Tuesday, October 31, 2006

happy halloween

here's an update of what's in the works for upcoming 17 point scale posts:

1. a conclusion to the ongoing saga of the other andrew; in this post i will finally address the original topic that rallied so much support among my unfortunate readers;
2. the launch of a new grammar oriented feature;
3. a book review blurb for image update (james perry walker's the reverend);
3. the official 17 point scale endorsements for the november 7th elections. i doubt i'll endorse any candidates, but i'll take a stab at some of the initiatives. (by the way, both the times and the pi endorse a no vote on the evil i-91. as expected, the stranger endorsed a yes, but surprisingly, it's a luke-warm yes that is nuanced with a realization that i-91 is an 'angry,' 'nasty' initiative that could prove deterimental to the city. but i'm getting ahead of myself. i'll explain why we must vote no on i-91 in a later post....);
4. a masterpiece post that i've been working on for a long time but may not finish for another few months;
5. a return to the sequential presentation of my pictures rather than a blatterskatch method that i've been using for the last month. blogger still isn't working for me, but flickr seems to do the job okay;
6. something else that i forgot....

andrew david. "lunch & the s.o." somewhere, mt (day 2).
312 to go.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

where have all the new posts gone?

errrrr...i have a new addiction. it's called istockphoto.com. i upload pictures to this website and then wait for their band of experts to examine my photographs for technical skill and marketability. if they approve the photos, the pictures are posted online. then i wait for business folk and wealthy web surfers to purchase my wares. for each download i receive a 20% cut. so far i've made forty cents! check me out--buy some photos!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

get out and vote!

election time is coming soon and only one thing is certain, i intend to vote NO on i-91 (more on that later). otherwise, i'm characteristically indecisive. i watched a podcast of the cantwell-mcgavick debate and learned a few things: cantwell is a brownnoser, mcgavick wants to build a wall between mexico and california, and there is no clear choice for senate this year. it's too bad mike the mover didn't win the democratic primary.

i assume that i'm not the only undecided voter out there--what if you fence-walkers could get a little voting practice before the election? (that'd be great, you say.) well, here's your chance. i'll play secretary of state sam reed, you don your voter's gown (i couldn't think of anything that's particularly related to voting, but i'm sure that if you are at all patriotic, you must have a voting gown), and we'll get ready to shape some 17 point scale policy.

you've probably noticed that i don't shy away from writing about my friends and acquaintances. i don't gossip (do i?), but i occasionally say some strange things. moreover, i tend to use full names. after chatting with some of my readers, i'm starting to get the impression that not everyone is as gung-ho about last names as i am. for instance, my roommate asked that i not include his full name on the blog. mark explained that he would really prefer to have no information in the public sphere, especially in a permanent, easily-navigable space like the internet. my compromise at the time was "mark t-mandl" (see the well-placed hyphen). perhaps there are other marks out there.

here's my defense for continuing the current policy (or lack thereof):

1. it's my blog, i should feel free to do whatever i want (yikes!).
2. i'm not sure that the 17 point scale fits into any particular genre, but if it were caged into one category, it might be the memoir, close cousin to the autobiography, and therefore, in a rather loose sense, this is journalism; it is a swirling matter of facts, names, and dates that somehow form a broad narrative of, to nearly quote my officemate james o'connell, "the entity that we call" andrew david, and to strip me of my friends is somehow dishonest as a writer and a person (okay, i got a little carried away with that sentence, sorry).
3. although i may share odd things about my friends, i don't write negatively about them.
4. to this end i occasionally consult beth or other friends on posts where the personal content might be in anyway objectionable
5. my audience is primarily composed of people that know me and therefore tend to know one another; thus, the posts are more meaningful to my readers if they can say "boris! i remember boris, he was that chunky fellow who hung out with andrew at the taco time...."
6. likewise, even if readers are unfamiliar with my circle of friends, if they are 17 point scale fanatics, they could begin to get a sense of the frequent 17 point scale guests, and thereby have a more nuanced connection with the blog.
7. what's the use of having labels for every entry if you can't put people's names there?
8. and, most selfishly, i LOVE that if you happen to google kris purganan, MY blog is the first hit. I can't really explain how cool this is to me. it just sucks that "andrew david" still doesn't return a hit in the first 500 entries.

