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January 31, 2005

Dream The Improbable Dream

Upon being awakened by The Squirrelly's fussing around 2:30 on Sunday morning, The Queen and I groggily compared notes:

Me: In my dream I was the star of a line of children's DVDs that taught kids how to make fajitas.

The Queen: In my dream I was being bitten on the ankle by a monkey in a Thai restaurant.

That wife of mine, always with the one-upsmanship.

Last night I dreamt that The Queen and I were on an Amazing-Race-esque reality program called Hot Lava, where participants had to get from Seattle to Miami without using any vehicles and without ever touching the ground. We were far in the lead, because while the other teams were traveling the old-fashioned way (hopping from car to car to cross parking lots, for example), we had cleverly thought to bring along two large sofa cushions, and were using them leapfrog-style to traverse plains of Colorado at a fairly good clip.

January 28, 2005

DIY Oscar Pool Page

By popular demand (yes! there was actual demand!) the Make-Yer-Own Oscar Pool Page has been updated for 2005.

If you notice any bugs, or if you just have suggestions to make it better, don't hesitate to let me know.


The Bad Review Review: Darkness Falls

Christian Slater and Tara Reid star in Alone In The Dark:

"Saying Uwe Boll’s Alone in the Dark is better than his 2003 American debut House of the Dead is akin to praising syphilis for not being HIV." -- Nicholas Schager, SLANT MAGAZINE

"No better than whatever you might pick up while wearing a blindfold at Blockbuster, even if you happen to reach into a trash can." -- Jack Mathews, NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

"Trying to rehash this plot is like trying to describe a Jackson Pollock painting while drunk" -- Pete Croatto FILMCRITIC.COM

"Anyone who spends 10 bucks seeing it ought to get 11 bucks change and a written apology from the director and cast." -- Peter Howell, TORONTO STAR

"If you took the 100 worst ideas ever conceived for a science-fiction film, rattled them around in a Lotto tumbler and spilled them out onto the screen at random, you could not produce a more asinine hodgepodge." -- Colin Covert, MINNEAPOLIS STAR TRIBUNE

"As video game adaptations go, even Pong: The Movie would would have a lot more personality." -- Michael Rechtshaffen, HOLLYWOOD REPORTER

"Slater narrates as if reading a restaurant menu. Reid seems to have learned each long sentence in segments, so she wouldn't be overtaxed." -- Lawrence Toppman, CHARLOTTE OBSERVER

"Think of the lamest horror movie you've ever seen. Now think of Tara Reid in the lamest horror movie you've ever seen. See how much worse it could have been?" -- Janice Page, BOSTON GLOBE

"So mind-blowingly horrible that it teeters on the edge of cinematic immortality. " -- Peter Hartlaub, SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE

"Proves that it's possible to 'dumb down' a video game." -- Philip Wuntch, DALLAS MORNING NEWS

"Alone in the Dark will be the worst movie of 2005. The idea that anything could be worse is the only genuine scare the movie has to offer." -- Chris Kaltenbach, BALTIMORE SUN

"Tara-ble. " -- Russell Scott Smith, NEW YORK POST

Current Rotten Tomatoes rating: 01%.

Update, 02/02: The Rotten Tomatoes composite rating has creeped up to 2%, now that it has two "fresh" reviews. The first comes from a critic who lauded Catwoman and described Return of the King as "a seriously flawed piece of work that is missing that certain element called 'believability'". The second "positive" review gives Alone In The Dark a ranking of one star and raves "for reasonable moviegoers, there is no reason on Earth why you should waste your valuable time and money on the likes of Alone in the Dark ... total crap." Damning with faint praise, if you ask me.

Also, check out the trailer for director Uwe Boll’s next x-box-to-celluloid project, BloodRayne. It's hard to pick one single moment in that preview to cite as my favorite, but I did really like the part where they dramatically introduce the title character by mumbling.

"Does she have a name?"

"I heard she murrmurmurrmur."

And until I hear otherwise, I'm going to assume that Ben Kinsley was digitally Jar-Jarred into this film without his permission.

Related: http://www.uweboll.com.

January 27, 2005

The Magician

A little over a decade ago, in the final days of Bill Bixby's life when he on the cover of many tabloids and weeklies ("Bill's Heroic Battle Against Cancer!"), I was standing in in line at the supermarket behind a woman and her young daughter. The mother pointed to Bixby's picture on one of the magazines and said "Do you see that man? When I was a your age I had the biggest crush on him. He was on a show called The Courtship Eddie's Father, and couldn't wait to grow up and marry him."

