Friday, December 21, 2007

New Member of the Family

In my Holiday Gift List I put a life-sized snow leopard. This was representative of all the life-sized stuffed animals I wanted. I actually made a list with my sister the other day and came up with all sorts of them. Just off the top of my head I had

Tiger, Lion, Liger, Elephant (this would be hard to do), Grizzly Bear, Jaguar, Red Wolf, Wolverine, Black Rhinoscerus, Hawk, Falcon, Gorilla, Mastiff, Chupacabra,

While I'll always love every stuffed animal I ever get, I no longer need a giant tiger, because I got one for Dinosaur Present Day (featuring T-Rex). Yay!

You can't tell from the picture how big she is, but he's huge! When I first opened the box she tried to bite me for an hour, which I don't really hold against her, as they had no raw meat or beef jerky (for preservation purposes) in the box. You wonder what these people are thinking of.

Anyway, her name is Ja'Tine. I'm still working on the spelling, but I can tell you it is pronounced zha-TEEN, with a soft j sound like you would hear in fuselage or menage a trois.

Isn't she gorgeous?

Fantasy Football - the Fantasy ends

Well, what I feared came to pass.

The snowstorm ate up the Patriots, and more importantly Tom Brady, and my team could never recover. In the back of my mind I feared this all week, and maybe that brought it to pass.

Final score: ROFLsberger 104.8 - Black Dwarves 80.8

Tom Brady averages 30 points. In this game? 1.2. If he hits his average, I win. Because Brady was down, Welker did nothing. Unrelatedly, Antonio Gates did nothing. I mean, woulda coulda shoulda, but this was only the second time all season I was below 100 points. What a time to lay an egg.

To make matters worse, I made a few remarks earlier in the week about how my opponent had not congratulated me on winning the division, instead making a few catty remarks. No big deal. So, Monday afternoon, long after our playoff game was decided, as I was wallowing in my misery, he writes this post on the Message Board.


This is long overdue, but congratulations on winning the division.


All that's left is to play Ferret Freedom Alliance for 3rd place. I can hardly wait.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Dan Fogelberg

Dan Fogelberg

1951 - 2007

My first introduction to Dan Fogelberg came at my aunt’s wedding. One of my aunt’s friends—who was a dead ringer for Morticia Addams—was there to sing. Not only was she beautiful, but she could sing. The song she sang was “Longer Than.” However, because of some sort of timing glitch, when she was done they still weren’t ready for the wedding to start, so Morticia ended up singing the song several times. I remember thinking it funny at first, but then (having nothing else to do), I started listening to the lyrics. It really is a great wedding song.

Longer than, There’ve been fishes in the oceans
Higher than, any bird ever flew
Longer than, there’ve been stars up in the heavens
I’ve been in love with you

The imagery is simple and majestic, which is the way the music works too. The song should be nine kinds of cheesy but somehow never is.

A few years later, I somehow got locked into “Leader of the Band.” It’s funny how the more specific a story is the more it relates to people. None of the details correlated to my life yet I still felt like crying every time it would come on. I don’t know why, but even today, I would get choked up in a car if “Leader of the Band” came on the radio. Kids never know how to tell their parents what they REALLY want to say, and to see Dan get it right was an inspiring thing. There are so many great lines in the song, but this may be my favorite stanza:

A quiet man of music
Denied a simpler fate
He tried to be a soldier once
But his music wouldn’t wait
He earned his love
Through discipline
A thundering, velvet hand
His gentle means of sculpting souls
Took me years to understand.

A “Thundering velvet hand.” That’s just pure poetry. I’m not sure there is a more emotional song in the world to me.

Except maybe “Same Old Lang Syne.” In my defense, this one is more the circumstances. It was 1995, and I had to drop out of college. I was confused, not understanding what was happening, and generally a wreck. I remember as if it were yesterday packing up my last bag and walking out of my dorm room to get in a friend’s car to head to the airport. On the radio was Fogelberg’s “Same Old Lang Syne.”

In the song he runs into an old flame on Christmas Eve and they spend the evening in his car, catching up over a few drinks. It’s a beautiful song and yet it’s so sad, and there is something almost pathetic about the two. They both have lives, they are not looking to trade them to recapture that “spark” they once had, and yet….

We drank a toast to innocence
We drank a toast to now
And tried to reach beyond the emptiness
But neither one knew how.

I don’t even know how to describe it, although I understand a bit what he’s talking about. It’s like this feeling that there should have been more, that the past can’t have meant that much at one point and now just fumbles through your fingers. Can our lives have been that meaningless that twenty years later a great love can have no more effect on us than a sad faint longing?

But I digress. I remember keenly the very last line, because it happened literally as I was walking out the door of my dorm room, which for all I knew could have been for the last time.

Just for a moment I was back at school
And felt that old familiar pain
And as I turned to make my way back home
The snow turned into rain –

At that moment, a slow sultry saxophone comes on to play the familiar notes of “Auld Lang Syne.” It is beautiful, poignant and very sad, which fits the song, Fogelberg’s music, and definitely my life at that moment. As long as I live I do not know if I will ever come up with as an effortlessly melancholy line as “the song turned into rain.”

Music should not be all doom and gloom, but sometimes we need the bittersweet sadness, and for those times in my life, I am thankful for Dan Fogelberg. Rest in Peace, Dan, and may you eventually find cheer.

[If you would like to hear these three songs, I have the videos posted over on Monkey Barn here.]

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Fantasy Football - the Playoffs begin

I have not updated Fantasy football in awhile.

