Wednesday, December 31, 2008


Like The Reva, I am testing to see if this "email blogging" system works. Have a Happy New Year in the meantime folks!!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Chirstmas!

I hope everyone has a wonderful, safe, blessed Chirstmas!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Winter's Arrival!

I called in my first "Snow Day" from work last week, and was reminded just how much I dislike snow.

Last week a friend of Brandy's needed to run to Las Vegas real quick to deal with some issues. (A quick note, Las Vegas may seem far to everyone, but remember that it's only about a 3-4 hour drive from our apartment, so it's not like it's that far. It's about an hour more than going to San Diego.) Looking at the weather I decided to go with just in case there were some problems getting back home (I didn't want Brandy driving through the snow by herself.). So Tuesday evening we trucked up there without any problems.

Wednesday morning came and we started taking care of business. It was cold outside, but I wasn't too worried about it. Until about mid-afternoon, as we were getting ready to leave - when it started snowing. By 4pm they had closed the I-15 at Primm and (of course) Victorville. So we were snowed in. In Vegas. Now sure, there are worse places to be snowed in at. But being in Vegas, with no money, no change of clothes, and having to call off work, well, that sucks.

The passes didn't open again until Thursday afternoon - and the mountains were still icy!! I thought Brandy was going to have a heart attack a few times! We didn't get home until late Thursday night so were able to work on Friday, but, damn, that was unpleasant.

Moral of the story: Winter sucks. But I'm sure The Reva will be telling us all about that pretty soon.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Book Review


(Men, highlight below to read the review. Women, well, please ignore the following as just a random rambling of a drunk geologist. Sorry ladies, I'm just keeping Article 4 fulfilled.)

Awesomeness abounds.

After being reccommended by The Reva I couldn't not read the new book out by Barney Stinson (and Matt Kuhn) based off of Barney's rules for life from How I Met Your Mother. (Note, by "couldn't not read," I clearly mean "Brandy awesomely bought so I decided to read it because it looked AWESOME.) It's definitely hilarious, and fits in with the personality of the show and Barney. Is it offensive? Yes. Is it demeaning? Duh. But it's also friggin' great. Just spend the 10 bucks and 2 hours to read it. You won't regret it.

And remember Article 43: A bro loves his country, unless that country isn't America.

Also, if you aren't watching HIMYM, do so. Like, post haste. In fact, come over to my place and I can put in the DVD of the first two seasons to catch you up.

Quantum of Solace Review

So I saw the new James Bond movie Quantum of Solace last weekend when it opened with Brandy. I know that my reader(s) fall into two categories: those with short attention spans, and those with longer ones. So let me split my review into two - a short one and a long one!

First, the short answer: It was a good movie - but not as good as Casino Royale. Go see it anyway.

So, now for the long one...

First, let me disclaim that I like Bond movies. A lot. Even when they aren't particularly good, there's something about them that I really like. And Quantum is no exception. And perhaps that is the problem - it felt like all the other Bond movies. Casino Royale was different from other Bond movies. Way different. It was darker, grittier. It relied less on cool gadgets and more on a cool Bond. And I think this difference made the movie stand out so much. In contrast, Quantum felt like every other Bond movie (to a large extent). I could see Pierce Brosnan as Bond in Quantum, where I couldn't in Casino Royale. So if you go in expecting Casino you're probably going to leave with Goldeneye. And that's not entirely a bad thing.

So specifically (and spoiler-free... mostly) what did I like? Well, first enough cannot be said about the awesomeness of Daniel Craig and Judi Dench. I've thought that Dench was the best M since she showed up, and Craig is quickly rising on my favorite Bond list. Most people feel Sean Connery is the ultimate Bond - and I am not going to argue that - but Craig may be usurping the second slot previously held by Pierce Brosnan (although I'll be watching Goldeneye again this weekend, so we'll see how that holds up). The other major plus I give the movie is the attempt to give Bond an actual recurring villain in the evil group Quantum. I've been hoping for this for years, ever since Bond brought down SPECTRE long ago. I think it gives James a much better motive, and builds some continuity and development to the series.

Now the negatives. My biggest problem can really be summed up by pointing to the change in Director between Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace. I think this change ended up altering the atmosphere of the movie, which I think lessened the drama. Additionally, the director Mike Forster tried to get too cute with the cinematography. Every Bond has a few chase scenes, but I felt that Quantum had one chase scene, followed by a short conversation, followed by another chase scene. Instead of adding tension, it bored me. These types of directing choices I think hurt the movie.

