Sunday, May 29, 2005

Deaf or Belgian???

I was at work last night when a customer asked me for some assistance. His speech sounded a little slurred. At first I thought that either he perhaps had had a stroke or was possibly even drunk. When a few more words came out of his mouth I thought that perhaps he was hard of hearing or possibly even deaf. He never motioned to his ears that he could not hear and he seemed to understand me just fine (I was being particularly careful to annunciate clearly if he was perhaps a lip-reader). He wasn't deaf...he wasn't hard of hearing...he didn't have a stroke. I think that I'm pretty good at detecting specific accents, but apparently I have an issue with Flemish. The guy was Belgian. Belgians talk funny. (Insert Jean-Claude Van Assclown joke here...)

I just finished making a couple salads to bring to a BBQ. One is a southwestern style salad with jicama, red onion, corn, red pepper, green pepper, yellow pepper, cilantro, jalapeno, habanero, lime juice, Tupelo honey, chipotle, adobo, macadamia nut oil, and S&P. The other has shaved fennel, blood orange segments (supremed), red onion, lemon juice, EVOO (extra virgin olive oil), S&P, and shaved Pecorino cheese. I also made a batch of the same Triple-Chocolate Fudge Brownies that I made the other day.

I went to Kroger last night because I knew that Farmer Jack didn't have any fennel bulbs and I've gotten them at Kroger before. Kroger didn't have any fennel bulbs, blood oranges, jicama, or pomegranates. Farmer Jack didn't either, but I know I've seen pomegranates there before. May I just tell you that I HATE KROGER! The place is a mess and the produce looks like shit. I went to Farmer Jack afterward and they didn't have anything I needed. I went to Westborn Fruit Market this morning and they did have my blood oranges, fennel, and jicama...but no pomegranates. I needed about a cup of fresh pomegranate seeds for the fennel salad (a Mario Batali recipe), but I had to do without. I just made up the jicama salad on the fly. recap...
Belgians talk funny and Kroger sucks!

Off to my BBQ with another tomorrow...


Saturday, May 28, 2005

Born in the year of the Rat-Dog...

You Were Actually Born Under:
You are quick witted, charming, and bring luck to all who know you.
A bit greedy, you tend to go after what you want - with success.
Clever, you seek out knowledge... and eventually use what you know to your advantage.
You are very loyal, and you treat your real friends like they are family.

You are most compatible with a Dragon or Monkey.
You Should Have Been Born Under:

You are totally loyal, faithful, and honest.
However, you don't trust others to be as ethical as you are!
Straight forward and direct, you really aren't one for small talk.
You are a great listener - and an agreeable companion when you're in a good mood!

You are most compatible with a Tiger or Horse.

Friday, May 27, 2005

Happy Memorial Day!

Hope your Memorial Day Weekend doesn't suck prairie osysers!


Brownies, Farm Sluts, and Priests...oh my!

An observation at work...
Ineptitude I believe is both hereditary and learned, whereas being a stark raving bitch stems from time spent at BFS (Bitch Finishing School).

I'm going to make some brownies tomorrow for a very awesome waitress/bartender who will be leaving the restaurant job. She's been offered full time w/benefits at her other job. She's finishing college at the same time. She's really a wonderfully cool gal with lots of talent. She's in a band and has traveled the world quite a bit for someone of her tender age (27?). She's smart, funny (dirty funny), politically active, and dare I say insanely BEAUTIFUL. She's the kind of girl that I would normally categorize as a "dream girl", but I know that I'd never have a chance other than friends (which we are). And I'm darn happy to be friends. Besides, my crush on her is not as big one I've got on someone else. I wish her lots of luck. I plan on still running into her at shows and such. Here's the recipe that I'll be using...

Triple-Chocolate Fudge Brownies

3 ounces Valrhona 85% chocolate, chopped
1 ounce unsweetened Ghirardelli chocolate, chopped
3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted Normandy butter, cut into pieces
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 large free-range organic eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup Ghirardelli double-chocolate chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and butter and flour an 8-inch square baking pan, knocking out excess flour.
In a heavy 1 1/2-quart saucepan melt bittersweet and unsweetened chocolate and butter over low heat, stirring, until smooth and remove pan from heat. Cool mixture to lukewarm and whisk in sugar and vanilla. Add eggs, 1 at a time, whisking well until mixture is glossy and smooth. Stir in salt and flour just until combined and stir in chocolate chips.

Spread batter evenly in pan and bake in middle of oven 25 to 30 minutes, or until a tester comes out with crumbs adhering to it. Cool brownies completely in pan on a rack before cutting into 16 squares. Brownies keep, layered between sheets of waxed paper in an airtight container at cool room temperature, 5 days.

The recipe is adapted from one found at

Valrhona is just about the best chocolate producer on earth and they're not even Swiss or Belgian (they're French). Normandy butter is "the shit"! High fat and richer than any American butter (unless you churn your own from cows that produce Grand Cru milk). Great ingredients make good food great! These brownies are pretty damn decadent. She said that she likes brownies...who am I to argue? I hope she likes them...

If you have 17 minutes of your life to spare check out the film Farm Sluts. It's not porn, but it is a constant reference and it's a little dark (the story, not the lighting). It's f'in hilarious and stars Chris Parnell from SNL!!! You'll need Quicktime...

I have both Sunday and Monday off!!! WTF?!?!?!? Two days off in a row? What am I going to do with myself, you ask? Well...I'm going to a BBQ-ey shindigy thingy on Sunday at a very good friend's house...thanks for asking. I'll probably either make/bring a fennel and blood orange salad (if I can find blood oranges) or some sort of jicama salad. Or maybe some sort of Thai thing...who knows? As for Monday...I have no idea...maybe just sitting outside reading and having a beer or permitting.

I'm really looking forward to my vacation in July at this point. Work is poopy.

There's going to be a special next week on PBS on Ella Fitzgerald on American Masters...I look forward to seeing that. I caught about the last 15 minutes last night on Cary Grant. I wish I had seen the whole thing.

Only 114 days to Talk Like a Pirate Day...

Who won American Idol??? Oh...wait...I don't give a crap.

Kudos to John McCain and gang...

Apparently Kwame Kilpatrick's dad publicly apoligized for his comparison of the media to Goering...

I was flipping through channels tonight and came across Sheryl Crow on Austin City Limits...I immediately changed channels as I'd rather have a tap-shoe-wearing full-grown red kangaroo on crystal meth kick me in the nuts about 100 times rather than listen to that leaky puke-bag with stringy hair. I used to love Austin City Limits...
Lance...what the F' are you thinking? I think Tonya Harding may be'd be better off.

Speaking of Lance Armstrong...
My favorite cyclists of all time are Greg Lemond, Eddie Merckx, and that bottle-collecting guy with the backwards handlebars on his know the one. Every town has one.

My first bike was a Huffy dirt bike. Maroon/cranberryish with black pads. What was yours?

I forgot that I had asparagus today until I used the loo at work...
(It was in a Thai Peanut Veggie Noodle Salad from the deli at work. You forget when it's cut up in pieces and mixed with other vegetables...)

I can't wait for the new season of Reno 911 on Comedy Central. One of the most brilliant comedies of all time...I'm not joking. It's funnier than Pat Buchanan getting run over by a bus...

Tracey Ullman was on The Daily Show...still funny as hell...

Marionberries (the delicious Northwestern rasberry/blackberry-like cross) or Marion Berry (the former crack-smokin' mayor of DC)...which do you prefer?

Do you think Yoda ever got laid before he became a Jedi?

Speaking of getting laid before becoming a Jedi/ you think Pope Eggs Benedict Arnold has ever gotten his freak on?

Speaking of priests and reggae...
In South Park the priest is named Father Maxi. As in Maxi Priest...get it? Maybe it's just coincidence, but I'd like to think that I figured it out. (For the record I figured it out several years ago)

I really want to see The Aristocrats if it comes to town...

I like soup.

