personal, family, cats comments edit

Yay, me, it’s my BIRTHDAY!

Thus far, I’ve already had two donuts for my birthday. Granted, that was in our staff meeting where there’s always donuts, but hey - they’re birthday donuts as far as I’m concerned.

Later today there’s a birthday celebration in the other building here at work for all the July birthdays. Cake and ice cream there. And on my birthday. All the better.

Tonight my parents are having a barbecue at their place for my immediate family and Jenn’s parents. I think this will be the first time Jenn’s parents have actually spent time at an event with mine. Should be interesting.

Speaking of family events, I saw the movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding last week. Friday, I think. Anyway, it was really, really funny. I learned two things from that movie: First, that Jenn’s family is probably part Greek (“I have 27 first cousins…”). Christmas at her grandma’s house is a lot like the wedding preparations you see in the movie. Second, any illness can be cured by Windex. I’ve yet to verify this latter point.

My baby Xev kitty is a demon in cat’s clothing. She’s so wild all the time. Sometimes I wonder if she actually sleeps. I’m beginning to think she likes being squirted with the water bottle. I do know that she likes playing in the sink, and when we’re not looking she’ll jump up onto our kitchen counter, run to the sink, and start drinking the water soaking on the dirty dishes. She’s very bad. If she wasn’t so cute, I’d be forced to kick her ass. She’s starting to play well with Semper (the other cat), though. It’s kind of funny to watch - Semper is like 16 pounds and Xev is maybe 3 pounds. It’s sort of like a squirrel playing with a polar bear.

That’s about it. So far, my 26th is just another day in a long line of days. I’ll probably have more tomorrow once the barbecue has taken place.

personal comments edit

Since tomorrow is my birthday, I will take a cue from Walt Disney’s rendition of Alice In Wonderland and sing myself the “Unbirthday Song.”

Now that I’ve done that, I feel better.

Jenn gave me her gift early since she realized I’d suspect something if she hadn’t, and rightly so. She got me lettering for my Winter Hawks jersey - my favorite player, Eric Bowen, #26. For those in the Winter Hawks know I’ll admit that no, he wasn’t the greatest player in the world. He was a mediocre puck handler and had okay skating skills. But when he was on the ice, no opponent was safe from the wrath, man. That boy would throw down unlike anything ever seen. He’s actually what convinced me to buy season tickets in the first place.

So Jenn took me and my jersey to Northwest Skate Authority and we sent it out for lettering. Yay, me! I’m stoked. I have wanted that for a long time but really didn’t know when I’d get it done. So now it’s good to go, and I’m a happy camper.

Speaking of birthdays and unbirthdays (sort of): let it be known that I hate cards. I hate ‘em. Cards are the sappiest, most meaningless show of feeling ever. It’s $3 you’ll never reclaim - you get the card, you sign your name, you hand it to the recipient, they read it, they pitch it. There’s the life cycle. If they’re environmentally conscious, they might recycle it. However, there are two exceptions that I have found thus far to the “card rule.” The first is a handmade card. Anyone who takes the time to create a card by hand - not just with one of those ready-made card programs on the computer, but actually works to create the card - has legitimized their feelings in physical form. I appreciate that. The second is a certain series of cards distributed by Flavia Art. This particular series has a nice, rich artwork to it, a decorated envelope, and just pretty much makes me happy just looking at them. Here’s a birthday card in that series; here’s the anniversary card I bought my parents this year. They have posters like that, too. Good stuff.

Jenn and I go see The Phantom of the Opera on Wednesday. I’m really looking forward to it. I’ve never seen it before, but I know the music by heart, so I’m expecting great things.

Oh… went shopping this weekend with Jenn because she wanted to find a dress to wear to Phantom and something for my sister’s wedding on August 9. I’m not sure if I’d call it a successful trip. See, I’m not too picky about clothing. Or maybe I just find stuff that I like and buy it regardless of how it hangs on me, how it’s cut, etc. If I like it and it generally fits, I get it. I mean, I walked into the store, wasn’t even looking for shorts, and found some rockin’ shorts that fit, on sale. No problems.

