Monday, November 24, 2014

A Historical Review of My Earliest Thanksgivings

As we enter this Thanksgiving holiday week, it is natural that we reflect on thanksgivings past.  Before the lull of sleep caused by an overindulgence in turkey, butter laden potatoes, and endless supply of stuffing, or if you're from somewhere stupid, "dressing", and the sweet sweet promise of all things pie, let us reflect back on earlier times.

My earliest Thanksgiving memory is from kindergarten.  Nothing really surrounding the holiday or food, but it was the day before Thanksgiving, and both classrooms, with a removable wall were combined with a big Jesus' last supper feast like table in the middle of the room.  Before the food came out to feed our 5 year old appetites, we participated in the age old KG activity of coloring.  The theme was "Turkey".  The lights, a bit dimmed.  Children, hungrily attacking a box of 64 crayolas.  Yeah that's right, I was born after the classic 8 boxes.  Those were for suckers and people with no imagination.  I wonder how many are in a box now.  Actually, what I really wonder is if any colors have since been rescinded?  Like is there a council at the Crayola corporation that thinks about whether puce is really a color, or can everybody agree it's just peach or vomit.  And can we all agree that Magenta is really just Purple retiring in Florida?

Anyways, this day before Thanksgiving activity was a classic Elementary Public School program, and it was the first time that I ever got out of doing a class activity.  My excuse was having fallen into an ant hill by my driveway the day before, and having a crushing number of ant bites on my primary coloring hand.  (See what I did there with "primary colors"?  It was subtle.)  The result of this ant aggression was an inability to close my hand around the narrow crayon and therefore not participate in the coloring.  Luckily, I am ambidextrous when it comes to eating, so this physical handicap did not affect my ability to eat.  If it had, I may never have celebrated another Thanksgiving.

In my house, there has always been an interesting mix of carnivores, vegetarians, and people who eat chicken (but not turkey for some reason.)  That being said, the only food that everybody craved equally was the stuffing.  It was important that an exorbitant amount of stuffing was made each year.  But I considered myself the only one truly dedicated to the religion of Stouffer's Stovetop.  Late at night, I would force myself awake, sneak to the kitchen and fill up on extra stuffing before the morning crowd of family could get their paws on it.  Of course, this may have made me a bit of social pariah around the holidays, but sometimes you do what you have to do to survive.  If Thanksgiving wasn't about being a disgusting glutton, then I just don't get holidays at all.

I also just remembered this stupid song we had to sing in "Music" class.  Our music class in elementary school was taught by this witch of a woman named Ms. Stewart, and twice I remember by her even more terrible daughter.  Ms. Stewart was one of those people that didn't actually sing the songs she made us sing.  She yelled them at us, waving her arms like a maniac, and then would give you the most terrible, soul piercing stink eye if you were off key.  Looking back now as an adult, I can see that she was actually just a sociopath let into a failing Florida public school system because who cares about arts and music?  Think i'm being dramatic?  Look at these lyrics, (and imagine her rocking back and forth in a dark room holding a butcher's knife while she wrote this.)

Turkey, trot trot trot
Across the lot lot lot (already have issues with this supposed parking lot turkey)
Feeling fine fine fine
Until Thanksgiving time (first sign fear-mongering in the song.)
Double Trouble
a bunch of words i don't remember but end in trouble.

Actually that's all I remember, but I know there was more.  I imagine the rest of the song had to do with a farmer, who had fallen in love with the turkey he raised from egg, having to decide whether to mutilate and kill the proud beast in order to feed his family, who decidedly needed to eat a disproportionate amount of meat that night.

This year, I am going to celebrate thanksgiving at my brother's house.  They're ordering the entire meal from the greatest mecca of grocery that exists in these United States, Publix Supermarkets, where shopping IS a pleasure.  I have to cook nothing.  I just show up, eat food and sit on the couch watching football ignoring my family, the way every white person has celebrated the holiday since the first television set.  On the big list of things I won't be doing, is teaching my neice that retched turkey trot song.  One thing I WILL be doing?  Examining her box of crayons to find out what the kids know in terms of color these days.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 10, 2014

And So It Was.