Basically, I won the final game, thus winning my division. Of course, for all practical purposes the game did not matter. I was playing a team (ROFLsberger) with the same record going in (10-3), and we had the best records in the league by at least 2 games. No matter what happened in this game, we were both making the playoffs. Moreover, because the loser couldn't win the division, he would automatically get the wildcard slot. We have 3 divisions, and in the playoffs it looks like this:

Team #1 vs. Team #4
Team #2 vs. Team #3

Teams 1, 2, and 3 are made up of the three division winners. Meaning: We were destined to play each other two weeks in a row no matter what, as the winner would automatically be the league's best team, and the loser would get the wildcard.

Still, the team owner was quite catting and wouldn't congratulate me on the victory. Will the gods care? We'll see.

Procuring my victory (which, by the way, I won 125.3 to 113.2), I managed to set some other records too. I had the highest score in the league this year by 165 points. I won't bore you with all the statistical analysis from previous seasons, but suffice it to say that's a giant margin. Additionally, my 1656.9 points for the season (a 118.35 avg.) was 85.7 points more than anyone has ever scored during a regular season ever in the history of our league.

You'd think this would be worth a few oohs and ahhs from the league, but so far just hatred.

The worst part? It all might come for naught. The way playoffs work, you have one bad season and you're done. My entire mostly magical season, full of set records and so forth, will mean nothing if I happen to lose to ROFLsberger this weekend. Worse: I could score the best ever and still lose, as I cannot control what his squad does. Sometimes it's just a guy's week.

But I'm hoping not. I really want to beat this guy, and vanquish his gloating ass.

His big scorer is Matt Hasselback, QB for Seattle, so if you want to do voodoo, start with him. then move on to RB Marshawn Lynch, WRs Plaxico Burress, Reggie Wayne and Tory Holt and TE Jason Whitten.

I should know by Monday where I stand. I'm actually nervous.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

My Daemon?

I went to New Line's site ( and navigated to the Golden Compass site, and then to Daemons. They allow you to take a short quiz to "determine your daemon." I was shocked with the results; I wanted a female tiger. However, they give you the option to let friends/enemies comment on it for 12 days, so I'm putting up my Daemon, Suidan the crow, in hopes that people will disagree, or maybe that's who I'd really have. (If you don't know anything about daemons, don't worry. Just see if the animal fits what you know about me.)

EDIT: For some reason it doesn't show up, but in the bottom right hand corner is a brown blob. After you have rated the trait, click in that brown blob and it will take you to the next one.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Fantasy Football update - Yikes!

I thought I was actually going to have an easy victory this week, but going into Monday Night Football, I'm 35.3 points behind! How did that happen?

The King of Jellies leads me 112.4 - 77.1 (aren't you glad I didn't make you do the math?)

Tonight he has Defensive Lineman (DL) Terrell Suggs playing for Baltimore.

I have a DL too: Kelly Gregg (also for Baltimore). Luckily, I also have Tom Brady (QB) and Wes Welker (WR) from New England.

Basically, I need the DLs to cancel each other out, while the Brady/Welker combo scores 36 points. This is not likely, but it's not impossible, either.

So start praying!

By the way, the team breathing down my game (ROFLsberger) already won their game, so if I don't win I will be tied for the best record going into next week against him. I desperately want to win my division!

Holiday Gift List

My sister asked me last night what I wanted for Festivus/Christmas/Hannakkuh/Kwaanza/Dinosaur Present Day (Featuring T-Rex)/Winter Soltice this year. (Not to mention the anniversary of my birth, on the 31st of this month.)

I thought about it and wrote some stuff down, a partial list. I feel uncomfortable writing lists because I wish people wouldn't spend so much money on presents. I would be happy if everyone got just one present for Christmas. If we were conditioned to expect that, I think we'd enjoy it more. But whatever. If people ARE going to buy me gifts, they might as well have some clue what I like, right? And even if they are not, maybe they get some ideas for people they care about.

Anyway, below is a partial list, because some of those people might be you! I'll add to if if/when I think of anything.

Hyperion's Gift List

Wireless earphones (so I can watch TV with my fans on and not disturb anyone)
Digital pen that connects to computer, so I can write my book in pen, or at least feel like I am. (here is their website:
Metal pen (like this one)
Beef Jerky (duh)
This Shirt (Just kidding. It would be sweet, though, huh?)
Life-sized Snow Leopard
Sandals from zappos (they don't sell nike, but what they do have is so amazing. you should buy all your loved ones things from zappos. You know they have free overnight shipping, right? They rock. I'm going to tell them to hire me to be a pitch-man.)
Something of the Month Club - I just like the idea of getting something each month the whole year....Anything! (Is there a beef jerky of the month club? I'm googling right now.....there is! But it's so freaking expensive! These people are MONSTERS!)

This makes me wonder...are there "of the month club" websites? Yes! I just found this one: The coolest look like the Dinner/Movie of the month. Then I just found Delightful Deliveries. They are pushing alcohol, fruit and barbecue sauce. Who wants 12 different kinds of barbecue sauce? I have to say, these things look like rip-offs, made for people trying to be trendy or who live in Oakville. On second thought, I'm going to have to scratch this request.

I'm moving on to DVDs (obviously the movies in widescreen)
TROY (The new Director's Cut)
BEN-HUR (The new edition, with the commentaries and features)

House, Seasons 1-3
Carnivale, Seasons 1-2
Deadwood, Seasons 1-3
The Wire, Seasons 2-4 (own 1)
Lost, Seasons 1-3
Arrested Development, Seasons 2-3 (own 1)
Simpsons, Any Season But #8
Dick Van Dyke Show, Seasons 1-5
My So Called Life, Season 1

I have pretty awesome taste, huh?

