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My Archives: January 2003

Thursday, January 30, 2003

I almost forgot. My girlfriend showed me something this weekend. It was her AP Stylebook. Now I covet it.

Posted by chefelf @ 11:14 AM EST [Link] [13 People Love Me!]

Wednesday, January 29, 2003

Okay this is turning into a disturbing trend but Laura's article today, The Weather, really got me thinking. Once again I am inspired to update by the musings of my little bespectacled sibling.

I certainly prefer winter to summer. The summer is a time of great sorrow for me. It's not that I mind being outdoors, I just can't stand the feeling of sweating constantly! I much prefer the simplicity of wrapping in blankets for warmth. While watching the movie The Bourne Identity I remember being seized with a strong desire to live in Sweden. I don't know why. I don't think they were even in Sweden at any point in the movie. Maybe my mind was wandering.

England really captured my fancy because there you don't have to worry about pesky things such as the sun or warmth. The entire time I spent there (primarily in July and August) it probably didn't break 75 degrees. I wore a jacket most of the summer. It was wonderful!

I much prefer shivering to sweating I think. In the winter time I love wearing 8 layers of clothing to keep warm and quite frankly I find jackets to be great because of all the extra pocket space. Think of all the things you can carry in the winter that you just have to leave at home in the summer!

And snow is great. I don't know if it reminds me of fun I had as a kid or what have you but every time it snows I get all giddy. I love it! I don't mind driving in it. I don't mind shoveling it. Whenever the local newscaster uses the phrase "Storm of the Century" (about once weekly during the winter in New England) I think: Bring it on.

This makes for plenty of lying and awkward conversation during the winter for me. Everyone I see or meet or talk to at any point during the winter is constantly complaining about the cold and how they wish it were summertime. I, of course, have no choice but to nod in agreement and say things like: "Tell me about it!" or "Not more snow!"

Oslo here I come.

Posted by chefelf @ 06:14 PM EST [Link] [16 People Love Me!]

Monday, January 13, 2003

This weekend was wonderful and Jen was, as always, a delight. We went to the Statue of Liberty on Saturday and stood outside in the blistering cold, then took the ferry in the blistering cold and then walked around the Statue of Liberty in the blistering cold. Then we waited for the ferry to go back in the windy blistering cold.

Jen and I had a debate over whether or not the Statue of Liberty has (or should have) breasts. It was kinda left open-ended but I think she won. From our vantage point on the ground it was difficult to tell but recreations of Lady Liberty seem to prove conclusively that she is stacked. Jen says that she is "busty".

On Sunday we went to the most unusual store on the face of the Earth. It's called B & H and it is a store that sells a wonderful assortment of cameras, video equipment and such that is conveniently located next door to Jen's apartment.

Here's how things work at B & H:

  1. First you find what you want and notice that you can't take it off the shelf because it is bolted down. You must then memorize a complex alphanumeric sequence on a card.

  2. Then you stand in line for ten minutes to tell a guy the sequence that you have memorized. He prints up a slip and you bring that with you to another line.

  3. After waiting ten minutes in line the clerk adds whatever was on that slip to whatever else you want. He then prints up a new slip for you.

  4. You take that slip and then wait in a what appears to be a checkout line for ten minutes.

  5. The guy at the checkout line then tells you that you can't pay because things are in your girlfriend's name. So your girlfriend pays instead. Then they give you the merchandise.

  6. Just kidding! Then you to another line for ten minutes with your new slip and THEN they give you the merchandise.

Having said that it should be mentioned that it is the most amazing store I've ever been in. There are somewhere between 50 and 150 employees swarming around. Jen says 150 and is most likely right; I say there are 50 because like a pre-cognitive infant I am unable to acknowledge that there can exist more employees than are in my sight at any given moment.

The store is absolutely packed with customers, the likes of which no one anywhere has ever witnessed. They have a card table set up in the middle of the store with complimentary soda and--dare I say--candy corn.

On Sunday we went to the Empire State building and rode two elevators to the observation deck. It was twice as windy as it was at Liberty Island and I took a series of pictures featuring Jen covering her ears with her mittens while her hair blows around wildly, covering her face entirely. While I think they are adorable I have sworn on my life to never show them to another living soul so I can't post them here.

