Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Nick Di Paolo is awesome. I talked to him about stuff and a camera was there and everything.

Just me and Nick Di Paolo, having a chat at a diner. Oh, don't mind the TV camera, Nick.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Trapped In A Cell: Part 1

And now the latest in a series of surely doomed regular features on Varsity Basketweaving: Collections of my own cell-phone photos with commentary, conveniently assembled in a feature called Trapped In A Cell. Enjoy.

i. Wendy, fast-food pitchwoman or psycho killer (qu'est-ce c'est)?
Date taken: 11:39 p.m. July 20. Location of photo: DVR freeze-frame of TV commercial.
In the latest ad campaign for one of my favorite fast food chains, an animated Wendy looks like a cute little girl until her pupils practically disappear, making her look like a satanic extra from another unintentional creepfest, "The Polar Express." OK, I'll eat a Spicy Chicken Sandwich! Please don't eat my soul!

ii. Condensation or Religious Experience?
Date taken: 11:31 a.m. July 11. Location of photo: Movie theatre restroom
I added the arrow for clarity, but this otherwise undoctored and unstaged photo features a Seth Rogen lookalike crying a single tear of joy on my Coke cup. Yes, it's only a perfectly coincidental drop of condensation, but faux-Rogen's 3D impression of a mournful Harvey Dent scared the crap out of me for a split second right after a viewing of "Hancock." If a crying Jesus reinforces faith in Christianity for those who witness it, does this mean I must worship Apatow for the rest of my life? I mean, he's OK, I guess, but I'd sooner kowtow to Scorsese.

iii. Well, hello my name is Simon and I like to do rehabiliation
Date taken: 9:17 p.m. July 10. Location of photo: Metro-North train car vestibule.
Yes, a train passenger was looking at me confused, perhaps trying to figure out which addiction demon I was trying to exorcise. (Answer: All of them.) At first glance, this just appears to be another eye-catching ad for the Canterbury Institute's rehab clinic. But upon further review, shift the circle 90 degrees clockwise and you have the exact color scheme for a childhood staple:

I guess the ad's primary demographic is children of the '80s who have replaced one increasingly frustrating addiction with a more destructive version. Almost any of these vices in extreme cases would pretty much ruin your chances of even turning the power switch on Simon, much less advancing past two moves. But maybe the right amount of cocaine would actually have you so wired that you'd not only win but also outlast the game's triple-A batteries before crashing in a heap of despair.

Friday, July 18, 2008

I don't know this much is true

Please settle this minor dispute between me and my friend Christina.

When you read "Ha ha ha HA ha," do you hear:

A. The Woody Woodpecker laugh


B. The chorus of Spandau Ballet's "True"?

And before you ask: No, no other pop culture reference is an acceptable answer.

Related tangent: I like how Woody's hair fits right in with Spandau Ballet's '80s coifs. A Flock of Woodpeckers, if you will.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

This Bobby Murcer video made me laugh and cry at the same time

Sunday, July 06, 2008

I'm on a John Legend album. (Kind of.)

Kanye. Jay-Z. Lauryn. Fergie. Serico?!

Ten years after the fact, I just learned that I'm singing on the same album as John Legend. Follow along, friends.

My college a cappella group, the Boston College Acoustics, made the cut for the 1998 Best Of College A Cappella (BOCA) album. Despite poor production quality, Fran Gendrano's powerful lead vocals and Matty Lane's classic arrangement for our rendition of Paula Cole's "The Ladder" helped make it the penultimate song on the 18-song compilation. My buddy Matt Havens and I are the two guys singing the bass line on the track.

BOCA 1998's opening cut -- and rightfully so -- is a University of Pennsylvania Counterparts song inspired by Prince's R&B reinterpretation of Joan Osborne's "One of Us." Soloing is John R. Stephens, the man who would change his name to John Legend.

One of only about three dozen a cappella songs comprising the 2,301 in my regular iTunes rotation, I've been enjoying the Counterparts' version of "One of Us" for more than a decade. But while researching the origins of Osborne's biggest hit for work, I learned only today via the song's Wikipedia page that Legend was the vocalist I'd been admiring all along. Not relying on Wikipedia alone, I was able to confirm that fact here and here.

So yeah, John, call me. Let's do lunch and another collabo soon.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Something tells me Burger King did the Indiana Jones scratch-off game on the cheap

My winning scratch-off treasure: "Knowledge."

Hey, lemme add your number to my phone. And by 'add your number' I mean 'accidentally delete hundreds of numbers instead'

Thankfully, the title of this post hasn't come true (yet), but I wouldn't be surprised if a drunken and/or soberly spastic version of me does just that, thanks to the genius software designers for Verizon's Voyager phone.

For those who don't know, the Voyager is Verizon's supposed response to the iPhone -- a touch-screen gadget that's far inferior except for GPS Navigation and, y'know, actual phone service.

So say I'm fortunate enough to add the phone number of a pretty young lady to said phone:
Make that another pretty young lady, as you can see the lovely and talented (and engaged) Abbi Crutchfield is already in there. Anyway....

Let's take a closer look at my only two options on this menu, shall we?
So with one slip of the thumb, not only can I say good-bye to the supermodel's number I'm trying to add, but also those of every friggin' number I've collected and not yet deleted during a fit of rage, apathy and/or depression.

Can you hear me now? No, I can't hear anyone on the phone because the phone numbers of anyone I'd be talking to have been deleted.

I mean, hypothetically. But still!