24 December 2010

And so this is xmas

And what have you done? I always find myself saying that this time of year. Then I play through the whole song in my head, and basically end up being sad that John Lennon isn't around anymore. Weird, I know.

Anyway, it's Christmas Eve. I'm glad I'm here. I've had a rough last few months (and especially last two weeks), but I feel better about it all now. I just needed some time to step back and revel in the simplicity and the silence that is Kewaunee. For as much as I know I'm going to be annoyed with this place in another 36 hours, I'm really happy to be here right now. There's more snow up here than there is in Milwaukee, and even though I don't have my snowboard (or anywhere nearby to actually go snowboarding), it makes me really happy. It's also way more quiet up here. Yes, I'm used to it from growing up here, but it's just relaxing to think about it (unlike a few months ago when the power went out in my neighborhood and I woke up cuz it was too quiet).

At any rate... I just realized in the last 3 hours or so that I'm pretty sure I can recite" 'Twas The Night Before Christmas" by heart. That's not weird, right?

Other learnings from today: my brother Andy actually can read (he got the new Tucker Max book) [this is a joke, we always knew he could read...], you need to stagger your baking pans in the oven, we must have tipped my mom off about the Kindle and she was actually visibly upset when we didn't give it to her right away (we hid it... don't worry, we gave it to her eventually), my cat goes nuts for catnip and attacks me (although she never used to), and my sis and I both stuff our cash in our bras. Awesome, I know! And you know how they say your family becomes more tolerable with age? Well, that's definitely true. If you would have told me that 10 years ago, I would have probably argued with you for a good long time. But now I'm OK with it.

Anyway, I suppose it's time for bed. I hope I don't have any weird dreams like I had last night. I don't remember what they were or who was in them, but they were supremely messed up. Not cool, subconscious. Not cool.

Happy xmas everybody!

19 December 2010

Back by popular (?) demand

First off, the main reason for my writing today (other than the fact that I can't sleep) is that someone actually asked why I haven't updated my blog in a while. You like me! You really like me! Anyway....

Today started off on kind of a bad note. I texted mom to see when xmas #1 was. It's usually the Sunday before the 25th, but sometimes it changes if regular xmas is on a weekend like it is this year. So mom informed me that it was today, and also that she already told Grandma I wasn't coming. Except she forgot to inform me. Until that point, of course, which was an hour before the party started. And given that it was a 2 hour drive and I was still in bed, well, you can see why this is becoming less and less possible by the minute. So I was bummed that I missed out, but me and sis can go see Grandma next weekend.

But then, as I continued to stumble through my Sunday routine (i.e. drag myself out of bed and move to the couch), my friend and former (x2) coworker Andy made a wonderful suggestion: SNOWBOARDING! I know by this point that if you're reading my blog and are unaware of the fact that I love snowboarding, you must be lost. I suggest you navigate away from this page immediately, or better yet, just walk away from your computer and find a book go read. You'd be much better off.

Anyway. Yes. Snowboarding. We went to Cascade. It wasn't too full, which was nice. And here's a fun tip: If you get there after 3:30 (which we did), lift tix are only $26! Since Andy and I both love being cheap, this was truly a wondrous discovery. So we bought our tickets and took a couple of pulls of Jamo out of the flask on the lift on the way up and had a grand old time. Conditions were pretty good, and all the runs were open. I also would like to point out that I haven't been to the gym in a week, and I haven't been lifting nearly as much as I have in years past to prep for snowboarding, but I still think I did pretty well. I only actually fell once, and it wasn't even from catching an edge... it was from going too slow! hah!

And so, for today, I have declared myself the winner.

Other updates: work... is work. I'm excited for our white elephant exchange tomorrow. I usually suck at these coworker gift things quite terribly, but I think that at least part of my gift will be appreciated, in some strange demented way. I'm also looking forward to New Year's so I can start on my resolutions. I'm sure I'll have another meaningful blubbering post about those come 1/1/11, because I usually do. I suppose if you're looking for something regular about this blog, you can always count on a new years resolution post, and another one for lent complaining about how I've been sucking at my new year's resolutions for the last 3 months and i'm giving myself a do-over.

