Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Oops, Wrong Person

*North end of the building* I texted, to notify my labmate and his fiance where the conference dinner was being held.  Though we had met in passing a few times, I had never really had a chance to sit down and talk to his fiance.  I really liked my labmate, so I was pretty sure I was going to like his fiance, and tonight was a perfect opportunity to find out.  *Say the password, and avoid our advisor*

Skip ahead almost 2.5 hours to the end of a dinner with plenty of really, really interesting conversation.

I had been holding a good, long pee.  As I was standing at the high-efficiency urinal, I decided to send off a quick text to Annie.  *Just found out new labmate had testicular cancer and stored sperm before surgery.  I had a long, detailed convo w/ his fiance.*  -Send-

Shit.  I didn't send that to Annie.  In the midst of peeing, I hadn’t checked to make sure who I was texting.  She’s the only person I ever really texted.  *Oops, not Annie*

A few minutes later, as I was about to reach my car at the parking garage, I got a reply.  *Nope. Not Annie, but thanks.*

I had forgotten that I had sent my labmate that quick text telling him where to find dinner at the beginning of the evening.  So, I actually sent that descriptive text message about my labmate's man basket... to my labmate.  I'm pretty sure he had no clue how much his fiance had been spilling throughout the dinner.  I'm really, really good at extracting juicy details.  I'm CIA caliber.

I had no clue what to do and could only reply with the first thing that came to my mind: *…awkward*.

You can now enjoy this story in picture format:

Screw auto-correct.  Start a website called 'Oops, Wrong Person',

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Hope for Isaac

This is Isaac, the son of one of my friends growing up:
Fun-loving, young Isaac

It was May 10th, just a few weeks ago.  21-month-old Isaac was put to bed with a really high temperature.

By the next morning, Isaac had been rushed to the hospital.  An unfortunate diagnosis was made early in the day, and it was some form of leukemia.
Isaac in the hospital

He was eventually diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL).  This is the most common form of childhood cancer.  It is treatable, but requires steroids, and many blood transfusions, and chemotherapy.

I've kept up with most of the events as they progressed.  I know how devastating this has been to their whole family, both financially, and more importantly, emotionally.
Steroid-inflated Isaac & his mom, Jessica
Jessica set up a golf scramble to help raise money and to create a place where you can offer your best wishes and support.  The facebook link for this event is here.

Since I'm almost 2,000 miles away from their family and the golf scramble, I convinced Jessica to set up a donation page, which can be found here.

I, of all people, understand that times are tough right now.  However, even the smallest donations add up, and I assure you that their family wouldn't be able to express the amount of gratitude for your generosity.  If nothing else, there are links to share these events on Facebook and Twitter.  Helping potential donors find out about these events is as good as donating yourself.

Thank you all for your help and anything you can do for Isaac and his family in their time of need.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


I drive ~39 minutes one-way to work.  I did the same commute in the summer of 2008, and I was almost excited to catch back up on all of my podcasts.  My enthusiasm ran out as quickly as my podcasts did.  The only things that I regularly listened to before this summer were: Bill Burr's Monday Morning Podcast, Freakonomics, and This American Life.  I highly recommend the latter two to everyone, but the first one is more up my alley than most people's.

Anyway, I went on a rampage of trying new podcasts.  I'm really happy with them some, and I have a few that I'd like to say aren't so good..  Car Talk is amazing, and How Stuff Works is super interesting.  Planet Money hits an interest that I've only recently come across: economics, so I listen to that regularly.  Adam Corolla's podcast sucked, so I really don't understand why it is so popular..  I've unsubscribed to TED Talks (stupid without video) and Comedy Central (same problem).  ESPN's B.S. Report and Jillian Michaels' podcast didn't do if for me, either.  A new podcast from the producers of WWDTM! has been pretty good, and its called How to Do Everything.

I'm a big fan of Doug Loves Movies, but I don't think I've correctly guessed a single movie yet from the Leonard Multin game.  I tried Jordan, Jesse Go!, but I don't think that I get it.  Not really my thing.  I'm also trying to settle on Sklarboro Country.  I'm a big fan of the Sklar Bros, but hearing them (instead of being able to look at them) as they continuously switch between each other is almost too much for my brain.  I like their interviews, though, so I'll probably keep trying.  Joe Rogan's podcast is just too long, he gets too long winded on some of his crazy rants, and I get distracted every time I think about the Fleshlight.  Bring back in the long list of Wait Wait Don't Tell Me! and Napa Valley Wine Radio 'casts that I allowed to build up in my iPhone, and I've got quite the fleet of entertaining sound bites to get me from here to work and back each day.

I've also learned some really important things from these podcasts over the last few months:

  • How to Do Everything taught me that the only sure-fire way to get rid of hiccups is to stick your finger up in your butthole and tickle the inside a little bit.  Think about that next time you have the hiccups.
  • Doug <3s Movies taught me that Johnny Knoxville lost a tooth to a high-velocity dildo while filming Jackass 3D.
  • Doug Loves Movies also taught me that a taping of Mr. Belvedere was shut down early because Christopher Hewett sat on his own balls.  (He also had another instance where he fell out of a harness during a production of Peter Pan and landed on his balls... stopping production for another day.)  Pretty much, we learned that Mr. Belvedere had gigantic testicles.
  • Planet Money, on a more serious note, has taught me that nobody in the world knows what the fuck they are doing when it comes to the economy.
  • Oh, and How to Do Everything taught me that Annie is just as awkward on the radio as she is in real life.

BB's MMPC makes me think the word 'cunt' alot, to myself, too,

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


No, that's not a misspelling.  I did not write cheesiest ("cheesy-ist"); I wrote cheesist (rhymes with "jeezist").  It is the newest in my long line of made up words.  It's obvious what it means, though, right?

Let me feed you the definition via parlor trick thought experiment.  Pretend you're hosting a party with guests from all over the country.  What is the easiest way to find out who is from California and who isn't (without just asking, cuz that's lame)?  Any guesses?

You pull out slices of Kraft American Singles and see who doesn't want one.  This works better at the end of the party, after everyone's loosened up.  Why?  Californian's aren't American, and they think their palettes are too refined to enjoy the simple pleasure that is: Kraft American Singles.  I'm sure there's a few of you fatties out here in CA who have an undying love for KAS, like the rest of us.  However, across the state, I've seen Californians turn their noses up to these wonderful, plastic, chees-ish squares.
You, my Californian friends, are cheesists!  We've gone through race wars (racists) and wage wars (sexists) and denture wars (ageists), but I will not stand for this hatred of my people.  (My people being those that know how to enjoy unwrapping a KAS and shoving it in their mouth while their fridge is open and they're trying to figure out what they're going to make for dinner.)

