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Monday, October 31, 2005

Phi Delta Theta for aye, boom, boom, boom

If you missed it, Huw put his life on the line for science over the weekend. He said it reminded him of a fraternity* stunt and I am half inclined to send him one of my old ΦΔΘ sweatshirts as reward.
I am now trying to think of other challenges to set for Huw that would not get him killed. With Guy Fawkes Night coming on Saturday, I have been trying to think of something that would involve fire/explosives. But, as I said. I don't want Huw to be killed or arrested. Any ideas?

  • I would like to thank the Minnesota Vikings for sucking as much as they do. On Sunday I decided to forego watching the game and spent several hours lounging around with my wife, instead. When I happened to flip on the TV at the start of the fourth quarter, the Vikings were down 7-31 and Brad "I should be a second-stringer in NFL Europe" Johnson was in at quarterback.
    Brad Johnson.
    We're done.

  • Check out the bloke in this story. Who wouldn't want to kidnap him?

  • Dumb, dumb dead guy.

  • Lately I've been thinking about getting a haircut. I miss my really short hair, but the child bride says she likes being able to run her fingers through my hair. So, I have been trying to think of some sort of unique middle ground. At first I wanted to go with a 1900s-1920s look, but everyone of that time period simply slicked their hair back and we already know that look does not work for me. So, now I am thinking of going for a sort of Victorian look. I am not sure, though, how well this will go over with my wife.

    *You'll note my uppity refusal to call it a "frat" (Come on, fraternity guys out there -- you know the line about why we don't call it a "frat," don't you? First guy to answer in comments wins... the satisfaction of answering first). I was that guy who sort of bought into the fraternity concept -- peer encouragement to better oneself. Arguably, the concept (used effectively in church and study and volunteer groups and the like) is woefully misapplied in fraternity life.
    True fact: I was my fraternity's chaplain.
    I would like to think that one day my writing will finally catch and I'll become famous enough that they'll put my name in that book they give to phikeias (pledges), alongside such greats as Dabney Coleman and Adlai Stevenson.
  • Saturday, October 29, 2005

    Huw knows more than you do

  • I'm going to kill a man from several thousand miles away. Earlier this week, Huw asked people to give him something to do. I suggested that he attempt to drink a gallon of milk within an hour because people have always told me that it is impossible. So, now Huw plans to do it.
    That's the classic spirit of discovery, I suppose. Newton famously drove a knitting needle into his skull, just to see what it would feel like.
    British eccentric John Scott Haldane methodically poisoned himself with carbon monoxide, carefully taking blood samples in the process. He stopped only when his blood saturation level had reached 56 percent (i.e., he was almost dead).
    His son, Jack Haldane did quite a bit of research involving decompression chambers. He did a lot of this research on himself. Once, when simulating an emergency submarine ascent, the rapid pressure change caused the fillings in his teeth to explode. Another experiment caused him to lose feeling in his ass for six years, and he was unnervingly nonchalant about burst eardrums: "the drum usually heals up," Haldane wrote. "And if a hole remains in it, although one is somewhat deaf, one can blow smoke out of the ear in question, which is a social accomplishment."
    What social accomplishment may be achieved by drinking milk until one pukes, I do not know. But I'm sure Huw will soon find out on Saturday. Hopefully it won't kill him, because that would make me feel bad. I've got enough to deal with in trying to get over this damned illness; I don't need a man's death on my conscience.

  • I don't know if this is true, because I've never been there, but a friend once told me that in Sydney, Australia, municipal crews come along at night and simply hose everything down. It's their way of keeping the city clean, apparently.
    I need to do this with my apartment. Rachel comes home late tonight and the place is a mess. Because I have been sick, there are blankets and empty tea mugs everywhere.

  • How crappy must York, Pa., be that you can offer a job and a rent-free home and no one will move there?

  • Take a look at the guy in this story. He appears to be wearing one of those caps that train porters wore in the 1930s. Yet another side-effect to the downfall of train travel in America, I suppose -- 30s-era porters are forced into lives of crime.
  • Friday, October 28, 2005

    That was worth it

    Last weekend my mother bought a new mobile phone. During dinner on Sunday she was complaining about the fact that it is difficult to use and she doesn't really like the phone all that much.

    "Why did you get it, then?" I asked.

    "This phone takes pictures. I want a phone that takes pictures," she said.

    This is a picture of the child bride that my mom took on her phone. As you can see, the phone is totally worth all the trouble that it causes. Or, not.

    Thursday, October 27, 2005

    Bring me my Pooh blanket

  • Holy bejeezus, I feel awful today. The Pooh blanket has been in full effect today. Being this ill makes it difficult to fight cancer, but I'm doing my best.
    I worked from home so I could stay in close contact with my toilet for supermodel sit-ups. During my lunch break, I took a nap and had a dream that the dudes who live in the house next door were standing out on their lawn with a massive, poorly handwritten sign that said: "Give us Steelers tickets." I tried to point out to them how stupid they were being. They refused to listen.

  • The Jacksonville Jaguars have become a load of ranting psychopaths. "These are dark days in Jacksonville's history. It's playing with fire; a different kind of fire than the one that burnt the town to the ground a century ago, but fire nonetheless."
    "Do you wanna know what this franchise would be worth in Los Angeles? A billion dollars, at the minimum, that's what it would be worth."
    The hell? The above are quotes from the team's official website. It's as if the team has decided to let an angry teenage boy head up public relations. I suspect their next move will be to issue this as a press release.
    My favorite part of this is when the author invokes memory of Art Modell -- a man who is universally despised not only in Cleveland but by NFL fans everywhere. The Jaguars are apparently aspiring to become the biggest pricks in the league.

  • Perhaps the organization is being run by monkeys.
  • The voice

    I have the most awesome calling-in-sick-for-work voice ever.


    MP3 File

    Wednesday, October 26, 2005

    There are no black people in Jamaica

  • I think I've mentioned at least 457,000 times that I am fourth-generation journalist. The other day, my dad told me about my grandfather's theory on journalism: Journalism is ruined as soon as the journalist is paid enough that he can no longer quit in protest.
    As soon as a journalist is paid enough that his pay starts to matter -- when he or she reaches the point that they can no longer say to themselves "Fuck this, I can go sling lattes for the same pay and less aggravation." -- honest journalism is ruined, according to my Papa*.
    By this standard, my benevolent employer should be commended for keeping me honest.

