Tuesday, July 20

So It's Come to This...a Clip Show


After running a career-high 13 miles in preparation for my marathon (that's roughly half of the total distance of the actual 'thon), I felt dehydrated and exhausted, but you know what, I still felt pretty proud of myself. And while that was about four days ago now, I figured it's never too late to resort to an old memory of something else where I felt stupid while I was doing it, but really good after it was all said and done. And that memory was climbing the Great Wall of China during a study abroad trip. More specifically, running up a tall tower of stairs. And while I'd be remiss in my duties as a blogger if
I didn't link to our class's blog. Let's bring out the old clip!

One of the sights we saw near Beijing was the Great Wall. And no, it's not just a clever name.

That thing is HUGE. While some of our crew was smart enough to remain back in the shade (i.e., the ones who had been here before), the rest of us were a bit more adventurous.

And that would eventually come back to bite us.

You see, when we visited the Great Wall at Mutianyu north of Beijing, it was a very hot day. It didn't feel too hot, though, which again, came back to bite us. But I think the worst decision we could have made was when we came to a stretch of steps about 1,000 feet long, all going up.

Bryan and I thought it was a good idea to try and run up these steps. The Great Wall's steps are made for people with tiny feet, not me and my size 13 (or 47.5 in Europeanmeasurement). On a related note, when we were haggling in a shop, a woman told me I wouldn't find my size in all of China. So yes, these steps are small for me.

But then there are some decent-sized steps thrown into the mix. Thus, trying to run is even more difficult, because not only are we stepping on slabs of uneven rocks, we were at a high altitude and we had also just walked about forty-five minutes to get to these steps in the oppressive heat anyway.

Sometimes I just question where we get our dumb ideas--- but I guess our reasoning (well, mine at least) was that this is realistically going to be the only chance to climb the Great Wall and, if we wanted to run up it, then by golly, we were going to run up it!

We made it probably two-thirds of the way up in two separate bouts of sprinting. And aside from a little 10-minute stretch where Bryan was sprawled out on a stair and I was hanging over the edge of the wall, one strong breeze away from losing my breakfast.

But, as any good traveler does, we persevered and made it all the way to the top. Granted, our legs were like noodles and the walk down was no picnic. But it hit me as we reached the parking lot--- I had just done something few people are brave enough (perhaps wisely) to do: I ran up the Great Wall of China. And I wouldn't trade that experience for anything.

Awesome. We'll see if the rest of the marathon training (or the actual running of it) gives me that same sort of good feeling. If not, I'll just have some s'mores. Those things are delicious.

Joey's Bad Joke of the Day
Two atoms walk into a bar. One suddenly turns to the other and says, "Hey--I think I've lost an electron!" The other one says, "Are you sure?" The first replies, "Yes, I'm positive!"


Friday, July 16

Movie Face Off!

So, in the past 24 hours, I have seen both Zombieland (yes, I know I'm behind the curve on that one) and Inception (hopefully ahead of the curve, although it wasn't in IMAX or 3-D or whatever other fancy features it comes with). And you know what? There are some interesting parallels between the two. Let's discuss!

Before we begin, though, let's establish what each movie is about. Zombieland is simple--a nation (America) is overrun by zombies. It's up to a fearless foursome (or something like that) to outwit the undead and live happily ever after. Inception is a bit more complex. I couldn't tell what it was about through the trailers that I only half-paid attention to, and even after seeing it I'm not sure if I understand completely. But that's part of the allure of the movie. The (very) basic premise is the ensemble cast bands together to go into people's dreams, and then wreak various types of havoc to try and obtain information.

The first parallel between the two movies is a set of established rules. In Zombieland, these were rules for survival. Things like checking the back seat, wearing seatbelts, and, to keep your sanity, enjoying the little things. Throughout the movie there are about a dozen mentioned, and several more are named via promo. In all, 33 rules (at least it's assumed, since that's the highest number mentioned). Not too shabby. In Inception, meanwhile, the rules are more about what goes on in the dreamland. For example, if you get injured, it causes great physical pain. Much like in the real world. So getting shot in the leg would hurt. Makes sense. But if you die in your dream, you simply wake up. If you were to be shot, you'd actually prefer to have the bullet go into your face instead of your leg. Assuming you wanted to wake up, that is. As the movie goes on, more "rules" are revealed, and they start to get a little more twisted and far-fetched, which of course makes sense in a science-fiction film, and also leads me to my next parallel.

