Thursday, April 28, 2005

linguistic abstractions

I seem to really like taking internet tests. I spend far too much of my time searching them out and learning mostly things I already knew about myself. I did go to the MET (sp?) in Manhattan (as I am staying in Queens for passover) and thoroughly enjoyed a long innoculation of culture that should keep me content for the time being. I like TV, but sometimes getting out of the house and actually interacting with the world is just as entertaining. I spent the majority of my day staring at either modern art or ancient oriental art. They aren't very similar, but I am undenaibly drawn to them just the same. I was hoping to see more of the New York Ten (the abstract expressionists from the 20's and 30's, Rothko, Ben Zion, ect.) but either they don't have them in their collection, or more likley, I couldn't find them. On a side note, the New Yorker was correct in their assesment of the Max Ernst retrospective (it isn't that impressive, not the collection just the art), at least in this humble man's opinion.

Now onto the test.

Your Linguistic Profile:

50% Yankee

40% General American English

10% Dixie

0% Midwestern

0% Upper Midwestern

Being the New England snob that I am, as I see it, Yankee and general american english is one in the same. I don't know where the 10% southern comes from. I blame, like everything else in the world, this on TV.

Damn you Jeff Foxworthy and your ever increasing sphere of infulence.

At least I don't sound like I'm from Queens/Long Island. Those accents drive me freaking nuts. The next person who mispronounces coffee I'm going to punch in the nose.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Lord Palpatines Evil Empire Chicken

It's not quite the middle of Passover and I shall probably relate my Passover experience on a later post. For the time being there is something else I wish to discuss.

First, I came across Darth Vader’s Blog and think this might possibly be the greatest thing since sliced bread (but that's only because sliced bread isn't really a big deal to begin with). I don't know if this is a slick marketing ploy or just uber geek with too much time on his/her hands. Either way it's freaking hilarious. I'm not the biggest star wars fan in the world, (I watched the second prequel in fast forward and still wanted to kill myself for wasting money renting it) but the blog gets to me. Perhaps it's because I so often root for the villains of most motion pictures, but a blog from Vader’s perspective really hits home. We see Vader with a bum leg that the various repair droids can't seem to fix. He is the second command of an empire filled with incompetent generals and a clone army that seems to get dumber each generation. He is a father battling his son - a revolutionary fighting against the empire (talk about the ultimate child rebellion) while simultaneously trying to rest his son away from corrupting forces; a Mr. Hans Solo, to be precise. He is a man in constant conflict and turmoil whose temper more often than not gets the better of him. He is just a man trying to make his way in that galaxy long ago and far, far away.

This blog, with very little resources and no special affects, accomplishes what George Lucas has failed to do with tremendous resources and amazing special effects in the prequels. It humanizes Darth Vader; it makes him the tragic figure we've been waiting to see. One can only hope George Lucas reads this blog and quickly re-edits his newest (what I am almost sure will be a) failure to bring this blogs vision of the scariest asthmatic in the universe to fruition.

The second site found (and I guess I should thank some guy named Paul) for this. Though I am a vegetarian, deep down in my heart I have a special soft spot for chickens (high speed internet helps).

Uh... Carry on then.

Friday, April 22, 2005

Elaine: I hate people. Jerry: Yeah, they're the worst.

Everyone has prejudices. No matter how much we might claim otherwise we are just fooling ourselves. In general I hate most people, regardless as to skin color, religious beliefs, gender, ethnicity, and so on. I think we can all agree that people, by and large, are annoying. I know I certainly am.

In any case once again found on Stellito's site I found a neat link. This time I was wisked away to a Harvard test site which reveals our hidden or not so hidden prejudices. I took a few of the tests, and received some surprising results. A lot of the test has to do with hand eye coordination and anyone who knows me knows that this is a skill I am seriously lacking. Thus, the tests maybe flawed due to my own ineptitude. Also the tests may be flawed just because. I can't claim to have any knowledge as to the veracity of the tests.

