I Am John's Stomach Pains.

On The Precipice of Mediocrity, Teetering

Friday, August 04, 2006

The ABC's Of My Month-Long Absence  

Atlantic City - When Night Nurse and I went back east, we were great with an interesting surprise: Atlantic City was closed. I know the WC Fields quote said he once went to Philadelphia and it was closed, but this was just weird. Thankfully, it opened back up for the weekend, and the 'rents and us were able to get some gambling in. I lost alot at Pai-Gow (including a funny $20-loss on a different version of involving dominoes that neither NN or I knew how to play). Made some back at blackjack, but still came out down... still, fun time.

Birthday - As you might've been able to tell from the comments of the last entry, I celebrated my 27th b-day on 7/11. Night Nurse was kind enough to throw a small BBQ at her place with some friends, and I was able to take first in a little No-Limit Hold 'Em home game. It was funny seeing my two sets of friends really meet for the first time... always a jarring experience. In the words of Jim Gaffigan, "they don't think I drink."

Clerks II - My favorite movie of the year so far, 5 out 5 Stars! Many know I bow at the altar of Kevin Smith, but he really outdid himself this time, I left the theater in pain from laughing so much. Everyone who went loved it to, I just can't believe it's not doing better in the theaters. The movie is the first to truly capture beastiality (achem, inter-species erotica) in all it's glory... And the best thing: The LotR diatribe from Randal totally reminded me of when I went to see Kevin speak in Berkeley, and my roommate heckled him like a jackass because he was ripping on Return of the King. I wouldn't be surprised if The Fucking Hobbit Guy (as he was dubbed for the rest of the night) had a bit of a hand in that seen..

Deep-Fried Oreos - Why do I know there's a God? Because he allows these little morsels of heaven to be consumed by me. For the third year in a row, I went to the Sonoma County Fair, and for the third year in a row, I found the stand that sells these little-death-inducing treats. And so what if each of one these probably takes an hour off my life... those are the bad years folks!

Empire State Building - While I had been to NYC a couple times before, I had never experienced the awe-inspiring view from the top of the (sadly now) tallest building in the city. It's cliche, I know, but the view is a site to behold. I'm so glad Night Nurse was adamant on going up. Sure the line was a bit of a pain (I think we waited nearly 2 hours), but totally worth it, as was the audio tour pointing out everything. I wouldn't recommend the extra cost up the the 102nd floor though, not really worth it.

Fifty-Two (52) - I haven't really talked about comics lately, but I did want to give props for their current book 52, which is a bold endeavor to release an issue a week for the entire year, with the story occurring in "real time". I am just loving the book, with tons of criss-crossing storylines, gorgeous art, stunning covers, and some of the coolest C-list characters to ever get the light shown on them. I never thought I'd be interested in Ralph Dibney again, Black Adam has never been cooler, and Renee Montoya is one of the most original female characters in the funny pages today. You gotta drop $10 a month on the book, but it's totally worth it

Gambling - Aside form the Oreos, a second reason we went to the fair last weekend was to do some betting on the horses. As this was my first time, I had to have the betting options explained to me by my girl, and while it was a tad confusing, after the first race I was hooked. I think we watched 4 races, and Night Nurse and I both came out ahead. We both won in separate races with a Quinella (picking the first two in any order), but as her's had the better odds in her race, she cleaned up! I was *this* close to cleaning up with a trifecta... it came down to a photo finish.

Harry Potter - I'm really enjoying the books, halfway through Year Four at the moment, and I can't wait to get into the fifth one, since it'll be the first book I don't know anything from the movies in. It's an interesting series, as it definitely started directed at children, but Rowling realized her core audience was going to be growing with the characters, and she flawlessly incorporates more adult-themes. On a similar note, the third reason we went to the fair was to participate in a HP Trivia contest. There were tons of people in it, I'd say at least 80, and yeah Night Nurse & I were 2 of maybe 6 people over 25, but it was still a fun time. We both made it into the second round, but when they got to the 3rd (which only 3 peeps completed) we were gone. Oh well, we had a blast.

