Archive for December, 2006

going back to school

Friday, December 15th, 2006

I recently got accepted to Columbia College, and I’m thinking about majoring in playwriting with some screenwriting mixed in.  They have semester in L.A. program that seems kind of neat. 

I’m not sure if I am going back to school, but I’m going through the motions to.  I think Columbia might take a lot of my credits from my previous four schools, and I’d love to just take writing courses aimed at my major.

I’ve wanted to write for film, and more recently stage as well, for  years, but for some reason make up excuses not to pursue it or I let other interests (improv/performing) halt my desire to do this.  I think my greatest chance at making a living for the rest of my life is through writing.

My question to you is two fold:

A) If you could go back to school now, and cost was not an issue, what would you study?

B) What’s your ideal profession/job/career path?

Best of unemployment - Day 4

Thursday, December 14th, 2006

OR “American Mensa 4 - The Annihilation”

So last night, I took the Mensa admissions test.  It was, at times, both challenging and comical.  The test itself caught me a little off-guard - I haven’t taken formal intelligence tests since I was 5 or 6.  I didn’t realize how intimidating it is when the proctor tells you that you only have 4 minutes to finish 15 questions.  Here’s a rundown of the day’s events:

5:30 pm - I’m trying to find the Student Center East building on the UIC campus.  That’s where all this is going down.  As this happens, I’m wondering if this is how Mensa initially weeds out people - by making them successfully arrive at a confusing location.  It doesn’t help that there is no signage for the meeting at the designated location and that the information desk has no record of Mensa meeting there. (this will be important later).

6 pm - Since we’re meeting in the Student Center cafeteria, I decide to simply look for the most out-of-place person there - since that will probably be the test proctor.  But looking around, I get the feeling that I might be the most out of place person there.  Am I really this far removed from college?  I’m wearing a Browns hoodie, for chrissakes!  But I still feel old.  I find the proctor and a couple other 20-something Mensa hopefuls, and we make our way to a room upstairs.

6:15 pm - What the hell is this?  We’re being given a Wonderlic test!  Neat - I’ve never taken one of these.  FYI, a Wonderlic test is a brand of test that is often administered by companies to prospective employees to determine if they’ll be good fits for the company.  Similarly, the NFL administers Wonderlic tests to those entering the NFL draft.  I’m excited to be taking the same kind of test that Texans QB Vince Young somehow only scored a 1 on.

6:20 pm - Some of these questions are tricky, and they only get trickier.  A lot of word problems, “which of the following two proverbs mean the same thing” questions, word association and so forth.  I think I did pretty well.  You get like, 12 minutes or so to answer 50 questions.  Even the directions tell you you’re unlikely to get through all of them.  I think I got through 40, and I skipped around towards the end.  

6:35 pm - The proctor is now going over Mensa as an organization, specifically Chicago-Area Mensa.  I’m a little pissed because my brain is ready to work after that Wonderlic test, and now this guy is making me cool it down.  Anyway, as you may know, Mensa only takes people who represent the top 2% of the population (or more accurately, the population taking the test) on the Mensa admissions test or some other recognized intelligence test.  And they don’t give you your scores - you either get a letter saying you’re in or you’re out.  I cringe at the thought that I could finish in the 97th percentile and still not get in.  I’ve decided that, if I don’t get in, I will tell people I finished at the 97th percentile.

6:40 pm - We get a knock at the door.  It’s the building manager, and he knows we’re up there and that we don’t have a room reservation.  You see, the reason Mensa does testing there is because the proctor is a locksmith at UIC.  So he can just get into whatever room he wants whenever he wants.  But now we’re busted.  Our proctor talks really nervously and quickly all the time, so hearing him try to hash out a deal with the smooth, deliberate, building manager is entertaining.  But it works - we get to keep the room, but I think our proctor will be in big trouble later on.

6:45 pm - Oh shit.  He’s reading us a short story that will come into play later on.  My worst attribute throughout school was remembering what I’ve just read/heard.  I have an incredibly short attention span that borders on ADD.  I’m always looking around at things and forgetting what I’m hearing at the time. 

6:55 pm - Test 1 of 7.  The first three tests all involve word association, or more accurately, picture association.  The problem with these is that the pictures are small and hard to see.  For example, there’s a picture of a paintbrush that looks like a ballpoint pen.  There’s also a picture of something that looks like a machete.  And when you only get 4 minutes to answer 15 questions on each test, these get very tricky!  I remember one of the picture sets was a set of teeth, a cheese grater and a necktie - and you have to choose which of four other pictures goes together with them.

