Sunday, July 20, 2008

Sorry, it has been FARRR too long. I would like to lie and say that I have been exceptionally busy, but that ain't the case. A lot has changed since my last post though.

For starters I am back in Phoenix with all my friends and family, so that's boss. I am living with my parents currently, which is not so boss, but I will be outta here in no more than a month, if things work the way I want them to. Read sick house with friends and booze.

My girlfriend is in central America, has been since the 7th of July and won't be back until the end of August, so that's a bummer. Alecia is in South America and won't be back until the end of October I think, another bummer. The harsh reality of not being able to take all these fun trips already settled and passed.

The tricky part right now is to occupy my time, which I am finding I have much too much of these days. That is because I do not start my new job until Monday, my birthday. What better way to celebrate turning 24 then by going to work in an office for orientation! All jokes aside, I am actually looking forward to having a purpose to my day instead of just resisting the urge to daydrink.

One thing I have done that I am quite pleased with is re-joining a gym. It's awesome to feel exhausted again, and not just from snowboarding. Going back to the gym means going back to old habits, protein shakes, eggs, and chicken. Arrange them in any order for any day and basically you have what I have been eating the last several weeks. My body is slowly starting to wake out of its slumber and return to activity. The irony being that I moved to Colorado with an intention of being more active and was not. The only thing I really don't miss about the gym is the lactic acid that builds up. It's what makes ya sore after getting extreme, as Trevor and I like to call it.

There's something great about being able to pick up and just go to the gym and work out frustrations physically. As soothing as writing is, and as effective a tool as it can be towards the same goal, I guess I just forgot how much physical activity outside of sports used to be in my life. I am really looking forward to getting back into that habit.

As Monday approaches I really find myself more and more optimistic. My friends joke that I have a generally pessimistic attitude towards everything, but that is veiled by my actual optimism and enjoyment of life. Pessimism is a device in which to exploit the comedy of life as I see it. I think about my life in September and I can honestly say that I am thrilled. I'll be in a house surrounded by friends, working a job that I can potentially make into a career, paying off my debts, back in physical shape and my wonderful girlfriend will be home. The only downer that I can see in there is that she is starting med school so that could put a strain on our relationship, which has been tested as of late.

This blog does not exist for me to rant about my relationship. Those privy to such gossip do not need to read it on here. After a long 3 weeks of doing nothing, feeling sorry for myself at points and heavy drinking, I think I have successfully pulled my own head out of my ass and come to the realization that I am idiot for thinking that in the first place. Plus, I finally have a stream of new music on my ipod now that I have my computer back. That means plenty of new hip/hop, girltalk, and anything else I feel like kicking it to, so hah! Off to the gym to go get extreme, happy Sunday ya'll!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

hmm... so I wrote this whole nice post and cannot figure out how to make this work on Mac, stupid my lack of knowledge. I suppose I will have to learn how to make decent posts on a Mac and not fudge them all up, but no promises. I'll post it in a bit, sadly I am going to have to email it to myself and then post it via PC. Laugh it up cool kids that know how to use Macs. Sure, you look stylish and concerned about the environment (the latter I am not sure why, my perception), but I have Vista...sigh

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Ordered myself a long board last night off whiskeymilita because why not? It was like 70 bucks for next day air so I opted for that and should be struggling with hills by tomorrow’s eve. This is going to be quite the feat since I do not know how to really skateboard. I figure that is just details and since long boarding is different in mechanics, I should fare decently since I excel at most other board sports. Skim, Surf, Snow, and now the final frontier, Asphalt/Concrete.

I’m going to try really hard to continue my “don’t use my car attitude” in Phoenix, but Phoenix ain’t the same as Steamboat. I can get anywhere in Steamboat in about 30 minutes walking, 10 if I got a bike. As a side note I expect it to be about 30 minutes on a long board until I get that down. Point being, Steamboat is smallsville. Phoenix ain’t so small. And the temps are not as forgiving as Colorado. The flipside is that I have a bike in Phoenix and many friends, so the problem should work itself out. Maybe. Oh, and my friend’s mom is going to try and get me a job right in the area where my roommates and I are looking for a home.

I can also further reduce driving by having a home suitable for entertaining. This necessitates the following criteria:

*Tiled Floors
*Open and spacious floor plans
*Yard, both front and back
*Dog, yellow or silver lab
*Proximity to park
*No old and crotchety neighbors
*Proximity to bars
*Space for poker games (read table)
*Kegerator and bar set up

Looking over the criteria, I could probably forget the pool but would not compromise on a yard. First off, dogs need yard space to do dog things like fetch, and dig, and poo. Second, Trevor and I have already expressed our desire for a horseshoe pit. Third, you cannot play bocce ball without grass. Fourth, lawn chairs in rocks would not work and look stupid. If they did they would be called rock chairs. See how dumb that sounds? Fifth and most important, grass is hip.

All these will contribute to people coming to me, and not the other way around, thereby eliminating both my excess driving and potential and costly DUIs. Not that I would drive under the influence, but I don’t always make the best decisions when I am buzzed: College serves as GIANT, 5-year example.

Tonight, I plan on bumping some Lil’Wayne and sitting by the river until the sun goes down. After which I will watch the Real World because I know the new girl. I had to be reminded that I knew her, so it’s not that important, but I am curious to know how MTV weaves her story. Not that I have anything to compare it to. I used to be very good at not watching MTV, but then somehow shows like the Real World, Tila Tequila and the Paper reeled me back in. Sad, I know. I watch those shows for the sheer depravity of their characters. MTV has certainly mastered the art of finding and exploiting bros and hos.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

I had a great little blog entry that I was working on, but it got a little too sciency, so I sent it to the draft table to revisit. I am pretty sure only Suzie would appreciate it. Let me just say that you and I Suzie, as cool as we may seem, are total nerds at heart because we both get excited about science. For me, outer space gets me hard.

Having said that let me digress. I am slowly become an environmentalist. I wish I could say that it was not the severity of the times that opened my eyes, but it probably was. I wince when I hear terms like carbon footprint because it just seems too preachy, but I think I have made huge steps towards reducing my own. I haven’t used my car in over a week. It is sitting idle in my parking lot. I have been using reusable bags at the grocery store. I have been making an effort to recycle all my beer cans. And you know what? It feels really good. It’s nice to feel like part of a simple solution. I could be the variable in the following equation: 2 + X = 4. Figure it out. If you can’t, replace X with 2.

Sorry for the analogy, but honestly it just seems that simple. It is the little things that people are just unwilling to do because they are lazy. I was like that for a very long time, but I think living in Colorado has taught me to really appreciate nature and our planet . Everyone here just enjoys the outdoors. Nay, they relish being outside. There is this connection that is almost primeval that brings people back to their roots. Humans did not start out in air conditioned houses in the middle of summer. They could not simply walk to a store to get food or flip a switch to get light. At the end of the day I think humans are missing that connection to nature more than they (I) will admit.

I’m about 7 beers deep so I apologize for this entry. It makes sense in my head but it may seem like stupid rambling .

Monday, June 16, 2008

I started running again, finally. It took me awhile to find the right day, the right frame of mind. I have been telling myself for maybe the last 3 or 4 weeks that I should really start running again. Not because I am fat, not because I feel like I am getting fat, but because of how it makes me feel. It’s good to get out and just run and work through all the thoughts in your head, not that I have any at the moment. If I did though, it would be soothing.

I didn’t call my dad on father’s day and I can’t really figure out why. I thought about it, thought about if he deserved it, and wondered if he would even notice. I’m guessing no, but he is the only person that would really no. This may seem harsh, but I base this by his only form of communication, which is text messaging. Sporadically, maybe once or twice a month I get a text from him, in horribly annoying little kid AIM English. I am going to copyright that term, by the way. It irks me because I go to great lengths to make sure I do not include any of those stupid shortcuts in my texts. An example of our conversation would read:

How R U?
-I am doing well, how are you?
Good 2 hear. Im good.
-Well that is good, how’s Texas?
Good. Wanted 2 say hi.
Luv & miss u. TTYL
-Miss you too, Dad…

Pretty sad huh? That is an actual conversation, might I add. It took place last Thursday, maybe in an attempt to goad me into a Father’s day something? I won’t take away from him that he’s my father, but he really has been absent in my life since I was 13, and it was by his choice so I don’t feel too sorry for him and neither should you. Besides, 11 years later I think I turned out pretty okay. I was reading PostSecret as I always do on Mondays; this morning it was a tribute (if one can call it that) to father’s day. I probably would have picked a more uplifting topic to write about had I not read that. Anyways, it made me realize that I could have had it a lot worse, a lot. Some dads are pretty shitty it turns out. I guess one of my fears is turning out to be a shitty father one day. It’s fun to joke about now, but in another ten years it may not be. Seems easy enough to avoid.

Oh, and on a related note, the Lakers game last night. Did you watch? Did you see the halftime report that had a special on Bill and Luke Walton? The father who accomplished way more than his son? They were interviewing them on their feelings about being a father/son championship duo and one word sums it up: FORCED. I have not seen Luke Walton act more out of place than that interview. The kicker was that Bill Walton was smiling and saying really sentimental things to him and they bounced off Luke like a fat kid on a trampoline. Thank you NBA, ABC, and the Walton Family for reinforcing what I already know: Father son relationships are always awkward no matter who you are.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

The first time I had coffee it was one of those frappachino drinks that come in the 4-packs you buy in the supermarket. French Vanilla, I think. I took it from the fridge because I thought it was chocolate milk. I opened, tried it, hated it, and threw it away. Later I would get in trouble because it was my mom’s and she was looking forward to it sometime later. Whoops.

