No more time to tell how, this is the season of what...

I start to get petit-mal cases of self loathing when I go several days without writing up a blog post. Thankfully there are people like Kim, Marty, and Dave to help me out with a meme to get those cranial juices flowing again. Sure, this meme is a week or two old right now, but it's still doable.

Continue reading "No more time to tell how, this is the season of what..." »

Please save us from punk rock 101...

I found this meme at Blogography, Blondefabulous, Secondhand Tryptophan, Marty, Poppy, and Bubblewench. So thank you all for giving me a wonderfully lazy Thursday of blogging.

Cien mas uno (101):

ONE OF YOUR SCARS, HOW DID YOU GET IT? I have a scar on the back of my head that is quite a bit more visible now that I shave my head. It's from when I flipped my car at age 16. Survived thanks to my seatbelt.

Continue reading "Please save us from punk rock 101..." »

And I will tell you no lies...

I have not done a meme in nearly two years. I'm having trouble with that fact. Wow.

What time did you get up this morning? 5:15 a.m. like every normal weekday morning.

How do you like your steak? Medium well. I get sick on anything less. Before I discovered this and was eating everything rare to medium rare, I nearly gave up eating red meat entirely.

Continue reading "And I will tell you no lies..." »

I'm gonna be the one who gets it right...

I, along with many others, have discovered this cool little survey over at Avitable's digs. Thought I'd give it a shot here instead of in the comments. Hey, why give away a free post in a comment?

Survey Says
Just pick the first word that you think of when you associate yourself with that category. Don't overthink it.

If I was a/an _____, I'd be ______

TV show: Psych
Song: "I Don't Feel Like Dancin'" by Scissor Sisters
Movie: The Empire Strikes Back
Book: The Stupidest Angel by Christopher Moore
Fictional character: Karl "Helo" Agathon from Battlestar Galactica
City: San Francisco
Verb: capable
Color: blue
Animal: polar bear
Emotion: caring
Article of clothing: jeans
Flavor: spicy
Food: hot dog
Vice: gluttony (gonna agree with Adam on this one)
Plant: knockout roses
Mythological animal: phoenix
Letter: K
Inanimate object: iPod
School Activity: football
Positive attribute: brutal honesty
Negative attribute: brutal honesty

That was fun. More fun than I thought it would be. Go ahead and steal at will.

Yeah, so Black Friday didn't really go as planned.

We did wake up and go to Old Navy for the opening at 3 a.m. We got there at 2:45 and about the only way I can describe it would be to compare it to the opening of a Twilight film... all teen girls and either their reluctant boyfriends or trying-to-be-too-hip moms. Dads stayed home. Smart blokes.

The problem with Old Navy was that all the free games sold out before the store even opened. They had handed out all the tickets by 1 a.m. So I never got my copy of Rock Band: Lego or Rock Band 2 with the free guitar. Bummer. I did get a jacket, though, and an Atlanta Falcons T-shirt (don't hate on me, but one of my fellow NIU grads, Michael Turner, is a Falcons RB stud - gotta support the alma!)

We went home and went back to bed and I never bothered to go to OfficeMax to pick up the video camera and Katie picked up Psych, season 3, from Target on her way to work.

Yeah, so Black Friday? Not so great overall.

When you wish...

Taking a cue from Marie's post yesterday, I'm going to write up my own I Wish... list.

I wish...

...Katie would graduate sooner than December, maintain her 4.0, and wind up with many job offers from which to choose her ideal teaching position.

...someone would just donate us two new cars.

...all my friends in need of a job could find one.

...the idiots who skimmed my credit card number would be caught and violated in a very uncomfortable place while wasting away in a foreign prison.

...we would get an inordinately high number of trick or treaters this year.

...I could take Katie on a trip anywhere in the world she wants to go.

...all financial issues would resolve themselves.

...I could cook anything without worrying about how it's going to turn out and without relying on cookbooks or recipes; make me Kapgar Batali!

...our house would clean itself.

...we'd have a grounds crew in our townhouse association that actually made our monthly assessment a worthwhile investment.

...that people could accept each other for who they are and stop fighting, name calling, and judging without getting to know someone first.

...that two tickets to XRT's Big Holiday Concert 2009 featuring The Flaming Lips, Phoenix, and Pete Yorn would just magically find their way into my hands.

...I had an ice cream cone right now. Double scoop. Chocolate Peanut Butter. Waffle cone.


C'mon. This is me. Did you really expect them all to be serious? Oh and I guess that might count as a meme to some degree, right?

Well, they didn't "magically find their way into my hands," but I did score tickets to the Big Holiday Concert!

Sadly, Katie can't go. Bad timing with work and whatnot. But she wanted me to go anyway, even without her. It's me, my Lips-man Eric, and his wife Michelle.

So, even though it's six days after my birthday, we'll just pretend that the following are in town to help celebrate with me...

Pete Yorn


The Flaming Lips

So, um, yeah, that's two Flaming Lips shows in one year.

You could argue I'm hooked.

I'd argue that you're right.

I might believe you if I didn't know...

Here's something new.

Everybody has celebrity crushes, right? That certain someone who is in the limelight for whatever reason that, when you see them, you're just completely enamored. They could be hosting a TV special in which they actually do watch paint dry and you wouldn't care, you've got a crush on this person.

It's perfectly normal.

