Thursday, May 31, 2007

My day and wine tour photos

First off, tomorrow is a special day for The Politics of Lonely. It will be the first time that I will have a guest appearance, H of Random Mindless Rambling and As The Coffee Brews fame has put together her screening process for getting with the Flenker. Look for it either later tonight or early tomorrow. It's a good one.

After I left the coffee shop where I blogged earlier, I was walking around town, and happened to run into my brother and his roommates pulling their boat, getting ready to hit the Coralville Reservoir. Since it was a beautiful day, I jumped in, and joined them for an afternoon on the water. Unfortunately, I was in my jeans and 3/4 length sleeves, so didn't have quite the optimum clothing for getting into the water. Next time, though, I'll be ready, and I'll go tubing and have some fun. (I tried wakeboarding once, and couldn't last a second. Made for an entertaining time, though.) Also unfortunately, I didn't bring any sunblock with me, and the only stuff they had was SPF 8. I wear 6 times that normally. So I got a little red. But only on about 1/4 of my arm. And a tiny bit on my face/neck. Oh well, it was bound to happen.

Travis and I had to leave a little early, since our dad was coming up for some pizza and relaxing in a park. Again, beautiful weather for it, and I'll never pass up a free meal from a parent. We sat out for a while, then drove around a section of Iowa City I've never seen. There's a ton of new housing developments going up, some really nice places, so it was nice to check out.

Anyways, it was a fun day. I'm glad I was able to enjoy it, that I actually got outside instead of sitting on a computer or playing video games all day.

***

Since the "internet" is working at my place now, I'm going to take this opportunity to post some photos from the wine tour yesterday, just so everyone can be jealous.

This was our ride for the day
(I'm not sure why the date is wrong... Dawn must not know how to operate that part of her camera)

An interior shot of our ride

Another interior shot, featuring my brother and mom

My brother and I "enjoying" High Gravity
(notice how young I look in this picture!)

Travis posing with our $8 worth of champaign

We definitely overpaid

An exterior picture of the front of my favorite winery, Park Farm

One of the rooms inside Park Farm

The view from the back of Park Farm. Absolutely gorgeous

From left to right: Pamela, Flenker!, Travis, and Jake
lounging outside of Park Farm

Group photo

The homestead from Field of Dreams

Standing at home plate on the field

I'm pretty sure that's the "Captain Morgan" wind-up

A shot of the sign from our last stop

It's like Sideways, only without the adultery and more malt liquor

The wine tasting tour went well yesterday. There could have been some improvements made (I could've gotten more than 3.5 hours of sleep the night before), but all in all, it was a good time! (I'll put picture up later, when I'm at my own computer and can save them to the desktop instead of just stealing them from my mom's facebook page.) Our group was made up of 12 people, including myself, my bro, our friend Jake and his friend Pamela, my mom and step-dad, and some of their co-workers. Traveling in style, we were in a stretch H2 (that's Hummer-2, not to be confused with anything else [I'm looking at you, H]). This was my first real experience being in a limo, the only other time I had been in one was for my mom's wedding to Bruce (my step-dad), when we went from the wedding ceremony at our house to the reception hall half an hour away. Only I didn't ride in the "stretch" part in back, I sat up front with the driver. So this was a fun change of pace.

The first stop was Lavender Crest Winery in Colona, Illinois. They had some purple (fiberglass) pigs outside their building, I thought that was neat. The wine was very good, especially at 10 in the morning. Their wines included one made from blueberries and another from raspberries, both delicious. I sampled 6 wines, (the first three were free, the second set cost a dollar), and enjoyed them all. Jake and I enjoyed them a little too much, I think, we started getting a little buzz on. And of course we opened some bottles of wine after leaving the first place, I think we went through about 3 (not just between us, everyone was enjoying them) pretty quickly. Our next stop was in Galena, IL, an hour or so away. The passage of time gets kind of hazy here for Flenker... We stopped at a gas station so people could use the restroom, and my brother and I decided that we needed to continue drinking, so we went in and found the cheapest alcohol we could: 24 0z of this "beer" called "High Gravity". It was going for $0.94, and had 8.1% alcohol by volume. And tasted like pure, unfiltered ass. We each got one, and split it with Jake and Pamela. By the time we reached our lunch stop, we were feeling alright.

We had lunch at Vinny Vanucchi's, an Italian restaurant in Galena. It was good. My brother and I ordered an $8 bottle of champaign from the menu, not noticing that it said split next to it. So we got a small bottle of champaign, enough for a glass each. And it was not the best I've had. I feel like we overpaid. Oh well. The meal was good, the garlic bread they gave us was quite possibly the best garlic bread I've had in my life. I don't know what it was, but it was seriously amazing.

We briefly stopped at a winery in town, but they were charging for tasting, so we didn't stay long. We left for our next stop, Park Farm Winery near Dubuque, IA. It was a little drive, so we popped Shrek into the DVD player and watched and chatted and drank some more wines.

Park Farm Winery was by far the most beautiful winery we stopped, complete with a huge house and a spectacular view. (Just wait for the pictures, I can't do it justice in words.) It was a little out of the way, and not on a paved road, but that just added to the atmosphere, in my opinion. The wine was good, they had an apple wine that I liked. But the best part was just lounging about there. There was a sweet dog laying around that I sat next to and pet for a while, and just a great, relaxed feel in the air. Again, the pictures will show more.

Our next stop was a little bit of a detour, but one that made my day. Not far from Park Farm, about a 10-minute drive, is the Field of Dreams!! Now I've stated on here that it was one of my goals to go there before I leave Iowa, so this was a big deal for me. I had a big dumb-bastard grin on my face the whole time. I stood at home plate. I sat on the bleachers. I ran the bases! It was wonderful. But we didn't really have much time to spare, so I will have to go back there and enjoy it more thoroughly. Maybe Bill and H can accompany me, and I can take them to Park Farm. It will be delightful.

After running the bases and being outside for a little while, I was basically spent. I tried to nap on the drive to the next winery, but it wasn't working that well. Jake was in especially rough shape, he was sweating pretty hard and looked completely wiped. He and Pamela and Travis all stayed in the H2 while we went into our last stop, Daly Creek Winery in Anamosa, IA.

This was a nice little place in a small town. I was a little burnt out on alcohol, but had to try a couple wines, just because. Their Gothic White (named for Anamosa's own Grant Wood and his American Gothic painting) was wonderful. They also had some homemade pralines, and I couldn't resist. It was one of the best pralines I've ever had, I'm serious. This was a day for superlatives, apparently, between the garlic bread and praline.

We then headed home, tired but satisfied, after a long day of fun. It was quite the experience to ride around in the stretch H2, watching people gawk at us as we drove by, holding up traffic as we got out, and watching our driver Jimmy trying to maneuver it through some tight spots.