Today's wine recommendation (to go with the brownie recipe)- R.L. Buller & Son Calliope Rutherglen Rare Muscat ($50-ish for 375ml)
This hedonistic stickie (Aussie dessert wine) from the state of Victoria is so damn good it's insane. It's just futs how good this wine is for the price. The nose is intense with caramel, coffee, tea, toffee, marmalade, raisin, and roasted nuts. It coats the palate with ethereal notes of fig, molasses, brown sugar, caramel, cashews, marmalade, and Medjool dates. It's's's mind-blowingly complex, it's right up there with sex and winning the's just damn good. It's not as good as the Chambers Rutherglen Rare Muscadelle, but it's also not $300+ for 375ml.

Until the next bottle...


Thursday, May 26, 2005

Blog Quiz Episode III: Revenge of the Love Type

Your #1 Love Type: INFJ

The Protector

In love, you strive to have the perfect relationship.
For you, sex is nearly a spiritual experience, a bonding of souls.

Overall, you have high expectations for any relationship you're in.
However, you tend to hold back a part of yourself.

Best matches: ENTP and ENFP

Your #2 Love Type: ENFJ

The Giver

In love, you give your all and feel guilty when relationships fail.
For you, sex is not seperate from love and caring.

Overall, you are humorous, giving, and motivational.
However, you tend to be over-protective and critical of your partner.

Best matches: INFP or ISFP

Your #3 Love Type: INFP

The Idealist

In love, you crave a long term, harmonious relationship.
For you, sex doesn't come quickly - it takes time for you to open up.

Overall, you are supportive, nurturing, and expressive.
However, you tend to be shy and protective of your personal space.

Best matches: ENFJ and ESFJ

Your #4 Love Type: INTJ

The Scientist

In love, you tend to be very private and withdrawn - even when things are going well.
For you, sex is important in a happy relationship. Less important when things aren't going well.

Overall, you are confident, intelligent, and serious about commitment.
However, you tend to hold back and not show your emotions.

Best matches: ENFP and ENTP

Your #5 Love Type: ISFJ

The Nurturer

In love, you are quietly intense, devoted, and tend too hold on too long.
For you, sex is a way to get closer - and a way to take care of your partner.

Overall, you are altruistic and eager to please your sweetie.
However, you tend to also be non-confrontational and secretly frustrated with relationship issues.

Best matches: ESTP or ESFP

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

My sexy Brazilian name...

Your Sexy Brazilian Name Is

Frangao Ribeiro

Random Poll Version 5.008

Would you rather skinny-dip in a public fountain during daylight or eat a live bug? Please let me know what you think.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Petition reminder...

Don't forget to sign the petition while there's still time. Save America's future...unless you want a bunch of Pat Buchanans controlling the court system...

Star Bores: Revenge of the Pith

I finally got to see the new Star Wars movie tonight. My lovely friend Kathleen joined me for a 7:45 showing at the virtually empty Star Fairlane. She had already seen it on Saturday, but wanted another viewing. Hmmmmmmmm...ummmm...errrrrr...hmmmmmmmmm...where do I begin?

Although it was certainly better than the last two chamber pots on celluloid, it certainly does not rank anywhere near the original three ("The Good Ones"). It answered all of the necessary questions and tied up all the loose ends, but Lucas just tried too hard. We all knew the answers to the questions, but just not how they would get there. The general plot was pretty good, just poorly executed. Here are a some of my observations...

Visually stunning, mentally numbing.

Ewan McGregor did a fine job. A worth predecessor to Sir Alec Guiness. Good job!

Samuel L. Jackson as Mace Windu...hmmmm. I love ya Sammy, but I've seen better acting in a dinner theatre production of "Cats" performed in an outhouse. His performance made Billy Dee Williams' portrayal of Lando look genius. William Shatner (gulp) could have done a better job. Sammy, stick to roles where you have to shout or at least talk really loud.

Why would General Grievous cough if he's a droid (although it looked like he had some biological innards)?

I was really hoping that Anakin would trade-in his blue light-saber for a red one in this episode.

Anakin, Obi Wan, and Padame should have died on the volcanic planet in the Mustafar system. Poisonous gases should have killed them, if the freakin' hot lava beneath them didn't cook them first.

Wookies are cool!

Yoda is the baddest MF in the universe. Shut your mouth!

Jar Jar Binks had no lines. Freakin' awesome! Although, I wouln't mind it at all if he were killed.

Temuera Morrison is cool as hell. He played Jango Fett in the last one and is the "original" for all the clones. He played Jake in my favorite movie, Once Were Warriors. Also great in Broken English.

Droids shouldn't be funny or joke around. They're droids.

It was great to see the evolution of spacecraft. The earlier versions of what would become X-Wing Fighters, Imperial Cruisers, TIE Fighters, and the Emperor's shuttle were a nice touch.

It doesn't feel right when Darth Vader emotes in costume. It makes him look weak.

Did the Viceroy and his guys lose their Asian accent or is it just me? I can understand why, but it's a little abrupt.

Count Dooku... "HA! You said "Dooku"!"

I thought that Jimmy Smits would have more than a few lines in this one.

The guy who plays Mas Amedda sounds like Timothy Spall. (I had no idea what the character's name was...I had to look it up. He's the horny blue guy.)

Was that Keisha Castle-Hughes as the Queen of Naboo? I just looked it up. It is. WTG Keisha! Watch Whalerider if you haven't already. She should've won the Oscar.

Obi Wan, Anakin, and Chancellor Palpatine should've died when Grievous blew out the window in the ship. Even if they still had enough oxygen in their lungs they would've frozen before the window was sealed.

Why are droids so dumb if they're frickin' robots?

Why do droids talk? Can't they communicate with each other with some sort of wireless networking?

I think I saw the Millenium Falcon.

Kathleen saw George Lucas.

How did Chewbacca end up flying around with Han Solo if he was such an important Wookie on his own planet? Did he want to travel?

Saw the trailer for The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Can't wait! I hope they make movies of all seven books. I LOVED the Chronicles of Narnia when I was a kid. Even as a kid I thought that the Chronicles of Narnia were the best untapped potential movie franchise.

I think (I could be wrong) that Ewan McGregor is taller than Sir Alec Guinness.

Natalie Portman, a supremely talented actress, did the best with what she had to work with. Boring.

The "lovey dovey" talk between Padame and Anakin was way too cheesy.

I wish that they could darken every movie except A New Hope and Empire (they're perfect)and make them "Rated R". Too childish.

Nice stabs at Dubya.

Did the clones (Stormtroopers) in Episodes IV through VI get watered down. The Stormtroopers in IV-VI can't hit the broad side of a barn with their blasters? These clones are pretty damn good shots. Did somebody pee in the gene-pool?

Did you know that George Lucas' ego is bigger than Jabba the Hut's pant size?

Anakin Skywalker is a whiny bitch.

What happens when a Stormtrooper has to go to the bathroom?

C3-PO is a's just gay.

Does the Jedi Council ever hang out and have pajama parties where they braid each others' hair, tell ghost stories, and make S'mores?

Do all light-saber scenes (in all 6 movies) have to be in a dangerous places precariously located over virtually bottomless or fiery pits?

While the light-saber duals were plentiful, fast, and well-choreographed, they're not as dramatic as the minimalist battles in "The Good Ones".

Well...I'm glad I saw it. Entertaining but never wholly satisfying. Too much emphasis on special effects when "The Good Ones" were more dependent on minimalism and brilliance. Now we can finally close the book after 28 years and concentrate on crappy movie re-makes of 70's TV shows...

Closure at last...