When you become part of a significant real-life relationship, though, these crushes take on a whole new air. You don't lose them, not one little bit. You simply have someone that you care about that is based in reality and your celebrity crush might take a little bit of a backseat. Or, if you have a pretty secure significant other, your crush might become part of an inside joke between the two of you as this person joins your Laminated List, which Urban Dictionary defines as "A list of the top 5 people, usually celebrities, with whom you could have sex with without repercussions, if the opportunity arose, regardless of whether you were in a relationship or not."

They can sometimes be fun for a joke or two.

But have you ever experienced what I'm now dubbing a Create-a-Crush?

Basically, this is a phenomenon when your significant other thinks you have a crush on a celebrity that you never really considered before. And, despite your protestations, they forge on with this belief to the point where you actually do start to have a crush on this person because you're constantly thinking about him/her.

Still confused? Here's an example from my life.

A few months ago, I bought Taylor Swift's new album Fearless out of a sense of morbid curiosity and because Amazon offered it on a one-day only special for $1.99. I'd heard decent reviews of the album and, even though I had never really considered it as an option to that point, I picked it up thinking that $2 is not that great a loss even if it sucks.

Taylor_swift Well, it didn't suck. Not at all. In fact, I really kinda like the album. Really upbeat, well-written country music that borderlines the pop genre. And it was something that I thought Katie would enjoy as well, so I told her I bought it and offered to throw it on her iPod for her or play it in the car, etc. Then Taylor and her new album started hitting the media circuit showing up on interview show after interview show that we happened to be watching. Katie began accusing me of having a crush on her.

Okay, admittedly she's a cute girl. No question about it. But a crush? That would rank her up there with Elisabeth Shue and Belinda Carlisle and Kate Winslet. Nah, not happening.

Then SNL happened. We don't regularly watch Saturday Night Live because, to be honest, it sucks. Once in a while, though, as a friend of mine likes to say, even a blind squirrel finds a nut. That nut was Neil Patrick Harris who we were pretty convinced would do a great job hosting the show and we were pumped about watching it. But Katie wasn't convinced that was the only reason I wanted to watch this episode. Why? Taylor Swift was the musical guest.

There were a few more media appearances after that and then yesterday I find the latest issue of Rolling Stone in the mailbox. Who's on the cover? Taylor Swift. So, as a joke, and because I know exactly how she'll react, I ask Katie if she's seen the latest issue. Nope. And I flash her the cover. "Oh! It's your girl!" Dead on target.

But the odd thing is, I think I am developing a little bit of a crush on Taylor Swift.

And I have nobody to blame but my wife.

Am I the only one this has happened to?

Totally Unrelated Aside (TUA): I can't even count the number of places where I've seen this list popping up. Basically, you just list out 20 albums that changed your life for whatever reason. Should be simple, but it's not. Not at all. But I'm gonna give it a shot anyway. I think they're pretty close to the order in which I discovered them from the earliest on down. As you'll see, there isn't much life changing in recent years for me.

  1. 200px-Michaeljacksonthrilleralbum Michael Jackson - Thriller
  2. Kenny Rogers - The Gambler
  3. Bon Jovi - Slippery When Wet
  4. Run D.M.C. - Raising Hell
  5. Europe - The Final Countdown
  6. Bruce Springsteen - Born in the U.S.A.
  7. The Beatles - Abbey Road
  8. Led Zeppelin - IV (Runes)
  9. Elvis Costello - Spike
  10. Depeche Mode - Violator
  11. Motley Crue - Dr. Feelgood
  12. Van Halen - OU812
  13. Poison - Open Up and Say... Ahhhh!
  14. Nine Inch Nails - Pretty Hate Machine
  15. Faith No More - The Real Thing
  16. Alice in Chains - Facelift
  17. Smashing Pumpkins - Siamese Dream
  18. Urge Overkill - Saturation
  19. The Soundtrack to the Motion Picture Pulp Fiction
  20. Radiohead - The Bends

And you?

When we started this band...

Dwight_schrute This is Dwight K. Schrute. Assistant to the Regional Manager of Dunder Mifflin Scranton, the greatest regional paper and office supply distributor in the whole world.

FACT: I have taken over this blog from it's pitiful "author," a term I use very loosely. I have a purpose for my actions, which will come to light shortly.

If one were to believe his Facebook status update from yesterday, you'd know that this blog's author, a boy named "kapgar," was in Nashua, New Hampshire, attempting to con his way into the good life with my boss, Michael Scott, and Pam Beesley. But, you would also know that there is no way Michael would fall for this pitiful human being's attempts to woo his way into Michael's inner circle.

My purpose, as I promised earlier to reveal, is to address a certain "meme" that's been circulating throughout the World Wide Web. I have not been challenged to accept it, but I feel I can contribute some wisdom. I believe I have seen this meme on the blog of a Miss Sizzle and a SoMi, whatever a SoMi is.

The meme involved choosing a letter of the alphabet, or, more precisely, having one chosen for you and then name 10 things that start with that letter that you love. As everyone should know, nobody chooses my future plans except for me. That is why I am choosing my own letter for this post. And that letter?


1. Battlestar Galactica
The greatest television show in the history of television. Anything that claims it is better is wrong. But, speaking of television, I hate when American producers attempt to steal ideas from Great Britain. Doesn't everyone realize the Brits do it better? Why even try? Any actor who makes a living working on a hacked redux of a British show should be ashamed of themselves.

