Wednesday, December 28, 2005

This is so good that it makes me angry.

I was watching a show on Sundance this evening called Iconoclasts.  It features an interview of one iconoclast by another.  This one had chef Mario Betalli interviewing Michael Stipe.  I came in on the last bit of it, so I don't know how good the whole thing was, but the part that I watched was interesting.  There was something that Michael Stipe said that resonated with me.  He said, "That song is so good that it makes me angry."  He was talking about U2's song It's a Beautiful Day.  He ended up saying that he liked the song so much that he was angry that he didn't write it himself.  I've had a similar experience on several occasions.  You see something that you were capable of doing, but just didn't think of it.  Or, even worse, you’d didn't think of it and even if you had, you probably wouldn't have been able to pull it off.  

On a completely unrelated note, I'd just like to say, "Shame on J.C. Penny's".  I was standing outside the women's dressing room at Penny's.  Why I was standing outside a women's dressing room is a different story, but while looking into the dressing room, I noticed the mirror.  This is one of those three way mirrors that you use to decide if this outfit makes you look fat.  Well, Penny's is cheating.  When I looked at myself, I thought, "Have I gotten taller?"  I was certainly a bit more height and weight proportionate.  As I got closer to the mirror this effect became less pronounced, but I could still see it, they were using a funhouse mirror in the ladies dressing room to make people look skinnier.

One final note, if the day comes, when I think we've sexualized 18 year old college student's too much, then the apocalypse is upon us.  Last night on MTV I caught the first part of a show called Next.  This is a game show where the contestants are vying for the attention of a member of the opposite sex, or the same sex as I'd eventually find out.  Sounds a little like the dating game.  The contestants would get a chance to meet the bachelor/bachelorette one at the time.  If the object of their attention was pissed off at any point in time, they'd shout "next" and the current contestant would be replaced with a new one.  Not a horrible concept and probably not very novel.  I have no real justification as to why I was watching this other than to say that if I see a woman in a bathing suit on TV, I will probably stop flipping channels, at least for a second.  That's when it happened, as each of the contestants introduced themselves, they'd say something memorable.  The first (a buxom blonde) said, "High my name is Rachel and all my friends say I have a very boobly personality."  With that, she points at her barely covered breasts and gives them a wiggle.  Not that I'm proud of it, but at this point I'm already canceling dinner plans and deciding to watch a little more.  The next contestant walks up and says something equally insipid, turns around, lifts her skirt and smacks her own ass.  How this got past the censors, I don't know.  The next girl, a redhead, proudly announces that the mini-blinds match the linoleum, first pointing at her hair, then towards her nether regions.  I think I may have blacked out for a while, because for the life of me I cannot remember what the third contestant looked like.  Once the introductions were over with it came time for the contestants to in turn meet the bachelor.  First was the blonde with the giant boobs.  He took one look at her and sent her back.  I guess he's an ass man.  I think I may have blacked out again for a large portion of the show, but the next thing I remember is the second contestant (the one who smacked her own ass) on a boat with the bachelor.  They were going to go shark diving.  On the way to the site they were chit chatting about nothing in particular.  The conversation stalled and he decided to ask, "Do you have any special talents?"  I think he was wondering if she could play the piano, or tap dance, but she went a completely different way with it.  She proudly states, "I can put both my legs behind my head."  His eyes bug out of his head while she demonstrates.  The most surreal of moments during the show came as she was in the described position conversing with the bachelor.  At one point, she even mentions being able to see her own ass from this position.  Wait.  Can you hear that?  Ah yes, the sound of the four horsemen?  It should not be long now.  For some reason Tivo keeps suggesting this show.  I don't know why.  Can it read my mind?

Is it odd that my so called final note is longer than the post itself?

Friday, December 23, 2005

A tough conversation

Yesterday was a really tough day. I mean really tough. I had dinner with Danielle last night and we talked for quite some time. It was a very emotional experience and I think I'm still digesting it. We'd been planning on and missing one another for dinner for a while so I'd had some time to think about what I was going to say for several weeks. To start with, let me just say that I went into this dinner with a vague notion that I was going to try and get back together with her. I've been dating for a while, but I have to admit to being very unsatisfied and probably lonelier for the experience. Over the course of the last couple of months, I've started to realize how crappy the last year has been. That's not to say that good things have not happened, but rather that I've found them to be very unfulfilling as a whole. I guess there are a lot of things that I could attribute this to, but I think, in my mind, that I've primarily attributed them to the fact that I don't have anyone to share them with. Yes, I've got friends and family, but not the companion and best friend that I once had. I intended to broach the subject and see what her feelings were and if she would be interested in trying again.

Here's where I stop and say that I do and did realize that this was an ill conceived idea that had pretty slim chances of having the intended/desired outcome. I'm also aware of how cheesy and cliche the whole notion is. If you have a problem with that, you can kiss my ass.

What makes this whole process even harder is that she and I know that we have a permanent connection to one another. We will forever be friends. Very good friends that know one another’s deep dark secrets. Friends that know where the bodies are buried. Some people get married and divorced and that will be the end of it, never speak again. We're not going to be those people. We will always love one another even if we aren't in love with one another. At times I think I have trouble distinguishing our platonic love and our history of physical love. When compared to that, my recent forays into the romantic realm have been, um, lackluster. That, combined with the hopeless idea that we might get back together worked to sabotage, in my head, whatever chance those relationships might have had.

So there I am, about half way into bumbling about my feelings and I realize that she's just told me that she's seeing someone and that she's been seeing him for some time. His name is Tim. Blurp Blurp Blurp. That's the noise my brain made at that moment.

I keep thinking of Timmy from South Park. Livin a Lie! Livin a Lie! TIMMY!!!!! Yeah, I know it's not very mature of me, but indulge me in this.

What do I do now? Should I start bawling and blubbering? I didn't, but I might have welled up a little. Should I start shouting, "How Dare You!!!!"? I didn't. Should I sit there and seethe in a rage in front of her until I have a stroke? I didn't.

Danielle is dating someone. Danielle is dating someone? Danielle is dating someone?!?!?!?! I knew this day was coming, so surprise shouldn't be an emotion surrounding this discovery. In fact it wasn't, ok, maybe a little bit, but my surprise was more for the surreality of the situation. I'm sitting here talking to Danielle about her boyfriend. WTF!!! You know what emotion I felt after getting over the initial shock? Relief. Relief to see her sitting across from me talking about someone she really cared about. Relief to have the ambiguity of that path removed from my mind. Relief to see that she'd fallen for someone, and could tell me about it as a friend. I am truly happy for her.

I'd been holding onto the slim chance that we might get back together, but with the knowledge that this futile hope really amounted to a drowning man grasping at straws. Now that the straws are gone, I've been forced to look around and realize that I was probably floundering and splashing in the shallow end of the pool. I just needed to stand up. How's that for an uplifting fucking story?

So with that out of the way, bring on the easy women with low standards!

On a complely unrelated note, I fucking hate when people correct me when I say "Happy Holidays", by saying, "Don't you mean, 'Merry Christmas'?" NO I DIDN'T MEAN MERRY CHRISTMAS. I'M A GODDAMNEDPINKOCOMMIELIBERALHEATHEN AND I DON'T BELIEVE IN YOUR HOLIDAY.

Happy Belated Winter Solstice.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

If you don't buy a lapdance I'm going to kick you in the nuts.

For someone creeped out by strip clubs, I seem to be in and out of them a lot lately. My excuse this time is that it was my friend Stu's birthday and as part of the pub crawl that he'd arranged we were stopping off at Temptation next to the Cigar Box downtown. If you ever have a chance to go to the Cigar Box, do. The lounge singer Al Lota is drop dead funny. If you ever have a chance to go to Temptations next door, save your money. After a fairly full evening it is decided that we were headed to the place already mentioned. Out of all the people in our party, I'm immediately spotted as the target of attention by half the strippers in the place. Can they smell the desperation and discomfort? Maybe it is the deer in the headlights look that I have on my face. I don't know, but I certainly made a lot of people jealous with the attention that I got. Eventually one of the strippers, Fire was what she told me her name was, chased off the rest of them. She had me cornered. I kept saying, "I'm not interested". But every excuse that I came up with was countered with a slurred, she was blitzed, "You don't have to worry about impressing me, I'm going to impress you." My reply to that was, "Well, you're off to a pretty bad start." This went on for nearly 10 minutes. I don't know what I did to deserve this, but this chubby, stringy haired drunk stripper wouldn't leave me alone. "Look, I just want to sit here and have a drink with my friends and then leave. Can't you just leave me alone?" To that, she responded, "If you don't buy a lapdance I'm going to kick you in the nuts. Now it doesn't have to be from me, but if you leave here without buying a lapdance from somebody, I am going to kick you in the nuts". When I laughed at this, she got pissed and left to find a new victim.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Jarhead and Sin City

I spent most of yesterday finishing the installation of a new garage door opener and cleaning out the garage. I can now get two cars and my bike into the garage which is going to be nice when winter gets here. Once that was done, it was warm enough that I wanted to get the bike out for what I think will be one of the last rides of the season. I managed to get a couple of hours in and ran into Leavenworth to give Mom some help with a carpet cleaner that I'd loaned her. It turns out there was a loose nut on the handle, my mom.

