Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Her name is Kiernan Colleen B-K, born at 1:31 am, Tuesday, May 13th. She weighed 8 lbs even and was 21.5 inches long. The whole process wasn’t easy, but we made it through. Katie was amazing, especially insofar as the labor did not go precisely how we had hoped and involved a lot of not very fun medical interventions. All the pictures we have (which Katie believes are adequately flattering) so far are available here.
I found writing that funny, because last night I attempted to pwn most of my friends. I was talking to Pete while we were waiting for something to happen on Monday and realized how hysterical it would be to send a fake baby pictures email and rickroll everyone. The more and more I think about it, it was an even better idea. I have a sincere doubt that there will ever be another time in my life more ripe for rickrolling mass amounts of people. If you got that email and didn’t laugh, my pity for ur soul. I’m sending out a real link to the same people later today, so don’t get all huffy.
Maybe the best part of said rickroll was that I got a call from APK this morning informing me, with all sincerity, that the link I sent out was broken and, strangely enough, directed to this bizarre 80s video. Andy Kemp does not know what rickrolling is, maybe its only written about in books or something. He almost forwarded it to his parents without opening it, which would have ruled even more if they had actually, you know, gotten the joke.
Thanks to everybody who sent us thoughts, prayers and well-wishes over the last couple days. I sincerely intended to respond on everyone’s wall or via email/text, but my wireless connection went out last night at about the same time Kieks (my nickname for her, Katie hates it) became unonsolable for the first time in her young life. And she hasn’t even seen the finales of the OC Season 1 or the West Wing Season 3.
Hippo and Rhino are very excited to meet her, so far our parents, siblings and Natalie are about the only ones who have gotten the chance.
I will close with a list I made, anyone expecting can feel free to steal from it. Katie wanted me to be able to start spontaneous conversations with her while she was in labor and since I suck at that I made a list of spontaneous conversational topics. When labor actually went from just sort of discomfort to LABOR things were way 2 bad to use them. Even when we tried them earlier I found that far too many involved food, which they banned Katie from as soon as they started her on awful induction compound #53 or so.
The Relative Cuteness of Camels and Penguins
Best Cheesecake EvAr!
Why the word panties sounds creepier when said in a British accent.
Better elemental/nutrient bro-modification: brotassium or brodium?
Which would you give up: lakes or rivers?
Foods you have never eaten enough of.
Martina Navratalova is a better name than Martina Navratalova was a tennis player.
Are words a positive in a TV theme song, or do they signal weakness of musical drive?
Tim Bits are the best donut hole like product.
Umpiring a baseball game is actually more boring than just watching a baseball game.
Best television theme song?
If Kim Possible and Dora the Explora had a child, would it Explore all Possibilities.
Kinky robot sex would prolly look a lot like regular sex between an elevator and a 1962 Cadillac El Dorado, but with fewer handcuffs.
True or false: raccoons are sneakier than the Hamburgler.
Monday, May 12, 2008
A Few Times I've Been Around That Track, So its Not Just Gonna Happen Like That, Cuz I Ain't No Hollaback Butt
While I have no experience as a sketch comedy expert, I would consider myself a connoisseur. I started watching SNL with my parents when I was at least a couple years too young to get almost any of the jokes. I was really into the various late 80s early 90s catch phrases, primarily because my dad latched onto them as well. I don’t think he has watched the show, or stayed up till 11:30 on a Saturday, for a decade now, but he was big into the Church Lady, Hans+Franz, etc. By time time Wayne’s World sketches started, my friends Dan and Steve and I would probably watch each week’s episode 4-5 times before the next one debuted. We had entire seasons of the show virtually memorized and I am constantly plagued by lines from a song that I would imagine will not make the countdown, which was a celebrity benefit to explain Watergate (“This is an intriguing turn…”). I will find and embed it at some point along here.
The list can be found here if you’d like to follow along or, for that matter, skip ahead.
It begins with kind of a doozie in the contemporary range, at least one that everyone has heard of. I don’t know how long it was between this sketch’s actual debut and its becoming a Busted-Tees favorite of frat-folk everywhere, but there was definitely some lag.
More Cowbell - video powered by Metacafe
Popularity and appropriation aside, this bit really does showcase Will Ferrell as a physical comic. Don’t get me wrong, prescriptions for more cowbell are funny, but this isn’t even one of Chris Walken’s top 3 roles on the show. Ferrell “exploring the space of the studio,” his shirt riding up, that’s where I still LOL watching the sketch for the 500th time.
