Sunday, December 21, 2008

Snow Coverage and Soup

I just got done with work. On my day off. Thanks, snow! Because there's so much snow here, I had to take the bus to work. The schedules are off because it's so tough to drive. It took me nearly two hours to cover the 3 miles between my house and work. Normally it takes me ten minutes to drive it. You're probably asking yourself,"Max, why don't you just walk?" I walked home, and it wasn't fun. The bank thermometer by my house reads 24 degrees, and the snow on the sidewalks is up to my ankles.

As for work itself, it wasn't fun, either. I was the booth producer for 4 hours of continuous weather coverage. Basically, I had 4 reporters in the field, traffic cameras, viewer pictures and videos, and my weather man to fill the time. We also did a lot of phone interviews with public information officers for various organizations, like the DOT and mass transit people. The real, hard-core news junkies go nuts for this stuff, but I don't. It's really stressful, and while I've done it enough to be okay at it, I don't like doing it. Normally we plan out our newscasts, so we know there's enough content to fill the time. With this, we just continuously map out a plan for the next ten minutes or so.


Now to my other topic: soup. I had an idea for a homemade green pork chili. It didn't quite turn out to be chili, but I would definitely make it again. Here's what you need:

*12-15 tomatillos (those little green Mexican tomato thingies)
*2 pork chops of whatever quality you prefer, chopped into bite-sized chunks
*chicken broth (I used a 32-ounce box of it, but that was really too much)
*3 cans white beans, drained and rinsed
*1 green pepper
*1 sweet onion
*cumin, chili powder, and coriander
*jalapeno peppers (or any hot pepper you like)
*egg whites

1. Peel the outer layer from your tomatillos and chop them up.
2. Put your tomatillos, spices to taste, and broth in your slow cooker or pot and simmer.
3. Roll your pork chunks in egg and then in the flour, and pan fry.
4. Add cooked pork to the broth mixture.
5. Saute onion and pepper in the same pan you used for your pork, then add them to the soup.
6. Take 1 can of white beans, and puree it in your food processor or blender, then add to soup. This adds body.
7. Add the rest of your whole beans.
8. Chop up jalapenos and add to soup, however hot you like.
9. Let soup cook for a while.
10. Serve with crushed tortilla chips and shredded monterey jack cheese.

Overall, it came out well, albeit too spicy for my taste. I would also cut back on the broth if you want a thicker soup.

My rating for work is 1 big snowball to the face. The soup gets on steaming bowl of delicious... and with tweaking, it will be better.

Friday, December 12, 2008

I Love Basketball

I really do. I've been playing basketball a couple times a week for a while now, and it's doing wonders for me. I'm getting back to the point where I feel confident in my jump shot under any circumstance, from just about any spot. I am once again able to handle the ball under pressure, without turning it over. I play on Tuesdays with a bunch of guys who are all good players, in their 30's. We play pretty good ball, with lots of defensive effort and good offensive movement. It's fun, but I need to exercise more often than once a week, so I play at 24 Hour Fitness against all the douchebags, too. It can be frustrating, but it's getting better as I improve. Last night I was on fire, dropping 3's and scoring in bunches. I was also rebounding and defending, which are not my strong suit. But in typical gym fashion, the guys who fashioned themselves point guards started jacking shots, most of them ill-advised. That's the real problem with playing at the gym: there are too many shoot-first guys. Nobody tries on defense either.

I also love watching basketball. The Blazers have been really fun to see this year, and much to Midge's consternation, they play about 3 times a week. It's like an old friend who drops in exactly when I want to see him, but doesn't wear out his welcome. Unless you're Midge.

I give basketball five alley-oop slam dunks. I give you a big "and one" for finishing this pointless blog. Kudos!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Pork Carnitas Tacos

Inspired by Midge's search for the perfect taco (she'll start a blog on that soon), I decided to try to make carnitas tacos for the first time. It went okay, as you'll see.

First, I bought a pork roast, and chopped it into manageable chunks. I coated the chunks in rough sea salt.

Then I browned the pork chunks in a skillet, over medium-high heat.

After the meat chunks were browned, I put them in a pan with the braising liquid. I used orange juice, with chili powder, cinnamon, cumin, and salt. Then I put it in the oven for 3 hours at 250 degrees.

Now, I had three hours to wait while the pork cooked. We would be eating a late dinner, so I made pico de gallo with fresh tomatoes, onions, cilantro, and lemon juice.

Once that was ready, I was able to make the guacamole. I mashed 2 avocados in a bowl, then added a big scoop of pico, lemon juice, and salt. It was really good.

After snacking for a while and thoroughly enjoying the Civil War, The pork was just about ready. I took it out, drained the juice and shredded the meat with a couple of forks. I put the meat in the pan, drenched it in lemon juice, and put it back in the oven at 350 degrees. The idea is to crisp the outside of the meat and leave the inside moist. I didn't leave it in quite long enough, and I also forgot to take pictures of this step. I also pan-fried my tortillas, with almost no oil.

Then I assemled the tacos. I put a healthy portion of pork, some shredded monterey jack cheese, and some of that pico de gallo on the tortillas.

The tacos were really good. Next time I'd use a little less cinnamon, I'd start earlier so I could braise the meat longer, and I'd leave it in the oven at the end longer so it would be crispier. But I can't complain. It was a good first effort. I give these tacos eight slow-cooked bites of satisfaction.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

New Songs

I'm pleased to announce I finished 2 new songs, and cleaned up the song I started earlier. You should go listen to them. They're the top 3 songs on my myspace page and my soundclick page. They're called "Getting Started," "Static," and "Boy Meets Girl."

Monday, November 10, 2008

What a Weekend!

I was supposed to have a low-key weekend by myself. Midge went to the beach with her college roommates, so I was thinking I'd play a little NBA Live, finish Band of Brothers (which I began watching AGAIN), and work on some music. But it didn't quite work out that way.

It's my little sister's birthday, so obviously, we have to hang out. I play basketball after work against the douchey teenagers at the gym, then drop something off at a friend's house. I then realize that I'm really late, so I pick up my sister, still all grimey from the gym. I'm supposed to take her out to dinner before we meet her friends at Angelo's for drinks at 8. I pick her up at 7:10. What a good brother. I change back into normal clothes in my car, while she gets us our table at Thai Thai (least creative name ever!) . The food is greasy and bland, but the sister liked it, so eh... We meet her friends at Angelo's, where I run into a friend. We talk for awhile, while sister hangs out with her friends. Then we head over to Sewickly's Addition, and get a drink. It was nice; two people bought me shots because I'm the birthday girl's brother. Then her douchebag ex-boyfriend shows up, with flowers and a kiss on the top of the head. I'm so fucking angry I can barely focus on the people I'm talking to. I simply want to pierce his skull with my eyeballs. I leave shortly after, just in time to witness a spectacular end to the Blazers game:

I meet Mike after work for more basketball against the teenagers. We go over to Chuck's house for a "kegger." I put "kegger" in quotes because although he has a keg, there are only like 10 people there, and two of them are his parents. They're getting ready for Montana's game against PSU. His father is the loudest man on the face of the earth. It was fun, overall, and we stayed a while.

