Posted on Monday, March 6th, 2006
Sometimes it so sucks to be me.
At 8:30 this morning, I found out that some sort of crisis had happened, necessitating me having to pull together a project, drive 3 hours to Seattle, fly to Chicago O'Hare, spend the night, meet somebody at the airport at 6:30am, then fly back home directly after.
36 hours of my life gone so that I can play delivery boy.
And this was shaping up to be such good week.
As I sit here in my hotel room, I marvel how things like this tend to happen to me so often (note to self: wireless service at the Hilton O'Hare SUCKS ASS, so don't stay here again). I guess all I can do is order up some crappy room service food, watch TV, and hope I don't oversleep because the wake-up call system is all screwed up.
About the only cool thing that happened this entire day was sitting next to Seattle musician Jim Basnight on the plane and talking music for the trip over. He's on his way to New York to play a few gigs this weekend, so if you're in the city, be sure to check it out.
Since I didn't have time to pack anything except a change of underwear and a toothbrush, I just realized I don't have any Carmex lip balm with me. How in the heck am I expected to survive Chicago in March without my Carmex lip balm? I feel my lips chapping up as I type this...
Posted on Tuesday, March 7th, 2006
I've decided that I don't like being a delivery boy. Too much hassle for too little reward. There are perks, however. Unlike my "real" job which never ends, this job is done, done, done. I hand over the package, and it's over. I can go home and not think about it anymore.
The only thing I have to think about is whether my flight is going to leave on time. Last night they were having problems with their radar here at O'Hare, and we arrived a half-hour late. And since I didn't get much sleep last night, I really don't want any delays for my flight out. I'll have a hard enough time staying awake for the 3-hour drive home once I land in Seattle.
As a side-note... why in the heck do they put cameras in mobile phones?
The quality is always tragic, making the camera totally worthless, so why bother?
On the left is a picture out my window from yesterday's flight out of Seattle. Since I bought my ticket earlier that same day, I got a crappy seat in the back of the plane. I wanted to preserve the moment forever, but this picture isn't going to bring back any memories except how much my phone's camera sucks ass.
On the right is a photo of a dumbass who is clipping his nails here in United Airlines "Red Carpet Club". This elite refuge for frequent travelers is supposed to be a classy and comfortable retreat from the chaos of waiting at the gate. As it turns out, you get the same redneck morons who think that flinging their nail clippings everywhere is acceptable behavior.
But, on the other hand, here at the Red Carpet Club you get FREE MINI BAGELS WITH CREAM CHEESE!! WOO HOO!!
Actually, these bagels totally blow, which just goes to prove that you cannot find a decent bagel outside of New York. Don't ask me why.
OH GREAT! SOME BITCH JUST BROUGHT A SCREAMING BABY... INTO THE RED CARPET CLUB!! I guess that's my cue to go claim my seat upgrade and go home. I project my odds of being able to sleep on the plane at 6%. Hopefully somebody will drop a suitcase on my head as they try to over-stuff the overhead bin so I can finally get some rest.
Posted on Wednesday, March 8th, 2006
When I got back from my trip yesterday, I was understandably exhausted. It took seven hours to get to Chicago O'Hare where I spent 9 hours waiting to do something that took 5 minutes, only to have to turn around and spend another seven hours getting back home. After working for a couple of hours, I think I must have passed out, because I woke up at 8:00pm and didn't know where I was.
And so now my sleep schedule is going to be all messed up, and that sucks ass because I'm already battling insomnia. With nothing better to do while wide-awake at 1:00am, I thought I'd write up a summary of my trip. But that was boring, so I decided to to try telling my tales in verse. A pity I'm not much of a poet...
Ode to the dumbass who kept yelling "ARE YOU THERE?" "HELLO?" "ARE YOU THERE?" "HELLO?" "ARE YOU THERE?" at the airport check-in counter...
Mobile phones sure are swell,
Cellular technology is sly.
But if the connection makes you yell,
It's time to hang up or die.
Ode to the impossibly cute woman I saw sitting across from me in the food court at Chicago O'Hare International...
Your hair sets my heart aflame,
Your smile is devilish and fleeting.
Your brown eyes are calling my name,
A pity you pick your nose while eating.
Ode to the Reggio's Chicago-style pizza I ate for breakfast at the airport yesterday morning...
Cheese! So gooey and right!
Sauce! So flavorful and tight!
Crust! So buttery and light!
Your calories widen my butt.
Ode to the rude bitch in the seat ahead of me on the plane who crushed my kneecaps and nearly destroyed my laptop...
To recline slowly is courtesy,
To look behind first is kind.
To flop back indiscriminately,
Makes me want to beat your behind.
Ode to the "Right Bite" boxed meals that United Airlines sells in lieu of the in-flight meals you used to get...
Meals are no longer free,
$5 for a snack box insane.
Contents really do puzzle me,
Because tuna stinks up the plane.
Ode to the woman at the gas station who was wearing so much makeup that I had to wonder if there was a face under all of it...
Pants worn tightly.
Tits covered slightly.
Hair teased nightly.
You look like a whore.
Ode to the piece of crap motorist ahead of me on Blewett Pass who is obviously too old to still be driving...
Hey old man you're taking all day,
Oh why won't you let me pass?
Time to get the f#@% out of my way,
Or I'll crash into you then kick ass.
Hmmm... well that was a bad idea. Sorry. It won't happen again.
Gah! It's now 1:30am and I'm still not tired!! I am so going to be dragging my ass today.
Posted on Saturday, March 25th, 2006
Yesterday I made the mistake of visiting Brookstone and trying out one of those magical computerized "massage chairs". You sit down and press buttons that makes the chair come alive and give you a massage. There are a variety of modes to choose from... you can get a Swedish massage, a Shiatsu massage, or anything in-between. You can get a hard massage or a soft massage. You can have a heated massage or a vibrating massage. You can even have the chair massage your ass.
I turned on everything.
It was actually painful. But in a good way.
It was SO good, that I had to resist the urge to touch myself inappropriately...
By the time it was over, I was ready to buy. But there were three problems...
After goofing around the East-side this afternoon, I said goodbye to my friends there and headed Seattle-side.
Since our Cabo San Lucas plans were scuttled, my friend and I decided to stay downtown so she could take me out for birthday dinner and we could wander around the Market in the morning. We would have taken a look tonight, but everything was closing just as we arrived. The sunset was nice though...
Our room overlooks the new Seattle Public Library. This freaky building seems interesting, and sure photographs nicely from a distance...
Unfortunately, it looks like total crap from street level. Kind of like they took six really cool buildings, then smashed them all together at unpleasant angles or something. Not a pretty picture to me, but it does have its fans.
And now, if you'll excuse me, it's ice cream time.
ICE CREEEEAM!! ICE CREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEAM!!
Oh yeah... thanks to everybody who was kind enough to send their birthday wishes... I feel much loved. :-)
Posted on Wednesday, March 29th, 2006
Washington State is a pretty amazing place. We've got a rain-forest, a beautiful coastline, the San Juan islands, the Columbia River, plenty of mountains & lakes, yummy apples, famous wines, the world's biggest extinct waterfall, a huge dam, the Space Needle, and lots of other cool stuff. It's a happenin' place, and I kind of like living here. You should drop by and see it if you get a chance.
And with all the nifty stuff we got, you'd think it would be easy to sell the place as a tourist destination.
But apparently it's more difficult than you'd think. A team of 32 "experts" spent 18 months (and heaven only knows how much money) working on a new slogan for us, and what did they come up with?
Which has a lot of Washingtonians saying "say WHAT?!?"
Most people do not like it at all, and just about every publication in the state has called it stupid (or worse). This makes the prospect of a half-million dollar ad campaign a little hard for people to understand when they see stuff like this...
When all I can picture is this...
Personally, I don't get it. What is this trying to say to potential visitors? It's like hipster slang gone wrong instead of a compelling campaign to get people thinking of Washington as vacation destination. Oh well. The real shame is that this could have been a decent concept... for Oklahoma. "SayOK" has a nice ring to it, doesn't it?
Anyway, here's a list of things I DON'T want to do today...
But, lucky me, I get to do all six!! The good news is that once I get to Spokane, there's a fresh episode of Veronica Mars waiting for me tonight...
And, of course, the best pizza in the known universe at David's Pizza. That's almost worth the trip all by itself, so maybe this won't be such a bad day after all?
Looks like I am off to SeeWA.
Posted on Thursday, March 30th, 2006
My big plan to recover from a three-hour drive yesterday was to have a slice of David's Da Vinci pizza and then check into the hotel and watch the latest Veronica Mars.
But everything went wrong. David's was out of Da Vinci so I had to get cheese pizza (still good). But then the shit really did hit the fan... at 9:00 I turned to the UPN channel for Veronica and instead saw that The A-Team was playing...
