Wednesday, December 26, 2007
The stockings were full of really cool things like styrofoam airplanes, fart whistles, magazine subscriptions, loofahs, liqueur and even this really cool book...I can't wait to make a water bomb, tan a hide, and build a go-cart!
We raced our new drifting cars and generally busted them up...my buddy's front axle broke about 2 minutes before he left to drive back home...I think the two things might be related.
In the afternoon, we had some friends over for dinner...A honey ham, green bean casserole, Yiftee's, and Yellow Corn Grits adorned our table...for dessert we had homemade cookies, brownies, and the best Egg-Nog Ever!!
The day ended perfectly with Claire and I alone, sitting on the couch, grazing on leftovers and watching the Nativity Story (which, by the way, was very well done and we enjoyed it a lot...looking forward to watching it again next year!).
It was a wonderful day that had some wonderful traditions started (watching Nativity Story) and others carried on (eating Yiftee's) and a day that was almost perfect. Yes, Claire and I both spoke of missing our families...A LOT. This, being my first Christmas away from the fam in SoCal, was difficult at times, but I managed...I was surrounded by great friends, great food, and an even better woman!
I am sad that Christmas is over...I love the 4-5 weeks between the fourth Thursday in November and December 25th...the lights, the wishing people "Merry Christmas" and general festivity that seems to surround everything I get into...It will be missed again, but I am relieved to know that it is only 11 months away again!
On Thursday, Claire and I are off to Copenhagen, Denmark...we are going to see my good friends Jeff & Dorthe for New Year's. We are so figg'n excited...we have a new portable DVD player to use on the flight (Thanks Janet & Marty!), exit row seating (Thanks Continental Gold Card), and an adventure waiting to be had. I think there will be a day in Sweden, a short hop to Germany, and a lot of walking around the cool city of Copenhagen. It is cold (try 30's with snow flurries), but we will manage. Hot Toddy's and steaming coffee will be mandatory.
With all that being written, let me wish all 3 of my readers a very MERRY CHRISTMAS for one last time...Happy New Year seems a bit premature...
Tuesday, December 25, 2007
Please take a moment to reflect on this day...why we celebrate it and what it means to you...if you don't know about Christmas and what it is to know who this guy Jesus was, feel free to drop me a line and I can tell you all about him...One of the coolest things I can tell you about Him is that He IS NOT mad at you...He loves you...He longs to have a relationship with you...and this day is about Him...Merry Christmas!
Now, check this out...
I thought I would share a very enjoyable Christmas 12-Days...amazing, funny and fun...
Friday, December 21, 2007
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Sunday, December 16, 2007
Thursday, December 13, 2007
I read yesterday that someone calls the little trips they take "Adventure Weekends", but our trip(s) could be referred to as "Adventure December". We are in Louisiana this weekend...Vegas for 4 nights with my family next week (our annual trip that is one of the highlights of the year. Oh it will be so cool!)...then back to Louisiana for a couple of days...all-in-all we will be gone for 9 days...wooohooo! But then, on December 28, we take off for a little European adventure...Copenhagen, Denmark for New Years. We are just traveling fools!
I got to say, this Vegas trip is always great! A few years back, pops decided that his present to us would be a trip for the family to Vegas...we usually stay at the Mandalay, but we have also been to Planet Hollywood and THE Hotel...but Mandalay is one of our favorites and they run great rates over Christmas...
The fam will eat at the buffet's, see a show (Beatles Love show this year), spend a day at the day spa, and probably check out the art at Bellagio...It really is a time for the family to be together and enjoy hanging out...This year it is a bit different than in the past...My lady is joining us...why is that different? Well, a couple of years ago we (meaning I came up with it) instituted a Ring Rule...if you are not blood, you need to have a ring on your finger to come. Well, despite what some people have said/thought, not only are we NOT getting married this week, an engagement is not eminent...no matter what Steve/Stacey or James/Sabra say...I digress.
A couple months back, my parents asked if she would come...mainly because she lives on the East Coast and they don't really get any time to meet and get to know her. I flat refused at first...did not think it was OK and just said no...but after talking a few times with both pops and mom, I flipped and decided it would be good for her to come along...When else will they get a chance to spend time with her? How else am I supposed to know if my sisters approve?
This is the first year I get some say as to what show we see. I may never live down the Great "Amazing Johnathon Incident" of 'ought four...See, that was the first year I really made a decent living...I was in the process of buying a house, got a big bonus, and thought it would be nice for me to give back to the family...I went to Vegas a little early and got tickets for everyone to see "The Amazing Johnathon", we will call him AJ...wow wee that was a mistake...
How quickly did I know it was a mistake? About 10 mins BEFORE the actual show started.
