Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Who's Your Cutout?

Recently, I conducted a poll amongst my friends. To those who participated, thank you. To those who did not participate… nevermind. The question of the poll was this: if you could have a life-size cardboard cutout of anybody you wanted, who would it be?

The results were extremely interesting. I was surprised at how many historical figures appeared on the list, instead of just pop icons. Perhaps most curious of all was that the list of answers is entirely men, although I made sure to survey both guys and girls. Of course, some of the answers were sarcastic, and those may be my favorites.

The “winners” are President Obama and André the Giant, with two votes each. In both cases, Obama was to Gibbs slap. André received his votes based purely on the fact that he would be the biggest and scariest cutout of all. For all you inquiring minds out there, here’s the rest of the list…

André the Giant (2)
Boba Fett
C.S. Lewis
Captain Kirk
Charles Lindbergh
Edward Cullen
Jack Bauer
Justin Bieber
Lance Armstrong
Patrick Stewart
President Obama (2)
Shawn Spencer
Sid Crosby
Stonewall Jackson
Tim Tebow

Personally, I would choose Nathan Fillion circa Firefly, so that I could walk by every day and say “he really is ruggedly handsome, isn’t he?”

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Brewed-iful Letdown

Every morning I need two things to get me going: coffee and music. This morning I was chatting with the barista about the awesome Switchfoot song that was playing while he was making my coffee. Wait, what do you call a male barista? A baristo? A barrister? No, that’s a British lawyer… Anyway, we were reminiscing about what our earliest introductions to Switchfoot and music in general.

The song on the radio was the first track off their Beautiful Letdown album, which was one of the first albums I ever really fell in love with. I still have a copy of it. I would maintain that it may be one of the best albums ever, right up there with the Beatles's Love album, Quadrophenia, Slippery When Wet, and Meteora. In terms of artistic flow, there is a musical cohesiveness across the tracks which is rare to find in general, but especially more recently. Of course, I didn’t realize this when I was a teenager, I just like the music.

It’s funny how we can like something without knowing why. I liked that album so much that in retrospect, I can see how much it has influenced me and my taste in music. Completely oblivious to its technical brilliance, its elements seeped into my developing preferences. Now I realize that that one album may be why I feel compelled to download and listen to whole albums in their entirety, instead of just buying one or two hit songs. Thanks for that expensive habit, by the way.

The guy-making-my-coffee (for lack of a better term) said that the first CD he ever got was a burned bootleg of Switchfoot’s New Way to Be Human from his babysitter’s sister. Of course, he didn’t have anything on which to play it, so for his next birthday his parents got him a big, knock-off boombox from Walmart. I had one of those too and I would bet you did also. Remember, the ones that looked all shiny until you turned them around and saw it was just cheap plastic and crappy wiring? Yeah, just don’t turn them around. Problem solved.

I remember the first non-Christian CD I ever got was Linkin Park’s debut Meteora. One of my friends burned me a copy and I smuggled it into the house with great, exciting fear and trepidation. That puppy got hidden under the mattress, you can be sure of that. Of course, now I know that under the mattress is the first place any decent parent looks for contraband. Although the fact that I’m still alive suggests they never checked there—certainly never read the diary I stashed next to the CD.

Life has themes which we can identify without consciously recognizing and music reflects this. As an angst-filled teenager, I identified with the Beautiful Letdown and Meteora albums while unknowingly recognizing the similarities: the repetition of themes, both tonal and lyric, the natural progression from song to song… everything that makes a good record. The only “new” album to come anywhere close to a similar perfection is Train’s Save Me, San Fransisco, and that makes me sad for the future of music.

All the way back to Handel’s Messiah, good music resonates with its audience on many levels, from technical to emotional. Even if we don’t know all the fancy terms for what we’re hearing, genius is easy to appreciate. Same goes for the cappu-mocha-frappe-ccinos we drink everyday; just cause you can’t pronounce it, doesn’t mean you don’t enjoy it… and you never forget your first real album.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Up and Running

In case you missed, I've recently launch a new blog, casually titled QOTD. The idea is to post quotes of the day in a way that is visually both simplistic and engaging. I promise that it will be entirely random, and you can visit it here: http://snippiddydoda.tumblr.com/

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A Day Without Wikipedia

As you may or may not know, today is a day of protest against proposed internet anti-piracy legislation. All that legal headache aside, today’s protest has manifested itself in some weird and wonderful ways. My personal favorite is the replacement of the blacked-out Wikipedia with the so-called Twitterpedia—for all the people who are still desperately searching for facts.

