Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Card Collector

You know what I just realized this morning that irritates me when I was trying to buy coffee at the local gas station? Those stupid "super saver" or "rewards" or "bonus buy" cards that every major and minor retailer feels that they have to get you to sign up for now. I feel like you have to have an entire wallet full of these things just to get the "sale" price or special "bucks" to use back in the store for savings.

EVERYONE has them. Grocery stores. Drug stores. And now...gas stations. And not only do they make you get these cards in order to "save money" or get "cash back" - they harass you to sign up for them. You can't check out without being asked "Do you have your rewards card? Oh no, wanna sign up?" And then you do, and then you're stuck with another stupid card. And then you forget it when you go to the store the next time because you took the 27 cards out of your wallet so that it was light enough to carry. And then the cashier makes you feel guilty about it so you sign up for ANOTHER one...and now you have two of them.

I miss the good ol' days of just cutting out coupons and bringing them in to the store. Or grabbing the flier as you walked into the store and ripping it up as you walked around. These stupid plastic savings cards are starting to give me a complex.

Monday, March 20, 2006

"There's your sign..."

When you see the sign company taking away your giant sign for your shady Mexican restaurant...

that's your sign that it's "cerrado."

We went for lunch today at this shady Mexican restaurant that I have only been to once, but that my friends enjoy...and it had giant "CLOSED" and "CERRADO" written all over it. And the sign company was literally hauling away the giant light-up sign on the giant post. So sad.

Thursday, March 16, 2006


I've been in Iowa since about 6:00 last night for work. I was supposed to have 3 events today...starting in one city, going to the next, and finishing at the southern-most of the 3 cities this evening. The first two events were cancelled - because of snow. In Iowa. So I left the first city before the first event was even scheduled to start, thinking I may need the whole day to get down here. Or not. The roads were clear once I left the first city. When I drove through the second city I thought, "I think it was a mistake to cancel this one!" Then I got to the 3rd city - at 10:15am. A full EIGHT hours before the start of the final event.

So far I have: gone to Wal Mart, watched TV, read a magazine, made friends with the Super 8 desk worker, had pizza, and then came to the local public library to hit the internet. Whereupon I had to give up my social security card, passport, drivers license, hotel room key, work ID, a Sharpie, AND sign a waiver, just to get on line.

Each computer has a sign that says "Please Sign In At The Check-Out Desk Before Using This Computer." Huh?? But I wanna sign-in at the check-in desk...don't I have to leave if I go to the check-out desk??

And this may be the slowest and worst internet connection ever...but I guess it does have to come to us here across all of the cornfields. Earlier today my cell phone reception was interrupted when I drove past an errant cornstalk left over from last year's harvest. I'm assuming that's what caused me to drop my call...there was nothing else around for acres.

Today has been GREAT! When can I got back to Minnesota???

Pretty Pink Puckers

This is pretty cool. Yes, the pink jerseys, cars, etc for breast cancer awareness has all been done...but that doesn't mean that everytime it's done, it's not cool.

I wonder if this will make the puck more visible - it will probably be more effective than Fox's flying yellow or blue light or whatever they were trying to do to make it easier for the television audience to see the puck.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Not The Stuck The Steph

So I had to park my truck in an inconvenient spot today when I got home because two kids were trying to get out of the parking lot and got their car stuck. I couldn't get by, so I just parked my car along the side of the driveway. Then I helped them shovel, sand and push their car out. Until I started to help, the girl was trying to gun it and the guy was standing outside looking at her trying to gun it. I guess he thought by removing his weight from the car it would unstick itself. Or not. So I got the shovel from our apartment building, a bucket of sand/salt mix and coached them out. No sooner do I finish, put away my tools and head to my truck to finally get my stuff up to my apartment does another woman fall to the same fate. So I went back, recovered my tools, and got her out, too. After helping push one of my co-workers through our lot this morning...I figure 3 cars later, wet gloves and sore arms & legs - I have done my good deeds for the day.