AJ sends a camera around the audience and focuses in on someone, then they will put funny things up on the screen about them...So, a camera might focus in on me and they would make fun of my scraggly, red beard. AJ might call me a pirate or something...hilarity ensues and the audience is happy...but not in 04...you see the camera stopped on my pops and put a line on there that nobody wants to say or hear or even think about with their parents...
Camera squarely on pop...line on the screen says "HE HAS A REALLY BIG $%##@#$%^".... and that "#$%^*&%" was a word that should not be spoken unless you are in a porn movie...I was mortified...as were all my siblings and my mom...holy mackerel, is this for real...but wait, it gets better...
AJ then puts the camera directly on my mom and the screen says "AND SHE LIKES IT".
Ok...there is no good in that. Nothing is more uncomfortable than seeing that written about your mom/pops on a screen...I would rather get a hot poker in my ear or a paper cut on my eyeball than to ever go through that again. It was horrible and terrible. My stomach is in knots just thinking about it.
If I ever see AJ, I might punch him in the nose...I was way to embarrassed to do it that night...as a matter of fact, I spent most of the night in the fetal position humming "Jesus Loves the Little Children" to myself...
This sweet little number (I went with the Orange...partly because of the cooler body design and partly to gain points from my lovely lady...she is an Auburn grad and thus has an affinity for burnt Orange) is going to be great as it zooms around the hallways of my building. And, the best part is that it has "Drifting" tires...which, I think means bald tires, allowing it to "Drift", meaning slide barely in control, around turns and corners. Oh yes, I can't wait!
Got my friend "Teddy" to get one as well...yes, "Teddy" the "you look fat in those pants" dude...he is cruising up to my place for Christmas and we are going to race. He went with the blue one...sucker.
Ate Mac-and-Cheese with an Italian Sausage last night...operation clean out the fridge and cabinet before you leave town is almost complete...I am down to margarita mix, mustard, and Ritz crackers...Claire has Olive Tampanade, Mayo, and a shelf full of Mac-&-Cheese/Dirty Rice/Canned soup...Guess where we are eating tonight!
By the way...lest there be any discussion...there is only one mac-&-cheese that gets eaten in my house...Kraft Macaroni and Cheese...the blue box...its the Cheesiest!
All other M&C is from THE DEVIL!
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
#1. Quelf. My friends J&A gave this game to me last year and it is great. If you enjoy, even a little, playing games, then this is the all around winner. How to describe it...hmmmm...how about every drinking game you played in college mixed with a little Pictionary, Charades, and Jeopardy thrown in. I have to say that there are not many times I laugh harder than when I am playing this game. As an added bonus, if you order off of the link above Mr. Hersch (the J of J&A) gets a portion of the profits for his class. Trust me. If you like games, even a little, this will quickly become one of your favorites!
#2. Planet Earth. I know, I know, documentaries can be so boring, but seriously, the picture on this is ridiculous! It is worth your time to sit and watch...but only if you have the big screen with 1080i...or something like it. Here is a clip if you don't believe me:
#3. Jenny's Ice Cream. "Ice Cream, for Christmas?" Yea, it is a bit odd, but it does have flare...Not sure about the requisite 37 pieces of flare, but certainly has an air of coolness, no? The flavors are different that you would expect, but they the are very good. I would make sure to get the Pear and the Melon...but that's just me.
Last week I got my first Christmas Gift for 2007...I raved about it then, but I got to tell you it was better than I dreamed...Oh my goodness the sweetness that is California Avocados has been phenomenal. I have made guacamole three times, eaten them plain, and even on Nachos. So soft and green...mmmmmm....mmmmmm....good. If the rest of the season is anything like that, I am going to be freak'n stoked, yo.
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Monday, December 10, 2007
Anger: "Why ME? It's not fair! This is stupid. Dumb marathon. I can't believe how mad I am at Pamela for suggesting we do this!"
Bargaining: "Just let me live through this. I want to see my child(ren) graduate. Heck, I just want to be able to function well enough to have kids one day. Please God make this end...I'll do anything."
Depression: "I'm so tired, why do I bother even doing this? It is not like I can really do it. I think I will just turn around and go to bed where it is safe and warm."
Acceptance: "We only have a mile left and I am going to make it. It is going to be okay. As a matter of fact, I have so much energy I can double-time it to the finish. I did it! I did it!"
Friday, December 7, 2007
This whole training for the marathon is some serious business...We ran 4 miles on Tuesday 9 miles on Wednesday and were supposed to run 6 more last night (that was pushed aside because it was colder than a witch's titty outside and we wanted to watch Earl/30-Rock/Office/Scrubs)...thank goodness it is warming up this weekend. Supposed to be in the low 70's on our 18 miler on Sunday! WoooHoooo.
I don't know who I need to punch in the nose, but a number of people swore up and down that it really did not get cold here in P-Towne..."no sir, it will only get into the 40's...might drop below that for a week or two in January, but it never really gets cold here."
