back to black was one of my favorite albums of last year. nobody can deny winehouse's ridiculous, soulful voice. her songs are produced with slickness and polish. i'm not sure if she writes her own songs or not, but that aspect is also strong. honestly, i could listen to her sing anything, no matter how poorly crafted.
so it is with great sadness that i, along with the rest of the world, witness her awe-inspiring self-destruction and downfall. dave claims she was hot back in the day. i did a little internet research and while i wouldn't consider her "hot", she was definitely cute at one point in time. the visual contrast of how she looked a few years ago compared to now is jarring. for everyone's sake, i will refrain from posting any close-ups of her face while it appears to be melting. with her newly formed hunchback, she looks kind of like gargamel with a beehive hairdo. she has been to the hospital numerous times and was told that she will die soon if she does not change her ways. she responds by giving everyone a big f you and drinking/smoking/at levels that would give gary busey pause. either way...things are not looking up for amy winehouse.
her family has been trying to get her into rehab, slow her constant drinking, crack-smoking, etc. but to clearly no avail. she will not listen to reason and is basically like a wild animal. while there is a certain appeal to the don't-give-a-fuck, i do what i want to the point where it gets silly attitude that she exudes, it is an obvious detriment to her health and well...living.
so it is with that in mind that i plead for those involved, please get amy in the studio to record her follow-up to back in black. seriously...time is running out. it's pretty messed up, and while i would normally advocate that they stay strong and keep pushing the rehab angle, let's be honest here...the person below may have reached the point of no return. so while she may not be long for this world, having a second album would be a great gift to those who appreciate her musical talents. imagine if biggie had not been gunned down, but instead had been diagnosed with some terminal disease? i believe he would have spent some time in the studio laying down as many tracks as he could. amy's descent has been going on for a while now, so it's time for those around her to be responsible, do the world a favor and get skinny in the studio to capture one more classic album to be treasured forever before the inevitable happens. it might seem greedy now, but society will thank you in the end.
...it stands for boobies in my face! don't get that annoyingly random and obscure reference? well then you my friend need to view safehouse starring patrick "and then her pants just fall down" stewart. and yes, the bachelor party/birthday weekend was fun and exhausting. the strip club was weird as there were a lot of strippers there, who would come up and flirt with you to try to get you to buy a lapdance. i found this very uncomfortable. i instead watched the "free" show on stage, later advancing up front to give a few dollars and get boobies in my face from my favorite girl of the night, who looked a lot like the coach's daughter in friday night lights.
other highlights include:
getting tipsy before we got to a.c.
telling jim to bet on black, thus winning him $100
learning that dan has that "titty club look"
waving goodbye to sean's dignity
knowing that unlike others, i am not done
falling asleep playing video poker with nam at 3 am
chris' 30th was also fun. a decent number of people showed, but a lot of chris' full keg remained undrank. there was a lot of chatting, drinking, video games and mma watching. this also gave me and dave the opportunity to finally make our own salsa using his new food processor. ingredients included tomatoes, cilantro, red onion, garlic, lime zest and juice, habanero pepper, tomatillos, bell pepper, white wine vinegar, salt and pepper. thus the first batch of the salsa bros salsa was born and it turned out better than i had hoped. in my opinion, it was definitely better than any jarred salsa i have had and is on par with the best salsas i have had in restaurants. our next batch should be made any day now as we have been putting it on a lot of our food and are almost out. we picked up some new ingredients to play around with...so that should be fun. salsa.
coming up, louise and i have all the crazy wedding events to attend. i'm hoping they are fun and go by quickly. also, sean and brigitte will be getting married on saturday. i wish i could go and i hope that everyone there has a fun time as well. on sunday dave and i will be going to volunteer at the pgaspca. i have been meaning to get involved in some volunteer work for a long time, but i have been lazy. i am looking forward to helping out and i hope that nothing upsets me too bad while i am there.
one more thing to note is that our annual friends fantasy football league has been started back up by phil. i am already in too many leagues...but oh well. let the campaign for more bench spots begin...