  • What the hell is up with this story? According to the story, " The Houston Astros are the first World Series team in more than a half-century with a roster that doesn't include a single black player."
    What?!
    Ezequiel Astacio was on the mound last night for Houston; is he not black?
    If you were to hold up his picture and ask people, "What is this man's race?" I am willing to bet that at least 90 percent of people would say "black." But, apparently, he is not black. Because Houston has no black players, according to the story. Willy Taveras is also not black. Does being born in the Dominican Republic mean that Astacio and Taveras are not black? I'm assuming that the definition of "black" here means "U.S.-born individual exhibiting African features (and possibly certain cultural characteristics)." By this definition, there are almost no black people in Jamaica. Or Africa, for that matter.
    I am happy to tell you, then, that after I brought this up with The Collective at the headquarters of my benevolent employer (there is no real one person to make decisions in the news department of my benevolent employer. Instead, issues are raised via an e-mail list. Anyone on the list who so desires then offers their opinion on said issue and somehow out of this discussion a decision is made) we chose to drop the story altogether.
    Wow. Responsible journalism.
    Don't you love it when your benevolent employer actually manages to do something right? I always want to write down these incidents of competency** on Post-It notes and keep them around for the times when we massively fuck things up: "What? We're running a story that says Bush has cancelled the 2008 election and installed himself as president for life? And our only source is an Arab blogger? Oh, sweet bejeezus. Where are my Post-It notes?"

  • The Butter State? The first two minutes of this film tell you all you need to know about Minnesota.
    The four minutes that come after are quality pro-newspaper propaganda. To contradict my grandfather's theory, I think journalism was ruined when they stopped letting us smoke pipes at work.

  • My wife and I save money on carbon monoxide and radon detectors by living in an apartment that is incredibly drafty.

  • This is pretty cool. It suffers from one major flaw, though. Why would anyone want to feed a cat?

    *Who gave up journalism to do public relations for Dow Chemical Co.

    **Ooh, good name for a band: Incidents of Competency
  • Tuesday, October 25, 2005

    Yeesh. You make out with one chicken...

  • I have avian flu. Or Ebola. Something awful. I'm trying to keep my health up by drinking plenty of fluids, but I still feel horrible. Have you ever been so sick that it feels like your eyeballs are sweating? That's how bad I feel.
    And the worst part is that the child bride has left me to suffer alone. She is spending the week in Tucson, Ariz. (city motto: "We can't place it on a map of Arizona, either.") for job training. Already the apartment is a mess.

  • On Monday at the headquarters of my benevolent employer, some random bloke wandered into the building and then spent an hour just sort of hanging out in the lobby staring at the computer monitors. No one questioned him because they thought he was waiting for someone. In fact, he was just some homeless guy who was whacked out on drugs. It says something about our company that a muttering guy with leaves on his jacket can sit in the lobby and no one will question him.

  • I have decided that "al-Qaida in Iraq" is a half-assed name for a terrorism group. It reminds me of "Spirit of Riverdance," which used to perform at the El Dorado Casino in Reno, Nev. They weren't really Riverdance, but a hastily put-together road version consisting of lower-grade talent.
    Al-Qaida in Iraq sounds like terrorism for the Branson, Mo., crowd; Al-Qaida Lite.

  • Apparently my blog is worth $17,500.74 (£9,814.73). How do I sell?
    (Link found via Omega)
  • The 8-year-old oppressor

    The child bride turns 29 years old next week, Beth is turning 30 on Nov. 22, my best friend, Paul, turned 30 on Oct. 11. All this birthday stuff* had me thinking this morning about where I am in my life.

    At this point in my father's life, he had a 3-year-old son (me) and was the anchor for a 10 p.m. newscast in Austin, Texas. Similarly, he and my mother shared a crappy car (shout out to the '77 Chevrolet Malibu) and lived in a crappy house in a crappy part of town.

    In material wealth, I suppose my wife and I fall just about even with my parents in 1979, but that's all irrelevant anyway. What 29-year-old Steve Cope has on 29-year-old Chris Cope, I think, is direction. I am standing on the precipice of realigning my life, and I'm not sure how I feel about that.

    My natural inclination is to be melancholy, but I'm not sure that's an honest reaction. I just think I should be melancholy. I feel as if the pillars of Methodist decision-making suggest that I should be melancholy.

    Sweet John the Baptist on an Alabama bus, I am off the deep end when I start referencing Methodist principles.

    In short, the Methodist church suggests that difficult decisions (like whether you should scrap 10 years of journalism experience and start all over again by going to university in another country) should be made taking into consideration the three things: "the Christian scriptures; what is taught by the Christian tradition and community; and the personal experience and prayer of Christians."

    Actually, by these standards, I'm OK. I'm pretty sure Scripture and Christian tradition don't state it as implicitly immoral to be 29 years old and not have a child or solid direction in life. Heck, Jesus died in his 30s and he didn't even have a high school diploma. I've got him beat.

    But my personal experience -- what I was raised to understand -- is what claws at my rib cage from the inside. Something, somewhere, makes me concerned about status and position and all that. When I was 8 years old, I woke up screaming and my mother had to come in and calm me down, because I had had a dream in which I was 84 years old and mopping the floor at McDonald's and children were making fun of me. No, really. I was consumed by this shit. My wife likes to make fun of the fact that when I was 9 years old, I vehemently refused to take Ritalin because of concerns that it would stunt my growth. Height = appearance = status = success = worth in my child mind.

    So, I guess it is that vindictive little 8-year-old, with his black-and-white view of the world, who makes me think that I should feel melancholy as I near 30. As I mentioned on Beth's blog, there is a part of me that feels as if I have managed to squander away an entire decade, as if someone strapped me into The Machine from 'Princess Bride' and I am now stumbling out into the world again with nothing more to show for myself than a few gray hairs and a higher susceptibility to hangovers.

    But that's all I have, to answer Beth's question of my thoughts on aging. I am getting a little older and I think I should be unhappy about it, but I'm not sure. The 8-year-old me would likely find that unacceptable; unless my car had a horn that played "Dixie" (like the General Lee in "Dukes of Hazzard"). Then he would think I was the coolest guy in America.

    Something else about that 8-year-old -- this is his favorite joke:
    HIM: "Knock, knock."
    YOU: "Who's there?"
    HIM: "Banana."
    YOU: "Banana who?"
    HIM: "Knock, knock."
    YOU: "Who's there?"
    HIM: "Banana."
    YOU: "Banana who?"
    HIM: "Knock, knock."
    YOU: "I said who's there?"
    HIM: "Banana."
    YOU: "I said banana who?"
    HIM: "Knock, knock."
    YOU: "And again, who's there?"
    HIM: "Orange."
    YOU: "Orange who?"
    HIM: "Orange you glad I didn't say 'banana?'"

