28 February, 2007

Next week is the halfway point... hopefully something happens

Nothing doing on the 24 front, save for one dead former terrorist conspirator, one incapacitated president, one former president who apparently lives in the middle of a horse racing track and one very very unconvincing government turncoat. Sigh. This season is shaping up to be somewhat of a disappointment as far as action goes. The first few episodes were great, but not so much recently. I think it's going to be one of those things where you have to watch the whole thing at once instead of spread out. I mean, that's how it's supposed to be watched anyway, but still.

My biggest hope for the season is that Morris gets blasted and comes out of the mens room belting Elton John. Man would that rule. Either that, or he gets angry drunk and levels a whiskey bottle at Milo from across the office. Maybe something from the love triangle can come up, like Chloe telling Milo that the kid really isn't his. Okay so what I really want is for the CTU office to turn into an episode of The Real World. Does that make me a bad person? I say no.

It's slow, yes, but as far as acting goes this season's two big downfalls are both in the White House: Reed Pollock and Wayne Palmer. Reed is so thoroughly unconvincing as far as bad guys are concerned. I mean come on dude, Lennox already proved that he's not willing to be a part of something with which he does not agree, so what makes dude think he'll be a part of the plan AFTER the President is dead? Clearly he didn't spend a few seconds and think that through. Obviously, that's why he's still just a pawn and will get his comeuppance before the day is out.

That said, I think the whole bombing thing is going to be blamed on Lennox, based on three things. Palmer mentioned that Lennox was against the whole thing from the beginning shortly before the practice speech was to begin, Lennox wasn't around anytime before or during the speech and that short haired woman popped up three separate times asking about Tom and looking sketchy when she couldn't find him. She's not been in the show to this point yet, so why would she get a bunch of face time and some speaking roles if she wasn't going to be in at least one more episode?

Despite his situation (tied up in the toolshed), I still don't find Lennox to be a sympathetic character. I think it's just that his character is a sniveling ass-kisser. True, he got all righteous recently and that's why he got tied up by his own lap dog, but I still don't really like him.

Can we please get Aaron Pierce back yet? Thanks!

Lastly, did anyone else think that ambassador in the beginning of the episode looked like Jay Marioti?
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Some random notes:

- Here's hoping the shipment from Nevada is a bunch of Reno showgirls. Unfortunately it looks like something from an Isaac Asimov meets Gene Roddenberry project.

- Wayne Palmer's face seems to be off center. He also sounded downright Palmer-ish (as in David) when he told handed the ambassador his balls in a jar.

- Logan's beard extends down past his shirt line. Pretty gross. I've never liked the guy, and he still seems really sinister to me. Don't like the whole situation. I support his beard growth, however.

- I love that Logan goes to his jewelry box and picks out the cheapest looking pin he could find. Yes, I know it's the flag pin, but it still looks tacky. He should have a campaign pin that says Van Buren for President. Didn't that guy have a sweet beard, too? Edit: No, but he did have some sweet sideburns.

- Great, Jack's going into another consul. We know how that turned out last time. Hint: poorly.

- Annnddd, yet another episode without the Sandra Palmer catastrophe. Yes! Seems like that plot line has happily fizzled out.

27 February, 2007

Caffeine, round two.

I posted late last week about leaving Penn, which I did after drinking a few Golden Monkey's at the auction going on during my last day there. This week I started a new job, which involves less sitting at a computer and more re-filling my caffeine IV bag (like you don't have one). I'm working a little over 36 hours a week now at Cafe Mocha, a pretty sweet (but a tad pricey) coffee establishment near Jefferson Hospital in Center City.

I'm pretty happy working here, but since I am only in the middle of my second day, I will reserve judgment until a later time when the honeymoon is over. However, I do enjoy the fact that if it's not busy I can pretty much do whatever I want, which includes the crossword puzzle, reading a book or the back issues of The New Yorker I have been neglecting and even using the computer in the shop for whatever purpose I see fit. It's also pretty great that the shop's stereo has a tape player, meaning I can bring in my adapter and listen to my iPod all day. This is pretty much the best thing ever. Yesterday I listened to two entire live shows from the Slip, as well as some Lou Reed. All without the inconvenience of using the ear bud headphones.

Naturally, expect a significant drop off in stories about people in my office, being that I no longer have an office to speak of. In the place of those stories however, expect more on the people that come in to this shop.

Like, say, the perfectly dressed man who came in a few minutes ago carrying several issues of Vanity Fair. When I say perfectly dressed, I mean that I have never seen a more impeccably knotted tie nor a pair of slacks pressed as straightly as this gentleman's. He ordered a nonfat decaf mocha, and as I made the drink I tried to make some idle conversation as well.

"I like that magazine," I said. "good articles, I like the writing."

"It's my life," he replied.

I went back to making his drink in silence. No need to take that conversation much further. He seemed nice, but a little bit Devil Wears Prada-ish.

Anyhow if you want to stop by, here's the info on the shop. It's in Center City at 263 S. 10th St. That's on 10th between Locust and Spruce. My schedule is as follows:

Monday ----- 8am-3pm
Tuesday ---- 3pm-10pm
Wednesday - 8am-4pm
Thursaday -- 3pm-10pm
Friday ------ 3pm-10pm

While I can't really hook you up with free drinks and the like, you're more than welcome to come take advantage of the free wireless internet and vegan soup.

26 February, 2007

I am an offensive person, and I am fine with that

So I've had this idea for a long time now, and I'd like to air it out and see what y'all (read: all 5 of you reading this) think. I want to make this documentary. Well, it would be more of a mockumentary. The working title is "When Fat People Move." It's going to be a collection of videos of massively obese people doing everyday things, like reaching for high up items in the grocery store, looking both ways before crossing the street and, of course, double fisting burgers at Five Guys.

I used to have a video on my computer of a fat kid jumping on a diving board (not the one pictured) and falling, ultimately bouncing once more on his back before catapulting into the pool. Another video I enjoyed during college was a woman bouncing along on a dirt bike and falling over the handle bars. Both individuals looked very awkward doing relatively normal things, so it got me thinking that it's pretty amusing to watch (some) obese people do most anything. Unless they're charging at you and your camcorder full steam like a Rhino defending its territory. Then it's hilarious.

While this is clearly offensive to most people, I think it would be about the funniest thing ever. At least this guy would like it. Probably wouldn't be a fantastic seller, and it would probably wouldn't even get to a(ny) shelf, but whatever. It's one of those things that, whenever I think about it, I chuckle to myself.

Brilliant diary of Jeter and A-Rod's sleepover history. DJ Gallo is quickly becoming my favorite ESPN writer because of these sort of 'articles.'
2001: Up to no good during a sleepover at A-Rod's place in Texas, the pair prank-calls fellow superstar shortstop Nomar Garciaparra and asks him if his refrigerator is running. Garciaparra says it is, and then a giggling Jeter and A-Rod tell him he should go catch it -- upon which Garciaparra tears his hamstring.

