October 31, 2011

Prediction

About ten years ago - a couple years after Beth and I got married and not long before I started the site - I ended up in the hospital. Beth and I were shacked up together and I woke in the night having problems breathing. For a few minutes I panicked in silence, trying to will myself to take a deep breath but the harder you try, the less success you have. Eventually I woke Beth up. I'd had a cold and a fever but this was hospital time.

We lived about five minutes away from the closest hospital. Beth drove. We arrived at a vacant emergency room. I was taken right back through the double doors, Beth beside me. A rapid succession of nurse techs, nurses, and doctors visited. I was given breathing treatments and oxygen and something to dull the pain from the overworked muscles in my chest. The verdict was pneumonia. I was, according to everyone, likely going to be okay with the proper treatment but I was admitted for the night to be sure.

I was in room 124 - why I still remember the number is a complete mystery to me - a corner room with two views of a grimy parking lot and the main road beyond it. It was a double room but there was no patient beside me. We had cats but no kids so Beth decided to spend the night with the full understanding that the cats would be peeing on something by 8:00 in the morning if no one showed up bearing cat food and a can opener.

Around 4:00 in the morning - elapsed time about three hours from walking into the ER to getting settled - there was a knock on the door. I expected another nurse with orders to provide me with some pills or take my blood pressure or temperature. But it wasn't. It was some old guy pulling an IV bag on wheels beside him. He was dressed in a standard issue hospital gown and pink socks. He came over to the side of the room my bed was on and sat down in the chair, one of those fake leather recliner-looking things that hospitals think look classy.

"I think you've got the wrong room, sir," I said.

"No, I just came over from the room next door. Couldn't sleep. Saw them wheel you in a while ago. Don't much want to be here myself. Thought we should talk," he replied. I caught his face in the light. He was older with a wrinkle-lined face but he wasn't old. He looked like Hal Holbrook, the actor.

"I'm happy for the company," I said. "Just don't wake up my wife over there. She's worried about me."

"She shouldn't be. There's nothing wrong with you a week or two of drugs can't fix. They'll kick you out tomorrow and you won't see this place again for a while."

"You sound so sure," I said.

We talked for a while. He'd been in Vietnam, the army. I mentally crosschecked a timeline with his face and it all seemed to work out fine. He had a son who hadn't come to visit him and a daughter who had. He never told me what he was in for and I didn't feel like asking for fear of being handed an answer that would make the conversation awkward. After an hour of quiet talking, he got up.

"Have a good night," I said.

"Yeah, you too. If I don't see you tomorrow before they spring you, goodbye. I'll see you in a few years. You'll be back to have a kid. It'll be a girl. Act surprised." And then he disappeared.

A few minutes later Beth woke up.

"Did we wake you, talking?"

"We? Someone else was here? I didn't hear a thing." I told her about the conversation with our next door neighbor. We both fell asleep inside five minutes.

The next morning, I felt better and I was indeed allowed to go home with a bottle of pills and promises to relax. "Just like our next door neighbor said," I said to Beth.

"Next door neighbor?" asked the nurse. "You don't have a next door neighbor. We've got five empty rooms on one side of you and four women on the other."

I explained the events of the previous evening. And she'd never seen anyone like the man I described. Instead, she handed me discharge papers to sign and a pamphlet of instructions for me to take home.

I never forgot the story. I wasn't able to make my mind up if it had been a dream or an effect of medication or just plain exhaustion. But I never forgot it.

As predicted, three years later Beth and I found ourselves in the same hospital. To my amazement we had a beautiful little girl. Mia. In the rush of activity and mental fatigue, I'd almost forgotten the events of three years before. I forgot to be amazed that the prediction had come true. We were loaded up with discharge papers, a packed baby bag and, most importantly, a baby. It was only when we got home that I saw, scrawled on the bottom of Beth's discharge instructions a barely legible note that said, "see, I was right...

...and Happy Halloween!"

Posted by Chris at 7:16 AM | Comments (17)

October 28, 2011

99

At 3:30 yesterday morning a hospice volunteer entered my grandmother's room and played the viola for an hour. Then my grandmother died.

