31 December 2008

Don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out, 2008.

This was not the best year ever for me. Or for a lot of people, I would surmise. I suppose that makes all the struggle and strife a bit less painful, knowing you're not alone. It doesn't make it that much better, but misery loves company.

Despite the fact that I lost a job, was unemployed for two months, spent two months working in a crazy, vermin-infested hellhole, went through the most awful training I could ever have imagined and needed a new transmission for the Achieva ... I'm not left thinking this year was horrible.

All the bad of this year was tempered by a very supportive family and the best friends and Boy I Currently Like I could really ever ask for. So, I decided against being a total Scroogey lameass on New Year's Eve and I am hosting a party.

We are having retro appetizers. I'm making my very first cheese fondue in the fondue pot the 'rents got when they were married. Now that's retro. Dudes, I spent like, $35 on cheese and hand-grated two pounds of it today. Not all was for the fondue. The cheese puffs and sausage cheese cocktail bites each needed half a pound of sharp cheddar. I just finished the deviled eggs, but I'm not sure they're very good. Stupid Trader Joe's reduced-fat mayo. Oh, I should have known! And of course, I can't think of a retro or classic appetizer without thinking of the ubiquitous cocktail meatballs/little smokies. I always knew there was a party coming up when my mom had a jar of grape jelly and a bottle of chili sauce sitting on the counter.

I'm so fucking into this party that I'm going to wear a party dress and lots of eyeliner. Because, if you can't be overdressed and overly whored up for a party at your own house, when can you be? I'm sure I'll look totally cool playing Wii in that outfit.

My New Year's resolution, sweetie ... to have more fun. As if you had to ask.

Have fun and be safe tonight, my little gumdrops.

30 December 2008

Skinny white boys with problems.

When people ask what kind of music I like, my answer varies depending on who is doing the asking. It's true that I listen to lots of different shit. My music collection ranges from Marty Robbins to Dr. Dre to arias to music made by what the World's Worst Wing Woman called "skinny white boys with problems."

And that categorization was never more clear to me than when I came across "The 20 hottest men in music" at NME.com. It's almost kind of ridiculous when you see them all together like that.

I have issues with this list, as everyone does with every list ever made. But come on. Pete Doherty? PETE DOHERTY? Are you kidding me? GROSS. And the "unconventionally handsome" Jonny Greenwood. Well, that's a kind way to put it, I guess. Jack White? I will freely admit that his ass looked absolutely fucking phenomenal in those tight, plaid pants he was wearing when I saw The Raconteurs at First Ave a couple of years ago, but ... well, that's about it.

How is Guy Garvey not on this list? It's an absolute fucking travesty, if you ask me. Quite frankly, I think he's even hotter now that he's "older and thicker" as he said when I saw them earlier this year. And that voice. Never mind that The Boy I Currently Like said, "What is this, a Peter Gabriel tribute band?" when I was playing Elbow one night. Don't you ever say a bad word about Elbow!

There are listees I totally agree with -- Nick Valensi, for one. I did think Keith Murray was alright when We Are Scientists first came out. But that may be more because anyone looks 10 times hotter standing next to a dork with an ironic mustache and '80s glasses. Besides, there really can be only one Keith Murray, hot or not.

I do agree with Guy Berryman, or as my friends dubbed him, the Guytron 8000, for his inability to show emotion. The manager at my gym actually reminds me of Guy, except he is neither wee nor Scottish and ends phone calls with "Sweet!"

Poor Guy. I remember loitering around the 9:30 club in DC after seeing Coldplay there with my friends in 2003. We met the band (this is why I have a picture of me, my dear friend Malina and one Chris Martin on my entertainment center). At one point, my friend Gazza was across the street, yelling at Guy Berryman something about also being from Scotland and if he wanted to talk to him, he could come across the street. Quite frankly, I don't remember most of the conversation, as I'd been keeping up drinking-wise with Gaz. This included taking off to find a bathroom (damn tiny bladder!) while the others were holding our place in line before the show. And we did find a bathroom. In an Eritrean bar where we decided we needed to stop and have a Long Island iced tea. This was also after Sambuca shots with dinner.

Does that story make my current, abject hatred of Coldplay much more confusing? Or does it explain a lot?

Who else is on that list? Oh, Jared Followill of Kings of Leon. When I first saw those guys, I think he was like, 15. It was at the 7th Street Entry and they were opening for The Coral. It was before their first CD had even released. There were maybe 15-20 people there (so suck it! I saw them before pretty much all y'all ... in Minneapolis, anyway), so I got to talk to the band after their set. For whatever reason, someone was telling me about the 40-year-old woman Jared had fucked the night before. Awesome! And you want skinny? Man. Caleb was wearing girl jeans (as per usual, I'm sure) with no underwear. Dude, we know you have a cock. You needn't show it to us. For fuck's sake, leave something to the imagination.

Goodness. That ended up being quite a bit of reminiscing.

A few years ago I made a couple of compilation CDs for a bunch of people and of course I had to call it Skinny White Boys With Problems. One disc is mellow, the other is a bit more rocking. And yes, I'm aware the rocking disc has a few bands with girls.

Naturally, I had to have cover art.



For your listening pleasure: (let me know if you need a tracklist)

Skinny White Boys With Problems: They Love to Revel in Melancholy.

Skinny White Boys With Problems: They Also Like to Rock From Time to Time.

29 December 2008

I'm a firm believer in the philosophy of a ruling class.

Especially since I rule. Yes, I'm sorry. It's time for more self-indulgent bragging. Sorry! Oh wait. No I'm not.

