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Inspirational Reads

Move 'em On, Head 'em Up, Head 'em Up, Move 'em On

September 30, 2008

Holy sweet Jesus. On a day when it's reported that a man punched a shark while giving some sort of deathly ululation, we also get the strange tale of Michelle Allen.

As the story goes, Ms. Allen was run in because she allegedly chased a bunch of kids while wearing a cow costume. She also pissed on someone's porch, prompting the police to tell her to "go home and stay home". Apparently, she didn't head back to the corral, but instead went on to cause more trouble. The police didn't take her in until she started causing traffic problems elsewhere. No word on whether Bill Pickett was called in to help with the collar.

Amazingly--and brace yourselves for this one--Ms. Allen smelled of alcohol. No. Fucking. Way. It's true--according to the report. One thing the report didn't tell us? Why the fuck she was dressed up like a cow.

An Unfortunate Coincidence

September 29, 2008

If I were this guy, and if I ever--ever!--wore green slacks and a white shirt, I think I'd be looking for a cut or two of the cash pie that Fox (for some unknown reason) keeps throwing at Seth MacFarlane. Anyway, Monday's Frivolity revolves around this poor slob, whose name is probably photoshopped in, but still, an unfortunate coincidence all around, no?
Oh, and MacFarlane...I get it. You hate Republicans and you think Christians are idiots who are beneath you and worthy only of your mocking disdain. We all get it. Find another joke already. Or are you too busy waiting for one of your fans to buy lunch for you? Asshole.

UPDATE: I don't want to rub it in your face or anything, but I was right about the whole "clever photoshoppery" of the above picture. Here's the Snopes site that tells it like it is. Peter's real name: Justin Blair Spaeth. Egad. Perhaps Peter Griffin isn't such a bad option after all. Still. I guess I know what Justin's going as for Halloween.

Also, here's a picture of the aforementioned Mr. Spaeth in a production of West Side Story, which is a little funnier, since he's wearing a white shirt and at a bar.

A Paucity of Josephs

September 26, 2008

I've been mulling a post over for a few days, mostly because this is my three-hundredth post on A Crown of Thistles, and as I've trolled the blogosphere, I've found that 300 seems to be a seminal number as it applies to the number of posts. I thought about something funny, I thought about something thoughtful, I thought about something romantic, I thought about something political. At the end of the day, I tossed all those out the window and decided to go with the status quo: egregious use of the word fuck.

And fucking aye, I decided to do a grass-roots movement here on A Crown of Thistles, which I started--long ago--to be a blog that detailed the writing process as I saw it through my eyes--and interpreted it through my fingers. However, what was I to talk about if I was going to do something on writing--an activity which I haven't done recently. Well, one of the things I have been doing recently is going through my character lists, in order to refamiliarize with the various people I've crafted in my little world so that, when I finish playing Rogue Galaxy (check it out, NOT Civ III), I can take the story back up and continue pushing through the third installment.

Now, a little bit about how I chose names for my characters. When I went about choosing the names for my people, I decided that I would delve into British names for most of my characters. One of the things that I've seen in various stories is the use of European names to help create a sense of identity. For instance, northerners are usually depicted as being big, gruff, bearded and Norse. They typically have names like Skoli and Sveld and Hern.

This is not something that I wanted to do. I mean, cigarettes aren't supposed to be invented yet in my world, so how could I possibly have someone with the last name DuBois or Ouvrey? Plus, we don't have rifles. How can Lord DuBois drop his? It's not so much that I didn't want to offend anyone--I mean, Christ, look at the shit I sporadically puke onto a screen and call a "blog"--it's just that I want my characters, my nations, and my world to be unique...or as unique as can be for the genre (there are no filthy Elves here...those fuckers can keep making toys at the North Pole for all I care). So, across all my nations, I created my character's last names with an eye toward the familiar, so I tried to keep my names centered around British names--English, Welsh, Scottish and Irish. I tried not to go too overboard, by hanging an O' in front of everything or a Mac on anything--though I do have a handful of tiny Houses whose name begins with a Mac or Mc that I've tied together as being interrelated and parts of the original inhabitants on the lands my stories center around. But if you look at the big, main Houses in the story--Wilhelms, John, Campbell, Montgomery, Greyskye, Nagel--these are names that you would not find too uncommon or, more importantly, too difficult to pronounce, if you came across them in your everyday life. That was the effect for which I was searching as I set about giving my people their names.

