Thursday, February 26, 2009

Oscar flush

Every year when the Academy Awards ceremony airs my fiancée and I watch. Every year she prints out two copies of the official "ballot" (from the Oscar website) and we each separately make selections about who will win each category. Every year at the end of the show we compare who guessed more categories correctly and that person gets bragging rights for the duration of the time it takes for the end credits of the telecast to roll.

Every year I do not participate in any other "Oscar pool," even though there are those who seek my involvement.

Is it that I dislike these others or have anything against the people organizing them? Absolutely not. I simply cannot comply with the basic requirement of these pools: the selections must be made prior to the beginning of the show.

That's not how I roll, Oscar-pick-wise.

~

The way the little head-to-head competition with my fiancée operates is this: Your pick must be made prior to the envelope for that category being opened. It's perfectly within the rules to choose as the presenter is starting to slide his or her finger under the flap; all that matters is a selection is made before he or she says "And the Oscar goes to…."

That makes it seem like all my selections are capricious and made in the last moment, but it's not that I have no ideas prior to the ceremony. We watch the Golden Globes each year as well (but do no such competition for that). We watch entertainment news (er, "news") programs and read magazines that feature stories about who the front-runners for the various categories are, et cetera. Heck, usually we have seen at least some of the nominated films.

The thing is: There's only really six awards that get discussed in those forums, but the ceremony (that airs) features 24 categories. To "win" a pool, one needs to get a bunch of the (shall we say, with no intended disrespect) lesser categories right as well.

Those I do not have the time nor inclination to research ahead of time. And researching them would be unlikely to make much of a difference.

It's a matter of paying attention as the show proceeds to pick up on what the pattern is.

I shall give you a glimpse into my process below.

~

For the "big" ones (Best Actress, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Best Director, and Best Picture), I followed "The DaColbert Code" (prior to the ceremony, Stephen Colbert made his picks in the style of The Da Vinci Code), which proved to get all but one correct.

Granted, these were already noted as favorites or at least in the top two in the given category; it was playing it safe, but with those categories playing it safe tends to pay off. (Colbert did not choose Best Director, but Danny Boyle's name was bantied about most heavily.)

My fiancée did not watch that episode of The Colbert Report. She did not score 5 out of 6 there. (She got 4 of 6, which, while still a good percentage, is one more than one can afford to miss with the "biggies.")

This year, another category was simple: When it came to the Best Animated Feature category anyone who didn't choose Wall-E did so out of spite; that was a phenomenal slam dunk, and anyone who had even heard of the film should have known as much.

But that leaves us with 17 more categories—many of which being the technical ones where as a layman I really have little basis for gauging. And maybe the Academy voters for those categories paid closer attention to that specific aspect of the nominated films, and maybe they didn't.

That doesn't matter. As I said, it's about discerning the pattern.

Many times there's a wave of momentum behind a given movie—not only with the big categories but with the technical ones as well. (For the 2004 ceremony, for example, that was Lord of the Rings: Return of the King.) However, there's no way to know that ahead of time. That only can be discerned by careful scrutiny of the first couple categories for which that movie is nominated. If a movie gets the nod for, say, Cinematography and Sound Mixing, and it doesn't seem like there was any real justification for that, then jump on that bandwagon.

Now, there are years when there is no pattern; that is the pattern. Then it's a crapshoot.

This year, of course, there was a pattern, and that pattern was all geared around the love fest over Slumdog Millionaire. I had a feeling about it, but it wasn't until I chose against it in Sound Mixing (or something) that I knew to ride the Slumdog express for the rest of the night. (Sure, that didn't pan out when The Dark Knight stole Sound Editing away, but that is something of the exception to prove the rule. Not that exceptions prove anything, but that seemed like a good spot for an unnecessary aphorism, didn't it?)

Oh right. I should clarify something. That is the true test of a pattern: choosing something else in one of those early technical categories, and having that backfire. It is a necessary sacrifice made toward the greater goal.

One other rule of thumb: When there's two movies with multiple nominations (as there was this year with Slumdog and Benjamin Button both garnering them in double-digits), if the "bandwagon" film is not nominated but the other one is, go with that. So, Benjamin was the auxiliary mini-bandwagon when Slumdog had no horse in the race (Makeup, Art Direction, Visual Effects).

