Cliff Gardner

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

NPDA Nationals roundup!

We just got back from debate nationals. The highlights include:

--I find out that tons of people read CliffGardner but never post because blogger won't let people who aren't registered comment. So, to all of you voyeurs reading this, HI! YOU ROCK!

--I finished The Da Vinci Code. I don’t want to give away the ending, but the Boxcar Children were taken in by a kind hearted elderly couple (in other words, this book read like it should have been nominated for one of those gold medal awards on elementary school “novels,” and let’s be honest—The Indian in the Cupboard is much more interesting).

--Pacific University attends NPDA for the first time, and our teams end up with a winning record overall! Josh and Kyle go 4-4 (as a freshman and sophomore, that’s really good) and Tyler and Jared (also a freshman and sophomore team) ADVANCE TO ELIMINATION ROUNDS with a 5-3 record before dropping in quad-octo-finals on a 2-1 decision. To my knowledge, this is the first ever break at any national tournament in the history of Pacific forensics, so needless to say, I am so proud that my head is about to fly off!

--I get horribly lost while trying to find food in Salem, THE CITY THAT I LIVED IN FOR FOUR YEARS, on the way back. AshAttack has one of her “fits,” laughing so hard she cries. But hey, we ate at Denny’s, so suck on that one, confusing highway systems of Oregon.

--Ashley films a documentary about Lilia Toson by following her around for the entire tournament. When you see someone as amazingly talented as Lilia debate, a lot of people tend to get a little star struck. Because of that, you sort of half expect her and Kevin (an equally great debater who earned the comment of the tournament after an elimination round from Tyler: “Kevin’s MO……, man, that was a good MO!”) to be self absorbed assholes, but in reality, they’re basically the coolest people in the debate community. When they got to semi-finals I was amazingly proud of them and I know they’ll have great senior years!

--Jess and Ash sitting alone next to each other knitting up a storm in a room full of debaters. They promise to knit me a Speedo and I promise to wear it.

--Willamette won both tournament sweepstakes and season sweepstakes. I think Megan knows exactly how I feel.

--Ian and I judge an important round together and I feel smarter because we agreed on the team that won.

Wow, that tournament was exhausting. I'm sure glad I have some time off now! OH WAIT! I leave in about six hours for ANOTHER national tournament in Florida. I'll be gone this time for two weeks because I'm staying with my brother and my friends David and Kristen for a week after the tournament is over, so posting on here will be sparse for a bit, but know that I love you all!

Friday, March 24, 2006

Just call me Sister Mary Clarence

NPDA is this weekend, so I won't be updating until Monday/Tuesday. I think my teams are going to do well! It is weird judging for Willamette one weekend and coaching Pacific the next. The best analogy I can think of is Sister Act Two. Willamette is that huge, really good choir that usually dominates everyone, and Pacific is that smaller inner-city San Francisco choir with lots of personality that can either hit or miss. I am part of the machine one weekend and raging against it the next. Weird. However, the best part of the Sister Act Dos analogy is that I get to shout AshAttack's favorite line of the movie, "GIVE US BACK OUR CONSENT FORMS!" all weekend for no apparent reason.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

The truth is out there

Last weekend I was at NPTE and something very funny happened. While I was washing my hands in a bathroom, another tournament participant was using a urinal and his cell phone rang. What I found hilarious about this was that his ring tone was “The X-Files” theme song. To make matters worse, he couldn’t answer the phone to end his embarrassment because he was using the urinal. Once the whole re-affirming every stereotype about debaters in the universe hilarity passed, I got to thinking. What would be a more embarrassing cell phone ring tone in a situation like that? I’ve come up with some ideas, but feel free to contribute your own.

--Shake Your Bon Bon! By the way, if Mark Truax had a theme song, I think this would be it.

--Lady Marmalade.

--Chip and Dale’s Rescue Rangers theme…no, that one is actually awesome, never mind.

I guess they don't teach math in law school

My cell phone rings at 6:15 this morning and wakes me up. Before I can answer it, they hang up. My phone tells me that the call came from an east coast law school. I fall back to sleep. At 6:40, the house phone rings and wakes me up again. The following conversation ensues:

Person who can’t subtract three: Hello, this is Ana from [east coast law school] and I have some questi—

Me: HI ANA! How are you this morning?

