Tomato, Tomatoe, Obama, Obamo, Usama, Osama

When someone enters law school, they are taught to be precise in their language. They don't tolerate useless or redundant words. I know this because my brother and a few friends have been through the hell that is the first year. For example, it's a cardinal sin to say to such a person, "This is the best cheesecake in the world." That doesn't fly in front of crusty old professors. I mention this because ever since I took the LSAT, I've been dissecting phrases and words like they were little frogs, reluctantly but with morbid curiosity. It's gotten to the point where I sometimes stutter trying to squeeze out the proper words, like drops of toothpaste. Here are a few things that bother me about modern language, using celebrities as an "annoyance grade."

1. "Could care less." People say this when they want to convey the idea that they are above something. The only problem is that if they could care less, then they care about the issue to some degree. Like if you could care less about politics, then you're saying you care about them more than you don't care. This phrase should be "couldn't care less," as in your amount of caring is zero.
Politician equally annoying: Ron Paul. Increasingly visible and so incredibly wrong.

2. "Ironic." Praise Alanis Morissette! This is an obvious but necessary one for my list. This has been a long-standing thorn in my back, because people just use it to mean "unexpected." Not true, it is the exact opposite of what is expected. It's a rare event most exemplified by hipsters in today's culture. Think of Pabst Blue Ribbon. Kids don't drink it because it's good, they drink it because they have money to drink better tasting beer and want to make a sophisticated joke that they are doing something that it the opposite of their rich sensibilities.
Politician score: GW Bush. Obviously.

3. "Or something." I don't know why I didn't notice this before. This is a completely useless phrase, because you say something then completely drown it in other possibilities. For example, you're at a party, and someone says, "What's that girl's name?" And you reply, "I think it's Kelly. Or Carla. Or something." HUH? Why not just say, "I don't know" and let the other person know that you have no clue what the answer is.
Politican score: Hillary Clinton. Shouldn't annoy me, but is doing so right now.

4. "Make love." I just realized how much this irritates me last night. Make love = sex, right? I mean, sex as in candles and French music and 35 positions and 100 camera angles. Well, I have news for everyone. French music may be about love, but it's not a way to "make," or create, it. I couldn't tell you want love is, but I know it's not the Reverse Cowgirl. Here is an interesting synopsis on how this term came to be. Stupid hippies.
Politican: Joseph Biden. Like school in the summer- no class.

5. "How come." This one was brought to my attention by my friend Andrea, and the more times I hear it, the more wrong it seems. It means, simply, "Why?" That's it. I think "how come" is short-hand for "How is it that this has come to." Notice how it was shortened to two words that make no sense, when it could've just been three simple words.
Politician: Mike Huckabee. Well intentioned, but utterly moronic. “If anybody wants to believe that they are the descendants of a primate, they are certainly welcome to do that.” Must've flunked high school biology. IRONIC that he wouldn't believe in survival of the fittest, seeing as he evolved physically himself.

6. "Gay." Ok, I'm admitting that I've used the term to mean showy, but I try to keep it to a minimum. What bothers me about this word is that, as Jeff Goldblum says as Alistair Hennessey in the Life Aquatic, "We're all a little gay." Think about it, where's the line? If someone can tell me the point when you become gay, I'd be impressed. I saw a coat on a model in a J. Crew ad, and suddenly I decided that he looked good in it, so I went and bought one. Gay? Depends on your perspective. I have a female coworker who moonlights as a bartender at a gay bar and is married to a woman. Gay? Well, she's done a dude before, so I guess that makes her straight, or as straight as a buddy of mine who kissed a dude for kicks once. If he's gay then she's straight, know what I mean?
Politician: Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The Iranian President who said, "We have no gays in Iran."

The point is, words flip flop more than politicians. If I had to elect a word or phrase, I'd vote for "bustin' balls." Perfect, clear, and compact. And who am I voting for? Well, I was leaning towards Obama, even signed up on his website. What I signed up for was a barrage of phone calls. I'm not sure I could handle four years of telemarketing. I'll probably still vote for him. But that maniac from Alaska makes for good theater...


If You Can Sweep a Mine, You Don't Have to Sweep a Chimney

I found out the difference between Wash U kids and Mizzou kids yesterday. I bought tickets to the VHS or Beta show and interrupted a girl's game of minesweeper. It was ON EXPERT! Does this mean Princeton kids play Spider Solitaire?


Unsolved Mysteries

In my life, there have been a few things that I've never understood. Questions that I use when trapped in an elevator, or waiting in a doctor's office, or on a long drive. When Cassidy and I were cruising to Columbia for homecoming, we debated one of these questions.