Turns out that the local Spokane UPN affiliate switched to "The Retro Television Network" back in January. So no Veronica Mars for me. Comcast bastards.
Fast forward to this afternoon. Work is over, and it's time for the boring drive home. If anybody is curious, here's pretty much what the Central Washington's Columbia Basin looks like this time of year...
Later in the season the wheat will be grown up and turn a nice golden color which looks great at sunset. Today, it's just getting started, so things are a little green yet.
Usually I drive I-90 because it's the fastest way back home. But, because I love my readers, I decided to drive Highway 2 instead. This way, I could make a stop at "Dry Falls" so I could show everybody what the largest waterfall in the world looks like. Well, it was the biggest, but not anymore...
Unfortunately, the massive scale of the formation is lost in this photo. Those cliffs are 400 feet tall. If there was water still flowing over them, it would dwarf Niagara Falls by a large margin (it's 350% wider and 250% taller). Turning back the clock 13,000 years, here is what it would look like...
If you're curious about the whole Dry Falls story, I've copied the info in an extended entry.
For everybody else, see you tomorrow (and don't worry about me, David's had a fresh Da Vinci pizza ready for my lunch today, and Veronica Mars was waiting for me on the TiVo when I got home).→ Click here to continue reading this entry...
Posted on Thursday, June 1st, 2006
I am of the opinion that people who suffer from road rage are probably blameless for their condition. There are so many total dumbasses on the road that it's no wonder people are enraged. By the time I finally got across the mountains I was so overwhelmed with anger that I was very close to having a mental breakdown. You know it's bad when your throat is sore from screaming at idiots for three solid hours (knowing full well that they will never hear you).
Here is a puzzle for you...
Given the above situation do you...
A: Realize that you are delaying traffic and pissing people off, so you pull over at the next turnout.
B: Think that you are the center of the universe, don't give a shit about anybody else, and don't bother pulling off at the turnout because it would be an inconvenience.
If you answered A, then congratulations! You not only know how to read, but you also know how to drive legally! This gives you a DaveQ of 1000, so please go get a badge and display it proudly!
If you answered B, then please f#@% off and die. Seriously. It's bad enough that you are going 18 miles an hour under the speed limit, but the fact that you are breaking the law and causing people to have a brain hemorrhage BECAUSE YOU WON'T PULL THE F#@% OFF THE ROAD TO LET US PASS... well, I just want your stupid ass beat to shit until you die.
DIE! DIE! DIE!!!
Ahem. But it was all worth it because once I got to Redmond it was Zombie time...
Everything turned out super-sweet (though the photos look a little freaky because I had to use a flash).
These shirts are pretty nifty because they are so astoundingly useful...
CONDITION: Hung-over on a Monday morning at work due to a weekend of heavy partying? EXCUSE YOU CAN USE: Zombies ate my brain.
CONDITION: Stayed up too late watching a marathon of old Arnold Schwartzenegger movies? EXCUSE YOU CAN USE: Zombies ate my brain.
CONDITION: Sick with the flu but can't afford to miss a day of work? EXCUSE YOU CAN USE: Zombies ate my brain.
CONDITION: Fall asleep while making love to your significant other? EXCUSE YOU CAN USE: Zombies ate my brain.
The beauty of it all is that you don't even have to say a word... just point to the shirt!
And now I'm off to Chicago...
Posted on Friday, June 2nd, 2006
My Horizon flight was cancelled this morning due to the ever-vague "mechanical difficulties". Color me shocked.
Since I started this blog three years ago, I have had four mechanical-related cancelations (argh)... and that doesn't even begin to cover the dozens of Horizon departure delays that happened in-between. Now we're up to FIVE "mechanical difficulty" cancelations. In THREE YEARS!!
I mean, HOLY SHIT! Given all these problems, I can't help but wonder why their aircraft are not falling out of the sky on a regular basis!
But it's my fault. You would think that I would learn. I should just bit the bullet and fly out of Seattle. But it's so NICE not having to drive 3-1/2 hours back home after I return. I love being twenty minutes away from my house when I get back from an exhausting trip instead of having to spend another two-hundred-and-ten minutes driving.
So, instead of landing in Chicago right about now, I haven't even left yet...
And as if that's weren't bad enough, I have this peanut-eating bitch sitting behind me that keeps kicking her seat and making little "hmph hmph" noises in her throat. She's creeping me out. And now I smell like peanuts...
Kill me. Kill me now.
And if my plane falls apart in mid-air due to "mechanical difficulties"... please know that I love you all. Each and every one of you.
Well, everybody except Avitable.
Something tells me that anybody who would eat ice cream cones with Hitler is somebody you should probably distance yourself from in the interest of good karma in the afterlife.
UPDATE: By some miracle, Horizon managed to keep their airplane in one piece all the way to Seattle. Apparently I have a flight to Chicago sometime tonight, but can't find a gate agent to confirm it. One thing is for sure... it's going to be a long, long day.
Posted on Sunday, June 4th, 2006
How is it that you can spend an entire evening with complete strangers, yet be chatting away as if you were old friends immediately after sitting to the table? A meet-up with your fellow bloggers, that's how!
Truth to tell, there's really no way of knowing how something like this is going to go down. Blogs can only tell you so much about a person, and there's no way of knowing what they are like in "real-life" until you meet face-to-face. And then you run the risk that the bloggers you meet will be totally psychotic, and everybody will end up fighting and screaming. Fortunately, I was the only psychotic person there, and nobody seemed to notice.
As it ends up, everybody had a really good time. At least I know I did. A nicer bunch of people you'll never meet, and now I have some new blogging friends to read (not to mention an awesome new pizza to look for: MASHED POTATO PIZZA!). All in all, it was a great night, and has me wishing I could meet up with my readers and fellow-bloggers more often.
Super-Best-Friend Bloggers Roll Call...
The evening started out with really good pizza at Piece...
And ended with mango mojitos at a tequila bar called Salud...
Though I think Bob is contemplating the "world's worst wine" there, and I have no idea what lethal red concoction Jen is drinking. Out of all of us, Gary is the only one who actually had one of Salud's famous margaritas. Probably because "Mango Mojito" just sounds too tempting (and is fun to say).
Thanks to everybody who attended for a terrific night out!
Posted on Sunday, June 4th, 2006
Jenny and I had made plans to check out the Chris Ware showing at the Museum of Contemporary Art today. I am a huge admirer of his work, and was happy to find a fellow fan to share the exhibit with. Luckily, Gary was still in town as well, so the three of us set out to explore Chicago after I had spent way too much money in the museum gift shop.
First it was the the Printer's Row Book Fair, where we ran across the very cool Harold Washington Library Center...
It was such a beautiful day that it seemed a shame not to walk up to Millennium Park so we could see the newly polished "Cloud Gate" sculpture. All the seams have finally been buffed out, and we were anxious to see the new and improved "seamless bean". Along the way, we caught up with some protesters being addressed by the cops in a "Segway to Justice!"
As expected, the bean was stunning under the flawless blue skies...
And then, before we knew it, it was time for a quick lunch and goodbye...
What a terrific way to spend a Sunday!
Posted on Monday, June 5th, 2006
I just got back from dinner at Fogo de Chão.
For anybody who has never eaten there, it's kind of a vegetarian's nightmare where fanciful chefs in goucho pants wander around the restaurant with butcher knives and skewers of meat... continuously feeding you a variety of dead animals until you explode. Ordinarily I would have skipped an invitation to such a place, but they have a very good salad bar and so I was happy to go. I admit that the never-ending parade of meat to the table is a bit distracting, but eventually I am able to just ignore it...
Well, they don't really go wandering around with a pig's head... but you get the idea.
It was an interesting end to an otherwise sucky day. Lets go back in time eight hours...
Today should have been fairly uneventful because I spent most of it in my hotel room working. But the weather outside was so beautiful that I couldn't resist rewarding myself with a walk up to Johnny Rockets for lunch.
That was a mistake.
After I had eaten, I spotted a guy giving out free Ben & Jerry's ice cream. I snagged a delicious Chocolate-Chip Cookie Dough cone and happily started walking back to my hotel. I was half-way home when a car coming from the opposite direction turned in front of me as I was making my way through the crosswalk. Apparently they ended up turning wider than they intended, because they nearly ran me down in the street... I actually had to jump out of the way to avoid getting creamed. I never saw a turn signal, and they turned so late that there was really no way for me to anticipate what was going to happen (never mind the fact that I had a "walk" signal).
And while I did avoid death or serious injury... I made a terrible landing. Probably because I was trying not to drop my ice cream. Much to my horror, I twisted my leg and came crashing down on the pavement.
