Wednesday, September 28, 2005

The Office - American Style

I like the NBC show The Office. I know I'm setting myself up for 6 straight hours of the BBC Office the next time I'm at Pete's, but I still want to share this. While killing time at work I found cast member BJ Novak's The Office blog at TV Guide. Then, I found his blog on my space. While that gives you an insight into the real lives of the actors, I watch it for the fake lives of the characters. That's why this blog is the best of the bunch.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Fake Smith

I was disappointed to learn Anna Nicole Smith's real name is Vickie Lynn Marshall. Next I'll probably learn that her breasts are fake too. Fine. But the love she felt for that 90 year old man, you'll never convince me that wasn't real.

Dan Smith - Lock Haven YMCA Kindercorner

Did you see Jared Allen on Monday Night Football list his preschool as his alma mater? I was watching it in a bar w/ the sound off, but they had the closed captioning on. I didn't catch what preschool he went to, but I'm pretty sure it was one of those football factory preschools.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

YMCA Soccer Saturday Sponsored by Radio Shack

Desmond was out w/ the Sharks playing soccer today. They had enough kids today that he got to sit out for part of the game. That's good b/c his attention span is even shorter than mine. I found myself thinking about which kids I would have on my roster for the fantasy YMCA 3-4 year old soccer league. It's terrible what fantasy football has done to pollute my thinking. Izabella got stung on her face by what I think was a yellow jacket. We were pretty concerned b/c I had a severe allergic reaction when I ran over a yellow jackets nest w/ my lawn mower and was stung about a dozen times. Luckily, my dad was there and provided the kind of analysis we needed (the redness isn't spreading. let's watch the rest of the game). She's doing fine and we didn't have to spend a Saturday afternoon in the emergency room. That's a good day.

Rock Action

Since Curb Your Enthusiasm is back on the air w/ new episodes this weekend, we decided to get a drink before going to Greene St to get drinks. We went to Fisher's Grille since it's downtown too. Believe it or not, that was actually a good idea b/c Maria and I could have a conversation w/o one of us screaming and the other shaking his/her head saying I can't hear you. We caught the tail end of Thunderlip's set. The singer was wearing a cape, cut off jean shorts, and maybe shoes. I saw him at the bar later and he had changed, so I asked him where the cape was. Then I saw him at the bar again and demanded that he go put the cape on. I'm glad I didn't see him a third time b/c I would have probably been punched. Maria and I were easily the most obnoxious people there. The people in the Greensboro rock scene (bands and scenesters) are very, very nice although it may be that I'm not trying to pick up women so I'm a little more relaxed than I would have been 10 years ago. The nicest of the nice, Tiger Bear Wolf, played next. As per usual, they rocked harder than Gibraltar. There wasn't a set list on the stage, so I was a little nervous about trying to remember all the songs to record for posterity here on the blog. However, Maria insisted that we go and talk to them and of course they graciously provided one (Light, Lens, Tongues, Earth, New, Winner, One Rev (bonus points that it was written on the cardboard from a 12 pack of PBR)). I would have been satisfied w/ just Tiger Bear Wolf, but the night belonged to Kudzu Wish. After all it was their last show and they have provided quality entertainment to this town for several years so they deserve at least one night. I didn't take a set list to report to you mainly b/c during their last song about half the club was up on stage w/ them. It looked really cool from out in the crowd, so I didn't try and get up there. I'd say it was a fitting tribute for their final notes. And what's a night on the town w/o a people update. Of course, Jeremy is a bartender at the club so I spoke briefly w/ him b/w songs. As a beer drinker I thought the benefit of having a friend tend bar was you always got served promptly. I discovered through Maria's Seven and Ginger orders that another benefit is super strong liquor drinks. I even complained to the other bartender that she didn't put as much Segram's Seven as Jeremy did. She responded to the challenge and topped it off. We also saw Kevin's friend Melanie. She gave me the lowdown on why Kudzu Wish is breaking up (one of the guys joined the Peace Corps) and even bought me a beer. That's a good encounter. Finally, I was standing next to the tall dude w/ glasses who I realized was WQFS dj extrodinaire Chuck Carroll. I've mentioned this before, but he trained me back in 1990 when I started doing a show there. His 6-8pm Thursday show, for my money, is still the best show around and I'm glad I had enough liquid confidence to tell him so. If all that wasn't enough we decided to go to the after party, but Maria "fell asleep" on the ride over there. It was probably for the best b/c the kids don't understand terms like after party or hangover. They just want breakfast.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Comedians on Athletes - Athletes on Credit Card Debt

