All Hallow's Eve

As we're basically at the greatest of all months, the atumnal wonder that is October, the folks over at the Black Cat Commune decided it would be a grand day to decorate for Halloween. The strike force of foxes really had nothing to do among the hay, cornstalks, and pumpkins. They had the day off after their group portrait. Union rules.

Little Pumpkins. How delightful.

With watermelon.


The act of decorating.

Witch's feet.

Paola, Black Cat Commune mascot.

strike force fox

Yesterday my friend Ana offered amazing advice for someone in job limbo. The three options included a hike, hitting mutual friend Fernando (he's really good at whining), and oragami ninja. I went with the third option. Observe the stealth strike force of fox oragami.... Don't let the little ones fool you, they can be the most vicious.

More to come later.


path to a parallel universe

First and foremost, last night I had the best mac and cheese. Now, I'll pooh-pooh macaroni and cheese from a box until I'm blue in the face. As blue as that hideous Kraft blue box. This bit of deliciousness, however, was homemade with love and lots of cheese. We're talkin' about the perfect blend of gooey cheddar cheese and crisp baked corners and top. Brilliant. I now have the biggest hankering for some kase spaetzle... with carmelized onion.... I digress....

View from a bike:
I took my go-go-speed-racer bike out this morning to explore the surrounding wetlands. A number of images caught my attention. First, I passed a man on the path walking his ginormous cat on a leash. This cat was larger than many small dogs and I'm sure could dispatch with any manner of dog directly. Not too long after the Cat-Man, I saw two Huck Finn characters wearing overalls with no shoes, carrying fishing poles, and walking dogs. What parallel universe did that path take me into?


General Report:
1. The fisherman has returned. The marathon Montana fishing adventure proved successful.
2. I sent another job application out into the world.
3. I have absolutely no idea of what to do with myself at present. I'm finding it difficult to relax.

Time to revive an old musing...
After I successfuly defended my Masters thesis I had a good month and a half with really very little to do. At least, in terms of my prior workload. The only fitting comparison I could make seemed to be the glacial erratic. Digging back into Geography 101, glacial erratics are rocks (both big and small) that have been transported away from their place of origin bit by bit, sometimes miles, by glaciers. You move about your little world, head down, eyes on the prize without any real sense of how far you've come. Then one day you look up, you're in a different spot, and the glacier has retreated to the comfort of the extreme northern lattitudes. A tenuous position at best, these days.

That is all.


south dakota, the coyote state

Its official, I'm the Marshal of Deadwood. I have a badge to prove it. Honestly!

This morning I received all the little goodies I could possibly want from my homie Matt in South Dakota. It took him the whole summer as he had to find an able horseman to run it on through to Cheyenne, Wyoming, their connection to the civilized world (now that's just not nice). It was worth the wait. Thanks, yo.


mammas, don't let your babies grow up to be cowboys

What is it about the nostalgia of Pabst Blue Ribbon? I find that when I'm in a contemplative mood and enjoying a nice cold Pabst, proudly Union made, I have the biggest urge to listen to Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, and/or Waylon Jennings. The Charlie Daniels Band figures heavily into this as well. I'm explaining what is largely uninteresting because Pabst fits in with so many different categories or self-classification of groups. I just gravitate to the elder statesmen of country music where others move towards Turbonegro or some other group. How can anyone pass up the line, "I shot a man in Reno just to watch him die." Pabst has cross-over appeal. So does Carhart. Carhart works for construction types, hay-seed cowboys, hippies, and apparently is big as a fashion line in Australia (no kidding).

This is, in fact, Charlie Daniels... not Santa Claus.


I want to ride my bicycle/ I want to ride it where I like

Ha, ha, ha.... I'm now riding in style! Though not too much style so thieves don't get any ideas... Err, yes, so, I've moved on from the circa 1987 electric blue Diamond Back (with matching electric blue handlebars) that helped me get from A to B and also moved like a snail. Steel frames have their advantages, but speediness is not one of them. I've since inherited my dad's circa 1985 Peugeot. With the help of Bicycle Bob, we fixed it up right (minus some saddle difficulty, yikes!). This morning was the maiden voyage to work. Delightful.