Beets 2. Beets
The greatest and most beneficial vegetable known to man. It can be used in anything... sandwiches, salads, juices, et cetera. But one must be careful before consuming in high quantities. Unless you have the intestinal fortitude of a Schrute, as we are superior beings, you could do permanent damage to your stomach lining or break a tooth when attempting to eat it raw.

3. Bob Vance
I cannot decide if this man is an idiot or a genius with delusions of grandeur that rival even my own. Why else would anyone willingly marry Phyllis Lapin? There must be something I'm not seeing.

4. Bespectacled
I wear glasses. I am proud to wear glasses. People who wear glasses have wisdom that far exceeds that of people who do not. For they have vision. Both vision of their surroundings and a vision of the future. If you know someone who wears glasses, fear them.

5. Beeper
Technology is evil. It is pushed upon us by shortsighted individuals like our former temp, Ryan Howard, who was also our former boss, who treat technology as a crutch to support their otherwise sagging life. This is why I use a beeper. I do not believe in cell phones. The CIA informed me that my cell phone had been compromised by an unknown evil power and that my life and mission were in danger. I immediately disposed of the phone and now rely solely on my beeper. I am resourceful. If someone contacts me, I can immediately find a way to contact them back while staying "off the grid."

Bobblehead 6. Bobblehead
At one time, I praised this as the greatest gift ever from the most important person in the world, second only to myself... and Michael Scott... and the creator of Battlestar Galactica. However, now, that gift is forever tainted by her betrayal. She is dead to me.

7. Badass Trans Am
I don't care what Andrew Bernard says, my Trans Am is the greatest vehicle in the history of automobiles. It is vintage American muscle and can totally kick the ass of Andy's Ex-Earth. Oh wait, he doesn't drive that anymore since I bought it from him and sold it for a profit, does he?

8. Boss
I do strive to one day be the boss of Dunder Mifflin Scranton. But not so long as Michael Scott is here. I would never try to usurp his power... not again.

9. Business
I have a mind built for business. I can sell anything to anyone. You want a ream of paper? I'll sell you on a case. Sell me a Nissan Xterra for $8,000 and I'll turn around and resell it for $11,000. Buyer beware... Dwight K. Schrute is on the prowl.

10. Bears
Bears are the most powerful and resourceful creature to roam the planet. To most people, they are a source of fear. But not to me. I do not fear bears, I am inspired and awed by them. I know every fact about every species of bear ever. If I were to find a bear in the woods, it would not try to do me harm as it would detect my own strength and intelligence and leave me be.

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to finish blowing up all these balloons for Kelly Kapoor's birthday that I, as co-head of the party planning committee with Jim, forgot to celebrate yesterday. Stupid birthdays. They are a sign of weakness in human beings who celebrate them.

They call me Mimi...

Today is just a really somber day for me. Nothing that I can really talk about here. But I'm going to try to take my mind of things by doing some blogging. Actually some meme-ing.

Must be something about memes this new year. I've found three on various blogs I read and I want to steal them all. I was going to spread them out, but why not just get them all done in one fell swoop. Be happy they're not really long ones. I am.

Since they would make the homepage ridiculously long, I'm going to put them all in the extended post.

Updated (1/9/09): Changed answers to #86 and #89 in the Try Me meme.

Continue reading "They call me Mimi..." »

Wildcats, football... Wildcats, football...

There are pros and cons to having been subjected to the flu this past weekend.

  • Pro #1: Without going into any details, I feel the thinnest I've felt in a couple years.

And, actually, that might be the only pro.

  • Con #1: I was sick during Katie's first weekend after her classes ended. The weekend we should've been celebrating not only that she was done for the semester, but that she pulled in another 4.0 GPA. I'm ridiculously proud, but couldn't do much to celebrate.
  • Con #2: My diet becomes Katie's diet. She's not a big fan of cooking for one. So she was eating the same bland crap I was. Chicken noodle soup, noodles, etc. Not that there's anything wrong with those foods, but, after a while, you kinda want a little more.
  • Con #3: Missing one of her family Christmas parties. I guess we only have three this year instead of the normal four. But it still kinda sucks.

I'm not completely over it just yet. But hopefully soon.

Moving on...

I've got a third Five Questions to run through. This set comes from my neighbor to the north, Nat! Here is a link to her 5Q.

1. You recently shared a 10th anniversary with Katie. If you could give her anything in the world what would it be? (She's already had your hunka-hunka burning love.)
You realize Katie laughed her ass off when she read "hunka-hunka burning love," don't you? Thank you for that. I would give her a baby. Simply put. And we will, SJ. Fear not. Mini-Me will happen soon.

2. I have noticed (I could be misunderstanding) that you take it personally when specific Chicagoans or Americans do dumb things. I think "ashamed" was the word you use. Why do you think that is? (And weren't the Bush years just a bit brutal on you?)
You're not misunderstanding. Not in the slightest. I realize what a tenuous relationship the USA has with the world as a result of the Bush Administration. Although I'm not placing all the blame on him, his admin certainly does deserve a big chunk of finger pointing. So the reason why I feel so ashamed is because, even though I realize that stupid people are typically the minority of any population, they are the ones that achieve the headlines in the news. And, given the World Wide Web, these news stories circle the globe faster than the fallout from that meteor in the beginning of Armageddon. And, when that person receives such notoriety combined with the low expectations the world already has of us, it tends to reflect on the rest of the population of the USA as though we're all complicit. Maybe I'm being overly sensitive, but it's truly amazing how often you hear "stupid American" or "ignorant American" while having done nothing personally to deserve it. Know what I mean?

