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 January 31, 2003 - 04:11 PM | chris
If Only They Died, I Bet the Record Would Go Platinum...

Word on the street is that despite mixing problems, Zwan's album has already sold almost 100,000 copies and should debut next week at either #1 or #2 on the billboard charts. This is fantastic in that it is already shaping up to be more successful than the final Pumpkins album, but I think they can do better.

Tupac Shakur "died" (based on this website he is still alive) on September 13, 1996. Prior to his shooting, he released four albums. Since his death, he has released at least five albums under the name 2Pac, possibly more under other names (although what constitutes a rap "album" is a subject up for debate, as a lot of albums are just a bunch of rappers guesting on each others' discs). Clearly dying has spurred the creative songwriting process, not to mention the jump in sales that it resulted in.

Sublime also saw a big surge in popularity after ceasing to exist thanks to the death of their lead singer, another reason for Zwan to think about going this route. However, they should take note of the Blind Melon counterexample, a band that saw a sudden dropoff in musical output.

If they do it up right, though, a well-timed death could result in 3 or 4 more albums and millions in records sold. At least if this whole Computer Science thing doesn't pan out for me, I can always fall back on my natural skills as a music industry marketing consultant.

 January 30, 2003 - 01:49 PM | chris
A Musical Montage

Lucas posted recently about a horrible song he heard by Donovan. Here's an interesting factoid: former hometown St. Louis Cardinals phenom-turned-bust Donovan Obsourne was actually named after the same Donovan who sung Hurdy Gurdy Man. They don't just have the same name, his mom actually was a fan of Donovan and decided to name her newborn son after him. I wonder if teenage pregnancies in 2002 will result in a glut of children born next year named Avril...

I still have not purchased the new Zwan album, but now I have a good reason for it. It seems that somewhere between the masters getting recorded and the albums getting pressed someone turned the volume up too loud, resulting in noticeable clipping during a lot of the songs. People online have actually taken screenshots of the wave files from the album in CoolEdit Pro and you can clearly see that a) these people have way too much time on their hands and b) the album was apparently mixed by a deaf person.

Speaking of (tone)deafness, this morning I was once again subjected to the Dixie Chicks' painful butchering of Landslide, a song that was already covered successfully by another band 8 years ago. Fleetwood Mac did a good job with the original, and the Smashing Pumpkins did a good job with it despite the fact that a guy was covering a song originally song by a girl. So how is it that the Dixie Chicks took a soulful ballad and added an ascending chorus of "uh-uh, Uh-Uh, UH-UH" that sounds like the freaking Teletubbies?

 January 29, 2003 - 12:02 AM | chris
The Sad State of the Music Industry

Well after Rachel challenged my fanboy-ness (*ahem* 150+ Pumpkins shows on CD *ahem*), I went to Zwan's website and listened to the new album. Rumors of the greatest album ever and Billy saving rock and roll again are grossly exaggerated, but after one listen of almost all the songs I'd give it the Obsessive Pumpkins Fan Seal of Approval. It is definitely more "feel-good" music than anything Billy did with the Pumpkins, but not as feel-god as, say, James Iha's solo album, which was generally blasted by critics and fans (although I liked it). Most of the pretentiousness is gone, fortunately for all of us who suffered through Glass + the Ghost Children on Machina (the Pumpkins' penultimate album).

However, this evening while watching television I was horrified to witness a commercial for the album. I expect that kind of thing from the Cash Money Millionaires and Creed, but not from legitimate musicians who are supposedly "in it for the music". Not that I believe in the whole "selling out" concept, that people buying your albums is a bad thing, but your album should sell on musical merit if it's good enough.