One other thing this impresses upon me is the writing ability of Ian Fleming, the creator of Bond. The early Bond movies were based upon his novels, but the later ones - including all of the Brosnan movies - were not. Casino Royale was. Quantum of Solace was not. Noticing a pattern? I think I will start searching out these books to try and figure out why Fleming's novels have adapted so well to the big screen.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Apparent Dip

I just added a new link to my "Awesome Links" sidebar to a blog i just found (thanks to Blogger! Surpirse there!) called Apparent Dip. It's written by a post-doc researching at a college near the Bay Area, and it's got some interesting stuff about geology (yes, the title is a geologic term).

By the way, the new line beneath my blog title is the motto for the Great California ShakeOut, which, Apparent Dip tells me, is a series of events set up by southern California to educate and prepare people for "the Big One." I'm gonna go make myself an earthquake kit now. Maybe I'll post its contents and such here later.

Knott's Scary Farm

Well I finally went. For 21 of my 25 years on Earth, I've lived in relatively close proximity to "Knott's Scary Farm," Knott's Berry Farm's annual Halloween festival, I finally went last weekend. The verdict: I would've had more fun 10 years ago.

First, the set up: Brandy and I got a good deal on a package including tickets to the Park, dinner, breakfast, a night in the hotel, parking and t-shirts for around $230. Pretty sweet, we figured, which is how we afforded to go. I'm glad I went, it was definitely worth at least going to once. You know, kinda like going to Alcatraz while at Berkeley, you need to at least once. We went on about 5 or 6 of their Huanted House/Maze things, a ride or two (ok, just one - Ghost Rider), and saw one of their shows (Fangs - the vampire one). Overall, it wasn't bad per se, just not great, either.

First, the really good parts: The costuming and atmosphere were top notch. Everyone from the guys roaming the park to in the mazes and shows had extremely well-made costumes. And not just in a scary way. Some were very well camaglouged to scare you, which worked well, and some were just damn pretty looking. The vampire chicks from Fangs wore especially nice costumes. Also, at certain points in the park they had fog machines creating a spooky atmostphere, which worked very well. The mazes themselves were well-made and very detailed, had a good amount of variety (there was a rural/farm maze, an alien maze, a forest-Labrynth maze, Las Vegas maze, clowns of course, and a few others) and some were quite disturbing.

A note about the Fangs musical. Having seen Bite in Las Vegas - which is also about vampires, I was a little biased going in. I mean, it's tough to beat a topless Vegas show about vampires set to classic rock. And of course Fangs wasn't as good. But it was good. It was mostly hampered by its own indeciciveness. It was half-funny, half-scary, and it did both quite well, but the juxtaposition of the two kept me from fully getting into it. If they had picked to be either satirical or scary I think it would have been better. Well, and it could've been topless, but that may be asking for a bit much from Knott's.

To use a Dungeons & Dragons reference, the whole experience was just an exercise in making Spot Checks (or Perception checks, to be technical). In other words, if you noticed the guy standing behind the tree over there, or heard the chainsaw killer behind you, you weren't as scared when they burst out in front of you. As such, I was constanly on the lookout for the next "monster," as it were, always looking around corners cautiously and peering behind me. (I should note that some of the costumes in the mazes were so good - and the cast so well trained - that I still didn't see all of them before the popped out at me; I was pretty impressed by this, of course.) So it became a fairly tiring task for me to constantly be "on edge," anticipating the next move. In this way I didn't like it; I didn't feel relaxed enough to enjoy it. I think I would have liked it more when I was younger. This isn't really a knock against the park itself, just an observation about my own personality.

One thing I really didn't like however were the crowds. It was packed. Ridiculously so. And mostly with screaming, yelling, obnoxious whiny teenage girls. Awesome. I mentioned above that we went on one ride and that was because the lines for the rides were GINORMOUSLY HUGE. There were several rides we were contemplating going on, but the lines sometimes bordered on 3 hours long and, well, screw that. Sadly, the one ride we did go on was Ghost Rider, which was far scarier than anything else in the park. It's a wooden roller coaster, but it's design is so poor that it constantly vibrates and rattles. Every time we went around a turn I swear I thought the thing was going to fly off the tracks. Not fun.

