Friday, July 30, 2004

Ain't Lookin for Nothin But a Good Time and It Don't Get Better than Butt

The first and most important point is of course that finally, The Katie Has Come Back to Buffalo!! (If YA SMELLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLALALLALALALALALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) She is no longer leaving to go back to Wyoming for the stupid college institute, with all the stupid people. Pretty much none of the people I know in the debate community will be there and while Katie still knows alot of those people they are not really her good friends. Several of them, at least one prominent one, is also a douche. So, instead of leaving here tomorrow, Katie will be staying, which roxors.

Work has been kinda shitty this week, very busy and very long in almost all instances. Last night I was in the store until like 9:45, approximately 45 minutes after I was supposed to be there. That meant both that I got to leave a little early today, but also that I was late getting home for an incredibly delicious waffle dinner thrown by Katie. She made a great batch of waffley treats with our brand new waffle iron and since her mother recommended (for some reason) that we make a double batch, we also have waffles ready to be heated for breakfast for at least the next week. Anyway, work has been a pain in the ass, there aren't enough people in the lab, some of them don't know ass about how to work, and it is primo film time. I believe I have three works to go before I am back in the Tizzle that is Cizzle for at least a week, attending uno weddingo, and generally chillin'.

Some things at work have been revealing and helpful. For one, I saw a customer at work who made decidef that were I to write a more exhaustive list of laws of the universe, one of those would be that at the point you have decided to have a handlebar moustache, you have not simply made a facial hair preference, but a lifestyle chocie. There is a persona involved, an attitude, probably a cowpoke hat, maybe some chaps. You can't just strap on a handlebar moustache and go be a dentist, assuming that you don't live in Deadwood or something. It doesn't work, the moustache throws people off. This guy had failed to follow this law in 2 ways. First of all, he was wearing a polo like shirt, a tie, and a pair of khakis. You don't have to go with the dusty denim all the time, but you were at Wal-Mart, at least strap on a Dale Earnhardt t-shirt, or a bass fishing tour hat. Secondly, and maybe this was an accident or something, but half of the moustache was not handlebarred. I mean, maybe he ran out of moustache wax after the first half, or maybe it got rinsed off or he spilled coffee, I don't know. He could have accidentally shaved that side or something and not wanted to give up the lifestyle, but it looked fucking weird. I recognize that this isn't just the "handlebar lifestyle" thing, but he had a half-handlebar moustache and it looked fucking odd.

A second customer revealed another interesting thing to me, this through her name rather than her choice of facial accessory. I am not referring back to Star Wolf, though I haven't heard from her recently, and I wonder if the galactic forces of Nartron have successfully defeated her and her rumble pack like missions in the StarField. This person had a wonderful name, at least as I think about it now, though I very well may have never noticed it at all. I am sitting at the monitor printing photos, we are kind of busy, and someone asks me where the roll is for "Sam Rockwell" or some other random name. I had only one envelope sitting with me at the moment, so I looked over, and responded out loud to the woman who asked "No, I only have the one for Jean Weaver." Following that, when my mind caught up with my mouth, I belted out "Ohh, Jean Weaver, I believe you can get me through the night." I know this probably happens alot with anyone who has the last name weaver, but I mean, fucking come on. Jean Weaver, its too perfect for fucking words people. You can't buy that kind of publicicty.

I know I haven't been commenting much, work has been busy, it is fucking hot here in Assalo, and when Katie is here we have the air conditioning on less, I use the computer less, etc. Regardless, I will try to pay more attention to the world that is electronico. I also started excercising, with the neato recumbant bicycle thing that my parents gave us to bring home. I am not sure how people do this in the morning before they go to work, because it fucking tires my legs out like running from a stray mule named Henrietta, but maybe once I am back in shape I will remember. I suppose I used to lift and such before school, but school rarely had the standing intensity that working at a retail ass-giant does and I was in good shape. I wonder how long it takes to return to semi-decent shape after having not been active at all for like 6 or so years, my guess is probably at least 7 or so months of pretty intense workouts. I mean, I am going alright at this point, and I'm sure I will ramp it up, maybe even get motivated to go back to lifting some sort of weights at irregular intervals, but at least pants-not-fitting and heart-attacking will be put on the backburner at some point. I'm not gonna go all Bob Mould health junky and start describing my fitness routine in my blog, but I thought it was worth mentioning.

School starts in like a month, this being my third year of what is hopefully a four year PhD program. I am optimistic, but it will pretty much require that I am able to spend next summer reading and writing rather than working at Wal-Suck. In that world I have three works left to prostitute myself at the ATM money hole of this particular incarnation of the man, before I get to spend all my time sucking at the sweet sweet nipple of the academy. I like my paychecks coming with union deductions and signed by some stupid person with a ridiculous title like Provost or Registrar or Concilliere or Ombudsperson or any of those titles, though I think only the first two properly apply to universities. Anyway, I'm back, though I doubt you missed me. One final note, congratulations and good luck to those few of you in the potential audeince who may have taken the Bar Exam this past week. From what I am told most people know whether or not they are likely going to pass after they take the test, if that is the case congrats or I'm sorry. You know who you is and you's gonna be sweet ass law-talkers.



Saturday, July 24, 2004

Gonna Live Forever, Knowing Together That We, Did it All, For the Glory of Butt

The Casino is the worst reality show in history. Seriously, I know thats a bold claim, but this show is awful. I will watch nearly anything that has to do with the city of Las Vegas, because I fucking love that town, but this is the exception. Until I had watched 2-3 episodes of The Casino I would have said that I would watch anything about Las Vegas, this show singlehandedly added the nearly to that statement. The basic premise is that some stupid motherfuckers who owned some shitty site bought the Golden Nugget and are trying to run it. What is actually the case is that Fox brings in some lame gamblers every week and follows them around the Casino, some Restaurant-esque personnel problem occurs, and there is some conflict at the high finance management level. That is the formula, which could be overcome if there were any decent personalities, filming or plotline. Even shows like The Restaurant have some sort of goal, the conflicts and the challenges. This is just a "everyday casino operation" thing which doesn't interest me at all. If you cannot convince me to watch your Fox reality program, you have just pumped out a big showful of liquid shit.

I don't know why I felt the need to mention that, besides the fact that it really is an awful show. Big Brother 5 on the other hand is turning out to be quite good this season, it has everything that the Casino lacks, talented editors, good storylines, compelling personalities, etc. The biggest rip I have heard in the media was that the show is obviously faked, not simply reality, this is true of course, but the storylines are no more written here than they are in Big Brother (project DNA for instance). The problem is simply one of quality rather than reality. I haven't really watched any of the previous Big Brother households, but if they were all this intriguing I admit that my previous critiques were wrong. If I had to go on a reality show, it would be this one. I like all the kinks of Survivor and The Amazing Race and stuff, but the whole sitting in a house together as the biggest challenge is a good break from the hustle and bustle of the regular TV season. Anyway, since Big Brother appearss to be about a million episodes long, even if you haven't started watching yet I recommend you get on the fucking ball. I mean, its not as good a program as the Amazing Race, but you do get 3 hours of coverage a week.

At work on Thursday there was a blood drive going on at Wal-Mart. This was the only time I had really wished that I wasn't so deathly fucking afraid of needles, because 3 of the people I was working with got to miss like an 1-1 1/2 hours of work each to give blood this afternoon. I mean, I think most of that time was just sitting and waiting to give blood, but still, it was a free hour off. Scott got back about an hour and a half after he left and suggested that I should go back there and do the same. There were apparently spots and I really did consider it for at least a minute or two. I will do almost anything to get out of actually working while on the clock, so that was a huge plus. There is also the obvious fact that its a good thing to give blood. I don't know what my blood type is or if it is one of those which is most in need, but I guess they always need every different type. In high school I was the President of the National Honor Society and we ran the blood drive every year, so I had a fair amount of experience with the procedure. One of the things they talked about was that the blood types which are most common often suffer shortages because they are so in demand, while the least common blood types sometimes have so few donors that they can't keep even the very limited demand covered by O types. Regardless, all these concerns were trumped by the fact that even when I would be getting 10+ dollars for laying on a couch like structure, I would have a fucking needle in my arm for far too much of that time. I mean, you get some juice and cookies afterwards but does that make up for the pain. Some people tried to give mne the old "it doesn't hurt that much" routine, but its not like I've gone since childhood without having a shot, I had one at the dentist last fucking week bastard and it sucked a nut.

I guess I am glad that Wal-Mart would encourage their employees to do such a thing, at least by letting them do it on the clock. It did however make a lot of work for us when they were gone and when they had to take it easy. I do most of the heavy lifting around that place anyway, but even the fairly light weights were off limits for them after Amy's vein popped open upon lifting the paper cartridge off the machine. I didn't see what was occasionally a CSI style blood spurt but its effects were evident. Anyway, that meant that I had to load all the paper, dump all the bins, pick up all the boxes, change all the paper and the waste tanks, etc. At least the business let things go fairly quickly and by the time send out was put away it was already later than 8 and almost time to go home. It sucked somewhat.