Independence Hall - Maybe it's just because I've been gone for some time, but Philadelphia has never looked more beautiful. We did the tour of the mall down in the city, took in a fast visit to Independence Hall, saw the Liberty Bell in it's new setting, visited Constitution Center (which was surprisingly a letdown), and then ended our Philly excursion to South St., where Night Nurse visited her first WaWa and had her first genuine Philly cheesesteak from Jim's (IMHO, better than Pat's or Geno's). Independence never tasted soooooo good.

Jews - While the whole flap with Mel Gibson this week has been priceless (I just love seeing damn foot-washing anti-Semitic asshole who can't take responsibility get fucked), I will say though the entire Israel/Lebanon shit has been driving me absolutely batty. Every time I went to start a new blog entry, I trashed it, because I had to find out if anything had happened in the previous 20 minutes, and honestly, anything I said on the subject would pale to the maelstrom that's going through my brain. Thankfully, BillMon has been writing some incredible stuff on the situation, if you have a free hour (or 5) I highly recommend reading him.

Karaoke - Last night ushered in the return of Trip McNeely to the microphone! It's been over a year now since I went to a karaoke bar, but last night I went with some friends, and tackled my old stand-by, Soul Man, for the first time in forever. The place was damn packed, so I didn't think I was gonna get a second song in... but at 12:30, I went up and did Bloodhound Gang's Ballad of Chasey Lain. If you know the song, you can imagine why I was so jonesed when I saw it was an option. Just my luck though, the words were broken on my screen, but I was able to remember most of the song without it, and seeing as I doubted anyone had every done it before, no one was gonna catch my screw-ups. Went over well though... I think it was probably my delivery of "Now show 'em them titties" that got the crowd on my side.

Lion King - As is a must whenever one goes to NYC, we decided to take in a show. Night Nurse wanted to see Color Purple, I wanted to see Spamalot, so we compromised on The Lion King. Now, The Lion King is easily in my top three Disney movies of all time, so I had high hopes, which is probably one of the reasons I was slightly let down. Visually, the musical is simply stunning, with uniquely spectacular choreography and costumes. The weakness for me comes from the problem with having a pre-teen as one of the "leads" in the first half of the show. It doesn't matter how good of a singer he is, you need power behind you to fill a Broadway role, and for me, kids just can't handle it. It feels like your watching a junior high production. Still, the actor who played Scar kicked serious ass, and Zazu cracked me up.

Movies - Let's keep it short. Some of these were seen inaugurating Night Nurse into her first theater-hopping excursion since she was a kid... I am such an awesome date.
  • Pirates of the Carribean 2: Dead Man's Chest - Fun to watch, with incredibly effects, but the cliffhanger without a preview for the next film attached was annoying. And I'm sorry, Orlando Bloom is still a piss-poor heroic lead. 3.5 Stars.
  • Monster House - Gotta love when a kid has to leave crying b/c a cartoon scared him... but damn, this one is kinda scary sometimes. I liked the animation, it had a clay-mation influence that wasn't distracting, and the kids acted their age. 2.5 Stars, as I doubt I'd wanna see it again though.
  • My Super Ex-Girlfriend - Cute poke at the super-hero universe, as a comic fanboy I could appreciate. The shark scene is just as good as the preview, and more, and the cast (aside from an annoying villain with a crap accent) fits each of their roles perfectly. The film is a tad chauvinistic, but I still liked it. 3.5 Stars.
  • Lady in The Water - Better than critics and others will have you believe, but definitely not for everyone. You have to be able to accept everything that happens, and not really question the loopholes, but if you can do that, I think you can enjoy it as a rental. I will say, though, Night is one of the most ego-maniacs working in Hollywood today, and that's saying something. Guy not only puts himself in his own movie, he makes himself the most important character in the world. 4 Stars.

Nightfire - This Playstation Bond game has become an addiction. Whether it trying to get all the unlocks in a single-player game (the fucking sub is pissing me off) or shooting the hell out of my girlfriend and roommate for hours on end, the fun never stops. If it wasn't for the fact The Daily Show comes on at 11, I think we could play until 2 in the morning.