I started to drink coffee maybe 4 years ago because it was the grown up thing to do. I was not one of those kids in college that would drink an entire pot of black coffee because they had to have it to study. I would have a normal-sized cup in the morning on my way to class, sometimes another in the afternoon if my first class was early. Over time my preferences towards coffee changed. Once repulsive without heaps of sugar and cream, I can now responsibly drink coffee with or without sugar. Cream is still in the mix, but I prefer milk, and not much. Actually, Krysten turned me on to soymilk in my coffee, so that makes my heart, and me happy.

I think one of the things I like most about coffee has little to do with coffee. Whenever I drink coffee I get the sense that things slow down, things become simpler and I feel more relaxed. I equate this feeling to the association I have with coffee being a grown-up drink. Something philosophical is at play when I have that first sip. Maybe the aroma triggers my inner-philosopher. Do I have amazing thoughts when I drink coffee, no. Could I have amazingly deep thoughts if I continue to drink coffee, probably not. Do I think I could, yes. It’s a similar process when I drink alcohol, only with better results. Tony hinted around this subject and it got me to thinking why coffee has become such a social phenomena.

Coffee, for whatever, seems to have a reflexive nature about it. The mirror inside is discovered and unlike alcohol, the conversations you have can meaningful and remembered. But yes, your breath does suck after drinking coffee. The scientist in me would call this an inverse relationship, maybe even a cause and effect relationship. Could I draw a statistical correlation highlighting the proportion of amount of conversation as it relates to the amount of coffee drank, yes. Will I? No, because the only reason I passed statistics was because I planted myself in a group of all Asian students with no public speaking ability. I presented, they crunched numbers. The scientist in me would call this a parasitic relationship; the optimist in me would call it a symbiotic relationship. The me inside me apologizes for this entry.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

I just found out that the Phoenix Suns have a supposed Jinx on them. Phoenix was created as an expansion team during the late 60’s, 1968 to be exact. That’s a 40-year history with no championships. Not a big deal when compared to say the Cubbies or the Red Sox, but when put in basketball perspective that is pretty darn lean. Under the microscope, Phoenix has had 17 50-win season, 3 60-win seasons and even made it to the playoffs in 27 seasons. Phoenix went as far as to make it to the finals twice, once in 1976, the other in 1993. Both had the same end result: Heartbreak.

The casual observer would think that with all that success there should be a championship or two littered in those 40 years. Nope. As it turns out, Phoenix has had a curse on them since the very beginning, starting in 1969. Phoenix finished its first year of play in the NBA with a league-worst 16-66 game season. Milwaukee finished second with 27-55 season. A coin flip was used to decide who got the first draft pick for the upcoming season. The curse started the moment Phoenix lost their potential first draft pick to the Milwaukee Bucks. Milwaukee in the first round, with the first pick, selected one Lew Alcindor; better known to you and I as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Yep, the same man with the legendary skyhook and one of the most dominant and consistent centers the game has ever seen.

Phoenix selected Neal Walk second in the draft. His claim to fame? Inducted into the Jewish Sports Hall of Fame. Since then, Suns fans have seen a series of bad luck; twists to a seemingly perfect season resulting in an untimely playoff exit. This became known as “the curse of the coin flip”. Original, I know. Couple Phoenix’s phenomenal bad luck with the fact that Phoenix has never had a dominant center and you arrive at a possible explanation for their playoff failures. Not convinced? Take a look at this and ask yourself why Phoenix fans consistently feel like they are getting the rub. Oh and by the way, Milwaukee, with the help of Kareem, would win a championship in 1971.

In the 1969-70 season, Phoenix qualified for the western conference playoffs, squared up against the Lakers. Phoenix cruised to a 3-1 series lead over the Lakers, and then proceeded to lose the next three games. Why? Suns center Jim Fox suffered an ankle injury and Wilt Chamberlain went bananas. Center.

The 1971 season brought a chance for redemption as Phoenix finished 9 games better than it had the previous season, with a 48-34 season. Unfortunately, the NBA decided to go to a divisional format and the top two qualifying teams in the Midwest division were not Phoenix; they were Milwaukee and Chicago. Had Phoenix been in the Pacific division at the time (where they are currently), their record would have tied for first place. Bad Luck.

1976 was the year the Suns recovered and marched all the way to the NBA finals to match up against the Boston Celtics. Phoenix, lacking a dominant center (sub 6’9”), could not square up against Boston’s big man (over 6’9”). Gosh, Kareem could have helped there, being 7’2”. Center.

In the 1977 season Phoenix was eliminated by Milwaukee in the first round of the playoffs. Coincidentally, the team that lucked out and got Kareem in the first place. It should be noted that by now Kareem was in L.A. Bad Luck.

The very last year of 70’s, Phoenix met up with L.A. in the playoffs and guess who was playing center. That’s right, Kareem himself. 1979 would prove to be the year that Kareem would go on to win his 6th MVP award. Think some no name center can match up against a 6-time MVP. Me neither. Center.

The Suns and Lakers would meet again during the Western Conference Finals in 1983, but Kareem was still there and still playing amazing ball. Phoenix continued to be haunted by the player they almost acquired. Center.

After a 3 year losing skid, Phoenix had reached the draft lottery, the NBA’s most current form of drafting selection protocol. Phoenix would eventually learn that it would receive one of the top two picks in the 1987 draft. Guess who got second place again? Yep, good ol’ Phoenix. This new draft debacle would start a new rivalry with the team that got the first draft pick in 1987. It was the San Antonio Spurs. Their selection? A center by the name of David Robinson. He would go on to win Rookie of the Year, 10-time all star center, and MVP among other accolades. Oh, and he won a championship with the Spurs. Bad Luck and Center.

In that same year, Phoenix’s prospect as a center, Nick Vanos, standing at 7’2”, perished in the Northwest Airlines flight 255 disaster, along with 153 others. Center.

Phoenix’s luck seemed as though it was changing in the upcoming seasons, advancing again to the Western conference finals in 1989. Kareem and the Lakers were waiting, and they were still better. Kareem would retire after that season with 6 championships under his belt. Phoenix had none. Center.

Phoenix finally bested the Lakers, post-Kareem, but blew both a game and series lead to the Portland Trailblazers in 1990. Bad Luck.

The next 2 years brought Phoenix consecutive 50-win seasons. It also brought two playoff exits, at the hands of the Utah Jazz, then again with the Blazers. Thankfully this was the period in the NBA I fondly remember as “when the entire Western conference took a beating by Michael and his Bulls”. No bad luck or center issues here, we wouldn’t have won.

Steve Kerr, who had his roots in Arizona (and is now coincidentally our GM), helped sink the Suns when they advanced to NBA finals in 1993. Charles Barkley won the MVP trophy that year but it didn’t matter, as the Suns would lose in 6, at home. Bad Luck.

In 1995 Suns player Danny Manning (standing at 6’11”) tore his ACL during practice. Sure could have used him to match up against Houston’s all-star center, Hakeem Olajuwon, who also went bananas on a shorter Phoenix team. Houston would earn their championship the following year. Center.

The Suns fell off the radar soon after this and flip-flopped a lot of their players, acquiring some big names, losing some big names. Nash, Kidd, Penny, Marbury all played for the Suns during this period and were all no more successful than their predecessors. Eventually Phoenix landed Amare Stoudemire, an eventual all-star who was paired with Shawn Mario and later Steve Nash. Phoenix brought in Coach Mike D’Antoni and re-wrote the way NBA basketball was played. Their new weapon was speed and transition basketball.

In 2005 the Suns met with their new rival, San Antonio, in the Western Conference finals. Phoenix would lose as a result of losing Joe Johnson, who was a major contributor and an outstanding perimeter player. Phoenix lost 2 games by a couple of points, points that would have easily been rained in by Joe. The lack of perimeter shooting and a center that could match Tim Duncan, lead to Phoenix being ousted. Bad Luck and Center.

In 2006, Amare Stoudemire was taken out of commission as he underwent micro-fracture surgery on his knee. That, coupled with the loss of Joe Johnson to the Hawks during the off season, proved too much for Phoenix to overcome and they fell in 6 games to the Mavericks, who they had on the ropes the entire time. The Mavericks would continue to finals and lose to the Heat, who Phoenix beat handily that season. Bad Luck.

2007 seemed like the straw that broke the camel’s back. All the Phoenix players were healthy; Amare was back and as fearsome as ever. Steve Nash had just won his 2nd consecutive MVP, and the lowly Golden State Warriors eliminated the best-record Dallas Mavericks in the first round. Phoenix had the best record remaining and was poised to make a run at the championship. But of course, fate intervened. It was Suns and Spurs in the semifinals with Phoenix hungry for revenge. The Spurs took an early series advantage but the rout in San Antonio in game 4 was proof that Phoenix could win in San Antonio. Frustrated, Spurs player Robert Horry (who played with the Suns) checked Steve Nash into the Scorer’s table. Immediately, Amare Stoudemire and Boris Diaw stood up from the sideline bench and stepped onto the court. Because of this, Amare and Boris would be suspended for one game, Horry for two. It was later discovered that Tim Duncan left the bench on a similar play earlier in that same game but was not suspended. Thank you David Stern. As if that wasn’t enough, Tim Donaghy, a referee who officiated some of the Suns & Spurs games was caught to have been gambling on the games he was calling. He admitted that fouls were called to alter the game and favor his bets. Those games were won by San Antonio. UNBELIEVABLE BAD LUCK.