Today work was a little easier. While we were still often busy the 10-7shifts always seem to breeze by. You get a couple hours under your belt before the closers even come into the store, you take your lunch in the heart of the afternoon rush, and you are out of there pretty much right after you put away the film. Regardless, I left a little early because I was over on hours. It was lucky that I did, because I ran into the pug dogs next door. I have mentioned before that there are two of them, a black one and a fawn one. Well, I walked over to pet them today and talked to the dude who owns them. They came hopping up towards me in that really cute way that pug dogs do. The black one is a dude named Rocky. He is a good looking black pug dog, but he is overshadowed by Kayla, the fawn girl pug dog who is kinda fat, short and stocky. She is absolutely adorable, pretty much exactly what I would like my pug dog to look like. Anyway, I talked to their owner for a minute and said hello to the pug dogs, which really made me optimistic for the rest of the evening.

That said, I did nothing but catch up with television I have been behind on. I watched some Good Eats and some Fox comedies (Quintuplets is pretty good, some funny lines for Andy Richter and one kid who is pretty hilarious. Simple Life 2 is what it is, and I enjoy that) and the second episode of The 4400. I am going to refrain from commenting on that show until I discover a little more about what is going on, since it could be either really sweet or really formulaic, depending on where they take it. I'm sure that they will reshow all these beginning ones so people can catch up, since apparently the reviews are quite good at this point. Regardless, check it out, USA original programming is really on top of their nut recently.

I don't think my discussion with Katie about pug dogs has convinced her that we should get one yet, but maybe I can take her over to meet Rocky and Kayla to convince her. On the really really bright side, Katie gets back from Wyoming manana and I no longer have to come home to simply an empty couch and a quiet room. Check you.



Thursday, July 22, 2004

Boy I Think That I'm in Love With You, I've Been Doing Silly Things When it Comes to Butt

Work was fairly quick today, but really ass annoying. Maureen, who is a very nice and helpful older woman, left at 6 leaving just me and Scott to do all the film organization and such. This would normally not be a problem but Wednesdays blow, because its when all the film left Saturday after 4, Sunday, and Monday morning comes in. Since you take your pictures Friday and Saturday you don't drop them off until Sunday or Monday morning, meaning that tonight we got around 600 orders to scan or sort and file etc. Its a gigantic ass pain, and I think the colonoscopy crowd can back me up on this motherfucker up in here.

Yesterday was arguably my most productive day off in a long time. I got up fairly late, but I figured that was legit. I was planning on hitting a movie around 2:00, but we will get to that. Before I considered my options there I wanted to have a leisurely breakfast and watch Sportscenter in the way I never get to when I am rushing to the Wal-Mizzle. So I enjoyed Mike Hall's second day as the Dream Job winner and anchor. He's actually fairly good, not phenomenal, not Chris Berman, not Linda Cohn, not Stewart Scott, but pretty good. At this point I think I really enjoy his teaming up with Linda, mad props from me. I don't know what the likelihood is that he will be on the show any later than his one year deal, but I would imagine he is good enough to pull it off. He's got some solid quips, he lets Linda get her banter on, recognizes that he is still the junior partner, so on. Anyway, I whipped up a delicious can of corned beef hash, fried some eggs up on that shitty, made some toast, and plopped on the ciznouch. It was awesome, that perfect time where you are up to watch a full espisode of Sportscenter but have also slept until you bioligically decided to wake up. I get to do that so fucking rarely, even when I get a good nine or ten hours I am woken by the fucking blurting assishness of the clock.

After breakfast I checked the situation for the movies. I had two possibilities, the first was seeing Anchorman again. This was not out of the realm of possibility and in fact would have rocked. Pete, who embodies everything that I have always wanted to be in more aspects than just this one, has already enjoyed a bowl of chicken soup and a reuben three times, meaning that he kicks my ass on im Anchorman quote relays. Anyway, literally the only reason I opted against this was because I had not seen Farenheit 9/11 yet, really wanted to, so I could at least discuss it, and Katie had already seen it. If these had not all been the case I could have waited, Katie and I could have seen it when she came home from Wyoming (three days! woohoo!, not to be confused with yoohoo! which, while a delicious and rich chocolate milk like drink, is not as cool as the fact that I no longer have to live a married bachelor lifestyle) but since she saw it one day when I was slaving away to pay the automo-bills I wanted to do it then. I was shocked to discover that of all the showings, there was no variety of times. It was 1:30 and 4 at every theater in the area that showed the film. Anyyway, I got ready in a hurry and left. I haven't yet mentioned of course that I had to make a stop off at Verizon on my way. My fucking phone was again fritzing like a German poodle and I had to have them look at it, say I don't know what is wrong, open it up, clean it, tighten a screw, and give it back to me working. I am glad that the people are able to get my phone to work whenever I ask them, I'm just pissed that I need to go to their fucking store all the time instead of gettting a phone that operates properly. I suppose I should be pissed at Kyocera for making the ass-talk-machine or even myself for buying one of the cheapest phones and complaining about it, but I'm going to remain upset with Verizon instead, because their name rhymes with horizon, and that pisses me off. What about the Prime Meridian? Whats your problem with longitude huh.

Regardless, I had all but decided to skip F911 when the woman at Verizon had my phone up and running in less then 20 minutes. I had the directions to the theater which I had never visited waiting in my car, and I figured that the place should be dead enough at 1:30 in the afternoon that I could arrive, get my tickets, p-corn, and into the theater on time even if I arrived at 1:35. I nutted it notably, I think I missed the first couple sentences Michael Moore itterated about the inability of the black caucus to get the support of a single senator, I don't know how much this was for sure. I know that I was there well before any of the explicit build up to 9/11 or anything, so I think I missed very little. Regardless, I was psyched with myself. The first thing I noticed about the joint was that although the place was not jammed, there were a fair amount of people there to see what many people would have thought would be a fringe liberal documentary at 1:30 in the afternoon on a Tuesday. The more interesting thing, at least to me, was the fact that I was the youngest of these viewers by at least 20 years. There wasn't another person in the theater who I would imagine doesn't have kids old enough to be in high school. The people closest to me were senior citizens (I heard them get their discount right behind me in the ticket line) and the threesome in front of me must have been at least 50. Thats not to say any of these people are old, or that they wouldn't be interested in politics (obviously they tend to be more involved than people my age, lets say) just that I was amazed they were watching Michael Moore's polemic against Bush's dictatorial use of 9/11 as political justification. They seemed to be enjoying it too, they were laughing, they were crying, most of them seemed to be genuinely impressed by the film.

While I could certainly speak in depth about the various arguments that Michael Moore makes and their levels of veracity, I would rather just mention how effective I think this film could be for democrats in November. Obviously the film does not let the democrats off without criticism, there is some recognition of the fact that the Patriot Act, war funding, and other measures were let loose without a peep from the boys and girls in blue, and the glaring lack of Congressional family-members in the service was obviously non-partisan. Thats not really the point however, since everyone knows Michael Moore is left of the dems in congress, he pushed Nader and directed Rage videos in the 2000 election, and would do so today if he didn't (reasonably) suspect that to do so would endanger the world as we know it. The point is that this film is much more thought provoking than Bowling for Columbine because it doesn't just make fun of redneck gun owners and conservative hypocrisy, the film combines a beautiful and heartfelt compassion for the people of this country with the question "what were they doing while we were recovering, and what have they been doing since." The question, if you want to call it that, in Bowling for Columbine or other Moore films is "why are these people so dumb" (I know thats a simplification). There Moore attempts to show things that we don't normally see and force us to see them (the easy access to guns, the way guns and economics are intertwined) while here he asks instead why don't they see the things we see so fucking easily. Take the shots of Flint and the obvious comparison of these urban areas to bombed out sections of Iraq.

In my mind one of the best moments in the film was the series of shots initially after the credits (of the 9/11 aftermath, papers swirling, smoke, etc.), and besides the obvious emotional seriousness of this moment, and the great use of music (which is true throughout the movie, not just here, take the Firewater Burn segments or the much publicized "cocaine" snippet) the most incredible part is that there is not one piece of news footage, not one shot of the towers burning or collapsing, no shots of the flag in the rubble, people falling from the towers, planes crashing, etc. Every shot is of paper blowing and people staring up into the sky. In many ways this reminds me of the classic horror technique that Hitchcock was most famous for, things are scarrier when you know what something is and you can't see it. Everyone in the audience knew what those people were staring at in horror, there was never a question in their minds. Right from the beginning, this film makes it very clear that the reactions to this event are twofold, emotion, compassion, and love (the people crying in disbelief on the streets of Manhattan) versus the question of what can be done. It takes alot to ask people to believe that Bush is an evil stupid fuck who has tried to lie cheat and steal to enforce an evil stupid agenda. It takes alot less to ask them to believe that someone tried to capitalize on their love. Anyway, when I have seen it more than once I'm sure I will have more to say. I really liked this movie though, I think everyone should see it. I think that even those who aren't Michael Moore fans will be impressed by what he has accomplished here and the complexity of his integation of filmmaking and argument in a way I don't think his other documentaries (or atleast the ones I have seen) acheived. Finally, on this subject, I think that its a good sign I was the youngest person in this theater by 20 years.

