Saturday, February 28, 2009

The DIA, a Deerstalker, &, come to think of it, a Heineken

We scored free DIA tickets from the library this week & decided to cap off my spring break w/ a trip into town. We met up w/ Elizabeth & Dan & had a great time showing the kids all the stuff. They'd never been there before but seemed to have a really good time. It was hard to gage because they claimed to be bored a lot, but they seemed really into it. They just didn't have the ability to contextualize it. We could never have done something like this when Sosltic eor Aiden were little, but Isaiah was sooo good the whole time... he loved shilling out & looking @ stuff. Aiden loved the medieval armour & Solstice was into the medieval religious stuff, the Van Goghs, & she seemed to enjoy the post-modern stuff too... it cracked her up. It cracks me up too which is partly why I love it. I must admit, I've never been too impressed by Warhol though. There are certainly much more interesting post-modernists than him. Speaking of being cracked up, I also cracked myself up by ordering a deerstalker last week for 8 pounds 7. It arrived & I wore it all day which was cool but also a bit attention whorey. I love it though, so after I've broken it in a bit, I'm sure it will be fine... kind of like my kilts I guess. I didn't used to be very comfortable wearing them either but now it's 2nd nature. I assumed Elizabeth would be less than pleased when she saw me walk into the museum in my kilt & deerstalker so I had to go ahead w/ it... it was pretty great. It was also pretty great when we got a snack The Kresge Court & saw they sell Heineken. I've never been a fan of it before, but along w/ watching Solstice in the contemporary gallery & wearing my deerstalker, I thought a Heineken would crack me up... I was right. It's nasty, but it was funny. While we "enjoyed" our Dutch import, Dan explained that the US will be playing Honduras @ soldier Field on June 6. Apparently a road trip is in order. For those of you who have forgotten, you can read about our last trip to Chicago for a US match here.
Gauguin's self-portrait
Solstice and a sculpture
Dan and a creepy, creepy baby
Solstice fascinated by a Lichtenstein
Stephanie nurses beautifully as the kids look ridiculous

Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Root Beer Post

Last summer I was on about Orange Crush, & while I'm certainly not off of the Crush, I haven' been quite as soda-oriented lately. That said, I just had a fantastic root beer (a Frostop w/ dinner & thought I'd mention it. Jason will tell you A&W is the best, & as for frosted mugs w/ on-tap root beer he's absolutely right. I'm gonna focus on the bottled stuff though. Obviously, claiming to have had ever brand would be ridiculous, but I have tried a lot over the years. Here they are, rated on a scale of 1-5, in reverse alphabetical order (if you can think of others that I've tried, or others you've tried & would like to rate, be sure to leave the old comments):

Wild Bill's *****
A nice creamy body w/ a sweat, full finish. It's really good.

Virgil's ***
A bit pretentious, but better than their ginger ale

Stewart's ***
A basic, rootbeer w/o many bells or whistle, but it's fine

Sioux City ****
To quote The Stranger, "That's a good one." It is the grand daddy, after all.

Natural Brew **
A decent body, but the finish is a bit thin and uninteresting

Mug *
Fine in a pinch, but certainly nothing to write home about

Considering how popular this is, I would have thought it'd be better, but it's tolerable

IBC ****
The 1st micro-brewed root beer I ever had. You've all had it and it's pretty damn good.

Hires **
Better than most of the major label brews.

Hansen's **
Similar to Natural Brew. It opens well, but the finish is thin and tinny. Hints of marzipan and dried cherries.

Goose Island ***
Like their beer, it's good, but not great. It's certainly better than some though

Frostop *****
Creamy and full bodied. This is a quality brew. They sell it @ Washtenaw Liqueur... try it! Nothing tops it, but the foam... or so they say.. & i think they might be right.

Frostie ***
I imagine it was a lot better before they changed the recpe adding the high fructose corn syrup and artificial sweetners & dropping the cane sugar. It's nothing special now.

