Friday, January 29, 2010

Working From Home Day 2

Another "snow day," and another day slaving from home. Today I focused on snowmen...

Working From Home

I was lucky enough to get to work from home yesterday due to ICE STORM 2010 (insert dramatic music here). So what did I do while home?

I visited my new neighbor, Joseph Merrick. I just call him "Stampy."

I did some fishing, finally catching the elusive stringfish.

I was honored by the mayor for my fishing accomplishments.

I took time out of my busy schedule to stalk my friends.

I guess today will be more of the same.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

American Psycho

I'm not sure where to begin with "American Psycho" by Bret Easton Ellis. I became interested in the book some time ago after seeing the movie and reading about the controversy surrounding the publication of the novel. Oddly enough I don't remember hardly anything from the movie now.

From the cover:

"Patrick Bateman is handsome, well educated, intelligent. He works by day on Wall Street, earning a fortune to complement the one he was born with. His nights he spends in ways we cannot begin to fathom. He is twenty-six years old and living his own American Dream."

"American Psycho" is a satire set in the late 1980's centered around Patrick Bateman and his yuppie lifestyle. The novel is told from Bateman's perspective where he describes in excruciating detail his daily routines, such as encounters with his friends, his daily regiment of exercise and self care, as well as his dark forays into murder at night. Bateman is a judgemental elitist and exhibits many disgusting qualities such as homophobia, misogyny, and disgust for the poor and homeless or anyone not socially elite. His narrative in every situation of the book describes in complete minutia what he as well as colleagues and friends are wearing from their overcoats down to their shoes, detailing styles, designs, and designers. Not being the best dressed or owning the latest and best gadget or technology causes extreme anxiety and jealousy for Bateman. It really is almost mesmerizing how much detail the author goes into the description of what people are wearing as well as products they are using or displaying in their domiciles. I believe this stream of consciousness narrative represents Bateman's inability to care for people more than possessions.

Ellis also goes into great detail about Bateman's dark obsessions with sex and murder during his rampages at nighttime. The novel slowly progresses starting with dark thoughts and comments from Batemen during the first third of the book and finally culminating in the last two thirds of the book into sadistic murders, rapes, torture, and cannibalism. This book is not for the faint of heart! Some of the sexual experiences described are teetering on pornography and the mutilations that follow are as raw and disturbing as anything I've ever read. For example, in one chapter of the novel, Bateman reconnects with a former girlfriend from Harvard. After a boozy lunch they return to Bateman's apartment when he proceeds to nail her hands to the floor with a nail gun, cut off her lips and tongue, and sodomizes what's left of her face. The last sentence I just typed pales in extreme comparison to how it is described in the book. In fact that chapter is no where near as bad as other encounters that Bateman has with women.

As the novel continues, Bateman's actions and especially his thought become so disturbed and erratic that one has to wonder what has really taken place. He says and describes some really off the wall experiences and at one point the narrative jumps to a third person perspective in one chapter. There is no question that Bateman is a psychopath but how much of his grisly actions take place outside of his mind? The novel left me to wonder this question after I completed it.

Interesting reoccurring themes in the novel:

Les Miserables and references to the musical are constantly mentioned throughout the book. The Miserable?

There is a constant occurrence of mistaken identity in the novel. People are recognized and addressed by the incorrect name. Is this a reference to Bateman being unremarkable, lost in the crowd or is this in reference to the socially elite of the time being all the same? Or both?

The Patty Winters Show (a show I took to be similar to something like the Jerry Springer Show) is referenced in nearly every chapter by Bateman. He details what the topic of discussion was for each show that day. The topics mirror the narrative of the book, becoming progressively darker with each chapter.

Bateman is constantly saying that he has video tapes to return. This comes up conversationally when he's asked by his girlfriend or friends what he's doing or was doing. I understood this to be his trigger that he had or wanted to do something murderous.

Whew, I didn't intend to write this much! I understand that this book is a satirical look at the culture at the time and for that I enjoyed it tremendously. Again, if you are faint of heart this book will hit you over the head like a sledge hammer with unrelenting brutality. There were a couple of times where I thought I wasn't going to be able to finish. Highly recommended if you can stand it. And now I have video tapes to return...

I would be curious to see what anyone else thought of the book if they've read it.

Nintendo Flash Drive

Game Boy Advance Flash Drive. Pretty cool. Click here for more information. I originally saw this at Joystiq Nintendo.

Screw This Again!