Sunday, May 22, 2005


Ouch...literally. My body is sore, I'm tired, and I'm chafing...
Today we had our big Zinfandel Tasting. It was a success as always, but lots and lots of work on my day off. Luckily this year we didn't have to clean up after a prom from the night before (confetti, balloons, condoms...yup...condoms). As usual I didn't get a chance to eat and I barely tried any wine. One of my roles was "spit boy" (not completely dissimilar to "Piss Boy" in History of the World Part I). I had to empty the spit buckets, which really isn't a big deal but that bucket gets awfully heavy. I had to move/set up lots of tables and chairs, work the actual event, and put back all the tables and chairs. The tasting is a fundraiser for the Dearborn Animal Shelter. Although our count was down we raised twice as much as laster year for the shelter. This year they actually brought some animals to the event including a beautiful Siberian Husky named Horton and a Pit Bull named Mia. A plethora of cute kitties were represented as well. It's a lot of hard work, but it's really great to see some good come out of it.

As I mentioned in an earlier post please consider signing the this petition to save our courts. It's your future...

I still haven't seen the new Star Wars, but it seems that all of my friends already have. Looks like I may try to see it tonight (Monday) by myself.

I've been reading about a documentary called The Aristocrats that I really want to see. I really hope it comes to Detroit.

I heard that there will be no 3rd season of Chapelle's Show. That sucks. Season 2 comes out on DVD this week. Season 2 is great, but it's no Season 1. There may never be a sketch funnier than "Clayton Bigsby".

The new season of Reno 911 is starting that's good.

Hope your weekend didn't suck...
Sign the petition...


Save the courts before it's too late...

Please sign this Emergency Petition to Save the Courts.

From Move On PAC
"Why is this an emergency?

This Tuesday, the Senate will vote on Republican Leader Bill Frist's "nuclear option" to break the rules of the Senate and give the Republican Party absolute control over appointing federal judges.

For 200 years the minority's right to filibuster has kept our courts fair, by making sure that federal judges needed to get at least some support from both sides of the aisle before they were given life time appointments.

If Frist eliminates the filibuster, his next step would be to force far right partisan judges onto the powerful U.S. Courts of Appeals. The real targets, however, are the four seats on the Supreme Court likely to become vacant in the next four years.

With that much power on the Supreme Court, the far right could strike down decades of progress on labor rights, environmental protections, reproductive rights, and privacy.

The "nuclear option" will live or die by a final vote, probably on Tuesday, and the vote is still way too close to call. There are at least 6 moderate Republicans still on the fence and only 3 more votes needed to win. If we can get enough of our voices into congress and into the streets in the next 72 hours, we can still save our courts.

Please take a minute to join me and sign the emergency petition today."

Yawn...another blog quiz...

Your Dominant Thinking Style:


Super logical and rational, you consider every fact available to you.
You don't make rash decisions and are rarely moved by emotion.

You prefer what's known and proven - to the new and untested.
You tend to ground those around you and add stability.

Your Secondary Thinking Style:


You're all about looking at the facts, and you could always use more of them.
You see life as your lab - and you're always trying out new things, people, and ideas.

The master of mix and match, you're always coming up with unique combinations.
You are good at getting a group to reach consensus.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

The Sith, squirting octopi, and great educators...

I still haven't seen the new Star Wars yet. A few people have already told me it was really good, however I've read a few reviews that have said otherwise. I'm inclined to believe the reviews. Apparently there are holes, the acting isn't very good, the plot is so/so, etc. Everyone seems to agree however, that it is far superior to the last two. Although it may not be a good movie, I'm sure it's great...if that makes sense. I've been waiting a long-ass time for this. I'm sure I'll think it's great, but not good. I can forgive a mediocre film if it entertains me. That's what movies are supposed to be about...entertainment. When I eventually see it I'm sure I'll be mesmerized by the screen and walk out going "Wow! That was awesome!". I remember seeing Star Wars: A New Hope (the first one) at the drive-in with my parents. I've seen it probably 40 times since. (In the early days of VCRs a friend of mine had a top-loader and the only movie his parents owned that we could watch was Star Wars. If it rained we'd pop it in.) I'm not one of those fanatics either. It seems that most guys my age have seen it just as many times if not more. Star Wars was the shit! Star Wars still is the shit! The Empire Strikes Back is the king of all shit! Empire is definitely my favorite, but my heart belongs to the original. It's the movie that excited a generation. I hope this new one brings some closure. I remember hearing a long time ago about the three prequal films being released in the future and how far away they were (15 or more years?). Well...the third one is's official. Star Wars as we know it is coming to an end. Let's hope that Revenge of the Sith does justice to the first three. I'm not a Star Wars geek, I'm just a regular guy that thinks Star Wars is freakin' awesome! The younger kids today who have seen all the movies like and appreciate them. They may even be fanatics. But the Star Wars films are special and impactful for those of us lucky enough to have seen them in the theater the first time. Although I'm admittedly a fan of foreign and independent film there's always a special place in my heart for a blockbuster...and you can't get much bigger than Star Wars.

I was driving home from the restaurant job tonight and had a strange flashback (not the acid induced kind). It was around midnight when I drove past a private school where there were a bunch of cars and a bus pulling in to the lot. This reminds me of a time when I was a 6th grade student at Hayesville Elementary School in Salem, Oregon. The 6th graders were studying tidepools for a couple of months. We learned all about the tide and critters that inhabit this fascinating ecosystem. The months of study led up to a trip to an actual tidepool. We had to get to school too damn early (still dark) and meet in the parking lot and board a caravan of yellow Blue Bird school buses. We arrived at our destination while it was still too damn early. We arrived at Yaquina Head and took some steps down the ocean cliffs and reached tidepool mecca. The tide was out (as we were following the tide-schedule) and we were free to walk around. All of the things we had been learning about were there. Starfish, sea anenome, sea urchin, hermit crabs, fish, octopus, barnacles, mussels, sponge, sea slugs, was great. I remember a few kids found an octopus and grabbed onto it and it sprayed ink everywhere. This is all really cool when you're in the 6th grade. It was slightly sunny (which is kind of rare at the Oregon coast). We had a grand view of Yaquina Head Lightouse above us (pictures here). We then went on to another spot on the coast and made our way to a beach to have some fun. I remember that we played tug-of-war over a small water outlet (big creek size) that led into the ocean. We ran, played some "Smear the Queer" (that's what we called it in those days...before PC), got sand in all sorts of places, and just had a grand ol' time. We also stopped at a petting zoo of sorts near the coast and I remember being attacked by goat. Damn goat! We had a grand day! I had Mrs. Williams as my home-room teacher in both the 5th and 6th grade. She was great! Which brings me to this segway...

I've had some good, mediocre, and bad teachers in my past (K-12). There are very few that were truly GREAT, but there are some that really stood out and made and impact on my life...

Mrs. Stockton- 1st Grade- Scott Elementary School- Salem, Oregon (I don't remember many details, but she was really, really nice.)

Mrs. Williams- 5th & 6th Grade- Hayesville Elementary School- Salem, Oregon (Great teacher with a big heart. She really made everyone feel special.)

Mr. Rod Harris- 7th & 8th Grade- Waldo Middle School- Salem, Oregon (I had Mr. Harris for Choir for two years and one year for Drama. Mr. Harris was amazing. He worked you hard and yelled, but he was truly inspirational. I loved drama and choir! I remember when we went on a field trip to see a production of Cabaret in Albany and stopped for pizza. Mr. Harris was the musical director of the production. Great teacher!!! He also brought in a video of him playing Teddy in a production of Arsenic and Old Lace for us to watch. He really loved what he did and it was apparent.)

Mrs. Whittley- 8th Grade- Waldo Middle School- Salem, Oregon (A lot of students really didn't like her, but I thought she was great. She was a science teacher and she was really passionate about science and teaching. Her class was very challenging, but I loved science and she really got me to think about things. She was also the supervisor for the Future Astronauts of America Club of which I was a member. A lot of people thought she was eccentric and a really tough teacher, but she just really cared about the subject matter and trying to get us dumb kids to learn something. I remember seeing her cashiering at a supermarket in the summer. Teachers really should be paid better. I really appreciate Mrs. Whittley and how she opened my mind up.)