ALSO. Since I think I'm far enough away from Halloween to be out of the woods: I have gone the entire length of the Halloween season WITHOUT CONSUMING CANDY CORN! Not a single one! I'm really proud of myself because said corn is usually responsible for about 2 lbs of life-ruining "holiday cheer." So go me on that.

I would also like to tell you that I had an all-Milwaukee dining weekend. Dinner Friday was the Lakefront Fish Fry with Jason, which was delicious as usual. Our server, Max, was quite awesome and deserving of 3 high-5s. Saturday's dinner was Cafe La Scala at the Italian Community Center, which I had heard rumors of but had never witnessed until this day, and let me tell you, it was AMAZING. Definitely undervalued within the city of Milwaukee. Thanks to Tony and Ross for being my hott dates. I will surely be back. (And stop calling me Shirley!)

Other stuff: I don't deal well with change, but some of it seems to be looming on the horizon. Does anybody have a "how to suck it up and deal with change for dummies" book I can borrow? And no, it's not the fun exciting new car type of change either... grr...

Anyway, it's an hour after I got in bed and I'm still pretty much wide awake. I suppose falling asleep might be more easily facilitated if I'd actually close my laptop and turn out the light, but I'm not sure that will work, given how last week went. Oh well.... here goes nothing!

24 August 2010

Look at me!

I ran 2 miles (and ran the whole time), I had a somewhat healthy dinner, I deleted all the duplicate songs on my iTunes and my apartment is relatively clean! Wow! It's starting to seem like I've got my act together!

Ok, it's not all roses, but still, I'm feeling pretty good. I'm really proud that I was able to run all 2.02 miles without stopping. Now I have something to build on! I'm also very excited to figure out more routes around here and to run more frequently. I suppose I should tell you that this is momentous because I think the last time I ran two consecutive miles without stopping to walk was in high school, which was a whopping 9 years ago and I was 30 lbs lighter. yick. So needless to say, this makes me a little giddy. And when I set out to run today, I had every intention of walking up the Brady street hill... but did I? No! I felt really good, so I kept running! And I ran all the way back home! And sped up at the end! Ok, I sound so perky that I'm making myself sick. I'll stop.

Anyway... hm. What is new? Not much here. I'm hoping that life will slow down just a teeny bit for the fall. Summer is fun and all, but I feel so spent, and I'm so busy every weekend that it's hard just to find time to relax and catch up on me time. I was basking in the glory that was my thoughts of fall and how it will be relaxing and calming, and then I recalled that the Milwaukee Film Festival is Sept. 23 - Oct. 3. So much for relaxing! But I must say, I'm very excited for the film fest to roll around again. It really is a great experience, and I hope that everyone has a chance to get out and see at least one film, because it's really good stuff that won't get a screening at your typical AMC.

So, maybe I'll relax in October?

In other news, my bday is coming up, a week from tomorrow. I have no concrete plans as it's a Wednesday. Boo Wednesday birthdays. The last time my bday was on a Wednesday, it was my 21st, and let's just say that it wasn't the most pleasant experience... anyway. Probs looking to grab some cocktails after work. Maybe I'll do the Buckley's thing like I did last year. We shall see.

Speaking of birthdays, it was a coworker's birthday today and he brought some Italian version of creme brulee, which was DELICIOUS. Needless to say, looks like I'm going to have to step up my game. Apparently chocolate cupcakes won't cut it this year, even if they DO have homemade chocolate butter cream frosting. Suggestions (and offers to bake for me) are welcome.