So the Oklahoma media is talking up the next winter storm system that's about to grace our state. Usually they seem to over exaggerate the weather around here, in my opinion; however, I will say that the last two weather events they predicted were correct, the blizzard on Christmas last month and the arctic weather a couple of weeks ago. I'm actually hoping for some nasty weather so I can work from home. Since I do so little work anyways, working from home is like having a day off. Bring it Mother Nature (just no power outages please)!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Everything and Nothing

Restless. More so than normal. I can't bring my mind to focus on anything. Work is dead (so it goes [thanks Vonnegut]), I have done nothing today. I can't even concentrate to read my book, and for once the background noise around here is at a minimum. I think and think and think about everything and nothing. Total randomness:

I brought two personal file folders from home today, one to hold tax information and one to hold payment information for my court costs, fines, etc. The folders were given to me by my niece for Christmas, they say in large, bold lettering on the front: MORE CRAP and TOTAL CRAP. I wonder if they make moving boxes? Thanks Casey!

Gordon Ramsay is as masterful at swearing as he is at preparing food.

What to do tonight? Big Monday? Kansas and Missouri. I don't really care enough to watch the game in it's entirety. The house is relatively clean so doing anything other than the dishes is off the agenda most likely. Read. TV. Wii. Ho hum.

Thanks to my friends for taking me out Saturday night, I literally had three dollars in my wallet. I vaguely remember only parts of the last half of the night, thanks mostly to an empty stomach and Captain Morgan. I should have stayed home. Read. TV. Wii. Etc.

I totally rock at the 90's edition of Trivial Pursuit by the way.

My boss brought his daughter to work today because she has pink eye and can't go to school! Neato.

3:38PM. I'm finally able to do some reading between a couple work related tasks. Gasp, actual work. I'm reading "American Psycho" by Bret Easton Ellis. The book is sick and teeters on the edge of pornography at time. I now understand the controversy. I'm about half way finished, I'll write about it more thoroughly when I'm done.

The last hour of work is the longest...

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Dating Tips 101

When on a first date it's probably not good form to fall asleep during the movie portion of the evening...

I went on a date last night with a guy that I've been talking to since early last month. We've kind of hung out before but it wasn't any kind of planned event, we just happened to meet or run in to each other when out.

So last night we went to Louie's on Lake Hefner to grab something to eat and then we went back to his place to watch a movie. I was asleep 30 minutes into the movie and I slept through it's entirety. What a catch I am!

I truly had a good time, I guess I was just tired.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

To the Nines

Once again I'm back to reading a Stephanie Plum novel by Janet Evanovich. To the Nines is another book about the New Jersey bombshell bounty hunter Stephanie Plum. I snatched it off of the community bookshelf at work after I ran out of books to read. I hit Borders tonight and bought a couple of books to give my broke ass something to entertain myself for the weekend. I can take a rest from the comical world of Trenton, New Jersey for a bit again. Though the book is pretty much the same formula and characters as the first eight installments of the series, I found myself really enjoying this story. Here are some reasons why:

The novel pretty much centers on one apprehension that Stephanie has to make with not a lot filler or side stories to slow down the pace. She also teams up with the mysterious bounty hunter Ranger through a good portion of the book. The sexual tension between the two is comical.

Stephanie survives the entire book without killing a car. That is a rarity.

The girls from the bond company head to Vegas to try to catch their fugitive. There is a hilarious chapter at the casino that involves Elvis impersonators and a fight that breaks out between the girls, the Elvis wanna be's, and an unruly mob of Tom Jones fans. Most of the action in the novels takes place in New Jersey so it was nice to have a change of scenery.

Finally, Stephanie doesn't seem to be as clueless in this installment. Though the bumbling bounty hunter routine is endearing, she does seem to be getting a handle on her new profession. Of course I expect that to change when I get around to reading Ten Big Ones.

Again, if you haven't checked out the Stephanie Plum series of books, I highly recommend them as a fun and easy diversion to read. The laughs are plenty and the mysteries are decent.



Speaking of Football...

Poor Chan Gailey! Funny. I found this picture at Kenneth in the (212).

NFL PLayoff Predictions (Conference Championships)

I have to admit my interest in the playoffs has waned since the elimination of the Dallas Cowboys. Oh well, it was a better season for them this year than it has been in a while. Here are my Conference Championship predictions:


#5 New York Jets (11-7) vs. #1 Indianapolis Colts (15-2)
January 24th at 2PM
Pick: New York
Comments: What the hell? I might as well keep my .500 streak alive and pick an upset. Maybe Coach Ryan knows something we don't. If New York's defense can keep them in the game they may have a shot.


#2 Minnesota Vikings (13-4) vs. #1 New Orleans Saints (14-3)
January 24th at 5:40PM
Pick: New Orleans
Comments: This is a tough one to pick. I believe the Saints have the better offense but the Vikings have the better defense. I'm going to pick New Orleans playing at home. Minnesota is on my list after their dismantling of Dallas. Suck it Brett Fava Bean, you still have a losing record against the Cowboys in the playoffs!

