Friday, October 31, 2008

Random Things

I thought I'd bombard you all with a Random Things post the day before I head off to sunny Mexico for a few days of relaxation.

-Tomorrow officially begins NaNoWriMo.  NaNoWriMo is short for National Novel Writing Month and it is a challenge for writers to create a 50,000 word "novel" in 30 days.  The rules don't stipulate that it has to be especially good - just 50,000 semi-coherent words in the month of November.  I wanted to partake in this event this year, but it looks like I won't be able to.

In order to complete the challenge you need to write 1,667 words per day.  Due to various trips I will be taking in the month of November, I would guess that I would only have about 20 days throughout the month where I could sit and focus on writing for any length of time.  That means I would have to write 2,500 words per day.  That's a pretty tall order.

I haven't completely ruled it out, but it's not looking good.

-More Halloween tidbits I forgot to mention in my last post:
If you're a white dude, don't dress up as Barack Obama
Do you think that John McCain will finally take off his John McCain mask to reveal the real John McCain?

-There are people that like me and consider me a good friend, but I totally understand why some people think I'm an asshole.

-On Monday I received a call from the Obama campaign asking me to volunteer in Indianapolis between November 1st and November 4th because the race is a tie in Indiana.  I won't be volunteering, but I find it interesting that I landed on Obama's call list and McCain's mailing list.  I'm not sure what I did, but both candidates seem to think that I'm on their side.

-My wife just bought Crest Pro-Health toothpaste.  Do they mean to imply that Colgate is Anti-Health?

-When Dee heard that Chicago was named America's Most Stressful City by Forbes magazine she said, "Oh no.  I'm stressed about that."

-I don't know exactly when it happened but at some point in my life I became a messy eater.

-I had a friend remind me that, "when something you love doing stops being fun, it's time to stop doing it."  I've heard this before but sometimes it takes someone outside the situation to remind you of those things you already know.

I believe it's my duty to try to make it fun again before I take any drastic measures.

-I watched Obama's 30 minute spot and cried when he mentioned that his mother never got to see her grandchildren.  It reminded me that my dad will never get to see my kids.  I wish my kids could know him.

-Based on my informal poll of friends and family, I can be certain that Obama will receive at least 9 votes (including Barack and Michelle Obama).  I know for a fact that two of those votes have already been cast.  We'll have to wait until election day to see if he breaks double digits.

-Based on my informal poll of friends and family, I can be certain that McCain will receive at least 3 votes (including John and Cindy McCain).  According to my poll results, Obama has a 50 point lead.

-Office vending machine owners must hate this time of year because everyone puts out bowls of free candy on their desk.

-This commercial pretty much says it all about the Notre Dame die-hards.  Sadly, the priest in that commercial (the former chaplain to the ND athletic teams) died last night. 

-They pulled a nifty little switcheroo in last night's episode of The Office.  Dwight became Jim for an episode while he tormented Andy and Jim became Dwight while his brothers tormented him.  Clever "character costumes" for the show.

Try not to miss me too much when I'm gone.  Don't worry, I'll be back soon.  Maybe I'll even send out a quick post while on vacation, but don't hold your breath.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Halloween

Anyone who knows me knows that I'm not a big fan of Halloween.  I never have liked Halloween much.  When I was a kid I liked the candy aspect, but I hated being forced to come up with a costume and dress up in said costume.  It also seemed strange to me that people would give you candy if you put on a silly outfit.  By the time I was twelve, I had quit doing the trick-or-treat thing completely.  Since that time I've dressed up for Halloween exactly one time and I pretty much hated it.  Why did I dress up?  It was a requirement for the party I was going to and there was a lady there I wanted to see.  Even I am not immune to the powers of the ladies.

Anyway, most of you douchebags love Halloween and shockingly claim it as your favorite holiday so I'll attempt to get into the Halloween spirit by offering you this:

 
Image by Stefan G. Bucher from his Daily Monster post for today.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Football

If all you read was this blog, you would barely know that it's football season and that football is my favorite sport.  You might think that I've not been watching the Colts and Irish as closely as in past seasons.  If you do think that, you're wrong.  I've been watching very closely.  I've just decided not to bore you with game recaps (unless I was at the game) that you can read on any sports site.  However, I can't resist writing about football every now and then.