Well, that's it for now. I'll post some pictures when my "internet" is working. Who knows when that will be, though.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Rules for being with Flenker

Set One: Screening Process

To be in consideration, one must qualify according to these standards
  • Love of baseball - includes going to at least one MLB game per season, watching many more on TV, and going to other baseball-related events, such as a trip to Cooperstown for the Hall of Fame, Negro League Baseball Museum in Kansas City, college games, minor league games, independent league games, or anything else. Also, playing catch is a must. Total knowledge of the game isn't necessary, as I love to teach baseball. But the ideas should be known. Can be a fan of any team except the White Sox and Red Sox (Cubs fans are ok, but not preferred), but must root for the Royals with me.
  • Love of music - must be open to a wide variety of music, including but not restricted to jazz, "indie", country/bluegrass, acoustic, punk, hip-hop/rap, folk, funk, classical, experimental, etc. May not refer to Dave Matthews Band as "Dave"; in fact any reference to that band or any other jam band is not suggested. Also must be willing to go to shows.
  • Drinking/smoking - both are ok, drinking is encouraged at some points. Smoking is fine, but the less the better, and efforts toward quitting would be totally supported. Must be ok with drinking or not drinking in any given situation.
  • Age - 21 to 31, five years either side of my own age. The closer to 26.5 the better. (note: this is not set in stone, but would take some very extenuating circumstances to go below 21.)
  • Drug use - generally frowned upon. Past use is ok.
  • Must be able to deal with the different drooling dog states.
  • Brunette hair is preferred, but not required. Red hair is not high on the list, but may be overlooked if prospect excels in other area
  • Must be willing to try lots of new foods
  • Must live in the same area code
  • Conservatives need not apply
  • A plus if our names can be combined in some clever way, ala "Team Dilldahl"
  • In addition to meeting these requirements, candidate must pass an extensive screening process from Haley
Should these standards be met and excelled upon for some amount of time yet to be determined, then Set Two of the rules may be enforced.

Set Two: The Wedding (these are more my ideals, but are subject to change, compromises can be made)
  • Outdoor setting desired, possibly in a barn or in the mountains
  • Reception in the same area would be nice
  • A live band to perform
  • Guests will be fed with a cook out
  • Attire need not be formal, but kind of dressy
  • A theme party is welcome, such as a hoe-down if in a barn
  • The less traditional the better
Now all of these are subject to change, and rules may be added or subtracted at my discretion

blergh

I had a post here earlier, but after thinking about it, I just didn't really like how it went. So I took it down for the time being, and will probably tinker around with it a little bit and put it back up. If you happened to see it in the hour or two it was up, let me know what you thought, and if not, you're not really missing much.

Anyways, I really should get to bed... I'm going on an all-day wine tasting tour of Iowa tomorrow, my mom and step-dad rented a stretch SUV and got some friends together for the excursion, and lucky for my brother and me, there were a couple of open spots. I'll be back sometime in the evening, and will report on my day.

Now I need to try to sleep. It's not been coming well lately, and I'm not sure why. The heat has something to do with it, but there have been a few nights when it's been cooler out. I think I'm just going through some phase, and that's why I've been rather uncreative and unmotivated lately, that seems to have co-incided with school being done.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Just a tease

This is just going to be a quick update, I feel like I've been rushing around all day, not doing anything important... It started with the Flenker Bowl, the game in our NCAA Football video game dynasty where the Brothers Flenker face off. I lost by 6 points. Upsetting, to say the least. Then I took a walk, to cool down and just to enjoy the day. After that, I headed home and fired up the grill for some grilled onions (in butter, with salt and pepper) and cheddarwurst. Delicious! And while all of that was going on, I had people calling me, emailing me, and texting me. Mr. Popular! I don't know how it always happens, but I never will just receive one phone call in any given time. It's either none or 5.

Anyways, I wanted to take the few moments I have before I have to start getting ready for work to give people hints about what's to come in the near future of The Politics of Lonely.

Soon (maybe tonight after work): The Rules for Marrying Flenker (this may or may not involve a hoe-down) and my next contribution to As the Coffee Brews (I've been slacking pretty badly there. Sorry H.)
The next few days: the breakdown of some music, including my current favorite song, mix CD's, the introduction of "Vital Flenker" tunes, and more! Also, the next couple of installments in the Unified Theory of Flenker should be coming soon (including observations on couples and why I "fall in love" all the time), my new and improved reading list, and I confess my love for the Boob Lady
On the mind, in the future: more Unified Theory, more music, more sports plans (going to Milwaukee and KC), more awesome. Believe me, I will bring the awesome hard. Watch out

Not the worst 9 hours I've ever spent

Cajun Fest was great. I had an awesome time, the food was amazing, the music was excellent, and the weather was perfect. I just kind of wish I wasn't there for 9 hours.

You see, the plan was that I would go earlier in the day with my dad, who was carpooling up with a few of his friends. Then my brother was going to go up later (so he could sleep in past noon) and then we'd hang out for a while, then I'd get a ride home with him. My brother decided not to go. In all fairness, though, I don't think I told him my plan, and I probably could have called him at any time and gotten him to drive and pick me up. But I didn't feel like making him go 20 miles out of town and back, I was enjoying myself and the food was on Dad, so I couldn't complain. It would have been awesome if there was anyone else there that I knew so I could've talked with some people, or if my dad weren't so much more socially active than I am. He seriously knew everyone. I think most people would have been embarrassed to be shown up by their father, but I accepted that my dad is a lot cooler than me a long time ago. I just roll with it now.

Anyways, I did really enjoy myself. I ate some etouffee (pretty good, not as spicy as I was hoping, and a really small serving for the money), jambalaya (amazing, the best food I ate the whole day, and probably the best jambalaya I've ever had, especially when I added some hot sauce that I somehow missed with the etouffee), red beans and rice (tasty!), some beignets (they were ok. I've had better, but these were still tasty), a slice of pecan pie (simply amazing), and of course some crawfish (delicious!). If you've never been to a crawfish boil or any sort of Cajun-inspired celebration, you may not know about the whole ordeal of eating these little buggers. First off, you get a bowl or tray full of these things that look like tiny lobsters, sometimes served on a picnic table covered with newspapers, if you're doing it the "real way." You take one of these guys, and seperate the head and torso from the tail, then pull the meat out of the tail, and eat. Then, the "famous" part of eating the crawfish, you grab the head/torso, and suck out the juices, mainly just the spices and water used to boil them. It may sound gross, but it's delicious. This is where the phrase "sucking head" comes from, in relation to crawfish, that's the part that everyone seems to know. If you ever get the chance, try it out! Get a friend to join you if you're not sure about it, it's a fun time, and hey, you may like it!

good stuff!

The food was only part of the fun, the music was really the main attraction. We got there in time to see Hunter Hayes, a very impressive 15-year-old musician. He played almost every instrument that was on stage, and had a heckuva voice. He's got a myspace page you can check out, if you're interested. Then there was Sarah Jayde Williams, a very cute girl who played a mean fiddle and had a beautiful voice. (I say cute in the way that she was a cute teenager, not that I'm some creepy dude checking out girls 10 years younger.) Some of the other bands that I really enjoyed were JJ Callier & The Zydeco Knockouts, and Chubby Carrier. Every band that was there put on a good show, full of energy and just got the crowd dancin'. (Except for me, I don't really dance, especially if I don't have anyone with whom to dance.)

One of the highlights of the day had to be this older gentleman, looking to be in his 80's, wearing an all-orange outfit with a sideways-tilted baseball cap and some gold chains really cutting a rug. I mean this guy was getting down, literally, sometimes dancing on the floor. He was looking awfully spry for his age, pulling out moves that I wouldn't be able to do at my age with my knees, but he was making it look easy. I was jealous. Another interesting sight were the "old country" couples from the Amana colonies (a German community); the men wore white shirts, fedora-like hats, black suspenders and black pants, the women white tops with long, black dresses, maybe some sort of sun bonnet.

It was a great time. Aside from my extreme tiredness from a recent lack of sleep and basically haning out on my own the whole time, I had a really, really fun day. I'd write more about it, but I'm going to actually try to get some amount of sleep tonight. I'll be back tomorrow!

Saturday, May 26, 2007

I'm getting my washboard, spoons, and squeezebox ready

It's a lovely, rainy day in Iowa City, and I'm listening to some good music for the day (courtesy of Lucy), and will be reading a good book for the day soon (courtesy of Minty). As much as I would like to kind of wander around in the weather, I still feel like I'm recovering from cold-like symptoms (or possibly allergies, I just don't know) so I should probably play it safe and just hang out inside and stay dry. Besides, I've got my ham sandwich, Diet Dr Pepper, tunes, and reading material, why would I leave?

