Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Film Review: The Life of Pi

Last night on HBO, they played The Life of Pi, a movie about a guy who is telling some other guy his story about how he got to Canada, or maybe Mexico, from India, riding a tiger in the Pacific Ocean.  That's basically paraphrasing what happened, but there is also some bhuddist involved and a Zebra, but not the one played by Chris Rock. 

Overall, I thought the movie was very good.  So good that I didn't even notice that it was like 3 hours long, which is unusual because I typically start getting very figety in a movie that's over 1 and 1/2 hours.  The visual imagery in the movie was stunning, and though I didn't see it in 3D, I hear that's pretty good too.  (Doubtful, 3D movies are stupid).  The concept of a kid lost at sea, trying to survive the elements, including some tiger made out of computer animation (which is the most terrifying species of tiger), but finding those calm moments when he can experience the wonder of the world (or the inside of Krishna's mouth which is what I think they were going for there...), is a romantic concept that seems to resonate with me every time.  It worked that way in Forrest Gump too, but then they ruined it by talking about it.

Anyways, I don't think I've said many accurate things about this movie, therefore I don't feel like I gave anything away.  Although you probably already saw it because it came out like 6 months ago.  If you didn't, I recommend it.  Here's a list of pro's and con's about the movie that I hope will sway your decision.  I like to think I have that power.

Pros:

 - Visual imagery in the movie is awesome, even though it was made by nerds on a computer.

 - Has real Indians, who can act while still being Indians.

 - Will make you hungry for some mahi mahi, which luckily for you is sold everywhere.

 - Reinforces your belief that a pirate's life is for you.  Not for the pillaging, just for the calm days sailing in the South Pacific.

 - Doesn't try to sell you a Honda like they do on every show on USA.

Cons:

 - The main character who is narrating the story wears dumb clothes.  Seriously dude, you survived a tiger, a trip across the ocean in a row boat, and a SPOILER ALERT, but you couldn't buy a decent shirt when some dude comes over to bromance his way into your story?

 - The computer animation is weird.  Like it's not tryign to make you think it's real, but it's almost animated...

 - At the end you're like, "huh?  whatever, I mean...wait...ok I get it."

 - The pasta I was eating when I watched the movie, sold to me by some way too happy Pakistani irish pub owner, was disgusting.

In other news,I think I have food poisoning...so that's awesome.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

I Wish They All Could Be California Trolls

This week and next I'm working in Irvine, CA on a bank exam.  Just from that sentence alone you should have asked 3 questions:

1.  Where the eff is Irvine?
2.  You're doing a bank exam?  You haven't done that in a year!
3.  Seriously, where the eff is Irvine?

To answer your questions, (and more!), you need only to read on....  First off, yes I am on a bank exam, and being a year since I've done one, I've completely forgotten how to travel.  I forgot my phone charger, and a note pad, and any semblence of anythign I would need to do my job.  I seriously spent 5 minutes last week thinking about if I needed to bring my calculator or not.  I also had to call our help desk to figure out how to use my Verizon Air Card.  Seriously, it's like I was never an examiner at all...or an Indian!  It's day 2 of the exam, and I already regret signing up for it.  Everybody who works here is weird, and seem to care way too much about their jobs.  Our job is lame, why do you care so much about it you tool bags!?  Today I made an excuse to ditch the other two people I flew in from Denver with for lunch.  I don't like having to spend this much time with the same people all day long.  Really though, how did I use to do this as a living?

As to the age old Irvine question, Irvine is not San Diego.  I did not know this until I got here.  I just figured I was over in some quadrant of California that I was calling San Diego.  Instead I'm working in some big stupid tower about a 1/4 mile from John Wayne Airport, which services Irvine and Santa Ana.  Just so you know, none of the cities in California make any sense and seem to have been placed wherever with no thought process behind it.  Irvine is definitely some sort of mutation of Agrestic, or Regrestic, or I REGRET IT.  What you first see as Sunshine! Palm Trees! No Humidity! turns quickly into Landlocked! Asphalt! 23 lane roads! orange skinned people! Greasy salesmen! and probably other stuff I haven't seen yet that I will immediately dislike.  And yes, all this hate is because I don't have a rental car and can't stay by the beach.  So call it petty, but Irvine be lame y'all.  People seem nice though, I wasn't expecting that.  Just in case, I'm making an effort to frown at everybody.  I have to save the smiles for Stapleton, otherwise my neighbors will keep forgetting to invite me to parties in front of my house.

