Saturday, December 31, 2005

Happy New Year!!

Thought I'd sign in for one last time in 2005. Been having a great time on vacation, and we had a wonderful holiday. I don't know that I can really sum it all up now, but we got lots of great stuff, spent a lot of really good time with friends and family, and overall had a really wonderful, memorable holiday.

Amy & I are going to Shadowbox for their Shindig tonight, as is the tradition. Laurie & her guy are going with us as well, which is a 100% increase over our group size from last year, so woo-hoo for that. Hopefully we can drum up more folks for next year, but the price tag isn't as great as it was when we were winning the table in the Fireball auction.

Anyway, hope everyone had a happy holiday and wishing everyone a happy & safe new year.

See you in '06...

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Bird Flu

Pretty sure I have the bird flu. Or SARS, or West Nile, or whatever the paranoid "all must fear" bug of the moment is. At any rate, it set in pretty suddenly on Monday, got significantly worse yesterday, and seems about the same today - though today I have OTC products with which to mitigate the horrible suffering.

Add onto this the fact that at my doctor's appointment on Monday, I had my blood drawn. The guy had trouble finding a working draw and stuck me all over both arms and one hand. I'm not typically a hard draw, nor am I typically weak-headed, but I damn near passed out. I guess I turned all green and white and sweaty. They gave me a teeny juice-box and some crackers and had me rest for a bit, then another lady came and got all they needed in one poke. Go figure.

So yeah, not exactly having a great week so far. I DID manage to finish almost all my X-mas shopping. I'd be done if I hadn't gotten so damn sick. Just need to pick up two very quick & minor things, and of course wrap everything, but that shouldn't be too tough.

Hoping I recover enough to still make the Lunchbox show tomorrow. I don't forsee it being a problem, provided I keep well-medicated. We're also hoping to catch the Xmas at 2Co's show again either tomorrow or next week, but I'm thinking I'll wait until tomorrow to try for it, to see how I'm feeling (and if they're sold out). If you're interested, let me know.

  • Mega-insano crackpot conspiracy theory of the moment: Dave Chapelle and the Dark Crusaders
  • Check out Year One, a webcomic marvel comics parody done all kiddie style.
  • I'm very sad that Morning Sedition was cancelled. Now where am I going to hear the latest on the NeoCon Death Cults and the ChristoFacist Zombie Brigade? Seriously though, Maron brought the funny, and he'll be missed on my drive in.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Hoopla'd !!

Hit up Easton last night for Shadowbox's Holiday Hoopla 05. I have to admit, I was worried going in, because it sounded like there was a lot of duplicate stuff, and although it hadn't bothered me that much last year, I was hoping for more new stuff this time around.

Well, there was definitely a lot of older stuff, but I thought it was freshened up enough and they had enough new stuff added in that it made for a great show. I'd definitely recommend it, even if you have been to a Hoopla before, and even moreso if you haven't (there may not be a better time to get your first Shadowbox experience than during Hoopla!). While there we booked up for the Lunchbox on Thursday, and opening night of Sex at the Box '06 (1/5). You should come join us. We're also going to the Shindig for New Years, if you haven't already made plans. You know you want to...

Also fun was a new food menu at Shadowbox. All the old favorites are there, but they also added in a BUNCH of new stuff. They've got a full bar now (including all sorts of different boozes, for those that care about that kind of thing), but also ravioli, the lunchbox BBQ chicken sandwhich, fancy godiva hot chocolate, and a phenomenal (nay, crack-laced) beef tenderloin sandwhich.

Just one quick link to leave for now: I challenge you to check out Cute Overload and NOT say "Awwwwww" at least once.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Holiday Spirit

I guess we finally drug ourselves into the holiday spirit this weekend, and got the tree and decorations up on Sunday. I'm still not quite there yet. I was in the same boat last year, and I can't figure out why. What's keeping me from being all Christmasy these days? One of the biggest complications of the whole thing is that it makes it a big-time chore to do the X-mas shopping when you're not really feeling the season. Maybe I need an egg-nog IV or something. I could tie myself down and subject myself to 24 hours of It's A Wonderful Life, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, and small children a-wassailing my sanity away. Not like I have a choice to wait any longer - we're in full XMas mode this week: Holiday Hoopla Wednesday, the work "holiday luncheon" on Thursday, a friends' party on Friday, and Amy's family XMas on Saturday. YOU WILL BE MERRY.

Still, I do want to get over the Grinch thing here. XMas At 2Cos is phenomenal this year, and we actually saw that back on 11/30, so that helped a lot. I don't have quite the same high hopes for Hoopla, unfortunately, as it appears to be 100% recycled stuff, except for (I'm assuming/hoping) the Santa Babies. We'll see how it goes tomorrow I guess.


Tuesday, December 06, 2005

The Power Of Spin

Check out this alernate Shining trailer.

Always look for the spin - how is this or that being edited and presented and spun to bring you in? Where's the bias? Something students writing research papers need to learn WAY sooner than they do these days...

Monday, December 05, 2005

Money, Football, and Jesus

I guess it was a decent weekend. Saturday night we went to Amy's holiday party at the dean's house. The house was a bit up Riverside drive in the hills, in what is obviously a ridiculously expensive neighborhood. There were a number of insanely large houses there, and the dean's was no different. For the first good clip while we were there, I was afraid to sit down or touch much of anything for fear that an ill-placed smudge could place us irrevocably in debt. Eventually I did settle down and relax a bit... after all, we probably make at least as much as the people paid to clean the place, right? To paraphrase Mel Brooks, "It's good to be the Dean".

Really brief football update for the weekend... as predicted OSU and Notre Dame will play in the Fiesta Bowl. No great surprise there, though I'm glad the rankings worked out so that we don't have to hear how Oregon was screwed. The cursed fate of the Browns continued this weekend as well, as not only did they blow a decent lead to the Leftwich-less Jaguars, they also lost yet another first round draft pick to injury.

Since the Browns don't get televised anyway, Gary and I went to see Sarah Silverman's movie Jesus Is Magic on Sunday. It was a pretty funny movie - though she definitely didn't shy away from taking swings at just about everyone and everything - no taboo subject left unturned, no viewer left unoffended (except me, because again, I think I'm too jaded to this stuff). It wasn't gutbustingly funny, but a good time, and I'm glad we went. Gotta love the Gateway Theater - probably saved a drive out to Drexel East.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

RENT, Thanksgiving

Ok wow, I've got too much to say in one blog here. I guess I'll throw out what I can for now and either forget the rest (highly likely given my memory) or finish up another time.

So Amy, Randy, Heather & I saw RENT last Wednesday. Amy & I got there early and ate dinner at the Ugly Toona Saloona. It's kind of an odd place, as it's definitely very much a bar atmosphere (like Adobe Gilas), but they have a lot of seafood options... priced as you would expect for seafood entrees. I tried to keep more on the inexpensive side, so for the meal I just got a burger (as did Amy), but I had to try the Shrimp & Lobster Bisque. It was pretty tasty -- not as good as, say, Lindeys or the Ocean Club, but still good stuff. Judging by that at least I wouldn't be afraid of trying their other seafood dishes.

So yeah, the movie. I definitely enjoyed the movie. It didn't blow me away like I was hoping for, but it was good. Not quite as faithful of an adaptation as Phantom, but still pretty good, and the fact that it was most of the original cast was awesome. VERY cool seeing all those folks that I'm used to hearing from the original soundtrack - they all did a great job, and contrary to a lot of worries folks had, Roger (Adam Pascal) was really the only one who looked a little old, and it was only REALLY noticeable in one scene. I liked a lot of the visualizations added ... flashbacks to Roger & April meeting and such, images of the life support folks disappearing, the TVs in Maureen's show, Maureen flirting with the secretary while Joanne and Mark meet with Alexi... etc. I really missed a lot of the "in-between songs" singing... and just like in Phantom, the converted a lot of sung dialogue into regular spoken stuff. Which was kind of unsettling because 1) it was wierd knowing what they were going to say and 2) the spoken dialogue still rhymed, and people just don't SPEAK in rhyme... Also, cutting out a lot of the in-between music resulted in a number of the songs feeling more stilted, losing the flow. Some of the changes they made in pacing didn't make a whole lot of sense either. I mean, I can understand rewriting things (especially when you cut some stuff - you have to reinsert what was important there somewhere else), but why stretch out the beginning stuff? I don't see why Maureen's show had to be moved back, etc. Just odd. Another thing which I noticed in Phantom and here again in RENT. The movie felt REALLY LONG. Even with the stuff they cut out, there's just something about taking a show which typically has a 15-minute intermission and cramming it all together...
So yeah... good but not great. Definitely no substitute for the absolute awesomeness that is the stage version, but I'll surely get the DVD anyway. It'll be a nice option since the show's not always playing nearby. (It's coming to Columbus next year... April 22-23... Amy's due date is 4/20. Cruel fate indeed). If anyone else out there saw it, I'd love to hear what you thought.