Current record 4-4
Agree? Disagree? Let me know.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


From the back cover:

"Slaughterhouse-five is one of the world's great antiwar books. An American classic. Centering on the infamous firebombing of Dresden, Billy Pilgrim's odyssey through time reflects the mythic journey of our own fractured lives as we search for meaning in what we fear most."

I have read a few books by Kurt Vonnegut but until yesterday I had never read what is widely regarded as his best work, Slaughterhouse-Five. The novel is the story of Billy Pilgrim who becomes "unstuck" in time and travels randomly through different events in his life, past, present, and future. At one point in his journey, Pilgrim is abducted by an alien race called the Tralfamadorians. The Tralfamodorians help Pilgrim understand time's relation to his world as a fourth dimension, fate, and death's indiscriminate nature.

Don't be fooled by what would seem a silly or science fiction related premise. The story of Billy Pilgrim's jumps though his life is stunning. The book is typical Vonnegut, satirical, dark, and humorous with a cynical look at war. What is most striking is Pilgrim's journey in World War II Germany. His capture behind enemy lines and experiences as a prisoner of war up to and including the dreadful city-destroying bombing of Dresden. The bombing of Dresden was an event that Vonnegut himself survived during the war.

The book hints that Billy Pilgrim's travels through time and experiences with the Tralfamadorians are not reality but it never comes out and says it clearly to the reader. What I took from this theme of the book was that we all travel through time and we all have the ability to relive moments both good and tragic through our memories. Those moments are just as real as what we presently feel and experience.

So it goes. Highly recommended.

"I have this disease late at night sometimes, involving alcohol and the telephone."

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Massachusetts Waterloo?

"If we’re able to stop Obama on this it will be his Waterloo. It will break him." South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint in reference to Health Care Reform

In case you've been living under a rock, Massachusetts voters go to the polls today to fill the vacated Senate seat once held by Edward M. Kennedy. GOP state Sen. Scott Brown is running against Democratic Attorney General Martha Coakley. Recent polls point toward a win by Republican Scott Brown. No Republican has won a U.S. Senate race in Massachusetts since 1972.

So what does this all mean if Kennedy's seat is lost?

A) The loss of the Senate seat and the super majority in the Senate derails Health Care Reform as we know it and we continue to wait decades for another shot at real reform.

B) Health Care Reform passes Congress with or without the Massachusetts seat via more backroom deals or some sort of nuclear option procedurally.

C) Does anyone give two shakes of a dead rat's ass?

I choose option C.

I'm a self described liberal/progressive, but even my loyalty to the Democratic Party is being put to the limit by their so called "reform." Perhaps it would be better to start over. Maybe Congress should pass smaller pieces of legislation one by one that we can all get behind, for example, the elimination of pre-existing conditions and the ability of insurance companies to drop coverages for no apparent reason, to name a couple. Why not pass revisions we can all agree on and then move on to the tougher parts of reform, like how to cover everyone without breaking their back or without giving the insurance companies a giant giveaway? Why does Health Care Reform have to be all or nothing?

Conservatives aren't off the hook either! Simply opposing something without alternatives isn't going to cut it. It comes across as highly partisan and offensive to me. This kind of tactic will never gain my vote... that and their kooky religious crusades into my private life.

Basically it's business as usual in Washington. Conservatives or liberals. Democrats or Republicans. It's all interchangeable. Wash, rinse, repeat ever two or four years. Maybe if conservatives and progressives could put aside their differences for a common cause, effective government, something could get accomplished more often! Third party anyone?

Thoughts or opinions?

Monday, January 18, 2010

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

The book I've been reading over the last week is "A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man" by James Joyce, published in 1916. The book is listed as number 3 on the Modern Library's 100 Best Novels of the 20th century, a list of the best English-language novels. I've read several other works on the list and I'm not sure if I agree with that assessment, but what do I know. Here is what the book's jacket has to say:

"James Joyce's first and most widely read novel, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man is the story of of Stephen Dedalus, a young man struggling to decide between a religious vocation and an artistic one. The aftermath of the struggle that is so poignantly and unflinchingly recorded forms a large part of the story of Joyce's masterwork, Ulysses, in which Stephen reappears as a main character.

In A Portrait of the Artist, Joyce renounces an episodic framework in favor of a group of scenes which radiate backward and forward. As such, the book more closely resembles a random series of portraits than a chronological narrative. Using his own childhood and adolescence as the basic theme of the story, Joyce attempts to recreate the past by embracing it."

Be warned, there may be some information below that may spoil certain sections of the novel, though, I'll try to keep them to a minimum.

This is my second reading of Joyce's novel, though, the last time I read it, it was 20 years ago. I have no clue what possessed me to read it again but I'm glad I did. I was amazed how much of the book and themes I was able to recall from my required reading back in High School. Some of the book can become tedious and for me it rambled from time to time. On the other hand, there is a lot of good to be found in this novel as well. After several passages or a chapter I was left thinking about what I read. Here are a few items from the book that have stayed with me:

Stephen, attending his first Christmas at the adults table, listening to an argument that becomes rather heated between his family and their friends over the role of the Catholic church and the late Irish Nationalist, Charles Stewart Parnell.

