Thursday, September 28, 2006

Define "Every Budget"

US Weekly has a fashion bit in a recent issue entitled "Fall Blouses for Every Budget." Let's just run down the list of prices for the 12 examples in the issue, in the order in which they appear, and you determine the accuracy of this title:


13 pairs of Starbury Ones, size 9, please.

Buy a pair of Stephon Marbury's $15 basketball sneakers (or more specifically, $14.98, I guess), the Starbury One, and you contribute to world peace, solving our nation's poverty problem and the continued effort of "cool" people to force "not-so-cool" people to wear really ugly stuff in attempt to get more people to laugh at them.

First of all, have you seen these things? There's a reason why they are $15...because you would be INSANE to spend more on them. They are ugly, ugly, ugly, ugly. And when you get done with that, they are still UGLY.

Case in point:

Marbury's intentions are good...provide a low-price sneaker to people who can't afford the $200 Air Jordans, etc, etc. He says he's going to wear them on the NBA court this season. I'm willing to be that he's going to do something like what tennis players have done for years with tennis racquets. If a player was endorsed by, oh, let's say Head racquets...but couldn't stand parting with their Prince racquet, then they would get a Prince racquet painted up to look like a Head racquet, all the way down to the Head logo stenciled on the strings. Don't be surprised if we hear reports of Marbury getting Jordans, minus all of the stitching and shape and form, and adding stupid random coloring.

Back to the good intentions. Marbury said, "Two hundred to buy pair of sneakers, that's groceries for the week." Yes, that's true. So a kid can now buy a pair of $15 sneakers and 6 days worth of groceries. But here's the scenario that I think will play out. The lower income families will be able to buy the NBA star's lots of little kids that ran around in generic sneakers before will now be able to buy the Starbury Ones. That is very cool. But the kids that can afford the $200 Jordans will ALSO want the $15 Starbury Ones. They will, however, now have enough money to purchase 13 pairs of Starbury Ones and still have $5 left over to purchase coordinating laces.

The $200 sneaker kids will start a trend where they are basically always wearing a shiny new pair of Starbury Ones...similar to how Nelly trades out his Air Force Ones every day for a new pair. The kids who can only afford one pair of the $15 Starbury Ones will then be wearing worn-in sneakers while their former-Air Jordan-pals have a rotating shoe rack.

I'm really only this cynical on Thursdays. Really.

Monday, September 25, 2006

"Pop" Nation, Redefined

I went to the grocery store this weekend to pick up some unhealthy carbonated beverages, and was slightly overwhelmed by the options that awaited me in the “Pop” aisle.

Back in the day, it used to be the basics:

Caffeine-Free Coke
Diet Coke
Mountain Dew
Some type of root beer
Orange Soda
Caffeine-Free Pepsi
Diet Pepsi
Ginger Ale

Now it consists (partially) of:
Coke II
Caffeine-Free Coke
Cherry Coke
Lime Coke
Diet Coke
Diet Caffeine-Free Coke
Diet Cherry Coke
Diet Lime Coke
Diet Lemon Coke
Cherry-Vanilla Coke
Diet Cherry-Vanilla Coke
Coca-Cola Zero
Raspberry Coke
Mountain Dew
Mountain Dew LiveWire
Mountain Dew Code Red
Diet Mountain Dew Code Red
Diet Mountain Dew
Orange Crush
Grape Crush
Strawberry Crush
Pineapple Crush
Berry Crush
Dr. Pepper
Diet Dr. Pepper
Cherry & Vanilla Dr. Pepper
Diet Cherry & Vanilla Dr. Pepper
Berries & Cream Dr. Pepper
Diet Berries & Cream Dr. Pepper
Orange Fanta
Grape Fanta
Pineapple Fanta
Strawberry Fanta
Apple Fanta
Citrus Fanta
Black Cherry Fanta
Peach Fanta
Diet Fresca
Berry Fresca
Diet Berry Fresca
Minute Maid Lemonade
Minute Maid Pink Lemonade
Minute Maid Orange Lemonade
Minute Maid Raspberry Lemonade
Lemon Nestea
Orange Nestea
Unsweetened Nestea
Unsweetened Lemon Nestea
A&W Root Beer
Diet A&W Root Beer
A&W Cream Soda
Diet A&W Cream Soda
Barq’s Root Beer
Diet Barq’s Root Beer
Barq’s Cream Soda
Diet Barq’s Cream Soda
Mug Root Beer
Mug Cream Soda
Diet Mug Root Beer
Diet Mug Cream Soda
Sierra Mist
Diet Sierra Mist
Lipton Brisk
Diet Lipton Brisk
Unsweetend Lipton Brisk
Lemon Lipton Brisk
Raspberry Lipton Brisk
Orange Tropicana Twister
Diet Orange Tropicana Twister
Grape Tropicana Twister
Strawberry Tropicana Twister
Canada Dry Ginger Ale
Raspberry Canada Dry Gnger Ale
Orange Canada Dry Ginger Ale
Diet Canada Dry Ginger Ale
Diet Raspberry Canada Dry Ginger Ale
Schweppe’s Ginger Ale
Raspberry Schweppe’s Gnger Ale
Orange Schweppe’s Ginger Ale
Diet Schweppe’s Ginger Ale
Diet Raspberry Schweppe’s Ginger Ale
Diet Sprite
Diet 7-Up
Caffeine-Free Pepsi
Diet Pepsi
Pepsi Lime
Diet Pepsi Lime
Diet Pepsi Black Cherry French Vanilla
Diet Pepsi Strawberries & Cream
Diet Pepsi
Pepsi Twist
Diet Pepsi Twist
Pepsi Vanilla
Diet Pepsi Vanilla
Wild Cherry Pepsi
Diet Wild Cherry Pepsi
Pepsi One
Vault Zero