Jenn’s more of an enigma in that respect. She didn’t want a black dress because you “can’t wear black to a wedding” (why, exactly, is beyond me; I’m wearing a black suit, after all). She didn’t want anything too long because it’s going to be hot at Phantom (it’s pretty hot this week in Portland). And so on.

Anyway, we shopped for hours. Seriously. I walked the entire mall, saw everything I wanted to see in every other store, and still spent time in the “man chair” outside the womens’ dressing room in Meier and Frank. In the end, you know what she bought?

A sleeveless black dress that goes to the ground, in the style of one of those Chinese dresses. And she’s not even going to wear it in the near future. She’ll wear something more casual to Phantom so I don’t have to wear a suit (which is a good thing) and then wear an outfit she already owns to the wedding.


Other than that, I’m still reading The Bourne Identity and totally loving it. I think I may dedicate some time to it when I get home.

tv, traffic, music comments edit

I have a big rant about the show American Idol that this whole post is basically going to be about, but there are a few minor topics that I need to get out of the way before that happens.

First, I noticed that has a great selection of Mucha art. Brilliance. Anyone who wants to buy me any of that, be my guest. They have not only prints but actual lithographs of the stuff, too. I swear I could go broke on that.

Next, I am starting to make my bi-monthly switch from Kung Fu movies to spy/action movies so last night I was watching Tomorrow Never Dies - not one of the better Bond movies, but it had Teri Hatcher in it, and Pierce Brosnan is my favorite Bond, so I guess I can’t bag on it too badly. Anyway, that got me looking at Amazon, where I am noticing that they’re finally re-releasing the Bond movies on DVD come October 22. I’m going to have to investigate how many Yahoo! Visa points I have and maybe cash in to preorder some of those.

Finally, let it be known that it took me 90 minutes to get home from work yesterday and I only live 14.3 miles away from my place of business. That averages out to 9.5mph. Why? Because there was a car fire that blocked all but one lane of traffic. I couldn’t get off the freeway because by the time I found out what was going on, I was on the inside lane of four lanes of parking lot. Besides which, there were no exits between where I was at and the car fire - only entrances. Great.

I had a sort of epiphany, though, while I was sitting parked in that mess. We should be able to file a class-action-style lawsuit against anyone who does something that holds up traffic on that level. Why? Consider how much was wasted in time and natural resources - I know I burned almost a quarter tank of gas going all of 14.3 miles, and I get good gas mileage. Now consider the amount of time that was lost between all the people who had to sit through that. The idea here is that if people would drive carefully and maintain their automobiles, we would have fewer things like car fires. If everyone caught in that mess could file a class-action suit against the idiot not maintaining their car, the people caught could at least reclaim something for having to sit through that. Insurance companies could offer class-action liability insurance, sort of like your basic “collision” coverage, that would cover you in the event you’re the jerk fucking up the traffic and you get the lawsuit filed against you. The fire department would get paid, the police would get paid, and the people would get paid. There are some kinks to work out - like how you determine who really was caught in the traffic, to what extent you define “caught in traffic,” etc. But the idea’s there. Let’s get on this, people!

Okay, now on to American Idol.

I hate to admit it, but I’m sadly sucked into this show. I’m not even sure why. It’s just interesting, I guess, to see how America rates performers compared to how I would rate them.

I watched it last night, and came to the conclusion that I really, really, really HATE the show’s hosts, Ryan Seacrest and Brian Dunkleman. I HATE THEM. They’re like… they’re like two really stupid Bob Sagets. I hate Bob Saget, and I hate these guys. They have zero presence, zero wit, and zero talent. I literally clapped when Simon Cowell told them to shut up last night.