Another good mark for this sketch is Jimmy Fallon laughing. If you watched SNL during the Jimmy Fallon years, that sounds pretty stupid on face, since d00d would crack up if he was on camera when someone introduced Tom Petty. But there are times you can tell that the actors are laughing cuz its just funny (i.e. the original Matt Foley sketch) and it seems to me like this is Jimmy Fallon’s legit laughter.
I am not sure this sketch would have made my personal top 50. It would be in consideration, so I’m by no means upset to surprised or upset to see it on the list. I think that placing it here is a good sign for the rest of the list, as I’m sure if Maxim had done the same work this would have been right behind Homey the Clown in the top 5.
SNL-1 Video (#50)
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Wanna know something totally messed up, there was a Rocketboom episode about voter turnout (very timely question, only a month and a half from an inconsequential election) which actually featured some interesting and inspiring commentary about the franchise. The messed up part was this: it was an interview with a Thomas Jefferson impersonator from Colonial Freaking Williamsburg. That d00d made way too much sense to be working in Colonial Williamsburg and it is really depressing to me that the artificially constructed dream-images of our founding parents hanging out in tourist destinations make way more sense and inspire better civic consciousness than anyone either holding or running for real political office. Maybe Goofy should run for the house in whatever district Celebration, Florida is in.
My travel schedule for the first semester is really erratic. It goes from the lame to the awesome to the medium and does so with some rotation. Cedar Falls, Des Moines, Vegas, Detroit, Boston, Winston-Salem, Chicago. I mean, its still very mid-West centric, but at least I go West once. Not something I can count on for a second semester that may be all directed at my South-East.
My fantasy football team, which played awesome in weeks 1 and 2, sort of tanked in week 3 when my two previous top performers decided to swallow their own ballz. I was counting on Frank Gore’s numbers going up as his hand got better, though admittedly, the Steelers defense appeared to play very well. Still, you should be able to get Frank Gore at least 50 yards, even without the threat of a passing game. I guess it wouldn’t hurt if you had someone who pretended to play wide receiver, but I digress.
We were running some errands for Katie’s rents today and stopped at Arby’s for lunch. I was enticed by their Reuben wrap (a quality concept, though it could use more cheese, kraut and dressing, endemic of wraps I suppose), but their advertising tried to emphasize the novelty of the “rye wrap!!” I ordered the thing and enjoyed it at all, but I am not impressed that you have a rye wrap. I would prolly have been impressed if you had created rye bread, but once it has already been successfully formed into a dough and baked into a bread, just making it flatter and elongated does not stimulate me. Make a wrap out of chocolate and I will be impressed. And no, (pre-empt) the outside coating of a Swiss Cake Roll (or ho-ho) does not constitute a chocolate wrap. A wrap would actually contain the stuff inside, rather than just being a coating applied to the base. Its not like you could take the peel of a ho-ho off and slap some frosting and nuts and stuff on it and roll it up and have it stay stable. Those things crumble and crack when u just bite into them. Not impressed. Hippo would prefer you make a wrap out of cat chow. She totally luvz cat chow.
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
1) I live in St. Paul now—Katie and I moved back here in August after a crazy series of events that lead to me taking a job at my old alma mater. We have a hawt apartment, in a hawt neighborhood, hanging out with our hawt friends and hawt family.
2) Our apartment’s walls are not white—Katie won a long standing argument we had concerning the painting of walls in a dwelling we do not own. Her winning arguments were the following: 1) Her dad will essentially do it all for us, cuz he is to painting as C.C. Deville is to rocking. His hair is less poofy and I have never heard him play the solo from Nothing But a Good Time, but I digress. 2) “Please please please please please please please.”
3) I have way more responsibility—This responsibility is good in a lot of senses, cuz it comes with a corresponding increase in prestige and payment. It also comes with a bunch of paperwork and I largely suck at doing it. I mean, I don’t suck at it, like I get it done on time and successfully, I just hate it. It’s not hard to copy line 4 above to the space at the bottom of the form (like it couldn’t just chill out in line 4) but it annoys the piss out of me and takes more time than it should.
4) I made risotto—This was just last week in fact. For some reason I had never attempted to make risotto at home, which is odd, since I really like risotto, but whatevs. Point being, I really dug the process, it wasn’t too difficult (you just have to stick to the procedure, keep stirring, and be patient). I have made two different recipes (Shrimp and Fresh Pea risotto and a Two-Cheese risotto) and intend to keep cracking at least one a week. Idk if fall is actually risotto season, but I feel like it fits with the crispness outside.