Once I got home, I smelled like hell. No shower + working outside + 3 hours on the bike = stinky. I then realized that I hadn't eaten much that day and decided to go and get something to eat. On the way to the dinner, I stopped at the movie theater and saw Jarhead. I hadn't intended to see the movie, but I saw that it was playing at the Majestic and just hopped in. It was a pretty good movie, not anything groundbreaking, but it was certainly a good movie. It ended early and I got out of there at about nine. I didn't stop for dinner, because they served drinks and food at the theater. I got home by 9:30 and was bored shitless. Rather than get drunk and fall asleep on the couch I threw a movie into the dvd player. It was either Sin City or Hotel Rwanda. I didn't think my psyche could handle Hotel Rwanda, so I threw in Sin City in the player. Once again, not a classic, but certainly a good movie.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Good Night and Good Luck

Well, I just got back from seeing Good Night and Good Luck. For those of you who don't know, it's a look into the McCarthy era and the coverage given by Edward R. Murrow to the hearings given by McCarthy. Kudos to George Clooney. He does an excellent job with this film. On the whole, it isn't as good as Capote, but the subject matter is a bit more timely.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Books I Should Read

I've started keeping a list of books I should read. If you can think of something, tell me and I will add it. I will probably also write up something on the books I have read, once I'm done with them.

Saturday, November 05, 2005


I got a call from the roomate last night asking that I make myself scarce for a couple of hours. Without much time to plan, I decided to catch a movie. Looking at the local independant theater, I saw that both Capote and Good night and Good luck were playing. I decided to go see Capote since it started sooner. By the time I got there I had 40 minutes to kill. I ran over to Matsu to have some dinner. I got out of there just in time to run back to the theater. I get there with enough time to hit the restroom, buy a drink and a cookie and find a seat before the previews were over. The theater was crowded. One of the benefits of seeing a movie by yourself is that you don't have to look for two seats together. I managed to find a seat near the back where I didn't have to player musical armrests with the people sitting next to me. After a couple of previews, the movie starts.

I just have to say that this is by far the best movie I've seen this year. I realize that we are entering oscar whoring season, but I think Philip Seymore Hoffman is amazing in this picture. You watch as Capote is sucked into the world of one of the killers. It happens very inocuously, but eventually leaves Capote seeing himself in the killer. You also see the enotional toll that it takes on him as he ultimately betrays the friendship of the killer in order to find his own peace. The movie sure doesn't paint Kansas as a pretty place. Scenes from Garden City and Lansing are both very bleak, but that may not be too far from the truth. In all this was an amazing movie. I could see Hoffman winning an Oscar for his role in this movie and the movie itself is ultimately Oscar worthy as well.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Commando or call in sick?

When faced with the possibility of going to work without underwear, is it better to go commando or to call in sick and do some laundry?

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Happy friggin Halloween

OK. So last night was the Halloween party. I'd been a little freaked out about this. I had no idea how many people would show up and no idea how well things would go. Add to that the fact that Nicole has been so busy lately that I was doing almost all of the preparation myself. How hard can it be to give a party? If you aren't equipped with the right stuff pretty hard. I had chips, but nothing to serve them in. I had booze, but not enough. I had an ice maker, but it doesn't work. The house is a pig stie and I'm too lazy to pick it up. The list of little problems would go on forever. Eventually Nicole and got everything ready. The first person to show up was Chris. He'd bought an awesome Viking helmet. Real metal and real horns. For a while there was nobody else there. I was a little worried, but I figured that most people were going to be fashionably late. They were. Things turned out well, there were enough people there to keep everyone entertained, but not so many that it was crowded and annoying. I did make the faux pas of not having enough booze on hand. I figured more people would go for the beer, but it turns out that most people were in for mixed drinks. I ran out of rum pretty quickly. There just seems to be something magical about Captain Morgan's Spiced Rum. I think most people would agree that it is yummy. I know that it went pretty fast at the party. I think most people enjoyed themselves. I know I did. I may have been a little over served though. It wasn't so bad that I had to clutch the edges of the bed to keep from being spun off, but thank god nobody needed me to give them a ride somewhere. I might have been capable of a piggy back ride, but that was about it.

Things wound down early I think everybody had cleared out by about 2. I then passed out, but Nicole, god bless her was so keyed up that she cleaned up most of the mess. There were a few exceptions. The most prominent being the cheese dip. This was probably the biggest disapointment of the evening. Not because it was bad, but because I thought it was so good. I think only one other person tried it. WTF? Here's a giant bucket of warm bubbly cheesy goodness!!!! Are you really going to pass that by? Apparently the answer was yes. When I got back downstairs on Sunday, the crockpot of cheese was still there. I'd unplugged it the night before, but it was still there. I threw out. I was worried at first that it might have stuck like glue to the sides of the crock, but it slid right out like a giant gelatinous cylender and just wobbled in the trash like the core of some doomed cartoon figure who's just had his midsection removed by running into a phone pole or pipe or something. That of course does nothing to make you sorry you missed my cheese dip, but in years to come you will find that you are more and more sorry that you passed up that cheese dip. This I swear!!!!


Tuesday, October 11, 2005

M. Doughty

Recently went to the M. Doughty show here at the Grand Emporium. It was nice to be able to walk to and from the show. My neightborhood isn't that great, but I managed to get there and back without incident. Mike seemed a little surprised to see so many people at the show. In all, it was a great show and it is really nice to see him still making music.

Monday, October 10, 2005


I love the word antediluvian.

Bathroom Antics

Have you ever been tempted to pee on the shoe of the guy standing at the urinal next to you? Yeah. Me neither.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Diarrhea in Las Vegas

I just got back from 24 hours in Las Vegas. This was my first real experience in Vegas. The only other time I'd been there was for work and I didn't get to do anything fun then. In short I really enjoy what I've seen, but don't really care to go back anytime soon.

The trip was in celebration of a friends betrothal and upcoming marriage. The original plan was to fly in Saturday afternoon and fly out Sunday afternoon. No hotel and no baggage. After some discussion it was decided that some sort of base of operations might be a good idea. It was probably a waste of money, but it was nice to have a place to shower on Sunday morning.

The trip didn't start very well. Southwest asked us to get off the plane due to an indicator light that was on and wasn't going off. We did so and had to wait for another plane. The whole time, I got to listen to complaints about the airline that I pushed everyone towards. They seemed to forget that the flight was cheaper and nonstop. Oh how quickly they forget.

The flight was a short 3 hours and the flight attendant was nice enough to keep bringing me scotch and soda. I'd probably had 4 by the time we landed. Hey get off my back. Going to Vegas sober is like going to see Phish not stoned. You can do it, but is it a good idea?

Eventually Southwest got us there. We then had to scurry over to the Luxor to make it to the first activity of the night.

When planning the trip it was decided that we should pick the first few activities carefully and then see where the night took us. It was also decided that we should keep it a little more tame than some Vegas bachelor parties. Hey. I don't know of any good spots to bury a dead hooker in the desert.

The first show we saw was the Blue Man Group. Beyond the fact that it was performance art and that no words are spoken, I really can't accurately describe it. I will say that it is a captivating show, that leaves you with the feeling that you've seen something significant, but without the ability to say what it was nor why it was important. If you ever have the chance to see them, I will say that the entertainment was worth the steep price of admission. Hey they also served drinks on the way in. I got scotch and soda #5 before going in.

Next, a couple of us grabbed a cab and ran to the hotel to check in and throw our bags down. We'd planned on doing this first, but the flight delay meant that we had to scramble to make it to the show on time. The hotel was a little further from where we were than we expected, so the cab ride took a while. We managed to get checked in and back to the Luxor in about 40 minutes.

The next thing on the itinerary was another show. This was one of the "Showgirl Reviews" that Vegas is known for. It didn't have the huge headdresses and weird feather covered costumes, but there were boobies everywhere. I've never seen so many bra's pop open by "accident" in a two hour time-frame. It was like there was a giant Joey field in effect, and no bra could hold out for more than half an act. There was one exception to this field, the lead singers bra stayed on the whole time. No mater how many times the dancers' tops flew open, hers stayed put. I was a little confused. I was later told, that Vegas shows follow a formula, singing, dancing, boobies and a comedian. It is customary for the singer to keep her top on while the dancers have no such luck. The comedian was funny, doing lots of physical comedy and impersonations. His impersonation of Tina Turner was spot on, if not marred by the fact that his dress was pretty short and kept riding up on him. Hey they also served drinks on the way in. I got scotch and soda #6 before going in.

By the time the review was over, we were starved. I mean ravenous. We grabbed dinner and drinks at the house of blues in the Luxor. Dinner was excellent, and the view was impressive as well. I can't tell you how many times, someone at our table said something like, "Oh my god, look at what she's wearing." or, "Oh my god, look at what she's not wearing." Vegas appears to be the place to go if you want to let it all hang out, literally. Hey they also served drinks there. I got scotch and soda #7 and #8 while there. Are you noticing the pattern?

After dinner, our Bachelor wanted to gamble, and he wanted to do it at one of the older casinos. We chose Binion's as the venue for our fun. For those not familiar with Binion's, it is the site of the World Series of Poker competition that's become famous with the popularity of Texas Hold'em. It think it was at this point in time that the scotch decided to kick in and not in a good way. I was cursed with a horrible case of Montezuma's Revenge. In this case, you could probably call it John Dewar's revenge. The constant drinking and lack of real food was about to wreak havoc with my gastrointestinal system. I think I may have been a little too tipsy at the time to make the logical leap from binge drinking to diarrhea, but with hindsight and a clear head my path to ruin is now obvious. Let me just say that Binion's is not a friendly place for a person trying not to crap his pants, but I was not about to let a little watery stool ruin my evening. Hell no. Soldier on young man, solder on. So there I am, having to get up and run to the restroom about every twenty to thirty minutes. It gives new meaning to the phrase shooting craps. Add to that the fact that restrooms at Binion's were only slightly better than the one featured in Train Spotting. Thank god for the miracle of the ass gasket. I probably used three or four of those at a time. In Binion's defense, the kind of degenerate gamblers that are at their establishment at 3:30 in the morning probably aren't super concerned about the cleanliness of the toilets. Eventually either my stomach settled to the point that I could walk around the casino without fear of finding the next rest stop, or my blood to scotch ratio leveled off to the point that my body no longer felt the need to eliminate it.