I feel like I've been in a little bit of a food-funk lately, ham sandwiches have been the norm. Not that it's a bad thing, I love all things ham, I really do. It's just not invigorating sometimes. I did have a delicious falafel yesterday. That's not that unusual for me, though, I haven't challenged myself or stimulated myself with different foods. I think that's going to start to change tomorrow, though. For you see, I'll be heading to the Amana Colonies for their annual Taste Louisiana Cajun & Zydeco Fest. (really, what says Louisiana more than a small German community in rural Iowa?)

I've always contended that I was born in the wrong era in the wrong part of the country. I should've been born about 80 years ago in New Orleans. I love Creole food (etouffee, jambalaya, gumbo, crawfish, pralines [pronounced praw-leens], beignets, the whole deal, and spicy spicy spicy) and the music (I dig Zydeco, but my real passion is the New Orleans-style jazz). Sometime in the future, I want to spend some time in New Orleans. I don't think I'd necessarily want to live there, but I still want to take it all in. And eat the food. Here's a couple photos to show everyone what I'll be stuffing into my face in about 24 hours. Hei toi!


A plate of crawfish

The proper way to eat a crawfish (I'll most likely inadvertantly stick my pinkie in the air, because that's what I do)

Beignets

Friday, May 25, 2007

Unified Theory of Flenker, phase the second (the drooling dog comparison)

I'm taking a little break here on trying to catch up on the new seasons of Entourage and The Office. A rough, exciting life I'm leading lately. But in my busy, busy, busy recent days (read: sitting around in my underwear until around noon), I've been reflecting a little more, because that what people do in those situations, right? Well, it's lead me to the second part of the Universal Theory of Flenker: The Drooling Dog Comparison

This actually came up in a conversation a month or two ago, about how I handle myself in social situation. My actions were aptly likened to the many different types of drooling dogs one can encounter.

First is the normal, hound-dog drooler. This dog just kind hangs out, looks around, and doesn't really do too much moving around. He's just drooling because that's what he does. He's comfortable, but doesn't really feel like putting too much effort into anything at all. He's just fine with the way things are, and appreciates any attention thrown his way, but won't be put out if none is given. And really, the hound-dog is just there for the food.

Second up is the excited puppy. Now this little guy doesn't quite know what's going on around him, but whatever it is, he likes. He can't quite control himself, all of these things are new to him, so he's looking around, all over the place, trying to let everyone know (at the same time) that things are fun! He's running around, saying hi to everyone and everything he sees, and while he may be getting slobber all over the place, people think it's cute and don't really mind him being under leg all the time. People enjoy the excited puppy, and like having him around. He's a happy pup.

Next is the old, decrepit dog. No one really wants this guy around, but will put up with him, and occasionally will try to make him feel welcome. This old dog does not care about feeling welcome, in fact, he wants everyone to know that he doesn't really want to be there, but doesn't have too much of a say in things. He drools, but doesn't really know it, and really doesn't care. He won't do anything to help his situation because he doesn't want to put in the effort. His hips hurt, he doesn't get around too much, and he likes it that way. He's cranky, irritable, and sometimes a little smelly.

Finally, there's the dog that drools because he just lapped up a lot of water, some of it made it in the mouth, but most of it is on his jowls and basically everywhere else. I don't really know if I need to elaborate too much more on this one, jump to your own conclusions.

So yeah. Most of the time, I'm an excited puppy, happy to be places. Sometimes I'm the hound-dog, content to just chill and enjoy myself, but not running around and causing a ruckus. Very occasionally I can be the old dog that doesn't want to enjoy himself, and I'll just be a pain in the ass all night long for anyone tending to me. The fourth guy can kind of fit in with the others, I think any of them can end up there eventually.

Look for the next installment of the Unified Theory of Flenker, where I delve into the observations I've made on couples. Good times!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Lovely Loney Videos

Sorry that so many of my posts have been just of music-related videos, it may seem kind of like a cheap way to fill up space, but I really, really have enjoyed everything that I've put up, and felt that I needed to share with everyone. These videos are no exception.

Both of these videos were sent to me today by Marin, who shares my love for all things Loney, Dear.

First up is the song "I Love You (In With the Arms)", just a beautiful song


And next is "The City, The Airport


These are a couple of great songs from a great band. I especially like the use of the bari-sax and the contra-alto clarinet, two instruments that aren't used enough in pop music. Also, I'm pretty sure I'm in love with Malin (the girl in Loney, Dear). She was way-super-cute when I saw them in Minneapolis, and I've been smitten ever since.

These guys put on an incredible show, so if they're near you, go see them, I urge you. They'll be in Chicago on June 1, which is as close as they're getting to me any time soon, and I unfortunately most likely won't be able to make it. Check out their website or myspace page for more tour information.

I'll be back with a real post later, I promise.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Google me this

I like to keep an eye on how people are finding my little spot on the web, sometimes, it can be pretty humorous.

Someone today found my site by googling "Zach Braff is a jerk."

Quite a few people have come here through the blog catalog, because I used the tag "boobs" on a couple of posts. Sorry guys, this is one of the few sites where there most likely will not be any photos of boobs.

I've gotten people here who are looking for some bands, such as Rock Plaza Central, or quotes from books (like Seymour, an Introduction)or songs. "I'd Go the Whole Wide World" seems to be popular lately.

I've had a couple of people who are looking for Iowa City food. Which makes me happy, I hope I've helped them out

But my absolute favorite google search that has brought people here, the one that makes me feel like I'm really something, is one simple word:

BEEYAH!!!

Grilled by Boobs

The lovely Boob Lady has been so kind as to send some interview questions my way. I never was one to turn down a girl, so here are my replies:

1. If you could be any animal, what would you be and why?

I've always liked horses, they're big and powerful and pretty majestic-looking. So I think I'll choose a horse. Especially one that's put out to stud. Yeah.

2. If you had boobs, what would be the first thing that you would do with them?

Is this assuming I'm still a man and have (female) boobs? Because if so, it'd probably take me a week to leave the room, I'd be too preoccupied. I'd poke and prod them, just to see what that felt like, to be on the receiving side. Jostle them around and whatnot.

3. Do you have any special talents that we should know about? What are they and how do they get you into places for free?

My talent for getting into places for free I guess would have to be my ability to make small talk with anyone, and to get to know the right people. Since I don't have the boobs to rely upon, I have to use my superior wit to get me into places. That would be my special talent. Wit, and being unashamed to talk to nearly anyone about anything.

4. If you were a car, what kind of tires would you use? Why?

I would have 205x55x16 tires. That's what I currently have on my car. Low profile, like myself, and they look good. They're hard to find and expensive as hell, so it's a pain when I have to get new ones, but they ride so smooth, they're worth it. Also like myself.

5. When was the last time your feelings were hurt? What did you do? How did you remedy the situation?

It takes quite a bit to hurt my feelings, I think. It doesn't happen too often. Most of the time, if I do have hurt feelings, it's because of something stupid, like I'll have a whole afternoon of people not answering or returning my phone calls, so I'll feel like everyone is ignoring me or I upset people somehow. To remedy the situation, I'll usually do something to keep myself entertained (blogging) or bitch to someone I can get ahold of (usually Marin).

***

Now if you want to be interviewed by Flenker, you know the deal. Post a comment here or something, and I'll send you some questions. Sweet

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

A new friend and some music vids!

First, I want to point out a new link to one of my friend's blogs. I know Sarah D through her boyfriend: we graduated from high school together, and he's in Racoo-oo-oon with my roommate Daren. Sarah's supercool, though. We ran into each other at the Animal Collective show, then hung out with some friends afterwards. So say "Hi" to Sarah.

