Cliff Gardner

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Top five

I’ve long believed that everyone should be allowed a list of five people/celebrities that they would be permitted to hook up with regardless of their relationship status given the opportunity. Liz agrees, but I don’t think her list really counts since all five slots are filled with Brendan Fraser. A while back I made a list of my five and I think it needs some revising. My new top five are, in no particular order:

--Jewel Saite, star of the cancelled show Wonderfalls. She’s gorgeous and has this sweetheart thing going that I find just adorable. Plus, if she’s anything like her character on Firefly, I’ll never have to take my car to a mechanic again!

--Hilary Swank. Hey, did you all know that Hilary Swank is actually really hot? She’s just been hiding her hotness for years while playing boxers and astronauts who tunnel into the center of the earth. Swank is really talented and could beat people up for me. I’m sooo excited for The Black Dahlia!

--Amy Adams. Jesus Christ, Amy Adams. Her performance in Junebug made Ashley Johnsten the most endearing and loveable character since Randall P. McMurphey. Plus, she was great as the hot girl on The Office and in Talladega Nights. Enough said.

--Katherine Heigl of Grey’s Anatomy. Interestingly enough, I liked her way back when she was the star of Under Siege 2: Dark Territory (which I OWN) playing Steven Seagal’s niece. Seriously, she’s so hot she could turn sand into glass.

--Lauren Jackson of the WNBA’s Seattle Storm. I would have fun losing to her at one on one all the time. Plus, she’s tall so I wouldn’t need to get a ladder to change the light bulb in my ceiling fan anymore. Did I mention that she’s good at basketball?

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Peace Corps Update!!!

Today was very productive. I ordered some Cyrillic alphabet stickers for my laptop that Kate pointed me towards, got another pair of glasses and dropped my computer off with my buddy Mark who will hopefully make it not…suck. Despite that, though, I still have a ton to do before I leave on the 28th, including:

--buying a European adapter for my compy
--getting personal item insurance for all my stuff
--making sure my loan deferment papers are in order
--buying some good boots, nice sweaters, dress pants, a great coat and some shirts that are nice enough to make me look presentable but not so nice that creepy folks try to buy them from me
--getting/weighing my luggage
--learning a hell of a lot of Ukrainian
--learning a hell of a lot of English grammar rules

I sure hope I don’t lose my cool in the next month.

McDreamy is a terrible person!

If you haven’t seen season two of Grey’s Anatomy, stop reading this post now.

I don’t understand how people can like Patrick Dempsey’s character Derek Shepherd on Grey’s Anatomy. Mostly, my dislike of McDreamy stems from my affection for his wife, Addison. Now, I should say that I’m not excusing her infidelity, although after seeing how he treated her last season, Lord knows Derek gave her plenty of reasons to cheat on him. Still, cheating is cheating, and if McDreamy wanted to end it he would be totally justified. But he’s not ending it—what he’s doing to her is much, much crueler.

What guys like McDreamy do to women like Addison drives me absolutely crazy. On his good days he is emotionally distant and when he’s in a bad mood because the intern he’s throwing himself at decides to date a really nice veterinarian, he takes it out on Addison. She’s been nothing but loving, supportive and committed to making their relationship work against the odds, and he has been, by and large, the exact opposite. Derek Shepherd is a selfish, cocky jackass who walks around with an undeserved sense of entitlement that makes me think he would be a better fit for the newest cast of “The OC” than a surgeon in a Seattle hospital.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

If you don't comment on Cliff Gardner, YOU'RE ON NOTICE!

Say my name, say my name

I have many names and nicknames. It’s weird how certain people call you certain things. Rob, Shannon, Elizabeth and Amy all call me by my full name, Thomas McCloskey. Una, Sean and Logan call me Thomas, and Andrew calls Thom. BJ calls me McCloskey. Aside from the obvious names, though, there are some funny one’s that I also go by. Here are some of my favorites:

--T-Mac. I got this name because of my ability to take over a basketball game like Tracy McGrady and for my love of easy-mac. This one caught on at Pacific and it ended up on the team track jackets. Hot.

--T-$. As a joke, I signed some e-mails this when I was at Willamette and Brian still calls me T-$. Whatever works.

--Temporary Boy. This is my superhero name. Liz gave me this one because she refers to me as her “temporary boyfriend” since I’m leaving in a month and we’re not going to try the distance thing. It’s probably the funniest nickname I’ve got but it’s also the saddest.

