Monday, August 31, 2009

Looking Young and Dancing

When you look like I do, getting weird looks at a bar is no rare occurrence. I find the looks generally fall into one of two categories. The first is fairly obvious and by far the most common - the "there is NO WAY that kid is 21" look. This comes in various forms. With slight variations in their expressions, I can actually differentiate the thoughts running through their heads. Other popular ones include:
-"I wonder where he got his fake ID"
-"What's wrong with that bouncer"
-"Nice job, kid"

Being judged for looking young is no new thing for me. I have been pulled over multiple times for looking too young to drive. At one such occurrence, when I was 16, the officer told me I "didn't look a day over 9." I have been to a total of 2 r-rated movies without getting carded, both of which happened in the last 6 months. Once, at the age of 18, I was carded for a PG-13 movie. I'm not sure they are even supposed/allowed to do that (incidentally, what ID do 13-year-olds have?

The second glare/look I get in bars is not about my age, but rather about my dancing. I don't have a lot of rhythm or dancing skills per se. I don't dance to pick up girls, or to show off sweet moves. I just do it to have fun. I am well aware that most of the time I look pretty stupid. And I'm alright with that. What really amuses me is other people.

Here's how it usually goes down. I see someone watching me. They smirk, then turn to their two or three friends who they are standing around with, who then immediately look at me. Real slick, guys. Then one of them, usually the first one, starts imitating me. Most of the time it's a mediocre impression, and usually over-exaggerated. Sometimes they do it pretty well. If they can get the arms down, they do it well. I really hope these people aren't trying to be slick and not have me see that they are making fun of me, usually it's fairly obvious.

But here's the funny part. Without a doubt, the majority of people I catch smirking and making fun of me are groups of two or three guys, standing by themselves against the wall near the dance floor. This is one reason why I really don't have a problem with it (the other being that I will never see these people again). I'm out there having an awesome time with my friends, and you, creepy guy standing against the wall watching people dance, are gonna make fun of me? Go right ahead. Sometimes I contemplate going up to some of these people and saying something. I think the best line I've crafted in my head is "I saw you copying my moves out there. It was pretty close, just don't move your arms quite so much. You can work on it tonight when you go home by yourself." But really, there's no reason to be mean. These guys have done nothing to me, so I'll let them be, and keep rockin out the only way I know how.

Sidenote: The best impression I've seen of my dancing is done by Mr. Braswell. He gets the face, the arms, and the feet pretty much spot on. Kudos to you, sir.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Noisemakers of TCW

Perhaps ironically, the noisiest, most social place at the University of Richmond School of Law is actually supposed to be a "quiet area." Quiet please signs sit on the tables, and signs are posted on the walls. But the warnings seem to fall on deaf ears for the students. I speak of course of the corridor of tables in the law library between the main lobby-type area and the carrels.

Students learn quickly that if they want a quiet place to study that isn't their carrel, these tables are not the place to do that. People come out of class, perhaps head towards their carrels, see some friends, chat for a minute, then decide to stay and study for a while. And by study, I mean talk some more.

But don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining. I think it's cool to be able to say hi to people at the tables. I don't think it's a place to be super loud, but I don't see hwy it has to be super-duper quiet either. But there is one thing that really does bothersome about the area. I guess it can't be avoided, but that doesn't mean it can't bother people.

When someone walks by, and you are at a table, it is virtually impossible not to look up and see who it is. As a result, your attention is taken off your books for a second, and add on 3 more seconds to figure out where you were. The time adds up. There is something about that hall. Not only are noises amplified, but everyone walking through there seems to exhibit at least one of the following:
-wearing heels
-wearing flip flops
-pockets full of change and keys
-chewing gum
-massive backpacks with keychains
-rollie backpacks (don't get me started...)
-cell phone talkers
-walking with their legs too close together so that their jeans rub together every step (seriously, you would be surprised how loud this can get)
And of course, Megan's personal pet peeve,
-the constant snifflers

We must not be near a stable, because I'm not gonna get up on my high horse about this. I am guilty of several of these things, most notably gum chewing and flip flop wearing. It really can be amusing to people watch and notice that, well, everyone does something. Even if you don't think you do, you do. To the person who can walk down that hall, when at least 10 people are at those tables, and not have 1 person look up at them, I will award 200 awesome points.

Workee workee busy busy!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Twitter Spammers

Over the last 18 months or so, Twitter has become a powerful player in the realm of social-networking/time-wasting websites out there. For those unfamiliar, people can go on and post a message of 140 characters or less, and that message will show up on the home page of anyone who is "following" them. Messages can be what you did that day, what you are currently doing, a video you found, a quote, really anything you want.

Since joining Twitter, one thing that seems strange is the presence of spammers. These people follow as many random people as possible. Not random people like celebrities. Just random people they do not even know. I can't really wrap my head around this. Why would random dude across the country want to be told that I "just took a chance on those expired fig newtons..." I don't even always want to know when my actual friends eat recently expired food. So here's two possible explanations.

1) They want to feel like they have a lot of friends. This is entirely likely. I think once you get to a certain point, the more people you follow on twitter has a negative correlation with the number of people you actually know.

2) They think that because they follow lots of people, some of those people will follow them. This has a little bit of sense I suppose, but experience shows me its not likely. Whenever someone new follows me on Twitter, i get an email about it which shows how many people they follow, and how many people follow THEM. Listen, Mr. Spammer, when you are following 39,701 people, and you have 8 followers, I don't think your plan is working.

At any rate, I don't see the point of Twitter spamming. Maybe there is something I am missing, I dunno. Welcome back to Richmond everyone, and good luck with the first day.