7:15 pm - Test 4 of 7 is about 5 or 6 minutes long.  You have to choose from different dispersions of coins that fit the criteria stated in the question - for example, the question will say:  4 coins, 70 cents.  You have 4 options to choose from that are listed in a coin dispersement table on the right-hand side.  So option U says 1 half-dollar, 1 dime, 2 nickels.  That’s 4 coins, 70 cents.  I’ll fill in U on my sheet.

(BTW, the Mensa Admissions Test is a SCANTRON test, so if you’ve had a longing to fill in the circles completely and not leave stray marks that began with the ACT/SAT/Iowa Tests, this is for you!!!)

7:30 - A vocab test.  The words are more difficult towards the end.  I remember what “ostensible” means, but the closest word to choose from is “actual”.  Ostensible doesn’t necessarily mean actual….I choose “available” as my answer.  I probably missed three or four here.

7:45 - Get out the scratch paper - it’s word problem time!  I actually enjoyed these, but I think I may have been tripped up by one or two.  You were given a circle of specific diameter that would serve as a flower bed.  And you were given the price of flowers.  You had to determine the price you’d have to pay for the number of flowers you would have to buy to fill the bed.  There may have been an additional logic component to a couple of these that I was moving too quickly to take into account.

8 pm - Uh oh.  Last test.  Remembering a story you heard over an hour ago.  I actually was very pleased with myself on this.  I won’t go into detail, but the story was a detailed description of a Greek ritual and how it has influenced modern writings.

8:15 pm - It’s all over.  I will now wait three weeks or so for a letter in the mail telling me I either got in or didn’t.  I told the proctor that the picture questions were pains in the ass because they’re so small that it’s hard to tell what they necessarily are.  He told me i can always come back and take the “culture-fair” test that doesn’t have any pictures.  I guess we’ll see if it comes to that.



Best of Unemployment - Day 3

Wednesday, December 13th, 2006

For my third day, I considered tackling an important world issue….the distressing calls by Iran for the destruction of Israel. 

But then I came across these awesome new lottery tickets from the Illinois lottery - Holiday Countdown!!!  Oh my God, these new tickets are the best thing going!  You know how lottery tickets are normally the size of a business card or two?  Well, brother, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet!  These suckers are like 6 inches wide by 8 inches long…..and it’s not just a game, it’s an experience!

You know those Christmas decorations where you open one window for each of the days leading up to Christmas, and then Christmas itself?  It’s designed like that - you open each window and then you scratch the spot underneath to reveal a holiday symbol like a skate, a snowman, a sled, etc.  If you match three, you win a prize of up to $1,000,000!!!!!

Plus, there’s a separate bonus game that allows you to match three prize amounts and still win money if you weren’t able to match the symbols.  The best part is that the tickets are only $15 each - much cheaper than spending a fortune at the Caribbean Stud Poker table of your local casino!!!

But you better hurry, because these tickets are only around for a limited time!!!

Speaking of around for a limited time, let me touch on the Israel thing I brought up earlier.  I haven’t been following this too closely because these Holiday Countdown tickets take at least five minutes each to complete if you play them properly.  But as I understand it, President Ahmadrashad of Iran is a hard-line guy who is calling for the destruction of the Jewish state and even has assembled a panel of “scholars” from around the world to discuss whether the Holocaust actually happened.  This panel is likely suspect, as I read it includes former KKK leader David Duke.  Now I know Mr. Duke has impressive credentials (he founded Duke University, where his teachings continue today), but I doubt they will reach a truly impartial decision with people like him on board.

In addition to these credibility issues, I must question the credibility of President Ahmadrashad.  I am a little more qualified to speak on this than the average joe because I followed this man’s career extensively in the 90’s when he hosted NBA Inside Stuff.   

I can certainly tell you he was never even the most credible person on this show - he consistently had to play second banana to people like former Olympian Summer Sanders and Willow Bay, who you might remember was the first American woman on the moon.  His schtick might play well over in Iran, but let me remind you, readers, that in America he’s been relegated to NBA Access and some other NBA TV crap, which can’t be good because it costs money to get.

Speaking of getting money, I just matched three skates!!!  That’s $20 in my pocket, chieftain!   


The Four Relationships

Wednesday, December 13th, 2006

The last acting class I took, the teacher said there were basically four relationships in any scene.

 1 Parent-Child, (coach-player, boss-employee, etc)

2. Peers (Friends)

3. Lovers (Amore)

 4. I forget the fourth.  Rivals???

Make up a fourth.

Best of unemployment - Day 2

Tuesday, December 12th, 2006

Let me start off first by saying that I’ve been unemployed more than just two days - it’s closer to a month.  But this is only the 2nd day I’ve decided to post something about it.