2005: The relationship between the two becomes even more fractured during a sleepover game of Truth Or Dare. Jeter dares Rodriguez to drive in a meaningful run once in his Yankees career, prompting Rodriguez to ask Jeter to admit the truth that no one would have ever heard of him had he played his career in a city like Kansas City or Milwaukee instead of New York.
Speaking of ESPN, It's ridiculous to me that so much coverage and stock is put into the NFL combine. There was a 5 minute segment on Sportscenter this evening about how Lawrence Timmons was a disappointment because he was listed at 6'3" but came into the combine 'below 6'1." Yeah, and so that means he's not as good a player as initially expected? Because he's two inches shorter than the scouts thought? Get real. I hate the combine coverage, it's silly and unnecessary. If someone can play, they can play. What does it matter if they run a 6.5 or 6.3 40-yarder? Hint: it doesn't.

I feel like such an idiot because I just looked up how to make hard-boiled eggs. I was, however, planning to do it the 'wrong way' (putting them into boiling water rather than putting them in cold water then boiling it), so it's a god thing I did.

Edit: I made the eggs, whipped up some egg salad, and had two sandwiches. I didn't put the egg shells down the garbage disposal immediately and Walter spread them throughout the apartment within five minutes. Seriously, there were no shells in the sink when I finished my first sandwich. There were shells in the bath tub, however.

I kind of wish I weren't working tomorrow night, because tomorrow Jeff Foxworthy and, undoubtedly, a few other yokels debut "Are you smarter than a fifth grader?" This, of course, looks like the best thing ever. I really only want to see one episode to make sure I can answer most if not all of these questions. You know, for my own mental security.

22 February, 2007

I'm out like John Amaechi only in a different context

Since September, I have existed in an episode of The Office, only nothing is humorous because there is no Steve Carell, no stripper Ben Franklin and no office slut getting into all sorts of trouble. That said I've been looking for a new job since about the moment I began here, and starting on Monday I will be employed full time. It's at a coffee shop, yes, but full time is full time. I have been working 30 hours a week, for decent pay, but have been, shall we say, unsatisfied. This post marks the end of my Penn series, the last of an era. It's currently 6:50 pm, and I'm waiting until 8 to get some photos, then heading home from 'work' here for the last time. I'm posting from my computer at work, which can be seen in the photo. It's the one with the lit-up computer monitor. In lieu of a post railing on all the things I dislike about the past 6 months of my working life, I will instead detail the various other jobs for which I applied along the way. Enjoy the variety presented below, as it is certainly a lot. You'll notice that as I approached the current date, some of the jobs I looked at were downright bizarre.

The listing is presented as follows, and is sorted by month.

Job title
- Date inquiry was made
- Apparent nature of the job
- What, if any, was the response
- Other extraneous details

August

Editor, hotmovies.com
- 11 August
- Editing website content and writing short posts/stories
- No response
- I later found out, after actually visiting the website, that it offers sales and streaming adult video. That could have been interesting...

Associate Editor, Philadelphia Museum of Art
- 11 August
- Editing brochure/flyer content and the placards that hang along with the artwork
- Response only to say that they would contact me with further information
- I was in no way qualified for this job, but it would have been cool, I think. I would have had to wear a tie though, more than likely.

Writer, Deplhia Life Magazine
- 11 August
- Writing articles, I suppose
- No response
- I haven't seen this magazine ever, and their website is still 'under construction.' Clearly not a very professional company.

Barista, Grocery
- 26 August
- Making coffee/sandwiches, being peppy
- Interviewed, but they hired someone else
- Nice store, but probably wouldn't have been for me. To sterile, not enough cynicism.

Youth Sports Photographer, AG Photography
- 26 August
- Taking pictures of kiddies in their uniforms for mock sports cards
- Interviewed, but didn't get the job
- Later found out that the girl with whom I interviewed is a friend of a friend when I saw her at Drew's Citypaper cooking party. Would have been a neat part time gig, but involved a ton of driving.

September

Bartender, Unspecified small Philly theater
- 8 September
- Getting drinks for theater-goers
- No response
- The ad said no experience necessary, so I applied. I figured there'd be no drunken brawls at a theater bar, and that if there were, I wouldn't have to worry about an errant stool or pool stick.

Entertainment Culture Writer, The Evening Bulletin
- 19 September
- Pretty much what it sounds like
- Cursory response from editor Tom Rice
- I'm not sure why I didn't hear back any further on this one, but again, whatever.

October

Sports Writer, The Evening Bulletin
- 4 October
- Covering high school sports around the city
- The editor e-mailed me a few times, but nothing came of it
- Could have been interesting, but oh well.

Staff Writer, Citypaper
- 16 October
- Writing news, mainly
- Didn't hear back, didn't expect to
- I'm pretty much unqualified for that job, having no real experience with news, but shots in the dark are always worth it.

Freelancer, BUCKS Magazine
- 24 October
- Generate story ideas and articles about Bucks County
- Short reply asking for a ton of pitches and the like
- What was I thinking? I know nothing about Bucks County. At all.

Deputy Sports Editor, Delaware Online
- 25 October
- Covering sports around Delaware
- Didn't hear back
- Yet another job I'm on the fence with. I'd like to get a full time writing gig with sports, but driving to Delaware all the time would suck. I don't even like when I have to drive through it, much less spend time there.

Sports Editor/Editor/Writer, Journal Register newspaper group
- 25 October
- Different depending on which job I may have gotten
- Interviewed and e-mailed a good deal, but ended up jobless
- The most promising of all the jobs I applied for. I would have liked to work there, because it's only 20 minutes outside of Philadelphia. It's in Jersey, but sometimes sacrifices have to be made. The girl I interviewed with was really nice, and Tony Regina works there, so I am not bitter about not getting the job, really.

November

General Website writing, europemoda.com
- 28 November
- Short articles/text editing for the website
- Didn't hear back
- What the hell was I thinking? Oh right, I wanted to make money. Duh.

General writer, phillyburbs.com
- 29 November
- Short articles and the like
- No response
- Again, what was I thinking? I know nothing about the suburbs of Philadelphia. Literally nothing except that Ray Porecca is from Lansdale.

December

Sales Rep, outdoor sports company
- 10 December
- Sales rep
- No response
- I wish I had gotten this job, because the place is literally 3 blocks from my apartment, and it's a neat shop. Oh well.

Line Cook, Ava Restaurant
- 10 December
- Line cook
- No response
- I know nothing of being a line cook. I think whoever read the e-mail sensed the desperation. Good thing they didn't take me because their restaurant would be in the toilet now, or I'd be unemployed.

Outdoor program counselor, adventure company in Ireland
- 11 December
- Run a high ropes course and other duties as assigned for skill
- Lots of response. Got hired, actually.
- I'm probably the most annoyed at this, because I would have loved to go live in Ireland for a while. I couldn't take the job because I wouldn't be able to get a work Visa, and am not willing to work illegally on the side. Going to jail in Ireland doesn't seem all that appealing, or having a deportation on my record.

Personal Driver
- 13 December
- Presumably drive some government person around
- No response
- This would be hilarious, me riding my bike to work each morning in a rented/crappy used tux and driving some politician around. Ridiculous. Clearly I didn't get that job.

Public Records Researcher/Proofreader
- 13 December
- Run background checks/proofread the final reports
- Set up interview
- I got an interview for this job and may have gotten the position, but I didn't want to drive to Southampton Pa every day to work from four until midnight, so I didn't go to the interview. I still see this job on Craigslist all the time.