I'm feeling a little better tonight, but still have a sore throat. I hate that. And my nose is stuffed up. I hate that too. But I made it through work, and now have a day off tomorrow to just lay around and do what I please. Which will probably be going downtown somewhere to use a little more reliable internet. It's been pretty spotty here, but I can't really complain too much. You get what you pay for. There's a chance of thunderstorms the next two days, so I'm very excited. For one, rain will help knock down some of the pollen in the air, and two, I love thunderstorms. It'll give me the perfect chance to listen to Lucy's mix CD she sent me, which she titled "Rainy Day." I've listened through it once all the way through, and hit a couple songs again, and I like it! I think it'll be a nice thing to have playing on a rainy day, so I hope I have the opportunity to enjoy it as it's meant to be heard. Also, I have to give mad props to Lucy, she went all out and made a different themed CD for each person participating in the exchange! That's going the extra mile! Maybe I'll figure out the best way to have everyone talk about the mixes they received... We'll see. For now, just soak them in and enjoy.

Also for your enjoyment, here are some video clips from Friday's Animal Collective show, stolen from YouTube! Check it out and be jealous that I was there. The last clip is my roommate's band Raccoo-oo-oon. They're currently on tour now, so if they're heading to your neck of the woods, go check them out, tell them Flenker sent you. Maybe they'll give you a sticker or something. (disclaimer: I don't know if they really have stickers or not. but they do have records for sale. buy them, so Daren can pay me his part of the energy bill. Thanks)

(Second disclaimer: this clips don't do the show justice, the sound is crap compared to the live thing. But it'll give you a little idea of the awesomeness that rock my balls this night.)







Just for fun here's the actual video for that last song- "Who Could Win a Rabbit"


Raccoo-oo-oon (excuse the cheesy editing)

Sick?!?

So I haven't been too active posting on here, mainly because I haven't been too active in my day-to-day routine. I've been battling a cold/allergies for a few days, which basically leaves me too exhausted for anything else. Or I'm being lazy. Either way. But I've been having trouble falling asleep and then staying asleep at night, so first I'll take some Benadryl, and wait for that kick in. I must always be impatient or something, because I'll get into kind of a haze from that, a haze in which I do not sleep, and I decide I need to take NyQuil, because I apparently decide that I have a cold. Then I sleep for about 11 hours. It's nice, but then I wake up feeling all groggy and in a stupor from the NyQuil hangover. And then my nose gets stuffy and eyes are itchy all over again. It sucks, I tell ya.

Mixes are starting to appear in people's mailboxes! I'll do a little more in-depth post about the Exchange later, when I get all of the mixes and what not. I'll also probably try to make a post about my mix soon, explaining the significance of some songs and the like. So look forward to that. When I'm recovered from being a wimp about this stuffy nose.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Animal Collective 2 - The Show

Show last night: awesome. My roommate and I headed down around 5-ish and got a wrist band, which assured us of a ticket. Which was good, apparently they ran out of the wrist bands pretty soon after we got ours.

The opener was alright, Sir Richard Bishop. He played mostly guitar instrumental songs, at least one by Django Reinhardt, and was pretty good. He did sing for a couple of songs, but I wasn't quite as into those. They were kind of funny, but I prefered the guitar playing. The song he played that I liked the best was a medley of "Over the Rainbow" from Wizard of Oz, and The Beatles' "Nowhere Man." He called it "Nowhere Over the Rainbow." It actually worked pretty well as a medley. I thought it was clever.

Animal Collective rocked pretty hard. (Though I do wish I would have brought some ear plug, or some sort of ear protection. . . We were about 7 feet from a speaker. My ears are still ringing.) They played a lot of new stuff early, and then ended with some of their older songs. The crowd was into the show the whole time, and supplied deafening applause after the last song. Maybe it was just deafening to me, seeing as how I had spent the last 2.5 hours taking an aural beating. But it was well worth it, the show was great, if anyone reading this is in or near a town where they're going to be playing soon, I'd strongly recommend you go see them. The band is full of energy, and it comes through in their music. Definitely something you don't want to miss. I'll try to find some photos or movie clips from the show last night, if I can steal them from someone.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Animal Collective

Well I just got off of work, but I'm only stopping in for a quick update. I'll be heading downtown soon to pick up a ticket for the Animal Collective show at the Picador tonight. Things worked out well, I was able to switch hours around and work during the day in order to make it to the show. Now I just need to hope that it's not yet sold out...

Anyways, if you've never heard Animal Collective before, check out their myspace page, and enjoy! I'll try to update afterwards, it's an early show, so I think it should be done by 10. Until then, enjoy your Friday!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Songs to work to

Lately, Don Henley's song "Boys of Summer" has been playing at my workplace, and every time I hear it, I get pumped up. I know not why. I just get really excited, and sing along, even though I only know about 13 words to the song. It's an ok song, I've never been a huge Don Henley/Eagles fan (to borrow a quote from The Big Lebowski, "I hate the fuckin' Eagles, man"). Maybe this song reminds me of baseball, just the phrase "boys of summer" does it for me.

Anyways, this song has gotten added to my list of "Favorite Work Songs," songs that are played over the intercom system at work. Songs that get me going, or that I like to sing along to, or songs that I just flat-out enjoy.

"Ain't Too Proud to Beg" by the Temptations is by far my favorite song on this list. As soon as I hear the opening drum fill, I perk up and start singing and dancing. This is an awesome song outside of work, and to hear it while I'm clocked in makes it even better. (Kind of like how pooping on the clock is awesome. It just feels good to be getting paid while you're doing that. And every time I'm on the john, Bill gets a text message. That's the sort of relationship we have.) It's gotten to the point where co-workers will tell me if they've heard the song recently, because they just associate it with me. Awesome! There's another co-worker of mine who loves the song as I do, and we were working together this past Sunday morning when it came on. We instantly looked at each other and grinned, in an only slightly homo-erotic way.



My second favorite song is Bill Withers' "Ain't No Sunshine." This is just a great soul song with an awesome groove. Also, the first time that I heard this song playing at work, it was at a very appropriate time in my life. So yeah. Almost as importantly, it give me a chance to post this video. Bill Withers is the man. And his drummer is definitely a cool cat.



Third up is "Into the Mystic" by Van Morrison. Morrison has got one of the most soulful voices of any white dude. I dig it. And this song is a perfect example of his voice. I love the horn parts in it, but the best feature of this song is just the singing. (sorry about the weird video for it, it was the best thing I could find. But enjoy the song, while watching some neato sea-life!)



I'll just leave it at my Top 3 right now, but I've got a good start on my next Mix CD for another exchange. These are just the cream of the crop, so to speak.

Summer, summer, summertime (summertime)

I love this city in the summer. The students are gone, so it's a little calmer all over the place, parking spots can be found, as can a table in a bar. Everyone seems to be a little happier, the assbag level of the town is lower, and I think everyone is just a little more relaxed. It's great. Plus, most of the people that I know around here stay for the summer, so I feel like there's a greater chance that I'll run into someone that I know downtown, just because the ratio is so much higher. Not that I didn't run into people during the year, but, like the rest of the summer, it just feels like a better time. And people are generally more available to hang out or do stuff during the summer, and the weather can be nice, at least in the early parts. When we get to 100+ degrees with 80% humidity in a month or two, I'll change my mind. But when it's like today, 72 and sunny, it can't be beat.

Again, I'm extremely tired, and apologize if I'm rambling or saying some inane stuff. I fell asleep for a little while, but woke up and felt the urge to blog. Unfortunately, I don't have anything interesting going on, so it makes or a dull post. Which is probably the norm around here of late. Really, though, there's not a lot going on for me, even though I'm feeling busy during the days. I read (in the middle of Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs, still very good), go for walks, grill, and just hang out. And suffer from the seasonal allergy stuff. That sucks. I can't quite decide if I'm getting a cold or just having allergy symptoms, so I don't know what to take. Lately, I've gone the allergy route and had it work out ok.

