Monday, August 30, 2004

it's amazing how nice and relaxed i feel after spending a weekend during which i not only never left my apartment, but did not get out of my bathrobe. i hadn't spent a day, much less an entire weekend, like that in longer than i can remember, and it's just so nice to do sometimes. i sat around with my roommate (only one of my four roommates was in town this weekend), watched television, cooked stuff (i made burritos, with homemade tortillas, last night...yummmmmm...), played more Gold Miner than i had any right to play, read about 170 pages of A Clash of Kings, talked to my boyfriend on the phone a few times, slept twelve hours on saturday night, and just relaxed. a lot. it was wonderful.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

great song i heard today...this is me being an emo kid.

"control"
by threequartersmile

she turns the lights out
he doesn't turn away
she thinks it's over
he thinks it's time to pay

he likes a struggle
when she doesn't want to play
but it happens
there's no other way out

something evil comes your way
it loves you more than words can say

she's reaching for an open door
she's had enough
she can't take it anymore
she prays three times a day
heaven seems so far away
she can't see her friends
and she thinks that she's in control

she's the talk of the town
everyone's talking and no-one's listening now
she runs back to that home sweet prison

something evil comes your way
it loves you more than words can say

she's reaching for an open door
she's had enough
she can't take it anymore
she prays three times a day
heaven seems so far away
she can't see her friends
and she thinks that she's in control
she swears that she's still in control
half of me is really happy today, half of me is really strung out today.

the strung out half of me has to talk to her relatives tonight. that's never fun. that half of me is probably going to be shaking the entire time i'm on the phone, and break down crying afterwards. she's dreading when her phone rings, and she's hoping she won't be accused of things like being depressed or not knowing how to be loved, things that she was accused of the last time i was on the phone with them. she knows i'll be yelled at, she knows they'll be mad at me, and she hasn't quite come to terms with the fact that they will ALWAYS be mad at me, always be disappointed in me, because i'll never be that perfect, close little girl they're dying to have.

the happy half of me just has a fun, evil plan in store. :) she isn't thinking about talking to her relatives, she isn't thinking about her relatives at all. she's just thinking about something that makes me very very happy. no details here now, but rest assured it's happy happy.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

more general relative-related frustration...some quotes to paint a picture.

"you think you were there to guide me
you were only in my way
you're wrong if you think that i'll be just like you"
"Just Like You"
by Three Days Grace

"i can't give you what you need
for a sacrifice
too much for me"
"Purple"
by Fat Amy

"lost in a world of doubt and insecurity
nothing that you hold sacred
nothing you believe
your life is a contradiction
while you thrive on manipulation
i fight to just hold on to what i believe"
"The Thing I Hate"
by Stabbing Westward

"i'm crazy
for lying to myself
and you for trying"
"Let Me Go"
by The Marvelous 3

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

i hate the mock trial case. with the exception of whitney gerkin, it's awful awful awful.

i'll still coach it, of course. but, i know i lost brain cells last night when i read it.

more on that later, i need to get back to the basement of the library.

Sunday, August 22, 2004

the mocker party in st. paul was lots and lots of fun. :) i'm out of st. paul now...but i haven't gone home yet. some of the folks are coming into madison, so screw work tomorrow. i'm partying in madison with the girlies. i've got lots of fun pictures, some stupid magazines, and some cheese that i got at the cheese store we stopped at on the way to st. paul. and i had fun pizza.

i'm in a goofy, silly, fun mood right now. almost time for the rest of the girls to get here!!! :) stories later, maybe.

Friday, August 20, 2004

yay! only twenty more minutes at work...and then it's off for the weekend. :) this weekend should be good stuff--i'm taking another trip. this time it's to st. paul, minnesota...there's going to be a mocker party there!! one of the wonderful mockers rented a hotel room in downtown st. paul, and we're all going to get together tomorrow night for the sake of just plain goofing off. i can't wait...i really don't know what's going to take place other than hanging around and drinking, but it's going to be a lot of fun to hang out. hopefully lots of people will come. i know of five people who are definitely coming, and two maybes...and if you're a mocker who's reading this and can get to st. paul tomorrow night, you should come!!!!
i read the most disturbing thing yesterday at work. i was barcoding books, and i came across the committee reports of the Louisiana Committee on Un-American Activities. i flipped through the books--including a hearing on the Ku Klux Klan (or, more accurately, one of the groups of it that existed in Louisiana at the time, the Original Knights of the KKK.) anyway, most of it was the normal rhetoric that such hate groups use, that everyone knows them for...protection of the white race, defense of christianity, devotion to america. it's disheartening, it's awful, but it's not surprising. one of the things i read, though, definitely surprised me. there was a list of "fifty reasons why you should join the Original Knights of the KKK", and one of the reasons was:

