Thursday, April 1

The Swiss Spaghetti Harvest.

I'll refrain from an April Fool's day joke today, despite my urges. I had several jokes on tap, certain to enrage most of my family. I was going to say that me and Celia got married yesterday, in favor of ditching all the hassle of our upcoming wedding. We were going to have pictures and everything, saying how we felt bad not being able to invite everyone, so we opted to invite nobody and marry in secret. Absolute hilarity indeed, but I scrapped it in favor of a history lesson.

In 1582, France became the first country to switch from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar established by the Council of Trent (1563). This switch meant, among other things, that the beginning of the year was moved from the end of March to January 1. Those who failed to keep up with the change, who stubbornly clung to the old calendar system and continued to celebrate the New Year during the week that fell between March 25th (known in England as Lady Day) and April 1st, had various jokes played on them. For instance, pranksters would surreptitiously stick paper fish to their backs. The victims of this prank were given the epithet Poisson d'Avril, or April Fish. Thus, April Fool's Day was born. There are many precursors to April Fool's Day before this example, but this seems to be the most widespread modern theory. Take from it what you will.

Moving on, in keeping with the theme, here's yet another reason why I love Madison, and my most favorite April Fool's Day story. In 1933 the Madison Capital-Times solemnly announced that the Wisconsin state capitol building lay in ruins following a series of mysterious explosions. The explosions were attributed to "large quantities of gas, generated through many weeks of verbose debate in the Senate and Assembly chambers." Accompanying the article was a picture showing the capitol building collapsing:

The picture wasn't the most believable thing in the world, but it fooled a lot of folks in 1933. Hoards of people got mad, tons more came out to look at the destroyed Capitol, and the Capital-Times didn't care.

Have fun today, take everything with a grain of salt, and don't open any e-mail attachments from strangers. Of course, if you didn't already know that, you deserve to be burned.

Wednesday, March 31

This Is The Sound Of Settling.

I put up the link for Air America Radio, so check it out if you have some spare time and a Real Player. They will be expanding their server to make it more accessible. I tried for hours to listen in to "The O'Franken Factor" today, and only got 10 second blurbs every 2 minutes. Be patient, they'll fix it and you'll like it. Unless you're some kinda Nazi.

Moving on, I received mixed reactions to my first top 10 post, but I noticed one sentiment that remained constant. I may be overstepping my bounds a bit, but I think that nobody on the planet likes Renee Zellweger. Not only that, but I think that everyone on the planet HATES her. I never thought that this overwhelming hatred for one solitary actress would turn into a worldwide epidemic. I apologize to Ms. Zellweger, she should have been higher on the list.

Last weekend, Ben, Sherry, Aaron, Celia and I went to Milwaukee to see Death Cab For Cutie. They put on a good show, although I'm constantly reminded why I hate The Rave as soon as I arrive there. Overbooking shows, complete price gouging, and an asshole staff make for a pretty pathetic night. You have to question the morals of a venue that charges 4 bucks for a cup of ice and Sprite. We had as much fun as we could have though, but it would have been cooler if we could have snuck upstairs to see The Darkness. They were also playing there that night, which made for an interesting clash of metalheads and indie rock kids in the same building. Hopefully nobody hurt anyone's feelings.

I'm not through hassling the Madison Police Department for a job. Having turned me down already for the job of File Clerk (see previous posts), I am now trying for the position of Clerk Typist. This seems like basically the same job without having to handle evidence. I'll let you know how that turns out.

The Weezer 10th Anniversary Blue Album Reissue is out now. This was the first CD I ever bought, way back when I was 12 in 1994. Since then, I've purchased some 600 other CD's, but the Blue Album will always be one of the best I own. This either says something for the timeless quality of early Weezer, or the quality of CD's I buy. I'm sure Celia would have something to say about this. And I bet she will.

And for God's sake, start watching Arrested Development on FOX Sunday nights, or it's going to be cancelled. If this happens, I will personally execute the entire cast of "Yes Dear". I swear to you, I'll do it.

Stick around for the second half of my top 10 later this week.