Sunday, September 28, 2003

A Little Ray of Commentary Sunshine

Well, the links are there, so let's see if it works. Many thousand thanks to Karen, whose blog uses the same template as mine and who copied and pasted the exact locations of the Enetation code for me to sort out. Not sure why this was so complicated... Probably just because it's me.

All right, well, so the first use for comments is as follows. As you know, I'm embarking on a career in the museum field soon (very soon! Really! Any day now!) and the classes I'm taking this semester are "Intro to Museum Studies" and "Exhibit Design." I've also got an internship at The Children's Museum of Indianapolis. So naturally I'm thinking a lot about museums, why they're important, what it's all about and so on. For class this week, I paid a virtual visit to a unique sort of museum, called The Museum of Jurassic Technology. The class discussion on this museum got somewhat heated, and I'll go into that on a future post. But I'd like to hear what you guys think of it first. Go on, click the link and check it out. Take your time, then come back and leave me a comment telling me what you thought of the MJT. I'll wait.

Tuesday, September 23, 2003

No Comments, Folks...

It's like a domino effect, I start adding goofy stuff to my web log and then I can't stop. First it was sitemeter, now it's comments. The catch is, I can't figure out if I'm sticking the code in the right orifice, so to speak... Guess I'll see when I publish this tripe.

In other news, I found out last week that my former supervisor at the Zoo (we'll call him Dave, because that's his real name) up and quit; the old I'm-giving-you-two-weeks-notice-oh-by-the-way-I'm-taking-my-two-weeks-paid-vacation-starting-now trick. Sigh.... I'd say I expected better of Dave, except...well... Anyway, so now I'm thinking about applying for his job. On one hand, it's a job at the zoo, working with people I mostly like, it's something I spent all summer doing so I know what I'd be getting into, and it has benefits which I sorely need. On the other, it's the most boring gardening job at the zoo--no animals, no people, just lawn care, flowers, traffic on West Washington street, and a hell of a lot of trash pickup. I tried hard not to let this get to me when I was seasonal, and even with that by the end of the summer I was taking any excuse to leave the perimeter and go work in someone else's area. I once actually abandoned all dignity and begged the Deserts area gardener to pretend he had something for me to do so Dave would loan me out. Dave, being an anti-social sort in some ways, was not particularly bothered by the isolated nature of his area; me, I want a little human contact. Especially because I live alone, the thought of working alone for the better part of each day is pretty unappealing. But still, it's the Zoo for god's sake. It's a job in a museum, in Indianapolis, which doesn't require me to sell my house (at least until I can't pay the mortgage any more.) So I'm gonna see if they'll interview me, and go from there. Cross the boredom bridge when we come to it, you know?

Friday, September 19, 2003

Avast, Ye Scurvey Dawrgs, and Heave To!

Tis International Talk Like A Pirate Day, and frankly I've talked like a pirate so much I've started to repeat myself. I tend to fall back on cliches when speaking pirate. My friend Emily, on the other hand, left a 45 second fluently piratical message on my voice mail that delved into entirely new levels of high seas vocabulary. I was impressed. Also slightly frightened.

Tuesday, September 16, 2003

Mazel Tov, T & T!

My buddy Tripp in Chicago is gettin' married! And while I haven't yet met Trish, she must be a kick-ass person or Tripp wouldn't be marrying her--such is my considered opinion.

I got to know Tripp while I was at grad school at Loyola; he and Jersild were kind enough to include me in their social activities despite my being a good friend of Jeremy's. Tripp's a great guy, he and I have had some wonderufl discussions /debates on church history, religion, philosophy--all things I love talking about, and all things I don't get to debate that often these days! A while back, he made the big decision to embark on a pastoral career and headed up to Seabury-Western Theological Seminary (in whose library I spent many happy--and a few unhappy--hours researching my master's thesis.) This seemed to me to be a perfect fit; and it gives me joy to know that the friends I have who've chosen the pastorate as a life commitment are people who really embody what Christianity is supposed to be all about--kindness and caring for your fellow man. So congrats, Tripp and Trish! In hoc signo vinces....

Monday, September 15, 2003

Gone Fishin.