The Bob Saget Fan Club came up short in the championship game for my fantasy football league. Yeah, I get some cash, but not the glory. Fuck. I believe I finished in fourth place in the big I Dislike Your Favorite Team Pick 'Em contest. Had I not failed to click the "submit" or "save" button in week 12 or so, I probably would have gotten something. Stupid!

Oh, but there was another IDYFT pick 'em challenge. They have the same name? Really? I could have sworn one was at least slightly different than the other. This one was hosted by novelist Andrew Wice (buy his book!). Unlike the one mentioned above that I didn't win (hosted by the always delightful Big Blue Monkey), this did not involve picking against the spread. I didn't even understand it for the first few weeks. However, I somehow managed to win the whole thing. Thanks due mostly to the Detroit Lions being the suckiest bunch of sucks that ever sucked (sorry Frank).

I await delivery of my To The Last Drop t-shirt with bated breath. I love that I beat a bunch of sports-savvy boys. I like being a winner. After the year I've had often feeling like a mega-loser, it's a nice change.

28 December 2008

In the kitchen with Jess.

Tonight I cooked my very first whole chicken. Really? Just now I'm doing this?

I've always been intimidated by the whole chicken. It used to be that I was generally intimidated by meat, but I'm past a lot of that. I cook beef all the time, and it's easy because I love a rare piece of beef. That wasn't always the case, which again, made cooking meat a dicey proposition. If I can't have it lovely and rare, I actually have to pay close attention to make sure I don't over or under cook anything.

But one piece of meat -- a steak, a pork chop, maybe a chicken breast -- that's one small thing. I can handle that. An entire animal? Hold me.

However, I've been getting more and more daring in the kitchen and I finally got the nerve up to roast a whole chicken. I mean, I spend a good chunk of change on the occasional rotisserie chicken. And I can get a whole chicken way cheaper. Or, I can get chicken from the 'rents for free. Every year they buy chickens from some other local farmer and I've always declined, but this year I said I wanted a whole chicken. Of course, my tiny freezer forced me to wait until now to bring it home.

Mom sent back extra rosemary and thyme from the crust we made for the prime rib on Christmas Eve. So I stuffed the cavity of the bird with rosemary, thyme, half a lemon, half an onion and a few crushed cloves of garlic. Before I jammed the lemon inside the bird, I zested it. I added the zest to some butter and added more rosemary and thyme, as well as some garlic powder and pepper. I smeared that under the skin over the breast. Since I had some left over, I figured I should just massage it into the skin.

After lots of basting and a couple of flips, the chicken, she was done! And holy shit, y'all, it's pretty damn good. I think I might have cooked it a tiny bit too much. I just don't trust my meat thermometer and I haven't been to Target to get a probe thermometer or an instant-read. (But I have to return two of the four Wii controllers I got for Christmas and finally buy The Boy I Currently Like his housewarming present, so I will be getting one or the other tomorrow, dammit.)

The skin is golden brown and crispy. The leg, anyway, was fairly moist and delicious. YAY ME!

Oh, but why stop the experimenting with just one dish? I'll make curried couscous, too. I'm fairly sure I've mentioned my hatred of curry here before. But my aunt made this for Christmas and I actually liked it. I know she modified it quite a bit, but I never managed to find out what exactly she did.

That didn't stop me from making my own modifications, though. I used whole wheat couscous and cooked it without butter in vegetable stock. I used red wine vinegar and cut back about a quarter teaspoon on the curry powder. I used dried cherries instead of currants or raisins. I used all scallions instead of scallions and red onion. Oh, and I toasted the almonds. And color me shocked, I fucking love this shit. Maybe next time I'll even use the entire amount of curry powder.

I'm very proud of myself. And I have more than enough for lunch leftovers for the entire two days I'll be working this week. Maybe my cooking was a success because I started cooking well before I started drinking? Maybe someday I'll see if that's a correct assumption.

Before I go, I'd like to apologize for the craptasticness of my blog as of late. I've been sucking big time. Why? I'm not entirely sure. I'm fairly content with my life, so I don't have a ton of stuff to bitch about and we all know that conflict is good for writing and makes for an interesting read.

Do not fret, though. Soon it will be the New Year and the gym will be overrun with assholes and I'll have plenty of complaining to do.

27 December 2008

God, I love a sports movie.

Earlier today I was at my aunt and uncle's house for brunch, as my cousin was home for a few days. Somehow, the discussion turned to what movies have been on ABC over the weekend or something. It was The Wizard of Oz (hate it!), last night and tomorrow it is The Sound of Music (meh).

But tonight? It's Miracle. Well, that plans my night. I've seen this movie many times, so it would totally stand to reason that I watch an edited version on network TV, right?

For whatever reason, I am a huge sucker for sports movies. Everything from Bad News Bears (the original, of course), to Miracle, to Hoosiers ... shit. I love The Program and fucking Blue Chips, for fuck's sake.

You give me a training montage or two, an uplifting story ... maybe a shower scene (What?), and you've got me hooked.

Now, if you'll excuse me, we are about to beat the Soviets. USA! USA! USA!

26 December 2008

I love a day off work.

Of course I didn't work yesterday, but half of that was spent with the fam, so it doesn't really count. If you get more than one day off for a particular holiday, only the day that isn't the actual holiday really counts, right? Regardless, a good day off work is spent at home, doing as little as possible. And hopefully watching a Law & Order marathon.

