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Monday, December 22, 2008

Tranny (no, not that kind of tranny) Crap

When this worlds closing in
There's no need to pretend
Set me free - darling rescue me

 

Crap List

1.  Stranded (nearly)

I made my yearly pilgrimage to the Mall of America on Saturday in my attempt to find gifts for my family.  Usually I just wander around the Mall hoping I stumble upon something that someone in my family will like.  Unfortunately these wandering events end up taking a couple hours and we were in the midst of about 4-5 inches of snow and damn cold temperatures right behind it.

After my successful pilgrimage I headed out to my car and warmed it up for about 15 minutes because I was A) lazy and B) cold.  Naturally I put the car in reverse when I start to have some troubles.  Car was moving but very slightly.  Eventually I back out of my spot and shift to drive when nothing happens.  I then get the 'deer-in-headlights/oh-shit' look on my face because this is very much a transmission-type problem complete with scary icon light on my dashboard.  I sit in my car for another 10 minutes cursing and saying "bah-humbug" when I try it again.  Just like Marty McFly when he head butts the wheel, my car started to move swiftly through the snow.

After a night of trying to figure out how I'm going to find $3000 in funds for a new transmission I woke up the next morning to find that my car simply wont move which was making my wallet cry.  I called my dad to hear his advice and he wisely told me to check the transmission fluid.  I kinda rolled my eyes when he said this because I just had my transmission fluid flushed about a week in a half ago....

A week in a half ago
desk douche:  Hey Tom, we noticed that your transmission fluid was very, very dark and your air filter needs cleaning.  Do you want us to fix all these problems for you and rape----er do you the favor of not having to worry about all this stuff?
Boof examining the guy with a steely eye:  I actually have a K&N air filter on there which is good for the lifetime of the vehicle.  There should've been a sticker that explained this...
desk douche:  Oh, uh well, we didn't know

(this is a tell tale sign that they're giving you BS.  Everyone knows that K&N air filters are legit and this is a ploy these stupid lube places try to bring on you.)

desk douche:  What about the tranny fluid?  We can give you a transmission flush right now...
Boof:  Ah, hmmm...
desk douche:  ...it's really, really dark.
Boof:  alright might as well.  Fuck it.  God damn you are pushy bastards!

 

Anyway I top my car with tranny fluid and it works like new.  The scary icon light even turned off which makes my mouth water knowing the ass chewing I'm going to give that desk douche tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Rare Bits

I don't ever wanna drink again
I just ooh I just need a friend

 

-The Baseball Hall of Fame veterans panel convened to select a peer into the hall of fame a couple days ago and such local names like Jack Morris, Bert Blyleven, and Tony Oliva have been sprouting up since.  To me, Morris is a candidate only because of game 7 alone which has been regarded as the best pitched World Series game ever.  Still, I'm not sure he should be in.  Blyleven should just because of his crazy ass curve ball.  I have always dreamed about facing such a curveball and missing it by about two feet.  Oliva is probably the least likely out of the bunch but oh well. 

After taking up a number of votes the HOF veterans committee selected.....Joe Gordon.  I immediately thought Joe Gordon was a broadcaster of some sort or perhaps the nickname of Babe Ruth's jockstrap.  As it turns out, he was the 2nd basemen for the Yankees in the 30's and 40's.

I mean when they talk about the early Yankees they always mention Mantle, Ruth, Gehrig, DiMaggio, Berra, Maris, and a handful of other 2nd tier players like Rizzuto and Larsen.  Not once had I ever caught anyone by the name of Joe Gordon.  In fact, Rizzuto being in the Hall of Fame is a bit of a joke and shows the bullshit Yankee allegiance from the voters.  With that being said, I have to question the induction of Joe Gordon simply because I've never heard of the guy before. 

I mean I've heard of Billy Ripken, the original Fuck Face, but not Joe Gordon.

-I've been listening to the music of Amy Winehouse (of all people) thanks to the wonderful site pandora.com.  I didn't know much about Winehouse other than she's the youngest person who is about to die and that she's uglier than hell but her music is awesome. 

-I'm not fired yet although things have definitely become more tense on the floor where everyone is at.  It's a bit like being a kid and having all thirty of your parents fighting each other at one time.  On top of that, it's like 7 of those parents are going to be axed so it's kinda like being.....in some nonsensical Michael Bay movie. 

Monday, December 08, 2008

Economical Crap

The look on your face yanks my neck on the chain
And I would do anything
To see you again

Crap List

1.  The God Damn Economy

I come home Friday to find that I have two *TWO* letters from my company.  One is my usual pay stub and the other is something different.  I usually can always tell the other letters by how the accounting department misspells my name.  Anyway I open it up and it reads as follows:

Hello Thomas (not my real name), I regret to inform you that we will no longer be matching your 401k investment due to the horrible economy.  Thank you and have a nice day.

After reading that scroll of sunshine I murmured a couple things under my breath:  The first was "Curse those baby boomers".  Reason being is because I have this sneaking suspicion that all the babyboomers are going to screw everything up for us gen y'ers (or x'ers or whatever the hell we are).  I'm worried that all these 60-something people will never retire and simply hold on to their job not allowing another generation (mine) to cycle through the work force.  Add to that the thought of all those baby boomers in Florida and Arizona and how we're probably going to have to bail them out through social security and how we're not going to see any of it.  I already get annoyed when I have to show them something on the computer. 

It all makes me hate Hitler even more because if it hadn't been for him we wouldn't have WWII, which means we wouldn't have all those horny people in the 40's and 50's which means everyone wouldn't impregnate everyone which means that we wouldn't have all those baby boomers.  Damn Hitler (of course a Hitler apologist would blame it on the Jews but lets not start a WWIII over the scenario). 

Babyboomers isn't even what I intended to bitch about either.  I originally wanted to bitch about all those people who bought way beyond their means.  I remember hearing a stat from 2006 where people were buying more than they were saving which I found to be rather scary.  It means that people where generally digging themselves in a financial hole and no one really cared much about it.  If I were smart, I would've have the forsight to move everything into a money market account but I'm 29 and have retirement on the horizon about 35 years into the future so I'll ride this out for 35 years...Anyway I would hear about fellow classmates buying brand new cars (which is stupid in of itself) and not having a job to pay for it.

"Hey man, money is cheap nowadays.  The interest is dirt cheap"  he would say.   So because the interest rate wasn't 17% this is a great deal?  Everywhere people were doing this along with buying houses way beyond their means.  I remember being approved on a $200,000 mortgage 4 years ago and after doing the math, there's no way I could afford such a mortgage despite every babyboomer telling me to buy a house.

"It's the best investment you could ever have."
"Houses NEVER go down in value."
"Go ahead, just do it"

and I just didn't feel right about it at the time.  So I rented and sure enough houses went down in value and my potential financial situation would be so tight that I would be watching Ducktales for advice from Scrooge McDuck.  I knew I couldn't afford a $200,000 mortgage, so what the fuck was wrong with everyone else who couldn't afford a similar mortgage?  Didn't anyone ever take any sort of common sense money management course in high school? 

But maybe I'm just a little fiscally conservative for most people.  I hate spending more than $200 and my parents have always told me to save 10% of what I earn.  Apparently everyone spends all of what they earn and would prefer to live like that.  That's fine but I hate having to worry about keeping my job and having my 401k reduced because of all these stupid fucktards that did this.  These stupid fucktards are also the ones being bailed out which infuriates me more because while they kept bouncing checks and pretending to be a bunch of middle class MC Hammers, I managed my money and was very careful but I'm not getting anything but a trickle down effect of poison from these idiots.  Now it's me who has to suffer the consequences of a bunch of douchebags who believed other douchebags and spent like douchebags.

I swear, everyone of a credit score south of 500 should be sent to Iowa to farm and figure out how to be fiscally smart. 

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Can the Vikings Win?

after the service when you're walking slowly to the car
and the silver in her hair shines in the cold November air
you hear the tolling bell
and touch the silk in your lapel


I remember watching Vikings football in the early 90's.  I had hope every game, there were players who I loved to watch, and every year it seemed like we had a shot of making the playoffs and possibly making it to the Superbowl.  We had players like Doleman, Carter, and Warren Moon and every game I would be glued to the TV.  I would yell at my dad whenever he would mention the Packers and I had the Doritoes and Milk flowing.

Not much has changed since the 90's because the Vikings still have players to root for and I have hope every single game.  The only way I differ is their shot in making the playoffs.  I mean, they *could* make the playoffs but so what?  I'm so sick of seeing Minnesota teams making the playoffs and losing right away that I would almost wait until we have a better team with a better quarterback and then waste our time watching them. 

I know, I know "Trent Dilfer won the Superbowl" and Doug Johnson did this and Rudy did that.  Folks, we're talking about Vikings football where all miracles come AGAINST the Vikings.  The whole notion of wishing for luck when it comes to Vikings football seems like a joke and for some reason and I think of us as the Washington Generals and everyone we play in the playoffs are the Globetrotters. 

