i really don't know which fact is more disturbing to me. first, that i--the fancy-pants english major--have only read 44 of the '1001 books you must read before you die', or second, that in a quick scan of my bookshelves, i found 26 more that i've never (or only partially) read.


more bad news

according to candian scientists (canadian scientists? if you say so. weird.), at their current rate of decline, the world's supply of fishable (i.e. delicious) seafood will run out in 2048. this might just be the saddest news ever.


hiatus-ing for fun and profit

just to make it painfully obvious, this blog has become seriously defunct this semester. it hasn't seemed to fit my mood for whatever reason. i'm starting to think that maybe i need a blog with a more definite focus. i suppose, since my training is in politics, that would be the place to go.

and yes, if you go way back in the archives, this blog was supposed to be focused--on boston-area shenanigans, if i recall correctly. i'm far too lazy to go back and read it. in any case, it didn't work out that way, and this space became a repository for any old boring junk that came out of my head.

come to think of it, i might just keep it around to fulfill that catchall function and start something new that's a bit more focused. we'll see. part of the fun of blogs, i've realized, is outgrowing them.


a mandate on taste

consumer reports reports to consumers that mcdonald's premium coffees (newman's own organic, in the green mountain family) beat starbucks regular coffee in their in-house testing. this is interesting on a couple of levels, none of them having anything to do with the relative quality of either coffee.

first though, to disclaim, i've never tried mcdonald's new coffee, despite the fact that they offer it for free with any of their delicious sammiches every morning. i do, however, have a cup of starbucks' ethiopia sidamo in front of me as i'm typing this. and it's pretty damn good. ooh, also in the interests of full disclosure, i kinda sorta work for starbucks. and have for years. in fact, starbucks not only pays my rent and my bills, but they bought me a bike when mine got stolen. nevertheless, i like to think i'm vociferous in my criticism of my corporate overlords, both on and off the job. plus, like the evaluators in the survey, i'm trained in the intricacies of coffee-tasting. my palate be hella educated, yo.

there, now that that's out of the way, on to the coffee survey itself, and more importantly, my problems with it.

ok, back to the taste thing. the appeal of coffee is very, very subjective, and i'm not just talking about what kind of milk or how much sugar you add to it. (don't even get me started on calling your fucking latte "coffee" because it's just not right) whether or not a random person enjoys a cup of coffee depends very much on characteristics that your average joe probably wouldn't even know how to characterize, like acidity, body, and mouthfeel. these traits interact with the three levels of flavor (top, middle, and bottom) to create the overall taste of a cup of coffee. if this sounds nerdy, well, that's because it is. and i go here not to prove how uncool i am (duh) but to make the point that every cup is different. there are starbucks coffees i hate (verona) and starbucks coffees i love (shade-grown mexico), but my opinion of the company's offerings as a whole are relatively constant. unlike mcdonald's, i should point out.

so am i defending starbucks? maybe. a little. more like condemning the conditions under which this test was conducted. for instance, were all the coffees they tasted organic? or just mcdonald's? were they latin american? african? asian? blends? light roasts? dark roasts? were they freshly ground? freshly brewed? how long ago were they brewed? were they all 100% arabica? was the coffee brewing equipment clean?

god knows i can't vouch for my own store on some of these factors, let alone five different stores with five different sets of corporate standards. and maybe these variables will cancel each other out across the field of candidate coffees, but coming fresh from a course on research methods, the whole thing seems a little sloppy to me.

notice how i don't dispute the value thing though. newman's own organic coffee is fair trade certified, and thus about as guilt-free as coffee can be. unlike starbucks (cafe estima aside). and the mcdonald's is still cheaper! if there's anything about this that should embarrass the suits in seattle, it's that.


everybody's special

i'm pretty sure that nobody with actual talent reads my blog (when i get around to posting, that is). legitimized talent, i mean. you guys all rock, but as far as i know, you've never published anything or gotten signed (no, blogs don't count, and neither does the "record label" you thought up when you got stoned on the library roof that one time). anyway, like most losers (and eventual winners, i suppose), i keep trying in spite of the harsh glaring truth and every november, i psyche myself up for the month of plot outlines and carpal tunnel syndrome that is nanowrimo.

and now you musically inclined folks can play too! check it out: the rpm challenge! record an album in 28 days? sounds like a piece of cake to me. though, you only have about 32 hours until the clock starts.

then you have to learn how to play an instrument, find some like-minded saps to accompany you, write a bunch of songs, record them, have artistic differences and go your own way, edit them (the songs, not the differences. though, now that you mention it, your musical pretensions aren't exactly original), leak them to the internet, convince dj dangermouse to remix your shit so the kids will think it's cool, find some kickass cover art, sue the pants off the hipster doofi who illegally downloaded your genius, wallow in your own crapulence, and fall headfirst into the inevitable sophomore slump.

congratulations, you're a rock star! now head on over to pitchfork and hypemachine to obsessively track your "popularity".

ok, fine! yes, i'm slightly bitter, my musical dreams will never be realized! and no, i don't hold that against musicians, more power to them. and maybe, i secretly wish i could pull off the eyeliner look. quit bugging me, don't you have songs to write?


absence makes the heart go yonder

listen dan, it's been a long time since you posted anything on me (like 37 days, even) and i'm starting to wonder if you even carea about me anymore. i have feelings too, you know, and needs, and contrary to what everybody's been telling you, i'm not going to just sit around and wait for you to come back to me, extra-large hat in hand, and act like nothing ever happened. the fact is that you gave up on us, not me. and frankly, i don't want to hear excuses about finals, or holidays, or the strange virus you picked up from tramping around on new year's.

get over yourself and come back to me, because i haven't given up. and if you're man enough to admit you were wrong, i'll be blog enough to take you back. this time. everybody deserves a second chance, even a jerk like you. plus you're just too damn sexy not to have in my life. play your cards right, and maybe you can be a blogger with benefits. just promise not to fuck up anymore and treat me with a little respect, ok? i deserve it.

love (begrudgingly),
your blog


good lord, i hate this movie

look, i don't really have a lot of love for the troglodytes over at aicn. more often than not, their breathless fanboyism makes me want to punch myself in the face for liking some of the same things they do.

however, there's a special place in my heart for hating on eragon. perhaps it's the residual self-loathing of a former (very former, asshole) dragonlance reader, or maybe it's just that this kind of shitstorm of a novel makes anybody who actually enjoys fantasy of any stripe feel like a total schmuck. quality, original, amazing, fantastic fiction does exist out there, but every book of sword-and-sorcery cookie cutter tripe that comes out just encourages people to write off the whole genre. so, thanks, homeschooled dipshit, for tying your cinderblock of a brainfart around the necks of actual fantasy fans everywhere. enjoy your millions of dollars.

p.s. your dragon looks completely retarded.