Monthly Archives: August 2003

Out of Context Awards: August 2003

Welcome to this month’s Out of Context Awards. These past couple of months have been fairly lacking in quotes, but fear not, this month brings more candidates than any other month.

In fourth place… “It says outrageous mother!”

Alvin, a sophomore saxophonist, notices this on some piece of sheet music. However, he notices this while Mr. Newton is talking. Inevitably, he is shut up. He can receive a talking pass in February.

In third place… “… it goes up your nose and melts all your boogers.”

This phrase uttered by my cousin Aaron. Only catching the tail-end of the conversation, that’s all I hear. Turns out, Shannon, my sister, and him were talking about sinuses and how various things can clear them. Aaron mentions our grandmother’s soup and then, there you go, quote.

In second place… “You race him, and I’ll be the bookie for the cripple race.”

I say this to Jason via IM. Mr. Newton broke his ankle while eating spaghetti (don’t ask). Jason had knee surgery. For a bit more context:

schizo killer: Mr. Newton made a crack about racing you up the stairs

BuRniNgCiGar: omg

BuRniNgCiGar: that’s gay

BuRniNgCiGar: i will beat him

BuRniNgCiGar: up the stairs

BuRniNgCiGar: i can limp around now

BuRniNgCiGar: he still needs a fuckign weelchair

And the winner… “Robert lost my pants.”

The context for this one is just as funny. I’m with a group of friends at Great America, on a water ride. I’m in one boat with some people, and the others are on the boat floating behind us. As we’re being pulled up this conveyor belt, somehow Robert gets this brilliant idea. He throws Lindsay’s shorts (an extra pair, evidently) up towards our boat. It goes up and… lands halfway in between us. It’s dragged down into the water and hasn’t been seen since.

Elegy for Summer

It is the last day of summer.

The last tiny grains of sand slipping into the bottom of the hourglass.

No time to enjoy it.

Dread has already taken freedom’s place.

And I’m trapped.

Already trapped by a school that hasn’t begun.

Trapped by a school from last year that never really ended.

Last year’s school that remained, trapped in my mind.

Just waiting for its freedom.



I’m trapped by the homework.

Outside the sun is shining.

But not on my face.

I am outside in the sun.

But my face is in a book.

The sun is shining on my body

But not my mind.

The work traps me.

Struggling to finish.

Is this really the end?

It is the time between summer and school.

Summer not quite dead.

School not quite started.

An empty time.

A time between times.

It is the time between being asleep and waking up.

Not quite awake.

Not quite asleep.

Is that alarm part of my dreams?

It is three snooze buttons later.

Awake in the time between times.

There is hot water, yet still I shiver

I shiver from the inside.

From the inside to the outside.

It’s so cold in the time between times.

And as I walk down the stairs, I can feel something.

It’s nipping at my heels.

Maybe it’s summer.

Summer doesn’t want to leave.

It doesn’t want me to leave it behind.

It’s no longer nipping.

It’s biting. Biting my heels.

Digging its fangs into my heels.

I keep going.

I don’t want to leave it behind.

Something is pulling me forward.


I am in the building.

Up the stairs.

Trombone unpacked.

Grab a music stand.

Sit down.


My mind isn’t there.

Still in summer.


I am playing music.

Jazz is an escape.

Any music is an escape.

You can forget your troubles.

While I’m playing, there is nothing else.

I’ve escaped.

Summer is not dead.

Summer is not alive.

There is no summer.

There is no school.

There is only the music.

There is obligation.

But only to play my part.

There is obligation.

But I’m not trapped.

I’ve escaped.

Inside the music.

It is the time right before the end of summer.

The last grain of sand sits at the edge.

Deciding whether to fall or not.

But knowing its decision makes no difference.

It will fall.

There is no music.

I’m back in the world.

Waiting for the last grain of sand to fall.

Packing up the trombone.

Detach the bell.

Put the bell in the case.

Detach the mouthpiece.

Put the slide in the case.

Put the mouthpiece in the case.

Close the case.

Put the case in the locker.


The last grain there, waiting to fall.

I’m waiting to fall.

The second hand between 59 and 0.


It is time after summer.

Summer is dead.

Freedom is dead.

Obligation has returned.

Routine has returned.

School has returned.

To strangle me.

To choke me.

To trap me.

I’m trapped.

And there is only school.

There is no summer.

It is the final hope.

Maybe this isn’t really school.

Maybe it’s a dream.


When it’s reality, it’s reality.

I know.

Deep in my mind, I know.

No matter how much I deny it.

Deep in my mind

I have given up.