The movie actually ends on a really strong "we can overcome" note, probably, if for no other reason, than so that the people of Flint and every other similar town in this country (say, Buffalo) don't just off themselves rather than get in their cars and go home. I stayed and thought about the flick while listening to Neil Young and then got up for the drive. On my way home I noticed that I was passing the ASPCA and since I had no plans for the rest of the afternoon, I stopped in to play with some kitty cats. This was one of the rura SPCAs and so there were a fair amount of really young kitties, not like the city shelters where you've got surrendered 2-3 year old cats, cute cats, but fully grown cats nonetheless. These were little fuzzy big headed meow boxes and they were adorable. There was a grey tiger striped guy and a black and white brother and sister set, and a black puffy cat that looked like it would probably be a big poof-ball at some point in time. Luckily for me the adoption fee was 100 bucks, which I could not afford, and I know that I really can't get a kitty until Katie is home, so at least the poor thing won't have to be alone all the time.

I have also to decided to begin a comprehensive review of the World's Greatest Candy Bars. I will work up to defending a full list, maybe top 5 of all time, but for now we will be doing certain honorable mentions and related categories. To begin, Rookie of the Year:

Winner: Triple Chocolate Kit-Kat

I suppose this bar may not be around forever and some of you may not have tried it at all. Katie and I simply happened upon it near the checkout of our local groceriatarium. It was fairly obvious that this was going to rock, since, you might imagine, I would believe with a fair amount of certainty that the Kit Kat itself is going to make the final top 5 list. Here is the scenario, make the stuff inside the Kit Kat chocolate coating (ie the layers and other layer like stuff) chocolate instead of, well, instead of whatever its current flavor or lack thereof is. The triple chocolate Kit Kat does not suffer from the drowningly chocolate flavor of some of its predecesors like the Milky Way dark or the thick version of 3 Musketeers, whatever that thing was called. Instead the combination of crispity crunchity and velvety smooth gives some relief to the flavors, allows them to stand apart briefly, before folding together in the sugary abyss of your tongue. While my technique for eating the original Kit Kat is to break off each stick and bisect it with my mouth (ie: eat it in two bites) I find that the double chocolate Kit-Kat really benefits from being attacked as a complete unit. Something about the way these chocolate wafers dissolve (seemingly a little quicker) benefits from having more of its compadres nearby to surrender their sugary perfection. I understand that this means there is probably a little less eating time overall, but the solution is quite simple. Buy six and eat them all at the same time. My recommendation: the chocolate Kit Kat may not surpass its big sibling and who knows if it will stay on the market for too long (it is marked limited edition after all) but in this age of carb-hating the efforts of the people at Kit Kat to give us all a break by forcing the dual dangers of sugary wafers and coco-riffic flavor even further together deserves my applause.

CongratulationsTriple Chocolate Kit Kat!!



Tuesday, July 20, 2004

I Love How You Can Tell, All the Pieces, Pieces, Pieces of Butt

This entry is of course named for Ashlee Simpson's catchy little ditty, Pieces of Me. I saw the video on MTV Hits and had to download it immediately. I think its fair to say that this song instantly catapults Ashlee Simpson into the ranks of the best 3-4 female artists of all time. Seriously, I don't understand how someone could not enjoy it. Its a refreshing little poppy number with a catchy tune and some Mandy Moore-esque lyrics. I've gone off before on why people neeed to be able to enjoy the simple things in life, not get caught up in the fact that Ashlee is annoying and has what may be the worst reality show of all time. Don't bother yourself with the fact that she looks like Cher sucked the life out of a hundred babies and regenerated. Just sit back and enjoy the ditty, this one not being provided to you by Paperboy.

On a completely unrelated note, I was talking to my co-worker Amy the other day about random things, and somehow got to the mention of corn dogs. I assume we were talkign about going to some fair or something, I believe there was a county or town fair nearby. I was going through my personal list of best fair foods (cheese curds, mini donuts, pronto pups, Sweet Martha's, all you can drink milk, pork chops on a stick, corn on the cob, etc., i guess thats a little MN specific, but you get the gist of it) and discovered this seemingly impossible anomaly: Amy has never had a corndog. I know, you can't believe it. Let me make it a little more astonishing. Amy did not immigrate from Botswana over the last several years. There's more, Amy's parents are not so poor that they were never able to take her to a fair or festival of any sort. She has just never had a corn dog. Besides the obvious and very pressing need to quickly prosecute Amy's parents for child abuse, I was simply amazed. How can you live in this country, not be a veg-head, and live forever without corndogs somehow being given to you. The corn dog is like the kid food par-excellence, who doesn't love it. Its a great combo, a hot dog and cornbread. Plus there is the whole stick angle which doesn't deserve to be ignored. You can even put the mustard and ketchup on with a brush, you've got dinner and some arts and crafts. Alton Brown did corn dogs on an episode of Good Eats and he used a recipe which seemed a little odd, but probably quite tasty, adding some jalapenos and onions to the batter. Now, maybe the folks at Pronto Pup, obviously the world's greatest purveyor of corn dogs, have some onion in their batter, I don't know. But I had a fairly guttural reaction to this idea, there are some foods that just don't need any special additives to rock like Kilahuea on acid. I think the corn dog pretty well encompasses the best of all the possible hot dog worlds. I mean, I love the chicago dog as much as anyone (see my reflections on the Windy City) but I could eat Pronto Pups pretty much forever. I am going to save further discussion here for the State Fair season, which is, I should remind the St Paulians in the audeince, fast approaching. Rest assured that it will not go unmentioned further.

Work was interesting the past couple days. We actually did almost nothing for most of those shifts. Here is what went down: Amy and I arrived in the lab at noon. We were working and noticed that the film looked like butt. I mean, the colors were all off, the film was dark and fogged. We brought this to Kelly's attention and soon discovered that when changing the chemicals about an hour before we got there, Kelly, the manager and head photo honcho, had actually replaced the N1 developer chemical with N3 bleach fixer. Now, I know you are thinking, come on, no one could actually confuse fixer with developer, but yes, she did. So we had to drain the tanks, and it still wasn't. We drained and washed fucking everything in those machines Saturday, they did the same thing Sunday in my absence, and we continued today. Eventually we just gave in, got it close enough to go, and went back to work. I then proceeded to declare myself the greatest photo specialist of all time, as I did 82 rolls in just over an hour and a half, which must be a fucking world record. I mean, a busy hour is 20-25 rolls, and I spanked that like a donkey. There was nothing that could slow me down, I mean nothing.

I have tomorrow off, but haven't yet decided what I am going to do. That decision will be significantly influenced by my Saturday night excursion to the drive-in. After leaving the hideous mess that was the photo lab I high tailed it down Transit. I originally didn't think I would be able to go, since a massive storm was rolling in around 6. By nine it was all clear and beautiful, so I got a cigar and some soda and parked in front of the glowing screen. I wasn't extraordinarily hungry, so I postponed the popcorn in favor of some doubly-stuffed Oreos. The line was long so I got there at the exact moment the film really began. I had luckily tuned into some of the previews on the radio, remembering the frequency from the last time we were there. The movie was funny as shit, let me tell you. Repeated viewings will determine exactly how funny it is, but I think its up there in the funniest movies ever made. Pete concurs that it is Billy Madison quality. Not to mention that Will Ferrell's cute little puppy is named Baxter. At some point I will need to get some of the MP3s of his comments to his dog. I have also decided that "Fare thee well, Baxter. You will always be a friend of the bears." should be my motto. I need to get a sign of that line so I can bust out with a "show-em my motto" in honor of Sanjay.

I am tired and don't really have much more to say. I have tomorrow off, so I will definately contribute some more to the equation. I am thinking about maybe compiling a comprehensive list of the best candy bars ever. Hmm, intriguing.



Friday, July 16, 2004

Sippin On Coke and Rum, I'm Like So What I'm Drunk, Its The Freakin Weekend Baby I'm About to Have Me Some Butt

So we packed a U-Haul and left for home on Monday morning. It took us a while and there were some detours, but we eventually got on the road. Katie took a nap in the middle of Wisconsin and virtually right after that moment, we stopped. Thats right. We stopped, in the middle of the highway, for approximately two hours. When we eventually got driving again it appeared that a truck had careened off a bridge, on the other fucking side of the road. Why that stopped 94 traffic in the afternoon going the other way made little sense to me, but whatev. Besides that moment we made great time. We spent our honeymoon night, from about 1:00 am until the next morning, in the lovely room 314 of the South Bend, Indiana Super 8. Nothing's too good for my wife, I tell you.

You might ask, whats so special about room 314 of the South Bend, Indiana Super 8? Nothing, I would tell you, but that wouldn't be the end of the story. Because when you stay at the Super 8 you don't need the presidential suite to enjoy yourself. Its the Super 8 motherfucker, thats like 2 more than the Motel 6. Think of the finest hotels in the world,. the Ritz-Carlton, Georges V in Paris, the AmericInn in Apple Valley. They don't even have a numberal in their name, except for George V, which does have a numeral in its name, but its fucking Roman. You know what kind of ammenities Roman motels had, fucking vomintoriums and thats about it. They should just make that their ad, want to purge, come to the George V. As I figure it that means the Super 8 is to hotels as the manta ray is to large flat fish, the king of them bastards.

