Why? Because we're Virgos and we like them!

Here are some lists of things that go together. Kinda.

E-mail me if you have anything to contribute.

Best Treadmill Movies

Songs that Get Stuck In Your Head

Slack off, Look Busy

Getting Around Your Boss

Sweaty Reading


World's Most Suboptimal Orthographic Conventions

Most embarassing fashion statements (sock glue)

Best ways to avoid the 405


Best Treadmill Movies

What's that?

The main criteria for a good treadmill movie are:

  • High Sound Quality: Treadmills are noisy, and you have to be able to hear the dialogue over all that racket. If sound quality is poor, loudness is a good substitute.
  • Plot: Has to be good enough to take your mind off the fact that you're running. Of your own free will. Without being chased by Huns. Yet can't be so complicated that you can't follow it while your brain is swimming in endorphins.
  • Interest Level: Has to hold your interest, but can't be so engaging that you can't bear to divide it into half-hour episodes.
  • Inspiration: Certain movies, particularly martial arts and action films, inspire you to get in shape. Others inspire an afternoon on the couch with a sixer of Guinness and a bag of crisps. You be the judge.

Angel Heart

Sound quality is good, except in the scenes with Robert de Niro. Plot moves quickly. There are a couple of identity switching complications, so I'd recommend watching it once in a non-treadmill setting, just to get the events straight. And if you find your run becoming uninspired, just pretend Robert de Niro is chasing you with those long, spooky fingernails and a half-eaten hard boiled egg.

Big Trouble in Little China. Monsters, Spooky Martial Arts Curses, and Kurt Russell in a tank top . Who could ask for anything more?

Fellowship of the Ring.

Divides up nicely into about a week and a half of exciting treadmill viewing. However, there's a lot of dramatic whispering and talking in low tones, so if you can't jack up the sound really high, then you should wait until you've memorized the dialog to take this one into the exercise room.


Good sound quality, plot is easy to follow (ghosts bad; ghostbusting good), and the dialogue keeps you laughing so you forget what you're actually doing there. Hm. You usually don't see this kind of behavior in a major appliance.

Ghostbusters II

I know, I know. But it makes bitchin' treadmill viewing, and the sound quality is excellent for our purposes. Where the hell are you from, anyway, Johnny?

The Hunt for Red October

Anyone who watches this film and doesn't want to be Jack Ryan jumping into a stormy ocean is too far down the glutton path to be saved at this point. And you can't be Jack Ryan if your idea of exercise is getting up to get your own damn Guinness instead of asking your wife to get off the treadmill and get it for you. And...oh yeah...it's got Sean Connery in it!

Iron Monkey

Seriously, who could watch badass monks cracking wise while wiping the floor with the bad guys, and seriously think Guinness and crisps is a worthwhile way to spend the afternoon? Also contains a nice moral subplot about the evils of gluttony vs. the righteous aescetic path.

King of the Hill

Ok, it's not a movie, but it meets all the criteria, plus it's exactly half an hour long, and comes on every night about the time I get home from work. For those who haven't seen it, it's an animated family comedy set in the state that gave us The Unholy Trinity of H.W., G.W., and Jeb Bush. And if you watch it, everything becomes clear, I tell you what.

Men In Black

Beginning to see a pattern here? Monsters, people who have to be in shape to chase monsters, and dudes you wouldn't kick out of the hammock.

Shanghai Noon.

A light plot, lots of martial arts action, and eye candy in the flavors of Jackie Chan and Owen Wilson. Yee-ha! Ride 'em in Rawhide!

Without A Clue

Come on, we all know Watson was the brains behind the whole Sherlock Holmes thing. Nice light viewing, and stands up well to repetition. And watching Michael Caine and Ben Kingsley piss at each other for an hour and a half is well worth the corny wrap-up.


World's Most Suboptimal Orthographic Conventions

Gaelic, Irish Who got stoned and thought of this?

English, British Just ask anyone who's had to learn it. Do you people deliberately stick in silent syllables to take a piss at foreigners who try to sound out things like Worcesteresterminsterlancastershirebridge? (say: Wesbridge.) And what's up with the superfluous u?

English, American Just as bad as British, only without the superfluous u.

Chinese First, what kind of an alphabet takes a lifetime to master? Do you know how many bad sci fi novels will never be written because of this? Also: pictographs? Come on. No, I don't see the horsey with the little dude on it, and why the fuck does that mean "motherboard"? Although admittedly it's very cool that Mandarins and Cantonese can communicate in writing using this system, though their spoken languages are mutually unintelligible.

Polish Polish comparative and historical phonology rocks my world. But let's face it, this language is badly in need of some righteous orthographic reform.

Hungarian Reverse Polish digraphs, and I'm not even going to go into the case system.

Japanese Three different alphabets? Dudes, I don't care if you pick the syllabary, the phonetic system, or the pictographs, but for the love of all that is good, just pick one.


Songs that get stuck in your head

A Fifth Of You (Joni Mitchell) Why is it that the songs most likely to get stuck in there are the ones that are most likely to make dogs howl and children cry in fear when they come out of my mouth?

For the Longest Time (Billy Joel version) Come on, it's a great song! Let's sing it! Whoa-oh-oh-oh dum dum dum for the longest time....

Get Your Freak On (Missy Eliot) 'Nuff said.

Kid Charlemagne (Steely Dan) I'm not the only one who thinks so. Ok, anything by Steely Dan. And where the fuck is Annandale, anyway?

Possum Kingdom (The Toadies) Bastards!

Southern Hospitality (Ludacris) Try explaining this when it suddenly comes belting out in a meeting.

Star (Erasure) The mistake is actually believing you can sing like that guy. But the lyrics are so clever you can't help yourself. That's how this stuff gets stuck, I'm convinced of it.

Theme song from 1980s commercial for "Pull-ups" training pants. This will haunt you for the rest of your life. I wouldn't do that to you.

What You Need (INXS) No wonder...ahhh never mind.

You're So Vain (Carly Simon) You're where you should be all the time, and when you're not you're with some underworld spy or the wife of a close friend the wife of a close friend and...