Tidal waves of updates -- trickles of meaningful content.

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    Tuesday, January 28, 2003

    Yellow Journalism

    So, the big news in my life this week is that the Daily Free Press, in its very finite amount of wisdom, saw it fit that I not finish out my collegiate career with an amusing and witty newspaper column alongside me. This is pretty much how the conversation on the phone went.

    DFP: Hey, Casey. We really liked your columns a lot. In fact, we thought they were the funniest ones we read all night. That one with the Silber Doll was amazing.
    Casey: Oh, thank you very much. I'm glad you liked them.
    DFP: But, unfortunately, we've decided to go with some other submissions, instead.
    Casey: Well, that makes perfect sense to me. Thanks for reading my stuff and good luck.

    So that happened. Stupid Freep. Earlier in the semester, I was talking to ex-columnist and excellent writer Grant Myers, who was not planning on submitting again because he thought it was ridiculous that writers like us, who had proven reliability, longevity and an audience of readers, were forced to go through the submission process every semester. He, too, was rejected last semester, as was other fine humor columnist Paul Merrill, who also did not apply this semester for similar reasons. At the time, I thought that was pretty silly, but now I'm starting to "see the light."

    This probably wouldn't be bothering me so much if 1). this wasn't my last semester in college or 2). people in the Freep had not repeatedly and excitedly asked me if I were writing again this semester. But I can't be too upset. For one, none of my Arch-Nemeses got columns, which is always a plus. Second, the Freep now has a SlowKids Mafia, of Crash with a Monday column, and DJ and Styx with comic strips, all of which are guaranteed to be great. Granted, it would be awesome if I were still a part of this, but I can look at it this way -- not only was I the first SlowKid to get into the Freep, but I also officially went out with the point-counterpoint with Hemlock, which I think was probably one of the funniest things that has ever been printed on the Boston University campus.

    Well. Now that that's out of the way, I have been developing sitcom ideas for the past few weeks, and yesterday, I pitched in front of the class. The professor liked two of my ideas, but said I should probably focus on one of them, which was my last-minute idea and also my favorite. If you're nice, I'll let you know what it's about, or let you see the pilot when I'm done. It's nice to be excited about something once in a while. Special thanks go out to Hemlock, Styx and Bubbles for helping me out -- especially Hemlock, who I bothered at work a lot.

    Sara is head and shoulders ahead of anyone else in her film thesis class, which is exactly what I would expect. I've got a bit part in her film, and my other two best friends from home have larger roles (I was in California when most of it was filmed. That's the story). The script is hysterical, and what I've seen of the dailies has been very impressive. I can't wait to see it when it's done. And Chris (or "Don Chris," as he is called in Grenada), is living it up in Spain, skiing the Sierra Nevada. Man, I wish I were still studying abroad.

    And in slightly more sobering news, my brother Scott got his jaw broken in four places last weekend by a belligerant ex-friend and soon-to-be defendant. He has to have his jaw wired shut for six weeks, and has a permanent metal plate in his jaw now. Despite all this, I caught him on AIM last night, and he seemed to be in pretty good spirits. He was much amused by Sara's suggestion that he get gold teeth, and by my suggestion that he drink Old English 40s though a straw while he's wired up.

    And that's about it for now. I'll be going to Foxwoods this weekend on a SCHOOL-SPONSORED TRIP, which totally blows my mind. Hopefully, it won't blow my wallet, unless it's blowing it UP with FREE MONEY.
    posted at 9:36 AM

    Monday, January 20, 2003

    Boston Is Freezing

    Sorry for the lack of consistent updates lately. I have moved back into the Student Village at Boston University, where I have resigned myself to whittling out the remaining days of my academic career playing SimCity 4 and Animal Crossing in my room, sometimes emerging to meet friends, write with the SlowKids, or eat.

    Very exciting, I know.

    I am taking three classes right now, The Crusades, 20th Century Britain, and an Advanced Television Writing class, where I am freaking out because I have to come up with three ideas for original television pilots for next week. No, it's not "real work," I know, but try to think of an idea that hasn't been done in some shape or form in the last 50 years. It's tough, man. But many thanks to Hemlock, who is occasionally helping me focus my ideas via Instant Messenger.

    One of my best friends from home, Chris, is currently in Spain, studying abroad to fill up some credits he needs to graduate from UCONN with a degree in English. His emails are always very funny, and the pictures he sends are amazing. Perhaps I will post one or two, now that I am back in super ethernet connectivity mode. Although, vicariously experiencing someone else's study abroad ... um ... experiences has certainly made me long for my own. Man, one class a week, an amazing internship and perfect weather sure beat this real classes and -10 degrees with biting winds Boston shit.

    As I am only taking three classes this semester, and putting time in as a Teaching Assistant once again, I am making myself write columns for this Thursday, when my old employer the Daily Free Press will have auditions for Spring columnists. I have to say, I didn't really want to do it anymore, but most of the columnists were pretty terrible last semester, and it was definately something I enjoyed doing over the last two years, but man, am I rusty at column-writing. I just finished my second submission and only now do I feel I'm getting back in the swing of things. Writing is good for me in any form, and I would like to get the position again, but if I don't, I don't think it would bother me all that much. I just hope someone else who's mildly entertaining comes along to break the endless monotony of news columnists they had last semester.

