Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Albums of 2008.

It's been a trying day. I was able to narrowly escape an editorial cleansing. Lots of nail biting, smoking cigarettes, and overall turmoil. I survived, however, and will live another day in the dying industry of print publication. All that being said, I'd be remiss not to highlight the albums of the year. I'll undoubtedly leave some out by accident, but here they are in no particular order.

1. TV on the Radio - Dear Science - May be my vote for album of the year (yes, I agree with Spin). For once they didn't blow their load in the first half of the album. Funk elements, undeniable swagger, enough catchiness to asphyxiate a young child. Perfect.

2. Fleet Foxes - S/T - Justin and I bought this together the same day at Shake-It because we're lovers. Melodies that'll melt your damn heart. They pull that shit off live too. A slice of pop heaven.

3. My Morning Jacket - Evil Urges - I'm getting the big boys out of the way first. Not my favorite album of theirs by any means. They tightened the songs up, which I think is kind of sad, but Jim James knows how to deliver a dizzying, hypnotic delight.

4. Los Campesinos - Hold on Now, Youngster & We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed - These upstart Welsh boys and girls released two albums this year. Sprawling pop songs with catchy fucking hooks all backed by spiteful lyrics. Both albums are great.

5. Beach House - Devotion - I don't care if this duo is mind numbingly boring live. This album pours fruity, Skittle-like dream pop everywhere and I'll eat it all up...every single time.

6. Titus Andronicus - The Airing of Grievances - Angst through and through, but done with a slight, condescending smirk. Distorted, cracked vocals hanging over dirtiness. Just really, really good.

7. Racebannon - Racebannon IV: Acid or Blood - My vote for best album cover of the year. Look it up. Less insane than previous Racebannon albums, but still fucking nuts. A little bit more order to the chaos making it feel more plotted and demonic, if that makes any sense.

8. Spiritualized - Songs in A&E - I actually haven't listened to this as much as I should. However, I want Jason Pierce to be my older, strung out brother who comes to family gatherings, never takes his sunglasses off, and appears to have a tick in every conceivable part of his body. Yeah, that's what I want.

9. Plants & Animals - Parc Avenue - Did this album get its just due? A little wacky, a little Queen-ish, but damn catchy. I could listen to the song "Feedback in the Field" and whistle that damn melody until I went nuts.

10. Night Marchers - See You in Magic - John Reis makes magic every time. No Drive Like Jehu or Hot Snakes, but still...I just really like John Reis and that's why this album's in here.

11. Fucked Up - The Chemistry of Common Life - I recently saw these guys live and the rather large singer (Damian Abraham) stripped down to his boxers, did the "mangina," and then broke up a fistfight between a bouncer and some 17 year old kid. That's how shows should be. Future of hardcore? Maybe not, but they sure have something figured out.

12. Blitzen Trapper - Furr - I called it when Wild Mountain Nation came out. Didn't I? They recently did a show I went to at Schubas and sold it out. Next stop, Empty Bottle a few months away. Their next album will be a big deal. This one's the big buzz maker.

13. Arms Exploding - Ruminari - My friends are in this band, and I like this album a lot. Not just because they're in the band either. I swear. I happen to know the people in the band, and they happen to be my friends.

14. Howlin' Rain - Magnificent Friend - Psychedelic, classic rock with all the trimmings. Perfect for a sunny day sitting on the porch with some beers and a couple of your loser friends.

There's more, but this seems like a good place to stop. Plus, I can't really think of anymore off the top of my head, and I don't feel like sifting through my CDs, records, and Itunes.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Christmas Retarded.

I love that as you get older, Christmastime begins to lose its luster and allure you often associated the holiday with as a kid. For instance, I have no fucking clue what I want for Christmas. I feel like I should have several grandiose presents mapped out in my head, but all I can think of are practical gifts. I just don't care that much. It becomes more about the stress of what you're going to get others instead of stressing out about what you're going to get. I don't know which one's better or worse. When asked, I told my mom I wanted a paper shredder...a paper shredder. This is what popped in my head. I also need new shoes. Not to be fashion conscious or anything. Simply because my current shoes are falling apart. Why can't I be more creative with what I ask for? Do I not have it in me anymore?

I can possibly attribute this transformation to my childhood when I asked for a Power Wheel every year of my life until I was probably around 15, and I never got one. This obviously has scarred me terribly, and I've never recovered. Being disappointed year in and year out had such a negative effect on my psyche that I'm surprised I ever learned how to tie my own shoes. My older brother (he's 31) is getting a Wii for Christmas this year. That seems like fun, but I can't ever imagine having one. I can, however, imagine getting a paper shredder.

I'm not gonna lie, Christmas has just kind of become a headache. I'm not good at getting presents for people either...just not creative enough. I've come to grips with that. So, that doesn't bring me great joy because I always feel like the recipient is just a little bummed out that he or she got another gift certificate to Best Buy, Target, etc. My uncle, whom I haven't seen in like four years, gets me a gift certificate to Best Buy. See, now that makes sense. I wish I could go to a self-help seminar solely dedicated to teaching the gift-giving-disabled how to properly purchase a creative, heartfelt present and deliver it to its intended recipient.

I can't even imagine what it would be like if I had a family consisting of more than five people. That'd be fucking tough. The mental energy I'd have to spend trying to think up presents would probably result in a painfully crippled mind that wouldn't fully recover until after least.

All that being said, I am kind of looking forward to the paper shredder. I'm a dork.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Ode to Thanksgiving.

Along with Halloween, I'm pretty sure Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I'm taking both the day before and day after Thanksgiving off from work to return to my birthplace and enjoy the company of friends and family. Let me take you through my anticipated schedule of entertainment (just the highlights) once I get back to Cincinnati.

I'll probably get in around mid-afternoon on Wednesday and immediately do a shit ton of laundry at my mom's. That's right. I'm driving dirty laundry from Chicago to Cincinnati. This doesn't seem as illogical to me as it does to others. Because of my eccentric landlords, I have weird ass time constraints on when I can do my laundry at my house. I often work late, and I never have fucking quarters. My mom's washer and dryer are efficient and free. I'm looking forward to this. Doing laundry is like a 3 hour vacation. You're doing something, but not really.

Wednesday night marks the biggest drinking night of the year. I've never really understood this. People feel the need to get loaded before they meet up with their family the next day. Wouldn't it be more uncomfortable to be hung over around a bunch of relatives expecting you to make inane small talk? This is why I love my family. It's fucking tiny. No small talk required. Me, my brothers, stepdad, niece, and mom. Nice and simple. Anyway, Wednesday night will almost definitely be spent hanging out with everyone that is awesome to me at one of three places I drink at in Northside, Ohio. I'll get drunk and become louder than usual.

Thursday will be spent loafing around my mom's house and foolishly not eating in anticipation of a hearty meal. I make the same mistake every year. I don't eat all day because I think I need to maintain maximum capacity for all of the starch (mashed potatoes, stuffing/dressing, macaroni & cheese, rolls, etc.) I'm going to delicately pack in my gut. This system is no good. My stomach's so small by the time I eat that I can only handle three helpings of mashed potatoes. Unacceptable and embarrassing. And as I'm writing this, I know I'll do the same thing this year. Of course football's on, but I honestly can't remember the last time I watched an entertaining game on Thanksgiving. I'm assuming this has something to do with the fact that the Lions are always fucking dreadful and I despise the Cowboys. Regardless, it is football, and I will both watch and enjoy it. At the end of the night, we'll eat pumpkin pie and my mom will ask what we want for Christmas all the while repeating she can't spend too much money this year. None of will have an answer and none of us will believe her.

Friday will hopefully be tackle football day. Is there any other kind? I want it to be just like the Brett Favre Wrangler jeans commercial too. That's how I envision it. A bunch of old-school hardcore kids getting passes thrown to them by Brett Favre as he discusses the advantages of Wrangler jeans and smiles that sweet Mississippi smile. Oh by the way, every throw will be well out every receiver's reach forcing him or her to dive into a endless swamp of mud to make the grab. Sounds great. I will be horribly sore the next day from moving muscles that aren't used to getting any action and having the shit kicked out of me for two hours straight. Can't wait.

The Thanksgiving trip will culminate on Saturday night with what is sure to be the matchup of the millennium. The geniuses of the world have finally decided to come out with a Seinfeld Scene-It and the top Seinfeld aficionados in the universe (me, Justin, Kenny, and Billy) will battle it out for ultimate nerd supremacy. We've been talking for years about the possibility of this thing coming out and someone heard our prayers. I've had more than one friend tell me that they just want to be there to watch the battle. It will be both ridiculous and great. Amazing and pathetic. Fun and sad.

Sounds like a good trip to me.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Common Denominator.

Justin and Heidi came up this past weekend and we had a grand old time. We ate Ethiopian food, explored the city, discussed the ins and outs of the great cinema classic the Fugitive, and finally got in some much needed sports talk. Justin is my primary sports confidant in this world because we pretty much have the same outlooks, witty opinions, and disdain for certain players and/or announcers (looking at you Favre and Berman). Anyway, after they left and I got done sobbing into my pillow, I started thinking about how awesome it is that I can talk sports with anyone. Sports knowledge creates a common denominator across different realms of society and has really helped me out in certain situations.

First and foremost, I get along with parents, particularly parents of someone I'm currently dating. I attribute this to sports for the most part. Being around a girlfriend's parents is always going to be slightly awkward, but it's a little less when you have a universal subject of interest that you can dissect intelligently. Parents, especially fathers, aren't usually the most approachable people when you first meet them. I've greatly benefited from my sports smarts with the last couple of girls I dated because I can always retreat into a discussion about the Reds or Bengals or Bearcats or whatever. It's awesome. A father can disassociate me from being the kid who's dating his daughter, and instead just look at me as some kid who knows Aaron Harang's ERA or the score from yesterday's Ohio State game. Plus, there's always something to talk about. Uncomfortable silences are for suckers. I usually get along better with the fathers than the daughters, and I'm kind of okay with that.

