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5 posts from April 2005

Oldies: Sunday, April 24 - Saturday, April 30, 2005...

Saturday, 30 April 2005: Sorry about the lack of updates. Not that a lot hasn't been going on. Just that my CruzerMicro thumbdrive, on which I store all the files for this website, crashed yet again. Not to worry, I have since disposed of that (two crashes in four months time is more than enough convincing) and picked up a new one. Must've been a glitch in the drive itself. The new one seems to be working well. So now it's time to play catch up.

Wednesday, 27 April 2005: It's been a while since I've updated you all on the status of the master bathroom. Well, most of the patchwork is done on holes and just about all the glue and caulk has been cut off the wall. Katie has sanded down most of the drywall mud and I'm going to put one last coat on the big hole tonight as well as power sand off some more of the glaze from the final wall. The last thing I'm doing tonight is to clean all the crap off the floor and wash down the walls a bit so I'm not priming over dust. That would be a bad thing.

Sorry, no pictures. What we've been doing is actually quite boring and not that interesting to look at. I'll probably take some as I'm priming later on in the week.

Tuesday, 26 April 2005: You want to hear something weird? Katie opened up a piece of mail yesterday and in it were our Home Depot credit cards. Now I truly feel like a homeowner. Kinda funny when a Depot card trumps a house key in that regard.

I guess we're official.

Or maybe just officially nuts for tackling home repair jobs ourselves.

Apparently, we are not the only ones who felt this way. I showed it to a guy from the gym who I know works part time at the Depot and he laughed and said he completely understood what I was feeling.

Monday, 25 April 2005: Oh yeah, Scott (my brother in law), Nate (my friend from the gym), and I are on for midnight on Wednesday, May 18.

For what, you may ask?

The midnight premiere of Star Wars - Episode III: The Revenge of the Sith, that's what.

Yes, we're geeking out and daring falling asleep the next day at work to see the movie when it opens.

And we have Katie to thank for it as she picked up the tickets for us today. Thanks, hon. I love you.

Sunday, 24 April 2005: I realize that for the sake of children and overly sensitive adults, many broadcast television networks and even some extended cable outlets must edit movies and TV shows for content. I have come to, begrudgingly, accept this as something I cannot control.

However, today, it went just a little too far...

Katie and I were watching Mel Gibson's The Patriot on TBS tonight when I saw what could possibly be the worst piece of editing ever. This is aside from all the blatant slicing out of film, mind you. Yes, a lot of the blood and gore was edited out because it did tend to border on the gory side of reality from time to time. However, there are some scenes that could not really be edited out entirely because they are so crucial to the continuity of the movie.

For example, the scene in which Benjamin Martin (Mel Gibson) and two of his younger sons run into the woods to intercept a company of British redcoats who have his eldest son, Gabriel (Heath Ledger), in tow set for execution as a traitor. This scene is 100% critical to the film and is necessary to understand what happens throughout the rest of the film. However, it is also quite bloody as Gibson shoots several soldiers and hacks the rest with a tomahawk. When he emerges from a creekbed after slaughtering the final soldier, he walks up towards the camera covered in mud. Funny thing is, I distinctly remember him emerging from said creekbed covered in blood.

Yes, the two rhyme... blood... mud. But they are two completely different things.

I could not believe that TBS actually digitally colored Gibson to make it look like mud instead of blood. I was in complete shock. It was terrible. I wanted to cry. It was so sad. I wish I could find photos that show the actual scene and the edited version. Alas, I cannot.


Oldies: Sunday, April 17 - Saturday, April 23, 2005...

Saturday, 23 April 2005: On June 6, the wunderkind band known as Coldplay is releasing their new album entitled X&Y. People rave about this band, and, to some degree, I can understand the raving. They are a good band, no question. But I tend to go cold (no pun intended) on Coldplay just because their songs are so overplayed on the radio. They are one of the few bands to receive pretty equal airplay on alternative, rock, light rock, adult rock, and prog rock radio stations and it really tends to kill the allure for me.