Some of these “facts” were just too good to pass up. Being a librarian and therefore dedicated to the dissemination of knowledge, I’ve compiled a quick list of some of my favorites. Enjoy!

• “LOL” was used 37 times in Shakespeare’s original script for “Romeo & Juliet.”

• Adele was awarded the 2011 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for discovering how to set fire to rain.

• Brett Favre retired from the NFL in 2007.

• Justin Bieber is a male pop/R&B singer and songwriter.

• Khan was the main antagonist in the original Star Wars trilogy.

• Lady Gaga got her big break while playing the role of JarJar Binks.

• Librarians are responsible for SOPA/PIPA because they want you to get offline and read a book.

• Nashville is named after the Don Johnson character in “Nash Bridges.”

• Rebecca Black, Jacob Black, and Sirius Black are all relatives.

• Snoopy invented planking.

• Stonehenge is in fact merely the scaffolding for a much larger construction project which lost its funding in the Bronze Age Recession.

• The Great Wall of China was build to keep the rabbits out.

• The IV drip is named after Henry IV.

• The speed of light is slower at night.

• Toucans are so named because when made into soup they fill exactly two cans.

• Yawns are contagious due to your brain being jealous of people around you stealing a larger amount of oxygen.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Make 'Em Laugh

Post-Christmas funk got you down? Need a good laugh? I know I certainly do! I’ve spent the last hour or so trolling YouTube for some of my favorite funny movies and thought I might share with ya’ll… have a laugh!

Singin’ in the Rain—Make ‘em Laugh
Love Actually—Gift Wrapping
Singin’ in the Rain—Moses Supposes
The Princess Bride—Miracle Max
The Wedding Singer—Love Stinks
So what are some of your all-time favorites?

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

A Little Christmas

Something seems a little off this holiday season. Maybe it’s the fact that we haven’t had snow since October, just lots and LOTS of rain—no, that can’t be it. After all, they still have Christmas in warm climates. We still have all the Christmas music, the decorations, the cookies, the parties are underway… so what feels so wrong?

I think I may have figured it out this morning. I heard someone say they wouldn’t spend as much as $13 on gifts for kids. Really, people?! Since when is $13 an unreasonable amount? I understand that all the gift expenses add up, so you want to be careful. I also fully understand that times are tough; nobody knows that better than me! I’m getting creative with my gifting this year and have had to save for a while to make even that much possible.

It seems to me that the greed of the season is what’s leaving that bad taste. When we were kids, we were told not to be greedy and want lots of presents. But now that we’re adults, it’s apparently okay to be greedy and not give lots of presents. This brand of greed seems even more repugnant and is running rampant this year.

Remember that Gift of the Magi story we heard as kids? Or maybe I was the only one who heard it at least once a year for the first 16 years of my life. It’s simply story about giving. Those two people had nothing but love so they gave anyway. Isn’t that what Christmas is all about? Last time I checked, we are celebrating God’s gift of Himself—something which we can never repay and can only hope to reflect.

Gifts don’t have to be big, fancy, expensive displays of cheap affluence. Anyone can buy stuff; that means nothing. That is not what a gift is. Maybe it’s because today is Pearl Harbor Day, but for some reason I seem to be even more sensitive to stark contrast between greed and sacrifice. The Christmas story is full of examples of those two attributes in its characters.

This has been a hard year for everyone. All you have to do is turn on the news to hear about unemployment rates, stocks dropping, Occupy Wall Street… after a year like this, we need a little Christmas spirit more than ever. Everyone seems to be hanging on to materialism even more tightly, when we should really be letting go and focusing on what is really important in life.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Six Impossible Things Before Breakfast

This morning I will believe that...

1.       I won’t forget that this is a day that the LORD has made—which means it’s perfect

2.       I shall not accidentally drop anything and wake up my flatmate

3.       My hair will behave and look nice today

4.       There will be enough in the cupboards from which to pack a lunch

5.       The ice on my car won’t take more than five minutes to scrape off

6.       I will manage update my blog but not be late for work