Monday, July 28, 2008

Sing it loud and sing it proud

People have their favorite songs and places to sing. Most folks say theirs is in the car or shower or even both. I don't get what the deal with the shower is, really. I'm not any more or less likely to sing in the shower than I am anywhere else. Is it a privacy thing? Or are there a lot of waterproof drum kits out there that I don't know about? (I want one.) Don't misunderstand me, I sometimes sing in the shower. I just sing in other places too, like when I'm making dinner or standing in line at the grocery store.

The car makes complete sense, what with the radio and all. There are etiquette questions that arise if you are not alone, though. How loud to sing the chorus of Angel is a Centerfold? How high do you go on I Get Around? That's really an indicator of comfort, isn't it? If you're in the car with someone and he or she is doing his or her very best Axl Rose on Sweet Child o' Mine, then you know there is a definite comfort there. Or this person just doesn't care what you think. Can you blame them? I don't either. (That's not true, I need your approval. Why else would I be writing this on the internet? Please don't go.)

One of the problems I run into, though, is the gender of the singer. What's your favorite Rolling Stones song? Mine is Beast of Burden. (If you chose Can't Always Get What You Want, you're close. If you said Satisfaction, you need to listen to more Rolling Stones.) Like most Stones songs, this one is about Mick Jagger trying to convince a girl to have sex with him. I saw Cobie Caillat at a concert (no, it's not what you're thinking -- I was there to see Hootie and the Blowfish) and she did a cover and changed the words to be gender appropriate. Bette Midler has a cover (surprisingly good, too) and I think she did, too. When you hear a song you like by a woman singer, do you change the words, or do you just go with it?

I found myself in this predicament when I heard The Tide is High by Blondie, when Debbie Harry says she's not the kind of girl who gives up just like that. I realized that I do it about half the time, because I am both self-conscious and lazy. It's probably a bigger problem for the ladies, since there are a lot of guy singers out there. What do you do about this?

Friday, July 18, 2008

Inline outline leave me alone

You know what I miss? Aside from Crystal Pepsi, I mean. Then again, my tastes have probably changed since then. I remember liking Wild Cherry Pepsi a lot, but I bought a 12 pack for a poker game and I don't think I like it quite as much. It might be because I have been drinking a lot more cherry flavored sodas lately, like Cheerwine (one of the glorious discoveries I made in Clemson) and IBC Black Cherry (2/$5 at Kroger!), both of which are like Naomi and Wynonna compared to Ashely, except in reverse. I hope that wouldn't be true of Crystal Pepsi.

That's not what I meant to get started on, though. I miss Roman numerals. I think they are a classier way of counting, and identifying things, numerically speaking. I know that Arabic numerals revolutionized math, what their zero and all, but why do we write Thurston Howell III and not Thurston Howell 3? Class, that's why. Also, crossword puzzles.

Think of all the things that Roman numerals are used for: fancy watches - classy. Kings and queens - classy. Super Bowl - classy. Sort of. Outlines - actually, this one isn't as easy to see. To be honest, it took me a long time to really understand how outlines were supposed to work when I was first exposed to them. I know you are probably thinking, "Wow. And you went to grad school?" My explanation is this: shut up. Taking notes was a little foreign to me, and organizing things in a number-letter-number-etc hierarchy just didn't click, like the 2nd and 3rd Matrix movies. I grew out of it, though, I think. Let's see if that's true.

I. Good Actors
A. Actors
1. Anthony Hopkins
2. Paul Newman
a. The Verdict
b. Sells food with proceeds to charity!
i. Like salad dressing and spaghetti sauces
ii. Don't forget limeade!
3. Keanu Reeves
a. Just kidding.
b. Or am I?
B. Actresses
1. Amy Adams
a. I love her
b. I could be a driver
2. Zhang Ziyi
a. I'm not sure if it's Zhang Ziyi or Ziyi Zhang. It's the opposite here than in China
b. That hair stick scene in Rush Hour 2 is amazing
3. Meryl Streep
a. I hear she's pretty good
b. I saw a preview for Mamma Mia last night in Batman and that song is infectious
c. Death Becomes her
i. Totally underrated.
ii. She shoots Goldie Hawn with a shotgun!
II. Evil Actors
A. Actors
1. Mel Gibson
a. Racists are evil
b. Or was that Australians?
2. Russell Crowe
3. Keanu Reeves
a. Just kidding.
b. Or am I?
B. Actresses
1. Angelina Jolie
a. I think Brad made the wrong choice
b. She's crazy
i. Remember that thing with her brother at the Oscars?
ii. And her kids' names?
iii. And Billy Bob Thornton!?!
a) Vial of blood
b) Tattoos
c) Billy Bob Thornton!?!
2. Rosie O'Donnell
a. Does she even count anymore
b. I liked A League of Their Own
3. Winona Ryder
a. Shoplifting is illegal
b. Day-O

That's right, isn't it? And you what the best part of it is? Of course you do; you're smart. It's the Roman numerals! So everyone, go watch a sequel featuring Amy Adams.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

As some of you loyal readers know, I watch Law & Order from time to time. Over the weekend, I spent some time in the Homeland, and my parents watch L&O way more than I do. So I caught an episode or 8. It's hard to deny the entertainment value of Jerry Orbach's quips, but the thing that does it for me is the lawyer part. There is the pre-packaged, disposable hour serving size of television aspect that does make the whole experience interesting, but I think the real appeal is the awesome jargon that lawyers get to use. And, according to L&O, lawyers use it all the time. I hope I never have to sit for jury duty or get arrested for murder (and inevitably plea reject a deal where they offer Man 2) and have this vision dispelled. Dun dun.

I guess I should clarify that judges get some of the best ones, but they're lawyers, too, sort of, right? They go to law school and everything! I will point out a few of the highlights, a few of which I try to use in everyday parlance, although I have to wonder how often people understand what it is that I'm getting at with all this.

  1. I'll allow it. This is what judges say when Sam Waterston, the reason you watch the show, tries to do something that in real life would be a gross government overreach, but is great because he's trying to get the bad guy. This is unquestionably my favorite of all legalisms.
  2. Withdrawn. This one comes from the trial attorneys, not the judge. It's when one of them asks a question that is clearly illegal, but used to manipulate the jury. The judge always instructs the members of the jury to disregard, but really, how easy it to disregard something like, "So, it was the first and third child that you smuggled into tend your rose bushes that you didn't beat with a hose, but not the second?" It's a way to just surrender, and move on. How convenient would that be?
  3. Objection! Probably the most versatile, anytime you disagree, you can just throw this one out. "I did not steal your waffles." "Objection! Those are clearly my waffles."
  4. Overruled. You're wrong. Simply put. One word, can't beat that sort of efficiency.
  5. Chambers! Sam likes to yell this one too, and it always seems so forced. I don't really know what sort of practical application it would have, unless you are demanding a romantic rendezvous. That's also pretty direct and would be efficient, if it worked.
And this didn't even begin to discuss the Latin. Habeas Corpus? Latin for "That you have the body." I think you can imagine a few contexts where that would be handy while chatting. I'd consider going to law school just for the lingo. What do we get? A mathematical definition of "work"? Objection.