All of which brings us to this year, 2008. A mid-season trade brought in a dominant center, Shaq, in exchange for Shawn Marion. Marion had recently come out in public about his dissatisfaction with the organization and was likely to walk by the end of the season, so Phoenix maneuvered a step behind L.A. who acquired a more agile center, Pau Gasol. Phoenix played San Antonio in the opening round and lost. L.A., with Gasol, will play Thursday in the NBA finals. Bad Luck.

Now you know what I know about the supposed curse that haunts Phoenix. And I’ll be honest; I’m getting a little worried it may be true.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Traveled down to Denver this weekend but forgot to charge my camera because I am a dumbass and I still owe you pictures from Seaworld, so double-boo on me. I’ll get on that.

Summer in Colorado is simply tits. I dare you to try and beat it. I will call you a dirty, jealous liar. The whole drive from Steamboat to Denver was breathtakingly beautiful. I think I was more awestruck because I am use to the drab and beige landscape that is the American southwest. Spotted with the occasional abandoned building or joshua tree, there is not too much else to note. Driving in the Rockies you can see some unforgettable scenery. Lush rolling green hills were capped with snow-tipped craggy mountains. Expansive ranges covered the landscape, with the herds of cattle watching over their bouncing calves. Further into the mountains waterfalls signaled the end of winter’s grip amidst protecting sheep perched out on the plateaus. The bugling of elk could be heard for much of my trip as they celebrate the land’s unyielding splendor. A stop in the eastern slope of the Rockies provided a glimpse of a roaming buffalo heard. I was rubbernecking the entire way driving maybe 50 miles an hour just trying to take in as much of it as I could.

I met up with a couple of my fraternity brothers and their girlfriends in Denver. We caught up on each other’s lives post-college and reacted as though no time had passed at all. That night we went to downtown and barhopped the traditional hotspots in Denver, or so I was told. The night began to blur around 2AM, as it should, so we grabbed a cab and headed back to the ‘burbs. There, Mark and myself attempted to play guitar hero but it proved impossible in our state. Ashley, Mark’s girlfriend, decidedly kicked our ass before passing out. Ashley went first. Then Mark. Then I fell out of my chair and remained, so I went third.

Mark’s mother cooked a gourmet breakfast for us, eggs, French toast, bacon, sausage, fresh fruit, OJ and coffee. Afterwards there were some chores that consisted of some light moving, then a quick nap. We made our way to Morrison, and if you have never been you need to make it out there. Ever heard of Red Rocks? The natural Amphitheatre? Unbelievable, and to be able to see a show there would be game-changing. We relaxed at a sleepy Mexican restaurant that had a rooftop patio that overlooked the foothills leading to the Rockies. Remembering my distaste for straight shots of tequila, we eventually retired back to Mark’s house where we had a nice and quiet evening grilling and sipping wine. An intense round of Bocce ball followed desert. We capped off the evening with a couple of rounds of Clue but I proved too drunk to be an effective detective (sick rhyme, I know) as I had crossed off all the rooms and weapons, so I had to ask all my questions again and by that point it was pointless as most were well on their way to victory. At least I got to be Professor Plum.

The next morning we packed our respective cars and headed towards our 3 different destinations. Some were going to Florida, some were staying in Denver and I was headed back up the mountains. Before I left I went to a Lacrosse tournament and watched Mark’s team play a round. The Bandits, a group of 4-6 year olds, handily beat their opponents 8 – 2. Good for them. I saw Steamboat’s Lacrosse team crush their opponents and then I traveled back through the Rockies, home to Steamboat.
All in all, a good weekend.

Friday, May 30, 2008

I’ve seen the look on his face before. Typical college frat party situation: Guy hands girl drink. Drink is much too strong for girl. Girl indulges. Girl feels tipsy then starts dancing on table. Girl is having the best time of her life. Guy looks on, smiling. Girl keeps drinking until the fun has worn off. Girl feels drunk. Girl gets tired. Guy asks girl if she needs to go home. Girl innocently says yes. Guy smiles to other guy friends. Guy friends smile back; thumbs up are exchanged between parties. Guy drives girl to house. One-night-stand occurs.

Hillary, how could you! Seriously though, this is a wicked funny photo. I do not know what the photographer was thinking, but this is not facebookable material. An appropriate caption would read, “OMG, I have such a wastey face going on in that pic, gross! I was so blacked-out I don’t know what even happened that night, lol!”

Truth be told if I was fighting a battle I knew I would lose I would probably settle into a nice warm glass of whiskey, too. How else should one react when they are the clear front-runner prior to and leading into the democratic nomination process before having the rug pulled out from under them? It’s been fun Hillary, but all parties have to end sometime.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull grossed $126 million in the box office this weekend. If I had it my way, Indiana Jones would have grossed $125,999,993 this weekend because I want my $7 back. The movie was disappointing to say the least. When I have kids and start to share my favorite things with them, they will be allowed to only watch the first three Indiana Jones movies, and even then I might take out Temple of Doom. I left the movie feeling simply betrayed. It hsould have been titled Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Greedy Director/Producer who Destroys Fond Memories. Or in short, IJKGDPDFM, as the internet kids would say.

I never grew out of my love for Indiana; in fact, his character has sharply influenced my life. I remember first seeing Raiders of the Lost Ark and being captivated by Harrison Ford’s character. He was everything a hero should be, courageous, humorous, humble, flawed, dashing, and educated. No catharsis was necessary for you to relate to Jones Jr. Something about that movie struck a cord in me and I have been fascinated with history ever since. I was the kid who was 16 and still excited to go to Disneyland just so I could go on the Indiana Jones ride because I had never been, and loved every minute of it. And yes, I bought a $40 mock fedora. I wanted the bullwhip but it was a school trip and weapons were not allowed.

Raiders showed audiences everywhere how “cool” history could actually be. Of course, when I hit middle school I realized that actual archeology was nothing like Indiana Jones but it didn’t matter since the message was already absorbed. I even pursued archeology as a viable major in college during my freshman year of college but then quickly learned my talents rested in other spots along the academic spectrum. Point being, the Indiana Jones trilogy inspired a lifetime passion in me, something not a lot of things can claim.

I begged my parents to let me rent the Temple of Doom on VHS but they refused because they heard about the infamous ripping-out-heart-scene and decided that was not suitable for a boy who was four or five. I’m glad they didn’t, but that’s another story entirely. When The Last Crusade came out I was the ripe age of seven and my father took me to see it. I was amazed, even more than when I had seen Raiders for the first time. It’s still my favorite and in my opinion the end of the Indy series.

Why is it the end? Because the two hour crap-fest that I was suckered into was nothing like the first three. It started off innocently enough with Ford making fun of his character’s age and his new limitations. It fit and I was thinking that this might work. Then, about 2 minutes into the movie when the mention of aliens first cropped up I turned my back on the feature. This wasn’t Indiana Jones. Indiana Jones doesn’t care about aliens or spaceships; he is more concerned about finding the cross Jesus was crucified on, or some other religious antiquity. Something human, something people across time can connect with.

It shocked me to learn that the Crystal Skulls are real. The myth that there are 13 is also whispered among historians, so I guess part of the series was based on fact, albeit loosely. I feel saddened that kids who have never known the original Indiana Jones watch this and then think the others will be like this new, shiny, Indiana Jones. Ironic because Ford is anything but new and shiny. They might go back and watch the originals, maybe even like them, but most likely will prefer the new Indy to the old one. I suppose if it instills the same passion that Indy gave me then there is no harm done, but come on. I mean come on. The X-Files is supposed to deal with this garbage. The new X-Files should have paid for this script and adapted it to the adventures of Moulder and Scully, and then I would have actually liked it because that is what the X-Files deals with. The new Indiana Jones felt so foreign, like a one-night-stand. Sure, it’s fun at the moment, but when you wake up you’re probably thinking about the last girl you dated and missing that comfort because you are sleeping on opposites sides of the bed with your recent conquest and not in her arms. Then you hit the bottle. Wet, lather, wash, rinse, and repeat if necessary.

I was really looking forward to this movie and I genuinely felt like a kid before I saw it, all giddy with the possibilities. Then, I felt like an adult after it was over. Maybe I’ll need to go back to Disneyland and go through the ride again to recapture the magic again. Then a trip through frontier land because animatronic presidents and ghosts are the shit.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Time for a confession. At some point in my life I would love to be an owner/operator of some rinky-dink ski resort with maybe a lift or two, a small lodge, and a pub. I figure if I am even remotely successful in my future that would not be asking too much. The intention being to run it for a small profit, maybe not even a profit if I could make a successful NPO out of it for teaching kids how to snowboard or something. Basically I would run it like a mountain should be run with the intention of enjoying the sport without all the commercialization that has plagued the sport. It happened at Silverton Mountain, so I am optimistic that I could so the same one day.