Wait, that's not right. I had an excellent day off today and I have barely been home. I stayed at The Boy's last night. We exchanged Christmas presents this morning (he did good). He made me breakfast (!) and we watched a movie before I had to haul ass back home to shower and get ready for a holiday happy hour at The Independent with Mrs. Dirk, the World's Worst Wing Woman, KayGee and The Prison Librarian. What a fucking awesome idea that was. I have nothing to do tomorrow later afternoon, either. Maybe I should try to swing another one?

It's delightful knowing I have two more days with no work (but a bit of family time), then two days of work before I have FIVE DAYS OFF IN A ROW. Oh my God, y'all. How fucking awesome is that? Granted, I guess I am having a party on New Year's Eve, so I have to get ready for that. Retro appetizers and Wii -- awesome, no?

24 December 2008

Family, Guitar Hero, Church and whatnot.

Oh Christmas Eve. Not nearly drunk enough. Scheming to get home tomorrow. Uploading old country CDs to my new laptop. Wondering what it will be like to play the song my nephew created on Guitar Hero.

I was really glad to work today, odd as it might seem. Had I taken the day off, my mom would have been wondering why I didn't come home Tuesday night. Or why was I waiting so long to come home today? God forbid I want to have a leisurely day, going to the gym and chilling before I head down to the farm. If I go to work, I don't have to worry about any of that.

There was a chance I could have missed Mass this afternoon. The four of us left in the office did an extra-long trivia session. But I managed to get back in time to even snag a random spot in a pew, instead of sitting on a folding chair in the back. I was hoping for the latter, actually, because it might have given me the opportunity to sneak out. Alas, it was not to be. At least we snuck out early. Okay, it wasn't exactly sneaking. After Communion, some lady came out and said something about a bunch of kids singing songs. Not more than 30 seconds later, someone taps me on the shoulder -- my brother is letting me know that we are out of there. Sweet!

God, church is awful. There was a constant undercurrent of babies crying/laughing/generally making noise the entire mass. I never realized there was so much terrible bleached hair in my hometown. It's either brassy or that ashy, almost-gray, white blonde. Ew. Also, did I miss something? Did the dog-turdy, all-one-piece curl suddenly become the height of fashion? I'm guessing I somehow missed it several years ago, because shit in small towns is totes behind the time. Being at home always makes me so glad to live the life I do.

But it's not all bad. The Nephew and I played Wii forever -- bowling, baseball, boxing, tennis and Guitar Hero World Tour. Quality time with him is always a good thing. And of course, I can't wait for him to open his ugly Christmas sweater tomorrow. That's gonna be awesome. I just have to hope that we let him stay up late enough so that he lets us sleep tomorrow. *crosses fingers*

Anyway, hope y'all are having lovely holidays with your family and your travels are safe and easy. Just one night away and I'll be back home in my own bed tomorrow.

23 December 2008

Not mourning the Morning Show.

I've spoken many times in this blog about my love for The Current. But there was always one thing I kind of hated about it -- The Morning Show. Okay, I completely and unapologetically hated it. I didn't think their skits were the least bit funny. Only very rarely did they play a song I recognized, much less liked. It was radio for old people and hippies and seemed totally out of place on The Current.

And yet, I listened to it. It's true. I listened because despite its suckitude, it was better than the rest of the putrid radio options we have here. And I couldn't listen to my iPod because the tape thing I use to listen to it in the car stops working once the temps fall below 40 and I've been forgetting to buy a new one every single time I've gone to Target.

Then last month, I heard some great news. The Morning Show was ending. Hallelujah! Even better, Steve Seel would be doing the new morning show. Steve Seel is my second-favorite Current host, right behind the one and only Mary Lucia.

I have to say that Seel has not disappointed me through his first several days in his new gig. Despite the ass-rammingly cold mornings and shitty, snowy drives, my morning commute now seems as pleasant as my evening commute. A good soundtrack can really make a lot of life's minor trials and tribulations seem like nothing. I've yet to hear Seel bust out anything totally odd like Mary Lucia is wont to do (and for which I love her dearly), but that's alright. Hearing something along the lines of Van Halen, Janet Jackson or Tone Loc twice a day might delight me a bit too much.

There is one other thing about The Current that has been bothering me lately. It must be a somewhat recent development -- by that, I mean over the course of this year. I listened all day, every day at work before I was let go in January. I rarely listened for a while when I was unemployed. I didn't listen at the vermin-infested hell job and I don't listen here. Until the temps dropped, I was listening to my iPod all the time in the car.

What I'm saying is, I can't pinpoint when this happened. However, I've noticed that I hear a lot of the same songs pretty damn often on any given day. And I'm not in the car for more than about an hour total all day -- 20ish minutes each way to and from work and then a total of 20 minutes round trip to the gym. Obviously, some days it's more than others if traffic is bad or I'm running errands. But really, I wouldn't think I'd hear one song three times in one day. Maybe it's just the times I'm in the car? I hear that Calexico song at least twice a day (which is fine, because I like it). I was hearing more Ceasars than could possibly be warranted. The Bird and The Bee, Cold War Kids, The BPA, new Franz Ferdinand ... Has anyone else noticed this, or is it just me being a freak?

I hate to complain (hahahahahahaha. No I don't. I love to complain!), because as I said before, even if they are playing the crap out of some songs, the songs are a million times better than whatever the other stations are playing. Even if it is shit like Cold War Kids and new Coldplay. Oh, Chris Martin. Where did it all go wrong?

