Friday, February 29, 2008

Pres. Lib.

I wanna go to a Presidential Library!

I guess Jimmy Carta's is closest in Atlanta, but I could always go back to the homeland to see what the heck Rutherford B. Hayes or William McKinley ever did.

Too bad they don't have a library for William Henry Harrison -- I guess that would be more like a single bookshelf (I died in thirty days!).

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Having Fun at FSU (from January 2004).

The following is an email I found when I was dredging through my archives, trying to delete hundreds of useless emails. I sent it out in January 2004, which was just before I started this blog. Otherwise, I'm sure I would have posted it here.

I should have done my honors thesis on something like this -- I could have used my other satire piece and could have tested out more things. I could have called it "The impact of dripping satire on undergraduate drips."


(Names were #'d out where I found it appropriate; it is otherwise presented in its original form. Needless to say, there is a big [SIC] to put in over this whole post, as well as tiny [sic]s to put in, where appropriate, in the email messages that I quote from.)


Subject: Having Fun at FSU

In the middle of football season, the obvious abuse of the email server at FSU was getting out of control. People haggled for prices over Miami tickets as if they were vital organs. Remember that each FSU student is guaranteed a free coupon for each home football game, and it is their responsibility to turn it in for a real ticket the week before the specified game. People were selling both student coupons and tickets online. This is about the time I got a free coupon to see an advanced screening of the remake of Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

Psychological experiment Number One:

Wednesday, October 1st, 2003. I sent out the following email to everyone in the honors program at FSU:

Subject: I REALLY HATE MASS E-MAILS, ... but

"I really hate mass emails. However, although it would be a big
inconvenience for all of you, I've found that it would be an even bigger
convenience for me.
Thus, I am here to offer you a chance to see THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE.
For a low price of $100 (let the bidding begin), you will be able to see
this remake of a classic by purchasing a coupon that I got for free (with
some planning and foresight). Cash only, please."

-Justin DLC

Though obvious in its blaring cynical sarcasm, I soon began to get responses to my message.

#1 "i hope this is a joke"

I replied

"It is. Unless someone actually offers me $100 that is..."

#2 "Where do you get all the e-mail addresses for the mass mailing??



I told her where to find the information, but that my intention was to deter use of the system for personal gain.

Following are a few responses from outraged people (edited):

#3 "who the hell would pay $100 for a movie?"

#4 "Please never e-mail me again, no matter how good of an offer you are
giving me."

#5 "$100 for something that we can pay the regular movie ticket price for
whenever it comes out? Are you insane?"

#6 "TAKE ME OFF YOUR EMAIL LIST!!!!!!!" (I'm sad this person didn't understand the true nature of my experiment. Meh.)

#7 "You selfish f***. Wasting everyone's time just thinking about yourself"

#8 "I'm hoping u mean 1.00 and if u do, im interested~Katie" (at least Katie took this lightly.)

#9 "Hey,
Why would you sell a ticket for $100 for this movie when you got the damn
ticket for FREE? I mean come on! When the general public can see it for
free when it DOES come out."

Though this writer chose to be "anonymous," a very subtle clue lead me to the discovery of her true identity- the "From" field of the email: "Ms. Mariana #. ####" #####@... (she even used the FSU email account, which meant it would take me 5 seconds to look up her name on the roster- if she hadn't posted it in the From section of her outgoing mail).
I promptly sent a reply:

Dear "anonymous 'Ms. Mariana #. ####' (as posted on your outgoing message),"

"I am truly sorry. I did not wish to evoke hostility among the honors
students here at Florida State. My email was a socially-aware satire on
the abuse of the blackboard system by people trying to better themselves-
it was not a sincere effort to sell a "free coupon," as I see and was
trying to point out the irony of this occurrence amongst the several
solicitations daily to purchase or sell free student coupons. I hope you
understand now and am sorry for any misinterpretation of my satirical

Most Sincerely,
Justin de la Cruz

To which she replied

Subject: your apology

"I didn't know you were "targeting" someone, in this case, FSU's
Blackboard system. I thought you personally was selling this ticket."

Some people just don't get it...

#10 "Dude, you're a huge f***ing dumbass. Those coupons are still available
for free at the Student Life Building. They're giving more out on Monday
to anyone with an FSU card. Plus, why would anyone want to pay 100
dollars just to see a movie a week and a half in advance?"

Because he was so adamant, I sent him the same reply that I sent to Ms. Bens, to which he humbly replies

"I thought you might of been joking because it was so rediculous what you
were saying. Now that I know, I like what you did, I thought it was
funny, and I apologize for attacking you for being stupid, when in truth
it was myself who was being stupid."

Conclusion: Everyone who sent me an email thought that I was sincere in trying to sell a free coupon to a movie for $100. I am sure some understood my message upon first reading- I just did not receive any correspondence from those who did. I decided to share this experience with others, as every time I read the "anonymous" email, I find myself laughing at the expense of others. Thank you for your time spent reading this.


Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Very poignant article.

