A Slice of Fried Gold

Super Shorts

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Today, I have a couple smaller topics to jump on, so I'm just going to handle them with my typical wit and aplomb, but combined into one posting. I'll call this my eco-friendly blog post.

Anchorage's edgiest newspaper, the Anchorage Press, is having their 5th annual Super Shorts Micro-Fiction contest. Essentially, the gist of it is this - you have 200 words to write a short story and it has to fall in one of the eight categories that have been provided to you. They are the following:

  1. A letter to my constituents (from jail)
  2. Last call
  3. Bettles, 60 below
  4. Flight lesson
  5. "It's not gay at man camp"
  6. Why I lost the Iditarod
  7. The polar bear's last will and testament
  8. Use six of these eight words or phrases: lackluster, Valley Trash, delete, fisticuffs, search and rescue, aped, wastage, Sean Penn.

As the world's laziest and worst aspiring writer, this is ideal for me. Only have to write 200 words? Don't have to come up with my own topics? Sign me up. So I've now written one for each category (2, 5, and 8 if you were wondering), and will submit them all before the deadline on Thursday.

The winners get published in a special edition of the Press, get "showered with prizes and notoriety," and get to read their work at a Gala Event. With that said, I'm not really in it to win it, more just to have fun. Perhaps I'll post my stories later on, but I need to tighten them up before I get to that.


So the Music Festival I've been waiting to be announced officially revealed their lineup yesterday. The Sasquatch Music Festival, held annually in the Gorge in George, Washington, will be May 24th to May 26th and features an eclectic and very quality mixture of musicians.

Musical attendees include R.E.M., the Cure, Death Cab for Cutie, the Flaming Lips (U.F.O. Show!), Modest Mouse, the New Pornographers, M.I.A., Built to Spill, Flight of the Conchords, the National, Battles, Beirut, Rogue Wave, Okkervil River, the Kooks, Tegan and Sara, the Hives, Mates of State, David Bazan, etc. etc. Plus there is going to be a comedy tent (unannounced participants as of yet, but Sarah Silverman was the host last year) this year and there is word that the Flaming Lips are going to premiere a movie they made called "Christmas on Mars." Now how is that for a slice of fried gold?

I'm debating on whether or not I'm going to fly down to see it. Not because of the lineup (which I think is stellar, and there are rumors of the Mars Volta being added along with others) but because a) I'd be by myself and b) what do I do in between? It's not like Bumbershoot, where you can explore Seattle when not watching bands. You are literally in the middle of nowhere for three days. Now b would be solved if a had a solution. Who has a solution for me?

Sasquatch addendum: If Kay Kay and his Weathered Underground is added, I will be there if neither a nor b are resolved. I want to see them absolutely, ridiculously desperately. Three consecutive "ly" words. That's how you know it's serious business.


As a follow up to my post from the other day (click here for that post), Amy and I actually informally started up our very own Cover Letter/Resume Writing business. We made posts on Craig's List advertising our services, and got more practice by updating Raechelle's cover letter and writing one for my sister. We don't have any clients quite yet, but we feel as if this is something that will happen any day now.


DESIGNwatcher.com received the Blog of Note title from the Blogger gods today (congrats!), and I checked it out. A very cool site, but I had to make one comment about one post on there. The linked-to post discusses some eco-friendly chairs that are being sold, called the Cain Collection. The chairs are "lead-free, HAPS free, low to no VOC and water borne/solubles." That's fantastic, but my god - they are $380 for 2 dinky little chairs! They aren't even remotely cool looking, they are just the world's most rudimentary chairs made with eco-friendly substances.

If you're going to make chairs to help save the environment, why charge so much for them so people won't purchase them? Do you not want more people to purchase them to increase the environmental effect? I guess it just proves that everyone really is all about the green, one way or another.

No Country for Old Men pulls in Best Picture

Sunday, February 24, 2008

As the title states, No Country for Old Men pulled in the Best Picture Oscar, completing a very solid Oscar broadcast, although one not exactly full of surprises. I correctly predicted 9 of the 11 categories I attempted to predict, which is very solid but it's doubtful that I'm going win any of my Oscar pools (Bourne Ultimatum killed me!). Congratulations to all of the winners, I can't say I'm upset with any of the winners pulling in their trophies, although I think I preferred There Will Be Blood and Atonement over No Country, I'm perfectly fine with how it went down.

Congrats to the Coen Brothers for finally getting their much deserved first Best Director and Best Picture awards.

Saturday Night Fever, aka Laceyfest 2008

Joey and I pre-funking - No beer for him

This Saturday was planned to be Lacey's big going away party. We had big plans for having a bunch of people out at the Homestead Lounge, bowling, dancing, being stupid, etc. You know, typical things, but bigger and with more people. The plan was good, the execution of the evening was even better.

The night started off with Kim and I having dinner at La Mex and getting a couple of Margarita's to begin the night well. One problem with that is La Mex has apparently gone downhill. The Fajitas I had were interestingly flavored, the tortillas they gave me were apparently the junior edition ones (seriously, they were less than half the size of a normal tortilla), and the Margaritas were overly sweet and didn't even seem to have any alcohol in them. It was fun, but the food was kind of eh.

After that, Kim and I went over to Amy's house to join her at the beginning of the house party that was going down that night. Of course, it was only 8 or so, so no one was there yet, but we did get to help Amy organize CD's and play with her and her roommates pets - strangely, that was a ton of fun! I had a great time organizing Amy's CD's with her - so much so I'm about to do the same with mine after I finish this.

Amy, Lacey, and Hannah at the Homie

Up next, Amy, Kim, and I rolled out to meet up with everyone at Garcia's in that country that is connected to mine - Eagle River. As many people have noticed, I rarely leave my "bubble." My "bubble" ranges from as far south as where I work, to as far East as the highway, to the west it extends to the Carrs on Minnesota, and to the north we have 4th Avenue. I essentially never leave this tiny little area, so going out to this foreign land known as "Eagle River" was a heck of a thing. It took quite a bit of effort, but I managed to get us there.

At Garcia's we joined up with the whole crew (there were many, and I apologize if I forget anyone - Lacey, Jason, Jon, Julie, Olena, Nate, Keith, Eric, and then a number of people I didn't actually really meet), had a quick drink and rolled over to what I had heard was the most amazing bar ever - the Homestead Lounge (or the "Homie" as it has been so affectionately titled).

Myself and Jon - Are we having a good time?