Copyeditor, Citypaper
- 13 December
- Copyedit the articles for the CP
- Interviewed
- I interviewed but shat the bed on the copy editing test. That shit was hard. Kind of annoyed I didn't get the job, but it happens. I still have love for New York errr, the Citypaper. Damn VH1 brainwashing...

January

Engraver, somewhere in Center City
- 6 January
- What it wounds like
- One response, but nothing more
- This had the potential to be pretty cool. Plus I don't imagine there is a dress code.

Glass Art Handler, Center City
- 7 January
- Packaging and shipping glass artwork
- No response
- This could have been really cool, except when I dropped something and got canned.

Gym Attendant, some sweatbox
- 7 January
- Work the front desk
- No response
- Could be cool, especially with a free gym membership. No response though, so there is a 0% chance of getting pounded in by some 'roid head. Thankfully.

Blog Editor, uwishunu.com
- 25 January
- Editing/writing for the GPTMC blog
- Got a response, but no follow up
- I would have loved to have this job, but I didn't get it. It was a temporary full time position, which would have been nice for a while. Plus I like blogging, obviously.

Blog Editor, Bed and Breakfast
- 25 January
- Editing a blog about the customers at a B&B
- No response
- This would have been an awesome job. Interviewing customers about their experience at the B&B and in Philadelphia and writing about it, and a free room whenever, benefits and good salary. Eff, man...

February

Office Assistant, somewhere in Center City
- 14 February
- Desk jockey
- No response
- Another desk-oriented job working in excel and filing shit is not what I wanted. Glad nobody responded.

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So after the litany of positions and places to and for which I applied, there were a few things I did pick up along the way. There were three jobs I got during that time:

Writer, Wonkavision Magazine
- 25 August
- Writing articles, reviewing CD's
- Got a freelance position but it doesn't pay. Don't do a whole heck of a lot there, coincidentally
- I picked up a bottle of Knob Creek at the cutthroat Pollyanna Christmas party, which was really freaking sweet.

COPE program planner, Cradle of Liberty Council
- 26 October
- Plan the off-season COPE program
- Got the job, although I didn't really submit an application
- Working with this dude Matt has been really cool, and although it's not a full time thing, I'm going to enjoy it when April rolls around.

Whipping Boy, Flying Monkey Patisserie
- 17 January
- Do the dishes, frost cupcakes, be a general burro as needed
- Started there at the end of January
- Thoroughly enjoyable job as I'd posted about before. I reiterate the fact that there is no clock there, so I don't even notice when it's coming down to the end of the day.

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Peace, Penn. I'll be seein' ya.

20 February, 2007

Emerald Nuts takes on new meaning

In May of last year, I was working at camp doing some maintenance work to get ready for the summer season. We spent a few evenings putting together the new docks for the waterfront areas. These docks, which resemble enormous Lego bricks, had been shipped from somewhere in the mid-west by a special company who also came in to oversee their construction.

The foreman of this merry band of drunks (seriously, they had a cooler full of beer to aid in the dock's construction) was a leathery skinned imp of a man, complete with boat shoes and a funny little cap. And of course like most people who have some sort of inferiority complex, he drove (drives) a big Hummer H2...

...With a pair of truck nuts hanging from the hitch.

If you don't know what those are, they're a plastic replica of testicles that attach to one's truck to compensate for something. Or to come off as a complete asshole. Of course, I want a pair of these for my Toyota, but that's something else entirely.

The first time we spied these bright blue Truck Nuts was during the unloading process. James, Dan and myself were instructed to climb atop the trailer truck and just 'give the docks a shove.' From 15-20 feet up. Oh, and we were standing on the docks at the time. Real safe I assure you. Dude says they're going to just bounce and be fine. What a fiasco.

From our perch atop the docks, however, we happened to look down to where his truck was parked. I'm not sure who noticed them first, probably Dan, but there they were: a pair of enormous, blue, obscene Truck Nuts. After much pointing and some hushed conversation, it was determined that we would need to castrate this truck. Not for malicious purposes, simply because when you hang a large, fake plastic pair of testicles from your bumper you invite ridicule upon yourself. And of course the three of us planned to hang them from a long string and walk around with the blue Truck Nuts at just the right level. If you don't get it, just move on, sorry.

Every day this guy would drive in, and every day we talked about stealing the truck nuts. Others were brought in for consultation, and observations were made. I'm not sure what the final deterrent was (although I think it may have been in the form of a hex bolt affixing the nuts), but it ultimately just didn't happen. After the docks were assembled, he left, never to be seen again. Not by me anyway. I heard from various people that he'd been in once or twice throughout the summer to check on the status of the docks, but that was only hearsay. The truck nuts lived on though as a running joke all summer, something to break tension or for a laugh.

On Feb. 6 at 10:37, I got a text message from my friend Dan, who was there for the beginnings of the Truck Nuts mockery. The message simply said "Truck Nuts!!"I read that and almost lost it laughing. Nothing like the resurgence of a running joke to make your morning.

I know Dan (whose picture graces this entry) reads this; he drunkenly told me so on Friday night around 3 am. I was also instructed by Dan to "call me when I'm sober."

Those that know him know that's probably not true. He's probably in the woods behind your house, or on your roof, just lurking. If he truly is in Dublin, God help the Irish. They're in for a real...treat.

19 February, 2007

Jack Bauer 'makes it work' a la Tim Gunn and Project Runway

Often, the clothes the characters wear are lost in the hustle of the 24 season. It's all one day, so the costumes are pretty easy to plan I would imagine. That said, I was glad that Jack, in a stylish hunter green jacket (hunter, I feel, is the appropriate nomenclature for a color donned by Jack Bauer), opened up this week with two kills right from the beginning. In other Jack fashion-related goings on, 'Your momma wears combat boots' is no longer an insult, because so does Jack Bauer. That means your momma is pretty much the best.

When Jack was prepping Marilyn for the entry into the hotel room to retrieve Josh, he handed her a bullet proof vest, which for a lady isn't really the best fashion choice when you're trying to woo back your dead husbands brother. When she was putting on the vest 'under her clothes' (which was surely unnecessary as they entered the apartment forcefully anyway, defeating the element of concealment), Jack definitely checked her out. I was kind of hoping he handed her a slinky little negligee or something, but no dice. Actually, Jack probably finds the bullet proof vest even more arousing than lingerie. Go figure.

The Morris Chloe Milo soap opera/love triangle is heating up nicely, and it's much better than the Sandra Palmer fiasco of a plot. Man I hope she never comes back. Milo is definitely jealous of Morris, and proves it nicely with a tight-fitting t-shirt to impress Chloe on his return from being shot. Plus, now that he knows that Morris is a former alcoholic, you just know that'll come in to play at some point. I mean, Morris is getting wet on the job. That's why his satellite image was all blurry... Wonderful. As a sidenote, I'm glad there's a liquor store within walking distance from CTU. Makes the plot development of an alcoholic that much easier.

That said, I haven't seen someone drink that much whiskey at once since Animal House. When he tells Chloe he had 'a drink,' I'd love to see what two drinks is. Morris' definition of two drinks means I would be dead. I bet his character on the show would mesh nicely with Kiefer Sutherland off the show. Just saying...