My grandmother - named Ruth or Carol depending on who you ask (long story) - was the most interesting person I ever met. She was captain of her college bowling team at age 64, was a vegetarian before I ever existed, and donated her body to science. In fact, her body was claimed by the local university yesterday afternoon.

My grandmother was 99 years old. She was pretty with it for 96 of those years. She lost her husband when she was 49 and remarried a bike-riding shoe salesman years later. Her father was a gambler and con man. She gave me his pen which was the only thing that was left behind after he was abducted and killed.

My grandmother knitted obsessively and collected a pile of stuffed animals for my children long before I had children or even a wife. She would take pictures of the backs of people's heads because the backs of people's heads were the most photographically neglected part of any clothed person. She was clumsy and she never learned to ride a bike.

My grandmother used to send me gingerbread men in the mail. I'd always call her when it arrived and report just how badly broken it was. It was a game we had. When she visited - she lived in California and didn't fly so that was rare - we'd walk an hour to the store and back to buy gingerbread men that didn't break.

I miss my grandmother. But I have for a while. I wish my kids had been able to meet her. And I wish I'd known her better myself. I miss broken gingerbread men.

Posted by Chris at 8:05 AM | Comments (28)

October 27, 2011

Practice

I firmly believe two things (okay, I believe in more than two things - the goodness of beer, clowns are evil, Blue Bell ice cream is the best thing on earth below 32 degrees, New Coke was a midget conspiracy - but I'm here to talk about these two):

Thing One: Practice doesn't quite make perfect but it helps.
Thing Two: There's nothing you can't do with the right amount of practice and the right tools.

The applicability is broad - playing the piano, carpentry, some artistic pursuit - but this is the way I think of parenting.

Sure, the tools are different. Instead and hammers and nails, or guitars, or cameras, you're armed with lessons you've learned through your life, the scars you proudly display or hide away, patience, hope, and love. And then you simply do the best you can. The unfortunate thing about parenting, though, is the only kind of practice you can do is on-the-job. There's no apprenticeship. The consequences of screwing up are greater. That's why no one's ever perfect at it. And by the time you think you have everything figured out, the nest is about to empty.

If you are a great parent, the one thing you can do to offset your own imperfection - and lack of practice - is to inspire awesomeness. I tell my kids they're capable of anything. To Owen, this means that I believe he can learn to fly and use x-ray vision. Mia's understanding is a bit more realistic but she still doesn't believe me. And at her age I'm not sure I would have either. I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have believed it ten years ago. It's a realization that comes with age. Just as you're figuring out that you won't have the time to do everything no matter how much practice you have.

Posted by Chris at 7:42 AM | Comments (5)

October 26, 2011

Bathroom Encounter, In Verse

Some time ago, in the land of Mensroom
The Blogger he went, well, to do what men do.
And in the next stall he heard a sound like a roar
Twas the slumbering sounds of a Pooper who snored.
He soon was awakened by a call from his phone
He answered "bitch, what?" then he started to moan.
There soon was a zip then off came his pants
An unfortunate effect of a girlfriend who rants?
And, while they argued, "bitch" this and "bitch" that
The Pooper, he pooped, with a splish and a splat.
Then the Pooper's 'tude changed from angry to caring
He asked the poor girl, "bitch, what are you wearing?"
The moans they returned, this was different and new
"Uh-huh, that sounds good, and then what would you do?"
Though the poor Blogger, he still had to pee
He needed to dash before Pooper went "number three".
He ran to the sink, washed hands and dried
but just as he left "oh baby" Pooper cried.
The moral of the story? There's none. Just take care.
Masturbating poopers could be anywhere.

Posted by Chris at 7:17 AM | Comments (23)

October 25, 2011

Branded

I get more product review offers than I do comments these days. I'm not exactly sure why that is. I'm not really comfortable with the idea of pitching stuff for the sake of pitching stuff. (Though if someone said Chris, please accept one of our exclusive private jets for review on your blog, I think I'd say sure.)

All these emails about all these products from companies I've never heard of (that's directed at you, random publishing house of science fiction erotica) got me thinking. How easily are you swayed from the brands you're loyal to?

Ask me to buy another non-Apple computer product or - god forbid - a phone that's not an iPhone and you'll get a big fat no. Ask me to play a guitar that's not a Fender and you'll get a similar response. I like specific types of beer, there's a certain hotel chain I'm fond of, and a grocery store I'd go out of my way to shop at but beyond that I'm pretty much a brand whore. I'll pretty much go with the best deal.

