Friday, May 27, 2005

Swapping Addictions
Posted by Sam at 2:24 PM

This week has been especially tough. Aside from the moving, packing, and complaining that I've been enthusiastically partaking in, there's also the personal challenge that I've been struggling through. Ready for this? I have deleted beer, candy/junk food, and (gasp) coffee from my diet... temporarily anyway. My body has just been unhappy lately. I felt it was time for a reset.

Omitting the beer was no problem. The candy? That was a little tricky, but manageable. But the coffee... oh, the coffee... the smooth, rich, luscious, caffeinated awesomeness that is coffee... that was one motherfucker of an addiction. The physical part wasn't too bad. It was the mental part that was really difficult. Sitting down at work without my morning cup-o-joe was weird, and wrong. The feeling is akin to leaving the house for the day without underwear... externally everything is okay. Internally however, things just feel wrong. I can't concentrate, I'm itchy, it's drafty, etc...

I have always believed in balance though. Removing one addiction simply leaves room to replace it with another, and thus, balance is restored. So, in the wake of my coffee removal, I have successfully supplanted it with another, more powerful addiction: The Odwalla Fruit Smoothie.

These things are like fruit salad flavored, liquid crack. And while it seems like Odwalla would be a great alternative to coffee, I'm not so sure. I mean, I am totally physically and mentally addicted to these bad boys already. And I've been on the sauce for less than a week! I'm up to three 15.2 fluid ounce containers a day. That's 45.6 fluid ounces (I pee a lot more now too). And near me, these mofos go for about $3.00 each (and I've seen 'em for even more). So that's a $9.00 replacement addiction compared to the $3.30 ($1.65 per coffee, twice a day) former addiction. I don't know about this.

I'm trying to do the right thing for my body. I am. Really. But my finances and my bladder are wholly displeased with this new adjustment.

I'm sure I'll work through this. Right now however, it's time for daily Odwalla number two. What do you think, Mango Tango or Strawberry C Monster?

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Thursday, May 26, 2005

I'll Send a Postcard
Posted by Sam at 3:04 PM

Right... so as you may or may not have noticed, blogging has taken a back seat to the rest of my life (maybe I should look into autoblogger?). Anyway, the reason behind my mysterious absence from the blog scene is simply because I don't love you anymore. Well, I love you, I'm just not in love with you. I mean, we've had some good times, but I think we've grown apart. Maybe we just need some time off...

Oh wait... that's a spiel for a whole different situation.

The real reason for my absence is that I'm moving (it's weird that I haven't posted about this yet). I've got a ton of things to take care of, loose ends to tie up, people to have knocked off, etc...

I'm moving from a super-cool, trendy, liberal, tiny city in Western Massachusetts to a less cool, trendy (if you think antiquing is trendy), politically undecided, microscopic town, in Southern Connecticut. Northampton to Wallingford. It will be quite an adjustment.

The truth is, I am very excited for this next step in my life. Wallingford should be a great place. I won't bore you/me with the details, but we've got a nice cemetery, a book store, a coffee shop, and a goth bar that might have gone out of business... and New Haven (home of Yale University) is right next door. That will be a fun city to explore. Or get mugged. Either way, it will make for a good blog entry.

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Monday, May 23, 2005

Two Things That I'm Not Proud Of
Posted by Sam at 11:34 PM

1) I definitely drank beer through a straw tonight.

2) I definitely wore socks with my awesome (yet controversial) new footwear.

Aside from those two things, I think that I'm doing alright.

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Sunday, May 22, 2005

Quote of the Weekend
Posted by Sam at 11:08 PM

"Sam... grow up and eat your deep fried cupcake!"

Carrie - May '05

CORRECTION: It was my pal Carrie who unleashed this nugget of wisdom, not Mike. But, I'll still leave a link to the Tepid Inferno... cuz, I'm just that kind of guy.

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Friday, May 20, 2005

This Entry Reads Like a Book Report
Posted by Sam at 4:01 PM

When I first read the book Speaker for the Dead (Orson Scott Card's second book in the Ender's Game series... come on people, keep up!), I was appalled by how emotionless it was compared to Ender's Game. It was like reading a high school history text book - all facts, no commentary, no insight, dry, and bland. I remember finishing Speaker for the Dead and finding myself utterly disappointed. It was then that I flipped the book over to the cover, in hopes of finding "Orson Scott Blard's Spokesman for the Deceased" or something like that... something that would account for that atrocity. And then, like a kick in the crotch, the answer came to me. One word. At the bottom of the cover. Barely noticeable: ABRIDGED.