Eventually "The Plow" came to plow part of our parking lot. One space got plowed, because it was the only open one. I saw this from my window, so I made a mad dash to my truck to move it because I figured I had a slim-to-none chance of getting my truck out of where I was once they plowed the rest of the lot later today and created a mountain at my passenger door.

My lil truck did NOT want to move. It took me a while, some sand, a shovel and a lot of rocking (both by putting the truck in forward, reverse, forward, reverse and by physically moving my body in the truck since it's so little). I would rock it back and forth, then get out and kick some snow away and move the sand, and repeat. And repeat. But I got it out.

No thanks to the a$$hole near me who was whistling and sweeping snow off of his car and trying to ignore my plight.

Then he packed up his shovel and went back into his building. Did I mention A$$HOLE??

So much for pay it forward.

At least I got out...probably thanks to my COOL BOOTS kicking away the snow.

"Whoa, The Cheat! I can't believe what cool boots you have on!"

A freaking riot.

My sister thinks she's funny. She's not.


I love working at a school!

We just got a snow day!

It's the first one I have had since I was 17!! (Hurricane days just aren't the same. Sorry.)

Nice Day.

So the stupid weatherman was right. For the first time in the 2+ years I have lived here. Right now we have about 5-6 inches of very sloppy, wet, heavy, gross snow on the ground. And it's still snowing. And for the first time in the 2+ years I have lived here, I lost power at my apartment. I have had power through tornados, straight line wind storms, blizzards and sun. Until the morning that I have to be at work early for an event. Then, no power.

I go out to my lil truck and I suddenly remembered why I should have taken my landlord up on the vacant garage when I had the chance. What a mess outside. Wind blowing these big wet snow crystals into my eyes, all of this snow just caked on to my truck...trying to push enough out of the way to find the little lock so I could get in. My poor lil' truck.

And there was no power, all the way in to work, until the block that houses my office, fortunately! It's very weird to be driving through a city with no traffic lights. And all of the gas stations were dark and closed, until just before my office. Which was fortunate, because I REALLY needed a coffee!

Needless to say, today my hair is curly due to a lack of ability to use a blowdryer. Bummer. And I had to do my make-up at work.

And, yes, Orbitron, I did break out the Cool Boots. For the first time all winter.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Risk losing the romanticism...

Ok, on West Wing tonight, Donna tried to give Josh a key to her room at the end of the show (they had a "moment" ealier on), and one of their colleagues thought Donna left her key behind when she "went to bed" and took it to her. Donna looked sad and thought that Josh didn't want to go to her room, even though he really did (you could see it in his eyes). So now Donna is sad that Josh doesn't want to have a romantic interlude in her room, and Josh is sad that Donna thinks that and is sad that he doesn't get to have a romantic interlude in her room because of the whole mistakenly returned key. This could all be avoided...


Yes, this isn't as romantic as discreetly passing a hotel room key across a table in a little yellow envelope...yet it would avoid hurt feelings and would allow them to get a little lovin' going on up in Donna's room.

I think that at the risk of losing the sentimentality of the situation, West Wing didn't allow Josh and Donna to hook up. Now where's the fun in that?

Or maybe I just read too much into it, Josh didn't want to hook up with her and Donna doesn't really care. I mean, they aren't real people anyway.

National League Preview...

The most accurate out there.

You can't make this stuff up...or can you?

You know that SNL skit with the really annoying check-out girl at Target who keeps talking to the customers and bothering them? I swear she works at the CVS at the corner of Snelling and University!

I was in there today, minding my own business, buying about 5 items, when I realized that I was in the middle of a bad SNL skit. This woman was sooo much like the character on SNL that when she rang up one of my items and went "Oh my gawsh, this is on sale?" I expected her to run back to the aisle and grab one for herself.

I had a hard time not laughing!

Mother Nature giveth...and taketh away...

It's been gorgeous here the past 3 days. And by gorgeous in Minnesota in March, I mean it's been between 40 and 55, partly cloudy, and not precipitating. I haven't worn a jacket in 3 days.