It was at about this time that the notion of a gentleman's club came up. I think it was sometime between 3 and 4 in the morning. We hopped in a cab and the driver took us to the Sapphire Lounge and restaurant. Let me start off by saying that these types of establishments are not my bag of chips. I'm not a prude, and I don't have a problem with someone dancing nude or nearly so. In fact I actually enjoy that part. The lap dance however is not really my thing. The thought of paying a woman to dry hump me for the duration of a song just doesn't appeal to me. In fact, the thought of paying a woman to pay attention to me at all doesn't interest me. This didn't keep me from having fun. These establishments are great people watching venues, plus they serve booze. I think scotch and sodas #12 and #13 showed up at the Sapphire. Unfortunately my case of the trots returned at this time as well. Multiple trips to the toilet in a strip club might be seen as a little suspicious. I think we left the Sapphire at about 7:30 in the morning, but not after about 5 trips to the john. Gotta love diarrhea.

Next we headed to the hotel, cleaned up and ate some breakfast. The rest of the day was spent wandering the strip. We got to see the dancing fountains in front of the Bellagio and we rode the roller coaster at New York New York. By now I've become tired of this story and there really isn't that much more to tell. Suffice it to say that we were up for nearly 40 hours total. It was loads of fun and I might even consider going back.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005


It's very surprising and a little sad to watch all of the coverage of the hurricane that's hit New Orleans. I was there just a few months ago and now the whole area is covered in water. As I look at some of the new coverage, I can see many of the place I walked through jus a few months ago. I wonder how things will be changed by the flooding. The official drink of the city is the hurricane, so I'm sure they've seen this before, but I don't think its ever been this bad. I've been told that the water that's flooding the French quarter is contaminated by sewage. I guess that means that the area will have an excuse to smell as bad as it does.

People have gone so far as to compare this to the tsunami disaster of late last year, but I doubt that the death toll will reach the 220,000 mark that I've found quoted for the tsunami.

If a friend of mine's theory holds, then you should expect some sort of natural disaster to hit Las Vegas in a few months. He claims that disaster follows us at about a four month remove. We were in New Orleans a few months back and now it's under water. We will be in Vegas this weekend, so you should expect it to be covered in locusts or hit by a meteorite around Christmas.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Can you make me laugh? No, but my farts smell like death and cheese.....

(For those of you who don't know me, you might think that I'm serious when I'm writing this. In some ways I am, but please realize that there's a little sarcasm here.)

I've made no secret of the fact that I've been looking around a few of the online singles sites. I've managed to get a couple of dates from these. Some of the dates have gone better than others, but all in all it has been a positive experience. One thing I've noticed is that there are a few patterns that I am seeing in the ads on these sites. Most of these can be spotted by looking for a key phrase or question. Here are a few of my favorites:

  • Are you the one? As soon as I see a profile like this I usually run away as fast as I can. Are you the one? This is such a patheticaly timid thing to say. Nothing says I'm a victim and I'm looking for the next guy to take advantage of me, "Are you the one?".

  • Are you man enough? To me this sounds more like she's asking, "Are you man enough to put up with all of my shit?" or "Are you man enough to clean up the mess that my life has become?" In either case I plead Nancy boy and run away.

  • Can you make me laugh? This one is slightly less annoying than the first two but I still find it annoying. At least give me something to work with. What makes you laugh? Limericks? Pratfalls? Give me something to work with. Whenever I see a profile like this I want to write back and say, "I may not be able to make you laugh, but I can probably make you cry. By the way, your butt is huge and you and can't spell. Are you laughing now? I know I am. I'm laughing my ass off at you." Does this make me a bad person?

  • Are you my prince? / Are you my knight in shining armor? / Are you Mr. Right? Do you really want to be saved? Does this approach actually work? To me, this is just another way of saying, "Are you man enough?" Once again, I'm a Nancy boy.

  • You must love me and my daughter/son. Way to set expectations really high. I don't even know if I like her yet, now I have to like her offspring as well. Isn't it assumed that if you have a child that someone you are dating has to at least be nice to your child?

  • Where are you? / Are you out there? / Still waiting. / I'm still here. This is as if she's saying, "Why the hell haven't you called me?" Is there something wrong with me? Do these pants make my butt look big?

  • Friends first Yes, I know, you aren't a slut, but I am, so you probably aren't my type.

  • Do you know how to treat a lady? This is more or less asking, "Are you an asshole?" When you put it that way, the answer is probably yes. I can be an asshole. Now shut up and make my dinner. Tell that little brat of yours to get me a beer.

  • Pictures of the pet This is another wonderfully annoying thing that seems to pop up in profiles quite often. When I see a pet's picture in a profile, I'm thinking, "When the ice age comes and there is a food shortage, I'm eating the Doberman first and then I'll eat the kittens. That way I don't have to fight the Doberman for food." Yeah, I know that I will have to get along with her pets as much as her kids, but let's work up to that.

  • Hidden treasure. If you'll only look past the self esteem and hygiene issues you will surely find he hidden treasure.

Can you tell I've been spending too much time looking at these profiles? Sadly, most of them are people I have very little interest in meeting. I'm sure that my profiles on these sites is just as pathetic as the next one, but it makes me feel better if I can make fun of other people.

On a completely unrelated note, for the last week, I've had the worst flatulence I've ever had in my life. For those of you who know me well, you know that's saying something. It got so bad that I googled for the terms "extreme flatulence" trying to figure out if I need to see an ass doctor. According the font of all knowledge (the internet) the normal cause of flatulence is diet. The most common dietary causes of flatulence are, milk products, high fiber foods, beans, carbonated beverages, cabbage and foods made with fructose. I guess that means that my horrific and frequent farts can be explained by my diet consisting of granola and milk for breakfast (the granola is made with fructose) Chipotle for lunch and or dinner and about 6 - 8 cans of diet soda a day. I'm not sure if I should change my diet or my definition of the acceptable amount of gas one person has.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Monday, August 22, 2005


Have you ever read or saw something that left you so incensed that you couldn’t think straight.  That happened today.  Don't ask me why, but Country Music Television was on when I got home. I think Nicole was watching it. As I sat there, I watched a video.  While watching the video, both of my eyes exploded. I couldn't believe what I was watching and hearing. I'm going to reproduce the lyrics here of a Trace Adkins song called Arlington.

I never thought that this is where I'd settle down.
I thought I'd die an old man back in my hometown.
They gave me this plot of land,
Me and some other men, for a job well done.

There's a big White House sits on a hill just up the road.
The man inside, he cried the day they brought me home.
They folded up a flag and told my Mom and Dad:
"We're proud of your son."

And I'm proud to be on this peaceful piece of property.
I'm on sacred ground and I'm in the best of company.
I'm thankful for those thankful for the things I've done.
I can rest in peace;
I'm one of the chosen ones:
I made it to Arlington.

I remember Daddy brought me here when I was eight.
We searched all day to find out where my grand-dad lay.
And when we finally found that cross,
He said: "Son, this is what it cost to keep us free."

Now here I am, a thousand stones away from him.
He recognized me on the first day I came in.
And it gave me a chill when he clicked his heels,
And saluted me.

And I'm proud to be on this peaceful piece of property.
I'm on sacred ground and I'm in the best of company.
I'm thankful for those thankful for the things I've done.
I can rest in peace;
I'm one of the chosen ones:
I made it to Arlington.

And everytime I hear twenty-one guns,
I know they brought another hero home to us.

And I'm proud to be on this peaceful piece of property.
I'm on sacred ground and I'm in the best of company.
We're thankful for those thankful for the things we've done.
We can rest in peace;
'Cause we are the chosen ones:
We made it to Arlington.

Yeah, dust to dust,
Don't cry for us:
We made it to Arlington.

Am I the only one to get the heebie jeebies from that?  Who does this guy think he is?  Who does he think he’s speaking for?  Those are the first things that went through my head when I saw this video.  Next I started to think, well is this any different from any other song written in this way?  It got me thinking of a song I listen to every once in a while by Tom Waits called Day After Tomorrow.

I got your letter today
And I miss you all so much, here
I can't wait to see you all
And I'm counting the days, dear
I still believe that there's gold
At the end of the world
And I'll come home
To Illinois
On the day after tomorrow

It is so hard
And it's cold here
And I'm tired of taking orders
And I miss old Rockford town
Up by the Wisconsin border
But I miss you won't believe
Shoveling snow and raking leaves
And my plane will touch tomorrow
On the day after tomorrow

I close my eyes
Every night
And I dream that I can hold you
They fill us full of lies
Everyone buys
About what it means to be a soldier
I still don't know how I'm supposed to feel
About all the blood that's been spilled
Look out on the street
Get me back home
On the day after tomorrow

You can't deny
The other side
Don't want to die
Any more than we do
What I'm trying to say,
Is don't they pray
To the same God that we do?
Tell me, how does God choose?
Whose prayers does he refuse?
Who turns the wheel?
And who throws the dice
On the day after tomorrow?