At any rate, I think I'm going to go read my book for as long as I can and then hit the hay. I'm really looking forward to girls night tomorrow at Izumi's. I'm really not looking forward to my muscles being sore when I wake up tomorrow. But I suppose it's something that I'm happy to deal with. :)

03 August 2010

DC Trip and Other Interesting Tidbits

As some of you may know, I went to DC last weekend. I saw an awesome Norman Rockwell Exhibit at the National Portrait Gallery. Norman Rockwell has always been one of my favorite artists and it was really great to see some of his work up close, and without 3,000 of my closest friends (we went about 90 mins before close on a Friday, so the crowd was pretty sparse).

On Saturday morning we went to visit the National Cathedral. The place was huge. I did not realize that it took almost a century from concept to completion. The main reason was financing - no public money was used for the cathedral, it was financed entirely by donations. Kind of blows my mind that so much money can be raised in this day and age to construct something that benefits everyone. On a related note, I don't believe in taking pictures in churches. Or really in any places where it says no photography, even though 98% of tourists don't respect those signs. Rude!

After that we hit up the Newseum, which I have been fantasizing about since it opened 5 years ago. Long story short, it was AMAZING. The staff was great and incredibly helpful and knowledgeable. And there was SO MUCH TO SEE! A ticket is good for two days, and we definitely used it both days. There are so may great artifacts that tell both the story of news and the story of America, and it's really amazing to see how development of the news influenced the course of history. Definitely worth the trip, and totally worth the $20 ticket price that some folks complain about. If you ever make it there, be sure to check out one of the best views of Washington on the 6th floor terrace.

After Newseum round 2 on Sunday, I checked out the National Museum of American History. I had about 90 mins to kill before my train so I caught a few exhibits. The ones I enjoyed the most were the First Ladies exhibit and the Apollo Theatre exhibit. There were a ton of people at the museum and most of them were in line for the Star Spangled Banner and the American Pop Culture exhibits (I skipped them as this was my third visit to this museum in 5 years). While I enjoyed everything I saw at this museum, the experience was slightly less than pleasant. There were a lot of people that day and everyone seemed to be aggravated - cutting in line/being cut off in line, grumbling about lines, kids running everywhere, fingerprint smudges on all the glass and just a general bad mood in the museum. Kind of sad. I felt that a lot of the guests were being disrespectful of what the stuff was and where they were; that they saw it more as "stuff" than as something that has been so instrumental in what our nation is about. Or maybe I just have a different idea of what museums should be.

At any rate, I'm back now. The return flight was good, and my scotch on the rocks was DELICIOUS. Plans are stacking up for this week, which is good and bad. I just can never seem to catch up on sleep! Also, I'm seeking topics for further blog posts. Maybe like reader questions or something like that. So feel free to ask away, or send in questions that you've always wondered the answer to.

First up: Sasquatch: Fact or Fiction?

Stay tuned...

28 July 2010

The Good Old Times

ZOMG! (yes, I started a post with ZOMG!) It's the second post in 2 days! You know what that means, nothing new for the next 2 weeks. I hope to change that, but no promises.

Anyway, I first want to say that it's actually quite cool and un-humid outside, so I'm really looking forward to sleeping well tonight (I hope). And no nightmares.

Tonight we went to the classiest of classy places, Texas Roadhouse. Bridgit is in town from Germany for the next 10 days, so we have to cram all of America (and all of Milwaukee) into 10 days, at least till she comes back for Christmas. Also on tap: Red Lobster, Brewers, Jazz in the Park and lots and lots of Miller Lite. I'm rather looking forward to it (but still reeeallyyy need to do wash because she's crashing here while I'm in DC this weekend!)

On an unrelated note, I'm really annoyed with the rise in twitter-related content on the news. It's been going on for a few months now, where the news peeps read viewers' tweets or show their twitpics on the news. I know that it's hard to pay to produce decent content when you work for an over-the-air broadcast production, but have you really reduced yourselves to reading TWEETS? (and don't get me started on properly crediting the photos...)

