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Skipping past Writober and Nanoblomo . . ? Shit, I dunno. I'm as bored as you are.


Friday, December 15, 2006

Just to be Clear: I’m Having Caffeinated Benzene for Lunch Today

Working in the environmental industry, I get to hear all kinds of fun facts about dangerous chemicals. My boss alerted me a couple days ago to an article in Consumer Reports about benzene forming in sodas exposed to light and/or heat. The sodas affected contain Vitamin C (ascorbic or erythorbic acid) and potassium/sodium benzoate. Think citrus sodas. Like the open Coca-Cola Vault I have sitting next to me right now.

Come, leukemia, come.

In other news, tonight is my office’s Holiday dinner/party. I can’t promise fireworks, but our office took the prudent step of hiring a limo for the evening. 

shaken and poured by Scott-san on 12/15 at 12:36 PM
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Thursday, December 14, 2006

For the 0.00583 Percent of the World’s Population Who Might Benefit from this Information

Last weekend, events manifested themselves in such a way that we ended up going out to dinner (at NICE restaurants) four nights in a row. And, never one to turn down an opportunity to do some side-by-side comparisons, I vowed to do reviews of the four restaurants. (While I was coming up with a rating system and asking Michelle what she thought of the first dinner, she was all, “You’re not going to blog about this, are you? Why don’t you write something real and post THAT?” Although, later, she became more interested in the idea, chiming in more as things went interestingly downhill.)

Of course, we’re not comparing apples to apples. Each dinner featured a wildly different setting (context) and dinner-mates. But, as we’d been to almost all of the restaurants on prior occasions, we have history, yes? So, let’s begin.

(a family dinner with Mia)
Bonefish Grill

This was the only “chain” restaurant we visited over the weekend. It helped in our decision-making that we had gift cards to spend, although we’d been curious about the place since it opened here a couple years ago.

The restaurant was intimately dim, with a separate “bar” area. There was a nice mix of couples, families, and XYZers. We found the menu to be quite diverse and user-friendly, and it had multiple kids’ choices. We had a seared ahi tuna “sashimi” appetizer (double for $15). For dinner, Michelle went with a pistachio/trout thing that she seemed to enjoy, while I chose a “pan-asian style” shrimp and scallop combo. All in all, the food was pretty good.

The service would have been close to best-ever status, but the very cordial waitress was overly generous with “yes, sir” and “yes, ma’am” and “of course, sir.” Off-putting, a little. And, like everyone else in this town, she seemed familiar, so it was that much MORE strange.

Atmosphere: 8.5
Menu: 8.5
Service: 9
Food: 8
Overall: 8.5

(company banquet dinner)
Albert’s Provence

Michelle’s office alternates between Albert’s (the French pronunciation) and Georgio’s for their Holiday banquets. Usually, it’s more than 30 people drinking heavily and making lots of noise. Sometimes, things are thrown. And, sometimes, people have to be carried out. To avoid being a vomit casualty (coughcoughagain), I vowed to stick with beer.

Albert’s is a pretty nice restaurant, with a regular and seemingly older clientele. The décor is not showy and the lighting isn’t particularly creative. Basically, it’s a serviceable environment to take in a solid gourmet meal.

We were working from a reduced menu, although I know they specialize in Continental Euro fare. Michelle went with the sirloin, while I chose the crab-stuffed . . . grouper? And, as with any “gourmet” dinner, I was scraping every molecule of food off my plate. (Except for the disgusting asparagus, which I pawned off on Michelle. I traded some grouper for sirloin. AND her office manager gave me some of HIS sirloin. So, I was rockin’ the mostly full stomach.) For dessert, I chose the “crème caramel” (flan), while Michelle got the mousse. I have a texture problem (tapioca will literally make me throw up in my mouth), so we ended up swapping . . . even though since a food-poisoning incident in high school French class, I’ve avoided eating much mousse (and French food in general).

The service was pretty good, especially considering the drunken crowd.

Atmosphere: 7
Menu: n/a
Service: 8
Food: 7.5
Overall: 7.5

(group dinner with friends for Michelle’s birthday)
Food Glorious Food

Michelle and her friends are big supporters of FGF, while I find it to be overly pricey and pretentious in a “too-cool-for-skool” indie way. Which is, eh, whatever. Fine. Plus, the two or three previous times I’d been there, I had a hard time finding something I really wanted to eat. So, I either end up settling or, with my love for variety, I do the “appetizer dinner” thing (stay tuned for the latter).