I was too shocked to be angry, but the woman crossing behind me was furious. "DID YOU GET THE LICENSE OF THAT BITCH?!?" she screamed as she leaned over me. "Uh, no... the car was going too fast" I replied, and then stupidly added "it was a silver car".
As I was getting up with my ice cream cone (miraculously spared), a small crowd wandered up as the woman had to tell everybody what had happened... "A BITCH IN A SILVER CAR JUST RAN HIM DOWN!! JUST RAN HIM DOWN IN THE STREET!!" she announced (as if it would have been less tragic had it taken place in a parking lot?).
So now my leg and back are all jacked-up. Fortunately, I have my meds with me.
And just when I think things can't get any worse, I arrive back at my hotel just in time to learn our beloved president is announcing his support for a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.
It's so nice that the office of the president is continuing to represent ALL the people of this country*.
*Assuming that you are a healthy, white, wealthy, Christian, heterosexual from Texas.
I've already said my peace on the subject, but continue to be amazed at how many people have to suffer in the name of a political agenda. There's no way such an amendment could ever pass, so why sully the office of the president with a statement of such horrific bigotry? Why stir up even more hatred in a country so divided? Why be so intentionally hurtful to his fellow American citizens? Why do this when it's so mind-bogglingly un-presidential? Why?
Probably because his popularity is at an all-time low and he needs to rally support from his conservative fan base for the upcoming mid-term elections.
Which is a pretty crappy thing to do, and begs the question...
When President Bush took his oath of office to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States of America... did he ever bother to f#@%ing read it? I've never cared for Bush, but was always respectful of his office. Now I've been worn down to the point where I just have no respect left to give. It's very sad.
So now I am hurting both in body and in spirit. I just want to take a few more pills, go to sleep, and make the world go away. Maybe everything will be better when I wake up in the morning.
I can dream, can't I?
Posted on Tuesday, June 6th, 2006
I feel so violated! I just rode twenty-seven floors with a couple who were going at it in the elevator. Without sounding like a total prude... ew! Surely they realize that nobody wants to see that? I mean, if I were trapped in the elevator with two lesbian porn stars, maybe... but this dopey guy and his skank-ho girlfriend? No thanks. Some people should be banned from displays of public affection (and, unless you actually ARE a lesbian porn star, this means you).
Tonight's dinner was at one of the best Thai restaurants outside of Thailand... Vong's Thai Kitchen. They have a "Yellow Vegetable Pad Thai" to die for. Succulent, flaky noodles that aren't the least bit gummy! Here is what I got out of my Thai fortune cookie at the end...
If you cannot read my drunken photo, it says: "Everyone agrees you are the best". I never really doubted this, but it's nice to have proof in writing.
I woke up with mild pain in my back and only a little tenderness in my leg... so apparently I am going to survive getting run down in the street yesterday. This is a good thing, because it means I don't have to take pills (which I hate, because it makes me sleepy all day). It also meant that I got to bum around the candy expo here in Chicago. It's always a cool event, mainly because I love me the free samples of sugary treats! There were many wonders to behold, but two things stood out for me...
The first is CHOCOLATE PEEPS!! Yes, Peeps are now available cocoa flavored! I like Peeps, even though I can't eat them (marshmallow has gelatin, which is made from gross animal parts I refuse to stick in my mouth)...
Maybe it's just that I like saying "Peeps" a lot?
Next up was the PEZ booth. PEZ is a candy I love and actually DO eat. The big surprise was that they had the American Chopper guys from Orange County Choppers make them a cool bike...
And that's all she wrote. It has been a very long day.
BUT BEFORE I GO... in deference to Mistress Eve on this most auspicious date of 06-06-06, I am hereby recognizing "Day of Slayer" by rocking out to the ever-excellent death-metal classic album South of Heaven on my iPod (yes, I know you are supposed to blast without headphones, but they would most certainly kick me out of the hotel for that!). Slay on my Mistress of Metal!
♫ The root of all evil is the heart of a black soul... a force that has lived all eternity! ♫ A never ending search for a truth never told... the loss of all hope and your dignity! ♫
Posted on Wednesday, June 7th, 2006
My last day in Chicago was spent working, which is such a bummer given the beautiful weather and all the nifty things to do in the city. As I type this, fireworks are being shot off of Navy Pier just down the road from my hotel. I don't think that it's a holiday, so I'm not sure what's going on. Perhaps the fact that it's another glorious day in The Windy City is reason enough to celebrate?
I'm too tired to write comprehensive sentences, so it's time for bullet points!
Oh yeah... on the way back from lunch I finally remembered to take a photo of this cool mural that's a 3-D image of Michelangelo's sculpture masterpiece "Moses"...
A brilliant likeness of the original, which is located in "San Pietro in Vincoli" basilica in Rome.
Argh. Time to pack my suitcase so I don't have to worry about it in the morning.
Posted on Saturday, July 1st, 2006
You would think that the internet age would make travel planning easier.
You would be wrong.
I just spent the past four hours arranging flights, hotels, rental cars, and all the other crap that makes travel so much fun. Nothing ever matches up. Flights always have ridiculously long layovers. Hotel check-in times are always too late and check-out too early. And meetings are never in the most convenient place. The good news is that in-between it all, I get to be in New York for a few days...
Then it's off to Wisconsin...
And finally back to Chicago...
And that's only for the first two weeks. I haven't got the energy to plan the rest of the summer.
And now, because it's Saturday and nobody seems to read my blog on Saturdays... AND because I'm a total meme whore... AND because I'm a total music whore... AND because I'm a total whore for Karla's Tales of a Texpatriate... I am stealing this rather cool "Three Songs Meme" from her in an extended entry (because it is MASSIVE)...→ Click here to continue reading this entry...
Posted on Wednesday, July 5th, 2006
Well this day sucks ass.
It started out well enough... I'm on my way to New York City, baby!
But then my flight out of Seattle was delayed two hours and it was all downhill from there. I thought that the hour wait to get my luggage would be the end of it. Until I got to the hotel... WHERE THE FREAKIN' INTERNET DOESN'T WORK!! You'd think I was staying at the Motel 6 or something... but this is a freakin' FOUR-STAR HOTEL IN MID-TOWN MANHATTAN!! Apparently $340 a night doesn't assure you of internet. WTF?!?
After three trips to the front desk to get busted internet routers, I gave up. I suppose I'll just have to figure it all out tomorrow. Oh well. Life may suck, but I AM in New York!
Time for a McVeggie Deluxe in Times Square!
Posted on Thursday, July 6th, 2006
Today was mostly work, but big fun was to be had this evening. That's because I was able to have dinner at the new Times Square Hard Rock Cafe with Dave3 and the Mistress of Metal herself... The Empress Eve!
Meeting up with fellow bloggers I read is always cool... but in this case it was particularly special because Dave3 and Eve are comic book geeks just like me. This is a pleasant change from my usual scene, because the small town where I live doesn't have much of a geek subculture to speak of.
Anyway, dinner was a blast, and reminds me once again that having to travel so much is not always a bad thing. I actually look forward to it when I know that cool people like Eve and Dave3 are waiting for me. It also makes me wonder why bloggers don't meet up more often, because every single time I've been able to see people in "real life," it's been totally sweet.
As if that wasn't enough, the Hard Rock is pretty spiffy...
The cafe itself is actually underground. That's because the Paramount Hotel that sits above it is being transformed into New York's very own Hard Rock Hotel. It's a nice property though, with plenty of open space...
And, since the Mistress of Metal was in attendance, her beloved Slayer was representing on the memorabilia wall...
Sadly, I had to get back to the hotel after dinner so I could try and solve my hotel's shitty internet problems and get back to work... but at least I got to meet Dave3 and Eve at last, so the day ended up being a good one after all.
At least until I found out that Superman is whoring himself out for Diet Pepsi...
Yeah, as if Superman needs to count calories. Doesn't everybody know that Superman's super-metabolism (which is fueled by the Earth's yellow sun) means that he doesn't have to diet? Well, unless he was exposed to Red Kryptonite and it made him super overweight. Or perhaps if Mxyzptlk used his 5th-Dimension magic to make him gain weight. Or maybe if he was a Superman from an alternate earth where all the characters have the opposite physique of their Earth-1 Counterparts (which, of course, would have to pre-date Crisis on Infinite Earths, for obvious reasons). Or I suppose it could even be because... oh... uhhhh... sorry, I must still be in Super-Geek mode.
Do you know how hard it is to be in a city like New York and have to work all day long? Oh well, I can always go look through my old pictures while I work and pretend I'm not working.
Posted on Friday, July 7th, 2006
So your train back to New York is delayed. Does this mean Amtrak puts you on the next train into the city so you don't have to hang out at the station for two hours? Sure... if you are willing to pay the $34.00 price difference between your regional train ticket and the express train ticket. That's some terrific customer service right there! I wonder if they would be willing to pay me for the time I wasted because of their delay?