I'm all weepy for old Coldplay, as I've been listening to Parchutes, The Blue Room EP and the Brothers and Sisters single this morning. Oh, and "Amsterdam" from A Rush of Blood to the Head. I was listening last night as I fell asleep, too. Macho Man and I were talking about how motherfucking good Parachutes was last night while watching Packer fans be disappointed at The Herkimer last night. It really makes me sad to know Snow Patrol is following this same path. But at least I'll always have their good albums, just like I have Parachutes and the EPs and singles that came before.

22 December 2008

Rut-breaking.

Oooh, how exciting! I'm breaking out of my rut tonight. I mean, my routine. No yoga in a 50ish degree studio at the dirty, smelly gym. Instead, I'm going to The Herk with Macho Man to watch the foosball game.

I'm proud of myself for switching things up. It'll be good for me to be away from the computer so as to avoid obsessing over my fantasy score. Whatever happens, happens. I've put up a good fight going into tonight and I'm coming out with more money, regardless.

21 December 2008

It's a Hanukkah miracle!

I already used "It's a Christmas miracle!" to describe my sister's decision to shave her legs for the first time in a month, so I thought I should change things up a bit. Also, it is the first day of Hanukkah.

Enough about that, though. You're wondering just what this miracle is, aren't you? On my way to the gym today, I was driving down 32nd Street and saw something I've never seen in any neighborhood I've ever lived in as long as I've lived in Minneapolis -- I saw cars being ticketed AND TOWED for violating the snow emergency parking rules.

Now, I know people get ticketed and towed all the time. I see them standing in line at the impound lot on the news. I read their stories of frustration and woe on the interwebs. But I have never seen cars being towed where I live. I'm not even sure I've seen many get ticketed.

Look, I realize how badly it must suck to get your car towed. But when you don't move your car so the plows can clear the streets after a snow, it sucks for everyone else. You want to be the person who has to park in that last spot on the street that's all fucked up because some jackass didn't feel like moving their car? Do you want to have to shovel your car out the next day? Do you want to be the drivers playing chicken down narrow side streets made even more narrow by all the snow piled up along the sides that didn't get plowed? I know I fucking hate that shit.

I'm sorry I'm fanatical about the parking rules. I don't want to get my car towed. Not only is it an enormous pain-in-the-ass, but I could rarely ever afford to pay the fines and fees associated. The City e-mails me when they declare a snow emergency. I have the hotline number programmed into my phone. I check the city's website and the Strib pretty incessantly when I think there might be a snow emergency declaration. If I go out of town in the winter, I leave my car with one of my siblings or give the keys to a friend in the city who will move it if necessary.

Who ever said a touch of OCD was a bad thing?

In other Sunday news, I hope for the sake of anyone heading to Target today that they got their computers back up and running. I stopped in the St. Louis Park Target before going to the gym to get my last gift and some shave gel so I could avoid the post-Christmas rush of people and it wasn't that busy, but there were only two registers open and the lines were long. Uh, it's the last weekend shopping day before Christmas. Maybe you should have some more registers open? Then, I go to check out and they can only accept cash and checks due to the computers being down. Thank goodness I threw my checkbook into my purse for work tomorrow, or I might have been cranky.

I am so fucking glad I went early. I'm glad I'm done with all my Christmas stuff, too. Presents were wrapped last night. And while I think the Post-in notes currently indicating which present is for which friend/family member/Boy I Currently Like lend a certain amount of "I'm totally lazy" charm, it's probably good that I picked up some to/from tags at Target today.

The Bob Saget Fan Club is behind at the moment, but not as badly as we could be. Man, if I didn't have to scale a snowbank to get out back to do my laundry, today would be totally fucking awesome.

20 December 2008

Enjoying your white Christmas, dicks?

After several mild years, it seems we are getting an honest-to-goodness Minnesota winter. People were always whining, "Oh no! We're not going to have a white Christmas! It just doesn't seem like Christmas without any snow." Well, we've got plenty of fucking snow now. Still doesn't seem like Christmas to me, but I haven't heard anyone bitching about it. Hope you assbags are happy. Me? I'm cold.

Minneapolis declared the first snow emergency of the season today. I can't remember the last time we had one before the first of the year. Honestly, I'm happy about it. After the shitty, shitty, SHITTY plowing job after the first now a couple of weeks ago, I've been avoiding parking front of my apartment. Alas, there was nothing across the street last night and I had a lot of stuff to carry, so I didn't have much of a choice. I spent 20 minutes shoveling my car out today. Granted, I'm glad I did it earlier, when it was above 20. It's now below zero and windy as fuck, so it would be highly unpleasant going out and moving my car before the 9:00 deadline. And my street will be plowed by the time I get up tomorrow. Yay!

I had to dig my car out and brave the snow to attend my dad's family's Christmas festivities out in the 'burbs. Alas, with the shitty roads, I couldn't drink much (remedying that right now) and I didn't want to stay too long. It was a fantastic time, though. As was our cousins-only gathering last night. Part of my present didn't make the trip from Madison, but that's okay. I scored a necklace and some awesome wine glasses as it was. My cousin's three-year-old daughter begged me to hold her and proceeded to feel me up. It's true -- everyone loves boobies.

Since I was sober and the snow had stopped, I had really high hopes of finishing my shopping. I was driving past the mall, anyway. I needed just two things. I got one (and a couple things for myself. I needed them. Really!), but Macy's thwarted me by not having any decent winter hats that would match my mom's jacket. FUCK YOU, MACY'S. The ones they did have were like, $45 and not on sale. Jerks. Meh. I need to/from tags anyway. So I guess I'll be hitting Target some time in the next couple of days. I can't possibly get shit done early. All I can ever hope for is "in time."

