Tuesday, December 26, 2006

guitar hero II.

My siblings (and their spouses) and I spent at least half of Christmas eve and Christmas day playing Guitar Hero 2 on playstation, which one sib had given to another sib for a Christmas present. It became apparent the longer we played, that, though the spouses gave a valiant effort, the blood relatives were the true heros. Why? Because we all grew up playing string instruments, and thus were naturally brilliant guitar heros. My mother kept saying, "I knew that many years and thousands of dollars in music lessons were not for nothing." So true. In the end, one sister (the other aunt) and I played "Hangar 18" by Megadeth (on the "Hard" setting!) at least 10 times taking turns to see who could make it the farthest before we were booed off the stage...and I must admit I lost. She made it to 72 %, I only made it to 65 %. While other families sung christmas carols and played in the snow, my family played rock music video games. My family is totally awesome.

orchestral torture mechanisms

For many years (11, to be precise) I have harbored a hatred of the song, Canon in D (major), by Pachelbel. I suspect every cellist hates this song. For, every cellist knows that it is the most dismal cello part ever written, comprised of only 8 quarter notes repeated over and over. However, like most things in my life, I forgot about it...until the aforementioned blackbird (who knows me better than I do, AND has a better memory of my life) brought this to my attention: Pachelbel Rant. I should point out that I, too, counted the number of times you repeat the 8 notes, and I think it was around 34 (as opposed to 54 as "Rob" claims). "Rob" also claims that Pachelbel follows you throughout every musical genre, and he is absolutely right. The world is too blind to realize they are actually hearing the same song over and over again. It has even replaced the wedding march to some degree. Grr. Die, Pachelbel, Die. It's unfortunate his death in 1706 had no effect on the worldwide torture of cellists. Oh, and merely for clarification purposes, the song wouldn't be featured in Vh1's best of the 1790's as "Rob" claims because it was written in 1680.

Monday, December 25, 2006

the roundabout of obscurity

Once upon a time there was a roundabout. In fact, there were many. These roundabouts reside in England. I saw them from my seat on a bus...

Once upon the same time there was another roundabout. Only one roundabout. It was new. New enough that it was never mentioned in drivers ed. As a result, there were some who never quite figured out how to go through the roundabout. Subsequently, many were annoyed. Including myself. Schemes were undertaken to instruct those who knew not the secrets of the roundabout--e.g., instructions posted within various buildings through out university of utah campus (to which the roundabout was adjacent).

Once upon a time 3 years later there was another roundabout. This roundabout resides within Stanford campus. It is painted on a sidewalk--at the "Intersection of Death" famous for it's bike accidents (excluding mine). It even has an inner and outer lane. Pity no one uses it.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

O Holy Night of pain.

This is the most painful version of O Holy Night I have ever heard. I am pretty sure it's a joke...

download here

Listen to the whole song. Your life will never be the same.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

lint, a silent killer.

Purse lint: an evil thing. You reach into a purse, searching for something, and at the bottom your fingernails catch one of the most disturbing substances: purse lint. Cloth bits, crumbs, hair, bits of everything...now residing beneath your nails as you fumble and fail to clean it all out.


I can type nothing more vehemently than this statement. Ew. I have encountered said substance earlier this evening, and have not yet fully recovered (obviously). Yet, there is a parameter that when included in the purse description, intensifies the ew-ness. The parameter is this: when the purse does not belong to you.

Let me repeat. Ew.

However, there may be useful reasons to carry purse lint around with you.
1) may be used in lieu of mace
2) may act as kindling for a fire
3) may discourage theft of purse contents.
But beware. Use with caution.

(This post was written as requested by my paternal relation, upon my hand discovering purse lint within the purse of my maternal relation.)

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

the unthinkable

Yes. The unthinkable. I did not think it possible, but my cell phone has a pre-programmed spelling error. I have the option to "foward" my text messages. How...nice.

Monday, December 11, 2006

sim planet

Why is the Universe Fine-Tuned?

First, there’s a very, VERY weird thing about the place we live in – something so weird and profound it sends shivers down your spine. For in fact, the Universe seems to be ‘fine-tuned’ to make life possible!

