Sunday, May 31, 2009

Bikes & Swine

As you may have already heard, Aiden's b-day bike was stolen from or backyard Friday night. It may be time to start looking for a house outside of town some where... Dexter or Saline maybe. I'm tired of the crime around here, but conversely, I love the community. Maybe I should don a cape & cowl & start fighting crime under cover of darkness. We watched the 2 hour series premier of the 1990 CBS show, The Flash, last night. I'm not quite hat fast, but what I lack in speed, I can make up for in stupid one-liners. The show seemed to fall between the twin peaks of Richard Belzer's career: The Groove Tube & Det. John Munch on the Law & Order franchise. The show sucked, but like the 1989 Batman film, it has inspired me to do something about the crime in this town. All I need is a slogan & a flashy logo... & an alias & some skills. Then I'll clean up this fuckin' town.In other news, Aiden was sick last week, & it turns out that he had Swine Flu. It's interesting to be a part of the big Swine Flue scare of '09, but on the other hand, it sucks because, while he is fine now, Stephanie has gotten it & I imagine I'm next in line. Aiden's manifested itself in a high fever & vomiting; Stephanie's seems to be a crazy headache & a fever (not as high as Aiden's though). Hopefully, I'll just get the fever & be able to ride out the hallucinations for a couple days. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Hot Tamales

After talking about an impending trip down to Mexican Town yesterday for a a while @ the Plum Market, I was inspired to pick up a package of corn husks & give the tamales a try. I'd never made them before; in fact, I can't recall when I ever had them @ all. They always seemed like such a good idea, but finding veggie ones is difficult. Well, we had 2 half full containers of corn meal in the cupboard & a bunch of beans & rice so I went for it this afternoon. The process took longer than I expected, but they turned out pretty well. Ahead of time, I didn't even know they needed to be steamed; I figured they get baked or something. Not having the proper huge-ass steamer on hand, I went w/ the soup pot & colander technique which worked well. Since the recipe called for Masa (& I only had regular corn meal... I don't know the difference, but I'm sure there is one) I cut back on the corn meal & added a little flour & baking powder just in case (in case of what??? I have no idea}. I filled them w/ beans, & I pt jalapeno slices in some. Then, according to a recipe I found on-line, I learned that 1 region of Mexico uses pineapple so I put some in a couple to see how it work... damn good! I hadn't experimented in the kitchen in ages, but this was a positive experience. If they weren't such a pain, I'd make them all the time.

Monday, May 25, 2009

It's time to discuss the reading process

While I was eating lunch today, I was read a bit of the book I've been reading but then got distracted as I began to think about my reading process & how it hasn't changed much in 15 years. For instance, there are certain places where I prefer to read: The Golden Egg on Washtenaw or the Fleetwood while eating breakfast, work while on my breaks, on the can while shitting (I know this is pretty common), in bed before I fall asleep (also probably pretty common), & outside while drinking a beer. If I had to pick 1 place though, it'd be the diners while breakfast. I can't think of many books I've read over the years that didn't join me for breakfast @ a diner. I think this started w/ Moby Dick @ Big Boys on Washtenaw in June of 1997.

Along w/ the reading locations, I also need a beverage & a pen. The bevvy can change based on the location, but only a handful of the books I've read remain un-underlined/written in. In fact, I've heard people suggest that they should write marginalia too, but I wish I was better @ not writing in the books. I could probably count the books I've read since high school that remained unscathed: Bunker Man, Treasure Island, Captain Blood, The Outlander books, a few Star Wars short story collections, & Sharpe's Rifles. Underlining means that I'm basically reading many things twice so the process takes a long time. The things I don't write in go much faster but I'm always afraid I may need to teach it some day so the marginalia continues.

While I'm an underliner, I'm also a page counter. I'm always more concerned w/ what I'm going to read next than w/ what I'm reading @ the moment. I have 190 pages to go in The Time Traveler's Wife & all I can think about is that I'll get to start something new soon. That's Ok though because I've been on a mission to read books I've owned for years but never read in an attempt to catch up & stop buying books for a while. It seems to be going pretty well, but I haven't been able to make it very far into Martin Amis's The Information yet. I must have started it 5 times over the years, but I just don't like it. What other books have I not finished, you ask? Wonderboys, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, Don Quixote, & War & Peace. I keep meaning to get back to Wonderboys & Don Quixote though... maybe this summer.

