Thursday, March 30, 2006

The joys of statistical research

I'm not a statistician (which would explain my lack of aeronautical experience) and I don't even come close to enjoying statistics in any way, shape, or form. However, criminologists love stats, so I feel the need to do some.

But if you're running a stats equation that has (roughly) 56,000,000,000 cases (not joking), it takes for ever. Thus, your time is freed up to write stream-of-consience plays. Although this is not funny, it did take me 15 minutes to write. It will take you 2 minutes to read. Please do not judge me by it.

A Play That is Not Funny
By Jesse Wozniak

Dude 1: Dude 2, time for a little smokey smokey!

Dude 2: (nervously pacing the room)Man, now is not the time or the place.

Dude 1: What do you mean? It’s always both the time and the place for smoking.

Dude 2: Usually I would agree with you, my esteemed colleague. But right now I’m in the middle of a zen-like revelation about the continuity of the universe.

Dude 1: Woah, dude 2. Sounds like I need to smoke up to hear this shit! (Begins rolling joint)

Dude 2: Not so fast, hombre. I need you at 135% to hear this particular shit.

Dude 1: (discards joint, does line of coke instead) At 135 and ready to go, good sir!

Dude 2: Good. Maybe you should sit down for this. (Dude 1 sits on floor) I just realized that the entire universe is connected.

Dude 1: Dude 2, you must be losing it. That’s not new. I realized that like 10 years ago during a performance by Stairway to Rock, the Led Zeppelin cover band.

Dude 2: I know, and I read your ‘zine about it. But I have proof.

Dude 1: Proof that’s even more convincing than a poorly Xeroxed rant written by someone on hallucinogens?

Dude 2: Yes.

Dude 1: Woah…do tell.

Dude 2: Do you remember the short-lived Fox television series, Mef and Red?

Dude 1: Easily, it was one of the very few short-lived Fox television shows that was cancelled with good cause.

Dude 2: Exactly. As you will well recall, it starred the ever-interchangeable Method Man and Red Man of the Wu-Tang clan.

Dude 1: Don’t forget a magnificently talented supporting player in Nancy Walls.

Dude 2: Yes, the only Daily Show correspondent to move on to another show prior to the Colbert report, but that is not relevant to the story. As you will also recall, in between running from the FBI and before his untimely death, the Wu Tang clan used to feature Ol’ Dirty Bastard, a/k/a Dirt McGirt, a/k/a Big Baby Jesus.

Dude 1: Of course.

Dude 2: Well then you will also remember that ODB’s one mainstream hit was the song “Got yo money,” in which a buxom young lady sang the chorus of “Hey, Dirty, baby I got yo money.”

Dude 1: Yes, it was quite the catchy tune.

Dude 2: Well, then you will also remember that this particular young lady went by the name of Kelis, and in addition to minor success of her own as a solo artist, also is married to Nas.

Dude 1: Again, common knowledge.

Dude 2: Well, then you may have recently noticed that Nas and Jay-Z have finally patched up their long-standing beef.

Dude 1: Sure, it made quite the headlines.

Dude 2: Exactly. And if you had paid attention, you would have known the beef started with Jay-Z boasting that he had an affair with Nas’ baby-momma and Nas firing back that the jigga man had a distinct resemblance to J.J. “dy-no-mite” Evans.

Dude 1: Amongst other things.

Dude 2: Exactly. But what fewer people know is that J.J. Evans once starred in a series of commercials for the rapidly-disintegrating Little Ceasar’s pizza chain.

Dude 1: Fucking "pizza, pizza" dude!

Dude 2: Yes, we all loved those commercials. But did you know that a single supreme pizza of theirs contains 2,700 calories and 104 grams of fat?

Dude 1: No way!

Dude 2: Oh, it’s quite true. But as one can gleam from the infamous “pizza, pizza” chant, you did not receive a single pizza with your order, but rather two pizzas of equal size.

Dude 1: Of course. You could share with a friend or loved one, unlike all other pizza chains, which force your friends and loved ones to go hungry whilst you eat a pizza by yourself.

Dude 2: Yes, we all loved their generosity.

Dude 1: Totally. But what is the point of this?

Dude 2: Remember when we used to get high and watch Mef and Red and order Little Caesars’ pizzas?

Dude 1: Fuck yeah. Wacky Wednesdays in the house!

Dude 2: Well, I think I’m having a heart attack. (Dude 2 slumps over dead)

Dude 1: Woah.


Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Put the muthafuckin' Fresca down...

Once I had a fellow small-towner, in all seriousness, asked "What's there to do in Minneapolis that you can't do in Davenport, IA? I mean, you hang out, you go out to bars, what else is there?"

The answer is, of course, a whole hell of a lot. But I couldn't really put it into the proper words. Until now, of course.

Sunday night, I caught my first ever Doomtree show, in support of P.O.S.'s latest album (incidentally, great interview with him on this week's Onion A.V. Club). For those not in the know, Doomtree is the little brother rap collective to the quite-reputable RhymeSayers Entertainment, which boasts the nationally-known act Atmosphere (local boys), as well as heavy hitters MF Doom and Brother Ali.

It was a fucking great show, with an awesome home-coming vibe, seeing as how the crew just finished a two-month tour of our fair nation. But there's always somehitng a bit more special about seeing a show with all these people who live a couple of blocks away from you, hang out at the same places you hang out, and rap about people and places you know. A kind of connection to the music beyond the fact that it's just good music.

