Thursday, February 24, 2005
Hey, today is my mom's birthday! In honor of this, here are some things my mom really likes. I don't like a lot of them, but this isn't about me.

  • Churros: Okay, I like churros. It's a stick of fried dough covered in cinnamon and sugar. What's not to like? But my mom really likes them. More than I do, anyway.
  • Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme: Like a tall stack of Kraft Singles left out in the sun, warm and cheesy. Very cheesy.
  • Florida: Florida has hot sunny weather and sandy beaches, two of my mom's favorite things. There's a large Latino population in Florida, which means lots of good Cuban and Columbian and Mexican food, which sometimes means churros. We like churros.
  • Swarovski: Little animals made out of crystal. Don't pet them, please. They're expensive, and you might break them. Why do people collect these? Answer: why do people collect anything?
  • Street fairs: Mostly the art type, though I've never known my mom to buy anything at a street fair. No, wait, that's not true. She buys jewelry. My dad buys little animals made out of railroad tacks. Again with the animals. Sometimes there's a churro stand at the street fair. That's a really good day.
  • Vince Gill: Yes, mom, he's a wonderful musician. No one plays an F sharp minor quite like Vince does. Not my favorite, but again -- not about me here.
  • Sushi: I know, I know, you're going to remind me that this isn't about me -- it's about my mom, because it's her birthday. But my mom really likes sushi. She didn't always like it, but we got her hooked. (Get the pun? Do you get the pun? I hope you get the pun.) She probably eats sushi every week. I wish I ate sushi every week! But this isn't about me.
  • Costco: My mom doesn't cook a whole lot, but who needs cooking when there's hot rotisserie chicken, clamshell packs of Greek salad, and 36-count boxes of little bags of peanuts all at Costco? I like going to Costco with my mom. She buys me cases of iced green tea and big jars of Del Monte peaches, and once she even bought me a pair of sneakers! So much for so little. Oh, and the snack stand at Costco sells churros. Does it get any better?
Tuesday, February 22, 2005
Three things, all food-related:
  • For the first time in two years, I want Chinese food on a consistent basis. I used to eat it all the time, but a nasty dose of salmonella turned me off of Chinese food, and pretty much all Asian food in general, with the very prominent exception of sushi. But lately, Chinese food is sounding good again. Doesn't Chinese food sound good to you? Okay, maybe you don't like Chinese food. But I do, and it sounds good to me, and I'm glad.
  • Last Sunday, I got an apple fritter from the local donut place. I like apple fritters, but the apple fritters that my local donut place makes are bigger than my head. That's not hyperbole, either -- they're frickin' huge. But they don't make junior size fritters, and they're only $1.10, so I get one. Last Sunday, I ate half of it and threw the rest out. This Sunday I got one again and couldn't stop eating it. It made my stomach hurt very badly. I said I would stop eating it. I pushed the plate away. Then I pulled it back and kept eating it. I walked away from it and sat on the couch. My stomach hurt. As soon as it started to feel better, I went back in the kitchen and took another bite. Then I threw what little was left of it in the trash. Just so I wouldn't be tempted to take it out of the trash, I took out the trash. I don't think I will be eating apple fritters for a while. Well, maybe this Sunday. But that's it.
  • December was a bad month for my kitchen appliances. First my hand mixer shorted out, and then my blender quit working. Not having a blender was becoming a real drag, because I like to make smoothies. If I can't make smoothies, I throw away a lot of fruit that's one blemish away from good. This past weekend, I finally replaced the blender. I wanted the $100 Kitchen Aid blender, because my old blender didn't really handle ice all that well, but I couldn't justify spending that much when I could get a reasonably good one for about $70 less. So I got a $30 one, and boy oh boy do I love it! It tackles ice like a champ, makes smoothies in about seven seconds, and it's all shiny and red. I am making a smoothie for breakfast every day for the rest of my life. (With apologies to the guy who lives upstairs, because I make breakfast at 6:40am and I probably wake him up with my blender activity. There's a phrase you don't hear all that often -- blender activity.)
Sunday, February 20, 2005
I've been so consumed with dog-days-of-winter boredom that I completely neglected to recognize the four year anniversary of this website, which was February 9th. Four years! With the exception of high school and college, I haven't done anything for four solid years. Part of the experiment in creating this site was to see if I could actually keep it up. With online journaling and blogging so easy (and free) now, there are thousands of websites that go neglected after just a few weeks, some just a few days. And all of my other attempts over the years to write on an almost-daily basis have failed. So given all that, I'm kind of happy to see that I can actually maintain a website with some degree of consistency.

One thing that this site prominently lacks, at least in my opinion, is feedback or comments capability. On the one hand, I kind of like this: sometimes comments take over a website, leaving the site manager as nothing more than a flimsy facilitator of a wider conversation. And part of me is worried that the only person who might leave comments would be my mom (hi mom!), and in doing so might reveal embarrassing childhood stories. This is my site, I pay for it, and anything on here is put here by me because I want it here. But on the other hand, comments have kind of become the norm on these kinds of sites. To borrow a phrase, no site is an island, and if you have readers, you should allow them to tell you what they think in a public forum. I've been tooling with the idea of revamping the site to include comments and more useful sidebars, but then again, for my purposes, what I have works just fine. And I'd invite comments on this topic, but I can't. But possibly in the next year, I'll move the site to a platform that allows it. If there is a next year. For me, I mean.