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Journalism is a proud profession

There is a war raging in Iraq, and Afghanistan increasingly becomes a problem. The border is an issue, no matter what side of the debate you are on. The weak dollar, the stock market correction, instability in Pakistan, you name it, there are many stories out there.

So what does my local paper choose to make their front page story? It's Sunday, which means they've had time to work on this story, to develop it, highlighting what they will. Is it a thought piece on the Environment? No. The soldiers (we are right next to Fort Benning) perhaps away from their families this Christmas? No. Any of the things I mentioned above? The political race for president? No and no.

What, then?

Top story was a in-depth report on what to look for when buying a large-screen tv. Plasma vs. LCD, 720 vs. 1080 (and don't forget 1080i vs. 1080p), and of course don't forget which DVD player to get too: HD-DVD or Blu-Ray.

What's worse, I read the article. I, who could not buy a TV Guide if my life depended on it, read about big-screen televisions.

I suck.

The paper sucks.

This whole country sucks.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Lost opportunities

I thought of this amazing idea the other day, involving strippers and porn stars, and even though it's not the least bit dirty, I don't think I can post it here.

But you should know that if I could....I would.

Friday, November 30, 2007

FF - One and In

Like I wrote Tuesday, if I win this week, I'm in the playoffs.

My opponent is league-worst The King of Jellies, which doesn't mean anything as he is capable of putting up big numbers and making me look bad. Part of me would like to lose this week while my nemesis ROFLsberger wins, making our final regular season game (against each other) for all the marbles. However, more of me wants to end the season on a high note, and wants to crush everyone.

The contest actually began yesterday, with an NFL game between Dallas and Green Bay. I had Dallas's kicker Nick Folk, who put up a very nice 14.2 point. Jellies didn't have anyone playing. They are playing Rex Grossman at QB and Mushin Muhammad at WR. Both teams play for the Bears, which means any TD that Rex throws to Mushin doubly hurts me. The Jellies also is playing Chester Taylor, who they snagged out from under my nose as a replacement for my Adrian Peterson (both RBs from Minnesota). Peterson may actually play this week, which means we could see the first game ever featuring two RBs from the same team going against each other on the same week.

As always, my team pretty much comes down to Tom Brady and Joseph Addai. If they do well I'm pretty much unstoppable. What worries me is that both Brady's Patriots and Addai's Colts play stellar defenses (The Ravens and the Jaguars respectively), but fingers crossed.

Both of us have significant players in the Monday night game, so I won't know for sure until Tuesday morning, but Monday Morning I should have some idea what it will take to win.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Monica Bellucci is the most sexual person on the planet

Carlos came back down to visit last night. We watched INSIDE MAN and then went for Chinese Food, and then came back and watched BROTHERHOOD OF THE WOLF and TALK TO ME. I had never seen TALK TO ME before; great movie. I have seen BROTHERHOOD, but I don't think I have reviewed it. I will have to rectify that situation.

Anyway, I was thinking about this: is there a more sexual person in movies than Monica Bellucci? I'm not saying she's the most beautiful or the hottest (although she gets in on both discussions), but simply the most sexual. I have never seen more effortless sexuality on screen.

Below I have a picture of Monica Bellucci to help refresh your memory. And because I don't want the Monkey Barn Mavins to bitch like they're on 16 rags, I have gone out of my way to find a full clothed picture of her (more or less), but know that my heart wasn't in it.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Fantasy Football - Playoff Bound! (I think)

My team won! My team won! My team won!

It was a tad closer than I'd have liked (and my Shadow Championship score sucked), but Gothic Lolita - The Black Dwarf beat A Mavin Lepton Sleuth 103.3 - 87.4. Brady threw in an underwhelming but still team-high leading 19.6 points, and Antonio Gates added 19 as my squad did just enough to win. I would lament I didn't do better, especially as 6 different teams in the league would have beaten me, but I can't get too mad, because I think I am virtually assured of being in the playoffs.

My record is 10 - 2. There is only one team at 9 - 3, and the rest are at least 7 - 5 or worse. Unfortunately, the 9 - 3 team is in my division, and I play him in the last week! However, even if I lose this game and then to him, that would make me 10 - 4, and while I'd lose the division, I think I'd get the wild card because no one else is currently better than 7 - 5, which means they can't get to 10 wins. (There may be something I haven't thought of, but I don't think so.)

If I win this week, I win the division and ensure the #1 seed in the playoffs. I have to win both week to ensure the sole #1 record, but if I win this week I'll be one game up and no matter what happens next week I own all tie - breakers. Plus, I'm still like 173 points ahead of the next highest team, and I'd like to end the regular season 200+ points ahead, to show how truly dominating I am. Still, I'd like to win both games and finish 12-2. I' not sure anyone has done that. (Of course, it won't matter if I don't win the playoffs, but one step at a time.)

Below is the box score. I rock!