Seriously, Gus Frerrote is going to lead us to the Superbowl?  We're supposed to win 2 of the last 4 games without 2 Probowl defensive lineman?  Brad Childress is going to win any of these games with his poor play calling? 

I certainly hope so, but reality says that this is another mediocre year in a terrible division with a coach who is over his head. 

All I do know is after watching 15+ years of Vikings football is that this game against the Lions is the classic game the Vikings lose.  I remember in 2003 when the Vikings had two win the last two games of the year.  Game 15 was against the Chiefs who were nearly unstoppable and nearly everyone wrote this game off as a loss.  Game 16 was against one of the worst teams of the year in Arizona. 

End result:  We blew away the Chiefs and lost to the Cardinals in dramatic fashion.  We don't have this same scenario this week but the Lions are really, really bad and some people would say that they're due.  They also may be without the Williams duo and if that's the case, I can see Kevin Smith running all over us.  ugh. 

Prove me wrong guys, prove me wrong

Monday, November 24, 2008

Hag Crap

The band is just fantastic,
that is really what I think.
Oh by the way, which one's Pink?

Crap List

1.  Unpaid Daytime meetings

I work 2nd shift which is really tough for someone who works 1st shift to understand for some reason.  I have ran into this trouble with our company lunches which our company representative (I'll call her Hag) has begged me to come.  The company lunches are actually quite nice because they usually have pizza or Famous Daves and it's free food.  The problem is that these lunches are at noon which is a bitch for me since I'm either at the gym at noon or doing whatever people do whenever they are not working.  Attending this lunch would mean driving a half hour to work, eating for an hour, and then finding a way to waste another hour until my shift starts which sucks.

I've tried to polite and I've tried to explain my position in how these lunches are very inconvenient for me but these explanations have led to a very airheaded look by Hag.  Not only that but when I do happen to attend Hag always makes a very loud comment like,

"So, sorry we had to wake you up for this meeting TOM!  HAHAHA"  to which I grin and look away.  On the inside I'm very angry because this Hag is being very frustrating and I really want to dump an entire pizza all over her hag-ass.  I have even made the tongue and cheek statement,
"Maybe next time we should have these lunches at 6pm when I'm having lunch" and that just led to a dumbfounded look on her face and the statement,

"Why would we do that?" 

Argh

Anyway I received an email about how we are changing health insurance plans and that Hag really wants us to show up.  Knowing full well that this insurance meeting is nothing new I call up Hag and leave the following message,

"I believe that I will not attend that insurance meeting since I wont be getting paid for said meeting.  Instead I would like to sign up for the HSA account and if there are any changes to my current plan, let me know"

Sounds easy enough but I got this response from her,
"Tom, I got your message and I cannot stress to you enough how important this meeting is.  I really think it would be in your best interest for you to show up."
Oh, okay.  Perhaps something else is going on.  Perhaps they're firing us since it's on a Friday?  Perhaps they're going to award me the prize of MVP or give me a giant cake with Erin Esurance inside and she pops out giving me a smaller cake in return? 

So I was compelled to go since it was in my "best interest" to attend.  I showed up, was bored to tears with the presentation, and I concluded that it was absolute bullshit that I "had to be there".  Just as I was leaving Hag called to me and that's when I thought they were going to wheel in the giant cake but no, she simply told me that my health insurance was going up.  Apparently this new plan is taking the average age of everyone in the plan instead of taking things based on the individual.  Me being 29, in relatively good health, and working with a bunch of unhealthy Carl Pohlads makes me pay more in this new health insurance plan which is to save everyone money.  Hag basically told me, "hmm sorry.  I guess you drew the short straw.  Sorry you had to wake up for this meeting haha. 

If there was a well big enough, I would say she should fall down a well.

2.  Dumbasses who can't vote

I'm talking about this current Senate recount bullshit. How about instead of analyzing each incorrectly filled out ballet we burn those ballets and clean our hands of such stupid piddly bullshit.  If one cannot follow directions and fill out a simply oval then they are not smart enough to vote, simple as that.  If they are too stupid that they X-out the candidate or circle the candidates name, then they are too stupid to vote.  Instead of giving them a "I voted" sticker they should receive the "I'm a retard" sticker instead. 

We cannot be expected to make EVERYTHING retard proof in this society so lets not make it harder on ourselves.  This is stupid and it glorifies idiots. 

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Goodbye Metrodump (part 1)

Through the fish-eyed lens of tear stained eyes
I can barely define the shape of this moment in time

 

Saturday marks the beginning of the end to the Metrodome.  The Metrodome which was the fairweather fan's lair to simply stand up and clap whenever a phenomenal play happens and to stand in the small concourse right in the middle of everyone and look around whenever they are lost.  It is also the place where polo shirt wearing fathers come and take their kids and end up leaving early to beat the traffic.  Also the place where Minnesota fans can have the illusion that they live in a warmer place than they do.  On Saturday University of Minnesota Golden Gopher football team will play their final game at the Metrodome against the evil Iowa Hawkeyes and I couldn't be happier.

When I think of memorable games at the Metrodome I think of Kirby Puckett and game 6 in '91 and one of the best games in baseball history with game 7.  There's also the World Series games in '87 where the fans reached 115 decibles which is like standing behind a plane when it takes off.  Of course there's all those homer hankies waving wildly, the Super Bowl, The Final Four, and maybe the 1985 All Star Game. 

These are the best memories I can come up with as a whole, not just baseball.

When it comes to Vikings football the memories become hard to come by.  At least happy memories because I can remember the game where Brad Johnson caught his own touchdown pass, Randy Moss' first game where he caught two touchdowns, and maybe two decent playoff games?  Perhaps that '87 playoff game where Anthony Carter was possessed would be a candidate but I was only 7 and begging my dad for attention at that time. The most memorable game would have to be that '98 Championship game which does not need any sort of mention.  Then there's the playoff losses to Chicago and Washington.  The heartbreaking loss to Denver when they were on fire in '96.  Denny Green Taking a knee in '98 also comes to mind.

Maybe I should stop there before I jump off a bridge.

Gopher football in the dome though, my memories are as follows,

  • Gophers blowing a fourth quarter lead to Michigan in 2003 (Glen Mason excuse:  no on campus, outdoor stadium)
  • Gophers losing to Northwestern in 2000 due to a Hail Mary at the end of the game(Glen mason excuse:  no on campus, outdoor stadium)
  • Gophers losing to Iowa and having their fans storm the field (our field) and trying to take the goal posts out of the stadium (Glen mason excuse:  no on campus, outdoor football stadium)
  • Gophers losing to Wisconsin because they botched up the punt on their own ten yard line and Wisconsin scored the game winning touchdown with a minute to go.  (Glen Mason excuse:  no on campus, outdoor football stadium)
  • Gophers losing to NDSU in 2007 (Glen Mason wasn't our coach)
  • Gophers beating Wisconsin in 2003 (Glen Mason took all the credit for that)
  • Gophers losing to Nebraska in 1988 42-0 ( I was only 8 at the time so I'm sure Glen Mason's excuse was:  If I was coach they would've at least scored a meaningless field goal)

Anyone have another decent Gopher Metrodome moment?  Anyone who isn't related to a player?  

I guess I can tell my story of the Northwestern game since I was there, sitting in front of the Northwestern fans. 

Gather 'round everyone

I went to the game with my friend C and his family.  C's dad was head of the pork producers and he scored a number of tickets in the front row of the upper deck so the seats were alright.  Of course there was a sea of purple sitting behind us which was surprising because I didn't know Northwestern had any fans.  Anyway the Gophers were up 35-14 in the 3rd quarter.  After each Gopher touchdown there would be a parade of gopher fans slowly walking up the upper deck aisle above us to cock off at the Northwestern fans.  This parade would sing the rouser, point and laugh, and yell at this group of purple. 

It was simply great and I nearly joined them because I kinda like being a dick like that. 

Then came the fourth quarter where the Gophers never ever seem to have anything resembling a defense.  It's almost as if the gopher defensive players start fading away like Marty McFly in Back to the Future.

One Touchdown
Two Touchdowns
Three Touchdowns and now we're tied. 

The group behind us was now standing up and going crazy after the amazing fourth quarter comeback.  Northwestern then performed and onside kick and recovered.  Now with only a couple seconds left the Wildcats were on the 45 and attempting a Hail Mary to take the lead and avoid overtime.  The throw went up, hit a group of players, and landed in a Northwestern receiver's hand.  All of us Gopher fans sitting in the upper deck sat there wearing a Charlie Brown-type frown as the Northwestern fans paraded around us and shoved a ton of humble pie in our faces. 

God dammit.  That is the only way to describe the Gophers tenure in the Metrodome.

I remember when I went to the recent Gopher/Michigan game I saw a banner that read, "Celebrating 27 years of Golden Gopher football in the Metrodome".  I think the University of Minnesota could've saved the money and instead made a memorial patch with Goldy Gopher running away from the Metrodome and throwing up "the bird" with a huge pissed off look. 