Wow, I'm even boring myself to tears, and I love hearing about myself. . . I can't imagine what anyone out there is doing, if they've made it this far. Sorry, I'll come back tomorrow when I'm with it, and make a better attempt at being somewhat entertaining.

And just so you know, I deleted a whole, rather long paragraph about nothing whatsoever. I've been known to do that from time to time; in high school, I wrote full pages in a couple of people's year books, without really saying anything of substance. I really wish I still talked to those people, so I could see if they still had it, and see how absolutely childish I probably sound. Unless I said something extremely profound. But something's telling me that there's only a (very) slim chance of something life-altering coming out of my mind, especially at a time when I was playing the role of the "angst-y teenager." Seeing stuff I was actually trying to write well from that period makes me cringe up enough as it is, I can't imagine what seeing something I was intentionally trying to sound vapid would be like. Possibly an enlightenment. I should find these people. It could at least make for an entertaining post.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

rush rush rush

Maybe Jad would have better input on this, but for people participating in the Great Blogger Mix CD Exchange, when you are filling out the customs form to send your mix to Canada, be sure to check that it is a gift, and that there's no value for it. I know, your mix is priceless, and will be treated as such. But I don't exactly know how it works, and we wouldn't want our Canadian friend to have to pay any duties or anything like that. Again, if you want to weigh in on this and let us Yankees know what the hell is going on, it'd be appreciated. I've only sent a few things up North, and that's the way I've always done it.

So this is going to be a rather short post, but I'm low on time and have too many things that I want to try to do. Then I have to go to work at 3. Again, it will be with some people I like, so that'll be fine. But it'll be nice to have a night off tomorrow. I don't know what it is, but since school has been out, I feel like I'm busier than ever. And I'm not doing anything at all, really, just grilling and walking and reading and playing games and working. That's been my day today. It's great. I like not having that many responsibilities and obligations at the moment. I guess I need to enjoy it while I can.

But not at the moment. Now I need to go home and get ready for work. Tomorrow, though, the day will be mine!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

A loverly day, and some defensive works of art

So the mixes have been official sent out of Iowa City! The amazing thing with the new postal rates, so I've found, is that it was cheaper for me to send the package to Jad in Canada than it was for me to send the same exact package to H in Minneapolis. 16 cents cheaper! Now I'm no geologist, but last I checked, Minneapolis was a touch closer than Ottawa is to Iowa. (Now before I get comments or emails about it, I purposely said geologist. It's humor, people!) So those should be arriving shortly, I imagine those in the Midwest will be getting theirs in the next couple of days. Be excited, be very excited!

The weather here is incredible Flenker-weather, a little rainy and in the 60's. I love it. Even if I walked for about a mile in it and ended up with soaking wet hair. It was well worth it.

The Royals have put together a little streak, winning two games in a row! John Buck was the hero last night, hitting a 2-run homer in the 9th to break a scoreless tie. Way to go John, I give you mad props. Mad props are also given to Mark Teahen for throwing Mark Ellis out on an attempted sac-fly. Teahen is leading the league in outfield assists with 10. Good defense is the way to my heart. I'll take a defensive gem over a mammoth home run any day. While chicks may dig the long ball, The Flenker is down with the D. Web Gems is my favorite segment of Baseball Tonight, I've literally jumped out of my seat at times while watching. A shortstop making a play deep in the hole, then turning and pulling off a perfect jump-throw? Sexy. Ozzie Smith's play with the Padres, the one where he's diving for the ball, but it hits a rock and takes a funny bounce, but he's still able to make the play, bare-handed? I still can't believe it every time I see it. Willie Mays' over-the-shoulder catch of Vic Wertz's fly ball in the World Series? Amazing.

You know what? I'm ending my post with those videos. Just so I can watch them over and over again. Enjoy!


Ozzie Smith's play



Willie Mays (possibly the most famous play in baseball history)

Monday, May 14, 2007

Tired

It's been a long day. Last night was spent celebrating my brother's girlfriend's 21st birthday and later me inadvertently nearly destroying my desk. And somehow getting a HUGE bruise on my knee, a pain in my left hand, a scratch across my chest, and just overall soreness. I really have no idea how that happened. I wasn't that drunk, just tired. I'd been up since 8, and had taken some allergy medicine early on in the day, so that probably didn't help. But really, I could have been mistaken for drunk before I left, I was getting words wrong in phone conversations and misspelling everything in emails.

I think just my overall loopiness affected me more than anything. Bill got a couple of drunken calls, so I'll have to hear his report on those before I come to any conclusions on how I was faring. I will say that I was more coherent than anyone else at the party. Which isn't really saying much. (It was rather ominous when I was going up the stairs to this bar only to see another fellow, who had also been celebrating his birthday, being carried down the stairs by a group of his friends. Once they reached the sidewalk, the dude was promptly dropped. Nice guys.) Bill also apparently was the recipient of a text message sent by myself, asking "Why does my thumb smell like teen spirit?" I have no idea what that means, but I vaguely remember waking up and sending it. Again, that was more of an out-of-it thing than a drunken message. Like the times that I've called people in my sleep. Or when others have woken me from my slumbers, and I cannot recall a single part of the conversation. Once I saw the message I had sent, though, I was almost in tears laughing. I can be a funny guy when in a daze, I guess.

Today was mostly spent bumming around again, going to the park and finishing up the mix CD's (they will be in the mail tomorrow!) and reading. Work tonight, though, was hell. Postal rates increased today, and of course we ran out of the 2-cent stamps that make up the difference in the hike. And people were not pleased by that fact. Then I literally got a small garbage sack filled with disposable cameras and rolls of film to be developed. Doing one-hour can be fun, but when it gets boring and tedious, it can make for a long night. Especially when the pictures are from a funeral (I seriously had two separate orders that had casket photos.), it doesn't improve my outlook on the day. Although, I did have some photos of a newborn baby, taken at the hospital. This kid was bringing a strong sack, that's for sure.

Ok, I don't really know if that last paragraph really made any sense. Especially near the end. But once again, I'm having a hard time typing, and my eyelids are having a hard time staying open. I will leave you with a bedtime story that someone suggested that I write, incorporating a mustache, whipped cream, and handcuffs. So here is "Ordinary Nights." (note: this has no basis in any real-life events. This is just me rambling on about a pretty ridiculous premise. Just let me go with it, I'll be finished soon enough.)

It was a Saturday night, and I was sitting at the kitchen table when she jumped me. It was a sneak attack that I didn't see coming, made with such litheness that a cat burglar would have been green with envy. First she handcuffed my arms behind my back, and then secured my legs to those of the chair, rendering me helpless. Then came the whipped cream. She knew right where to put it to annoy the piss out of me: above my lips and below my nose. Yes, I was given a Redi-Whip mustache. Now I love dairy products as much as the next guy, but I have a little trouble when it comes to anything edible coming out of a squeeeze can. And, to add to the embarrassement, I could do nothing about it. Not that I really would have, I was kind of curious as to where this was going, and I really wanted to know what I would look like with a mustache. I gotta say, it wasn't bad. If only I could grow one as full as the whipped cream had been. That is, until it started to melt and run down my face. Once I got a taste of it, I realized that my hatred of all things aerosol may have been unfounded, the deliciousness of it was too much for me to handle. In an epic display of power, I burst through my shackles, leapt up, and grabbed the can. After applying a mustache to my assailant that would have made Magnum P.I. proud, I emptied the rest of the contents into my mouth. Ironically, the whipped cream ended up coming out my nose, giving me another mustache. With our matching mustaches, I grabbed her arm, ran to the window and said "Look at all those stars. It's a beautiful night. . . to sleep! I'm tired. goodnight." And I ran to bed, buried myself under the covers and waited for my mustachioed friend.

