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Bbbuuuuuuut.......I like mixed drinks!


What Infectious Disease Are You?
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You scored as Malaria

You are one persistent, annoying son-of-a-bitch and your motto is 'if at first you don't succeed; try, try again'. Once you get a foothold in someone's life, you're loathe to let go and honestly, after a few feeble attempts, most of those poor suckers just give up. You're easily distracted by a good beverage, although you prefer beer to mixed drinks. There's something about tonic water that just turns you off. You may not always be at the forefront of everyone's minds, but you never get completely ignored, either--you're too irritating.

Malaria

80%

Syphilis

65%

Necrotizing Fasciitis

60%

Cholera

60%

Influenza

55%

Common Cold

50%

Bubonic Plague

40%

Amoebic Dysentery

40%

Gonorrhea

40%

Gangrene

35%
H2G2

meme time!

A couple of these have been going around. I'm not a huge fan of the "which monster are you" one, simply because it only uses 5 questions to make its judgement. No matter. The results of both are below. Enjoy (or something)!
You Are a Werewolf
You're unpredictable, moody, and downright freaky. You seem sweet and harmless, until you snap. Then you're a total monster. Very few people can predict if you're going to be Dr. Jekyll or Mr. Hyde. But for you, all your transformations seem perfectly natural. Your greatest power: Your ability to tap into nature Your greatest weakness: Lack of self control You play well with: Vampires

Which sci-fi crew would you best fit in with? (pics)
created with QuizFarm.com
You scored as Heart of Gold (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy)

You are a light and humorous person. No one can help but to smile to your wit. Now if only the improbability drive would stop turning you into weird stuff.

Heart of Gold (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy)

81%

Moya (Farscape)

75%

SG-1 (Stargate)

69%

FBI's X-Files Division (The X-Files)

69%

Millennium Falcon (Star Wars)

63%

Babylon 5 (Babylon 5)

63%

Serenity (Firefly)

56%

Bebop (Cowboy Bebop)

56%

Deep Space Nine (Star Trek)

50%

Enterprise D (Star Trek)

50%

Galactica (Battlestar: Galactica)

50%

Nebuchadnezzar (The Matrix)

44%

Andromeda Ascendant (Andromeda)

38%
...Somehow, the H2G2 result fails to surprise me....
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couch

in which Jeffry slams a movie that he just watched....

Before we begin, we need a bit of background here.

In Januray 2005, Kyle was here visiting me in Oz. During his visit, we subjected ourselves to two of the worst performances of any sort (live or recorded) that I think either of us has ever seen.  They were truly awful.  I won't go into full details here, but I'll provide you with the basics here.

1)  First night that we were in Brisbane (we'd stopped in LA and NZ on the way, so that getting to Brisbane had taken a week from when we'd left Maryland), we went to see Lemony Snicket's Unfortunate Series of Events, on the recommendation of my new housemate, The Wookie.  Later I would learn that the The Wookie has some of the worst taste in entertainment of any human I've ever met.  This was not in my general scope of knowledge at the time, however.

It turns out that the very first in a long series of unfortunate events in that movie is the part where you, the movie-goer, purchase yourself a ticket to see the movie.  The second one is where you sit down and actually attempt to watch the movie.  It was boring.  It was long.  Watching it really was a most unpleasent series of events.  Actually, I don't think I ever took any entertainment advice from The Wookie after that.  Moving along...

2)  While in Sydney, we really wanted to see a show at the Sydney Opera House, because honestly, how many chances to do that do you get?  I've gotten several, but I live here, so that's SLIGHTLY different.  Anyway, we got tickets to see the show that looked like the best option of what was on offer.  As a bonus, it was being shown in the big symphony/opera room, which is an ultra-nifty venue in and of itself.

Kyle tells this part of the story much better, so I'll just sum up.  It was described as a new and innovative modern dance show.  What it was in fact was the staged equivelent of watching paint dry.

The only real up-shot of this was that it gave Kyle and I numerous inside jokes relating back to it and just how awful it was (and how we could manufacture a BETTER modern dance show based sheerly on random ideas of our's).

About a year after that visit (well, a year and a half, I guess, I'm not sure the exact date of this next part), I rented Superman Returns on a whim.  I'd heard it wasn't great, but I figured it was worth checking it out on rental.  The movie was 2 and a half hours, and the rental cost me 3 AUD.