Thanksgiving was a good time - parents and Amy's mom came over and we ate here. I think we may be nearing double digits on the number of times we've used the nice china in the past 5 years ;) . Almost out of leftovers... which is probably good, because a week is pretty much pushing it on leftovers anyway.

I think that's enough for now.
  • SAD NEWS: 2Cos is closing 2/25/06. Going to be extremely sad to see it go - there's been a lot of great shows there and we'll miss it quite a bit. That said, with those financials, I can definitely understand the decision, and if I had to choose, I'd much rather see Shadowbox continue and keep going strong. Meanwhile, the current Christmas at 2Co's show is awesome - the best XMas show they've done. Lots of great music, some really funny bits, and of course, gotta love the Christmas Queenies.
  • If caffeine is good for your memory, why is mine so shitty?
  • If Lists of Bests were still updating, this would have been a great addition: Empire's 50 Greatest Independent Films. A good list, and I've seen a lot more of them then I expected.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

No Day But Today

I'm probably more excited to see Rent today than a sane adult male should be. It's far-and-away my favorite musical (surpassing Phantom of the Opera right around when I saw RENT live for the first time). I seriously hope it's good. The movie version of Phantom was a good adaptation, so I'll hope for at least that level.

Not that I really feel like I need to, but if it makes you feel better about my manhood, how about a couple sports links?
In other news, there is snow on the ground outside. A good start to the season, I think.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Holiday Weeks Go Fast

Which is good, because I almost took this week off, and decided not to.

The weekend finished out pretty well. Sports-wise, in addition to OSU, the Browns won (amazingly), Steelers lost, Bengals lost, my fantasy teams look good. The Lightning won, and the Cavs won one on Saturday. Really can't complain at all there.

Work went pretty quickly today - lots of stuff needing done, and a three-day week to do them in. The downside to not taking the week off is that it means still no vacation to look forward to in the foreseeable future. We could still take off some time in December, but don't really have anything in particular to do for vacation, trying not to spend too much money, especially on top of the usual holiday gift-spending. We're open to suggestions, however, if you have any particularly stirring suggestions.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

A GOOD Heart Attack

OSU 25, Michigan 21.

Man, what a stressful game to watch. Haven't been too many of those close games this season, but this one definitely kept us on the edges of our seats. And when Anthony Gonzales came down with that pass on the 5 in the last minute, there was much rejoycing. Tressel goes 4-1 against big Blue, including two wins in the Big House. Awesome. Too bad Penn State won to keep the automatic berth and deny the outright championship - but on the other hand, good for JoePa bringing his team outta nowhere to a season like that. Also fun to watch last night was Georgia Tech knocking off #3 Miami. Should be good for us in getting one of the at-large BCS berths... UNLESS it means they don't win the ACC and steal one of the at-large bids.

Saw the new Harry Potter movie after the games last night. I still haven't read any of the books, but I must say the movies are very well made, with some very awesome scenery. Lots of oohs and aahs to be had.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Twice in one day?

Surely I must be crazy.

Well, that may be true, but there are a few things that I felt I had to share from Warren Ellis's page.
  • Apparently in India, the whole witch hunt thing still makes for a fun pasttime. I know it's India being talked about here, but seriously - what year is it? And they just passed this anti-witchcraft law in 1999?
  • Apparently it's against the law to be a revisionist historian in Austria. Laws against denying the Holocaust ever happened. Nutty.
  • He also passed along a status report on this season's new TV shows. Apparently I don't actually watch ANY of this season's new shows. I haven't even heard of a lot of those. Of the ones I can comment on:
    • Amy watches "Commander in Chief". I thought it was just OK. Not a big fan of political drama. (Yes, that means I never cared about "The West Wing" either).
    • Caught one episode of "Invasion" - it was confusing and boring. I'll pass.
    • Caught one episode of "Ghost Whisperer" - it was pretty decent, I'd watch it again. Has a very strong "Tru Calling" feel. Not really sold on Jennifer Love Hewitt in it (man she's not looking so great these days), but it works OK.
    • "Bones" - caught one episode. It was very uninspired, nothing there to set it apart from the scores of other crime dramas.
    • Caught part of "Prison Break", and Gary's constantly selling me on it. It looks pretty interesting, but at this point I don't want to jump-in midway. Guess I'll wait for the DVDs. Also, I'm not sure how this concept could be drug out for MORE than one season without getting annoying.
Ok, that's all for today. If you care, don't forget the other new entry...

Snow Long And Thanks For All The Fish

Snow this morning. Insane. None of it stuck, but there were still a LOT of good sized flakes coming down for a good length of time. On the news this morning, they'd somehow managed to build a tiny little snowman out of it (like maybe 2-3 inches tall). The temperature drop from yesterday to today is obscene, going from almost 70 to snow. Gotta love Ohio.

I finished Lullaby last night. Once I actually dedicated my attention to it, it was an insanely fast read. I love Palahniuk's style, and this book was a very entertaining read, but I think it falls a little short of his other stuff I've read. Still, like I said, I enjoyed it quite a bit, and I'd still recommend it to folks who are fans of his style. Invisible Monsters remains my favorite Palahniuk book so far. Starting on Choke soon, if not tonight.

Was reading an article on one of the most recent PETA stunts, and saw a link to this 7 Things You Don't Know about PETA article. I don't know how much (if any) of this is exaggerated or taken out of context, but crazy man, crazy. #2 seems to be the height of hipocracy, and #6 blew my mind. Holocaust On Your Plate!! You have got to be kidding me. No matter how loony-tunes, you've got to admire their guts to try and pull crap like that.

Check out this Fun little brain-excercise/shape matching game to kill some time.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Stalker.Net Strikes Again

I've mentioned it before, but it cracks me up how careless some folks are with their personal information on Facebook and the like. I guess they figure "hey, only people at my own university or people I've friended can see it, so it must be safe"... or more likley, they just don't think about it at all. Maybe getting busted for drinking will cause folks to think again... after all, if the university will exploit it, what about all those bad guys out there? I also got a kick from this article on how it's affected the whole Greek scene. (and on an unrelated note, I love that "Big Picture" story-web CNet's using these days)

While I get back to work, amuse yourselves with looking up significant events from ANYDAY Today-In-History, or check out "Brainy History" for today...

Monday, November 14, 2005

F Your Monday

A three day weekend doesn't make coming back to work any easier. Finally getting over the bird flu, but it's left me with this lingering cough which is bugging the crap out of me. It also left me achy and sore most of the weekend. Fun fun.

The weekend wasn't an entire wash. Friday Amy & I checked out the new Drexel Gateway Theater and saw Shopgirl. The theater itself is pretty cool. Set up a BIT strange, being all on the second story, with very steeply inclined theaters for some serious stadium-seating. Brand new, so that means nice and clean. Seems to be sticking to their guns so far and showing more indie/art-film leaning stuff. Amy & I both enjoyed the movie. It was a nice little story, well acted by Claire Danes and Steve Martin both. It's got me wondering about the book now... I may have to add it to the list of "to reads".

Football-wise, OSU won, the Browns lost, and I split another fantasy week between my two leagues. With Priest Holmes out for the season in KC, what was looking like a very strong team in my one league has completely disintegrated. Trent Green netted me a whopping -6 pts this week. ROCKIN.

Gotta get going... some linkage:

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

BLS, Football, Election Day, Linkage

The Black Label Society concert Friday night was a great time. It was at the Newport, and this was my first trip there post-smoking ban. Well, as you might expect, there were still a decent number of people smoking there anyway, including one chain smoker who was right below where we were on the rail, but even still, there was a noticable difference in the quality of the air. And people didn't really start smoking until the show started, so there was plenty of dead time before with smoke-free air and a remarkably clear view of the interior of the Newport. The show itself was a blast. Brand New Sin opened, and they were dead on. They were apparently filming for a live video or something, as they had a big ol camera, boom mic and the works, and were getting the crowd really jazzed up. A truly great response, especially considering they were they opening band. BLS took forever to get setup... I think there was a minimum of 45 minutes between sets, but probably more like an hour or more. It was pretty ridiculous, and the mega-long wait really took any "thrill" out of their big opening medley of recordings -- by that point I was like "get the hell out here and play already". They played a good long set, with lots of good stuff, but the mix was off pretty badly. From what I could hear the band was solid, but the mix was crappy and it made it hard to enjoy a number of the songs. Ah well... maybe next time.