And so it was, dear friends, with a howling wind, and frigid sky, the end of our wistful, care-free summer was over.  As we looked to each other we knew, without a whisper of a word, that the gleeful songs of our feathered companions would be but a memory, and the lonesome song of silence would play louder in its emptiness than all the laughter of seasons long forgotten.  Now, in the harshest and most unwelcome of ways, would the cold, stark blight of winter rear its ugly head.  The ferocious streams of snow masking the once green pastures.  The blustering wind blinding our eyes with tears.  There we were, on the brink of the next renaissance...a truly gilded age about to begin, when in the flap of a hummingbird’s wings, we found ourselves huddled in our makeshift shelters, witnessing the end of days, and ay, even....the end of humanity.

And now, in the twilight of our happiest days, one can't help but think back to the healthier times.  To days before carbon monoxide was leaking out of my oven and I could still cook things like:

Or to an era of television where a cartoon show could be monotone and not-obviously ironic:

 Here's some more Halloween pics just because.


And there it is.  In the waning moments of this day, can we stop and reflect and think back, despite it not being a Throwback Thursday, that it IS in fact a Mournful Monday, to mark the melancholy misgivings and masked misery that maddens our mantles.  Yes.  Winter has arrived.

The view outside my office window:

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

This Post Was Not Worth The Wait

So it's been a little while since I did a blog post, and I'm here immersed in the dark hour (MST) so I figured, why not bring back this little pet project of mine I started back in March 2013.  Since we last spoke I went to Chile.  That was tops.  I also went to Palisade.  That was interesting.  Palisade is Colorado's wine region.  It differs from Chile in that way that black differs from white.  So...substantially.  Still for a young, budding peach farm turned wine country, I have to say I was impressed by the 30 some odd wineries in the region.  There were even a few really decent red wine places.  I like that it's still relatively unknown too.  When I asked somebody for winery recommendations in Palisade before I left, the response I got was, "yeah...California."  Ass.

Finally, where else but in CO can you get this kind of view while sipping on your bottle of petit verdot? 

What else?  I went to see the Chihuly exhibit at the Botanical Gardens recently.  The history behind Chihuly is interesting, I bet.  I don't plan on ever learning who that person is, or if it's even a person.  Maybe it's a city in Mexico where colored glass was invented.  Whatever it is will remain a mystery until the end of time most likely.  But please enjoy anyways:


Something Else

Something Eastery?

Something Cosmic

Something Viking-ish

That is the sum total of what I've done recently.  I don't know what else to tell you.  Work's been busy, so that's good.  Oh I know!  I recently joined Hinge.  Hinge is the same as Tinder, except slightly less sketchy since it connects you to people your friends know through Facebook.  What it has taught me as that I have a bunch of jerk friends who in two effing years didn't introduce me to their cute single friends in Denver.  Thanks for nothing, a-holes!

Monday, August 18, 2014

This Post is Totes "Khac Nhau", Am I Right?!

The science of Monday Morning Blues is undeniable (just like evolution you dummies!)  Sleep deprivation caused by an interrupted sleep schedule, and of course alcohol, damage your fragile brain, and impede your body's ability to repair those damaged parts in a timely manner.  Therefore, when you wrench yourself out of bed on Monday morning to the tune of some brain exploding alarm clock questioning every decision you've made in life that got you to the point where you were a slave to a 6 AM alarm clock, wondering if life would be better in Spain, it can be a bit rough.  You have only some small victories.  The oatmeal you made the night before so you don't have to wonder about breakfast.  The fact that the laundry was both done AND put away earlier in the weekend.  And the lack of Monday traffic, maybe due to shifting patterns now that school has started.  These little things were all angels of mercy on this morning where I could barely keep my eyes open, and even the terrible keurig coffee waiting for me at work sounded wonderful.

