Wednesday, February 28, 2007

3 times in one day?

Yes, I'm bored enough to post for the third time today, lucky you. And I just want to say this right now and get it out into the air, not to be mentioned for the next week or two: Hello NIT. (if we're lucky...)

Anyways, the main thing I wanted to post about was another album that I've recently discovered - New Magnetic Wonder by The Apples in Stereo. I used to be way into these guys, then kind of lost interest, but saw some pretty rave reviews of this album, which piqued my interest. And holy crap, this is good. When I hear the phrase "indie pop," I think of this band, because, well, they embody that genre. This is one of the best albums of said genre that I've heard in quite some time, right from the first track they've got their usual high energy, catchy hooks making me want to dance. And dance I did, albeit from the sofa, with a laptop on me. But DAMN, this is upbeat. I don't know if there's any way to listen to this and not be happy. (I should make an All-Smiles music list, a collection of songs that you just have to have this big, dopey grin on your face whilst listening. But that's for another day, maybe this weekend, when I'm sure I'll have my time occupied by vast amounts of nothing.) So add this to the list I made earlier, with Of Montreal and The Shins, of albums you must listen to. 2007 has been good for the indie kids. (note: I do not call myself an indie kid. I pride myself on not being pigeonholed into a category.)

In other news, tomorrow is already shaping up to be another Good Day. I really hope I'm not building up too much excitement, only to be let down later, but right now the outlook is bright. I'm probably going to be getting a new coat, which excites me to no end. Plus, I'm thinking of going to see the Reno 911 movie. I really enjoy that show, and have heard that the movie is better, so I figure I'll try to catch a matinee. And, to top everything off, tomorrow is the first Spring Training game for the Royals! So, amidst the snow and sleet and thunderstorms, I will be walking with a skip in my step, smelling the freshly-cut grass of springtime. Goddamn I love baseball.

New albums coming in 2007

I was just kind of browsing around the internet, like I've been known to do, and came upon a site that has a list of bands releasing new stuff in 2007. Here are the ones that I'm most looking forward to, in chronological order when the date is listed, otherwise alphabetical. Dates and titles listed when known.

  • Bright Eyes (April 10, album named Cassadaga)
  • Wilco (May 15, Sky Blue Sky)
  • Animal Collective
  • Ash
  • Built to Spill
  • Band of Horses
  • Dexy's Midnight Runners
  • Iron & Wine (August 2007)
  • The Magnetic Fields
  • The Polyphonic Spree (The Fragile Army)
  • Radiohead
  • Roxy Music

That's all I can find there. And that's not including the new Shins album, Wincing the Night Away, or the new Of Montreal, Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?, both of which are extremely, extremely excellent, if you haven't heard them go listen to them in any (legit) means possible.

2007 is looking like a pretty solid year. I'm very excited about Bright Eyes and Wilco, two of my favorite bands, and I thoroughly enjoy the rest of the bands listed. How can you not be thrilled to hear a new album by Dexy's Midnight Runners??? Or the original line-up of Roxy Music, including Brian Eno?

Today is a Good Day

I'm feeling pretty good today. Any day that starts off with breakfast at the Hamburg Inn has got to be alright. The pancake was "almost twice the size of my head," according to Jordan, my breakfast companion of the day. Which is saying something, because I have a big head. I had also ordered some hashbrowns to go along with my hotcake, but instead of the usual shredded potatoes, I got "home-style" potatoes. At least I think that's what they're called. Anyways, I was a little surprised by such a turn of events, but I didn't let it bother me. I just figured I'd roll with it, and try out a new thing. And boy, where those potatoes good! (mind you, I hope when you come across the word "potato," dear reader, that it is pronounced in your mind as "puh-tay-tah," because I'm really a southern boy at heart, and occasionally this peeks out. The pronunciation of the word potato is one such instance. Sorry Marin.)

As I'm typing this, the ice pellets have started to fall. And not just a freezing rain or snow or anything like that, but actual, decent-sized pellets of ice, falling from the sky. I asked my roommate Dan if this was a sign of the rapture, but he assured me that it was in fact locusts, not ice pellets, that fall in any instance of rapture. Good to know.

Haley just wrote me an email, saying that this season's Hawkeye basketball team could be one of the ugliest ever to grace Carver-Hawkeye Arena. That's saying a lot. I'm pretty sure I could come up with an All-Ugly team without much thought. Les Jepsen would be the starting center, with Acie Earl nipping at his heels for playing time, and Seth Gorney also riding the pine. Reggie Evans would probably be right there starting at forward, next to Doug Thomas; Greg Brunner and John Johnson on the bench. Jeff Moe would probably nab one of the starting guard positions. And joining him would be BJ Armstrong. Jeff Moe is on the bench along with Steve Carfino. I actually think that this team would win a lot of games, at least 23, and get like a 5 seed in the NCAA tournament. (note: if anyone on my All-Ugly team should happen to read this, please don't hate me. You should actually be honored! All of you have made such an impact on my life as a Hawkeye fan that I cannot forget you. You should be proud for donning the black and gold! Looks are only for the superficial, anyways. At least that's what I keep telling myself. I don't even have a jump shot to fall back on.)

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

comics, movies, and Europe

You may or may not have noticed, but I added the "Official tpol (the politics of lonely) comic" link off to the right-hand side of the page. If you follow that link, it will take you to a comic known as achewood. I find this comic strip to be very funny most of the time, and kind of ridiculous a lot of the time. Which is nice. The comic is about a group of anthropomorphic animals (cats, bears, lions, an otter, etc) that live in the "underground," an area under the human realm. Or something like that, I don't know if it's ever really explained. It's pretty much their own world. Anyways, these animals just have normal, every-day lives. Like Ray, one of the main characters. He's worth multiple millions of dollars, gained by writing a hit song, and selling one of the first-known pornographic images. Or Roast Beef. He's got the depression. Really depressed. So depressed, he has his own flow-chart to make decisions. Occasionally there are some story lines, but a lot of the time the strips can stand on their own. Check it out if you have some time to kill. Maybe at a later date, I'll post links to some of my favorites. Also, almost every day has some funny "alt-text," something that usually adds to the humor of the strip, or sometimes totally unrelated. To see it, either let your mouse hover over the image for a second and it'll pop up, or right click and go to properties of the strip.