Faygo ***
Much better than one would expect. A nice full flavor & the finish has a little bite

Dad's ****
I remember liking this a lot, but it's been a long time. I don't recall much about it

Boylan ***
Another tolerable brew.

Blue Sky ***
There's something about the labels sold in the natural Foods Stores that misses the mark. It's like Natural brew and Hansen's... decent, but thin and forgettable

Barq's *
Stay away from this stuff... it's BAD!

A&W ***
Probably the best of the main stream brews. The plastic bottes doon't do it justice though. Do like Jason & get a frosty mug.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Finnegan's Wake Post #2

I'm still slowing making progress through the book. It's even starting to make a little sense. I read a glos of the first 2 chapters & what I basically thought was happening is actually what's happening. HCE has been accused of molesting/having sex w//some sort of sexual transgression w/ a young woman/teenage girl, but it doesn't seem likely that he is guilty or was even in the park @ that time. It sounds like his rumored guilt will spread around Dublin/Dooblym/Dabbyland & briefly/completely/until he dies tarnish his reputation. We'll see. Here's a nice little passage for you:
"Hay, hay, hay! Hoq, hoq, hoq! Faun and Flora on the lea love that little old joq. To anyone who knew and loved the christlikeness of the big cleanminded giant H. C. Earwicker thoughout his excellency long vicefreegal existence the mere suggestion of him as a lustsleuth nosing for trouble in a booby traprings particularly preposterous."

In other reading news, we did Borges' "Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote" in class yesterday. It's a fun little story about a guy who rewrites Don Quixote in 1902... word-for-word. It seemed as though people's heads were going to explode as they tried to wrap their minds around the idea of rewriting a book... but Borges is soooo fucking cool. Be sure to check him out if you haven't, or give him another look if you have.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


We're sitting in the living room and Spongebob is about to start. I go to change the channel and Aiden freaks out.
Aiden: "I'm sick. I get to watch what I want!"
Me: "Since when?"
Aiden: :I'll go to bed right after it."
Me: "Cursive? Do you mean curséd?"
Solstice: "Yeah! That's the word! curséd!"

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Not Even Omar Sharif Could Save This Film

He only had a couple scenes, & what he did was fantastic, but it was simply too little too late. We watched The Last Templar this week (it is a 2 part mini series... we finished it last night). It has the production value of a decent Skinemax softcore & the acting inabilities of Mira Sorvino, which come together in an awful blend of awesomeness. I could definitely see this being 1 of those crap-ass films that I'll get sucked into every time it's on like Waterworld or a Roger Moore James Bond film. In fact, Waterworld is a good comparison, but Waterworld had a bigger budget w/ better effect. It's certainly no Flash Gordon or Clash of the Titans though.I haven't seen many of her films, but I'm beginning to wonder if the Oscar for her role as a hooker in Mighty Aphrodite was a bit generous... playing a trashy whore seems to be her 1 true talent.The Last Templar has gotten me thinking about other Archaeological Action/Adventures of the last 30 years & how it compares to them. Obviously, Indiana Jones tops the list, but here is a list of the ten that stand out & how The Last Templar fits in.
1) Romancing the Stone
2) The Man who Would Be King... not an Indy rip-off... 5 years prior to Indy based on the Kipling novella
3) King Solomon's Mines (the Richard Chamberlain Version... based on the Haggard novel from 100 years earlier, but only made o cash in on Indy fun)
4) Firewalker
5) Jewel of the Nile
6) National Treasure
7) The Mummy
8) The Librarian
9) Pit Fall (the Atari 2600 game... I'd rather watch someone play this than watch Tomb Raider)
10) Tomb Raider
11) The Last Templar

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Aiding and Abetting the Celebrity Gossip Sites

