Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Alito - Aloser

I'm moving to Canada.

Give me a break, already.

Idiots. Posted by Picasa

Seriously. SHUT UP. This decade's award for the absolutely most annoying human being. No, make that LIFE FORM, goes to Anna Benson. Spare me. She is an absolute idiot.

Second place goes to her lugnut of a husband that's just there for her screw. (Does he talk?)

Third place goes to all of the super annoying sports radio talk dorks that have given up talking about the Super Bowl (YES, we know Jerome is from Detroit. Big freaking deal. A lot of people are from Detroit. It's a big city. There are a million people on a football team. If there is ever a Super Bowl where at least one player participating is NOT from the host city, THEN we have a story. Seriously, why are these "homecomings" not celebrated during the regular season. Probably because the guy hasn't lived there or visited in decades and can't even find his old house.) in order "to interview Anna Benson about the World Series of Poker." Yes, I know she gives us valuable sound bites about her breasts. But here's the thing guys - IT'S RADIO. All of you losers that care about Anna Benson don't actually care about Anna the person (although there doesn't seem to be too much there of substance) - you care about Anna's boobs. AND YOU CAN'T SEE THEM ON RADIO. No matter how many times you say her name or "breasts" or "boobs" - you can't see them. And I know guys don't like to just rely on their imagination.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Poor Snooty

I'm stealing my blog topic today from my sister. She is fascinated by the story of Snooty, a manatee in captivity in Bradenton, FL (he's pretty famous down there actually, you would have had to lived there to understand...he's bigger than Paul Bunyan up here. Figuratively, of course - because that story explains why he is no longer literally bigger than Paul Bunyan).

She thinks this story is sooooo funny. That this 57 year old manatee suddenly started frolicking around and exercising and lost a ton of weight just because he started sharing his pool with a couple of lady friends instead of his homeboys.

Here's what I have to say - No shit, Sherlock. This manatee spent the last 57 years of his life unable to be fulfilled sexually because the stupid trainers kept sticking him with his own sex (and that includes the first year - which he spent with his mommy - not exactly acceptable for a budding relationship)! I don't think I know a single guy, or girl, that could go 56 years without lovin.

Doesn't everyone always joke that you shed X number of calories while "doing it?" So of course this deprived manatee just dropped a bazillion pounds. He has to make up for 57 years.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Way to be progressive, Italy.

Is THIS man REALLY that much in demand for sex? Posted by Picasa

Seriously - what is wrong with Italians - voting for this man?

Deja Vu

Urgh. I did it again last night. I have this problem where I keep buying the same magazines over and over to read. When I'm sitting in front of them at the store, deciding whether to buy Glamour or Marie Claire or some other equally brainless magazine, I can't remember which one I already read that month. All of the covers of these stupid magazines look the same. Regardless of season, magazine, etc. The thing is, last night I even picked up the stupid issue, flipped through it to see if any of the stories looked familiar, and then decided to get it. Then I got home, opened it up to the note from the editor (one of the first pages of reading material after 17 ads), and I went "NOOOOOOOOO! Not again!!!!!!!!!!"

That drives me nuts. Not only did I waste $3.99 plus tax on recycling material, but then I had nothing mindless to read. Double whammy.

Friday, January 27, 2006

What's in a name?

Anaheim, CA has real issues. They can't decide what the hell to name their stupid teams. The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. How many different names and syllables has that team had? And now this illness has extended to hockey. It's a sorry state of affairs.

The Anaheim Mighty Ducks will be no more, as of the 2006-2007 season. They will be the Anaheim Ducks. Thanks goodness. It was too long anyway.

They join the mighty Tampa Bay Devil Rays in Major League Baseball...also considering a name change. Because I guess going from formally saying "Devil Rays" to just refering to the team as the "Rays" a year or two ago wasn't enough. Although that has sorta worn off. I don't know, I never really stopped calling them the "Devil Rays." But I also still call the "St. Pete Times Forum" the "Ice Palace" (more out of protest than forgetfulness, thoughtlessness or nostalgia, plus it sounds a helluva lot cooler for a hockey team - count the puns in that reference). And I sometimes slip and call "Tropicana Field" (where the "Rays" play) the "Thunder Dome" - and it's been almost a decade since the change. That one is out of forgetfulness and thoughtlessness. But you know what, you call something that which you first learned it as. Or first remember it as. It's the LA Rams, right?

At least the (Devil) Rays and (Mighty) Ducks are giving in to fan pressure and just (possibly) formally naming the teams what the lazy fans already call them by - NICKNAMES. For crying out loud, you can't name a team THE NICKNAME. That takes all of the fun out of nicknames. Even if the nickname is just basically leaving off half of the name.

Think about the following similar conversions of real name to nickname:
Boston Red Sox = Boston Bosox (That's actually a tongue-twister.)
New York Yankees = New York Bronx Bombers (Not sure, but I think that's longer than the original.)
Chicago White Sox = Chicago Chisox (Another tongue-twister, we could start a new game.)

Alright, it's late. I can't think of any others. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006



Someone just told me Kobe score 81 points the other night. That's the kind of news you get when you crawl out from under a rock behind a brick wall after 100 years of sleep following eating an apple.