Chloe herself got a fashion upgrade this season, going from a blonde to a brunette and replacing her dowdy outfits with a nice black suit jacket. It seems as if she's trying to channel Audrey Raines, but I'm sure. Thing is, Audrey kind of sucks, and Chloe does not. Upgrade!

The final surprise this week concerning fashion was the emergence of Charles Logan from some hole in which he appears to have been hiding. I guess playing an implicit part in a terrorist threat will put you down for a bit. Anyhow the beard works for him, kind of lending something of a grizzled veteran look to Logan. I don't know if I trust him, but it is presently beard season, so why not right?

The one nit picky thing I don't like this season is that the phones have gotten noticeably clunkier. I know they need to view maps and stuff on the screens, but still. That's not the way things are going in real life. Jack needs an iPhone. Huge screen, nice and compact. Let's get on that Fox.

This is that Bill Buchanan actually texted Jack after the Gredenko mishap:

Jack,
We don't have Gredenko :* - (
Sry,
Bill

All in all the cast of 24 always ends up fairly well dressed by the end of the day, surprising considering all that goes on. My vote to CTU best dressed is still Tony Almeida, who always managed to look stylish even when he was a drunken mess (see left). He tended to rip off Jack's long sleeve action-ready shirt style, but definitely wore it well. Also, nothing says classy like Budweiser from a Cubs mug at one in the afternoon.
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And now some random notes:

- "I'll monitor local bandwidth and see what I can come up with." Sure you will Bill, whatever that means.

- The good/bad Papa Bauer plot was exploding courtesy of Marilyn, who was wooed by Jack as only he knows how. When she said "He has my son" would have been the appropriate time for a slip of the tongue to "our son," but I suppose we'll have to wait for that.

- In the opening scene all I could think of was the line from Forrest Gump "Dear god, make me a bird, so I can fly far, far far away."

- He's at an industrial park. Of COURSE he is. LA is apparently filled with suburbs and industry and not much else. Just one of these times I want Jack to shove Erik Estrada out of the way for being a B-List celebrity because there's 'not enough time' to fuel his ego.

- Phillip Bauer's actions are pretty believable because it seems as if he's desperate. Seems like he's grasping at straws here for a way to wrap up his exposure. Fortunately, Jack is on the case. Turns out he wasn't as involved as we though after all. Or was he. More plot twists. Damnit.

- I fully expected Wayne Palmer to be playing Snood when Tom Lennox walked in, not working on a speech. Disappointing to say the least. I bet he plays it on easy, too. He's too much of a wuss to put it to hard, or even evil.

- Lennox is a better man than many, many who have gone before him. I'm glad, I didn't think things would be that easy when it comes to taking out a President. Lennox seems to have the best interest of the country in mind, he's not as self-serving as I thought.

16 February, 2007

Watch as he pushes the clutter on the desk aside with ease...

Walter loves sleeping on my desk, especially underneath of the light just to the left of my keyboard. It puts out a good deal of heat and acts like an incubator for the little guy.

He's getting bigger though, and doesn't fit in the space as well as he used to. Often when he lays down, things cascade over the edge of my desk as he pushes them aside. Things such as my keyboard. It's annoying.

He doesn't just sleep there either, he uses it as a staging area of sorts to launch airborne strikes on Millie (our other cat), the carpet, or air. To do this he walks over my keyboard, often disturbing whatever it is I may be doing at the time. While I don't mind this so much, it gets annoying when he not only closes but manages to delete (perfectly legal) files that I'm downloading, particularly if those files are upwards of 9 GB and take days to finish. Yeah, it's happened.

But I really like when he actually sleeps on my desk; he's so peaceful and it calms me. Plus when I can see him in front of me I know he's not tearing things into tiny shreds somewhere else in the apartment. Although lately that's been Millie's forte. She particularly enjoys throwing toilet paper around in the bathroom. I know this because the little shreds, still wet from being chewed on, stick to my feet every morning.

I'm heading to Maryland tonight, but returning to Philly on Saturday. I'm always so reluctant to drive my car anywhere because I hate finding parking. Since there is still snow in the street (and it'll remain there due to the temp not rising above freezing), I know that when I come back it'll be such a pain finding a spot. Nobody is going to be driving anywhere I'm sure, so it'll probably take upwards of 25 minutes to find a spot to park, which will inevitably not be within a two block radius from my apartment. I wish I could get a city parking pass, that would make things easier.

I feel the need to re-design this blog again. It's been a few months. Maybe I'll do that when I get a free moment. Meaning: it's a pipe dream.

I'd like to share with you a few things I saw posted by some of those on my blogroll.

Andy Rees, who seems to like writing more than whatever the hell his major is (something math and science-y of course), had a brilliant idea for a party that I'm sure he ripped off from someone else. I can't prove it so I'm giving him credit. So the idea: A Bullshit Party. Andy explains:
"It's essentially taking the idea of a masquerade ball to the extreme. The idea is simple, nothing you say or hear is true, except for phone numbers and relationship status. All else is bullshit."
Sounds like something else I've heard of before, but I think they called that a Fraternity Rush party. Yeah. Seriously though, this is a great idea in theory, except when you find out that the girl you took home was bullshitting you when she said she didn't have the clap.

Naked Drinking Coffee, one of my favorite blog authors (I wish he'd update daily) offers this advice for those who were single on Valentines day:
"Feel free to stumble home at three in the morning smelling of Bourbon, smoke, and strippers without having to deal with the “where have you been, it’s Valentine’s Day and we should be celebrating our love” stare."
I'm especially fond of his Miles Kendall project, seen here. Explanation here. By writing that I'm a fan, I'm also a participant!

LAist has a funny story, with video, about Joe Rogan getting banned from a comedy club because Carlos Mencia felt "physically threatened" by Joe. Umm, last time I checked Joe is a pretty intimidating guy. Plus after years of following and commentating on the UFC, he must have picked up something. Carlos needs to not steal Joe Rogan's jokes, or Joe Rogan might go all Joe Rogan on him and end his ability to speak. Actually, carry on Carlos.

You can also check out Joe's official site where he has a more in-depth explanation for what happened that night, and a history of he and Carlos's highs and lows. It's pretty funny because if you read into it a little bit, it's pretty clear that Joe wants to kick Carlos' ass. The image from Joe's site, which I have blatantly copied and put here (appropriate given the whole story) was originally titled 'lovingyou.jpg.' Dude's got a sense of humor. Yeah, that'll do nicely.

Pitchers and catchers reported. I joined a fantasy baseball league. I finally have access to ESPN Insider, complete with fantasy reports and predictions. There goes the spring/summer. Sorry Gwen.

15 February, 2007

New goals in life include...

I ramble on and on about 24 on a weekly basis, but I do realize it's only a TV show, not, as some people ::coughGwencough:: seem to think I feel, life.

But shit, away from 24, Kiefer William Frederick Dempsey George Rufus Sutherland is the man. From the news and all the gossip I hear about him, he's absolutely insane when left to his own devices. Kiefer's entire life is lived out like Jack Bauer's after a 24 hour shit show.

The guy is definitely not as strait-laced as his character, or anything he's been in for that matter. Gossip column's occasionally report his appearance at some dive bar with a group of buddies, demanding a tab be started with a Jim Beam on the rocks at 9 am. Straight whiskey in a dive bar at 9 am? Done and done. You just KNOW he's having a good time.