Anyway, the rest of the drive was largely uneventful. We had some continental breakfast, some lunch at Jody Maroney's Sausage Kingdom, some chocolate covered almonds. We got home late and I had to be at work the next morning. Basically we brought only the bare ass minimum from the trailer and Katie did almost the entirety of the work over the next two days that I was at work. I brought up a couple of the really heavy and awkward shit, but since a majority of things were fairly small and light, she really deserves the credit. She also unpacked and organized the whole fucking apartment, most notably the kitchen. We got a bunch of new shelving, accomodating our growing alcohol collection, we put together our wine rack, which is really pretty cool. We have another table, Katie's beloved console table, which sits behind the couch in an almost entirely useless fashion. I mean, Katie loves it, and I get to feel like I'm on a sitcom when I come home from work and set my keys on it, but besides that its a little weird.

The coolest thing about the console table is the picture on it, which I manufactured with a bootlegged version of Photoshop. Its a beautiful close-up picture of Katie with her bouquet. I desaturated (removed the color) from everything except the flowers and it looks really fucking cool, like a non-saddening or depressing or genocidally related girl at the end of Schindler's List. Bad analogy, but it looks fucking cool. I have it on my computer, maybe at some point I will find a way to put pictures online. If I do, I will let you know. We put it in this really cool frame that someone gave us for the wedding that is all glassy and curvy, really styling. We have a whole fuckload of picture frames and knick knacks now, sitting on shelves and desks. We have some cool vases, which Katie got me some very cool rocks and marbles for. I really dig the set up of the whole place now, especially the kitchen, which somehow has been arranged to accomodate an entire new kitchen's worth of shitty.

Last week I began work on my obsession with chocolate martinis. Katie unfortunately discovered that she does not like chocolate or cream in her alcohol, which means that I try them alone. I have gotten much closer to the recipe that I am looking for, though a few tweaks are still necessary. We not only have the high class chocolate liquers necessary for these drinks, but the sophisticated bar tools to properly measure, shake, stir, and add ice.

I was at work not too long ago, printing some pictures, and along comes an envelope labeled Wolf. This is not a completely uncommon last name, so it didn't take me much by surprise. Then I noticed the first name. I am not shitting you about this. The woman who dropped off these pictures is named Star Wolf. Thats her fucking name. That is how it is spelled. That is her name. Her name is Star Wolf. It seriously sounds like some sort of intergalactic pirate. Who would do this to their children. Why not just name her timber or were. I am Star Wolf!! I will reclaim the planet Norglock for the Federation. No one at the lab seemed to find it as amusing as I did, but they are all a bunch of buttwads anyway. Well, not all of them, but many of them are buttwads.

Back to the good old days of random pointless blogging and regailing ya'll with tales of stupid Wal-Mart customers and their stupid names.



Tuesday, July 13, 2004

I Don't Know How To Live Without Your Butt

Saturday morning, I woke up after Katie, maybe around 9 or 10. The house was a little busy, I think the bridesmaids were arriving around 10:30 and many of the McCormick family members were already hanging around. Andi, Carole's longtime hairstylist, was just arriving to do everyone's hair as per a special agreement. There was alot of good food, a fruit plate, doughnuts, coffee, coffeecake, croissants, etc. I poured a cup of Jo (not the Facts of Life star, but the brewed beverage) and spent the next hour or so talking with Katie's grandfather Laird. The dude has a pretty interesting story, at least it seems so to me. He was apparently an extraordinary jazz pianist, with a pretty incredible ear for composition. I have a tape in my car of "Ragtime Piano by Laird" which, though I have never heard, is pretty cool. Anyway, he is a fun guy to talk to. He told me stories about back when he and Patsy got married, how they moved around the country, were married by the president of the baptist church in Washinton, etc. Mostly he's just a really friendly old guy. He also appears to smoke about 2 packs a day, since he took maybe 4-5 smoke breaks in the maybe 2 hours that he was at the house.

I taked to Katie's cousin and Aunt for a while, and they each had unique complaints about their hotel. They were staying at the Super 8 in Roseville notably, not even a Holiday Inn or one of the nice joints downtown. Thats cool with me, but you have to expect that with the lower price comes some lower stuff as well. Apparently that included a lower class clientele, since the complaints included the migrant workers down the hall and the black potheads who ate all the dougnuts from the continental breakfast before they could get them. There was notably, a continental breakfast at the Kauf household, but I understand the frustration at the poor continental breakfasting. I also find it funny that their complaints about the potheads were being made not 10 feet from at least a couple folks of the pothead persuasion. Nonetheless, eventually these people leave so the bridesmaids have space to get their hair done and makeup, blah blah. I take a shower at some point, Katie goes to Herbergers to get her makeup done. Like 2:00 ish Iget dressed up in my tux-sweet-o and Katie and I, carefully lugging her one million pound wedding dress, head over to Mac. Wilking, I assume to make up for the previous night's transgression against the temporal gods, has arrived early, and is snapping digital photos at an astounding rate. This came in really handy since Andrea and Willking were like the only ones with cameras out of the whole fucking bunch of us. Everybody else showed up and we started shooting pictures, which we then did constantly for like 2 hours. Katie and her bridesmaids, me and the groomsfolk, families, gatherings, groupings etc. I really did fucking love our photographers, they seemed to fucking rock. I'll confirm that a little more once we see the pictures, but the experience itself was very cool. We had Wendy taking mostly formal posed portraits, and her husband, Karl, roving (hehehehe) around taking snapshots, or candids, as they say in the biz. That went on for a while. We got some help from Antonio, the photographer's assistance, who was without question the world's greatest photographer's assistant. He had a Spainish sounding name, he seemed to be Spainish (could be somewhere near by, or even a white guy who lived in South America perhaps), with a Spainish accent, and just the hint of a lisp. While he was not necessarily the gayest person who was at the wedding, he certainly wasn't the most heterosexual either.

Everyone looked pretty good, our parents and families, not to mention Katie herself. It was incredible, I have seen her a million times, beautiful every one of them, but it really was something. The dress was perfect, her hair was perfect, her makeup was perfect. Katie was as beautiful that day as anyone has ever been and while I'm sure we can thank the Wedding Shoppe and makeup or whatever, but all in all I don't think this had much to do with anything besides her. I think she even managed to keep up the smiling all day long, my face had tired by about 3:30.

When people started showing up we sent Katie back downstairs so she didn't spoil the show for the guests. I on the other hand got to hang out for a majority of the time. I said hello to many family folks, many friends who had been a long time coming, all in all I think I met up with most people before the ceremony even got underway. We walked down the aisle no later than 5:05 pm and from what I have been told many weddings start much later than that, so we were pleased to be on track. The ceremony was nice, a little long for some no doubt, and certainly less secular than many probably would have preferred, but I thought it was pretty good. Despite Father Malone's agitation the day before, I thought he spoke very well and very patiently. My brother pulled a good "where are the rings" bit on the recommendation of AJ and altogether Katie and I were at the back of the church by 5:40, so with all the walking etc. I figure the ceremony itself was no more than a half hour long. The moments which were supposed to be beautiful were beautiful, the moments which were supposed to be enlightening and intimate were, and those which were supposed to be relations between the two of us and the people with us seemed to accomplish that entirely. I thought it was perfect.

The only problem we had is the lack of adequate communication regarding receiving lines or whatever. The fact that no one was really told anything meant there was really no firm idea about what was supposed to happen. Some people said hello to us at the church, some at the reception, but we never had a formal receiving line. I don't know if that bothered anyone, it certainly didn't bother me. It meant that no one had to stand ina long boring line at any point, and that people didn't have to either wait to leave the church or have their dinner. I think I spoke to everyone I wanted or needed to speak to at one point or another, and I am 100% positive that anyone who wanted to seek my out and talk to me had the opportunity to do so. Their best opportunity was probably at the cocktail hour over at the Hyatt. After a couple of post-ceremony pictures at Mac we hopped into my mom's red convertible, which we were driving to the Hyatt out of a compromise with Carole for not wasing money on a limo. Those pictures may turn out very cool, so I am looking forward to it. We got to the Hyatt, found a place to park, eventually made our way to the lobby. Katie hadn't gotten a chance to use the restroom since she got into the dress almost 4 hours earlier, and she apparently needed a female assistant in order to do so, so she headed there while I grabbed us a drink. The bar was wide open before dinner and the appetizers were deliciosso. Everyone who tried them agreed with me that the mushroom tartlets were fucking incroyable. I didnt even see the fruit or the chicken things, but apparently they were had and enjoyed by many. I really do need to look into some sort of recipe for those, I think my brother would be appreciative.

We cut the cake, well, pretended to cut the cake, and skipped the feeding ritual thingymajigger. Neither of us thought it was an interesting or non-stupid ritual, and we pride ourselves on maintaining only those rituals we found reasonable meaning in. The cake was fucking gorgeous, by the way, it was done out in four different colors, and I think Wuollets did as fine a job on it as can be expected. Many people even asked me assuming it was fondant, the buttercream was that convincingly dyed. The cake table looked great, even though there were bowls of nuts and mints all over it. This was apparently something Carole felt really really strongly about, whihc is mindboggling to me, but whatever. The candles and petals made sense, but the other things still felt like the HoJo Salad Bar to me. The Dobs came through incredibly strongly in running out to my car because the DJ bonored one little thing, by which I mean, not bringing our first song. After fixing that brief fiasco and grabbing one more comp drink we headed into the ballroom for dinner. I must say, the Nicollet ballroom looked fucking pimp. The lights and the draping, while maybe not quite worth what they cost, were pretty sweet. The flowers were nice, I had literally no complaints. We also had what may be the world's longest head table, accomadating 14 fucking people. Dinner was chwizeet, my guess is that it was as good as you can expect a 200+ person meal to really be. The steak was perfectly cooked, the chicken well glazed and crusted, and the vegan entry got rave reviews from all the veg style people I spoke to. The wine was tasty and while I'm sure service at the head table is purposefully on top of all the others, I couldn't get more than 2 sips out of my glass before it was back to the rim. I have no idea how much wine or champagne I had to drink that night, not that I was trying to keep track, but you get the idea. They served us cake and champagne, I actually only got a piece of the marble and almond cake that night, though I did try a bite of the devils' food as well. I had the intention of eating buttloads of cake, of going back for a second steak, eating everything I could handle, but when it came time I just wasn't hungry enough to do so. I mean, yes, there was also lots of shit I had to do, things to attend to and people to say hey to. I wish I had a backup steak now, but I really didn't need it at that point.

It was at that point that people started talking, first Tom, than my bro, than Karly, then my dad. All of them were great, Tom has a great ability to work a crowd and he's a pretty friendly and personable guy in almost all situations. My brother, who I always have a hard time reading, despite knowing him pretty well for 22ish years, didn't seem very nervous (though others have told me he was) and said some stuff that really got to me. He talked about environments that I remember happily (the fact that we've gone from sharing a room for the first 15 years of our lives, to having the same extremely close knit group of friends, largely through debate) and I thought he did a pretty fantastic job. Its been so long since my brother was involved in debate and speaking etc. that I occassionally forget that he was pretty good at it. I guess its not surprising, but its certainly among the moments of that day I will remember most vividly. Karly didn't speak for long, but she was pretty funny. She has her family's speaking ability and charisma, plus a pretty audacious public sense of humor. The obvious joke about her wearing the dress (not that there weren't thousands of them lined up over the weekend) was perfectly executed and well received. My dad, who spoke much more briefly than he did the day before, pretty much just went through "An Irish Blessing" which was touching insofar as it is something I have always assocaiated with my dad's side of the family. After that an unexpected, or, shall we say, dis-expected surprise, another song from Cindy, Katie's aunt.

Let me preclude all this by saying that I like Cindy. I don't know her that well, we have only met on two seperate occassions. She seems to be a very emotionally involved woman, for reasons unbeknownst to me. She has an incredible singing voice, lives in the middle of buttfuck nowhere in Nebraska (itself, arguably, the middle of buttfuck nowhere). and has a taste in hats and clothing that is simply beyond me. Anyway, we (Katie and I) had been told by Carole that Cindy wanted to sing at the reception. This seems a little odd to me, but thatsm their family. they do things differently than mine, and I roll. Anyway, we wanted her to sing later on in the evening. We didn't want the "program" to get too long, or people to get filled up with toasts and songs, or (this one ended up not being relevant) Andy to think he was being slighted by not being allowed to speak. This had, at least to my knowledge, been agreed upon. Anyway, at this point Cindy was introduced again to sing a song for us. A song which she then invited us down to dance to. We really weren't in a position to explain that we had selected our first song, didn't think she knew what it was, an kinda wanted it to actually be our first song. I'm not sure these are exactly Katie's emotions, but they were foremost among mine. That does not change the fact that Cindy was hella hella good. She sang "At Last" a great song of course and one Katie and I would have had no problem being our first song if we had chosen it as our first song. The humor and sarcasm value of this paragraph seems to be taking away from the fact that fundamentally this didn't really bother me, but more just struck me as odd. Anyway, we then progressed into our "first song", Britney Spears "I Was Born to Make You Happy." We knew, to some level, from the very beginning that our first song should have to be a Britney tune. I mean, we both love her, we went to a Britney concert together that you could certainly make an argument for as one of our, if not simply our, first dates, and pop music is one of the things we truly have most in common. I mean, debate and common subjects of interest, but one of those subjects is pop culture and Britney is about as central to my understanding of pop culture as Orville is to my understanding of pop corn, if you get my drift here bugaboo.

I think many people in the room got the reference and the joke involved with the situation when it became clear what the song was and/or who it was by. I would imagine that there were those amongst my family who didn't know at all because we hadn't spoken in long enough for them to understand the Britney biz. I was a little preoccupied at the time worrying abot two things: 1) we never had the time to learn how to dance at all, or at least to co-ordinate our dancing well enough that we could do it, so essentially we were just standing there like morons (though hopefully we didn't look that way, its certainly how I felt) 2) people must have been wondering about the 2 first song thing, like, alright, we tolerated one dance, as we do for every couple, but this is fucking pushing it. I hope they at least had extra servings of cake and champagne to make the extra 3:38 tolerable. After that there was more dancing, Katie with her dad (Dixie Chix-Landslide), me with my mom (Stevie Wonder-For Once in My Life), all of the wedding party (Ben Harper-Random Song Whose Title I Don't Know Now, Never Did, and Forgot Right After Katie Told Me that Night). a dollar dance (made us like 45 bucks, even though we hadn't planned to do it and I still think it is kind of silly) and then just general dancey dance. There were alot of pictures taken, me with the grandrents, all the Mac grads together, etc and so on. We went up and took a couple pictures on the 2nd Floor of the Hyatt, where some of the Blake festivities take place, then back to the Nicollet for a boquest toss, which Karly caught (ironic and pretty chweet at the same time) and the announcement of a garter toss (which we also hadn't planned, and which would and could not occur, both because, unlike the dollar dance, we think it moves beyond tacky to classless, and more relevantly, Katie wasn't wearing a garter) which I had to quickly signal was non-existant. That was the end of everything official and I was pretty pleased. Things seemed to have gone off without so much as a hitch.

I spent the rest of the night catching up with friends from high school, fuck even before that at St. Joes. I got the chance to talk to Tara and Cort and Meiches and Josh, and others who I otherwise never do. I can only think of one person who I would have really liked to talk to that I didn't get much of a chance to, but those were extraordinary circumstances of course. We drank, good beer, good wine, good booze (though I really never got to any booze and was still hella drunk before the evening was over) we danced to good music (Sir Mixalot and Nikki French, can life get any better than this, I submit that it cannot) at one point Flury tackled Maroney on the dance floor and they both ended up on the ground. Other highlights included Sanjay hitting on a woman who, while still very attractive, was 43 years old and had 3 kids (I think those numbers are right), and dancing with her all night. There was also Josh, Meiches, and possibly some other underage folks who had a bit much to drink. Anyway, I think the party was generally enjoyed by all. It ended, seemingly, a bit early, though I was fucking exhausted and ready to kick it, it may have been nice to have the DJ around an extra hour or so for people. Anyway, Katie and I headed off to the room we had been assigned but still had never seen.

The room was designated as a suite, and fucking A did it live up to its name. I don't know how many rooms at the Hyatt are like it, but if you ever need one in the Minneapolis area, it comes highly recommended. It had a beautiful view of the Minneapolis area, from the South end of the Nicollet Mall and 23 floors up. The sitting room had a wet bar and, much more importantly, a bottle of chilled champagne and a plate of chocolate covered strawberries waiting for us. We popped that, sat down on the chairs and relaxed, since we hadn't gotten to speak much at all since we got out of the car in the garage. Katie hadn't been drinking much that night, though we did at least toast to our first bottle of wine together. I gave into Katie's demands and let her open some of the gifts that were all stacked in the corner. I should describe the greatest feature of this suite, that made it sah-weet. The bathroom off the bedroom, rather than the one off the sitting room, was incredible. It was huge, the size of most normal hotel rooms by themselves. All done out in gray marbel with white seperations and soft ambient lighting. There was an overhead rain style shower and a giant elevated whirlpool tub, set up on a pedastal of gray marble. On the opposite wall, an LCD television. Holy fucking awesome. That is what this was, holy fucking awesome. When I first turned it on, a Buffy rerun, what I think is a sure sign that our marriage is truly blessed. When I woke up the next morning with a hangover, I sat in the bathroom for 10 minutes watching SportsCenter in LCD. After getting some advil in me and laying down to relieve the headache I watched a little more of the old Sportscenter in the bathroom so as to not wake up the wifey (a term she loves, by the way, just adores, try calling her that sometime, she will react wonderfully) and later on, when she had gone to get the car and I was waiting for the belldude, watched a little of the modern day classic Joe Dirt.

That gets us through to about noon on Sunday, June 27th of 2004. I know that isn't quite present day, but I will pretty much resume normal blog mode after today. I guess I will briefly cover the return home, but that only has a couple relevant anecdotes. Nice to be back with you in the land of the now. Not to be confused, of course, with the Land of the Lost, or (less likely) the Land Before Time, which, although it has the world's cutest stegosaurus, is actually not that long in the past.