The Irish
Unranked.  5-2.  They should finish 9-3 if they play to their ability.  If not, they could easily finish 7-5.  Either way, I'm probably more excited about what's going to happen the next two years.  This team should be set to make a run at a BCS Bowl next year and will be in the National Championship discussion the following year.  They are loaded with young talent and this talent is already playing at a high level.  Jimmy Clausen will find himself at the Downtown Athletic Club in New York at least once before he graduates.  Freshman wide receiver Michael Floyd might even join him at some point.  Golden Tate (fantastic name for an ND player) will remind everyone of Rocket Ismail and the group of Armando Allen, Robert Hughes, James Aldridge, Jonas Gray and Cierre Woods will invite comparisons to the offensive backfields of the Lou Holtz days when we had at least two studs ready to play at any moment.

And the defense.  Oh, the defense.  We've got freshmen cornerbacks like Robert Blanton who are already contributing and athletic linebackers like Brian Smith and Darius Fleming.  All young guys who can make plays and will be able to execute John Tenuta's crazy blitz schemes to perfection.

I can't get too far ahead of myself.  They're still a young team and make the kind of mistakes a young team makes.  The end of this season will be interesting.  They need step up and win big games against Pitt and BC, but the real test will be how they play against USC.  Will they get blown out or will they play well enough to have a chance to pull it out at the end?  That game will tell us how ready this team is to contend on the national stage.

The Colts
Injuries.  I could probably just stop there.  Just about every single key player on this team has been injured or is recovering from an injury.  The offensive line has been affected this most by this.  The Colts have been trying to patch together a line all year and they haven't been able to open up holes for the running backs or keep the pressure off Peyton Manning - who hasn't exactly been sharp.  Plus, Marvin Harrison can't get open.

On the defensive side, Pro Bowl safety Bob Sanders has been hurt for all but two games and they've had linebackers dropping like flies.  Am I making excuses?  No, I'm stating facts.  The real problem has been that the guys on the field haven't been able get pressure on the quarterback or stop the run.  It's hasn't helped that they've been consistently been committing stupid penalties to keep drives alive.

The announcers for Monday Night Football kept talking about how Monday's game was a "changing of the guard" in the AFC South.  It may not quite be that, but that game was definitely a sign that the Colts are coming back down to Earth.  They may still have a couple of decent seasons left in them if they can keep people healthy, but don't expect the Colts you've known for the past eight or nine years.  Don't count on this team making the playoffs.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Conference Calls

Listen, assholes.  Stop having side conversations when you're on a conference call with a speakerphone.  It fucks everything up.  The mic on the phone picks up your little side convo and all the other end hears is silence while someone actually participating in the meeting is trying to say something that people need to hear.  Don't you nod your head like you know what I'm talking about guy-who-loudly-shuffles-his-papers.  You're just as guilty.  You're inability to sit still causes the same problems.  And you, guy-who-calls-in-from-his-desk-even-though-the-conference-room-is-twenty-feet-down-the-hall-because-you're-too-busy, put your goddamn phone on mute.  We can hear you hammering away at your ergonomic keyboard.  It's annoying.  Plus, we now know you're not paying a damn bit of attention.  Thanks for showing up, dickbag.  And fuck you, guy-who-dials-in-late-and-wants-to-be-caught-up-on-everything.  You already suck for being late, don't make us waste any more time by bringing you up to speed.  But mostly, I'd like to send out a super-triple dose of go fuck yourself to the mute button guy.  Yeah, you know who you are.  You put us all on mute while you make some snarky comment about us.  You know what?  We can tell you just put us on mute.  And we know you're saying something shitty about us.  We're not idiots.  Life is filled with background noise and when the phone goes completely silent we know something is up.  Go choke on a crusty scrotum, assholes.  We're sick of you fucking up our conference calls.

Monday, October 20, 2008

What's the Problem?

Undoubtedly you have seen the clip of the lady at the McCain rally who called Obama "an Arab" and John McCain's reaction.  If not, you can see it below.



My first reaction to this was, "Wow."  My next reaction was, "McCain handled that well."  Then I watched the video again.  I listened to John McCain's response one more time.  In response to her saying, "He's an Arab," McCain says, "No, ma'am.  No, ma'am.  He's a decent, family man citizen that I just happen to have disagreements with on fundamental issues."  That's true.  That is exactly true.  However, that response implies that being an Arab is none of those things.

Sure, McCain was reacting on the spot to a tough situation but he's a politician - he's used to that.  He also knows that even seemingly harmless comments can offend and cause outrage.  He's smart enough to know not to imply that being Arab means that you can't be a good person, too.  I don't entirely blame John McCain for this.  Since 9/11 our society has tolerated the demonization of Arabs and Muslims (terms that I believe most Americans think are interchangeable).  Calling someone Arab or Muslim implies that they are anti-American at best and a terrorist at worst.