this weekend seems to be filled with more activities than usual and by more i mean 2. coming up, we are headed to atlantic city for sean's bachelor party. who knows how drunk i will be? it's a mystery i am excited to solve. luckily my perma-sober friend nam will be chauffeuring us to and from as well as around the city of atlantic. i have gone through various stages of gambling...often times foolishly feeling as though i could win money on a regular basis. i am now at a stage of gambling where i really couldn't be more conservative. gone are the days of blowing through $100 in 10 minutes playing 3 card poker. these are the days of slowly losing 25 cents at a time playing video poker...making sure to take as many money-saving breaks between hands as i possibly can, while still getting free drinks. i reflected upon this new state of mind as i played video poker at lunch on my new ipod touch (new love of my life...sorry louise...but that's another entry for another time...) and noticed that i was doing the same thing i do in the casino. i was taking long breaks and playing with only the minimum. mind you, this is all involving fake money. now if i am feeling brave (drunk) enough, i might venture into the poker rooms, where i have actually done ok in (broke even), but i know that a majority of my gambling will be done pressing buttons on a touch screen, while desperately looking for the cocktail waitress. i also realize that with most other bachelor parties, there will be a strong push to go to a strip club or four. i have only been to two strip clubs...both from nam's bachelor party...and honestly, i am not really into them. the whole experience just feels weird to me. yes looking at hot (although usually fake-looking) girls sounds fun, but something about it seems creepy. who knows...maybe the girls in new jersey know what it do...or maybe i will be too drunk or excited about my huge winnings to care.
also up this weekend is chris' 30th birthday party. wow...my liver will not be happy with me this weekend. i know chris had hopes for a keg...although i don't know if we will have enough people to warrant this. also...most of our friends tend to not drink in excess...wusses. either way, it should be a fun time with some possible basketball, drinking games, videogames and a free mma broadcast. now we just need to figure who will drive...virtual finger on nose!
well i came across a deal for refurbished ipods and thought long and hard about what to do. i am very intrigued by the ipod touch and all the touching that is involved. it seems like an iphone without the phone, which is fine since i have a good cell phone that i never use anyways. the problem is, they are expensive compared to the old boring ipods and they have much less storage capacity. initially this seemed like a problem for me as i have accumulated roughly 5o gigs of music, with about 30 gigs of stuff on my current busted ipod. the touch comes in 8, 16 and 32 gig varieties. i knew 8 would never cut it, so that option went out the window. i figured 32 would work, but the idea of spending $430 + tax on it seemed just a little out of price range. the 16 gig for $299 seemed like the best fit like i was an ipod goldilocks. so i started to go through my massive music collection and began to remove things from itunes that i never listen to. well there was a lot of stuff that i had just collected cause it was free, but never listened to (oneida, menomena, etc). there were a lot of downloads where i shrugged my shoulders and thought "why not?"(dr. aliemento, iron & wine). there was a lot of music that i held onto because it was music that was made by groups/musicians that i know are good, but never really did anything for me (grizzly bear, the national, victor vaughn, etc.) there was also a lot of full albums i got where i realized i only really liked one or two songs (yael naim, bats for lashes, etc.)
after many trips through my music collection i took out all of the non-essentials and stuff that deep down inside i knew that i would never listen to and widdled everything down to under 13 gigs (of all lil wayne mix tapes, just kidding...but he does take up more than his fair share of space in my itunes). looking through it now, my collection is now a lot tighter with all music i know well and love. this will end the days of someone picking some random song on my ipod while i am driving and me having to embarassingly ask, "who is this?"
i realize now that i held on to all of that old music like a musical packrat. in the same way cleaning out old, useless junk from your basement (which i would like to do sometime in the near future), cleaning out a lot of old music i would never listen to felt surprisingly good.
so i will hopefully be touching sometime tomorrow, while retiring my old and loved ipod boring to my bedroom where it can still function perfectly well in my ipod stereo dock.
