a damn good job if the selections from this title are any indication. i may have to forego the game and just get the cd release.

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Monday, August 16
1:49 PM : : the armpit of america. i've been patiently waiting for one movie all summer. it wasn't a blockbuster film -- i've seen more than my fair share this summer -- it wasn't a stupid lowbrow flick. it was garden state. ever since i was told that it was supposed to be about being lost and in your mid-twenties and starred natalie portman, i was sold. and the reviews and buzz on the film were glowing.
"garden state is the kind of near-perfect treasure of a movie that you want to hug and never let go. not only is there unmeasured poignancy in the journey large (zach braff) goes through to reclaim a hold on his life, and a transcendent love story between large and sam (natalie portman), and a wholly unpredictable plot trajectory to what occurs, and how things happen, but, technically speaking, one would never be able to guess this is a low-budget independent feature."

"garden state is the kind of love story that opens us to the mysteries of life and the fact that we cannot control anything. it is better to surrender to the big, brawling, and noisy messiness of lovers who reach out in the darkness to us and friends who go out of their way to get us gifts that speak to our hearts."

it sounded wonderful, it sounded like it would be a contender for top ten status. it sounded like it would combine the best themes of reality bites and lost in translation. in short, it sounded perfect. but as the release date crept closer, pessimism set in. what if the movie isn't good? what if the movie is cheesy and unoriginal? what if natalie portman's character is annoying? i saw ms portman on a few talk shows (and converted a few of my male peers to become natalie fans) and she represented herself well. but some of the film clips looked not so promising. what do you do at this point? you do what any parent does when faced with a possible bad seed, you lower your expectations for your child.

i lowered my expectations from a five out of five movie to a three out of five movie, hoping that it would fall neatly in the four and a half star category after viewing. christina, more pessimistic than me by a mile, decided to drop her expectations to two stars out of five. essentially she was ready for anything, even crap as bad as spiderman two. but i was still holding out hope that garden state would become a new favorite. then the bad reviews started rolling in.
"garden state is one of those movies that fails to stay with the viewer for an extended period of time. it's a forgettable film featuring a throw-away story with unmemorable characters and unremarkable performances. that's not to say it's bad, because that would be an unfair description. but it's hard to figure out why this movie caused such a stir at sundance. it's a generic story about how a 20-something loser returns to his roots, makes peace with his inner demons, and finds himself and love at the same time. tell me we've never seen that story before… ...as long as you go into garden state with reasonable expectations, its capacity to disappoint will be limited."

and although a few bad reviews aren't enough to dampen my excitement -- especially since i've decided movie reviewers are, for the most part, about as accurate as weathermen -- word of mouth can kill my buzz pretty quickly. some people who have already seen the movie have told me that it was only so-so. christina has withheld sharing her judgements and opinions until i've seen the film. isn't this all a bad sign? should i be lowering my expectations to two stars? why even watch it then? i mean, natalie portman is prime time number one but even i didn't go rushing off to see where the heart is (although tragically i saw it much later on cable).

i really want to love this movie. it's got all the ingredients to be one of my favorites: a favorite actress, relatable themes, good characters, good dialogue, memorable scenes. but most of the reviews keep on applauding zach braff for his hat trick (writing/directing/starring) rather than saying how great the movie was. it's like everybody was so impressed that the guy from scrubs could do so much, rather than impressed by the movie as a whole. which leads me to believe that i'm in for yet another summer flick that disappoints. why is it so hard to find a decent movie nowadays? should we always lower our expectations and settle for what is given to us? i can't settle for that. dammit, my heart can barely go on like this.

