Tuesday night at the Nebraska State Fair, we went to see the third of their free concert series, Foreigner. Held in the outdoor amphitheater, the free shows are being used to draw people to the fair which has struggled in recent years. And based on the huge crowd for Tuesday's show -- the theater was jam packed, and the fire marshall came through several times to make sure paths were clear -- its succeeding, at least in getting people in the door. I'd peg the crowd, conservatively, at 2000 people. It could easily have been more, but from our vantage point in the SECOND ROW, it was kind of difficult to gauge.
August 2005 Archives
Rockin' With Foreigner
Once Upon a Time...
Once upon a time, three guys from the Kingdom of Good and Awesome stood in the kitchen at a house party and decreed that they would trek through a wilderness of concrete and vehicular obstacles to attend a Def Leppard/Bryan Adams concert, for It would be good. But as the time to depart on their journey neared, one of the guys deemed himself to be slightly less Good and Awesome than the others, and fell on his sword of complacency, thus bowing out of the awesomest show of the year.
From that moment forward, the three Good and Awesome guys decreed that for this unspeakable transgression, the following punishment shall be enforced:
Tales from the Homy Inn
Friday, Dick, Continental and I decided we needed to go out to celebrate the launch of Dick's company's new website, and to get prepared for our weekend of partying in Minneapolis in three weeks. So we planned on going to the Homy Inn on Saturday evening.
When I got there at 9:30, it was the most surreal moment I've experienced in a while. Two groups of people, neither of which had any clue who the other was, waved to me as I walked in the door. One was Dick and Trudy, who I was meeting there obviously. The other was Janell's (my bro's wife) cousin and his wife, who were there with some people. Paired with the rock star parking -- front row, right in front of the door, which in absolutely unheard of at the Homy on a Saturday -- and I was living a charmed life.
Dick and his wife had apparently been there since 7-ish, when they headed there after dinner with their dinner guests, who had left just before I arrived. A pitcher of Bud Light was already at the table. I introduced everyone to everyone, and we had some beers. And made the first of several phone calls to people who weren't there, each of which got increasingly more and more bizarre.
Its massage day here at the office. They pay to bring in two massage therapists, and you get to sign up for a complimentary 20-minute session. Its great. The room is all dark, and there's one of those weird nature CD's that Target always has on display -- the one that some kid will always go push play on, driving everyone in the store nuts when the sounds of frogs and water and hippos come out of the speakers.
And today, believe it or not, one of the therapists didn't bring a CD player. So they put out an All-Points-Bulletin for someone to give up their desk stereo for the day. Problem is, there's only a handful of us who actually have a CD player. Most people are too serious to listen to music at their desk, or have to concentrate too hard to let music interrupt their train of thought.
I'm a graphic designer. Its not physically possible for me to work without music. I'll fall asleep if the sounds of Rico Suave by Gerardo are not providing the background soundtrack for my day.
About those burgers...
Those burgers I mentioned earlier today? Yeah, I got home from work last night and decided to grill out. Only all the hamburger in my freezer was, well, frozen. So I took out the patties, made by me at some point in the past and then placed in baggies for future enjoyment, and attempted to pry them apart.
Only these things were really, really stuck. I did a no-no and ran them under warm water to loosen the ice, hopefully just enough to wedge a knife in between them to bust 'em apart. But these patties weren't having any of it. I defrosted them in the microwave. Managed to get a few pieces unstuck, which is actually worse, because how do you re-make patties out of frozen matter? And it was 6:54, almost game time.
Taco Bell & SportsCenter, 1:30 AM
Friday night, the plan was to go to two parties. The first, David's going away party at the Old Dundee; followed by a trek to Cathy's 40th birthday party. But as with many things, it did not exactly turn out that way...
ACT I: Tubbs
I got to the Old Dundee about 7:30 for Senor Typography's going-away party on Friday. Lots of people there, so it was a good time. Plus there was $1.50 pints of the Blue Ribbon, so how can you go wrong?
Working the room, I talkd to just about everyone in the room, including the Senor's parents who are very nice people and strangely enough, live just three blocks from me on West Maple. I'm sure I'll run into them at Hy-Vee sometime, considering I'm there at least once a day.
After taking some well-intentioned abuse for the gas-consumption ability of The Colorado -- its thirsty, folks -- and showing off my own consumption ability -- I'm thirsty too, folks -- I sat down with my buddy Cliff and his girlfriend while they ate, taking a break from walking 'round the bar. Somehow he managed to splatter hot wing sauce on two other people at the table, but not on himself. That's awesome. Couldn't do it again if he tried.