I was listening to the radio this morning on the way to class when I heard their new single, "Speed of Sound," and the announcement about the new album coming out. And I was questioning the name of the album.

For the most part, bands just pick album titles that have absolutely no meaning whatsoever or they are named after the track on that album that the band or its producers feel will perform the best on the charts. Not exactly original, eh?

Okay, even though all three of Coldplay's studio albums thus far — Parachutes, A Rush of Blood to the Head, and X&Y — have been named after songs that appear on those respective albums, I tend to wonder if there is still a bit more creativity behind it than just that. After all, the songs "Parachutes" and "A Rush of Blood to the Head" were never radio staples. Heck, I don't even think they were released as singles. Maybe they were and I'm forgetting.

But, for some reason, this morning in my truck, I was thinking about that album title and wondering if it held any extra significance. Sure, X&Y could refer to the two types of chromosomes in which case it could be a dedication to lead singer Chris Martin's wife Gwyneth Paltrow. I think this is Coldplay's first album since the two got together. I know their marriage is newer that A Rush of Blood to the Head, but I'm not sure about the dating part of the relationship. I hope that's not the significance. Pretty cheesy if you ask me.

Personally, I like this interpretation... X&Y refers to the x axis and the y axis that are used for plotting charts and graphs. To me, without the third axis, z, graphs with only x and y show a mere two dimensions. The z axis is what adds that third dimension. And I was tossing around the idea that this was a little poke by Coldplay at the current state of the music industry... very two dimensional and lacking in any sort of depth or creativity whatsoever.

So I admit this is not likely. But I dig it.

Any other interpretations?

Friday, 22 April 2005: We're havin' a heatwave... a tropical heatwave...

Yeah, right.

God, it was beautiful last week and for the earlier half of this week. So what the hell happened?!?! It's friggin' freezing out there now. People have on winter coats. They've even broken out the stocking hats and gloves again. I was on the verge of kicking the furnace back on, but iinstead just wrapped up in comforters.

Mother Nature! Why do you hate us so?!?!

Thursday, 21 April 2005: I'm wondering if all other Cubs fans out there are already starting to say, "wait until next year."

Today, the Cubbies announced that shortstop Nomar Garciaparra is on the DL for anywhere from two to three months with a torn muscle in the groin area. I feel for him, believe me. That is not fun. But this is not a good sign for the Cubbies. Wood and Prior out in preseason (although both are now back), Borowski out for a while, Walker out, and now Nomar.

For the Cubs, injuries are the death knell. Why that is the case is beyond me. Because, just recently, the Bulls experienced what should've been the ultimate in morale crushers. Their star, Eddy Curry, was diagnosed with an irregular heartbeat and is out the rest of the season, including the playoffs. What did the Bulls do? Okay, so they did have a rough couple of games, but they made the most out of it and won some big games in grand fashion. It was almost as if Curry was never gone. I know that these are two different sports, but injuries tend to affect teams the same regardless of sport. And I would tend to think that basketball would be affected even more because of the extreme reliance factor that a five-man rotation builds amongst themselves. They know how each other works and they build a trust that could be destroyed by the injury of one of those men and the replacement of him with someone else.

So why can't the Cubs overcome like this? Maybe they will. It's early in the season. There's time.

But they're the Cubs.

Update: Okay, Nomar's injury is even worse than I had initially thought. It's not just a torn left groin muscle in that there is a slight tear in the muscle in and of itself, it is torn off the bone. Literally. It's not connected to bone anymore. Ouch!

According to Ted Carlson, Senior Editor for Fanball.com, "The shortstop's groin muscle tore…sorry, this is tough to write. (deep breath) The shortstop's g-g-groin muscle t-t-t-tore away from…ouch, this is just too painful to even think about. Let's try it a different way. His muscle is no longer attached to the bone. There! We said it. Take your time in dealing with the visual."

Yeah, that about says it in all its gory detail. Wanna read the rest of it, go here.

Monday, 18 April 2005: Nothing like taking a golf cart out for a spin on a gorgeous day with your iPod blasting in your ears. Yes, that was how I spent my morning and afternoon... picking up and dropping off a golf cart for use by our freelance photographer around campus. Hey, anything to get out from behind a computer all day.