--Twinkle Toes. Liz gave me this one too after I got a pedicure, complete with clear nail polish that made my nails all shiny, with David and Kristen before their wedding. I like this one a lot.

Of course, I'm always open to new and clever nicknames, so any suggestions you might have would be welcome. :-)

***Edited to remove last name's at Dre's suggestion***

Monday, August 28, 2006

The 58th Emmy Awards!

7:57: I’ve got a box full of pudding pops and 90 Emmy Awards to get through so LET’S GO!

8:07: The opening sketch was really funny, although The Office sketch was easily my favorite. Making fun of Pam and Jim’s sexual tension is comedic gold.

8:09: “Mel Gibson has a new show on Al Jazera.” It’s funny because it’s true.

8:13: Conan is singing. Time to get a pudding pop.

8:17: The squeaky woman from Will and Grace won some award. Her voice is not at all squeaky. My world is crumpling down around me. What’s next, a really skinny Willford Brimley? A normal sounding Fran Dresher?

8:20: Alan Alda won for best supporting actor in a something or other for playing Governor Arnold Vinnick on The West Wing. Good for him, although I’m glad Santos beat his ass.

8:28: Someone not from Grey’s Anatomy win for best supporting actress. Something smells fishy.

8:32: Jeremy Piven won for Entourage, the best show I’ve never seen. Frankly I think he should have won something for playing the role of Droz on PCU, so he was clearly due.

8:36: I really want the guy who played the President on 24 to give out this random award he’s presenting by saying, “this won’t help you hit a curve ball, so I say FUCK YOU, Jo-boo--congratulations.”

8:46: The Daily Show won for best comedy/variety series. I would have given it to The Colbert Report and I think Jon Stewart agrees and feels guilty. Still, I bet they’re going to have some fun with this on their shows so in the interest of comedy, it’s probably a good thing.

8:50: Wow…the My Name is Earl director has a really, really hot wife. Good for him. I hope that makes up for his show totally sucking.

8:53: The other My Name is Earl director made fun of the Step by Step exec who told him to clean up gum back when he was a PA. He should have made fun of him for being one of the creative minds on Step by Step.

8:57: Simon Cowell just got booed by soulless Hollywood leaches who have made careers out of sucking the life out of people. Ouch.

9:09: I thought the only success of the movie Friday Night Lights was illustrating how painfully sad the lives of high school football players who peak at 17 are. Apparently that earns a spot on NBC’s fall lineup. At least it will be cancelled by the time I’m back in the country.

9:13: Is it too much to ask to memorize a 30 second acceptance speech? I mean, I know the bar is pretty low for Barry Manilow, but still….

9:19: Of course there’s another evil in the acceptance speech word which the Soprano’s Emmy-winning writer just illustrated—sprinting through a laundry list that thanks everyone you’ve ever known, including your pet hamster Claude. I just think you’re better off telling a little story and sitting down. Treat an acceptance speech like a novice LOC. Hahaha, debate joke!

9:23: A cheerleader with super powers? If you’re thinking that’s the best porn film ever, you’d be right, but sadly also wrong. NBC: that’s gooooood television!

9:28: Pudding pops three and four, check.

9:32: The Daily Show won for best writing. It must suck being against your best friends in every category but I bet that’s the best job ever.

9:41: Andre Braugher won for lead actor in a miniseries. Although I never watched Theif, I’m sure he did a great job since he’s one of the tip five actors in the world. Seriously, if you don’t know who this guy is, go rent Glory or get some Homicide episodes off of Netflix. You’ll thank me.

9:43: Matthew Perry and Bradley Whiteford has great chemistry. If only they had a great show that they could star in together with a great writer/director to back them up. Oh WAIT! I’m SOOOO EXCITED for Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip!

9:45: The guy from Monk won for best actor in a comedy instead of Steve Carrell. Wow. Any street cred this show had in the Braugher win just went out the window. I’m going to eat two more pudding pops (5 and 6) to dull the pain.

9:51: Wow, the late Aaron Spelling was really good with a Light saber. Oh wait, that was Yoda on the Fox presentation of Attack of the Clones that I was watching while the Academy did that ridiculous tribute to Aaron Spelling. My bad.

10:06: James Woods just hit on Eva Longorea. I really, really want her boyfriend Tony Parker to jump out of the audience and hit Woods in the face with the cast on his thumb that’s keeping him out of the World Basketball Championships. Honestly, wouldn’t that be the best celebrity fight ever?

