Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Notes from hell which hath frozen over

Wow, ya'll. It's cold. And not just the Tahoe-I-can-tolerate-this-while-skiing kind of cold. This cold hurts your lungs when you breathe in and freezes exposed skin instantly. Add a little wind in the mix and its downright intolerable. I imagine this is what Antarctica might be like...just less exotic and with fewer penguins.


I have a new found respect for all-weather tires, snow plows, salt on the roads instead of on my popcorn, my ugly but oh-so-functional Uggs, Gore-tex, and the holy grail of cold weather climates, the heated toilet seat. My god, I'm in love. Best. Invention. EVAR!!

According to DJC's stepmom, the above pic makes the crappy weather look "pretty". But make no mistake...white Christmas or not, it's hellishly cold. I'd much prefer a white sandy beach Christmas with a Pacifico, but I guess that's out of the question. Bah.

Weather aside, there are a few OK things about Wisconsin. First and foremost, Beans and Barley. This little place doubles as a kick-ass cafe and a uber-hippie health food store. I don't know what they do to make the food taste like it does, but its amazingly good. Every time DJC and I are in Milwaukee, we have to stop. I've consumed a fair amount of chai tea in my time, but Beans and Barley's is by far the best I've had. It may seem silly to look forward to a simple thing like a chai tea, but that's only because you've never tried theirs (and this is Wisconsin, after all...there's not much to look forward to). Trust me...it's the best. And double bonus points for the fact that the Grilled Cheese and Tomato sandwich is described as a "healthy classic" on their menu. Sweeet. Only in Wisconsin. =)

On the more ridiculous side of things, we have the Kansas City airport. Our flight out of SFO was delayed (shocking), so by the time we got into KCI for what turned out to be an extended layover, it was close to 7:30pm. DJC and I wandered around the small terminal (after exiting security) in search of food. Our choices were slim. Very slim. By the time we decided on a place and sat down, we were informed that we couldn't get anything fried because the kitchen was close to closing down for the night...at 7:45pm. Frustrated and close to the edge of insanity, we each had one Ketel One and OJ, and set off in search of real, actual food. The next place we chose informed us that we couldn't get anything to eat because the kitchen had closed. The waitress explained that most flights leave by 8pm, so there was really no need to keep the kitchen open. Dinner that night consisted of pastries from Starbucks, which happened to be the only place opened in the whole terminal. WEAK. With the amount of delays that ALL flights are experiencing these days, one would think that it would make sense to keep the restaurants open a little longer, but noooooooooo...

Anyways, its Christmas Eve, and we're going up to the lake house tomorrow. There is no internet, but the lake is frozen solid, and there will be snow-shoeing. I will take pics and post them when we return to civilization. If you celebrate Christmas, I wish you all a very Merry Christmas. I'll be back soon. Cheers! =)

Sunday, December 21, 2008

I'm leaving on a jet plane

Tomorrow, the Milwaukee travel extravaganza begins. The weather here has been less than cooperative lately, and apparently, where we're going, it's been worse. Check it out. We'll be spending the better part of our "vacation" there. Woot.

Here's to hoping that the house we'll be staying in has internet! I'm sure I'll have plenty of amusing stories, but in the event that I will be sans interwebs, I wish everyone happy holidays! I'll update as I can.

Peace and hot cocoa and fireplaces and flannel sheets and extra blankets and fuzzy scarves!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Familiar Situation

So. Thanks to the lovely state of the US economy, I no longer have a job. I was notified on Wednesday (after lunch!), effective immediately. For the second time this year, I was sent packin'. It's funny (but not in a Ha-Ha kind of way). Since I've had a lot of time to think recently, I've come up with a list of similarities and differences between last time and this one. A compare and contrast, if you will....

Just like the first time I got the shaft, Wednesday's dismissal was a total surprise. I didn't even see it coming and I was VERY upset. But, unlike last time, I didn't really do anything to warrant this one, such as blog about every aspect of my job and coworkers. In fact, I'm sure most of you have noticed that I hardly update this thing at all because I adopted a no-blog policy while at work. Truth is, my most-recent former boss couldn't really give me a concrete reason for why they had to let me go. He just kept saying, "It's what we have to do". Right before the holidays. Nice.

So, since I no longer work there, my former company makes software applications for the dialysis industry. I mainly supported the clinical application, but also did a fair amount of QA and spec writing. It was interesting work and I learned new things daily. For the most part, I liked the people and the place in general. I (foolishly) thought that anything having to do with the medical industry would be recession-proof, but clearly I was wrong. As much as I enjoyed what I did, I knew in the back of my head that this just wasn't the right job for me.

Here's the kicker: Had I not screwed up my previous job at the telecommunications company, I'd still be out on the streets, as they've recently had to cut pretty much all of their workforce as well. There were 40+ people there before the cuts. Now, there are 12. Seems I was doomed either way.

Anyways, I'm similarly upset and scared at the prospect of finding a new source of income, but the job options out there are FAR fewer than the last time around. And I can't even start looking until January as I will be spending most of the remaining December days in Wisconsin. I guess that's a good thing though, because I've heard that most companies won't be doing much hiring until after the new year anyways. So, my "vacation" just go a little longer...

Last time I was jobless was during the incredibly hot summer months. Our house is so poorly insulated that it was hotter inside than it was outside. This time around, its colder inside than out. But cold I can deal with. Blankets and sweatshirts and Uggs with fuzzy socks and hot tea combat the chill just fine for me. When it was hot, there was no easy way to cool down. Most days, DJC would come home to find me sweaty, wilted and pissed off.

Gas is a LOT cheaper now than it was during the summer months. A Safeway gas station recently came to our city and currently gas is going for $1.69 a gallon. With the Safeway club card, it's $1.66, and after spending $50 in one grocery shopping trip at Safeway, the gas price drops to $1.59. MUCH nicer than the mid $4 range that we saw over the summer. This means I'm not nearly as concerned with saving my gas for times when I might really need it. I'm not house-bound. I guess that's one of the surprise bonuses of this whole recession thingy.

Right now, I have a ton of time to exercise. My gym teaches morning classes and I've been taking full advantage. Yesterday morning, I took a BodyJam class at 10am and walked out feeling pretty darn good. Exercise is such a good de-stressor. It's nice to have a gym to go to with awesome (and adorable) instructors instead of trying to find the motivation to run on my own.

Financially, I'm feeling less terrified than last time around. I know what I need to do to ensure than I will be able to pay for the necessities and I know just how much I can be frivolous with. The amount I will be getting from Unemployment will help as well. Last night, as I laid in bed listening to the rain, I was thankful for the roof over my head that was keeping me dry and for the sweet, caring, loving man next to me who was keeping me warm. Those are the truly important things in life. Material goods can't warm my heart the way a good hug can.

So, for the next week, I'll be catching up on my daytime TV (wait, did I just see that Rachael Ray has a new dog food line now!? WTF??), exercise, and house cleaning. After the Milwukee extravaganza, I'll be hitting the pavement hard in January. Wish me luck. I have a feeling I'm gonna need it.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

As much as this hurts to admit...

...I was totally wrong about Uggs. Damn it, I know. You might want to sit down. This is an EPIC post. Srsly.

So, I've gotta go to Milwaukee for Christmas. Yeah, you read that right...Wisconsin. In December. As you may or may not know, I don't do cold. AT ALL. In years past, when I've gone to Chicago for Thanksgiving, I've always made poor footwear choices. Whether bringing boots with heels that are too high and uncomfortable to do any sort of real, actual walking, or bringing along shoes that seem warm until the freezing wind, snow and slush on Michigan Avenue turns my little piggies into popsicles, trips to the Midwest have always been a huge shoe FAIL for me. I was determined to be more comfortable, warmer and drier this year. So, I bought a pair of Uggs. Black, classic, short, kids' Uggs, size 6M.

Just an FYI: for those of us ladies with smaller feet, say under a size 8 1/2, don't spend your money on adult Uggs. A kids' size 6M is equal to an adult size 8. Same shoe, cheaper price. You're welcome... =)

Anyways, when I taught high school not too long ago, all the hoochies young ladies wore tiny Abercrombie and Fitch microminis and Uggs. All year 'round. No matter the what the weather was like, the wardrobe never changed. Skirt that left nothing to the imagination, no tights, and Uggs. It was possibly the most HORRID fashion trend I could have ever imagined (keep in mind, the Crocs-virus had not yet been unleashed onto society). I loathed Uggs. They just looked so silly. I even seem to remember giving BT a fair amount of shit when she received a pair of Uggs slippers as a gift. And she swore that they'd never be worn out of the house!!