That being said, for your edification, here are my results:

    I have a slight preference for white people over black people. Not much of a shock, though disappointing when I found out.
    I have a moderate preference for Jews over non-Jews. Not a shock at all on that one. I'm Jewish, my father is a Rabbi, and I grew up in a small but strong Jewish community. If I'm in a cafeteria and there are two tables available, one being full of Jews and the other non-Jews, everything else being equal, I'd gravitate towards the Jews. It's just a comfort thing I think.
    I have no association between science and gender. Which just helps back up my post about women poets.
    I have a slight preference for old people over young people. This one surprised me. I thought I hated old people. Always driving too slow, pinching cheeks, and smelling funny, what are they really good for aside from voting on a regular basis and sucking away all the social security taxes removed from my pay.
    Slight preference gay over straight. I am not gay, though this is not very surprising. In college I had a string of doomed crushes, all of whom turned out to be lesbians (and they weren't just saying that so they wouldn't have to go out with me, at least I hope not).
    I have no association between gender and careers. Apparently I am that new age sentive guy I've been reading so much about
    I have a strong preference for thin over fat people. Yeah, I'm a shallow bastard, but I knew that already.
There you go. I'm more than happy wearing my prejudices on my sleave, as long as you don't hold them against me.

uh... nothing more to see here. Move along,move along.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Too angry for a clever title

I'm so furious I can barely get these sentances out.


Grahhh, and I thought Bill Gates sucked ass before, this is just twisting the knife.

Almost, but not at all, Famous

It is odd to me that there are some people out there, few though they may be, who are actually reading this blog. When I started this, not so long ago I was sure I'd give it up in a matter of days, getting bored with the concept. I told none of my friends that it existed (save one) nor any of my family (though they eventually found it, it's impossible to hide anything online). I assumed that it would never be read, my lone empty corner of the internet. As it turns out, I've kept it up, surprisingly so. And now, every so often I find a comment posted by people I don't know. I've realized this is as famous as I'll ever be so, without further ado, there are some people I'd like to thank for helping me get this far.

First and foremost God. If it wasn't for God's constant torment and mental abuse I would never have anything to write about.

I'd like to thank my second grade teacher, my favorite teacher of them all, Mrs. um... whatsherface. Almost daily she give me special attention; she'd take me aside and say, "Amichai, stop picking your nose." Words I keep in my heart to this very day.

I'd like to thank my manager. Everyday I'd come into work he'd say, "Amichai, you're late. We need french fries NOW!" The best times were had when we'd joke together. I'd ask for a raise and he'd give me a pay cut and threaten to deport me. Good times, good times.

I would like to thank the internet, and offer my apology. Turns out you aren't just good for Porn. My bad.

Thank you Emerson college for giving me an education, but failing to teach me how to use it.

Thank you Mira Sorvino (she knows why...)

Thank you to all my family, except for Felix (He knows why...)

And finally, thank you girl who lives across the street and doesn't close the blinds. You don't know me but I've been watching you and could not be any more appreciative.

Uh... carry on then.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Not the way I'd want my taxes done

File under: People who need to get a life more than me.

I'd like to buy a Vowell

It's official. I'm in love with Sarah Vowell, and not just because of the horrible pun her name allowed me to put to use.

I'm not really in love with Sarah Vowell. Not in the sense of marriage, commitment, and the like. Not even in the sense of a casual date. And no, not in the sense of psycho celebrity stalker either. I'm in love with her in that whimsical way one falls for people they see on TV. For those of you unaware as to who Ms. Vowell might be, I've swiped this bio from IMDB. I was going to provide links to all the publications listed below, but I got lazy and if you really want to see them you'll find them yourselves.
"Born in Oklahoma and raised Montana, Sarah Vowell is best known for her bits on public radio's This American Life. A contributing editor for the program since 1996, she has been a staple of TAL's popular live shows around the country, for which The New York Times has commended her "funny querulous voice and shrewd comic delivery." As a critic and reporter, she has contributed to numerous newspapers and magazines, including Esquire, GQ, Los Angeles Times, The Village Voice, Spin, The New York Times Book Review and McSweeney's. She is a former columnist for Time, and San Francisco Weekly. Hip, irreverent, and with a voice that NPR fans of This American Life instantly perk up to, Sarah makes both readers and listeners laugh out loud with her wry, comic observations on everything from politics to pop culture."

She is what I think I'm looking for in a woman. She's funny in a very smart way, and smart in a very funny way (read her books or listen to her on NPR or her frequent visits to the Daily Show and you'll see what I mean), she's a They Might Be Giants Fan (she wrote the liner notes for the Dial-a-song compilation album), and she has fantastic voice (for those curious she voiced the role of Violet in the animated feature The Incredibles.) She's not attractive in the hollywood sense of the word, but she's adorable; which, when coupled with the previous attributes, knocks her through the roof in my book, to mix metaphors.

As Tony the Tiger would say "She's Grrrrrrrreat!"