Ana who can’t subtract three: Oh, I’m good, how are y—

Me: FINE! You know, I’m discovering more and more that there are subtle differences between the east and west coasts, Ana. Would you like to know what my favorite difference is?

Ana who can’t subtract three: *short, awkward silence* Oh shoot, you’re in Orego—

Me: You got it! Three hours! That’s my favorite difference! Anyway, how can I help you on this early, early morning Ana?

Considering that I went to bed at 2:30 the night before, I’m really proud of how witty I managed to be. While on the subject of the rest of my life, the Peace Corps interview went well yesterday. I'll keep you all posted!

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Mo Money, Mo Problems

I got my tax refund today and while my net worth is still in the red by thirty grand or so (DAMN YOU Spirit Mountain Casino!), I do have a little more disposable income to play with thanks to working more this year than ever before. Much like the pig in Charlotte’s Web discovering the “some pig” spider web in the doorway, I am both excited and apprehensive. The way I see it, I have two options:

--Save it. I need to start socking money away to pay for Josh’s eventual stint in rehab anyway so now is as good a time as any to add to that nose candy nest egg.

--Spend it on something extravagant. Faberge egg omelets, anyone? No? Well how about we all spend the weekend in my wing of the international space station? Come on, you can see my DVD collection from up there!

Betrayed by a pastry

A few minutes ago I was making myself a snack when disaster struck. One of my frosted strawberry poptarts came apart while I was taking it out of the toaster. This left me in an awkward position; I could ignore the poptart remnant in the--what the hell do you call the poptart groove? A toaster-hole? I’m going with chute. Yea, so I could either ignore the itty-bitty quarter poptart in the bottom of the chute and risk pissing off my mom, again, or just deal with it myself. Since I had already used the last of the toilet paper minutes before, I knew mom was going to have a difficult morning tomorrow anyway so I decided to deal with the situation before she discovered my little present while making her morning English muffin. Unfortunately, I’m not that bright.

A word of advice—sticking your hand IN A TOASTER THAT IS STILL ON isn’t the best idea, but not for the reason(s) you might thing. While trying to grab the quarter poptart, part of the hot strawberry jelly stuck to my finger and burned me a little bit. Since that strategy had not only failed but left me with first-degree burns, I took a lesson from the apes in 2001: A Space Odyssey and tried to use tools, and that’s when the wheels really came off the wagon. It turns out, sticking a fork in a toaster chute isn’t a good idea either, especially while said appliance is still plugged in. All I’ll say is that you don’t notice your eyebrows until they’re gone.

Just kidding, I’m fine and my eye brows are as bushy as ever. But still, the “stick a fork in a toaster” tactic didn’t work either and by now I was getting frustrated. Normally when I get mad, I pick up something and shake it—salt shakers, Polaroid pictures, infants (psyche!), anything to get the anger out, and this instance was no different. I picked up the toaster and shook the hell out of it, and in a few seconds, out flew the poptart chunk.


Monday, March 20, 2006

This postsecret picture made me think of Pacific

I should mention that I have a Peace Corps inverview tomorrow morning.

NPTE all up in your grill

I judged at NPTE last weekend. The highlights include:

--Talking to cool friends whom I mostly know through blogging in real life. Marie, Ian and Caroline are total rockstars!

--Sean and Sam drop in the fourth elimination round, earning 8th in the country. GO WILLAMETTE!

--Sara points out that she’s proud to be an American, and in response, Cait takes off her shirt.

--Rob and I are given the title of “highly preferred” critics. Congratulations?

--Lilia and Kevin impress me once again, and I try hard to embarrass an ambitious documentary filmmaker.

--Emily “I’m too busy running for student government to update my blog” McLain and I party at her house with 50 other debaters and a hodge-podge of other U of O folks.

--I judge rounds with other cool people who turn out to be freaking rad, like Jenny Corum, Emily Cram and Avi Zevin. Life is great!

Thursday, March 16, 2006


Tomorrow I’m leaving for Eugene to judge for Willamette at the National Parliamentary Tournament of Excellence. It will be a lot like that scene from Billy Madison where Adam Sandler drives his golf cart around chasing after giant penguins, except instead of Billy it is me and instead of chasing after penguins I sit out on a lot of panels, when I get ballots at all. It should be fun!