Yesterday I added new fish to my tank for the first time in quite a while. Both my neon blue gouramis died last month, due to extremely poor fish-care techniques on my part; I have no one to blame but myself. It's not like when Red died, and I went to great lengths to try to rescue him (though I did evac gourami #2 to a hospital bowl for a day or so to see if it would help. It didn't.) So I did pennance: a massive water change, cleaned the hell out of the tank, added Stress-Cote Slime Replacement Fluid to help the other fish get over the loss.... Then waited a month for the tank to settle itself out. So I'd been reading about these anabantoids called Paradise Fish, and figured I'd give them a try instead of just getting more blue gouramis. (Which are also anabantoids, as are Siamese Fighting Fish. I think it means they can breathe at the surface.) Went to The Reef, my pet store of choice, and found that the Paradise Fish tank was full of albino Paradise Fish. Now, I'm not opposed to albinism on principle, but these fish were frankly creepy looking--and I want more color in my tank, not less. It's a very dark tank, too, the back glass is painted black and the substrate is dark, so white fish would look really ghostly and odd. Instead I say, how about those Black Paradise Fish hiding behind the filter? Reef guy says sure, they're cool, I'll net two out for you--and sure enough, they're gorgeous. Not really black, more dark gold with blue stripes and red fins....actually they look a lot like gouramis... Turns out this is because they ARE gouramis; the Giant Gourami to be exact. The guy at the checkout informs me that the tank was mislabeled, the only Paradise Fish they have are the albinos, and I've got Giants. I say, "Whoa. Don't those grow to be like 20" long?" He says, "No no--there are two kinds of Giant Gouramis. These are the other ones." Riiiiiight. Like I believe THAT. But I bought them anyway, because I was embarassed and didn't want to argue with him.

Damned if there aren't two completely different fish called Giant Gouramis. One is Osphronemus gourami, grows to the insane size of 2 feet long, and is raised for food in its native India and Malaysia. The other is Colisa Fasciata, two of which are enjoying the relative peace of my tank where they are not being constantly assaulted by roving gangs of albino Paradise Fish. They're gorgeous. I'm in love.

Friday, September 12, 2003

An Excitable Boy, They All Said...

Well, Warren Zevon died last weekend. Another great talent lost--though my shallow music collection contains no Zevon albums, I think it’s telling that the very first song I ever downloaded off Limewire was “Lawyers, Guns, and Money.” He’s always been one of the artists on my “love him when he comes on the radio, one of these days if I ever have money I should pick up some CD’s...” list. So, sad to see him gone.

Not much else to mention this week, I’ve spent hours and hours painting, trying to finish up three different commissions at once and save myself an extra trip to the Post Office. My car blew its head gasket (actually that happened over a month ago, but it took this long to figure it out) and I got to spend $860 on the repair. IUPUI’s Financial Aid Office is auditing my application; they are a thorn in my flesh. (I'd blame "Legends of the Superheroes" for both these things, but that'd be giving the movie a lot of credit...) On the up side, though, the kitchen and bathroom are still clean, and it’s been a whole week. Um. Yeah! I ruuule!!

Sunday, September 07, 2003

Better Than Sorceress... But That's Not Saying Much.

I'm a big fan of bad films. Mystery Science Theatre 3000 was one of my favorite programs (especially during the Joel Years.... Oh, Joel.... how we miss you and your deadpan delivery...) and during college we made a point of watching every bad sword and sorcery flick Empire Video had on offer. Until recently, my benchmark for bad was Sorceress, a film whose only redeeming quality is occasional nudity. In the words of Aaron Shattuck, " this movie does its best to wedge a tent spike into your soul." (For his full plot synopsis and painfully apt commentary on this horrible waste of celluloid, click here.) Now, I am not saying that Sorceress has been surpassed in my annals of badness; but Rob certainly gave it a run for its money last night.

