Saturday, September 29, 2007

Oktoberfest: Redford Style

A good Oktoberfest is more than just Men wearing Lederhosen & eating sausage. Unfortunately, this one was less. Of course, there was a bratwurst counter, but no one was dancing in lederhosen and the beer sucked, not to mention the cotton candy & Phantom Menace nachos. I went to this shit-ass festival because my parents wanted to go & I figured it'd be nice to hang w/ them for an evening. After about 20 minutes, my mom asked me if I knew what was right down the road. "Hell?" Apparently not, but I have a feeling it's in the vicinity. The other thing in the vicinity is the location of my high school, so I suppose I should have known what I was getting into. M parents ordered, rather than the standard sausage in a bun, the pork tenderloin dinner. As the woman took the top off of the vat of this so-called tenderloin, I thought, "You're not seriously considering eating that, are you?" I need not tell you that the answer was a resounding "YES!" And they both regretted it the way I knew they would. It was this small piece of spam-esque meat w/ a side of potato salad & sauerkraut. The sides looked alright, but I just went for the nachos...a little-known German delicacy. I also had a cup of Spaten which wasn't bad; of course, 98% of the people there were just drinking Labatt's Light... a little known German dark ale. A little tid-bit of info about Spaten: the brewery can be traced back to 1363... that's kind of impressive. Anyway, as we ate we enjoyed some live music by a group of douchebags w/ a sax & an accordion. One expects accordion music at an Oktoberfest, & I've never been shy about the fact that I love me some polka, but one wouldn't expect said band to be playing a stupid "Achy Breaky Heart" parody that goes "Don't play that song, that 'Achy Breaky' song / I might flip out & kill someone." A logical sentiment regarding Billy Ray Cyrus, except that in order to play the parody, one is basically playing the song. After we finished the beer & nachos we headed outside to check out the vendors. I was hoping for lederhosen or signed photos of Karl Heinz Rummenigge or maybe some Hasslehoff memorabilia, even some Nazi stuff would have been kinda neat, but I guess that's a touchy subject for some people. Instead, there was a booth selling pink cowboy hats w/ light-up bunny ears. I don't mean the ears were next to the hats on the counter, I mean the ears were somehow (& for some unknown reason) attached to the hats. I say all of this knowing you may think I didn't have a good time, but it was fun & for some odd reason, I'm glad we went. I guess if nothing else, it gave me a blogable weekend activity.

Friday, September 28, 2007

The Infamous Penis Story

Last week, while my son was getting dressed, he looked at me w/ sullen eyes & a forlorn, downcast face. I asked what the matter was, & he responded, "I don't think I'll ever have an adult-sized penis." I was immediately interested in what he had to say, for knowing the genetics involved here, I couldn't understand what he had to fear. As I asked what he meant, he replied, "It keeps getting bigger, but then it gets small again." There was such anxiety & frustration in his voice, I struggled to contain my laughter. "That's how they work," I said, "mine does the same thing." He was absolutely shocked by this little nugget of info, & he looked as though the weight of the world had been lifted off of his shoulders. Such utter relief in his eyes. I then suggested that it gets bigger when he wakes up and has to go to the bathroom or if he's been messin' w/ it, & he looked at me wondering how the Hell I could know such a thing. He then wondered how it gets bigger, to which I then had to reply by explaining that the veins fill up w/ blood. Of course, his next question, to which I didn't have such a good answer, was "what part of me doesn't have blood in it when it's in my penis?" I answered the best I could & realized that this had been bothering him for quite some time. It was awesome.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

AIDS in Africa

Obviously, we all know this is a serious problem and by blogging about it, I'm doing my level best to fight it, but this Catholic Arch-Bishop from Mozambique just might be doing more harm than good. Check out this BBC article and his claims that European condom manufacturers are infecting the condoms in order to destroy all Africans w/in the next 100 years. I was alright w/ the claim that AIDS was developed by the CIA for the purpose that Archbishop Francisco Chimoio (of course other information suggests his name is Francisco Silota from the city of Chimoio) is claiming. I was alright w/ Public Enemy's suggesting that the formula for AIDS was listed in a book of chemical and biological weapons in the 1950s. But condom manufacturers? Be sure to also check out the picture that the BBC included w/ the article. Correct me if I'm wrong, but it might be a little jovial concerning the nature of the article itself. I wonder what the thought process was that went into picking the photo: "Well, I can't find a picture of Chimoio/Silota (maybe they can't find a picture of him because they don't know his actual name) or anything related to Mozambique or the Catholic Church or the global war on AIDS so lets go w/ this one."
For more info on the AIDS conspiracy theories, check out this wikipedia page... wikireality at its best.

