Thursday, May 29, 2003

Long Time No Talk to No One

How you doin. So it has been a while, admittedly, notably, since I have spent the last 2 weeks involved in the whole moving process thing. I got to Minneapolis on Tuesday of 2 weeks ago and hung out for like a week. I partied and drank and smoked. Katie was sick for quite a while, it was sad. She was at work for alot of the time, but it meant I got to see many of my friends whom I have not seen at least since Spring Brizeak, some for much longer than that.

I had a pretty decent drive into Minnesota, though I fucking hate driving that far. It works better when I get to stop somewhere in the middle which thankfully I did. I cannot seriously make that drive by myself all fucking night, I am just a horrible driver I guess. No major events until like Monday. We assumed we were joining mi padres for some sort of wedding conversation, as Katie indicated that this is something which is normally done. So we prepped all these answers for the questions about what we were going to do with money and getting married and shit like that.

So we show up for punch and pie, well, just pie actually, and my parents and I and Katie bullshit about random stuff. We looked at some pictures of their vacation cruise and shit. They gave me some gifts, which were totally swee-at. I got a bottle of Armani Emporio cologne, it smells very very nice. I got a chocolate rum cake and a bottle of Carribean rum. I never really drink rum, but it can be added to my freezer collection. The cake is probably very tasty.

Then my parents told me that they had decided to get divorced. That is totally fucked up, and I continue to be fucked up by the whole thing. I broke down for a while when they told me, and more that evening. But now it just bothers me, not really a devestating thing. While I recognize, of course, that my parents were right and this will impact my life only in the most minute, if at all existant ways, it still fucking blows a fat goat ass. I don't know why, it just does.

So I had a couple beers from my parents house, my mother's generally awful taste in beer had somehow produced a six pack of Bass Ale, which I finished off, before heading to the Turf Club. We met Mark and Jen there, though I had drank near an entire pitcher before they even got there. We hung out, it was sweet, Mark was really really on. It was nice to forget about everything else for a while, so I did.

Anyway, nothing else much to say about that. I told Andy and the Dobs, talked to my sister about it for a little bit, but in general it will just suck for a while. I will buy into the whole thing about gradually letting traumatic things fade away into the background, as I am sure it will.

I had a couple nice nights of hanging out. I saw the Matrix Reloaded, which is an incredible film. It really does live up to the rep of the first one. Long Live the Wachowskis. I got so fucking lit up when the Dobs, Katie, and Andy and I went to see the film. We smoked a bunch of hash and I was blown away. The fucking million-Smith fight scene may have been the best action scene in human history. I cannot wait to go see it again, though I don't think Katie is enthusiastic as I am.

What else happened-well, Chrissy was annoying, as per usual. Andrea was sick, which kind of sucked, but she was still the most useful person in the whole cleaning and moving adventure. We got all the shit packed and stuff, Katie has more fucking shit than anyone on the entire face of the earth. Andy and the Dobs came over to help me load the trailer on the Friday before we left. That in itself entails several stories. Anyway, I will return later to describe that and to give some thoughts on the whole Buffy ending thing. It gets a mixed review from me-incredible episode, unsatisfying finale.



Sunday, May 11, 2003

Love to eat turkey...Love to eat tu-ur-key

And this is very good turkey. Trust me, I am aware that the song is actually referring specifically to Thanksgiving turkey (hence "The Thanksgiving Song") but I don't see why it should be limited to that situation when I am eating a delicious turkey sandwich. I got this really really tasty mesquite-smoked honey turkey at the grocery store. It was a little pricey, but I like it alot better than the standard shaved turkey, which is only like a buck fifty less or something. I make my turkey sandwiches a little bigger than average, I have determined, since I only tend to get a maximum of 5 sandwiches out of a pound. That doesnt really bother me, but I wish I had more and I wish it was cheaper, I will certainly not always be able to justify getting 7 dollar a pound turkey.

Everything is pretty much done in terms of school. I will get up tomorrow morning and hit the Kinkos, drop off the old papers to Gasche, and that will be that. One year of my graduate education is taken care of, about 3 or so to go. The year as a whole was not the greatest, but overall some pretty sweet stuff happened. I fucking loathe Buffalo still, but fuck, I got engaged, I got some decent grades, I enjoyed the wings, I learned alot. Overall, its not bad. I might even say good. Eveything that did not involve me living alone in the abandoned god forsaken wasteland that is Western New York rocked pretty hard core.

Then, I guess, I am just waiting for Wednesday when I can start working or whatever. I suppose that it is still possible that I would be able to go home early, even by Monday, who knows. Even if that doesnt happen I cant be upset about having 2 days entirely off, no work, no school no nuttin. Lovin it.

