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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in fightonusc's LiveJournal:

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Wednesday, May 3rd, 2006
1:36 pm
Are you kickball ninja material?
Just like Frank Dux in Bloodsport, the Awesome Helicopter Ninjas are on a mission: our own personal Kumite is the WAKA Studio Division, and our goal is nothing more than total domination. (I guess that the Redrum team in the Studio Division is our own personal Chong Li, since they are pirates and we are ninjas. I don't know who is the slutty reporter in the Division.)

The Division is coed, and open to anyone 21 or older. The spring season starts May 22, so contact me if you are interested in joining the greatest team in the history of eveything ever...
Monday, December 19th, 2005
12:21 pm
a) I spend a lot of money on gifts
b) I receive gifts equal in value to what I spent back from friends in return
c) It would be more practical to keep the money and buy something nice for myself

I know this is very cynical, but I've never, ever been one to get wrapped up in the holidays. I sort of approach the whole thing with a little bit of dread, mainly because I know my bank account is going to take a huge hit, and there's going to be even more travel to do. Plus, I'm always, always sick over Christmas. I don't know if it's psychosumatic or not, but every Christmas, I spend the majority of the time with some horrible head/chest cold, virus, plague or other ailment.

At the same time, I love Christmas cookies, so maybe it's a wash.
Friday, July 29th, 2005
12:41 pm
Argy Bargy
I'm going up to Seattle for my friend Ryan's wedding. Most if not all of the college friends will be there. It should be a lot of fun, although I'm not exactly thrilled with the thought of another weekend away from home - or the cost.

Basically, I've been spending a lot of free time trying to get organized with my kickball league. Specifically, I've been trying to recruit new players, especially to my team (Don Rickles With A Chainsaw). You would think a name like that would draw people in droves, but apparently not.

Anyway, I do a lot of Photoshop flyers and posters, either to print up, or just to post on various sites. Some of them are good, some of them are awful and will never actually be used. But, I might as well dump them here:

First one: a blatant rip-off of the Joe Jackson album cover "Look Sharp":

Image hosted by Photobucket.com
Wednesday, July 27th, 2005
3:57 pm
Went to go see Brendan Benson last night. It was a birthday gift to my best friend Stephen. It was the first time in a while that I'd gone to a loud rock and roll concert, with their guitars and their feedback. Of course, I also managed to get right up to the front of the stage, i.e. about three feet away from the big speakers. Of course, did I have earplugs? No.

Yet, for some reason, I didn't have any ringing in my ears last night after the show. I suspect that I've done so much damage to my ears at this point that I really can't get tinnitus. (Of course, when blood is pouring from my ear in a few days as part of some sort of bizarre "delayed reaction", I'll be cursing ever having made this post.)
Thursday, July 21st, 2005
10:11 am
My kickball team needs players
So, I've been so busy trying to run my kickball division that I haven't had a lot of time to recruit for my own team. Which unfortunately means that as of right now, we only have two people on the whole team. The really awful part is that our team has the best name and logo in the history of great names and logos:

I mean, come on. Who wouldn't want to join Don Rickles With A Chainsaw? It sure as hell beats my team name from last season (Tang, because we wore orange...I didn't come up with it), that's for sure. I'm happy that I'm captaining my own team this season (as well as being president of the Hollywood Division as well, which is its own set of issues), and I want a team filled with actual cool people. People who go to used record stores, and dive bars. I want to field a punk/altnernative/rockabilly/etc., etc. team. It was looking for awhile like the local roller derby team was going to join, but it conflicted with their schedule.

So if anyone in the area reads this and wants to join my team, let me know. We have free pick-up games scheduled for the next two Wednesday nights at Poinsettia Park, with much food and drink at the bar to follow.

Friday, June 17th, 2005
5:38 pm
Find The Drunk
It's a fun game the whole family can play. Take a look at this post-kickball picture and see if you can spot the drunk person:

If you guessed "All of the Above", you win...something. I don't know what. But I'm sure it's really cool.

That's me on the left with Pat, the captain of the Pregnant Cheerleaders, after they bounced our ass out of the playoffs in the first round. Needless to say, I had a good time at the bar, so it certainly wasn't a wasted (har har) night.