Of course, there's only so far mining the pattern (and auxiliary pattern if applicable) will get you, when there is one. There's the documentary categories (full-length and short) and others where the pattern cannot apply (because the movie in question won't be nominated in them). Alas, with those you'll have to rely on your gut.

Sometimes if I cannot decide between two movies for, say, Animated Short, I just go with a very quick eenie-meenie-minie-moe. However, that more often blows up on me; typically it's the other one that I didn't "pick" that ends up winning (and then I am wrought with completely unjustified anger until the next presenter comes on).

So, one thing is certain: However you pick, don't overthink them.

And with documentaries, if you've even heard of one, go with it. I got Man on Wire (and my fiancée did not) because the filmmaker had appeared as a guest on The Colbert Report back in January. (Hmm. Noticing a pattern there….) That may backfire as well (we were both losers by taking Waltz with Bashir in the Foreign Language category), but it's better than nothing.

The reality is that you're probably going to take a bath on most of those non-biggie and outside-the-pattern categories. The thing is: Everybody else probably will as well.

You don't have to get them all; you just have to get more than whoever you're competing against.

And for the second year in a row, I did so. (By somehow pulling 8 of those 17 out of my behind.)

Which was undoubtedly just dumb luck. That's the real key to victory with this.

(I probably should have mentioned that earlier, shouldn't I?)

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Striving

The quest for excellence in a world that rewards and requires only adequacy is the primary source of frustration for the contemporary artist.

Maybe.

~

I really should have tried harder with that. (Eh, like anyone cares...)

Sunday, February 22, 2009

E!-rony

Because it is contractually obligated as residents of Los Angeles, we've had the E! network on TV for their pre-ceremony coverage. And just over the past ten minutes or so I have witnessed the following:

On the scroll along the bottom of the screen, one story (to the extent that those snippets tell a "story") that ran started with the words "Oh the irony...." And then what followed explained Dustin Lance Black, screenwriter of best-picture-nominee Milk--about a gay rights activist--revealed in an interview that he was lactose intolerant.

Minutes later, in a red carpet interview with best-actor-nominee Mickey Rourke, Ryan Seacrest pointed out the necklace around the actor's neck--a tribute to his recently deceased dog, Loki. And while Rourke was sharing a heartfelt moment about his beloved pet, Seacrest chimed in with "Incredible irony in losing Loki and getting nominated for this award." (To which Rourke noted the moment as being "bittersweet.")

I get the impression that on the job application for E! there is a question that says: "Can you identify genuine irony?"

If you answer "yes" then you are immediately procluded from being hired.

(Clearly, Mickey Rourke could not get a job there. Not that he would ever need resort to that.)

Oscar trivial... er, trivia

Everyone seems to be focused on the impending Oscar ceremony, so here's something I know about the days leading up to the Academy Awards from seeing it: The red carpet leading into the Kodak Theater is that is laid down many days before the show. And it is covered in plastic.

And because I passed right by there Friday morning, I captured this proof below:


To see more shots taken Friday morning of the setup for the Oscars, please check out this post over on the photo site.

(To assuage the concerns of those who follow my photography closely: You know that typically it takes me weeks, months, or even years after I shoot something before I actually get around to readying them. That I took some pictures and processed them and posted them in less than 36 hours is not a harbinger of the Apocalypse; it's merely abject pandering to jump on the bandwagon of an overly promoted event.)

(Disclaimer for the devoutly religious: I am not in any way an expert on what is or is not a genuine harbinger of the Biblical Apocalypse. Apologies to everyone if I prove to be wrong and this act of mine actually does bring that about.)

Thursday, February 19, 2009

An iPhone app that would save lives

To those of you who design apps for iPhones or BlackBerrys or other mobile email/text messaging devices:

They are marvelous breakthroughs of technology, and can be captivating with their color displays, full keyboards, touchscreens, and whatnot.

Here's the thing: Of all the amazing things you have enabled those devices to do, you appear to have overlooked one thing that's not so appealing to those who have them, but would be really swell for the rest of us.

You see, because of their portability and speedy wireless connectivity, people using them are inclined to multi-task and read and/or compose messages while doing other activities. While combining them with some activities are obviously dangerous (such as operating a motor) and will dissuade at least some of the device users (and the threat of getting a citation and a fine may stop some of the rest), there are some other seemingly innocuous ones that need to be prevented, and clearly the users aren't going to stop on their own, so I must call upon your technical expertise.