I wake up at 1:30, and the day disappears. The sister comes over and we take a really, really long walk, ending with burritos from the cart near the house. Then I watched the Blazers beat the Timberwolves, and head over to the neighbor's house for his 32nd birthday party. They had the biggest selection of liquor I've ever seen at a house party. Who needs beer when there's more booze than 30 people could ever drink? I again stayed up late, and eventually my sister came back and hung out, too. The first 3 hours I was there, I only knew my neighbors, which was weird. I generally am not the kind of guy who makes new friends at a party, but I did okay after about 45 minutes of awkwardly standing by myself.

Sunday was not too exciting, so I'll not talk about it. Anyway, so long to my dream of doing nothing for three straight days. I give my weekend 5 out of 10 points. What I did was fun, but it wasn't quite what I wanted.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Monday Update

Hey guys, it's been a couple weeks since I was able to post anything. I had to do a 6-day work-week last week, and I've been pretty busy lately. Anyhow, you missed a lot, and I'll try to update you.

- My car was smashed by a hit-and-run driver last Friday. Midge and I went out for dinner after I picked her up for work, at a restaurant about 20 blocks from our house. When we returned to our car, we found the rear bumper sitting on the sidewalk next to the car. A cranky old guy who lives across the street was moderately helpful. He spoke to the driver after the crash, writing down the license plate number. He also shamed the guy into leaving a note. The problems? He wrote down the plate wrong, and the driver left a fake phone number. The police came out and took a report, but without a good plate number, nobody's on the hook. If you see an old converted ambulance in Southeast Portland with damage on the front-driver's side bumper, possibly with Crater Lake plates, he's our guy. The rear bumper was entirely ripped off, and now the car is driving kind of wobbly. The initial estimate was $1,300, but I'm taking it in for another look today. My insurance will cover most of it, but I still have a $300 deductable. Hooray!

- The hillbillies had another episode, this time a medical problem. We were watching TV late Saturday night, when a fire truck and an ambulance showed up. The younger hillbilly's girlfriend came teetering out of the house with the help of the EMTs, and was carted off. We believe it was an O.D. But that's pure speculation.

- Halloween was fun. Midge dressed up as a space alien, with a giant purple beehive wig, a futuristic silver dress, purple fishnets, black boots, and a ray gun (loaded with real earth water!). She wanted us to match somehow, so I dressed like a cosmonaut. We found an odd white jumpsuit at Goodwill, and Midge had some old felt samples. So I hot glue gunned the letters "CCCP" on the back, with a big Soviet flag on the back, and a smaller one on the left breast. I also put hammer and sickle insignias on the shoulders. It was sweet. I also had a gold chain, a medal on a red ribbon, and a burly black mustache. We went out with some friends, hitting several places in our neighborhood. We wound up on Belmont, and wandered home at about 3am. It was a long night.

I was briefly abducted by an alien.

"Am first man from village to walk on moon."

I don't know how CCCP=Soviet Union. Don't these people speak English?

"Have medal for bravery. Am national hero!"

- My class is going okay. I don't yet feel like I'm an expert or anything, but I'm making progress.

- Finally, the election is tomorrow, and it's going to be a long day for me. I have to produce a special 3pm newscast, go home, then come back to help produce our election coverage. I am in charge of the interactive map that our anchor will use to show which states the candidates for president have won . I will also need to prepare information on big races across the nation, for the Senate and also ballot measures. It's going to be stressful, but it should be fun.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Wife Fights the Hillbillies

Here was the scene: we put out our trash and recycling last night. Less than a minute after we went back inside, we came back out to fetch the cat. Our hillbilly neighbors were taking all the bottles from our recycling. That's when the fun began.

Wife: Can I help you?
Female Hillbilly: We're just grabbing the recyclables.
Wife: I can see that. I don't want you digging through our stuff.
Female Hillbilly: I don't do that, he does (pointing at Male Hillbilly).
Male Hillbilly: I only take the bottles and cans. I make money off those.
Wife: Yeah, but I don't want you digging through our stuff.
Male Hillbilly: I don't dig through your stuff, I just get the bottles and cans.
Wife: Yeah, why don't you stop digging through our stuff?

Hillbillies walk away...

Male Hillbilly: Well that was bitchy!

Later, the wife went back out and was nicer, saying that she was just surprised to see our neighbors going through our recyclables, and that we'd leave any bottles and cans out for them next time. And to clarify why we're concerned... we have big recycing bins that hold paper, plastic and cans, all mixed together. Someone fishing for cans could find personal information, although we try to shred anything questionable. The wife went over there mostly out of the fear that they'd retaliate in some way, like by breaking in or slashing our tires. While over there, Female Hillbilly said "We don't dig through your recycling," later adding, "Well, we haven't dug through your recycling in 3 weeks."

We had to call the police on these same hillbillies last week, when the younger guy who lives there got in a loud, drunken, and profane argument with the older guy who lives there. They were this close to physically fighting. Officers put at least one of them in the squad car, although I don't know how it all ended. I don't get these people at all. It's like their house is just a backdrop to their lives; everything they do is outside. The older hillbilly man has a ponytail and wears a lot of turquoise, and always is drunk. On a nearly daily basis he is outside the home, swearing loudly at the woman who is inside the home. And no matter the weather, they seem to spend most of their time in or around the front yard. I don't understand.

The house next to them went up for sale, after being a rental. It didn't sell, but that likely has more to do with the economy and the house being over-priced. However, we did notice that the hillbillies cleaned up their front yard, got rid of some of the trash on the front of their property, and actually planted a little garden. We wondered if they were changing... perhaps kicking drugs or booze or something. What we later learned from another neighbor, is that the realtor trying to sell the house complained loudly and long enough to the city about their squalid home, that somebody came out and threatened to fine them if they didn't clean up.

In some ways, they're reasonably resourceful people. We saw them brewing their own wine in a carbuoy in the driveway recently (mind you, it was sitting on top of the broken down washing machine). They scavenge for bottles and cans, and appear to get by. But without jobs, I wonder how they afford to live. Our neighborhood is reasonably nice. It's sort of on the edge of where the trendy neighborhood ends and the trashy one begins, so there's definitely some spill-over. My guess is that they inherited a home from a more successful and ambitious ancestor. We're just crossing our fingers that enough of them will get arrested, or they won't be able to make whatever payments they have to make to stay in the house, and they'll be forced to move out.