P.S. I think I've answered my own question about why I'm not surprised that the "age I act" is 25.

5:36 pm
What's My Virual Age, Again?

You Are 25 Years Old


Under 12: You are a kid at heart. You still have an optimistic life view - and you look at the world with awe.

13-19: You are a teenager at heart. You question authority and are still trying to find your place in this world.

20-29: You are a twentysomething at heart. You feel excited about what's to come... love, work, and new experiences.

30-39: You are a thirtysomething at heart. You've had a taste of success and true love, but you want more!

40+: You are a mature adult. You've been through most of the ups and downs of life already. Now you get to sit back and relax.

Why am I not stunned that my "Age" is 10 years younger than my wife's?
Thursday, June 2nd, 2005
11:54 am
The Junior Christian Science Bible Lesson Show
Sometimes, I have nothing more that I can add. No witty remarks, no snarking, that can enhance the wonder of what I find. With that in mind, I present The Junior Christian Science Bible Lesson Show...
Friday, May 20th, 2005
4:46 pm
An update on all things kickball related
I am now the PR Committee Chair for the WAKA (World Adult Kickball Association) Hollywood Division, and if I do say so myself, I kick some major ass. In the past month, we have:

- Been the featured story of the day on the KLTA Morning News, which is the No. 1 rated morning newscast in Los Angeles. Which necessitated being at Griffith Park at 6 a.m. to play a three-hour game of kickball with about 15 other people for the camera crew on a weekday. I was as stunned as anyone else that I was able to get that many people up and out of bed that early (especially this group - quite a few work in the industry, so they either a) are between jobs and keep late hours or b) are working right now and as such are on set for 20 hours a day.)

You can see the highlights from the day's broadcast at the division's home page. As you can see, we had a lot of airtime. Frankly, I'm just happy that no one suffered a major injury on-air (more on that later).

The other upside is that, to make sure that we had enough bodies there to field two teams and make the visuals work, I convinced catbastard to show up for the shoot. (Basically, it's calling in all of the times I've had to show up at Griffith Park or other places - like in front of Staples Center last weekend - for her work events.) She had such a good time that she decided to join the league this season. I've been trying to convince her to join since I started, but she always backed out. There were always excuses - she was afraid of injuring herself (which is legit - in the 11 1/2 years we've been together, she's sprained or twisted her ankle about 172 times. Seriously, her ankle is made of dried twigs), or she had a conflict with Stitch and Bitch, etc. Honestly, I think she was more afraid that it would be too competitive, which I think she learned at the shoot that it isn't.

- We also were a featured segment on NPR's "Day to Day" (which is sort of like "All Things Considered", except based out of LA and targeted at a younger audience). Randy and Jason Sklar (of TV's "Cheap Seats" came out to a pre-season scrimmage we had against a group of kickballers from KXLU, which is Loyola Marymount's radio station (although they have mostly staffers out of college, and are more semi-professional independent than anything else).

Here's the backstory: one of our players started going out to his local park on the Westside every Sunday to work on his pitching (trust me, I am FAR from the biggest geek when it comes to kickball). To his shock, there was a group of people that would show up to play kickball on their own. He started playing in their games, and trying to convince them to join our league. Which the KXLU guys don't want to do, because they're "edgy" and "rebels". Whatever. You play kickball. You work at a college radio station. You are "ironic". You are an ass. However, they did challenge us to a game of kickball, anytime.

So we decided to combine their challenge with our preseason scrimmage game, where anyone could come and play and get used to kickball. Which was a big, big problem. We wound up with about 25 players, so you had to completely sub out every other inning. And somehow, it would wind up that you had all the veterans playing one inning, and all the new players out there by themselves the next inning, not really knowing what to do. Also, like I said, no one really liked the KXLU team, and they started taking it way to seriously, leading to us taking it too seriously. Also, KXLU basically makes up their own set of rules, some of which are ridiculous. Mainly, no bunting and no balls and strikes. Which was awful for us, since that took most of the "skill" elements away from the game. Combine that with the national media there (the Sklars, their producer and a tape recorder), and it was bad news.