I am going to go ahead and cry BS on that. I mean, I can take cold if I have to...like when I am skiing or enjoying a Cuban cigar on a cold snowy night with James or Derek, but this idea of living in cold for month's at a time is for the birds...When your nose hairs get stiff because it is so cold outside, there is something wrong.
I guess it is in the high-50's and rainy in SoCal...that is strange itself. I bet my boys in SD are reeling from the nasty weather...what to do.
Before y'all laugh, you need to realize that as a SoCal native, I have never really even owned a coat (besides my ski jacket and a sport coat)...Lived my entire life out there and the best I could say is that I would need a hoody or a windbreaker at most 51 weeks of the year...the other week I was skiing, so a jacket was required.
By the way, why is a witch's titty cold? Has anyone ever confirmed that they are indeed on the frigid side?
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
But no...it was OHHH so much better...the very first Christmas present of ought-seven...
Some of my favorite people in the world, the Schell's, sent me a little slice of heaven...California Avocados.
As my 3 loyal readers will remember, I really miss the fruit and food in Cali...especially the avocado's. And so, for this box to show up...makes me tear up. Just a little misty eyed...and my stomach is rumbling...Oh I am sooooo happy!!!
Thanks SSST (Steve/Stacey/Squirt/Tiny)!!! You guys rock.
As an addendum to yesterday's crisis post, I wanted to let you know that the matter has been settled...she really does not care which way the roll goes. She just sticks it on however it goes...After discussing it, I am sure my lovely lady will try much harder to make sure that proper toilet paper protocol is followed closely in the future.
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
Just when I thought things were going so well. I mean, I moved 3000 miles for this girl. Left all that I knew behind. Gave up 365 days of sun, surf and sand. I left my best friends. I said adios to my family. I even had to part with my Beloved Truck. But it has been so worth it...I have been so happy. Having a great time...looking forward to spending the evenings with her. Having a blast doing all sorts of stuff on the weekends...heck, I have even been really enjoying training for this marathon with her...
Yes, she is amazing. I have to say that so far she has proven to be exactly what every guy would want...she is smart, beautiful, can cook, has cool friends, is adventurous, loves to travel, can hold her own in many different social events, looks forward to church, contributes to society, is successful, would love to have kids someday, has a good job, can support herself, her accent is cute, she plays golf...she even has very good taste in clothes (save for that red leather jacket)...
She is, what many would call, the perfect woman...But I have found the flaw and I am concerned that it may be fatal.
The first time it happened, I said it was a fluke. You know, a mistake made early in the morning or late at night...the second time gave me pause, but again, it must have been on accident...today, it happened for the third time...and I don't know that I can chalk it up to a "whoops" or a "my bad" any longer...
What did she do? Please make sure you are sitting down...
My lovey lady...the girl of my dreams...the object of my affection...puts the toilet paper roll in upside down! UPSIDE DOWN...I mean, she rolls that sucker out from underneath the roll...
I don't know what to do...I have fixed it...AGAIN...but I am really worried...what if we continue dating and she tells me that it is important to her to have the roll come out bottom up? I mean, let's just play this out...I no longer can hang out at her place...if we advance in our relationship and get married, we would need separate bathrooms...children would grow up more confused than a group of Dennis Kucinich supporters...Think of the ramifications people. I am talking long term here...
It is a dark day...a dark day I say. I am really hoping she has a good explanation for this...maybe we can retrain her.
*Please note, I am completely and totally smitten by this young woman...any illusions or references, either intended or implied, to ending our relationship are purely fictional and totally baseless...there is not a chance this girl gets away from me over something so trivial...heck, I am trying to convince her to keep me around. She makes me look good and I am definitely dating above my head...I mean, she has two degrees from a solid school, can sing, likes to make me happy, and makes really freaking amazing baked goods. I may be a bit off my rocker, but I ain't crazy. Women like this don't grow on trees.
Yes, I love to cook...I love creating meals...I love adding background flavors and critiquing my food...
But there nights like last night. The nights that I realize there is entirely too much food in my freezer/fridge/cabinet that needs to be eaten. So, I eat like I did last night...
A glass of Beaujolais, a frozen vegetable pizza, and Bread & Butter Pickles on Ritz Crackers...yes, I am "Big-Pimp'n".
Monday, December 3, 2007
Claire made a killer Southwestern Turkey Chowder (yes from scratch) and while it simmered we put up our lights...We got done with that and went to hang the rest of the decorations...unfortunately, we somehow forgot to get hooks, so that part would have to wait until Monday night...so we sat and ate chowder, listened to Christmas Music, then watched a couple episodes of Scrubs, Season 5. It was a good evening.
Saturday, December 1, 2007
Afterward, we headed over to Dick's sporting goods to get some running pants. While there, we spent a bit of time checking out their indoor climbing wall. We checked it out enough to actually give it a shot.