Now that I think about it, I don't know if I'm really in love with her, or just want to be her. Or rather her male equivalent; I don't think I'm ready to commit to any sort of sex change.

Well... not until I'm finished with my hormone therapy, at the very least.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Can o' topia

Every morning the top headlines from the New York Times are sent to me via e-mail. It's free, it's easy, and it keeps me abreast of the goings on in the world. In today's e-mail the op-ed piece by David Frum has this lead in sentence:
"Canada's Liberal Party's embezzlement scandal is threatening the utopian vision Americans have of their neighbor."

Perhaps it's just me, but I don't recall ever having a utopian vision of Canada (nor do I know any Americans who do), unless of course by Utopia Mr. Frum means bland and slightly French.

Only in America, er actually...

After reading this blog I wondered if there were any web sites with the American equivalents. I'm not going to mention the grammatical error as Stellito already has (I fixed what I could). Suffice to say that I now know if I was British I'd be a member of the Liberal Democrats, which isn't that much of a stretch I suppose.


Who Should You Vote For?

For whom should I vote?

Your expected outcome:

Liberal Democrat

Your actual outcome:

Labour 16
Conservative -36
Liberal Democrat 46
UK Independence Party 2
Green 31

You should vote: Liberal Democrat

The LibDems take a strong stand against tax cuts and a strong one in favour of public services: they would make long-term residential care for the elderly free across the UK, and scrap university tuition fees. They are in favour of a ban on smoking in public places, but would relax laws on cannabis. They propose to change vehicle taxation to be based on usage rather than ownership.

Take the test at Who Should You Vote For

Good to know, though can't imagine any practical use coming from this.

Uh.. carry on then

Friday, April 15, 2005

The real opposite of progress

Hooray for the United States Congress. Just when I thought they couldn't get anymore depressingly entertaining, well they prove me wrong. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (the same Bill Frist who used his medical degree to diagnose Mrs. Schiavo based on 8 minutes of non contiguous video clips) has come out in a recent telecast and said that Democrats are "against people of faith" as reported by David Kirkpatrick in the April 15, 2005 New York Times.

People of faith, not only being a great catch phrase harkening back to "People of Color" (a term used in the civil rights movement), is not as all encompassing as one might think. Heaven forbid Senator Frist is referring to all peoples of all sorts of faiths. Don't be silly. People of faith are Christians, and Christians alone (because faith in any other religious dogma not affiliated with Jesus is just nutty). How do I know this? That's a good question. Perhaps my own crazy Jewish New England leftist liberal democrat leanings are biasing me against Senator Frist. Is it just the liberal media that's twisting his meaning when the phrase People of Faith is used? Oh, if only that were so.

Reported in the same New York Times article:
"As the liberal, anti-Christian dogma of the left has been repudiated in almost every recent election, the courts have become the last great bastion for liberalism," Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council and organizer of the telecast, wrote in a message on the group's Web site. "For years activist courts, aided by liberal interest groups like the A.C.L.U., have been quietly working under the veil of the judiciary, like thieves in the night, to rob us of our Christian heritage and our religious freedoms."

Yes, when I think of various organizations damaging this country the A.C.L.U is right up on the top of the list. We don't need all those pesky little freedoms (freedom of religious practice included) they are always trying to protect.

Luckily all religions share the same core beliefs as the Christian right. If they didn't, this desire to force conservative Christian doctrine into our legal decisions would not only be a huge gaff in regards to the separation between church and state, or in the separation of powers and that whole pesky governmental checks and balances thing written by the founding fathers in the constitution, but a slap in the face of all faiths outside of Christ. I wasn't aware that simply as an American I have a Christian heritage. Boy won't that be a kick in the pants to my father, a Rabbi since 1978.

Yeah, only good things will come of this. Now if anyone needs me I'll be in my room banging my head against the wall until the 2006 elections.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Smell you later

A television is being developed that allows viewers to smell what is on screen.

This is just a bit scary, as far as I'm concerned. If I really wanted to smell what was on my TV I'd turn the TV off and make the smell myself.

Wait that didn't come out right.

A psuedonym with any other name would be just as false

I'm done with internet names. I think this is my next step rebelling against the internet monoculture. First it was internet lingo and pictograms, now it's anonymity. I'm not looking to be famous, I just realized that it's silly to hide behind a meaningless blank face. From now on all my posting shall be posted with my real name. Chrysalis no more.

Chrysalis - as a side note - was chosen not for any metaphorical significance, rather it is the title of a story line for comic book series I'm writing. The first issue is currently in mid production. For those curious, the comic book title: I'd Rather Be a Freelance Whore. Hopefully it will be available to the public before the year is out. I'd prefer sooner, but one step at a time.