Well kids, today is a new day. Maybe because I wore 4" heels all day, and my right Achilles tendon has been hurting lately (especially after the amount of jumping I did in tonight's Core class), but I'm wearing my new Uggs now, and I'm serious when I say that I'm never taking them off. So comfortable! SO WARM! They feel like heaven on my achy feet. Even though I swore I'd never, ever, EVAR succumb to the Uggs, I have no doubt that they'll serve me well in Milwaukee. Feel free to rip into me if you must.

Yeah, I probably could have gone with something from La Canadienne and been a little more stylish, but hey, its Milwaukee and would anyone really think more of me for wearing a stylish shoe? My guess: No. The Uggs will do just fine, thanks. =)

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

*Of course* I've got something to say about Sean Avery

Hello?! This is me we're talking about here. To think that I wouldn't comment on this...silly people of the internets. =)

Ok, here's how I feel about Sean Avery and the recent incident which lead to his indefinite suspension from the NHL...

Yes, he's a serious pain in the ass. Yes, if you let him, he will get under your skin to the point where you will want to punch him in the throat so that he shuts up. Yes, that's pretty much all he's good for nowadays. BUT, I freaking love the guy. He worked at Vogue, he can reference Dries Van Noten in everyday conversation, and he's DAMN good at what he does, which of course, is make people's blood boil, while playing some pretty decent hockey at that same time. So far, we've got fashion, a little hockey, and a WHOLE lotta shit talking. Some of my favorite things in life. I can respect that.

But, does it follow that because he made a crude remark about an ex-girlfriend, he should be suspended indefinitely? In a league that is painfully slow about enforcing stronger penalties on potentially crippling, dangerous head shots, this is what warrants an indefinite suspension? Really? Even Todd Bertuzzi was allowed to return to play after literally paralyzing Steve Moore. And Dany Heatly was reinstated after killing teammate Dan Snyder in a drunk driving accident. But Sean Avery mentions something about sloppy seconds and gets slapped with an indefinite suspension (Which I have to admit, cracked me up...someone's still got a broken heart, Sean?). Again...really? Priorities out of whack much, NHL?

Listen, Avery's a punk. He talks shit. That's his schtick. And judging by everyone's reaction to this, he's pretty stinkin' good at it. I have to say, though, I don't get the suspension. Last time I checked, this is a free country, yes? And one of those freedoms still includes freedom of speech, right? Yes? Well, then, seriously, WTF? And tell me again what this has to do with hockey? Riiiiight....

Its been suggested that Avery's tragic mistake wasn't saying what he said, but the fact that he said it in front of TV cameras. That seems fair, because if it weren't for the media sensationalizing this, us common fans would never know about it. If the same comment was made on the ice, would Avery be in the same boat? My guess is no. I'm sure that WAY worse comments are tossed around every night, during every game. Is it only the fact that there was media proof that sunk Avery (well, that and his reputation for being a loud-mouth jerk)? Maybe...

Due to my interest in this whole fiasco, I've been reading a fair amount of hockey blogs today and I've got a VERY important point to make. There's been lots of talk about how mysongenistic Avery's comment was. SO offensive! So degrading towards women, bloggers say. Women in general, or one woman? Personally, sepaking as a woman, I'm not offended. Perhaps its because I've spent a large part of my professional career around foul-mouthed athletes, and as a result became desensitized to talk of Avery's kind, but I just really didn't think it was all that bad. Classless, yes. But I don't think Avery was intentionally degrading ALL women with his comment. And I'm willing to bet there's a large group of women out there that weren't offended either. So, please dear hockey bloggers of the internets, do not lump ALL women into your discussion of how we should be so outraged . That offends me more than Avery's words ever could.

I liken Sean Avery to Eminem. I don't necessarily like what the guy has to say, but you can't take away his right to say it (or enforce an excessive suspension on him for shooting his mouth off). It's just silly. Should Avery be disciplined in some other way? Absolutely....by the team that signs his paychecks. But the NHL is setting a dangerous precedent here by essentially censoring Avery's words and by assessing an arbitrary, superfluous suspension that does not match the crime...if there even is a crime to speak about. The NHL's time could be much better spent than by focusing on this. Word.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

If its too loud, you're too old

Dear Mighty sound engineers,

I like loud. Really, I do. I'm a firm believer in cranking the volume WAAAAY up because music just sounds better when its louder. BUT, Friday night's Calibre/ DRS show was a little too much. Ok, A LOT too much. If people have to actively seek out earplugs because they can feel their hearing being damaged, it's time to turn it down a notch or two. The line for earplugs was actually longer than the line at the bar or the bathrooms. That shit ain't right.

Even with the earplugs in, the sheer frequency of the bass literally hurt my ears and gave me a headache. BL, too. Talking to Method One (Hi Jason!) outside, we realized that weren't alone. It was just too loud to tolerate. We were all really excited to see Calibre and DRS live and we were totally disappointed. We wanted to stay longer but eventually, the headaches and ear pain won out and we left long before the show had ended.

Its been a long time since I had been to Mighty before Friday night , so I don't know if ya'll crank the volume that high for every other performer, but I think it might be time to seriously re-evaluate how music actually sounds in your club. The highs were too high, and the lows were way too low and horribly blown out and distorted. Bringing in a DJ like Calibre should have been a slam dunk because his music is beautiful on its own, but when you've got hardcore fans like DJC wanting to leave because he couldn't stand the way everything sounded, you've got a problem there.

Mighty is notorious for poor acoustics, but given the large space, it shouldn't be that difficult to design a sound scheme that works. And if you can't figure it out, perhaps its time to start looking for a different line of work. Not gonna lie...Friday's show was easily the shittiest sounding show I've been to...possibly ever. I may be a little older than the club kids of today, but I'm still all about loud volumes...its just gotta be done in the right way. You all have a ways to go in reaching that right kind of loud.

On the other hand, I did manage to snap a few cool pics of the goings on:

One thing, though, Calibre honey...it might be time for a haircut. And a little sun. I'm just sayin'...

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thursday

Aaaah, a day off. Most people I know used this day to sleep as late as they could before pigging out. Me, I woke up early and headed over to the gym. Amelia was teaching her Core Challenge and Core Chisel classes back to back starting at 9am. As warm as my bed (and my DJC) was this morning, I knew that MASSIVE calorie consumption was in store later in the day. I could use all the help I could get in counteracting the pounds of mashed potatoes, yams, turkey, gravy and stuffing. So, I tied up my running shoes and made the commitment to get a little exercise before indulging in my dad's awesome cooking. Great call by me. Except, not so much...

Let me just say that Amelia's evening-time workouts normally suck. I always leave her class on wobbly, totally fatigued legs, *drenched* in sweat and slightly nauseated. So, first thing in the morning, sans food or water, it makes sense that I nearly died. Twice. She is a machine. A perfectly tuned, ass-kicking, slave-driving, no mercy, no sympathy MACHINE. She will f*ck you up and do it all with a smile on her face. I love her. Srsly.

So, I put in the hard work this morning. This afternoon and evening were spent at my parents' house. My dad is a fantastic cook and holiday meals at their house are always over the top. DJC and I ate and ate and ate until we couldn't fit another morsel. Then came dessert. Then came the indegestion. We were both SO happy to get home and change into sweatpants with elastic waistbands.

Now, we're both sitting around, constantly shifting positions in an effort to find a comfortable way to sit. This is what the holidays are all about, folks. Time spent with family, laughing endlessly and overeating until it physically hurts. Good times, good times.

If only I didn't have to go to work tomorrow...