Unfortunately, in today's climate of file sharing, a lot of albums aren't. Selling that is. My roommates and I were discussing our top 5 albums of 2002 the other day, and I don't think I could even come up with 5. Something Corporate's "Leaving Through the Window" was fantastic, and there were a few others that I enjoyed, but for the most part 2002 was a crapfest where the top sellers were a Canadian "punk rocker" who drew tattoos on her arm, 3 country singers who butchered Landslide, and a rapper who advertised shoes. Instead of the industry moguls racing to see who can blame their financial situations on Kazaa, perhaps they should look at the bands that they sign and the price they charge for CDs. I don't know a lot of kids who will pay $17 for an album they might not like. I do know kids who would pay $5 for an album they've never heard and then tell all their friends and go to concerts if they like it. The most successful albums are successful because of word-of-mouth, and you can't generate that if no one is willing to try out your product because it is too expensive. Add value (the free bonus DVDs are an interesting idea), lower prices, promote more of a variety, do SOMETHING, but for goodness sake stop complaining that the consumer is the reason you can't sell your own product. Nothing says we HAVE to buy the crap that you peddle just because it's out there. (*steps off soapbox*)

(*steps back on soapbox*)

This Friday I was planning on seeing Something Corporate and The Juliana Theory at Mississippi Nights. However, the show is sold out. The show has been sold out for awhile. While I am happy that the bands I like are finally becoming successful, I am upset that this new found success means legions of annoying teenage girls as fans who make it so that I can't go to concerts anymore.

Arch-Nemesis #8: Teenage girls.

 January 27, 2003 - 11:28 PM | chris

The time that all of you (read: me) have been waiting for has finally arrived: Zwan's first platinum album gets released to the masses in 37 minutes...

 January 27, 2003 - 11:26 PM | chris
Help! I'm a Celebrity and I Can't Find a Job!

As you probably know or have already heard, the Super Bowl was a snooze-fest for pretty much the whole game. Even the ads were pretty underwhelming, although the shots of Arnold Schwarzenegger pretending that he is still a high-powered Hollywood star were priceless. As was the pregame show, during which Santana trotted out every marginal musical act of the last year to accompany him in a song that contained the lyrics "Santana! Santana! Santana! Santana!..."

It seemed that ABC had quite a bit of trouble selling their ad time, since a great many commercials were for upcoming ABC shows (Alias comes to mind, which based on the ads is about a half-naked woman who gets tortured). Two of the more disturbing ones were for a show called something like Help! I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here! (which I assume uses the word "celebrity" in the same way that Celebrity Mole does) and Are You Hot? (another show where we give shameless face time to undeserving idiots).

Speaking of celebrities making odd career choices, why is it that every time there is one of those Where are they Now? Child Stars of the '80's shows there is about a 50-50 ratio of successful people who went on to lead meaningful lives outside of showbusiness to washed-up actors and actresses begging for a job. In one I saw the other day one guy literally told the camera that he was "actively looking for work" and that he would "pretty much play any part that is offered to me". He repeated this over and over, hoping that somewhere, some studio exec would flip through the channels thinking "now if only I could find someone to play the villain in the next Spiderman that kid who played Fred Savage's neighbor on the Wonder Years..."

 January 25, 2003 - 10:23 PM | chris
NFL Picks: Super Bowl Edition

Tomorrow is the Super Bowl, and that means the end of not getting any work done on Sundays. Which is good because Machine Learning looks like it's going to have quite the workload this semester, and Operating Systems doesn't exactly have the reputation of being a walk in the park.

Anyway, most football prognosticators have done one of the following: predict the Bucs because Jon Gruden coached the Raiders for the last few years, or predict the Raiders because their offense is superior to that of the Bucs, who are just one hit away from being quarterbacked by Rob Johnson or Shaun King.

If either of these walking corpses enters the game, then all bets are off, but I'm picking Bucs because frankly the Raiders haven't played very many decent defenses all year, and when they have they have lost. The Raiders' only loss since October? To the Dolphins, who sported the #1-ranked defense in the AFC. With an offense that relies on a slippery-fast running back and a lot of short slant patterns, the fast Bucs defense will shut them down just like the Dolphins did.

And the final score will be Bucs 23 - Raiders 13.

