Tuesday, May 28, 2002
I made my triumphant return to the college arena today. It's been four years since I graduated so I've noticed that a lot of things have changed. When I left college I was used to professors saying, "You may not use the Internet for research. The Internet is unreliable and not a good resource for educational purposes." Even in 1998 this was a pretty numbskull way to think about the Internet but I accepted it. I simply went to the library, grabbed four or five books, copied down all the information I needed for a sound bibliography and then returned home to write my papers.
Now things are different. The instructor informed us that we could download all the assignments from his website if we so desired. I so desired! This is great! At last school is designed exactly for a person for someone who is so utterly afraid of and unwilling to engage in human interaction that the mere thought of talking with another human being turns their skin!
I can spend the long beautiful summer cooped up in my air-conditioned computer room downloading my assignments and doing them while my friends are at the beach!
With everything that has changed over the years since I have been out of school there is much that remains the same. Namely, the students. I was immediately reminded of what the classroom was like and why it is that I hate people.
Every class I've ever been in is comprised of the same people. This classroom dynamic exists in every college class I've attended after high school. Here's how it breaks down.
The "Funny" Guy(s)
This is usually just one person but there are exceptions where it's a pair of friends. This person generally wears a grin during the entire class while (s)he carefully constructs the next witty retort to something the professor says. This person is not actually funny but rather is under the false impression that they are the world's greatest comedian.
We all know this person well. This person truly believe him or herself to be smarter than the professor. Rather than raising a hand to comment or ask questions, they raise their hand to correct something the teacher has said. The best part about this is that this person is usually wrong. The way the professor handles this person is what I look for early on to judge how much respect I have for him/her. Sometimes the professor will leave an intentional and awkward pause after comments seeing as how they're usually irrelevant or just rehashing what the teacher just said. About half the time these comments are actually just plain out wrong and then the professor will correct the dummy that made said comments. I can't understand how someone could think that they're smarter than the teacher let alone how someone would continually chirp in with false information only to be shot down. This type of idiot-extrovert's motivations boggle my mind.
I like to keep quiet. I generally get very good grades but do not speak ever, for any reason. Since I fear even the most basic human contact, speaking to a group of people unannounced is not something I ever intend to do. It's not that I am afraid of public speaking, I've done a lot of it, but I just don't want to be that guy in the paragraph above. Even if I know the answer and the teacher is asking someone for it and no one else is raising their hand I will under no circumstances raise my hand. It's just the way I was raised I suppose.
The Girl That's More Shy Than Me
This is the girl I usually respect the most in the class. Usually I develop a crush on her early on because for some unknown reason shyness is really attractive to me. I respect the fact that she won't even speak when the teacher takes attendance. In fact she won't even fully extend a raised hand and usually gets marked absent for at least half of the classes she attends.
Posted by chefelf @ 01:19 PM EST [Link]
Monday, May 27, 2002
I just read The Brunching Shuttlecocks and realized that something I wrote a few days entitled "Nu Shooz" is very similar to something Lore wrote. Sorry about that. What I wrote was honestly written before I read what he'd written. If I knew he'd written it I wouldn't even have attempted to write it because Lore is very funny and I am just a loser with a blog. But at least I was in Entertainment Weekly... can Lore say that? Yes. Yes he can. And he was mentioned first. I'm going to go nap and contemplate my existence now.
Posted by chefelf @ 10:24 AM EST [Link]
Saturday, May 25, 2002
Strange things have happened. A friend of mine IMed me just yesterday asking if there was something I had written something about Star Wars in Entertainment Weekly. "Uh no," was my quick reply. All I got was his away message which got me to thinking, Why would he think this? Then I started thinking about the possibility that my articles, 78 Reasons to Hate Star Wars: Episode I, may have been mentioned in this worldwide publication.
Naturally I was curious as to why these articles would be mentioned so I decided to go to the corner store and check it out. Sure enough on page 98 there it was, a nod to the articles I had written. It was very strange seeing it there for the whole world to see.