3. Football. I don't get it. I mean you get more people at college and high school games than we get at the Grey Cup. What's up with that?
Wildcats As sung by Woody Harrelson, Wesley Snipes, and Goldie Hawn, et al, in the movie Wildcats, "It's the sport of kings, better than diamond rings... football."

It's hard to explain the appeal of American football sometimes. It's even harder to understand why they use the word "football" to describe a sport where feet only touch the ball (or should only touch the ball) a grand total of a few seconds per game. But, in my mind's eye, it's a fantastically fun sport that requires a lot of strategy, balls, and luck. It's organized war. Their playbooks in the NFL are larger than those in a war room, I would imagine. And some people are fanatical about it. No different than football/soccer in the rest of the world. Both sports have equal levels of fanaticism. In fact, considering the movie Green Street Hooligans, I'd almost say that football/soccer has greater levels of fanaticism. I've never seen street gangs fighting and killing to support the Bears over the Packers. Seriously people. It's a freakin' game! Well, except maybe in Texas. But that's a whole other story.

4. I am toying with running the Chicago Marathon in 2009. Care to join me?
If by "join" you mean "stand on the sidelines and cheer like mad," then sure!

5. What one obscure film do you think everyone should see?
Oh, for you documentary buffs, I would highly recommend a little known, barely seen film called Barbed Wire Pioneers: Inventing a Community. Not sure where you'd obtain a copy in all honesty, but I would recommend it if you are creative enough to nab it. And, no, it wouldn't have anything to do with the fact that I helped make it in grad school.

Want to be part of it? Follow these instructions:

  1. Leave me a comment saying, "Interview me."
  2. I will respond by emailing you five questions. I get to pick the questions.
  3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions.
  4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
  5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

Totally Unrelated Aside (TUA): Oh great, I've lost Katie forever. Thanks a pantload, SJ.

Click on the image to be taken to this shirt on SJ's Zazzle storefront.

Bought it at the five and dime...

Considering my motivation to come up with original topics still seems to be using the bitterly cold Illinois weather as a justification for hybernation, I'm going to answer another 5Q challenge.

This one comes from my old bloggy friend, SJ. Since I know she's going to guilt me for my use of that word, I suppose I should qualify and say that I mean "old" only in that she's one of the first people I met in the blogosphere. Literally. She was my first commenter upon moving to Typepad, I believe. Wow, feels so long ago! Heh. Oh yeah, here's her 5Q.

So here you go...

1. When are you and Katie going to start making little Apgars?
Soon. Aligning stars be damned.

2. Who does your mom like better, you or Brian, and why (speculate if you don't know)?
Me. Duh. Everyone knows that. I'm the first born. Brian was the accident. Nobody has told him this yet. But he was. They were done after me. My parents knew they couldn't improve upon the perfection that is me so they weren't even going to bother. But, things happen. That "thing" being my brother. C'est la vie.

3. Why is your beloved grandmother nicknamed after an electronic device?
I think this question is misworded. It should read, why is an electronic device named after my grandmother. And the answer to that is because Apple needed something catchy and cool to market their product. They looked at my blog and saw how wicked cool my grandmother is and how universally loved she is and thought, "what better name to give to what is certain to be one of the wicked coolest and most universally loved electronic devices known to man!" Hence, the iPod Nano!

4. You are named Best Chicago-area Blogger, and offered a choice of prize: a Nikon D700 camera or an Ibanez JSBDG guitar. Which would you choose and why?
Tough question for a couple reasons. One, I did just get my new camera, not a Nikon D700, and I love it with a passion so I really don't need a camera. Two, as much as I love guitars and pine for my old Ibanez EX160, I question how much I would actually play. My attention span is pretty damn short with a lot of things. So I wonder how into playing guitar I would be sometimes. But if I were to just pick right here and now, it would be the JS BDG. That thing is pretty, isn't it?

5. Share with us who the top five people are on your "Bloggers I'd Love To Meet" list, and why.
There are a ton I want to meet, no question. And this is pretty cruel making me pick just five. Can I pick five areas I'd like to travel to, instead, and list the bloggers I want to meet in those areas? No? Fine.

So, in no particular order, and listed because I've been waiting the longest to meet them:

God this list could go on and on forever. I feel really bad answering this one. Please, forgive me if your name is not on here. These people have been on my must-meet list the longest and so many more have been added more recently. Ah hell, I'm gonna get flamed anyway.

If you’d like to play along, just follow these instructions:

  1. Leave me a comment saying, “Interview me.”
  2. I will respond by emailing you five questions. I get to pick the questions.
  3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions. Be sure you link back to the original post.
  4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
  5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

Totally Unrelated Aside (TUA): I think Katie's and my TV viewing is going to get really easy for a little while. Pushing Daisies and Eli Stone will soon be gone. Life on Mars is on hiatus, with a questionable return status, until the end of January. And there will be no new Chuck until February. What the heck?

It's weird. We dropped a lot of shows from last season either because we lost interest or they were canceled. I'd say we lost about 20-25% of our viewership of TV. That's a lot. And we only picked up on two new shows, Gary Unmarried (it's Jay Mohr... you can't say no to Jay Mohr) and Life on Mars, the latter of which is one only I watch.

