Cereal is good food.

I just got back from the best Wal*Mart run ever. The original plan had been that Alex and I would run out, grab something fast, and go back to our respective residences. Well, McDonald’s was the only thing open, but they were doing a “system change-over” or something, so they couldn’t give us any food. I decided that Christiansburg must have something open, so we went.

Not much was open in Christiansburg. Walgreen’s was open, so we stopped there on Alex’s suggestion. At Walgreen’s we decided that cereal was a good idea, but buying cereal at a drugstore is silly. We went over to Wal*Mart next door and bought cereal, and I got milk, and two bowls and some spoons. On the way home I ate a bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch (while I was driving). It was delicious. This all occurred between 3:30 and 4:30 in the morning.

The moral of the story? It’s hard to drink milk out of a cereal bowl while you’re driving.

Ben Folds

So Ben Folds came to Tech last night. He rocked my socks absolutely off. I was sitting right-center JJ, but I don’t think there’s a bad seat in all of Burruss Auditorium, at least not for a show that big.

The opener was a guy named Eef Barzelay. He’s the frontman of an “alt-country” band called Clem Snide. I haven’t heard the band, but Eef has an interesting sound (and I don’t just mean his name.) It’s quirky. He also covered a bit of Beyoncé’s “Irreplaceable” and all of Christina Aguilera’s “Beautiful” in his own style which was interesting too. I definitely plan on checking him/them out.

After Eef went off, house lights came up and crew were running around doing those things that crew do before the main act goes on, and the crowd grumbled because that’s what they do. Suddenly the lights go off and “The Final Countdown” comes on. Ben and his accompaniment on bass and drums launch into the first two songs before introducing themselves or saying anything. He made a joke that he would work the keyboard part from “The Final Countdown” into every song, and he did slip it in to the first few but then decided to skip it. He did slip it in though whenever there was a little lull in the show, and it always got laughs.

In my opinion, one of the best parts of a Ben Folds show is the audience participation. The man is as amazing a songwriter as he is a musician, including a number of very interesting harmonies. He had the audience sing backup vocals (and flugelhorns) on a few songs, which was super nifty. There was even a three-part harmony on “Not the Same.”

When he played “Gracie” he started over three times from the middle plus a number of restarts right at the beginning, because people were hooting or hollering at some point. I thought that was adorable. Granted it was annoying, but I was annoyed with the audience, not with Ben. This is a song he wrote for his daughter, and he just wanted to get through it.

While I’m raving, I’ll mention how impressed I was with some improv he did. He just started playing, then started singing about Blacksburg, saying that it had a distinct lack of “black… buildings.” What can you say? The south isn’t known for being especially hospitable towards black… buildings. He also worked in the local pub where he ate, and plugged Gay Awareness Week. Afterwards he asked if it was Gay Awareness Day or week, and said “As long as you’re fighting for some time for recognition, you might as well go for a week.”

So basically that was one of the top two rockinest shows I’ve ever seen. The other one was also a Ben Folds concert.

On a side note, guys yelled “I wanna have your babies” on three occasions, whereas I didn’t hear any girls say that. Now Mr. Folds is married with twin daughters, so I’m afraid these gentlemen are going to be disappointed. It does raise the question though, do more men or women ask to have his babies?

An Observation

People seem really surprised when I hold a door for them. I mean to hold it a second while someone catches up to you is one thing, but if someone is coming towards you or if you hold a door and let someone go through ahead of you, they seem really confused for a second, then you’ll hear one of the most genuine “thank you”s you’ve heard in a while. It’s kind of incredible, really. And even if someone isn’t pleased about it (though I’ve not yet observed anyone to be displeased) at least you’ve confused them a bit, which is nearly as good.

I’m surprised there isn’t more door-holding going on here, with the volume of military folk here. What happened to the day when a serviceman (at least when he was in formals) was a gentleman?

Posted in Fun

Am I going to get fired? (No.)

No, I’m not in danger of losing my job. I just want to mention something really cool. My supervisor has a Demotivators wall calendar, and I think that is amazing. When I mentioned it to her, she said she chose ones specifically that weren’t about people, because those ones could be tasteless or offensive. Then she said, “Kinda sick, dontcha think?” to which I replied, “It’s healthy to be a little bit sick.”

Things that are real: a mostly comprehensive list.

Today during lab for Anatomy and Physiology, I compiled a list of things that are real. It’s about as close to comprehensive as you can get.

  • rocks
  • dolphins
  • trees
  • rainstorms
  • elephants
  • platypuses (probably) Verified! Thanks Courtney
  • cupboards
  • UPDATE: beachballs

For contrast, here are a few examples of things that are not real. This list is far from comprehensive; it is only meant to give you an idea of what sorts of things are not real.

  • plastic
  • fast food
  • politicians
  • God
  • punk-ass hos
  • American cheese

And much bad driving ensued

We finally got what I consider to be a substantial snow yesterday. It’s the first time I’ve seen proper snowfall all winter. It’s been mostly bitter cold and windy, or raining and damp. Needless to say, I was very excited. There’s even enough left on the ground now that sledding would be feasible.

Unfortunately, snow in Virginia seems to transform normally passable drivers into elderly grandmothers. It took me twice as long to get to class as it normally does. I grant that you should not speed when there is snow on the road, but even the hill that I live on wasn’t bad enough to merit traveling below the speed limit. Over-cautiousness is as likely to create an accident as recklessness.

But maybe that’s just the New Yorker in me talking.

Old and Unchanged

It seems that everything is so “Web 2.0″ these days, with all their AJAX thingamabobs that update your information five seconds before you enter it, and custom switching stylesheets based on the weather in Brisbane. I didn’t even have any shiny or glassy starburst graphics… until now!

Unfortunately, my content just isn’t very Web 2.0, nor is the site in general. That’s why I was forced to create my very own starbursts that didn’t have any new-fangled technological references.

Old and UnchangedGlassy Seal of Approval

They were created using PS CS2, and a couple of Web 2.0 button Photoshop tutorials.

As an aside, I do believe this is the most categories any one post has ever belonged to.