When Brandy and I rode Ghost Rider we were behind a group of kids - late high school, i figured - that pumped their fists and make train noises the whole time, screaming and acting like idiots generally. They seemed to be really enjoying themselves. And then I realized: These are the drunk frat boys of the future.

Brandy has pics from the night on her MySpace (I'll try to put a link up later).

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Fall Comes Fast

The fall months hit quickly this year. Last Wednesday it was 90+ degrees, and on Friday it was 70 degrees (yes, 70 is considered Fall weather where I live). It was strange. But Fall is my favorite times of the year. It's cooled off enough so it's not oppressively hot, but it's not ridiculously cold yet (yes, 60 degrees is "ridiculously cold" where I live. Deal with it.). Plus, the cool, crisp mornings make it feel like the holidays, which is always fun.

In more sad news, my cable had "technical problems" last night, and I missed all the good shows (How I Met Your Mother, Big Bang Theory, Two & a Half Men). Typical, really. There's exactly one night a week I like to watch television, and naturally my cable is knocked out that night. *sigh*

Also, Brandy and I got the kitten fixed yesterday, so she has to wear a cone around her head so she doesn't lick at the stitches. It makes her really funny looking. I'll try to take some pictures, but Brandy may not let me.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

I want a Following

Please Follow Me.

Really. I'll post more if I think more people are reading my blog.


Yeah, yeah, I know, I promised more frequent posting. *sigh*

Really, I'm waiting for Brandy to update a little first. And in my defense, I have a post regarding the newest Star Wars movie that was 3/4 written before I went on vacation (a month ago) that I never finished. Now it just seems dated to post it. But I will... eventually.

In other news, Brandy uploaded some pictures from Cancun to her MySpace. I'm still tirelessly working, banging my head against a wall regarding the election, spitting in disgust anytime the words "Boston" and "sports team" are mentioned, and eagerly anticipating the NBA season.

In an ideal world, I'll have more on these things soon. I won't promise, because we all know how that would turn out.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Minor Update

I added a new link over on the sidebar: Forum Blue & Gold. It's my favorite Lakers-related site, although it's far from the only good NBA site. Don't worry, though. I have more stuff coming this week - before Brandy and I head off for vacation in Cancun, including a movie review, life details, and a probably unhealthy discussion of stick figures.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Things That Irritate Me - Part II

I didn't plan to put up another one of these so quickly, but it's Monday and I'm at work and not in the best moods to begin with, and now I'm irritated.

For those of you (fortunate enough) to not have worked in an office environment much yet, count your blessings, because believe me, it's annoying. And not in a "Dilbert-esque" amusing annoying. I mean, it may start that way, but it quickly devolves into just damn annoying.

For me, one of the biggest problems with working in an office atmosphere is that I'm around people. I'll grant that my job has caused me to become short-tempered with dealing with co-workers; after all, I spend most of my time out with a drill rig not talking to anyone all day. I'm used to the (relative) solitude of field work, so being around people in general can quickly try my patience. But often, people don't help themselves at all.

Everyone knows the stereotypical Important Person in the community. You may not know their job, but you see them getting coffee or standing in line at the grocery store. A cell phone attached to their ear, they gab loudly to the other person, perhaps misunderstanding the technology and thinking that if the person is far away, they need to talk louder. And so they do. Louder and LOUDER AND LOUDER. As frustrating as this can be, it's worse in a confined space of an office.

There is always one guy in an office that takes every call on speaker phone, so that he can click away on his computer while on the phone and be extra productive. And it's never the quiet guy who does this either. Oh no, it's the loudest person in the office who decides: "Hey, I know. I'll broadcast every call - no matter how trivial, or about what - to the entire office, so they can all hear just how hard I'm working." And because it's a speakerphone your co-worker has to speak extra loud just to make himself clear to the person on the other line. Of course, the speakerphone is also up as loud as possible, so you hear both ends of the conversation quite well.

This can be more than a little distracting. How do I deal with this? Well, for starters, I try to ignore it by focusing on something peaceful - like updating my blog. =)

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Things that Irritate Me - Part I

Well it seems that weekly updates may be more up my alley. Still, that's better than monthly, right? So here I'm starting a new feature that I call "People and Things that Piss me Off Because They're Stupid." Great title, I know - it's a work in progress. Mainly I'll be highlighting things that happen to me and make me realize just how annoying certain things can be. Today's topic: Driver's who change lanes ridiculously slowly!