BAD: Things go so terribly wrong at work that everything is cancelled.
GOOD: You now have a free afternoon in New York City.
BAD: Your project is now delayed, which means you're screwed.
GOOD: There is a substance called alcohol that will make you not mind being screwed so much.
BAD: You're still screwed once the alcohol has worn off.
GOOD: There's always more alcohol...
"Hello. My name is Dave, and I'm an alcoholic" is only slightly less cool than "Hello. My name is Indigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die."
I think I'll go for it.
As an alcoholic I'll have a valid excuse for urinating in the street and bitch-slapping people who bother me. "I'm sorry officer, I was drunk" I will say when the police arrive at the scene. I can only hope that I am not urinating on him as I say it, because that surely wouldn't go over very big with New York's finest...
Wandering back to Times Square for dinner, I was walking past the Hard Rock and saw something I never noticed before... there's a fork flashin' horns above the HRC guitar! So very cool...
And look! IT'S MR. PEANUT!!!
Everybody loves Mr. Peanut!
And I love New York.
Tomorrow I am going to spend the day goofing off in the city.
Posted on Sunday, July 9th, 2006
New York City is pretty sweet any time of day, but I think I like it at nighttime the best.
Last night I decided to venture out into the city once again so I could see the Apple Store lit up in all its glory. And, yes, it's pretty sweet. The way the Apple logo reflects into the glass is almost holographic-looking, and you can see everything a lot better because the reflections from neighboring buildings is not so bad. It is truly a beautiful structure, so kudos to Steve Jobs and his cube obsession for giving New York City another landmark piece of architecture...
Not to say that there aren't a lot of other buildings that look great at night...
Most of today was spent at the American Museum of Natural History. Not only did they have a freakin' cool exhibit on lizards (which I love), but there's a new Space Show narrated by Robert Redford called Cosmic Collisions, and an IMAX film I haven't seen called Amazing Caves. It's a pretty sweet place to spend an afternoon. How many places can you see giant dinosaur bones in one hall...
And then see a statue of a chubby doggy in the next?
Today was my last day in NYC, and I'm kind of sad about that.
Posted on Monday, July 10th, 2006
It's time once again for DAVE'S STEAMING PILE OF CRAP TRAVEL AWARD!
This is kind of unprecedented, because I usually wait until a trip is completely over before I go passing out an award. But I have two such amazing candidates that I can't help myself. If things get worse than this, I may just have to start beating people with a hammer.
DAVE'S STEAMING PILE OF CRAP TRAVEL AWARD... GRAND PRIZE: DOLLAR RENT-A-CAR!
So you have to wake up at 3:00am to make your 6:00am flight. The hotel is working on the water system, so there's no hot water. How much worse could it get? Well, you could get to Chicago and find out that Dollar doesn't have a rental car for you...
DOLLAR AGENT: I'm sorry, all we have is an SUV or a van available.
DAVE: But I have a reservation for a compact car. I don't want to drive an SUV or a van into the city!
DOLLAR AGENT: We do not guarantee that any car type will be available... all we guarantee is that a car will be available. The rate will be the same.
DAVE: But a van is not a car... it's a van! An SUV is not a car... it's an SUV! I have a reservation FOR A CAR!! When will A CAR be available.
DOLLAR AGENT: We are on a car-in, car-out basis here. I have no idea when a compact or mid-size will be available.
DAVE: Then what's the point of a reservation? Dollar Rent-A-Car is stupid.
I mean, seriously. WTF?!? Bad enough that they don't have a car... but they can't even tell me when I can expect to get one?? Well F#@% that! And F#@% Dollar Rent-A-Car. I will never, EVER rent from your ridiculous company again. Burn in hell you incompetent dumbasses. You just caused me to waste an hour trying to find a new car, AND I had to pay extra money because of the last-minute rental. DIE! DIE! DIE!!!!
DAVE'S STEAMING PILE OF CRAP TRAVEL AWARD... RUNNER-UP: HILTON HIGH-SPEED INTERNET!
Hilton says "take me to a place where high-speed internet is reliable and easy to use." This is kind of stupid, because if I were to take their advice, I would go anywhere... ANYWHERE except the Hilton Towers in New York. This is the worst internet I have ever used. First of all, you have to use some piece-of-crap "wireless bridge" in order to get signal. Unfortunately, they're all busted to shit. My first one had a frayed cable. My second one wouldn't turn on. My third one couldn't get a signal. My fourth one had a busted antennae... but I held on to it out of fear of what I might get had I tried for number five.
And even when you get a connection... it sucks ass. I had to reboot both the wireless bridge AND my laptop a half-dozen times a day because the internet would simply stop working for no good reason. It's bad enough to have to pay for internet... but to have to pay $9.95 a day for TOTALLY SHITTY INTERNET? WTF?? The Hilton New York is actually a pretty good hotel. I've been staying here for 15 years because the location is primo. But without high-speed internet in good working order, the Hilton New York is crap. F#@% hotels who charge for shitty internet access.
Case in point: I am right now in the middle of nowhere in Wisconsin. I am staying at a tiny no-frills budget hotel that costs 1/5 the money that my room in New York did. I have FREE wireless internet that is fast and doesn't require a bridge of any kind. How is it that this little nothing of a hotel is superior for internet IN EVERY WAY... and is absolutely FREE?
Anybody have a better recommendation for hotels in Mid-Town Manhattan that have decent internet service?
Posted on Friday, July 14th, 2006
"I'll kill you! KILL YOU DEAD!" he screams, his eyes filled with rage...
It all started innocently enough when Bob (of Chasing Vincenzo fame) read that I would be back in Chicago and was kind enough to write and ask if I wanted to meet for dinner while I was in town. Since he's a great guy with a lot of interesting things to talk about, I agreed immediately. Bob ended up choosing a very nice tapas restaurant with authentic authentic Spanish tapas (quite a different story from the "fake" authentic tapas houses I've run into).
The restaurant, Emilio's, was celebrating an anniversary, so there was live music and flamenco dancers for entertainment. We started out with a bit of light pre-dinner conversation... war, politics, religion, who would win in a fight between Batman and Spider-Man... you know, the usual kind of stuff. But then we somehow got on the topic of nuclear fusion and all hell broke loose.
"You can't contain the super-plasma using inert gasses as a barrier between the magnetic fields. You need a total vacuum or it's not going to work!" Bob says.
"Oh I think it will work just fine if the molecular state of the gas is excited by injecting weak protons into the barrier matrix" I reply. "Perhaps xenon or argon would be a good gas to use."
"What did you just say?!?" Bob asks over the escalating sounds of the guitar and rat-a-tat-tat of the flamenco dancers stomping away.
"Errr... maybe xenon or argon..." I offer meekly.
"Argon?!? ARGON?!?? How can you say 'argon'— I hate argon gas!" Bob says loudly as he tries to compete with the music filling the restaurant. "No self-respecting scientist uses argon gas for containment!"
"Uhhh... calm down, Bob" I say diplomatically. "I'm sure quite a few nuclear scientists have had good success using argon to—"
"NO! NO THEY HAVEN'T!!" Bob bellows as he jumps up from the table, his temper soaring. "Stop saying that! Stop saying 'argon!'"
"Bob, you're overreacting" I say, trying to keep my voice calm. "Argon is just a gas, it's not—"
"THERE! YOU SAID IT AGAIN!!" Bob screams, his voice filled with fury. "I TOLD YOU NOT TO SAY THAT!"
Bob then grabs a handful of papas bravas (a yummy potato dish) and throws it at my head. The restaurant, once noisy with flamenco dancers, music, laughter, and conversation, suddenly becomes silent. A kindly waitress appears at our table and tries to fix things...
"Is there a problem here gentlemen?" she asks nervously.
"YES, THERE IS A VERY BIG PROBLEM HERE!! THIS BASTARD THINKS THAT ARGON GAS WOULD MAKE A GOOD BARRIER BETWEEN MAGNETIC FIELDS OF A FUSION REACTOR!" Bob roars, all eyes on him.
"Argon?" the waitress says in a small voice. "Well, maybe not argon per-se... but certainly if the gas molecules were in an excited state... perhaps by injecting weak protons?"
Bob just stands there for a minute fuming, his hands bunched into fists. Nobody moves. It's as if the restaurant has been suspended in time.
Suddenly, Bob springs across the table and lunges at the waitress. "I'll kill you! KILL YOU DEAD!" he screams, his eyes filled with rage. The waitress is paralyzed with fear as Bob knocks her to the ground and wraps his hands around her neck. "ARGON THIS!" Bob wails as his hands tighten on her throat.
Panic fills the air as people start running around screaming. One of the busboys and a team of flamenco dancers manage to pull Bob off the poor waitress and hold him at the bar. He starts yelling something about "argon gas being a tool of the devil," but I am in a state of total shock and don't hear it.