I saw the sneak peek at Chris Rock's comments in Sports Illustrated. I'll have to find a quiet magazine stand where I can read the rest of them. As a marked contrast, MLSer Andy WIlliams is featured in this article about how to plan a financial future for the low level professional athlete. Maybe he can write episodes of Everybody Hates Chris when he retires.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

But it's our wasteland

I have to mention that Tiger Bear Wolf is playing this Friday at Greene St. This show has a lot going for it. 1) Tiger Bear Wolf is playing. 1A) Our man Jeremy will be bartending. 2) Kudzu Wish will be playing their last show. Kudzu Wish was almost the band that got me out of the house and into a smoky Greensboro club after the great rock and roll lull of having children. I liked their Reverse Hurricane album, but I could never make that commitment to finding a baby sitter and actually getting out to see them until recently. Now, they're playing their last show. I'll see if I can get them to make me stop being so wishy washy on my non-rock issues before they call it quits. Although I don't want any ultimatums like "this is our last show ever." That would translate to something like "if you don't paint the house on Saturday, the bank is going to foreclose on your faded white garage." I don't need that kind of pressure, just a gentle nudge.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Busy Saturday

Desmond had his first soccer game ever on Saturday morning. He managed to stay on the field the whole time. He came over and complained that he wanted to go home and laid down on the field, but when the ball came towards his end of the field he got up and chased it. I don't think he kicked the ball the whole time, but he had a couple of throw-ins so he stayed involved. Then we went to the festival at City Lake Park in Jamestown. Desmond got to ride some rides and go on some of those inflatable bouncing things. I forced Izabella to watch bluegrass music up close. The only spot w/ any shade was right in front of the stage, so I hope she picked up some tips for her mandolin playing future. Uncle Pete came over to bring Desmond his birthday present. There was a stretch of guest hosts that went Ruth Buzzi, Rita Moreno, and Jim Nabors. That's some high quality family entertainment. The most bizarre moment came when guest host Twiggy (also the newest judge on America's Next Top Model) sang her version of the Beatles classic In My Life. I've seen it a couple times now, and it still makes me laugh every single time.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

2nd tomato

I'm sure only Laurie remembers my first tomato story but I finally ate my 2nd tomato from my plants today. Tomato growing expert Matt McClain told me it was deer that were eating the unripe tomatoes on my plants (then he sent me off w/ a couple of yellow beauties and a PBR). That made sense when I saw some deer out in the yard a few weeks ago (don't they migrate during the summer? isn't there a hunting season they should be attending somewhere?). Still, there was one lone tomato that managed to flourish in the jungle known as my back yard. Today I salted that bad boy down and savored the last fresh tomato I'll eat for probably 9ish months. That's good eating. Although if I think about it too much I'll probably start crying.

Desmond's Birthday

Today is Desmond's 4th birthday. We had a party at Chuck E. Cheese. I had never been there, but I expected the worst. It turned out pretty good though. It wasn't very crowded b/c it was a Tuesday during the school year at 4 o'clock. I knew all of the kids there and felt comfortable yelling at every single one of them. That always makes things easier. All the kids were looking forward to it and there was no clean up around the house afterwards. I haven't seen the final bill so my mood will surely sour, but until then it will rank as one of the 2 or 3 best birthdays he's ever had.

Myrtle Beach Vacation

My favorite time of year to go to the beach is after Labor Day. All the bennies are pretty much gone. The ocean water has had all summer to heat up. And well did I mention most of the bennies are gone. We stayed at the Patricia Grand, and we have enough hotel experience w/ kids now that we get something w/ a separate bedroom. That means we can stay up past 9 o'clock and drink beer. Desmond loves the lazy river they have in these hotels b/c he can reach the bottom like a kiddie pool, but it moves him around so he's sort of swimming. The only negative about the place was the restaurant sucked (how can you make oysters taste bad? I like them raw (or steamed since my wife has turned into my mother) yet somehow they broiled them and they tasted like oyster ass). Luckily, that was just one meal and Maria is in love w/ the Sea Captain's House so they redeemed the entire Myrtle Beach restaurant community on Saturday night. The only other issue we had was visiting the Pavilion. My mom got us discount tickets through the State Employee's Credit Union, but they were closed on Saturday night b/c of the threat of a hurricane. We ended up going to the other amusement park which was good enough for Desmond so it was good enough for everybody else. Izabella rode the carousel. It was a little too scary for her, but next year I'm sure she'll be mocking the kids too scared to ride it. This is our last year of going at this time of year b/c Desmond will be in kindergarten next year and it would just be cruel to take Izabella and not him. When those kids leave the house, I'll be back after Labor Day. See you in 17 years.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Soccer Practice #2