A Mavin Lepton Sleuth
Owner: Pablo Neruda
Gothic Lolita - the Black Dwarf
Owner: Hyperion
16.10 Kurt Warner ARI QB
34-48, 484 yds passing (2 TDs), 2 INTs, 1 fumble(s)
5.60 Maurice Morris SEA RB
16 carries, 79 yds rushing
1 catch, 5 yds receiving
4.60 Bobby Engram SEA WR
7 catches, 70 yds receiving
10.20 Terrell Owens DAL WR
6 catches, 65 yds receiving (1 TDs)
1.00 Anquan Boldin ARI WR
1 fumble(s)
6 catches, 76 yds receiving
7.40 Owen Daniels HOU TE
1 fumble(s)
7 catches, 82 yds receiving (1 TDs)
6.00 Josh Brown SEA K
1 FG (33), 2 missed FGs (46,52), 3 PATs
6.50 Kenyon Coleman NYJ DL
6 tackles, 1 assist
2.00 Michael Strahan NYG DL
2 tackles
11.00 Donnie Edwards KAN LB
5 tackles, 2 assists, 1.0 sack, 1 FF
7.00 James Harrison PIT LB
2 tackles, 1.0 sack, 1 FF
6.00 Oshiomogho Atogwe STL DB
1 tackle, 1 pass defensed, 1 INT
4.00 Cedric Griffin MIN DB
3 tackles, 1 pass defensed
19.60 Tom Brady NWE QB
34-54, 380 yds passing (1 TDs)
3 carries, 16 yds rushing
9.80 Joseph Addai IND RB
10 carries, 44 yds rushing (1 TDs)
2 catches, 14 yds receiving
5.20 Dwayne Bowe KAN WR
4 catches, 63 yds receiving, 1 tackle
9.80 Wes Welker NWE WR
13 catches, 149 yds receiving
3.20 Brandon Stokley DEN WR
5 catches, 50 yds receiving
19.00 Antonio Gates SDG TE
6 catches, 105 yds receiving (2 TDs)
10.70 Nick Folk DAL K
2 FGs (46,27), 4 PATs
3.50 Kelly Gregg BAL DL
2 tackles, 3 assists
5.00 Julius Peppers CAR DL
1 pass defensed, 1 INT
5.50 E.J. Henderson MIN LB
5 tackles, 1 assist
4.00 London Fletcher WAS LB
4 tackles
7.50 Nick Harper TEN DB
6 tackles, 1 assist, 1 pass defensed
0.50 Charles Woodson GNB DB
1 assist
  • Kurt Warner 28 yd TD pass to Larry Fitzgerald (6.00 pts)
  • Kurt Warner 48 yd TD pass to Larry Fitzgerald (6.00 pts)
  • Terrell Owens 22 yd TD pass from Tony Romo (6.00 pts)
  • Owen Daniels 6 yd TD pass from Matt Schaub (6.00 pts)
  • Josh Brown PAT (1.00 pts)
  • Josh Brown 33 yd FG (3.00 pts)
  • Josh Brown PAT (1.00 pts)
  • Josh Brown PAT (1.00 pts)
  • Tom Brady 19 yd TD pass to Jabar Gaffney (6.00 pts)
  • Joseph Addai 4 yd rushing TD (6.00 pts)
  • Antonio Gates 35 yd TD pass from Philip Rivers (6.00 pts)
  • Antonio Gates 25 yd TD pass from Philip Rivers (6.00 pts)
  • Nick Folk PAT (1.00 pts)
  • Nick Folk PAT (1.00 pts)
  • Nick Folk PAT (1.00 pts)
  • Nick Folk 46 yd FG (3.70 pts)
  • Nick Folk 27 yd FG (3.00 pts)
  • Nick Folk PAT (1.00 pts)
  • Kurt Warner 484 yards passing (16.10 pts)
  • Maurice Morris 84 combined rushing and receiving yards (5.60 pts)
  • Bobby Engram 70 combined rushing and receiving yards (4.60 pts)
  • Terrell Owens 65 combined rushing and receiving yards (4.20 pts)
  • Anquan Boldin 76 combined rushing and receiving yards (5.00 pts)
  • Owen Daniels 82 combined rushing and receiving yards (5.40 pts)
  • Kenyon Coleman 6 tackles (6.00 pts)
  • Kenyon Coleman 1 assist (0.50 pts)
  • Michael Strahan 2 tackles (2.00 pts)
  • Donnie Edwards 5 tackles (5.00 pts)
  • Donnie Edwards 2 assists (1.00 pts)
  • Donnie Edwards 1.0 sack (3.00 pts)
  • Donnie Edwards 1 fumble forced (2.00 pts)
  • James Harrison 2 tackles (2.00 pts)
  • James Harrison 1.0 sack (3.00 pts)
  • James Harrison 1 fumble forced (2.00 pts)
  • Oshiomogho Atogwe 1 tackle (1.00 pts)
  • Oshiomogho Atogwe 1 pass defensed (1.00 pts)
  • Oshiomogho Atogwe 1 interception (4.00 pts)
  • Cedric Griffin 3 tackles (3.00 pts)
  • Cedric Griffin 1 pass defensed (1.00 pts)
  • Tom Brady 380 yards passing (12.60 pts)
  • Tom Brady 16 combined rushing and receiving yards (1.00 pts)
  • Joseph Addai 58 combined rushing and receiving yards (3.80 pts)
  • Dwayne Bowe 63 combined rushing and receiving yards (4.20 pts)
  • Dwayne Bowe 1 tackle (1.00 pts)
  • Wes Welker 149 combined rushing and receiving yards (9.80 pts)
  • Brandon Stokley 50 combined rushing and receiving yards (3.20 pts)
  • Antonio Gates 105 combined rushing and receiving yards (7.00 pts)
  • Kelly Gregg 2 tackles (2.00 pts)
  • Kelly Gregg 3 assists (1.50 pts)
  • Julius Peppers 1 pass defensed (1.00 pts)
  • Julius Peppers 1 interception (4.00 pts)
  • E.J. Henderson 5 tackles (5.00 pts)
  • E.J. Henderson 1 assist (0.50 pts)
  • London Fletcher 4 tackles (4.00 pts)
  • Nick Harper 6 tackles (6.00 pts)
  • Nick Harper 1 assist (0.50 pts)
  • Nick Harper 1 pass defensed (1.00 pts)
  • Charles Woodson 1 assist (0.50 pts)
  • Kurt Warner 2 interceptions (-8.00 pts)
  • Kurt Warner 1 fumble lost (-4.00 pts)
  • Anquan Boldin 1 fumble lost (-4.00 pts)
  • Owen Daniels 1 fumble lost (-4.00 pts)
  • None.
  • Saturday, November 24, 2007

