And Heeere's The Burglar!

That's it! This mediocre thing has gone on long enough! I am myself again, and not a moment too soon. And who inspired this reversal. Well, Bilbo Baggins, if you must know. Thats right, Bilbo started out as quite the average little hobbit, enjoying his second breakfasts and enjoying his quite life free from adventures, when he was visited by Gandalf the Grey. Now, I'm not going to go into the intire story, but needless to say, by the end of his unexpected adventure, he was not so mediore anymore. And if Bilbo could do it, than so could I!

And besides, when Theresa and I were arguing whether or not one of Modest Mouse's new songs "The Parting of the Sensory," was as good as the tracks from "The Moon and Antartica," she countered with this: "Oh, what do you know, you're just mediocre!" That, my friends, was a clear single to regain my place at the head of the curve. Of course, my grades are still somewhere in the middle, but we'll just look over that for the moment.


She's So Hiiiiiigh Above Me!

So, Theresa and I just watched that PBS documentary about the Mormons, and I must say I am disappointed. Not it the program mind you--I thought that it was very well done--but with the reactions I have been experiencing from my fellow church members, both in person and on the internet. The documentary paints an even-handed portrait of the church that, granted, does spend a lot of time on controversial subjects, such as the mountain meadow massacre, but face it, those things are part of our history--you cant just hide from it. And the coverage wasn't even that bad. For example, when they were discussing polygamy, a potentially touching subject, I found myself viewing the government as unsympathetic and repressive entity who really picked on those poor early members who were just trying to practice their faith as they understood it.

I am especially annoyed at those members of the church who were upset that the film did not label the interviewees who were either not members or were excommunicated. Oh sure, if there were "Mormon" "Non-Mormon" labels, it would have been easier for for them. Easier, that is, for them to automatically discredit anything a Non-Mormon says.

Over all, I think that the Mormons who thought is was an unfair portrayal of their faith only did because they are too used to the one-sided accounts they get in church. I have no doubt that Joseph Smith and other early saints made mistakes, they were humans too, and although I recognize the importance of the uplifting stories told in church, I for one, was thankful for a chance to view church history from a more objective perspective.

One guy that did annoy me on the movie was that missionary who was like "You go, you go, you go, you go, you go... you go!" I mean, get this guy a Reader's digest, we need to improve his vocabulary before he makes the whole church look bad.

On the flip side of the coin, I was delighted to see Tal Bachman on the show. They must have pulled all sorts of strings to get a big star like that on the show. It has only been, what, 8 years since his one (and only) hit was playing on Canadian radio for a week or two. (What was the name of that song again?) And his comment comparing missionaries to suicide bombers? Stay classy Tal, stay classy.


Genetically Modified Terror

If you must know, the research I am doing right now is about transgenics (aka genetic engineering, aka genetic modification, aka satanic science that creates hedious Frankenstein-like monsters). Anyway, after wading through scholarly journals, review articles, and popular science publication without much luck, I finally stumbled onto some promising material:

Black Sheep (the movie, 2007): The lambs won't be silent anymore, when genetic engineering transforms an entire flock of sheep into bloodthirsty beasts out to devour all humans in their path.

After a quick perusal of the sight, I had all the info I needed to finish off my memo and present it to my prof. Unfortunately, it looks like genetics may not be a safe line of work after all.


Now: 80% More Frequent Posts!

Now that I am just an average guy, I decided that my blog ought to look a little more average. Which means, instead of writing one long post each week, I will be writing a short little post every time I feel like it. I am hoping that there will be something up every day (or at least every weekday). This decision has nothing to do with the article I read that said you will get more readers if you post often. It is a completely independent idea. (No wait, independent ideas are something that above-average people come up with. So yes, I admit that I didn't think of this idea myself).

As for the topic of my short posts, they will probably not be a recounting of my day, since I hate that (and even that is a little too mediocre for me). I would say they are random posts, but blogs that actually advertise thier randomness with titles like "Next Stop: Randomness" are getting a little old too. And besides, it is impossible for humans to be truly random. My posts, for example, have an intricate logical connection that, if discovered, will lead to a deeper understanding of the universe.

At least they did. Now they are just pretty average.


I have officially become mediocre. That’s right, I have now come down from my ivory pedicel, where I was fawned upon and looked up to with great envy, and begun to mingle myself with you common people. So yes, now is the time to take down your Randal posters (the one’s with me smiling and giving two thumbs up) and remove you “WWRD” rings. I am no longer one to be idolized. I just want to live a quite life now, eating frozen pizza and watching “Lost” in peace, like the rest of the simpletons in this world. (Yes, that’s right, I said that Lost is for simpletons—it really is a stupid show). I just hope that I will be able to shed my over-achieving ways enough to fit in with the regular people, but I guess they wont be to hard to fool.