Oh PS, Irvine is in Orange County, which means somewhere out there, drinking a kale smoothie in between botox appointments, is a "Real Housewife of Orange County."  I heard if you take away all the botox, their original look is a think of natural beauty.


Monday, August 26, 2013

Pinata Party Paranoia



Many years ago, a wise man, sick of watching football from the sidelines, decided that he would try out for a team.  Unfortunately for him, years of eating potato chips in front of a TV on his couch (hence the name, couch potato), rendered him completely ineligible for breathing normally, let alone engaging in any type of physical activity.  Not to be deterred by what was surely diabetes, he decided he would invent a game where people of his health, who shared an equal fervor for the game of football and a mutual hatred of running or their hearts beating, could sit around their computer screens, and create Olympian like teams of their favorite players, and pit them against other teams created by their equally unhealthy friends. 

Thus was Fantasy Football created.  In its 3rd year of existence, our little Denver fantasy football league, (NFL!  Now With More Murders!) has “blossomed” into a highly competitive blood sport not seen since perhaps the first Olympics.  I mean, in what other world do you get to take your frustration out on a donkey piƱata with the face or Aaron Hernandez (with the guns to match!), the ass of Ray Lewis’s face, and Tim Tebow sniffing the gonads?  Nowhere else, that’s where!


 
So yeah..that happened.

In other news, yesterday I was sitting around my house searching for patio furniture when outside in the courtyard I saw a couple neighbors setting up some lawn chairs.  I thought that was a little strange.  Then more neighbors came outside, beers in hand.  I thought, huh…that’s really strange.  Then I saw other neighbors from across the street bringing a grill over.  That’s when I realized that there was an informal block party going on in my courtyard that I wasn’t invited to.  I quickly fixed my hair, poured some scotch and headed out as if all that was missing was my presence.  Turns out that the neighbors throwing the party didn’t know I had moved in yet.  Which is good, since that means they’ve not been peering into my barely curtained life.  At least that was their excuse.  They also claimed they put a flyer in my door about it, but I doubt it.  My natural distrust aside, it turned out to be pretty fun.  Got to meet a lot of new neighbors who all seemed pretty nice and friendly.  I also got to meet some of the more annoying neighbors who were already listing their grievances to anybody who would listen….at least they walked me through their house so I could so awfully they live.  It’s self-affirming.

Finally, I did get to reconnect with the couple I met at the meet and greet weeks ago, but forgot to exchange numbers with them.  We seem to get along quite famously, so this time, after hanging out with them for a couple hours, I also forgot to exchange phone numbers with them.  But I know where they live so I can stalk them until they become my friends.  So many of you reading this don’t realize that I did the same thing with you.  I also realized at this block party that everybody has a dog and/or a kid.  Not much I can do with the latter, but I guess that means I have to get a dog.  People probably already think I’m weird living in the Denver suburbs without kids, a dog or a beard.  I can’t be “that guy”.  Oh wait, I broke a glass at the end of the night….so I’m already “that guy”.  Crap.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Theme? I Don't Need No Stinkin' Theme!

Wow, I really fell off the blogosphere lately...(blogiverse?  bloglar system?)  Either way, I've been off the bloggler radar for awhile now, so it's high time I get back into the swing of things and give you a hefty update!  (Not like those other wimpy store brand updates.)

It's been yet another whirlwind of adventure for me over the last few days.  As you know from my previous couple posts, I was in NYC last week to "observe" training, which ended up being teaching parts of the training the two inept instructors were unable (or more likely, unwilling) to do on their own.  While that part of the trip sucked, I enjoyed going to some new restaurants, which I described in great detail in my last post.  One restaurant I hadn't mentioned was David Burke's Townhouse, which is one of the many David Burke restaurants.  It's very likely that David Burke won Top Chef at some point, because these days you can't open a restaurant unless you've competed on reality TV.  I can't wait for a restaurant featuring the whispered intrigue and sexual energy and abject racism of Big Brother.  Anyways, the only thing I took a picture of at David Burke's Townhouse was the butter.  That was, in fact the only picture I took of all the food I ate in NYC, and yet I was able to make two blog posts out of it.  Anyways, this is butter:


From NYC I jet setted (jet sat?) down to Florida for a few days to see me dad and the rest of the family.  My brother's family was in town as well, which meant I got to see my niece, Maya (aka Cousin It) who's 10 months old now.  This means she does such fancy tricks like, stand up, do squats, lick things, and say "ba ba ba ba ba ba ba" followed by dribble.  Then she stares at you while she's pooping herself.  I feel like it's the ultimate Eff You.  Anyways, this is what she looks like.  I yelled at her 6x during the trip to "Get a haircut you dirty hippie!"

