blogs are dumb and so are you

ben chandler
chandler at uchicago dot edu

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miles on the honda
as of 3/21/04


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when retired on 2/14/04

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Wednesday, November 27, 2002

uhg. i'm here at the computer lab, the night before thanksgiving, and i have to work until 11pm before i can go home. if that's not bad enough, it's the night before thanksgiving and NO ONE is here (well, there are maybe three people in the lab, but you get the idea of hyperbole). i think the only people around are foreign students who cannot go home because they live too far away. it's going to be a long night.

as a result of my boredom, i have posted a bunch of pictures from a party i went to last night at rebecca's place. i don't actually know all the people that are in all these pictures, for a while megan went around the place snapping pictures. most of the pictures are in black and white, which seems to give even the weirdest pictures an aura of respectability, almost.

i chose a lot of these pictures not becasue i knew the people in them, but becasue of the quality of the "photograph." some are just funny, though. all in all, having a camera in social situations such as this is a great idea; for the images produced but more importatly it's really fun to do during the party. case in point. i put a picture of keith on this site last month that has become known as his "punk as fuck" pose. aaron did his best to imitate keith. i think keith wins. take a look:

keith says it all with one finger

aaron trying to be punk as fuck, but the beret hurts him a bit

Tuesday, November 26, 2002

did anyone see the simpsons on sunday? terrible. the simpsons should have gone off the air years ago, they just keep getting worse and worse. the entire plot this week centered around marge and accidentally getting breast implants. ug. they have really sunk to a new low. who is writing that show these days? i yearn for the good ol' days when conan o'brien wrote for the simpsons.

this is the weather today here in chicago:

i'd just like to point out that we still have not turned on our heat in our apartment. what little warmth we do have (and let me say it's plenty) comes from either the girls downstairs or from good, old fashioned blankets. our heating billing is going to be asoundingly low, once again.

Sunday, November 24, 2002

okay, so here are the mission of burma pictures as promised. most of them are a little grainy/blurry becasue i was tkaing them in a dark club with no flash, but i think that they turned out well nonetheless.

there are also a bunch of good pictures of mike and hanging out with emily, andrea, and andrea's boyfriend jeff.

i guess this is the kind of face i make when trying to hold out a camera and take a picture of myself. jesus, i take terrible pictures. andrea (left) does it well, though

mike and emily, once the peanuts were all gone

mike took a big bite out of this piece of bread that we were passing around. note the burns harbor t-shirt that mike is wearing

andrea and jeff rocking out, sort of

we were trying to take a group picture by putting the camera on a bookcase across the room, and emily came flying into the room and jumped across all of us. good timing.

Saturday, November 23, 2002

last night was really good. mike and i went to a mission of burma show as planned, and let me tell you, it rocked. it rocked like it was 1983. i was able to sucessfuly smuggle andy's digital camera into the show and got some good pictures (they will be posted soon). mike and i also ran into andrea and emily, two girls we knew from school and hung out at emily's place in ukrainian village, or rather east ukrainian village, but i think they are mostly the same. mike and i didn't get home until 3:15, good night. way better, i'm sure, than the night that andy had judging a debate tournament.

i have been asked to post this drawing on the internet for lindsay. it a drawing of her apartment in alicante.

i think that it's good, especially considering she drew it without actually walking around the aprtment but rather from memory.

Friday, November 22, 2002

it's been a long day, and it's only 2:45. up early to call lindsay in spain, which is always good but an hour less sleep for me. then class and more class. then i had to go and run around to the administrative computing buildings and try and take pictures of people for work. this is no picnic to begin with, but since it was friday afternoon, everyone had gone home early for the weekend so i really just spent an hour running around, from building to building with no results. oh well. the weekend should get better from here on in. mike and i are going to see misson of burma tonight, which sould be a great trip back to the early '80's if nothing else. m.o.b. is playing only a few shows on this "tour" so the show may sellout. funny considering what happned the last time they were in chicago. i'd definitly check these guys out if i were you. hopefully i'll smuggle in andy's digital camera and get some pictures. we'll see.

