Friday, January 28, 2005

Birthdays

So it's my birthday today. I've now officially reached the 3rd full decade of life. Or is it 4th? I mean, if I'm 30 then I've *completed* three decades and have started my 4th, right? Barbie was right, math is hard...

Turning 30 is nowhere near as scary as the sitcoms or other girl-centric media would have you believe. I feel the same way I did yesterday, still look the same, and nothing seems different about the world. I think I actually had a harder time turning 20 than I did 30.

Notable things that have happened on my birthday that I can name off the top of my head:

1) Challenger Disaster (yeah, that was a *great* birthday...)
2) USA for Africa records "We Are the World"
3) Sarah McLaughlin born
4) Alan Alda born
5) King Henry VIII died
6) The US Coast Guard founded
7) Two Boy-Band members born: Joey Fattone and Nick Carter
8) Diet of Worms began (where Martin Luther was declared an outlaw by the Catholic Church)

Any others?

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Funny what a voice can compel you to do

My girlfriend (GF) has started taking classes in doing voiceover work. Ordinarily, I couldn't consider this to be terribly interesting, as I had friends of mine from college who tried to travel down this same path but nothing really came out of it. However, the weird thing about GF is that she's really *amazing* at it. It's not like her regular voice, which sounds like a regular girly voice. But when she "turns it on" she has this rich, velvety tone that just fills me with an urge to rush out and buy as many tubs of Country Crock as my little 2-seater can carry.

This got me thinking, how many people who do voiceovers are actually using their real voice and how many are using a "Stage voice". I think that obviously, that is James Earl Jones' real voice, but the "Tom Banks" guy from the best buy commercials? I'm thinking that's had some embellishment.

What's even more frightening is how much the tone of a voice can compel consumer cravings. I mean, I do remember how excited I used to get for Monster Truck Rallys at the Metrodome. But I didn't realize how much of my excitement was probably due to the "LIVE (Live live) at the METRODOME (Dome dome)!!! MONSTER (Monster monster) TRUCK (Truck truck) RACING (Racing racing)". That guys voice just appealed to my eight-year-old sense of adventure. Monster trucks sounded like the coolest thing on earth because that uber-voice made it so. Even today when I hear one of those ads I feel an old familiar sense of excitement and usually start saying all the familiar monster-truck catchphrases along with the voice (we'll sell you the whole seat but you'll only need the EDGE!!!).

Still, the fourth wall has been shattered. I'll never listen to voiceovers on TV the same way. But I'm now convinced that the GF will be famous, even if none of you ever know how.

Monday, January 24, 2005

I have blog-mass!

I have finally gotten to the point where making new posts to the blog takes more than a second. Now instead of going from "0% complete" instantly to "100% complete" there are other numbers that appear. I can only take this as meaning that my blog has enough mass to make it work for blogger.com to handle. I feel powerful, like I rule a vast domain.

I ate too much for lunch today. It's the first day of the "week of birthday lunches" at work, as various groups take me out to shower me with affection and adoration. Must remember not to order a slice of pizza as large as the one I had today when I go tomorrow. I may never eat pizza again.

Why do restaurants keep making food bigger and bigger? Do they get lots of complaints because fat people don't get enough on their plate and demand more? When was the last time you thought to yourself "This pizza is good, but it would be even *better* were it the size of a bedsheet!"

The side order of broccoli I got probably didn't help either. But it was very good and also quite large, probably on some veggie-version of steroids (my bet: "the clear").

So, what I learned today: when one portion of your meal is ginormous (in this case, the 50-gallon drum of lemonade they set down on the table) be prepared for a stream of Barry-Bonds-isized cuisine, and stop eating early.

Oooooof...tummy.....

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Let it snow...okay stop.

Well, it had started snowing last night about the time I was going home for work. By the time I got home it was starting to accumulate some. But by the time I woke up this morning there was about 6-7 inches of the light fluffiness everywhere. It took me about 45 minutes to brush off the deck and back stairs, followed by shoveling the sidewalks (which is my responsibility as condo president and gentleman since my downstairs neighbor is quite pregnant). I love driving in the snow though. With my all-wheel drive and snow tires my little car is unstoppable. Makes me feel good to see people with the big pickup trucks getting stuck. I cackle gleefully as I pass them.

Yes, pickup trucks in Chicago get stuck a lot. Why? Because people here just want to *look* tough, but they are cheap, so they all buy 2-wheel drive versions which are cheaper. And since 2WD trucks are rear-wheel drive only, they can't drive in show worth a darn. I mock them.

Anyway, it's still snowing and worse is that we're supposed to get another 6 inches during the day today. So I'll be shoveling again tomorrow morning, if not tonight when I get home. Oh well, at least I'm getting my workout.

Friday, January 21, 2005

Wow. That was a long nap.

I didn't just want to see how long I could go without posting. Rather I've been crazy busy, between finishing school (November), holiday travel (December), getting over my post-holiday head cold (new years), getting over my post head-cold sinus infection (first part of January), and being suddenly overwhelmed with work craziness (last two weeks). All while still maintaining good terms with the g-friend (yes, that term is now official). Whew!

It's been a while since I've dated anyone long enough to qualify as a "boyfriend" and let me tell you, it's weird to be introduced to people as such at parties. Not weird in a bad way. Just weird in a "hasn't happened before" sort of way. Not that I mind. She's freakin' awesome. And it's only made my ego that much bigger that I somehow was able to delude her that I'm actually an interesting person. Now that she's beginning to discover that I'm not all that interesting, she still hangs around. I tell you, I may never understand the logic of it. But I'm not complaining either.

I was reading my annual reading of "The Raven" for Poe's birthday on the 19th when it struck me that "Nevermore" is a very appropriate word to use to describe the next 1460 days. All the things I've grown accustomed to when I was growing up and had always assumed were a given are now not so. Nevermore will I sleep at night knowing that the US is thought of as a place where people are generally good and helpful. Nevermore will I believe the intentions of the White House have the best interests of the American people - guided by advice and input from both assenters and dissenters rather than from a collective hive of yes-persons. And nevermore will I have faith that integrity is valued by American government - rather that they say only what people want to hear long enough for the issue to become boring and the media to move onto the next subject (e.g. Abu Ghraib, Iraq war dead flying into Dover AFB, inability to equip troops properly over there anyway, meager/inadequate/pathetic offers of aid to tsunami victims, pulling out troops there too early). God bless the protesters yesterday. And their snowball-throwing.