Skipping past Writober and Nanoblomo . . ? Shit, I dunno. I'm as bored as you are.
Sunday, December 31, 2006
It’s Not a Party Without the Cheez-It Spray.
What else can I say except I’ll try harder next year, right? Let’s pretend it’s a resolution . . . of which I’m limiting myself to three.
Christmas wasn’t very notable. Our real joy would be pretty generic for you, the Internets. I’ve been to Target at least four times in the past week to spend gift cards; I still have over $100 left, which I’m going to save until they put out some “new” stuff, because the dregs ain’t so appealing.
And because it’s hard to do anything away from home for New Year’s with Mia, we’ve defaulted to becoming the “party place.” I’ve been cleaning most of my waking hours today. As I’ll be using one of my three resolutions to Maintain Cleanliness, I’m hoping the cleaning won’t go to waste. We’ll see. (If you’re keeping count, I have one resolution left. I think it’s reserved for poetry.) Anyway, there will be perhaps a dozen of our closest real-world friends here tonight. Wish us luck.
Hope your New Year starts out right, the Internets.
Thursday, December 21, 2006
The Same Could be True in Your Everyday Life. As it is in Mine.
As the Shopping Days ‘Til Christmas tick down to ZERO, and you’re trying to score gifts for friends before a party the next night, on your lunch break, you’ll invariably find yourself in a liquor store.
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
The Duality of Man
Dude, I’m a Loser!
-- We were the first to leave the office Christmas party Friday night.
-- For those of us keeping score (that’s just me and you), the Steelers have to win out and the Cowboys have to lose out. Otherwise, I’ll be buying a Cowboys shirt for some humiliating photographic documentation. And then sending the shirt to you (Patricia). As we discussed on IM, there’s a crack whore involved somehow. Hope you cherish the shirt!
-- End-of-the-year deadlines at work are shaping up to be a week and a half of straight R-A-P-E.* With a break for Christmas.
Yay! I’m a Winner!
-- At the office Christmas party, I won the centerpiece at our table playing Rock, Paper, Scissors.** The centerpiece included two bottles of wine and a box of crackers. And a bunch of shiny, plastic ornaments.
-- We’ve set some Holiday-shopping-related records this year, as we’re mostly done with our shopping and WON’T be scrambling for last-minute gifts on Christmas Eve.
-- We sent out 15 cards this year (usually we buy a box of 18 and send out, like, three).
* Y’know . . . figuratively.
** We’d actually agreed to split the centerpiece, but played for it anyway. And I won . . . even when it was extended to “best of three.”
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.
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)
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.
(company banquet dinner)
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.
(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.
(birthday dinner; just the two of us)
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.
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)!
- Michelle happened to be in the living room while “Heroes” was on the other night. “I wish I hadn’t stopped watching this now.” “. . .” “I thought it was going to be cheesy.” So, maybe Michelle will start watching it with me when the show comes back . . . ON JANUARY 22. Jesus.
- BTW, I just sent Erin this text message: “Rome is back next month, Hooker.”
- The Iraq Study Group released its report today, and Bill Kristol was quick to call it “irresponsible.” Really? More irresponsible, say, than invading another country under false pretenses with no plan on how to rebuild the country once you’ve completely fucked it up? Or provoking more bloodshed than 9/11 (of Americans alone)? Basically, just shitting the bed. Really, why should I be worried about how George W. Bush is remembered? Let’s mourn the poor Iraqis before his God-forsaken legacy.
- I’ve come to terms with the whole band-breaking-up thing . . . a little. And I’ve admitted that, when you boil it down, I’m assigning blame because I have to blame somebody. In discussing this with my friend (and former bandmate), I was chastised for having a super-secret blog (when I doubt he really reads THIS blog . . . like most of you on The Internets) that I can hide behind. So, I thought I’d post (vaguely) my feelings here . . . in the open. . . If you’re going to join a band, you can’t be overly sensitive. The combination of “strangely creative” and “boring/vanilla personality” is great. But if you’re called to carpet for something you may have done, or if you’re somewhat put off by the actions of one of your bandmates, you shouldn’t chart a course to Oblivion on your first impulse. No-one thinks any less of you until you do or say something you can’t take back. And speaking of “backs,” try not to stab anyone in theirs. (God help us if you’re accused of something even semi-horrible, because you might blow up like Radioactive Guy on “Heroes” is going to. Not calling anyone a “Hero,” either, Champ.)
- My Lefty office-neighbor has been openly curious about people’s reactions to my “F the President” bumper sticker. (This is, of course, a parody of the “W the President” stickers that I really can’t make fun of enough.) Anyway, I’ve forgotten it’s there a lot of the time because I usually don’t get much of any reaction. Then I went to visit my father (a fairly hardcore dittohead), who immediately launched into a diatribe that began with, “Al Qaeda is taking over the fucking WORLD!” and ended with an ad hominem attack on Clinton (not specified which). I rebutted with, “Perhaps the Republicans should stop selling out our country to lobbyists.” Then we called a silent truce. Yesterday, at Mia’s preschool, I was parked next to a large, white SUV I’d noticed before as having the beloved “W” sticker. The woman was loading her kid into the car as I backed passed her, and I think she noticed my sticker. I don’t think she’ll be able to look me in the face again.
- I’m currently reading Dog Days by Wonkette Emeritus Ana Marie Cox, even though she was greatly disparaged by a favorite former blogger during Pre-Thanksgiving dinner in Atlanta. Now, I’m not a huge fan of Ms. Cox per se, but I did like Wonkette quite a bit when she was there. That said, the book is enthusiastically average. And, as I’ve said many times in the past, reading something average (or worse) will do lots to inspire you to write.
- Seriously, this is what pisses me off the most about the Iraq thing: Here’s a guy of limited intellectual capacity, who wasn’t even really elected president (the first time, which puts in doubt his legitimacy in 2004, too), irrevocably fucking things up in the Middle East and shitting all over our great nation’s reputation as a benevolent, diplomatic Partner in Peace. Decades from now, historians will look back, point their fingers at the year 2000, and collectively utter, “This . . . THIS is where shit started going wrong.” You think that our country and the world would be worse off had Al Gore been elected president (or, rather had his victory recognized by the Supreme Court)? Well, guess AGAIN, Captain Neocon! Your fearless leader will go down in history as worse than Nixon . . . even worse than the worst president you can think of (i.e., Jimmy Carter).
- Monday is Michelle’s birthday. Saturday is her office’s Christmas dinner. And Sunday we’re going to brunch with family and dinner with friends. So there will be three dinners in a row at above-average Tallahassee eateries. Nice restaurants, even. I’d expect some kind of fun review/comparison-related post if I were you, The Internets. Pictures, too.