I give the hillbillies about $4 worth of empty beer bottles.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

I Should Grow a Pair

One of the occasional perks of working in local TV news is that we sometimes have celebrities in our building. Not the anchors or reporters, whose status as "celebrities" I find somewhat dubious, but actual honest-to-god celebrities.
For example:

I once saw Bill O'Reilly poke his head into the newsroom. He used to work at my station back when he was an honest newsman (or as close as he ever came), and was back to do a taping for his god-awful show. It was kind of odd. He walked in, half inspecting the newsroom, half waiting for us to shower him with attention. I don't think he anticipated that no one would react in any way to him. It was kind of awesome that nobody acted like he is a big deal.

Also, Rob Neyer of ESPN fame occasionally tapes satellite feeds from our building for ESPN and other sports shows. I've walked right by him, knowing who he is, but saying nothing. He actually lives in Portland, so that's why he's at our building. I was just reading his book, which gave me a perfect opportunity to say hello, and yet, I didn't.

We had Harry Shearer of Spinal Tap and Simpsons fame on our entertainment show, AM Northwest once, doing an appearance with his musician wife. One of my coworkers ran over to the cd shop a couple blocks away and got some Spinal Tap CDs for him to autograph. I was too sheepish to follow suit.

And that brings me to today's lesson in futility. Author, radio essayist and kick-ass human being Sarah Vowell was in our studios today for AM NW, and I watched her on television at my desk. I could have just walked down there and said "Hi, you're great. Let me shake your hand." But instead, I just went "Oh my god, look! It's Sarah Vowell" to no one in particular.

Sarah Vowell's Appearance on AM Northwest

I guess the main reason I don't go up is that I don't want to bother the person. I figure most of these people are like the rest of us (O'Reilly excluded). If I were a celebrity, I don't think I'd want people falling all over themselves to meet me all the time. I spotted Will Forte of Saturday Night Live at the Seattle Airport this summer, but he was wearing a baseball cap pulled down, and I figured he just wanted to fly wherever he was going anonymously. I really like his comic sensibility. He brings an element of absurdity on SNL, and I would love to ask him about his writing for the show "Action" on Fox. But I left him alone.

I give my cowardice one empty scrotum. I should grow a pair.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Back to School

Some of you know this, others don't, but I'm taking a class at the local community college on website design. The certificate program takes one year to complete, if you're going full-time. I am obviously not. However, I think I'll take more than one class next term, and will be able to get through it in a year anyway, if you count the summer.

It's not that I want to design websites for a living, although there are worse jobs in the world. I really want to make myself more versatile, and more attractive to employers. I already know how to write, and how the media works. I want to be able to produce in multiple media, and get hired for P.R. or something similar. I've had trouble finding a different job, even though I've applied for numerous things. With our awful economy and my relative inexperience in the field, I realize that in order to get a good job, I need someone to take a chance on me. That doesn't seem to be happening, so I'm trying to take steps to make myself a better risk for an employer. A coworker and friend of mine is getting out of our current work, and I have to say that I'm jealous. She's not getting into a field I'm interested in, but it does provide some hope to me that there's something else out there for me. Wish me luck.

I give learning new skills and expanding myself... oh... about $500 in tuition and software.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Worst Commercial on Television

One of my favorite shows is "Mad Men" on AMC, which, by the way, is fucking brilliant. Anyway, it's on at 10pm on Sunday nights, which is too late for me to stay up. Insert old man joke here. I have to be at work at 7am, so I need to get to bed. Lay off!

Anyway, we end up watching it the next day on-demand through the digital cable box. It works out just fine. There's only one commercial break, which is awesome. Viagra sponsors the on-demand replay. The problem is that the only commercial they've shown all season is this one, and it's god-awful. You'll have to click on the link to watch it, and then watch the video called "Anniversary."


I don't know where to begin.

First, the odd tonal discrepancies. At one point, it's "cute," with this guy's hang-dog looks (more on that in a moment), then it's super-stylized with the freeze-frame and blue-outlined husband. Also, the commercial wants us to believe they're going to do it because of what, nostalgia? "Look, I've got my wedding suit on. Remember when we used to be attracted to each other?" What a romantic sentiment. But that's not what really gets me about it.

I hate the guy, a lot. I hate his ridiculous mugging, and then the close up of his face, his weathered grin saying "I'm goofy, but also horny." Then, he carries her to the foot of the stairs, they have their "Golly, we're old" moment, and he sets her down. "Ha ha, I need help to get my penis up, and apparently I need help to get you up the stairs, too." Perhaps they should consider having sex on the ground floor.

I give this commercial one erection, lasting more than four hours. Priapism, I believe it's called. Call a doctor.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Hemorrhoid Treatment? Around Back!

I was going to take a picture of this, but decided I'm too lazy. Across the street from my work, is a clinic that specializes in treating hemorrhoids. Ha ha, hemorrhoids. And as funny as that is, I recently drove around the back side of the building, on a side street. And there I saw, the sign that says "Hemorrhoid Clinic: Rear Entrance." Or something like that. The little things in life... soak them up.

I give the owner of the hemorrhoid clinic 3 painful butt sores for that sweet sign.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Olive Olive You, Olives

Please forgive the pun that is the title of this post, but darn it, I DO love all of you, olives.

It's weird. I used to hate olives. I'd pick them off my pizza and out of my nachos (and I still do. Seriously, who puts olives in mexican food? That doesn't make any sense.) I resisted any attempts by foodies to make me eat olives. Then, one day, magically, I discovered that olives are actually delicious. I love the green buttery ones, the mushy black ones, the hearty monster black and green olives with the firm flesh and stubborn pits. I love the brine. I could eat an entire tub of fancy olives in one sitting. I have to force myself to put them back in the fridge.

I realized recently why I thought I didn't like olives. It's the same reason my mother insists she doesn't care for curry: she never had good curry, and I never had good olives. The disgusting black pearl olives they slice thin on pizzas are better described as olive-flavored gummy rings, in the same way watermelon Dubble Bubble approachs the taste of watermelon, but never achieves it. Like the way a prison b.j. could almost pass for the kind from a lady, but you know it's not.

I give real olives a couple dozen discarded pits.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Monday, Monday

This will be another random round-up of stuff. Enjoy.

- Today I grabbed the last plastic spoon from the lunch room for my curry. After I finished my lunch, I noticed my co-worker, sitting next to me, eating her pudding with a fork. I felt bad: I could have eaten my curry with a fork, but chose to take the last spoon instead. She couldn't get to the last dregs of her pudding at the bottom of the cup.

- We went to a wedding in Eugene this weekend. Our friend T got married to K at Shotgun Creek Park out near Marcola. Her mom and dad got married there a long time ago. I didn't expect the place to be that great, but I was pleasantly surprised. We were in the shade the whole time, and the post-wedding dinner and party was held in one of those picnic shelter thingies. It was pretty fun, although I couldn't drink because I had to drive us home.

- I finally won the Tecmo Bowl (see my earlier post). As the Chicago Bears, I beat the Cleveland Browns 30-15. It took me 3 tries to win the divisional playoff, but after I did, it was smooth sailing. I'm going to take a break for a while, but when I try again, I think I'll stay true to my roots and be the Minnesota Vikings.