"because we believe that education is not THE solution to our political ills."

what?? i've never seen something so disturbing written by a hate group--probably because it so lucidly and succinctly describes the root of the problem with hate groups. they are clearly ignorant institutions, but usually they couch themselves in the rhetoric that they are the true and enlightened ones, apart from the mass of society. i've never seen a group say in print, in so many words, that education is a fruitless endeavour, that people should join their group because remaining ignorant is the right thing to do. that bothers me, and that scares me, that people would actually read that and make a conscious choice to pursue that path of ignorance and hate.
my last coffee filter disappeared. i couldn't make coffee this morning. fridays are usually good, but fridays without coffee are absolutely miserable. :-(

sad me.

Thursday, August 19, 2004

sometimes internet radio exposes me to cool songs. "what god said" by the uninvited is one of them. the lyrics are great...simultaneously funny and a slap in the fact the religious right.
on the walk home from work yesterday, i was talking to one of my co-workers, and she said the most refreshing thing ever.

"i married young--i was 25."

it heartens me that i'm not the only one who thinks that getting married in the mid-twenties is young. with my mother seeming to want to marry us all off at eighteen, it's just welcome. 25 is young to marry, but it's still an age where it's plausible that you'd have experienced enough to intelligently decide to settle down and pick a spouse. kudos to her...she's restored some faith in humanity and sanity.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

life is looking pretty good right now.

last night, although my team didn't win any money, we didn't tank the bonus round at pub trivia--we got eight right out of ten, and weren't too far back.

then i went to play poker, and ended up ahead $37.25. no-limit hold 'em, seven-stud high-low, omaha high-low, deuce-to-seven lowball...didn't matter what we were playing, i was winning money. :) had a little scare when i went out early on a lucky river card at no-limit hold 'em after buying in for $20...realised that bankroll was low for the way everyone was playing, bought in for $40 more, and turned that $40 into almost $100. i've got a few nice little poker stories...
one was really funny, there was this one guy that kept going into pots with me when we were playing omaha. we'd both bet a lot of money because we both had decent high hands--both times he won the high hand, but i'd take the low and we'd just end up splitting the pot. i was a little bummed on one of the hands...there were two clubs on the flop, and there was a jack and a seven. my hand was jack (not a club), seven (not a club), and then ace and some random low card of clubs. i had top two pair and a nut-flush draw, had some low cards--a beautiful chance to scoop. i flipped over my cards, he flipped his--he had trip fours (two in the pocket, one on the board). i was hoping for a club--it didn't fall, but at least i raked in a low hand for half the pot. he was pissed.

the other stories have to do with hold 'em. one hand, i had 6-9 offsuit. i was big blind and didn't have to put any more than a buck or so in over my $.50 blind, so i saw the flop...the guy who raised was big stack, and he'd been bluffing like a wild man all night, stealing blinds and all. the flop came 5-7-9--it paired my nine, and gave me an inside straight draw. i fired away to try and steal the pot, betting three bucks on a pot that was only probably about $2.50. the guy who raised preflop called me, which didn't surprise me because he was sitting on a load of chips. it crossed my mind he might have a high pocket pair, but the odds were against it, and i wanted to call his bluff. he didn't raise me, so that eased my mind. the next card falls...it was higher than a nine, but i decided why not, let's bet three more dollars. he called. the river comes--it's the eight i need to make my straight. i bet $10, and he got the most confused look on his face. he spent two minutes deciding whether or not to call. he begs me to show me at least one card of mine before he decided to call or not...i don't do that stuff, so i sat back and revelled in his confusion. finally he decided not to call, and he said he was wondering what the heck i had, since i had been playing all the time like i had something already (i wouldn't bet THAT much on nothing but an inside straight draw!), and then on the river i played like i had a six. the confusion amused me so much that i showed him my cards after i folded--showed him i had the pair, and then made the straight on the river. yay for random cards on the big blind that end up doing me well.

