Thursday, April 28, 2005


I found this on a visitor's blog. I am so a big fan of Office Space. If you've not seen this movie, GET IT! Um, yeah ... I gave her my O-face ... lol,you know, Oh! Oh! Oh!

Anyways, here's me results:


What Office Space character are you?
brought to you by Quizilla


A call back for me ?

I got the call the other day. Oh, it's not what you think. People who read this regularly, will recall that I had a callback for a commercial. I was a bit clandestine about the whole thing, but I was unsure EXACTLY what the contract said since it was in swedish. I assume, since the call back is over, that I can talk about it freely now. I did not get the call back. Thank god! I was auditioning for a hispanic guy who lives in LA. I am so glad I didn't get it, because it'd have been a terrible time drain, and damn it, I was totally NOT the part.

The Character. As stated supra, the character is hispanic. I am not hispanic. He's supposed to be macho and have lots of attitude. I am laid back, whatever kind of guy and come closer to surfer dude than macho. The ideal celebrity personality, according to the profile: John Leguizamo who has been in several movies. I was all, dude, wtf, Leguizamo was in ICE AGE where he played the idiot sloth ...

In any case, I didn't get the part. I would have been in an IKEA commercial selling their new kitchen lines. Which, I am pretty sure, I should NOT talk about until the commercial airs. I will tell you that I rewrote some of the lines, and it will be interesting to see if they incorporate any of it. The agent had me write everything down, and told me later that IKEA liked the changes and would 'probably incorporate come of them.' uh huh ... then you call me two days later and tell me I have no part. w00t!

Sorry it's been forever since I did a proper post. I'll try to do better, but I'm coming up on all the deadlines. Apparently this is a long weekend, so my advisor is avoiding me. This puts on a 13 stretch sans advising when I need it most. How quasi-murphy is that?!

Hope ya'll are having a great week


Tuesday, April 26, 2005

As a funny aside ...

I play fantasy baseball. Anyone who reads regularly is aware of this, and knows that I can be kind obsessive about it. In any case, you may also recall that I recently posted something on Alyssa Milano. Well, apparently even fantasy baseball is not safe from her clutches, as the fantasy page recently released this comment about Barry Zito:

Apr 26 Athletics pitcher Barry Zito went 6 2/3 innings against the White Sox Monday. He allowed four runs on seven hits, striking out four and walking one. However, his teammates, who haven't scored in 22 innings, gave him zero run support. "If I go out and throw a scoreless seventh inning, it might have given us a chance to scratch out a run or two," Zito told the Associated Press. "It's easier when you're not behind. It's not going to be like this forever. I'll go out and be optimistic."

Views: Even if Zito tossed a scoreless seventh, it wouldn't have been enough for the win. The poor guy is just plain bad; we don't know any other way to put it. His ERA is 6.60 and he hasn't won a game in five outings. If someone told us this guy once won the AL Cy Young Award, we'd have him admitted to drug rehab for a crack addiction. Barry should call Alyssa Milano right now and beg her to come back because, at this rate, Athletics groupies wouldn't even touch him.

It's slanderous I tell you, it makes Alyssa sound like a cheap slut. We all know she's ... well, different, from a groupie. Anyways, I thought it was interesting that these two worlds collided in such an unexpected way.


Political Test

I am RARELY into politics, but I thought this was an interesting test. My politics, apparently, align with Nelson Mandela and Gandhi ... One the sliding scale I'm pretty far left (SURPRISE, not) with some libertarian influences. Take it and see where you come out on the political coordinate system.


ps sorry for the lame posts, I will do better when I'm further along on my paper.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Writing to the Masses

So JC posted his readability, and I, like the good follower, wanted to do the same. What I noticed in the test was that I apparently narrate this at about a fourth grade level (see statistics infra). I was originally going to title this post, "Am I Writing for Retards?," but I nixed this idea for two reasons: one, it's terribly nonpolitically correct, and two, I didn't want to imply that my readers are in any way mentally diminished. I've always said that short sentences and single ideas evidence fluency. I mean, who REALLY wants to read sentences that are pages long. I KNOW you can do them, but it can be hard to hold a though that long. I've been tearing into my new thesis material, and I've already 8 pages with some footnotes. Go me. I also met with my thesis defense partner, who I will be 'leading' when she defends in may. Her topic is INCREDIBLY cool. Mine, on the other hand, is so involved even her eyes glazed over when I started talking about it.

Readability Results for

  • Readability Results Summary Value

  • Total sentences 375

  • Total words 3,155

  • Average words per Sentence 8.41

  • Words with 1 Syllable 2,272

  • Words with 2 Syllables 606

  • Words with 3 Syllables 197

  • Words with 4 or more Syllables 80

  • Percentage of word with three or more syllables 8.78%

  • Average Syllables per Word 1.39

  • Gunning Fog Index 6.88

  • Flesch Reading Ease 80.45

  • Flesch-Kincaid Grade 4.13

For some background:

  • The result is your Gunning-Fog index, which is a rough measure of how many years of schooling it would take someone to understand the content. The lower the number, the more understandable the content will be to your visitors. Results over seventeen are reported as seventeen, where seventeen is considered post-graduate level. (I RAWK anyone can read it!):
    6 TV guides, The Bible, Mark Twain
    8 Reader's Digest
    8 - 10 Most popular novels
    10 Time, Newsweek
    11 Wall Street Journal
    14 The Times, The Guardian
    15 - 20 Academic papers
    Over 20 Only government sites can get away with this, because you can't ignore them.
    Over 30 The government is covering something up

  • The Flesch Reading Ease result is an index number that rates the text on a 100-point scale. The higher the score, the easier it is to understand the document. Authors are encouraged to aim for a score of approximately 60 to 70. (80 percentile baby ... :) sweet)

  • The result is the Flesch-Kincaid grade level. Like the Gunning-Fog index, it is a rough measure of how many years of schooling it would take someone to understand the content. Negative results are reported as zero, and numbers over twelve are reported as twelve.

Just for fun, I put in thesis number 1:
and I can't seem to get it to give me an answer, so I had to split the document up, which I think messes with the test, but the text was pretty uniform, so hopefully it works out okay.