Uhh, carry on then...

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Poetry in motion

I will admit to making fun of women poets. I'll admit to mocking most poets in general, but specifically women poets. And the reason for this is not wholly a sexist thing. I wouldn't go so far as to call myself a feminist (can men be feminists?) but I'm all for equal pay, equal benefits, I even believe women should be drafted (though this last one is for a purely selfish reason, I think there should be as many people possible eligible for the draft so there's a longer list of people before the draft gets to me). I think women and men are at equal standing intellectually, and to a certain extent athletically (I find both women's and men's basketball equally boring). In regard to most any other art form I don't place any weight as to whether the artist is a man or a woman.

Poetry is a whole other matter. Modern Women poets I've read, save one or two, all seem to want to be the next Sylvia Plath. They come out with pretentious poetry, most often with male bashing, damn the patriarchal society diatribes. And because of all these would be Plaths, I never actually read any of the real Plath's work. If this is how they emulated her work, then I couldn't imagine I would like it.

Last night, while driving home from Home depot I was listening to NPR on point, and they played a recording of Sylvia Plath reading her poem Daddy. Daddy was written during the twilight of her life and the recording was taken only a few months before she killed herself. It floored me. It was one of the funniest, most ironic, saddest, touching, cynical, bitter, beautiful poems I have ever heard read in my entire life. I can't recall the last time a poem hit me with such an emotional impact. And I got it. For the first time I understood why so many people try emulating her, and why so many people fail.

Uh.. carry on then.

Monday, April 11, 2005

I hate writing cover letters

see title for more info.

Friday, April 08, 2005

kibbles and bits

My great aunt Lil is unsure of her age and her birthday. This has nothing to do with any infirmity often associated with old age, as she has her full wits about her. It is simply because she doesn't have a birth certificate. She is either 85 or 86, she isn't sure. She grew up poor in Manhattan and family birthday celebrations weren't important due a very simple fact: they didn't have the money to celebrate. Since she doesn't know the date of her birth she now celebrates every year on April 1st. Out of the entire 365 days from which she could choose (366 on a leap year) she choose April Fools day. She's a weird old lady, but my esteem for her rose greatly after learning that little tid bit.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Ever reaching....

Just saw the movie The Right Stuff on TV and it got me thinking. When was the last time we actualy did something really amazing? Something so brilliant the whole world stood on edge? Something so unbelievably outstanding no one would have ever imagined possible fifteen years prior. I want to be able to say "I remember where I was when.." and have it be a good memory I'm referencing.

When did we stop reaching for the stars?

Well this is bogus

I don't know how I even find these things. Apparently I'm a Snarky blogger (scientifically proven after having answered only seven questions! and online questionnaires are never wrong are they?), whatever the hell that means.

You Are a Snarky Blogger!

You've got a razor sharp wit that bloggers are secretly scared of.
And that's why they read your posts as often as they can!

Man I need to get a life.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

I'm doomed to post-humous fame

I've gotten a lot of response (well 10 responses) back on TriggerStreet for my script. It runs either hot or cold, there is no middle ground. The people who don't like it (and they are in the majority) are the same ones who complain that they didn't understand it. Those who said they did understand it enjoyed it immensely.

So I'm stuck. I've worked on one final draft not yet uploaded, and I don't think I will. It's never going to be made anyway so there's that. If it is, it will be one of those independent films a few people think is brilliant (in my opinion, the smart people) while the majority will call it pretentious drivel (and I guess I couldn't blame them either).

It's just a bit frustrating. If no one got it that'd be one thing, but I know there is enough there to really understand the story (because some people do). I just don't know how to make it more clear for everyone else with out ruining the story. I've tried but then it just becomes too expositional and boring. So as far as I'm concerned now, this - my sixth draft - is my final draft; it's done, and anyone who doesn't understand it can bugger off.

I'd create a link so one could dowload it from this blog, only I don't know how to do that.

It's now 4am and I'm still too tired and congested to come up with a closing catchphrase.