Monday, September 24, 2007

American Telephone and Telegraph

I doubt this is what Alexander Graham Bell had in mind, but I'm sure he'd be happy about it. About a month ago, some dude came to my door promising faster Internet, my cable channels, & a lower price through AT&T's U-Verse program. While I'm usually skeptical about door-to-door salespeople, he sold me on it & I was scheduled to switch over on Sept. 2. I didn't want to do it immediately, because on Aug. 15, I had just paid my Comcast bill & he was on my porch on the 16th. I figured I should use the cable I had paid for already. Well, the douchebag didn't write the work order properly so when the cable dude called to say he was on his way on the 2nd, he wasn't prepared to switch my Internet. We had to reschedule for the 10th. Before I complain about the appointment on the 10th, I want to make it clear that I'm impressed by their 2 hour windows as opposed to Comcast's 6 hour appointment window, that didn't help on the 10th though as the dude went to the wrong house. By the time I got in touch w/ him, it was too late & we had to reschedule again. He said he could come back on Sunday the 23rd between 8:00 &10:00, so yesterday when I hadn't heard anything by 8:45 I was getting skeptical. I got a call at 9:00 though & he was at my house by 9:30. I imagine most people would have backed out by this point, but for more channels @ a lower price I stuck w/ them. This was their last chance though. He was able to do most of the work while I was watching the Man U v Chelsea game, but as he switched my TV over, I missed Saha's penalty. When I turned it back on, Man U was up 2-0. It was worth missing the goal though, because I'm lovin' the new cable. Particularly, I'm lovin' BBC America, VH1 Classic, The National Geographic Channel, & Boomerang. For those of you who don't know, Boomerang is owned by Cartoon Network & shows old cartoons like Super Friends & Inch High Private Eye! Missing part of the game leads me into why I scheduled it when I did though.I scheduled it for Sunday rather than Saturday for 2 reasons. First of all, my kids had their 1st game on Saturday, & I wanted to make sure there was no overlapping. They won 8-6 by the way which marked Solstice's first win ever. A couple of the kids on the team are dynamite, but Aiden needs a little more tenacity & Solstice was tired after a sleepover the night before. By the end she picked up her pace and seemed to really be enjoying herself. Afterwards, Aiden was dehydrated & ended up puking on the way home. I happened to have a cup in the car into which he hurled, but then as I opened the door to help him out, he poured it all on my feet. Typical. The other reason I wanted it on Sunday was because the Arsenal v Derby game was on Saturday morning & I certainly didn't want to miss any of that 5-0 thumping. You may be wondering how I knew the Saturday game would be better than the Man U v Chelsea game. The answer to that obvious question is equally obvious: Man U v Chelsea games always suck. Of course, this time there was the added excitement of Chelsea's coach having just "quit." As it turns out, that didn't make the game any more interesting though.

After the cable guy left, we went to my game where I should have scored 3 goals but actually scored 0 goals. My 1st short was like Fabregas' goal in the clip above, but it went just wide. My 2nd opportunity was like Adebayor's 1st goal except a defender got his foot on the ball. My 3rd chance came in the last minute when we were tied 2-2. I found some space about 15 yards out just like Diaby's goal above, but the goalie made a great save. Oddly, he wasn't really a goalie & no one (even the people on his team) thought he would save it. It was a fun game over all though, & since the other team had to use some of our people because they were short-handed, we technically won even though it ended 2-2.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Bumper Stickers

