Fuckin' Bingo!

Deedelee Deedelee Deedelee Deee! In case you didn't catch it, that was a rockin' air guitar solo. Word. Last night we went out to play bingo whilst celebrating a birthday. I've always been a fan of bingo. I don't know if its the little blue hairs, the big stampers, or the charismatic callers (you have to be charismatic to even try out....). This place last night had none of those things. But it did have Cussing Bingo in which everyone had the green light to voice their displeasure with the calls ("God damn O 68 Fuckin' sucks!") or yell bingo with extra flair ("Fuckin' BINGO!!!!!!"). Either way it was entertaining. Their prizes were also very entertaining: t-shirt, many $3.50 gift certificates, waffle maker, circa 1972 Dr. Scholls Foot Massager, an old George Foreman grill, and even a lava lamp. Ah, how could I forget... One game was also called "What's in the nut?". During this particular game you could win through the normal coarse or Bingo or guess what was literally in a large nut up on the table. Just in case you were wondering, a loaded pair of dice were in the nut and somebody did guess it.

editors note: this post brought to you without the aid of coffee, the utter horror.


Mr. George Strait

a toast to Mr. George Strait

A toast to Mr. George Strait. This weekend I made an especially quick trip (more on that score later) up to Seattle to see George Strait in concert with my brother and sister. That's right, people. George Strait. Mr. George Strait. "All My Exes Live in Texas" Mr. George Strait. Yes, I still listen to new country music, though I can't say I do it that often anymore. But sometimes when I hear twin fiddles and a steel guitar.... er, uh, yeah. Sorry 'bout that. Anyway, it was a gorgeous day up in Seattle, ran some errands with the sis, went to the concert, then beat feet home. You'll recall, dear reader, that I said it was an especially quick trip. It was so quick the state patrolman outside of Olympia thought I should slow down. Doh! As Washington no longer receives my sales tax on a regular basis, I choose to view the ticket as my little way of supporting the state budget. I think that is what we would call the glass being half full. Whatev.



Ah, the undergraduate life... how I miss it. Err, well sometimes, I guess. I was able to experience the tiniest snippets of the good life yesterday, which I suppose is all one would want beyond a certain point. First and foremost, I worked from home. I was home all day. I worked in my sweatpants. I worked at my kitchen table. I worked with good coffee at my side. Hmmmm, methinks we should divorce the concepts of work and good coffee from the stereotypical undergraduate life. I digress. In the evening, I consumed mass quantities of pizza washed down with a few good beers with R!. It was, from any formulation of a good undergad experience, undergradarific. But the icing on the cake, the show stopper of the evening, the confirmation of oh-so-many stereotypes in one fell swoop came from a table across the way. There on the far side of the restaurant sat a table of wee sorority girls. A whole passel of them. Just as I looked over the waitress delivered their food. She carried approximately 8-10 salads on her tray. I saw no pizza. Salads in pizza joints, not against the rules. But an entire table full of salads with nary a slice in sight... Ay dios mio. Let us be grateful it was just the tiniest of snippets into that world.


beer update

yeast at work

On Monday the beer received the second round of hops. We had to fight with it a little (Ahem, "But I don't want any more hops!"). We convinced it that the extra hops would toughen it up, make it a streetwise beer. Ultimately its for its own good, right? A little tough love?


a quote for Chris

Parker Posey as Mary in Party Girl: "I think I'm becoming an existentialist."


moderately entertaining bits

high-brow smore bits homemade  marshmallow

A weekend, in list form:
  • time warp cookbooks: you find recipes that call for the brains of some young hooved animal. Always entertaining.... though I've heard American butchers really just don't know how to properly extract the brain intact.
  • ladybugs: as identified by a documentary, ladybugs are "voracious carnivores," a practically unmatched predator.
  • Angela Davis: hells yes.
  • got myself a much needed shoulder massage: got myself arms that sit at two different points due to uneven relaxation. Oops. That shall be remedied.
  • smores: bring the campfire home with smores made via gas range. This is infinitely more efficient than a candle.