And that’s not even all of them. How is a person supposed to decide??? I make kick the caffeine/carbonation habit just because I’m afraid to walk down that aisle of the grocery store now!

Here fishy, fishy, fishy...Part Deux

Here is the update on my friend's fish...once again, too precious not to share:

I got the latest fish last Thursday. The fish food canister says to feed several times daily. The store directions say to feed once every 1-2 days. I've tried feeding my fish twice since Thursday, and he hasn't eaten a thing. I've had to scoop out the nasty soggy uneaten fish pellet. He burbs a lot, as evident from the millions of little air bubbles floating on the top of the water.

And he's crazy. He swims around his little bowl with more ferver than a fish should. It seems as though he's being chased by an invisibile shark that wants to eat him. He is always in his threatened/offensive posture. I do not mind this, because it involves enlarging his fins to appear bigger than he really is, and it makes him look pretty.

However, you'll recall I said that he is red. (Bloggers, you may not recall that - but I was aware of that, name suggestions were being solicited based on this new fish being red.) Well, sometimes being colorblind really stinks. A friend informed me, upon meeting the newly-named Tabasco, that he was in fact mostly purple, with only a little bit of red. So I'm back to the drawing board on names.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Rainy Friday

There are fewer things to make you feel more "blah" and disinterested in doing anything other than curling up with a comforter, making a pot of spaghetti, grabbing a glass of wine and watching a funny movie than a rainy Friday.

The only thing that makes you feel more like that is a cold rainy Friday at the end of a cold rainy week. I'm beginning to feel like I live in Seattle. At least they have flying fish and coffee. All I have in Minnesota is beer and...oh, wait...I have beer...

Coffee Cup Pacifier

I came across one of the greatest inventions, ever, this morning.

Have you ever bought a cup of coffee with a top like this:

And had the coffee spill out of that little hole when you put it in your cup holder in your car as you wait for it to cool to the point that you can physically drink it without harming yourself or others with your piercing screams?

Well, there were a bunch of these little things sitting in a cup on the counter at the coffee shop:

It’s basically a pacifier for your coffee cup – preventing spillage and allowing your coffee to cool to a drinkable temperature in a peaceful manner!

It’s the greatest thing in the world. I had to take pictures with my cell phone because I thought it to be unreasonable to save the cup and the pacifier until I got home and could use my digital camera.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

AL Division Championship Speech

I'm glad that A Rod got a chance to use his victory speech.

Go Yankees!

Here fishy,fishy, fishy...

This is an actual email that I received from a friend today, word for word, no editing ...did I tell you earlier that today was going to be a good day or what???

On Tuesday I bought a fish. He was blue, shiny, and had amazing fins. I got the notion in my head after visiting a friend who had one, and claimed taking care of it was a breeze. So on Monday I bought a glass vase, some pretty glass pebbles (clear and aqua), and filled it up with water. I put the chemical in it that makes the fish's fins stronger and healthier. And on Tuesday I bought a fish.

I brought him home. I put him in his new home (much nicer than the tiny, plastic tupperware thing that the chain pet store had him in). I fed him some pellets. I even settled on a name, Bluey. I went to bed proud of myself: I created a home and an entire ecosystem, and had total reign over it. On Wednesday morning Bluey was fine.