    *Jenny also turns 25 in December, but that's a sprightly age.

    Monday, October 24, 2005

    Church of Paul Edinger, Latter-day Vikings

  • The greatest man in Minnesota today is Paul Edinger. When he made that game-winning kick on Sunday I found myself in midair -- I don't remember jumping up, but there I was. The child bride and my best friend, Eric, were there with me.

  • I really liked this idea from Omega. If you can't get the links to work, my song is "If I Should Fall From Grace With God," by the Pogues. That's pretty John L. Sullivan, to be associated with the Pogues -- one of those life goals you never knew you had.
    I wish I weren't such a lazy bastard; I would do the same thing here. But then, what if I managed to thoroughly offend people with my musical associations? For example, something about Dave makes me think "Deacon Blues*" by Steely Dan. How is that flattering?
    (In an effort to dig myself out of that hole, I'll point out that I'm just thinking of that line: "Drink Scotch whisky all night long," which is something of which I wholly approve.)

  • I think someone broke the Internet. I have noticed that everything is slow today.

  • Ha ha! Take that, you furry little bastards.

  • Well, hell -- what was this guy supposed to do? I mean, if I stopped for every single corpse that got stuck to my car I'd never get anywhere!

  • Random phrase for use on a T-shirt: "Maria is not the most beautiful name in the world, you lying son of a bitch."

    *Link may or may not work -- Amazon clips are weird like that.
  • Sunday, October 23, 2005

    The Pier 1 African mask

    OK, so one time, I had been drinking and I was playing around with the video feature on my digital camera and I came up with this. I thought that was so funny that I then came up with this. I then uploaded them both onto Google video and promptly forgot about them until now.

    Saturday, October 22, 2005

    The wild Romer

    I was thinking the other night that if some alien archeologists were to look at our little planet thousands of years from now, they might come to the conclusion that the Irish and the Chinese were the world's two greatest cultures -- because there are Chinese restaurants and Irish pubs everywhere. Perhaps the aliens would think that these were our temples and would interpret our going there in droves as signs of elaborate worship ceremonies.

    Then I thought about the temple of Mithras in London, or the temple of Aquae Sulis in Bath, and on and on. What if all these ancient Roman temples were, in fact, Roman theme pubs? What if no worship took place at all, and all these temples were simply places where people gathered to pretend that they were Roman and tell each other, "Well, of course, my grandfather was born in Rome," and "The mead they serve here isn't as good as the mead served in Rome."

    Thursday, October 20, 2005

    The John L. Sullivan

    On Wednesday, a fellow wage slave was looking something up in the dictionary when he came across the entry for Sullivan, John L(awrence).
    "1858-1918; U.S. prizefighter," the entry says, and next to it is this picture.
    "That's probably my favorite picture in this book," my co-worker said.
    "That guy is bad-ass," I said.
    I decided to do a bit of Google research and I have since decided that John L. Sullivan is my new hero. Known as The Boston Strong Boy, Sullivan's break in boxing came in 1877 when he went to see heavyweight boxer Jack Scannel (some accounts have it as Tom Scannell) and was goaded by the crowd onto stage to face the boxer. When Sullivan got on stage, Scannel -- showing all the necessary traits to be a modern pro-wrestling heel -- popped him in the face. Sullivan responded by delivering a series right hook that knocked Scannel into the orchestra pit.
    He then spent the next 15 years beating the hell out of all comers. He traveled the country offering $50 to any man who could last three rounds ("Nobody ever collected, but don't think they didn't try!" Sullivan told a reporter); he fought bare-knuckle; he met royalty ("He was a real fellow. Common as an old shoe," he said of King Edward VII); and became the stuff of legend. One of the more popular tales was that John L. Sullivan, a la Mongo in "Blazing Saddles," had killed a horse with one punch.
    "That never did happen," Sullivan protested. "I always liked horses and I swear on the cross that I never killed one, with my fist or any other way."
    Sullivan fought once in Minneapolis; on Jan. 18, 1887. He broke his right arm in the third round of his six-round thrashing of a guy named Patsy Cardiff. That is bad-ass. It is so bad-ass that from now on, when something is bad-ass, I intend to simply say that it is John L. Sullivan.
    Sullivan lost only one fight -- his last, a 21-round war against Gentleman Jim Corbett, eight years his younger. Cripes. 21 rounds. That must have been ugly. Corbett was best known for bringing a more scientific approach to boxing, but I really like Sullivan's philosophy:
    "Well, there's nothing to fighting," he said. "Just come out fast from your corner, hit the other fellow as hard as you can and hit him first."
    I have decided that if I ever own a pub, it will be called The John L. Sullivan*. A picture of him sporting a massive handlebar moustache would hang out front. It's sad how clearly I can see this pub in my mind. The exterior would be painted green and the interior would consist of rich woods and sturdy wood furniture. There will be exposed beams and quotes from Sullivan will be written across them: "Whiskey is the only fighter who ever licked John L. Sullivan, champion of the world!"

  • In this story it mentions that there were more than 16,000 murders in the United States last year. Does that seem high to you?

  • Do you ever have those moments when you remember something that annoyed you years ago and, suddenly, it pisses you off all over again?
    Anyway, the point is: You suck, Bono.

  • The United States is higher in the FIFA rankings than England. Hee hee.

  • Wikipedia has a list of people known as the father or mother of something (the father of Finnish music?!).

