Wednesday, March 31, 2010

An Oklahoma Countdown

Why is it that whenever Oklahoman's are featured in national programs it's always in the worst possible light?

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Art of Racing in the Rain

"A heart-wrenching but deeply funny and ultimately uplifting story of family, love, loyalty, and hope - a captivating look at the wonders and absurdities of human life... as only a dog could tell it."

"The Art of Racing in the Rain" by Garth Stein is a book that I've been aware of for a while due to it's popularity. I obtained a copy from Dann a few weeks ago and set to reading it a few days ago as I had nearly gone through everything I had to read at work.

The story is told from the perspective of a family dog named Enzo. As the novel begins, Enzo is nearing the end of his life and looking forward to his perceived rebirth as a man. Before his death he tells his life story with his owner Denny, a skilled racer, and the family that is formed over the years. The novel is clever in it's narrative and approach and the author certainly knows how to pull on the heart stings of the reader. At times extremely sad, the book finishes boldly and more satisfying than anything I've read lately.

I wanted to like the book more than I did. I appreciate the wonderful characters, especially the narrator, Enzo, and the themes of life that parallel racing, but I knew the direction the book was going to take early on and I felt it to be a little contrived. It's a book I would definitely recommend but it's not my cup of tea. Be prepared to have your heart pulled heavily by this novel even if the plot is a little by the numbers. The tearful finished to the novel almost makes up for the shortcomings.

That which you manifest is before you.

Ricky Martin Steps Out of the Closet

Interesting. In other breaking news, the Earth is round and orbits the sun, the Pope is Catholic, and the President was born in America.

Monday, March 29, 2010

The Census

"A census taker tried to quantify me once. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a big Amarone." Hannibal Lecter

Or if you prefer the movie quote:

I think I prefer the quote from the book. Someone argued on another web site that Lecter would never drink anything as pedestrian as a chianti.

So I finally filled out my census survey from the government this morning after being harassed by several pieces of mail reminding me to do so. Now I know why the operation costs so much! It was easy to complete, it took me about two minutes. If you haven't filled out your form do so, it's the law. Or don't. I was reading that many people are not filling out the surveys as a kind of revolt against the government, usually in conservative leaning states/districts. Keep it up morons. Lose money for your state/district or even worse lose representation in Congress via a shift in Representative seats, there's only 435 of them to go around to the entire country.

"An Enumeration shall be made within three Years after the first Meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent Term of ten Years, in such Manner as they shall by Law direct." Article 1, Section 2, the Constitution.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Chinese Cigarettes at Bossa Nova

The other night I was hanging with some friends at Bossa Nova, it's a bar atop Cafe do Brazil. I was about to leave and make a cigarette run for everyone when a gentleman overheard me and offered me an unopened pack of cigarettes.

Somehow he had obtained the cigarettes from China. Odd and random huh? The cigarettes were fine, it worked out very well, no one had to leave the beautiful rooftop view and no one turned into a communist after smoking the pack. For the rest of the night all I could think about was a variation of a Margaret Cho bit, "this is not the cigarette of my people!"

Bosso Nova is an awesome destination for some after work drinks. They have great appetizers and the view of downtown from the rooftop sitting area is spectacular!

Definitely check it out; however, don't make the mistake of correcting the server's Spanish as my friend Cris did. We were treated to a visit from the manager as though there was some kind of problem! I shit you not. Like me or my friends would ever cause a problem in a bar...

Further Tales of the City

Once again I return to San Francisco in Armistead Maupin's "Further Tales of the City", the third installment in the "Tales" series (preceded by "Tales of the City" and "More Tales of the City").

"The calamity-prone residents of 28 Barbary Lane are at it again in this deliciously dark novel of romance and betrayal. While Anna Madrigal imprisons an anchor-woman in her basement, Michael Tolliver looks for love at the National Gay Rodeo, DeDe Halcyon Day and Mary Ann Singleton track a charismatic psychopath across Alaska, and society columnist Prue Giroux loses her heart to a derelict living in a San Francisco Park."

The third installment is definitely my least favorite entry in the series thus far (there are still three more books). While the characters are still endearing (curious that some major characters from previous books were missing), the storylines become even more incredible than in the two previous books. A large portion of the book deals with a mystery surrounding the tragic end to the infamous Jonestown mass suicides. This portion of the book takes up a lot of the narrative and is wildly over the top. Perhaps the thirty year old events would have been more interesting to read at the time of publication, the early 80's.