The thing is, with British last names, I felt it was important to have first names that largely matched up. To that end, I've also used first names that have a particularly "British" feel to them. I found this very amusing as I kept ploughing through (heh, British) the seemingly endless list of names of characters. This means that I've got an oversufficiency of Williams, Patricks and Roberts, and various incarnations thereof (Liam, Paedrag...). One thing I noticed, however, was that I had not a single Joseph. None. Zilch. Kaput. Zero.

Now, I realized that Joseph is of a Middle Eastern descent, but it is still a popular name in the British Isles. In fact, I can trace my ancestry back to Joseph Jenks (yeah, I know, terrible name), who came over here from Shropshire and set up shop after his wife died in the Old Country. So, way back down the way, I'm related to a Joseph (at least one), but then, when I think about, I've always been surrounded by Josephs. A few examples:

- First friend in kindergarten: Joey Collins
- Drinking buddy: Joe P.
- Stupid best friend Flanders: Joe
- Stupid best friend Flanders' version of Rod & Todd: Joseph
- Favorite chemist: Joseph Priestly
- College: Saint Joseph's College
- Grad School: University of Notre Dame...which is in St. Joseph's County, IN
- Wife taught at (and a former girlfriend attended): South Bend St. Joseph's High School
- Favorite cartoon growing up: G.I. Joe
- Favorite cartoon in college: Josie (Josephine) and the Pussycats
- Running partner during Freshman gym class: Joe Molholland...who also helped his dad dig up my backyard to install a pool when I was in college.
- Favorite girl from "Facts of Life"...Jo.
So, you can see, I've always had a assload of Joes around me, which is why I find it curious that I haven't named a single character--important, role, back-up or throw-away--"Joseph". This meant, naturally, that I had to start looking for a place to insert the name Joseph. I mean, of the multitude of Williams, Wils, Wills, Willems, and Liams, one of those guys could step aside and, at least for his brief time on camera, could change their name to Joseph, right? However, I liked the names as they were. That's when I suddenly discovered that one character--a main character, no less--had not one and not two but three separate names. Depending on the place in the story, he was Peter or Justin or Ricard. To top that, his name had actually originally been Gregory, but I changed it when I changed his last name and never made the switch in my notes, which is why he had three (or four, depends on how you are counting) names. What better place to take the big magic eraser and wipe clean his old identity and inserting Joseph? None, says this reporter.

So, I introduce to you Joseph Chavonec, the youngest of Nicholas Chavonec's three children, who is knighted after the Battle Beneath Beech Grove and serves as Kenneth Chavonec's heir until Kenneth can knock up his wife Corrine. In case you can't tell, the sex isn't going so well between the last two. So, there, I successfully was able to alleviate this shortcoming as it pertains to my characters and their names and my apparent need to surround myself with a Joe at every corner of my life. Just, uh, don't get too used to him, if you know what I mean.

Also, I jotted down a couple of notes to myself in the margins of my character lists. Should this thing ever get published and should you ever deign to read it, not only will I thank you greatly whilst diving into my piles of coins in my money bin outback, but there just might be a few people that you might recognize. I'm not saying, I'm just saying.

My Cousin, Hank

September 22, 2008

Snooch to the booch, mes amis, the Whiz is on the Prowl again. That's right, you read that correctly. I spelled Prowl with a capital P. It's kind of like in Winnie-the-Pooh where A.A. Milne capitalizes various words to make them more important? What? You never read Winne-the-Pooh? Get the fuck out of here, Communist.

Okay, for the rest of you who made it through, the Big Man has handed me the keys to the blog today so that I can tell you about my famous cousin, Hank. Apparently, Hank is this week's Monday Frivolity. Whatever. I'm just doing this because the Big Man cranked open a can of tuna this weekend and the Whiz was on Cloud Nine Saturday night. See how it is? You scratch my back, the Whiz provides you with an amusing blog post.

