Category: Entertainment

Orioles vs. Indians

Camden Yards, Orioles versus Indians

On Tuesday, Annie and I went to see the Cleveland Indians play the Baltimore Orioles at Camden Yards in a night game. Our seats were excellent, the weather was fantastic, and the tickets and parking didn’t cost us a cent (Annie’s boss provided the tickets). It’s always exciting for me when I emerge from the tunnel under the stands and the whole ballpark is visible; I’m not sure if it’s the bright sheen of the grass or the sheer expanse of the stadium’s interior or something purely psychological from my childhood, but the feeling is always the same.

The game was special for Annie too, as it was her first time at a professional baseball stadium. And despite the terrifying re-appearance of the Orioles Bird, she enjoyed the game more than she had anticipated. Neither of us had any emotional stake on the outcome of the game, but it would have been a little nicer if the Indians hadn’t crushed the Orioles 15-1. In any case, I uploaded some photos of the game that turned out nicely.

Long Overdue

I’m long overdue on updates here, again. I’ve sworn multiple times to update more often, but it seems that as soon as my life gets busy, I ignore any and all online presence I pretend to possess. In my last post, I completely left out a much bigger event—relative to my life, of course—than Gmail or Google Maps. The previous weekend (February 2, 3, and 4) the play I directed and Matt DeSciscio wrote, Point; Counterpoint, made its debut. Roughly four days before the show, I was about two phone calls away from a nervous breakdown—not really, hyperbole is fun—and legitimately worried that the show would bomb. Thankfully, we put in three days of long hours and tedious nitpicking of everything and the show came out a great success. The cast party later that night was quirky but fun; especially after the rest of the cast showed up, right Matt? And, to top it all off, Annie was able to come to Scranton (after a bit of confusion) and see the show on Sunday. She loved it, but she’s biased, right?

The week after the show was rough; too much to do, too little sleep, too many missed classes. I spent the weekend playing catch-up on work and sleep. The next week went better and I drove down to Baltimore to visit Annie for the weekend. I picked her up at work and we cooked a nice rotini dinner in her apartment. Considering that I wouldn’t see her before her birthday (which is tomorrow) and the order from Amazon came way early, I surprised her with an early gift: MacGyver Season One, her favorite show EVER! I’m so thoughtful (and narcissistic).

I made it from Baltimore to the Northumberland County Arts Center about ten minutes before Lourdes’ play began on Sunday to see my brother, Jason, in the show. It started snowing, so I decided to stay at home and come back to Scranton on Monday, but that turned out to not work so well; I missed work and class by the time I made it to the U.

Since then, I’ve been busy with class, work, job hunting, and web design projects. I want to keep this site up to date, but as I mentioned, my blog is always the first thing I drop when I’m busy. I don’t like it either, but I have to keep priorities alligned.

Holiday Recap

Well, I’m back in Scranton after the whirlwind of holiday festivities that was my Christmas break. I meant to post several times to cover each little event, but time is rarely on my side. However, Annie and I managed—somehow, I’m still amazed by it—to do all of our Christmas shopping within 36 hours, much of those hours on Christmas Eve. Once we got past the stress of the shopping insanity, Christmas was relatively relaxing.

For Christmas, I received quite a few things that I had on my wishlist, but also a few things that I did not expect. I think that formula works well; I wasn’t disappointed that I didn’t get what I asked for, however, there was still some mystery when I opened my gifts. I received a new AFI’s Black Sails in the Sunset, Rammstein’s Reise Reise, Jim Gaffigan’s The Last Supper, O’Reilly’s MySQL Cookbook, Eric Schlosser’s Fast Food Nation, and the 24 Season One DVD set which will have me set in the consumable media department. I also received a great Norelco electric shaver, a zip-up sweatshirt, a sweater, the 2004 Hess Truck (a tradition for me), a 256MB portable USB drive, a page-a-day calendar with recipies, as well as some wonderful monetary gifts.