I just sat there sobbing quietly with papas bravas in my hair until the police showed up and took Bob away. Something tells me he won't be welcome back at Emilio's any time soon.
Well, okay, that's not really what happened.
We had a wonderful dinner with fantastic food, and it was a lot of fun. But I'm getting tired of writing about how great it is to meet up with my fellow bloggers, and so I thought it would be more entertaining to write about what would happen if Bob went crazy and tried to strangle a waitress.
Because that would be kind of cool.
Not for the waitress, obviously, but it would make for a far more exciting blog entry.
Anyway, thanks Bob for a great dinner!
Posted on Saturday, July 15th, 2006
Yesterday afternoon as I was standing in line to check-in to my Chicago hotel, I overhear something curious in a conversation between two sarcastic twenty-something bitches in the lobby...
"Well, the world is going to hell and the gays have invaded the city."
And in my mind I'm thinking "Seriously? The gays have invaded Chicago?? I didn't see that one coming."
Suddenly my head is filled with images of the gay militia pouring into the streets of the city, looking fierce and fabulous! They're wearing lovely pink camouflage latex tank-tops with matching pink boots and a perky beret. They're armed with rhinestone-studded assault rifles (assuming you can bedazzle an AK-47) and the world is awash in sequins and glitter. They're setting up their HQ in Hancock Tower (tee hee), and it's the prettiest invasion ever (I hope there's good television coverage when I get to my room). I then wonder if my 20% status is enough to join-up because I, for one, welcome our new militant gay overlords...
And then I find out that it's a different kind of invasion entirely. Chicago is hosting the Gay Games this coming week, and the opening ceremonies are today.
I was really hoping for an actual gay invasion because that would certainly make this trip a memorable one.
And speaking of "fierce and fabulous" - am I the only one NOT going to BlogHer at the end of this month? It seems like a lot of the blogs I read have everybody gearing up for the event. I thought it was a conference just for the ladies, but now I'm seeing that guys are going too.
I always miss the good parties.
Posted on Sunday, July 16th, 2006
The taxi driver smelled so bad that my eyes were watering. And it wasn't like he was oblivious to the fact, because he'd occasionally whip out some deodorant spray in a futile attempt to mask the stench. Of course this did nothing but make things worse. The guy smelled like he crapped his pants, took a bath in a urinal, and then slept in a sweaty, stanky locker-room for a week. The 100-degree heat wasn't helping much either.
By the time I got to Lincoln Square, I was inundated with a melange of horrible smells and about ready to pass out...
But I did my best to stay conscious, because I was meeting Jenny for dinner and a movie and thought she might appreciate not finding me passed out on the sidewalk.
Or maybe she would. I'm probably a much better conversationalist that way.
Anyway, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest was a convoluted story filled with never-ending coincidences and lots of mind-blowing special effects. While not as good as the first film, it was still an entertaining ride (mostly due to Johnny Depp, who once again delivers out a masterful performance). The surprise was that they brought back Jack Davenport (of Coupling fame) to play Commodore Norrington. He completely eclipses Orlando Bloom at every turn, and is by far the more sympathetic character. That's actually kind of bad for the plot, but a happy accident for the movie, because it ends up adding some depth to the story.
The evening ended at a German bar full of elderly people partying down to a live band. Some of those seniors had brilliant moves ON the dance floor, which was surprising considering they could barely walk OFF the dance floor. Jenny and I were regretting that we didn't have a video camera, because this is the kind of stuff that thrives on YouTube.
Unable to find a taxi back into the city, I decided to hop on the train. Right behind me was a man trying to manage his sloppy-drunk girlfriend from falling over as she started gyrating wildly to music that wasn't there. It was amusing at first, but quickly became embarrassing. She was cursing profusely and jabbering on endlessly about stuff nobody really wanted to hear. Even worse was that she was scowling (for emphasis, I'd imagine) as she spoke, which reminded me of somebody...
I also suspect that she had head-lice, because she was forever shaking her hair like a woman possessed. I kept waiting for her head to snap off or maybe spin all the way around like Linda Blair in The Exorcist.
I wish I could say that this was the end of my travel entertainment, but my taxi ride to O'Hare this morning wouldn't allow it. The driver, who was talking to himself the entire way, decided to LIGHT UP A CIGARETTE as we pulled on to the airport expressway. Why he couldn't have waited ten minutes to drop me off first was a complete mystery. So instead I got to sit in cigarette smoke which pissed me off pretty bad. I hope he spends the $2 I tipped him wisely, because the idiot shouldn't have gotten anything at all. Dumbass.
What happened in the month that I was away? Did Chicago pass some kind of city ordinance whereas taxi drivers are required to make their cabs smell as bad as possible?
Oh well. I'm home safely in my sweet-smelling apartment, so I guess that's all that really counts... isn't it?
Posted on Tuesday, July 18th, 2006
Before I sat down to write this entry, I went back through my travel category and was irritated to discover that every single trip I've taken over the past three years has had some kind of problem along the way. There's no doubt about it... commercial travel has been sucking more and more lately.
To get the best price, you have to make your reservations online. But most travel websites suck ass and don't work half the time, which means you have to call and pay the higher price anyway. Flights consistently run late and are overbooked (if they aren't canceled first). Reservations mean nothing, as rental car agencies and hotels are happy to promise something they can't deliver. Nobody smiles or is friendly anymore. Internet access is rarely free, and the more expensive it is, the more it's going to suck. Everything that can possibly go wrong, will go wrong.
Above all, fellow travelers are dumbasses. Here's an example from my flight over to Seattle this evening...
STEWARDESS: Due to the short 35-minute duration of this flight, we will be featuring a limited beverage service only. We offer Apple Juice, Orange Juice, Cranberry Juice, Beer, Water, and Wine. Again, your choices are Apple, Orange, or Cranberry Juice and Beer, Water, or Wine. Thank you!
STEWARDESS: (wheeling her little cart to the first passenger) And what would you like to drink sir?
TOTAL F#@%ING DUMBASS: I'll have a 7-Up.
I know people think I invent this crap, but I shit you not. You just can't make up stuff like this.
And now I am sitting in my hotel room which was advertised on the internet as having "HIGH SPEED INTERNET IN EVERY ROOM" and a banner saying "WIRELESS INTERNET!!" Little did I know that this does NOT mean wireless in every room... it means that there's wireless in the lobby only, and rooms have to use a cable (which they do not provide, and I didn't bring with me because I thought I'd have wireless). This kind of deceptive crap is just unforgivable. My blinding rage has me very close to burning this f#@%er to the ground.
But I'm too tired to find another hotel. So I guess I'll go post this from the lobby, then head back to my room and despair because I'm going to spend the night without internet access. Stupid hotel.
Now, for a random bit of hilariousness, go read Kevin Smith lambaste the totally irrelevant douche-bag movie critic Joel Siegel on his blog. I cannot WAIT for Clerks 2 to hit this weekend. The fact that an unprofessional prick like Siegel feels the need to walk out of a screening only makes me want to see it more.
Posted on Wednesday, July 19th, 2006
Work was in Tacoma today, which is about an hour south of Seattle and the "TAC" in SeaTac International Airport. It's a noteworthy city to me because of one man: Dale Chihuly. I am a huge, huge fan of his stunning glass artwork, and Tacoma is a showcase for some of the best of it (probably because it's his home town).
Surprisingly, even though Chihuly is a huge backer of The Museum of Glass, his work in not a major part of the museum's relatively small gallery floor (you need to go to the Tacoma Museum of Art to see a permanent Chichuly exhibit). But you do get to see live glassblowing here and a few beautiful pieces of Chihuly art in the "Hot Spot" balcony...
From the museum, you can walk across the "Bridge of Glass" and see even more Chihuly, including a glass ceiling that is breathtaking when the sun is shining through it...
Once across the bridge, you can enter Union Station and see five amazing Chihuly installations in glorious open spaces...
Who could have ever guessed that Tacoma, Washington would end up being the "Venice of the West"?? I just consider myself lucky that such an amazing display is only three hours away from my home.
Anyway, then it was back to the airport so I could catch a quick 50-minute flight to Spokane (which is about 4-1/2 to 5 hours by car). My flight was delayed (what else is new) but I managed to catch an earlier plane. Once I arrived and picked up my rental car, I discovered something surprising with my Subaru Legacy... can somebody tell me when they started making semi-automatic cars?
I call it "semi-automatic" because, while there's no clutch, you'll note that there is a "+" and "-" on the gear-box which allows you to change gears, just like a manual transmission. It's a very odd driving experience, but not bad once you get used to it.