Anyway, we're here to talk about my cousin, Hank. You see, Hank's hit the Big Time. That's right, he's a movie star. He's bordering on Internet Sensation, even, if you can believe it. I'd say I'm a little jealous, but the Whiz is above such petty things. I like to keep my deadly sins focused more on the lust, wrath and avarice side of the aisle. I'm happy for Hank, especially when you consider that he's named for a propane salesman from Arlen, TX (the Whiz and his family are big fans of Texas...get it? Big? Texas? Wait, where are all those crickets coming from?). For most of his life, Hank's been trying to break through the aluminum foil ceiling that keeps us cats down. I mean, seriously, most of the famous cats in the world are either a lot funnier when they aren't around or are just plain effing stupid. Hank, though, he's special. He even went out and learned French for this role. Granted, his accent is a little suspect and some of the translations are a bit off, but, hey, the Whiz claps his fuzzy little paws together in salutation for his cuz.

The only problem is that now Hank's a total prima donna. Yeah, that's right, Hank, I'm calling you out and I'm calling you a woman. Return my phone calls, buddy. I'm not trying to ride your coattails, I'm just trying to find out if you know what happened to cousin Rudy. Christ, man, your little box stinks as bad as anyone else's. Stop flipping your tail around all the time, you pampered little shit. I'm a wizard; I can turn you into a carbuncle. Pick up the damned phone already.

Anyway, in case you were interested, here's Hank's film. Feel free to call him and congratulate him on his fifteen minutes, or should I say "ses quinze minutes"? Yeah, I can speak French, too, Hank. And Latin. I mean, I am a freaking wizard, after all. So, piss off with your bad, cool self.

Anyway, if any of you do congratulate him, tell him to give his cuz the Whiz a ring-a-ding-ding. I need to know what he's taking to the carry-in family reunion at Aunt Donna's this weekend. Thanks and much love.

Happy Saint Januarius Day!!!

September 19, 2008

This is the day that we celebrate that venerable saint, Januarius. Januarius was the Bishop of Naples, where he is known as Saint Gennaro. Januarius is also the word for "January" in Latin. There was also a son of Saint Felicitas of Rome named Januarius. Felicitas is an interesting character as well, because he decided to up and move off to a different city to go to college because he had a crush on a guy named Ben. But it's not Felicitas' saint day, so we're going to push him to the side.

Old Jan is an interesting saint. Like most early saints, not much is known about his early life. However, he lived during the reign of Diocletian, who was a notorious assbag toward Christians living in the Roman Empire. This means that Januarius also died during the Diocletian reign in what has been called the Diocletian Persecution, the last and largest of the state-sponsored wholesale slaughter of Christians which lasted from 303 to 311 A.D. Strangely enough, Christianity became the state religion in Rome in 324 after Constantine saw the crosses in the clouds and declared Christianity a-ok with the Emperor (though when Constantine actually became a Christian is unknown and still debated--it is known, however, that he openly declared himself as such when he was 40).

At the tender age of 20, Januarius became the Bishop of Naples. During this time, he helped to hide Christians from their Roman overbears who simply wanted to gut, crucify, immolate, behead them--it is said that soccer was invented by a group of Praetorians who were kicking around a severed head. Januarius must have done a damned good job of hiding them, too, because they weren't found by the Roman soldiers, but suspicion about Januarius' nefarious activities followed him everywhere he went. Apparently, they followed him when he went to visit some of his friends who were incarcerated in a sulfur mine, and there Januarius was arrested and imprisoned.

To atone for his sins of helping the members of his church escape brutal persecution, Januarius was sentenced to die by being tossed into an oven and burned alive. However, Januarius--evidently the Chuck Norris of his day--kicked the door open to the oven and burst out, waving parts of his anatomy in the face of his captors as a friendly means of taunting. Slightly peeved that Januarius seemed to be made of asbestos, his captor dragged St. Jan to the Flavian Ampitheater at Pozzuoli where he was to be eaten by wild bears--or lions...the story reports both...perhaps it was bears AND lions (egads, death by the NFC North)--which had been purposefully starved for days so they'd be good and hungry. What better way to sate them than with slightly roasted Bishop? Medium rare, indeed. However, the bears--or lions--bowed down at his feet and started licking them.

"You've got to be fucking kidding me!" his captor screamed and decided to do it up right. He grabbed Januarius by the scruff of the neck and, well, separated it from his head, finally doing the young Bishop in. He was around 30 years old.

But wait, the story doesn't end there. As with many saints, his bones were dragged around the continent for a while before finally resting in Naples in 1497. Januarius is the Patron Saint of Naples. However, Naples has 50 Patron Saints. Apparently, though, he's the bestest of them all.