You know what?  I've had thousands of grilled cheeses in my lifetime.  I've had some of the fanciest and most expensive grilled cheeses in the country (that I know of).  You know what else?  I can make a grilled cheese that is just as satisfying and is pretty darn good without all that fluff.  Butter, bread, KAS.  Simple.  Delicious.
Ever had a steak Sizzler?  Shaved Ribeye that you pan-fry and put on a toasted bun.  Only cheese worthwhile: KAS.  Ever wrapped a hot dog with a Pillsbury Crescent roll?  Only cheese worth stuffing inside: KAS.

Hey, you Californians, I see that you kind of like In-N-Out.  (By kind of, I mean, you're a little insane about it.)  Ever look at that gooey, neon orange, delicious cheese that's pressed between your fresh-fried patties?  It's a knockoff of KAS.

Get over yourselves, and at least pretend to be American, you hippies,

Monday, May 23, 2011

How Many Utensils?

Annie and I wanted sushi last night, but we found out that the place we had in mind was closed on Sundays.  We, of course, discovered this after parking.

We had talked about trying another sushi place up the street, but didn't think it was fair to judge a sushi bar based on takeout.  We had no choice at this point, though.  Sushi was on our brains.

So, we walked up to Samurai Sushi Boat.  This place is SO COOL!  It took us a while to figure out how it worked, but there is fresh sushi sitting on little wooden boats continuously circling the sushi bar.  If you pull sushi off the boat, you are charged by the shape/size/color of the plates you have stacked up at the end.  We regret not immediately sitting at the bar and giving up on our plans of taking the sushi home for a movie.
You can barely see the boats going around the bar.
We picked out and order 5 rolls to go.  They sat us down and offered free miso soup while we waited.  We realized that the plates going around on the boats were pretty cheap and that they were 'half rolls'.  They looked like full rolls to me.  Considering the price we just paid (a little steep) and what they must consider a 'full roll', we figured we had just accidentally ordered a ton of sushi.

A minute before handing us our food, they asked how many chopsticks we needed for our huge order.  Two please.  Really?  Does it look like there's a crew of us drooling over the boats going by while waiting for all of that sushi?  We clearly came in here as a pair, picked them out as a pair, and are sitting here starving as a pair.

After that, Annie admitted we had 4 forks in our bag at Bake Sale Betty last Thursday at lunch.  We only ordered two chicken sandwiches, a strawberry shortcake, an oatmeal cookie, and a frozen limeade.  Four forks.  Really?

It did make for a good laugh as we imagined how fat these places must think we are.

Come on people, we're not ordering that much food,

Friday, May 20, 2011

Bridesmaids & Batteries

I told Annie that I was interested in seeing Bridesmaids when we first saw the poster a month ago.  I knew that it had something to do with a bakery (my cupcake blogs were abuzz), and I love the girls from SNL.  Well, the movie was a hit, but we didn't get to see it until last night.  It was truly hilarious and a highly recommended movie.  Hell, you've heard that all week.  However, I woke up this morning frustrated by unanswered questions that apparently haunted my sleep.  (IMDB this shit if you don't remember character names from 3 days ago anymore!)

1) Why can't they make anybody from the Midwest in movies sound like they're from the Midwest?  They had crazy accents flying around the whole movie, and not one sounded Milwaukeen.  I know people study accents.  Come on!
2) What was the pill/drink combo that Helen gave Annie, and why wasn't she ever caught purposefully giving her a concoction that would fuck her up?
3) Does Annie ever get back into baking professionally?
4) What was it that Helen said that convinced Rhodes to come reunite with Annie after the funeral?  And where, exactly, did he change from his uniform to the hipster suit?
5) How long can a butterfly survive enclosed in an envelope?

I guess I can't expect things to come full circle if the script is written entirely by women.  (Considering how popular yesterday's post was, I guess I have to keep things controversial.)  [I'm clearly joking.  Women are smarter than men.]  {I'm out of parenthetical enveloping symbols after this.}  <Except these, I guess.>

I figure that some of these questions were left unanswered to leave room for Bridesmaids 2 (where Annie and Rhodes get married) and Bridesmaids 3 (where Megan marries Air Marshall Jon) and, assuming Hollywood continues as it has, Bridesmaids 4 (where talking puppies get married) and Bridesmaids 5 (where one of Rita's 'sticky' boys grows up to marry Helen's step-daughter) and Bridesmaids 6 that I can't even pull out of my ass right now.

Moving on...

I stayed home yesterday to fix my car.  It was just the battery, though it was hard to diagnose.  The most physically intense part came where I had to try and jump start the car so I could drive to a store and replace the battery.  My car was parked in the car port under our apartment building, so the hood was inaccessible.  I turned the key (it didn't start if you've been keeping up), but I was able to put it in neutral and let it roll down the driveway.  However, I'd have to turn the car uphill in order for me to park it downhill (everything in the bay area is at some sort of angle).  There was some pretty crazy leg pressing going on as I pushed my car slightly uphill, jumped in, pulled the steering wheel with everything, and managed to depress the manual brakes before ramming Annie's gas-guzzling SUV.

I have no real tools at my apartment, but I managed to do it all by myself.  It required using a random-ass assortment of tools available at the local auto parts store.  While struggling to get the battery out in the parking lot, there were some great moments.  One African American guy walked by (and into the store) shirtless, openly smoking a joint.  He didn't seem to give a f*ck.  Also, two Hispanic guys climbed out the back of a semi trailer and asked me what the price of some tires sitting outside were, as if I gave a f*ck.  I'm out $100, but that's way better than I thought it would be in the middle of my freakout.  I then went home and made chili in a crock pot, and I took the rest of the day off work for some macho time watching Bill Burr's first HBO Special.  Once again, I had one of those days where my pimpmones were flowin'!

Can I even talk about bridesmaids and pimpmones in the same post?

Thursday, May 19, 2011


____|    |____
|    JESUS    |
       | A |
       | V |
       | E |
       | S |

I made that cute little picture above.  Why?  I see it carved into a pasture beside I-580 when I'm driving east to work every business-day morning.  I made it on Feb 10th, but I haven't had a single deep, provocative thought about religion to blog about and start alienating some of my favorite readers.  However, in my head, I'm continuously trying to form perfect phrases to describe my feelings about religion without people immediately attacking my opinions.  So here goes a bunch of things that have been said before, but that I totally agree with.
The Google Earth representation of my picture.