Sports talk also puts you in touch with a different ilk of people. Not terrible people, just people I may not normally hang out with or talk to. For instance, a friend of mine came into town a couple of weeks ago with a few of her co-workers. My friend and I went out to eat Indian food and later met up with her boss and co-worker at an absolutely atrocious piano bar where they covered "Sweet Home Alabama" and various Kid Rock songs...on the piano. Ugh. Anyway, as I stood there uncomfortably around a bunch of people I would probably never talk to or have anything in common with, her boss (an outspoken, wealthy Republican) and I got to talking about the Bengals. With the screeching hell of people singing "And I'm proud to be an American..." in the background (and he was enjoying the place mind you), we had found a common ground. Although I was still uncomfortable, the pain was alleviated if just for a moment. Just long enough for me to get the fuck out of there.

Also, and I'm not trying for this to sound cocky even though it probably will, I like the fact that people are surprised when I can talk sports with whomever I want. More than one person has said it's "weird" that I know so much about sports, but I can't help the fact that it's just one of those things that sticks in my mind. This weekend Justin and I were discussing Larry Johnson's "Grandma-ma" character of the early 90s when he was a semi-impressive player with the Charlotte Hornets trying to hock sneakers. Why the hell do we remember that era? Why can I recite every World Series and Super Bowl winner since 1990? Sports trivia sticks in my head, and while I went through an "I'm not going to pay attention to sports because I'm way too cool for that" period, I'm fucking glad it didn't stick. Otherwise, what would I have to talk about?

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


I went down to Grant Park last night for Obama rally just to "take it all in" and meet a couple of friends all the while knowing I wasn't going to stay. Guess what? It was a happy mess of madness. I may have stayed longer had I had somewhere or something or someone to hook my bike to. Yeah, that wasn't going to happen. So, I huffed it back home on the delightfully desolate streets of Chicago. Seriously, I've never scene Milwaukee Avenue that empty at 9 PM. It was great. Chicago has been abuzz in anticipation of the election, and it's been a sight to behold. One of its own was soon to be anointed, and while I have never claimed to be the most politically savvy or knowledgeable person, excited people smiling make me smile and excited.

This election seemed quick. Particularly because the first election I truly followed was the 2000 election with the Florida debacle. I was up until 3 in the morning watching that thing, and went to bed not knowing who won. I equate it to watching the entire 1991 World Series between the Twins and the Braves (best series I've ever witnessed) and going to bed after the ninth inning with the score tied at zero. It killed me to go to bed, but I just couldn't stay up anymore. Obama took care of his shit in this one though, and we can all really thank the key swing state of Ohio because once he got the heart of the country, it was pretty much over. Not a moment too soon either. Obama looked like he was going to pass out from sheer exhaustion when he was making his impressive speech.

Where it goes from here, I don't know. The stock market threw-up some more today and a few Wall Street big shots took a few steps closer to that open window as the economy nears the middle of the toilet bowl. The Reader eloquently summed it up with this issue's cover reading "Don't Screw It Up." I like my job.

Oh and by the way, California voted yes on Proposition 8, only recognizing heterosexual marriage as a legal union. This is happening literally on the heels of the Supreme Court legalizing gay marriage only a few months ago. Now, several once legal marriages are unfairly suspended in limbo. What the fuck? That's sad.

This is as political as I'm going to get. Sorry for the strangeness. I'll go back to sports next post. I promise.

Monday, October 27, 2008

This Is Going Nowhere.

My senses are being flooded by the 5th and potentially last game of the World Series and the Colts vs. Titans game. I don't know which one I want to watch more and can't seem to make any sort of decision, so I've retreated to this blog, which I had to blow the dust off of from a general lack of use.

One of my best friends (Shortie) came up here this past weekend with his girlfriend, and Justin's coming up in two weeks (I'm keeping fingers crossed) with his lovely wife Heidi. This greatly pleases me because lord knows I need someone to talk to about sports, and just someone to rehash two-year old jokes with that no one in this bohemith of a city understands. I like my friends.

Anyway, Shortie and I got in the discussion about work and the effects working a "real job" inflict on your psyche. Shortie slings mail for a living, and I'm pretty sure he dislikes/despises it overall. No other way of saying it. Now, I have my first "real job" in my life in which I wake up at 6:30 AM and go to bed at like 11 PM. This is no good. Along with Shortie, I was one of those people who said that I could never go to bed before midnight. It would virtually be impossible for me to even yawn my before the change of day. Yeah, well we were both full of shit.

Given, I'm taking a big step back here, but we talked about how we used to stay up until 6 in the morning every night when we were just out of high school. Everything moved much slower to the point of a delirious yet enjoyable boredom. All of my friends, and let me remind you that we didn't drink or do drugs, used to sit in a pathetic park, which basically consisted of a single gazebo, for six hours and just bullshit about nothing. It almost seemed like there were too many hours in the day to fill with interesting activity or just entertaining fluff, but as you get older, the time dwindles down to about three hours after you get off of work. I'm not really bitching or trying to get all introspective, it's just strange to think about. It just gives you a different perspective when you can talk to people you've been friends with since you were like 15. You can kind of map out the journey/movement of your life over the past 12 years because you both basically went through the same shit.

I like my job for the most part. I work tons and don't make that much money, but I get to basically deal with music all day and wear whatever I want to work. It's a relaxed environment and no one's breathing down my neck. You've gotta appreciate that. But it's just strange to know that I'm going to be going to work Monday-Friday and that I'm probably going to be in bed by 11 and waking up at the time I used to go to bed 10 years ago.

Similar to one of Justin's posts from a couple of weeks ago, I started into this thing without a topic in mind, and now I've spent too much time writing to delete it. Maybe there's a nugget or two in there, but this is really just a comment on my friend visiting me this weekend and a conversation we had when we were both drunk.

So there you have it.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Golden Age of Sitcoms.

So, I wake up every morning and watch ESPN (my news channel) as I'm eating breakfast. Part of the routine. Nice way to start the day in my opinion. However, there are times when I'll flip through the channels during a nauseating segment involving any of the football analysts, Chris Berman, or some fluff, sentimental garbage. On rare occasions when I'm flipping channels, I'll run across some early morning episodes of Saved by the Bell, and to be honest, I kind of get excited. I used to fucking love Saved by the Bell when I was growing up and genuinely looked forward to getting home from school, plopping myself down in front of the TV, and watching a good solid hour of some high school hi-jinks orchestrated by Zack Morris.

But when I try to sit through an episode now, hell even ten minutes of one, I find it absolutely unbearable. The show's terrible...fucking terrible. A.C. Slater wears tank tops to school everyday. Lisa Turtle finds any way to insert "dork" into every sentence involving poor Screech (How about I make a dork omelet out of you? What?). Zack Morris owns a cell phone the size of a pineapple in 1990. Jesse Spano is an uptight, snobby bitch. Mr. Belding has way too much time on his hands mainly as a result of only having to deal with about 24 students, which seems to be the entire population of Bayside. Two classrooms, a hallway, and a gymnasium the size of a garage. Oh, and I don't even know where to begin with Screech. No one would be friends with Screech, especially the "cream of the crop" of Bayside High. The only person I accept is Kelly Kapowski because she's good looking.

My main point is I used to watch a lot of unfunny shit as a kid. We all did. Saved by the Bell is nostalgic, and I understand that. But could you really sit through an entire episode right now and enjoy it? I'm going to say no. When I watch any of the sitcoms I once loved, I'm baffled. Well, not baffled. I know why I liked them then, but it's just funny to see it from a different (older) perspective and realize how unfunny something is that you thought was hilarious. There are a few mainstays, though. One of them being the Cosby Show because it was clever. While it had it's cheeseball moments, it knew what it was trying to accomplish and usually did so effectively (well, not in the later seasons...that's when it started sucking). Anyway, I'm going to ramble off a few of the shows I used to ritualistically watch and quickly explain why I now find them to be examples of unbelievably bad TV.

Home Improvement - This is the one sitcom that was "family time" for me. My entire family loved this shit and we made a point to sit down together and watch it each week. The story is the exact same every episode. The intolerable Tim Taylor gets into a pickle, asks Wilson's advice, misinterprets it, makes the situation worse, and then somehow wraps the show up unscathed. Tim Allen is so far from funny it's astonishing.

Full House - Wow...where do I even begin? Sentimental, "cute" comedy, moral-laden terribleness. All of the characters are bad, so I'll just focus on the worst - Joey Gladstone. I don't remember one point during the lifespan of the show (and me watching it) in which Joey said one funny thing. Not one. And if you didn't notice, that's his deal. He's supposed to be a fucking comedian. When the show first started, he lived in an alcove. A grown man living in an alcove. How he didn't blow his brains out, I'll never know. Did Joey Gladstone ever get laid throughout the history of the show? I don't see how he could have. His Popeye impression may be the root of all things evil and wrong with the world today.

Growing Pains - I agree with Bill Simmons when he says that the fact Mike Seaver had a friend named Boner is hilarious. It is. That's all the show has. Nothing really memorable aside from Tracey Gold being anorexic and Kirk Cameron freaking out, going militant religious, and basically refusing to doing anything in the show that was even slightly controversial or risky for his character. Those were the most popular story lines of the show and they weren't even relevant to the actual sitcom. That should tell you something. And by the way, Alan Thicke is the star and central figure of the show. Enough said.

