Sunday, January 17, 2010


I'm currently wallowing in shame. What can I say, I was raised Catholic. Earlier today I was alerted (by an attentive reader) to the fact that I made a mathematical error in my post of Sunday, Jan. 10 (the one about all the shows and movies I saw last year). And this from the son of a math teacher. For those of you who've come to rely on this blog for regularly updated information on the world around you (meaning a little politics, occasional rheology, and lots and lots of facts about weird people from a city you've probably never even heard of[yes, there is more to come]), I'm so sorry I let you down.
So what was the mistake. I forgot to take into account any shows that my friend Schuyler and I saw together. This completely ruined the validity of my calculations. To correct this:

I didn't see any shows with Schuyler in 2007. In 2008, I also didn't see any, and in 2009 I saw 8 shows with Schuyler. I've plotted and fitted this data below.

If we then subtract this fit from both Schuyler and my previous fits, we will have only the shows that Schuyler and I saw independently. We should be able to get the correct and apparently only crossover point, which I now have calculated to be 2011. (see below).

P.S. No reader actually alerted me, because nobody leaves comments on my blog. For shame! Except TChhab and my brother, thanks people. And also, I apologize to all the people who have blogs that I never leave comments on.

P.P.S. Actually, when I would take my math homework to my dad for help, he would sit down with me at the dinner table, take the homework, sit angled ever so slightly away from me and just do it all for me. So I really shouldn't feel shame that I'm miserable at math but rather should just blame my parents, which I believe is also an area where Catholics excel.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Subway Quiz

The MTA is threatening to make school children pay to use the New York City subway system. (The current policy allows three free rides a school day). I talked to Levi about this (see a post below for information on who Levi is) and he seemed thoroughly outraged, even though he has a rather spotty high school attendance record. My friend Schuyler (see a different post below for information on whether or not Schuyler hates lesbians) told me that he always watches the unionized subway workers and has never, ever, even once seen them do any work. I don't know about all that, but I do find it annoying that they're making this of all possible cuts. It seems designed to spark outrage. But more importantly, I find it to be a mildly convenient segway to the topic of this post...

First let me begin by complimenting myself (a rare indulgence for this modest blogger): I've ridden almost every New York City subway line, and certainly more than most of the people who parade about the streets pretending to be New Yorkers. As such, and also because I've meticulously read through some of the amazingly detailed wikipedia articles on the subject, I know a great deal about the subway system. But how much do you know? (see various posts below for information on the general esteem in which I hold my readers intelligence). Please take the following quiz if you wish to find out. Don't forget to tally your score.

Question One: If you're at 59th St. and want to visit the Museum of Natural History, but aren't yet familiar with the concept of an express train, it would be a bad idea to accidentally take one of these two trains:

a.) A & D

b.) B & C

c.) 2 & 3

d.) 4, 5, 6, & 7

e.) The Museum of Natural History is at an express stop. Every train stops there, except the L. Besides, I don't go there anyways because it's like going to a family reunion. That's because my family looks like prehistoric animals. (Here the pronouns I and my refer to the reader).

Question Two: During the off season, Santa Claus conducts this train. Also, parts of the train tracks have large amounts of water in them. Also this train doesn't enter Manhattan.

a.) the 6 train (because it stops near F.A.O. Schwartz)

b.) the C train (because Claus starts with a C and so does Santa if you only consider the top half of the S).

c.) the G train (I know 'cause I saw him on it and he winked at me and he was with another woman who wasn't Mrs. Claus and also God help us if whoever is in charge of the G train also is in charge of getting all of the worlds presents out on Christmas Eve. The G train never comes. If you live in Brooklyn or Queens, you can buy t-shirts that say 'Have you seen the G-train').

d.) Santa Claus doesn't exist. (I know because in kindergarten I sat on Santa's lap and then I pulled off Santa's beard and then I took a picture of me with Santa while I was pulling his beard and I brought it in for show and tell the next day and a lot of the kids started crying).

Question Three: This train is the guaranteed whitest of any in the city?

a.) 4 train

b.) 5 train

c.) Staten Island Railroad.

d.) The shuttle between Grand Central and Times Square.

Question Four: This is train is part of the only subway line that the blogger francpotatoll has never ridden on, not because it doesn't exist, but because he still hasn't received an invite to Fire Island from certain unnamed friends. (not that I want to go to Fire Island)

a.) the H train

b.) the X train

c.) the O train

d.) the K train

e.) the 10 train

Question Five: What is your favorite subway train, or alternatively, what subway train runs from the Northern most tip of Manhattan to the Southern most tip. You choose which question you wish to answer and thus there is no right or wrong answer.

a.) the 7 train

b.) the L train

c.) the E train

d.) the 1 train

e.) You've already used this joke before, in a different location, and it wasn't funny even then.

Answer Key:
1.) a
2.) c
3.) c
4.) a
5.) d (of course there always is only one right answer, anyone who thinks otherwise is a communist)

What your score means:
0/5: In order to answer everything wrong, you must have known all the right answers. Good job.

1/5: You really don't know a lot about the subway but that's okay, because you have other strengths? Maybe? You're probably good at making dal or something.

2/5: You didn't do very well, probably because you don't live in New York.

3/5: Because you have never liked me, you purposely misanswered some questions.

4/5: You didn't get the last question right because you're a communist.

5/5: You're a lucky guesser.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

2009: Shows and Movies

My friend Schuyler (who a lot of people hate because he told me the truth about lesbians), saw 105 shows last year. This was down from 127 the previous year. After he told me, I was inspired to learn the number of shows I saw in 2009. It turns out it was 27. This is up from 15 in 2008 and only 4 in 2007. I've taken the liberty of fitting Schuyler and my data in the accompanying graph, to determine when I will surpass him in number of shows seen. From my calculations, it looks like I will temporarily pass him in 2011 only to permanately take the lead in 2014.

So what did I see? Below is the color coded list. I've placed the shows in order from best to worst as well as generally categorized them as boring(brown), incomprehensible (grey), mildly entertaining (green), very good (blue) and euphoria inducing (purple). Beneath the theater list, as an added bonus, is the corresponding movie list for 2009. These are only the movies I saw in theaters, but that's mostly where I watch movies anyways.

Needless to say, if you see a show or movie that I went to see with you and wonder why I put it so far down on the list, it was probably because your poor company ruined the experience for me. :)

1.) Next Fall (which is coming to Broadway this Spring)
2.) Circle Mirror Transformation

3.) Billy Elliot
4.) Hurricane
5.) Next to Normal

6.) Hair

7.) West Side Story
8.) Wicked
9.) The Norman Conquests: Living Together

10.) The Norman Conquests: Table Manners

11.) Why Torture is Wrong and the People Who Love Them

12.) Ragtime

13.) Penny Pennyworth

14.) The Late Christopher Bean

15.) Coraline

16.) Chicago
17.) The Lion King

18.) Loaded

19.) Idiot Savant

20.) Newsical the Musical

21.) Fantasy Football: The Musical

22.) Blithe Spirit

23.) Exit the King
24.) After Miss Julie
25.) This

26.) The Retributionists

27.) The Philanthropist

1.) Slumdog Millionaire
2.) Where the Wild Things Are

3.) In the Loop
4.) Dare

5.) Inglourious Basterds
6.) District 9
7.) The Red Shoes
8.) Treeless Mountain
9.) Still Walking
10.) Gomorrah
11.) Waltz With Bashir
12.) Avatar

13.) Star Trek
14.) The Class

15.) Milk
16.) The Headless Woman