Things to do before I die

Inspired by Jess:

--Run the Vancouver B.C. Marathon (ZAYNE!?)

--Live in a big city

--See an Atlanta Braves game at Turner Field

--Compete in a dualathon (for example, this one). I would say triathlon, but this list about stuff I want to do BEFORE I die, not WHILE I’M DYING and the swimming would kill me. No body fat. Sink like a rock.

--Get married to someone I love so much I can barely see straight and have a family with HER (thanks, Marie!)

--Open a 24 hour movie theatre (seriously! How rad would that be?)

--Drive across the country with a good friend

--Have someone love me the way I love them

--Learn how to make creme brule

Oddly enough, I hadn't thought of any of this stuff before I sat down to write this list. Good stuff to know.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Your Cliff Gardner Horoscope!

Aries: You know that scene in Back to the Future when Marty out-smarts Biff Tannon and fills Biff’s car with manure? Well you will appreciate it a lot more after the drive home tonight.

Taurus: Just give Sean Connery a little space and he’ll come around to your way of thinking.

Gemini: Don’t worry; there have to be some women out there who are really in to guys who can quote Battlestar Gallactica episodes.

Cancer: People aren’t impressed by all of those merit badges anymore and frankly they never were, so stop wearing your Cub Scout uniform to work/clubs/swimming pools.

Leo: I re-gifted that ceramic kangaroo statue you gave me and I don't feel the least bit bad about it.

Virgo: Global Warming doesn’t mean you can disregard the no shirt, no service rule at Sizzler.

Libra: Despite Mariah Carey being very appropriate for the occasion, I really didn't need to know that wearing your iPod while pooping adds a soundtrack to each dump you take.

Scorpio: Despite what you were told, those people following you around with cameras who threw your entire wardrobe in the trash are in no way affiliated with What Not to Wear.

Sagittarius: I will from this day forward refer to you only as “the plague rat.”

Capricorn: Demanding that your assisted living nurse rub you down with rock salt tri-hourly in perfectly reasonable.

Aquarius: Being shot in the stomach with a cannon ball isn’t as fun as circus freaks make it out to be so cancel your vacation before it is too late.

Pisces: Despite what you and your Emo friends think, Garden State and Elizabeth town aren’t the best movies ever.

A cleaning out the fridge post

I applied for the Peace Corps today sort of on a whim, but the more I think about it, the more I like the idea. While I still want to eventually be a lawyer and may ultimately end up in law school next fall anyway, given that my goal is to help people, they are a very appealing option. We’ll see.

In unrelated news, it seems that I have become some sort of mini-celebrity in the Baha’i blogging community. HI GEORGE! The cool part about the Baha’i faith is that there are Bahai’s everywhere and they are all really awesome folks. Seriously, I have yet to meet a Baha’i who isn't a total rockstar! If nothing else, that fact is what makes me really enjoy discussing the faith with others, like Josh, whom I've recently had a series of converations with about it. Allah'u'Abha!

Finally, I ate 1/3rd of the Costco cake Jess had for dinner yesterday and it was everything I thought it could be. Seriously, cake makes everything better, and so does Jess. Friends are fun! :-)

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Who's on your list?

AshAttack mentioned to me recently that people should be allowed a list of five people/celebrities that they would be permitted to hook up with no matter what their relationship status. She mentioned that Gideon Yago was on her list, and I mentally hypothesized that the kid who played Hobie on Baywatch probably was too. This got me thinking about my own list, and this is what I came up with, in no particular order:

1) Felicity Huffman. I’ve had a crush on her since I first stumbled upon a 1:00 am Sports Night episode on Comedy Central when I was 17. I am a firm believer that there’s nothing sexier than talent, and she’s got boat-loads.

2) Gabrielle Union. I’ve seen the West Wing episode “The Benign Prerogative” about 25 times and still get annoyed with Charlie each time he treats her like shit.

3) Sarah Mclaughlin. I’ll be honest—I got really in to Lilith Fair in high school. However, my crush on Sarah reached new levels when I discovered how badass she was with the World on Fire video. Compassion=Sexy.