First of all, in general, I'm happy that religion exists.  I certainly don't agree with any deaths that it has caused throughout the centuries.  However, I have many friends and family members that have been motivated and truly comforted in hard times by their beliefs.  I appreciate that they have somewhere to direct their prayers.  I don't actually believe in luck or karma or any of those things (at least no more than I believe in magic), even though I say I do.  Also, my skills in empathy/sympathy are sub-par, so when those I care for have ways of self-healing (whatever way that is), my life is less stressful.

Secondly, I wish I believed in a god.  It would make life simpler and easier to accept.  It would immediately settle some of those cosmic questions, and it would give me an instant community of open arms wherever in the world I was.  It would get me out of the apartment earlier on the weekends, invites to more pot lucks, and a better relationship with some of my friends and family.  Even with all of these things working to convince me, I absolutely cannot accept that there is any sort of higher power.

When I was younger, and less prepared for ignoring friends who were thoroughly devoted to their religion (and instead challenged them), I regularly asked about Greek/Roman mythology.  Even the fact that it is called mythology now (as opposed to religion then) starts to lend to the question, 'Why is your god more real than those gods?'  I just find it mind-blowing when people can easily blow off what other people believe, when their beliefs sound no less ridiculous to me.

Another thing that always bothered me in arguments was how altered our accounts of history are because of religion.  If you say something like, "see this thing happened 1500 years ago, and it's right here in the Bible," I actually have two problems.  1) If I don't believe in religion, why would I believe anything your Bible says?  (The number one thing that religious people use in their defense are quotes from whatever religious text they study.)  2) Do you believe that it is impossible for that text to have changed over thousands of years?  There's so many strange hypocrisies highlighted in that statement.  Language itself has changed throughout time, so how can you be sure that the verses you read are those of a god, even if they were written through him all those years ago?  There are different editions of the Bible, and it would be easy to smear a sentence or two in 300 AD to make it fit without people knowing today.  It was also far too easy for a strong church to erase all accounts of history that were contradictory to religious texts.

Stephen Hawking was quoted this week saying that heaven is "a fairy story" for people who fear death.  I totally agree with that, but I don't think that is the only service it provides.  I feel like religion was also a brilliantly-developed tool for controlling the masses.  Being good because it's the right thing to do isn't particularly inspiring for most people.  Being told that somebody is always watching and judging, and your punishment for being a douche nozzle is eternal damnation, well that starts to get people who need answers to follow instructions.  Maybe the loosening grip that religion has is why our prisons are filling up these days.

I was surprised to find out that Annie hadn't even heard anything about the apocalypse that's coming.  You know it's this weekend, right?  Trust me, I understand that this is another nut job using religion to make a name for himself (which is better than using it to brainwash/molest/profit/destroy, I guess).  However, would all of the ridiculousness we associate with religious fanatics exist if there wasn't religion?  September 11th?  bin Laden?  Waco?  Mormons?  Crusades?  U.S.A. (think about why it was settled)?

Yes, I know you can't describe the feelings you have that confirm that there is some sort of higher power.  Faith is such a huge factor, that those without it will never know.  I guess I am completely accepting that your feelings are just your brain's response to neurotransmitters (it's just biology), that miracles don't happen (science does), and that when we die, we just die.  I'd rather live now than worry about later, especially if living for later might all be for nothing.

I love Xmas music (but you'll rarely find my referring to it as Christmas music), and I'm trying to convince Annie to start touring good gospel choirs in the bay area with me.  So don't be surprised if things I do look hypocritical.  I could go on and on for days about religion, to try and get you to understand every facet of my thinking, but I guess it's best to leave it at this and just to say that I'm open to discuss, calmly, any thoughts you have, as long as you're as open-minded as I am.  If nothing else, I find religion to be super fascinating.

Oh, jeezus... here comes the hate mail,

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Fu¢k Me.

I had a great time yesterday.  I came home to a fixed sink.  The plumber left the keys and we were able to find them.  We went to a Michigan Alumni Association Happy Hour in San Francisco at a swanky wine bar.  We met some really cool people, including a fairly recent grad who owns a sushi restaurant in the city, and he invited us to come check it out.  We are really excited to do just that!  (Everybody loves Annie and I.)  Fittingly, the person who was in charge of cheese at the wine bar was also a UM grad, and a good friend of one of the people at the Happy Hour, but he didn't know the event was happening, and they didn't know that they lived in the same city.  Long story short, we got a free, really cool cheese plate and he answered questions about everything.

We got home without getting rained on too hard.  We picked up Angel from Doggy Day Care late, but they didn't charge us extra.  We snagged a few slices from a delicious, local pizza place, watched gLee, and hit the sack.  Then, the alarm rang this morning.

I knew when Annie's alarm went off that today was going to be rough.  Something told me not to get out of bed (and it wasn't Annie, cuz she was damn near pushing me out).  It was my day to take Angel out and feed him breakfast.  This happens at 5:45am every morning, so we switch off like good parents.  We then, usually, go back to bed for 30 minutes or so (cuz it's the best puppy snuggling time of the day).

Well, I locked myself out.  Our roommate just returned from a trip to NYC to see her sister graduate from Columbia, and her mom was staying the night, and they got in really late, and she had to leave fairly early, so I felt bad ringing the doorbell to get Annie to come let me in.  So, I walked out in the road, picked up some stones, and started chucking them at our bedroom window.  It is impossible to throw stones at a girl's window without either of these going through your head: 1) "But soft! What light through yonder window breaks?  It is the east, and Juliet is the sun." or 2) any random scene from the John Hughes/Brat Pack movies of the mid-80s.

She came down to let me in.  Things were running smoothly (except the bathroom got all clogged up by the number of people in the apartment, as everyone was waking up).  I ended up having to skip a much-needed shower.  The real 'Fu¢k Me!' moment came when I went down to my car to drive Annie to work.  It didn't start.  My 2007 Dodge Caliber didn't fu¢king start.  Grrrr.

Two weeks ago or so, it started making funny noises, right around the time that I got a huge crack in my windshield.  I figured I'd just get all the fluids topped when I went to get my oil changed sometime soon.  I also figured I'd let the windshield go until it started to look dangerous.  I've been doing dramatically better with my money, but I just invested a fair bit into a super-secret self-improvement project.  I'm trying to hold off on investing money into my car, which is still fairly new and a trooper.