When she's not licking things, she poking them.

I don't know what I was doing here....
















After a short 4 day trip to FL, I flew back to Denver to get back into the grind of work.  This will last for all of 2 days before I start a 2 week assignment in Irvine, CA.  For those of you who don't know, Irvine is a suburb of San Diego that's basically right next to the airport, and where you have to stay when you don't get approved for a rental car.  Therefore, all I will see of California on this trip will be the lobby of the Embassy Suites.  I'll take lots of pictures, don't worry.  On my flight back, I watched two movies, which couldn't have been more opposite of each other.  Luckily for you, I've written really good reviews for both of them.  Spoiler Alert:  Both movies were rotten (See what I did there?)

Prince Avalanche


This is some indie movie starring Paul Rudd where he forgets to be funny and Emile Hirsch, who's that guy that you think you know from pretty much any indie movie that you watched on HBO in the hotel room that time when you should have been working out, but you wanted to see what this movie was about and 2 hours later you gave up and went to dinner.  The movie has no plot.  It's about these two guys that paint lines on the road.  Literally, that's their job.  The movie starts out with this black screen and writing, talking about a fire in Texas that destroyed a bunch of houses and killed 4 people and how they never found the perps.  So you think, ooooohhhhhhh snap this is gonna be good.  Then while the intro music is playing you go back and read the info on the movie and see that's it's an "absurdly funny comedy" so you think, "Oh man!  How are they gonna do that?!"  The only think is absurd was that this movie was labeled as a comedy.  Not once do you really understand what the point of this movie is.  In fact, I basically fast forwarded through the last 30 minutes hoping to find that point.  It never came.  This movie sucks, don't ever watch it.  If I see Paul Rudd in the street, i'm going to tell him Prince Avalanche sucked balls.

Olympus Has Fallen

This was a fast paced, action packed movie with lots of violence, destruction, bad assery.  My only regret was watching this movie with the sound on.  There's nothing quite as annoying as watching an action movie that is plagued with cheesy dialogue and conversations that are meant to advance the storyline.  It's an action movie.  Some hero is going to take more damage than everybody else in the movie combined, but will drop kick and fist pump their way through the ranks of enemies in order to save the President.  Do you really need dialogue to explain how that's going to happen?  Also, we have seen this movie before.  It was called Under Siege and starred Steven Segal.  Also Die Hard with Bruce Willis.  These are all the same movies.  Morgan Freeman was also in this movie, which is the only reason I rented it.  He sucked in his role as acting President of Not Making Decisions and Just Looking Concerned.  I feel like this is how Morgan Freeman is in real life, and therefore I don't want to know about it.  I mean he wears an earring in real life.  That's not the Morgan Freeman I want to know.  I want the Morgan Freeman that talks me through the life of a penguin, or an escape from Shawshank.  In fact, this movie would have been better if Morgan Freeman started this movie by narrating, "In 2013, a terrorist organization known as Korean people infiltrated and took control of the White House.  What happened next was truly something awesome, but best watched on mute."  I would recommend this movie, but maybe while you're talking on the phone to your mom or something.

Let's see....what else do I have to talk about?  Oh yeah.  Denver has the cronut!  Or at least their own version of the Cronut.  The donut specialty shop and winner of clever name award recipient, Glazed and Confused have invented their version of the cronut, called the Puffynut.  Clearly, their good naming ability was limited to their own name.  I don't know where they sell them, but here's a website that does.  Puffynut.....wtf.