There are 3 levels of climbing, all based on difficulty. #1 is fairly easy, straight, and with good holds...#2 is awkward because at one point you have to jump off the bottom and swing up to the top. A "jump" that requires a pull-up of some sort...#3 is fairly straight, but the difficulty comes in the smaller hand/feet holds.
Claire decided to start with #1 and me, being the climbing expert with hands and feet that were made for climbing (do they make XXL gloves and size 14 climbing shoes?), decided to hit up #2.
My lovely compatriot killed #1...like some sort of spider monkey hyped up on Mountain Dew, she scaled that wall, hit the buzzer and triumphantly repelled down. I attacked #2 like a bat out of hell, cruising past the jump/pull-up portion and motoring towards the top. Sure, I got about 2/3rds of the way done and it felt like my forearms were being torn from my body, but I was determined. It was also about this time that I realized that I had forgotten to breathe. Now I had to hyperventilate to get any air. I got lightheaded, dizzy, and overly tired. How in the world did I forget to breathe? What does that say about the brilliance I think I posses?
Anyway, I ended up making it...it did take a little longer than I thought. They had to cart oxygen tanks up to me and I had to stop for a snack (Ho-ho's and a Dr. Pepper), but I made it, repelled down, and hi-fived the staff. I am, after all, a man of accomplishment...
Then Claire said she wanted to go again...#2 this time. After a slow start and a little bit of trouble with the jump/pull-up part, she looked like a lioness stalking her prey. Of course she made it...of course it was faster than me... Did I mention that it was her second climb of the night? (Of course, she is dating a ninja and those skills have worn off!)
Next time we might try level 3 and see how we do. In the meantime, I have to stop typing because my forearms are burning like fire.
Friday, November 30, 2007
We are taking a class about the new church we just started going to...trying to learn about why it does what it does and what it believes...last night, they broke us up into 3 groups to read three different parts of the NT...I was part of the group that discussed "The Road to Emmaus" and Claire's group went over "Saul's Conversion".
The beautiful woman that I spend most of my time with made the observation that there are a couple of "minor characters" that show up in many Bible stories that you never get to hear what happened to.
The discussion then went on to include something that sounded profound...so many times, a minor player or a person playing a bit part is mentioned, but nothing is followed-up on. This is not to mean that they were not important, but rather that their story is not the focus. These characters are VERY important and, like John 6 or Acts 9, many of the "bigger" things would not have happened without them.
In the church, there are so many bit players that we know so little about. Sure, we know who gives the message or who leads the music, but do we know who sets up the chairs in the morning? Who sharpens the pencils that we use to take notes? Who made sure that the floor was vacuumed before we came in? All important things that do not get the spotlight...
Basically, we can never forget that minor does not equal unimportant. Minor is just not prominent...usually it is every bit as essential as the one that gets the spotlight. I am pretty sure they would not have been included unless their role was significant enough to mention. I mean seriously, do you think Saul/Paul could have made it to Damascus without the two guys leading him there? Dude was blind and in no condition to lead himself...sure they play a minor part, but it is an essential one.
I love that my "Lady Friend" notices details that many gloss over. It is good to relook at things we have thought we understood in a new light.
Made me wonder if those two people who led Saul/Paul to Damascus had kids or grandkids. How cool would it be for them to point to Acts 9 and say, "See that guy carrying Saul? That was my dad/grandpa/uncle/brother/etc."
Yea...that would be kinda cool.
**The painting is by Caravaggio, one of my favorite Baroque artists. Sure, he was wacked and like little boys, but he sure could paint a mean picture!**
Thursday, November 29, 2007
This discussion of jumping started a few years ago when my mom decided she wanted to jump before her 50th birthday…that did not happen. Then, last year we went to an indoor skydiving joint and we, meaning my brother and I, were told that we were, for lack of a better word, too fat to be held up by the wind…so we decided that we would get under the prescribed weight and jump in ’08…now the date is upon us and I realized something…WHAT THE HE-double hockey sticks am I thinking. Sure, we are now under the required weight, but seriously?
I am going to do it, but what the junk. Sure, I have bungee jumped a few times, heli-skied, and performed other miscellaneous stupid “extreme stunts” that I won’t mention because my girlfriend’s mother reads this blog…suffice it to say, I am a moron and jumping out of a plane is the latest proof.
I have got to say that the discussion about jumping out of a plane has triggered another observation…my mother is a saint. I know, she has not performed two Vatican approved miracles, but she is still a saint. It was her idea to jump in the first place, but now she hesitates…not because she is scared, not because she does not have the guile to do it, and it is not because she has suddenly become sane…no, it is because if something happens, too many people who rely on her would be left without her…and that is saintly.