Yes. Kobe is awesome. Can we please get back to talking about things that are bad for the NBA, like the Davis family and any player that has ever played for the Knicks or, for that matter, against the Knicks?

One time...in the NBA...there was this player...

Monday, January 23, 2006

Bye Bye Berries

A Bowl Full of Berries Posted by Picasa

BlackBerries may be a thing of the past soon, if this whole deal plays out. I don't think I really care too much. I know a lot of people have them. But I don't. And most of the people that I know that have them are irritated by them all the time. I don't know why - I guess they don't like trying to figure out how to use the damn things.

I like raspberries better, anyway.

A "Sorta Star" Posted by Picasa

Kinda Skating with a Sorta Star

Ok, first, you can't really count the "Stars" on "Skating with the Stars" as stars. Not when anyone younger than me hasn't heard of any of them. I mean, Debbie Gibson was a big thing when I was in elementary school and junior high - but she's not even going by the same name now! And Dave Coulier..."Cut...it...out!" "Full House" hasn't shown in over a decade - and "America's Funniest People" was only watched by 2.5 families. And out of curiosity - who the hell is Kristy Swanson? If anyone knows, please tell me.

The only real stars are the figure skaters. It should be called "Dancing with the Duds." But the show is a helluva lot of fun to watch, nonetheless.

So here's my prediction...a couple consisting of a male figure skating star and a female "star" will win. The female skating stars can't overcompensate for their partner's incompetence like the men can. They are strong enough to hold them up and throw them and carry them and lift them. The male non-figure skating "stars" may drop their partners. The male figure skating stars can basically pick them up and skate with them the whole time, never giving the woman a chance to screw up.

It has to be frustrating and depressing to go from being a world-class pairs or singles champion to having to "skate down" to your partner's ability. I mean, how badly does Nancy Kerrigan just want to fly through that sit spin, but can't even sit at a 90 degree angle cause her partner has arthritis and can't sit low enough or spin fast enough? That has to be the hard part - going from skating full force to half-assing it to make your partner not look bad. (Saying "make your partner" look good is too much of a stretch.)

I bet Fox in some secret way wishes that this show was on another network so that they could show off their own reporter, Jillian Barbarie.

Bruce Jenner must own a plastic factory after all of that surgery.

It's funny how they only give the mic to the "stars" after the skating performance. The professional skaters are trained in PR and stuff, but they can't be funny I guess - but the judges (former skaters and judges and coaches past their prime, too) can. Hmmm.

Do you think that if they do an "80s Music" theme night that Debbie Gibson will skate to "Electric Youth" and that they'll cover the judges in perfume with a neon coil in it? (Yes, I owned "Electric Youth" perfume, I'm proud to say.)

Of course the most flamboyant and famous one, Madame Gibson, gets the most flamboyant and famous partner...Kirk Browning. Who had hair for the first time ever in his life.

And ummm, boobs as old as Tai Babalonia's shouldn't be in such a low-cut dress. Cover those bags up, girl!

But I have to say, the funniest television moment EVER was Todd Bridges falling. I have never laughed sooo hard in my life. I couldn't stop laughing. That was just freaking hilarious. I absolutely almost died. My stomach hurts. My food is cold now cause I couldn't eat it.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Stupid Sports Injury

I got hurt at the basketball games last night. I have to admit it. I'm in pain. Because I was too lazy to sit up straight with proper posture the whole two games.

I woke up this morning with a bruise in the middle of my back on my spine. It hurt! I couldn't figure out how in the world I did it while I was sleeping. Then I got to work and I leaned back in my chair and I suddenly figured out what happened. I had been leaning back against the bleachers behind me most of the game...yeah...it bruised my back. Great.

From now on, perfectly straight spinal column at sporting events. Or I need to add some padding there. Something. Urgh.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Who designed these shorts??

I was at a college basketball game tonight. And I saw something that I never thought I would see in men's college athletics. And to be honest, I hope I never see again.

The visiting team had their school name WRITTEN ACROSS THEIR BUTTS. Yes. I'm serious. What, did I attend the wrong event and show up at a 7th grade girl's sleepover? I pointed out this fashion faux pas to my friend and he said something about Hollister. Yes, this team's uniform made us think of clothing companies for teen girls. And Limited Too.

Too bad they didn't play like teen girls. At least we won. You can't lose to a team that has their name written across their butts. At least not in men's basketball.

Monday, January 16, 2006


The Golden Globes are on…which as you know, means that it is time to make fun of people, just ‘cause I can.

George Clooney just gained major points in my book– his acceptance speech for his award for Syriana was classic and awesome. Kinda loosely quoted: “I want to thank Jack Abramoff. I don’t know what for. I just want to. Who would name their kid ‘Jack’ when his last name ends in ‘off?’ No wonder the guy’s screwed up.” And how much money do you want to put on that being the most replayed clip of the night during tomorrow’s news and entertainment shows? That opening award presentation/acceptance hooked me on the show for the evening – there will be no switching over to the Bachelor in Paris tonight.

