Archive for February, 2008

26
Feb
08

¬°Los Candidatos Musicales!

While I can’t take credit for finding this on my own, it’s just too good to pass up. In the ultimate example of the great (and sometimes downright odd) lengths that politicians will go to in order to get you to vote for them, both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have released their own catchy theme songs.

…In Spanish.

Here’s Hillary’s, and Barack’s can be found here.

18
Feb
08

Then why don’t you marry an ice cream sandwich?

I would say that one of the most memorable lectures that I heard during my four years at APU came from a guest lecturer in a music class whose name was Harold Best. Harold Best is probably pushing 70, and he’s the Dean Emeritus of the Wheaton School of Music, which means they like the guy so much they gave him a fancy title to keep forever whether or not he ever chooses to work for them again. And after hearing what he had to say, I wouldn’t blame them.

The gist of what Harold Best had to say was this: if you want to be taken seriously, keep your superlatives in check. That’s right, he gave a lecture on superlatives, and his last name is Best. Irony unintended.

Anyway, what he was saying is that the under-25 generation today in America has gone nuts with the superlatives, and we need to back it off if we ever want to be taken seriously. That is, if you overuse the superlative as much as folks in my generation typically do, who’s going to listen to you when you actually have something to say? What good is my word on faith, or art, or the things I’m passionate about when I regularly say things like “this is the best banana I’ve ever had in my life?” Essentially he means the more you use the superlative, the less valuable it becomes, so say what you mean, and mean what you say. Your words are more valuable when you reserve the most passionate ones to describe the things you’re most passionate about.

I’ve been thinking about that a lot lately, especially with the recent passage of good ol’ St. Valentine’s Day. In my opinion, “love” is probably the most common culprit as far as overused superlatives go, especially at APU. Love is the ultimate superlative, and it has become sort of a catchphrase at APU, tossed around casually without any serious consideration. I love Francis Chan, I love grilled cheese, I love Rainbow sandals, I love Jesus. And sure, there’s different connotations in each of those “loves,” but thinking about it you realize the frivolity with which we use that word. If we really do love something, I mean truly love it, then shouldn’t we show that thing or that person the respect of not lumping them in the same category as Naked Juice or slip n’ slides? If we say we “love” all these little insignificant things, then what word are we going to use when something comes along that we really, truly love?

So I challenge you, dear reader, to watch your language… in a couple of ways. First, take a day and count how many superlatives you hear or use. So that means if you turn on the radio, and the DJ says, “the best mix of the 80’s, 90’s, and today,” you count that as one. Walk outside, and think to yourself, “this is the coldest day ever?” That’s two. Chances are, if you start counting at the beginning of the day, you’ll get so high you lose track well before lunch.

Second challenge is this: take a few days, and keep track of everything you say you love, no matter the connotations, whether you truly mean it or not. Cream cheese, Kanye West, garage door openers, your mom, valet parking, whatever. It could turn out to be a fairly long list, but chances are that no matter how long it is, it’s going to be a pretty interesting smorgasboard of items, and one that’s worth examining.

Then finally, think about it. I believe that in order to be a genuine person, you must speak genuinely. I also believe that if language is our currency, then its value is depreciating rapidly. Figure out whether or not you’re okay with that, and then do something about it (or don’t). But at least give it some consideration. We can make ourselves more meaningful and genuine people if we simply observe the things we say and choose our words wisely, and it’s certainly worth the effort, if you ask me.

11
Feb
08

I’d try rubbing alcohol and a heavy dose of Spray n’ Wash…

Should they continue coming at the current rate, at some point this week this blog will see its 1,500th visit. While many of those clicks come from people who know me or want to hear what I have to say, another percentage of them come from random people out on the interweb, searching for whatever it is people search for out there, and their search engine ultimately leads them to me simply because I’ve written about something that relates to their search. If you’re a regular reader, you’ll remember this post, where I used that fact, in combination with a number of words and phrases I thought were commonly searched for on the internet, to attract people to my site. And, while that didn’t work, it just so happens that there are enough people out in the world searching for weird enough stuff that it turns out I didn’t really have to do anything out of the ordinary to attract them. So I’ve been keeping a running tally of all the words and phrases that have directed people to my blog over the past 1,500 clicks, and as an anniversary gift to you, dear readers, here’s a few of my (unedited) personal favorites:

“white people”

“family we catch a ho”

“happy letters to friends”

“mariah carey hard nepples”

“bloody guts rodeo”

“police officer retirement party planning”

“i believe you have my stapler cat”

“indian seniors+wearing jeans”

“what do psychologists say about oj simpson?”