Stephen's triumph at an early age over a wrongful punishment by the prefect of studies at a Jesuit boarding school.

A trip to Cork that Stephen takes with his father, that becomes painful and embarrassing for him on several occasions. Most brutal is the realization by Stephen as to how unfit his father is to him and to his family.

All of chapter three. The chapter deals with a three day retreat at Stephen's current school, Belvedere. A series of sermons are retold in the novel dealing with hell and the experiences one will likely meet in hell. Though I'm not a religious person, I found the descriptions and narrative to be very interesting and very powerful. By the end of the retreat Stephen is terrified for his soul and seeks confession away from his school to save himself from his mortal sins of the past couple of years, specifically his time spent at the brothels in Dublin.

Finally, I found the conclusion most satisfying where Stephen comes to the realization that he must leave his faith, his family, and his country in the pursuit of his artistic development.

I'm not sure that I can recommend this book (I gave the novel four stars at Goodreads which is probably being generous). I enjoyed the style and format of the book but it's probably not for everyone. There are some moments where the book does become tiresome and a little unclear, mostly due to the stream of consciousness narrative technique. Perhaps someday I'll take a shot at reading Ulysses but after spending a week with Joyce, that time will not be soon.

Friday, January 15, 2010

It's the End of the World!!

I was sitting at my desk at work a little while ago loafing off as usual when there was a loud boom like a car hit our building. My boss immediately said it was an earthquake. I didn't believe him so I walked around the building to see who or what ran into us. Sure enough by the time I got back in the building and online it was being reported on Facebook by some friends and at

I'd never experienced and earthquake before! What's really weird is that we've had more than usual occurrences of them lately. Everyone pray to Jeebus, I'm telling you, it's the end of the world as we know it! And I feel fine...

I Love You Phillip Morris

In theaters March 26th.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Always On My Mind

I love this video! The first time I saw it was years ago at the Park. There are always a couple of people on my mind...

Speaking of the Park, I stopped by there the other day to grab a beer after work. Ugh. What happened to their happy hour? There were four patrons at the bar and they were watching TV on the multitude of TV's around the bar (the same folks always there). Apparently reruns of King of the Hill and the Simpsons is a fun bar environment. OKC's gay retro video bar has turned into the Fox rerun bar between 5 and 7. In their defense it's usually pretty hopping on weekend nights, right?

I did have a moment of amusement from stopping by briefly. When I was making my way to the door one of the regulars asked why I leaving so soon. I replied that I couldn't drink that much since I was driving. In unison nearly everyone sitting at the bar said, "so are we!" Funny.

NFL Playoff Predictions (Divisional Games)

Four more games this weekend, two on Saturday and two more on Sunday.


#6 Baltimore Ravens (10-7) vs. #1 Indianapolis Colts (14-2)
January 16th at 7:15PM
Pick: Indianapolis
Comments: The Ravens sport a better defense and running game but league MVP Peyton Manning and the Colts will be too much for Baltimore especially at home.

#5 New York Jets (10-7) vs. #2 San Diego Chargers (13-3)
January 17th at 3:30PM
Pick: San Diego
Comments: Jets defense against the Chargers offense. I'd really like to pick the Jets but I'm going with San Diego at home. Jets coach Ryan may still believe but I do not.


#4 Arizona Cardinals (11-6) vs. #1 New Orleans Saints (13-3)
January 16th at 3:30PM
Pick: New Orleans
Comments: The Saints have an edge offensively. Defensively both teams seem to be evenly matched. It could be another high scoring affair with The Ain'ts coming out on top. Once again I'm sticking with the home team.

#3 Dallas Cowboys (12-5) vs. #2 Minnesota Vikings (12-4)
January 17th at 12 noon
Pick: Dallas
Comments: Dallas is just playing too well right now on both sides of the ball. Even if I wasn't a huge Cowboys fan, I'd still be picking them. The defense harasses Brett Fava Bean into making too many mistakes. Favre goes 0-4 against the Cowboys in the playoffs and Minnesota loses their first game of the year at home.

Current record 2-2
Agree? Disagree? Let me know.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Shiny Toy Guns Girls Le Disko

I totally forgot that the Shiny Toy Guns Girls Le Disko the remixes album released on December 15th! I'll download it by the weekend. Anyone else heard it? Anyone else a fan? Anyone care? Bueller? Bueller?


Nostalgia - a bittersweet longing for things, persons, or situations of the past.

Monday, January 11, 2010


Bedlam - a place, scene, or state of uproar and confusion.

Go Pokes! Beat the Sooners!

