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.


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:

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.

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.