Other than all the losing the Metrodome has brought on a generation of wimpy fans who shudder when they think of standing in 40 degree weather.  This coming from people who LIVE where temperatures fall below zero and where the fishing and hunting opener are damn near a state holidays.  This is coming from people who go ice fishing, skiing, and snowmobiling in any weather conditions.  I expect this whining from people in Florida who view Minnesota as an arctic waste land where penguins and polar bears roam the land but not from Minnesota.  I have always longed for the football game in the snowstorm where you have a flask of brandy keeping you warm and the breath of the fans coming from everywhere.  I simply can't wait for the first rainy game in TCF stadium because I will be there in my rain gear drunk and and ready to beat the crap out of Indiana.  

I know I'm not going to shed a tear for the Metrodome in terms of Gopher football.  The Metrodome is symbol for college futility as far as I'm concerned.  Blow the damn thing up and then, and only then, play that U of M rouser. 

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Simply Bits

Ooo you make me live
Whenever this world is cruel to me
I got you to help me forgive

 

-Since the writing in The Office has turned rather mediocre I have been looking to find another addiction.  I tried watching Entourage but I just don't care about stardom and four douchebags talking about Hollywood.  I mean the only reasons I would end up watching that show would be for the women and Ari.  Also my "24" addiction has now been long gone so I don't feel compelled to watch season 5 or the newest one. 

I was told about It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia back in July and I decided to watch an episode sometime last month. 

 

 

This show is simply fantastic.  The ideas that they have with Charlie being molested and the gang finding a dumpster baby is simply phenomenal.  Nearly every character is someone I'd LOVE to hang out with at a bar.  I can't imagine what kind of topics I could have with someone like Charlie.  Man, that would be fun.

-I also played Hog in the Presidents Cup 10 (or whatever).  After losing to him by one point in October, I managed to beat the crap out of him this last weekend and I'm gaining momentum.  I'm in great position to be the league spoiler since I have little hope of being in the top three.  At the very least I'm happy with my team name, The Thundering Didgeradoos. 

I think there should be more nicknames that have "thundering" in them.  Thundering makes every team sound really cool like the Thundering Jets, Thundering Vikings, Thundering Panthers, and Thundering Thunder.  It's universal because even people with severe lisps can say it. 

-How in the hell could Michelle Bachmann be re-elected in the 6th district?  She's seems like the type of person who will never, ever admit a mistake.  Instead of admitting any type of wrong doing she would try to spin it to make herself look less wrong or neutral. 

I've been around these people before and I know how they work.  Back in '95 I went on a backpacking trip with the Boy Scouts and explorer group.  Throughout the trail there would be tandom latrines that were either side-by-side or facing away from each other.  Naturally we would call the side-by-side ones "pilot-to-co-pilot" and the facing away ones "pilot-to-bombardier".  Me and S got into an argument about a certain type of latrine which was clearly pilot-to-bombardier and he was arguing that it was the co-pilot type.  His theory was that this latrine was for people with wide asses and that's why this particular latrine was the bombardier type.  Oh S,  will he never learn?

Anyway I'm sure I would've gotten into this same argument with Bachmann had she been backpacking with me.  Probably.

-Is Steve Miller really one of the most recognized alumni of Wisconsin?  I suppose the U of M's Yanni isn't much better but I consider myself a 70's music buff and Steve Miller doesn't do much for me at all. 

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

TV Theme Songs

And the night got deathly quiet,
and his face lost all expression.
Said, "If you're gonna play the game,
boy, ya gotta learn to play it right.

 

Testing (pat-pat) check one (pat-pat) check two, CHECK TWO.

So.... What have you guys been up to lately?  I know I've just completed a whirlwind tour of the world and have had my share of hookers and blow from all the countries of the United Nations. 

(blink:blink)

Actually I haven't had any hookers or any blow.  I've simply just been ignoring this space because I haven't been compelled to write much lately.  I don't know what it is because I used to love reading blogs and writing crazy things but I just haven't found much of a muse lately.  I haven't even kept up with Uniwatch.  I know, I know.

I mean it's not like there isn't anything to write about because I am feeling squeezed by the economy at my job (thank you everyone who "cashed in" on the free money opportunity of the early 21st century) and Minnesota football is downright pathetic and then there's the Obamagasm that everyone is having (which I can understand).  It's to the point where I'm expecting another 'Miracle on Ice' soon because all the conditions are set up for another Soviet bashing.  All the conditions being doom and gloom except it would be the Soviets anymore but maybe....Al qaeda?  Do they have a hockey team?

I have been spending a lot of my time with a special lady friend.  Now I have to be careful because this entry could take a hard left turn into a Celine Dion-type entry really quick but I'll save you all the details other than things are great.  Now I could equally turn this into a Celine Dion entry knowing that she would read this and she might make me some pie and banana bread which would be amazing....

banana bread?.......bloggers integrity?

Does a blogger who has skipped the last couple months of writing even have any integrity?  Did I have any integrity before that?

I do like apple pie though too....

I'll just try to save face and post this so I can have the best of both worlds. 

Other than the really special lady friend, I have kept myself busy with www.televisiontunes.com which is the best website ever. 

I can (and have) listened to all the different versions of the Growing Pains theme along with such 80's classics as Just the Ten of Us and Out of This World which all have very cheesy 80's songs in the last couple days.  Even the A-team had a cheesy number for their theme song which I loved.

The one surprise and my favorite tune from that whole website is none other than the CBS baseball theme from 1990-1993 which I loved *LOVED*.  I would hum that tune on the playground and I thought it was lost forever but no.  NO!!! I finally have it and I can now take a shower to such a theme!

I think that's all I'll write about right now because I don't want to blow anyone away or anything. 

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Texas Cleanup Part 5: Coming Home

I changed by not changing at all.
Small town predicts my fate.
Perhaps that's what no one wants to see

 

So it was sad to leave.  I remember taking a slow jaunt back to my rental van just because I didn't think I would ever come back to Galveston again.  At least not in the same way that I saw it in my 12 days of being there.  I knew it was the end for my trip and that stupid dumbass reality was going to start back up in a couple days. 

So despite not having Sara Evans come and take a look at our shelter and me "hitting things off" with her at registration and thus taking a walk in the moonlit beach and then making violent love on the beach with our Halloween costumes (her: slutty country singer, me:  Charlie Brown) being half ripped open, the trip was an absolute blast.  There was never one time where I wanted to go back home.

After out-processing with the Red Cross, which is a complete bitch of a time because they give you all these stupid interviews to make sure you're mentally stable, I was linked up with three other guys from the Red Cross.  After being used to the people in Galveston and my own team these three guys seemed like aliens to me.  I think they might have been aliens too because they seemed kinda nuts.  All four of us were leaving out of Bush international airport (which is a really crappy airport) and we all were staying at the Paradise Motel the night before we left.

We were wondering about the Paradise Motel before we got there because it was located right next to the freeway and next to the airport.  It was also located in Humble, Texas which is indeed very, very humble.  Inside my room I had a black light and somewhat strong smells of weed.  The door had its lock nearly pulled off the hinge and the sheets on the bed were very questionable.  I flipped through the channels and sure enough the Xtasy channel was already ordered (compliments of Paradise Motel) and there was even a copy of Blazin' Hardcore 4 in the DVD player.  Clearly, all I needed was a hooker with a smorgus board of STD's and I then I would be living the life of a politician. 

Coming home was probably the weirdest part of the whole trip.  Going from a place that was ravaged by a hurricane with 90 degree heat and junk everywhere to 55 degree weather, autumn colored leaves, and what seems like perfect neighborhoods was truly a bizarre sight.  The night I came back I was still fired up and ready to do something but I didn't have anything to do.  I remember driving on through my neighborhood the day after my trip and thinking how truly bizarre it was.  I was completely dazed by the fact that there was no trash anywhere and no generators being run.  Sleeping that night was startling because it was the first night where there were no fans or generators humming in the distance.  It was just silence which I guess I had been without for 3 weeks.  I woke up at least a couple times thinking that I got clients waiting for me and it took me a couple minutes to adjust to my own room. 