I think I will have a cheesburger for dinner. Yes, I will. Off to defrost the hamburger, though I probably won't eat it until Simpson's time.



Friday, May 09, 2003

Several Things are Worthy of Notation

Thing Number 1: Parmesan and Garlic Cheez-its have two distinctive qualities: they are on sale at Topps almost every week and they are the world's best snack food. I love these things, they are incredible. I cannot explain to you without a ridiculous number of gestures and hyperboles. The internet is completely inadequate for the explanation of P+G Cheez-its. I really wish I wasnt too lazy to go get a bottle of wine, because these crackers are actually worthy of a tasty Pinot Noir. I think I need some brie and a legit bottle of wine for Monday or Tuesday night. I suppose I could wait until Wednesday, but I will turn in the last papers for the semester one of those days.

Thing Number 2: I had to cheat a little during my NFL 2k3 franchise. Bubba Franks went down in week 6 of the first season, for 20 fucking weeks!! That is ridiculous, you can't hurt my 2nd best receiver for 20 weeks. What the fuck, I need to keep my job as head coach here. So I shut off the game. I lost a victory over the Bears which I can certainly repeat, but its not the easiest game of the season by a long shot. I haven't cheated once before, I took my shitty loss to the Saints and have just been content with a decent 4-1 start. So, I shut the PS2 off and will take another shot at the fucking Chicago Ass-Bears tomorrow.

Thing Number 3: Friday nights posses no decent television of any sort. I think that someone, just one network, needs to decide that they will run a quality program during Friday prime time. Yes, less people will watch it. But if you are fucking abc, whatever you are currently running on Thursday nights is not exactly getting quality ratings anyway. Not that abc has any decent shows to run in the first place, in fact I dont think I have turned abc on for a non-sports event all year. Fucking abc.

Thing Number 4: The Wild ROCK!! They have officially become my 2nd favorite sports franchise. The Packers are undisplaceable, no event could make me lower the Pack. I mean, I can imagine being a little mad at them, but fundamentally they are the Packers. The Wild, however, have blown the T-Wolves away, I mean BLOWN them away. Fucking no one on the Wolves besides KG and somewhat T-hud gives a fuck about what happens. They show up to the playoffs just to fucking lose. No heart at all, they had the Lakers cold in the crosshairs and then just bent over for Shaq and Kobe. The Wild go down 3-1 in two consecutive series and come back to win each one!! They are playing teams with incredible amounts more skill and who are simply better suited to the way the NHL tends to play out. Their payroll is like a third of the Avs and about half of the Cannucks, but we just gutted it out and took them. I said this before the series against Vancouver, but even if they just lose this one in 4 games, I will always remember this playoff season. They have had like 6 of the most exciting non-football games I have seen in a long time. Each of these game 7s rank among the better sports events of the last several years. I would have to seriously think about them actually ranking in the top 10 favorite sports events I have seen. I mean, we obviously have the Pack's Super Bowl Title. Several other football games. Regardless, they were incredible games. Congratulations Wild! Minnesota and displaced Minnesotans everywhere are enormously proud. Fuck up this JS Giguere motherfucker.

Thats all.



Thursday, May 08, 2003

Random Shit

Dawson's Creek: I am pretty sure they are going to kill Joey. The only other serious possibility is that they kill Jen. That however, is boring as shit, since it would just be this seperate thing. Pacey, Joey, and Dawson all get resolved in some fucked up way and, oh yeah, Jen dies. I guess it wouldnt surprise me too much if they do it, the show has gotten fucked up in a number of ways recently so I guess a stunt which was strictly concerning ratings, not relevant to the story at fucking all, could happen. But everything that has been set up over the last couple weeks makes Joey's death really interesting. I saw it coming for a while, but some things about this last episode sort of clinched it for me. Primarily the conversation between Pacey and Dawson about how the whole friendship was fucked up because they were both so concerned with falling in love with Joey while Joey just wanted the two of them to be friends. Joey sets them up to see each other. What exactly is going on here: Dawson and Pacey come back together through Joey's absence. It makes perfect sense for this to happen again in the final episode in a more profound fashion. I will actually be impressed if they do it, regardless of whether or not Joey ends up with either one of those dudes.