Friday, August 21, 2009

The First Weight Room

Tonight's shout out goes to my awesome legal research professor, for (1) reading my blog, and (2) revealing that fact to me in a very cool way.

Assuming the aliens defeat the TrashBerg Monster (see my May 22nd post for more on that) there will probably be many things about our species which will mystify them. One of them will no doubt be the concept of a weight room. While it may seem a normal part of our culture today, weight rooms essentially boil down to this: people pay good money to go pick up heavy things. Repeatedly. And look at themselves in giant mirrors on the wall while doing so.

I don't know how or when the first weight room was created, but I imagine it to be something like this. Barnibus was a sheep farmer. He spent the days roaming the fields and tending to his flock. One spring day, Barnibus stumbled across the greenest patch of field in all the land, only to find it's entrance being blocked by a large rock and a small rock. He moved the small rock, but his sheep were unable to fit. He could not move the big rock, for he was too weak. From that moment, Barnibus knew he would have to get stronger, but he had no access to heavy things.

That very night, Barnibus summoned DeVon (no relation), the local blacksmith's apprentice, who was also his twin brother. He requested that DeVon make him a set of metal objects, each increasing in size and weight, that he could pick up repeatedly to get stronger. DeVon said "Brah, are you crazy? That is a ridiculous idea. I use this metal to make USEFUL things. You know, swords, axes, guillotines, everyday stuff like that. You want me to make you some heavy stuff to pick up. How about you come over to me and Ruth's place and pick up our kid for a while. That ought to do it."

After several more hours of ranting, DeVon eventually came around "You know, the boss really has been making me mad recently. He goes on and on about some sort of flying device. Like that will ever happen...anyway, I've been looking for a good way to get fired. I'd really like to get into law. This should do the trick. I'm in! Gucci!" Barnibus stared blankly, until DeVon explained what Gucci was. And so it goes that DeVon used 10 week's worth of iron ore to construct a set of weights for Barnibus.

One night, Barnibus dropped by the blacksmith's shop to check on the progress of his weights, only to find DeVon kissing Barnibus' wife, Yolanda. Infuriated he threw Yolanda out on the curb, grabbed a sword, and prepared to take it to DeVon. After DeVon begged for forgiveness, Barnibus said "Fine. But as punishment, when I lift my weights, you will stand 8 feet in front of me and mimic my every move, so that I may see what I look like. When I lift extremely heavy things, you will stand over me and make sure that I do not drop them on my face. You will do this until I am able to move that rock out of the way. Then I shall kill you."

And thus, the first weight room was created.

Happy Birthday to everyone who had birthday's this week, especially Susie and Cate. You guys are awesome.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Going Transit

My return to Richmond means a return to more consistent blogging. Apologies to my readers for not posting a lot over the summer. But now we're all back, so it's all good.

For my week of vacation between work and school, I went to Las Vegas. Vegas is home to casinos, ridiculous energy consumption, and some of the strangest people on the planet. But the trip opened my eyes to something. Allow me to explain. In Vegas, there is a bus called the Deuce that runs up and down the strip. This works like any other bus - if you want to get off at the next stop, you push the button, and the driver will stop.

On one particular bus ride, there was either someone who really did not understand the system, or just wanted to make the driver angry. If it was the latter, it worked. Someone pushed the button, and the driver stopped the bus. When no one moved, he gets his speaker out and says "Does ANYONE need to get off the bus???" in a very frustrated tone. No one moves, so he closes the door and pulls away. As soon as he moves again, someone hits the button. He makes the next stop, and guess what? No one gets off the bus. Now he is really mad, and said the following:

"Let me explain how this works to you people. When you hit those red buttons, it makes me think that someone needs to get off the bus! And I've got to make the stop. SO, AGAIN, does ANYONE need to get off the bus?!?!?"

While amused, I realized this could be a serious problem. We've all heard about postal workers, doing the same thing over and over again and not getting appreciated until they "go postal" - go crazy basically. But the thing is if a postal worker goes crazy, the number of people hurt will likely be minimal. Little Jimmy might not get that birthday card from Aunt Louise with $11 in it on time, but for the most part people will be safe.

But with bus drivers, it's different. Like postal workers, they do the same thing over and over again, often unappreciated. But if a driver were to "go transit," he's got a bus full of people he's takin down with him. We can't have this be happening. So c'mon now people, thank your bus drivers, and don't hit the button unless you need to get off the bus.

More on Vegas later. Glad to be back.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

My Nemesis Returns

When I am at school, 1 SpiderBytes a day is MORE than enough. I wish i could put greater emphasis on the MORE. I loathe SpiderBytes with a passion. You can imagine my fury when I discovered I would continue to receive SpiderBytes throughout the summer, when I am no longer at Richmond and it is therefore completely and utterly useless. But my enemy has gone too far now.

Twice in the last week, I have gotten TWO SPIDERBYTES IN ONE DAY. This is unacceptable on all accounts. At first glance I might think this is a "technical error," but in my heart of hearts this is without a doubt another cunning move by my nemesis. SpiderBytes plays games with my heart like I used to do to the Backstreet Boys before they told me to quit.

If you recall, last semester SpiderBytes disguised itself as Junk Mail so it would no longer appear in my Inbox...for two days. Just long enough for me to notice the change and get psyched about it. Then it was back in my inbox faster than the time it takes Richard to consider paying a $15 cover charge. Later on, as the semester ended, SpiderBytes stopped coming to my inbox just long enough to give me a glimmer of hope that I would be rid of it for the summer. Then like die hard it came back with a vengeance.

So forgive me if I don't buy any explanation of a "technical error." I trust SpiderBytes about as far as I can throw it. Which due to its lack of corporeal form, is 0 feet.