You all know the type. If you're lucky they put their blinker on, but more often than not, they just kinda lazily drift from their lane to yours - they're in no rush, it may take them a quarter-mile to get over, but off they go, straddling two lanes. Most likely, these awesome drivers (note: sarcasm) usually can't focus on driving straight and changing lanes at the same time, so they almost always start slowing down - so much so that by the time they're in front of you, they're going 15mph slower than when they started. And God help you if you're going uphill or turning while they're changing lanes.

It can get worse though. Sometimes these slow lane changers turn while you are behind them. They signal you that they are turning long before they actually put on a blinker. They begin by slowing down to about 15mph - three times as fast as the speed they actually take the turn, mind you - about 2 blocks before their turn and then as it approaches begin to move over. They don't swiftly get out of your way so you can resume driving at an appropriate speed though. As always, they drift ever so slowly that you are reminded of glacial movements. All the while, traffic builds up behind you. Irritating as hell.

I wish I could say that these people are all from one category of driver (like, old), but, sadly, they aren't. Certainly elderly drivers often do exhibit these issues, but so do lots of others. But one thing is for certain: if you're in a hurry, at least one of them will be in front of you. Guarantted.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Obligatory Posting

So much to blog, so little time...

It's been Crazy (yeah, with a capital "c") busy at work and home this week, hence the no blogging. I wish I could blog while driving because I think of coolio things to blog about while driving to and from my job sites, but, alas, my energy is too spent when I return home to do so. Nonetheless, I wanted to take this opportunity to promote


It's a musical written and directed by Joss Whedon starring Neil Patrick Harris. It's... interesting. Worth a look. It's free online until Sunday, July 20th, so get clicking!

(thanks Reva)

Friday, July 11, 2008

Polling Results

Well, I would complain about the lack of votes, but to be honest, there were more than I expected. On the down side, we were left with an even number of votes - two for nerdy stuff, two for Life/General Stuff. Hopefully, those that like nerdiness were appeased here, but they can expect more. As for general stuff, I'll see what I can do. My life is pretty boring as is. Not that I'm complaining.

On a side note - about my sidebar! - I really like the new feature of linking blogs that show you when they last updated. I think it kinda motivates me to keep updating.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Fixing Star Wars

I've spoken before of my frustration with the Star Wars saga. In many ways, George Lucas reminds me of long-time X-Men scribe Chis Cleremont (wiki). Recently, Claremont has had some good ideas that his clumsy plotting and horrible dialogue made nearly unreadable. I often found myself reading issues of Uncanny X-Men just hoping that it would be better because, hey, I liked the premise!

Similarly, Lucas's idea for Star Wars is amazing! From the epic feel, to the detached Jedi and everything in between, the general ideas and concepts are top notch, which is one reason the franchise has lasted as long as it has. But, as most evident is the recent trilogy, Lucas writes dialogue very poorly, and his directing is pretty sub par. So how would I fix it? Well, let's turn on the Way Back machine and take a crack at it:

First of all, the first thing that should have happened is George Lucas should have found himself a writer or co-writer and/or director that had balls. Like, big huge cajones. Big enough to say "Screw you Lucas, that sucks!" Think about it; go back and watch Phantom Menace and imagine if someone like Spielberg, Tarentino, or hell, even Michael Bay had been on the set. You think any of them wouldn't have said "uh, George, maybe a 9-year-old protagonist isn't such a great idea..." Why are Empire Strikes Back nad Return of the Jedi considered the best movies of the saga? Could it have something to do with the fact that Lucas didn't direct or write the screenplays for them? I'm currently reading the novel of Episode II, and even though it's based on the screenplay, it's much better because the author (R.A. Salvatore) has put a greater emphasis on nurturing Anakin and Padme's relationship; you understand what it is in him that she finds so attractive - unlike the movie, where the entire thing feels forced.

Second, there needs to be better lightsaber fights. Episode I had - hands down - the best lightsaber duel this side of Ryan vs. Dorkman. But after that everything went downhill. Attack fo the Clones didn't have much (although I admit seeing Yoda kick ass was cool), and while Revenge of the Sith had fights a-plenty, they all suffered from the same problem, namely, too much facial close-ups, not enough wide-angle shots. All in all, very disapointing, made all the more so by the great beginning in Phantom Menace.