Mr. Charles Graber- 9th Grade- McKay High School- Salem, Oregon (Mr. Graber is one of the greatest, most inspirational people that I've ever met. I was in the Basic Choir class as a freshman, but he asked if I'd like to join the Concert Choir. I had to juggle my schedule around. I was in an advanced Geometry Class for freshman, but had to take a regular geometry class instead with sophomores, juniors, and seniors to fit my schedule. The Concert Choir had about 120 members and I was one of about five freshmen. It was a real honor. Mr. Graber was tough...very tough. He yelled, he screamed, he cared. He was constantly striving to get our very best effort. I loved Choir more than anything. We practiced like crazy and got yelled at a lot. He realized our potential and pushed us to reach it every day. We did lots of concerts, but one really stood out. We sang with all of the other high schools in our district (North Salem, McNary, South Salem, Sprague)one evening. The Salem-Keizer school district was know for having some of the best choirs in the state. Many of the other schools tried to show off with acapella versions of songs in Latin. We did a rendition of "Dem Bones" that brought the house down (with some great solos). We were chosen to represent the state of Oregon at the Constitutional Bicentennial Celebration in Philadelphia. We performed an outdoor concert in front of Independence Hall in front of lots of people. I'll post about that experience some time. Remind me. Mr. Graber is one of the people that I respect most in life. He's not only a great choir director, but a great coach. I never saw him in a relaxed state. He was always driven and pushing his students to extremes. I really appreciate the fact that I had the privilege to serve under his direction. I respect Mr. Graber more than most of the people I've met in my life. He may be retired now. I hope he's relaxing and enjoying himself.)

Ms. Maria Stasiw- 11th & 12th Grade- Allen Park High School- Allen Park, Michigan (Ms. Stasiw was fantastic. I had her for two separate drama courses and also Advanced Placement English. She was one of those "cool" teachers that could talk to students about anything, but she was also very respectful of her students and their abilities. Drama was an absolute blast! I was in 4 productions and had some of the best times of my life. The drama classes were fun and informative, and the productions were great and challenging learning experieces. She was the Drama Club sponsor and respected her "drama fags" (as the other students called us). Yeah..."drama fags". We were the smart, awkward, gothy, punky, free-thinking types that they didn't know what to do with in Allen Park (where sports rule). She encouraged us to pursue our dreams and to be comfortable with ourselves. She sort of "stood out" among the other teachers as... well...being "cool" and all. She was the best teacher you could ask for for an AP English class as well. We read some great stuff (Light in August, Invisible Man, Candide, Madame Bovary, Crime and Punishment, The Winter of Our Discontent, etc.). She really made us feel comfortable and treated us like adults. It's an awkward time in one's life and she made it the transition much easier. I'm hoping that I run into her one day and we can just BS over a bottle of wine. Great, great, great teacher!!! Thanks, Ms. Stasiw!)

I'd really like to thank these fine folks. They all have made some sort of positive impact on my life and I am most appreciative. Teachers, especially great ones, deserve respect. Don't even get me started on college professors...

I'm up way too late. I think I'll try to fall asleep to the "Ocean Rain" album by Echo and the Bunnymen. It's a very soothing album to me...


Just another blog quiz...

Your Extroversion Profile:

Excitement Seeking: High
Friendliness: High
Sociability: High
Activity Level: Low
Assertiveness: Low
Cheerfulness: Low

Friday, May 20, 2005

So bad it's good...

Your Star Wars Pickup Line

"Wanna play with my 12-inch wookie?"

That crazy Yoda...

Your Amazing Yoda Sex Line

"Foreplay, cuddling - a Jedi craves not these things."

Thursday, May 19, 2005

"Blood Stains" in Westland and UberMegaGiganteSuper-Mart is destroying America...

I'm pretty worn out. Work is just dragging me down. I have so many things to do and we're so understaffed that it's embarrassing. The useless part-time girl is out of town for a few days making her even more useless. Although she's an absolutely horrible employee, she's still a warm body and contributes just the tiniest fraction. She really pisses me off and I abhor working with her, but I guess it's still better than nothing. The owner is passing off countless new projects on me and I want someone to take him down with an elephant tranquilizer. As many darts as it takes... Also this Sunday is our biggest tasting of the year. I always look forward to working 12 hours on my day off...

I just read that Agent Orange is going to play a show at the Token Lounge in Westland in June. THE Agent Orange! One of the best American punk bands of all time! Playing at the Token Lounge??? WTF?!?

There's an interesting/scary article in the new Gourmet magazine (June 2005) on Wal-Mart. Stores like Wal-Mart and Costco scare the hell out of me! I'm deeply concerned about America's future. Costco has taken over as the number one wine-seller in the US putting countless small businesses out of business. Pretty soon there will be less than a dozen companies in the US controlling everything. Everyone is buying everyone out until there will only be a handfull of uber-companies left. I love small independent business (ie. the DMRC)! Companies like Wal-Mart are driving everyone into foreclosure and bankruptcy. The prices may be good, but are the effects worth it? Here are some Wal-Mart facts that scare the hell out of me (as borrowed from Gourmet magazine)...

Percentage of U.S. households that made a Wal-Mart purchase in 2002: 82

Percentage of U.S. food sales attributed to Wal-Mart in 2003: 15

Percentage expected by 2007: 35

Average percentage decrease of grocery prices in U.S. markets entered by Wal-Mart: 14

Minimum number of new U.S. supermarkets that have closed since Wal-Mart entered the grocery business in 1988: 10,000

Minimum number of (mostly union) U.S. supermarket jobs that have been eliminated in that time: 12,000

Percentage difference in labor costs at a Wal-Mart Supercenter vs. at a unionized supermarket in the same U.S. locality: 20 to 30

Percentage difference in price of groceries: 15 to 30

Sam Walton and his family are among the richest people in the world. The employees of Wal-Mart are among the poorest working people in the U.S. At least there's now a place for your unemployable cousin to work. The Farmer Jack supermarket chain (big in Michigan) is going bankrupt and will be closing over 70 stores. Be very afraid. Support the little guys. As is the slogan of the Detroit Music Retailers Collective..."Be independent. Shop independent." Wal-Mart (Sam's Club), Costco, Best Buy, etc. are driving this country into the shitter. Take a stand and give 'em the finger. It's still okay to love your grandpa if he's a Wal-Mart greeter, but don't feel obligated to visit him at work. Small, independent retail operations offer service, knowledge, understanding, quality, unique and hard to find items (without mandatory censorship), appreciation, and a smile. F' the big guys! Give 'em the big 'ol Johnny Cash double-bird flip!

Did you hear Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick's father yesterday speaking in regard to his son's re-election campaign? He compared the media to Hermann Goering!!! WTF?!?!?!? The media may suck, but nothing...absolutely nothing should be compared to Goering or any of his evil bilous lowest of the low cowardly shit of the earth co-horts. I could comment further, but I don't want a deluge of comments from "boots n' braces" wearing neo-Nazi shitheads. It's also very unfortunate that a large percentage of Detroit voters probably will not get the reference. Kwame's first term was an absolute embarrasment and I will be hanging my head low if he get's re-elected. I may not live in the city of Detroit, but I care about it and its future. I'd also like to thank the media for sharing this story with the public.

My friend Brian P posed a question on his blog regarding "What are you listening to?" Well...lately I've been listening to ...
The Zincs
Bloc Party
The Decemberists
John Doe
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
Dave Brubeck
John Coltraine
Sam Prekop
Billy Bragg
Joy Division
Petra Haden

The "Season Finale" of House is next Tuesday. Should be great! Sela Ward was introduced in yesterday's episode as a former love of Dr. House. The man who cannot love indeed can. It opens up a whole new dynamic. The details of his leg injury were also revealed yesterday. I guess Sela Ward will guest star in 7 or 9 (I can't remember which) episodes next season. This will certainly complicate things for Cameron. I can't wait for next week's episode. Still my favorite show this year! Check out House Tuesdays at 9:00PM! Great f'in show!!!