as i was walking home today i overheard an absurd bit of conversation (eavsdropping is one of my favorite past times). the conversation went a little like this:

girl 1: “so, what’s it like there?”

girl 2: “oh my god! there are…like…so many amish people around, they all travel in packs.

girl 1: “yeah”

girl 2: “but seriously, it’s because of the genetic defects.”

girl 1: “ohhhhhh. because of all the inbreeding.”

girl 2: “yeah”

Thursday, November 21, 2002

blasted map room! i had to go and scan some maps for a project i'm working on byt the map room does not open until noon, so when i got there at 9:15 this morning, i could think of nothing better to do than take a nap until my class started at 10:30. the next thing i knew it was 11:15. oops. things could be worse.

Wednesday, November 20, 2002

hey! if you go to the u of c and you or anyone you know needs a place to live next quarter, this is the place becasue i will be gone and there will be a room open. send me an e-mail and/or read this message that i sent to students studying abroad for more information. if you read this page and andy's page you should have a pretty good idea of what goes on in 5466. that's all for the shameless advertising.

feeling sick tonight and i have a number of possible hypothesizes concerning what is causing this: 1) the fact that i have been in this computer lab for 5 hours with bad lighting and looking at a computer for much of the time. 2) i constantally chew on pens and other plastic things i find in my pocket and maybe that nasty habit has finally caught up with me. 3) i popped some sort of blister in the back of my mouth last night and maybe i'm sick from somekind of infection. i called my mom last night (who worked in an endodonist's office for a long time) to see what she said, but she was not around. 4) too much cream cheese 5) i'm not actually sick and just feel warm and light headed becasue i didn't get enough sleep last night. not sure what it is. only an hour left to go here. wish me luck.

Tuesday, November 19, 2002

vindication! last week i posted something about how good sonic youth's daydream nation is. well, today, released it's top 100 albums of the 1980's and guess what ranks at #1?

Monday, November 18, 2002

just in case you didn't know, today begins 'cream cheese week '99' here at 5466. we went to sam's club the first week of school and bought 6 ackages of cream cheese for some absurdly low price. recently we realized that we were only part way into package #3 and the whole lot is destined to expire december 20th. so, we decided that the only logical response would be to try and eat as much cream cheese as possible over the next week. i just returned home form the grocery store with various forms of cream cheese eating conveyances, including but not limited to: bagels, crackers, ruffles and one jalapeno. here we come philadelphia.

just a note to all who read this page: when i began placing pictures on this page i was told to do so in a particular way and then i copied that format each time i put more pictures on. needless to say if you view this page with a mac or netscape or even windows xp it looked wrong, terribly wrong. i finally was told today how to fix it by aaron and unless i have fucked something else up, it should now be formatted in the way that i had always intended. the problem was that my computer and the computers at school looked fine, so i just assumed that it worked for everyone. wrong. if you are viewing this for the first time "correctly," this is the way that i thought it looked all along.

this is my apartment. i live in the top left unit.

i got this idea from a kodak comercial. it has a woman taking a bunch of pictures from the top of the eiffel tower with her digital camera and then printing them out and hanging them on her wall as one giant picture. stupid right? well, then i went out to see if it would work and it actually look awsome. i printed all the pictures out 8.5 x 11 and created a big mosaic in my hallway. it actually looks suprising good (even it does kind of look like a bwm commercial) i think i'm going to try it again with some other vantage points.

tonight i had to go to osco and get some more passport pictures taken. i do believe that this is one of the worst pictures i have ever taken in my life. it didn't help that i hadn't showered all day and done nothing but watch football until this point, but still. i had to go through this whole process to get a passport and now i need more pictures and of course i lost all the extras. another 7 bucks down the drain and a whole sheet of myself half smiling and looking goony. great. if you want one, i'll send you a picture, i have to get rid of them somehow.

on another, going to africa related note, i am already preparing to hate everyone i go to africa with. i think it's better to understand this up front rather than think i'll become best frriends with a randomly selected group of people that i am going to spend way way to much time with.