Overall I did enjoy the book, once again I appreciate Maupin's writing style and his ability to create wonderful characters. I also like the progression of the book's timeline, as now we are entering the 1980's. Recommended for fans of the series or Armistead Maupin. While there are still more books in the "Tales" series I don't think I'll be reading them any time soon but eventually I'll be happy to return to 28 Barbary Lane.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Iguana Mexican Grill

After watching the Thunder put the smack down on Houston last night, Dann and I stopped at Iguana Mexican Grill for some late night snacks and beers. Apparently my curse of watching the Thunder lose at home is over.

Iguana is located on NW 9th in Midtown between Broadway and Oklahoma. We were told by the host that their kitchen stays open until around 10:30 PM on weeknights which is fantastic as it can be hard to find somewhere decent to eat after the basketball games during the week. I believe she also mentioned the bar stays open even later. We were seated at a small table in the bar area which was nearly full. The experience was great, the music was up loud and the service was fantastic. We were taken care of by no less than three servers/bartenders at any one time. The food was also fantastic. We just sampled a couple of different appetizers. We tried the Salsa Bar appetizer which is a sampling of four of their salsas, tomatillo (verde), coral snake, citrus habenero, and smoked tomato salsa. We also ordered queso but it wasn't nearly as yummy as the selections of salsa. Finally, Dann and I also shared the Tri Pepe's Mini Tacos. Chicken with pico de gallo, jicama, guajillo aioli in tiny crisp taco shells. Very satisfying. You can also choose to have beef or tilipia tacos as well or mix and match.

Going to Iguana was kind of a last minute decision in our haste to find something still open later in the evening. The food is truly fantastic and inexpensive. With all we had to eat with a couple of beers, the tab was around fifteen dollars apiece. Highly recommended. If you like Mexican food, cold beer, and a fun environment with some of the best service around, this is the place to be.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Health Care Reform Becomes Law

"The ceremony established the biggest new social program since President Lyndon Johnson signed the Medicare act into law in 1965 — and arguably since the Social Security Act arrived on Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s desk in 1935."


Rejoice liberals and progressives, this day has been a long time coming! In fact some form of universal health care has been discussed or proposed since the time of Teddy Roosevelt. This Congress and President has accomplished something that Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton all failed to do, pass and sign into law meaningful health care reform that will nearly be universal.

The bill isn't perfect, I certainly whined about it over the last year! Putting that aside, it's a great start and a truly historic day! Get ready for law suits and bat shit crazy psycho talk by conservatives leading up to the mid term elections. It's time for progressives to stand up and vigorously defend what they've done over the last year! If progressives run away from their record, they lose. What has been done today and over the last several months is a good thing. History will say that.


How Many Weeks Until Football Season?

Another Thunder Game, Another Defeat

More times than not it seems when I attend a Thunder game in OKC we lose. Such was the case last night. It was cool, though, the game was close and the crowd was rockin' especially in the fourth quarter. I'm still a little in awe at having an NBA team in our neck of the woods. I wish I could afford season tickets, I would go to every game given the chance.

Dann, Kim and Grizzly Adams

Our tickets were on the baseline this time. Not great, but it was interesting to watch the game from a new perspective.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Breaking News!

The death panels have just been dispatched by the government to pick up John McCain.

Mwhahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha. Suck it conservatives!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

2010 NCAA Basketball Tournament

We're literally minutes away from the start of the 2010 NCAA Basketball Tournament. I've go my computer ready to go so I can watch the games at work, though it will interfere with my blogging, sleeping, reading and Internet browsing at work, I'm willing to make the sacrifice. Rather than making 32 picks and more thereafter, I'm just going post my Final Four picks.

Kansas (National Champion Pick)
Kansas State
West Virginia

Of course I'll be watching Oklahoma State closely but I don't have them advancing past the first round. In any event, go Pokes!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Star Trek Shirts


I love the phaser burn!

Monday, March 15, 2010


"What is a friend? A single soul dwelling in two bodies." ~Aristotle

I just wanted to say that I'm thinking about my friend Dann at this time when life is most challenging. Be well and we're all here for you.


