Thursday, March 30, 2006
Wednesday, March 29, 2006
in deference to shelley, auden, pound, thomas, browning, coleridge, and the mighty gre, today's post is quite abbreviated.
TRUE or FALSE?
"I see friends shaking hands, saying, 'how do you do?' they're really saying 'i, i love you.' "
by 'true or false?' i'm primarily referring to the second clause. for extra points, where did i acquire this quote?
(deceiving hint: not from anything related to the gre)
andrew david 'invisible picture.' my kitchen, greenwood, seattle.
Monday, March 27, 2006
you ask, 'andrew, what is this madness that you call your blog?'
if you scroll down to march 15 & 17, you will find two pictoral representations of how one might describe the 17 point scale. while informative, the graphics are merely the result of an automated computer word count. thus, to provide a fuller picture of life at the 17 point scale, i quickly reviewed the thematic content of each of the last 84 (approximately) posts. here are the exciting (yet subjective) results*:
photography - 33 indeed, i post a lot pictures. however, this number would be significantly smaller if i only included posts where there were ONLY pictures or posts that actually talked about photography.
me - 13 the 'me' category includes posts about my past, future, and day-to-day experiences.
blogging - 9 the 'blogging' category includes posts about the act of blogging and, more particularly, MY blog.
sports - 8
grammar - 7
material goods - 7 hah! this category ('material goods') should shut up everyone that used to chuckle about me winding up as an ascetic! the category contains both gifts from others and purchases for myself.
religion/spirituality - 6
fiction - 5 i suppose that 'fiction' (dreams, imaginary advertisement campaigns, etc.) and 'mock poems' could possibly be combined into one category. that'd make 10.
friends - 5
gres - 5
mock poetry - 5 i suppose that 'fiction' (dreams, imaginary advertisement campaigns, etc.) and 'mock poems' could possibly be combined into one category. that'd make 10.
books - 4
movies - 4
music - 4
travel - 4 i considered placing most of these 'travel' items in a category called 'links' since i don't really write that much about travel itself. on the other hand, i could make this category bloated by including all of my travel photos...
nothing - 3 these 'nothing' posts really do defy categorization. they tend to be 1-2 sentences that say something like 'salmon. salmon everywhere.'
politics - 3
work - 1
* in my ever-constant efforts to emulate the metaphysical poet john donne, i tend to use ridiculous conceits in many of my posts. thus, an entry about the presidential election could start by sharing an anecdote about my recent visit to the dump. since that's more of a stylistic technique than a theme, a post of that kind would not fit in both the 'politics' category and the 'visits to the dump' category; just politics.
andrew david. 'pinning down the creek' mismaloya, mexico.
Saturday, March 25, 2006
i'm sure you've heard the term 'bleeding heart liberal.' it's the conservative way of mocking the left's dedication to social welfare programs. slang-slinging republicans contend that many liberals hear a single sob story and then forge their entire political doctrine with the aim of helping that poor unfortunate soul. that's fine, the conservative might say, but the problem is that these 'bleeding heart' agendas tend to offer free hand-outs to a vast contingent of welfare abusers.
politically, i fall somewhere between the bleeding hearts and their conservative counterparts. however, i'm starting to develop a bleeding heart complex of an altogether different kind: i'm becoming a 'bleeding heart sports fan.' after the seahawks unfathomable playoff loss and the uw huskies sweet sixteen loss, i just can't help complaining about the biased stated of officiating in sports. seriously, i'm sick of sports. that is, i'm sick of sports officiating, and unfortunately, in most sports it's impossible to separate the two. maybe i should join the rest of america and take up nascar.
i don't mean to scapegoat the boys in black and white, i just can't see why they have to make themselves the pivotal piece of sports. refs are like wallpaper -- you only notice them if the colors aren't right. friday's NCAA battle of the dawgs featured more foul calls than minutes, including several lopsided calls against uw that turned the tide of the game in favor of uconn (e.g., the double foul on roy). actually, i think that lorenzo deserves serious props for holding off the uconn advance while half of his starters sat on the pine. and, aggg! the missed goal-tending call? if the refs can swap fouls back and forth between players several minutes after the original play, why can't they review a simple goaltending call? in any case, as sean wrote in yesterday's comments, uw certainly made some stupid mistakes (although, i don't think applebee was necessarily wrong to dish it off. in that situation, i think you really do want to let some more time slip off the clock. besides, wasn't the lane filled with several big guys? applebee wasn't the one to make the awful pass...), uconn showed some more last-minute heroics, and ultimately, us seattle fans should (just forget about the bad calls and) simply be proud of our dawgs.