Nothing else is really going on with me. I got Stranger than Fiction today, after everyone who saw it said that I'd love it, even people that I barely know. People would seriously tell me that they thought of me while watching it, which is kind of nice that they would think of me, but at the same time, I'm kind of wondering what makes this such a "Flenker" movie. I guess I'll just have to watch it. I hope it's good though, it's one of the few movies I've purchased not having seen the movie. But now that I think of it, I've done it a lot more recently, with For Your Consideration and The Departed. The Departed was alright (although I'm a little upset it won best picture, I was going for Little Miss Sunshine, but oh well.), but I haven't watched the Christopher Guest movie yet. Haley recommended it so strongly to me that I had to buy it. Now I just need to find the time.

My roommate Daren leaves for Europe tomorrow. His band, racoo-oo-oon (I don't know if that's the correct spelling, but you get the gist of it) is going on tour over there. I'm kind of jealous. I'll be here getting pelted by ice and snow and whatnot, while he'll be drinking the finest Belgian beers. Where's the justice in that, I ask you? But now that I think about it, we're supposed to be getting the crappy weather tomorrow. I really hope that they're able to go. I may be jealous, but I'm not so much to the point of wishing their trip to be canceled, I'm not vindictive or anything like that. Maybe one of these days I'll be able to travel to a foreign country and drink delicious beers.

A day in the life. . .

I'm walking along, making my way to the library to use the computers (my "internet" is down again), and I see some guys handing out fliers about something. Usually I just ignore people like this when I see them, but this time it seemed different. The two guys handing out the fliers looked kinda cool, like maybe they'd be guys I'd want to hang out with, or guys that would be hanging out with my roommates, so I thought their cause would be a worthy one. And it was, the fliers were calling for the end of animal cruelty. It was done well, it said that even if you like to eat meat, you can do something to help, reduce your consumption and other things. (Sometimes I'm very good about this, but then other times I eat a one pound burger, and totally ruin beef for someone. Sorry Haley.) But, after taking a few steps past them, it kind of dawned on me that I was wearing a leather coat with matching leather gloves. I probably looked like a big d bag. (I constantly worry about that, like if I come off as being a total loser or boner or something. I don't know why. I usually don't care about what I look like at all, like what clothes I'm wearing or anything like that, as is evident by the work pants that I had worn for the past few months with holes in them, but there are times I'm extremely self-conscious about looking like a tool.)

That's just been how my day has gone. Just kind of awkward. Not quite bad, but not really good. I woke up, got out of bed, and dragged a comb across my head. (Ok, sorry, I just wanted to quote the Beatles here, I didn't really comb my hair. I haven't done that in years and years. I think other people have combed/brushed my hair, but never myself. I can't even think of the last time I owned a comb. Probably one of them that Josten's gives out during school photos.) I went to my class, which was just pretty much a sax lesson. So that was fine, whatever. My fingers weren't working like they usually do, probably because I haven't really practiced much, but I was able to fake my way through stuff.

After that, I went home, checked my mail for the few minutes that the "internet" was working, then went to my brother's place to play my video game football. (I can't remember if I already posted about this or not... There's about 8 guys who are in this dynasty league in NCAA Football 2007 for the xbox 360. I'm the UAB Blazers. I know, it's kind of ridiculous, but it's fun. So don't judge me!) I was up 17-0 off of two interceptions returned for touchdowns (a Pick 6 if you will), but then my defense forgot there was a second half. I ended up losing 28-17, and being very frustrated. I know it's lame to get so emotionally involved in a stupid video game, but it seriously upset me. Had I won, I would be in a pretty good mood right now. As it is, I'm just kind of blah.

My other class today was fine, but I had a really hard time focusing. I'm just so scatter-brained lately, and I don't know why. I'm feeling really restless, but can't think of anything to do, so I just sit at home and read. This weekend alone I finished 3 books! One I started a few weeks ago, but the others were just plowed through, cover to cover. The first was Barack Obama's autobiography, The Audacity of Hope, another was Buck O'Neil's autobiography I Was Right on Time, and the final one was Frederick Douglass's autobiography, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass. You may notice a sort of theme. It just kind of happened that way, I didn't really plan on it, but I happened to want to know more about the life of some of the more influential black men in history. And I'm glad I did, I enjoyed every book very much. Now, I'm going back and reading one of my old ethics books. It's pretty sweet. Plato and Aristotle and Socrates and Kant and whatnot. Ethics class was probably my favorite class that I've taken, and I wanted to kind of revisit some of the things that I've read.

I guess the weather is going to be crappy again this week, possibly starting tomorrow. I don't really know how I feel about this. I mean, I like crappy weather a lot. Like Shirley Manson of Garbage once said, "I'm only happy when it rains." (that's the last time I'll ever bring up Garbage again, I promise.) I love the snow, I like sitting on a porch or looking out the window and watching precipitation fall. But, at the same time, I'm ready for things to warm up a little bit. I need to go to some baseball games. And, I don't want Haley to be stranded in MN again, I don't want the Gaffigan to be forced to cancel a show due to weather, even though I won't be able to go. I want to live vicariously through Dilldahl.

So anyways, my day's been kind of like this here post. Just all over the place, not really focused on any one thing, and kind of nonsensical. Such is the life of Flenker.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Buck O'Neil

Off to the right, in my profile, the last line says that Buck O'Neil is my hero. I don't mean he's a hero like George Brett is my hero, or Joe Montana or Jerry Rice are heroes to me, or even Hayden Fry or Chuck Long. Buck is a person that I admire not because of his affiliations as a coach/scout with the Chicago Cubs and the Kansas City Royals, or that he played some baseball in Kansas City, although those are both pluses in my mind. It's more of what he did, how he carried himself outside of baseball that I revere, and how he always had a positive outlook on life, despite of all the injustices and prejudices he experienced, and always had a great sense of humor.

If anyone reading this doesn't know, Buck O'Neil played first base for the Negro League's Kansas City Monarchs for much of his playing career, before becoming their manager, and eventually the first black coach in Major League Baseball with the Cubs. He was a member of the Hall of Fame Veterans Committee for nearly 20 years, and was instrumental in getting Negro League players recognition in Cooperstown. (His speech at the induction of the Negro League players last summer shows just how affable he was, how much love he had and how funny he could be.) He was also the driving force behind the formation of the Negro League Baseball Museum (NLBM) in Kansas City, MO.

I really wish I could've had the opportunity to meet him, to talk baseball with him, and just listen to the stories that he had to tell. If you ever get the chance, read his autobiography I Was Right on Time. I just finished it up a couple of hours ago, after starting it last night. It's a fairly easy read, it just feels like you're listening to your grandpa tell you stories. I've always heard that Buck was a friend to everyone that he met, and after reading this, I could see why.

