a pro script reader ponders movies, reading, writing and the occasional personal flashback

Tuesday, October 02, 2007


So I was tagged by Kristen with yet another meme.

This one asks: List 5 things you do, did or like that some may consider "totally lame", but that you are totally proud of.

Yikes. That's my whole life.

1) In high school, I was a mathlete. Not only that, but I won awards, four plaques which I still have. One year I was first place in Suffolk County, Long Island, sometime in the faraway past. We may not have gotten laid, but we did have fun.

2) I used to play bridge, a lot. In high school, I'd get together with the guys, and drink wine coolers (a lameness category all its own, but that was a phase) and play bridge in the basement of twins Martin and Norman. In college, I taught everyone in the commuter room how to play. The funny thing is that I wasn't a particularly great player, so now there are lots of people out there playing bad bridge because of me.

3) I keep up with pop culture, way too much. I watch "Best Week Ever" and "The Soup" every Friday, just to see what crap celebrities did during the week that they can make fun of. Did you hear that Britney lost custody of her kids?

4) I'm the only straight man in the world who likes Broadway showtunes.

5) I hang onto underpants too long. I have some pairs that probably date back decades, though my wife tries to throw them out when I'm not looking. Hey, if they aren't stained and they give my boys a home, what's a hole or two?

At this point, Kristen is probably sorry she tagged me.

Share. What's some lameness in your life?


At 11:19 AM, Anonymous kristen said...

Oh lordie. These are good, thanks.

Mathletes are cool. You should watch "Freaks and Geeks" if you haven't.

I was in the JETS (Junior Engineers Technical Society, or something like that) competition my senior year. They drafted me for English and Physics. That was the single nerdiest thing I ever did in high school. I was proud, though, since I'd been the worst math and science student ever until that point. My latent physics talent was a huge source of secret joy for me.

At 12:07 PM, Blogger Scott the Reader said...

Oh, I own Freaks and Geeks. And Undeclared. That's not lame, it's cool :-)

At 12:17 PM, Blogger Brett said...

Our school was active in Model United Nations-- a bunch of political wonk HS kids who'd dress up, congregate in a regional college auditorium and then play-act UN debates and actions. Somehow I made such an impression our first year that I was invited back to sit as a delegate on the International Court of Justice (ICJ), where we were the jury who ruled on such matters as trade wars, border disputes, and international health treaties.

I spent most of that weekend just provoking the cute chick who was the Soviet Union rep.

Glasnost, baybee. It's the new way.

At 2:42 PM, Anonymous Elver said...

I am the only rebel nerd on the planet. I represented my school in the county and national programming competitions for high school students (6th place nationally!), but since I hated school, I did it under the radar and none of my teachers found out until after the competition. True story.

And then they got an award from the mayor for teaching me. Funny thing is, we didn't have programming lessons. I had studied entirely on my own.

At 4:12 PM, Blogger shecanfilmit said...

I come from a family of bridge players. I never learned, because when I wanted to learn (4th grade), they wouldn't teach me and instead taught my smart 6th grade cousin to play. So I decided I hated bridge and refused to learn years later, when my aunts and uncles needed a 3rd hand. We now play poker on holidays.

I keep up with pop culture too - way too much. I knew Britney lost her kids like 2 hours after it happened, because of x17online.

My boss asked me who secretary of state was and when I couldn't answer, he snorted, implying I was...lame.

At 6:42 PM, Blogger E.C. Henry said...

Some lameness in my life.

1. When I worked a 2nd shift job this summer I used to set my alarm clock so I'd get up in time to watch ABC's "The View." I found myself very much interested to see how a pro-Christian like Elizabeth Hassebeck fared against Rosie O'Donnel, Joy B(?) and Barbara Walters.

2. The capstone of my Friday night last week was watching an hour of network progamming, while I petted my golden retriever, Hobbs, then I was in to bed by nine. (Don't worry I didn't go bed with Hobbs --you can get arrested for that)

3. My mom is my best friend. I'm ALWAYS bouncing new material off her. My mom's a lot like a Goldie Hawn, though most times she can't volley back the grapefruits I pitch her.

4. I still squrim uncomfortibly when watching my brother and his newlywed bride kiss and cuddle.

5. At the warehouse I work in, I work daily with the living incarnation of a character I wrote in the first feature screenplay I ever wrote (a screwball comedy) and everytime we talk it's strained. The guy's been in America for like 20 years and I swear to God it STILL sounds like he just got off the boat.

- E.C. Henry from Bonney Lake, WA

P.S. Interospective posts like this tend to depress me. Got any (intellectual) medicine in your drawer, Scott?

At 7:08 PM, Anonymous steverino said...

Number five is way personal, man. Way.

I have a twenty year old undershirt that my wife washes and hasn't thrown out yet. The underpants disappear with the rinse cycle though.

I'm mathematically inclined but I have no talent. However, the last twenty years have lightened the heaviness of the subject for a lot of people. Now anyone can make useful contributions to math and physics. For instance, an undergraduate physics student just found out all about how knots form by doing a backyard kind of experiment with strings and a centrifuge. This is really indicative of what's happening: He did so because no one else had. Even though knot theory is a huge abstruse field of mathematics, no one had ever devised an explanation of how knots form and had tested it.

The other day I had an idea about how the shape of things, not their amount, determine whether the properties of their sums become infinitely large. For instance a bell curve has a finite are under it even though its tails extend out indefinitely. If you add up an infinite set of bell curves equally spaced on a number line, the maximum value of that sum at any point on the line will be finite and form a wavy pattern. However, if you add up another kind of bell curve that has the same amount under it but has a characteristically long tail (e.g., a Cauchy distribution), that same sum goes to infinity for all of its values.

Kind of useless maybe but I thought of it. I think it solves a problem in exobiology called the Fermi paradox. That is, one day at Los alamos, Enrico Fermi asked himself out loud, "Where are they?" His colleagues resonded with "Who are you referring to enrico?" The aliens, he replied. Where are all the aliens? He went on to explain that anyone determined civilation with access to just a rocket like a V2 could colonize every star system in the galaxy within 10,000,000 years. Thus, if numerous alien civilizations exist, at least some of them should be everywhere regardless of how far away they are.

Their non-presence on Earth was the apparent paradox; it led Fermi to suppose that we (and life on Earth) were unique in some way.

My observation is that while many aliens might have the capability to travel here and the intention to do so, if they knew wghere to find us. But if their travels follow bell shaped arrival patterns, only a few would ever reach Earth. But if their travels followed long tailed distributions, we'd better rename the planet Courescant.


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