But what caused this disrupted sleep pattern you ask?  (You probably didn't ask did were just sitting here saying, "where the hell are the pictures?  Ungrateful!)

Well to answer your slash my question, it was another fun filled action packed weekend that caused my current malaise.  Friday night, I went to a Rockies game with some friends.  $15 gets you tickets to the stadium's rooftop party deck, a bi-level deck with a sports bar, cabanas, and a railing to watch the games while drinking your favorite (read: cheapest) beer.  The best part is the ticket also covers about $6 in food and beverage, so it's really a cheap ticket to watch a game.  Unfortunately, we forgot to actually watch any of the game, spending more time instagramming pictures of the stadium and each other.  Money well spent if you ask me.  Things get blurry after that, but there was a pool hall and shots made with all liquor.  Not a bunch of liquor.  ALL liquor.

Most of Saturday was spent recovering, however, I did manage to go out that night for dinner to Denver's best kept Vietnamese secret.  In a city full of great Vietnamese restaurants, Saigon Bowl really stands out above the rest.  Each of these dishes below could have fed the two of of course we ordered three things.  All this for $30!

Thit Nuong Banh Trang - Grilled Pork Summer Rolls (DIY)

Chau Ca - Rice Porrige w/ Fish

Goi Thom Thit - Traditional Vietnamese Salad with Pork, Shrimp and Cabbage
After dinner, I went to see Guardians of the Galaxy, the Marvel film starring that guy from Parks and Rec and Vin Diesel as a guy who only has one line in the movie but says it 1000x.  Seriously, that's the only kind of acting Vin Diesel should do.  Also his character was CGI so you didn't even have to look at his bald, way to much skin showing head.  The movie was surprisingly funny and a pretty good time.  I think it was 2 hours long, but don't worry it has the greatest 80s soundtrack since Detroit Rock City.

On Sunday, after having brunch downtown, my friend wanted to check out this Wild Life Sanctuary in BFE, CO.  BFE is basically anywhere that's 1 mile outside of Denver or Boulder.  It's a vast wasteland of farm equipment and circus folk.  Probably.

This "sanctuary", which I repeatedly whispered like it was something out of LOST, is a haven for large mammals that are rescued primarily from private owners.  And when I say privately owned large mammals, I'm not talking somebody's Alpaca farm in California.  I'm talking Lions, Tigers, and Bears OH MY!  There was some intro up front, which I ignored except for when the lady said there's more privately owned tigers in Texas right now then there are in the wild.  Seriously, maybe Texas should keep their guns.  THEY OWN TIGERS.  What the crap, Texas?  WHAT. THE. CRAP.

anyways, I took this voyeuristic photo of a tiger bathing.  I can only assume that this bath is just like in its natural habitat. 

These lions probably built this structure too.  You can tell by the way they're all territorial about it like, "This is our shit.  Hakuna Matata Bitches!"

What else did I do this weekend?  Oh yeah, I saw Divergent.  The film is about a girl who doesn't have normal human reactions to stressful situations because there's this boy you not twilight.  It's set in a future world where people are divided up into different groups.  No not hunger games.  It has to do with love and growing up.  No not twilight and hunger games.  Why won't you believe it's different than that?!  Because it's not.  Apparently it's a pretty huge market right now to write teenage love stories set in improbable worlds where worrying about life and death comes second to dealing with those butterflies in your stomach when he looks at you from across the room.  I can only imagine that the movie is called Divergent because it diverges from any sense of realistic situation in life.  Don't get me wrong, I just bought the series.  My reading level is on a steep decline.