Oh, and how 'bout those fucking Golden Gophers? Suck it, Pitino! Ski-U-Mah!

19 December 2008

I approve of:

Old men at the gym working out in Members Only jackets.

Sure, it's not a unitard. Nor is it a pair of hot pink, leopard print spandex pants. It's not even a star-spangled Speedo.

But there is something undeniably delightful about seeing a Members Only jacket being worn by someone who is absolutely not trying to be ironic and who has no idea how much money some stupid hipster fuckstick would pay for said jacket.

17 December 2008

Albums of the Year.

I Voted in 89.3 The Current's Top 89 Albums of 2006

Ah, the end of a year. Time for everyone and their brother to trot out a multitude of year-end lists. Who am I to miss out on the fun? Besides, I've done a post with my favorite albums of the year each year that I've been blogging.

When I started thinking about this post, I figured I wouldn't possibly be able to even think of a Top 10. My friend Macho Man said a few weeks ago that he felt music has jumped the shark. When he said it, I couldn't say I totally disagreed with him. There were only a handful of recent albums that sprang to mind as being any good. I've also been listening to mostly older stuff for months now. With unemployment and new jobs, I didn't really feel like I bought much music this year, either.

The unemployment and general upheaval in my life in 2008 made me forget a lot of stuff, though. The Boy I Currently Like and I were watching the intro to Best Year Ever last night and they were playing clips of shit that happened over the course of the year. One clip was of Shaq doing his freestyle dissing Kobe. I looked at The Boy,

Jess: "That happened this year?"
The Boy: "Yep."
Jess: "Man. It's been a long year."
The Boy: "Yes it has."

With this in mind, I went to vote on my Top 10 on The Current's website. I realized there were absolutely 10 albums I really liked. There are several more on my honorable mention list. So, without further ado, here they are in no particular order ... well alphabetical, I guess.

Top 10 Albums of 2008

    Beach House, Devotion
    Brendan Canning, Something For All Of Us
    Elbow, The Seldom Seen Kid
    Fleet Foxes, Fleet Foxes
    Frightened Rabbit, The Midnight Organ Fight
    The Helio Sequence, Keep Your Eyes Ahead
    MGMT, Oracular Spectacular
    My Morning Jacket, Evil Urges
    Sons And Daughters, This Gift
    The Ting Tings, We Started Nothing

If you put a gun to my head and forced me to choose, I would pick Brendan Canning's (of Broken Social Scene) album as my absolute favorite. No small feat considering my deep, deep abiding love of Elbow.

Honorable mention: The Raveonettes, Lust Lust Lust; M83, Saturdays=Youth; The Duke Spirit, Neptune; Tilly and the Wally, O; The Raconteurs, Consolers of the Lonely; British Sea Power, Do You Like Rock Music and Yeasayer, All Hour Cymbols.

Of course, there are all the bands whose discs I have yet to buy or download from iTunes or eMusic that would have had a shot at making the list -- Ryan Adams & The Cardinals, Oasis, The Black Angels, The Black Keys, Atmosphere, Calexico, The Cool Kids, Drive-By Truckers, Jenny Lewis, Mercury Rev, Okkervill River, Sigur Ros, The Walkmen, Wolf Parade, Travis, The Verve, Mogwai, The Roots ... Most of them are on my Christmas list.

The most prominent absences on my list are likely Bon Iver and Vampire Weekend. I've seen them on all the lists The Boy keeps sending me. I really kinda hate both. They can eat a fucking dick. And TV on the Radio? Meh. I loved, loved, LOVED Return to Cookie Mountain. But Dear Science is a lot more like their first album, for which I didn't care too much. Snow Patrol was probably the biggest disappointment for me. I've loved them for ages, but this latest album is a huge leap forward on the accessible and bland continuum. It's Coldplay Jr.! Boo.

Possible links coming later, as I slowly get music onto my new computer.

16 December 2008

Dear Helicopter Pilot(s):

I don't know what the fuck was happening in my neighborhood all night, but I really must thank you for flying so low that it sounded like you were landing on the roof of the building next door (or that you were crashing through the roof and landing upstairs) not once, not twice, but THREE TIMES over the course of the night.

Because, really, I don't need to sleep.

Fuckwads.

Yours in Christ,
Jess

15 December 2008

Good and bad.

Good: I'm posting from my brand-spanking-new laptop. It's red!

Bad: I had to buy a new laptop and lost all my music. Again.

Good: I got into my car with little problem this morning. My car was not stuck in the snow/ice. My commute only took about five minutes longer than normal.

Bad: IT IS FUCKING COLD AND GETTING COLDER. My car started this morning, but will it start tomorrow, since it's supposed to be -20 tonight? While driving was fine for me, there were so many assholes out on the road today and tonight. Just because you can't see the lane markings doesn't mean you don't have to signal, assbags.

Good: This is my last full week of work for the year. Work is totally busy.

Bad: Work is totally busy for me, but it doesn't seem like anyone else is busy. Why am I working late?

Bad: I am zitty and my boobies hurt SO. FUCKING. MUCH.

Good: This means the craziness/anger/weepiness is all hormonal and I'll be back to normal soon. Just don't know when.

Good: Barring an 11-point adjustment in my opponent's favor, The Bob Saget Fan Club is in the championship fantasy football game.

Bad: I'm up against the Stoner Commish, who has an uncanny knack for fucking me over. Still, money is money.

With all the back-and-forth, I just can't decide if I'm crabby or not.

14 December 2008

Oh boy, sleep! That's where I'm a Viking!