    *Admittedly Sullivan spent the last years of his life as a strong proponent of temperance, but he also owned a bar.
  • Wednesday, October 19, 2005

    Soiree Wednesday

  • Last night I came up with an idea that I have tentatively named 'Soiree Wednesday.' It is basically an internal vow to be more social. This is partially an offshoot of a conversation I had with Chris last week about the new definition of community that may occur as a result of blogging, the internet, et al. He pointed out that in the modern world it is not uncommon for a person to not ever speak to the person who lives next door to you while maintaining a full and rich life interacting with people living in the Netherlands and St. Louis and Oregon and Australia and on. The implications of all this, what it says about the state of the human race, is up for debate, I suppose.
    But what I got out of it was the realization that I am crap about getting out of my wee apartment and interacting with the people whom I claim are my friends. In the year 2005, I have probably seen Esther (who lives about 7 miles from me) only slightly more than I have seen Chris and Jenny (who live about 4,000 miles from me). How is this acceptable?
    It's not.
    Of course, part of the problem is that we have all hit this age and point in our lives in which we spend all day wearing away our souls for various benevolent employers; spontaneous outings run the risk of depleting us even further. When people invite me out to something, there is always this part of me that thinks: "Ah, hell. I'll end up staying too long and drinking too much and I'll feel like a fat sack of poo for the rest of the week and the things I want to do -- these little minor things that I have worked into my daily routine and now somehow can't go without, like one of those damned people who will be dead within the hour when the revolution comes because their air conditioning cut out -- will not get done and I'll spend too much money."
    Sweet mother of the baby Jesus on a BMX bike, I am a sad individual that I can be crippled with such negativity over simply interacting with other human beings.
    So anyway, here's my plan: On Wednesdays (or Tuesdays, whichever is mutually convenient) I will be social.
    That's it.
    But, see, I've made it out to be some sort of obligation, giving it a name and little rules like, "I am not allowed to spend more than $10," so that I will actually do it. Brilliant.

  • Last night I was out at St. Paul's Dubliner Pub with a group of unsuspecting fools new hires who are up at the headquarters of my benevolent employer for training. The Dubliner is one of St. Paul's 72 million Irish pubs and, as required by municipal code, an Irish band -- in this case Drunk and Disorderly -- was up on stage.
    "Man, there's almost no chance of your walking into a bar in Miami and hearing this music," said one of the guys (from Miami, of course).
    "That's why I have no interest in going to Miami," I said.

  • America makes me nervous sometimes.

  • Ignoring the generic brilliance of this story's headline, I can't help but lament how hard it is to find a decent blaspheme in the mall these days.
    There used to be a very nice Blasphemes N' Things store on the third level of the Mall of America, but they replaced it with a store that sells papal indulgences and cheese logs (a sort-of all-in-one store, I guess).
  • Tuesday, October 18, 2005

    I make $35M a year stealing pencils

  • According to my little stats thingy, someone at the headquarters of my benevolent employer is spending a ridiculous amount of time looking at my blog. I would like to believe that it is a managerial type*, meticulously searching my archives for a confession of stealing $75,000 in computer equipment, or urinating in the break room coffee. I almost hate to disappoint them, but those things won't be found here -- as they may have noticed, I don't possess that sort of initiative.
    What you will find are confessions of my being a crap employee. On Monday, my coworkers and I were talking about when I will officially announce my departure -- still eight months off.
    "I'll be sure to give them plenty of time," I said. "I realize it will take quite a bit of searching to find someone with as poor an attitude as mine."
    My coworkers laughed a little too hard at that comment.

  • Completing a project five years late and millions of pounds over budget only to have the damned thing break on its first day -- that is the Portsmouth I know and love.

  • This is kind of cool, a map that shows with which major city people identify themselves.
    (Found on Mnspeak)

  • I wish handkerchiefs would come back in vogue -- monogrammed handkerchiefs. I also wish modern clothing provided adequate pockets for pocket watches.

  • If you could have a relatively useless skill, what would it be? Knowing how to fish or play a musical instrument are useful skills -- I'm talking about those skills that are absolutely unnecessary, like being able to tie a cherry stem into a knot with your tongue, or being able to bend your pinky back to your wrist. My skill would be moonwalking. I wish I could moonwalk with unprecedented finesse.

    *In truth, it's probably my dad -- he works in the same building. Hi dad!
  • Debunking Lies About The U.K.

    My latest column is out. Feel free to send it to friends, family and Cambrophiles.

    Monday, October 17, 2005

    Back at work

  • So, now that I have managed a way to get to the UK, I find myself thinking, "Shit, what have I got myself into?" How the hell does one go about finding a place to live in Cardiff? Where's a good place to live? How do I get all my stuff out there? And on and on and on. At the very least, this stuff won't become an issue for another eight months, but it's hard not to think about. If you have any idea how to answer these questions, let me know (I am waiting for the obligatory "Well, I own a property in Treforest..." from Cheeky).
    I have also found it hard to drop back into my usual routine. I think it may be residual jet lag, but there is also a sense that everything has become temporary. I was sitting at my desk today, looking at the picture of my wife and me with WWE legend Mick Foley and thinking: "I should take that home today."

  • Kossover, if you are reading this, I bought you Jaffa Cakes. The sooner you collect them, the better your chances of actually receiving them before I choose to eat them.

  • What if you had way too much time on your hands?

  • Snow white and the seven gnomes.

  • Out of context, this sentence makes the story sound far more interesting than it actually is: "Downey said she started keeping a journal of everything she put in her mouth, and she said that alone revealed a lot."

  • Olympic Morris dancing. Make your own jokes. And if fellas waving handkerchiefs is incorporated into the 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony, Welsh sure as hell better play a role. I have visions of a massive group of Welshies just sort of yammering away -- not really singing, because I can't sing -- and my weaseling my way into being a part of it.
  • Friday, October 14, 2005

    Part III: Cardiff

    As mentioned earlier, getting to Cardiff wasn't exactly luxurious. The first problem came in my failing to realize from whence I would depart on Sunday morning.

    When I had gone to the trouble to look up various train times, I had done so on the assumption that I would be departing from Hereford. But since I was dropped off at Ludlow, I decided to just wing it and take the first south-bound train that came by. Have American accent, will travel -- my accent lets people know that I am an idiot and gives me leave to ask all sort of stupid questions or show up in train stations that are nowhere near my destination.

    The high side of leaving from Ludlow was that the station's wee ticket office was not open. Because the train was so full that people had to stand, the conductor did a good job of hiding so as to avoid people's complaints and suggestions that Arriva should stop offering such miserable service. As a result, I got to ride for free.

    The train I caught was not going to Cardiff, so I departed in Abergavenny and waited for a Cardiff-bound train to show up. Waiting consisted of my going to a pub and watching rugby.

    The Cardiff-bound train was also packed, but I was less inclined to complain because a very attractive young woman chose to spend the entire journey using me as a wall. I did think it was a bit odd, but, you know, if God wants to spend an hour rubbing some woman up against me I'm not going to complain.


    The River Taff, running through Cardiff's Bute Park


    A bridge over the River Taff


    Man fishing in the River Taff -- keep in mind that this is right in the heart of Cardiff.