4) Salma Hayek. I’ve seen Fools Rush In dozens of times despite it also staring Paul Riser with better skin, Matthew Perry. Enough said.

5) YOUR NAME HERE! Cuddling enthusiast seeks awesome woman to watch movies, play sports and read while snuggling next to a warm fire. Call now, our 23 year old operator is standing by to participate in an emotionally fulfilling relationship that may or may not involve watching Say Anything and sleeping in on Sunday mornings while he makes you breakfast! Willing to disregard the rest of the list for the right person.

Monday, March 13, 2006

A law school post

Well shit, I got wait-listed at Howard. The thing is, I had pretty much made up my mind that if I got in there I was going to go. Oh well. Here's what I've decided about law school--it is time for me to be honest with myself.

I am not that smart, certainly not smart enough to get in to a great law school, and that is really ok. My strengths aren't being brilliant but just being a hard worker and a nice guy. Because of that, going in to Intellectual Property law, a field I don't think I would enjoy and is probably over my head anyway, doesn't make much sense. The only reason I wanted to be an IP lawyer was because I thought I could make a lot of money, but the more I think about it, the more I realize that I don't really care a lot about being wealthy, either. I just want to make enough to pay back my loans eventually and live my life. So, that said, I'm thinking that public interest law is more my speed (i.e. no engineering background needed to practice it) and style. I want to be a lawyer to help as many people as I can, and because that is my goal, the University of the District of Columbia is probably my best bet at the moment.

So, to recap: Of the 18 schools I applied to, I've been accepted at three (UDC, Vermont and Franklin Pierce), waitlisted at three (Creighton, Howard and Syracuse), rejected at eight (Lewis and Clark, Gonzaga, Seattle, Denver, University of San Francisco, University of New Mexico, Texas Tech and Depaul), with four (Willamette, U of O, Thomas Jefferson and Florida State) still to hear from.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Shamrock Run!

This morning Zayne and I ran the Shamrock Run in Portland and it was great! During the race, I learned a few things:

--Zayne and I both swerve like drunk drivers after running uphill for a few miles.

--Taken before a long run, Imodium AD is a lifesaver.

--I am in better shape than I thought I was; while my left knee is bothering me, other than that, I’m feeling pretty good a few hours later. The race didn’t kill me like I thought it might, considering my recent health issues.

--Zayne is a really awesome friend! OK, I knew that one before the race, but I’m still really glad we got to run together!

Saturday, March 11, 2006

I want that mean cat from Cinderella!

My dog Tillie is really getting on my nerves. The other day she threw up all over the couch and looked really ashamed about it. See, I wouldn’t have minded so much had she not cared or had a little attitude about it, but her regret made her too normal and nice for words and that is just not what I’m looking for in an animal.

See, I’ve always wanted a pet with emotional baggage. A 32 pound cat is right up my alley. Preferably, if I didn’t know where he/she was in my house, I could just listen for labored breathing. If it pukes on the couch, I want it lying down next to it, smoking a cigarette with a look that screams, “what the hell are you gonna do about it?” Now THAT'S an attitude I can get behind!

Friday, March 10, 2006

Goooooo BAYSIDE!

Should it concern me that I am more like Kelly Kapowski than anyone else on this law school list? :-)

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Not so FAST!

Doctor: You say you’ve had these symptoms for the last…?

Me: The sore throat for the last week or so and the coughing and sneezing for the last four days.

Doctor: Have you been getting enough fluids? You seem pretty dehydrated.

Me: Well actually…I’ve been abstaining from food and water from sunrise to sunset for the last week as part of the Baha’i fast.

Doctor: The Ba-what fast? Whatever, look, you’ve got strep throat and a bad cold. Take these pills WITH FOOD AND WATER twice a day until they’re gone.

Me: Ok, fair enough.

Well, that was fun while it lasted.

Burrrr! This is awesome!

I normally HATE the snow/ice/being cold in any way, but tonight I had a GREAT time having a snowball fight with Jess, AshAttack, Ashley J and Matt. I've just been having so much fun lately! Life is awesome! Oh, and I've decided that I want to live my life with the same attitude of Amy Adams from Junebug. With friends like mine, that shouldn't be a problem. :-)

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

This is really frustrating

I am a huge proponent of the often neglected male aspect of gender equality. There are numerous ways that men are uniquely hurt in our society. Specifically, a machismo-filled culture discriminates against men who don’t look like Ashton Kutcher (read: me) in the same way that women are made to hate themselves if they don’t look like Salma Hayek. However, while our culture reaches out to women by encouraging them to express their emotions and confront eating disorders and other problems, men are told to bottle up their issues because an emotional man is often considered effeminate (which is, for some reason, bad), which usually makes these dilemmas worse.

