Looking for me?
8:50 pm | 7 individuals with nothing better to do | Kill some time (Comment)
I'm here now.
|Thursday, December 6, 2007|
Read this at lunch today, and it made me laugh:
12:58 pm | Kill some time (Comment)
(Quick context, for those non-comic-readers in my audience: A secret group of heroes calling themselves the Illuminati banished the Incredible Hulk from the earth. He wound up on another planet where he became its king. But when the shuttle that took him there exploded and wiped out the capital city, he came back with his army to get revenge on those heroes.)
It's the panel of the gathered heroes counting out the syllables that really cracks me up.
When we were out shopping yesterday, I came across a couple of things that amused me.
The first was a sign for the Optimist Club Christmas Tree Sale. Although I'm sure it's a wonderful sale full of beautiful trees that would be a nice addition to anyone's home, I couldn't help but imagine a lot full of, well, this:
I'd've stopped to look, but I wanted something shiny and aluminum, thank you very much.
Where we did stop was the new Barnes & Noble that opened near us (nearer than the other Barnes & Noble near us, but not quite as near as the Barnes & Noble really near us).
(On a side note, I have to say that — while it was a lovely store with an excellent graphic novel collection — I'm a little disappointed that we "need," by my count, three Barnes & Nobles within a five-mile radius of each other. Couldn't it at least have been a Borders?)
We only stopped in to the B&N for a minute — there were groceries in our car that needed to make it to a freezer — but Jen saw something, and she drew my attention to it: The Living Green Page-A-Day Calendar. The publisher's description says it has daily tips on
walking more softly on the planet. Tips like forgoing energy-sucking air purifiers for a few air-filtering houseplants. Like drinking organic beer—better for you and the earth. Like conserving water while brushing your teeth (if only 10,000 people turned off the spigot every day for a year, we'd save enough water to grow wheat for 160,000 loaves of bread).What I can't help but wonder is, is one of those tips not using a page-a-day calendar? I mean, really: is a big pile of papers that you, by necessity, need to dispose of every day in any way a "green" thing?
Don't get me wrong: I love my two Page-A-Day calendars ("Book Lovers" and "Brainteasers, Mind Benders, Puzzlers, Mazes & More"), but I don't fool myself that, in having them, I am in any way being green (except insomuch as I recycle the pages).
You have to wonder if anyone at the Page-A-Day place thought of that...
12:47 pm | 2 individuals with nothing better to do | Kill some time (Comment)
|Thursday, November 29, 2007|
We made good time from Evanston to Chicago, and were fortunate enough to find parking within a block of our destination — an important thing on a cold, windy Chicago night. We had gone out to eat with several members of Jen's family, but now it was just the three of us: me, Jen and her cousin Jess, just in town for a few days. Jess is one of our favorite people to hang out with, and so we didn't want to send her back to a boring night alone at her hotel after dinner, so Jen suggested we head over to the Green Mill.
12:37 pm | 2 individuals with nothing better to do | Kill some time (Comment)
We got there around 9:15, got to the door, and the doorman/bouncer/big scary guy stopped us. He explained that there was a show going on and, if we went in now, he'd have to charge us the fifteen dollar admittance. But the show was ending in about half an hour, so he told us if we came back then, we would only have to pay the six dollar cover to hear the jazz band that was performing that night. (Not Kurt Elling, sadly.)
This was reasonable enough, so we agreed, but there was one problem: I had to go to the bathroom. Badly. Fortunately for us, we noticed another bar two doors down, so we headed in there. The place was packed — standing room only — but we didn't care, since all we needed was a place to chill for 30 minutes.
Once we were in there, I didn't waste any time, and made a bee-line straight to the men's room. While I was in there, er, doing my business, I took to reading the flyers on the wall.
"Tuesdays Karaoke Night - Win Free Porn"
Um, wow, that's interesting...
"This Saturday: Hot Jock Competition!"
Uh, wait a second, is this...?
"Every Wednesday: Project: Runway showings!"
I finished up and headed out to the ladies, and apparently they had realized it, too. Jess noticed it first: "Hey, there are a lot of men in here! ...wait, there are a lot of men in here." I think it was seeing some public displays of affection that cemented the realization in their minds, though.
So there we were, with a half-hour to kill, in a packed gay bar during the Project: Runway party.
The decor in this place looked like it was trying to pass as just another sports bar: TVs lining the walls, sports paraphernalia all over the place. It's only when you look closer that you notice the team banners were arranged much more aesthetically, the decorations carefully displayed in curio cabinets, the TVs (except for one ESPN-airer tucked away on mute in the corner) tuned to Bravo, the tendency for the waiters to bring out hot fudge sundaes rather than hot wings, that you realize that this place is catering to a different clientele than, say, Champs.
Although, really, not that different. Sure, the shows were different, but the crowd was reacting to and having a good time watching what was on the TV. It might take a really bad fashion choice or a catty comment from Heidi Klum to whip the crowd into a frenzy, but it worked just the same as if the Bulls scored a three-pointer or the Bears turned an interception around for a touchdown. We all love the same things, after all: sharing a thrilling experience with like-minded peers.
And, I gotta say, the enthusiasm was a little contagious. I won't deny feeling a little awkward the whole time I was there — I was pretty sufficiently out of my element, after all — but, even though I don't even pretend to get Project: Runway, I could still find myself appreciating how much everyone else was enjoying it.
We didn't get to see how the crowd took the show's results: at about ten of ten, we headed out and went back to the Green Mill, where we got in at the much more reasonable price of six dollars. But it was, at the least, an amusing experience. And really, what more can you ask?
|Wednesday, October 10, 2007|
A while ago (was it really a year and a half ago? Yikes!), I mused on what would happen if we held a new Constitutional Convention - if we had a gathering that sought to write a new Constitution for America.
Apparently, I wasn't the only one wondering about such a thing. Political analyst Larry Sabato just came out with a book, A More Perfect Constitution: 23 Proposals to Revitalize Our Constitution and Make America a Fairer Country, that explores just that idea. From the Amazon.com description:
The original framers fully expected the Constitution to be regularly revised by succeeding generations to reflect the country’s changing needs; yet, apart from the ten amendments in the Bill of Rights, it has only been amended 17 times in 220 years, and most of those amendments had minor ramifications. Today, partisan gridlock dominates Washington; 17 percent of voters elect a majority of senators; the presidency has assumed unprecedented and unintended powers; while politicians spend as much time campaigning for office as they do governing; and average Americans feel more and more disconnected from the political process so that half or more don’t vote in many elections—all of which would have horrified Jefferson and Madison.This one's on hold for me at the library right now, and I look forward to reading Dr. Sabato's analysis.
9:33 am | Kill some time (Comment)
A More Perfect Constitution presents twenty three creative and dynamic proposals to reinvigorate American governance at a time when such change is urgently needed.