I guess that changes now.  I absolutely need my car by Saturday, for a fairly long trip.  This means I'll have to find money to have it towed, and have it fixed, and they'll probably want to replace my windshield, and we might as well do the tires/oil/everything else now.  Awesome.

I can't wait until we run out of oil, and I can bike to work every day,

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Never Settled

I was telling somebody earlier that I'm finally starting to feel settled.  The craziness of my life that inspired me to start a blog has all settled down for the time being.  I'm still not sure when I'll be moving to NY, or if I'll like it, or if I'll ever get a PhD in the future, but for now, things seem regular.  Almost boring.

I started to fear that my blog would have to turn into old stories and witty observations, since the chaos wouldn't continue to spew forth.  So, we went ziplining, but that was a choice, more than things just happening to keep life interesting.

As I've said, my life has always been pretty interesting, as detailed by last night.

Annie: "The water isn't going down the pipe in the sink."
~RoB: "We don't have Drano, so lets add hot water and vinegar."
A: "Do you want to try to use a hanger and unclog it?"
~R: "Sure."
*Sudden whoosh noise and quick drain of the water in the sink.
~R: "That didn't sound good."
*Opens cupboard below.  Hanger poked through the (apparently) rusty pipe and released the water into the cupboard.

Conveniently, we keep our cleaning products stored in a big plastic tub, and it caught all of the water.  We supposedly have plumbers fixing it at our apartment as I write this.  However, it made for an interesting night of washing dishes in the bathroom and dealing with Annie's stressed-out craziness.

I bet we'll do a better job at trapping our bacon/sausage/hamburger grease now,

My Two Regrets

I've gone through life thoroughly considering decisions and accepting whatever choices I've made.  Consciously deciding that you are going to stick to your decisions, no matter how they turn out, is one of my suggestions for staying sane.  Too many 'what if..'s add complications to your life that are unnecessary.  That being said, there are two big regrets I have so far, and I think one will surprise you.

1. Not attending U-Wisconsin for graduate school.
I interviewed at U-W, and I had an absolutely amazing time.  The research was interesting, and the grad students were both active and social.  It was spring break when I visited, and I got quite drunk with a big group of them.  The guy whom I immediately wanted to be my best friend was a big Chicago Bears fan, and he went to a few games a year at Soldier Field.  They showed me the desk they had waiting for me, and they were confident that I would succeed there.  I've seen several of them at national conferences, so I'm more than aware of their department's productivity.  Instead of going to another school in the BigTen, and having to root for a team that I rooted so boisterously against, I accepted a research position at UCLA.

UCLA was a chance to do something drastically different from Michigan, and it was in the same time zone as the amazing job offer Annie had accepted.  Originally, the plan was to go to UC-Berkeley, but a strong argument with one of the interviewing professors both turned me off to the department and turned them off from me.  I burned that bridge, making it impossible for Annie and I to live together with her new career, so I figured UCLA would be the next-best option.  Plus, who doesn't want to live in L.A. for a few years just to say you did?

I made amazing friends down in L.A., and strengthened some old friendships, but I just never really felt comfortable with the students or lifestyle or traffic or cost of living.  I didn't really fit in at UCLA, and my lab ended up being a big hoax.  It was the worst grad student experience I can imagine.  I remember regularly waking up and thinking, "Had I just gone to Wisconsin, my life would be dramatically better."  Maybe it was this regret that held me back from fulling involving myself in my research or in the student life at UCLA, but I really think that it was just an honest realization.

2. Quitting high school football.
I love football.  I'm intelligent.  I have huge shoulders and a fair amount of weight to throw around.  I think it is fair to say that I was a good offensive guard leading into high school, and I had all the qualities to be great in high school.  I was in the starting line throughout 8th grade, and later in my high school career, the freshman football coach (who doubled [though clearly not his strong suit] as a U.S. History teacher) told me that I was in line to be moved up to J.V. by the end of summer practice.  That would have made me one of about 5 kids (2 of which got moved to Varsity for our State Championship run that ended with a 1-yd fumble in the semi-finals).

However, I let two things get to me, and I quit before school started.  First of all, my shoulders were much wider than they were thick.  So, pads fit me awkwardly, and if I was in any position other than standing, they would rotate back and start choking me.  I had to wear a 'toilet seat' to keep them in place.  This was continuously frustrating.  Secondly, one guy was a complete ass to me.  I dyed my hair throughout middle school.  It was all types of colors and patterns, from Ronald McDonald's red hair to a calico cat.  (Hey, I was a Chicago Bulls fan in the Dennis Rodman era, and I guess it left an impression!)  Anyway, I had dyed my hair red again before football practices began.  While sweating through the first week of practices, the hair dye ended up running into my helmet and down my shirt.  I looked a hot mess.  I pretty much put a ginger curse on myself.

One guy went out of his way to make fun of it.  He was a year older, and redneck neanderthals tend to do things like that.  I can't remember names or anything, the only thing that I haven't repressed was one break where he was punting balls in my direction.  Retrospectively, I should have just fought him.  Win or lose, it would have put me higher on the pecking order for all things, including play time on the team.  Instead, I let him get to me, and I walked off one day.  At that point, I was too embarrassed to ever return.  I truly believe that football would have changed my lifestyle if I had kept up with it.  Instead of being scared of weight rooms and being completely uninformed about nutrition (both things that I still continue to struggle with), I would have continued working out as I had done coming into high school.
Yep, this was our uniform.

Every other decision I've made, good or bad, doesn't haunt me nearly as much as those two do.  That's the thing with regrets, I guess.  I suppose I should be happy in that these are the only mistakes that haunt me.

Happy with 99.9% of where life has taken me,

Monday, May 16, 2011

I'm a Badass

Inspired by an NPR interview of the guy who apparently gets to choose who the badass of the week is each week, I'm nominating myself.  Why?  I just knocked another totally awesome thing off of my bucket list.  (A bucket list that hasn't been fully formed, but includes awesome things that I've done after I've done them.)  I went ziplining yesterday!  It made me think of how many really cool outdoors-y things I've done, and this is a chance for me to reminisce.

I was one of those kids that wasn't allowed to get dirty.  I remember wrecking my bike once and coming home to a berating while I was standing there bloody and muddy.  I've also never really been camping, and I'd be lying if I said that I was Mr. Outdoors.  I'm more of one of those guys who likes adrenaline.  Here are the cool things I've done, that I can think of, in reverse chronological order (omitting roller coasters):

1. Zip-lining along the canopy of a redwood forest near Santa Cruz, CA
I actually thought this was going to be scarier, but instead it was just pure fun.  The longest line was my favorite, and I feel like I was particularly skilled at ziplining.  I know they wanted to offer me a job.  ;)  Fat people can go faster, so I was rockin' the speeds.  This is a pretty fun little adventure for anybody in the Bay Area, so go do it.