Over the next couple of days, Annie and I went to see Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events and The Aviator. Each one is very different from the other; both are highly recommended.

This New Year’s, Annie and I broke our tradition of coming to Scranton’s First Night celebration— as we have done for the past four years—and decided to head to Baltimore to ring in the New Year. The weather was unseasonably warm, especially when compared to how bitterly cold Scranton can be in December/January. However, I was a little disappointed that the fireworks at Inner Harbor were not any more impressive than Scranton’s. On New Year’s Day, the weather in Baltimore did not match the date: it was a bright and sunny 68 degrees. Which is wrong; very, very wrong… but nice!

And now, I’m back in Scranton, as I mentioned earlier. It seems strange to be back at college so soon after the holidays; usually, I stay home during Intersession, but I’m directing a play for the Playwright’s Festival and working at the CTLE this January. Hopefully, I’ll finally have the time I need to finish a few projects that I’ve been pushing to the side.

Calling It “Faux News” Is So Last Week

“You may have wondered why Cheez Whiz is called ‘Cheez Whiz’ instead of, say, ‘Cheese Whise.’ I sure haven’t, but God knows what’s going on in that head of yours. Well, there is a reason: truth in labeling. Cheez Whiz shares many of the same characteristics of real cheese, such as, uh, it’s orange, and I suppose you can eat it, if you’re into that sort of thing. But, as it isn’t actually actual cheese by any meaningful definition, or, more importantly, by the FDA definition, the good people at Kraft call it ‘Cheez,’ and don’t get sued. I don’t know what the ‘Whiz’ bit is all about. You can look it up yourself if it’s so damned important to you. I’m not your slave.

I bring this up because I think this is something that could be applied outside the food business. Take television. Now, a lot of people get upset about FOX News, because it isn’t really like other TV news. When you turn on the TV to watch the news, you expect to see some sort of clean-cut, professional-looking, middle-aged eunuch telling you more-or-less the important things that happened today. What you do not expect to see is Brit Hume bobbling his 50 tons of mutant head-flesh around, nor do you expect to hear the queer and implausible stories which emanate therefrom. You don’t expect that, nor should you, but there you are. But wouldn’t the whole problem be solved if FOX News just changed its name to ‘FOX Nooz?’ It’s not ‘news’ proper, but it’s vaguely news-ish, it has some newsy bits, and is even occasionally mistaken for real news. But it’s not ‘news,’ it’s ‘nooz.’ Different thing. So you have nothing to complain about anymore.

by The Poor Man [via Dead Parrot Society]

I Work for a Living

That’s the short answer to the question, “Why is he never online?” The longer version includes a verbose description of my two-week stint at an easy, but practically unpaid job as an “inventory specialist” and my three weeks (and counting) at a physically exhausting but well-paid industrial job. At this time, I have to go to bed because I need to wake up at a time that I frequently use as a bedtime.

Maybe tomorrow night I’ll post more if I have the time. That’s not likely so don’t stay up late on my account. However, my brother recently joined the weblog movement for the sole purpose of taking over the Blogshares market. If you like video games, you’ll love Jason’s weblog.

A South Park Weekend

Stephen as a South Park Character

I don’t know if it was the stress getting to me or just pure procrastination, but I watched quite a bit of South Park this weekend. I’ve watched the show before—many times, in fact—but it’s not something like 24 that I watch with quasi-religious devotion. I watched a few episodes of South Park on Saturday night as they were having a marathon of sorts; then I watched (and taped) South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut which was shown unedited at 1 AM. I can’t believe that I’ve missed out on something so funny for so long.

It’s interesting how a show that is so decidedly low-brow can manage to make so many valid points. I read an article from the New York Times that expertly summarizes the morals in South Park and does a much better job—than I would—of describing why the show is so likeable and strangely intelligent for a cartoon.

