Wednesday, December 10, 2008

another long and drawn out post of a personal nature that will not interest you

my gym is sort of interesting. it's kind of a weird mix between a lame commercial gym and a more serious strength training facility. i have witnessed a lot of headshaking things. often times it's some well-intentioned, but misguided exerciser doing waste of time exercises like the chest press station or those hip abductor machines. or i see someone doing some exercise with obviously poor form. this often leads me wondering what i should do. as i mentioned in my last post, i want to be more helpful in everyday life. maybe i should politely point out their error in form or exercise choice and explain how to correct it. but then again, who the fuck am i? i'm not one of the trainers. i don't hold any certification in training (although i find most of the trainers in my gym to have very questionable certifications). i am getting in better shape, but am still fat. would i listen to me if i was someone else? its tough to say. nobody likes to look foolish or be told they are wrong. also, somebody who knows a little, but thinks they know a lot (i am referring to me) is way more obnoxious and potentially dangerous than someone who admittedly knows nothing. then again, i want to help and don't want anyone to waste their time doing stuff that won't work or may even injure them. and another thing...there are a lot of other people in much better shape and with more experience there...why don't they say anything?

when i am at the gym, i keep to myself. i have my headphones on and rarely get into conversations. i focus on what i am trying to do that day and don't make an effort to watch other people, but it just happens. here are a few examples of stuff i have seen recently that have left me shaking my head and wondering whether or not it would be appropriate to step in:

2 women lifting - there are these 2 middle-aged women at the gym that do the same things over and over again with no progression. their routine seems to be pretty solid in that they do a lot of free weights and stay away from lame lifting machines or even the smith machines. but they have 2 habits that drive me fucking insane. they both get into the only 2 squat racks in the gym and proceed to do bicep curls with just the bar and a 5 lb plate on each side. this is ridiculous in that if you are going to do bicep curls, you can do them anywhere else, why take up the precious squat racks? there is an area of the gym specifically for doing curls, but apparently that will not do. or they could at least just use one rack and alternate. secondly, they don't put the weights aways when they finish. they just make a mess with loose weights and extra bars laying all over the place and don't bother to put anything back when they go off and do something else. i am often the one waiting around to use the racks, and then end up havving to put all of their shit back to make room. do i say something? tell them to lift heavy or gtfo?

fat asian guy - there is this other fat asian guy who is more or less where i was before i started lifting. i've noticed him drifting around from machine to machine looking pretty clueless. i had noticed that he had started to try the exercises i was doing, but his form was awful and he was trying to lift too heavy to start out. i chose to just stay out of it, but thought that eventually i might say something to him. well yesterday he was in there working out with some fool wearing jeans. this guy also had no idea what he was doing, but was showing the asian guy exercises like he was a trainer. he was showing him the bench press, but put on way too much weight and was essentially doing bent over rows while yelling "all you!". the blind leading the blind. do i approach the guy and tell him to ditch his buddy? do i give him some unsolicted pointers? or will i basically just look like his jean wearing friend (a know-it-all who does not in fact know it all)?

new gym member with "trainer" - yesterday may have been the final straw as i witnessed the idiocy of one of the gym's trainers working with a new gym member. this guy was showing the girl box squats. while this is a very good exercise, he made no effort to show her how to do it with good form. he almost dropped a bunch of plates on her head when he was lifting up one end of the bar to lower the rack pins. in my first ever intervening, i rushed over and caught the plates seconds before they fell off the bar and onto her head. i checked the trainer's shirt. yup, it said "personal trainer" in big bold letters across the back. i went back to squatting. between sets i noticed that even though he lowered the rack pins, they were still about 3 inches too high for the girl and she actually had to get under and press the bar overhead to get it off. this is ridiculous and i stare in amazement in hopes that the trainer sees me and asks why i am staring. no luck and i go back to lifting, hoping that the girl does not get hurt while under the supervision of this guy who most likely got his certification after a 30 minute online seminar. should i have stepped in and suggested that he lower the pins? should i have explained that she should not be trying to press a weight she can barely box squat? should i have explained to the "expert" that she is not supposed to sit on the box for 5 seconds between each rep?

these are the types of issues that i struggle with most days i am at the gym. again, i do not consider myself an expert in lifting or exercise science. i think i just know a little more than the average joe gymdude. i did work in physical therapy offices throughout college and i do nerd out a lot, reading stuff at work, because i find it very interesting at the may have taken up the hole that was left behind after i stopped caring as much about fantasy football. speaking of fantasy football, i am matched up against laura, whose team is ridiculously hot as of late. i am pretty sure that i will lose, but you never know.

back to lifting and training...i do really enjoy lifting with people i know and like helping them learn if i happen to know more than them. starting tomorrow i will be volunteering at the special olympics powerlifting group, so that should be fun. i wonder if i had begun lifting in college, would i have chosen a different career path? i could see myself enjoying this kind of work, even though i am sure the pay is pretty shitty. i think i would become very knowledgeable since i actually find this stuff fascinating. i dunno. part of all of this thinking is based on my current hatred of (or at least extreme lack of enthusiasm towards) my stable, decent paying office job. i know i will eventually need to reexamine my career and find something that i care about, but it's all very overwhelming and scary to think about. in the meantime i will slack at work, continue to try to get in better shape and probably just watch in horror as people do dumb stuff at the gym.