- The album is coming along. I've more or less finished the sex song (see previous entry), and have about 5 other songs in various stages of completion. It's been challenging to make them interesting enough to sustain an entire song length without lyrics. I'm also trying to find a balance between chopping and cutting music and outright sampling.

That's it for now. I have nothing to rate, so I'll instead rate this blog. On a scale of "What were you thinking?" to "Dude, that's sweet!"... this blog gets a "The back of my shampoo bottle is more interesting."

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Sleepless Mornings, and Other Stuff

Sorry I didn't write anything last week. I had to be at work at 3:30 am twice last week, and my parents are in town, so I've been a bit busy. Ooh, plus, the weekend before was my 1st wedding anniversary, so we were out of town. Here now are some miscellaneous updates on my life:

- We stayed at the Olympic Club in Centralia for our anniversary. It was the only McMenamin's hotel that had any vacancies on the holiday weekend. Not surprising, it's in beautiful Centralia. The hotel itself is fine. It was formerly a hotel for railmen, and is appropriately old-timey. Our room was just big enough for our bed and a sink. We shared bathrooms with the rest of the guests. Although we were kind of worried about that, it was no problem. There were plenty of them, and they were always clean. The Olympic Club itself has a movie theater (with second run movies, ala the McMenamin's trademark), a very small bar, a much larger bar, and a billiards room with several tables. This part of the hotel is very cool, with lots of tables and the usual McMenamin's charm.

The town of Centralia, however, is somewhat devoid of charm. It's trying, it's really trying, but the downtown is half-empty. There are a few shops here and there, only a handful of which have anything of interest (to the lady, not me). There's a pedestrian mexican place, and another restaurant that was kind of disappointing. I always find it off-putting when servers try to convince you their food is great, then ask you to confirm their opinion. We spent a lot of time walking around, doing nothing. It was relaxing.

- While in Centralia, we saw all 3 movies playing at the hotel: "Sex and the City," "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the blah, blah blah," and "Wall-E." We had seen "Sex" and "Indiana Jones" already, but "Wall-E" we had not. It was really good. I don't usually like kids' movies, because they ignore the grownups forced to watch along. But Pixar movies are always different. I thought Wall-E had a great message for kids, was funny and sweet, and most importantly, had a compelling plot. I enjoyed it, although I understand the right-wingers don't. Something about humanity devolving into a race of corpulent zombies makes them feel bad about consumerism. Huh.

- My parents are in town right now, and leave tonight. It's kind of odd to have them back, since they moved away a couple years ago. I have nothing else to say about that.

- We also managed to squeeze in a movie this weekend, "Hamlet 2." It was pretty good, overall. There were some definite flat points, but Steve Coogan was hilarious, and managed to make what otherwise may have been lame into something funny with his performance. The film is about a high school drama teacher who tries to save his department with a blockbuster play, a sequel to "Hamlet" he wrote himself. The premise? What if Hamlet, using a time machine, was able to make it so everyone DIDN'T die at the end? It's one of those movies with a great premise, that could have flopped enormously in execution. While I don't think it was the best thing I've seen, I certainly got a lot of laughs out of it. I give it a "B."

Friday, August 29, 2008

I'm a TV Star!

Most of you know what I do for a living: I'm a TV news producer for a local station. I occasionally make it on air in some capacity. Sometimes it's just my name; the anchors will ad-lib about something. For example, when I write a goofy or funny story, one of my anchors will sometimes say something like "our producer, Max Power, really likes this story." Other times, I get to appear as an anonymous "guy" in video. Today I was running a story on new guidelines on how to clean your ears. Really hard-hitting medical news. As you might imagine, we didn't have any file video of ear wax. So I had one of our photographers shoot close-ups of my ears, along with a couple of unfortunate coworkers. By the way, it turns out, I need a haircut. This isn't the first time I've been on TV. Here are the highlights:

- Just a couple weeks ago, we did a story on how nobody reads printed newspapers anymore, so I got to flip through the paper. It didn't really make sense to me, though. Shouldn't the video have shown me putting the paper in the recycling bin and logging onto the internet?

- I was part of a dramatic Monopoly game, used in a sweeps piece on a real estate scammer. We dramatically threw down money and property cards, while moving our game pieces dramatically around the board. I think I won, in dramatic fashion.

- My work softball team highlights made the sports segment a month ago. Naturally, the only highlight they showed was our sports guy hitting a triple, but before that, they showed a shot of O. and I screwing around in front of the camera, saying "we're number one!" and so forth. Not my finest moment.

- Another sports highlight to mention here is the 3 on 3 media tournament the Rose Garden held last year. Our sports photographer got shots of our last game, in which I had a sweet reverse layup. But I also had been up all night because I was still working overnights, badly needed a haircut, and was wearing a nasty t-shirt. I should have thought about it ahead of time, I guess.

- Finally, I got to play a terrorist recently. We did a story about how the airport has a new security system in which guards are trained to spot suspicious behavior. To illustrate, I demonstrated how terrorists get nervous before blowing stuff up. I bit my fingernails (extreme closeup), darted my eyes around nervously (extremely extreme closeup), and tapped my foot anxiously (I did my best Larry Craig impression). Now that's not just being in the video, that's ACTING!

I give my news video experience about eight seconds of uncomfortably close camera shots.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Tecmo Bowl and Renting Movies

I recently was able to reconnect my Wii to the interweb, after months offline. It was mostly laziness. I didn't want to connect the laptop to the wifi router to write down the codeword. Anyway, Nintendo offers cheap downloads of its old games directly to the Wii hard drive. We got Tecmo Bowl and Super Mario Brothers for $5 each. I forgot how much fun Tecmo Bowl is. I've played a few games now, rediscovering how sweet Walter Payton really was. I am hesitant to be anyone other than Chicago, but I should branch out. I used to do okay with the Vikings, which I used to pick because they were my favorite team. The only bad thing is that the player names are gone. I'm not scoring a touchdown with Willie Gault, I'm scoring with an anonymous wide reciever.

I'm also amazed at how short the levels are on Super Mario. I remember playing it for hours, struggling to get through the levels. But on replaying it, I'm surprised at how quickly I'm able to get through levels. It's funny, too, that I remember exactly where every hidden extra life or hidden tube is, years after last having played it.

I rate discovering the joys of old video games one blistered left thumb.

On a completely different topic, we rented a movie at Blockbuster last night, "Son of Rambow," which was a gently enjoyable little film. But what I'm writing about is the incredible cost of renting movies. Blockbuster is advertising 99-cent rentals, which only applies to the oldest of their collection. To offset these savings, it's now charging a whopping $4.99 to rent a new movie. $5 for a rental! If you buy 4 used movies there, it costs exactly the same as renting 4 movies. I don't see how it hopes to compete with Red Box and Netflix.

Blockbuster gets 4 dollars signs, and little repeat business.

Friday, August 22, 2008

M-V-P! M-V-P!