So was the Homestead Lounge all it was hyped up to be?

Bowling Alley? Check.

Ridiculous dancing people? Check.

Many gaming tables? Check.

Most bizarre music selection ever made? Check.

Yep. It was pretty much rockin', or to quote Hannah and to summarize the experience in one word - badonk-a-donk.

Amy, me, and Hannah

Eight of us bowled, with two teams of four going against each other - Kim, Lacey, Jason, and I on one team vs. Nate, Jon, Keith, and Eric on the other. First game my side got massacred, but the second game we did WAY better, with all four of us managing to cross into triple digits (we aren't good, and that was pretty much our equivalent of perfect games). I rarely bowl, but whenever I do I have a great time. I'm unsure as to why I don't do that more often...maybe I should look into this.

All this time of course, we're drinking, laughing, and being merry, and Amy is photographing nearly ever movement within seeing distance, which is why I came out with so many great pictures. Of course she also took about 450,000 self-portraits with anyone who came close enough to grab. They turned out pretty much awesome though.

Me and Amy after a few futile attempts at picture taking

After bowling, we all rolled into the bar for a few rounds of "Emasculation by Amy" (aka playing Amy in Fooseball). She's pretty much a cheater at life at that game, and Jon and I's matchup against Amy and Lacey was alternately embarrassing (we had an audience and I was terrible) and very discouraging (did I mention I continue being terrible at Fooseball?).

After that, we traveled over to where everyone else was hanging out - essentially we all sat and watched the insanity that was happening on the dance floor. There was a rotating group of about five people who were dancing and pretty much being either filthy or filthy ridiculous. Of course, after a little while we had to go out and lay down the law, and Lacey, Olena, and myself went to the dance floor and showed them whats up. My moves will be told in tales to anyone who was not there, I promise you that. They were incredible - I'd say some sort of combination of Michael Jackson and Elvis is a pretty accurate representation of what they were like.

Shortly thereafter, Amy, Lacey, Kim, and I departed to go back into town and head to Amy's roommates house party. As we were leaving, Kim and Amy ate it pretty badly. Given what we were doing that night, Amy and Kim falling on the ice should not have been unexpected. Even though it was entirely predictable, it was no less funny. Kim was pretty much hilarious all night, but her and Amy going down was inadvertently the apex of that hilarity. See photographic evidence below of this.

Kim and Amy, pre-spill

Kim and Amy, post-spill

For two people who just ate it, they seemed to be having a pretty great time.

So we went back into town, avoided all fast food restaurants (sorry Kim!) and made it Amy's place. The house party was still going on inside, and I love house parties. Excitingly enough, there was even a bonafide bonfire roaring in the backyard.

Lacey, me, Amy, and Kim at the bonfire

Fun fact: Bonfires are always wonderful. This is pretty much a fact of life. This bonfire was no different, even though at the end of the night it was just Kim, myself, and five other random people I'd never met before. Of course, these were the type of people who quoted Chuck Norris facts constantly and had hidden stashes of seating in the forest. So you know, awesome people.

Kim and Jake - Chuck Norris looks a bit demented

They were all ridiculously great, and the bonfire was a wonderfully chill finish to the evening. Even though every person that actually lived there went to bed, Kim and I still had a great time. Well, until I went home, walked through my gate and slipped on the ice, caving the ice in with my knee and causing a huge bruise and bunches of swelling. Totally sucked, but it was OK. It didn't hamper the night at all, and I feel as if we had a good send off for Lacey even if it was nearly a full week early.

Also, just as a fun addition to the pictures, I included a self-portrait I took with Amy and Hannah. I think its pretty stellar, but it may have been too close...what do you think?

Oscar Predictions

Alright, with the Oscars coming up oh so quickly, I figured I would throw down my predictions for the evenings awards. I think its been a great year for movies, and I'm really excited for tonight as I think a lot of categories are really up for grabs. Namely the Best Picture category, as I could legitimately see any of the nominees pulling off the win tonight.

Best Picture

Will win: No Country for Old Men
Should win: Atonement

My initial thoughts on this category were Atonement pulling off the victory, and that was before I had seen it. Now that I've seen it and know that I love it, strangely enough I'm going to retract that idea. Before, I honestly believed that (to take a line from the movie) There Will Be Blood was going to drink No Country for Old Men's milkshake (line of the century? gotta be). I figured the PT Anderson fans and the Coen Brother fans would have a lot of overlap, and that both films would split the auteur vote and that typical Oscar fodder Atonement would pull off the win.
Lately though, there has been a bit of a downturn on Blood and an uptick on Old Men. I think its going to be enough for it to take the victory. I still think Atonement is the most likely upset candidate, but I'm afraid of the late buzz Juno is getting.

One note I want to make is this - If any of the big three (Atonement, No Country, Blood) win I will be happy. All are superlative movies that I think absolutely deserve it. Now if Juno or Michael Clayton win...well, then we have something to talk about. They are clearly outclassed in my eyes this year.

Best Director

Will win: The Coen Brothers, No Country for Old Men
Should win: Paul Thomas Anderson, There Will Be Blood

Once again, either winner would make me happy in this one. I really feel that the momentum has fully shifted to the Coen Brothers, but I think Anderson had a more difficult task and took more risks with Blood. Both were masterful, I just think that the Coen Brothers were really operating within their realm with Old Men - Anderson took a step out of his and had huge successes, and I think he should be rewarded for that.

Best Actor

Will win and should win: Daniel Day-Lewis, There Will Be Blood

You know...word on the street is this Day-Lewis guy is pretty good at acting. The biggest thing to be said about his performance is that if you put any actor in that role, it would not have been nearly as good. Daniel Plainview was one of the most remarkably interesting characters in recent memory, and Day-Lewis was him. When he was on the screen (which was nearly every scene) you could see the wheels turning, the angles being calculated, every opportunity being analyzed. His performance was nothing short of genius, and he deserves the win he will assuredly get tonight. This is the second biggest sure shot.

Best Supporting Actor

Will win and should win: Javier Bardem, No Country for Old Men

This is the biggest sure shot. No one else has a chance in this category, which is astounding because all five performances are fantastic. Bardem was just incredible, and his role was simply the best out of anyone in this category this year. Anton Chigurh was a villain for the ages, and I couldn't imagine any other actor making his twisted principles seem almost palatable like Bardem did.