Although I don't make a habit of talking to strangers in the grocery store, I couldn't resist saying, "It's probably best you didn't -- he had one heck of a temper. You wouldn't have liked him when he was angry."

To which the woman deadpanned: "That's not the Bill I loved."

(I was reminded of this story by a recent discussion on "TV Crushes" at a site I frequent. For the record, the earliest crush I recall having was on Caroline Ellis, who played Joy on The Bugaloos. I distinctly remember my eight year-old heart racing whenever I watched the show.)

January 26, 2005

2005 Bloggies

defective yeti was nominated for a 2005 Bloggie award, in the "Most Humorous Blog" category. Hooray for defective yeti!

I made a passing reference to this fact on Monday, in a brief post where I predicted that most readers would instead vote for Dooce, who is also a finalist in the same category. I think some people misinterpreted this as some sort of subtle, sour-grapes, reverse-psychology ploy on my part to get people to pat me on the shoulder and say "there, there -- you are so much funnier than Dooce." Others took it as a subtle dig at Heather's expense. Ah, no. People, rest assured: when I use subtlety, I will make it painfully obvious.

Heather and I are friends -- not physical, we-go-out-and-play-miniature-golf-together friends, true, but certainly as Internet, we're-in-a-book-together, we-both-just-had-kids, my-wife-often-gets-us-confused, we've-been-known-to-exchange-mix-CDs friends -- and no weblog award hoohaw is going to suddenly make us rivals. Furthermore, I would be reluctant to compete against Heather in anything, for fear of a thorough ass-kicking. Well, maybe pie-eating. I bet I could pull a draw in pie-eating. Possibly Boggle.

Anyway, some folks were badmouthing Dooce in the comments of that post, so I pulled it. I recognize that one of the central tenets of quality blogging is that you never delete anything you've written, so I guess it's a good thing that, from this site's very inception, quality has never entered the equation. Besides: if The Queen were to discover that people we're dissing her favorite site on my site, I'd probably wind up sleeping on the couch. So its removal was an act of self-preservation, really.

I think that's enough said about that.

Anyway, thanks for the nomination, person and/or people who nominated me! Now that I've been nominated twice, Voiceover Man can start mention that fact in any movie trailers I happen to appear in. ("Starring Acadamy Award Winner Denzel Washington, Acadamy Award Winner Judi Dench, and two-time Bloggie Nominnee Matthew Baldwin, in Land Before Time XI: Rise Of The Machines...")

And, now: let the "Most Humorous Blog" nominations second-guessing begin! The comments are open: please mention the blogs that make you go hah hah hah. I'll start with Mr. Sun, Fafblog and The Sneeze.

January 25, 2005

Research Day: Hebrew, Yiddish, and Semi-Weekly

Hebrew vs. Yiddish: The Queen and I had a watched a DVD double-header last week: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban followed by Trembling Before G_D. The former film you made have heard of; the latter is, as IMDB puts it, "A cinematic portrait of various gay Orthodox Jews who struggle to reconcile their faith and their sexual orientation." It is also remarkably boring, given the provocative subject matter.

Afterwards, The Queen asked me if the people in the film had been speaking Hebrew or Yiddish, and I confessed to not knowing. "What is the difference between Hebrew and Yiddish," she asked.

"Well," said I, "'Hebrew' is their language, and 'Yiddish' is the sport they play while flying around on broomsticks.

After a few moments of stony silence, I added, in my best (albeit terrible) Hagrid impression, "Yeh mean the Gentiles kept it from yeh for all these years? Yeh don' even know what yeh are?! Harry -- yer a Jew!"

"You are totally going to get hate mail if you put that on your blog," said The Queen.

Anyway.

Dictionary.com defines Hebrew as "The Semitic language of the ancient Hebrews, [or] any of the various later forms of this language, especially the language of the Israelis." Plugging the phrase "what is yiddish" into Google, meanwhile, brought me to this page. "Yiddish was the vernacular language of most Jews in Eastern and Central Europe before World War II ... The basic grammar and vocabulary of Yiddish, which is written in the Hebrew alphabet, is Germanic. Yiddish, however, is not a dialect of German but a complete language -— one of a family of Western Germanic languages, that includes English, Dutch, and Afrikaans."

