Monday, November 27, 2006

Walking on Sunshine, Whoaaa, I'm Walkin on Sunshine, Whoaa, I'm Walkin on Sunshine, Whoaa and Don't it Feel Butt

We went to see The Nutcracker this past weekend. My commentary is only on a couple parts of the show, because my only overall thought is: what’s with all the dancing?

First, there is this part where the evil uncle guy in the whacky cape totally rips off Hiro and stops time. But he doesn’t stop time to cheat at poker or so we get to look at a sweet frozen explosion or to prevent the nuclear apocalypse, but so he can put a sparkly green nutcracker under the Christmas tree without anyone noticing. I understand that it’s a popular show and I guess you want the ballet to appeal to the kids these days, but I was so busy wondering when Milo Ventimiglia was gonna come sailing across the stage that I didn’t really understand what caused the mice v. toy soldiers conflict to escalate to all out war.

I thought that dance war was generally out after the catastrophe that stuck the Jets and Sharks, but these guys raised it to an all new level. My second observation is this: if you are going to engage in a leader vs. leader dance war whose outcome seems to be the magical arbitrary chance for a dance date with the really young chick, I think you should opt out of wearing a giant foam head. Even if you are an enormous rat/nutcracker-come-to life (I am genuinely unsure as to whether or not the chick shrunk to the size of the rat/nutcracker, or if they grew to her size, maybe this isn’t relevant) I think part of your magical power should be dedicated to developing a real and non-bobbly head, cuz there is just no way that doesn’t affect your sword fighting skillz.

Hippo needs some help updating her blog, so I guess I will slide my computer to the middle of the couch so she can have access to the keyboard. We really need to get her her own cat-top computer.



Friday, November 24, 2006

I Need to Hear You Say, You Need Me All the Way, Oh If You Love Me So, Don't Let Me Be the Last to Butt

I won’t recap the Thanksgiving menu with any great detail, but simply refer you to Katie for this purpose. For the most part everything came off without a hitch, though I certainly learned some things I need to adapt the next time I make certain dishes. Overall a resounding and smashing success. Hippo jagrees, though she spent most of her stomach space on chow rather than the lusciously citrus brined turkey. Katie’s desserts were both fantastic and experimental, but the Maple Pecan cake took…itself, maybe. It pwnd is the point.

Today we went shopping. Two malls, Target, Petco and Pier One. Shopping on the day after Thanksgiving is a lot like what I said about Manhattan, clearly it is counterproductive. The amount of people there make it impossible, or at least massively inconvenient to actually get any of the things you want/need. Thankfully I remembered to bring my Nintnendo and managed to win the Scottish FA Cup while sitting in one of the most overpriced recliners you can ever hope to find at the Bon Ton. I did somehow manage to get rockstar quality parking at each of the establishments we visited, some form of mercy visited upon me I suppose.

The random practices of stores on this most ricockulous of all days amuses me. JCrew, for instance, had a woman walking around with a tray of Christmas cookies. The jewelry stores just decided to all ridiculously overstaff themselves, apparently not understanding that an enormous majority of all jewelry for the holidays is purchased by men for their significant others and that this population makes up about .5% of the post-Thanksgiving shopping audience. Hot Topic was not as booming as you might think today; 5 am is probably too early after the post-turkey goat sacrifice-party. Not to mention that 100 moms racing to the display to pick up limited quantities of 2 for 10 dollar spiked dog chains might cause some injuries. The Hallmark store decided to have a woman stand at the front of the store holding a little animatronic penguin thing that was available at the low low price of 20-ish dollars when you bought like 3 random cards. She was holding it, as if it were a tray of Christmas cookies, but of course, it was not. If you had a table that could say “Hello,” you could outsource this job pretty easily.

Hippo is dying for some of the chipotle cheddar mashers, so I am gonna drop a spoonful into her next bowl of chow.