I just want to note once again though, all four other nominees were incredible in their roles. Casey Affleck gave the most unheralded performance of any nominee, but was probably the second best. Hal Holbrook was a heartbreaker, Philip Seymour Hoffman was incredibly hilarious, and Tom Wilkinson nailed it like he does every other performance. Too bad they're up against Bardem.

Best Actress

Will win: Ellen Page, Juno
Should win: I don't know?

I've sadly only seen one of these movies. For that reason I'm going to abstain from giving my opinion, but I feel as if this is where Juno will get its win. I have a feeling that the two previous frontrunners (Marion Cotilliard and Julie Christie) are in movies that were not seen by enough Academy members, and that Page will get it as the crowd pleaser. She'll deserve it too, because that movie works because Page makes it work. She's a wunderkind, and she deserves every accolade she receives.

Best Supporting Actress

Will win: Amy Ryan, Gone Baby Gone
Should win: Tilda Swinton, Michael Clayton

This one is really any nominees game, but I feel like the early frontrunner will pull it off. Although I was not a huge fan of the performance, I really feel like the weight of her previous wins will pull Amy Ryan ahead of the pack. I would not be the least bit surprised if Swinton won, as she is a favorite of the industry and she did a great job. It would also be a fine spot for the Academy to give Clayton some spotlight, as it was one of the top nominees and it is going to get overshadowed elsewhere.

Best Original Screenplay

Will win and should win: Diablo Cody, Juno

This is the third biggest lock. Cody is pretty much guaranteed to win this, and she deserves it. Regardless of the fact that the first fifteen minutes are painfully "hip," overall she pretty much nails all of the characters and creates real, three dimensional people. Its quirky for sure, but it packs a lot of heart. Its quite often difficult to reconcile those two sides, but Cody did it very well and deserves to be recognized for it.

Best Adapted Screenplay

Will win and should win: The Coen Brothers, No Country for Old Men

The Coen Brothers managed to make this sprawling crime story with many characters work perfectly, and they managed to adapt it so it felt like a Coen Brothers movie, but still like the original work. Some are turned off by the ending, but when watched and putting extra mental emphasis on Tommy Lee Jones sections, the ending works perfectly. The ability to continuously get new things on repeated viewings I believe is thanks to this wonderful script, and I really hope they get recognized for their work.

Best Animated Feature

Will win and should win: Ratatouille

I hear Pixar is good at making movies. Ratatouille is right up there with the best they've ever made, and some will argue it should have been nominated for Best Picture, not just best Animated Feature.

You'll get no disagreement from me.

Best Original Score

Will win and should win: Dario Marianelli, Atonement

This is flat out one of the best scores I've ever heard. As much as I love Michael Giacchino's work on Ratatouille, the inventiveness of Marianelli's score and the genius that is his Elegy for Dunkirk is too much for Giacchino to overtake. Its a hauntingly beautiful work, and Atonement wouldn't be nearly as great as it is without it.

Best Original Song

Will win and should win: Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova, "Falling Slowly," Once

The fact that Glen Hansard is one of the coolest people alive does not affect my voting. Nor does the fact I saw this performed live with a girl from the audience subbing for Marketa. This is an absolutely incredible song, and it will get the recognition it deserves tonight. I for one cannot wait to hear them perform it.

Although it will be really fun watching Amy Adams perform her trio of songs from Enchanted. That girl is amazing.

That's all the categories I will do, but I'm excited for tonight and will check back in later with results to see how I did. Enjoy Oscar Night!

Here's to new experiences

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Last night, Amy, Lacey, Hannah, and I attended the Alaska Dance Theatre's Winter Repertory Concert (previously known as Mobius). This is something that Hannah and Amy did seemingly yearly, as our friend Briana Sullivan is one of the primary dancers in the production. Even though she is no longer a part of the company, she still was participating as a guest of the program. Regardless, as I said, this was old hat for two of our four, but I've never been to any thing remotely of this sort. Never been to the Nutcracker, never been to any sort of dance performance. I was a bit hesitant, because I was convinced it wasn't exactly my thing.


I loved it.

I was incredibly impressed by the whole production, and found a whole new level of respect for dance and its ability to convey emotions and story with absolutely no words behind it. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words, and this managed to expand on that idea to the nth degree. The care and consideration put into each movement was astounding, just watching the dancers on stage was a revelation to me.

Quick tangent, one thought that went through my head while watching the dancers on stage was how I don't think I can do anything as well as they dance. The sheer talent and coordination it takes to pull off something like that, I just don't have that. It made me think about how I wish I had that creative spirit, and how I wish I was in that type of field. Watching something of that sort trivializes what I do to a degree - I sit at a desk and make sure your TV, Internet, Cellular Phone, and Local/Long Distance services are getting to you and at a fair price. These people create beauty. Needless to say, I'm envious and wildly impressed.

Back to the actual performance, just a couple of notes about what stood out.

First off, Briana was incredible. Hannah and Amy had raved about her dancing before, but if anything they underhyped her - she clearly stood out on stage, and after watching her perform it made perfect sense that she was the person out front and center on the opening piece. I wish she had a solo piece this year, because I know she would have absolutely nailed it.

Second off, the only times that Briana did not stand out was when Brittney Otevrel performed. Brittney was flat out genius, and with the most subtle of movements she could convey so much emotion. She also performed my favorite piece of the entire evening - her solo as the blind person in the second act of El Dia de los Muertos, and was the primary dancer in what I thought was the overall best segment, the section named Sueno.

Thirdly, the music in El Dia de los Muertos was pretty much amazing. They were songs off of the self titled album by "post-punk bluegrass" band Devil Makes Three, and it made Muertos stand out even more as the most stylistically different of all of the pieces. One thing to note was that all of the musical pieces selected were excellent and unexpected.

Finally, the segment named Someone is Speaking. This entire section was an interpretation of various Beatles songs (including Eleanor Rigby, Lovely Rita, Here, There and Everywhere, No One, Let it Be, and Broken Hearted People), and everything from the choreography to the costume design was incredible. Besides Muertos, I think it worked as a storytelling piece better than anything else.

It was an incredible experience, and really works as motivation to get out there and try new things. I never once thought to go to dance performances, but Mobius definitely made me think differently. What else could I be missing out on? What else is out there that I think I wouldn't like but would actually have a great time at? I'm sure there is plenty, I just hope they are half as good as the time I had at Mobius.

