January 20, 2009. The beginning of a bold and beautiful new era for America and the world community. A day of hope and new beginnings. A day when millions were moved to tears. A day that will live forever in the hearts and minds of all who witnessed it.
Yes, that’s right, I’m talking about the relaunch of DocSmartypants.com.
Why, what did you think I meant?
OH. Right. The Inauguration. How could I forget?
Aretha’s hat was A-MAZING!
Seriously. I looked upon it and saw the face of god. It was like that scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark when they open the Ark of the Covenant and all the Nazis’ faces melt off. Aretha’s hat could totally melt a Nazi’s face off. This is just one of the many reasons we love that woman.
Oh yeah, and that President Obama guy is cool, too.
Let it be known that on this day, the twenty-sixth of March in our year of the lord two thousand and eight, Stacey, Larry, and I officially became…
MASTERS OF THE PUB QUIZ!
Yes, bow down and shield your eyes from the glory that is us.
That is all.
A while back, while looking for something in our storage unit back in Washington, we found a roll of film and two partially used disposable cameras. What was on them? Who knew! Determined to use them up, every so often we’d take a few shots with one. Weeks passed. Months. Years. Then last weekend, as we were headed out on a sledding expedition, Larry grabbed the disposable cameras. Our mission? To use them up once and for all and see if anyone would still develop them!
We took the last few pictures and, not feeling too hopeful (one appeared to have had a battery leak, and the expiration dates were in 2004), I dropped the film off at our friendly neighbourhood Ritz Camera Center.
Two days later, we picked up the film.
Photos included a birthday party in Bellingham ca. 2002, a couple of random shots of my mom and dad’s now-deceased hedgehog, some from a drive to a David Bowie concert, a visit to Maine, a visit back home—all in all it looks like the cameras were hanging around, being used periodically, for about six or seven years. There were also several photos that were clearly taken by our old roommate Chris. Those ones…well, let’s just say they aren’t going on my website. EVER.
Looking at this treasure trove of lost photos was a nice little trip down memory lane. It made me happy as I remembered good times, and it made me sad as I looked at pictures of friends we’ve lost contact with. It also reminded me of how exciting it used to be when you’d get a roll of film back from being developed, crossing your fingers that the photos turned out, frowning at the almost-but-not-quite shot where someone moved at just the wrong moment, and rejoicing when the one picture you managed to get of an event turned out perfectly. It’s a sort of excitement and magic that’s missing from digital photography, and it’s strange to think that kids born now will likely never have that experience.
Then again, before I start sounding too “back in the good ol’ days,” let us not underestimate the significance of technology that allows us to instantly recognize, delete, and retake that shot where we had three chins and blinked. Sometimes technology beats magic. I’m just sayin’.
I’m really concerned about Leonid Stadnyk.
Leonid Stadnyk, the Ukrainian who was recently named the new World’s Tallest Man.
As someone who for many years lived with a roommate who, depending on what day you asked, topped out at 6′ 9″ or 6′ 10″, I’ve seen firsthand what a pain it is to be unusually tall. And Stadnyk is currently about 8′ 5″—and still growing. More importantly, unlike some previous World’s Tallest Man record holders, he sounds miserable about it.
In a 2004 AP article Stadnyk was quoted as saying, “My height is God’s punishment. My life has no sense.” He also said that (in addition to not having the money) his height makes it almost impossible to travel because “taking a public bus for me is the same as getting into a car’s trunk for a normal person.” He hasn’t had a girlfriend and he apparently had to quit his job as a veterinarian after he got frostbite on his feet from wearing inadequate shoes.
That’s just terrible.