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Saturday, August 14
11:35 AM : : question posed to bill simmons aka the sports guy: what is the cutoff age of young female celebrities for guys not to be considered total "pervs" in thinking they are hot? for example, a lot of my male friends looove lindsay lohan. now that she just turned 18 and is "legal," does this make their obssesion with her non-taboo? or, should age only be a secondary factor, combined with how old the actresses appear to look along with the age of the male in question?
--brigid, kalamazoo, mich.

sg: i would say the answer has to be eighteen, since that's the legal age and all. with that said, we're the same guys who look back nostalgically on britney's "oops, i did it again" era, alicia silverstone in "the crush" and anna k's first wimbledon, and we're the same guys who counted down the months until the olsen twins' eighteenth birthday and spent entire days exchanging e-mails on whether lohan bought implants or not (my buddy raff and i have spent hours arguing about this -- i still say no). the point is that the vast majority of guys are "total pervs." that's just who we are. and women know this.

i think there's a bigger question here: when did this stuff become socially acceptable to even discuss? to borrow a phrase from malcolm gladwell, what was the tipping point? for instance, nicole eggert was smoking-hot on "charles in charge" back in the '80s, but i doubt adult males were openly lusting after her like they would now. was it the birth of the internet? the growth of these pseudo-playboy mags like "stuff" and "maxim"? did kournikova start this whole thing? britney?

i would argue that it goes back to "beautiful girls." remember that movie? the one where timothy hutton (searching for himself in his late-20s) returns home for a few weeks, hangs out with some old buddies, and ends up in a bizarre mental love affair with a 13 year-old natalie portman? romantics would argue that hutton's character appreciated the purity of portman's personality -- she was untainted by life, wise beyond her years, and maybe three more years from being smoking-hot -- and it was easy to have a harmless crush on someone like that. cynics would argue that this was a romantic comedy about a budding pedophiliac. the truth probably lies somewhere in between.

here's the point: every guy thinks that natalie portman was hot in that movie.
and again, she was like 13 at the time. which is really, really creepy. but that was the whole point of the movie -- hutton's character was beaten down by life and relationships, and the portman character symbolized a fresh start for him. he just had to wait until she was legal. that's how desperate he was to find true love -- he would rather wait on the potential of the "token hot girl everyone loved back in the 8th grade" (mine was tina salomon) and the "token unattainable hot blonde" (uma thurman's character) over rolling the dice with the above-average, unexciting relationship he was already involved in. and yes, i liked this movie. maybe it was predictable, maybe it cheesy, and maybe there were lines in it like "don't let her go, man," but this was a pretty good portrait of a tortured guy in his late-20s. and a good example of why guys are "total pervs." on behalf of the entire male race, i apologize.

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9:46 AM : : by the way, the sports guy is my favorite sports writer out there for two reasons (a) he loves the celtics and devotes about half his columns to my favorite team (b) he mixes sports and pop culture references together like a fine gin and tonic. his knowledge in both arenas is extraordinary. he's like my role model and super hero rolled up into one. who is this guy? i've forwarded along some of his columns to people and i've had girls who are on the verge of following sports just because of his work.
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Thursday, August 12
9:02 PM : : i scream, we scream, we all scream for...vitamins?!? now, you know that i treat my body like a temple and that i would never put anything but the best products into it. my take on it is that mother nature is my pharmacy and i'd prefer to remain drug free. knowing this, my taste in vitamin supplements is very specific. i am suspicious of anything that is "just one a day", needs to be downed with a glass of water, or cannot be chewed before being swallowed. sure mega-vitamins may fulfill one thousand percent of all your vitamin needs but the stuff i use is the natural shit, the herbal organic stuff that has built superior humans for generations. that's right, i'm an exclusive pusher of flintstones vitamins. tastes like chalky candy, good for your body.

but last week, my mom got a bottle of the new stuff, the good stuff. and sad to say, the flintstones are no more. i'm here to announce that gummy bear vites are way super duper in. since acquiring these dietary gems last week (thanks mom!) i've already met two other people who are in the know about these splendid items. join the latest dieting revolution, screw atkins and whatever else. stock up on a lifetime supply of these at costco -- they're having a huge sale on them. gummies and vitamins? it's genius. whoever invented this stuff deserves to live forever. and there are more flavors too! calcium gummies, vitamin c gummies with echinacea, veggie bears and sour bears. the world is a good place to be right now. i love america.