That's all about to end. Depending on who you listen to, we're going to get either between 10-12 inches of snow or 7-9 inches of snow tonight. Therefore, since the ground is warm and thawed...and it was supposed to rain all day Saturday and I didn't see a drop...I predict that we will get between 1-3 inches. And that it will be gone by Thursday.

I'll keep you updated. Because I'm sure you all care!

Saturday, March 11, 2006


Thanks to Lanie...

This is too freaking funny. If you don't laugh when you see this, you have NO sense of humor.

Karaoke For the Deaf

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Time to Lighten Up...

Ok, my last two blog posts depressed even me. So it's time to lighten up a bit. So I stole a complete post from a guy with whom I went to college (Thanks, Joe.) Background on Joe: played basketball at our school, great athlete, great guy. Can't say I knew him very well in college, but everyone "knew" everyone, can all the Monarchs/Lions out there concur? Here's the post below...and Joe's page. But I had to steal his post...it was too good not throw out there to all you loyal readers.

Why I'm Single!
"Why are you single?" This is a question that I am frequently asked. (Like I'm fine or something). To be honest, I really don't know why I'm single, but I do have some theories.

My 1st Theory: Maybe my standards are set too high. I'm not a shallow guy at all, but I do feel that if I'm going to be with someone I have to like 90% of everything about them. I feel that you must be ATTRACTED to the person that you are with. My definition of attracted means physically, mentally, and emotionally. People who are not attracted to their mate will always have a wondering eye, mind, or body. That's not how I want to live. If I'm with you I'm with you, so I must be content with what I have. Have I ever been content with what I had before you might ask... Sure I have and I never strayed not once. She must also be able to bring something to the table because I have some things to bring. If she does not have a good job then she must be doing something to better herself whether she's in school or doing something to better herself. If you can't get up in the morning to go to work or school because you were in the bar all night... Let the bar go. Don't lose a good job and don't drop out of school.

My 2nd Theory: I had a rule that I would never date anyone I met in a club or that I worked with. Every woman I ever dated was someone that I met in school. Now that I have graduated from college and are no longer in school; I have to ask my self, "Where can I go to find a good woman?" I work a lot, and when I go out it's usually to a club. So what now? I know the first thing that you're going to say is the church. When I go to church, I'm going to get my word on, not pick up women. So I broke down and dated someone from work, I dated someone that I met in the club,. Result... I'm single right now.

My 3rd Theory: I think I live in the land of the groupie. A lot of Tampa Florida's women are consistent violators of rule #2 (see my blog on rules). Again, be able to bring something to the table. Through basketball I have traveled a bit, and as much as I love Tampa I hate to say that a lot of the women here are screwed in the head. They will work HARD to get a professional athlete but will not work as hard to get their own. It's cool to want someone that has something going for themselves but get your own too. If you're an successful business woman or have some good going for yourself then you should want a man who if not doing better than you then he is doing close to what you're doing. Now a lot women in Atlanta, DC, Chicago, NY, ect... they go out and get their own bread, and a Falcon, Redskin, Bear, or a Giant doesn't faze them as much. If she's not feeling him then she is not feeling him. Now don't get me wrong.... Groupies and foot draggers are everywhere but I think in Tampa it is more consolidated and more noticeable. But it seems that a lot of Tampa women want a pro athlete or a baller. Sure I can cap and say I play pro ball. I think I have the look to pull it off, but I will tell a woman in a heartbeat I work for T-Mobile Wireless". I know some of you are probably thinking.... Joe you're probably broke. Don't nobody want a broke brotha. I'm not broke. Not even close! I'm just saying that most women that are in the places that I go to are about that $. What's so crazy is if they don't have VIP at in the club they will show up at 9:00 because women get in and drink free before 11:00. They come to the club without a dollar to their name but are hollering about they want a baller. All they have to bring to the table is a bit of arm candy, some a$$, and some head. I'm not joking, when I look at some of the pages of the women that I see in the club from the Bay Area on MYSPACE.COM, I look in their friends list and all I see are celebrities saved on their friends list. Most of them are probably not the real person, probably just another fan just like them. It's crazy! I know some females around here that will not give a regular guy the time of day, and all they go after are the pro athletes... Whether their married or not. But what's crazy about it is they get passed around like a joint(Old School). I'm a guy that is on the scene, and I know how the 411 is gained on these females. Like the late great Tupac said, "In the locker room all the homies do is laugh, high fives cause another nigga played your ass." Who wants a woman like that? Or who wants to lock in with one like that? Not me, I have too much pride for that!