Happy Turkey and Antacid Day, everyone! I'll be holding down the fort at work tomorrow if you want to keep me company. Drop me a line! =)

Sunday, November 23, 2008

A great Saturday

After conquering the caulking catastrophe early in the day, I settled in to watch the 111th Big Game with some buttermilk biscuits and strawberry jam from Trader Joe's. I know this makes me a bad alumna, but I didn't particularly like Cal's chances. They've just been so all over the place this season. But thankfully, the whole can of whoop-ass was opened on the Cardinal and the Golden Bears reclaimed The Axe. There were some seriously brilliant plays (Frank Cignetti WHAT WHAT!!) and MAN, when Jahvid Best is having a good day, he is pretty damn incredible. Even though the Bears season has been very ho-hum, it feels DAMN good to beat Stanfurd. Woot!

Around the middle of the third quarter, DJC and I headed to San Francisco for a quick stop at Lush, and then to find a beer store he read about on this blog. Apparently, the latest craze in the beer world involves putting beer in cans. Like, ridiculously expensive beer... in cans. Yeah. Novel concept, I know. Anyways, the store's called Healthy Spirits, and its on 15th and Castro. We went in search of the elusive beers from Oskar Blues. When we walked in, we saw this:

And then I heard the disctinct sound of drum n bass being played. Then we met Nate. He was standing behind the counter, manning the laptop that was streaming Bassdrive.com. I was liking this place more and more. After a great discussion about the San Francisco music scene, we met Dave, beer master extraordinnaire. DJC and Dave got down to business and serious beer talk ensued. I meandered around and decided to snag one can for myself of 21st Amendment Hell or High Watermelon (it's a watermelon infused wheat beer) from one of these coolers:

We've been pretty loyal to City Beer for a while now, but after a not-so-pleasant experience a while back, we've been reluctant to go back. Despite the fact that you can actually drink your purchases at City Beer, I think I prefer the folks and the unpretentious vibe at Healthy Spirits. Nate and Dave were knowledgeable, friendly, and totally willing to talk shop with us for as long as we wanted. DJC and I feel like we made new friends. They stock over 500 different beers, so there's sure to be something for every kind of taste...even mine!

Armed with a ridiculous amount of good beer, DJC and I headed home to catch the Sharks game. Can I just say that I LOVE hockey?! Ok, Ok, you all know that, but the Sharks are on a freaking tear right now and it's just so much fun to watch. I've said it before and I'll say it again...Joe Thornton makes whoever he plays with better. He brings other players up to his level of awesomeness. This season's beneficiary: Devin Setoguchi. Those two make it look easy.

All in all, it was a great way to end a perfect day. Everything just worked out: Caulking, Cal football, Lush, Healthy Spirits, Dave and Nate, the kick-ass Sharks and spending the whole day with DJC. Good times!

The great caulking extravaganza of 2008

Remember last weekend when Joe Satriani saved me from re-caulking my bathroom tub? Yeah, no such luck this weekend. It had to be done. After work on Friday, I stopped at my local Home Depot and picked up one tube of white silicone caulk, and one 1.5 gallon bottle of Clorox. My dad had already given me the run down on how to use the caulking gun, but I've learned over time that when someone is teaching me something completely new, I really need to write it down. My ten minute caulk gun tutorial in the parking lot of The Great Impasta last weekend was no different and I really should have written all the important instructions down. Unfortunately, I didn't have the luxury of being able to take notes. My dad assured me that this was a "minor project" and that I would be fine. Later in the story, the lack of notes will come back to bite me. Oh yes...

Friday night, I was determined to knock this "minor" project out. After cutting out all of the old caulk (OMG, so gross) and taking more than half of the grout with it, I bleached everything into oblivion. It felt good. Things were going as according to plan. After letting the bleach dry, I was feeling pretty confident. I loaded the caulking gun...and then everything went to hell in a handbag...

Here's an important tip for all of you amateur caulkers out there: Before applying pressure to the gun itself, PUNCTURE THE TUBE'S SEAL. Otherwise, you will have one hell of a mess when you push the plunger of the gun through the bottom of the tube. Right after I called my dad in a semi-panic to ask for advice , I vaguely recalled him telling me what the little wire on the gun was for. Sonnofa....

The result: caulk EVERYWHERE...and worse yet, it was coming out a break-neck speed. I also forgot about the gun's pressure-release lever. So, with caulk streaming out all over my pants, shirt, hands, tub and floor, I had no choice but to begin caulking the tub.

I did my best with my very limited control over the caulking gun, filling in the spaces where grout used to be. It wasn't pretty, but it looked sufficient. I kept moving until I ran out of caulk. Only half of the tub was finished and I hadn't bought a second tube. Cursing loudly, I cleaned up as best I could and called it a night. (Side note: anyone ever try to wash this shit off of your hands? I'm fairly certain my hands will be waterproof until 2010)

I woke up the next morning, bought a new tube of caulk and a vanilla latte and finished the job. It's amazing how easy this whole caulking thing is when you know what you're doing. My bathtub now looks like it was caulked by two completely different people: one blind, double amputee that used her feet to operate the gun, and one who had done this sort of thing before. It's totally amusing. Whatever, though. The shit's done.

The best part of this EPIC FAIL story is that my dad called me afterward to tell me he was proud of me. I could easily have just asked him to do it for me, but he was proud that I tried to do it myself. Suddenly, I didn't feel nearly as foolish. Dads are good that way...

Saturday, November 22, 2008

I've watched this five times already...

...and I still can't believe what I'm seeing:



This, I don't know, thing is the mascot for the Houston Rockets. Apparently, eating and then subsequently vomiting up cheerleaders is a common practice.

I have but three little words: Only. In. Texas.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Guitar Hero

Saturday evening...sitting on the couch...5pm...zero plans. Actually, I figured I'd just spend the night re-caulking the bathroom tub (because, DAMN). I even borrowed a caulking gun from my dad, which, trust me when I say this, is a serious piece of machinery. The tutorial alone that my dad provided me with lasted at least 10 minutes.

Then, the phone rang. After one lightning quick trip to Taco Bell, one BART ride to San Francisco and one $9 Hangar One and tonic at Farmer Brown while I waited for BL to finish dinner, I was able to snag this pic from the floor of the Warfiled. Pretty freaking cool, huh?


For those who don't recognize this uber-amazing, bald, guitar slinger, that's Joe Satriani. Yeah, we were that close (note the rocking fist-pump of approval in the foreground!) . But, more about that in a sec...

First, we were treated to the likes of Mountain. Never heard of Mountain? Yeah, me neither. But I'm sure you'd recognize their biggest hit, Mississippi Queen after hearing the first note. It's pretty synonomous with classic rock. Anyhoo, they have a new bass player who, as evidenced by the next two photos, couldn't stand still long enough to not come out blurry...


Homeboy has about five long dreadlocks on top of his head, which he swung around in a helicopter-type fashion when the band really started kicking ass. It was totally comical (and very difficult to capture!!)


The old dude is Leslie West. Say what you will about Mountain, but that guy is a freaking legend in the guitar world. And I was pleasantly surprised to hear that the guy can still ROCK. Like, really, really well. It was a great way to open the show.

Then, The Extremist came out and blew us all away...



You can recognize an awesome guitarist in two ways:
1. By their obvious super-human skill with the instrument itself, paying special attention to the hands, and...
2. By the way they move their mouths when they're really feeling what they're hands are creating. This never fails. If you know someone who can totally wail on the guitar, ask him or her to play for you, and then observe the mouth movements. Its awesome.

Anyways, the show was just incredible. I've been listening to SO much electronic music lately that I've totally forgotten just how much I love the sound of electric and acoustic guitars. In high school, I dated a serious guitar player who introduced me to the likes of Steve Vai, Eric Johnson, Nuno Bettencourt, Gary Hoey, Jimmy Page, Eddie Van Halen, Jeff Beck, Yngwei Malmsteen and yes, Joe Satriani. I owe A LOT of my current taste in music to his influence. Through him, I gained a ridiculous appreciation for the sheer skill involved in making music of that kind. The guys listed above...they make it look easy. The things they can do with a guitar, I'm convinced, makes them not only geniuses, but super-human. They take making music to the extreme. And hearing it live is even better.

Thanks go out to BL for snagging the tickets. Even if the old, annoying, crusty guy with a long white, curly beard and hair kept offering me things I didn't want, I had a blast!

