Thursday, September 30, 2010

Just Desserts: Bake Sale

I'm really, really digging Top Chef: Just Desserts though I hardly had time to pay attention last night as I was getting bombed by text messages throughout the episode hour. 70+ text in an hour! Really people? Here's my thoughts for this week, at least what I can remember:

Quick fire challenge: create a wedding cake in 90 minutes! Ouch. Even though the cakes were already made, I think this would be a tremendous challenge. I have to be honest most of the cakes were kind of butt ugly. Erika won the challenge and immunity heading into the elimination challenge. Personally I liked the look of Zac's cake the best.

Elimination challenge: divide up into teams and create items for a school bake sale. To be honest this is the bulk of the episode I missed until Judge's table. After a bunch of people being thrown under the bus, Heather C. is sent home for making an ordinary peanut butter cookie.

Other observations:

The beginning of the episode showed us Yigit without his shirt on! I think he should be required to go shirtless throughout the rest of the competition...

Malika fails to finish yet another quick fire challenge. She's weak sauce and I'm surprised that she's still there. Maybe next week.

Heather H. dogging on the other wedding cakes was real classy. She gets under my skin.

It's totally Heather C.'s fault that she was eliminated this week despite the pressure from her team members to make some kind of cookie. She could have stood up to the team made what she wanted or she could have added a little pizazz to her lame peanut butter cookie. As soon as I saw the plain presentation of her contribution to the team I knew she was toast.

Doesn't Danielle look like a poor man's version of Katy Perry? I don't mean that as a complement in any way, shape, or form. She was pretty snarly at judge's table but I didn't mind it so much since she was trying to throw psychopath Seth under the bus.

Next chef out: Danielle or Malika.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Crabby Wednesday

I've been kind of crabby all week for some reason, hence the lack of posts, that and I haven't really had anything to talk about. Here is what I hate about my day to day routine during the week:

I hate that everyday the traffic is completely stopped on the I-44 exit to I-40 for NO FUCKING REASON! This happens at other places on the Interstates around Oklahoma City as well. Why does traffic come to a random complete stop for no apparent reason? The most obvious explanation is that Oklahoma drivers are idiots.

Speaking of traffic I hate that farmer Ted doesn't understand that the far left lane on any given highway is for faster traffic! Prepare to have your ass rode if you're driving 50 miles an hour in this lane asshole.

I hate that the blonde headed Asian guy at 7-11 asks for my ID every time I stop in for cigarettes, which is all the time. On some days he'll wait for me to dig it out of my wallet and then tell me it's not necessary. WTF?

I hate every radio program during the morning drive in the Oklahoma City market. Here's a breakdown of some of the most hated:

  • Jack and Ron on 98.9 KISS FM - How these ass clowns keep winning best DJ's by the Oklahoma Gazette is totally beyond me. They are completely unfunny and advertise themselves as the "bad boys of radio." They are half right, bad. Jack does the most cringe worthy imitations of Paula Dean and Arnold Schwarzenegger on a nearly daily basis. It makes me want to drive my car through the highway divider!
  • The morning animals on 98.1 FM The Sports Animal - Completely unfunny and little talk of sports, which is why I would want to tune in. I swear that there is 50 minutes of commercial time every hour!
  • TJ, Janet, and JROD in the morning on KJ103 FM - While not totally devoid of some interesting discussions and humor in the morning, I just can't get over the grating sound of Janet's voice. She so annoys me with a combination of chalk board scratching, Oklahoma hillbilly twang, and Wicked Witch of the West accent, that if I listen for more than a few minutes my nose begins to bleed. No one makes me bleed my own blood!
  • Joey and Heather on WILD 104.9 HD - My favorite morning show in the broadcast area, such as it is. In fact Heather is the only female personality in the entire market I can physically stand to listen to for any length of time. She actually sounds somewhat professional rather than an extra from the movie "Deliverance." Still, this show is mostly unfunny as well.

Ah much better after rant! I was listening to people call in to KJ103 this morning commenting on a story about this guy and girl that went on a date. Apparently the girl asked the guy out to a nice restaurant. At the end of the meal the guy was surprised that the girl didn't pick up the check since she was the one who asked him out. Today's question of the day is this: Does the man on a date always pick up the check even if he didn't initiate the date? My opinion is if you ask someone out, you should be prepared to pay, regardless of gender. What do you think?

Friday, September 24, 2010

Big Balls in Cow Town!

Well it's Friday everyone! Always good news, no? I'm chomping at the bit to get the fork out of here and kick it in Cow Town tonight for some birthday goodness. Two for one birthday bash for my friends the Captain and a Boy Named Sue.

The clubs won't be able to handle me tonight! Happy weekend all...

You know I know how
To make em stop and stare as I zone out
The club can't even handle me right now
Watchin' you watchin' me I go all out
The club can't even handle me right now

House of Sand and Fog

I really need to hit the book store, I'm completely out of anything to read. I grabbed the novel "House of Sand and Fog," from my bookshelf at home to read this week at work. It's literally the only thing I had left to read. The novel is written by Andre Dubus III and was adapted into a movie around 2000. Yet another book to movie I never saw. From the back cover of the book:

"In this riveting novel of almost unbearable suspense, three fragile yet determined people become dangerously entangled in a relentlessly escalating crisis. Colonel Behrani, once a wealthy man in Iran, is now a struggling immigrant willing to bet everything he has to restore his family's dignity. Kathy Niccolo is a recovering alcoholic and addict whose house is all she has left, and who refuses to let her hard-won stability slip away from her. Sheriff Lester Burdon, a married man who finds himself falling in love with Kathy, becomes obsessed with helping her fight for justice.