I'm not fighting
For justice
I am not fighting
For freedom
I am fighting
For my life
And another day
In the world here
I just do what I've been told
You're just the gravel on the road
And the one's that are lucky
One's come home
On the day after tomorrow

And the summer
It too will fade
And with it comes the winter's frost, dear
And I know we too are made
Of all the things that we have lost here
I'll be twenty-one today
I've been saving all my pay
And my plane will touch down
On the day after tomorrow
And my plane it will touch down
On the day after tomorrow

The first of these two songs gives me chills in a bad way and I find myself angry when I listen to it.  The second of these two songs gives me chills in a good way and I find myself touched by it.  Are they really that different?  They are both written from a soldier’s viewpoint.  Neither one of these songs makes any direct statement about the current war, or any war for that matter.  I guess there’s one line of the first song that really ruins it for me.  When he sings, “There's a big White House sits on a hill just up the road.  The man inside, he cried the day they brought me home.”, I’m assuming that he’s making reference to the President.  I guess what I have the most problem with is not that Mr. Adkins has attributed a sense of pride to some hypothetical dead soldier.  That I can live with and can to some extent understand and find plausible.  The thing that most irks me is that he’s attributing an emotion to the president that I don’t know if he’s capable of.  I guess I never really picture our current president crying over anything.  Maybe if somebody punched him in the groin he might cry, but I don’t see him crying over much else.  That little bit of flag waving turns me off to the whole song.  Maybe that’s not the only part that turns me off, but that’s the bit that made me go from indifferent to angry.  

Am I way off base here?  Have I missed something?  Am I overreacting?  Am I letting my loathing of country music ruin what I’d consider a good song if it weren’t showing up on country music television?

Thursday, August 11, 2005


Is there a name for a word who's meaning and what you think it ought to mean are completely at odds?

Sunday, July 31, 2005

You must be careful who you pretend to be, because in the end you are who you pretend to be.

One of my favorite authors is Kurt Vonnegut. There is just something about his approach to life and work that really appeals to me. The other day I was browsing through the Movie listings on my Tivo and I saw an entry for a movie called Mother Night. I had to stop and check it out. Could this really be an adaptation of Vonnegut's book? It was. I looked and saw that there were a couple of showings coming up and I taped one. I watched it and it was great. If you have never read the book, it's the story of a person, born in America, but raised in Germany from the age of 13. He became heavily involved in the pre WWII German culture and even became a famous playwright, married to a beautiful German actress. Just prior to the start of the war, he is approached to act as a spy for the Americans from within Germany during the coming war. He agrees and during the war, he rises to a place of prominence as a radio announcer broadcasting anti Ally propaganda in English. He is very good at his job, but he knows that in addition to the obvious content of his broadcast, he knows that there is a code hidden with his choreographed vocal tics, stops and pauses. The movie follows him as he deals with the fact that nobody will confirm his role as a spy and thus a hero to the Allied cause. He is seen as one of the worst war criminals of the Nazi war machine. The rest of the movie deals with the moral dilemma he faces. Is he a hero or a war criminal? Arguments can be made for both sides. I generally don't like stories with morals, especially obvious ones, but Vonnegut manages to give the story a moral without making it end with a trite happy ending. As the title states, "You must be careful who you pretend to be, because in the end you are who you pretend to be."

I think that statement has great import. It is a great warning as well as a great piece of wisdom. It's a warning in the same vein of, "If you lie down with dogs, you'll get up with fleas". Its a great piece of wisdom in that in that one of the best ways to become something that you want to be is to act like that thing. In either case you will eventually become what you are acting like.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Random Crap

The process of keeping this journal has been fascinating. When I started it was just a way to help augment my, at times, poor memory. It has become a little more than that, but it primarily remains a mechanism to record what I do so that when I'm an old drooling fool who barely remembers his own name, someone who's read this can say, "Hey Uncle Aaron, tell me about the time you jumped out of an airplane." This will of course trigger the blurpity blurp babblings that so often come out of those of us who've been around for a while. "Sonny, when I was your age, I jumped out of a plane with a man strapped to my back." Mwap mwaaap mwap mwap mwa? "No there wasn't anything wrong with the plane. I did it for fun." Wwap mwap mwa? "No the man was there to make sure I pulled the rip cord." That's how the conversation would go. Of course the person on the other end would be cornered and trapped into a two hour conversation about crap that happened a long time ago and means very little to him. Poor guy.

If you're reading this some time in the future and I'm an incoherent babbling old fool, please keep in mind that I wasn't always like that.

I think this post will mostly just be a list of general crap and not have some overriding theme. Not that any of these posts really have a theme, but I do try to keep it to one or two subjects.

Home repairs. Why is it that working on your own home sucks, but working on someone else's is fun? This Saturday I was at a friend’s house helping hang drywall. I really enjoyed myself, despite the heat. There were five of us working in a small space, so it was a little cramped. This job was interesting in that they were trying to match drywall to existing plaster and lath. Anybody who's worked with plaster and lath knows that it is never a uniform thickness. We did a good job getting the places where there were going to be joints and seams level, but I'm sure the mudding and taping will be fun. While this was going on, I had someone working on my own home. Since I bought the house a couple of months ago, there are things that have just been annoying me. First of these was the expansion foam that was sticking out of random places in my house. I've hired a person to come in and fix that and do some tuck pointing around the place. He's a pretty nice guy and he does pretty good work, but he doesn't seem extra worried about being punctual. It is now a week after when he'd said he'd be done, and there are still things to do. It is primarily because he doesn't seem to want to show up that much.

On another front, I have decided to try online dating. Let me rephrase that. I've started looking at online personals. I think historical there's been a bit of a social stigma to this, but I don't think it is reasonable, especially for someone of my generation to buy into that. In doing this, I've found that there are several hurdles that I'm needing to overcome. Primarily is the fact that I don't have a good picture of me. I think there are a couple of reasons for this. First, its very hard to take a natural looking picture of yourself. Second, I don't like to smile in pictures. I'm not sure why, but it just doesn't seem natural. Finally, there's the fact that I'm very new to this. And by this, I mean dating in general. I started dating late. I got into a serious and committed relationship very early in the process of dating. Finally, I stayed in that relationship for a very long time. I think all of these things have conspired to make me feel like I'm at a disadvantage when re-approaching dating. I've made a serious effort to be more outgoing and personable. I certainly feel more comfortable in crowds and large groups than I used to.

Last night, or rather Sunday night I responded to my first personal ad. I've not gotten a response yet, and I'm beginning to wonder if I will get one. Being a babe in the woods on this, I don't know the protocol for these situations. I also have the dilemma of my approach. Should I be careful and measured about who's ads I respond to, or do I respond to a whole bunch of ads and deal with the social and emotional consequences later. The first approach would certainly allow me to be more deliberate about things, but what are the parameters about how long I should wait for an answer and how long between meeting someone and deciding to move on or not. The second approach would be a more efficient, but is that what I'm really looking for in a relationship, efficiency? Moreover, I'm sure that the potentially awkward situations that arise from that approach would keep sitcom writers busy for years. I think I will stick with the first approach for now. If I don't get any results, then I might switch things up a little.

I just moved the server to another room and connected it directly to the switch, so things should be a bit more stable now. I had the server sitting on the other side of a wireless bridge. It worked some of the time, but for things like web serving, the results were sketchy at best.

For some reason I didn't sleep very well tonight. I woke up at around 2:30 in the morning and couldn't get back to sleep. It's now 6:30 and I'm going to need to get ready for work soon. Ironically, I'm starting to feel as if I could take a nap.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

I'm not dead on the inside. I swear.

Is it a bad sign when I say "I'm a sensitive person" and the person I'm talking to starts laughing like a fool?

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Holy shit on a stick (Part 2)

Well I made it. I will say that the experience was exhilerating, terrifying and anticlimactic all at the same time. Exhilerating because I jumped out of a plane and lived. Terrifying because I jumped out of a plane. Anticlimactic because we spent an hour and a half driving to the drop zone, I spent several hours waiting for the jump, 30 minutes flying up to altitude, 40 seconds in free fall and about 6 minutes under the canopy. I paid for someone to take picutes and videotape it. You can see the pictures here. The whole experience cost me $250. Was it worth it? Hell yes. Will I do it again? Probably. It looks like the subsequent jumps will be $130 a piece, so while still an expensive hobby, I suppose I can swing it on occasion.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Holy shit on a stick

I will be skydiving for the first time tomorrow. It will be a tandem jump, so there's not much to what I need to know or do. They strap a guy who knows what he's doing to my back and throw me out of the plane. Want to know what I'm scared of the most? Crapping my pants. Imagine a minute or two in freefall with a load in your shorts and another guy strapped to your back. He pulls the rip cord and the load flies out your pant leg. What will be even more classic is that I will be having the whole thing taped and photographed.

Look honey. There's where I loaded up my shorts. I don't know where that came from. I generally don't eat that much corn.


And now see the look on my face when he pulls the rip cord. There was poop everywhere.

Ah. Memories.

Talk to you tomorrow.

Monday, July 11, 2005

This picture has been rated PG-13 for Western Violence

I'm a movie nut, as well as a movie snob. I've been spending some time trying to work my way through all of the movies I should have seen by now, but hadn't. This week's was "Once Upon a Time In the West". I'm not much of a western fan and I don't really like Charles Bronson, so it took me a while to get around to watching this one. It's supposedly a classic. I'm about half way into it right now, and it might be. The thing that struck me as funny was the parental guidance warning at the beginning of the movie. It's rated PG-13. What struck me as weird was the statement underneath the rating. "This picture has been rated PG-13 for Western Violence and Brief Sensuality". I've also seen "Science Fiction Violence" and "Cartoon Violence". Does this really make a difference, what type of violence is depicted? Watching cowboy's shoot one another is somehow different from watching astronauts shoot at one another?