Third, make Anakin older! If everything else had been the same, Episode I would have been much better if Anakin had been, say, 19, instead of 9. In fact, make both Anakin and Padme their ages from Episode II and there are no problems. You can easily begin his fixiation with her - and wanting to protect her - and no one's asking "What the hell is a 14-year-old doing as a freaking Queen?" It has the added bonus of making it less of a continuity problem with Luke becoming a Jedi. As it is, it seems strange that a 9-year old was nearly not allowed to be trained by Yoda, only to have him go ahead and train Luke when he was late teens/early twenties.

A corollary to that, show me Anakin interacting with other Jedi. In Clones we're told (over and over) that he's arrogant, but we never really see him being all that arrogant. He's mostly being whiny constantly. You really are never given a frame of reference regarding what Jedi Padawans are supposed to be like - except for Obi Wan in Episode I. Contrasting Anakin with others of his age would have shown how he was acting different, and what that difference could lead to.

Finally, stop making it harder on yourselves. Lucas had to have known that these movies would be ruthlessly picked apart by fans, yet he opened up so many problem areas when there was no reason to! The relative ages of Anakin and Luke is one example; the (needless) introduction of midichlorians is another, and the self-contradicting "prophecy" sub-plot is a third. And that isn't even bringing up the stupidity that is Jar Jar Binks.

So there you go. That's how I would have made Star Wars better. I haven't looked online for any websites or anything to see if other people have thought of these things or others, but I'm sure they have. These are just the thoughts I have as I read through the Star Wars books.

While We're Waiting

Since we still have a few days before the poll closes (vote now if you haven't yet!), I'll share this little gem with everyone: Chess Boxing.

The match began over a chess board set up on a low table in the middle of a
boxing ring.
Stripped to the waist, wearing towels around their shoulders
and headphones playing the lulling sound of a moving train to drown out the
baying crowd, the men played for four minutes. Then off came their reading
glasses and on went the gloves and the mouthguards.
For three minutes they
beat each other and then, when the bell went, the chess board was back in the
ring and they picked up the gentlemanly game where they had left off.

Awesome is all I'll say. Not that I would ever want to do that, but it's just wierd enough that I might watch it late at night on ESPN2 or what have you.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Awesome Links Part 1 - The Campaign Spot


While the voting is still going on, I did promise to wirte about all the websites that I'm linking to, and I thought that I would start doing that. I think everyone should read at least one political blog, especially during the presidential election season, and I've found few that are as interesting and well written as Jim Gergahty at National Review's The Campaign Spot. While, yes, his personal politics are pretty right-of-center, he tries to give a fair shake to the opposition. He's even been used by the Obama campaign to dispel bad rumors! I find the writing sharp and unique; he has done an exceptional job of live-blogging all of the primary debates (and there were like 40 of them this season!).

And he uses references to Star Wars characters and occasionally Transformers. How do you beat that?

So if you are looking for a good round up of political content that is pretty damn fair but has a right-of-center point-of-view, check out The Campaign Spot.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

More Blogging Changes

I've put up a poll that you can see on the right-hand side of my blog asking what you want to hear most about. Now, keep in mind that I'll probably ramble at least a little about all of these topics, but if people are more interested in something then I will try to focus on that. Hopefully this gets more responses than my last poll-like post.

Monday, June 30, 2008

The Update Nobody Notices (UPDATED!)

So I spent a bit of time this weekend updating my blog in a way that would be hard to notice immediately:

I've added Labels to all of my posts (all 104, to be precise!). You can now (theoretically) search them for a specific genre! Expect all my new posts to have Labels as well.

It has also allowed me to see what I talk about most; mostly just random crap of my life. No real surprise there. So should I mix it up some? I have uber-nerdy thoughts in my head that I may share with you all, but could you handle the nerdy-ness??

UPDATE: It should be fairly obvious to everyone that I've changed my layout as well. The links to personal blogs are over on the side as well as links to nifty web sites - my plan is to talk about each and every one of them, and I am more than happy to put more on that people send me. I have also added a nifty list of all my categories that I post in, just in case anyone wants to read all my posts about American Gladiators or something (I'll get to them more; I promise).

Questions or suggestions? Leave 'em in the comments!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Wierdest Hangover Sympton Ever

When you have a hangover, there are certain symptoms that you are used to and that you just accept as part of getting too drunk: hedaches, stomach problems, lethargy, etc. When I get a touch too drunk (which doesn't happen often, I assure you) I'm fine with these things because, hey, I deserve it.