Don't get me wrong, I love the twitters, and I'm still amazed every single time I get new followers. It kind of blows my mind that people actually want to read what I say. Makes me feel all warm and fuzzy on the inside. But the second my tweets go up on the news when there are sooo many other far more important things to be doing real reporting on? I'll cry myself to sleep. And then I'll probably also cry in my dreams. While twitter can be a quick and dirty way to gauge public opinion, I do not yet feel it's a viable news source that deserves air time on a major broadcast network. The same goes for folks that can call and e-mail in. Reporters are taking the easy way out by reading opinions over the air when real investigative reporting goes by the wayside.

But I'm in a good mood today, so we'll leave it at that.

I did 18 push-ups today, and was invited to be in the monthly 5k club, which I think I shall do. After all, I already have a playlist made. And I'm pretty excited for DC this weekend, FYI.

If you're bored, hit up http://www.teecycle.org and buy yourself something nice. I got a shirt with a duck on it. It will be awesome.

27 July 2010

On Making New Friends

First off, I apologize. I had 2ish somewhat "regular" posts and then nothing for two weeks. Anyway, I'm back now and have a few life-changing concepts staring me in the face, so hopefully I'll get my act together one of these days, and hopefully one of the positive offshoots of these life-changing concepts will be regular blog posts. You best keep your fingers crossed.

Anyway...

Have you ever thought of how you actually made friends? Like what moment or common appreciation bonded you with another being? I have been thinking about this a lot lately:

1. I had the one-year anniversary of meeting a now very dear friend of mine at Bastille Days a few weeks ago. I remember the exact moment I first saw her come into my line of sight (and the day about 6 months earlier when she warned me not to go into a treacherous closet). We now have regular discussions of cat-lady-ness and trips to Target, not to mention a shared love of Buffalo Mac (mac and cheese spirals + buffalo sauce + some variation of meltey gooey cheese product).

2. I distinctly remember the first time I met a second now-dear friend, which was supposedly the same night that I met the friend listed in #1 above, though neither he nor I can remember meeting on night #1. Instead, we both remember meeting a week later at The Garage, where I attempted to cast him in a movie, but he refused to take off of work.

3. I told the story earlier tonight of how I should have been serial killed (yes, this is a verb) by a third now very close friend whom I met on twitter. Please note that I am not currently, nor have I ever been a zombie. Buy me a beer sometime, I'll tell you the story.

So what brought all of these thoughts and memories about tonight? I was invited to a very lovely Girls' Night by a great person who had decided to plan a monthly get-together as one of her New Years' resolutions. She knows a lot of people, and thinks they're all awesome, and decided to get them all together and rock out. It was awesome.

You know how you meet new people, and you go through the formalities, like where do you work, and are you originally from here, and strain to find some common ground? I did not strain a single bit to find conversation topics with these folks. They were all AWESOME. I'm really glad that I had the opportunity to hang out with them tonight, and will be patiently waiting for the next 29 days until the next Girls Night. yay.


As far as updates on the rest of my life, here goes:

Vegas is HOT. It's a desert. Yes, really. I was there during an "Excessive Heat Warning." That meant that it was hotter than normal in the desert. Why people willingly go here in the middle of summer (which is fairly pleasant in most other parts of our great nation) is beyond me. I liked it, but I will not go back until November, when it is palatable (and the overnight low is less than 89 degrees).

Goals: I'm bringing these up again. Not so much to bore you all, but more to nag myself. I had my wellness assessment today (annual health screening that my company gives us for free) and I'm not terribly thrilled with the results. The diet [re]starts tomorrow. Seriously. Monroe Cheese Days might get skipped this year. I have 1.5 bottles of ranch dressing that might find a new home in the garbage. Deep fried cheese, I love you, but we may have to take a break. This week/end is a wash (mostly because of that ugly pile of wash that keeps growing), but next week I will make my triumphant (?) return to the Downtown Y. (If you want to see something funny, watch how red my face gets after I work out...). I'll also be attempting to do at least a few push-ups every day. Today I did 15. Yes, they were the girlie ones.