Total sentences 725
Total words 6,961
Average words per Sentence 9.60
Words with 1 Syllable 3,941
Words with 2 Syllables 1,302
Words with 3 Syllables 997
Words with 4 or more Syllables 721
Percentage of word with three or more syllables 24.68%
Average Syllables per Word 1.78
Gunning Fog Index 13.71
Flesch Reading Ease 46.14
Flesch-Kincaid Grade 9.21

Second Part:

Total sentences 630
Total words 5,822
Average words per Sentence 9.24
Words with 1 Syllable 3,418
Words with 2 Syllables 1,135
Words with 3 Syllables 728
Words with 4 or more Syllables 541
Percentage of word with three or more syllables 21.80%
Average Syllables per Word 1.72
Gunning Fog Index 12.42
Flesch Reading Ease 51.62
Flesch-Kincaid Grade 8.36

HOWEVER, thesis number 2, you know, where I dumb things down and get all logical-like:
Total sentences 390
Total words 4,736
Average words per Sentence 12.14
Words with 1 Syllable 2,714
Words with 2 Syllables 878
Words with 3 Syllables 595
Words with 4 or more Syllables 549
Percentage of word with three or more syllables 24.16%
Average Syllables per Word 1.78
Gunning Fog Index 14.52
Flesch Reading Ease 43.55
Flesch-Kincaid Grade 10.20

HA, a few more points and my Fog reading would be at academic paper! w00t! You apparently need more schooling to read the second paper. this makes absolutely NO Sense, since I use smaller sentences. Whatever. Scarily, I'm already ahead of pace for 4 syllable words ... hmm autonomy, arbitrability, arbitrable, arbitration, arbitrator(s), environmental, signatory, nonsignatory, environmental; I definitely see how the numbers get up there.


Saturday, April 23, 2005

It's come to a proverbial Head ...

I swear I will get a search on oral sex and head for a week now. I got a really random one from a movie quote I put in last term, Ecto Gamat. Bruce Willis asks someone what Ecto Gamat means. It means Never, not without my permission. Be interesting to see if people know the movie, the person who explained it, and who what they were talking about. NOTE: Isabo, I know you know this, so don't give away too much if you can contain yerself :)

Otherwise I'm having one of the worst weekends I've had since last term when my group abandoned me to travel. I turned in 60 pages of work in a week so we wouldn't get screwed. Friday I met with my advisor, not the environmental guy, but the arbitration advisor. She's basically said that I've tried to take too broad a topic, that I need to choose only one issue, and focus. "You need to take this writing and acknowledge it as a good resource. Step back, and reevaluate your work. NArrow the topic, you've been catering to both your advisors too long." Hence, this is total shit, rewrite so it makes sense and narrow your topic. About the time she came to this, the next student arrived. I have little or no guidance on what is expected, and no useful comments on what to improve since I'm starting from, more or less, scratch. I therefore will probably not post regularly for the next few weeks.

Hope everyone is doing better than me


Friday, April 22, 2005


Who'd have thought that coming to Stockholm may lead to me going to China. I am still trying to decide what I CAN do next year. What I WANT to do next year is not so hard. I WANT to stay in Sweden and start the PhD program here at the law school. However, I had a not so pleasant meeting this morning with my advisor who stated that I,"will be hardpressed to submit a competitive proposal by the application deadline." Great.

the China program. This is an exchange between my school and Tsinghua in Beijing. I am only supposed to get an exchange for a semester, but I may request a full year if I can. This way I can get one of the first Chinese Law LLM's offered to foreigners. How coo is that?! Otherwise I just do a term for research.

Apparently this university is the HAWT right now. I contacted a prestigious professor who has offered advice and recommendations to me. He recently visited and called the university,"really impressive." This is from a guy who is faculty at the most technologically advanced law school in the US, and has taught at Harvard and Georgetown. The clenching statement from him was his closing, "Any time you spent studying in China would probably be most worthwhile for your future career."

I'd asked him whether I should go straight for a PhD or try this thing in china. It seems clear that, for him at least, china is the way to go. did I mention that the exchange waives all my tuition fees ... yea, china is looking like a great alternative.


Thursday, April 21, 2005

Not Quite Murphy's Law

There totally needs to be a law that embraces Murphy, but has a more worldly view. I caught myself thinking yesterday, "Wow, that's so Murphy's law." Then, on second look, it is not.

Murphy's Law: "Anything that can go wrong will go wrong."

Wikipedia Defition: (also known as Finagle's law or Sod's law) is a popular adage in Western culture, which broadly states that things will go wrong in any given situation. It is most commonly formulated as "Anything that can go wrong will go wrong." The law was named after Edward A. Murphy, Jr., a development engineer working for a brief time on rocket sled experiments done by the United States Air Force in 1949.

Background: Apparently there is a significant history to Murphy's Law, and some underlying discrepancy. For a decent account look at the Wikipedia Site. I'll attempt to sum up here though. The phrase came from Murphy's comments about his assistant during military G-force testing on a rocket sled. The assistant messed up a few times. Murphy commented on the assistant in front of George Nichols. Nichols relayed the account and it changed somewhat. We've all played 'telephone' so we know how that works. This lead to a discrepancy as to what Murphy actually said.
Murphy was originally thought to say,"If that guy has any way of making a mistake he will." Which Nichols, through many tellings, condensed to,"If it can happen, it will happen." Now, Murphy's son swears his father reused the 'law' as well, but his looked more like,"If there's more than one way to do a job, and one of those ways will result in disaster, then somebody will do it that way." John Stack's epigraph in 1952 phrased it as,"Anything That Can Possibly Go Wrong, Does." While the earlist printed version, by Lloyd Mallan, states it as,"Everything that can possibly go wrong will go wrong."

In any case, perhaps it is time to revisit Murphy. I wouldn't say that things go WRONG for me per se, but it is more like, stressful opportunities arise when least desired. Inherently, that statement is crap, because when is a stressful opportunity desired? That aside, however, I want to note that stressful things never come alone. They seem to piggy-back each other, and compound whenever possible. Kind of like, when it Rains it Pours, or when you're good you're very good, and when you're bad your horrid. If you are already stressed about something, the stress seems to attract other inopportune situations. I guess we could say, we become susceptable to stress the more stressed we become. Wow, that's a viscious cycle for you. Hence, a stress causes your stress. Your stress in turns causes you stress which incorporates new stress, causing still, more stress. You typical downward spiral. Thank GOD humans have a tenacious,perservering nature, otherwise we'd all curl up and die.