(but, holy sammamish, it sure is hard)
ps. have you ever wondered what it would be like to roll around in liquid wax? do you think you would burn yourself? it hurts a bit when you stick your finger in candle wax, but it certainly doesn't burn. well, obviously you couldn't dunk your head, but i think it might be fun.
Friday, March 24, 2006
an excerpt from the notebooks of andrew and hakeem
somewhere around page 33
written by andrew
"So you have come to the land of the living, my dear friend?" came the slow halting prattle of the old man. After waiting for three minutes and getting no response from the chicken (who lay engulfed in gravy) the old man correctly assumed that the gravy had dulled the chicken's senses or that he was just real dumb (in both cases he was right).
"I pulled your corpse out of the bushes near the post office. You see, I thought you twould make a decent meal, when I realized you were still living. Though trained in the martial arts, I could never kill a fellow human being, let alone a chicken. What is your name?"
Again no response; the chicken hadn't yet noticed the man. He was trying his hardest to think of a way out of the gravy but to no avail.
"Well, young bird, I shall call you Big Bird....no, no....I respected Big Bird until he retired, but he became a [strange indecipherable insult] and went around eating people for sport....no, I shall call you Goliath. Goliath, I am Bruce Lee...."
andrew david "american girls and a young boy they never met" mismaloya, mexico.
Thursday, March 23, 2006
an excerpt from the notebooks of andrew and hakeem
somewhere around page 33
written by andrew
When he awoke, the chicken was dazed and confused. He lay face-down in a large pile of gravy. Although he (or she) was so disconcerted that he couldn't remember his name, he knew for a fact that he did NOT like gravy. In fact, he could even recall the time when he was a young chick and a farmer had fed him gravy 'cause he needed to be a "nice chunky chicken so we all' can have leftovers after Thanksgiving and for the days ta' come" and when at the first bite he had spewed all over the nearest cow (it actually was a piece of cardboard painted as a cow; the farmer sold tickets to come and see the "talkin', three legged, cow wit' a tattoo of a naked farmer on his purty' little rump," and the cow didn't really talk, the farmer hid his wife behind it, and she answered the curious sight-see-ers questions). He could tell the gravy was old by its milky texture and its aroma of poached trout. After all the miserable years he spent on that farm eating that appalling gravy (what could he do? the farmer had held a knife to his neck. and once the chicken had exceecded the farmer's height, the farmer had pointed a shotgun at his belly. besides, the nastiness was only temporary; he, the chicken, had always regurgitated it soon afterward on some unsuspecting victim, usually the farmer's wife) the chicken had become, unwillingly, a connoisseur of gravy. He could tell with ease that this gravy was past its expiration date, probably homemade, and laced with heroin.
Though he had instantly come to this conclusion, which would have taken experts weeks to discover, his mind was still working slow (some would say his mind was always slow). In fact it took him five minutes to decide to try to get his face out of the disgusting stuff and another five to decide how. When he finally raised his head, now wrinkled due to a long period of exposure to the gravy, he found himself in a dumpster.
The dumpster was basically empty except for the four inch thick layer of gravy he was laying in and a few cabbage heads here and there. In one corner of the cavernous dumpster came a dim light which was partially blocked by the back of what appeared to be an old man. The seven and a half foot chicken tried to right himself but it seemed the gravy had weakened his monumental strength.
At the sudden move, the figure did a 2,700 degree turn (about seven 360s and a 180) in the air and came to face the chicken....
andrew david 'six pictures of a sunset' puerto vallarta, mexico.
these pictures might have had a chance if i had a tripod. in the first picture, i was hoping for a spectactular reflection in the sand. oh, well. otherwise, they're typical sunset photos. i can't even think of a photoshop technique to salvage them.
Wednesday, March 22, 2006
1. anyone heard of herbie hancock? more particularly, is he a one-hit wonder as far as rockin-cool piano songs or could someone steer me in the direction of some goodies? i really liked the piano in 'stitched up,' but the other tracks on his recent album seemed lame.