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Going for a late night motorcycle ride.

For me there's nothing more relaxing that a little ride on the bike. If I can do it when the temperature is nice, all the better. Unfortunately or maybe fortunately the only time the temperature is nice this time of year is between 9 at night and 9 in the morning. That means I either have to stay out late or get up early. I'm completely incapable of getting up early, so I stay out late. This evening I was out until about 12:30.

When riding, it's always funny to watch the other people on the road. What can be most interesting is to watch the other motorcycle riders. When riding, there is this unspoken rule, that (when possible to do so safely) you wave at other riders you see. This is nice, because you get the sense of belonging to an organization without the other tedious burdens of membership. Some groups of riders are more likely to wave than others, and some only wave at certain types of bikes. These lines can usually be drawn along the lines of what type of bike the person is riding. The friendliest riders on the road? That would be anybody on a goldwing. I'm not sure if they are so friendly because they are riding a couch that can more or less steer itself, or because they're really just that friendly. The least friendly? I hate to say it, but it's usually some asshole on a Harley that he obviously only rides on weekends when the weather is nice.

There are a lot of things about this second group of people that I don't like. I hate the fact that they are usually wearing Harley Davidson apparel that is color matched to their bike. I'm annoyed by the fact that they are obviously wearing their "riding clothes". This usually consists of a freshly laundered and pressed black Sturgis t-shirt, a new pair of blue jeans, shiny black boots that they wear once a week, and a bandana. These are people who'd never be caught dead wearing a bandana any other time in their life. Why do they think it looks good now? These are also people that wear dockers and a polo to work or even worse a suit. If you wear "business casual" durring the day, it doesn't make you any more interesting to dress in black when you ride your bike.

What I just love to see is a guy with a pager on his belt when riding. What the hell is that for? Are you going to check your messages at a light. For Christ's sake turn it off for a minute and just ride. The thing that annoys me the most are the couples who are wearing Harley Davidson branded clothes from head to toe. Leather vest, leather chaps, leather boots, a leather bandana, and matching Harley Davidson t-shirts. Everything bearing a huge logo. The bike will of course be fully dressed with custom seats and saddle bags. The seats and saddle bags always have concho's, and leather fringe. There are few things in this world (besides Precious Moments figurines) more insipid than these people.

Here's a question for you..... Why do people put fringe on their bike? I see people who've got long leather fringe hanging from their grips, and I wonder how in the hell they get back from a ride and not have their arms welted and looking like hamburger. Don't those little strips of leather just flail in the wind? Wouldn't that just whip at your forearms anytime you take the bike up over 40mph.

Let me just say, that all Harley riders fall into this category, just most of them near where I live. I was out riding once, and stopped to gas up. As I was sitting there drinking a water, another group of riders pulled up. These fellas were obviously a little different crowd than I'd meet back in town. The one nearest me was wearing a grubby sturgis tshirt, a helmet with tons of stickers, the most obvious of which was one that said "Fuck You". He was wearing white leather tennis shoes, and leather pants that he'd obviously been wearing the last time he came off the bike. His pants had skid marks all up the right side. He'd obviously been riding for a while that day, because his face and helmet were covered with dead bugs. I nodded a greeting to him, which he returned with a withering stare. I can stand the cold shoulder treatment from this type of guy. He's earned the right to be an asshole when he's riding, because he's probably an asshole all the time. He's probably been fired from most of his jobs because of attitude problems. His 5th grade report card has "Does not work and play well with others" written in the notes section. I can picture his wife, barefoot and pregnant, beer in one hand, and cigarette in the other shouting "Asshole!!!" at him as he slams the front door to their trailer. His own mother probably calls him an asshole. I can tolerate this asshole being an asshole to me. Mostly because I have to. He'd probably kick my ass otherwise. I can't however stomach some yuppy putz who has a happy wife, 2.4 kids and a half million dollar house in the suburbs being an asshole. Wave at me when I ride past you, you fucking poser!!!!

Man I love riding my motorcycle. It's so relaxing.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Cross Dressing, Transvestites and the Fourth of July

Where is the line drawn between cross dressing and being a transvestite. I ask this question, so that I can properly describe a couple of things I saw today. This being the Fourth of July, it is my patriotic duty to go somewhere, eat food with friends, drink beer and blow shit up. Well, I wasn't feeling very patriotic, so I just ate the food, while drinking soda. No explosions were involved. This was all accomplished at my Sister's friends house. Emillie (my sister) was having a barbeque at a friend house and asked if I wanted to come over. I of course said yes, knowing that this would involve a half an hour drive over to her house. Living in Kansas prepared me to accept long drives to get anywhere interesting. I live in Missouri now, but I'm still OK with the drives. This drive took me down I-70. Just as I was hitting the city limits I noticed a couple of cars parked on the right shoulder and that the front car had a flat tire. There were two guys up front changing the tire, and a third standing in front of the car. The third one caught my eye, because he had blue hair and was wearing a blue shirt. As I got closer I realized that it wasn't blue hair, but rather a blue wig, and that what I thought was a shirt was really a short blue sequined dress. Interestingly there was never a doubt in my mind that this was a man, because if it was a woman she would have had a hormone problem. This guy was built like an athlete. I didn't think about this a whole lot, because my exit was comming up and I needed to slow down and switch lanes. I exited onto another highway, and continued on my trip. As I continued on, I passed several cars. (Those of you who've driven with me before shouldn't be surprised that I passed someone.) As I switched lanes to pass this red Corola that I was approaching I noticed that one of the passengers had neon pink hair. As I got closer I was able to see that this person had on a pink sequined top (probably a dress) and was also built like a football player. Is this a coincidence or am I going crazy. Seeing one man wearing a wig and a sequined dress is a little odd, but two in 10 minutes is a little unnerving. Now don't get me wrong, I have no problem with someone making their own rules about what is and is not gender appropriate attire. I am however a reasonable person and I was traveling through Kansas (one of the most red of all red states) and you generally don't see many men wearing dresses. If I were to guess what is going on, I'd imagine that the two sitings were related, and these two gentlemen were on their way to some sort of function where men wearing dresses wouldn't be frowned upon. The first thing that came to mind was a Cross Dressing convention. Then I began to wonder if it would be a Cross Dressing or a Transvestite convention. Are they the same thing? In my mind a Cross Dresser sounds like a less commited individual than a Transvestite. Is there a difference, or are they the same thing? Where do you draw the line? Did I see two Cross Dressers or two Transvestites? How would I have known? What are the criteria?

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Altered states

So I started writing this post about the 21st century. I promissed myself it wasn't going to be one of those "where are my flying cars?" rants. As I got further into it I realized that I was just kidding myself. So I'm going to just shitcan that post for now and jump right into this one. I'm not much on altering my thought processes using external chemicals. I guess that's bullshit, since everybody knows I'm a drunk. Let me rephrase that. As a rule I don't go out of my way to alter my brain chemistry to percieve reality in any way other than unfiltered. That's not to say I haven't been exposed to certain brain altering chemicals, just that never in any appreciable amount, and not in the recent past. That's why yesterday evenings (or rather this mornings) experience was a little odd.

I was on the way home from my friend John's house. I'd spent the evening chatting with friends a playing a movie trivia game. Over a 6 hour period I'd had a couple of drinks, but nothing significant, and I was by no means drunk. I was a little tired however. Not nodding off tired, just that tired where you can't wait to get home to your own bed. I left John's place at about 1:30 this morning. I hopped on 70 highway and headded home. If you've never been on 70 before, it is one of those long loney stretches of road, with not much going on. This is especially the case between Lawrence and Kansas City. So there I was zipping along between 80 and 85 mph. Not a car in sight in front or behind me. Every once in a while there would be a car in the oncomming lanes, but it was a rarity. To keep myself awake and entertained I flipped on the radio. There wasn't much on, and I eventually settled on the local alternative station. They were playing the standard Saturday night trance/techno mix. Long long stretches of driving bass and synthesizer beats. Really obnoxious ravy type stuff. As a rule I don't like to listen to this for very long, but there wasn't very much on.

About 20 minutes into the 35 minute drive home I started to feel a little weird. I felt an odd dissociation from things. Like I was present and participating, but also observing things from a distance. I had a feeling that my body wasn't my own body, and that I was watching me drive down the road from outside myself. This very unreal feeling was hightened by a couple of interesting optical phenomena. The first was an amazing reflection of a flooded field off the side of the road. This missplacement of the moon into the ground by way of the reflection was an odd sensation. Next was the fact that there were several spotlights going across the sky, kind of giving the WW2 Battle of Britain feeling, as if the spotlights were searching for German Luftwaffe planes flying across the sky. Finally there was an interesting interplay between the dashed line of the road, the headlights of the car and some fog that had accumulated on my windshield. The lights lit the center line in such a way that when I viewed it through the fog on the windshield the lines appeared as vertical white columns running down the middle of the road. I had to blink a couple of times to convice myself that there was nothing wrong with the road or my eyes. All of this combined with my tired mind and the almost nonexistent buzz from the drinks I'd had earlier gave me a very interesting ride home.

I'm sure at this point somebody reading this has called their lawyer and is starting proceedings to have me declared mentally incompetent. Hold on there pardner. At no point in time did I believe that I was seeing anything out of the ordinary, just that there was an interesting confluence of events at a point in time when my mind was tired and distracted enought to percieve them in a slightly different way. There's no point here. Go about your business.