I'll wait until next week some time to see the new Star Wars film. I've waited 28 years already, what's another week? Any of my local friends/readers wan't to plan some sort of viewing soon? Any time (nights) after this Sunday (the 22nd) will be best for me. Once the giant wine tasting is over this Sunday, I will be slightly freed-up. Because of the tasting I'll be missing my friend Glen's B-Day Barbeque. It's very unfortunate. Happy birthday Glen!

In the awesome news category...two of my friends will be taking home their beautiful adopted daughter soon. Congratulations!!!

I didn't post yesterday because I was writing a letter of recommendation for a co-worker/friend yesterday. He'll be getting a real job soon. I spent a long time on it making sure it was just right. The information was all indeed true, but I may have shoveled the shit a bit thick. I think I may have written the perfect letter of recommendation. Hooray for me! I hope that he gets the job.

I've been toying with the idea of going to Switzerland for a week in the fall to visit family. I've been checking out airfares online and trying to figure out if it's feasible. Maybe...maybe. I haven't been in 17 years and have to get back soon.

I'm very much looking forward to my July vacation "Up North" with friends. Work is hella stressful right now. Last year's vacation was just what I needed. I need another week of "relaxing as hell". My business trip to Florida was not relaxing, but it was hell. I'm also still waiting to be re-imbursed for my flight. I'm hoping that the money will be in my account in the time that it takes to smoke a pack of Gitanes.
Damn French people...
What's that old joke???
"French Army rifle for sale. Like new. Never been fired and only dropped once."

I'm getting lots of e-mails and calls from some of the producers that I met in Florida. They're all so needy. I have given several of the producers lots of contact information for the state of Michigan. I have already contacted one importer and put them in contact with a local distributor regarding one Australian producer that I'm excited about. The ball is in motion. My distributor should have the samples shortly and will be making a decision soon. I think these to companies would be a good fit.

Random poll: Would you rather be in a room with a NASCAR fan or a poo-flinging monkey?

Today's wine recommendation...
2002 Deen DeBortoli Vat 1 Durif- This Australian beauty is made from the rare and relatively obscure varietal known as durif. Durif has been thought to be petite sirah on occasion, but the DNA is indeed different. This is only the second durif that I've ever seen (Santa Cruz Mountains Winery makes the other). The nose has expressive notes of black fruit, cappucino, and vanillin with subtle sage. It's rich and full-bodied with jammy notes of blackberry, blueberry, and black currants with creamy vanillin and solid, but soft, tannins. Try with a thick grilled ribeye steak, lamb burgers, or whatever you feel like tossing on the grill. Delicious! Try something different! $14.99
The wines from DeBortoli just became available in Michigan. Be sure to also try their outstanding DeBortoli Noble One Botrytis Semillon.

Until the next bottle...

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Star Wars: Revenge of the Geeks- My Star Wars name...

Your Star Wars Name and Title

Your Star Wars Name: Jasku Fuliv

Your Star Wars Title: Leglam of Lorac

Yeah, there's a little bit of geek in me, but I'm damn proud of it. I'll wait until next week to see the new/last one. I hope it's not a debacle. Nothing's come close to A New Hope or The Empire Strikes Back yet. Let's hope Jar Jar gets whacked mafia style in the first 5 minutes...


Monday, May 16, 2005

Somebody has to humiliate the Washington Generals...

Cue "Sweet Georgia Brown"...

I saw a great special on PBS tonight on the Harlem Globetrotters. I've previously known some of the history, but was never completely aware of the major impact they had on world politics. They broke many barriers- race being the most obvious, but they also helped create better world relations. They accomplished some really mind-blowing stuff. Early greats like Marques Haynes and "Sweetwater" Clifton revolutionized basketball and helped make the NBA what it is today (is that a good thing?).

When I was a kid I loved the Harlem Globetrotters. You may know that I'm not a sports nut, but I was always a bit of a basketball fan. Growing up in Oregon I was naturally a Portland Trailblazers fan. I never saw a game (never went to a game and the games were blacked out on TV...we didn't have cable), but I was a fan nonetheless. I still think that Clyde Drexler (along with Terry Porter and Jerome Kersey) was one of the best NBA players of all time. But nothing excited "the kid" in my young self like the Harlem Globetrotters. I always looked forward to catching games or excerpts on ABC's Wide World of Sports on Saturdays. The routines were always the same, but were always good for a laugh (just like the Pink Panther movies). I grew up in the era after "Goose" Tatum and Wilt Chamberlain and just caught the end of "Meadowlark" Lemon. I grew up in the age of "Geese" Ausbie and "Curly" Neal. I remember seeing them on Gilligan's Island and watching the Saturday morning cartoon where they took on special powers. Those were good times. I was lucky enough to see them twice in person. It was great both times. If you have any kids I strongly urge to take them to see a Harlem Globetrotters game whenever they're in town. It'll be an experience that you'll all enjoy and you'll help implant a great childhood memory. Every kid should go to at least one Globetrotters game.

The Harlem Globetrotters may be the "clown princes of basketball", but their "traditional" basketball skills still show-up some of the best of the NBA. Yao Ming was inspired to play basketball after seeing the Globetrotters play. This story holds true for many basketball players and coaches today. The popularity of the Globetrotters may have peaked, but they're still as great and as important as ever. I really hope that Americans can re-embrace them the way the rest of the world already has. The world needs to let loose a bit and I think that the Harlem Globetrotters may be the perfect ambassadors. I really hope that you can catch the special in a re-run. It's absolutely astounding what they were able to accomplish in Buenos Aires, Germany, and elsewhere. You'd be surprised. Henry Kissinger was one of the people interviewed for the special. That should say something. It's also narrated (and produced?) by Chuck D. The jokes may be routine and corny, but the Harlem Globetrotters are still as funny and important as ever. They've brought smiles to countless millions of people already. The world needs more smiles...


My Star Wars horoscope

Star Wars Horoscope for Virgo

You show efficiency when working for a good cause.
But you tend to be a bit fussy when it comes to doing something out of the ordinary.
Like many Virgos, you want to stay out of the spotlight.
You do well at picking up the smallest details.

Star wars character you are most like: C3P0

While the words are somewhat accurate, C3-PO is a little gayer than I was hoping for.


Laetitia Sadier gives me a tromboner...

Just a quickee before I go to bed...
I went to see Monade tonight at the Magic Stick. Before the show Brian and I went to the Majestic Cafe for dinner (because Union Street was closed). As always the food was decent, but the service was sub-par. The cool thing was, however, that Monade and some other folks came in to eat. I figured that I may as well buy the 7 of them a drink. Monade is a side-project band led by Laetitia Sadier. Laetitia is a member of Stereolab (whom I've seen about 10 times). I've always been a huge fan of Stereolab and have always found Laetitia to be quite the beautiful French chanteuse. The waitress said that they thanked me for the drink. I didn't want to look like a stalker so I played it cool and never tried to talk to them or anything like that.

Anyway...the first band (Shadows on the Equator?) were pretty good and the singer was very cute. The second band, The Zincs, were great. They're from Chicago and are on the Thrill Jockey label. They sort of reminded me of a cross of Bark Psychosis, The Tindersticks, Yo La Tengo, and Leonard Cohen. Good stuff! The turnout was very small and Brian and I were able to score a primo table with chairs and everything. It's lovely to be able to sit down for a show. More than fifteen years of standing at concerts should give you an automatic "chair pass" as far as I'm concerned. The Magic Stick is a moderately intimate venue and it's especially nice when it's not packed.

Monade came out and Laetitia looked better than ever. She's always been quite the hottie to me (she's French you know...). She looked sensational and was wearing a silk scarf. If you've read my blog before you'd know that silk scarves on a woman make me melt. Monade sounded fantastic (reminscent of early Stereolab). Her backing band was awesome and Laetitia's voice was as pure and utterly soothing as ever. She was fairly competent on guitar (a newer instrument for her) and actually did quite well with a trombone on a couple of songs. You don't see too many trombones in non ska/jazz sets. I bought quite a bit of merchandise (CDs) which I don't normally do at shows. Laetitia thanked "the very nice man" who bought them drinks and I nodded back. It's definitely one of the better shows that I've been to in a while. Although it was a great set it was a little sad to see Laetitia on stage without Mary Hansen. I will always remember Mary fondly. I met Mary, Laetitia, and the rest of Stereolab a few times. Laetitia was always very nice and polite, but Mary was amazingly sweet and funny. She was a major talent and she is sorely missed by many. Run, don't walk to Switched On CDs and ask for the new Monade. Also be sure to get "Oscillons From the Anti-Sun" by Stereolab (a new 3CD set with bonus DVD). Search out The Zincs while you're at it.