To Nasa...sincerely, the Astronaut

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Tonight, Lacey gave me a task -- help her rewrite and reformat her resume and cover letter. Should be boring right? Very, very wrong. I was extremely excited in fact. I love writing those kinds of things, especially the cover letter portion. This is to be expected of course, as I am in fact very dorky and that is simply what I do. You know, very dorky things. It sort of pours out of my being filling whatever room I'm in at that time.

While I was still working on this project, Amy arrived to my place to watch Lost with Lacey and I. She came over to find out what we were doing, and of course had taken over the captain's chair within minutes and was running the show in the mass renovation of Lacey's cover letter. Soon we were debating on sentence structure, punctuation placement, and the allocation of the skills (skyllz?) we had developed. Point being? Amy + English = Huge Nerd. No big deal really, but it was extremely entertaining to see her doing her nerd thing, as most everyone has one. Some people quote movies, others read comics, some even quote movies, read comics, talk about tv show characters like they are real people, and discuss how great living in a zombie infested worlds would be.


She dorks out on prepositions (or a lack there of).

Regardless, when our nerd powers combined, we formed a pretty rocking writing duo. We managed to create what may be the single greatest cover letter ever made (in only an hour and 20 minutes!), and had a fantastic time while doing it.

The point is this. Need a cover letter written? Hire us out. For $25 a cover letter (to feed the coffee habit of course, as it is voluminous), we'll spin your tasks and enhance your skills with all of the marketing speak and PR jargon that paper can handle. The best cover letter you've ever had (seen? had.), or your money back! That's the guarantee you get from Haiku, Inc. -- the world's greatest privately owned cover letter writing company.

The Frozen Rope

This is just a quick note to say that I'm starting a second, sports only (primarily baseball) blog with Ryan Atkins. We're just getting it off its feet (quick design, discussing how we want it setup and what our focuses are, etc.) but I'm very excited about it. I was internally debating whether or not I'd start a second blog (original idea was a focus on comics), but that decision came together quickly when Ryan displayed interest in writing with me.

Without further adieu, I present the Frozen Rope. Look for updates aplenty this upcoming weekend. As of right now, there is just a joke post by yours truly to demonstrate how its run for Ryan. Enjoy!

#5 - Silver Surfer: Requiem

Monday, February 18, 2008

#5 - Silver Surfer: Requiem by J. Michael Straczynski and Esad Ribic
If sacred places are spared the ravages of war -- then make all places sacred. And if the holy people are to be kept harmless from war -- then make all people holy.
This definitely moves even further into cheating in my march to 52 books read this year, as I have already read this wonderful Marvel mini-series from last year about the last days of the Silver Surfer. But that is ok with me, as I just purchased the hardback collection of this book and I really want to go over it for one simple reason - it's just that good.

This isn't just the best Silver Surfer story ever told, but one of the best comic mini-series of recent memory (if not ever). It's a simple story that expresses how this alien being could be the greatest human of all, and all of the lessons that could be learned from him. It is, in its own way, anti-war. Anti-war is unfair, as it labels this as something it isn't really. This story is about life, and about how every being in creation should treat it with respect and honor like it deserves. It never falls into the trap of being too preachy, and it is all the better for it.

J. Michael Straczynski, he of Babylon 5 and more recently Spider Man's One More Day (that wretched creation!) fame, creates his magnum opus with this piece. He manages to capture the essence of the Marvel universe as well as any writer this side of Stan Lee in this book, and solidifies the character of Norrin Radd as one of the greatest characters in all of the Marvel Universe.

The book would not be nearly the same without the incredible painted works Croatian artist Esad Ribic either. Ribic creates some of the most classic Marvel imagery seen today, and really gives Marvel their own version of Alex Ross to work with. I'd never seen his work anywhere before, but his funeral scene for the Surfer was quite possibly one of the most beautiful graphical images I've ever seen in comic form.

This series was one of the best things I read last year - book, comic, trade, graphic novels, whatever. Upon a second reading it is even greater. This is one story from the comic book medium that I feel I could give to any person - any person - and they would get a lot from it. It is simply that good.

Mixxing It Up with Sick Puppies

Sunday, February 17, 2008
Sick Puppies rocking out at Koots

Friday night was a pretty eventful night. Earlier in the week, Amy and I had planned on having a nice and light evening of just going to dinner at Mixx Grill (Anchorage's most underrated restaurant - seriously, it rocks hard) as she was going to Homer the next day with her crew pretty early. Of course, inspired during one of our email barrages throughout the week, we decided that we wanted to go the Sick Puppies concert at Koots that night as well. Somehow, we managed to secure the last two tickets in all of Anchorage (literally, we had to go to an car detail shop to get them), and were stoked accordingly.

This of course was odd, because I had never listened to them until after I had gotten the tickets, and once I did, I didn't like them particularly. Of course, I crossed my fingers going into that night that they would be a better live band than they were recorded. This has happened a lot in my life, where I see a band that I don't like recorded live and they manage to rock amazingly hard (see: Jet).

The night started off really well, as Amy and I went to Mixx and had our typical great time - a nice bottle of wine, incredible appetizer, Filet Mignon topped with Foie Gras (seriously, Foie Gras is incredible - its like happiness in food form), and Filet Mignon Fondu for Amy. We spent an hour and forty five minutes there just chatting and enjoying the great food. By the time we were done with that, we were ready for the show.

We get to Koots, order a couple drinks, play some Fooseball (I won two games! Entirely because I was on Amy's team - the Pele of Fooseball - but I won two games!), and by that time Nick and Kim had joined us and we were ready for the concert.

Myself, Nick and Amy

In true Alaskan tradition, the concert was led off by a moderately terrible local opener, this time some band fronted by the owner of Mammoth Music. They weren't bad so much as unremarkable, never annoying me but never doing anything to really stand out whatsoever. The crowd seemed very into them, but my group and I never really dug them. It gave me time to chat with old friends like Drea and Ashley at the merch stand and in the audience, while also having time to meet cool new people like Becca and Colter, our honorary group members for the night.

The Lead Singer of Sick Puppies shredding

After they were finished, there was a bizarre section where a radio deejay came out and tossed shirts and hats to audience members. It sort of felt like I was at a sporting event, but then I just realized I was at another awkwardly run concert in Alaska. Yay Alaska! Of course, shortly there after the band came on, and they began to rock right off the band. And they did just that - they rocked! I was very impressed, as they had great stage presence and sounded pretty awesome, not to mention the fact the lead singer had very good rapport with the audience. Of course they did have one huge ace in their sleeve.