What does semi-weekly mean? Speaking of religion and definitions (that was the best segue I could come up with), the Daily Show "Senior News Correspondent" Stephen Colbert says, in this NPR interview, that he reoccurring segment This Week In God is a "semi-weekly feature." That struck me as odd, because why would you have a twice-a-week bit that purports to recap an entire week?

Then it occurred to me that "semi-weekly" might be like bi-weekly and mean both "twice a week" and "every other week." But then I looked up "semiweekly" in my desk dictionary and verified that it only means "twice a week." So Colbert must have misspoken.

(Wow, is that the most anticlimactic Research Day question resolution ever? I kind of feel obligated to tack on a better, more interesting ending.)

But that gave me a great idea. And soon thereafter I launched "Bi-Weekly Magazine," a publication for the bisexual and bi-curious community. When that became wildly popular -- along with it's sister publications "Semi-Weekly" (a magazine about large trucks) and "Fort Night" (a periodical featuring pictorials of edifices built out of sofa cushions) -- I became obscenly wealthy. And then I used my money to buy the Internet. The end.

January 24, 2005

My Driver Is A Crafty, Crafty Stalker

Junkies ... on boarding the bus! (Note: this post has been corrected.)

{Scruffy man clomps up the stairs and stands vacantly before the driver.}

Bus Driver: Fare is $1.50.

Scruffy Man: I ain't got no money.

Bus Driver: Well, the fare is $1.50.

{Pause while Scruffy Man grapples with cognitive dissonance.}

Scruffy Man: I'm gonna get on the bus.

{Pause while bus driver waits for Scruffy Man to make good on his threat. Scruffy Man stands inertly until he's obviously forgotten what's going on.}

Scruffy Man: Can I get on the bus?

Bus Driver: Well, I ain't gonna kick you off, let's put it that way.

{Long pause while Scruffy Man noodles out the ramifications of this statement.}

Scruffy Man: Where does this bus go?

Bus Driver: Where are you trying to go?

Scruffy Man: Home.

Bus Driver: Where's "home"?

{Scruffy man becomes abruptly alarmed.}

Scruffy Man: Are you asking me where I live?!

Bus Driver: Yeah.

Scruffy Man: Fuck you, asshole!!

[Second, Completely Fictitious Scruffy Man: I shall exit the bus as well.]

{Exeunt Scruffy Man[s]. Doors close, bus leaves the curb, passengers are silent for a few seconds.}

Elderly lady, to no one in particular: That was kind of weird.

Correction: (Note: This correction has errata.) A previous version of this entry accurately reported that only one Scruffy Man was involved in this incident. Shortly after posting, however, I received what could only be described as a flurry of emails from drama majors, Latin scholars, and grammar nerds, all of whom informed me that "exeunt" is, in fact, a plural, and should only be used when two or more people are exiting. I have therefore taken the liberty of inserting a second, gratuitous Scruffy Man into the piece, which I believe solves the problem quite nicely.

Errata: Upon reflection, it occurs to me that the quantity of email I received could also be describes as a "bevy," a "passel," or a "slew".

Update: Someone just wrote and informed me that "errata" is also plural. SHUT UP INTERNET!!

January 19, 2005

You've Got Litigation!

Our son's current favorite toy is the Laugh & Learn Learning Home*, essentially a big, plastic, electronic facade. Dear Fisher-Price: please fire your entire marketing department and hire some guys who can at least think up a product name that doesn't use the same word twice in a row.

Every part of this toy makes noise. When you open the door there's a creaking sound, and a voice cries out "hello!" a tone so impossibly cheerful that it makes me want to go goth. When you open the shutters it sings "How Much For That Doggie In The Window?" And the Squirrelly enjoys nothing more than to press the doorbell thirty thousand times in a row ("ding-dong! ding-dong! ding-dong! ding-dong! ding-dong! ding-dong! ding-dong! ding-dong! ding-dong! ding-dong! ding-dong! ding-dong! ding-dong! ding-dong! ding-dong! ding-dong! ding-dong! ding-dong! ding-dong! ding-dong! ding-dong! ding-dong!"), until mama and papa are so irritated that they find themselves in a screaming match over whether "meatloaf" is one word or two.

