Chrestomathy
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 St. Crispian's Day Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version 
 Author:  matt
 Dated:  Monday, October 18 2004 @ 11:16 PM PDT
 Viewed:  1231 times  
SportsOkay, so it's six days early, but I felt it to be appropriate...

Enter ORTIZ

MARTINEZ
O that we now had here
But one ten thousand of those men in Boston
That do no work to-day!

 Daily affirmation Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version 
 Author:  matt
 Dated:  Tuesday, October 12 2004 @ 09:57 PM PDT
 Viewed:  948 times  
LifeI woke up laughing today.

I was having a dream that it was my wedding day, and what made it funny is that my mind didn't even make excuses for itself by filling in details like it usually does in a dream. Without going into the exact details, I was both late for my wedding (which, in and of itself is funny), and marrying a very pretty girl whose name I couldn't remember, and about whom I knew nothing.

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Most Recent Post: 10/13 08:50AM by Dan4th

 Dans la mémoire et des mercis Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version 
 Author:  matt
 Dated:  Tuesday, October 12 2004 @ 01:23 AM PDT
 Viewed:  1264 times  
PhilosophyIt's with a heavy heart that I note the passing of Jacques Derrida. He was a gifted philosopher and linguist, and many of the central tenets of his work have made their way into my own view of the world.

For the past several hours, I've been attempting to qualify and quantify the effects that his writing has had on my life, and I find myself unable to unravel the skein of cause and effect far enough to determine precisely what, in me, is of his creation. Such is the mark of a great idea, that in its communication, those who understand it feel as if they knew it all along somewhere beneath the surface of their mind. Mssr. Derrida would probably argue against that statement, but, at least when I read it, I know it to be true.

Bon voyage, monsieur. I thank you.

1 comments
Most Recent Post: 09/09 02:16AM by brewer

 Congratulations, Yankees Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version 
 Author:  matt
 Dated:  Sunday, October 10 2004 @ 06:28 AM PDT
 Viewed:  1070 times  
SportsI was rooting for the Twins. Not so much because I'd rather face them in the ALCS, but because I'd rather they made it to the ALCS.

As some of you may recall, a couple of years ago Bud Selig and his cronies thought it'd be a good idea to lose a couple of teams in the league. An obvious contender was the Expos, who (if memory serves) were actually losing money every time they played a game, and whose stadium was rapidly approaching condemnation.

A not so obvious choice was the Minnesota Twins. See, they actually had a winning record. They had fans showing up to games. They were (and remain) a pretty solid team across the board. Why would such a team fall into even the same conversation as the Expos, when they competed in a market (the markets are big in the midwest, especially the northwest end of things) with the Milwaukee Brewers, another team that was in only slightly better shape than the Expos?

 Bathroom books Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version 
 Author:  matt
 Dated:  Sunday, October 10 2004 @ 01:28 AM PDT
 Viewed:  1479 times  
BooksIn the past week or so I read (or re-read) three books whose collective theme, in retrospect, is one of cynicism, but they are coincidentally all perfect reading material for when you're on the hopper.

First up, and least cynical of them all, is a collection of travel writing called Not So Funny When it Happened. Featuring excerpts from such authors as Dave Barry, Bill Bryson and David Sedaris, it's a self-described compendium of travel humor and misadventure. I highly recommend it.

Next (in order of cynicism) is The Worst Case Scenario Survival Handbook: Dating & Sex. This book is hilarious, if not altogether the most practical self-help manual out there. It opens with a chapter describing the steps to determine if your date is an axe murderer, and things go downhill from there.

Finally, and what has to be the most patently cynical book I've ever read (including the works of the great Russian writers), I leave you with The Pessimist's Guide to History: An Irresistible Compendium of Catastrophes, Barbarities, Massacres and Mayhem from The Big Bang to the New Millennium. In what can only be described as a prescient moment, the book ends with this:

On New Year's Day, despite a few minor glitches, ATMs dispensed cash, utilities functioned, planes were still flying in the air, no nuclear weapons were deployed, terrorists did not strike, and as dawn broke around the world, the earth was still rotating on its axis.