By the time it finished, I wanted 5 hours and 6 AUD returned to me.  The movie had one interesting acting sequence at the start.  Beyond that, there was no redeeming it, not even Kevin Spacey and Parker Posey playing the villains.  It was just truly awful.  The script was terrible, as were the pacing, directing, and acting.  The movie would best have been used as a source of fertilizer.

Ok, so, have you got all of that?  That's all preface.  I'm about to tell you that I've actually just finished watching something WORSE.

I mean, at least in all 3 cases previous, I could sit around with a friend and make fun of the material (Kyle for the first two and my flatmate Sharm for Superman Shouldn't Have Bothered Coming Back).  Even if I'd been watching with another friend, this next one is truly beyond redeeming.

It gets worse, though.  According to over 3000 votes on www.imdb.com, this movie is worth an 8.3 out of 10.

...Yeah, maybe in opposite land.

Seriously, though, follow the link at the end of this, and you'll see that I'm not making this up.

First off, let's talk lead actors.  The movie stars Brad Pitt and Casey Affleck (the younger brother of Ben Affleck) in its lead spots.  Now, already, this seems like a promising set up.  Brad Pitt usually acts quite well and has a tendancy to sort of smoothly glide and charm his way through any movie he shows up in.  Now, I'll admit, I've only seen Casey Affleck in the Ocean's movies.  Thing is, I've always found his charecter in them (Virgil Malloy) quite amsuing, just as light comedy relief.  Besides, he and Brad Pitt were in the Ocean's movies together, so I figured that familiarity would lend itself to good on-screen performances.

If you haven't quite figured out which movie I'm talking about, here it is:  The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford.

I'm not even sure if Mystery Science Theatre 3000, were it still around, could save this thing.  It is 2 hours and 40 minutes of slow, painfully slow, boredom punctuated ever so often with small doses of sheer gruesomeness.  It isn't even really gruesome with a purpose or for a charecter you really identify with (because believe me, I didn't find myself cheering for either James or Ford).  I'd say the dialogue was terrible, but there wasn't even much of what could qualify as proper dialogue for the first 20-30 minutes.  There was a bit, but only barely.  What was there stank like a sulfur pit.

Really the only redeeming point of the entire movie was the narration, which would come in and out now and again.  That wasn't bad.  But as soon as the acting was the focus again, it just went downhill (more like down-cliff) at mach 4.  The worst bit wasn't just that it was boring or pointlessly gruesome.  It was 2 hours and forty minutes of very slowly paced boring and gruesome.  I hate not seeing the end of a movie I've started, and I hate not finishing something I've paid money to see (thankfully, I only paid 6.50 AUD as a student).  Those were really the ONLY things that kept me from leaving early.

And for those who don't believe what I was saying about its www.imdb.com rating, here's the link:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0443680/

So yay!  I've now subjected myself to something WORSE than Superman Returns, Lemony Snicket, or whatever that show in Sydney was called.  This may be the worst performance I've ever seen.  If it isn't, it's really close.  I like watching movies, and I tend not to walk out of even a mediocre movie thinking it was a waste of my time.  Tonight, I walked out going "well, that was most truly awful."

I cannot recommend strongly enough that anyone reading this not see The Assassination of Jesse James...  I'm not even sure it's worth the time it took you to read this review (and you're getting the benefit of this review for free!).

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flying at you

meme....because I can

Stolen, I mean borrowed, from Faber-san:



create your own personalized map of the USA
or check out ourCalifornia travel guide


I seem to be avoiding segments of the Deep South...

Actually, it's mostly due to lack of having reason to go there.

And Faber-san, how is it that you've somehow never set foot in Texas? I don't exactly TRY to do so, but it's kind of big and difficult to avoid at times....

Also, DC is NOT a state, so it really shouldn't be in a "which states have I visited" meme. I'll get off of my soap-box now....
anaheim angels 2

and now for something pretty much unexpected...

Ok, so most of you know that I'm not really a big sports person.  I wasn't athletic growing up and never really got the hang of team sports (unless lazer tag counts, and I'm not even all that GOOD at it (though I have fun)).  I didn't even attempt to get semi-regular exercise until after I'd turned 21.  Actually, it was breaking my arm that kicked me into swimming and an increased level of physical activity (though I challenge anyone who'd attempt to tell me that there aren't physically taxing segments to marching band).