2. Bouldering in the hills near Santa Barbara, CA
A magical guide came out of nowhere like a Native American ghost and showed us some of his favorite climbs (there's a dynamo named after him up there).  I still have little proof that he actually exists and wasn't truly not-of-this-world.  I'm actually a shitty rock climber, but everyone else I went with was good and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

3. Downhill & Cross-Country Skiing in Lake Tahoe, CA
Annie's family are all pro skiers.  I've been catching on a little at a time.  I've become a decent enough cross-country skier.  There's little hope for me in the downhill department.
Totally my badass face (and bitch goggles)

4. Sky-diving in Tracy, CA
Yes, there was a dude on my back.  However, it is still a crazy ride!  I highly recommend it.  I jumped from 15,000 ft (pretty much the highest you can go).  It was a full minute of free-falling, and this makes me want to watch the video that I had made of it.  I know I spent a good 10 seconds of it trying to pick my nose.  They said it would be hard to do.  It wasn't.  What do you guys think, 10 points for my hair after landing?

5. Mountain Biking in Lake Tahoe, CA
Annie's parents each have $3,000 mountain bikes.  Her dad took Annie and I for a tour when I was regularly mountain biking.  Annie had to stop a little early.  Just like those trails in the mountains are fun to hike and ski, they were amazing for mountain biking.

6. Top-rope Rock Climbing at Devil's Lake in Baraboo, WI
Again, I'm a shitty rock climber, but I'm up for any type of organized trip like this.  On a side note, it is fun to look back at pictures before I had the standard 'turn to the side and put a thumb up' or 'duck face' poses that I use now since I hate having my picture taken.
No surprise I'm put front and center to pose on top of the rocks.

7. White Water Rafting on the New River Gorge in Fayetteville, WV
"Paddle together or swim alone" is the quote on the back of the tshirt I bought.  I've since then turned it into a cutoff that few people ever get to see.  We did everything from swimming through Class III's to rafting through multiple V's.  I have a picture hanging in my room of my raft full of people while we were fighting major rapids.  I just don't have a digital copy of it to add here.

So, what's there left to do, Bungee Jump?

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


Not to be confused with Zumba, which is a dance-infused cardio workout.  Zuma is that internet game with a statue frog that shoots balls at other colored balls rolling around a board.  Never heard of it?  Didn't think so.  Everyone's heard of it.

Anyway, Annie and I started playing it while she still lived in the dorms, so that must have been circa 2004 or so.  We played it on Yahoo, and for a while it was a little competition.  (Hell, what isn't a competition between us?)  One time I noticed that she had downloaded a free game on her desktop so that she could play it more often without worrying about the internet.

Then, I (we?) stopped playing it for years.  When I dropped out of school in January, I saw that there was a Blitz edition for Facebook.  So I picked it back up.  I was still pretty good, but there was one friend on facebook that consistently kicked my butt.

When I got a job, I quit screwing around on the internet.  As you've clearly noticed lately, due to the number of posts and my presence on facebook and twitter, I'm getting a little bored at work.  Since Google Chrome has Incognito services, and I'm confident nobody is really checking at work, my internet use has run rampant.

I even started playing those stupid Facebook games again.  For some reason, yesterday at work, my Zuma skills were off the charts!  I was consistently hitting high 380k+ without any powers.  I also hit the highest score I've ever seen, and I'm already leading my friends this week.  I scored 543,140 and 639,940, respectively, in about 15 minutes (cute little icons below).

I don't know what it was about yesterday, or if it is just the speed of my work computer or internet connection or gigantic monitor or something I ate, but I was on!  I turned Zuma Blitz on first thing this morning, and the magic seems to be gone.

I'll try again at 3:45 to see if I can bring the magic back,

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Mosswood Chronicles

These days I regularly play tennis at some very interesting courts.  They are at a park called Mosswood in Oakland.  They don't have grass growing in the cracks like my high school courts, but they are in really, really poor condition.  The reason we keep going back is because they have lights and they are always empty.  I've never once waited for a court.  Heck, I've never seen more than one other court in use.  The other court in use could easily be a soccer player as much as a tennis player.  Anyway, it's near a rougher part of Oakland, and these are some random things that have happened to me (more often the people I was playing) since we've started playing tennis there.

Fat Fan
A thug-looking man with his pants sagging stood next to the fence waiting for the bathroom on a Sunday evening.  I was on the opposite side of the court.  I could see that he was talking smack to my opponent, but it wasn't until he left that I got the scoop.  Apparently, his biggest comment was: "Don't underestimate the fat one.  I used to be fat."  My first thought was, 'does that guy think he's in good shape now?', but it changed to just being happy that he thought I was taking it to my college roommate, who is tall, in good shape, and gorgeous.
"He sure is working a lot less than you are," was the other comment he had, apparently.  I don't know whose skills this is a testament to.  Either I'm rocking the corner shots, or I'm firing wildly while he returns everyone right down the center back to me.  Either way, thanks for being the thug-est cheerleader I've ever had.

A Foot in the Grave, A Hand of Bridge
Early one hot Sunday afternoon, my old roommate and I were out there playing.  Slowly, old people started piling into the adjacent rec center.  When I say slowly, I mean that every other senior had a walker.  They cruised by the courts at paces close to a one-legged dog's top speed.  After the first dozen went by, I asked what was going on.  I was informed it was a big bridge tournament.  Not less than 10 minutes later, an ambulance pulled into the parking lot of the facility.  I immediately had a little giggle to myself, wondering what brand of hip it was bringing in for some unlucky senior.

5 minutes later, my friend joked about how the ambulance was going in circles.  I had to notify him that it was actually another ambulance that pulled into the driveway.  The ambulances were apparently just on stand-by. They were still there when we left almost an hour later.  I, of course, assume they were for the seniors playing bridge, but I guess I can't count out the short baseball players running around in the field dressed in capris with tall, striped socks and tshirts.  They were probably going for a 1930's baseball player look, but the guy that ran buy us just looked like a leprechaun with his shaped, ginger beard.