Other than that, all seems pretty good for right now. Bridgi touched down at O'Hare today from Deutschland and I'm more than a little excited to see her. I bought hazelnut coffee and Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ sauce to welcome the ex-pat and her bf back to The Good Land.

Speaking of The Good Land, I'm still pretty much infatuated with this city. Are two Milwaukee tattoos too many? I'm beginning to get a very vague idea of what my next tattoo will be, and kind of want to incorporate "The Good Land" into it somehow. Maybe. Putting that one back into the circular file.

Looking forward, I'm going to be in DC for the weekend. I'm pretty excited to see my friend Joe and to (finally) check out the Newseum, and may also have an impromptu reunion with my old car dealership boss from 2004. That's a looong time ago. Still looking forward to it.

As for now, I need to go to bed. I hope I don't have any crazy dreams about trippy 90s triangle carpeting like I had last week.

Any ideas on how to avoid deep fried cheese and ranch dressing are welcome, as are any thoughts/memories on making new friends.

13 July 2010

Golf, Vegas, and an attempt to create a somewhat regularly scheduled post.

So oh my gosh! I had 2 posts on 2 consecutive days last week and then go figure! None since then. I think a two-post week followed up by a one-post week (or more? dun Dun DUNNNN!) is pretty darn good!

So I bet you're hoping I have a topic. On the theme of continually disappointing people, I do not. So I'll just tell you some general tidbits on my life:

Tidbit #1: Golf
I haven't golfed since high school. I think I golfed about 5 times in high school and it was part of gym class. I have gotten in many an argument about how golf is not a sport. Some argue that one must practice it. I argue back that I also practice writing - doesn't make it a sport. Some argue that if you walk, it's exercise, and therefore a sport. But exercise does not a sport make. I can spend 30 mins on a stair master, doesn't make it a sport. My definition: golf is accessorized walking (where the accessories are the golf clubs and the funny pants y'all wear).

At any rate, the reason I brought up golf was not, in fact, to start an argument. It was to tell you that I golfed today (filling in for the work golf league) and I didn't do too poorly. Well I did pretty poorly at first, but it improved. Here's my scorecard:

1: F
2: :(
3: 9
4: 6
5: 10
6: 4 (par 3, drove 120 yards!!!)
7: stopped counting
8: 3 (I MADE PAR!!!!!)
9: drove and then left cuz I had to make it to an appointment

The most important part of this story is that I MADE PAR!!! and I DROVE 120 YARDS!!! It kind of blew my mind.

That said, I know I'll golf again. (I hear it's fun when you bring beer....) But I really don't think I'll ever change my mind and start calling it a "sport," sorry guys.

Tidbit #2: Vegas
I'm going to Vegas for work. I leave Saturday. I've never been there before. I'm quite looking forward to it, except the 110-degree forecast for every bleeping day that I'll be there. Anyway, I have 2 days to myself before my boss gets there. Anyone have any suggestions on what to do? I don't really plan to blow a lot on gambling so.... yeah. Ideas are appreciated. Also I've never been to a desert before. I know, bring lots of sunscreen. Anything else? I know, pack good walking shoes. Really though, anything else?

Tidbit #3: umm....
I've got nothing. Now to come up with a catchy title for this post...

07 July 2010

Having Less Stuff

Ya know how good it feels to clean out your closet/drawer/desk and get rid of a bunch of stuff you don't need anymore?

Well, I'm pretty OK at getting rid of the junk I don't need. But what to do with the stuff I have some ridiculous emotional attachment to? Like the 300 t-shirts I own? I went through a year ago and got rid of a whole bunch... but now I'm down to the shirts I really like (and still wear a fair amount). Like the 2001 Wisconsin State Track Meet shirt, or the Washington, DC one I got when I was there in 2005, or the Sweetwater Surf Shop shirt from Wilmington Beach, NC that I got on Spring Break in 2003? I'm kind of in love with all of these shirts.