Olympus - My job has been fairly busy lately, as I have been creating a series of tools for my team to use, which have been dubbed the Olympus Project, as all of the tools has acronym names using the Greek gods. Main file is called CRONUS, which in turn is connected to RRHEA, XEUS, HADES, HERA, ARIES, & ARTOMIS. Half the fun in creating the tools is coming up with the name, then trying to figure out words for the acronym. I think I'm coming to the end though, and I'll have to see if any of this shit is actually gonna work.

Phase 10, Quiddler, Rook - Yeah, I'll cheat and put these three together. Night Nurse and I have a mutual love of card games, and we've begun playing these three constantly. Phase 10 is fun, as a more advanced for of Rummy. Quiddler is a quick card game involving spelling words with letter-cards and accruing points, while Rook (which we just learned to play after spending half an hour reading the directions) is a combination of Hearts & pinochle that can be very frustrating. In these games, I'm not ashamed to say, Night Nurse is continuously kicking my ass. I'm slowly creeping up, trying to make it challenging, but damn she's good.

Softball - Regular season ended this week, and for the second-year in a row, Quick & Dirty takes first place going into the playoffs, with a record 8-1-1. Yeah... we have a Tie-That-Should-Be-A-Win-If-Not-For-My-Good-Sportsmanship. Let me explain. We are playing the 2nd place team for the final game. If we win, we get first place, but if we loss by 3 or less runs, we still get first; 5 runs, they take first; 4, it comes to a coinflip. The game has been lackluster the entire day, but in the top of the 7th, we take the lead 7-6. Bottom of the 7th, they tie it up for extra innings. In the 8th, our team comes alive with 5 runs, to make it 12-7. They have a strong line-up coming, but they also have an automatic out at their 10th position because of only having two women.
Anyway, they start well and get two runs. We get an out, they get two more runs, to get it within 1. We get another out. Their 9th batter gets up with 2 outs, and an auto out after him, with players on 1st and 2nd. We have a rule that says if you throw 4 straight balls to a male before a woman (which technically the auto out would be), he can walk two bases, so I *need* to get a strike on him or they walk in a tieing run. I do it. Then my coach calls time, and comes up to me and tell me to "throw it over the backstop" for the win. Personally, I find this completely bush-league. We've had a helluva game, I don't wanna end it by rolling the ball to the plate. So, instead I give him absolutely horrible pitches, but within the bats range. His team begins screaming at him that he has to swing at the crap. So what happens? On a 2-2 count, he swings the bat nearly vertically, and knocks a blooper into right field, scoring a run, play ends, auto out, and we're tied. So it looks like another extra inning.
But nooooo, it's getting late, they're losing players, and the rules say the ump can call the game after 7:15 and it's 7:30... so while they could have been beaten if I chose to throw the ball in the dirt, I decided to give them a fighting chance, and they walk away with a tie. To say my coach and some of the players were livid is an understatement. Personally, I stand by my decision... others may not agree, but I didn't want to win the game on a technicality like that. I got some moral support from others, but my coach did give me an order... oh well.

Timberlake, Justin - Just thought I'd mention, I saw JT's direct-to-DVD debut, Edison Force. The flick has an insane cast, Morgan Freeman, Kevin Spacey, Dylan McDermott, Piper Perabo, Cary Elwes, LL Cool J... but man, this movie has a chance of been a cult classic for how bad it is. At one point, I turned to Night Nurse and said "was that a flamethrower?", and wouldn't you know it, 5 minutes later, a flamethrower is used. The flick is a cheesy corrupt cop cliche, sandwiched between two scenes straight out of a Time Crisis videogame. Now, JT isn't the worst actor I've ever seen, but when you have your screen debut, it's not smart to surround yourselves with some of the greats in the game. It'd be like if I got picked to play in a 5-on-5 pickup game with Jordan, Pippen, Shaq, and Iverson on my team. I could shoot a halfcourter with my eyes closed, I'd still pale in comparison.

Unbearable Heat - I know I'm not the first to complain, but holy hell, this summer is sucking every bit of moisture out of my body. We're having record highs out here, over 100 on some days, and seeing as central air isn't real popular in NorCal, it is killer at night... a fan can only do so much. Thankfully, it's beginning to look like it's finally broke, and on those truly horrendous hot days, I got a private pool I can dive into right around the corner... sweet.