Friday, May 13, 2005

101 things that I hate...

Here are 101 things that piss me off...
(in no particular order)

1.George W. Bush
2.Dick Cheney
3.Donald Rumsfeld
4.John Ashcroft
5.Condoleeza Rice
6.Interstate wine-shipping laws
8.Underripe tomatos
11.Sheryl Crow
12.Rosie O'Donnell
14.Red states
17.Guests on Maury or Jerry Springer
18.Road construction
20.Traffic jams/bottlenecks
21.Formulaic Hollywood crapola
22.Bulgarian wine
23.Kim Jong Il
24.Hummers (the vehicles)
27.Taylor, MI
28.Country music supertard Toby Keith
29.Sandra Bullock
30.Most Richard Gere films
31.Paris Hilton
32.Kelly Osborne
33.Ryan Seacrest
34.Clay Aiken
35.Thin, wimpy wines
36.Any "light" beer (actually, Samuel Adams Light is pretty good)
38.Canned laughter/laugh tracks
39.Right-wing cable debate shows
41.The current overly litiguous society
42.Patchouli (no one knows how much is too much)
43.Freezing rain
44.Scraping car windows
47.Cheese-like substitutes
48.Bottled salad dressing (make your own!)
49.Diet soft drinks
50.Bill Bonds
51.Hal Linden
52.The American superiority complex
53.Lamb or beef cooked above medium-rare
54.Dried-out, overcooked pork
55.Bad coffee
56.Carrot Top
58.Anna Nicole Smith
59.Smooth jazz
60.Kenny G
61.Slow drivers
63.Fake fingernails
64.Littly yippy dogs like poodles (I don't actually hate them, but they're my least favorte kind of dog)
65.Overly tanned women
66.Budweiser/Miller/Heineken/any other shitty beer
68.Dragon breath/halitosis
70.Overly-abundant machismo
71.Bad sushi
73.Chain restaurants
74.Bill O'Reilly
75.Sean Hannity
76.Pontiac Vibes
80.Girls who like assholes
81."Well" liquor (cheap booze)
83.Dr. Phil
84.Danny Bonnaducci
85.Overly made-up women
86.Tighty whities
87.Ashton Kutcher
89.Hair metal
90.Milli Vanilli
91.Boy bands
92.Faux punks
93.Ashlee Simpson
94.Tucker Carlson
95.Catty/bitchy women
96.The taste of algae (ie. "Superfood" green health drinks) NASTY!!!
98.The Glassy Winged Sharpshooteer (insect that's devastating California vineyards)
101.George W. Bush (Again, because I hate him more than anything)


101 things that I love...

Here are 101 things that rock my world...
(in no particular order)

2.Chocolate Chip Cookies
3.Coke Slurpees/Icees
4.The 3rd season of The Simpsons
6.Diamond Lake, Oregon
7.Schaffhausen, Switzerland
8.Lugano, Switzerland
9.Braising (as a cooking method)
11.Joy Division
12.Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
13.A really f'in good cup of coffee
15.A dog's head in your lap
16.Shiraz from McLaren Vale, SA, Australia
17.Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin La Grande Dame Rose Champagne
18.Duck (to eat, in any form)
19.Lamb (rare)
20.Kyslowski films
21.Audrey Tautou's smile
22.Chinese cinematography
23.Unagi (river eel sushi)
24.Chamber's Rutherglen Rare Muscadelle (Tokay)
25.The redwoods in northern California
26.The view at Crater Lake, Oregon
27.Silk scarves on women
28.Obscure pop culture references
29.Valrhona 71% Dark Chocolate (French)
31.Record collecting (vinyl and CD)
32.Sharing laughter, food, music, and wine with close friends
33.Rehabilitating Mr. Wiggles (the comic strip)
35.Cuisine restaurant (Detroit)
36.Blackbird restaurant(Chicago)
38.Krema brand peanut butter (chunky)
40.The scrambled eggs at Bill's Cafe in Sydney, NSW, Australia
41.Train travel
42.The Rigi
43.Picking wild blueberries high up a steep grassy mountain somewhere in the Italian speaking section of the Swiss Alps
44.The clam chowder and onion rings at Moe's in Lincoln City, Oregon
45.Calder Brothers Dairy ice cream
46.Garlic (lots of it)
47.The smell of leeks sauteing
48.The smell of coffe brewing
49.The smell of bacon cooking
50.My Wusthof Trident 8" Chef's Knife
51.My All-Clad saute pan
52.My Le Creuset Dutch oven
54.A perfect pizza Margherita
55.A perfect margarita (no salt)
56.Fresh Del Monte Gold pineapple
58.John Steinbeck
59.Bloom County before Berke Breathed's hang-gliding accident
60.Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce
61.Tasmanian Leatherwood Honey
62.Normandy butter
63."Atmosphere" by Joy Division
64.Carolina style pulled pork shoulder
66.The Rosengarten Report
67.Books, novels, cookbooks written by chefs and food writers (ie. Jacques Pepin, Anthony Bourdain, Julia Child, Ruth Reichl)
68.The crisp autumn air
69.Untouched snow
70.A thunderstorm in the summer
71.Quiet snowfall at night
72.Air conditioning
73.Older women
74.Younger women
75.Women my own age
76.Great tiramisu
77.Flourless chocolate torte
79.A great concert
80.Whitewater rafting the Rogue River
81.Clear, starry nights
82.Guinness Stout, Cooper's Ale, or a nice IPA
83.Meeting someone with similar interests
85.Monty Python
86.Anything by Jim Henson (especially The Muppet Show and The Muppet Movie)
87.Good chili
88.Biting satire
89.Canadian humor
90.Music, music, music
92.Bill Murray and Chevy Chase
93.Thandie Newton
94.Once Were Warriors
95.Noah Taylor films
96.Foreign/independent film
97.David Cross (the comedian)
98.Bill Cosby (his early comedy records and stand-up)
99.Summer breezes
100.Switched On CDs
101.Watching too much TV

There are a lot more things that I love (white truffles, sleep, not working, etc.), but these came to me pretty quickly.


This week in celebrity crap...

Ben Affleck (the kid in Voyage of the Mimi) knocked up Jennifer Garner...
Renee Zellweger married country singer Kenny Chesney...
Paris Hilton is dating a guy named Paris...
Dave Chapelle has checked himself into a mental health facility in South Africa and the Season 3 premiere of Chapelle's Show has been put on hold...
Heidi Klum and Seal got married...
Thandie Newton is still amazingly beautiful (recently seen on ER, but check her out in an early film- Flirting)

Other than Dave Chapelle and Thandie Newton...who gives a shit?


Wednesday, May 11, 2005

5-toed sloth?

Your Deadly Sins

Sloth: 100%

Envy: 0%

Gluttony: 0%

Greed: 0%

Lust: 0%

Pride: 0%

Wrath: 0%

Chance You'll Go to Hell: 14%

You will die with your hand down your underwear, watching Star Trek.

My hand will probably be down my pants, but it won't be Star Trek...

Not good enough...

It's a sad state of affairs. People these days just don't seem to care. Work ethic is at an all time low and apparently the satisfaction of a job well done just isn't important any more. Perhaps the Echoboomers are to blame. They've been encouraged and awarded in their youth for doing an average job. It's being taught these days that being #1 is selfish. Everyone is getting trophies and awards for being #8. It may be hurtful to leave anyone out. It's affecting the workforce as new young professionals don't have the drive to succeed or think independently. This could drag the American economy down even further.