So the softball team played its last game last night, losing 4-1 against CBS Radio. It was the lowest scoring softball game in the history of the sport. We played 7 innings in less than an hour. It was a good season; we got better as the year progressed, and were very competive toward the end of the year.

Afterward, the team went to a pizza and beer thingy, paid for by our employer. Our coach/rightfielder handed out awards, and I got Most Valuable Player. It was nice. I put the award on my desk at work, right next to Perry Mason and a picture of Midge.

I give the softball season 4 for 5 with 2 doubles and 7 RBI.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

New Computer Update

Alright, let's all calm down here. The computer situation appears to be turning around. Last night I was able to install most of my programs, which was key. Only 2 wouldn't work, and only one of those is one I really want. My copy of Photoshop Elements is too old for Vista, so that's too bad. I got my iTunes working, and all of my audio editing programs kicked on with no fuss.

I did have to return my wi-fi router, but was able to exchange it for one that works well. I happened to buy the only one in the store that wasn't Vista-compatible. It's not like I went for the cheapest model, either. Anyway, I'm now online, and my blood pressure is returning to earth.

I give my new computer a thumbs-sideways. Not down, not up, but okay.

On another note, my work softball team plays tonight in the second round of our tournament, after we crushed the Blazers on Monday, 21-11. We came back from a 9-1 deficit in the 2nd inning. We lost our second game 19-9, to those doucheloafs from Entercom (just kidding, they were nice people). It poured rain the entire second game, and games were cancelled on Tuesday and Wednesday. We may not have enough players tonight against CBS Radio, though, because our start time is kind of early. Wish us luck!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

New Computer Problems

I was about to type how the problems I'm having with my new HP computer are unbelievable, but then I realized how utterly believable they really are. I got a new computer on Sunday (see previous post), and it's been kind of a bitch to get started. Did I say "kind of?"

First off, what kind of brand-new computer doesn't come with a wi-fi adaptor? It's a desktop, but still. It did come with a fucking dial-up modem. There's cutting edge technology. I didn't even check when I bought it to see if it had wi-fi, I just assumed because it's the year 2008 that it would come standard. It didn't help that I got it at Office Depot, where there is no customer service. In the instruction manual, it said I could hook-up with either a modem, LAN, or via wi-fi. It said I needed to go out and buy a wireless antenna to hook up to the wireless card. So I wasted an hour and half of shopping and driving in rush hour traffic to get one at Office Max. Again, zero customer service. I get home, only to discover that there's no wireless card at all. I was presumptuous when I read the manual. It simply says I can go online with any of those three choices. It doesn't say the computer actually has the equipment to support them.

Next, I try to install the wi-fi card which was in my old computer. It neither fits nor does the software work with Windows Vista (more on that in a moment), so I buy a wi-fi adaptor that plugs in via USB at my local Fred Meyer.

I follow the instructions to install it, only to have it repeatedly fail. Finally, I realized, this brand-new product does not work with Vista. This blows my mind. Again, I did not check to see if it was Vista-compatible. That's my fault, but come the fuck on... why would they even sell a product that does not work with the only operating system available in new PCs for the last year and a half? WHY? (spare me your Linux comments, I'm thinking about it)

So now, here I am, at the crossroads. My plan is to attempt to install the many other programs I use on my old computer, to see if they work on Vista. If they do, I return the wi-fi adaptor and get another. If they don't I'm going to downgrade to Windows XP. I still have an original copy. I'm a little nervous to do that, since I'm no computer expert, but I'm going to give it a try.

While I'm on the subject, I would whole-heartedly advise against purchasing Belkin brand products. We have a wi-fi router that periodically refuses to broadcast a signal, which requires us to completely restart the router. It just so happened that happened again last night, on top of all the other problems. The previous time, I had to call for tech support. The guy was from India (not unusual, I know), and didn't really understand the English language, which didn't help. He then hung up on me before solving my problem. Now, this wi-fi adaptor fucks me over. I'm never going to purchase anything from Belkin again.

I give Vista (so far) 1 tiny Bill Gates head on a stick, and I give Belkin one giant "limited or no connectivity" message.

Monday, August 18, 2008

New Computer

Lordy, I'm excited. I got myself a new computer yesterday. I have been using the same PC since 2002. My dad made it. I couldn't even surf the net with it anymore. It can't handle wi-fi. I really wanted to get a Mac, but I can't afford it. I caught a good deal, too. I saved more than $200, if the mail-in rebate comes through. They don't always, so I'm not holding my breath. Anyway, it should have no real effect on this blog, but I thought I'd share. I now must begin the arduous task of transferring all of my files and software to the new computer. Wish me luck.

On another note, I think I finished my first draft of the song I've been obsessively working on (see earlier post). I've sent it out to a select few, hoping to get some feedback. It needs to be edited a bit. I'll hopefully unleash it on all of you soon.

I give my new computer six flat-screen monitors and a laser mouse.

Friday, August 15, 2008

"I Used to Fuck Guys Like You in Prison"

I can't believe I'm admitting this, but I saw the movie "Road House" last night for the first time. For years I've heard about this Patrick Swayze cheese-fest, and last night I finally had a slice. Overall, I kind of liked it, in the same way you like Velveeta. It's kind of gross, but it slides down nice and easy. It's as if the film-makers (can you really call this a "film?") tried to cram in everything they could think of to make it "cool."

The checklist:
- A tough guy who doesn't blink when challenged
- Feathered hair for both the hero and heroine
- Lots of bar brawls
- At least one fistfight every 5 minutes
- New Age philosophy
- Lots of hot 80's chicks and titillating shots of their underwear
- Hints of nudity (I watched the TV version)
- Karate
- One man's mission to stop a corrupt villian
- And murders... you betcha!

And last but not least... a ton of quotable lines. The title of this blog was my favorite, but you've also got:

- "Pain don't hurt."
- "That gal's got entirely too many brains to have an ass like that."
- "My way... or the highway."
- "I'll get all the sleep I need when I'm dead."

And so many more...

I give "Road House" six flying fists of justice.

One more thing... Locke's dad from "Lost" owns the bar. He's a good guy! I can't believe it.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Death to Perry Mason!

My new gig puts me opposite Perry Mason in the ratings, as well as other news shows. But I've picked up the gauntlet from Mike, who used to have this job. He didn't really care what the other guys got, just as long as he did something Burger couldn't... defeat Perry Mason. I never, ever check the ratings, but I've picked up Mike's enthusiasm for defeating the unbeatable Perry Mason. My father-in-law is an avid Perry-watcher, and I've begun with him. Also, I inherited Mike's framed 8x11 picture of Raymond Burr. Unfortunately, it's a shot of him acting in "Ironsides," but it will certainly do.

This is the same picture I stare at everyday.

Death to Perry Mason!

I give this photo six pencil-stuffed pistols!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

So, It's Been a Month or So...