I mourn the death of summer.

It is the day after the beginning of school.

It is the weekend.

It is the time of limited freedom.

There is already work to be done, but

Never has there been freedom like this.



Yes, there was.

There was a time.

A time from long ago.

Before the obligation.

There was a time with no worries.

No obligations.


But when was it?

What was it?

I can no longer remember it.

Ages ago.

No, two days ago.

What was it?

It is the end of summer.

It is the end of…

It is the end…

It is the…

It is…




Pascal’s Wager

I dunno why people find it so enticing to use. (Hey, go do a Google search if you don’t know what it is!) Well, here’s something humorous to ponder:

Pascal’s Wager only really works if the god’s only requirement for heaven, or whatnot, is belief. Because, taking the wager means only believing to avoid hell, so the god has got to say that’s okey-dokey with it. Well, I mean, if you add other requirements… there are so many religions and sects and stuff, you just might end up picking the wrong one! Besides, then you’d be changing the wager, wouldn’t you? The person making the wager makes the case that we just don’t know, so anything is possible. Hm… that god could decide to play the opposite way, and send everyone who believes to hell, and everyone who doesn’t to heaven. You just don’t know, it could be real. Then, hey, my side is safer. Anyway, I figure I’ll just be safe either way. Keep in mind that the only requirement is belief, as I stated earlier. I’ll just not believe because there ain’t no proof. Then, if there is a god and I get sent to hell… I’ll be believing then. I mean, I’ll be in hell, there’s my proof. And that’s all I wanted in the first place. So, I get me my proof, and then, poof, I’m in heaven, because it’s hell that made a believer out of me.

Okay, I bet someone’s come up with that last argument before, but I don’t care… I think it’s a riot, and I came up with it on my own.

The Catcher in the Rye review part 1

Don’t read it. I don’t know how they decide on what’s a “classic,” but I thought the book was boring. My main complaint is that the book is pointless. There’s no driving force behind the plot. None of the themes are truly addressed. The characters are quite forgettable.

Basically, the plot follows the meandering of this one kid. The events are disjointed. None really affect the other.

[to be continued tomorrow]

[EDIT: 10/20/03 – Instead of looking for part two, read this entry, instead.]


I heard from someone somewhere that they made the carpet colors all funny, so that you wouldn’t look at the floor. You’d look up, instead, at all the pretty slot machines and more. Now, I don’t know if this is true. If it is, though, I’m wondering why my dentist has the same type of carpet.

Many places are positioned so that you have to pass by the casino floor to get to them. This is another good strategy.

Well, when I finally get to the age when I can go-a-gamblin’, I don’t care to about all the suckering in they try to do, because I’m already suckered in. I love the casino games.

Just the allure of gambling, and the games, are the final trap.


Casinos are designed to be traps. Traps for your attention, you, and your money. If you’re visiting Las Vegas, you’re not going in for some quiet rest and relaxation. Noise. Action. Excitement. That’s what you want. And what does the casino do? It gives it to you.

Slots are mankind’s greatest money-sucking invention. Pull the lever, or push the button, either way, it’s all dictated by pure chance. Personally, I don’t see how people can sit in front of a slot machine all day long. At least other games give the illusion of skill. That’s okay. I don’t even like Roulette because I feel like there’s no skill. Anyway, the point is, people do play them. A helluva lot of people. There’s some damn many slot machines in a casino.

Slot machines are very useful to the casino, and not just because of the cash they rake in from all those suckers. First, they’re very noisy. They create a lot of sound, and that’s what attracts people. *Clink clink clink* The sound of coins noisily smacking into the bin there is classic casino sound effect. Next, they make very good decoration. They make a casino look very glitzy, and full. Full is important, because if a casino seems empty, no one will want to play there. Another thing slot machines do is direct traffic. They become part of the maze that is the casino floor and trap you inside, so it’s harder to find your way out. They’re positioned to provide maximum exposure, to allure you into playing them. They also keep you effectively trapped within the casino’s grasp, so you can keep playing other games. They isolate other players from the outside, so they feel enveloped within this casino world, and don’t see any reason to leave.

[tired, will continue tomorrow]

Trip to Las Vegas Part II

I ate at the buffet at the Rio. Not the seafood buffet… They had this strange commercial for it which was sung to the melody of that Moulin Rouge song. Moving on, the buffet is fantastic, and the reason for that is the selection. They have Chinese, Mexican, American, Italian, salads, desserts, and more.

The inside of Paris reminded me a bit of Disneyland because the upper levels of the stores were fake. It also feels cramped because of the fake sky, not bigger.