Sommelier Update: I found out where I can do it, the International Sommelier's Guild. Here is the link: . If you click on courses at the top they will explain to you the process involved in becoming a Grand Sommelier. I think overall it would be about 2 years of one time a week classes. After the first about 9 months you are already a certified sommelier, so you can get a job and shit, but the Grand designation would rock very hard. The more I think about it the more I think this is what I would really like to do. It sucks that I am already in a graduate professional program by the time I find what I think is the one job in the world I would actually like to have and is acheivable. I mean, even if I didnt make alot of money, this would set me up to make a living working at any decent restaurant, resort, cruise line, etc. Hopefully, I will take a lesson from my father in this regard, and at some point have the guts to do what I want to. I mean, I sort of want to be a professor, but not like I want to be a sommelier. I want to be a professor MORE than I want to do anything else, but I think I would actually enjoy being a sommelier, like it wouldnt seem like everyday I was getting up because I have to go to work and just waiting until I can finally retire. The difference between teaching and working at Wal-Mart is big, but the difference between either of those and pairing food and wine for a living is fucking gigantic.

Porn Spam: I get alot of it, I think anyone with a hotmail account does. Today I got the weirdest one ever. It was for an "exterminator" and the subject line was "get rid of household pests" the email itself, however, was just a picture of this woman with giant breasts and a bunch of flashing links. Really weird.

West Wing: The scene which ended last night's episode may have been 10 of the best minutes of television ever made. It did so many fucking things. During it Amy and Donna talked about Josh. Charlie and Josh stood outside the club where Zoe was hanging out. Zoe's stupid fucking French boyfriend slipped her some E. Leo was talking to the NSA and Joint Chiefs regarding Kumar. There is this techno music in the background, sort of thumping and originating at the club. It gradually builds so that we realize something is very wrong. Then Zoe's vision starts to get all fucked up, we think the bad shit involves the E. We cut to Charlie and Josh talking with the head of Zoe's security detail. We start to think that maybe it involves Charlie and his relationship with Zoe. We cut back to Amy and Donna, they are sitting at Donna's desk, having a couple beers and Amy continues to obsess about how she told Josh that the list was a windfall. Then Leo and the Joint Chiefs are discussing how apparently the container that they thought was missing may have been simply a typo and they no longer understand what the fuck all the chatter was. Back to the club, Zoe is getting pissed at Frenchie. Outside, Charlie and Josh are talking. Sit room, same stuff. Now we get to the next climax. Donna explains to Amy that Josh thinks he was responsible for all these other deaths (his dad, his sister, and though he didnt die, he just got shot, the president) and that Amy needs to understand him to realize what was going on. Donna walks into Josh's office and is looking through some stuff when we hear and see Amy behind her say "Are you in love with Josh." Donna's expression answers the question. Again, the music signals that the climax has not yet come. Back to the club, Zoe gets up and goes to the bathroom. Cut outside Josh and Charlie are talking about shit. The head of Zoe's detail asks for a sit report out of a joke because he doesnt want to listen to Josh babble. Music rises larger. We can't find Zoe, the head takes off inside the club. Bathroom, outside, behind the club. We see the agent gaurding the back dead in the alley. The head security calls in "Bookbag (Zoe's code-word) has been taken. Officer down." This is indeed the climax, but it just fucking keeps going. The music crescendos but doesnt stop, its a rolling crescendo like a minute long. We cut to Leo still in the sit room. He finishes the meeting with the Joint Chiefs, opens the door, the head of the secret service is standing right there. He is nervous. His lines are brilliantly written and delivered. "Protocol says we tell the Chief of Staff first" he is shaking, almost crying. Leo doesn't understand yet. He tells him. Leo's face is incredible. He pauses, then starts to walk towards the office. The music is still fucking going and the dialogue is now over. Gradually Leo builds to a run, not a natural position for someone in his condition. He sprints through the west wing, the last shot we see is an overhead of the Oval Office, seal of the presidency centered in the shot, as Leo runs over it and through the room. Starting in two weeks, this is officially the best show currently on television. Buffy will always have my love and it hurts that it is going away, but at least I get to keep this.

Groceries: Today was the first time since my very very first grocery shopping excursus since I got here in August that ran over like 55 bucks. $77.18 I think that is okay for the amount of food I bought. I forgot a couple things, as I always do, this time it was saltine crackers, celery, and a can of Manwich. I figure I will pick those up on my next run. Damn, I didnt buy any chocolate chips either. Notably, those were not on my list, but I should have fucking thought of it. I have an oven and a mixer and a cookie sheet, I really should make cookies more often. I have food for what I would imagine is about 2 months. Though I suppose Katie and I will have to go get some other stuff, since much of it is not Katie food. I mean, I have a can of Goldfish soup but no Tuna Helper, no Chef Boyardee, no Velveeta. How could she survive!

