Marc’s GChat Status Expanded

Random Thoughts: Because My Ears Are Bleeding from Writing Cover Letters

Seriously, bleeding from the ears. I wish “able to write excellent cover letters in very short periods of time” was a marketable skill.

I almost got murdered twice by my friend Ana-Lisa for not updating in two weeks. I do apologize for the sparse updates. I have started and deleted like 3 entries. Massive writers block. Everything read like crap. Hopefully I can get back into the groove now. Anyway, onto the random thoughts.

We are well past due for closing the vote on the “What should Marc dress up as for Halloween” poll. The winner is….

THE GOLDEN SNITCH!

Teletubby and Mighty Ducks finished second and third respectively. Since posting that entry, I’ve actually come up with some additions to the costume. I will almost certainly be incorporating a pair of gold fairy wings, since the snitch has wings. If anyone would like to volunteer to dress up as Harry Potter and chase me around, let me know. I’m actually really looking forward to this. Maybe I’ll send the pictures to JK Rowling as a way of saying thank you for writing the books. Next poll, “what bar/club should Marc go to on Halloween in his amazing Golden Snitch costume?”

1) The Guards
2) Love
3) Heaven and Hell
4) Ghana Cafe
5) Cobalt

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Why did no one vote for the Mika costume? I think I would look wonderful in skin-tight pants. I have the voice of an angel, and Grace Kelly is right in my range. Eff you.

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I arrived home on Saturday night after going out to celebrate my friend Ernesto’s birthday. It was 2:30AM, and the only thing on TV was live coverage of the Australian Open. The match I watched, Francesca Schiavone vs. Svetlana Kutznetsova, was quite good. That’s not the point of this post though. The sounds that female tennis players make when hitting the ball may be one of the least attractive sounds on the planet. I’m pretty sure my hell would be sitting in a room with noise canceling headphones on listening to Francesca Schiavone scream, “AAAAACHAAAUUUHHHHHH!@!@$#!@” at the top of her lungs, and then 2 seconds later, hearing Svetlana Kutznetsova scream, “EEEYYYYAAAAAACAAAAAAA!#$@#$” in response. Good lord. I muted the TV after about 20 minutes. I’m sorry but there must be a way of mustering all the strength in your body to punish a tennis ball that doesn’t involve yelling like a pissed off yak.

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I just “liked” Enrique Iglesias’ “Do You Know (The Ping Pong Song)” on Pandora. His voice is so haunting.

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I had a chance to watch three movies last week. Easy A, The Social Network, and The Town.

Easy A: Quite funny, not one of those movies where they show all the funny parts in the trailer. Emma Stone can definitely carry a movie on her own, especially when she spends the movie dressed like this. Stanley Tucci is hysterical.

The Social Network: The second best movie of 2010 (behind Inception, which after a second viewing last week, is probably one of my favorite movies of all time). I went in with incredibly high expectations, and they were met. Jesse Eisenberg is awesome as Mark Zuckerberg. By the end I felt really bad for Eduardo Saverin, who got royally screwed out of his share of the company (if we are to believe Aaron Sorkin’s take, which is based on Ben Mezrich’s The Accidental Billionare, a book that has come under scrutiny for juicing up the details of the founding of Facebook). Watch the movie, you won’t be disappointed.

The Town. Solidified that Ben Affleck is A) not the idiot sidekick of Matt Damon, B) probably DID contribute to writing Good Will Hunting as opposed to drugging Matt Damon and sending the script out with his name attached before he woke up, and C) it is safe to like him again after a series of amazingly atrocious film choices. The robbery scenes are amazing. The acting is solid. Something about the underlying story bothers me. I think the movie develops several plot lines incredibly well, then ran out of time, and ended up mailing in their conclusions. I thought the ending was a cop-out (no pun intended). I would definitely watch the movie again, and enjoy it. Not God’s gift though.

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Congrats to the Packers and the Steelers for making it to the Super Bowl. I hear the Packers are early favorites, which is surprising unless you think about how these teams got here. The Packers beat an Eagles team that many thought were Super Bowl bound (although “they” will never admit that now), then decisively beat the Falcons in Atlanta, and the Falcons never lose at home, then beat up on the Bears in Chicago in a game that ended closer than it actually was. The Steelers haven’t exactly looked impressive against the Ravens or the Jets. They could have easily lost both games. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Packers win.

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We are 12 hours into Super Bowl coverage and I am already tired of hearing about Ben Roethlisberger. The next two weeks are going to be intolerable. Is there any chance ESPN will run round the clock coverage of Brett Favre answering questions on penis pictures and his feelings about the Packers reaching the Super Bowl? I would much prefer that.