so what do you think? you can vote with a show of hands, but it'd probably be easiest if you leave me a comment. should i maintain my current protocol and do nothing? should i use first names only? should i use no names at all? should i ask people before using their full/partial name in my blog? should i email everyone who has previously appeared in the 17 point scale and ask them if they want their name removed? also, if you would like to email me privately about the modification of your name, feel free to do so...

andrew david. "an odd method of voting" mt pilchuck, wa.
381 to go.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

bethany wilderness retreat

by the conclusion of yesterday's post, i nearly convinced myself that i'm a stuttering fool in conversational contexts, and although that may be somewhat true, i also have flashes of social brilliance. stop laughing. it's true. errrr...ummm...well, look at this, a list of bethany folk that i met at the mt. baker wilderness retreat and can still remember after more than 2 weeks:

allen - tall...wild as a youth

blake - electrician
braden - manager at a conservative think tank
brendan - va lab tech for sean's friend ernie
brent - administrator and part-time guide for an international climbing guide service
brian - netflix apostle
chris - lived in an igloo while working as a ski instructor
dale - wamu dude; taught english in japan
daniela - professor of food and nutritional sciences at spu
dave - friendly atheist turned christian
emilie - social worker-to-be
john - office assistant for a law company, a david james duncan fan, and a uw student in the writing program
ilse - nice person on a couch
jack - competitive eater
jonathan - teacher-to-be at central
karen - listener to my interrogation of rob
leif - marketing guru (gf: carly)
laura - ? loaner of sunglasses
michael - spu student of history
nicola - former spu student
rod - professor of history at spu
ruth - part-time worker and wife of rod
scott - director at tap root theater

there are several other faces that i can't match to names.
and there are also several faces that i can match to names but with whom i didn't actually speak.

thanks for indulging me in this chance to illustrate my stellar memory and great prowess in meeting people (i.e., conversation).

andrew david. "
and then the priest coughed and said, 'but, sir, the lodge is the people' " mt baker, wa.

Monday, October 23, 2006

the quiescent nerd myth

as many of you know, i spent the last 3 years working as a research coordinator for the COGS, a multi-site study of schizophrenia. then, earlier this summer, a research angel came to relieve me of my COGS protocols, scheduling duties, and crashing database. i was delighted. but although i expected ms. sara goodnow to do a dynamite job in my place, i never expected her to be such a valuable asset to the 17 point scale. indeed, it turns out that sara bowls a 120, heralds from rural new york, and is dating a doctoral engineering student. these attributes make her unequivocally qualified as an informant in my latest blogging pursuit, an autobiographical biography of the other andrew (or something like that).

the felicity of sara was revealed at an off-site lunch on an otherwise gray day. seeking respite from another slice of hospital pizza, sara and i tumbled from sean's honda prelude into a philly cheesesteak dive on airport way. we made our way to the counter and pondered the menu. behind the cash register, a woman fixed me with an icy stare--apparently this wasn't the city of brotherly love. i mumbled an order. she frowned and thrust her open palm toward me. scrambling for my wallet i promptly forgot whether i had ordered the medium or large. "goose-chicken," i thought, "i really would prefer the medium," but she was already taking sean's order. "yikes." if this wasn't philly, then where was the characteristic seattle friendliness?

afraid for my food, i swallowed my curiosity. things were getting grim. in retrospect, i suppose that meant we were ripe for a miracle. after all, we tend to notice the light when it's dark not in the daylight. when our sandwiches arrived, we discussed our evening plans. a momentary burn in my throat tore my attention from the conversation. hmmmmmm, horse radish. after a swig of water, i looked up to hear sara talking of engineers, "i don't know," she drawled, "they're just really quiet...maybe it's a brainy awkwardness...."