What's your degree of brand loyalty? And what does it take to change that?

Posted by Chris at 7:38 AM | Comments (15)

October 24, 2011

Fall Rocks

This weekend was about 352 shades of kick ass. It was busy but it really and truly rocked.


Saturday was a marathon. It started at 9:00 with Mia's t-ball game. And that was followed quickly by a parade, lunch with grandma and a football game. Then Beth and Mia had tickets to a show while I put a very tired little boy to bed. Though Owen was tired, that didn't stop him from waking up at 4:20 on Sunday morning. He went back to sleep. I didn't. Which is why I napped until 10:00 after which we all headed to the country and did all kinds of fall things. Like corn mazes, hayrides and the like.

For some reason it hasn't truly felt like fall until now. I realize what fall means - in a few short weeks, the cold will descend, the leaves will be gone, and we'll all be watching the weather to see how much snow is coming. But as much as I miss summer, the fall couldn't be more welcome.

And you? Happy fall's here or just dreading the inevitable winter?

Posted by Chris at 7:03 AM | Comments (7)

Haiku For Monday #387

Random: monkey, nuts
pastrami, midget baseball,
Freebird!, lame haiku.

Posted by Chris at 7:01 AM | Comments (1)

October 21, 2011

The Weeklies #191

The Weekly Ice Cream. Edy's Peppermint.

The Weekly Heroic Food. Frozen peas have served me well.

The Weekly Uncomfortable Feeling. Rejoining the real world after a long weekend of sitting on my ass what something of a shock. That said, it's nice not to be sitting on my ass.

The Weekly Read. Don Winslow is an author I admire. He takes seemingly simple stories and peppers them with such rich detail you feel as if you're a part of the world he's built. Winslow's latest - The Gentleman's Hour - is a sequel to his earlier book, The Dawn Patrol, featuring private eye Boone Daniels. But if you haven't read the first, there's nothing stopping you from picking up this one. The mystery at hand is twisting and surprising without being implausible or overly complex. The writing is stellar in a style all Winslow's own. As with The Dawn Patrol, I had to give this one five stars. And that's something of a trend with me and Winslow's novels.

The Weekly Event. We went to see Disney On Ice. Perhaps the only thing worse than Disney on Ice is Disney on Gravel.

The Weekly Defeated Tyrant. Gadhafi.

The Weekly Music. I'd be okay if I didn't hear Bippity-Boppity-Boo for a while. Now, I don't have any music reviews for you this week but I do have a Weekly Kick Ass Music Podcast. You can download it or stream it in your browser or use the player below to check it out!

The Weekly Question. So, what are you thinking about the podcasts when I bother to post them?

Posted by Chris at 7:23 AM | Comments (7)

October 20, 2011

The Politics of Reply All

Have you ever gotten one of those global messages that goes to everyone under the sun and then some bastard has the nerve to reply all and say something totally unhelpful or insipid to everyone under the sun then some other asshat replies all and tells everyone else not to reply all after which a whole legion of asshats come out of the woodwork to offer helpful words of wisdom like "yeah" and then some other asshat replies all and says something like don't you know when you reply all you're flooding everyone's mailbox not realizing that by replying all to tell everyone not to reply all he just flooded everyone's inbox igniting the wrath of a handful of dedicated few who will choose to point out exactly what this asshat did by replying all to everyone in the process.

Yeah, I hate that.

(I'm also not fond of people who try to pass off one really long sentence as a blog post but that's a topic for a different day.)

Posted by Chris at 6:22 AM | Comments (7)

October 19, 2011

My Top Ten

While couch-bound this weekend I surfed around looking for some movies to watch. I landed on North By Northwest, Hitchcock's masterpiece. Even though it was probably the 25th I've watched it, it gets better with age. That got me thinking: what are my other go-to movies that I could watch in an endless loop for the rest of time? Here are my top 10, in no particular order.