    Surviving Thanksviging, Part 5

    It's early Saturday morning. We saw BEOWULF. I'm going to try to do a review for Monday, but can I just say it's awesome, and you MUST see it in 3-D, if at all. Also, THERE IS NO WAY THIS SHOULD BE PG-13!!!! Beowulf is a bloody gory sexy nudity tale, and IS NOT IS NOT for kids. Think 300. I cannot for the life of me figure out how they got the PG-13. I guess because of the animation process they were able to pull it off, but that is ridiculous.

    As for the Graitch: it was as good as advertised. Everyone loved it. Other than eating the Graitch, I think my favorite parts are when I'm preparing it; smelling the raw graitch in liquid form. I know I've said this before, but why can't they put that smell in with the chorline in pools? Many more people would become aquatic.

    The second thing I love is the color of gratich in the light. It is this reddishpurple, but transluscently so. I am in love with the color, and I think I want to make my angels that color in my movie. (The good angels. The bad ones already have their color set). I just can't get over how awesome the color is.

    I am tired of writing these, and as such am going to talk about buying the graitch another time. Basically I used a motorized cart for the first time, and I wanted to recount my experience, but this Thanksgiving update thing hasn't been as good as I'd hoped, so I'm going to quit writing them.

    Friday, November 23, 2007

    Surviving Thanksgiving, Part 4

    Friday, November 23, 6:36 am

    I survived Thanksgiving night, and I don't really want to talk about what happened. So, instead, I'll talk about the Graitch and buying the ingredients for Graitch.

    As you should know, I have elevated Graitch to an artform. Gone are the days where I mixed a grape with a peach jello, through in a cup of ginger ale and a mango. Now I have refined the desert to an artform, equal to or greater than creme brulee and Tira misu.

    To start with, I take two grape and two peach jellos as my base. I then add two others. This time I did blackberry fusion (blackberry and raspberry together), and wild strawberry. It should be noted that those last two flavors are only available from Jello, while the rest should be generics.

    If you can count, that means six packages of jello, which should be 6 cups of boiling water and six cups of flavoring liquid But of course I have to push the envelope.

    I have found that if you stir like a man possessed, you can dissolve 6 packages of jello in only 3 cups of boiling water. You just have to put the jellos in slowly, and stir like a crazy person.

    After that is done you will then have 9 cups of flavoring liquid. BUT WATCH OUT!! Just because the hard part is over does not mean you are not in danger. Adding carbonated beverages adds all sorts of risks.

    For thanksgiving I sent with:
    3 cups grape soda
    3 cups ginger ale
    3 cups cranberry juice

    The advantage of the cranberry was an extra tartness. The disadvatage was a lack of fizz. However, if you want my truly secret ingredient: Pop rocks. I didn't put it in this time, but I have before, and Wow!

    As for the fruit, I convinced my sister we should go with quite a bit less than usual, because our guests were basically Rooks (Rookies, in Carlos-speak), and would not be able to handle the complex flavors of Graitch, let alone 700 pounds of fruit. Still, we ended up with two mangos, 2 pints of strawberries, and a half-pint of blackberries. I'm not sure I thought that the blackberries are a good fit, but we'll see.

    One other prep note: it takes close to 18 hours for this to set (instead of the usual 4), which I chalk up to not having as much boiling water. Make sure you make it the day before you'll want it.

    Anyway, the Graitch will be ready this afternoon, although we may go see BEOWULF, so maybe we won't have it until tonight. That would be pretty sweet.

    Thursday, November 22, 2007

    Surviving Thanksgiving, Part 3

    It's 5:21 and we're just now sitting down to eat. I'm about half starved, eating virtually nothing all day. I haven't killed anyone yet, but ask me again after the meal.

    Surviving Thanksgiving, Part 2

    Back to Thanksgiving:

    I should be asleep, but I still have to clean my room and (if I can even stand at that point) take a shower. Energy drinks are the only way I will make it.

    At this point I have reduced my goals for the day from "have a good time with family I rarely see and Carlos who's driving down from ATL, enjoy the best meal of the year, watch some football, play some games and maybe see a movie" to "try not to kill anyone, and try to avoid crying, at least in the presence of others."

    Oh, and maybe I should add "stay awake."

    I wanted to write about carts, but maybe I should put that off for later.

    Also, I spent three hours this morning chopping ingredients. I should write about that, but I'm actually going to be smart and clean the room so at least that's done. I plan to jump back on here as often as possible with updates.

    Fantasy Football Week 12

    I forgot to mention this, but I won last week! My team (currently called Gothic Lolita - the Black Dwarf, although I mean to change that) defeated the Milkshake-Powered Psychonaut Bears 131.5 - 105.4. Adrian Peterson was out, which hurt, but Brady scored over 40, and several of my other key guys threw in decent to good games, and I ended up with another good score. (It was the second highest score of the week, by 5 points, putting 10-1 in the Shadow Championship for the week. I don't have data for the Shadow Championship for the year, but I plan to soon.)