Sunday, 17 April 2005: Today was interesting. Our plan of attack for the master bathroom had always really just been to repaint and put up a new lighting fixture. It has changed... a bit.

Today, we tore out the old vanity, sink, and faucet and purchased some new hardware from Home Depot including a seven-foot-tall linen closet, a matching vanity, new sink, and new faucet. So, yes, plans have changed.

I have also changed how I'm doing the Photo Album for this event. I'm starting an ongoing chronicle of our bathroom exploits to show how things are progressing. Every so often, I'll add in new photos and text to show you all how we do.

The only thing that upsets me is that I finally got to use my reciprocating saw to cut out the old vanity from around the pipes... and I didn't get a picture of it. Damn. Might have to break it out and stage a photo.

So, check out the first installment of photos and let me know what you think.


Oldies: Sunday, April 10 - Saturday, April 16, 2005...

Thursday, 14 April 2005: Some of you might remember back in February when I was talking about wanting one of the special edition Don Mattingly figures from McFarlane Toys that were being released today but only at Toys 'R' Us in Manhattan. Well, my friend Allison, who works only a few blocks from there, went and picked up a couple of them for me. Oh, I'm stoked. And exceptionally grateful.

In addition, she also saw that the TRU had the second series Mark Prior six-inch figure and the old Boston Red Sox uniformed version of Nomar Garciaparra (gee, I wonder why he's so easy to find in NYC). She may have even found me an NYC exclusive Cooperstown Collection Babe Ruth as well. But I'm waiting to hear back about the Babe. Very cool.

Our sports room is gonna be loaded. Add these to my Brian Urlacher figure and it's gonna be pretty sweet looking in there. Yesssss.

Thanks, Allison (see? I really do give credit where it's due).

And now for something completely different...

I'm adding a new award to the Kappys and giving it out a bit late. The reason why the award is late is because I had not watched an episode of this particular show yet. It just started a couple weeks ago and, at the time I posted the awards list, I had one episode on tape to be watched with another one airing that night. Well, I've watched both of those episodes and last night's episode as well and both Katie and I love it.

It's the new ABC show Eyes starring Tim Daly of Wings fame. Very hip and hysterically funny show about a security agency that does private investigation work as well. It also stars Rick Worthy (Enterprise), Garcelle Beauvais-Nilon (NYPD Blue), A.J. Langer (My So-Called Life), Laura Leighton (Melrose Place), Eric Mabius (The Crow: Salvation), and Natalie Zea (Passions - a TV soap opera). The cast is very good, the scripting is excellent, and the show has a feel very similar to watching a serialized Ocean's 11. Check it out if you haven't already. Very worth your time.

And the award is Most Welcome Return to Primetime under the Acting category for Tim Daly.

Wednesday, 13 April 2005: Ah yes, the beginning of yet another season of sheer disappointment has just been announced. That's right, the Chicago Bears 2005 schedule is now official. And, yes, I will be watching as much as possible despite not having particularly high expectations for the turnout of this season.

I live in Chicago. I'm accustomed to disappointment.

Anyway...

2005 Schedule
Date
Opponent
Time/Result
Sep 11
@Washington
1:00 p.m.
Sep 18
Detroit
1:00 p.m.
Sep 25
Cincinnati
1:00 p.m.
Bye Week
Oct 9
@Cleveland
1:00 p.m.
Oct 16
Minnesota
1:00 p.m.
Oct 23
Baltimore
4:15 p.m.
Oct 30
@Detroit
1:00 p.m.
Nov 6
@New Orleans
1:00 p.m.
Nov 13
San Francisco
1:00 p.m.
Nov 20
Carolina
1:00 p.m.
Nov 27
@Tampa Bay
1:00 p.m.
Dec 4
Green Bay
1:00 p.m.
Dec 11
@Pittsburgh
1:00 p.m.
Dec 18
Atlanta
8:30 p.m.
Dec 25
@Green Bay
5:00 p.m.
Jan 1
@Minnesota
1:00 p.m.