 January 25, 2003 - 12:39 PM | chris
If I Had Spamassassin, I'd Miss Stuff Like This

Lately I've been suffering from a case of mistaken identities. Recently I have been receiving emails from 'Jean-Baptiste' about some French art auction and the software that he wrote for it. In his latest missive, Jean-Baptiste even quotes the message that he is replying to, which is from someone named Fred. I feel like such a voyeur spying on Jean-Baptiste and Fred's (most likely fabricated) conversations, although they are pretty boring. There's some sort of Art auction called "Apocalypse" that is coming up over in Europe somewhere, and Jean-Baptiste is apparently writing .NET software for it.

I've also been targeted as a likely consumer for the "Voodoo Magick Box", a little electronic Walkman that supposedly gives you a "drug-like" psychedelic experience while being a perfectly legal, "non-addictive narcotic substitute". You can read all about it, and how it will make you a sexual superstar, here.

 January 23, 2003 - 05:51 PM | chris
The 300th Post Spectacular!

The Festival turns 300 in a little less than 365 days, which isn't too bad of an average. It's been a wild and crazy ride that doesn't look to be ending anytime soon.

I come at you live from a much-less-cluttered desk at Apartment 12. My flat-panel monitor takes up a fraction of the space, and I can finally use my computer like a CS major again rather than having to only run one program at a time. Some cheers and jeers for the setup process:

Cheers to Dell for shipping everything quickly and for a great new case design. If you haven't experienced the new black cases that open like a book, you will love the improvement over their grey predecessors. I installed a 2nd hard drive, which was a snap since Dell provided extra mounting brackets (in a cool bright-green color!). No more hard disks dangling from IDE cables for me.

Jeers also to Dell for installing AOL (6 months of free service!!!!!!111) in about 3 different places along with about 10 shortcuts to them. The worst offense was that upon clicking on My Computer, here was my list of devices: Hard Disk, 2nd Hard Disk, webcam, DVD drive, CDRW drive, Zip drive, AOL. For some reason they felt it necessary to install AOL (not a shortcut, but the actual program) in a special section marked "Other Devices".

Jeers to Microsoft for their wack "security features". Upon browsing the 2nd hard drive after installation, I found that I couldn't access the My Documents folder because MS decided to have built-in security to prevent unauthorized users from accessing my files, and since the drive was in a new computer under a different OS (XP Home instead of Pro), it decided to prevent me from accessing my own files. After rebooting in Safe Mode, "seizing ownership of the folders", and jumping through some other unnecessary hoops in order to regain access to my own files, I question how the security on my own stuff is this tight, yet every single week there is another security announcement about some sort of huge hole in Outlook or IE.

So Apartment 12 studios is finally open for business. The day has finally arrived where I can record my Sk8r Boi cover.

 January 22, 2003 - 04:44 PM | chris
Everyone Else is Doing It...

Inspired by Swing Dancin' Amy, I also purchased a new computer last week (actually the two events are independent), and today it has arrived. It is right now sitting, in all its glory, on our dining room table waiting to be unpackaged, taken apart, and reassembled into the greatest killing machine that man has ever known...

Actually I think I'll just stick to using it for now, but the next time I post (my 300th post, incidentally), I will be on the new machine (unless it is broken). You won't notice much of a difference from your end; my posts will still contain grammatical mistakes and run-on sentences. On my end, however, I will finally be able to do things that I haven't been able to do in years, such as:

-record more songs with poor sound quality
-watch DVDs
-use software like Visual Studio.NET without waiting 10 minutes for the program to load
-play old-school Nintendo games
-discover the cure for cancer
-win the Nobel Peace Prize

Indeed the world will be a much better place, if only I could see it through this blinding snowstorm.

 January 21, 2003 - 04:59 PM | chris
The Next Big Thing: Hunting Rifles Made from Recycled Materials

When and why did Nalgene(tm) bottles become so damned trendy as a means for students to transport water to class? Is it really that much better of an alternative to a bottled-water container?

I found this on the Nalgene website:

NALGENE bottles and containers are made of pure plastic with no fillers or extenders added, so the "plastic" smell is simply the natural odor of the material.

Um, does anyone else find it amusing that they are touting a synthetic product made of petroleum as containing "no fillers or extenders" and having a "natural odor"? The environmentally-friendly tree images on the website are also a little ironic considering the environmental dangers associated with non-biodegradable containers made from fossil fuels.

