New Site of the Week – Anecdotage

When you need a story, an intro, an illustration, a joke, an ice breaker . . . an anecdote, http://www.anecdotage.com/ is the place to go. Organized by topic, by person, user favorites, or generated randomly, their catalog includes everything from humorous quips to poignant quotes. If you’re giving a speech or . . . I don’t know, just trying to impress someone with your funny stories, you have to check out this site. Here’s one I like:

Got with the Program? Following a performance of Peter Pan one evening, a small boy who had been given a seat in the author’s box was asked which bit he had liked the most. “What I think I liked best,” the child replied, “was tearing up the program and dropping the bits on people’s
heads!” [This was one of Barrie’s favorite stories.]

My Friend Eddie

I love deep dish pizza. That makes being in Chicago a very nice and dangerous thing. There’s Pizzeria Uno, Due, Giordano’s, Gino’s, Lou Malnatti’s . . . so many good pizza places, and so hard to rate them against one another. But by far, the best pizza experience I ever had came during a divinely appointed visit to Edwardo’s.

Back in the college days, I didn’t spend too many weekends at Moody Bible Institute. It felt far more freeing to come home. But one weekend I just happened to stay in the city. No plan. I just did. My room mate and I were bored. We decided to go out. We started walking. Nowhere to go and no reason to go there.

Suddenly, we were both hungry. For pizza. I don’t remember who said what, but the conversation went like this: “Eduardo’s?” “Yeah.”

So we went. Got there at 9:50, and the place closed at 10. They locked the door immediately after we entered (in a “no more customers” kind of way, not a “you’ll never get out alive” way). From the moment we sat down, I got the sense that all the restaurant staff, rather than begrudging our last-minute arrival, decided they were going to make this one count. There was literally no one else to wait on. No other pizzas to make. No other tables to clean. No other Cokes to refill. It seemed like they were committed to create the perfect dining experience.

And their quest for perfection culminated with a deep dish pepperoni pizza. The crust was golden, seriously, it sparkled a beautiful uniform shade of goldenrod. The red sea of succulent sauce is always bloody good, but it looked as if the tomatoes had been freshly murdered. When our server lifted each of our first slices out of the steaming bed of Italian spiced righteousness, I knew this was something special. The cheese didn’t stretch out in the sprawling web of overstringy lactose like it would on a lesser pie. It didn’t snap off the way it does with coagulated, refrigerated, microwaved leftover slices. The cheese from the slice delicately parted with that of the rest of the pizza like the hands of two dancers gliding lovingly apart as if only for a moment.

There it sat, waiting expectantly to be eaten, fulfilling its destiny as the best pizza ever. The crust, that sweet and crispy golden crust . . . the cheese that seemed to vanish in my mouth . . . the savory, tangy explosion of sauce . . . every taste bud was tingling. I could taste this pizza in my soul. Its warmth was spreading throughout my existence, healing bad memories and forgiving past offenses. With every bite, I was reborn. The meal was eternal.

The whole time, we didn’t say a word. My room mate and I didn’t even look at each other. The pizza captured our full attention. We ate all but two pieces, deciding they should be preserved for at least one day of posterity. After we left, we spoke of how perfect it was, but not with too many words. Not like this. We both knew without saying it, we just had the best food ever prepared on this planet. The sheer glory of it carried us back to our dorm room.

The next day at noon I went to the fridge to finish off my final slice. It was gone. My room mate ate them both. And I don’t blame him. I was an idiot to leave her in that fridge alone. Did I learn nothing from my very special episodes of Punky Brewster?

Anyway . . . that’s pizza at its best. I love pizza. I love deep dish. But that one moment at Eduardo’s . . . there are no words. Well, at least there are no more words.

Cat’s in the Cradle

“Do you want to play basketball?”

“Not now, I’m busy.”

Okay, I’m sure that conversation plays out in one form or another between millions of fathers and sons across the country. But in what tiny fraction of those instances is it the son who is too busy? And on how many occasions is that busy son four years old?

I’m just asking because that exact conversation took place between me and Addison tonight, and I was the one who got blown off. His schedule eventually freed up and we squeezed in a quick pickup game of Nerfoop, but I had a little while to ponder my place in the universe . . . and as far as Addison’s concerned, that’s somewhere in line behind Pinky Dinky Doo.

P.S.

I was also thinking about my place in the universe earlier today, when in chapel (Yeah, I work at a place where we all can go to chapel on Tuesdays . . . don’t judge) they had us read the Heidelberg Catechism. It starts with a question, “What is thy only comfort in life and death?” And then the people respond:

That I with body and soul, both in life and death, am not my own, but belong unto my faithful Savior Jesus Christ; who, with his precious blood, hath fully satisfied for all my sins, and delivered me from all the power of the devil; and so preserves me that without the will of my heavenly Father, not a hair can fall from my head; yea, that all things must be subservient to my salvation, and therefore, by his Holy Spirit, he also assures me of eternal life, and makes me sincerely willing and ready, henceforth, to live unto him.

Yeah . . . that sounds nice, but it’s a load of bunk. How self centered can we be? I count 11 my‘s, I‘s, and me‘s. My only comfort in life is my own salvation? Forget the fate of the rest of the world, I’m saved, whoopee! All things must be subservient to MY salvation? I guess I’m taking it out of context, a little. But I couldn’t read that out loud. I find comfort in a lot more than that. I take comfort in the fact that my own salvation isn’t the most important thing in the universe, even though Christ acted as though it was. And I’m seriously uncomfortable with a group of believers obsessed with defining their faith according to their own short-sighted, poorly worded, theologically systematized, pompous creeds.

Why am I arguing with sixteenth-century reformed theologians? Because my Tuesdays are bad enough without self-important crap like this to make it even worse. I’ve got my own self-important crap to think about.