All I can say is, I know what I want for Christmas.

For those of you wondering why I always hype the Bears schedule and never post other teams' schedules despite claiming to be a fan of other Chicago sports, I have this to say...

Chicago Bulls - 82 games per season; that takes quite a bit of time to type or copy/paste into a table. Fugeddaboudit

Chicago Cubs - 162 games per season; that takes even more time. Not likely.

Chicago Blackhawks - hahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!! Okay, their schedule would be simple enough. Here it is... done.

Chicago White Sox - who?

Tuesday, 12 April 2005: Well, my one fear at work came true today.

We have an office that is actually a converted house and there is a single shared bathroom for all eight of us (eleven including student workers). One toilet and the bathroom has a lock on the door. On occasion, when you need to go to the bathroom, someone may already be using it. So you wait. What I hate is when people close the door to the bathroom after they are done. I'm not a fan of knocking on a bathroom door to see if it's in use. I just like to see that the door is open and go in. So, when the door is closed, I may quietly try turning the knob to see if it's locked. If it doesn't turn, I wait. If it turns, I open and enter.

Today, I did my knob turn technique and it was unlocked, so I opened... slowly. As I pushed the door open, I heard one of our student workers say, "excuse me!" Luckily, I hadn't opened the door enough to actually see inside, but the damage was done nonetheless.

WHY CAN'T PEOPLE LOCK THE BATHROOM DOOR WHEN THEY'RE IN IT!?!?!?

It's a simple enough request, isn't it?

*Soapbox dismounted*

Monday, 11 April 2005: Just when you think the Farrelly Brothers have grown and matured as filmmakers, they do something to let you down.

Before I begin this rant, I have to first say that I'm not a big fan of the Farrellys. The brothers, Peter and Bobby, are responsible for the following films (only in terms of directing): Dumb and Dumber; Kingpin; There's Something About Mary; Me, Myself & Irene; Osmosis Jones; Shallow Hal; Stuck on You; and Fever Pitch. You can tell, as you progress through their film catalog, that their style has improved. Better shot composition, better acting, better writing, the whole shebang. I have actually seen all of their films save for Kingpin and Osmosis Jones and I have noticed this progression in ability.

So, Katie and I went to see Fever Pitch this past weekend. Overall, a very good movie. Girl meets boy who has an obsessive love of the Boston Red Sox. That's it in a nutshell. However, it has a very strong romantic comedy appeal to it. And it is, so far, the only Farrelly Brothers movie that I have actually found myself becoming attached to the two lead characters portrayed by Drew Barrymore and Jimmy Fallon. There is a lot of heartfelt emotion, humor, obsession, etc. It all works very well together to boot.

Except for one scene that just bugs me to no end and it involves Fallon, Willie Garson (Sex and the City), a shower, and a razor. It makes no sense, is completely unnecessary (and I'm not a prude; just the opposite, in fact), and completely screws up what is otherwise a great film. Why, after spending an hour and a half building up a great film do they have to inject the Farrelly Factor into the movie. This is the first movie that they've put out that really has a cross-generational appeal as I saw many parents bringing their kids to the theater no doubt expecting a fun baseball movie. And then this.

Just when you think they've taken a step forward...


Oldies: Sunday, April 3 - Saturday, April 9, 2005...

Wednesday, 6 April 2005: It's that time again, folks. And I'll be damned if I'm gonna run a month late two years in a row!

Yes, it's time for the Primetime Kapgar.com Awards.

As most of you know, and others of you will be finding out for the first time, the Kappys (heh heh) are my answer to the Primetime Emmys. Except that the only opinion that truly matters here is mine. So deal with it. This is the fourth year that I have given these awards. And, again, this is really just recognition since statuettes, or any other sort of physical manifestation of the award other than a printout of this page, is well beyond my budgetary allowance.

A few notes:

  • When I say "rookie," I refer only to the fact that a person is new to a show this season regardless of if they've acted on other shows or in films. This can also refer to a brand new show on the air.
  • When I say "veteran," I mean that a particular actor/actress was with the show prior to this season.
  • I reserve the right to declare a tie if the need should arise.

