Wednesday, November 30, 2005

How could it not be breezy?

I want this Hasbro Zoom Box thing. It's a LCD projector with built-in DVD player - and it seems to be marketed towards those tweens. I hate the whole idea of tweens having their own demographic. Think about it for a moment. Here's a group of people with no source of income other than their parents - and they are now like the second or third biggest group of consumers out there. So basically, they spend their parent's hard earned money on shit like the latest Ashley Simpson CD or a Hello Kitty massager (vibrator). Their purchasing habits then dictate R&D dollars at movie studios, clothing designers, etc... It's a horrible vicious cycle.

Not that I have anything against Ashley Simpson's first CD - that was some great work for someone who's gotten a record deal because of her sister. I wish I could get a record deal because of my brother, but sadly he is as tone deaf than me. He's possibly more tone deaf.

Let me bore you with what I did today. My parent's saw these Bauer Lofts that are being built here. They have some disposable income - and they decided to purchase a loft at pre-construction prices. They say it's an investment. I say it's part of a plan to move near me. I don't mind - they are awesome people and they pick up the bar tab a lot. So anyways, because of distance and lack of knowledge of international banking - i've gone ahead and used their money to purchase a loft for them. It's technically not mine, but now I feel like a real estate tycoon.
Two pieces of property!!! Alright! Two bad I have to transfer the title to them later. Still, for now I can bask in the glorious light of capitalism.

Seacrest out.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

It doesn't hurt to truncate

I hadn't been to West Palm Beach for over a year. My main goal was to get Cuban food because there is no Cuban food in Waterloo, save for what I make here. How good is an Irishman's Cuban cooking? It's not that bad actually. I got independent verification of that because I took my dad and Laurie to Don Ramon's - which is by far the best Cuban restaurant in West Palm. So we had the Cuban food. It was good. I was also able to go to La Salsa and get tacos. On Monday, after the funeral, we went to Cheesecake Factory and overindulged in cheesecake. A fitting wake if I do say so myself. Thursday was turkey and damn good turkey. My parents have become experts - roasted potatos, shredded spicy carrots, sausages, and bread sauce - which is a real Irish side dish no one has ever heard of.

I'm freaking tired for now - and i've had a couple beers and some tacos, so i'm going to drift off to sleep with the fine detectives of Law and Order SVU.

I'll leave with a quote from a fine film, "Road House" -

"All you have to do is follow three simple rules. One, never underestimate your opponent. Expect the unexpected. Two, take it outside. Never start anything inside the bar unless it's absolutely necessary. And three, be nice."

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Aren't you the Prime Minister?

Prize idiot? I'm watching "Love Actually" right now. My parents have digital cable with every movie channel available and it's not good for me. Tonight i've watched parts of "Dodge Ball", "Scary Movie 3", "Blade: Trinity", and now here I am watching the end of "Love Actually". Here's my problem - I really like this movie. I'm a romantic guy. Luckily, i'm not a hopeless romantic. Case in point -

One time I asked my girlfriend if she wanted to go see "Wimbledom" with Kirsten Dunst and that guy who married Jennifer Connolly. She didn't know what to say. I was just asking because I thought she wanted to see a romantic comedy. She did not. I did not. Thank goodness we both admitted that neither of us wanted to see it or we'd have sufferred through that pile of crap. I only know it's a pile of crap due to the fact that is was the inflight movie two months later. I watch whatever Delta shows - I even watch "Coach Carter" twice. That's neither here nor there.

Maybe I'm not romantic. Perhaps I harbor some weird kind of desire to be English. That would suck because i'm Irish and I believe they revoke your citizenship for wanting to be Hugh Grant-ish. I could be wrong, but who knows.

Oh - the scene were Colin Firth proposes to that Portugese bird is coming up. Did I just refer to a woman as a bird? Holy shit! I'm becoming British watching this film. Now all I need is a cup of tea and then I can invade a third world country on expand the Empire. That sounds kind of sexual. I'm so repressed. See - even more British.

Ok, fuck this - i'm turning it off and going to bed. It's giving me an awful fright. "Awful fright"? What is wrong with me.

Happy Thanksgiving Y'all

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

4 8 15 16 23 42

I've become a fan of the show "LOST" this season. Last year I was travelling all the time - so I never got a chance to watch. I was going to get the DVD's, but i'm cheap - so I just read all the entries at Wikipedia and i've got a good idea of what is going on.