However, that's not where the story gets weird. Apparently, whilst Januarius was being beheaded, someone thought to scoop up his blood and keep it in various phials. Apparently, while his body was being dragged from city to city, someone thought to set one of these phials upon his coffin and, despite having solidified for nearly 1100 years, the blood suddenly turned liquid once more (first reported in 1389, when his body was in Beneventum, Italy but his head was in Naples). Apparently, this still goes on. This miracle is performed three times a year, on his feast day (today), December 16th to celebrate his patronage, and on the Saturday before the first Sunday in May, to celebrate his head's return to its body and the whole mess being laid to rest in a church in Naples. Word on the street is, in Little Italy, in Manhattan, the festival of Saint Gennaro (Januarius) is a big deal, and his statue is lugged through the streets and a big street fair erupts. Check it out if you're in New York this weekend.

Now, some people have claimed that Januarius' blood is nothing more than a thixotropic gel, which is a type of substance whose viscosity increases as it sits still but turns to liquid as it is shaken or stirred. An every day example of this is ketchup.

Because of this phenomenon with the blood, Januarius is considered the Patron Saint of blood banks as well as Naples. Also, he's the Patron Saint of Volcanos and Volcanic Eruptions. As to why, I'm as clueless as you. Maybe because he was arrested in a sulfur mine; that's a stretch, if you ask me. Anyway, if you find yourself running for your life away from a pyroclastic flow, remember to pray to Saint Januarius and hope like hell that his trick with the oven works for you, too.

Also, today is MelO's birthday. If you're an inconsiderate ass (like me), you didn't get her anything. Why not take this time to swing over to her site and wish her the happiest of happies. And bake her something chocolate, already!

Warning: Scientific Content Ahead (sort of)

September 16, 2008

The other day, several blogs were abuzz about the possibility of reality coming to an end in the blink of an eye. Or faster. Unlike the last time, the Catholic Church was not involved. Hooray for us. At the same time, while people were taking to the streets, gnashing their teeth, tugging at their hair and fondling beating their breasts, there was a lot of "Wait, how does this thing work? What's it looking for again?"

Enter the scientist to answer these questions.

What the Large Hadron Accelerator was looking to do was to recreate the conditions that occured shortly after the Big Bang. Now, we are fairly sure we have an idea--sort of--of how things were right before the Event that Inspired Creation, however, there's a lot of things that we don't understand yet, like, how did gravity form. It's something we take advantage of every day, and yet, we have very little idea how or even why gravity is here. We know how it works, we know how to overcome it, we even have all sorts of equations to describe its interaction--the equation even has it's own know we're dealing with serious science here if a constant is involved.

So, here's the deal. At the Beginning of It All, everything in the universe--you, me, horses, Saturn, the Crab Nebula, Boba Fett--we were all crushed into a tiny little space in the middle of nowhere. Except, you and me, we weren't. In fact, our atoms and molecules even weren't. We were just energy. And the space we were moving around in? Take a pencil, sharpen it as sharp as you can get it, and barely touch it to a piece of paper. See that dot? Shrink by about a thousand. That's how big all the matter in the entire universe was when it was crammed together.

I made this allegory over at Falwless' blog, and I'll repeat it here and expand upon it. Think back to college. Think back to your typical dorm party. Everyone in the dorm is there, right? Plus, lots of others. You've got people from the next dorm, from across the quad, townies, professors who refuse to acknowledge they're not young anymore, and a keg. Everyone is crammed next to one another, hardly anyone else can fit in the room, the music is blaring, and basically all you can do is wiggle around in a sort of "dance". That's what the Universe was like prior to the Big Bang, except with a lot less egregious ass-grabbing.

Now think of the Big Bang as security showing up, busting the keg. When that happens, everyone disperses. As people are stumbling out of the room, they're drunk, lonely, horney, still looking for a good time...everything. Some people head off to couple up. Some people head back to their dorm room with some friends to keep the party going. Some people fly off by themselves, some people couple up and then get real kinky and pair off with another couple. Some people go for a walk to clear their head. Some people run around Halas Hall with "Styx Rules" scrawled across their chest in black marker. Some people get together and bang a townie named Joyce.