By the by, if you steal my bike I will hunt you down and kill you with my bare hands.


to the wineries!

Fantastic. Marathon birthday outings (11:00am to 11:00pm) have the potential to be very trying for all involved. But the rewards of a successful outing make it worth the risk. We mangaged to happily cram ourselves into a midsize car and traverse the valley in search of wine and good food. With the warm embrace of the sun, we found both. We regailed each other with entertaining stories, updates, and brilliant moments of open and honest communication. "No, no, no... keep going.... You have your pass, its okay... tell me one more thing. I want to know..."

Did I mention there was wine invovled? I believe this particular wine I'm smelling had a unusually grapey and "foxy" bouquet. The "foxy" bit came directly from their description... I can really make no logical smell connection to "foxy," but there you have it.

We also engaged in some roadside piracy. As Halloween is approaching, the folks at the Black Cat Commune are gearing up for the decorating whirlwind. Thus anything that involves cornstalks or is remotely autumnal is fair game. I believe Martha Stewart has been consulted. The only thing left to plan is the corn maze outing....

The night ended with a top notch dinner followed by analysis of our astrology charts and cake. Mmmm, cake. Good times. As fair warning, I have a lot of Sagittarius and Scorpio.


sweatpants and whiskey

I don't know whether or not I should apologize for the pictures of the last post. Apologize to my readers for the mildly disturbing green coat... Apologize to his wife for posting them... I can really make no excuses. I honestly had nothing to do with the modeling of said green coat.

On other fronts, I'll finally get that vacation I need. The job ended officially today. The wait for interviews thus commences. I've decided to mark the occasion by myself with sweatpants and whiskey. My friend Chris tells me that anyone who wears sweatpants has given up on life. I've always disagreed, a difference of perspective, really. But when the words "sweatpants and whiskey" appear together in the same sentence it appears as if he might be on to something. Perhaps sweatpants and whiskey sounds a tad depressing to most rational people, but I'm just relaxing.

Go find your own sweatpants and whiskey equivalent.



The coup was bloodless, but the chickens are restless.....

I smell counter-revolution.


Daily Grind, the Bloodless Coup

With our fearless leader out, the Number 2 woMan in power staged a bloodless coup...

Fun is not allowed.
Fashion shows have been outlawed.
All music will be burned.
Everyone must correctly perform long division in their heads before they can leave.
Timesheets must be signed!
Fall schedules must be filled out.
All David Hasselhoff music videos are banished.

This message is brought to you by State Sponsored Media.

I jest.

"I don't really have time in my life anymore for friends." - Quote from our new fearless leader

Daily Grind, 3.2

Daily Grind, version 3.0

It's time to revive the Daily Grind. LL is home sick and requires entertainment. Perhaps others may as well.

Random observation of the morning:
While riding to work on the bus I pass a store that sells contraptions that make it easier for people with health problems or disabilities to remain at home. I never really paid much heed to the displays in the many windows of the store, but they caught my notice today. I think it was the toilet aids that really did it. How difficult it must be to actually catch the attention of the target audience without offending anyone else. It would certainly be nice to have that particular position on one's resume.


Happy Birthday

There is something absolutely delicious about a gin & tonic (best served with Bombay Saphire or Hendrick's) when enjoyed with friends. The remnants of my history cohort, successive generation, and roommate gathered this evening to celebrate the birth of Camille. We had drinks and great Thai food. Good food and good friends are a deadly combination. Besides being a fantastic and inspiring individual, Camille reminds me how we should celebrate our birthdays. With grace and nonchalance, she organized her own birthday outing (at least the first, as more will come this weekend). I'm typically of the "I'm not telling you my birthday" school. Who knows why? Anyway, last year I opened the door and broadcast the birthday. Perhaps this year I will do the same. There might be a slide show on the web log...


