Jan 20, 2011

How To Avoid Making A Scene

So last year, I was at an orchestra rehearsal. These rehearsals last a full two and a half hours; I sat as the second chair cellist last year, placing me on the inside ring of players. I was happily playing along about twenty minutes from the end of the rehearsal, when all of a sudden, right in the middle of a symphony, I noticed a strange sensation:

My Pokéwalker had become unclipped from my pants. (For those unaware, this is what a Pokéwalker is.)

That's okay. It hadn't fallen out of my pants yet. No problem, right? As long as I don't lean too far forward or make any sudden movements, I can probably grab it out at the end of the piece. Granted, I'm a pretty emphatic player - not necessarily in a good way, just in an I-move-around-a-lot way.

But no. The consequences were dire. I didn't want the whole rehearsal to come to a stop so that we could have a two-minute banter of my explaining what a Pokéwalker is or does. It would be difficult, but I had to muscle through. Every action I took, every move I made, had to be deliberate. The integrity of the rehearsal rested in my pelvic control.

We ultimately finished the piece, but I couldn't find any nonchalant manner in which to slip my hand under my shirt right around my belt line and grab something. I couldn't go off to the bathroom or anything to get it, either - it would drop as soon as I stood up. At this point, though, rehearsal was so close to done, I decided staunchly that I'd be able to make it. There was no other choice.

I made it a fair way through. I even managed to reach over to the stand once to get out a new piece of music. But then, the tragic moment came: in the middle of a piece, I dropped the Pokéwalker with five minutes to go.

The classic foot-catch: a staple of any longtime scene-avoider.
Crisis: averted.

NOTE: Crisis not actually averted. Everyone saw my foot-catch. Everyone knew what happened. All I did was avoid interrupting the rehearsal. Which is good, I guess.

Jan 19, 2011

The Emptying of the Utility Pockets

Some of you may recall the existence of Utility Pockets, which are essentially neverending black holes of stuff. I stopped wearing the UP-bearing jacket about a month or two ago, because it just got terribly dirty. You may be wondering why I didn't just put it in the wash, then; to this, I respond with a friendly reminder of how involved that process is, simply because of the sheer number of things I would need to put away. Well, this morning I finally took it upon myself to empty the pockets so I could wash my jacket. Here's the inventory of what I removed:

  • 1 half-eaten bag of Cheerios (Apple-Cinnamon)
  • Two pairs of 3D "Real-D" glasses - one from Coraline, one from Megamind
  • A bulleted list of reasons that I am not a hipster
  • Pens
  • One green pencil, in very poor shape
  • Three green Hershey's Kiss wrappers
  • One bulleted list of all the camping trips I've been on in the last four years
  • Five physics problems, each written on a separate 1.5"x3" sheet of paper
  • The phone numbers of two people in the Boy Scouts
  • A sheet of notes that my guidance counselor took about my college hunt
  • $10
  • The phone number of Gunn, the coolest taxi driver (in Pittsburgh)
    • Actually, he deserves an entire post dedicated to him.
  • And, of course, the headlight.
Expect this to be a recurring thing. Except not that often. Because I don't really empty my pockets often. Ever.

Jan 13, 2011

These Goddamn Forks

I would like to express a grievance.

My school has, for as long as I've been around, been consistent with its plasticware. The same forks, knives, and spoons have been served since my days as a freshman. No one has ever once complained that this plasticware was inadequate. The reason for this is, of course, that it's not inadequate. I've learned to know and love the plasticware that we have. But this week, a travesty occurred:

They changed the forks.

This is unacceptable.
Left: Acceptable.
Right: Downright unacceptable.
It's not just that I'm resistant to change. I'm a perfectly accepting guy. I'm willing to listen to outside views and maybe undergo a lifestyle change if necessary. This, though, was just uncalled for. Look at that fork. I have a number of objections to it.

1. It's simply too thin. You can't do any fancy maneuvering with this kind of fork. You need a nice, broad base that you can use to turn the fork between your fingers if you so choose. If you need to change your grip, placing another finger on top, raising your elbow, etc., you don't have time to worry about the fork falling out of your hand.

2. It's so goddamn long. This aids in the aforementioned lack of maneuverability, causing the fork to potentially hit the awkward skin flap between your thumb and index finger; but not only that, it's just cost-inefficient. More length means more plastic. More plastic means more materials. More materials means higher cost of production. Higher cost of production means higher consumer-end cost. The consumer, of course, is the school. These forks are actually raising your taxes.

3. Strange curvature. I don't know what they were going for with this. I think the intent was to make them such that they would rest easily against your hand, which is a great idea if you have small hands. I, however, wear XL gloves. Instead, all that this curvature does is inconvenience my middle finger.

4. HUGE tines. Like, to the point of absurdity. You are NOT eating an 8-oz steak sideways in the student center; I promise you, you do NOT need  three goddamn inches of tines. They're extra-wide, too, and blunter, meaning that it's harder to impale small foods such as peas and blueberries. The dip of the fork is so far back, too, that if you want to use your fork as some sort of a sharp spoon, you'd better have a HUGE mouth, and be prepared to impale yourself in the throat anyway. The point can be, and has been, raised that the larger head of the fork increases its sturdiness. To that, I say that if you have ever accidentally bitten down and broken your fork while eating your school lunch, then you clearly have bigger problems.

There really is no good side to these new forks. They're just abominations. I've half a mind to start bringing my own plasticware to school. For all I know, there could be some compelling reason for these forks to exist, but until anyone finds that reason, I strongly encourage you not to use these forks, should you ever come across them.

Jan 8, 2011

The Classiest Joke I've Ever Made

Opus 1: Solo Concerto in B Minor
by G. Edelston

UPDATE: Not intentional, but B minor. Bm. Bowel movement. Heh.

Jan 1, 2011


Last month on Facebook, my compatriot Mari declared December to be "drawing epic Pokémon" month. Another friend posted a pretty good drawing of Mewtwo that he had clearly spent a while on. I whipped up a Lickitung, and once I started I just kept going. And lo, my beauteous depictions of the gen1 Pokémon were born. If anyone wants to create a ROM that uses these for sprites, I will be eternally grateful.

Comment below with your favorites! c: