Sunday, February 21, 2010

Olympic Cauldron Day Trip to Vancouver today

Olympic Cauldron Day Trip to Vancouver today ...

It was a great day with thousands of people. We drove straight into downtown and parked in a garage for only 6 bucks ... like that would have happened in Seattle.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Finally Went To The Troll

For some reason I had never stopped at the Fremont Troll before this week ...

They Were All Blue

Up and down the side streets near the school yesterday were these perfectly lined up blue trash/recycle bins. It looked like a set up ... I am not certain I captured just how bizarre this looked in person.

Is Frozen Really A Good Idea?

Even at only $1.99/lb a frozen codpiece seems to be a bad idea ...

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Welcome to Seattle Arlo White

Had a nice chat with new Sounders FC play by play man Arlo White. Just meeting fans he immediately had questions about the history of soccer in this area. This is a great hire.

The Mother of all PBJ's

Friday, February 05, 2010

Also on a Tuesday Night in November

So I walk up to grab a couple groceries before class and there is this guy loudly speaking to someone on his cell phone in the smoker area outside a bar. I was already scurrying.

"No, the toxicology report said there was no drugs or alcohol. I know that is bogus because I saw drugs."

I kept walking, ignoring as best I could whatever else he was saying at that point.

A quick trip in and out and as I walked out the same door he is still there, still on his phone, still pacing and agitated.

" ... lost thousands on an online poker website ... "

I had to stop listening at that point.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

A Tuesday Night in November

I hate owing people money. Even a couple of bucks just bugs me when it is lingering out there. It's like if I let it hang out there it's an indication about how important someone else's time and money is tome. Whether fair or not, it feels that way.

So, owing a friend a couple of bucks needed to be taken care of. I set it aside in my wallet and gave him a ring. I would be driving by there and it was convenient. He was home, but would be leaving soon and since I was almost there it would be cool to swing by. This is merely back story though and really not very interesting to write about, let alone to read.

The real story is something else.

He was warming up his car, but as I turned the corner he wasn't where he would usually park so I had to look about. The weather was crap, typical dark and gray, a rainy November evening. There was a car parked across the street from his house that appeared to be running, its lights on while idling. As I pulled up it appeared his car was a darker color and could have been a neighbor of his, but there he was.

I pulled too far away to reach him through the window so I backed up and pulled closer. With the weather as stormy as it was I just wanted to be able to hand him the cash.

The cash was handed across through unrolled windows.

Apparently, the seedy nature of the transaction - when taken out of context mind you - stuck out to both of us. It stuck out enough that we both commented at the same time.

Two cars, idling, in the rain on a dark and barely lit side street, both with drivers windows down within an arms reach of each other exchanging cash by hand, chatting for a few moments and then each driving off ... nah ... nothing potentially seedy about that.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

A Sunday Night in November

She was staring at me, and it wasn't making me happy.

Of that I was certain.

Of that I was wrong.

I was not wrong - this time anyways - because I am so often so wrong about so much when it comes to women. No, this time anyways I was so wrong for another reason entirely.

She had come in with an older gentleman of her same approximate age and I am reasonably certain I have seen her before, and should have known better.

Her brow was moving as if she was trying to focus, to concentrate. Her stare was direct, there was nothing of note around me and no one else near by. She matched my stare.

I was not upset, just a bit unnerved. Really, I wasn't staring back, just looking a few times in her direction and she never flinched or turned from my glances.

And then a few minutes later her companion returned with a drink for her and guided her hand to it. And I realized she was never staring at me in the first place. She could not see me. Her seat was set to where she could easily hear the band that was about to start. It felt like I should have known better.

And I tried very, very hard to stop feeling like a narcissistic ass.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

A Saturday Night in November

I should have known better when neither stall was what should have been the way it usually is.

Business was conducted, I washed my hands, and took my leave.

In retrospect, there was a moment when a female voice seemed startled near me, but there was so much ambient noise that I dismissed it while focusing on another task.

As I stepped out back into the hallway I realized my mistake as the other door was clearly labeled. A quick glance over my shoulder confirmed my error, but as the first two letters were generally obscured and the final three were clear and distinct I tried to feel better. I also made a point of picking up the pace before anyone saw me. As fate would have it I made it back to my cohort unscathed and untainted by accusation and the stigma and trauma of having been nabbed in my inadvertent misdeed. The place was pretty busy and this was a pleasant surprise. For the record I had not yet finished my single glass, albeit a big glass mind you, of malted beverage.

My mind drifted back to my first year of college, when a quiz was given to girls to see how well they knew - and therefore how much time they were spending in - my guys only dorm. One question of note was, "How many stalls do you pass before you come to one with a seat?"

There had been exactly zero urinals in the restroom I had chosen.

For a few moments I wondered if I was about to get tossed from the establishment, but it was clear that my initial assessment of having gone through unscathed was true.

I slurped my large glass of malted beverage a bit quicker though, on principle.

I waited for the 50-50 drawing and went back to only sipping my large glass of malted beverage and stared at the best legs I had ever seen in Seattle some more.

Since confession is goof for the soul I came clean to my bud. "Dude, I just used the wrong bathroom," I said.

He laughed as hard as you might imagine. Plus, he heeded to know that there was a chance I might get tossed. Getting tossed would have made a better story in some ways, or at least a better Facebook status update.