“asian ladies webcam youtube”

“new yorkers mean saying doop”

“middleclass hispanic family in white socks”

“i’m 30 year old man how young is too young”

“eli manning cheating on fiancee”

…and my personal favorite,

“how to get tree resin out of clothes”

~Happy Anniversary, everyone.

07
Feb
08

X Thoughts on Super Bowl XLII

Well here we are, three days from the Pro Bowl and forced to spend the next eight months talking about free agent signings and creating tension by pretending that Brett Favre won’t come back next season. So, while it’s on a bit of a delay, here’s my X (ten) thoughts about last weekend’s Super Bowl to serve as a closing of what turned out to be a fairly dramatic season.

I. Let’s get the superlatives out of the way right off the bat. This was the greatest Super Bowl victory I can remember in my life. The earliest Super Bowl I remember watching was Giants-Bills in Super Bowl XXV, when I was six years old. That game, I changed who I was “rooting” for accordingly with each lead change in the game. Turns out by the end of the game, “my” team won. Anyway, since then, I haven’t seen another Super Bowl as exciting as this one, including the two in which my beloved team competed. Rams-Titans comes close, with Kevin Dyson tackled at the one on the last play of the game, but nothing tops 1) David Tyree’s incredible gravity-defying helmet-catch, 2) Eli Manning as MVP, or 3) 18-1.

II. As long as we’re on the topic of superlatives, in my opinion Bill Belichick is now the biggest sore loser in the history of sports (a title previously held by Brett Clark, the barrel-chested sixth grader who drop-kicked a basketball about 200 yards into the parking lot after I had three clean steals against him in middle school P.E.). I don’t care who you are, what your record is, or even if you were pretty sure the clock had expired, as a coach you do not abandon your team on the field before the game is over, even if you’re just one Eli Manning patella away from defeat. Yes, if put in his position, we’d all be disappointed to lose the perfect season, especially to a team you were favored to beat by two touchdowns, but football genius or not, that’s no excuse for being a plain old bad sport.

III. Eli Manning is the shit. With 2:42 left in the 4th quarter, and his team down by 4, I said, out loud, “Eli, here’s where you make or break your career.” He did it, and with style. Eli Manning could never complete another pass in his career, and he’d still be the quarterback who beat the perfect Patriots.

IV. Steve Smith (the #12 version) is not the shit. At least not yet. While he is young, and has a lot of time left to prove himself (which I think he eventually will) the only flaw on Eli’s passing stats for the entirety of the playoffs was a catch that went straight through the inexperienced hands of Steve Smith and into the waiting arms of Ellis Hobbs. From that point on, Steve Smith became a drinking game. Anytime he touched (or should have touched) the ball, my jolly friends and I heartily sipped our respective libations to the rousing and communal yells of “SMITH!!!” At least he was good for something.

V. If the MVP award could be split multiple ways, it should’ve been given to the entire Giants defensive front seven. Anybody who can make the Pats’ oft-heralded offensive line look like tissue paper deserves a heck of a lot of credit.

VI. From this point on, any Super Bowl watched without the aide of TiVo or some other DVR device is completely subpar. Okay, maybe that’s an exaggeration, but in a year where 98% of the commercials sucked outright, (anyone remember when Super Bowl commercials were more like this?) I’d much rather rewind and watch incredible plays four times in a row, pause the game for a fajita break, and then use that built up time from all the pausing and rewinding to fast-forward through the twelfth consecutive commercial for “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles.”

VII. My favorite postgame quote is as follows:

“As Mike Tyson would say, ‘Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face.’ ”

That quote courtesy of Michael Strahan, describing how the Giants disrupted the Pats’ game plan. A perfect description of how the Giants pressured Tom Brady all night long, sacking him five times and forcing one fumble. During the regular season, it took until week 6 for the Patriots to give up 5 sacks. During the Super Bowl, it took just under an hour. Punched in the face is right.

VIII. Perhaps the greatest non-football clip from Super Bowl XLII was about 10 seconds long, shortly after the Giants locked up the victory. The Fox cameras panned to everyone’s favorite big brother up on his feet in his private box, clapping and cheering for li’l ol’ Eli. Not only was this a heartwarming scene in itself: the more experienced, more famous, more loved and more heralded brother cheering on his smaller, less famous, mouth-breathing little brother, but it proved hysterical, as is typical of every non-football related clip of Peyton Manning on television. It seems as though some young brunette lady, possibly Peyton’s wife, Eli’s fianc√©, or some other female friend of the family, was excited about the victory as well, and wanted to share in the moment with Peyton. She went in for the high five not once, but twice, only to be ignored/rejected both times by Peyton, who visibly could’ve cared less about this gal who was forced to slyly attempt to withdraw both of her rejected high fives on the most watched national television program in America. It’s much funnier than can be described in words, so much so that we rewound and watched it on the DVR probably six-to-eight times.