My 4th Theory: I am often hesitant to approach and I hate rejection. I sometimes see a woman and I like her style, but I would be hesitant to approach them. If I have any doubt in my mind that she will not give me her number I will not make an attempt to put a bid in. Don't get me wrong, I'm a very confident man, but getting shot down is embarrassing as hell to me. Now you might say how in the hell are you going to say that you're confident but you think a woman won't give you the number. I have also been told that I am insecure because of this, but let me explain. What I mean by I'm confident is when I do approach a female my swagger is so cool and confident she has no idea that I hate rejection so much. In essence sometimes I will see a beautiful woman that I might find interesting but I will not say anything to her. I will go home and kick myself in the ass all day! I was crazy about this female in high school, but I never said anything, and we talked after we were grown and she told me that she had huge crush on me all through high school. "Why didn't I say anything?" There was someone at work that I was crazy about too, same scenario. "Why didn't I say anything?" Well they are both married now so it's too late! If you feel that I am insecure because of this... So be it. I'll be that.

So I hope this answers your questions on why I'm single.

Another great heartbreak...

If your heart doesn't break for this family...

A man who was known as "Superman" fell from his physical glory during a single horseback riding incident. A woman who could have been known as "Wonder Woman" fell from her physical glory through years of being exposed to second hand smoke so that others could have momentary physical/mental satisfaction.

For now, rather than dwell on the virtues of smoke-free indoor policies (disturbingly lacking in MN), we can pay tribute to a strong and courageous woman who has left behind a son that has had to endure more challenges and sorrow than any 13 year old should.

Feeling of Personal Loss in Sports...

Sports is a crazy beast. It brings you up to the highest of highs, and brings you to the lowest of lows...all through the swing of a bat, the shout of an ump, the buzz at "0," the cling of a post hit. Yet all of those emotions are not due to life and death situations...although the emotions may be confused at times when there is a death.

When a sports celebrity dies, there is a sadness. He or she transformed a sport as we know it today, made us love the sport, helped us connect to a city, introduced us to a new style, or simply made something that always seemed out of our grasp possible. I believe that this is why when a great athlete dies, ripples are sent through a sea of people that never knew him or her personally, never spoke a word to him or her, and whom they would never really want to meet on the street anyway.

However, there should be a separation between understanding the connection, love, emotional tie and devastation that a fan feels when their sports hero dies...and that same line of connectivity to the loss of someone that actually personally affected an individual within their life by driving them to school when they missed the bus or giving them a shoulder to cry on when they failed a final or cheered for them as they made their first 3 point shot. And today in general, I think that line is blurred for many fans.

As everyone is aware, Kirby Puckett died yesterday. A tragedy - yes...it brings to light the danger of a family history of heart disease and a pattern of poor health that can befall even the most gifted and athletic and seemingly invincible individuals. Incredibly sad to lose his voice telling stories of his glory days, passing long motivation to other youth from inner cities attempting to accomplish the impossible and sign a pro contract and his pure athleticism. He was an amazing public figure in the sport of baseball, and nothing that happened outside the lines can diminish his numbers on the field (a sentiment Pete Rose is probably echoing right now)...however it is necessary to separate the pain and sadness of losing someone that is loved as an influential sports figure with the pain and sadness of losing someone that you truly love. And sadly, I have to repeat that line has been blurred by many.