Webster - Man, I wish I could have lived in the mansion that the Papadopolis' had after they moved out of their apartment. Remember all the secret passageways and strangeness? Awesome. If I ever have the opportunity to live in a house with a dumbwaiter, I'm taking it. No questions asked. All I would do is hide and freak people out all day. Damn, that shit would be so much fun. Oh yeah, this show kind of sucked. But I sure do love saying Papadopolis.

Others that are coming to mind but I'm not going to expound on: Perfect Strangers, Step by Step, Family Matters, Boy Meets World

Shows that pulled it off most of the time: Cosby Show, Wonder Years, Family Ties, Roseanne

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Fall Highlights.

Football and the Baseball Playoffs - first and foremost. October is the best month for sports...hands down.

Pumpkin Ale - this shit should be served year round. I always try and stock up before Winter when you're bombarded with a bunch of seasonal porters.

American Apparel Flex-Fleece Hoodies - these things are the best and I have like five. A definite plus to having worked there.

The smell of bonfires/campfires/nature burning - can this smell be bottled into a cologne form? I know a lot of people hate on it, but I have some nice memories.

Going to Shows - Time to be inside a little bit more, and why not go watch great shit? Fall is an excellent time to go to see music, and tons of notable bands come through town this time of year.

Running in Sweatshirts and Sweatpants - doesn't sound too appealing right? Remember, though, I like to sweat.

Fashion Options - there are just way more layering opportunities and other possible fashion transformations. More clothes...duh.

Halloween - haunted houses are the fucking best. When some sort of ghoul, zombie, or mass murderer catches me off guard I clap my hands and curse. It's like I've been foiled or something, and I'm mad at myself. I love it.

Soup - basically eat (or is it slurp) soup consistently throughout the season. Put some lentil soup in an IV for me and I'm all set.

Tackle Football - complete soreness the next day, but it's the kind of soreness that makes you feel like you've accomplished something.

Sleeping - wrapping yourself up in extra blankets is always a great idea. Especially with a space heater sitting right next to you.


Thursday, September 25, 2008

Within the Past Year.

Man that was a great season premiere of the Office. Lots of bombs dropped. I can't get enough of that show. Aside from Curb Your Enthusiasm (which I can't watch anyway because I don't have fancy HBO), best show still making new episodes on TV.

Okay, now that I've got that out of my system, I was thinking yesterday about how different my life is from one year ago. I went through this thing with my friends every summer where we'd talk about how life-changing the next year of our existence was going to be. I had to have had this conversation with Coates on at least three separate occasions. We loved to talk about this shit. You know what though? Not much ever really happened. We continued onward in school or at work and did the same shit. There's nothing wrong with that, and I absolutely love the fact that I have been able to maintain a strong core of great friends that I've had since high school. I actually even had the great opportunity to add a few more good ones. How about that?

Anyway, this past year has been a whirlwind, some good, some bad, and I thought I'd take this time to reflect.

-I haven't played music in like a year. I was in a semi-serious band for five years. We gave a shit a lot more at the beginning, and even gained a little notoriety. But we began going through the motions near the end. This was kind of obvious to me, and it was probably time to hang it up, but I definitely miss it. Our last show was 9/08/07, and I've gotten together with a group of people to "jam" (I loathe saying that) just once...once. This is a bad change from the past year. Time to get it going again.

-I don't live in Cincinnati anymore. Did anyone notice? Partially facilitated by the band breaking up and getting my master's degree (get to that in a second), I skipped town. I had talked about this for a while and just felt like it was something I needed to do for my own peace of mind. Love Cincinnati, always will. Strangely enough, though, I've kind of got it all right up here. Good job at an alternative newsweekly in the music section (don't feel like making a separate entry for this one. I worked at American Apparel and now I work at the Chicago Reader. Biggest difference? I don't have daydreams about stabbing myself in the neck with a letter opener), decent living expenses, enough friends to keep me occupied, and tons more shit to do to the point where it's actually kind of overwhelming. I got to at least one show a week, usually two. I went to three last weekend. Every band worth a shit comes through here. Quite different from Cincinnati.

-I have a fucking my master's degree. This was one of the hardest and most rewarding things I have ever accomplished, and I 'll be goddamned if I'm not completely proud of myself. If anyone ever wants to discuss the epistolary conventions in Shakespeare's King Lear or the masturbatory impulses and metaphors littered throughout the modern American classic the Day of the Locust hit me up. Oh, and that's right I just dropped a bunch of shit that makes me seem academic. Too fucking bad. I wrote one too many 30 pages papers not to at least prove that I know a little.

-I'm actually kind of involved in my community. I loved Riddle Road more than life itself, but did I ever really do anything for it aside from spending thousands of dollars at the neighborhood's mainstay, it's lifeline, the Riddle Road Market? Not really. Tonight, I went to a membership meeting for the Dill Pickle Food Co-Op, a soon to be up and running co-op (just signed the lease to the space!) that I've been a member of since I moved here and volunteer for on a regular basis. It's kind of nice to feel like you're doing things for the community...sounds ridiculous right? I also kind of give a shit about what happens in Logan Square, hence the affiliation with the food co-op. It's the first place I've really known well outside of Cincinnati, and I kind of take pride in that and care about it. Shocking.

-Things that haven't changed: I still know more than you about sports, am still the reigning king of Seinfeld trivia (ask Kenny), still part my hair on the left side, still make a big ass breakfast when I wake up in the morning, still grudgingly exercise, still can't grow facial hair. These are constants. These are forevers.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Eating Slop.

I recently went out to eat with Kenny (who decided to visit me because he's great), Zach, and Allison. We went to Ethiopian Diamond, and it was delicious. If you haven't had Ethiopian before, it's basically fantastic slop placed on a huge platter, and you're give skin-like bread to scoop it up utensils required. Zach and I always seem to discuss our collective affinity for eating an amalgamation of different foods in an almost disastrous, gelatinous form, and this was no different. It got me thinking about all of the great food that comes in slop form, and how much I love it.

Mexican food - This is obvious. If you throw a bunch of black beans, onions, peppers, tofu (or meat if you like that shit), guacamole, hot sauce, garlic, and whatever else strikes you into a big fucking skillet and cook win. Then you place it in a nice tortilla shell, and you have Mexican food. Zach and I make this meal probably three times a week because it's quick, easy, and not completely terrible for you. Go out to a traditional Mexican food restaurant and it's really just a bunch of slop thrown together on a plate with each section separated by a thin layer of air. Eventually, everything all comes's unavoidable, and I could eat it all with a spoon.

Indian food - Can't beat it. Give me some rice, and a fine dish of cream, oil, spinach, cheese, mushrooms, and some hot ass spices, and I'll be damned if I'm not going to mix all that shit together and dip some goddamn bread in it and tear it apart. I'm not good at making Indian food, which is a bummer, but I will always jump at the chance to go eat it. One thing I definitely miss about Cincinnati is our regular Friday night Indian food trips to Apna, in which we would all get way too much food and eventually begin mixing all of our dishes together because who gives a shit? It's all delicious slop. I don't know how it's made (and really what's in it) or what the fuck is going on back in that kitchen, but I'll eat it all. Great.

Thai food - Same deal. Just add noodles. I'm just trying to pigeonhole cultural dishes here as much as possible...right? Anyway, it's just a big wilderness of spicy shit intertwined between tender noodles. Pad thai? Yep, give it to me, and add as many nuts as possible. I like fried tofu, egg, mushrooms, peppers, and some authentic spices prepared by an old Thai woman and tossed on a big pile of carbohydrates...who doesn't?

Breakfast food - This may be different for others, but when I wake up, I like to make a real breakfast. Not much of a cereal guy. I basically wake up an hour before I have to for the sake of breakfast. The whole deal...hashbrowns, fake sausage, toast...maybe some faux bacon too. Whatever. It doesn't matter. Because guess what happens? I really just mix it all together, so that I can solidify my love for slop on a plate. Isn't mixing a bunch of things together better than eating them separately. Would I rather have three or four good sides, which I can eat individually and enjoy, or construct a massive cornucopia of euphoric ingredients that I can eat as a whole? I choose the latter.

I love eating food.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

How Can I Not Talk About It?

Football. As another disappointing Reds season winds down, football begins to take precedent. Let me preface this, however, with the fact that the 2006 year was probably the best in most recent memory for Cincinnati sports. Particularly because the Reds played over their heads most of the season and made it interesting to be a sports fan in late August/early September. It was enigmatic year for Cincinnati sports. The Reds were in the hunt for the Wild Card (before they choked it away), and the Bengals were coming off their first playoff appearance in years. I dispel this as a fluke though, which will now allow me to continue towards my initial discussion. Football.

Football brings out the fake sports fans, God love them. People who just can't handle the vicious ups and down one must endure throughout the entire sports year in order to truly call himself or herself a sports fan. Football's one day a week (well two...well three), and doesn't take as much plot deconstructing. That's cool. It is. Because if any sport warrants an all-out flurry of fanaticism, it's football. As intense as it gets, and that's why I love it. Regardless of the posers that come out of the woodwork when the season begins (that's right I just climbed up that high horse and am now confidently perched at the top), I still love it.