I read the "Chronicle for Higher Education" every so often at work (hey, no one else does, so somebody's gotta do it) and it gives me a good idea of what people think of being a professor. Some are cynical, and some are idealistic, but this article just struck quite a chord with me, even only as a recent undergrad graduate:

The Sweet Lure of Your Graduate-School Town

And even though I haven't done it yet, I suspect very strongly that the "Sweet Lure" for me will be to Tallahassee and FSU, whether I go to grad school, become a professor, or whatever. Everything that Sperber wrote about here, I associate with FSU, and even if I end up going to a "better" school with "better" resources for grad studies, I'm still convinced that I'll think of FSU later on.


I just came across a crossword on a page somewhere, and then I started to turn the page, but glanced at a clue: "26 Infamous 1995 box-office bomb". I immediately thought of an office bomb, like the unabomber. Then I read it again.

I quickly thought of Gigli, but remembered that that was certainly not back in 1995. Then, off the top of my head, I was like... "When was Waterworld made?"

It fit.

(I'm not going to do the puzzle, I just thought that was funny for some reason.)

Things I Don't Remember.

My co-worker brought her daughter into work today, and I asked her about what she was reading (I had heard she doesn't like reading very much). She said her mom makes her read a lot of boring stuff, like Johnny Tremain, but sometimes she gets to read books about thoroughbreds. (They live on a farm... sorta.)

I asked her what Johnny Tremain was about, and when she said it was set in Boston... I was like -- "The one about the apprentice? A silversmith? He burns his hand??".


It suddenly all came back to me. A few years ago, I remembered reading this book, and thought of how seemingly dark it was to read at such a young age, but I couldn't remember the title. I thought it was "Johnny" something. Tight.

I think after I finish reading The Graduate (snooze... kinda), I will check out the books on this list (watch out for popup ads!). Notably, the ones I remember reading:

The Outsiders, S. E. Hinton (1968) - This was pretty tight. Ponyboy! Nooo! It was like a less effeminate version of West Side Story... for kids. It also had a great cover:

It's like that Queen video.


The Catcher in the Rye, J. D. Salinger (1951) -- Wait... I read this as a senior in high school! What is this doing on a list of children's books, alongside several "Berenstain Bears" titles??? (I always thought it was "Bernstein," you know, like Leonard? At least I know how to pronounce it the way it's really spelled.) The inclusion of this book on this list is hella lousy.

James and the Giant Peach, Roald Dahl; illustrated by Nancy Burkert (1988) -- This had to be cool, because I remember liking it a lot more than the movie. Also, BFG. Where are you, BFG? You're not on the list... :(

Hatchet, Gary Paulsen (1988) -- Screw all these other books. Merry Christmas, Mom and Dad... how about "Go out in the woods and struggle for survival, Brian"??? This was Man Vs. Wild for young 'uns. Everybody wanted to spear fish and almost starve to death. And yet another award-winning cover:

The Giver, Lois Lowry (1994) -- I never read this: I tried. I got through a chapter or so. Everyone was telling me it was great. Whatever.

How to Eat Fried Worms, Thomas Rockwell (1975) -- I'm pretty sure I read this. Either this, or some other book where kids eat worms. It first introduced me to the term "Nightcrawler".

The Sign of the Beaver, Elizabeth George Speare (1984) -- The only thing I remember about this book is that it was the first assigned book when I joined GSP (gifted students program, yo) in sixth grade. And then Eileen Conway teased me by saying "You're the only one that does the assigned reading," which may have been true, because some of those students were, uhhh, truly "gifted."

The Chocolate War, Robert Cormier (1986) -- I might re-read this, although it is one of only a few books I really despised.

Not making the list -- I also really enjoyed The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle and want to revisit that one. I think I also read Adam of the Road, although I don't remember anything about it except that I remember seeing it a whole lot in my room and on my bookshelf.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Presidential primaries.

This is the first time I've been following the presidential primaries. Most of the articles I read, I've just noticed, are very strange. They speak of the Hispanics in Texas, the blacks in South Carolina, et al.

Do these people know they're being written about?

It's kind of scary, because a lot of it has to do with fundraising, and then I thought "why do they need so much money?" And the reason is because they need to run tv and paper ads in the states with upcoming primaries so they can get people who don't read these articles to vote for them. It's like sports reporting. "Obama's financial edge," "victories on Super Tuesday."

We are most certainly looking for the best politician and not the best leader.

(Which isn't to say I don't choose Obama over the rest.)

Thursday, February 07, 2008


"The drop in Florida's housing industry and rise in diseases affecting the citrus crops have infected the state budget."

"Texas, with the revival of its oil industry, a surge in wind-energy development, and a good cotton harvest, seems to be healthy, and the state's colleges generally mirror that sense of well-being."

... UT, anyone? I hear their journalism program is good ...

Monday, February 04, 2008

Two Cubed Day.

Today is February 4, 2008.


2X2 = 4
4X2 = 8


Mr. Bouknecht would be so proud.