1. North By Northwest. I just talked about this. It shouldn't be a surprise.

2. Logan's Run. One of my guiltiest pleasures, Logan's Run is the epitome of the 70's sci-fi film...and that's not normally a good thing unless you're a member of the Star Wars or Star Trek franchise. But the story is mildly compelling (you live until you're 30, then you die) and the whole post-apocalyptic Earth, city-in-a-bubble thing is awesome, especially when our heroes escape and stumble through an overgrown Washington, D.C.

3. Forbidden Planet. The quintessential 1950's sci-fi movie. It's got everything - Leslie Nielsen in a serious role, wild animals, talking robots, space exploration and random Disney animation. What more could you want?

4. The Three Amigos. I know you just lost any and all respect you once had for me but I fell in love with this movie as a kid and I never broke up with it. What more do you need? Chevy Chase, Steve Martin, and Martin Short...Randy Newman as a singing shrub...I'm not proud of the fact that I know every line of the movie. Except I kinda am.

5. The Bishop's Wife. Long before Whitney and Denzel starred in The Preacher's Wife, there was this little-known Cary Grant classic. Yes, it's cheesy and dated but it's also something modern movies rarely are - nice without being ironic. I watch it every Christmas along with...

6. White Christmas. Talk about cheesy, this one rules the Christmas movie roost. Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye use a super-size ladle to dish out all the cheese this movie puts out but amid all the lame songs and terrible dance numbers, I can't help but love the last 20 minutes of the movie.

7. Avalon. Few have heard of this Barry Levinson masterpiece and it's a shame because it's one of the finest movies ever committed to film. It's about Baltimore (the third in Levinson's Baltimore trilogy - pay special attention to the scene in which the young Elijah Wood watches the diner from Levinson's first movie of the trilogy, Diner, get hauled off by a crane), family, and television. And quite possible the disintegration of two of those things at the hand of the other. There's a scene in which fireworks are going off and fireboats are trying to quench a warehouse fire. If it isn't one of the most beautiful scenes on film, I don't know what is.

8. Say Anything. Seriously one of the best things I've ever bought that's been processed or sold.

9. Rope. Another Hitchcock classic starring the kick-ass Jimmy Stewart. It began its life as a play taking place in one room. The movie was shot the exact same way. Sure, it sounds boring but it's not.

10 (or, 11*). Spinal Tap. This showed up on VH1 a few months ago. I flipped it on and, despite having seen it about 100 times, I found myself howling with laughter. Beth just looked at me as if I'd suddenly lost my mind. Which I guess I had. There might just be the funniest movie ever made, in my humble opinion.

So, what are your go-to movies?

* some of you got that, right?

Posted by Chris at 7:49 AM | Comments (24)

October 18, 2011

I Wanna Be Sedated

Lots of you commented and emailed about the whole sedated vasectomy thing. And you're right - it's not altogether common. The reasons are twofold:

1. Sedation relaxes everyone involved including the doctors. Fewer twitchy patients, less anxiety, and absolutely no pain. It was done as an outpatient surgery and only took place in the hospital because, for some odd reason, my insurance company wouldn't cover it being done in the doctors' office. Which brings me to...

2. I suspect that the doctors develop procedures based on what their patients' insurance companies will pay for. Mine paid for sedation in a hospital...which is exactly what the doctors did. At the end of the day, it's all about profit. It's hard to blame them.

Regardless, being out for the surgery was okay with me.

Posted by Chris at 7:25 AM | Comments (4)

October 17, 2011

Emptying The Dishwasher

So, that's what a vasectomy is like.

I went into the hospital on Friday around 10:30 ahead of the scheduled 12:30 procedure. I was given a very fancy hospital gown which accentuated my eyes and made my butt, well, stick out the back. The kind nurse gave me the gift of a lovely IV then I waited until the surgeon arrived. When she did - slightly late - she told me all of the risks associated with the surgery at which time I wanted desperately to flee the hospital but I found myself joined to it at the wrist. Then they wheeled me into the operating room, sedated me, and did their thing. At least I suppose they did. I woke up an hour later with stitches in my, well, you know, a strange sort of jock strap on, and an order to stay in bed for at least 24 hours. It wasn't long before I was set free, wheeled to the car in a wheel chair, and Beth took over my care and feeding.