5) We went to a new apple orchard southwest of the cities, not new, per say, but new to me—We have been spoiled in regard to apple country and its not like Minnesota is a huge step down. There are a lot of tasty apples grown in this part of the country and an incredible abundance of different red-shades. They don’t appear to have the variables in terms of green apples that New York offered, but some delicious sugary fall numbers were worth the drive. They were a bit limited in terms of the variety of apples one could pick and I feel like they might have thought that their honeycrisp apples are too precious to be picked by the general public, but it was a fun fall morning.
6) Brett Favre pwnz—I could explain this more, but wow has it been fun watching him play these last two weeks. I am not really getting my hopes up for the Packers’ season, though it is certainly off to a good start, and the quality of the defense is really impressive. Even if we tank, watching him play like he has in the second half of the Giants game and against the Chargers, is really awesome. Loves it.
7) Hippo really loves hardwood floors—Maybe that didn’t change, but she has lots of them to play on now and the Hippo slide is about as excellent as dances are likely to get. She has finally gotten the hang of turning through the kitchen without actually striking the oven and it will likely inspire The Fast and the Furious III: Hippopotameow Drift.
Thursday, June 14, 2007
We went strawberry picking today and it is a brilliant activity. It only takes like half an hour, it doesn’t cost very much, it gets you a bit of exercise, and you get to eat all the free strawberries you want. Not to mention that you come home with 8 pounds of strawberries, which gives you incentive to make lots of random desserts and pretend that cheesecake and chocolate don’t count for so much when they happen to be wrapped around something you can verify grew out of the ground.
Just wanted to check in to mention that. Hippo needs me to get the chow off the top shelf.
Monday, June 11, 2007
A Singer in a Smoky Room, Smell of Wine and Cheap Perfume, For a Smile they Can Share the Night, It Goes On and On and On and Butt
1) I imagine the episode is going to get panned. Lots of TV critics, lots of fanbois, want resolution. They want to know what happens to Tony, where his family goes, if Sil ever comes out, etc. I don’t at all mean to degrade these responses, I had them as well. We expect resolution, especially at the end of long running TV shows, in a way that we do not always even demand it from movies. My brief psychological guess is that investment in a 2 hour film does not equal investment in a seven year show. When that resolution is inadequate (Seinfeld) people get mad, whereas the “best” finales tend to bring things to a point where the situation cannot continue and then show you the barren set as a sort of “remember me” (Cheers, MASH).
2) I loved it. I thought it was not only fitting for the show, but an incredibly brave and brilliant thing to do. When you go into a show with the primary question of “are they gonna kill Tony,” there is an inevitable sense of tension, of panic almost. The final episode of the show was able to convey a sense of tension without resolution, to wind you up and wind you up and wind you up, without any release, in a way that I don’t know if I’ve ever seen before. I thought that was all very well connected with the whole question of the season which revolved around Tony’s legacy. Besides Meadow’s line about being a boring suburban doctor, I think the last words of the show (“Don’t stop…”) were practically perfect. Admittedly, I do not write television, precisely because I cannot come up with good creative endings, but I have been thinking about this episode pretty much every moment since it ended, and I cannot come up with anything that would have been better.
Just wanted that registered before I find out if I am right. I will be back with my thoughts about the reviews at some point. Hippo agrees with me, btw.
Saturday, June 09, 2007
I Couldn't Make it Without You, I Should Have Known Better to Doubt You, I Thought I Heard the End of Butt
After the bachelor party’s massive two day toll had devastated me, and left me with about 10 hours of sleep over the course of four days, we drove back to Chicago and played some Wii. James and Cassie were kind enough to host me for the evening in what will very soon be a gorgeous residence, especially the kitchen, of which I am quite jealous. I didn’t fly out of the city until late on Monday, so I spent the morning at the Chicago Institute of Art, which was actually far better than I remember it being. I walked a majority of the place, skipping sections on decorative arts, early American art and Asian art. I was especially surprised that I would have forgotten the pretty impressive collection of surrealist works, including shocking amounts of Miro, Magritte and Man Ray. There was also a photography exhibition featuring a series by Sarah Hobbs. This was one of my favorite works of the day, thought it is clearly much more impressive as an actual print. I spent 4.5 hours in the museum and had the perfect amount of time to depart, get a couple of Vienna Beef hot dogs and get to the airport before the trains could get crowded.
A great time that I managed to pull off for a pretty reasonable amount of cash. It was good to see everybody, especially when I have an excuse to conduct myself without concern for sleep, function, work, other people, etc.
While the week since has not been outstandingly productive, it did feature the acquisition of another briefly paying job for the summer. It also featured the viewing of a number of pretty good films, mostly stuff I had wanted to see that happened to be on HBO. We also, for the first time in arguably millennia, headed out to actually see a movie. I somehow managed to convince Katie that this movie should be knocked up and let me thoroughly thank whoever decided that they should make a movie this funny with pregnancy as the subject matter. For my purposes so much of the film was made by Seth Rogan and the d00d who looks like the d00d who was the goalie in the Big Green, that it could have been about unicorn firefighters and I still would have dug it.
Hippo wants me to open the window, which is ridiculous because the air inside the house is still recently conditioned, but I will likely oblige her Hippo-ish desire.
Thursday, May 31, 2007
We are currently watching The Next Best Thing, which is shockingly entertaining, at least in the audition phase. I have a very hard time imagining that this can sustain a reality television competition, but maybe that’s me undervaluing celebrity impersonations as an art form. On the bright side, Traveler had a second episode tonight, and it is the summer show I am most excited about. This is especially good in my mind, because last night was the end of the season for both House and Boston Legal, firmly solidifying that I am likely without much demand for my Tivo’s capacity until the fall. Thankfully, the final House was delightful. This season has been incredible in my mind, essentially making the show more about the question of the ethical than it is about medicine. I was describing to someone a week or so ago how the saddest thing about the departure of the Gilmore Girls was the death of some of the best character writing on the air. House himself is the salvation for great characters on TV, as he is arguably the most consistently written personality I’ve ever seen. Even great shows designed by great talents (Joss, Sorkin, etc.) often have consistency problems in an episode or two. The brilliant thing about House is that he is consistent to the point where it actually bothers you, where you cannot imagine that it will actually happen. The vicodin stuff, going into rehab, the Forman stuff last night, all of it very impressive. I feel the need to write something more academic on the subject, so I will stop babbling.
The Ms. Universe pageant is so boring I feel guilty mentioning it in a full sentence.
I am leaving very soon on a trip back to the T of C for Wilking’s bachelor party. I’m certain that its gonna be a good time, but it very easily could be extremely bizarre in a number of respects. It includes a road trip, a day or so in the Windy City, and, apparently, a stop a t the Hooters in Block E. As someone who tends to not align themselves with either the Hooters organization nor the Block E complex, it will be a wild time, but at least I will be drunk and with the boys. I feel confident that there are far better things to be eating in Minneapolis than sub-par wings, but I don’t feel too worried about my chances for Minnesota eating opportunities. Wonder why.
Hippo does ask that I bring her a Crave Case if I can fit it in my checked baggage and since she has been a very adorable meower, I will do what I can.
Thursday, April 19, 2007
We didn’t technically “just return” from the NDT and CEDA Nats, but it is close enough that I feel justified in classifying it as such. I think its fair to get 1 day off for every three-four days that one is out of town at the tournaments, meaning that I need to get back to normal tomorrow or so. I have been working for at least a couple hours each of the three full days I have been in town, so its not all bad.
I have plenty of thoughts regarding various things over the past however long, but to get back into the swing of things I’m just going to mention the culinary features of the last couple weeks that deserve such mention. Eating in Norman, Oklahoma was, not surprisingly, not particularly spectacular. I mean, it is in the near-South sort of part of the country, so even on nights when we couldn’t find anything to rave about, we made our way to Sonic or the Waffle House, neither of which I will complain about. I managed to get good barbecue twice, though I had to eat smoked turkey both times. Nonetheless, I give the edge to The Sooner Legends Restaurant, which was conveniently located in our hotel. It beat out Van’s Pig Stand, which, name aside, had nothing really special about it. More notable even than the BBQ at Sooner Legends were two menu items that were not only delightful, but that I had never had the opportunity to eat before, nay, not even HEARD OF before. The first was, I suppose, just a mash-up of flavors that worked out beautifully. Specifically, buffalo chicken wantons. It was buffalo chicken, nicely treated and seasoned, stuffed inside a wanton skin, deep fried and served with ranch dressing.