How did this happen? How did I get to the point in my life where I can't even make it through the end of my own pub crawl? I swear, something has happened to me. I used to be able to stay out late -- even weeknights and multiple nights in a row. Now, the clock hits 11:00 on a Saturday night and my body says, "Bed. NOW."

Is it wrong that I was plotting a nap before I even got out of bed this morning? It was so dark, I could just tell it was going to be an excellent day for laziness. Now that it's turned cold and Lord, is it shitty outside, a nap seems like pretty much the best. idea. ever. At the very least, I shouldn't be sitting up. I must get horizontal soon.

The pub crawl was fun. It was a much smaller group than last year, which was actually better. We didn't have as much trouble finding a space in crowded bars and the group was easier to control. I even got to talk to everyone. Sweater participation was sweet -- there was one with mirrors and puffy paint! We couldn't have asked for a lovelier night to be out and about. Of course, that contributed to us all being hot because we were wearing sweaters.

Now, I just need to make it through the coming week and life should be pretty sweet with two short weeks after that. My shopping is probably half finished. I will have to brave the stores yet, but what can you do? I did more online shopping this year than in any years past. There are fucking cards to write. I managed to get a handful done this afternoon before I got bored and decided laying on the couch was a better idea.

We have Christmas with my dad's side of the family on Saturday and I need to do veggies and dip for that. Friday, we're getting our cousins together and I need to make cheesy potatoes for that. The Ex-OC is in town for the next few days and we were supposed to hang out, but I'm not going anywhere today. Tomorrow is yoga and I'm not giving that up and Tuesday The Boy I Currently Like is supposed to come over. Oh well. I guess I don't really care that much anymore.

Hmmmm. I shouldn't have written all that stuff out. It seems kind of daunting now. I should probably lay down for a while to recuperate and get prepared. Yay lazy Sundays!

12 December 2008

So awesome even 10-year-olds want in.

Last weekend, the entire fam -- the 'rents, us kids, my nephew and my brother's girlfriend -- went to the northern 'burbs to watch my nephew play some hoops. They all got together to pick me up, and as we were driving down Lyndale Avenue, we saw a bunch of people who looked like they were on an Ugly Christmas Sweater pub crawl.

This got us to talking about the Ugly Christmas Sweater phenomenon, which seemed to have resonated with my nephew, because a couple of days later, my sister sent me the following text:

[Your nephew]just told me he wants to get an ugly sweater so he can go on pub crawls. I asked him if he knew what a pub crawl was ... he doesn't.

So he's too young to go on pub crawls. That doesn't mean that he can't have an Ugly Christmas Sweater. This is why I bought one for him when I got mine on Wednesday. He won't get it until Christmas and it won't fit him by next year. But that doesn't matter. What matters is he's obviously a cool-ass kid who apparently thinks some of the stuff his aunt does is cool enough for him to want to do it. Score!

This totally makes you want to come to the pub crawl tomorrow doesn't it? You probably should. I'll be the girl with the pigtails in the sweater adorned with sweater-wearing miniature schnauzers. Meta!

11 December 2008

So. Fucking. Crabby.

I cannot believe it's only Thursday. This week is never-motherfucking-ending.

Work is great -- I'm totally busy. Crazy busy. And I have to give a training tomorrow because I'm leading a project. Um, what? You realize I've been here for all of six months, right? I'm beginning to realize that my boss really likes me. I know I should be happy about this, but for whatever reason, I can't get happy about it at the moment.

The Boy I Currently Like is sick and so couldn't hang out tonight. I feel like the Ugly Christmas Sweater pub crawl is going to be an Epic Fail. I'm absolutely NOT in the holiday spirit. Assholes abound. I haven't been able to park in front of my apartment since the big snow, because there is the snow is totally fucking deep and I'll get stuck. Our sidewalk and steps still have not been shoveled, and I'm thinking it ain't gonna happen. Not even working out tonight made me feel even remotely better. Nor did wine. Okay, so at least I'm no longer on the verge of tears after a couple of glasses of wine.

Tomorrow is another day, right? It'll get better? God, I fucking hope so.

10 December 2008

A hearty "Fuck you."

To the dickbags at the gym who wear their outdoor shoes while working out, or wear their gym shoes outdoors. The place has been a messy, dirty, fucking dump for a few weeks now and you fucksticks are only making it worse by tracking dirt, snow and water all over the damn gym. Assholes.

To the douchenozzles who scheduled the Insight Bowl. The game starts at 5:00 here in Minnesota, which just happens to be tipoff time for the Gopher basketball team's game against Michigan State. Thanks a ton, jerkwads. Sure, I'm totally over college football (and especially the Gophers) at the moment. However, by the end of the month I'm sure I'll be able to watch one more game. But you had to schedule it at the exact same time Tubby Smith's currently undefeated team opens the Big Ten portion of their schedule. At least I have NFL Network and can see the game if I can tear myself away from the basketball game. Awesome update! Basketball game has been moved to 11:00 a.m. This would be sweet if I wasn't going to be at work. Fucking bastards. Now I have to take the goddamn day off. Oh well. I'll be able to start drinking before noon, then!

To Burt's Bees. What the fuck did you do to my beloved Beeswax Lip Balm in the tube? I can't remember the last time I had a tube of it that didn't crack and then have a hunk break off shortly after I started using it. This never used to happen. I'm eagerly awaiting your response to the inquiry I submitted on your website on this very topic a couple of days ago. I don't want to have to switch to another lip balm, but if I'm losing a chunk of each one I buy, I'm getting cheated and I won't fucking give you any more of my money. Dicks.