my other story was the last pot of the night, another no-limit hold 'em hand. i had jack and some other random card of spades. the guy to my left went all-in after the flop--he had almost no chips, he really had no other choice. the guy to my right calls, and so do i--i had paired my jack, and i had the flush draw. the turn comes, i didn't make my flush. i bet a little, he called. the river comes, and i did make my flush. the guy to my right bet, and i raise him all-in. he calls. he flips over his straight. i flip over my flush. the guy to my left didn't even show, must have had a pair or something. there were only four people left, and i had just taken two of them out...so we broke for the night. the guy who went all-in on the straight was the same guy i kept splitting omaha pots with...it was rather funny because i kept getting the best of him. i love poker.

today's shaping up to be a pretty decent day too. i'm tired from the poker, but oh well. i don't care. i got to work, and one of the librarians brought a bunch of menswear we could rifle through and take. i found a shirt, a suit, and a tie that look like they'll work on me, so i took them...i sure hope they do work, because it'll be awesome to finally have an honest-to-God men's suit. i heart dressing in drag.

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

i love you, governor blagojevich. if we can't have national health care, at least we have a governor who will buck the feds and let us have cheaper prescription drugs.
i should have learned something years ago, when i was a kid. i don't know what, though...i should have either learned to give up on myself or to distrust my family. i've come too far with myself to completely give up on it now (however tempting it may be), but i'm still too reluctant to just give up on my relatives as well, since we coexisted for so long. i know it's going to be one or the other in the long run...i hope i can find the strength to make myself the survivor.
i realized last night, when i was writing in my paper (private!) journal over a beer at jimmy's...i really do think about sex and sexuality a lot. i think about it in the specific...my own experiences, my own desires, my own sexuality. i also think about it in the abstract, reading books and essays and the like, imagining what it must be like for others of different persuasions. i don't know...it all confuses me and fascinates me. it's a fun topic. practically all of my specific rants and thoughts go in my paper journal--it's just too much information for me to share with the general public. (i kept a blog once, under a pseudonym, that had too much information in that regard, and then i decided it was a bad idea...abandoned that blog, and stuck to pens and paper for anything having to do with my own chases and exploits.) the general rants, the ones that escape my head, anyway...sometimes show up here and sometimes in the pen and paper journal. it depends on my mood, really.

the one big thing that crossed my mind this morning has to do with sexuality and whose business it is. sometimes my own sexuality feels like no one's business but my own. it makes a kind of sense--no one should treat me any differently based on who i'm attracted to, what kinds of features i'm attracted to, what kinds of bodies and acts turn me on. it isn't directly relevant to anyone except for whoever i'm sleeping with, or trying to sleep with, as the case may be at different times. then again, it is everyone's business in a sense. if they know about my sexuality, they might stop making assumptions, or at least might stop extrapolating things about me that end up being way, way off base. i'm an open book, so i usually err on the side of telling people, err on the side of too much information, as long as it's something that involves the life of my mind (as opposed to involving things that have others entwined in them--there, i'm deeply private out of respect for others involved.)

i really don't have an overarching Point here, but i've still not come to an answer on whose business sexuality really, really is.

Monday, August 16, 2004

as you can probably tell from the fact that i'm posting again, i'm back from vegas. :) i got back saturday night, and all in all it was a really, really fun trip. i actually came out ahead on gambling this time...i won about $250, the vast majority of it (about $200) from playing poker. i played lots and lots of poker with my boyfriend, and some of the other people on the trip also played quite a bit of poker...it was great to have so many of us playing. :) made for some fun times at the table...like when my boyfriend and i kept raising and reraising each other, only to split the pot with a full house. that was the funniest poker occurrence ever, and we both about died laughing when that happened. we also all played quite a bit of blackjack...i did okay on my own, but it was especially nice once i used the strategy card that my boyfriend brought. :) (i have some mind for blackjack, but not as much as for poker...although i'm finally getting the hang of most of it.)
i'm rather pissed off at the luxor, though...they said they were having a 40-person, $25 buy-in no limit texas hold 'em tourney friday night, so the six of us on the trip were going to play. we were all looking so forward to it. i get there with my boyfriend, and they tell us to get in the line. then, they announce some gibberish...that ends up meaning that the sign-up was actually elsewhere. all the people already at tables cut in front of us and bought in--then they proceeded to tell us that they had changed it to a 9 person, $50 buy-in satellite. we were pissed. i hate that casino...last time i went to vegas i lost a lot of money playing poker there, and this time they change their tournament on a dime and screw us all over. just not cool.
i've been a fan of this for a while, ever since my boyfriend showed it to me. it's Don Hertzfeldt's cartoon "Rejected"--there's no way i can describe it in words, i've tried and miserably failed to put its genius into words. it's a random, random cartoon...and one of the funniest things i have ever seen in my life. do yourself a favour, and please watch it. :) it'll make your day.
more fark linkage. religious theme today...