by the way, that bitch oprah reported that these essential confections contain lead. not true. i've researched it thoroughly and can find no proof of any deadly substance contained in these critters. in fact, the only way to hurt your body with these things is by engaging in a fight with your roommates over who gets the next one. i recommend that everyone take five of these a day (unless you are a small child, in which case, take two as recommended).

i am sure that some skeptics and animal lovers out there will ask "but are these made from real gummi bears?" the answer is: yes, but they have a high reproduction rate and more than one female per village so they'll be okay. and the added vitamins don't affect the taste at all, unlike the vita boost at jamba juice. can anyone raise any objections to ingesting these things? i think not.

the gummi bears theme song, so you can get really excited to eat the vitamins because now the secret of gummi bear-y juice is revealed (recipe: boil two parts gummi vites to one part water, bring to a boil, drink). buy them, buy them, bounce everywhere, be dashing and daring courageous and caring!

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Tuesday, August 10
6:56 PM : : are you from tennesee? because a ten is all i see. ever notice how the energy in a room changes once a hot girl walks in the room? attention wanders, any normal conversation suddenly becomes a half assed one. glances are exchanged between buddies. any noise, catch phrase, or look used amongst guys to identify nearby hot girls are suddenly used -- sometimes not so discreetly. the girl must know what effect she's having right? that their mere prescence turns what was once an ordinary day, into an extraordinary day.

sometimes god is generous and sends down one of his angels for us to behold. that day should be remembered and commemorated, perhaps celebrated for years on end. it's so funny to see a whole bunch of guys ogle a girl. they turn into instant children and slobber and piss all over themselves. they try to play it cool, sneaking sidelong glances and acting nonchalant, but ultimately, they've measured everything there is to measure. and can't wait to talk about it later. it's disgusting but it's what happens, who am i to fight the call of genetic programming? nobody that's who.

i wonder what it feels like to be a girl, and to have all the guys in the room staring at another girl. i mean, that must be annoying right? as a guy, this happens, but never in a way that every single set of female eyes is on another dude. girls have various tastes (thank god) so it's almost impossible to find a roomful of women who think the same guy is blazingly hot. but for guys, our needs are simpler and our tastes more generic, so it's quite possible for every guy in the room to be bug eyed about one girl.

like today for example. i normally wouldn't take note or blog about such things but it's too momentous to not document. a physical manifestation of perfection graced us with her presence in the water. and then she out paddled, out surfed, and out did just about every guy there. now i know what the word "riveting" was really invented for. mix one part hot girl with one part hot style with one part surfing skill. what do you get? the answer is obvious: perfection. even after two hours of intense (thinly disguised) scrutiny, there were no flaws, in her or her surfing. what style this girl had, un-belize-able. her posture was what got me, she was just posture-beautiful. and it's not just me saying this, it's me and a few friends and probably every other male out in the ocean today.

people were letting perfectly good waves pass by them, content to just sit and ogle. she was the sun and everyone was happy just being a part of her solar system. and then she left and even the waves stopped. seriously, as soon as she left the water, the waves stopped rolling in. that was god's way of saying, "time to go home guys, you have no more reason to be here, i bid thee adieu."

i just may be getting religious.

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Monday, August 9
9:33 PM : : the revolution will not be televised, the revolution is here. it has officially begun, the apocalypse, if i wasn't so right, i wouldn't be so damn right. i've held all along that cuddle buddies are perfectly fine (if not normal). who doesn't need a bit of cuddling here and there? but now some people are so desperate for it that they're paying thirty dollars -- thirty dollars! -- to cuddle with complete strangers. that is outrageous, cuddling should not be a paid event (is it not still whoring if both parties are effectively exchanging money? if there is money exchanged, isn't it cuddle whoring?), that ruins the whole principle behind it. maybe it's safer to cuddle with strangers but what does that say about (y)our friends? they can't be trusted to contently cuddle? is it better to drop thirty dollars and have no chance of anything "extra" happening? to each his own i guess. but cuddle buddying should be exactly that, cuddling with buddies. cuddle parties are just a bit much. i have trouble enough feeling comfortable at normal parties, add in the random cuddling element and it just may make me never go out again.