IX. In some respects, the Patriots ultimately benefited from losing this game. Just hear me out on this one… the Patriots, in losing this game, escaped an eternity of “asterisk conversations” that would have tarnished their “perfect” season. Had the Patriots won, every sports fan in the nation would have pointed to Spygate as the big, smudgy fingerprint on their Lombardi trophy, and everyone who didn’t live in Boston would claim that the Pats weren’t really perfect at all, because they were nothing more than big, fat, juicy cheaters. Thankfully, they don’t have to worry about that anymore, because now the Patriots have two things tarnishing their perfect season.

X. There simply is no comparison to watching football with people who both care about and know about the sport. I love my current roommates, but each of them will tell you they are not passionate NFL-enthusiasts, at least not in the same vein as I, and thus I spent a lot of time watching football by myself this past season. Thankfully, the friendly folks who opened their homes and hearts to me this weekend were as nutty about it as I was, and that was one of many reasons this will likely be the most memorable Super Bowl of my 23 years.

So finally, as someone I know would say, “this one’s for my homies.” To the nine people I was privileged enough to spend this past weekend with: I couldn’t have asked for a better time. When I desperately needed a break from real life and a less-than-exciting job, you all delivered in the best way possible. To tell you the truth, when I think back on Super Bowl XLII, I first will think of you, not the game, which is a bigger compliment than it sounds coming from “Mr. Football” (thanks, Joy). Anyway, I appreciate all of you more than you know, and just want to say thanks from the bottom of my heart for an incredible and memorable experience. Let’s do it again real soon. Anybody got dibs on next year?

06
Feb
08

The mere fact that you call it “pop-pop” tells me you’re not ready.

If you possess a decent sense of humor, then this is likely the best news you’ve heard in a long time.

Let the (final) countdown begin.

05
Feb
08

Dear Mitt…

This is just a quick post, so don’t get too excited yet. I’ll talk about the Super Bowl later, in case you’re interested. This is about something else.

Today is Super Tuesday, a title I’m sure is given to a day full of political primaries just so the people in charge of them can feel like a superhero at least once every four years. That being said, we all know that there are plenty of candidates out there doing plenty of things to get you to vote for them, as will be the case from now until November. One such thing has left me especially peeved.

It seems that former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney has somehow gotten my cell phone number, and the dude won’t stop calling me. He’s called me, he’s had his wife call me, he’s had his campaign manager call me, it’s ridiculous. All told Romney’s been calling me about once a day for the past four days (sometimes more), leaving me long, winded messages each time telling me how great he is and how he deserves my vote. The problem is, he’s calling from a restricted number, and never leaves a number to call back (terrible phone etiquette, Mitt…) so I can’t tell him what I think, which is probably good for Mitt. So I’m assuming that since he has my phone number and wishes to invest in my personal private life, he probably reads this site too, and so this message is intended for you, Mittster:

“Hey Mitt, it’s Andy, sorry I missed all five of your calls. First off, might I say that your persistence, if nothing else, is quite impressive. Five calls in four days? If I didn’t know any better, I’d think you had a middle school crush on me, which I sure hope isn’t the case. Anyway, I just wanted to let you know that while I am impressed with your determination, I’d rather you back the heck off and quit calling me, especially on a Sunday, and ESPECIALLY an hour before the Super Bowl. Being from Massachusetts, I’d imagine you’d understand the importance and faux-sacred nature of the Super Bowl to most Americans, but apparently you don’t, which doesn’t bode well for my opinion of your ability to judge what’s truly important to the citizens of this nation. Also, just a hint, but I doubt (or at least hope) there’s nobody out there on the ‘voter fence’ who’s going to decide to vote for you just because you used a machine that sends recorded greetings of yourself and your family to people’s personal cell phones, using up their valuable air time minutes while you ride all over the country in your cushy Romneymobile. So if you’d like to actually call and talk to me in an open-ended conversation, I’d be open to that, (and would be shockingly impressed) but let’s put an end to the one-sided recorded messages, okay Mitty? It’s a waste of your time and campaign funds, as far as I’m concerned. Talk to you later, maybe.”