    Bute Park also has acres and acres and acres of football and rugby pitches

    On Monday morning I got up and walked around Cardiff for a bit. It is a unique, hodge-podge sort of city and I think I'm going to enjoy living there. One of the things I like is Bute Park, the massive park that runs through the heart of the city. The River Taff runs through it and there are sections that are so peaceful you can just sit there and forget the fact that you are in the middle of about 300,000 people.

    My hotel was located in Pontcanna and the university is located in Cathays, neighborhoods that lie on opposite sides of the park. As a result, I found myself walking through the park every day.


    Cardiff City Hall


    Dragon statue on top of Cardiff City Hall


    War memorial in Cardiff's Alexandra Gardens


    Cardiff Bay


    The random sculpture that's featured in every informational packet on Cardiff. The dog is very cartoonish and both the woman and man are holding objects commonly used to hit dogs with.


    Pierhead building in Cardiff Bay


    Future home of the Welsh Assembly in Cardiff Bay. If Disney ever takes over a country, its government will be housed in a building like this


    Millennium Centre in Cardiff Bay. The inscription on the building is in English in Welsh and doesn't make a damn bit of sense to me. If reads: 'Create truth in these stones like a glass of horizons. From a furnace muses sing.' WHAT?!


    Millennium Stadium, along the banks of the River Taff.

    One of the things that really amused me about Cardiff was the caliber of its street performers. Apparently, the chief rule for busking in Cardiff is that your act must be surreal. For example, it's not good enough to just play the violin, you must do so whilst enveloped by a large toy monkey.

    A number of the performers have become local legends, like Ninja, the guy who plays drum beats on rubbish bins. It's just him, a pair of sticks, a rubbish bin, and the same 4/4 beat over and over and over again. Occasionally he will break the monotony by rocking you with some street poetry. My favorite piece of his was something I like to call "Unfinished Haiku." It went like this:

    "All of you are fat!"

    Also working the crowds is the beloved Toy Mic Trevor. This man is such a legend that he has his own website (takes a really long time to load) and is mentioned in Wikipedia.


    The toilets in Cardiff's central bus station are lit by an ominous blue light. It makes you feel as if you are in the middle of a movie about vampires on heroin.

    After finding the university building where my interview was to be held the next day, I was back at my hotel in time for a taxi to pick me up and take me to the Radio Cymru studios. I was there for a radio interview with Hywel and Nia, with whom I spoke for a really, really long time. The interview was recorded, though, so I don't know how much actually ended up getting aired.

    It was my second time to be on Radio Cymru. Mair told me that her grandmother had heard of me -- I'm bridging the generation gap.


    Me, Hywel and Nia in the studios of Radio Cymru

    Mair is one of the fellow Welsh-language bloggers who took the time to go out with me on Monday night. Also there were Geraint and Rhys. I am still convinced that my Welsh was insufferable but they were all extremely complimentary, and talking with them gave me a huge amount of confidence going into my interview.

    We sat around for just shy of four hours and every once in a while I would think to myself: "Holy shit. We're all speaking Welsh! And I understand what is being said! How is this happening? How the hell am I actually communicating in another language?!"

    It felt very much like magic, as if I was somehow playing a trick on God.

    I had such a good time that I failed to remember to take a picture for blog posterity until after Rhys had left. That's extreme ass behavior on my part -- failing to get a picture of the guy who went to the trouble to actually organize people to get together; a get-together that almost certainly locked in my success the next day.


    Geraint, Mair and me in the Mochyn Du pub

    I had such a full trip that it's almost easy to forget that the interview was the whole point of my going to Wales. Everything else that occurred came as a result of my trip and simply fell around the interview. I spent most of that morning reading a Welsh-language book and then walking through Bute Park in an attempt to calm my nerves.

    As it happened, the interview went pretty good.

    One of the things that interested me about this specific program is that in the first year, second- and first-language students are split. This allows second-language students to move a bit slower without fear of driving fluent speakers to homicidal rage. When I mentioned this as one of my reasons for wanting to come to Cardiff, the interviewer said that my spoken Welsh was good enough that they might allow me to be in the first-language group. There are conditions to that, of course, and I am wary of doing such bragging. After all, the interviewer said that my written Welsh could use some more work.

    At one point, late in the interview, the overall exhaustion of the experience hit me and I choked on a really simple question. After I righted the ship and answered the question, I was asked to leave the room. I thought that I had managed to sink the interview, but two minutes later they brought me back in and offered me a spot in the course.

    I fucking rock, yo.

    Although, at the time, my brain was shot and I was so emotionally drained that I just sort of mumbled: "Oh, diolch" ("Thanks"). Indeed, I was shot for the rest of the night. My original plan of drinking like a madman was tempered and became instead a really good meal at a restaurant called the Armless Dragon and a quiet walk in the pissing rain. I sat next to the poshest family in all of Wales at the restaurant. Congratulations on your new job, Sophie, darling.


    Millennium Stadium

    The next day was the Wales-Azerbaijan match. Wales won, but as Cheeky pointed out, it was less of a football match and more of a quiet evening among friends. If there were some football body that wanted to attract a more genteel crowd, they should use video footage of us on Wednesday as part of their campaign.

    But I still had a great time.


    My ticket for Wales vs. Azerbaijan


    Both teams line up for the singing of the national anthems.

    Part II: Ludlow

    I am going to break the narrative here and go back to part I for a second to tell you that I really dislike this picture. This has nothing to do with Jenny or Chris, who are a very cute couple here, and everything to do with me. Specifically, it has to do with my teeth.

    I hate my teeth. Honestly, I could go on Oprah and weep and shake and use up a whole box of Kleenex in expressing my overwhelming hatred for my teeth. I want so badly to get them fixed, but I just don't have the money. While most men dream about cars, I dream about Invisalign.

    And to this point, I have been very conscious about managing to only put pictures of myself on this blog that do not show my teeth. Sometimes this requires extreme vanity on my part, and I will take pictures over and over so as to avoid showing my teeth. Do you realize how tricky it is to grit your teeth like a pirate without really showing your teeth?

    But when I take pictures with friends, I can't sit there and make them do it again and again and again until my twisted vanity is satiated, can I? So, my teeth are there for all to see. You think Cody is going to want to look at this blog now? I am neither interesting nor handsome.

    I bring this all up as way of explanation for the goofy look on my face in the picture below. I was trying not to show my teeth.