Observations

  • It seems like at least half of all Red Cross workers smoke.
  • Everyone seems to get a Texas accent when they come home.  I don't know if Oregonians or Washingtonians(?) have accents but they all seem to have strong accents after 3 weeks in Texas.  Not me though, I don't have an accent :)
  • Galveston radio stations have an extreme love affair with John Melloncamp because there was a time where I flipped on three radio stations that all had the Cougar himself
  • Everyone seems very polite down south.  It makes "Minnesota Nice" seem like a passive aggressive snobfest which it probably is.
  • Air conditioners cranked up to 11... I already covered this.
  • The ramps in Texas seem to all be built up and over the highways which makes for an interesting exit when you're 200 ft above the freeway on a single lane exit going to another freeway.  It's like they have spaghetti in the sky
  • Also in Texas they don't warn you about exits until they are RIGHT THERE.  It's like "Exit 45...NOW"
  • Those cockroaches are god damn huge in Texas.  I had one in my hotel bathroom and we had a lengthy conversation about the buyout. 
  • Texas likes football

Texas Cleanup Part 4: Registration

On the way back home...
How long did it seem?
3 days or 4? snow glazed all the trees

 

083

When we arrived at the client shelter which had one tent of about 80 clients.  The shelter was on the grounds of an unused elementary school and in the middle of a torn up neighborhood.  The night shift Red Cross people were showing us the ropes and everything seemed manageable.  The clients were the people who had their homes destroyed by the hurricane and we were there to simply help them out in anyway possible.  This shelter had showers, laundry, 3 meals a day, and air conditioned tents.  For some people this was better than what they had before the hurricane.

At first, 80 clients didn't seem terribly daunting but they were erecting another tent that day.  Apparently there was about 500 clients from Galveston who were bused to other cities in Texas before the hurricane hit.  These people were going to come back at some point.  Of course this rumor took off on it's own because some people mentioned 800 people, some mentioned 1,500, and some said that there were no buses.  This next tent pretty much guaranteed at least another 200 clients so we were going to be put to work.

068

Janet and I were mostly at the entrance of the shelter area handling registration.  Registration was not my strong suit but there always seemed to be action there and the information seemed to flow through the registration desk.  We had to make sure that clients signed in and out of the shelter, register new clients, handle all the weirdest questions that one could think of, be the gate keeper for any of the numerous organizations that wanted to "take a look" or "spread their word", and look for people who were sick mentally and physically. 

The first few days at the registration was okay.  Problems seemed to find a way to being solved and we had our very own woman who was 'all about' registration.  We called her the 'registration nazi' because she was on top of everything and would work 14 hour days making sure everything was filed to her liking. 

The next couple days we had more clients at our shelter and they were building another 200 person tent with yet another in the works.  At this point things were starting to get crazy at registration and everywhere for that matter.  Those 6 guys from Florida who everyone was worried about were damn near a god sent.  These guys busted their ass making cots, unloading trailers, and doing any kind of grunt work that was asked.  What was even more impressive is the interaction they had with the clients.  They made everyone seem like best buddies and were not afraid to sit down and shoot the breeze with any of them.  Despite being understaffed I do believe that without these guys, we would've had one hell of an uphill battle.  I think back now and laugh at how worried some people were about these guys. 

Eventually we housed more clients and by this time we had 3-200 man tents, police officers on the grounds at all times, and a parade of departments who all wanted to enter the shelter on a daily basis.  Registration was becoming rough because of all the questions, looking for people, and registering people.

070

When clients came to register they would walk up to our table usually with wide eyes and somewhat stunned.  They would sit and a lot of times, just start talking to you about what they lost, where they've been, and all the damage at their house.  At registration we heard a ton of stories and after a couple days these stories start to eat up at you.  I remember after the first couple days of registration I would get ready for bed and sit in my cot completely stunned due to some of the stories that I was told that day.  Sometimes clients would sit down coughing or showing signs of an infectious disease.  One guy had a huge scab over his entire left hand with one band-aid tied around his finger.  Turns out it was a bite of some kind and our shelter doctor had to take him away to look at it closer. 

After a typical day me and my team would find some sort of nice restaurant (whatever was open) to sit and talk about our day.  The Red Cross gave us $33 a day to spend on food and with the contracting outfit already giving us good meals, we were finding it challenging to spend $33.  Spending time with the team was very therapeutic for us because we were all able to laugh off whatever craziness we had that day.  One day Janet had a person trying to register who was an admitted sex offender, which is enough to cause a certain level of discomfort in anyone.  The four of us sitting in the restaurant at the end of the day were some of the greatest moments of the trip and we would laugh so much.  I was also able to watch TV at some of the restaurants.

061

Now for me, sitting out the last two weeks of the Twins playoff run wasn't as maddening as I thought it was going to be.  We had no news at all on Galveston Island so we couldn't tell what was going on with debates or economies crumbling, or anything.  I had H and Hog both texting me scores and giving me running updates of whatever important games were going on while they were being played.  I rarely ever missed a game on tv, radio, and certainly not a boxscore the whole year now I was missing the best part of the season!  As it turns out the Twins and White Sox ended the season tied and in a one game playoff.  This was also the day that the Red Cross put us in a hotel, so I was getting psyched to actually watch it.  I ran up to my room and immediately turned on the TV to flip through the channels.  As it turns out, TBS was the only channel that didn't come in due to some weird cable issues but I think it was a horrible joke from God.  Janet was nice enough to let me follow the game from her fancy pants phone but as it turns out the Twins lost due to a solo shot by Jim Thome.  How do I know that was a joke from God?  Well we actually had a Red Cross staff member who also went by the name Jim Thome at our shelter.

Tom:  Is your name really Jim Thome?
Jim:  Well yes, why do you ask?
Tom:  Because you killed my club the other night.  I just want you to know that I'm going to be bitter towards you from now on just because of your name.

After spending all that quality time with my team I had to wish them farewell because their time in Texas was up.  I was a bit sad to see them go because we created a nice family-like bond between us.  I was always amazed at how someone who has traveled the world and who is very outspoken like Vicki could find a way to meet a guy like Vearl who had never been on an airplane before this trip.  We all seemed to have a very good team dynamic and there wasn't any drama between us.  I even had Vearl talk about "hotties" and "women with big boobs" on the last day of their trip.  I was very proud of Vearl.

076

As it turns out, it seems like nearly half of our staff left with the rest of my team.  At registration it was just me and the new supervisor, Diane, who was left.  At this point registration was turning grueling because we were so incredibly busy at the desk.  It wasn't just at registration either because the whole shelter was greatly understaffed at this point with as little as 5 staff people in charge of a client base of over 300.  Staff became stressed, clients became stressed with the added numbers, and the workload was increasing more and more.

I talked to a bunch of people who worked with the Hurricane Katrina aftermath and they all told me that there is always one point where something gives from a mental standpoint.  Either you become emotional or angry or depressed but something always makes its way through.  For me it was when just me and Diane were at registration.  I remember seeing these 3 bags of garbage about 40ft in front of us at the desk.  These bags had flies buzzing around and it looked nasty.  I would make a mental note to take these bags back to the dumpster but I would always be caught up in something.  I would then make another attempt only to drop the bags and go to something more important.  Finally I started to take out the trash when the wind kicked up and blew some of the registration papers off the table.  I could feel that flame of frustration growing and that was when one of the clients threw a half full bottle of Gatorade in the unlined garbage container I just emptied.  I simply told Diane that I had to leave for a half hour, right now.  It was probably the first and only thing I demanded in months.  Diane also had to take a break because she was on the verge of going insane.

087

(Same hotel.  Notice the chunk taken out on the top corner of the hotel.)

090

Meanwhile the client number rose above 500 and things in the shelter were getting uglier with sickness breaking out and people getting frustrated with other people.  People were drinking the hand washing water instead of using the bottled water that we provided and becoming ill.  Sometimes the police would kick people out of the shelters for various reasons.  Luckily we had more Red Cross volunteers who came and rescued me and Diane from the madness that we were encompassed with.  Tom and Penny both came from New Jersey and we had Laurel and Brian who showed up wearing their UCLA garb.  So we now had 6 people in registration and things were actually manageable at this point.

117

I hate to give everything a negative connotation because it wasn't like I was living in hell for a 12 days.  I actually loved being down at the shelter and Galveston and simply being part of something so huge.  All of the teams that we came down with fused into one large family and we would always give each other breaks throughout the day.  The guys from Florida, the Seattle couple, and the UCLA twins (even though they made fun of whatever northern accent I have) were so much fun to work with that I really felt guilty for leaving when I did.  When you start out a shelter that only had 80-some people and it grows to over 500, you feel like your a part of the place.  There was something to be said of working at our shelter because we were so understaffed but whatever staff we had were very good. 

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Texas Cleanup Part 3: Galveston

When the snow don't come
You can't swim in the lakes
Now it's hotter than hell
In a bed you won't make

The morning of going to Galveston we stopped by that abandoned Wal-Mart for some last minute questions and supplies.  The supervisor told us to pack away three cases of bottled water since the water in Galveston was either not working or undrinkable.  They also told us that we're going to need a lot of cash and insect repellant with with over 75% deet.  They made it sound like we were heading into Vietnam or something. 

It wasn't until we reached north Houston when we started to see large broken branches and after each mile we would see more and more damage. At this point it just looked like a powerful thunderstorm whipped around Houston which was barely notable.  When we drove through downtown Houston we noticed that some windows were replaced with plywood.