So, we lost, and it was all documented on NPR last week. I was the main interviewee from the WAKA side - the story's pretty funny, and plays up the whole "underdog upstarts vs. established professionals" angle, which is where the comedy is. I'm a big fan of the Sklars, and they did a good job. Actually, I think that some of the best things I recorded with them didn't make it on air - probably because it was either too lengthy or too obscure (jokes about former Kansas City Royals managers, stuff like that).

Anyway, we also have the radio spot archived on our Web site, if you want to hear me humiliate myself on national radio.

I mentioned the injuries earlier because we had a rough night on the diamond last night. Our team had a bye week this week, but I went with a friend yesterday to watch games and do board member type stuff (like bitching at the park staff when they cut the lights off early, etc.). I wasn't there for the first game, but apparently a girl on the LMNOPs scored, but was running way too fast and couldn't stop before she plowed into the backstop. I've done this before, but I know to jump into the fencing, and you'll bounce right off. Because if you don't, there's a bar that runs across the backstop about 5'5" or so high, that is seemingly there to make sure that you'll break your tooth in half if you slam into it. Which, judging from last night, it did it's job well.

Then, in the second of the three games, the first kicker (David, who ran the poker game I used to play in) drilled a solid base hit, but...well, the dirt was really soft this week for some reason, and when he turned for second, his feet slipped out from under him and he went crashing to the ground right on his left shoulder. Much screaming and agony on the ground, and 911 had to be called. The dispatcher says they're sending a crew over, but they won't have their lights on, and since we're at a park, could we stand on the street corner and flag them down?

So, I decide to go do that. A couple of minutes later, I see a fire engine come down the street, flash their lights quickly, and turn the corner and go to the other end of the park. I assume that this is for us, so I run across the park to flag them down. I ask if they are there for the shoulder injury at the kickball game (which I know sounds goofy coming out of my mouth) and their response is "I don't know that the nature of the injury was, all I know is we got a call". Which really makes me feel good about the attention to detail here.

So, we walk across the park (they loaf at half-speed, because gee, not like someone is injured there or something...), and get to our diamond. As they get there, I see an ambulance and another fire engine pulling up just outside, where the dispatcher had told us to meet in the first place. I try to explain that another truck was here as well, but they seemed to be of the opinion that as long as they were there, everyone should get involved. So, we now have two fire trucks, and ambulance, and at least eight firefighters or paramedics working on David, who is now sitting (in a lot of pain, but more mobile now) in the bleachers.

Eventually, his wife comes, and the ambulance takes him to the hospital for some tests. David's wife text messaged us later to let us know that apparently he had dislocated his shoulder, but it had popped back in place. They were doing X-rays, but they didn't think that it was anything serious.

Quick backstory: David's wife Laurie actually played kickball the first season the league started in Hollywood (a few months before I joined). However, she wound up breaking her leg in a freak play (the ball was thrown at her foot, and hit her ankle right when she planted on a base. Needless to say, it apparently wasn't a good distribution of weight), and not only stopped playing, but banned David from playing as well. After a year, she finally relented to let him play, and then this happens halfway through the season. I think that we may have seen the end of a promising kickball career yesterday.

Because our schedule's odd, we have games on Wednesday and Thursday next week after having a bye this week. We're 2-1-1 on the season, which is OK, but the game we lost we really shouldn't have lost (dumb fielding decisions, untimely kicking when we had runners on base - it was a mess). I predict that I am going to be very, very sore after this coming week, if only because there's likely two trips to the post-game bar, and not a timid team. (For proof, check out our team photo, including the giant team flag that Jorge from our team made to show team spirit. Like I said, I'm far from the biggest kickball geek in LA.
Thursday, May 5th, 2005
4:24 pm
I laugh at the misfortune of others, then attempt to profit from it...
So, if anyone hasn't seen the "Boom Goes The Dynamite" kid, here's the back story...