Please drop everything and devote all efforts to creating an app that detects the user is walking down the sidewalk (presumably the cadence of the stride would register with the device's internal sensors) with activity on screen, reading or composing, and have a message pop up every few seconds that says:

"LOOK UP, YOU IDIOT! THERE ARE OTHER PEOPLE IN THE WORLD! STOP ALMOST WALKING INTO THEM! THIS MESSAGE IS NOT THAT IMPORTANT!"

The recurrence of this message would cease as soon as the user stopped moving. There would be no other way to disable it.

Thus they'd learn to stand still while their attention was focused on the screen, and not try to walk-and-read like a pedestrian Flying Dutchman that forces other non-device-using humans to dive out of their way.

It's simple behavioral reinforcement that benefits us all. Non device-carrying pedestrians don't have to swerve around the inattentive device carriers, and the device carriers don't get their asses kicked.

So please develop this as soon as possible and just push it out to all devices. (We all know you can.)

Thank you.

~

Oh, and once you're done, you may as well get cracking on the next version, which will replace the message with an electric shock of mildly increasing intensity.

(It's not that I don't have that much confidence in this first plan, but it's best to be prepared in case it doesn't work.)

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Making that certain part of advertizing bigger

Just now I had the TV on Comedy Central (a repeat of The Daily Show) and during a commercial for the "male enhancement drug" Extenze (which purports to make "that certain part of the male anatomy bigger") the screen went black and the text "A weekly test has been scheduled for this time" appeared. However, the audio for the commercial kept playing. And when the test ended the commercial also stopped, so no other ad was affected.

While I'm not suggesting this test occurred when it did intentionally, I have to say: Just hearing the disembodied voices of a man and woman talking about improving their love life without the cheesy acting to the ad made turned it from ridiculous to downright disturbing.

I never realized how important the visual element was to making commercials tolerable.

I should have grabbed the remote and muted it. I may not get to sleep tonight. Perhaps while I'm awake I'll flip around to another channel and find a commercial for some pill that will get this out of my mind...

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Red-letters

Hey American media,
Bravo on identifying the woman you have dubbed "Octomom" as an attention-starved individual, and talking about her it incessantly. (The nickname alleviates any need to treat her like a human being, and allow us all to vilify her while giving her exactly what it is you claim she wants.) Well played.

Oh, and kudos on the pop psychology diagnosis about her obsession with Angelina Jolie. That's digging deep.

It's a proud day for journalism.

However, you're really on the verge of beating this story into oblivion, so it's really time to move on to some other trivial celebrity. It's time for Britney or Miley or Lindsay to do something outlandish and give you some new material (with the comfortable appeal of the already familiar).

And what's up with showing some restraint with this Chris Brown story? You're coming dangerously close to having integrity. And how is that "American" in the 21st Century?

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Behind the wheel

To the motorists of Los Angeles:

When stopping at red lights, please continue to pull into the crosswalk. It's not really set aside for pedestrians like the DMV would have you believe; it's just ten extra feet for you to have to bring your vehicle to a full stop at the last possible moment.

We pedestrians don't mind having to walk around your car. We aren't bothered when you nearly run into us even when we have the green light. We grasp when you're behind the wheel you are relieved of paying attention to anyone else.

You certainly shouldn't feel the slightest need to modify your behavior, or even to comply with those silly laws.

We apologize for being in your way. We hope you can find it in your heart to forgive us for inconveniencing you by traveling on foot instead of being in another car.

What were we thinking? We really should learn to be more like you and not think.

Pleasant driving. Now please return to that cell phone call you were making...

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Hungry for more?

Check out some photos of waffles and other things over at the useless photo site

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Crossing the line

A few months ago I ruminated in my usual tongue-in-cheek way on how during the opening sequence of the Colbert Report election night special the word that is conventionally spelled "judgment" employed the alternative spelling "judgement." Afterward I left a comment on the Indecision 2008 site with a link back to my post, and I got quite a number of hits from that. A few visitors from there even left comments. One of which was a very not-tongue-in-cheek response to what I'd written.

However, I am not here now to write about an overly nitpicky criticism; I most certainly can take it or else I wouldn't put this out into the world. No, it's something that the person wrote in an effort to lend credibility to the criticism. The person identified him /herself (I don't know the commentor's gender) as a "grammar Nazi."