200,000 and Eddie Rabbitt

I passed a monumental milestone yesterday. My car rolled over 200,000 miles... yikes! What a champion. The moment was anti-climactic at best. I thought about doing a mini-road trip, perhaps just a day trip, to make it over the 200,000 mile mark. Sometimes things don't work out the way you want. Instead, I was going home from running errands and hit the mark at a stop light. Speaking of driving, I bought some songs off of iTunes this morning (stop laughing at my buying music on the internet). I finally have the internet capabilities to download music. First up in the queue was none other than Eddie Rabbitt, "Drivin' My Life Away." So apropos.

For all those who feared I might not make it out of Thunderdome unscathed a second time, have no fear. I played some nice games of pool and observed the obsurdities of a small amount Oregon and Oklahoma fans. There were no booty comments made (at least to my face) either. So, things are looking up.


Further Proof of a World Gone Mad

Yesterday, in two parts:
From the beginning.... I like to pretend that my migraines have little to no impact on me. I take my medicine, walk around in a bit of a stupor with slow and often slurred speech, and generally accomplish very little. How did I ever teach with these things? I woke up Friday morning around 5:30am from the migraine (I can't sleep mine off) with thoughts of impending doom. I took my $18 magic pill at that time and went back to bed. I made it to work on time, but the damn things was still hanging around... $18 magic pill #2 then entered the picture after a minor work crisis. I finally started to perk up around 1:00, but it was a long road back. After several walk-abouts with my fabulous understanding boss I started to feel a bit more normal (relatively speaking). I did some work (a pathetic amount) and went home early. After a good meal, the fog finally lifted. I'd like to add up all of the 12-24 hour periods of my life damaged by migraines. If you take into consideration that my first FULL mega-migraine (totally blurred vision, throwing up in the bathroom by the school office) occured when I was in 8th grade, that time could really add up. Anyhoo, such is life.

Towards the end... After dinner, I was basically back to normal. The medicine hangover had lifted for the most part and I decided to go to a concert. I really dislike acknowledging the impact of migraines on my time. I'll go do things just to spite them, as if that has any sort of impact. Anyway, I met some friends to see this group called The Ditty Bops (this summer has been my Summer of the Uknown Concert). They were entertaining, but we were seated rather far away in a booth perfect for people watching. Here's where things reallly take off. There we were, in our elevated perch a good distance away from the stage, having a grand ol' time. Some guy takes it upon himself to come over to our table (a good distance away from the stage with the vast majority of the people 20 yards in front of us) and tells us that if we are going to talk we should really just leave. Honestly! Were we too distracting for the 2 people sitting behind us? I'm bitter about this for 2 reasons:
1) the nerve of the guy just boggles my mind... my god, we were watching the Ditty Bops, not B.B. King or Aretha Franklin or The Eagles of Death Metal.
2) I was engaged in conversation and missed his misguided instructions. The ones who he said this to were too confounded to say anything. I had been through too much yesterday to give a hoot as to what this guy thought of me. I don't think he would have enjoyed my respone as my already dry sense of humor reaches new depths on migraine days (we're talking 8-10 Soda crackers in the mouth with nary a drop of water around). Whatev. We continued on in the same manner.
As we were leaving I had to walk through an area I lovingly call Thunderdome. Barely 20 yards away from the bar this skinny little Bitch-boy on a bicycle (I like alliteration) starts talking shit about my ass. What the hell is going on here? If you are a skinny gay man on a bicycle with no ass to speak of, don't talk to me about mine. I believe I yelled (yes, yelled) after him, "Shut the hell up, Bitch! Jealous much?" It is a world gone mad.


No More Hunker Down

Wow. I've been in hunker-down mode for the past week. My meals have really been quite pathetic. There is something about cooking in a new place... things must be Just So before one attempts it. Therefore, I leave it to my friends. To that end, tonight was a Rome night. Deadwood, season 3 is over and done with. We've found new entertainment. I was expecting better than I have had the last few nights. That's not saying much, however, when one takes into account the meals I've had. To that end, I present the fruits of this evening's labor..... Mmmm, roasted potatoes (thank you Dan Quayle), shrimp, etc. etc.... and we can't forget.... I love wine. Really, my love of wine is quite pathetic. Have wine, will travel. I'm quite cheap, so what I write I give a lot a thought to (though really it doesn't take that much thought). Leave your 2-Buck or 3-
Buck Chuck at home. Drink it privately, surrounded by your own embarrassment. There is plenty of good, inexpensive wine available. Don't drink that riff-raff. You're only hurting yourself, or the guests you inflict it upon. Perhaps I should divulge... I'm slightly snobish in wine selection.