Ball State University has a nightly newscast. The regular sports anchor called in sick, and some freshman eagerly volunteered to do the sports that night. However, it was his first time and he kind of...froze. He stumbles over every line he can get out, and other times he completely falls apart and doesn't speak for 10, 15 seconds at a time (at one point he appears to mouth "I'm sorry!" at the camera.)The only thing he does get out without a problem is his attempt at a hip catchphrase for someone hitting a shot in basketball: "Boom Goes The Dynamite!" Brilliant. You'll have to look at it for yourself to truly understand what I'm talking about:

Boom Goes The Dynamite

Now, should I feel empathy for this kid? Probably. It's bad enough to screw up and have people on campus know about it, but some joker decides to post it to a Web site and within a few weeks, you're the next "Star Wars Kid". (You can read more about the cult phenomenon that is "Boom Goes The Dynamite" in this story.) But does that stop me from laughing until I'm crying every time I see this, and forwarding it to everyone I know? Of course not.

Why? Perhaps it serves some sort of primative release, that we all fear that we could be that kid, so we need to mock him to cover up our fears. But, more likely, it's because I'm a jerk.

Still, if he's not going to cash in on his 15 minutes of fame, why shouldn't I? So, I've created a CafePress store where you can buy all sorts of "Boom Goes The Dynamite" apparel and accessories designed by your truly. I predict that the "Boom Goes The Dynamite" thongs will be a big seller...

Check out my CafePress site

Current Mood: chipper
Wednesday, March 16th, 2005
2:18 pm
Let's see, beyond the entire Brent tragedy, there's my brother. Who, in the last month has...

- Become engaged to his girlfriend, whom he's been dating for less than four months. Despite the fact that she hasn't divorced her current husband, and in fact was living with the guy until she moved out to move in with my brother and my Mom.
- Had to go to the hospital twice because of vomiting fits (to the point where it's not food, just bile), which have cost him around $9,000 so far (the fun of not having health insurance). And, they still don't know what's wrong with him.
- Been fired from his job.
- Had his "fiancee" tell him via text message that she's leaving him because she's seeing someone else.

And, of course, he hasn't filed for disability or unemployment yet, and (being my family), neither he or my Mom want to take the responsibility to do the research for themselves to do any of this. My sister Linda (who lives down the street) is pretty tired of themalways relying on her to do everything (and I don't blame her) for them, and my other sister JoAnn (who lives in Bakersfield) is a flake (I love her, but she's just not reliable.)

So, I'm at work, not working, but trying to research and do as much as possible to get my brother on Disability and into some sort of low-income health program from 300 miles away. Of course, again, this is all stuff that my brother or my Mom could do, but won't.

Thursday, February 10th, 2005
10:26 am
My hometown is Kingsburg, a small town about 20 minutes south of Fresno. Kingsburg was founded by Swedish immigrants, and has taken on the concept of being "The Swedish Village". If you are familiar with Solvang, and how it is essentially a big, Danish themed tourist trap, that's what Kingsburg wants to be. Except without any of the shopping, or restaurants, or other actual attractions to, you know, attract people to your town.

But they try...oh, they try.

The big thing that they did was spend well over $100,000 dollars back in the early 1980s to convert the water tower into a big Swedish coffee pot. (Keep in mind that this is the early 1980s, and the town only had around 5,500 at the time. So $100,000 is pretty much the town treasury.) I guess people in Sweden drink a lot of coffee, and apparently out of very flowery and ornamental pots. Myself, I would have assumed that they do to Starbucks, but that's just me.

So they built this thing, which looms high over the 99 freeway as you pass either of Kingsburg's two exits. The concept is that people would be so bowled over by the coffee pot, that no matter what they were doing, they would be compelled to pull over and visit Kingsburg, and therefore spend a lot of money.

Here's a picture of it:

Which sounds OK in theory, but fails in practical purposes for two reasons...

a) It's a coffee pot. It's not that much more exciting up close than it is from far away.
b) Once you get into town, there isn't much to see. I don't know how many times I've had very confused tourists stop me on the Draper Street (the main street in town) and ask me "Where is the Swedish Village". It's always fun to try and guess if they are going to be more confused or upset when I tell them that, in fact, this street with a bunch of overpriced, not Swedish themed antique stores, is in fact The Swedish Village.