First stop in Spokane was, of course, to eat THE BEST PIZZA IN THE WORLD at David's Pizza. I debated going out for a movie, but I've seen Pirates and Superman already, so there's not much else I want to see until Clerks II hits this weekend. Oh well. You won't hear me complaining about calling it a night and getting a few extra hours sleep.
Posted on Thursday, July 20th, 2006
After yet another orgasm-inducing meal at David's Pizza, I decided to drop by The Comic Book Shop to see if lesbian Batwoman was out (heh, heh) yet. Not only was she out, but she was REALLY out, because they had three stacks of the issue piled on the shelf. Apparently lesbian super-heroes translate into big comic book sales. This has me wondering if we're going to start seeing lesbians in all the comics now. Or perhaps more lesbians on this blog! In any event, the story was kind of boring and barely hinted at any hot lesbionic action. Fanboys are going to be upset.
But not by the size of her chest...
I have no idea how she can be expected to fight crime around a rack like that, but I guess every hero has their problems. Batwoman just happens to have two of them.
This is my last day on the road for awhile. Tomorrow I'll be home and finally be able to catch up on everything that's been piling up for the past two months. I live in fear of my post box. There's bound to be quite a stack of mail heaped in there by now. Much like my email InBox...
I mean, dang, that's a LOT of email to read. My spam filter works pretty well, so most of those are going to be legit. I guess I know what I'm going to be doing this weekend.
WATCHING CLERKS II, THAT'S WHAT! Hah!
And adding more lesbians to Blogography.
Uhhh... and answering email (if I can find the time).
Posted on Thursday, August 10th, 2006
When I am traveling in a strange place, I notice everything. Few details, no matter how small, escape me when I bother to really take notice of my surroundings. But, when it comes to my own back yard, you might as well forget it. This fact came into vivid relief just this afternoon.
I was leaving the mini-mart after having purchased a Coke with Lime to get me through the day when I hear some people shouting at me. Looking over at them, my keen intellect pegs them as tourists due to the huge motor-home they're standing in front of.
DAVE: Uhhh... yeah?
OLD TOURIST DUDE: What happened up there?
DAVE: Er, where?
OLD TOURIST LADY (pointing): Up there. Up on the hill.
DAVE (seeing a huge blackened swash cut across the hillside): Ah. I dunno. Probably a fire.
OLD TOURIST DUDE: You live here, son?
OLD TOURIST DUDE: HEH HEH! Then how can you not know if your hills were on fire? HEH! HEH! HEH!
DAVE: I was probably out of town that day.
OLD TOURIST DUDE: HA! HA HAAAAHHH HA HAAAHHH!
OLD TOURIST LADY: HAAAAH HA HA HAAAAHHH!
OLD TOURIST DUDE: HAH! OUT OF TOWN THAT DAY!! HA HAAAHH! DID YOU HEAR THAT PEG?!? HAAA HA HA HA HAAAAAAHH HA HA HA HAAAAHHH!
For the life of me I can't figure out what I said that was so hysterically funny but, one thing was for certain, something had gone on up there...
After walking back to get my camera I asked a local what had happened and, sure enough, a fire had broke out while I was bouncing back and forth between Seattle and Spokane a few weeks ago.
The fact that I hadn't noticed before now (and might have never noticed had these two chuckle-head tourists not stopped me) is kind of weak. It makes me wonder what other crazy crap has happened here while I am away that I haven't notice.
One of these days, I'm going to have to be a tourist in my own home town.
Posted on Sunday, August 13th, 2006
I just spent three hours driving across half the state to Spokane and now I am totally whipped. On top of that, I stopped by David's for way too many slices of the Best Pizza On Earth, so now I have a stomachache as well. I'd write about how totally boring Eastern Washington is to drive through, but I think I'd rather go to bed instead. Maybe on the way back...
Oh, and one last thing before I go...
If you don't hear from me tomorrow, it's because I've killed the family staying in the hotel room above me, then was arrested and thrown in jail. They have kids running around screaming and slamming doors and I'm starting to get really pissed off. Unfortunately, I didn't bring a shotgun with me, so I am going to have to bludgeon them with an ironing board.
But don't be too concerned... I don't know how to iron my clothes, so it's not like I was going to use that ironing board anyway.
Posted on Thursday, August 17th, 2006
As I was walking through the University of Washington at Tacoma campus on my way to see the Chihuly chandelier in their library, I noticed a bunch of sidewalk drawings. Many of them are really good, which makes me even more disgusted when I see some stupid bitch pushing her baby stroller right over the top of them, or some douchebag asshole skateboarding through the art. There's plenty of room to walk around the drawings, so I simply cannot understand what their damage is. I guess some people are born assholes, and there's just no other explanation for it.
Here are three of my favorites...
I counted a couple dozen pieces so, if you're in the Tacoma area, you should check it out.
Posted on Thursday, August 17th, 2006
Usually the first thing I do after checking into my hotel room is take off all my clothes and run around the room screaming. It's a great tension-breaker after a day of travel (not to mention good exercise). Luckily this time I totally resisted the urge to get naked, because a family of three unlocked the door and walked right in. There was a father, a mother, and a little girl. "Uhhh... Hello?" I said. "What are you doing in our room?" they replied. "Sorry, but this is my room... see, it says so on my keycard" I explained.
Turned out the guy at the front desk gave me the wrong room. Good thing that I wasn't out for dinner, or all my stuff could have been stolen. Don't let the little girl fool you, these people could have easily been hard-core criminals.
Anyway, I am once again on the other side of the state having driven back to Tacoma today...
In order to avoid traffic, I left pretty early. This allowed me to do two things: 1) Eat at the Auburn SuperMall Johnny Rockets, so I can now claim to have eaten at all five Johnny Rockets restaurants in the state. 2) Continue my Chihuly Glass Walking Tour here in Tacoma...
If you haven't read the first part of my tour when I visited The Museum of Glass and Union Station, you might want to go take a look at that entry first. Otherwise, I've documented the final half of the tour in an extended entry (with photos!) for anybody who finds this kind of stuff interesting...→ Click here to continue reading this entry...
Posted on Saturday, August 19th, 2006
I loathe bad drivers. I loathe traffic. Put them together and I go thermonuclear insane.
And that pretty much sums up my drive to Arlington.
Because halfway between Bothell and Arlington is Everett, and Everett's section of highway is undergoing heavy construction. So it's already guaranteed to be backed-up, but when you toss in dumbasses who are too busy talking on their mobile phones to keep up with traffic... well, you end up with six miles of parking lot along the way...
I plan to make up for it tonight by going to a wedding and getting completely drunk.
It's a pretty good plan.
Posted on Sunday, August 20th, 2006
My big plan to get drunk last night was successful.
When I woke up this morning, I was still drunk. This was a very bad thing, because I needed to drive home today and still had to look forward to my hangover. So, after taking a handful of Advil and Tagament, eating the greasiest breakfast I could keep down, and packing up my crap, I sobered up and hit the road.
But instead of driving back over Highway 2, I decided to go up and around on the North Cascades Highway... a stretch of road that's part of Washington's Cascade Loop. This is a drive which National Geographic describes as "One of America's grandest, most spectacular drives"...
Who cares that it takes 5 hours and 30 minutes to drive instead of 2 hours and 15 minutes? I can use the extra 3+ hours to clear my head and see stuff that I've never seen before! Well, that was the plan anyway. As it turns out, the drive is nice but not that much different than stuff I've driven through already (except that the North Cascades Highway is extremely popular with motorcyclists, and the ratio of motorcycles to cars is nearly 50/50). But the trees, mountains, and blue-green waters made for a nice distraction from my hangover, so it's all good I suppose...
At least it did until smoke started filling the air and I realized that there must be a massive fire in the area. It smelled awful, and was causing me to feel sick all over again. By the time I got to Winthrop (an old-fashioned Western-themed tourist town), it was pretty bad. If you looked on one side of the street there were hazy blue skies, but look the other way and it was nothing but smoke...
Oh well. I'm home safe and sound now, so I suppose I should take a nap, try to get caught up on my sleep, and be thankful that the fires aren't in my back yard this time.
Posted on Wednesday, August 23rd, 2006
Ooh! Ooh! Ooh! Jenny just released the dates for TequilaCon 2007... looks like we'll be meeting in lovely Portland, Oregon the weekend of March 10th! I'd say that I'm so happy I could crap my pants, but I have no desire to go through all that again.
TequilaCon promises to be one of the most memorable events of next year, and the reason I know this is because I will be there (probably wearing a Zombies T and my special edition Batman Chucks). So, if you are in the area (or even if you aren't) mark your calendar, then head on over to Jenny's blog for the details...
I can only hope that I escape from the event with my underpants this time.
Posted on Monday, September 11th, 2006
Senseless acts of violence resulting in the deaths of thousands of people did not begin on September 11, 2001 and, unfortunately, did not end there either.
