The "Four Things" free-post game has been passed around the blogosphere long enough that it has finally made it all the way to the Awesomest Blog Ever, this one. That's right, my buddy Adrian tagged me, and now I am "it". This should be patently hilarious, so lets go.
February 2006 Archives
Four Things with, well, Me
Zeppelin Night at the Bar
So last night, I'm talking on the phone with the Winter Olympics Closing Ceremony on MUTE -- those marathon one-hour phone conversations get to be a bit much if you don't have the TV on in the background -- and one of those goofy GoldenPalace.com viral marketers runs out onto the stage. I was temporarily distracted, although not as much as the time they paid a porn star to run out onto a green at a PGA Tour event with no shirt on and their website address temporarily tattooed on her back...
Earlier in the night, before I was on the phone and Muting the Olympics, I watched in horror as a marching band dressed in clown costumes -- full makeup, hats, baggy pants with frilly ruffles, the whole deal -- came out playing the Village People's "YMCA". Or maybe I'm imagining that...two straight nights of sleeping in my basement guest room on a futon have left me out of sorts, so to speak. (Painting my bedroom, so sleeping there would be akin to fumigating myself, or something.)
No, wait, I wasn't imagining it.
Somehow that makes it so much worse.
Saturday night, we headed out to La Mesa, where we enjoyed margaritas, burritos and a extradinarily confused waiter. The confusion is the funny part, so I'll just pick up the story there and let you imagine for yourself how tasty the drinks were.
Two nights this week, I was bored. With nothing to do, and desperate for entertainment, I watched the Winter Olympics. More specifically, I watched women's figure skating. Even more specifically, the short program and then later, the long program.
This marked a first for me, or at least, a first since the 1994 Olympics (Kerrigan/Harding) when figure skating got higher ratings than the Super Bowl. Its true, you could look it up. But that was more national soap opera than sport. This was the first time I'd ever watched a legitimate figure skating competition of any kind. And the first time I'd seen people dancing on skates since "Sesame Street on Ice" at Vets Auditorium in Des Moines when I was about 4 years old.
I'm one of those guys who will only watch NASCAR for the crashes. I don't particularly like watching guys drive in a circle for 3 hours. I do like watching them smash into things at 190 MPH. This is probably why I always run my cart over the barricades in Go-Karts, because like the street baller who knows how to throw down from watching SportsCenter but can't hit a 5-foot jumper because no one watches highlights of jump shots, I only see crashes and thus emulate that.
A Photo with Ben Affleck
Last week, my parents were out in Las Vegas for a few days (I noticed these trips started about 10 years ago when I moved away to college, and have become more frequent now that my brother is married and living in Omaha as well. But that's neither here nor there). Thursday night, as I was getting ready to go into the Homy Inn for a beer after work, my phone rang and the following conversation took place.
Mother: "I just got my photo taken with Ben Affleck!"
Tom: "Who is this?"
M: "Ben Affleck!"
Death's Little Sister
My buddy Cliff, who went to see Coldplay last night, told me they were in fact, not depressing, "even for you". So I stand corrected. They're apparently quite dynamic live.
Fiona Apple, on the other hand? As he described it, and I hope he doesn't care if I run this, because its the funniest thing I've read all day:
"Fiona Apple made we want to blow my brains out and then catch the Ebola virus. She was fucked up. I mean that literally. She was wacked out of her gourd. Like Death's little sister who went into music instead of the collecting of souls, and silently shouts 'Look at me! Look at me!'"
Sometimes you read a passage so patently original, so hilarious, you wish you'd written yourself. This is one of those.
A Celebration Of Things Manly
I've been listening to all of the Guns N'Roses albums in order this morning, in honor of my buddy Continental, who agrees to disagree with me on the bands' awesomeness. This isn't the last time I'm mentioning this today, I'll come back to it in a minute.
Last night, Dick and I decided to have an impromptu Celebration Of Things Manly, in dishonor of Coldplay's concert at the Qwest Center. Remember that line from "The 40 Year-Old Virgin"?
"You know how I know you're gay? Because you like Coldplay."