Homage or Rip-Off?
As Sir Bennett Holzworth Esq. would say, "When is something an homage to a fondly recalled piece from the past, and when is something just a blatent rip-off?"
Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you the Breakfast Brawl.
The Stealing of "You Bet"
Speaking of gas stations, apparently a chain in Minnesota is using MY catch phrase as their new slogan in print and billboard campaigns. Namely, "You Bet".
Unconfirmed reports from readers up there in the fine state of 10000 lakes tell me its KwikShop. But we have those here in Omaha, and I've not seen the ads here. So it could be another chain. Some people call every station KwikShop, even if its a QuikTrip, or Kum&Go, or SuperAmerica.
Anyway, the chain doesn't matter. The billboards show junk food, or other similarly bad-for-you foods, in giant photos with this caption:
"Ice Cream...You Bet!"
"Candy Bars...You Bet!"
F, in, a, um, I hate you. I really, really, really hope your gas station ends up like that one I was stuck in front of yesterday, with HAZMAT truck action, fire engine action, and then out of business action.
Now that gets a You Bet. You Bet.
I Want Tacos
Last night in Lincoln, more craziness. $2 steins of beer, sitting outside in the beer garden down in the Haymarket, eating free wings and bacon fries.
After sitting around for a few hours, Donovan and I decided to go check out this place with quarter tacos. I was skeptical, because I'd heard there was a band playing there -- which means a cover charge, which makes 25 cent tacos way more expensive. But we went to check it out anyway.
As we got up close to the place, two gigantic charter buses were parked outside with Lake County Florida plates. Leesburg, where my Grandparents used to live. Bizarre, because that place was a tiny little village that seemingly had a median population age of somewhere between "old" and "geezer". Not the type of city that would produce a college band. Hmm. But the more pertinent detail was that where there's tour buses, there's a steep cover.
Black and Gold = Pittsburgh
Donovan's shoes are also black and gold
Recently, I had the great pleasure of spending several days in Pittsburgh with nearly 200 contemporaries at the AIGA National Leadership Conference. Held yearly as an opportunity to share ideas with fellow Board of Directors members from chapters across the country, this year's conference was a great time.
Pittsburgh is an interesting city from a design perspective. The convergence of three rivers -- the Ohio, the Allegheny, and the Mon-something -- make for the most bridges of any city in North America. I know this because our cab driver on Sunday afternoon told me so. Our friends from the Los Angeles chapter had a Pittsblogh from the conference, where I learned that not only did they also have a cabbie tell them the bridge fact, apparently Venice is the only city in the Rockin'-Out-To-Europe's-Final-Countdown-World with more bridges. That's crazy. I don't know if I even believe it. But they're from LA, so I'll take it at face value.
Saw a guy today with a TROGDOR bumper sticker. It was awesome. If you don't know who Trogdor is, may god have mercy on your soul. Actually, may the devil burninate your soul, after he's done burninating the peasants and the countryside.
You know Aerosmith's Crazy video, where Alicia Silverstone and Liv Tyler bust out of school and joyride in a Mustang convertible? Well, today at lunch when I went home, I almost rolled The Colorado (again) when I saw, sitting at a stoplight -- ironically -- two really really hot girls in a convertible. Almost forgot to stop at the light. The FedEx truck in front of me wouldn't have liked that too much. Now, granted they weren't actresses, and it was a Sebring, not a Mustang, but still, not something you see every day.
It was fun while I sat there. Not that I was looking or anything. But the bastard FedEx truck decided he was going to drive 30 mph in a 45 zone. Ladies, long gone. I was pissed. Lots of irrational statements, some of which may or may not have actually been english, came screaming from my mouth. And as Fort quickly became two-lane, I was stuck behind this truck for the forseeable future.
Winning a Free Hotel Room
I don't win contests very often. And when I do, its usually always something I can't use. Of course. You know, gift certificates to a womens-only-gym (don't laugh, I actually won this last year -- I gave it away), etc. I never win like a free Volkswagen or something.
No, I buy fundraiser raffle tickets from a kid in my neighborhood for his soccer team, and I win the damn thing -- two nights in a Marriott, anywhere in the country. How the hell am I going to use that? Now, I don't mean to complain, or sound ungrateful or anything, but unless I go on vacation by myself somewhere, which is just about the biggest drag ever, I'll totally never use these. What a waste. I mean, with free accomodations, a vacation is really cheap. All you have to do is get there, and if you live cheap when you arrive, its a really economical trip. Too bad a married couple or a family didn't win these.
