blogs are dumb and so are you

ben chandler
chandler at uchicago dot edu

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Thursday, October 31, 2002


bored at work today, i decided to look through the suggestion box that sits on the desk here in the computer lab. oh boy, did some people write some stupid shit. you'd think that this sort of thing wouldn't happen outside of high school, or middle school even, but it does. here are some highlights:

"i want to complain: the person sitting next to me smells. i suggest a mandatory computer lab showering policy."

"grow more pot"

"someone shall do something with the turnstyle."

"i wanted to complain about a sticky substance on H-PC-16. it seems someone got distracted from their work. thank you."

"a more manicured personal appearance will greatly enchance self-esteem and well being."


i for one can appreciate a good, funny suggestion from time to time but these people don't seem to be even trying. no clever jabs at the u of c student body, no witty puns, not even a decent insult thrown in the bunch. just a load of stupid shit. i guess it is true; anonimity breeds rediculous (or "re-dic-lee-us" as i used to say when i was little) behavior. come on, get some backbone people.


Wednesday, October 30, 2002


this post stems from a favorite game of both mike and i. it's a simple game really. periodically we both log onto our still active but never used aol e-mail accounts and look at all the rediculous spam that has been piling up. i can't believe how much shit i get every day. i don't ever use this e-mail account except when i have to sign up for things on the internet, hence all the spam. still, there is an incredible amount of porn ads (no, i have never signed up for any porn service) business tips and latley ads for black market viagra. this is a small sample of my e-mail box.



some of my favorite titles include: "heather just set up her cam again," "viagra at only $2.50 a dose" and "i just bought a new corvette." i don't know exactly how spam works, but they must get enough people to buy stupid shit on the internet to make it worth their wild to send out so many rediculous ads. now and again mike and i click on the ads to see what they really are, and the most disapointing thing is usually they aren't even what they say they are. all the porn titles link to generic porn sites and the viagra advertisments never work correct either. oh aol. some day my parents will realize that aol is terrible and expensive and switch over to some other isp, but for now i get to keep a hilarious e-mail box open.


it's after 2am, so it probably means that i'm doing something stupid when i should be sleeping. every single night i find something to do that seems important at the time. tonight it involved taking a few random pictures of our apartment. the frist is our freezer, compleatly filled with forzen food, mostly meat products that i can't/don't/shouldn't eat. needless to say it's hard to close the freezer right now. i told andy that must eat through the contents asap, and he seems to be doing a good job of it. he's making microwavable meatballs as i write this. the other is a post-it that my dad sent me attached to a letter from the fond du lac country clerk's office. hilarious. i'll go into the full story some other time. basically, it involves me and some friends getting huge drinking citations for drinking wine in a state park. as andy suggested tonight, i could have just spent two days in jail in lew of paying the fine. considering my financial status as of late, i think that i should have considered that option a little more. oh well.

   


a few hilarous and kind of interesting links that people gave me today (or in the case of the second a link that i took off of David Dorn's IM profile). First, a article entitled why i love shoplifting from big corporations, enough said. The other is woody harrelson's views on the war in iraq.

Tuesday, October 29, 2002


when we went to the grocery store last week, we divided up into two camps: mike and i bought the food that we needed (pasta and beans and vegitables) and marty and andy bought food that they wanted (cookies and ice cream and cheese-its). our only refuge was a small package of jalepeno poppers, that marty and andy mocked. so tonight after we went to the gym mike and i were sitting on the couch and both realized that we still had the poppers waiting for us in the fridge. needless to say we were excited and took a picture of ourselves with the poppers (these are the sorts of things that tend to happen with a digital camera late at night). mmmm, so good.



a little amednum to this scary photo where mike and i look like we just crawled out of a cave. you'd think that we took one quick picture and then i posted it, but oh no. this was the best of 6 or 7 tries. terrible.