Friday, August 15, 2014

There's SORT OF a Robin Williams Tribute in this Post

Being back from my DC rotation has had mixed reactions from people.  Don't get me wrong, everybody has been happy to have me back, which is a nice ego booster for sure, but when discussing how I was able to do FOUR WHOLE MONTHS in DC has hit the full gamut of responses.  Anywhere from, "Ugh...that sounds awful....hotel living gets so old after awhile!" and "Living out of your suitcase must be so terrible!"  Mostly I just get unsure questions like, "so...are you glad to be back, or do you just wish you never came back?"  That last one is kind of the harshest one.  Are YOU glad I'm back?

But let me take some time to answer those questions.

1.  Yes, a hotel room, less than 400 SF, is basically just a bed, a TV and a bathroom.  and sure you miss the comforts of your couch and DVR (unless you live in a modern age of Hulu and Netflix and owning your own computer, in which case those luxuries travel with you), but really is it so bad?  I spent minimal time in my room, and instead was meeting people for drinks every night, or for dinner.  Of course being on per diem helped a lot with that.  A fact I need to remember when I'm having a $20 lunch downtown nowadays.  Also i'm not staying at an hourly rate roach motel....I was as the top tier hotels where my biggest quandary was deciding whether to take a sauna before or after my workout in the state of the art gym.

2.  I'm not sure what you think travel is, but most hotels I've stayed in have I don't know really what living out of a suitcase entails.  I would unpack the first day of travel, iron my clothes, put my toiletries in the bathroom....pretty standard stuff.  Maybe I'm just not that fussy about hotel rooms.  I mean sure, I get mad at the occasional housekeeper who refuses to stay out of the room while i'm in the bathroom despite my angry screams, but I feel like that was probably an isolated incident.  Somebody in DC was surprised that I was going home every other weekend, mostly because of "having to unpack and pack" every time.  How lazy in your life do you have to be that you can't dump a suitcase full of dirty clothes into a washing machine, and then fold them back into your suitcase.  Wouldn't you be doing the same thing at home anyways?  I love conversations with people where they say the first empty thought in their head and expect me to put any amount of thoughtfulness into my response.  So unless you're a contortionist, I doubt anybody out of town is actually living out of their suitcase.

3.  Are you glad to be back?  This is a tough one.  There's a lot I missed about Denver while I was gone.  Friends, climate, my kitchen, project angel heart, and my car.  I love driving.  But what I didn't miss was the daily thoughts about what am I supposed to do with my yard...everybody else has done something with there's while the constant rains this summer have washed a lot of my soil out into the alleys.  It's a wonder it hasn't become a controversial topic on our facebook page yet.  Clearly I'm the least equipped person to own or maintain a home, as evidenced by this photo:

I think I must have unwittingly started playing a game of Jumanji...

And while living in Stapleton has it's benefits value?  I still hate the lack of decent public transportation.  I've given up on the dream of sharing a commute with other professionals headed to their jobs downtown.  Instead, I've replaced my sketchy bus ride through the most poverty stricken areas of Denver with a NPR fueled drive to work.  Paying for parking is a lifestyle.  Also, I was looking for ways to increase my carbon footprint win.  Driving regularly to work also reminded me that I have some pretty bad road rage, although it really only comes out for 3 types of people.

1.  People who don't use turn signals before cutting me off.  I seriously would let you in if you had a turn signal.  I'm a courteous driver normally!

2.  People who wait until the last second to get into the lane.  You had plenty of time to get over you joker.  Waiting till the last minute is only acceptable if there's nobody around you.

3.  People behind me on the on-ramp, who, typically before it's legally permissable try to swerve around me and get into the lane we ALL have to merge into.  Seriously, I have murderous thoughts when this happens.  My mind goes all Michael Bey and I just want to see things explode. 

Oh well...I guess it's a good way to wake up for work.