This week we had class presentations. People stressed, since we had to present for 20 minutes over our thesis stuffs. Okay, that's coo. Shift gears and do a presentation (slight stress). To do a presentation you need to attend school and watch other presentations (crap, more stress since I've been in my own writing world for months). Presentations go all day (physical stress from sitting and paying quasi-attention). Long, unproductive lunch stemming from uber piss-poor planning by professor (stress, stress). Get home after 8 hours of presentations (eh, maybe stressful), realize you have wasted a whole day not looking at research materials or thesis (panicing, stress). Do it again the next day, when professor makes you come earlier and is then LATE to the second half (mother fucker ... pissed off, and stressed). Realize you wasted another day (stress). Look for jobs, find flights home for summer since they are all filling up, and try to work on Doctoral proposal (omg, I'm losing it). Get email from Maryland Bar indicating you are late for signing up for Professional responsibility course, and that they've changed the date to YOUR FINAL THESIS PRESENTATION! (que obvio) Find last minute flight home, and ask permission to miss presentations (stress, stress, stress).

In any event, you can see the inherent downward, and viscious, cycle. I'll pull out of it, but it will definitely require some mental fenageling. What was I thinking trying to tackle this Murphy's law rewrite ... ha, jk. I still think it's not quite murphy, b/c there is no disaster per se, maybe it's murphy light?


Wednesday, April 20, 2005

State of the Readers 4.20

Originally uploaded by mrbrianjapan.
This is the most diverse reading group I've had. We lost Austria,Jamaica, and Australia though :(

I am also thinking of posting the site Stats, like the views and page entries. If you guys want to review the stuff yourself, I think you can click at the bottom of the page (where you see the funny rainbow box thing). Just hit the "END" key and it should take you there.

Hope ya'll are doin well!


Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Normal Test

This was an interesting test. I actually thought I'd score in the 20 - 30 percentile. Surprisingly I'm 60% normal ... I know, I know. some of you are getting a HELL of a laugh out of this, but tests don't lie ... do they??

You Are 60% Normal

(Really Normal)

Otherwise known as the normal amount of normal

You're like most people most of the time

But you've got those quirks that make you endearing

You're unique, yes... but not frighteningly so!


Commentary on Comments 4.19

I wanted to take a few minutes and comment on some comments. This is always tricky. I like to leave questions on other people's blogs too, but questions suck in comments for two reasons. 1) they are rarely answered, 2) when they do answer it is usually in the comments after your post. Er, I don't reread my comments on OTHER blogs that often, so even if they post the answer I rarely notice. :( Simon has the best method since he sends emails to good questions.

I recently joined BlogClicker. This brings in a variety of traffic, usually passers-by who want credits to pimp out their sites. If you really need traffic, and are willing to surf other blogs, then you should check it out. There are a few people who come in and comment. USually when you are new to a blog you ask questions, I do that alot on accident :) Anyways, people have done this so I will address some comments:

  1. "What do you like most about Stockholm?" - well, this is going to be SUCH an evasive answer, I like just about everything. I have no inclination to return to my country, except that my visa will run out. Other than that Sweden is ideally situated in europe for travel, and has a great educational system. The only real drawbacks here are that swedes tend to be a little cliquish and reserved in terms of meeting new people, and the fact that a burger here DOES cost like $5 (at least) and everything is about triple the price I'm used to.

  2. "What the blog wasn't making you famous enough, you have to be in a commercial?" - HA, hardly. I've no inckling to pursue acting etc. It was spurned mostly by my family's interest. I really really dragged my feet, but I think they'd be disappointed that I passed up the opportunity, so I did it.

  3. "So since it's my first time here I assume you are an actor?" LOL, no, no no no no. It was just for the experience. I should hear about second callbacks thisw week. If I get the callback I will really have to wonder what they are looking for. It will also confirm for me that production teams smoke AMPLE amounts crack when casting parts.

  4. "Who is she?" - This is in reference to Allysa Milano. Um, Grace, I love you to death, but how could you possibly have missed the Allysa Milano :) She's currently on Charmed (I don't know the syndicate in Canadia) on the WB channels in the US. She's been in several movies, nothing too big, and she was on "Who's the Boss" with Tony Danza.

  5. "holy freaking popcorn batdude, that was her in canterville ghost?" - Again Allysa Milano, and yes, yes she was. This was back when she was still doing innocent things and branching out from Who's the Boss.

  6. "I think hand cream is a guy thing?" Lol, taken out of context, this is appropriately funny. Sorry, maybe it's all me. Anyways, yes, I do think handcream is a guy thing. While girls use it when they get out of the bath or when their hands get dry, men use handcream for 'alternate' uses. I would say that handcream devations from the norm are probably male. Though, I've known some women who do strange things ...

  7. There were, of course, other questions I deliberately left out, or were not in the synopses I see when I review the comments en masse. So, apologies if I did not address your questions.

Thanks for comments all!


Romy and Michelle's High School Reunion

IF you like 80's music, take a look at the Romy and Michelle's Sound Track. It really is one of the best 80's pop compilations. If you've seen the movie, and enjoyed even parts of it, I think some of it is due to the sound track. Here's the playlist:

1. Our Lips Are Sealed - The Go-Go's
2. Venus - Bananarama
3. Always Something There to Remind Me - Naked Eyes
4. Dance Hall Days - Wang Chung
5. Turning Japanese - The Vapors
6. Blood and Roses - The Smithereens
7. Karma Chameleon - Culture Club
8. I Want Candy - Bow Wow Wow
9. Everybody Wants to Rule the World - Tears for Fears
10. Heaven Is a Place on Earth - Belinda Carlisle
11. We Got the Beat - The Go-Go's

I always enjoy this CD. In fact, I am enjoying it now ... hence, the, er, post.