It has to do with the stuff most people find boring in school: the laws of physics. Ultimately, all of these laws are founded upon the ‘physical constants’. Such as the force of gravity, the ‘strong force’ that glues atomic nuclei together and the electromagnetic force, the driving hand behind stuff like lightning and computers. But why do these fundamental ‘presets’ have the values they have? Why aren’t they a little bigger, or smaller?

The British cosmologist Fred Hoyle was the first to realise this is no coincidence. A very peculiar thing about the fundamental constants is that they appear to have exactly the right values. If they were slightly smaller or bigger, atoms, stars, planets and people simply wouldn’t exist!

Take the strong force inside atomic nuclei. If the force were just slightly stronger, it would boost up the burning of stars so much, that they would explode only seconds after they were formed. We wouldn’t have a sun – or even a planet. If on the other hand the force were a tad weaker, it would be too weak to hold together elements like the heavy hydrogen isotope deuterium. Stars wouldn’t light up. And we wouldn’t be here either.

Astonishingly, the same goes for all other constants. As the famous British astronomer Martin Rees put it: “Wherever we look, we see examples of fine-tuning. Most of the physical constants and the initial conditions of the Universe examined so far appear to be fine-tuned to some extent.”

That leaves us with a gnawing, unsettling question: Why? Why are all physical contants exactly the way they are? Every cosmologist agrees that this can hardly be a coincidence. So what, or who, set the rules?

Er..Duh. This blurb is from Exit Mundi (see link in sidebar, or above title). I am amazed at the extreme explanations people will come up with to avoid saying God exists. Oh why didn't I think of this before, I'm a Sim in a game tweaked by aliens.

the long dark confusing and pointless battle of cheesecake

I have been debating for years whether I should like cheesecake or not. I didn't like cheesecake for many many moons. I had some at my senior prom but it made me sick. But, in truth, whether or not I would have felt sick at that exact moment with or without cheesecake is uncertain. I suppose I'll never know. I would relive the day, but that would be semi-miserable since my corsage was cutting off my circulation all night. Then I had cheesecake when I was in New York on choir tour. I thought..why not have "new york cheesecake?" Indeed, why not. So I did. More than once. The thing is, cheesecake doesn't make me want to dance and sing. I would be ok if I never had cheesecake again for the rest of my life. I would not be ok if I never had rice pudding again, however.

I have been pressured by my peers to take up cheesecake. They whisper, "you know you like it." These whisperings do not win me over. However, upon visiting Stanford campus last year, my lovely hosts took me to the Cheesecake Factory. I had never been. We ate cheesecake, naturally. I could hardly say no. I think I liked it. Then I felt sick-ish. Then I decided not to like it again. A year later, I go off sugar with a friend. She kept saying after our no-sugar month is up, "we have to go get cheesecake!" Ok, fine. So the month ended, and we went to get cheesecake. I chose something that turned out to be completely dismal. I am uncertain if every choice would have turned out to be dismal. I have no way of knowing. Therefore, I suppose I shall never know. So then I decided not to like cheesecake again. But then I had it again months later after I had forgotten I didn't like it. I just can't get away. But I have now decided not to like it once more. I will not be swayed. I will not eat cheesecake at your wedding, at my wedding, at my children's wedding, or at my funeral. Or at anyone's funeral. I'd rather have jello and potatoes.

If anyone succeeds in convincing me to like cheesecake, I will write them a brilliant and witty poem as a reward. But do so at your own peril, because I don't like cheesecake.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Hidden Grinch Day

I have a thing to say and it is this: I am a grinch. In my heart, I will always be thus. But to the world, I am a grinch only before December 10. On December 10 I feel that I no longer have sufficient excuse to complain about the 24th version of silent night that's just come on the radio sung by the latest American Idol reject. On December 10 I no longer cringe openly at the decorations that hang so low I have to walk around them. On December 10 I no longer go to great lengths to avoid wearing a red shirt on the days I wear my green jacket. On December 10 I resign myself to 15 days of misery, where I invariably listen to loud rock and roll stations that never play anything remotely christmasy.

Why December 10? Because it comes between December 9 and 11, obviously. What other day would I choose? I thought briefly about December 15, but decided against it for two reasons:
1) 10 days just doesn't seem long enough to develop a secret grinch mystique.
2) It's my parents' anniversary and I just don't feel right making it Hidden Grinch Day.

So, Happy Hidden Grinch Day. I am now officially grinch-incognito.

So long, and thanks for all the fish.