Monday, July 12, 2004

Despite All My Rage I am Still Just a Rat in a Butt

Thjs entry is titled in honor of one of the significant moments of the bachelor party which I entirely forgot to mention, that being the Dobs' contributions. The Dobs always has at least one or two contributions at any event, especially those where intoxicants are involved and the rare form of the pure Dobs brilliance is in full effect. Dobs was out of whichever poker tourney happened to be going on at the time and, sitting on the lower half of the bunk bed realized that it was a cage like structure. Hence the immortal, depsite all my rage I am still just a Dobs in a cage. You have to deliver it in Dobs style vocal patters to get the truly humorous aspect involved but you get the drift. His other moment of glory came a little later, in another tournament. The only concession to the classic bachelor party mode of naked chicks was Andy's insistence that we use naked lady playing cards in the tourney. Andy K was of course also the only person who spent significant amounts of time ogling the cards and, if I would have studied them a little further to pay attention to the features of each, probably gave away his hand based on how he looked at his hole cards. The term hole cards gains entirely new meaning when you realize that of the two decks which were in use one was a standard Dream Girls set, featuring strip club style girls with their tops off, some butt shots, etc. The other deck was like some grotesque hustler version with alot of cards just featuring (hmm, how to say this in a manner which will not bother my wife, the connundrums ensue...) extreme close ups of genitalia often spread like Parkay on a warm dinner roll. (that should work). Anyway, after taking a big drag off the Jerome Baker (free JB!!) device in circulation Dobs deal came around. Classic poker narrator he is, in true Phil Gordon fashion, he revealed "The turn is the FIVE OF AYASSS!!"

In a way, the turn is always the five of ass. But thats another story. We resume our story later Friday morning, I awoke early as planned, but most people had sobered up and departed before that time. The campsite was clean for the most part, which certainly made my life easier. What made my life slightly more difficult was that my bro, Maroney, Sanjay, Dobs, and Andy were the only people around, and only two cars amongst them. My bro was not easy to awake, reasonably enough, since I imagine he had been asleep for only a very small amount of time. I finally convinced him to take me home around 10:00, though Katie was, also reasonably, not very pleased with my tardiness. After getting stuck behind a train in St. Paul (for like 20 minutes no less, a fucking train in St. Paul on the fucking street, what the fuck, this is what bridges are for by the way, I am all for using trains and shit, and I tolerate having to wait for them in Rosemount or areas even further ruralized, but in the fucking city, ricockulous, I felt like I should have just turned the horse and buggy around before realizing that we were not, in fact, in the old west, (or to make matters more interesting and Will Smith-like, the Wild Wild West) but still St. Paul. irregardless...) I made it home as Katie was on her way to get the all important pre-wedd manicure. I talked to Carole for a bit and grabbed a couple extra zs. We had some preparation still to do, placecards, programs, etc. But we had a fairly relaxing afternoon. Leading up to the rehearsal and corresponding dinner, to begin that evening at 5:30.

Truth be told there were some complications I was not entirely sure would be resolved by the time the rehersal was to start. At some point I hope I can let everybody know a little more about what those were, but believe me when I say that I was thoroughly relieved that they were no issue. The rehearsal was interesting, though fairly short in itself. Wilking was late and I think Father Malone was a little pissy about it, though he was pretty much doing us a favor by even being there. I also don't think he realized how generally goofy funloving our gang can be. Regardless, we went through the motions a couple times, had some humorous moments regarding people's inability to hit their marks etc. A sad and frightening note involved Natalie, who was a victim of what sounds like a not very fun car accident (not that there are many of the amusing variety) and was unable to make it. Our thoughts were certainly with her. We wrapped it up at Mac and headed out to downtown St. Paul for the dinner at the Landmark Center. The place is the old St. Paul courthouse, located right on Rice Park accross from the Ordway and the St. Paul Hotel. We eventually found a place to park and trudged up three flights of stairs to a beautifully renovated old courtroom, apparently the one Dillinger was tried in in Minnesota. The event was catered by Cossetta's which Katie and I both thought was a great choice, though neither of us realized how well it would go over. The food was fantastic, a ceasar salad, a grilled vegetable platter, their famous mastacolli con ricotta, chicken parmesan, and last but without question not even approaching least, my favorite Cosetta's dish, the tiramisu. I believe I had three servings of dessert. Katie had at least 3 servings, if not three bottles, of wine, in a good way of course. There was good food and drink all the way around. My dad spoke for a little while and was very nice. Tom did the same. Carole and her musically inclined family members enjoined us with the "Katie Beautiful Katie" song which you may have heard her chant at some point of particular joyousness. Her aunt Cindy and cousin Sabrina also had some regailing to do with a more specifically wedding related number, all of which were very good. Katie and I thanked everybody and gave a little trinket to our bride or groomspeople. Katie had carefully selected some wedding jewelry and a pretty little box. while I had opted for engraved lighters. It will be interesting to see who has held onto their lighter over the days or weeks, but I think they got the message of the thing, even if it wasn't much of a present. I mean, they were zippos, they are cool, but I felt a little cliched. Irregardless. Sanjay drank more than his share of the bottles of red wine which were distributed at the table. It was a good kickoff to the official festivities, I think that was unanimous. I also got to see and talk to alot of people in my family whom I hadn't seen for a long time, some of them for a good decade. I also got the chance to meet Katie's grandparents for the first time, which was odd. I have heard literal assloads about them from all members of the family, and despite their frightening reputation, were actually very pleasant. They had only kind and gracious words for us. though we didn't get to socialized too much with anyone specifcally.

The rest of the evening featured a program assembling machine that featured myself, my lovely fiance, her rents, Chrissy and Andrea, and two of Katie's rents' friends from KC. We worked on the multicolored extravaganza of ribbon and tying and hole punching and smoked a little of our own. This was an especially interesting thing to do with a couple of middle aged women I didn't know at all, especially funny to hear them using very high school terminology to refer to the material in question. Anticipating the next morning's crazinessosity, we kicked it relatively early, and slept quite well. I was really, not nervous at all. I am not sure if most people really aren't nervous when they are getting married, if that's just something non-getting-married-people speculate about, but the few people I know who have taken the ole plunge, were not shaking at all. Then again, maybe we are just more confident in the bonds of our love, unlike the rest of you cheapass motherfuckers.

I'm gonna break off here and post this, because I am just not moving at an adequate pace. I will begin the composition of the actual wedding day post and get back to ya'll. Almost caught up, then we begin with the usual witty banter which defines my, I don't know what.



Friday, July 09, 2004

Imagine Me and You and You and Butt

We have gone through Tuesday at this point, I am just over two weeks behind. On the bright side for those of you annoyed by my brief mentions of current events in sports and entertainment you should be glad that I am this far behind as I have had many thoughts to share on the subject of Eric Gagne's streak and other occurrences including Ken Jennings miraculous Jeopardy run. Depending on when I finish up this whole wedding recap and get it going in the present tense direction you may still get to hear something about these motherfucking subjects, and I certainly hope there will be some All-Star game disco in the ballpark (puns, I fucking love puns, or at least wordplay, depending on how you look at it). Anyway, Wednesday morning begins with a very mild hangover..

It was indeed very mild. I had been drinking beer, alot of beer, the night before, but I had also been properly hydrating in preparation for what I anticipated would be a drinky drinky good time in the city. Anyway, a couple doses of Kauf-coffee and 4 advil later, we were good to go. I think I probably had some pancakes or maybe a bagel, since only when I am in Minnesota do I really ever get the opportunity to chow down on a tasty b-fast. Anyway, we planned on expanding hangover matters later that night. The shower on Tuesday was sponsored or organized or planned or given or thrown or buttfucked by my sister, and Karly was doing one this eve. The first was obviously a Katie only affair, while this was an example of the ever popular and all new "couple's shower" concept so well liked by the bridal magazines of today. The Tuesday shower was kitchen themed, which meant we got a buttload of good shit for the cooking front, including some silicone potholders that I love, and other good shitty. There were tables and waffle irons and scumptious goodies galore. Wednesday was a liquor night at Jillians. Bound to be a good time. Maybe there is something else that happened that day that I am forgetting, but as I remember it was just random errands, tying favors, making progams, etc. Anyway, fast forward to approx. 8 that evening...

This by the way marks two consecutive paragraphs I have ended with ellipses. I don't know why that is, maybe I just have a taste for their particular flair...

This shower party thing was being held at Jillians at the MOA. We were there all the mofucking time for about a year, I think it was my senior year in college, at least once a week. No matter how often I would order it they refused to get Summit on tap and have maintained that stance even today. At least their bottles aren't too expensive in comparison to some Minneapolis bars. They also have reasonably priced drinks for a MOA bar that serves quality alcohol. You can drink Stoli caucasians all night without completely breaking the bank, depending on whether or not your name is Maroney. A good majority of the homeys were at Jillians that night, virtually everyone in fact. Fishy said he was coming and didnt, but I think all our other friends in town showed. I had more than my fair share of Summits, at least one caucasian, at least one martini, and some other things I'm sure. We also got some fucking sweet presents which have pretty much pimped out our bar. If you are ever in Buffalo and want a drink you should stop on by. I might need one or so extra ingredients if you are some real fuddy-duddy with your fancy drinks and hotpants, but I can whip up most things in a moments notice. We also got all our various bar tools from the wedding, so if we ever make friends and had a place for them to sit, we could throw a kick ass shindig. More likely we can just drink ourselves silly whenever we want.