That's it for today!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

I got more (francs) than a hot dog man

At the request of my esteemed colleague, Amazing Eats, I decided I would blog today about all the food I've had to eat in NYC this week.  Much to his chagrin, I took no pictures of any of it.  New York is a weird city...it has a little of something for everybody.  I interpret that to mean, it has a lot of crap everywhere.  But through all the crap, I did find 3 good restaurants over the last 3 nights.

Hand-Chan Ramen

I actually have no idea if that's even the right name, but it's a small ramen restaurant in Midtown.  Named for some guy's hand, their specialty is the Spicy Black Ramen.  A few points about this restaurant.  It kind of smells.  Not necessarily in a bad way....just...different.  Otherwise, the ramen was pretty awesome.  When I walked in, everybody screamed something Japanese...like every single person who worked there screamed it.  It was like, I walk in, and people scream, "Tamagachi Nemosurrruuu!", which means, "Welcome to Moe's!"  The ramen I had was a tonkotsu ramen, which means pork broth based ramen.  I once watched a movie about ramen, called Ramen Girl.  it starred Brittanny Murphy, who is that chick from that one movie where she creepily said, "I'll never tellllll....."  You know what I'm talking about.  This ramen was nothing like that movie.

Perla

Amazing Eats told me I had to go to Perla in the West Village, which just sounds cool.  He said it was some of the best food he ever had.  But if you read any of his comprehensive blog posts, then you know that he says that about everything.  Since I was by myself, I was seated at the bar.  This is usually where people who sit by themselves are forced to sit in a busy restaurant, which sucks because then you have to have interaction with other people who are basically sitting on top of you, or with an overacting bartender who is basically annoyed that you don't want him to mixologize something for you using his favorite liqueur of the week.  I ordered a diet coke.  If I wanted a drink with 5000 ingredients like basil, happy thoughts, and kinetic energy, I could get that in Denver for a fraction of the price!  The bartender did also go into great detail about some off menu item where he explained where all the ingredients came from and how it was prepared, and something about the tomatoes blooming in the pan.  I didn't pay attention.  Prior to my dinner arriving, I was given some bread and some of the best olive oil I think I've ever had.  I can't remember what it's called but the bartender did say you could buy it at whole foods.  It comes in a red and yellow can and starts with a "P."  I also was given a snack before my entree, of a crostini with honey, black pepper and some fancy cheese, as well as a hazelnut macaron with foie gras.  NYC be cray.  They were good though!  After having watched America's Next Top Baker or whatever it was called, I'm way more impressed with macarons than I ever have been before.  Anyways, my main course was a linguini with mussels and sea urchins, with some breadcrumbs.  It was pretty fantastic.  The restaurant looked a lot like what you would think a NYC restaurant in the west village would look like.  Almost hipster, except you were too poor to actually be in there.  Also, that's all of NYC.

Cuba NY

Finally, last night I had a craving for cuban food, so I went to a cuban restaurant in the East Village.  Or maybe it was also the West Village.  I'm not sure if it was even in a village if I'm being totally honest.  Anyways, somewhere in the South Hamlet, there's this cuban restaurant that's really small and nice.  The music is loud, the drinks are fruity, and the bartenders are so inept at their jobs, you feel like you're transported back to Miami!  Then you look at the food prices and realize you're definately in NYC.  After seeing several cocktails involving Pisco on the menu, I decided asking for a Pisco Sour would not be too out of the ordinary.  This was a wrong assumption.  After having to ask me 3 different times what I wanted, the bartender finally asked, "so...do you know how to make that?"  I drank water.  I ordered some tostones rellenos, which are fried green plantains, stuffed with shrimp.  They were pretty good.  I also ordered the lechon asado con yucca, which is roast pork served with boiled yucca, smothered in a garlic sauce.  This was amazing.  It was so amazing, and I ate way too much of it, that I decided not to take the subway back to the hotel, and walked the 40 some odd blocks back.  Anyways, I definately recommend the restaurant if you're here...it's small, in a cool neighborhood, down a small street in the heart of the hipsters, which is pretty much everything you want from a NYC dining experience.

Tonight I was supposed to meet up with some people I haven't seen since high school or college for dinner in Brooklyn at 9 PM.  But then I decided, wait...9 PM....in Brooklyn....with people I'm not really friends with....and their strangers they're bringing with them....I'm not cool enough for any of that.  Instead, on this beautiful day we're having, I think I might take a stroll through Central Park, and find myself at some Trattatoria, or Risottoria, or Mobsteroni, or maybe even a Meatball Emporium or something, and take in my last evening here in New York.  And maybe count how much money I have left in my bank account.  Seriously, food shouldn't cost this much!