This was a great weekend for football too. OSU won, which was pretty expected, but they really surprised me by actually covering the spread. They didn't look flawless, but it was a solid game, and hopefully they keep it up and run the table. Even winning out, I don't know that we'll get a BCS bowl-bid unless Penn State drops a game, but we should still be well-placed. Sunday was the true insanity, as the BROWNS WON! Didn't get to watch it on TV, of course (stupid Bengals), but Dad & I listened to it on the radio, and it was nice to see (hear) the Browns come through for once... especially after the disappointing loss to the then-winless Texans. As far as fantasy football goes, I split, winning one and losing the other, but still - the real thing's better than fantasy any day.

It's Election Day. Go out there and vote. I definitely plan on voting on my way home. In Ohio there are five big state issues, plus other important stuff like school levees and the like.

Some linkage on my way out:

Friday, November 04, 2005


Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Holy November! Alone Again

Yeah, so it's November. Only two months left in 2005. I guess when you get old, time really flies.

Amy's currently on her last big trip of the season/year, which means that I'm smack-dab in the middle of the latest episode of Max's Home Alone Adventure. I must admit that I have found myself wondering several times what I used to do with all my free time in the days before City of Heroes. I have found that I missed out on a lot of great console games while I was sucked-in, so this is giving me a good chance to catch-up. Currently, I'm playing a lot of Def Jam Fight for NY, the sequel to Def Jam Vendetta. I'm a big fan of wrestling-style fighting games, so it's a great time. And it's insane all the people they've got in it. That's some mega-license-action. Also probably going to have to get around to checking out "Destroy All Humans", the X-Men Legends series, Civ IV, and more.

In other mindless entertainment news, VH1's new show But Can They Sing? is HORRIBLE. It's got the now familiar D-level "celebrities" in an American Idol-esque singing competition, complete with viewer voting. But they're pretty much resoundly TERRIBLE. It's like watching a train wreck. And to make it worse, they get mostly POSITIVE feedback instead of the tear-downs that really ought to be coming.

Quick and links:
Also been playing with Wallop, Microsoft's experimental (beta, or whatever) social-networking-type-thing. Not quite sure where the need for yet another social network is, but it's got a really interesting flash interface, so it at least makes it kind of fun to play around with for an hour or two.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

This just in

There is at least one sane person left in Washington D.C..

That is all.

Pixelart Movies, Flash Puzzles, etc

Our first Broadway Series show of the season was last night... Hairspray. It's honestly been so long since I've seen the movie that I remembered almost nothing about it... other than it was one of the "fat Ricki Lake" movies. I do remember that I didn't really care for the movie at all. The musical I really enjoyed, however. It was a pretty fun time. May have to go back and give the movie another chance. Still... as far as fat Ricki Lake movies go, you can't beat Cry Baby. Now there's a quality flick.

Some other quick links/blips:
  • The Eyezmaze site has been updated. There are two versions of the "Grow" game I hadn't played that were very fun, and some other minor updates. Check it out. There's even a blog there where he posts stuff in progress.
  • In a new twist on "cliff notes", some guy has created pixel-art animated gifs covering most all of the important scenes in Star Wars and Empire Strikes Back. They're good-sized files, so be careful.
  • Shadowboxers in movies! I have no idea when these are coming out / when you'd be able to see them, but check out Horrors of War with Joe Lorenzo (and G.Lo here and there) and Living In Technicolor, with Pizzuto in a crazy-house!

Monday, October 24, 2005

Fire It Up

As previously mentioned, the Fall Fireball was Friday. It was a good time, though things started out a little disappointing, as they did away with all the "open" tables this year, leaving only reserved tickets. The $45 "guaranteed seat" tickets make a lot more sense knowing this, but I still can't see paying 1.5 times as much just to have a table to set your crap on for a little while. Maybe buying a full or partial table next year, I guess... It was a good time -- there was a lot of good stuff in both silent auctions. We bid on lots of stuff, but unfortunately only got one thing - a checker-pattern ottoman "crouton" - which we won because Amy was the only person to bid on it. I was bummed about losing out on both Cincy-trip packages, which were the things I probably wanted the most. The good thing is that at least they got more money off them for 2Cos/Shadowbox. Also cool auction-wise was Pat & Cindy winning a cruise in the live auction! Very nice. The band shows were, of course, the best part though -- Downtown DFN (the 2Cos band) played for a bit, and later BillWho? did a two-hour set, including lots of good tunes.

Saturday we hit-up the Ren Fest, and Amy was able to come along this time. Got to see some shows I missed last time, and introduce Amy to the fun. Hopefully we'll be able to do it again next year in slightly warmer weather, but we'll have to see how things are going. Also good on Saturday was OSU beating Indiana. Not that that was a huge surprise, but you never know with OSU on the road...

Sunday watched the Browns get whipped by frigging Detroit at home. It's typical Cleveland karma that it was Garcia who came in to lead them to the win. It was a bad football day in general, as my fantasy teams fared pretty poorly as well. I did go shopping with Amy for a bit earlier in the day, so at least it wasn't entirely wasted.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Flock, Fireball

This preview ain't for the faint of heart! If you're the bleeding-edge type and don't mind a few scrapes and busted knees from time to time, feel free to give it a whirl.


Trying out a new web browser which is based heavily on Firefox, called "Flock". It's supposed to be the first "social" web browser, a la all the other web2.0 apps that the hipsters are all up on these days. I've been interested in trying out a lot of this stuff myself, so I gave it a whirl.

It's not too bad. VERY bleeding-edge, as noted, and there are a number of show-stoppers which will keep me from using it full-time I think, but I do like the blogging integration thought. Flickr integration is pretty cool as well. Instead of regular favorites, it uses your account, which is both interesting and not-so-good. It doesn't seem to be able to group favorites in folders, so there's no "open in tabs" option which I've become pretty hooked on, among other stuff. ... and the funniest part is I first tried to post this blog from within Flock, using the built-in blogging tools, and it completely failed... wasn't able to connect and post it after all. Very funny.

A couple reviews with screenshots if you're interested:
A Firefox Fan's Perspective Of The Flock Browser
Flock, Under Those Feathers

Anyway, so yeah... it's an interesting thought, but not a winner just yet. In other news, going to the Shadowbox Fall Fireball tonight. Amy gets to go this year too! In fact, I think this may be the biggest crowd we've been with yet -- me, Amy, Gary, Randy, Heather, Pat & Cindy. Very slick. Should be a blast. Here's hoping they make crazy amounts of money and that everyone has a great time.

Monday, October 17, 2005

With Au Jus

It makes me crazy. Seriously. Such a little thing, but it bugs the crap outta me when you see an ad for roast beef, carved beef, a french dip sandwich, etc... and it says "served with au jus" or even worse "served with a side of au jus"... Au jus is french for "with juice" -- generally referring to the meat's juices from cooking. So essentially those ads are saying "served with with juice" or "served with a side of with juice".

I'm really not an anal person. I just have issues. Really.

The weekend went by pretty quickly. Amy was gone all weekend - she's currently in Phoenix, and is getting back tomorrow. It's been around 95 there, but unfortunately she still has a pretty nasty cold... I feel so bad for her to have to be travelling AND be sick. Think good thoughts and hopefully she will be home and healthy soon.

OSU won on Saturday. That was good, but they really won despite their best efforts otherwise. It was a rough, rough game to watch. The offense still needs a LOT of work. With two road games coming up, they better get their act together fast. There's a lot of stiff competition in the Big Ten still to come.

The Browns got annhiliated on Sunday... but I didn't watch since they showed the BENGALS game instead. So instead of watching football, I watched a couple different shows on Sci-Fi network. First was Riverworld, which was pretty good. It's apparently a pilot for a series that never happened, but it did pretty well on it's own. It's interested me enough to add the books to my "to-read" list... A really cool concept, so it'll be nice to read more on the whole setting and story. The other thing I watched was both parts of the Legend of Earthsea miniseries. Apparently the author of the books it was based on, Ursula K Le Guin wasn't very happy with the adaptation. I haven't really read much fantasy lately, but I'll probably have to add some of the Earthsea books to my reading list as well.