Could Natalie Portman look any less amused or thrilled to be there? Adrian Brody is grinning from ear to ear, probably because he looks like he does and still gets to stand next to people like Natalie Portman in public. And Portman looks like she wants to give Brody a giant papercut with the envelope. Which she incompetently opened by basically tearing it in half.

They have only presented one award and I’m already voting this the best-for-amusement-and-making-fun-of-people Golden Globes ever.

Sandra Oh has watched a few too many replays of “dramatic” acceptances. Chill out.

This may be the year of great acceptance speeches, or at least funny ones:
Geena Davis – Funny joke about influencing young girls. Totally unexpected. Didn’t know she had it in her!
Guy from “House” – Just plain funny. I wish I knew his name. He has awesome eyes.
Steve Carrell – Sweetly saluting his wife and joking about it all in one. Freaking hilarious, too.
Guy with the British accent who played Elvis in some show about Elvis(Ooops, guess it is an Irish accent since he just thanked his family back home in Ireland) Not really a great speech, but he thanked his girlfriend. No legal relationship, no need to thank the chic!

It’s possible that Chris Rock may have alienated or pissed off everyone in Hollywood – regardless of which jokes were funny or not, depending on your political/social inclinement (is that a word…hmmm. If not, I am submitting it to Webster). Oh well!

Thank goodness none of the stupid housewives won for the award they were all nominated for. I don’t get the draw to that show.

I’m not sure if that weird British woman that was introducing Pride & Prejudice was joking or if she is really upset about not being in the film and changed the script on them…

Ummm, I haven’t heard of half of these shows or TV movies that are getting nominated for everything over and over again.

The girl sitting next to Zack Braff (or whatever his name is - guy from "Scrubs") looks like she wants to slug all of the presenters when they show her as they walk on. Ummm…smile…you know you’re on TV!

How does a guy who still uses a typewriter to write scripts manage to work on such a “forward-thinking” movie (“forward-thinking” according to all of the great critics who have never seen a show or movie about gay people before)?

Josh Duhamel is still on “the list.”

“Desperate Housewives” – STILL ANNOYING. More annoying than “Sex in the City” ever was. I never got that show, either. I think that Eva Longoria and whichever other one she is sitting next to that is not Terri Hatcher may kiss each other before the night is over.

I love when the person who accepts the award for best foreign language film can’t speak English well enough to thank anyone. Let the poor guy speak in his native tongue and translate it really quickly.

Matthew McConaughey may make “the list.” Not yet though. Someday, possibly. He’s working his way up to it though. He was great in “A Time to Kill.” Yes, I know that was a long time ago – but still ranks as his best performance. He’s had a lot of bad ones.

Two of the movies nominated for best motion picture have tennis in them. I haven't heard of either movie.

The Golden Globe awards (and any awards show, actually) are really just long commercials for upcoming films/albums/etc. I wonder how much films and stuff pay to have their stars as presenters?

Ok, it’s gotten slow for a while in this grand awards show. I’m finally actually posting this ‘cause I’m giving up on getting anything else funny/amusing/worthy of ridicule.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

The Steph and the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad dream

I had a dream last night that I was a cheerleader. I don't know for what school or organization or what. But I woke up in a cold sweat and wanted to slap myself in the face for being annoying.

The thing was, my cheerleading squad in my dream wasn't even any good. It's not like I suddenly learned how to jump and do flips and stuff. We just stood around and said cheers in unison while shaking our pom poms in a circle.

At least if I'm going to have a nightmare where I'm a cheerleader, let me do flips and jumps and stuff.

Stupid Mr. Sandman bringing me a dream.

Friday, January 13, 2006


Brokeback Mountain is one of the hottest movies all year. Well, for the whole two weeks we have been in 2006. But you know what I mean. It's one of the most talked-about movies because it involves two heterosexual stars playing homosexual cowboys.

Here's what bothers me. So much is being made about:

A) What a risk the actors took in accepting these roles because of course if heterosexual men play homosexual cowboys they will ruin their career and never be able to have a real role again. And the actors jump right in, saying "The instant I heard about what the movie was about I said no way. Then I decided to do it." Why doesn't anyone call them what they are - homophobic and judgemental? You would call an actor racist if he didn't want to take the risk of being painted or dyed so that he could play the role of an African-American character.

B) How tough it must be for heterosexual men to play the roles of homosexual cowyboys...or in other words, HAVE ACTORS ACT (i.e. play a role that doesn't mimic their everyday life i.e. have heterosexual men play homosexual cowboys) .

C) What a novel idea this is to write about gay cowboys because there has never been a movie or a TV show written about gay cowboys before...all of those things written about and/or done by gay men just don't count because they aren't cowboys.

Is it 1985?

I just don't get why these three stupid points are the only ones being made. Talk about the great cinemetography, the talented acting, the creative storyline and great script...talk about anything other than these stupid, stone-age ideas. In case anyone hasn't noticed - it's old news to be so damn judgemental and surprised that there are homosexual people out there.

Regardless of whether or not you agree with or understand homosexuality, this kind of reaction to this cultural phenomena is rather dated. It makes everyone sound like they have regressed in their perception of judgement about so-called alternative lifestyles.