as sara's words trailed off, my mind snapped into blog mode. yes, i thought, whether they be english profs, computer geeks, or [fill in a random intellectual stereotype, e.g., engineers], brainiacs seem to lack the natural rhythms of everyday conversation. chatting with smart folks is a bit like my morning commute. you crawl sluggishly forward, hit an open stretch after the aurora bridge, take the harbor island exit into gridlock, and then escape into the steady streets of beacon hill. start, stop, start, stop. such conversations are intriguing yet strained.

and, until recently, i would have lumped the other andrew into this category. after all, i rarely watched him interact with others, and our conversations tended to hover in a state of friendly, well-meaning awkwardness. but in the last months, i've realized that this impression of andrew is more likely an indicator of how i respond to people that i perceive as brainy than a true picture of the other andrew. perhaps it's a bit of what sociologists like to call the self-fulfilling prophecy. i think, "wow, that person is wicked smart," and then begin to waiver in my conversational confidence. i flip the censorship switch and suddenly all of my questions, all of my odd quirky perspectives, all of my conversation kindling are deemed irrelevant; they are turned to an invisible mush. perhaps then my ineptitude makes smart person uncomfortable, and, somehow sensing that i expect them to be incapable of anything but dull nerd-speak, they too stall.

if this sounds crazy, consider the following evidence from our case study: (a) over the last few months i have learned that andrew is surprisingly quite gregarious; he laughs, he quips, he speaks thoughtfully; indeed, he seems perfectly comfortable in conversation; (b) actually, my first point has so convinced me that i don't feel the need to continue with this list.

so "where do we go from here? the words are coming out all weird. where are you now when i need you...?"

andrew david. "laughing at andrew's camera skills and blogging troubles" mount pilchuck, wa.
539 to go.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

i'm almost back...

[10/22 - i'm still almost back. my freelance editing is finished, the deadline for my image update blurb was extended, and i've finished 24; there's no excuse to be gone much longer....]

...but in the meantime, i'm following nora's advice and posting a goofy picture of mari. nora also suggested that i have my readers (e.g., nora) send me other unusual pictures of ms. becker to post. and don't worry, although this photo may make the 17 point scale ombuds(wo)man seem threatening, at the moment she's out of town, so you should be safe.

andrew david. "mari growl" mt pilchuck, wa

623 to go

Saturday, October 14, 2006

recent routes to the 17 point scale

Num Perc.Search Term
drill down233.33%the 17 point scale andrew david
drill down116.67%blue scholars/lyrics
drill down116.67%dayquil mission statement
drill down116.67%i think i'm stuck wedged
drill down116.67%greek

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

don't hold your breath

i hope post something soon, but it could be a few nights. i'm trying to finish a book blurb by thursday morning (errr, i haven't finished the book yet) and i may do some freelance fiction editing with a rush deadline of october 15th. in the meantime, does anyone have any suggestions of how much i should charge for copy editing? g--- w---- (editor of i----) recommended $35/hour and these websites seems to quote rather similar figures: http://www.writersmarket.com/content/howmuch8.asp; http://njcreatives.org/members_only/reference/how-much.htm; and http://ask.metafilter.com/mefi/45813.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

stupid math problem

i think that i have gre posttraumatic stress disorder. nora and mari are preparing to take the test sometime this winter, and their ceaseless vocabulary drills have me dreaming of my own gre test. this evening i've been haunted by a really tough question from the math section. it goes something like this:

during his stay at robbins, andrew spent most of his time in one of three apartments, two 4-person apartments and a 2-person apartment. if no one who lived in a 2 -person apartment is currently married, the editor lived with three men who are currently married, and the engineers only lived with philosophers or other engineers, what were the majors of andrew's roommates? and for extra credit, what does this have to do with the other andrew?