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The third annual Marc and Endrit food stadium build will be happening on Super Bowl Sunday. Right now we are in the conceptualization stage. For the first time we are going to attempt to replicate the actual stadium the game is being played in, which means building Texas Stadium with it’s massive jumbotron and retractable roof. We’ll also be incorporating dessert food into the stadium for the first time (unless you count the chocolate bars we use for lights and jumbotrons in the past. I think this may end up being a two day build.

Also, barring another snowpocalypse, we are going to be having people over to enjoy the stadium and watch the game, which will be a nice change from the usual “Marc and Endrit attempt to eat the stadium by themselves and fall into a food coma by halftime.”

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January 24, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | 2 Comments

What Should Marc Dress Up as for Halloween?

Originally I planned to write a blog post about things that might happen in 2011 (maybe Lindsay Lohan will finally get clean, maybe I will go to a Washington Nationals game because I want to see the Washington Nationals, not the opposing team, things like that). As I was writing, I came to the topic of Halloween.

Halloween usually falls the weekend before Election Day. Because of this, I have not been able to dress up for Halloween in quite some time. While all of my single guy friends are figuring out which bar will have the most women dressed up as “sexy (fill in the blank)”, all my guy friends with girlfriends are trying to figure out what famous pair they and their significant other can dress up as that will A) allow her to dress provocatively while at the same time B) making sure every gentleman they encounter knows she is not single, and all my girlfriends are deciding between dressing up as sexy mermaid, sexy cat, a hooker, or J-Woww, I am been pulling 20-hour days. Not fun.

This year though, I’ll be going all out. I’m beyond pumped. I remembered all of the great costume ideas I had over the last few years that never materialized, and decided that I needed to take this post in a different direction.

I know it is January, but I would like your help deciding what I should dress up as for Halloween 2011. I’ve listed seven options below, with details of my vision:

1) Michael Jackson from the Free Willy “Will You Be there” music video.This would involve a very loose white undershirt, white button down, tight black pants, black wig, and somehow rigging an orca whale above my head ala the scene of Willy jumping over the kid and the barrier in the movie.

2) Mika. This would involve a tight white suit, sparkly shirt, crazy socks, a black wig, and somehow rigging a boombox to my body that could play “Grace Kelly” on repeat.

3) The Golden Snitch. This would involve a sparkly gold speedo, lots of gold body paint, a gold wig, and shouting “CATCH THE GOLDEN SNITCH!” at the top of my lungs at strangers. Preferably this would also include a person dressed up as Harry Potter to chase me around so we can scream “150 POINTS TO GRYFFINDOR!” whenever I am caught.

4) The Full Mighty Ducks Team. This would involve green hockey pants, personalized Mighty Duck t-shirts, maybe hockey helmets, and 19 of my friends who can A) roller blade and B) like to quack. 2o if we included Gordon Bombay. 21 if we included Hans. Really I would only do this if I was guaranteed to have every member of the team represented.

5) Patches O’Houlihan. This would involve some kind of white shirt, a white scarf, a bomber jacket, patches, an old mangy looking white wig, a bag of wrenches, a wheel chair, and friends who don’t mind being pushed into oncoming traffic as I shout, “IF YOU CAN DODGE TRAFFIC, YOU CAN DODGE A BALL!”

6) Tellitubby. I would go to a costume store and purchasing a full body costume. I would say I can relate the most to LaLa, so I would probably dress up as Lala,  but I look better in purple, so maybe Tinky Winky.

7) Alanis Morisette from the Thank You music video. It is such a good idea. Since my girlfriend refuses to grow her hair out to make this dream come true, I will do it. This would involve a flesh-tone body suit, two socks, a very, very long woman’s black wig, and…well that’s about it really.

Follow the link below to vote in the poll for the costume you think is best. The poll will be open for ten days. Whatever costume wins, I will dress up as, no ifs, ands, or buts. The choice is yours.

What should Marc dress up as for Halloween?
(polls)

January 5, 2011 Posted by | Nonsense | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

January 4th For the Win/For the Loss

The first FTW/FTL of 2011!