Other books I plan to read this summer:
The Island of the Day Before: Umberto Eco
Baudolino: Umberto Eco
Japanese by Spring: Ishmael Reed
If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things: Jon McGreggor
The Invention of Morel: Adolfo Bioy Casares*
Pierre: Herman Melville
Tom Sawayer: Mark Twain*
Three Bags Full: Leonie Swann
The Cardboard Universe: Christopher Miller
The Case of the Missing Servant: Tarquin Hall
The Namesake: Jhumpa Lahiri
The Leatherstocking Tales: James Fenimore Cooper*
* I don't own these yet so they're lower on the priorities list

Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Penultimate Soccer 08/09 Post

As I'm sitting here watching Victory w/ Isaiah (it's his 1st ever viewing & he's loving the German guard dogs)(you can read previous Victory posts here & here, I need to reflect on the Premier League since there is only 1 match left & Man U clinched the title last week. I'll post again after the Champion's League & FA Cup Finals next week... don't worry. Until then, though, I'll leave you w/ 2 basic points.

1) Man U as champions:
It must be said that they are a great team, but they're a bunch of diving whiners. It may be sour grapes, but people like Ronaldo & Evra, going to ground every chance they get, drive me crazy. They clenched the title last Saturday w/ a nil-nil draw @ home to Arsenal. They only needed 1 point out of their last 2 matches so it seemed a done deal, but they way they got it was disgusting. They refused to play the beautiful football they're known for; relying instead on crying to the ref & pretending to get tripped. Again w/ the sour grapes: I think I'd rather play pretty soccer that win the trophies. I guess that's easy for me to say though since the Green Team has been doing both lately. We're 4-0 @ the moment & have been dominating. Check out the stats. The major change to announce is that we're no longer Forest Green. We've taken the field this season w/ new Kelly Green shirts... but w/ the same old style & grace people have come to expect from the Canton Soccer Club Over 30 Rec Champions.

2) Arsenal in 4th Place:
Reflecting on the season & looking ahead to the summer transfer window, it's clear that some changes are in order. Arsene Wenger has already announced his plans to buy a couple established players which will be a nice change after years of bringing in mainly young unknowns (other than Nasri, Arshavin, Gallas, Silvestre, Eduardo, & Rosicky... ok, maybe the reputation for only buying young unknowns is a bit unfair). Anyway, here are my recommendations for the summer... since I'm sure the Arsenal Board of Directors are looking to this blog for their new changes.
In: Yaya Toure or a different defensive midfielder
In: A strong finisher to replace 1 or 2 strikers who will be leaving
In: An experienced central defender

Out: Bendtner... he is shit
Out: Eboue... he is shit & dives all the time (Maybe Man U for him)
Out on loan: Diaby & Denielson... they may get better, but for now Song & a new defensive Midfielder will be better.

I also think Adebayor, Walcott, Fabregas, & RVP may be leaving. I doubt RVP, Adebayor, & Bendtner will all leave, but 1 or 2 are definitely out... hopefully Bendtner & RVP, but it sounds like Adebayor is more likely than RVP to go. Arshvin will be fine (maybe even better than Fabregas in the center). Strikers will be replaced, but if Walcott leaves, Arsenal will also need to buy a right winger... Maybe Ribery??? I imagine Gallas &/or Silvestre will go this summer too which is why a new central defender is needed.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Post Wedding Stuff: The Honeymoon Week

After we got re-married last week, we decided to celebrate by making the last 7 days a sort of de facto honeymoon. Obviously, we didn't go anywhere, but we did enjoy a nice lunch @ Seva after wee filed the marriage certificate @ the County Building. We hadn't eaten there in ages, but it's awesome & the Dewapps & the Krausemakers gave us a gift cert as a wedding present so we took full advantage of it... Thank you very much Steve & Annette & Jim & Rachel. We also racked up a trip to Izakaya Sanpei last week in celebration of Aiden's b-day. If you haven't been there... go. It's a fantastic Japanese place on the corner of Joy & Morton Taylor. The following night, again more for Aiden's b-day than for our honeymoon, we went out for pizza after the kids' soccer practice. Saturday, following their match which they again won (they're 4-0), they went to my parents' place for the night so we were able to finish our awesome honeymoon w/ an 9 episode Lost marathon (S3, Ep6-14). We also ordered awesome Chinese food from Chia Shang... the greatest Chinese place of all time... it's next to Morgan & York... eat some!*