Drawn by their competing desires to the same small house in the California hills--and what it represents to each of them--and doomed by their tragic inability to understand one another, the three converge on an explosive collision course. Combining unadorned realism with profound empathy,
House of Sand and Fog is a devastating exploration of the American Dream gone awry."

This novel is utterly depressing, in fact after I write this review I might go hang myself in the bathroom. The story is basically about two immovable forces that collide in a tragic conclusion either due to pride, greed, or the inability to understand one another. While I generally liked the story and the opposing view points of the two main characters through chapters written from the first person perspective of both, I did find the narrative overall a little sluggish and long. I kept wanting to reach a conclusion which is never a good sign when reading. Another warning sign while reading was my inability to have much empathy for any of the characters, in fact there were times that I really disliked them, maybe that was the point.

Overall not a bad read that I would recommend, just don't listen to all the hype. The story moved slowly for me and concluded miserably.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Star Trek Enterprise Pizza Cutter

I totally have to have this!! Maybe for Christmas or Hanukkah...

(Doesn't that pizza look like shit?)

Originally seen at David Dust.

In site related news, apparently it's been international day here at Dave's World. I've had hits from the Netherlands, Egypt, India, Japan, Singapore, Australia, and Norway! What gives?

Top Chef: Reunion

I usually don't watch the Bravo reunion shows unless on occasion when they involve the Real Housewives of (insert location here). I did watch the Top Chef: DC reunion show last night and I have to say it was kind of fun. How sad that perhaps the reunion show was the best episode of the season! Some thoughts on the show:

My very favorite part of the reunion special: "I's married now!" Tiffany channeling "The Color Purple." I tried to find a clip online from that moment in the movie but alas I failed.

So the great pea puree heist was never fully resolved. I'm of the mind that Alex didn't snatch anyone's food after hearing Amanda and Kelly's testimony that they saw Alex buy peas and make the puree. Odd that it was never caught on film. Kudos to Ed for wearing the pea puree shirt.

Did I miss fan favorite or is it going to be revealed on Watch What Happens Live tonight?

According to Gail, Tom knows how to handle balls. Nice.

Kenny's beast tattoo is a little extreme! He should have just stuck with the shirt. I'll be glad the beast storyline is finally dead, until the next series...

Top Chef: All Stars looks like it might be a lot of fun. Some of the near winners from all the past seasons coming back for a competition.

It was fun to see the contestants and judges in the lighter moments of the series, making them seem more real instead of the raging assholes they appeared to be during the series.

Is anyone still watching Top Chef: Just Desserts? I'm really digging the show so far. I may try to do a proper recap next week. For now, here are some impressions:

Morgan and Seth form a connection since they're two of the few straight guys in the competition. Give me a break.

Seth is fucking crazy! His meltdown in the kitchen was cringe worthy and embarrassing to watch. He really showed his ass the whole episode going from crazy sad to crazy angry. My friend Matt text me the following message during the show: "He is fucking crazy... I think the devil lives in that lump on his neck..." I laughed my ass off to this!

I like the challenges so far in the series, last night the quick fire challenge was to make a creation using penny candy and the elimination challenge was to make a dessert inspired by liquor and ingredients behind the bar. Who doesn't love a boozy challenge.

I was a little sad to see Tim sent home. He seemed like a nice enough guy. Goodbye mother hen. Why do the gay guys always go out early in these competitions? Fortunately there are a lot more to go on this show...

Next chef out: Malika.

I'm totally not prepared to make a prediction yet on the final four. Maybe next week.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Skirvin Hotel

One of the first places I took J. on his site seeing tour (I use that term loosely) of Oklahoma City was to the Skirvin Hotel. I did a little digging for purposes of this blog and got some specific information on the history of the hotel:

The Skirvin Hotel was build by a man named William Balser "Bill" Skirvin, a Land Run participant and wealthy oilman who moved his family to Oklahoma City in 1906. In 1910 he began building the hotel on one of his properties at 1st and Park Avenue. The original 10 story hotel opened on September 26th, 1911. Over the years the building changed hands between various investors where is was remodeled many times, upgraded to 14 floors, and eventually closed in 1989. In 2002, the city of Oklahoma City acquired the property where it was renovated and restored to it's currently glory and reopened on Feburary 26th, 2007.

This specific information I did not know. All I could tell J. about the structure was that it was old, had been renovated, and that there was supposedly a ghost that haunted the hotel. A bartender at the Red Piano Lounge inside the hotel filled us in on the details of the ghost.

According to legend, Bill Skirvin had an affair with a maid named Effie. She became pregnant, and to avoid a scandal, Skirvin locked her in one of the 10th floor rooms, the top floor at the time. Here she remained lonely and desolate even after childbirth. It is said to avoid her prison, she jumped to her death from her window with her infant in her arms! Supposedly today people claim to hear a crying infant throughout the night in their hotel rooms or other strange happenings such as sightings of Effie, items moving about on their own, and strange noises. Even the New York Knicks blamed a haunted night at the Skirvin Hotel for a loss in Oklahoma City to the Thunder.

Who knows if any of this is true since the apparent suicide wasn't reported in the papers at the time. It does make a fascinating story to think about when visiting the Skirvin Hotel. For more accounts of Skirvin hauntings click here.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

DADT Repeal Fails in the Senate

"Senate Republicans, led by John McCain (R-Ariz.), have blocked the Senate from considering the defense authorization bill Tuesday afternoon. By blocking the bill from moving to the Senate floor, Republicans accomplish the objective of stalling the repeal of the military's 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy and blocking the Senate from considering the DREAM Act, which would give young, undocumented immigrants a pathway to citizenship if they enlist in the military or enroll in college."