Recently, a Czech company with U.S. holdings purchased an old ski resort named Ski Rio in New Mexico. I wrote a letter asking them what their intentions were and basically offering my services. Short of that, I asked if I could be allowed to hike the territory this winter and ride it to offer what little advice I could, a consultant of sorts but for free. That company will probably thing I am an idiot when I get a response, if I do. You can’t fault me for trying. You can fault me for being hopelessly optimistic.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

If I died tomorrow I would like to be remembered like this:

But then People would complain that they cannot see my face so I would offer them this:

But they would more than likely have to remember me like this, fucking clueless:


Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Last night was nice. A trip to favorite local bar, Sunpies, with my non-Ukrainian roommate Doug. We had some locally blended hurricanes, sat in lawn chairs that overlooked the river and watched Kayakers go by. The highlight was a dude wearing a full wetsuit riding his surf board down the river, paddling ever son gently as he coasted merrily down the stream. He got the most attention. Most of the kayakers made jokes about being thrown a beer, so when we had enough we all threw ice at the next guy to say it. We all laughed, including orange kayak man with mustache. On the way out I saw a guy get pulled over and he likely joined club DUI, the least exclusive club around. Part of me was nervous seeing that and having had one drink, but then I thought, why the hell would one drink get me a DUI? Turns out I was right as I drove right past a cop. He was interested in other people, not me or my dirty Honda Civic. Doug suggested I wave to him, I suggested he shut up.

Got home, grabbed a bottle of Mickey's finest malt ale and proceeded to drink that opting for a liquid supper instead of a solid one. Not a big deal since beer has limited food content/value. I played GTA IV for a bit, and it was fun. Something never gets old about shooting old ladies in the leg and robbing them. While I was doing this my Ukrainian roommate and I were teaching each other our respective languages. I forgot all of what he taught me, but I taught him what "are you hittin' that?" meant. He thought I literally meant if he was hitting the girl next door and seemed offended but when I explained it meant fucking that girl I could not tell if he was more or less offended. Eastern European facial expressions and body language are hard to understand and make less sense than one might think. He has a lot of stoic looks.

I wrestled with the idea of taking a personal day this morning in place of work, but realized that it is all down hill as far as the week is concerned once Wednesday is over so I should just get up and go to work. I did. Took a quick shower, grabbed myself an orange that I thought would be delicious (it wasn't) and skipped out the door to work. Here I am, 7.5 hours later watching the clock tick by waiting for the magic hour, 5:00, to appear on the clock face. I did find some activities to do this afternoon which took up some of my time. First I started thinking that since I had been watching Jeopardy a bunch and getting a lot of questions right (at least recently) that I should apply to be a contestant. Well, when I went to go do that I found out that they have an annual test which you take and then if you qualify, take another written test in L.A. or some bullshit. I think I would just apply to grad school before that. So that didn't happen.

Then I got to thinking that maybe I should apply to be a contestant on Survivor. That seemed like a good idea since I used to be a boy scout way back in the day and had some survival savvy.Turns out the application process is not too complicated. Just a paper questionnaire, a waiver, proof of a U.S. passport and a 3 minute video explaining why you should be on survivor. The questionnaire took longer than I expected and since I am OCD about my handwriting, decided the first copy did not turn out the way I wanted so I filled out the questionnaire a second time with blue ink. Much better. I had plenty of time to sit back and think up some good answers to some routine questions but couldn't help wondering how many other people would write down the exact same thing as me. The whole thing took me about 1.5 hours so that was nice. If I had my camera with me at the office I would begin filming my 3 minute video, but I do not so instead I settled for looking at other people's videos. This will be the most challenging aspect of the application process since I am in no way creative. Some of the videos I saw were extremely elaborate and some were not. This video thing just has the stink of lame theatre company memories from high school written all of over but I have till the middle of July to figure it out and piece it all together.

I read an article on MSNBC that recommend you eat lunch at 2 during your workday to gain the most energy and be the most productive you can be towards the end of your workday. I think I messed up the results though since I bought an energy drink to go with my sandwich so I ruined the control variable (sandwich). I haven't had an energy drink in awhile though and it really got my heart racing as I sat at my desk. I was kicking myself for being full of energy and having to sit. Found a couple of local snowboarder's blogs from Steamboat today and threw them on the list. If you like snowboarding you may want to check them out as they give insight to both snowboarding and Steamboat.

The only background noise I had for the better part of 3 hours was an HR strategy session going on next door to my office. Lots of spreadsheets, lots of PowerPoint slides, lots of wasted time. I am glad I am not important enough to be included in meetings like that. This probably has something to do with my always wearing a hat and sandals, never shaving and general cognitive distance that I display while at work. Or maybe it has something to do with the fact that I am the only employee that opts for a 9AM in time. Either way I get the impression that I am not taken too seriously at work, which is fine by me since I "still have my youth and should display it proudly" as my boss puts it. Whatevs I say. I spent the rest of my afternoon thinking of cheesy pickup lines because I think they are awesome. The best one I came up with goes a little something like this:

Walk up to a cute/dumb looking girl at a bar. Ask her if she would like to see a magic trick. If she says yes ask her to write down her phone number on a cocktail napkin as a precursor to the trick. Ask her to say the magic words and then say, "My friends said I could not get your phone number! MAGIC!" Followed by "so when can I call you?" Pretty lame but it just might actually work. Try it out, I know I won't.
We are suppossed to have thunderstorms the next 3 days :) I love those, great book reading weather.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Whenever Trevor and I are around each other, typically no good really results from it. One of our favorite activities is drinking, and not just the casual drinking with friends, but the heavy you will not remember details from the night drinking. I have learned how to control myself to the point where I will not black out anymore, but as far as details of conversations, phone calls, they all become a little gray. Not a big deal though, because when you are that drunk the details don't really matter anyway. Throughout my life I have been told that my friends and I have "exhausted" people with our drinking.

As a direct result of my familiarity with the bottle, I discovered the amazing properties of day drinking a couple of years ago. See, one must distinguish drinking from day drinking because they are entirely different things. Drinking implies nighttime when the lights of judging masses have gone out and the streets belong to the young and unruly. Judgment is hampered, mistakes are made, love is won and lost all in the same night. If you're lucky and you manage to control yourself, you might still have your dignity but the night will arguably not have lived up to its potential. With day drinking, you are mainly in control. I think this has a lot to do with the sun and it constantly beating on you. Either way, the best part about day drinking is that you can drink for hours with no problem...relatively speaking.

Case in Point: Trevor and I decide to start drinking around 3PM. Great. We drink casually at my parent's house then decide we should move to a bar where we continue to indulge in some brew. I typically stick with the lighter beers just to make things easier on myself for the long haul. Neither one of us is drunk by the time dinner roles around, so beer with our supper is appropriate before getting ready to go out on the town: Town being a shitty dive bar named Baer's Den that is basically the width of a bowling lane with a dartboard in the back and a table in the front. I don't really care about cool bars anymore, I did when I was 21 but got over myself about 1.5 years later. I'm not looking to meet girls so the fact that my brother's girlfriend Audrey was the only girl there did not bother me. I have a girl and she's super :)

But, since I was not going to see her that night, I got sloppy drunk. This was where I upped the ante and started drinking vodka redbulls in-between shots jager. Some beers helped flush all that noxious fluid down, but I kept my cool since I am very used to this combination. Trevor and I threw some darts playing cricket, and he beat me, handily. It was my lack of skill that was the determinant there. We debated playing another game, drawing the our crowd of friends from one end of the bar to the other when we noticed the bar tender cleaning his shit up at 1AM. When we asked what was up he said it was his birthday and we were happy to close our tabs and vacate, which we did.

Popping over to our favorite late night eatery, Vaquero's, we grubbed on some California burritos before realizing what time it was. Or better put, how little time we had to buy some more alcohol because neither Trevor or myself felt like throwing in the towel. A quick trip to a gas station produced a 12 pack of Bud light and a $5 lotto ticket. We then returned to Trevor's and played Mario Kart into the wee hours of the evening, very, very drunk at this point but still finding it appropriate to drink cheap silver tequila with our beer. I forgot about the lotto ticket that was still in my back pocket but it would have done me the same amount of good all the same if I had never remembered it since I lost when I did remember it. More Mario Kart and the slow rise of the sun produced an interesting situation; should we stay up drinking till 6AM when a different local dive bar opened. Yes.

We wanted to see who would be there so we waited for the free bus, being much to drunk to drive, and eventually ended up in my old neighborhood right next to the Yucca Taproom. Until recently the Yucca, as we call it, did not actually have beers on draft so its very name was a misnomer. Anyway we went in and ordered some drinks that we were not carded for because who the fuck drinks at 6AM that isn't legal? We had a massive jager shot which almost caused me to throw up, and then some more beer and played pool. Our night ended at about 10AM or so, when we figured it was starting to get hot outside and Trevor's parents were coming into town that afternoon, whom he had not seen in 2 years. On our way back to the bus stop we stopped at Burger King for a quick breakfast. I had to pee to so I moved on over the bathroom. When I walked in there was a man in the bathroom, no biggee since there were two urinals.