State of the Readers 4.19

Originally uploaded by mrbrianjapan.
South Africa and Denmark made their first showing on the Pis Chart in the Sky. C keeps telling me I obsess over all these statistics and stuff, but they are fun.

My sister has a pretty big following in asia I think, but still thinks I'm,"more international," than her. Please visit her blog Isabo's Blog.

hope everyone has a great day, I'm off to spend most of my day at school ... again! At least I present today. I'll let everyone know how it goes.


Monday, April 18, 2005

State of the Readers 4.18

Originally uploaded by mrbrianjapan.
I figured you guys are probably sick of seeing me write out the reader stats in tables, so here is the fun piechart.

I lost Tonga over the weekend, but the country returned. In addition you will notice Jamaica (cool huh) :)

Hope everyone had a great weekend, I'm off to spend 28345970235723 hours at school listening to people present their theses.


for some reason this wasn't showing up, so I'm putting in some filler text to see if it works better. I will hopefully get it to work soon, otherwise I'm going to be really ticked off.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Call Back for Commercial

I had a callback today. Unfortunately I can't talk about all the details, but I can talk about it a bit. My mom recieved a call from a talent scout looking for americans in stockholm. They were having casting calls for families and individuals who fit certain descriptions.

This is were it goes downhill. My mom dogs me that I HAVE to send in my stuff. I, she thinks, fit the description of a 25 ish latino from LA. Um okay, I could probably swing that. I sent my pictures in with a description and a declaration that I was, in fact, NOT latino. I still got a call back. wtf. Not only that, but I got a better 'feel' for my character: Lation, macho, tuff/rough. I'm thinking, omg, anyone who knows me would laugh their ass off if they heard the part description.

For the callback we had to read lines. I show up in my t-shirt and jeans with a hoodie on. I filled out the forms, and read over the lines. By the description, they wanted a mafioso-ruffneck type. He thinks he's da'bomb etc. I was SOOO tempted to do a Joey, "How YOU doin?" But I refrained. Instead I think I pulled off nonplus-suburbanite-trying-to-be-hip. It was not pretty.

She kept saying, "Now, your character is really tough and loud." I was thinking, mother fucker, my CHARACTER is blah blah ... people really TALK like this!!! "Your character feels like he's the best. He's macho." My character may be feelin that, but I'm not. I wanted to be all, "Bitch give me fuckin kitchen with knives." By the time she ended my session, I'd been through the lines 9 times. IT was only 15 minutes later. We hear this week or next weekend. If I get the part someone at this casting house is on CRANK (b/c crack just can't mess you up THAT much).

Of course C and D want me to get the commercial so they can be all, "Dude, it's B!!!" I think it's bogus, and don't really want to do it. Thankfully, there's not much chance they'll cast me.

And that's my adventure for the weekend.


Saturday, April 16, 2005

semi-formal tea

Originally uploaded by mrbrianjapan.
Simon recently posted pictures of his family tours in Japan. Inspired, I wanted to share one of my favorite pictures ever. I took this during Tea in the Garden at the Golden Pavilion in Kyoto (I think).

The sugar mochi, this white bits, have the impression of the pavilion on them. They are also brushed with a stroke of gold. You may be able to see it if you REALLY zoom in.

The tea, of course, was freshly wisked by these really nice ladies in formal dress. Probably laughing at us for having tea :) It was fun anyways.


Star Wars Type Things

I was thinking of Grace this morning, and ran across these. Hope you all enjoy!

OH, and in case you have not checked it out: Star Wars Episode III Site (Premier May 19).

:: how jedi are you? ::

You scored as yoda. You are Yoda.

You're a very wise and practical green midget thingy.

People underestimate you but that's okay, you can still kick their asses!







darth vader


the emperor




Which Star Wars Charectar Are You?
created with


I'm Irish Baby

Your Inner European is Irish!

Sprited and boisterous!

You drink everyone under the table.

I, of course, am in a nasty content abusive relationship with JC. I took this from his blog. How original eh?


Not a first, but ...

WTF I totally posted yesterday, and now it's not there. To bring everyone up to speed. I complained about school (wow, that's original), and I spoke briefly about a thing I'm not talking about now. I'll let everyone know why I'm being klandestine AFTER Sunday.

I slept in my damn contacts last night. I SO hate doing that. I woke up with semi-cruddy eyes this morning. I have to go to the gym so I can't take them out, and then I am working this afternoon. I guess I can do that in glasses, since it's typing and reading. I'm going to work on my doctoral proposal!!! Go me!!

Going to see boogeyman. Tonight I'm off to see boogey man. I'm really looking forward to it, should rock. Though, I've got to admit Ive been UBER disappointed in the movies I've seen lately. Last night, went to see million dollar baby, and was so not impressed. I thought finding neverland was a better movie. And MOrgan Freeman, I love this guy, was great, but he won an OSCAR?! I was all, um no. I didn't even cry. C went with me and thinks I'm a heartless bastard now. Probably musing, and now has no doubts why I'm single :( Oh well, i just had no character connection.

Hope everyone had a good week,


Thursday, April 14, 2005

A night out - burgers?

En hamburgare på svenska. Pronounced, ham-bur-yar-eh. Or, for my english speaking audience, a hamburger. Granted it's a cognate, but it's still fun to put swedish pronunciation and spelling out there.

We went out for hamburgers with a subclub from the American Women's Club here in stockholm. The subclub, Stockholm After Hours, does social things all around the city - drinking, eating, trying new places. Seats fill up pretty quickly so it can be a challenge to get in with the group. I like the group because they tend to be the new recruits, and they tend to be my age-ish.

Some of you may scoff, omg, he's doing shit with a WOMAN"S club, but you meet some pretty interesting people this way. Plus, my mom's a member, so everyone knows me before I even go to functions. It makes it so much easier to meet and talk with people because they've already determined your common ground. I'm a facilitator, so it's always one of my social goals to build common ground. It's much more pleasurable not to have to worry about it. That's why most people keep friends around.

Anyways we are at Saddle and Sabre, a fun 'texas' themed pub on Tengérgatan. I had a hamburger, served sans bun, with jalapoppers. The poppers were uber, the hamburger marginal. They did have Sam Adams and Sierra Nevada on tap for SEK 39 though which is GOOD in this city. I start talking around and I made a total connection with a couple who was there.