Friday, February 18, 2005
I Ihave shockingly little to say. It's cold. It's snowy. I'm over it and I'm bored. But I can at least look forward to the heat kicking on, because that means that I can stand over the good vent and warm up. I love that vent.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005
(With some, but not very many, apologies to MasterCard.)

Custom Maybach automobile, fully pimped out: $397,000

Saffron-colored supports and fabric, enough for 23 miles: $20 million

Bottle of nuclear tangerine hair color: $7.49

Riding around the city that never sleeps in an overpriced luxury sedan with your redheaded (wink wink) wife, answering questions with vague statements, and receiving accolades usually reserved for royalty, championship athletes, and Jennifer Lopez: priceless.

There are some things money can buy. For everything else, become a conceptual artist.

Monday, February 14, 2005
Curtains: a photo op. Today's picture of The Gates was taken by guest photographer Evan, who is a newly-certified but still unemployed chiropractor and also my little brother. Evan made it out to Central Park on Saturday along with his girlfriend and my deceptively cool aunt and uncle to check out the big happening. He took some pretty good shots and thought it would be cool if I could make everything black and white except for The Gates. I, of course, obliged.

In looking at Evan's photos and all of the photos that have already been taken of The Gates, I have noticed that they all share one common theme: in every picture, there is someone taking a picture. Everyone wants a photo of this! I'll bet if you assembled all of the photos that everyone took of this event, you'd have a second-by-second account of New York's Central Park for the entire time that The Gates is open. You could probably even make a stop-motion video out of it. From many different angles.

Oh, and a very happy Valentine's Day to you. Yes, you. We all hope you have someone extra special with whom to spend it. If you don't, well, we've all been there. We hope you're never there again.

Friday, February 11, 2005
The Gates opens tomorrow in Central Park. It looks really cool and unusual, but I'm not sure why they did it in the winter; wouldn't it have made more sense to do it when the potential for a massive snow storm was lower? Unfortunately, it's only up for a few weeks, and it doesn't look like I'll get to see it in person. I hope Christo and Jeanne Claude put fabric, insulation, plastic, or some other material around a building, green space, or any other large entity closer to where I live.

And on another topic, have you seen this My Super Sweet 16 show? Do these kids know how awful, bratty, whiny, and obnoxious they look? More than normal teenagers, I mean. Who the hell gets a brand new Land Rover for their sixteenth birthday? If you are lucky enough to get a car on your sixteenth birthday, it should be a beige 1993 Ford Escort hatchback with a repainted passenger door. I remember when some kid in my high school got a brand new Carrera for his sixteenth birthday, and everyone else in school was bitter. I don't even remember what I did on my sixteenth birthday, and it's not because I was trashed at my own half a million dollar party.

Wednesday, February 9, 2005
Boring, boring, and boring. I seem to be in some kind of rut here. I feel like I need a lavish European vacation to get me out of it. But check back tomorrow. I might get creative.

Monday, February 7, 2005
You know what? I barely watched the Superbowl. I caught the end of the Black Eyed Peas before the show, and then one commercial with MC Hammer. Then I ate dinner and did other things. I went to a different house and caught another commercial with MC Hammer. (It's good to know that once you lose everything, you can get most of it back by making fun of how you lost everything.) Then I came home, and we did have the game on with the volume muted, but only because we were waiting for The Simpsons, and we weren't really watching the game.

And you know what else? I don't feel like I missed anything. I think I'm beyond the point where I'm jaded about commercials; even the funny, self-mocking ones don't seem interesting. Everyone tries too hard, and I think this is especially true during the Superbowl. I don't like football all that much either. The game was fun when I lived in Buffalo and the Bills kept losing year after year, but only because of the psychological factor. I missed the halftime extravaganza, but after last year, who cares?

If there's one really good thing about the Superbowl, it's this: football season is finally freakin' over. No more late starts to Sunday night tv shows, no more "didja see the game" conversations at work, no more stupid fantasy leagues, no more feigning interest in the Packers to maintain the respect of my boss -- none of it. And this year it all went down without an anticipated deluge of hate mail to the FCC. Spring is coming. Soon.

Thursday, February 3, 2005
February is such a boring month. The excitement of the new year is over, and everyone has broken their resolutions and reverted back to their bad habits. It's freezing outside, and everyone always talks about how freezing it is outside. ("It's freezing outside!") And when it's not freezing outside, all anyone can talk about is how it's not freezing outside. ("It feels so warm outside!") Spring is still too far away to get excited about it, and the novelty of snow and warm comfort food has pretty much worn off. Valentine's Day is nice, yes, but I'm either not interested because I have no one to spend it with, or I have someone to spend it with but have to hear about how awful Valentine's Day is from everyone who doesn't have someone to spend it with. And really, when I do have someone special in my life, I try to be nice to them every day of the year and not just on February 14th. But the funniest part is that when February is finally over, everyone complains that it went by so fast.

I'll see what I can do to keep things interesting.

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