PS - I also ate a hot dog from a guy on the street.  I don't remember when, and that concerns me.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

I got robbed while I was in NYC! (is what people probably say all the time.)

Well this has been an interesting week so far...and it's only Tuesday.  This week I'm in NYC observing a training class that I'm woefully under-qualified to teach.  I'm supposed to actually teach this class (with other people) in May, in Dallas.  Hopefully I'll have another job by then.  No I'm not looking for another job...but I am entering my semi-annual "I hate my job" phase, which is typically triggered by some set of events at work that revolve around some d-bag questioning my work product (how dare they!), plus a general feeling of having too much going on at once.  Really, all I want to do is furnish and decorate my new house, which is coming along pretty nicely by the way.  I've put a couple pictures up down below.

Having all of this culminate on a Monday where I had to wake up at 4:15 AM to catch a taxi for the airport did not help.  Especially when the airport process involved:

1.  Being chastised by the cab driver for not being able to find my address.
2.  Having a gate agent at Frontier airlines who was more of a bottleneck than a help.  It's a computer check in...we don't need you there to point at at the terminal for people to check in.  And if you ARE going to do that, then open your eyes and look at all the open terminals you joker!
3.  Going through security with the Colorado School for the Deaf and Blind.  That's the only reasonable explanation of why the entire population of the Denver Airport couldn't figure out what they needed to do at the security check point.
4.  Sitting next to the largest Asian man in the universe.  He not only need all of the leg space in the row, he needed to rest his head directly in my face area, which i eventually corrected with a swift shoulder bump to his head.
5.  Standing in a line for 45 minutes for a taxi from the airport in the post-rain humidity of the east coast.
6.  More bad stuff! blah blah whine! Wahhhh! Scream! Gawwwrrrrrr! Other emotions.

OK, so that is my complaining for the day.  It's a wonder what having enough sleep and actually eating lunch can do.

Oh yeah #7 above:  Not having time to even eat lunch!

But now that I'm in a calmer place and better state of mind, I can talk about what's really important.  The status of my house.  We are in Phase 1 of moving in, which is put up curtains so I can shave with the lights on, and sleep without fear of spies and voyeurs.  Phase 1 also involved putting up ceiling fans, but I only got one of the two fans up.  With a 14 foot ceiling in the master bedroom, I have no idea how I'm going to get that fan up there.  My idea is to rent a 12 ft ladder and hope I don't die.  Or hover boots.  Dammit, I need hover boots.  On Barter Kings last night, the two dude-bro's traded painter's stilts for a trampoline.  Either one of those would make for an...interesting...ceiling fan installation....

So we're right up in the middle of Phase 1 right now.   Here's some pictures of my already messy house.  Hopefully there's no theives that read this blog...since I'm basically casing the house for them.

Clearly furnishing this room is a priority.  Check out those layered curtains from IKEA

The only difference from the last time you saw this pictures is I went all OCD on the fridge magnets.

Roll up shade from IKEA

Really well hung curtain.  It ALMOST covers the whole window....epic fail.

My huge closet...not even half full.  All the ladies be like "whoa"
Phase II will be painting, after which I can go back to Phase I and hang more curtains.  I even picked up color swatches from Home Depot.  Color swatches.....wtf is wrong with me?

Thursday, August 8, 2013

An Awards Show I Might Actually Watch!

Charles Darwin is perhaps best known for his invention of the Darwin Awards, which recognize important gaps in our evolution as a species.  His hope was that by isolating certain individuals who were basically brainless mutants and having us laugh at them, we would shame them out of existence and grow as a species.  Unfortunately for Mr. Darwin, he did not know that some of these same mutants would fight back by creating networks like TLC, Fox News and Bravo, with shows like Honey Boo Boo, pretty much everything on Fox News, and pretty much any of the Real Housewives of Who Caresville.  Also, The Bachelor.