However, yesterday, I had a new sympton: leg cramps.


Now, I'm not sure how over-working my liver leads to my quadraceps feeling like I did 3 bazillion squats, but there it was. Irritating as hell, and uncomfortable. It's like my body decided "Well, the headaches aren't working, so let's come up with a new way to punish him for abusing us." And lo, my legs hurt all day.

I think I'll stick with the headaches

Monday, June 23, 2008

Happy Birthday Reva!!

This is kinda like a card, but a day late, but hey, at least I'm updating right?

Anyway, wonderful birthday wishes to The Reva and my wonderful darling Brandy.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Kitten Pictures

OK, so there are pictures of Roxie - our new kitten - posted.

No, they're not on my blog; why waste the time to post them here when Brandy has already posted them on her MySpace page?

So go look and say "Awww..."

And no Reva, I don't want any more cute pictures of puppies. They'll just make me cry.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

The Post That Never Was

Actually, this could be a whole series of posts.

I meant to talk about the Lakers roller-coaster season long before I actually did; I was going to chime in my two cents on the presidential primaries back in January, I've got oodles of games to mini-review; and of course plenty of OOTS and PVP to talk about.

But this post is about something else entirely.

I take you back to October; as some may remember, it wasn't an awesome time for me. My grandmother had just passed away, my house had been sans renters for months (I know, the more things change, the more they stay the same...), and life was pretty bleh. Brandy wasn't in tons better shape, with a close family friend passing away around the same time and work was driving her nearly insane (again, see above). All in all, not a fabulous time for either of us.

So Brandy decided that we needed an awesome weekend to, you know, make up for things and keep ourselves from bieng in a rut of sorts. She had intended to surprise me, but wasn't too subtle about finding out what time I would be off work, so I knew something was going on.

(In her defense, I sometimes had been getting off work early, depending on how the rest of the week was working out for me, but didn't that day. I should also note that I was only slightly better at surprising her last Christmas, but I digress)

I came home from work on a Friday afternoon - shortly after Brandy and I had been together for six months - to find an envelope taped to my bathroom mirror. It was a note from Brandy telling me to pack a small bag, wear something slightly nice, and meet me at her place. I was surprised by the direction, and couldn't help but smile, glad that Brandy had thought ahead enough to place the note in a location that I would see it.

So, showered and cleaned, I drove over to her place. Arriving at her door, I knocked. No response. I knocked again. No response. So I used my key to her apartment and let myself in.

"But wait!" I hear readers yell. "If you had a key, why did you knock?" Well, I figured that if Brandy had planned something for me I didn't want to surprise her by just bargin in. Knocking gave her a chance to prepare herself.

So in I went, entering into the unknown, bag in hand, and I see a pair of big eyes staring back at me as I walk in the door. "Well hello," I said. Eager to see me, I received a quick reply of:


Brandy was nowhere to be found, and I was left alone in her apartment with her cat! Doing my best Gil Grisom impersonation I began looking for clues. I began by, in fact, making sure she wasn't there. Confirming that, I made a bee-line to her bathroom, hoping to find something there, as there had been at my house. And lo, my detective skills paid off! I found another envelope, with instructions to meet Brandy at a specified address, along with directions. With another lonely meow from the cat to send me off, I was on my way, eagerly awaiting what would come next.

I soon (ok, not exactly "soon," since I had to take the 91 freeway, during rush hour, which always causes problems, but for the sake of the story we'll say soon) I found myself at the address - the Mariott Hotel in Riverside! Finding Brandy, she explained how she felt we needed a "weekend away," (I agreed) and though this wasn't exactly far away, it was indeed away. Expecting an enjoyable weekend, off we went to the elevator.

As we entered the elevator I noticed a small sign which read "Enter room key to access 10th floor." "I wonder what's on the 10th floor..." I mused aloud. "You'll see..." Brandy responded, quite to my surprise, as she put a room key into the slot. I was quite excited by the time we entered and saw a "romantic suite," complete with candles (electric), rose petals, a huge bed and our own hot tub!! On the counter were some chocolate-covered strawberries and champagne, and Brandy's laptop playing romantic music.

