Saturday, June 30, 2007

(untitled 159)

Yesterday's lyric: "Birdhouse in Your Soul," They Might Be Giants, Flood

Good job, everyone. Lots of people got that one right.

Lyric the fifth

well a fake jamaican took every last dime with that scam
it was worth it just to learn some sleight of hand
bad news comes don't you worry even when it lands
good news will work its way to all them plans

Friday, June 29, 2007

(untitled 158)

Yesterday's lyric: "Say it Ain't So," Weezer, Weezer (blue album)

Remember, dear readers, you need to include the album title if you want the full four points. Many of you correctly identified the song, but forgot to specify the album, and thus are slipping in the standings.

Lyric the fourth

there's a picture opposite me
of my primitive ancestry
which stood on rocky shores and kept the beaches shipwreck free

Thursday, June 28, 2007

(untitled 157)

Yesterday's lyric - "Clocks," Coldplay, A Rush of Blood to the Head

Lyric the third

flip on the telly
wrestle with jimmy
something is bubblin' behind my back

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

(untitled 156)

Yesterday's lyric: "Just a Girl," No Doubt, Tragic Kingdom

Apparently that one was a little tricky for most readers, so I'll go with something easier today. Also, for those of you that visit via RSS feed, be sure to come to the actual site to see the leaderboard.

Lyric the second

come out of things unsaid
shoot an apple off my head
trouble that can't be named
a tiger's waiting to be tamed

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

(untitled 155)

Lyric the first

the moment that i step outside
so many reasons for me to run and hide

Did I mention the fantastic prize for the winner of the contest? Because there is one. And it will be fantastic. Let this be your motivation.

Monday, June 25, 2007

(untitled 154)

Some years ago, Robert Poste conducted a lyric identification contest that I participated in. I did well, but not nearly enough so to win. Regardless, I remember it being a lot of fun. So much so, in fact, that I'm going to host one of my own through this blog.

21 days, 21 lyrics. Each day I post a lyric, you are invited to submit what you think are the artist, song title, and album title. I imagine album titles will be more difficult to come up with, so I'll make those worth two points (compared to the one an artist or song title correctly identified will earn you). All told, that means a perfect score will be 84 points. Here's a sample of what you can expect starting tomorrow:

when i find myself in times of trouble
mother mary comes to me
speaking words of wisdom

The answer "Let it Be" would earn you one point. Responding with "'Let it Be' by the Beatles" would earn you an additional point. For all four points, however, you would have to respond with '"Let it Be' by the Beatles, from their album Let it Be."

Email (theboardoptimistic at is probably the optimal way to send me your responses; blog comments, while effective, will give those after you an unfair advantage. Please refrain from doing so. Also, this contest will be conducted on the honor system. Looking up lyrics on the Googles is easier than a drunken cheerleader. It's also easy to tell when someone is cheating. As the contest goes on, the lyrics will get progressively more difficult. If I post a lyric from the Deftones and you get it when I know you've never heard "Engine No. 9" in your entire life, I'll know something is afoot. Cheating will not be tolerated.

Artists will not be repeated. I'll try to stay away from covers as much as possible to avoid confusion.

Be excited, readers. It's going to be a thing to be remembered.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

(untitled 153)

More stories from work:

The building is nearing completion, which means it's finally time to put the floors in. Most of them have already been installed, such as the marble floor in the atrium and most of the first floor (which looks really nice, but is going to be a pain to clean) and the basic carpet on the second and third floors. They've been holding off on the really expensive stuff, though, so it doesn't get sawdust and the like all over it. One of the expensive floor coverings was a Persian rug that cost about $27,000. (They decided to wait until the dedication to lay down the $30,000 rug.) They have black plastic covering the rugs so they don't get dirty before Saturday, so it looks like the rugs are covered in enormous garbage bags. The other carpet they were waiting on was for the gallery, and it's nice stuff. It's also extremely furry stuff; I was vacuuming the room today and managed to fill two (two!) vacuum bags with carpet fuzz. It took me nearly an hour to clean the thing out.