OK, that does sound bitter, but you know what, its true. I'll go to the movies alone, I'll do restaurants, but I don't take vacations solo. I mean, in addition to the decreased fun quotient of having no one to hang out with but yourself, who's going to take all the photos of me partying when my hands are both busy holding beers?
I'm open to suggestions if anyone has a solution. And no, me giving you the passes so you can go somewhere on my good fortune is not an option!
Getting Disturbed During Entourage
Sunday nights at 9, I'm watching Entourage on the HBO. Everyone knows this. You do not disturb me during this 30 minutes. Any other time, and I'll talk your ear off, and you'll hang up wondering how one person can converse for such a length of time without wearing down. But from 9 to 9:30 on Sunday nights -- the ringer gets turned off. This is the best show on TV and its not even particularly close. I will not argue this.
Last night, 10 minutes in, my phone rings. It was my parents, who still live back home in Iowa, three hours away. I hadn't called home for a couple weeks, and they were probably worried about me so I felt guilty enough to pick up, knowing I would miss the rest of the show. I did let the "Final Countdown" ringtone go long enough to loop back to the start of the chorus a second time before picking up though, because I did seriously think about ignoring it.
But I don't need bad karma right now. So I picked up. And missed the show.
I finally got around to buying NCAA06 last night. Even though it came out a month ago, I was really busy with a project -- the movie for our Pittsburgh trip -- and I knew that if I bought that game, well, the video just wasn't gonna get done. So I held off. Then I had the video done, but I was being too cheap to plunk down $50 to buy it. But last night, with it on sale at Target for $39, I could not resist.
Brought it home, only to realize I could not get the actual rosters onto the PS2 because my install of VirtualPC on my Mac was no longer working.
Those bastards, BASTARDS! that make the SharkPort dongle thingy that hooks your PS2 up to your computer so you can move files to-and-fro between the memory cards and your PC? It only works on Windows, so I have to run VirtualPC to use it. Its funny, I use that thing twice a year. Once in the late summer to transfer the rosters for college football, and once in the late fall to do the same for college hoops. And every year, I look around the internet to see if the past year has brought us a Mac driver for the SharkPort. Every year, nay. Its the ONLY DAMN THING I've ever seen that won't work on a Mac. Weak.
Sounds like a project for this weekend.
Taking a Nap
You know, for the first two years out of college, I lived 8 tenths of a mile from the office, in a dirt cheap apartment that set me back $435 a month. It became habit to run home every day and take a 45 minute nap on the couch before going back for the afternoon, very important when you routinely get 4 hours of sleep at night like I do. Those were good days.
I still drove my old green Buick back then, which was a tank of steel and oldman-awesomeness. Got me through college, and two years past, and that thing had 185,000 miles on it when I finally traded it in. Then, midway through that second year out, I got my GrandAm GT. That 8-tenth mile drive to work became more fun. Then I moved around the corner into a swankier, bigger, more expensive apartment. That drive was now just under 2 miles, but took about 7 1/2 minutes -- 5 if you could hit all the lights. So my naptime was cut to 35 minutes. I needed that big huge 3.8 engine that could top out at 150MPH to get home quicker so I could salvage more nap time. And believe you me, I used it.
The Mocking of Mr. C
You want to know something amazing? I haven't eaten fast food that I've purchased since the 4th of July weekend. That's almost a month, this being the 3rd. Notice, however, that I said "that I've purchased". Twice this week -- in three days -- someone has brought me food at work. The programming and technician guys are cool, and if one of them stops at BK, they get stuff for all of them. Usually those Enormous Sandwich Thingies (eggnormous, meatnormous, cheesenormous, grossnormous). Monday one of them did just that, only one guy had already eaten on the way in to the office. So he gave me his sandwich. I'd eaten as well -- a generic Target brand SlimFast Chocolate shake, just like always -- but what the hell. Mmm, 800 calories of pure fat, I mean, taste. You know what? Nasty, man. My stomach was like a steel-belted radial tire, just sticking out perpendicular to my torso. And I'm in good shape, with hardly any fat, so just imagine what one of those things does to someone who's an out-of-shape LooseTummyDude? I scarcely dare give it utterance. All I know is, I was sleepy all day. Seriously, the ladies could have been all up-ons, and I would have been too sensorily slow to notice.
And today, same thing. At least this time, it was just a Croissanwich. Sausage, Egg, Cheese, in the Croissanwich. Now that's the definition of taste.