I know you might claim I have no room to talk regarding this subject, but I've seen a few stickers lately that have been driving me nuts for years. Now, I've suffered many a middle finger based on my stickers, particularly in the run up to the last election, so maybe I'm more qualified to discuss this than most of you.
*Sticker #1: "I'd rather be reading Jane Austin"
Really? Rather than driving around town, going on vacation, taking your kids to the beach, going to see a mid-wife after years of trying in order to find out you've finally gotten pregnant... rather than doing all these things or any number of other things you might be doing, you'd prefer to be reading fucking Sense and Sensibility? That's fucking crazy! Every time I see that sticker, I want to run the mother fucker driving it off the road. I mean, come on... Persuasion? Really? The only thing good about Persuasion is the fact that it was partially the inspiration for The French Lieutenant's Woman.
Of course, I could be misunderstanding the sticker. It's possible that it doesn't mean "rather than what I'm doing at this very second," but "rather than the book I happen to be reading this week," in which case, quit making the ridiculous bumper-clad assertions and just read fucking Emma. Or better yet, just watch the films. Other than Northanger Abbey, the films are better anyways.
*Sticker #2: "Against abortion? Don't have one!"
Come on! That's just stupid. I understand the desire to express one's right to choose, I also understand the desire to paste one's political beliefs on a bumper, but if that is the best the "Pro-Choice" folks can do, we're in trouble. Do yourself a favor & print up a sticker that says something about personal choice, about patriarchy, about the debate over when life begins, about rape, about pretty much anything other than the claim that people shouldn't voice opinions. This line of thought leads to 2 obvious problems. First off, this sticker is suggesting that people stop standing up for what they believe. Even though they may disagree, they should still be encouraged to speak up. Can you imagine a sticker claiming, "Against the war? Don't enlist!" or "Against slavery? Don't own one!" or a really topical one like "Against dog fighting? Don't train your dog to fight!" The other issue here is for you Poli/Sci folks. Suggesting that one shouldn't attempt to petition the courts to change is absurd. They've changed their minds before... they'll do it again. In fact, that might be the fear exemplified in that sticker, but the fact that the courts can reinterpret the Constitution and the fact that we can change it at all is what makes it such an important document. When the founders left room for change, they were acknowledging their own fallibility. If they assumed they wouldn't fuck up, they'd have ignored the need to amend the Constitution and probably would have made the President a life long position. Why bother w/ elections every 4 years if you never fuck up?
*Sticker #3: "Not all who wander are lost"
Yeah, yeah, yeah... so you read Tolkien... so did everyone else... other than me. Are we really supposed to be impressed by that? 3 books about a bunch of 'people" walking to a mountain? You read the books... I saw Clerks II. Go figure. Big fucking deal.
Or, you never read the book but feel that it's such a deep idea that the fact that the sticker doesn't actually mention the name of he person who wrote it doesn't matter. Which implies you don't even know who your bumper is quoting to begin w/. You fucking tool!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Take a Break and Remember Jake

Since long before I lived around here... apparently before any of you did... Jake was a mainstay in the vicinity of Main and Liberty. Rumors suggest that he may have been from Flint or possibly Florida, but of course the NPR story this morning featured a quote from him claiming to hail from Little Rock. Beyond the confusion surrounding his origin, there's also the mythology concerning his age, his wealth, his winters in a mansion in Miami and of course the supposed Voo Doo curse that allowed him, like Dorian Gray, to remain at a constant age. Unlike Dorian Gray, however, Jake hadn't been young in quite a long time. Apparently, he remained about 130.I first heard of Jake when I was working at Whole Foods and my supervisor mentioned him. I didn't know who he was talking about, but by the next time I walked through town, I realized exactly who Shakey Jake was. We had a few conversations over the years, but he never remembered me... in part because he met people in town every day, and in part because he was kinda nuts. Of course, there's the other rumor... the most easily believed of all the rumors about that guyt... that he was institutionalized for a while back, well, sometime in the past. The NPR story also claimed that his slurred speech was due to a stroke he suffered recently, but if that's the case, then what's to explain the fact his speech was always slurred? Maybe it doesn't matter. In the end, he was a cool old dude and everyone seemed to love him. He'll definitely be missed.

  • Michigan Daily Article from 1998
  • M-Live's Obituary
  • Another M-Live Story
  • Arbor Wiki w/ a letter from Jake's relative
  • Monday, September 17, 2007

    Arrrrr... 100,000 Miles

    My odometer just turned over on Sunday. I was driving home from my parents' house as it happened in the middle of Canton after a quick stop at The Trading Post in Plymouth where I picked up a new soccer ball & a new pair of sweet, sweet socks. I've never had a car long enough to watch this happen before. I may have the opportunity to watch this w/ my 1st car, but the odometer didn't work. of course, w/ that car, it wouldn't have been 100,000, it would have been 300,000 because by the time I got it, it'd already been all over the continent. In fact, the guy who sold it to me claimed he'd driven it to Alaska twice. My current car has never gone that far though. Here's a re-cap of the road-trips the old Escape has experienced since I bought it in 2002 w/ about 20,000 miles on it:
    * Columbus 2003
    * Petoskey 2004
    * Cleveland 2004
    * Cleveland 2005
    * Petoskey 2005
    * Chicago 2007
    * Traverse City/Petoskey 2007
    Why did this post start w/ a pirate "ARRR," you ask? Because it's important to remind you all of the grandest holiday of the season. Wednesday is "Talk Like a Pirate Day," so get your rum now and be sure to rent yourself a couple Errol Flynn films. For those of you in need of a nearly comprehensive list of pirate films you should go here and then finish up the list here. When it comes to pirates, only at Visions of Ypsi do you get such top shelf service.