Ridiculousness. Each of these movies gets more ridiculous as it progresses further into its respective plot. In Zombieland, that ridiculousness is meant to be funny, and oh, how it is. Inception's increasing level of absurdity I don't believe is meant to be humorous, but there were scenes I was actually laughing out loud just due to the sheer ludicrousness of what I was witnessing. Spiderman-esque fights, rules that seemed to be made just to tie up loose ends, and that sort of thing. Which is fine, I understand a movie of this nature can't stick completely to standard logic. I think what irritated me the most, though, was how the film took the "it was all just a dream" paradigm and embellished it quite a bit. It just seemed like it was a cop-out sometimes, though. I'm not saying it's a bad movie, and it certainly tickles your brain with its creativity, but some of the fight scenes look borrowed from The Matrix, and actress Marion Cotillard's (she plays DiCaprio's character's wife) accent goes back and forth from Americanized English to her native French. But maybe I'm just nitpicking.

Either way, both of these movies are worth seeing, even though Inception carried on for a little bit longer than it should have, and the ending caused our local tall friend Putzi to say, "That's unbelievable. I'm so mad right now." But the entire movies tosses out misdirection, and juxtaposes reality and the subconscious together, so he shouldn't have been too surprised.

Wow, I don't even know how much of that made sense. I guess that's what I get for trying to type this in a dream, and in that dream I was already within another dream, which was someone else's dream, and...

Joey's Bad Joke of the Day
What can you sit on, brush your teeth with, and eat soup with?
A chair, a toothbrush, and a spoon!

Thursday, July 15

Summer + School

'Tis the middle of summer, so why not celebrate with some of the funniest answers provided on tests throughout the years? I know when I was going through exams and didn't know answers (and those times were plentiful), I'd always consider putting some sort of comical answer, but I never had the onions to do it. One time I drew a picture of a spider attacking a suburb, but that was the closest to a "smart" answer (and it was on the back of the test after I had finished answering everything). Besides, these answers are much funnier. Enjoy!

I've also got the 2010 ESPYs going on in the background, and they just gave out the Play of the Year award. While I believe two other nominees were better, both Brian Kownacki's insane flip (seriously, watch that--fast-forward to 20 seconds if you have to--and if you're not impressed, then you clearly do not have a pulse) and Mark Buehrle showing quite the impressive athleticism, predictably the award went to Brett Favre's TD pass to Greg Lewis. You know why it was predictable? Because the awards are on ESPN, and Brett Favre was a nominee. There's a strong relationship between those two. But in any case, I will give Kownacki and Buehrle (especially Kownacki, way to rep Fordham U!) their dap. Congrats, guys, for making very entertaining plays. If only this blog could be as entertaining...

Joey's Bad Joke of the Day
So I said to the gym instructor, "Can you teach me to do the splits?"
He said, "How flexible are you?"
I replied, "I can't make Tuesdays."

Tuesday, July 6

Things That Irritate Me--Sports Edition!

After reading an article about poor spelling, I got to thinking--what else is irritating? What else makes me cringe every time I hear/think about/see it? Well, to put it bluntly, there's a lot. But I've been able to narrow it down to two for your reading pleasure. Or displeasure, who knows?

Flopping
This has really gotten bad thanks to the World Cup. Every once in awhile an official will penalize players for a flop, but realistically, it doesn't happen. The last 20 minutes or so of any game that isn't tied is a festival of people falling down as if they had battery acid poured into both eyes, clutching their head and rolling around on the ground (even though the "injury" occurred by their ankle). I'm not gonna lie, when I played basketball, I did flop occasionally, but even I think this is ridiculous. Granted, that video doesn't help my cause at all, since it may be the worst flop ever, but Baron Davis is funny, so he gets a pass.

NBA Free Agency
Remember how Brett Favre and his mulling of retirement (it happened about four years in a row) was EVERYWHERE? Every media outlet was covering it--his every move scrutinized, to the point that it just became irksome. We just wanted him to decide so we wouldn't have to hear anymore about it. Well, that's sort of what the free agency period has been like in the NBA. One day Chicago is the front-runner for LeBron James. The next day it's Cleveland. Chris Bosh is tweeting about things like Twitter (or his thumbs) are going out of style. Dwyane Wade can't decide if he'd like to stay in Miami or come back to his home in Chi-town. And that's just the beginning of it. Thursday marks the first day free agents can officially sign, but of course that won't mean the madness will end then.