Anyway, the “downstairs” dining area at FGF is “decorated” in a Spartan way, with bare concrete floors and just . . . open space. Again, fine. Look, I’m not TOTALLY trying to come off like I had a pre-conceived notion of how things were gonna go; I HAVE been surprised before when my expectations were set on the low side. Just not this time.

Sure, everyone else was really excited about their food, and I probably shouldn’t have ordered jerked chicken with black beans and rice. But, really, nothing else looked that interesting to me. The bigger crime was their signature “maison” (house) salad came without the promised apple (it makes a difference, but Mr. Glory Hole says this is a “service problem”). In general the service was (otherwise) okay.

When I expressed to Michelle it’d be a while before I’d want to go back to FGF, she didn’t quite understand what my problem was. Thus, my scores reflect everyone else’s enthusiasm.

Atmosphere: 7
Menu: 6
Service: 7
Food: 7
Overall: 7

(birthday dinner; just the two of us)
Kool Beanz

Another trendy restaurant where “unpretentious” equals hipster pretension. The wait staff is decidedly dressed down, as are the patrons. The atmosphere is loud. The building is a former diner. The menu reportedly changes daily and features lots of interesting fusion-esque choices. Not cheaply, either.

As was the recent pattern, nothing was striking our fancy on the menu. We settled on a great hummus appetizer to go with our house salads (also good). I think it was all downhill from there.

An obnoxious and loud group was seated next to us (“Can you believe that 55 percent of Americans have NO SAVINGS AT ALL?”). The service was very cordial (good waitress), but food preparation is always SLLLOOOOOOOOOW. My (three) appetizer dinner was staggered out over the course of about 30 minutes, and two of them were somewhat overcooked (black bean cakes and dumplings).

Overall, we were there for a couple hours. We probably saved ourselves 10 or 15 minutes by ordering dessert to go AND asking for the check while the last of my appetizers was being served.

Atmosphere: 7
Menu: 7
Service: 7
Food: 6
Overall: 7

shaken and poured by Scott-san on 12/14 at 12:58 PM
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Wednesday, December 06, 2006

I Told You So!

Yeah, this marks a week since that last post. Or, last two posts. I’ve been trying to mentally counterbalance my motivation against my “hope” to post every day against my fear of posting trivial bullshit that I’m not even interested in reading. So . . . it’s a Mexican Standoff of mental counterbalancing.

Anyway, the past several days, I’ve run into things I could have made a short post about, but didn’t. You know what that means: The Bulleted List of Belated Reflection® (with bonus Fun Footnotes)!

shaken and poured by Scott-san on 12/06 at 04:56 PM
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Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Stars! They’re JUST LIKE US!

Yeah, yeah . . . two posts in, like, three hours.

I stumbled onto the newest Brit-Brit pictures* on a MySpace bulletin (from a shitty band I should really de-friend). I like to think of myself as the OPPOSITE of a “starfucker,” it’s nice to spread (heh!) around Exhibits 1,254,409 through 1,254,416 showing that stars are just like us . . . really, really, really stupid. (And naked under their short skirts. With Paris Hilton actually trying to help keep their legs closed!)

* The link** has mercifully PG-rated thumbnails of the photos. Clicking on the thumbnails takes you to the 100% NSFW versions. God rest our souls.

** This link is better than the Livejournal one I originally saw. Thanks, SJ.

shaken and poured by Scott-san on 11/29 at 01:14 PM
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I know Thanksgiving was almost a week ago. Nothing much to report: We ate the standard fare, and I fell asleep in front of a football game in between servings of pie . . . end of story.

However, rather than spend Black Friday in the stores or (God forbid!) in a fucking MALL, we went to the beach. Sure, it’s almost winter (even in Florida), but I’d argue that’s the best time to go to the beach. Seriously, it was breezy and cool in the waning afternoon . . . I don’t think I’ve spent a more pleasant couple hours on the sand. Mia was playing and looking for shells. It was great pretty good.

