Monday, October 27, 2008

Two in two days!

I have to write about this because it strikes as me being extremely weird. I found more money on the ground, which is awesome, but unlike a few months ago it's relatively useless in the short run. A few months ago I stumbled upon $25 laying on the ground which I used to treat myself to donuts. The Best Donuts are for free of course. Anyway, I found 5 Euro laying on the ground in the Subway by my apartment of all places and I can't think of a scenario that makes sense. Was this person just back from an overseas flight to Europe and stopped for a Subway Club? Or was this somebody on the way to a long international flight and they already happened to be carrying the money they were going to spend? I have no other scenario and I'm skeptical of both of those. I would have been far less confused by finding an Asian currency of some sort as both Seattle and Vancouver have a sizable and varied Asian population. The kicker is 5 Euro isn't worth the effort to convert it over to US $. I guess I need to go to Europe to spend it!

Thursday trivia has been a regular mainstay for the last few weeks with some members of the Seattle kickball folks but this week we're taking a break. We are taking a detour to watch some wrestling, but it's not normal wrestling, it's bacon mayonnaise wrestling. I can't think of anything better than watching a guy in a bacon costume wrestling a guy in mayonnaise costume in a ring containing 200 gallons of bacon flavored mayonnaise. Plus, it's for charity AND I get free BLT's AND it's going to be hilarious. They have a drink called Mitch Morgan's, the drink that inspired Bacon Salt - Maker's Mark whiskey with a bacon garnish, which I won't be trying since I am not a whiskey connoisseur. It does make me wonder how nobody from 201 or one of the assorted motley crew the we went to college with doesn't have a drink named after them. The one where David drinks fryer grease doesn't count either.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Politics and Porn - Discretion Advised

I got a photo from one of the events last weekend. Joe Biden, Me, Dave Matthews in front of an American flag. It is not photoshopped but it does look really weird with the black background that way. I decided to wear the glasses instead of contacts because I was out of saline. I'm still not 100% sold on the glasses but they are noticeable when in photo's and I'm finally used to the way they fit on face which helps out a lot.

I also joined Facebook last weekend so people would stuff asking my why I haven't joined. Other people had already invited me to join so when I was finished I already had 3 friends, it's now been a little over a week and I think I'm at 45 friends which is funny because I didn't do a single thing besides accept invitations. Let's go through the evolution of this peer to peer networks. Friendster started the madness (my account is still active oddly enough), which gave way to MySpace, which evolved into LinkedIn and Facebook. Now that I'm a Facebook person I intend to just let it run it's course. I'm not really into it but everybody seems excited that I'm on. I did have to set up a rule in my email for all the notices this thing generates. I'm lazy when it comes to things like this, which is why I don't play fantasy football, so I doubt I'll be doing tons to keep this fun.

People with delicate sensibilities should stop reading now.

The weekly alternative newspaper in town, The Stranger, is extremely liberal and relatively anti-establishment, and they put on an amateur porn contest every year. I DID NOT PARTICIPATE! They do have public screenings of the better films and I went to a screening with a few friends. I didn't think this all the way through. In addition to being a very liberal newspaper it's also edited by Dan Savage, a gay advice columnist and a political activist. Let's just say there was a little bit more gay porn than I was comfortable with but then again any amount of gay porn would have been too much. I'm not sure if I would go again next year but I would at least entertain the idea.

People with delicate sensibilities can start reading again.

I did go to a new bar/club this weekend by the name of The Funhouse which happens to also be Seattle's premier punk club. It's a scary place. Between the demented clowns (is there any other kind) and the crazy piercings and tattoo's I'm not sure I'll ever go back but it was a wild experience. The only reason I went in the first place was a friends band was playing there and we were all a little out of place. Their band had a melodica involved, which doesn't fit the demented clown motif. The band that followed was a serious punk band, they were Flogging Molly like and strangely enough the biggest, and arguably the scariest dude in the band was playing a whistle. It must have been to get the true Irish sound in their punk music.

It appears the Phillies are going to win game 4 of the World Series and take a 3 game to 1 lead over the Devil Rays. I'm going to accept all my new Facebook friends now and start reading my new book, Failure is not an Option, people who know me know that Apollo 13 is one of my favorite movies. I love the story and the science involved in sending people to the moon and back. I wish I was an astronaut and when I win the lottery I'm going to pay to be on one of those space tourist flights. I did like Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain and the photo of me eating the Japanese hot dog in the upper right is a stand that he visited on his trip to Vancouver.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

3 firsts

Most of the time I'm lucky if something new happens every once in a while. I don't mean little things like eating at a new restaurant - more like trying sushi or sweetbreads for example. I've never had a sweetbread myself but I'm willing to try them down the road at some point, and if you don't know what a sweetbread is you'll have to look it up on your own.