Friday, December 5, 2008

i want to do good, but i also want to complain

so if you read this blog at all, you probably get the sense that i am trying to make some general improvements in my life and part of that is being more giving and helpful. i have made some concerted efforts to help in areas that really strike home with me and i have also been more open to randomly helping people who ask for it.

although i have missed the last few events because i had other things going on, i have been volunteering as a runner for prince george's county spca. i obviously love animals and just thinking about animals needlessly suffering is very upsetting to me. i always have a good experience when i volunteer during their low shot clinics. i have met some nice people and a few weirdos, but overall, it is fun and i feel good about helping. now, let me complain a little. the clinic is half an hour away and i always get lost either going to or leaving there, and it is always a different way of getting lost. they have these events on sunday afternoons, which is when i would normally be watching football. overall rating of this experience - 9.5/10

a few weeks ago, i went to fuel up my car. as i step out of my car, an oldish man suddenly approaches me and asks if i have jumper cables. a few things flash in my head.
  • we are at a gas station that has a repair shop...why wouldn't he ask them?
  • it is fucking cold outside
  • i have jumper cables, but i kind of have a bunch of stuff to do.
  • he won't know that i have them in my trunk...i'll just tell him sorry, dude.
  • wait...that is what my normal selfish self would do...
  • just tell him you have them and can help.
  • this could be annoying.
  • oh well.
so i fill up my car and then turn it around to face his. i pop my hood and get the cables when i notice him vigoroulsy reading his car manual for his old as oldsmobile. i tell him that i have done this a few times and tried to remember what dave told me last time we jumped a car. he refused my advice and kept reading...for like 5 minutes. i just stood there holding the jumper cables, freezing my ass off and getting annoyed. eventually we try to jump based on the manual directions and it does not work. i just get out and set it up the way i knew how and voila! his car started. i began to unnattach the cables and leave...while still waiting for some sort of thank you. he kind of gives me this annoyed "thanks" under his breath. i leave feeling good about helping someone, but annoyed with that person cause he was an asshole. overall rating of this experience - 3.5/10

i had agreed to be part of a malaria study for the red cross since i had traveled to the dominican republic this year. last night i went and drove all over columbia looking for this building, when all of the buildings looked the same. i had to ask 5 different people for help and nobody seemed to know. finally i flagged down a fed ex delivery guy and he directed me to the building, which was a good 5 minute walk from where i was. when i got there they kept me waiting for a while and i definitely contemplated just leaving. they finally saw me and the blood withdrawal process was pretty quick, although i realize that i am not a fan of needles at all. i couldn't even look when they did it, even though i barley felt it. they will be sending me a $45 check for my time, which is nice i guess. i can start donating blood in june, which i will hopefully do. overall rating of this experience - 7/10

next up is my first meeting to volunteer for the special olympics. i am pretty excited about this, but based on the little annoyances and hiccups from my other efforts to help, i am going in with reasonable expectations. if if do end up going through with this, i could help coach athletes in basketball (i will be crossing them up left and right), bowling, weight-lifting or swimming. i have worked with people with special needs in the past and it is usually a good experience, but this will be my first time with this organization. one strike against it already is that this meeting is on sunday afternoon. i will keep my fingers crossed and complain about my experiences in a future blog.

stuff you should see

here's another random roundup of stuff (pretty animal-heavy) you should check out on the internet.

1. jones big ass truck rental and storage - just trust me...and make sure to watch the commercial.

2. the talking goat - you will want to rewatch this. believe it.

3. upside down dogs - after living with jessie, i realize the potential of the upside down dog

4. this dog is awesome - i enjoyed this song a lot

5. zero gravity dog - i wonder what this dog was thinking

nintendo 8 - like old nes games? like to waste time?

7. old louis

Thursday, December 4, 2008

just keep it to yourself, i am better off not knowing

i am not at all a vain person. i honestly do not think about what i look like very often. people like to joke about my muscles and my wearing tight clothes, both of which are severely exaggerated, but my goal is usually to just look normal and blend in with the crowd...beyond that i don't give it much thought and i generally walk around blissfully unaware. with that in mind it is always upsetting when i am out in public with friends and while trying to hold in their laughter, someone points in a direction and is like "hey look! it's kevin!" without even looking, my immediate reaction is negative, for i am well aware of what i will soon see:

see...i bet you fuckers are laughing already

it's one thing for someone to spot some beautiful ninja and scream "it's nam!" or be watching full house and asking out loud, "when did nick get the role of uncle jessie?" making those beautiful-to-beautiful comparisons are both amusing and not embarrassing to anyone involved. not so much when someone sees someone that i resemble.

now, even though i have been getting better, i know that i am not in great shape and am still a good 30 pounds overweight, but as i mentioned above, how i look is not usually on my mind, so when something like that is brought to my attention, it's a hurtful reality slap in the face. the same goes for photos. i have accepted that i am definitely not photogenic, but pictures cannot really be avoided. pointing to the other fat asian guy in the room and jokingly calling him my twin can and should be avoided by those who care about my mental well-being.

this little rant was not spawned by any specific event, but just a buildup over the years of slowly breaking me down until i get to the point of complaining and whining about it on my blog. so next time you see some guy that you think looks like me, and i also happen to be there, i ask that you contain your giggling, make a mental note if you wish and wait until i go to the bathroom or something before making the comparison known to everyone else.

cleaned-up nick? why not? no harm done.

nam. they're both elegant and they both fight.

i suppose i never noticed it before, but dave does resemble han solo, but it's cool, harrison ford is a good-looking guy.

seriously's not cool.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

she & me? it could happen...

it's been a little while since my last post, although not nearly as bad as my slacker friends. today i wanted to mention my newest celebrity crush, zooey deschanel. i remember seeing her in elf and thinking she was really cute and had a nice voice. i don't really remember seeing her in a lot of other film roles, but i did kind of always remember her would hear her name every once in a while. well earlier this year, she joined up with m. ward to form she & him. they recorded what i am pretty sure is my favorite album of the year. here is there video for "why do you let me stay here?":

everything comes together so perfectly. the song is super catchy, zooey is looking ridiculously cute and the video itself is very fun. i think there's something particularly appealing about the expressions she makes and the little mannerisms she has in the video. also, how can you hate on that cowgirl outfit? adorable. now i realize she is more cute than celebrity-level hot. phil may complain about her non-latinaness. whatever. she just comes off very likeable, smart (i have no actual proof of this, just a hunch), not crazy and obviously talented. those aspects make her even more attractive to me.

i have held off on discussing my celebrity crush list that has cultivated over many years. it had escalated into an unweildy beast and i realize that it needs to be trimmed down to a more manageable 10 or 20. even with that, there's lori and then everyone else. welcome to everyone else, zooey.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

buy low, sell high

in an effort to not turn this into a blog that focuses on money, i just wanted to take one post to discuss my initial experiences trading in the stock market. all of this is new to me and i really have no clue what i am doing. so far so good. i have been slowly making money through the 4 stocks i purchased on friday and my net gains have been bouncing back and forth between 5 and 8 percent today, which i find more than acceptable. it feels a little weird discussing my purchases since i have this creeping worry that i should keep this info completely private, but since my readership is dan, phil and sometimes dave, i think i am safe. so the companies i am banking on are netflix, ge, cvs and google. all have been consitently going up excpet for google, which dropped after i purchased and then rebounded today. i have been also closely examining costco after alex sent me an arrrticle about the company.