And I imagine when you just read that it scarcely elicited a reaction from you. It's a term I suspect many of us have heard enough times that it's almost commonplace. In our modern society, to be concerned with traditional grammatical rules (and, by implication, spelling, syntax, and other elements of language addressed by the MLA or the Chicago Manual of Style) draws a certain level of disdain from those who (shall we say) are not as concerned with it, and what was undoubtedly intended pejoratively at first has since been adopted by those who were its target: grammar Nazi.

Obviously it can be empowering for a subjugated group to take an insult and turn it into a badge of honor (of sorts); it strips the word of its power. For example, gays employing the term "queer" to refer to themselves is different than a homophobe saying it about them, and works to take it away from the intolerant.

And while I am of the attitude that, Hey, people can do whatever they want, I do think it's interesting how half a century after actual Nazis perpetuated the Holocaust the term "Nazi" has been co-opted to suggest merely that one is strongly devoted to a particular area—all of which has nothing to do with actual genocide.

While I concede the Nazis do not deserve to have their name "respected" (and used only in the original context), it started me wondering if this suggested decades from now other terms that are presently associated with hideous evil would be similarly appropriated for innocuous insults and then co-opted by the insulted as that semi-ironic badge of honor.

I doubt anyone was nonchalantly throwing around the term "Nazi" in the late '40s; I have no doubt that the term may have been employed as a charged slur, but it still held the provocative aspect of the original meaning.

(Of course, in the late '40s that "grammar Nazi" would not have been used would be as much a function of the stance on grammar at the time as it would reveal the exposed nerves about World War II. But I digress.)

To this day, I doubt anyone who actually lived through one of the concentration camps would use "Nazi" in any context other than to describe the monsters who tortured and killed their people; it's only a generation or two later, that those who remember the Nazis as the cartoonish villains of Raiders of the Lost Ark could place the term in a context where it's divorced completely from the atrocity but still linked with strict adherence with an agenda. But such is the nature of the passage of time; what used to be awful gets supplanted by new awful and is nostolgically redefined as almost quaint.

So, as I said, I began to ponder if, say, the middle of the 21st century would find users of message boards employing a term like "grammar terrorist" to put down someone who points out when a previous commenter has included an apostrophe in the possessive of the pronoun "it"? By then would "terrorist" be stripped of its current abject evil association?

And my next glib thought was: Of course not. By the middle of this century grammar will be relegated to the same level of importance as studying Latin has now—a quaint amusement for the erudite. So few will remember what the grammatical rules were that they'll be virtually no one left to pompously correct the overwhelming majority. And those few will be the first ones rounded up by the literal grammar terrorists, who will actually be terrorists against grammar, during the coming revolution.

And the pseudo-punchline was: So enjoy these grammar Nazis now, while you still can; your grandchildren will only remember them as a footnote in egregiously poorly written history books.

[Insert rimshot here.]

~

Subsequent to when I started composing that silliness, I did a modicum of research (which is to say I Googled something), which for me is a pretty fair amount. And that revealed one key thing: That hypothetical future is now.

The term "grammar terrorist" has already been used. There's a blog with that as its name already in existence. And there's another blogger also identifying himself as "The Grammar Terrorist" (so there seems to be a slight competition for the title).

In any case, my sardonic rumination about how fifty years from now the practice of applying "terrorist" as blithely as "Nazi" is done in contemporary day has proven to be attributing five decades too long to the process. The former is not as common as the latter, but there are those for whom the risk of association with the Bush administration's favorite vilification already holds no concern.

(Of course, neither "grammar terrorist" site has been updated in over a month, so perhaps it proved to carry more of a backlash than either writer realized when choosing such a moniker.)

So, apparently, for those on message boards who seek to find a term that could be so shocking that it would be legitimately insulting, it appears that they may have to invoke really vile terms; for example: "grammar child molester."

before it loses its hideous association.That, I must admit, strikes me as something that even one with the most ironic sense of humor would take pause before willingly identifying one's self as such. "Nazi" and "terrorist" may be innocuous by now, but "molestation" should still carry at least some stigma. Granted, it's crossing a line, but presumably "Nazi" and "terrorist" were on the other side of that line at some point, too. But "molester" may actually take the 50 years I speculated about with "terrorist" for it to lose its hideous association (but only if at some point soon child molestation is completely eliminated).

In any case, it does appear that particular term is still available as a website name*.