I want to go see this movie...because it looks good. Not because I'm sooooo proud of the damn actors for taking the risk, or the director for taking the risk, or society for taking the risk and accepting a story about homosexual cowboys.

Seriously, is it 1985? Maybe even 1982?

Not only me...

At least Chris Simms agrees with me with that his performance last week was crappy.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Freaking Funny

It is possible that tonight's episode of "The Office" is the funniest show ever. Burning his foot while cooking bacon on the George Forman grill for breakfast in bed. The bubble-wrap cast. Being the only "disabled" person in the office. Falling between the toilet and the wall.

That's funny stuff. I almost hit myself in the face laughing so hard.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

There's no crying in football.

To paraphrase Tom Hanks.

Awwww. Poor Mike Tice. Given the ax a week and a half ago. Of course, he cried when he said good-bye to his professional home of the most recent stone age.

Mike Tice may be a great guy. A so-so coach. A horrible disciplinarian. But he should have one heck of a endorsement deal from Kleenex. That man cried for everything.

He cried when Daunte hurt his knee.

He cried when he was accused of being a horrible coach at the start of the season.

He cried when they defeated Farve and the rest of the cheeseheads.

He cried when Tony Dungy's son died.

He cried when the "Love Boat" cruise created so much controversy around their little camp.

He cried when he was fired.

He cried when it was announced that Camp Snoopy at the Mall of America lost the rights to the Peanuts characters.

Ok, I may have made that last one up. Although I have no proof that it's not true. He does have kids...they may be attached to the giant dog for all I know.

But he really did cry for all of rest of the above. If there was a Vikings press conference and Tice agreed to speak for some reason, there was sure to be tears. I never knew, before this season, that football was so emotional.

Thank goodness the Metrodome is on the Mississippi. Those tears from the giant caveman had to flow somewhere.

I'm glad there's a new head coach in the Twin Cities. I can't handle the soap opera...the NFL was soooo melodramatic.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Not a 4th grade trial for gum stuck on a seat...

Only our current president would nominate a man for the highest court in the land who would use the phrase "super duper" in his confirmation hearing.

Next he can lead the members of the court in the hokey pokey during snack time, right before they unroll their robes to take a nap.

And this is a man who may have to rule on a woman's right to choose? Glad that my rights may be at the mercy of the words that come out of his pen.

Sunday, January 08, 2006


I became a Minnesota winter weather road statistic tonight. And I did everything under my power to prevent it. Good news - I'm 100% A-OK, and my truck still runs, despite some backwards new cosmetic work. But gosh, the whole thing sucks. But what can you do...I guess it's my own damn fault for trying to drive a little rear-wheel drive pick-up in the north! But I did get two great examples of "Minnesota Nice" tonight, also.

I was going to my friends' house this evening and there was a little bit of snow on the ground. Not much - what would be considered a "dusting" in meteorological measurement. But I'm not stupid - I know that a "dusting" of snow can still be very slick...and I took my time and was extremely cautious. I know that I make fun of the other drivers for being crappy navigators in the ice and snow - and with good reason. But I was following all of "my" rules...and those that I learned from my mom, too.

I was going slowly (I know that I piss a lot of other drivers off in the snow up here...but screw them, if I need to go slow in order to not wreck, then I will!).

I left a lot of space between me and the car in front of me. (Tonight, that was an off-white/silverish Toyota Camery-type car.)

I planned ahead and started to left off the gas early since I knew that the car in front of me wouldn't go through the yield onto the round-about...that she would stop instead...so I would have to.

I had both hands on the wheel in their proper locations.

And I suspected (although I had no proof yet at the time) that the roads would be slick.

So I was approaching the round-about. There was a lot of room between me and the Camery...but I thought "I really have to watch this cause it's probably going to be slick and that car is not going to go even though she can." The next 6-10 seconds felt like they lasted 15 minutes though...and the whole thing felt like I knew exactly what the end result would be, but I couldn't stop it...like one of those bad commercials for buckling up your kids in the back-seat, where they stop the accident half-way through to fasten the seatbelts of the little munchkins once they see that they are going to crash.

I took my foot off the gas and lightly pressed the brake to try to slow down...and nothing. So I took my foot off the brake cause I was starting to slide. And nothing...the truck didn't slow much. Brake again...more sliding. And the Camery...still sitting there. At this point in time I said "Oh shit. This isn't good. I'm not going to be able to stop." And I couldn't go anywhere - I was in one of those narrow roads leading into a round-about, and I had been planning ahead, looking around for an escape route in case I couldn't stop and still had enough control to steer someplace..but there was really nowhere to go, and I really couldn't steer it away if I wanted to, probably. It was one of those times where I would better off hitting her square in the back of the car, rather than try to avoid her and clip her and possibly cause more damage actually or run off the road and be in worse shape. So I did all that I could, said "Uh oh!" and braced myself for the impact. Now, I was going a whole 10 mph...tops. But what a freaking crunching noise.

The good part is - the Camery stopped me! However, the noise that the unification of our two bumpers caused was so wretched that I half expected her bumper to fall off as she removed herself from the joint custody of the common piece of road. But it didn't!