And now here I am. I'm taking the day off - or trying to - to add some extra time to the recovery. I've moved from Vicodin to Tylenol and augmented a meal or two with a beer. I'm still wearing the jock strap and will continue to for a couple of weeks. Yeah, a jock strap on the office. Full contact conference calls.

Overall - at this somewhat early stage in recovery - I have to admit that a vasectomy isn't so bad. The anticipation is terrible but might be the worst part. I mean, after all someone's going to attack our nether regions with a knife and there's nothing appealing about that. But I remember nothing from the surgery itself, the resulting pain has been mild - only a dull ache - and the most frustrating thing about the whole thing is having to sit around, useless, for a few days.

Though I could get used to that...

Posted by Chris at 7:59 AM | Comments (12)

Haiku For Monday #386

God bless the healing
power of the frozen pea.
Oh, and vicodin.

Posted by Chris at 7:58 AM

October 14, 2011

The Weeklies #190

You can listen to it, read it or download it.

The Weekly Beer. Any.

The Weekly Event. I'm having a vasectomy! Today!

The Weekly Read. Mira Grant's Feed is a fantastic, five star book. I'm no zombie superfan but I've read my fair share of zombie novels and Feed blew them all away. In 600 pages, Grant developed a plausible cause of zombidom, populated a world with detail and character, and turned a stale idea fresh. If you're up for a tale of blogging, zombies, political intrigue and friendship, this is for you. If you're not, well, it's not.

The Weekly Event, Revisited. I mentioned the vasectomy, right?

The Weekly Music. I love Peter Gabriel. But Gabriel is a little reclusive when it comes to releasing new music. Which is a shame. Last year, he released Scratch My Back, an album of covers consisting of nothing but an orchestra and Gabriel's incredible voice. It was a mixed bag but there was some great material on it. A year later, Gabriel is back with New Blood in which he reworks his own songs over the same great orchestration that made Scratch My Back so interesting. Does it work? Mostly. Some songs - Wallflower, Family Snapshot, In Your Eyes - really benefit from the reworking (not that they weren't good to begin with). Others do not. Sure, I wish Gabriel would record some new music. And I'd like it if he relied less on his daughter, Melanie, to sing backup. She's just not a great vocalist. But this'll do. For now.

The Weekly Son Of The Weekly Event. Okay, so I'm a little obsessed with the vasectomy. How could I not be? After all, some dude I don't know is going to take a sharp object to my balls. It's hard not to obsess about that.

The Weekly Question. Who's having a vasectomy? Me!

UPDATE: I'm home. Me and my balls are fine.

Posted by Chris at 8:21 AM | Comments (27)

October 13, 2011

Eat The Rich

Wealthy people aren't bad people. Well, not all wealthy people are bad people. I'm sure there are rich spree killers or well-to-do rapists but, as a rule, people can't be categorized as good or bad based on their tax bracket. So the wealthy aren't, as a whole, bad. But - if you'll allow me to weigh into an argument from which I will not emerge unscathed - the rich aren't pulling their weight.

I'm a Democrat and a liberal one at that so it shouldn't surprise anyone that when it comes to the so-called Buffett Rule that seeks to level the tax-paying playing field, I'm all-in. And I assure you that if I did make a million dollars or more a year (which I don't*) I would still support it. In fact, I'm no economist but I'm hard-pressed to figure out a reason not to support it.

The argument that the rich are the primary source of economic reinvest is complete bullshit. At least its not any more true than it is for the middle class and the low income. The truth is everyone's hoarding right now so giving back shouldn't really be a consideration in the argument. It's hard for me to support the argument that it overburdens the rich because it's hard for me to feel sorry for millionaires who've paid less in taxes than school teachers. It's not class warfare, it's not payback and it's not greed. It's pain.

More than any other time in our nation's history with the exception of the Great Depression, the poor and middle class are getting squeezed. The homelessness that used to be confined to our cities has seeped through tunnels and over bridges and into suburbia. People have taken up signs and marched on Wall Street for weeks. Don't you think if there's a sensible option we should try it?

Am I wrong? (It's okay if I am but give me a better idea.)

* I'm not rich but I do acknowledge here and now, for the record, that I'm better off than a lot of people in the world and don't think I take that for granted.