    Shiona and me

    I went to Ludlow, England to attend the concert of my longtime friend, Shiona Cormack. She and I have known each other since we both studied at Portsmouth. That means we have been friends for almost 10 years. Both she and I were somewhat taken aback by this realization because neither of us is yet particularly keen on acting like an adult.

    Strangely, in the time that I have known Shiona, I had never heard her sing until last Saturday. She sings soprano and the word that I keep using to describe her performance is "transfixing." It is amazing that wee, fluttery Shiona can fill a church (the concert helped raise money for St. Laurence's Church) with such full and rich sound. I wrote in my journal that night: "Any person who could hear her sing and not fall madly in love is suffering from mental disease."

    I tend to think very highly of my friends.

    The concert was put on by the Morriston male choir, a group of fellas from Wales who are a hit with the old lady crowd.

    One thing I have noticed about old ladies, Welsh old ladies in particular, is that they love to talk. For them, the primary purpose of a conversation is to keep the conversation going. As such, the conversations taking place amongst the trio of Welsh old ladies sitting behind me at the concert went a lot like this (try to read the conversation without pausing):

    Welsh Old Lady 1: "I just got this new camera..."
    WOL2: "Oh, that's nice, that is."
    WOL3: "Oh, my, what a contraption."
    WOL1: "Yes, it's enormous. My son gave it to me. What am I supposed to do with this, I says, but, you know, they never listen."
    WOL3: "They never do."
    WOL2: "Hand it over, now. How do you turn this thing on?"
    WOL1: "I haven't a clue."
    WOL3: "I think it's that button, there."
    WOL2: "Here?"
    WOL3: "No, just there."
    WOL1: "I think she means there."
    WOL3: "That's right, just there."
    WOL2: "Oh right. Oh! I've taken a picture of the back of his head. Oh! Now I've taken a picture of the pew. Here, I don't want to touch this thing."
    WOL1: "Yes. It's terrifying, it is."

    And on and on and on they went. My favorite conversation came after a short period of silence, when, completely without set-up, Welsh Old Lady 1 said:

    "I don't like chicken."
    WOL3: "Beef."
    WOL1: "Yeah, beef's alright."
    WOL2: "What about lamb, or pork?"
    WOL1: "Them's alright. It's chicken I don't like."
    WOL3: "I'll have chicken in a stew. It's quite nice."
    WOL1: "Oh, I'll have it in a stew, but if I don't have to have it, I won't."
    WOL2: "What's wrong with chicken?"
    WOL1: "I just don't like it is all."
    WOL2: "But lamb's alright, is it?"
    WOL1: "Yeah. I'm alright with lamb. It's just the chicken, you know. I don't like it."

    My digital camera allegedly will record audio and I wanted very much to attempt to record their conversation, but I was afraid that doing so would be too obvious.

    Shiona's mother had agreed to put me up for the night, so after the concert we headed out to the countryside home that she shares with a woman named Janet and approximately 72 million Labradors, and had tea. Then we had some more tea. In high contrast to the Welsh old ladies, Shiona's family is not one of talkers. We filled the silences by drinking tea.

    In the morning, Shiona and I took two of the dogs out and went for a walk through the countryside. At some point I thought to myself: "This will be my life one day."

    Except, instead of walking through the English countryside with Shiona, I will do so with my wife. And we will be in Wales. And there probably won't be any dogs because Rachel doesn't like them. So it wasn't really my life at all.

    After we got back, Janet made us lasagna that was loaded with vegetables, we drank about 500 cups of tea, and then it was time to drop me off at the train station.


    Shiona and me amidst the beauty of the Ludlow train station.

    Part I: London

    I am alive and exhausted and back home in St. Paul. I rather wisely took the day off today to work through some of the jet lag, which gives me loads of time to fuck about on the computer. I put up a new template for my Welsh blog because I've decided that it needs more love. Looking just like this blog made it feel sort of half-assed. I have no idea why my picture gets cut in half on the Welsh version of me, but I actually like it.

    I want to put up a new template for this blog, too, but I wasn't able to find one that I really liked, so I decided instead to spend ridiculous amounts of time uploading all the photos of my trip.

    For ease of reading, I am breaking things down into the three segments of my trip.

    One thing I should warn you about right away is that I am in some of these pictures. You may not want to go any further if you've just had lunch.


    Look at me! I'm on the London Tube! I'm hip and cosmopolitan!

    Chris and Jenny had sent me the keys to their flat so I could rummage through their underwear drawer while they weren't there get some much needed sleep as soon as I got to London. When I got to their flat, I found that Jenny had left a PowerPoint presentation and the both of them had showered me with gifts. Jenny later told me that this behavior is a part of her and Chris' Scottish upbringing -- Scots would rather starve children than deprive company of luxury.


    Here I am with Chris and Jenny on their couch. To save confusion when we all get old and suffer dementia, Chris has brilliantly figured a way to ensure that we will always know where the picture was taken.

    The Phins fed me, and, in Jenny's case, showed me the sights of London even as Death's icy grip drew near. They also gave me Internet access, so much of my time there was blogged here and here.

    Meanwhile, in Dublin, Lucy (hey, she's got a new look) spotted a street named after one of the most beloved Americans of all time -- me. She snapped a picture of said street with her camera phone and sent it to me with a promise to organize a parade there in my honor.


    Cope Street in Dublin, Ireland

    When I mentioned the existence of Dublin's Cope Street on my blog, Huw ran to his London A-Z and found two spots in London that share my surname. This rather obviously set the agenda for the next day -- find that street.


    Tube station map showing the presence of the most kick-ass street in London.


    Cope Street in London, England

    After a hearty breakfast on Saturday, we made our way to the fabled urban Valhalla that is Millwall and found my street. There is a chemist's on my street, which means that I shall for some people ever be associated with cold remedies, condoms, and hemorrhoid relief. The family name is in good stead.

    We were all deeply moved by the experience and decided that it was best to part ways -- I to western England, Jenny and her boy to the cinema.


    Jenny, Chris and me. Chris is hiding.

    Wednesday, October 12, 2005

    Miles to go before I sleep

    I head back to the God Blessed United States of America tomorrow. I am not looking forward to the combined 16 hours of travel this will involve, nor the jet lag that will result. I could save myself a lot of grief by simply staying here.

    If I didn't get a chance to buy you a pint while I was here, the good news is that I will be back.

    I'm off to watch Wales lose to Azerbaijan tonight, and then I begin the long trip home at 5 a.m. (or 11 p.m. Wednesday in Minnesota). I don't get home until 3 p.m. CST (or 9 p.m. in Britain).