1280 x 960
I'll never understand why some people think camera phones are a bad idea, or why you wouldn't want one if you have the means. Because I don't know about you, but I don't generally carry a phone around with me, but occasionally you happen upon a "Kodak Moment" that just begs to be captured. Like the time last month when my buddy Cliff did the Beer Tour at the Upstream, which because he strangely drank the 4 oz beers like shots -- read: very quickly -- left him staggeringly drunk. I didn't have my camera with me, but I did have my phone, and therefore I was able to get this photo:
And this one too:
Snow in February
About six months ago, I was at the bar with a bunch of people from our company, and as the night wound down around 12:45, one of the managers from Phoenix let on that he'd never experienced snow, and how amazed he was that we put up with it.
(Drinking is not required here. But it is subtly encouraged. I bet at least twice a week we sit in the breakroom, drink a beer and watch SportsCenter after work. Its a teambuilding exercise, really. When it gets to be 4:30, you can never be sure when you hear a can open sight unseen whether its Pepsi, Coke or Miller Lite. But you better be damn sure to find out, and help yourself. And yes, I am a lucky man, you don't need to tell me.)
Anyway, so at that moment, after being at the bars for some 7 hours that day, it was determined (behind his back) that we needed to concoct a reason to fly him up here in the dead of winter.
Adventures with a Hungry Cat
Sunday, I woke up from the Disaster That Was Saturday Night And Quite Possibly Even Into Early Sunday, and realized I'd promised to go attempt to fix my brother and his wife's computer. They have a Windows box (I know), and have had high-speed internet for about a month. With no anti-virus software, no anti-spyware programs and no firewall. Inside of a month, the computer is trashed. Makes me grateful for how good we have it on the Mac side. Why anyone who knows better would willingly use a Windows box is beyond me.
And believe me, this computer was a wreck. We looked at it Thursday night, and as soon as it came on, it already was suffering from low-memory errors. All sorts of rogue programs were spawning in front of my eyes. Outlook email attempted to launch, but a different virus had deleted it so this virus couldn't find the file to launch it -- presumably to send itself out to everyone in their address book. More error messages than I could close popped up until the desktop was literally covered in errors. Finally it just turned off. Honestly, just turned off.
Hangin' With Teh Rich Folks
(Disclaimer: The following actually happened. Seriously. I know it will be hard to believe, but trust me.)
Saturday night, I went to a Valentines Day party. Ordinarily, I would not share the details of these kinds of things, but since I really don't give a shit who I offend from that party, you're getting all the details. Its gonna be graphic. Its gonna be crude. But I'm not sparing the usual details I would spare. These people deserve it. So, on with it. And you bet.
This party was communicated to me thusly: a BYOB party where lots of cool people our age will be, including many ladies, and my buddy Cody had to go with his girlfriend but didn't know any other guys so I need to meet them there. So on my way over, I debate which beer to get. Sure, I could go cheap and get PBR or Busch Light, but instead I opt to get a case of Bud Light. Nice, classy beer that's acceptible anywhere from Country Clubs to Trailers/Shacks.
Everywhere except this place, apparently.
Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony
Wait, why was I watching the Winter Olympics? Never mind.
I woke up Friday morning to my TV alarm -- always set to come on to MTV, because generally they play videos early in the morning, and nothing gets me out of bed quicker than bad rap videos. Only on this day, it was some bizarre scene of two hot chicks in a restaurant bathroom shoving fingers or some extraneous stick-like objects down their throats to induce vomiting. Why? Seriously, at 7:30 AM, why?
Should have been my cue that this weekend would be horrible. But I'm too positive to see that.
Yep, the rumors are true. My brother and his wife are having a baby, due October 9. That's just two weeks before my brother by another mother, Cliff, gets married. So hopefully the delivery doesn't get pushed back a couple weeks, or the weekend of the 21st could be awfully stressful...more than it already will be, what with losing one bro to fatherhood, and another to marriage.
Oh, and the Uncle Tom jokes have already started. And they're not appreciated, so if you haven't started, I'm preemptively shushing you.
A Self-Defense on Being Selfish
Well folks, the hated SIU Salukis are in town to take on the Jays tomorrow afternoon, and then I have what promises to be a fun Valentine's Day BYOB party in the evening. You might read something on the former come Monday, especially if the Jays win. You won't read anything about the latter, hopefully. Nor will you read about anything I do tonight -- probably just eating Godfathers Pizza and watching the Winter Olympics in HDTV Bigness -- because, well, just because.
This is me defending my decision to stay in town rather than go home for an unexpected and surprise announcement tonight.