Ace up their sleeve

Their bassist was ridiculously hot!

In the years of going to concerts, I've grown to find that I really like girls in bands. Unattractive girls become good looking (most of them, the opener girl was not attractive regardless), and good looking girls become very attractive. This girl? She is just hot period. Add a weird, lacy corset thing and a bass and in her hands? She's smolderingly hot. She's nuclear. Plus, she had all of the moves that I look for in a great band member - the head bang, the kicks, the non-chalance. She was pretty much the best person ever made and I was in love with her. Not really, but she was pretty neat.

Lead Puppy, Becca, and Me after the show

So the rocking went on for a while, and the whole set was incredibly fun. One note to make: never wear a sweater to a concert. I was sweating like a roasting pig, but it didn't make it any less fun. There was pogoing, mini-moshing, ridiculous people aplenty, and all kinds of fun to be had. Afterwards, Kim went home, Amy reigned supreme on the Fooseball table, and Nick and I wandered the bar in typical bar hopper fashion. Of course, we eventually separated, and I somehow met up with new friend Becca who was hanging out with the band after they met everyone at the merch stand.

Becca and Ridiculously Attractive Bassist Puppy

I talked with the band a good amount, got pictures with them, offered to buy them drinks (they of course declined, stating that they receive free drinks), etc. It was a great time, and I of course had to take an opportunity to get a picture with my dream girl. Amazingly enough, even in an intoxicated state, I still barely spoke to her. Yes readership, I do in fact suck at life. But that's OK. It's to be expected. I have established rep to live up to, and if I don't keep up with that, well...I just wouldn't be myself now would I? But still, I did get the picture, which will now be my MSN picture for the rest of my life. I do recommend checking out Sick Puppies if they come around your area - they may not be your cup of tea, but they are really cool people and they do rock pretty hard.

Myself and Amazingly, Ridiculously Hot Bassist Puppy

You Shall Know Our Velocity! and My Reading Quest

As some of my readers may know, one of my New Year's Resolutions last year was simple: Read 10 books. I'm not illiterate, I just never read books anymore. I accomplished that with relative ease, destroying the total by over 30% (meaning I read 13.2 books)! Full of vigor over succeeding, I increased my aspirations - 30 books in 2008! By my estimates, that was entirely possible, if not overly easy.

Now one type of book I hadn't added in to my totals (mostly because I thought it was cheating) were graphic novels/trade paperbacks. These are mostly quick reads (an hour to two per read) and are something I read as is, so it didn't seem as if that was any sort of addition on my already existing stack of reads. However, I thought about how I definitely wanted to start including these into my totals because they are in fact being read, so I decided to boost my total for my goal. My goal is now 52 total books read this year, one for each week of the year.

Today, I read #3 and #4, and to go with my new goal I've decided I will write a little blurb about each read for the year here in my blog. Also, to be fair, I kind of stole this idea from fellow blogger largehearted boy. Thanks for the idea man!

For a quick catchup, my first book this year was Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett and my second book was Lyra's Oxford by Phillip Pullman.

#3 - You Shall Know Our Velocity! by Dave Eggers
I took off my pants and my shoes which still held currency from a cold and supicious land and I jumped in - it took so long to land and in the air I saw all the faces! - I jumped with my mouth so open, taking it all in, and the air was cold and the water was so cold but I jumped all the way in, all at once, and my heart froze. Man, I thought that was the end, right there. It stopped for a minute I swear, but then the sound and pictures came back on and for two more interminable months we lived.

This book, the first and only novel so far from Pulitzer Prize finalist author Dave Eggers (was up for the Pulitzer for his non-fiction work A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius), is very hard to explain. If asked for a plotline, you can't really explain it to make it sound that remarkable, as you can tell from the tagline the publisher gave it: "$32,000 must be given away in a week, around the world. But why?"

This book is all about the journey of life, and to me expresses why people should spend more time soaking in the details instead of worrying about how quickly they go from point A to point B. This of course is given through a smaller story of two best friends who are travelling around the world (in one week) to essentially just hand out money to strangers and experience other cultures. Its very funny and every character and location feels very real.

Eggers, for a first time novelist, has an extremely unique and powerful voice, and it shines in every aspect of his writing - through flashbacks, internal conversations between main character Will and anyone who surrounds him, dialogue between characters, and even simple descriptions of locations. I read a lot of my own thoughts in this book, and I think that's why I found myself relating to the story quite a bit. I felt like the two main characters represented two sides of the same person - the more quiet, reserved, internalized person (Will) and the man of action who yells and hollers and never censors himself (Hand) - I related to their actions and their desire to explore who they are as people and the world they live in.

I really don't know what else to say about this book. Its very interesting, and I found myself laughing out loud on numerous occasions (sorry Kaladi Brothers!). I find this to be a very hard book to write about, as it really feels like something that has to be experienced to even get the slightest bit of understanding about it. I recommend this book fully, especially for young folks who are looking to get a better understanding of their place in the world. As a person in that position, I think it spoke to me quite a bit.

#4 - Wanted by Mark Millar and JG Jones

F*** You.

Now using such a blunt statement as a quote from the book seems a bit odd I'm sure, but frankly, that is what stands to be arguably the defining quote of Millar and Jones' Wanted. It's not only the name of the second chapter, but a line dropped roughly infinity times in it as well. Not aimed at any one person really, but a mantra spoken by a person who has been put upon his entire life and finally develops the courage to no longer deal with it. And then some.

In some strange and perverse way, this is actually a good pairing with the far more literate and in depth Velocity!. Both scream out to all of those people who live their lives stuck in routines and floating by with accepting only what they are given as what they deserve. They both tell the reader that if something is wanted, you need to reach out and grab it. Of course Velocity! expresses this in far more metaphorical and subtle terms - Wanted gives it to you with large servings of violence and scandalous behavior. It's sort of a graphic novel version of Fight Club meets other Millar work the Authority.

For a quick plot synopsis, its about a man named Wesley Gibson who lives a life where he deals with a horrible boss, a best friend and girlfriend who cheat on him with each other, and a father who abandoned him when he was 18 weeks old. It follows the changes that he goes through after he finds out that his father was a man who happened to be essentially the world's greatest supervillain, and that he was just killed.

