Archive for December 2008

December 30th, 2008

Sibling Rivalry

So evidently a musical instrument company called Bushman holds a yearly ukelele-themed video contest. The winner receives $1000 worth of Bushman products of their choice. Kate brought this to my attention, because she and her flatmate Cory (who together make up Southeast London’s premiere uke-fronted early-90s top-40 cover band) produced a video for the competition.

She showed it to Kevin and I while she was home, and I guess it got us thinking: “1) we both have ukeleles, 2) this contest is free to enter, 3) this contest gives us a reason to make a ridiculous music video, and 4) this contest offers the chance for each of us to compete with our sister.”

We knew we had to do it. We kept putting it off, however, until The Day Before Kevin Was Leaving to Go Back to London with Kate, or — as it is more traditionally known — Christmas. As a result, we sort of had to throw together a rendition of a song and an accompanying video that afternoon. We even had to enlist Kate to film it for us. (It may surprise you that she assisted us, given the circumstances, but this is something of an unwritten rule in our family: if one of us is trying to accomplish a task and you are better at/more experienced with said task, you have to help the lesser skilled party, regardless of the fact that doing so could lead to your eventual demise.) She did a great job.

So here is Kevin and I’s contest entry:

Witchger Boys Bushman\’s 2008 Ukulele Contest (Bobby and Kevin\’s Entry)

And here is Kate’s far more elaborate production:

Our Entry in Bushman\’s 2008 Ukulele World Video Contest

And if you don’t need a little time away from ukeleles and cover songs after watching those, something is terribly wrong with you.

In all seriousness, it would be amazing to see either of these videos win. I bet there are other, completely mind-blowing submissions. The last day to turn one in is tomorrow, so I guess we’ll see very soon.

Hope everyone is having a happy and safe holiday!

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December 27th, 2008

Creepy Santa

12270801

  • 1920×1200 (works at 1920×1200, 1680×1050, 1440×900, and 1280×800)
  • 1600×1200 (works at 1600×1200 and 1024×768)
  • 320×480 (works on the iPhone and iPod Touch)

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December 19th, 2008

Total Freak-call

Kate came home for the holidays last weekend, so we’ve been eating a lot of old-fashioned family meals around the table. As I predicted earlier this month, the dialogue among this post-graduate set has been absolutely dizzying. For example, I’m not sure where I fall on the issue that Kate enjoys bringing up at dinnertime: her bowel movements. Will this latest journey home leave her having too many, or not enough? Despite her ever-present desire to discuss this matter, I just can’t seem to decide what I think.

Excluding bodily functions, I’ve always found the subjects that the fam chooses to settle on during meals to be interesting. Sometimes it’s family history. Other times it’s engineering processes. Other times it’s politics. And just as interesting is the means by which conversations travel from topic to topic. A couple of nights ago, my family took the stream of conciousness and diverted it into the rapids of my repressed memories, reminding me of a particularly embarrasing detail from my past.

It started with a comment about our dog’s weird eyes. (Lilly’s right iris wanders off to the side of her head. I’m not sure if canines can have lazy eyes, but if so, she probably does.) Kate made a joke about how we needed to get her a pair of those thick, plastic glasses with a patch over one lens, the type they have very young children wear to try to correct their vision early on. Steph chimed in about how her sister had to wear them, and that, in a lame attempt to make something really bizarre and uncomfortable seem “exciting” and “not horrible and freakish” for all involved, the patch had Mickey Mouse on it.

Now, even though I do wear glasses now, there was never anything wrong with my eyes while I was growing up. Like a woman in the beginning stages of labor for a second child though, sitting through this was slowly reminding me of something I’d gone through before — something bad. The whole “lame attempt to make something really bizarre and uncomfortable seem ‘exciting’ and ‘not horrible and freakish’ for all involved.” Seemed familiar….

Then it came back to me.

No, there was never anything wrong with my eyes while I was growing up, but my mouth was a disaster area. Not only did my amply-sized permanent teeth decide to come in well before my head was even close to full-grown, they all decided to come in on the same day — my 10th birthday I believe it was — resulting in a 12-tooth pile-up growing out of my gums. To fix it all, not only did I have to have braces (two rounds of them) but for almost the entire year of 1992, I had to wear the large and very unnatural jaw-aligning device known as headgear.

I managed to make it through this ordeal without ever being seen in the face-hugging plastic contraption at school. (My orthodontist — perhaps privy to stories of patients who were forced to wear headgear to middle school and eventually gave in to post-traumatic stress and climbed clocktowers with machine guns, their perfect teeth making their maniacal smiles extra chilling — told me to wait until the second I left for the busstop and then to take it off, and conversly to put it back on the second I got home. For the “no school” plan to work I had to sleep with it on too, which meant I couldn’t really roll over on to my stomach or even on to my side. This was a small price to play for flying under the bully-radar.) So it could have been worse, but the fact that I had to don headgear at all had me convinced I was a dweeb.

It actually feels good to get this out there. Back when I had to wear this get-up, the fact that I did was a level-10 family secret. Such information was not to extend beyond the walls of the house. At this point, it’s just one of the things that made me who I am. I probably would have told more people about it along the way, but I honestly think that I buried it in my subconscious. Until now, Mom, Dad, Kate, Kevin, and Steph (who I revealed this to when I briefly remembered it years ago) were the only people who knew about my sordid “oral history.”

As for how the medical professionals tried to make the steel wires making giant curves out of my mouth and attaching tightly to mounting brackets wrapped around the side of my face via a support piece behind my neck “fun?” Well, there were college-team-themed slip covers for the fabric portion of the support.

And this is how my dental check-ups during this phase typically went:

Dental hygentist (after fitting me with the contraption and adjusting it to the proper tension, speaking with that special kind of enthusiasm that is obviously inversly proportionate to what your foreseeable future is going to be like): “Ok bud, check out these wraps we have for your ’gear!!! Do you like State or Carolina!!?!!”

Me: “I vill dethroy you.” (It is very difficult to talk properly with headgear on.)

Dental hygenist: “Oh, you’re a Duke fan!!?!! We’ve got some super-cool Duke wraps!!! Goooo Blue Devils!!!”

Me: “You vill svend the west of your rife in ak-gony.”

Dental hygentist: “Can’t really understand you there, sport!!! Just to review we’ve got Duke, State, and Carolina!!!”

Me “….”

Dental hygentist: “….”

Me: “Caw-wolina.”

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