Bourgeoisie Trappings

Bourgeoisie Store: Wine "Cave"
Recently our neighborhood grocery store completed a fancy new building to house its wares. Their previous store needed some serious work done, but this is not to say that a totally new building was necessary. This has created a bit of a controversy... most people tend towards the extreme opposite ends of love it or hate it, let's not even start on the new parking lot. The new building displeases R!. He found the old one perfectly adequate and recoils at the over-the-top, yuppified, bourgeoisie trappings. It is the building he distrusts, not the food. Let us be very clear... the same products and produce are sold. I have no problem with the store and find the over-the-top, yuppified, bourgeoisie trappings to be quite fascinating and whole-heartedly entertaining. Please note the wine "cave" of the above photograph. To my mind, the food finally fits the store. As Camille has repeatedly pointed out (with an air of annoyance, I might add), yuppies makes some damn good food and drink some damn good wine... damnitalltohell. Change:a temperamental mistress.



a.m. coffee
Reasons why I love coffee, a list:
  • drinking it constitutes an activity unto itself, alone or with friends
  • it tastes delightful
  • it provides a nice little boost
  • I like beans
  • just when you thought it couldn't get any better, you pair it with pie (or dessert of your choice)
  • Diners, the greasy spoons that sell cheap coffee that you suck down all the same (this can also be associated with the previous item on the list)
  • in my experience, many of the best people are robust coffee drinkers


and on the seventh day, They made beer....

On Sunday we made beer. The "we" being the ever-delightful Austin and Nina, Eliz, and, of course, R! and I. For those of you who are interested, the beer was a Double IPA. This one is guaranteed to knock your socks off when all is said and done. We're thinking the alcohol content will be up somewhere around 9 to 10% (insert evil laugh here). Things to keep in mind when making beer:
  • sterilization is key... I think we can all agree that's a good thing.
  • you must have Lincoln logs or coloring books around to keep people occupied... there's a lot of waiting and Rick and I only know so many dance routines.
  • "40oz. to Freedom" is a good song to kick off any beer-making playlist
  • it is better to drink beer while making beer... when you taste the wort at each particular stage of creation you can then test that against the beer in your other hand
On non-beer making fronts, I'm adding an entertaining Flickr friend to the mix of blogs. Diluvienne loves her Canon 30D (which treats her and her pictures well) and despises the anit-intellecutalism of Quebec. Methinks she's in good company with that particular feeling.



As seen from my covert position inside the real world:

1. Big Corporation Irony - Big Corporation employs quite a diverse workforce yet does not observe Martin Luther King Day.
2. Legs associated with wines are, in fact, connected to alcohol content. I stand corrected.
3. Tech geeks do hit on unsuspecting women and then mutter things like "strike two" when they're shot down.

If you're so fortunate as to have the day off, enjoy it. Go outside, flee your normal schedule (weekend or otherwise), and by all means give the man at least 1 minute of your time. The particular phase of the Civil Rights movement that King helped shape is worth your time. And if you're so inclined, the phases that preceded it and followed it are quite interesting (dare I say more so) and important in their own right....


Overheard in an Airport Bar

Spending $16 on glasses of wine while waiting for flight has its advantages. One advantage of spending $16 on wine in an airport is that it totally makes up for the fact that you neglected to check the actual time of departure. What? You arrive early because you’re a recently outed Type A personality? Early is good! Early is good until you realize you’re a little over an hour off in your estimation of departure times. Thus the glasses and an entertaining hop home. Other advantages of multiple glasses of wine while waiting: successfully identifying the theme song of Beverly Hills Cop for bar seat neighbors when they were clearly pursuing the wrong path. Come on, if you’re going to make your phone ringer the theme song to Beverly Hills Cop at least have the presence of mind to remember the damn movie. Additionally, after multiple glasses of wine while sitting and reading it might be necessary to bite one’s tongue when new, younger bar neighbors repeatedly use the word “wicked” as an adjective and/or place-holder. Seriously, “wicked”? Why not throw in “smokin’” or “screamin’”, or perhaps the ever-delightful “bitchen’”? Vary your word choice, people! It is as if they moved on from inserting the word “like” at least three times into each sentence to a tasteful use of the word “wicked.”

On moderate beer and wine snobbery: I’m sorry, I know I’m a snob when it comes to beer and wine… look at where I come from. But how can you not know one of the larger British imports of beer, namely Newcastle Brown Ale? Airport bar quote: Ahem,… “Newcastle, I thought you might like it. It sounded imported.”