To long, busy work days and weeks that somehow are only to Wednesday. What did I ever do to you? Sweet merciful Christ, how is it not Friday yet? Or at least Thursday? Go the fuck to hell.

To my body, which decided that since I had to get up an hour early yesterday, it woudl be totally neat for me to be awake for two hours in the middle of the night. I'm sure in your infinite wisdom, you'll not allow me to settle down after yoga tonight and I'll stay up much later than I should, thus ensuring I'm not much more than a zombie tomorrow. I hate you. I'll assume there's something wacky in your hormones, too, and that's why I'm angry at the world.

Once again, fuck all y'all.

09 December 2008

Division champs.

Fuck and yes! After yet another harrowing start to the season, The Bob Saget Fan Club rebounded to become division champions for the second year in a row. I actually ended up with the second-best record this year. I'm in a shitty division (or one could also call it highly competitive), and in past seasons, there have been other people who had better records but ended up in the wild card or not making the playoffs at all while I snuck in with a marginal record.

Winning the division and thus, making the playoffs, means that my season has been paid for, I think. I've only ever actually paid $20 to play five years of fantasy football. Other than the $100 I won that first seasons, I've broken even or rolled my $5-$10 winnings/losings over to the next year. If I win just one more game, I'll win real money.

Unfortunately for me, The Bob Saget Fan Club has a habit of stinking it up in the playoffs. After reaching the Super Bowl in my first season, I have exactly one playoff win. That came the year our Stoner Commish decided to make the first of his unannounced and undiscussed changes to the rules. Had things played out the way they were supposed to, I would have won everything. But Stoner Commish ended up winning it all. It's ever so curious that these changes almost always seem to benefit him.

Why do I keep playing with these fuckers when the rules are always changing to benefit one player (or sometimes his brother)? Because, as The Boy I Currently Like often reminds me when I complain about some stupid fantasy football-related injustice: the majority of the people I play against are fantasy football retards and I always have a chance to win money. I've got the second-best record overall in the league, for fuck's sake. There's a reason the draft order is the same every. fucking. year.

Apologies for the bragging and narcissism. No one gives a shit about my fantasy football team but me. Then again, no one gives a shit about lots of things I care about, and that's never stopped me from writing about them.

08 December 2008

No!

Okay, look -- I'm all for Randy Wittman being fired from the craptastic job he's doing as coach of the Timberwolves. It's not like anyone could possibly have seen this coming or anything. I mean, he has such a stellar record as a head coach in the NBA. Besides, there are apparently people who want him for other coaching jobs. Or they did a couple of years ago. I notice they weren't clamoring for him after Kelvin Sampson's fall from grace.

It looks like Glen Taylor is getting ready to make a change, but Jesus H. Motherfucking Christ, NOT THIS ONE. This had better be a very temporary move while the details are hammered out in a contract with Sam Mitchell (or possibly Flip Saunders or Avery Johnson ... or really anyone else who isn't Kevin McHale). However, since hiring Sam Mitchell would be an excellent and awesome move, I fear that's not what Taylor is planning.

God, I hate you so much Glen Taylor. And you too, Kevin McHale.

Update: It's official. Fucksticks.

07 December 2008

Pillow talk.

It's totally not odd to discuss the Twins' offseason wheelings and dealings before drifting off to sleep after some hanky panky, is it?

06 December 2008

Ugly Christmas Sweater Pub Crawl 2: Electric Boogaloo.

How is it possible that the pub crawl is one week from today? Fuck. I don't even have my sweater yet. If you're still shopping for yours, don't bother with the Goodwill in Hopkins. I didn't see a single damn Christmas sweater there, ugly or otherwise. Granted, I wasn't in there very long. I was on my way back from Mankato and had to pee like nobody's business, but still.

Maybe tomorrow I'll try Ragstock? I still have to collect items for a prize, too. As much as it's a pain to haul that shit around until I can pawn it off on the winner, I believe I'm going have a second- and third-place prizes, too. They will most likely be baked goods. See, now that I've said it publicly, I have to follow through.

Are you coming? You totally should. It's gonna be sweet.

1. Liquor Lyle’s – 5:00 p.m.
2021 Hennepin Ave S
Liquor Lyle’s has a two-for-one Happy Hour from 3:00-6:00 p.m.

2. Mortimer’s – 6:15 p.m.
2035 Lyndale Ave S

3. Red Dragon –7:15 p.m.
2116 Lyndale Ave S

4. Leaning Tower of Pizza – 8:15 p.m. (FOOD)
2324 Lyndale Ave S

5. The Bulldog –10:00 p.m.
2549 Lyndale Ave S

6. CC Club – 11:00 p.m.
2600 Lyndale Ave S

7. The Herkimer – 12:00 a.m. to finish
2922 Lyndale Ave S

04 December 2008

Things I did as a kid that I will no longer do.

The idea for this post came to me this morning while I was watching SportsCenter. I saw on the ticker that one of my favorite former NBA players, Rodney Rogers, was paralyzed in an ATV accident. The ticker said sometimes that he was paralyzed from the shoulders down and sometimes just paralyzed.

I seriously loved him. College Roommate and I were tangential Nuggets fans back when he was playing. She loved ... God, who was it? I can see him, but his name isn't coming to me. Anyway, we both loved Rodney Rogers. I even got to see him play in Denver after Liska moved there. Awe.some. And who doesn't remember that playoff series where the lowly Nuggets upset the Seattle Supersonics? Just me? Okay. There were rumours of him coming to the Wolves at one point and I was so. fucking. stoked. Of course that never happened.