The same confinement of emotions is also one of the causes of rape laws that exclude men—in five states, men cannot be legally raped. While the number of reported sexual assaults is always much lower than the actual number, men have an additional motivation to not come forward when assaulted—admitting your attack means admitting that you were physically dominated, which makes you less of a man according to many destructive social stereotypes. So, the rates of reported male sexual assaults are often lower than the female counterparts. Rape is always terrible, but feeling like you can't do anything about it because of social pressures is even worse. In fact, these rapes against men are even made fun of in popular culture and in our daily lives—dropping the soap in the shower jokes are just one example of how male sexual assault has become so common that it is socially acceptable to laugh at rape.

My point is that there are lots of ways that men are very seriously hurt in our society that demand our immediate attention. Movements like this shift the focus away from the areas where it is really needed and demean very legitimate social concerns. I am very ashamed to be a man today.

Why I just force-fed myself a can of ravioli at 3:15 in the morning

I’ve blogged before about how I am currently participating in the Baha’i fast, meaning that I am abstaining from any food or water from sunrise to sunset. It really hasn’t been that rough; it is amazing what you can get used to and/or endure if you want to. However, I have been using a few tricks to make the fast go smoothly. First, I have been effectively nocturnal for the last few days, sleeping in until at least 11 in the morning. Second, I have been eating and drinking a lot either right before I go to bed (like now) or getting up right before the sun rises and eating something small, like a banana. Third, and most importantly, I’ve been praying a lot. Seriously, it really helps, and reminds me why I’m going through this. Allah'u'Abha!

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

It all went down at the cantina that she liked

The more I learn about Paula Abdul the more freaked out I am. I get the impression that at home, she puts Mrs. Dash on everything and tells her friends and family that she dreams of becoming a pro-bass fisherman on ESPN-2. Her American Idol trailer could very well be decorated with dozens of Shania Twain posters and paper bags filled with ripped-up pages of Pride and Prejudice. In twenty years, I predict that she'll live alone in her Beverly Hills mansion surrounded by 200 cats and ninja stars that she throws at card board cutouts of Barry Bonds dressed as her in drag.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Wellness Matters. Not really.

I blogged before about my many hilarious attempts to get hired at a local health club called “Wellness Matters” and how they continually brushed me off instead of giving me a job. Well, it looks like not hiring me wasn’t the first bad business decision they made because they closed last week under mysterious circumstances. Serves them right, I would have been great at whatever health-related job they found for me! Seriously, I can run REALLY FAST, sort of, hit the occasional jump shot, and after playing racquetball with AshAttack! and Sam today, I am comfortable calling myself an authority in that arena, too. I've even been known to munch on the occasional Powerbar. Oh well. Much like me ever being as cool as monkeys, it just wasn’t meant to be.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

The 78th Annual Academy Awards!

Since this is the first year I’ve seen all of the best picture nominees, and because Jon Stewart is hosting, I thought I would blog my running journal of the experience!

5:00: The opening sequence was pretty funny…Billy Crystal and Chris Rock did a Brokeback Mountain Impression, and David Letterman called Steve Martin’s kids weird. Fair enough.

5:06: Jon Stewart’s opening line—ladies, gentlemen, Felicity Huffman (hahaaa…I hope she wins for TransAmerica).

5:08: “Bjork couldn’t be here tonight because she was trying on her dress and Dick Cheney shot her.” Well done, Jon.

5:14: “There’s nothing even remotely gay about traditional Hollywood westerns,” followed by a 3 minute montage of the most homoerotic western clips ever. Awesome.

5:18: Best Supporting Actor goes to…….George Clooney for Syriana! I agree, he deserved it. A great acceptance speech, too. “I don’t know how you compare art.” Well put. That’s how I’ll feel judging an interp outround at AFA.