I'm not sure how the novel "Blindness" entered my radar but it's been on my "to read" list for a little while now. "Blindness" was written by José Saramago, winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature. The story revolves around an unidentified town that is stricken by a blindness epidemic. Suddenly residents of the city become blind with a kind of hazy whiteness. What follows is the story of a group of nondescript people dealing with the onset of the epidemic, their experiences in quarantine by the government, and their eventual escape from what turns out to be a prison in an abandon mental institution.

Saramago is very descriptive in telling the hellish nightmare the quarantined people go through while being locked up in the abandoned mental facility. There are some heavy and disturbing events that progress as the situation deteriorates. Most of the observations are told through a doctor's wife who has somehow managed to avoid the blindness epidemic but in order to be with her husband, she has faked her own blindness and thus becomes an anchor for not only her husband but in parts for the entire quarantined community. The novel is very powerful and is a metaphor what for what true animals the human race really can be.

Highly recommended. The only downside I can see some having with the novel is the way in which it is written. The novel was translated from Portuguese so it has a European flavor to it and Saramago's writing style is unusual as well. The narrative doesn't incorporate line breaks for dialogue so everything is neatly compressed within sometimes long paragraphs. Though the style is a little different, I never had any problems following the story or dialogue by various different characters at one time.

I also believe the novel was made into a movie of the same name but I've never seen it.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

The OKC Zoo

The Oklahoma City Zoo is a great destination this time of year with the weather being so nice. I went with Susan and Cris last weekend and we had a blast. With the temperature being so moderate we were able to see all of the animals which can be difficult especially with the big cats. There can be some downsides to visiting the zoo, they no longer sell beer, you're no longer able to ride the giant turtles, and there were a million kids running loose.

The best thing about the zoo? Riding the animal sculptures with your friends:

Yipee ki yay motherfucker!

Crouching Cris, Hidden Tiger.

No comment.

It also helps to smuggle in a flask of Captain Morgan...

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Return to Thunder Dome

Went to the Thunder game last night. It was nice to finally attend a game we won! Thanks Dann for the tickets.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

More Tales of the City

Once again I return to visit the residents of 28 Barbary Lane in San Francisco to read about their adventures in "More Tales of the City" by Armistead Maupin. The novel is a continuation of the stories established in "Tales of the City," a work that was first published in chronicle form in the San Francisco Chronicle.

Again, the chapters are very short, consisting of a couple pages in length. The stories of the main characters are funny, endearing and at times can be sad. Though some of the plot devices can be a little over the top and some of the characterizations can be mellow dramatic, I really enjoyed this book and series thus far. I look forward to starting "Further Tales of the City" in the near future.

Highly recommended for it's great characters and easy read. Some may be turned off by the soap opera quality of certain aspects of the stories but this is probably more of a problem of format where each chapter was first published in chronicle form and not as a whole in a novel.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Palin 2012

I saw this over at the Democrats of Oklahoma Community Forum in this thread. It was good to have a laugh first thing in the morning.

Friday, March 05, 2010

Why So Serious?

Have you guys seen President Obama lately? He's in some serious need of some Chapstick or Carmex or something! I kid. Riddle me this (oops, wrong Batman villain)? The photo above has been circulating for some time now and I don't get it. What does the Joker have to do with being a socialist? Why do liberals cry that this unflattering picture is racist?

Poker Face

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Ronald Reagan on the Fifty Dollar Bill?

Republican Rep. Patrick McHenry from North Carolina wants Congress to tell the U.S. Treasury to replace former President Ulysses S. Grant on the fifty dollar bill with former President Ronald Reagan. Here are five reasons why Reagan's legacy shouldn't be honored in this manner:

  • Supply side economics. Reagan's philosophy that cutting tax rates for the rich would increase revenues and eliminate the federal deficit. The debt tripled during his time in office.
  • Reagan was a snitch for the FBI during the McCarthy era communist witch hunts.
  • The deregulation of many industries under Reagan's watch, including the banking industry. That turned out to be a good plan, eh?
  • The explosion of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Reagan did little to prevent the spread of the deadly virus. In fact he never once said the word AIDS publicly. Can you imagine the beating President Obama would take if he completely ignored the H1N1 flu epidemic?
  • Ketchup is a vegetable. 'Nuff said.