And, just because I think Steve Vai does things with a guitar that no one else in the world does, take a listen to two very different examples of his work:



I just love how this one moves. So perfect, and yet pretty accessible even by those who can't really appreciate the difficulty. On the other hand, there's this one, where he really pushes the limits of what one simple instrument can do:



When listening to this, keep in mind that he did the whole thing with only guitars. I tried to find the tabs to give you an insight into the crazy things he does in this song, but no dice. The nuttiest part of all is that Joe Satriani was Steve Vai's teacher!

Happy Monday, y'all. Rock on.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Land of Confusion

I read earlier today that noted whiner Kanye West is still pissy about the fact that he hasn't won any major awards for his noise music and videos. Boo-fucking-hoo, you ungrateful bazillionaire. Guess what, dude? Aside from one or two catchy songs that get stuck in my head for all eternity, your music kinda blows. I don't know anyone who would willfully admit to listening to it.

Anyways, in the same article where Kanye belly-aches about not being recognized as one of pop music's elite, he mentions that he's now changed his style around to sound more like Phil Collins in an effort to gain more listeners, popularity and respect. I have one thing to say: ZOMGLOLROFLMFAO. Seriously? Dear GOD, this should be rich. I can't wait until these new songs released.

Now, here's the funniest part of all. I REALLY like Phil Collins and Genesis. I think anyone who can play the drums (really well) at the same time as singing the lead in all of his band's songs is a ridiculously talented bad ass. I used to steal my dad's vinyl (yes, vinyl) Genesis albums back when I was a kid and play them late at night. I'm a total closet Phil Collins lover! The fact that a little bitch musician with an obvious identity crisis like Kanye is now trying to emulate the Phil Collins sound will just make his music that much more immortal. Thanks to Kanye and is unoriginality, kids today will know who Genesis is. And perhaps that's not a bad thing. I only hope that he does the Genesis style justice (Oh who am I kidding?! This is Kanye we're talking about here, for crying out loud! Never mind...)

Anyways, all this talk of Phil Collins has made me want to listen to his music for the rest of the day. Thanks to imeem (for once), I was able to locate one of my favorite Genesis songs. Its not well known at all, but here it is for those who are interested:



And now, here's one that's a little more popular:



Aaaah, the 80's. God love 'em. =)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Discovery Channel scores again

Have you seen Storm Chasers? It airs on Sunday nights on the Discovery Channel and follows two teams of crazy people meteorologists and one IMAX filmmaker in their respective quests to intercept and film tornadoes. OMG, I am obsessed with this show and more specifically, with the personalities of the people it follows. Let's discuss, shall we?

First off, I'm gonna come right out and say it... Josh BUGS me. He's just sooo wishy-washy and unsure and conservative and careful. To a fault. Correct me if I'm wrong, but being a Debbie Downer buzzkill and chasing tornadoes aren't two things that really go hand in hand, no? All he does is sit in his little truck and look at his Doppler radar (which is malfunctioning most of the time) and make wrong decision after wrong decision. Damn, I want him to grow a pair and make a call based on instinct and feeling and stop depending so heavily on technology.

In Josh's misguided entourage of six plus vehicles is Sean, the IMAX filmmaker and his mighty TIV. Since Sean is at the mercy of Josh's overly-cautious calls as to which storm they're going to chase, the Josh/Sean segments of the show consist of a lot of pointless driving, very few tornadoes and even less footage for Sean. I honestly don't know how he manages to maintain his cool. If I were in the same position, I'd have told Josh and his DOW to pound sand a LOOOOOOOONG time ago. I feel bad for Sean most episodes. You can almost feel how badly he wants to do the complete opposite of what Josh thinks.

The second team of fools tornado chasers is headed up by Reed. I like Reed. He is shithouse NUTS. He runs this website and generally works in the same area as the Josh/Sean team. The difference is that Reed had ZERO access to Josh's uber-fancy Doppler, and still manages to be in the right place at the perfect time to snag some un-freaking-believable footage. Reed has what Josh just can't fake: instinct and balls as big as church bells. He just knows where the tornadoes are going to be. And, did I mention that he's totally nuts (but in a good way)? It makes for seriously entertaining TV.

Weather is cool. So is this show. If you haven't seen it, I highly recommend you check it out. Its good for a serious couch-adrenaline rush. =)

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Random photo dump

My new laptop has a slot for my camera's SD card and DJC recently found a good online program that re-sizes photos for those of us that don't have Photoshop (yet). I've been playing around with all the cool features of this program, hence, the 10,000 pictures you're about to see. Some of them are a bit older, but there's a good story behind each one. So, sit back and enjoy!

Here, we have a super-artsy, dark shot of SPL from the basement of Club Six I took last weekend. I'm impressed with the fact that this isn't horribly blurry, because seeing straight was not something I was capable of doing. Hooray for auto-focus! Such a great night. (EZ Sam!!)

I snapped this shot from a bench near a cafe that serves amazing pasta close to my office building. Can't really complain too much about the view, although it was a little chilly that day.

About a month ago, I walked into the Benefit salon on 4th Street to have my eyebrows cleaned up. As I was signing in, I noticed a shoebox sitting on the counter that looked like it was filled with elaborately ugly fabric. Then, the fabric moved, and this little guy popped his head out. I instantly melted, took like 15 pictures and cooed until my appointment time...and I don't even like cats!

I'm a total shoe-whore, but never, in a million years, could I pull these off. What I could do, however, is fall off of them and bust my head open. To add insult to injury (and increase my jealously), the person wearing these was dancing somewhat athletically...on a raised platform.

Bebel Gilberto crooning in smooth-as-silk Portuguese and transporting me to a sandy, sunny beach where the vacation drinks flow like water and the blue skies never end. This was taken at the Greek Theatre over the summer, where she opened for Thievery Corporation. Note: look at her shoes! LOVE!!


Nothing to see here. Move along. (Pizza FAIL!)


I spent yesterday afternoon oogling Lucky Girl's new little guy while DJC did his best to avoid the path of every child in the house (smart man). Eventually, we grew hungry and headed over to Don Pico's to stuff ourselves senseless. This picture is actually from the first time I was introduced to possibly the best mexican food around. The six of us decided to try the sopapillas and were quite surprised when this concoction showed up. When I commented about the size of the dessert (because usually sopapillas are not the size of a human head) stating that I had never seen anything like that, the waitress quipped, "That's because everywhere else makes them the lazy way". Sweeeeeet.

Holy cow, that's a long way down! Note the size of the cars along the right side. (From earlier this year at the Hoover Dam during my yearly Vegas birthday extravaganza.)

Taken from the balcony at the Otis Lounge in San Francisco. Every now and then, The Editor will play a super-sexy house set there and its always a good time. I love how swanky and pretty this place is. Strong drinks, too! Bonus!

Ok, that's it for now. Iron Chef is on and even though I ate WAAAY too much chili tonight, the squash battle is making me hungry. Catch ya'll soon!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Happiness...and total disgust and embarrassment

The late, great Tupac Shakur once mused in his song "Changes":
"And though it seems heaven sent
We ain't ready to see a black president..."



The song was released posthumously in 1998, but was recorded in 1992. Ten years post-release, after President-elect Obama's moving acceptance speech, I wonder what Tupac would say if he were here. I know that whatever it was, it'd be interesting and thoughtful and that I'd very much like to hear it. Such is life. Rest in peace, Tupac. We've seen the day you spoke about so long ago. Sorry you weren't here to see it, too.

And now, as happy as I am about the result of yesterday's election...

I wonder, how is it that a state that helped elect the first African American president ever in history could be so cruel to its own people by denying the LGBT population the right to marry whomever they choose? Proponents of Prop. 8 claimed that marriage between a man and a woman is "traditional" and that they wished to uphold those traditions. Well, then...under the guise of "tradition", is it now OK for white people to have black slaves again? Because that's what people did back then. And is it now OK to deny someone entry to various public places because of the color of his or her skin? Because, traditionally speaking, that's the way things were. And what about women? Tradition has it that women can't vote. Prop. 8 is the same shit, in a different package.

I'm completely dumbfounded that a society that has righted all the wrongs mentioned above can't grant people the right to marry whomever they choose. I'm sorry, but if you're against gay marriage, don't have one, mmmkay? Let people live their lives as they choose! I can't believe California, of all places, has thumbed their noses at equality. In Alabama, I could see this kind of thing happening. But not here. Not in such a progressive state. I just don't understand this one at all. It's really upsetting.