However, I've run into a bit of a snag since moving to Chicago, well aside from Cubs fans (see the reference to "posers" above), I have to now seek out the Bengals game. No more rolling out of my bed at 10:55 AM to begin the pregame festivities. Oh and by "pregame" I don't mean drinking. I mean getting ready to coherently watch eight full hours of football. That's what it's all about. Anyway, the Reds season hasn't been that bad because they suck, and I canceled my subscription a while ago. I mean I'm kind of looking forward to going to a bar or something to watch the game because I think it'll be fun, but that also means that I have to go to a bar at noon and watch football for four hours. That could get old really quick. Hopefully it doesn't because I'm definitely the type that will watch the entire game, regardless of the score. I always hold the hope that my team (football mind you) can orchestrate some miraculous comeback.

Another thing that bums me out about being in Chicago for football season is that there will be no more football get-togethers, which I absolutely fucking love. I really can't remember the last game I watched alone because friends will always come over and listen to me rant and rave at the players, announcers, or commercials for hours on end and not seem to get too annoyed. This brings me great pleasure, and that will be missed. Well, I will get to subject Carley to it...poor sap. I will still be back in Cincinnati for the Super Bowl though because there is no way that I will miss out on throwing or being involved in the fantastic Super Bowl parties we have been hosting for going on four years. Aside from finding parking spots, it's one of the best things I do and is always a fucking good time.

Now on to the Bengals. I hold hope for this season for several reasons, many of which have recently been occurring. First off, no more Rudi Johnson. Hooray! Never bought into him from the get-go and I have witnesses who can attest to my consistent doubts concerning his running back abilities. He's a poor man's Sean Alexander, and dear God that's not saying much.

Number two, we got Chris Henry back. The analysts on SportsCenter have to lambaste this Bengals maneuver (meaning it would look bad for ESPN as a whole to do otherwise) because he's had so many run-ins with the law, but they all fucking know that Henry is a goddamn great receiver and shows flashes of brilliance. It comes down to this...I want my team to win, and if that means taking chance after chance on a troubled but great be it. Ray Lewis murdered someone and Jamal Lewis snorted cocaine out of a hooker's butthole and they were forgiven and seem to be doing okay.

Third reason, Carson Palmer...enough said. I want him to be my roommate and make me pancakes in the morning. I bet he'd be awesome to sit down with and watch an episode of the Cosby Show. He makes me happy because he's awesome and keeps the team a quiet manner.

Final reason, Chad Johnson has to play well because if he doesn't, the city of Cincinnati will tear him to pieces as a result of what happened in the offseason. If he plays well...okay then, we can deal. If not...fuck you, you worthless piece of shit. You don't want to be here? Take a fucking hike. He basically has to win a city back, and the only way he's going to do that is to catch everything all of the time. I rate this as being good pressure.

My prediction for the AFC North? Bengals 10-6, Browns 9-7, Ravens 7-9, Steelers 1-15

Steelers subplot: Hines Ward is killed in a freak skeeball accident, Willie Parker shatters both of his kneecaps simultaneously after falling off his roof while in the process of re-shingling, and Benny Burger realizes that all he has to throw to is a pretty okay tight end in Heath Miller, a rookie wide receiver, and Santonio Holmes who will be on the verge of suicide all year from a crippling depression sparked by USC's utter annihilation of the Buckeyes at the Coliseum. Burger will therefore break his own right arm with a sledgehammer because he knows he's fucked without Hines or a running know, because he's not really any good. Get it?

I fucking hate the Steelers.

Monday, August 25, 2008

The Olympics: In Retrospect

Okay, I never did muster up the effort to do an Olympics running diary, and to be honest, I'm kind of disappointed in myself. I kind of just blame Justin for not taking the initiative that would've, in turn, spurred me on. Regardless, like many others, I watched way more Olympic television than I had initially anticipated. Well, it's all over now, and I'm just going to spat out a few lingering thoughts.

It doesn't matter how much coverage it got or how much it was talked about - the Michael Phelps spectacle was fucking awesome. During many of his races, I was in Wyoming (see below), and my mom and I would wake up each day and immediately find out what time his races were. My mom gave a shit. This woman doesn't have one interested sports bone in her body, and she was sucked in. This is amazing to me. I saw the first relay when Lizak came back to win, and I saw the butterfly when I seriously thought that the Olympics were orchestrating a complex conspiracy to ensure Phelps the eight golds. I was convinced he didn't win that race, but thanks to Sports Illustrated photos, I have since been proven wrong. The naked eye can be deceiving. Regardless, the first week of the Olympics was goddamn captivating, particularly due to Phelps.

I really have no desire to play volleyball - sand or indoor. I just don't think it's that much fun, and it makes my fucking wrists/forearms burn and sting like nothing else. However, I get sucked into watching volleyball. I have no idea why. It probably has something to do with my propensity to watch anything that involves competition. I genuinely feel for the athletes and their plight/elation. Lame sounding? Yep...but the intense emotion each man/woman has to be feeling during the Olympics is beyond my realm of thought. Or at least I think it is.

On that note, I've been listening to sports commentators for two weeks bitch and make fun of seemingly "absurd" Olympic sports like handball, badminton, or trampoline. Fuck that. I say make up more outlandish competition. The fact that a pair of men have devoted their livelihoods to perfecting the sport of badminton is amazing to me. I eat that shit up. I mean, I used to play badminton in my backyard all hours of the day/evening when I was growing up (my family was big into it for some reason). And while I'm dicking around and playing on a late summer evening, some eleven year old kid in Poland is waking up at six in the morning and being berated into how to properly strike the shuttlecock (never thought I'd actually type that word in my life). I just find all that shit intriguing. Devoting your life to handball is fucking devotion. You have to bail on hanging out with your friends at the local swimming hole to go practice your skills at handball...awesome. Finger boarding, break dancing, thumb wrestling, and dodgeball should all become Olympic sports in 2012.

The female Chinese gymnasts creep me out. There's no way they're 16, and they're way too dolled up. It freaks me out for some reason. I immediately switch the channel whenever they pop up. Eesh.

The USA basketball team won the gold and no one really seemed to notice or care. The only thing that would've made news is if they lost, like in Athens. They're supposed to win, so they did, and no one gives a shit. Neat. There's no reason they should've lost and they didn't. Woo-hoo. I guess it is kind of cool to see a bunch of NBA superstars yakking it up and being friends though. That was kind of cool. I still dislike LeBron James, though, and I think Kobe Bryant is the second best basketball player I have ever seen in my life. The first? You guessed it...John Starks. Ha.

Sunday, August 17, 2008


I think Justin's had three posts since my last one. I'm seriously lagging.

Anyway, I just got back from Wyoming...yep, Wyoming. It was actually pretty amazing. I had been slightly dreading the trip. Not dreading seeing one of my best friends get married, and seeing tons of Chicagoans and Napervillians I hadn't seen in a while, but just dreading the actual traveling. I had to wake up at 3:45 AM Wednesday morning after working a 12 hour day and drive to Indianapolis to meet my mom. We dropped our cars off, got a 45 minute ride to the airport, flew into Denver, got a rental car (a Mazda6 that I proceeded to fall in love with over the weekend), and then drove to delightful Laramie, Wyoming. It took fucking forever.

Now, I really had no idea what to expect from Wyoming. All I knew was that it is the least populated state in America, which I find to be charming. The population is so minuscule that the state actually boasts a "smallest town in America." That's right, Buford, Wyoming on I-80: population one. Of course I had to stop at this gold mine of schticky Wyoming parephenilia. I actually stopped there on three separate occasions during our trips between Laramie (where the bride and groom live) and Cheyenne (the wedding location). That guy has to make a fucking killing. Who's not going to stop at a town with a population of one? It's a house and a gas station/trading post. That's it...literally.

Another fantastic highlight of the wedding/vacation was the mountain trip we took into the Rockies on Thursday. It took about an hour to drive up, but it was seriously beautiful. All of the typical things you've heard. Crisp, but thin air, lakes so clear and blue you can see straight to the bottom, snowcapped mountains in August, and just amazingly scenic greatness. Here are a few pictures of me perfectly posed in front of mountains and lakes:


The wedding was a success and I made a pretty damn good speech if I do say so myself. Right off the top of my head. I do wish the best man speech could be done before the wedding ceremony, so I didn't have to think and fret about it all night and really only get to enjoy the last three hours of the evening. I demand a societal change.

There's really tons more to say about the greatness and strangeness of Wyoming, but I just don't feel like typing anymore. So, here's one of my patented lists:

-Everything moves slower in Wyoming. Everything. Not to say I'm some big city boy or something, but I personally find it ridiculous that it takes two hours to check into a hotel room. Or ten minutes to get a drink at a bar with a whopping five people in it. The whole population is in no hurry, and they're making no attempts to hide it. Partly charming, partly annoying.

-I did get the "You're not from around here are you?" line. I had been waiting for it all weekend, and I got it my first day in Cheyenne. I asked a sales clerk about a pair of polyester Wrangler pants in a Wrangler store, and I got the line. Does that make sense to you? Not to me.

-Everyone in the state seems to own at least 25 acres of land with multiple horses and/or livestock. It's a requirement.

-The highways are always empty and you can go five thousand mph on them. It's fucking great. I was in Wyoming for almost five days, and I saw two cops...two. The driving in the state is fantastic. The highways are in perfect condition and the drives are scenic as hell. They even have highway signs labeled "Point of Interest" when anything extra Wyoming-like is approaching so that you can slow down or pull off to take it all in. My favorite: a tree growing out of a boulder. Definitely a huge "Point of Interest" to me.

-Every bar has its own microbrews, which I found to be a pleasant surprise. Pretty good beer too.

-Strangers wave at you on the street and say hi. Most people know my feelings on community...I eat it up with a spoon, and Wyoming is teeming with lovely country hospitality. There's something wonderfully endearing about a rugged dude in a cowboy hat and boots, smoking a filter-less Marlboro Red saying hi to you. Awesome.