When I got home from work on Wednesday, Bluey was, well, not fine. Not dead. But seemingly passed out drunk at the bottom of the bowl. Glass pebbles can't be a comfortable place to rest, even if you're a fish. When I moved the bowl, he'd eventually swim to the top. But he immediately swam (sank...) back to the bottom. Sometimes he'd lie on the bottom. Othertimes he'd have his head pointed down, and his fin pointed towards to the top of the bowl. Not healthy fish behavior. Sigh. Bluey was broken. My experiment in playing God was quickly failing.

I took Bluey back to the store. They said my water tested normal. They put Bluey in his own little tank, and gave me a voucher for a new fish (I've successfully convinced myself that they didn't flush him the second my back was turned). I picked out a new fish: shimmery and red. Even more amazing fins than Bluey. The fins look like a giant draq-queen-esque costume. I replaced the Bluey-tainted water with fresh spring water, and now my new fish has a great new home.

Shuttle Excitement

I got up this morning and watched the shuttle land at about 5:20am CT. It is never not exciting to watch! I've been watching shuttle launches and landings since I was a little kid...and it's amazing every time.

The guy who does the countdown to take-off and the guy that commentates the landing "Landing gear down. Touch down. Parachute deployed. Nose gear down. Welcome home, Atlantis." at mission control, or wherever they are, have the best jobs. I'm sure they have a script, so it's not like they have to memorize all of that. They get to be on national TV with everyone hooked on every word. I wonder what kind of training those guys have to have. And I also wonder if a woman has ever done it. I don't think I have ever heard a woman do that job.

That's a great way to start a Thursday - watching the shuttle land. It's going to be a good day!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006


Does anyone else realize that this recent health scare about e-coli is proving all 4-8 year olds right? Spinach IS bad for your health.

And to add to that, so are brussel sprouts, and beets, and...

Monday, September 18, 2006


I thought I was done with blogging today. I have certainly said enough for a week in just these however many hours I have been awake. But I do have a confession to make.

I finished watching "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip" because I was already halfway through it when I made the declaration that it sucked. Which meant that I had already missed the first half of an hour of any other show I tried to watch and would be completely lost. So I finished watching it.


Stripped...uh...I mean "ripped"...from the headlines...

These headlines were all on today's internet news. No joke. You can't make these headlines up out of thin air. They have to come from somewhere. What a great Monday.

* "Cops Stop Willie Nelson's Bus. See What They Discovered Inside." (Well, that's what AOL's headline is, but I can only link to MSNBC for the story because you need a password for AOL.) I don't know, guess what they found inside. You get as many guesses as you want, but I'm only counting one and I'm not telling you which one.

* "'Walking' Shark Found" "Walking?" Have you seen the video of this thing? It doesn't walk. It is a low-swimming, bottom-feeding fish whose flippers hit the sea floor as it scuttles along the sand. Walking shark, right. Like something like that really exists.

* "Mexican Meth Fills Gap in U.S. Market" Another example of out-sourcing since all of the home-grown plants in our country got shut down. (Tongue in cheek, thank you very much. Sarcasm, etc., etc. No angry emails, please.)

* "Autopsy: [Anna Nicole] Smith's Son on Antidepressants" As sad as the whole story is - I have to say "Ummmmm...I wonder why??"

* "Janet Jackson's Breasts Are Back" Where did they go?? I have absolutely no idea what this story is about because I'm not going to bother to read it. And nor do I want to know what it's about.

* "Is pump price drop tied to Nov. elections?" freaking sh**. That's all I have to say. Other than at the beginning of September in a "blue" state, the price of gas was near $3. Today, at the expensive stations near work - $2.19. Hmmm. You look at the date. I bet it's under $2 by middle October. And you can sure bet I'll be filling up. And then NOT voting Republican.

* "Rose never expected ‘I’m sorry’ balls to be sold" Of course he didn't. What guy does?? Once again, I have absolutely no idea what this story is about - other than it's about Pete Rose. And frankly, I really don't want to know because my imagination is better than any story I could read to go along with that headline. This is a prime example of headlines not being read twice before it is put up. Ooops...bad pun!! Yet I have read it way more than twice, that's for sure! And I have to admit that yes, I am just THAT immature. And I think that is the perfect headline on which I shall end.

