Sunday, July 25, 2010

Bring your best mama joke

And forget about pantyhose, yo mama so fat she gets runs in her jeans.Recently, a man clubbed another man after getting zinged with a particularly good mama joke. Thanks to my peeps at Fark, a length list of nostalgic mama disparagement followed. Here are my favs:

Yo mommas so fat she jumped into the air and got stuck.

Yo mama so fat she puts mayonnaise on her aspirin.

The biatch eats wheat thicks.

When she gets in an elevator, that shiat has to go down.

yo mama so fat she probably gonna die from coronary artery disease.

Yo Mamma's so ugly when she was born they put her in an incubator with tinted windows.

Yo mama so fat, I swerved to avoid her in the road, and ran out of gas

Yo mama so ugly tears roll down her back

Yo mama so ugly she made a happy meal cry

Yo mama so stupid she tripped over a cordless phone

Yo mama so stupid she got locked in a motorcycle

Yo mama's so poor, she goes to Kentucky Fried Chicken to lick other people's fingers.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Why are cigar store owners such dicks?

That's right, I'm talking to you, owners of John Crouch Tobacconist, 215 King Street, Alexandria. What is your deal, exactly?

I walk in wanting to buy myself a nice treat of a cigar, and you can't even get off your asses to say hi? You can't break your gaze from the TV for a couple seconds to make a sale?

Oh wait - I see - I'm not a 60-year-old high roller with a cowboy hat, a tobacco stench and an emphysematic cough. I was only an unshaven, 32-year-old guy in shorts and a T shirt. But my money's as good as the next guy's, and there are lots of young idiots like me who buy cigars. So fuck you.

This has happened in quite a few cigar stores. These pompous owners can't be bothered with my business. They are too busy smoking their own merchandise and gaining weight. And odor.

The only exception to this rule is Georgetown Tobacco. Fifty percent of the time I've been there I've been waited on by an Asian man in his early 40's who was extremely nice, knowledgeable and helpful. The other time I faced a cranky man in his 60's who, when he realized by my questions I was just a neophyte in Tobacconomics, carded me!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Thursday, July 22, 2010

4 Quick things

1. Cthulhu was found. In Canada.

2. According to On Point with Tom Ashbrook, the reason why Mel Gibson is panting and apparently hyperventilating in his threatening call is that he's most likely having a panic attack. But that's not the interesting thing. One method of overcoming panic attacks is.... rage, because it regulates breathing and certain chemicals in the brain. So anxiety can cause violent aggression.

3. According to Reason, all the people who scrubbed rocks from the Exxon Valdez oil spill were actually doing harm, since the microbes on the rocks actually can break down oil over time.

4. Finally, a New York Times op-ed actually gives partial creedance to the rantings of Tea Partiers, which is that elite college do discriminate against whites - poor, rural whites, to be exact. Some Princeton research has shown that putting you were involve in agricultural (i.e. farming) or religious activities in southern areas of the U.S. will make you less likely to get into elite schools. One possible reason - they assume that if you're into farming you're less likely to be an aggressive student or intellectual. Poor blacks, on the other hand, were more desirable.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Who is getting killed in your neighborhood?

One part of my job is to help people work with something incredibly boring - data sets - and do fun things with them. Data sets are just what they sound like - huge reams of statistical data. Our job is to create programs and precedent that allows people to turn these numbers into relevant stories.

For example, the DC Police Department set this up. They've taken police data and turned it into an interactive map. Just plug in your address and see how many purse-snatchings have been on your block. Here's the haps on my office. Google "crime statistics" and your city and see if there is one in your area. As far as I know, there's no national database yet.

Monday, July 12, 2010

My Harper Lee moment

By pure coincidence that even I don't fully believe, found myself reading To Kill a Mockingbird just days before I learned it was the book's 50th anniversary. I learned there was a discussion about the book at the Arlington Library. I finished the book hours with two hours to spare, and headed over there.

There was a group of about 20 people sitting in their auditorium. Most were about 50 or older. It was a literate crowd, with a few college professors, some senior citizen couples and some moms with kids in tow. The group was entirely white. There were cookies and sweet tea and lemonade on a table in the back, which was genteel gesture if I've ever seen one.

The discussion was interesting. There were quite a few southerners there, who shared stories about how the book wasn't sold in their hometowns or even discussed. One woman actually grew up in Harper Lee's hometown in Alabama. She said locals perform her play every year, and that the character "Dill" in the book was actually based on Truman Capote, who was Lee's neighbor, if you can believe it or not. It was very high-brow but not snobby. The librarian who led the discussion was a Mockingbird fanatic, and was a good moderator, if a little overly enthusiastic.

Towards the very end of the hour discussion, a face poked in through the heavy blue door. By the inch of face I could see, it was a black man or woman. For a few long minutes the face bobbed in and out in the hallway. I waved to them, and eventually a women in her forties slowly made her way into the room. She was about 5 feet tall, her back curved and her bottom enormous. Her butt seemed to wrap around her entire body. She looked sort of like a large round ball shoved into gray sweatpants. Her hair was tied into a half-dozen inch long braids that sprouted out of her hair like bunches of scallions. Her face was shy but kind. She looked most likely like one of the many homeless or low-income people who hung around the library.

The conversation continued for a while, and eventually someone asked if the new entrant wanted to say anything about the book. I held my breath. While I was happy she was included into the conversation, I doubted that she had read the book. I didn't want us to embarrass her by having her confess her ignorance to a bunch of bespectacled middle- and upper-middle class whites.

She began speaking, so quietly we had to lean in to hear her."I remember there was a character in the book that protected the children...."

"Boo Radley," the librarian added helpfully.

"Yes, Boo. I remember that Boo was a real strange loner, but that he protected the kids. No one understood him, but he was a hero. A hero that nobody expected."