10:11: Jon Stewart and Steven Colbert just had one of the funniest moments in Award Show history. Seriously, I could watch them all day. Hey, and the Amazing Race won for best reality show and Zayne and I haven’t even applied yet so the best is yet to come for them!

10:15: This just in: ER will be showing new episodes on NBC until cybernetic robots rule the earth and make medical technology as we know it unnecessary.

10:19: Catherine Hagel—the smoking hot doctor from Grey’s Anatomy—is looking really beautiful and also really nervous, which oddly just adds another level to her hotness. Seriously, she’s so hot she’s about to melt Omar Epps.

10:22: James Gandolphini looks really, really pissed off. I’m half expecting him to smash one of the bottles of MGD that he’s been sucking on all evening over the head of the cast of Elizabeth the First.

10:25: Jack Warden, the asshole politician grandpa from the Problem Child movies, passed away this year. That’s sad, he was really funny.

10:31: Felicity Huffman is our generation’s Audrey Hepburn. Also, HBO’s Elizabeth the First is apparently great despite no one ever watching it. Come on, no love for FX?! Nip/Tuck, anyone?! COME ON!

10:35: So let me get this straight—a Law and Order detective is more talented than the White House Chief of Staff? Wow. It’s almost hard to believe that some people have trouble taking the Emmy’s seriously.

10:42: You’ll always be Elaine to me, Julia Luis Dreyfus! The Academy can clearly spare a square for you!

10:43: Jesus, Ray Liotta has had more plastic surgery than Joan Rivers.

10:50: It turns out that slamming down pudding pops for three hours isn’t the best thing you can do to your stomach. It’s going to be a long night.

10:52: The Office just won for best comedy series. Suck on that one, Arrested Development! Seriously, I’m really, really glad they won. The Office is one of the few shows that I actually make an effort to watch every week. It’s just a great show, so good for them!

10:55: 24 is the best dramatic show on television. Hmm…maybe it’s time for me to watch a few seasons. If people think it was better than the West Wing AND Grey’s Anatomy last season, then maybe it’s worth renting.

11:01: Yup, I don’t think I’ll watch the Emmy’s sober again.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Double Marathon

I won’t be able to run the Portland Marathon again this year like I had planned since it’s on the same day that I fly to Ukraine. So, I thought that instead of running one marathon all at once, that I would run twice the length of a 26.2 mile marathon (52.4) over the course of a week. Doing the math, that means that I need to do about 7.5 miles a day. I have a 2.2 mile loop that goes past three of the four schools I attended in Forest Grove, and a little mile extension that I can tack on towards the end, so if I do three laps plus the extension every day for a week, I should be fine. This is going to be tough, but at least I'm not this guy who's running 50 marathons in 50 days, so I'll try not to complain.

Sunday: I decided to get a jump on this whole double marathon thing by running 7.6 miles starting at midnight. The first loop was uneventful except that my hip started to hurt towards the end. During the second rotation, I had to stop a few times and stretch it out, but by the time I started the third lap I was pretty much cruising…until a little rat dog chased me for a few blocks before giving up and going home. I also ran through some sprinklers that just randomly turned on as I was passing them. All in all, it was a good start, but my hip worries me a little. I can tell already that that’s going to be my biggest obstacle. Motivating song of run: Eye of the Tiger, Survivor.

Monday: Another 7.6 miles at midnight. I’m sore and I’m not sure I can make it the whole week at this rate. The good news, though, is that Liz gave me a backrub today that felt really, really good. Aside from that, the only event from tonight’s run was this guy who stood on the corner of a random street for the three times I passed him…over the course of an hour, from midnight to one in the morning. Seriously, go to sleep, dude. At least I’m running. Motivating song of run: Walking in Memphis, some guy I don’t know.

Tuesday: Tonight was the easiest 7.6 miles yet thanks to a little drug called ibuprofen. I took two about a half hour before I started and it helped a lot. My hip didn’t bother me at all. My legs feel like Jello, sure, but muscle pain is manageable—joint pain isn’t—so with performance enhancing drugs on my side, I think I just might finish out this endeavor. There’s nothing interesting to report from the road tonight except the three police cars that kept passing me…no one is chasing me, officers, I’m fine. Motivating song of run: Learning to Fly, Tom Petty.