Today, we had 2 final post-wedding things to accomplish: insurance & her SSN. Oddly, we had nearly opposite experiences. We tried to do the SSN after Seva last week, but it just so happens that the SS office in Washtenaw moved a couple years ago so we had to put it off until today. I waited in the car w/ Isaiah while she went in only to learn that she needed all sorts of other paperwork to change her name even though her name change had nothing to do w/ the paperwork for which they were asking... apparently it was some Homeland Security issue... George Bush policy changes: the gift that keeps on giving. She'll need to go back yet again to finish her simple little task. The woman was really nice though so Stephanie didn't feel she could get too upset @ her which seems about right.

My happy little trip to HR was a different matter though. I showed up w/ everything filled in except for my SSN, my signature, & the date. The woman quickly entered everything & then set the form down saying I needed to fill in the last couple things. I took the paper & a pen to a table, did what needed to be done, & then gave them back to her... to which she responded, "I WOULD HAVE PREFERRED IF YOU'D ASKED TO BORROW MY PEN RATHER THAN JUST TAKING IT!" I was stunned. The form & the pen were set down side by side & it was the only pen I saw. Common sense suggested that I was to use it. I apologized & left. At that point, I reconsidered my apology. Why was I sorry? I'd done nothing wrong. Rather than be the doormat for some jerk in the HR office, I turned around. (Stephanie's issue was w/ protocol but a nice person; mine was w/ a rather angry person but the protocol was simple.) I went back into her office & said, "excuse me, you didn't need to take that tone; I WOULD HAVE PREFERRED IT IF YOU'D ACTUALLY OFFERED ME A PEN!" I don't know why such a simple thing needed to turn into a yelling match. As it turns out, I think I would prefer my situation over Stephanie's though. She was mean, but things got done. Stephanie has the inconvenience of having to go back yet again... & I certainly wouldn't trade places w/ her just so I could deal w/ a nice person.

*Footnote: After all that food, I need to get back to dieting & I decided to overhaul Tastes of Ypsi in order to do this. It will now be a food log (dlog??) since it hadn't been used in so long anyway & since I feel that if I actually publish everything I eat every day, I'll be less inclined to eat crappy food. I don't know how long I'll keep it up, but it seems like a good starting point.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Lost: Season 6

The biggest surprise I experienced last night while watching the Season 5 finale was that Season 6 will be the last. For some reason, I was under the impression that there were 2 more seasons. That said, Season 6 has a lot of 'splaining to do.
* What's Jacob's story?
* WTF is the smoke monster?
* How did Richard get there?
* How did the statue get destroyed?
* What's w/ the Shadow people?
* WTF John Locke II?
* What's Christian's Story?
* How did Helen die?
* Why was Libby in the hospital w/ Hurley?
* What's up w/ the Black Rock?
* Where is Claire?
* Will Kate be able to reunite Claire w/ Aaron?
* Who made the Temple?
* What's w/ the huge electro-magnetic energy pocket?
* What happened when Ben was taken to the Temple?
* Do Desmond & Penny return?
* What about Walt?
* What did Faraday do during those 3 years in A2?
** Will it be filmed in A2?
*** If so, how many of us get to be extras? I mean, I'd wear a Jump Suit & grow 70s hair for that.
*** If so, will the apartment building by the Maynard St. parking Garage really be used as the Dharma headquarters?
* Were Rose & Bernard the only survivors of the flaming arrows or are there other Red-Shirts around?
* Why did Bernard suddenly look more like Tim Conway than Sam Anderson?
* How many douchebags posting theories on Lostpedia will actually acknowledge that they're wrong about stuff?
* Will there ever be another TV show for me to obsess over like this one? I mean, come on, it took me 6 years to move on after Seinfeld went off the air. If that's any indication, I won't find another show until 2016. Sure, there are shows I like, The Office, My Name is Earl, How I Met Your Mother, & even The Unusuals is looking pretty cool, but not obsessive cool... not yet.

