Thursday, July 29, 2010

Spooky Poodle Noodles

*Crap. I just realized that I haven't had any coffee yet today.

*Double crap. I just realized that I'm probably going to have to wait till the end of the year for season 6 of Lost on DVD.

*Triple crap. The cost of the cars and the refi may have killed our chances at even a brief end-of-year vacation.

*Seems that a contingent of the FOM will be descending on Trader Vic's in Chicago tonight. I, however, will be at work. So, no mai tais or hot Hawaiian waitresses for me. Need I even mention just how much that completely and totally sucks?

*I offered. That is my complete defense to the whole incident. If I see her about to try and cut something, I offer to do it for her. Sometimes she accepts, other times it's taken as an accusation of incompetence. My reasoning is simple in that I'm used to working with cut up fingers more than she is, and, at the very worst, I get paid sick time off of work. Neither of those is the case with her, and she often does very scary things with knives. My offer today was met with the response of 'I can do it myself'. And she did fine, right up until the very last cut she made. It was that last little shifting of her grip that made the whole piece of bread move, and the blade of the knife went right across the side of her finger. Fortunately, her fingernail stopped the blade from going down to the bone. Unfortunately, she got a couple of days off of work and a tetanus shot. All I could say was that I could really, truly, earnestly, and deeply empathize with what she did, and next time, I'll slice the bread.

*Got a Friday off and no real plans to speak of. I do need to finish potting Julie's signs, and there's a desk full of paperwork that needs to be done, but those don't really count since they are absolutely no fun at all. Also need to get some gas for the mower, which again leads me right to something that isn't any fun. I could tackle the basket of shredding that needs to be done, but that's only entertaining for about 10 minutes or so. Right now, it's looking like Friday will just be filled with all kinds of unfun 'catch-up' type projects. Whoo-freakin-hoo.

*Just got word that all tropical drinks at the Chef on Saturday are going to 34% off. And they were already super cheap to start with! Still, knowing that whatever I save on beverages still wouldn't be enough to pay for a divorce, I don't see more than a couple on the horizon for me. I am betting that the place is going to be packed to the rafters, since there are already going to be 2 large tables just of FOM folks. What I have yet to be able to figure out is where the bands are going to be set up to play. I think that taking sonic refuge in the bar area with the Boss may be necessary to keep her from getting a migraine. Not really sure what time we'll be heading out that way, either. The bands start playing at seven, so it would probably be good to get there and get some food before the place goes completely insane. I'm thinking that if I take (and actually use) my camera, I could possibly use it to keep myself out of any major alcohol related trouble. Complete evasion of trouble of any sort, though, is something that remains basically impossible for me.

*The Goat remains ominously silent.

*The concept had seemed so totally ludicrous as to be laughable at first, but I am beginning to think that it just may be what will fit the bill to such an exacting degree as to be painfully astonishing. I just need to polish the inflection a bit and work my way through the accent, and then the Work Character will be all ready for public display and usage. I thinking of maybe Tuesday as a rollout date, but we'll see how things go.

*Kittyluv seems to have vanished completely off the face of the planet, and I think she took Dhawk with her. Bluegirl flits in and out of the fringes on occasion, and the rest are but infrequent visitors in my dreams.


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Arcsine Over Tangent

*It's orange. The name of the color on the can was "paprika", but it looks pretty damn orange to me. But, she's happy with it, the project is done, and her stuff has been moved out of the garage, so I can't complain a whole lot. At this point I think I'm even willing to forget the slight orange, excuse me, 'paprika' colored haze that settled on most everything in the garage.

*I think I could very easily end up spending lots and lots and lots of money in the I-Tunes store if I'm not careful.

*Was Hot Tub Time Machine better than The Hangover? Nope, not in my book. Amusing, yes. Definitely a guy movie. Just not as funny overall as The Hangover.

*Why it is that I always have good ideas for projects that involve a ridiculously short timeline, I'll never know. For now all I can say is that if I can get what I'm working on now done by Saturday, it will be awesome. If not, it'll have to be awesome for next month, even though it will lose a few degrees of awesomeness in the process.

*Got an interesting call from the State's Attorney this week. Turns out that the guy whose DUI case I was supposed to testify in this week failed to show up at some pre-trial meeting, so the judge cancelled the case and put out a warrant for his arrest. I love it when things come to such a neatly self-fulfilling ending.

