I think poor Ken Jennings (well, okay, not so poor) got hosed on this one:
"Hosed" -- hey, that's an accidental pun on the garden implement theme.
Of course, the right answer naturally brings to mind this clip:
(Someone actually edited that -- there's not that many rakes in the real episode.)
** Speaking of the real episode, here's the real scene from the show. Actually much funnier in the original.
Tuesday, January 30, 2007
I think poor Ken Jennings (well, okay, not so poor) got hosed on this one:
Monday, January 29, 2007
I had a minor hissy fit this weekend. Not that it was determinative of my actions, but I generally had unpleasant thoughts through much of Saturday night for it.
I texted* a friend of mine (let's call him "George") on Saturday afternoon -- around 2:00 -- to ask what he was up that evening. This is a pretty good friend of mine with whom I've hung out quite a bit in recent months.
I got a response from him about half an hour later: "Heading to a party with [new boyfriend] et al. Want to join?"
Needing some details, I texted back: "Hmmm. Whose party?" I didn't really want to just randomly show up at a party where I would know no one, after all. It's important to get a sense of who the host is.
Response: "Friends of [the new boyfriend]. [Three other friends of ours] are going too."
And that, for some reason, floored me. George had already asked three people to go with him to this party... and I was only getting invited to "join" because I happened to send the text asking about that night.
Only in small part due to the principle of the matter, I decided not to go to that party. First, it wasn't clear whose party it was, and I generally don't like being thrust into a party filled with strangers. But another part of me did think that I didn't particularly care to hang out with George if his inviting me was something of an afterthought. "Eh, I didn't think to call you, but if you want to come, sure, come along."
I'm sure this will all blow over soon enough, but for some reason, that whole confluence of events riled me. "Bill," one of the three mutual friends was WAS invited to go, actually called and texted me later to ask when I was heading over and if I wanted to share a cab. Afraid that I would bite his head off for no good reason, I declined to take the call or return the text, and just disappeared from the face of the planet for the night.
So in the end, I spent Saturday night alone in my apartment. Which was GREAT, by the way, because I managed to a HUGE slew of LONG-overdue cleaning. My kitchen is now amazing.
Now I just need to work on my bathroom, living room, and bedroom.
Then I might have a party and forget to invite George. Kidding!
* I actually can't stand that this is a verb now, and I'm not a fan of using it as a general mode of communication. However, I have given up and added a plan to my phone for text messaging because so damn many of my friends use it with alarming frequency.
Posted by Dennis! at 3:37 PM
Thursday, January 25, 2007
Why, oh why, is it that some websites will work ONLY if you type in the "www" in the first part of the address? Most competent, reputable websites will get to where you're going without the lead "www." Why can't they all do this?
Good Example: washingtonpost.com and www.washingtonpost.com both take you to the same place.
Bad Example: The District of Columbia bar's web page is at www.dcbar.org. But if, for whatever, reason, you don't type the "www", you get a missing page error.
Posted by Dennis! at 11:20 AM
Saturday, January 20, 2007
Hillary Clinton as formally announced her bid for the 2008 presidency.
If the Democratic party has any lick of sense whatsoever, she will not survive the primaries.
Don't get me wrong, I respect Senator Clinton and the work she's done, and I think she would make a fine president. And, of course, if she makes the ballot, it would take a miracle candidate to make me vote for a Republican over her.
But she's a lightning rod. Republicans hate her, and I don't just mean hate, I mean hate hate. I think it started when she had the audacity to step outside the traditional figurehead "First Lady" role (consisting of tackling some pet charity projects and looking pretty) and actually attempting to tackle some substantive issues like health care. Since her time living in the White House, she successfully moved to New York (making her something of a political carpetbagger) pretty much exclusively for the purpose of getting herself elected to Congress.
Remember how much Republicans hated former President Bill Clinton? It was pure vitriol. There was nothing President Clinton could do which didn't raise hackles with Republicans, which was particularly troubling when they controlled Congress. Do I even need to mention the impeachment again? Do I have to draw the comparison between impeachment for sexual encounters and impeachment for drumming up a phony war and causing the deaths of tens of thousands of people?