So not cool. And the only thing coming up that can fill some time is the long-awaited return of 24. Jack had damn well better be good or I don't know what we're gonna do with ourselves. Oh wait, Psych and Burn Notice are back, aren't they?

I just want to fly...

I'm not sure who resurrected the Five Questions meme of yore, but it's been making the rounds in the blogosphere of late and I thought, oh what the hell, I'll play along... again.

Or maybe I was just too damned lazy to come up with an original post this fine, ugh, Monday morning.

Here are my five questions from the lovely DutchBitch. You can read her responses to someone else's five here. And, SJ, fear not. I'm still willing to answer the five from you. Actually, part of me wants to do a 5Q each day this week save for Snippet Wednesday. That's how unoriginal I'm feeling. So maybe I'll seek out a couple more to cover the extra couple of days this week. Hmm...

1. What do you want to be when you grow up?
NOOOOO!!! You can't make me grow up! I refuse to! I'm a Toys'r'us Kid! But if I must choose, I want to be a firefighting space cowboy! Or a crew member on board the Millennium Falcon or Serenity. Too fun! Or maybe a Muppet Wrangler. Is there such a job?

But, if any of my coworkers/boss are reading this... I want to be the best damn Web-dude I can be!

2. What would be your choice for a last meal if you were on death row and why? (Ok, so that is really 2 questions, STFU)
Such foul acronymical language! I don't know if I can continue.

But I shall... it would be Katie's beef stroganoff with a nice bottle of red wine. And if you could time the wine to arrive just before the execution, all the better.

3. If you could travel to Dutchyland today, what would be the first touristic site you would want to visit?
Well, I'd have to find "Dutchyland" on a map first. A search for it in Google Maps only comes up with a suggestion for "Germany." But, when I do find it, I hear one of the most famous tourist sites is DutchBitch Casa. However, the U.S. State Department warns that this could also be a hotbed of questionable shenanigans and a veritable tourist trap... SIGN ME UP!

4. Is that you that just let one rip?
I lit a match. Quit yer whining!

5. Whip or nippleclamps?
Are you talking Indiana Jones or a riding crop? Gator-toothed or straight-edged and rubber-coated? Ya gots to be more specific!

There you have it, my first 5Q. If you want to play along, leave me a comment in which you BEG to be interviewed. I mean it, I want begging.

In your post replying to my questions, link back to the original post of the person asking you the 5Q, which I did above!

You must also put the rules in your post:

  1. Leave me a comment saying, “Interview me” or email me (addy in sidebar)
  2. I will respond by emailing you five questions. I get to pick the questions.
  3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions.
  4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
  5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

Totally Unrelated Aside (TUA): Katie and I decided on a whim to go see a movie yesterday. I hadn't seen one since Twilight came out and, to be honest, there isn't much showing right now that screams, "SEE ME!" But I had heard pretty decent reviews of Nothing Like the Holidays with Alfred Molina, Elizabeth Peña, and a bevy of other good actors, so we checked it out.

Simply put, a very enjoyable watch. Basically, it's the story of two generations of a Puerto Rican family (and their close friends) in the Humboldt Park neighborhood of Chicago. Around Christmas, the stars align so that all of them can spend the holidays together at their parents' house (Molina and Peña). The reason why it would be so difficult otherwise is because their eldest son, Mauricio (John Leguizamo), is a lawyer in NYC married to a stock trader (Debra Messing) who doesn't feel she fits in with his family; their daughter, Roxanna (Vanessa Ferlito), is a struggling actress in Hollywood; and their other son, Jesse (Freddy Rodriguez), is just arriving home after three years in Iraq. Everyone in the family has their issues both with each other and with their own station in life and all these issues boil to a head, as many things tend to, during what should be a happy holiday celebration.

It was a very well-acted film with great supporting roles played out by Luis Guzman, Jay Hernandez, and Melonie Diaz and one that deserves a bit more notice than it's receiving if the $3.5M it made in its first weekend is any indication.

C'mon people, see good movies. Skip that The Day the Earth Stood Still tripe!

I want money...

I was watching a little bit of the Oklahoma-Missouri football game (that's "American Football" to all you outside our borders, sorry), and I took issue with something that happened during halftime.

Dr. Pepper hosted a football throwing contest (the video is from an old contest for a bit more money). Two guys were pitted against each other in a not-so-to-the-death competition to lob footballs through a hole in the side of a giant Dr. Pepper can. The kid who got the most in the hole (heh heh) won the contest.

Fun? Sure. It would be cool to do this and have it aired on television. Then to have a bunch of college cheerleaders flank you when you won? Why the heck not.

However, Dr. Pepper took it more than just a bit further. The winner was granted a $100,000 college scholarship.

For throwing a football. Well, five of them to be exact in this particular contest, but still and all the same.

Katie and I have been taking out student loans to pay for grad school for her like so many other people in this world. With the ridiculously overinflated cost of college in this day and age, there are few that don't need help. And with the increasing numbers of people needing help to pay for college and the instability of modern U.S. financial institutions, there is less and less money available. 

So it just angers the hell out of me that some kid won a drawing, threw five footballs through a hole, and walks away with $100,000 when so many others are trying through legitimate methods to get much-needed money. Not to say these kids don't necessarily need the assistance as well, but why can't Dr. Pepper create a real scholarship fund with the money and make it available to everyone through proper application processes? Heck, that amount could even be split into two or three or more scholarships to help an even greater number of people. Sure it would fund less of the overall experience, but they'd be helping more people.