For the Win! 😀

Dear Blank, Please Blank: I don’t recall who shared this website with me. If it was you let me know and I will edit with a h/t. Dear Blank Please Blank is similar in layout to FML, TFM, TFLN, and all the rest. I particularly like this site though because there is only so much fail I can take in one day. Dear Blank Please Blank has users submit entries using the format of a letter. Some of my favorites:

Dear backwards baseball caps,
Thank you for allowing us to spot douchebags from afar.
Sincerely, college girls
Dear Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry,
Please send me my letter already. I’m tired of the Muggle world.
Sincerely, the kid who still believes in magic
Dear Noah,
We could have sworn you said the ark wasn’t leaving till 5.
Sincerely, Unicorns

Forever Remix: I have no idea what unemployed people did when they got bored/realized they had blisters from writing cover letters/untucked from the fetal position before YouTube came around. In the midst of searching YouTube rappers remixing songs, I came across this rather incredible cover of Forever by four of the more popular YouTube rappers (I think). The song features Traphik, Dyme-a-Duzin, Dumbfoundead, Prince EA, and DPryde. Follow the link to take a look.

Winning Fantasy Football: I won my remaining fantasy football league this past weekend. I’ll spare you the gory details. I won my first four games, then lost six of nine, then got hot in the playoffs. Basically I am the 2008 Arizona Cardinals, except I won it all.

My Buddy Nick Defying the Odds: Congrats also go out to my buddy Nick, who has never played fantasy sports before. He won another league I was in using the team name, “What Am I Doing?” Way to go Nick.

New Hyperbole and a Half Post: If you aren’t reading hyperbole and a half, you need to. Head over to her blog to read about the year Kenny Loggins ruined her Christmas.

For the Loss!? 😦

My Party Hosting Skills: If you attended my New Years party, and were ringing in the new year in my living room after I passed out at 12:45 or 1:00AM, I apologize. Blame the champagne flip cup and Four Loko assassinations.

The Next Great Baker: On Sunday I had the misfortune of catching TLC’s The Next Great Baker. The show features Cake Boss Buddy Valestro putting 10 bakers through a Top-Chef like series of challenges to see which will gain the “honor” of joining his bakery. The show is terrible. Buddy Valestro has to be one of the least likable reality show hosts in history. The show is ripe with twists that are only loosely linked to the challenges they are a part of (one of the episodes I caught had Buddy surprising the BAKERS with the task of cooking an authentic italian dinner for 100 people). The judges table segments are devoid of any suspense to the degree that Buddy compensates by taking on a persona that can best be described as “Gordon Ramsey and Tom Colicchio’s love child.”

The biggest issue;  these bakers are not the best in their trade (like the ones you see on all of those Food Network Challenge shows). When they have seven hours to complete a cake that would normally take them two days, the end product ends up looking like crap. The time constraints dramatically impact the quality of the work produced. Who wants to watch a bunch of amateur bakers produce cakes that look like crap? Do yourself a favor and stay away from this show.

Lots of birds dying: I’m not sure if you’ve heard yet, but a few thousand black birds fell from the sky on New Years Eve. Then, 500 birds died in Louisiana, and 100,000 fish in Arkansas again, and another huge fish kill in Maryland. It’s not so much the birds and fish dying that has me putting this in the “for the loss” column. It’s more the “this is further proof that we are living in the end times and the world will come to an end in 2012 as predicted” feeling I get when I see things like this happen.

I immediately regret this decision: Buyers remorse begins next week as House Republicans have scheduled a health care repeal vote for January 12. Democrats in the Senate have pledged to block any repeal of the bill, so this vote will be more about creating a spectacle than about actually effecting any kind of real progress. I imagine that this will be the case more often than not with the Republican controlled Congress.

January 4, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

These Abbreviations Should Be Retired…Now

Like 98% of DC (no seriously, I’m pretty sure Police/Fire/EMT employees were the only people working in DC from December 5th through yesterday) I took a brief hiatus from blogging for the holidays. Christmas was great. Went to visit the girlfriend’s family. Spent some quality time in upstate New York. Managed to avoid the northeastern snowpocalypse. Laughed at DC weather men/women apologizing for costing the city millions because of incorrect weather models. Held a New Years Party. Conked out at 12:45 or 1:00 like a good host. Died on January 1st. Revived myself with a great brunch on January 2nd. Now, I am here.

OK!

Abbreviations can be broken down into three categories.

Practical Abbreviations: These abbreviations actually accomplish the goal of shortening a word that needs to be shortened. Examples include “cell” for “cellular” (side note: people over the age of 65 have refused to get on the “cell” bandwagon. Your grandmother will insist that you “call her cellular phone if you need her” more often than not) and “decaf” for “decaffeinated” (side note: I don’t think Starbucks would have gotten off the ground if not for this abbreviation). On a larger scale, we’re talking federal agencies (FBI), sports statistics (ERA), salutations (Mr, Dr.).