*One more step taken, but for now the rest of the path remains shrouded in mystery. Will there be an announcement Saturday? All I can do is wait and see.

*Concrete is heavy. Seems to be a simplistic statement, but it gets more complicated when you're trying to guesstimate just how much weight someone else can pick up. I need the concrete to be the weight in the bottom of the signs I'm making for Julie, but the pots themselves already weigh 12 pounds on their own. If I throw 50# on concrete in there too, the wind won't blow the sign over, but that would all but eliminate the mobility factor. I'm thinking that I'll be going with about 20# per pot, which should put the total weight of the end pieces in the ballpark of 40#. That should still be moveable by a person, but be pretty resistant to being tipped over by the wind. I hope.

*Pearls Before Swine is now officially my #2 favorite comic strip of all time, right behind the immortal Calvin and Hobbes.

*Both cars are now functional and finally back in our possession. Our bank account is also $2K lighter as a result, making me think once again that I am not in the correct line of work. On top of all that we just refinanced our mortgage to a lower rate, so we're out another $900 to make that happen.

*We were offered yet another free dog. This one was a 4 year old, 200# mastiff. While it certainly would fit the bill for what the Boss wants in the next dog, it just isn't a time when we can take on such an animal.

*For some reason, the spider population this summer has exploded into freakishly high numbers. Must be all the mosquitoes they're eating.

*Another night in the Blue Moai Room, and another good time was had by all. There was an exploding cocktail shaker, a command appearance of the kilt, and general agreement by all females in attendance that they'd do Sean Connery at the drop of a hat. I still have yet to clean off the top of the bar, and came within mere fluid ounces of acquiring a cripplingly wicked hangover. I discovered I can trade Oreos and Dr. Pepper for a hug, and drinks that taste strongly of lemon still really don't agree with me (bad bad bad tequila memories). And even thought the annex was open, the oppressive humidity kept anyone from using it. I have also hade the decision that if I ever get my hands of the purple room, not only do I want to build a new bar in there, I want to try and build a booth in the one corner. Or, I may just build the booth in the main room in the corner where the bar is now. That space has always been a pain in my ass, but a booth would work there quite nicely.

*The so-called 'beanbags' are actually full of corn, and I don't think we ever had any real hope of beating Bart and Steph, but beyond that, it looks like Cornhole will be something the Boss and I can enjoy and actually play against each other at a fairly equal level.

*Seem to be hitting a stretch of time when there's just way too much fun stuff to be doing, and not enough time to be able to do it all. Not sure what's going on Friday (Trader Vic's maybe?), but there's part two of garbage pickup on Saturday morning, the Chef event Saturday evening, and Kane Co Flea Market the whole weekend. Next weekend got a family dinner on Saturday and Ohana night at Tiki Terrace on Sunday. The weekend after that is Festiki in Dayton. Just a few too many things going on all at once. Might just be time to fire up the ol' cloning pods.

*It is an extreme rarity for me to work a "normal" Monday through Friday work week, but I did this past week. If I hadn't swapped a day so I could go out to the Chef next weekend, it wouldn't have happened. Anyway, these 5 in a row workday schedules suck. Now I remember why the weekend used to seem like such a wonderful thing. Still, I won't be going back to that schedule anytime in the near future, if I can do anything about it. This week I'm on 3 days, off 2, on 1, off 1. Ahhhhh. That's so much better.

*I knew there was a name for it, but never knew what it was. Now I know it's called Mid-Century Modern. And thanks to Tim for pointing me in the direction of Atomic Ranch magazine so I could find that out. Now if he could just point me in the direction of a few hundred grand so I can redo my whole house in that style.


Saturday, July 10, 2010

Glass Tuxedos

*Well, at least I have my car back. I'm out almost a grand to get it fixed, but I do have it back. I was also told that I'll be needing a full set of tires by around October or so, and there is a small coolant leak somewhere that they can't find. Yay. More things to look forward to. And since the parts for Sheri's car aren't even in yet, I have no idea what the total repair bill for both cars is going to be. And, I don't really want to know. On the other hand, it was nice to know that Motor Works was keeping the second key for my car safe for the past three years.

*Going to be changing gears in the studio this coming week. The piece for the Saturday raffle at the Chef is almost done, so I need to switch over to a project (or projects) that I have been neglecting for a few months. Not that I haven't been putting any thought into them, but I haven't done much more than that. With any luck, a solid week of studio time should get me back on top of at least half of that project.

