Dumb Things I Have Done Lately

Thursday, May 25, 2006

I Don't Look Young... You Just Look Old

When I'm not being mistaken for a woman because of my long, luxurious hair (and I'll get a haircut when I'm good and ready, thanks), I hear this a lot when I tell people my age:

Wow, you look so young.

On the one hand, I will admit it -- it's flattering. At least, it was the first few hundred times it happened.

On the other hand, I look young compared to whom?

It's not the people of Asian, African or Latino descent (among others) -- you know, people who aren't white (I detest the term "people of color").

Yes, it's all you white devils out there with your wrinkled and decrepit flesh that sets the cultural standard out there, so instead of you folks being prematurely-aged, we get called young-looking.

[Cue the rant on cultural imperialism, etc. etc. etc.]

I actually don't care that much, as there is something to be said for being outside the norm.

I also find that as I get older, I'm starting to miss it a little, since I'm getting carded less and less. I think it's the thousand-yard stare, furrowed brow and beaten-down expression.


All Right, a Crime Spree!

Apparently, you can be too short to go to prison.

Personally, I think I would rather be too pretty for prison, but that's just me.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Posting From the Flesh-Enclosed Nerve Center

Couple items of nominally local interest:

* I am far from the first to note this, but the tag line for WTOP news radio ("...from the glass-enclosed nerve center...") is really, really irritating.

* My interest was piqued by what I thought was a They Might Be Giants song actually being played on DC 101, but it turned out to just be a TMBG Dunkin Donuts commercial jingle, so I lost interest.

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Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Things Women Don't Know About Men's Urinals

Okay, fine: As a well-adjusted, well-read grrl or womyn, you think you know about urinal etiquette (like the inviolable no-peeking rule). Maybe you've even heard of the Principals of Urinal Selection.

Leaving aside just how much you actually don't know about the admittedly elaborate and convoluted rules of urinal and men's room etiquette, here are some other things you don't know:

* Swisher-brand urinal mats (plastic screens that sit over the drain hole so you don't flush yourself down the pipes) have "SAY NO TO DRUGS" printed on them. Don't believe me?:

Swisher Urinal Matt: Say No to Drugs

* Under the right (read: horrible) conditions, you can smell the urine of the guy next to you. If you're really lucky, you can smell what he's been ingesting (example substances include: coffee, beer [especially the day after], penicillin, and for some, asparagus)

* Shaking: (because, you know, guys don't use toilet paper after they piss) There exists a truism: "If you shake it more than once/twice/three times [varies according to teller], you're playing with it."

* Conversation: There are several schools of thought, though the most popular is simply "No talking." (At least, when all parties are sober.) A dissenting view allows conversations between parties at the same point in the process -- that is:
- Both guys standing in line = Conversation Permitted
- Both guys in the process of urination = Conversation Permitted
- One man urinating, one man standing in line = Conversation Not Permitted
- One man urinating, one man standing at urinal = Conversation Not Permitted (how distracting would that be?)

* Splashback: It happens.

* Bonus Fact: It's possible to drown in a urinal. (Actually, I didn't know this myself until I saw the Wikipedia entry.)

When it comes to overall quirks, though, women are much more nutso than men. I mean, come on: It's not even close.

(As to the impetus for this entry, I blame two factors -- Conor, for telling me about the stupid Miller Lite Man Laws ad campaign, and Washington Post columnist Gene Weingarten's chats)

2006 Baltimore Kinetic Sculpture Race Video

Here's a followup to my earlier entry on the Baltimore Kinetic Sculpture race -- I finally stitched together the video I took on my camera and uploaded it to YouTube:

I've never really worked in video before, plus it's my first time uploading to YouTube, so it's kind of crappy-looking (especially after it gets Flash encoded).

The video I had was a bunch of short clips of the sculptures on the road, first from the Canton Waterfront to Patterson Park, then from Patterson Park to the Inner Harbor.

I was playing around using iMovie 3; at first, I wanted to keep it bare bones, but because I didn't have a lot of overall footage to work with, it really needed transitions. In most cases, I used the Wash-In, then used the Music Video titles to add the captions.

It also needed background music (especially over that one part about that guy talking about his lunch), so I used the themes from Katamari Damacy (borrowing from the YTMND.com cliche), and Benny Hill, as well as They Might Be Giants's Minimum Wage (hee-yah! *whip-crack*).

The music syncs up fairly well with the action, which was mostly accidental -- I did leave a gap between after the first song so you could hear a bit of dialog about Fifi, and the Frog's noisemaker, before jumping into the Benny Hill theme.

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Friday, May 12, 2006

I Got Picked Up by a Hot Blonde Woman Tonight

No, seriously, I got picked up by a hot blonde woman tonight.

Here's some context.

After leaving the office at some ridiculously late hour (even though I hadn't been drinking at work, despite an officially-sanctioned launch party), I went to Carpool in Herndon, which happens to be our kickball sponsor bar.

This, despite the fact that I play on a Wednesday night team, and today was Thursday.

Yes, I went to the sponsor bar for a kickball postgame, even though it wasn't my night.

I was that guy.

Anyway, hung out with some of the fellas from BTA and Kickball Busters, as well as a bunch of other familar faces (who showed up at the bar, despite the rainout).

At some point, I was introduced to a tall (5'9ish in heels, I'm not too good with the heights), hot, blonde, and by all accounts, batshit insane woman (like, court order, bunny-killing crazy, not typical female-crazy). Yeah, whatever.