Yes, we've seen some progress with the election of Barack Obama. But have we seen any real change? Not even close...

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Weekend Roundup

I never thought I'd ever hear myself say these words, but thank goodness tomorrow is Monday. Perhaps I'll finally be able to get some sleep. Since Thursday night's kick-ass Sharks game, I've been missing my bed, pillow and comforter. Its been a rainy, cloudy weekend...usually great for staying in bed. Unfortunately, there was so much going on that I didn't get nearly the loafing-around time that I wanted (although, I did manage to catch the most recent episode of Ugly Betty on my laptop in bed. It was dope.).

Friday night was moderately low-key. Despite it being the one holiday a year where its OK to dress like a whore at parties, which is always good for a laugh, DJC and I grabbed sushi and then stayed in. We handed out zero candy. Thanks to the rain, most of the little ghosts and goblins and devilish children of the neighborhood stayed home, too. It was a fairly quiet night, aside from being unable to sleep because what ever bug I've been fighting lately is putting up one hell of a battle.

Best. Pumpkin. Ever.:


Saturday, it rained. A LOT. We Californians do not handle rain so well. BL completely bailed on plans we had because he didn't want to drive in the rain. LOL. Apparently, he wasn't the only one. Saturday night, DJC and I ventured out of our warm, dry house to head to San Francisco to catch up with one of my favorite drum n' bass DJs, SPL. It could have been the rain, or perhaps the fact that he was playing dubstep instead of his usual rough dnb, but NO ONE showed up for the show. I felt bad for him playing to all 10 of us, but because no one else was there, we spent a lot of time talking to him before and after his timeslot. Nicest guy ever. Totally down to earth with a huge genuine smile. DJC got his record signed and we all drank waaaay too much. Kick-ass night, for sure.

This morning, a rip-roaring headache woke me up early. Shocking, I know. What I really wanted to do was roll over and sleep it off. But, I had made plans with a bunch of people that I love to attend the Below Zero Beats Sunday brunch. I couldn't just bail on everyone, no matter how much I wanted to (side note: I never knew my head could hurt so badly! Damn, I'm getting old!). Good thing I didn't wuss out. Check out this setting:



This is the third floor of the JW Marriott in San Francisco, which is open to the top of the building. The guy spinning is Mason Rothert, one of the original Below Zero DJs. Seriously, this was the *perfect* way to spend a Sunday afternoon. Mimosas, brunchy food, chilled out music, great friends, and a super swanky setting provided the perfect hangover cure (SO great to meet you finally, Mason!!).

Now, I'm sitting on the couch again trying my best to recover. I plan to hit the sack after a decadent Lush bubble bath, a few more Advil, and a lot more water. As tired as I am, I had an amazing weekend and spent time with some of my favorite people (and met some new friends, too!) and I wouldn't trade it for the world. All I need now are some precious ZZZZZZs. =)

Friday, October 31, 2008

The best game I've been to...EVAR!

Last night, DJC and I slogged our way down to San Jose to meet up with BL and a few of his coworkers for what can only be described as the awesomest Sharks game I've ever had the pleasure of attending. Here are the highlights:

After sitting in traffic for nearly an hour and forty-five minutes, we pulled a quick switcheroo on a busy street and I jumped into the driver's seat while DJC ducked into the Hotel DeAnza to make a pit stop. My job was to park the car in a nearby lot. I realized about 30 seconds too late that DJC had the cash for parking. So, I circled around the block and snagged a street spot, fee-free! Bonus!

Next stop was back to the Hotel DeAnza for our customary Jaeger shot at the bar before the game. We've done this religiously for a while now, and we weren't about to let the large bar crowd in Red Wings sweaters stand in our way. In hindsight, we should have skipped this part of the evening, because the bartender grabbed a used shaker glass off of the bar (sans rinsing), poured the Jaeger into it, LOADED it up with ice, covered it, and shook vigorously. He then proceeded to pour the frothy, watered down liquid into two glasses. It tasted faintly of raspberries. In all my years of drinking, I've never had a shot of Jaeger prepared in that fashion. It was naaaaaasty. But things improved dramatically when BL and his workforce entourage showed up. Entertaining, one of them was. Oh, so very entertaining, if not a little tragic...(OK, she was super tragic!)

Anyways, BL bought a total of eight tickets. We only had six people. He managed to sell the remaining two tickets on the street to two older guys named Greg and Nick. I've decided that I MUST sit next to these two guys at every Sharks game I attend from here on out. They were an absolute hoot. I love sitting next to fans who know the game and who like to get into it, but aren't too obnoxious. BL has a way of finding the cool people of the world, and Nick and Greg definitely fall into that group. The three of us were high-fiving, talking smack to nearby Red Wings fans and cheering at the top of our lungs. It was awesome. So much fun.

And the game itself was unreal. All NHL teams award something called the Three Stars of the game after it's over. Traditionally, the "stars" are the goal scorers, or the serious game changing play-makers. But, as we were driving home last night listening to Sharks Radio, color commentator Jamie Baker said that they had to pick three, but really, everyone could have been a star. And he was right. Every guy out there gave it his all. And with a 4-2 victory over the defending Stanley Cup champs, it showed. Special congrats go out to Jamie McGinn, who, in just his second NHL game, scored his first ever NHL goal and also tallied his first assist. The arena big screen showed a tight shot of him sitting on the bench after the goal smiling from ear to ear as Sharks fans cheered loudly in recognition of a great accomplishment. He was chosen as the very well-deserved first star of the night. Great job, kid! =)

Ok, that's it for my hockey ramblings for now. I just want to say a big thanks to BL for getting the tickets! I've never had so much fun at a Sharks game before!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Tick tock, tick tock

This article is further proof that ANY no-talent ass-clown in America can be "famous" and that the media and American consumers are to blame for making them that way.

This is nothing new...several big names come to mind when I think of people that are famous for, well, being famous (Kim Kardashian and the Hilton hags, to name a few). But Joe the Plumber (who's not actually a licensed plumber) is now on the campaign trail with John McCain, has hired a publicist to handle his appearances (Really? Appearances? Bitch, please.), and is now apparently going to do a country music CD. What is wrong with the world?! Gag me with a spoon! Please!

But, there is a bright side: possibly the awesomest thing the McCain campaign could do is to let this guy be a spokesman for their cause. Here, take a gander at a recent quote:

"I got a challenge to Obama. He's a man of mystery," he told FOX News Thursday. "He seems to get a slide on absolutely everything. American people want to vote for somebody who can't even come out and speak straight. That's pretty crazy to me."

No no, honey bunches of oats...what's crazy is that people actually *listen* to you. And what in the blue hell do you know about speaking straight? Sweet Jesus, what does the first part of your quote even mean!? You can't challenge to someone. You can challenge them to something, or issue a challenge to them. And what, exactly, is a "slide" in this context?

Oh hell, why am I even trying? I can't even fathom what he's trying to say. I fully expect Ashton Kutcher to jump out of the bushes any second to let us all know that we've been Punk'd. You listening, Kutcher?! Any time you're ready to let us all in on this ridiculously elaborate (but well-orchestrated) joke is fine by me!

Thank GOD the election will be over next week. You hear that ticking, Joe? That's the sound of your unbelievably asinine 15 minutes coming to an end. And not a minute too soon. Holy shit on a stick...

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Sharks fans can take a breath now

So, the Sharks have a new gaggle of coaches this year, a whole new corps of defensemen on the blue line and entirely new system to adjust to. Seeing as that they're 8-2 thus far, it seems like the adjustments are coming fairly naturally to most of the guys. But not to everyone...

The core of the Sharks offense consists of Captain Patrick Marleau, Milan Michalek, Jonathan Cheechoo and former league MVP Joe Thornton. While the first three guys look to be doing fine under new head coach Todd McLellan, there's been talk that Thornton's just not feelin' it. Whether it's skating off before McLellan has finished his time-out instruction, or blatantly ignoring the coach on the bench, #19 has really looked like he's not on board. And man, it'd be one HELL of a loooong season without him in the mix. Joe's amazing on-ice vision and ability to create scoring opportunities is what the Sharks' whole offense is centered around.

