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24 posts from March 2009

A Very Special Guest Post

[Note: Just over three years ago, Michelle wrote a guest post for this blog "celebrating" National Athletic Trainer Month.  Since then, that post has accumulated an array of bizarre, frequently grammatically-incorrect comments from disgruntled athletic trainers.  Today, on the last day of National Athletic Trainer Month 2009, Michelle responds.]

Three years ago I helped LMNOP celebrate various professional awareness months with a lot of snark, some godawful poetry, and a very little bit of knowledge. Initially, these posts flew under the radar. It would seem, however, that some very half-assed googling led a few people to read one particular post about athletic trainers.  A slow trickle of athletic training wrath has since spilled forth all over my post. This post was so infuriating, that it was literally required reading for an Oklahoma State University introductory course about athletic trainers.

Over the past 33 months I have been accused of being fat, ignorant and, worst of all, a dog walker.  The average athletic trainer hates me. I assume that this is because they are naturally a miserable lot. However, it’s also possible that my interpretation of their job description (a college athlete’s less-educated physical therapist) was insulting. I also gather that athletic trainers do not enjoy being confused for personal trainers, as I originally made the mistake of doing.

At the urging of several commenters, including the actual professional organization (NATA) that sponsors athletic trainers awareness month, I decided to learn more about these angry, sad people. It turns out that a majority of athletic trainers hold a master’s degree, despite a median salary of only $36,590 in May 2006. This explains a lot.  My low-paying job also requires a degree and it’s made me pretty spiteful. I can easily imagine how "uphalled" I would be if I read some flippant mockery of my job, after a long day of scurrying to the side of every college athlete with a muscle strain. 

Though I can no longer say that an athletic trainer has never called me fat, I would like to extend an olive branch to all of my athletic trainer friends. Behold, two new cinquains! [For you cinquain sticklers, note that I have once again ignored the requirement of holding the first and last lines to only two syllables, because, as should be evident by now I do what I want.]

Athletic trainers
Are sensitive.
Sarcasm will be met
With furious and poorly spelled

Athletic trainers
work pretty hard
helping injured people
just to be confused with
physical trainers.

Here’s hoping that small press owners never learn how to use the internet, because I don’t think I could handle a multi-front war.

LMNOP Invitational Update: It's Down to Three

A lot of brackets were busted over the past few days, and as of today there are exactly three people left standing in the LMNOP Invitational; only Mason (Mason's Bracket), my brother (Mac Wins Always), and Gorg-o (They Call Me MISTER Gorg-o!) have a chance of winning.  Here is a breakdown of the possible scenarios.

Possible Scenario number 1: UConn wins it all--and so does Gorg-o.
If UConn makes it to the championship against either potential opponent (Villanova or UNC) and wins, then Gorg-o takes the pool. 

Possible scenario number 2: Mason's meal tickets.
Invitational newbie Mason should be hoping for either of two scenarios: a Villanova win over UConn, or a UNC win over UConn.  So basically, if UConn makes it to the final game and loses, Mason emerges victorious.

Possible scenario number 3: Michigan State makes it to the finals.  All hell breaks loose.This is my favorite scenario.  If Michigan St. makes it to the finals, Mason and Mac tie for first--no matter what.  Mich could play Villanova and lose, play Villanova and win, play UNC and lose, or play UNC and win, but in each of those cases we will have a tie between Mac and Mason.  That means the LMNOP Invitational crown will go to whoever came closer to predicting the final score of the championship game.  Could be the most thrilling finish in Invitational history!

Regardless, it looks like Emily is still safe in her status as the sole female winner of the Invitational.

This Week In Internet: Crayons, Shakespeare, and the Perfect Crime

Awesome world sunlight map (gracias, Em).

Ahhh, so much information about Crayola crayons!  Now I want to color.

This is awesome: 50 animals who hate baths.  Only thing missing is this pic of Panny.

More than you ever wanted to know about men's figure skating costumes.

An update on that maybe-William-Shakespeare-but-maybe-not painting.

Some rad time lapse videos for ya.

Twins commit the perfect crime.

Things They Don't Tell You In Yelp Reviews

Today I was reading the Best Week Ever blog when I came across this excellent picture:
Kids Happy Land, indeed.  Apparently it is located in Venice.  The post says, "I can’t tell if it used to be a fun place for children that was abandoned and fell apart over time, or if it’s some sort of trap to lure children to an empty room (and God only knows what that semi-visible piece of equipment is used for)."