Baltimore. Of all places, was the starting point for our connection. I'm all wtf, BALTIMORE. She was from Pennsylvania, he was swedish, and both about my age. Her brother just moved outside of baltimore, so they visited recently. Of course that led to the inevitable, oh, have you been here, and did you do this, and did you go to this bar ... Then we moved on to carreers. I've one of the more diverse educational backgrounds that I know of, so people are always shocked. Last night she was all I work for a pharmaceutical overseeing trials. I was like, no way I used to ... blah blah. It was nice to finally have a nonsuperficial conversation with someone. Then her husband and I talked. He's swedish and seems really nice. We both have lots of interests in football/soccer, so we debating all the local teams. League started up last weekend, so we will hopefully catch some games together so I can point out the crap of swedish soccer compared to the UK, and, say, Italy. We've already gotten passed the american soccer sucks.

All in all a good night. I'll probably through up some site stats later today. Though we start back to class for stupid midterm presentations. I hope they don't suck. And they are right in the middle of nap time ... bastards.


Wednesday, April 13, 2005

All things Alyssa Milano

What spurred this post, you might ask? For some, you are scratching your heads thinking mother phuckin left field. Others, like JC, are going, yeah baby, Alyssa is the HAWT. I had the TV on in the background as I filtered through my scenario for the thesis that won't die. Swedish tv, being somewhat dated and stuck in the late 80's early 90's, was running melrose place. I dont' remember much about melrose, other than the recurring boredom I recalled as I watched this episode through downcast eyes. I totally dont' remember alyssa milano being on there.

I did some research. I figured, oh she guested a few times. Um, no, actually, she was an integral part. It even shows up in all the articles about her. See, being the science/fantasy dork I am, I only remember her from Charmed. When you stop laughing we can move on.

I figured I would do a posting about her, since there is not much else going on in my thesis-absorbed life, currently. Do you realize she has a huge following. Any male reading this page is like, dude I totally know who alyssa is. Didn't she do an erotic film once? Yes, yes she did. Poison Ivy II, here's the synopsis:
Lily is a sheltered art student from Michigan going to school in California. She finds an apartment and her roommates aren't quite normal. One day she finds a box of items belonging to a girl she's never met before. But in the box are nude pictures of the girl and her diary. Lily begins reading the diary and realizes that she's going to change her life and become a wild woman! She begins dating a guy and at the same time her art instructor begins to lust after her. The struggle begins when her boyfriend thinks she's unfaithful to him and her art teacher becomes obsessed.

She was also a family character before breaking bad. Let's not forget she was on Who's the Boss. She was also in a fun family film, The Canterville Ghost, a fun film from the 80's about a girl who befriends a ghost in a castle her father just purchased. Anyways, I wish she'd do more stuff. I think she's got a cult following, so long as she doesn't do a movie where she's a victim of any sort. That would suck.

Any Alyssa fans?


Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Sometimes I just want to do THIS

Originally uploaded by mrbrian02.
Penguin having a bad day ... HA, I hope this works for you. The gif's don't always translate when you copy them a bunch of times. My mom passed this on to me the other day.

Hope you all enjoy


TRouble with Scenarios

So a scenario is supposed to be relatively easy to create. Or so I'd heard. It takes MUCH more time than one might think. You've got to get the 'hints' right for the nuances you will use later. You also have to forshadow applicable cases and problems in court. yadda ... yadda .. yadda.

IF you couldn't tell I'm still working through my thesis type stuff. It is a happy thing, in some senses, because I will be done soon! I want to get this stupid scenario ready for a presentation next week though. MEANING my advisor needs to get me comments on it before I can present it to the class. WE had a really productive meeting yesterday. He thinks I write quickly, and I get changes done efficiently. Apparently I'm ahead of schedule in his book. I think I'm UBER behind, but whatever, he's sets the gradeage.

Talk soon, fun picture to follow :)


Monday, April 11, 2005

Virginal thoughts from Olive Oil

I had to restock the olive oil this weekend. I was looking at the different bottles, trying to find vigin and extra virgin. Seriously, I do it mostly by look, since the extra is usually lighter than the virgin. However, it occured to me that I needed to figure out what the word virgin was in swedish. Not as hard as I thought it would be.

So, I pick up three bottles of Olive Oil. The first is rather dark and says, "Olivolja." Okay, any phucktard can tell that it's olive oil. If you've any doubts they've even pictures on the front. Then I look at a lighter oil, "Jungfru olivolja." Okay that's got to be the virgin. Then the third,"extra jungfru olivojla." Sweet, extra is a cognate. So I walk to the counter with my newly acquired extra virgin olive oil. Purchase. go home.

On the walk home, I start to chuckle to myself. "Jungfru" means vigin huh? HA. I start smiling. It's just funny. "Fru" means wife. "Ung" means young or youth. Somewhere I think ung had a 'juh' sound at the frount, and it's dropped now. SO we have Young Wife. It's just such a telling history that virgin = young wife, as in your young wife passed to you as a virgin. How quaint and traditional. I just bought extra young wife olive oil. Anyways, I thought it was funny.


ooo .. Highschool

So this took a little imagination. I was torn between emulating myself back in the day, but stuck with the impressions of what I have of me then. (if that made any sense). apparently I'm not stereotypable. bastards. Isn't that the whole point of highschool?!

Take the quiz: "What High School Stereotype Are You?"

You're normal. You don't quite fit into a label, you just are.Congratulations on being boring and plain.

Have fun


total crap quiz

This is clearly something someone didn't put much time into, but check it out.

Take the quiz: "Which Disney Character Are You?"

Ariel (Little Mermaid)
You LOVE to explore the sea and you love to swim. You love to wonder.


Yeah, Kissing ... :)

I got this from my sister, of all people. Interesting, it's what I would have expected, but it's just strange to know it runs in the family. Your turn to try it out:

Take the quiz: "What Kinda Kiss R U?"

Tender Kiss
The tender kiss is the feeling where you an
be anywhere and show your feelings.