    Also this last weekend I won the very first Eliminator SFL Pool. This was where we pick who will win in our league each week, and see who can be right the longest. I was facing one other guy and his pick lost narrowly, giving me the victory. I had predicted my team would win, hoping for the karmic boost for my guys.

    This week I play a team that USED to be called Up in Hot llamas, but now is called A Mavin Lepton Sleuth. I'm not 100% sure what that name means, but I know the team owner (Pablo Neruda) works at the Smithsonian at Harvard doing some sort of Physics thing, so he may be describing his job. As you can tell, this is the third team to have a "space" flavored name, copying me. (Remember: my original name was Baryon the MACHO Black Dwarf.) I should be flattered, but am instead enraged. Oh well.

    Obviously you should be rooting for Tom Brady, Joseph Addai, Wes Welker, Antonio Gates and Dwayne Bowe, and if you have the time, say a few curses for Kurt Warner, Maurice Morris and Anquan Boldin.

    I should know by Sunday night if I'm going to win.

    Suriving Thanksgiving Part 1

    I feel like I have a great freedom to write about my feelings on Thanksgiving, and the people I'm going to spend the time with. I guess I should go put that on my Thankyou list over on International Day. You see, the odds are virtually nil that any of them will read this. My sister does sometimes read my site, but if I don't have a link on the home page she will never think to come here. It's like hiding in plain site!

    Speaking of International Day, I really called out my audience Monday and Wednesday about leaving comments of things they were thankful for. I'm kind of disgusted with myself. What am I trying to prove? On the other hand, I'm more disgusted with the audience. Even if--like a girl--I asked them all to say something they were thankful for about me, that wouldn't be too much to ask. But all I asked for was that they recorded SOMETHING they were thankful for. So far, as of Thursday morning, two comments, the two people closest to me. I don't know that says more about me or the audience. And what I will have to do about it if nothing changes by Monday.

    I'm depressed now. I think I will go write about my Fantasy Football Team. In Light's name why am I not trying to catch a couple hours of sleep? It's 10:53 in the morning, and the guests arrive at 12:00. Oh well. I suck.

    Friday, November 16, 2007

    Sara Side--FINALLY!--says goodbye to C.S.I.

    I watched the last episode of Sara Sidle last night on C.S.I. I will admit upfront: I always hated Sara's character from moment one. I didn't start watching the show until it was in it's 3rd season, but I started at the beginning (when Spike got the syndication rights), and Sara was such a bitch to Warrick. She thought she was so much better than everyone else, and I just hated her.

    I probably thawed a little when it was revealed that Sara's dad had molested her and Sara's mom had killed Sara's dad, but the character still rubs me the wrong way. If I made a list of TV characters over the last 20 years that annoy me, Sara would be in the top 3 easily. I just never liked her.

    And her romance to Grissom....what could he see in that girl? Sofia would be have been a much better choice. Catherine and he had chemistry. Hell, Lady Heather and Grissom lit the box up!

    Sara's departure had been previously announced, but if you haven't seen the episode yet skip to the end. I didn't watch the last few episodes of last year or the beginning of this year, so I didn't see the whole kidnapped thing. I have a hard time believing it could have been as good as the Tarantino episode where they buried Nick alive, but I'll have to see it and judge for myself. I'm not sure why they decided to focus more on Sara, but I'm just as glad she's going, although the manner was totally weird. Grissom asks her to marry him, and so she has to just run away? So Sara. No wonder she drinks.

    I'm really hoping that Warrick's marriage breaks up and he and Catherine can get together, but probably Sara's departure means that the creators felt there was nowhere left to go, which means we won't see a "ship" again out in the open. Fair enough.

    The straw that broke the camel's back was another case involving that genius girl from two seasons ago, who made it seem like she killed someone her brother did. I thought that was one of the best regular season episodes ever, and it was great to see Juliette Goglia back. Pay attention to her, kids: I think she will be a star one day.

    All in all the episode was very good, and all in all Jorja Fox plays it well. I want it said I have nothing against her as an actress, but somehow the character never worked for me. Maybe she can work out those demons, and in the meantime, Grissom is desloated again. This is how it should be. As I wrote back in 2003 in Column #165:

    The best monster movies wait as long as possible to show you their creature; knowing that whatever you come up with in your imagination is worse than anything they can film. The same works with TV, in a different way. Based on the earlier Conflict Theory, it is almost always better for characters not to get together romantically. Sometimes the whole show is based on love, but even then, it’s better if the love stories don’t work out, at least not for very long. I hear so many people (read: women) wish for certain characters to have relationships (in the business these people are called “shippers”). They want the happy ending. Everyone does. But in an ongoing TV show, this is death. Like I wrote, all drama is based on conflict, and once the conflict is resolved, there goes the tension of the drama. As much as you might hate this, you know it to be true. The best shows are where it doesn’t work out for the characters, and you’re so frustrated at his/her inability to get the girl or keep the guy that you could scream. That’s what makes serialized TV so great, and that’s what keeps us watching.

    And that's it in a nutshell. You can't have happiness and successful drama. You especially can't have it with Grissom, who is so melancholic. Maybe now he'll develop a drinking problem. But whatever he does, you know it will be interesting.

    Fantasy Fears

    My team is completely falling apart. It never occurred to me to get Adrian Peterson's backup, and now that Peterson is likely out for the season, I am totally screwed. I just got humiliated with one of the worst scores I've ever had (if not the worst), and while I still have the best record in the league, and while I've still scored 150 more points than the NEXT BEST TEAM (and almost 400 above 12th place), I still can feel the wheels almost coming off.