Hillary Clinton on the 2008 ballot would undoubtedly drive scores of Republicans to polls for the sole purpose of voting against her. Whatever divisions and disagreements may exist among Republicans right now, one thing will unite them: their blinding hatred of Senator Clinton. They will run straight to the polls to vote for "Anyone But Hillary." Even Republicans who might otherwise be tempted to stay at home due to their ambivalence over any Republican candidate would rush out there to keep Senator Clinton out of the White House.
Say, for example, John McCain made the ballot. It strikes me that Senator McCain has some liabilities which work against him; the core conservative Republican base may not be terribly happy with his "maverick" image (not that it's terribly accurate) or that he has been known to publicly drift away from the party line from time to time. With him on the ballot, Republicans may very well be tempted to skip the election completely: the logic being, the only thing he has going for him is the "R" after his name, and that's not enough to affirmatively vote for him.
But if his ticket is the only viable thing standing in the way of another Clinton in the Oval Office, you better believe that rank-and-file Republicans would run to the polls to prevent that from happening.
If Democrats have any lick of sense, they will not put Hillary Clinton on the national ballot. Irrespective of her qualifications as a lawmaker, a lawyer, and and politician, she will never make it to the White House. And frankly, Democrats need to take the White House in 2008. We can't afford another four years of Republican rule.
Posted by Dennis! at 12:16 PM
Friday, January 19, 2007
Today I decided to be a rebel.
As I got on the elevator to leave the office for lunch today,I decided I would defy the social mores and stand, the entire time, facing away from the door.
And I did.
I am such a rebel.
Unfortunately, there were no other people in the elevator for the entire ride down.
Posted by Dennis! at 1:56 PM
Friday, January 12, 2007
Hot on the heels of my last post – and I swear I am not making this up – I had the most fun experience walking to work this morning.
Having reluctantly pulled myself out of bed and conducted my regular morning ritual, I was dressed and on my way to work. On 14th Street, I passed a pair of black women who were also, I presume, on their way to work, heading in the same direction as I was. Thought nothing of them (well, except for the fact they were both carrying plastic bags containing what I assume to be lunch, including one which contained a mini-bag of Munchos, which I LOVE and which made me instantly crave their oh-so-salty goodness), walked past them, left them in my dust as they strolled along.
With the women no more than 20 feet behind me, a car slowly drives by us and situates herself at a red light. The driver's stereo is loud and her sunroof is opened just a tad, enough to broadcast to a decent hearing range that she was listening to the Jennifer Hudson version of "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going." (Really. I kid you not. The day after I post about this. I can't escape it, I tell ya.)
Unable to help myself, I sing along softly to myself because, despite what I said in yesterday's post, I do like the song itself. "I'm not living without you. I'm not living without you. I'm staying...."
At around this point, I realize I'm not alone. Sure enough, one of the two women I passed not ten seconds before has chosen to join in on this impromptu karaoke, but with a lot more gusto than I would have mustered. (I'm guessing it was probably because she was with a friend which made her look like less of a freak.) "I'm staying," she sings out (as in "Sing out, Girlfriend!"). "And you, and you.... YOU'RE GONNA LOVE ME-E-E-E-E-E-E-E!" she lets out. Not as good as J-Hol or J-Hu (I actually hate those abbreviations) but with enough of a vibrato voice as to make it pretty impressive.
I wanted to join in, but I thought that would be weird, so I just kept my own singing to myself. Instead of singing along to just a car stereo, I ended up joining in with a nice young woman on the street. It was a nice way to start the morning.
I think it would be fun, as Chrisafer suggests, to do periodic sing-alongs in the city. Dreamgirls, West Side Story, Grease, The Sound of Music, The Rocky Horror Picture Show.... the possibilities could be endless!