As you may remember, yesterday’s excerpt was sent in the form of an e-mail regarding, which advertises itself with the line “Get 1,000s of cash in your account - just for trusting you!”

Today’s snippet comes courtesy of the Maury show.  It’s a day that ends in “d-a-y”, so that must mean it’s paternity test day! 

Today, we found out that Jessica has a baby named Trey whom she believes was fathered by a guy named Uriah.  Poor Jessica had to literally beg for diapers for Trey from friends and family members - and Uriah was nowhere to be found.  From the looks of Jessica, I’m guessing she also had to beg someone to change Trey as well.  I’m assuming she had somewhere else to be at the time….it may have been 49-cent hamburger day at Mack-Donald’s, and being an unemployed male, I can’t say that wouldn’t keep me from my responsibilities either.

Anyway, before you chastise Uriah, keep in mind the defense he offered in his confessional video - ”in order for me to be the father, she would have to have been pregnant for 11 months - I counted the weeks on my phone!”

You know, I remember when my cell phone had a seaweed green backscreen and only told you what the current day was.  And it needed to be charged more times a day than Trey’s diapers need to be changed.  But this “next-gen” phone, as they call it, just may have saved Uriah.

Here comes the manila folder with the results.  Maury wants Uriah to be in the baby’s life if the results come back positive…….but there’s no need!  “Uriah, you are NOT the father!!!”  Yep, as it happens 35% of the time on these shows, she a ho.  As an unemployed male, I can’t stress enough the need to eliminate gold-diggin’ ho’s from our society.  So fathers (and those of you who plan to be fathers), when you teach your daughter about life and love, make sure you plan an afternoon to talk about not being a gold-diggin’ ho.

Anyway, Uriah rightly celebrated this triumph with what can best be described as a barrel roll and a crude version of the backwards roll I learned in my 4th beginner aikido class.  Jessica did not cry when the verdict was read - after all, she still has her health.  But she walked backstage with the half-smirk of a child who just knew he got caught in a lie when he said the dog was the one who covered the wall in crayon scribblings - except the scribblings Jessica had done were scribblings of being a gold-diggin’ ho. 



Enriquez Explains It All

Friday, December 8th, 2006

At Vanessa’s request, I’m putting this up here. We recently had a couple of shows with which we weren’t super happy, and it feels like we took a solid step away from those doldrums last night.

So, we’ve been discussing that a bit, and I used a football metaphor for the team’s journey there — and Coach Enriquez translated for the masses:

If you don’t mind, I have reworded Jorin’s metaphor. Instead of using something so random and obscure as sports, I figure I could tie it in to something everyone can relate to …. Broadway Musicals.

Jorin wrote:
If Revolver is a running back, our “bad” show was an injury — a turned ankle or a pulled groin. It hurt, but we still tried to produce.

What Jorin Meant To Say:
If Revolver is a Broadway musical, our “bad” show was a mediocre production — “How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying”, “Carousel”, “On the Town”

Jorin Wrote:
Then we had another show where we were running the ball, and we compiled some yards, but it still felt like we were coming up a little lame.

What Jorin Meant To Say:
Then we had another show where we were incorporating strong character arc in context of the storyline but felt like the musical numbers did not advance the plot: “Aida”, “The Will Rogers Follies”

What Jorin Wrote:
But last night it felt like we finally shook it off, went out there, and were a solid part of the offense. Not a highlight of the career, but proof that we have what it takes to be respected in this league.

What Jorin Meant To Say:
But last night it felt like we finally shook it off, went out there, and were a solid part of the ensemble. Not a Tony Award winning performance, but definitely worthy of a national touring company: “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee”, “Miss Saigon”, “The Full Monty”

What Jorin Wrote:
So, with that settled, it feels much more likely we’re going to be able to go out there and explode for over 200 yards some night — we just have to make sure we stay taped and keep disciplined so we don’t suffer a re-injury.

What Jorin Meant To Say:
So, with that settled, it feels much more likely we’re going to be able to go out there and receive a standing ovation each night. We will be the next “Wicked”. We just have to make sure to stay disciplined like a Stephen Sondheim.

Where is Rob White?

Friday, December 8th, 2006

Well, for those of you have noticed Rob White has been missing, it’s time to disclose that he’s been on a little trip to Florida.

His exploits have been documented here:

Naked Crackhead Eaten by Alligator

Now, it looks like he gave some misinformation on his age, and he sure looks different when he grows that mustache, but it’s him.

He even used his favorite pseudonym, taken from combining the first name of his all-time favorite Pittsburgh Pirate and the medical test with which he is fixated.

In any case, he started sending us some updates, and I thought I might share them.