Also, when the mailbox is opened it says "you've got ... letters!" I'm probably imagining the slight hesitation between "got" and "letters," but in that illusory pause it almost seems as if I can hear the Fisher-Price voicework woman thinking "oh man: if I say 'mail' AOL is going to sue me so hard that even my tattoos will be repossessed ..."

* Gratuitous hyperlink to product page to ensure mention of this post on Daddy Types.

When Animal Lovers Attack!

I eventually turned off the comments for this post, because I got tired of people comparing me to Mussolini for mocking Animal Planet. But if people are going to send me email directly, maybe I should just turn them back on.

From: R H
To: matthew@defectiveyeti.com
Date: Wed, 12 Jan 2005 16:39:56
Subject: Your Website

I just viewed your website for the 1st time. Perhaps you should stick to Golden Girls and not watch animal shows... it seems to me like you are too young or immature to even have a rational opinion on the reality of how dangerous the Animal Cops jobs can really be ... do you even have a job? I am wondering in what position you feel you are in to judge the work they do? If you don't care about the welfare of animals....then why don't you just keep your opinions to yourself?

Tell you what: I'll start caring about the welfare of animals when you stop engaging in wanton ellipsis abuse.

[ link | dy]


January 18, 2005

How I Spent My Day Off

[ link | Misc]


January 14, 2005

Security Systems

I talk to another new father:

Me: Does your daughter have, like, a security blanket?

B: She has a stuffed animal she carries around. Why?

M: I read that kids at this age will become attached to a "security' something-or-other. But The Squirrelly hasn't really taken to anything.

B: That's probably for the best. When I was a little kid my parents had to take my blanket away.

M: They took away your security blanket? No wonder you are so screwed up.

B: They were trying to get me to stop sucking my thumb, and I only did it when I was carrying my security blanket. So, one night, the blanket disappeared ...

M: I'm sure your folks sent it to a beautiful farm, some place where it could roam free.

B: ... and when I woke up there was a note that said that it had been taken by the Blanket Fairy.

M: ?? The "Blanket Fairy?"

B: You know, like the Tooth Fairy? He took the blanket and left fifty cents. And after that I didn't suck my thumb any more, so I guess it worked.

M: It's a good thing, too. If it hadn't you would have woken up one morning to find yourself with eight fingers and a buck in change from the Thumb Fairy.

{ Laughter }

B: [Little kid's voice] "Whaa! I can't even pick up the quarters!!"

January 13, 2005

GeekSpeak

If you've been wanting to hear me blather about boardgames for two stright hours (!), you can finally do so over at Boardgame Geek. I was the guest on the most recent episode of GeekSpeak.

January 12, 2005

Windows Pain

Wow, two anti-Microsoft posts in the last week -- what's up with that? I'm usually not a MS hayta -- I'm a linux and firefox guy myself, but I like Word and Publisher just fine. But driving home from work yesterday I heard a story on the local NPR station about how Microsoft was announcing yet another "critical" safety flaw in Internet Explorer, and I remember thinking, "Jesus, haven't I heard this exact same story, like, twice a month for the last four years?"

That's one bummer about living in Seattle: everytime there's a new vulnerability found in Windows we hear about it on the local news. At this point, the NPR affiliate probably just has a standard 30-second "Internet Explorer" piece that they use whenever they need to pad out their show a bit.


Elves Of Valinor Warn Of "Critical Security Flaw" In Palantír Browsers

The Elves of Valinor, creators of the popular palantíri "browsers" used throughout Middle-Earth to view distant lands, announced today that the Seeing Stones contain a critical security flaw which could leave users open to attacks by malicious Dark Lords. The vulnerabilities, according to an ElviNor monthly bulletin, could permit malignant gods to monitor the location and activity of users, or allow persons peering into the Palantíri to be taken over and used to execute remote commands. ElviNor urged those in possession of a Palantír to contact the Order of the Istari and request a magical patch to address the problem. Critics, meanwhile, seized upon the announcement as further proof that ElviNor hardware is inherently insecure, and urged consumers to switch to reliable mithril products. Said Thorin III Stonehelm of Khazad-dűm, "you'll never get this kind shoddy craftsmanship from a dwarf."

[ link | News]


January 11, 2005

Juice

My father always used to say, "when the world gives you lemons, make
lemonade." I took his advice to heart ... and now I own the largest lemonade factory in the continetal United States!