V for Vendetta - Pick up the DVD. Do it now.

Wedding Bells - No, there's no wedding for me in my future (although this month Night Nurse and I decided that we'll be moving in together in November, so I guess that is a step towards serious adulthood!). This is just to give major props to my mother who has had an amazing month with her business down in Florida, undergoing a huge expansion of her wedding company, As U Wish Weddings. In the coming days, they should be launching an updated gallery that is looking damn impressive, and I just had to say how proud I am of her! Way to go Mom!

Xword Puzzles - Every day, for only a quarter, I get the paper, and a fun little game to pass the time at my desk... while I do enjoy Su Doku, it's the crossword puzzles that have become my time-waster as of late, as Night Nurse & I usually do them separately, and then try and get help from eachother over text message over any questionable areas. Sure, I may get the nickname Crossword Guy as I walk through my office floors doing them constantly, but who cares, it keeps the brain fresh.

YouTube - Is there a better website out there today better than youtube.com? I don't think so... no matter what time of day, you can always find something on there to make you laugh, shudder in embarrassment, gawk in horror, or just amaze yourself at the wealth of video out there from the past. My favorite video I've seen this week? Ok Go on Treadmills.

Zzzzzz - And now, after a long week at work (heh-heh), it's time for me to catch up on some well-deserved sleep. Please let me not see pre-noon tomorrow :-)

posted by Holz | 9:57 AM | Rant & Rave, Bitches! (5)


Holz, your mom's site is AWESOME!! I wish I were getting married again. Congrats to her, the site is simple and easy to navigate, the pictures are beautiful and it makes me a little jealous that I didn't get married in Key West. I'm so stoked for her!

By Blogger Melissa, at 8/04/2006 10:10 PM  

Good to hear you're back man. I was wondering if we'd ever hear from you again. Course, I don't have any room to talk.

By Blogger Stan, at 8/06/2006 6:25 PM  

Sorry that I can't link in comments, but check out this YouTube clip! HAAA!


Wow, Holz, that was a long post! Glad to see you're back. Another chapter in "Man, Holz's Life Is Way More Interesting Than Mine!"

By Blogger Kamin, at 8/08/2006 4:52 AM  

All that talk about Philly and no mention of your 7/11 twin? I'm way better than a cheese steak!

Hee, just kidding. ;-) Glad you had such a great month.

By Blogger Kate, at 8/08/2006 9:02 PM  

Hey Holz... took your advice and rented "V for Vendetta" last night. Very cool movie.

By Blogger Kamin, at 8/09/2006 5:22 AM  

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Right Now I'm Probably...
Lost, Heroes, 24, Criminal Minds
Brobdingnagian Bards
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
Final Fantasy XII
Running... hopefully
My Amazon.com Wish List
Comic Quote of the Week
"It's trying to end the suffering of everything. Do you want to discuss our options? Maybe together we can, you know, workshop?"

"Okay, best way to stop a ten-story godlike monster from destroying existence? I'm gonna go with hitting, you have anything?"

"You took mine."

Wesley and Angel, Angel: After The Fall #15

Who Am I?
Name: Holz
Home: Sonoma County, California
About Me: I'm a comfortador.
See my complete profile

Ozymandias, DrOzymandias, Darth Angelus, Darque Feonix, Trip McNeely
Kicking ass for:
29 years
UWing Systems Design Specialist
Walking Theme:
Believe It Or Not by Joey Scarbury
Most watched movie:
The Princess Bride
Most read book:
The Dark Tower Series by Stephen King

Where Do I Go?
Blogs I Will Most Likely Steal Ideas From
The Past
Some of My Favorite Entries
"Let a man get away with fuckin' you once, you stay bent over so's he can fuck you again whenever he damn well pleases. An' if one man can do it? Another will too. An' another, an' another still. So's being fucked, that's yer life. 'Til who you were, you ain't. 'Cause all you are is an asshole."
100 Bullets #42