The second item was outstanding and I am still boggled today as to how I had never eaten it before: deep fried corn on the cob. It sounds bizarre and it lives up to its sounding-reputation. Take a juicy piece of corn on the cob, dip it in what is essentially corn-dog batter, drop it in the fryolater. While admittedly, this is not great for you, it does mean that you do not have to lather up with butter, so assuming an adequate mastery over the procedure of deep frying, its about neutral. To continue the corn theme, I had a great piece of smoked corn on the cob at a sweet but corny-kind of restaurant called Love and War in Texas. We went there as sort of a compromise, when no one could agree on what they wanted and I was skeptical going in. It seemed like it would be ultra-gimmicky, but I was quite impressed. Not only was the smoked corn delightful, they also featured Diablos Tejanos, the best stuffed jalapeno I have ever eaten. Several types of cheese, good spices and real whole peppers, not little shreds TGIFridays style. If you are in the North Dallas area, its worth your time.
The primary reason that the South would kill me if I lived there for any significant amount of time, is not, as you might think, the heat. Instead, it is the fact that I everywhere South of Iowa seems to emphasize desserts in a way that I am rarely tempted up here. I had more milkshakes, pieces of cake and cookies over the course of those 2 weeks than I have enjoyed in several months al Norte. While I would never dare say that the Coconut Cream Pie Shake at Sonic is less than notable, I have mentioned it many times before. What I may not have mentioned is what is probably my favorite restaurant in Dallas, TX: Asia Mint. I have never had the sushi, but I can testify that the Thai dishes are quite good, including the Salmon curry and a delightful crispy pad thai. But even if you do not like thai food, Asia Mint has some of the best dessert selections I have ever eaten. I do intend to make a list at some point, but just off the top of my head, there is a good chance that they get 2 spots in the top 10. Every debater I have taken there loves this place, and we take pictures of virtually every dessert we’ve enjoyed. Amongst the lot of us we have had everything on the menu but the Dr. Pepper float, I believe. That includes the cheesecake, brownie sundae, flourless chocolate cake, green tea cake, thai tea cake, mango sticky rice, sticky rice with coconut custard (literally, its essentially a bomb of delightfulness), jasmine crème brulee and tiramisu. Wow, every one is delicious.
Sorry it took so long to post this. I’m going to keep this roughly thematic and not add the many additional thoughts that I have. They will have to wait.
Friday, March 16, 2007
I Don't Wanna Be Anything Other Than What I've Been Tryin To Be Lately, All I Have to Do is Think of Me and I've Peace of Butt
Admittedly, the first day of the tournament was not the greatest NCAA Day on record. We were spoiled last year and its not like we are gonna see George Mason style upsets every year. Nonetheless, both the Xavier and Duke games were fantastic action and there were at least 3-4 other significant contests. I still think there will be a big upset or two in the first round. If the lowest seed to win is an 11 I think it will be an uncharectaristically top-heavy tournament—Gwyneth Paltrow style.
There was a sweet story about biscuits on the UNC game (which ended without excitement but was pretty hawt for about 10 minutes in the middle). The origin of nicknames is generally more interesting for me than it might be for a lot of people, but I love two things about this story. First, how awesome is the nickname biscuits. Plural nicknames are underrated and if you are one of the few people lucky enough to enjoy one, I suggest you run with it, cuz someday you are gonna be selling copy machines in Tulsa with a moniker in the singular like all the rest of us and begging for the glory days of nominal multiplicity. Second, how sweet is it that people in North Carolina are so excited about Bojangles biscuits that this kid’s contribution to cheap biscuit deals earns him the status of cheering and gasping etc. when their squad is up by 20+ as a number one seed in the first round of the tournament. That’s freaking Hosea status, minus the excellence of that specific chant, and all for a free biscuit. (I know many of you won’t remember “play ho-se-a” but 1) it was awesome 2) Hosea went to my high school and I used to play basketball with him cuz he was trying to bwn my friend’s sister. This same fact lead to me meeting Voshon Lenard, which was far more exciting in 1996-1997 than it is today.
Hippo is cheering for all of the cat named teams in the tournament: Davidson, Nova even Pitt, despite not being a big fan of the Big East. She thinks that one of these squads teams needs to change their name to the Persians (maybe Pacific next time they make the dance or Pennsylvania, imagine the impact if they would have beaten A&M) to attempt to remedy the general ignorance in kitty circles. Anyway, she enjoyed today’s action, is the point.