The carpet gets progressively more expensive as you climb the corporate ladder here, too. The basic carpet costs $30 a square yard, if I remember correctly. The vice presidents get nicer carpet in their offices; this stuff costs about $90 per square foot. It's quite a jump. The jump from the vice presidents to the gallery, however, is even more impressive. The gallery carpet costs a whopping $270 per square foot. I hear they imported it from England, which, as we all know, is renowned worldwide for its superior carpet. It's nice stuff, but I don't imagine I'll purchase it for my own home. I did like it enough to snatch a bit (about two square inches) of it and take it with me. This piece of carpet would have cost me around four dollars.

Maybe I'll go home and rub it against my face or something to get my money's worth out of it.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

(untitled 152)

Actual story from work:

Recently, I threw my back out, as attentive readers of this blog will already know. I went to a physical therapist to get things fixed, and he gave me some stretches to do to strengthen my hamstring, which was the cause of the whole problem in the first place. (He also gave my back an ultrasound, which was a surreal experience.) I do these stretches at work as I see fit. One of them involves me starting on my hands and knees and lowering my weight onto my feet, leaving me in a sort of kowtow position. I was in an office with a closed door dusting, when I decided to do this particular stretch. A construction worker came in to find me in the kowtow position facing toward - you guessed it - Mecca.

He seemed surprised, and quickly backed out of the room, shutting the door behind him.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

(untitled 151)

My younger brother, who I'll call Piece-a-carp, has been the source of many a fantastic story throughout his life. (Most recent was a conversation with him, myself, and Genuine involving drinking paint and beating babies.) One of his greatest is how he earned his online moniker. When he was three, we were living in Colorado in the lap of luxury, a phrase which here means "buying really, really crappy off-brand cereal because we couldn't afford proper cereal." We had a box of fourth-tier Froot Loops with a neon green background and a white tiger with Froot Loops for spots advertising the cereal to unsuspecting consumers.

"Piece-a-carp," it seemed to say to young Piece-a-carp.

None of us were really quite sure what he was talking about when he first referred to it as Piece-a-carp. He just gestured toward the box with increasing intensity, saying, "Piece-a-carp." We assumed he was referring to Froot Loops in general. When we came into a bit of money and could move up to third-tier cereals, we got another brand of Froot Loops. Young Piece-a-carp was presented with the box in grand fashion. "Look," we said. "Piece-a-carp."

Clearly, we were mistaken. The cereal we had procured was a cheap (or, rather, slightly more expensive) counterfeit of the real Piece-a-carp, and my brother would accept no imitations. We found him the real deal forthwith.

He never explained to us why he called it Piece-a-carp, and fifteen years later, he can't remember. (He doesn't even remember ever calling it Piece-a-carp, actually.) Something in his warped little mind made him call it Piece-a-carp, and it made perfect sense to him. This story is a perfect way to summarize him. And now he's being sent out as a missionary to CALL NOT RECEIVED AS OF 08 JUN 2007. It's going to be exciting. He's going to be a riot.

(addendum, 21 jun 2007: florida, ft. lauderdale.)

Monday, June 04, 2007

(untitled 150)

While walking to work today, I got caught behing a young woman on the stairs who was walking slightly slower than I was. I don't feel that it's in keeping with traffic etiquette to pass someone on the stairs, so I waited until we both got to the top to take an alternate route that would allow me to pass her. As our paths converged again about forty yards later, I found myself slightly ahead of her. Silently congratulating myself on this maneuver, I continued on my way.

Imagine my surprise when I find that she was catching up to me. She slowly came even with me and then passed me, only to move to another path. We were neck and neck, and I wasn't about to back down. I tend to take it a bit too personally when someone passes me, whether it's on the road or on foot, and I wasn't about to let this woman strut past me like she owns the world. I increased my pace. She seemed to match. Once again, our paths met, and once again, I came out slightly ahead.

We entered a straightaway. The two of us tore down the sidewalk, neither offering nor asking for quarter. I had the slight advantage, but I kept casting glances over my shoulder to see how much room I had. She wasn't gaining, but she was keeping pace. I was about ready to open up the throttle on her when I saw her enter another building, presumably to go to class.

I won, of course, but I don't think she knew we were racing.