Some sort of pun with knows and nose

It's a little after 3:30 am and I can't sleep. My nose is congested and the pressure is keeping me awake. I don't have medical insurance and I can't afford a doctor so I did what any rational person would do. I rolled up into a ball and cried in frustration (I'm awfully tired), then checked to see if maybe I can self-diagnose my problem. Based on my reading I've decided I'm ok, only my nasal lining swells (not an excess of mucus so there is nothing to blow out) restricting my air passages. This is exacerbated due to allergies and I think over use of nasal sprays like afrin (well in this case specifically afrin). I never use Afrin more than three days in a row. What these sprays do is reduce the nasal lining to increase air flow. the down side, when you stop using said sprays the nasal lining becomes more swollen than when you started. Maybe I'm just more susceptible than most, or maybe though I think I'm being frugal with the spray I still use it too frequently. Either way, I have to avoid allergic reactions (cats, well really fluffy cats - so I probably won't be going to my father's house this weekend) take over the counter decongestants, and drink lots of water. Also I have to eat healthier, but I should do that anyway.

I'm far too tired, congested and cranky to come up with a closing catchphrase.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

House for sale

The painters finished yesterday and now the house smells like paint. I can't really smell it though becaues my nose is all stuffed up. Graah! If it's not one thing then,....Well it usually is just one thing.

Monday, April 04, 2005

The nation

Red Sox lost to the Yankees 9-2. Dammit! I just have to keep reminding myself it's only the first game, it's only the first game, there will be many more. This is gonna be stuck in my craw all day.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

A setback

My movement is starting off very weak. As mentioned in previous posts I frequent a website for amateur screenwriters and filmmakers. On that site they have a plethora of message boards. I don't often post, but I read because during the day I sometimes have naught else to do.

So I started my own thread, basically restating the tenets of my previous post. Needless to say I was overcome with opposition. I continued forward into the fray. Common responses: "It's just easier, people might not understand the underlying meaning behind your words with out the smiley faces, they are tools like punctuation." And so forth. I parried back stating that if one can discern the tone of a novel or an op-ed piece they should be able to do the same with an online posting. If one is so concerned one might be misconstrued one should put more thought into one's language.

Again a barrage of opposition.

I thrust myself back into the discussion, this time attempting to prove my point by composing an entire posting solely in haiku (four haikus to be precise). No one seemed to care and continued disagreeing with me. Finally I yielded, not my point, rather that I would no longer push the issue. And this retreat was posted in Iambic Pentameter, two quatrains of rhyming verse, abab cdcd.

And once again my attempt to show the power of the written word was lost on my fellows on Triggerstreet. Though one can take meaning from this that the written word does not contain the power I once presupposed; I still stand by my thesis. Only now with this addendum: people are more entrenched in this short hand than I previously believed.

Perhaps it is because I studied writing in college; I am lazy in almost every aspect of my life (really gotta get my taxes done) except for what may have to do with language, specifically: writing.

trying a new catchphrase to see if it sticks
"Everything is a miracle. It is a miracle one does not disslove in one's bath like a lump of sugar." -Pablo Picasso

Hidden Gems of the internet

Quick note. There is a blog I've discovered (Beta-English) a while ago who never seemed to post anything. I checked her blog today and found some new posts. One can only hope that she continues on a regular basis, as I thoroughly enjoy her prose. It's a delight to read. She's in my link section (under noodles), one and all should really check her out.

testing out yet another new one
"But don't take my word for it." -Reading Rainbow

Friday, April 01, 2005

I'm starting a movement

I don't understand 98% of all abbreviations used online. I know LOL (Laughing out loud) LMAO (Laughing my ass off) and YMMV (your milage may vary). But that's it. And the last one, YMMV, I would never have figured out on my own; a friend told me what it meant. The abbreviations seem to come out of thin air. It's as if I suddenly started typing YCBAHTWBYCMID and expected people to know what I was talking about (You can bring a horse to water but you can't make it drink). I think it's most discouraging, especially on a medium where for perhaps the first time in history we can try and promote writing as a skill and art form for almost anyone and everyone to participate. It is no longer something beholden to a literary elite but open to anyone who has a computer. An age of literary enlightenment is on the precipice of our generation; all we have to do is reach for it.

In the same vein I'm rallying forces against smiley faces. In a medium where the nuanced written word - the well crafted sentence - can convey a myriad of emotions and ideas we instead use a little smiley face. I was hoping that as a culture we have progressed past the era of the pictogram (as I thought it went out with papyrus). Instead of writing a well thought out sentence to convey our thoughts we type :). I find it disheartening - and I write that instead of typing in :(

Though I might have used the abbreviations - and even the smiley faces - in the past, starting now, NEVER AGAIN.

I'm starting a movement, is anyone with me?

this post, no ending catchphrase. I'm letting the post speak for itself.

jump to see what happened.