Speaking of Simon, that’s the whole reason I’m thinking of American Idol this morning. People don’t like Simon because he speaks his mind and doesn’t sugar-coat the stuff he says. If he doesn’t like your singing, he’ll tell you straight-up that you sucked. And you know what?

He’s right.

I think there is only one time ever that I’ve disagreed with what he thought of a performer - he liked Ejay Day and I really just don’t like him. Besides that, though, when Simon has said someone did an average job - he was right. When Simon called two of the finalists “losers” (presumably referring to Jim Verraros and AJ Gil), he was dead on.

What I don’t understand is why Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson insist on congratulating the contestants on poor performances. What happens when some lamer wins and then gets ripped a new one by critics? I guarantee the press is not going to be as friendly as the Randy and Paula are. Simon’s just giving it to them straight - I think it’s Randy and Paula that need attitude adjustments. Call it like it is. No use building people up only for them to be torn down later. Cut your losses and move on.

I think I may use the link on Simon’s page to write him an email to tell him he’s right.

Enough on the judges. On to the contestants.

It’s a tough one. I think they do have the best contestants in the running right now, except for Jim Verraros and AJ Gil, who do, in fact, suck donkey. Christina Christian is cute, but the vibrato she’s got going on any note she holds longer than a second is really annoying. EJay Day and RJ Helton are just average as far as I’m concerned. No real presence. Nice voices, but that’s about it. The rest, though… that’s a tough one. I tried to think: having heard them all sing, generally understanding their styles, whose album would I buy if I saw it on the shelf?

I never really came up with an answer for that.

Kelly Clarkson seems like she could easily go country a la LeAnn Rimes, and I really hate country music. She does have a nice voice, though, she’s cute and has a decent style. Maybe.

Tamyra Gray seems like she would go Whitney Houston or maybe even slightly hip-hop. Pending on how catchy it was, I might buy that album. She’s not terribly attractive to me, though, and her overall style is just so-so. Also a maybe.

Justin Guarini has, by far, the best voice of them all. I’m just not sure I can figure out what his style is. It’s almost like he would do well as a 70’s funk throwback, but honestly, he could sing anything and I think he’d do well. I think it’d depend on what sort of album he put out. His look is sort of nondescript, and that’s a problem. I’m not sure how to remedy that, either. I’d probably buy the album.

That leaves my two favorites: Ryan Starr and Nikki McKibbin.

Ryan has a distinct look - she’s hot, she has her own style, and she’s not afraid to show it. Plus, she’s sang a variety of different songs (and genres) throughout the competition and she’s done well at them all. I think she’d do really well in some sort of Bif Naked style band. I’d definitely buy her album.

Nikki is my absolute favorite. She’s got the best overall style and she’s definitely the most original. I like the sort of “rebel” thing she’s got going. She didn’t do too well singing the Motown genre last night, but I think she’ll do way better when they get to something like Alternative Rock. I could see her in a band like Garbage or Hole… but somehow almost more original than that. I dunno. But I’d definitely buy her album. Probably a poster, too, since she’s a total hottie. Something about the hair and the overall look just gets me.

personal, cats comments edit

This entry is a big thank you to Jenn for being soooo helpful and observant this morning. It’s also a good illustration of how badly and easily I get sidetracked.

After I got out of the shower this morning, Jenn let our baby Xev cat into the bedroom. Xev climbed my towel (while it was wrapped around me) up onto the counter and Jenn got in the shower. So far, so good. I got myself ready while watching the cat. The cat likes it when you turn the water on in the sink so it just barely runs - she sticks her foot in it, shakes it off, then does it again. She also likes to try to eat your toothbrush, destroy the Dixie cup dispenser on the counter, etc. So while I was getting ready, putting on my deodorant, putting the gel in my hair, and so on, I was watching the cat and laughing.

There are about 20 minutes between Jenn getting out of the shower and me leaving. During those 20 minutes, Jenn and I are in the same room (the bedroom) getting our respective selves dressed and so forth. After that, I pack up and leave, Jenn shutting the door behind me.