It's apparent that this attitude is not just simply an American trait. It's spreading. As far as I'm concerned if you're going to do something you may as well do it right. Where's the follow-through? I'm referring to the recent incident in Georgia (the former Soviet republic, not the state). It seems that someone threw a grenade toward President Bush during a speech yesterday but it landed about 100 feet short. I'm disappointed in this individual. Didn't he/she practice throwing grenades at a target? Shouldn't he/she have a back-up grenade? 100 feet short? (Was it Joey Harrington?) They weren't even trying. If you're not going to do the job right you may as well not do it at all. It's embarrassing. It's okay to be #1. Practice your throws for a while and try it again. Do the world proud. As long as it takes...


PS. If you don't hear from me for a while it's probably because the Secret Service is looking for me.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

And the winner of the haiku contest is...


Congratulations on a job well done Julie! You should take pride in knowing that you beat out absolutely nobody. Yep! That's right! Your haiku was judged the absolute best entry out of only one. Kudos to you. Job well done! Put a gold star on your forehead at work today and walk around with pride. When people ask why you look like a mental patient just tell them that you're a winner! Don't let anyone else tell you otherwise. Here's the winning entry...

My senses tingle
Yearning for explanation
When did I eat corn?

Next time I see you I'll give you a high-five and buy you some pudding.


Dream analysis...

What Your Dreams Mean...

Your dreams seem to show that you're a bit disturbed... but nothing serious.

You may have a problem you're trying to work out in your sleep.

You have a very vivid imagination and a rich creative mind.

67% Virgo

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Observations from 30,000 feet...

I just got back from my business trip to Florida. It was okay. Not bad, not great. I'll go into more detail later. Here are some observations that I made on my trip...

The Smith Terminal at DTW (Detroit Metro Airport) looks like London after the Blitz.

The McNamara Terminal is "blingy".

I apparently had some misconceptions about Pittsburgh. It was beautiful and green from the air. Nice hills and LOTS of trees. The Detroit Metro area has about 20 trees.

Pittsburgh airport is nice.

Did you see the gremlin on the wing too?

Ft. Lauderdale Airport is not so nice.

Trying to get a shuttle to Deerfield Beach from Ft. Lauderdale Airport sucks (especially when Frenchie drops the ball).

Florida is flatter than Kate Moss.

Florida is too damn hot and humid (especially in May). It's more moist than a hobo's taint in a leaky train car during monsoon season. It's kind of like a Tijuana armpit.

Hotel food sucks.

French (male) winemakers are metrosexuals.

Italian (male) winemakers are bigger metrosexuals.

French and Italian (female) winemakers are hot.

Don't eat anywhere that has "On the Beach" in the name. Eat at the empty place across the street.

The Pacific Ocean could kick the Atlantic Ocean's ass.

South African jokes are funny when told by an Englishman.

French wines are highly overrated. I've known that for years, but now there's absolute proof (with a few exceptions).

French people don't understand the American wine market.

Going to business meetings at 9:00AM on Saturday and Sunday really sucks.

French winemakers can hold there liquor...for a while.

French winemakers aren't used to drinking single-vineyard Sonoma zinfandels with alcohol levels of 15.6% at Italian restaurants.

There's a lot of really bad hair in Florida.

I like boobies (any size will do).

I do not like fake boobies.

White-trash wedding receptions do not only occur at Andoni's.

Florida really is where old people go to die. It's kind of like an elephants' graveyard.

There are some beautiful women in Florida.

There are some scary looking women in Florida. Skin should not look and feel like leather, hair should not be bleached-out, and lips should not have botox injections.

Orange juice at the Florida hotel breakfast buffet is not that impressive.

Did you know that you can order dolphin in a restaurant? (I didn't by the way...)

French people aren't very well organized.

French winemakers (largely) think that their wine should be bought solely on the fact that it is French and therefore great.

French winemakers (largely) think that American and Australian wines are crap. Maybe it's that attitude that's currently leaving them in the dust behind American and Australian wines.

There are a lot of assholes in the wine business. (I've known that for years, but now it's cemented.)

Apparently I'm "dirty". I tried to access my blog from the hotel computer, but I was blocked because of "adult content". That f'in rocks!

Suites rule! I had two f'in bathrooms, two TVs, a fridge, a microwave, and much more.

You can't always get a room with an ocean view.

Judging by the cars in southern Florida, there are lots of small penises.

Old people really DO get up early.

Expect to wait at least 30 minutes for a cab in Florida.

Open plane seats next to you rule!

Why does everyone have to stand up, grab their carry-ons, and block the aisle impatiently when the plane lands? It would be much more efficient to just remain seated until it's your row's turn.

Charlotte, NC is pretty from the air.

Gate A at Charlotte airport smells.

Gate C at Charlotte airport does not smell.

Charlotte Airport is pretty nice.

North Carolinians talk funny.

Crying babies behind you on a plane are not as bad as crying babies with full diapers.

US Airways...still better than Northworst.

There are no helmet laws in Florida, but strict seatbelt laws.

Too many people wear flip flops.

Flip flops used to be called thongs. When did it officialy change? Today's "thongs" should be called ass-floss.

There really is a straight male flight attendant.

Key lime pie in Florida is no better than key lime pie in Michigan.

It's not okay to walk around around shirtless in public (except for the ladies...)

The ocean air in Florida does not smell salty.

There is good Saint Chinian (wine) being made using carbonic maceration.

Muscadet is still an underappreciated wine in the US.

Fancy packaging does not make a bad wine taste good.

Our flight was the only one arriving at Smith Terminal tonight and we still had to wait forever for our luggage.

Wine prices in Florida are much better than in Michigan.

Florida...I could take it or leave it.


Have you seen the keys to my heart? They're around here somewhere...

The Keys to Your Heart

You are attracted to good manners and elegance.

In love, you feel the most alive when your lover is creative and never lets you feel bored.

You'd like to your lover to think you are loyal and faithful... that you'll never change.

You would be forced to break up with someone who was ruthless, cold-blooded, and sarcastic.

Your ideal relationship is traditional. Without saying anything, both of you communicate with your hearts.

Your risk of cheating is zero. You care about society and morality. You would never break a commitment.

You think of marriage something you've always wanted... though you haven't really thought about it.

In this moment, you think of love as commitment. Love only works when both people are totally devoted.

Where do you stand?

Your Political Profile

Overall: 25% Conservative, 75% Liberal

Social Issues: 50% Conservative, 50% Liberal

Personal Responsibility: 25% Conservative, 75% Liberal

Fiscal Issues: 0% Conservative, 100% Liberal

Ethics: 0% Conservative, 100% Liberal

Defense and Crime: 50% Conservative, 50% Liberal

Thursday, May 05, 2005

My Mexican name is...

Your Mexican Name Is...

Don Sandro

Happy Cinco de Mayo y'all!


Ciao...for now...

I stayed up late last night packing...
I'm just waiting for my friend to pick me up and take me to the airport. I'll be on my way to lovely Ft. Lauderdale/Deerfield Beach by way of Pittsburgh. I'll be back Sunday night. I'm hoping there won't be too many parents with their little turdlings at the hotel and I'm hoping for at least one Cuban meal. I'm bringing my SPF 50 just in case I do check out the beach/pool. I don't tan...I blister. May the vinuous nectar flow freely...

Here's your weekend challenge...
Please submit a haiku (in 5 syllable, 7 syllable, 5 syllable form) using the words "tingle" and "corn". Submit by commenting. I will judge them upon my return. The winner will receive the satisfaction of a job well done and an imaginary gold star on their forehead.


Wednesday, May 04, 2005

John Hughes, Monade, and hoping that Florida is better than poopsplash...