And I haven't written anything. Not that nothing's happened. I played some softball and basketball, we went on a one-week vacation, and, oh, I had a sex-change operation. Midge says I've been making jokes about being a woman lately, so I thought I'd keep it up. Anyway, I plan on posting some pictures of the vacation at somepoint, but those are at home, and I'm at work, so none for now.

So here's what I'm going to do instead: talk about my latest obsession. As most of you know, one of my main hobbies is making beats and such. I have in my head that I'm going to make an EP of instrumentals. Not just my normal hip-hop beats that require lyrics to really sound like complete songs, but stand-alone songs that can be appreciated on their own merit.

For the past several weeks I have been slaving on a new song about sex. I've been hunting for samples in my record collection, and I have to tell you, I have some priceless ones. It's odd, because this whole thing started with an attempt to turn samples from a Howdy Doody record into a goofball song. Suddenly I had about 4 distinct song ideas within one project. I split it up, and now have these separate projects. And while one of them has more promise, the sex one is the one I keep coming back to. The song is linear (at this point)... boy meets girl, they make out, they start fooling around, there's some light bondage, they start makin' babies, and then it's over. I can't wait to finish it. So far there's at least 4 dozen different musical or vocal samples in the project, altough I haven't used them all yet. I've worked on the song every free moment, trying my best not to ignore my wife. I'll tell you when it's finished, and post it somewhere.

If you are interested in any of my past stuff, check them out here.

I give my sex song, so far, a pair of blue balls. So close, but not quite there.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

The Greatest Ribs I've Ever Made

That's right... the greatest. I made these with some help on the 4th of July. I had to work that day, so Midge's mom got them started, per my instructions. The following is a rough recipe for Max Power's Apricot-Pineapple Mustard Ribs. The meat fell off the bone, and the sauce simmered from rough and hot... to sweet, hot, and smooth.

This photo was taken the next day. The leftovers don't look as appetizing as the originals. Just so you know.


I don't believe in measurements, I just sort of wing it.

- Plenty of brown sugar
- Mustard powder
- Ground Coriander
- Chili Powder
- Cumin
- Paprika

Mix it together, then coat the meat thoroughly. Let sit all morning, before you hit the oven. Bake the ribs on a low heat for 4 hours, in a pan covered with tin foil.


- 1 jar Apricot-Pineapple Jelly
- 1 jar whole seed dijon mustard or chunky mustard of your choice
- a health splash of Jack Daniels or other whiskey
- ground fresh ginger

Over medium heat, melt the jelly in a saucepan. When it's good and runny, dump in your mustard, whiskey, and ginger. Mix well and let it bubble together for a while.

When the ribs are done in the oven, place them on the grill (which you've already heated up. I probably should have mentioned this earlier.) Baste them in this dope-ass sauce. I personally like to cook the ribs bone-side down for about 10-15 minutes, then meat-side down to char the meat just a little, then I flip them back on the bones, rebaste, and cook for another 5 minutes.

Seriously, these were the best ribs I've ever made. For my taste, they're the perfect combination of sweet and hot. I rate them an entire rack's worth of discarded bones.


I am working on a recipe for another spicy sweet sauce that I'm not sure will work. What do you think? I want to mash up seedless watermelon, simmer it with a little vinegar and some chopped dried chili pepper, or pepper flakes. That's as far as I've gotten. Help me out!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Ninja Warrior

This is the greatest show on television right now. It's a Japanese game show that can be seen on G4, a cable channel in the 100's. If you don't have those channels, you're kind of screwed. If you do, start watching it. This show is on all the time. This Saturday I watched about 5 hours, on and off. I was doing work around the house much of the time, lest you think I'm lazy. Below are some clips. Enjoy!



I give Ninja Warrior six faceplants in knee-deep water!

Friday, June 20, 2008


So, for reasons seemingly beyond my control, I've been demoted. My boss tried to tell me it isn't a demotion, but I'm not stupid. Basically, I don't get along with his second in command. We've had a couple of unpleasant conversations in recent months. The thing is, I'm not the only person who she doesn't get along with. In fact, nobody in the building likes working with her. The problem is, the job I'll be doing for the next two weeks (before I'm demoted), involves direct contact with her all day long. The person taking over my job is great. I think she's excellent at her job, and is a good person. She's also meek enough to let the boss lady push her around. I believe this has a lot to do with the decision to demote me.

- I'll make the same money, with less stress
- I'll get off work earlier
- Less direct contact with the woman I don't like
- Less pressure to perform

- I've never had this happen before, and I feel shitty about it
- Everyone I work with will know I'm demoted
- It's hard to explain on a resume
- It's a sign I don't really have a future here

I'm now evaluating my options for the future. School? Maybe. Another job? Probably.

I give this situation 0 stars.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

My Nerts Hurts

Monday night was one of the more frustrating athletic experiences I've had as of late. We lost 14-2 in slow-pitch softball to the Oregonian. 2 fucking runs in slow-pitch softball. Yikes. There are lots of excuses, which I'll list, but ultimately, we just stunk it up.

1. The sun was setting, and was in our eyes for the first two innings at bat. The sun set in between the top and bottom of the 2nd, so the other team only had to deal with it for one inning.

2. The umpire was terrible. She missed an out at second base that we recorded, and at one point lost track of a runner for the other team, allowing her to score after she (the ump) had already called timeout. She also had a terrible and inconsistent strike zone.

3. We made like, five dozen errors. I actually fielded my position well, I think. It was the first time all year I didn't make an error at shortstop.

4. We have a contagiously bad attitude. When we start messing up, we don't bounce back.

5. A lot of people on the team have never really played.


When the sun was still shining, anyone looking from the direction of homeplate into the outfield was blinded by the sun. One of their players got a basehit into centerfield. As the shortstop, it's my job to take the cut-off throw. In mid-air, the ball and the sun merged into a red-hot blindspot. I started saying "fuck, fuck, fuck" as I backed away, with my glove up to protect my face. Fortunately, I didn't need to use the glove to protect my ruggedly handsome looks; the ball hit my crotch instead. I don't think I've said the word "fuck" in one five minute period as much as I did immediately before and after I was rendered incapable of fathering children.

I give playing shitty softball game two red, swollen testicles.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Tracy Morgan and Kool Keith are the Same Guy

Watch a clip of comedian Tracy Morgan, and then watch a Kool Keith video, and tell me that they are not the same person.

Tracy Morgan clip from 30 Rock:

Kool Keith video "Livin' Astro":

They look kind of similar, but if you close your eyes, you can really hear that they sound the same. They're both a little nuts, and speak in non sequiturs.

I give them both ten crazy pills.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Pledge of Allegiance Controversy

Okay, this is a serious one. We have a story in Portland right now that's getting a lot of attention, and it really pisses me off. Here's the gist of it:

An elementary school principal elected to have students recite the Preamble to the Constitution at a 5th grade promotion ceremony, instead of the Pledge of Allegiance. She said that she didn't want to offend Muslims, because of the "under God" clause. Holy shit, did the conservatives go crazy. My news station has been inundated with emails from right-wingers. I'll post a couple typical responses below.