Line Judge
Annie and I were playing once, when a chubby African American kid started climbing all over the fence behind her.  Again, I could see he was saying stuff, but it is impossible to hear on these courts because they are located next to the freeway.  Apparently, he was behind her keeping score.  Annie claimed he had no concept of how tennis actually worked, and he just kept giving me points if I hit it hard and at her, no matter where it actually landed.  The best part was when I initially asked her "What was that little girl saying to you?" and Annie responded with "Actually, it was a little boy."

Beer, Anyone?
One time when we showed up to play, the trash can on the courts was filled with at least 8 broken up cases from 12-packs of beer.  I don't know what kind of crazy, homeless, house party went on in those courts, but it didn't smell like pee or puke, so whatever.

Rapper's Delight
This past sunday, the park was overflowing with loud club music, with a loud, driving bass beat.  In between points I would look over at what was going on, but I could never get a good view of anything.  At one point, a gaggle of random people collected beside the courts.  At some point, one white guy holding the leash of a bichon frise starts freestyling for the little girl on the shoulders of one of the other standers-by.  He went for a while.  I can't attest to the quality, since, as usual, I was on the other side of the court.  Maybe I should start standing by the bathrooms/rec center!  Or maybe I should look less intimidating, like the people I'm playing. ;)

I'd like to return to the Berkeley Rose Garden to play, but those bitches pissed me off when they complained we were playing too long.  We weren't.  No question.  Karma will get you old, crabby bitches.

Tennis in sketchy Oakland, anyone?

Monday, May 9, 2011

Happy 69th Birthday, Granny

For those readers who have followed along since the beginning (I thank you), you are well aware that Granny has had a rough year.  She's been the inspiration of most of my best true stories, so I'm glad she pulled through.  She landed in the hospital on Xmas Day with a leg infection, which led to lung cancer diagnoses, which led to a bad incident at home when she was released, which dragged her back to the hospital, which led to a stroke, which led to possible lung cancer diagnosis on the other lung (ended up being negative), which led to living in a rehab facility, which finally led to her being home after 3 months of rotating in and out of hospitals and facilities.

For a while, she was a little difficult to talk to on the phone.  These days she sounds amazing.  For the first time since I've known her, she isn't drinking or smoking.  She says she's eating more than she's ever remembered, and she's slowly gaining back all the weight she lost.  She still has to use a walker, and steps are extremely difficult, but she's still around and doing better and better, and we're happy to celebrate the big 69!

In keeping this post all warm and cozy, I thought I would brag about the Mothers' Day Brunch Menu that cooked yesterday for Annie's mom, grandfather, and her grandfather's lady-friend:

Lemon Brioche French Toast & Minted Raspberries

Veggie Eggs Benedict w/ Tomatoes & Avocados

Strawberry Shortcake w/ Homemade Whipped Cream

You need to try the recipe for the lemon french toast casserole.  Quite easy, and it was really, really good.  I used challah.  The hollandaise sauce was made fresh from Julia Child's cookbook.  (The first batch curdled when I was trying to keep it warm since the guests were running late).  The challah, sourdough english muffins, and the sponge cups in the shortcake were the only things that weren't made from scratch.  The shortcake cups were the only things that weren't spectacular.  Big secret: splash of balsamic vinegar in the strawberries!

Enjoy eating and your family, and count this as the good karma post to make up for most of my others,

Anonymous Fellatio

This was a great find during some down time on my old PC yesterday!  Here's the background.  I'm Mr. A.  A friend and I created this document in order to take it to our government/street law teacher.  We wanted to know if it was slander to spread malicious rumors, even if they were true.  We were also interested in any implications that threats or sexual harassment or libel (after we had printed this off) had in the legal realm.  We weren't interested in actually pursuing anything, we were just excited to have something interesting to examine in our otherwise boring class.

This incident did happen.  I still stand by it.  All names were removed when it was typed, since we were going to make it a hypothetical situation for our teacher.  The only alteration I've done is censoring the full name of my high school.

The teacher immediately turned the scenario into the school liaison officer, and Mr.'s A, B, & D had to all meet in his office to come to a resolution.  I just used big words and we all walked out.  Nothing ever came of it, which is really boring.  I clearly described where/when the incident happened.  We have cameras in the parking lot.  Either they weren't actually recording, or nobody had any interest in finding out if the story was indeed true, or the liaison officer beat off to the video.  Anyway, here's the scenario:
Mr. A, Mr. B and Mr. C witnessed Mr. D and Miss. E aggressively displaying public affection and in the act of fellatio on Thursday, February 14, 2002.  Between the times of 2:25-2:40.  After the act had taken place Mr. A, Mr. B and Mr. C had witnessed Miss E salivating with her car door open onto the asphalt.  The location of the incident that took place, was in Miss E’s car in the second row, fifth parking spot from the cross walk in the Jefferson High School Recreation Center parking lot, in which all students are required to park in.  At approximately 3:30 Mr. A and Mr. B returned to pick up Mr. B’s younger sister, Miss F.  Upon returning to the Jefferson High School parking lot Mr. A and Mr. B went to the approximate location of the happening and looked to see if indeed Miss E had salivated upon the asphalt with traces of Mr. D’s semen.  After a short examination Mr. B had found the salivation.  Without a doubt the saliva had contained traces of semen, perhaps Mr. D’s semen.     

Approximately half of the Jefferson High School Robotics Team and most of the Jefferson High School Jazz Band were told that on the day of or the day after, by Mr. A or Mr. B, of the incident.  The people belonging to there organizations were told that Mr. D and Miss E had been aggressively displaying public affection and in the act of fellatio.  In slang terms of course.
On February 21, 2002 at approximately 2:45 Mr. D met Mr. A and Mr. B in the math hallway in the Jefferson High School. At this time, Mr. D began to question Mr. A and Mr. B about spreading false allegations of him and his girlfriend, Miss. E, in the act of sexual intercourse in the school parking lot.  At this time they, Mr. A and Mr. B, denied all of the allegations that they were accused of.  Mr. D then stated that if he ever found out that they were spreading vicious rumors he would then beat the hell out of them. Accompanying Mr. D was Mr. G and Mr. H, who are believed to be in very close with Mr. D.
I didn't know I was such a gossip-y, little bitch.  I'm not that surprised to find out, though.  I am appalled at my grammar and lack of units on the times given.  I also can't really defend what we were thinking, other than trying to further legitimize that the incident did take place.

It's also fun to think that I was technically bullied, I guess.  I'm not very small.  Mr. B is a giant Hispanic, who I believe laughed at the threat to Mr. D's face.  Mr. D was some champion wrestler, or something.  He wasn't very smart, so we didn't talk much.  I never really considered it a legitimate threat, nor did I feel bullied.  Fun to think about though.