So the Camery-type car and I pull over to the side of the road and the 40-something driver gets out, and I get out...preparing for her to scream at me. And she looks at me and smiles and says (before even looking at our cars), "I'm ok!!! Are you??" I said, "Yeah! And you are, you said??" She said, "Yeah...let's see if that did anything." So we look at her car...and my bumper had removed some snow from it. Literally. That was all the damage - missing snow. Then I turned and looked at my truck. And I said, "Ummm, I think I got the worse end of this deal!" My poor bumper was bent down, kinda sad looking, and my right front quarter-panel (passenger side) was all bent in and near the tire. But all of my lights were working and nothing else was cracked or anything. So the driver and I exchanged names and numbers...and both agreed that there wasn't anything either of us could have done and that ice sucks...and laughed about the fact that both of us are geeky enough to carry Sharpies for taking notes cause they are easier to write with than pens if you don't have a hard surface to lean against. Minnesota Nice - the driver was friendly from the moment she opened her car door.

So I continued on my way - being careful not to make sharp turns because the bent in piece of the front of my truck would rub against the tire. Fortunately, my friends lived very close by. Later on in the evening, with a hammer, gigantic pliers, a crowbar and more Minnesota Nice in their freezing driveway, they got the metal far away from my tire and my truck was good to go. I will say, the bumper of my truck crumpled as easily as aluminum it seems, but is as hard as steel to bend back. It's a bit of a site for sore eyes...but with a little luck and a nice neighborhood auto body guy, it can be pounded back into something that resembles it's original shape.

It sucks, but what can you do? I have gone over the whole scene over and over again in my head and can't think of anything else I could have done to avoid making that lady into my temporary hood ornament - short of not being on that road at that point in time. At least we were both physically OK, her car wasn't damaged, she was very nice, and my truck is fine except for looking like a real road warrior. All 4 of those things making me very happy - because if any one of those 4 wasn't true, it could have been a very bad situation, I'm sure.

I will say that this is the first time I have actually ever hit someone else - every other time damage has been done to one of my vehicles it was 100% the fault of another hitting me.

Thank goodness there was enough frozen percipitation on the ground for snow angels. I had a couple near me at that round-about!

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Comeback, Schmumback

Come on New England...get a new story. And thanks for sending me into a spiraling state of depression, Tampa Bay. Way to taunt the oppossing team's defense after gaining 7 freaking yards on a run, Chris, and then throw the damn ball away every time you had a receiver open for the rest of the game. Or to the freaking Redskins defenders. Just cause they also wear red and white doesn't mean that they deserve a pass from you.

I'm running to the movie store to get a movie to watch tonight. I don't really care about the Patriots and 387 stories about Tedy Bruschi's comeback from a stroke. Now, if Ariel Sharon comes back from his strokes to play for the Patriots - then I'll watch. But I'm done with these dumb stories until I have to start memorizing them during the 2 weeks of the Olympics...cause as you know, there's nothing I like better than Olympic "comeback" & "feel-good" stories.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Catching the Buzz...Without a Beer

Bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz Posted by Picasa

Tonight I took the 9-year old girl that I mentor to the Minnesota Swarm hockey game at the Xcel Energy Center. It was a blast...but what a night. And I'm exhausted. Here's a two-part analysis of the evening...game stuff first, hanging out with a 9-year old, second.

1) Da Game
This was my 3rd ever Minnesota Swarm game. The Swarm, for those of you who haven't had the pleasure of attending, is a professional lacrosse team...a member of the National Lacrosse League. You know, the league created by the NHL during the lock-out to help teams fill in obligated dates in their arenas when their teams weren't playing. Fortunately, I have never had to pay for a Swarm game, otherwise my count would probably be at zero because I'm frankly not the biggest fan of indoor lacrosse. If you love the grand sport of outdoor lacrosse, played on a giant grass field (and is actually a lot of fun to watch)...be aware that this version is WAY different.

The NLL is where the NHL meets the NBA meets WWE meets NLS meets a giant flyswatter convention. You REALLY have to be paying attention to learn the rules (and due to my severe hatred of not understanding the sport in front of me, I learned the rules very quickly by hunting down an usher during my first game and commendeering a rules sheet). It's very fast-paced, which is cool. And very violent, which is also cool. But it seriously (and admits so) steals rules from about 4 different sports, and then uses the equipment from a 5th - lacrosse. And you can never tell who has the ball because it's white, hidden in a white netting on a stick. Nice planning, rule-maker.

The one other rule I would change is one that was not taken properly from hockey. In the last quarter (they play four 15-minute quarters...and despite the fast-pace of the game, it's possible for a game to last 87 hours. At the first game I went to, there may have been 447 penalties - and then a guy went a broke his leg so they had to stop the game, get a cart, pack him up and take him away. That took forever.), if a team is losing, they can pull their goalie and put a 6th guy on the field (which is really a giant carpet - it's not even like the field turf that looks like grass). In hockey, during the 1st and 3rd periods the goalie defends on the same end of the ice as his bench. That way if they pull the goalie at the end of the game to try to score when losing, he is close to the bench and can get on and off the ice quickly if need be. In the NLL, the goalie defends at the FAR goal during the 2nd and 4th quarters...making it hard to pull and replace him easily. That's a simple rule change. Gosh, I'm brilliant.