I had another exchange with a family friend in Indianapolis while discussing Barack Obama.  The woman I was talking to was a McCain supporter and asked me, "Aren't you worried about him being a Muslim?"  After I picked my jaw up off the floor, I responded, "First of all, he's not Muslim.  He's a Christian.  Second, why exactly should that be such a big problem?"  She backpedaled a bit and never really answered my second question and I didn't push any further since we were at a birthday party and I didn't feel like killing everyone's mood.  However, this has become accepted bigotry in our society.  Everyone tends to lump Muslims and terrorists into the same category and everyone feels the need to defend themselves when called "Muslim" or "Arab." 

The "Muslims" and "Arabs" have become the new "Russians" and "Commies" and are now the focus of our ire and hatred.  The problem is that there is a major difference between the USSR and the Muslim community.  The USSR was a nation with a government that opposed and was openly hostile to the U.S.  Muslims are people who practice the religion of Islam.  They do not all believe that America should be destroyed.  In fact, there are many Muslims who live in and love America.

We should be focusing our hatred on terrorists who want to destroy America - regardless of their religion or race or country of origin.  This may seem obvious to you, but it is not obvious to everyone.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Molly

On September 24th, the run of the sketch show I was in - 100 Years of Losing - ended.  It was a well-attended affair and the show was probably the strongest of the entire run.  It was a great way to wrap things up.  It was also the final pH show for Molly Hall.

Molly has been with pH from nearly the beginning.  She was part of one of the first audition groups that we hired.  I remember seeing them all perform in rehearsal for the first time and my first thought was, "Wow.  These people are waaaay better than me."  Molly was especially impressive because she was unfazed by anything that happened on stage and had a knack for making notoriously terrible improv situations into gold.  She still does.

Over the years (five, I think) Molly and I became good friends.  I would always smile when she greeted me with, "Ford."  No one said it quite like her and it made my extremely boring name sound interesting and funny.  I'll miss hearing that on a regular basis.  I'll miss seeing her make everyone look good in pHrenzy and I'll miss goofing around with her in rehearsals for Marty's sketch shows.

I'm making it sound like I'll never see Molly again and that's not true.  Molly is still good friends with all of us in pH and she'll be around - just not as often.  I'll still get to enjoy the benefits of being friends with Molly Hall, I just won't get to enjoy the thrill of performing with her.  That is something I already miss and I will continue to miss for as long as I'm still performing.  Molly is one of the best there is and I'm lucky to have shared the stage with her.

Thank you, Molly Hall.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Questions and Answers

What the fuck?
That's what I said.  It's ridiculous, but we have to deal with it if we want to get that license.  That's the way things work in Chicago.

Who do you think you are?
I'm Jeff and I'm sick of you questioning me.  In fact I have half a mind to toss you the hell out of here.  And when I throw someone out they stay out.  They don't come back.  So either you leave on your own or I throw you out. 

Yeah, that's what I thought.

Where do you think you're going?
Over here.  I thought I'd fill up my water bottle.  You know, because I'm thirsty.  So, I'll be over here...  Filling up my water bottle...  So, yeah.  Right here.

How many times do I have to tell you?
Obviously more than twice - otherwise you wouldn't be so pissed.  I'll write it down.  There.  Happy now?

If everyone else does it, will you?
No.  In fact, I'll probably do the opposite.  Unless the opposite of what everyone is doing is really dangerous, then I'll do something different than what everyone else is doing that isn't quite as dangerous.

Is that what you're going to wear?
Well, it's what I am wearing.  I had planned to continue to wear it, but now I'm having second thoughts.  Maybe I'll change my shirt, but I like the pants.  I'm keeping the pants.  Well, maybe the pants, too.  But the shoes are good.  Yes, I like the shoes.  I think.

What are you doing?
I was taking a nap.  I thought that was pretty obvious.  Thanks for waking me up.  Asshole.

What was that?
Probably just the wind.

Did you hear that?
You mean the obnoxiously loud tornado siren?  Yeah, I heard it.  Why do you think I'm going to the basement?

Who farted?
Not me.

Why did you think that would work?
Frankly, I didn't.  I just wanted to give it a try.  It seemed somewhat possible, but I wasn't holding my breath.  I'll just have to try something else.

How are you going to pay for this?
Don't you worry about that.  I've got it covered.  Just take whatever you need and get to work.