I have the feeling that it may be a bit more obvious, than in past years, what my favorite shows truly are.

Here goes...

Acting/Hosting Awards

  • Best Veteran Actor (Comedy)
    John C. McGinley - Dr. Perry Cox, Scrubs
  • Best Veteran Actress (Comedy)
    Sarah Chalke - Dr. Eliot Reed, Scrubs
  • Best Veteran Actor (Drama)
    Dennis Franz - Det./Sgt. Andy Sipowicz, NYPD Blue
  • Best Veteran Actress (Drama)
    Poppy Montgomery - Special Agent Samantha Spade, Without a Trace
  • Best Rookie Actor (Comedy)
    James Denton - Mike Delfino, Desperate Housewives
  • Best Rookie Actress (Comedy) (tie)
    Teri Hatcher - Susan Mayer, Desperate Housewives, and
    Marcia Cross - Bree Van De Kamp, Desperate Housewives - she scares the bejeezus out of me; not many people can do that
  • Best Rookie Actor (Drama)
    Terry O'Quinn - John Locke, Lost - easily the best character on TV this season
  • Best Rookie Actress (Drama) (tie)
    Evangeline Lilly - Kate Ryan - Lost - you just love her despite her questionable past, and
    Maggie Grace - Shannon Rutherford - Lost - you just love to hate her
  • Best Veteran Kiddie/Teen (Comedy or Drama)
    Angus T. Jones - Jake Harper, Two and a Half Men
  • Best Rookie Kiddie/Teen (Comedy or Drama)
    Shawn Pyfrom - Andrew Van De Kamp, Desperate Housewives - he's a bastard, but he's good at it
  • Best One-Two Punch (Comedy)
    Charlie Sheen and Jon Cryer - Charlie and Alan Harper, Two and a Half Men
  • Best One-Two Punch (Drama)
    Dylan Walsh and Julian McMahon - Drs. Sean McNamara and Christian Troy, Nip/Tuck
  • Best Cameo Appearance
    Jimmy Smits - Det. Bobby Simone, NYPD Blue - hell, I almost cried during his cameo
  • Best Recurring Guest Star (tie)
    Carlos Bernard - Tony Almeida, 24, and
    Heather Graham - Dr. Molly Clock, Scrubs
  • Best Game Show/Reality Show/Talk Show Host
    Craig Ferguson, The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson
  • Most Welcome Return to Prime Time - new category
    Tim Daly - Harlan Judd, Eyes (we missed ya, Joe Hackett - and, damn if you didn't come back in a very cool way)

Show Awards

  • Best Veteran Sitcom
    Scrubs
  • Best Rookie Sitcom
    Desperate Housewives - hey, if ABC can have it nominated in the comedy category, then why can't I?
  • Best Veteran Drama (tie)
    24 and Nip/Tuck
  • Best Rookie Drama
    NUMB3RS
  • Best Game Show/Reality Show/Talk Show - new category
    The Amazing Race
  • Best Damn Show on the Tube
    Lost
  • Coolest Revelation
    What the heck is inside the sphere on Lost - this is being given in anticipation; here's hoping I'm not disappointed by the results
  • Most Overhyped New Show
    Joey - not that it's bad, really; just not as noteworthy as the network and critics made it out to be
  • Best Show I Wish I Watched Last Year
    Nip/Tuck - luckily I caught it on DVD
  • Most Welcome Return to Prime Time - new category
    Family Guy - okay, so it doesn't officially happen until May 1, but I'm loving it!

Other Awards

  • Best Overall Network
    In a shocking turn of events from last season, ABC has jumped up to the head of the pack.
  • Best Sports Show
    Best Damn Sports Show Period
  • Most Gratifying Sports Moment - new category
    Watching the Boston Red Sox come back from three games down to win the ALCS before going on to win the World Series for the first time since 1916
  • Most Painful Sports Moment
    Watching Luther Head miss three three-pointers in a row in Illinois' NCAA title game loss to North Carolina - I don't blame ya, man, but it's painful all the same

You may have noticed that a bunch of categories from last year are not in here this year. That's probably because I couldn't think of anything for them. C'est la vie. There's always next year.