I guess what we learned today is: don't blow somebody in a high school parking lot, or maybe don't spread stories no matter how true they are, or maybe don't be a dumb jock in high school.  You can choose your lesson,

Friday, May 6, 2011

Porn at Work

I don't know how things were when the internet first got going (I was a child), but I imagine it was easy for employees to roam cyberspace freely whenever their jobs included computer work.  It was super slow, so it didn't really matter.

Before long, employers bought software and hired IT people to control the websites that people could access at work.  No ebay, no facebook, no porn.  Wtf?  "The internet is for porn."

Well, the power has returned to the people!  Why?  Smart phones.

The other day I opened up my iPhone for something, and it still had a porn page open.  I giggled.  (You can lie to yourself and judge, or you can google 'iPhone Porn'.)

I didn't actually watch any, but I could.  Most of us can.  That's simultaneously screwed up and refreshing.  There's zero accountability now.  I can put in headphones and you wouldn't even know.  I could be sitting at my desk watching porn right now.  Or now.  I know I am not the first person to figure this out.  I pray that Michael Scott isn't taking advantage of this down the hall.

Do you have any clue what your boss is doing in his office with his door closed at this very moment?

(He/she's probably shopping on eBay.  Bosses don't have sex drives, but they make more money.)

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Bottle Shock

Have you ever seen Bottle Shock?  It's the best wine movie I've ever seen, though it didn't get a big surge until after it left the theaters.

The first time I saw the movie, I made a great wine-pairing dinner, and uncorked a bottle of pretty good wine (I think it was a Howell Mountain Cab from Mahoney, but we don't support Mahoney any more).  By the end of the movie I was pumped up on adrenaline and a little sloppy from finishing a bottle of Napa wine by myself in 109 minutes.  In my enthusiastic state, I decided to stagger down to Blockbuster to return/get another movie.  Somewhere along the trek, I remember talking to Annie on the phone and wildly gesturing with my hands, which led to the video flying into somebody's bushes right next to the window of their house, about 10 feet from the sidewalk I was walking on.  I'm sure they thought I was peeing in their bushes, if they noticed me at all.

Anyway, this was just to say that I really like the movie, and you should watch it.  In our Napa trip for my birthday, we ended up exploring more of the Bottle Shock movie then we meant to (we actually had no intentions of doing anything related to Bottle Shock... it just happened).  We went to Gustavo Thrace's tasting room (Freddy Rodriguez's character in the movie).  Then we drove off to...

Chateau Montelena!

I left with an autographed copy of Bottle Shock, signed by the real Bo Barrett.
I included this picture, not because it's focused or flattering by any means, but because there's so much going on.
Now if I can just get Chris Pine's autograph on it, too, cuz he's a hotty.

Chris Pine or Adam Lambert..?  Tricky, but definitely Pine (no goatee was the secret hint)!
What are your feelings on a red wine (w/ grapes?) tattoo on a dude?

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Is This Ironic, Alanis?

On Saturday, Annie, myself, my college roommate, and his girlfriend all went to a wine tasting event in Alameda (a little island next to Oakland).  If Annie doesn't write about this event in her blog, I'll try and talk about it later this week (Holla to my new friends from the back room... you know who you are!).  Annie 'went to bed a little early' after the event, which meant she got up an hour or two before me on Sunday morning.

She had plans to travel with one of her friends to the Alameda Flea Market.  I had no interest, since flea markets are dirty.  I know, I've heard several times that this one is fancy.  All I can think of is Gibraltar Trade Center, though (only Michigan natives might know what I'm talking about).  Maybe one day I'll scrounge up a picture of young ~RoB in a t-shirt with his name airbrushed across the front.  Nothing like some good ol' redneck flea market merch!

Anyway, I woke up and made plans to play tennis.  When I got down to my car, I realized Annie was parked behind me.  Problem: Annie took her keys to get back in the apartment later.  So I called her, and her phone was off.  I had to cancel tennis (Annie's spare car key is currently at her grandfather's).  Finally, I got a hold of her and she said that she had thoughtfully removed her car keys from her oversized keychain and left them on the table.  They should have been on the key hooks, avoiding the whole situation, but I'm not going to complain when she obviously thought this through before leaving.

So, I called and rescheduled tennis.  I drove Annie's car to take Angel to a dog park near the courts, met my friend, and played tennis.  We played for 2 hours or so.  When we were finally worn out, and I was pulling all of my stuff out of my tennis bag, I saw that my phone had 24 missed calls, 5 voicemails, and a plethora of text messages.  Here's how those texts went:

It is amazing how much of her increasing frustration you can feel as the anger crescendos and eventually peaks, jumps off a cliff, and leaves a defeated, raving psychopath with nothing left but soft-spoken hatred.

It turns out that when I drove away in her car, I did to her what I had accused her of doing to me merely minutes before.  I had her car, and my apartment keys have my car key on them.  (Our apartment has collectively lost my spare car key.)  Her soccer match started at 1pm.  She was supposed to be the 3rd girl, otherwise her team would have to forfeit.  She wasn't very happy to see me, even though I raced home to pick her up and drive her to her match.

When I told this story to our roommate, I said that it was 'ironic that I did to Annie what I accused her of doing to me'.  Is that ironic, though?  At least cosmic irony?  Alanis Morissette seriously screwed up my definition of the word ironic, after it was once explained to me that not a single incident in her song (titled the same) is technically ironic.

Isn't the fact that a whole songs was written about a word, yet the word was inappropriately used... well isn't that ironic?

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Cycle of a Food Addict

There are some people out there that love food, yet don't have the body shape to show for it.  For all the rest of us, the euphoric feelings we get from amazing food, instead of treating us nicely, slowly increase our blood sugar, add rolls to our muffin tops, and increase our risk for every bad ailment under the sun.  (How cruel is it that even the cutesy description given to the overhanging tummy of an obese person sounds yummy?)

Anyway, I just went through another 'fat cycle', and I thought I would let you all in on what it's like.

Day -1: You get on a scale, and the numbers that pop up are about 10 pounds more than you were last time you were brave enough to get on (and about 25 pounds more than it should be for someone your height).  Mild depression lingers on the edge of your emotions, but you shrug it off.
I hate you.
Day 1: You wake up and decide that this is finally the time to take over your diet and really lose the weight.  You'll be hot in no time, if you just stick to it this time.  You have a healthy breakfast, marking down everything you ate and all of their nutritional contents.  You've trimmed your regular intake back, and you're ready to fight hunger face-to-face.