I was delighted by the whole trip. Good times.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Itching Bug Bites.

Camping has a fantastic set of unwritten rules that many of us would never adhere by throughout a typical, run-of-the-mill weekend. It's part of the allure, part of the ambiance. I've been camping an innumerable amount of times, and it never fails. I always shed my inhibitions.

- I don't change one piece of clothing throughout the duration of the weekend. Now, I always bring other clothes believing that this is the year that I'll change my underwear. It never happens. Gross? Maybe. Do I care? Nope.

- Bathing does not happen. I'll wash my hands if I have the means, but no other body part is going to get cleaned, unless I go swimming in the lake. And it's debatable whether or not I'm really getting cleaned by doing that anyway. Lord knows what the hell is in that lake. Brushing your teeth is also hit and miss. This is really the first year I ever went out of my way to brush my teeth. I don't know why. I'm actually kind of disappointed in myself.

- I'll eat an ungodly amount of garbage, shit food and drink way too many piss beers. This past camping trip (two nights) I had to have eaten an entire box of Cheez-Its (a camping necessity), ten S'mores, a full bag of chips, half a jar of peanuts, four veggie burgers, 25 granola bars, and whatever else was put in front of my face. I also drank way too many beers in cans. Ugh. The combination of junk food and make believe beer (and let it be known that I wasn't at all drunk) caused a near puking moment; my first in 7 years. God, that would've been disappointing. Oh, and I smoke about 18 more cigarettes a day than usual.

- Sleep is optional. Actually, let me rephrase that. Finding a comfortable place to sleep is impossible. I'm not the pickiest sleeper in the world, but falling asleep for three hours in the back of a van fucking blows balls. And that was probably my most comfortable option. You have to go into the weekend assuming that you'll probably only get about six hours of total sleep.

- Sun tan lotion is poison. I'm a pale motherfucker, and I hardly ever think about putting sun tan lotion on when camping. Getting burnt seems like an initiation rite. I almost kind of like it. Tank top tans are beautiful. You know it.

- Pissing in public, and I mean wherever you're standing at the time, is appropriate and necessary. You're in nature. Get a clue.

- No shoes or socks. Get bug bites. They make you tougher.

And after the weekend is all over, and you've shoved that last hot dog down your gullet, and played your last game of cornhole, you look like these suckers - exhausted, gross, but content as hell.


Friday, July 25, 2008


The Brett Favre plot thickens. I found out today that he's going to show up to training camp in hopes of pushing Aaron Rodgers out. What a complete dick. Again...just go the fuck away Brett Favre. Dear god.

I saw the Dark Knight yesterday, and I gotta admit, the hype is well warranted. The film is fucking amazing. It's dark, action packed, smart, with just the right seasoning of funny. Yes, Heath Ledger is perfect, and it's a bummer what happened to him. I was seriously blown away by how great the movie was. I'm a batman fan to begin with, and even I think that each nuance of the movie was beautifully executed. Well done.

On that note, the Dark Knight left a lasting effect on me today as I sat in my office, and I began to ponder great action movies that simply have all the elements that make them re-watchable over and over; action movies that are pure entertainment and just a fucking good time to experience. Here's my little list.

The Die Hard Trilogy

Pretty obvious I know, but you have got to respect this quirky, shoot-em-up-and-explode-em trilogy. Disclaimer: I'm not including the fourth installment of Die Hard because although I thought it was well done and entertaining, it doesn't maintain the same sense of nostalgic qualities the original, authentic Die Hard Trilogy does. Therefore, no discussion of it will be made.

What makes this entire trilogy amazing is simple - the Gruber brothers. Not many people talk about Die Hard 2, and even though I feel like it is a massively underrated film, it strayed from the formula of the Grubers (similar to how Indiana Jones strayed from the Nazis in the Temple of Doom, but we'll get to that later). Plus, it's slightly political and complex, dealing with the forceful release of a highly controversial political prisoner by a gaggle of turncoats. This is just too much. The audience of an action movie doesn't want to have to think too much. That's why the geniuses behind Die Hard with a Vengeance made it simple. A man wants to kill John McClain and in the process makes him solve a bunch of riddles and puzzles. Brilliant. I love riddles. But Gruber's vendetta against our heroic protagonist makes the films. McClain is a vagabond who just happens to be a cop. He's the "every-man" the public loves, and he's a fucking funny, smart-ass who kills bad guys. Sounds simple, but damn that shit works. Plus, in Die Hard with a Vengeance, the brilliant minds of Hollywood decide to pair him up with Samuel L. Jackson. Perfect move.

Die Hard with a Vengeance formula: Renegade cop + Street wise black man + Hazardous but entertaining riddles and puzzles + A bunch of bad foreigners (I mean, who likes foreigners anyway right?) + Big explosions and gunfire = Picture perfect action film.

The Indiana Jones Trilogy

Again, I'm not going to mention the most recent installment. Mainly because it wasn't that great. Aliens at the end? Really? And also because Harrison Ford just could not maintain the same spry attitude that epitomizes Indiana Jones. Different movie all together. Not that impressed.

As was said before, Indiana Jones also fell out of the "what works every time formula" when it made Temple of Doom. I've had this conversation many a time with my friends, but Temple of Doom is too campy; it's too cheese-ball. And it gets away from what will always work in any movie - fucking Nazis. Indiana Jones has all ready got tons of shit going for it because it deals with archeology. I love archeology because it's about cryptic, mysterious shit that we can only imagine ever seeing. However, Indiana Jones is always out finding it. Again, I'm going to focus on the highlight of the three films, which is Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Like Die Hard with a Vengeance, the makers of the films figured, "Hey we got it right the first time, we can experiment a little with the second film," only to get a firm slap on the wrist when they stray a little too far. Formula works with action films. That's why there's a formula. Gruber's = Die Hard and Nazis = Indiana Jones.

Also, in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Sean Connery is thrown into the cauldron as the dense, yet intelligent father to Indiana. Similar to Samuel L. Jackson, the addition is perfect and adds just the right amount of spice to the film. Plus, they're searching for the Holy Grail. You can't get much more archaeological than that. Did, I mention the Nazis are after it too? Beautiful.

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade formula: Dashing, attractive professor by day and charming yet daring archaeologist by night + veteran Scottish actor with a beard + search for the Holy Grail (I mean come on, it's the Holy Grail) + Retro setting (for nostalgic factor) + fucking Nazis = Picture perfect action film.

Okay, okay, I kind of went off on several tangents with those trilogies because number one, they're trilogies and number two, they're six of my favorite action movies of all time. i do think it's fantastic that the third installment in each series is my favorite. Everyone wants to laud the original, but that's just because they feel like they have to. It's like giving every movie from the 1930's four stars or saying that the 72' Dolphins team is the best team of all-time. Trust me, have them play the 2007 Dolphins (uhhh...1-15) and they'd get fucking smoked. People feel like they have to say the 72' team is the best because they went undefeated. Whatever, they played like 4 teams with winning records. Whoa, whoa, whoa...sorry, the sports sidebars just sneak up on me.

Anyway, the formula was tweaked and perfected with each installment, thus resulting in two amazing action films: Die Hard with a Vengeance and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.

Here are some other amazing action films and the reasons why. Disclaimer #2: I'm going to try and stay away from sports movies at all costs. They belong in their own category. Okay then...I'm gonna try to sum the rest of these up in two sentences or less.

Terminator 2: Judgment Day

The special effects still hold up and Arnold is in his motherfucking prime. Plus, you can't beat those creepy sound effects maintained throughout the movie


Keanu Reeves' crowning moment. Three-quarters of the film takes place on a goddamn raging bus. Pieces of highway are missing, Sandra Bullock actually kind of looks okay, and Dennis Hopper is a creepy bastard. Plus, it's the first rated-R movie I ever saw in the theaters.


Sylvester Stallone vs. John Lithgow

First Blood

Just Sylvester Stallone. The film really has no plot, and that makes it all the better. Oh, and there's a big ass fucking knife.


I realize I'm really just promoting Sly and Arnold films here but is that such a bad thing? The Predator's a frightening beast, and the geniuses of Hollywood figured out a perfect formula: Don't Let Arnold talk, and cover him in mud.

Any Steven Seagal Movie

It's simple. Seagal has one signature move. He grabs a body part and forces it the way the joint doesn't want to go, thus popping a bone out into open air. I could watch this over and over again, and thankfully there are many Seagal gems that allow me to do so.

The Lord of the Rings Trilogy

These movies finally made me into a verifiable dork (I had been avoiding Star Wars mania for years). Epic, and I mean epic, action scenes, Liv Tyler looking amazing, and talking trees. Done and done.


I know Mel Gibson is a jackass, but this movie spurned a series of forgettable "epics." William Wallace has his limbs ripped from his body and his innards strewn about at the end...absolutely vicious. When he yells "Freedom!" I wanted to lose it. There's no shame in that right? This movie made me want to buy a sword and take more pride in my Scottish roots.

The Dark Knight

Go see it.