i wonder if they have some sort of system for determining who you want to cuddle with or not. because as we all know, it is best to cuddle buddy with those to whom you are either trying to advance to the next base with or with someone who you are comfortable staying right at that cuddle base with. cuddling with strangers? ew. what if you are totally repulsed? do you get a whistle or something to get out of a cuddling early?

i love how they train people to say "no" when asked "can i kiss you?" inspired by this article, i think i'm going to put down some ground rules on successful cuddle buddying. here goes. first off, the definition of cudding is having any body part on top of or draped over another person's body. this definition extends to and includes eighteen of the nineteen spooning positions known to man. the nineteenth position, aka "knocking on heaven's door," spells clear and present danger and is no longer considered part of the cuddling or spooning family. the rules...

(1) both parties involved should be comfortable with each other and should be pretty sure that nothing "extra" will happen. if you enter into a bed without knowing the intentions of your partner, do not be surprised if you are cuddle raped and maybe so much more. you have been warned.
(2) there is no obligatory cuddle buddying. treat each separate instance as a one time deal; if it happens again, good, but if it doesn't, don't pout. a single cuddle buddying experience is totally different than a cuddle relationship -- these involve many more rules that i don't have the time to get into here.
(3) cuddle buddying is not an exclusive act, it is polygamous by nature, even cuddle relationships. there can be no jealousy involved in cuddle buddying. if you want to participate in the sport of cuddling, realize that people can (and should) have multiple cuddlying buddies, otherwise, you are venturing into the dangerous realm of "exclusivity," which will inevitably lead to "problems" or "feelings." avoid this, cuddle around, even if you hate it.

is it okay to cuddle buddy if one of you has a signifcant other? i won't even go here, that's up to you. the safer bet would be to shut the cuddlying doors when there is someone special in your life but i've heard different. carpe diem people, carpe diem. i personally think that cuddling don't mean shit. it's just a thing to do (the basic principle of cuddle buddying should be "least repulsive, nearest warm body") and it ain't in the same league, ballpark or sport as some of the other sins. most people probably don't agree with me. but hey, that's not abnormal.

i just want to say this: cuddle buddying is not wrong. it is not a lewd act, it is not a come on, it is not a sin. it is cuddlying. my sweet embraceable you, that's what we, as humans, need and crave. don't live alone in a world of billions, cuddle for peace, cuddle for the children, cuddle with the children. i've clearly overstayed my welcome, i'm out. peace.

ps. it's been pointed out to me by more worldly friends that for thirty dollars you could probably get much more than a cuddle. if you're into more bang for your buck. ahem.

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Friday, August 6
3:02 AM : : burn baby burn. as a public service announcement, and to prove that i care about your welfare, i have this to say: do not, under any circumstances, watch collateral. don't pay for it, don't watch it for free, don't let someone else pay for it, don't rent it, don't even catch it on cable, in fact, don't think about it at all. trust me. if my opinions mean anything to you, do not watch this movie. you will not only be sorely disappointed but also have to question the state of our world. there is not one redeeming thing about this movie. not one.

some reviewers have given it high praise. they are lying. absolutely lying. and if they are not lying, they should be shot. collateral is the worst movie of all time. seriously. if anyone defies me and actually watches this movie, i would be willing to engage in a duel to the death about how bad this movie was.

that is all the words i will waste on this movie. i might even have to erase this post in a few days just so that this craptastic movie doesn't sully my blog and my reputation by association.

repeat, do not watch collateral.