Wednesday, Part One: My friend Bethany called me today wanting to run, and since our normal distance together is 3.2 miles, I just ran 4.4 tonight by myself and will finish the rest in a few hours with her. The part I did by myself was more painful than last night—my thighs are killing me—but it wasn’t too bad. It reaches a point on long runs where pain just becomes background noise and I don’t notice it very much. Tonight, on the first lap, I passed an ambulance, and the second time around there were two there. I hope people are ok. Motivating song of run: Hands Up, Lloyd Banks (I think). Part Two: Wow, I’m really sore. The 3.2 miles with Bethany was hard—worse than the 4.4 from last night. Oddly, it’s easier to just do the whole thing in one shot than to break it up. I’ll certainly test that theory when I run the entire 7.6 in about 12 hours from now. At least I’m more than half way there!

Thursday: Thank God for ibuprofen. Before I ran another 7.6 miles at midnight, again, I was actually a little scared. I was already in a little pain having run more recently than usual with Bethany, so the prospect of another hour and fifteen minutes of pure agony was a little frightening. However, after popping two pills, my pain was really minor…until around the 6th mile. Of course, at that point I lost the ability to run in a straight line, swerving like a drunk driver because my legs hurt so much, but until then, everything was great! The only thing to report from the road tonight was the complete lack of anything to report—I saw no one while running and only three or so cars passed me. A quiet night in the grove. Motivating song of run: In My Pocket, Mandy Moore (I was actually looking for the version from Miami Vice, but I’ll take what I can get).

Friday: I’m almost done with this thing. After 7.6 miles tonight, I’m pretty sure that I got this whole distance running thing out of my system for a while. If I was swerving like a drunk driver last night, then tonight I was the Ukrainian jewel Oksana Baiul. In addition to the swerving, my back has started to feel/twang like I’m bending a saw back and forth…it’s not really painful, just weird, and I think it's a troubling indicator that I’ve pushed myself really hard. Ibuprofen only goes so far. Nothing odd to report from the road tonight. One more 7.6 mile run and I’m finished. Motivating song of run: Stronger, Britney Spears. SHUT UP, I was desperate!

Saturday/Sunday: You know when you’ve been shopping all day and you’re exhausted even though all you’ve done is stand/walk around? Well, after spending the day/night at the Oregon State Fair and Cake Concert with Liz yesterday, I know now that it applies to more than just shopping. When I got home last night at 2 in the morning, I knew that I was too tired and sore to run without doing some serious damage to my body, so I decided to sleep for while and run on Sunday morning. A few hours later, I ran 7.6 miles, completing my double marathon about twelve hours shy of my goal. However, for the first time during this trek, I ran during the day (so it was much hotter) and I ran 53.2 miles, or almost a mile more than I had to run, so I’m satisfied. Motivating song of run: Sinnerman, Nina Simone.

To recap: I ran over twice the length of a marathon in a little over a week. That translated into 53.2 miles and almost nine hours of running. Also, I think it’s worth mentioning that I lost five and a half pounds during the last week, bringing me down to a trim buck-twenty-five. My Florida State hat feels like a towel that’s been dropped into a swimming pool. I think I’ll take a few days off.

Friday, August 25, 2006

We didn't start the laptop did, though

A few months back I had the battery on my laptop replaced and my friend Mark, the tech wiz, helped me do it. So, when Dell recalled over four million batteries because they can catch fire, I got a little nervous. It turns out that my battery is fine and wasn’t recalled, but the whole incident got me thinking: what would be the most inopportune moment for your laptop to start a fire?

--on a plane. Seriously, just picture it. One minute you’re ordering a V-8 and watching Rush Hour 2, the next your laptop explodes in your face.

--the night before an important paper is due. Imagine working on your thesis for months only to have your compy explode on the one yard line. Ouch.

--while you’re serving in Ukraine for the Peace Corps. I only mention this because for a while I wasn’t planning on bringing my laptop with me since I thought it would be more trouble than it’s worth. That was until pretty much every volunteer currently over there told everyone in my group to bring, for the love of God, their laptop. Apparently watching Family Guy episodes on laptops can really get you through those long, cold winter nights, not to mention the benefits they offer in lesson planning and grading. So yea, imagine my laptop exploding right before the end of a term, with all my grades saved in an excel file. I’m just saying.

Yup, I really dodged a bullet on this one.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Eeyore has them all beat

Yesterday Kristen and I were talking and we decided that everyone could use a little therapy about something. However, I think it’s pretty clear that some folks need more therapy than others to get control of their mental health. With that in mind, I ask the following question: which of the Seven Dwarfs needs the most therapy?