5:24: That’s the second joke Jon Stewart has made at Clooney’s expense. “I’m glad that George Clooney won the first Oscar, that’s the sort of thing that can really get a guy laid.”

5:27: Ben Stillar was sort of funny with the whole green-suit/green-screen gag, but it got kind of old…and the sketch was only 20 seconds long. I hope this sketch ends with a freak gasoline fighting accident.

5:31: Best Animated Feature goes to……..Wallace and Grommit! Tim Burton looks like he’s about to grab an animated rifle and climb the nearest animated bell tower. I wouldn’t want to be his heroin spoon right now.

5:35: Dolly Parton is singing for some reason. I think Joan Rivers and Dolly should meet in the first ever plastic surgery cage fight.

5:47: I really could have done without the pretentious “hand-drawn animation is the only real animation” speech by the guy who won for best animated short film. He looks like he has seen more than his share of UFO’s.

5:51: Russell Crow looks really pissed off. Don’t worry, Russ, there’s a boilermaker waiting for you behind that curtain.

5:58: Steve Carrell and Will Farrell with terrible makeup on...hilarious! Oh no, they just cut off one of the winners for best makeup before she could even give her speech, that’s sad! Good thing she’s a makeup expert and can hide those tears with lots of foundation and blush (I clearly know nothing about makeup).

6:05: Best Supporting Actress goes to…….Rachel Weisz for The Constant Gardner! Amy Adams got robbed, only because she was so great as the hot purse girl on The Office. Still, I loved The Constant Gardner and Weisz did a great job, too. After being snubbed in BOTH The Mummy movies, she was due.

6:19: Watching Terrance Howard present the Oscar for Best Documentary Short Film really makes me respect him less as an actor. Seriously, if I had a ballot in front of me it would read, “your character voice and intro voice are the same, try to make them vocally and physically distinct. 4, 18”

6:22: Oh God, the March of the Penguins folks brought up stuffed animal penguins with them to give their acceptance speeches for best documentary. I swear I’m not making that up. Note to self: stay out of Antarctica, it does weird things to you.

6:25: I just realized that Jennifer Lopez does that same eye-blinking thing that Jess does when she emphasizes a point while speaking. I'm going to start calling Jess "J-Po."

6:26: They set the stage on fire for the “In the Deep” performance from Crash. I bet Cher thinks the Devil is coming to collect.

6:35: Wow, Keannu Reaves just edged out Madonna as the most inappropriate Oscar presenter ever.

6:45: Good God, Salma Hayek is hot…and she turns it over to Itzac Pearlman, the anti-hot. Wow, my libido doesn’t know what to do. Quick! Find Sandra Bullock in the crowd, she’s a good middle ground!

7:10: While I was eating dinner, they gave out some photography award to King Kong and showed the twelfth pointless montage of the show. I think the Team America montage song should have played in the background when Jon Stewart made fun of the Academy for showing so many damn montages. “We’re out of clips.” Classic.

7:20: Everyone is still in shock over the “It’s Hard Out Here For a Pimp” performance from Hustle and Flow by 36 Mafia. I’m pretty sure Jack Nicholson kept his hand on his wallet the entire time. When they won, Jon Stewart delivered the line of the night: “I think it just got a little easier for a pimp!”

7:34: Thanks for reminding me that Richard Prior died this year, Academy. My pet turtle died this year too, wanna talk about that?

7:41: Jon Stewart is the best host ever. “Martin Scorcese: 0 Oscars. 36 Mafia: 1 Oscar.”

7:45: Hillary Swank looks really, really hot. That sound you heard was my world turning upside down.

7:48: Best Actor goes to….…Phillip Seamore Hoffman for Capote! Well deserved, that was the best performance I’ve seen in a long time.

7:51: That M & M commercial was pretty funny. Anyway…

7:56: Best Cinematography goes to……Memoirs of a Geisha! This just proves that if you turn the sound off before you watch a Rob Marshall movie, it gets a lot better!

7:58: Best Actress goes to…Reese Witherspoon for Walk the Line! She’s such a sweetheart, good for her. I should point out that I own the Legally Blonde soundtrack (and I’m not the least bit ashamed of it) and 2-Disc Johnny Cash’s greatest hits album.

8:08: I’m pretty sure Dustin Hoffman is really stoned.