That was what Star Wars, Episode III, Revenge of the Sith, felt like. It was like watching the abridged version of something really spectacular. All of the elements were there - action, romance, tragedy, betrayal, light sabers, etc... - but none of the emotion. Like, for example: I know Padme and Anakin are 'sposed to be in love, but I just wasn't feeling it. And the dialog was...

You know what? This film is going to be analyzed, re-analyzed, and over-analyzed on every fanboy Star Wars site from here to the Degobah system. So, on, let's try to focus on some of the cooler parts of the film... because that's really what it's about, right? It's about enjoying a movie with kick-ass special effects, amazingly choreographed fight scenes, intriguing mythology, and an immense legion of action figures and toys that will continue to fund Lucas and his minions' every endeavor well into the next millennium (falcon).

So, let's explore some of the cooler parts, shall we?

1) There was a ton of bad ass shit in this mother fucker! When Anakin sliced Dooku's hands off... oh man! That was hot! The four armed robot, General Grievous. That fight scene was sweet! When the clones turned on the Jedi and killed them, one by one. That was vicious! When Anakin did the Jedi neck squeeze thing to Padme. Bad fucking ass!

2) Comedy! The first portion of the movie was pretty funny. It took me by surprise. Everything I had read prior to watching the film mentioned how absolutely dark and morose Sith was. So, I was taken aback when there was so much humor in the beginning. I didn't like it at first, but in retrospect, I think that it worked well.

3) Origins! We got to see everything set up for the original Star Wars movie, A New Hope. All (most?) of the puzzle pieces were put in place. Yoda in exile. Obi-Wan on Tatooine. Luke and Leah split up. Even C-3PO's memory erased. Very cool.

4) Cameos! Chewbacca. The Millennium Falcon. The Death Star. (I don't really know if those last two can be considered cameos... but whatev.) I know that I'm omitting many and I'm sure that I missed many more. But you get the idea.

Anyway, my initial tendency here is to be overcritical about something as dear to my heart as Star Wars. So overcritical in fact, that sometimes I miss the point: To simply enjoy the movie for what it is. Well, I did nearly miss the point. But, I think that I caught myself just in time. I enjoyed Revenge of the Sith. And, I'll probably go see it many more times. Why? Because I'm a tremendous dork.

It's tough being a tremendous dork trapped in this high-rolling, millionaire playboy, lifestyle. I mean sometimes I just want to get down and nerd it up... but then I catch a glimpse of my perfectly groomed yet untamable hair in the mirror and remember that I've got a BMW Z5 in the garage next to my Ducati sports bike (and who can forget the trophy wife?). When I stop and reflect on my extreme awesomeness, all of that nerding-it-up nonsense evaporates... instantly.

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A Personal Revelation
Posted by Sam at 9:22 AM

I've just discovered that, when eating garlic bagels with cream cheese, I can reattach all of the fallen garlic bits back onto the bagel by dumping them into the overflowing with cream cheese bagel hole... where they adhere instantly to the overloaded cream cheese... and... ummm... I can't believe that I haven't blogged all week and then, when I finally come back to the scene, it's with a personal revelation concerning garlic bagels. Awesome!

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Monday, May 16, 2005

A Strong Foundation of Cake
Posted by Sam at 2:16 PM

I turned old today.

Twenty seven.

So very old.

But the most important part is that my coworker made me a cake half covered with Skittles. Nice!

I've got so much more to blog about... but currently, this is all I have time for. Fear not, your thirst for all things sambot will be quenched as I leave you with this sambot related thought/followup:

Out of all the things that I post about, I cannot believe that the new shoes post caused such a stir. Here are some of the highlights from your comments:

i dont even know where to begin... that they made their way from some lunitics sketch book to the store? im sorry, you are no longer allowed to go shopping by yourself.

...they offer no protection against... knives that you happen to clumsily drop towards your feet, rocket propelled grenades, anti-tank shells, 50caliber rounds, tomahawk missles, terrorism, windows98...

I mean would I choose to wear them? NO. Would anyone I know choose to wear them other than Sam? NO. But I think they make the kind of fashion statement that Sam likes...although I am not quite sure what that statement is yet.

After putting them on, he used the jumping test (where you jump up and down and up and down in one spot to test their comfiness). After 3 hours of that, I think he was set.

It's good to know that I have such a strong foundation of support here in the blogosphere. You guys rock (for real... I laughed my ass off as I read those)! Thanks y'all!

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Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Quite Possibly the Ugliest...
Posted by Sam at 4:27 PM

These are quite possibly the ugliest things that I have ever put on my feet. But hot damn... do I love 'em! They're like a hybrid hiking shoe/sandal thingy. Now, I can tromp through the woods in sandals without smashing up my toes!

The great thing about wearing ugly things is that you never have to worry about them going out of style.