In a completely separate note, I'm watching the WAY over-hyped "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip" and it is horrible. Although it does seem to have half of the people (whether regular cast or special guests) from "West Wing" - but they had better writing on "West Wing." I have no freaking clue what is going on, and that's not because I'm not paying attention..and surprise, surprise - Matthew Perry is playing a character hopped up on drugs. Hmmm. Role play much?

School for Scoundrels

I just saw the trailer for this movie as an ad on TV, and all I have to say is that I wanna go see it ASAP!! Anyone else in??

Pick a packet

Today I was having a conversation with The Mom, and she told me that she recently cleaned out an "everything" drawer in her kitchen where she stored the extra little condiment packets that she had from meals. You know, the duck sauce, soy sauce, ketchup, etc. Apparently The Mom tallied up her collection and she had 47 duck sauce, 1 McDonald's sweet and sour sauce and 85 soy sauce packets. 85 SOY SAUCE PACKETS!! And 28 packets of the stuff you get with cut flowers that you are supposed to put in the water to preserve the flowers. Apparently, this stuff evaporates and disintigrates within the plastic packaging because The Mom said that the contents of many of her condiment packages had turned to goo or disappeared. So she just threw them all away and is going to restart her collection.

The funny thing is that just this weekend, I realized that I, too, was starting a condiment collection in my little drawer. I have buffalo sauce from McDonalds, stuff from Papa Johns, plasticwater packages from Outback, the obligatory soy sauce and duck sauce.

Why do we collect these things? I mean, it's obvious that they give us more than we need everytime we get we're not saving them just in case we need extra next time. Are we that afraid that our next meal is going to be ruined by an hourly worker who forgets to give us seasoning? If that happens, I do have my own bottle of soy sauce, just in case...

Or are we thinking that maybe one day we will cook something on our own that will be perfected by a 1/2 ounce packet of liquid seasoning from a local chain restaurant?

This made me think back about those little packets of flower preservatives. The Mom never puts them in the flowers. She hasn't for as long as I can remember bringing flowers home to her. At the places where you grab the packets yourself (they don't come pre-wrapped with the flowers), I used to always grab one or two packets and throw them inside the tissue paper, just so that The Mom would have to take them out of the wrapping and find something to do with them. Apparently, they all just went into The Drawer of Little Packets. Her excuse is that she always thought she would use them for another set of flowers. But here comes my previous point - you're going to get another packet of flower preservatives with the flowers you decide you do want to elongate the life of, anyway - right?

Now I have to look through my own little The Drawer of Little Packets. I wonder if The Little Packets have expiration dates on them??

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Making the connection...

Since I live in Minnesota and everyone here has to have a connection to everything going on, I have my own connection to the spinach e-coli sickness that is going around.

Last weekend, just about the time that packaged spinach started killing and illing (is that a word??), I had to make a salad for a dinner at a friend's house. I went to the St. Paul Farmer's Market and bought some fresh spinach for the salad. I was kinda thinking that it didn't really look like spinach you get in the store and I suspected that it was some strange leafy veggie that translates to "spinach" from it's native language but really has to be cooked or something in order to be edible. I ate a couple of leafs and wasn't completely sold that it was what I wanted.

I went to the grocery store to get a couple of things and I went to the produce aisle to look at the bagged spinach and decide if I should get that instead. I stood there for a minute, and then decided to just deal with what I had and if it was gross, then it was gross.

So there you have it...I almost bought a bag of spinach that may or may not have come from an e-coli contaminated packaging plant and may or may not have made my friends and me sick. There's your connection (to rip off the guy from Blue Collar Comedy Tour with "There's your sign...").

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Whether or not the weather is cool...or hot...

We have some funky lightning going on up here tonight. And I'm not talking about an invading former Stanley Cup champion hockey team. I mean the electric stuff in the sky. It's like there's a giant strobe light behind the clouds tonight. And occassionally you can see fingers of light zipping around between the clouds. It reminds me of those static electricity balls at science museums where you bring you hand close to it and you see these little bolts of light jumping around. The whole thing is slightly creepy tonight because it's silent. But it's really, really neat looking.

So as I was driving from my apartment to my friend's house that I am watching for the weekend, I started thinking about how cool weather can be...and some of my favorite weather moments or things...

* Way back when I was a lot younger, I remember Hurricane Gloria creeping up the East coast, all the way to NY. I don't remember a lot of details about what was closed, etc...but I do remember that it was cool to have a hurricane come all the way up to NY. Of course, I have since lived in FL for a while, and The Fam lives there now, so the novelty has kinda worn off.