Anyway, so this weekend happened to be pretty much a planets aligning properly during an solar eclipse or something because a lot of different things happened. Some are pretty interesting others are borderline unbelievable and I'm still not sure how they all happened on the same weekend.

Thursdays I try to go to trivia with some friends I know in Seattle from kickball, and this week was a normal week. Our team came in third, which is out of the money, and we were killing a little time after and finishing out drinks when the girls from the kickball team started getting all twittery and speaking in hushed tones amongst themselves. A few minutes later a Bellydancer showed up to perform for member of the group who had a birthday over the weekend. I've never seen a belly dancer before but it was awesome. It's not dirty or trashy as some might imagine and the other patrons in the bar thought it was awesome as well. How one gets into belly dancing or hires a belly dance I'm not sure but the girls in the group of friends deserve major credit for a creative and unique idea. I'll post pictures when they are sent to me.

Friday was actual birthday celebration. I'll spare the details but it was a long night but a fun night.

Saturday afternoon brought on the next crazy thing. A lot of the same people from Thursday (trivia and kickball folks) were out an open house for Curling. That weird sport from the Winter Olympics where they slide rocks down the ice and sweep the brooms in front of the rock as it goes. I can say from my personal experience it is very fun, hard to balance yourself, and very difficult to control the rocks/stones. When the 2010 Olympics roll around a few of us are talking about going to Vancouver and trying to watch the Curling event. Team Fenson won a bronze medal in the 2006 games and are aiming for more. If you ever randomly have a chance to Curl I would definitely recommend it. I don't know why nobody thought to bring a camera but there doesn't appear to be any photo's from this event.

The final first is easily the most unbelievable by far. David's brother is actively involved in politics with the Obama campaign. There was an event in Tacoma WA and 12,000 people showed up to watch VP candidate Biden speak and later that night there was a fund raiser at a downtown Seattle hotel. I don't make enough money to roll at this kind of event but I got the VIP treatment courtesy of David's brother. Knowing somebody who works for the campaign has it's privileges as I got to see a mini concert by Dave Matthews, meet/chit chat with current Governor Gregoire, Senator Patty Murray, Dave Matthews himself, and then I got a photo op with Joe Biden and Dave Matthews. As with the other two things, when I figure out how to get the professional photo posted on here I'll post that too. It's not who you know, it's who you knows older, politically active brother who can help out with some very cool stuff. It was very enlightening to be in the social strata of upper level politics and see how passionate people are to be that engaged in something they believe in. I might have only been there for a few hours but I can see how people get addicted to access.

I might never have such a wild couple of days again but I'm pretty sure they're all going to be remembered for a variety of different reasons.

There's other stuff I could write about this is enough for today.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Mountain Biking

Went mountain biking yesterday, sort of. Brandon and I went to an area with "great promise and few riders" which is apparently code for unmaintained. After riding straight up hill for a mile or more I was completely blown as I don't have that kind of cardio anymore, if I ever did. Brandon on the other hand is a genetic freak and isn't even winded. We rode around for a little bit and I continued to get my ass kicked by Brandon but the fates had a plan. We went down a different trail and after a few minutes Brandon had a flat rear tire. We then took a gamble the downhill path we were on would take us back to the road. Gamble failed and we ended up moderately lost, so after walking both bikes uphill thought the jungle of overgrown brush we ended up back where we should have been. Cut up, tired, and bleeding from the legs when the overgrowth raked my legs.

My buddy ran a 2:59:59 marathon a few weeks ago so congrats to Mr. Paske for achieving his goal of a sub 3:00 by the grand total of one tenth of a second. I thing he bribed a timer or something but it still counts I guess. Rooming with a runner at MU for 1.5 years and being friends with most of the distance runners as a result means I know lots of people who run marathons... and they make me sick. Freaks.

I feel like I had a lot more to write about but when the time comes it's never that easy. I want to go to a college football game next year at a road stadium - I'm thinking either the Red River shootout in Dallas or a game at the Swamp in Gainesville. I know people around Dallas and might have a ticket hookup at the Swamp. It promises to be fun either way if I can pull it off.

A trip to Scranton for work seems to be on the very near horizon. I'll try to find the Dunder Mifflin offices while I'm there.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Seattle Beaches

Jay, from the Slackfiles blog on the right, was giving me crap about not posting an entry in a while. It is a fair criticism, after all the flunko's from the previous post left I was pretty drained and work left me a little drained mentally. It's a series of excuses but nothing blog worthy was happening and when I was getting home from work at night I certainly didn't feel like writing a blog... but I'm BACK.

When I first moved to Seattle I got invited to a beach party. I didn't think too much of it but it turned out to be one of the craziest stories of my life. I haven't told anybody about this story because it's a little hard to believe but it's fascinating.