057

I remember all those 80's shows would feature a cool looking office.  Man would walk in the office and immediately a drink would be served in some cool looking bar off to the side of the office.  There would be glasses and all the top line liquors around.  I've always dreamed about having my redneck equivalent.  It would feature all the bottom shelf liquors and have dixie cups sitting nearby.  A piece of plywood in place for a window would also be ideal.  I can only hope that there is some guy up there with dixie cups making the most of his wooden window. 

I've been in Houston before visiting friends and I really don't care for it at all.  For it being the 4th largest city it sure doesn't have much going for it.  When you compare Houston to Chicago or New York, I nearly throw up because of how cool both Chi-town and NY are and how boring Houston is.  I would probably rate Houston a tad bit above Gatlinberg, TN and just below Humble, TX.

Anyway, south of Houston is where we were finding more and more billboards being blown out.  We all made the note that McDonalds signs seemed to fare the worst because nearly all were damaged south of Houston. 

022

Then we'd see some very weak houses with tarps over the roof.  Construction equipment was becoming more frequent and there was more and more crap on the side of the road. 

011

About ten miles north of Galveston we began seeing boats laying on the sides of the freeway, the median, and pretty much all over the place.

018

019

When we reached Galveston Island it looked very concerning.  There was piles of trash stacked up in front of all the homes and businesses were throwing away all the drywall and damaged goods into their parking lot.  There was nothing open and everything smelled like a plugged drain that hadn't been pumped in two weeks.  All the traffic lights were out too so defensive driving was a must.  It was way too easy to have your eyes drift toward a graveyard or some strange debris and you end up rear ending someone. 

076

Everyone in my team kept mentioning the "Galveston song" by Glen Campbell.  My parents even mentioned it but I've never heard it before.  I just youtubed it just now and now I wish I was never that curious.  Good lord that song sucks.  The Wreak of the Edmund Fitzgerald blows it out of the water...er...pardon the pun

040

In this picture you can see the small boat caught up in the tennis court fences but what is really interesting is the dirt on top of the chain link fence off to the right.  This dirt is the high water mark for when the storm surge hit.  These tennis courts were about 6 blocks away from the Gulf.

We stopped at the local chapter headquarters where we met our next supervisor who looked like she hadn't slept in 3 days.  She was dealing with 30 problems seemingly all at once and the four of us were trying not to cause  her to snap.  She explained the shelter that we'd be helping out and that there are only 6 staff people right now.  The 6 were all from Florida and were brand new to the Red Cross and she seemed worried about them.  As if they were trouble or something.

We shrugged it off and went to our own shelter where we were being housed.  Because there was so many different disaster relief organizations down there (EPA, Forestry, State Troopers, FEMA, Salvation Army, Southern Baptists, and more) they had a huge shelter for all the disaster relief agencies to stay in.  The shelter was a tent, and air conditioned tent no less which housed about 400-some cots

038

On my plane trip back home I sat next to this U of M professor who made one of the funniest statements,
"I do believe that Texas summers are in fact colder than Minnesota winters."
See, in Texas they don't simply turn on the air conditioner but they have every room ready for emergency meat locker storage.  It's absolutely insane how cold they make these rooms.  When I started packing for my trip I briefly wondered if I should bring a stocking hat for if I should get cold at all.  Then I thought,
"I'm going to southern Texas, what would I do with anything more than a t-shirt?"
I figured it was a good point but I actually could've used one.  This shelter was waaay too cold at night and I would shiver my ass out the door just to warm up.

045

Outside the PVC meat locker we had a contracting outfit in charge of showers, washing stations, laundry, and food.  Other than tents, we were not roughing it at all.  The food was great and in great quantity because you almost needed two plates to hold everything. 

046

Laundry was especially cool because you stop up to this tent, hand them your bag of laundry, and take a number.  Later that day it would be cleaned AND folded.  Upon learning of this I called up my mom and she thought I would never leave.  Folded clothes!!! 

069

Here's where I tease you and say, "Next, I'll talk about what it was like at the client shelter...but that will come tomorrow."  So yeah, stay tuned or whatever.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Texas Cleanup Part 2: Bored

May not seem exciting the way those others do
I'm emotion, my devotion
You will need some day as I need you

 

I arrived at the Red Cross headquarters for Hurricanes Ike and Gustav in suburban Ft. Worth.  Like I mentioned before, it was an abandoned Wal-Mart with about 200 miscellaneous Red Cross workers stationed at one of the 20 stations sprawled across the floor.  The place was humming and walking in was like walking into a giant office complex without the cubicles.  The place had charts, graphs, maps, and easel post-its all over the walls and wires strung out all over the place.

 005

I soon found a sheltering team which had a couple team members bow out for various reasons.  I greeted everyone on the team and based on their accents I figured this was a team entirely from Texas.  All four middle aged people had drawls and they all seemed very fun and happy.  To my surprise no one was from Texas or even close to Texas--two of the people were from Oregon, one from Vegas, and the guy with the deepest drawl I have ever heard was only ten hours away from me in NW Missouri. 

Everyone I just met got back from Texarkana where they opened and closed a shelter in about ten days.  They told me all the stories and people that they met while in Texarkana.  They mentioned "Big Momma" and all the sugared up kids in the shelter.  They also mentioned the 2nd hurricane that came through while they were trying to fill a perscription  I spent the first few days in Ft. Worth listening to my team talk about their lives and their experience in Texarcana.

Eventually one of the four people I met bowed out due to family illness and our team was down to four.  We had Vegas Vicki who was very outspoken and one hell of an effective leader.  Vicki scored us hotel rooms, awesome working hours, and she was one of the most effective managers I had ever seen.  Coming from Oregon we had Janet who was a blast to hang out with.  If she wasn't breaking her ankle on curbs and talking to sex offenders, she was helping me make fun of people which is always fun.  Then there was Vearl who was a 68 year old farmer from NW Missouri.  Vearl was the person who I identified the most with because he reminded me so much of my grandpa and he had a story for everything.  Making fun of Vearl was especially fun too because he would look off into the distance and finally throw his cap at you. 

We all quickly bonded and began waiting for a call for our assignment.  We specialized in sheltering which means that we were basically being managers of a shelter until the shelter wasn't needed anymore or we had to leave.  I felt relieved that they had done this before because I had that Maroon 5 scenario fresh in my mind.  So we waited.

First day---no call
Second day---no call
third day---no call

We waited at this nice hotel for three days.  We couldn't afford to explore Ft. Worth at all because we had to be close to our packed bags if we got a call to be somewhere fast.  The Hotel was beautiful but it was in the middle of nowhere.  We couldn't walk around anywhere and it was hard to get involved into anything with the threat of the phone ringing and canceling out whatever plans we would have. 

After three days of waiting I was starting to get a bit concerned.  I mean wasn't the Red Cross practically begging people to help out?  If so, I'm here, Hello!  I used the rest of my vacation to be here and now I'm being told to wait?  I was starting to wonder if I would be deployed to Texas only to wait at a hotel for three weeks and not have a chance to actually do anything.  If that were the case I'd be devastated and feel completely worthless.

Dad:  So what kind of stuff did you do in Texas?
Tom:  ugh, nothing.  I just hung out in a hotel for three weeks waiting for something to do.  It was the worst experience of my life.

Frustrated with the lack of doing anything, Janet and Vearl decided to go home because they didn't want to sit and wait around longer.  I don't blame them because they had already opened a shelter and this was complete bullshit to make us wait around like this.  Just before we were about to give hugs goodbye to Janet and Vearl, this supervisor came running in and told them that they were not allowed to go home.  They had to wait until it was cleared with the supervisor before they went home.  So the four of us drove back to the hotel frustrated and wondering how long we'd be staying in this hotel. 

Then the phone rang, it was headquarters.  Apparently we were being assigned to help start up the shelter in Galveston Island which was a bit of a shock to us.  We heard rumors that they would need help in Houston or Beaumont but for some reason Galveston slipped our mind.  They told us to be prepared and that the mosquitos were horrible.  It was almost as if they were trying to scare us from going down. 

I think my group was a bit annoyed that we would have the Galveston shelter.  Janet and Vearl must've been especially annoyed because they were minutes away from going home and now they heard that they were being sent to the place that sustained the most damage.  Because I was so bored and hadn't done a thing, I was pumped and excited to go to Galveston.  I didn't let my team know this because I'm sure Vearl would've choked me to death but I was ready to see some weird things.  I was finally going to do something.

111

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Texas Cleanup Part 1: Arriving

They're never going to make it easy
Of this you can be sure.
I greet you from the wilderness,
I'll stay inside your door


I remembering waiting at the light rail station on Monday morning.  It was about 4am and I was slowly walking around my huge duffle bag wondering what the next two weeks were going to be like.  I honestly didn't have any idea so I anticipated the absolute worst case scenario which involved me and a coked up Ben Stiller locked in a cell with nonstop Maroon 5 being played over some hidden speaker.  Hell, even that would be an experience and give me some perspective that I was craving.