I may have lost my focus at the end. I'm pretty sure those are my exact thoughts entering my head, so yeah. Anyways, it's still a solid story, I'll be waiting for my bedtime story writing prize.

nighty night every body. I promise I'll try to have a normal post tomorrow.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Hi Mom!

Today was a bum-around day for me, and I accomplished that with flying colors. Aside from 12-2 today, when I actually was doing work, helping my sister move into her new apartment, I didn't really do much of anything. I played some video game football (I won 2 out of 3 games, I'm bringing SMU back) and grilled out on my own. Then I helped my sister get a wireless card for her computer. I also had a vanilla Frosty from Wendy's. It was delicious.

I guess it's not entirely true, I did get something done today. . . All of my mix CD's are almost ready to go out, I just need to trim up the inserts a little bit and put them in the envelopes. So participants of the Great Blogger Mix CD Exchange, be checking your mailboxes this week for To the Beat of Rock & Roll! (a mix cd). Exciting times ahead, I'm really looking forward to getting everyone's mixes, and I'm really proud with how mine turned out. Something for everyone! Yay!

With tomorrow being Mother's Day, I thought I'd use this to share with everyone how great my mom is. She's great! She takes me and my bro and my sis out to eat, will buy me and my bro beers whilst out (sis is too young still, so I'm sure she's never had a drop of alcohol), and will get drunk with us on occasion. She's put up with me for 26.5 years, the changing of my major 3.5 years into college, and with my occasional need for a little help with the phone bill, rent, etc. She rides a Harley, so that's pretty cool, I guess. She's one of my facebook friends. (yes, I have facebook. I'm sorry. I stopped for a while, but got back into it again. Sue me.) So I just want to use this to say thanks Mom. You're pretty awesome. (I don't think she'll ever actually read this, and I kind of hope not because she'd probably kill me for putting that picture up. That's my step-dad, Bruce, with the goofy grin on his face.)

Friday, May 11, 2007

You sleep while I write this all down

I was given a CD the other day by a coworker, a mix he had made of mostly hip hop songs. I dig them very much. However, there was one song on there that really caught my ear, not exactly hip hop, it has more of an "indie" feel to it, but I instantly fell in love. It will be on the CD I send out for the exchange, so I won't ruin the surprise quite yet (the only hint I will give is that the title for today's post comes from the song's lyrics). But this late arrival may throw things off a bit, I thought I had my mix mostly laid out, now I'll just need to do a little adjusting. Luckily, I'm feeling like a lame-o tonight and don't really feel like going out, even though the beer will be flowing like water. It's a friend's girlfriend's birthday, and she decided to go to a bar which gives a pretty good deal on pitchers for birthdays. Unfortunately, this bar sucks. It's probably my least favorite bar in town. So if you're ever in town and want to go to the Fieldhouse, you can go, just don't count me in. I'd much rather be sitting around my place, drinking beer in my underwear. Much like tonight.

Today's been a pretty good day, I got some stuff done around my place, I did some grocery shopping (so I can finally stop eating out for every meal), played some frisbee golf with a buddy, ate a couple grilled hot dogs, hung out downtown for a little while, came home, drank some beers (it is a great night for a Tom Collins, but I'm going with something sort of similar, Leinie's Summer Shandy), and listened to some excellent music. Sounds like a pretty full day to me! I'll cap it off by doing some reading.

I finished up Timequake about a week ago. It was a great book, and became one of my favorite Vonnegut books. Now I'm reading Chuck Klosterman's Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs, and already love it, only 30 pages deep. If you haven't heard of it, it's basically about pop culture, stuff like "The Real World" and The Sims and John Cusack. I'd strongly recommend it already, even if I've barely started. I really should do more in-depth reviews of the books I've read recently, I feel like I haven't given both Timequake and An Evening of Long Goodbyes their due props. And they each deserve mad props. So that may be coming in the near future. Not tomorrow, it's going to be a busy day of avoiding anything graduation related, then moving my sister, and then probably drinking at a friend's party. A rough life, that is to be sure.

Will the real Flenker please stand up

So I guess this was a little easier than I thought. My little brother, the other Flenker pictured, is indeed Possible Flenker E.

Flenker For Sure

(Lucy was the first response, so maybe she'll get a little treat sent her way...) The other guys are all friends of mine. Possible Flenker A is Jeff, a friend I met through Bill and H; B is Curt, a one-time roommate now living in Thailand with his wife and kid; C is Stover, we were once in a ska band together, he played trombone, and also holds a few records in the state of Iowa for a high school quarterback; D is my roommate Daniel; E is Das Trivas; F is my brother's roommate Jake.

So what I want to know is this: how could you people, people who have never met any Flenker (that I know of), so easily pick out my brother, just based on a few pictures? I'm impressed, I must say. (And H, don't say that we look exactly alike. I'm calling you out on that one right now!)

Here's one last photo. It's one that I posted before, but it's the only picture I can find right now that has both of the Brothers Flenker. I think any other photos were just too hot for the camera to handle.




New people that we meet or people that don't know us that well always seem to think he is the older brother. I don't get it. Maybe it's my boyish good looks. I don't know.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Undercover Brother?

Minty gave me this idea earlier in the week, and since I've mentioned the Brothers Flenker a couple of times, I might as well put a face to the name. Now I did put a picture of my bro a little while ago, so please, no cheating and looking that up again. But, which one of these fine young men is my brother?!? First person to guess correctly will get mad props. Maybe I'll figure out some sort of prize, but chances are I won't... You'll just have to accept my appreciation on this one. Also, if you know me in "real life," you cannot guess. Where's the fun in that?

First up, is Possible Flenker A












A dark an mysterious picture, indeed, but would a Flenker give such a menacing look?

Possible Flenker B is next












He's got the baseball cap going, but would a Flenker be able to pull off a shirt like that?

Possible Flenker C












Flenkers have been all over. Has a Flenker (besides me) been to the top of the Empire State Building?

Possible Flenker D












Quite the charming fellow, with a nice wink. Both Flenker qualities. But are we related??

Possible Flenker E












The beautiful man hair is flowing with this gent, but is it beautiful Flenker man hair?

Possible Flenker F












Dashing good looks always accompany a Flenker. But would a Flenker drink something like this?


So there you go. Spot the Real Flenker! I will post tomorrow with the answers. . .

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

It's anything but trivial to me

Generally, I'm a nice, laid-back, easy-going guy, I really am. Once the board comes out, and the pie pieces are lined up, however, the gloves come off, and I am a cold-blooded killer. I of course am referring to the wondrous game that is Trivial Pursuit. I will yell, I will throw things, I will make people cry. I will show no mercy. If my brother and I team up, we are a nearly unstoppable force, spewing knowledge left and right, occasionally pulling an educated guess out of our collective ass, and usually nailing it. Who's listed in the Guinness Book of World Records for the most claps? Vanna White. On what two NBA teams did Kareem Abdul Jabbar play? Milwaukee Bucks and the LA Lakers. (oddly enough a movie question, not sports & games.) Who wrote Last of the Mohicans? Come on, anyone from Iowa should know this, especially any Hawkeye. James Fenimore Cooper. (our state nickname "The Hawkeye State" is from this book.) What rodeo even used to be called "Bull Dogging"? Steer wrestling. These are all actual questions from tonight's game, all correctly answered by the Brothers Flenker. We rule.