 January 20, 2003 - 04:48 PM | chris
My Uncle the M-M-M-Movie Star

In an era of reality television, where seemingly anyone can find their way on TV to make a fool of themself, the line between celebrity and normal person has never been more blurred. However, I still must give props to my uncle, who has achieved the ultimate honor amongst amateur actors: a listing on the Internet Movie Database.

As you can see, he has had two roles in major motion pictures, the first playing an inmate in a Canadian made-for-TV movie. I'll allow him to describe his big scene:

I was only in it for about 10 seconds really. It's a prison break and I'm an inmate (that's my character name even!) and I bump into the villain. I say "Sorry Max". He says not to worry then punches me in the mouth and I fall out of the screen. That's it! And when we shot it, he really hit me on the last take! Bastard! He was the guy who played Max Headroom on American TV.

Besides co-starring with M-M-M-Max Headroom, my uncle also had a larger role in the movie Hostage Train, which can occasionally be found at Blockbuster Video. Judge Reinhold plays the lead character, and my uncle plays someone who dies within the first 10 minutes or so. My family rented this movie once, and it was generally panned by all as "the most boring movie I've ever seen". It's not a good sign when the actors' relatives don't even like the movie.

He's not exactly Tom Hanks, but he's on the IMDB, giving him that all important nerd-cred. This combined with the fact that my Mom's cousin played Ferris Bueller's girlfriend in the classic Ferris Bueller's Day Off means that I must have some latent acting talent somewhere inside me just waiting to be exposed. Must...sign up...for...Real World 13...

 January 18, 2003 - 06:27 PM | chris
All Bunkered Up for the Blizzard of '03, and Some NFL Picks

The weather outside is ridiculous. Not only is it frigidly cold, but it is grey and cloudy and miserable, and the big blizzard that was predicted for Thursday never actually materialized. Despite the lack of snow (it snowed so little that I actually drove to school on Thursday, and I have a policy of not driving on ice or snow since I would end up sliding off the road into a telephone pole), many local schools closed the night before. This fact was pointed out by the local radio stations, who took quite a bit of glee in trashing the school systems. They would have a field day in Georgia, where they were known to close schools if it was cold outside. All except The Walker School of course, my alma mater, which would not close if the Earth were sent into another ice age.

Anyway, tomorrow is Conference Championship day in the NFL. Here are my picks:

TEN at OAK: OAK. The Titans have managed to fake their way into this game despite not being very good. The ride ends here guys, not that anyone in Nashville will actually care. It's funny how the teams with the worst fan support (Atlanta, Carolina, Tennessee) are all firmly located in the south, where people would apparently much rather watch autmobiles drive around in circles or steroid-laden men grope each other in a scripted fashion.

TB at PHI: PHI. I know I'm picking both favorites, and the Bucs tempted me in this game by scoring a lot of points last week, but anybody can score points against Mike Rumph and the 49ers. This game may be a defensive showdown between the #1 and #2 defenses in the league, but the real ones to watch in this game are the Philly fans, who know that this is the last game in Veterans Stadium. If the Eagles start losing (or winning), you could see seats flying onto the field and other assorted hooliganism.

 January 16, 2003 - 08:15 PM | chris
Wait a Second...That Was Our Planet!

In case you missed last night's Man vs. Beast showdown on FOX, it looks like the end of the line for Man. Our best eater can't outeat a bear, our finest sumo wrestler cannot out-tug an orangutan, our faster sprinter would be easily caught by a zebra, and even 50 of our most powerful midgets are weaker than a single elephant.

The only conclusion I can draw from this is that Man's reign on Earth is nearing the end. How much longer will it be before the animal kingdom gets a hold of the master tapes from this show and realizes that they can easily best us? The only chance we have to avoid a monkey-ruled police state a la Planet of the Apes is to set up huge obstacle courses throughout our cities and major thoroughfares, as this was the only event that the beasts lost.