I'm not reckless by nature, nor do I like being drunk, really. However, I would certainly make an exception if I got the chance to drink with Kiefer Sutherland. Wouldn't you? If the answer is no, stop reading. If you're still with me, carry on.

One witness from such a a recent outing said Kiefer claimed his wallet was "indisposed." He said "It's been stolen! I promise I'll come back and pay." The witness said:
"He started to go into a series of karate kicks in the middle of the floor while the bartender, waitress and several customers looked on," a source reports. Thankfully, a star-struck fan agreed to buy him several J&B's on the rocks. After devouring a plate of chicken wings and littering the floor with bones, the star left without tipping."
Seriously, dude is karate kicking in the middle of a bar BEFORE he was drunk. He's one of the highest paid TV actors out there and yet some fan is buying him Beam. Unbelievable, but also awesome. Plus he's living in the middle ages still, just throwing bones on the floor. I'm sure waiters and bartenders hate the dude, but that's why I want to hang with him for a night.

Here are a few news/gossip reports from the past as further required reading.

- Attacking a Christmas tree while drunk

- Indecent Exposure and the like

- Transvestite fun

- Impromptu male revue performance

- Bar fight requiring stitches

Like I said, I'm not a big drinker, but you can see how this guy would be insane to hang with for a night. I think I'm going to make it my personal mission in life to have this happen.

I've definitely heard a couple times of people seeing him in a bar and then ending up hanging out with he and his small group for the rest of the night. I need to be that person. I would certainly throw my generally reserved drinking habits to the wind, that's for sure. Not that I'd be all about the taking my pants off (or him taking his pants off for that matter), but still.

Amazing photoshop contest with a theme appropriate to this post.

Some random facts about Kiefer from IMDB:
- Traveled with the rodeo circuit in the late 1990s and won rodeos in Phoenix and Albuquerque.

- When starting up on the rodeo circuit he decided to buy all the things needed. The horses, the bulls/cows, the tractors, the 900 acre ranch in Montana, then sold it once he was finished.

- Plays ice hockey on a celebrity team.

- Earned first place in the US Team Roping Championships.

- Is close friends with hockey legend Wayne Gretzky

- Is a huge fan of the rock band Queen

You know he'd go insane at Bob and Barbara's here in Philly. $3 for a shot of Jim Beam and a PBR can. Well, insane or dead.

Kiefer, if you're the kind of person who google's himself and you happen to see this blog, e-mail me. Seriously. That would be about the best thing ever.

14 February, 2007

Why aren't any streets clear at noontime around this dungeon?

When I said yesterday that it sucked riding my bike to work, I had no idea what was in store for today. I took a look at the road in front of my apartment this morning and figured that there was no way I'm pushing my thin-ass bike tires through that.

So I start walking, figuring no problem, I'll hail a cab. I get a couple blocks and notice there's not really any cabs on the road. Or cars, or even people. Probably just because of the snow, I thought. This is a city, there's always cabs around, it'll be fine.

27 blocks later I arrived at work, on foot and pissed. The net total of cabs that passed me on the way there? Three, and they all had fares. I called the numbers on all three cabs and asked for a pick-up, and was told by all three that there were no cabs in the area.

I should have taken the Market-Frankford line, at least that's running, and quite a bit safer than driving anyhow. It really is good that I didn't ride my bike though, I would still be pedaling. The roads were truly awful from door to door, including the South St. bridge, which usually gets cleared up pretty quickly.

Coincidentally I was more awake when I got to work today than I have ever been before. Usually I glide through the city in a state of half consciousness on my way to work, and remain that way until after my coffee has some time to settle in. Nope, today I trekked through the snow for 45 minutes, which will wake anyone up.

On another note, at around one today the streets around Penn still had not been cleared, nor had the sidewalks. Not even on Chestnut St., a main drag for this part of the city. Odd.

I've been in the mood for deviled eggs ever since last Sunday when I had them at work, and I think today might be the day I go right ahead and make them. Either that or egg salad. Or both, because I am having trouble deciding between the two.

I've also been in the mood for salad in general. Since there isn't much food at my house accounting to the fact that we haven't been grocery shopping in ever, I'm usually in the mood to eat something.

New episode of Lost tonight. Goodie.

England sucks for kids. Now with scientific clout!

Orienteering course on Mars. Echo course would be hard, sound doesn't travel well there right?

Image from Flickr user NoOtherOne, who has some nice shots of Philly

13 February, 2007

The busses are coming...

Dogs have so much fun in the snow, until their feet get cold and they whine a lot. I caught these two at just the right time, in between doing their business and wanting to go back inside. The little one kept trying to get at me by crawling under the fence, and she would look up with snow all over her face, hanging from the fur around her mouth. It was cute.

Today has kind of sucked so far, and kind of been awesome. I'll explain for the benefit of the class.

Most of my office is on a staff retreat today. Yesterday I asked a few people around the office if things would be locked up today, or if I would be able to come in and do some work anyway. I was told it would be unlocked, no problem, but that nobody else would be there. Perfect. No disturbances.

So I get up a little late today, planning to go in for a few hours. I hop on the bike and schlep my way up to 34th st. Lock up, grab a coffee and head inside. No haggling with the security guard today, which was a pleasant surprise. Up the steps, finally to the office.

Of course the doors are locked. Of course the lights are off. Why wouldn't they be? I half expected the office to be closed, but I figured it would at least be unlocked for the other people who come in and drop things off, deliver packages, clean, etc. No such luck.

That was the bad part of my day. Well, that and riding back.

The good part of my day was heading back into Bucks County to sit at a table, do the crossword uninterrupted and finish my coffee. And then to the Metro crossword. I just didn't feel like riding back yet, I needed to warm up and dry off just a little bit first.

Of course while I was trying to do the crossword, the table of girls behind me talked the whole time about how one of their friends was dating someone horrible and they wanted to beat him up or some such nonsense. Then they complained that their latte's were a touch on the foamy side. In other news I dislike people.

I have been listening to Less Than Jake nonstop for 3 days now. I've been in a mood. A mood for ska. Don't tell anyone though, I don't want word getting out.

Someone recently clicked through my blog after doing a google search for "Nadia Yassir Nude." Sorry buddy, not finding anything of that sort here. This is a family-friendly blog. If your family is bitter and occasionally curses. You know the deal.

More on 24 later, don't think I didn't take notes.

Stir plot, cover, simmer for two hours

Two hours of 24 was certainly promising; the hope for some sweet Bauer action was palpable. Unfortunately it didn't play out that way. Sure, there were a few moments of action, but hardly enough eight and nine hours into the show. Like Jack here, we're just waiting.

That is not to say I'm bored; it's a good plot so far, well thought out and cohesive, but the execution of that plot on CTU's part really needs to pick up some speed. It's almost too involved at this point, too much to keep track of. Not like season four, with it's many plots and many resolutions, and not like season one with its singular plot. Definitely a mix of the two; complex plot, plodding pace.

But it's tough to keep track of for sure, and this week's two hour special didn't help matters. Here is what we as viewers need to keep in mind each and every episode thus far, and some notes/speculation on those as I see necessary.

- How is Papa Bauer involved? What's the bigger connection, and does Graem's involvement in season five mean that he and Phillip were involved before then as well?