Thank you President Obama for dragging your ass on this issue for the last two years and wasting the super majority the Senate enjoyed for a time after the 2008 elections. Your "fierce advocacy" of LGBT issues is a joke.

Thank you Senator Blanche Lincoln (D-Arkansas) for helping to filibuster this bill. I hope you lose your seat in November.

Thank you Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine) for siding with a procedural maneuver over principal, you believe the policy to be wrong.

Thank you Harry Reid (D-Nevada) for not bringing up a vote to repeal on it's own, earlier.

Thank you Department of Defense for believing more study is needed in a 17 year old policy that has seen 13,000 service members discharged in that period of time.

I'm so over Republicans and Democrats. It's pretty sad when they fail to act when 80% of the American public are for repeal! We join the ranks of Cuba, China, Egypt, Iran, North Korea, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Syria, and Yemen, to name a few, in not allowing service members to serve openly. What a great list to be a part of!

It makes me physically sick...

Lindsay Lohan

I'm patiently waiting for the Senate vote on the repeal of DADT (Don't Ask Don't Tell) which isn't looking good. In the meantime I had this joke to share:

Have you heard of the new shot called Lindsay Lohan?
It's basically a Red Headed Slut with a splash of Coke.

Hehe. Thanks to Mel, the Captain, or J. for the joke, I can't remember who told it first.

I Miss You

Happy fall everyone! Is it Friday yet? Ugh...

Monday, September 20, 2010

Oklahoma Land Run Monument

One of the sites J. and I saw on his trip here in Oklahoma City this weekend was the Oklahoma Land Run Monument, located at the south end of the Bricktown Canal. It was an amazing work of public art and from what I've read it's still in development. Though the work has been in progress since the Centennial in 2007, I had never wandered down that far from Bricktown to check it out! If you live in Oklahoma or are visiting here, it's definitely worth a visit, directly south from the Bass Pro Shop in historic Bricktown.

"The Centennial Land Run Monument commemorates the opening of the Indian land in Oklahoma Territory. The frenzied energy and emotion from one instant during the 1889 run is captured in bronze. Through Paul Moore’s masterful hand, a still and silent sculpture comes to life. When complete in 2015, the sculpture-in-progress will be one of the world’s largest bronze sculptures featuring 45 heroic figures of land run participants, frozen in motion as they race to claim new homesteads."

Yes, I'm a horses ass!

The Threesome Meme

Hello kiddos! Rumors of my demise have been exaggerated. I've been hanging out with J. all weekend on his trip to Oklahoma City (a wretched hive of scum and villainy). It was a fantastic visit but all good things come to an end. I hope everyone has a great start to the week. Once again, the latest Sunday Stealing, only a day late this week...

Cheers to all of us thieves!

1. At what time of your life were you happiest and why?
I'm not sure, I've been happy at several different times but I don't think I can pick one specific time. This weekend was pretty fucking fantastic.

2. Where and when did you meet the love of your life?
I haven't. I guess I'm still waiting for him to arrive.

3. Favourite item of clothing ever or most treasured possession?
I have some sandals from Taiwan that Timmy got me that I absolutely adore. My most recent favorite purchase is a an old school Cubs jersey I got in Chicago.

4. Must-have makeup or beauty item?
Neither. Condoms and beer.

5. What do you think is your worst vice or fault .. honestly?
Smoking would be at the top of the list. I'm also very sarcastic and sometimes I take it too far with my family and friends.

6. Would you tell your friend, if you knew her husband/wife was cheating on her/him?
It depends on the friend but probably not. I think a good rule of thumb is to always mind your business.

7. What ambitions, wishes or desires, for your life, do you still hold close to your heart?
Probably the same as most people, someone to be with that I love. I'd really like to live in a bigger city as well.

8. Where do you see yourself five years from now?
I see myself being 42.

9. If you had the choice of any talent with the penalty that you would lose a talent in exchange, what would you want to gain, and what would you be willing to loose?
I wish I were more artistic, and in exchange I'd be willing to give up my special gift with cursing.

10. Name three things that you do want completed in your life before retiring?
I want to retire now! Working is so overrated.

11. Of all of the people out there who would have been your fantasy date? Date, not romance...
This meme seems to be very female orientated, I'm not playing this one.

12. Google put another spell on you, you have just changed genders for 48 hours... what are you going to do with your 2 days?
Have sex with straight guys!!

13. If you owned your own island, and got to make it your own country, what would you call it? And why?
Anastasia Beaverhausenland.

14. If you rubbed the lamp and got 3 wishes, what would they be?
I would wish for more wishes!

15. What is your earliest memory of puberty?

16. If you got banished to your Island alone and could only bring 5 things, what would they be?
Toothbrush, iPod, Ulysses, a lighter, and your mom.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Top Chef: WTF (Again)

So this is the second year in a row that my final Top Chef posting of the season has been titled "WTF." I'm scratching my head wondering why Kevin won the competition. I don't believe he was the best chef contestant in the group but apparently he performed the best when it counted, in the finale! Whatever. No recap this week kiddos, just some random thoughts:

Pretty standard fare for the finale, create a four course meal with certain limitations on what can be prepared in each course. I liked that past winners of the competition were present to be sous chefs for the contestants. I guess they didn't have the budget to fly down the previous contestants from this season!

Kind of cool that Kevin is the first African American to win the competition.

Did anyone else get sick of the side story about Angelo being sick. He kept saying over and over how he didn't want to miss this opportunity by being sick. It just seemed to keep going on and on, blah blah blah.

So a lackluster season of Top Chef comes to an end. While the show did improve somewhat near the end, it wasn't enough to salvage the season! I think season 6 is my overall favorite of the series.

Ed is a dick in the kitchen.

Did anyone watch Top Chef: Just Desserts? It was actually fun and entertaining. Are there any straight guys in the competition? Half the time one of the guys spoke a purse would fall out of his mouth! I think I'll continue to watch and maybe even blog about it. I like Gail Simmons, she seems to be a nicer host than Padma and it looks like the show may have a lot of drama, always fun to watch. Also, it looks like we may already have a villain, Morgan.

So that's it, the end of another season of Top Chef. Thanks for reading everyone. Hopefully next season in the series will be much improved.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Sunday Stealing Player's Meme

Since I was too lazy to participate in Sunday Stealing last Sunday (I was having an ooze around the house like Jabba the Hut day), I thought I would post my responses today since I have nothing I want to write about. Enjoy.

Cheers to all of us thieves!

1. :::sniff, sniff::: Is the dog in the house?
I don't have a dog so that smell would have to be me! I'd like to have a beagle or a bassett hound but I work too far away from home to have a dog at the moment.

2. What is the best piece of advice you've ever received?
My mother advised never to get married or have children, so I didn't.

3. What's the worst experience you've ever had involving alcohol?
Going to jail, shortly before that the police offered to Taser me!

4. What's the worst thing you've ever done to another person?
Not sure. I stood up a girl on prom in high school, pretty evil, huh?

5. Who do you think started the concept of memes?
Someone who had a lot of time on their hands, like us.

6. Give a song title or line that describes how you are feeling right now.
"Tricky time never slows
That moment walked me by without bothering to say
Lucky time never stops
That moment knocked me down without bothering to
Say hello"

7. What's your favorite search engine? Yahoo!, Google, Ask, Bing? or something else?
I've always used Yahoo and on occasion Google.

8. If Paul is the cute one and John is the smart one and George is the quiet one and Ringo is the funny one, which Beatle are you?
I'm all of these characteristics and more!

9. The democratic government decides that, not only do we have to share our money with people who choose not to work, we also have to share our children with those who do not want to ruin their bodies with being pregnant. Which child do you give up?
Sounds like a right wing kook submitted this questions. I would give up all of my children.

10. When should you procrastinate - now or later?
I'm definitely a procrastinator but I usually get whatever it is done eventually.

11. What is your favorite fast food?

12. What was your favourite game as a child?
Monopoly or RISK.

13. Why do the terrible two's have to be terrible?
Because two can be bad as one, it's the loneliest number since the number one!

14. Describe your favorite family member.
I'm not sure I have a favorite, though I am more fond of my immediate family over my extended family.

15. What does your favorite breakfast consist of?
Cream of Wheat with biscuits and grape jelly.

16. What food is better the day after it was made?
Most soups or stews.

17. What was your last big purchase?
A laptop.

18. When was the last time you kissed someone and really enjoyed it?
Back in August.

19. Why are there memes?
Because Odin said, "let there be memes!" and there was and it was good.

20. Described yourself using two words that rhyme. (i.e. fuddy-duddy)
Drawing a blank. My bestie Kim calls me Davey my favey but of course that's three words.

21. If you were given the option of a "do-over" in life .. would you take it?
Ask me in a year. Probably not but I would like a do-over for certain parts.

22. What movie makes (or has made) you cry? What touched you about it?
Philadelphia made me weep pretty hard when I saw it in the theatre. The ending is very touching.

23. What is one big mistake that you did in your life? And what did you do to make it right?
Nothing! I'm an American, we take responsibility for nothing!!

24. When life gives you lemons, what do you do with them?
Throw them at Mormons going door to door.

25. How different are you in real life as compared to the online identity you have created for yourself?
I think I'm mostly the same. I'm probably a little more funny and witty in real life. My writing skills need some work.

26. Do you know what your parents would have named you if you had been born the opposite sex?
Anastasia Beaverhausen. Felicia would be nice too...

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Happy Birthday Mario!

I can't believe Mario (at least the game Super Mario Brothers) is 12 years younger than me! So I can't decide if he looks good for his age or bad for his age at 25...

The Hours

"The Hours" is a wonderful Pulitzer Prize winning novella written by Michael Cunningham. How queer it is that I've read so many books this year that were made in to movies that I never saw. Now I'm growing quite a list of movies that I need to see. From the book's cover:

"Passionate, profound, and deeply moving, The Hours is the story of three women: Clarissa Vaughan, who one New York morning goes about planning a party in honor of a beloved friend; Laura Brown, who in a 1950's Los Angeles suburb slowly begins to feel the constraints of a perfect family and home; and Virginia Woolf, recuperating with her husband in a London suburb, and beginning to write Mrs. Dalloway. By the end of the novel, the stories have intertwined, and finally come together in an act of subtle and haunting grace, demonstrating Michale Cunningham's deep empathy for his characters as well as the extraordinary resonance of his prose."

It is remarkable how three generations of women are all affected by "Mrs. Dalloway" by Virginia Woolf. The story moves along interesting enough but really grabs hold of the reader at the very end where the connection is made clear. Cunningham's style is rolling in a stream-of-consciousness narrative, and I wonder if this was a deliberate attempt to emulate Virginia Woolf, as I have never read any of his other works.