Who's your daddy?
Why do you care?  What does that have to do with anything?  Do you mean to imply that YOU are my daddy?  You, sir, are not my daddy.  My daddy was a much better man than you.  To wit, he would never ask silly, taunting questions to his opponents after besting them at sport.  By the way, well played.  I'll see you at the other end of the court.

What's the safe word?
Porcupine

How did you think this was going to play out?
Well, I thought you'd be charmed by my wit and realize that your husband is bland and boring and that you might as well take a shot with me.  Or at least I thought you'd be slightly enamored with me and frustrated enough with your husband that you'd be willing to say "screw it" and have a one night stand.  I guess I overestimated how lame your husband is.

Seriously?
Yeah.  Sorry man.  Nothing I can do about it.

Can I have a second of your time?
Not if you're going to try to sell me something.

Are you a cop?
No.

How much can I put you down for?
$200

Would you like to talk about changing your phone service?
*Click*

Was that rude?
If you're asking, you already know the answer.  Do you think she would have stormed out of the room if it wasn't?  She's pissed and you need to apologize.

Am I wrong?
Of course you are.  That is completely racist.  It's not even debatable.  You are 100% in the wrong.  In fact, you need to leave.  Get out.

Are those real?
Nope.  They're replicas.  I keep the real ones in a safe deposit box.  These are just for show.

Are these fresh?
I'm not really sure.  They seem that way, but I'm not an expert.  I just try to find some that aren't bruised and hope for the best.

How in the hell am I supposed to come up with that kind of money?
Well, there are all kinds of options.  You just need to find one.  If you don't take care of this, there's going to be trouble.  And I don't mean it's-going-to-be-hard-to-get-a-loan trouble.  I mean sleep-with-the-lights-on trouble.  So figure something out.  I'll be back in a week, you better have a plan.

Do you like that?
Oh yeah.  Just like that.

Will you answer that?

No, I won't.  It's just going to be a telemarketer and I'll have to hang up.  I don't like hanging up on people.

How do you want it?
A ten, five, four ones and four quarters.

What is this worth?
Depends upon what you're willing to pay.  To a collector it's worth about $2,000 but to a guy who's freezing it's worth as much as a week-old newspaper - great kindling.

What are you laughing at?
Nothing.  Nothing at all.  Just thinking to myself.  I swear.

Monday, October 13, 2008

The Questions

And now the questions to the answers posted below.

What the fuck?

Who do you think you are?

Where do you think you're going?

How many times do I have to tell you?

If everyone else does it, will you?

Is that what you're going to wear?

What are you doing?

What was that?

Did you hear that?

Who farted?

Why did you think that would work?

How are you going to pay for this?

Who's your daddy?

What's the safe word?

How did you think this was going to play out?

Seriously?

Can I have a second of your time?

Are you a cop?

How much can I put you down for?

Would you like to talk about changing your phone service?

Was that rude?

Am I wrong?

What?

Are those real?

Are these fresh?

How in the hell am I supposed to come up with that kind of money?

Do you like that?

Will you answer that?

How do you want it?

What is this worth?

What are you laughing at?

The Answers

I'm feeling a little Jeopardy-ish today, so I thought I'd try an experiment.  I came up with a series of questions and answered them.  I'm posting the answers here and I'll post the questions later, then I'll post the questions and the answers together in a few hours.  The questions have been replaced by dashes.  Here we go:

---
That's what I said.  It's ridiculous, but we have to deal with it if we want to get that license.  That's the way things work in Chicago.

---
I'm Jeff and I'm sick of you questioning me.  In fact I have half a mind to toss you the hell out of here.  And when I throw someone out they stay out.  They don't come back.  So either you leave on your own or I throw you out. 

Yeah, that's what I thought.

---
Over here.  I thought I'd fill up my water bottle.  You know, because I'm thirsty.  So, I'll be over here...  Filling up my water bottle...  So, yeah.  Right here.

---
Obviously more than twice - otherwise you wouldn't be so pissed.  I'll write it down.  There.  Happy now?

---
No.  In fact, I'll probably do the opposite.  Unless the opposite of what everyone is doing is really dangerous, then I'll do something different than what everyone else is doing that isn't quite as dangerous.

---
Well, it's what I am wearing.  I had planned to continue to wear it, but now I'm having second thoughts.  Maybe I'll change my shirt, but I like the pants.  I'm keeping the pants.  Well, maybe the pants, too.  But the shoes are good.  Yes, I like the shoes.  I think.