There's also been some talk that #19's on board, but is not completely healthy. Well, from where I sat on the couch last night, that may very well be true. He did sustain a groin injury during the preseason and perhaps he's still struggling with that. Groin injuries can be notoriously problematic, especially in sports that require so much lateral movement. As amazingly as he played, Joe didn't look quite as agile as he has in games past. What's really going on, here? Who knows.

But, after last night's routing of the Pittsburgh Penguins, I think it's safe to assume that whatever was chapping Joe's ass seems to be gone. He was really giving it a go as he finished his checks, made brilliant passes and generated scoring chances. Not to mention the big role he had in holding the very flashy Sid the Kid and then rest of the Pens to only 11 shots on goal...FOR THE WHOLE GAME. I think Sharks fans can collectively breathe a sigh of relief now that it seems that old Thornton appears to be back. And can I just say how much fun I had this morning razzing CBKWit about the Pens loss?! Loved it! =)

Tomorrow night, DJC and I will be joining BL at The Tank to watch the Sharks in an early season test against the 2008 Stanley Cup champion Detroit Red Wings. It'll be a hell of a game. I'm really looking forward to it.

Now, if I could only get whatever bug I'm fighting to give it a rest long enough for me to enjoy some nachos and beer tomorrow night, that'd be great, kthnx!! GO SHARKS!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Fun with electronics

Recently, I succumbed to the hype and bought myself a Jawbone Bluetooth headset. Aside from the well-documented fit issues (doubly bad for people with small ears), I'm loving the thing...mostly. Previously, I had one made by Plantronics and although it served me well for a while, I got tired of people telling me that they could hear my turn signal loud and clear, but not my voice. Since I primarily use my cell phone when I am in the car, the Jawbone was my only hope. Thankfully, with the "Noise Assassin" button, I can be in a crowded, noisy restaurant and successfully demonstrate the stellar noise canceling features with a friend who had stepped outside to call me. My major beef comes from the fact that whoever designed the thing put the hang up button in the most inopportune place. If your Jawbone doesn't fit perfectly (like mine, despite my best attempts at finding an acceptable earpiece/ear hook combination), you will be constantly re-seating the thing in your ear and invariably, you will hang up on damn near every call you take. But once it's settled, it sounds phenomenal. So clear. So lightweight. SUCH poor fit and questionable design. I still highly recommend it though.

My second recent electronics purchase is waaaay more extravagant than the latest headset fad....

Sunday dinners at my parents' house always starts out the same way....DJC picks up the newspaper ads and thumbs through, looking for all kinds of deals. This last past Sunday, he found a great laptop at Best Buy. I've been looking for a new one ever since I had to relenquish the work-issued Dell, and have found several but could never pull the trigger. The cost was just more than I could justify. But this...when DJC showed me, I thought, "Hey, I can handle that". Even though the processor speed isn't the greatest, DJC did approve of the video card, stating he could now fulfill his childhood dream of playing Doom on an airplane. And I have to say, I'm in loooooove with the copper color. It's so aesthetically pleasing! And for what I will be using it for, it's perfect. I'm smitten...with an electronic gadget! LOL!

But, as much as I love the machine itself, I'm not feeling Vista. SO bloated, it is! Without performing any sort of cleanup or optimization, right out of the box, I currently have 68 processes running. 68!! DJC has promised me he'll read up on the essential processes and what the thing needs to function, and kill the rest. In all my years of using Windows I can't remember ever seeing so much random shit just running in the background. The worst part is that neither he (the resident computer nerd of the house) nor I have *any* idea of what all of it is! Anyone know anything about Vista? I could use your help! Leave your un-bloat Vista tips in the comments. Please!

For now, I'm gonna park myself in the other room for the rest of the night and finish up the remainder of the Sharks game. See you soon! =)

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Fright Night 2008

Ahhh, it's that time of year again. The leaves are falling, daylight savings time is almost over, and grocery stores are stocking mass amounts of sugary goodness in anticipation of the one night a year where costume-clad children (and punk-ass teens) knock on their neighbors' doors and beg for sweets. Countless girls will dress slutaciously, trying to pass off a black leotard, fishnets, a fresh bikini wax, 4" heels and a headband with ears as a cat costume. This year, my sister will be going as a skanky Alice in Wonderland. The dance instructor at my gym will be teaching the Thriller dance on Thursday.

Yes indeed, Halloween is almost here and everyone's feeling it. Even the TV stations have gotten into it by showing non-stop horror flicks. I awoke early this morning (I'm coming down with something...and when I'm not feeling well, sleeping is difficult) and parked my tush on the couch at around 8:30am. I watched a little of the one movie that will always scare the sh*t of me, and then around nine, I changed over to The Exorcism of Emily Rose. Holysmokes. SO scary! Broad daylight or not, this movie creeped me the hell out. Jennifer Carpenter? CREEP-TASTIC!!

As my faithful readers know, I'm WAY into horror movies and being scared, mostly because I know in the back of my head that none of it is real... and, well, because being scared is oddly fun. But The Exorcism of Emily Rose was based on true events, and I've always had a strange, macabre fascination with demonic possessions, stigmata and exorcisms. This movie does a very good job of making the viewer question what he or she believes. The reviews weren't the best, but I actually thought it was very well done...and scary as hell.

If you're looking for a good scare this Halloween, I recommend this one. It'll make you think, jump and shiver all at the same time.

And if you're looking for something more, stop on by the Horror Movie a Day blog. With over 400 horror movie reviews, you're sure to find a flick to suit your particular taste for gore, fear and terror there. BOOOOOO!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

New music

(I tried doing this post earlier, but Blogger was down. Sorry 'bout that!)

Every now and then, I'll turn on the radio. Some stuff I like, but most stuff makes me want to jam pencils in my ears. Case in point: the new, HORRIBLE song from The Killers called "Human". I *HATE* this song. The first time I heard it, I wasn't impressed, but then again, I rarely like something the first time around. My knee-jerk reaction was to change the station...quickly. Yesterday, in the interest of fairness, I gave it another go. I'm happy to report that my knee-jerk reaction was correct...this song REALLY blows. But the great thing about music is that it's totally subjective. You might actually dig this atrocity. Wanna listen? Here ya go:



"Are we human...or are we dancer?" Seriously? STFU. The worst part about this song is that the ASININE chorus gets stuck in my head and repeats endlessly because its the only part of the song I know. I used to really like The Killers. When I sing along with "Read My Mind" and "Mr. Brightside" (loudly and off-key, of course), I totally feel where they were coming from when they wrote the songs. But "Human" is just trying too hard to be abstract and deep and sentimental. It pisses me off.

On another new music note, I recently heard the new Guns n' Roses song entitled "Chinese Democracy". First impression: pretty decent, but not Gn'R AT ALL. I don't care what anyone says, Slash made that band what it was back in the day. Yeah, it was kinda cool to watch Axl spaz out on stage and squwak into the mic, but at the end of the day, it was Slash's haunting guitar riffs and solos that ensnared us all. You may not have liked the way he looked on stage(all black hair, top hat and cigarette), but you can't front on the fact that the man is a freaking UNREAL musician and songwriter. He and Axl kinda had this songwriting Qi going for a while...they cranked out some pretty amazing music together (a la "Estranged"...possibly my *fave* Gn'R track ever), but now, sans Slash, Axl has lost some of his magic. Ok, most of his magic. It's not that I don't like this song, because I actually really do...it's just not Guns n' Roses, that's all. Have a listen:



I never thought I'd be a Gn'R purist or that I'd even care enough about the band to actually do a post, but its funny how hearing something packaged as something else brings out the music snob in me.

I think I'll stick to my old stand-by internet radio stations (links in the sidebar over there, btw!) for exactly what I want to hear when I want to hear it....with no "Human" anywhere to be found.