Okay, there's definitely more, but I'm done for now.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

dear brett favre,

you suck. for real. i didn't believe you when you said you were retiring, and it looks like i can heap another load of "i told you so's" onto my all ready expansive ego. why do you keep doing this to everyone? we all know why you came back last year. you just wanted the records because you're selfish. then, when your team showed some amazing progress, you thought to yourself, "maybe i can beat this dead horse a little while longer." you hold your team hostage year after year because you think you have some sort of righteous entitlement to do so. well, i guess you did win that one super 12 years ago. good job chief. we're very proud.

and as the football season slowly approaches you've once again gotten "the itch" to play again. shocking. i didn't see this coming at all four months ago when you mentioned that if aaron rodgers got hurt you'd be tempted to return. and let's talk a second about aaron rodgers. what are you doing to this poor man? he had to sit behind you for four years and hear about how great and spectacular you are, all the while secretly knowing that you're really not that great (that's right, i can read minds), and now he finally gets his chance only to have it spit right back in his face. the funny thing is, i think aaron rodgers will be a good quarterback in this league. really, i do. but how can he get comfortable when he constantly has the old chucker lurking in the shadows year after year after year.

also brett, why are you so upset that the packers are being kind of cold to you? you fucking retired! right? am i dense or did i not witness you weeping at a press conference as you stated that it just wasn't possible to go through another season. you couldn't mentally do it. should the packers have sat around twiddling their thumbs wishing and praying that you just might return. i think the organization is sick of your shit, and i don't understand how any rational, level-headed human being can blame them. they were optimistically moving on with a quarterback they had confidence in and you snuck back in. it's ridiculous. you are so quick whine to espn, and unfortunately it's a slow time in the sports world so they are willing to listen and blow the story way out of proportion. make it stop. please make it stop.

will someone make brett favre go away? i'd be ever so grateful.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

your community market.

i was in cincinnati this past weekend for the 4th of july and my mom's birthday. i got to eat and drink for free, play cornhole, toss a baseball around, hang out with the posse, and watch $2,000 worth of fireworks be shot off in a backyard. all in all, it was a damn fine weekend.

one of my favorite parts, however, was the five minutes i spent in the riddle road market. if you know me well, you know all about the strong affinity i hold for the hole in the wall market on the corner of riddle and marshall. for a couple of years, i lived in a house across the street from there and frequented it daily. regrettably, i moved away in 2006 only to move back to riddle in 2007, partially just to be close to the market again. i fucking love that place. there are various reasons.

i'm a neighborhood kind of person. i love where i live in chicago because it has a neighborhood feel that areas like wicker park or wrigleyville lack in my opinion. it has a small, unimpressive, yet beautifully charming farmer's market on sundays. people smile and say hello to complete strangers in passing. the neighborhood's striving to open up a food co-op that i recently became a member of. bricks were thrown through windows when a starbucks began construction to open up a store last fall. see what i mean? neighborhood and banning together.

the market is the central nervous system of the riddle neighborhood. i walk in there and they know my name. they seem to know everyone's name. they know what i'm getting to drink and what kind of cigarettes i'm buying. this is a reassuring and comforting feeling. a gatorade costs a dollar. i don't want change and the market doesn't give it to me. they host a block party and cook out hot dogs on random occasions. they sell single cigarettes. the owner john comes to parties on the street at like 3 in the morning with alcohol, and if we run out we go get more at like 5 in the morning for free because guess what? he's got the keys. this has happened on several separate occasions. at the beginning of each quarter of school john purchases a wall of nati light that enshrouds the windows of the market and you get to slowly watch it get chipped away at by the uc frat dudes. the market was robbed three times in the span of three months and john got shot in the leg because he basically refused to give the criminals shit. when it snows outside, he snowblows the sidewalks up and down the street, not just in front of the market.

my ex-roommates and i are also slightly suspicious that john is the leader of a drug ring and the market's the hub of operations. pretty sure drugs are dealt out of there. that's as neighborhood as it gets.

given, i latch on to places and romanticize them to everyone. i know i do that. whatever. however, any place that will still cook me a pizza on a pita even though they stopped making them like two years ago is typically gonna be a fucking solid and reliable establishment.

this post is really going nowhere and i didn't really intend for it to. it's an ode. i miss cincinnati for reasons like this. places like the market make me smile. i used to go out of my way to drive there during the few rare occasions of my life when i didn't live on riddle.

and every time i visit, i still make it a point to stop by.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

cynicism explored.

now, don't get me wrong ESPN, i still love you. we wake up together in the morning and go to bed together at night. you provide me with endless podcast entertainment throughout the day. i watch and read you like it's my job and even dabble a little in your fantasy leagues. when no one else wants to give me sports, you never hesitate. you complete me.

that being said, i cringe every year around this time because the channel/website/magazine i so admiringly adore churns out some of the most exploitative bullshit ever. if you are even somewhat in tune with ESPN programming then you're probably familiar with the "My Wish" segment of the show. In this ten minutes of torture, ESPN spews forth the most trite, watered down, and inexplicably unwatchable puff pieces i've ever seen. and to top it all off, they have chris connelly narrate. dear lord.

i'm sure you're probably thinking right now, "come on kevin, why do you have to be so cynical? sure it's a puff piece, but they're touching stories and athletes are involving themselves in order to make these kids feel better." this is true. but to what end does ESPN involve itself? the athlete thing is neither here nor there. he (i'm forgoing the he or she for the sake of brevity) shows up for about a half an hour, talks to the kid who idolizes him, signs some shit, and takes off. occasionally he'll play a game with the kid. and you know what? that's great because the kid seems happy that he just got to meet his hero, and he's fucking stoked. i'm all for that. good times. thumbs up.

it's how espn approaches it though. i'm sorry, but the transition just can't be there. you can't go from meticulously evaluating and covering brute, violent sport to a puff piece. the network airs a vicious fight between the rays and the red sox and subsequently discusses the necessity of throwing a 90 mph fastball at a batter in order to protect your team. i mean the announcers were literally pinpointing the part of the body you should sling the ball towards. have you ever been hit with a baseball? it fucking hurts...bad. and they were discussing why a pitcher needs to intentionally do this at times. and within 20 seconds of finishing that analysis,the channel transitions to a story about a kid with terminal cancer who finally got to meet alex rodriguez, his idol. the whole thing screams of desperation on ESPN's part, and it sucks. i mean, puff pieces are puff pieces. there's no escaping them, and 90% of the time they're bullshit, but i just feel like ESPN is exploiting the hell out of unfortunate kids for the sake of appealing to more of a mass audience that really isn't watching anyway. people who watch ESPN watch it for the sports. that's it. stop bullshitting around and stick to what you know.

oh, and did i mention chris connelly narrates? ugh.

please don't take this fired up rant as any kind of knock on anyone performing charitable acts for disadvantaged kids. if you are taking it that way...then you're dumb.

Sunday, June 22, 2008


okay, so i was having this conversation with a few people yesterday about what the prime season is. i'm sure everyone has had this conversation at some point. we went back and forth for a while. one said fall and one said late spring, which is the equivalent to just choosing any piece of a season and saying it's the best. it doesn't work that way. you can't just say my favorite season is the two weeks at the end of december because they contain christmas and new year's. i don't think so. anyway, it has become obvious to me over the last couple of years that the best season is and will always be summer.

fall is the easy answer, and i used to claim it as the best time of year as well. you know why? because it contains a keen sense of nostalgia. definitely the most nostalgic season of the year. cool weather, campfires, leaves falling, football...all that shit. i think the smells are the most apparent during fall in comparison to any other time of year. such things leave nice impressions on young impressionable minds. however, now that i'm old and crotchity, you begin to realize all the bullshit of the change from summer to fall. no one, at least not me, wants to have to start wearing heavier clothing and layers. why would i want to have more clothing on when i could easily have less? i know the fashion possibilities and creative layering that can occur with season changes, but let's try to keep those separate. i'm talking about comfortability. shorts and a t-shirt sound better than jeans and a hoodie to me.

you know what else? i like to sweat. actually i kind of love it. it makes me feel like i accomplished something. like i was sent to complete a task, and goddamnit, i took care of it. i like going running or biking more in the summer because i come back as a hot, disgusting mess. it's an indescribable, refreshing feeling. you just can't get that same sensation with other seasons.

also, the hang out time is maximized in summer. porches and decks rule all, and there is definitely something to be said for spending an entire night hanging out on someone's porch and drinking adult beverages. is there anything you'd rather do than hang out with friends outside on a warm evening and rehash the same jokes and stories you've been telling for years? honestly, that sounds pretty fucking good to me. you don't want to sit inside during summer. you want to be active. it sounds simple and kind of dumb but outside is better than inside. absolutely.

i guess one of my main points to this rant is that i feel summer is underrated in the midwest because of the actual appearance of seasons (unlike southern california). people maintain affinities for those that are the "changing" seasons, like spring and fall, because of the certain amount of "feel" that comes along with that. nostalgia's great and all, but does it ever make you feel great? i don't really think so. even the good times are viewed sadly as pieces of life that can't and won't happen again. kind of a bummer. i feel that summer is more respected and enjoyed in the moment, without any preconceptions. or maybe i just want to think and remember less. that's always a possibility too.

oh by the way, i'm not really even going to mention winter. it's just fucking cold.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

scattered everywhere.

random thoughts i have in the morning (in chronological order):

-should i hit the snooze button?

-what's the weather like?

-i wonder if kevin (my roommate...yes, his name is also kevin) is in the bathroom.

-i hope the water pitcher is full of cold water.

-hashbrowns and buttered toast or granola and a banana?

-fuck mike and mike in the morning. they get more annoying every passing day. i'm just gonna watch sportscenter.

-why do the reds always lose to the cardinals (cubs, brewers, etc, etc)?

-goddamn, i don't feel like running.

-what's the weather like?

-what converge album am i going to listen to while i'm running?

-i'd love to live on logan boulevard. look at all the trees, strollers, and fences. so neighborhood like.

-i'm a fan of sweating.

-do i have time to take a shower?

-eh, fuck it. i'm fine.

-water, vitamins

-what pair of dirty, mismatched socks am i going to wear today?

-what piece of american apparel is it going to be today?