Went to the Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay. So many sea animals. It was cool to watch. Of course, the main attraction was the many different kinds of sharks. Another highlight was the tank of jellyfish. Those things don’t have a brain, skeleton — mostly made out of water. Still, they were mesmerizing.

Anything we did was look at houses. Living in California, those houses have very very low prices. Many models also didn’t seem so cookie cutter, as they do here. Las Vegas would not be a bad place to live, besides the heat.

Okay, that’s it for the trip description. Tomorrow, I’ll be writing comments about casinos in general.

Trip to Las Vegas Part I

The city of Las Vegas is a great place, but I got to go there sometime when I can gamble. Still, there was a lot to do, and we did do some stuff. I went with my half-brother, his wife, their two small kids, and my sister. Nice to take a vacation from the house. I didn’t do any work at all: not on my website, not on any stories, and no homework.

So, I’ll list some of the things I did, but not in order. I don’t like that tedium.

Rode Big Shot. Shoots you straight up into the air. Think of something like Drop Zone at Paramount’s Great America, but in reverse. It’s a nice ride. It’s on top of the Stratosphere tower. The line, however, was another story. It took way too long to get up there. And I’m talking about getting into the elevators to get to the tower, not the line to actually get on the ride. The wait for the elevator on the way back was worse. There seemed to be only one that was operational. A big hotel like that with only one elevator down? Hm, I think I found one reason Stratosphere is losing money. Isn’t it a bit hard to lose money with a casino? I mean, the odds are in your favor. Anyway, we rechristened Stratosphere with the name Ghettosphere. That’s not even mentioning the roach we saw while we were waiting in line. The ride’s new name is Big Gun Shot.

The fountains at Bellagio are really something. When I own a fairly large home, I want a mini-version in my front yard. With music! They changed some of the songs since I last went, which was a while ago. One of them was the “Beef… it’s what’s for dinner” theme. Yes, I know that song wasn’t originally that, but that’s what I kept thinking of. Still, the fountains retain their elegance that make them so appealing.

I saw the musical “Mamma Mia!” at Mandalay Bay. It’s a fun show with some fun music. I would definitely recommend it for people to see. I’ve only seen three musicals in my life and I liked them all. I’ve never realized that, even though I wouldn’t exactly say I’m a fan of musicals. Then again, I’ve never been an anime fan, but I’ve started watching it recently. If you’re thinking about it, look up some of the songs first, then decide.

More tomorrow…

Category Archive and More

I’m working on a new archive based on categories. MoveableType is so handy. So, at the bottom of some entries is a Category link. I’ll be adding more categories over the week, changing some of them, and putting all the entries under one category or another.

The title says “and More.” Well, these latest entries about television aren’t working out too well, and I need to do something about it. So, I’m going to take a break from the television entries, then come back when I can look at things a little more in depth.

A Look at Television: Sitcoms II

I didn’t go into much detail last entry about how sitcoms can be so bad, but it’s really intangible beyond recycling storylines. Humor is hard to quantify. Remember that study on the so-called world’s funniest joke?

On the flip side, what can make a sitcom bearable, or, dare I say it, good? That’s a bit easier to describe. I say it’s the characters, the loveable characters.

Locale doesn’t really define a sitcom. Many can easily take place in another city. No, it’s definitely the characters that define a sitcom. “All in the Family” had the bigot, the meathead, and the dingbat. “Cheers” had its cast of bar-goers. “Home Improvement” had Tim, Al, and Wilson. It’s not just the single characters that can make a show good; it’s the interaction between the particular combination of characters. That’s why when a character leaves a show, or enters the show, it can make the show “jump the shark.”

Tomorrow: More on characters.

A Look at Television: Sitcoms I

Sitcoms aren’t viewed as the paragon of TV. I’m not about to disagree with anyone on that point. 99% of sitcoms are crap. And that probably gives a lot of shows too much credit.

Rehashed predictable plots are a mainstay among several sitcoms. I’d have to recommend the short-lived “That’s My Bush” for a parody of the sitcom.

However, bad plots aren’t the worst thing about bad sitcoms; the worst thing would have to be not being funny at all. The main goal of sitcoms is a laugh. If it does not ever achieve this, then the show should never have been made.

So, sure, reusing old formulas is easy, but it’s not always funny because it’s been done before. People don’t remember what happened on the news last week, but they do remember what they’ve seen on TV before. (Ain’t that funny.) In that respect, people know when they’ve been cheated. That commodity they’re being cheated of is the most valuable out there: time. This applies to other genres of shows, as well.

More on Sitcoms tomorrow.