A Motley Crue Moment
I hate to go back and mine the same well as I did yesterday, but I can't help that funny stories have happened on the road to me two days in a row. Honest. So here's another inductee into the "David Lee Roth Leaving Van Halen" pantheon of really, insidiously dumb ideas:
Out for lunch, me and a colleague -- we'll call him "Vince" -- are driving back to the office in The Colorado. Motley Crue "Girls Girls Girls" comes on the XM, and with the windows down, we're jammin, yo. I don't know what Vince ate for lunch, but as we rolled up to a stop light next to what was obviously an undercover cop (white Caprice Classic, no Chevy indicias, giant cone-shaped mirror on the drivers-side fender) he yells, right along with the song, "Hey Tommy, look there!", pointing at the cop.
So I played along. "Where, Vince, where?"
"There!" Followed by Vince whistling. It was a fairly hot woman cop in the undercover car. Funny. And a ludicriously absurd coincidence that vocal portion of the song would be playing just as we pulled to a stop.
No harm done, so its good stuff. A couple blocks later, I run a yellow light in my haste to get back to work. Turns red just as we get through the intersection. Guess who's still beside us? You got it. Undercover LadyCop. I'm sure we're busted. What is a ticket run these days for a stop-light violation? Hard to say. Because she never pulled us over. Just ran the light with us, and at the next light, which we did not run, she gave us the "You'd better not do that again, funny boy, or I will write yo ass a ticket." Just sternness, meanness, cruelty.
So of course I turned off and took an alternate route in. Of course. Undercover LadyCop was scary.
156th & Dodge. Entrance ramp, heading east. Two lanes converge into one. In the left lane, The Colorado. In the right lane, which abruptly merges into the left lane, Crappy Seafoam Green Ford Ranger.
Seafoamy is neck and neck with me. His lane is about to end, and he knew this when he got in that lane. Now he's trying to merge into my lane. But I'm not budging. I glance over at him. Hawaiian shirt, greasy hair, Pal-Mal dangling from his lower lip with 2/3 of a pack still to smoke in his right breast pocket. Hula dancer statue on the dash, tiki air freshener hanging from the mirror. I know all this because for 500 glorious feet on the 156th & Dodge entrance ramp, we played a medium-speed game of chicken, and we stared at each other to see who'd blink first.
Understand, the lane was rightfully mine. On some days, I'd be nice and let it slide, and slow down to give him a free pass for his mistake. But I was in no mood for charitible driving today. No sir, I wasn't budging. Meanwhile, Seafoamy was quickly running out of road. First, his front passenger tire slid onto the gravel shoulder, then the rear passenger. Still, I wasn't giving in. Next his rear drivers tire went onto the shoulder. The Pal-Mal fell from its perilous perch on his lip, its ashen remains taking flight back towards the intersection where this saga had begun. The hula dancer statuette was bobbing like Shaggy in 1998, singing with Janet.
The Mai Tai Lounge Incident
You already know about the weird email, so we'll just go right to the party, where the margaritas were tasty and the Pabst was always cold, and where this dude told of eating contests in which he ate 9 pieces of Mama's Pizza in 7 minutes. Also where Drew, Donovan, Rob and myself debated the merits of driving to Lincoln tomorrow night to see Def Leppard and Bryan Adams at Haymarket Park (we still haven't decided -- tune in Wednesday to see if we actually throw down $52 to go). Where everyone discovered how awesome I am, that I can win a bet by naming three members of three different arena rock bands -- Journey, Foreigner, Styx -- you bet. And also where we discovered Drew had seen Loverboy in concert not once but TWICE. I mean, Loverboy? Really? Nice. I guess you had to be there. At the party. Not at Loverboy. Good lord no.
And then Saturday. Man, just when you thought it couldn't get more nuts than alternately drinking Pabst and Margaritas while arguing about 80s hair bands, there was Saturday night. Good lord.
There was some other stuff like drinking Natty Light and eating Godfather's Pizza at the pool. But the real story of Saturday night starts when we arrived at the Mai Tai Lounge at 11pm.
Premiere of Pittsburgh: The Movie
Premiered the movie of our Pittsburgh trip last month to rave reviews last night. The surprise Top Gun ending was my favorite part. I did that at 3am after the Mai Tai Lounge. When you've already done 6 versions -- none of which quite met my standards -- what's a 7th, after a few beers, shots and mixed drinks, when The Colorado is somewhere other than in your garage, like, say, the bar parking lot? Exactly.
And for the record, the 7th version is OK. Everyone else loved it. But I'm such a critic of my own work. I mean, if you believed my opinion, you'd think this very site was crap. I think it is, most of the time. But other people seem to enjoy it.
Not as much as seeing Loverboy TWICE, but it is occasionally entertaining...