It was another long, shitty day at work today. Surprise! But at least the big boss man is out of town. He didn't even call me that was extra nice. He called me three times yesterday. The record, however, was eleven times. Yup...he once called me 11 times in one day while he was on vacation. Did I ever mention that he's nuts? He has a tendency to repeatedly call the same person all day. Once he speaks to someone the first time that person turns into the "go to" person for the day. He also seems to assign all projects for the day for whoever is standing or sitting next to (closest to) him at the moment. It really sucks, especially when you're the first person to pick up the phone or be standing next to him. It's enough to make one's life miserable. I have both a psychiatrist and a psychologist friend. I think either of them could do an extra thesis on my boss and win some sort of award. No psychiatrist/psychologist would ever believe that such a person existed in nature until he would displayed in a cage at a psychology convention. He's futs!

House is still one of the best shows on TV...

I was flipping through channels tonight (once again)...and Pretty In Pink is on right now on TBS. God I love that movie! I used to have such a huge celebrity crush on Molly Ringwald (still do). It's such a great f'in's timeless. Duckie is one of my favorite (and most identified with) characters in film history. There's just something about a John Hughes film (other than the fact that largely all involving rich Chicago suburbanite white kids)... Any "teen" movie done today just can't compare. The subtle details/innuendo/pop references/music/character chemistry/etc. just seem so much more meaningful to me. Keep in mind, however, that I'm "old school", and that's what I identify with. Pretty in Pink, The Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles, and Some Kind of Wonderful may not fall into the "Top 20 Films Ever Made", but they're some of my favorites. They're classics. Annie Potts' and Harry Dean Stanton's performances in Pretty in Pink are grossly underrated. And may I say that it also has one of the best soundtracks ever made? My heart sinks for Duckie every time at the end when he gets shot down (gently). It's pretty brutal and I can sort of identify with it, but his resiliency is far better than mine. Long live the Duckman!

James Spader is one of the best cocky cool assholes in film (Pretty In Pink and Less Than Zero especially come to mind)...

Did you hear that Tom Cruise is now dating Katie Holmes? What???????

Did you hear that Dr. Phil is going to interview Pat O'Brien? Do you f'in care? I certainly don't. Dr. Phil can suck my left one.

I went to CVS tonight to by some mini-shampoos and other such crap for my trip to the World Wine Meetings in Ft. Lauderdale. Apparently they're going to have someone pick me up at the airport. Somehow I feel that all of my free time is going to be monopolized by vulturous wine producers and event organizers. I just hope this isn't a trick to steal my kidney. Oh well...even if it is just a kidney stealing scam at least I'll get out of work for a few days...

I've been invited to a friend's birthday BBQ in a few weeks, but I can't go because we're having our mega-colossal Zinfandel Tasting. I'll be busting my ass for about 12 hours without a break/food/wine while everyone else has a grand ole' time. I'm usually so sore afterward that I can't walk once I sit down afterward. At least it benefits the Dearborn Animal Shelter...

So far "grey" is winning by a vote of 2-0...

Apparently I'm the only person alive that loves German potato salad...

I'm going to try to see Monade at the Magic Stick in a couple of weeks. Monade is a band with Laetitia Sadier from Stereolab. I love Laetitia Sadier. She's beautiful and has a sexy French accent. I've met her a few times and she's very nice. I really miss the very lovely and talented Mary Hansen. Mary was one of the important building blocks that made Stereolab what it is. I've also met Mary several times. She was very sweet, kind, modest, and amazingly talented. She was killed a couple of years ago when she was riding her bike and was hit by a truck. It felt like someone kicked me in the nuts when I found out. I was silent for a bit and shed a tear. I've seen Stereolab probably 8 or 9 times and Mary always added something special to each show. I miss her dearly and hope that she is in Moog Heaven. I haven't seen any incarnation of Stereolab since her passing. I'm hoping that the Monade show will bring some kind of closure.

I miss the "Freedom Rock" you?


Monday, May 02, 2005

Misfiring synapses are a major cause of wandering, random posts...

Hmmmm...what the hell's been going on in my life? Not much...

I enjoyed a lovely dinner with my friends Kathleen and Brian at Traffic Jam and Snug. I haven't been there in a while. It's always damn fine like a cup of coffee and a slice of pie in Twin Peaks. Actually I had a 22oz. dry rye stout, vegetarian spinach lasagna, and the infamous Carlotta Chocolatta (one of the world's greatest desserts) and a cuppa joe. Yum! TJ's makes their own beer, bread, and cheese...good stuff! It's a cool and casual Detroit institution (for those in the know).

The restaurant got pretty busy this Friday...late.

I'd like to personally welcome Family Guy back to TV. I got home from dinner tonight just in time to witness the triumphant return of one of TV's funniest shows. It was funny tonight, although I think they tried just a little too hard and packed it with as many pop culture references as possible. Not the best episode ever, but worthy of the Family Guy moniker. Can you believe that they had the nerve to interrupt the broadcast with one of those "Emergency Tests" in the first 5 minutes? Rat bastards! Welcome back! (Here's the part where you start singing the Welcome Back Kotter them song...)

American Dad?...not so funny.

I absolutely had to flip channels over to CBS to catch a glimpse of the Rosie O'Donnell/Andie McDowell debacle. It was just as I saccharine sweet that it could launch any viewer into a diabetic coma. If I were mentally challenged (which is entirely questionable) I'd sure as shit be pissed at Rosie O'Donnell's portrayal. Many may find her performance "daring", but I just find it disgraceful, overthaught, overacted, and vomitous (is that a word?). I understand that it's very difficult (and also professionally and politically risky) to cast someone in the role of someone who is mentally challenged. There are some talented actors who have been able to pull it off without insult, as well as some great performances by mentally challenged actors (Chris Burke in Life Goes On and Pascal Duquenne in The Eighth Day both come to mind). This is a touchy subject which I somewhat fear to tread, but at the same I feel that Rosie's performance deserves comment. I'm sure that her intentions were good, but she should at the same time realize that she is not the caliber of actor that should be taking on such a role. She should stick to pissing people off the way she's already accustomed simply opening her mouth. Don't even get me started on Andie McDowell...(although I must admittedly defend her performance in Robert Altman's Short Cuts)

I've gone online to check out Ft. Lauderdale/Deerfield Beach. I've decided to probably not get rental car and just rely on taxis and walking. I'm only going to be there for a few days with little free time. I've never really been any place warm with an ocean and palm trees so I may as well take advantage of beverage service on the beach. I do hope to get out at least once or twice for dinner. I'm hoping to at least get a decent Cuban dinner. My short layover in Pittsburgh should be a hoot..

I just got a copy of the new Stereolab CD set and look forward to listening to it (we miss you Mary...hope that you're in a better place). I also have the new Bloc Party CD on order. I heard them on WDET the other night and they sounded pretty damn good. There's definitely a Joy Division influence...

"Grey" or "gray"? How do you spell it? I'm in the "grey" camp. Let me know where you stand on this pressing issue.

Michael Imperioli is going to be on Law & Order this season (the original). I'm going to have to watch it now (regularly). Michael Imperioli = Christopher Moltisanti = f'n awesome!

I wonder what's cheaper these days...crack or gasoline? All you crackheads chime in and let me know what the current street value is...I'm just curious. That means you Cracky McCrackhead...

The news I've been hearing about Gauntanamo Bay (Gitmo) lately is deeply disheartening and disgusting. I'd like to shove my boot up the asses of Dubya, Donald Rumsfeld, John Ashcroft, and Alberto Gonzales (who believes that the rules of the Geneva Convention are antiquated)...among many others. Even the former top US Navy lawyer thinks that the current administration is acting illegally and inhumanely. I hope that the tortured prisoners of Gitmo and Abu Ghraib (who have NOT been charged!!!) get revenge on their captors and all of their superiors all the way to the top. If anyone hooks up a battery to Dubya's nuts I want a front row seat. While we're at it can we get a torture double-bill of Dubya and country music supertard Toby Keith???

Why is hot German potato salad so awesome??? It has potatoes, bacon, onions, and vinegar...that's why!!!

My boss is going to be out of town this week...
I think I leave for Florida before he gets back...


Moderately geeky with a chance of drizzle...


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