The previous World’s Tallest Man was Bao Xishun; you know, the Chinese guy who saved those dolphins by sticking his arm down their throats and pulling the plastic bits out of their stomachs? He recently got married and seems to be pretty OK with life. But Stadnyk, well, I’m just hoping his new title as World’s Tallest Man will help him out. He was photographed with the Ukrainian president, so I’m guessing the publicity, while it may be embarrassing for him, will at least work in his favour. Dude, Nike, seriously—send this man some huge comfy shoes. And isn’t there a medical specialist somewhere who wants the positive PR of helping this guy out? Because being that tall leads to about a million negative impacts on your health. And you know, sure the guy is ginormous (hey, it’s a word in the dictionary, so I can use it now) but he’s not bad looking. There must be a nice woman out there looking for a guy who will always be able to reach stuff at the back of the highest kitchen cabinet and who will always make her look petite.
Anyway, good luck to him. Shchastia, Leonid!
A while back someone gave me one of those Moviegoer’s Journals and it hung around on my bookshelf forever, empty. So at the beginning of the the year I decided I would keep a record of every movie I watch in 2007. Just out of curiosity. Here’s the list so far (in no particular order). And great googly moogly, is it ever random!
Night at the Museum
The Pink Panther (2006)
Blades of Glory
Hot Fuzz x 3
Anne of Green Gables
Lady in the Water
V for Vendetta
Anne of Avonlea
Night Watch x 2
My Super Ex-Girlfriend
Anne of Green Gables: The Continuing Story
The Lake House
Lord of War
Memoirs of a Geisha
24-Hour Party People
The Science of Sleep
Tenacious D and the Pick of Destiny
The White Countess
Harold & Maude
While You Were Sleeping
Lucky Number Slevin
You Can’t Take it With You
Shaun of the Dead
I want to tell you about a little bit of magic that I experienced today.
Those of you who know me well (and really, who but you would be reading this) will know that I’m one of those poor souls who, once I’ve gotten a song stuck in my head, finds it almost impossible to shake loose. And being a bit OCD anyway, it just loops and loops until I can listen to it a few times and move on to something else.
Yesterday I went home halfway through the day with a truly amazing quick-onset case of the flu. Honestly, I’m lucky I’d skipped breakfast. As it is, it’s a miracle I didn’t vomit up my morning ginger ale all over the bricks of Beacon Hill. So anyways, being in a bit of a foggy stupor, I crashed on the couch and popped on the nearest Netflix arrival–24 Hour Party People. The film is about Factory Records and the Manchester music scene in the late ’70s and ’80s.
So of course, for the rest of the day and all of today I’ve had two songs from the film looping in my head: “Love Will Tear Us Apart” by Joy Division and “Blue Monday” by New Order. Now I knew somewhere on some CD or other I had “Blue Monday” but I didn’t know where and certainly didn’t feel up to digging for it. So as a last ditch effort I thought, I’ll just put on the closest thing I can easily find and see if that helps. Flipping through one of our massive CD books I found “Newbury Comics Early Years: Vol. 2,” a mostly punk and new wave collection that I copied from a coworker about three years ago and had completely forgotten about. I put it on and went about my business, knowing that this was about as good as it was going to get. And then, nine songs in…magic.
Oh yes, children, it was Joy Division. And not just any Joy Division–”Love Will Tear Us Apart”!
I did a pathetic, haven’t kept food down for two days, couch dance of victory. This was it–my day couldn’t possibly get any better. I smiled and was happy for the simple things in life.
And then a few minutes later song 15 came on.
And I actually yelled, out loud, in my empty apartment, “NO WAY!”
And I laughed loudly.
Because song 15 was “Blue Monday” by New Order.
Every once in a while, if you pay attention, life gives you a little gift. I guess it’s just easier to appreciate on some days.
Well damn, that’s cast rather a gloom over the evening. I just got home from a lovely evening out to find that Steve “Crocodile Hunter” Irwin is dead. I mean, on the one hand you think, Jesus, it’s amazing it didn’t happen sooner. But he always got away with the dangerous stuff so you just sort of figured he’d keep on surviving. Anyway, I always had a soft spot for the guy, even if he was a little crazy. And I feel really sad for his wife and kids.
And of course I had an obscene amount of caffeine this evening so there’ll be no going to bed anytime soon. I’m just left here to reflect on this tragic bit of news.