    Thursday, September 13, 2007

    Random Info

    In our double-header on Tuesday, we brought our record to 3-1. In fact it should have been 4-0 after that night, but a few errors in the in-field fucked us. The first game, however, we won 14-9 w/ my grand slam which was followed by my 2 run homer. We had a good time even w/ the loss in the 2nd game, but our 2nd base person was sent to the hospital after she tore her quad from the bone. She happens to be the same person who was knocked unconscious last week when the center fielder ran her over in a weak attempt to grab a fly-ball.

    Friday Night:
    My Dear Disco is playing at the Blind Pig. I've never heard of them, but they've been opening some shows for the Macpodz... apparently, & more importantly, they feature Tyler Duncan, son of my co-worker Jeff Duncan & integral member of Millish. You may recall that I wasn't too pleased w/ the Blind Pig the last time I was there, but I'll give it another go... and you should too.

    Kids' Soccer:
    Their first practice is this evening followed by another one next week leading up to their 1st game. They are so excited, & I am too. I love getting out there w/ them & watching them run around & learn how the game works. I was even able to get them on the same team this fall, so I only have to coach one team. Stacey's son, Luka, & a couple kids from last spring are on the team again too, so I think we'll have a great time.

    Tastes of Ypsi:
    The companion blog to Visions of Ypsi has been updated w/ recipes from Georgina and one I lifted off of Steve's blog after their party last week. Geo's zucchini stuff looks great. I recommend trying them. Steve's stuffed jalapenos looked fantastic too... check it out, and feel free to send in a recipe to be added.

    Monday, September 10, 2007

    Gay as a Handbag Full of Rainbows...

    ... Or the obligatory 1st game injury update
    (Or, simply put, fodder for Jason)
    I had my first game of the season yesterday & was playing much better than expected until the 4th quarter when a new guy on my own team kicked me in the ankle. I'd already strained my groin & twisted my back, so this was the final straw. I was hurting... & still am. I took to kids to Taco Bell afterwards & put them to bed when I realized that my aching bones would do well w/ a bath. If I remember correctly, I hadn't taken a bath in 4 years, partly because I know they aren't the most manly of activities, but I'm secure enough w/ myself & I knew it would do me good, so I figured, "What the Hell?" Since it'd been so long, I also figured I'd do it up... I opened a bottle of wine, lit a few candles, & grabbed the new issue of World Soccer. As I was soaking & feeling a bit better, I heard Solstice coming down the stairs. She enters the TV room & realized neither the light nor the TV was on. I then hear, "Dad???" "In here," I replied as she then looking into the bathroom. She eyed the candles, looked the wine up and down, & finally saw me in the bubble bath. The, w/ the funniest look on her face, she said, "well, this is a pretty fancy bath." It turns out that her eyes were itchy & she wanted an allergy pill, but I feel as though she was thinking the only thing that would have made my antics any gayer would have been if I'd had a cock in my mouth. OK, she's 8, she probably didn't think that... but she should have.