But, everyone goes somewhere and does something. The couples who go off and bang are akin to interstellar hydrogen. It just hangs out, doing its own thing, glowing afterwards. The people heading off to their room to start the party back up are kind of like stars forming. The people who wander off alone are sort of like dark matter--nobody knows what's up with them, but they know they're out there. The guy dashing around the dorm with Styx Rules? Yeah, he's an interstellar body, orbiting a larger body. The guys riding the train called Joyce? A planetary system.

The thing is, all of these interactions have a reason. It might be that the people (particles) are in love, or are stupid, or are brooding, or what have you. We don't know. Every person (or particle) goes off and does its own thing. Some are needy, some are Emo. The thing is, all of these interactions took place millionths or billionths of a second after the Event occured. Talk about a lack of staying power...

What the Large Hadron Collider is trying to simulate is that millionths or billionths of a second, post-Event. They're taking sub-atomic particles and accelerating them at speeds pretty close to the speed of light and letting them smash into each other, hoping that, when they do, they'll catch a glimpse of the dorm party energy that was pulsing prior to the Big Bang. With luck and further experiments, they'll be able to see how that energy interacts with itself to form the very basic foundation for matter creation (remember, matter is stuff with mass...again with the Catholic Church).

Unfortunately, some folks were worried that a black hole would open up under the French/Swiss border and swallow us whole. There was a (approximately) one-in-fifty million chance of that happening, but there was a chance nonetheless. When the media got ahold of it, they tried to incite riots. Obviously, we're safe, but I know some people are still worried that creation could be destroyed, plenary indulgence-style.

Again, enter the scientist, this time to allay your fears.

If you are one of those worried people, you can always ask the question: Has the Large Hadron Collider Destroyed The World Yet? Keep checking the site to allay your fears.


September 13, 2008

Tee hee hee hee hee hee hee hee hee hee hee hee hee hee hee hee hee hee hee hee hee hee hee hee hee hee hee hee hee hee hee hee hee hee!


Tee hee hee hee hee hee hee hee hee hee hee hee hee hee hee hee hee hee hee hee hee hee hee hee hee hee hee hee hee hee hee hee hee hee!

Looks like it was naked circles in the front yard while making airplane noises.

Swing and a miss, Michael Phelps...swing and a miss.

Maybe this will make you feel better:

He Slimed Me, Ray

September 12, 2008

Hey all. Sorry for the silence of the past couple of days. Well, I did want to leave my mad props for B-Dubs up for a day or so, that way everyone could let their imaginations run wild about the wild and crazy stupid shit we did in college. And, based on the number of people offering to bang Will on his birthday, I think I'm going to have to let everyone know when my birthday is. Jesus. When did this turn into Will's House o'Gettin' Some?

Anyway, remember a couple of days ago when I referenced the plague going around my house? Well, it all started innocently enough when I came home to find the little boy sleeping in my bed, wheezy breath and snotty nose and everything. The problem with having a little boy like Tank is that he's very affectionate. He likes to give kisses and hugs and wipe his snotty nose all over you. He's also strong like ox, so it's difficult to deny him when he really has his heart set on smearing his germ-ridden bodily fluids all over you hugging you. And, he's a sweet boy, so you don't want to kick him to the curb and tell him "Hell no, sick-o" want to reciprocate. So, there you are with a disease-riddled four-year-old wrapped around your torso. Fabulous.

Unfortunately, all that overexposure to mucus and such has finally dragged me down. Hot, wild monkey sex with the Mrs. while she was sick probably didn't help matters much, either.

So, that's why I've been quiet since Tuesday. Many apologies. I'm going to go curl up under my desk and sleep until 4:00 rolls around. Ta.

Big Willy Style

September 9, 2008

Today, we auspiciously celebrate the arrival on this plane of existence of one William Park Shannon, IV. Thirty-one years ago, he burst forth from his uterine home which had housed him for nine months into a world filled with Polish emigrees, strange accents, hot dogs, garage bands and a disdain for Gary, IN. Some people call it the South Side of Chicago.

Slightly less than 18 years later, 300 pounds of Erin Go Fuckin' Bragh presented itself at Saint Joseph's College in Rensselaer, IN, smacked his brother with a rolled up carpet, made a few veiled Tolkien references, and captured my friendship by saying "You wanna beer?". Actually, it was nothing like that...I believe he offered me whiskey first. Nearly a fifth of Jim Beam and a handful of cigars later, a friendship was forged. Well, two, but we're not celebrating Steve "The Little Purple Guy" Giles today. This is all about the Man, the Myth, the Legend...Will Shannon. In case you were wondering, Steve was the third leg in our unholy trinity. He also got laid a lot more, which is why we're not honoring him. Bastard.