What really irritates me (hey, it's the title of the post) is LeBron's recent announcement. From the time he's come into the league, I've always thought of LeBron James as a bit of an attention seeker. Well, I guess having YOUR OWN HOUR-LONG SPECIAL just to announce a decision you've made is a great way to get some attention. This literally made me physically ill--the only saving grace is the sponsorship money the show gets will go to the Boys and Girls Club of America, although even that seems a little staged. It's just too much information overload, and there's really no information to share. So until everyone makes a decision, I'll just close my eyes. Guess that means I'll be sitting for about 72 hours, doing nothing. But first, a joke!

Joey's Bad Joke of the Day
Why did the king go to the dentist?
To get his teeth crowned.

Sunday, July 4

Stand By Me

In honor of the 4th of July, I figured I'd throw up a video that symbolizes the unity that this holiday is supposed to represent. Except instead of just our country, it's the entire world coming together through song. How very cliche, right? Well, this is an excellent song already (probably Ben E. King and the Drifters' most popular), and it really is amazing seeing how people from all walks of life can cover a song in their own unique way, yet they're all still bonded together simply from their love of music. That and trying to make people happy. Which is what I do, or at least try to. Happy fourth everybody!

Joey's (Patriotic) Bad Joke of the Day
What did one flag say to the other flag?
Nothing. It just waved!

Friday, July 2

Quick Taste of Chicago Update

Well, I've been to the Taste twice thus far, but there are still PLENTY of tickets to use, so we will head off one more time tomorrow. Hopefully the video I have is better then, but since my camera died fairly quickly after I brought it out (I knew I should have charged the battery), we didn't get much. What we did get (aside from full) was a taste (haha, you're so witty Joey!) of some stranger concoctions around town. This particular dish that my taste connoisseur Putzi and I reviewed was a mashed potato stuffed chocolate cupcake from the Polo Cafe.




Yes, you read that right. A chocolate cupcake with mashed potatoes inside of it. It was...interesting, to say the least. But that's really what the Taste of Chicago is all about. We have our favorites (for me, it's Robinson's boneless rib sandwich or the cake roll from Original Rainbow Cone), but testing out something new, without having to pay out the rear end for it, is always part of the joy. Here's to more adventures tomorrow, and as always, we'll keep you in the Loop.

Get it? Another bad Chicago-related joke? Eh? Eh? I shouldn't even have to give you a JBJotD, but here it is:

Joey's Bad Joke of the Day

It's long, but worth it.


Say the word "cow" BEFORE each word.
1 - Cows
2 - About
3 - Talking
4 - Idiot
5 - This
6 - Got
7 - I
8 - Long
9 - How
10 - Look

Now say the word "cow" AFTER each word.
1 - Cows
2 - About
3 - Talking
4 - Idiot
5 - This
6 - Got
7 - I
8 - Long
9 - How
10 - Look
Now say the word "cow" BEFORE AND AFTER each word.
1 - Cows
2 - About
3 - Talking
4 - Idiot
5 - This
6 - Got
7 - I
8 - Long
9 - How
10 - Look
Now read the words upwards from the bottom.
1 - Cows
2 - About
3 - Talking
4 - Idiot
5 - This
6 - Got
7 - I
8 - Long
9 - How
10 - Look


Thursday, July 1

The Issue of Name Brands

My buddy Ian posted a video earlier today, and it's quite hilarious (be warned, though, this video does have a fair share of cursing in it). But it does lead to a somewhat serious question, which I'll address after the jump.



The main issue that comes to my mind is that this isn't so far off from the truth. I've never been a guy to have brand loyalty, but I do have some favorites. I support Apple products (in fact, I'm typing this on a MacBook Pro), and I have two iPods (only one fully functional one) and an iPod Touch that came with the MacBook. But it's never even crossed my mind to purchase an iPhone, because, frankly, I just don't like how it works. Sadly, though, there are tons of people like the bear/bunny hybrid in this video who will rush out and buy the latest product just because it has a name on it they recognize. It happens all the time--athletic gear, clothing, even cereals.

Now, I'm not saying I never buy something expensive, but I'm not helplessly drawn to something just because a company throws a "friendly" name on it. Especially if the newer stuff isn't much of an improvement over what's already out there, and I'm not just talking about the iPhone 4. Maybe I don't have a very coherent point (although I did get to show that awesome video), but mainly it's this: don't be suckered into something just because it has a big name. If I was really clever, I could tie this into another current event, like maybe Wall Street's fluctuations or the impending NBA free agency period. But I'm not, so we'll just leave it at that.

Joey's Bad Joke of the Day
What do you call a sleeping bull?
A bulldozer.