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Thursday, August 5
4:21 AM : : crash test dummy (or) bad m_therfucker (or) i could find an intern who could do your job for free like that *exaggerated finger snap*. i have somehow, despite my dalliant summer and utter disregard of adult responsibilties, landed a dream job. if you ask me what my five top industries to work in are, i would say something along the lines of "publishing, movies, sports, video games and general punditry." guess what industy i'm now a proud part of? yes sir, the video game industry -- which is bigger than the movie industry.

what will i be doing? i will be playtesting games. the only thing better than this job would be to not only playtest but also review, which would include me getting free games and stuff. but let's not shoot for the moon when above sea level is barely in sight. starting next week, i will be a video game tester. oh, and did i mention that i will be getting paid? not handsomely, but the same amount as my last job, in which i was typing, faxing, copying and breeding ennui. clap your hands to the beat, i have a direction in life for at least a few months -- since this gig is only temporary. this opportunity (thanks to ryan hoodlum for the hookup) may not look grandiose to you gentle reader, but believe you me, it is paradigm shifting for me. i have a chance to do something i like! every goal, aspiration, simple pleasure is now within reach! ok, i'm getting way ahead of myself, and using too many exclamation marks. but basically i finally get to answer the age old question of: if i like what i'm doing, will work no longer be like work? will i be finally motivated to wake up on time and go beyond the call of duty for a light at the end of the tunnel? answers to these questions and more will be discerned by the new year.

interviewing for the position was interesting. i mean, really, what qualifications are needed to become a video game tester? shouldn't my utter geekdom and life experiences speak for itself? questions posed to me had serious overtures like "what do you hope to achieve in the video game industry? why do you want to be in this industry?" i wanted to just scream, "because it's fucking cool man!" but i restrained myself from stating the obvious and spit out a more professional answer. something about video games being on the cutting edge of entertainment, technology and opportunity. people who conduct the interviews for these positions must constantly be tripping out and amusing themselves by trying to come up with fun questions to ask. i was fearful that i didn't come across as fun or interested enough in my interview. deep down inside i wanted to do a herky jerky modern dance to the song of excitement buried shallowly in my heart, but that might have gotten me eliminated from the candidate pool. either for my herky jerky dancing or my exuberance, or maybe both.

if i could hug my PS2 and all other nearby video game systems right now, without looking silly, i would.

i also get to dress casual and wear whatever accessories and jewelry i want. this benefit cannot be overlooked. screw health plans and 401Ks, i want to wear a t-shirt to work. do i have my mind on the sparrow or what? i'm really trying not to get too excited about this job until i officially get let in the front doors and sit down to work (this is the chicken little in me talking) but really, it's pretty hard not to be majorly stoked.

eeeeek! i promise never to make this noise again, in print or aurally.

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Wednesday, August 4
3:22 AM : : my sentiments exactly. i'm not a huge fan of questions like "how was your day?" and "what did you do yesterday?" it's not so much that i hate answering those questions (my answers 99% of the time are "good" and "nothing," respectively)... it's more that those questions breed reciprocity. in turn, i must ask "how was your day?" and "what did you do?"

this is a problem because most times i'd rather not ask and spend the next 3 minutes pretending to listen intently. i've come to the realization that the daily itinerary is seldom interesting.

it's sad that i must find one's life entertaining in order to become engaged in it. while yes i do care you, and understand the fact that the cafeteria ran out of coleslaw right when you got to the front of the line devastates you - but i would be much more interested if you had an affair in a big vat of coleslaw.

it's a sad state that something must be entertaining in order to be interesting. i blame tv.

in primitive days (i.e. before technology and tv), those kinds of day-to-day nuances were probably rather exciting. "the milkman didn't come today? aww shucks!" "mary lou's cat got stuck in the tree - again?" "you speared a buffalo? incredible - we can eat for days!"

now the world is much smaller and abound with tales warranting further fanfare. "your cousin had an 11 pound baby? that's nothing. someone in botswana had a 14 pound baby. nananana."

so really, why should i pay attention to you when the tv has much more interesting people and plotlines? and cnn.com reports headlines seemingly straight from ripley's?