When I first heard that he passed away in October of 2006, tears welled up in my eyes. Even though I had never met him, his life had such an affect on me that I was deeply saddened. Reading the stories from his funeral and visitation in the NLBM, where I had been just weeks before, made me appreciate just how influential Buck was on everyone that he met. This article from espn, especially, got to me, pretty much made me a blubbering mess for a night. I was almost in the same state when I dug into the birthday gift bag that Bill had put together for me (with some help from Haley) this past January, and found an amazing picture of Buck in a wonderful frame. But when I was told to dig deeper, my eyes were tearing up again when I discovered a baseball autographed by Buck O'Neil. It was one of the best birthday gifts I've ever received.

A couple last things before I hit the hay. I don't know if this post really came together like I was hoping it would, but that's what I get for writing it at 2:30 in the morning... Also, here are a few video clips that I had found with Buck in them, one from Ken Burns' Baseball documentary, with Buck singing "Take Me Out to the Ballgame," one with Buck singing a song that he always uses to close out speeches, and one of a grade school class doing a pretty good summary of his autobiography (it's cute, and shows how active and spry Buck could be in his 90's.)

The greatest thing in all my life is loving you

Satchel Paige's Six Rules on How To Stay Young (and #7 by Buck O'Neil)

  1. Avoid fried meats which angry up the blood.
  2. If your stomach disputes you, lie down and pacify it with cool thoughts.
  3. Keep the juices flowing by jangling around gently as you move.
  4. Go very light on the vices, such as carrying on in society. The social ramble ain't restful.
  5. Avoid running at all times.
  6. Don't look back. Something might be gaining on you.
  7. Love what you do

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Exotic India

I went to my first new restaurant today! It was an Indian buffet in Coralville, called Exotic India. My roommate Daren invited me to go along with a group of our friends, I couldn't pass up the chance to get to a new place and with some good company.

The food was pretty good, about the same as Masala, although I do prefer the rice pudding at Masala. The samosas were delicious, as were the saag paneer and the gulab jamun. The naan bread was brought out to the table very warm, which is always nice. Naan is usually one of my favorite parts of an Indian meal, so the freshness of it was a huge plus. I had an iced tea, which was from a powdered mix, so it was a little lacking. Since it was a buffet, the service didn't have to be great, but it was alright. I got a refill on the iced tea and the water refills were kind of steady, and the waiter brought out a fresh basket of naan. The worst part was trying to hear him at the cash register, he kind of mumbled and was hard to understand. It could have been due to the music, which was some sort of dance-ish stuff. My favorite song was the one we dubbed "Where is the Party," which we were lucky enough to hear twice!

Overall, it was a pretty good place. A little chilly inside, but I don't mind that. I don't think it'll take over Masala in my book, being that it's much further away, but definitely worth the try.

ps - I didn't know the names of all of the dishes, so most of them came from a little research on my end. I'm pretty sure I got them all right, so just look them up if interested.

Food on the mind...

I take pride in having experienced a variety of foods, and I'm always up for trying something new. That's why I found it kind of interesting and inspiring when the latest video game I've been playing, Brain Age for Nintendo DS, suggested trying a new restaurant every week. Now for those of you unfamiliar with this game, it's just a series of little training programs that are timed, and then you are given a "brain age," a number that's supposed to represent how well your brain is functioning (my brain age is currently 23, with the optimum being 20. I'm so close! But I guess my brain is "fit" for its age.) It sounds kinda silly, and it is, but it is a lot of fun, and hey, if it helps the fitness of my brain, it can't be too bad. But this suggestion for trying new places said that it is supposed to exercise your brain, by trying new things. So really, this is all in the name of health. And deliciousness.

My goal this weekend is to brave the weather and make it to a new restaurant. (I have my sights set on Thai Spice, after falling in love with a Thai dish while I was in DC.) I figured this would be as good a venue as any to make a list of eateries around town I want to hit, and then maybe post a little bit about each one after I dine there. Without further ado, here's the list (and places will probably be added in subsequent posts as I think of more)

  • Thai Spice
  • Linn St Cafe
  • Atlas
  • India Cafe
  • J's Fish and Chips
  • New York NY Deli
  • Baldy's Wraps
  • David's Place
  • Jimmy Jack's Rib Shack
  • Peking Buffet
  • Venuto's World Cafe
  • Jade Sisters
I'm sure there are more that will be added later. But that's a pretty solid list for now, at a rate of one per week it'll take a few months. Sure, there may be a week or two where I hit more than one, and probably a few weeks where I won't go to any new place. So it'll all even out.

Since we're on the subjects of local restaurants, I may as well post some of my favorites right now.

  • Hamburg Inn - Awesome atmosphere, great diner-style food, and pretty reasonable prices. Plus, it's like two blocks away from my house. A winner all around.
  • Oasis - The first place I've ever had falafel, and my favorite. Also a couple of blocks from my place, and just delicious food. If you've never tried a falafel sandwich, you're really missing out.
  • Oyama - It was hard to choose one sushi place, I like them all pretty well. But I feel like I know a couple of the chefs here, and they're always very nice. Whenever I sit at the sushi bar, they give me free kani salad. I like to think they do that just for me, but it's probably for a lot more people.
  • The Pit - It's my favorite barbecue place, kind of by default, but still delicious. I haven't tried the other BBQ (See Jimmy Jack's above), but I love the sauce here, the pulled pork is amazing, and the fried Oreo's hurt my heart just thinking about them. It's no Battle's, but few places are.
  • Java House - Not so much a restaurant, but one of my favorite places to go and just hang out, drink some hot chocolate, and eat a peanut butter cookie, while reading a book.
  • Old Chicago - Probably the place I've been to the most around town. Finished up one World Beer Tour, and 12 beers into my second. Most likely won't finish it, but it's still a good excuse to try different beers. Plus, the pizza is usually pretty excellent, as are the pepperoni rolls. Sure it's a pretty big chain, but who cares.
  • Falbo Bros Pizza - My favorite pizza place in town, and they have an awesome lunch deal with 2 slices and a can of sodapop for $3.50. The deep-dish crust is amazing, and the toppings are usually delicious, with plenty of cheese.
  • Quinton's - Have only been here a handful of times, but always enjoy it. A great place to get a soup/sandwich combo, with some of the best broccoli and cheddar soup I've had.
Those are just a few of my favorite places around here. So everyone come to Iowa City. I'll take you to few spots, show you around my town. We'll eat well, I promise.