first something absolutely asinine. i'm not one for organized religion, really, but i can understand how some people like its structure. still, i think this is going way too far for the catholic church to stick to doctrine.


Church Denies 8-Year-Old's Non-Wheat Communion
Girl Has Digestive Problem


POSTED: 9:34 am EDT August 13, 2004

BRIELLE, N.J. -- An 8-year-old girl who has a rare digestive disorder and cannot consume wheat has had her first Communion declared invalid because the wafer contained none.

Now, Haley Waldman's mother is pushing the Diocese of Trenton and the Vatican to make an exception, saying the sacrament should be changed to accommodate the girl's condition.

Roman Catholic doctrine holds that communion wafers must have at least some unleavened wheat, as did the bread served at the Last Supper of Jesus Christ before his crucifixion.

In May, the girl received her her first Holy Communion from a priest who offered her a wheat-free host. But last month, the diocese told the priest that Waldman's sacrament would not be validated by the church because of the substitute wafer.

on the other hand, this is just cool. if i could bring myself to square with the idea of having a sacred book, i'd want it to have math equations in it.

Modern Students Devour Old Math
By
Manu Joseph
02:00 AM Aug. 14, 2004 PT

MUMBAI, India -- What is the square of 85? In an instant, a 17-year-old boy said without blinking, "7,225."

Kamlesh Shetty had used a trick from a quaint concept called Vedic math, a compilation of arithmetic shortcuts believed to have been written by ancient Indians who lived centuries before Christ, during a glorious period in Indian history called the Vedic Age. Its math has now crawled into the 21st century to further Shetty's dream of cracking a nasty engineering entrance exam.

For most Indian students, engineering is a calling decided in the cradle by their parents. It is engineering that is most likely to take them away from Third World realities to the shores of America's good life. So the tussle to get into engineering colleges is often cruel. In top entrance exams, only one out of 100 candidates makes the cut.

Quick problem-solving ability becomes the most crucial link between aspiration and fortune. Coaching for these exams is a multimillion-dollar industry in India, but with almost every student equipped with such preparatory courses, the applicants search for something more. That's why several Indian students are beginning to get help from an ancient source -- Vedic math. It has 16 brief formulas in Sanskrit that have been translated and interpreted into astonishing arithmetic shortcuts.

Shetty did not know the original Sanskrit verses, but he did know how to crack the square of 85 in less than a second. "To find the square of any number ending with 5, just put 25 on the right-hand side," he said. "Take the number that precedes five. In this case it is 8. Add 1 to it. So in this case it becomes 9. Multiply 8 and 9. You get 72. 7,225 is the square of 85. It's easy."

Shetty is preparing for the prestigious Joint Entrance Exam. Over 150,000 candidates take this entrance exam every year to compete for only about 3,500 seats in the Indian Institute of Technology. Two-thirds of IIT's graduates leave for America, augmenting the thousands already there who contribute to the institute's reputation. American colleges and industry greatly favor students from IIT, a situation that has only increased competition to enter the institute.

Pradeep Kumar, who teaches Vedic math in Delhi, said, "There is an increasing interest among IIT aspirants to take the help of Vedic math." Kumar charges such students about $120 for 40 hours of lessons. He teaches more than 200 students in the classroom and guides over 600 through long-distance courses.

Not all of his students dream of attending IIT. Several, mostly engineering pupils, are preparing for MBA entrance exams as tough as IIT's. One of Kumar's students, Kartik Arora, said, "Obviously Vedic math cannot teach you how to solve a problem. But it greatly reduces the computing time. I can vouch for the fact that in a two-hour exam, I can save about 10 minutes using Vedic math."