in other random news, i learned that one of my faves, amy poehler will be starring in the new office spinoff, which also includes the ridiculous aziz ansari. i don't see how this could fail. it would be nice to round out the cast with another snl alum, rachel dratch, who is equally hilarious, if not quite as nice to look at (i am referring to poehler by the way). it could make up for her getting the shaft from 30 rock.
there are a few more things that i wanted to blog about as i have not been very active in that department for a while.
the input on my ipod is broken. when i told this to louise and dave i received two very different reactions. dave gave me a look of sympathy and was like, "aw man..i'm sorry, that sucks..." louise flashed a joker-esque smile and pretty much was like "told you so..." her hatred of apple is so strong that it actually made her visibly happy when something bad happened to me, just because it involved apple. this led to discussions with dave on turning our house into an apple household, which was actually helped by his purchasing of an ipod nano. i had this ipod for over 2 and a half years and used it constantly, while often treating it pretty roughly, so overall i am not surprised with it's current problems and feel like considering those factors, it performed pretty well. i am not sure what i am going to do next, because i could send it away and get it "fixed" for like $100. i could go and buy some new non-ipod mp3 player and make louise happy. or i could just bite the bullet and get a new 80 gig ipod for $250. i am leaning towards the 80 gig...but we'll see.
my roommate nicki is off to honduras today to do volunteer work, working with iguanas. she will be gone for a month and i admire her ability to just jump into something like that without any experience. i have a feeling she will do good work and really enjoy her time down there. i know she has thoughts of singing up for the peace corp, and i think that this is probably a good way for her to realize whether being away from home for a long time in some foreign country is right for her.
my brother's wife's sister is having a gigantic indian wedding in a few weeks. they are all very nice people and i think that this wedding will be quite spectacular in every sense. safely assuming that nobody reads this, specifically not my brother, his wife or her relatives, i can complain that they are having way too many events...at least for my liking...for this wedding. there's like 3 other seperate party/event things prior to the wedding. the wedding day itself starts early in the morning, breaks at noon and then reconvenes for various other events later in the afternoon. this will go for who knows how long. i will know like 5 people there. i will have to wear a suit. i am very happy for the couple, but it will be a long day. also i should note that i will be missing my friend sean's wedding, which is also that day. oh well...i know i will at least be getting my fill of delicious indian food, instead of the steak or fish options provided by sean. also, the groom will enter the ceremony on a white horse while carrying a giant sword...
for once i am excited enough about some new movies that i will probably see them in the theater. these include the new batman movie, pineapple express and stepbrothers. movies that i will not see and that actually cause a bad physical reaction whenever i hear about them or see their previews...love guru and that eddie murphy movie. you can add mike meyers to that list of people that i do not find funny...he's seriously awful.
i don't think i had blogged about it before, but i have developed an interest in foraging. something about going out into nature and taking plants to eat for free is very alluring to me. i purchased a book on foraging and have discussed going out into the woods with dave to retrieve some edible plants and fungi. i still want to do this, but it is the middle of the summer and thusly too hot for me to be outside for long. also, the story about that family that started going crazy and having convulsions after mistakenly eating some weed instead of mint leaves me a little wary.
there are a lot of 30th birthdays on the horizon, including mine. it sort of sucks leaving my 20's, but i tend not to dwell on it...as i've stated to my friends many times, 30 is the new 12. chris' birthday is coming up soon and he is having a party, which i am looking forward to and hoping that there is a lot of drunken stupidity.