Why should Americans have to change for anyone who is a 'guest' in this country? Many brave men and women died for our freedom, which is being taken away by foreigners coming here to change our way of life. If they want to change something, let them go back to their own country and change the way it is, leave America alone. This is our country, not yours. If i would go to their country and try to pull stuff like this to ban everything i didn't agree with, they would behead me before i even got the request out of my mouth. I say all foreigners need to go back to their own country, if they weren't born here.

The product of a musshy brain, shes a bit water logged and listing far to the left, emotion is not the result of a sound thinking's a weak heart she portrays, not the land of the brave, she lives in.

The principal is a worthless cunt who deserves punishment.

Sigh. This is the kind of intellectually challenging response we're getting from viewers. Beyond my own second thoughts for working in an industry that would even report this story, I am saddened by how ignorant and hateful people are. This controversy seems to legitimize for some people their own hatred and xenophobia. There are so many things wrong with this.

1. Why direct your anger at Muslims? They had absolutely no say in this decision. One woman, a principal, made the choice.

2. A lot of people are also talking about how Muslims worship one God, and so do Christians, so what's the big deal? The big deal is that they don't exactly worship the same God. Catholics especially. I doubt that Muslims are onboard with the Holy Trinity. Moreover, what about athiests, Hindus, and anyone else who doesn't worship a single God? The principal obviously handled the situation clumsily, by singling out Muslims, but plenty of people don't believe in one deity.

3. I would love to dispel the myth that the United States is a Christian nation. Don't get me wrong, I realize that the overwhelming majority of Americans identify themselves as Christians, but the fact of the matter is, we are a secular nation. Our founding fathers set it up that way on purpose. Thomas Jefferson and others weren't even Christians, they were Deists, believing in one supernatural power. But NOT the Christian concept of God and Jesus and all the rest. The references to God on our money and the Pledge of Allegience itself showed up during the 50's, in the middle of the cold war. McCarthyism obviously still exists today. I would challenge the douchebags who say we need more God in our government to remember the reason the Pilgrims left England in the first place. Since their memory is selective, I'll just say it: they were fleeing a government that wouldn't accept their minority religious beliefs. America was founded as a nation of religious freedom, including, and most important to me personally, freedom FROM religion.

4. A 5th grade promotion ceremony? Seriously? When I graduated, do you know what the reward was? 6th grade.

In summary, I give the principal of that school an A+. I give the hateful doucheloafs of the world summer school. So as not to reveal my employer, I won't post a link to the story, but I urge you to Google it and learn more.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Mario Kart

We've been playing insane amounts of Mario Kart lately on the Wii. It's fucking sweet. We have two plastic wheels in which we snap our controllers, and the gas button is pushed by your thumb. It's a ton of fun. The only downside is that we play against each other, and you can only reveal new tracks by playing alone and winning races. It's a social game, and we've only revealed one new series (4 individual races) in the month we've owned it. Big props to Mike and Orion for giving the game to me for my birthday.

I give the game six heat-seeking mushrooms. I give the no-new-races-unless-you-race-alone thingy a big squid ink cloud.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Friday Thoughts

First, I got a haircut today on my lunch break. I went to Great Clips, because it's near my work. The wait was 45 minutes, so I said the hell with it and left. On the way back to my car, I realized I parked next to the Phagan's School of Beauty. A haircut that costs six bucks, by someone who's just learning how to do it? I'm listening....

The girl who cut my hair was clearly nervous. Instead of just diving in and doing the easy stuff (like shearing the back of my head with the razor), she did it slowly. I don't think she remembered what I asked for by the time she was done; she was just kind of trimming it. That's fine, I only paid six bucks. But the best part of the whole experience came about five minutes into my hair cut. Remember, this is a SCHOOL of beauty. A man or woman (couldn't tell which) came on over the intercom.

"Attention, Shaniqua and Ashley, you need to get off of your cell phones... now."


"Yes, we can see you. We have security cameras. Off the phone, now."


One More Thing...

We were watching the third episode of the second season of "The Wire" last night, and the dvd started having digital glitches and wouldn't play. I took it out and cleaned it off, but it was spotless. I think the disc itself was flawed. We stayed up an extra hour just to watch this one goddamned episode, and with just ten minutes left in the show, it stopped.

I give my beauty school field trip two cell phones, snapping shut.
I would like to serve our dvd experience a subpoena to testify in court why it sucks so badly.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Why I'm a Bad Person

I would like to begin this post with the acknowlegment that I know this is wrong. But I don't care.

This weekend Midge and I bought 3 movies for $20 at the local (corporate) movie place. We got "Michael Clayton," "The Darjeeling Limited," and "Cloverfield." We hadn't seen "Cloverfield," so we thought we'd give it a try. We watched it, and it is an interesting and well-made movie. But there's one problem: it made both of us nauseous. The movie is shot from the perspective of a home video camera, like "The Blair Witch Project." It's effective, but it jerks around so much we both got a little sick. Here's where the badness begins.

We don't want to own this movie. It makes us physically ill. So we return it to the store with the excuse that, coincidentally, Midge's parents gave us this very same movie on the same day! Could we please exchange it for another movie? The manager is nice, and lets us. Midge wants to get "Hot Fuzz," as do I. But the problem is that it only costs $9.99, whereas "Cloverfield" is $14.99, so they can't do the exchange. But it just so happens that they've lowered the price of "Zodiac," and together, they add up to the same as "Cloverfield." Actually there was a dollar difference, and we're not sure how that really worked out. But anyway, bottom line, we got two movies we really wanted, in exchange for one we don't.

And the worst part? I've probably done this 4 or 5 times before. It's like renting a movie for free.

I give this low-level fraud six pre-viewed DVDs out of 8.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Weekend Camping

The wife and I spent our Memorial Day weekend camping. Original, I know. We stayed at Beverly Beach, which is a few miles north of Newport. It's as close to not camping as humanly possible. There are showers and toilets, and a ton of people are rammed together as close as they can ram us. It was fun. We walked along the beach down to Mo's on Saturday, ate sandwiches, then walked back. On Sunday we shopped at the outlet stores in Lincoln City and did some shopping. I got a sweet pair of old-style Nikes and a couple of Nike polos.

Anyway, the highlight of the weekend for me was all the cooking over the fire. We made the obligatory hot dogs, but we also tossed some foil-wrapped potatoes and corn on the cob into the coals. We cooked steak chunks rolled in lemon pepper using skewers, green beans cooked directly on the fire inside a tin foil pouch, and made cheesy bread over the grill. We fried our 2 leftover potatoes and 2 left over hot dogs in a wok over the fire, then mixed in 4 eggs and some cheese for a sweet breakfast. We ate well. And Midge is an expert marshmallow roaster. She has an incredible talent for toasting the outside of the marshmallow to a golden brown, without burning it, while at the same time melting all of the gooey goodness inside.

