29 April 2009

I'd like a moment to breathe, please.

I'm still fairly astounded that on Monday last week, I was in a panic about not having any work to do. Within a few hours, I got a ton dumped on me. And then I got more throughout the week. Then I found out that the guy with whom I share all the workload from a single client was going to be out all of this week. Then I got more work dumped on me.

On Monday, I was about ready to put my fist through a wall or a computer through the window. I'm only now just catching my breath. But hey -- today, I left work after just eight hours! It's a ... miracle of some sort. Unfortunately, while the days fly by and I'm left wondering where the fucking time went at like, 5:30, this week feels like it's dragging. Actually, that's been the case for a while now. I like it, but I don't. I mean, how is it only Wednesday?

The worst part is, I've been so busy, I've not been able to give more than a random thought to the beer-tasting party coming up on Saturday. Saturday! What kind of beer am I going to get? When will I get this fucking dump cleaned up? How am I going to assemble the perfect playlist for this party? What the fuck food am I going to feed these lovely people? Okay, I've given a tiny thought to that -- I'm for sure making bacon-wrapped bratwurst. Yeah, you read that right.

Meh. I'm sure it will all work out in the end. If not, lots of new potential friends will think I'm an asshole. Best they find out early.

I am neither your maid, nor your mother.

Dear Refuse McTrashface,

Thanks so much for leaving your plastic Rainbow bag on the bench in the locker room with a wad of gum stuck to it. You're quite the prize -- an inconsiderate litter bug who clearly hates the Earth.

Throw your fucking trash in the trashcan, you stupid fucking twat. The rest of us are not here to clean up after you.

I hope you get an enormous wad of gum stuck in your hair.

Yours in Christ,
Jess

P.S. Hey Bally -- it's good to know the studio gets cleaned ... um, never? It was lovely to see my footprints on the mirror from doing handstands in yoga Monday night when I arrived for yoga tonight.

28 April 2009

WE'RE ALL GONNA DIE.

If I believe CNN, that is.

Earlier this evening at the gym, I was splitting my attention between Larry King Live on CNN and some NFL Live special on the draft on ESPN.

First of all ESPN, the draft wrapped up little more than 48 hours ago and you feel the need to devote two separate, one-hour specials to it? Because there are so many scintillating things to discuss. I mean, so much has changed in the last two days, right? Oh, you don't really know anything new? Go figure. Guess it's not time for poker in your Tuesday night wasteland yet. That means I have something to look forward to at the gym this summer. Yay!

But back to CNN's Breaking Apocalypse News. Honest to Christ. Last night on The Daily Show, they did a bit about the swine flu. CNN's coverage seemed to be pretty closely aligned with Jason Jones's report that included all of Arizona being dead.

(Disclaimer: I wasn't paying super-close attention because of the other TVs. Also, I was in the back row of cardio equipment and couldn't read the closed captioning. Obviously, that means there was no sound. Still, you can pick things up.)

These were the "Breaking News" text boxes running while Old Man King was talking:

WORST YET TO COME?
SWINE FLU: NYC EPICENTER?
SWINE FLU: WORLD AT RISK?
CAN SWINE FLU BE STOPPED?

I also got to watch the last bit of Lou Dobbs while I was warming up. Naturally, Dobbs took the opportunity to blame immigrants for bringing swine flu to the U.S. and dooming us all. Uh, Lou? The people bringing it here are fucking tourists. But he also sounded like That Guy Jason Jones mentioned last night. He sounded like he thought governments were keeping information from us. There couldn't possibly be so few cases of swine flu. Well, duh, motherfucker. Plenty of people don't have symptoms bad enough to warrant going to the doctor. We'll never know about them. Testing and reporting take time. Keep your damn pants on, Lou. You'll get your body counts.

*sigh* Like we don't have enough shit to worry about. It's sad people need to be told to wash their hands frequently, to cover their mouths when they cough or sneeze and to stay home from work when they are unwell. Of course, at my dirty, disgusting gym, we're out of paper towels two days in a row and there's that whole nasty work bathroom thing. But I'm not so paranoid that I'm ready to start showering with bleach.

Yet.

UPDATE! I know you're all as shocked as I am, but it turns out Michelle Bachmann has something fucking ridiculous to say about the swine flu outbreak.

Rep. Michele Bachmann says she finds it an "interesting coincidence" that the last swine flu outbreak in the U.S. occurred under a Democratic president — though her claim is historically inaccurate.

The last major outbreak of swine flu occurred in 1976, when Republican Gerald Ford was president. The outbreak started when an army private died and four others were hospitalized at Fort Dix in New Jersey.

27 April 2009

Well, no, I can't hear everything.

Last night at the Neko Case show, I ran into my upstairs neighbor. I told him I'd wondered if I might see him there, as there was a night not too long after her album dropped that I heard him playing "Middle Cyclone," over and over.

We only talked for a couple of minutes, but in that short amount of time, I think I somehow managed to make it sound like I can hear everything he's doing up there. And that's not true. Sure, I often hear him playing music, but I pay it no mind unless I recognize what he's playing. Or I think I recognize it, and have to listen intently until I figure it out, lest it drive me crazy. It's nice we have similar taste in music, though.

Other than that, I hear him walking around or going up the steps and that's about it. There have been times he's freaked me the fuck out by tromping up his steps shortly after bar close. And that one night he was apparently having trouble getting his front door unlocked and it sounded like he was trying to break my door down. But other than that, he's fine as an upstairs neighbor.

*sigh* I'm an asshole even when I mean well.

25 April 2009

Good things come to those who wait.


The dough I made last weekend has been sitting in the fridge, waiting to be made into bread. I was a bit lacking for time during the week and it was too cold, then too hot to be attempting anything.

But I gave it a shot again late this morning, and let me tell you, that failed loaf from Sunday was an anomaly. The loaf that came out of the oven less than an hour ago is absolutely glorious. It looks good and hot. DAMN. Does it taste good. I imagine I'll have it demolished today. I used the Dutch oven method (hahahahahahaha ... Dutch oven), and I'm certain that I'll be using this exclusively. It's so damn easy.

Perhaps I should make another loaf before I head over to see The Boy I Currently Like tonight. I bet it would make delightful toast to accompany our bacon and eggs in the morning. Plus, more baking will help keep my apartment warm.

22 April 2009

Stop looking at me.

Last night at the gym, I was on the hip abductor machine (or, "the cooter machine" as Macho Man likes to call it) and this woman was on the hip adductor machine next to me. She kept looking at me. I could totally see her out of the corner of my eye.

Finally, she finished her last set and was talking to me. Um, dude, I can't hear you. See the earbuds? Apparently she was saying, "Those are some strong legs. I can barely hit 80 [pounds]."

What do I say to that? I said thanks and laughed. I considered just laughing, but I'm a whore for compliments.

So that's all fine and good. But now tonight, I could totally see her looking at me while I was on the elliptical machine before yoga. STOP LOOKING AT ME. It makes me totally fucking paranoid. And quite frankly, I'm crazy enough. Can't we just leave it at that?

21 April 2009

Why do I even bother?

A week or so ago, I was contemplating having a beer tasting party. I decided to float the idea to my core group of friends. I sent an e-mail asking what they thought of the idea. I asked that they respond and let me know what they thought. And I asked them if one proposed date would work better than another.

It's been a week and I've gotten three responses. Three. Out of 11. That's a fairly piss-poor response rate -- especially when I'm surveying my friends. It's not like I'm conducting a telephone survey or shilling for charity, for fuck's sake. I know people are busy, but I make an effort to respond if I get an invitation for something. People are trying to plan shit and I don't want to be the asshole fucking shit up.

Not that this is anything new. These friends routinely won't let me know they're coming to a party and then show up. Or maybe they tell someone else they're going to show up and I get an hour notice instead of no notice at all. Obviously, I just have to deal with it. But dammit, sometimes a girl gets frustrated.

Since I've got all of two people saying they're interested (okay, four, but one was an "I'll show up for a bit," and the other can't make it the date I was planning on having it), I might not even bother. Not that I don't want to hang out with Sarah and Idris -- especially if they're willing to get a babysitter. But what fun is a beer tasting party with three people?

God dammit.

20 April 2009

Would it kill you to check the 10-day forecast?

The apartment powers-that-be came out late last week and turned off our furnace. Of course, the temperature dropped 20 degrees within a couple of days and I'm sitting in a cold apartment. Did they learn nothing from last year? You can't fucking check the extended forecast and see that the low temps will be dipping into the mid-30s within a day or so? I mean, give it five days and you'll be fine -- it's supposed to be fucking over 80 on Thursday and Friday.

It's actually not that terrible now -- it's 62 and I'm still warm from working out and showering. Tomorrow morning will likely be fairly brutal. And the high tomorrow should reach the same temperature as my apartment is now, so yay for that. Ah, Spring in Minnesota. We have 80s on Thursday and Friday, then it appears the temps will be fluctuating between the upper 50s and upper 60s. Thank goodness I just had a cold, or I'd be getting one.

The bonus to it being butt-ass cold in my apartment, however, is that I'll be motivated to stay at the gym and run errands so I don't have to hang around here, bundled up in my winter coat.

This freezing apartment thing could have been far worse. Let me rephrase that -- my day could have been far worse. I was freaking out yesterday and this morning because I didn't have anything scheduled to do at work. That's bad enough, but my billable time is going to suffer this month (again) because this huge project I worked on last week is now going to be billed as an internal project. Which means it doesn't count toward my billable hours, so I won't be making my goal again. Fucking lovely. So, I was in a a borderline panic. However, I sent out word I was looking for work and now I'm wondering how I'll get everything done this week.