Still being very drunk, I go to use the other urinal when I notice something is just not right about the dude to my right. He has been peeing along time and he is grabbing his neck...FUCK! He was masturbating in the Burger King bathroom, subtle ohhs and ahhhs solidified this. I rush out not stopping to wash my hands. I tell Trevor of this fool and he immediately runs in and comes right back out, doubled over in laughter. Dude was apparently pulling his hair and his meat simultaneously. Wow. I tell Trevor that I bet he is going to the bus stop after his morning tug and sure enough, he does. We laugh, ride a different bus back to Trevor's house and pass out.

Next thing I know I am awakened around 2PM by Trevor's parents, still pretty drunk. I start to recap the night's events to them getting some smiles, some hurried glances, merciful laughter. When I am done, Trevor's mom tells me and Trevor to stay out of Burger King. Never mind the bar at 6AM, her problem is with the King. Good advice.

And let's be honest. Who isn't creeped out by the King?

Monday, May 19, 2008

I’m convinced my life is a comedy of errors. I tend to have phenomenally good luck, so when something less than desirable happens I take it with a smile. I’ll let you be the judge of my current situation.

I was in Phoenix for two weeks, enjoying the sun and escaping the snow. Seeing all my friends and family was great and for the majority of the time I really did not do anything, which I thought I was entitled to. It was great. I sat on my ass, drank a lot of cheap beer, and generally just kept it real. Great, right? I even managed a quick trip to California to visit SeaWorld, a place of terrifying sea creatures that are happy to eat you, dolphins included. Anyway, I’ll post on that with pictures later, back to the story.

Two days before I am to leave to head back to Steamboat my roommate Doug calls me and asks if I knew there were two Ukrainian guys living in our apartment. Well no, I say, I had no idea. He says that there are two 19-year-old Ukrainian construction workers who are our new roommates. AWESOME. I say this because I had a conversation with our landlord concerning new roommates. I said it was cool, in fact welcome, but I wanted them to wait until I got back since both my roommate and I would be on vacation for two weeks. Move in anyone you want after that, but just wait. The property manager looked me in the eye, shook my hand and said sure. What’s more, he assured me that whoever did move in would be American.

Now I am not xenophobic so I do not care if they are American or not, I just wanted to be there, not asking a whole lot since there are about 100 empty apartments in our complex right now. I drag my tired body through our apartment door on Saturday evening after a 12-hour drive from Phoenix and see that no lights are on. I wondered if Doug was fucking with me. Then a light in the opposite bedroom pops on and out strolls some lanky dude with a lot of moles and a really bad haircut. Think about the dude in Rocky IV who fights Rocky but was put in the washing machine at a high temperature and has been malnourished and you’ll have an idea of Igor, my new roomie. He’s nice enough, his English is decent, but seriously, what the fuck? I have had it with the shoddy situation that is employee housing despite the amazing savings and am eager to leave after June.

As I said, I have plenty more to write about and I will…probably tomorrow. I have so little to do at work that I have to “save” things about the internet so I can entertain myself at work and pass the time. Sad I know, but what else can I do?

Friday, May 16, 2008

I apologize blog, and my few readers. I have been neglecting you. It is very hard to write when I am on vacation. Plenty to write about and I will, but I just can't write now...HAHAHA.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Listening to NPR for over 8 hours a day can be draining. I prefer the morning programming to the evening programming for the simple reason that it is not as heavy. There is a lot of fluff in the morning, some feel good stories intermixed with the news and current events. I liken it to CNN’s iReport section, where average people report on average things and submit them for CNN’s approval to run with. It’s good stuff, really. The only downside I find is that the programming tends to loop about the 1.5-2 hour mark, so you are forced to listen to the same program. But, you learn new things the second time around, kind of like reading a book that you have already read again.

Then NPR kicks it serious and gets into the meat of their programming in the afternoon. Today, I am listening to Tell Me More with Sarah Bloomfield, director of the national holocaust museum. HEAVY. Switching gears, there was an interview with Jimmy Carter, the peanut man. Oh, and he was a U.S. President of lesser fame. I know him as a homespun peanut man with a winning smile. I imagine you can guess why they would want to interview Jimmy Carter. He took an unsanctioned trip to go chat with the HAMAS folks. Did he accomplish anything on that trip? Kinda. He got HAMAS to agree to some things they were traditionally hard-nosed about such as a cease fire in Gaza. Not bad Jimmy, not bad. Israel rejected it though, so people are still shooting when they feel like it. I find it bothersome that people would condemn his visit, saying it was not his place to visit the Middle East and that is relevance as Presidential figure has long faded. I can’t help but draw parallels to his past presidency and the current one. Who has more experience dealing with Middle East extremists? Who dealt with high oil prices? Who dealt with a recession-era economy? It might have been Carter, but I could be wrong since the federal government has repeatedly cut education funds since Bush took office. I might have been left behind!

But aside from that, I find HAMAS interesting. While classified by the Bush administration as a terrorist group with terrorist ties (despite their funding coming from Saudi Arabia, the US’ bedfellow), they don’t fit the traditional mold, do they? They entered an election and won, the democratic way. They are defending territory they believe to be theirs. They support healthcare and education. This is not state-sponsored terrorism, this is obviously an educated group of people. That being said, they definitely have some issues with Israel that are worrisome. However, it seems that they are willing to meet halfway with Israel with regard to Gaza. Jimmy Carter demonstrated this and for that I applaud him. Obviously I have way over-simplified the situation and by no means am I secret HAMAS supporter, like Barack (haha), but as I said I do find the group interesting.

See, NPR makes me all analytical in the afternoon when I should just be counting down the hours of the day till I get to pop the tabs on a couple of Pabst and have Lost blow my mind in a couple of hours. My roommate and I have an island adventure day where he gets to watch Survivor, I get to watch Lost, then we watch re-runs of A shot at Love, at which point we are drunk and stupid. The way I prefer to be.

Monday, April 28, 2008

After reading the news all day it is hard to remain optimistic about anything. Is that called being an adult or can I just blame it on the media? Probably both. Work defintely affords me the ability to be more "worldly" but it charges my carefree demenor. I eventually recover every night, but during the day I hit these pessimistic slumps where I just can't see anything good lately.

My solution: An intervention for America. America pretends to be filming a documentary about oil use, all the while unsuspecting that an eventual intervention will take place. America will be invited to a hotel in a safe, neutral location (Canada or Iceland being ideal) and told that it will be concluding the documentary. Once the door is open to the hotel room, BAM! Inside will be Switzerland, Sweden, Finland, Norway and Costa Rica waiting to tell America how much they love America, but that it's appetite for oil is destroying America in the following ways;

1. Since being addicted to oil, you are producing too much Carbon dioxide.

2. Since being addicted to oil, you have become increasingly hostile to your friends and family.

3. Since being addicted to oil, you have put a financial strain on those who care about you.

Followed by, America, if you do not seek help and treatment for your addiction our relationship with you will change in the following ways;

1. We will not commit troops to yor foreign wars.

2. We will no longer view you as a champion of human rights.

3. We will not allow you to borrow any more money to support your habit.

Wait a minute...that's already happened! I guess America decided it was better to kick back a barrel or two and skip out on the intervention. It's a shame too, I used to like America. I'm sure America will get by, but it will never reach its potential. Such a waste. Waste that is killing out planet.

Seriously though, kinda depressing to think about unless you do it like I do, in a comical fashion. Newsweek's Tom Kloza defintely had the best quote when talking about America's addiction to oil, "All this talk of energy independence means nothing if you don't have energy discipline. When it comes to our gasoline consumption, we're [Americans] the morbidly obese of the world. And like the person who weighs 350 pounds, we need to exercise more and consume less." Tom, take a look around you. If you're not 350 pounds you're an exception to the rule. People will ask you why you are wasting away. Sigh.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Dave Attel can be a very funny man. Case in point: Last night I was watching late night TV with my roommate, and while I hate late night TV (save Conan of course), he thoroughly enjoys it. He flips to the Jimmy Kimmel show, I think, and there is Mr. Attel giving a preview of his new comedy special. On the clip he states how much he enjoys when political candidates drop out of the Presidential race by saying something to the effect of, “ ‘I’m graciously bowing out of my bid for the Presidency for the good of [my] the party.’ Why can’t people at normal, regular parties do that? Just say they are leaving for the good of the party, wouldn’t that be awesome?” He’s so spot on with that, but it got me thinking about the current Presidential race and how much I am dreading it.

Does this Presidential race look at all familiar? Could one, if one were so inclined, draw parallels to say, another presidential race? Would it be that hard to picture Obama and Hillary as Bush and Gore during the 2000 election? Would Kucinich be any more of a realistic candidate? Admittedly, I already know the answer to the last question, unfortunately Dennis doesn’t. But seriously, it has me worried. I don’t think the country has quite recovered from the drag it out, who knows who really won the election, which was 2000. I can see Obama and Hillary taking this to the extreme and ultimately hurting their chances, either one, at becoming President.

Look at the last “Super Tuesday” in Pennsylvania. For an entire month full of speculation, full of political analysis, full of public blunders what did we, the American public, get in the end? Hillary chipped into Obama’s lead by ten votes. Ten fucking votes!? Then, superdelegates declare for Obama all the same. What the hell is the point? I wish someone would have the courage the grace to just admit that it is lost. I mean, the best thing that can be said for this prolonged contest is that I am starting to remember all 50 states and their capitals (Knowledge I lost due to drinking and not being in fifth grade). I am sick and tired of inconsequential states mattering long before they are supposed to get their limelight on, Election night, the way it should be. Sorry Indiana, but your greatest claim to fame is Larry Bird.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

I think I missed my calling in life. While watching the Yankees pound the White Sox last night I overheard the announcer mention White Sox Catcher A.J. Pierzynski. At first it was this odd conversation about how he had lost weight, some 20 pounds. At the time, I remember thinking how dull this baseball was that the sportscaster resorted to talking about a catcher’s weight. Then, the announcer said something to the effect of how proud Mr. Pierzynski was of his ability to piss people off. Specifically, the batters who stand next to him.