Needless to say, we had quite the relaxing and enjoyable weekend. Of course, this is all long hand for me to say: Brandy is wonderful to me, and I am lucky, grateful and oh-so-happy to have her. Everyone should be so blessed.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Why These Finals Matter to Me

Well, for starters, obviously, I'm a huge Lakers fan.

But there's more than that.

At the beginning of last October I made a long trip out to West Virginia because my grandmother passed away. It was a difficult time for me because we had always been very close. She taught me to be a Lakers fan. All of my habits (good and bad!), my passion, my genuine love of the game came from her. I don't know how she became a Lakers fan. I never asked, though now I wish I had. But when I was young and she lived with us, I would stay up late and go into her room and watch basketball with her. It was awesome.

So I went to her funeral, consoled my family and came home and went on with life. A few weeks later the NBA season officailly started; and before long a plucky young Lakers team that a few months before had been full of bickering, trade demands and hostility began growing into a championship-caliber team. I've watched them throughout the season as they took their lumps, won games they shouldn't have and lost plenty I wish they hadn't, and every time I couldn't help but think how much my grandmother would have loved these Lakers. They're the closest - I think - to Showtime that we've gotten, and they are just a ton of fun to watch.

So I watched, and remembered, and cheered.

And now here we are, facing impossible odds, and all I can think is that I wish that she could have been here with me. I would have paid damn good money to have flown to West Viriginia and watched one more NBA Finals with her. But I can't.

So instead I'll watch it at home, knowing damn well that she's watching too - and having ol' Chick Hearn calling play-by-play the whole time no doubt - and remember her.

So the emotion will be high tonight; on the court and off. I'm sure lots of Lakers fans will feel the same way; the fear of having the season end so close to a championship. I'll be there, screaming at every call, every play, hoping for a miracle and knowing that my grandmother is doing the same.

For me, these Finals are about memories, and here's hoping for another happy one.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Celtics = Obama

I'm watching Game 2 of the NBA Finals right now, and I can't help but notice the similarities between this competition and the presidential election. See, watching (and more importantly, listnening to the damn TV announcers) the game it becomes obvious that there is really no need to play these games; the outcome has been decided. The Celtics were anoited NBA champions last summer with the Garnett trade; everything else is just a formality.

Evidence? Leon Powe has shot 10 free throws; the entire Lakers team? 2. Three Lakers are in foul trouble. Celtics? None. Paul Pierce fakes an injury and is hailed as a hero.

The reason is obvious; the Lakers are like the Yankees - the team everyone loves to hate. Because the Celtics have sucked since the '60s - with a few years excepted when Bird made them good - and the Lakers haven't, LA has become the "bad guy" and the Celtics the "good guy."

Similarly, Obama has been anoited by the media, first against Hillary in the primary, and now certainly in the General. Everything will be ignored that could hurt Obama; everything - real and imagined - will be thrown at McCain. In both cases, its extremely frustrating.

The only way this could be worse is if The Sports Guy was broadcasting.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Airport Fashion

I'm glad I was careful in selecting what shirt to wear when I flew to Raleigh last week or I might have ended up like this guy:

An airline passenger claimed that a security guard threatened to arrest him
because he was wearing a T-shirt showing a cartoon robot with a gun.
Jayakody, 30, from London, said he was stopped from passing through security at
Heathrow's Terminal 5 after his Transformers T-shirt was deemed

Awesome. If you read the whole article, you find out that it was offended because Optimus Prime was holding... a gun!

Yes, now it's not just acutal weapons that are prohibited, but images of weapons that are. I wonder if I show up with a T-shirt of some toothpaste that's not in a quart-sized ziploc bag if I'll be let on the plane.

My only consolation here is that this was in London.

An Upside to Kittens

I suppose an upside to this kitten situation is that I am up at the ass-crack of dawn most mornings (at least, I have been since Sunday). Thus it gives me time to think about posting.

Not that I've had a lack of things to discuss; oh no, there's plenty to talk about from the LA Lakers finally making it back to the NBA Finals, to the presidential campaign, WiiViews, and what I've been up to, I've never really been lacking things to discuss. Rather, I've never had either the a)time, or b)motivation to post.

But I have plans. Grand ones, at that. Well, at least a little. But before I take on anything ambitious I have to prove to myself that I can keep at least a little blog updated regularly, so I'm trying once again. Honestly, the more often I have found myself not posting, the more impressed I am by people like The Reva who post so damn frequently! It's not easy!