I miss the World Trade Center Twin Towers. Yes I am saddened at the loss of life that was suffered that day, but the Towers were such a visual representation of a city I love that it's hard not to be despondent by their loss as well. Every time I see an old movie of New York... every time I watch a re-run of an episode of Friends... every time I view old photos of the city... I see the Twin Towers standing there and cannot help but feel saddened. They may not have been the most architecturally interesting structures on the planet, but the gap in the NYC skyline is a constant reminder that we are a hateful, violent species seemingly incapable of understanding each other and living in peace.
Prior to 9-11, I visited the "Top of the World" (which is what they called the South Tower observation deck) three times because it truly did feel like you were standing on the top of the world, and was the best view in the city. I remember the experience well, and still have some film I shot from my first visit to NYC...
Looking South from the Empire State Building
Looking North from the World Trade Center towards Midtown and Tower 1.
Looking South from the World Trade Center towards the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.
I suppose I should consider myself lucky that I got to experience the "Top of the World" while it still existed. But all I can think about is that I will never be able to experience it again, and of all the people who will never have the chance.
Though even that's never enough of a distraction to make me forget the senseless loss of life that occurred and the ever-escalating violence that's responsible for it all.
I wish it were.
Posted on Wednesday, September 27th, 2006
I do not like to shop. Therefore, I do not like the mall. And, let's face it, once you've been to Mall of America, all other malls kind of pale in comparison anyway. But I had time to kill while I was waiting for work yesterday, so off to the mall it was.
Which was a mistake.
Because mobile phone carrier competition has reached such absurd levels that salesmen are happy to chase you down the mall screaming "HEY BUDDY! HEY! WHAT CELL PHONE DO YOU HAVE? NEED A BETTER PHONE?" Having been through this before, I know better than to answer, and try my best to run away before I get the urge to take their phone and kick it up their ass.
Anyway. Since I didn't go to the mall to buy anything, I instead do what I usually do... I observe.
Eventually I ended up walking into a jewelry store so I could try to figure out what typeface they used on their signs. While I was there, I overheard some poor bastard trying to buy an engagement ring. From appearances, this was a hard-working, blue-collar gentleman who didn't know anything about jewelry, but did know that he loves a woman enough to want to marry her. He loves her so much that he is willing to sacrifice a massive chunk of his precious income so she can have something pretty to show her friends. He looks at a ring and thinks not about all the things he has to give up in order to buy it, but what he will gain because of it. It's hopelessly romantic and incredibly sad at the same time.
It reminded me of when Liz over at Everyday Goddess wrote about letting go of the engagement ring, and I have to wonder how it came to be that proving the depth of your love is intrinsically linked to how much money you can spend. Then I take the time to actually read the signs I was looking at, and everything becomes clear. It's shame. Jewelry manufacturers shame you into it. If you love somebody, you prove it by buying gold and diamonds... love alone isn't enough. Suddenly I don't see the romance in it at all, and am just sad.
It all balances out though, because as I was leaving the mall, I saw this little gem of a wall calendar...
What's interesting here is that all of the photos are older shots where she was brutally hot... none of the newer, anorexic, meth-addict-looking photos are included...
Toxic taco photos stolen from Avitable.
And with Lindsay flashing her coochie everywhere she goes, I have to think that this calendar would be a serious disappointment to its intended audience of horny 12-year-old boys who have become fans of something other than her movies and music.
Music that makes. Me. Want. To. Scream. (In an extended entry, that is)...→ Click here to continue reading this entry...
Posted on Saturday, October 7th, 2006
I am writing this at 2:30am because of a gross error in judgement while self-medicating.
I have a lingering cough from being sick, so I took some cough syrup. But the cough syrup gives me heartburn, so I took an acid reducer. In order to stop the drainage that's causing the cough I took an antihistamine but, since that keeps me awake, I also took a sleeping pill. I was then worried that the sleeping pill wouldn't be enough to counteract the antihistamine so I also took a couple Excedrin PM which is a pain reliever plus sleep aid (which should also help with my headache). I figured all of those things could battle it out while I sleep, and went to bed at the shockingly early hour of 9:30.
I don't like to take pills but, when I'm sick enough, I apparently have no problem shoving the entire medicine cabinet down my throat.
Anyway, it turns out that the sleeping pills win the battle, but the antihistamines win the war. So here I am wide awake at 2:30am watching the season premiere of Battlestar Galactica on my TiVo while eating a chocolate bar, drinking a glass of milk, and writing in my blog...
What an amazing show. I am dumbfounded how Battlestar keeps changing so radically each year. More stuff happens in 15 minutes on this program than happens in 15 episodes of Lost. But almost nobody I know watches it because they're "not into science fiction." What a shame, because it's highly entertaining. Educational too, because it's added "frak" to my vocabulary (it's the "profanity of the future!"). Ordinarily this would be a good thing but, because so few people I know are watching, I end up sounding pretty ridiculous whenever I use it. Oh well. It's their loss, because the evil Cylon robots who kill everybody and have now enslaved humanity are so frakin' hot...
Speaking of frak... it would appear that IKEA, the bestest furniture store ever, has discontinued the shelving units I use for my DVDs. I couldn't find it online, and it doesn't help matters that I can't remember the name of the thing. For all I know, it could be called FRAK. But it's probably FITBO or FLARG or FLOOGBANGER or something like that. I once studied a bit of the Swedish language for a trip to Stockholm (only to find out that everybody there speaks better English than I do). You'd think that this would give me an edge in remembering the names of my furniture, but it does not.
Oog. Is it sad that I've been blogging so long that I am able to provide a link to trip I took three years ago?
UPDATE: It's all good. I passed out around 4:00am, then slept until 9:00am. And now I am up and watching the awesome season premiere episode of South Park for the third time, all because Anthony mentioned it in the comments. I think this is now my favorite episode of the show ever, which is amazing considering this is their tenth season!
Posted on Tuesday, October 17th, 2006
And it's not the kind of hungry where you just eat something to make it go away. It's the kind of hungry where you are more interested in the experience of eating than just having a full stomach. At times like this my mind starts racing with memorable culinary experiences I've had, followed by an incessant need to list some of them (which I will, in an extended entry), followed by the sadness I feel over writing about food I've enjoyed when so many people in this world go hungry... really hungry... every day...
My McChicken reminder of Happy Meals and hunger.
Hmmm... errr... uhhh... if anybody knows of a good way to seamlessly transition from talking about food to talking about urinal cakes, please let me know. In the meanwhile, I'll do what I usually do, and use the "blunt force" method which involves simply starting a new paragraph.
What is the deal with urinal cakes being PINK? And it's not even a manly kind of pink... it more of a feminine pink that you'd find on panties (not that I am claiming to actually own any of these panties) or a little girl's bedspread (not that I am claiming to be uncomfortably familiar with little girl's bedding preferences)...
Every time I step up to a urinal and find a little pink hockey puck floating in the bottom, I want to scream at the injustice of it all. Urinal cakes should be BLUE... or maybe even GREEN... but not yellow and certainly never, EVER, pink. If I were forced to choose between a bathroom which smelled like rancid urine and one that had pretty pink pellets in the urinal, I'D CHOOSE THE RANCID URINE SMELL EVERY TIME!! It may be unpleasant, odor-wise, but at least I won't have to suffer the indignity of having what little manhood I posses assaulted by girlie urinal cakes.
Anyway, if you have any appetite left at all, a partial list of favorite food experiences are in an extended entry...→ Click here to continue reading this entry...
Posted on Thursday, November 2nd, 2006
By the time I get off work here in Seattle, all the cool shops are closing up for the day. This really blows since I'm just across the street from one of my favorite comic book stores.
Because of this, I have two things I can do at night that don't involve something illegal or deeply frowned upon by the local authorities... eat and drink. So this evening I decided to go have some yummy Cappellacci di Zucca from Il Fornaio. And the only thing better than the food tonight was the view, because there was a really cute girl at the table next to mine. Seriously cute. I totally started falling in love with her as I was eating my breadsticks. At least I was falling in love with her until she opened her mouth to have a bite of her pasta... and never closed it again.
GACK!! SHE CHEWS WITH HER MOUTH OPEN!!
Gross! First I was happy that she was there, but then I was disgusted that she was there... nobody wants to see some bitch smackin' away on their dinner like that while they try to eat.
Oh well. Despite the rain, it's actually kind of a nice evening out. As I looked out over the deck, a ferry boat was passing by...
One more day. Cannot... keep... eyes... open... must... have... sleep...
Posted on Thursday, December 7th, 2006
Yeah, I flew 270 miles out of my way for pasta.
But the miles traveled were the least of my troubles in a day that started at 3:30am.