Sneezy: He needs an ear, nose and throat doctor, not a lot of therapy. However, if I were to sneeze constantly for most of my life, I would probably be a little self-conscious, so Sneezy could use some couch time.

Happy: There’s nothing wrong with being happy, but I think this Dwarf is a little too happy if you know what I mean. I’m picturing him snorting coke off some huge toadstool, so a really intense rehab program in conjunction with group therapy would help level him out a bit.

Grumpy: He’s surrounded by people with various disorders and compassion can only hold out for so long. I actually think Grumpy is the sanest person in the house. Still, a little anger management therapy would likely do him some good.

Sleepy: Narcolepsy, anyone? With medication to keep him awake a little more, Sleepy will have a lot more to dream about when he finally hits the hay at night. Caffeine pills: yes, extensive therapy: no.

Doc: What the hell was Doc’s issue, anyway? He is to the house what The Real World: New Orleans is to the Real World seasons…everyone always forgets it was ever there. Still, he’s a doctor of some kind, I think, so he can give himself therapy if he needs any, right?!

Dopey: As our President has established, slow-witted folks can accomplish a lot. I honestly don’t think Dopey requires any therapy since he’s too stupid—in a cute way—to let anything get him down.

Bashful: We have a winner! Bashful is like that kid who refused to swim without a shirt on or walk across the street without holding his mom’s hand as a fifteen year old. Psychiatry might not be ready for this guy.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

I win! I'm the winner! ME!

Today’s the day that freshmen move in at Pacific, so naturally the place is a freaking zoo. Well no, that’s not accurate—zoos are fun and Pacific isn’t, at least today. The campus is like a terrible, crowded train wreck. I don’t envy my RA buddies Tiffanie and Mark who I’m sure have their hands full today.

One of the horrific side-effects of moving-in-day on pretty much any college campus is the complete cluster-fuck that is parking. So, for that reason, I have never been so happy to have my faculty parking pass that allowed me to park in an awesome lot just across the street. I just sat in my car and laughed for about five minutes watching everyone else scramble around looking for a space. I won the parking war.

Seriously, I should auction off my parking pass to highest bidder. On a day like today, I bet I could make enough money to buy some sweaters so I’ll survive my stay in the frozen tundra called Ukraine.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Facebook is taking over the world

I like facebook as much as the next person and my 829 close personal friends are a testament to how much I have used it to fill my time over the past few years. However, I use it full well with the knowledge that it’s not all roses and sunshine. For example, their terms of use read as follows:

By posting Member Content to any part of the Web site, you automatically grant, and you represent and warrant that you have the right to grant, to the Company an irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, transferable, fully paid, worldwide license (with the right to sublicense) to use, copy, perform, display, reformat, translate, excerpt (in whole or in part) and distribute such information and content and to prepare derivative works of, or incorporate into other works, such information and content, and to grant and authorize sublicenses of the foregoing.

Basically, anything you put on the site becomes the property of facebook and the folks they choose to sell it to. Naturally, then, using the new option of importing this blog to my facebook "notes" is a pretty bad idea, or at least one I’m uneasy about. I don’t like the notion of signing away all rights to a short story or a something sort of clever I wrote. Reading the fine print is important sometimes.

Google milestone!

This blog is the #1 site when searching for Cliff Gardner. That’s higher than the amazing Sports Night episode and the actual guy. I’m proud, guilty, slightly embarrassed and entertained. Thanks to everyone for reading!

Monday, August 21, 2006

Let’s go science, LET’S GO! *Clap-Clap*

I for one am annoyed that real-life science hasn’t caught up with cinematic inventions. The best example of that is in the remake of “The Greatest Story Ever Told” known as “The Matrix,” where a technology exists that downloads knowledge directly into people’s brains almost instantaneously with just a flicker of their eyes. Think of it! No more struggling with Ukrainian, calligraphy or division! Booya, grandma!

There are other examples, too. I would love the time machine from “Back to the Future.” The prospect of going back to the second grade and punching Johnny Ott in the mouth for stealing my pudding cup once a week is temping, but I think I would just do what the crooked Biff Tannon did in the sequal and bet on the superbowl every year. Good news kids! Free College tuition!

Becoming the T-1000 from “Terminator 2” and getting the paper by stabbing it with a giant metal spear seems pretty cool to me, too. OH, and one of those jet-packs from “Minority Report” would be awesome. Cut to: honey, I’m going to clean the gutters—zoooom! OK, bad example.