One thing that always seems to happen, no matter how hard I try to stop it, is a team giving hints to another team. Or people answering when it's not their turn. I cannot stand this. I don't know if there's one thing in this world that gets me as riled up as these actions. Seriously. Like tonight, there were a couple of people in the room that weren't really playing, but when they would hear a question they knew, they would either blurt out the answer or give clues to the correct answer. Oh, and people talking over the one asking the questions. I've never dropped the f-bomb so often, directed at a person. (that's not true. I swear quite often, but I've been good on here so far, I'd like to keep it that way for at least a little while longer. But I do have my moments or whole days when I say the "f word" as a noun. Or adjective. Or adverb. Or a period. I kind of like those days.)

Really, it all depends on who is playing. I've had many a game that was all good and fun. But I've also had games where I thought I was going to flip out and just totally scissor-kick someone right in the head.

The most frustrating, but also one of the funniest games I've been involved in happened a few years ago on the 4th of July. Some friends (Bill, Jim, Jody, Charczuk, and Heinricy) were all down in Muscatine for the holiday, cause that's what we did. We had all just gotten out of the hot tub and had a few Coronas, and decided we could get a game of the Pursuit in before bed. Bill and Heinricy ended up on a team together, much to Bill's chagrin. If there's one thing people should know about Adam is that he can fall asleep at any moment if he's laying down, there have been a few instances of him falling asleep in the middle of a conversation. And of course Adam is laying down during the game, only to be nudged whenever it was their turn. Then someone would read the question, Adam would come up with some answer with logic that was anything but logical to the question, and get it correct. The prime example of this involved a question asking for an American Indian tribe, I can't remember what it was exactly. Anyways, Heinricy wakes up, is told the question, and says, "well I had a 'Navajo taco' for lunch today, so let's go with Navajo." And it was correct. Bill and Adam ended up winning the game. I was displeased at the time. I think it's hilarious now.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

I can't even come up with a good title

It's a goddamn perfect day outside right now, so pardon me if I keep this to a few brief hits of wisdom from Das Flenker.

  • I am now officially done with classes at the University of Iowa. It feels good, real good. I've really been done for a little while now, but turned in my last paper today. Now that I'm done, I feel relieved, but not really sure where to go from here. I think this summer is going to be a time of waiting for me, savoring my last few months in Iowa City and preparing for the move south.
  • I still haven't gotten any new running shoes, but there are a few that I'm considering. I like adidas, I always have worn their shoes, so I'm leaning towards a couple of pairs from them. But if anyone has any suggestions or recommendations, I'd be happy to look at others.
  • This time of the year is usually pretty excellent outside, but it always brings about allergies. It sucks. I never suffered from them until about 5 years ago, and then they started hitting me full-force. Watery eyes, sneezing, itchy eyes, nose, and mouth (having the roof of my mouth be itchy is the worst), runny nose, the whole works. Thanks Mom. (my mom had hay fever, but would still help put hay up in the loft when we lived on the farm. At least, she'd help out until she was unable to breathe, at which point she would stop.)

More to come later, I promise. Sorry this post kinda sucks, I can't really focus and I just really want to get outside and do stuff. It's too nice to be staring at a computer screen when I have other options. For those of you stuck at work today, I need to get out and enjoy the weather for you! For all of us!

Monday, May 07, 2007

Hot Fuzz-y Action

Sign up for the Great Blogger Mix CD Exchanged has closed, everyone participating should have all the information they need to start mixing and sending. If you missed out on this exchange, don't worry. Keep checking here, and there may be another GBMCDE in the future.

So as I said the other day, I saw Hot Fuzz this past Friday, and enjoyed it very much. If you were a fan of Shaun of the Dead, you'd like this, and if you weren't, well check this one out, it's different enough that it's worth a shot. HF is a little more ridiculous in some aspects, especially towards the end, and was surprisingly graphically violent, which just added to the ridiculousness and the hilarious-ness of it. Definitely a good time, plenty of laughs abound. I give it 4-and-a-half "Flenker Thumbs-Up." (One "Flenker Thumbs-Up being Signs, five being Field of Dreams, and 37 being Stranger Than Fiction)

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Fight Night

Yesterday was a long, but rather uneventful day for me. I worked 7-3, which is always nice, it goes by so quickly. After work, I went to Muscatine to take care of my mom's dog for a few hours. While in Mtine, I hung out with KP for a while, switching back and forth between baseball, the Bulls' game (ugh) and the first Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie. Good times.

I got back up to Iowa City around 9, and had enough time to fix myself a Tom Collins or two before heading out to watch the De La Hoya/Mayweather fight. The fight went pretty much as I expected, a split decision for Mayweather, neither fighter got hurt or knocked down. But it was a good fight, one of the bigger fights of my lifetime, definitely the biggest for close to a decade. Part of me wants this fight to spring boxing back into the mainstream, but another part of me feels like this is kind of a swan song- unless there's a rematch, there probably won't be a fight that gets people this excited again. Unless the Klitschko brothers fight each other, which won't happen. This fight didn't play out like one that would get the casual fan into boxing, though. It was too defensive, there were few big punches that landed, and no knock downs or knockouts. There were some really excellent rounds. But the first round was a slow start, the fighters just feeling each other out, and I think it was the ninth round was a pretty dull one, as well. I didn't really think it was as close as the scoring made it out to be, but I was cheering for Mayweather, so I could've been a little biased. The fight was thoroughly enjoyed by me, though, I had a good time, and was glad I was able to watch. It helped that it was a friend's birthday so the beers were free, but I think I would've liked it better just getting together at someone's house with a large TV and had a bunch of food and what not, making it to be a Super Bowl-like event. Kinda hard to get other people to agree to that at 10:30 on a Saturday night in a college town, though.

After the fight, I met up with another friend for a little bit, only a couple of minutes, and then went home for bed. It was a pretty non-social weekend for me so far, I was in bed around 10:30 on Friday and 12:30 last night, went to a movie (Hot Fuzz was hilarious, more to come later) by myself, and played some video games and hung out with a dog. And it was pretty excellent, I'm not going to lie.

(PS - A few people have said they're interested in the Great Blogger Mix CD Exchange but haven't sent me their info yet. . . Hint hint Minty and Adam! Anyone else that wants in should let me know ASAP, so I can get the others the info before they start sending their mixes!)

Friday, May 04, 2007

A Good Chris Day

Today's been pretty awesome, I'm not going to lie. I got up refreshed, and went to play racquetball with a friend of mine. I honestly haven't played in probably 4 or 5 years, but I did alright. I didn't win, but improved along the way, and made it respectable.

Once home, I had a leftover brat with some grilled onions and a Diet Dr Pepper. Tasty! After that, I showered and got my hair cut! Not too much, just a trim. But it looks damn fine, if I do say so myself. The only bummer for the day has been the "internet" not working at home, but I'm at the library now for this quick update. Nothing The Flenker! can't handle.

Next, I will be heading to a matinee of Hot Fuzz, and then going and getting some new running shoes to break in for this year's Bix 7! Then I'll probably just chill, eat a delicious dinner, and relax with a Tom Collins, maybe watch a movie at home or something. But damn, don't that sound like quite the day? Right on!

Oooh, one last thing, the emails have been sent for the Great Blogger Mix CD Exchange! If you wanted to participate and didn't receive the email, let me know. Address have been sent out, so hopefully some mix CDs will be sent out!!! I'm excited for this. If you still want to participate, let me know, I'll get you in!!!

Alright, later folks! Have a wonderful day, I know I am! Beeyah!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Another restaurant off the list

Tonight I had dinner at Guido's Deli & Market for the first time, and I must say I was impressed. While the service left a little to be desired, the food more than made up for it. W started off with an artichoke dip that my dad and step-mom had ordered, served with some toasted bread. Very garlicky, very good. Then I had a cup of black bean soup, which had a little spice and an excellent flavor. For the main course, I had "The Naturalist," a panini on whole wheat bread, with portabello mushrooms, caramelized onions, roasted red peppers, and tomatoes, and I had them throw on some Monterrey Jack cheese. It was amazing. I cannot emphasize enough the quality of this sandwich. The flavors all added together to create a wonderful experience in my mouth.