At some later point (and I may have asked and acquiesced, recollection became hazy at some point), she actually picked me up, physically, and spun me around, not once, but twice.

The first time was maybe a 540, tops, but the second time, moments later, must have been 2 or 3 full revolutions. It was dizzying.

Apparently, there were also photos taken.

You know what they say about crazy girls:
Crazy in the head, crazy in the bed.

Anyway, call it timidness or an attack of good sense, but I managed to extricate myself.

As I was leaving, I happened to notice that the crazy tall blonde woman was sitting on the floor, leaning up against the wall, just outside the door to the bar.

Eyes forward, walk briskly, don't run, get away clean.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Use of Images in Any Way Is Illegal

There was an item on Fark about how softballer Jennie Finch had a baby last week.

Since I am an avid follower of Hot Blonde Softball, I checked out her Web site.

The news article was fairly unremarkable, as these things go. However, I did take note of the disclaimer on the site:
Use of images in any way is illegal.

Does that include, I dunno, looking at them?

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

2006 Kinetic Sculpture Race

As threatened, I went up to Baltimore on Saturday for the 2006 edition of the Baltimore Kinetic Sculpture Race at the American Visionary Art Museum.

I think this is my third year going (I missed last year due to a conflict). Here are my 2006 photos (also, you can find my photos from the 2004 race that I posted just last week).

There were Elvii:

Hunka Hunka Burnin' Junk
Hunka Hunka Burnin' Junk

I left a little later than I hoped, and it definitely didn't help that I-95 was closed down to two lanes just in front of Baltimore, so I got to the museum at around 11:30. Instead of hunting for parking, I just ate what would later be a fifteen dollar fee, strapped on my skates and headed for the Canton Waterfront for the Water Loop.

There was only going to be one water entry this year (as opposed to two in previous years), so I wanted to make sure to see at least part of it.

It was a great day, 70ish and sunny; oddly enough, I did put sunscreen on the appropriate bits, so didn't get fried. I wasn't really wearing a costume, just a TurboFlare 360 (a spinny LED thing) zip-tied to my backpack.

Anyway, there was frothy churning on the water:

The Platypus splashes around

As well as a lot of towing (due to high winds):

Bumpo the Elephant gets a tow.

I also took video of some of the road sections, which I will put online somewhere after I stitch it together:

Frog on the Street

Anyway, the water loop was fun, as was the run up to Patterson Park; I skipped most of the sand course, and the mud pit seemed to not be as hard this year (which is easy for me to say, as a spectator), but it was fun to hang out.

The run down back to the Museum is my favorite part, since it runs down the streets through Fells Point and the Inner Harbor (it retraces the morning route, which I'm never there early enough to see).

This year's version was a little crazy, since the police showed up at 2:50pm and started sending people off early -- not everyone was ready, and I think the field was a little bit more spread out because of it, but everyone managed.

There was also some sort of fire, too, since I saw a bunch of fire trucks speeding by -- I was afraid some sculpture was going to get pasted by a fire truck.

Going through the Inner Harbor also had the amusement of a SparkleMotion-type dance team among the spectators, as well as some potato chip people handing out free salty snacks to passersby, including the racers:

Potato Chip People Giving Freebies to a Dragon

Anyway, that's about it. It was fun as usual and a great day to be out. You can see the Baltimore Sun article. and the Kinetic Baltimore writeup.

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Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Trolling the Logs Again

Going through my referrers from today, I pulled a few morsels out:

* According to Yahoo, I'm currently in the Top 10 when you search for Pretty Dumb Things (and also for plain old Dumb Things)

* I'm also on the first page of results for bad.....worse....worst (this was from a search on Google South Africa that originated in Saudi Arabia)

* Someone from the U.S. Southern Command took a look after searching Google for Illegal Websites and finding my entry on a virus-generated e-mail

* Miscellaneous other searches (mostly google) include drinking and drugging, tits done, and Seattle Craigslist discrete

Other than that, it's gratifying to see the clicks from the DC Blogs Live feed (which was the point of joining, of course).

There is that "blogging for an audience" dynamic, which I have many mundane and trite thoughts about, though I haven't bothered to weigh in on Kathryn's post from last week on what not to blog (as regards the feed) -- nor do I plan to.

Weekends, Past and Future

I think I'm finally caught up with all my pending photos (well, except for uploading the pics from Sign of the Whale a few weeks back, but they're all cut and ready to go).

It's a good thing, too, because Saturday is the 2006 running of the Kinetic Sculpture Race, so I think I will be headed up to Baltimore for the day, skating around, taking pictures and such.

I thought I had some pictures of previous years' races online, but they must be on my other machine.

This weekend is going to be pretty active, with the race, Skate DC, and a kickball mid-season party. We shall see how much of it I actually achieve, as compared to this weekend, where I barely finished the A section of the Post and washed my dishes.

Actually, that's not entirely true -- Friday, I was enticed to go to the Beach Shack and then to Mie N Yu in Georgetown -- of course, there is a photo set:

I have no idea what's going on here.

This is why you shouldn't smoke.

I'm Web 2.0 (Until the Next Revision)

So I was ego-surfing on google, when I found to my surprise that I'm referenced (sort of) in Wikipedia.

It's in the entry for Unrequited Love.

Gee, I wonder why.

I guess I have to thank Steve-O of Unrequited Love: Agony and Rapture for the edit, which should last until those unrepentant wiki vandal bastards I keep reading about deny me of my legacy.