I had signed up for hurricane disaster relief through the Red Cross and I was about to be deployed for about 17 days.  I volunteered to help out last year for the 35W bridge collapse and I loved the experience.  I was doing very remedial work in building a database for 'in-kind donations' but I loved how everything was structured.  Everyone had ideas and everyone seemed to listen and there were no power struggles.  It was refreshing.  They also fed us Outback Steakhouse and that was so bitchin that, like a bear that has been fed by dumbass tourists, I wanted to come back for more. 

I remember laying in bed about a month ago wondering what I could do to make 2008 memorable.  I was getting sick of the predictability of life and the pattern that everything was falling in.  I didn't know what I was going to do.  Usually I just think of Sara Evans in a vinyl suit and I fall asleep with a smile on my face but really, it's not until Sara Evans is in your bed is when you are fully satisfied...right?  A week later I got a email from the Red Cross and that they were "desperately" looking for volunteers to help out in the hurricane Ike and Gustav aftermath. 

I was all over this.  I was going to actively try for this.  After all, the Red Cross would pay for nearly everything, I could take a 3 week break from work and recharge, and I simply like the idea of helping.  To me there's something very refreshing to travel in exotic places with the only task being to simply "help out".  Also the pranks that me and my roommate do to each other has escalated to her flat-out punching me in the balls and me trying to flick her chest.  Basically such a trip would give my testicles some time to heal.  Plus I get to take a back seat on managing and instead allow myself to be managed which would be a great change of pace from work.  I was all about this but getting 3 weeks off would be tough.  Especially since I only have about 7 days of vacation left.

I asked my bosses and surprisingly they were very supportive.  Not supportive enough to give me more vacation time but supportive enough that I could take three weeks off and come back with my job waiting for me.  I really didn't care, the worst case scenario of annoying ass Ben Stiller and the primate sounds of Maroon 5 seemed like the penance that I needed to pursue. 

I arrived in Ft. Worth at about noon and I called up the number that I was explicitly told to call once I got my bag.  The number led me to a voice mail to which I left a message,

"uh yeah, this is Tom and I was supposed to call this number once I got in.  Uh I would like to know what to do next."

I then waited a couple minutes and became very dissatisfied with my message and a little annoyed that the number they gave me led to a voice mail recording. 

I called again and I got this really irritated guy who told me that I called the wrong Red Cross number and he was nice enough to give me the correct number to call.  I was now playing my favorite game, telephone-go-fish in the Dallas/Ft. Worth airport no less.  On the fourth try I finally was given directions and soon I was on my way to the Red Cross headquarters which was an abandoned Wal-Mart in suburban Ft. Worth.  I was getting ready to do whatever it was I was that the Red Cross needed the most help in. 

I know, I know I haven't gotten to any juicy parts yet.  So far all I've done is fantasize about Sara Evans and talk shit about Maroon 5.  So to save you guys from one endless biblical post I'm going to split it up so I can get everyone's attention.  Not to mention it's 1:30am and I really need to get to bed because I have 3 weeks of email waiting for me at work.  I'll have more tomorrow and maybe even a picture or two.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Malaria-less

Hola,

So far Galveston has been a blast. They warned us about mosquitos on the way down here. In fact, this dude at a Houston gas station was nearly threatening me with the possible outbreak of malaria going around. After being here for 8 days I can safely say that either the mosquitos are all dead or Texans are very dramatic and whiny when it comes to mosquitos. I bought this 100% deet stuff and have only used it a couple times.

We have about 850 clients staying in our shelter on Galveston Island and it's been tough. We've been understaffed and the conditions are not the best (to say the least) but it's downright amazing what we've done. I broke my camera....but I got a newer, better one instead so I'll post some pictures when I get back.

Just wanted to say hi and that I dont have malaria and I haven't been raped yet.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Galveston It Is

Hey all,

Finally we're getting deployed. Tomorrow morning me and my group will be heading down to Galveston to set up a new shelter. Looks like I'm going to be down there until the 8th so I'm going to have a full plate.
They warned us that we're going to see things that we don't want to see and smell things that we don't want to smell. Also the mosquitos are supposed to be a total bitch.
I hate to say it but...bring it on.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

I'm Messin With Texas

Hey all,

I arrived in Ft. Worth on Monday and haven't done much of anything since. I've been included in a group of 4 others who have just returned from Texarcana where they opened and closed a disaster shelter there. The group is a fun one--we have a couple people from Oregon, one from Vegas, a 'good ole boy' from NW Missouri, and even a girl from Minneapolis. The four not in MN are all are retired from various things in life and are fun to talk to.

Right now we are all on standby and waiting to be deployed so things are pretty boring right now. We are kooked up in this motel waiting for our phones to ring. Rumors are flying that they are going to open up a shelter in Galveston and Beaumont. If true, our group could be going out to one of those places. They also opened up a "supershelter" in Houston so that also is a possibility.

Anyway, I'm bored as all hell and saw this computer so I thought I'd give an update.
Oh and people get a bit annoyed when you say you are from the "Twin Cities". It's like Dallas/Ft. Worth came in 2nd place on the official Twin City name drawing.
Yeah, suck it Dallas/Ft. Worth.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

More Sporadic Posts to Come

 

Well I'm sure the two people who are left that check this place out are wondering if there will be another post.  I have an answer to that question: yes, there will be another post and this post is that other post (I know, I'm hilarious). 

Actually the last couple weeks have been me following the Twins followed by me pacing around the room with hands on hips cursing over the total lack of a bullpen, fantasy football and how every god damn person who plays me has high score of the week not to mention how I've already had two incorrect picks and I'm already out of the that other league, and this last week I've been planning and scheduling the next three weeks for work.

The reason for all that planning is because I volunteered to work for the Red Cross in Texas for the next two in a half weeks in disaster relief from hurricane Ike.  I figure it will be just the thing to break up the mindless routine that has been my life over the last... I don't really want to answer that.  Actually it was just about a two weeks ago when I was wondering how I could achieve something somewhat memorable for 2008.  I figure that this would do the job nicely.  It would be the perspective in life that I've been looking for. 

So I'm probably going to be out of the loop for the next 3 weeks and I should have something to talk about when I get back.  So, until then...

Monday, September 08, 2008

Brady Crap

Cause they ain't got the kind of law and order
That tends to keep a good man underground

Crap List


1.  Football Kickoff Weekend

Well, that did it.  All I needed was one bad week of football betting before I'm sick of it and can get back to reality.  I get way too involved into fantasy football and I have prevented myself from participating in the past because of my fixation.  I have only joined one league with my friends, one pick the game deal (which is already over--Thanks Indy), and one work deal which is only because I want to participate with people at the office a little more.  I tried to get fantasy football going at work but no one was interested...(grrr oh but everyone was interested in the ultra nerdy stock brackets which was introduced by the boss...god, that's so nerdy).

Anyway I was pumped for this week.  I was feeling good thoughts, I had some decent players, and I was bright eyed and bushy tailed or whatever for my TRIUMPHANT JUGGERNAUT OF A TEAM led by Tom Brady himself!  I've never had an elite quarterback before and this was my first time actually drafting one, the number one rated quarterback in the draft, the guy that can move mountains, and could have me riding a patriots victory to some cash! 

Brady played about a half a quarter and snapped his ACL which makes him out for the year, makes the Patriots...pretty much like the Vikings (a good team with a questionable quarterback), and my 2nd round draft pick a bust for the ages. 

B-dubs 2015
Hog:  Man, that's crap about Peterson.  I didn't know televisions fell from the sky.  I guess he'll be out for the year.  God damn it, and on the third week too.
Boof:  Ah don't worry man, I remember when I had Brady, you remember, after his record breaking year knocking up models and almost going undefeated.  I don't think I got a quarter of playing time from his worthless ass. 

Aggrrh, what happened to the 400 yard 5 touchdown games?  What about the joy and tickling and giggling?  What about all those 30-spots from the quarterback?  This is like being the last one at the state fair on Labor Day wondering what happened to Summer... which I did.  dammit.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Politics

All in all it's just another brick in the wall.
All in all you're just another brick in the wall

 

I just got into a semi-heated argument with my workers on ethics vs. morals and how it's totally wrong to legislate based on morals.  Argh it was horrible, because I knew they were wrong as hell and their definitions were so incorrect that correcting them was just adding fuel to the fire.  It all started with me watching the RNC and totally dismissing Sarah Palin. 

I try to be as moderate as they come.  I listen to both sides and I try to keep myself up to date when it comes to political issues.  I have usually voted democrat but I always keep my options open just to try and remain somewhat objective.  However, I think I'm still biased.

I watched the DNC and that seemed downright amazing with the stage setups and how seamlessly it all was.  It seemed like they firmly believed in everything and it was almost--and I'm going to whisper this--kinda honest.  It's not without my fair share of eye rolling but it seemed really great. 