Sunday, November 17, 2002

marty and i went to milwaukee yesterday for the day to see "godspell" at my old high school starring lindsay's brother jesse as jesus. before the show we tooled around in milwaukee for a while whcih was good. we went down to the new art museum on the lake and walked around. it's an amazing building and everytime that i go down there i am constantly amazed at the architecture. there was also the big quadracci wedding receptions getting underway. the quadracci's are this incredibly rich family in milwaukee that owns the printing company quad/graphics. one of the duaghters was getting married and a lavish display was being set up as we walked arounf the buidling. the quad's did donate multiple millions fo dollars to build he new addition to the museam, so i guess they receive major perks (and i'm sure it all cost a ton of money). we then went home to my house and had a big dinner cooked by my mom with my family and chris and his mom. the picture of our dinner (below) is a little blurry due to my sister's inexperience with a camera (she is only 11). oh man, i'm not a bad cook but it was so good to be home and eat a real meal for once. it seems that we are always eating fast or on the run here. it was great to finally sit down and eat.



the show was a lot of fun, but i must admit that i was mostly lost throughout the show. it does not follow much of a story line and instead retells lots of parables. i was so unfarmiliar with most of them that i was struggling to keep up. this is in many ways my problem with musicals, sometimes. overall, though, it was a lot of fun to be there and see the show that was indeed entertaining. the cast was really good and put together wll as always. it was also funny to see people that i did not know but could tell that they knew me. when i went in someone said something to me and refered to me as "chander" and then i was getting a lot of odd glances. oh, to be back in high school. the girl above is linday's siiter julia who kept making goofy faces at me when i tried to take her picture. she has a millions goofy faces. also, it's impossible to see from the picture, but jesse (the one with suspenders) was wearing the anti-raider shirt after the show. the very same anti raider shirts that my friends and i made in high school against our mascot. more about that some other time, but i was proud to see it worn. fun day overall, and marty and i drove back to chicago by 12:30. just enough time to fall aseelp on the couch watching something inane on television.

stupid packers. lost in the metrodone like i knew they would. as andy pointed out, the girls downstairs are going to be real happy next quarter when i am gone in africa and they don't have to hear me screaming and jumping up and down each weekend. ha.

Thursday, November 14, 2002

i was watching an old episode of saturday night live on comedy central tonight (bless you cable) and i witnessed one of the best cultural moments of the last two decades. m.c. hammer was the musical guest and in the middle of a rousing rendition of "too legit to quit" he stopped the song, looked right inot the camera and said, "i'd just like to welcome home the american hostages. they truly represent what it means to be too legit to quit." i almost cried i was so moved.

Wednesday, November 13, 2002

i did something incredibly stupid just now. i was at work all night, and when i was done i walked home. seems reasonable, right? but as i was walking in my front door i realized that i had driven to work tonight so that i could go to walgreens after. damn damn damn. i thgink i have done this exact same thing at three different jobs now. i hope they don't tow my car tonight.

today, my roommate andy made the claim on his website today that our trash can now smalls like month old fish because of some faulty trash bags i bought. i'd like to just make the point that the more probable reason that our trash smells like fish is because the other night andy made two huge frozen fishes, ate some of it, and then threw the remaining fish into the trash. i could be wrong, but i assume that's why our whole apartment now smells like the lake michigan beach. you decide.

last year, a guy i knew on campus made a feature length documentary on the annual scavenger hunt here on campus. i helped him film it along with 8 or 9 other people and the movie entitled "the hunt" is premiering on campus next week. it's kind of a cool thing being involved in a real movie and i'm looking forward to seeing it. the scav hunt is really a weird thing. for four days, all these kids on campus do all sorts of crazy ass shit to win. last year i spent four days following these people around with a camera and while i hope it will make a good film, the actual scav hunt is really kind of pathetic. i don't know, maybe it's the wrong word, but maybe not. so many people get riled up and do a lot of crazy stuff, but then they go back to their u of c lives. i just wish more people did more crazy shit all the time without it being sanctioned for school. i guess you can't win them all. the movie premiers on campus as a special event at our movie theater and i hope sean and chris get a good showing. they are going to try and get the movie nationaly distributed.

speaking of movies, some indie film makers were shooting a movie on campus today. kids were waiting around for ours to be extras in the shoot, but from what i can tell most did a whole lot more waiting around than actually being in the film. maybe a few will get to walk through a shot or two. maybe not. seems strange to me. eh, to each his own.

three years. amazing....and wonderful.