As I mentioned earlier, I have quite a must see movie list building, but a movie can rarely, if ever replace a novel, book, or story. A movie is much more expendable. A truly inspired book can linger on one's mind for weeks, months, or even years. This is that kind of story, for me. Highly recommended.

"We live our lives, do whatever we do, and then we sleep - it's as simple and ordinary as that. A few jump out of windows or drown themselves or take pills; more die by accident; and most of us, the vast majority, are slowly devoured by some disease or, if we're very fortunate, by time itself. There's just this for consolation: an hour here or there when our lives seem, against all odds and expectations, to burst open and give us everything we've ever imagined, everyone but children (and perhaps even they) knows these hours will inevitably be followed by others, far darker and more difficult. Still, we cherish the city, the morning; we hope, more than anything, for more."

Obama Bumper Sticker Removal Kit

Jason sent me a link to this video yesterday on Facespace. While I'm happy that Grandpa John "you kids get off my lawn" McCain is not the President, I've been a little less than impressed with Obama's performance thus far.

Some of my grievances against the Obama administration:
  • Failure to close Guantanamo Bay within a year, like they said they would.
  • Throwing the public health care option under the bus before the debate really got going.
  • Dragging their ass on the repeal of DADT (Don't Ask Don't Tell) and doing nothing about (DOMA) The Defense of Marriage Act.
  • Shitty finance reform.
  • Timothy Geithner, 'nuff said.

Again, I would rather Obama be President over any Republican but, as a liberal, I've been a little less than enamored with this kind of "change." One thing that never changes in politics is that corporations and money reign supreme!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Meet Me on Monday

I didn't get around to doing a Sunday Stealing post yesterday, too much football! As a result I'm participating in Meet Me on Monday from Never Growing Old:

1. What is your favorite pasta dish?
Hard to say, I'm not usually a pasta person and Italian wouldn't be my first choice when cooking or eating out. On occasion when I do order something with pasta I'll usually go with something spicy. The Seafood "Diablo" is really good at Pearl's Oyster Bar.

2. What is the last thing you do before going to bed?
Fall asleep on the sofa. I have a bad habit of falling asleep in the evening on my couch and then waking up in the middle of the night and dragging my ass to bed.

3. How many nights a week do you go out to eat?
Not as much as I used to, maybe a couple times a week. Often I'll tag along with my parents when they go out to eat and snag a free meal.

4. Are you an avid book reader?
I'm not sure if I'm avid but I do read often. I'm on my 37th book so far this year and my goal is to read 50 by the end of the year. So basically I average about a book a week.

5. Would you rather have x-ray vision or bionic hearing?
X-ray vision of course! How cool would it be to be able to see into anything?

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Never Forget

There are two days, thus far, that live in infamy to me and my generation, April 19th, 1995 and September 11th, 2001. I will never forget where I was and what I was doing on these two dates. Today is the ninth anniversary of the 9-11 attacks on America.

I will never forget getting ready for a late morning shift at work on Tuesday, September 11, 2001. I turned on the television to the Today's show to see one of the World Trade Center towers on fire! I watched with horror with much of the nation as a second plane hit the other tower. Slowly conclusions were drawn that this wasn't an accident.

I will never forget driving the short distance to work listening to the radio trying to figure out what the hell was going on in New York.

I will never forget getting to work, where suddenly no one was concerned about how to file insurance claims or how to fix their scheduler.

I will never forget listening to the radio and searching the Internet at work throughout the morning for more information. Apparently the Pentagon was struck as well and something was going on in Pennsylvania.

The who, and the why, and our actions and responses over the last nine years will be debated for generations to come but today is not that day. Today I simply choose to remember those who died on that day.

A terrible morning I will never forget...

Friday, September 10, 2010

Son of a Witch (Revisited)

So since I recently read "Wicked" for a second time I thought I might as well read the next two installments in the "Wicked Years," again. I finished "Son of a Witch" tonight, pretty lame for a Friday, huh? My original impressions on the novel can be found here.

From goodreads:

"When a Witch dies--not as a crone, withered and incapable, but as a woman in her prime, at the height of her passion and prowess--too much is left unsaid. What might have happened had Elphaba lived? Of her campaigns in defense of the Animals, of her appetite for justice, of her talent for magic itself, what good might have come? If every death is a tragedy, the death of a woman in her prime keenly bereaves the whole world. Ten years after the publication of Wicked, bestselling novelist Gregory Maguire returns to the land of Oz to follow the story of Liir, the adolescent boy left hiding in the shadows of the castle when Dorothy did in the Witch.

A decade after the Witch has melted away, the young man Liir is discovered bruised, comatose, and left for dead in a gully. Shattered in spirit as well as in form, he is tended by the mysterious Candle, a foundling in her own right, until failed campaigns of his childhood bear late, unexpected fruit.

Liir is only one part of the world that Elphaba left behind. As a boy hardly in his teens, he is asked to help the needy in ways in which he may be unskilled. Is he Elphaba's son? Has he power of his own? Can he liberate Princess Nastoya into a dignified death? Can he locate his supposed half-sister, Nor, last seen in shackles in the Wizard's protection? Can he survive in an Oz little improved since the death of the Wicked Witch of the West? Can he learn to fly?

In Son of a Witch, Gregory Maguire suggests that the magic we locate in distant, improbable places like Oz is no greater than the magic inherent in any hard life lived fully, son of a witch or no."