Wasps: There is a wasps nest somewhere on the outside of my apartment building. I fucking hate wasps. I am not allergic to bee stings, at least not to my knowledge. I have only once been stung by a bee, and it was not a wasp. It hurt, but I mean, it didnt hurt as bad as I would think it would. I am sure that while a wasp sting would hurt, I would be able to handle it. The headache that I had on Tuesday afternoon probably hurt every bit as bad. I really just don't like wasps. They are scary, they should not exist. I have decided they are in second place on my list of species that we should exterminate. Spiders, obviously, retain first place. In third place are all non-edible fish. In fourth place are all fish that do not just look like normal fish but are edible. Lobsters and shrimp, while scary ass mother fuckers were one to actually encounter them in the ocean, are too fucking tasty to be eliminated. Maybe we could just have them eliminated in the wild. Oh, I like that idea better. First place, every spider in the world. Second place, every type of bee. Third place, every fish not being raised in captivity for either food or entertainment purposes. This wouldnt be too difficult, just round up a good amount of every fish that we want and put them in some big fisheries. We could start whole ecosystems if necessary. Hell we could even cordonne off some sections of the ocean where fish would be allowed if people wanted to encounter them. This one, however, I am not really concerned about. I dont like fish that are not on my plate, but me and fish are cool with each other. And this is why: fish have the water and that is cool with me. They can keep it, I am cool on land. Birds don't scare me, but if they did, I would just stay out of the air. The fucking problem with spiders and wasps and shit is that they are annoying and scary and occupy the same space I occuopy. If they had the common courtesy that fish extend then maybe I wouldn't want them all exterminated. I swear, if I was a scientist, the first thing I would look for after some smokeable substance that is not harmful for your lungs (I refuse to believe that we cannot make some herb or compound and flavor it like tobacco which would ultimately act to promote respiratory function, its got to be possible) is a chemical weapon which targets only spiders and bees. I know they kill mosquitos and pollinate plants, but fuck, I will become a professional plant pollinator if you want. We can DDT the skeeters and spread pollen with irrigation machines. The simplicity of these tasks is not worth a single scary spider or wasp nor a bite from either one of them.

Sorry, that was long and rambling. It was however, quite random and quite shitty, so at least I kept to my title.



Tuesday, May 06, 2003

Finishing School, Gettin a Job

I am doing one, have to get to work on the other. Hopefully this will be my last summer at the ole Wal-Mart. I dont even know for sure that I will be able to work there at all. I mean, I would imagine in the worst case scenario that I could grab a cashiering gig somewhere in the store, hopefully at least at my present wage.

I suppose I have a decent chance of being able to work at one of the 2 1-hour photos within about 10 miles of my place. The people I have seen working at the store in Lockport, while they dont appear incompetent or bad, seem to not be extremely experienced. They can probably use a "Photo-Lab Specialist" who knows his ropes around the Frontier machines which I think they have only had for a couple months. Maybe not, but its worth a chance.

I really just hope I dont have to end up at some food place or something. I mean, I am not worried about getting a job here, but if it isnt going to be in a Wal-Mart photolab, or somewhere cooler, I dont think I will be able to handle full time.

I mean, I don't think I will have to work full time if I don't want to. After I get my bill with Buffalo taken care of I really only need to be able to pay for my July and August bills. Those really aren't that bad, they can be narrowed down to like 850 dollars a month, so with about 1700 or so I think I can get by. I mean, I would be able to do some work on writing and reading and stuff over the summer. I would certainly have things to do.

It would be less than I am rolling with now, but I am, in all honesty, living fairly comfortably. I mean, I eat at home most of the time, I don't really do anything outside of my house, I dont drink much. My smoking is only about 15 bucks every two weeks and that will be gone by July anyway.

I might even be able to get by without working until the end of May, assuming I get a paycheck during the month of June and one during the start of July, at least, I should be able to get by. I would imagine that to be overwhelmingly possible.

I think I have only two serious days of work left on school shit. So I should at least have a full weekend between school and summer work shit. I think next year I may even be in a situation which would allow me to not have to work during the summer.

In a world where Katie and I combine incomes I think the summer won't be too bad. I mean, imagine that I only had to pay 300 a month for rent, and pretty much half for the rest of the bills (the bills will remain the same, obviously, we will just be paying them together which, for all practical purposes cuts them in know what I am saying here, I mean, I am not so good at the whole "articulation thing" but you got me) meaning that if we each have 1000-1500 bucks, we could be a to the g on the whole thing.