*I have greatly cooled my jets when it comes to buying new games in the past few months, but I have found a new card game that I just have to have. Apparently it's a tweaked version of Oh Hell that had somehow never made it onto my radar. Now that I know about it, I simply must have it. Regardless of my lack of fellow players. It's a deck of cards, right? Doesn't really take up that much room, right? Should be really easy to find on the 'net, right? You wanna guess what I'll be doing later?

*Z and K are scheduled to arrive on Monday, as far as I have been told. Not sure if their visit will impact me in any way, but that's what's happening.

*I read a thread in the FOM forums where someone was asking if there were any recipes out there for cocktails that had coconut water as an ingredient. One of the side discussions was the supposed effectiveness of coconut water in treating hangovers. Naturally, I was skeptical. But, while at the store getting more ginger beer for that night's round of Dark and Stormys, I walked right past an end cap display that just happened to have coconut water on it. So, I picked one up. Not that I really expected anything other than perhaps having a nice refreshing drink. Given my hangover experiences in the past, which nothing but time could cure, I have no desire to EVER get myself into such a state again. After a few cocktails though, I can pretty much guarantee that the next morning I will have a slight, but very persistent, headache. So, Friday night rolled around, and since it was my day off, I did indeed enjoy a few alcohol containing beverages. And when I awoke the next morning, there was indeed a headache present. I went into the kitchen, took the carton of coconut water out of the fridge, and drank maybe a third of it. There was no immediate or mystical change in my condition, so I went back to bed for a bit. The next time I got out of bed, I have to admit that there was a noticeable positive improvement in the condition of my head. Maybe it was the coconut water. Maybe it was the extra sleep. I can't really say for certain, and in order to do more research on the subject, I have to put myself in a condition that I don't care to be in. That means that for now, the question of the curative powers of coconut water over hangovers will have remain unanswered.

*After a brief encounter with the neighbor across the street, I will add two more things to the list of possibilities explaining why they're so bizarre. They could either be Russian spies or serial killers. Not likely both, but not impossible either.

*As much as I hat to say it, after we get done watching our way through season 5 of Lost, I'm thinking that I may get a decent sized chunk of my life back. The only reason for that being that season 6 won't be available for us to rent.

*I measured off the space for the bags court in the driveway yesterday, and 27 feet looks like a really long way to me. Guess that once I start pitching those beanbags I'll find out just how far it really is.


Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Coiled Broccoli Toothpicks

*An interesting question regarding art, and one you may not often think of is, do you scale the piece to fit your vision, or do you scale your vision to fit your materials? Or maybe you scale your vision to fit your budget. I've done all three, but probably done more of the last one than any of the others. I can't really say if that's a bad thing or not.

*Got nothing fun lined up to do this Friday. Gotta work the weekend, so that's out of the question. Not sure what I might do with myself. I know that what I should do with myself is spend the day going after all the paperwork on the desk and then bathing in mosquito repellent so that I can go outside and clean up the yard a bit. Would like to break in the new bags set, but Bart is out of town. Which reminds me that I need to get online and print out some rules so I know how far apart to set up the boards and all that stuff. Sheri had asked me if I was going to put some tiki style art on the boards, since I got the plain wood ones. That was actually a pretty good idea, but I don't want to have to work around or through the clear coat on them, so for now I'll just leave them as they are.

*Found a chrysalis on the tiki by my front door the other day. Was kind of surprised by that, since I hadn't seen too many monarchs out front this year.

*OK, I tried the Kraken rum mixed with Dr. Pepper, per a suggestion on the FOM forums. But, since I didn't have an actual lemon to make a twist with, I used a splash of lemon juice, which I understand is not the same thing. Anyway, this particular concoction wasn't too bad. Not at the top of my list, but not so bad that I regret buying the six of Dr. Pepper shorties. I haven't been able to find Fresca in short cans yet, so I haven't been able to try an After the Storm (also a FOM forum suggestion). Maybe I should have just gotten that 2L bottle of Fresca that I saw, since it's sooo much cheaper than ginger beer. Right now, the mix mai tais are just too heavy, but that doesn't change the fact that I still have a coconut full of limes that need to be dealt with.

*The earwigs are out. And the Japanese beetles. Yay. I don't know what makes me think I could live in a tropical or sub-tropical environment when I have such an active dislike of bugs. Guess that means the desert is moving up a notch or two on the list of preferred places to live.