Monday, October 28, 2002


i had this really great idea at the begnning of the year. all four of us in the apartment (me, andy, mike and marty) would all shave on the same day and then grow beards at the same time, documenting our progress each day in digital picture form. well, needless to say all the other guys crapped out. so i am living out my dream through dan ankeles. he began his beard last tuesday, october 22nd. i plan on taking periotic pictures of dan throughout the weeks and posting the results here.



suffice it say that mike and i are jealous. real jealous. we're living vicariously through dan now. oh well, it's better than nothing. stay tuned for more.


so i think that my dad has officailly hit a midlife crisis becvasue today he bought a motorcycle. it's a 1978 BMW R100/7 (if that means anything to you, it looks like the ones below) and is similar to the one that he used to ride way back when before my mom made him sell it so that they could buy a car. personally i think it's hilarious that he bought a motorcycle but am glad for him. he claims that his drivers licence is still good. i gotta hand it to my dad, motorcycles are pretty badass. at least it's not a fuckin' harley.

   


each week i have to go to these spanish "lector sessions" whcihc are essentially 6 kids in a room with a young spanish teacher doing silly little activities to better learn how to speak spnish. every language at every level has them. when i took spanish the first time they were just another thing that you had to do, but now that i'm choosing to go they are really fun. first of all, all the other people in the lector session are first years and i feel really old. it's like being transported back into high school, but more fun. today the big joke came when we had to ask eachother if we had a boyfriend/girlfriend and these guys kept taunting eachother, "tu novio? tienes un novio?" it was hilarious to see kids acting like they were twelve again. that's what i miss in college. the kids that wouldn't give a shit and would yell at the teacher and make crazy ass jokes in the middle of class. there are no kids like that here.

as per my update dated the 24th of October regarding the subject of marrige, the person henceforth alluded to was Krista Kemper, in case you were wondering (at least one person expressed interest so this is for them).


gotta stop staying up so late and then getting up so early.


Sunday, October 27, 2002


last night i had the oppourtunity to meet terrence malick (below) and hear him talk about all sorts of things, including film making. malick has directed three films including the thin red line, his most recent. i was really interested to see him speak becasue he is such a recluse and so weird about having his picture taken. if you search on the internet, the one below is one of only three or four different pictures out there. i expected him to be wearing the big ass hat, but instead he was just really bald. the dinner was at the president's house so it mostly consisted of some scmoozing which is always really a bizzare thing, and then a really good free dinner and good free wine. i knew a few people at the dinner so that was good becasue it really was filled with mostly old people (and not just faculty, but actually really old people, malick invited his mom and dad along). i had gone to one of these last year where they bring in a famous person in the arts and give them a "kovler fellowship" (whatever that means) and then they come and talk on campus for a few days. last year was ken burns and while he was muhc more socialable and charasmatic, malick had a real quiet, soft-spoken quality to him that was a nice thiing to see from a director. i had expected a night with a crazy recluse, though. i had hoped he would get all mad at one point and storm out of the room. no such luck.



yesterday andy and martin went to sam's club and bought so much frozen meat it is unbelieveable how much processed food they buy. as chris said, "their body's must be 15% preservatives by now." at least they got it all in the freezer somehow. in additiobn to all the frozen food they got an unreal container of chees-its and pretzels. they should be gone by tomorrow. oh well, you can't win them all. on the plus side of the weekend, my "lost" debit card actually turned up at the bank, i must have left it there. so, i don't have to go through the pain of getting a new one and paying the fines and all. i do have to pay, though, if i want new checks with my name spelled correctly. the ones they issued me last year that i have been too lazy to go change spell my name BENJAMIN CHANDELER. a small difference so i'm going to go through these last 27 check before i get new ones. at the rate i write checks that should last me 6 years.

Friday, October 25, 2002


i'm in complete shock right now. i just found out that minnesota senator paul wellstone died this morning in a plane crash. i don't even know what to say. paul wellstone was one of the very very few american politicians that i not only supported but admired and respected. to me he was a voice of reason amongst all the shit that weighs down our political system. for me he was essentiually the one person on the national level that actually cared about more than protecting people than his own job. i know this sounds very sappy and sentimental to be laying down for a politician, but wellstone was the one good one. not only that. but he was just a really nice guy too. damn damn damn. i can't think of a single politician or public figure that i would be more upset if they had just died. i can't believe it. paul wellstone, you will be greatly missed.


tonight i brought home a desk chari that i found next to a dumpster near a constuction site on campus. it was being throw out becasue it is one of those chair that goes up and down and it will not stay up. i'll have to junk it if i can't fix it. currently i'm writing with my hands at almost neck level. on the plus side, it does fit into our motief of stolen or found furniture. almost evrything we have in this place falls into one of those two catergoties. both couches, a few chairs, kitchen table, beds, lamps....the list goes on. i think we spent a toal of 150 dollars on all the comunal furniture in this apartment. thrifty like a fox.