Quick Trips and Short Notice

Back from the Land of Strip Malls. Things to report.... what do I have to report? I know I have things to report. Lets go with highlights instead. Highlights: I was able to see the castaways (I mean the people that fled) the History department of a certain unnamed institution again. Go Ducks! I mean, Go Banana Slugs! Errr, yes, so. I had the distinct pleasure of seeing Ana, Chris, and Re-Becky this last Thursday night. I had almost 4 precious hours with them (and one of their delightful cohort). This was 4 hours courtesy of the company dollar. Four hours courtesy of The Man. Four hours of good food; four hours of good wine (well not so much for me as I was driving); four hours of conversation, of laughs, of animals, of Hug Attttaaaaaaacks! You take what you can get in life. Four hours, four days, four years... I don’t know. I speak from amazingly limited experience.

Unicorn picture for Camille.


Off we go, into the wild blue yonder....

Where the Cool Kids Are
Gather round, children. Once again it's time to take to the sky and return to The Land of Strip Malls. I'll channel my inner Sea Otter, my Corporate Animal Spirit as identified by my spirititual advisor A., and rock the casbah... er, I mean the training.

As an added bonus, I'll once again be able to see the Ultra Hip: Ana, Chris, & Re-Becky. I feel quite fortunate when it comes to these three. Not only are they Ultra Hip and still agree to hang out with me, but I've been able to see them much more than previously anticipated already. Huzzah! Here comes a Hug Atttaaaaaack!


Enchiladas; or Back to My Roots

Last night I went back to my roots. I made enchiladadas with R!'s assistance. Frankly I feel a little bad because you, dear reader, cannot share in the experience. Pictures and words can only do so much. Lets just say, it was one of my finer enchilada moments. To pick up where KRF left off, eating out is an enjoyable experience. But creating your own kick-ass food is delightful as well. I would like to bring up one small caveat centered on smell. One must be careful with cooking choices and their consequences, especially the day-after smell. The scent of enchiladas fades rather quickly... anything made with curry, however, lingers like a visitor that doesn't know when to leave.

Oh. One more thing. Wine goes with just about anything. But that's just me.



Well, the numbers for the wool-clad feet seemed to have plateaued a bit. I think this is to be expected given the search parameters of Flickr. That's right, I said search parameters. Though the numbers have plateaued, there's no reason to be disappointed... the picture drew more traffic in about 4 hours than things I've had linked and up for a much longer duration. I'll continue to keep an eye on it, but man-oh-man...

For whatever reason, this topic makes my mind turn to Mr. Walt Whitman:

Great is goodness;
I do not know what it is any more than I know what health is....
but I know it is great.
Great is wickedness.... I find I often admire it just as much as I admire goodness:
Do you call that a paradox? It certainly is a paradox.

Oddly enough, the fact that people checked out our wool-socked feet doesn't really bother me.



An Experiment

This morning I'm occupying my time with an experiment. I've published a photo on my Flickr site that will serve one purpose, and one purpose alone. This particular photo, one of Rick's and my wool-clad feet, has picked up quite a bit of traffic after less than an hour. That's right, we're attempting to chart the bounds of foot voyeurism... in a highly unscientific but entertaining way. You can view this photo in my photostream, but as long as you don't click on the photo you won't skew the results. I've added a small number of appropriate tags to cast a net, so to speak.

I'm not exactly laughing in the face of scientific method, but I don't really care about statistical reliability at the moment.


Dancing Queen

Last night the folks over at the BCC made me a delicious "thank-you-for-babysitting-our-cat dinner." Yes, Paola came through the time just fine and I received the "I tolerate you" high paw of approval. After said dinner and an entertaining game of "Would You Rather..." (an actual board game), C., E., and I went dancing.... 80s dancing.... hells yes.

80s Dancing Night, in list form:
  • "I don't have a phone." - C.'s response to an obviously drunk and hideously unattractive older guy who wanted her phone number. Guy's drunken response to that comment, "Neither do I!"
  • Pat - an entertaining and impressive sight to behold on a a dance floor... or stage... or speaker.
  • Sparkle Pants Lady with Cowboy Boots Man - she wore shiny/sparkly pants with a spangled shirt... he wore cowboy boots and a deep purple hat like he was Jimi Hendrix. They danced the entire night. It was awesome.
  • Dancing on stage with a pirate. Seriously. A Pirate.
  • Swing dancing (again, on stage) and being told, "I'm going to dance the panties right off you." It would have been really creepy had he not been joking (and a friend of Pat).... okay, that's still slightly skeezy.
  • "Under Pressure" by David Bowie and Queen. I love that damn song.