I went to the beach party not really knowing anybody but it was pretty fun, for a while. I started talking with this girl and it was pretty fun with just general conversation and things of that nature. Unbeknown to be me, she had just recently broken up with her boyfriend. Said boyfriend showed up and started be mean to Michelle, (not her real name) and messing around with her radio. Me, being the gentleman that I am, stood up for her and told the ex to leave. It got kind of crazy, he apparently knew karate or something and messed me up a little bit. I got in a few good shots but I was left bleeding on the beach.

It turns out the guy, Brett (also not a real name) worked in the same building as me. He was a pretty big ass. Brett and his buddies would mess with me on my way to work and in the hallways and wouldn't let me talk with Michelle. It wasn't very good but things kind of settled down for a while... then came Halloween last year. There was a big Halloween party and I got this hookup from a maintenance worker at one of our buildings in the international district. The maintenance workers name was Mr. Unagi. Mr. Unagi gave me some PVC pipe, an old backpack, and a shower curtain - it worked great and nobody really knew who I was. I made a pretty bad decision but Brett was in the bathroom and I had an opportunity to mess with him. In hindsight taking a garden hose and spraying him with water was a bad idea. It ended up with me getting beat up outside work and Mr. Unagi helping me fight off Brett and his cronies. It sucked.

The next week I went to Brett's boss to tell him his employee was threatening me and such. Brett's boss was also a HUGE jerk for some reason, it took a little doing but I worked out a truce where Brett and I would be free and clear to walk around our building without fear but at the company Christmas party there was going to be a fight at the all Sound Karate Tournament. I didn't really know anything about Karate but that bought me nearly two months of piece and quiet.

It turns out Mr. Unagi is a karate teacher. He started teaching me Karate but it was using a variety of non-traditional methods. I spent a lot of time doing what seemed like chores around work... waxing, painting, sanding and things of that nature. I don't know how it worked but doing the repetitive motions of those actions gave me a basic karate defense. We progressed quickly and during the course of the fall I went on a few dates with Michelle. I wasn't from the same part of town as her and her parents weren't really fans of my upbringing. It was a little awkward but it progressed nicely during my training.

So on the day of the Karate tournament weekend I went to the event and realized I didn't officially have a belt but Mr. Unagi procured a black belt from somewhere and it was awesome. I fought in the tournament for a little while and it turned out my basic training was excellent. They actually played this song while I was fighting and it was AMAZING. The crowd was behind me and started beating some of Brett's buddies during the course of the event, it was amazing! The final couple of matches however were even more amazing.

It started out with me fighting against one of Brett's best friends, Jeff. Jeff is a solid karate guy and we had a solid, close fight going. It ended up going poorly when Jeff got some questionable directions from his jerky coach. His coach said he should try to get me knees since they were weak from hours of fighting. It was unnecessary because I probably would have lost anyway but Jeff ended up being disqualified and I was questionable because my knee was killing me!

I went in the back room and the event Dr. looked at my knee was like "you could fight but I can't recommend it, I'll tell the event people you're out" and I was so mad. It was crazy but it turns out Mr. Unagi had some natural medicine training (read chiropractic) and he went to work on my knee and leg. After a few minutes worth of work I was ready to got back to the fight. They were just about to award the championship trophy to my arch-nemesis, Brett, when a walked back out to the mat. They announced I was going to fight and the place went crazy!

Once the fight started it was pretty back and forth. I got a few points and Brett got a few points and he hit my weak knee once or twice. I survived but it really hurt kind of bad... people were yelling the craziest stuff too! One guy yelled "put 'em in a body bag Brett!" and that kind of freaked me out. I'm a pretty quiet guy and these jerks were talking about body bags and implying I was gonna die. It came down to the final point and I used my training. During the course of my training Mr. Unagi showed me a move called the flamingo and I used it to kick Brett in the face and win the final point. I was amazing! I won the all Sound Karate tournament!!


So obviously that is a little bit of a stretch. I did play a lot of kickball and ended up getting whacked a few times this season. Today in particular I ended up taking a good shot and now my arm is killing me, I think I hit my ulnar nerve really hard. Look it up.

I went to Bellingham WA one weekend to visit with my distant relation and close friends for the weekend. Happy birthday Melissa. I might be going to visit her at law school in the week or two as well. She goes to law school in Spokane WA.

A good chunk of $$ was spent at REI this weekend as I bought a camping backpack, a nice sleeping bag, and some needed accoutrement's like a sleeping pad. I don't know if I use this stuff this year or not but it was an end of season sale so I got some pretty good deals. I'm going to be a heck of a camper next season to make these purchases worth while.

Next on the list is snowboarding stuff and an HDTV. I like HD! The Twins didn't make the playoffs, the Brewers made it but lost 3-1 to the Phillies, and the Cubs got swept by the Dodgers. I think I want the National league to win know and the Red Sox to lose as soon as possible.

There Jay, I wrote a blog.