When we talked about it, I could see the spark in her eye show up. She wants to jump. It is in her rebellious nature to tell gravity to do its worst, but to jump anyway…
Then the practical side comes out…who will take care of Grandma? Who will help raise Reagan? Who will be there to make sure dad is happy? Who will be the one to ***insert caring/giving/loving thing here***?
I still think she will jump, but it is not without thought for other people…and it probably won’t be without much contemplation and maybe even a few tears…but I got to say she is awesome. I don’t know anyone more unselfish than her. I don’t know anyone who has sacrificed more than she has to make sure that her loved ones are taken care of and are happy. My mom is my hero and she is creating a legacy that I am afraid none of us can live up to.
Sure, a lot of people would not jump out of a plane because of the reasons above…but how many of them are truly driven by fear and use those things as an excuse? I would venture to bet most of them…but I promise you that if it were not for her responsibilities to other people, she would jump regularly. Why? Cause she is crazy enough to think it sounds great and because she is tough enough to say “what is the worst that can happen”?
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
You see, I have been diagnosed with Blogitis. It is a nasty disease. It causes your brain to function differently. You start thinking in "Blog Posts"...you know, in short snappy sentences, often deleting what you just thought and rewriting it in your head. You start looking for "cool things" that you can write about..."Ooooo, there is a steaming pile of poo. How can I write about that?" You start wanting to share your personal life with complete strangers. I mean, c'mon, would I walk into a diner and tell everyone about my life? No, but I do it on a blog. Why? I dunno...apparently I am sick.
I was standing in the shower the other morning and started composing a blog post in my head. Nothing great. Nothing that has yet to make it up on this site...and I can promise you never will, but I thought the whole thing through...it had a snappy title, a great intro, a little tears, and a lot of laughs. Then I snapped back to reality and realized that I had fallen into the Bogg'n zone...sorta like the twilight zone, only worse.
And, my illness has moved into stage 2...I am thinking about other people's blogs. Sure, I have read Stacey, Reagan, and Chris's blog regularly for a while, but since I have been stricken with this nasty bug, I am reading about people that I have never met. It is like the disease guides my hand and I find people that I want to be my friends...I wake up in the morning and hope that there is a new post to read and that they have had something cool happen to them. Why? I don't know. It is like the disease is controlling me.
Yes, I am sick. I need a pill or something. It is hard to know that I will carry this disease for many years to come, but I guess that is my burden to bear and I will just have to get used to it.
You might like to know that I am not alone...I know that I find solace in it...I might have been talking with a certain friend in SD this week (You know who you are...I know you are reading this right now) and she has come down with the same disease. She can't wait to get home to write a new chapter on her page...she checks other blogs, looking for updates often, sometimes the same blog two or three times a day...maybe we can start a support group. Maybe, we can create a pill to get better and make a 12-step program. Hmmm, how can this work? Maybe the blogging world is already working on a cure. I guess I will have to hit the "Next Blog" button above and see if anyone might be already down the road to recovery. Yea, that is the ticket...then I might just find more "friends" and I can be popular and we can be sick together and all the normal people will be jealous...
Oh no, it is happening again...somebody, please help me! ;-)
Monday, November 26, 2007
Started cooking at 830 that morning…full spread too. 18lb turkey, yiftee’s, garlic mashed potatoes…which of course started a discussion that I would love some input on. Do you all like your mashed potatoes creamy or lumpy?
Anyway, we had friends over to my apartment…ate a couple rounds of food…watched football, napped, watched more football, took another nap, went to a friends house and should have taken another nap…all-in-all a good day.
Did the obligatory shopping on Friday…did score some sweet deals at Macy’s and Dick’s...got a $4 coffee pot at Wal-Mart.
Claire and I ran/walked 15.5 miles on Saturday. Actually felt good doing it after it warmed up. There was a wind-chill in the mid-30’s when we started running. My legs were blue…I looked like the world’s biggest smurf. Later that night, went to some friends…watched college football and Live Free or Die Hard…fun movie.
Flew to Cali on Sunday…where I sit, 5am writing this. I guess going East to West really allows me to get a jump on the day or something…
Can’t wait to get home, finish the Christmas decorating, buy a tree, and get in the general mood…Been listening to Christmas music since Friday. Gotta say, that things are going well. Now, where are the leftovers?
Thursday, November 22, 2007
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
I know that Steve tells me all the time...as a matter of fact we have argued many times over who is more than the other...but OH MY GOSH...I think I just won. And this is not a contest I want to win...
I am white trash. Not a little. Not 1/2 way. I am really, truly and fully white trash. I am talking Joe Dirt White Trash. Pass the Miracle Whip, NASCAR, and a rusty El Camino.
Was it the mayonnaise sandwiches that gave it away? Nope.
The Triple Wide we would spend many Christmas mornings in? Nope.