But perhaps none of these networks have befuddled the minds and slowed evolution quite like the Syfy channel.  First, it changed it's name, most likely when even from a fictional standpoint there was no science involved in it.  But the Syfy Network pushed forward (while pushing us all backwards) with epic tales of Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus, and some other shark movies where the super intelligent sharks were wrangling up people while LL Cool J video recorded his recipe for a perfect omelet (that was a real movie...)  So with their fascination with sharks, it's not surprise that they would create the epic feature film, Sharknado.  By now you've all seen a clip, or at least heard about it.  You know how people say something is so bad it's good?  This was so bad, it was even worse than bad.  It was awful.  It was SO awful, they hired the likes of Tara Reid to star in this film, who was ecstatic to get work where she could put all of her syentific knowledge to good use.  Take her comprehensive understanding of marine biology.  Here's an excerpt from a recent interview:

"Today I was like, all right, I don't want to, like, really sound stupid when I do this show today, like... so I learned a little education on sharks.  So I look up 'sharks' on the Internet and I see 'whale sharks,' so I'm like, that must mean that a whale and a shark have sex. And then I think, 'Well, how do a whale and a shark have sex?"  
When asked if there was a video of it, she responded, 
"No, there is a thing called whale sharks, and then I realized whales are mammals and sharks are animals, so they have nothing to do with each other.  So basically the dolphins have sex with each other, but the sharks don't, so I thought, 'How is it such a thing?' But the difference is, there is a whale shark, which is the biggest shark in the ocean — he's also scary — and then you have the great white, who's also scary. There are over 400 kinds of sharks, but the whale shark is kind of interesting because he's not so mean."
 Thanks Tara, for that fascinating explanation of why you are so stupid.  Or maybe that was her Miss South Carolina answer for how to achieve world peace?  Get rid of the mean sharks!

And while we all are letting out a collective groan that there will probably be a Sharknado 2 featuring even more Tara Reid, we still give her respectful applause, as the 2013 Darwin Award Recipient:  She's the Darweeniest!


On a completely unrelated note, did you guys know that fruit rollups still exist?  And they are still as delicious as ever?  They truly are God's own papyrus.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

My Current Playlist

Hello readers!  Because of how much you value every single thing I say, here's some songs you should be listening to right now!

(in no particular order...)

1.  Lorde - Royals
2.  The Lumineers - Submarine
3.  Mumford & Sons - Hopeless Wanderer
4.  Oh! Hellos - Hello My Old Heart
5.  Phillip Phillips - Gone
6.  Smallpools - Dreaming
7.  Baywood - Gotta Get You
8.  For The Foxes - Son of a Gun
9.  Of Monsters and Men - King and Lionheart

and, for a very special #10....

10.  Possibly my new favorite song (after Liam singing "I ate two pepperoni, I ATE TWOOO PEPPERONIIIII" of course)

That's it for today.  Get on with your lives.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

The Definitive Guide to Gift Giving

Before I start this post, let me preface it by saying that it's going to make sound like a douche.  Because this post is not just about the proper way to give gifts.  This post is about the proper way to give ME gifts.  But, if you can excuse the egocentric concept of me complaining about gifts I receive, and really just see it for what it is:  an introspective analysis and helpful guide to buying me presents, then I think you'll really enjoy this journey we're about to go on.  And yes, that sentence further solidifies the douchiness of this post.

There are essentially 3 important criteria into giving a gift.

1.  Is this something the person wants?

2.  Does this gift serve any kind of useful purpose?  If Yes, please revisit #1

3.  Finally, is this gift tacky?  If you're not sure, or even if you're sure it's not, ask somebody with better taste than yourself before you conclude on this criteria.  And as before, once you've answered this one, please revisit #1.

Let us consider the last 3 gifts I recently received.

The Orange Blossom Scented Reed Diffuser

This amazing gift was given to me by my favorite not actually related aunt, Auntie Chris from Chicago!  She read a blog post from a little while back where I talked about missing the smell of orange blossoms, the greatest smell known to mankind.  (it's fact!)  Did I want this?  Of course I did!  Did it serve a purpose?  It makes things smell better.  Doesn't get more useful than that!  Tacky?  HELL no!  It was a sweet surprise that I really really loved.  The hardest part now is figuring out which bathroom to put it in.