I went through about 6 months ago and got rid of all of my notebooks from college. Apparently at one point in my life, I thought that I'd need (no really, need) to reference my Meteorology 101 notes, and my Business Stats notes, just to name a few. I have taken these treasures (?) to 2 post-college abodes with me. I got yelled at really bad by the friend who offered to carry the box of notebooks up the stairs for me (in my defense, I was fully willing to carry these myself). Well, the notebooks have long since been recycled, but I still keep a few shelves worth of books that I've read. I enjoy lending them out to folks (ok I've done that like twice), and there's that accomplished feeling of having a shelf full of books that I can lay claim to. But... do I need them? Related: Have you seen this amazing site? (That might have something to do with my problem...) Also related: My new blog background is A BOOKSHELF. I might have to admit defeat on this one.

I finally got a (working) paper shredder, and about 3 years ago I switched all of my mail/bills/statements to electronic delivery so now I just get emails instead of phone/internet/credit card bills, but I still have SO MUCH PAPER sitting around my apartment! I don't know where it comes from! It's just always there! I go through everything and throw out tons of stuff at a time, and then the next day, it just comes back. I have two portable file things for important stuff like school loan documents, health insurance and 401(k) info and car insurance stuff, but what the heck? Theoretically that's all the stuff I would really need, but still! So much paper!

Does anyone have any tips for clutter/stuff control? Or for getting rid of t-shirts because I have an entire massive drawer full of them? Or for just being more awesome in general?

06 July 2010

The Curse of Live Music


Yes, I know Summerfest ended 3 days ago. Better late than ever - you know that's the unofficial theme of this blog, right? Anyway...

I love Summerfest. A lot. I love seeing great shows from great bands and being outside at night with strings of lights floating above me. The best Summerfest show I've ever seen to date remains my first ever show: Blues Traveler in 2003. They played three encores. THREE! It was amazing. What's better is that I mention this to folks and they say, "Oh yeah, I heard about that show!" Makes me feel happy.

At any rate. This is what I really wanted to get at. Take the following two scenarios:

#1:
You camp out on bleachers for 3 hours and suffer for two not-so-high-caliber bands to see the one band that is worth camping out 3 hours for. The guy the next bleacher over provides a small amount of entertainment as you and your friends try in vain to figure out what combination of acid/speed/heroin/cough syrup/booze he has chosen as his potion for the evening. A pack of teenagers laments their lame parents and the challenges of keeping their shoes clean while they speak of their one friend who isn't there, sometimes happily and sometimes cattily. The show finally does start (even though you missed the opening song because you tried to grab another beer but were thwarted in your efforts to get back to the stage quickly by the afore-mentioned teenagers). You rock out to the second and third song and then settle down a bit as the band plays "one or two things off their new album" - which lasts for 45 minutes. As they start to ramp up again with their more well-known songs, your drug-induced neighbor falls into you, spilling what's left of beer all over your shirt, possibly even stepping on your foot. The pack of teenagers find six more people to stand on the bleachers with them, pushing you awkwardly into the guy next to you who may or may not be named Jethro. The band's most famous song is played and the whole crowd sings, but really, you just can't wait to leave. And you really have to pee.

#2:
You camp out on the bleachers for three hours and see two bands who you really enjoy. The first was a great cover band, who doesn't love them? The second was a local band that you'd heard was good but had never witnessed - until now. They were great! You make friends with the folks around you - not just strategically so they don't get mad when you run to the bathroom, but they actually are legitimately cool people. You add one or two of them on Facebook while you wait and vow to run into each other at next week's something-or-other. One of your new friends even grabs you a beer on their run right before the show starts - and they didn't even roofie it! The band you came to see opens with a killer track, and then jumps right in to an amazing set - you know all the words to everything and so does the entire crowd. They don't have a new album out this year but instead play a deep cut off of their first album from 10 years ago - and it's amazing. You rock out to two encores and hug your new friends on the way out of the gate.