    To make matters worse, I play my good friend Bear and his cagey Milkshake-Powered Psychnaut Bears this weekend. If you love me at all, you'll pray that Tom Brady has a monster game, but throws no touchdowns to Benjamin Watson, that Joseph Addai atones for last week and runs for 400 yards (but that Adam Vinatieri misses all the extra points), that Brian Westbrook is indicted for Perjury, and that Cleveland's Derek Anderson completes 10 passes--all to Pittsburgh Steeler players!

    Gothic Lolit - The Black Dwarf is counting on you!

    Monday, November 12, 2007

    Red Dwarf Meltdown

    So, my team could not have done any worse this week. My opponents the Ferret Freedom Alliance has two players left to play tonight (which means they will score more points), and already I'm down 85.5 to 58.3.

    I expected to lose the game, as Tom Brady is on bye, as well as Wes Welker, but my entire team didn't show up! Joseph Addai had a bad game, as did Adrian Peterson. Peterson got hurt, and may be out for some time! That'd be my championship right there.


    And that's not the worst part of the weekend.

    My team is called "Gothic Lolita - The Black Dwarf." The Black Dwarf refers to the dark matter celestial body. Anyway, last week's highest scoring team, who is in my division, is called ROFLsberger.

    As the high scorer, he was allowed to change his team name. He changed it to ROFLsberger, the HILARIOUS Red Dwarf.

    He was mocking me!

    I pointed this out, told him to change his team name forthwith, or I would bust a cap in his ass (on the field, that is). I even put up a picture of a Red Dwarf.

    He then changed his team name to ROFLsberger the AMUSED Quasar. And he had a picture of his own.

    I'm torn, because on the one hand, it's on like Donkey Kong. I'm going f**k him the f**k up on the field. I'm going to run up the score. On the other hand, that was really funny.

    I came up with a horrible name to call my new "Nemesis," but I need some help. I'm normally too polite to talk trash. What are some things I can make fun of him for?

    (By the way, even with the horrible weekend, I still have the best record in the league. For now.)

    Perhaps I'm just an Idiot.

    Okay, so maybe this has already occurred to you, and heck: maybe it has already occurred to me and I just forgot it, but I thought of something yesterday that sort of floored me.

    We were talking (for some reason) about apples. My brother Achmed was telling the story about how Christian Bale became an apple fanatic when he was losing weight for his role in THE MACHINIST. (Bale was a big fan of Pink Lady apples.) It turns out there are over 7500 different kinds of apples, (Which raises the question: why are we always stuck with Red Delicious at the store? But that's another question.)

    Anyhoo, I was thinking about apple types, and one of them is Macintosh. Then I was thinking about how Macintosh is a type of computer. More than that, Macintosh is a type of Apple computer.

    And the two thoughts converged in this weird way, and in my head the thought rang out, "Apple called their new computers (well, new in 1984) Macintosh because Macintosh is a type of apple!"

    This is one of those bits of knowledge that comprises two bits of data that I previously knew, but somehow never thought of.

    My family started laughing at me for how obvious that thought was, but as the conversation went on, they admitted they had never really thought about it either.

    The only thing that has ever come close to this situation is when it suddenly occurred to me one day that "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" was the same tune as "A-B-C-D-E-F-G." It's just one of those things. I have known both songs since I was a kid, and I guess I knew the tunes were the same, but somehow I never made the connection.

    Maybe this happens to a lot of people, and maybe I (usually) make connections faster, so this is significant because these are two of the only times this has happened to me, but I still felt, well, struck.

    What about you? Had you made the Macintosh/Apple connection? Am I just an idiot? And what other examples can you think of?

    Tuesday, November 06, 2007

    Fantasy Football - Week 9 results

    I won. Big deal. The artists formerly known as Black Dwarf Juggernauts defeated River Tam Beats Up Everyone 111.3 - 81.1. For once Brady wasn't the star of my show, as Adrian Peterson and Joseph Addai proved I am the best talent scout our league has.

    I changed my team name right before game time to Gothic Lolita - the Black Dwarf. I got the term "Gothic Lolita" from an article I read on Straight Dope. I tentatively plan on writing about it later this month, but if you can't wait to find out what it is, look it up on Wikipedia. Fascinating stuff. I will not be able to change my team name for at least a week because, for the first time in five weeks, I was not the high scorer. I was close to the high score, but ended up with only the 4th most points for the week. It's almost like losing.

    I guess I shouldn't complain, as next week Brady is on bye and I will almost certainly lose. Oh well. At least I'm 8-1. No one else in the league has fewer than 3 losses, which means even after next week I'll have the best record in the league.

    Anyway, here's the box score of my ho-hum victory.


    Gothic Lolita - the Black Dwarf
    Owner: Hyperion
    River Tam Beats Up Everyone
    Owner: Summer Glau
    19.30 Tom Brady NWE QB
    21-32, 255 yds passing (3 TDs), 2 INTs
    5 carries, 14 yds rushing
    21.00 Joseph Addai IND RB
    26 carries, 112 yds rushing
    5 catches, 114 yds receiving (1 TDs)
    35.00 Adrian Peterson MIN RB
    30 carries, 296 yds rushing (3 TDs), 1 fumble(s)
    1 catch, 19 yds receiving
    0.00 Dwayne Bowe KAN WR

