Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Yuletide

Oh hello. You caught me mid-blog. I'm just sitting on the blue microsuede plonking away on the macbook.

I hope that you and yours had a lovely holiday season. Mine was leisurely. My idiot brother Sean is back in town. Good to see that fella. Lots of snow, lots of cold, lots of ice. I guess it is winter and all. Funny, I've lived in this bowl of snow my entire life but winter still catches me off guard. But hey, makes for some cozy scenery.


Friday night I foolishly decided to go to the mall. It's been so long since I've malled. The crowds, the stores. I was overwhelmed. I felt like Tarzan in New York City. Naturally I didn't find what I was looking for, a consequence of waiting until the Friday before Christmas. I did see some cool mannequins though.

Later that night. Jazz game. Hot n' Ready. And then! Natonal Treasure: Book of Secrets! (the book of secrets is written by presidents, for presidents). I truly believe this is the "perfect" movie, somehow. I can't describe it. Half the people I saw it with were not amused. I loved it on an ironic level but also on a sincere level.

My favorite part. They (spoiler!) sneak into the Oval Office to (spoiler!) find a clue hidden in the President's (spoiler!) desk.


But the clue isn't th(spoiler!)ere. We find out later that Calvin Coolidge beat them to it. Thing is, the clue is really hard to find and involves opening drawers a certain precise way. So I imagine Silent Cal was just sitting there one day quietly messing around with his desk when he stumbled upon the clue. He probably remarked "..."



Saturday. Hmm. I think I slept most of the day. Eventually my family went to the cemetery to see the luminaries. A few years ago I helped set up the luminaries and that was a nice day for me.



Then, Jazz game, Hot n' Ready. The Jazz lost at the buzzer thanks to Dwyane Wade. What kind of a jerk has a strange Y in their first name? Oh speaking of Y, I also caught the end of the BYU/UCLA game. What an improbably ending to that one, am I right?

I then found myself at the Tap Room with a couple of my married (not to each other) lady friends.


There was this cool part where some jerk that looked like Blink-182 started hassling us and I stared him down and told him to "move along." I was pretty bad-ass. Last time I tried to defend a lady's honor it ended with me getting headbutted in the face by a Calgarian. This time the dude walked away eventually. Probably 'cause I've been working out.

Also I found fifteen bucks in the parking lot! Then back to my friends' house where I enjoyed their hospitality and a nice cheese platter.

Sunday night, dinner hosted by an old family friend. I am kicking myself, right this very moment, for not bringing my camera. The Christmas decorations were off the hook. Seven trees, seventeen nativity scenes, and ninety-six Santas. Wow.

Then I watched the movie Once. I really liked it. It's very Sundancey. If someone asked me what a Sundance movie was like I would show them Once.

Christmas Eve. Dinner with the extended family. Here's my idiot brother Mike helping himself to some dip.

A picture of you finally made the blog. You happy now, Michael?

Here I am stoically eating an olive.


Sean was attacked by a dog named Banjo.

Banjo was fascinated by this robot dog.

Then w'all had a nice conversation that covered the Great Depression, the Holocaust, the Korean War, and the Plague. Seriously.

Now, I don't care where you come from. Boiled red cabbage and mint ice cream does not a tasty dessert make.







Back home me and the brothers watched that Harry Potter movie that I raved about all summer. We were up til 4am because we got a late start due to a ninety minute argument over who got to sit in the big chair.

Christmas morning we enjoyed our traditional Christmas breakfast dish and sat down to watch TV as a family. What did we watch? Well what else?

Then Sean, who's going to stenography school, tried to teach me some stenography. Man, that is complicated business. No wonder there's a whole school for it.

Aaaaand we're done.

dot dot dot

I don't really feel right writing about this but I don't feel right not writing about it either. I ended up with a five-day weekend over Christmas, but for pretty much the worst possible reason. The head of my department passed away suddenly on Thursday night. We're a small operation, only about twenty people, so she wasn't some phantom manager in a corner office. I complain a lot about our customers, my co-workers, all the work I have to do, the attendance policy, the parking lot, the temperature, but seriously if you have to have a job in a becubicled office this is the one to have. She was a great manager and she will be sorely missed.

Two of my friends also had to deal with the unexpected passing of loved ones over the holidays. I've seen my share of tragedy and I'll see more of it, as will we all, but right now all is well in my little sphere. So... count your blessings and all that.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Friday, December 21, 2007

Gloom

Driving around, listening to Arcade Fire, contemplating contemplations, getting my money's worth out of the anti-lock brakes.










Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Tecmology

I've spoken at length about the epic Super Nintendo Tecmo Battles between me and Chris. Recently I received this e-mail from Danny, proprietor of The Bud and keeper of the Tecmo.

Gentlemen,

I would like to win a Tecmo Super Bowl. I was working on this endeavor with a San Francisco team who was 10-2 when, without warning, the Tecmo gods deleted my season.