while my initial success has been small and pretty luck-based, i have a few regrets. i probably should have shopped around to other trading companies to search for the lowest trade prices. my parents were kind of surprised about how much i was paying. also, i should have investigated the various purchase methods a little more. i just simply bout at market price, but could have looked into setting price points for purchases, especially for google which dropped like $10 per share at one point on friday. oh well, i could have just as easily missed out on the low opening price, so whatever.

i am also finding that the following of these stocks has developed into an easy obsession. it's in a constant state of flux when i am at work so i can keep hitting the refresh button so that as it rises i feel good and smart and when it goes down i feel like a failure. this definitely has a fantasy sports feel to it like when i am sitting by the computer on a sunday afternoon constantly checking on how many points i am beating laura by. add in the fact that this is more or less gambling...investing has filled a nice vice hole for me that could replace actual gambling.

i have some short term goals with this investment that may or may not be realistic, but i know that as long as i make a profit it will be better than if it were sitting in the bank right now. i will probably not discuss these investments again unless i do something drastic, my earnings blow up or something catastropic happens.

Monday, November 24, 2008

goodbye eddie

a few minutes ago, news broke about eddie jordan being fired as the head coach of the wizards. while i could see this developing, i am not sure if this is the right move. first of all, i have a lot of respect for ej and think that he had proven himself to be an intelligent coach who was able to make decent adjustments and have as good of control of an nba team as you can expect. he always carried himself in a professional manner and oversaw the most consistently prosperous seasons the wizards have had in almost 30 years. with that said, the wizards have continually failed to advance far into the playoffs and are off to a dismal 1-10 start to the season.

hey you! over there! did you just call me sinbad?

part of the blame should be placed on the wizards missing their best player in gilbert arenas as well as the very underrated brendan haywood, who really made the team defense work. with that said, the wizards do have 2 all star players in caron butler and antawn jamison, so one would expect the team to hopefully hover around 500 while they waited for gil's return. they have some ok role players, but maybe the issue was that the team's identity relied so heavily on hibachi and the tmnt that it left the team with 2 very good players trying to do everything while the rest of the team stands around, unsure about their role and focus. if this was a factor than yes, eddie jordan can be held accountable for their current failures.

i might have hands of stone, look like a teenage mutant ninja turtle and be really slow, but my defense is key for this team.

another thing to consider is the role of the gm, ernie grunfeld, who while making some excellent moves and draft choices and proving to be the first qualified gn the wiz have had since i can remember, he has constructed this team and should also be held accountable. again, this team is so reliant on their big 3 and the salary distribution shows it. the problem with this plan is that the 3 all stars are all either at the peak of the career or past it (in the case of jamison and possibly post-surgery gil). they have not shown the ability to get past the 2nd round of the playoffs since the squad has been together and they are arguably getting worse as a group. so when grunfeld gave arenas 100 + million over 7 years, there's no where else to go. i love arenas. he is my favorite player in the league and i have his bobblehead, but looking at this logically, that contract might have just sealed the deal for more years of mediocrity. this is the squad for now and the next few years. the same squad that has proven to be good but not good enough. the team as it stands will never be able to compete with the top teams in the east.

so where does that leave us now? after a 1-10 start, it is justifiable to fire the coach, even though he might be a good coach. it just wasn't working and it's always easier to get rid of the coach than the player. now ed tapscott is going to take over as the interim, but do we really think the team will play better now? what is this team's identity?

Friday, November 21, 2008

you gotta pay the troll toll if you wanna get into this boy's soul

last night was the conclusion of the 4th season of what might be my favorite television show of all time. it's always sunny in philadelphia has been a shinning beacon in a world of mediocre to awful television programing. i love this show so much i don't know where to begin. it's concept is simple: 4 self-centered friends and the dad of 2 of those friends all own a bar in philadelphia and hijinks ensue.

i was gonna go through all of the characters and break stuff down, but i assume most people are familiar with this show and i will instead focus on my favorite dynamic of this show and why i think it works:

the combination of dee and charlie (my favorite character) is dynamite. dee is arguably the most normal and least self-centered member of the group, while also serving up laughs for being pathetic with her hopeless dreams of making it as an actress. she always seems to start off as the dissenting voice of reason before she is quickly sucked into the mindset of the rest of the gang. charlie is the wildcard of the group and is constantly angry and screaming. he is extremely excitable, has an unrequited love for a waitress that he stalks and is illiterate but refuses to admit it. together they have excellent chemistry and are my favorite combination on the show. here are some of my favorite clips of their interactions from this season.

dee wants charlie to walk in her shoes and experience her efforts to perform standup comedy:

charlie also wants dee to experience what being charlie is all about:

dee and charlie realize they may have developed an unfortunate hunger:

while trying to create viral videos, charlie comes across dee's secret video diaries:

charlie explains to dee what makes an internet video popular (i think i got it. i think i got it.):

are these two headed for emmy territory? don't get me wrong...i love all of the characters, but these 2 are my favorites and their powers increase exponentially when combined. anyways, their 4th season ended last night and they went out with a bang. charlie wrote a musical about dayman as a ploy to ask his stalkee to marry him. the songs were brilliant as were the conflicts:

so who else loves this show? do you agree with my contention that the biggest strength of the show is the charlie/dee combo?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

my initial impressions of the new xbox dashboard

yesterday xbox introduced the new dashboard. the 2 main aspects of this update that interest me are the creation of avatars and the streaming of netflix watch instantly movies.

while the avatars are a clear ripoff of what nintendo did with the wii, i applaud microsoft for taking a look at competing products, finding what works and then improving upon them and adding it to their videogame experience. you know who does not do this? sony. the ps3 was released a year after the 360, and because of the fact that the ps3 and 360 are very similar machines that market towards the same type of gamer, you would assume that sony would say ok, microsoft has created a very fun online experience that's easy to use. they also have added gamer achievement points which all the nerds love. maybe we should incorporate this into our machine. they did none of this with the year they had and decided to make a shitty online experience combined with no overall gamer scores or achievement system. is america getting revenge on the japanese for taking our cars and making them much better?