Even in a couple of the speeches I think I may have bought the underlining message.  I hate even admitting that.  After watching the DNC I have to admit, I think the Dems have this election in the bag.  They just have too much going in their favor.  In 2004 I firmly believe that all the Dems needed was a dignified person to run against Bush but unfortunately they couldn't do that.  I mean how embarrassing is it to lose to George Bush?  Obama seems to be that dignified character. 

The RNC is finally getting underway and after watching the last two days I have to say, I'm not impressed.  It seems very corny, very boring, and I don't believe the speakers as much.  Maybe it's the numerous chants: "Drill baby, Drill!" and all the really dumb jokes about pop culture.  It's like hearing my mom make a joke about pop culture.  One thing that I've noticed is that everyone is pronouncing Palin differently.  It seems a bit disingenuious when people can't even pronounce your name...and you're running for VP.

Obviously my bias is coming out but I can't help it.  I like McCain for how different he is than any other republican.  I like how he seems to follow his beliefs instead of his party's and how bi-partisan he seems to be.  I think it's very important to work with both sides in order to effectively execute in this country.  I really wanted McCain to select Leiberman as his VP but I knew he wouldn't do so.  It would infuriate too many conservatives (just like Lieberman infuriated many liberals). 

Needless to say, I'm not impressed with McCain's choice in Sarah Palin.  McCain, to me, represents independence from the republican party.  Sarah Palin represents republican in capital, bold letters which is enough to completely turn me off on the McCain ticket.  I mean with McCain's age I think it's very important to consider his runningmate because he's going to be 76 when he will be making another speech wanting to be re-elected or giving his endorsement.  Sarah Palin as President makes me shudder and I would hate her being a VP lead her to being a President--not because she's a woman but because I don't agree with her hardcore republican views.

With that being said, I can't wait for the debates. Both sides will be talking about change which seems very awkward for the republican side since the republicans are just coming off of 8 years of crap. 

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

2008 Fantasy Foosball

watchin' a stretch of road, miles of light explode.
driftin' off a thing i'd never done before

 

Last year was a storybook ending for team Giggity Giggity.  It started with the regular season and my team completely taking a dump on the 2007 season.  Every week I would go to Buffalo Wild Wings and suffer loss after loss due to my worthless team sucking the crap out of the league. 

The regular season ended with Giggity Giggity finishing in last place and only five wins to show for it.  It was tough losing to Hog twice and everyone was pointing and laughing at me!  I only gained one high score of the season and had only $3 to show for my awful regular season.

Then the playoffs happened and guys like Laurence Maroney and Vincent Jackson actually started to play legit football instead of picking their ass.  My team of idiots was starting to play like a team of champions, American champions.  A couple wins later Giggity Giggity was in the Superbowl facing off against the evil terrorist team owned by Hog himself.  I really wanted to beat Hog (as I always do) but I really wanted to beat him in the Superbowl because we were playing for money and a really shiny trophy too!

As it turns out Freedom won again as Giggity Giggity beat Hog's team of terrorists.  God I love America!

This year I'm actually trying to keep the trophy and hopefully maintain some sort of success through the regular season.  We had our draft on Sunday and I present....to you....

THE THUNDERING DIDGERIDOOS

QB: Tom Brady
QB: Jay Cutler

RB:  Joseph Addai
RB:  Michael Turner
RB:  Thomas Jones
RB:  Chester Taylor
RB:  Sammy Morris

WR:  Braylen Edwards
WR:  Jehrico Cotchery
WR:  Nate Burleson
WR:  Dwayne Bowe
WR:  Robert Meachem
WR:  Vincent Jackson

TE:  Jason Witten
TE:  John Carlson

K:  Josh Brown
K:  Jason Hanson

Def:  Chicago Bears

DUN-DUN-DAAAAAAAAAAAA

Overall I'm really excited for my team.  I had the third pick in our draft (of ten people) and I picked Joseph Addai which was kinda questionable.  I figured that I didn't feel safe trusting Westbrook and Jackson.  I also liked having the Colts runningback.  I then had to wait 14 more picks until I had to make my 2nd pick so I was eyeing up guys like Jones-Drew and Fitzgerald.  As it turns out, everyone was so runningback heavy that Tom Brady was available for my 2nd pick which I couldn't believe.  I actually had a small thought of taking him with my first pick but I wasn't considering that too seriously.

Then for the third pick I was lucky enough to nab Braylon Edwards whom I really wanted.  With those three picks I was very satisfied.

I did get my obligatory awesome tight end this year when I didn't even plan to get one this year.  I also somehow drafted Jay Cutler in the 13th round which will be awesome for whatever week that Brady doesn't play haha. 

Before the draft I was eyeing up a some players which if years past have any indication, these guys will end up sucking.  So here is my list

-Barber
-Braylon
-Brees
-any of the two big Bengals recievers
-Cotchery
-Berrian
-Bush (basically any player that starts out with a B apparently)
-Boss
-I really wanted Willy Parker seeing as everyone was thinking really low of him this year but he went in the 2nd round.

So now I simply can't wait until the season starts.  We have another worthless week of exhibition games which sucks but didn't Apollo Creed get killed in an exhibition? 

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Roxette Music Video Review

When she's spinning me around, kissing is a colour
Her loving is a wild dog, she's got the look

 

Maybe that comment was the kick in the ass I needed.  Consider this entry to be a bonus because I have a headache and I still want to research more fantasy football even though I know it's useless. 

I don't know why but I started searching through Roxette videos on youtube.  I don't know why but no one ever talks about Roxette.  It's to the point where I'm wondering if they were communists and making music to further the support of the red regime, hmm.  Roxette was the prototypical late 80's early 90's music but they had an interesting makeup.  There was one woman who had very short, white hair who actually looked attractive and then there was a douchey guitarist who exemplifies the early 90's dork. 

I will go on the record and say that even though I don't own any Roxette albums, I do enjoy their hits.  I mean 'Dangerous' and "The Look" are damn good songs.  I mean the lyrics can kinda be suspect but with every Roger Waters there needs to be a....uh Roxette.  Therefore, I will attempt to give a review on each of their popular videos.

The Look
This video seems to take place in one of the apartments near the U of M with the side of the apartment being completely destroyed and the framing visible throughout.  A place like this would still get about $400 a month even in it's dilapidated state.  They keep saying she "walks like a man..." sounds like she's got *a* look but not *the* look.  I mean I wouldn't want a hottie to walk like a man. 

The more I hear this song the more I start to wonder if they just threw a bunch of words at a chorus to see if they sounded good together.  Hey, it worked for Def Leppard so why not Roxette.  I noticed they used the same shot twice so that's pretty stupid but I suppose when you're saying "she's got the look" about 40 times then there is only so many ways to say it.

I don't mean to rag on the video but it's not helping my headache.

Listen to Your Heart
This video takes place at a castle of some sort (Slane?).  I heard this song a couple weeks ago and I forgot how cool it sounds.  Maybe it was that county fair in Iowa?  Actually that was boring and silent. 

This video has numerous helicopter shots at the crowd armed with sparklers.  It also has numerous shots at the guitarist posing like I've rarely seen before.  He actually gives Creed a run for their money.  As I continue watching it seems that both (hottie and dorky guitarist) are posing equally bad.  I suppose I shouldn't be surprised given the era of when this song came out. 

I will say that it's probably one of the best concert music videos of it's time.  I mean it's a beautiful song and some of the shots are very artistic. 

Dangerous
This song may have been the prelude to 'Listen to Your Heart' because it's shows numerous set-up shots of the concert in the castle.  So many bands in the 80's have this typical throw-away video (Genesis, Def Leppard, Metallica, Bon Jovi).  It's like they take the most annoying roadie and give him a camera to shoot the sound check. 

I dunno, the woman is in a hot looking black outfit but---okay I just gotta say this real quick, I weighed in at 185 today!  On two different scales even!  I haven't weighted this light since like ten years ago.  I think I'm in prime condition to consume my heart out for the state fair!

It Must've Been Love
I simply love this song.  I know, I know, I'm going to lose about ten 'man points' for saying that but I've always been a sucker for this song and video.  I don't really have much of an opinion for Pretty Woman except that if I was to make a movie about a prostitute it would involve more nudity and less George Costanza.  I simply love how the video has the sheets flowing in the wind with the filmstrip on top.  I also like the shot with (whatsherface...Roxette?) is in that white minidress with the film clip of Julia Roberts over her dress.  I've always thought it was a really cool shot.  I think one of the main ways I like this video is because the guitarist's douchiness is down to about a 2 in this video.  He actually looks a bit dignified if I dare say that.  The warehouse is also kinda bitchin. 

Joyride
I heard this song a lot when it came out and then I never heard it again.  Well, that is until Sophomore year in college when, for some strange reason, I heard it on a daily basis.  I think one of our college television programs used this song as a intro or something.   I just saw this video in it's entirety and now I've got a really bad headache. 