Apparently, it is a desirable quality of a catcher to be able to piss batters off. Why was this never reinforced on me when I participated in little league? I thought the catcher position was the worst because you just sat there and waited for the pitcher to throw you the ball time after time. Little did I know that the catcher position was actually the best possible position for me to play because I love to make fun of people. I probably could have made it to the majors with a little boost from steroids to give my batting an edge. I would not have to be concerned about my piss poor fielding or finding ways to pass the time because I could just rip on the dude at bat and never move. I blame all of my youth sports coaches for this one, thanks guys. You let a kid with a talent go undiscovered.

On a different note, as I returned to work today I noticed a flier on my office door:

“To whomever hit my 1999 Silver Suburu Forrester, please know that karma will catch up with you if you do not come forward.”

A lady, who my roommate and I constantly rip on for being a not-so-super person, signed it. The irony being that karma finally caught up to her, so the karma she is seeking to punish someone else should go unfulfilled if the world works the way that I think it does. Plus it is a Suburu, plus it is more than likely cosmetic, plus she is not-so-super, so…the sign actually cheered me up as I was dreading sitting behind a desk all day.

You would think that being gone for three days would ensure that I have something to do to fill my time, but I don’t, not really. There are a couple of miscellaneous things that I need to do, none of them requiring much effort. I will more than likely space them out between writing this, surfing the news, writing another blog post, and browsing through the jobs in Phoenix. At least tomorrow is Friday and it is my first day back. Working only two days then having two days off is grand. Don’t you think people would be a hell of a lot more happy at work if they adopted a 2 day on, 2 day off policy and just nix the whole weekend idea? I do.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

In things that depress me news, a group of 4 out of Birmingham, Alabama is suing Southwest Airlines over safety and contractual violations. I saw this coming the instant I read the initial report on Southwest’s little hiccup.

The lawsuit covers an estimated 10,000 people who flew Southwest over a period when safety inspections were relaxed and planes were allowed to reschedule their six-month regular visit to the Plane dentist, so to speak. At a time when airlines are scrambling to figure out ways to make flying profitable, some jackoff wants to take advantage of the situation and see how many dimes he can shake out. Call me crazy, but suing one of the most affordable airlines in the world over something that NEVER happened doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to the consumer.

Already facing a possible 10 million dollar fine, add the cost of litigation and possible settlement to an already volatile market and what do you get? Cheaper plane tickets and safer airplanes? No and no. What you get is creative customer fees to compensate. $20 for extra leg room sound familiar? $25 for a second bag?

What’s even more disgusting about this situation is that the people suing will likely champion safety as their number 1 concern, not monetary gain. I would be more okay with the situation if the plaintiffs just came out and stated that they saw an opportunity to get money and jumped at the chance because they are greedy people that have no work ethic. I would be fine with that.

What’s yet more disturbing is the support of lawsuits like this. People will likely rally behind this lawsuit and attempt to claim their piece of the pie. I’ve flown Southwest practically my whole life and if I get a check in the mail based on the outcome of this settlement I will just return it to sender and write on the check, thanks but no thanks.

When I need money I think I am going to go around and test the tire pressure of all our city bus tires. Then, when I inevitably discover that it is lower than it should be because tires leak air over time (like stress cracks a fuselage over time) I will find some crackpot lawyer who is willing to work for nothing but a percentage of a potential settlement, and sue the city. Of course, I will make sure to claim I was just looking out for the safety of those who ride the bus, mention how precious children lives are, maybe throw in the environment and I should be a millionaire in 6-8 months. In a nutshell, that is what’s going on in ‘Bama right now. LONG LIVE THE SOUTH!

Yesterday we dumped what were once, five years ago, state of the art computers. Probably like twenty of them. One of my managers rounded up all the guys and instructed us to gather the aged computers and dispose of them. I do not know why she picked yesterday of all days to do so when they have been sitting there since I started this job but I guess that is why I am not the one making the important decisions. Apparently I have to work in the professional setting 5-10 years before I get to decide when to take out the trash.

As we were taking the computers to their new home, there was a funny little box sitting next to them. I asked if this was trash, too. It was. I’ve never seen a box like this before, so naturally I was a bit curious. It was about the size of a rectangular, modest-sized Christmas present. I bend down to pick it up and upon gripping it I discovered that little box weighed about 50 pounds. Why the hell would something that looks like it weighs maybe 5 pounds weigh 50? It had a bunch of power outlets on the back so my first thought was that it might be some sort of original steam-powered surge protector.

I can just imagine the pioneers of the young surge protector business, able to finally harness the power of electricity for an extra minute so they could properly power down their coal-fueled computers without causing a boiler explosion. This invention might have single handedly reduced the once abundant British orphan population that was so reliant on pre-industrial revolution computers in early 19th century America. Barons would soon arise to dominant the surge protector business such as…well to be honest I don’t know any brand names for surge protectors and do not feel like googling it. Point is, I was holding a piece of computer history in my hands.

Lost in fanciful dreams, a co-worker of mine brought me back to 2008 when he asked what I was doing. I told him I was curious as to what the thing I was holding did. Very flatly he stated it was a backup lead battery. No imagination, no charm, just your run of the mill battery. He then exited the room. It made sense when I think about my car battery and when I had to replace that. The damn thing weighed a ton, and so too, did this battery. Fraternal twins separated at birth, the batteries would lead competing lives. Like Romulus and Remus, the batteries vied for superiority. In the end, I use a car battery still and did not know what a backup lead battery even looked like prior to yesterday.

I heaved the lead battery into the trash, but for my arrogance was punished by the fallen god. The lead battery sliced open my thumb leaving me to forever wonder when my last Tetanus shot was.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

I’m a pretty avid hold ‘em player. I used to play a poker game about once a week back home, but finding a good poker circle here has been anything but easy. The first week I was here I saw an ad in the paper for a poker league so I figured I would go and check it out. It was in a bar after hours with some shadey folks, but whatever. We played two games, the first was just a free one that was counted against the league scores, and the second was a $10 cash game.

The first game I admittedly did not play well on purpose because I wanted to see what other people would play with. I made it to the final table and pushed my luck with low-tier hands to give people the idea that I “kinda” knew what I was doing. Sure enough, they marked me as an easy take and invited me to play the cash game afterwards. I stepped up my game, considerably, and ended up winning everyone’s money. Needless to say they were not terribly enthused that I had just ran the table. I opted not to play with them again just because it wasn’t really a challenge, and I reckoned they might hit me over the head with a barstool or something else blunt.

My poker medium has been mainly online since that night. I’ve had some ups and downs with that avenue, but for the most part ups, luckily. I think I have won a little over a thousand bucks in the six months that I have been playing, so that’s a good sign that I am doing things right. Last night I entered one free tournament and placed first, buying me entry into a $20 buy-in tournament, which I also placed first! Out of 600 people I got first! If it was a regular game I would have earned a handsome sum of money, but the winner of that tournament got entry into a million dollar tournament. So, I am entered into a million dollar tournament without paying a dime. Given the current trend, I think I have a decent chance of placing, too, and getting some real money out of this one. Top prize is like 750K, which I don’t think I am capable of winning at this level, but I might be able to walk away with a couple thousand.

I’m petty excited about this one. I think one of the most valuable transferable skills I learned from Poker is the ability to control my excitement and manage the pressure better. I have always been good at not letting pressure affect my performance, but poker has reinforced and refined this skill. The job search continues, but if I won some serious money it would not have to…that would be indescribably amazing but I'm not getting my hopes up. I'm a realist.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Another long + boring weekend here in Steamboat, but it always provides the perfect opportunity for thought and speculation. Mainly about the important things, existential questions, questions about the universe, questions about yourself. It can all become a bit much at times, so one needs to be careful enough to dull the mind’s razor with alcohol. I listened to my ipod by the river today and it was good. The sun was out all day and I could feel warmth for the first time in months. With my sunglasses I took in my surroundings and was just completely at peace. I thought a lot about the movie Big Fish, which I watched for the first time last night. I was really, really surprised with how much I liked that movie. I have owned that movie for the better part of a year and not once did I even think of watching it. It came with another movie I had bought, something terrible that I cannot even remember. I saw a lot of myself in the main character, Edward Bloom.

Edward Bloom was a man known for exaggerating the truth. Some see it as a fault, others as a blessing. His intention was never to deceive, simply to entertain and add color and vitality to an otherwise bland story. His own son identified him as a liar, but is stretching the truth a lie? I’ve never thought so, but some people do. The ending is so wonderfully satisfying and beautiful, when all of Edward’s stories are shown to be at least partially true. It reveals the character that was Edward and finally he connects with his son.