Lincoln Logs & Music

This latest report is one for the ages. Mark your calenders, people. Lincoln Logs & Music. Word. Err, ah, yeah. So. Lincoln Logs. I recently acquired a miniature set of Lincoln-like Logs from my brother. These things provide endless entertainment. I'm up to 4 house styles and R! recently completed his own offering, a sturdy structure indeed. There's been serious thought given to either a) finding more sets of miniature Lincoln Logs thus enabling us to build log mansions or b) purchasing the REAL Lincoln Logs. They're a much larger building material and provide more pieces in a set. Well, that and they're cool.
Musically speaking, there were some interesting comments mentioned in response to my post. I've been on a bit of a music-hunting quest, as of late. One tool my dad told me about many months ago that I never used until last night was Pandora Internet Radio. R! let me mess around with various artists on his computer last night (this was about all we could do after a most enjoyable and delectable experimental cooking session). Anyway, you chose the artist or song you enjoy and Pandora's magical workings then finds other artists/songs that match your choice in terms of style, influence, etc. I highly recommend the Johnny Cash station. R!'s found some other good ones as well. If your tastes tend more towards obscure Indie Rock, have no fear. They seem to have a good grasp on obscure artists.


Not exactly Jack Handy

Again, with the random thoughts.

1. Why would anyone chose to employ The Club in the protection of their car when The Club is worth more than the car itself? I ask this only because I saw this very situation on a recent walk.
2. Again, I find myself shaking my head at product names and/or descriptors. I believe R! will eventually have more to say on this subject as it was his purchase last night that prompted a giggle-fest befitting a little girls' slumber party. Perhaps you, dear reader, have blocked it out of your mind, but a previous example I brought to your attention was The Crevice Wand, a vacuum cleaner apparatus.
3. For curiosity's sake... where do you fall in the male versus female songwriter/group debate. I don't think there's an actual debate out there, but for those of you who appreciate connecting to the lyrics or sentiment of a song, can you do that when the song comes from someone of the opposite sex? I think I tend to view this much as I view curse words. It's all in the meaning behind the words and how they're expressed. The singular words themselves (or the specific subject of words) perhaps don't matter as much as the collective whole. Just curious.


secret of life, dixie chicks, & eavesdropping

As to summations of 2006 and/or resolutions for 2007, I'd rather not indulge. I once cynically told KFR in our office that the secret of life is, in fact, low expectations. I neglected to tell him the second part. There's an adendum. Low expectations and high hopes are not mutually exclusive. Such is life. Embrace the messiness. Somewhere in the spectrum of low expectations and high hopes lies a "realistic" (or perhaps historically informed, depending on how you spend your days) view. Though it just occurred to me, perhaps I'm joining the party a bit late here, but you rarely hear anyone say they have high expectations and high hopes. Whatev.

On more entertaining topics, I went with some friends to the new documentary called "Shut Up and Sing" on the Dixie Chicks hullabaloo (read: Right-Wing shit storm) that resulted from a comment Natalie Maines made in London just as the war in Iraq started.**** I highly recommend it. The time leading up to the movie proved just as entertaining. Is it the low-lighting and comparative silence of waiting for movies to start that cause the hushed tones during pre-movie chats or is it the close proximity of strangers? Either way, our appropriately hushed-tone pre-movie conversation was the object of an eavesdropping. I'm not going to lie, I partake in selective conversation listening. Who doesn't? But this woman yesterday wasn't even trying to disguise her non-verbal participation in our conversation. She was slightly turned towards us, smiled or furrowed her brow when appropriate, and waited for punch lines with such bated breath... I was alternately amused, horrified, and embarrassed for all parties. Thank goodness she had the sense to finally interject her thoughts. Interestingly enough, there was no offered apology for the eavesdropping, a common (though perhaps stilted) transition into conversation with strangers. Eavesdropping etiquette... I wonder how Emily Post would have assessed the scenario.

**** {editor's note: the author apologizes for the length of that sentence.}