Thursday, February 24, 2011

Stuff It

There is a restaurant with a huge window next to my gym.

I like watching people stuff their faces while I do cardio.

It makes me feel like I am getting ahead.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Tickling the Closet

David told me to tickle the closet. I've been remiss.  Though others have certainly been worse (Phil), David (and Tommy–did you see that guy's last post?) has for too long been propping up (though quite skillfully) the prestigious reputation of this blog.

I'm going to do my best to bring this blog down to a level not quite so vaunted.

Last night I rode the train into Manhattan (though I hate cities, it is pretty exciting to be so close to the mecca of materialism–it's so sensually overwhelming). I was waiting for my train and noticed an object down near the tracks.

I couldn't really tell what the thing was, it almost looked like a raccoon that had at one point had the head and shoulders of a human (the head having been severed by the time the picture was taken). Kind of a miniature raccoon/human cross. Like a demonic gnome or something. 

While I was pondering this, Alban called me back (I had called him to celebrate the Arsenal win). We discussed the victory for a while, but then I told him about this decapitated creature. Just before he called, I had decided that they only way to properly investigate the animal was the descend to the tracks, but then had noticed a sign that said something along the lines of: "Don't you dare go down there."

So I relayed my dilemma to Alban. His response was good: "Get down there. I want a full report later." I should  have known enough to ignore signage warning me of the dangers of leaping down into a semi-enclosed space through which a train would soon be speeding, but I had a moment of weakness. For reviving my spirit of adventure, we have Alban to thank.

I promptly lept off the platform and snapped this shot (actually this is one of the shots I took from the platform, but I like it better than the one I took while I was closer...ironic?).

Note: don't click on the picture if you are faint of heart.

The most interesting thing I discovered while I was down with this creature was that it had been cleanly bisected. This was fascinating. Was it running ON one of the tracks when a train came by and sliced it in two? I don't know and I could never find the other half. 

The point of all this is that train stations in the United States are cleaner than they are in Great Britain.

 Note: though this is a train station in Great Britain from my time in England with Thomas, it's not a good example of what I'm talking about–this remote station was quite clean.

In Great Britain, they empty the bathroom contents onto the tracks at stations. I didn't hear that or read that anywhere; I was standing on the platform in England and spied a pile of fecal matter interlaced with toilet paper. No joke. Pretty gross.

Anyway, the real point to all of this is that we, as energetic young people (in body or at least spirit), ought to be willing to break some rules. Ignore signs at train stations that are trying to enforce your safety. Skip school to go to Hawaii, Obama's inauguration, Cancun, or the beaches of Southern California. Burn something down. Firebomb something. Fight the man (WWU administration... or ASWWU administration when they try to use student money to send themselves to a John Mayer concert). Vote third party. Reject materialism and passivity. Don't do your homework. Play Mario Kart. Kick over the mouse-wheel (not the computer kind, the rat race kind) of life instead of running on it. And most of all: feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, invite the stranger in, clothe the naked, and visit the prisoner.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Alone on Valentine's Day?

Happy Valentine's Day Everyone...

Thursday, February 10, 2011

"The ball is in your court." -a phrase in question.

Tony is a fictitious cereal cartoon who inspires children to do their best at eating food with a high sugar content.

I never really understood that phrase. I've always understood it to mean, "I've done all I can do; now it's your turn." That seems simple enough. Although, you could say the same thing even more simply, i.e., "Now it's your turn," or even just, "Your turn."

Well, maybe not, "The ball is in your court," does seem to connote a sense of positive anticipation, or a satisfied resignation, as in "I've done my very best, the decision is up to 'them,'" or "my fate is out of my hands," or, "it could go either way, but whatever way it goes, I will die in peace." "Your turn," doesn't carry the same semantical perspicuity.

However, the sui generis nature of the phrase in question, with regard to the world of sports, raises some serious questions about its adequacy. It is counterintuitive in that it doesn't make sense in the context of the most prominent sports of today's world. Would you ever hear someone in the NASCAR circuit say "Wale, I guerss that thar ball thar, is en ther curt?" No, well ... maybe, but NASCAR is not played on a court. The same is true for football, hockey, baseball, and soccer. Although all these sports are played with balls, none of them are played on a court. There is one left though, basketball.

Basketball is played with a ball on a court. Perhaps the phrase in question has some validity after all. But even in basketball, upon close inspection, this phrase is ill-fitted. What would it mean for the ball to be in the opponents court? Are there multiple courts? Is it an away game? Or, like football, is the 'opponents side' of the court the side which they are charged to defend? Unlikely at best! Furthermore, when would you ever want the opponent to have the ball? When would that be remotely positive? Now, I do acknowledge that the phrase itself is ambiguous, and yes, perhaps it is possible that "the ball is in your court," could just as easily be interpreted, "the ball is in your court, and it is also in my possession," but based on the original connotation cited above, I find this interpretation highly improbable. Maybe you will say that it is an advantage for the other team to have the ball if your team is better at defense than offense. To this I ask, who are you? Why are you reading this blog? I'm curious. No, it would seem that the phrase in question doesn't work in the world of Michael Jordan and Tony the Tiger.

Maybe if we look at more obscure sports we will find a closer fit. "Ah, yes. A good idea," you propound. "Perhaps tennis," you suggest. Well, it would appear that this phrase fits best here. In fact, according to Wiki Answers, "The ball is in your court" developed on the refined grass of American racquetry. But still I remain recalcitrant, and hold that even in tennis, the above phrase is an impostor. I've heard tennis theoreticians argue that, at its most profound, wining tennis, is simply a matter of getting the ball over the net once more than your opponent. As good as that strategy may sound when spoken aloud, it doesn't relate to the issue at hand.

Yet still, there are some things we put down, and cannot, whether by volition or otherwise, pick back up, or, to continue with the spirit of the phrase in question, cannot hit back to ourselves. You see tennis, in the true sense, not in the sense of drills etc., is impossible to play alone, and if your opponent leaves, the fence will not sufficiently take their place. Until they return with racquet in hand, the dialogue remains impossible. It's the only way tennis is possible. Which brings to mind another questionable phrase involving a kind of tangy dance and the necessity of two. Next time perhaps.

In conclusion, I've said all I can say, the ball is in your court. Watch this video.