Everything seems fairly awesome, even, after I weighed myself at the gym and saw that I dropped four pounds in a week. I officially gave up on The Recession Diet. I was getting disgusted with myself, so I've gone back to being obsessive about working out and eating. According to the gym scale, I'd only gained back seven pounds at the most of what I'd lost. But it was enough to make me feel gross. Grosser than before, anyway.

I'm going to try not to be annoying about it. Or too obsessive. However, I'm already trying to figure out how I can get a workout in between leaving work at 4:30 and having to be at Seven by 7:00 on Friday for pre-Boyz II Men drinks. *sigh* I really am going to try to not be an annoying asshole about this. I swear.

19 April 2009

Adventures in bread baking.

A while back, I read a story in the Strib's Taste section about this revolutionary method of baking artisan-style bread with just minutes of work. I was very much intrigued by the idea, because at the time, baking bread from scratch pretty much terrified me.

I cannot remember the reason I didn't attempt the bread. But I didn't. However, I stumbled across a blog post recently about the method and decided it was the time to give it a shot. Of course, I was thwarted in my attempts the first couple of times for one reason or another (thanks, Rainbow, for not having a single damn jar of regular yeast).

But I finally got around to it today. Of course, it's cold out today and our heat was finally turned off after several warm days, so getting the bread to rise was a challenge. However, turning the oven on while resting the dough on top remedies that pretty quickly. I decided to try to make a loaf today, even though the bread is supposedly better after the dough sits in the fridge for a few days.

I don't know if not letting it sit in the fridge was the problem or what, but my loaf didn't turn out very well. It should be noted that I used 1.5 cups of whole wheat flour. Maybe if I made an all-white loaf it would have been better? The dough is super sticky, so it was hard to form a loaf. But I eventually managed that. And the dough rose fairly nicely in the pre-bake resting phase. However, it then deflated when I slashed it and I was left with a flat loaf. Still, it tasted pretty good. Actually, it tasted like a fancy artisan loaf that I might pay $5 for at any random place that sells artisan bread. It just didn't look pretty.

My next loaf will be baked in my cast iron Dutch oven. I love my Dutch oven so much. And not just because hearing the phrase "Dutch oven" makes me giggle. I'm hoping this one turns out a bit better. I'd like to be able to maybe use it for a sandwich or something.

18 April 2009

More firsts of Spring.

Last night, while I was walking around Lake Calhoun, I saw the Disco Skater. And I was so fucking delighted. All I need to see now, is the overly tan, curly-gray-haired, odd-walking guy, and it will be officially Spring.

Sadly, since it's early in the season and the lake is still cold, Disco Skater was wearing a shirt and regular shorts. Normally, he wears nothing but short-shorts on his overly tan body. Regardless of what he is wearing, there's something about his enthusiasm one cannot resist. I was positively delighted to see him skating past me yesterday.

Tonight was also my first evening hanging out on the deck. The World's Worst Wing Woman came over for drinks and to get her birthday present. I thought the construction would make everything dirty and much more noisy, but that doesn't seem to be the case. Yet, anyway.

I had another first today. Not related to the seasons or anything. And I guess it wasn't really a first. The Boy I Currently Like farted in front of me for the first time today. Oh, he's farted around me before. However, he's always dead to the world in those cases. If I'm awake and I hear it, I giggle quietly to myself. Why I bother to giggle quietly is beyond me. The Boy could sleep through a Mack truck driving through his bedroom.

However, we were both awake and aware when he farted today. He's on the phone with is friend Cocoa Butt (new nickname! Sadly, no one will get it because The Boy no longer reads my blog and as far as I know, Cocoa Butt is one of The Boy's friends who does not read my blog) and he's chatting away and then he's farting. I might not have lost it if I hadn't looked at him. But I looked at him, and he was looking at me and the expression on his face sent me over the edge. Then he started laughing, and I was laughing quite loudly, so Cocoa Butt wondered what the fuck was going on and I got to hear The Boy explain everything to him. Naturally, this only made me laugh louder and harder.

Probably I shouldn't try to put on airs that I'm totally mature and don't laugh at farting. Because I totally think farting is hilarious. It's nice that we've crossed this threshold. I think.

16 April 2009

Boyz II Men, you must be joking.

A couple of days ago, a friend sent out a message on Facebook asking who wanted to go to the newish Epic (formerly Quest, even more formerly Glam Slam) to see Boyz II Men. Shut. Up. I'm so there! How could I turn down a chance at a nostalgic evening like this? A night at a club where I spent a lot of time in college and just post-college, with some of my college friends, seeing an R&B group that was at their peak of popularity at the same time ... fuck yeah, I'm going.