The 'Merican Dream Door Mat

Anybody who knows me, knows that I love America.  I love it so much, that in my heartfelt love of this country, I can barely even get all the letters out, and I just give a Kenny Chesney style shout out to "Merrrrica"  Well my good friends here in Denver gave me a wonderful door mat symbolizing all of that.  Once again this meets all the criteria listed above.  And if you think that door mat is tacky, then you're a communist.

The Meatball Maker

Let's let that one sink in a little bit.  My friends came over on Sunday night, and gave me...a meatball maker...  Let's run the numbers.  Is this something the person wants?  Uh...I don't know.  I didn't even know it existed until I saw it.  Does this gift service any kind of useful purpose?  Useful?  I mean you still have to mix the meat, and scoop it out onto the maker.  All it does is cook it for you....and you still have to clean it afterwards.  So, probably not?  But even if it did, after revisiting #1, I'm inclined to say, no...the person does not want this.  Is it tacky?  It's an electric effing meatball maker.  Does it get tackier?  What concerns me the most about this gift is that I wonder if my friend went to the store and saw it and thought, Oh!  This is something he needs!  Even worse, what if my alter-ego Anthony, of Anthony's Meatball Palace and Meat Emporium ever saw this?!  If he found out people were making their own meatballs with a machine, instead of the hate-filled love and care that he puts into each and every meatball, he might have a heart attack right then and there!  So I would chalk this one up as a fail.

But even the meatball maker pales in comparison to the litany of things my brother has given me over the years.  In no particular order, there was the sandwich maker that imprints the Bucs logo onto each grilled cheese, the picture frame with a picture of him, the portfolio with my name on it (added it to the pile...can't even give that one away!).  The best one of all though, was the amethyst frog I got for Christmas one year.  Huh?!

Now you all are reading this thinking, except for that weird frog, those sound like he was putting some real thought into the gifts.  But that's because you are failing to follow the well laid out criteria up above.  Come on people, let your selfish flags fly!  It's ok for you to say it's not ok!  Because what else comes with a bad gift??  The guilt you feel when you are dropping off that gift at goodwill never having been taken out of the box!  So spread the word, and all your future gifts will be as good as a 'Merican Dream door mat and a Orange Blossom reed diffuser.  Stay silent and stoic, and I'll probably re-gift you this meatball maker.



Please still buy me stuff....

Monday, August 5, 2013

Moving Like You Have Tourette's

Moved and unpacked!  I know you're shocked that I was able to unpack so quickly, but that's what not having TV set up at your house does for you.  Last Friday, after working an entire two days, I took the day off to finish some last minute packing.  Last minute packing entailed:  Thinking I was done packing, then opening a closet door and realizing I had skipped packing that closet entirely.  This happened like 3 different times on Friday, and I don't think I even had that many closets. 

Anyways, between packing and cleaning, I was able to get out of the apartment in no time at all.  The movers came Saturday morning, and got the whole move done in less than 3 hours.  What was more impressive was that of the 3 movers, one looked like Pitbull, and another like Cypress Hill, and I didn't make a single comment to either one of them.  Although every time I brought up Miami to Pitbull, I was disappointed when he didn't register or just curl his lip and yell, "Dale!"

With the move finished Saturday morning, I started the business of unpacking all my boxes.  Again, no TV to distract me.  I finished the entire upstairs in no time at all, but when I came downstairs to a pile of knotted cords and a "plethora" of kitchen boxes, my energy and drive quickly declined.  Of the 11 boxes that I packed from the apartment, 7 of them were for the kitchen alone.  Which is why my kitchen looked like this after an hour....


Since I don't have curtains up in my bedroom yet, and the sun rises at the butt crack of dawn in the summer in Denver, I was up and about at 6 AM on Sunday.  The good news is, that after 20 minutes of hating life, I decided I would go downstairs and organize my kitchen.  I've never had so many cabinets and drawers in my life, and while things are probably strewn about more haphazardly than they should be, I think the kitchen looks pretty damn good now!


The rest of the morning was spent helping other friends move.  I guess I was just in that zone?  There's nothing quite as fun as taking large pieces of furniture down narrow old stairs, only to take it up narrow old stairs down the street.  And since being up at 6 AM and organizing my kitchen, and helping my friends move wasn't exciting enough, I decided to then go get another bed from a friend and move that upstairs in my guest room, and then spent 2 hours hanging a fan in the living room.  PS - the box said "FIVE MINUTE FAN!!!!"  I'm not sure what it was referring to....I'm guessing 5 minutes before you realize how effing retarded trying to put this fan up is going to be.  I don't even know how I'm going to get the bedroom fan up on the 14 foot ceiling where it has to hang.  Anybody have a 12 foot ladder I can borrow?  Or hover boots??