    Cripes. Perhaps it's best not to think about the time differences.

    Tuesday, October 11, 2005

    I should just stay

    Can't talk now. Drinking to do.

    I'm moving to Wales, bitches.

    No, really. I had an interview with Cardiff University today and they have offered me a place on the Welsh-language degree course.

    The interview process stretched about three hours. My brain is shot. More later.

    Monday, October 10, 2005

    Caerdydd

    I'm in Cardiff. My hotel has Internet access, so I get to blog while an old man reads some magazine called 'Ladies First.'

    I had my radio interview today, which was a hoot. I spoke with Hywel and Nia (can't be arsed to link to their site -- look it up on the Radio Cymru site) for a good half hour. Odds are, they will splice it down to two minutes. Ah well. If you are interested, I think the interview runs tomorrow morning. In an ideal world, I would be able to switch it on right in the middle of Very Important Things and Very Important People would be mightily impressed. I'll let you know how that goes.

    I got yelled at by the woman at hotel reception for taking my room key along with me. Apparently I'm not supposed to do this. Who knew?

    Apparently one can purchase a 4-bedroom seaside villa in Turkey for £32,500. That's what it says on the little advert sitting on this desk. Why this hotel in Cardiff has an advert for Turkish villas, and why you would want to live in Turkey, I do not know. Do you suppose there has been just one person to look at that advert and think: 'Ooh, yeah. Turkish villa. That's for me.' I suppose in that case, the advert was worth it.

    For those of you wondering, I never set foot in the Texas Embassy back in London. Jenny and Chris and I got there and it looked packed. From the outside, it appeared to be some sort of Chevy's knockoff. Traveling all that way to eat at a Chevy's, let alone a place that isn't really Chevy's seemed a bit silly, so we had Thai food instead.

    If anyone plans on corresponding with Arriva trains anytime soon, do me a favor and tell them to add a few fucking cars to their Sunday services. I stood all the way from Ludlow to Cardiff. Actually, it wasn't so bad -- a very attractive, large-breasted woman spent the trip from Abergavenny to Cardiff pressed up against me.

    Saturday, October 8, 2005

    Chance of frequent blogging decreasing...

    I'm off to Wales in a few hours. It's unlikely that I will blog as frequently as I have these past few days. Talk amongst yourselves.

    (Interesting fact: "blogging" and "blog" are not words, according to Blogger's spellcheck)

    Friday, October 7, 2005

    Londinium

    Thomas, the IRA seems to be keeping quiet. Of course, I have nothing to worry about -- Lucy informed me today that there is a Cope Street in Dublin*.

    See, I'm kind of a big deal in Wales and Ireland. I am internationally loved, much like Colgate Total toothpaste.

    Or, you know, perhaps not.

    Jenny and I went to lunch today in Greenwich. This is where time begins. I don't know if anyone ever says that about Greenwich, but they should. Like a good American tourist, I had fish and chips. And like a good American tourist, I ignored the fact that said fish and chips cost me £7 (about $14).

    This whole not going to see the usual touristy things that I always see in London is quite nice. This massive organic city suddenly seems more real to me. People actually live here and ride the tube and the bus and the train and it doesn't feel like Disneyland to them. Weird.

    As we rode back to Jenny's flat on the bus I was listening to the various languages being spoken around me. I counted four (I think) and numerous accents. On one random bus in one random part of London. If you want to travel the world without putting a lot of effort into it, come to London -- the world will come to meet you.

    Don't give me any of your "We have the same thing in New York" nonsense. No we don't. I'm not very good at describing it because I am standing so far on the periphery. But there is something so wholly unique about London. It is organic and each little person flows through like blood vessels.

    I'm not sure I could ever live here, though, I think London would consume me -- flesh bones and all, it would take everything that I have and no one would notice.

    You should hear Jenny and Chris talk to each other. "Fuck" is the pillar of their conversation. Last night, Jenny made us dinner -- 50s housewife stylee -- and Chris went over to do that thing of wanting to help but actually just sort of annoying his wife:

    JENNY: "What the fuck are you doing?"
    CHRIS: "I'm just..."
    "Well fuck off."
    "Fuck. If you... Oh, fuck."
    "For fuck's sake, you've fucked the thing up."
    "No, fuck, it's just... here."
    "Fuck! What the fuck have you done? The fucking thing is all -- look, fuck off."

    Yet strangely it was very loving. It would be a challenge, I think, for actors to recreate the scene of extreme profanity but cutesy playing/arguing.

    Tonight we are going out for drinks at a place called the Texas Embassy. Chris remarked that there are strangely a lot of Texans who go there. As a Texan, it is not hard for me to understand why -- it's got "Texas" in the name. What Texan wouldn't go there?

    *She sent me a picture as proof, which I will put up as soon as I get back home and have access to various photo software.

    Thursday, October 6, 2005

    Everyone here talks funny

    It's probably a good thing that random people rarely host me when I am passing through the area, because most people would be outclassed by Jenny and Chris. They have overwhelmed me with hospitality. I keep thinking, "They do realize that this is me they're going to all this trouble for, don't they? I'm just some random fella."

    I am in their flat now, the sounds of London traffic roaring past my room. There are a few random stories from the trip over here -- none particularly exciting, and none that my exhausted brain wants to attempt to convey right now. In the past 34 hours I have gotten three hours of sleep.

    Here's an exciting fact: Both the Phins and the Copes use the same brand of toothpaste! Our love (of Colgate Total) crosses the ocean.

    Wednesday, October 5, 2005

    Right. I'm off.

    All day today I have found myself looking at the clock: "Only 11 hours to go," "Only 10 hours to go," "Only nine hours to go," and on. Now I'm about to head to the airport.

    Rachel has refused to take up blogging duty in my absence, so things should be rather quiet around here for the next week or so. If time and an Internet cafe can be found, I'll try to blog from the UK, but I can't make any promises.

    Don't break the country while I'm gone.

    Linky

  • This is kind of exciting -- my wife and I used to run through this park just about every day.

  • Kathy Selander may be related to the woman from earlier this week. As a man pondered ending it all, she offered this sympathetic response: "I wish he'd either do what he's going to do, or get out so we can get some sleep"

  • It's a robot that rides a bike. For $5 million. That's great.
    You can buy the same thing from Circuit City for $100. You are half-assed, Japan.