- How ruthless IS Phillip Bauer? I'm certain he'll go as far as to kill Josh Bauer, and Marilyn should have known that. She certainly should have said something to Jack in the car there. It looked like she was trying to before he and the agents went in to the rigged house, but didn't make it in time.

- What's going on with Milo and Marilyn now? Milo is obviously tougher than I originally thought, but that doesn't mean he's not going to get himself captured. They were in the preview for the next episode so there's not much to that, but still.

- How frosty was the marriage between Marilyn and Graem? She didn't seem too upset when informed of her husband's death. "I've been trying to leave Graem for years." ::yawn:: didn't see THAT coming an hour ago, as soon as she found out Graem was dead. I wonder what went on, exactly, between she and Jack.

- Along those lines, who is Chloe going to coddle now that both Milo AND Morris have gone 'in the field' and gotten themselves into trouble. She's going to have a breakdown trying to keep those two in line.

- Where are the other three nukes? What are the other targets for the day? Morris seems to have programed "the device" to actually work, not to self-destruct or something like I thought he would. No good.

- How long will it be until Karen Hayes comes back to kick Tom Lennox's ass? She's definitely not out of the picture, but it's unclear in what capacity she will return. My guess? Something happens to Buchanan that he can't run CTU. What other reason would there be for her returning to Los Angeles immediately after resigning?

- Will Tom go through with whatever plot his little lap dog turned puppet master has cooked up? What IS that plot anyway? Who's behind it?

- Is Al-Assad truly trying to build a peace between his group and America, or is this some sort of other plot we don't even know about yet? Unclear.

- Will Jack hold up emotionally and physically to the stress of another 15 straight hours? He went from one stressful day, straight to a container ship and two years of captivity, and right back in to another terrorist plot. Not exactly much time to relax during all that, eh?

- Where is the catastrophic failure of a sub-plot featuring Walid Al-Rezani and Sandra Palmer headed? Nowhere I hope. If I never see (or hear) her again I'll be more than happy. I'm sure she and her big mouth will be back, though.
- To what extent is Gredenko involved? Surely he'll be around much longer in the season than Fayed. How much further up the chain does this whole thing go? Is Phillip the end of the line?

- What is Vice-President Daniels' agenda through all his? He's sort of like Lennox in that he doesn't agree with the President, but is he involved in some other way, or just balancing the powers in the White House?

- What is Wayne Palmer expecting from Al-Assad's televised address? What brought on his sudden bout of conscience/growing a pair? Can that continue? Is Lennox going to get involved in another 24 assassination attempt, or something less serious to remove Palmer from office? More importantly, from where did Palmer pull this face? Pensive? Angry? Constipated?

...And that's just off the top of my head. I'm sure I'm forgetting something here, and if I am feel free to comment.

Something HAS to give, and soon. There is too much going on to add anything else to the plot. Next week something must be resolved, hopefully in a swift manner with lots of shooting and yelling "My name is Jack Bauer, I'm a federal agent."

If not, I'm just going to have to go and watch season four again as a coping mechanism.

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And now, some notes from the two hour block:

- There's no need for the satellite tracking Milo; Jack's there in real time. In a helicopter. Seeing a much less pixilated version of things. They still lost him. Duh.

- When McCarthy broke the window of that truck, I was kind of hoping some hillbilly was inside. That would have ruled. This is also why I don't get to write TV shows. All my characters would meet funny but unfortunate endings, including the main character, very early in the season.

- Speaking of trucks, when the was that Kurt Russel in that truck that drove by during the underpass scene, smoking on his way to another blown audition? That would be a good fight, Snake Pliskin v. Jack. Who wins?

- I KNEW the blonde would come through in the end. Didn't see her shooting McCarthy and taking the money for herself based on Morris' coercion. Weird… She got it in the end though. Some not so subtle commentary on greed. And blondes.

- You need to use your influence? More like You need to use your inside voice.

- I wish Cingular or other phone services made it that easy to "upload data." Maybe it wouldn't take so damn long to program in all those freaking numbers every time I get a new phone.

- The temporary removal of Chloe directly causes Jack and CTU to lose McCarthy.

- Second-fiddle terrorist: "There really is a fire, what do we do?" BWA HA HA. Worst acting ever.

- When Jack and the CTU gang bust in, it looks like the shooting gallery in an arcade where the various prairie dogs pop out of the ground with targets on them. Also Jack and a shotgun are a winning team.

- My note when Marilyn said she might recognize the house: "They're going to drive around West LA looking for a random house, and find it in under an hour? Seems plausible."

- Another note: "Chloe running point from CTU? Something goes down on this for SURE. Phillip Bauer is one conniving old bastard. And the best is that everyone trusts him."

- Jack to Marilyn: "I promise you I won't put you in any danger." Clearly a lie.

- Did you SEE that gratuitous long shot of the Ford logo on the car Jack was driving? I kind of want a Ford now. Not sure why. Oh, and a gun.

- And finally, Milo driving that souped up UPS truck through the Playskool Kiddie castle as absolutely priceless. That the cascade of grenades going off.------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
And that's a wrap this week. Check back next week (and whenever really) for more 24 speculation sure to be proven wrong mere days later.

09 February, 2007

How awkward is it to call someone 'big dirty' instead of a name? Very.

Thursday night I went out to West Philly to see The Tressels at the Millcreek Tavern. This is the band that I reviewed for Wonkavision and picked for the Citypaper as one of the better albums of the year. They're even better live, trust me. They played a short set, but played very well. I'd definitely like to see these guys again. If you aren't in the know yet, they're new album is on the itunes store or you can hit up their myspace here.

They really pride themselves on the live act, and according to singer Butch, are planning on heading out for a tour sometime this spring to the south, and then trying to hit some of the more urban places on the East Coast. I know wherever I am this summer I'll look out for them. Definitely worth seeing.

The dudes in the band are pretty nice as well, and I found out that their bassist, John Graham, graduated from La Salle a year in front of me. It was one of those sort of awkward moments upon that revelation, where we both said "did you go to La Salle?" at the same time.

Millcreek itself is a good place, with a stage that is disproportionately small to the rest of the room. Apparently they also have DJ nights there, and one was immediately following the show. Since The Tressels were the closers, the DJ was setting up in another corner, and people were beginning to filter in. Such a different crowd, it was odd. I can't see the place turning into a hoppin club, a la Cinderella's pumpkin, at midnight. but word is that it's a regular thing. Odd.Mark and Mike Ionescu, from John Carroll days, opened a business in Baltimore. I remember Mark talking to me about it two years ago, and it's finally coming out. Basically, they're putting information kiosks at notable places around the city so people can use them to find stuff to do. Pretty simple, right? They also give printable directions and do a ton of other stuff. Definitely a good idea, plus they're developing an online presence too, which will help.

This article depresses me. Not because I enjoy reading the paper (I currently read it online daily anyway), but because if the NY Times goes online only, where will I get my daily crossword? Seriously this is a big deal for me, and other people I'm sure.

This dude is an idiot. An honest man of his word, but an idiot none the less. These are the kinds of bets one should not make, I assure you.

The most fitting eulogy to Anna Nicole. Don't read if you're offended by dirty humor. Otherwise, click on through.

