Friday, August 24, 2007

I am the Dancing Queen (or King)

The fiancee and I are taking dance classes for the big day. Apparently she wants to not look like a pair of drunken hobos on the dance floor. I'm not going to lie. I was not really looking forward to it. But she really wanted to do it, so I said okay. We've gone to two waltz lessons, with one more coming. I have been pleasantly surprised. I actually kind of enjoy it. I don't know if I'd continue doing it after the wedding, but for the mean time, it's okay. The instructor tells the fiancee she's a natural. I'm getting better. It became clear to me last night that the fiancee is a lot better than lots of the girls there. One, who we call "Stumpy," has two left feet AND two right feet. It's like dancing with a shop-vac set to "suck." The first lesson she came alone. Last night, she came with a man we'll simply call "Sweaty." It's kind of irritating to dance with somebody who comes after the first class, because they're already way behind. The fiancee had to lead this soaking wet man. The only thing making his situation better was the fact he was covered in a dense layer of hair, sopping up some of the sweat. But I think that we are both improving, and we hopefully won't look like total tools at our wedding next week. The main problem now is figuring out what song to dance to. We have several ideas, but are open to suggestion. We aren't nuts about any of the songs we have so far. Do you people have any ideas?

So here are my ratings for today. Dance classes: I'll give them 8 pirouettes. Bad dance partners: I'll award them one pair of scuffed ballet slippers (did I mention Stumpy wears ballet slippers instead of normal shoes?). And no wedding song: No rating, just help us!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Portland's New Ikea

So the fiancee, myself, and her mother went to Portland's new Ikea last night. As an Ikea fan, I was eager to check it out. I work in the local media, and we went bonkers when this thing opened up. So it was good to finally get down there. I had only been to the one in the Seattle area before, and this one is tons better.

First, getting in is kind of a bitch. You have to loop way around to get there. But that's probably a good thing considering the store's proximity to the airport. When you finally get inside, it's pretty agreeable. This story (which I'm told is the biggest Ikea in the U.S.) is two stories, so you get your cart and head straight upstairs. The displays seem just like any other Ikea stores, except there's a lot more room. So we never felt like we were getting elbowed out, which was nice.

Halfway through we hit up the famous Ikea cafe. I had an incredibly disappointing ham and swiss baguette. I wanted a crunchy fresh baguette, but instead it was like a hotdog bun. The meatballs were great, as usual. We split a fantastic apple cake, which was basically a pile of cinnamon apples on a crust.

Then, back to shopping, we found a couple of cool little things we can use now (like a four-pronged swivel towel rack), and got lots of ideas for when we get our own place after the wedding. Plus, no lines when we checked out!

Overall, I'd give the Ikea a high score of 18 meatballs with a side of lingon berries.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Stephon Marbury is Incredibly Stupid

On one hand, I really want to like Stephon Marbury, the point guard for the New York Knicks. He's a fun player to watch, and he created a low-cost line of sneakers for kids with his name on it. He wears the shoes in NBA games, so kids think they're cool, and they only cost $15! Sounds like a great guy, right?

But here's where it gets troubling. Talking about the recent Michael Vick dog fighting scandal, in which Vick is set to plead guilty on Monday, Marbury said this:

"I think it's tough. I think, you know, we don't say anything about people who shoot deer or shoot other animals. You know, from what i hear, dog fighting is a sport. It's just behind closed doors. I think it's tough that we build Michael Vick up and then we break him down. I think he's one of the superb athletes and he's a good human being. I just think that he fell into a bad situation."

You can also watch it here.

Let's break this down, shall we? First, he compares hunting to dog fighting. I don't have a firm position on hunting, but a guy going after an animal in the woods is nothing like siccing two dogs bred to kill on each other, for your own amusement. Then, he says "from what he hears" it's a sport. I really want to believe he's naive, that he just hasn't put any thought whatsoever to this kind of animal abuse. But that's inexcusable, too. An adult thinks about what he says before he says it, especially what that adult has such a high profile. Next, the "it's behind closed doors" comment. So doing something horrifically cruel is okay, when it's hidden from public view? I guess that's why child abuse is perfectly acceptable, too.

Marbury then implies that the public is gleefully ripping down Vick because he's famous, or in the NFL. The only person who tore down Mike Vick is Mike Vick. The only part Marbury gets right is "build him up" thing. Vick is one of the most overrated, underperforming athletes in all of sports. The guy was 20th in passing last year, but has one of the best selling jerseys in the league.

Perhaps most galling of all, is the last part of Marbury's statement. He says Vick got into a bad situation. He's been doing this since he got into the NFL in 2001 or so. Bad situations don't last for 6 years. Illegal dogfighting rings apparently do.

So I rate Marbury's comment 2 studded collars on the Rating System. It would be zero, if not for the whole tennis shoe thing.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

So Far, This Blog Sucks

Hi, it's me, Max Power.
After much deliberation about what sort of blog I should start, the fiancee had a great idea. She suggested I write about things I experience, telling my loyal readers which of them are cool, and which suck. I'm talking movies, music, recipes, restaurants, trips to the bathroom, etc. I have a pretty firm set of beliefs, and would very much like to impose them on the rest of you. And since facism is currently out of favor, I'll begin my reign of cultural terror on the internet. If I'm not mistaken, using the phrase "cultural terror" just got me red-flagged by the Department of Homeland Security. At least someone will be paying attention.