Right now, I look at this Dr. Pepper contest the same way I do Oprah giving cars to everyone in her audience or taking dozens of camera crews with her as she opens her school for girls in Africa... charity in exchange for popularity, ratings, exposure, etc. Not charity for the sake of charity. It's disgusting to me in so many ways.

Sorry, I should try to be a bit happier. We are in the holiday season overall. But I do feel good knowing I'm not the only one bothered by it.

So, in trying to keep the holiday spirit going (questionable if it's even truly started yet), I present you with a meme in the extended post.

Continue reading "I want money..." »

All the pieces, pieces, pieces of me...

I usually hold memes for the extended post, but this is a long puppy so it's going to be my primary post for the day. If you don't like it, blame Sheila and LeSombre. It came from them. Even if you do like it, give them hell anyway. They probably deserve it for something or other.

Oh and I hate that I not only stole the title of this post from Sheila but that it's an Ashlee Simpson song. But it works too well. So tough noogies.

This meme reminds me of the onion layer vs. parfait layer argument in Shrek. That was a funny scene.


  • Name: Kevin
  • Birthdate: December 5, 1974
  • Birthplace: Upstate New York
  • Current location: Geneva, Illinois
  • Eye color: Brown
  • Hair color: When it existed, brown
  • Height: 6'0" or 6'1" depending on how straight my spine is
  • Righty or lefty: righty
  • Zodiac sign: Sagittarius


  • Your heritage: German, British, Irish, and Ukrainian
  • The shoes you wore today: I'm barefoot
  • Your weakness: Katie
  • Your fears: Falling, spiders, and unenclosed heights
  • Your perfect pizza: One of ours
  • Goal you’d like to achieve: debt free and card shredded


  • Your most overused phrase on AIM: people still use AIM?
  • Your first waking thoughts: Why God? Why?
  • Your best physical feature: I'm not sure I have one
  • Your most missed memory: Katie and I in San Francisco


  • Pepsi or Coke: Whatever's on sale
  • McDonald’s or Burger King: McD's
  • Single or group dates: Single because they seem to happen so rarely, but group can be fun too
  • Adidas or Nike: Adidas because Nike are too damn narrow for my feet
  • Lipton Ice Tea or Nestea: Neither
  • Chocolate or vanilla: Depends on my mood
  • Cappuccino or coffee: Coffee


  • Smoke: Nope
  • Cuss: Like a trucker
  • Sing: Only in the car or when I'm trying to drive Katie crazy
  • Take a shower everyday: Yep
  • Do you think you’ve been in love: I certainly hope so
  • Want to go to college: Been there, done that, bought the T-shirt
  • Liked high school: To some degree
  • Want to get married: Been there, done that, no T-shirt
  • Believe in yourself: I question it
  • Get motion sickness: Only twice - once on a plane and once on a boat during a whale watch
  • Think you’re attractive: No
  • Think you’re a health freak: Should be more of one
  • Get along with your parent(s): Yep
  • Like thunderstorms: Love 'em!
  • Play an instrument: Used to play electric and acoustic guitar and upright bass

LAYER SIX: In the past month…

  • Drank alcohol: Yep
  • Smoked: A cigar, only the second one I've had in seven years
  • Done a drug: Nope, unless you count alcohol or tobacco
  • Made out: Yep
  • Gone on a date: Yep
  • Gone to the mall: Unfortunately, yes
  • Eaten an entire box of Oreos: Nope
  • Eaten sushi: You betcha and I'd do it more often if it were less expensive
  • Been on stage: Nope
  • Been dumped: Nope
  • Gone skating: Not in the past month
  • Made homemade cookies: Yep
  • Gone skinny dipping: Yep, only to have a dolphin swim up near me; that was embarrassing; actually this was back in May, but I'll count it anyway
  • Dyed your hair: I have none to dye
  • Stolen Anything: Nope


  • Played a game that required removal of clothing: Yep
  • Been trashed or extremely intoxicated: Yep
  • Been caught “doing something”: Nope
  • Been called a tease: Yep
  • Gotten beaten up: Yep
  • Shoplifted: Yep
  • Changed who you were to fit in: Yep


  • Age you hope to be married: Already done that and I was 26
  • Numbers and names of children: None
  • Describe your dream wedding: Oh it will be on a beach and I'll be barefoot and then the sun will setting and oooohhhhhhhh... JK; I dug on how ours turned out
  • How do you want to die: Not alone, preferably
  • Where you want to go to college: Or where I went? NIU
  • What do you want to be when you grow up: AN ASTRONAUT! or A COWBOY!
  • What country would you most like to visit: Ireland and Italy


  • Number of drugs taken illegally: None, seriously
  • Number of people I could trust with my life: One or two
  • Number of CDs that I own: More than I realized, 70
  • Number of piercings: By professionals - 0; By accident - A couple, or more
  • Number of tattoos: One, and I'd like another, but I have to figure out what first
  • Number of times my name has appeared in the newspaper: Several and not in the police blotter either
  • Number of scars on my body: More than I can count
  • Number of things in my past that I regret: I try to learn from them as opposed to regretting them, so I'd say none

As always, steal at will.

I feel fine and I feel good, I'm feeling like I never should...

Hey all.

