Friday, February 27, 2009

Math Major

My 12th grade math teacher told me this joke. I’ve always liked it, because I believe that there is a lot of truth in it.

Two engineers are sitting in the basket of a balloon. For hours, they have been drifting through a thick layer of clouds, and they have lost orientation completely. Suddenly, the clouds part, and the two men see the top of a mountain with a man standing on it.
"Hey! Can you tell us where we are?!"
The man doesn't reply. The minutes pass as the balloon drifts past the mountain. When the balloon is about to be swallowed again by the clouds, the man on the mountain shouts: "You're in a balloon!"
"That must have been a mathematician."
"He thought long and thoroughly about what to say. What he eventually said was irrefutably correct. And it was of no use whatsoever..."

In one of my classes this week, the professor was demonstrating how to combine two assets into a portfolio. She showed us four portfolios, each with a different ratio of assets, and asked us how many combinations could exist. Everyone in the class knew that the answer was infinite. Before anyone else said anything, one student answered, “at least four.” I looked up, and saw that this was a friend of mine who is majoring in math. Of course, the math major would give an answer of no use whatsoever, just because it was irrefutably correct.

Monday, February 23, 2009

The Oscars

Ah, Oscar Night: The night when the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences brings us together to appreciate quality films. Who could forget such classics as Goodfellas, Dr. Strangelove or Citizen Kane? The Academy. That’s who. None of them won. This year, I celebrated the 81 year old tradition of snubbing quality cinema at the Oscar party hosted by the Vassar Film League.

I didn’t know what to expect from Hugh Jackman, but I really liked his opening number. His bit on musicals was a little weird. It seemed out of place, but Beyonce was in it, so it was definitely appropriate for the Oscars. Strangely, she did not perform any of the nominated songs this year. That was clearly a gross oversight, and I can only hope that the right people have been fired for it.

Mickey Rourke seemed oddly sober, which can only mean that those wonderful folks from Film Independent weren’t around to fill him with Jameson and Stella. Clearly, they know how to put on an award show.

This year, I didn’t know any of the nominees. Not having anyone to console or congratulate, I sent a text message to my friend Wally when he won best animated feature.
During commercial breaks, Film League asked trivia questions. I don’t know anything about Oscar trivia, so I didn’t do so well. I don’t know who has which records for how many nominations of what sort. What I do know is that two acting nominees from a couple years ago had previously acted together in a pornographic film. Unfortunately, nobody ever asks questions about important things like that.

I entered a contest, guessing the winners. A few results took me by surprise: Heath Ledger and Jerry Lewis, to name some of the bigger upsets. As it turned out, guessing 19 correctly was enough to win. I hadn’t prepared a speech, so I just used the one from the end of Rocky IV. I won a gift card to Regal Cinemas, so now I can watch even more movies, as if I haven’t seen too many already.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Tag Your Friends!

Here are the rules:

Once you've been tagged, you must participate. No, don't think. Just do it. All your friends (and "friends" too) saw that you were tagged. They are gchatting each other right now and wondering what kind of asshole would kill the good time by not participating. That's right, They say: your kind. (And by "They" I do mean everybody—group chat is a bitch, no?) One of Them just uninvited you to their bi-monthly circle jerk. Deal.

They are speculating whether or not that story about your "cold sore" will make the top 25. They're taking bets on which lie you plan to stick with. Any moment now, one of Them will Tweet at you to say how meaningless and gray the interminable slog of living is without your 25 facts. Remember, always: Your friends are here to listen.

You just de-tagged that photo from the Reno trip, didn't you? Not quick enough, chief. Your old lady already switched to "Single." Did she forget to tell you in-person again? Laugh-Out-Loud, son. Laugh-Out-Loud.

Oh God, Oh God, whats-her-name changed her status. Message her before she changes it back and ask "What's Up?" While you're at it, ask to borrow some of her used toilet paper. Nothing's too private, right?

No, seriously. Write your facts, fucker. We are the Borg.