I know I all sounds very hostile.  But honestly, there are wonderful people here that I love and am so happy to be around again.  The friends who come over for a paella party my first weekend back....the people that scream out from across the hall, "WE MISSED YOU!" and want to chop carrots next to you despite their arthritis just to catch up with you, and stylist who is so happy her best tipping customer is back, (whatever after that Chinese lady in DC I never want to go somewhere else for a haircut).  Now i just need to hire some people to clean my yard before I lose the game and disappear for 12 years.

Monday, August 4, 2014

The Subtlty of Subtitles

Friday after work, I rode the rails, much the same way that homeless people have been doing it for years, and as further represented by the animals of Madagascar 3, jumping into a train car, wondering if the people I would meet in there would be friendly hobos or pyschotic killers stabbing me for my loot.  Slash, I bought a round trip ticket to NYC on the Northeast Regional Amtrak train.  The ride is roughly 4 hours from DC, and I was lucky enough to find a long lost friend on the train.  After running out of things to say to said friend after 20 minutes, I was even more lucky she was getting off in Baltimore and I'd never have to see her again.

The rest of my ride was a blur...I watched a movie (review to come at a later date) and played some Pet Rescue, and listen to the gentle sounds of my grumbling stomach, angry that I had decided to not feed it laying on the hotel bed (instead of working out) as I had done every other day that week.  Thankfully, the train did in fact get me to NYC safely (and stab free!)  Upon arrival at the hotel, my friend and I immediately walked to Chinatown for a delicious and impressive meal of Chinese Hot Pot.  Hot Pot is basically simmering broth that you cook various meats and vegetables in.  In our selection below, we decided to only get a few items....

Clockwise, congee, spicy broth and herbal broth.  We didn't know how to eat any of these.

Above two photos:  Fried tofu skin, beef, tai gon? cabbage, blue crabs, chicken, shrimp, rice noodles, mini sausages, straw mushrooms, silken tofu, and deep fried tofu.  Later on we also got udon noodles, bok choy and lamb.

So yeah just a few things.  I tried to convince my friend to get the pig brains, but he wasn't having it.  We were woefully unprepared for an authentic hot pot experience, as the lady replacing our burning broth with fresh normal looking broth quickly realized.  I think by the time we finished eating, we had started getting the hang of how to eat it.  That must be why babies cry so much.  They just don't get it!

The next morning, cool and quiet after an early rain shower, we went down to pay our respects at the reflecting pool and World Trade Center.

After a quick breakfast in TriBeCa, we walked for what seemed like miles, and what google maps verified were miles through the West Village, and presumably other villages.  On such an unusually nice summer day, my mind wandered to a faraway time when all the villages of NYC were separately run fiefdoms (Gangs of New York style) and the West Village was probably bourgeoisie land of forested huts and a growing art scene.  Now it's mainly just a mexican restaurant called Dos Caminos.  But these idle thoughts led me to early afternoon, when another friend joined us and our real New York adventure began.  After a walk down the Highline, we went and had lunch at Grimaldi's Pizza Place or something, and then walked around finding bars, and bakeries and black and white cookies.  Of course, during all of this a great distraction was weighing heavily on my very soul.  *Cue sorrowful music, with haunting lilt to produce feelings of discomfort and intrigue

During our weekend, trouncing about the streets of Manhattan, my friend wore barefoot running shoes.  These shoes, which resemble feet that have been walking barefoot for 30 years, are the very representation of everything I hate in this world.  FEET.  To highlight the ridiculousness of these shoes, I'd like to take you on a visual tour of our day through the Hollywood magical trick of FOOT-O-VISION.

Seriously, these shoes make me happy there's psychos out there chopping off peoples' feet.

Gross Feet riding the subway

Gross Feet drinking a maragarita

Gross Feet eating banana pudding from Magnolia Bakery

Gross Feet standing on a sewer grate

In that last picture, the Gross Feet were probably staring longingly at this string of shoes hanging from a power line....hoping that the sewer grate would just collapse beneath them, ending their miserable lives.....  (Too much?)