* The Fam used to take cross-country trips in our motor home in the summer. I can remember a couple of times there were tornado warnings/watches/actual tornados in areas where we had stopped for the night in states like South Dakota. The Mom is terrified of tornados, and she would sit in the back of the motor home and watch out the back window, waiting for a tornado to come pick us up. I guess she wanted to see it coming so she could get a good grip for the ride, because it's not like there was a basement to the motor home that we could run to if we got warning. Fortunately, we were never swept away...but shortly after leaving a campground one time, it was wiped out the next day or a couple of days later. Timing is everything, they say!

* Speaking of tornados, right before a bad storm that could generate tornados or straight line winds moves into the area...the sky turns this evil-looking blue/green/black here. And it's really neat. The wind picks up, the sky looks ominous (now that's a cool sounding word), and you get this chill as you wonder what's going to happen.

* Rainbows are really freaking cool. I love them. There's nothing that seeing a rainbow in the sky can't fix. You can't help but feel happy when you see a rainbow. Southern Texas/North Mexico had the absolute most beautiful, brightest rainbows I have ever seen. The colors were brilliant and though you had taken the ROYGBIV colored crayons out of the box and lined them all up next to each other. There was seperation between each color, and an intensity that brought a smile to your lips and a tear of happiness and awe to your eye. I have also seen some great double rainbows - in the midwest one time with The Fam on a cross country trip I remember stopping to take pictures of it, over the Sunshine Skyway in FL - which happens to be one of the most beautiful drives in the world anyway so adding a double rainbow is like the icing on the cake, and of course in Texas.

* We get these crazy hail storms up here in MN...and they can be really fun to watch...if you are in shelter and your car is safe. And if you rent so you aren't responsible for dealing with the damage to your home. It's kinda like watching a giant Dippin' Dots machine dump all over the city.

* Despite the fact that I do actually hate being cold outside, and I hate what the following signifies (a hellish winter is really upon us and there's no getting out of it)...I do love the first snowfall of the season. For the first 5 minutes.

And now back to my regularly scheduled viewing of non-stop tornado coverage here in Minnesota...there's nothing like not getting to watch anything on tv in the Twin Cities because of a storm somewhere in the states of ND, SD, WI, MN or even in Canada bordering those states. That's what happens when you're the only metropolitan area in that range.

Stupid fantasy football

Yes, I know it's only Week 2. And that no games in Week 2 have taken place. But I am starting to realize that the bigger fantasy is my team winning a head-to-head match-up.

First of all, Jake Plummer. I did say "Jake Plummer." For the first time in all of the years that I have played fantasy football, a player got me NEGATIVE points. Meanwhile, my benched QB got 33 damn points. Jake Plummer.

Secondly, Cadillac needs to get healthy. I can't handle this "I'm in my second year of the NFL and I may be hurt or I may not be hurt or I may have a back spasm or I may be at the grocery store." They nicknamed you "Cadillac" for a reason. LIVE UP TO IT ON MY FANTASY TEAM.

Finally, the rest of my team sucks, too. In both of my leagues. I know the whole "It's a long season, don't give up, don't panic and drop all of your players..." I just think it's not too early to give up on winning the league and go for the other "Team Manager Who Manages to Earn More Points With Her Bench Players than Active Players" or "Team That Sucks So Bad That Everyone Else is Embarrassed to Play It." Because that's the direction in which I'm heading. And I think there's beer involved in winning those titles, too.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Tires on It...

Ok, so I just got home from a night of hanging out with some friends. Enjoying some beverages. Telling some (bad) jokes. [Just for the record The Steph wasn't telling bad jokes...The Company was.]

I turned on the TV and then sat at the computer to see if anyone had sent me any important emails between 9:30pm and the middle of the morning on a Friday-Saturday. (No one had. Surprisingly.) There is an infomercial attempting to sell cars. And the salesman just said "This is a Jeep Cherokee. It has tires. And windshield wipers."

REALLY??? I didn't know that either of those two things were now OPTIONS on a car. "Yes, I would like the car with the engine. The transmission. Oh, and I want you to throw in windshield wipers for free. You know, in case it rains."

And then he said, "Yeah, you know, if you have a whole family, need a lot of kids..then this is the car for you [some SUV]." Need a lot of kids??? Does anyone "need" a lot of kids???

Darn infomercials. I can't wait to see what happens at 2am.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Jammer Power

I didn't know, until yesterday at lunch, how challenging those little aluminum drink pouches could be. To someone who is nearly 30, that is.