---
I was taking a nap.  I thought that was pretty obvious.  Thanks for waking me up.

---
Probably just the wind.

---
You mean the obnoxiously loud tornado siren?  Yeah, I heard it.  Why do you think I'm going to the basement?

---
Not me.

---
Frankly, I didn't.  I just wanted to give it a try.  It seemed somewhat possible, but I wasn't holding my breath.  I'll just have to try something else.

---
Don't you worry about that.  I've got it covered.  Just take whatever you need and get to work.

---
Why do you care?  What does that have to do with anything?  Do you mean to imply that you are my daddy?  You, sir, are not my daddy.  My daddy was a much better man than you.  To wit, he would never ask silly, taunting questions to his opponents after besting them at sport.  By the way, well played.  I'll see you at the other end of the court.

---
Porcupine

---
Well, I thought you'd be charmed by my wit and realize that your husband is bland and boring and that you might as well take a shot with me.  Or at least I thought you'd be slightly enamored with me and frustrated enough with your husband that you'd be willing to say "screw it" and have a one night stand.  I guess I overestimated how lame your husband is.

---
Yeah.  Sorry man.  Nothing I can do about it.

---
Not if you're going to try to sell me something.

---
No.

---
$200

---
*Click*

---
If you're asking, you already know the answer.  Do you think she would have stormed out of the room if it wasn't?  She's pissed and you need to apologize.

---
Of course you are.  That is completely racist.  It's not even debatable.  You are 100% in the wrong.  In fact, you need to leave.  Get out.

---
Nope.  They're replicas.  I keep the real ones in a safe deposit box.  These are just for show.

---
I'm not really sure.  They seem that way, but I'm not an expert.  I just try to find some that aren't bruised and hope for the best.

---
Well, there are all kinds of options.  You just need to find one.  If you don't take care of this, there's going to be trouble.  And I don't mean it's-going-to-be-hard-to-get-a-loan trouble.  I mean sleep-with-the-lights-on trouble.  So figure something out.  I'll be back in a week, you better have a plan.

---
Oh yeah.  Just like that.

---
No, I won't.  It's just going to be a telemarketer and I'll have to hang up.  I don't like hanging up on people.

---
A ten, five, four ones and four quarters.

---
Depends upon what you're willing to pay.  To a collector it's worth about $2,000 but to a guy who's freezing it's worth as much as a week-old newspaper - great kindling.

---
Nothing.  Nothing at all.  Just thinking to myself.  I swear.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

An Open Letter

Dear Senator John McCain,
This starting to get a little awkward.  You seem to have the wrong impression of me.  Specifically, you seem to think that I am a card-carrying Republican.  I've received several letters from you asking for money for your campaign that include phrases like "our Party" and the improperly punctuated "Obama Democrats empty rhetoric."  I appreciate the fact that this kind of - yeah, I'm going to say it - rhetoric works on Party die-hards.  Unfortunately for you, I am not a Party die-hard which means that I lose whatever respect I had left for you when I read these words: "Americans don't want to hand a victory to al Qaeda -- the Obama Democrats do."  I find the tone of the letter most insulting.  Suddenly, you feel the need to closely identify with the Republican Party when you've spent the entire campaign painting yourself as a "maverick."  Aside from thinking I'm a Republican, do you also think I'm stupid?  Or just that I haven't been paying attention?

You may have already guessed, but I will not be sending you any money in the FedEx envelope you so desperately enclosed with your letter.  Not $5,000, $1,000, $500, $250 nor $100.  The only thing you will receive in that envelope is a copy of this letter with the tenses in this paragraph changed to reflect the fact that you have received the letter in the envelope.

By the way, I've already filled out my ballot and you did not receive my vote.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Politics in America

I subscribe to CNN.com's general news feed and they always include Glenn Beck's nutty ramblings.  Most of the time I skip it, but every now and then there is a headline so outlandish that it piques my curiosity and I head on over to hear him rant about keeping out the Mexicans.

Today I decided to click over.

I was surprised by what I found.  Aside from the ridiculous device of him writing this message from the future where America is a socalist state, he makes two good - and very important - points.  The first:
"Stop worrying so much about who runs the country and start worrying about who runs your towns, your states, and your Congress."
"Presidents are like captains of a large ship: They can map out a course and shout out orders, but without the trust and hard work of the people who actually move the rudders, their commands mean nothing."
YES!  Yes, yes, yes!  He's not saying that the President isn't important, but he's saying that the President can't change things all by himself.  He can come up with all sorts of great policies and programs but if Congress doesn't pass them into law, those policies and programs are worthless.  Beck also acknowledging that your local leaders have a much greater effect on your personal situation than our national leaders.  They can also affect direct change much more quickly.