If you have any comments or questions or just want to tell me that I'm full of crap, contact me.

Tuesday, 5 April 2005: Don't mind me if I seem a bit sullen. I'm mourning the Illini loss last night. They had a great year and made it further than any team before them. But it doesn't make it hurt any less.

Monday, 4 April 2005: Three days ago, I posted a link to what I felt was one of the better online April Fool's gags that I'd seen in some time (I'm not linking to it; you can scroll, you lazy mofos). Well, I was just informed that the site is still active, albeit with a new aspect to the gag. Courtesy of Carol ("Miss ShopforSanity"), I found out that there is now a video posted on the site. If you click on my link below, the page will start to load as normal and then a "Transmission Shut Down" screen comes up in its place. If you wait a minute or so, a video of what happened when Sideshow started promoting this gag will load. It's funny as all... well... it's just damn funny. More companies need to have fun like this. I need a job with them.

Sunday, 3 April 2005: I found this headline on the Cubs homepage. I'm going to let it speak for itself.

"Solid Wood leads Cubs past Rox"

Oh my dear, sweet Lord.

The only way that could be any worse is if it said "Solid Wood gets his Rox off."


Oldies: Sunday, March 27 - Saturday, April 2, 2005...

Saturday, 2 April 2005: I'm not sure why I had this mental image, but I always thought that Green Bay would be a really large city. I'm not talking Chicago-sized, but something along the lines of Madison or Milwaukee. Imagine my surprise when we finally saw it in daylight today (we got in while it was dark last night and couldn't really see anything) and discovered that there ain't much to it. I don't think there's a building taller than six stories. Naperville has a population almost double that of Green Bay which I found shocking. Every map I've ever looked at made Green Bay appear to be some relatively huge mecca.

For the wedding weekend, we have been staying in a Hilton a couple blocks away from Lambeau Field. Before the wedding, a bunch of us went on a tour of Lambeau this morning and it really was impressive. The tour guide knew his stuff and was very enthusiastic. Heck, I almost bought into his pro-Packers mantra. No... not really.

My little cousin-in-law, Evan, ran into Packer head coach Mike Sherman who signed an autograph for him and posed for a photo. The real kicker of this situation is that Evan was clad in a Bears sweatsuit (with a Cubs hat to top it off). I find that so funny.

The wedding was held at a church a few miles away from our hotel while the reception was at... gads... Brett Favre's Steakhouse located on Brett Favre Pass (yes, that's actually a street name) a block removed from Lombardi Boulevard.

I know that sports fans can become very, shall we say, "enthusiastic." But this was bordering on obsessive-compulsive. Yikes. It was almost scary. Aren't you supposed to wait until a person dies to name a street after them or dedicate a building in their honor? If I were Brett Favre, I don't know if I'd feel honored or scared that someone is gunning to snuff me out.

On a positive note, the wedding was nice and they had plenty of TVs at the reception (it is a bar, after all... what else is there to do in Green Bay but drink?) so we could all indulge in watching the Illini clean up against Louisville. That was a helluva game.

Friday, 1 April 2005: Certain to go down in the annals as one of the greatest toy-related April Fool's pranks ever, Sideshow Toys, renowned for their 1/6 scale action figures (that's roughly 12 inches to those of you not so great with fractions), put up this announcement on their website regarding a new figure they will be releasing and are currently accepting preorders on (I don't know how long they will keep this ad up on the site; it may be only one day or they may keep it up as a record of their April Fool's pranks)...

Here is the accompanying text from the ad...

This replica features Obi-wan's Jedi robe, recreated in 1/4 scale to the finest detail by Greg Mowry. The robe is artfully displayed in the 'death heap' as it appeared at the end of the fateful scene of Vader's triumph over Obi-wan. The robe also features the dusty foot prints of Vader, that were made as he kicked the garment to verify that his kill was final. The replica comes mounted on a base featuring Death Star flooring texture as well as Obi-wan's discarded light saber. Our production team has crafted the base to interlock with our Darth Vader exclusive Premium Format figure base so that Vader can gloat in his triumph.