2. let's talk seahawks. any first impressions regarding the off-season? we've lost hutchinson, failed to snag abraham, acquired peterson, and kept alexander happy -- is this shaping out to be a bust or another shining spring for ruskell and reinfeldt?
andrew david 'flesh eating clown fish' puerto vallarta, mexico.
Tuesday, March 21, 2006
my ego is blistered and bruised from a week's worth of rotten arguments. every time i attempt to make a point, i'm suddenly stalled in no-make-sense land. in gre terms, i'm james joyce parading about like john stuart mills. i have several theories for this loss of logic, but it's my bedtime. here are some examples of the points that i have inadequately defended:
1. "rebecca, you and i have a totally different process for deciding whether or not to watch a movie"
2. "beth, i don't like what alcohol does to me; i don't like the way it feels" (i go on to compare it to multiple sclerosis)
3. "ben, several lines of iambic pentameter are just as difficult to write as a haiku"
4. (i can't remember)
5. (also can't remember)
andrew david 'tropicana hotel 1, 2, and 3' puerto vallarta, mexico.
i'm posting these pics, just in case you want to see what a beach-front near-budget hotel looks like.
Monday, March 20, 2006
as promised, here comes the first in a series of sample gre study items. read the passage and name the author and the work:
- "I wish I owned half of that dog."
- "Why?" somebody asked.
- "Because I would kill my half."
- The group searched his face with curiosity, with anxiety even, but found no light there, no expression that they could read. They fell away from him as from something uncanny, and went into privacy to discuss him. One said:
- "'Pears to be a fool."
- "'Pears?" said another. "Is, I reckon you better say."
- "Said he wished he owned half of the dog, the idiot," said a third. "What did he reckon would become of the other half if he killed his half? Do you reckon he thought it would live?"
a. langston hughes
b. walt whitman
c. ernest hemingway
d. mark twain
e. john steinbeck
the author of this work also made a brief foray into which other literary genre?
b. arthurian literature
c. theater of the absurd
d. pre-raphaelite literature
e. post-modern gertrude steinesque nonsense
according to the allusion in lines 4-5 this passage from pudd'n'head wilson alludes to what breed of dog?
a. a german shepherd
b. one of those rat-like chihuahuas
c. a mutt
d. a pit pull terrier
e. a "death-hound"
andrew david 'outside church' puerto vallarta, mexico.
this shot had great potential, but the final product stinks. oh, well. i still like the idea.
if necesary, i am more than happy to offer test-taking strategies for these questions in future posts. to see how you did, simply drag your cursor over this blank space, and you should see the answers: 1. d; 2. b; 3. none of the above! sorry, that was evil. there was totally NO allusion in those lines! one could argue that the passage somehow alludes to solomon, but gosh--that's a baby, not a dog! but be glad, the gre would never do that to you.
...thing that i said today (sunday) is not very eloquent, nor is it entirely honest. still, there's enough truth in the statement that i think i'd like to share it:
"the only thing i'm going to like about having kids is reading to them."
Friday, March 17, 2006
unfortunately, the image in my previous post failed to accurately portray the 17 point scale. it neglected to include older posts and overcompensated by repeatedly counting the links to your left. it also may have scanned the comments. this suggests an intriguing question: should i consider the comments as part of my blog or as a separate entity? for the purposes of this graphic, i think it is more informative to remove the comments. here is the updated pictoral representation of my blog:
Wednesday, March 15, 2006
don't worry, sean, i can occasionally post blog entries from my quiet study corner!
at last count john perkins, the civil rights superhero of 17 point scale fame, had accrued seven honorary doctorates. i'm sure he's a great guy (no, really; i'm quite positive about this. you can check out his bio if you don't believe me. let me warn you though, it's a bio; bios are boring), but (even with his great-guyness in mind) is that really fair? perhaps i'm misguided, but i've always been under the impression that a doctorate connotes a rigorous, somewhat-structured, academic accomplishment. i guess not.
well then, let's spread the love around. hmmm...where to start? let's see, another great guy, my loving roommate mark, has attended almost 7 universities with nothing but a loan to his name. i lack the proper accreditation to offer him any kind of degree, but i've got something even better up my sleeve.