Upon seeing this post, I was immediately reminded of a little something called the Fun Dome.  You see, there are a number of hotels and motels along Route 1 near the University of Maryland, most of them pretty plain and un-glamorous.  The College Park Inn is pretty par for the beige, ugly course--except for one thing: the sign in front that says "HOME OF THE FUN DOME."  Kelly and I would regularly drive by this sign on our way to Shoppers Food Warehouse and other equally important destinations, always speculating on what wonders the Fun Dome might contain.   Our conversations went like this:

"Do you think they have a moon bounce?"

"Totally!  It's probably right next to the pony making cotton candy!"

"Oooh, I bet you are soooo right!"

Well, one day (nearing graduation and trying to check all College-Park-related life goals off our to-do lists) we decided on a whim to pull over and actually ENTER THE FUN DOME.  We pulled into the parking lot, anticipation mounting, and entered the hotel.

The lobby of the College Park Inn looked pretty normal, and we weren't sure what to do next.  We decided our best bet would be to ask the front desk clerk for permission to check out the Fun Dome.  (Or rather, for Kelly to ask the the front desk clerk for permission to check out the Fun Dome.)

"Excuse me, sir, but my friend and I--well, we always drive by and, um . . . well, we were wondering if we could maybe check out the Fun Dome?"

The guy looked at us as if we had just asked for permission to go into the bathrooms and inspect the toilet paper rolls.  He shrugged his approval in a way that clearly said, "I guess that's fine, although I have no idea why you'd want to," and pointed us in the direction of The Dome.  We were a bit baffled by his seeming indifference to what we imagined was a non-stop carnival of magic, but there wasn't much time to think about it.  The Fun Dome awaited!

It is not too great an exaggeration to say that walking into the Fun Dome was the most disappointing moment of my life.  Perhaps the only statement MORE hyperbolic would be to call that shabby, pathetic room "fun."  Or a "dome."  That's right--IT WAS NOT EVEN A DOME.  It was just a room with dingy decor, dim fluroescent lighting, a pool table, and an inexplicable section of carpeting that looked like a golf green, but did not seem to have any holes, let alone any golf clubs or tiny little pencils.  It was The Let-Down Center.  The Official College Park Department of Un-Recreation.  The Edward P. Tumbleweed Memorial Nothing to Do Room.  The Sorry, There Is No Santa Claus Either Expo Center.

You get the point.  It sucked.

Thanks to some INTERNET RESEARCH, I can actually show you a picture of the Fun Dome.  Here it is:


Although frankly, it looks to have been put through the "imbue this hellhole with some natural lighting" filter on Photoshop, because the real-life Fun Dome is nowhere near as well-lit as that photo would suggest.  But even so, you can clearly see that: a.) the ceiling is not a dome, not even a little; and, b.) more fun can be had at your average Indian burial ground than at this place.

Although the main lesson to be learned from this tale is "do not go to the Fun Dome," I'd like to think it is also a story about life, courage, and the indomitable human spirit.  No, wait--that's the 1991 movie Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken.  This is just a story about how one time, I went to a lame place, and it sucked.  The end.

Updates of All Kinds

The LMNOP Invitational leaderboard in the sidebar has been updated to reflect all the action thus far.  My little sister is currently winning, and my mom is tied for third with my other sister.  That makes me the only McMahon woman NOT in the top 10.  That's OK, though, because my brother is doing even worse than I am--27th out of 29.  (And the two behind him are Winnarz, who picked Binghamton to win, and Business Judgement Rule, who forgot to enter his picks.  Sooooo . . . good job, bro.)

I also added a new set to Flickr this weekend, so check it out if you have nothing else on Earth you could be doing at this moment.

I alssooo just updated the site banner.  Can you see it??

This Week In Internet: Dirt, Fonts, Fooling Yourself

Just a couple links this week.

Soo . . . some guy collected dirt samples from all fifty states, plus PR and DC.

Seven tactile illusions.

This cake rules!

The Periodic Table of Typefaces.  Thanks for that one, Em.

I'll post the first LMNOP Invitational scoreboard update in the sidebar late tonight or early tomorrow.  (Early for me being before 5 p.m., that is.)  Big action!