My fascination with lawn art, mullets, or "sorry about your penis" trucks? Nope, nope, and nope.
I, Bogart in P Towne, washed out a zip lock bag to reuse at a future date. Yup. Turned the whole thing inside out, scrubbed it with the sink brush, then set it on the towel to dry. Did not think anything of it until I set it down and realized what I had done.
You can take the boy out of the trash, but not the trash out of the boy.
Could be worse though...I could have said this.
Bogart: Dude, what's up? You seem distracted.
Unnamed Friend: My wife is not talking to me...she has not spoken to me in a couple of days.
Bogart: What did you do?
Unnamed Friend: I cheated on her.
Bogart: YOU DID WHAT???
Unnamed Friend: No, not like that...in her dream. She had a dream that I cheated on her and now she is mad at me.
Unnamed Friend: Yes, seriously. She is very mad. I had to buy her flowers and apologize. I still don't know what I did wrong, but she says that is part of the problem.
Unnamed Friend: I know.
Bogart: She had a dream...A DREAM...that you cheated on her. You did not actually touch another woman, but she is mad at you for cheating on her...While you both slept in the same bed, not involving you, but rather some fantastical person in her head?
Unnamed Friend: I am really confused.
Bogart: Me too...
Unnamed Friend: My head hurts.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Monday, November 19, 2007
With that in mind, a few things I feel I should wrap up:
1. A good general rule when traveling, never buy clothes in a high-end hotel when you are on the road. In Memphis, I ran out of dress socks, so I needed to buy two more pairs for my upcoming meetings on Tuesday and Wednesday. The smart thing to do would have been to ask the concierge if there was a mall close (there was one within 150 yards of the hotel) and shop at a normal retailer. Instead, I, being a moron, walked into the men's clothing store that Elvis shopped in and plopped down $40 for 2 pairs of socks. FORTY BUCKS!! If I was not so weird about wearing dirty socks, I would have just sucked it up. Maybe I need to go to counseling for this sock problem.
2. I mentioned here that I went to see Man of La Mancha...actually, Claire and I went. It was terrible...so bad, I did something I have only done once, walked out in the middle of the performance. No, we did not wait for intermission...we stood up and walked out right in the middle of the first act. The lead actor sounded like Movie Phone guy and the rest of the cast was brutal. I think I did a better job singing than those actors did.
3. In Vegas last weekend, James, Pops and I saw the Cirque show KA at the MGM. We had a great time, but I would not recommend it. There are so many other Cirque shows that are better.
4. The day spa we went to while in Vegas was at Caesar's...very nice place! Ranks right up there with the Mandalay Bay spa. James and I mused that if we were really adventurous, we would simply get a group of guys together, not get a hotel, but rather stay out all night and then rest/sleep/relax at the spa all day. It is cheaper than getting a room, there are places to sleep and refresh, plus showers, shaving, and cologne for the night out. Wish I would have thought of that in college!
5. Claire found a very cool church last week and I had a chance to join her this Sunday...I think it may just become our Sunday morning home...Going to take the new member's class beginning in 2 weeks. She also found that there is a small group on Thursday nights that is based on cooking and fellowship...What Would Jesus Eat...We are so all over that!
Saw Dan in Real Life last night...really enjoyed that movie. Always a good thing when they can produce a movie that is entertaining, funny, and clean. Seems like it takes more talent to create those movies well. So many good movies are ruined by needless/constant cursing or random sex scenes. Please don't read me wrong...if it makes sense and has a reason to be in there, no worries...insert it and make a good flick, but don't just stick it in there for the sake of sticking it in there.
Saturday, November 17, 2007
Friday, November 16, 2007
The three of us had a great time hanging out together...eating some sweet food (you know, cookies, doughnuts, and the Golden Nugget's world famous Bread Pudding), enjoying the craps tables, and even sampling some of our Cigar Samples...okay, they really weren't samples, per se, but rather the real deal full smokes...very nice pull! Actually came home with over 50 cigars! I need a bigger humidor.
We got to sample some great Rums and even a new offering from the folks at Crown Royal, Cask 16. That stuff was serious good, especially for a blend.
The bad...well, we arrived just as the doors were opening. Sure, I expected it to be a bit crowded, but HOLY COW...there were 3000 people in line. It wrapped around the convention center, then doubled back, and there were two lines on either side!
When we finally walked in, they handed us a canvas bag and a coupon book. Each page of the book was numbered and had a cigar manufacturer's name on it. I think they even slapped us on the butt and yelled "GO" when we passed through...although that could have been the cross dresser named "Bobby" we hung out with, but that is an entirely different story for an entirely different time.
Anyway, we were expected to walk through this maze-o-booths, wade through the crowds, turn in our appropriate numbered coupon and they would graciously give us a cigar...No, we did not get to chat with the owners or cigar makers. No, I did not learn anything about cigars. No, I did not even get a chance to cash in all my coupons...Did I mention it was crowded?