You obviously went into both shows expecting the same amazing experience. Unfortunately it doesn't always turn out that way. I have this same thought every year as I'm planning my Summerfest experience. I usually hope to be pleasantly surprised when I do decide to go - and I hope for this more often than not - but sometimes it does happen. Oh well I suppose. (The real reason I wrote this is because I wanted to describe the guy standing next to you and the game about deciding what drugs he's on.)

In other news, did anyone see QEII's sweet hat today?!?!?!? Someone else please tell me that you think this is amazing:

That's all I've got for now. I hope I can get some good sleep tonight. I put the AC in my window, but my silly studio is kind of a big place to cool. Tomorrow I will buy Tylenol PM - hopefully this will cure my insomnia (well it wouldn't technically be a cure... more of a fix I guess).

I changed the blog background - hoping it encourages me to read more... I'll let you know how that goes.

03 May 2010

May Day, a little late

And so, again I find myself here, staring at the New Blog Post screen, tapping out some resolutions for what I have somehow calculated to be the next step in my life. And so, on my last Monday of unemployment, here is what I intend to change for the next however long this stage lasts:

1. Go to the gym. No, really. I went and talked to one of their peeps and got my rate reduced (even though theoretically I would go more if I was paying more... or something).

2. Start (and this time actually finish) Couch to 5k. I know 8 people who have done it, so I can do it too, right?

3. Have a routine. Starting the new job will help with this, which will in turn help with #1 and therefore #2.

4. Discard. I've been doing pretty good at going through my closet and donating stuff I haven't worn in a while, but I need to keep up on it, as there is still a lot of stuff that I don't really need.

5. Eat better. Less stuff that comes in a box, more home cooking. Jason has a really great recipe for this super simple beef/noodle/bok choi dish that I need to get from him when he comes back from his month-long South American adventure. I need to be more mindful of bar food (and my weakness, buffalo anything), and make a better effort to plan when/where I'm going to eat so I can avoid convenience food. And maybe I can finally get to work on seasoning and using my cast iron skillet and dutch oven. Sounds easy, right?

6. Read more. I WILL read for 30 mins a day at least 3 times a week. I have a whole mess of books that I really want to read but haven't touched. I keep collecting them. They look so inviting, with their covers and their word-filled pages. But do I open them? No. That will change.

That's all I've got for now. Anybody have any tips on actually accomplishing stuff?

23 January 2010

On News Polling...


(click on image to see the whole thing)

(via)

By now, you may be aware of some of my opinions toward the news media. This comic made me chuckle, and is a perfect example of how nobody cares about how three people voted in your stupid website poll. "Horse Race" news coverage of politics are killing our country. Come November of each even year, I'm sure that the average news watcher could tell you who is ahead in the polls, but I'm willing to bet that they're significantly less likely to be able to tell you who is pro-this or anti-that, or even what party each candidate is with.

(Note: Paul Brewer is the most awesome professors I have ever had. I took a whole class on this topic and it was AWESOME.)

07 January 2010

An Open Letter to Milwaukee TV News Stations

Dear Milwaukee TV news stations,

I love Milwaukee. I really do. I've lived here for 8 1/2 years now and I've realized something: Like most of the rest of Wisconsin (and half of the country), IT SNOWS HERE. You seem to be the only people in the city who are surprised by this time and time again. Why you find the need to begin your broadcast day 3 hours early, or stand outside in the snow and tell people it's snowing never ceases to amaze me.

Though I'm sure a rare breed does somewhere exist, I can't think of anyone that I know personally who wakes up with you at 3 a.m. to watch you stand outside in the snow and tell people it's snowing. And though I know some folks are less fortunate than I, the vast majority of us have windows in our homes, and at the very least have doors that we can walk out of to assess the weather situations ourselves (should we so desire).