Friday, February 23, 2007

re: fashion

While Haley gave me a pretty good link for fashion basics, with hints and everything, I don't really know if I want to be taking fashion advice from someone that has a faux-hawk in their photo. I'm just not comfortable doing that. I mean, it's one of the worst haircuts ever, right? Why not just man up and get the damn mohawk, or go buy yourself a comb? I'm not really one to talk too much on hairstyles, I've never been known to do anything with my hair (except in 3rd grade, when I went for the flat-top look.) But, when someone's hair looks so crappy I have to comment on it, then you know it's gotta be bad. I've never met anyone with a faux-hawk (I really wish it had a better name. I even hate the name) that wasn't a total bone dragon. I even said as much to one guy sporting this style, to his face, and he thought I was joking. I wasn't.

I just had to get that off my chest.

another quote of the day

This one is a quote from a few years ago, at the request of my friend, the only other person besides "H" and "a" who has commented on one of my posts. So this is for him.

This was said hours after the Royals lost something like a 7-run lead in the 9th inning, and hours before I scratched my cornea with the corner of a menu. Somehow, these are all related. It had something to do with the amount of alcohol I had. So, I was being very loud, saying things I probably shouldn't have been saying. To people I didn't know.

KP to me

"Hey Emeril, why don't you take it down a notch."

fashion smashion

Since the two people that I actually know read this usually do so during the day, while they should most likely be working, I decided I'd throw one more update in tonight so they'll have something to do tomorrow. You guys are lucky I'm in such a charitable mood. (really, I'm just avoiding sleep for some reason.)

I just finished up watching The Departed. Pretty good flick, I'd definitely recommend it to anyone that likes a bloody action/suspense movie. Or Leonardo DiCaprio. It gets pretty intense at times. It doesn't crack my list of movies to the right, my top whatever, but it's a solid film. I will, however, be rooting against it for best picture this weekend. I'm hoping that title will go to Little Miss Sunshine.

Speaking of the Oscars, I just realized I have no where to watch the awards show. It's not that big of a deal, I won't be throwing a party, or making bets, or even really caring too much about most of the awards. But, it would be nice to see the big ones, best actor, best actress, best director, best picture, etc. (I realize those should all probably be capitalized, but it's late, and really, that's a lot of shifting, and my pinkie is still sore from whatever I did to it, so any shifting that may be optional in my mind is out.) I could just go to the IMU, I'm sure they'll have it on there. Or go over to my brother's place and use one of their many televisions. And I can drink there without the stigma of drinking in a public, university building. And it's much much closer. Looks like that problem is solved.

My next problem is that I'm totally oblivious to fashion. (I am the king of segues!) As I posted last week, I was thinking about getting a new pair of pants. Well, that finally came to fruition today, in the form of two new pairs (for $30 total)! One khaki, one that's kinda darker brown with lighter brown pinstripes. At least I think that's what it looks like. It's in the wash right now (the real reason I'm still up. I don't want my new pants and my shirts to get wrinkled. I should've started laundry before 11:30 tonight.) Now my situation is that I don't know what shirts go with the pants, or what tie I should wear or anything like that. I do know that I should wear a brown belt and brown shoes with either pair, and apparently stay away from black. (why can't brown and black go together? I kind of like the way they look. If I even notice, which I don't. But if I were to ever wear brown and black, I'm sure I would never hear the end of it. Mostly from girls at work. I don't know how they know these things and I don't, I must've missed that section in the "How to Properly Dress Yourself" pamphlet that everyone was handed.) But, do both my light and darker blue shirts go with both pairs of pants? What about my forest green shirt (my personal favorite. I look good in green, so I'm told) with either pair? I think green goes with brown. It seems to work for trees, why can't it work for me? I feel earthy wearing those colors. I would assume white goes with anything, so I could wear that shirt with either. But I guess I would assume black goes with anything too. I mean, neither one of them are really colors, are they? White is the absence of color, black is an overabundance, right? Why must this be such a big deal? There should be someone knowledgeable about such things posted in the clothing stores, just so people like me can ask these questions. Or at least have a copy of the pamphlet handy.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Dear super cute girl sitting across from me at the library,

Hi! My name is Chris. You may have noticed me furtively glancing in your direction for the past 20-30 minutes. Oh, you didn't? Well then, never mind. I wasn't doing that.

That's a nice black shirt you have on. It matches the black scarf you're wearing nicely. I like that. Black is a good color. If you'll notice, my coat is black. What are the odds?

So I take it you're a student here. I mean, this is the school library, and you have to be one to be using the computers. ha! I am too! I know, I know, I look like I'm about 24 (24, really? you're too kind), what am I doing in school? That's a long story, one better told over a nice dinner. Do you like nice dinners?

What are your thoughts on baseball? When you think of going to a ball game, do you think of the romance in the air? Does the initial sight of the green grass against the dirt base paths make you tear up a little bit? I know it does for me. Does that appeal to my sensitive side? It's endearing, right? Well thanks.

I notice you have a dictionary sitting next to you. I know a lot of words, and can use most of them correctly in every-day conversation. I even have incredible spelling and grammar!! What more could you ask for?

Besides my knowledge of the English language, I know a lot of trivial, random facts. In fact, if were were on a team, I would go so far to guarantee a victory in Trivial Pursuits. Who else can make such an assertion? Not that dude in the stocking cap over there. I bet he doesn't even know where Indonesia is, let alone its capital. (It's in the Indian Ocean, near the equator, and its capital is Jakarta.)

I read books, too! The past few have been non-fiction, about neat stuff like snap-decisions, how fads spread, and Barack Obama! The next two that I'm planning on reading are non-fiction books, also. I can also read them very fast, it's an ability of which I'm quite proud.

Oh, you have to go right now? Okay, I guess I should too. But maybe I'll see you around. I'm here occasionally, and around town all the time. I'm at the Java House almost every day, and I work in customer service at the Hy-Vee on the south end of town. So stop by and say hi sometime! If you can remember me. I'm the guy who sat across from you at the library, the one who couldn't find the nerve to talk to you!

sorry for the delay

I didn't post anything yesterday. You may have noticed that already, but I just had to get it out there in the open. I didn't post anything yesterday, because really, I didn't have a whole lot to say. And, my "internet" was down. So even if I wanted to try to come up with something, to force out an ill-conceived rambling, I couldn't. And I feel better for it. There have been a few times when I've felt like I've posted just for the sake of posting, and have come up with some okay stuff, but I still feel kind of lame about it. Oh well, I guess that's how it goes.