We did however, get a chance to chat with a watch maker, hold a $100,000 watch, try on a $45,000 one, and fall in love with a $10,000 Diamond Encrusted Timepiece. Now, how does this relate to the Big Smoke? I don't know, but that part was pretty cool!
So for all of you that were "jealous" about me going to this event, be more jealous that my brother, pops, and I got to be in Vegas for a vacation weekend, play some roulette/craps/video poker, see a Cirque show, and generally have a great time...but please, don't be envious of the Friday night event...It was certainly no W.O.W. Convention. Anyone interested in joining me next spring?
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Please be praying for my Grandmother...she has been diagnosed with Congestive Heart Failure. It is amazing how this stuff seems to happen in bunches. I think it is made doubly hard for all of us because we lost gramps so recently...
Also Mr. Bill Watson had successful surgery and is now back home...sure, there may be some chest "splitting" pains, but he is back home...should even be able to watch his beloved LSU Tigers play this week. Thanks for keeping him in your thoughts and prayers. It sounds like he is in line to make a full recovery.
Not only was it a lot of fun, but I also learned that dinosaurs have mommy's and daddy's that want them to go to bed without a fuss and that tracking mud into the house may get you in trouble, but mommy and daddy love you anyway.
I am finally back after what seemed like a long trip (Las Vegas + Memphis). I know that it was only 6 days, but for some reason this trip seemed to last a long time. Sure good to be home, despite being welcomed by driving rain (locals call it a sprinkle) and cold temps (these freaks around here think that 55 is comfortable)...man I am a weather wuss. I will update all of you on my trips sometime this weekend...complete with pictures, stories, and maybe even a tip or two about how not to buy clothes when in Memphis.
Thursday, November 8, 2007
So I defrosted it. Sliced it, cut up some cucumber/avocado/crab, bought some wasabi paste, made a crab/masago mixture, and went to work making rolls...now, to be fair, I personally did not make a roll, nor did I actually mix up the mayo/crab/masago thing...those roles belonged to this pretty girl I know...
Anyway it looked something like this when we started:
And, here is what it looked like when we were done:
No "Mt. Fuji's Revenge" or anything...it actually worked and tasted really good. The whole process was a lot of fun, but the stress of eating raw fish at home combined with the great meal sure made me sleepy...**Thanks Jeremy and Amity for the sushi set and knife...it was a lot of fun! Can someone say Sushi Party.**
Please keep Mr. Bill Watson in your prayers...a friend from Louisiana...he is having open heart surgery today. Also keep in your prayers his family. It has been a very stressful week for all of them. Although, I am sure it was made easier when LSU beat Alabama this week!
Going to see Man of La Mancha tonight and I fly out early Friday morning for Vegas with my brother and pops...we are going to be checking out the Cigar Aficionado Big Smoke. Should be a great time with the guys...and yes, we are going to be spending a day relaxing in the day spa. C'mon Kevin, you know you are jealous.
On Sunday, I am off to Memphis for a conference, so I don't know if I will be able to update the blog until next Thursday...I am sure I will have pictures and interesting stories about my trips. Until then, stay thirsty or classy or pretty...whatever you do, do it.
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
Anyway, so we go to this fish market just before closing (Mistake #1). The fish counter has been put away and the fish monger does not speak English. He directs me to the front...scurry back up front, grab the woman at the check-out stand and ask for Tuna and Salmon, cause I am intent on making my own sushi (Mistake #2)...The store is out of salmon, but the Tuna steak looks great. Then I realize it is frozen...hmmm, what to do. Eh, close enough, I will take the Tuna. (Mistake #3) Do you have any Snapper? Lot's of discussion, 2 different fillets, and finally she pulls out something that sorta looks like Snapper (Potential Mistake!!!).
She starts to weigh it, the Monger starts pointing at the fillet and shaking his head...they got into yet another deep discussion about the fish. I really have no clue what they said, but they kept pointing to the middle of the fish and arguing. After the back-and-forth, the monger storms off, mumbling something under his breath, and shaking his head. The lady from the front counter smiles at us and began to weigh the fish, wrapping it for us to take.
This is when I realized that I had a choice to make. Take the fish, despite the look of pity and disgust I just got from Mr. Fish Monger and just chance it...or politely say no thank you and go get something else.
I waived her off and said no thank you, I do not want your rotting fish.
Now a dilemma. The front register lady says "No charge. You can have this fillet for free."
Not that long ago, I would have smiled, taken the free fish, skipped all the way home thinking I had won the lottery and eaten it like a ravenous beast. I mean, an entire Snapper Steak, FOR FREE. Bonus. Score. God must be smiling on me.