That all changed when I saw the rest of her message -- standing room, general admission tickets were $30.

Where the fuck do you get off charging $30 for a club show, Boyz II Men? I went to the website to see if there was an opener listed, because, hey -- if I can get two washed up '90s R&B acts for $30, that might be palatable. But there is no opener listed. Also, the $30 tickets are the cheapest. They're also offering $75 seats on the floor and $50 standing VIP tickets. You cannot be fucking serious.

They've had, what, two albums? Oh, excuse me. Amazon says they put out a third album in 1997. Then there's a greatest hits and apparently, in 2007, they did an album of Motown covers. And, if the cover art of that album tells me anything, they're down to three members now.

So, you've not been relevant for more than 10 years, you've had a whopping three original albums and as far as I can tell, you're down to a trio from the original quartet. And you think you can charge $30 minimum for an almost certainly shitty view? To be fair, I am guessing on the shitty view. The Quest was a pretty shitty concert venue -- the sight lines were bad and the sound was always terrible. However, I did see some great shows there over the years -- Gomez, Snow Patrol, Muse, Sonic Youth, BRMC and The Rapture, Queens of the Stoneage and Trail of Dead -- to name a few. I can't imagine they did a ton of remodeling work and replacing the pillars with a giant staircase probably didn't do a whole lot for the sight lines.

Thanks, but no thanks. If it was $10 or $15, I would be there in a heartbeat, just for the nostalgia and people-watching. However, I'm not going to shows I really want to see right now (like Travis tonight), and they all cost less than $30. And I can wear jeans and my beat-up Chucks to those shows (no denying my hipsterness, I guess). Fuck your dress code, Epic.

In declining my friend's invite, however, I managed to keep all of my indignation, bitchiness and hipster music elitism at bay. I'll join the girls for drinks before and skip the show, because I already spent $30 for a ticket to see Neko Case that same weekend. I'm so fucking diplomatic sometimes, it hurts.

No more blogging before coffee.

I have a horrible habit of freaking out about things for no reason. Well, there usually is a reason. And it may even be somewhat justified. But so often these things I'm freaking out about never come to pass.

Today would be a perfect example. I didn't know how I could possibly get my work done that was due today. I'd be here until 6:00. And tomorrow? Forget it. The big project sucks donkey balls and not only will I be working late on Friday, I'll be working on the weekend. A call from my boss and a discussion about where I am reined me in a bit and I feel considerably better about where I stand. No weekend work and at least part of what I'm doing sounds like I'm doing a great job.

Now, here it is, normal quitting time and I'll be heading out the door to run errands and hit the gym. I'm not even feeling horribly sick and exhausted. I don't feel great and I'm really tired, but I've got enough gas in the tank to get through the rest of the day, I think.

I'm not turning over a new leaf or anything; I will still be preemptively freaking out about things big and small. But hey -- when the day comes that something does happen that I foresaw in my jumping to the worst conclusion -- I'll totally be at least a little prepared. And in the meantime, I can totally laugh at myself for being a ridiculous freak.

Tired, sick and busy.

This week can't possibly end fast enough. How is it only Thursday? I'm so wiped out. I've got this stupid fucking cough that is waking me up at night (despite swigging copious amounts of cough syrup and taking Nyquil). It gives me a headache and makes my throat raw in the lovely dry, dusty air at work all day, too.

I would love to take a sick day and get some damn rest, but I this BIG HUGE PROJECT I'm working on can't wait. It is due Monday for a Wednesday meeting, so of course my boss thinks it should be done tomorrow or possibly the weekend. Meanwhile, he gave me this project and then went out of town for a week, so I've been foundering about on my own.

Of course, taking a sick day wouldn't necessarily provide me with much relief, what with the heavy equipment banging and crashing directly across the street starting at 7:00 a.m.

Fuck. If I have to work on Saturday, I'm going to cry.

14 April 2009

Where was this dating site when I needed it?

Penis dating site sizes up potential mates

Do you hate wasting your time dating guys and learning all about their thoughts and feelings only to find out later that they have an average-sized penis? Then 7orbetter.com is the dating site for you.

7orbetter.com is a new site for people interested in meeting men with penises that are seven inches or longer. According to the website, the mission of 7orbetter.com is to let women know "upfront if a man has what it takes to satisfy you sexually."

I'm a little surprised by the comments on Jezebel. I find this to be absolutely fucking hilarious, but many of the comments seem to take a considerable amount of offense to the idea. Yeah, we shouldn't judge people on their physical appearance, blah, blah, blah.

First of all, if you're using this site, you're clearly not looking for a deep, meaningful connection. Sure, I suppose it is possible that you might find The One on a dating site where the dudes are purportedly required to have huge cocks, but ... I imagine you'd be something of an anomaly. Also, I'm sure none of these men lie about the size of their junk. Because it is the Internet, after all.