Highlighst of the night: Petron silver, Johnnie Walker Black, Godiva liquer, a whiskey Ari says is the best he has ever tasted, and a number of Katie-style fruity thingies which I'm sure will be transformed into fantasgreat martinis of their own. I have done some work on the chocolate martini, some serious work, by the way, but you don't get to hear about it until I catch up. Rest assured that I have begun to figure out what I am doing. We snagged a ride home from Andrea and relaxed at Katie's place for an hour or so before crashing yet again on our mostly inflated bed. The hangover the next morning was slightly more severe but still defeatable with water, coffee, and ibuprofen. Chrissy, the last of the wedding party to arrive in Minnesota, got in Thursday morning, so she and Andrea were both at Katie's place when I woke up. There was some decor work to be done and I think we accomplished a whole bunch of ribbon cutting tieing etc. that morning. Pretty soon however they were off to Katie's final shower, thrown by her Edina friend Becca and her mother. I didn't attend this one either and though I helped Tom do a little stuff around the house, I pretty much sped down to the R-mount to see my dog, my bro, and Andy K. I was glad I got to see Geezer, since he was in a kennel for the almost one month that my parents were homeless, but it was really sad to put him back in the kennel, let me just say that he was not keen on the idea. I think he was treated well and all, but it still made me sad that he was alone in a kennel for so long. Afterwards me, Andy, Natalie, and my bro chilled on the Kemp porch for quite a while.

My bro was staying at la casa de Kempos because my parents had, of course, no where for him to stay. Basically that afternoon was scheduled around planning the festivities of that evening. Those festivities were of course, the bachelor party. This party has been the focus of several individuals for a long long time. Things have changed somewhat since we were in high school, but back then we had plans for establishing a bachelor party fund which would ensure massive amounts of beer and strippers at whatever bachelor parties happened to occur. Priorities are different, but beer never changes. Anyway, I left the homeys to the planning stages and took off back to St. Paul. Katie and I only got to spend a couple hours or so together that afternoon. We took her mother to the HRB to cut some paper into shreds and then went to pick up my tux. I looked decent in a tux, it wasn't comfortable or anything, but I had gotten a plain black and white mafia style tux and I looked alright. This was a Thursday afternoon without hair done or anything, I hadn't been sweating for hours, but it wasn't a bad look. It would have been better without the tie, probably, but I digress.

After that Katie pretty much had to drop me off at Andy's house. Her evening was planned as well, a bridesmaids-dinner-slash-bachelorrette-party at Kieran's Irish Pub in Minneapolis. I don't know all the details obviously, since I wasn't there, but the overall goal seemed to be to "drink their way through the rainbow" by having drinks of every color that was included at the rainbow wedding. Most of my drinks aren't of colors that are in the rainbow, but it sounds like fun. The gentlemen involved in this evening's festivities began at Andy K's and drove several cars, jammed full with shit, about 40 minutes to the SouthWest to Jordan, Minnesota, where my bro had reserved 3 cabins at the KOA campground.

The evening had weather which was about as perfect as can be reasoably imagined. It was a Minnesota blue sky with just the right amount of fluffy clouds, no breeze to speak of, and a cool warmth which may only make sense if you are from a state like Minnesota. The weather was a good start, but of course, was just the beginning. It was maybe 7:30 when we got in and we spent the first half hour unloading and setting things up. The three cabins we had were right next to each other, they were fairly small but pretty sweet. They had a couple windows, windowshades, a set of bunkbeds, and one fullsize bed a piece. Check this, they were also air conditioned and heated with cieling fan and power outlets. We encountered one significant problem in unloading the cars and it was with the keg. My brother had successfully wrangled a keg of Summit EPA from some liquor store in St. Paul and, though we had managed to obtain the necessary ice, there was no way to keep the ice near the keg since we had no trash can to speak of. The bed cover from one of the bunkbeds in cabin one was successfully engineered by Andy Kemp (arguably his finest hour) into a keg refrigerator of the highest quality. It was a giganto pain to get set up the next morning, but worth every moment of that relatively brief struggle. Cabin 1 was then officially dubbed the refreshment cabin, it contained all the relevant booze, the relevant soda for those poor unfortunate souls not drinking, and the cooler full of food. Cabin 2 was the smoking cabin, it made use of a lovely device I have not gotten to utilize in a long long time and some quality fuel for that instrument brought in from Madtown. Cabin 3 was irrelevant except for a couple poker games and my resting place early-late the next morning. Wilking, who showed up nearer to 8:30, had two crucial things with him, the charcoal and the cigars. After setting the first on fire I moved to the second, and damn was it good. I've had a couple small cigars since I quit smoking, but these were the first fresh real smokes I had enjoyed in damn near one year. My dad showed up not long after the charcoal was ready to cook things and shared a couple brats with us.

My guess is that my dad just wanted to be there for a sort of tradition's sake. He doesn't smoke, he doesn't drink, he doesn't really do any of the things one does at a bachelor party. I guess if my son was getting married I would do the same, but it struck me as odd. Anyway, he had a couple bratwurst, we talked about law and debate and his new place and the like. His girlfriend Paula was coming in later that night so he was only around for maybe 45 minutes, but I was glad he got to stop by. It wasn't much later that the Dobs, AJ, and Sanjay actually made it. They had been dicking around getting their tuxes and all this nonsense, but eventually got their asses under control. We ramped up the drinking, ramped up the smoking, started a raging fucking campfire. Andy's brothers Gay and Piss came along and were actually fairly instrumental in the creation of the fire as we knew it. We ate our burgers and sausages. Later on that night we discovered a couple other snacks which were delicious as well. We had the obvious smores, chocolate, a couple bags of marshmallows, and a box or two of crackers de graham. They taste really good when doubly intoxicated and there were zero remaining sugary delights the next morning. The other snack was a great find near maybe 2 am, though I am bad with temporal measurements on that night. Anyway, it was a dozen ears of intoxicatingly delicious Minnesota sweet corn. We wrapped it in foil and tossed it into the coals of the campfire, where it cooked to an absolutely delicious carmelly delight. Best late night snack ever.

Other highlights throughout the evening.: I won two out of the three poker tournaments I played and got knocked out on a runner-runner flush by Flury in the other. I had a hot fucking week at the tables, even though our lack of cash made it not altogether profitable. There was a rousing game of 2:30 am croquet which continued until near 4 am. It was loud and conducted on the hill back behind our cabins. There was lots of yelling and ball smacking (heh heh) and game breaks to head to the smoking cabin, but no one seemed to mind. It was an epic battle between Maroney and Wilking, who have a long time croquet rivalry. It was amazing that people felt so threatened by Maroney's ability to play this game, seeing as how he drank between one and a half and two bottles of Captain Morgan that evening, depending on whether or not the second bottle was full when he started, a fact whose veracity is entirely unkown to anyone present. We partied hard until about 5, when the sun's rising convinced me that, seeing as I still had fuckloads of shit to do before the wedding and rehearsal, I needed to sleep.

Yet another event down. We are catching up motherfuckers, I am on you.



Monday, July 05, 2004

Cause Penny and Me Like To Roll the Windows Butt

Where were we. Saturday the 19th or so I believe, one week before the wedding. This was Katie's last day at work I think, and I don't believe anything much happened. The most relevant event of these several days was the bed Katie and I were sleeping on, which was an inflatable Eddie Bauer bed Katie's parents had. This was no ordinary inflatable bed I should mention, it was fucking hella nice. It was about twice as high as a regular mattress, basically a mattress and box spring lying on the floor. It was full sized, not just a twin thing, and it had a sort of soft velvety top on it. We put a sheet on it and everything, but you could have slept on it with just a blanket and it would have been fine. I don't think this was really a camping designed air mattress, it was pretty much just for alternate home use. Anyway, we laid down to sleep on Friday night and I woke up sometime in the middle of the night. I had set Spike, my stuffed pug dog, on the dresser near my side of the bed and he was pretty much even with my head when I went to sleep. I looked over sometime when it was still dark to see the dresser drawer rather than his adorable puggish face. About 7 or so that next morning I awoke briefly because my back had hit the ground. Despite the discomfort involved in this continual sinking I fought to stay asleep and succeeded for another 45 or so minutes until Katie woke up and got out of bed. If you remember your high school physics, or are one of the many teeny boppers who regularly subscribe to this blog and are still taking high school physics, you will know that the displacement of the air which was inside the laking mattress was keeping both Katie and I somewhat off the ground. When Katie got out of the bed there was nothing to displace my mass and as a result I smacked the floor pretty hard, even though I was only a couple inches off the ground.

I inflated the bed again that afternoon and Katie's dad and I tried to do some patching so it would remain stable, but it was to no avail as I awoke surrounded by partially inflated mattress and looking up to my pug friend a few feet away. If you have ever fell asleep in a moving bed, for instance, you might know how awkward it feels to wake up in a somewhat different place than the one you fell asleep in. I suppose to some extent falling asleep in a car or even blacking out would accomplish this, but I think the moving bed analogy is better. I really want a moving bed, one that like runs on a track between all the rooms in the house, some sort of light rail bed. You could both control where it was going and set it on random or have it move at specific times. I find bed motion very relaxing anyway, so it might be chweet.