    Friday, September 7, 2007

    Anal Bleeding

    I know you, faithful readers, are assuming this must be a euphemism or a joke, but no, this post is actually about anal bleeding... among other things. A week ago, my lovely son became my green, nauseous, sickly son for a couple days. He recovered pretty quickly, but then I too got a stomach bug. In the immortal words of Vyvyan Basterd, I had quite a runny bottom. I'm not sure if it's the same thing he had though because it seems to have effected me differently. While I threw nothing up, everything that went in did have the propensity to come out quickly, it just used the other end. I wasn't been able to be w/o a toilet for more than a couple hours, & if I ate something, I had a window of about 15 minutes. The constant wiping has caused the dreaded bleeding, but I think my innards are on the mend because I was able to fart this morning w/o blowing a gasket & squirting in my shorts. This is the first time since Sunday that I've felt comfortable risking such a thing. Obviously, this had made me happy since the longer I go w/o the old diarrhea, the longer my butt hole has to heal.If anyone is still reading @ this point, I'll have you know I'm also happy because last night during dinner, I mentioned that I was in the mood to watch Victory, & when I then had to explain to my kids that it's a film about war & soccer, they jumped at the chance to watch it w/ me. They felt it had a slow start because they just wanted to get to the game, but I'll admit that I have been known to skip ahead to the game on a few occasions, so I can't blame them for that. It was funny, though, watching them watch the film w/o much understanding of Nazis or the Holocaust. When a group of German officers were discussing the implications of allowing Concentration Camp workers to be involved in the team, one said the game wasn't a good idea. To this Aiden was shocked: "A soccer game is ALWAYS a good idea!" Damn he made me proud. While Solstice was a bit more familiar w/ the context, & she was really in to the idea of reading the subtitles (as she was when we saw Mr. Bean's Holiday the other day), the conversation about bribing the ref went over her head; I guess she's never been exposed to cheating, which is probably good, but maybe she's been a little too sheltered. I'll have to pay off a couple refs for her games this fall to acclimate her to the real world. As a side note, you can order your very own Victory replica jersey here... I would suggest you do it so you can join Stallone, Caine, & Pele in taking a kick at the Fuhrer.3rdly, I'm happy because school has started & the kids are loving their teachers. I'm loving being back in the classroom, & I'm loving that Bob Dylan is coming to EMU on Oct. 12th w/ Elvis Costello. Tickets went on sale about 15 minutes ago, os get them before they're gone. It should be a fantatic night; I haven't seen Dylan in a while, & I've never seen Elvis Costello. My previous Dylan shows are as follows:
    *May 16, 1996: Pine Knob Music Theater (Amy Mann opened) w/ my ex-wife
    *February 15, 1998: University Of Toledo (some young guitar guy opened) w/ my ex-wife
    *July 7, 1999: Pine Knob Music Theatre (Paul Simon opened) w/ my ex/wife, Gina, Andy, & Jenn
    * Audust 6, 2003: Polaris Amphitheater (opened for The Dead) w/ my ex-wife, Dawn, & someone my ex worked with whose name I've forgotten

    Wednesday, September 5, 2007

    Holla if You're a Kickballa

    W/ Jean going to KY, I was asked to take his place on the Taproom kickball team, The Kickballers. We had our 1st games last night, a double header, & now sit at the top of the table w/ a sweet, sweet record of 2-0. We came from behind to beat Rough Housing in the 7th inning w/ 7 runs to win 14-12. In the 2nd game, we had to come from behind to beat The Bad News Betas 4-3. It was actually a lot of fun, but the mosquitoes were deadly. I would say I spent more time swatting them away than I spent actually playing the game. That's alright though because we won & winning is all that matters. 2nd place is no place! (2 Karate Kid references in 3 posts... at Visions of Ypsi, we always come correct w/ the classics.)

    Monday, September 3, 2007

    Vicente's: Restaurant Review

    On Saturday night, a group of us )Stacey, Jean, Jim, Rachel, & myself) went to this relatively new Cuban place in Detroit, Vicente's. Stacey heard about it from someone at the pool while discussing good places to get Sangria. As it turns out, Vicente's may be the best place to get Sangria. I'm not a huge fan, but it was fantastic. The live music & dancing was really cool too. (Aside from the fact that the guitarist was some hippie dude who kept slipping "Stairway to Heaven" [& a little bit of "El Condor Pasa"] in every chance he got.) The women leading the Flamenco dancing were really good. They seemed like a mother/daughter team, of which the daughter half was really cute. While the entertainment and booze were great (I also tried a mojito & learned they could get deadly since they're so easy to drink), the decor left something to be desired. I was expecting a sort of art-deco, 1930s Havana feel, but it was oddly plain (aside from the fish tank & the big Cuban flag). In a place like that, atmosphere seems important, but they missed the mark a bit. As far as the food goes, it's very good. I had some sort of seafood platter (for those of you not in the know, I occasionally stray from my vegetarianism & eat a little seafood on special occasions) which features lobster, jumbo shrimp, mussels, & a clam. It was all well cooked, but the sauce was a little bland. Everyone else seemed to enjoy their stuff too. It was a little pricey though for what it was. A few dollars less for a meal & I'd go back all the time. I would certainly recommend it though; it was a fun night out w/ great friends & a cuisine w/ which I wasn't very familiar.