Archive for September, 2009

Fonzie of the Week #8: Sweater Weather!

September 18th, 2009 5 comments

Sweater Weather!I woke up this morning to feel a nice crisp chill in the air, and had to swaddle myself tightly in my blankets. This is one of my favorite things, and it’s a sign that autumn (my favorite season) is just around the corner. For that reason, plus the fact that it can quite literally be defined by the word “cool,” Sweater Weather is the Fonzie of the Week.

Food for thought: Here are a few things you wouldn’t be able to enjoy if it weren’t for Sweater Weather:

  • For New Yorkers: driving up to New England to watch the changing of the leaves
  • For New Englanders: bitching about those annoying New Yorkers
  • Bill Cosby, Fred Rogers (see photo) and Kurt Cobain are actually fashion icons. Think about it for a minute. Those guys? It’s quite an accomplishment.

The irony in all this sweater weather fetishism is that I hate sweaters. Seriously. Can’t stand them. They’re itchy, make me sweat (hence the name, I guess) and make it impossible to enjoy the weather that bears their name. So to recap: Sweaters = bad; sweater weather = good. Got it?

Sorry for the brevity of this post. I usually like to spend a little more time lauding the Fonzie of the Week. But I guess I’m too busy enjoying the cool weather. You should too. Thanks, Sweater Weather!

Fonzie of the Week #7: Good Listeners

September 11th, 2009 2 comments

Good ListenersIt’s a well-kept secret among married people that the key to good communication is oftentimes to simply shut your mouth. Nine times out of ten this simple step will get you out of the woods with relatively little trouble. I’m not advocating that you space out and stop paying attention; I’m just saying that you’ll find your marital life greatly improved if you learn to button your lips sometimes. To put it another way, God gave you only one mouth, but two ears. In recognition of this sage advice, and because they seem to be in short supply these days, Good Listeners are the Fonzie of the Week.

I’m aware that there’s a certain irony to be found in the notion of a blogger who writes about the virtues of shutting up and listening. Bloggers tend to be the type to make noise, not quietly consume it, myself included. But hey – at least I managed to make it through President Obama’s speech this Wednesday without shouting inappropriately, which is sadly more than can be said for some of our elected officials. I’m looking at you, Joe Wilson!

…and unfortunately, so is everybody else. Yes, bad bad behavior gets attention, which is something toddlers have known for centuries. I don’t know what it means that it’s apparently taken Congress some 230 years to catch on. But to their credit, it only took them 24 hours to figure out how to use said bad behavior to earn big bucks in campaign contributions. And as Tom DeLay has shown us, the disgraced politician’s inevitable reality TV stardom doesn’t have to be bawdy – it can be on a classy ballroom dance show!

While it’s tempting to admonish Rep. Wilson for his lack of basic human decency, one must consider the possibility that he’s actually doing his job quite well. I mean, based on the conduct exhibited at recent town hall meetings, we Americans are apparently quite the rowdy bunch. Somebody’s got to represent all us dumbasses accurately when it comes time to pass legislation, and since those most qualified are all too busy professional wrestling, people like Joe Wilson will have to do.

Now personally, I would like to see Congress filled with educated, reasonable people who can agree that in the richest country in the world, even a poor person or – gasp! – an illegal immigrant should be able to go to the doctor when they’re sick. (Shockingly enough the Hippocratic Oath doesn’t mention nationality.) But hey, maybe I’ve got it all wrong. After all, there are a lot of people who think free health care is anti-American but that waving the flag under which a bunch of slave owners tried to un-Americanize themselves isn’t. And for the record, the Confederate flag still flies on the grounds of the South Carolina state capitol. I don’t particularly like it, but the simple truth is that until the South rises again, they’re still Americans and they still get a vote.

Actually, now that I think about it: good work, Rep. Wilson! The more I hear you speak, the more I’m certain you are championing the desires of the woefully uneducated American in Washington. Way to go, tiger. You’ve earned all the perks that your office affords. Speaking of which, how are you enjoying that health insurance your constituents help pay for with their taxes? Your ear, nose and throat guy must be terrific, because your voice came out clear as a bell when you interrupted the President of the United States like an ignoramus!

I’m sorry, where was I? Oh, that’s right: Fonzie of the Week. Good Listeners.

Hey all you good listeners, keep fighting the good fight, even if the rest of us aren’t yet. And Congress, take a page from the Husband’s Handbook: shut the hell up. Start listening to each other. Work together to make things better. It’s not too late to turn yourselves into good listeners, and if you do, I’m willing to consider you all a bunch of Fonzies. Well, maybe all of you except Joe Wilson. That guy’s a tool.

Fonzie of the Week #6: Can Duruk, iPhone Private Eye

September 4th, 2009 3 comments

Can DurukCapturing the assholes who robbed you at gunpoint? There’s an app for that.

When Carnegie Mellon University senior Can Duruk was attacked by two armed robbers around midnight on Friday August 28th, he kept his cool, didn’t get himself shot (always a plus), and a mere four hours later had identified the bad guys in a police lineup. And for this amazing feat of techno-daring-do, I am pleased to name him Fonzie of the Week.

As reported by CMU student newspaper The Tartan (where Mr. Duruk serves as online editor), after being robbed at gunpoint and forced to cede his wallet, PIN code and iPhone, Can quickly went home and, undaunted by his lack of a telephone, used Skype to call up his friend who phoned the authorities. And with all due respect to the Pittsburgh Police, had he stopped there the odds are good that the thieves would still be out there, Mr. Duruk would still be short an iPhone and worst of all, he wouldn’t be Fonzie of the Week! But this industrious iPhone Private Eye (Private i?) used Apple’s MobileMe software to track his iPhone’s movement, eventually leading the police to arrest the ne’er-do-wells at Western Pennsylvania late-night favorite Eat ‘n Park. I for one think Duruk deserves one of their trademark smile cookies for keeping the restaurant safe for its law-abiding patrons.

Hey Eat n' Park: send Can Duruk a free box of cookies!

Hey Eat n' Park: send Can Duruk a free box of cookies!

Interviewed by The Tartan, Can wisely urged readers to keep a proper perspective when faced with gun-wielding assailants: “Just do whatever they tell you. If money’s gone, it’s not the end of the world.” He also went on the record with “rave reviews” for Apple’s MobileMe software, which leads one to speculate on the possibility that this is all a clever ruse designed to secure the soon-to-graduate Duruk a plum job at 1 Infinite Loop. (Did I mention he’s a cognitive science and human-computer interaction double major?) If that is the case, then kudos to you, Can! Apple was a tough nut to crack before the economy went down the drain, and now it’s tougher than ever. Sure, fancy resume paper is all well and good for some, but to really get noticed, you’d be hard-pressed to do better than thwarting felons with your prospective employer’s products. Genius! You’ve earned your spot with Apple, and you’ve earned your spot as Fonzie of the Week. Enjoy those smile cookies, hero.

Brief editorial note: You may have guessed that the picture I used for this post is not actually a photo of Mr. Duruk. I was tempted to use an actual photo, and creepily enough, Google managed to find a number of them in less than a minute. But since none of them were from news agencies, it seemed decidedly stalkerish to use them here…but the one of Can and the life-sized Cookie Monster was definitely tempting. Not only is Duruk a 21st century Dirty Harry, but he still finds time to kick it with muppets. What a rockstar!