Posted by Chris at 7:24 AM | Comments (15)

October 12, 2011

Breakfast At...You Know

You all saw my little slideshow yesterday and a couple of you wondered what was in the Tiffany box? Well, it's built around a theme I started on Mothers Day.

What's the verdict? Did I do okay?

Posted by Chris at 8:03 AM | Comments (18)

October 11, 2011

Twelve

Twelve years ago yours truly married a wonderful, beautiful woman. It was a pretty amazing day and was followed by many other wonderful days. As is our custom when its our anniversary, the grandparents volunteered to stay with the kids while we split town. Last year we went to Philly, the year before NYC. This year we just wanted to relax. So we drove ourselves to Winchester, Virginia, and chilled in the Shenandoah Valley for a nice long weekend.


Having forgotten our Big Fancy Camera, I was armed only with my iPhone.

I'd like to say that we walked all the Civil War battlefields, took in all the museums, and walked every square inch of the town soaking up all the history it had to offer. We did do some of that. But honestly the Civil War bores me. We were there to relax which is precisely what we did. We also ate. A lot. Turns out that Winchester is a great food town. Who knew. We ate incredibly well and had one meal that put the best of the Monkeytown restaurants to shame. (Plus, that restaurant also had an awesome singer/guitarist and a midget so, you know, bonus points.)

Beth and I travel well together. And its important every year or so that we can just be us, together, and be fine. Better than fine. Great. Twelve years in (nineteen if you count the seven years of shacking up together), we're pretty awesome.

Posted by Chris at 7:12 AM | Comments (18)

October 7, 2011

The Weeklies #189

The Weekly Beer. Speakeasy Big Daddy IPA.

The Weekly Awesomeness. I love that the marching band from the high school behind my house has taken up playing Back in Black and Born This Way.

The Weekly Read. I'm most of the way through a book that I've absolutely devoured. But I'm not quite ready to talk about it yet. Hold yourselves in readiness.

The Weekly Music. I joked last week about the Metallica + Lou Reed project and how absolutely horrid it sounded. Apparently I'm not alone. Here are some quotes from fans about the single:
- "What the hell is this a joke?"
- "Think twice about releasing this album."
- "What were they thinking?"
- "I had to give it one star but in actuality it deserves no more than zero stars."
- "Worst. Song. Ever."
- "Love Metallica and Lou Reed is a beast in his own right...but seriously...this was not a good idea."
- "There are no words to describe how awful this sounds. Are you kidding me? You couldn't pay me to listen to this again."
- "They should have called this album Killing Our Careers."

I believe you get the picture.

The Weekly Other Shitty Music (Or, Oh How The Mighty Have Fallen). Check out the Guns N' Roses performance of Welcome To The Jungle from the Rock In Rio 2011 show. You'll realize in the first five seconds that they suck but hang in until minute 2:10 when you can see the impacts of performing a guitar solo with a stormtrooper helmet on. Hint: it's not good.

The Weekly Sadness. Steve Jobs. I'm still sad about it.

The Weekly Show I Don't Want To Like But Do. X Factor.

The Weekly Schadenfreude. Oh Hank Williams. You didn't think you'd just casually compare Obama to Hitler and not suffer some consequences, did you? Normally the best I could imagine ESPN doing as punishment was making someone sit through a 1982 Oilers game but they chose to fire his ass instead. Baseball season is almost over. Basketball doesn't seem like Hank's kind of sport. Are you ready for some table tennis has a nice ring to it.

The Weekly Question From Owen. Owen has quite a list including how does the Hulk get out of carbonite and many other musings about superheroes. You should just listen for yourself...download or listen below.

Posted by Chris at 8:14 AM | Comments (13)

October 6, 2011

Fanboy, Part II

Yesterday I gushed about Apple and last night Steve Jobs died. I'm irrationally sad about that.

Lots of folks have walked this world leaving little drops of genius all over the place, the world only finding out how brilliant they were after they were gone. But there are some - a very rare few - who are recognized for being geniuses in their own time. Jobs was one of those people.

My first computer was an Apple II+. It had two disk drives - the big five inch mothers - a green and black monitor and a dot matrix printer with the holes on each side that you had to rip off and throw away or make cool snake-looking things out of. I played uncountable games of Zork and Cuthroat Island and Lode Runner. It was amazing at the time because it was so cutting edge. It's amazing now because of how far we've come.