I immediately felt like a jackass for judging this woman. But I also very much enjoyed her comment. Because she was very much like Boo Radley herself. An odd person that taught other people a lesson. So thank you, mystery woman.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

I am a large infant

Today I spent the afternoon hanging around with my cousin's baby (I don't know the equivalent word in "Family Tree-ness") and showing her around DC. While we were driving her around in the van, my aunt played this nighty-night CD where every other word was "sleeeeep." And we were real, real quiet so Isabelle (the baby_ could sleep. Our of all well-being seemed to rest on the rest of this baby - like she was nitroglycerin and any bum or sound would detonate it, plunging us into ruin.

My aunt said Isabelle was doing really well considering her flight from LA to DC and her sizable change of routine . I thought about this for a bit. I realized I am very much like this <2 year old infant. I hate changes too.

See, Dianna is on vacation to Chicago to see her family. Suddenly, my apartment becomes a bachelor pad. The TV obeys only me. My naps can go on forever. I don't need to coordinate my meals, showers, or video game binges. I was free!

And it was terrible. Sure, the freedom felt great for a while. The weekend seemed open to limitless possibilities. Anything was possible. But quickly, the enormity of the free time overwhelmed me. How did this apartment get so big? What am I going to do tonight? I called some people, talked to a few, and then sat on the couch. Nothingness was a void that surrounded me. I texted Dianna, watched a movie, played some more video games. Somehow, not having someone around for you to waste time with (or to escape from to selfishly waste time alone) wasn't gratifying at all. It'd be like played hooky on a Saturday. There was little joy in it. I was terrifically bored. I miss D.

Missing people is kind of a weird phenomenon. I mean, you have everything you need right here, right? Food, water, shelter, air conditioning. Why worry about something that's NOT here. Isn't that like defining yourself by the person you aren't? Well, I guess not. Because sometimes the people you care about become a part of you, and when they leave you get all mixed up.

So I'm looking forward to seeing Dianna in a few days. For the time being, I'll enjoy my facial growth and microwave burritos.

Word Cloud your resume

I went to a very cool Next Gen conference this week, which focused on about how to kick ass in your government career. One of the cool things they mentioned was to import your resume into a Word Cloud and see your skills materialize before your eyes.

I went to Wordle and did mine. If you don't work in government, yours might look a lot smaller than this - government resumes have no length limit, so go big or go home.

I was surprised how quickly government crowded out my former career in Journalism (although the word "Jewish" certainly is visible on the left. Give it a shot and see how you look.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Best of the Web - 7/9/2010

Some of these aren't fresh as fresh can be, but are still goodies.

1 - Metallica vs. The Mall
2+3 - Yo Dawgs
4 - Auto Tune the News (Thanks Dan Munz for the tip)

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Spatial relation skills in three-year-old kids

We know that kids are good at computer games. But how about ones who don't even have the coordination to play Little League sports? Or T-ball? We would expect the body's neural-muscular development to mirror it's mental development, right?


Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Help me beat Tower Madness - Micro and Sudden Death

I've spent hours and hours and hours trying to beat all the levels on Tower Madness on my iPod, but I just can't. Two levels - Micro and Sudden Death - well, they are just impossible. I am asking the internet community - help! Tips and vids would be most appreciative. Thank you.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Breast implants can make you kill yourself

This is a weird post, granted, but work with me here.

On Fark, there was an article about a Peruvian lingerie model who said if her team wins the World Cup she would run around naked. They posted a modest and respectable picture of her, at right.

The Fark commentary thread had two basic opinions on this crucial issue:

1. Dude she is so haawwt

2. "A large-breasted woman running naked is not a particularly pleasant sight."

I fell into the second category. I thoroughly enjoyed the Fark comments about her giving herself two black eyes with her ridiculous boobs. This picture is just silly. She's using her own shirt as a purse, for godsakes.

But then I wondered about implant surgery, which you hear snippets about on TV - that it's either inserted under the breast or near the armpit, and is made of either saline or silicone. I wondered if they still made them out of silicone, and checked on Wikipedia. They do still use them. But I found something more interesting:

A 2007 Swedish and US longitudinal study found that women who get cosmetic breast implants are nearly three times as likely to commit suicide as other women. No notable increase was seen in the first 10 years after surgery, but 10 to 19 years after, risk was 4.5 times higher, and six times higher after 20 years, compared with the expected suicide rate.

The same study found that women with breast implants also had a tripled risk of death from alcohol and drug use. Seven studies have been made connecting breast implants to a higher rate of suicide...

Now, of course it noted that the implants themselves don't cause mental instability - just that people who are drawn to this sort of thing have issues already. But still - gives the phrase "a killer rack" a new meaning, no?

And.... worst thread ever.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Why was I under the impression that 'The Outsiders' was a masterpiece of American fiction?

Don't get me wrong - I liked "The Outsiders." It's like a time capsule - a 1967 story about growing up as a street tough in the 1960's. People have been telling me about this story for decades. "Have you read The Outsiders?" or "This is just like The Outsiders."

But, in the end, it's sort of like a Romeo and Juliet story, except without love interests, and more leather jackets and switchblades. The dialogue isn't too spectacular. While the prose is entertaining, and even compelling and visual, it doesn't really resonate like I would have imaged.

In any case, there were lots of things I liked, now that I'm done bitching. I like looking at "Greasers" who have more depth than a singing John Travolta. I like their "rumbles," and the way they call guns "heaters." I like how they all have broken homes, and they get in fights with violent preppies, who they call Soces (short for Socialites, pretty much). They do wear lots of grease in their hair, but they don't spend all day preening. Once once, a story about the past doesn't evoke a more simple time, which is refreshing.

Maybe the movie is different - have you seen it?