Monday, June 06, 2005


This past week I took my first real vacation in several years. I'm not counting trips to the family, or the zoo. This is the first time in about five or six years that I've left work behind and didn't even look back. Three of my friends and I took a trip on our motorcycles. The final destination was Panama City Beach Florida, but we made several stops on the way. We left Friday morning at about 9:30 from Belton Missouri.

The first half of Friday was pretty boring. The roads between KC and southern Missouri are pretty boring. Once we reach the southern part of Missouri things started to get interesting. The roads got a little twistier and the scenery more enjoyable to look at. We made several stops along the way, and made it into Pine Bluff Arkansas at about 10:30 at night. We had hoped to get into a hotel before then, but we took a couple of wrong turns while trying to find a place to stay. The next morning, we woke up and realized how much Pine Bluff stinks. I'm sorry if I offend someone, but whatever it was really reeked, and we were happy to leave the city behind.

Saturday margining and afternoon we headed south. Late Saturday afternoon we rode into New Orleans. This was quite an experience in and of itself. We came into New Orleans via an awesome 25 mile bridge over Lake Ponchartrain. When we started onto the bridge it was like driving out into the ocean. The clouds obscured the other side and you had no idea how far you'd have to go to get to the other side. About 5 minutes onto the bridge we'd lost site of land behind us and still couldn't see the city in front of us. If it weren't for a 10 mile per hour cross wind, I would have probably fallen asleep on the way over the bridge. The seams in the road at regular intervals made the bike rock about once ever second. Eventually this rocking had the effect of lulling you into a daze, and I found myself having to concentrate pretty hard not to doze off. The whole time that I was on the bridge I was amazed at how vast the lake was and how tiny I felt out there in the middle. About 10 minutes later I started seeing the hints of a skyline through the clouds. Another 10 minutes later we were pulling into New Orleans. Within 90 minutes we were off the bikes, checked into the hotel, cleaned up and wandering around the French quarter.

Now I'd never been to New Orleans, so I wasn't really prepared for what I experienced next. We were pretty hungry, so food was first on our agenda. We wandered around the French Quarter for about half an hour until we came across K Paul's. This is a nice little restaurant owned by Paul Prudhomme. We were certainly the most underdressed people in there. It was pretty obvious that they didn't want to seat us when they asked if we had reservations. We told them that we'd sit out the hour wait for a table at the bar. We were seated in 10 minutes. I think they wanted to scare us off with the wait time, and when we didn't leave they seated in an upstairs corner as soon as they could. What happened next was amazing. If you are ever in New Orleans, I would highly recommend stopping in to K Paul's. Everything was wonderful. Not being a big eater and not really a big lover of fish, I decided on the Filet Mignon with Debris Sauce. I have no idea what debris sauce is, but that sure was the best steak I've ever had in my life. Like I said, I'm not a big eater, and I'm not really a big steak person, but this was good. I've found, that the trick to a good steak is to learn to appreciate your beef rarer than most. I used to be a well done man, but the more that I've been served a steak that's a little underdone; the more I liked the flavor. I'm now down to somewhere between medium and medium rare. I haven't yet worked up the guts to order a steak bloody, but it will happen some day. Yeah I know that I could end up with some horrible parasite, and have to sit on a toilet for a week, but what are the odds of that. I don't know. When it happens to me I will tell you. But I digress. K Paul's. It's good. You should go there.

Next in the evenings events was drunken wandering up and down Bourbon Street. This is actually more fun than it sounds. I really can't explain why, but I truly enjoyed myself. Yes I saw more boobies than I care to describe. Hey. I've got the internet, so this didn't hold that much attraction for me. What did hold my attention were the bars that were on each block. Unlike most cities these bars had no cover charge, so the doors were open, and you could wander in and out without having to pay to see what was inside. Almost every bar had a live band, and every one that I heard was good. During Saturday night we didn't spend any more time in the bars than necessary to make a deposit in the restroom, and grab the next beer. Why sit inside drinking all the fun was outside. We probably wandered up and down Bourbon Street five or six times before we really did anything.

Bourbon Street probably more strip clubs per square mile than any other place on earth. A member of our party noticed a store front advertising "Live Sex Acts", and I have to admit that I was intrigued. How can they advertise that out in the open? I don't know. They certainly had pictures hung on the outside of the building that showed a man and woman in positions that certainly implied "Live Sex Acts". Given that the sign said "No Cover" we thought "What do we have to loose?" The answer to that question is my last shred of innocence and 14 dollars on domestic beers. What we failed to notice right next to the "No Cover" sign was a smaller and unobtrusive sign that said 2 drink minimum. And there was no sign that said a bottle of miller lite was $7. We walked in and were immediately accosted by strippers. There weren't any "Live Sex Acts" It was just a coed strip club that had both a male and female stripper on stage at the same time. It was a little less than entertaining. Everybody seemed to be bored there. Even the weirdo's down front throwing one dollar bills on the stage. We finished our beers quick and left as soon as possible. At that point in time in my life, that was the third time that I'd been in a strip club, and it was by far the skankiest of them all. By then, we were all pretty tired from two days riding, wandering around the French quarter and way too many beers. We decided it was time to retire to the hotel and regroup for Sunday.

Sunday brought rain. Not enough rain to wash away the stink of Bourbon Street, but it was slightly less gross than the night before. We started the day with the "complimentary" continental breakfast at the hotel. If every hotel has it is it still complimentary? Every hotel I've been to has sheets. Are those considered complimentary? I think the complimentary continental breakfast should be renamed the obligatory continental breakfast. After breakfast we wandered out into the street again. Being one of the few cities with an official drink (the hurricane) I was determined to have one. A better name for the hurricane would be booze coo laid. One of them, and I felt like I was drunk all over again. We spent most of Sunday morning and afternoon wandering around New Orleans doing touristy stuff. It was pretty fun. We decided upon a place called The Gumbo Shop for dinner. I have a feeling that K Paul's has spoiled me for life on restaurants. The Gumbo Shop was ok, but it wasn't anything to write home about.

Sunday evening brought more wandering up and down Bourbon Street. After about 30 minutes one of our party said he'd budgeted "stripper money" and that he intended to spend it that night. The general consensus was favorable so long as it wasn't at the same venue as Saturday night. He already had a place in mind and we headed there. There was a cover, and no minimum number of drinks. I don't know if that is the rule for a non skanky strip club, but if there ever was such a thing, this place would probably qualify. I really don't know what to do in a strip club. First of all, let me admit to being a little uncomfortable with these places. In my mind, a strip club is really about one step away from a brothel. Don't get me wrong, I have absolutely no problem with prostitution so long as it’s between two consenting individuals, but I for one would never pay for sex. That's kind of like admitting that I question whether I'm worth the trouble to lay without the exchange of money. That may be the case, but I sure as hell won't admit to it. By now you are probably saying why the hell is he going on about this. The reason I took the trouble to lay this out is to explain my behavior later.

Once we got into the place we sat down in a corner and watched the show. As you'd imagine, there were women dancing on the stage in various stages of undress. The show was impressive, and each of the dancers was quite beautiful and talented. As you'd expect, the stage was equipped with a pole, but this was a pole with a difference. It had to have been at least 25 feet tall, and the dancers would climb to the top and then proceed to slide down it, followed by some amazingly acrobatic dismount. As I said the spectacle was amazing. I'm sure, here is where my friends started thinking I was crazy. From everything I've seen and heard the custom seems to be to tip the dancer while she's on stage. I'm a firm believer in paying for services rendered, and these dancers were certainly talented enough to deserver some sort of reward. There were lots of men and women who'd go up to the stage and tip them. The only problem is that the dancer would rarely take the tip with her hand. Frequently the dancer would put the tip in the tippers mouth, and then take it with her breasts, or by acrobatically flipping upside down into his lap, her butt would end up on his chin, and she'd take the tip with her thighs. If I ever let a woman treat me that way it's because I think its part of foreplay, and not because I just gave her a dollar. Several of my friends didn't seem to share my aversion with that type of contact with a woman I had no hope with, so I had them act as my proxy. If I liked the dance, I'd hand a friend a dollar and they'd deliver it on my behalf. The first time I did this, I got a funny look, but not much backtalk. Eventually the practice raised enough eyebrows from my friends that I think they were sure that I was gay by the end of the evening. I swear I'm not. Eventually the friend with the "stripper budget" found a girl that he liked and proceeded to blow his budget and then some. I don't think he had to go back to the ATM, but I do know he certainly had less to spend on booze later. What he got out of it I'm not sure. I've never understood why someone would pay to be sexually teased by someone who had no intention of sleeping with you. Finally he'd had enough, and we wandered back out into the air.

Two of the four of us were tired and wanted to "go to bed". Surprisingly it was the two who'd just had lap dances. It was just about 11:30, and I've never been to New Orleans and didn't know when I was going to get to come back. I had no intention of surrendering that early. I could make up any sleep I missed on the bike the next day. At that point I and one other guy proceeded to bar hop. This is pretty easy on Bourbon Street since none of the bars have a cover charge cover, a bouncer and no doors on the bars. You just walk right in. Eventually we settled on one that we liked. The band was good, and the crowd seemed pretty cool. On top of that there was a really cute girl that would come around every five minutes or so and try and sell you a shot of something. The shots came in little plastic test tubes. I think I blew $40 on shots for the three of us. I'm sure the other guy probably spent just as much. The band was pretty good, but they kept playing crap from the 80's. There's only so many times I can take Journey in one night. Eventually we moved on. The next bar wasn't bad either. The band was better, but the crowd was a little rowdier. I wasn't too worried, but I did see a fight start right in front of me. It's been a long time since I've seen something like that. It broke up pretty quickly, and the band didn't even stop playing. The only problem with the new bar was that the pretty shot girl was still at the old bar. Eventually I switched from booze to water, because I knew that if I didn't I'd be miserably hung over on the bike the next day. Unlike bars back home, the water isn't free. They won't give you a glass of water; you have to buy a bottle. At $4 a pop it almost made me want to switch back to the booze. By about 2:30 in the morning I was starting to get tired, and worried that if I didn't get to sleep soon, I wouldn't be able to get up the next day. We headed out and retired back to the hotel.