8:19: Best Director goes to…….Ang Lee for Brokeback Mountain! Aww, that was cute, he just said “I wish I knew how to quit you” to the Oscar.

8:23: Best Picture goes to…….Crash! Wow! That’s a huge upset! Good for them! However, I must say this: Jack Nicholson is a spotlight hogging egomaniac who should back off and let the focus stay on the nominees.

Great Oscars, I’m glad I watched it.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Running against the wind

Today I went for a fairly intense run to continue my training for the race that Zayne, Hadley and I are running next weekend. I ran my usual 2.2 mile loop, but stopped off at a local middle school and ran another mile and a half around a track, then decided to run up and down watercrest (for those of you not from Fo Gro, it's basically a really steep hill that's a mile long). So, roughly six miles in all.

When I'm running relatively long distances, I eventually get in a groove where I don't feel anything and it's like I'm gliding--it kicks a lot of ass and feels awesome. For me, especially when the weather was as nice as it was today, running is a fairly spiritual experience. However, today, just when the endorphins and adrenaline were kicking in and I was really getting in to the aforementioned groove, I noticed the plastic bag from "American Beauty" caught in a gust of wind in front of me and I couldn't help but chuckle a little. Well, I would have chuckled if I wasn't on the tail end of a six mile run, but still, how appropriate.

Friday, March 03, 2006

You've got mail!

When it comes to the hero worship of public figures, most kids idolize firefighters or cops. Not me! Growing up, I really liked mailmen. I remember one particular Halloween when my adoration for postal carriers was galvanized. My friend Robert was dressing up as a cop, but when I mentioned how the recent Rodney King trial had made it hard for me to trust the police, he just told me to shut up and get some Three Musketeers. Bert, the childhood fireman, was no better. After telling him how the movie “Backdraft” left me jaded with regard to smoke-eaters, he just laughed and told me to stop thinking so much (a common theme from my Elementary school years).

When they asked me why I was going as a mailman that year, I just told them that the mailman was someone you could depend on. He wasn’t the flashiest or most charismatic public servant, but he was always there, every day, and there was a certain degree of nobility in that sort of unheralded and underappreciated service.

OK, so I didn’t have the coolest costume that year. My black socks kept falling down, the uniform didn’t fit me well and my grey cap fell off several times. Plus, people didn’t quite know what to make of me giving them little postcards with my name on them. Still, I had fun and got a lot of candy! Neither rain nor sleet nor morbidly obese Seinfeld character could prevent me from respecting mail carriers everywhere.

Thursday, March 02, 2006


I know that my great-grandfather was a barber in New York, but I couldn’t tell you his name or for that matter, the name of his wife, my great-grandmother. He lived less than 100 years ago and even I can’t tell you anything about him despite having more of an incentive to remember him than almost anyone else in the world. Even family will eventually forget who you are.

However, that doesn’t mean we have to go quietly into history. If nothing else, we can leave something behind to entertain our descendants. With that in mind, I offer my children’s children’s children (I’m assuming of course that I will eventually get a date with someone, but given the wide array of pick-up lines at my disposal, I think I can make some assumptions) the following letter, a time capsule of sorts, to help them remember me:

Dear McCloskey descendants,

If you’re reading this, WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOU? I mean, I suppose I should congratulate you on surviving the inevitable war against the machines, but seriously, don’t you have anything better to do than read this two-dimensional letter on some horribly outdated computer that must slow your genetically engineered minds down to the point of absurdity? As we say in my time, that is WACK. OK, I’m the only one who still says that, but still. My point is, don’t bother remembering me—go outside and live your lives. The best way to remember your ancestors is to be happy.


Great Grand Pappy T-Mac

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

I won’t be single for long!

In order to work my way back into the dating pool, I’ve developed some quasi-hilarious pick up lines/conversation stimulators that I will never actually use, maybe.

--It has been about five years since the Spice Girls split up, and I for one think it is time for a reunion!

--Boy am I glad I put deodorant on this morning….oh wait that was yesterday.

--I’ve always wanted a pony.

--Wanna arm wrestle?

--I figure I’m just gonna wait this rash out. What could go wrong?

--Yea, well I host LAN parties.

--You smell like oatmeal! Yum!