On other fronts, I can't enter my bathroom without feeling as if I'll be accosted by ginourmous spiders.

So, happy Friday all... err, all 5-6 readers. My Friday (if we extend it to Thursday night) went well thus far. Cheers.. and enjoy the weather changes in store for us. Fall is coming! Yippee Skippee! I have the biggest urge to rake together a large pile of leaves and then jump Kamakaze style into them. We're 15 days away from October, the greatest month on record.


The Lieutenant Spider

So, I wasn't eaten by spiders last night. This morning, however, I dealt with last night's mega-spider-from-hell's Number Two man. I am a ruthless spider killer. There will be no catch-and-release if I'm dealing with it. I know, I know, spiders eat other insects you don't want hanging about the house and I've always enjoyed one of my friend's thoughts on spiders. Ahem, "It's not their fault if they're ugly." That's too damn bad.

On other topics. I've revived Curveball and made it an official staple of my Links section. This little game provided much amusement to my office-mates and I this last year. I basically abandoned it after my Big Time work was over with. The amusement one finds in this game is directly proportional the the amount of things one is avoiding.


If nobody hears anything from me tomorrow, Wednesday, then send a search party to my house because the spiders have ganged up on me. I just killed a ginormous spider in my bathroom. He might have been their leader. One never knows.


Things are moving along swimmingly. I have propaganda on the wall.

If only I had posters of these.


Hmmm... maybe we should bring this one back...


No Quarters to Operate

Does beer really count as dinner? Go back less than a few hundred years ago and some form of beer or ale made an appearance for most meals. I ask this because I'm too tired (read "lazy") to actually make any food in my new house. I've cleaned all day. The apartment is done. I'm out. And I'm having a delicious Rogue Hazelnut Brown Nectar for dinner. Well, some chips and hummus are involved as well. But the bulk of it is beer. I feel pretty good about the decision.

I loved my old apartment, but my new house will work out swell. I find I like the idea of starting in a new direction from a new place, even if it is the same town. My homies Chris and Becky (Happy Birthday, by the by) are just starting out in a new town. They're in the sort of twiddle-the-thumbs stage of a new place. His recent birthday and new move made him a bit reflective in one of his last posts. I thought that perhaps I might venture in that area, but now I leave the transition riff-raff to him. For now I'd just like to say that even though I'm by no means settled where I'm at, I have beer and clothes in a washer that does not require quarters to operate. Have no fear, the beer and the clothes are not together in the washer. Things are looking pretty good.


The Move

Well, well, well. I'm moved. And unpacked. Almost. Basically. My team of stealth ninja mover/friends showed up at my apartment at 10:00am to do their work. As my dad and I had already loaded the trailer, we jimmy-jammed over to the new pad. Assisted by my new roomie, we had everything out and neatly tucked away in about a half-hour. We then ventured back to my apartment to load up the stuff going back to the Yak without me. A nice lunch-time break then followed with 2 fantastic pizzas and a couple pitchers of Mac & Jack's African Amber. Mmmmm. My parents and I basically put my room together, got the desk and computer set up and clothes in the closet. My computer has never known the tender embrace of high-speed internet before. So long, Dial-Up. Yes, I'm basically that cheap. Tomorrow the work continues. Cleaning, assisted by a 15 point "Cleaning Tips" list. Yahoo!


movie dream

Last night I had a mildly bad dream cast with people from the movies (and some bit of reality).
The players:
  • Darth Vadar
  • The other bad guy from the Karate Kid (the one who says "Put him in a body bag, Johnnie!")
  • Zoe, from Firefly
  • A bunch of Sting Rays

There was running involved, escape in individual boats made out of oil barrels cut in half, and then an anit-climactic ride down the elevator as everyone clocked out of my movie dream and wouldn't pick up with the scaring and whatnot until the sequel.