My earliest memories of Will are clouded in a booze-inspired haze on a Thursday night as we prepared to march across the wilds of Pennsylvania in order to do battle against the hordes of other forensics-inspired youth in the annual Bloomsburg University Speech and Debate Meet. You see, this golden tongue of mine isn't just for making the ladies smile; no, you see, I've oft had the gift of stringing words together in just such a way that it inspires others to award me with such things as ribbons and glass vases. I had already packed, but my muppet-lookalike room mate was hosting a Tickle-Me-Elmo tournament in our Zone of Cohabitation; surprisingly, I opted for the booze and entertainment that was watching Will pack his suitcase for the trip. At one point, the overstuffed bag refused to close; ever the practical one, Will leaped upon it, undaunted, and snapped it shut before it could comically burst open once more. Elated, he bounced upon the case like a drunken Tigger and declared loudly, "I'm three hundred pounds of Erin Go Fuckin' Bragh!"

I nearly wet my pants laughing.

Such was the weekend, whose penultimate moment was Will declaring, loudly and rather pointedly, "Ah, Pennsylvania...where five bucks and a case of beer gets you a pilot's license." The weekend culminated in a rather fitful night of sleep on the floor in a motel in Youngstown, OH, where I wrapped a semen-and-shit-stained comforter around my head like a Motel 6 version of the Virgin Mary and Will pulled a sheet over himself, grasping a Swiss Army knife in his hand. Oh, the memories. Oh, the wasted time in Pennsylvania. Oh, the things we vowed we'd never speak of again.
Many more memories passed in the remaining three years we spent within the "hallowed" passages of Gallagher Hall (though I did spend a hellish year in Merlini...hellish not so much because of the people, but because we had a leaking pipe in our room that induced mold to grow behind our radiator, thus rendering me highly asthmatic throughout most of my junior year), each more enjoyable than the last. There was hallway cricket, mattress wrestling, re-creating what a sexual experience with a certain girl would be like--even down to the grease spot left by the hot dog as it smashed into the end of the hall, thus making the phrase "like throwing a hot dog down the Chunnel" a reality (of sorts). There were threats to kill Roger, to kill some dude who referred to himself as Chicago (who was really from Hammond, IN), to kill Schmitty, to kill Mookie, to kill Possum Dixon (not the band...some guy named Dave who looked uncannily like a possum (and who lives in Durham, NC, apparently)), threats to kill a bottle of Jim Beam, and a threat to set Steve on fire with a cigar, with the added information of "You've got enough alcohol in you, you oughta go right up, bitch." There were bags of meat and there were Meat Bags, there were buckets of spaghetti, Mypopsacop, snow football, improv shows, and long discussions about nipples and what to do with them. There was singing. There was bawdy jokes. There was the singing of bawdy jokes. There were questions about Schwag, jokes about the Smokin' Androgenous Freak, references to Meat Hook Sodomy and a former room mate whose girlfriend referred to him as "Pooter", and the Beer Keg. Jesus, did we get Slam Dunked. Who throws away a fucking phone, anyway?

Okay, you get it. This fat motherfucker and I were friends and we spent an inordinate amount of time drinking and doing stupid shit--you know, guys and college stuff. Anyway, here's to thirty-one years of fabulosity, Big Willy Style, which includes instant-ninja masks, running around a civil war era cannon, humping the dino, grilling spam and Sparklebelly. Mother. Fucking. Sparklebelly.
Many happy returns on your birthday, my friend. We drink to your coffin. May it be built from the wood of a hundred year old oak tree that I shall plant tomorrow.

Is It Over Yet?

September 8, 2008

That certainly applies to several things (the weekends, the first football weekend, Hurricane/Tropical Storm/Really Windy Thunderstom/Rain Squall Hanna, the plague currently gripping my house). At one point, all you want to know is if it's over yet or not.

If your question was "is his blogging time out over", then yes, yes it is. I have much to say after weeks of silence (1.5 is still plural-worthy), but I'll get around to football thoughts and fall out from recent rain events later. Today, it's time for some frivolity.