nice try sony....but i still don't think you're getting it.

sorry, that was kind of a rambling rant that went nowhere, but it just amazes me that people that are making decisions do so with such stupidity at times. back to the new dashboard. i made my new avatar which i tried to make look like me. the result was a skinny asian guy with hair i used to have 10 years ago. not that i wanted to make my avatar look fat, but i don't think that us huskier guys really get represented well in these types of things. so, unhappy with my avatar, i decided to just be silly and not make him look like me. i gave him bunny teef, a heart on his cheek and johnny bravo hair. his wardrobe was described by louise as that of a competitive equestrian. you can see his face on this blog if you scroll down to my gamer profile. 5 minutes after i created my avatar, ben sent me a message saying how super assy it was. whatever.

i also tested out the netflix service. i am a big fan of netflix in general and was excited to hear about its inclusion in the xbox. setup was a breeze and within 2 minutes i was flipping though my watch instantly queue. this adds a lot of movies to my watch whenever i'm bored library. there are some pretty good titles like no country for old men and seasons of 30 rock. there are also a lot of questionable titles that could be fun to watch. the video quality is ok. it's certainly not hd, which i think is due to my tv's lack of hdmi input. it shows the video in widescreen format, so a slightly blurry picture is acceptable to me. another little nitpick is that you can't add new movies to your queue from your xbox. you have to do it from your computer. there is no limit to how many movies can be on your queue, so i spent the afternoon adding anything i might be remotely interested in seeing. i ended up watching 30 minutes of the day of the dead remake starring mena suvari and ving rhames. it was quite shitty. i thne changed it up for more the family-friendly the gameplan starring the rock. i didn't finish it either, but it was at least sort of enjoyable.

as netflix adds more titles to their watch instantly library, this feature will be used more and more by me. while not perfect, i am happy with how this worked out and i give the efforts my netflix and microsoft a solid b grade. hopefully this helps netflix continue to grow and i can buy their stock starting tomorrow and be along for the ride.

this addition to my home entertainment repertoire also opens up a recurring question/issue for me. am i getting closer to canceling cable? i am already trying to watch less tv and i hate how comcast charges so much money. i currently have a lot of dvd's, netflix one dvd out a time, plus now netflix watch instantly. throw in an hd antenna and maybe a media center pc that will show videos from hulu on my tv and i think i could easily get by. after all of the fees and taxes this could end up saving me at least $80/month. now i just need to convince louise.

some changes and a flashback

those of you who have gotten used to and quite comfortable with my old blogger template sure are in for a rude awakening today. you might also note that this will be 2 blogging days in a row which has not happened for a while due to actually having to do *some* work recently. well now i am not so busy and with that free time came a complete makeover to the look and feel of t.i.t.s. sort of like picking at a loose thread from your sweater, this change evolved from sort of random, bored poking around. once the ball got rolling everything was changing until i was left with a pile of yarn and no sweater.

so let's see...i have added an image to my banner, which i think looks nice. i have changed the layout, fonts, colors and now i will no longer be restricted to the narrow columns that my old template held me to. i have added a place for weekly polls (vote now before it's too late!). my blogroll now lists blogs i like as well as their most recent posting. this had been in jess' blog for a while and i am just now catching up. i don't think it's any less readable now. really it's just an attempt to change things up as the old look had gotten stale. if i were more proficient at css, you could expect some more assy touches, but alas, i was too afraid to mess with what blogger gave me and this is the result. deal with it.

as i was making these changes, i looked at various different styles and it reminded me of a simpler time. allow me to indulge. back when i was in college, i had nam show me how to make my own website in the wam labs. he showed me some basic html coding and i just ran with it. the result was quite possibly the biggest eyesore of a website ever created. while this was not my original intention, as soon as i made the background color a yellow so bright that it is actually listed as the cherokee word that means "eyes hurt", subconciously i knew where this was going and what had to be done. at the top of the screen under the giganticly fonted title of the "so great page" was a row and a half (depending on your screen resolution) of saluting sock monkeys via the obnoxious technology of the animated gif. this was of course followed by some sort of boastful introduction explaing in some detail how great i am. below this was possibly an out of place horizontal bar seperating the introduction from the next level of even more random animated gifs that helped make the page one of the slowest loading pages back in the modem days. there were also various midi files that had nothing to do with anything else placed throught the page. basically if i saw it used on another website or learned of something new that i could add, i would do it just to further add to the site's awesomenes.

this picture is a pretty good visual representation of my website

amongst a sea of poorly aligned pictures of lori loughlin and kelly kapowski were various links to "articles" that i wrote. this was the punk rock to my current easy listening attitude and writing. they were raw, extremely assy, poorly written and would have totally kicked this blogs ass. there were completely random writings like when i decided to become a spree farmer. i would write restaurant reviews of the places i ate. after visiting establishments like taco bell and burger king, these writeups would be so detailed and embelished with nonsense that would make you wonder what my deal was. i would recall various situations i would get myself into with my various crushes. these included:
  • my constant bickering with ubernerd tammy
  • my suspicions that the blonde sorority girl was flirting with me cause she mistakenly thought i was smart since i was asian
  • my stalking of sol
  • how i though one attractive lass would make a good clown (she had the right bone structure if that makes sense)
  • lena the greek warrior princess

the fall bounty of 1997

sadly i could go on and on as i seem to remember these more vividly than i think i should. i will chalk it up to my smart brain and the fact that i wrote stories about these situations, as doing something creative will help you recall details...or so i will hypothesize.

also sadly, i do not know of any place where these stories are saved. they would be fun for me to revisit and if i ever do find them on some random 3.5 floppy or saved in some hidden folder in my yahoo account, i will post any worthwhile ones here. a few of my friends might have vague memories of my abomination of a website and the assy tales that lay within.

anyways, what do you think of the new layout and look? if anyone remembers the so great page, please explain to me how awesome you thought it was.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

oh i see how it (emphasis on now) my blood is good enough

a few weeks ago i tried to donate blood for the first time. i know, it's pretty weak that i have never done this before. i just don't like needles. i know the pain is brief and basically like a strong pinch, but something about the anticipation, knowing that you are going to feel this momentary pain, brings out the coward in me.