One other story...
Our neighbors on one side were a bunch of college kids from a nearby Christian university. They prayed before meals, and one of them sang drippy acoustic songs around the campfire. They were pretty decent neighbors. But on Sunday night, they all went to the movies. Around 7:30-ish? a group of four bikers pulled up to their spot. "36d, this is it," they said. They all had matching leather jackets with some embroidered logo on the back, likely a gang. It seemed incongruous... these tough-looking bikers hanging out with young Christians. But the college kids weren't there. A ranger came up and talked to the bikers, as did the state police. We heard the bikers say they were waiting for their friends, and the cops said they had until 10 to get out. The guys bought beer, and put it into the college kids' cooler. But still, no kids. At 9:59, the bikers roared their engines and took off. A little later, the group of students came back, and discovered some strange beer in their cooler. It turns out, they don't know any bikers, and were a little freaked out that some showed up at their spots. The wife and I believe that the bikers just had the wrong spot. It was an entertaining evening.

I give camping four toasted, ooey-gooey marshmallows out of five.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

My 30th Birthday Party

I suppose it's about time, a week and a half later, to talk about my birthday party. It was fun.

The End.

Just kidding. I got off work and picked up a keg at Belmont Station, a bar and beer store (beer store? Is that a phrase people use?). When did a keg get so goddamned expensive? $100 refundable deposit, and $165 for the beer! Sure, I got a good, local microbrew, but still. I was considering a cheap domestic, until I saw that Budweiser was $110. Anyway... besides some early arrivers, people started showing up around 8-ish. We had some ping-pong going in the shack, a big fire roaring in the backyard fire pit, the beer flowing, and other people hanging out inside. All told, approximately 40-50 people made their way through the party. It's always a good sign when friends bring friends, when you run into acquaintances at your party; people you wouldn't think to invite come and say "hi." About 11-ish, we cracked open the pinata and feasted on the goodies inside. It was mostly candy, but Midge also packed in fake teeth and pirate eye patches. Those were fun. And then at midnight, the crowning achievement of the night (literally).
Midge lit my flaming birthday crown. She made it herself out of a paper crown, some candles, and a hot glue gun. Since everyone was looking, I decided to make a grandiose, impromptu speech. People started to filter out a bit after that. It was a Friday, and we're all getting old. But like most parties, people came and went throughout the night. The latest-arriving guests came in time to sit by the fire, play some Wii, and work on the beer. The next day, we slept until about 2.

Perhaps the funniest part of the entire weekend happened Saturday night. Midge and I were tired, and watching a crappy movie (The Day After Tomorrow), when our good friends E and J knocked on the door. This was about 10:30. Here's how the conversation went:
"Happy birthday! Where's the party?"
"Um, the party was last night."

We were disappointed on Friday that they hadn't come, but we figured it was because they were busy. Oh well.

I give my 30th birthday party 30 years out of 30.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

We Won!

So, my softball team won its first game last night. We beat the radio team we played 9-4. I don't want to brag, but I had a nice night. 2 for 3, and a lot of plays in the field at shortstop. I forgot how much I love softball/baseball. I give the game 9 diamonds out of 9!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Monday Monday

I have my first work softball game today, in about an hour and 20 minutes. I'm nervous and anxious and excited. It should be fun. It's a media league. Today we play a radio ownership group. They own a right-wing talk station, among others. I hope we bash their faces to the bases! I'm playing shortstop, which can be a harrowing experience in softball. Let's hope I don't boot too many grounders.

In other random thoughts... I thought of three perfect nights with my wife, and I thought I'd share them. In no particular order...

1. The night last fall where we watched "Monster House" on a Sunday. It was a goofy, fun movie, and we had to improvise drinks. All we had was vodka, Diet Cherry 7up, and popsicles. So we blended them all together. That was a fun night.

2. Valentine's Day, 2000. Midge was a student, living in the on-campus apartments. We watched "The Purple Rose of Cairo" and ate chocolate fondue from her little crockpot thingy. I'm pretty sure we laughed a lot that night.

3. I can't pinpoint which night exactly, but the numerous times we spent at the Pied Cow when we first started dating. In all seasons, we'd order the soup of the day, the cheese platter, and some ridiculous coffee drinks. In the winter we'd sit inside, sweating and cramped next to other couples. In the summer we'd sit outside on the terrace, enjoying the night and ignoring the Hookah smoke coming from other patrons.

I give these memories 1.2 billion out of 1.2 billion.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

I've Been Tagged!

I don't really know what this means, but apparently my wife wants me to fill out some questions.

Here goes nothin':

Five Things Found in Your Bag:
1. I don't have "a bag"
2. Testes
3. Maybe I should use my wallet...
4. Okay, in my wallet I have some money
5. And a lot of useless reciepts

Five favorite things in your room (I'm using my office):
1. My turntables
2. My record collection
3. My spelling bee trophies
4. My Wheaties boxes from the 1991 Minnesota Twins and 1992 Portland Trailblazers
5. The open, screaming mouth painting I made as a senior in high school

Five things you have always wanted to do:
1. Dunk on a 10-foot rim
2. Become an expert chef
3. Play competitive baseball again
4. Make music professionally
5. Write something meaningful

Five things you are currently into:
1. Work softball and my Tuesday night hoops game
2. Making homemade ribs, sauce and all
3. My wife
4. Lost
5. Looking for a home to buy

That's it. Those are my answers.
I give this poll thing 3 out 4 categories. It was more fun than I thought.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

The Last Day of My 20's

Today, as you may have surmised from the title of this post, is the last day of my 20's. Tomorrow, I enter the new world of "30." I have been kind of fighting this, but I think once it passes things will be okay. So, how did I spend the last day of my youth, you ask? Well.... I got to work late, worked, and will now go home to clean the house. You see, tomorrow I'm throwing myself a gigantic party. I was unable to get my birthday off, so I have to do all the cleaning tonight. Midge is housesitting for her parents tonight, so I have to do it all by myself. It's only fair, since she does the bulk of the cleaning normally, and they're my douchebag friends. So far, 40 people have confirmed via Evite that they're coming, and I know of about 10 more that didn't rsvp (douchebags), but who are still coming.

We're playing ping-pong, getting a keg, and playing some other games. It should be fun. The bad news, is that there's a so-so chance that it could rain. Our plan was to keep people in the backyard and in the Ping-Pong Shack. But if it's raining, we'll have to move things inside. Our house is less than 1000 square feet, and one of the bedrooms will be off-limits (to house the cat). If it rains, think how muggy it will be in there, with all those people sweating. I'm looking forward to it, though. Midge got me a crown, upon which she's going to hot-glue candles, so I'll have a flaming birthday crown. She also got me a birthday sash, a pinata (and goodies to stuff inside), and is getting me a big cake. She's a good wife.

Here's to my 20's! I give it 9 out of 10 points. It would be higher, but I'm not a professional athlete yet (YET!), which was one of my goals as a kid.