So, thanks to Alaina, I found a site that would effectively (and affectively) stalk everyone in these grand United States of ours who shares a name with me. Let's ease into this thing softly, though. Much like with certain activities, the slower you go at first results in less screaming, rending of flesh, and tears afterward. I'll assume you all know how to shave, so I won't go into details there. Instead, we'll look at my first name, which, as some of you may be shocked to know, isn't "iNDefatigable". The real shocker is that my first name is Matthew (as evidenced by the URL for this site). Here's some information about my first name:

There are 1,005,268 people in the U.S. with the first name Matthew.
Statistically the 40th most popular first name.
99.7 percent of people with the first name Matthew are male.
Names similar to Matthew: Matt

Only 99.7% of people named Matthew are male? What about the other 0.3%? Transgendered? Parents really wanted a boy? Terrible accidents with cotton gins? Also, did you know that Matt is a name similar to Matthew? No fucking way! Slightly odd...Matthais, not on there. Nor is Mathew, you know, those guys who are too damned lazy to pick up both tees? It's not like it's an automatic ejection or anything.

Rather than dwelling on what may or may not be similar, let's move on to my second or last name, if you will. Here are the results for the last name Jenks:

There are 6,163 people in the U.S. with the last name Jenks.
Statistically the 5843rd most popular last name.
Famous people with the last name Jenks: Bobby Jenks

There's also three cities urban areas in the country with the name Jenks. There's one in Pennsylvania a bit up the road from Zibbs, and there's one in the butt part of West Effin' Virgina--you know, the part where it looks like the state is hunkered down taking a dump on the far western part of Virginia? Yeah, that's the part. Then there's perhaps the most famous Jenks in the nation, which is Jenks, Oklahoma. I say this only because it has an actual town council and such. Once, I wrote to them demanding that they offer their immediate surrender to me and instantly crown me emperor. Oh, the funs a guy will have when drunk in college. Too bad that I didn't get the crown, because then I could have had, as my Emperess, Jenks native Jennifer Berry. Who is Jennifer Berry? She was Miss American in 2006. See, I was just that close to doing what most creepy middle aged men only dream of: nailing someone with self-esteem so low she has to compete in beauty pageants to help justify herself to herself.

Another famous person from Jenks is Sean Mahan, who played at my beloved University of Notre Dame (like Jenks, there's a Mahan in West Effin' Virginia). As a touch of an ironic twist, Sean, who was from Jenks, lived in the same apartment building as yours truly back in the day. Fame follows me wherever I go, clearly. Also, Jenks is one of the state's best high school football teams, winning the state championship 6 times in a row. Oh, what could have been: a fine piece of ass on my arm, riches from the oil wealth to fund my growing empire, and an army of cornfed farmboys to serve as my super soldiers. Pardon me for a bit while I dream.

Sadly, I was in Tulsa, Oklahoma, a few years ago and never got over to the other side of town to visit Jenks. If anyone of you lovely readers is from Jenks, OK, I'd still love a hat. Or a shirt. Or some other trinket from your fair city letting me know that you love me as much as I love you.

Alright, so let's get down to the nitty and the gritty here. Here's the final count for the people who have my name in the U.S.:
LogoThere are
people with my name in the U.S.A.

How many folks share your name?

Twenty? I guess that would explain why there were a shit-ton of people in college emailing me demanding to know if I was their friend or not. Depending on my mood (read: how drunk I was), I would toy with them and pretend I was their friend. But, wow, twenty? Taking into account that I may be one of those 20, that leaves nineteen other guys trying to be me. I already knew about the guy at Purdue who shared my name. He's a horticulturist. Wow, a plant doctor. At Purdue. Who would guess? It seems like he needs to grow some high yield feed for all those cows down there, huh?

Also, it was a little disappointing to see that only famous Jenks was Bobby Jenks, the closer for the Chicago White Sox, and while I would normally bitch and moan about that, I'd take Bobby in a heartbeat after watching the Cubs, once again, piss away a game in the ninth inning. Not that I'm bitter.

So, there you go. A little frivolity for this fine Monday morning. Play around with it. Just don't blame me if you go blind. Also, feel free to follow the link and investigate how many folks share your name. It could be enlightening, or just plain fucking stupid. Apparently, you have to be 13 in order to play the game, and be sure to get help with your gambling addiction, crackhead, if you play the game too much. All proceeds will be donated to the Club a Dolphin Association of the Jersey Shore.