After an action packed 48 hours in Manhattan I returned to Rhode Island and my shabby apartment. Inspired by my return home I wrote a one act play about my triumphant return home.

Click here to read Blathan's Homecoming.

This play is, of course, PURELY fiction and does not in any way reflect actual events that took place when I returned home.


Posted by chefelf @ 05:04 PM EST [Link] [12 People Love Me!]

Wednesday, January 8, 2003

In response to Laura's The Trouble with LAN Parties article (it seems I can't come up with anything interesting to say without her help anymore):

My roommate got an Xbox for Christmas and we've been playing it nonstop every since. The game: Halo. For those not familiar it is a futuristic first-person shooter which takes place on a giant ring shaped planet which is clearly just Ringworld. They don't try to hide it, it's just blatantly ripped off. This is fine by me because the whole concept of Ringworld is actually very cool and of all the Science Fiction that gets shamelessly ripped off, Ringworld usually isn't touched. It's refreshing to see something that is Science Fiction and leaves Star Trek and Star Wars alone, instead electing to pilfer from the works of Larry Niven.

The gamers who are reading this may identify me as a loser since Halo is the embarrassingly elderly age of 1 year old and is clearly not acceptable to be playing for the first time just weeks ago. Others will simply be confused having not played or heard of this game. So like usual I have eliminated 98% of all people everywhere and with that taken care of I can continue.

Halo can be played with 1-16 players. There is a cool adventure-style single or multi-player game as well as a multi-player mode where the objective is to kill as many people/things as possible. Halo is an amazing game with almost infinite possibilities between game types and number of players.

I am left wishing I had the means to have 4 big screen TVs, 4 Xboxes, 4 copies of Halo, 16 Xbox controllers, a hub and 4 cables so that I could host a kickass LAN party! At a staggering cost of well over $5,000 I realize that this is most likely not an option.

One unusual thing, as contradicted in Laura's The Trouble with LAN Parties article is that all the girlfriends seem to want to play just as badly as we do. This is unusual because we are used to getting the sigh mixed with rolled eyes when we announce to our girlfriends that we are going to play video games. Now, much to our delight--and confusion--we get phone calls from the girlfriends asking if they can come over and play.

I suppose that militaristic games such as Halo lend themselves better to LAN Party type activities than a game such as The Sims would and that is why they are so prevalent. A game where there is no end and no possible way of winning doesn't necessarily make for great tournament play.

This weekend I am going to New York. I am hoping to see the Statue of Liberty if it doesn't snow because that's the kind of predictable simpleton that I am.

Posted by chefelf @ 01:56 PM EST [Link] [11 People Love Me!]

Thursday, January 2, 2003

People are making a big deal about today because the digits in the date (in lousy America anyway) are: 1, 2, 3. People are idiots.

I hate it when someone unexpectedly engages you in conversation in a public place leaving the ball in your court. 90% of the time I have no idea what to say.


Today I went to the post office to ship off 7 more parcels to my faithful Amazon Marketplace customers. After I handed off my parcels to the guy at the desk he became frustrated with the computer after his first four or five attempts to make a label for the package had failed. Finally he printed one and explained: "For some reason it wouldn't let me print the label!"

I froze up. My lips and mind went numb. I didn't know why but I felt I had to respond. I couldn't just let that statement hang in the air, becoming stale and offending us with its foul odor. Terrified, my mind raced to come up with something--ANYTHING--to relieve the pregnant pause.

"Computers," I said. "You can never trust them."

What the hell? I don't believe that. I spend a good 95% of my waking day in front of a computer of some sort. The remaining 5% spent on my way to and from work or in the shower. I love computers. Nothing that I could possibly say could be further from my own beliefs. In fact it could be said that I trust computers far more than I would ever trust people for the reason stated previously: people are idiots.

"Ain't that the truth." He replied. I wondered if he really meant it or if he was thinking the same thing I was.

People are idiots.

Posted by chefelf @ 12:48 PM EST [Link] [10 People Love Me!]

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