    In SlowKids news, I am thrilled to be back working with some of the funniest people I've ever met. The New Kids, after a few awkward moments on my part, seem willing to accept my return to the group, as well as seeming as funny and talented as the rest of us kids. Hopefully, I will get to see a tape of their show from last semester at some point. Then, I can begin to pass judgement on everyone and destroy the group from within. Or not. You know, whatever happens.

    I am also thrilled to find that my local liquor store carries a vintage of Ravenswood zinfandel that is moderately priced and oh so delicious, but I will have to watch the ol' purse-strings closely. I do not want to face the prospect of a year of telemarketing before moving to Los Angeles.

    But for now, I will only concern myself with my dinner, so I shall be off. I hope to update this site a bit more often now, and perhaps include the much-anticipated 2002 Berlin Blight Tour Redux.
    posted at 3:31 PM

    Tuesday, January 07, 2003

    But Mom, I Don't Wanna Go To School!

    I'm just now coming to the realization that, with the exception of getting to see all my friends again and work with the SlowKids one last time, I don't really want to go back to school. Classes-wise, I'm just going to be taking two history classes that will probably require a lot of reading in material that doesn't really have a lot to do with what I want to do, and possibly a production class that I don't really want to take, or a writing class that's probably going to be redundant. TA-ing was fun, but a big time and effort commitment. I also sure as hell don't want to work at a work-study job, nor do I want to go through the hassle of finding one. I wouldn't mind having my column back, but I've been really lazy about writing lately, despite a couple promising column ideas floating around.

    ... Not to mention pretty much the whole time I'm in Boston, I'm just going to be thinking about what I need to be doing to get back to Los Angeles to get this whole "life" thing on it's way. I'm sick of living out of boxes and moving around all the time. Oooh, that general malaise is coming back. Hooray.

    On a lighter (kind of) note, Chris finally took Sara and I to the Casino last night. Never in my life have I experienced something so thrilling and so depressing at the same time. First off, we all promtly lost money in slot machines, which are totally lame except for the fun noises they ocassionaly make. Then, Chris brought us over to the craps tables, where we met some very interesting characters, including a hillbilly with a shirt that said "Nice Pair" and a really drunk old guy who looked like he was homeless.

    Craps is an interesting game, and I was winning a bit of money for a while, then ended up losing all of the $40 limit I set for myself. It's fun, but it has a pretty hefty minimum bet if you want to cover the most-often rolled winning numbers. I think I'll stick to $5 blackjack when I go back to retrieve my losses from Mohegan Sun.

    So we were all pretty much tapped out, and getting ready to leave, when Sara wanted to spend her last $2 in quarters. We looked at slot machines again, then Sara found the Video Poker, where she quickly won some kind of super jackpot and made back a significant portion of the money she lost at craps. It was really quite amazing.

    Well, at least I know what I'll be doing on Spring Break.
    posted at 7:39 AM

    Thursday, January 02, 2003

    Killer Rice Cakes

    ... courtesy of the Associated Press ...

    Jan. 2, 2003 | TOKYO -- Six elderly Japanese died and 25 others were hospitalized in Tokyo after choking on gooey rice cakes over the New Year's holidays, an official said.

    Three men, ages 87, 88 and 89, died Thursday after suffocating from the traditional New Year's fare. An 85-year-old man and a 92-year-old woman died Wednesday and an 86-year-old man died Sunday under similar circumstances, Tokyo Fire Department official Yuichi Yokomizo said.

    Twelve others were in a coma, he said.

    Every year, a handful of mostly elderly Japanese suffer after getting "mochi" rice cakes stuck in their throats. Mochi are usually served grilled and wrapped in dried seaweed, or in a broth.

    Twenty Japanese, most of them elderly, were hospitalized during the holiday last year after getting mochi lodged in their throats, but none died. A mochi accident survey is taken annually from Dec. 26 through Jan. 3, when the rice cakes are most commonly eaten.

    On Monday, the Tokyo Fire Department warned residents of the risks of eating the rice cakes, and urged them to take small bites, chew well and drink a lot of liquid with them.
    posted at 9:22 PM

    The Majestic, Unfortunate Return of Cholera Deuce

    This New Year's Eve, I decided, last minute, to brave the treacherous waters of Long Island Sound to party in the Year 2003 with some friends who had gathered in Smithtown, Long Island. It was cloudy and rainy, as it always is when I travel to see friends, but all was well and good until after I stepped off the ferry and drove with Quinne to pick up her friend and beau. For then appeared Cholera Deuce.

    Cholera Deuce was the persona bestowed upon me after the first SlowKids after-show party of last year, where I drank myself stupid and got thoroughly hungover for the first time. That night, Cholera Deuce appeared because I was double-fisting drinks. This night, I was also double-fisting, but it was ginger ale and Immodium-AD, for I had contracted a nasty stomach flu courtesy of my father.

    But, despite my bathroom breaks every two or three minutes, the party went really well. Shayna brought some pastries from Brooklyn that I would have loved to eat, if I could, and my Modifieds got a positive review from future roommate Dov. And, of course, it was great to see Jess and J-Hal before they shipped off for jolly ol' England, the lucky bastards.

    At least everyone else in my family got sick, too.


    In NerdNews, a new version of the Mozilla browser was released. Now, not only does it have features that virtually stop all pop-up ads, but it ALSO has a junk mail filter built in to it's already excellent email program! Seriously, why doesn't everyone use this thing?
    posted at 9:15 PM