Yesterday, I officially finished off the leftovers from the weekend. Sunday I had a turkey-and-stuffing sandwich for lunch and leftover chicken from Thanksgiving night for dinner. Monday and yesterday, I brought lunchboxes to work . . . pizza boxes leftover from the beach. (I had to write “Scott’s lunch” on them, because unmarked pizza, cake, and/or pastries are usually fair game for pilferers.) Oh, and for dinner Monday, I had wings leftover from Saturday. We seem to have avoided any serious food-poisoning.

shaken and poured by Scott-san on 11/29 at 10:01 AM
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Wednesday, November 22, 2006

When I Said, “I Picked Up Some Wine,” I Meant THIS

I realize that you weren’t there (for the most part), the Internets. I don’t wanna make you jealous, but . . . well, we were in Atlanta this past weekend. For a “very special pre-Thanksgiving” thing at C-dub’s. And we had the best turkey ever. I know, I’m so sorry for rubbing your proverbial face in it, the Internets.

Anyway, as the picture below might suggest, there was some drinking.

I’m kinda pissed because as I was uploading some pictures to Flickr, I accidentally kicked a power switch and turned my computer off, losing some of the descriptive commentary on the photos. Just rest assured: When CW finished off a bottle of grape vodka, there were two unopened bottles waiting in the wings.

So, I’m over this “blogging-way-after-the-fact” nonsense. Tomorrow’s the for-real Thanksgiving™. Followed by an overnight trip to the beach. Are you psyched? Yeah, me neither.

shaken and poured by Scott-san on 11/22 at 09:19 PM
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Friday, November 17, 2006

Three Cheers for Tinted Windows! (Hang on . . . Lemme Get Up.)

Kneeling on the floorboard in the back of a Hyundai Santa Fe and trying to direct pee into an aluminum can is no small feat. Especially when there are bumps on the road you’re riding on. The interstate. On which you are navigating your wife to merge onto another interstate. If only you could navigate to a rest area. Which might require a map. (Quick FYI: There is apparently only ONE rest area between Columbus and Atlanta . . . at the guest center OFF the interstate. Which we passed 20 miles before I really had to pee.)

So, yeah. Things I learned today:

shaken and poured by Scott-san on 11/17 at 11:18 PM
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Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Day Four: Motivational

Y’see, I’d wanted to write about this thing that happened with my job, but we’re smarter than that (and, also, the situation came to an anticlimactic conclusion). And then I’d wanted to write about this book I finished reading skimming and how the whole thing seems like a self-congratulatory, calculated publicity stab (no, it wasn’t OJ’s new book about how things COULD have gone had he actually killed his estranged wife and her friend). And then I’d wanted to write about our going to Atlanta this weekend—how it’s not a Meetup, really, but we’ll get to see a handful of our bloggy friends for a few hours drinks (okay, LOTS of drinks). And THEN I felt like I should mention that I’m, inexplicably, LOSING to Patricia in our Steelers vs. Cowboys bet on which team would do better this season (two words, ‘Boys: Start Bledsoe). 

Mostly, though, I just felt I should write. Just write.

shaken and poured by Scott-san on 11/15 at 10:29 PM
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Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Who’s Ever Heard of Unwanted Alcohol, Anyway?

When I wasn’t trying to find a place to leave two unwanted bottles of Michelob Wheat over the weekend, we were at the Fair.

Now we like to make fun of the Fair, but it’s the only “amusement park” lots of kids get. Thankfully, not our kid. Because I think we can all agree that “carny” is synonymous with “illegitimate kids in at least 10 different states.”

Ah, but what fun!

Click here for a handful of other shots.

shaken and poured by Scott-san on 11/14 at 09:58 PM
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Monday, November 13, 2006

I Can’t Imagine This Pulling in 13 Million Viewers Each Week, Though

On the way to work, and badly in need of some Sudafed PE (apparently), I thought of a Network show idea. If I had any Photoshop skills, I’d roll you a title shot, but I don’t so I’ll just tell you: It’s like “Heroes,” but it’s “Poets.” See? Whenever the Earth is plagued with some kind of literary calamity, ordinary people develop supernatural writing abilities to save the planet from crisis.

This is the way I think of lots of creative endeavors. It would seem. Some people are just good; why work at it? Of course, considering the standards I hold myself to, I’m setting myself up to fail. (Actually, considering I’m not really “working at it,” I’m not setting anything up.