However, I realized at that moment, that I am officially old and wise. I was able to discern what seemingly was a gift from God vs. the poison of the devil. It was an evil offer, clearly designed by Satan himself to suck the life out of me.
Heck no, I am not going to take old fish that the monger does not want to sell...even if it is free. Who knows what kind of trichinosis type of disease I would end up with. Can you imagine the mess?
I told her no thank you, she insisted, we ran away.
The moral of this story...making sushi at home is great, but when a very polite register lady offers you rotting old snapper, you run. I don't care if it is free. Run. This is like strapping a jet engine to your car...9 kinds of crazy and only death can result. Just trust me on this one.
I feel like I need to clear something up. It has become evident that I have friends and family with a dirty mind. So, it is with some trepidation that I fully explain the post regarding Monty Python and the hand massage.
I thought that would be a very safe way to describe the fact that the woman that I am completely smitten with treated me to a great movie and...uhhhh....well....hmmm...how do you say....I don't think I can even spell it...uhhhh...ok ok...
My nails look great, okay. I feel pretty. And there is nothing wrong with a man getting a manicure these days. We like to be pampered too.
So clean up your dirty minds. You make me sick. And I don't want any guff from any of you about my pretty hands.
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
As i awoke this morning i smelled the aroma of freshly roasted coffee.It felt like christmas morning...in a burst i ran to the kitchen pulled out the "Peppermint Mocha" poured it in my holiday coffee-mug along with the coffee and...there it was YUMMY GOODNESS!!!I should add...i bought out two stores of it and now it consumes our freezer along with my mother-in-laws!!! I am a true fan and when you come back i will have that YUMMY GOODNESS just for you.
See, despite what you all might think, I am not the only crazy one!
Monday, November 5, 2007
Friday, November 2, 2007
Thursday, November 1, 2007
Had lunch with Deron...Afternoon nachos with Jeremy...got a haircut...Trick-or-Treating with my Goddaughter, her sister, mom, grandparents, uncle, and aunt...Dinner at the Saunders, Gordon Biersch with Scott and Jeff, a little wine back at the house reminiscing...then finally to bed well after midnight.All of it was so cool...had not seen Jeff in 3 years...but the highlight had to be Trick-or-Treating with Emma and Molly. They were The Big Bad Bully Bugs and were very cute...
My costume was not that great...but it did the trick...
One house we went to offered a choice of Teddy Grahams or Candy for the little ones (they of course chose candy, were given the option of Chocolate or Fruity...C'mon, this is my goddaughter we are talking about, of course she chose the peanut free M&M's), and then they offered the adults a glass of "Buttered Rum"...no joke, full bar out on the lawn. That was certainly a new experience. They liked my hat and wanted me to stay, but alas, no...we had more houses to do!
Monday, October 29, 2007
As you can see, they were very happy to be there and clearly they got dressed up for the occasion.
I was a bit sad for them since so few recognized who they were. Some thought Dwight was just a "computer nerd" and Angela was just a "librarian"...they even started singing "Hot for Teacher" despite Dwight's objections...
The party got out of hand at that point and the cops had to be called .
As you can see, the cops in Virginia are very different than the cops in San Diego. Not sure how they get all of them to dress like that, but I bet Steve might not have left the SDPD if he got to wear outfits like that for work each day!!!
Luckily for everyone at the party and with the help of an off-duty pimp, Dwight and the Madam Police Officer were able to finally subdue the ruckus, return an escaped prisoner to his cell and Dwight fulfilled his duty as Volunteer Deputy Sheriff and Assistant to the Regional Manager.
Friday, October 26, 2007
A quick change of clothes, we grabbed 2 forks and headed out the door. Food Lion was beckoning. We had a hankering for some Ice Cream.
10 mins later we are standing in the frozen novelty aisle staring...holy moly batman, how many flavors are there? Root beer float, snickers, checkered, Carmel Pretzel, cookie jar, M&M's, Twix, fried ice cream and a whole host of other frozen tempting treats to satisfy. We settled on two old friends:
Proceeded out the door, into the car and we drove to our next destination...the top of the parking structure.
Across the street from my apartment complex is a 5-story parking garage...the views are pretty nice and at night the roof is empty. So that is where we went...and proceeded to pick out cookie dough pieces and munch on Oreo Cookie ice cream. I felt like I was a 5 year old getting a treat.
In case you are wondering, Ice Cream really does taste better when eaten with a fork.
Congratulations to Josie and Damien on the birth of their new daughter Cassie. Two of my favorite people bringing a little one into the world...
Rain on the East Coast is very different from the rain I am used to San Diego. There seems to be a lot more of it...it comes down very hard...it is warm when it rains. How weird.
Next week, we should see more of this from Jonathon Papelbon, the Red Sox closer. I expect them to win 2 of the next 3 games and celebrate another World Series win. Now that is what I call a celebration! Paging Michael Flatley.