The town elders have tried to balance that new fangled progress while still grasping at the straws of the Swedish Village concept. For example, they've let new chain retail businesses open, but they required that they have buildings that "are Swedish in design". And by Swedish, they mean vaguely gingerbreadhouse looking, with lots of dopey overhangs and blue and yellow paint schemes. Again, I picture Sweden as sleek and modern, like Ikea, but I guess that's just me.

This rule almost stopped McDonald's from opening the first fast food restaurant in Kingsburg 15 years ago or so, but they relented. And other businesses followed suit. So now we have a "Swedish" Taco Bell, a "Swedish" Carls Jr., a "Swedish" K-Mart, etc. Again, one thing we don't have is an Ikea, which is very strange.

Here's an example of the "Swedish" Texaco in downtown:

They try other ways, too. There's the big Swedish Festival every year in the summer, which is a weekend of Swedish activities. It usually centers around a parade and crafts fair, which always takes place in the middle of the day in 110 degree heat, on Draper St. And they almost always repave the street right before the event, so the actual ground temperature is about 324 degrees. They have other activities, like the Swedish pancake breakfast (ugh) and the raising of the Maypole. They also elect a Swedish Festival queen, but they had to change the rules a few years ago. Until recently, you had to be Swedish to be eligible, but since there are so few kids of Swedish decent actually living in Kingsburg, and so many of Hispanic decent, they waived that rule. So, you have a lot of Swedish Festival Queen Hernandez now.

The old-timers are still flogging the Swedish Village theme, despite the fact that the town's demographics have completely changed, the majority of the town doesn't really care, and it has never worked as a tourist draw. They still get dressed up at the Swedish Festival and other events such as the Santa Lucia Day Parade (if you remember the movie "The Ref" where Judy Davis made everyone wear the candles on their head, it's that story.)

Here are some of the old bats. On the far right is June Hess, who is the leading pro-Swede Nazi. She has a Swedish-themed gift shop and dresses like that every day. She also scares small children (and everyone else):

And a word about our water fountain. About 10 years ago, the city elders decided to build a water fountain in the main park as a monument to Swedish-American heritage. (Because the water tower was such a big hit.) The fountain is shaped like the US (to symbolize the US), with three gold crowns rising out of the center and cascading water (the three crowns representing...something Swedish. Frankly, I've forgotten that, but it has something to do with the Swedish monarchy.) Again, a lot of money was spent on it, and again, it was really, really poorly done. The three crowns look like someone had taken those Burger King paper crown hats and just spray painted them gold. Thus, we have the Burger King Fountain to go along with the Swedish Coffee Pot.

In summary: when people ask why I left high school after my junior year to come to college in LA, I can now just point to this page. And they'll understand.

Tuesday, January 18th, 2005
12:40 pm
So my friend John leaves for Pennsylvania next weekend. His wife is back in Peru right now to take care of some things related to her business, and she's flying back east after she's done. Sheyla (his stepdaughter) is flying out by herself on Friday, and John's mom is picking her up. John's leaving Sunday or Monday to drive out there with the Uhaul.

He's moving to Philadelphia through a work transfer. John's always had wanderlust - he claims to hate LA, and is always talking about moving somewhere else. I think he's the type of person who thinks that the grass is always going to be greener somewhere else. I can't complain about why he decided to move now - his family is from Pennsylvania, and moving puts him about 90 minutes away from them rather than three time zones. It's the same reason that we're moving to the Bay Area, so obviously I get it. But, I guess I'm still not sold on his whole relationship working out...I just don't know about her in general (I've always just a bad vibe from her). Plus, she's really needy, and he's basically decided that being married means giving up any sort of life other than your wife and stepdaughter. Which is an unhealthy combination, and I can't imagine working out in the long haul.

But, we got together with him and a few other people for poker on Saturday (mainly, an excuse to drink the rest of the beer he had in his fridge), and we're going to karaoke this Saturday for one last hurrah. I'm definitely going to miss John, even if I think he's kind of a dumbass.