i went to the blood drive and was all ready to go. i filled out their questionaire and had some blood taken so they could check some basic things. i discovered that my iron levels are good, which was nice to hear since i don't eat meat. also my blood pressure is normal, which was also nice to hear. what was not nice to hear? i wouldn't be able to donate blood that day because i went to the dominican republic in june. the d.r. is apparently a high malaria risk country and i would have to wait until july of next year before i could donate. so that kind of sucked, but it did get me out of the office and i also received some positive health information...well expcept that i could possibly have malaria.
anyways, i left without a free t-shirt or cookie and just assumed i would be back next year. yesterday i got a voicemail from someone at the american red cross telling me that they were sorry i was unable to donate, but that they are doing a study and need participants who have recently visited a high-malaria risk country. that and they also pay. part of me thinks this is karma for attempting to do something good and as a result i'm about to get my cheddah on. how much will they compensate me for my participation? i'm thinking somewhere in the thousands of dollars is realistic. hopefully they just don't take too much of my blood and hopefully this is not some new vampire scam.

i could be a genius and my squatting form might be wrong

there have been some recent developments from my last 2 posts.

isn't it funny how after i post about the awesome potential of javale mcgee, every other sports blogger and their cousin hype him up post trashcans in the street.?

there were tons more around the same time, but these were the first ones i could retrieve. now granted, i am a local fan, thus giving me more access to wizards games than most other people. to give you an idea of what kind of basketball nerd i have become, i joined some live chat on rotoworld last week and kept trying to ask questions about lemonhead. of course the "expert" did not use any of my questions, partially due to my vaguely threatening working and partially because this guy probably had no idea who the big secret was. the point to be taken home about this is that i saw this guy blowing up before a lot of other people and i want to boast about it.
  • does all of this kind of make me a scouting genius? probably.
  • does an nba team need to hire me as their new gm? most likely. i couldn't eff things up worse than isiah.
  • am i the man? you KNOW!

duhhh...i could be the worst gm ever...

in other news related to my recent blog posts, i have been unable to purchase any stocks. for the most part this has been a good thing as many of the stocks i have been eyeing have gone down in value a little. i would ideally like to purchasr these stocks at their lowest value and catch them on the upswing, thus becoming what is known as a "knife catcher". i had to dig around a little as i was sure i would have been able to invest by now, but i finally discovered an exact date of when my account unfreezes, 11/21/08 aka the day kevin loses all of his money.

i have also been pretty good about not spending too much money this past week. most days are zero dollar days. this weekend i spent more that i would have liked. on saturday i crashed some kickball league party with bub and jill ($20 cover, open bar). it was a lot of fun, and i'm telling you, if you are a single guy, this is where you need to be. it was a very easygoing party atmosphere and i was chatting up strangers which i never do. i also spent money on groceries, which i refuse to feel bad about as long as i do my best to only buy the essentials. i bought 2 new sweaters which will be logging heavy minutes in my wardrobe rotation. at this point, pre-first wash, they are not tight at all, so dan won't be able to make fun of me. i also bought my mom lunch, which i also do not feel bad about.

finally some other stray thoughts or mundane occurances of the last few days:
  • dave wants to have a black friday party. i guess it's been a few months since we have had a kegger, but the coldness means less time outside which makes kind of a tight fit for our living room. what do you think should we party?
  • bub is hosting a potluck thanksgiving party. i am definitely going, but not sure what i will bring. i am tempted to go the easy route and bring alcohol. at the same time, i kind of want cooking to be a new hobby and challenege myself a little. maybe i will make a veggie meatloaf.
  • yesterday i got into a conversation with a trainer at my gym about squatting. he was wondering why i was squatting below parallel. all of the stuff i have read online says to get down low, but he seemed to think that once you get that low you lose all power and will blow out your knees. i had read that the only way to really work the glutes on squats was to get down low. i dunno. he is certainly more qualified than i am, but maybe not more than the trainers online. he is also a competitive powerlifter. i haven't had any knee issues, but then again i was squatting half of what he was doing. anyone have any ideas?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

let's hope for the best

the nba season kicked off a few weeks ago and the wizards are pretty bad. the black president is still hurt and the reports on his return date are kind of all over the place. as much as i dislike him, the absence of brendan haywood leaves a huge hole defensively in the middle. the wizards started the season 0-5 but just picked up their first victory last night against the jazz and there was one player who really stood out, rookie center javale mcgee.

i watched him play some this preseason and thought, this kid could be good. after a few real games, here is some of my quick-hitting analysis:
  • true 7-footer
  • has what looks like a 10 foot wing span
  • very good athlete for his size
  • hustles
  • blocks shots like louis clips coupons
  • aggressive offensively
  • good footwork
  • his mom was in the wnba
so yeah, i am excited about javale and his potential. i did not expect him to have an impact this early, but he has certainly stepped up.

here are some of his college highlights:

his arms are so exaggeratedly long that he kind of looks like a praying mantis on the court. caron butler thought about giving him the nickname "lemonhead". he calls himself "the big secret". i like all 3 options.

i've got long arms

the resemblance is striking


i remember when he was drafted. i welcomed him into my life as the newest wizard, but then i started reading all of the "expert" analysis on the pick. i remember seeing terms like "reach", "unpolished", "not ready", and "questionable choice". i bought into the hype and assumed that this was a blown pick. but once i saw him in action during the preseason, i sensed his potential. i hyped him up to my friends, most of whom don't really care about basketball, during the first zards game. and just last night he finally showed what he could do and was what i believe to be the catalyst for the wizards first victory of the season. now eddie jordan needs to put him in the starting lineup, or else give him some major minutes.
i hope this is not him passing the ball, but rather, his preferred method for catching passes.

also, i just added him to my fantasy basketball team. he better produce. the wizards could be in for a long season...especially if arenas does not come back 100%. at least we can witness mcgee's growth and development into a key member of this team.

will this be known as the big regret of 2008?