in the winter of 2005-06, mark gave me a christmas gift that unwittingly propelled him into the good graces and high esteem of the 17 point scale: a black shirt with the phrase 'nobody reads my blog' printed boldy across the chest. at the time it was kind of silly (and true), but in recent weeks it has proved an ideal advertising gimmick. for example, i wore the christmas tee to saturday's bingo party and happily found my blog to be the subject of several scintillating conversations. in these contexts, people tend to ask, 'what do you blog about?' it really is a puzzling question; i careen from topic to topic without much consistency. today, for instance, my blog attempts to leveling balance of fame. indeed, because the 17 point scale owes mark a great debt for the free publicity associated with his gift, the 17 point scale is pleased to confer the title of honorary 17 point scale marketing director upon his business savvy shoulders. (take that, great-guy john perkins and all your honorary cronies!)
and now, what about that question? what do i blog about? thankfully, snapshirts.com puts an end to any pointless pondering. their site compiled the overall 17 point scale word usage into a simple word graphic (look left). in case you are unfamiliar with this technology, larger words represent more common 17 point scale words while the tiny words are less used.
Monday, March 13, 2006
for the rest of the month, i'm stuck at my desk pouring over thomas carew, gertrude stein, euphuisms, and every other potentially testable scrap of world lit. therefore, the 17 point scale is officially proclaiming march the 'live-vicariously-through-your-friends-and-online-neighbors' month. that is, since i'll be confined to my study corner, i'm encouraging you to explode forth from your computer and perform all kinds of crazy deeds in the name of andrew. hmmm...that means, if you're not me, this is actually the 'my-friend-and-online-neighbor-is-living-vicariously-through-me' month. there must be some way to consolidate those two names...in any case, as you go about your living, i strongly recommend exploring BAC, an exciting assortment of FREE artsy classes. these quick courses range from irish dancing, thai cooking basics, and zimbabwean singing to ts eliot's the wasteland, cheesemaking, and an introduction to the didjeridu.
andrew david 'a postcard from 1971' peurto vallarta, mexico (day 1).
Friday, March 10, 2006
state route 99 is the lesser traveled little cousin of i-5. i don't like to play favorites, so i tend to take i-5 during the morning commute and 99 in the evening. however, i think i'm a rarity in this even-handed use of the washington state byways. some seattlites, like neuropsychological and neurophysiological technician sean meichle, pass their props to 99. others are devoted to the eight lane behemoth that is i-5. perhaps the only consensus regarding these north-south tributaries is that they are both in serious need of work, especially 99. as they pass through downtown, the narrow lanes of 99 ascend a series of ancient stilts and pass through a cavernous tunnel. according to most reports, in an earthquake this section of 99 (known as the viaduct) would be a disaster. tonight, as i was navigating north through a sea of red tailights, there was just such a catastrophe. with an odd rumble, my southern slice of highway suddenly crumbled beneath me. my trusty truck lept from the crashing concrete and barrelled through the air, but its flight was doomed. the puzzled craft and i flew headlong into the waiting supports of a still intact northern segment of highway. in the instant that i dreamed this surprising death, i thought 'God, forgive me...' and then somehow kept driving; thankfully, it was just my imagination (running away with me)*. i'm not really sure what spawned this harrowing imaginative burst, but it was certainly surprising.
after arriving safely at home, i whipped out my laptop, checked scores on espn, and then dropped my head on the pillow for a little nap. a moment later, i felt my nose running a bit, but thought nothing of it. this was nap time, no time to worry about a little snot. i lazily wiped my nose with my hand -- something felt funny. snapping my eyes open i saw a bright crimson pool on my pillow -- a bloody nose! what the heck? can someone tell my why, after twenty years of mild nose abrasions and no blood, i suddenly find myself bleeding all over my bed? what the goose? here's google's attempt (oh, i also have a bit of a headache), which could be a bit frightening...
andrew david 'stuck inn here' the tropicana, puerto vallarta, mexico
day 1, the hallway right outside our hotel room. i can't decide if i like the ant-like duo in the bottom right corner of the window. they're probably too small for web-watchers to render much of an opinion...