Some of the aforementioned antics while this was going on included the following:

Eating black and white cookies

Wondering if bartenders understood fruit "garnishes"

Looking perplexed as I took a shot

Getting yelled at for not taking his shot
Things I didn't take a picture of include going out in Brooklyn to find hipsters, a group of super drink young Chinese people, and a homeless schizo singing Iggy Azalea.  Yeah....we definately didn't get drunk at all this weekend.


Friday, August 1, 2014

I Rocked This Town Like a Hurricane

One of the many ways I will use to validate my entire life will be if I ever get a hurricane named after me.  But every year, while the names get stranger and stranger, no Indian name has cracked the list.  I mean, we’ve had hurricane George, which we were told to pronounce jjjjjeeeeeoooorrrjjjjjje.  Now we have this tropical storm on the horizon, and they decided it should be named Bertha.  Because that’s a name anybody gives their child anymore.  Oh our baby is beautiful jjjeeeeooorrrjjj!  Let’s call her Bertha so that she hates her life and commits suicide at the age of 15.  In her suicide note she’ll say, “but at least I got a storm named after me!”

So my time in DC is nearing its end.  I came like a storm into this town, and I’m leaving much the same way.  With less than a week left here, I should reflect on my last 4 months.  It’s gone by in a whirlwind.  A tempest of fun, wine, food and wine.  Also wine.  There was also a flirtation with popcorn, but it was more hype than anything.  Lots of ideas were born in the last 4 months, all of which will be future Blue Langentine Production projects.  There was:

1.      L Ron Hubbard’s Pizzatology – What’s a better way to convert somebody than with pizza?
2.      Cult Hotels – They offer free body removal.
3.      IV Bars – You get your hangover cure WHILE you’re getting drunk!
4.       Pierce Brosnan’s Acting School for James Bond – Because those who can’t....teach.
5.      And of course L’Bike – Ohio’s greatest indoor cycling class ever known.

There was delicious foods.  So many delicious foods.

Dosa from Amma's

Fried Rice from Rice Paper
Fish Congee from Rice Paper

Caramelized Short Ribs from Rice Paper
DYI Summer Rolls from Rice Paper
Pretzel Bites from Farmers Fishers and Bakers
Banana Pudding Trifle from Farmers Fishers and Bakers
 And what’s a trip this seedy and squalid underbelly of politics without a bomb scare....
Or my friend Lesiure Suit Larry here....

But the time for me to wake up from this fun fantasy is here.  Back to my 45 minute bus rides before sunrise.  And my 9 hours of staring at a computer screen searching for the elusive end of the internet.  And better blog posts because it will be the highlight of my day.  But I am looking forward to sleeping in my own bed, and seeing my friends back home, and testing some of these above ideas on my focus group at Project Angel Heart.  But before that comes, there’s still a week’s worth of things to do!  First stop, NYC for the weekend.  Then, last ever Monday night at Circa!  Then, Cirque Du Soleil!  And that’s all before my last night here!  Oh yeah, and I’m going to Chile.  Did I mention that?

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

You Can't Squirt It At The Taco!

I think my latest round of ideas, memorialized mostly by notes I make on my phone, which sometimes get misspelled into other great ideas due to auto-correct (should be called idea-improver), are best expressed in song.  And no song tells a story of half-ideas and incomplete sentences better than the one written by Billy Joel. 

World Cup soccer, santagria, flavored testes, cult hotels
a great idea, lets close the borders, American Wide Web
July 4th party, G-Dub costumes, LeBron wants money, let him leave
WTF, ESPN keeps freezing and COCUS is a bobble head!

You can't squirt it at the taco!
It's a double entendre but meaning's tawdry!
You can't squirt it at the taco!
That kid is scarred for life, for life, for liiiiiiife!


Like all those inside jokes that you only get 2 or less of?  Sorry.