Much like "Wicked" I found myself enjoying "Son of a Witch" more the second time around. Liir's life seemed to be filled with the same failures as his mother, but like her in the end he triumphs in his own way. The only frustrating thing about the novel is the loose ends, again like "Wicked," that are neither explained or left to interpretation for the reader to decide. While "A Lion Among Men" does shed some more light on the mysterious land of Oz and legacy of the Wicked Witch of the West, it never really explained the fate of Liir, Candle, and Trism and their love triangle (if it can even be called that). I want answers! Perhaps the fourth book by Gregory Maguire will reveal all. Or leave more questions! Highly recommended, of course after reading the first installment.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Top Chef: Singapore

This is it, the build up to the finale! Once again everyone seemed to cook really well in the quick fire challenge and the elimination challenge. It seems the smallest of margins sent one chef home and elevated the other three for one last challenge.

Quick fire challenge: create Singapore street food using only a wok and local ingredients. Ed wins the challenge with stir-fry noodles with black pepper sauce, lobster and gai lan. I can't believe Ed beat the supposed master of Asian cuisine, Angelo. Though, in Angelo's defense, his chile frog legs with pineapple and rambutan salsa looked very delicious. Ed also won immunity for the elimination challenge securing a place in the final.

Elimination challenge: a team challenge to cater a party based on local cuisine, cooking dishes to order for 80 people. The team agrees to cook one dish each and that all changes when Tom visits the kitchens and pretty much orders them to cook at least two dishes each. Ed seems to be the only contestant prepared for this change of plan. Long story short (I'm not even going to try to remember everyone's dish), Ed wins again and Kelly is sent home by what the judges referred to as a microscopic margin. So the final will consist of Angelo, Kevin, and Ed.

Other observations:

So in the elimination challenge Kelly was making fish head curry but without fish heads? Did I catch that correctly? "Fish heads, fish heads, roly poly fish heads..."

Head chef Tom rags on the team to each create two dishes instead of one in the elimination challenge. It would have been cool if they had banded together and told him collectively to piss off. If a requirement on dishes was necessary it should have been told to the contestants initially.

Was Ed being prepared to create a second dish in the elimination challenge dirty pool? It was a team effort, no? I did love his psychological warfare on Angelo! Does anyone think this elevated him to victory?

Kelly can't open a can, with a can opener? She eludes to Asian cans being different. Is this true? Let's get a ruling from the judges. Timmy? Hello?

It really sucked that Kelly sliced her hand and proceeded to bleed out everywhere. Been there, done that. It always seems to happen at a crazy busy time!

Next on Top Chef: it looks like past contestants (or was it winners?) join the last three contestants left to be their sous chefs. Nifty.

No "Bye Felicia" award this week. I'm fairly satisfied with the remaining three contestants even though I would prefer Kelly in the finale over Kevin.

The next Top Chef is: I'm going with Ed since he's been on such a roll and, based on the preview, it looks like Angelo drank the water!

Edit: I totally forgot to add some quotes:

Kelly - "There is zero room for error."
Ed - "Immunity would definitely help me out."

Wow. Masters of the obvious...

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Speaking of Religion...

Did any of my Oklahoma City readers see the new billboard at I-44 and N.W. 10th?

I love it! We here in the great state of Oklahoma are accustom to seeing "Abortion is Murder" or "Got God" billboards all over the place but I can't remember ever seeing an atheist one. First the Satan worshippers try to make inroads in Oklahoma City and now this?

What happened to the bible thumping state that boasts more churches than California? I mean you can't spit around here without hitting a couple of places of worship (mostly Christian). Keep this up Oklahoma and we'll be the laughing stock of Mississippi and Alabama!

Seriously, I love that someone had the balls to place this kind of ad on a billboard and that the billboard owner or company allowed it. What's even better is that it is right near the Interstate exits for the State Fair which opens next week. There's gonna be a lot of rural Oklahoma travelers who won't be happy that they wandered into Gomorra!

Quran BBQ!

Wow. A planned event must be bad when conservatives and liberals alike condemn it!

"Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour, Chair of the Republican Governors Association, condemned the plan by a Florida minister to burn copies of the Koran to commemorate the September 11 attacks on the United States."


Of course I'm talking about Rev. Terry Jones and his Florida church. Apparently these knuckleheads are planning a quran book burning party to commemorate the anniversary of the 9-11 attacks on the United States. Don't you just love religious tolerance?

Of course this is wrong, first you start with books and next they're burning people! But, no one can deny that religion played a major role in what happened on that terrible day in New York, Washington D.C., and Pennsylvania. So my question of the day is simple: what does everyone think about this act of expression by some obviously deranged people in Florida? Is Gen. David Petraeus correct in saying that this kind of protest will cause more harm in our efforts to stop terrorism and place our troops in more danger in Afghanistan?


Tuesday, September 07, 2010

The Devil in the White City

While in Vegas, J. loaned me an interesting little book titled, "The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America," by Erik Larson. From the cover:

"Bringing Chicago circa 1893 to vivid life, Erik Larson's spellbinding bestseller intertwines the true tale of two men - the brilliant architect behind the legendary 1893 World's Fair, striving to secure America's place in the world; and the cunning serial killer who used the fair to lure his victims to their death. Combining meticulous research with nail-biting storytelling, Erik Larson has crafted a narrative with all the wonder of newly discovered history and the thrills of the best fiction."

The book was brilliant. I hardly knew anything about the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893, nor did I know anything about the grisly murders perpetrated by H. H. Holmes during and after the time of the great fair. To say that I learned a great deal from this novel would be an understatement. It was clear to me that Larson took great care to try to get the facts correct in what I can only describe as a work on non-fiction events that are laced with a fictitious narrative.