Out of Town Radio
So I'm driving home last night after an INSANELY long meeting, and I put the XM on to the Iowa-Northwestern game. Not because I care enough about how Iowa is doing to tune away from Rockwell's "Obscene Phone Caller" which was playing on the 80s on 8 (seriously, Rockwell had more than one song? Really?) but because the feeds they take for the games are direct from the flagship station.
I'm such a dork like that. I actually think its cool to be driving in Omaha, listening to crystal clear reception of "The Voice of Chicago. 720. WGN." (as they announce it).
Funny thing was, I listened to their halftime show which essentially was local news and weather for the Chicago area. Again, I'm driving the streets of the big O, listening to a weather forecast that went like "25 downtown at the studios, 27 on the lakefront, 26 at Midway and officially 27 at O'hare International, this is the Voice of Chicago 720, WGN."
Its really fun to do this in the summer with the windows rolled down. If you can time it right, and get to a stoplight just as a far-away station is giving their weather forecast, you can really throw someone off. You put on, say, a Florida Marlins game in April, and they give a forecast of 90 degrees with periodic rain showers, and boy, someone hears that out of context, fun times. I've yet to accomplish this, but it would be majestic if I ever could.
Super Bowl XL Ads
I could spend 2000 words telling you about the Super Bowl, the ads, and what not, but I spent 32 minutes doing just that on the 8th edition of "Be A DesignCast". So just go get the podcast, listen, and hear my thoughts in full monaural sound.
Seriously. Now, I know that many of my billions of readers have emailed me or told me in person that they don't listen to the podcast for a variety of reasons, the biggest being that it focuses on design, which is something they don't much care to hear people discuss. Fair enough. But this episode, just this one, is worth a listen for all those who normally don't. Its almost entirely devoted to talking about best and worst Super Bowl XL ads. Plus, Cliff and I switched roles with me playing the chatty host and he playing engineer...so those of the billions who are a fan of me and want more me, here ya go.
A Saturday in Des Moines
Best seats. Ever. This is from my camera! Anthony Tolliver shooting free-throws, 20 feet away!
This isn't exactly a news flash, but I'm not the most responsible person in the world. According to the Gallup Strengths Finder, its one of my bottom five strengths, in fact, along with Deliberative. This means I do not enjoy routine and structure, and I do not take psychological ownership of what I say I will do. Simply put, I'm a free-spirited irresponsible dude.
Also, this means when I say I will be in Des Moines at 2pm on Saturday, what I really mean is I'll leave Omaha at 2pm and get there at 4pm.
Oh, I had intended on being there at 2, but things happened. Things like Double Overtime in the Southern Illinois-Wichita State game, which I stayed and watched to its conclusion before leaving. The Colorado was outside warming up as regulation ended, but it sat out there running for another 30 minutes as two overtimes played out. By the time I went to the bank and got gas, it was 2pm before I got on I-80 to Des Moines.
I felt sorta bad about it, but my attention was soon diverted by severe spillage of my beverage.
This State of Shock is Torture
People like shopping for old records for different reasons. Kadavy does it as an economical alternative to buying MP3s for his iPod. My friend Nicole does it because records are old school and cooler than CDs. My old college roommate John does it because he likes listening to music the way it was originally released. I like doing it because the artwork is bigger, the printing and design more intricate and old records are just cool, period.
Hell, I don't even have a record player anymore. After my last one broke two years ago, I never replaced it. But I just like looking at the records anyway, because I've got the albums in iTunes and they sound better there.
Last weekend, when John was in town we made a stop by Harry O's Groovee Records in Benson on the way to the Creighton game downtown. See, everyone always goes to the Antiquarium downtown in the Old Market, but they're super expensive and the people who work there, mostly, are record store snobs. Meanwhile, most of Harry's records are $3, he's a friendly guy and the selection is decent enough.
The Wrong BK
Last night while working on a project, Dick and I decided to call a friend from Pittsburgh (we'll call him Stan Musial) for assistance. While talking to him, we had to ask: is the entire city crazed this week with their beloved Steelers playing in the Super Bowl this week? Yes, he said, and then he sent us to <a href="http://www.steelerbaby.com">Steelerbaby.com</a>, which is awesome. OBEY. Nice.
Watch the video for what appears to be a Primanti Brothers sandwich. Damn, that makes me hungry just looking at it. So good...makes me want to go back to Pittsburgh.
As I was telling my buddy Continental this morning about this, he stopped me cold, unable to figure out why we had called Stan Musial. I told him, "Funny what Busch Light and BK will do."