Now, it should be noted that I am often drawn to movies about sons and their relationship with their fathers. I base this on not really having a dad. Yes, he’s alive and yes he does the basics, but having a relationship where I see him once every some odd years and talk about some trivial bullshit is not a relationship. He has no idea who I am, he has no idea about the girls I kissed, no idea what my graduation was like. He had no advice for me during college, only treating me like the thirteen year old he so readily left behind. Over time I grew up and turned into an adult, a transformation he has yet to realize. I’m not one to cry over spilt milk, what’s done is done and I am stronger for it. I taught myself most of what I know, through the lack of experience which lead to poor judgment which lead to many, many mistakes. I learned from all of them, or am still learning from them. I don’t look forward to the mistakes to come because I know I have more ahead of me then I do behind me.

Today, things just felt right. I pictured some people, where they fit in my life and maybe why they didn’t fit at all. It started with my father but I quickly drew a tangent. I eventually focused my energies on a girl, as I tend to do. Until today she had more of my energies than she deserved. One of those nagging what ifs, you know the kind. The what happened, what could have been, why did it happen, etc. One of those. For the longest time I felt it was my fault, as though I had done something wrong by pushing her away for what she had done. I would replay the scenario in my head, what I could have said, what I could have done to change the way things are. Well today I was watching a guy fish and sipping on my beer, the mountain making a curtain against the sky when suddenly, he caught a fish. The glimmer was blinding as he pulled the modest fish out of the river. He grabbed the line, freed the fish and gave it one last look before tossing it back. The fish would grow. It struck me that was exactly what I had done with her. I let her go so she could grow and I, like the fisherman, could move further along the riverbank. The river will keep running.

I really felt like I laid to rest a demon today, sitting there watching winter give way to spring. There’s too many good things in this world to be hung up on some of the bad, no matter how deep the cut is. Even the deepest of cuts scar, serving as a reminder of where you came from. You may not look the same, but you’ll move on just like the flow of a river. Rivers eventually find their way back to the ocean, and so too, must we.

I apologize for the abundant water metaphors. It should be noted that being semi buzzed and listening to Coldplay while sitting by a river can cause one to write something like this.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Spring is still failing at its job seeing as it is STILL snowing. Just thought I’d let you all know.

Can I just tell you how glad I am that I never ever fly American? Part of me feels bad for the 250,000 people that have been affected by this, but then the other part of me just wants to laugh. I don’t think I would mind if my flight got cancelled, airports have enough to do in them. I certainly wouldn’t raise a big stink about it and demand money or compensation because the airlines cannot afford it.

Some columnist on MSNBC wrote an article about how he was boycotting flying on all carriers, given all the safety violations, delays and cancellations. That’s fine if he wants to be a moron about the situation, but the thing that bothered me was all the comments left on his article. The vast majority of people were in agreement with him! There were about 250 comments or so saying that they would also not fly, or have not flown because of the negligence of the airlines. I would like to put all these people in a room and just ask them when was the last serious plane accident as a result of negligence. I bet I would get about 250 blank stares. Get a clue people; you’ll never get anywhere efficiently.

On top of this, people are “outraged” by the price of a plane ticket. Really? I mean, if a post college graduate with loans to pay, barely making it in a resort town can afford 5-10 plane tickets a year, why can’t you? What’s that, you have family? Then drive like everyone else. I cannot tell you the agony/bonding that I was forced into by family road trips. I’m sorry gas is expensive, but you really are out of choices here. And another thing, if you really do actually boycott airlines, the demand for air travel will go down, which will adversely affect prices with airlines having to raise prices to compensate for shortages. Basic economics.

Another guy boldly suggested working on the train infrastructure here in the United States to model Europe’s. That won’t happen because you are the same impatient person who fifty years ago wanted to fly because train travel was too slow, which lead to advancements in the airline industry that you no longer support. On the upside, I am certainly willing to pay a little more, especially if it means a more vacant plane, but I don’t think that will happen with my luck since I fly with airlines that get it. Sure, Southwest had some cracked fuselages, but has Southwest ever had an air disaster? Nope, not one. A cynic can play the what if game all they want, but I’ll let the facts speak for themselves. That, or I can let the crew speak, who have gone on record saying why in the world would they continually board a plane they knew to be unsafe. They wouldn’t.

I will say that one of the true joys of my European backpacking experience two years ago was riding the trains. There was so much time to sit and think, listen to music, to absorb, to talk to your friends and have a civilized conversation in the dining car over cigarettes and wine. Americans are too impatient for this system to exist with great success here, which saddens me. We all fly, and if we can’t afford to, we think about flying. Ask a person who has never flown (if you can find one) if they would like to one day. I bet their answer would be yes.

I’m hoping for my sake that there is little interruption with my flight to Phoenix in a week, but you never know. I would put money on a weather delay being more likely than technical issues, seeing as I am flying out of Denver.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

The Suns burned the Spurs last night, so that was good. I’m pretty sure I am the only Suns fan in all of Steamboat, but I revel in my fandom all the same: Sporting the Suns new era ball cap, rocking the Suns practice shorts, and slamming beers for them. After last night I feel very good about the playoffs for two reasons:

1. The Suns will advance far, based off the play I saw last night. That was the best game they have played since acquiring the Big Cactus, and it demonstrated exactly why we dumped Marion for Shaq. I’m sure other NBA teams are watching the film, showing their players how Phoenix attacked. If it wasn’t Amare it was Shaq, and when they get in foul trouble, we run. It’s a devastating combo that is hard to adjust to because there will always be a mismatch on the floor thanks to Mr. Nash, Canada's best contribution to America. Seeing Shaq inbound for the small lineup minus Nash was interesting, too. We have everything we were criticized for not having last year.

2. The Spurs will not advance far. They choked, again, for the second time in a week against a potential playoff match up. Both times, they were blown out in the fourth quarter. They barely managed to beat the Blazers. I’ll give the Blazers their due; they are a good team and will be scary good in a couple of years, maybe after the Suns have set. It looks like San Antonio’s dynasty might be over and thank god; I can’t stand them for their boring basketball, their cheap fouling/flopping players and their annoying fans that sputter on and on about how great Tim Duncan is. I’ve heard it; we’ve all heard it.

I think other NBA teams took note last night, that Phoenix can be scary good if they are in sync. When we get production and hustle from out bench and when that happens, we look like a championship team.

Enough of my hard-on for the Suns though, there’ll be more to come I’m sure. So today I have an interview/negotiation on a job in North Scottsdale, so that’s exciting. Ideally I would like to take some time off in between jobs if I can wrangle a decent salary out of them, which I think I can. 3 weeks wouldn’t be asking a lot, given relocation, etc. Of course, they could sniff that scam out pretty fast since I believe I told them I have family in Phoenix and can easily move there immediately. We’ll see. Can I just say how nice it would be if I land this job with what I want and get to leave the massive piles of snow behind? It’d be great, in case you’re curious. I get a teaser trip to Phoenix a week from tomorrow for five days regardless of getting a job or not, the longest I will have been home since I moved.

A problem I do have with moving, how the F am I supposed to get all my shit home? Over the season I amassed 6 snowboards and I don’t have a ski rack and I drive a Civic. Not good planning on my part and I might be forced to ship some stuff, which I am dreading simply because of cost. I think if I take off all the bindings and stack them it will minimize the space they take up, but not by a whole bunch. Logistically, it just doesn’t make sense given the tight quarters I had driving up here, but we can always hope and pray. I want to raid my closet and dump all the clothes I never wear, but I always suck at that because I grab a shirt and think about the last time I wore it and typically decide that I will wear it again. If I was blind that shit would be cake, but everything else would not be. Added to the clothes dilemma is all my snowboarding gear, which is large and takes up a lot of space, too. I might be able to ship that stuff at a reasonable rate though. Maybe I’ll do that. I got my credit limit extended well beyond what it should be and that seems like a good use.

My interview is at 2PM MST, wish me luck, not that I need. Give that to the Spurs.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Forgot to mention, Suns and Spurs in San Antonio tonight on ESPN. Can't wait to watch Amare, Nash, Shaq, and Bell make Duncan, Parker, Ginobli and crew their bitch. Get excited! It's almost playoff time...
I echo what Suzie said about not posting what I write sometimes. I just wrote about a full page on videogames and womanizing, philandering and general nonsense that had no central theme and then just now, erased it. I agree with her that the despite the personal nature of blogs and the ability to express opinion through your own writing, as Tony said, there are some things that I am loathe to post on, despite my apparent want. Only during the review process of reading my potential post do I scrutinize the backspace key, contemplating its use. The cursor selects the draft in its entirety, a subsequent click and boom, it’s all gone. Every word, every thought, every period has vanished and replaced by nothing, replaced by this.

I actually have this innate fear that I will write something that sounds deeper than it is, too pretentious to be my own thought even though it might just be that. I don’t want to be called out for looking at things too critically or not critically enough, and I don’t want to skirt the line either. I want my writings to be of consequence, not causality. That sentence is a perfect example. I’ll keep it though, because writing two full drafts and posting neither would be silly.

At the bar party the other night I drank myself retarded, retarded puked on the ground drunk. Don’t really remember all of the night, especially the closing hours, but I did manage to get home to my bed much to my surprise when I woke up, still dressed from the night before with the taste of vomit in my mouth and a pounding, deserved head ache. I willed myself to brush my teeth, strip down my clothes, write a quick email to my boss letting her know of my absence that day, and crawled back into bed where I laid for the remainder of the day. Pretty pathetic, but like I said, I deserved that miserable condition. Drinking short 7&7s out of pint glasses is a surefire way to punish oneself. Mix in a couple of shots, beer and what was once prime rib, and you have yourself a recipe for failure. I thought the elements added up to a great time, who knew?