Of course, the world doesn't "give" us lemons -- I have to buy them. And my company doesn't "make" lemonade -- we just throw the lemons at pedestrians.

January 10, 2005

Three Years

Adventures in Communication
  • The Queen, The Squirrelly and I were taking a day hike. A mile into the forest we encountered a women who was standing off to the side of the trail and talking on her cell. About an hour later, as we were coming back, we saw the same woman in the same spot, still yammering into her phone. "She got a very specific calling plan," The Queen speculated as we passed. "The rates are dirt cheap, but that's the only place in the State she gets reception."
  • One of the joys of being a new father is getting into conversations with co-workers who have also recently had babies, and having this long, involve discussions about the mechanics of birth and infant care without using any words like "vaginal" or "breastpump," instead choosing phrases like "yes, the baby was 10 lbs, 7 oz. but she still gave birth to him, um, the not-cesarean way." It's like playing pick-up games of Taboo.

January 07, 2005

The Bad Review Revue

Darkness: "About as chilling as an unplugged refrigerator." -- Elias Sevade, FILM THREAT

The Phantom of the Opera: "Combines fingernails-on-blackboard audio agony with bamboo-under-fingernails physical torture. " -- Carrie Rickey, PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER

Open My Heart: "Those looking for a smarter précis on sex and shame with one-thirtieth the running time are encouraged to seek out Madonna's Open Your Heart video on VH1." -- Melissa Anderson, THE VILLIAGE VOICE

She Hate Me: "The mélange of plots, subplots, reveries, gags, cartoons, dirty bits, and hissy fits points to a work that is structurally modelled less on the classic narratives of cinema than on a portion of Russian salad." -- Anthony Lane, THE NEW YORKER

Blade Trinity: "Dracula, as played by Dominic Purcell, has all the dark charisma and burning threat of a baked potato." -- Sean Axmaker, SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCE

Meet The Fockers: "Has assembled a historic, once-in-a-lifetime cast, then stranded them in the laziest, most mercenary kind of sequel imaginable. It's like the 1927 Yankees taking on the Special Olympics softball team." -- Nathin Rabin, THE ONION

January 06, 2005

Patent 76202230959

An email I received from William O'Higgins of wolgathering.cx:

I read your blog entry of December 17th and said to my wife, "If that was Microsoft they would have filed a patent on hydrogen." You see, Mr. Gates hates to not be in first place, and wants to catch up to IBM for the most patents held (by a technology company). Here's my evidence: a patent on the xor operator. The signatories of the patent work for Microsoft.
Wow, that's pretty bad. But check out this patent I found with a little research:

[ link | Humor]


January 05, 2005

Going To The Dogs

Today I went to the pet store and saw that they were selling kitty litter for dogs.

The world is changing in ways that I find frankly terrifying.


Swag

How were your holidays? Did you get any good swag for Christmas? Or Hanukkah or the solstice? Or, um ... Kwanzaa?

(Do people give gifts for Kwanzaa? Do people even celebrate Kwanza? Or is it like Administrative Assistance's Day, one of those holidays that no one observes but the guys at Hallmark keep hoping will turn into yet another occasion when people become legally obligated to exchange greeting cards? Honestly, I have no idea, which probably speaks volumes about the monoculture I call a social circle. But I'm inclined to agree with dong resin, that Kwanzaa doesn't sound particularly enjoyable. 100% true fact: as with computer games, holidays are only fun if they aren't just educational opportunities in disguise, and Kwanzaa strikes me as the "Math Blaster!" of winter celebrations.)

The Queen gave me a cookie sheet. Like, a really really nice cookie sheet. I was totally psyched. It was one of those things that I didn't know I wanted until I got it, which are always the best presents.

Because The Queen recently outed herself as a whiskey drinker, I bought her an expensive bottle of Scotch. She took one swig of it on Christmas evening, made the same face she makes when a Celine Dion song comes on the radio, and put it on the shelf where it remained for a week. I chalked it up as a gift-giving failure until Sunday night when The Queen endured a particularly gruelling campaign to get The Squirrelly to go to bed, and I later walked into the living room to find her sitting on the couch with the open bottle of scotch in one hand, the remote control in the other, and Who's Your Daddy? on TV.