The World Press photo competition winners gallery is filled with all sorts of depressing shots. Seriously, not a single one is uplifting. What a world.

I cracked 10,000 visitors to this blog on Thursday. I will celebrate this milestone by doing nothing in particular, because certainly 8,000 of those were me (kidding. I have a cookie that blocks my loads from being counted.)

08 February, 2007

Carnival of Bauer - Noon-1:00 PM


Hour seven was a little slow, but Jack started to get back on the wagon with a respectable kill. Papa Bauer had two, but come on, we just found out the guy is the man behind the man, he's tougher than we thought. With a two hour double feature next week, hour seven was all the more important to set up the imminent bloodbath. Don't think the Carnival of Bauer contributors didn't notice.

This week's Carnival includes a lot of great entries, so let's jump right in... and don't forget to head over to Blogs4Bauer when you're finished for all the week-long 24 musings you can handle. Note: a few people were generous with their contributions and submitted more than once. Double contributors are linked within the same post.

- Jack handles the recent Boston Crisis
Let's start right off with a mash up video. Space Ghost meets Aqua Teen meets 24. Hilarious. If there's anyone smarter than the CTU servers, it's Frylock.

- Reviews and More - 24 6x07
Checking in for the first time, J.E. of Reviews and More totally called Morris' involvement, and like many of us, wishes for more action scenes. Don't worry, they're coming...

- CTU Interrogator Rick Burke's Online Dating Profile
The Jack Sack did some digging, and look what they uncovered... Creepily enough I'm sure if you looked hard enough on match.com you'd find something like this. And if you're into the whole satire bit, they've also got a hilarious take off on the McLaughlin Group.

- Magic Lamp - 12 pm to 1 pm Synopsis
Steve over at Magic lamp offers such brilliant lines as "Jack and his father are about to sing “Unchained Melody” in the back of a van." Hilarious summary of hour 7.

- Morning Maniac Music
Morning Maniac Dave says 24 is the Best Male Soap Opera Ever. Don't let Jack catch you calling the episodes "my stories."

- Bauer Prediction: No Nuke for You (yet)
Media Shuffle isn't too far off the mark here. Official Pardons don't come that easily on 24 though, right? ::Cough:: Right? Oh, and Edgar Stiles apparently smuggled himself into Vegas. Must have been a big box...

- Hugs, Not Drugs: The Softer Side of Jack...
Ched at Says Simpleton gives us a quick look into Jack's new torture methods. Great aside at the end, too.

- The following takes place...
Gennifer of Where Are We Going And Why Am I In This Handbasket? offers up a few notable quotes and comments. Short and sweet.

- It's only the world's most intricate and flawlessly executed conspiracy ever, ever
Cake or Death's JWookie tidily unwinds the Bauer's and their wacky, unbelievably complex plots to rule the world! Okay, maybe it's not so tidy, but neither is the conspiracy. It's funny though, so go now.

- The Sins of the Father
Doug at Below the Beltway focuses in on the hours events, and gives a quick re-cap of the family goings-on, and follows up with some short commentary on a pro-24 Wall Street Journal article.

- Next week on 24, the Bauers go to therapy
PantryGirl has some fantastic comments about the father son relationship, but it seems what she's most interested in is interrogation specialist Ricky. Check it out for specifics, this here's a PG-13 blog (most of the time).

- Jack Loses It
King Tom still can't figure out if it's Gray, Graham or Graeme, but decides it doesn't matter anymore amongst other random commentary from day 7.

- And Then There Were Two?
If you missed any details from last Monday's hour, Emperor Misha I of Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler has your back. Great read, not only because it's funny but because there's some good insight as well.

- The Rookie: CTU
Jeremy Valdez, playing rookie agent Jason Blaine, seems to channel a young Tony Almeida in the The Rookie mini-series. The resemblance is uncanny, down to helping the lady with her dog. Go watch, they're short.

AND last but certainly not least,

- Rickey Presents: Your Weekly"24" Fix
The Immortal Ricky Henderson, next week's Carnival of Bauer host, tides us over until next Monday at **8 PM with the weekly 24 wrap-up. "Meanwhile, somewhere, after watching Wayne's latest speech on TV and realizing that despite being an evil megalomaniac hellbent on trampling the Constitution, he'd still do a better job than Wayne Palmer, Charles Logan slowly rises from the couch to freshen his drink." Amazing.

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That's all for this week. Some good entries, some great entries, and some entries that seem to have been channeled through some sort of lucidity brain filter. Enjoy!

These make me feel cold just looking at them

1. Traffic on 76 and the beginnings of West Philly. I was hoping to get some pictures of the city skyline as the sun set, but it had gone down too much when I arrived, and the brilliant glow had faded.
2. South St. Bridge iron work. Soon to be replaced.
3. Through the iron grating.
4. Train tracks along the Schuylkill. I like this shot, but regret putting the camera away so soon. A train came toward the bridge from the horizon moments later, and would have made for a good shot. It was cold though, so I wasn't staying out there too long.

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It was damn cold today, too cold to be outside really. I have been meaning to take some pictures from the South St. Bridge for some time now, as I pass over it daily on the way to and from work. I don't generally bring the camera with me, but I happened to have it today. It was a nice, clear evening, the post-snow sort that it bitterly cold but still bright. Looking at these pictures, I feel cold.

It seems that the cold either keeps people inside or brings the crazies out. Every day this week, a lady who I presume to be homeless or transient has been sitting in front of Bucks County Coffee. From the time I get to work in the morning to the time I leave, she's been parked on the metal patio furniture.

Not only does she sit there, but she certainly makes her presence known.

"FUCK it's cold" or, alternately, "It's FUCKING cold" she screams intermittently. She demands money or cigarettes from every single person who passes. I'm not exaggerating when I say every person. Then, if you either ignore her or tell her no, she yells "You cheap BASTARD" or "Come on, have some mercy."

I'm not sure how to feel about her. On one hand, it is cold out, and it would suck to be sitting outside. On the other, I don't generally give money to people on the street like that. Not to stereotype, but the one time she was close to me to enough to be intrusive, she reeked of whiskey. This was in the morning. I'm not sure if it was residual or fresh.

The only time I have really given something to someone on the street was in front of Gwen's old apartment. I was very early this fall before moving to Fitzwater St. I was getting out of my car, and saw a man on the steps directly next to my spot. It was the first night of the year with a chill in the air, and the man was sitting up, holding his hands around his knees to keep warm. He didn't ask me for money or anything, but he looked cold. I gave him the army surplus blanket from my trunk which I had gotten for free at camp last summer.

How I saw that man and how I see this woman is different, though their situations may be similar. She sits and yells at people. I don't mean to come off as entitled or snide, but isn't that a very unproductive way to go about things? I wonder where she goes at night. Certainly she doesn't stay outside all the time. There must be a shelter where she sleeps or something. It's been so unrelentingly cold lately that staying outside 24 hours a day would lead to hypothermia no matter what you are wearing.

07 February, 2007

Look, winter's here. Who knew?

The bike ride to work this morning was adventurous. The snow that fell last night was the type that becomes denser underfoot (or tire), and thus much more treacherous to navigate. So I took it slow and made sure to stay in a relatively straight line, ensuring that my tires wouldn't slip out from under me.