To start off, yesterday I ate a semi-picnic lunch with a couple of friends. (We were actually eating left-overs from a meal over the weekend that we had together.) The scene itself was kinda funny...we were eating in this cafe-type area at work where everyone else had little sandwiches and chips and soda on brown trays. We had a giant ceramic bowl of salad, 3 bottles of salad dressing, part of a chocolate mousse pie in a metal pan, and a 10-pack box of Kool Aid Jammers. (See below for example - that's the actual flavor we had, too. And no, the Kool Aid wasn't left over from dinner. That was specially purchased for our picnic-style lunch. We had the adult version of Kool Aid at the real meal...and there wasn't any left. Nor could we probably get away with drinking that during lunch at work. Bummer on both accounts.)

So the meal starts off with just two of us (the third person got there a little late, coming from a meeting), getting everything set up, opening our juice pouches, etc. I'm attempting to get the little straw out of the child-proof plastic wrapping when I notice my friend struggling with sticking the straw in the little dot. I start to feel sympathetic and think back to my own days as a kid in our motor home attempting to stick the straw in the Capri Sun pouch that my sister and I got. (It was a huge treat back then, we never got those things...only on these summer family trips.) Then I realized that I was something like 10 when I struggled with the straw-into-pouch action...not almost 30. And I found the scene hilarious.

Eventually my friend gave up and I opened his juice pouch for him. Then I proceeded to extract my straw from it's own little plastic hell, and opened my own juice pouch. And lunch began. The third person arrived, and we settled in for our picnic lunch.

After a discussion about how much juice is actually in one of those little pouches, (the basic thought was that those little pouches held more than one thought they could, or something like that. I didn't really offer an opinion, I was too busy giggling because A) little aluminum juice pouches apparently entertain me and B) the analysis going on was pretty funny, too.) it was time for a refill. This time, the newly arrived friend attempted to teach the friend who struggled with the pouch-opening how to open his own juice pouch. As opposed to my reaction the first time - just laughing. Apparently the other friend is a better person and understands the concept of "if you give a man a fish, he eats for a day...teach a man to fish, he eats for life." I mean, if you think about it...he is going to have to have this skill someday...there may not always be someone around to open his juice pouch for him...and if he doesn't have scissors and a glass to pour it into, he's going to get really thirsty.

The tutorial failed miserably. Throughout the process, I couldn't stop laughing (and of course, as a result, struggled to get the straw out of it's plastic casing), and I had this fear of one of the two great errors in opening an aluminum juice pouch occurring:

1. The straw is sent horizontally through not only the little hole, but also through the back of the pouch, creating two holes.

2. Squeezing of the pouch takes place at the same time as the straw finally, and successfully, gets into the pouch and bright red Kool Aid shooting all over the cafe.

However, ultimately - the little aluminum pouch just collapsed on the table in defeat - fully sealed. So our professorial friend opened the pouch this time.

After the excitement of the moment ceased, and we completed pouch #2, it became time for our final refill. Our friend was going to have one of us open it for him again, but I pointed out that third time is the charm, and he should give it one more go. And he did...and guess what...HE OPENED IT ALL BY HIMSELF!

I'm not sure what the moral of the story is, or if there is even one. But picture that scene in your head, and you, too, will cry at the hilarity.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Super Preppy Runner

On my way home from work today I saw a guy out for his evening jog. He was about my age. And dressed like he was on his way to some frat party.

Khaki cargo shorts to his knees. Black t-shirt. Black socks with his sneakers.

The only thing that would have been worse would have been argyle socks with the sneakers.

Zoinks. I hope I never get that cool that I'm uncool.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

No, Tell Me She Didn't...

Martina Navratilova is supposedly upset over the lack of fuss over her retirement at the US Open this weekend at the newly renamed Billie Jean King National Tennis Center (once again, really - was THAT renaming necessary??) As well as the fact that so many people have given so much emotion and attention to Andre Agassi's retirement - but not to her's. My thought on this is - seriously??

First of all, actually retired more than a decade ago. From singles. The attention-grabbing part of tennis. Then you returned to play doubles until you were putting the used match balls on the legs of your walker. (Yes, I stole that from a great new Lexus ad.) In regards to that...I would say that 98.73% of the people that know Andre Agassi retired at the US Open (this includes rabid tennis fans, semi-serious fans, general sports fans and just people that have purchased an Canon Rebel camera) have absolutely no idea that you were even playing doubles again.

So she expects the sports world to pay as much attention to her retirement from only receiving attention for playing doubles only at the 4 major they are to a man who has defined American participation in the sport for the last 16 years.