I just now went into the bathroom at work. Took a leak, washed my hands, washed my face and…


I’ve got hair running all over the place. It looks a lot like it does when I get up in the morning, but now it’s conveniently gelled into place. Fucking great. Permanent bed head.

Now, I’m not shirking the responsibility for this hair debacle. I’m sure I just got sidetracked stopping the cat from destroying something. But there was another human in the room who could have said something. Is my hair that messy all the time that it’s not noticeable when I comb it and when I don’t? Shit, people, say something.

I don’t have a comb at work. The best I can do is try to wet it and sort of beat it down with my hands. Dammit! Now what?

Okay, here’s a sidetrack for you: In the event you want to send pizza and Pepsi to a patrol, section, or entire platoon of Israeli soldiers, you can do so at You can also send ice cream or burgers. Apparently there’s a web site for everything nowadays. To be honest, sending pizza to Israelis never even crossed my mind before. Where’s the site to send pizza and Pepsi to me? (Actually, I guess this is it. But it doesn’t directly advertise the opportunity to send me food. Maybe I should step that up a bit.)

hockey, movies comments edit

I called the Portland Winter Hawks office this morning and paid for the remaining balance on my two front-row season tickets. $468 each! Unbelieveable. I suppose I’d be really hurting if they were NHL tickets. Oh, well. Jenn and I have a ton of fun at the Hawks games, so it’s worth it. Besides, it keeps me out of trouble. I think.

Plus, I sit next to this guy, Jerry, and his wife Deona (I think that’s how you spell it) at the games. Jerry’s a kick in the pants. This guy has so many screwed up stories. My favorite one is the one where he sets himself on fire while cleaning out his motor home. Too much.

This weekend I realized, yet again, that I really need one of those voice-activated recorders so I can just say what I’m thinking and later transcribe it into blog form. Better still, play it back to voice recognition software and have the software transcribe it for me. Then I could go back and just proof it. See, I think most of my more “deep” (reads: entertaining) thoughts occur while I’m in the car, in the shower, taking a leak, etc., because I’m just zoning out. The blog misses out on those because I’ve forgotten them by the time I’m done doing whatever it is I was doing.

For example: I have noticed from my past experience that if you wear glasses out in the rain, regardless of how you orient your head or attempt to cover your glasses, the rain will always get on them. Always. This leads me to believe that water droplets and plastic lenses must have some sort of magnetic attraction to each other. If we could somehow harness the magnetism between water droplets and plastic lenses, we’d have abundant free, clean energy. I’m still working on how to do that. Keep watch for it in the news; I’m sure I’ll figure it out soon.

Then again, I realize too that if I had one of those voice recorder things then the blog would not only probably be waaaaay more random, but it would also have a lot more cussing in it. Maybe it would read like an Eddie Murphy sketch? I dunno.

I’m reading the book The Bourne Identity by Robert Ludlum because I really enjoyed the movie and my friend Brad from work (who was in the theater at the same time I was) mentioned that the book was really good. So, anyway, I’m reading this book and am realizing that the movie is almost a completely different story than the book. I mean, the names of the characters are the same (so far as I can tell; I’m not too far into the book) and the general plotline is roughly the same, but other than that… woo! Not even close. The book has so much that the movie just sort of skipped over, it’s amazing.

That said, I really did enjoy the movie. I’m glad I saw it before reading the book, but I’ll probably get it when it comes out on DVD.

Oh, and I watched Iron Monkey again this weekend - the first movie we’ve watched since we got the DVD player back from being cleaned. Something about Kung Fu movies makes me want to watch more Kung Fu movies. Like a slow growing, subtle addiction. Spy movies make me feel the same - if I watch a spy movie, I feel compelled to watch more spy movies. I go through month-or-two long stints where I’ll binge on spy movies, slow that down, slip in a Kung Fu movie, then binge on Kung Fu. I wonder why that is…