So the past few days have just been kinda blah for me. I was thinking of going out on Tuesday for Mardi Gras, but ended up just getting really drunk at home, and never really doing anything once I left. I did go to Pita Pit, and ate about a quarter of my pita before deciding I needed to go home, stuffing what remained into my coat pocket to be discovered the next morning. That was a nice little surprise.

Yesterday was mostly spent sleeping. I wasn't really hungover, I usually don't feel any ill affects from drinking. I had a slight, slight headache and just felt worn down all day. It may have had something to do with me falling into my closet and knocking one of the doors off of the tracks the night before, but I'm not sure on that one yet. I would say the highlight of my Wednesday was going to Taco Night at Carlos O'Kellys after the Hawkeye trouncing of Purdue. Dollar tacos and a near-20 point win, what could be better?

My mom called me the other night and chatted for a while. During the conversation, she asked me what I was giving up for Lent. This took me aback for a couple of reasons. For one, I hadn't thought about it at all, mostly due to reason number two, we're not Catholic, or even religious at all. A couple of years ago, when I worked at the C Store in Friley Hall, Ames, I had to ask someone why a lot of people were coming in with smudges on their foreheads, and then needed a refresher on what exactly Ash Wednesday was... Does that make me a bad person? Or just a sheltered person? Either way, I always think of that day when I see people after they've been "ashed." It took me about half a second to say "nothing" in response to my mom's question. But then she said, quite humorously I may add, that she's giving up guilt for Lent. This seemed like the perfect, ironic sacrifice, so that is what I'll do. I will do anything I want for the next month or however long it is, and not feel guilty about it at all. I will eat meat every day of the week! I will have as much chocolate or candy or anything as I desire! Hoorah!

Maybe for Lent I should give up my inhibitions. I should actually go talk to the girl sitting diagonally across from me, the one who's super cute.

maybe next year

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

I've found what I'm doing Feb 27.

Apparently the Royals are holding a tryout on the 27th of this month, in Surprise, AZ. Now if I was able to miss everything and hop on a plane, I would totally go make a fool of myself. I wouldn't be able to hit, run, throw, or probably field. But I'd bring heart. And some eye black. And if I were to make the team, all of my traveling expenses would be reimbursed! Unfortunately, I won't be able to make it. I guess I'll keep my NCAA eligibility for at least another year.

Speaking of NCAA baseball, the Hawkeyes team will be starting their season shortly. They'll be at Arkansas-Little Rock for a series this weekend, then start March off at the Stetson Tournament. I didn't know where Stetson University was until a quick google search. Turns out it's in DeLand, FL, just north of Orlando. The Hawks won't be playing up north until March 23, when the Bison of North Dakota State head to Duane Banks Field. I will be there, the 23rd is Iowa Knit Hat Giveaway day! Plus, students get in for free to the games, so there's no reason to not go!

I love baseball. I don't know if you've noticed. There's almost nothing better to me than having a hot dog at the ballpark on a nice spring day, and a freshly-mowed field is one of the most beautiful sites in the world. Pitchers and catchers reported (one of my favorite phrases, right behind "Play Ball!") last week, and spring training's just over a week away. Full team workouts will start this week. It's a wonderful time of the year. And it just gets better over the next couple of months. March Madness! Spring Training! Then, April 1, Mets vs. Cardinals for the first game of the season. I kind of like how MLB has been scheduling rematches of the previous year's Championship Series for the very first game. Adds drama or something like that. I'm glad that I'll be able to see my boy Carlos Beltran in the very first game. (Hopefully he can start this season a little better than he ended last season, striking out with the bases loaded, 2 out in the bottom of the 9th, game 7 of the NLCS, down by 2. Every ball player's dream scenario. And he struck out looking.)

I will be in Kansas City, going to the Royals' opening game against the Boston Red Sox. And I'll be going with Charczuk, which probably means that the Royals will win. I think he's been to two or three Royals/Red Sox games in the past season or two, and his Sox have lost them all. I'm pretty excited, this will be my first Opening Day experience at the Major League level. I went to the very first game of the newly-remodeled John O'Donnell Stadium a few years ago, and a few of the Hawkeyes' home openers, and Kansas City's final home game of the season in 2005 (a win that crippled the Indians in their hunt for the playoffs), but never a big league opener. I'm very excited.

When I think about the Royals in 2007, I'm optimistic. (I have to be when it comes to them, otherwise I'd probably never leave my bed.) They'll do better than they have the past few years, if only because they can't do much worse. I'm looking forward to David DeJesus and Shane Costa (I hope Costa makes the team...) playing the outfield, Ryan Shealy blossoming into a stud first baseman, Mark Teahen continuing his torrid hitting he finished the season with at whatever position he can play, Alex Gordon making the show and proving everybody right about him, Gil Meche showing that he's worth the money, Octavio Dotel showing that he's worth the risk, Grudz snaring any ball that comes through the middle, Mike Sweeney being healthy and hitting the crap out of some balls. And somebody playing shortstop. If Angel Berroa could play some sort of baseball that resembles his ROY season, that'd be nice. I'm hoping for a 10-15+ win improvement, putting them around 75-87. More would be nice, .500 would be amazing. But that may be expecting too much right now. 2008, though, watch out.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Quote of the day

From some dude in front of me at the Java House, who just randomly turned around, looked at me, and said the following:

"It's amazing how quickly you can give up on the week."


My favorite new website that I've discovered (or shown to me by my roommate Daren) is

If anyone can find me this beer, I'd love them forever.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

A music post!

Weekend - rather uneventful. Really, nothing of note happened. I ate a few slices of a couple really excellent pizzas. Made some enchiladas today. Pandora just gave me one of my favorite Of Montreal songs, so that's pretty rad. (I've been trying to use rad more and more, hoping it'll catch on again. Unfortunately, it hasn't worked out quite as well as my "eat a dick" campaign did.) The video for it is also kind of sweet. In general, Of Montreal's videos are awesome. Like this one for "Heimdalsgate Like a Promethean Curse," which may be my favorite video of theirs. Their #1 song in my book, though, is "So Begins Our Alabee," which also has a nice video.