Vedic mathematics was ushered into the modern age by a Hindu seer called Tirthaji Maharaja, after his book on the subject was published posthumously in 1965. He culled 16 formulas from ancient scriptures. Whether the formulas were indeed written centuries ago or were largely partisan interpretations of obscure Sanskrit text is a matter of academic debate.

T.A. Ramasubban, who has penned a book on Vedic math, said, "The controversy arises because some people question how a cryptic Sanskrit verse that means several things can be safely interpreted as an arithmetic shortcut. For example, there is a verse in the Vedas (scriptures) that praises Lord Krishna in the Vedas. If the Sanskrit words are interpreted, the verse gives the value of pi to 30 decimal points.

"My point is that a verse may extol a god, but ... if it also gives the value of pi to 30 decimals, it cannot be a coincidence or desperate translation."

The controversy over whether ancient texts have been unfairly stretched to pass as formulas does not affect students like Prashant Chopra. He is a fourth-year engineering student gearing up for an MBA entrance test to secure a place in the Indian Institute of Management. Last year, more than 130,000 students vied for 1,300 seats. Thanks to Vedic math, Chopra can arrive at the square of 109 in a second -- and that means more to him than whether the subject is indeed Vedic or math.

Top preparatory courses that coach hundreds of thousands of students do not teach Vedic math yet. "I know that many of my own students are curious about Vedic math," said Rajesh Lad, a math instructor, "but I believe that learning a new way of computation may confuse students. Students must sharpen methods that they are comfortable with instead of taking exotic routes."
Dinesh Arora, a Vedic math teacher whose two sons will be testing for IIT after mastering the tips of Vedic math, said with a chuckle: "These (teachers) do not realize that some of the shortcuts they themselves suggest are indirectly sourced from Vedic math."

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

well...off work, and off to vegas. :) see you next week...hopefully with a fatter wallet, and hopefully with hilarious stories.
nothing says bored-at-work like three blog entries in one morning. oh well, there she goes. anyway, i don't really post surveys on this thing...but i like this one. and it has to do with music. so i'm posting it. so there. got it off of another blog, http://www.nikkichannel.net/. a good blog, you should read it.

Music Survey:
Reminds you of an ex-"lover": “dizzy" by orgy
Reminds you of an ex-friend: "how to disappear completely" by radiohead
Makes you happy: "enemy" by eve 6
Makes you cry: "rest stop" by matchbox20
Makes you laugh: "every country song" by steve goodman
Makes you wanna dance: “i've suffered a head injury" by the verve pipe
You wish you wrote: "sick of it all" by finger eleven
You never want to hear again: "people who died" by jim carroll
Makes you want to mosh/bang your head: "it's a stick-up" by dead man holiday
Album you grew up listening to: villains by the verve pipe
Sums up your early teen years: "even the score" by the verve pipe
Song that gets stuck in your head easily: "beginnings" by memento
You like out of your parents record collection: "eight days a week" by the beatles
You love the video as much as the tune: "red" by treble charger
Reminds you of your first crush: "it's all coming back to me now" by celine dion
Your favorite remake: "how soon is now" redone by snake river conspiracy
You play so that you can fall asleep: "breed" by snake river conspiracy
You love which is from your favorite movie: "lesbian seagull" (the song that mr. van driesen sings in beavis and butt-head do america)
You play when you’re depressed: "kody" by matchbox20
Makes you think of sex: "going under" by evanescence (pretty much anything by evanescence, actually...), or "surgeon general's warning" by ratbag hero
Makes you think of being alone: "be air tight" by inept
this is absolutely hilarious. it's like the reverse lysistrata project...do something good for the country, and you get laid. i love it, and i totally endorse it.

Would good sex make Bush voters abandon him?

By Kristen Convery / Aug. 5, 2004

There's no polite way to tell this: A Pittsburgh-based group called Fuck the Vote claims it's offering sex to would-be Bush voters in return for their signed pledges to vote against the president in November.

Is it a hoax, in the grand tradition of 1993's bogus Arm the Homeless campaign? If not, people on both sides of the vote-for-sex swap could be breaking election laws.

The group's founder, Nathan Martin, said last week he intends to kick off his bus tour of the "swinger state" of Ohio in style, with a big, blue van with a pull-out bed and a "Fuck the Vote boat" that will be used for day trips.