I understand that Kirby Puckett is not my favorite sports personality...I didn't grow up falling in love with a team because of his late inning heroics to win a World Series for my small market team. I didn't wake up every day in February to see his face beaming with excitement on the morning news as he predicted another great season for the hometown team. I didn't grow up a fan of teams that perennially suffered from lackluster seasons, only to be led publicly on and off the field by one individual to not one, but two improbable championships. I do, however, remember both of those championships quite vividly...not necessarily for the heroics of one individual but for an entire team. And, I do, however, remember the day that Kirby retired, not for my own loss at not seeing him ever take to the field again - but for the brief reminder, even at the young age of 17, that perfect health and a long career is not guaranteed to anyone - no matter how strong, famous or heroic.

The closest sports "hero" memory that I can come up with to compare this to is the death of Dale Earnhardt. As a kid, the man in the yellow and blue Wrangler #3 car captivated my sister and I, as we fell in love with watching cars speed around an oval. My sister even had a plastic replica yellow Earnhardt helmet. I remember watching the Daytona 500 the year that he changed to the black Goodwrench #3 and being confused - wondering why our favorite driver...the first athlete we ever passionately followed...wasn't in the biggest race in the world. Until we suddenly realized that his car was a different color and had a different sponsor. (I still, to this day, identify him more with the yellow and blue Wrangler car than with the black Goodwrench car.) And I will always remember where I was sitting the day that I learned he had been killed in Turn 3 at Daytona in 2001. Sitting on the couch in my apartment in Gainesville, my then-boyfriend in the kitchen...and the newscaster breaks in around 6:30 or so with the news. I was absolutely torn apart. The first athlete who had ever attracted me to a sport, who I thought was the epitome of all things great within his sport...had died. I cried, and I felt a sense of personal loss.

And that was my mistake. As years have passed and I have reflected upon that feeling...I realize that it was NOT personal loss that I felt. No, that is reserved for family, friends, colleagues that knew the Intimidator. Those who were touched by his class, work ethic and spirit every day because they personally interacted with him. My loss was not a personal loss. It was a sadness. A sadness that I would never see my favorite driver take to the track again. A sadness that the man who had defined one of my favorite sports was lost...while helping to redefine it. And that might have been the toughest pill to swallow - one always says in cases like that "At least he died doing what he loved." And yes - that was true. But that possibly makes it harder to accept and understand.

How dare I, a fan, a person reading about him on the internet, watching his car from thousands of miles away on a TV, attempt to feel a personal loss for his death? How could I, a casual observer who truly knew nothing about the actual man himself because I had never even been in his presence, feel a personal loss? And how dare I diminish the feelings of personal loss of his friends, family and colleagues who truly knew who the person was that was killed in that car by imposing my own false feelings of personal loss? Personal impact? Maybe, yes. Intense sadness for the loss of a legend before his time? Yes. Personal loss? I realize now - No.

And finally, there needs to be a separation of the feelings for an athlete as a contributor to a sport and as a person in a time of loss. In many cases...there is a difference. We put athletes up on a pedestal, are crushed when they falter and don't live up to our expectations, and then push aside the negative in death. Let us remember them for all that they were...good, bad and ugly...for that is truly their legacy.

Monday, March 06, 2006

In Minnesota: Puckett bigger than Pope

Before you jump on me for this post...I have the utmost respect for Kirby Puckett as a baseball player - he was phenomenal. I don't think that he was 100% the wonderful person everyone is making him out to be...but is anyone? I can let that slide. So this post is not in any disrespect or whatever.

But SERIOUSLY. For those of you that live under a rock, don't have access to the outside world, or don't live in Minnesota...Twins great Kirby Puckett had a stroke yesterday. I don't really think I'm exaggerating when I say that his illness, recovery, surgery, etc is more heavily covered than Pope Watch 2005. The local news stations have even sent teams of reporters, etc to Arizona to cover this.