Here's what it said:
78 REASONS TO HATE EPISODE I
(lanceandeskimo.com/chefelf/ rnt_78reasons1-10.shtml) Jeez, we all know The Phantom Menace was kinda lame, but this is overkill--albeit funny overkill. On the opening "taxation of trade routes" title crawl: "Isn't this what started the War of 1812? Is Andrew Jackson going to be in this movie?" On C-3P0's alleged creator: "Anakin Skywalker--the ten year old boy--does not know 6,000,000 forms of communication." The author does lis Hackers as his favorite film, so mesah thinks you should take everything hesah says with a grain of salt. B --ABV
Not bad. The best part being that I was mentioned right after something by Lore from The Brunching Shuttlecocks, one of my heroes. Sharing praise with Lore is quite an honor for the likes of me.
This article is presented by the mysterious "ABV". Attempts to find out who this is and contact them to thank them for the praise have proven futile. I do extremely appreciate that they call Anakin Threepio's alleged creator. The fact that this author refuses to recognize the validity of Episode I further endears me to her/him.
Posted by chefelf @ 05:47 PM EST [Link]
Sunday, May 19, 2002
It's been seven years since I graduated from high school and that is coincidentally the same amount of time since I last purchased sneakers. I don't care much for shoes and I care even less for the foolish game of purchasing them. However I was pushing the boundaries of acceptable footwear with my last pair of sneakers. The lace of one shoe kept snapping until it became this six inch strand which I had to string through only the top two eyelets and then tie into a knot. It is much the same principle as putting a laceless shoe on your foot and then tying the top around your ankle with a bit of rope or tape.
At the shoe store I was amazed at how much shoe technology has changed in seven years. You wouldn't think that shoes could be improved upon or changed in very many ways seeing as how they just cover your foot from the elements. You would think that every conceivable improvement to the shoe would already have been thought of and implemented circa 1955. Apparently this isn't the case.
The thing that struck me most about all the new lines of shoes is that 90% of them are extremely ugly and that even I--someone who wears holy wrinkled T-shirts advertising products or services that I would either never use or have never even heard of--would not be caught dead in most of these shoes.
Strangely most of these shoes look like what people in the late seventies and early eighties thought that shoes would look like in the year 2000. Instead of making me think: "Good Call." It makes me disgusted with the over-nostalgic nature of this decade. This decade make the unrelenting nostalgia of the nineties look tame by comparison.
The idea of how shoes would look in this time period as presented by movies such as Back to the Future II should not be given into. It isn't really being given into in any other respect. There aren't hovering skateboards. There are no flying cars (and doubtfully will be in ten years), clothes are not as audacious as expected, the Earth is not all of a sudden extremely clean and the Chicago Cubs haven't won the World Series. The fact that this one little tiny prediction has been given into makes me sad. Of all the brilliant ideas of what the future should be like why would you choose to make shoes look dumb?
Here are some predictions about the future that I would much rather see put into place.
As late as 1994 people were positive that rocket packs would be a staple of personal transportation in the year 2000. This still has not come to pass. It is unfortunate because strapping on a jet pack to fly to work or elsewhere remains the coolest idea of future society. It's pretty weird that people put so much faith in this concept since it seems like one of the most unpractical and dangerous concepts just by its very nature.
It is impossible to be stuck in traffic and not think about the glories of having a flying car about seventy or eighty times. The thing that makes this fantasy even sweeter is imagining that no one else would have a flying car so the airways would be completely clear and you could soar above everyone and leave the scene of traffic in a grand scene that would inspire jealousy and rage amongst fellow drivers.
The Female/Black President
In most movies they try to hammer in the fact that it's the future by randomly mentioning in a very unsubtle manner that the president is either female or black. It's a sad testament to our pathetic planet that humanity can only imagine something like this as happening in a futuristic world and not present day. It also disgusts me that in our sad society even the idea of a presidential candidate getting a female or minority running mate is something akin to political suicide and that Ralph Nader, someone who could never win, was the only person brave enough to even try it in the last election. At this rate it will be another two hundred years before we have a female minority president.