This Exclusive Obi-wan with the Force Premium Format replica comes with an electronic audio chip of blaster sounds and Luke's cry of despair! [Click here to Listen]

Damn if this isn't funny as hell. I just hope that Sideshow puts up a count of how many people actually try to preorder this figure. I would love to know how many people are gullible enough to believe it.

Thursday, 31 March 2005: This was just too creepy to not mention here. For some time now, I've been trying to find out what has happened to some of my old college friends that I lost touch with. I've tried Googling, I've used the NIU Alumni Association site, etc., with varied results. One of my friends, Laura Westlund, just seemed to have dropped off the face of the Earth. I had been looking into information for her as recently as a couple of months ago.

However, today, I was in Panera Bread and bought a Jones Soda root beer. I picked it up because we had been discussing the company and its marketing strategy in my MBA marketing class. Very unique company in that they allow their customers to dictate the flavors and bottle art. So I picked up my first Jones and started checking out the label. Pretty cool photo of some wooden chairs in someone's yard with trees in the background. The back of the bottle describes how Jones decided to let Panera employees take the photos that would adorn the bottles sold in their restaurants. I started wondering if they put photo credits on the bottle. Sure enough, it was right along the side of the photo. And, in the spirit of this post, the photo was taken by "Laura Westlund of Plainfield, Ill."

Can you get much weirder than that?

Wednesday, 30 March 2005: I took Katie's car in this morning for an oil change and tire rotation in anticipation of our trip into the Third Ring of Hell this weekend (read: Green Bay, Wisconsin). While in the waiting room, I found a February 2005 Redbook magazine sitting on their windowsill that featured Charlie Sheen and Denise Richards on the cover looking happy as all get out and talking about the keys to their "successful marriage."

I'm thinking someone at Redbook missed the memo.

I know that with publication and printing deadlines, it's hard to change something as big as a cover story to coincide with the fact that Denise filed for divorce from Charlie. Actually, I'm betting this issue came out just before the actual filing of the divorce papers. But, still and all the same, I would certainly hate to be the editor in chief (or anybody there right now) sitting in his/her office with their tail between their legs looking at the cover of this magazine. Ouch. That's painful.

Tuesday, 29 March 2005: Today, a new DVD is being released that I kinda want to buy. It's the Pierce Brosnan-Woody Harrelson-Salma Hayek caper flick After the Sunset. It really was an enjoyable flick. Very popcorn, yes, but a lot of fun.

However, my brother in law, Scott, thinks I have ulterior motives in my desire to own the movie. Motives that manifest themselves in the form of Salma Hayek. Apparently, in his mind, the only reason I want to own this movie is because Hayek is "hot" in it. Well, okay, admittedly she looks hotter than I've seen her since Desperado or From Dusk Till Dawn (save for the fangs and vampiric contact lenses). And this certainly makes up for her unibrowed "uglying down" in Frida.

But, no, this is not my primary reason for wanting this movie. It really is fun. My wife got a kick out of his theory and is now subscribing to it as well despite the fact that she liked it even more than I did and wanted to see it a second time while it was still in theaters. Yet, still, I want to own it for Salma.

Man, I can't win for losing. Damn you, Scott.

Monday, 28 March 2005: I'm thinking it doesn't pay to live in the general vicinity of Indonesia these days. A tsunami-inducing earthquake in December. Another earthquake just now. A death toll in the area exceeding the tens of thousands. What does God have against that area? Why not hit Korea with a natural disaster? Or wherever Osama Bin Laden is holed up? They must have really ticked you off, eh?

Sunday, 27 March 2005: Hey Michigan State! I know I was singing your praises back on Friday, but let's not get too carried away, okay? I just wanted you to bump off Duke... not Kentucky, too! I love my Cats. Well, I'm not too terribly upset, I suppose. Illinois is still going strong. That is one definite plus in an otherwise upsetting day.