Deep down inside, I know that you care. And, I can already hear the relentless ridicule from Carrie.

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Of Macs and Men
Posted by Sam at 4:26 PM

I'm happy to report...

...that my phone, a Motorola v551, now syncs flawlessly with iSync... contacts and calendars.

...that iCal can now publish directly to FTP. No longer are you required to be a .Mac subscriber, nor the proprietor of a WebDAV server.

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Organic Good! Genetically Modified Bad.
Posted by Sam at 4:23 PM

With the premier of episode III just around the corner, I found this Star Wars take-off to be exceptionally well timed, and very well done. Grocery Store Wars a live-action / stop-action / vegetable-puppet short film pits a young Cuke Skywalker (accompanied by Obi-wan Cannoli, Chewbroccoli, Tofu D-2, etc...) against the evil Darth Tater.

Without getting too involved, Grocery Store Wars basically concerns the merits of organic farming versus genetically modified fruits and veggies.

Very well done, funny, strong positive message... go watch it!

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A Lot of Little Things
Posted by Sam at 4:22 PM

Today is the day of tiny posts. This being no exception.

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Vending Machine Coffee
Posted by Sam at 4:22 PM

I love vending machine coffee. I don't know why. It's undeniably bad coffee... probably the worst in existence.

It is however, spewed forth by a machine. That's gotta count for something. At least it will keep me from falling in love with every woman that pours me a cup. Although, I have been known to love my machines.

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More Than Meets the Eye
Posted by Sam at 12:17 PM

Check it out! One of my very talented students drew this. It's a caricature of me transformed into a robot... a Sambot, if you will. Very cool! The artist, Sean Conchieri (I'm not sure if he has anything online... if so, I'll post a link) has a promising illustration career ahead of him. You should see some of his more formal work... very impressive.

Thanks Sean!

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Monday, May 09, 2005

I'll Make Such a Beautiful Bride
Posted by Sam at 2:35 PM

I blinked and the weekend was over. Whoa. Where did it go? I guess family time consumed it in its entirety. A wedding, Mother's Day, my little sister's triumphant (albeit brief) return... and now here I am... again... back at my desk, in my office, soaking up the toxic, cancer causing fumes from this 15-year-old behemoth of a copy machine sitting next to me... that exists only to increase my blood pressure and consequently, shorten my life. (Remember that scene in Office Space where they bring that troublesome fax machine into an empty field and beat the living snot out of it? Oh man... You better watch your back, copy machine. One more paper jam... just one more... and you, me, and my good friend, Smashy McSledgehammer, are gonna go for a ride. Capice?)

Ok... I totally lost my focus. I was planning on posting about this weekend's events. Boring! Instead, I'll leave you with the above photo. That's me, at the wedding, holding my sister's maid of honor flower thingy, looking off into the distance and envisioning a future where it's me wearing the billowy white gown and veil. I'll make such beautiful bride... I mean groom... I mean hansom... er... tux! I'll be wearing a tux. Arghhh! I have a penis! Really...

Anyway (changing the subject), I sincerely hope that everyone's Mother's Day was spectacular. Yea for moms!

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Thursday, May 05, 2005

Remembering an Old Friend
Posted by Sam at 10:51 AM

Remember the audio cassette? I know you're trying to forget it, but you know you remember... that rectangular chunk of plastic filled with furlong upon furlong of magnetic media? You know what I'm talking about. Remember what it was like to hear your favorite tape get garbled up by Mom's car cassette deck? That gasp of horror as you realize that your one-of-a-kind Sam's Super Driving Mix is about to be lost forever? Remember pulling the cassette out only to find that there is still tape wound intricately around the play mechanism... and the more you pull, the worse it gets? Yeah, I remember the audio cassette. Good riddance.

Considering my loathing of magnetic tape, it's interesting how I become filled with nostalgic glee while taking a virtual stroll through Project C-90's audio cassette museum. I'm delighted when I stumble across an audio cassette that I remember. "Oh! I had a TDK Super D. Side A had Slayer's 'Reign In Blood,' and side B had Bad Religion's 'Suffer' and most of 'Against the Grain!'" or "Yep. The Fuji JP-II. I made a mix on that tape for a girl (what was her name?) that I had a monstrous high school crush on. I think I titled the mix, 'Songs that make me think of you' or something equally as lame. As I recall, it was filled to the brim with the likes of Suicidal Tendencies, Anthrax, Iron Maiden, probably some Cannibal Corpse thrown in there for good measure... in retrospect, I might have liked to have thought through my musical selections prior to adhering them to a mix tape whose very creation was intended to instill a sense of romance within the recipient... don't get me wrong, nothing is more romantic than Maiden's 'Die With Your Boots On,' but... nevermind." Or, my personal favorite, the Memorex dBS (see photo). Nothing screams late 80's (early 90's?) like the superb graphics on this audio cassette. Man, that brings me back...