Now, I'm not saying that it's not helpful to know how much snow we may expect, or even when the snow will start and end, or where the heaviest snow will occur. This information is all good and helpful and - wait for it - can be relayed in less than 5 minutes. This leaves you with another 25 minutes (well, 20 after commercials are removed) of your broadcast time to tell us about other news. Believe it or not, there are still things happening in other parts of the state/country/world, even when there's snow in Milwaukee.

Regarding our city's snow removal efforts, I'm curious: Will the snow not be plowed if you don't tell us that 100+ pieces of snow removal equipment are being readied by the county? Will the salt not be applied to the streets if you don't tell us how many tons of it they are expected to use over the next 24 hours? Is there some innate fear that we will all be snowed in to our houses and be forced to dig a tunnel to the local grocery store for rations if you don't report that snow plow blades are being affixed to garbage trucks to aid in digging us out of this latest snow disaster?

What's next, "Sun Watch," a segment where someone sits on the shores of Lake Michigan and waits for the sun to rise each day? If you don't have a cameraman out there getting some "B" roll, will Milwaukee still be warmed by the rays of the sun? Perhaps we can find a flower blossoming somewhere in the spring and go on "Daisy Watch" for a week and talk day and night about when it might open and how it might affect our lives - and whether or not school will be canceled the next day because of it.

And so, dear Milwaukee TV news stations, I leave you with this simple request: You can tell us that it will snow. You can tell us when and how much to expect. But don't dedicate every waking moment to it. Don't dedicate 24 of your precious 25 minutes of evening news to coverage of something that occurs 10+ times per year in our dear city. You're instilling pandemic-like fear on the people of Milwaukee every time you cut in to our programs 'already in progress' to tell us that, just like when you cut in 25 minutes ago, it's still snowing. And I hate to break it to you, but there's not much you or I can do to stop it. So maybe we should just let it happen, and perhaps find something else to talk about. Isn't there a water-skiing squirrel somewhere that you can air? Or how about some in-depth analysis on what exactly is going on in Yemen? (I'm pretty sure the Yemen situation will still be around long after all the snow melts.)

Oh yeah... the snow will melt.

04 January 2010

Oh yeah - one more!

In addition to my 2010 resolutions posted earlier today, I have decided that I will now delete Facebook friends if they come up in my news feed and I say "Who the heck is that?" The only exception will be folks who have recently been married*. I already deleted one person today.

Note to friends: If you get married and change your name, can you at least put your old name in parens so I know who you are? Love, me.

Bandwagon!

Everybody else is doing it..... so, without any further procrastination, here are my 2010 resolutions. Note that they won't actually start until tomorrow (hah... joke about procrastination and how resolutions don't take effect until 5 days into the new year......)

Start small, gain little victories and work your way up:
  1. Figure out how much it costs to mail postcards/letters to Prague and Gie├čen so I can send stuff to my friends that live there / are moving there
  2. Snowboard 10 times in the 09-10 season. (one down, 9 to go)
  3. Learn to ride rails and do jumps without falling (bruise myself less)
  4. Blog more (I'm pretty sure this was also a [failed] 2009 resolution....)
  5. Read 1 book per month
  6. Get my act together and find myself a job (so I can afford a beach vacation)
  7. Drop 30 lbs (so I can be seen on a beach while on vacation)
  8. I'm sure you can all see where this is leading.... GO ON A BEACH VACATION!!!
  9. Seems counter-intuitive, given #s 2, 6 and 8, but: pay down/off my CCs.
Seems totally doable, right? I think so. I would also like to note that Jason is exactly 50% responsible if I fail at #7. I have also nominated someone (without his knowledge) to be responsible for #s 2 and 3.

As for the rest of it, here goes nothing I suppose. Words of encouragement and/or threats for failure are welcome.