Monday, November 11, 2002

what a weekend. i didn't do a lick of homework, but sometimes you have to figure out your priorities. for me it was having fun and not thinking about school. saturday mike and I and his two friends from the east cost (chris and mike) spent the day touring around chicago. sometimes it’s really good to be a tour guide because you force yourself to do great things in the city and things that you normally would not do. we had pizza at gino’s east, walked around downtown and went up to wrigley and took some pictures. nothing fancy but I think they really saw chicago. then, yesterday, we all went to the bears/patriots game in champaign. mike, dan and mike’s friends (mike and chris; it’s confusing with all the mikes) had been planning to go for months. mike’s dad had gotten some extra tickets through his work, so andy and I got to go and then the day before the game, mike’s friend from south bend “dislocated his back” and marty picked up the extra ticket. so, we all piled into a few cars and went down to champaign because the bears are renovating soldier field. needless to say I was rooting ardently against the bears. good ol’ bears, they managed to squander a big lead and loose the game in the final seconds. of course andy and i brought the digital camera. these are only a small sampling of the pics we took.



it’s hard to tell from the pictures, but we had great seats. i’d just like to thanks mike’s dad again. we were also able to tailgate with them before the game (the first two pictures) and play a little football in the process. the last pic is me expressing my delight that the bears lost, but the picture really didn’t turn out well at all. eh. after the game we played some more football in the parking lot because there were 70,000 people and we were in no mood to fight the traffic getting out of there, so we just waited. good day. the bears lost, the packers won 40-14 and I didn’t think about school at all. just what I needed.

Saturday, November 09, 2002

today has been a strange, strange day. andy and i got a load more maps and books at the free book sale that they had here today. all week the books have been getting cheaper and this morning everything was free to the taking. then mike and i showed his two friends from boston around the city and somehow we tired ourselves out compleatley. we walked around downtow for a while, went up to wrigley, and then came back her and collasped for some reason. i don't think that i've been getting enough sleep. i'm going to try and get to bed early tonight and make the most of this extremely tired feeling. we're all goig to a bears game tomorrow in champaign (no, i didn't pay to see the bears) and that should be a good time, but tiring as well. maybe i'll get some pictures up after the game. go packers!

as a litte side note, if you have not listened to sonic youth's classic 1989 album daydream nation you really should. it's been sitting on my desk for weeks and i have come to realize how fantastic it really is. brush of the dust and get down to some rock music.

Friday, November 08, 2002

this is a great picture of me commiting voter fraud on behaf of andy martin. i signed the form as his father. i could be andy's father, i guess. i already have to tell him to brush his teeth and put away his dirty clothes.

for more on the voter fraud, check out andy's website .

Thursday, November 07, 2002

just a note to all copy editors out there: i am a terrible speller and i try and not worry too much about spelling on this page becasue if i can get my point across, that's good enough for me. my dad used to tell me that one day i'd be realy sorry that i am not a better speller. we'll dad, i still have not found that day, may it never come.

everytime i feel bad for procrastinating, i just think about my roomate mike cardarelli's habits (i use his last name so that maybe this page will be found when one searches for him on google). last night he spent over three hours pacing around our apartment, seemingly incapable of doing anywork. in fact, the pacing was contagious and i found myself unable to go to sleep becasue i was cough up in the madness.

incidentally, when one searches for my name (ben chandler) on google, one will be inevitable inindated with site after site regarding the attorney general of kentucky who is also named ben chandler. hmmm. maybe there is a way that i can exploit this, or at least use it to my advantage. i can't find an e-mail adress, but i'm going to try and get some bumper stickers and buttons with "ben chandler" on them.