At political events by day and bars by night, Martin said, the group will be distributing condoms and pledge forms: "I, the undersigned, pledge my vote for anyone but George W. Bush on November 2, 2004 in return for getting laid or at least getting some play."

Martin acknowledged the obvious: that horny young people are the most obvious targets of his effort. He said he plans to visit plenty of college towns.

"Columbus," he said, "is great for that."

The group's website looks more like a fetish page than anything else, complete with pictures of "models"—who, as the site goes to great lengths to make clear, "ARE NOT PROSTITUTES."

If Martin's group is a joke, he should at least make up better numbers: Last week, the group's site claimed only three sex-for-vote swaps in Florida and one in New Mexico.

Martin said he's unconcerned that FTV's claim—that it will actually convert hardcore GOP voters, if only for one election—is dubious.

"You don't make sure of anything," he said, musing on the effectiveness of the pledge forms. "If you make sure of anything, it would be illegal."

Actually, Ohio elections officials will take a dim view of his plan anyway.

Staffers for Republican Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell—who, theoretically, are prime targets for FTV—will be monitoring the group if it ventures across the border.

It's a fourth-degree felony to offer or accept "anything of value" for votes, said Carlo LoParo, spokesman for the office. (It doesn't matter that FTV isn't telling people who to vote for. In the past, LoParo said, stores that have given discounts to shoppers with "I voted today" stickers have been ordered to stop.)

So now for the big question: Does sex fall under the state's definition of "anything of value"?

"I guess it would depend on the individual," LoParo said. But he offered a warning:

"If someone offers or accepts, they'll really be screwed."
oh dear...7:30 and i'm already at work. so early. then again, last night is definitely one of those nights where i got a short sleep...and therefore i have a false sense of alertness this morning. by one or two this afternoon, though, i'm going to be fading away. at least i get off work at 3:30--i need that 'cause i leave o'hare at 7:05 this evening. direct flight to vegas, baby!!! :) i can't wait for that at all...i packed last night, and i'm bringing all these cute clothes. vegas is definitely a fun place to wear fun clothes...one of my friends on the trip wants to go clubbing one night, so i brought some skirts. i haven't decided if i'm going to wear my shiny blue princess skirt for clubbing, and then wear my plaid slutty schoolgirl shirt one day just out to gamble, or if i'm going to do it the other way around. it probably will be the princess skirt for clubbing, since i think it would be super funny to wear the slut skirt to the poker tournament at the luxor on friday night. oh well, i've got time. what matters right now is that my flight lands at mccarran at about ten minutes to nine tonight. i'm going to grab my checked bag, drop my stuff off at new york new york, and then just go out and go crazy. i think everyone but my boyfriend will already be there tonight; he gets there tomorrow, and i'm going to meet him at the airport. this should be such a fun weekend...i just need to slog through this long, long day of work first.

Monday, August 09, 2004

funny exchange between me and one of my friends who delights in calling my boyfriend "the coroner" (since he played one on mock trial). there was a book at the library about coroners in kansas...and this was the exchange that ensued.

"he's not a coroner, he just played one."

"yeah yeah yeah. you keep telling yourself that...and he'll keep incising the dead."
first, a stupid and disturbing story i found on fark.com. it's absolutely sick that the sponsors of the olympics have so much power over what people bring--if this isn't capitalism run absolutely amok, i don't know what is. sure, let the sponsors hang a sign. it's annoying, but it's the nature of sponsorship. don't tell people what they can and can't wear, can and can't eat...as a condition of being let in to watch the olympics. it's just not fair, not right.