I just learned via a friend's facebook update that Ryan Adams & Mandy Moore are engaged. Of course, Visions of Ypsi is known around the globe for its dedication to a skeptical approach to celeb gossip & rumor mongering, so we need to look closer @ this rumor. I'm really not that concerned w/ celebrity marriage, & I highly doubt any relationship involving Ryan Adams has a chance @ longevity, but the fact that Mandy Moore is involved is intruiging... I know absolutely nothing about her, but I hear her name a lot so she must be extremely talented. Anywaya, here's the situation.
1. I read the Facebook status
2. I Googled "Ryan Adams Mandy Moore
3. I clicked on the 1st link that mentioned their engagement, E-Online, who cited no one so I had to go back to Google.
4. I found the New York Magazine page which also discussed their engagement, & this strangely anti-Ryan Adams site even included a citation... Life & Style Magazine.
5. Follown their link to Life & Style, I was actually directed to Perez Hilton, which also cited Life & Style; however, the link they posted doesn't work.
6. I returned to Google & searched for Life & Style, a site that seems to have neither a reference to this rumored engagement, nor a search function.

It was this 6-step process that has dented my faith in the internet. I'm beginning to wonder if it's all just a bunch of baseless links w/ nothing but porn & hearsay... shocking!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

James Joyce makes for a fun winter

I started reading Finnegan's Wake again this week & can proudly announce that @ 10 pages I've made it twice as far as ever before. It's like Dr. Seuss & Lewis Carroll got together & ate some mushrooms. But rather than an extensive... ie: boring... post about it, I think I'm going to occasionally just give you all a couple quotes this winter while I slowly make my way through it. Here are the 1st few quotes:

* Hootch is for husbandman handling his hoe. Hohohoho, Mister Finn, you're going to be Mister Finnagain! Comeday morm, & O, you're vine! Sendday's eve & oh you're vinegar! Hahahaha, Mister Funn, you're going to be fined again!

* Arrah, sure, we all love little Anny Ruiny, or, wee mean to say, lovelittle Anna Rayiny, when unda her brella, mid piddle, med puddle, she ninnygoes, nannygoes, nancing by. Yoh!

Stay tuned to Visions of Ypsi... there's sure to be more to come! And you can read it along w/ me & maybe even get you Joseph Campbell on.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

A Wiki Week

In my comp classes, I have my students writing Wikipedia pages as part of their multi-genre project. They have to find something that isn't on there already and learn all of the conventions & formatting rules. As it turns out, this has also been a fun little learning project for me. To teach it, I obviously had to learn it & be able to demonstrate it... something I didn't really think about in December when I came up w/ the assignment. In trying to figure all of it out, I've come to a 2-fold realization:
1) It's a pretty fun site
2) I'm loving tweaking stuff & I've made a bunch of changes
* I cleaned up & expanded the Depot Town page .
* I added "The Mexican Slayride" to the Boilermaker page .
* I placed a picture of Isaiah in the Yawn page... mainly because I needed to learn how to add a picture & that's the 1 I had on my office desk-top .
* I created a page for the Michigan Elvisfest... it's still pretty brief, but it's a start & I've got about a week to double its size since I want my class to create pages about twice as long for their assignment.

Along w/ writing the page, they've been discussing the problems w/ the site & it seems that if more students looked into it like this, there'd be far fewer of them who see it as a legitimate source for research projects. The other new project I've got them doing this semester is blogging... if you're interested, there are links to all of their blogs on my class blog.

Monday, February 2, 2009

This is for the Steelers... & Demir

When I find myself in times of trouble
Mother Mary comes to me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be.
And in my hour of darkness
She is standing right in front of me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be.
Let it be, let it be.
Whisper words of wisdom, let it be.

And when the broken hearted people
Living in the world agree,
There will be an answer, let it be.
For though they may be parted there is
Still a chance that they will see
There will be an answer, let it be.
Let it be, let it be. yeah
There will be an answer, let it be.

And when the night is cloudy,
There is still a light that shines on me,
Shine on until tomorrow, let it be.
I wake up to the sound of music
Mother Mary comes to me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be.
Let it be, let it be.
There will be an answer, let it be.
Let it be, let it be,
Whisper words of wisdom, let it be.