*How damn Stoned do you have to be to think that a live action version of the Smurfs is a good idea?!?!?

*Managed to get one of the days of the Chef's anniversary off without having to owe anyone a favor. Means I have to work five in a row week after next, but it does make sure that I'm lined up for some fun later on in the month. Means I also have to get at least one piece done for the raffle, since I said that I would bring something to contribute. I had thought that the party at the Chef would mark the start of my initiate trials since it's supposed to be a big event, but I had forgotten that I said I was available for Adopt-A-Road duty on the 17th. Now I'm thinking that will be the start of my trials, especially since my sponsor will be there. Then again, they could just show up on my doorstep witout warning to start my trials.

*K and Z were supposed to be coming down this week, but I have yet to hear anything more about that. Probably a good thing, since we swiped the stealth car from the folks.

*Bad struts, bad front sway bars, feathered tires, and a mystery problem in the restraint system. That was the initial report on the Ford. All we asked for was to have the tires rotated and the oil changed. Now, the Boss is all upset thinking that her car is going to become a money pit. But, when I put forth the idea of buying her a new car, she gets upset. She keeps saying that it's my turn to get the new car, to which I reply that I don't mind the car I have right now. Mind you, that could change when I hear back from Motor Works. So, at the moment, we're waiting for repair estimates on the Ford, the Mazda is under scrutiny, and both of us are hoping we don't have to go through the hell that is shopping for a new car. On another car related note, I had seen a Kia Soul when we were out at the flea market last Sunday and it kinda caught my eye. Sheri hadn't seen it and had no idea what they looked like, so we went by one of the local car dealers so she could see one up close. After walking around it a couple of times, she declared that she knew why I liked it. When I asked why she thought that was, she said that I liked the car because it resembled a bulldog. I may be able to take issue with her perception in this case, but her reasoning is sound.

*I need to synch up my I-Pod. Get that Clapton off of there and replace it with something I'll actually listen to.


Monday, July 5, 2010

Black Spring Clippy Thing

*Had a pretty good day at the flea market yesterday. Wasn't really crowded, probably because it was the fourth of July. Didn't really make any huge discoveries, but still managed to come home with a backpack full of stuff. Found a couple of vintage Hawaiian cookbooks, an old Don the Beachcomber restaurant menu, some LP's (duh), and I actually went ahead and bought a nice bags set. Steph and Bart went along with us too, so that made things more interesting.

*Another night of weird dreams. The Amazon, the Mermaid, and the Lost Cause all in the same place? Just freakin strange.

*Why is it that if you ignore it for just a few days, the paperwork swallows up the desk once again?

*Seems that my install went as planned, so the next time the Blue Moai Room is open, I'll have even more space for folks to hang out.

*I have officially started my way on the path to becoming a full fledged member of the FOM. This should prove to be an interesting process.


Saturday, July 3, 2010

Raspberry Track Handles

*Started my vacation off by heading out to the Ohana warm-up event out at the Chef. This would be about the same time I figured out that 2 of the Chef Mai Tais were enough for me. That 3rd one, which I thought was really strong (and if you think something is too strong after having 2 of the same thing previously-it is) upset my train of thought to the point of making it difficult to follow. And if you can't follow your own train of thought, odds are that no on else will either. So, I'm thinking that from now on, 2 of the Chef Mai Tais will be my limit. Which reminds me that I need to get a hold of Bamboolodge and see if they would like anything for the Chef's anniversary party, which it seems I will be unable to attend due to a work scheduling conflict. Same goes for Festiki in Dayton. So there you go. All the big events this year right out the window. I will be available to do garbage pickup on our adopt-a-road section this month though, so we'll see where that leads us. Maybe I'll see if I can round up some FOM folks to do something next Saturday or Sunday as well.

*Best rum discovery thus far: Gosling's Black Seal. It is just too freakin good. Anything that makes the foam of the drink taste good is something well worth spending the money on. And feel free to mock my choice of drinking vessels, if you must. But if you do, be warned that I will be making all your drinks with the cheap booze. And quite possibly rubbing your limes on the bottom of the bar as well.

*A less than stellar performance review at work this year leaves my eyes lingering on the horizon and wondering just how different it would be to live in the desert.

*I find myself beginning to wonder if something bad has happened to Big Bri.

*I'm also beginning to wonder why it is that I spend so much time wondering about things.