Minnesotans hold on to their sports heros with an extremely tight grip. I don't know if it's admirable, or just weird. But I guess since there really aren't that many great Minnesota-connected athletes to celebrate, they take what they can get and never let go. I grew up in NY - with more sports greats in one year than this city has had in a lifetime of big-league teams. :)

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Oscar Time, not so excellent this time...

Oscar Time! You know what that means…cattiness and stupid comments. And that’s just from me.

Ok, it’s starting off great…Jon Stewart’s little collage showing that westerns have never had gay themes in them was really hilarious. I’m watching.

Nicole Kidman’s intro to Supporting Actor is annoying. And her hair is suddenly really thin.

Once again, good speech by George Clooney. Like him.

I will say, Jon Stewart seems a little uncomfortable up there.

Ok, Ben Stiller presenting visual effects as a green screen was a classic.

Was Dolly Parton convulsing on stage or was she dancing/bopping to the beat? I also don’t think she could get any skinnier. Or have more hair extensions randomly attached to her head.

Having cartoons as presenters is lame, annoying and stupid. And kills the energy.

I’m still trying to decide if I want to see the Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe….I loved the book so much when I was younger, that I’m not sure I want to ruin it.

Alright, now it’s just boring. I haven’t had anything to say in a while…and Jon Stewart is uninteresting and not funny. I’m very disappointed – I had thought he would be wonderful. Now, I’m just plain disappointed. And all of the video montages – SUCK.

Strange Addictions

Ok, for all of you that have caught on to the Myspace.com craze, here's a new one for you: Facebook.com. I think it's really more for the college crowd than those of us that are "old." But I have found myself getting wrapped up in it, despite my proclamation that I would only get myself addicted to ONE of these silly sites (and I have already fallen victim to Myspace).

Yes, I'm probably too old for Facebook, but it's fun. I work & coach at a college, and a couple of my co-workers, plus every single student at the school, are on it. So it's a fun, barriers-free, way to interact. And it's just plain silly. I think the attraction is that you know you will see these people everyday, whereas on Myspace, most of the "friends" are people you don't live near anymore, etc.

What cracks me up though, is when students gather around a computer together to look at a Facebook profile...of one of them that is standing there. That's a funny site.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Freaking Frustrating

Sometimes I really frustrate myself. Do you ever do that? I think I'm just too damn impatient and I can't wait for things to just take their course. But what is the fun in that? Sometimes if you see something, you just want to act on it - even though if you wait 3 days it will all come around - but by not waiting those 3 days maybe you will screw it up - but you never know because you don't wait those 3 days - but it usually takes those 3 days to know if you did screw it up and in the end you might as well have waited those 3 days.

And one more thing - with all of this great, super fast technology, you would think we would get these answers faster, but no. Because you can ignore people with these super fast technologies better than you can with the old antiquated methods.

Yes, I have completely frustrated myself. Urgh.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

For those baseball fans out there...

Here's your American League preview. The most accurate one, yet.

Heads or Tails?

Ok, for those of you tennis geeks out there...
When you are playing a match (specifically, in this case, in practice), how do you decide who serves first?

A) Coin toss
B) Racquet spin
C) "Rally for serve"
D) Thumb wrestle

Yes, our team thumb wrestles.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

The Attention Span of a Gnat

So I discovered last night that I now have the ability to focus on a TV show for about 6.3 minutes. Here's why...I haven't really been home at night to watch TV for weeks. The couple of nights that I have been home, it's been the Olympics. (Which I LOVE.) However, the Olympics don't require focus or an attention span. Olympic coverage has more ADD than today's kindergarten classroom - with or without drugs.

Last night I got home at 6 (I am still pinching myself), made work phone calls for a couple of hours, and then settled in to watch Scrubs...one of the funniest TV shows around. I watched the first episode. Mostly. Then I watched the first 5 minutes of the second episode. I was entertained. I laughed. I chuckled. I thought the story line was great. I got bored and couldn't sit still anymore. So I got up and took a shower because I couldn't focus on a half hour sitcom.

That's sad.