In conclusion, I just want to say that I will only be cherry picking my favorite Roxette songs from itunes and/or just watching their youtube clips because I appreciate their 'just-a-bit-too-highbrow-for-carney-music" taste.  Also, I did lose some weight and I now I feel the need to eat a lot more.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Summer Games Crap

Run, you can run,
tell my friend-boy, Willie Brown.
And I'm staying at the crossroads,
believe I'm sinking down.


Crap List

1.  The Summer Games

I absolutely love *love* international competition.  Simply put, I feel we get a great idea on who is the best in the planetat their respective sport.  I've always wanted to compete in something and represent my country for something like the Olympics and it would be a thrill go just be there.  In fact one of my dreams is to simply hang out around the Olympic Village during the Winter Games just to see if I can get me some Olympic ass.  If I was lucky enough to compete I can only imagine standing on that podium and having God Bless America (I like that as an anthem better than the Star Spangled Banner) would be enough to make me cry like a little bitch.

With that being said, what I'm about to say will probably get myself hated, knocked out, and crucified by the crazy swimming fans out there.  I'm just going to come right out and say it, the Summer Games are fucking boring as all god damn hell.  There is really only one event that I will watch for more than 4 minutes with that being the marathon and that is only because I get to see a lot of Beijing in HD.  Other than that the other events are really, really boring.

I didn't know who Michael Phelps was a week ago and I still don't give a rats ass now.  I don't care if he won 20 gold medals at the Olympics, I just don't care about swimming at all.  This may be shocking but I wouldn't even watch if Phelps happened to be in my backyard swimming.  Instead I would probably be in the pool with the arm floaty things telling him to quit splashing and to find his own damn pool.  I understand he's a great athlete and he was close on some of the races and yadda yadda yadda but I don't care.  Watching swimming is worse than watching Nascar.  There are many ultra marathon racers out there who do everything and they are also great athletes.   

I think my biggest problem with the summer games is that I don't identify with any of the events.  I've never been a fan of track and field, never even owned that nintendo game with the pad.  I don't care about the javelin or the ball toss (whatever it's called), nor does watching someone lift a lot of weight really do anything for me.  Gymnastics makes me think of all the pedophiles who are watching and baseball and soccer are not even that good.

Also I'm kinda pissed that this is the last year Baseball is going to be an Olympic sport.  By the way, have you heard what the extra inning rules are for Olympic baseball?  In the 11th inning each teams at-bat begins with runners at 1st and 2nd with a hitter of whomever the manager chooses.  Every inning after starts out that way until the tie is broken.  I shit you not.  They somehow found a way to cheapen baseball for the last year it's held as an Olympic event.

If you haven't found out already I'm very bitter over the Summer Games.  I think it's because I have a deep love for the Winter Games and I'm sick of the media and everyone shitting on the Winter Games for the events that no one understands.  For every time Curling is questioned I will counter with Equestrian because if equestrian is an event then having wiener dogs catch Frisbees should be in there too.  For every time the biathlon is questioned I will counter with handball, whatever the hell handball is.  I was watching handball the other day and it's like basketball and soccer's "oops baby" that never should've happened. For every time the skeleton is brought up, I will counter with ping pong.  I know they call it table tennis but defecating is still the same as taking a dump.  

Then I'll briefly go over "the birdsnest" which looks like Paul Bunyan's bedpan.  Why and how someone could design something so ugly is completely beyond me. 

The summer games would be so much better if they had rugby, true baseball, and lacrosse to name a few.  I just wish it was over so I don't have to listen about some news anchor going nuts over the new ping pong champion. 

pfew, I feel so much better now.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

dating crap

If I could reach the stars I'd pull one down for you
Shine it on my heart so you could see the truth


I must admit that I'm really burnt out on dating.  I had a date on Tuesday and I was on the verge of falling asleep because I was so damn bored.  Usually when it comes to dating I feel like I should be the one to keep the conversation going and to at least salvage the night/dinner.  Not this time though, she was a nice woman who was alright at conversation but I just wasn't interested from the get-go.  I think it might have been this series of conversations.

Boof:  So are you a fan of Will Ferrel at all?
date:  yeah, I like some of his stuff.
Boof:  Anchorman?
Date:  nah, didn't really like anchorman
Boof giving a different kind of Ferrel movie: How about Stranger than Fiction?
Date:  nah, didn't really care for that either.  I also love --LOVE--Ben Stiller!

ugh, I'm trying really hard not to scowl at her at this point.  I gave her two of my favorite Will Ferrel movies and she crapped all over them.  At this point I'm a tad irritated.  Then she brings up the no-no topic on first dates: politics.

Date completely out of left field:  So who are you voting for this year?
Boof taken back:  Oh well, I usually side to the left of things--
Date interrupts: oh good, I was afraid you were a republican--
Boof interrupting her: --but I've always kinda leaned on McCain this year because of how much of a centrist he is.

At this point I kinda know I pissed her off.  I wouldn't have admitted that if I really wanted a second date but I figured I was honest and I was curious on how she would react.  I could tell I was hitting a nerve because she went in her "here's why you vote democrat" routine on me.  I remained calm and told her why I felt like I did and I think I did a good job of shutting her up.  Then came strike three.

Date:  I'm going to be one of those protesters outside of xcel arena during the RNC.

oooh, yeaaaaah

I take this info as her being completely hardcore dem which I find this unattractive for some reason.  If she was leaning this far right, I would be just as irritated because I think of someone being possessed kinda like a right wing zealot.  I think of the nutjobs who jump up and down with excitement on election night as if they just won a Nintendo Wii.  Is it really that exciting?  I've always *always* been irritated with these weird people.  It's as if they were infected with some sort of disease and now all they can see is blue.

We finally parted and wished each other well.  I think she's more interested than I am since I felt like I just wasted 2 hours of my life during this date.  I know it wasn't so much her as it was me though.  I think I'm so used to people being completely boring or crazy or unstable that I expect the date to go bad.

It wasn't always the case though.  I remember when I started going on my dating frenzy when I would almost expect (and enjoy) a great date.  I would be very up beat and be an MC for whomever I was dating.  I had a good time, she had a good time, and we would make plans for another. 

Since then I've met the complete duds, the freaks, and people who are so boring that I wonder if they even know what "fun" is.  This definition of "fun" coming from a person who doesn't even drink that much. 

I've met the people who answer question with one word and will not engage in conversation no matter how hard you try.
Boof:  So where you work, do they treat you right?
date:  yeah.
Boof:  Is there anyone that annoys the crap out of you there?
date:  nope.
Boof:  How did you decide to get into that industry?
date:  eh, I don't know.

AARRRRRRRGGGGGH!  TELL ME SOMETHING!  PLEASE!  TALK FOR THE SAKE OF TALKING SINCE THAT'S WHAT I'M TRYING TO DO!  How can one engage in conversation when the other is looking blankly at you giving one word answers or the complete bullshit "i don't know" answer.  Really?  You don't know? 

I even wish that if they weren't interested to simply tell me right off the bat because that would be so much better.
date:  I gotta tell ya, you're nice and all but this isn't going to work.  I'm going to leave and wish you to best of luck in your future.

At that point I would be so amazed and refreshed that I would actually feel a bit up-beat.  No beating around the bush, no fake laughter, no bullshit conversation, just an honest belief and a sincere gesture!

One date we started getting into a deeper conversation which was great.  She asked me what I dream about and I started on about my future house, having a dog, and living next to some cool shops.  I was completely daydreaming but it was fun and I was getting into a zone.  It was very cathartic and true.  I felt like we were about to take this conversation into another level, a possible connection.  It was nearly complete, all I had to do was ask her that same question:

So what kind of things do you think about everyday?
date:  well uh, I don't know....  Like I always hope I don't fall down the stairs before I start to step down.

(blink:blink) sigh

That's the answer you give me?  That is what you think/dream about everyday?  I thought we were actually getting somewhere.  Like, nearly on the path of revealing a bit of ourselves.  No, she tells me that she never dreams about anything.  Really?  How can people not dream?  Do people actually live life without any kind of an imagination? 

I've also dated a couple women who had this ideal of being a "successful business woman" whatever that is.  It's like they didn't know what they wanted to do but they just wanted to show up at a coffee shop in the business suit and read the Wall Street Journal to make other think their shit doesn't stink.  It's like the image is more important than the actual job. 

I suppose I shouldn't crap on people's business woman dreams.  I suppose it's just the frustration of seeing someone who has potential and then seeing the red flags pop up eventually.  There always seems to be red flags and my gut just screams at me, "she is going to be very annoying, very fast." 

I suppose I am doing the right thing in dating but it's so frustrating.  It seems like everyone is very boring or has issues with the dumbest things.  When I do find someone the least bit interesting they cheat, or just want to snuggle (ugh), or they're 2 hours away.  It just seems like it's been so long since I've met someone that I've felt giddy about, someone who has inspired me to plan a date very creative and awesome.  Someone who I could talk with hours on the phone.  Ugh, how the hell do people find this other person?