Monday, October 20, 2008

En pointe

This past Saturday, I took my mom to see the Kirov Ballet at Zellerbach Hall in Berkeley. Usually, we sit in rafters, up where the oxygen is thin. Zellerbach is small enough that even the seats waaaay in the back still offer pretty decent views. But this time, we sat in the tiers on the right side of the stage. After the near-perfect views of everything but the far right wing, I can pretty much say that I will be sitting in the tiers from now on. The view from our seats couldn't be beat. And thank goodness too. The male lead, Anton Korsakov, was just exquisite. Think that word may not be appropriate to describe a masculine dancer (albeit a ballet dancer)? Just look at his hands in the below pic (click to enlarge):


See what I mean? Attention to detail. Polished. Everything this guy did was flawless. Gorgeous, sky-high leaps, extension for miles, perfectly pointed toes, a joy to watch...UNTIL, he got to his fouettes. Don't get me wrong, they were still balanced and controlled while still looking fairly effortless, but I couldn't help thinking that he didn't have near the center that Danny Tidwell has (yes, that Danny of SYTYCD fame). Don't remember what I'm talking about? Here, check this out...



Let the whole thing load and then skip to about 2:28...that's where the turns start (or you could watch the whole thing and get chills, like I just did...again.). Now, make no mistake, I am not trying to compare apples and oranges, I'm just sayin that even though Anton Korsakov is a freaking BRILLIANT dancer (not to mention that he's totally cute...he has a Myspace fan club, for crying out loud!), his turns weren't quite as centered as Danny Tidwell's. That's all. Still, I was totally blown away and impressed. So elegant and regal, he was.

Anyhoo, I had a ball and smiled the entire time. The $70 per ticket that I kicked down for the tier seats was totally worth it. Despite my love for bone-crunching sports like hockey and rugby, I will always have a special place in my heart for the ballet. And when it comes to wonderful companies like the Kirov, I'm a happy kid who'll always come back for more.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Move over Sean Avery...Craig Rivet's my new hero!



Here, we have former Sharks defenseman and now Buffalo Sabres captain Craig Rivet showin' 'em how its done 'round those parts during Monday night's game against the New York Islanders. In a heartbreaking trade, the Sharks sent Rivet over to Buffalo at the end of last season. I say "heartbreaking" because us Sharks fans LOVED the guy (and most of us still do!). But, as the "C" on his jersey and the above video shows, he seems to be doing pretty well with his new team. That makes me happy.

Thanks to the NHL's lame Third Man In rule (47.16...you'll have to scroll a ways to get to it), you just don't see fights like this anymore. Bummer, that. This one's a serious beat-down. And its doubly worth watching for the commentator's reactions to the goings on. Classic!

Enjoy! (Aaaaand the Sharks won again last night! That's 4 in a row! Sorry, had to sneak that one in there as this *is* my last hockey post of the week. You understand, right?) =)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Sean Avery: My new hero

A long time ago, at like 2:30am, I watched a documentary on ESPN about the Detroit Red Wings. They had recently picked up a fresh-faced asshole rookie named Sean Avery that year. The documentary followed him almost exclusively (or maybe it didn't, but I was so wrapped up in the guy that I hardly noticed when the other players had any TV time) and highlighted his incredibly abrasive, gritty style of play and shit-talker attitude. I liked him immediately. Not only was he a hell of a heckler on the ice (which I respect), he could back it up with his fists if opposing players took issue. He stirs the shit. He's even got an official NHL rule named after him. He constantly walks the line of being a little punk-ass, but somehow always stays on the cool as ice side of that line. In short, Avery was, and in many ways still is, MY kind of player. He loves what he does and plays with heart. Anyone watching one of his games can tell. Oh, and did I mention he's a fashion whore? Yeah. LOL!

Here's his online diary when he interned at Vogue during the 2008 summer NHL off-season. Fascinating stuff. And BT, Lucky_girl and Miss E, who does that pic instantly remind you of? Hee-hee!

Anyways, I thought I'd share this one with you all. I found the story, and Sean's diary really interesting...and somewhat distracting! I'm supposed to be working, but it took me about 4 reads to get through it entirely. Quote of the article:

If you feel like teasing this hockey player about an obsession of his that you might think is a little unusual, go right ahead. Just know that you may get your ass kicked by a very expensive pair of shoes — and that they'll probably match both my belt and my shirt.


Love it. =)

Monday, October 13, 2008

*Insert interesting title here*

So, yeah. Updates. I have none. I've allowed myself to get *entirely* too wrapped up in several things lately, and posting my thoughts about any of them is, well, boring. I don't know what it is, but I just don't feel much like writing. I'm sure you all know the feeling. But for the sake of keeping this thing somewhat current, here ya go:

1. Holy Christ on a cracker, the election and all its mudslinging hoopla...for whatever reason, it's become ridiculously fascinating to me. I wish I could read all of the news and listen to all of the rhetoric from an outsider's perspective (I think I'd get way less upset that way), but I have to say, I'm MUCH more worried about the future state of our country than I care to admit. The Bush administration seems like a joke in comparison to what's at stake these days. I've let the all political talk and bullshit get to me, and honestly folks, I'm scared, appalled, encouraged, hopeful, perplexed and downright befuddled all at once. No matter how you feel, you can't deny that this is definitely an interesting time in our history.

2. My IRA, or more correctly, what's left of it. Ugh. Thankfully, I'm not retiring any time soon. My parents, on the other hand...

3. Trying to buy a house in this market should be a slam dunk. Unfortunately, I think Warren Buffet would have a hard time getting a loan right now (not that he'd ever need one! Rat bastard.) Still, DJC and I awoke to the smell of sewage *again* this morning. Getting out has become priority #1 for us.

4. The Sharks have won all three games they've played in thus far. Three games. Big freaking whoop. Talk to me in two months or so. Yet, I'm liking this winning thing and I'd like to see more of it. YAY!

Yeah, that's about it. Any thoughts on any of the above topics? I invite you to post them in the comments section if you feel like it. If not, back to lurking for you, then... ;)

For what it's worth, I hope you're having a decent Monday. If not, it's almost over!

Monday, October 6, 2008

I <3 Hockey!

I was supposed to go to the gym tonight, but due to a POUNDING headache, I bailed. I now find my ass planted firmly on the couch, watching a classic San Jose Sharks game from last season. I know the outcome of this game and yet, its still totally exciting. Why is CSN re-broadcasting an old game? Well, I'm glad you asked (although you might not be)!

As of Thursday of this very week, it's HOCKEY SEASON again, kids! WOOT!! I know that along with So You Think You Can Dance, hockey has to be one of the least popular topics on this blog, but damn it, it's my freaking blog and I'm frequently occasionally gonna write about the Sharks. Deal with it. ;)

Anyone who knows me can attest to the fact that I am a rabid hockey fan. And yes, its true...I was born in Florida and raised in Texas. Where did this love of watching grown men skate on frozen water and beat each other to a bloody pulp come from ? Who knows. Regardless, I got chills when I saw this commercial earlier tonight:



Aaaah, sweet sweet hockey. How I love thee. Now, if only the Sharks could WIN A DAMN CUP! *fingers crossed*

Friday, October 3, 2008

Updated! My ears *must* be playing tricks on me

I can't find the video to prove it, but I SWEAR I heard Sarah Palin give a "shout out" AND a wink to her brother's third grade class during last night's "debate". A freaking shout out. Are you kidding me?!?! This isn't MTV's Total Request Live, for crying out loud. And, if McCain is elected (God help us all), we're just going to hand over the nuclear codes to her, whack-ass shout outs and all? Oy vey! I'm totally OK with her saying hello to her brother's third grade class, but what's wrong with a simple, "I'd like to say hello to my blah blah blah"? What's up with the trying-too-hard, overtly poserish shout out? After that, I half-expected a WESSSIIIIIIIIDE hand sign, too. Seriously.

I think after last night's non-debate and mish-mash of pointless rhetoric, it's pretty clear that as a Vice Presidential candidate, Palin is WAY in over her head. But, never fear, Governor, I hear that The Counter is hiring!

(As a side note, I don't think I've ever used the word "whack" so many times in a week. It's kinda fun! Hee-hee! And also, as much as Palin's voice makes the small hairs on the back of my neck stand on end, I did really dig the shoes she was wearing last night. Sad and kinda scary that they're the only redeeming things I could find...)

Update: YEEESSSSSS!!