"Legends of the Superheroes" was a made-for-TV movie on the order of the old "Batman" series, right to the point of including Adam West, Burt Ward, and Frank Gorshin reprising their roles as campy sendups of comic book originals. I loved "Batman," mind you. It's some of the best parody TV ever created. Now, imagine if you will, the "Batman" TV show--without a SINGLE REDEEMING COMIC FEATURE. Now you're getting closer to what "Legends of the Superheroes" is like. It's awful. Spectacularly so. A bunch of supervillains--badsupervillains, mind you, like Weather Wizard and Gargantua--sitting around their incredibly poorly-furnished secret lair, decide to end the world with a doomsday device (a large clock which descends from the ceiling) and to give the Justice League clues so that they'll try to foil the evil plan. They don't even TRY to make that make sense! The Justice League, for their part, goes rushing around trying to find the bad guy lair; the unifying feature is that since apparently they don't have wrist communicators or an answering service, the superheroes plan to leave messages for each other at the corner gas station. Everyone ends up at the gas station at some point or other, and the only--ONLY--funny thing in this movie is the black lady--played by Marsha Warfield--using the pay phone at the gas station: "Child, you would not believe what just walked in here. A big white guy with wings. Yeah, wings. Now he's talking to that ugly dude I told you about...." The movie's piece de resistance is a jet ski battle between Batman and Robin, and some sorceror dude called "Mordu." Oh, god... But wait! There's more! Apparently the producers of this...thing...somehow got the funding to do a sequel, which Rob also has on tape. It's worse. Far, far worse. It's got Ed McMahon. And a musical number from a supervillain. And a guest appearance by one of the most offensive stereotypes I have ever seen in my life--Ghetto Man! Yes. It's things like this that set the civil rights clock back during the 1970's... It's not even funny, it's just painful.

So was it worse than Sorceress? Li thinks so. I'd have to say that comparing the two is like apples and oranges; you have to take the filmmakers' intent into account, and the people who made Sorceress were really under the impression that they were making a quality fantasy film on the order of Conan. "Legends of the Superheroes" was intended to be campy, corny, and stupid. All goals it admirably achieved--without actually being FUNNY in any way shape or form. So Sorceress still holds its place in my heart.... But if I ever have to watch "Legends of the Superheroes" again, I might actually claw my own eyes out.

Thursday, September 04, 2003

And One More Thing...

Football Season starts tonight. I finally succombed to peer pressure, and I'm in not one, but two fantasy football online leagues. My first game in Jane's league is against Tripp. Tripp, being a seminarian, has God on his side... All I have is Peyton Manning and Edgerrin James. You're going DOWN, Tripp! DOWN! :] Oh, and also, due to some massive technical meltdown, Lycos Email has been dead for going on 4 days now. If you happened to have tried to get in touch with me using the link button off this blog, I can't get at it til at least tomorrow. Try me at hamaker88 at if you need to track me down in a hurry. OK, so that was two things.
Mais Oui, Apparently.

Make that 6 people--8 if you count my grandfather and my mom--all calling to check in and make sure I'm not soaked or dead. I'm loved. And it was 9 inches in 48 hours, which is some kind of record round these parts. Today it's sunny, and things are starting to dry out.

The sunshine, combined with a certain amount of self-loathing, has brought on a new sense of personal resolve about my house this week. The one thing I truly, truly hate about myself is my inability to keep my house/personal spaces clean and uncluttered. Everyone who's ever visited me knows that I tend to outwardly shrug off my messy tendencies; I've been a slob since I was a kid. But I'm crying on the inside. Deep in my heart of hearts, I hate it, and I hate that I can't seem to do something that other people make look so simple. About twice a year, I decide that I'm going to turn over a new leaf and 1) clean the hell out of my place, and 2) keep it that way. Obviously, I've never yet accomplished #2 for any length of time. But hope springs eternal... I've done the kitchen. I'm working on the bathroom today. Tomorrow is living room and front porch. I just know that at some point critical mass will hit, and while I'm juggling the dining room I'll somehow drop the kitchen and it'll all come crashing down. And if the worst thing about me is that my house looks like crap all the time, well--I can live with that. But I'd like to think I can do better. We'll see.

Tuesday, September 02, 2003

Apres Moi, le Deluge?

You know it's been raining a lot when not one but two of your local friends call you to find out if your house is underwater. We had, I think, about 4" of rain in 24 hours here, and I live on a tiny triangle of land situated between a river and a canal. Thankfully, I'm on about the highest ground possible, and I'm right on the canal, which can't flood. (well, I shouldn't say can't... but it'd have to rise about 5 feet to top my levee, and since the opposite levee is shorter, it'd flood all of the neighborhood on the other side before it could ever get to me.) My neighbors closer to the river, of course, are ankledeep in basement flooding, and their yards are lakes. Jason tells me he had several inches of standing water in his basement at 5 pm yesterday, and spent the whole evening sucking it out. (With a pump, presumably.) Me, I just had a little water on the back porch, which drained away leaving soggy rugs and gardening equipment but no other damage. Still, knowing my friends are concerned about my well-being makes me feel all warm and fuzzy.... No, wait. That's the mold starting.