Why I'm striving to help people on message boards and website comment sections find novel ways of being offensive to each other is a question I cannot even begin to understand. It's probably insulting of me to presume they need the assistance; I should already hold total confidence in their natural depravity when it comes to being able to put down those who put down their grammar.

My sincere apologies to them. And to anyone who read this.

(I can only hope there will be some quality responses left in the comments.)

* Which may be one of the last elements proving our society has not collapsed completely.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The utterly unnecessary return of... Song lyrics du jour!

Since I met you
The lyrics of songs
Mean something new to me
They sound more real
They reflect how I feel
Even the stupid ones


- The Damned, "Since I Met You"

Sunday, February 08, 2009

While everyone else was dwelling on the girdle...

On the Yahoo! home page there are links to various stories, presumably interpreted to be of general interest by those who run that part of the site. As to how it's decided what gets that level of highlight is beyond my sphere of knowledge, but I think it's fair to say that whatever is featured is seen by thousands (if not more) on a daily basis.

~

A couple days ago my fiancée clicked on a link ostensibly about Jessica Alba. When getting to the destination of the link it proved to be a column in the "Shine" area of the site, wherein the blogger (a staff writer who, now that I do some checking, apparently was an editor at Lucky magazine) wrote a rather snarky piece about the celebrity's recent interview in Elle magazine (wherein it is admitted that she wore a girdle for a photo shoot at some point after she had given birth).

Glancing over at the screen while she read I didn't focus on the blogger's sardonic criticisms of Ms. Alba (or heck, maybe the tone was actually sincere but meant to seem sarcastic); what my eye fell upon was subtle flaw with the punctuation in the posting. I didn't intend to notice such a thing; this sort of thing is merely the inadvertant consequence of having my brain. Being not an uncommon occurrence on the web, I quickly diverted my attention elsewhere, because when my brain focuses thusly the best course of action is a speedy diversion (where anything that distracts me will do).

The next morning when launching the browser and having Yahoo! come up, I spotted the same Jessica Alba link still as the primary featured one, and my mind, lacking an immediate distraction, recalled noticing the punctuation issue. And because I'm an idiot who can't leave well enough alone, I clicked on the link (of my own semi-volition) and read the post more closely.

It didn't get any better. (The punctuation issue I noticed previously proved not to be even the most egregious flaw.)

By this point, over 700 comments had been left in response to the post. Skimming through them they tended to be glib declarations of how vapid Jessica seemed or glib defenses of Jessica, with some glib insults peppered in putting down everyone who was commenting about a trite story on an actress. However, not a single comment touched on the blogger's poor editing.

That did not surprise me in the slightest.

And because (as I've noted already) I'm an idiot, I left a snarky comment where I feigned pity for writers who lack editors to expand their punctuation horizons. (If you have a mind that just can't leave well enough alone either, the story and my comment can be seen here--mine is the fourth one down on the page in question.) It wasn't my finest moment--not so much because it was a slightly jerk-like thing to do but because there was almost anything else I could have done with those ten minutes that would have been a better use of my time... and mind. But what was done was done.

And because (say it with me) I'm an idiot, my inexplicable brain compelled me to then spend even more time composing this post. However, in doing so, I returned to the proverbial scene of the crime, discovering the number of comments had grown to 861. Browsing the ones that came after mine, I found almost all of them to be of the same ilk as what had been the case upon my previous visit.

Almost.

I saw one comment wherein someone called out the blogger for using the term "unhumanly" (rather than, presumably, "inhumanly") and I took a moment of solace in finding some tiny evidence of another soul whose mind could not help but notice things like language and structure when it seemed the rest of the web-reading world responded to the far more obvious (albeit vacuuous) aspects of celebrity journalism.

That person has my sincere sympathy.

~

Clearly, those who select what gets spotlighted on the Yahoo! home page (and those who hire the bloggers for these sub-sections) are not such people.

They get no sympathy, but my mind has accepted the futility of lamenting such things. It may still notice them, but at least it doesn't get bothered (too much) by such instances.

I guess I may not be as much of an idiot as I could be. Perhaps there is hope for my brain.

(Still, I probably need to consider a different home page for the browser, eh?)

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Is that spam in your pants or are you just happy to see me?

From the hide-the-kids department:

Question a female friend posed:
Does the large amount of spam for "male enhancement" indicate that most men have small penises?

My response:
Don't be fooled into thinking it's as simple as the ones sending the spam somehow benefit from men believing they need a larger penis. Really, they're altruistically trying to make the world a better place.