Later, upon completion of said large glass of malt beverage I made a second and much less traumatic trip down the same hallway.

I am uncertain, but leaning one way towards, about whether I feel better about having been sober or not during this escapade.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Book list 2010 ... month one

January 2010 reading list ...

Instead of keeping one huge list this year like I did on the ShotgunProse blog last year, I am going to try (try means an honest effort) to keep a monthly reading diary and go somewhat all Nick Hornby like he did there for some time for some English magazine. I usually read a hand full of books a month and this month has a larger list than most will because I found myself relaxing in front of the fire a lot. This list is in the order that the books were finished as I often have several books going at a time. These monthly lists will have several similar characteristics in the future; books my kids float my way, books on soccer, historical pieces, and some random fiction and science fiction, as I tend to kind of read what I come across in variously other random ways. Also, This particular list includes four books I got for Christmas, a book my dad loaned me, a book my daughter loaned me, a leftover paperback from last year, and the rest are library books that finally came in. The number of books is high this month in part because there are no huge ones. I go into February with little on the nightstand waiting to be read.

Dork Diaries: Tales from a Not-So-Fabulous Life by Rachel Renée Russell
My daughter floated this my way as a part of our "reading books together" thing we do. It is the female counter to the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books. I can understand why a girl her age would love this book.

Magic in the Shadows by Devon Monk
Part three of a very enjoyable Urban Fantasy series I stumbled across last year. I have been getting caught up on a lot of urban fantasy television I missed and so I am sort of in the mode for this mentally. This book takes a look at where science and magic might just overlap and how choices can have real consequences and I like that. A fourth book comes out this Spring and that will make a future reading list this year.

Peter and Max: A Fables Novel by Bill Willingham, Steve Leialoha (Illustrator)
The Fables Universe from DC/Vertigo Comics is the best thing going in comics and has been for some time. It translates really well to book format and I hope this story of the Pied Piper, Bo Peep, and others is not the only novel we get a chance to read.

World Whiskey by DK Publishing
This book is about the good stuff, why it is the good stuff, and how it becomes the good stuff. It is a textbook on whiskey and worth the read with some really solid details. I am not sure it was really meant to be read straight through like I did, but now that I have read it all I can more easily refer to it.

Heavy Metal in Baghdad: The Story of Acrassicauda by Andy Capper
The notion of sacrificing for one's art takes an entirely different twist in this story of a group of men from Iraq and their journey from local garage band to refugees in Brooklyn. As of this posting, one of their songs is currently playing on the Keeper Studios MySpace page. We usually don't think of metal heads as political refugees, but these guys have faced an awful lot for their art.

Candy Girl: A Year in the Life of an Unlikely Stripper by Diablo Cody
I now know far more about a segment of the population of Minneapolis than I ever really cared to. It was a quick read and think is meant to be that way as it doesn't really take place over a long period of time and I would imagine the writer wants to convey that sense of pace.

Long Distance Love: A Passion for Football by Grant Farred
In 1986 I got a Liverpool fan pen pal in Cape Town, South Africa through World Soccer magazine who I am still in contact with that really makes this story of a young man from the same town in the same era that much more interesting to me. I guess it doesn't matter where someone is from, Liverpool FC is magnetic that way.

The State of Jones by Sally Jenkins, John Stauffer
The Antebellum South is a fascinating place. The post-Reconstruction Apartheid South is not. This book really delves into why the first thing was as true as the second. It is full of interesting characters and shows the ways in which war and peace do not always go as planned.

The Tao of Wu by The RZA
A couple things led me to this book. Recently, a friend reminded me of the movie Ghost Dog and my son has really turned on to Hip Hop recently. So, when I saw this title I decided to give it a read. The RZA is one of the more interesting performers in Hip Hop and this book gives an interesting look into his life and how it has transformed his art. I recently purchased a used copy of Ghost Dog as a result of reading this.

Lost Horizon by James Hilton
This book sold millions of copies in paperback in its day and introduced the world to Shangri-La. I got an early 60s edition paperback along with a bunch of others I read last year. I love this old stuff because the language and writing really tells you about when it was written and the culture and views of the time without a filter.

Brilliant Orange: The Neurotic Genius of Dutch Football by David Winner
The Dutch World Cup teams of the 1970s are the greatest teams to fail to win a World Cup. They reached consecutive finals, against host nations, and despite their brilliant play are known as a team that fell short, much like the Hungarians in the 1950s and the recent Portuguese team. Sport is cruel that way.

The House of Mondavi: The Rise and Fall of an American Wine Dynasty
by Julia Flynn Siler
This was on someone else's book stack a few years ago and it caught my eye at the library recently. As I have started taking more winery tours over the past few years I am starting to find this topic much more interesting and this book is worth the time and effort if you too like wine, even though it really isn't actually about wine. However, on principle I obtained a bottle of Woodbridge Pinot Noir 2007 (a French wine bottled in California that is nice and sweet up front but a bit dry on the finish) to sip on in front of the fire place while reading this. On principle.

Rock & Roll Jihad: A Muslim Rock Star's Revolution by Salman Ahmad
Yes, a second book about rock music in the Islamic world. Actually, this is the 4th I have read on this subject in the past year or so. This is a personal reflection by the author on what he has faced as opposed to an outsider looking at the scene.

January total = 13 / YTD = 13 (goal 100)