Current Mood: calm
Friday, January 7th, 2005
9:41 am
Skeet, skeet, skeet...
- UPDATE: Former WWE wrestler/Playboy playmate/Joey Buttafuco punching bag/alleged female Chyna has her own sex tape. Because, apparently, you can't be a Z-list celebrity without having your own hardcore sex tape. Obviously, I haven't seen it yet, but I did have the, ahem, misfortune of having someone send me a link to a very funny review of the whole thing. The review itself is safe for work, but the links to the pictures, obviously, are very, very not safe for work. Or if you've just eaten anything. Because, if nothing else, seeing "her" naked through a camcorder has really, really made me appreciate the skill, quality and overall bravery of Playboy's photographers are digital retouching artists.

This photo in particular was extra revoluting, and a good example of why otherwise healthy women shouldn't spend ten years slamming testosterone and steroids like they are energy drinks.

- Played in a limit hold 'em poker tournament at The Bike last night. came very, very close to cashing, but just stopped seeing any decent cards near the end. But, I played a lot better than I had in a while, so I think I'm out of the really, really bad slump I was in.

- The most memorable part of the night was that at my last table, I was playing against Elix Powers. Casual poker fans might remember him from the World Series of Poker this year, where at a stud final table, he almost got author Jim McManus mad enough to slug him, and went outside to make some phone calls in the middle of the tournament. I was only at that table for three hands, and never played against him, though.

- Oh, the many things that I'd like to do to the Christmas Tree recycling company that picked up our tree this year. Most of them involve Molotov cocktail or nail guns to their owners. This will be a separate post though...it deserves to stand on its own.
Thursday, January 6th, 2005
12:29 pm
New Year,, same old stuff...
- Up until a couple of seasons ago, I had assumed that I would never see USC win a national title in football. Now, we've won two in a row, and the game on Tuesday was such a thrashing that I'm still more in shock about it than anything else. I'm probably getting too used to all of the success as a fan, but...it's a lot better than being dulled by failure like I was when I was in school.

- As for the Ashlee Simpson fiasco - who was the target audience for that performance? Isn't 95 percent of the viewing audience male? Why do they continue to insist on programming the halftime shows for women, when most women aren't even watching the game in the first place. And, yes, she was as bad as you've heard that she was - kinda like Courtney Love without the street cred, but with the same screechy voice and bugly face. Seriously, why is she famous again? If she would have auditioned for American Idol singing like that, Simon would have humiliated her.

- Oh, if you weren't aware, 12 days until AI starts again. I didn't know if Fox had been promoting that or not.

- I am really frustrated with John and his Peruvian wife and his Peruvian stepdaughter. So, they are moving to Philadelphia at the end of the month - he's transfering through his job to be closer to his family. Which, I can understand, believe me. Also, his wife does like LA, because there are too many Hispanic people here. Again, this is his Peruvian wife saying this, who doesn't even, according to her, know how old she is because they don't keep any birth certificates in the town where she was born. Or something like that. (Personally, I think she's probably several years older than John thinks she is, but that's just speculation.)

So, after not having seen John for weeks and weeks because he can't leave his wife by herself because she's completely needy and controlling, he calls me last weekend to see what I'm doing for the game. I say that I don't have plans. He says that he'll contact everyone and "get something together".

Which turned out to be waiting until the last minute, and then sending out an e-mail. Long story short, everyone else had plans by this point, so it was just John and I. Oh, and his wife and 9-year old daughter, as well, which I didn't know until I left to meet them at Hooters after work (which I left early for). And, John, who was supposed to get there early to get a table, didn't actually get there until 15 minutes before kickoff and was shocked to find that it was completely full. John then proceeded to send me on a wild goose chase walking around Burbank trying to find these bars that were "just down the street" (i.e. five or xix city blocks away) to see if they had the game.

By the time I realized that the bars were probably more like driving distance (especially with a 9-year old in tow), it was already kick-off. So, I told John that I was just going to go home and watch the game on Tivo (which is really how I kind of prefer watching games anyway). I think he was a little miffed about this, but I was more so. Oh well, watching at home was better - beers were plentiful at the fridge, and I didn't have to deal with idiot sports fans (which, frankly, most sports fans are).