Basically two stories are juxtaposed together in the same city at the same time, that of Holmes, a Chicago equivalent to Jack the Ripper, and Daniel Burnham, the architect who lead the massive teams to get the great fair opened on time. As sensational as the tale of Holmes and his murders were, I found myself drawn to and enjoying more the tale of building the great exposition, from the planing and development phase through to the opening and closing of the fair. I cannot say with any skill how fascinating this little piece of Chicago and American history was to me. It is amazing how many innovations were used at this time which had become common place in America in the next century.

Highest recommendation, one of the best and most interesting books I've read this year.

Tagged and Bagged…

I was tagged for this meme over at The Debster Chronicles so I have to participate right?

1. Why did you start blogging?
Mostly out of boredom at work over five years ago. I really do enjoy it, in spite of the lack of participation from my readers (you bastards!). It's a great way to practice my writing skills, which are terrible, and it's fun to be snarky as often as possible with the ability to write larger posts than Twitter or Facespace.

2. If you could travel anywhere in the world with no restriction of costs, where would it be and why?
Europe or Asia. Europe would be the obvious choice since their culture is much like our own and most people speak English (at least they did in Germany). Asia would be more adventurous both in travel and food. With only one choice I would probably take a trip to southeast Asia (Japan, China, Vietnam, etc.).

3. Did you have a teacher in school that had a great influence on your life? If so, what?
I'm sure most of my teachers had some kind of influence but I can't name one off the top of my head that had a great influence. My band teacher in high school was such a dousche that it influenced me to not pursue music in college.

4. If you could spend the day with a famous person, who would it be, and what would you do?
I have no clue. I can think of several people who are not famous that I'd rather see.

5. Toilet paper – over or under?
Usually on the toilet tank. It takes a lot of effort to hang a roll, first you have to take the used up roll out and then replace it with a the new one! Who the hell has time for such a complicated maneuver? If I do have time in my insane schedule to actually change the roll, I would set it over.

6. Name one thing in your life that you would do over if possible.
Too many things to mention. Recently, I would have avoided doing Vegas Bombs on Sunday night.

7. Tell us about your pets – if any.
I don't have any pets. I really want to get a beagle and name him Pudge.

8. Do you live in a small town or a large town. (You don’t have to name the town)
It depends on how you define small and large. I live in Oklahoma City which is small for a city. It is the 31st most populace city in the U.S. with around 560,000 people in the city and around 1.2 million in the metro area. I just love Wikipedia!

Sunday, September 05, 2010

The Majorly Personal Meme, Part The Last

Stolen once again from Sunday Stealing.

Cheers to all of us thieves!

41. What are your plans for this weekend?
The plans I had I did yesterday. Went to the Oklahoma Sooners game and then out dancing.

42. Do you think someone might be thinking poorly about you? Why might that be?
I'm sure someone thinks poorly of me! I'm kind of an asshole.

42. What features don't you have that you would like on your cell?
I have all the features I need, though it would be cool to have a more functional Internet browser.

43. How many people can comfortably sleep in your bed?

44. What are you hoping happens by the end of 2010?
I'm not sure. I'd really like to have a new job or live in a bigger city but I'm sure that won't happen.

45. What was the last video you watched on YouTube?
Shoes by Kelly.

46. Would you ever agree to an open relationship with someone?
I guess it depends on how much I like the person. Anything is possible but it's not really my style.

47. Is there something that you could never give up?
My few good friends and immediate family.

48. Would you, (or did you) prefer a small, intimate wedding reception, or a big-scale, over-the-top reception?
A small intimate wedding; however, it's unconstitutional for me to marry in my state.

49. What’s bothering you right now?
Aside from the usual bullshit, I've been a little lonely lately.

50. Do you hate anyone?
Most people, kids, and cats.

51. What were you doing at 12 am last night?
Drinking a beer at the Finishline.

52. Was this summer a good one? How warm was it where you live?
Summer has been pretty good, met some new friends and did some traveling. The weather has been hotter than the hubs of hell.

52. Is the last person you kissed before your current situation mad at you?
Most likely.

53. Can a man and woman be friends without having feelings for each other?
Sure they can, but I'm queer so my situation may be different.

54. Do you think long distance relationships work? If you’ve had one, tell us about it.
I don't see how they can without something in the relationship changing, i.e. moving closer to one another. I haven't had one but there is someone I'm really digging 15 hours away which has been a good and bad thing.

55. Do you know why it’s called “Random Boredom“?
Yes, it's called my life. Random question.

56. Do you thing that it’s always the man’s responsibility to initiate sex?
Yes and the woman should be barefoot in the kitchen fixing me some turkey pot pie!

57. Have you ever made love while you were in the same room with another couple?

58. Tell us the best thing about your current or most recent S/O.
I'm not sure how to define significant other. I'll just say that someone I really care about is very kind, funny, and doesn't seem to be scared by my craziness.

59. Tell us the worst thing about your current or most recent S/O.
Only seeing him once a month, at best.

60. Would you write one question in today’s comments so that we could have our followers allow us to steal their questions? We’ll need at least 15.
I don't do anything without a fee!

Saturday, September 04, 2010

College Football Season is Here!

At least for me and the teams that I follow! It couldn't be a better day for it, high temperature today, 83 degrees.