Wednesday, November 22, 2006

How Come Every Time I Come Around My London, London Bridge Wanna Go Butt

Some observations from my first visit to New York City:

1) Manhattan is like any other big city, except 10 times as large. That is to say, there are the same people on the streets, the same stores, restaurants etc. But they go on freaking forever. I went for a walk and went for 40 minutes in one direction with no perceptible change in environment; it was still downtown area as far as the eye could see.
2) Manhattan has clearly grown beyond the point of diminishing returns. While #1 means that I am far less intimidated by New York City than I was before my trip, #2 means that I am even more baffled. There is some great stuff on those islands, but mostly there are just 200 times as many shitty apartments and Chinese restaurants. The amount of shit there actually impedes your ability to access or use any of it. There is simply no point to having a city that size. The existence of Chicago, Minneapolis, Seattle, Atlanta, Philly, etc. solves all your offense.
3) Olives in the W Hotel in Union Square is a quality place to have dinner. Yellowfin tuna tartare, Lamb porterhouse, and a butterscotch tiramisu makes for a quality evening, however you slice it. Mascarpone crunch, as indicated in the description of the dessert, is one of the most incredible dairy items I have ever eaten.
4) All debate tournaments should be required by law to have at least two sports bars (no less than one featuring the NFL Sunday ticket) within 100 feet of the front door of the tournament. To my knowledge, only the Blake School’s Edie Holiday Tournament and Baruch currently satisfy this condition. UNT comes pretty close. Five dollars for a beer is pricey at a sports bar on a Saturday afternoon perhaps, but I’ve paid more.
5) I’ve read several bloggers who were similarly surprised by the literal scattering of trash on the street, so let me just glom on to that list. Its not that there are empty Poland Springs bottles or half smoked Parliaments. There are piles of garbage bags on every corner. Like a block off Park Ave. And on every other corner in the entire damn city. Maybe the immensity of the area makes proper sanitation impossible (another arg for #2) or maybe people are just asses. Any city which makes me feel like Bree Van de Kamp needs to tidy up a bit.

Turkey day report coming tomorrow. Hippo is actually more excited than I am. Meowing with anticipation, literally.


Mike Baxter-Kauf

Thursday, November 16, 2006

This is What You Get, This is What You Get, This is What You Get, When You Mess With Butt

I am not going to pretend that I think I have been writing frequently enough. Possibly the most interesting thing about the process of blogging is how one creates blogs voluntarily and eventually feels a form of guilt for not writing in it. Anyway, my new goal is just to write shorter bits and hopefully publish them a couple times a week. Here is my bit for today.

There is a building being built (you’d be amazed how many buildings are actually built these days) right around the corner from our house. About two weeks ago one could only really judge the general size of the place, not even its full height or the internal composition of its spaces. By about two days after the election, however, its form had started to fit into some pre-designed patterns. There were very few external windows, it was only one floor, but a tall singular floor. That combined with a doorway that was a diagonal cut off from what was otherwise a square building convinced me that this was certain to be a Walgreens, CVS or other drug supplying retailer. I was pleased by this fact, because if nothing else it’s a gas-less convenience store only steps away.

Besides the existence of the Walgreens however, I relate this anecdote because when I drove by it on Thursday and recognized that it was in fact a Walgreens I did not say “hey, that’s a Walgreens.” Instead I said “MB-K is now ready to call this building for Walgreens.” Obviously I watched too much election coverage, but I also just think this is an awesome phrase. I was trying not to annoy others, so I have mainly restricted my use of it to my private dialogues while driving, but once the elections are far enough behind us that people will find it as objectively humorous as it actually is, I will incorporate it into my everyday vocabulary. I think it is especially a good thing to say when your predictions may be accurate, but have absolutely no rational basis i.e. calling a race with 0% of districts reporting and the “winner” being down by 20% of the vote. “MB-K is prepared to call this cheeseburger for awesome.” “And in a shocker, MB-K is now willing to predict that the Elmwood Ave. streetlight race will be won by the asshole driving a red Corolla.”

I am also willing to call this playtime for Hippo and she appears to be willing to call this catnip for delicious.