Olympian struggle: Fans face boot for eating or drinking wrong brands at games

By MARK FRANCHETTI
The Sunday Times

In a far cry from the high-minded ideals of humanity and tolerance embodied by the Olympics, the organizers of the Athens games have warned spectators that they could be barred for taking a surreptitious sip of Pepsi or an illicit bite from a Burger King Whopper.
Strict regulations published by Athens 2004 last week dictate that spectators may be refused admission to events if they are carrying food or drinks made by companies that did not see fit to sponsor the games.
Sweltering sports fans who seek refuge from the soaring temperatures with a soft drink other than one made by Coca-Cola will be told to leave the banned refreshment at the gates or be shut out. High on the list of blacklisted beverages is Pepsi, but even the wrong bottle of water could land spectators in trouble.
Fans will be allowed into the Olympic complex if they are drinking Avra, a Greek mineral water owned by Coca-Cola, which paid $60 million US for the privilege of being one of the main sponsors. Officials are under orders not to let in rival brands' bottles unless the labels are removed.
Staff will also be on the lookout for T-shirts, hats and bags displaying the unwelcome logos of non-sponsors. Stewards have been trained to detect people who may be wearing merchandise from the sponsors' rivals in the hope of catching the eyes of television audiences. Those arousing suspicion will be required to wear their T-shirts inside out.
Known as the "clean venue policy," the rules were drawn up by the Greeks and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to shield sponsors from so-called "ambush marketing" - an attempt to advertise items during the games without paying sponsorship fees.
The restrictions on food and drink are intended to ensure that only items made by official sponsors such as McDonald's and two Greek dairy firms are consumed at Olympic venues.
An official familiar with the restrictions said: "We have to protect official sponsors who have paid millions to make the Olympics happen. There will be cases of individual spectators being allowed in wearing a T-shirt bearing the logo of a rival sports brand but anyone who tries to practise ambush marketing will be removed."
This will also apply to members of a crowd sitting next to each other wearing clothing with letters that spell out a political or religious message.
The restrictions, which have drawn criticism from Amnesty International, are even harsher for the thousands of stewards and volunteers working at Athens 2004 who have been supplied with uniforms but no shoes.
"We have to provide our own shoes and we were told that we shouldn't wear trainers with a bright logo from a sports brand which is not an official sponsor like Adidas," said one.
The main sponsors of the games have paid more than $1 billion in total for exclusive advertising rights and privileges, including the use of the Olympic logo under their brand names. It is not even possible to buy a ticket to the Olympics using a credit card other than Visa, which paid more than $30 million for its exclusive rights.
Other brands can display small logos if they are sponsoring a national team or an individual athlete, but official sponsors have turned some of the games' most famous names into walking billboards.
The image of Michael Phelps, the American swimmer aiming to win seven gold medals, has even appeared on Visa cards. All American medal winners are required to wear an Adidas outfit on the podium, according to the company's sponsorship contract with the U.S. Olympic Committee.
Kostas Giannis, a Greek sports fan, said: "I don't see why, after all the money that Greek taxpayers will end up paying to host the games, McDonald's should dictate what I can eat in my own city."


another weird story off of fark...let's just say i really don't want to have to deal with this particular type of transit clerk. ever.

Subway clerk arrested for punching woman

By Sean Gardiner
Staff Writer
August 8, 2004, 9:23 PM EDT


A token booth clerk in the Bronx was arrested after allegedly punching a woman in the face during an argument sparked when the woman complained that her MetroCard wasn't working.

Gonslee Gordon, 48, was charged with assault after punching Maimouna Saoidoh, 23, in the left eye around 5 p.m. Saturday in the 170th Street station, police said.

Gordon, who started working for NYC Transit in Dec. 1993, was inside the booth when Saoidoh approached him. The two argued, and Gordon left the booth and struck the woman, police said.

Saoidoh went to Bronx Lebanon Hospital complaining of injuries to her left eye and neck. She was treated and released.

In a statement, NYC Transit spokesman James Anyansi said the agency "will not tolerate aggressive behavior of any kind against our customers" and plans to investigate. Gordon could disciplined or dismissed if found to be at fault, Anyansi added.

Copyright © 2004, Newsday, Inc.

finally back from the first of my two vacations...i'm feeling good. being at work sucks, and i miss my sweetheart like absolutely crazy, but it was such a fun, relaxing week. he's the sweetest, most adorable, most fun guy ever...and the more time i spend with him, the more time i want to. at least i get to see him again on thursday...i fly t0 las vegas on wednesday, and he flies in on thursday. :) that means i get thursday and friday to hang out with him...he's staying there 'til sunday, but i'm leaving on saturday morning. guess i have to slog through three days of work until then, but it shouldn't be so bad with my new CD player and the fact that i've just spent the last week vacationing.

i might post more later, if i see fit...i should get my coffee and go back to the basement. my break's in half an hour, anyway. this is more of an i'm bored/i'm not dead post anyway.

and an excuse to think of...someone. :) not that i need an excuse anyway.