Thursday, October 24, 2002


i figured out that i leave for south africa 10 weeks from today. let the countdown begin. the inconsiquential bit of news is that a girl that i went to high school with and dated a good friend of mine (way long ago) is apparently getting married. i don't know to whom or what the circumstances are, but this seems really odd to me that people are beginning to get married already. as far as i can tell, this is the first of my classmates to be engaged, although i'm sure that is not true. that's all the tosa east gossip for now.

so those that don't know, i do most of this webpage while i work at my on campus, computer lab job. it is quite possibly the best job in the world seeing as i get paid to do homework and occasionally help people (of course that's not how the officical job title would put the order of responsibility). I only mention all of this becasue i just stumbled on the best virtual tour that i have ever seen. it's of the new computer lab that i try to never work at becasue there are too many people, but it's a damn nice looking space.


Wednesday, October 23, 2002


my night keeps getting more strange. this really weird guy just walked in to the computer lab and we had the following conversation (it should be noted that i am currentally wearing a baseball jersey that says the word lebanon on the front, but it is clearly a baseball jersey). what's up with people these days?

Really Weird Guy: "do you have any kleenex?"

Me: "no, i don't think so" i look around. "no, we don't"

RWG: "do you have any paper towel then?"

M: "no"

RWG: just stares at me, as if it is my fault.

M: "i'm sorry, we don't have anything."

RWG: "it's okay. are you from lebanon?"

M: suprised, "no, it's just a baseball jersey"

RWG: "oh" and then walks away.


today, mike's grandmother sent him (and by him i mean all of us in 5466) a huge box of italian food. no, two huge boxes of italian food, all homemade and all sent overnight from boston. in the packages were five or six big containers of meat sauce, five or six big containers of nuinci (i have no idea how to spell that, but they are great little pastas), two loafs of bread, these italian dough pockets filled with a bunch of cheeses and black pepper that i can't remember the name of, and three containers of meatless sauce that she made for me. mike and i made the nuinci for dinner and served ourselves what should have been normal portions. but we forgot that the pasta was ALL flour and we killed ourselves. it's two ours later and i am still unbelieveable how full i am. as i said to mike, i just want to sit on the couch, unbutton my pants and fall asleep. no such luck for me.

i think that it's official now, i'm addicted to caffeine, or more specifically espresso. i fell asleep in class yesterday without one and today i was wide awake and ready to go and i had the same amount of sleep both nights i suppose there are worse things in the world that a $5 a week habit. like crack. thankfully that has not yet made it into my morning routine.


i've been having some insecurity issues regarding this page the past few days. mostly, all of my friends outside of the university of chicago either refuse to look at it or seem to be revolted by the idea. i think most of them just think that i'm a dork for having a webpage. this unsolicited conversation i had with jeff behrens sums things up well.



as if i wasn't taking it hard enough from my friends, it seems that gary trudeau has gotten in on the act with last sunday's doonesbury.

i'm sitting here at work writing this and i just had one of the wierdest interactions ever. a woman came up to the desk to use this big ass stapler that we have (it can staple up to 100 pages at a time) and it was not working. i opened the thing up, a piece of yellow rubber fell out, and i put it back together. she looked at the yellow thing and asked, "did a penguin just fall out of there?" to which i just nodded and she walked away dumbfounded. of course, the rubber thing was shaped like a penguin, but it was still weird. and of course i did put the rubber penguin in the stapler to begin with, but that is besides the point.