Should be a good week. Amy gets back tomorrow, I'm going to Shadowbox on Wednesday to see Freak Show again, and going to the Fall Fireball on Friday (which Amy will be able to attend this time!) Woohoo, and a good time shall be had by all.

Monday, October 10, 2005

I Gave In To Peer Pressure

Well, I gave in to peer pressure and saw Serenity on Friday. I haven't seen Firefly yet (though I expect I'll borrow the DVDs and watch them sooner or later). I do have to admit, it's a pretty good movie. It's not a GREAT movie, mind you, but it is a pretty good one. I suspect the reason it's getting so much hype (at least from some circles) is that there are very, very few good sci-fi movies coming out these days. That, and of course the Firefly fans whose consumer power got the movie made in the first place. I really liked the Captain's character - it was a bit shallow, but it was a good take on the concept, and even though seeing him go from the good intentioned yet focusless rogue to the defender of an ideal seemed a bit rushed, it was definitely a nice turn of plot. I'll have to agree with Jeff in that it would have been great to see this story told over a longer period of time, such as a second season of Firefly, for example... but on the other hand, I seriously doubt it would have had the same budget, and I doubt they would've taken the same liberties with some of the characters that wrap things up so nicely at the end. So yeah... I saw it, it was good. I'm glad I didn't wait till it was off the big screen. Sadly, it doesn't appear to be doing all that well at the box office... wasn't even in the top 5 this week. Likely DVD sales will rule the roost, as they did for the series.

Amy & the girls were all in Amish Country this weekend... but I still went to the Ren Fest on Saturday with Pat & Cindy. It was a pretty good time. About as cold as last year when I went, but it wasn't raining this time, so that's an improvement. The Nuns have a new CD out, which we listened to on the way down - it's still very funny, and that meant their show was a little different then last year (though still some of the same stuff). Saw the full armor joust, which was fun, a fireeater, the Swordsmen, the "Naughty Navels" belly dancers, and a decently entertaining pub sing. Lots of other shows we didn't get to see, but I'm going again with Amy (hopefully) in two weeks, so we can check out more stuff then.

Saturday night OSU lost to Penn State.... blah. The defense looked pretty inspired, but the offense just wasn't getting things done. I honestly don't know what more we could do there... maybe Penn State's defense is just that good, but after how awesome we looked moving the ball all over Iowa, you'd think we could've done a LITTLE more than that.

Sunday was a do-nothing day for me, other than watch more football. The Browns won, which was fun, but surprising. They pretty much won dispite themselves, as it looked like a sure loss until the fourth quarter when we scored twice in under a minute, thanks to some help from the Bears. Amy got home Sunday night, so it was nice to spend some time with her before she gets back on the road again for work.

Back at work today, of course, and Amy leaves again for another trip, getting back Thursday, which means it's Max's Continuing Home Alone Adventure. Not exactly sure what I'm going to do... getting pretty bored and fed up with City of Heroes (to the point where I actually cancelled my account). Maybe I'll rent some other games, or maybe I'll just read. It's not like I don't have a huge stack of books in my "to read" pile.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

The Hype Surrounds Me

So apparently according to everyone and their uncle, I need to immediately rush out and see Serenity. From the good press and hype it's getting (even if the box office sales didn't quite agree) it's apparently the best movie since Empire Strikes Back, or The Godfather, or Citizen Kane, or Casablanca, or whatever your favorite movie may happen to be. AND... from what I understand, immediately after watching Serenity I will be so in awe that I will want to track down Joss Whedon and have millions of babies with him.

I have a problem with hype. I didn't watch Forrest Gump for a very long time after it came out because of how much hype it was getting. When I finally did watch it I discovered it was, indeed, a very good movie and possibly worth most of the hype. But the hype still kicks me in that rebel nerve and makes me want to not see it...

We'll see. Even aside from the hype, from the trailers I was still pretty lukewarm to seeing Serenity. I'm sure I'll see it eventually, but I'm not in a huge rush, and if I do end up seeing it, I'd like to see Firefly first.

In other news, apparenty you don't even need to have ANY EXPERIENCE AS A JUDGE to be nominated to the Supreme Court. Absolutely frigging insane. Gary's right, we should just get Dubya to stick him out there as a nominee and be done with it.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Again With The Busy

Really, it shouldn't be surprising, but the new week brings a whole lot more busy-ness at work. Interviewing for an open position this week, plus all the other stuff that being early in Autumn quarter brings, means things stay busy. Not really a bad thing.

The weekend came and went pretty quickly. Friday night was nothing exciting - still home alone - watched some TV, played some CoH, hung out with the dogs. No surprise there. Saturday Amy was getting home. I'll let you read her recap of how fun her trip home was - I spent the day mowing the lawn and taking care of some other basics here. As soon as she got home we buzzed out to the wedding, which was downtown at the Kelton House. Amy got home at about 4:10pm, and the wedding was at 4:30. Somehow we managed to make it there less than 10 minutes late, and still got to see almost everything. In between the ceremony and the reception they let folks tour the house for free, which was really cool - some very nice looking old rooms and furnishings, and the basement area was very cool, including the room with information on the underground railroad. It was a very nice wedding (though I couldn't hear 90% of what the minister said), and a very nice reception with some good grub.

Sunday we visited with my parents for awhile. Amy did some scrapbooking, Dad & I hung out and watched football. No Browns or Buckeyes this weekend, but still some decent games. I can't believe the Bengals are still undefeated... Just insane.

After work today we had dinner at a new place nearby called Ha Long Bay Asian Kitchen. Mostly Vietnamese-type stuff. Amy wasn't feeling too great, so she got chicken fried rice (which was really good), Laurie got some rice crepes with stuff, and I got some really interesting "Sesame Beef Rolls" and a mixed beef Pho. Good stuff. The rolls were interesting, but kind of odd, and I don't know that I'd do them again. The Pho was definitely tasty, on par with Lac Viet in the North Market. If we ever go back (which I don't feel the need to rush back...) I'd definitely get it again. Polish off the night with a trip to Cold Stone Creamery for the return of Cake Batter ice cream! Fresh off the salmonella stint, it tastes the same to me, just as good as ever. We weren't the only ones missing it apparently... there's a link on their site (which apparently needs updated) where you could put in your e-mail address to be notified when it returns.

Friday, September 30, 2005

Made It To Friday, Social Network Stuff

Well, made it to Friday in the first full week of the quarter. That means that theoretically things should START slowing down at work. They'll still be pretty hectic for awhile, but not as insane as they've been these first two weeks.

Amy's been out of town since Wednesday, so it's been yet another installment of Max's Home Alone Adventure. This actually will be the longest one of the year I think, and she gets back tomorrow, so it's really not too bad. I will be very happy to have her back home though... As for what I've been up to while she's gone, just taking care of the pups, not a whole lot really. Nothing out of the ordinary by any means.

As for the weekend, just because she gets back into town doesn't mean Amy gets to relax, unfortunately... Saturday we're going to one of her friends' wedding. So no rest for the wicked... I should get my car in for an oil change this weekend as well, but I'll probably put it off a little longer. It's due time-wise, but not mileage-wise yet. Enh. After having to get new brake pads then a new tire on the van, I'm a bit worried about the "extras" that might come with the oil change at this point.

So what else have I been doing? Well, futzing around with various social network services. I'm still not completely sold on them, but they're all neato "tools" and a big part of Web 2.0, which is a really interesting concept that I'm trying to stay on-top of.

So far I've tried out:
  • Livejournal -- more of a blog/journal service than a social network, but the profile page and it's interlinking with other folks who list the same interests was a core-part of the others...
  • Yahoo 360 -- Yahoo's still very raw version which also feels more like a "uniform personal homepage" then a social network...
  • Orkut -- Google's social-network service. (Which is invite-only, though if you want to check it out, the invites are not hard to come by, and I can invite whomever.) Orkut seems to have a lot of great groups, and is one of the better organized that I've seen... but it's also been swarmed by Brazilian folks and as a result a LOT of the discussions and such are in Portugese.
  • Friendster -- One of the "original" social network services. Haven't checked this one out too much yet, but it seems like it might be a little more dating/hook-up oriented, which I obviously have no want or need for.
  • MySpace -- Another of the older services. It strikes me as ugly and chock-full of ads.
  • Facebook -- Originally only for college folks, they've now created a separate one just for high schoolers as well. The college one is very much like the other social networks, but seems to have a pretty huge buy-in among alot of the young'uns coming through the past year or so.
  • Imeem -- Different from the others in that instead of being web-based, it's actually more instant-message based, with groups, blogs, and such all tied in for added flavor and overlap.
So what does it all mean? Well, not really much of anything... but it's fun to screw around with all the different technologies. Hey, Amy's been out of town... ;)

Monday, September 26, 2005

Weekend Ups and Downs

A pretty bi-polar weekend, to be sure.