Can you imagine a greater time than this? I owned that Apple II+ thirty years ago. And since then technology has advanced exponentially. We've gone from zero to three hundred in a second and a half. Those advancements have had ripple effects on the way we live, the way we do business...the way we do most things. Most of the consequences are good but admittedly some of them aren't. Still, we live in an amazing age. Jobs was one of many smart people who got us here.

So maybe that sadness isn't all that irrational after all.

Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.

Posted by Chris at 7:51 AM | Comments (8)

October 5, 2011

Fanboy

A TV that appears as if from nowhere? That's the dream! - Joey Tribbiani

Sometime over the last two years I turned into a fanboy. No, I'm not a Little Monster. I'm not hung up choosing sides over Twilight characters, Team Douchebag or Team Jackass. No, I'm an Apple fanboy. I know this because I woke up yesterday morning thinking yay, today's the Apple iPhone announcement! then eagerly awaited liveblog coverage of the event hitting refresh to catch all the details as they were announced.

Dork.

The reason? My iPhone. I bought it almost exactly two years ago, the very day after my previous contract expired. It was glorious. I mean, it's a phone, I realize that. But it exemplified what I always wanted a gadget to be. Two years later and I still love this phone...which is unbelievable because I used to go through cell phones at the rate of one every six months.

Two years later there are now seven Apple products in my house - two iPhones, an iPod Touch, a third generation iPod, an iPad, a MacBook Pro and Apple TV.

The news out of Cupertino was a bit of a mixed bag yesterday. No radically redesigned iPhone 5 but a souped up version of the existing handset. Of course the new camera looks pretty rad and the software the phone's running was pretty incredible. Am I going to run right out and pick up the new model? Probably not.

What's your most prized gadget past or present?

Posted by Chris at 7:08 AM | Comments (9)

October 4, 2011

Prediction

I realize that there's a shitload (because every political analysis should include the word shitload) of time between now and the 2012 presidential election. But I have a prediction to make: Next November President Obama will duke it out with Mitt Romney and will squeak out a win with far fewer electoral votes than the 365 he finished with last year.

I don't know why but so far I've managed to watch two Republican debates. I've got to admit, I feel for you Republicans. You don't have a lot of good choices.

Bachmann couldn't lead her country out of a paper bag much less a war or financial crisis. Perry is an inexperienced loose cannon who I guarantee will self-destruct. You remember what happened the last time we elected a Texas governor, right? Cain seems reasonable but, while he generates a little buzz every now and then, it's not sustained. Paul makes sense but he's got as much chance of winning as my left testicle (and I'm pretty sure testicles can't even run). And god forbid Palin enters the race. At that point, the whole Republican race becomes a three ring circus. The only candidate who I think has a chance is Romney. But for god sakes his name is Mitt. (Actually his name is Willard so I supposed Mitt is slightly better.)

Of course, we Democrats have fewer choices.

What do you think is going to happen?

Posted by Chris at 8:09 AM | Comments (12)

October 3, 2011

Rain Rain Go Away

A question: Do any of you have any clue as to when it will stop raining here in the greater Monkeytown area?

It's been raining non-stop for a year. Okay, maybe not a year but it has been raining for the better part of a month and it feels like an eternity. It's making me grumpy. I'd like it to stop. It's fall and the grass is growing the way it does in mid-summer. You can't walk anywhere without your shoes finding mud and everywhere you step is sloshy. I'm pretty sure the woods behind our house are turning into rain forest. I swear I saw a toucan back there yesterday.

People of the Pacific Northwest - is this what your lives are like? I always thought I belonged up your way but I'm afraid I've learned I'm not cut out for it.

Posted by Chris at 7:22 AM | Comments (12)

Haiku For Monday #385

I try not to hate
but I loathe the guy who came
up with alarm clocks.

Posted by Chris at 7:00 AM | Comments (1)

October 1, 2011

The Weekly Kick Ass Music Podcast #4

Here's the weekly music podcast. Feel free to listen here or download below.

Download now

Update: If any of you suspect that I uploaded the wrong podcast yesterday, you are totally correct! Please give it another shot.

Posted by Chris at 11:21 AM | Comments (3)


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