South Side Sushi

My friend Cris thinks the world of Oklahoma City revolves around I-240, or the south side. For the two years we've known each other she has hung out with me a total of one time north of I-40! We made plans last week to hang out again on Friday and grab some sushi before going out for the evening. I assumed we would be eating at Sushi Neko. Nope. Apparently there is a sushi restaurant on the south side called Sushi Hayashi. I begrudgingly agreed to, yet again, drive all the way down to her neck of the woods to eat and hang out. It's not that I'm afraid to try new places, it's just that I don't have a lot of money to eat out on these days. If I'm eating sushi, I'd prefer to go somewhere I know that's good since it's kind of a treat lately.

I have to say, for the most part, I was impressed with Sushi Hayashi. The restaurant is located in a strip mall at approximately 109th and Pennsylvania. We ordered an appetizer, two sushi rolls, and shared a beer. The final tab was somewhere around $33 and it was more than enough food to fill us up. The only downside to the experience, for me, was sitting at the sushi bar. It was difficult to get a drink order going after initially asking for water. I'm still not sure who our server was if we even had one. The gentleman working behind the sushi bar did take care of our food needs nicely though.

So now I'm trapped. Anytime I suggest sushi to Cris, she's going to counter with Sushi Hayashi since she knows I had a good experience there. I do know one thing, the next time we go out it will be on the north side of town. Cris and I made a bet on the Cowboys/Eagles game. By losing her end of the bet she has to come visit me on my side of town whenever we decide to go out again.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Hard Eight

Stephanie Plum is back in Janet Evanovich's eighth novel about the Trenton, New Jersey bounty hunter. In "Hard Eight," Stephanie is on the trail of her neighbor's granddaughter who has fled Trenton with her daughter for unknown reasons. This time Stephanie isn't working to retrieve an FTA (failure to appear) for her cousin Vinnie. This time her tracking skills are put to the test for personal reasons. As the story evolves, Stephanie's position changes and she becomes the hunted by a psycho who fancies himself as an expert in military strategy and war games. The game is afoot.

I really enjoyed this latest entry into the Stephaine Plum saga, but like candy, too much of a good thing can be a bad thing. I'm going to have to take a break from the series before moving on to "To the Nines." All the humor and charm I've come to enjoy and expect in the series is present but the book does have a couple of diversions from the previous stories. Stephanie has to content with a stalker this time around and the tone of the story is a little darker than what I've come to expect. This isn't a bad thing. She also has to contend with a personal life that's spiraling out of control. Problems with her on again, off again cop boyfriend, Joe Morelli, and sexual tension with bounty hunter and mercenary Ranger only help to complicate matters. Finally the book doesn't exactly end cleanly. The central plot is tied up but the continuing story lines are left completely open this time around and I'm curious to see how they progress. I get the feeling that some things will never be the same.

Another great book by Evanovich. A funny thriller that flies by. Recommended.

Cowboys Win x2

Revenge! The Dallas Cowboys get revenge for a humiliating loss last year at the hands of the Philadelphia Eagles that kept them out of the playoffs. Revenge is a dish best served cold (old Klingon proverb) and it was very cold in Dallas last night for Philadelphia. The Cowboys beat the Eagles (humiliated) for the second week in a row, the latest in the first round of the NFC playoffs. The Cowboys win was their first playoff victory since 1996! Right now I think Dallas is playing football as well as anyone in the league, especially their defense. Defense wins championships, right? If they can eliminate the pesky penalties that have plagued them all year, I really think they can make a run to the Super Bowl. How satisfying it is to beat the Eagles three times this season, a team I truly loath.

The other Cowboy win last night was Oklahoma State's basketball squad. They opened Big 12 play at home against 22nd ranked Texas Tech. After a slow start the Pokes went on to route the Red Raiders 81-52 and improve to 13-2. Top 25 ranking, how long? The Cowboys travel to Norman for Big Monday to face the dreaded Swooners of Oklahoma. I fully expect the Pokes to beat the ailing Sooners in Bedlam round one and pick up a difficult conference road win. Get out the tissue paper, Sooners, and let the crying commence! I really hope I don't have to eat those words...

As an added bonus, the Thunder beat the Indiana Pacers last night at the Ford Center. If OKC continues to play as they have all season they should secure a playoff berth.

Friday, January 08, 2010

What's in a Name: The Revenge!

I was thinking about writing a top 10 list of my favorite posts of 2009 but I ultimately decided against it since I had just recently written a top 10 listing of my all time favorite posts for my 200th post extravaganza. While researching posts for 2009 I did come up with inspiration for another new post. The second post I made of last year was called "What's in a Name." Basically it's just a stupid list of all the funny nicknames everyone had at my last job. I found that while going through my phone that this is a pattern that expands beyond the work place.