Saturday we were supposed to be going to the Ohio RenFest with some friends. I went last year but Amy was out of town for work and couldn't go. I think she would really enjoy it, and have really been looking forward to going... but sadly, Amy was really having a rough day Saturday, woke up pretty sick and wasn't going to be able to go. We were going to be driving folks in the van. I was originally still going to go, so I took the van out to get some gas and I heard this thumping... sounded like a flat tire, so I pulled over to check it out... but it wasn't flat. Was walking around to check the other side when I saw a huge bolt sticking out of the tread. So... plans cancelled, instead I went to NTB and got a new tire. Fun fun. The upside was I got to watch some of the OSU game. Didn't get to watch the whole thing, b/c we had to get out to Grove City and pick up Amy's nightstand from the Kittles warehouse. Still, nice seeing OSU give the Hawkeyes a clubberin.

Sunday was a much better day... we headed down to Via Colori 2005. It was a pretty cool setup. I was disappointed by the very limited food options (like two places), but there was some really awesome artwork. I wish I'd brought the camera - going to have to remember that next year. Luckily some folks on flickr took some pics. After that we had lunch at the North Market, then saw Corpse Bride. I really dug the movie - it was kind of short (about 75 mins, maybe even a little less), but a nice little story. Very cool stuff, highly recommended.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005


Going from a pretty extended period where the only thing I was interested on tube-wise was Rockstar, we're now solidly into Fall Season Premiere Week. All kinds of good stuff coming back into action.

This week's Rome was just enh ... kind of a treading-water kind of episode in between major events it seemed. The side-story (about a Centurian's family) was pretty interesting, but the main dance with Caesar and the gang was kind of boring. Hopefully things pick up again next week.

The Rockstar: INXS finale was this week. As I predicted/feared some time ago, JD won. I do have to admit that he's a very talented guy, and his style seems to mesh pretty well with the band... but man it always sucks when the dickheads win. I don't feel quite as cheated as I have with some of the other reality-TV screwjobs I've gotten sucked into in the past, and both Amy & I feel a lot less opposed to JD then we used to be. The jury is out on what I'll think of the "new INXS", but I do still have my eye out for an INXS "best of" album, and I'm sorely tempted by the Rock Star: A Night At the Mayan Theater CD. Especially b/c it's got Jordis's version of "The Man Who Sold The World", which is probably my favorite song from the series.

Since FOX started their fall season a week earlier than most, I've now seen two episodes this season of Bones and House. I'm extremely underwhelmed by Bones... it seems to be just another CSI wannabe show, with nothing to really distinguish it from the scores of other crime drama shows... blah characters, blah stories. House though... I only watched one episode of it last year, and was really unimpressed. Both episodes I've seen of this season, however, I've really dug - I think it's extremely well-done. It also cracks me up that the main star (the guy who plays Dr. House) used to be the idiot on the Black Adder shows... so very different characters.

Lost premieres tonight. I'm still mad at them for the complete, horrible, horrible, non-resolving ANYTHING cliffhanger from last season. That won't stop me from eagerly watching tonight, however.

Mmm... boob-tube brain-rot.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Where'd the Weekend Go?

Yeah... so that wasn't much of a weekend, I suppose.

Saturday Amy had a bunch of stuff to do in the morning, so I spent most of the time she was gone trying to get as much of the housework done as possible, so that we could enjoy the rest of the weekend. The last thing on her list for the morning/early afternoon had been to take her car in for an oil change and get the brakes checked. Turns out she needed new pads, which are pricey (though could be worse)... and takes time. She wasn't feeling too hot, so she called me to come pick her up rather than waiting two hours. By the time I made it over there, it wasn't going to take all THAT much longer, so I decided we could go to my parents' house and she could relax there.

Well, my Dad was there, and his foot had really been bothering him... He had told Mom not to worry about it and go to the OSU game anyway, but was considering how he was going to drive himself to the urgent care when we showed up. So I took Dad to Urgent Care, once they took him back, I headed back, took Amy back to the car place, then headed back to Urgent Care to get Dad. Turns out, they wanted him to go to the Emergency Room b/c it could be a number of things which they couldn't diagnose or treat in the urgent care. So I took him up to the ER. Luckily, they were showing the OSU game in the lobby. The ER was, of course, very slow... they took an x-ray, ran a bunch of tests, etc...

We were planning on hitting up MadLab Saturday night (had tickets and everything), but the window on that slips by while in the ER. Thankfully, Amy's a superstar and called them and got them to apply the tickets to another show. Saturday was their last "Choose Your Fate" superhero show, but their other stuff looks interesting too. Also around this point, my Mom calls Amy b/c she can't find my Dad... so she winds up leaving the game early and meeting us at the ER. Thankfully, when the tests came back, it looks like it's nothing mega-serious - they're "mostly sure" he has gout. Yuck. Very not fun and painful, but treatable.

That was pretty much Saturday. Sunday I worked move-in day all morning from the Schott, went out to lunch with Amy at Walt's 50s Diner, and went grocery shopping... And that's about it. Yeah. And here I am at work, first week of the quarter, woo-hoo!

This should be a pretty damn good week for TV. Haven't watched last night's new Rome yet, but looking forward to doing so. Most of the fall seasons premiere this week - Lost, CSI, etc. Additionally, the Rockstar: INXS finale is this week. I'm 95% sure that JD is going to win, which is somewhat disappointing, but both Amy & I find ourselves hating him slightly less... I think he's toned down the dickery somewhat, and he's definitely very talented. I'm still pulling for MiG, but I guess I'll be happy with any of the final three. Still really hoping I'm wrong about JD though. There are enough mega-ego frontmen in the biz already.

Thursday, September 15, 2005


It's the busy time of year at work, and I've got a bunch of things that need done, but I've gotta throw these links up here, they're histerical..

  • Gillette is making a FIVE-BLADED RAZOR. Because obviously four blades just can't cut it. The best part is this was predicted by The Onion early last year, in a hysterical little article. And Mad Magazine called the "blade wars" way back in the 70s, which you can see some of here. It's just insane. And each new multi-blade cartridge gets more and more expensive. I've been going backwards in the razor technology simply because they're so damn pricey.
  • Forget regular Velvet Elvii... you need a Velvet Yoda Elvis. More crazy black velvet art here.
  • If you're at all familiar with the concept of Magic: The Gathering, check out Katrina: The Gathering. It's hysterical. Sure to offend a lot of folks, but madly funny nonetheless.
  • Speaking of offending folks, this dude is batshit psycho.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005


So thanks to the wonders of HBO On-Demand, I've seen the first three episodes of the new HBO/BBC original series Rome. I have to say I'm really happy about what I've seen so far. It definitely appeals to the history-bug in me, being set in "the epic days of Rome" (basically the same timeframe as Shakespeare's Julius Caesar).

The story is decent, but nothing spectacular - I'm not sure how much of that is writing and how much of that is the constraints of historical fiction, but still, it's not bad, just could be better. The acting is very good (all British folks), and the scenery, costumes, sets, etc are all AMAZING. Randy tells me this is supposedly the most expensive TV series ever made, and I could totally see how that would be the case... it doesn't feel stripped-down at all, very epic, very high-quality movie-esque.

If you have HBO, I definitely recommend checking it out. If you don't, well it's an HBO series so it'll definitely come out on DVD.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Here's For Football

Yeah... so not a particularly great weekend for football. Went over to Beth & Paul's place on Saturday night to watch the OSU-Texas game. It was a pretty good football game, but so heartbreaking, and so frustrating to watch. I definitely have to agree with Mike about getting Stanley Jackson/Joe Germaine flashbacks and not wanting to see that again. The really frustrating thing is I can't even see how there was a question about it... one moved the ball and scored points, the other didn't. Sure, Troy Smith didn't move the ball as well as they SHOULD have (only field goals from all those turnovers is DEPRESSING), but still... and putting Zwick in when we all we need to do is move the ball into field goal range (which Smith HAD managed to do)... yeah. Fumble!!!