And truth be told, if caring about this is shallow, well, then I'm shallow. However, I didn't need a dating site to get around the whole "liking a guy then finding out he has a tiny peen" thing. If you're a whore and fuck on the first date, all that disappointment can be avoided.

13 April 2009

Sometimes I wonder.

While I was walking around Lake Calhoun yesterday, I was craving a beer. I've been craving beer for about a week. I had a delightful home-brewed kolsch at Fry-a-thon '09. When I got to The Boy I Currently Like's place on Thursday, I told him I was craving a beer (despite the fact that I'd been at Happy Hour the night before) and he had a lovely Grain Belt in his fridge that hit the spot. Tonight, I had a couple of Summit EPAs at Happy Hour. I can't remember the last time I drank this much beer in a week.

Maybe it's the weather? I really don't know. When I embarked on the mission to be a better Jess a couple of years ago, I gave up beer. Now, I didn't give it up entirely. But I drink much, much less beer than I did a couple of years ago. Red wine is my go-to drink these days. And if I'm feeling fancy? It's liquor. However, if I'm having dinner with the fam after one of my nephew's sporting events or something like that, I'll have a beer. Whatever is going on, it's been a long time since I've craved beer.

I was thinking on my walk while I was craving a beer, that I would e-mail my friends when I returned home to see if anyone wanted to go to Arborfest. A few of us went a couple of years ago and it was a blast. (The Boy and I were actually supposed to meet there. Oh shit. I almost linked to something here that would have totally given away his identity. To those that didn't already know, I guess. Good thing I caught it before I posted. Anyway, I'm glad it didn't work out for us to meet that day. I wasn't ready.)

My attempts last year at getting people to go to Arborfest were borderline epic fail, as are many of the events I plan. So, that's a reason for me not to suggest Arborfest. Besides, I'm not sure I can really afford it.

So, I'm walking and thinking and inspiration strikes! I know I'm not the only one who probably can't really afford it. But what if we have our own beer festival? What if I have a party and everyone brings a new beer or a selection of new beers (some old favorites/stand-bys, too) and we all try them? That would be so much cheaper (though, wouldn't get a sweet souvenir glass and be giving money to the Family Tree Clinic ...) and we wouldn't have to deal with crowds (also, we wouldn't have to go to St. Paul. [Just kidding. I heart St. Paul!]).

It seemed like a good idea at the time. However (and I've said this before), trying to get my friends to do something is often like herding cats. I just don't know if I should bother suggesting it. Writing it out and explaining it seemed like it might help me to decide, but it doesn't seem to have swayed me in either direction.

Maybe it's just that Spring's arrival (finally!) is making me think crazy thoughts.

12 April 2009

A sure sign of Spring.

I came back from Rochester and changed my clothes for my first walk around Lake Calhoun of 2009.

And who did I see, but one Dick Enrico. Surely the appearance of that fantastical mustache out and about means lovely weather is here to stay.

Things I learned in church today.

1. Prison is unpleasant.

2. Acid-washed denim jackets not only still exist, but they are also just the thing to pull together your Easter outfit. If you're a fashion-challenged, middle-aged man.

3. If during the Intercession there is a prayer for the "sick and aged" and you were watching Arrested Development the night before where George Michael said something about "the sick, aged and gross" you will bust out laughing.

10 April 2009

Surely, this is a sign of the end times.

Twittering the passion: NYC church plans performance of Christ story in 140-character tweets

In a marriage of Christian tradition and digital technology, Wall Street's Trinity Church is using the micro-blogging service Twitter to perform the story of Jesus Christ.

The main characters will tweet the Passion play for three hours beginning at noon on Good Friday. The feed also can be delivered to mobile devices or e-mail addresses.

Words kind of fail me here. Look, either you have time to go to church on Good Friday or not. Are there people who will be sitting at work, following the Passion on Twitter? Or sitting somewhere else? The bar, perhaps?

I just don't understand the point of this at all. And some of the passages are rather long ... more than 140 characters for sure. Will there be text-speak used? "OMG 4give thm 4 they no not wht they do."

Also on the subject of weird church-and-modern-life intersections, I had the Twins game on while driving home from the gym on Tuesday night and a commercial came on equating Peter's three-time denial of Jesus before his Crucifixion with a strikeout. Fuck off, Wooddale Church. Please keep your "saved minutes" away from my baseball. That kind of shit is best left to the wee hours.

As a kid, I hated Easter week with a passion. (Ha! Passion!) Not only did I have to go to Mass three days in a row, but it was SO LONG. And the incense would send me into asthmatic fits. Or, you know, it did once or twice and then any time there was an excruciatingly long Mass featuring incense, I would develop a coughing and wheezing fit and have to leave to get fresh air. At least we didn't go to Mass on Easter. Oh no, we went Saturday night, at like 8:00 to Easter Vigil. Hey, let's fuck off our entire Saturday night at church! Awesome.