So please stop ignoring your local elections and go out and cast your votes.

The second point he makes is something I often bring up when talking politics with friends.  I'm glad to see it getting some play in the media (even if it is this nut). 
"Looking back now, it's pretty obvious that our trust in government declined at about the same rate as our partisanship increased. People became so concerned about getting their party into power at any cost that the truth didn't even seem to matter anymore.
 That's probably one of the reasons why George Washington hated the idea of political parties so much. Here's what he said about them in his 1796 farewell speech:

"The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism. The disorders and miseries which result gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an individual; and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction, more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of public liberty."
I know that George had a habit for using big words, so allow me to translate into 2008 English: Political parties that put their own success over that of the country's will be the death of America."
Again, I agree.  I've had this discussion with my Dad (a State Senator) and his friend Jeff (a State Representative).  I cited George Washington as well and they both looked at me thoughtfully for a second and replied with, "But how would we (meaning legislators) get anything done?"  I told them that it would probably slow things down at first while people figure out who stands for what, but eventually things would work even better because the party titles would be gone.

My argument has been that the political parties provide too many easy shortcuts for both voters and legislators.  Voters can quickly make a decision on a candidate based on the animal next to the person's name.  They don't actually have to learn about what the candidate actually believes in or figure out if he or she is a good leader or not.  It allows too many people to participate in the political process without much thought.  Legislators can use the party as a cop-out as well.  A controversial bill is up for a vote?  What do I do?  Should I read the fine print and forumlate an opinion?  Nah, it's much easier to vote with the party.

Eventually, I would get around to the point that Beck makes about the idea that people become so concerned with getting their party into power that the truth gets lost.  After making this point, my Dad and Jeff would nod in agreement but assure me that the two party system still has its positives and that their experience in the Indiana Congress was that people were willing to cross the aisle for the right issues.  I felt better but told them that I didn't have the same confidence in our U.S. Congress.  They admitted the same - and then mentioned that it was the Democrats' fault (they are Republicans).

I don't know what to do about changing the two party system.  The only thing I can think of is to tell you to vote.  I've made this point a thousand times, but your vote makes a difference.  If you vote early (in the primaries - the local ones) you'll be able to find candidates that you feel you can trust to work to represent you and do what's best for your area.  You can vote for candidates who will realize that the party title is just that - a title - and maybe we could start to see some real change.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Sketches

Sometimes I write sketches, sometimes I draw sketches.  I recently downloaded an application called Sketches onto my iPhone.  It allows me to draw little pictures on my phone.  It's pretty cool.

Here's the first sketch I drew with this application:
 
And this is a sketch I drew on Monday night while out for pizza with my friends:
 
 
I also like that "sketches" is three different things.  Writings, drawings and an application.

I Do Have a Heart

There has been a running joke between me and my friend Jason that I'm not really human.  He's seen me interact with many folks and there are times when I can be quite an asshole.  I tend to be especially heartless with improvisers who pull the whole "everything is beautiful, everyone is right, hugs save the world, criticism is evil" act.  There have been many times when I've called out these people and tried to hold them responsible for their actions.  I never sugar coat it, and I don't usually realize that it comes off as very harsh in the moment.  Because Jason is a good and kind person, he does realize this.  Because Jason also has a delightfully twisted sense of humor, he also enjoys it.

One day as we were reveling one of my asshole moments Jason said something like, "I love when you try to help the humans."  Since that time I often refer to others as "the humans."  However, for all my assbaggery, I do still have a heart and there are some things that can tug at my emotions.  In fact, there are quite a few rather embarrassing things that make me cry or bring me to the brink of tears.  Below you will find a list of those items.  Proof that I am human - or at least that I've learned to mimic human behavior.
  • Those "We are the Fighting Irish" commercials they play during the ND games that feature a ND student, grad or faculty member that is doing something good for people.
  • Whistling the ND fight song after they score a touchdown.  I discovered this on Saturday during the ND-Purdue game.  My dad used to whistle the fight song after ND scored and it always reminds me of him.
  • This.
  • Israel Kamakawiwo'ole's "Somewhere Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World"
  • Those wonderful little children at Birch Camp.
  • Extreme Home Makeover
I'm sure there's more, but that's all I can think of at the moment.  I'm going to to hug someone.