Sunday, April 10, 2005

Noticing things at the gym

I'm a stickler for ettiquet, to a point, but there are certain places I notice. I think this is, in part, because I was dating a trainer when I started lifting and going to the gym. I'd always been intimidated before, so I wanted to learn how to do everything right so I didn't embarass myself and run away screaming, "It's no ordinary rabbit! ... Run away ... Run away!!!" Sorry, I went tangent.

Women at the gym. There are few women at the gym. They are usually there to do aerobics or bike/run/erg. The women who go to lift come in two flavors: older women and over achievers. The older women, I'd guess, are there b/c they recently retired or decided to tone for some reason. The younger women, however, are total over acheivers. These girls WATCH you lift. I've seen one chick totally admonish a dude for doing something wrong -- He had JUST started, and I think he left, embarassed. These women are HARDCORE when they are in there. They do not shy away from asking to work in, and they are serious and focused. They also wear those wet-suit looking things and no bras. I thought of JC for some reason when I noticed today, thinking this would be his kinda gym. At least when the women are there.

My rack is just that, MINE. Okay people, when you are lifting PLEASE respect other people's gym-personal space. This includes their weight rack. You use equal weights in two's. If there are two on your rack, taking one leaves you unable to use the weight without finding another. Some ass took one of my 10's while I was lifting today. I'd gotten 2 so that I could go up in weight without having to forage before my next set. He TOOK my 10, so I had to find another. I made a point to make eye contact when I was hauling another 10 back to the rack and he was done. He looked away pretty quickly, but was clearly embarassed. Asshole. This is the second time people at the gym have been openly rude. Just remember, when in doubt, ask if you want something, instead of just taking it.

Talking while in the middle of a set. Don't do it. if someone is working out, or clearly in the middle of the set DO NOT TALK TO THEM. It can totally break your concentration. I saw some dude drop the bar on his chest the other day cause some dude was asking him about some dumbells at this side. The guy broke his focus so bad he had to rest the bar on his chest and have two other people come lift it for him. so, note that it can be both rude AND dangerous. This is true even if someone is lifting light weights. So, wait until they are done, then ask. It will cost you one minute, and save everyone time and pain in the long run.

Take a class. Anyone who wants to start at the gym should take an orientation class. You should also get a friend or a trainer who will take you through different exercises casually. Getting it right the first time can make a huge difference in the long run. Plus, you will see results faster and have a better idea of what you want to do when you get to the gym. People who need to take classes are usually those people who you see standing around debating what to do (when it's empty). If you have a goal when you enter, you work out harder, and more efficiently. If you are constantly deciding what you want while you work out, your mind is not on what you are doing, but what you will be doing. This requires base knowledge of different exercies. Having the knowledge base allows you to change up your workout while you are in the middle if you feel like you are tired, or could go heavier, or you want to try something new.

More random gym thoughts from me, who'da thought :)


What Color are YOU?!

This is a personality test. While not entirely well executed, it hits the high points. I came out the color I usually am in personality tests, so I assume it did something right. What Color are you?!

Take the quiz: "What color are you?"

Your color is white.... The purest of all, you live to serve, and make others happy... You never anger, always understand, and always do what is right... You are almost angelic... You are trustworthy and friendly....


Saturday, April 09, 2005

Well THAT Explains it Then ..

So the whole time I've been here, no one's been able to articulate WHY swedes switch to english at the first possible chance. I just assumed it was because my swedish was SO horrible that they had trouble understanding. In fact it's nothing to do with the quality of the swedish, but the accent.

C got in yesterday, YEAH! We went to see Hitch. Okay, I know it's a chick flick, but I'd heard great things. Plus, who can discount a movie will Will Smith. The website's pretty tight btw. I love that flash finally caught on. Anyways, we went to see movieage, to hang out, but also to keep C to thwart the evil and ever impending JET LAG. I don't even bother with the swedish at the ticket counter because they ask like 23957884570857 2857028457 2387 questions. We've assigned seating here, so they tend to ask where you want to sit, what aisle, what seat number, what house venus is in and the complimentary alignment of mars to get a seat. Thus I don't even try.

The Snack bar, completely different story. YOu can just order a combination menu and drink, "Kan jag fa en stor meny med cola light." eller "Kan jag fa varmeny/mellan meny med cola light." you say it (phonetic), Caun ya fo'a en stoor men-ee me'ed coo'la la'eet" Then they respond, "eh de bro so." (which is really, ar det bra sa) meaning is that good(all)? The great thing about being in stockholm is you can just go 'ah' or 'yup' for a yeah that's good thanks. You exchange food stuffs and monies with a tack (thanks). and head on in.

Well, yesterday the jetlag got the best of C. She forgot the word for lemon, citron. She ordered a Vichy, and they are ALL flavored with lemon. So she got passed the lemon part, but then the nice sales person was all, well lemon with what, listing all the variations. C hesitation for one second and order a lemon with lingon i think. Anyways, we were laughing about it as she served us our food, teasing each other in english.

The sales person said that it was good we try to practice our swedish. She said this in swedish. I caught the gist, but I didn't know if she wanted a response. Then she switched to english to say we'd done well. I piped up saying how it was great to practice, but that most people just switch to english b/c my swedish sucks.

She said that's not the case, actually. Apparently the heavy american accent makes it sound like we speak english, or they associate the words with english, so they respond accordingly. She said that americans usually take it as the swedes being rude, but that it's not intentional. She said for SOME swedes, though, it's much easier to just take it in english, so they do that.

It was a good experience though, to know the swedes don't spite me and attempt to undermine my swedish learning skillage.

Hope everyone's having a good weekend!


So which Superhjatena Are you?

Superhjatena are the Incredibles. I think it actually means super heros, but that's beside the point. Quizilla had a quiz, of course, so I took it and DAMN. I'm a little embarassed. It must have been the vacation question, where I chose cultural city instead of the english countryside. WHat was I thinking?!