The score was 15-11, I think. That's almost as many goals as are scored in a game under the new NHL rules.

2) Da kid
The girl I mentor is a little 3rd grader. She's an extremely sweet girl, and is pretty well behaved. She had never been to the Xcel Energy Center before, let alone to a Swarm game...so this was a big deal for her. But this was also a learning experience for me tonight, too. I don't have kids of my own, and don't baby-sit much. And I have never taken a kid out into a social setting like this by myself. When I have my friends' kids with me, their parents are always with me. Or if I'm with school kids at an event, it's always a bunch of adults and the kids. I didn't think about that before embarking on my great adventure tonight! Don't get me wrong - I do love kids. They are a lot of fun, extremely amusing, and I really enjoy working with the kids that I mentor. But wow, tonight was exhausting...and educational. I think I realized it's a good idea I don't have kids of my own...and that I can return other people's kids to them at the end of the night :)

Here's what I realized tonight that exhausted me:

* You can't be very selfish with a 9 year old around - which is hard to do when you're used to just worrying about yourself! Especially at the concession stand. Because it's too much work. It's easier to just go to 1 stand and order something from there and accept it...because kids can't carry giant sodas or food...which means that you have to carry everything. Or drop it. Whichever works better. Fortunately we both wanted the same thing tonight, but if she had wanted pizza and I had wanted a hot dog...we both would have gotten pizza because it's too much work to get both.

* I was scared to death I was going to lose her! I'm used to being with my friends who are (sometimes) mature enough to make it to the bathroom on their own, walk to the car on their own, and get their own popcorn. And if we get seperated, we can call on our cells. Kids are too young to do that themselves. And most of them don't have cells. Well - they didn't used to. Now I think they all do. Except the girl I took to the game tonight.

* Kids want you to hold their hand when you cross the street - because they are still at that age where they have to hold an adult's hand to cross the street. That was more amusing and cute than exhausting...but still unusual. Most of my friends can cross the street on their own. Hahaha.

* Kids ask A LOT of questions. And you don't know how to answer about 95% of them truthfully. So most of the time you make something up or lie because they don't know the difference and will probably forget about 15 minutes later, anyway.

* You have to think twice about what you do...especially when you have someone else's kid with you that you are supposed to be a role model for. It was weird to know that I couldn't walk up to a concession stand and order an alcoholic beverage because I had her under my care...and I was her driver, too. It's not that I really even wanted a beer...I mean it's a huge part of going to a game, I usually just get one beer when I got to a pro sporting event (and would have made the game a little better maybe)...but I just was thinking that I had to be responsible. Responsible?!?!

I will say this though - kids are easily impressed. With a large lemonade instead of small, with popcorn, with the site of neon lights, by seeing someone they know and will wave back to them, and to my utmost dismay - the Minnesota Swarm Bud Light Performance Team aka dance team. She wanted to go to the glass after the game and say hi and wave to the cheerleaders...but left when the team ran around waving to the fans and acknowledging them. I guess my mentoring isn't taking effect yet.

Alright, it's way past my bedtime! Adios!

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Just too sad...

Warning...sad post.

Southern West Virginia Miner's Memorial Posted by Picasa

In memory of the coal miners
of Southern West Virginia
who perished from mine
accidents or lung disease.
*** May they rest in peace. ***

I'm not one to go on about the horrible nature of some tragedies, or really ponder them too much. The reason for that is simple - you can't feel horrible and take to heart everything that happens because you will really always be sad about something. Stuff is going to happen - and although you can feel sympathy and offer support, you have to understand that sometimes those things will happen - and you can only be thankful each time those events don't impact you directly and personally. But some things just make your heart break for the families & friends involved. The Challenger and Columbia explosions...OK City...The World Trade Center Bombings...9-11...the tsunami...the earthquake in Pakistan, Katrina & Rita, to name a few. And now the coal miners tragedy in West Virginia.

This particular tragedy is so heart-wrenching to me because of the nature of the information distribution to the families. And I don't blame the mine owners or government reps 100% on this...although they do hold some responsibility in keeping the rumors under control and fixing them when they are so false. But first there is the horrible waiting period for any news at all...then the (I'm assumming) unreal jubilation in hearing that their loved ones will be returning to their arms. And then the just incredibly saddening let-down and anger at the news of their deaths just hours later.

Technology is great at conveying info - but too good at conveying rumors and false information, especially when it initially comes through a cloudy reception (mine communication equipment while wearing gas masks).

Secondly, another thought comes to mind about the horrible anticipation. To me, the waiting period between the incident and learning of the end result of your friends' and family members' lives is similar to the time between when a loved one is in a car accident or something similar, is on life support, and ultimately passes away after being taken off of the machines. But there is a huge difference: the families and loved ones often get to physically be with the person that has been placed on life support, hold their hands, and say goodbye while they are still technically alive (regardless of whether the person can hear you or respond...their body is still pumping blood - although at the urging of a machine). Or at least have some time to know what is happening - even if it is an untimely death or you can't be physically at that person's side. The families of these miners had to go through that process without the failing bodies of their loved ones to hold on to. And they still did not know what was going on. That is what makes me really sad.