Anways, in other life relevant news, last Saturday I went to an event that combined 3 of my favorite things.  America!  Drinking!  Fest!  The somethingth annual Drink the District festival happened in the poorly planned and worsely named NoMa district.  For $30, I partook in a schmorgsabord of 2 ounce pours of American made craft beers and wine.  Not sure if hte wine was craft.  Not sure if craft wine is a thing.  Why isn't craft wine a thing?  NEXT GREAT IDEA.

I went to the event with a friend of mine, who while starting off nice enough...

Quickly unleashed her rage....

Thank god the cameras were there to capture it all!

Anyways, what else can we talk about?  How about that SCOTUS ruling on Hobby Lobby?  So first businesses can decide what part of what laws they believe in by saying that have religious issues with it.  Awesome.  Next up, Five Guys is gonna say that don't believe in serving women.  It's against their religion, Dudeism.  Then what?  Some company says they don't have to follow any laws that were made in the last few years based around logic or reason because they are Scientologists?  Luckily that will probably have a zero impact on society.

OK already tired of talking about this.  What else?  This is a short post today.  Whatever, YOU start a blog then if you're so great!

Oh yeah I can talk about how ridic my hotel I'm in is.  So I'm staying in this new Marriott Marquis by the convention center in DC.  And if I were you, I would avoid staying there if at all possible.  Sure it's just 3 metro stops from work and sure it's huge and has a huge tv in the lobby and a nice gym.  But that, my friends, is where the benefits end and trouble begins.

First indication of a problem was calling the front desk the first day asking about the internet.  When somebody at a hotel answers your call with, "Yeah?"  it kind of makes you feel like you're asking a Motel 6 manager if you can have an extra hour on the vibrating bed.

Next, I go out the front door to get a cab to see my friend.  Valet guy tells me, "Just take that town car over there...they'll charge you the same as a cab!"  to which I say, "are you sure...same as a regular cab?" to which he says, "yeah, exact same as a cab."  Spoiler alert:  It wasn't the same as a regular cab.

Then, you have this beautiful french gothic meets modern 3 room concierge lounge, which serves inconsistent food that's cold when they actually bother bringing it out...which is rarely.

But the piece d'resistance of this hotel is their cleaning crew.  I came back to the hotel Sunday evening after being out all day, slightly drunk to find a room that hadn't been touched by a cleaning crew.  When I called down to question the response was, "sorry we had people check out today."  That's like saying, "sorry your A/C doesn't work, we have it in other rooms today."  So I say, "come on guys, this is negligent.  I'm going out right now for a few hours.  fix it!"  I come back to the room around 9:45 PM, to some cleaning lady just starting to make the bed.  Instead of apologizing she makes me prove that it's my room.  Come on.  COME ON.

Anyways, I complained and got some extra points.  But I still have two more weeks here so we'll see how it all goes.  I heard there's countries that don't have access to clean problem's worse.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Tacos Filled with Taffy and Other Things Being My Friend Brings to Your Life

Today's USA match against Germany reminded me of the late 80s cult classic comedies like Ski School, where the American rebels with a devil may care attitude and usually sweet shades would go up against the austere German ski team, with matching outfits and goggles and blonde lovers (who of course would later be either 1.  found in compromising positions with the American players, 2.  lose their bikini top because there's always so many opportunities to wear a bikini while skiing in the mountains, or 3.  be found to actually be American and of course end up with the leader of the rag-tag bunch of good for nothing Americans who would win in the end.)  But of course the difference today was that the U.S. didn't win, but they still get to have a sequel.  You don't have to be the best, in order to win.  Somebody else just has to be the worst.  This attitude works both in soccer as it does at work, or in other parts of your life.  At work, I employ this philosophy through a technique I call "Finger Pointing."

D.O., where's that report I asked for?  WAITING ON THAT ONE GUY REMEMBER?  ITS HIS FAULT!

D.O., what are you going to about that email we just got?  CAN'T DO ANYTHING BOSS UNTIL I GET SOME GUIDANCE!

