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.