My brother had an Italian sandwich and creamy potato soup, my dad a half of an Italian roast beef sandwich with the potato soup, and my step-mom the other half of my dad's sandwich with a salad. Everyone loved what they ate, I wish I could've had a bite of each. And to top it all off, the iced tea was very good, fresh brewed, none of that powdered mix stuff. (it was not the best iced tea I've ever had, though. That distinction belongs to Bread & Chocolate in DC. Damn, that was some fine tea. It came with a sprig of mint in the glass!)

It feels good to cross another eatery off of my list. Hopefully I'll be visiting another new place soon. It's always exciting!

Now, off to watch some playoff basketball action. Go Golden State Warriors!

Tennis, anyone?

I got some tennis in this morning, and, much to my joy, I didn't hurt myself or make a fool out of myself. In fact, I played well for being a little rusty. My first serve occasionally landed in, and actually improved as the game went on. I had some pretty well-placed shots, but then had some that I totally miss-hit and sent all over the place. We played a five set match, which I won in 3 straight sets (6-2, 6-2, 6-4). In fact, I haven't lost in quite some time. The last time I lost was a few years ago, although I'm not officially counting it. (I was playing Marin a day or two after I scratched my cornea. Not good times. I'm pretty sure I lost 0-6, and probably shouldn't have been playing.) That may be a little misleading, however. Most of the times I've played have just been for fun. I should take on my brother sometime soon, though. He's good. Better than me. But when we play, I can usually beat him, only because I can frustrate him by just returning his shots, and not making too many mistakes, forcing him into mistakes. And occasionally hitting my spots.

I should play more often now. There are plenty of courts around Iowa City, it's just a matter of finding someone else to play. Of course, I could always just go and practice my serves by myself. That would give me more opportunities to sport the headband, which I am always ready to do.

I'll leave you now, not with something tennis-related, but a decent compilation of some baseball brawls. Nothing's better than the benches clearing on both sides, and the bullpen trotting in about 3 minutes later. Somehow, no one ever gets hurt. Amazing! I laugh at the Izzy Alcantara fight every time, not only because of the kick, but because there are like 3 or 4 guys on the field who seem a little scared to take him on, not sure what he's going to do. And Nolan Ryan vs. Robin Ventura is a classic. My favorite, though, is my man Mike Sweeney of the Royals, usually a calm, mild-mannered guy, coming out and tossing the helmet before tackling and punching Jeff Weaver. Good times! (I just wish that Pedro Martinez vs Don Zimmer had happened when this was made, that was high comedy.) Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Pimping Boobs; also books and things

First, a thank you to The Boob Lady for linking to my little old blog. Not only linking, but adding an exclamation mark after my name. Flenker! I like it. Thank you, Ms. Boob. I enjoy your blog very much, you keep me entertained with your cookie/ear stories, and the always hilarious cybering posts. The Canadian thing is a big plus, too. And while I'm mentioning the exclamation mark, I will also take this opportunity to thank half the battle, who uses the mark in an arrow when pointing to the Politics of Lonely link. What does Flenker! do to deserve such good blog friends?

To continue some pimping, congratulations to Jad for your graduation! Really, I'm happy for you for a selfish reason, it means that you'll be posting more musical goodness more often!

Krazee Eyez Killa (I am your Caucasian), Lucy (a nice touch with your link here, "the flenker." Maybe I could combine them all. . . The Flenker!), and Minty (also a nice link, simply "Flenker." Understated, classy, true to the man himself. Also, Iowa City awaits), you are all my homies, and to you I say "word!"

And of course, the lovely H. Dear friend and co-conspirator. Much love.

In fact, much love, all around, to everyone! It may be the tail-end of Be Nice Wednesday, but no special day is needed! With blogger friends like you guys, it's pretty awesome all the time. Now keep writing stuff, so TheFlenker! can be entertained.

Now that all that's out of the way, I just wanted to pimp myself one last time, last chance for anyone who wants to join in the Great Blogger Mix CD Exchange! I'm going to send an email out to everyone participating on Friday, to let everyone know the addresses to send their mixes. Email me at flenker@gmail.com with your address if you want to be a part of the fun.

I haven't been doing very well reporting on the books I'm reading. . . I finished An Evening of Long Goodbyes and liked it very much! There's a definite mood shift about midway through, and the ending really got me. I won't give too much away, so you'll have to read it for yourself. I think H called it next, so anyone wanting to borrow it will have to wait until she's done. (Is a blogger book exchange in the works? Probably not.) The main reason I picked it off the shelf was the title, and the cover reminded me of that Old Spice commercial with Bruce Campbell. Plus, author Paul Murray was compared to Nick Hornby on the cover, so I was intrigued. I'm glad I grabbed it.

Now I'm reading through Timequake by Kurt Vonnegut. It's going by quickly, mostly because it's a hilarious book! I'll tell more about that later. I need to get some sleep now, tennis awaits me in the morning.

True Blue Tradition

As you may have noticed, there haven't been many posts here of late about baseball, specifically the Royals. Well, they haven't been doing much, besides having the worst record in baseball. And I really haven't been able to watch many games lately. Hopefully that will change soon, and I'll be heading to some games. I want to go to games in Kansas City, Minneapolis, Milwaukee, and Chicago this summer. Maybe even St. Louis and DC. It'd be nice to be able to see the Royals play in all of those cities, and it may just work out that way, except for DC, they don't play them this season. It'll take some planning, but obviously KC will be a Royals game, as will the Milwaukee game. And I think there are like at least 6 more games for the Royals in Chi-town and Minneapolis, each. I might even make it to a game or two down in Texas. We'll see. I'm excited for the travel, very excited for the games. I just hope that the Royals can get out of the cellar, and maybe avoid 100 losses this season. I predicted a 75-win season for them in this post, and I still think it's attainable. They just need to start playing. I was very happy to hear that outfielder/first baseman/DH Billy Butler got called up to The Show, but I wish it wasn't at the expense of Ryan Shealy, who was put on the 15-day DL this week. Gil Meche has been pitching well, now the rest of the starters and the bullpen need to get it together. Zach Greinke has also pitched well, and has regained his spot in my heart as one of my favorite players. He didn't mean to hit Torri Hunter at all, let alone in the face. But I like that he's not afraid to go up and in, and he will plunk a hitter right in the ass if they need it. Good to have you back, Zach.

The Red Scare Royals haven't been faring well, either. We're in 10th place out of 14 teams, after getting drubbed by the last-place team last week. For those of you unfamiliar with head-to-head fantasy baseball, there are a number of categories (in my league it's 10) that your players earn stats. Each week, you match up against, or "play," another team in the league, and the team that accumulates the better numbers will win the stat category. Here's an example, from the current week:













Batting













Pitching

































Team





























R








HR








RBI










SB













AVG














W








SV





K











ERA




















WHIP









Score












The Red Scare Royals




























9







2







12









3












.310













1







0




11










5.27



















1.68








5












Twins




























9







4







5









3












.214













0







1




7










5.68



















1.58








3


So both of our players have had the same amount of runs scored (R), so we're tied. His players have hit 4 home runs (HR) to my 2, so he's leading that right now, hence the bold. I'm leading in runs batted in (RBI), so that's bolded. Etc. Right now I'm up 5 categories to 3, but this goes all week, Monday through Sunday, and the stats accumulated during the week by players that each team starts add up. It's kind of confusing at first, but trust me, it's fun. At least if you're way into baseball. Like me.