Just for fun, here are a few more videos that I enjoy

  • Wilco on Letterman - "Hummingbird" (just a fun song)
  • Jeff Tweedy (lead singer of Wilco) - "Is That the Thanks I Get?" (although my favorite version of this song is from the Iowa City concert)
  • Jeff Tweedy - "Acuff Rose" (one of the most amazing moments of any concert I've been to is when he played this one sans PA)
  • The Mountain Goats - "Woke Up New" (I know I'm lame, but this song really gets to me sometimes, I really really really like it, probably my favorite song from his newest album)
  • The Mountain Goats - "This Year" (great song and video)
  • The Shins - "Phantom Limb" (one of my current favorite bands, and the video is so good)

Since I've already mentioned a few bands, I may as well go ahead and list my currentTop 5 bands, and why they're in such high acclaim in my mind. As always, these are in no particular order, unless otherwise stated.

Wilco - Possibly my favorite band right now, everything they've put out has been extremely solid and enjoyable. While I've never seen the band live, Jeff Tweedy played here in February of '06, and as I stated before, it was one of the best concerts I've ever been to. So they earn bonus points for that. All of the live recordings I've heard/seen have been incredible, it's only a matter of time before I see the whole band.

The Shins - They're latest album, with the help of some publicity courtesy of Zach Braff and Gardens state, has made them pretty huge, I believe debuting at #2 on the Billboard charts. I loved their previous album "Chutes Too Narrow," and their newest, "Wincing the Night Away," does not disappoint. Almost everytime I listen to it, a smile is on my face. Just an excellent "indie" band, and a close second to Wilco in my favor. Unfortunately, I have yet to see them. They're one of the only bands that I really desire to see that I haven't... yet

Of Montreal - Kind of a goofy pop band, once described to me as "a fruity version of the Beatles." Which is okay by me. Their lyrics are a little ridiculous at times, but that just adds to the funness (possibly a made-up word) in my mind. One of the more unique concerts I've seen put on, but definitely worth checking out. I can't wait to see them again in Minneapolis over Spring Break!

The Mountain Goats (official site here, a great fansite here) - I first heard of John Darnielle's one man band when I was DJ'ing at KURE in Ames, during the point when Darnielle actually lived in Ames. I played a few of his songs and liked them enough to go see him in concert one night at the M-Shop, and was hooked. He is one of the more intense live performers I've seen, along with some amazing lyrics. Everything of his seems so simple and bare-bones, but always in a way that fits pretty perfectly with his songs. When I saw him again a few years later, he had added a bassist and had released a few albums actually recorded in a studio, instead of the usual boom-box recordings. Still an intimate show, but not quite the same intensity that the first one had. Always enjoyable, though.

Bright Eyes - This was a tough choice for the last spot, but I think Bright Eyes takes it. I've seen them in concert a few times and have been impressed every time. Another band that I heard of in my radio days. I've really appreciated the change and growth that Conor Oberst has shown, from the early "angstier" days to the mellower, more country-tinged songs that he had on "I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning." Also, I just now found out that they have a new album coming out in March, entitled "Four Winds." Gives me something to look forward to, now!

Other bands/artists that didn't quite make the cut include: They Might Be Giants, The Weakerthans, The Eels, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, Ben Folds, Built to Spill, Talib Kweli, The Talking Heads, and others. Others are in my Hall of Fame, and are all-time in my top list, but it wouldn't be fair to other bands to be up there. This includes the Beatles, Miles Davis, Charlie Parker, Van Morrison, The Zombies, and some others that slip my mind right now.

Wow, all of this just from Pandora. Is there anything this little internet radio thing can't do?

Saturday, February 17, 2007

A meditation on dinner

I will not comment on todays Hawkeye game except to say that it made me feel sick. Haley summed up my feelings pretty well. (I did know who Josh Crawford was, only because that's what I do. I know way too much about things that I probably shouldn't, like the name of a player behind Looby and Gorney and Tate. That and living in Iowa City makes it a little easier to follow the teams, and to recognize a player's name. If I ran into him on the street or in between classes, I wouldn't be able to instantly give his name, but I would probably be able to guess he's a basketball player. There aren't too many near-seven footers around these parts.) I may talk more about the state of Hawkeye sports in the near future, but for now, the memory of today's game is too fresh.

I've been trying to decide what I would like to eat tonight for dinner... Today was pretty much a waste of a day, I shoveled the sidewalks, watched the game, played NCAA Football, then came home and napped. Now I'm realizing that the only things I've had to eat have been a cookie and a few Sweethearts, so my sugar consumption is right on, but anything of substance is noticeably missing. What I should do is go to the store, buy some groceries, and come home and make a wonderful dinner for myself. But what I should do and what I want to do, and will most likely end up doing, are two different things. See, going all the way to the store, shopping, then coming home and slaving over a stove just doesn't sound like fun right now. I love cooking, a lot, but right now I'm kinda drowsy, kinda cranky, and really hungry. "So go do something about it already," you say. "Don't blog about it, we don't really care." (I probably should have used "I don't really care," because the one person reading this probably doesn't speak using the royal we, but I would like to delude myself into thinking that there are a number of people sitting, staring at their computer screens, reading my stupid thoughts on a Saturday night.) Well that's where my excellent decision make process comes in. Or I should say lack thereof. I'm telling myself I want to stay away from fast food, but it's looking like an only option. I napped my way through most of the normal dining hours for other establishments, so no tasty falafel tonight. And if I keep at this, most other places will close, leaving only fast food. I'm thinking of walking downtown and hitting up Pita Pit. Yeah, that's what I'll do. Thanks blog! You've helped me out of a tight situation!

Friday, February 16, 2007

A post about pants

I decided that this weekend will be a New Pants Weekend. I'm getting ready to go to work (as I type) and notice that my work pants have holes over the two front pockets, and probably one in the back pocket where my wallet sits. It saddens me, these are comfortable pants. Alas, they must be retired soon, and what better time to do that than the weekend immediately after I get paid? I just hope the new pair can live up to the expectations set by the old ones. Maybe I'll have to get two pairs! That would be crazy!