What gets me is that it’s not that science can’t invent these things, but just that they’ve been preoccupied inventing the shower radio and a cooler looking iPod, both great inventions, but neither of which can get my ass into the flying car off the Jetsons.

Where's Olive?!

Today Liz and I went for a picnic, watched Sports Night episodes and gave each other backrubs. Later, Kristen and I went to see the amazingly funny “Little Miss Sunshine” and talked for a while like only really good friends can. Basically, my life is so awesome that I’m too exhausted to be funny at the moment, but I promise to do better next time.

Saturday, August 19, 2006


I have this theory that you’re only someone important in the blogging world and in general when people start hating you enough to send you a letter solely on the basis of their disgust for you. Heather Armstrong over at Dooce gets lots and lots of angry e-mails, and Ian over at BL gets people who attack him in his comments. To me, that just means that they’re smart enough to do something worthy of angry, public disagreement. To quote Macintosh off of West Wing, “if they’re shooting at you, you know you’re doing something right.” I would take that a step further, though, and say that how hilarious you respond to hatemail matters too. Much like John Stewart and Steven Colbert responded to Geraldo Rivera and Bill O’Reilly, if you take the remarks of stupid, angry people and turn them into something hilarious, so much the better!

Friday, August 18, 2006

I'll show you a soccer riot!

Tonight I saw my first professional soccer game with Amy, Max, Jesse and Amy’s friend Val, and I had a total blast! The Portland Timbers are a pretty good team, but I’m not really a big soccer fan in general, so what made the game so entertaining for me was their fans, known as the Timbers Army. They’re loud, obnoxious, drunk people who shout, chant and throw things. Their leader is the Timbers’ mascot, a logger with an honest-to-God chainsaw. Whenever the Timbers scored a goal, he would cut a hunk out of a giant tree that was lying around just a few feet off the field and wave it around. I’ll admit that I got in to their clapping and cheering, and in particular, their really profane chants. My favorite was “YOU’RE SO SHITTY IT’S UN-BE-LEAVABLE, *clap, clap, clap-clap-clap, clap-clap-clap-clap, clap-clap* [DOG SHOW!]

I’ve decided that there should be more activities where it is socially acceptable to drink, shout and swear in public, if only because it gives folks a chance to vent. I’m betting that most of the Timbers Army people are actually really normal folks who work 9-5 jobs, go home, walk their dogs, watch Will and Grace re-runs and go to sleep. Without these games, that routine could only last so long before they grab rifles and head for rooftops. Monotony will drive people crazy, and these games are a welcome break from that. It’s like the release offered by Fight Club, except without the bruises, hopefully. :-)

PORT-LAND! *clap, clap* TIM-BERS! *clap, clap*

Thursday, August 17, 2006

I'm going to miss my BFF!

David is my BFF…we’ve got lockets and everything! In high school we were duo and debate partners but that was just part of our friendship. I love him like a brother and trust him more than just about anyone. With very few exceptions, we always have fun when we get together and yesterday was just one example of that. Since we went to different colleges and grad schools, we haven't gotten to see each much of each other for the part five years, and with one of us moving five thousand miles away soon, that’ll only get worse. However, I know that we’ll always be really close no matter how far apart we are. Thanks for everything, David.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Baseball politics

I just finished Moneyball and it was really good. Dre summarizes it really well here so I won’t dwell on the plot, except to say that it boggles my mind how so many people can be so bad at their jobs without more folks seriously calling them out on it. Moreover, I’ll never understand how someone can cling to archaic, stupid and ultimately harmful ideas even after being confronted with overwhelming evidence that they’re wrong.

Speaking of which, Focus on the Family was recently in the news. It seems that the/my Atlanta Braves (not exactly the efficient baseball club Billy Bean dreams of in Moneyball, but still, they’re getting there) recently sponsored a “Faith Day” religious event. Unbeknownst to top level event organizers, Focus on the Family was a co-sponsor. When Braves higher-ups learned about this, the hateful group was removed from the two planned Faith Day events, for obvious reasons. Now, I’m not entirely sure what business the Braves have in conducting spiritual outreach to begin with, but I appreciate that as long as they’re doing it, they’re making a point (albeit a belated one) to exclude religious dogma that is so incredibly hateful and wrong.

Monday, August 14, 2006

A reasonable assumption

David and I are walking around Safeway buying things for the Wedding Extravaganza. The cart is filled with bendy straws, Mike’s and a crap load of Goldfish Crackers. Without me noticing, David leads us towards the vegetable end of the store.