Interesting nicknames I use to identify my friends in my cell phone:

Ana Banana: Yeah, it rhymes.
Ben The Popo: Not really a friend but he is a cop, hence the name.
Brownie: Last name Brown. He's also often referred to as "Shamey," something to do with a walk of shame somewhere. I can't imagine where...
Butters: I've referred to him in previous posts, he reminds my friends and I of Butters from South Park. This person also reminds me of Chris from Family Guy, not by how he looks but by some of the off-the-wall things he says.
B-b-barrett: How he speaks when intoxicated.
J-Ho: Not sure where this nickname came from, though she is a ho. Jenny will have to enlighten us.
Lindsay Lou Who: I guess she reminded someone of a girl from Whoville.
Satan: My old boss from Pearls . He really is pure evil but in a good way.
Zima: An old friend of mine who would get drunk (and sometimes sick) after drinking only one Zima when he first turned 21.

College Football Recap

Observations on the 2009-2010 season:

My college football bowl picks ended up at 15-17, just under .500. Not bad considering my lack of research on some of the games and my weakness for having faith in the Big 12 Conference.

Oklahoma State finished at 9-4 for the second straight season and participated in their fourth straight bowl appearance, a school record. I'm happy that the Pokes are consistently bowl eligible under coach Gundy but I'm a little weary at their inability to win "the big game." Next year is a rebuilding season but I think the defense will continue to get better under coordinator Bill Young and maybe the Cowboys will be a little more balanced between offense and defense.

The Oklahoma Sooners chocked most of the season finishing at 8-5. Who cares right? They had a lot of injuries and played with an inexperienced offensive line. The experience the younger players gained this season will help them tremendously next year. If moustache (Landry Jones) can continue to develop his skills at the quarterback position, there's no reason the Sooners won't be in the hunt for the Big 12 South.

I've got to give it up to the SEC Conference. For the most part they looked good during the bowl season. Alabama and Florida are the best teams in the nation, in my opinion. Too bad the real National Championship Game was really the SEC Championship Game.

The Big 10 was also really impressive in bowl games. I could be mistaken but I think they had the best record of any conference. I've also heard the talking heads mention that Ohio State may be the favorite for the preseason number one next season.

Farewell to the 2009-2010 season, it was a lot of fun! College basketball season kicks into high gear this weekend, for the teams I favor anyways. Big 12 Conference play starts this weekend. Go Pokes!

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Nintendo Wii Top Three in 2010

2009 was a pretty lean year for fans of Nintendo games on the Wii. What I mean is games produced and published by Nintendo themselves. In my opinion there were only two standouts, Punch-Out!! and New Super Mario Bros. Wii. 2010 looks to be a whole lot better just based on the expected release of merely three games. Here's my top three most anticipated Nintendo Wii games this year:

Super Mario Galaxy 2

Looks to be more of the same as Super Mario Galaxy with our favorite green dinosaur, Yoshi, thrown into the mix. Even if it is a rinse and repeat game, I'll happily buy and play it. There are, however, some additions I'd like to see. I'd like to see the difficulty level taken up a notch and it would be nice to have a true two player co-operative experience (not that I have anyone to play with me but just in case I do make some friends this year). Out of my top three games of 2010, I expect this one to be the earliest release of the year.

Metroid: Other M

Hmmm. I love the Metroid series going all the way back to the original game on the Nintendo Entertainment System up to the very latest installment on the Wii, Metroid Prime 3: Corruption. I'd be extremely happy with another Retro Studios produced Metroid game, but it appears Nintendo is collaborating with Team NINJA for a fresh approach. I have to say that I'm not too impressed with Team NINJA's work but with Nintendo holding their hand I'm sure the results will turn out well.

The graphics from the trailer for Other M looks great and the style of game play, at least partially, looks to move between a first person perspective to a third person perspective. If implemented correctly this could be a killer game. Time will tell.

The Legend of Zelda

There are two things known about the next installment of The Legend of Zelda series for the Wii. Supposedly the picture above has something to do with the game and it is going to be released in 2010 according to Satoru Iwata. If it does release this year, I bet it will be a Christmas release. I think the girl at Link's back is his sword.

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess was a great entry in the Zelda series but I expect a little more from Nintendo this time around since this is the first true Zelda game for the Wii. Twilight Princess was a Wii/GameCube dual release. I'd like the next installment to be a little more challenging, I really never felt in danger of losing all of my hearts and dieing. I also think the scope of the game should be expanded to something truly grand. It's time for something off the chart Nintendo!

Anyone excited about a particular video game releasing this year?