Which 'Incredibles' Character Are You?

brought to you by Quizilla

Check it out. See who you are :)

Have fun


Friday, April 08, 2005

Strang Attractions

I'm sick that Anna stopped writing on her blog :( We've several common posts, that work in concert. Alas her blog is gone, and will be missed. I'd like to take this opportunity to send a group hug to Anna. *hug*

I mention Anna b/c she'd posted about strange attractions to people. I've had some attractions to people I've never met. There is an inherent attraction to personality, I think, but at what point do we need a more substantial connection to maintain to the attraction? Could it be that we enjoy the lack to substiantiation? Is it easier to satisfy portions of our psyche in a more autonomous forum?

In a way, this may be true. Sometimes people are turned on by anonymity or fleeting encounters. This is primitively sexual. But, as a counter, we are also riddled with the burdens of crushes. Typically, crushes are people we see or interact with on a very limited scale. We know little about them. What we do know piques our interests or appeals to some 'goal'. Usually we find out the good things about a person we crush on. Often when we get to know a crush they diminish. Now, is this because we squelch the intrigue, or because we now balance out a real person with a previously unacheivable person?

Just been thinking about. What do you think?


Devil's Bible Picture

Devil's Bible1
Originally uploaded by mrbrian02.
As promised, here is a picture of the front cover for the Devil's Bible. Sorry for the 'noise', but scans only work so well.



Thursday, April 07, 2005

The Codex Gigas

In English, Giant Book; common term meaning, the Devil's Bible. Uh huh, I said it, DEVIL's BIBLE. And I'm serious. My mom went to see an small lecture at the Kungliga Biblioteket (King's Library or Royal Library) here in Stockholm. She brought home this pamphlet, and I've got to say I'm totally intrigued:

"Written in early 13th century ... in Bohemia ... the [pages are] the skins of 160 asses [(and they mean donkey's)]. It is called the Devil's Bible after the impressive picture of the potentate on the folio ... [(I'll try to upload picture later)] ... According to legend the scribe was a monk who had been confined to his cell for some breach of monastic discipline and who, by way of penance, finished the manuscript in one single night with the aid of the Devil whom he summoned to help him."

I'm all, holy CRAP! They USED ASS SKIN!!! jk From the wording it is difficult to tell if the penance was summoning the devil or confining and writing the manuscript. Interestingly, the Imperial Treasury in Prague acquired the manuscript ca. 1594. The Swedes pillaged Prague after conquering the city in 1648. The army removed the Djävulsbiblen to Stockholm presenting the Giant Book to the Royal Library the following year.

Leave it to a bunch of pagans turned lutherans to acquire something this cool. Apparently the thing is so big one man cannot move it. The pages are like a meter by a meter, then bound for proper manuscript style of the time. The book itself is apparently enormous. I think I'm going to have to go and see it. Ass skin ... lol, I wonder if it was ass's ass ... lol. Sorry I had to put that in there somewhere.


Wednesday, April 06, 2005

NOT amused ...

Either I've fallen into a decidely frustrating time, or people are out to get me. I try not to be paranoid, so I'll stick with the general frustrations.

1. The VIS competition. I worked my ass off on VIS mooting stuff to help the team that went to moot. I did a great deal of the writing, if not the majority. After two weeks I have not heard anything from the program director OR the team members I worked so hard for. I asked one of my classmates today, and it's not wonder no one's talking about it. Apparently they didn't even make it past the first round. THE FIRST ROUND ... If they are reading this, I'm sure you guys did your best. They should have at least told me though, I'm listed as a team member even if I didn't go moot in Vienna.

2. Advisors for Thesis. I go to school today expecting to get SOME feedback on my thesis work, that I busted ass to turn in on time yadda yadda. Nothing. My course professor opened the document, saw that I had 138 footnotes and put it aside to read later. Hmm .. that does me no good, particularly when my advisor has yet to contact me to meet. Maybe it was that bad?

3. Job stuffs and next year. This is THE month to get all my crap done: finish masters, apply for jobs, apply for PhD. Well, it's difficult to do all those things, and I'm coming up short. I'd really rather not put all my eggs in one basket, and I feel like I'm doing that. Oh well, these are general stresses I guess. It just doesn't help that there are anti teaching jobs available in the US right now in higher ed.

Hope everyone else is having a less stressful day!


Night Noises and Drilling

So I live in a fairly good sized european city. BEing that as it is, Stockholm is relatively small. We have fun quirks around the city that I enjoy. Some, however, get on my one nerve. I've a relatively long fuse, unless we're related, but once you set me off it's like I can't even stand myself.

This started the other night when I stayed up to do my fantasy baseball draft. I was up until 4 am. I heard these really strange noises outside. Click, click, and then a shrill squack. I figured, oh, disgurntled birds (probably magpies). Well, come 5:30 I realized their relentless complaining ate away at my sleep. I closed the window.

The other day I stayed up to watch the opening game for MLB. Again, when I went to bed, that strange click click shriek. It was terrible. I don't usually notice them, so it must be something you can get used to, so long as you are already sleeping.

I figured it's got to be like clocks and belltowers. I'm completely one of those people that can sleep to a clock or ignore bells tolling. Heck, I lived close to a hospital for 6 years in undergrad and law school. After a while you just block it out. I kind of like the bells form the clocktowers :) The strange thing though, is that I can deal with the big sounds, it's the little creepy sounds that wake me. My sister has a good story about that, so hopefully she'll say something about it in her next few posts. For me, being very similar, you can be playing loud music. Turn it off, and accidently drop a gum wrapper on the floor and I bolt awake. The cat walking on the carpet used to wake me up for pete's sake :)

Anyways, it's just strange that sometimes the little things get to us, while the really big things just 'blend in' or we ignore. Even in our sleep. Maybe that's a survival thing?

Interestingly, they've been doing spring cleaning on my street. There is less road traffic on the street, since we're on one of the few streets closed to cars. However, they are currently drilling and sweeping something terrible. IT's like nonstop. if the sun is up they are at work, and let me tell you, the sun gets up early and goes to bed late! This morning they flushed the sewers. OMG, it was so nast. I mean, really really bad. I was thinking, oh, sewage, won't be SO bad right? I walked pasted the truck and nearly lost my breakfast right there on the street. It was REALLY bad. Good to get it all out of here before it turns warm though :)

Hope everyone's well.


