Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Sigourney Weaver covers the Beatles.

While searching Google for the Sigourney Weaver photo to which I linked in my immediately previous post, I found this clip (thanks to BlakeHN) from Heartbreakers, a 2001 David Mirkin movie I somehow missed but will have to look for.

Evidently, there are some people who find Jennifer Love Hewitt more alluring than Sigourney. Go figure.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Self-absorption to the max.

Yesterday, I was tagged twice on Facebook to perform a task that is being passed around virally on that site, which is to make a list of twenty five "random" facts about yourself, then to pass it on to twenty five friends with the request that they do the same. I usually won't participate in these on-line pyramid schemes, but, indiscreet attention whore that I am, I couldn't resist this one, just as I can't now resist re-posting it here for the benefit of all non-Facebookers. Here 'tis:

1. I was born in Altoona, Pennsylvania, a city renowned in vaudeville humor.

2. My nickname among the nurses when I was a newborn was “The Thin Man”.

3. I have ancestral roots that I know of in the following states: Indiana, Pennsylvania, California, Illinois, and Missouri.

4. Despite my having two great grandfathers who fought for the Union (and none for the South), my high school faculty awarded me the Jefferson Davis Citizenship Medal of the United Daughters of the Confederacy.

5. I began my formal education in a three room schoolhouse in rural Hertfordshire, England. Among the teachers’ comments on my report cards there were: “Writing: has difficulty grasping pencil properly”, “Reading [aloud]: good but monotonous”, “P[hysical] T[raining]: somewhat timid on apparatus”.

6. My sixth grade teacher at Eglin AFB [Florida] Elementary School told my parents I was so physically maladroit that I might never be able to drive a car.

7. Between my junior and senior years of high school, I took flying lessons, culminating in my piloting a Cessna solo.

8. My parents, other relatives and their friends have always called me “Kim”.

9. On two occasions, I tried to learn to play music. In third grade I joined a school band program and tried to play flute; during my senior year of high school I took guitar lessons. Both times I found that I lacked both the dexterity and the discipline to succeed.

10. I wish I could sing better. Sometimes my voice is “on”, and I get compliments. Most of the time, it’s not.

11. I still fantasize about being a rock star.

12. I’m often accused of wanting to have my cake and eat it, too. I usually answer, “Who wouldn’t?”

13. I’ve been in every state of the U.S. except Oregon, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.

14. I’ve visited the following foreign countries in the following chronological order of first visit: United Kingdom (I lived there as a child for almost three years, and have since returned several times, visiting Scotland and Wales as well as England), France, Belgium, Holland (for a few minutes, riding across the narrow part near Maastricht), Germany, Switzerland, Canada, Spain, Bermuda, Ireland, Sweden, Denmark (an hour in a transit lounge at the Copenhagen airport), and Mexico.

15. I have a crush on Sigourney Weaver. (My wife knows this, and isn’t worried. Neither is Jim Simpson.)

16. I exhibit some symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder (Isn’t calling it a “disorder” almost a contradiction in terms?), such as arranging all the bills in my wallet face forward, right side up, and in ascending order of denomination from front to back. This sometimes annoys people behind me in line at Key Food.

17. Guilty pleasures: Kraft American cheese, Popeye’s chicken and dirty rice, “Believe Me” by the Royal Teens, Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture.

18. Like Mr. Leopold Bloom, I devour with relish the inner organs of beasts and fowls (or, as my Massachusetts-born wife calls them, “speah pahts”).

19. In my estimation, any pizza can be improved by adding anchovies. Update: this may not apply to the hot dog and French fry pizza.

20. I dread being asked directions, because I often find myself saying “north” when I mean “south”, “up” for “down”, “right” for “left”, and so on (I call this “directional dyslexia”).

21. I think the most salient fact about me is the tension I feel between conflicting ideals, for example: fealty to tradition versus attraction to novelty, and reverence before mystery versus desire for knowledge.

22. I like some odd painters, such as Ivan Albright and Giorgio de Chirico.

23. I usually dislike being asked what is my favorite anyone or anything, as I seldom have a clear, overriding preference valid for all times and circumstances.

24. Before I die, I would like to tour around the Mediterranean, especially Italy, Greece, Turkey, Israel, Egypt, and Morocco. I would also like to follow the route of the Silk Road from Asia Minor to China, and see the cities of Manaus and Salvador in Brazil.

25. I hate the designated hitter rule.

Update: Slate has an interesting analysis of the spread and decay of the "25 things" phenomenon, with an interesting conclusion for anyone planning an attempt at viral online marketing.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Best Super Bowl ever?

Maybe not. There's certainly competition. For me, the iconic one will always be III, Jets versus Baltimore Colts, which I watched with five or six other guys in a law school dorm neighbor's room. As soon as the score was final, our host jumped up and turned off the TV. Asked why, he said, "I don't want to hear Howard Cosell say, 'Broadway Joe Namath, the New York Jets, and the American Football League all came of age today.'"

Still, this one had about as exciting a finish as could be imagined. There's great running commentary on the Wall Street Journal's Super Blog.

This Keystone State native can take some satisfaction in the football and baseball championships both residing in Pennsylvania for the first time since 1980.

Oh, yeah, my prediction (see immediately previous post) was wrong. I've gotten into this thing of calling upsets I don't want, in hopes that by doing so I'll prevent them.

Smoothron, who trusted in Jesus, was wrong, too.