The Ramblings (Part 2: Revenge of the Ramble)

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.”

Golf Outings.

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.

9 thoughts on “The Ramblings (Part 2: Revenge of the Ramble)

  1. Something a while back turned me off to Sister Hazel. Didn’t they have a released song that was SERIOUSLY derivative of Pearl Jam? Maybe not them, I’m so confused.

    I love golf (irrespective of my pictures) to the point that I live on a golf course. I’m not bad, just as it sounds like you are not bad, but I’m as inconsistent as hell. If I could hit it to the best of my ability every time, I’d be in the mid- to low-40s for nine holes, easily. The problem is getting out there enough and training the muscles to do the right thing.

    As for your honey, Sara, I say screw the formulas, don’t bother waiting until you are 30, and just wait until she’s *legal*. Age differences become less and less of an issue as you get older, even as evidenced by your formula. OTOH, she *is* still in high school… that’s kind of weird…

  2. There are a number of things that need to happen:

    1. I need to borrow some of your Guster. I enjoyed them when they played the CBS Early show, and seem like my kind of band.

    2. I think we need to go golfing. I suck too, so you might actually feel good about your golf game. Like pcg, I love it, but am quite inconsistent. Great drive, crappy approach, worse putt. Story of my life.

    3. How old are you, 24? That means she’s like what, 23 when you’re 30? No problem. Go for it (but yeah, wait until she’s legal). After we go golfing, let’s hit Max and Ermas for a beer. I want to see this girl.

  3. Ron, I think you are suffering something like I am suffering. Nothing seems important, and as a result, everything seems to have a matte finish. I’m pretty sure this is why I’m tired. I’m actually getting *less* sleep now than I was before, I ‘m more alert – perhaps because the weather is nice, I’m rather busy, and work is a ticking time bomb. I noticed a few months ago that whenever I’m sufficiently stimulated, I’m not sleepy.

    For example:

    1. Driving: Sleepy.

    2. Riding my bicycle: Not sleepy.

    3. Work on days where there aren’t fires: Sleepy.

    4. Work on days where I am busy: Not sleepy.

    5. Church: Sleepy.

    6. That night when I was supposed to move all the servers, but was thrown out instead: Not sleepy.

    7. That night I actually moved them: Not sleepy.

    8. Reading a good book: Not sleepy.

    9. Reading a book that is interesting, but not engaging: Sleepy.

    You do the math.

  4. Oh wow, just seeing Alan on the golf course might be worth the trip. Wonder if I can tack something on to the September trip to Chicago…

  5. Ok, “wait until she’s legal.”
    I doubt I’ll do a good job of expressing how very much and for what reasons this phrase pisses me off, but I’ll try.

    1) She’s illegal right now, I guess. You shouldn’t go near her, because she exudes criminal liability. No? Oh, right, it’s just illegal to have sex with her. You can go near her, even maybe talk to her, but you shouldn’t have sex with her, because that’s illegal. But what’s the difference, right? What’s the point of proximity and conversation other than to get your fuck on? Why not just shorten “it’s not legal to have sex with x” to “x is not legal”, because obviously the only important element of a young woman’s identity is her potential for sexual acquisition.

    2) It misses the point of what’s wrong with large age differences in relationships. I’d not heard of Ron’s formula before, but it seems fairly reasonable. But the reason a 24-year-old shouldn’t date a 17-year-old has nothing to do with whether or not it’s legal for them to have sex. The reason that makes sense to me and that I’ve taken to be generally accepted is that a 17-year-old high school student and a 24-year-old college graduate are very different. Whereas a 40-year-old may or may not have become more wise in the extra decade than a 30-year-old, nevertheless they might well be very similar in their prior life experiences, outlook on the world, perceptions of their futures, etc. This will almost certainly not be the case between the 17 and the 24 year old, and trying to be in a relationship would likely distort both their perceptions of their lives and futures. Ok, that got a little esoteric. More concretely, they’re likely to be socially, intellectually, and emotionally very different, and probably would be neither very happy together nor all that good for each other.

    3) Finally, not even worth mentioning because it’s just a detail and to point it out requires acknowledging the content of the phrase, the age of consent in Michigan and most other states is 16.

    So there’s my tirade, though only (1) is really worthy of the name. I don’t think I’ve ever met Peter or Jonathan, and I’m not trying to attack them. It’s a perfectly natural and unremarkable phrase in the Maxim-addled culture of young (by which I mean under 30 or so, hence including myself) masculinity, and comes readily to mind in such a discussion. Neither of them invented the phrase or the idea, nor do I think either was really trying to suggest that statutory rape laws are the salient considerations in Ron’s dilemma. It’s just something people say. But, as it happens, I think it’s really offensive and I hate when people say it. Hence the tirade.

    Bottom line: terrible phrase, should never be used, not trying to be ad hominem at all.

  6. Wow, Klaas, I’ve never met you either, but it strikes me that you should switch to decaf. I was being *flippant*. I mean, the fact that I’m commenting on YOUR neurosis on RON’S blog is saying something…

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