2006 occupation

2006 marital status

1 biology

1 researcher

1 married

1 english

1 editor

1 single

3 accounting

3 accountants (2+ cpas)

2 married, 1 single

1 history

1 barista/editor (ee)

1 single

3 engineering

3 engineers

2 married, 1 single

1 philosophy

1 manual laborer/webdesigner with an mdiv

1 married

actually, i don't quite know why i made this table. as i prepared to discuss the other andrew, i was thinking something like "wow, except for erik and steve, everyone who lived in my robbins triangle is currently working in the same field as their majors. that's pretty impressive." and then, "i wonder if there's any correlation between major and marital status in this cohort." (gosh, i'm a nerd, and there's not) and finally, "i hope people (joel) aren't angry that i haven't talked about the other andrew yet."

(758 to go)

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

my flatmate

andrew david. "matt basinger's favorite painting" moma, nyc.

skilled practitioners of the written word tend to use images that lack a prescripted meaning and thereby enrichen a text with unexpected layers of complexity. we call this ambiguity (or 'what-the-crap-does-this-meanness'). but in the wrong hands, ambiguity can be dangerous. if unintended, it can confuse, mislead, or frustrate readers. this is particularly true in everyday conversation, where we spend about a 1/5 of our lives trying to make sense of something that somebody else said. and sometimes we get it right.

but when we don't it can turn out a lot like this:

a few hours after summitting mount pilchuck, mari, mark, nora, whitney, and i piled out of a hobbling subarua and into the welcoming arms of a friendly marysville tire angel. the les schwabb employee brought great tidings of free popcorn and one hour tire repairs. however, despite the cozy appearance of the les schwabb reception area, the feminine contingent of our hiking party took off in search of cheap value village deals. mark and i tagged along behind until mark was finally smitten by a drive-thru coffee shack. we strolled up to the window and mark ordered some kind of a mocha. as the barista made gurgling sounds inside the shack, mark told me about airline security.

but apparently talk of tsa bored the barista, "what'd you two do today? where'd you come from? so you walked here from seattle?" and then the doozie, "and how do you know each other?"

"we live together," mark chirped happily.

"oh, you're dating?" she asked.


no, we're roommates, that guy that i live with is my roommate...

(816 to go)

Sunday, October 01, 2006

886 to go

there is christmas music wafting up through the air ducts. that's right, i live with a guy who listens to christmas music on october 1st. what the goose???

well, i too have my strange musical habits. perhaps the most extraordinary of these unusual tendencies is my analytical assualt on alex layton's mp3 collection. in the summer of 2005, alex allowed me to copy his exhaustive music library onto my new laptop. with the addition of this generous earful, the total number of songs on my computer was 4186.

if i were to rank my friends (and perhaps my acquaintances too) in terms of their musical acuity, alex would be somewhere in the top ten. however, we humans are fallible (and sentimental), and everyone likes to listen to a little crap now and then. thus, despite the impressiveness of alex's musical taste, many of his songs don't strike me as worth the 5mb it takes to keep them alive.

soooo...in order to purge my system of musical malcontens, i elected to rank EVERY single song using the itunes five-star ratings system. while this is a daunting project, the quirkiest piece is yet to come.

in the download-happy world of the single, the prevailing musical mood seems a bit against the concept of an album. still, i continue to embrace the idea that songs are significantly connected in a web of meaning. perhaps i give too much credit to the music industry, but there's something tragic in the disassociation of the chapter from the book. therefore, i will not delete the musical atrocities until i have determined that the entire album is bad.

now, one more word about my methodology: while i support the concept of the album as an important, undivided entity, i have been listening to my unrated playlist in--gasp--random order. at first i rated albums song-by-song, but i soon found that by the last third of an album i was influenced as much by the previous tracks as the song itself. because i was afraid that this manner of rating might make me miss some gems, i adopted the unbiased method of listening to tracks in random order.

wow, it took a lot longer to explain that than i thought...

beth the s.o.. "andrew summiting the highest mountain in the world" cypress island, wa.
by the way, that's the andrew that spends his time ranking music not the andrew that spends his time thinking