The Browns lost too... this didn't surprise me. The nice thing about the Browns this year is that my expectations are SO low that should they actually manage to stumble into a WIN, I'll be pleasantly surprised. There were some moments of greatness for the Browns in the game, that was nice.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Linkosity Revisited

Some more quick links for you:
  • Though I'm an admitted huge addict of the Shadowbox, I'm not averse to finding other theatrical-type things in town which may be cool. Along those lines, I'd really like to check out MadLab. It also helped them get my attention that they're currently doing a superhero thing.
  • The new Walkman is damn sexy looking. I love that integrated display BIG TIME. This seems likely to be the first serious competition the iPod may have to face.
  • If you haven't already heard of it, you should read up on the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.
  • Progress is a good thing, and the folks at Adult Swim think so, too...

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Freakshow 2005

Get your butt over to Shadowbox and check out Freak Show 2005 as quickly as you can. They've managed to put on another AWESOME show, keeping up a pretty good streak, especially following the muy-awesome Best Of this year. It's got a lot of awesome sketches including a great kids show sketch (with a slightly different set-up for it which was nice), and several recurring favs. The band's set list on the night was the HUGE stand-out. Definitely may be one of the best shows music-wise that I've seen there. Highly recommended. One of the best parts of the show for me (and Amy too) was that it's all new (or at least new to us) -- they've been recycling some stuff even in their non Best Of shows lately, but this was all new. In fact, I was really happy with everything but the very last sketch -- that wasn't too bad, but seemed a little slow. The more than made up for it with the awesome finale.

In more Shadowbox-fandom, they've also set a date for the Fall Fireball , October 21st. Amy & I will definitely be there (unless Amy ditches me again), as will Gary, Randy, Heather (supposedly), and Pat & Cindy... and probably some other folks too. If you're interested in going, you should - it's a great time, and for a good cause.

  • I'm definitely not a legal expert, but if this case doesn't have serious national importance before it's over I'll be really surprised. Unless one of the parties backs out, I'd expect to see some Supreme Court activity. The whole background behind that case is a complete mess, and one of the hugest uphill battles that same-sex couples will have to face... Regardless of how serious you are about a relationship, or even if you adopt the kid, in the end it's still only genetically related to ONE of the parents. I'm very interested to see where that goes.
  • People like this are why I have so little faith in the world. Saying he's got a history of psychiatric problems is a bit of an understatement don't you think?
  • Another day, another moron. Here's a tip: If you're going to steal things, try not to beat up your girlfriend afterward. The real shocker there is that FOOTBALL TICKETS are valued over $10,000. You have got to be kidding me.
  • iPod mini too big for you? Fear not, the mini is no more - now get yourself an iPod nano! Can the iSophagus be far behind?

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Tired & Awake Too Long

Ok, I've stayed awake much too late and need to be getting to bed.

That said, before I do I'll kill some time and throw a quick weekend recap and some links at you. Thursday for my birthday dinner we hit up The Ocean Club. It took much deliberation on my part, since I didn't feel like Fujiyama (mainly it didn't feel different enough since it hasn't been all that long since I went), but I finally picked OC, and was very happy with the results, as always. Our server was phenomenal as well, and made the night much more fun. She even hooked us up with a free dessert.

My memory is absolutely awful - I have to strain my brain to remember what I did three days ago. Yet I can remember all sorts of pointless trivia without any problem. Go fig.

Also this weekend (Saturday I think), Amy & I went and saw The Aristocrats at the Arena Grand. For those of you not familiar with it, it's a documentary about this one "special joke". It's extremely, extremely tasteless and will most likely offend most folks not very desensitized to that kind of stuff. I thought it was pretty well put together, and it was very interesting to see all the different versions of the joke. I think Gilbert Godfried or Billy the Mime were my favs. Amy really didn't enjoy it at all, and I feel pretty guilty for taking her... I guess I should've tried to prep her more for what to expect, or just skipped it altogether...

Sunday we went to the Greek Festival downtown with Laurie. It's a pretty good time. Not much different this year from last year - dancing was fun, but the same, food was tasty, but the same, cathedral was pretty, but the same... you get the idea. Tickets were only $4, but parking was pricey and the food wasn't cheap either. It may not end up being an every year thing for me...

I leave you with link central...

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Let The Good Times Roll

I really should've updated earlier in the week to get that mopey entry off the top -- the doldrums really only lasted through Monday, and it's been a pretty good week since then.

The news from Katrina has been pretty grim. It's sad to see all that devastation along the gulf coast. From the sounds of things, it's going to take a long time to get everything cleaned up - lots of people without homes or places to work, etc... In addition to the tragedy factor is the economic impact, which is already in full effect here. Gas prices yesterday jumped from about $2.69 to $3.09 in the course of four hours or so. From reading stories like this one, it's a pretty safe bet they'll only be getting higher in the near-future. Gas prices over $4/per gallon are a distinct possibility, and that's some scary stuff.

Tuesday I had a workshop in the new South Campus Gateway building where HR has it's offices now. It was a very snazzy new space. Still pretty opposed to the whole Campus Partners thing, but it's a done deal now... and I don't think protesting the stuff would really be all that effective. I'm not that passionate about it at any rate. Like I said, the new building was very cool, and the 4th floor view over campus was very snazzy. After the workshop I briefly wandered through the B&N and hit up the new Potbelly Sandwich Works for lunch with Amy. I didn't go very far in, so what I saw of B&N was pretty typical... Potbelly was a pretty good place. The sandwiches are good sized and pretty well priced ($3.79). I got "The Wreck" which was ham, turkey, roast beef and salami - very tasty. They grill the sandwhiches in a similar way to Quiznos. Good food - I'll definitely be going back. The atmosphere inside was pretty cool as well - a lot nicer than most other campus places.

Yesterday was the Mike Nelson show at Shadowbox, and MAN was it a great time. Group-wise, it was just Amy, Pat, and his co-worker Amy. I really can't believe I couldn't talk more people into going, but a) I didn't try TOO hard, and b) it did come during kind of a financially pressed month for more folks. The good times started out pretty quickly, actually -- on the Shadowforums, I'd mentioned that I was a little bummed they'd added the tonight's show AFTER I'd already had tickets for the Wednesday show... and that it would've been nice to come on my birthday. Now, I know we could've probably gotten our reservations moved to the second night, but we stuck it out. Well, because Shadow-folks are 100% completely awesome, they had Mike sign a t-shirt for me with happy birthday wishes. VERY COOL! Could I love the place any more? Big thanks to Jimmy, Julie, and whoever else was involved in that deal.

The show itself was awesome!! Some spoilers below, so if you're going tonight (which you SHOULD) don't read after this: XXXXXXX It had a good portion of the current Best Of show, but also had a sketch Mike had written specifically for the show (which he was in as well), another sketch where he ripped on a few movie clips MST3K-style which was very funny (and defintely brought up some MST3K nostalgia with a quickness), he was in Gary & Galinda (which became Mike & Melinda), he was in Girls 101, and he played Dr. Mystery in one of the older Dr. Mystery bits! Band-wise, the music was almost all from Best Of, but they did do a rockin' cover of the MST3k theme-song, and Mike sang the lead on Sci-Fi Girl!! Such a cool time, and I'm so glad I went - definitely worth the price, and then some!

I've gotta get back to work now, slack-time is over. I'll leave this interesting link: a library in Holland lets you "check out" people with non-mainstream lifestyles/viewpoints/backgrounds and chat with them, learn about them, etc. I think that's a damn cool idea! Being open minded to other viewpoints is a GOOD thing, despite what the moral majority would have you believe.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Back To Reality

There's a silence surrounding me
I can't seem to think straight
I'll sit in the corner
No one can bother me
I think I should speak now
I can't seem to speak now
My words won't come out right
I feel like I'm drowning
I'm feeling weak now
But I can't show my weakness
I sometimes wonder
Where do we go from here

I suspect listening to Pink Floyd can bring on the doldrums in most people, so I've probably done this to myself, but I'm having one of those kinds of days, and I think this sums it up perfectly.