So what's this post about? Nothing, really. Just sorta rambling. But ok, I'll talk about something. Let's talk about the 2nd best thing to happen to TV recently (the first, of course, being How I Met Your Mother): American Gladiators.

Damn Straight.

This show is awesome for so many reasons. First of all, check out their Wiki page, it's just full of good info. But I love nearly everything about this show, from the (awful! - and I mean awful) clished dialogue to Titan's mullet, to Wolf's teeth and taunt, to Helg's deep voice, to Jet and tiny little Rocket winning. It's just freaking cool. Like, retro cool, but not in a it's-only-cool-'cause-we-feel-nostalgia way. In a wow-it's-retro-and-I-like it! way. I find myself rooting for the Gladiators pretty regularly, only picking a contestant during the Eliminator when there are no Gladiators.

If you enjoyed the original AG, you will also enjoy this one. It's really just a fun show, a neat competition with really cool events and Gladiators that they try - sometimes too hard - to give some personality too.

Oh wait. One thing I forgot: Layla Ali sucks. There; I had to say it.

Everything else rocks!

Monday, June 02, 2008

A Day Late and a Short Post

I promised some people that I would post on June 1st.

Sorry I'm late.

And sad to say that this will be a (very) short post.

But both are for good reasons: Namely, we picked up a stray cat. A kitten, actually. I know, I know. I'm not a cat person, per se. But this (way too damn adorable for my good) kitten showed up on our front porch (almost literally) Sunday morning, so what was I to do? Give it to a shelter that would kill it? I couldn't do that, and so we took it in.


I'm not complaining; it is a cute kitty, and we named it Roxie. It just takes a lot of work. I'll post pictures soon.


Yeah, that's "soon" relative to my posting schedue, not, you know, what most people consider soon. I'll shoot for this weekend at the latest.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Post New-Year's Update

I know, I know, I've already had a mixed bag on my resolutions. But you know, two steps forward, one step back, right? If you want my MySpace page updated, give me an idear for a song; that's what is preventing me from doing that. Anyway, I've had several requests for different types of postings, but I'll start with video games because, really, they're the important part. So here are my first 2008 WiiViews:

Boogie: Have I talked about this game before? I played it so long ago, and it was so... lackluster, I can't remember. The singing part is ok, the dancing part is really annoying; but mixing them becomes massively dumb.
Carnival Games: Have you ever played a game that was too realistic? If not, try this. This game surprisingly emulates the actual feel of carnival-style games (Ring Toss, knocking clowns down, etc.) including how incredibly boring those games are. To me, this game sufferred from what so many Wii games suffer from: Too much emphasis on the new motion-sensor controller, not enough attention to actual gameplay. WiiPlay is a better party game than this by far.
Chicken Shoot: When I first got the Wii, I thought to myself "I bet shooting games will be great on this system!" Maybe, but certainly not this game. Chicken Shoot has no plot, no characters, no variety. There are chickens, you shoot them for points. Occasionally, they throw eggs at you. OOOO!! Exciting!! (Please not sarcasm). To borrow a TMQ-style item: In hell, Wii's are everywhere, but the only game is Chicken Shoot.
Mario Party 8: Finally, finally, a good game! Ok, maybe I'm suffering from the "soft bigotry of low expectations," but still, MP8 isn't that bad of a game. The mini-games are varied enough (and there are enough of them) that you aren't just doing the same thing over and over, but it's not too complicated. The boards range from very enjoyable to wierd to downright stupid. I definitely think I benefit from not having played many Mario Party games before this though. Overall, it's a great game for parties, but (due to AI cheating) gets less so the fewer people that play.

I have more (lots more), but that will do for now. Additionally, Brandy (the no-longer-new-girlfriend) is TOTALLY AWESOME and got me an X-Box 360 for Christmas, so expect some reviews for that as well (once I play some games other than Rock Band). I also have plans to talk about the over-performing Lakers and underwhelming political landscape, but now I have to get back to work.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008


My New Year's Resolutions:

1. Blog more (at least once a week is my goal; a more realistic certainty is every other week).

2. Update my MySpace page once a month (I'm just not motivated to update it right now, but
before the end of the week I will!).

3. Eat healthier (a low bar for me to clear, to be certain).

4. Master Hard level on Rock Band (damn Orange button!!)

5. Be more social.

I'll let everyone know how these things come along...