so the economy is not doing well. duh. luckily i have good job security, but i am still making efforts to be better about saving. i have started tracking all of my purchases this month in an effort to be more conscious of where my money of going and where i can trim some of the more frivolous spending. so far so good. i had made a pact with dave to not eat out at all during the week and to not eat fast food at all during november. i am going strong so far...dave failed in less than 12 hours. knowing that whenever i buy something i have to write it down, makes me hesitant to buy dumb random stuff that i would usually games on itunes or some random book when i have like 3 other unread books at home. it's almost like a game or personal challenge where if i write $0 spent for the day, then i win. hopefully when i add all of this stuff along with mortgage, utilities, gym and other recurring charges, i will be spending less than i earn.

ok, back to the country's economy and my embarrassing and extreme lack of understanding how it works. i have never made much of an effort to understand how investing and the economy works. thinking about it usually made my head hurt. buy low, sell high is about the extent of my understanding. my dad, who is pretty knowledgeable about this sort of stuff, recently convinced me to start investing beyond my normal 401k. he said something along the lines of "when people are greedy, you should be scared, but when people are should be..." i cut him off, yelling "greedy!!!!", not fully understanding why, but i eagerly made an educated guess about where the advise was going. luckily i was right in anticipating what he was going to say and i guess it made some sense to me. a lot of very solid companies that have had a long track record and will be around for a long time have stocks that are valued very low. now is the time to jump in and grab some shares of google while it is at half of the value it was at last year...or so i sort of understand it. i mean they can't get much lower, right? if the answer is they can get much lower, than i would rather not know.

so now i have begun to read and understand a little bit more about how investing works. i set up an investing account and stuck a bunch of money in it. i have seeked the advice of some friends who know more about this than i do. i realize that this is essentially gambling and thus very likely something that i could become obsessed/addicted to. so any day now, i will take the plunge and pick some stocks that will hopefully rebound in the coming months. i am currently looking at google, cvs, ge, apple, garmin, bed, bath and beyond and microsoft. hopefully all goes well and this time next year i am kickin it scrooge mcduck style and not wearing a barrel held up with suspenders.

is this asking for too much?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

and yet another internet celebrity is born

the picture above, which apparently blew up on the internet yesterday is horrifying and yet fascinating to me. are we looking at some little girl who is simply unimpressed with this house fire, giving us a casual "eh...i've seen better" expression? or are we looking at something more sinister, possibly into the eyes of evil?

i am leaning more towards the latter as i am pretty sure she somehow influenced that fire's origin. people are calling her disaster girl as if she were some sort of malevolent preschool mothman or else the beginnings of some awful m. night shyamalan movie. regardless of whether or not she started this fire intentionally or unintentionally with her mind, or even more horrific, just poured gasoline all over the living room, lit a match and casually walked outside to enjoy her work, i believe this is not the last we will see of disaster girl and i would like to now officially pledge my allegiance to d.g. what do you guys think? smart move on my part? is she as potentially evil/powerful as i think?

also, buzzfeed had readers submit hilarious (although not funny if she is not amused) photoshops of disaster girl in action. here are some noteables:

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

foreign film realization

q: do you like foreign films?

a: fuck yeah i do. i love that type of crap...with all of the subtitles and shit.

that is how i probably responded to such queries a few years ago. i think for a while i enjoyed the idea of liking foreign cinema. only uncultured idiots do not enjoy foreign movies. or so i had more or less convinced myself. as my friends know by now, i am of pretty average intelligence and not really any more cultured than anyone else. i enjoy music, tv and movies like everyone else. and also like everyone else, i don't really read. i used to consider enjoying movies from other countries as something that sophisticated and educated people did for jollies. while that may be true to some extent, i have come to terms with the fact that i am not part of this snooty club and am not a big fan of most foreign films.

first off, there is absolutely nothing wrong with a lot of foreign films. good movies are good movies, but at the same time, i am forced to read and follow dialogue as opposed to taking a brain vacation and enjoying something like teen wolf. basically, i am lazy, have a short attention span and i absolutely refuse to be part of something that is unamerican.

i do actually consider city of god, a brazilian movie, to be a contender for my favorite movie of all time. but that movie was awesome and you know it. although, if i am being honest, i have willfully and intentionally seen the film white chicks more often...and loved every minute of it.

q: what does this say about me?

a: i dunno. i don't like it when people, myself included, pretend to like stuff cause they feel like it is cool to do so. not that i think i was ever lying to myself or others about liking these movies, but just that i kind of wanted to enjoy them more than i truly did and so therefore i thought i liked them. now i am just coming to terms with it. also, i am lazy. if a movie is over 90 minutes there is a 30% chance i will fall asleep before the end credits.

q: will i ever watch a foreign film again?

a: i'm sure i will, but to have a chance at liking it, i have to be in the right mood. also, it probably can't be too dependent on dialogue.

q: you mentioned city of god. what other titles have slipped past and deemed actually good by you?

a: thanks to netflix, i do get a chance to view some movies i would not normally view. some of these have been foreign. some that i can remember liking that i have seen in the last year or so include zombie 2, tekkon kinkreet, the devil's backbone, the machine girl, angel-a, son of rambow, hot fuzz, oldboy, them, and mystics in bali. hmmm...maybe i had too strong of a reaction to what i thought was my anti-foreign film view and in actuality i really do like foreign movies. knowing that i have in fact been more or less genuine makes me feel a little better.

q: what was the point of all this?

a: you know what? i don't like your attitude. why don't you go watch some of you bruckheimer dvds with your stupid frat buddies and leave me alone with my vino and subtitled masterpieces.

a reaction to laura's blog

ok...most people have now seen laura's blog post that shows me getting clowned by her and her dance slap revenge. congratulations go out to dan, laura and eskay for a job well done. it was well executed, recorded and edited. all of this at my expense, but excellent none the less. with that in mind, laura has to know that this war is not over. i refuse to go down like that.

on the other hand, i am 30 years old and maybe it's time i grow up a little bit. laura and i have had our fair share of back and forths and maybe i should just assume that over the years we are more or less even. also, i am concerned with the growing sentiment of most people backing laura and siding with her on our fight. i have mentioned to her that because of this, people won't find what i do nearly as funny or satisfying whenever i do happen to get my revenge...which could happen at any moment laura...look behind you! ok that probably did not scare her...or did it?! check your shoes might not like what you see. again, these are lame, but give you an idea of the campaign of fear and paranoia that i am hoping to wage over the next 10 years or up until i get my revenge. because of the laura-favored sentiment as well as the admittedly awesomeness of her revenge, whatever i do will have to be that much more elaborate and humiliating.