D.O., where have you been all day.  WHERE HAVEN'T I BEEN ALL DAY!  (answer:  at my desk.)

I'm pretty much a pro at this work-technique; however, it does backfire sometimes.  In those instances you must be humble.  And when I say humble, I mean humble-brag.  "YOU'RE RIGHT I SHOULD HAVE HAD THAT DONE BY NOW...HONESTLY I'M SURPRISED AT HOW FAR I AM IN THAT TASK HAVING ONLY BEEN HERE A WEEK!"

Also, maybe don't yell all that at your boss either...

Last weekend, I was back in Denver, learning tennis from this guy:

And relaxing at the pool while this atomic cloudsplosion happened in the distance:

I joke, but seems like all Denver gets these days are horrific thunder-hail-apocalyptic-end of days storms anymore.  Glad I'm not there for any of it!

What else?  Oh yeah, on Friday, we went to this small gin distillery in Boulder called Roundhouse Gin or Roundhouse Kick Gin, or Hillbilly Ginja (patent pending).  Anyways, it was awesome.  All organic ingredients in this small gin maker / distributor / winner of contests in 5 time zones.  Some of our group were late to the tour, so they asked me to recap what we learned.  Bad idea.  Here was my response.

"Well, I spent half the tour trying to figure out if the guy's beard was red or strawberry blonde (also not sure what strawberry blonde really is but people say it all the time), and then I spent the second half of the tour trying to figure out where all the dripping water was coming from.  At that point he was talking about barrels or something.  But then he gave us gin to shoot and scream woo! and there were jars of ingredients so I smelled them all.  The End."

Yeah it was pretty awesome.  This is a picture of Kevin probably telling his dad that he only tells dad jokes and it's not super awkward at all.

Here are the crowd's reaction to this not super awkward conversation:

That guy on the right goes by the name Chris Dodge.  You may recognize him as a McDoyle from It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, or that one guy in that one movie with Jason Biggs where stupid stuff happens and a stupid song that you can't get out of your head plays.  (see:  All 90s movies)  To be clear, he is not that guy, but I try and tell him that he is every time I see him.

Finally, Sunday was the big baby shower day for my friend.  As you may know, I was put in charge of coming up with some way to reveal the baby's gender to not only those in attendance of the shower, but to the family themselves.  Only the doctor and myself knew this baby's gender.  I still contend that based on the sonogram, the baby is a crocodile, but according to the paper that said Girl! I suppose the crocodile is also a Girl!

For the gender reveal, I compromised on my earlier brilliant idea of making a vagina pinata, cracking it open with phallic bat, and having a bloody baby doll fall out.  Some people in my focus groups were appalled at the idea.  By some I mean all.  I need a more open minded focus group...

Before I write this next paragraph I feel like it's important for you to know that I just got stared the eff down by this asian chick walking by my office.  I'm scared.

Anyways, back to the story.  So I compromised my vagina idea by having a local artisan I found through Craigslist fashion me up a taco pinata.  The taco, of course is a subtle nod to the vagina.  I had to pick up this pinata in a Wal-Mart Supercenter parking lot in a sketchy part of town.  Thankfully, she was not the Craigslist Killer (this time) and the transaction of cash for taco was a great success!  As was the pinata.  I should have just done the vagina.  I realized afterwards that it didn't really matter what I did since the revealed gender of their baby would take all the attention anyways.

Finally, right before I left the baby shower, I was put to work in helping to create the baby's entire first year's worth of clothing apparently.  Slash, I colored one shirt with fabric markers.  Here's my contribution to the baby's weirdness:

So that's another weekend down, and I'm back up here in DC for the next 3 weeks! The adventures of drinking and trying to see if I can avoid death by falling down the escalator because I'm too tired and/or hungover to walk continues!  Stay tuned for the next adventure!  Same bat time! Same bat channel!