The guy who blew by me on his mountain bike didn't have the same ideas about snow, apparently. I guess someone neglected to inform him that a full suspension Fuji tricked out with splatter guards and snow tires doesn't do too much good when you ride like an asshole.

As I was approaching 20th street on Fitzwater, I heard furious pedaling behind me, and was quickly overtaken by someone wearing shorts and spandex-style leggings underneath, messenger style. I was riding in the road exposed by car tires, but this guy was blowing down the middle of the road. Okay, whatever, I thought. Then in one of those moments that seems to hang around in your consciousness for a few moments as it's happening, he tried to take the corner onto 20th. I say tried because his tires, replete with metal nubs for snow-riding, gave way underneath of him just like you see happen to motorcycle racers. He slammed into the car on the other side of the road with a yelp.

As I rolled up slowly, I watched him collect himself off of the ground.
"Pretty sweet huh?" He said.

"You okay?" I asked.

"Yeah, it happened last time it snowed too." he said. "I think I need new tires."
Personally I don't think he needs new tires. I think he needs to not psyche himself into a race with the traffic on his bike in the snow. Just an opinion.

I saw an unfortunate soul do the same thing when I got closer to Penn, although they were trying to navigate down a short flight of stairs. Probably equally as stupid, considering the steps were covered in snow. What is wrong with people?

Prior to seeing the biker at 20th, I saw Drew on his way to work this morning. It reminded me of college, seeing someone on the Union patio or in Backstage or whatever. Except Drew and I were on the street and headed in opposite directions. And we didn't discuss MVP, which was another hallmark of my college career.

Now that college IS indeed over, I've been paying my student loans regularly every month. Today I looked at the loan details and found out that I won't be finished paying that off until I'm 37. How utterly depressing is that? By the end of it I will have paid $6,272.85 more than the original loan. Again, depressing. This is why I need a "real" job so I can start paying more on that loan, finish sooner and pay less interest. Or I could win the Sallie May Sweepstakes and it'd be all paid up. Now THAT would be sweet.

When you start watching the Gilmore Girls and wake up to Veronica Mars on TV, you KNOW something's wrong. I don't know what got in to me last night, but I was in bed and passed out by 10:30. I even fell asleep during the end of Gilmore Girls, which was at like 8:40 or so. Ridiculous. I was still tired when I got up this morning at 8:30, so I think what my body is trying to tell me is get more sleep. Just a hunch.

This week is flying by so far, and I'm not really sure why. Generally by the time Wednesday night comes around, I feel like I'm running in to a wall. Maybe the anticipation at the return of Lost has been holding my head above water this week. By now Evangeline Lily has found somewhere to live, and we can settle in for 16 new episodes. It starts at 10, so I hope I can make it through the entire episode. Kidding. Sort of...

I don't have much to say today, since I haven't done anything but sleep and work. I took a picture of flags on Sansom St. Ate some lunch. Tried and failed to devise some get rich quick schemes. Failed. Obviously. It's been a productive day.

06 February, 2007

Hendrix on vinyl... sweet dude.

This past weekend I was back in Maryland for a night to help my mom do some stuff around the house, sanding the walls upstairs to prep for painting, taking things to the dump and recycling center, etc. She's moving in April, so I'm going to give her a hand doing some stuff like that. Come to find out she's planning on tossing her stereo and record collection. Being the music aficionado that I am, I couldn't let that happen. There's some great stuff in there, including a good deal of original Beatles records, Simon and Garfunkel, Jim Croce, Donovan, etc. So, I round up all the records, unplug the stereo, and as you can see from above it now resides in the middle of my living room. I came home yesterday and Gwen had been listening to Lionel Ritchie. No joke.

While I was home, I tore a hole in the crotch of my jeans large enough to indicate to me that it was time to go shopping. I hate shopping, and I especially hate shopping in the mall. I've been going to the same department store to get jeans for the last 6 years; same brand, same style, same size. In and out in less than 5 minutes, no problem. I don't have to spend any extraneous time there because I know what I want in what size, and I know where it is on the shelf.

Only this time I go in to find that the jeans I like aren't being made anymore.

Needless to say I'm upset by this. I am not a normally proportioned male according to the sizing pattern that most pants comply with. I'm not terribly tall, but I'm not overly skinny either, and pants are simply just not cut to fit me correctly. So anyhow the search begins. Try on a couple pairs at a couple different stores, but nothing works. I return home angry at the entire clothing industry.

Two days later I'm out again and I decided to try the more 'upscale' city places. I found out through some interwebing that Urban Outfitters sells Levi's (my preferred brand) so I stopped in after work. Come to find out they only sell Levi's for rail thin folks and lanky hipsters. Didn't see THAT coming at all, no. The ones they sold that did fit me were of the pre-faded, pre-ripped worn in variety. Pardon me for thinking that as the purchaser of jeans, that should be my job.

So I head to American Apparel, where they don't even sell jeans. They do sell lots of exercise clothing, apparently. Finally I make my way to Gap.

Now I've always had a liking for Gap due to their lack of branded clothing and gratuitous logo usage. Also, their wall of jeans in the back looked very promising. I knew success was imminent when the first size I saw was a 38x30. For those not familiar with men's sizing, this is like finding a drunk Jessica Alba chugging syrup at Waffle House alone at 5am. Not happening. Generally sizes above 32 waist will jump to a 32 inseam or more, and escalate from there.

I managed to find a a pair of jeans not only in my size, but also without any of the little rips, tears, fades or imperfections that would have cost me more money anyway. I bought two pairs. Hey, when one gets a hole, I've got another pair waiting in the wings now. A year an a half ago I could have bought several pairs of the jeans I like, but I resisted. "I can always come back and get another pair, and since I wear one pair at a time until they're worn to crap, why bother?" I reasoned with myself. That said, with the purchase of two pairs of jeans on this go-round, I don't think I'll be in the market for jeans for at least another 2 years. Maybe by that time the CO2 levels in the atmosphere will have caused global warming to alleviate the world of its need for jeans. That will be a sad day indeed.*

If anyone is interested on Thursday The Tressels are playing a free show at the Millcreek Tavern at 8:30ish. These guys are locals and had one of the best CD's I heard in all of 2006. I've been told they're better live than on CD (most bands are), so I'm definitely going to head over. Drop me a line if you're gonna go as well. I plan on riding my bike there and drinking just enough that I'm not terribly cold on the bike ride back. Their Late Nite Drink Special: every night 9 to 11pm $2.50 domestic bottles, $2.50 domestic pints, $2.50 well drinks and $6 domestic pitchers. I'm sold. I can go and get...two beers. Better make them good ones.

It's Tuesday, which means Gilmore Girls is on tonight. I am not going to try and defend my personal adoration for the show in a long winded manner. I am only going to say that I like it because I enjoy the the witty banter between the characters. Knowing that Norlen likes it too helps me to justify my love for the show to myself, as well. I need re-assurance from others in all things all the time.**

For the benefit of Seth and those interested, I leave you with a picture of the Holiday Bush, now lost forever to the Penn disposal facilities. The string of lights is still in my desk drawer, however.
* This post wins for the most gratuitous usage of the word jeans in this blog to date.
** Note: heavy sarcasm on the reassurance thing.