So why this sudden change of ways? Well, grades came in. Yes grades. Law school grades. Lets just say that I have morphed from one of those kids who did hardly any work, and still got good grades to just about the opposite. But don’t get me wrong, I don’t have bad grades. I didn’t being this post with “I have officially become bellow-average.” I am average, just like 95% of UVa law. Or would it be 99%? Seriously, I think the entire range of UVa Law GPA are within half a grade point. And yes, I do fall within that 0.5. The good news is that when my classmates ask me what I thought of that last test while holding there B- papers in plain view, I don’t have to fein humility and reply with a simple “oh it was ok.” No, my humility will be real now. When I tell a fellow student that I thought such and such question was hard, I will really mean it. I fell liberated.

And there are other perks of being average too. I don’t have to worry so much about beating everyone else at board games (which is a good thing, because Theresa pretty much beats me at everything); I don’t have to put up with those pesky mensa advertisements (now if only I can figure out how to stop those credit card ads away; I swear I get at least one a day—what’s with this country); I can stop pretending to like those foreign movies and just enjoy some American classics, like Armegeddon, or Charlie’s Angles, or anything with Paris Hilton in it; I can; I can start farting and burping in public, I can support Alberta talent and begin listening to Nickelback. And best of all, I can stop worrying about my grammer (and my spelling), it will be great. That’s right! I just used a comma splice, and I don’t even care! I feel so free!

Now that I am mediocre, I feel like the possibilities are endless. I could be president! But, I think I’ll stick to more modest goals, and fight tooth and claw with all of the other average students at UVa Law for a summer job next year...

My mediocracy extends even to softball, if you can believe it. I mean, if you are going to be average, you better be average across the board. But lest you worry, my pitching has not taken a turn for the worse, but instead, I have left the mound behind for this summer season. That’s right: I am no longer a star pitcher, and am now an average first baseman/center fielder. All and all, it’ really great to try something new. Oh, and I officially take back any negative comments that I made about the organizers of the summer league. It turns out that the rumor I heard about staking the teams was just not true. The 3L teams are based on the states where the students will be working.

And in other news, now that the great majority of students are not infesting this here library, I have discovered that the TV room I pinned for is now largely empty. Yeah, but I don’t really go in there for my lunch breaks: what’s on at noon? I did see someone in there watching some sports talk show, but come on, Sports?! Hmm, maybe I might have to get into sports, now that I am your average Joe. I’ll have to spend my days chatting about what’s-his’name’s batting average, and pining over my teams latest loss (for, I can just tell that I would pick a bad team to cheer for). Aye. Anyways, I prefer reading magazines in the Klaus Reading Room. Not novels, or pretentious mags like “The New Yorker,” or anything, but mostly ones like Rolling Stone, which, by the way is not as ‘cool’ as you might think. And who do they think they are, trying to address topics like Global Warming and Politics. Can you imagine someone actually getting their political info from Rolling Stone? “I voted for Hilary because she digs the same bands as me! Carly Simons Rules!” (And yes, that is an accurate insult, I looked up Hilary Clinton’s musical preferences on her myspace page).

And I’ve started listening to Garner Andrew’s Podcast. Garner is the morning host from Sonic 102.9 in Edmonton. Its pretty much, like the coolest radio station ever! But really, it started out with 2 guys and an iPod in an old oil field trailer and a cheap radio transmitter and is now one of the biggest stations in Edmonton, at least amoung the young and hip crowd. I’ve added a link to his blog here.

I guess I should end this post. It is getting to be a little too long for such a run of the mill blogger such as myself.


This Is Not A Post

Summer Softball has begun, but although it is as enjoyable as it has ever been, I don’t think this post will relate my experiences with it. One such experience that I will not talk about is that I actually got the chance to play a position besides pitcher. That’s right, after two full seasons of viewing the field from no other spot than that lonely perch, the pitchers mound, I was given the opportunity to view the play from just behind and slightly to the right of first base. This is because there are no less than three members of our team who wanted to directly face down batters in fierce competition, and since we are an equal-opportunity employer, the fact that one of these pitchers happens to be an all-star does not prevent the others from throwing their fair share of innings. Now, I say that not to degrade either of the others pitcher’s skills, because they both can throw a mean six-foot arch, but just to inform you, my dear readers that ‘ol 99 (me) has moved to another post. But I’m not going to talk about it.

As for facebook, I’m not going to talk about that either. It has become very clear that Theresa has many more friends than me and I will never be able to catch up. Especially if I keep rejecting friend requests, like I have been doing. I don’t know, when you get a request from someone that you do not even recognize even a little bit, and then you ask them how we know each other, and she says ‘from 7th grade shop class,’ and I still have absolutely no clue who she is, that is where I draw the line. Facebook is about keeping in touch with friends, not random people who you saw once over 10 years ago any have not heard a whisper about in any time since then. So this means that I will probably never win any popularity contests. But I’m not talking about that either.