*I actually had a supposedly adult friend of mine tell me that they wouldn't be coming to the Blue Moai Room if person XYZ or ABC was going to be there too. It took me a second or two to realize that they were actually serious. Gave me the sudden feeling of being back in high school.

*Thanks in advance to the Pirate Queen, who will soon be increasing my stock of Hawaiian shirts. And giving me a chainsaw.

*Had my first dinner and show at Tiki Terrace in Des Plains last week. The interior decor is so over the top with tiki that even I was impressed. My opinion was split on the drinks. The first mai tai that I had was like no other mai tai I have ever had. Reminded me of fruit punch more than anything else. The second mai tai that I had was, for lack of a better term, indistinct. Sheri's mango colada was pretty darn good though. The egg roll appetizers were incredible, to the point that I could have made an entire meal just out of them. The pot stickers were a little less amazing, but still pretty darn good. The Kimo flank steak that we shared as a main course was a bit of a disappointment. I mean, you expect flank steak to be a bit tough, but this was overcooked to the point of being totally dry. The wasabi sauce that came with it was good, though. Sheri loved the coconut cake we had for desert and I thought it was good without being overly sweet. The floor show was really entertaining, too. Of course, I'm just a complete sucker for that south seas look. I think that's why the blonde dancer really threw me for a loop. Anyway, in short, 27 thumbs up for decor. I want my basement to look like that when its done. I'm gonna hold off on my judgment of the drinks until I have the chance to try a few more (next time: the zombie!). Same goes for the entrees. Thumbs up for the egg rolls, pot stickers, and coconut cake. Thumbs up for the lovely wait staff as well.

*The CD collection is slowly making it's way onto the computer. Now all I have to do is learn how to use the I-Tunes software to better effect. Or find something better.

*My special order item from Menard's finally arrived, so the next time I open the Blue Moai room, I can actually have the Blue Moai Annex open at the same time. Of course, that is based on the notion that I can successfully install this item. Either way, it should be interesting.

*If you know someone's boyfriend, and quite possibly them as well, could just break your body into tiny little pieces anytime they felt like it, do you still tell her how awesome she looks? Duh. Of course you do!

*Need to get on the horn to Cromag and see what's going on down Peoria way. Should probably do the same with the FOM folks and see if there are any fellow Moai down there.

*The FIL did another couple days in the hospital, thanks to an overly low blood pressure. In the end, they decided that he was overly medicated, as far as blood pressure medicine went. So they took him off 2 of his meds and cut back his dosage of the 3rd one. Just the idea of needing to take 3 different meds for my blood pressure is enough to make me get up off my ass and spend more time riding my bike.

*I have no problem with females of the species wearing leopard print panties. I think that it's something that should be encouraged, actually. However, I do find it odd that in the Big Book of Girl Rules, there isn't a chapter, or perhaps chapters, devoted to what kinds of things will easily show through light pink scrub pants. Now, if the Big Book of Girl Rules has been edited to remove that information, all I can say is, oh darn, and, can you pick that pen up off the floor for me?

*Off to the KCFM tomorrow, so hopefully the weather will cooperate. There's a particular vendor that I hope will be there, because I'm thinking of getting a bags set. Beyond that, all the usual stuff is fair game: pin-up art, tiki stuff, board games, record albums, old tools, postcards, opals, Hawaiian shirts, and anything else that happens to catch my eye. I have no idea why people think I'm hard to shop for.

*Having Belita as a house guest for the week of my vacation turned out to be less of a problem that we had thought it might be. While neither of us are fond of the Boston Terrier as a breed, I still found her highly amusing and incredibly portable. Sheri still claims total disdain for the dog, even though the dog is totally in love with her. Her visit did reinforce the idea that regardless of size, a fourth dog in the house makes things too chaotic. And the more we think about it, 2 will be the magic number from here on out. That is to say, that once Reka leaves us, we won't be replacing her.

*I have no idea how I managed to do it, but I find that I currently have 8 different carving projects underway. I'm thinking that I should try and knock that number back a bit before things get totally out of control. And I haven't even started to sketch out the cribbage board yet. Or make bigger foamoai. Or make some FOMfoamoai. Or would that be FOMoai?

*It's summer in IL. Therefore, if you lay around in the grass, you will get said same ass chewed to bits by mosquitoes and other bitey type insect things. However, there are times where the circumstance that causes you to lay in the grass is interesting enough to balance out the lingering effects of the mosquito bites you will obtain. To that end I am currently covered in mosquito bites.