but what should it do? i have hinted that someone who is close to her, who she would never expect, would turn on her in some sort of fantastical revenge prank. she will not fall for another dance slap unless it is cheaply done and that will just not satisfy me. i will have to think long and hard...consult with those who may still be in my camp and plan it out. the internet is a good tool for are some hilarious ones that have piqued my interest. let me know what you guys think.

these pranks are pretty classic.

this one is simple yet effective.

this might be too much effort for too little payoff.


let's just hope it doesn't backfire like this one.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

october roundup

there is no central theme or topic for this blog entry. in fact i believe it will comprise of a lot of random, unconnected thoughts and observations i have had recently. maybe i will break down in some sort of categorical headings.

fantasy sports

ah yes, everyone's favorite blog topic. fantasy football is going on and i really am as uninterested in it as i can remember. my big money team is stacked, undefeated and will surely make me slightly richer by the end of the year. my friends league started off well, but has slowly been getting worse and worse each week, with my first defeat occurring this past weekend. i think things are pretty much downhill from here on out, but again, i don't really care that much about it for some reason....

maybe that's because fantasy basketball is about to start! chris was the only one brave enough to venture into the crazy 16 team league i joined and while i was not prepared at all for the draft, i think my team should be decent. one problem is my team is lacking huge upside rookies, which is something that i love but is also often times my downfall. we shall see. i was happy to draft devin harris as my starting point guard...that is until i saw this video a few days later of him getting schooled by some british nerd in a sweater and tight jeans.

last weekend

on friday, i regretfully agreed to see the max payne movie starring no sense of humor marky mark. i fell asleep, which i know dave is already thinking, "what else is new?", but whatever. it was awful. don't even rent it.

on saturday, i for one drank way too much and i am starting to realize that while i don't have an addiction, i am too easily swayed into binge drinking antics. i drank all saturday afternoon with chris, then went to the turtle with nicky, dave and phil. i think i ended up being the most drunk i have been in a few years and the next morning was not pretty. nicky claims that i am "cool" when i am drunk, which might explain why she avoids spending time with me while i am sober, but i think that i tend to shoot my mouth off a lot when intoxicated and it can leave me with some next morning regrets. also, since i am trying to be healthier and get in reasonable shape, drinking in excess is kind of shooting myself in the foot.

sunday was football free as i somehow managed to pull myself out of bed and go to renfest with jill, bub and some of their friends. it was a fun time, although it is never as good as i expect. we did a lot of people watching. bub and i tried to bet on jousters. bub spent half the day shirtless with just a vest on. jill was on a ridiculous search for some sort of princess hat. we spotted bananaman. jill and i had fun, i think bub did not.

stuff i look at at work

sushi cat - it's no spaghetti cat, but still awesome

conflicting message

animals riding other animals - this is my current desktop image

halloween and parties

there are a bunch of potential parties coming up due to halloween and friends' birthdays. this could cause to be a major conflict for my trying to drink less. this weekend bub is having a party and the following day one of the rivetti relatives is having some sort of awesome outdoor bonfire party that is a 2 hour drive away. i am intrigued by both, though i know i will need a costume for both. i am notoriously bad about making/thinking of costumes and i don't think that will change this year. i just have a hard time committing to anything and then if i do end up dressing up, it's just something thrown together at the last minute. i will probably go to the party store and find some crappy mask or something. in case i do decide to be more creative and put forth a little effort, here are some costume ideas that i will not end up using:
  • zombie
  • green m&m
  • lady bug
  • andrew w.k.
  • sarah palin
  • crazy newspaper face
maybe you are a hot girl who happens to be both reading this blog as well as suffering from the same costume dilemma. this will help:

the following weekend also marks the birthdays of dan and brigitte, both of whom are having parties at the same time at the same place. i believe brigitte is truing 27, while dan is hitting the big 4-0. dave and i were discussing having a steal their thunder party the night before, but it is probably more funny in theory than it would be in practice.

conclusion and other random bits
  • laura has titled her latest blog post as "super secret special surprise" which has me interested as well as a little concerned. maybe she's pregnant. probably not. hopefully it is not the video of her dance-slapping me in the face. hopefully she was smart and just deleted it.
  • last week i was able to do single leg squats for the first time.
  • there is a rumor that louis davis brown will be in town this weekend.
  • i have been hurting myself a lot left wrist and right side of my neck were sore a few days ago for no apparent reason.
  • a new and awesome dog park just opened up a few minutes from our house...i took jessie to the ribbon cutting ceremony...too bad it won't make her any smarter
  • so that's about it for now...and hey, this is my 100th post.

Friday, October 17, 2008

the legend

i'm not sure how to start this blog, nor where it is going or how it will end. it's directions and creation remain a mysterious entity much like the subject of this blog, crazy olympics. even though ben has blogged about him, i am surprised that i have not mentioned him before as he has become a major player in the folklore of laurel. just to give you some basic background information on crazy olympics, he is a muscular black man who is frequently seen walking, dancing, exercising and brooding his way throughout laurel. he has certain outfits he wears, more or less dependent on the weather. when it's hot, cargo shorts, no shirt, pink bandana. when it's cold, trenchcoat and hat. he is always listening to music...or so we hope. he has an old discman that he carries with him while dancing, exercising or terrorizing laurelinians. some of us are of the school of thought that he does not even have batteries in his discman and is not actually listening to anything a normal person would hear, but instead dances to something he thinks he hears. it is all very complicated, much like the man himself.

dave and i first encountered him driving by safeway and noticing a ripped guy doing pushups in front of the store. he looked crazy. dave asked me what he was doing. i responded "training for the crazy olympics" and thus the legend was born.

his face is pretty similar to charlie murphy' know...crazier

soon after this safe-from-a-distance encounter we got a little closer as dave had just visited the dentist and we were walking into safeway to get his medicine. well in his anesthetic daze, dave must have looked at crazy olympics the wrong way as c.o. called him a "hippy fucker" and followed this up with a whirlwind of aggressive nonsense mixed in with threatening cursewords. we were both confused and horrified as we quickly entered the safety zone of safeway. upon leaving we checked and made sure he was not around or looking for us as we made our cowardly exit.
he has the body of terry crews, this pic works well as if i was ice cube and dave was mike epps, except that i am 3 inches taller than dave.