It's expertly drawn by 52 cover artist Jones, and Millar weaves a great sister story to his Authority run, subverting the metahuman comic genre while perfecting it simultaneously. Not for everyone as per usual, as it is a comic. However, it is very fun and very, very dark, and recommended for those interested in stories more graphical in nature.

The worst thing that can be said about it is that it is inspiring the upcoming Angelina Jolie action movie. I say inspiring because they clearly didn't read the series, with the plot pretty much created by taking one aspect out of the story (normal guy thrown into an extraordinary situation after his father dies) and then cutting everything else away. I have a pinch of faith because it does star James McAvoy and Morgan Freeman, but that only buys so much faith. I'll go see it, but I definitely see some problems heading into it.

The Parabolic Effect of Ryan Atwood

Three and a half years ago, I never really watched television. I watched sports, I watched various things from time to time, but I was mostly a movie guy and wasn't that interested in watching anything on it. My Mom of course went on and on about how great the OC was and about how much fun the happenings in this teen drama were, but I paid no real attention to it until she gave me her first season on DVD to watch down at school.

Two and a half years ago, I'm sitting over at Kim and Lorna's place with friends Sobo and Todd, and we're impatiently waiting (frothing at the mouth in anticipation is likely a more accurate description) for the premiere of the third season of the OC. I was now an addict of television, and the OC was one of the flagships of my fleet of television shows. I went from no TV watching to basing my nightly schedule around what is going on in prime time television that night. Lost, Smallville, Arrested Development, Scrubs - I was hooked.

One and a half years ago, the OC's fourth and final season premiere airs and I am nowhere near a television. Well, I may have been watching TV, just not Fox. I've now moved onto bigger and better things - I'm watching Battlestar Galactica now...Lost...Veronica Mars...Entourage. I've moved onto a higher class of television viewing, and overwrought teen soap operas are not something I need to be wasting my time with.

Half a year ago, hanging out at my place one Sunday morning.

Me: "Man. I'm really hungover."
Amy: "No kidding...what do you want to do?"
Me: "Let's watch a movie or something."
She goes in and wanders through the mess that is my DVD collection.
Amy: "Oh my god! You have the OC? Let's watch it!"
Me: "Oh god...I guess."

That was the day I realized what was old and tired was new and fresh again. "Welcome to the OC, bitch" indeed. In recent weeks, this show has been granted new life, with Amy, Lacey, myself, and various other parties joining in on the viewing party, growing enthralled once again with Ryan Atwood, the Cohen family, and their various friends, enemies, and occasional psychopathic drug addicts/family members. How did this come to be?

This is where I introduce the title, and what I call the parabolic effect of Ryan Atwood. On a ten point scale, the OC probably maxed out in my liking of it at about an 8.5 out of 10. When it maxed out with the ridiculous cheesiness and overwrought drama of season 3 and sunk to new levels, the show was down to a 3. Now that I am back rewatching the series, it is back to an 8.5 out of 10 series - but it isn't the same at all. Not all 8.5's are created equal my friends.

The key to enjoying the OC again lied in something that was hard to consider before. When I started watching intense dramas like Battlestar and Lost, it was hard to take the OC remotely seriously. I saw that as a sign that I needed to drop the show, when I could have looked at it in an entirely different light.

Stop taking it seriously.

Sure it's crap, but man, it is fun as hell to watch with friends and soak in all of the drama. Sometimes you sit and make fun of it, other times you just enjoy it for the good aspects - the black and white adjudication laid down by protagonist Ryan Atwood; the goofy self absorption of Seth Cohen; incredible parents Sandy and Kirsten Cohen; the realization that Summer may somehow be the best character; and the knowledge that regardless of how annoying she is now, that Marissa gets hers in the end.


Well, sort of. She bugs the heck out of me.

Anyways, so given how much I ripped the crap out of this show for the last couple years, I figured writing a blog revealing my affection for this show has returned was the only real fair thing to do. So here is my public apology to Josh Schwartz, whom I've made up with already over my love for his other show Chuck.

Sorry I said your show was bad. It is bad, but its so bad its good again.

Therein lies the rub

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

9:21 PM. The precipice of Valentine's Day, with just a night's sleep keeping me away from the holiday for hearts. What am I doing? Wrapping up my complicated and romantic plans for my significant other? Finishing up the details on an amorous getaway for the weekend for myself and my love?

God no.

I'm writing a blog with an image of a train at the header.

Of course, it was not the point of this blog to announce what I'm doing. That would be a dumb blog fair readers, and I am not here to make you read a dumb blog (Most of the time). No, what I'm here to say is my opinion on the holiday that has been called such wonderful things as "the holiday for lovers," "the Hallmark Holiday," and "the world's #1 girl holiday." I could sit here and lament how ridiculous it is, how it's simply a holiday to boost the struggling candy and greeting card markets, how it doesn't represent what it truly should (but what holiday really does, pray tell?), etc. etc.

But I won't.

What I'm going to say is the opposite, point in fact.

As I was discussing with a friend today, pretty much everything is paradoxical by nature. Valentine's Day is no different. The cruelty of the holiday is it heightens the loneliness of a single person (both versions of the word in fact) by having so many people around them that are happy and together. Those people have someone to share it with, and predictably love the holiday. Thus the single person gets bitter, and starts throwing out terms like "Hallmark holiday" and then they drown their misery in beer, liquor, or milk (chosen depending on age, situation, and personal preference of course - I choose milk every time, goes down smoother and goes with everything).

Therein lies the rub of Valetine's Day. It's like what darkness really is - the absence of something. In reality, you aren't mad at this holiday, you are just upset about the fact you don't have anyone to share it with. As a person who has only spent it with one person ever (go me!), I know as well as anyone, but at the same time there is no reason to sit around and mope about it. Instead of bad mouthing this day to others, leave them alone with their joy (odds are there is plenty of that) and treat it like any other day. In reality, that's all it is to you and me, its just a day.

That happens to be a Thursday. What does that mean? My favorite ladies (Is that a weird term? Do I care if that's a weird term?) Amy and Lacey are coming over, and we're going to make a bunch of ridiculously delicious Chinese food, watch the OC and Lost, and bask in each others presence.

I mean come on. Everyone else is out at some overrated restaurant dropping tons of cash, and we're watching Lost.


Happy Valentine's Day World.

Coen's in Alaska?!

The Brothers Coen

According to the Anchorage Daily News and this article, it appears that the Coen Brothers (Joel and Ethan) may be directing and adapting Michael Chabon's the Yiddish Policeman's Union.