Wednesday, November 06, 2002

after the election last night i have been doing a lot of thinking about america and the future of this nation. first of all, the voting patterns in particular states are rediculous and show just how splintered america is; republicans always win in rural area, democrats always win in urban areas and (and this is the big issue these days) republicans win the ever expanding suburbs. just look at the congressional voting patterns for texas and minnesota. sure, not every country follows this rule but its pretty damn close.


now look at the national breakdown, the results are even more weird.

while many areas are indeed quite segmented, there are vast areas of the country (and more importantly large concentrations of people) that voted democratic yet we still got rocked in the elections, especially in the senate. this sort of thing, coupled with gore's loss in 2000 (i don't care what happened in florida, the fact that gore received more votes and still lost the election is shitty, the electoral college is outdated) leads me to believe that we need a new system of government. latley i have been hearing talk of a new wave of fascism taking over (at least that's the word around our apartment) which would be good as far as i'm concerned. better that than a bunch of rediculous politicians pandering to the lowest common dedominator. did someone say philosipher king?

maybe we just divide up the country into a bunch of new countries. all the different regions would become new countries each with their own laws and system of government. it might look something like this...

i think this would solve a lot of problems. new england would be super liberal, great lakesia would be hard working, have a lot of resources and be pretty mucy the same, the south could elect all the crazy white males it would want becasue no one else would continue living there, and oregton would be one giant phish concert. but seriously, the united states has gotten to the point where it is too big for one national government to represent all the people. so many people want such different things out of the government and in responce no one is getting anything. if we divided up we would also dismatle the forgien hegemony that the us currently has and other nations would finally be in a posistion to negotiate fairly. also, the entrenched power that keeps terrible companies that pollute the environement and exploit workers would be destroyed and corporations would be forced to follow more ethical standards of business. i think it all makes sence. first fascism, then a dismatleing of the government, then we can get down to business.

what the hell happened to this country last night? i blaim all of you who didn't vote. every year the republicans get more people out to vote and this time we got destroyed. damn damn damn.

Monday, November 04, 2002

there have not been any posts in a while becasue i was out of town this weekend, home in wauwatosa. but before i left, i had the great idea to shave off my beard. it had been bugging me and it seem like time for a change. as i was shaving i decided to leave a nasty mustache just to see what it would look like and then promtly shave it off. well, it was so gross and funny that i turned it into a holloween costume with the help of mike and andy. then of course we took pictures becasue we take pictures of everything we can these days. the following pictures shows end result.


with my trucker look complete (or child molester look, according to some, but i prefer to think of it as a trucker costume) i went out to Doc where i was working that evening. in the midst of much laughter i introduced the movie (which was wayne's world) and made my way out of the theater and home to milwuakee. i was going to leave the mustache on to freak out my mom, but i didn't get a chance to see her before i went to have a discussion with noam chomsky (below) the next morning. that was really the reason that i was going home. my friend dan's father got us invited to a small discussion with noam in the morining. he sat at the end of a big table and pretended to answer questions. what he actually did was take each question and sort of turn the answer into a 15 minute speak. but it was still good. he was also speaking to 1,500 people later that night but i didn't get tickets.

so, i chose that meeting chomsky with that nasty mustache would be a bad idea. i had planned on asking him a linguistics question, but it didn't seem an apropriate place. the rest of my weekend was occupied seeing friends and family, and not thinking about school at all, which was a good change of pace. i finally saw michael moore's new movie, bowling for comunbine it was certianly a entertaining an emotional movie, but at the end i was sort of left with ahollow feeling. for one, moore doesn't really offer soltions, he just sort of exposes issues. i guess if this movie opens a bunch of people's eyes that would be good, but nothing in the film really schocked me. there are a lot of guns, we live in a violent sociey and lots of people are getting killed each year for really no reason. and while it's terrible, what's the answer. i'm not really convinced that going to charelton heston's house (the head of the nra AND moses) and making him look like a fool is the best way to go about things. it seems that all this creative energy could be doing something that would make more of a difference. but what?