What else of note occurred over the weeked. Hmm. I developed what has become a 2+ week obsession with ceasar salad which I can by no means explain. I like cesar salad, kind of always have, but now want it like all the time. I have ordered them in restaurants, I have went out in search of them, I even ordered a Low Carby's wrap at Arby's because it was the only cesar thing they had. I was kind of surprised by that, but what can I say. Wendy's has a pretty legit ceasar side salad for 99 cents which pairs quite well with a 99 cent Quarter Pound Double Stack, a biggie fries, a biggie coke, and a small frosty. At that point I think the health benefits of the side salad are probably overwhelmed by the fat and shitty involved in the various items of the rest of Wendy's menu. I found out while consuming one of the aforementioned caesar side salads, thanks to Katie's inquisitive nature, that it wasn't just the other items I was consuming with the salad which were destroying it, the dressing itself was sort of killing the salad from the inside out. It still tasted hella good and as Katie has explained, eating a salad even with high fat dressing is probably better than chowing on the french fries or full box of Samoas that would otherwise take its place.

Monday was a nice day that Katie and I actually got to spend most of together. There was some shopping involved, there were some errands to run, as there always were, but it was a fairly relaxing day. We had gotten a new airbed from Target and protected it from the housecats who, while adorable, may have inadvertently been responsible for the untimely death of the initial mattress. I was scared that we were going to have to take drastic measures to avoid the destruction of my back over the course of the next 7 days, but Coleman came through in a pinch. Tuesday was what some might call the day from hell. I will never be able to remember all of the things which actually got done, but I can generate a pretty good list. We made a trip to Herbergers, a trip to the bank, met with the priest, picked up Katie's dress, got Katie's hair done, picked up Karly from work, got her hair done, met with the minister way out in Plymouth or something, picked up Katie's dad, got changed, and dropped Katie off at her wedding shower. The shower was not an event which was designed for me, so I said hello to everyone, I wished Katie good luck, and took off.

It must have been an incredibly odd experience, though I don't think one that was entirely unpleasant, since Katie was hanging around primarily with the women of my family and my mother's friends etc. She got alot of hella neat shit from all over the place really. It was a kitchen themed shower, so mostly there were kitchen towels and neat little dishes and that kind of stuff all over the place. I can't really keep track of what we got from the showers and what we got from the wedding, but there's a buttload of shitty. Our kitchen is pretty much overflowing but has been incredibly well organized by one of the Baxter-Kaufs, That night I had the time to chill with the homeslices back in the hood, made some time over at B-Dubs and then played a couple rounds of a poker tourney (which I won) at Wilking's place. This was the last moment, I think, we did anything while in Minnesota which was somewhat unrelated to the Wedding.

That night I also got to meet Andy Kemp's "new" girlfriend Natalie. I say "new" because I had never met her before that Tuesday night, though they have actually been dating for like 9 months, or so I approximate. She was pretty cool, though not what you would usually expect from an Andy girl. I say that not because she is different looking, differently intelligent, or whatever, but rather because she was nice, somewhat shy, and not outright skanky. Maybe thats not a fair statement about Andy's girl selection, since my memory of it is ineffably clouded by the soon to be MRS Nikki Whatever, but its my impression none the less. Besides the fact that Andy conceeds her taste in music is quite arguably worse than his own I approve. There is the unanswerable question of whether or not she will moderate Andy or simply be sucked into the eye of Hurricaine Andy, but we shall have to wait and see.

Must work early tomorrow and hence must sleep.



Saturday, July 03, 2004

Did You Think That I Was Gonna Give It Up to You, This Butt

Make sure you stretch the word butt out at the end of that one in order to accurately hear the lyric. Bu-uh-uh-uh-utt. Something along those lines. The inspiration comes both from the fact that tonight, at the Wal-Mart, there was a free Avril concert sponsored by AOL for Broadband and Wal-Mart which broadcast on the Wal-Mart TV Network. It was actually only about 25 minutes long, she did the title track to this post, Sk8r Boi, a couple on the new album, and Complicated. It was a good show. I didn't get to watch all of it, since I was working and shizzle, but it was a nice distraction while we were busy. The other reference is to the fact that this was on the CD which I listened to most often on my ride back to the Twin Cities, from Buffalo, approximately two weeks ago. It is there from which we will begin...

I got up early, started driving. I easily made it to Pennsylvania with no problems. I stopped and got some gas, since I had only put enough into the tank to get out of the New York State Exorbitant Gas Price Zone. I also picked up a couple of dem Bacon Egg and Cheese McGriddle dealies at the local MickeyD's and hit the road again. Right after I finished my sammiches the skies decided to open the fuck up and sheets of rain poured onto the car for the next twenty or so minutes. I litterally could not see anything besides the lights of the van in front of me. I don't know how the dude driving that van could see enough to stay on the road, maybe his wipers are alot better than mine, or he is just a riskier dude. Either way his taillights are the only reason I did not have to pull over into a dead stop. This stopped fairly soon and I got back to normal for a while, but within the next hour shit happened again, and again. All in all I estimate I spent just more than an hour between the Pennsylvania border and Cleveland driving no faster than 20 mph. It blew. After I got within the city of Drew Carey fame things let up. I stopped at the 2nd nice rest stop (on the Ohio stretch of the drive there are 4 shitty rest stops and 2 nice ones, the nice ones being really nice and the shitty ones being especially shitty, though, the place is currently in the process of transubstantiating one of the shitty into one of the sweet, which is even cooler than water into wine, more like piss into Kool-Aid, probably Purplesaurus Rex Kool-Aid because they don't even make that motherfucker anymore) and had Burger King's new Angus Steakburger, and let me tell you that it is great. I know alot of people don't share my flavor for fast food cheeseburgers, but I would place it right behind the Double-Quarter as my favorite fast food burger. I had it with bacon and cheese and onions and Western style with BBQ sauce, and it roxored. Make a stop where you can have it your way if you get a chance.

I drove the rest of the way to Chicago on a fucking tear, without stopping once I believe. My gas mileage was good, I smoked a cigar to get me through the dreary hell that is the Central-Ohio-Indiana scenery, and I listened to a Mitch Hedberg CD I had burned the other day. (my apartment is infested with koala bears, its the cutest infestation ever, way cuter than cockroaches, everytime i turn on the lights a bunch of koala bears scatter, and i don't want em too, I'm like, hey fellas, hold on, lemme hold one of you, and feed you a leaf). It was one of those driving moments you would assemble into a brief montage a la Britney Spear's classic Crossroads illustrating my half cross country drive. I hit Chicago at the worst possible fucking time and opted to go South on 80 rather than driving through downtown. I will never know if that was the right decision, it very well might have been, because even though it took me two and a half motherfucking hours to get from the Illinois-Indiana border to the Western side of the Metro area. It blew, I was dead fucking stopped most of that time. It was a beautiful afternoon-evening, so I rolled down the windows and blasted a CD which most notably featured The Darkness and most of Copper Blue. The rest of the drive was cake, for two reasons, 1) I was only going to Madison, so it was just another hour and 2) I stopped and bought some cupcakes. I met my bro in Mad-town at some Comedy Club where his friend was doing a set. She was okay, several people were ridiculously bad. One dude, who for some reason went on for like half an hour without receiving a single laugh, thought that the best routine to do in a pretty liberal college town was a series of homophobic jokes highlighted by the word "poopdick." Don't get me wrong, the word poopdick could be funny, in some contexts at least. Jimmy Fallon did some comedic silver with the offshoot "poopwiener" in an entiely non-bigoted fashion, though I must admit that for this purpose "wiener" is a better closer than "dick." Irregardless, me and my bro got some time to talk, I bought him a beer, and we ended up heading out fairly early. We went to Wendy's, I bought my bro some eats, since he was pitifully poor and without a job at the time. It was nice that we got a while to hang out and talk without other people, since usually we only see each other back in the TC with all the folks around. His apartment was more than a little messy, approaching house-style proportions since he had apparently been essentially living with Melia's rents for the past couple weeks. We ended up going down the street to Ali and Rachelle's place and hanging out with some people while watching some of BTVS S6. It was fun. Melia came over that night and we all talked about random shitty for a while before going to sleep. My bro and I went out for McGriddles the next morning and got to spend another half hour before I was on the road. The drive into town was nothing, I mean nothing. I met Katie at work, we went to Arby's, and I went to see the Sanj.

That afternoon Sanj and I had a couple beers, hung out, took a surprise phone call from one Ms. Nicole Richter, and went to Michael's craft store. The beers and hanging out can go without explanation, but the other two were a little weird. Nikki called to let Sanjay know she was getting married in July and that he and Maroney were the only members of the old crew to receive the invite. I think that is weak and can't really justify why. I know she was close to Sanjay, especially surrounding the whole Alice thing, and that makes sense to me. They have a lot in common in some fucked up ways. I know she likes Maroney, who doesn't fucking love Maroney how can you not fucking love Maroney, but I didn't think she was really that close to him. I mean, I think she talked to Wilking and I alot more than she ever talked to Maroney about anything. I could understand her not inviting anyone she was really close to in those days--but that would exclude the Sanj. I would understand her excluding the people she fucked two at a time--but it wasn't just Wilking and Andy who aren't coming. I should note that I don't really care, I probably couldn't be there anyway, and its not like I inivited her to my wedding, but it seemed weird.

The other event of that Friday afternoon was Sanjay and I going to look for wedding favors. I am pretty sure that we were the only two younger twenty something shady looking straight dudes to walk into a Michael's craft store that week and ask several questions about the multicolored jordan almonds. Though, as Sanjay says, what two straight men do in their spare time is nobody's business. That was only one of the many preparations for the week which I will get to later. That officially covers two days of the last two or so weeks. I will try to break things up to keep them somewhat managable. Back later, going to work now.