    8.40 Wes Welker NWE WR
    5 catches, 38 yds receiving (1 TDs)
    1.60 Antonio Gates SDG TE
    1 catch, 10 yds receiving, 1 tackle
    8.00 Nick Folk DAL K
    1 FG (22), 5 PATs
    2.50 Kelly Gregg BAL DL
    1 tackle, 3 assists
    2.50 Julius Peppers CAR DL
    2 tackles, 1 assist
    1.00 Derrick Brooks TAM LB
    2 assists
    7.00 London Fletcher WAS LB
    7 tackles
    1.50 Adrian Wilson ARI DB
    1 tackle, 1 assist
    3.50 C.C. Brown HOU DB
    3 tackles, 1 assist
    17.20 Carson Palmer CIN QB
    26-39, 271 yds passing (2 TDs), 1 INTs
    3 carries, 5 yds rushing
    3.80 Willie Parker PIT RB
    23 carries, 42 yds rushing
    1 catch, 17 yds receiving
    8.60 LenDale White TEN RB
    31 carries, 100 yds rushing (1 TDs), 1 fumble(s)
    1 catch, 1 yds receiving
    3.20 Chad Johnson CIN WR
    1 carry, 1 yds rushing
    3 catches, 48 yds receiving
    6.60 Donald Driver GNB WR
    5 catches, 99 yds receiving
    8.20 Kellen Winslow CLE TE
    11 catches, 125 yds receiving
    5.00 Ryan Longwell MIN K
    1 missed FG (57), 5 PATs
    1.00 Chris Kelsay BUF DL
    1 tackle
    4.00 Antonio Smith ARI DL
    4 tackles
    8.50 Kirk Morrison OAK LB
    7 tackles, 1 assist, 1 pass defensed
    8.00 Landon Johnson CIN LB
    5 tackles, 4 assists, 1 pass defensed
    7.00 Sean Taylor WAS DB
    7 tackles
    0.00 David Barrett NYJ DB

  • Tom Brady 4 yd TD pass to Randy Moss (6.00 pts)
  • Tom Brady 3 yd TD pass to Wes Welker (6.00 pts)
  • Tom Brady 13 yd TD pass to Kevin Faulk (6.00 pts)
  • Joseph Addai 73 yd TD pass from Peyton Manning (6.00 pts)
  • Adrian Peterson 1 yd rushing TD (6.00 pts)
  • Adrian Peterson 64 yd rushing TD (6.00 pts)
  • Adrian Peterson 46 yd rushing TD (6.00 pts)
  • Wes Welker 3 yd TD pass from Tom Brady (6.00 pts)
  • Nick Folk PAT (1.00 pts)
  • Nick Folk PAT (1.00 pts)
  • Nick Folk PAT (1.00 pts)
  • Nick Folk PAT (1.00 pts)
  • Nick Folk PAT (1.00 pts)
  • Nick Folk 22 yd FG (3.00 pts)

  • Carson Palmer 15 yd TD pass to T.J. Houshmandzadeh (6.00 pts)
  • Carson Palmer 1 yd TD pass to Jeremi Johnson (6.00 pts)
  • LenDale White 1 yd rushing TD (6.00 pts)
  • Ryan Longwell PAT (1.00 pts)
  • Ryan Longwell PAT (1.00 pts)
  • Ryan Longwell PAT (1.00 pts)
  • Ryan Longwell PAT (1.00 pts)
  • Ryan Longwell PAT (1.00 pts)
  • Tom Brady 255 yards passing (8.50 pts)
  • Tom Brady 14 combined rushing and receiving yards (0.80 pts)
  • Joseph Addai 226 combined rushing and receiving yards (15.00 pts)
  • Adrian Peterson 315 combined rushing and receiving yards (21.00 pts)
  • Wes Welker 38 combined rushing and receiving yards (2.40 pts)
  • Antonio Gates 10 combined rushing and receiving yards (0.60 pts)
  • Antonio Gates 1 tackle (1.00 pts)
  • Kelly Gregg 1 tackle (1.00 pts)
  • Kelly Gregg 3 assists (1.50 pts)
  • Julius Peppers 2 tackles (2.00 pts)
  • Julius Peppers 1 assist (0.50 pts)
  • Derrick Brooks 2 assists (1.00 pts)
  • London Fletcher 7 tackles (7.00 pts)
  • Adrian Wilson 1 tackle (1.00 pts)
  • Adrian Wilson 1 assist (0.50 pts)
  • C.C. Brown 3 tackles (3.00 pts)
  • C.C. Brown 1 assist (0.50 pts)

  • Carson Palmer 271 yards passing (9.00 pts)
  • Carson Palmer 5 combined rushing and receiving yards (0.20 pts)
  • Willie Parker 59 combined rushing and receiving yards (3.80 pts)
  • LenDale White 101 combined rushing and receiving yards (6.60 pts)
  • Chad Johnson 49 combined rushing and receiving yards (3.20 pts)
  • Donald Driver 99 combined rushing and receiving yards (6.60 pts)
  • Kellen Winslow 125 combined rushing and receiving yards (8.20 pts)
  • Chris Kelsay 1 tackle (1.00 pts)
  • Antonio Smith 4 tackles (4.00 pts)
  • Kirk Morrison 7 tackles (7.00 pts)
  • Kirk Morrison 1 assist (0.50 pts)
  • Kirk Morrison 1 pass defensed (1.00 pts)
  • Landon Johnson 5 tackles (5.00 pts)
  • Landon Johnson 4 assists (2.00 pts)
  • Landon Johnson 1 pass defensed (1.00 pts)
  • Sean Taylor 7 tackles (7.00 pts)
  • Tom Brady 2 interceptions (-8.00 pts)
  • Adrian Peterson 1 fumble lost (-4.00 pts)

  • Carson Palmer 1 interception (-4.00 pts)