There is this site, Bigspaceship1.com, that is supposedly some kind of either viral marketing ploy or third-party spoiler site for the show. It's the creepiest fucking thing ever. The images change every day and link to sites that have nothing to do with the show. It's driving me mad. Here is an example of one of the images.

If "24" did shit like this, then i'd never leave the house. I told my girlfriend that if I had a son I would name him Jack Bauer Kinsella. She didn't think it was that hot of an idea.

I'm burping up chicken wings right now (how pleasant) and it's got me thinking about tacos. Sure, sure, that's a very Ulysses-ish stream of conscience thought process, but it works for me. This isn't the best week for eating. I've reserved myself to the fact that i'll add on pounds because It's Thanksgiving. Well, I love tacos. You can't get tacos in Waterloo - well, you can at Taco Bell - but that doesn't count. They have taco Tuesday at Ethel's - but you have to wait.

When i'm in Maui - which is not often enough - you can go to Maui Tacos and they are fantastic. They are opening all over the mainland now - you should go to Maui Tacos website and check out your nearest location. Heads up to travellers - there's one in the Raleigh Durham airport.

I'm off to watch "My Name is Earl" - y'all come back now - ya hear.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Votre boisson est sur la maison

I'm in West Palm Beach a couple days earlier than expected. Previously, the plan was to get here Thursday afternoon in time for stuffing ourselves silly with turkey and prepping for the coke binge of shopping known as Black Friday. Unfortunately, a very good friend and mentor of mine died on Friday and his memorial service is scheduled for Monday afternoon. I changed my ticket yesterday and here I am - in what was once my bedroom and now is my dad's office. I was going to write about the saying "...you can never go home again...", but let's be honest. That shit has been done a thousand times over. Let's talk about something interesting. Let's talk about drinking.

Sure, sure - that is a common theme. My mom is worried about how often drinking comes up in these essays. I've tried to reassure her that it's not juvenille debauchery. I'm actually concerned that I didn't spell that correctly. Anyways - my job and, well my lifestyle just involve drinking. I have a good friend who is married and has kids. We'll talk on a Sunday afternoon and i'll mention that I just woke up. My head pounding from dehydration brought on my too many pitchers of Waterloo Dark the night before. Now my friend is a husband to a very intelligent and beautiful woman, and a father to two wonderful children - so dropping $100 on pitchers of beer on a Saturday night is not in his normal routine. He has on occasion replied that his lifestyle doesn't include the partying that I am involved in. There are times that I wonder if i'm acting imature (nonsense) or just refuse to grow up (bullshit because I have a mortgage and that means your an adult).

We all enter the varying phases of life at different times. I'm twenty nine - many of my friends are married. Hell, many of my friends are divorced. I've not taken that step - I will one day. My mom and my girlfriend's mom wish that day was, oh I don't know - Tuesday - but everything happens when it is supposed to happen.

On the wonderful Air Canada flight from Toronto to West Palm today, my vodka tonic was on the house. Or airplane as it would be. People hate Air Canada and I can't figure out why. This is the fifth or sixth time i've gotten a free drink - so what is the problem? They left fifteen minutes late - who cares as long as we get to the destination.

During the flight, I was able to read my favourite magazine - Entertainment Weekly. It's the first issue i've read in about six months - and I do miss it. There's an interview with the actor Christopher Plummer in this issue and he has a great quote. The interviewer is asking Plummer about a string of bad films made after the Sound of Music. Plummer answers that he drank his way through that time. The interviewer than says "...The whole idea of inebration-as-pastime is passe now...." to which Plummer responds,

"I know! Isn't it awful? We're back to puritanical times. So many people don't understand, we didn't neccessarily drink because we had problems. We drank 'cause we adored it! We adored getting drunk, you assholes! Don't tell me that it isn't fun! I can't bear that. 'Oh, you must have had some awful childhood, that you drank like that.' Nonsense! Actually, I was taught as a child to drink. I cam from a family that loved wine. I was 12, I think, when I was drinking wine with dinner. I'm glad I had fun and lived in a fun time."