The next day started uneventfully. We ate breakfast and checked out. By the time we were back down to the bikes it had started raining, so we donned our rain gear. Imagine standing in a 90 degree garage with 90% humidity wearing a rubberized suit over your already hot motorcycle jacket waiting for your friends to get their shit packed onto your bike. I was about to have a heat stroke, and a rage embolism all at once. Eventually all were ready, and we got back on the road, and once moving I cooled off some. Monday was fairly uneventful, and we made it into Panama City Beach sometime after nightfall. The worst part about our arrival is that the signs coming into town are deceptive. You see signs that say Panama City Beach at least 20 minutes before you are really in the town. This means that the slight euphoria that you get when you know that a long day’s ride is soon to be finished is eventually dashed and followed by the slow grinding frustration of working your way through traffic trying to get there. Eventually we made it to the condo where we were staying and were greeted by our hosts. They were the Aunt and Uncle of one of the guys on the trip, and they'd graciously agreed to put us up for 4 nights.

To be honest there isn't much of great interest that I can say about our stay there. It was really one of those nearly uneventful few days that feed the soul. We swam, sat in the hot tub, ate some of Coach Bacon's heavenly blackened fish, rode around town on the bikes, swam some more, sat in the hot tub some more, played poker, played dominoes etc.

One of the most exciting times we had happened the day before we left. We'd signed up to take a jet ski tour of the area on Wednesday, but after a 2 hour delay, the guide came back and told us that it was canceled due to rain. We were pretty bummed. When we showed up on Thursday, we were a little nervous about the weather. It had rained every day we were there, and Thursday was turning out to be no different. We showed up for our 2 o'clock appointment and were disappointed to learn that we were going to be waiting for another hour while the weather cleared.

We finally got on the jet skis at about 3 and headed out. The guide was pretty wild. Have you ever seen the movie Captain Jack? Keep that picture in mind while thinking of the guide. He told us, "This ain't no grandpa tour.", and that he went full throttle the whole way. He wasn't kidding. They claimed that ski's that we were riding would go 65mph, but they lied. I could only get mine up to 62. I tried to keep up, but the seas were rough in spots, and my death wish is only a minor one. Once I hit a wave big enough to knock me up in the air so that the only thing that connected me to the ski were 2 fingers and a thumb on my left hand. I'm not sure how I managed to recover and not loose some teeth or crush my gonads in the landing, but I did. I decided at that point to try and keep it at about 55. Why push my luck? ;) I think the guide could tell by the looks of us, that we weren't quite right in the head, so he stuck us up front where he could keep an eye on us. The four of us guys were able to at least keep him in sight for most of the tour, but we consistently left the other 3 skis way behind. There were several occasions where he'd stop, tell us "wait here", and then zoom back to catch up the other skis. He'd show up 10 minutes later, and we'd have 10 minutes by ourselves to do dumb things on jet skis. They are harder to turn over than you'd think.

On one of these stops he pointed out a school/flock/gaggle/murder/herd of dolphins. We sat there for 20 minutes and just watched the dolphins swim around us. It was pretty cool. I've heard people describe having spiritual experiences while interacting with dolphins. That didn't happen for me. They were kind of aloof. I almost prefer it that way. I felt like an invader and out of place, and observing from a distance while they observed us was good enough. One other neat thing that happened is that five or six manta rays swam right underneath us. We didn't see them really clearly, just the huge white diamond shapes right under us.

Most of the rest of the trip was just us following the guide from one stop to the next. We saw lots of starfish and some urchins and crabs, but I have to admit, that the trip would have been just as good without them. The most fun was slaloming across the water at 60mph I'm sure that I traveled twice as far as everybody else on the trip, because I'd insist on taking these long wide arcing turns while following the guide who was just going in a straight line. The feeling of leaning the ski all the way over and seeing the water wiping by at 60 mph was just awesome, then yanking the handle bars the opposite direction and heaving it over to the other side, while the thing just skipped across the water. I'm sure that what I was doing was dangerous and dumb, but it was a blast regardless.

While on the trip, on several occasions it started to rain. I though rain on a motorcycle sucked. This sucked 10 times more. Most people don't know what rain on a motorcycle feels like. Have you ever been shot by a bb gun? Imagine something slightly less painful than that all over your face, and then you know what rain on a bike at 60 mph feels like. Now imagine that all over your arms, legs, face and chest, and that's what it feels like on a jet ski. We slowed down a little for the rain. The whole tour was about 3 hours long, but we'd have happily stayed out another 3. It was well worth the $100 that we paid.

That night we packed up our luggage and prepared for our departure the next day. I totally over packed for the trip, so I made two piles of stuff. Everything I needed for the trip back, and everything else. The everything else pile was placed in a box and mailed home Friday morning. We left at about on Friday morning. This gave us enough time to make it to Chris's cousin's house before it was too late. Once again we were treated to the nicest hospitality. Fish fry, cheese grits, tea and brownies. You can't beat that with a stick. I'm not a big fish person, but I wouldn't mind a few more pieces of fish from the fish fry. After that we succumbed to the urge to play poker. I swear, with god and all of creation as my witness, that I will someday win a game. I won't win back all that I've lost, but it will be a moral victory for me. I'm not a bad poker player, really. I manage to pull in a few good hands, but I never seem to finish in the money. Oh well, its fun and I don't mind giving my friends a few dollars every now and then. We eventually retired to our accommodations a bed, a sleeper sofa and a couch. I've found that if you are tired enough, you can sleep anywhere. We were awoken early the next morning by the wonderful smell of fresh waffles. Let me just state for the record, that I was working on a clean plate policy this vacation. If someone put food in front of me, I made damned sure I ate it. I managed to put on about 8 or 9 pounds during the trip. I think I ate a half pound of waffles that morning. I would soon regret my gluttony.

We left at about 9:30 that morning and promptly ran into some of the worst rain I've ever ridden in. The trouble started when our group got split into two. We were separated by a couple of cars, but it would eventually seem like miles. The rain started, and we decided to stop and put on our rain gear. Good idea. We then got back on the road.

The following half hour was about as craptastic as you can imagine. First off we got separated. Not by much, just a couple of cars. At this point the rain started to really come down. I mean Forest Gump coming at you sideways rain. Driving in rain makes most people nervous. On a bike it makes me pretty nervous. When I'm nervous I breathe faster. Inside a helmet w/out a defroster this means the shield fogs up pretty quickly. My helmet is vented to help fix this, but we weren't going fast enough to get enough breeze to fix the problem, so I was looking through a fogged up visor. I needed to see where I was going so I lifted the visor up. Big mistake. Have you ever tried drinking from a fire hose? Me neither, but I bet you I could describe it pretty well. I think in the first 30 seconds after I opened the visor I probably drank half a gallon of water. I was wearing a pair of orange tinted riding glasses inside my helmet. Lifting visor was a mistake, because the glasses then fogged up. On a motorcycle, in the rain, foggy visor, foggy glasses and swallowing rain at about a gallon a minute. Now that's what I call a vacation. Eventually I figured out that if I lifted the visor up, pulled the glasses down so that they were sitting at the edge of my nose and then held my left hand up to shield my eyes, I was able to see where I was going. If you hadn't already guessed, this arrangement is not particularly optimal for safe riding. I rode like this for about five or ten minutes (it felt like an hour).

The whole time I kept debating in my head whether or not I should just stop and hope that the other guys see me and pull over. Through the fogged up visor, I could just see the very back of the next bike, and I could almost make out the truck he was following. The stopping equation wasn't as simple as you might think. This was a country road with almost no shoulder, so no real place to stop w/out getting clocked by traffic overtaking me. There were the occasional driveways, but these were so poorly marked and muddy that I couldn't have slowed down in time to pull into one safely. The storm was heading the same direction we were traveling, so if I stopped I would just have to ride through it again. Next there was the risk that if I did stop, nobody else would, and that I would be alone, utterly alone. Keep in mind that this was in dueling banjo's country. Normally this wouldn't have been that big of a deal, but I didn't have a really good notion of our final destination for that day. None of us did. We were just heading north. I had no intention of stopping, alone, and then getting the Ned Beatty treatment from Deliverance. "Where you going city boy? Squeal like a pig." So muddle on it was.

Eventually I realized that it was the riding glasses that had caused the most problems. I left them at the edge of my nose and lowered the visor. By breathing shallowly I managed to avoid steaming up the visor horribly and made it until the next stop without incident. In fact most of the rest of the trip home went without incident.