ANYWAY...

When living back in the US of A, I generally averaged about 1 professional baseball game per year or two (that is, seeing it live), and an average of one live professional football game per 27 years (and counting).  So I'll freely admit up-front here that I'm no die-hard sports fan.

But, what most of you already ALSO know is that I'm a die-hard fan of just about anything relating back to California.  In a sports competition involving a California-based team and an external team, I'll always cheer for the Californian team with near-blind allegiance (anyone in the audience from Oz or who has spent any time in the Wonderful Land of Oz will know why I'm less inclined to say that I'd "root for a team."  In the Land Down Under, the term has a VERY different meaning).

Somehow, in the process of college and subsequently doing my PhD here in Australia, I've started very loosely following the post-season of US professional baseball.

So now the US American post-season is upon us, and there's only one team from California in  the play-offs (given that CA contributes 5 teams (I hope I counted correctly) to the major leagues, it's a decent shot that one will make it to the play-offs after all).

The result?  I present to you an Anaheim Angels icon, as evidence to my near-blind devotion to the Golden State and (by proxy) its representation in professional sports.

The alternative take on this is that I was procrastinating between writing sections of my thesis.  That's ok too.

Cartoon

did I even leave Oz?

Hello and welcome to another of these lovely posts.  I'm cyber-Jeffry / d'Avitant, and I'll be your guide through the past two months.

This will be roughly chronological.  As such, congrats to Emily Daniels on her Honour's graduation in December.

The day after that, I got on a series of 3 planes (BrisVegas to Sydney to Auckland to San Francisco) to head back to ye olde US of A.

They had problems with the airbridge thingy (you know, that you board the plane through) in Auckland.  The pilot even referenced the Keystone Cops in the process...

San Francisco was absolutely amazing, with the caveat of being absurdly, insanely busy.  I was visiting people from when I got up to when I went to bed for the 3 days I was there, and I still didn't even visit half of the people I wanted to.

Then, up to Spokane via Seattle and a tiny puddlehopper across the mountains.  Despite my general hatred of all things puddle-hoppery (let's put it this way, an A320 / B737 is the SMALLEST size of airplane I particularly care to fly in...), the flight was very smooth and quite pretty (mountains, snow, you get the idea).  One night at my grandparents' place, and then the 3 of us trekked (flew) across the country to BWI via Denver.

It's a very...different...experience flying with your 81 year old grandmother in the seat next to you and asking where we're going and why ever 3 minutes.  She has advanced Alzheimer's Disease, so it's not that surprising.

The Maryland experience was much like the California experience (only the sun rose over the water (not that you can see the ocean from my parents' house) instead of setting over it, and I was there for 2 weeks).  That is, incredibly busy, didn't see half the people I'd have liked to, set an alarm EVERY, SINGLE MORNING, it was all a bit crazy, and over way too soon.

Highlights:  Emma (the less-surprised-looking-these-days, formerly the perpetually-surprised-looking-clarinet-girl of the UMMB) came to visit for a night.  Given our previous years' habit of meeting in DC for literally a couple hours, it was a big improvement to actually have more than 2 hours to visit.

Jess Faber drove down from Jersey-Land to do post-Christmas-not-quite-on-Boxing-Day Shopping with Kyle and me.  Thanks for that Jess!  Also, more recently (Jan 25), happy birthday!  Thanks to Faber-san, I now have a DNA-knit-pattern scarf.  I should post a picture of it later...

Made my Mom and grandparents a big photo-album project with captions.  It took a lot of time, though...

Got to visit with Kyle and Kelley and meet the new yellow lab of the house, Ella.

Went to the driving range with my brother to chat and hit things (well, golf balls are techincally "things").

Drank WAY too much coffee.  Did I mention it was a wee bit insane?

I even managed to squeeze in a few friendly phone calls.  There are quite a few of you out there that I didn't even have time to call.  Sorries about that.

I also (this isn't so much of a highlight) spent 3 hours getting from DC to Frederick on the afternoon of the 22nd.  I think that was my worst traffic jam EVER.