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Top 10 Movies of the Decade

10. Inglourious Basterds (2009)
9. Memento (2000)
8. The Departed (2006)
7. Shaun of the Dead (2004)
6. Best in Show (2000)
5. Donnie Darko (2001)
4. A History of Violence (2005)
3. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy (2001-2003)
2. The Royal Tenenbaums (2001)
1. Moulin Rouge! (2001)

Honerable Mentions:

Bowling for Columbine (2002)
Far From Heaven (2002)
Big Fish (2003)
The Constant Gardener (2005)
Transamerica (2005)
An Inconvenient Truth (2006)
Children of Men (2006)
Star Trek (2009)

Most Overrated Movie of the Decade:

Brokeback Mountain (2005)

New Year's Resolution Addendum

There was one other New Year's Resolution I was thinking about that I forgot to add to my resolutions post the other day.

Cell phone: I have two very disturbing habits when it comes to my cell phone. I lose or break my phone several times a year and I'm notorious at drunk texting (which is weird because I was never too bad at drunk dialing back in the day before texting was popular). Some days after a night out, I take a quick peek at my outbox on my phone and I immediately start deleting sent texts. If I don't see them, they didn't happen! Thank goodness I don't have a phone that can easily browse the Internet or I would probably post some unflattering statements on Facebook.

So I think I've got a handle on the not breaking or losing my phone thing. I haven't had to replace my phone since Labor Day and I've only went through three different phones last year. It's probably because I finally decided to carry insurance on my cellular plan. Since paying for the additional five bucks a month I've only had one close encounter, I left my phone in Kim's car overnight once.

The drunk texting issue is a bit trickier. By virtue of trying to not party as much I should be able to eliminate some incidents of inappropriate texting. I need to have some kind of plan when going out. On New Year's Eve I specifically told my friend Cris to snatch my phone away from me if she saw that I was texting after having some drinks. I didn't consider she would be intoxicated as well. That plan failed miserably. I need some kind of complicated locking device on my phone that I can't get in to after having some beers and shots. I'd leave the phone at home but I might need to call for a cab or a ride or a booty call. Suggestions?

Oh! I have another resolution. I really need to get a haircut sometime this year, otherwise I'm going to start a rock band named the Beatles and invade America...

I'm beginning to look like the kind of person that chops up innocent people and stores them in the fridge!!

NFL Playoff Predictions (Wild Card Weekend)

Much easier than picking all the college bowl games, less picks to manage.


#5 New York Jets (9-7) vs. #4 Cincinnati Bengals (10-6)
January 9th at 3:30PM
Pick: Cincinnati
Comments: Two good defensive teams. Picking the Bengals with the better record and at home.

#6 Baltimore Ravens (9-7) vs. #3 New England Patriots (10-6)
January 10th at noon
Pick: New England
Comments: Looks to be a great match up on paper. I have to go with the Pats though. They are 8-0 at home this season.


#6 Philadelphia Eagles (11-5) vs. #3 Dallas Cowboys (11-5)
January 9th at 7PM
Pick: Dallas
Comments: Speaking as a Dallas fan, I hate that the Cowboys are playing the Eagles for the second week in a row and for the third time this season. The same scenario played out the same way for Dallas a couple of seasons ago against the New York Giants. The Giants won the third meeting at Dallas. Statically speaking, Dallas leads most major categories against the Eagles. I really hope Dallas can avoid setting an NFL record for most consecutive post-season losses.

#5 Green Bay Packers (11-5) vs. #4 Arizona Cardinals (10-6)
January 10th at 3:30PM
Pick: Arizona
Comments: Toughest pick of the group. Green Bay should be the favorite, statically they are the better all around team and they have a better record. Something just tells me that Arizona is going to get their act together and play well at home this weekend.

Current record 0-0
Agree? Disagree? Let me know.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Screw This!

A low of 2 degrees on Saturday? Really? I'm already freezing my ass off at home in my drafty old house. Do they make electric Snuggies yet?

Change of Heart

I was oozing on the sofa last night playing with my Wii (sounds dirty), killing time until the Thunder game started. I had music blaring from my computer room, the room just off the living room because there's only so much of the Animal Crossing soundtrack I can take. One of the songs that came up in the random shuffle on iTunes was "Change of Heart" by Cyndi Lauper.

This song will always remind me of the True Colors concert I saw with Matt, Justin, and Kim a couple of years ago at the Zoo Amphitheatre. The concert was crammed with several bands including Andy Bell, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, the B-52's and headlined by Cyndi Lauper. Lauper opened her set with "Change of Heart."

Aside from the great music, beer, and sunburns, something that made the concert so memorable and funny was Justin and the baggie of weed he brought along to smoke during the concert after the sun went down. Every large concert I've ever attended I've smelled marijuana at some point during the show. This also includes indoor venues like the Dave Matthew's Band show I saw in Tulsa in October. I was floored that someone would have the balls to smoke a joint or a pipe in an indoor concert! Willie Nelson did open for Dave Matthews so that may have had something to do with it.