Regardless, I need to go into Wal-Mart tomorrow. In some ways it will rock, I like working there as much as I could ever enjoy a retail environment. Notably, I doubt I will have people who are as solid as Ryan and Steph and Kathy and Shannon (I mean, seriously, how are you going to match up to Kathy, its really not likely), but still, I think something about photo labs attracts some real fucking characters. As a gig which is by no means intended to be permanent, it rules.



Sunday, May 04, 2003

Mad Props...

...going out to Meiches, Josh, and Katie for an incredible showing at the TOC. Regardless of the stupid designation of the debate itself, Blake GM becomes only the second Minnesota team to advance to the elim debates at the TOC. I knew these kids would be good when I was coaching them. I had no idea they could be this good.

The kids were good and they had great coaching this year, I think that is obvious. I mean, they did alot, they worked very hard, at least most of the time, and are very intelligent and skilled. Nonetheless, I think it is very very clear that there was an element of coaching that took them to a much higher level. They got better at camp and all, at least I hope. Nonetheless, you leave someone incompetent there (and there was a good chance that could have been the case) and that team might not been in position for even JWPs lobbying to get them into the TOC. They win the state tournament, clear like the 5th seed at the Glenbrooks. get lots of huge wins all over the place, go on crazy runs, and FUCKING CLEAR AT THE TOC.

I know that only one person actually reads this, and she is well aware of the accomplishment involved in this level of success, but it bears repeating. To clear at the TOC is an incredible level of high school acheivement. Minnesota has had some skillfull fucking teams, but only 2 have ever done this. You cant do this without winning two or three huge debates alongside several other wins against high quality opponents. It rocks really really hard. Its a gigantic validation for the debaters and their coaches, whose work and skill is being recognized at the highest level of the activity. If they dont get alot of props, that sucks. Because they really deserve them.

Congrats, I'm very proud of ya'll.



Thursday, May 01, 2003

Backup Plans

So I go back and forth between believing I can and cannot ever get a job in the field of higher education. I see the tremendous amount of schools in this country, not all of them very good obviously, and realize that in a world where I am willing to teach anything from literature to theory to film to comp etc. there is probably a decent chance that I will get a gig somewhere, even if it sucks. Two dudes were talking about Heidegger at this lecture today, one working at Binghamton in the English Department, the other in the Eng Department at Kansas. While the dude from Binghamton was really on his nut, this other guy was nothing special, it gave me some hope. The dude who edited Umbra last year just got a job too, not teaching anything he is interested in (African American Lit, and frankly, neither he nor anyone else seems to be able to figure out how a guy who studied postmodern american lit, psychoanalysis, and Marxism landed this gig) so those both give me optimism. At the same time, I get all these suggestions on the people I have to start sucking up to now if I ever want to be able to even apply for a job.

So I have been thinking a little more lately about my backup plans. Obviously, the easiest is to simply teach at some high school. I would hope that even without a PhD I could eventually land a deal somewhere there. I suppose I could coach debate somewhere if that would help. I don't really have any desire to teach in high school or coach debate, but it would be better than Wal-Mart, so at least there would be something.

I considered going to law school as well. This would only be possible in a world where I had some money, obviously, but I don't really have any desire to do that either. I would like to go to law school in order to be Josh Lyman, but since I doubt that I would ever be able to land myself as Deputy White House Chief of Staff, I have no ambition to work at a boring law firm or anything, so I plan on avoiding law as well.

The thing I think I would actually like to do, probably more than I would like to be a professor too, is to become a sommalier. I don't even really know where to train for that job, my guess is that there are culinary academies and such that offer these courses, probably some really good ones in NY, LA, those areas. Better ones in France and Italy obviously, but since I don't think I could really develop any quality language skills fast enough, those are pretty much out of the picture.

How fucking sweet of a job would that be. I would have to taste, talk about, recommend, pair, and sell wines. I could work at a nice restaurant for a while, maybe several of them. I could either do consulting or go in house. I could open up my own wine-shop. I could eventually even open up my own restuarant or Loring-style bar with an uber solid wine list. I cannot imagine what I would not enjoy about that gig. Obviously, if I was successful, at some point I would move towards having my own nice place. That would probably be buttloads of work, but hopefully I would know what I was doing at that point. I tried to imagine the enormity of designing my own place, and though I could probably do it, I think working somewhere for a number of years first would make it more manageable.

So my ideal back-up, and maybe even my ideal non-back-up, is sommalier. I am going to look into training for that. Maybe I can just end up as a significatly over-educated wine steward somewhere. I could work at Manny's, that is a dream job. In the TC, working somewhere classy, at my favorite restaurant of all time.