The only other things of note were the morning of the last day. We started out in Little Rock Arkansas. There was some argument as to the route. I'm happy to say that I lost that argument. I don't know the highway. It was either 540 or 71, but either way it was beautiful. We started out driving along in what amounted to a forest in that region. As we crossed out onto a bridge the forest fell away. First I looked to my left and saw another bridge that had the oncoming traffic and it was backed by what looked like a little tree covered hill. I then looked to my right and realized that what I had been looking at on my left wasn't a hill, but the top of a mountain. To my right was an amazing vista looking out onto the Ozark Mountains. This leg of the trip was amazing, roads that ran like roller coasters up and down the sides of these miniature mountains. You'd zip to the top and be treated to an amazing view, and then balls out race to the bottom. Better than any roller coaster I've ever been on.

On that note I think I'm going to end this post. It has grown to such an enormous size and taken me so long to write, that I really have no desire to go back and proofread or edit it. Sorry if it doesn't make sense in places. I have some pictures that I might post some time, but they don't do justice to where I went or what I saw.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005


Barring any unforseen closing misshaps I will be moving into the new place on the 21st of this month. For those who've not seen the place yet, here are some pictures. In order to do this I'm having to hustle to get things packed and ready to go by then. This last weekend consisted of several late nights of packing resulting in anything not already nailed down, being placed in boxes. I may have prematurely packed some stuff. My roomate was pretty pissed when she'd found out that I'd packed the frying pan.

While packing I found certain things that were mine that were attached to the walls that I wanted to take with me. Pictures, mirrors, crap like that. One thing in particular, nearly killed me. Two years ago, my brother had hung a dish rack over the kitchen sink. I'm not sure what kind of philips head screws he used, but none of the screwdrivers that I had seemed to work. I nearly fell off the counter twice trying to get the thing down. Finally when I was seconds away from ripping it from the wall I stood up on the counter again and just looked around the kitchen in exhasperation. Just to my right on the very top of the cabinet completely obscured from view I spy a very dusty and old screw driver. It must have been the one that Zakk left up there two years ago when he'd hung the rack in the first place. I believe that is the definition of serendipity.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

I am so f'd

What the hell have I gotten myself into? Just when I thought I was going to live life on easy street for a while, the whole world conspires to kick me in the pants. When I listed the house the other day with a realtor I expected that I'd have a month or two of showings and a couple of lackluster offers before I really had to think about selling my house. For that reason I figured, go ahead, buy the bike you've got plenty of time before you need to deal with the house. So much for that theory. Last night I got an offer on the house. It's only been on the market 4 days. It was a good offer. I mean a really good offer. An offer that I just couldn't see refusing. No Godfather jokes. Anyway, the only hitch is that they want to close in a little over 3 weeks. That doesn't give me much time to find my own place to move into. So now I'm franticly trying to cram into the next 3 weeks everything I though I had a month or two to work on. No such luck. I'm now trying to scour through a mass of listings to find the homes I want to look at. At the same time I'm trying to throw together financing for the new place. Add to that the fact that I've got an impending move, and impending vacation, I need to license the new bike and keep up with work. I'm not really complaining about any of this, just the timing of it. Yeah, I know, this is mostly my fault anyway. I'll shut up now.

Sunday, April 24, 2005


Some of you may or may not know that I've been wanting to get a motorcycle for some time. I'd been putting it off in order to do a couple of other things first. Primarily finish paying for my car and sell the house. I've done neither, but I bought the bike anyway. I'd been seeing so many other people out there riding, and I couldn't wait. I'd already picked the model and manufacturer and was ready to go. This past Friday I snapped. I was sitting in a meeting just thinking about how much I wanted to buy the bike and I was so pissed that I couldn't. When I finally started paying attention, I realized that someone had been talking to me and I'd been smiling and nodding along with whatever crap they'd been talking about. It was at that point that I realized that if I wanted to keep my job I need to get my mind off buying a bike and really just do it. I'm not sure if that's how it really happend, but it sounds plausible. Doesn't it?

Once the meeting was over I went and printed off a list of Honda dealerships and started making calls. In about 30 minutes I'd found the one that I wanted and was ready to go. They told me to find out about insurance and come on in. I promptly called my insurance agent. He is on vacation, so I was helped by his office staff they were very nice and said they would get me a quote, "So long as it isn't one of those um, well um, those kind of bikes." "What kind of bikes are you talking about?" I reply. "Well, Ron (my insurance agent) calls them, well, um, I don't know if I can say it." "A crotch rocket?", I ask. "Yes" she giggles. (Let me stop here and laugh and feel sorry for anyone who can't say "crotch rocket" without felling dirty and embarrased.) Really wanting insurance and know that if I say yes that it was a crotch rocket, Ron would probably turn me down cold, so I correct her and say, "I don't know if its a crotch rocket, but technically it is a sport bike." She says, "Oh I see" and continues to get the information that she needed from me to get the quote together. Five minutes later I'm off the phone with a quote in hand and the understanding that I just needed to call the vin number in over the weekend and they'd issue a policy on Monday. I then procede to call back the bike shop and tell them to get the thing ready, because I'm coming to get it RIGHT NOW. The salesman said sure, just have your insurance company fax over an insurance binder and we will get it setup and ready to go. Like most other normal people in the world I have no idea what an insurance binder is, so I just call back the insurance company and ask them to fax the insurance binder over to the bike shop so I could get my bike. They started to do it, but then there was a long silence. Then I hear, "Aaron, we have a problem here." Which I already knew because the witty banter that I'd been enganged in up to that point with the person on the other end of the line stopped. It was at that moment I knew I wasn't going to be getting the bike that night. She (not the same person I spoke to on the first call) explained that American Family would not issue a policy on that bike. My heart sank. No binder no bike no love. Where's the love? I have to then call back the salesman at the bike shop and tell him I won't be able to get the insurance binder that night and that I might not get it until Monday when the insurance companie's motorcycle specialists. The salesman asks me to come on in and fill out all of the necessary paperwork, and we would just finish it up when I get the insurance taken care of. So I do, and I then spend the next 4 hours wiping drool off my chin in anticipation of the new bike.

Upon leaving the bike shop I head straight for Lawrence to my friend John's house warming party. Have you ever been at a party and get really drunk too quickly? I'm there about an hour and half and know that if I take one more drink that there will be dire consequences. I decide that it would be best to slow down at that time and pace myself. I paced myself too well and went from completely smashed to sober and developing a hang over. You know you've messed up when you leave the party alone and with a hang over. I only mention this, because I stayed at the party until about 2:30 in the morning when I decided to leave for home. I arrive home at about 3, and am so exhausted that I crawl into bed completely clothed. I woke up in that condition only 4 and 1/2 hours later. Why I woke up I have no idea, but I have a sneaking suspicion that it had something to do with the GAWDAMNEDFUGGIN birds chirping outside my window. The sleep had not helped the hangover, and I couldn't get back to sleep. I started to think about the bike and how that might my pounding head. I decided to do something about the lack of insurance situation. Geico is d'bomb.

What followed was about 5 hours of screaming boredom while I waited for the bike shop to do all of the things that needed to be done to sell me the bike. Eventually I got out of there and was ready to take on the 30 minute ride home. On that ride I lucked out big time. I zipped right past a speed trap doing 97 MPH. The cop didn't even give me a second glance. I don't know what he was waiting for? There are few people in that vicintiy who deserved a ticket more than I. In my own defence I had no idea I was going that fast when I looked down. When you are on the motorcycle in traffic, you are spending most of your time making sure that you are safe and will continue to be that way. Let me just say that I cannot remember a time that I felt safe after looking at my speedometer. Crashes aren't caused by me going faster than the speed limit. Crashes are caused by the someone not paying attention to the road and the conditions aroud them. My goal is to drive safely with regards to the traffic around which is made of many components. Speed is one of these, but in my eyes a minor one. Any way, I dodged a bullet with that speed trap and decided to slow things down to somewhere near the speed limit.

I'm sure that everybody is asking what the hell kind of bike did you get. It's an 800 CC Honda VFR800.

I also have color matched luggage that attaches to the bike on the way.

That's enough of this story for now. I will go into the rest of it later.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

What's your Pope Name?

No. Not, "What's your Pope's name?", but "What's your Pope name". When you become Pope, you get to change your name. I'm trying to figure out what my name ought to be when I'm made Pope. I have the firm belief that in the future, we will all get to be Pope for 15 minutes.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Watching movies with the sleeping.

My life seems to have been defined by movies that I've finished watching in the presence of those who've fallen asleep. You have the luxury of loving or hating the movie in privacy while not feeling pathetic for watching a movie by yourself.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005


At first the though of Sushi just freaked me out. Raw pink jiggly hunks of fish just sitting there on top of pasty looking globs of rice. Or even better raw pink jiggly hunks of fish wrapped in pasty rice, and then wrapped in something the consistency of a fruitrollup and the color of , well you know.

I am a pretty picky eater. It's usually not the taste of something that turns me off, but the texture or smell. I can't stand the smell of cooking cauliflower, asparagus or brussel sprouts, and I can't stand the texture of olives, calamari and mushrooms. That's why it really surprises me that I've taken to sushi in the way that I have. I guess there are a couple of parts I like about it. First, that visceral and dangerous feeling of eating something that wasn't cooked. GRRRRR. I'm a primitive cave man. Second, there's the chopsticks. Yeah, I know that half the world eats with chopsticks, and its nothing special. But in BFE Kansas City, probably the most landlocked place in all of the world, it makes you cool. At least in my head it does. Yeah. I said it. I'm cool because I can eat with chopsticks. I'm so badass I can even eat soup with chopsticks. So you and your pansy ass fork and spoon can kiss my ass. Finally, I actually do like the taste. I never thought I would, but I do. There are some things that I don't think I will ever want to eat, like squid, sea urchin and octopus, but just about everything else is on the menu.