This is Epth Nation

Epth is a state of mind, not a place. Reading this will give you a virtual drivers license in that state, but you'll still need to be 21 to purchase alcohol. And you can't get any there anyway, so stop asking.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

A Bad Dog, Close up and Far Away

You wouldn't know it from these pictures, but Allie has recently been reverting to her pre-training days. She now hunts in the garbage for food when we're not home -- and even sometimes when we are. In fact, the other day she got way too much food out of the garbage while we were sleeping and ruined several toys later via bodily function and fluid while laying in her "house." It was a disaster. It was worse than the time she pulled a whole set of chocolate chip cookies off wax paper on the kitchen counter. And I had to clean it, and her, all by myself.

So enjoy the pictures while you can, because she's on thin ice right now and she might have to be deported to Germany if she doesn't shape up. You hear that, Al? You want to go back to Hitler? Didn't think so.
(She doesn't know that Hitler is no longer in power. And the American Eskimo used to be called the German Spitz.)

I Got Wades

Ain't they ugly? I've never had NBA player-branded shoes before. This is a new experience for me. When classmates were wearing Air Jordans I was wearing KangaRoos and 2001. When high school hit, I changed to running shoes, boat shoes, and $50 basketball shoes that nobody wanted. I now have Wades. It was a Merry Christmas indeed.

The downside is now I might get beaten up for my shoes. As long as I don't wear a starter jacket, I think I'll be ok.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Merry December 23rd Everybody

There are two kinds of posts in this world -- those I just throw together as I write them; and those that I write "for real," taking much time and effort to compose exactly the right words. Lately, I haven't had or taken the time to do the latter. For example, this morning I couldn't think of something to write that would be both A) Christmas-y; and, B) short. The only Christmas thing I can think to post would be the explanation of why I've finally, at age 33, gotten sick of the holiday, or why Merry Christmas vs. Happy Holidays angers me from both sides. I'm not having a warm and fuzzy Christmas season, let me tell you. Work is hell and I can't go visit my family. That's not all of it, but it pretty much sums it up. I'm just glad my brother is coming down next week. We need more visitors. The visitors are our friends.

In case I don't post some more, I wish you a Merry Christmas.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Stand By For Nooooz.

First, I'd like to wish everyone out there Happy Christmas, and nothing else. If you celebrate something else, you'll get no good will from me.

That Which I Hate: Kobe Bryant had 62 points last night in an NBA game, according to this AP story. But we don't want to talk about that because in the story Kobe praises the LA fans, who are horrible and only like him because he wins championships. I also don't like his new "supervillain" persona, because he's neither "street" nor "hard" and it's all just reverse hypocrisy on his part. I liked him better when he was just a regular hypocrite.

If you read a little further in the story, you'll see the real reason for its mention here: Drew Bogut and the Milwaukee Bucks beat the World Champion Spurs 109-107 on a literal last-second tip-in from the Man in the Mask. The Mask. The Phantom of the Bradley Center. Mask II: This Time No Cher. A Bigger, Whiter Rip Hamilton. Batman. These are all things we can call him. He had 19 points and 9 boards last night, and if the refs ever start giving he and Magloire some foul calls, the Bucks could be scary. I realize I'm overreacting to one game, but hey -- that's kinda what sports is all about.

I've Got Good News and Bad News, Parents: Drug use is down (thanks to GW Bush, right?), smoking is down (shockingly), but now nearly 1 in 10 high school seniors, and 40% of all Utahns (that's how you spell it, so don't come at me with that) will "abuse" prescription drugs at some point in their lives. This article only applies to Utah, though, where it's very boring. They need something to dull the pain. I'm just kidding.

Still Want to Live in NY?: Sure, the Yankees signed Baseball Hippie Jonnny Damon yesterday in a misguided attempt to re-make baseball into the joke it was from 1996-2000, but check this out. The city's transit workers are on strike, which is forcing many New Yorkers to just walk miles to work in the cold. Because the streets are unfit for driving, apparently. Even better:
The mayor put into effect a sweeping emergency plan, including a requirement that cars entering Manhattan below 96th Street have at least four occupants.
And I thought New York was in America. Four occupants? Are we living in Africa or something? I don't think my car has ever had four occupants in it. The moral of the story is never, ever build your city's transportation backbone on mass transit, especially if those who work for that mass transit are surly enough to hold the city hostage in the middle of winter. If there were ever a bunch of people who deserved to be downsized, this is it. Can't they hire some cheap foreign laborers to drive those trains? Can't they fly some people in from India on work visas? There's so much about this that I don't understand.

More Stuff I Don't Understand: Stanley "Tookie" Williams (and you know he was hardcore if he could survive in gangland with a nickname like that) was executed for, you know, all the murder and stuff. That's not news. What is news? His funeral. Here's a list of the celebs that spoke at it: Snoop Dogg, Jesse Jackson, Louis Farrakhan, and...Tony Robbins? That guy who swings into his motivational talks on a rope? That clown who would have you worship yourself? That guy who was voted "Most Creepy" several years in a row, by me, during the 90's?

Anyway, putting aside the Robbins thing, I hope that when I die my non-violent death someday that Susan Sarandon, Tim Robbins, Danny Glover, Snoop, and Jamie Foxx will stop by my funeral. I've been touched by a supreme power, too. Start a movement in my noble name. Wait -- do I have to start a gang to get this done? How much evil do I have to do pre-life-changing-experience to be an inspirational enough story for you people to give my words notice? How many people do I have to gun down in cold blood to get some respect?