- I've had several people ask me if the move to the Bay Area is actually happening, or if it's just a thing that we're talking about in theory. Which, I'm sure pleases catbastard to no end, since she's been really frustrated about having a lot of interviews, getting very close to several jobs, and still not getting anywhere. Of course, I've had a grand total of one callback from my resumes, and it was a job I really didn't want after all. I'm now officially impatient and frustrated about the whole situation.

- That is all.
Wednesday, August 25th, 2004
3:46 pm
I swear that the Captain and I haven't been engaging in some sort of mondo strike against LiveJournal. I've just been pretty busy lately, between work, working on music and playing poker. Plus, with having to look for a job up in the Bay Area looming now, that's another suck on my time.

Went to Vegas for a few days for a trade show last week. Vegas for work isn't really all that great - you're at the show, standing and dealing with idiots until 7:30 p.m. each night, so that when you do go back to the room, shower, get changed and check your e-mail, all you really want to do is get room service and go to bed. Still, it's different to be there by yourself - I kind of like being able to go where I want, when I want in Vegas and not worry if someone else wants to stay there, or go somewhere else, or doesn't want to gamble, or wants to eat, etc...
Monday, June 28th, 2004
2:44 pm
Weekend update (not in the SNL way, though)

- Went out for dinner/drinks/karaoke with John and his wife. It was the first time that Sara or I had met Ketie. She seems nice enough, from what I could tell. Between my marginal Spanish and her marginal English, we could kind of understand each other. As long as John was there, it was OK - if he left to go sing or go to the bathroom or something, it was pretty uncomfortable.

- And where was John's 10 year-old stepdaughter Sheyla, you might ask? At home by herself with some pastries and a kids' DVD. Now, I know it must be tough for John and Ketie, since they don't have family in the area. But, I'm not sure how I feel about leaving a 10 year-old at home alone for several hours on a weeknight, especially when she just moved to LA (apparently, she does speak fairly fluent English; although I can't imagine it would be too hard to find a Spanish-speaker in East Los Angeles). Plus, we had first offered to do some family friendly activities like bowling or mini-golf, but John really wanted to karaoke. Oh well, not my child.

- It was funny to notice some of the things that Ketie wasn't used to, like amber beer. We had a pitcher of Bass, and she I guess had never seen a red beer before. The squueze bottle of ketchup seemed to be new to her, as did onion rings. Oh, the wonders that await a newcomer to America!

- Brian is still of the opinion that once Ketie becomes naturalized, she'll start looking for greener pastures. I can't necessarily agree or disagree with the overall point, but Brian kind of needs to shut up sometimes.


- Drove up to Kingsburg for a sprint car race that ardaliz and captncarrie were supposed to go to before SOMEONE made other plans. And it was a good night of racing, too. A car flipped down the front stretch, and another one had it's rear tire and axle come off and almost launch into the stands. Plus, my brother and his big mouth almost got us in trouble with some fans of a driver we don't like. So, overall, a successful night.

- Got home too late to go out to The Rivers, which is the only bar in Kingsburg. Apparently, it's now one of the hot spots in the whole Central Valley; they have dance nights on the weekends, and I guess people drive in from Fresno and Visalia and all over the place to go there. That's just odd.


- Saw my friend Matt and his wife Candice and their three month-old son Caleb. Since he was a premie, he's now just basically the size of a month-old baby. But he's finally got some baby fat on him, so he doesn't look like an old man.

- Matt started smoking again, which is funny to me. Matt was the person who got me to have my first cigarette all those years ago. He quit about a year and a half or so ago, and after he did, he was pretty sanctimonious about how good he felt, and how I should quit. Now he's had a kid, and suddenly he has to smoke again! Usually, don't most people have kids and then decide to quit smoking because they want to have a healthy environment for their children, etc. I'm glad that I didn't get all holier-than-thou after I quit smoking; other than being really annoying and not helpful, it sure does leave you open for looking like an ass if you ever start again.

- Matt also bought a motorcycle for the first time yesterday. Midlife crisis, anyone?

- Came home and worked on music. The bad part about being a perfectionist is that you never actually finish anything.