-why do people at the train station look down the tunnel to see if the train's coming? trust me, you'll be able to hear it coming.

-i wonder if i get reception down here? let me check. (i never do).

-i'd rather just stand on the train. i have to sit down all day at work.

-everyone on the train is trying to act like their reading a book or listening to music. in actuality, they're all taking quick glances at everyone else and sizing them up.

-i wonder if there's a quicker way/shortcut to work. (i'm obsessed with shortcuts).

-do the people at 7/11 look forward to seeing me everyday? they seem like it.

-water, vitamin water, or smoothie?

-i'll always take the stairs. i like feeling like i'm getting some kind of exercise.

-i can never get comfortable in my office. if only i had something to put my feet up on.

Monday, June 2, 2008


i know that justin and i have had this conversation before, but i'm watching diners, drive-ins, and dives right now and wondering how guy fieri is not a disgusting, fat behemoth. when you think of best jobs in the world (i.e. bill simmons) guy fieri always comes to mind. the food network pays for him to go around the country and eat whatever the hell he wants as he visits some of the most delectable looking greasy spoons i have ever seen. and damn does he eat everything. it's fucking awesome. i don't eat meat, but some of the greasy, cheesy, and utterly delicious shit that he shoves down his gullet looks like it's been baptized by the gods.

what makes this show so great and seemingly brilliant in comparison to other food network shows is that it showcases what america really craves. not those rachel ray low calorie, spinach-ridden abominations, but meat that's been marinated in other meat juices, then sauteed in 12 pounds of garlic and topped with five different mounds of cheese. served with fries on the side of course.

and he eats it all. they just got done with a chicago diner, and he literally ate a cheddar burger, a polish sausage, a massive hot dog, and a whole heap of italian beef. it's awe inspiring. now, fieri is by no means in shape, and i don't think he'd ever really want to be (it'd like ruin his street cred or something), but he should weigh about 50 more pounds. maybe it's all those "healthy" california diners that level him out. i don't know.

no one in these restaurants looks healthy. those who are quick to say, "i've been coming here for over 20 years" typically aren't the type of people who choose the stairs over the escalator. however, for the split moment when they're eating, and the food network is there to capture it, they're happy. and that makes me happy.

(my god, they just showed guy how they make their cheese sauce. then the chef made a pancake that is literally the size of a pizza and topped it with a burger, sausage, bacon, hash browns, eggs, and said cheese sauce. to top it all off...the dish was served to one, single, solitary man to eat. i don't know how that's even legal).

anyway, guy fieri looks like a turd. justin tells me that it's the "northern california look" because that section of california is typically 5 years behind the rest of the "hip" parts of the state. fieri wears bowling shirts, spikes his ridiculously bleached blond hair, and puts his sunglasses on the back of his head. oh, and don't forget the nautical tattoos. all of this used to distract me, but i don't even remotely fucking care anymore. he's one of the coolest people on tv because he's a happy dude and has the privilege to have one of the best jobs in the world. he knows it too. i mean...i really want to hang out with him. i think it'd be an entertaining time to roll around in his convertible and pound budweisers. no joke.

okay...this post has been distracting me from watching the show. time to end it.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

talking to computers.

i am not a fan of the "revolutionary" technology in which you call to pay your cell phone, car insurance, or cable bill and a computer talks to you and allows voice recognition answers. this is bullshit. it takes double the time to pay your bills and the computer tries to be your friend, although it rarely understands you. i start yelling at it and gritting my teeth, but it just doesn't get the hint that it is completely fucking awful.

is the world full of a bunch of derelicts who found it much too difficult to just punch numbers in on a keypad? i personally don't think so. so what's the point? i mean, the computer never understands me and constantly apologizes. it makes me so angry...angry enough to immediately make this post.

end this madness.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

hard to believe.

so i got a job. this fact has prevented me from posting a blog for a while. no more luxurious lifestyle of doing whatever the hell i want and really only completing tasks that are of interest to me. when i moved to chicago i thought to myself, "it'd be fucking great if i got a job at the chicago reader." well guess what...i lucked my way into just that. i'm the new music listings editor, and i have an office. imagine that. the job is intensely vicious, and i work tons (45 hours in 4 joke), but i like it. i'll like it even more once i can do it without thinking. i have 5,000 tasks to accomplish daily, and considering my last job consisted of refreshing every five minutes and looking at colors with glazed-over eyes all day, i'd say it's a bit of a change. however, everyone i work with is cool as hell, i get to work downtown, which makes me feel oh so professional, and i get free shit. not too bad. i'm pretty proud of myself, and it only took three weeks.

working with deadlines is a whole different kind of beast. when i wrote for citybeat, i had deadlines and shit, but i wasn't nearly as involved with the operation of the paper like i am at the reader. i actually feel like if i fell apart, the paper would be fucked, which frightens me because i tend to crack under pressure...a sad fact of my life that i have to grips with. i'll be good though. well, at least i keep mumbling that to myself as i get a barrage of emails at work that make my head want to explode.

check the paper out here

it's the citybeat of chicago, only bigger and way way better.

now that i got that out of my system, lets discuss the most fucked up news of the year thus far. michael christopher coates is getting married on saturday. yikes! i was in town for the bachelor party last weekend, which russ and i organized, and i'd have to say that we did a pretty good job. it exceeded expectations of drunken rowdiness, culminating with coates being obliterated (cigarette in mouth), shirtless, in a wheelchair. i can't even begin to express the amount of joy that night gave me. almost all of my best friends (minus justin) gathering in one place and watching coates get straight hammered. fucking glorious. i'll spare you all of the details because i'm going to post some pictures on here that read like a beautiful, seamless narrative.

so, i'm the best man and have to make a toast/speech. those of you who know me well know that i could be all loud and talk forever, but i think i'm going to keep it simple. no one wants to hear me blabber on and tell inside jokes for a half an hour. i'll spare the world. the whole thing is so strange though because i've known coates for over a decade and he's the first of the original "click" that is getting married. fucked up. i don't think i could've ever imagined that a man who stripped down naked and pissed on the capital building in charleston, west virginia would be getting married. again...fucked up. somewhere along the line, coates got sophisticated and grown up. we're all very proud of him, and we're quietly anticipating his inevitable purchase of a house so that he can have another firesale and all of us can get nice, expensive shit for practically nothing. that's what it's really all about right? absolutely.

anyway...i won't stall any longer. here are some of the choice pictures from the drunken escapade that was coates' bachelor party.


so content.


they gave us free shots. gross.


penick was on fire that night. too funny.


coates said i felt super light. that made me happy because i'm concerned with my looks.


yep. that's his underwear.


i asked him to smoke and drink at the same time. it really didn't take much convincing either.


you guessed it. ending the night in a wheelchair. this one's my favorite...hands down.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

cross it off.

i make lists. if you know me well, then this shouldn't really be much of a surprise. it's one of my neurotic tendencies. i sincerely enjoy constructing a long list of tasks to complete over a week or two. it makes me feel accomplished when i can cross off something from one of my many lists. i may draw a line through "trader joe's" or "new shoes" or "mother's day." it's how i get shit done. my mind is always moving a thousand miles a second because i've got so much shit to do, and the lists will destroy me if i can't come through. well, not really...

i only mention this because as many of you know, i recently shifted more midwest. so, i've began constructing lists of places that i need to frequent (bars, bookstores, thrift stores, movie theaters, etc.) and most importantly, food that i need to eat. now, i had visited chicago many, many times before i moved up here. my best friend growing up used to live here, so i'd spend months up here in the summer. it's different, though, because you're kind of at the mercy of that person to take you where he or she feels is most appropriate, which is all fine and dandy. however, now that i am able to dictate everything i do all the time (kind of), it's been fantastic to taste different parts of chicago.

everyone knows my strong affinity for all things cincinnati, but let's be honest, the vegetarian selection is severely lacking. try to argue with me. i dare you. the best thing about chicago is the plethora of vegetarian options, and i'm not just talking about going to a burrito place and having the option to get a vegetarian burrito. i'm referring to restaurants that are either completely vegetarian or have a huge vegetarian selection to their menu. also, brunch in this city rules. and again, vegetarian chorizo, bacon, and sausage are not hidden treasures. i don't know, i know i'm kind of ranting, but it is so damn nice to have multiple options to dine at any given time. i have yet to be really disappointed with any vegetarian dish i've purchased, but it is possible i'm just kind of mesmerized by the bright lights. who knows...

so my lists are growing, and for once, it's not making me nervous. it's a good time discovering a new city. i gotta admit it.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

flat ground.

i rode my bike like 10 miles yesterday, all the way to the lake and back. that may not seem like so much to some of you bicycle enthusiasts (i see you zach) and cocky sons of bitches, but to me, not too shabby. jeans, a t-shirt, and tennis shoes. nice and simple. annnyyway, my main point is that it's just strange to now live in such a flat city. i was born in the delhi hills of cincinnati. i'm used to going up in order to inevitably come down. from the top of a cincinnati hill, you can see skylines and even pieces of kentucky if you really feel like it. hills are one of the most endearing parts about cincinnati's landscape.

i was excited, however, to move here and go running because i thought to myself, "man, no more trekking up Riddle, MLK, or Clifton Ave. this is gonna be fantastic." god, i hated running up those bohemiths. i should've known better though. it does blow balls to climb up those hills, but then you get to partake in a nice leisurely jog back down them. in good old chicago, though, it's just a constant heave. no dynamic to it. i haven't decided on which one i like better. exercise wise, i actually think it's better here and not as tough on my legs and knees. oh, by the way, i'm sure this running diatribe probably seems like common sense to some of you, but aren't you always supposed to have grandiose expectations of a new place? otherwise, why would you go there? plus, i go running like almost every day. in my mind, i envisioned an entire city comprised of moving walkways in which i could run something like 5 miles in 20 minutes.

i don't think i can get my next few thoughts in before this website goes under maintenance at 4:00pm, which i just noticed. my next post will almost definitely be food related because goddamn this city has good food. more to come...