Want more? Remember... Tape hiss? High bias? Those little tabs that you pull off to write protect the cassette? Remember discovering that you can put a piece of scotch tape over the write protection holes on your sister's Paula Abdul tape so you can record your friends new Megadeth tape over it... on a dual cassette deck, with high speed dubbing? Auto reverse? The yellow Sony Sport Walkman? Remember having to press the play and record buttons simultaneously to begin recording? Remember pressing the play and record buttons accidentally when you just wanted to press play... and recording 3 seconds of empty space in the middle of your favorite Black Flag song? Remember that non-recordable bit of tape at the beginning of every blank tape, that you forget about every time you go to make a copy, as you cut off the first 10 seconds of the first song?

So many audio cassette memories... what are yours?

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Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Covered In Monkey Entrails
Posted by Sam at 3:43 PM

There are three class periods left in the semester and I am just now discovering that I have a faculty mailbox. Yep. Good to know. So, I picked up my mail for the first time today. There was a lot of really useful information in there... most of which would have been "really useful" two months ago, and is now only semi-useful (in that padding-the-bottom-of-the-recycling-bin sort of way).

Hmmm. I wonder if there is anything else that I'm missing out on... like an office, or a teaching assistant, or a helper monkey... I'm envisioning a dark hallway in the basement of a random building on campus. There, at the end of the hall sits a lonely door with a placard reading "Sam - Graphic Design." In front of the door, two rotting corpses. The first, a fresh faced (in that fresh-faced-rotting-corpse sort of way) teaching assistant. The second corpse is really more of a pile of bones than an effective corpse. The teaching assistant probably had to devour the helper monkey in hopes of fending off starvation for as long as possible... god forbid she/he leave the post she/he has so diligently kept... there, covered in monkey entrails, outside the unused office door, alone, in the dark basement hallway...

I wonder if that would negate my eligibility for "Teacher of the Year?" Oh well. Screw it. As long as I get a paycheck...

P.S. I revised this entry like six times. I apologize if your RSS feed reader has been bombarded with what seems to be the same post over and over. "Proofread before you post," you say? No deal!

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Tuesday, May 03, 2005

My Little Sister is Getting Married!
Posted by Sam at 10:03 AM

Holy bloodclot! My sister is getting married. My little tiny sister is getting married. This is craziness. Pure craziness.

My little sister can't get married. She's too... little!?

I talked with her on the phone this morning. She is so excited and happy. And I am so excited and happy for her. Her fiance is really a sweet guy and they compliment each other perfectly.

I cannot believe that my little sister is getting married. I'm in shock. (can you tell?)

Go little sister! Go!

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Monday, May 02, 2005

The Obligatory, Post-Tiger-Install Post
Posted by Sam at 8:54 AM

Friday night. 2am. While all the lame kids were out partying and drinking and making-out... I was at home, just like all the other cool kids, unpacking a black box with a metallic X on the cover.

I installed Tiger that night, but I didn't really get a good chance to play around with the new OS until the following day. Admittedly, I haven't put as much time into the setup as I should have. This weekend was jam-packed with other crud. But, here are my initial impressions:

1) New subtleties in the look and feel. Good! Especially in the menu bar area. The horizontal stripes up there is a tired look.
2) Automator. Not as exciting or useful as I had hoped.
3) Spotlight. I imagine that this will become a worthwhile part of my workflow... but right now, it's just a search box.
4) Dashboard. Yes! Very useful, very customizable, and some of the coolest eye candy I've seen in a while.
5) Safari RSS. She flies!

Ok... More later. I'm going to install Tiger on my work machine this afternoon. That will be the real test... to see how the striped feline holds up in a fast-paced, full-throttle, graphics environment. Right now, it's time for some coffee... even though I promised myself that I'd cut down. A wise person once said, "Promises are made to be broken" or was it "Coffee rocks! You should drink more!" Either way, I'm getting a cup.

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Sam Who!?
Sam is an amazing and humble guy. Once, he rushed into a burning building, up six flights of stairs to save a kitten from certain death. He speaks eight languages, has mastered three varieties of martial arts, is a wine expert, and is a pulitzer prize winning author. Sam is an international heart-throb who prefers a quiet evening at home knitting afghans for the homeless, to the go-go, glitz and glamor of the party scene. I think the day he won the silver medal for ballroom dancing at the 98 olympics was the happiest of his life. Pretty impressive for a guy who never finished the 8th grade. - Carrie, 04
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