Posted by Dennis! at 12:41 PM
Thursday, January 11, 2007
So I saw Dreamgirls recently. I loved the show -- not so much because of the plot and the pacing could be a bit off, but more because of the music and energy. The Effie (Jennifer Hudson) character successfully steals the show for the first half of the movie, and Beyonce blends into the background as the inferior singer in the trio. Effie unfortunately moves into the background for much of the second half of the movie, but, as I say, I just enjoyed the music and the excitement. Besides, when something like Dreamgirls shows up at the Uptown Theater in Cleveland Park, there's bound to be a fantastic mix of gay boys and black women which always make for a fun time.
Having never seen the original stage version, all I knew about from it was what I had heard previously -- mostly, "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going," by Jennifer Holliday. That woman has got a powerful set of lungs on her, and her performance is therefore completely breathtaking. I'd heard it a million times and it just sounds beautiful:
And I am telling you
I'm not going.
You're the best man I've never known!
There's no way I'll ever go!
No no no no no.
I'm not living without you.
I'm not living without you.
And you, and you -- you're gonna love me!
If you don't believe me about the power of this woman's song (though why wouldn't you believe me?), check out Holliday's performance at the 1982 Tony Awards:
[Obligatory spoiler alert! -- Don't read further if you haven't seen the movie and still want to.]
So the song is great and strong and all -- "You're going to love me, dammit!" -- and in a vacuum I love the romantic concept of swearing that you'll devote your life to earning the love of the one person you feel destined to become your true love...
... but in the context of the movie you quickly come to realize that the song is tremendously ironic at best, sad and kind of pitiful at worst.
The song comes at the point in the movie when Effie realizes that she's been replaced as one the Dreamgirls. (She's replaced by a skinny chick -- because it's all about what will sell.) Feeling betrayed, she turns to the manager (with whom she had developed an intimate relationship) for an explanation, only to be told that the decision had been made, and she was out.
Then Effie launches into it: "I'm not going!" she cries. "I'm staying!" To Curtis (the manager), she belts out: "You're the best man I've ever known! There's no way I'll ever go!"
But Curtis is now not only the man who has cut her out of the show, he is also that man she has just accused of sleeping with Deena (Beyonce) -- and we later find out either that she was right, or she was prescient. Is he really still the best man she's ever known if he can be such a cad?
"I'm staying! I'm staying!" she cries. "You're gonna love me!" I always thought those words meant she was do what it took to redeem herself in the eyes of someone who had fallen out of love with her. But that's not what happens in the show. She's resolving to stay -- whether in the act or in the relationship -- from which she has been forcibly booted.
In fact, none of her predictions and resolutions even remotely come close to coming true. "I'm staying," she resolves, but she doesn't. From all appearances she drifts off out of the limelight, has her child without telling anyone, burns through the half a million she had earned until then and ends up living on public assistance in less-than-luxurious digs with her daughter.
"You're gonna love me!" she insists... but she doesn't fight for the man (not that she should, seeing as he wasn't a very nice man anyway), even though he was her baby-daddy.
Sad to say, the song now has taken on a whole new meaning now that I've seen it performed in the context in which it was created. It's no longer a demonstration of determination and will with regard to a lost love. It's more of a swan song -- the dying wail of a beautiful creature. It's not about empowerment and overcoming love's obstacles -- it's about saying you will, and then rolling over and letting Cupid sucker-punch you.
But how completely awesome was it that Loretta Devine, one of the original on-stage Dreamgirls, made an appearance in the movie? Sing it, girl!
Posted by Dennis! at 10:47 AM
Wednesday, January 10, 2007
I have given in and created a MySpace page.
I must say, it is wildly addicting.
I've already added a slew of friends to it and they have taken over my comments section.
And yet it's so much fun. I've uploaded a song to the page as well as a few videos. I've also started posting up a bunch of photos on my friends' pages.
And I've added a few of the people from my blogroll to my MySpace page, completely shattering the semi-anonymity that this blog used to provide with respect to my readers. (Both of them!)
So if you're on MySpace, drop me a friend request!