Just for the record, you will never know that feeling living in Iowa.

So I guess that's the difference.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Best cover band ever?

There are plenty of cover bands in existance, some humorous (think Me First and the Gimme Gimmes), some quite serious (think any shitty local band playing exclusively songs written by their hero/god, typically some crappy stadium-anthem 70s rockers). However, a few relly stand out above the frey. But which one is the best?

1) 2 Lives Jews...Seminal Album: As Kosher as They Wanna Be

Riding the wave of Hebrew-based rap popularity in the wake of Paul's Boutique, the album seemed to grip the attention of a nation entering the 90s bent on slick production and clever rhymes. Largely a joke act, but the track "Young Jews Be Proud" ranks them up there with notable gentiles.

2) The Misfats...Seminal Album: Does not exist

Billing themselves as "the fattest Misfits cover band," they knock out hardcore tributes re-written to reflect their largess, such as "Diet, Diet My Darling" and "Mommy, Can I Go Out and Grill Tonight?" Have received the approval of Michael Graves, which is as good as 1/3-1/2 a Glen Danzig, so you can tell they're pretty legit.

3) Dred Zepplin...Seminal Album: Live at the Cabooze in Minne-Jah-polis

A Led Zepplin cover band that adds reggae beats, with a lead singer dressed like fat Elvis. It really seems like they need no more description, as they're pretty much the band that all of us at one point or another have figured we would start, but never got around to it. Not surprisingly, have received approval of Robert Plant.

There you have it, the top 3 cover bands.

And as always, "I'm not making this up!"™

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Ahh, life in the big city...

Giant anti-war rally this past saturday (can you find me in the picture? It's like the hippie version of Where's Waldo) with somewhere between 4,000 and 5,000 peeps trekking through the cold and snow to show their disapproval of idiocy. More amazing, though, is the number of supportive bystanders, many of whom hopped in line and joined the march. Much more different than the reception you get back home. Just as impressive, though, is the fact that this was supposed to be a *small* march, as only a few 1,000 fliers were handed out. Nice to see people willing to give up a saturday afternoon to show some love.

Everyone in the Twin Cities area, don't forget to mark your calendars for the huge walkout coming up on the 28th of April.

And in other news...

I know this is two college-basketball posts in a row, but this one is kinda political, if you think about it. This past weekend, Candace Parker became the first woman to dunk in the NCAA tournament, doing it not once, but twice in a single game, the first time that has ever happened in a women's basketball game. I usually don't cheer for the team that beats their opponent 102-54, but it was hard not to cheer for the Volunteers during this one.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Nothing's sweeter than the 16 which bears that particular moniker

Although I know that college athletics deprive the arts and sciences from much-needed funding (according to a reputable source) it's still hard not to go crazy when your small-time, no-name, middle-of-nowhere school makes it to the big dance.

So it follows that when some jerk at CBS says your little ol' conference doesn't deserve to have four teams in, you get upset. More upset than you would be to be seen in public with the league-leading shittiest moustache.

Well, turns out the teams get upset as well. The Missouri Valley Conference (motto: the little conference that could) has now advanced two teams to the Sweet Sixteen, with a good chance of getting at least one of those teams to the Elite Eight.

Still think they don't belong? Ask Kansas, Pitt, Seton Hall and Tennesse (numbers 4, 5, 10, and 2, respectively) how good they think the MVC's first and fifth-ranked teams are.

Score one for the little folks.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Perusing the news...

Three things you can learn from today:

1) A restraining order has been issued against Paris Hilton because she threatened a party planner

2) The Kinks are experiencing a musical renaissance, thanks to commercials featuring their minor, 20-year-old hits

3) Divers have discovered a new sea creature that looks like a furry, blonde lobster

And people have the audacity to claim that the news consists only of entertaining filler to distract us from real news! How dare they?!?

UPDATE: According to other sources, there is apparentlysome sort of war going on.I don't think it's much to worry about, though. Haven't heard anything about it in the news.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Kirby is in dire need, and Minnesota is as well

Most people already know by now, but former Twins star Kirby Puckett had a stroke yesterday, followed by immediate surgery. He is now in critical condition in an Arizona hospital.

Anyone who grew up in or near Minnesota knows that Kirby is hands down the most beloved superstar this state has ever, and probably will ever, see. From his cutely pudgy little-guy frame to his scrappy ball play, he embodied everything about Minnesota Twins baseball. Not flashy, not overly talented, not even necissarily in good physical shape, he mustered up all that he had every day to give us good, sound play.

I've been a Kirby fan all my life, even before the Game 6 that was probably the best world-series performance by any single player in the history of the game. I'll also always be quick to point out that he was on second and would have scored if the run when necessary when Danny Gladden scored from third in the bottom of the 10th on Gene Larkin's world-series winning single. I was there for his final game, and there for his jersey retirement, which are both bigger feats when you have to drive 4 hours to see the game.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the little guy right now.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

We just truly are terrible people

The U.S. state department has recently rejected the visa application of two Iraqi women whose husbands were killed by the U.S.. These women were invited by peace groups to do a speaking tour centered on ending the U.S. occupation of Iraq.

The real kick in the pants, though?

The reason they were denied entry is because they do not have enough family in Iraq to ensure they will return.

Terrible, just terrible.