I'm almost positive that this tragedy took place in northeastern West Virginia - nowhere close to southern West Virginia. But this inscription on the Southern West Virgina Miner's Memorial is simple and the memorial is also physically poignant...solitary and solid. Additionally, it is in memory not only of those that have perished in the memorable and noticible explosions and accidents that we hear about - but also silently and out of the spotlight from horrific and terrifying lung diseases.

My thoughts and prayers are with those families...and my hopes are that no one that I am close to ever has to go through something that heart-wrenching.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Midget Cows...for real

A little bull... Posted by Picasa

I've seen mini horses. (Used to have one named April - she was dead one morning in the barn when I went to take my friend to meet her and feed her a carrot. That was tragic. Yet strangely hilarious when I walked out there...for some reason. I mean, the irony of trying to feed a dead horse a healthy carrot. Well, it's really not funny - yet at the time I wasn't sure how to react I guess!) I've seem mini people. Ok, they are midgets or dwarfs, not mini-people. But now they have mini cattle. Yes, mini bulls and cows.

I would give you a link to the article I read, but it's on AOL and I'm not sure it will work for everyone. Well, what the heck, here it is anyway: Mini Cows!!

So in a nutshell, farmers are breeding cattle that are 1/3 the size of the standard cattle everyone is used to seeing on farms. One farm claims: "Our 2005 Mini Registered Hereford beef cattle are only about 42" in height but produce upwards to 70% of the rib-eye area of animals twice their size and yield smaller, right-sized steaks!" Say what?? I don't believe it. And why can't you make "right-sized steaks" from the evil giant cattle? Right-sized for who? I haven't had a problem with my steaks being too big because they are from the now unpopular super-sized cattle. Just cut them smaller!

This article on AOL says that people are buying these mini cows for pets on 4-5 acres of land. Since when is 5 acres too small for 1 regular sized cow?

Then there is the math, according to this article. People save money by purchasing an entire side of beef, which they can't all use or don't get the full use out of cause it's too big. So getting an entire side of beef off of a smaller cow makes more sense. Except I don't understand how this all works because a cow that is 1/3 the size costs 3x the amount of money to purchase...and then you get 70% of the meat that you would get from a cow that is 3x the size of the one that you paid 3x the amount for. Now I'm not that great at math...but that equation doesn't seem to make much sense to me.

And they are easier to handle...according to this article. But I've had my foot stepped on by both a regular sized adult horse and a mini adult horse - and pain is pain. I've been stepped on my a regular sized adult cow...that hurts. But 1/3 of a lot of pain is still going to be a lot of pain. The guy in the article thought it would be easier to get a mini bull stuck in the fence out. You know what, if the little sucker is stuck and pissed off and scared, he's still gonna be a bitch to get out of the fence.

The article also says that women can raise these cattle as well as men. I know lots of women that had no problem raising full-sized cattle. Did all women suddenly start having a hard time raising full-sized cattle and need mini cattle?

The best part of the article comes at the end:
Warren said he hasn't eaten any or sold any for slaughter, with most going to breeders and some to a rodeo outfit.
"My wife won't eat anything we grow on the farm. She says if it doesn't come on a Styrofoam tray we don't eat it."

Because styrofoam trays are soooo healthy for those wonderful creatures she wants to protect and not kill at her own hands?

Down with mini cattle.

New Word Alert

Today on the radio I heard a new word...and another sign that the internet is taking over the world. "Equest." As in fans making a request for a song to be played through the internet - either email or web form for the station. Perhaps this is not really a new word - but it's new to me. Used in a sentence: The DJ said "This song has been hot with lots of equests and calls for it."

Monday, January 02, 2006

All the News Not Fit to Print (Subtitle: Off the Deep End)

Seriously, these two stories have me questioning the sanity of a lot of people. And for me to question the sanity of someone, it has to be really insane.

First, there's the story of the lady who married a dolphin. Yes, married a dolphin. Some rich woman from England has been visiting some Isreali dolphin for 15 years, once or twice a year. She finally "worked up the nerve to ask his trainer for his fin in marriage." I think this great quote from the blushing bride says it all...in the fact that she has to even make this defensive statement: "It's not a perverted thing. I do love this dolphin. He's the love of my life." She definitely wins the "Off the Deep End" award for 2005. Possibly for the 21st century.