In a funny coincidence, I happened to catch the last bit of a Mad TV cartoon that featured a Peanuts-like gang of kids, but drawn (and behaving) in pure South Park style. I did a little research and found a video of South Parknuts, as well as a website devoted to South Park references in all mediums. I’ll bet Charles Schulz rolled over in his grave when Mad TV aired their version; Trey Parker and Matt Stone probably rolled over laughing.

The picture that accompanies this post is a South Park Stephen—or at least what I’ll look like this week as I write the 17 pages for my two English papers. I created it using the South Park “Create a Character.”

Riding a Caffeine Wave

These past two weeks have been hectic and the next two weeks are going to be worse. I’ve been involved in 30 different things and haven’t had any time to write here, despite the fact that I have a lot that I want to write. In fact, I shouldn’t be writing now, but I’m procrastinating and the lack of new stuff here is getting on my nerves.

I launched the new version of to little fanfare on April 1. It was a long time in the works but well worth the effort, I believe. It’s now much easier for me to add new categories and businesses and lends itself to unlimited expansions. I’m in good company too: both Kinja (here’s my digest) and Gmail launched on April 1.

The following weekend, I visited Annie and we went to her last Spring Formal; I know, we’re just precious, aren’t we? Unlike some people, Annie will be graduating on time. It was good times, despite the small turnout and hot air blower aimed directly at our table.

Easter break was nice, but way too short to be relaxing. Also, I had plans to accomplish some much-needed work over break and little was done with the exception of some initial design work on a brand-new Speed Web Design. I like it a whole big bunch; it’s bright, clean, and it’s gonna have some flashy stuff, to boot.

Oh yeah. There’s also the Studio Series that I’m directing on April 23. I’m directing a staged reading of Neil Simon’s Barefoot in the Park. It’s going to be quite interesting getting that all together in a week and a half; needless to say, that’s upping my blood pressure exponentially. I wish I had more time. I wish I didn’t need to sleep. That would be nice.

I Feel Great!

I’m not sure how I found this site, but it’s definitely worth mentioning. As far as I can tell, Turnpike Films has done several commercials for major corporations. However, these aren’t your average, boring, or even mildly entertaining commercials. They’re rather bizarre. I recommend them all, but if you only watch one of them, make sure that it is the Nutri-Grain commercial. It’s absolutely hilarious. I don’t know how they thought of it, but I wish more commercials were like these.

Nothing Nice to Say is Back! Again!

Yes, that’s right, everyone’s favorite punk comic is back—well, at least the archives have returned. I’ve written once before about my excitement for Nothing Nice when Mitch came out of semi-retirement and did a few more strips back in August. However, that didn’t last very long; soon, the site was down and even the archives were unavailable.

Today, the Nothing Nice to Say website is back up and running; new strips may or may not happen, but we all know how hard it is to keep up something on a regular basis: please see this here website. In the meantime, check out Mitch’s new project, Barrett’s Lament. I’m sure that it will be just as witty as Nothing Nice.

Where’s the Exercise?

I just read an amusing little blurb in the March 10, 2004 issue of The Onion about exercise in America:

Study: 58 Percent of U.S. Exercise Televised

WASHINGTON, DC — According to a new Department of Health and Human Services study, 58 percent of all exercise performed in the U.S. is broadcast on television. “Of the 3.5 billion push-ups performed in 2003, 2.03 billion took place on exercise shows on the Lifetime Network and ESPN3 or fitness segments on Good Morning America,” the study read. “The abundance of TV exercise would create the impression that America is a healthy society, if everyone didn’t already know that we’re a bunch of disgusting, near-immobile spectators.” The DHHS study also indicated that 99.3 percent of the nation’s Soloflex workouts are televised.

I’d link to the article, but the Onion’s archives are so screwed up that it is nearly impossible to link to a past issue, let alone a news blurb. Anywho, the point of this whole post was to lament the lack of exercise that I’ve done while home on break. I had every intention of going for a run this week (yesterday was an exception—it was migraine headache day) but the freak snowstorm today will likely limit the spring-like run I craved. Maybe I’ll just go watch the Fitness Channel and nurse a milkshake. Sigh.