This list doesn't even begin to tackle any of the questions raised last night which will obviously have to be answered. It seems hard to believe they'll get all of this in in 16 episodes. Assuming 1/4 will be spent clearing up what happened last night, that leaves 12 episodes to deal w/ these issues. Of course, some can be dealt w/ @ the same time, while others might be answered while dealing w/ last night's questions, it still seems like they'll have to really cram stuff in since they can't just answer questions; they need to drive the plot by raising more concerns which will in turn need to be addressed.
Dharma Headquarters in A2

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Because you've been dying for this

Here are the links to the Gunner's 50 Greatest Goals" that you've been craving. Maybe they can remind us that Arsenal might be able to actually win something some time in the next few years.
* Video 1
* Video 2
* Video 3
* Video 4

Oh, & while we're thinking about the Great Gunners, here's a little pictre of one of the greatest: Nicholas Bendtner. He's by far the worst striker any of the top teams have had in quite a while. In fact, I'm not certain he belongs in the league @ all. Rumors have been circulating that he'll be sold to West Ham... & if that's the case, great... they can have that putz. Here he is coming ouut of a club the other night after they got their shit handed to them by Man U. Why are his papnts falling down? No one knows.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Star Trek v Star Wars

I'm really excited about the new film, but I suppose this answers, once and for all, which is better.

Thursday, May 7, 2009


Samson: After lying twice to Delilah about from whence his power has come, he inexplicably decides to tell the truth which allows The Philistines to cut his 7 locks. (Why 7? because it's a HUGE number... obviously.) Once it grows back, he exacts some sort of Old Testament vengeance. The best part of a mediocre Biblical story. It's not bad, but it's certainly not the best (I dig Noah getting raped by his son Ham while passed out i his tent after the flood), but it's a great song.

Medusa: Not technically a haircut, but due to her beauty (& the jealousy of Athena) her hair was turned into serpents. Her story has always been one of my favorites from Greek Myth.

The Grandchildren of Queen Clotild: When her sons became jealous of their nephews' power, they gave the queen an ultimatum: the boys would either suffer death... or haircuts. Of course, to save them the shame & dishonor of a bad haircut, she chose death.

Jim Morrison: In the Oliver Stone movie, while backstage @ Ed Sullivan, a make-up guy is screwing w/ Jim's hair & he suggests that some of his biggest mistakes have been haircuts. He proceeds to bar the make-up guy from messing w/ his hair & performs "Light My Fire" w/ his longish locks. I highly doubt this is historically accurate, but I'm a sucker for that film... if it's on, you can bet your bottom dollar that I'm on my couch getting sucked in.

Caroline Mulford: Played by Haviland Morris, she got her hair stuck in a door in Jake Ryan's house & subsequently had to have it cut out. This is symbolic of a shift in her character; as she loses her hair, she sheds her connection to shallow high-school popularity which then allows her to hook up w/ Ted.

Travis Bickle: Played by Bob de Niro, he shaves a Mohawk prior to his assassination attempt. I never really understood why the Mohawk needed to be associated w/ the crazy, but it was & maybe has been ever since. Don't worry, I'm not going Bickle-crazy on any local politicians any time soon.

Uncle Jesse: Nope, not the old codger in the Dukes, but rather the hottie in Full House. He let 1 of his nieces @ his beautiful mullet w/ a pair of scissors... bad move Uncle Jesse! Bad move indeed.

Golden Balls: I 1st saw his Mohawk during the 2002 World Cup in Japan/S Korea. He & Michael Owen decided to sport the red-hawk in honor of the 3 Lion's red jerseys. However, if you follow that link, you'll get a nice overview of the many different styles he's sported over the years.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

What do these dudes have in common?

Steve Earl
Andrew Ridgeley

Roger Daltry
Will Wheaton
John Lydon
Spike Lee
The dude who plays Mr. Eko
Nick Hornby
Steve Gorman (Black Crowes Drummer)
Angus Young

They're our Visions of Ypsi Top 10 Bad Ass Celebrity Arsenal fans. I'm sure they, like me, have a bad case of Arsetimism concerning this afternoon's match... the 2nd leg of the Champion's League Semi-Final @ The Emirates vs Man U... Head on up to Conor O'Niell's @ 2:45 to check out the game!