In order to play again and not risk having a season erased, you would have to power through and do it fast. It's too much of a job for one man.

But for two or three men?

I think you see where I'm going...

Do you have a desire to win a Tecmo Super Bowl as part of a team effort?

Do I have the desire. As if that's even a question.

We assembled at the Bud and watched the Utah Jazz lose their sixth straight game. Then, because we hate ourselves, we went to Arby's.

Interesting sights at the Arby's: a sign that said "no middle school children allowed without parental accompaniment," a family of smug rockers enjoying some Arby-Q, and a laconic cashier with a southern drawl and a Casper the Friendly Ghost tattoo on his forearm.

Most interesting though, were the cheesecake poppers.
These are exactly as good as you think they are.

Around 10pm we settled in to take our shot at Tecmo greatness. Michkin got in on the fun.




This is me around 3am, still wondering why I hate myself so much.




We took turns playing. This was my finest moment. A thrilling victory against the heretofore unstoppable Cowboys.


5am




Chris and I finally left at 6am, broken and exhausted. Did we win the Superbowl? TO BE CONTINUED!

Was it worth it? Let's ask Shakespeare:


We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother;
Brow Bendy Two

I spent the rest of Saturday falling asleep all over the place. I tempted fate with my late night and I'm still paying the price, beset with an illness that will probably kill me.

So, let's back track a bit while I catch you up on recent events. I mentioned a couple weekends ago that it snowed. Proof!



I also went to a fancy Winter FĂȘte partially hosted by Judy. I was draped in my finest velvets. Did someone say hotchuma hotchuma?

How fancy was it? Limes in Water Fancy.

Danny and I got stuck in a photo loop.
At some point I went bowling. I'm not sure when and I don't really remember it, but I do have this picture.

I got my car washed because I was sick of all the salt and grime on it. I wanted new salt and grime.

Friday I got to witness the birth of a neon sign.
Flags were at half-mast in honor of the late Ike Turner.




Lastly: ???



next time: superbowl?

Friday, December 14, 2007

The Old Man of the Forest

Besides cheese, orangutans are my favorite thing that is orange. The picture above should be reason enough alone, but I'll elaborate.

Orangutans are the smartest animal, next to humans. They're way way way smarter than chimps. A chimp will rip your face off, while an orangutan will help you with your chess game. From wikipedia:

Perhaps its most famous use [of the Sokolsky Opening or "Orangutan Opening] came in the game TartakowerMaroczy, New York 1924.[1] The name "Orangutan Opening" originates from that game: the players had visited the zoo the previous day, and Tartakower had consulted an orangutan there about what move he should open with the next day.


Orangutans can't swim and don't like the rain, so when it rains they make themselves little hats.


They're highly emotional critters. They smile, laugh, play, mope. Just like us!
Snakes are very deadly to orangutans. Because of their natural curiosity the apes can't help but mess with snakes. Normally their mothers teach them to fear snakes, but orphan oranguantans have to be conditioned to avoid reptiles. Their human handlers will leave a rubber snake lying out in the forest, and when the ape approaches it the humans jump out and yell. Orangutans are fast learners so this trick usually works.

Still, because of predators like snakes and the fact walking on the ground is just kinda awkward, orangutans prefer to spend most of their time in the trees, not bothering anybody.
Another very interesting thing about orangutans is that they can speak, they just choose not to because they're afraid we'll make them get jobs. That's the last thing they want. Here's one watching the Office.


The best show on television is Animal Planet's Orangutan Island. It follows a group of orphaned orangutans being reintroduced to life in the wild and forming a little society. The island breaks new ground because typically the apes are loners, but they've been forced to form social constructs and so far it's working very well. The show airs Friday nights but I always watch it Saturday mornings, often more than once. I like these orangutans better than most human characters.

This is Donald. He reminds me of me. He's an agreeable fellow, but is still trying to figure life out. He's also suffering from premature male pattern baldness.



This is Jordan. Poor little Jordan. Before being rescued he was part of an illegal circus where he was forced to box other orangutans. Because of this he never learned to interact normally and he's an outcast. Also he has a constantly runny nose.



Saturnus. My favorite. He's friendly and full of bravado. He does things his own way and often fails at everything, but that never stops him from trying.


Another favorite, Cha-Cha. Look at her hair! It's like she's wearing an orangutan suit over her regular fur. She was the most outgoing orangutan back at baby school, but upon arriving at the Island she became sad and withdrawn, missing the human interaction. She's gotten better though. She's always smiling and loves to roll around in the mud.


The whole thing is overseen by my hero, Lone Dröscher-Nielsen. She's a Dane. I pretend to be a Dane sometimes.
I'm even considering going back to school to be a monkey scientist.


No, not like that. I mean a scientist that studies monkeys. I mean apes.

I hope you've enjoyed this infotainment.