I made Christmas dinner.  Big lamb roast with roast veggies.  Very, very tasty.  You know you want some.

I ended up going back a day later than originally intended.  See, I got rerouted AROUND the bad weather in Denver, only to get to BWI to leave and instead be sent to National because of bad weather in Chicago.

I get to the gate at National, and they delay the flight to the point that I won't make my flight in SFO back to Sydney.

To make a long story short (I know, too late, right?), I ended up getting a non-stop on New Year's Day from Dulles to SFO to make that day's non-stop to Sydney.  When I got to Sydney, QANTAS even called my phone to offer me an earlier flight back to Brisneyland.

I got back, collapsed for 2 days and promptly got a sinus infection shortly there-after.

>_<

Well, I hadn't really stopped hither-to.  The result was that I didn't really go back to work until about 12 days AFTER I got back to the Wonderful Land of Oz.

I watched pretty explosions on Friday.  It was Australia Day.

I think that about sums it up.

I do kind of wish I could've spent a day in Los Angeles...

OK, I think that'll do for now.  Questions?  Comments?  Further details?  You know where to find me...
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Why Can't Computers Be More Like Star Trek?

You know, they’re everywhere and can just automatically record what you’re saying, so that when you have a thought you want to record, you don’t have to try to record it later?  If that was the case, I’d have updated ages ago.

 

I’m perfectly aware that I’ve been the biggest cyber-slacker on the planet when it comes to my LJ recently.  Truth be told, I just don’t have the time to sit and dedicate to it the way I did when I started it.  Some day I may, but being a PhD student is, shall we say, a wee bit time consuming.  And honestly, there are other things to do than spend all my time at my computer.

 

I mean, I started this when I got PAID to sit at a computer and amuse myself for 2 hours.

 

Ok, so, an update on my life (the big points (we don’t need a novel here)).

 

My 26th birthday was on July 8.  My co-workers were all super nice and got together and got me a silicon whisk and a silicon muffin tin (umm…pan?  It isn’t exactly MADE of tin) and 2 birthday cards (one from the guys, one from the girls).  Separately from that, I got SCRUBS season 1 on DVD and a couple wooden cooking spoons (I like wooden cooking spoons) from Emily, a nifty storage box thingy (hard to explain, easier to show) with a picture in the lid from Meegan, and a UMass baseball cap from my parents (as well as the early present that I’d already negotiated out of them (best pair of sandals on the planet (only problem is that they get little rocks stuck in them that you can’t kick out, as the front is closed))).  Overall, birthday was a good thing.

 

Moving along to August (and everything after?), I went up to Mission Beach (in all likelihood the LEAST friendly small town I’ve ever set foot in on any continent (no, I’m not even KIND OF kidding about this; I can count the people who were nice to outsiders (Aussie or foreign outsiders, mind you) on 2 fingers)), way up north in Queensland, to attend and present some of my work at the annual meeting of the Australian Coral Reef Society.  Before anybody asks, I didn’t fall asleep in any of the presentations, thankyouverymuch (honestly, you do this a few times (per month), and everyone thinks it’s a habit).

 

My presentation went very well and was blessedly early, so I got to do it and move along to the “sit back and watch everyone else” phase.  Lots of good presentations, and about equal numbers of fantastic and less than thrilling talks.  Only one of them (that I saw) was truly awful.

 

RiverFire was a couple weeks ago now (eep! Time flies when you’re sick and psychotic having fun).  Let’s say this now.  There’s lots of things I like about Brisbane, and there’s lots of things that drive me absolutely up the wall (and down the other side).  Having said that, this city knows how to do fireworks.  They put on some of the best displays I’ve ever seen.  There are 3 major sets put on by the city each year:  Australia Day (January 26 (it’s Oz’s day of independence)), RiverFire (sometime in August), and New Year’s.  I’ve never seen that last one, but they always do so well with the other 2.  And of the 2, RiverFire is the better.  This one was one of the two best display of fireworks I’ve ever watched.  The other (for those in the crowd who are wondering (I know you’re out there)) was when I got tickets for the passes-only section of the Super Bowl display when San Diego was hosting it in 2003.

 

Also, the RiverFire includes a (very, very close) fly-by of a couple jet-fighters doing fuel dumps.

 

Twice.