I used to have a lot of respect and admiration for Navratilova and everything she had done...not just for the sport of tennis but for the various populations she represents (women, defectors from oppressive regimes, the GLBT community, etc.). But last week she dropped significantly on my respect scale.

Like Fish Out of Water

Last night I took two of my good friends to Elko Speedway. You all know the place...the racing, the "smart" fans, the buses crashing! My friends are two great guys that I really didn't think would ever agree to go to Elko with me. I knew we would have fun, but I didn't think they would really want to go. I had kinda thrown it out there jokingly one weekend when we were hanging out - and they said they would go. Under one condition. I had to drive so that they could drink heavily. When I pointed out that my wee lil' truck couldn't hold all three of us, both instantly and in a chorus offered to let me drive their vehicles. So history was made, and off we went to Elko last night.

I will say up front that I kinda underestimated my friends' enthusiasm. One of them (F1 I shall call him - short for Friend 1) is a car guy, loves old muscle cars...etc. The other (F2 - get the pattern?) is semi-open-minded about doing new stuff (well, except for going to random shady bars...more on that later). Possibly in our case, he's open-minded to trying new things I suggest if only to hold it over my head later if he doesn't enjoy them - haha...we shall see. They really got into the racing. Especially once I explained all of the basics to F2. He was very confused by things like caution laps ("Do they do that at real NASCAR racing? Why did they stop racing? Do they start from the beginning again, now?")...but he caught on very quickly. I was quite proud - both of his willingness to ask questions and my racing tutorial skills!

One of the highlights of the evening came when choosing cars. The thing to do at these short track racing events is that everyone you are with has to pick a car when they come out. Everyone does it. And they all have their own systems. Now, to be fair to F1 and F2, I did try to tell them if a car they had chosen was horrible, based on my Elko Expertise. F2 decided to ignore my advice one time, and his car proceed to make the fastest movement through the field. To the BACK of the field. It was rather impressive, possibly a record for picking the car with the fastest fall-back.

At one point early on, both F1 and F2 picked cars that basically just had numbers painted on the side. Not a good choice under nearly all circumstances. I pointed out that they might be better off picking cars with lots of words (sponsors!) on them because they are usually better drivers with better cars...I think they proceeded to pick new wordless cars in different colors...but to each his or her own!

The highlight of the night was F2 picking #41 to win the second-to-last race of the night - and his car won! He made me take pictures of the winning car small feat in the dark of night with extensive fencing...

(Unfortunately right now Blogger is being less than cooperative in uploading pictures - so maybe later!)

By the end of the night, despite my Elko Expertise, I think we all wound up kinda even on the number of wins board.

And then F1 and I tricked F2 into going to a shady local bar with us against his wishes. First we "turned the wrong way" out of the parking lot...then we pulled into the bar's lot. Although F2 may not totally agree, I think that it was a fun side trip. It wasn't as shady as one would have thought for a bar nearly across the road from a race track...there was karaoke going on (F1 sang a Frank Sinatra song - and much to our surprise - wasn't bad!!)...and we played foosball. Can't beat that combo...karaoke, foosball and good friends..."Oh, What A Night."

In unrelated news, I am losing this weekend in one of my fantasy football leagues to a girl whose main focus this past week has been on her FASHION LEAGUE because Fashion Weeks have been kicked off. WHAT??

Monday, September 04, 2006

These are a few of my favorite things...

Ahhh. The Minnesota State Fair comes to a close tonight. Here are a few highlights:

* I saw this guy:

He, too, was watching a band play. I took that pic with my cell case you can't see through the blur, he had non-white Santa beard on both the front and back of his head. A Northstars jersey (going to the fair old-school), camo cargo shorts and combat boots with black socks. And a bandana. And he was swaying to the music. He was really cool.

* I saw a cop (yes, real SPPD) directing foot and vehicle traffic on Como Ave. while eating an ice cream sundae in the middle of the street. Hot fudge and all. Holding a lighted baton. What a great job.

* I had pink grapefruit gelato. Yum.

* Did you know that you can enter a push lawn mower at the 4-H building for a prize? I'm not sure what you have to do to it to enter it, but you can enter your home improvement appliances at the 4-H building.

* I also learned at the 4-H building how to dye baby chicks before they hatch so that they are Easter egg colors. My friend found that disturbing. I found it to be kinda cool.

* The art in the Fine Arts building was rather uninspiring. Except for the collage that had a T Rex in the back of a blue pick-up truck. That was pretty neat. Too bad that doesn't happen in real life. I also liked the fact that the NBA Jams set-up was right outside a door of the Fine Arts building, so while everyone was trying to be all quiet and respectful walking around the exhibit, you had hip hop blaring in from outside.