I think the nicest present I gave was to my little sister in 1984. She wanted a copy of the "Like A Virgin" album, and I bought it for her. This might not seem too impressive until you factor in the fact that I was 13 years old at the time, and I had to go through the excruciatingly embarrassing ordeal of taking a record featuring a reclining, bustier-clad Madonna -- with bosoms heaving every-which-way -- up to the counter and tell another human being that I wished to purchase it. And since I only had enough money for the record, I couldn't even employ the teenage-boy condom-buying ruse of piling an assortment of miscellaneous other items on top of it at the checkstand and then feigning surprise when the cashier uncovered it. ("What the-? How did that get there?! Well, you might as well ring it up ...").

Several Christmas earlier my sister gave me a package of pencils that she had purchased for me with her allowance, because she'd heard me say I wanted to be a writer when I grew up. At the time I thought it was the lamest gift ever, paling in comparison to the Death Star playset my folks gave me. But, in retrospect, I think that might be the most thoughtful present anyone has ever got me.

January 04, 2005

Idi-um?

Chatting with a friend:

Me: So what's up with you and T.? Still feuding?

K: Yeah.

M: Come on. You guys need to either patch things up or stop hanging out.

K: I know, I know. A few weeks ago we did try to uhhhhhm ... you know, to, uhhh ...

M: "Bury the hatchet?"

K: Right, exactly.

M: But it didn't work?

K: No, because I'm still mad, and I really didn't want to bury the hatchet. So I made a big show of burying, but it wasn't really the hatchet I was burying. I was burying something else and secretly keeping the hatchet, like, hidden behind my back, so I could hang onto it for later.

{pause}

K: Whoa, I way over-extended that metaphor.

M: I didn't want to say anything.

January 03, 2005

Belated 2004 Recap

Biggest Event Of The Year: Up and borning a kid.

Second Biggest Event Of The Year: Finally getting "Who Let The Dogs Out" out of my head. ARGH NOW ITS IN THERE AGAIN FUCK!

Favorite Movies Seen In The Theater: Lost In Translation (Yeah, it's a 2003 film, but I saw it early in 2004), Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (ditto), The Incredibles, Garden State, Shaun of the Dead.

Most Disappointing Movie Seen In The Theater: Didn't see any real duds this year, although the headache-inducing shaky-cam style of The Bourne Supremacy prevented me from really enjoying it.

Best TV Shows (Seen On DVD): Freaks & Geeks (so great!) and The Office (so great!).

Movie I got on DVD and didn't watch for weeks because I was scared that it would be godawful and ruin my fond childhood memories of it, but turned out to be pretty good: Ghostbusters. Dan Ackroyd's delivery of "I couldn't help it, he just popped in there" is one of the funniest moments in cinema.

Movie I Watched On DVD That Inspired The Aforementioned Dread By Being Awful And Fond-Memory Ruinous: Tron.

Favorite Fiction Books Read: You know, I can't say that I read any particularly outstanding fiction books in 2004. Recommendations for 2005 in the comments, please.

Favorite Non-Fiction Book Read: The Elegant Universe, The Last American Man, Stiff.

Book I Read The Least Of: Foucault's Pendulum (text on back, first paragraph)

Favorite Album: I listened to the Garden State Soundtrack a lot, despite owning almost all the CDs the songs were taken from.

Only Show I Went To: Sondre Lerche.

My Review: "The best show I saw all year!"

Favorite Board Games: Ticket To Ride, Attika, Hansa.

Video Game Tried At A Friend's House That Made Me Want To Devote The Remainder Of My Life To Playing: Katamari Damacy. Exhibit A as to why I don't own a video game system.

Life Lesson Learned Playing Panda Pang: If you see a bomb on the ground, do not pick it up.

Thing That I Really Like That I Continued To Really Like In 2004: Beer.

Thing That I Really Hate That I Continued To Really Hate In 2004: Powerpoint.

Worst Ramification Of The Presidential Election: Bush wins second term.

Most Astute (And Depressing) Observation Made After The Presidential Election: "I feel rotten for wasting so much of my spare time reading political blogs. It's like when I got hooked on the OJ Simpson trial -- I could have learned a foreign language or written a book in the block of time I allocated to OJ." -- my dad

Best Ramification Of The Presidential Election, And A Direct Result Of The Above Two Items: I haven't paid a whit of attention to politics since November 2. I'm so much happier! I'm like a born-again apathetic!

Longtime Goal That I Actually Met in 2004: Started riding my bicycle to work.

Longtime Goals That I Failed Meet In 2004: The rest.