 

And then there’s the massive display all the way up and down the river, set to music.  The pedestrian bridge to South Bank even had a sparkler water-fall going on.  Oh, and for the first time ever, they were launching some of the fireworks from on top of buildings in downtown.

 

Have I mentioned I love fireworks in general?  I mean, what’s not to like about big, bright, colourful explosions?

 

I think that’s about it.  Most of the rest of it is the usual combo of work, running errands, and trying to relax a bit.

 

I know I say this every time, but I’ll try not to go so absurdly long again before posting.

 

Also, this entry started on DMB’s “Louisiana Bayou.  We’re now on one of the best cover songs I’ve ever heard:  Authority Zero doing “Mexican Radio.”

 

So there.

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mememememe

I stole this from Jess (who stole it from someone else (thief!)), 'cause it was too fun not to.  I did a 5-click randomization to start, just to keep it unbiased.

Real update coming before I go on any more trips (that's 12 days away from now).

The meme:

If a movie was made of your life, what would the soundtrack be?

So here's how it works:

- Open your music library (iTunes, Winamp, Media Player, etc).
- Put it on shuffle.
- Press play.
- For every question, put the song that's playing.
- When you go to a new question, skip to the next song.
- Ready? GO!

Opening Credits:
Look Around -- Blues Traveler (Four)

Waking Up:
My Hometown -- Bowling for Soup (A Hangover You Don't Deserve)

Falling In Love:
Staring at the Sun (New Mix) -- U2 (Best of 1990 - 2000)

Fight Scene:
All Along the Watchtower -- Dave Matthews Band cover off of Live Trax Vol 2 (Golden Gate Park)

Breaking Up:
One Sweet World -- Dave Matthews Band (The Gorge, recorded 06 September 2002)

Make-up:
Real Gone -- Sheryl Crow (CARS Soundtrack)

Secret Love :
Numb -- U2 (Best of 1990 - 2000)

Life's Okay:
Break Your Heart -- Barenaked Ladies (Rock Spectacle)


Mental Breakdown:
Enemy -- Eve 6 (Horrorscope)

Driving:
iTunes says:  Kids With Guns -- Gorillaz (Demon Days)
My personal choice:  Open Road Song -- Eve 6 (Self-titled)

Flashbacks:
Choking on the Truth -- Bif Naked (Purge)

Happy Dance:
Old Apartment -- Barenaked Ladies (Rock Spectacle)

Regretting:
Call and Answer -- Barenaked Ladies (Stunt)
Why is so much BNL coming up?  Seriously, you'd think I had more BNL in my library than I do.  YES, the random button is on.  Still, good answer for this one.

Long Night Alone:
You Can't Win -- Might Mighty Bosstone (A Jackknife to a Swan)

Final Battle:
Honey Child -- Royal Crown Review (Caught in the Act)

Death Scene:
Tonight Tonight -- Smashing Pumpkins (Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness)

Final Ending:
Ridiculous -- Bowling for Soup (A Hangover You Don't Deserve)

Credits:
I Can Wait -- Deep Blue Something (Home)

Odd.  There's a lot of repeated artists in there, despite having over 4500 tracks to choose from.  For example, I've got a lot of Great Big Sea (mostly likely at least as much as Jess (from whom this meme was stolen borrowed), and not a single one came up, while multiple BNL tracks came up.  Still, not bad, 'cept the one for my final battle.

And there you have it folks, your weekend dose of true pointlessness on this end.
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meme time!!!!!

I got tagged by the one and only Kyle N Holland. Extra credit if anyone (other than Kyle or Kelley) can tell me what the N stands for.

So. The meme: name 5 things which can be used for bribing you (practical or otherwise) and name 5 people in LJ who should post the same.

My 5:

1) Large amounts of (good) dark chocolate. These can be mixed with marzipan, mint, or peanut butter.
2) A large open water going boat, completely stocked for a week at sea and full SCUBA gear.
3) Unlimited buisiness class travel on any Star Alliance airline for 1 year.
4) A great job somewhere in California. Somewhere in one of the NICE parts of California.
5) Good Japanese or Mexican food.

OK, so I'm no good at doing the creating links with your usernames thing, so I'm just going to tag you guys and expect you to read that you were tagged.

Go RADS, Jess, Kitty!, Beth F, and Beth K!
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