 January 15, 2003 - 09:33 PM | chris
Titles and Textbooks

If you were ever the least bit curious, you probably know by now that my subheading at the top of every page comes from the Lewis Carroll poem The Walrus and the Carpenter, which in turn is from Through the Looking Glass -- and What Alice Found There, which in turn is public domain, its copyright having run out years ago.

What you probably didn't know (and what I didn't know until today) is that my subheading is also at the very beginning of Chapter 1 of my CS422 textbook, a rather dry Computer Science tome about Operating Systems. While an amusing coincidence that almost makes me want to read the rest of Chapter 1, it does not justify the exorbitant $90.50 price I paid for this book at our illustrious campus bookstore.

I had cleverly written down the ISBN number yesterday and found a copy of it online for $55, but when I tried to purchase this and many other cheaper copies on the World Wide Web of Lies, I found that it was sold out everywhere. Coincidence? Or clever plot by our damn bookstore to force us to shell out more than the list price for a book that we'll be lucky to sell back for $25? Either way, I dub thee arch-nemesis number one, WashU Campus Bookstore. I already have the knowledge necessary to evade your mindless security system, don't make me have to use it...

 January 14, 2003 - 11:02 PM | chris
3 Signs That the Apocalypse is Upon Us

-There is a movie coming out starring Kid Rock.

-During my time at home, my parents on two separate occasions encouraged me to "try one of those internet dating services".

-Ben has started posting again.

 January 13, 2003 - 06:05 PM | chris
This Week on FOX: When Programming Directors Go Nuts

From the folks who brought us Joe Millionaire, The Chamber, Who Wants to Marry a Multimillionaire, When Animals Attack, and When Stunts Go Bad comes the latest in reality entertainment (info taken from the FOX website without permission. Sue me if you want but you can't get blood from a stone...):


By testing speed, strength or a specialized skill, MAN VS. BEAST will determine whether man is superior to beast. This all-new one-hour special pits humans against animals in a series of competitions, including a race between a champion sprinter and a giraffe, an eating competition between a 113 lbs. man and a 1000 lbs. bear, an obstacle course competition between the best of the military and a chimp. In addition, a large group of "little people" and an elephant compete to see who can pull a DC-10 farther and faster on MAN VS. BEAST Wednesday, Jan. 15 (9:00- 10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. (SP-0342) (TV-PG)

I've been wondering for the past few years whether man was superior to beast, so it's good that FOX has finally found a way to settle that age-old scientific debate. But are they using the famous Scientific Method that we all learned in 4th grade?

OBSERVATION: People claim that because of civilization, technology, and the fact that they eat animals and destroy their habitats, man is superior to all other forms of life, yet man is still afraid of sharks, bears, spiders, bacteria, and radioactive supercreatures like Godzilla.

HYPOTHESIS: Man is superior to beast when "superior" is defined as "one man can beat one beast at a specialized competition based on contrived skill sets".

PROCEDURE: We will test the hypothesis by broadcasting a series of competitions between people (or midgets) and animals (or chimps) on national television. If the show is highly-rated enough to spawn a "Man vs. Beast 2" next season or possibly during May Sweeps Month, then beast is clearly superior to man.

CONCLUSION: Tune in on Wednesday at 9 (8 central) to find out whether you are smarter than the av-er-age bear.

 January 12, 2003 - 06:34 PM | chris
Back in the 'Lou

Well I'm back in Apartment 12, and my still-unnamed car was untouched by vandals or St. Lunatics, so everyone who bet lost. That's what you get for succumbing to the demon-child that is unsanctioned gambling.

Tonight Rachel is making dinner, so I can do productive things like post and shop online for a new computer rather than cook. Judging from the aromas that are making their way into my room, it promises to be tasty, and the recipe is 2 pages long, which puts it way out of my own range of "insert chicken into oven, pour on Mrs. Dash" style of cooking.

 January 10, 2003 - 10:35 PM | chris
Return From Witch Mountain

Tomorrow is plane day again, although at least my flight is in the afternoon so I get to spend the morning playing bocce with my grandfather and his wacky neighbors (think Jerry's parents' old-folks neighborhood on Seinfeld) and eating an Italian meal (which is nothing like how Rachel described it in her stereotypical post. Checkered tablecloths...).