since then, all of our crazy olympic sightings have been about the same. he is either seen working out or standing is front of a store "listening" to his music and dancing with a purpose. he does not half-ass either endeavor. i've had a few theories about c.o., who apparently also threatened to kill everyone in ben's store.
  1. he was one of hammer's backup dancers and just snapped when his hairstyle was getting clowned
  2. he is some sort of social scientist studying how people react to crazy
  3. he is crazy

well just yesterday i saw him more close than i had seen him since he tried to murder dave. i was dropping off my dry cleaning so my new suit does not end up like my old suit. as i returned to my car, much to my pleasure and horror, i see crazy olympics standing there in the more or less empty parking lot hunched over, staring at the ground, holding a broom and long dustpan. my first thought was, uh oh, he killed a janitor. but then i saw him actually sweeping...sort of. maybe someone paid him to clean up the parking lot...i guess. but it would not be crazy olympics if he was not doing something crazy. he was sweeping up random leaves, but doing it in an interesting way. he seemed to be randomly stalking specific leaves, leaving other identical leaves unswept. he lept around, pouncing on unsuspecting leaves, quickly sweeping them up, then scanning the area and leaping somewhere else to pick up another random leaf, leaving a lot of unswept leaves in his path. that was difficult to explain and i am sure impossible to understand, but that was more or less what i watched for a good 10 seconds, before i quickly got in my car and drove away.

what was he doing? where did he get those cleaning accessories? was someone actually paying him? is he registered to vote? there are many questions revolving around the man known as crazy olympics (real name apparently bobby), but we will probably never understand, and i guess that adds to his legend. maybe one day (while being escorted by nam) i will approach crazy olympics and try to learn more about him and understand the mystery.


dave's most recent blog discussed his recent video game purchase, nhl 09. this has made me want to blog about one of the things louise got for me for my birthday, tiger woods 09. i really enjoy golfing video games and play them with louise and chris all the time. there is something about the pacing of the game that is nice since my reflexes have been going downhill regardless of what people saw when i played hot hands. i also really enjoy the extremely detailed create-a-player option that allows me to create some real freaks that everyone seems to loves to hate on. also i am very good at the game.

anyways, we played it at lee's birthday party last weekend using the official drinking rules, that led me down a dark path as i had to take shots of tequilla for every eagle i shot. even with this obstacle to overcome, i somehow finished with what i am pretty sure is the best game i have ever played. i scored a 48 in an 18 hole course. to give you some historical perspective of how mindblowing that score is, the lowest real golf score ever recorded in history is 55. as far as i know, tiger woods himself has never broken 60 strokes in an 18 hole course. so imagine his reaction when i roll up to his house and shoot a sub 50! it might just make him quit golf altogether...maybe he gets a job at best buy or something, cause he would know my golfing would haunt him forever.

my joining the pga tour would change things forever. i would be crushing my opponents to the point where my lead would be insurmountable after the 2nd hole. you would think beating professional golfers who have been playing their entire lives and more or less making them look silly would get old. to spice things up, i might start to hotdog a little. here are some ideas to makes the games reasonably close, entertain the fans and humiliate/enrage my opponents:
  • play a few holes wearing a blindfold
  • putt with my driver and drive with my putter
  • pants tiger woods when he is trying to putt
  • switchhit
  • casually engage in a conversation with my opponent, while maintaining eye contact, secretly putt the ball into the hole, then walk away with the opponent expecting me to putt, later realizing i did it while we were talking
  • bank shots off of obstacles ala happy gilmore
  • steal tiger woods' golf cart and drive it into a water hazard
  • play a round with one of those plastic kids golf sets

going too far? i hope so. i bet i could also put that watering can to good use too.

i could go on. i think stuff like this would make me the hit of the pga tour. now some of you may be questioning the transfer of my videogame golf abilities to actual physical golf. has anyone played me in mini golf before? because if you have that's one definite loss on your mini golf record. if you haven't played me before, it's probably best for your general well-being that you avoid the humiliation and frustration that comes from losing to me. so look forward to me making a huge splash on the pga circuit in the near future...maybe tiger will want to be my caddy...

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

this is how amazon got so rich

i have been a little lazy with blogging, but now that dave has decided to post something, i will do the same. let me pose this questions to the 2 of you:

do you love to track packages that you order online?

because i do and admit it, you do too. it might be my favorite aspect of ordering stuff i don't need online. usually once i actually receive the package, it is a let down from the anticipation of waiting for it to arrive.

now this may be more of a result of again, being bored at work and looking for any diversion possible. i have actually been really busy lately and while the days tend to go by faster, it still sucks. it may also speak to the slightly obsessive-compulsive behaviors that i have begun to exhibit as i get older.

yesterday i placed an order for products online (steroids) and once i received the e-mail from the steroid emporium stating that the shipment had been shipped and this included a tracking number...i was pumped. get it? because earlier i was joking about ordering steroids! seriously, sometimes these things just go way over your guys' heads. really, the substances i had ordered were legal in most u.s. states.

anyways, i have tracked this package 5 or 6 times with little movement having occurred. it started out in colorado and as of 12:41 am, has made its way to tennessee. the expected date of arrival is october 17 by 4:30 pm...but i have a feeling it might make it to my house by tomorrow! who knows what will happen??? this is craaaaaazy! and that's part of what makes tracking shipments so much fun. note that i went with the free shipping option (trying to live my life with more of a "wwldbd?" focus) and i also opted for no signature required, thus allowing the deliveryman to leave the package by the door or next to the frog. i bet your head is spinning with all of these delivery variables.

so now i sit and wait. i will check the status of my shipment throughout the day, watching it move closer and closer to its final destination. i will follow the story of this package's journey across the country, which i assume is like a fedex version of milo and otis.

maybe this guy has my package, if not he needs to stop giving me that creepy look.

once i get my shipment i will be all
but then the initial excitement will subside a little and i will be more
and then finally all of my excitement will be over and i'll be like