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Showing posts from January, 2006

The British Are Coming! (And They're Funny!)

Today I'd like to share with you something that makes me very happy, something that brings little rays of sunshine into my life every day. I trust that all my friends have refined and exacting tastes and have not totally been brainwashed by mainstream American entertainment. Not one of you watches American Idol, I would venture to guess (and if you do, please don't tell me – it would break my heart). As thoughtful and educated members of society, I'm sure you would be willing to give any recommendations I might make a chance. Like many good things in life, what am I about to pitch to you is definitely an acquired taste (for most Americans). But since it brings me so much joy and pleasure, it would be wrong of me not to tell you, my dear friends, all about it. I'm talking, of course, about British comedy.

British comedy is, I believe, superior to its American counterparts in nearly every single way. I don't expect you to come to the same conclusion, but I'd hope …

Sugar, Spice, & Everything Nice (Warning: May Contain Snips, Snails, & Puppy Dog Tails)

I wasn't feeling very well yesterday (stressed and discouraged, with a slight sore throat) and so I decided, quite selfishly, that I deserved a break from the rigorous and painful sugar strike I put myself on last week. I had already anticipated this would happen, back when the determination to eat healthy and nothing but healthy was fresh and strong, and had removed all of the obvious sources of temptation from my house. Still, in my new sugar-starved state, I was able to work around this obstacle with the help of my roommate: we baked some cookies. Ah ha! Outsmarted myself again!

Most of my life has been filled with this kind of conflict with myself. I'm always the winner, but then again I'm always the loser as well. It's a messy situation.

But that's besides the point. The reason that I had not anticipated cookies as a possible method of breaking my healthy foods-kick is because the idea that I myself might actually bake cookies did not occur to me, not just beca…

A Holiday Memorium

Today is the celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday, which has been a national holiday since 1986. Accordingly, many people do not have to work today. I do, unfortunately, but I didn't want that to stop me from thinking about the significance of the day – so I'm taking a quick break from all the ruthless taxonomy to share my thoughts about MLK.

Who was this guy? Why does he get a national holiday to celebrate his birthday? Did you know that the only other American who gets a holiday to celebrate his birthday is George Washington? It's true, I wouldn't lie. I was just reading an article from 1985 about how today's holiday came about, and apparently there were a lot of people who thought it would be a bad idea. Businesses would be closed and lose a lot of money, plus there were people who argued that Dr. King deserved no special recognition above and beyond that which so many other great Americans have received. Rep. Jesse Helms, R-NC, even denounced th…

Fat Matt, Part 3

I'm fat again.

I really have this problem with dedication and commitment, you know? I dropped nearly 20 pounds for Macbeth and was well on my way towards my target weight when I kind of ran out of gas with the whole “eating healthy” thing. My infrequent indulgences in pizza, cookies, and ice cream became more and more frequent, with bigger and bigger portion sizes, and my physical activity level got a little lower every day.

Still, everything was fine as long as I was still in a play. At least then I had several hours of light exercise each night, and that seemed to be enough to keep me from blimping up too much. Well it's been a little more than a month since “Two Gents” ended and let me tell you, that month has done its work. I'm now nearly back to the weight I was at when I promised I would never let myself weigh this much again. Now, to keep all this in perspective, I'm not horribly overweight or obese or anything and I'm certainly not having some kind of break…

The Idealist's Lament

I'm quite tired with people today. I'm tried of the dark and depressing aspects of human nature we see all about us: hatred, intolerance, prejudice, exclusion, demagoguery, and despair. Sure, it's in the news we get each day of still more violence and bloodshed in lands far away. But its here too, right in our backyard, in our community, in our workplaces, in us. We cannot lament the worst aspects of human nature without implicating ourselves. Perhaps thats why the reminders of our own failings as a species are so depressing – somewhere, deep down, we know that the darkness within others only proves the existence of darkness within ourselves.

Why then must we always judge and condemn each other? Why then must we still live in a time when human beings live in perpetual fear of the judgment of their neighbors? Why, in this age of “progress” in this land of “freedom,” must human beings hide the most precious parts of themselves for fear of rejection and retribution? Why must …

Trials and Woes....

I guess I have one of those faces. When it comes time to hand out responsibility, I must just look like somebody who either will handle it well or, more likely, will take it without complaining too much. Its happened to me a number of times throughout my life, and sometimes I don't mind it because I can be a bit of control freak and want to get in there and do it myself. But a lot of times, I'd like to just be another one of the grunts, you know? Responsibility brings a lot of stress with it that I could do without. Especially when it does not bring along extra pay with it.

Allow me to explain myself. As regular readers of my blog will already be aware, I got a new job a couple of months ago doing vague, inexplicable work known only as “taxonomy.” It's been a pretty good job, I really don't mind it. The work itself can be tedious, yet mentally engaging in its way and, since I can listen to the BBC or music from my personal collection all day and chat with friends online…

Happy New Year 2006!

Greetings all and Happy New Year! I just watched the big ball drop and so, of course, I couldn't help but wonder about many things. Like, for example, why the heck do we drop a big ball to celebrate a new year? When is it really the new year, since its already past midnight in a number of places in the world? Where is the first place to turn 2006? Is our calendar completely arbitrary? And, of course, what in the heck are the words to that "Auld Lang Syne" song??

Well, I listened really closely to the words this year just so that I could pass them on to you. You don't have to thank me, really. Without further ado, here they are:

Should mold in places we forgot,
and ever wrought with grime!
Should mold in places we forgot,
and days of auld lang syne.

Now, I know this doesn't really make any sense, so I did some research. Apparently the words were written by a Scotsman, who was probably drunk, which explains a lot. Also, it is a little known fact that "auld lang syn…