Rather than be worried about my plane falling from the sky this time, I may be more worried about the fate of my beloved car, which has been languishing in the Apartment 12 parking lot for the past 3 weeks (or 3 weeks minus however long ago it may have gotten stolen). For those gamblers out there, here are some odds (for entertainment purposes only people!):

The car is no longer in the parking lot: 10 to 1
The car is in the lot, but has been relieved of its radio: 8 to 1
The car has its radio, but not its sporty hubcaps: 5 to 1
The car has not been vandalized, but it has been hit by at least one other resident attempting to park in the ice: 4 to 1
The car is untouched, but it is also buried under layers of snow and ice, which has thawed and refrozen many times forming an impenetrable sheet (explaining the lack of vandalism or crime): 2 to 1

So get your for-entertainment-purposes-only gamble on, and while you're at it, it's interactive time again here at the Festival! I've owned my car for the last 6 months (minus whenever it may have been stolen), and it's high time that it got a name. Traditionally it should be a girls' name, but if you can justify naming the car after a guy then by all means do so. Submit your witty (or spur-of-the-moment) responses in the form of comments, emails, or AOL(TM) Instant Messages, and I'll pick the winner in some arbitrarily-determined amount of time. Remember that haikus get bonus points.

 January 10, 2003 - 10:17 PM | chris
NFL Picks: Divisonal Playoffs

The number of games grows ever smaller in the unending march to the Super Bowl. Lucas is in Florida, which he describes as a place "without internet acccess", so I may be alone in my picks this week in this oasis of FLA connectivity.

PIT at TEN: PIT. I had a week of reprieve from having to pick a game involving the Titans, and after last weekend's incessant wackiness I am deciding to go with the team that on paper will lose. The Steelers' pass defense has, to say the least, a few holes, but their scintillating offense should more than make up for that.

ATL at PHI: PHI. I'm glad this is a night game, as my flight gets in a few short hours before it begins. This should be the game to watch this weekend, but Vick can't keep putting up horrendous numbers and still win. Philly's rested defense should be more of a match than the Packers' banged-up corps.

SF at TB: TB. San Fran is running out of lives, considering that they should've lost last week's game about 5 times. If Shockey doesn't drop those 2 straight TD passes or if Junkin can snap or if Junkin can snap again or if the refs open their eyes and see a blatant pass interference penalty then the Niners go home where they belong.

NYJ at OAK: OAK. I hate to break it to you Jets fans, but your team just ain't that good. The Patriots needed a lot of luck to make it as far as they did last year, and the odds of that same wacky streak (unconscious player saves overtime victory, archaic rule gives team a redo, all sorts of hilarious trick plays) happening again less than a year later are about as good as the odds that not only will my flight arrive safely tomorrow but that my car will be intact and exactly where I left it.

 January 08, 2003 - 11:35 PM | chris
One Less Arch-Nemesis

My list of arch-nemeses will grow a bit smaller next year, as rumor has it that Sex and the City is going off the air. I have previously posted about my issues with this particular program, so as you can probably guess I have welcomed this news with open arms and will celebrate the termination of the show with an interpretive dance.

Lost in all this recent talk of how SUVs indirectly support terrorism is the fact that SUVs are ridiculously unnecessary for most who own them. Especially useless is the Chevrolet Avalanche, a monstrosity that is best described as the bastard-child of a pickup truck and a van. Not only is the vehicle so long that it does not fit into an average-sized parking space, but the pickup truck bed is too small to be useful for heavy hauling and the 2nd row of seats are so narrow that it's impossible for a three-dimensional person to fit comfortably in them. Therefore, it's a truck! It's a van! And it's not too bloody good at being either of them. Oh, and it has the fantastic fuel economy of 13 miles per gallon in the city, 17 on the highway.

 January 06, 2003 - 12:09 AM | chris
I Guess Mario Lopez and Dustin Diamond Were Unavailable

What do the following people have in common?