Back at work today, vacation's over. It wasn't too bad when you consider it was a Monday back at work after a week off, and there's catching up with work, with what's been going on at work, etc, etc.... In addition to the usual work stuff, the weather this morning and the news of Hurricane Katrina's havoc down on the Gulf Coast are all probably contributing factors as well.

As usual, I'm sure it will clear up in time. They usually don't last too long. If nothing else, the Shadowbox Mike Nelson show on Wednesday should help. Looking forward to that quite a bit, and I'm really happy they wound up selling out the first show.

Friday, August 26, 2005

The Mind Is Willing But The Wallet Is Weak

Went to Lunchbox today at Shadowbox. It was, of course, a good time. They had a really good sized crowd for a lunchbox, which was great to see. Apparently they're trying to get folks in for the show tonight though - a couple different Sboxers asked us if we were coming back tonight. They were even offering $10 tickets, which is a good deal for a Friday night show...

I'll admit, I'm a huge addict and was sorely tempted... but Amy convinced me that we need to be good, so I've got to go with the voice of reason on this one.

We're still going next Wednesday for the Mike Nelson show. They added a second showing of it on Thursday (my birthday)... if anyone is having trouble thinking of what to get me for my birthday, I could be tempted to go two nights in a row... ;)

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Thursday Already?

I can't believe it's Thursday already. This week has flown by, and even though we haven't done anything all that big, it's been a nice break. And we still have tomorrow and the weekend, then three-day weekend after that too. Fun stuff.

Yesterday we went to COSI to check out the Titanic exhibit. We've been hoping to try and go with some other folks, but unfortunately schedules just weren't working out, and the exhibit's run is almost over, so we went ahead and took advantange of a vacation day to check it out. I can't believe how crowded it was for a weekday -- I mean, I guess school isn't in session yet, but don't all those adults have to work? There were actually more adults there than kids I think. Anyway, it was a great exhibit -- I can't believe they managed to pull up and preseve that stuff after almost 90 years on the ocean floor. The whole passport thing is really cool too - going in, they give you a boarding pass with the name and vitals of one of the real passengers, including what class they were travelling, what their room number was (if known), etc. At the end they have a list of all the passengers, broken down by 1st class, 2nd class, 3rd class, and crew, and whether or not they survived -- so you can see how your person fared. I was Isidor Straus, owner of Macy's department store, traveling with wife, maid, and "manservant". Traveling in 1st class, naturally... but I didn't make it. Amy was someone in 2nd class, and she survived along with her two daughters... It's kind of grim, but a fun little feature. The opulence of the first class cabins was insane... as was the ticket price: adjusted to about $70,000 per ticket equivalent. Ugh. Even third class ( "steerage") adjusted comes out to around $600. Just nuts.

Today was almost entirely slugging around, which was just fine for me. I got in lots of good CoH time, which was fun, though I'm sad because almost everyone I normally play with has gotten an invite to the City of Villains beta-test, and I have not... Ah well. We did go out to dinner at a local Greek place named Tria which the Fishes turned us onto. Fun stuff -- got the saganaki (which was funny because our waitress was so obviously not into the flaming thing... she looked really nervous). Amy had the house specialty (which I don't even remember the real name of), I had the SpanaGyroPita (like a Spanakopita only with gyro meat added), and we had the "Galactic Burrito" for dessert. Mmm...

Tomorrow we're doing the lunchbox show at Shadowbox (surprise, surprise)...

Monday, August 22, 2005

I'm On Va-Caaaa-Shun

Amy & I are off all this week, getting some much needed relaxation in before the fall quarter rush starts for me and the fall travelling season starts for her. We're not going anywhere or doing anything in particular, but right about now slugging around the house for a week sounds like a great time.

Really got started on the slugging around thing this weekend -- we didn't do a whole heck of a lot. We did wind up seeing the remake of The Longest Yard at the Screens. Here's where I sadly must admit that I've never seen the original... I've heard many good things about it, but have yet to see it. I guess I'll have to do that sometime. The remake wasn't bad. It was an Adam Sandler/Chris Rock comedy, so it can't be all bad -- and it was actually a good step up from the complete brainless humor of a lot of Adam Sandler movies. It was funny seeing all the people playing players or guards in the movie - Michael Irvin, Bill Romanowski, Steve Austin, Kevin Nash, Brian Bosworth...

Also yesterday we went to Blendon Woods, one of the Metro Parks in the area. If you haven't checked them out, it's really worth visiting some of the local Metro Parks. They have some really nice places with great trails, some fun wildlife to see, etc. Blendon Woods is a particularly nice one with some awesome wooded trails, and it also has Thoreau Pond, home to the Walden Waterfowl Refuge. At the moment thanks to our draught it's looking pretty lame (they lower the water level in August anyway, and the draught has left it pretty raw)... It's also got a cool disc golf course for those of you into that.

Today we checked out Glacier Ridge, another park. This one is in Dublin and actually only opened a couple years ago in 2002. It used to be farmland and they're converting it back to wetlands and small woods. It's a really neat concept, and the little wetland area is kind of nice, with a cool wooden boardwalk running through it. The trails there are pretty lame, however -- they're almost all paved for mixed use (biking, hiking, pets, etc), and they go through mostly fields where you can see 161, local barns and houses, etc... just doesn't feel very parklike. One really cool thing though was all the meadows and fields there were lots of butterflies to see...

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Random Crap

Working orientation this morning. Only a couple minutes before I've gotta head over, but I want to throw out a couple links...

If you're tired of the election nonsense from '00 and '04, then here's your candidate for 2008.

People like this [video] is why gaming/comic/sci-fi conventions are always seen as nerd fests, or "nerd prom" as Warren Ellis puts it.

I was so excited to use this pun yesterday, then I forgot! Anyway, yesterday was the anniversary of the day Japan surrendered in WWII. So happy VJ day!

Monday, August 15, 2005


So last night was Gigantour in Cleveland, and it did NOT disappoint. Doors opened at 2:30pm, and the show was at Tower City Amphitheater, which neither of us were familiar with... so we got on the road at about a quarter till 11. We made really good time heading up, even with stopping at a DQ for some lunch and got there in time to be very near the front of the line to get in. They let us in around 2:40pm, but then the actual "tent" (the main part of the venue) was roped off until around 3pm.

I checked out the merch -- they had a pretty good selection, including some really choice Megadeth shirts, but I've already blown too much cash on concerts and such this month, so I passed. If they had had a really cool Nevermore shirt maybe...

First up was Bobaflex, which I had heard of, but hadn't heard anything by, other than one song I downloaded from their web site to try and get a preview. I have to say I definitely enjoyed them - the music was pretty good, and they were hysterical -- a very goofy, entertaining set. I think I'll have to pick up some of their stuff - it was fun. After them was Dry Kill Logic, which I hadn't even known was on the tour until we got there. They... weren't so good. They'd have fit in really well with all the craptastic second stage bands at Ozzfest. Then Symphony X -- unfortunately there were some serious time problems and setup problems, and they only got to do THREE SONGS! It was really terrible because not only were the spot on, but the crowd really got into them - they had a great reaction, which was very enheartening. After that came Nevermore -- they were awesome. I've been wanting to see Nevermore live for quite some time, and it was worth the wait... though again, their set got cut a little short and they only did FOUR songs. Bleh. Two of the songs were off their new album, which I really need to pick up. Dillenger Escape Plan is very much a hardcore band, and they weren't really like anything else there... very loud, high-energy, chaotic... noise. Not my thing at all, but they were really energetic on stage, and got a small crowd whipped up pretty well. Fear Factory also had a fairly short set, but they were SOLID. I saw them back in '97 on Ozzfest, so it was cool to see them again. They seemed to win over a lot of folks as well.

Then came the two headliners. Dream Theater, who I was seeing for the second time, came first. They played around 1.5 hours, a really good set with some serious highlights, including "Under A Glass Moon" (during which the singer James LaBrie's pants ripped open pretty wide in the back, prompting the drummer to ask if the song was called "Under An Ass Moon"...), "Home", and some good stuff off their new album as well. They're awesome musicians and it was awesome to watch. Worth noting is that at this point I was only one row back from the front barricades, or about 15 feet away from the bands. AWESOME. After a very solid set, they came back out and did "Pull Me Under" as an encore~! That was so awesome to see live. The thing about Dream Theater is that they change their set lists a LOT, almost never doing the same set two nights in a row... and are definitely NOT one of those bands that play the same 5-10 songs in EVERY show... so seeing them do "Pull Me Under" live was QUITE a treat.