I'll drink to that.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

There's no way to know for sure

I just saw the commercial for Leon's furniture that Laurie kept on talking about yesterday. The theme is "Ho! Ho! Hold the Payments!!" Seriously - Ho! Ho! Hold the Payments. I've only bought three pieces of furniture here in Waterloo - the couch, chair, and my mattress. I bought the mattress for two reasons. First, it is a Serta and they have those sheep in their commericals. Second, because it came with a free DVD player. Sure, the DVD player is probably worth $15 dollars and I paid an extra $75 to get the higher end mattress because it came with a DVD player. That's the way I role - advertising works on me.

I took an advertising class at Florida State during my junior year. The professor told us once, "...advertising is the art of convincing you to buy stuff you can't afford for people you don't like and that they don't want...". He was specifically referring to the approaching holiday season - but I guess you could apply that to any season. I'm not a "holiday shopper". I can never think of something to buy before Mother's Day or Father's Day. Those holidays are bullshit nonsense. Isn't it just nice to buy something for someone when the moment hits you. You can always find the best gift for someone when you're not looking.

At the end of the semester, the professor tells us that he used to be the vice president of marketing for Burger King. He was making high six figures a year, giant house, blah blah blah. One day he realized that his life was empty because he wasn't with his family and he wasn't giving back to people. He quit his job, took his cash, and got a job teaching. Some people in class said that it was bullshit - he just burned out. Other's said that it's easy to quit your job when you've got a couple million in the bank. At the end of the day - no matter what his reasons or circumstances, he was doing something that made him happy and you can't really call him on that.

I watch Fight Club every so often. Personally, I really enjoy the movie - except for when they make fun of Ikea. I like Ikea. My kitchen island is from Ikea and it is very utilitarian - and it was a floor model - so fuck you Tyler. I would apologize to Tyler, but that would show weakness. I had a point - oh yes, so the characters in the movie shrug off materialism - and that is tempting. Of course i'm typing these words on a bloody iBook.

I'm the world's worst communist.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

We've got rules

I'm going to say something, and I want to know to know if it makes me a bad person. I'm looking forward to getting married - one day in the future - for many, many reasons. One of those many, many reasons is the Kitchen Aid Mixer. Oh glorious Kitchen Aid mixer. Once I have you, I will actually bake cakes from scratch and not use a box mix anymore. With you, I will mix many a mixture of ingredients - creating culinary masterpieces that will make people weep. I have problems.

My entire kitchen cookbook consists of recipes where the main ingredient is chicken. I make a good curry - tonight I made curry pot pie - which is just curry in a pie with Major Grey's Mango Chutney on top. It's very good if I do say so myself. For a central Asian dish - I make great shashlik - which are just kabobs - but I marinate them in beer and garlic.

I'm making myself hungry. It's not helping that i'm watching Iron Chef America on Food Network Canada. It's "Battle Clams" with Iron Chef Cora defending Kitchen Stadium against Chef Sam Choy of Hawai'i. I don't even like clams - I can't stand any seafood if it's cooked - and yet, i'm here salivating. I think it has to do with Chef Choy being from Hawai'i. I'm a complete wannabe Hawai'ian. Two visits and they have me converted. I told a guy I was working for there that we were island brothers because i'm technically an islander too. Ireland is an island afterall - it may not be in the pacific - but we islanders have that islande mentality. I'm not sure what the islander mentality is - but I don't care.

I'm going to sit here now for the next hour and convince myself I can go to the supermarket, buy some fish, and then take it home to eat. It won't happen - but it's healthy to dream.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Uptown with a discount

I took the day off from work today. I have a distgusting amount of vacation days left and I need to take them before the year is over. Anyways - it was just an errand/relax day. We went to lunch at this new place called St. Louis Ribs and Wings. The only reason we went was because they had a chili pepper in their logo like Chili's and it got us excited. We love Chilis. Anyways - it wasn't anything like Chilis, but that wasn't a bad thing. I had a pulled pork sandwich and Laurie had a Phily cheesesteak sandwich - both were awesome. Laurie likes the place because they have Alexander Keith's on tap - which very few places do around here. Where am I going with this story? Ok - right, errands. We ran errands - nothing too excited. Later, I went to return some empties at the Beer Store. I noticed that Sleeman's has a new beer in their premium "John Sleeman Presents..." line. It's an India Pale Ale - and it's 5.3%. I've got a buzz already.