Stephen Baldwin
Corbin Bernsen
Michael Boatman
Kim Coles
Kathy Griffin
Erik von Detten

The Answer: they're all "celebrity personalities" that are contestants on the new overhyped show Celebrity Mole: Hawaii. That's all well and good except for one little complaint: none of these people are celebrities. "Celebrity" implies that they are well known by a lot of people for their work in television, film, or music. I had to look on the Internet Movie Database to find where most of these folks earned their stripes.

Stephen Baldwin: Brother of real-celebrity Alec Baldwin, has starred in almost every crappy b-movie made in the last 10 years including The Flintstones Viva Rock Vegas, Slapshot 2: Breaking the Ice, and Bio-dome.

Corbin Bernsen: Played Roger Dorn in Major League (and all sequels) as well as a number of straight-to-video specials like Apocalypse IV: Judgement and Atomic Twister (I didn't make this up, it's a real movie).

Michael Boatman: Played Carter on Spin City.

Kim Coles: Co-starred with Queen Latifah on the TV show "Living Single" as well as made numerous appearances on Hollywood Squares.

Frederique: Not as famous as Madonna, Sting, Prince, or Lalaine, Frederique Van Der Wal appears to be some sort of model.

Kathy Griffin: Played the Ghost of Christmas Past in A Diva's Christmas Carol (you just can't make this stuff up, folks) and was on the hit show Suddenly Susan.

Erik Von Detten: Apparently some sort of slave to the Disney Corporation, since he has been in many, many Disney Channel original movies, shows, and animated feature films.

I run my own website that gets 50 some-odd hits per day, and based on these peoples' resumes, I think that makes me a celebrity. I'm passing on The Mole, though, in hopes of making it on for the next season of Star Date...

 January 03, 2003 - 11:29 PM | chris
NFL Picks: Playoff Edition

So I lost to Lucas in regular season picks (we both finished the season on a positive note at 10-6), but now is my chance to redeem myself in the playoffs.

ATL at GB: GB. Never pick against the Pack at home in the playoffs, especially against a for-all-intents-and-purposes rookie quarterback.

IND at NYJ: NYJ. Damn, Lucas stole my upset special. Although Peyton Manning losing a playoff game isn't exactly an upset.

CLE at PIT: PIT. Those lucky lucky Browns, your luck has run out.

NYG at SF: SF. I'm concerned, since the niners have rested players the last 2 weeks and that's never a good strategy, but I picked the Giants to not even make the playoffs and I'm still convinced they don't belong.

 January 02, 2003 - 11:05 PM | chris
"If the Paper Turns Clear, It's Your Window to Weight Gain!"

Today I saw a commercial for Slim Fast where a woman came on the screen and said "With Slim Fast, losing weight was so easy!" while at the same time at the bottom in small print it read "Losing weight is not easy." How is this not false advertising?

Another reason why New Year's has been added to my list of arch-nemeses is that for the entire month of January I cannot set foot anywhere near any gym in the continental United States because they're all packed to the gills with goal-oriented, driven individuals who have vowed to lose weight in the new year and will do anything it takes to do so...for about 2 weeks. After this time, 98% of them get so discouraged that they haven't dropped 10 dress or pant sizes that they abandon the treadmill for the ice cream stand.

I see from the latest Subway ads that our friend Jared is now attributing not only his incredible shedding of 240 pounds to eating subs every day but also the fact that he has secured a wife. That's one hell of a sandwich.

 January 01, 2003 - 11:28 PM | chris
The Chris Hill Festival Unnecessary Bowl

Today was Unnecessary Excess Bowl Game day, which meant that every college with a football program and a quarterback with a pulse got to fly across the country to play in a game that doesn't mean anything unless said college is called "The University of Miami" or "Ohio State University". It's a great reward for players who have spent all semester missing tackles and shanking punts, unless said players slept through their final exams. A whole day of inappropriate corporate sponsorships (does do anything? Are they a real company?), "Academic Players of the Game" who have managed to get a 3.2 GPA while taking the minimum number of credit hours all in subjects that begin with "Introduction to...", and outrageous halftime contests. What a country.