The thing I love best about my current pair of pants is that it has a little mini-pocket on the right side, just outside of the normal pocket. This pocket is perfect to slip my phone into, which delights me to no end. I don't know if that's what the people at Old Navy intended, but I applaud them nonetheless. I honestly don't remember buying these at the ON, but since their name is on my button that I just fastened (don't worry, my pants were on and zipped, just not buttoned. It's a comfort thing), it must be true. So maybe I'll have to go back there this weekend? Maybe Target instead. I don't know why I never shopped there (Target) much before, but now it's one of the first places I'll check. Maybe that's why I decided to head to Minneapolis over break... My sub-conscience wanted me to trek to the home of Target.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

In Heaven, there is no beer

Just got back from the Iowa/Northwestern basketball game, a 66-58 victory for the Hawkeyes. The best part about it? I got in for free! The game was scheduled for last night, but the weather in Evansville was too dangerous for the team to leave or something. So it was re-scheduled for tonight as a doubleheader with the women's team, and they let students in for free! I debated going sticking around for the women's game, but the warm-ups were too excruciating for me, so I hit the trails. Haluska had 29 points to go along with 6 rebounds, Tyler "the stud" Smith had 13 and 4 while playing in foul trouble, Kurt Looby had a pretty dunk, and the Hawks overcame their slow start. Seth "I was a teenage caveman" Gorney had a pretty quiet game, as did his only friend on the team, J.R. Angle. I washed down a hot dog with a medium diet coke, and for dessert, had my twist soft-serve ice cream cone that I get at every game. Well, at least I've gotten it in each game I've gone to in the past two years. Both of them. All in all, a good time was had by me. I actually really enjoy going to sporting events on my own, it lets me wander around, take everything in, and act like everyone's friend. Although going with some friends to a game that everyone is excited about is also pretty awesome. aren't sports great? The biggest downside of the night? Smith's haircut. I liked the mini-fro thing he had going before, and didn't even recognize him at first, I thought I was getting my numbers wrong. But nope. #34 shaved his head. Hey, I guess if he likes it, that's cool. I'm sure it'll grow on me. Especially if he sticks around Iowa City for a few more years. He can wear his hair however he likes.

In my last entry, I said I was going to be heading to 3 concerts in Minneapolis, but didn't even list them!!! I guess I was too excited about the fact that I had made up my mind that I forgot to mention them. So I think I'll be seeing The Faint on Monday, March 12, then Tv on the Radio on either March 14 or 15, they have two shows, and then Of Montreal on the 16th! That's the one I'm most excited about, I saw them here in Iowa City in August and thouroughly enjoyed the show, even if the average age of the crowd was 7 years my junior. I'm getting used to that now. I guess The Faint show is the one I'm least excited about, but I used to like them, and think it's pretty fun seeing them. I guess it depends on how I'm feeling after celebrating Selection Sunday.

Something else that I didn't mention the other day was that my favorite writer, Bill Simmons, mentioned watching the Wisconsin/Iowa bball game this past week, but it was mostly to talk about Alando Tucker. Which is fine, he's good I guess. But, he did say he liked my current mancrush, Tyler Smith. I can't find the actual site right now, but it's there. If you've never read any of Simmons' stuff, you should. I usually end up laughing out loud (lol) a few times per article, even if he's typing with a mouthful of Tom Brady.

Anyways, time to head to my bro's to play in our NCAA Football Dynasty. After running Boise State into the ground, I decided to hit eject before I was in a tangled mess of sheet metal and flames. Based soley on the nickname, I chose to take over the UAB Blazers' program, and am currently riding a 6 game losing streak. Those 6 games also happened to be the first 6 games of the season. I think Coach Red Scare is packing his bags, the Birmingham natives have been sharpening their pitchforks and readying the masses.

Minneapolis or Bust!

Well, in the short time since I last wrote, it has been decided: Minneapolis is the destination of choice for Spring Break. Besides having a number of friends of mine, there are 3 concerts that I'm excited about seeing, and a number of museums, according to Haley. Then there's also the Mall of America, a place where I have never been, but was never that upset by not seeing it. I suppose it would be entertaining to check it out from an ironic standpoint, just how absolutely ridiculous the whole place is.

I know in the last post I said something about heading to warmer climes, and then turn around and decide to head further north than my current latitude, but that happens, right? I mean, there can't be a huge difference between Iowa City and Minneapolis in terms of weather, right? According to, the current thermometer reading in IC is 10* (can an asterisk be used as a degree sign? I think so. At least until keyboards come with a button for the a little raised circle, for the one time that I'll ever use it. Seriously, I think this is the first time I've ever been faced with this dilemma), and the temperature in Minneapolis is 12! So maybe it'll actually be warmer there! Who would've thought?!

Spring Break! Woo!

I've been trying to decide on what I would like to do for Spring Break this year. Initially, I planned out a trip to Austin, TX, to see my good friend Adam (a.k.a. "Big Texas," a.k.a. "Johnny Austin") and maybe catch some bands that are in town for SxSW, but Adam will be in Ohio during the duration of my would-be vacation, catching some NCAA tournament action. Certainly I cannot blame him for that. My next thought was to go out to Arizona and hit up a week's worth of Spring Training games, and stay with my aunt and uncle that live out there. And this is still a viable option, but my family members wouldn't be able to get work off while I'm there, and transportation would be a little problem. I'm not sure if I would want to rent a car, and from what little research I've done, there's not a whole lot in the way of public transportation. Other thoughts have crossed my mind, but in each one, I find flaws. I would love love love to go to Cooperstown, NY for the Baseball Hall of Fame, but there's no way to fly directly to Cooperstown, and the nearest cities with airports are over an hour's drive away, I believe. Then I entertained the thought of going to Vegas, but as it's been pointed out to me, that might not be a place that I would want to go on my own. Accompaniment to set up a system of checks and balances would probably be required. I'd really like to go to Canada, just for fun, but recent laws were passed so a passport is required to go anywhere outside of the US, and I really don't feel like spending nearly $200 to get a passport expedited, just so I could go the land of maple and "ey." Plus, isn't the point of Spring Break to go in search of warmer climes?

My other option, one that I have been kind of leaning towards, has been making a tour of the Midwest, hitting Minneapolis and Kansas City and maybe some places in-between. I'd love to go to Chicago, too, but only have a few aquantences there, not the good friends that I have in the other cities. And it's a little out-of-the-way from my other destinations. If only Spring Break were a month later, I could see baseball much closer to home.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

anonymous said...

It was brought to my attention that I should allow anonymous users to post comments on my blog. While it astounded me that I have anonymous people reading my blog, I figured I should accommodate any readership I have however I can, so all you Jane and John Does out there, comment to your heart's content.

Just another February day..

bleh. That describes my feelings for today. Due to recent events, today has been coming at me like a freight train, just waiting to level me and render me pretty much numb. Numb and bitter. Not bitter at anyone in particular, though, I harbor no ill will, but just people in general. People buying flowers at the last minute. People buying balloons and chocolates and cards. I will admit, I did buy a card, along with a little gift, and sent it, probably too late to reach its destintion on time, but that's not really the point. I guess the point is the thought. But does that make me a hypocrit for buying something like that, yet despising others who do the same? I don't know. This is my blog, though, so I can complain about it if I want.