As George Carlin noted, the real reason for war: Fear that the enemy is better endowed. (And the only recourse when you have the smaller penis: "Bomb them!")


via videosift.com

(Transcript of the track in question from George's comedy album with this bit, for those who don't like to watch video: http://www.iceboxman.com/carlin/pael.php#track5)

Ostensibly it's about playing on male insecurity, but really it's about ensuring world peace. Because no man who perceives himself as having a large penis would start a war.

And if it takes some scam breakthrough of science to make bigger that "special part of the male anatomy," we should consider those who seek to alert men about the availability of such an amazing product to be doing something to be applauded.

Frankly, we should all do our part and forward such messages to everyone in our address book. Unless you want more wars.

~

And now you know.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Question

If a person in the world of pop culture, politics, sports, fashion, entertainment, etc., does something but there's no one around to blog about it, did it really happen?

Monday, February 02, 2009

Up in my face(book)

In this week's issue of The Onion the Statshot pie chart gag is about "Why aren't we on Facebook" (and as usual, it's pretty funny).

Of course, to get the most out of the jokes in that Onion piece, one should be on Facebook. As I've noted in previous posts, I am such a sucker person.

~

For me, I could make up some grand justification, but I will admit: one of the main reasons I did join was simply giving in to the relentless requests from people I knew who already were part of it. (It was much akin to when Bart and Lisa kept repeating "Can we go to Duff Gardens?" to Homer in order to get him to acquiesce to taking them to the beer company's theme park. They end up being taken by their aunt Selma instead, but the point is that their annoying efforts do succeed.)

Sometimes the path of least resistance is the best way to go, especially when all that's being asked is to sign up for some social website.

~

Just because one's joins does not obligate one to actually do anything. Having been on Facebook for months now, I notice many of the people whom I've added as "friends" never appear to even log in periodically. They never leave messages on anyone's wall, nor comment on someone's photos, nor send "L'il Green Plant" virtual plants, nor engage in a Facebook chat instant messaging session, nor update their status. Whether this is because they simply are too busy with their lives or had the novelty wear off quickly and gave up (or any number of other explanations) I cannot know (and there's no point in sending them a message to ask—they wouldn't see it), but one thing is certain: No one can give them a hard time about how they haven't signed up.

~

By no means do I consider myself to be the "typical" Facebook user, but after these months on it, I have found it to be not altogether worthless. I do not engage in any of the games or activities. I do not send out mass electronic greetings (such as the lascivious-sounding Superpoke). When I log in, I glance at the status updates of those who bother to do so, and occasionally I comment on them (with whatever glib response springs to mind). Sometimes I upload a few photos that are too personal for my photo site (and some that were also on the photo site, because I know not all my Facebook friends actually visit there).

And some of the time I update my status as well.

~

At the top of one's page in Facebook is a field prefaced with the text: "What are you doing right now?" Of course, this is intended to spur the participants to offer some insight into themselves by composing a brief line—e.g., "Mary just got home from a concert"; "Mark hates his job"; "Sarah is very tired." (Not actual status lines. As far as I know.)

However, a strict interpretation of the question above the field leaves only one possible answer (which I will note using my own name):
"Doug is updating his Facebook status."

That is precisely what one is doing at that very moment—i.e., "right now." Typing a line in that field.

Groan all you like; it doesn't make that any less accurate.

~

Recently I did actually input that as my status (which I suppose could be considered a sort of trenchant deconstruction of the activity that was entirely in line with the sort of thing I would do), and within an hour someone called me out on it, stating in a non-ironic tone that he expected something more clever from me. Obviously he considered it a cheap cop-out, and such was certainly an interpretation he was allowed.

However, even conceding it as a less-than-stellar line, the reaction implies that I'm never allowed to have an off-day with these things. If I ever had a good one (which I'm not saying I did, but apparently he thought I did), that only raised the bar from that point on.

And frankly, that's more pressure than I wanted from Facebook. (That's a reason not mentioned in the Onion chart.)

~

Still, never let it be said I don't give the people what they want. So I changed my status a few minutes later:
"Doug is updating his Facebook status cleverly."

~

[Sorry. You've already used up your groaning allotment per post.]

~

Unrelated note: This post intentionally eschewed mentioning Groundhog Day. And the Super Bowl. Like we need to hear any more about those topics...