It was enough to bring tears to a pessimist's eyes. Of course, we never know what's just around the corner, do we?

1 comments
Most Recent Post: 11/05 12:25AM by matilda

 Nine days (part 2) Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version 
 Author:  matt
 Dated:  Saturday, October 09 2004 @ 04:54 AM PDT
 Viewed:  959 times  
LifeDay the second: Near death and a burgeoning fascination

As the attempt at a second chorus of the song degraded into sporadic laughter and conversation, I decided it was time to crack a beer. Because we were pretty much the only guests in the place, we were having our party right in the back of the parking lot in front of the groom's parents' cottage. Before long the people that had run back to their respective other hotels had arrived, including the bride and groom, and (separately) Tara.

Many toasts were offered and the party progressed, but Tara remained somewhat aloof from the crowd. I suppose that she probably knew fewer people there than I did, and I suspect that her venture into dish washing had left her feeling a bit alienated from the merriment. By virtue of the tacit understanding between the two of us and the friend that was trying to set us up, it seemed to be my job to help integrate her into the party. This, however, had its difficulties.

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Most Recent Post: 10/20 09:45AM by Dan4th

 And fate stepped out Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version 
 Author:  matt
 Dated:  Friday, October 08 2004 @ 11:44 PM PDT
 Viewed:  1012 times  
LifeHere's a tip: never, ever, EVER do statistical analysis of the dating pool based on (mostly) reliable data. It's far too depressing.

That said, let's talk numbers:
289534 - Number of women in the United States that are compatible with me based on relatively superficial criteria*
938 - Number of women in New England that are compatible
463 - Number of women in Massachusetts that are compatible
13894 - Number of people in Massachusetts per compatible woman
0 - Likelihood that I'll ever weed through nearly fourteen thousand people while sitting here doing statistical analysis.


* I made no attempt to estimate the vagaries of compatibility for personality, proclivity or situation. I could have, for instance, deducted some small percentage for those women that are currently imprisoned, in a coma, or have a boyfriend already (in roughly that order of preference), but I lacked accurate numbers.

2 comments
Most Recent Post: 10/10 08:52PM by matt

 Nine days (part 1) Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version 
 Author:  matt
 Dated:  Friday, October 08 2004 @ 03:37 AM PDT
 Viewed:  973 times  
LifeDay the first: Jewelry, tattoos, collars and knots

I hit the snooze button on my alarm clock for the umpteenth time and flopped back onto the bed. A few seconds later, the time registered in my brain, and I was out of bed cursing at myself.

My first experiments with my roommates' clothing steamer were, shall we say, less than impressive. The basic idea is that you've got this thing that looks like a part of a vacuum cleaner that shoots steam out, and you can use it to effectively iron clothing without having to worry about creases and seams. It doesn't give clothing the look of having been pressed, but works fine for a shirt that's going to be under a suit anyway.

Over the course of the first five minutes I had managed to burn myself twice, and I still hadn't scored a point against the wrinkles in my dress shirt. In the ensuing battle, I managed to coax the shirt into a mostly flat state and headed for the shower.

Reveling under the flow of warm water, my lethargy set back in and cost me an extra ten minutes. If things kept up at this rate, I might show up in time to buy the groom a drink.

 Teaser Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version 
 Author:  matt
 Dated:  Tuesday, October 05 2004 @ 11:28 PM PDT
 Viewed:  822 times  
LifeI know it's been pretty slow around here, but I'm working on a recap of what's been going on, and it's a series of events worthy of editing and rewrite, so it may be a little while before it's up. In the meantime, I've already selected the chapter names, so just to make sure it doesn't live up to the hype, here they are:

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Most Recent Post: 10/09 05:03PM by matt

 Progress Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version 
 Author:  matt
 Dated:  Tuesday, October 05 2004 @ 04:34 PM PDT
 Viewed:  773 times  
TechnologyI just paid ten bucks so I could listen to a stream of a local AM radio station that's covering the Red Sox game.

2 comments
Most Recent Post: 10/05 10:41PM by matt

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