I blame Civilization III.

shaken and poured by Scott-san on 11/13 at 05:13 PM
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Sunday, November 12, 2006

Wakey, Wakey (And . . . Not Leaving Just Yet)

I semi-arbitrarily stopped drinking caffeine a few years ago. It was probably because I’d read about it exacerbating reflux symptoms. After a year or so, I started drinking coffee and/or espresso drinks once or twice a week. Which has become a staple (okay, an ADDICTION). But Michelle thinks that this is doing more harm than good . . . that this might be the cause of me dragging ass lately.

No caffeine? Fine. But having a Venti Mocha one day and then not drinking caffeine for two or three days . . . maybe there’s some withdrawal on the days I DON’T drink caffeine. Is what Michelle’s saying. So, perhaps drinking caffeine (every day) again won’t be such an issue.

In other news, looks like this blog ISN’T going away just yet. Patricia emailed to tell me she’d forgotten it was set to “auto-renew,” so now I’m ridin’ this out for another year. I mean, I guess that’s what’s happening?

Oh, p.s. . . . how about the Firefly/Serenity reunion on my T.V. schedule last week? Capt. Reynolds turns up on Lost, while Inara is a barista on How I Met Your Mother? Anyone else catch that? (Anyone else still READING this?)

shaken and poured by Scott-san on 11/12 at 09:46 PM
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Monday, November 06, 2006


Two things that are true and you should know:

This will be the last post here, methinks. Almost everyone I blog-know (including me) is on Vox, so I’ll be there. And likely reviving the old Blogspot site, too.

There's more to drink (click for it) »

shaken and poured by Scott-san on 11/06 at 12:47 PM
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Sunday, October 22, 2006

Then Again, I Could Soundtrack This with Europe and Asia

I haven’t felt like writing. Period. Which, considering the amount of word-related stuff I’ve been blowing off, is kind-of an understatement. If the writing wasn’t directly related to petroleum cleanup*, ecological risk assessment, or plumes of drycleaning solvents, I was blocking it out. Or putting it off. Form letter(s) to family to accompany new pictures of Mia? Nope. Entries for correspondence workshopping? Nuh-uh. Blog posts? Sorry . . . er, well, not really, anyway.

Patricia recently told me that the domain this blog is on is set to expire next month. She asked if she should renew it, as (apparently) I’m the only one using it. The price is thoughtlessly cheap, but the possibility of shutting down this site is tempting. I mean, I have Vox, right? Maybe that would (further) motivate me to start an online (and limited print) poetry journal. And perhaps that novel idea that I’ve been passively telling people about (and researching . . . and planning).

I think I’m starting to realize I don’t have the time (or inclination) to keep it all going at once. As people younger, more interesting, and more talented than me shut down their blogs or go on indefinite hiatus, I keep I feel like I’ve overstayed my welcome.

Of course then I have a moment like last night when I was wading through post-home-game traffic and phoned in my order to a local indie pizza place. Two slices? (“We don’t sell slices any more.”) Okay, how about a 14-inch with meatball? This conversation took place around 7:55, when the girl taking my order couldn’t give me a time when my pizza would be ready. (“We’re really busy, so I’m saying 20 to 25 minutes.”) Reasonable. I arrived and paid for my pizza. Was told it would be another 5 or 10 minutes. This was about 8:20. My pizza was ready at 9:05. To be fair, the place was mobbed. Near campus. After a home game where “we” lost. But that pizza, voted “the best in town” was not the best in town. Oh it was pretty good, but not worth-an-hour-wait good. Not even an hour wait during which we were treated to arena-rock hits of the 80s. (Complete with “The Final Countdown” and “Sole Survivor.”)


So . . . pizza-hunting exploration stories will not save this blog. Just a FYI.

There's more to drink (click for it) »

shaken and poured by Scott-san on 10/22 at 09:32 PM
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Tuesday, October 10, 2006

When the KKK Would’ve Been Good to Have

I play poker semi-regularly with three different groups of people. There’s the family game, which is fairly low stakes and easy to predict; I’m not the strongest player there, but I’ve doubled my money two of the past three times playing with them. Then there’s a game I’m new to, run by the wife of the guy who cuts my hair; played two tournaments with that group, finishing third out of eight and, like, ninth out of 12 . . . still have some figuring to do with them (er, obviously). But the most challenging group is the one that convenes every couple weeks at Mr. Glory Hole’s house.