Anyways, by the time late afternoon turned into dusk, Justin was starting to get antsy to light up. Being a little nervous, since I normally don't do drugs in front of thousands of people, I told Justin to wait until dark and until we could smell other people smoking. This went on forever. Justin pestering Matt and I nonstop by asking: "now?" We continually kept telling him to wait. Finally just before dark I started to smell the unmistakable aroma of weed. I turn to Justin to tell him it's probably safe for him to at last "light up." He says "okay" in a funny voice. I look down and see him holding a joint! Apparently he broke the seal for the concert. Needless to say, everyone in the surrounding area of our section had a great time for the remainder of the show.

So that's my "Change of Heart" story. I think about that concert and marijuana and Justin's jonesing to light up for what seemed like an eternity and it always makes me smile or laugh (probably funnier at the time since we were drunk and/or high). Just for the record, I hate marijuana. I won't go into too much detail about it but I'll just say I think it's disgusting. Not that I'm judging, to each their own...

Below is a video of "Change of Heart."

Monday, January 04, 2010

Stephanie Plum Quotes III

The first book of 2010 is um, in the books. I finished Janet Evanovich's seventh entry in the Stephanie Plum series, Seven Up. Not nearly as good as Hot Six but a decent and easy read. Again, instead of recapping the premise of the novel, since they're all the same basic storyline, I'll provide some funny quotes from the story:

"That's the good part about smoking pot all your life... no short-term memory. Something horrible happens to you and ten minutes later you can't remember a thing."

Stephanie on her arch nemesis Joyce:
"Next time my mother had chicken I was going to wish on the wishbone that Joyce got herpes."

Stephanie and Joe:
"Maybe we should just go get married."
"Can't be tonight. The Rangers are playing. Tomorrow? Wednesday?"

"We've got to get into shape," I said to Lula. "We should go to a gym or something."
"I'd rather set myself on fire."
That about summed it up for me, too.

49 books in 2010 to go to reach my "goal."

New Year's Resolutions

I'm usually not the kind of person that sets (and breaks) New Year's Resolutions each year. I thought this year I would list some goals that I'd like to accomplish. If I succeed, great. If not, no big deal, I'll just keep trying.

Read more: I read around 20 books the last few months of last year. I'd like to continue to read more and try to bump that number up to 50 by the end of this year. I have a ton of books on my reading list so this should be an easy goal.

Blog better: I would say write more blog entries but I've had that covered since mid July. So, I'll try to write better entries instead of the random posts I usually create.

Work on the house: I've lived in my house just over two years and besides taking down some wallpaper in the dining room, I haven't accomplished anything in the way of a remodel. I guess remodel is probably an extreme way to put it. What I really need to do is just some basic texture work and painting in the rooms. I'll save the kitchen for when, and if, I ever have money again.

Cook more: People often don't believe me when I tell them I can actually cook, I just hardly ever choose to do it. It's just me at home so it seems kind of a pain to go to the effort only for myself. I'm going to try and change that this year but that also entails going to the grocery store, a task I don't favor much.

Lose weight: I quit smoking last summer. Big mistake. That in conjunction with not bartending anymore (being active) put a lot of pounds on my frame. Naturally I started smoking again and I've lost a little of the extra weight but I'd be happy to shed 10 to 15 more pounds this year. Perhaps I'll try to quit smoking again in the near future but before I do I have to have a plan to deal with the weight gain.

Not go to jail: Should be an easy goal to accomplish, right? As I've written before I went to jail last year for a DUI (driving under the influence). Basically I'm going to be spending all of this year paying the fines, court costs, and probation fees. Since I had my driver's license reinstated last month, I haven't operated a motor vehicle while intoxicated. I've been careful to either not drink more than one cocktail, ride with a friend, or get a ride home after drinking if I'm in my own car. This a goal I absolutely guarantee I'll accomplish.

Grow up: Funny huh? What I mean is that it's time to start acting my age! It doesn't help that the majority of my friends or people I socialize with are in their mid-twenties and the last person I seriously dated was 21 at the time. I'll be 37 this year so I think it's time I stop going out so much, wasting money and acting the fool. I think what I mean is that I want to have fun and a social life but not at the expense of responsibility and maturity.

Cowboys Win the NFC East!

The good news yesterday is that the Dallas Cowboys pitched a shutout (the first time in franchise history it's been done two weeks in a row) against the Philadelphia Eagles to win the NFC East Division and secure a number three seed in the NFC playoffs. The bad news is that the Cowboys have to play Philadelphia for the second week in a row. Luckily they're playing at home but it's really difficult to beat a team three times in one season.

I'll make my Wild Card weekend picks later in the week but I have to say I like Dallas' chances to go far in the NFC. Their offense is playing well enough to win games and the defense has been superb the last half of the season. Regardless of what happens I'm just glad the boys are back in the playoffs!