everyone speaks of desensitization to violence - but what of the desensitization of interest? shows (even of the "reality" variety) have such crafted storylines, complete with anticipation, climax and resolution, that ordinary life pales in comparison.

i'm trying to get excited over the fact that you went grocery shopping and to the bank today, but really, that doesn't compare to a real worlder getting thrown in the drunk tank or rob van winkle heckling gary coleman in a restaurant. stop collaborate and listen...

so really, if my eyes kind of glaze over as you talk about processing documents, interesting stories, high tech brain surgery esque procedures, or strawberries rotting, don't take it personally or feel offended - just blame society.

author's note: for the few readers who made it all the way to this note, thank you for not flying into a rage and throwing your computer against the wall nicholas sparks book style. i'm not trying to say you must draft and revise your conversation before you approach me, open with a one-liner or end every dialogue with a punchline... i'm just saying you shouldn't expect enthused captivation if you don't.
-penned by an anonymous guest blogger-

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Tuesday, August 3
6:42 AM : : hack and slash. i used to have this parlour trick, i used to guess people's ATM numbers and i'd say about ten to twelve percent of the time i was red dead on right. you can imagine the look of shock and awe on a person's face when i spit out their secret password. "wow, you must be reading my mind! how did you do it? you're amazing, sleep with me." i never revealed my secret (or slept with anyone), until now.

most ATM codes are four digits, what four digits do most people end up using in their passwords? yes, their birthdays. if you know somebody's birthday, chances are -- precisely, ten to twelve chances out of a hundred -- that you know their "secret" code. some people cunningly put the year first before the month and day and that totally original tactic sometimes trips me up but usually i know which people(s) are straight forward with their code conception and which prefer to go ass backwards. the people who think/like being tricky are the ones who put the year first, this way they've really created a surefire uncrackable code. idiots, all of them. you know what i use for my (now non-existent) ATM code? yes, somebody else's birthday! am i super saiyan smart or what?

what can you divine from a person's choice of passwords -- aside from the occasional look see through email accounts, access to personal space and a bit of cash? i think you can tell a lot about a person from their cryptological choices. i'm not even sure "cryptological choice" is a correct combination of words but senseless alliteration is just kind of fun isn't it?

having been privy to many blogger passwords in my time as ambassador and the wolf of my immediate blog world, i've seen the inner workings of many of my friends. was it shocking to me to see "knife me" as a password? a little bit. how about the wholesome "ice cream?" not so much. you can tell everything about a person through their passwords. do they have a secret passion or a dirty little secret? it will be revealed to me in their passwords. gene uses the eyes as the windows to the soul so i have decided to use passwords as my barometer of how much i like a person. just kidding, my predilection for liking you isn't based on just one thing; it's actually an entire work sheet slash check list with the organizational complexity of kingdom-phylum-class-order-family-genus-species and the impromptu daring-do of a swashbuckler. sounds like a really bad made for tv movie, i know, but it works fabulously in weeding out the weak.

the main problem with using passwords as insight into a friend is that the majority of passwords are the names of pets. what can i tell about you from your password "fluffy13" aside from the fact that your cat possibly died at the advanced age of thirteen? nothing. pet names don't help me at all but invariably, if you have a pet, you've used him/her as a password. i think movies used this gimmick for awhile, until they realized that it wasn't really a gimmick as much as it was a terribly obvious plot revelation. but tell me that your password is "pretty", "me", or "sperm" and then we have something to talk about. if i were a disciple of freud's, i would be having a field day right now.

other popular passwords seem to relate to cars or nicknames. among the pager code set, pager speak is very popular as a way to throw off the hacker hounds. but i speak pager code so don't think you can maintain security that easily. beware pager people, beware.