Reasons for this dream in my life right now.
1. Career change in the works.
2. Move in the works. This weekend to be exact.
3. No school in the fall for the first time since pre-school.


Kitchen Packing

I have the greatest sister. She arrived in town last night to help me pack up my kitchen today. So, what qualifies for "greatest sister" status? Among other things, the 5 hour drive from her house to mine, the packing of my kitchen whilst I am at work, and some excellent goodies she brought down. Her little cooler contained smoked white King Salmon and fresh crab cakes. Lecker. There are other things, but I don't want to make people jealous.


"C" is not for Cookie.

I saw something very disturbing this morning while watching Sesame Street. Cookie Monster is no longer the lovable monster that eats cookies with reckless abandon, shoving blue fistfulls of cookies into his mouth all while extolling the virtues of cookies (mainly through crumbs and words like "yummy"). "D" was the letter of the day today. Everything started out swell, Cookie Monster came up with "delicious" and "delectable," he was on a roll. Then things went terribly and inextricably wrong. WRONG. He thought up another word that starts with "D". . . . "Don't."
Ahem: "'D' for Don't. Don't eat cookie. Don't eat letter of day."
I realize I'm overreacting just a tad here, but Cookie Monster saying "Don't" to a cookie really merrits some examination. I know we have an obesity problem in this country, particularly among children, but this is Cookie Monster we're talking about. Is nothing sacred? How can he be a Cookie Monster if he says "No, thanks." to cookies? What happened to "'C' is for Cookie, that's good enough for me."? I guess I'm out of the Sesame Street loop.

This is madness.


I've discovered the secret to easy and smooth packing.... having an extra bottle of wine around the house and either a) great music or b) a great movie in the background. Everything basicially packs itself beyond a certain point. My pace for packing earlier today is best exemplified by the image on the right.
I am avoiding two things right now.

1) Packing up books. This does not bode well for the future as everyone knows books are perhaps the easiest things to pack in the world. I'm afraid to look in my closet for the pre-move thinning. I believe that I'm a low-level pack-rat.... I get rid of enough crap to not fully deserve the label, though sometimes it's touch and go. Not to fear. I have hope. Today will be a banner day for the dumpster and Goodwill.

2) Andre Agassi is playing what is probably his last tennis match right now. He's losing to the 25 year-old that keeps making mistakes (though he has a 130-140 mph serve). Andre's back is just not cooperating. It's painful to watch. Still, he could win. Stay tuned.

On other fronts. The pie was pretty good. Not bad for $3. Though I would have paid #3.50 to have a little more salt in the crust. Half was consumed last night before a viewing of the delightful flick Little Miss Sunshine. Run out and see it. I had the other half this morning for breakfast with appropiately strong coffee. Mmmmm, pie.


Miniature Strikes Again!

Oh, holy crap. I am no longer allowed to go to the farmers market, supervised or otherwise. It just never works out. My powers of resistance are really quite pathetic when confronted with such victuals. Though I can rationalize the organic strawberries, organic orange cherry tomatoes, early Gala apples, organic red and orange sweet peppers, there is one small item that takes a little more intellectual acrobatics. I bought a pie. A miniature black berry pie, to be more specific. It's the perfect size for two people, or one enthusiastic sit-down. What was I to do? Honestly? At least I had the power to resist the fresh goat cheese. Then again, it could have been that I was running low on cash... or that I already have two different kinds in the fridge....

On other fronts, I have much to do and really shouldn't be going to farmer's markets and drooling over pie. A move is in the works, among other things. As far as the pie goes, I don't get to touch it until a few things get checked off the list for today. At least I can conjure up some semblance of self-control now.

RE-Becky: Happy Birthday, kid.


In Miniature, again.

Given my proclivity to things in miniature, I've hit the jackpot. I just finished lunch. The menu item of choice was The Slider, a delightful miniature cheeseburger. Though it could be smaller (two would really be the limit for me) it was still a delightful way to spend a Friday afternoon extended lunch.

Search out your own miniature.