Tomorrow is leaf raking day. The yard is burried under 3 feet of leaves. Home ownership has it's pluses and minuses.

Have a great weekend.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Baked Goods

My brother and I lived together in West Palm for the year before we went to UW.  He used to bake a Betty Crocker yellow layer cake with chocolate icing for no reason and we’d the whole thing while watching South Park.  There’s no point to this, I was only reminded of the cake eating because he just posted over at his site and mentioned eating cookies and cakes at a bakery somewhere in Mongolia.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Don't Play Me

From CNN, Kansas has set back civilization by 1,000 years. Way to go. It was a 6-4 vote in favour of adding "intelligent design" into the lesson plans. The six who voted for the change are Republicans. Two Republicans and two democrats voted against. Here's a great quote -

"This is a sad day. We're becoming a laughingstock of not only the nation, but of the world, and I hate that," - board member Janet Waugh.

It's been a long day - so in place of my usual post, here is a link to a column by the great Chuck Klosterman -

Leave Chuck's Sports Alone

Monday, November 07, 2005

Shao and Lin

I'm tone deaf. This isn't a sudden revelation. I've know it for a long time, as have all the fucking people who tell me "You're tone deaf" when I sing along. Tone deafness isn't something I can help - it's just something I was born with - that and my rugged, handsome good looks and amazingly large ego.

My tone deafness is actually the one thing about myself that I would change if I could. I know most guys would go for the six pack abs, the nice calves (why?), no bald spot, etc... To hell with that - I want to sing. Oh wow, that sounded so bad. So bad. I don't want to sing in a chorus or anything like that, I just want to sound better when someone turns down the stereo before I can notice.

The tone deaf nation can be divided into two groups - the shower singers and the car singers. I am defintely a car singer - which is probably why no one wants to drive with me. The dead give away of my car singing habit is that I leave the car stereo blasting at it's highest level when I get out. It has to be at the highest volume so I can't hear myself. This of course leads to the unfortunate deafening of unsuspecting passengers. My girlfriend should know better know - but the blasting still gets her every so often. I'm trying to be better and remembering that not everyone in the parking lot needs to hear Wu Tang Clan's "C.R.E.A.M." at full blast at 8am. On a side Wu Tang note - I keep my expense reports in a directory named "Cash Rules Everything Around Me - Dollar Dollar Bills Y'all". Yes, i'm that guy.

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On a complete side note - my brother (who posts over at Khansella) is going to be spending Christmas in Mongolia. I think that is also a title of a song. Anyways, it'd be awesome if everyone could send him a Christmas card. The postage is not overly priced at all and it would totally rock if all you random people sent him something. His address is below



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Sunday, November 06, 2005

You have to wait

Bryan was up here in Waterloo this weekend to check out the house and drink a lot. I ended up drinking a lot last night and have been paying for it all day. He has this awesome job at a wine importer and distributor, so he's become a wine expert - and he was kind enough to bring up a couple bottles for us to enjoy. Laurie and her friend Christine came over for dinner where we attempted to pair the wines with the one course dinner. It was a damn good dinner I must say - grilled chicken, mixed veggies, and my new speciality - risotto.

For wine, we had:

  • 2002 Chateau de Parenchere

  • 2004 Dr. L Reisling

  • 2005 Gold


  • The Gold is insane - it's like wine version of Gold Schlager. Little specs of gold floating around - and it ended up producing the same effect in me that schlager does - those who know of the damage will understand.

    Anyways - after those bottles, we dipped into my cheap wine cabinet - cleared it out. Then Tesh, Dempster, Russ, Jen, their friend Steve, and Aisling showed up for drinks and we dipped into the vodka. As I said before, I have been paying for last night all day. Good times had by all. The late, great comedian Mitch Hedberg had a one liner that summed up the night;

    "I saw a wino eating some grapes and I was like, 'Dude - you have to wait.'"

    My exciting news is that Zehrs (the grocery store here) has plantains - can't figure out why they have them now, but I won't complain. I'm making a kick ass Cuban dinner one night this week. I'm going for pachuga a la plancha, tostones, maduros, and of course black beans and rice.

    Here are photos from Saturday night.


    Bryan and Laurie

    Dempster, Bryan, Aisling, and Tesh

    Christine, Bryan, and Laurie