My, I'm chock full of questions today.

Monday, December 19, 2005

From the Past: Top 10 Phrases Never Heard on the Concordia University Wisconsin Campus

By Brian Fibiger and Michael Pape

(c) 1994, 2005

10) "This letter only took three days to get to me!"
The mail system, meaning the US mail, never seemed to work properly when it carried packages that belonged to us. We would check the postmark, and mail sent first class from 2 states away would get there in like 8 days. We complained, but nobody cared enough to fix it. I blame Clinton.

9) "Can I hand my assignment in early?"
You have to understand, we had one foot out the door mentally when we wrote this. We were so tired of the whole college scene...including the rampant immaturity and lack of basic time-management skills displayed by (us and) our classmates. It always seemed like everybody was waiting until the last possible second to get things done, and on top of that bragging about it.

8) "Sure you can use our shovel. Sorry we plowed you in."
The school was in Wisconsin, so we saw a number of significant snowstorms each year. Every time it would snow, the maintenance people would plow right down the middle of the campus roads, piling the snow up three times as high on each side. Unfortunately for us, "each side" was where our cars were located. If we got more than a few inches, digging oneself out became a half-hour project of snow-kicking, hacking with an ice scraper, and rolling the car to a place you could get traction..

7) "Are you going to the swim team's meet?"
Yeah, we didn't have a pool. Most high schools have pools. Around the time I was there, they built a bunch of brand-new buildings including a field house and a new library, but couldn't find room for a pool. It was a bit of a sore spot among the students.

6) "How about a little sand volleyball?"
Unlike the pool thing, we did have a sand volleyball court, but the sand had hardened into a starfish-like shell after one winter, and it was never used. But they still would promote it to incoming students, like, "Look, young man...did you notice our sand volleyball court?" It was our little joke, but at least it wasn't as bad as our stinky and possibly nuclearly-contaminated pond, which it sat near.

5) "Study off last year's test? Why, I can't do that -- it would be cheating!"
It always struck us as a little ridiculous that professors would leave copies of previous years' mid-term and final exams in the library for perusal. We just wanted to be away from the questionable ethics of the college student, where you took every advantage to get a better grade, sometimes at the expense of learning. Plus, this helped the dumb students, which in turn hurt us smart people who relied on their bad grades to finish at the top of the curve.

4) "I'd drink, but it's a dry campus."
Not surprisingly, there was a "problem" with alcohol on campus. Many didn't see this "problem" as a problem, though. Underage drinking was everywhere, and totally cool, man, yeah. Yo
u see why we just wanted to be out of there, don't you? We later got a big surprise -- nobody's a grown-up in the real world, either!

3) "Hey, my financial aid is what they said it should be!"
I didn't have this problem, but everyone else did. It seems there was a lot of overestimation of financial aid going on to get people in the door. But when school costs 14 grand a year, you gotta give the people some sort of hope that they're not going to be in debt for the rest of their lives. Again, I blame Clinton and his culture of lies.

2) "I think I'll be courteous and turn my stereo down because my neighbor is studying."
In college I discovered white noise. It was one of the three of four most important things I learned in school, and I needed it every day. Like I said, it was definitely time to leave.

1) "Coach ________, you've just won the national championship! What are you going to do next?
Every year at least one of our sports teams were touted as a "national championship contender," but they always crashed and burned. When I got there, the football team was good. Then the basketball team became good, and finally the girls' basketball team got a giant from Latvia and became a national power. Except they didn't, really. Everybody always lost tragically in the playoffs. This is probably an unfair criticism, but when you hype and hype and hype and never bang, your bang-to-hype ratio is going to end up ticking people off. CUW athletics became the boy who cried "national championship," and in the end it got them eaten -- by us, in this list.

Two Posts a Day Until Christmas?

That's what I'm planning, anyway. I've neglected this thing far too long.

BAD NEWS: Haven't found the Roman Emperor One-Act Play as of yet. I found a bunch of other stuff you guys might like, though.

GOOD NEWS: I've got one more episode of LOST to watch before I'm completely caught up. It's a great show, but I don't know how much longer it can stay interesting. JJ Abrams had a similar problem with Alias, which I'm sure I mentioned, and before we knew it in the middle of season 3 the show had gotten to be a stale parody of itself. What I'm saying is that in a show like this where the action always has to be advancing from week to week, ultimately it's going to burn out. It'll be sad when that eventually happens to LOST. I mean, we can't have them discovering a different part of the plane every year, can we? Having said that, they show is absolutely riveting right now. That "Tail Section" episode was awesome, as was the fact that Shannon was killed. Do you think it's any coincedence that the 3 most annoying characters (Boone, Arzt, Shannon) have been killed off? The island is positively made of justice.

I just got back (to work) from the post office, and let me tell you they have come up with something that kicks all kinds of butt, called "Do-it-yourself Shipping". It's like the "self-checkout" lane at the grocery store, but it's at the Post Office. Let that sink in for a sec. Instead of standing in line for a disgruntled and break-loving postal worker, you now can just press some buttons on a screen with the help of a decidedly non-disgruntled and vaguely effeminate postal helper. He's a postal elf! Then you put your packages in a bin and leave. I had four packages to send, and I got in and out of there in 5 minutes. This is revolutionary, this convenience at the post office. What's next -- a mice-propelled spaceship? A lowfat ranch dressing that doesn't taste like glue? Is there anything that America can't do?

For the heck of it, death=adder.