Monday, March 29, 2010

In Print

When I was in Oregon, I went to my hometown (Roseburg) to see my little sister perform in Junior Miss. It reminded me of how offensive* entertainment can be where I'm from. I wrote a letter to The News Review (the local commie rag) about my take on the show and they're going to print it. I know this isn't the same as getting a letter in the Times, but I'm glad that my letter met their high standards**. For example, among other things, they will not accept "Letters containing long lists of names..." Naturally I was disappointed to have to edit out my three pages of shout outs to home boys as well as my extensive quotation of the Begats. But I still managed to keep the core of my message. So, here I present, with pride, excerpts from my (published) opinion on my little sister's beauty pageant.

"Awhile back I attended the Junior Miss Scholarship Program. I was proud of all the participants, especially my sister... Unfortunately, I found some of the commentary to be extremely inappropriate. Comments were made by the moderators that imposed a rigid standard of feminine beauty... The most offensive part of the evening was a 'Junior Mister' sketch, where five young men had their own competition. They went shopping for female clothing, did fake dance routines and answered comic versions of the questions that had been posed to participants. It seemed the purpose of this sketch was both to ridicule everything that the hard working young women had done up until that point in the competition and also to perpetuate the outdated notion that it is inappropriate for a young man to enjoy anything feminine (e.g. shopping, dancing) except in the context of a joke... I talked to several people afterward who also found the commentary offensive... Finally, thanks to the volunteers who made this show possible."

All in all, I was probably way too conciliatory. I don't want to upset my family's delicate balance in the town, especially since I don't live there and they do. I say this mostly to explain the last line, where I end up thanking the very people who were responsible for my offense.

*I suppose Roseburgites would find entertainment in New York offensive as well. When I was describing 'The Divine Sister' (an off-off-Broadway send up to Hollywood nun movies) to my mother I may have forgotten to mention all the hot lesbian nun action and the ten minute (literally) conversation about a very well endowed news reporter's penis.

**In reality, The News Review pretty much prints anything it gets. Almost weekly this will include a long, rambling rant by an old person who's disgruntled about this or the other modern contraption, etc. etc. In the past it has even included a harrowing description of a reader's attack by a sasquatch inside their mobile home.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Dinner Party Useful Tip

Recently, I've tried to make this blog be both more interactive as well as have more graphics. To further the second goal, I've decided to address an important question: How does leftover alcohol increase as a function of guests invited to a dinner party?
If one invites zero guests to their alcoholic dinner party (otherwise known as drinking alone with food) we can expect there to be a considerable amount of leftover alcohol. However, most of it will be lying next to broken vodka bottles on the floor (at least, that's been my experience). If one invites an infinite number of guests there will be an infinite amount of leftover alcohol, as it is generally expected that the average person will bring a greater amount of alcohol than they will consume. As only about 12% of dinner parties occur at one or the other of these two extremes, it is more useful to understand what happens at an intermediate number of guests. The answer critically depends on the type of guests. There are four pertinent categories: alcoholics, teetotalers, couples, and normal people. (Many of you will be surprised to learn that, as couples, you are indeed a deviation from normality). Of these four categories only normal people have a net effect on leftover alcohol. The others all bring approximately what they drink, with alcoholics bringing/drinking a lot, teetotalers bringing/drinking none, and couples bringing/drinking some. Because alcohol is not sold in quantities appropriate for just one person to consume, normal people must bring either more or less than they will eventually drink, but never the right amount. It should be noted that not all normal people will bring alcohol. It is generally recognized that only 2 out of 3 normal guests will bring alcohol unprompted. If the host specifically requests alcohol, this number jumps to 9 out of 10. Finally, if we approximate that a typical guest brings along enough alcohol for 2.15 people (if they bring any at all) then we can plot the following curve.

Final Notes: I hope this has been useful. When using the above information to try and build up alcohol stores for the inevitable collapse of society you should probably take into consideration that most of it was just made up. Also, alcohol is really the only intoxicant/drug that it's useful to accumulate in this way. I've found that if a guest does bring something stronger (e.g. cocaine) it usually gets used up before the party's over. :)