He's lucky he survived, of course. My friend Blondie's brother died a couple of years ago after flipping his four-wheeler. Stuff like this leaves me amazed that I survived my childhood. We had a three-wheeler when I was awfully young. We never had any training. We never wore helmets. We rode that thing unsupervised a lot of the time. I flipped the three-wheeler and ran over my leg once. My siblings ran it into the car and flipped it in the ditch. My cousin got the throttle stuck and hit a tree. How are we all still alive and ambulatory?

Another thing I won't do? Get on a snowmobile. We never wore helmets on that, either. My dad had a sled that he would put us in, since there were three of us and we couldn't all fit on the actual snowmobile. We were dumped out if it at least once. The sled separated from the snowmobile at least once, too, leaving me and my sister in the middle of a field. Fun!

What else? Get in a car and go driving around on a frozen lake. The last time I did that, two cars went through the ice on the same lake. Look, I know the ice gets thick enough to drive on and whatnot, but what if you hit a thin spot? Or an open spot? Good Lord. There's nothing that would get me on a frozen lake in a car. Or on foot. Or on any other type of conveyance.

I'm entirely too tired to proofread this thing. Apologies for poor editing and whatnot.

03 December 2008

Yum?

Oh, the things I see on Jezebel. It's a new cookbook! Natural Harvest - A Collection of Semen-Based Recipes.

Wait. What? Man, first The Testicle Cookbook, now this.

I'm mostly baffled. Why would you want to waste it by cooking with it, anyway? Do you sully the flavor of brie with much other than a cracker or bread? Hell no. And I've never had raw oysters (apparently I'd enjoy them, though), but again, you don't do much to doctor those up before slurping them down. So why just mix semen into something? Seems silly to me.

02 December 2008

An end-run into your uterus.

Because they haven't fucked us over nearly enough over the last eight years, the Bush Administration is pushing through a right of conscience rule that would allow doctors, pharmacists, medical facilities and others to deny care, refuse to fill prescriptions for contraceptives or even provide information about abortions or contraception if doing so violates their faith.

Doctors and nurses have been able to refuse to perform abortions for years. And we've been hearing more and more over recent years about pharmacists refusing to fill prescriptions for The Pill or emergency contraception. However, the new rule goes much further -- it covers more types of people and could extend to things like artificial insemination.

This is fucking bullshit. It's also terrifying. The Obama administration could reverse it, but it could take months and that is too fucking long.

I actually had to switch doctors in Mankato because the doctor I was seeing refused to write prescriptions for birth control. I was pissed off in principal. I was pissed off because she was the second doctor I had there and everyone was fucking up my thyroid meds. So hey -- let's throw a third doctor into the mix and see if we can't completely fuck me over. Done and done! Why couldn't the people at the clinic give me a heads up when I started seeing that doctor. Is it that big of a deal to say -- "Hey, in case this might have an impact on your life, Dr. X won't prescribe The Pill."

At the end of the day, it wasn't a huge deal. I just made an appointment with another doctor for my annual exam so I could get my whore pills. What I really don't understand, though, is why would you get into a job (or a particular practice area if you're a doctor) that would put you in the position to do something you would find morally objectionable?

What if there wasn't another doctor in town who would prescribe contraception? What if the sole pharmacist in your community refuses to fill prescriptions for The Pill? With this new rule, it isn't that far out-of-bounds to think that maybe doctors could decline to treat AIDS patients or pharmacists could refuse to fill their prescriptions because, who are they as Good Christians to fuck with God's obvious punishment for engaging in homosexuality or drug use or making a fucking mistake?

God, I fucking hate people.

Now playing on Toilet Radio.

Christmas music.

I'd like to die now, please.

01 December 2008

Asthma is sexy.

Oh, why didn't I ever get that shirt from T-Shirt Hell? So, I have asthma and I use an inhaler. It's mostly under control -- I do use my inhaler pretty much daily at the gym. And then there is the occasional cold or allergy attack that leads me to be kinda wheezy and whatnot. But really, it's under control.

This means that the days of inhalers stashed around the house are gone. I used to tell people I was just like Annabella Sciorra's character in The Hand That Rocks The Cradle. That bitch had inhalers everywhere. I have one in my purse, a few at home (all in one place) and two in my gym bag, because one was pretty much empty.

Or so I thought.

I moved the ... that covered cardboard thing that holds that provides a solid bottom for your gym bag. You know what I'm talking about? Anyway, I moved that thing and there were like, five inhalers underneath it. What the fuck? They're all mostly empty. I guess I don't throw them away at the gym because they have my address on them or something. It kinda makes me seem a bit crazy.

Oh, but I am crazy. At least today. It's Day Two of my new pack of birth control pills, so I'm crazy angry. Yesterday I was in an excellent mood and I was fine most of the day today. However, by the time I left work, I wanted to punch someone (tomorrow I'll be paranoid and anxious!). Which makes it a perfect time to go to the gym, of course.

To all the sweaty assholes who don't clean machines when you're done: I hope you get a nasty case of pink eye.

To the jerkwads who stay on cardio machines for 45 minutes or any hour (or longer) when the club is super busy: I hope you get a horribly infected paper cut.

The The Bob Saget Fan Club who can't fucking score 50 goddamn points: Eat a fucking dick, you bastards. Okay, scratch that. I think Steve Slaton's garbage time touchdown right now puts me over 50 and gives me a one-point lead. THANK YOU JEBUS.