Now, this isn't exciting because I've read the book (although I did go hear Chabon speak about it here in Anchorage - see here for that blog), but because Yiddish takes place in Sitka, Alaska. Now this isn't a sure shot at all, but knowing the Coen Brothers who are all about authenticity and classy filmmaking (not that putting people in wood chippers and dream sequences featuring Sadaam Hussein, a dancing Jeff Bridges, and Julianne Moore in a viking costume is really classy per se), they very well could come up to film in Alaska.

This is nowhere near confirmed, but how cool would that be? I'd love to have such incredible filmmakers come up here to make a movie, and they always pull in great casts. Now, how would this affect me considering I'm in Anchorage, and Sitka is less accessible to where I sit currently than say...Las Vegas?
GCI, the company I work for, has a retail store in Sitka.

I just get this crazy feeling I may volunteer to visit right around the time of filming. Let's call it my sixth sense perhaps. I mean, Sitka is so nice during the (insert season here) and they really do want me to visit. Plus, I've never been!

I really hope this happens, because I think that would be ridiculously great, as you may have been able to tell from the "rambling meter" going off the charts on this blog.

Well, I Did It

Sunday, February 10, 2008

James McAvoy and Keira Knightley in Atonement

For the first time that I can recall, I've seen all five Best Picture nominees before the Oscars. Over this past weekend, I wrapped it up by catching Atonement on Saturday afternoon and Michael Clayton today (for the latter I'll have to thank Bittorrents). I have them all downloaded so I can rewatch them before hand as well, but after one view each at least, I've come to a decision as to which is my favorite and which I want to win. And boy...it is surprising, even to me.

My favorite movie of 2007, and the film I hope wins the Best Picture award...is Atonement.

After sitting down and really thinking about it, even in the face of Daniel Day-Lewis' tour de force performance in There Will Be Blood, in the face of the grit and intensity of the Coen Brothers' No Country for Old Men, in the face of wonder child and current It girl Ellen Page's Juno, and in the face of the moral depth and importance of Michael Clayton, Atonement simply stands above the rest.

It's the only of the five that had me saying "Wow. Wow." after I left the theater. No Country and There Will Be Blood did to a certain degree, but mostly aspects of them. Atonement is the proverbial total package, telling a beautiful story of a love stifled by a lie, a life haunted by a childhood mistake, and the need for human beings to find atonement for what they've done in their lives. Performances are superb all around, with James McAvoy being robbed of a nomination and only wunderkind Saoirse Ronan pulling in a nomination for her role as the thirteen year old Briony Tallis.

Two things in particular made Atonement spectacular: the character of Briony Tallis and Dario Marianelli's score. The former is played by three actresses (Ronan, Romola Garai, and Vanessa Redgrave) and the three of them manage to make Tallis one of the most interesting characters of recent memory, while also making you feel for her even in spite of what she does to the star crossed couple. As for the score, its one of the most beautiful and inventive scores of recent memory, and it works amazingly well within the film and as a stand alone piece.

All of this, and I don't even like period dramas. I normally find them boring and too prim and proper. I'm much more of a crime guy, typically favoring the No Country for Old Men's of the world. However, sometimes its pretty hard to ignore the greatness of something...even if it isn't typically your style.


Thursday, February 7, 2008

Powitanie czytniki! (That little nugget is "hello readers!" in Polish, as my little map to the right says that I apparently had a reader from Poland, and I am a man who caters to his readership).

Apparently the Writers Strike has finally ended, pending approval by the writers on Saturday, effectively neutralizing the pitiful semblance of a social life I currently have and making it back into what it was when TV was on before: non-existant. Perfect timing as well, as perhaps this means the writers can get cracking and finish up Battlestar Galactica season 4 so we can actually wrap it up with 20 consecutive episodes.

A boy can dream right?

No less, very cool for those that are TV addicts like me (so sad...I know) and terrible for those who are friends or family members of said addicts. Perhaps those who were addicted are less so because they discovered more rewarding things to do with their free time, such as exercising or reading?

Not likely.

The Scuffle to End all Scuffles

Wednesday, February 6, 2008
"Gentlemen fight with their mouths, not their fists." ~ Anonymous

"Good men do not fight with women." ~ Anonymous

"You're going down Amy Steele!!!" ~ David Harper

Tuesday night, myself and a large group of friends (Amy, Lacey, Lorna, Colver, Kim, and Nick) went to Humpy's for the Pub Quiz, aka Trivia Night v 2.0. It was once again ridiculously difficult, but this time far more fun. Why was this? Lacey, Amy, and I went an hour and 15 minutes early to secure a booth, and that made pretty much all the difference. Well...that and the fact that instead of having simply two beers each, we had a total of 8 pitchers between the seven of us, all of them being rather severe beers. You know...tasty but strong. Needless to say, social lubicrant was served, and everyone was having a jolly time.

It was a very good time, but the most entertaining part of the night had to be Amy and I. Why were we entertaining? We were fighting all night long. Tensions were so high between us, when we weren't fighting she was like the U.S.S.R. and I was like America during the Cold War - neither party was doing anything, but we both knew the other party could drop the bomb at any time.

One main difference between our spat and the Cold War?

Ours was a full out war, with the two sides launching flurries of slaps, head butts, helicopter spins, and various other malicious acts towards the other party. All of this was without even leaving Humpy's. As we were leaving, I managed to lift Amy up and begin spinning her (my classic girl move), which was going perfectly until a bouncer suggested casually that I should probably put her down. Solid recommendation bouncer. Typically that would be the end of the story, but hoo boy...this puppy isn't finished. Not by a long shot.

After we left Humpy's, Lacey took Amy and I back to my place, Amy to her car, myself so I could slumber peacefully. But of course, Amy wouldn't have any of that, running and diving into me as I went to say good night to her and Lacey. I was shocked! How could someone break a cease fire in such an intense and horrific way? I of course was forced into defending myself, unleashing the quote near the top upon Amy and attacking with a ferocity seen rarely outside of cheesy action flicks and epic movies starring people wearing armor.

As you can clearly see above, Amy took to the advantage at first, using the incredibly icy terrain and the aforementioned surprise to take me down, forcing me to the ground and taking away my ability to use my raw power and incredible intellect to my advantage. Of course, not unlike the noble Mongoose on the cowardly Cobra, I spun her and took the advantage right back. As Dwight Schrute would say, one of the flaws of women are their "weak arms," and I overpowered her with my freakishly powerful cannons (aka my arms), as clearly shown in the image above. To quote my Dad, Amy was "up shit creek without a paddle," and disgusting metaphors aside, that is a fairly accurate statement. Amy was mine!