Finally, Megadeth finished off the show. This was really "Megadave", since the rest of the band are all new folks, but they still ripped up the stage with a great show, including some pretty cool pyro. They hit pretty much ALL the Megadeth classics, as well as playing a good amount of stuff off the new album. The only disappointing thing (and in reading some forums, I wasn't the only one who thought so) was that the mix was pretty bad, and the vocals were pretty muddy and overwhelmed by the drums and guitar.

So after the show, we headed out, got back on the road pretty quickly, and made it home around 1:40am. All things considered, not bad at all! Somehow I even managed to get my ass awake and in to work today, and am actually still doing pretty well even now.

Good times.

For anyone that cares, I'll include all the bands and setlists in a comment, so check the comments.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Crazy Turnout

Man, we had a great turnout last night. Amy had invited over a ton of the res-life crowd, and literally everyone she invited showed up, including spouses and babies and all. It was a little chaotic at first, with two little babies, two one year olds and two 4-5ish boys along with all the adults, but after everyone got settled in, it was a good time. One of those things where there's so much going on that you can't really talk to everyone at once.

Today's been a pretty lazy day. Can't complain about that at all -- it's nice to have a break and just sit around and relax. Going to go over and help my parents with their wireless network later on -- fun fun.

In other news, I made our reservations for Mike Nelson @ Shadowbox Friday. It's just me, Amy, Pat & Cindy so far, but if any of you change your mind, it's not too late - just give them a call and make reservations, asking that you be connected to us. (We've got floor seats). You know you want to -- it'll be a good time.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Certifiable, Rockstar

Well, according to my test yesterday, I am now an HDI-certified help desk manager. Fun stuff. Just to clarify, this is just a certification thing, not a new job or anything like that (though it does go well with my changing job). Thought that was a fun little note.

If you're still not watching Rockstar after all my recommendations, shame on you. Last night was another great night of performances (to make up for the slightly subpar set last week), and as more chaff gets weeded out, more and more awesome performances remain to be seen. What you REALLY need to do is go to this page and watch the video of Jordis doing "The Man Who Sold The World". It's freaking unbelievable. I need to get a copy of that song... they DO sell the tracks, but unfortunately it's only in DRM'd Windows Media format, so screw that. Warning though -- to watch the video you have to use IE and Windows Media Player. Bastages.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Fair Thee Well

Been a pretty good weekend so far, I think. Friday night we went to the new Rave Motion Pictures theater up by Polaris and saw Must Love Dogs. The theater was just "enh" - for some reason, I was really interested in checking it out, but it's just another theater - more garish and loud along the lines of a Cinemark (especially the one at Carriage Place). And they serve coke. Don't need to rush back there any time soon, though the convenient location does give us another option when looking for last minute movies. I still think it's opening doesn't bode well for Marcus or Crosswoods as a whole. The movie -- well, it was Amy's pick, so I can't complain. It picked up at the end a bit, at least.

Saturday Irene & Jeremy came up and we hit-up the Ohio State Fair. Headed straight for the Ohio Food Pavillion and got the gyros -- much better this year, worthy of reclaiming the World's Best title, I think. Ironically, they had a banner up indiciating that it won best sandwich last year. Not sure how that happened, unless we just went on a really bad day. Here's my checklist:
  • Ohio Food Pavillion gyro
  • Roast Sweet Corn
  • Deep fried something (twinkie, in this case)
  • Fair fries
  • Lemon Shake-up
Man, that's good stuff.

In other news, I'm totally psyched to see Mike Nelson at Shadowbox -- he's up next in their Celebrity Series. I think we'll be sitting on the floor (though NOT in a VIP table). Anyone interested in going with us?

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Doing Much Better Today

Well, apparently the two layers of sunscreen didn't let me down as badly as I thought - day two following Ozzfest and I'm doing much better. Still a little hoarse, still a hair sore, and the burn through my hair on the top of my head is a little rough, but still , can't complain.

As for a little more detail on Ozzfest... the bulk of the day was the second stage, with bands performing there from 9am - 4pm. We missed the first band entirely, primarily because I was an idiot and forgot to bring the tickets the first time leaving the house. Thankfully Mike asked before we headed into the parking lot. We did get there in time to see Wicked Wisdom, fronted by none other than Jada Pinkett-Smith. Yes, a metal band. Yes, she sings (kind of). She even threw in some growls. I have to give her credit for being up there in front of all those raving metal fans, but really, to be honest, it wasn't very good. The music was uninspired and her vocals were VERY limited. The real question is WHY?

I covered the major band highlights last time, but I didn't mention that the people watching was pretty entertaining in itself. There was a pretty wide selection of folks -- typical metal heads, younger hardcore kids, older biker-types, and a very surprising number of women, including lots of younger women and girls -- I guess the MTV2 hardcore bands pack in a good mix. Crowd-wise, there were your moshpits (though I only saw one bloody nose) - I managed to avoid those, though we did wind up on the edge of one at first. There was LOTS of crowd-surfing... of almost all types. There was lots of idiocy and smelly people, a good amount of women flashing their breasts (including a surprising number of folks who had their breasts painted at the body painting booth and went topless for the rest of the day/night), and of course, LOTS of drunk people. So much craziness... I wish I'd brought one of those disposable cameras and taken some pics, but it would've been just one more thing to lug around and keep track of all day...

Maiden definitely put on the best show of the day... if you enjoy heavy metal at all, do yourself a favor and try to catch an Iron Maiden live show before it's too late...

Some random links I've been looking at lately...
  • A couple interesting looking pages that I haven't done anything with yet, but could be neat diversions -- 43 Things and BookCrossing.
  • A fun but very simple turn-based zombie game, Urban Dead.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Still Sore, Now Burned & Hoarse

So Mike & I were at Polaris yesterday for Ozzfest just over 12 hours, and standing in 90+ degree weather under the naked sun for the vast majority of that. It was STUPID hot, and the crowd combined with the movement combined with the unrelenting sun was rough.

Oh, and Ozzy cancelled, which meant no Sabbath, which meant one less band, though Maiden did a little extra as a result.

Still, despite the downsides (which resulted in a pretty good sunburn despite two layers of sunblock), it was a good show. I really enjoyed seeing Soilwork and especially Black Label Society. Other highlights were Rob Zombie and of course, Iron Maiden, who I believe does the best live show I've ever seen -- even a stripped down version which wasn't meant to be the headlining act.

Gotta go - might write more on the show later.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Sore and Cranky

Well, it was a pretty eventful weekend, but as usual it taxes my memory just to think of what I did only a few days ago. I know Friday we got out of training a little early, and I used the jump-start on the weekend to get the yard work done. It wasn't quite as oppressive heat-wise Friday afternoon as the last time I mowed, so that was nice. After Amy got home we went out to Quaker Steak & Lube for dinner, then did the (ooooo) grocery shopping. I can tell you're excited by the thrill-a-minute life here. ;)

Saturday we took it easy for the most part, but we did take the dogs (PQ and Emma) to the pet trail at Highbanks. It was still wicked hot, but we did a good portion of the trail. If we'd had more water with us we might've done the full thing, but between us and the dogs we went through our limited supply pretty quick. Emma was also being a little frustrating in that she kept finding interesting scents and locking on them, either staying put and not moving without some serious coaxing, or trying to head off into the brush... This was her first walk with us in a trail-environ like that, so I'm sure she'll get better...

Sunday was the big day, as Amy & I helped Randy and Heather move into their new place. Of course, all three apartments were on the 2nd floor (and the new place has a 3rd floor/attic to boot). So yeah, LOTS of stairs, lots of heavy crap, etc. Thankfully we also had lots of people. A full gang of folks showed up, and they rented a truck, and they were mostly packed, so it went very smoothly. The sheer amount of stuff took two trips with the truck, but it was a good time. They bought us pop and pizza, so I can't complain. The best part was Heather's HUGE couch - there was no way it was going in through the winding stairs or narrow kitchen... so the only option was lifting it into the balcony. It didn't look possible, but somehow they stood it on end (on the railing for the porch) and we hauled it up and over into the balcony. Good times.

So today I'm sore, I get a late start (but thankfully wasn't TOO late to work), and my boss moves my performance review which was scheduled for this morning. I don't really enjoy the performance management process, so it irks me when I get geared up for it and then it doesn't happen... Blech.

Ozzfest tomorrow. More soreness to come on Wednesday.