helpful computer folk are always telling you to change your password every three months or so. who actually does this? first off, does anybody think that their passwords are protecting anything worth stealing (aside from bank/credit card information)? who the hell would ever want to go into my email account or hack into my ftp server? "oh heavens, this skinny boy is organizing a coup from his bedroom blog, let's take him down." i have maybe three or four passwords that i use for just about everything. the prospect of forgetting a password is much more frightening than accidentally exposing one. oh you can log in to my fantasy sports league? my entire life is ruined! actually, don't do this, you could actually ruin my life, no joke.

passwords are supposed to be remembered (thus the beauty and agony of the process and the over-simplification of the result), otherwise, what's the point? and really now, how many of us have the brain capacity to remember more than five different combinations of letters and random (or not so random) numbers? i say use one master password for everything and let it represent your inner soul glo. otherwise, where's the fun in protecting something? i don't want to break into your secret journal by guessing your birthdate or your favorite drink, make it challenging at least. passwords are (temporarily) private, do something interesting with them. tell me a little something about yourself with your password, make it fun and revelationary for both of us.

ps. do you think some orphans are offended or sad when queried for their mother's maiden name? it must sting just a little bit right? when you have to fill in "i don't know." i mean, does that phrase even fit into the box? or are you pretty much forced to go to drop down choice number two..ta da..."pet's name." somebody should pay me to be an email password cracker, i would be so good at it.

i'm too retarded to be awake right now.

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Monday, August 2
5:23 AM : : five minute man. as a self styled master of the five minute conversation, i have some tips to impart. what are five minute conversations? they are the ones you have with acquaintances or semi-friends or somebody you aren't close to. with close friends you can have the short "throwaway conversation" that is entirely not forced and easily relapses back into silence, with non-close friends this can be difficult. likely scenarios for a five minute conversation: driving a short distance, smoke breaks, standing in line, waiting for a drink at the bar, quick phone calls, finding yourself suddenly left alone in a room with someone where conversation is necessary because otherwise the silence is deafening. the key to a five minute conversation is for that conversation to have some minimal meaning or exchange of information. call it the quick DDT, although it's not Deep or Dark, mainly just Talk.

the easy way to jump start a five minute convo is to ask a leading question. "so, how do you compare your group of friends in high school to your group of friends now?" if that doesn't do the trick, a monologue is the way to go. expound on something light and refreshing, not trivial but not overly complex. give an opinion on something, in short, share. "isn't it amazing that 60% of married couples have cheated on each other (not a definite statistic, just something dredged up over google)? don't you think that the number is kind of crazy?"

the greatest thing about a five minute conversation is that you are operating within the parameters of a time constraint. you don't have to go searching for multiple points of contact, just one. if you can make them laugh once and get them to give a simple opinion, you've done your job. a failed five minute conversation usually entails talk about jobs, weather, what you did today -- those are kind of boring and aren't worthy of "conversation" status.

the five minute conversation is a hit and run mission: get in, get out, say your goodbyes, go home. you leave a little something behind, get the feeling of getting to know someone a fraction of a bit better, plus you get the benefit of not having to suffer through the possibility of an uncomfortable silence or nodding in agreement to a long conversation you wanted no part of in the first place. if the conversation goes well, you can always bring the topic back up and delve more deeply into it later; but if didn't go well, you haven't invested much into it in the first place so it's not a huge loss.

oh, five minute conversations are not conversations that last only five minutes or less. if you have to look for an out in a conversation -- the "i have to go to the bathroom, i'll be right back" thing -- that's more of a cut off conversation. five minute conversations have an end point that is clearly defined and in plain view of both parties before the conversation even starts.

a successful five minute conversation must channel the essence of a haiku: restricting in form, short, sweet, and slightly profound. i am now prepared to talk to you, but only for five minutes. see you later. peace.

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Sunday, August 1
3:16 PM : : enjoin us! i'm so gay. my keeper league for football starts in two days. i've started a fantasy blog to document all my thoughts about fantasy football. i will be following my season through this blog and if you are so inclined, you can follow along too. if you don't know why or what fantasy football is, ignore this post. thanks. go dirtee birdees 2005!

sometimes i think life just makes me oh so serious about things.

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