Or so I thought.

Using her feminine wiles and cat like quickness, Amy used my apparent power position to her advantage, putting me in a fearsome headlock (as seen in the picture to the left), disabling me and effectively ending the battle in a truce and putting the two warring factions in a tenuous ceasefire. As much as it hurt me to do so (especially when the opportunity for the nuclear bomb of outside scuffles - the whitewash - was clearly within reach), I agreed upon said truce, and even made enough peace to take a picture with Amy afterwards (picture directly below), commemorating the battle that was witnessed not only by Lacey, but surely by my neighbors and by the couple driving down the street in an SUV during the battle.

In all seriousness, it was a bizarre scuffle that was extremely fun and something that likely couldn't be recreated given 30 similar evenings.

Also, in all fairness to myself, as entertaining as those quotes are at the top, I want to point out an addition to one that should be made.

Good men should not fight with women. Unless they are Amy Steele.

- David Harper

Fair enough I say.

Everybody Hurts, but Nobody was Hungry

Monday, February 4, 2008

Amy, myself, and Lacey around Halftime

As everyone on the planet now knows (97.5 million people watched the Super Bowl! Holy crap!) the Patriots lost in the Super Bowl to the New York Giants, but it wasn't for a lack of effort from myself and my group of friends. As you can see above, Amy and Lacey wore my jerseys once again and even gave into my insanity from time to time (Lacey rubbed Welker's numbers every time he made a catch...not in a weird way), but regardless of the positive juju we were throwing their way it still didn't work out.

As I expressed earlier, I am a sad panda, but thankfully because of our awesome food, I wasn't a hungry one in any way. Also, to clarify, there was absolutely no consumption of bamboo, thank god.

Lacey pretty much creating the Patriot

First and foremost, this Super Bowl party was also a pizza making party. We picked up dough and sauce from Moose's Tooth, and everyone had their very own concoctions to be made. First up? The Patriot, a creation of mine that was essentially Moose's Tooth's White Pizza, but with Chicken and Blue Crust. As you could guess, it was pretty delicious, however for some reason it was impervious to baking all the way on the bottom. This led to a very doughy rendition of delicious, but delicious no less.

Myself about to make the Maiden Voyage into the Patriot

The Patriot concept was of course based around making a red, white, and blue pizza for the Patriots colors (within itself a jinx because those are also the Giants colors), and this meant chicken, artichoke hearts, sun dried tomatoes, feta, mozzarella, and provolone, along with significant amounts of blue food coloring.

This is where I get into the fact that Lacey is a pizza genius. Her ability to toss and spin pizza dough puts her in the Mario brothers class of pizza creation. I'd like to see her family tree, because I guarantee you she has some serious Italian roots. She was a freak of nature, and if it weren't for the fact I'm pretty lazy, you'd have video proof of this.

But I am pretty lazy.

Amy with her amazing hat making her pizza

Up next was Amy, making her chicken pesto pizza, which was ridiculously delish. Its primary features were a pesto sauce, chicken, sun dried tomatoes, feta, mozzarella, and pine nuts. Pine nuts? Seriously? Seriously delicious I mean. That was one tasty pizza, and blew (blue?) my doughy (but delectable) dish out of the water. I'm going to go ahead and give her Super Bowl XLII (party) MVP. Go Amy!

Amy hovering over the Masterpizza

Past that, we had Colver making a Hawaiian pizza (with real chunks of Pineapple AND Bacon) and Jason making some sort of variation on a Hawaiian (with Mandarin Oranges, winning him outside the box topping of the day) pizza as well. Both were very delicious and will make a fine lunch/dinner for me throughout the week. Hurrah!

Brianna came in late and stormed the judge's table with her whole wheat crusted, chicken sausage and spinach pizza which was top notch in its own regards. But it couldn't stand up to Amy's pizza, which was pretty damn spectacular.

In the snack category, there is only one real contender for the MVP. Kim made her legendary Seven Layer Dip once again (although it only had six layers, as the attentive Jason pointed out) and it was loved by one and all as per usual. We started out with a ridiculously huge tray, and it was pretty much cleaned out by the time the place cleared out. That's a lot of dip.

So there you have it, Amy gets Best of Show: Pizza and Kim gets Best of Show: Snickity Snacks. Congrats to the winners! Also, thanks to Amy, Lacey, Colver, Lorna, Kim, Brianna, Hannah, Jason, Nick, and Sean for showing up. I appreciated your support, not to mention dealing with my always bizarre and borderline insane actions with a surprising amount of understanding. Thanks bunches.

Also, because I ruined the top picture with my "left eye that hates staying open" face, here is a picture that turned out way better of Amy and Lacey. Aren't I nice?

Amy (Brady) and Lacey (Welker)

Everybody Hurts

Sunday, February 3, 2008

The Patriots lost. So damn sad. Finished 18-1, and we really didn't have anyone else to blame but ourselves.

Wes Welker played an incredible game, and a lot of the players played well. I'm going to personally blame our offensive line (gave up 5 sacks, 9 hits on Brady, and Matt Light had two crazy bad false starts) the most. The Giants were always in Brady's face, and it was amazingly frustrating. The Giants pass rush was incredible, and (I can't believe I'm saying this) Eli Manning played very well. Congrats to the Giants. Bastards.

As for me, I'm doing OK. I'm not an utter wreck as per usual, as Lacey, Amy, and myself are sitting and watching the OC, partially enjoying it and partially making fun of it. Fun as per usual. The pizza making and snickity snacks were incredible, and it was all in all a good time. Thanks for all the well wishing from people about our loss (yes...our loss), and to those who called or texted to give me crap - I hate you. Not really, but I'm pissed at you.

Very sad day no less.

Go Patriots!

Today my favorite football team (and frequent obsession) the New England Patriots go for 19-0 in the 2007-08 season, when they face the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLII. I'm not going to say anything else, besides that I'm excited for a good game (meaning one that the Patriots win), good food (Pizza party and tons of snickity snacks!), and good friends (bunch of people coming over)! Can't wait, pictures will ensue afterwards...unless the unthinkable happens and in that case, I may be locked in my bedroom for a month.