Things have always worked out on the past where I never was actually with a girlfriend on this "Overrated Hallmark Holiday," as Haley puts it (should I call you H, or is Haley ok?), though the last two years I did have a girlfriend on the day. It was just that she was 163 miles away (yes, it was kind of a long drive, so I would keep track of miles.) So in that respect, this year will be like every other year. At least I'll tell myself that. Of course, the past to years have been celebrated on pre-Feb 14 dates, but who's counting.

As far as VD (I think I like calling it that better than actually typing it out, seems more appropriate) goes, I feel kind of cheapened by the whole experience. Sure, it's kind of nice to have a special day for relationships, but at the same time there shouldn't be just one day that you go all-out and buy a bunch of crap that you may or may not have put some thought into. I think it would be much more meaningful to surprise your significant other with a nice card or gift in the middle of March or on a Thursday or something. And that's the way I have been, giving gifts for no particular reason, just out of love and the desire to do something that would be appreciated. Maybe people (Hallmark, I'm looking in your direction) felt that while President's Day is great and all, it just lacked a certain something that all of the other months around February had. I mean, the second month is already getting shafted by only getting 28 days, 29 on "Leap Years," so it's kind of a joke month anyways. Going back to September, when the weather is usually pretty decent, we have Labor Day, The World Series, Halloween, Election Day (maybe not a holiday, but an important day nonetheless), Thanksgiving, all of the December holidays (Christmas Eve and Day, Chanukah, Kwanzaa, Boxing Day, and a host of others that are definitely worth mentioning), New Years Eve and Day, My Birthday, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Groundhog Day, President's Day, March Madness, St Patrick's Day, and then Spring is upon us. February gets 2 "holidays" in there, for neither of which I got a day off, let alone the week that Thanksgiving gives us or the month over the December/January changeover. And there are no days like St Pat's day or Labor Day that people generally use as an excuse to drink large quantities of alcohol, green or otherwise. And there are no major sporting events to get people excited. Oh wait, the Super Bowl. Crap, I forgot that's in February now. Well, it has that too. But that's one day, not a whole tournament. "Hey, let's make our good friend Febbie feel better. Let's give 'er a holiday in which people express their love that they should be expressing anyways. Or, if people don't have loved ones, then it can be used as an excuse to drink large quantities of alcohol. And since we have all these vats of red dye laying around, that will be the color we will use." what a great idea.

Now, I will continue the cynicism of the day onto birthdays. This is mainly coming from some e-mails Haley and I exchanged (I really do have friends other than Haley, and I'm not obsessed with her. It's just that she's the only one that is usually available for a few rounds of e-mail during the day, so that's what I do. I will talk about other people. I promise.) It is Haley's birthday today (HAPPY BIRTHDAY), and I believe she's entering "22 - the Sequel." I don't know why she's down on the 23rd yeard of her life, because for me, that was my all-time best year. I referred to as my MJ year. Since he wore 23. Get it? But, I do share her bleak outlook on birthdays of late. I think it comes with the age. Every birthday up to about 21-22 is fun, but then I think mid- to late-20's are "the depression years" as far as birthdays go. Just wait until 25, and see how you feel. I seriously felt like crying at midnight on Jan 11th, 2006. I had just turned 25, and already hated it. 26 was a little better, until someone brought up the numbers 3 and 0. So yeah. I'm just hoping that they'll eventually get better.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Here we go again...

So, this is my new "blog" for the "new era of Chris," as I like to call it. I got the name from a lyric that struke me this past weekend in the song "Hospital Vespers" by the Weakerthans, my favorite band from the Great White North. Here are the lyrics to the song in their entirety:

Doctors played your dosage like a card-trick. Scrabbled down the hallways yelling "Yahtzee!" I brought books on Hopper, and the Arctic, something called "The Politics of Lonely," a toothbrush and a quick-pick with the plus. You tried not to roll your sunken eyes, and said "Hey can you help me, I can't reach it." Pointed at the camera in the ceiling. I climbed up, blocked it so they couldn't see. Turned to find you out of bed, and kneeling. Before the nurses came, took you away, I stood there on a chair and watched you pray.

And, being the discourageable sort, I was discouraged to find that there is no actual book called "The Politics of Lonely," however it is apparently a chapter title in a book. About some Arctic explorer. But, I liked the phrase nonetheless, so, might as well make it the title of my little spot on this internet. I feel that it fits my current position in life, that position being more interested in politics of late, and lonely. And maybe not lonely lonely, but lonely for posterity's sake. (is that how posterity is supposed to be used? I'm not sure, but it sounded good to me, so it'll stay like that. I feel like it's a word I should properly know how to use, though. Also, I like using asides like this. You'll probably see a lot of them if I continue to post. And if you actually are reading this. So the three of you, you'll know that I like to use parenthetical asides in my life story. Or whatever this could be called. Life summation? whatever.)

Anyways, my new found interest in politics is mainly due to that charismatic senator from our neighbor to the east, Barack Obama. I'm reading his book The Audacity of Hope, thanks to my friend Haley (Haley is Bill's girlfriend. Bill is one of my best friends. Thus, by the transitive property of friendship, or TPF, Haley has become one of my friends. And even if it weren't for the TPF, I would like to think I'd still be friends with Haley. Assuming I would've met her. I don't know why I'm explaining all of this here. She's probably the only one reading this. Maybe Bill, too.), and his stock keeps rising in my book. (I don't really have a book [yet], that's just an expression. Kind of like "for posterity's sake." You like how I double-parenthesized there? Brackets baby. They're not just for March anymore!) Of course, I was already a fan of his, having seen him speak here in the IC (don't call it that) for Chet Culver in November. Plus, I think my cousin's son, I believe that would make him my second cousin, looks a lot like what I picture Sen. Obama looking like at age 11.

Now this is not my first foray into the "blogosphere," as it were. I had one that I started a few months back, probably in June or July, posted 3 times, and gave up for one reason or another. But, things change, and I'm back. I didn't feel it appropriate to continue the old one, so here I am. I'm hoping to keep this one updated at least once a week, ideally more than that, maybe every other/every third day. Depends on if anything happens in my life. I guess if nothing else, I could use this as a way to review or report on books, movies, music, etc., that I encounter. Comments are always welcome, if anyone reads this.

I haven't thought of any catchy sign-off line or anything like that yet. Give me a few days, I'll come up with something. Until then, have fun.