Games of the day:

Utah State vs. (7) Oklahoma: Really Sooners? Nice opening game. Not. I expect this game to be out of hand for the Aggies about two minutes in. While I'm not a huge Sooners fan, I'm looking forward to being at the game, they're always a lot of fun, well when OU doesn't schedule a school for the blind. Sooners by 35.

Washington State vs. Oklahoma State: Since I'll be in Norman I won't get to catch my beloved Cowboys on television. Boo. Anyways, it will be interesting to see how OSU's offense performs with a new quarterback and revamped offensive line. Even being a young team, OSU shouldn't have too much of a problem with the lowly Cougars. Pokes win by 17.

Everyone enjoy the greatest time of year and have a great Saturday!

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Top Chef: NASA

The episode of Top Chef: DC last night was probably one of the better ones of the season. We seem to be down to five, now four, really good contestants who all made really good food in the elimination challenge. I was thinking, this is what the show should have been all season.

Quick fire challenge: Dana Cowin, publisher of Food & Wine magazine, judges a wine pairing challenge. Pretty straight forward, no off the wall challenge. I like it. Angelo comes out of his funk and wins with a sautéed foie gras with black salt and fennel salad. By winning the challenge he earns a trip to London.

Elimination challenge: create a dish that can be freeze dried and sent into space on a NASA mission. So, a little bit goofy but hey, it's not a baby food challenge, right? The only real criteria is not to make anything too sweet or too compact. The astronauts also mentioned they liked spicy foods and foods from home or comfort food (I never heard this last part but the contestants were talking about it throughout the episode). This week's guest judge, Anthony Bourdain, one of my favorites. Buzz Aldrin is also one of the guest tasters which would be a really cool American icon to meet. Once again Angelo wins with ribs with pea puree and pickled mushrooms, earning a new Toyota, Bourdain's latest book, and a spot to see one of the last two space shuttle launches. Unfortunately Tiffany is sent home for her pan-seared Alaskan halibut with coconut curry.

Thoughts on this week:

I'm a little bummed out by the elimination of Tiffany. She was one of the better (nicer) personalities on the show and she seemed to be cooking really good food of late. I wonder if her mussels hadn't frozen if it would have made a difference. Probably not but I would hate to think she was eliminated due to a refrigeration problem.

Are the prizes out of control this year or what? Money, trips to various destinations around the world, and cars. I think they've definitely topped last season in this regard.

Bourdain was really reserved on the show, not seeming to have too much of a problem with anything the contestants made in the elimination challenge. I liked his rapport with judge Eric Ripert, scolding him for being too snobby on some of the food, in an obviously friendly way.

The Bravo editing monkeys tricked me well this week. I had no clue who was going to go home but I thought for sure that Angelo wouldn't win since there seemed to be a lot of time spent on discussing how sweet his dish was.

Does Angelo pray to the chef gods or to Jeebus? Or does he just thank Jeebus after a win. Well at least he's still not Muslim (I know, I'm wearing that phrase out). Speaking of Angelo, I hope he didn't get crabs from making love to his elimination dish.

The final four is Ed, Angelo, Kelly, and Kevin. Not too bad of a final four, though I would happily trade Kelly or Kevin to keep Tiffany in the mix. I managed to pick two of the top four after the first episode (Angelo and Kevin). I have no clue who is going to win this year! Last year I was certain it would be Kevin but we all saw how wrong that was. I'll make a prediction after we're down to three contestants.

Next on Top Chef: international finale! Was someone snarling at Padma? God I hope so.

My "Bye Felicia" award this week goes to no one! It seems as though Tiffany being sent home was by the narrowest of margins; that makes for great competition television.

Fan favorite? I'm picking Arnold because he moisturizes.

Next chef out: Kevin.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Fried Beer

I saw on Rachel Maddow's blog today that fried beer was now being served at the Texas State Fair! Wow.

Check out Fun Fried Beverages for more information on the process of frying beer.

"People said it could not be done; impossible is what we were told! When you put beer into a fryer, it will cause a violent reaction with the oil..."

As a society haven't we taken frying everything we can eat and shoving it on a stick a little too far?

Fried Twinkie on a stick.

Fried Oreo on a stick.

Fried Coca-cola (no shit!).

Fried weasel on a stick (it tastes just like chicken).

Now fried beer! I can barely guzzle down a beer without gagging when it starts to approach room temperature. Call me old fashioned but I really want to slurp down my intoxicating beverage from a frosty cold mug.

All hail fair season!

What is the most bizarre food item you've seen fried and impaled on a stick (or not on a stick)?

It's September!

Happy September readers, lurkers, and people who never comment (you know who you are)! I can tell that fall is right around the corner, the high temperature today is only supposed to be in the low 90's. Why I'm excited about September:

Labor Day this weekend! Not that I have any plans but any holiday with a day off from work is a good holiday.

J. is coming to visit for a long weekend mid-month. I'm really excited to show off Oklahoma City (yeah, I know, lame) and a little scared that he'll never want to come back! This will be his first trip to "The Sooner State."

The annual great State Fair of Oklahoma also kicks off on the 16th through the 26th. While I'm not a great fan of the fair, it's not a bad time to enjoy anything fried on a stick, roam the midway, and people (hillbilly) watch.

Last but certainly not least, football season kicks off this weekend! I expect the Dallas Cowboys to make a deeper run in the playoffs this year on the NFL side, while I expect the Oklahoma State Cowboys to struggle a bit but most likely make another bowl appearance in college football. The Sooners? They can drown...

Thanks again to all the readers out there, August was my biggest visited month since December of last year!

So what does everyone else have on tap this month?