* corrected link; i was previously trying to link directly to the online music clip, but apparently you can't do that; it only worked temporarily. now the link takes the surfer to the music clip page, and the surfer has to scroll down (or use ctrl-f) until he or she finds the clip.
Thursday, March 09, 2006
the sacred journey: a memoir of early days by frederick buechner
"so...having not read much 'non-fiction' for fun, i'm not sure what to say. how 'bout this: freddy's definitely found his 'voice.' at times his writing style seems deceptively simple, even hypnotic. he has done a masterful job at piecing his memories together into a meaningful (and, in rare places, preachy) message. in fact, he provides a first-rate example of how to do [exactly] what he suggests, [an example of how to] pour over our pasts for surprising glimpses of God's grace-filled touch....see page 7"
page 7: "wow, beth, you're right. if nothing else, he sure knows how to write a stirring introduction."
by the way, if you follow the link, you may find a little blurb by dr. doug thorpe, english professor at seattle pacific university (and an equally stunning shorter version of my blurb. actually, i feel a bit self -conscious about posting sucky 3 sentence reviews on amazon, but oh well. i think its actually helpful. who really has time to read an entire paragraph?).
andrew david 'daddy, its a tourist; can i feed him?' puerto vallarta, mexico, day 3?
Wednesday, March 08, 2006
LAFFY TAFFY JOKE (part I)
Q: what do you call a sleep-walking nun?
what if i posted a one-picture entry with no text? would you think i'm lazy? i recently installed a stat counter on my blog so that i can better monitor traffic on the 17 point scale. that's right, i'm watching you; ack, this blog is making me crazy creepy. you see, for some reason i have an overwhelming desire to lure the masses to my silly site. thus, i'm worried about writing sucky little meaningless entries (like yesterday's and today's and tomorrow's) because people might realize 'this is crap' and spend their time elsewhere. why do i care? okay, this is where i get over that. right here.
LAFFY TAFFY JOKE (part II)
A: a roamin' catholic
beth the s.o. 'crazy creepy andrew, some nacho goodness, and a dog' puerto vallarta, mexico.
day 1. see the dog napping behind my chair? he was just many of the canine friends of my mexican vacation.
LAFFY TAFFY JOKE (epilogue)
isn't that joke hilarious? go ahead laugh aloud. perhaps you need some encouragment: hah ha aha hah...
Monday, March 06, 2006
watching the oscars made me wish i had cable. jon stuart and the daily show sure beat npr as a source for entertaining news.
i only saw two of the five films nominated for best picture: good night, and good luck and crash. in my opinion, good night was the superior film, but crash probably had greater impact on moviegoers. personally, i thought the film was a bit too obvious. it walloped me on the head with a big fat anti-racism plank. the racism in crash was so blatant that it was hard for me to relate, and i was afraid that people who engage in more subtle (and perhaps more common) racism might miss the point and walk blissfully away without a thought to their own prejudices. but let's be optimistic, maybe if you hit someone hard enough, they just might change their mind.
and, to you english majors, do you think the 'affective fallacy' is a legitmate basis for critiquing film? and how do you spell 'critiquing'?
and, speaking of prejudices, i just saw pride and prejudice this evening--a good film, but isn't it the same as sense and sensibility? jane austen was such a hack. anyway, speaking yet again of prejudice, one of the previews on tonight's film was for brokeback mountain. unfortunately, the preview probably ruined any chance of my seeing the film. no, i wasn't offended by homosexual innuendo, but i was a bit peeved at the background musical score. it sampled unapologetically from the shawshank redemption. and when i say 'sampled,' i mean note-for-note, it was the same (i.e., identical) swelling orchestration that guides us through shawshank. i guess i'm just frustrated by the oddest things--agggggh! jane, i apologize for what i said earlier; it was just a simple misunderstanding. at least you had the decency to steal from yourself...
i guess that leaves me with munich and capote. i figure that capote might even be a good study movie for the upcoming gre.
andrew david 'quiet' puerto vallarta, mexico. day 1.
pictures from my laptop never look the same once i post them on the internet. i'm interested in whether this picture will look too washed out. it might be better as a black and white image.