I slowly emerged from hangover, cocoon-state around 6PM last night, took a shower and debated what to eat finally settling on really cold, grape Kool-Aid for dinner. For some reason I crave really cold things when I am hung over, like an otter pop. Last night, an otter pop would have been choice. Sir Isaac Lime would have treated me royally. Maybe some Poncho Punch. Of course, as I was trying to sleep off the previous nights decisions, potential Phoenix employers started to call me only to receive my voicemail. I landed two interviews, one for today and one for tomorrow, huzzah! I’m glad I made no effort to pick up my phone, in my state they would have probably just hung up on me. The good news is that if I land one of these jobs I will get (A) a huge pay increase and (B) out of my lease without being charged an additional month’s rent.

This will mean a revisit to my parent’s house, but since they are awesome and rich, I will have even more of an opportunity to save money. This money will go into the house I will be renting and a new bed, a queen sized bed with room enough for my hypothetical dog, my lady friend and me. This time I might actually get a bed frame and headboard too, you know, like an adult (Please note that I had this exact sentence in my first draft and since I liked it so much decided it needed a place in this, new, draft). The bed frame will undoubtedly come from IKEA, which is right by my parent’s house. God I miss that store. Then some investment in some art, some wall d├ęcor and then if money permits, a new flat screen would be boss. That’s kind of on the wants list rather than the needs list, which has bed, dog and GTA IV on it.

In other dork news, I ordered Bioshock and Mario Galaxy to see if they live up to all the hype. That, and I have nothing to do with the mountain being closed. Did I mention that we closed? I probably did because it is bullshit. It’s bullshit because since we closed we have gotten over a foot of fresh snow that is now sitting on our mountain, mocking me and the rest of the residents of Steamboat. It’s snowing and it is almost the middle of April, WTF?

Monday, April 7, 2008

It’s the end of the season here in Steamboat, which means it is time to earn your turns and hike up the mountain if you wanna ride. That means snowshoes. I don’t have those and I don’t feel like hiking, so I guess I will have to drive down to A-Basin or something in order to get my runs in until I am out of Colorado. It’s continuing to snow and the forecast calls for snow followed by snow and then more snow. It’s enough to make me sick, it is just draining to wake up to grey skies every morning and see little white flakes cascade down. It’s April, weather! Get it together! I want to be by a pool tanning myself with a cold beer and/or margarita in my hand, worried about little else other than maybe how much SPF I have applied.

On the plus side, it is a half-day at work because of the employee party they scheduled in the middle of the day at 11:30. Don’t ask me to explain that one, or anything else the mountain does as it makes little sense to me, too. I think I am going to opt not to go to the party because I have an employee party for the bar tonight as well and apparently that is just a shit show so I have to be on my best behavior up ‘til then. I will probably just head home and kick it, take the shower I did not have time for this morning and maybe jerk off or something. What a day!

All the people at the bar had a party yesterday and I kept telling myself I would go and say hi since there would be a keg and all, but when it came down to it I found myself in my living room playing poker with no desire at all to go over there. I think it is because I just don’t feel like I was ever appreciated for what I did there. It’s not a big deal, I just think people should take the time to realize how much and how hard I was working for what I would consider less than fair earnings. I don’t want to sound ungrateful and I kept my mouth shut all season, but looking back on the experience I do not think I will be repeating it. Live and learn I guess.

Tonight should be interesting and I’ll probably tow my camera along just so I can document the shit show. I will more than likely make an early exit there too, since unlike most of my co-workers there, have a day job. Sigh. I wonder when I started growing up and why I can’t just revert back to my dumb, drunk 19 year old self sometimes…

Friday, April 4, 2008

The sun is out today, that’s nice of it considering we are supposed to get snow the next 4 days. This winter has been especially long mainly because I have not experienced winter in like 14 years or something. Winter was officially epic when it was featured prominently on MTV’s the Hills, when Heidi went home to Crested Butte, Colorado. Now don’t get the wrong idea, I do not watch that hot garbage, but every now and then MTV sneaks up on you like a mugger in a dark ally and holds you hostage for a moment or two. I should know, I have been on MTV twice: Once on Room Raiders, and another time on High School Stories: Scandals Pranks and Controversies. I am not proud of either.

Anyway, the Hills did have some lovely shots of Crested Butte, which just so happens to be some amazing ski country that I highly recommend. As we near the 500-inch mark for the season snowfall, the entire western United States can breathe a sigh of relief because reservoirs will be filling up. Our season average is just over 330 inches, so this definitely qualifies as epic. Lake Powel has risen 50 feet this year and that is before the major melts! In these trying environmental times it is good to know that there are some high points, too. When all that snow finally does melt it will give way to an epic river season so if you are a white water enthusiast I suggest you dig out your kayak, raft, canoe or arm floaties.

Now that I am done advertising for adventure sports I got some other interesting news. After much consideration I have decided to move back to the city. As much as I love the small town atmosphere and all the friends I have met, it doesn’t compare to home in Phoenix. I have all my best friends and family there, so the decision was not as hard as you might think. I know I will come back to Colorado eventually, maybe on vacation or maybe to live, but I will. I will definitely miss the boat, though.

I’ve started the job search all over again, and I cannot possibly explain to someone who has not done it how absolutely exhausting it is. Writing and rewriting cover letters, tweaking resumes and adding references is just so not what I want to be doing with my free time. Maybe I should be like Suzie and take up dancing…but seeing as I am not terribly coordinated that doesn’t seem like a viable route. I refuse to move back to Phoenix with my sole job being a restaurant job: I went to college for a goddamn reason. That being said, I have officially given myself an exit date of the end of May, and I figure it is somewhat sensible. Here’s the general idea behind it:

1. By the end of May, working my current job, I will be able to put away anywhere from 3000-4000 bones. It doesn’t hurt that I will get three pay periods in may :)
2. By starting the job search now, there is a very real possibility I will have a job by then and therefore not lose any money.
3. My lease is up at the end of this month but I can extend it for one month to provide for relocation time.
4. I will get my security deposit and a nice fatty check from Sr. Bush because he fucked our economy so bad that I need to look for a job two months in advance, totaling about another grand or so.
5. By either having a new job or about 5000 to sit on, should provide me with enough of a cushion to get started in Phoenix.
6. I found a really kick ass 4 bedroom house (with 4 prospective roommates) with a pool and a bar that is right near the bars in Tempe, BONUS! Plus it allows pets so I can finally get my damn dog that I think I will name either Rondo or Jazz (please feel free to weigh in here).

Sound like good arguments? Maybe. I’ve convinced myself and that’s all that really matters. I just hope it all works out like I want it to, but if I am to save all that money it means I will have to go on my Spartan diet once more. Lots of sandwiches, raison-bran and protein shakes. My only luxury for the next two months will be 6-pack tall boys of PBR, priced fairly at $3.89.

P.S. tonight’s my last night at the bar, so I will have my evenings back to enjoy aforementioned PBR by the river during sunset in a camping chair with maybe a cigarette or two. Hell, I might even fish even though I hate to.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Last night I am at the bar, nothing unusual, working…also not unusual. What is unusual is the drop off of business, but that can be attributed to the lack of tourists. We officially enter mud season in a week. Mud season is the off period between winter and summer, what normal people call spring, when all the snow melts and we have seasonal mud. I say seasonal because it lasts for the duration of spring until summer temperatures rise high enough to dry that nastiness up a bit. My white shoes are looking forward to that one.

Anyway, so living in a small town I have become accustomed to a certain quietness that comes with living in a town of 10,000. As a general rule of thumb people here do not use their car horns. VISITORS TAKE NOTE! WE DO NOT USE OUR CAR HORNS HERE! That being said I would like to direct this post to the asshole who used his at me last night.

As I just mentioned, you are an asshole. Horns are to be used to alert another driver of a potential accident to gain another’s attention. They are not, I repeat, NOT, to be used when to are too impatient to wait 30 seconds while I offer a friend who is leaving the bar a ride home when it is snowing heavily. I understand that your giant ass truck that enjoys strangling our planet has important things to do like spirit you away to the nearest convenience store where you can refill you 120 oz. Mega soda jug. Just chill. All it takes is a second to confirm my friends need a ride, another 20 for them to enter the vehicle and properly fasten their seatbelts, and maybe another 5 on top of that to get moving again.

During this time I do not expect you to get so irked by my friendship that you drive around my car in near whiteout conditions. When I merge back into the lane all of a sudden there is your Texas toast truck. Then I hear the horn again. This time I smile and cut you off because I know you will stop and if you don’t I have the right of way so fuck it. Much to my displeasure you try and pass me on the round about but when you try to speed up in 4 inches of snow your tires slide out. Nice job you fucking moron. Sometimes I wonder where people like you come from but then I remember that everything is bigger in Texas, except your patience.
I have been pushed to my limit this year on my distaste for Texas and last night may have been the straw that broke the camel’s back. Why don’t people just have a little patience in this world? I know that almost everything is instantaneous but would it kill someone to wait as a courtesy to another while they help another? It shouldn’t. And if it does, your parents failed you.