Things started out great for Desmond at his second soccer practice of the season. The coach explained the importance of the whistle and had a drill where they were supposed to get up and run to him when he blew the whistle. The first time Desmond was the only one up and running to the coach. The second time he was the slowest one. It could have been overconfidence or he might be resigned to playing defense. Incidentally is it inappropriate to teach 3 and 4 year olds to slide tackle in their no score keeping YMCA league? Well, I did it before he was ever on a soccer team. Luckily, he didn't slide tackle anyone tonight. In fact, he spent most of his time laying on the ground trying to go to sleep. When the kids were scrimmaging the parents (I played while holding Izabella), he had excellent spacing. The other 9 kids were trying to kick the ball into the goal while he stood back at midfield waiting to go home. I think that shows the type of discipline most youth soccer players are lacking. Either that or he needs a nap on Wednesday afternoons.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Time to love the kids

Izabella broke disc 2 of the Grand Funk Railroad box set today. I'm sitting here looking at black semi-circle w/ Don Brewer's curly locks and wondering when will I ever hear American Band again. I guess I'll have to listen to the Rock 92 for 10 minutes or go to karaoke and do it myself, so I can forgive her. However, if she breaks the red album, she better start looking for a new place to live.

Arizona State Sun Devil Angels

In marked contrast to the NY Giant Jerks, the ASU Sun Devils are helping the good people of Louisiana by hosting their game against LSU this Saturday. They will donate ALL of the net gate receipts to the victims of the hurricane. The economics of college football make this a very generous offer. The major football programs need at least 6 home games each year to support the rest of the athletic department. The Sun Devils will now have 7, but unlike the Giant Jerks they have to play at LSU to make up this game. I'm sure they'll find a way to get their 6 home games in every year (hello Northern Arizona), so maybe those parking and concession revenues should go to the disaster relief too. But the reality is they will have an extra road game at some point which means lost revenue. I'll stop calling them the Giant Jerks if they decide to donate all of the net gate receipts to the Red Cross, but they'll still have 8 home games for the foreseeable future and this extra game will end up making them more money even if they give away all of the gate for next week's game. Jerks. Giant Jerks.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Modified Race Car Racing

I went to the first ever race under the lights at Martinsville Speedway last night. I've been to qualifying and practice there, but this was the first race I've been to. I forgot my pack of ear plugs, so my ears are still ringing. The smell of burning gasoline was pretty pungent, but we were sitting close to a concession stand that counteracted it w/ the smell of burning hamburgers. I didn't even know what a modified car was until last night, and I sure didn't know who any of the drivers were. None of that mattered once they started racing. I still don't know any of the drivers, but I would go back for pretty much any race they put on at the track. You can see the whole track from most of the seats. That's a big benefit over some of these tracks where you have to wait for the action to come to you. Even though there were probably a third of the people they have for the big NASCAR races, I still wouldn't want to drive up there. I guess if I sit around watching other people drive at a track watching someone else drive home seems like a logical extension of that (thanks to Dave and Richard for making that possible).

Friday, September 02, 2005

New York Football Giant Jerks

Unless they donate every dime to disaster relief, the New York Football Giants are screwing the victims of Hurricane Katrina. It's real nice of them to donate a portion of the gate generated from moving the game to Giants Stadium, but they've created more revenue from concessions, parking, bigger paychecks for employees, and not to mention the rest of the gate that all could have gone to the people in need of it most. I understand the problem playing it in places like the Astrodome and Alamodome that can be used as shelters. And even though Tiger Stadium on the LSU campus can't hold refugees but could hold a football game, it doesn't seem right to have the Saints move in when other parts of the university are housing vicitims of the hurricane. But why not some place like Memphis where at least the crowd will be partial to the Saints. The Giants sell out every game. Fans there are anxious to get the chance to buy single game tickets. How many Saints season ticket holders from the aftermath that is the Gulf Coast are going to East Rutherford, New Jersey to see a football game? If it were 100% (and I would think it would be closer to 1 than 100) the Saints still might not even sell 30,000 tickets. It's just another home game for the Giants against a team that lost its home. I reserve using the word hate only for the Dallas Cowboys, but the Giants aren't fooling me w/ their "generosity" by hosting a regular season NFL game in their home stadium.