Thursday, April 17, 2008

more midwest.

i completed my move to chicago on monday and have been settling myself in ever since. moving in and of itself is a pain in the ass, much less to a different city. however, the apartment is looking pretty well put together, which i attribute to not having a job. oh, by the way, i absolutely love our landlords. they're eccentric old polish people (i basically live in the heart of polish chicago) who are EXTREMELY accomodating and really have nothing to do except for go to church and make sure their little community is running like a well-oiled machine. good people. i think i genuinely enjoy listening to people talk in abrupt, halting languages. that's probably why i took german in college. you can make a couple of simple words sound like a death threat. it's all in the attitude.

anyway, my first evening here i made plans to meet zach and allison for dinner. i don't remember where we were going to meet, and it doesn't really matter. i had zero concept of direction or destination because it takes me a second to process a new location and realize what's north, south, east, west. i bascially equate it to not being able to figure out percentages in your head at the drop of a hat, which i definitely cannot do. also, i didn't have the internet, which only perpetuated my problem. it's amazing how helpless one feels without the internet. i am i supposed to get around without google maps? guess? please. so i got viciously lost and wanted to kill the world because i was fucking starving and because i had no idea which direction to go. i willed myself back to my apartment somehow, ate plain couscous by itself, and went to bed completely unsatisfied, from a hunger standpoint. i love zach to death, but we both later agreed that we probably should have met somewhere a little closer to my residence.

i have since realized the glory of the grid system and feel more than semi-confident in my ability to navigate the city.

that was my monday adventure. tuesday i spent most of the day unpacking and setting shit up. later on, i met zach for dinner. we drank and held hands as we walked along the beach of lake michigan. it was sublime.

yesterday, i went to wrigley field to watch the cubs slaughter the reds. the stadium is amazing, and i was pretty much in awe of it. no jumbotron. no cushy seats. no plastic, superficial feel. pretty damn authentic, right down to the barrage of obnoxious cubs fans. man, this city absolutely fucking abhors dusty baker. for a team who hasn't won anything in like a millenium, you would think that they'd be somewhat appreciative of a manager who took them to the NLCS five years ago. i don't get it. it just seems irrational to me. but then again i'm the most level-headed, rational person i know, so i understand the intricacies of the situation and am willing to take a few steps back and view the situation objectively. no?

regardless, the whole experience was awesome. the energy coarsing through that stadium is knee-buckling. now, if only the reds could have stayed in it for one inning. man, that would've been dynamite. i love going to other stadiums, though. i'm one of those guys who wants to make a tour of every baseball stadium at some point in my life. it's all about the atmosphere. definitely.

so...i'm here now. still in the initial shock phase. you'll have that though.

minus a select few, i'm pretty sure most of the others that read this thing live in cincinnati, so just wanted to say that i miss you guys and expect to miss you more and more in the next couple of weeks. that's why i'm going to come back like three times in may. well, that and weddings, but we'll just pretend.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

brett favre is a fraud.

news flash!

favre hadn't "retired" before this year because he wanted to capture all of the noteworthy nfl records from dan marino, which in my opinion is kind of selfish bullshit. he's got those now, though, so he's "retired." but has he? still hasn't filed those retirement papers. still says that it'd be tough to shrug off a return to the packers if aaron rodgers got injured. still throws his face and voice all over the media.

if he's so certain that this is the right choice and his poor, battered mental state (a mental state mind you that is repeatedly massaged and babied by the media and all other football kingpins) just can't go through the routine of the offseason then officially retire then please. i call bullshit.

he won the big game 12 years ago. that's a long long time. and he only won one. i don't particularly care for tom brady, but i have to give him credit for orchestrating three rings. that's an accomplishment. ever since the 1996 championship, favre has repeatedly choked in the playoffs, which we got to see yet again this year when he handed a basket full of lollipops to the giants by tossing up another chucked turkey to corey webster (i still attribute much of his early career prowess to having talented, athletic receivers who could simply go up and steal those lobs out of the air).

i'm going to stop this now because i could go on forever...

i'll leave it with this: please go away brett favre. i beg you. leave the packers and poor aaron rodgers alone. let him have the team he deserved two years ago. stop making people compare him to an exaggerated, "all-american" talent. file your retirement papers, and go back to mississippi.

p.s. remember when favre was addicted to painkillers? why doesn't anyone ever talk about that? matt leinart gets lambasted for a couple of absolutely harmless pictures of him at a party with **gasp** alcohol, but favre gets a free pass ... ALL OF THE TIME. i don't get it. is everyone oblivious except for me?

Monday, March 31, 2008

a series of events.

today was opening day, which is one of the most glorious days of the year. the baseball season is upon us once again and all seems right...sort of. the reds lost 4-2, mainly because they continue to grasp onto hopes that players like edwin encarnacion and adam dunn still have more up side then down. dead wrong. you can only give a player so many years to prove you wrong, over and over again. regardless, the loss doesn't really concern me because there's an air of optimism around the team this year, and for once i'd say that it's well warranted.

not only do i get to bask in the first pitches of the baseball season, but i also get to celebrate my birthday, which jokingly falls on april fool's day. 27 years old seems fucking old, especially for someone who currently doesn't have a job and is moving to chicago with little to no prospects. it's hard to explain, though, because i know i'll be all right. i'm really not worried. honestly, i feel like i know myself more now than i ever have before. strengths and weaknesses and all that shit. i like to think i have some charismatic and personable qualities. i can manage. i can adapt.

it's all coming to head, though. no turning back now. i'm progressively moving the next two weeks, and then i'm out of here. i love this city to death, but i've gotta do it for my own peace of mind. maybe that doesn't make sense, but it kind of does to me. the change is necessary?

out of that introspective shit, though. i'm an expert packer. i've moved like eight times in nine years or something like that and have focused the process of packing down to a precise science. i hate it more than green beans, but there's some sort of strange satisfaction i get out of maximizing the space in a cardboard box and finding just the right combination of dvds and books that will fit without giving me a hernia while lifting it. there's just something about it. it's like when i make one of my many lists of things to do and methodically cross off the tasks as i complete them. i get complete satisfaction from drawing a line through "go to the grocery" or "pay car insurance." it makes me feel accomplished, and lord knows i need that encouragement.

annnyway, this is a rambling post, and i kind of like it that way. tomorrow for my birthday i will be heading to the comet for food and drinks. my last great birthday was at the comet, so i'll make a small attempt at recreating that. my friends will be there, and i'll be happy. that's it.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

ho hum.

this not having a job thing has caught up to me. i liked it for a little while. i mean...who wouldn't? i'm ready to get going again though.

my birthday is a week from today. i'll be older than everyone.

give me stuff so that i can stare at it.


Tuesday, March 18, 2008

fantasy dive.

this is my first time ever playing fantasy baseball. i used to be anti-fantasy because i simply did not care for the idea that i would be rooting for teams and players that i would want to shit on if they were playing against the reds. the idea just made me sick to my stomach. however, because baseball is so wrapped around statistics and is such a soap opera of a season, i figured it'd be a good time to dangle my legs in the fantasy pool (plus, i'm in a league with a bunch of my friends who live in lancaster and are huge phillies fans, which will make it more know, because of the multiple opportunities to shit-talk).

anyway, i'm decently excited about the prospect of becoming even more immersed in baseball this season, which seems practically impossible right? trust me,'s possible.

here's my starting lineup:
C Brian McCann
1B Mark Teixeira
SS Rafael Furcal
3B Miguel Cabrera
OF Curtis Granderson
OF Vernon Wells
OF Delmon Young
UTIL Jason Bay
Bench Gary Sheffield, GRIFFEY!, Jeff Kent, Jhonny Peralta

Pitchers Brandon Webb, HARANG!, Tim Lincecum, Ben Sheets, CORDERO!, Huston Street, Jeff Francis

note all of the reds i picked. that seems slightly ridiculous, but those are damn good reds to pick in fantasy if you ask me. all in all, i'm pretty happy with my team, especially considering that this is my first go around with fantasy.

i plan on dominating.

p.s. i know this isn't really interesting to anyone that reads this blog (except for maybe justin). i apologize if you read this whole thing and now feel like you wasted a moment of your life. too bad.

oh, and if you haven't seen it yet, here's a pick of me with the 1990 world series team. lou pinella smelled like a weird mixture of tuna and gasoline.


Thursday, March 13, 2008

nice and quick.

if i spend too long writing this i'll just end up cursing myself because it's damn gorgeous outside and that's where i should be.

first motorcycle ride today. it took me a second. i fell once but got it going after a bit. still only in first gear though. baby steps people. i let russ ride it as well. he fell the mud. luckily, however, my bike is perfectly fine, which is the most important thing. right?

i went to justin and heidi's last night for a fucking awesome meal of potato tacos, beans and rice, and some fantastic tortilla soup. i was served beer out of a jug and we watched return to oz, which i had been badly wanting to see. i watched this movie religiously as a child and remember how creepy it was. it was great of course and i had to have said at least fifty times, "i remember this part," which for some reason was reassuring to me, like i needed to confirm to myself that i had seen the movie multiple times as a kid. whatever.

wednesdays are the new fridays. take a hike weekend. you're overrated.

oh by the way, i found a new job. it's sitting around and waiting for baseball to start. it's a lot more work than you may think. damn stressful.