Posted by Dennis! at 7:33 PM
Saturday, January 06, 2007
I have no timed haircut schedule. I don't have a standing "every X months" appointment to meet with Chris, my hair guy of over five years. (I often joke that the longest relationship I've ever had with a guy who runs his fingers through my hair is with Chris.) I usually just give up and make the appointment when my hair gets exceptionally unruly. Oftentimes this coincides with when my hair reaches past my eyebrows in the shower.
I've been growing my hair out for the winter this year. My records (I have records!) show that the last time I got a haircut was in August. No particular reason; I just haven't felt the need to do it yet. The winter provides a convenient excuse, as head hair helps trap some heat in the body (even though this winter is thus far exceptionally mild).
I've been fooling with the style as long as I have the hair now. All through my formative years -- including through a good bit of college -- my hair was always parted on the left side. This for no other reason than that's how my parents combed it for me before I could do so myself. In grade school I remember thinking some of my friends looked good with a middle part, but I wasn't able to pull that off. My high school senior photo makes me look like a prototypical Asian guy, complete with unflattering glasses. (I have since given myself the gift of contacts, though I wear the glasses from time to time to give my eyeballs a break.)
I've been diddling with a middle part lately, but it's hard because apparently my hair continues to be trained to skew in the direction of the left side-part. So the middle part looks like of retarded; the two sides aren't balanced, because the half of the left side feels the need to fall back toward the right.
Last night, in an effort to fight my hair's "natural" inclinations (also known as "trying to break my hair's almost-thirty-year grooming styles), I went the other way completely, and combed my hair into a right-side side-part. This was met with more success than the mid-part, and I think I kinda like my hair today.
As I sat down to dinner last night, my friend looked at me and commented, "So, Shaun Cassidy, what's up with the long feathery hair?" I don't know if she meant it as a compliment or not, but seeing as Shaun Cassidy was quite the cutie-patootie in his day, I'll take it as a compliment.
For the more Shaun Cassidy photos than you can possibly shake a stick (nudge nudge wink wink) at, click here.
And just for the hell of it -- here's one of four Cassidy brothers with "Mom" Shirley.
Posted by Dennis! at 9:13 AM
Thursday, January 04, 2007
Lately my life is just like this little bunny rabbit. I love him.
But then he's cuter than I am. So it's quite likely he's probably getting more sex than I am.
Then again, he is a freaking bunny rabbit. There's a reason someone coined the phrase "fuck like bunnies."
Posted by Dennis! at 4:20 PM
Wednesday, January 03, 2007
A play in ridiculously few lines, let alone acts.
Dramatis personae: Pharmacy customer (played by me); pharmacy guy-behind-the-counter (kinda cute, actually); pharmacist.
Date: January 2, 2007, approx. 8:30 p.m.
[Customer is standing at Pharmacy Counter looking to retrieve some prescription medications.]
Customer: Picking up, please. Last name is [redacted]. [Spells name.]
GBTC: Two prescriptions?
Customer: Yes, please.
[GBTC scans Customer's CVS Card and then scans the bar codes for the two prescriptions. Customer reaches for his credit card. Preparing to swipe his card, he looks down to see the total charge for his two medications.]
Customer: Holy crap! $120?!?
GBTC: Looks like it. Yeah, you know, new year comes around and the deductibles go back up again....
Customer: Holy crap man!
GBTC: [Shakes head] They'll get you one way or another....
[Customer swipes his credit card and signs the digital screen. Upon approval, a very long cash register receipt spews forth from the machine.]
GBTC: [Briefly looking at receipt] Well, you also get $2.50 in CVS ExtraBucks!
Customer: [only slightly sarcastic] Oh, well, I'm doing my happy dance now! [Does not actually do anything resembling a dance.]
Pharmacist: [filling out other orders all the while] [grins to herself]
Sadly, this is the coolest I'm going to get in terms of a "New Year" post. But Happy New Year all!
Posted by Dennis! at 4:02 PM