From Milwaukee I flew to Detroit to catch my connecting flight to Columbus. But, after landing in Detroit and having to taxi to the gate for 15 minutes, we just sat there. Finally, after 10 additional minutes with nothing happening, the captain announced that the key-card system for the entire airport was down. Nobody could come out to guide the plane to the gate because they were locked inside. F#@%ing stupid Detroit International Airport.
When the airport finally gets their shit together so the pilot can dock the plane, I have five minutes left to run the fifty miles across the terminal to catch my connection. Totally exhausted, I arrive at the door just as they are ready to close it. And, even though there's no chance for my luggage, at least I'll make it to Columbus.
But then something amazing happens. The plane has ice on it, and they need to go out for de-icing. As I sit there waiting, I feel a bump and look outside my window... and there's my suitcase being loaded on the plane! Things are finally looking up...
What happens next? The answer to that is in an extended entry...→ Click here to continue reading this entry...
Posted on Friday, December 8th, 2006
Gah! I can't feel my legs!
Here I am back in Chicago... home of testicle-shriveling cold temperatures. Five minutes outside feels like five hours back home, because that's all the time it takes to chill you to the bone. The fifteen minutes it took to walk back to my hotel from dinner with my friend has totally wiped me out. It's pretty harsh.
Yet, from the view out my window, you wouldn't think it was so bad...
But the biting cold wind doesn't show up in a photograph.
As it were, I am woefully underdressed for my time here. I should be buying a scarf, ear-muffs, a vest, an overcoat, heavy gloves, and several layers of thermal underwear...
Sigh. Much as I love Chicago, I'd rather be in Maui just now.
Posted on Saturday, December 9th, 2006
Last night I met up with Jenny at Wicker Park so we could see her friend's band play. The fact that I managed to stay awake until midnight was some kind of miracle, because I haven't had a full night's sleep in over a week. I had thought that I would sleep in until noon this morning to try and catch up, but the weather outside was just too beautiful to stay in bed.
At first I thought I would walk the Magnificent Mile for a bit and maybe catch a movie.
But who could sit in a theater knowing that there's blue skies over Chicago?
Since I don't like to shop and don't want to stay inside, what to do?
TIME TO GO TO NAVY PIER!!
Which was incredibly stupid, because the gusting winds out on the pier nearly froze me solid. Sunny blue skies or not, I had little choice but to dash inside. I hadn't been to the pier in years, and had totally forgotten about the incredible stained glass museum within...
But the real surprise was upstairs. Today is the opening of Winter Wonderfest...
They've built a winter carnival inside Navy Pier!
So there I was minding my own business, looking at all the cool stuff at the carnival, when somebody bumps into me.
I turn around, and BAM!!
GAAAAAAAAAH! I yell.
My total fear of clowns has traumatized me since childhood. Ronald McDonald is one of the scariest clowns ever, so this is like a nightmare come true. I reach for my gun so I can shoot Ronald dead, but then remember that I don't have a gun.
So instead I flee Navy Pier altogether, and decide to go have lunch.
Posted on Sunday, December 10th, 2006
Argh. Something has gone terribly wrong, because I haven't been able to comment on any TypePad blogs (or even read any BlogSpot blogs) since I got to Chicago. That's kind of frustrating,
Another late night. It would seem that getting caught up on sleep is simply not in the cards this trip. Oh well, last night was time well spent because I met up with fellow bloggers Diane and Kevin at Chicago's Pizza for dinner, followed by a bit of bar-hopping on the cold (so very cold) streets of Chicago. Fun times. Fun times...
Uhhhh... that clown must REALLY love spaghetti...
And, naturally this morning was another spectacular day, so sleeping in until noon was not an option. Instead I decided to wander down to the Adler Planetarium, where I had never been before...
Wow. This looks like it came out of a game of Myst!
Yeah, baby! I so totally look hot in infra-red!
From there it was off to take in the King Tut exhibit at The Field Museum...
Ignore the signs! The King Tut entrance is around back!
While waiting for the reserved entry times, we got to say hello to Sue the dinosaur...
She looks a lot more ferocious in person.
Then Jenny, who is far braver than I, risked getting gored by wild elephants so she could get an action shot...
Jenny makes the perfect human shield when you need protection from wild animals of the Serengeti.
There were NO PHOTOS ALLOWED in the King Tut exhibit, which is a pity because there was some pretty cool stuff in there. Fortunately you could take as many pictures as you wanted everywhere else in the museum...
Ultimate Teddy Bear, Wild Asses, Humiliated Dino, and Plastic Stegosaurus Birth.
Of course, the most funnest thing of the day was when we got orange plastic dinosaurs from one of the Mold-A-Rama machines. I've named mine Spike, which you can see here thanks to the iSight camera on my MacBook...
RAAWWWWRRRRRR! Says Spike!
Spike was a little warm and squishy when he came out of the machine, but he firmed up okay.
And thus ends my short time in Chicago. I'd write more about the day's events, but I have to get up insanely early in the morning to catch my flight, and had probably better try and get some sleep.
Posted on Monday, December 11th, 2006
I used to think that the saddest thing I'd ever seen in an airport was a woman crying because she couldn't get a flight out to her sister's wedding. That was replaced by a man who was crying because his flight home to see his first baby being born was cancelled. That, in turn, was replaced by a woman and her kid sobbing uncontrollably as her husband shipped off to Iraq. And there have been many other travel-related tragedies along the way that were plenty sad as well. It's a cosmic karma balancing-act to offset the many happy reunions that take place at airports... or so I would guess.
But all of that pales in compare to the sadness I witnessed today.
As I was waiting at my gate, a kid was wandering around with his Microsoft Zune Media Player. This was only a little sad, I grant you. But things escalated once I heard what he was trying to do: find another Zune owner to share music with. But, alas, there was nothing but iPods as far as the eye could see.
Yeah, it looks like the "wireless sharing" feature that Microsoft was hyping is really panning out.
Assuming you can actually find another Zune owner.
Okay, my flight home out of Seattle has just been delayed for the third time. Now THAT'S officially the saddest thing I've ever seen at an airport.
Because I'm tired and hungry and I wanna go home!
Perhaps I should pass the time by counting the number of people I want to run up and bitch-slap... starting with this obnoxious bitch screeching into her mobile phone next to me... oh, and the idiot sleeping across four seats while there are people having to stand because all the seats are filled... and we can't forget the kid running his suitcase into the wall again and again and again while their parents do NOTHING... and that crotchety old fart working customer service whose treatment of a woman speaking no English is abysmal... and... and...
Bleh. I could be at this all night.
But I hope not.
Posted on Wednesday, December 27th, 2006
Why is it that every time I really want my camera, I've left it at home?
Since I haven't been out of the country for over a year, I didn't realize that my passport had expired until I looked at it this morning. This really sucks ass, because even if you pay the "expedited handling fee" it will still take up to two weeks to get your renewal. Since I am leaving in three weeks, I had to FedEx it out TODAY in case something gets screwed up along the way. This meant a trip to Wenatchee so I could have new photos taken at the AAA.
Because of the recent heavy snowfall, all the snow from Wenatchee's streets is piled up three feet high in the center turn lane. This is kind of a pain in the ass, because any time you want to make a left turn, you have to keep going until you find a plowed intersection, then do a U-turn and backtrack to where you needed to turn. This has been going on for the 20+ years I've been driving, and everybody just deals with it the best they can.
Except one crazy bitch who thought her little Nissan Sentra could break through a wall of snow three feet tall and make that left turn. Needless to say, this wasn't going to happen. Not only did she screw up her front bumper, but she high-centered herself on the snow. Since she was blocking the lane, two guys from a truck ahead of me decided to get out and see if they could push her off. The entire time she was screaming her head off and, when I rolled down my window to listen, this is part of what I heard...
Of course, being the stupid f#@%ing dumbass that she is, she naturally decides to blame everybody except herself. I find clueless morons like this highly entertaining, and I was cursing myself for not having my camera with me because I would have totally posted a photo of the hilarity that was ensuing.
But, after a minute or so, the two guys managed to push her off the snowbank and she sped off... still screaming at nobody in particular, but mad at everybody except herself.
Anyway... my new passport photo sucks ass, as usual. I look even more like a terrorist than last time, which is bound to make for some exciting new memories to treasure as I pass through Customs for the next ten years. Of course, like anybody who travels extensively, I'm sure that I've already got a lovely profile on record with Homeland Security. Hopefully it only says nice things about me, because I always try to be nice to everybody when I enter or leave the country.
Of course, if I ever DO get detained, I now know exactly how I should act...
Yes. From what I see on a daily basis, raving like a complete idiot seems to be the American Way now. I can totally do that. US Customs agents would be disappointed if I didn't act like a fool... after all, I'm sure they find clueless morons highly entertaining as well.
Except clueless morons, of course. They just don't know any better.