Thanks, DJC. Well done! =)

Thursday, October 2, 2008

And suddenly, it all makes sense


Watch and learn, folks! Love the blue Jell-O mold faceplant. Awesome! Thanks to DJC for digging this one up.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Burgers and Walnut Chic Thugs

DJC and I met my mom and dad out in trendy, "prestigious" Walnut Creek for dinner earlier tonight. My parents LOVE this place called The Counter. They serve totally customizable beef burgers, turkey burgers, veggie burgers and chicken sandwiches. My parents rave about it! What follows are my impressions. Don't let the four Yelp stars fool you...

First off, the decor: WHACK. Picture it, if you can: Super minimal, metal and white paint, cheap tables and uncomfortable chairs, bright lights, and (wait for it...wait for it) an Andy Warhol-esque tribute to the Notorious BIG, a child-like painting of one single Run DMC Adidas shoe, and a bunch of grafitti skateboard decks (a la Pharrell and his little Skateboard P schtick) graced the walls.

Yeah, just like this, but of Biggie instead of Marilyn.



And this was the shoe:



Walnut Chic WHAT WHAT!! Hollah!! Soooooooooooooooo ghetto and tough! So gangsta!! White high school kids driving $80,000 Escalades on $5,000 rims bumping 50 Cent and rapping along like Fitty was telling their life story seem to be the target demographic for this place. Sorry, but the vibe of the inside came off ALL KINDS of wrong. WHACK. Seriously.

Next up, the wait staff: Everyone looked like they either belonged in a Blink 182 video OR like they were trying too hard to somehow skank their way into the Playboy Mansion without the actual pretty people noticing. Given the tragic homage to hip-hop, I was totally confused.

The music: Uber chill downtempo Netmusique-ish tunes, followed by twangy country. WTF?!

Wait...isn't this a BURGER place we were at? Oh yeah, right, the food...

Unfortunately, that was kind of confusing, too. Diners are presented with a checklist of a mind-boggling amount of ingredients and instructed to choose whatever they liked. The good: variety. One could eat here every day for a month and never even come close to having the same sandwich combination twice. The bad news is, well, who really wants sun-dried tomato vinagriette or dried cranberries on a burger? Weird. Way too weird. My chicken breast was thin and kinda dry, but the ginger soy sauce and grilled pineapple helped. The wheat bun was pretty tasty, though.

With all it's shortcomings, I'll probably go back. It's good for a laugh. I hear the milkshakes are pretty decent, although it remains to be seen if they'll bring all the boys to the yard.

Hella word, ya'll. Hella word.

Monday, September 29, 2008

I'm too late...

When I watched the Katie Couric/ Sarah Palin interview, I had immediate flashbacks of Miss South Carolina and her awesomely famous ramble-throw-in-as-many-buzzwords-as-you-can speech, and I intended to post them both together, but Dan Renzi beat me to it. The ROFLMAO bonus comes from the SNL skit he threw in at the end. I (heart) Tina Fey as Sarah Palin. So freaking hilarious. Am I alone in my eager anticipation of the Palin/Biden debate?

Because some of you might never make it over to Dan's blog otherwise, I'm posting the link here. If you've got a case of the Mondays like I do, watch all three videos in succession and try not to laugh. Go ahead...I DARE YOU. =)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Just so you know...

If you meet a coworker who resembles the Kung Fu Panda in a long hallway, and he assumes a one-leg-back fighting stance and begins throwing joke punches at you, and you, in joke retaliation, bust out your best-that-you-can-do-in-4"-heels-sidekick (which, admittedly, is pretty high...I am fairly flexible, after all), along with a "HI-YAAAH!", OF COURSE your boss will see the whole thing and quietly point to the waiting area, where you failed to notice- due to the focus required to throw a decent sidekick in 4" heels- the young man waiting to be interviewed for the recently opened DBA position. The young man, he won't think you're the least bit funny. In fact, he'll look downright frightened. Your boss, however, will be in hysterics.

That is all.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Ok, WTF?!

Calling Arvay, BT, possibly Mr. Wombat...EXPLAIN.

/me cocks head sideways and sports a seriously vacant look

I don't...get it.

Quick Updates

Man, I've just got ZIP ZERO ZILCH to blog about these days. BT has wonderful recipes. Arvay's got her adorable dogs and her adventures in the great wilderness of Alaska. Lucky_girl has a brand new little one and no time to sleep, let alone blog. Me...I'm just...normal, boring. Meh.

So, what's new in my life? Well...

...the job is still great. I am learning SO much and I am SO busy during the day, I hardly notice the time. There have been days where I'm honestly surprised when lunch time rolls around. And even though I like being busy and feeling useful, it's seriously cut into my online shoe-shopping habit (although, I've recently acquired a few cute pairs that I'll eventually get around to posting one of these days).

...last weekend, I volunteered to interview potential Cal Alumni Association Leadership scholars. The kids, (Ha! I can call them that now!) who were sophomores, juniors and seniors, were vying for a small monetary award for their positive contributions to the Cal community, as well as communities outside of the Cal campus. I met some of the neatest people. It made me feel like I could have done so much more with my time at Berkeley. These kids had really accomplished some great things and helped numerous individuals. I enjoyed myself tremendously and I would do it again in a heartbeat. All you Cal alum out there should really think about doing this next time the e-mail invitations are sent out. It's time very well spent, trust me.

...DJC and I have recently started the frustrating and difficult process of buying our first house condo. Everyone keeps saying that this is the time to buy, and after living in the same place for close to four years now, we're ready for a change of scenery. Plus, throwing money away on rent is sooooo last year.

...every day brings another fun, amazing Facebook surprise. I've reconnected with lots of people I haven't spoken to since 1994, and for at least one person, it's been longer than that! I love hearing from all my old high school friends and seeing pictures of their beautiful families. Honestly, I had no idea how much I had missed some of these people and without Facebook, I would never have known how to find them again. Funny thing...I was SO against social networking sites until I signed up. Since then, I'm having a blast talking to all my old friends! As much as I hate to say it, I have to thank DeKap for bringing at least one positive thing to my life. Viva Facebook!

...shockingly, I didn't hate Kim Kardashian on Dancing With the Stars tonight. I KNOW! I thought she'd be a bubble-headed bimbo (with a tush to match), but she was charmingly sweet and, most surprisingly, very articulate. Weird.

And that's about it. I've got a new song over there in the sidebar, but yeah, nothing else is really going on these days. Life, as they say, is good. I've got nothing blog-worthy to write about. No whining. No rants. I'm just living, breathing, loving, and being. It may not be much, but it's nice.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Cash Rules Everything Around Me, C.R.E.A.M, Get tha money, Dollah dollah bill, ya'll.

Whoo! Longest title evar!!

In light of the American economy's recent massive suckage, I thought I'd post a few of the frivolous consumer items that have caused my money and I to part ways...

LOVING the cool kick of Bare Escentuals Buxom Lips glosses. I'm a sucker for new makeup and colors. So much so that even while I was unemployed and damn near broke, I picked up Ginger and instantly fell in love. Last week, I stopped in to my local Sephora and snagged Brandi and their newest product, the Buxom Lips Full Color in Stella, which is more like a slick lipstick than a gloss. I'm diggin' it all the same, though. MUAH!

My old college pal Goose shocked us all when he packed up and moved to Hawai'i several years ago. Since then, he's been tirelessly working on a new beverage...one that has the opposite effects of the Red Bulls of the world. The delicate blend of native Kava root and chamomile mellows the drinker out, while imparting a sense of focus. Its called Ozia and its finally available in stores throughout Hawai'i. Its also available shipped to the mainland by the case. I recently put in an order that arrived on Saturday. I have to say, it's like nothing I've ever tasted before. It's definitely good, but its a bit of an acquired taste. In any case, I'm proud of him for having a vision and following it through. Cheers, Goose!

In other parts of the food and drink department, I enjoyed Trader Joe's chocolate croissants and a glass of Montevina Pinot Grigio on Sunday morning. It was totally indulgent, totally delicious and a perfect way to spend a day off from the gym. And Montevina always has something fun going on at the Big Crush, where I will most certainly be dropping a lot of cash. So soon!

And then there's Cal football tickets. And THANK GOD, hockey season is starting soon. I'm sure Lucky_girl and M and Miss E and JE will surely want to take in a few Sharks games. As for DJC and myself, we can't hardly wait...

It's only money and you can't take it with you...right? ;) Happy consumerism!