Now, I avoid going home if I can help it at all. Unfortunately, however, I'm not absolved from familial responsibility entirely. Sunday morning, I get to rise early and head to Rochester for Mass at Assisi Heights and lunch with the nuns afterward at the Mother House. At least they have wine. Or they did the last time we did Easter with The Nun a couple of years ago. Who doesn't want to knock back a couple with the Brides of Christ?

There's still a chance for a reprieve. The nuns are old and infirm. If what I've got brewing in my sinuses and lungs is a cold and not allergies, I might be off the hook. Cross your fingers for me!

09 April 2009

Enjoy your e. coli, lady.

The first time I went into the loo this morning, I noticed a coffee cup sitting on the vanity/counter next to a sink. This is nothing new. Drinks and foodstuffs are often abandoned (and consumed ... blech) in the bathroom. Yesterday, there was a half-full cup sitting next to a bottle of Dr. Pepper on the table in the "lounge area" all goddamn day.

A short time after my first trip, I was heading back to pee again (fucking coffee) and walked in at the same time as a couple of women from the Office of the Disgusting Cunts. One was holding that very same coffee cup I'd seen earlier.

She was telling her compatriot how upset she was, sitting there at her desk, that she'd lost or forgotten her coffee. But then she went into the bathroom and there it was, like two hours later. It was cold, but hey -- it was still there! AND SHE WAS DRINKING IT.

Look, I've been fairly desperate for caffeine a few times in my past, but there are limits to which I'll go to get it. Sometimes dealing with a foggy brain and a headache is better than the alternative. I mean, you obviously come into this bathroom a few times a day. You've seen what people do to it. Sometimes, I swear I can taste the smell in there. Your coffee is not just cold. I'm pretty sure it's got some nasty stuff in it now, too.

Of course, I was less surprised -- but still completely grossed out -- that she would do such a thing when both she and her compatriot exited their stalls (she took her coffee in with her, of course) and left without washing their hands.

08 April 2009

I think the tide has turned.

I started feeling a change in the air Monday. Since I'd started my job -- and especially in the winter -- I was very wary about doing things during the week. Okay, that's not entirely true. I was more than happy to spend time with The Boy I Currently Like, but other than that and the gym, I didn't do much.

For Christ's sake, a few weeks ago, I was actually relieved to have to reschedule a happy hour. The Boy said, "It is unlike you to be happy about liquor deferred. I'm worried." And he was right to worry. I was worried. What had happened to me? But I went to Fry-a-thon '09 on Monday and drank beer and ate many fried foods. And I slept better that night than I'd slept in weeks. Tuesday, I was refreshed and energized and fairly ready to take on the world. Go figure.

Maybe it was the worse-than-normal (read: normal, for the first time in years) winter that put me into a serious hibernation mode. And it's not as if the weather is super improved or anything. It's still been getting down below freezing at night. But even though it was 31 when I left home this morning and windy, there wasn't that bite in the air one associates with winter. So, I guess there is literally a change in the air.

That's probably not all of it, though. The increased daylight helps. A week that at least started out with a lightish workload didn't hurt, either. Of course, things started heating up today. Maybe I'm hitting my stride or something, but I'm ... proud? I'm not sure that's the word I'm looking for. I tried to explain it at happy hour tonight. I feel good that I'm doing my job well -- maybe I'm proud of myself. But even though I feel good about doing my job well, I feel a little weird or dirty about doing this particular job well. Words like "cross-selling" aren't in my vocabulary, so it's hard for me to feel good about doing such a thing.

At the same time, at the end of the day, I'm learning. I'm learning about so many different things. So what I do is maybe making people money. But what if they're working on energy efficiency? What if they're trying to understand how small businesses can be green? Maybe they want to recycle water. That's not terrible. And I'm feeding my burning desire to know learn about a variety of things.

Hey -- I have a job, right? (I'm so sick of saying that. But I realize I'm going to be saying it for a while. Boo.)

So it's warming up. The days are longer. It's baseball season. I'm kinda kicking ass at work. The construction on Lyndale has actually made my street quieter. Shit's getting pretty good right about now. Yay.

06 April 2009

Cataloguing.

So the Twins opener was less than stellar. And this NCAA championship game? Would it fucking kill you to show up, Michigan State?