Me: Wait, what the hell are you doing?

David: I’m buying celery.

Me: Uh, ok. Hold on, don’t you need to weigh it or put it in one of those bags and label it or something?

David: *blinks* Are you telling me you don’t even know how to buy vegetables?

Me: I guess not.

David: I’m guessing you don’t really eat what one might call a balanced diet.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Those aren't letters! You made up letters!

Tonight I went to dinner at the Macaroni Grill with David's family (which now includes his lovely wife, Kristen). While there, everyone was taking advantage of the paper tablecloth and crayons that littered the place. Everyone else drew some pretty pictures, but I wrote out the entire Cyrillic alphabet. I was pretty proud of myself given how amazingly hard it is. What makes it difficult isn't really the funny looking letters but the one's that I already know that I have to re-learn. For example, B=v, 3=z and x=h. BRING IT ON!

Aside from that, it turns out that some folks really don't like me. Oh well, can't win over everyone! I've got plenty of amazing and loyal friends, an awesome girlfriend and a fun and challenging future ahead of me so it's hard to feel anything but gratitude and excitement. Life is great! :-)

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Wedding crashers!

Things I’ve learned:

--weddings are better when they are administered by friends you love and trust who write out the entire ceremony at 3:00 a.m. the night before and rely on their public speaking skills and charm to get through it at 7:30 that morning

--drinking a Mike’s through a bendy straw makes it taste better

--telling people that the groom and best man met in prison while at the rehearsal dinner is hilarious

--I am unable to play the kazoo

--David, Kristen and Zayne are the kindest, funniest, most loyal and amazing people in the world and I am truly blessed to call them my friends. OK, I knew that one already, but still!

Friday, August 11, 2006

Wedding Extravaganza!

The wedding went really well this morning and I'll post more about it tomorrow. Right now, though, I've got to get spruced up for the giant party that's become known as "the extravaganza." These Mike's aren't going to drink themselves. :-)

I'm surrounded by amazing people. My life is great!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

The foot lady made fun of me

Today David, Kristen and I got pedicures. Since the wedding is going to be on the beach and we’re all going to be wearing sandals, it seemed like a good idea. However, given my intense running habit, I don’t think the foot lady was prepared for me. See, my feet are basically the most disgusting things ever, although it’s not because I don’t take care of them. However, after 25-30 miles a week, even hygiene zealots get blisters, calluses, stains, tears and odd smells. At several points during the session, she called over other people who worked there to point out my ridiculous blisters and sores. I felt like the Elephant Man of feet, but they ended up soft, shiny and wonderfully gorgeous so I didn't mind. David took a photo-essay of the experience, so pictures are on the way!

This is getting ridiculous

I’ve blogged several times before about my cracked windshield. Well, the high cost is just one part of the many annoying aspects of this entire experience. For starters, it has taken way longer to fix it than it should have. The glass people have called and rescheduled four times. FOUR TIMES. If that weren’t bad enough, fixing it is very time consuming for me since they just give me a general time frame about when they’ll swing by my house, like “tomorrow, between 1-5 p.m.,” and I’ve got to be at the house for the entire time waiting for them. Last week, the glass dude cracked the new windshield as he was putting it in, meaning that this ordeal continued even longer. Today, they called and rescheduled, again. It’s really not a big deal, but just kind of annoying at this point.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Boy is my face red!

I didn't know anyone had overheard us. :-)

Monday, August 07, 2006

Wedding Wrecking Crew!

I won't be posting much this week because certain amazing friends of mine are getting married. I'm super excited about it but there's just a lot to do. For one, I've got to practive giving the drunken wedding toast from Old School:

"True love is hard to find, sometimes you think you have true love and then you catch the early flight home from San Diego and a couple of nude people jump out of your bathroom blindfolded like a goddamn magic show ready to double team your girlfriend... "

Yup, it's going to be a fun wedding! :-)

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Mother of the year!

I went to bed pretty late last night. This morning, around 8:00, my mom decided that it was time to blend zucchinis into some sort of fruit salad thing. Since a blender basically has two settings: loud and shattering-your-ear-drums-deafening, this 20-minute activity woke me up. However, while this upset me and even though few things annoy me more than being inconsiderate when someone is sleeping, it would be tough to argue that I didn't luck out in the mom department.

What does that do? Does that blow your mind?!