Sorry, I really thought I'd have something more meaningful to say than "hey all," but I suddenly realized, late last night, that I messed up the importing of about two dozen CDs into iTunes. I had the import functionality set to MP3 format at 128 Mbps (very low quality for you non-techies) because I was creating ringtones some weeks back. And for a few hours, I've been trying to reimport some CDs I still have at better quality, lossless settings (yes, MP3s can actually lose quality over time if reimported or moved around or otherwise messed with enough times).

Thankfully this doesn't affect what I've purchased off iTunes and Amazon.

I've found about a half dozen of the CDs, but I've had to go on the library Web site and re-request a ton that I have already checked out. That won't raise any eyebrows amongst the librarians, will it?


So I'm leaving you with a video. File this under "How in the name of all that's holy did I miss this one when it came out earlier in the month?" I just cannot forgive myself.

Thank you to Funny Or Die for the embed code that the original Huffington Post did not provide.

Oh, and I have a meme for you in the extended post.

Continue reading "I feel fine and I feel good, I'm feeling like I never should..." »

But what it don't get I can't use...

I was having trouble figuring out what to post today. Not so much having trouble writing as I wrote what I feel to be a pretty good post, but I just don't feel quite ready to make it public yet. I'm thinking possibly Friday on that one. You may soon figure out why.

However, then I received a forward from my dad. A man who never sends forwards. Hell, I've questioned whether he knows how to use e-mail... or read books that aren't technical manuals or work-related catalogs... or cook something other than a bologna sandwich...

But, I love him all the same. And this was too good to not post. So here is my Tuesday post as contributed by my father.

If you had purchased $1,000 of shares in Delta Airlines one year ago, you would have $49 today.

If you had purchased $1,000 of shares in AIG one year ago, you would have $33 today.

If you had purchased $1,000 of shares in Lehman Brothers one year ago, you would have $0 today.

But, if you had purchased $1,000 worth of beer one year ago, drank all the beer, then turned in the aluminum cans for recycling refund, you would have received $214.

Based on the above, the best current investment plan is to drink heavily and recycle. It is called the 401-Keg.

A recent study found that the average American walks about 900 miles a year. Another study found that Americans drink, on average, 22 gallons of alcohol a year. That means that, on average, Americans get about 41 miles to the gallon! Makes you proud to be an American!

Are you investing wisely?

While I can say I currently invest conservatively, I think it may be time to be a bit more aggressive with the market. What are shares of Guinness going for these days?

I do have a meme for you in the extended post, though.

Continue reading "But what it don't get I can't use..." »

Nothing compares...

This bummed us out to no end.

On Friday, Katie and I decided to go out for a very traditional dinner and a movie date. Since the movie started earlier, that was where we started. And Nights in Rodanthe it was (that is how much I love my wife).

Afterwards, we were going downtown to a nice sit-down pizza place called Sanfratello's. We've been there before and enjoyed it, so we thought we'd go again. When we pulled up, we saw it was kinda empty, but there were still some people milling about so clearly it was open.

However, when we got inside, we saw a band setting up. Meh, no big deal. We'd sit in the bar area where the volume would be a bit less (we're soooo old). However, when we got up to the front counter and asked for a table for two, the guy told us that the kitchen was closed.

Closed???? WTF???? The restaurant wasn't closing, according to the sign on the front door, for another hour! This was complete and utter crap. I am fine with having a band play at your place. If customers don't want to hear it and you provided fair warning, then the onus is on them to leave. But don't push everybody out, period, by closing the kitchen! You run a delivery service as well, for chrissake! Did you tell all the phone-in people you were closed, too? How many of them do you think are going to bother coming back after being spurned during normal hours of operation?


We went elsewhere. To a pizza joint that had no problem staying open a bit later than their posted hours to make a couple hungry customers happy. Thank you, Antonio's!

Got a semi-, demi-, quasi-, pseudo-meme in the extended post for ya...

Continue reading "Nothing compares..." »

Don't let the sun go down on me...

I_pph_ur_blog Well, apparently sunlight doesn't suck enough to not shine down on me right now thanks to Winter over Sunlight Sucks. She hit me up with the "I Love Your Blog" award.

Winter and I are pretty new to each other. We've both heard of each other for some time either from other bloggers in our circle talking about one of us or by reading the comments that each of us has left on some other blog. Why we didn't hook up (in a purely platonic blog reader sense, of course!) sooner is beyond both of us. But, hey, we're reading now and that's what matters. And I've made enough of an impact to merit one of these bad boys! So that's pretty swank.

However, like any blog award, there are rules. The blogosphere is, of course, a pay it forward kinda community. So here are the rules:

Just seven?? Okay fine, I'll try. And I'm going to stick to blogs that are all relatively new reads for me. I also hope to be giving this out to people that haven't already received this from someone else. Or at least they haven't posted about it yet. Who knows if they've already received it, right? Can't read every post out there. ;-)

Of course there are many more of you out there and just because I didn't list you doesn't mean you're not great. Honestly. No B.S. (for once in my life).

Hey, got a meme for you in the extended post.

Continue reading "Don't let the sun go down on me..." »

And you may ask yourself, how did I get here...

To be filed under "How the hell did that get there?" Despite earlier protestations that I couldn't get Breathe Right Strips to stick, I have managed to make them work and they work well.

When they stay in place, anyway.