And...four more days until Tahoe!
Tuesday, June 22nd, 2004
9:56 am
Went out drinking three of the last four nights, which is part of catbastard and my plan to have as much fun as possible now, since some time in the not too distant future, there will be a baby to deal with, and being able to go out and get a few drinks will be a rarity. I'm especially proud of catbastard, who really isn'y a big drinker, but seems to be stepping up to the bar, so to speak. So, yea alcohol!

In other news

- Smoked pot for the first time since college. I was at a home poker game that one of my kickball friends invited me to, and during a break, three of us went to the parking garage in the apartment to split a joint. It was so "smoking a doobie behind Ricky Keeton's garage" in high school, and very quaint too. Frankly, I was a little suprised that people still smoked pot; I thought that went out of style years ago. And, of, course, I got absolutely zero anything from the pot -I think I have one of those weird chemical make-ups where pot has no impact on me whatsoever.

- I'm going out to dinner tonight with a friend from high school who lives in LA now and is working at Dreamworks. We were pretty close friends through junior high (we were honor student geeks), but kind of drifted apaprt a bit in high school; we were still friends, but not nearly as close. We've been e-mailing each other recently, and the old "we should get together sometime", which we all know is code for "we'll never get together unless there's a reunion or funeral" somehow got acted on by one of us. Unfortunately, I let him take the lead in choosing the restaurant, since he lives in the Valley, and all of the choices he gave me were dreary chain restaurants. So, Hamburger Hamlet it is!

- 10 days until Lake Tahoe!

- We might be going to London this September instead of Tennessee (since they are so similar). It turns out that Northwest is having a crazy sale on airfare to London, so it's not that much more expensive than a flight to Nashville. We figure that we can go to Dollywood with a kid, but having a child when seeing London would be next to impossible.

- I saw the worst new TV show I can ever remember seeing last night. It's on Fox, and it's called "Quintupletes", and it stars Andy Richter. I only watched the first few minutes before it drove me out of the house. I think that catbastard watched the whole thing, so I'll let her get into greater detail. But, picture an ABC "TGIF" family sitcom from the early 1990s, but starring the cast of the Los Gatos Community Theater, and written by a 10 year old, and you have a good idea about this show. Just mind-blowingly awful.
Monday, June 14th, 2004
11:39 am
So last Thursday, during our post-kickball food and drinks at our sponsor bar, I had two different people ask me if I've ever been told by people that I remind them of Jack Black? Is that a compliment or not? I'm going to take it as a compliment.

It wasn't a compliment, was it? Crap.
Friday, June 11th, 2004
1:08 pm
Time for the 6th Annual Ben Reng Memorial Drink-A-Thon
For those of you unfamiliar with what happened last year, allow me to refer to : catbastard's gripping account of the festivities. Needless to say, after an opening round of margaritas at a restaurant, we're moving things over to our friend Ryan and his fiancee Sara's place.

(By the way, it's going to be odd to have two Sara's in our group, especially with the same spelling on the first name.)

I'm kind of disappointed that we had to abandon the old format - a couple of people get out of control and they wind up ruining it for everyone else, I guess. Still, the only window Grant has a chance of breaking are Ryan's, and he can deal with that on his own...

The kickball league is going well. We're 2-1 for the season, like that matters. What really matters is that our sponsoring bar gives us 50 percent off of food and drinks on game nights! Whooo Hooo! So, last night, I was able to have four Newcastles and a burger with fries for $18 total (including tax and a nice tip). The bar is a bit of a meat market (it's a sports bar that's known as the one "straight" bar in West Hollywood), with lots of Guns 'N' Roses blaring at full volume. That's cool if it's your cup of tea, but I don't need to have the entire contents of the Greatest hits album played IN ORDER!!! Still, I've met a lot of cool people already, and avoided getting injured.

(We did have our first semi-serious injury last night. Someone in the other game was going back to field a fly ball, and tripped and fell backwards. When he hit his back, his head whiplashed pretty violently onto the ground. And then he went fetal on the grass for a while. He was OK, although he definitely had a concussion. Fortunately, one of the girls in the league is a nurse, so we were adequately medically prepared.)

Oh, and I got my new microphone and mic stand from Musician's Friend today. So now I can re-record the vocals on my songs, and they won't sound like I'm in a public restroom and singing through a toilet paper roll.
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