* The gondalas have lights on them at night Christmas trees! So does the back of the Giant Slide. That's kinda cool.

* Apparently you can purchase a fully mounted tire at the fair. I saw a guy trying to figure out how to roll it back down the foot bridge ramp without losing control and killing incoming fair-goers. It was kinda amusing.

* Cheese curds, Australian battered potatoes, cheese bread, roasted almonds, pizza, cheese on a stick, Pronto pups, regular corn dogs, etc...still excellent the 3rd year in a row.

* I think that the giant pig is smaller than last year. Although I really have no proof.

* I love the fact that everyone gives you directions at the fair by using street names like it's a little town.

* The Midway still doesn't have the game where you throw ping pong balls into goldfish bowls to win goldfish. That still upsets me. It's my favorite fair game of all time. Once I got to trade in 6 goldfish for an iguana. I named him Jacques. After Jacques Villenueve...the race car driver...because he was fast.

* I was stalked at the fair on Saturday. By someone I didn't even "know." Nice.

* I can't wait for next year!

Bad start to the week...

Bad things come in threes...

* Steve Irwin, the Crocodile Hunter, was killed today in a freak encounter with a stingray in Australia. He was just plain cool, not to mention a great conservationist and educator.

* Andre Agassi retired from tennis and played his last match at the US Open yesterday. I know his time had come, but it's really hard to believe he won't be playing anymore. Tennis for as long as I have loved it has been defined by his play and personality on the court. It's amazing that he was part of the sport for so long. I'm also slightly miffed at the National Tennis Center being renamed the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Arthur Ashe gets a stadium, Billie Jean King gets the whole complex?

* They are closing the Catskill Game Farm in upstate NY. Not a big deal if you're not from there...but for kids in upstate NY it was a staple. A big petting zoo, for lack of a better description...and it's really sad that kids won't have the chance to go walk amongst a herd of deer or pet a baby elephant that's the same size as them anymore.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Big Brother's Watching You...

So I have been slightly caught up in this “reality TV” craze. I will admit it. It makes it really hard to watch “real” shows with silly things like “plots” and “characters.” And it really makes it hard to wake up in the morning when you have to watch hours of tapes at night before you go to bed because the live results show is in two days and you have to know what’s going on before you watch it.

And I don’t know what I’m going to do this fall TV season when the new “real” shows come on in addition to new reality shows. I only have two TVs and two VCRs. Let’s just set the hypothetical that I do happen to be home during the “good shows” on one crazy night (which probably won’t happen too much this fall due to work, social and volunteer stuff)...I can watch one station while taping two others. But what if FOX, NBC, ABC and CBS all have something on at the same time that I want to watch??? Then I’m screwed. And I don’t know what’s going on the next week in that show when I do have the chance to watch the show I missed because there are specials or bowling tournaments being shown on other stations. If the norm happens and I’m not home and have to rely solely on my tapes...I will only watch two shows. Sad.

Here’s a specific note about one very funny thing I have noticed on Big Brother. Every time someone wants to talk strategy or talk about someone behind their back, the instigator of the conversation goes up to someone and says something like “Hey, you have a minute?” or “Hey, you have time to talk?” or “Hey, are you busy?” or “Hey, can I tell you something quickly?”

This is what I find funny about it...(well, besides the fact that everyone on that show really does start questions and statements with “hey" - it’s similar to a valley girl’s “like...” If fact, I have decided that starting a sentence with “hey” is the new-age “like...”) OF COURSE THEY HAVE TIME TO TALK TO YOU. This person is stuck in a house with you and can’t talk to anyone else. They don’t have TV. They don’t have internet access. They don’t have a roller coaster. Their only other entertainment is cooking a meal (which can honestly only be done so many times a day), sleeping, or working out. So I find that question incredibly funny.

The other night Neil Patrick Harris, who is incredibly funny on TV and in movies, was on the show. One of the players is understandably obsessed with him. He’s not really cute or anything...not really even in that geeky cute way. But he has played some really funny roles. And although I think that “How I Met Your Mother” is hilarious, I still stand by my belief that they should do a show called “Douglas Howser, M.D.” that chronicles the famous TV doctor’s life when he’s grown up and fits in like a normal person and gets no attention. I think THAT would be hilarious.

And then this would be the point where the credits would role and you would see the preview of next week’s show as I finished typing.