There are many other issues I have with the Reagan legacy but I just don't have the dexterity to type all day! I also think that Congress would be better served working on more important issues rather than who graces our paper notes. If they must pursue passage of this kind of legislation they should start by removing Andrew Jackson (President Trail of Tears) from the twenty dollar bill, just not with Ronald Reagan...

I first read this story at The Huffington Post.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Quote of the Day

"I feel sorry for people who don't drink. They wake up in the morning and that's the best they're going to feel all day."

Dean Martin*

*There is conflicting information on the Internet on who originally said this phrase. I've always thought it to be Dean Martin but some sites credit the quote to Frank Sinatra. Anyone know for sure?

OK House Passes Ultrasound Bill

"The House for the third time in two years easily passed a measure Tuesday that would require a woman be given a description of ultrasound images of her unborn child and be offered those images before getting an abortion."

Really? House Bill 2780 passed 87-7. Really? I guess they think third time's a charm?

What a waste. We have major problems in Oklahoma, like most of the rest of the nation, and our legislature is dicking around with bills to restrict abortions? Another case of big government conservatives allowing the state into one's personal life. Sadly that includes Democrats in the state of Oklahoma as well.

Read the full article at the Daily Jokelahoman.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Are You There, Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea

I know next to nothing about Chelsea Handler except that she has a show on E! called "Chelsea Lately" that I've flipped past on several occasions when channel surfing. I came into the possession of her second book "Are You There, Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea" from Dann so I've been slowing reading through it at work. I've hit a little bit of a wall with reading (and life in general) so it took me a couple weeks to get through the 250 pages.

In spite of not knowing much about Chelsea Handler, I really enjoyed the book. It's a collection of essays written about different periods in her life from youth to her 30's. She writes very well and some of the stories are hilarious. I especially enjoyed her chapter dealing with her trip to jail in Los Angeles for a DUI, something I could relate to recently. Her stories involving her father are also humorous as well.

Recommended for some light and funny reading. She is also the author of "My Horizontal Life" and a new book, "Bang Bang" due out March 9th. If I run across her other books I'll definitely check them out.

Super Mario Galaxy 2

Nintendo held their Media Summit late last month to detail upcoming release information for games and hardware. I'm just now going through the information but I did find a new trailer to Super Mario Galaxy 2.

Nintendo also revealed a relase date for the game, May 23rd, 2010.

There was also some information about Metroid: Other M but I haven't been able to find any new media. The game will launch on June 27th, 2010! Two blockbuster titles by Nintendo to enjoy this summer is outstanding news. I haven't read any news about the next Legend of Zelda game so I'm thinking it has to be Nintendo's big game for the next holiday season.

Picasso Cafe

Sunday afternoon I met up with some friends at Picasso Cafe in the Paeso Arts District. The restaurant is relatively new as it replaced Galileo's Bar and Grill a few months ago. The place is pretty much the same as far as I could tell with the exception of the name and new menu. Since we were there on Sunday, the only options we had for food was from the brunch menu. I like the atmosphere of the restaurant and the area but I have to say the food and service was lacking. Here's a list of observations:

Service. The girl waiting on us wasn't very nice. She didn't do anything wrong really, she just came across as a bit bitchy and clueless. It takes a lot for me to have a problem with service in a restaurant having been there before as a manager, server, and bartender. Oh and silverware is always nice addition to any meal.

Food. Nothing to write home about. I had the country breakfast which consists of eggs, bacon, and biscuits and gravy. Everything was unremarkable with the exception of the gravy which was yummy. I believe Dann tried to order the crepes a la florentine but they were out.

Drinks. Big problem. Part of the enjoyment of going out to eat for brunch is being able to enjoy a mimosa or bloody Mary. When we arrived and joined Jenny and Blaze we were informed by the girls that they were out of champagne and to not order a bloody Mary as they just ran out of Zing Zang mix (it really is the best). Whatever mix was used for their bloody Marys was florescent red and looked a little gross. No brunch drinks? No problem, they have a nice beer selection. Dann and I order Pacificos. We were brought one, the last one in the restaurant. I order a Hoegaarden, the server leaves and comes back empty handed, they're out of Hoegaarden. I order a Newcastle, the server leaves and comes back empty handed, they're out of Newcastle. Finally I have to settle on a Bud Light draft. Nice.

I was told by all at the table that Picasso's has a much better dinner menu. I'll probably check it out at some point and hopefully they'll be able to restock their inventory in the meantime.