So, what am I going to talk about? Nothing really, I guess. I could say how much I am disappointed by Pandora. You know, that internet radio station where you put in your favorite artist, and it plays songs similar to them based one a set of “musical genes” that it gives the songs. Well, much like real genetics, I think the musical genome project is having some trouble with emergent properties. For example, when I started a station based on Sunset Rubdown, it listed the bands qualities as “Acoustic rhythm piano, mixed acoustic and electric instrumentation, major key tonality, and emotional male lead vocal performance.” Then it went ahead and played a bunch of whiney emo songs from bands like Reliant K. You see, the real appeal of Sunset Rubdown are Spencer Krug’s yelpy, Bowiesque vocals, complex song structure and its existentialist undertones, which are completely missed when you are breaking down the song into unhelpful categories like “mixed acoustic and electric instrumentation.” If Pandora’s creators had looked at real genetics a little, they might have realized that person’s true characteristics cannot be simply described by listing a small set of genes. And by analogy, they might have realized the futility of describing a musician’s true characteristics with a set of uninformative ‘musical genes.’ Oh well.


Ghosts, Baseball Cards, and Anthrophobia

Nothing much happened to me this week. Wait wait, keep reading. It was just a joke. Plenty of things happened to me this week. It was like the most exciting week ever. For example, I went to JC Penny on Saturday and bought a new pair of dress slacks. Now, these are just any pair of slack, they are cotton-twill with a thread count of at least 300, maybe even 400…

But really, this week I did sign up to be a Law School tour guide. You know, one of those over-excited glee-club-types who just love to tell prospective students about how great UVa law is. Like, did you know that the library has more than 860,000 volumes? That’s right 860,000. And not to mention the microforms. I don’t want to brag, but we’ve got over a million. I’m sorry, but your school just isn’t hip if you don’t have over a million microforms—they’re the wave of the future. Anyway, I was thinking of following the tradition of many Virginia towns and attractions (including Charlottesville), and offering a ghost and murder tour of the law school also. I could hold it each evening and charge $25 a pop. So, if anybody knows of any UVa Law murders, let me know. And if not, I might have to create some myself. If there aren’t any ghosts and murders to talk about on my first tour, there defiantly will be on the second…

In other news, let me tell you about facebook. Yes, it is another post about facebook. Well, now that Theresa is working at the stundent health center and spends a lot of time surfing the Internet, she has succumbed to the dark side and joined the on-line community. And now she’s getting all huffy because she has 75 friends and I only have 64. Yeah, so it has become a big contest between us. You know, just the kind of contest that everyone seems to be opposed to: a popularity contest. It has gotten so bad that I feel like I’m back in 5th grade, trading baseball cards (I had the entire roster of the Toronto Blue Jays back then, you know). I’d say to Theresa “Guess who I just invited? One ADAM GORDEN”

“NO WAY! I want Adam Gorden. Where’d you get him?”

“I’m not telling.”

“Fine, but I just got Carie Ann!”

“She’s on facebook?!” and so on.

And speaking of Facebook friends, I just got a message from one of mine who needs a little favor. I wont say whom, but I will say that we used to be in a great band with hits like “Parkade Romance,” “Love on the Ghetto LRT” and “Neglected Love on a Fishing Trip.” You see, back in my FHE days, her and I put together a killer list of questions for the Dating Game, and she has now asked for my help coming up with some new ones. So here they are. Enjoy:

What would you do if I dressed as Louie XIV for Halloween, but liked my costume so much I started wearing it every day?

What would you do if, although I was a faithful member of the church, my entire family were a band of ruthless South Pacific Pirates, and wanted you to join the family business?

Imagine that you loved me, but today I am getting married to a man who you just discovered is planning to sell me to Russian slave traders. Unfortunately, the groom would kill you if you told me. How would you warn me of my impending doom without tipping off my fiancé.

If you were to loose both your hands in a tragic accident, and could have them replaced with any small appliance, which would you choose.

What would you get me for my birthday if I were a renowned Scatologist (studies animal feces), and have only ever showed interest in my work?

What would you say if I were planning on protesting water pollution by living in a canoe on a Northern Alberta lake for a year, and I wanted you to join me.

Would you still go out with me if we really hit it off, but then you discovered that I write a blog from the perspective of Xylor, a level 18 half-elf wizard with a cloak of invisibility and a crossbow of penetration? Why or why not?

If you were one of the characters on “The Office,” who would you be and why?

Imagine that my BO was so bad that you feel like vomiting every time I am near. How would you tactfully get me to improve my hygene.

Imagine that I had an acute case of anthrophobia (fear of flowers), and on our first date I brought you a dozen roses (the most frightening of all flowers). How would you calm me down and convince me to still go out with you.