Can soap get dirty?
Ok, we all know that soap picks up pubes. In fact, there's some of magnetic force going on there, I think. Anyway, say a piece of soap falls behind the toilet and picks up some random dirt and grime. Do you rinse it? Shave the thing down like it's a pencil? Several people have said "oh, it's dirty, it's got junk on it." But honestly, soap by definition is clean. Anything it touches is instantly not dirty. Right?

Heres another one:
Why do you yawn, even when you can't see the person yawning?
There are several theories on this one, according to Wikipedia. Some aren't relevant, and thus, don't explain the phenomenon, such as "a means of cooling the brain." Others are obvious and provide incomplete information. The only one that could explain this is "An action used as an unconscious communication of psychological decompression after a state of high alert." Huh? But how does that "unconscious communication" flow?

How can you say, "This is just a dream" when in fact, you are dreaming?
This one happened to me last night. I was, uh, carrying on with a woman who was not Cassidy. I was still dreaming, talking to a dream version of a friend, when I said "Wait, maybe this is all a dream!" I then woke up, relieved, and ate some breakfast. Is this just the subconscious going through the denial stage of grief? As in, after a real-life tragedy when a person says "Maybe this is all not happening, I'm just having a nightmare." I question this because the whole concept of dreams relies upon suspension of disbelief. For instance, if you dream you're flying, you don't question it in the dream. Why question the entire existence of your dreamworld?

And an old favorite:
Are there modern-day eskimos, and if so where?
This one seems easy. Sure there are modern day eskimos, right? After all, we learned in school that they build igloos and have a bucket full of words for snow. But the thing that always bugged me was that, in modern society, you can't just sit in an igloo, and hunt, and so on. You need internet, cell phones, and cars. You have to pay property tax and income tax, and declare your business. Some people told me eskimos were in Alaska, others said Canada. These are countries that leave no stone unturned. Well, they do exist, check this out.** They seem less sedentary nowadays, as expected. Now go here, where you'll find that eskimos on reserves don't have to worry about modern hassles. However, if not on the reserve, they don't seem to be on the grid. So I finally solved that one. Hopefully scientists will figure out the yawn someday.

*If you don't have dirt behind your toilet, go see a shrink ASAP. You're going off the deep end.
**Miss World Eskimo Olympics? That's for researching another day...


There Are No Coincidences...

Hastily written, sorry I'm leaving soon...

Ever had a really wacky day? I woke up this morning after dreaming about getting my LSAT score. Then I went to work and had an email telling me that my new laptop had shipped. I talked with Cassidy, and we talked about possibly taking my dad's car on a roadtrip. I figured I'd ask later. Normal so far.

Around lunchtime, out of the blue, my dad texts me, saying "It's your lucky day." So of course I called. He'd just bought a new laptop, and not knowing I'd just gotten one he offered me his old machine. Then he asked if I wanted to trade cars for the weekend. Eerie. If I'd been on my old meds, I would've thought he was wiretapping me (kinda funny, but not at the time).

The weirdest convergence came just a few minutes ago. I was watching MTV's True Life online (full episodes!) and a character was studying for the LSAT. Hmm, I thought, let's see when I get these scores. Then, an email popped up in my inbox... it was my score! Crazy, crazy, crazy, my jaw dropped. Then I checked my score. IT WAS THE SAME ONE FROM MY DREAM! Ok, maybe that doesn't stun everybody, but the sequence of events creeped me out.

Oh, and I did well enough to get in somewhere. It's a giant load off my back, and now I can go watch this in peace-


Killing like Conan.... O'Brien

Here's a headline that caught my eye this morning, from The Record, Wash U's medical school paper.

How appropriate, since I was just in California, the land of medicinal marijuana and its resulting subculture... Also, I heard a joke recently, and although I can't take credit for it, I'll pass it along.

Q: Why are there no jokes about Jonestown anymore?
A: Because the punch lines are too short.

And here's a classic joke, my favorite of all time.

Enzo Ferrari passed away and, of course, ends up in heaven. While up there, he runs into God. God says to him "Hey, Ferrari, I like your work. Everything on your cars was perfect. Absolutely perfect. One minor thing bothers me though. I don't think the F512M needed the 4 round rear headlights."

Ferrari looked at God, thought for a minute and said, "It's funny you should say that. I like your work, too. The woman is perfect. Except for one minor thing."

"Really," God said, "and what is that?"

Ferrari replied, "The accelerator is too close to the exhaust."