I woke up yesterday morning and went into the bathroom to get ready for my shower. As I'm wont to do in the morning, I began scratching at my chest at some imaginary itch. Dunno why. That's when I felt it. My Breathe Right Strip was stuck to my chest. I have no freakin' clue how, but it was there. Pretty firmly stuck, too.

I sure hope my pec slept well.

Got a meme for you in the extended post.

Continue reading "And you may ask yourself, how did I get here..." »

Take a walk on the wild side...

In an age where portable devices are becoming more and more prevalent, you knew that legislation would follow. Some states are banning the use of cellphones without headsets while driving. Some are banning text messaging while driving. Some are just passing legislation for younger drivers.

In all, I agree with all of them. Anything to make these hellish roads safer.

But this one is a little odd. Some politicos in Chicago are pushing to make the use of wireless devices while walking illegal.

Upon first read, this sounds ridiculous. Then you hear that it's actually only for those people in crosswalks. That's when it starts to make more sense. People don't pay attention anymore, period. Now we have the attention paid to handheld devices making it even worse.

However, I have to ask, exactly what will be banned? It sounds like it's just texting, but I've seen enough idiots talking on the phone and strolling out into traffic as though all cars should stop for them. Will they ban talking on the phone as well? Must you then use a hands-free headset to talk? Will my fear of a world full of cyborgs with machinery sticking out the sides of the skulls be realized? What about Web browsing or scrolling through a playlist on an iPod? Sure an iPod isn't "wireless" in the same sense that a cell phone is, but it can be just as distracting.

Well, one thing's for sure... the Chicago Police Department will finally have legitimate justification for their fleet of Segways.

Hey, got a meme for you in the extended post. Enjoy.

Continue reading "Take a walk on the wild side..." »

Runaway train, never comin' back...

This should be fun... tonight marks the first official meeting of what Kim has dubbed the "Chicago Bloggers Social Club" or CBSC for short. A few of us bloggers will be getting together in Chicago to just hang at -- in Dave's honor -- Hard Rock Cafe. It's a small group right now with just Kim, Nilsa and myself along with our first honorary member, Beth.

Other members, who won't be able to make it tonight, include Wafelenbak and Tori. There are several others we might include down the line as well and some I intended to invite this go-round but just slipped up (so don't hate me!), but I'm hoping to keep it relatively small. You'll understand why as you read the TUA on this post.

If you take anything from this post, it's clearly that all single male bloggers need to move to Chicago. I'm the only guy in this bunch.

Totally Unrelated Aside (TUA): A week or so ago, Wafelenbak tagged me with a meme. Oh tagging, how I hate thee. Well, not only will she pay with her life, but now I must respond. It's taken me some time, but here goes.

Basically, I need to detail six quirky things about me. It's hard to say, for sure, what I've talked about before and what I haven't, but I'm going to run with these six anyway as I'm sure it will be new to someone.

  1. I'm a Chicago public transit neophyte. As much as I love and support public transit, I know nothing about it's use in Chicago aside from Metra, the commuter train system. I know nothing about taxis, buses, water taxis, or the El and have only used each twice, once, zero, and once, respectively. But I'll take Metra any chance I get to go to Chicago. Once downtown, though, I tend to walk everywhere. And that's a large friggin' city to walk.
  2. I hate clowns. Nothing new about this. But a part of me actually was happy when I read yesterday that Larry Harmon, who helped popularize Bozo the Clown, had died. Sick, aren't I? The dude's a friggin' Chicago institution and I hate him for it.
  3. I hate crowds. Well, I should be more specific, I hate having to participate in crowded situations. If I have to go shopping in crowded places, I hate it. But if I can just sit back and watch, I'm fine. My cutoff is about a dozen people before I become severely uncomfortable. If there are smaller blister groups within a larger group, not so bad. This is probably why I'm not too keen on attending a TequilaCon... too many people. In these situations, I tend to either clam up or crack inappropriate jokes. And when people at TC would look at these jokes as "inappropriate," you know they must be bad.
  4. I'm a writing newbie. It wasn't until grad school that I actually started to enjoy writing. It was always a pain in the ass otherwise. It was one particular project, too, that did it for me. A professor was pre-grading our semester research projects and told me, the day before it was officially due, that mine was very disjointed and read awkwardly. I had to rewrite a 20-page overnight as a result. I stayed up all night and did it and he told me afterwards that the result was one of the best, and most fluid, papers he had ever read in his 30+ years of teaching. I've been hooked ever since. Damn him.
  5. Grapecrush_2 I have a deep-rooted love of Grape Crush. I don't know why, but I do. I bought a two liter over the weekend and poured myself a glass of that grapey goodness and Katie thought I was going to die of bliss. I don't drink it too often simply because I don't want to taint my love of it. Maybe once a year or less often.
  6. If it's possible to have low-grade OCD, I have it. I do have a pattern for doing many things and don't like to see my methods ruined by somebody stepping in the middle of it. But I'm also not controlled by these methods. I can break them and do things differently, but it has to be on my terms and be my own conscious decision. There are other things that some people swear I'm OCD about, but I think it's mostly just me playing up to their expectations. I'm really not Adrian Monk about where things go on, say, my desktop. Seriously.

Did you learn something about me? Yes? Good. No? Oh well. Sorry. I tried. No, I'm not tagging anyone. You know I never do. Except I may now tag Wafelenbak with every single meme I receive just to screw with her. Heh. I'm evil.