Internet Boom Abbreviations: These are abbreviations that grew from the boom in online dialogue. Phrases like, “lol” and “brb” and “omg.” As the internet grew, some of these abbreviations jumped off the computer screen and became commonly spoken abbreviations as well. Unfortunately over the past five years or so, 12-year old gamers, the Brits, and 35-year old internet trolls have murdered internet shorthand to the degree that future civilizations would not be able to decipher it.

Pop-culture abbreviations: Words or phrases that one would never think to abbreviate, until hearing said abbrev on a TV show, movie, spoken by your favorite celebrity. Some examples include “GTL” for “gym, tan, laundry” (made popular by the iconic Jersey Shore cast), “MILF” for “Mother I’d Like to Fuck” (made popular by American Pie, and an incredibly popular pornographic website that I’m pretty sure would get me banned from WordPress if linked to), FML for “Fuck My Life” (made popular by the website with the same name), and “totes magotes” for “totally magotes” (made popular by the film I Love You Man).

I can get behind almost all abbreviations in these three categories. However, there is an emerging fourth category of abbreviations that really need to be stopped.

I call these, “anti-abbreviations.”

Consider the definition of abbreviation:

a shortened or contracted form of a word or phrase, used to represent the whole,

The “anti-abbreviation” bastardizes this definition in one of the following ways:

1) The abbreviation is longer than the original word, or takes longer to say than the original word

Sometimes they have more syllables (ie: GSW for “gun shot wound,” h/t to my friend Keith). Sometimes, the amount of time it takes you to spit the abbreviation out is longer than the original.

For instance, the abbreviation of “cray cray” for “crazy.”

Try saying “cray cray” out loud.

Now say, “crazy crazy.”

Now, lets ignore the fact that using “cray cray” makes you sound at best like a toddler trying to learn how to speak and at worst a teenager tweeting death threats to Selena Gomez, when you said the two forms of crazy, tell me if you saved yourself anytime at all in using that abbreviation? I know I didn’t. So why does it exist? “Being cute” is not an adequate reason to abbreviate a word.

2) Completely and entirely unnecessary due to the length of the actual word

What is it about the two-syllable word, “crazy” that makes abbreviating it with a two-syllable abbreviation more convenient?

Anyone?……Bueller?

Nothing? Yes, that is correct. The answer is nothing. Another example of a word that often gets abbreviated is the word, “very.” Wanna know what it gets abbreviated to?

“v”

V?!

“Very” is so difficult to say and write that reducing it to the letter “v,” thus making it completely indistinguishable from a random keystroke or vocal twitch, is easier than writing it out or saying it aloud? V nice, v frustrated, v turned on. All uses of the word that I’ve seen before. All examples of times where it took me longer to figure out why they wrote or said “v” than it would have to process the common phrases of “very nice” “very frustrated” and “very turned on.”

You know what, fine. From now on, the following common words are going to be abbreviated by the first letter of the word; apple, bus, cat, dog, every, fine, good/great, hello, ignore, juice, knife, long, man, not, over, put/place, quit, really, short, time, under, very, wear, x……moving on, your, zebra.

So, next t y head to the store, I need y to pick up some uw and a l k, also the c and d need food.

Yup. This trend is making life easier for all of us.

3) Impossible to understand unless written in the right context

Coincidently, “v” for “very” also fits this category. The sports world has been doing this with sports injuries for quite some time. When sports announcers realized the .3 seconds (no really, it is .3 seconds, I timed it) it takes to say the word “injury” could be used to fawn over Brett Favre, they decided to just stop saying the word altogether. Now we get, “Wade is going to miss the rest of the game with an ankle,” or “Greg Oden is out for the season with the 7th knee of his career.”

It drives me crazy. Say the word injury! In any other context, not saying the word “injury” is a terrible abbreviation. If doctors didn’t say injury, patients would probably die.

Another annoying one, “perf” for “perfect.” Perfect does not need to be abbreviated. “Perf” could just as easily mean “prefer.” It is just way too difficult to understand unless it is put in the PERFECT context.

Another one, “ano.”

Wanna know what “ano” is an abbreviation of?

“Anorexic.” Yup, write ten sentences with anorexic abbreviated to “ano” and I’d probably correctly figure out what you were trying to say in three of them.

So, people of the world. I plead with you for common sense. This is not personal. There are abbreviations that I think are ridiculous that I left off this list because I can see their appeal to some people. Things like, “obvio” for “obviously” and “margs” for “margaritas”. HOWEVER, we all need to join together to prevent abbreviations from the aforementioned categories from becoming commonplace.

January 4, 2011 Posted by | Nonsense | | 7 Comments