In the past 36 hours, Liz and I watched Blow Dry, ate delicious pottstickers (an actual food, I swear) and drank some Mike’s, slept in, went for a hike, got some Subway (we ate fresh), took a nap, watched some Eddie Izzard, went and saw Talladega Nights (one of the top five funniest movies ever), ate at a really awesome 24 hour pie place, watched Top Secret and discovered that we’re basically the same person except with enough differences to keep things interesting. Liz makes me very happy and my life kicks ass!

When I got home around 1 this morning I ran 4.4 miles, bringing my weekly total up to a personal record of 31.4 miles. I’m sore. OH, oh! And David and Kristen are coming home tomorrow, yay! Goin’ to the chapel and we’re….goooonnna get maaa-aaa-aaa-ried!

Friday, August 04, 2006

Hey, somebody's got to give firemen something to do!

Tonight Liz and I are going to make dinner and watch a movie and I’m excited! This afternoon, in preparation for the evening, I swung by Safeway and picked up a six pack of Mike’s Hard Lemonade and headed for the express lane. For reasons that I won’t go into here because it’s kind of a long story, I also had a two-pack of Bic Lighters. As I was waiting in line, this large, middle aged woman in a giant teal mumu looked at what I was buying and gave me a very disapproving look. Now, I really have no patience for people who assume that there’s no moderate way to drink alcohol, largely because I used to be one of those people and I sincerely regret what a jackass I was for a long time because of it. So, I decided to have some fun with mumu. After paying, I gave her a really intense stare and whispered that I was planning on drinking heavily and lighting things on fire before turning and walking out of the store.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

This wrapper won't get shot or thrown in jail

I hate wrapping presents. A LOT. It doesn't make sense to me that the presentation of a gift matters even close to as much as the gift itself or, more importantly, the intention behind it in the first place. Consequently, I rarely wrap things. Although I frequently give gifts, they're usually just the gift, without a lot of style. Whatever, I'm sleeping fine tonight.

Case is point: I got my five year old niece Romina a birthday gift and mailed it to her today. It was a book about kindergarten and how wonderful school is, with big letters that she can sound out since she's learning to read, in case you were wondering. For some reason I felt obligated to wrap it, so I threw it in the middle of some newspaper and 30 seconds and a flurry of scotch tape later, I had wrapped it. Done and done. I’m guessing my niece won’t bother looking at this wrapping any longer than she does the superficial covering on her other gifts.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Childhood fitness!

When I was a kid, I had a checkered relationship with personal fitness. Given that I was the little kid equivalent of how short and skinny I am now, I wasn’t very athletic. So, when some folks in my fourth grade class approached Mr. Larkins, our 425 pound PE teacher, about doing extra push-ups and sit-ups to become the most in-shape class in school, I whined like I had been asked to roll around in honey and jump in a barrel full of earwigs (that was the rumored high school hazing ritual that had us all terrified, by the way).

At the same time, though, I knew that it would be cool to get one of those little Presidential Fitness patches that the fifth graders had, so I wasn’t entirely against the idea. I worked hard, and aside from the really slow kid with a lisp who kept farting every time he did a crunch, everything went according to plan and I got my National Presidential Fitness patch. It was red, and at the time I thought it was the most important award ever. Entertainingly enough, I even remember making plans to put it on my college applications. Maybe that was the missing line on my resume that kept me out of some law schools.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Letters to various pop singers

Dear Nelly Furtado,

I was listening to a recent exchange you had with a gentleman that went something like this:

You: You expect me to just let you hit it, but will you still respect me if you get it
Him: All I can do is try, gimme one chance, what’s the problem I don’t see no ring on your hand

Now, you raise a valid point in wondering whether he will respect you if your relationship is purely physical—a point that he never actually answers. That should be a huge red flag, Nelly, and you should feel comfortable in being both mad and mean to him.



Dear Justin Timberlake,

Thank you so much for bringing sexy back. I was just thinking the other day how long it had been since I had seen sexy and there you were, Mr. Johnny-on-the-spot with all the sexy I could handle. You should feel free to get your sexy on and be gone with it, although I’m not sure I know what that means and I don’t think you need my permission to begin with.

Thanks again and good luck with all the sexy,


Dear Rihanna,

It has come to my attention that you’re being unfaithful to your significant other. While I don’t think cheating on someone you love is ever a good idea, I think an even worse idea is telling lots and lots of people about it on the radio. So, my advice is simple--stop cheating on your man. I don’t need to tell you what this is doing to the poor boy, and if he’s really the reason the sky is blue for you, then you’ll stop it.