Tuesday, October 22, 2002


i really have to hand it to sam for this one. just when i thought he was beginning to lose all sence of fun in his life, he goes up tp northwestern and steals a big sign and a banner. i don't know what it is that makes me hate northwestern so much, but the feeling seem to grow the longer that i am here. i used to think it was becasue they rejected me, but that's not the whole reason. i think the more that i learn about urban development and the roots of suburbs and chicago history, the more don't like evanston. maybe that's bullshit too, but just look at the layout of the campus.


it's isolated on the lake, you need to park in parking lots and walk in like a mall and there is virtually no connection to the surrounding community. the campus has essentially walled itself off from the rest of evanston and all the new buidlings are terrible. say what you want about the university of chicago and the way that it has drastically changed hyde park, it is still part of this community and this city. okay, enough ranting for right now.

Monday, October 21, 2002


so here are some selected pictures of the party we had last saturday night. selected meaning that we took between 80 and 90 and some of them were just of feet or of the floor. i'm not going to go through and name everyone in all the pictures just yet. maybe i'll get that advanced later. maybe not. anyway, everyone should pull out a digital camera at a party, becasue you get great pictures that normally you'd never get. plus there is always a high probability for blackmail. descriptions and names may be lacking but i prefer to just let the pictures speak for themselves. if you were actually at the party and don't see yourself, it's becasue the camera didn't come out until close to 3am so if you left early you missed your chance to be imortalized on the internet. either that, or a bunch of the pictures were blurred becasue some setting was wrong. anyway, enjoy.

       


       


       


      





Sunday, October 20, 2002


well, our apartment survived the party we had last night and it turned out really well. andy took a ton of pictures that i'll post soon. hilarious pictures i should add i think the hi-light of the evening was when me and dave coates and his friend who i had never met rocked out to the dead kennedys. we put on "give me convenience or give me death" and sang (or yelled) along to every word of the album. these are guys i would have never expected to know the dead kennedys. in fact, there was a lot of drunken singing last night. what socialist party wouldbe complete without a rousing rendidtion of "solidarity forever"? i'm glad that someone knew all the words becasue the rest of us only knew the chorus. i think we freaked some people out, but oh well.


Thursday, October 17, 2002


i found these pictures on a webpage of my friend elliot lynch who goes to school in minneapolis and was one of my painting compadres this summer. (for those unaware, i spent my summer painting houses for a terrible company called college pro painters, NEVER work for them or hire them). the pictures include me, ryan and lindsay (the only girl). i don't even remember elliot taking these but they are fun to look at now, removed from all the pain of painting.

   


the other guy that i painted with, chris, is not in these pictures because he quit 3/4 of the way through the summer for a better job(s) and elliot didn't pull out the ol' camera until after that. thanks elliot for the images.


well, today kind of went from bad to worse. after struggling through work i come home for an hour and a half before i have to go back to campus. mike comes home a few minutes later and tells andy and i that we had had our grill stolen from the back portch the night before. we discuss how much that sucks for a few minutes and then i realize that my bike was back there. i go out on the portch and sure enough my bike is gone. now, i'm not a complete idiot. my bike was not just sitting there, it was fuckin' locked up six ways from sunday, with two locks both around the railing of our portch. not perfect, still outside, but at least it was secure. i never even considered the possibility that someone would break apart our portch to get my bike. damn it. we are on the third floor, up in a corner. who ever did this not only planned it out, but was up on our back portch, right outside my window, busting shit while we all slept. it just pisses me off more than anything. not that i lost the bike, but that people are that selfish and mean that they wuld climb over a fence and climb up to another apartment and steal a bike and a fucking grill. its the grill that really gets me. how much can one possibly sell a grill for? anyway, that kind of put a damper on the evening. OH, and our party line is still acting up, still not fixed. i went to call my dad to tell him what happened and the other apartment was on the phone with ameritech. i can't win today.