  • If flying through Denver, it's probably best not to do so on a Sunday -- they might not be paying attention.

  • Police in Pennsylvania have arrested a 40-year-old man accused of taking off his pants at a fast-food restaurant then sitting down and eating other people's food. Wait. So that's wrong?
  • Is Sleep Like Candy Or Steak?

    My latest column is out. Please forward it to all your friends, neighbors and sworn enemies.

    Random quote

    "Yeah, that marriage is headed nowhere. Pretty soon she'll be getting together with her friends every night in an effort to avoid him. Her friends are Jose Cuervo, Jim Beam, and Captain Morgan."

    Tuesday, October 4, 2005

    Pooh watch

  • I have a wristwatch with a picture of Winnie the Pooh on it. It is my favorite watch ever. I think it is Esther's favorite watch, too, because she enjoys tormenting me for the way I say "Pooh watch."
    In May, the Pooh watch stopped and it wasn't until just yesterday that I actually went out and bought a new battery. Now I feel complete.

  • I will have you know that I offered my wife the chance to write on this blog while I am in the UK; she refused.
    "I'm not going to write on your blog," she said. "You can't break me."

  • Roses are red.
    Violets are blue.
    Nipsey Russel is dead.

    Ah, hell. That didn't even rhyme.
    Fans of C-list celebrities mourn. Somebody somewhere today will watch their "Dean Martin Celebrity Roasts" DVD set and shed a tear.
    Well, at least two somebodys. Don Rickles sheds a tear daily watching those, but the tears shed in that case are for his career.
    Here's an actual Nipsey poem:
    "If you want to get even with your low-down friends.
    Who treated you rotten to the core.
    Give a party, serve nothing but beer
    And lock the bathroom door."


  • Here's a Chris Cope professional writing tip: Don't send your column late. Especially don't do this when your editor plans to take the day off on which your column would normally run. The end result is that your column will not run.

  • Here's a Chris Cope fun fact about being a grown-up and having a proper job*: Every once in a while you will find yourself in a discussion in which you are very clearly right and the other person is very clearly wrong. But because you have a natural ability to draw heat, the very clearly wrong person will have worked him- or herself into fits of blind ignorance and he or she will continue to argue with you that the sky is orange, or that Jake "Body by Jake" Masterson is president of the United States, or that inverted pyramid style is somehow a foolish way to write even though it has been the standard of news writing for at least 150 years.
    As you are going back and forth with this junior high school drop-out, a little voice will suddenly chirp up in your head: "You are going to lose this.
    "You will lose not because you have misinterpreted your position -- you are right -- but because you are miserably low in the pecking order. And the longer you refuse to accept this person's cop out of 'I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree' (even though there is nothing to disagree about -- you are right, this person is wrong), the worse things will get. Then, many moons from now, after you have forgotten this discussion, you will be called into a higher-up's office and told not to do it again. And no one will ever acknowledge that you were right all along."

    *It's important to point out that I am not talking about my editor here. You might have falsely drawn that inference because I referenced him in the previous bullet point. But in that case, I was the person who was very clearly wrong and there was no discussion because I recognized this fact. Besides, I could never get in a real argument with a man who loves the University of Texas as much as Adam.
  • Monday, October 3, 2005

    Man haggis

  • If you are slow, or a product of the Texas education system, you might not yet have picked up that I am traveling to the UK on Wednesday. No, not that UK, this UK.
    Britons (or, those people who live here -- whatever they want to call themselves) don't want you to know this, but they are, in fact, really great. Most Britons seem happy to hold on to the stereotype that they are the least-friendly people in Europe, but I think they do this for the same reason that Minnesotans persist in the myth that we are miserable and cold -- we don't want too many people showing up to spoil the fun.
    Would unfriendly people put a roof over your head, as Jenny and the boy have offered to do for me? They have even purchased a sawdust-smelling bed for me to sleep upon. I suppose it's possible that this hospitality is a front and they will end up killing me in my sleep and turning me into man haggis.
    But assuming I make it to Saturday, I will then be traveling to Ludlow to listen to my friend, Shiona, sing in a concert. Shiona and I have known each other for about nine years now -- we worked at Pure FM together. The fact that we are still such good friends gives away the fact that we never dated.
    On Sunday I head to Cardiff, where I will be until Thursday. While there I'll be doing a number of things:
    On Monday I am heading in to the Radio Cymru studios for another interview. Back in July I was interviewed in connection with a piece about Welsh-language bloggers; they're bringing me back in because... uhm... I don't know. Why should I care why they want to talk to me -- I get to be on the radio.
    Monday night I'll be getting together with a few other Welsh-language bloggers. We're Welsh and we blog -- our getting together may spark some sort of black hole of dorkiness. This shindig started out with my asking something to the effect of "who wants to go out for a pint while I'm there?" But then Rhys, showing that sort of initiative that makes me sleepy, came up with an official sounding name for the get-together and even went to the trouble to create a graphic. A graphic for a handful of guys going to the pub -- how brilliant is that?
    On Tuesday something very important happens that I don't want to write about because I am afraid that I will jinx it. I promise to fill you in after the fact.
    On Wednesday I am going to see Wales play Azerbaijan. There is no point to this match, as Wales' World Cup hopes were dashed long ago, but I am looking forward to it because it will be the first time I have ever been to an international soccer match.
    And somewhere in the mix I may get a chance to see the squirrels. Cheeky? Do Sunday or Tuesday evenings suit you? I have managed to lose the e-mail in which you told me which pub you frequent before Wales matches.

  • Meanwhile, here in the United States we are finally taking action to stem the tide of people* like Mike Meyers and Jim Carrey and Dan Akroyd coming to steal our comedy jobs.

  • If you had any doubt as to the level of sexual frustration experienced by astronomers, it turns out they refer to the solar system's recently discovered planet as Xena.
    Xena's newly discovered moon is called Gabrielle.

  • Personally, I suspect terrorism.

  • Vote hard. Brain hurt Ohio.

  • I'm noticing a certain lack of remorse from Darlene Ann St. Clair: "OK, I hit the kid with the truck. I did, OK? Accidentally."
    Yeah. Get off her case, man. Oh, what? Like you've never run over a kid? Oh, you haven't? I guess that means you can judge now, right? You fucking elitist.

  • Reason No. 19,856 that the BBC is cooler than all American media combined: It has a feature that will allow you to learn Somali words as you read.

    *Here's something I didn't know: porn star Peter North is a famous Canadian.
  •