January 29, 2008 question

Charles and Steve T (the T stands for Take That, NYSE) knew that GOOG is the NASDAQ symbol for Google. Goog job, guys.

And now for the announcement you’ve all been waiting for:

Trivia officially endorses Barack Obama. For those who vote Barack, we salute you.

Oh, wait, this just in. Trivia doesn’t officially endorse anyone or anything. I just needed a reason to make an Obama, AC/DC reference. Here’s today’s trivia question:

What trait of the naked mole rat is unique among mammals? (Not sure if I worded that correctly . . . the naked mole rat possesses this particular trait that is fundamentally different in all other mammals.)

Stall Tactics

Before you click away in disgust, please stop. I know what you must be thinking. Wait, scratch that. I imagine you could be thinking just about anything at this point. If you’ve read the word stall and seen the restroom sign, you might be expecting to read some sick brand of bathroom humor. Before your mind starts filling in the blanks on its own, let me assure you that this is a completely sterile brand of bathroom humor. It’s not gross. It’s not disgusting. It’s not vile in the least.

It’s actually scientific, musical even. Wait, now, there you go again thinking the worst. Stop doing that and trust me for just a moment. I’m going to teach you a simple way to have fun with noises in public bathrooms. Don’t snicker! This is serious.

If you’ve ever studied acoustic resonance, you might already be one step ahead of me. You’ll know that at a certain fundamental frequency (and at odd-numbered multiplications of that frequency) sound waves in a tube (or rectangular box as the case may be) open at both ends will feed off the strength of its own sound wave modulations, resulting in a very grand and pure sound. And perhaps the equation pictured herein will look completely familiar to you. If it looks like just about any other mumbo jumbo, fear not. You won’t need to memorize it, it won’t show up on a quiz, and you won’t find it at all useful for engaging in the fun I’m about to describe. I place it here for no other reason than to add academic credibility to the post. Now, on to the fun.

The next time you find yourself in the stall of a public restroom, try this out. If it is the typical enclosure with walls that don’t go all the way down to the floor or all the way up to the ceiling, you’re sitting in the perfect spot for a real-life science experiment that can drive people a little crazy. All you have to do is hum.

Now, it’s important that you hum quietly, inaudibly for anyone but you. Start with the lowest note you can hum. Then slowly work your way through your do re mi scales. Each time through, bring the scale up a half a step. Slowly, carefully, quietly, keep humming. If you’re somewhere close to on pitch, eventually the soft tone of one of your hums will resonate loudly and strongly . . . it just might scare you. Fortunately, if it scares you really bad, you’re in the right place.

But once you’ve found that note, you’ll find that even the slightest vibration at that pitch will produce a very large, droning, ringing noise that completely fills the room. And since the room is a restroom, the resonance is multiplied by the extremely loud porcelain and marble-laid acoustics typical of such establishments. And no one, except readers of this blog, will know the source of the disturbance. They might think it’s the vibration of a remote industrial engine. They may think aliens are invading the building or that a tornado alarm is sounding in the distance. But the sound is unlike anything else one would normally hear in a bathroom.

There. You know my secret. Try it out and perfect it alone. Then use it to frighten your friends and scare off strangers. In a public restroom, the options are endless. Hey, now, don’t let your mind go there. I’m talking about resonance here, people!

January 28, 2008 question

Just when you thought it was safe to head into Monday, here’s Trivia. You’ll be happy to know that you were right: the answer to Thursday’s question was H, None of the Above. Whether you trust your knowledge of the English language or you simply trust me not to pose too many trick questions (bad idea, in general), you were right in doing so this time. Only had one wrong answer, and something tells me, that person just punched the wrong letter on the keyboard. And an update: thrice is not the plural of throuse, nor is entice the plural of entouse.

Anyway, congrats to everyone who answered way back when. Here’s Monday’s question:

What is the NASDAQ symbol for Google?

Hulk vs. James Blunt

I’ve been sitting on this one for a long time. I have no idea if James Blunt has ever acknowledged the true source of his only hit’s melody, but I know where he got it.

I submit for your comparing pleasure, “The Lonely Man Theme” from the 1980s television series, The Incredible Hulk and JB’s sapfest, “You’re Beautiful.” Please note, the Hulk theme is a YouTube submission that has some Enya thrown in somewhere in the middle of the homemade montage, but you’ll get the idea.

Hulk

James Blunt

Musical Ripoffs . . . the Hulk vs. James Blunt

I’ve been sitting on this one for a long time. I have no idea if James Blunt has ever acknowledged the true source of his only hit’s melody, but I know where he got it.

I submit for your comparing pleasure, “The Lonely Man Theme” from the 1980s television series, The Incredible Hulk and JB’s sapfest, “You’re Beautiful.” Please note, the Hulk theme is a YouTube submission that has some Enya thrown in somewhere in the middle of the homemade montage, but you’ll get the idea.

Hulk

James Blunt

Top Ten Signs You’ve Been Watching Too Much "Scrubs"

10. You start calling your 6 month old, “Newbie.”
9. You can’t stop singing the barbershop quartet harmonies to the Charles in Charge theme.
8. You tell your 4 year old to get back in his seat, stat.
7. You forget to tell your wife things you’ve already stated in your inner monologue.
6. Three of the top 10 Google results for “Scrubs” are links to your blog.
5. During sweeps months, actors from “Must See TV” shows make guest appearances in your dreams.
4. You lose sleep wondering what Janitor’s real name is.
3. To discuss the birds and the bees, you employ the terms bajingo, delicates, and giblets.
2. You’re wearing a WWJDD bracelet.
1. You have an on-again off-again relationship with your television.

After typing #1, I realized it was an almost universally true but nevertheless galactically corny joke. But it’s just so corny, I can’t find it in me to delete it.