Then there is the kid who ran away to Baghdad. The headline on MSNBC is "Fla. Teen Promises to Talk About Iraq Trip." I bet he does. For the right amount of money. I'm so excited that he promises to talk about his trip to Iraq. Because he did so much good while he was over there - much like our troops that are serving over there. Yet they don't all "promise to talk about their trips to Iraq" - they just serve and return and then usually go back again. The article is even more messed up - his school wants to talk to him about his absences before Christmas. Not the fact that the kid has to be psychologically screwed up to think that a so-called gifted and wonderful student that takes off for IRAQ without telling anyway while getting a visa behind his parents' backs and blaming it on a high school journalism class is "Ok." His parents said there will be "consequences" for him going into a dangerous war zone without telling his mom. WHAT??? As a kid I got in trouble for going to the bathroom in Hess's department store in Kingston by myself while I was in Kay-Bee toystore with my mom. I just took off and went by myself, and my mom got mad cause I didn't tell her. This kid takes off for Iraq and there's just going to be "consequences" from his smiling mom? That kid would be beyond grounded in my house!

On a sad note - "Blue" died. He was freaking cool in "Old School."

So much to say...

...so little time to say it! Between visiting The Family in FLA and various other extra-curricular activities, I haven't really sat down at Compy much to type to my faithful fan. (Thanks, The Mom.)

* The Wendy's Cup record was officially broken again, just a mere 48 hours after it was set. 33 cups in one sitting with 4 family members. For those of you keeping track...that's a full one-way ticket in one visit to a fast food restaurant! Plus 1 extra to kick off the next ticket. As a side note, John, the manager of The Family's favorite Wendy's is moving to another Wendy's to take over there. The big mystery now is who will take over for him at The Favorite Wendy's...and will they still give out new cups for refills under the new manager's reign? And The Family is bringing a gift to The Best Cashier there today. Not joking. She is really nice though.

* We went to a TB Lightning game while I was home this past week...many highs and lows. First, the lows. With the new rules, the game is less aggressive. I'm not talking about a lack of fighting - I'm talking about a lack of HITTING. No board checks. Nothing. They skate around each other. That's no fun. The game is also faster - which is fine (although it was already pretty fast-paced and now the scores are higher, which isn't really as exciting as it seems) - but I don't think that the officials can keep up with the new pace. They keep getting in the way or not catching up to play and missing calls or making non-existent calls. Like there was a hooking penalty called on a player - but the nearest player from the oppossing team was located on the other end of the ice! And then they called icing on a team that was on a PK. Huh? Also, it is very apparent that the Lightning don't have anyone back from their game production staff of past years. It used to be that if you went to a Lightning game at the Ice Palace it was a flawless presentation. You really had to struggle to find something wrong. Now it's just sloppy and poorly done. That's sad because their games used to just be awesome - for the non-hockey fan as well as the die-hard fan of the sport. Their music was more of a downer than a tool for pumping up the crowd (you can't play ballads during breaks in action - that just doesn't work); the steps and walkways haven't been cleaned very well since the facility was under-used last year and are slippery and dirty (much like how they are at Tropicana - home of the Devil Rays); the team intro before the National Anthem was too long, drawn out and boring; and during intermission they turn off ALL of the lights except for the scoreboard. Is their ice cooling system that bad? I know you dim the lights during intermission to reduce heat - but it was so dark that you couldn't see the steps or anything. It was really quite dangerous. And then you couldn't read the program during the intermission - you had to read it while play was going on if you wanted to read something about a player or whatever. AND as The Sister pointed out, the players are listed in the program alphabetically...which is fine if you can read the names on the backs of jerseys. But if you are trying to figure out who a player is, you probably don't know his name but you can see the giant numbers on his sweater. After the sport takes a year off, they should make it really easy to get reacquainted with the athletes...not a struggle.

* And now the highs (they are just as numerous, just there's not much to expand upon!). It is great to see the NHL playing again - I really missed it last year. I'm living in "The State of Hockey." And we had no hockey. There's not even a minor league team here! The Lightning intro included a neat graphic on the ice and scoreboards declaring the region "Hockey Bay" - cheesy, but funny, and more unifying then anything else local teams come up with! We got to sing "The Hey Song" five times for goals (yes, I know I said that high scoring games aren't necessarily more exciting, but when it's your team you want to celebrate a lot). And the popcorn at the Ice Palace is still really good!

* I'm watching the Rose Parade - a highlight every year. Definitely the prettiest parade out there. But I was just thinking about how the floats are the same basics every years - giant woodland creatures, jungle animals, a safari, a plane, something with big birds, a Disney-type show or two and a couple of houses of come type. Oh, and at least 2 or 3 children's books - usually featuring a fairy tale - come alive. Which is fine because all of those things look really awesome with all of the flowers. What's weird about it is that the theme changes every single year. But the floats don't! This year's theme is something like "It's magic." So I would expect magicians, bunnies, wands, Harry Potter-esque ideas, wizards, etc. Maybe the Disney float could be based around "The Sorcerer's Apprentice." Or not. And as I write this...the FTD float is a genie on a magic carpet with a Las Vegas magician who is NOT making the rain disappear. The first, and probably only, real "Magical" float. Figures FTD's float proves me wrong. (That float is followed by a float with an adobe house honoring Pueblo Indians...no explanation of why it's magical...but follows my rule of "Rose Parade Staples." Yeah, we've got that.)

* I'm pretty sure I had more to say, but I'm distracted by the floats. So I'll be back later.

* And oh yeah - HAPPY NEW YEAR! May 2006 be healthy, happy and prosperous for all of you!