But all was not lost. FryDay was amazing. I drank excellent homebrew and ate one each of the following things, each dipped in batter and fried in hot oil:

    Hot dog: Hands down, the best corndog I've ever had. A very light batter that didn't overwhelm the hot dog. It just made it better.
    Baby dill, wrapped in bacon and cream cheese:
    Salty, salty, salty. The batter just held it together and made the whole thing a little more crispy.
    Olive: Hot and briney. Reminded me of olive cheese bread.
    Broccoli floret: It was green, so it was health food.
    Cheese curd: A classic for a damn good reason.
    Sardine doused in hot sauce: My first sardine. It was not at all scary. The hot sauce wasn't too hot, but warmed my mouth very nicely. And the sardine tasted much like the fish my dad might fry up when he comes back from Canada, which is to say, good.
    Mushroom: Before I went down the rabbit hole and started cooking mushrooms for myself, pretty much the only way I would eat them was deep-fried. The Imperial Room makes a delightful deep-fried mushroom with a a most excellent horseradish dipping sauce, if you are interested.
    Pineapple chunk: Oh my God. So good. It was sweet, juicy and warm.
    Maraschino cherry: A bit disappointing for some reason. It felt a bit dry. But it was still good.
    Brownie: Am I biased because I made the brownies? Maybe. But it was fucking good.
    Rolo wrapped in cinnamon bun dough: I wondered if it would really be that good. But it fucking was. Hot sex on a platter, y'all.
    Mini Reese's peanut butter cup: It was what you'd expect, but warm and wrapped in a cloud of happiness and joy.
    Tiny Twinkie (out of a 100-calorie pack): The perfect size and all that I hoped a deep-fried Twinkie would be.


I didn't eat a Peep or the astronaut ice cream. I think there were a few other things I didn't get around to eating. But I stopped in time so I don't even feel full, much less sick. Yay! I'm sure I'll still feel slightly asstacular and horribly bloated and greasy tomorrow, but DAMN. It was worth it.

Thank you, Interwebs, for bringing these people into my life.

05 April 2009

I thought I could handle it.

There has been an episode of NewsRadio sitting on my DVR for close to three months. The episode in question is "Bill Moves On." It is, of course, the first episode filmed after Phil Hartman was killed.

After more than 10 years and countless viewings, I still bawl my eyes out every time I watch it. This is why it has been sitting on my DVR for weeks. I just didn't want to end up crying.

For whatever reason, I thought I was ready to watch it today. I was wrong. Maybe it's silly, but it still breaks my heart every time I watch it. It's a goddamn shame.

03 April 2009

Everything is better when it's deep-fried.

There is a series on the Travel Channel called " ... Paradise." The ellipsis represents any number of things -- steak, pizza, hamburger, hot dog, ice cream. But my favorite is "Deep-Fried Paradise."

It's not the deep-fried bacon that makes it my favorite. Quite frankly, I think that's overkill. I'm sure the taste of the batter obscures the inherent goodness of the bacon. One patron of the place calls it "a heart attack on a plate." You would certainly know what that looks like, fattie.

No, the reason I love it is the guy at Dyer's Burger in Memphis who is trying to describe the taste of a burger fried in nearly 100-year-old grease. No, that's not a typo. The grease is from 1912. Anyway, this dude describes eating one of these burgers as such: "It just explodes. It like, comes in your mouth."

Ummmmm ... are we still talking about burgers? Because that sounds like something else entirely. I'm surprised you can even say that on TV. Also, you're not describing the taste, really. That sounds like more of a sensation. What you're describing sounds like it might taste like brie.

I'd probably be willing to eat that burger deep-fried in grease older than my grandma if they didn't also dip the cheese and bun in the grease. Because really, what isn't good when you deep fry it?

This brings me to the real reason for this post. On Monday, I'm going to Fry-a-thon '09, hosted by Alice's parents (she should have won cutest baby, dammit). I need to bring something to be deep-fried. There are prizes, at stake. I need something good. Something different.

I don't know what I should bring. I need your help, people of the Interwebs. I've got sweet things on the brain. Deep-fried Twinkies have been done. But what about Ho-Hos? Or Ding Dongs? I'm intrigued by the idea of Little Debbie Nutty Bars. But then I saw these mini raspberry donuts at Trader Joe's. Wouldn't that be delightful? Why am I so focused on sweets? Would olives be too small? Everyone fries pickles, but they seem to be pickle chips or slices of a big dill. What about baby dills? Is there some reason those wouldn't work?

What should I bring? Help me, interwebs; you're my only hope.

02 April 2009

Old people get away with stuff.

I somehow managed to get to the gym tonight and have a fairly good workout, despite the fact that I desperately wanted to pull over and take a nap while driving there.

After dragging my ass to the gym, I decided to stop at Trader Joe's. I needed almonds, among other things, since my fucking pistachios might have a touch of salmonella. There I am, waiting in line, giving the person in front of me a bit of space, since I'm occasionally not an asshole (I'm a big believer in personal space, so do unto others and shit, right?). And while I'm standing there, this goddamn old fart sidles up in front of me with his cart and proceeds to put his stuff on counter.