I'm not talking about cloning as it exists now, I'm talking about that unscientific sort where a person is basically copied and has a full grown duplicate within hours a la The Sixth Day. That type of sci-fi buffoonery would make it possible for identity stealing on a mass scale and undoubtedly force the world to plunge into a dark age of famine and war. Now you can see why I would like this to happen... it sounds GREAT!
Posted by chefelf @ 10:13 AM EST [Link]
Friday, May 10, 2002
So why are phones so bad? Why is the sound quality so terrible all the time? I can't imagine that since Alexander Graham Bell first uttered the word, "Ahoy!" into a makeshift receiver that the quality has gotten much better.
What makes this sound quality even more of a hindrance to everyday folk is the widespread usage of the internet. Especially those of us who are unfortunate enough to be involved with web design. Have you ever tried to give your email address to someone over the phone? It's a nightmare. The person on the other end has to resort to: "C as in 'cleft palette'? H as in 'Humidor'? E as in 'Egg Salad'?" etc.
The very design of the English language makes merely spelling something over the phone impossible seeing as how a third of the letters rhyme with each other and they're all the most popular letters.
Sometimes I find myself spelling a domain name simply to spare myself the humiliation of actually pronouncing it. "Yes that's L-A-N-C-E-A-N-D-E-S-K-I-M-O dot com."
"No, that's C as in 'Cotton Gin', E's as in 'Ecuador', D as in 'Dolemite', and E as in 'Exuberance'."
"That is correct."
It's not merely my own terrible voice. I've spoken with people over the phone that sound like master thespians and it's impossible to tell what letters they are saying.
I greatly anticipate a day when CD quality phone reception will allow the world to breathe easy and save them from this ridiculous dance of stupidity that the telephone talking world is currently engaged in. Perhaps some day giving an email address over the phone will take as little as two or three minutes.
Posted by chefelf @ 12:57 PM EST [Link]
Wednesday, May 8, 2002
Well it seems that I have finally stooped to the level of your average internet loser and started up something resembling a blog. Blogs are the guestbooks and web counters of the 00's.
I've had chefelf.com for all too long and I figured that I had to do something with it. Sooner or later Julia Roberts was bound to take me to court and have me surrender the domain name to her. I couldn't and wouldn't let that happen.
Posted by chefelf @ 09:46 AM EST [Link]
Tuesday, May 7, 2002
I saw Spider-Man last night. It was the most incredible cinematic event of my lifetime! It was so brilliant! Everything that Sam Raimi touches just turns into gold and that statement has never been so true as with his latest movie.
All I can think of is my roommate's comments after he returned from the movie on Friday afternoon: "It wasn't that good."
What?!?! He best stay out of my way when he gets back from work today or he may find himself on the receiving end of a knuckle sandwich! You would have to be an idiot to not like this movie!
For the most part the movie was pretty accurate with the exception of a few minor and major details that they obviously overlooked on purpose. The thing that bothered my the most would have to be that Spider-Man shot webs out of his wrists. Any self-respecting Spider-Man fan (if there is such a thing) knows that Peter Parker didn't have that ability but rather built "webshooters" that worked with a special solution and cartridge that he invented. Jeepers!
The thing that sticks out in my mind the most is before the movie I was talking to a friend and I used the word "jackass". A guy sitting next to me asked me to watch my language because his son was there. Jackass? I saw his twelve-year-old son, I figured that "jackass" was pretty appropriate for mixed company. The best thing was that there was this one scene in Spider-Man where Aunt May and Uncle Ben must have used the word ass five times in one scene. It was almost as if this scene were put in as retribution on my part.
That poor guy. He thought that he and his twelve-year-old son were going to see some good wholesome family entertainment but instead they got peppered with profanity from the very beginning of the movie.
I am now inspired to begin working on my new comic book project:
It's about a spider that gets bitten by a radioactive man. He wears a suit that has a picture of a guy's face on the chest. It's gonna be awesome. Gotta go!
Posted by chefelf @ 01:07 PM EST [Link]