today in class i was once again dismayed with kids from our generation. class was going so well too, and then the train wreck hit. i should have known when a guy raised his hand and proclaimed, "I'm proud to be the son of a guy who booded Alan Ginsberg off the stage at a concert once." this is how we began our discussion of Ginsberg's poem "Howl." now mind you, this was not an english class, rather a class called "Post War American Culture," so we were discussing the social significance of the piece withing the Beat movement. then, one after another, kids begin raising their hands to offer bits of wisdom like, "well, the poem is just like 'On the Road' only it's written a lot better" and "did people actualy like this back then?" i mean, come on. i certaintly will not profess to be much of a Beat scholar or even a tremendous Ginsberg fan, but "Howl" spoke to a generation. it told a lot of people out there that there was more than the faceless life of the suburbs. i was just amazed at how a class of seemingly liberal and even leftist kids turned on a dime and came out ready to attack the Ginsberg. wierd.

more information on the "party line" that currently runs into our apartment. the way it works now is when someone call our number the phone rings in our apartment and another one somewhere in our building. then it becomes a game of chance, and whoever picks up the phone first wins. in addition, if you are on the line and the other people pick up they can jump right in your conversation. ameritech was supposed to come on tuesday to fix it, but as of now they still have not shown. furthermore, the people who also have our line are simply waiting until we do something about it and we may get charged for all this bullshit. hopefully this will be fixed soon, you can only imagine the bad possibilities associated with this.


Wednesday, October 16, 2002


the dsl fiasco that we are currently undergoing at our apartment is too long to go into, but sufice it to say we have been paying for dsl for almost a month and it still only works on one computer in the apartment, not four. mike and i went to radio schack to get the adapter that we need and came back eager to set it up. much to our dismay, it still only worked on one computer. the word now is that jake harvey raden, our savior, is scheduled to come and make it work tomorrow at 5pm. may this be the last day without full internet at our place. huzzah i say.


in my continued effort to add little chunks of my life onto this page, here is my schedule that i made today. it has all the stuff that i do each week. as you can see, my week is a little less congested and i don't have anything planned on the weekends ever, which is just the way that i like it. all this staring into a computer screen is giving me a headache, i think i'll read for while. more to come later i'm sure.


this morning i stayed awake through my us/arab realtions class which was really good. on monday i fell asleep, not becasue of the subject matter was boring, but from simple exaustion. this morning i decided to remedy that and grab and espresso before class, and boy did it work. i'm glad it did, becasue i feel like a big sponge in that class, just soaking up information that i had no idea about. we go into great detail about specific events in the history of united states realtionship with the middle east, but not so much that it's boring. the professor is really dynamic and everyday i feel like i really got something out of the class, which can be rare sometimes in college. as for my afternoon, i think it's going to consist of looking through old magazines from the 1950's and comparing advertisements. good thing that i brought that pb&j sandwich with me, casue i don't think i'm going to make it home for lunch.

just a note to all the naysayers (is that a word) out there regarding the frequent banality of this page, it's in many ways not supposed to be exciting but rather a good way to communicate with the people i don't see very often or talk to very much. right now, two such people are on the opposite side of the atlantic and this is as much for them as anyone else, so keep your smart ass comments to a minimum (this means you, pete). alright, that's all for now.


damn damn damn. i told myself that i was going to get to bed early tonight, but instead i got sucked into this new toy of mine. i suppose that this is going to happen a lot. oh well, i hope all of you out there in the virtual world enjoy this, or at the very least it may help you see into what's up here. thanks to andy for the help in getting this little project off the ground.


So, last weekend i finally got around to taking some pictures of this apartment. here they are in all their glory. (damn, andy's digital camera takes nice pictures).


       


           


      

Tuesday, October 15, 2002




this is a picture of me at game 3 of this years ALDS in the metrodome. in case you couldn't tell, we are REALLY far from the field. that big back thing in the background is the side of the scoreboard.


This is an attempt at a link now. Doc Films is the student film organization on campus that i work for, or rather, volunteer for.


Okay, so i think i am beginning to get the hang of this thing. I still don't know how to get pictures on here, which really is the reason that i decided to start this in the first place. oh well, i'm sure andy will explain it to me and then i'll put pictures galore on the internet. until then, just ramblings. i'm sitting here at work, trying to read about the iranian nationalization of oil in the 1950's, but it's not going so well.


And again, just trying this whole thing out


I don't know why the timing is off


Hope this works!