Tuesday, April 05, 2005

More Interesting Searches

Apparently Yahoo! likes my blog-site. So much fun :) I'm tempted to try and put a bunch of stupid meta tags in here and see if it does anything. Anyways the following brought up my website, though I speculate one of them was Grace.

ups + ostermalmstorg

- I was the only website listed on this. I would assume this person meant to get a UPS (united postal service) website with some information on delivery into or from Ostermalmstorg (where I live in stockholm).

"jedi master grace"

- was the second search, in quotes. this pulled me up twice, which is coo. I still think it was Grace :)


- I did this to see what was retrieved. It is totally scary. My site was everywhere. Apparently I'm listed on I was unaware of this. I added their link to the bottom of the page. I don't exactly 'get' it, but it looks coo.


The Strangeness that is Commentary

I thought this was interesting, since I've not checked comments in a while. They read REALLY strangely. The clencher is that the comments report in recency -- most recent first. I thought I'd put in a few snippets to see what I meant :)

"Good for you ... I think"

"Because of you, I went looking up "jedi master". Thankfully there are a lot of delusional people out there ahead of me so I can survive in relative obscurity."

"I'm with Isabo. burn the fucker and get on with real life. What about all the sexy swedes? Time to play! What is the thesis about?"

"There's more than one?"

"Dude ... why the lame post? Get outta here! you know I'm goofin' ya! Spring fever's a killer!"

"Merc, your site can be pretty scary"

"My blog is the first hit for much stranger searches than that"

"How do you fancy living here in Sweden?"

"ummm, so the boy who is all about napping and sleep decides to STAY UP until 4 am to pick players for fantasy baseball? did you get Kyle at least?"

"FIRE! I say burn it!"

I don't know why, but the whole thing just made me giggle :) Maybe I'm slowly losing my sanity. I'll answer a few of the comments though, since there are several interesting things broached here: The Swedes tend to be cliquish when you are out, and only agressive if they think you are the hawt. Granted, I'm probably not what they are looking for, but only because I've found swedes to be a little superficial. However, I really enjoy living here. My thesis is about arbitrating environmental issues in an international commercial context. I did not get Kyle when I drafted, mostly because he's a crap pitcher (inside joke). Merc seems like a nice guy, but he was just in baltimore, he'll be getting much better hits than me for a long time to come. I write lame posts when me head turns to mush from either too much thesis work or complete and disabling frustration with my lack of significant other.

ENjoy all :)



I am exhausted after a weekend of working on my thesis. It really takes its toll on you to sit and type or read and reread something ... almost like a nightmare. I felt that I kept reading the same thing over, and over and over. You've all had to do it before I'm sure. Then, you get up and walk around, and you feel like you are out of it. It's no wonder Jack went crazy and tried to kill Wendy and Danny. Well, granted, he WAS writing and reading the same thing over and over again.

I also stayed up to watch the opening game for MLB on Sunday night. That probably wasn't the smartest thing in the world, but I had it to do after a weekend of work :) I've been exhausted for two days behind it though. I will probably drop back into routine things this week though. I submitted my thesis and have to meet with an advisor at some point, I have to go to the gym regularly etc etc.

I am a little pissed about the VIS competition. The VIS is an international mooting exercise I participated in. I did most of the writing. The team that actually mooted, 4 of 7, has yet to tell us how they did. The professor has yet to say anything. It's a little disappointing since I am also on the team, but they don't publish results, so I've no way of finding out how we did without asking someone. You feel kind of dumb asking someone when they should have said something after two weeks. It's going to suck to ask them since they clearly did not place high. I still want to know, damn it, and I want to know how we did on the written portion (i.e. the stuff I worked my ass off for last term). I keep hoping that the team did really well, and that the VIS waits three weeks to finalize results and that is why we've not heard anything. Yeah, and cows can fly ...

I caught up with MS, my best friend from law school, last night. She's doing really well. It was her bday, so I got her something nice for combo bday/xmas gift. The shipping co called yesterday to let me know it's JUST going out. Her birthday was the 2nd. So I called to wish her a happy belated and let her know "stuff" was on the way. Her long term bf just moved to the same city she's in, so lots of stuff is going on with her :) It was really nice to catch up.

I hope everyone's doing well!


Saturday, April 02, 2005

Yahoo! Search ...

apparently, after trying it myself I'm convinced, you can Yahoo! search Torts Factoids and my blog is the first hit. How random is that? Fun thoughts for the day :)


thesis trouble?

I've worked, consistently, on my thesis for a few months. I'm starting to worry that it's not enough. I'm fine on pages and material, but I'm not coming up with any neat, finished, or polished, work. This is troublesome. The head of the department is my advisor and expects something 'finalish' Monday.

It could be that the weather's turned beautiful here and all I want to do is be outside all the time. I REALLY want to get this finished, and do well. So, I'm not sure what to do at this point. I'm planning on working on it tonight, since I'm a loser with no friends in town and no one I'm dating, while my parents are gone to a dinner. Then work on it some tomorrow. I hope it's enough. I haven't had to worry about it much yet.

Sorry for the lame post. I'll try to do something more uplifting after I get through this deadline.

My best,


Friday, April 01, 2005

April Fools?

IT better not be. I had a live fantasy baseball draft last night with private league on the east coast. This is probably an american phenomenon, but I'm obsessed. It' SO much fun to play. Anyways. It started at 1:45 am.

I realized, as we were 1 minute away, I had the number 1 draft pick. Interestingly, it occured to me that it was April 1 in Sweden. My first few draft picks went well, but I was really starting to worry that my team looked good, and someone was going to say that it was all a big hoax.

Needless to say, each of the 12 teams gets 1.5 minutes per round to select a player. You do the math, if there were 21 rounds ... that's a ton of minutes. I was up until 4 am. Bleary eyed, I set up my newly drafted team. I am just waiting for one of the fucktards in the league to say it was all a joke, and that we really have the draft today/tomorrow.

Oh well :) It was fun to stay up and banter with people about the shitty choices they make. The best part is to tease people about how you 'heard' someone just had a season-ending surgery or injury. Like torn acl, tommy john surgery, torn achilles etc etc. Funny thing is, there ARE some players who went down yesterday, and people still drafted them. HA :) All I have to do is get through today without them resetting the league.

Hope everyone's had a great week.


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