Thursday, March 02, 2006
i keep learning the same things about myself. i'm not certain if this is because i'm a renewable fountain of self-intuition or because i've fallen prey to some sort of self-fulfilling prophecy. you be the judge.
monday evening we celebrated mari's birthday at the kiwi and kangaroo. the pub is remarkable not because of its $6 meat pie, chips, and pint specials (check the website for this and other deals) but because of its cosmic connection with the 17 point scale. the spirits of barrel-bodied aussies populate this bar, and i think they're getting in my head. this may sound a little like inebriation (i swear, officer, i only had one cider, just one), but some force from the southern-most inhabited continent has confused my blog with an epic poem. and, as all good aussies know, every epic poem needs a muse. thus, each time i visit the k and k, i find myself in a strangely thoughtful mood. for instance, my previous visit to aurora's only true blue bar resulted in several dreamy-eyed revelations including a genius advertising campaign.
during my most recent visit to the kiwi and kangaroo, i had yet another introspective moment. i (re) learned that i tend to get grumpy in large social situations. it could be over-stimulation or a mild case of claustrophobia (too many people!), but i'm more inclined to think that it's just a matter of preference. i have a hearty dislike for small talk, group getting-to-know-you chats, and silly drinking games. a nice dinner conversation is fine, but conversational free-for-alls just aren't my thing.
(does this make me odd? or do others share this same experience? i'd wager a few copper coins that some people actually drink for this very reason. that seems a little counterintuitive to me: here, drink this elixir, it will make you enjoy that which you don't normally enjoy. it will turn your whole world upside down. hmmm...maybe it's like God: here, say this prayer. God will make you go places and serve people that you would normally avoid. He will turn your whole world upside down. crazy. this analogy may have some wacky implications.)
on this particular evening, i found myself drifting away from the group. it wasn't long before i was alone at the bar. and here's where i made yet another (re) discovery: i like experiments. monday's study was a subjective sociology experiment; what's it like to be a lone guy at the bar? the conditions for my study were less than optimal. i assume that many bar dwellers are talkative; they chat up the bartender, their neighbors, and especially that cute girl in the short black skirt, but (as i said previously) i was seeking solitude (and i could probably ask beth to wear a short black skirt). nonetheless, i caught a glimpse at the awkwardness of drinking alone. the bloke to my right was ordering a drink, and i couldn't tell if he was alone. i wasn't sure of proper protocol--should i avoid eye contact? nod a silent greeting and feign interest in the romania's easy victory over armenia? gosh, it was strange. unfortunately, before i could gather more data about the experience, social norms irresistably tugged me back to the group. nonetheless, now i know that the next time social gatherings make me feel a bit stir crazy, i can simply pull out my pencil and paper and continue my research...
andrew david. 'fishies' mismaloya, day 2.
a picture from snorkeling in mismaloya. it's a bit premature to skip to day 2 like this, but this has been my wallpaper for the past week, and for some reason i had an intense desire to get it up on the web.
Wednesday, March 01, 2006
i'm not posting anything of substance tonight. i have a few thoughts regarding ash wednesday, but i don't feel like writing anything insightful at the moment. blogging is like life; sometimes you just feel like being empty, doing nothing, vegging, or, in my case, reading someone else's writing for a change (instead of my own, over and over again, which is what i tend to do when i write). so here's a first and final word about ash wednesday: churches should not serve modern-day ding dongs during lent or holy week. however, if pressed to include hostess snacks in a service, the older (and better) model of the ding dong is the most appropriate choice. indeed, the cream-filled treats of my past had a physical appearance that was more suited to christian symbolism. rather than an entirely smooth chocolately exterior, the older ding dongs had peculiar circular dents in the top surface of the ding dong; to some it may seem sacrilegious or even morbid, but these indentations could serve as a reminder of the nail-pierced skin of our resurrected Christ. in fact, if one is in the transignification camp concerning the eucharist (vs the transubstantiation or consubstantiation camp), the older version of the ding dong could actually serve as a more meaningful communion item than the more traditional bread or wafer. and on ash wednesday, i bet a cross of chocolate would be far easier to see than this cross of ash that seems to disappear invisibly into my forehead...
(oh, and trust me about the two stages of ding dongdom, i know my ding dongs a lot better than my frozen pizzas.)
andrew david. 'looking up' puerto vallarta, day 1.
if i were to consider printing this picture, i would crop out a bit more of the sky and play with the colours some more. as is, i think it's boring.