Now they regularly play on Thursdays when Michelle has band practice, so I don’t get to play with them very often. And when I do, it’s always a leaps-and-bounds departure from the LAST time I played with them.

Anyway, I played with them this past Thursday because the Girls weren’t practicing. I bought in for my usual $25, while everyone else seems to be buying in for about $40. Early on, I held my own, getting some good cards and winning a couple decent pots. And then some more people showed up (including Aggressive-Player Couple) and it was mostly downhill from there.

How about the hand I lost $15 or $20 on? (I was playing an offsuit Anna Kournikova, and paired both on the flop. I was also on a flush draw. Big bets [not all mine] chased other players out, so it was me and the APC-male. He KNEW I was on a draw for the nut flush [with the ace of the flush-to-be suit], but before the River, I made a too-small bet which he thought about and called. The River? A 10, and not of the suit I needed. That [unbeknownst to me] gave him a set of 10s, which he used to take down my two pair. Ouch.)

My last hand wasn’t quite as dramatic, but I was forced to go all in with my pocket kings. Not a bad position to be in, except I was beaten by a guy with pocket 8s and an 8 on the board. There was no third king for me.

So, I was the first one out. Again. I told Michelle I’m not sure I’m cut out for that game anymore. But analyzing my downfall, it’s clear that my problem is timing my bets better, being more aggressive with my bets, and not always slow-playing good hands.


In other, less poker-y news, I love how the GOP and their supporters are screaming (to anyone who will listen) that the Democrats had the info on this Mark Foley page-seducing saga and leaked it to gain an advantage in the Mid-Term Elections. C’mon, Fatty Limbaugh, you KNOW how short the electorate’s attention span is (e.g., your dittohead listeners). Don’ t you think (probably not) that the Dems would be smart enough to wait until, like, a WEEK before the election before leaking that info to ABC?

I gotta say, I’m reading Jeffrey Toobin’s Too Close to Call right now, and I keep hoping there’s a different ending. Because the “election” of 2000 will go down as the turning point in our nation’s history. In a very, very bad way. Seriously, in 25 years, historians will look back and say that THAT stolen election was the first domino.

And speaking of certain anihilation, how about “Heroes?” Holy motherfuck, I’ve been blogging all about it within Erika’s comments. I CAN’T. BE. STOPPED.

shaken and poured by Scott-san on 10/10 at 04:04 PM
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Wednesday, October 04, 2006

A Week in to the Last Five Years of My Life (as a Sponge)

This first week of being 35 has been a lot like any other week, quite frankly. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. As I approached 30 (looking at you, birthday girl), I was freaking out about all the things I was supposed to have done and hadn’t done. And the closer I got, the more I realized, “This is my life.” And so it’s been for five years now. I hope to change that, as evidenced by my first-ever “public” post on Vox.

I’m not too frightened of the near future, despite someone close to me seemingly going through a midlife crisis of sorts (and who has recently commented that his body started falling apart when he hit 35).

Mia’s keeping me young, though. Which seems strange to say (er, write). Every morning during breakfast and every evening after I finish watching the news and/or she has her bath, I ask her, “What do you want to watch?” Her answer, for the past month and a half, has invariably been “SPONGEBOB!” She has the three-disc first-season box set, which includes hours and hours of episodes. And now I can use some anecdote from Mr. Squarepants’ “life” to relate to my own. For example, Michelle and I relate pretty well to Mia’s favorite character, Plankton. There’s this great episode in which Spongebob plans to make Plankton less bitter/evil by being his friend and taking him to play at Jellyfish Fields. He starts trying to engage Plankton in a sing-a-long (“F is for friends who do things together / U is for you and me / N is for anytime and anywhere at all / Down in the deep blue sea”), and Plankton busts out his own version (“F is for fire to burn down the whole town / U is for uranium . . . bombs / N is for no surviiiiivors / . . .”). When I sing the “friendship” song from the episode for Mia, you can rest assured that it’s Plankton’s version.

Misanthropy: The gift that never stops giving.

shaken and poured by Scott-san on 10/04 at 02:57 PM
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There's no "I" in threesome.


I can't remember whether I've seen anything new since my birthday. Oh, right, that one.


I was hoping for a little more detail in the accounts of mauling-by-zombie. But the anecdotes were disturbing, nonetheless..


I don't have a solid grasp on which exact cheap beers I had at the ATL watering holes.