Day 1.5: The hunger is as you expected.  You keep opening that cupboard (or desk drawer at work) to snag one little extra sweet thing to hold you over.  Ha, hunger, those cookies got thrown away!  You're serious this time.

Day 2: You wake up happy to have defeated your first day.  You know the first few days are the hardest, but you are going to work just as hard today.  Planning each meal and snack of the day already seems like an endless task, but those skinny people must do it, so you will, too.

Day 2.5: The hunger is apparent, but you've already defeated it yesterday.  You are rock solid, because you are serious this time.  Avoid commercials, avoid talking about food, and certainly don't look up the menu to that restaurant you've been thinking about trying.  Even though its your present to yourself  after you've shed some of this weight.  Hunger is still hanging out back there, deliciously in full-color in your mind.
Eat me.
Day 2.7: You are out for your first jog in a very long time.  You are surprised how much energy you have.  This must be the secret.  Eating well and keeping track of everything gives you energy.  It will only get better from here.

Days 3-5: You've been amazing.  You even sneaked on the scale to get a glimpse of your progress.  You've totally lost some weight, and you are interpolating how much more you can lose by the next big holiday.  People are going to be so proud of you when you walk in showing off that new bod.  You've been exercising, you've been eating right.  You've been perfect.

Day 6.5: You've been perfect for a whole week now.  You haven't had a single dessert.  You've been chewing gum or sucking on cough drops to curb cravings.  You're out with friends at dinner, and you decide that you're going to treat your hard work with the dessert menu.  You're not going to go crazy, but you definitely deserve it.

Day 7.5: You've had no energy all day.  Hunger has shown up with friends.  All you can think about is how good that small dessert was last night.  Maybe you should buy something dessert-y and treat yourself a few times a week, in moderation, in order to keep yourself on track.  You swing by the grocery store and pick up a package of oreos.

Day 7.8: A good movie is on TV.  It's Sunday and you have to work tomorrow.  You're just going to relax and watch the movie.  Wouldn't it be fun to have a few oreos?  Technically, you've been really good, still.  This is a perfect opportunity to work on deliciousness in moderation.  Those salads have been quite drab, haven't they?  So you pull the package into the living room with a glass of milk.  You pull out 3 cookies, because that's what the nutritional info says is one serving.  You slowly eat each cookie, trying to get as much of the orgasmic, sugary goodness from each bite that you can.  The third cookie is gone, and you feel like you barely had any.
3 more cookies come out, but you've sealed the cookies this time.  You're serious.
The movie is pretty good.  So were those other three cookies.  Ok, one more, and you take them back to the cupboard...
You sit down, but now you are starting to care less about the movie...
You realize that you had 1 cookie, so you might as well eat 2 more to make it easy to calculate the nutrition in your log...
You get up to grab 2 cookies, but you know you have to leave those cookies in the cupboard or you'll just eat more...
Those cookies are done, but the movie is still going...
You blink, and the package is in front of you... empty.

Day 8: Guilt.  You'd been doing so well.  This is precisely why you are fat.  You have no self control.  Yes, the oreos were amazing, but you really have to change the way you look at food if you're ever going to change.

Day 8.7: Fuck it.  I already ruined it last night.  Let's order the pizza from the commercials that I keep seeing.

Day 10: You've pretty much gone on to business as usual.  You decide it can't be that bad.  You did, after all, have a whole week of watching your diet.  You step on the scale.

Fuck you.

Day 10 becomes Day -1.
The cycle continues.

You have no clue how many times I had to replace 'I' with 'you' in order to make this about all of us, instead of my battle of the bulge.  I'm hoping the recognition that all of us go through this motivates both myself and any of you that struggle with food and weight (and even body image).

I've heard the secret is to not make drastic changes overnight, but I've always been a very black-white/yes-no/no compromise person.  One day it'll work out, though, right?

Hopes he's in a prolonged Day 3 mode, but knows he just had a Day 8,

Monday, May 2, 2011

Pimpmones (Reprise)

 In response to my first pimpmones post, where I exclaimed "I'm officially dubbing the word pimpmones; get that sh*t on UrbanDictionary stat," I received this email yesterday:

Thanks for your definition of pimpmones!

Editors reviewed your entry and have decided to publish it on urbandictionary.com.

It should appear on this page in the next few days:

Urban Dictionary



Man hormones.

1. When a guy is a raging pile of manliness, it's because of these.

2. When a bitchy guy is on his cycle, it's because of these.

3. Sometimes used to mean steroids.

It must be his time of the month, cuz his pimpmones are flowin!

That lumberjack must be 99% pimpmones.

I don't know whether or not I should be excited?  I certainly appreciate the opportunity to influence our youth.

I should totally get a mug made,

The Voice

The Voice is the new vocal competition on NBC.  I Love it.  It's filling the hole that American Idol left when Simon departed, much like NBC's Sing Off.  For those that don't know, I was one of those crazy AI freaks.  For the past few years I ran a bracket where my friends and I competed to guess who was going to be voted off each week.  It was a great time.  It was hard enough seeing Paula leave, so I pretty much boycotted this season when all the other worthwhile judges departed (especially after hearing they were going to have challenges and crap like that during the best week of all, Hollywood week).

Anyway, The Voice is all about blind vocal judging, with some of the most popular voices of our time as judges/mentors.  Somehow they turn it into a competition between the judges, but I'm not really worried at all about that.  I'm just excited to see how it proceeds.  Let's hope that they don't start letting America decide, because people like VFTW really frustrate me.  (Though I do kind of like VFTW, because they're really big AI fans, though they pretend not to be.)

Try and find the cool version of Gnarls Barkley's Crazy sang by the 4 judges, since it is no longer in the previews on the website.  Also, though I'm always frustrated by the sappy stories each contestant has to have to get into a competition these days, holla to my girl Frenchie Davis for never giving up!  How great was it that Cee-Lo recognized her!?  I know some people have said she's had too many chances.  Let's be serious, people, she got booted off Idol for a teenage mistake.  She's got a great voice.  She inspires me.

One thing bothers me, though.  Can we please get rid of Carson Daly?  Sorry, Carson, but you look too old (and skinny, wtf?) which makes me feel old.  Did your head always look like that?  You are forever supposed to be trapped on MTV hosting TRL dating Jennifer Love Hewitt.  You were on top of if as we rolled over to Y2K.  You have nothing to complain about.  Sorry.

Soon 37-yr-old Zack Morris will be trying to come back,

Oh shit, Raising the Bar!