But most importantly to the last few days, was my bus ride to work this morning.  Today was the first day that I had to get up before the 6 AM sunrise, so I could get to the "Park N Ride" lot to catch the 6:15 AM bus to downtown.  The bus ride itself was fine, not too crowded, and only about 35 minutes.  On the downside, 30 of those minutes included a Russian-Polish guy with what I think was tourette's sitting in the front seat spewing random and increasingly scary nonsense.  It started out innocuous enough...

"Hey old man, let's go already!" he said to the driver

Then it got a little weird...

"From child molesters to serial killers, I've seen em all"

Then it got interesting...

"They make 500,000 dozen pickles every day!"

Then it got a bit alarming...

"I don't touch kids...I don't touch kids....."

Then, he went straight up Oppenheimer...

"I am the one true god, I will destroy the world!"

So yeah, fun bus friends!!

One thing about having to be up that early in the day, if there is anything, is seeing the start of the sunrise out of my bedroom window.  Here is the view from about 5:30 AM today:


Luckily I left the house soon after that.  If I stuck around another hour, the room gets a bit...warm.  Here's a picture from the morning before.


 

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Denver: It's More than Just an Omlette

I realized, now, some 70+ posts after having started this blog, that it was originally going to be about Denver.  I live in a great city, and sure I talk indirectly about it through the various activities and things that I get into on a weekly basis.  But after last weekend's marathon of "Denver selling" I did, I thought that today would be a good day to talk about all the great things I've learned about Denver.  Or at least a short introspective on how my opinion of Denver has changed since I've moved here, titled, What I Thought vs What I Now Know

What I Thought:

All of Denver is brown.

What I Now Know:

While none of the trees in Denver are native to Denver, there sure are a lot of them.  And green space abounds here.  The sheer number of parks, green belts, and open space intermixed throughout the city is very well planned, thoughtful city design.  This may be home of the purple mountain majesty, but it would be nothing without the fruited plain.

What I Thought:

People in Denver will tear you a new one if you throw plastic in a trash can.

What I Now Know:

Even throwing away plastic can be a form of recycling.  Mainly because of the abundant "urban scavengers" aka "homeless" that I walk by searching trash cans every morning.  What treasures will they find!?  Oh the mystery!

What I Thought:

No humidity is not THAT big of a difference than FL.

What I Now Know:

It SO is.

What I Thought:

Denver is known for their omelets (you knew that one was coming....)

What I Now Know:

Every restaurant in Denver is either an Asian restaurant or Tacos.  And yet oddly enough, we don't have any Asian taco places.  Seems like a huge gap there.  Of course they don't have a food truck that services both people and pets yet either, which is why The Sip N Slobber is gonna be so huge!

What I Thought:

People in Denver are all stoned out hippies who walk around barefoot and smell like a mixture of death and patchouli singing folk songs about mountain climbing.

What I Now Know:

While that's a large part of the demographic here, there's also some pretty fantastic groups of people that you won't find anywhere else.  But like Lavar Burton says, you don't have to take my word for it.

 - The Ladies Fancywork Society:  This amazing group of young ladies vandalize some of Denver's greatest works of art with what can only be described as some of the most incredible needlework outside of a heroin den!

 - The Rocky Mountain Rollergirls:  Denver's own roller derby team, the Rocky Mountain Roller girls are knocking skulls and leaving treadmarks all over the metro area.  Or in one single arena somewhere in Denver.  When they're not skating in sanctioned events, they take to the streets and chase after mobs of people with pool noodles and plastic bats.

 - Finally, pretty much everyone in Denver who dons a costume at the drop of a hat.  But none so dedicated as the runners in the Denver Gorilla Run, a 5K that runs through the streets of downtown in late October, to raise awareness and funds for mountain gorillas.  Everyone in the race is dressed in a legit gorilla costume.  Because nothing makes you want to donate money to save gorillas like having the shit scared out of you when you see a huge group of them barreling down on you.

And that's where I live!  You should live there too!