What the fuck, Grandpa? You're sucking up all of my Social Security. The least you could do is wait your damn turn.

I was mildly shocked and fairly pissed, but I didn't say a word. I didn't even make a sarcastic remark to the guy who eventually rang me up. He's fairly old, too, you see. They're probably in cahoots. Not cursing him out counts as my good deed for the day, by the way.

Actually, I can't even be mad at the geezer. He's doing exactly what I plan to do. I'm going to be a huge asshole when I get old. Seriously. I'm going to cut in line, steal shit and tell young people off all the time.

It's gonna be sweet.

01 April 2009

In the news and odds and ends.

Instead of writing a couple of separate blog posts, I thought I would lump everything together. Because I'm lazy or something.

First: Foul poll for baseball: Fans say costs too high, money's too tight as season looms. Big shock there, right? My favorites are the player quotes.

"I'm not surprised with the economy being so bad and the way things are, the price of a ticket is probably going to be high. Hopefully they'll still come out and support us," said new Yankee pitcher, CC Sabathia.

Yeah, too bad you don't have a job or health care and maybe you're relying on the food shelf to make sure your kids have enough to eat. But you'll still come out to see me pitch, right? Or would you like to see me roll around in some of the money I'll get from my $161 million contract?

"In light of the economic status of our country, there are many blue-collar Americans that probably won't be able to afford taking their son out to a ballgame, and that's understandable," said Mariners DH Mike Sweeney.

Look, I love me some baseball. I can't wait until the Twins opener on Monday. I will almost certainly go to a few games this season. And I will spend a shitload of money on beer and hot dogs (man, I could totally go for a Dome Dog right now ... I suppose I will just have to wait until the Fry-a-Thon). But that "Sucks to be you," attitude I get from those quotes just chaps my ass.

Second thing in the news is this delightful nugget: Minnesota's STD rate increases for 13th year. Minnesota rules! Sadly, the most disturbing thing from the story when I read it earlier is gone from this updated version. But that disturbing bit of information indicated that 42 percent of women who should be getting screened for chlamydia aren't, and their doctors aren't telling them they should be tested.

Wait. What? If you're a sexually active woman, you should be getting an STD test at your annual lady parts check-up. Dudes should be getting tested, too. AND WHY ISN'T YOUR DOCTOR TELLING YOU AS MUCH? I was tested right before I met The Boy I Currently Like and I was tested again after being nailed by him and only him for a year at my last exam. By the time the next one rolls around, if we're still together, it will have been two years and I'll still get tested. Why wouldn't you?

Okay, so I have trust issues. There's that whole Cheating Asshole Ex history. I trust him as much as I possibly can, but what does it hurt to get tested? I just don't get it. Christ.

Moving on to other shitty things ... I finally watched Jimmy Fallon's show. Gomez were on last night, so I recorded it. Sweet Jebus, he sucks. But his house band, The Roots? They fucking rule. It makes me sad that they are not touring to play for this shithead's show. Then again, maybe they're getting a lot more exposure. I need to run to the Fetus tomorrow to get the new Gomez album. Someone on The Current led me to believe it wasn't coming out for a bit, but it came out yesterday! Damn you, Mark Wheat! I looked around the Interwebs to steal it, but to no avail. I only wanted it until I can get to the Fetus tomorrow, you bastards.

The line-ups for Rock the Garden and the Basilica Block Party are out. The Decemberists, Calexico, Yeasayer and Solid Gold at Rock the Garden and The Black Crowes, Mat Kearney, The Jayhawks, Counting Crows, Matt Nathanson and The Hold Steady at Basilica? Not fucking bad. Well, there is much suckitude at Basilica ... but I'm down with The Black Crowes, Jayhawks and The Hold Steady. It's nice that if I even make it to Rock the Garden (my cousin's commitment ceremony in Portland is the day before), it'll cost me more as a member of MPR to go this year than it cost me as a non-member last year. Yay!

Finally, some letters to douches. Dear Guy Wearing Flip-Flops: I know it's now April. We all want it to be nice out. But flip-flops are really not appropriate footwear when it's snowing and four degrees above freezing. Also, you may want to put on a coat if you're going to be walking around Uptown. Enjoy your frostbite. Dear CorePower Yoga Dude: The Rainbow parking lot is for Rainbow patrons, not for your towel-wearing, yoga-going ass. Jesus Christ. It is after work on double coupon day. Parking is at a premium here and you're taking up valuable real estate. Namaste, my ass, jerkwad. Dear Douche Driving on Excelsior: Maybe you could take a break from weaving around, sitting at green lights, driving 10 miles an hour and driving in two lanes at the same time to PUT DOWN YOUR GODDAMN PHONE, YOU FUCKING CUNT.