More time, more ramblings. It’s lunchtime, and there’s quite the thunderstorm going on outside. Power has flickered once so far, and I am most thankful for my UPS. I’d like to stand out in the rain for a while, but the whole sitting in wet clothes for the rest of the day is slightly less appealing. I’m working on adding a few new sets of pictures. Up already is the golf outing with Adam. I’ve just added pictures from the latest lan party. Hopefully I’ll get a chance to talk about that sometime soon as well. [And that’s as far as I got for about 2 days. I’ve been busy.]
Guster’s New cd
As I noted back in my Europe journals, Guster came out with a new album on June 21, and once I made it back home, I ran out and got it. It is excellent. Keep It Together is the 4th album from Guster, a band I was introduced to my senior year of college. My friend, Lindsay Veldhof’s roommate was a big Guster fan, and wanted to know if I’d heard of them. As I had not, she played me Happy Frappy, which I thought was quite good, but nothing revolutionary or life altering. Flash forward a week or so, and I’m at a Barenaked Ladies concert, with opening band.. yup, Guster! To say they were fantabulouriffic would be meaningless, cause that’s not a word, but I thought they easily stole the show. As good as BNL was, Guster was still the band I rushed out to own once that concert was over. Ulabbers from the era may recall me playing my Guster discs until they just plain melted the rest of that year, and I can’t think of anyone I’ve introduced them to who hasn’t enjoyed them. Anyway, the new album fits right in line, with a number of songs that I find myself putting on repeat for 4 or 5 runs through each time I hear them. My current [and instant] favorite from the album is Careful. Their songs always have such an upbeat singable quality to them, even the ones about depression, suicide, and drug addiction. [well, the upbeat part isn’t quite as pronounced I guess.] Kristin and I headed out to downtown Chicago 2 years ago to see them play, and they were just plain excellent. It was this little hole of a bar, and we were about 10 feet from the small stage. It was easily the best “small show” I’ve ever been to in my life, and I’d very much like to see them play again. Anyway, this is my official plug: Go out and purchase their new album, and if you don’t already own them, go out and buy Goldfly and Lost and Gone Forever. Then you may as well by Parachute, so you have the complete set. (Parachute continues to grow on me. I’d buy the album for Mona Lisa alone.)
Sister Hazel cd
After much, much delay, I finally got my hands on the Sister Hazel album Fortress, and I found it to be excellent as well. I had heard, and liked (very much) Your Winter, which was on the 10 Things I Hate About You soundtrack. I’ve been fairly fortunate in that since I don’t listen to the radio, there are many songs that have not been horribly ruined for me by years over overplaying. Example: I still like the song All for You, which I’ve noticed most other people now loathe. So another album I can now add to my “I like all the songs on it” list. It’s no Pretty Hate Machine, Ten, or Automatic for the People, but it is quite enjoyable.
Things Don’t Seem Important
One thing that took some getting used to after my trip was the feeling that things just didn’t seem important anymore. While in Europe, everything was new, special, and worth taking a ton of pictures of. If we just headed out for dinner, it was something special. If we just walked around the city, it was something special, etc.. You get the idea. When I got back here, it seemed weird to not be taking pictures. I don’t know.. it was just weird. Everywhere we went, I would think “I may never be here again, I should try to take in as much as possible.” Now it’s back to the usual “I wonder if she notices me staring at her.”
I like golf, but this year, I’ve really, really sucked most of the time. I mentioned this before, but I had gotten to the point where it just wasn’t fun at all anymore. When I got back from my trip, I was looking forward to giving it another go, and hopefully not sucking as bad. Well, My first week back, I shot the worst round of the year, which wasn’t quite was I was shooting for. Then I went out golfing with Sven, and we both sucked so bad that I stopped keeping score (mercifully, we were in the low billions, I think). My old roommate, Adam, came up, and we decided to go out golfing. It should be noted at this point that I have a good time golfing, no matter how poorly, when I’m out with just my friends. Even that outing with Sven was a good time, despite my inability to hit the ball forward. It’s just fun to hang out with your friends, and be outside on a nice day. I still didn’t golf all that well, but it was a fine time. I took the next week of leagues off, as my car was without brakes, but the past two weeks of leagues have gone extremely well, (I took 7 points the first week, and 7.5 points the next. You’re playing against someone else, and for every hole you can either win (+1), tie (+.5), or lose (0). Then whoever has the better overall score also scores a point. Handicaps and all that are factored in there as well, so if I suck, and you’re good, and I have a +1 on this hole, and you shoot a 4 and I shoot a 5, we tie, and both get .5. Make sense? good. All that to say that getting 7+ points was good, and I was pleased.) One of the things I really like about golf, besides just being able to walk around outside for a while, is that it’s one of the few sports where I really know when I’m in “the zone”.(The Zone –> Most often sports related: when you can seemingly do no wrong, and every action results in exactly what you wanted to happen, if not better than you planned. Decisions are made on pure emotion and instinct, and thought is completely avoided. Mysterious in nature, “the zone” can disappear without a moments notice, and therefore is treated with extreme caution and an increased belief in, and adherence to, superstition. ) I’ve had it a few times in basketball, occasionally in bowling, and plenty of times in video games, but in golf, being in the zone stands out like a sore thumb, cause we all know there’s no way in hell I should have been able to dink that shot over the tree and still land on the green.
Max and Ermas
Thanks largely to Mandace, I now know the goddess of a hostess, Sara, at Max and Ermas is, in fact, 17 years old. This was a bit shy of my prediction/hope of 18-20. The standard dating/age rule tells me that I’ve got to wait until I’m 30 before we can date. (Standard Dating/Age Rule –> (Your age / 2) + 7 = Minimum age requirement.)
Robb and I were at Max and Ermas the other day, and our server arrived, smiled at me, and said:
Server : The last time I served you, you ordered the Laredo Steak, and had a salad with…. Ranch?”.
Me : Thousand Island, but that’s pretty impressive.
Server : Thanks. It was a while ago, you were sitting over there.
[she points to the front right corner. I didn’t think I had sat there since I had dinner with Christy, over 6 months ago.]
Me : Woah.. Do you remember who I was with?
Server : Yeah. A girl a little shorter than you, with brown hair.
[That would be Christy]
I was quite impressed.
Homer Simpson Head
I’ve been struggling with this stupid Homer Simpson Rubik’s cube head. It looks so simplistic, but it’s hard! I just picked it up, and fiddled with it for a while, assuming I would just eventually come upon the right combination. Weeks passes, and I still hadn’t gotten it. Every time I picked it up, I’d get really close, only to have one piece out of place, which demanded messing the whole thing up in order to move that piece. I never wanted to invest the time into really figuring out how each movement changed the overall piece, because then my failure would be one of mental incompetence rather than just poor luck. Late, Late last night, I picked the thing up before heading to bed, and just twisted it around for a while, which is what I’ve been doing lately, in the hopes that it’ll magically fix itself and I can rid myself of it forever. Well, after less than 5 minutes of turning, I got it! I’m quite pleased.