90210 is coming back this fall...and i am especially excited about this...why? you ask? the wonderful lori loughlin will be in it...sigh...
i have recently enjoyed a renewed interest in video games, brought on by gta 4, which after having numerous conversations with dave where we both spoke as roman, i finally completed last week. i enjoyed that game a lot, probably my favorite since the heyday of gears. once i finished gta, the video game part of my brain craved more video games. so i quickly played through bioshock, which we have owned for a while, but i never really played. it was pretty awesome too. i have 2 more barely-played games that i should at least attempt to finish before i can justify purchasing anything new. they are mass effect and stranglehold. i have played through a few hours of both games and while pretty fun, neither really kept my attention as much as gta or bioshock. louise claims mass effect is the best game ever...i dunno.
so this leads up to some current xbox news via e3. the first thing i would like to note is that microsoft and netflix are now joining forces, allowing subscribers to stream netflix's "watch instantly" movies through the 360. i was actually considering purchasing the netflix box that does the same thing, so i am definitely excited about this service coming to the 360. this is also helping me try to figure out a way to stop paying for cable...which seems unlikely, but would be awesome.
they also refreshed my memory of many potentially awesome games that will be coming out sometime soon.
gears of war 2 - i have high hopes and if they make even slight improvements, i will be very happy and probably addicted to it.
resident evil 5 - the gameplay was so well done in re4...the graphics look markedly improved...it's set in africa
fallout 3 - a briefly played some of the earlier versions of this series...it's an rpg...you get a pet dog
fable 2 - i played some of the first fable...it was good, but i am expecting huge refinements in this version..you get a pet dog
final fantasy xiii - this was apparently a huge shocker...i am a fan of final fantasy, having played 7 and 10....
it's interesting to note that these are all continuations of current series with no new ip's. other games not mentioned in their press conference that i am personally excited about include the new ufc game and the zombie game left 4 dead. there are new guitar hero and rock band games that i could care less about, but lousie will probably want those. she is also ridiculously excited about the new soul caliber game as she and chris play the old xbox version a lot. basically i have a lot of choices to make, especially if i am trying to be more particular with my purchases.
dan and chris joined up as well as my cousin who is cracking me up with his trash talk. the other 8 i recruited through hitting the espn boards, aggressively bumping my thread like every 5 minutes. i feel like we have a good group. there don't seem to be any assholes or jerks...most people showed up for the draft.
the draft order was randomized and i was hoping for a top 5 pick. i feel like once you get past those top 5...things get iffy. of course i end up with the 7th pick and regrets of not manually setting up the draft order run through my mind. oh well.
i end up with gore who kind of sucked for me last year, but i am expecting (hoping for) a bounceback season with martz running the offense..also we get half a point per reception...gore could easily get 70 catches.
on the way back in round 2 i was happy to see ryan grant still available and i grab him to solidify my backfield. generally i feel more relaxed once i have my top 2 rb's.
then in round 3 i am again surprised as larry fitzgerald is still there. this guy is already a top 5 wr and he's only 25 (i think).
the fourth round is where things get a little iffy...the top 4 qb's are gone, so i know i am gonna punt on that position for a while. i wasn't seeing anything too exciting at rb (mcfadden was taken in the 3rd), so i looked at wr. chad was taken the pick right before me and i cursed at my computer. i then had to decide between consistent and potential top 10 wr (if he stays healthy) in tory holt or nothing but upside santonio holmes. i stayed conservative and went with holt to round out my top 2 wrs.
round 5 is another round where i was very conflicted. i was eye greg jennings and he was taken right before me. i was also considering other wr's to be my wr3...brandon marshall, roy williams, megatron and anquan boldin were all still available. then i noticed kellen winslow jr was still on the board. every time i have seen this guy play he is ridiculous. there are injury concerns, but he has the potential to be the top tight end and i like having players that could potentially be the best at their respective position. i took him and kept my fingers crossed.
i knew that taking a tight end that early, which i have never really done before, was a luxury and i would have to be really sharp filling out the other starting position on my team. again i passed on qb. wr's with major question marks like marvin harrison and lee evans were available. i decided to take a bet on rookie rb kevin smith. he was a workhorse in college and has been getting a lot of praise from the coaches. he only has tatum bell to pass on the depth chart...i predict he will do so soon.
in round 8 i probably should have grabbed my wr3, but none were looking too enticing so i went with some potential upside and took another rookie rb, rashard mendenhall.
in round 9, i again did not like what i saw from wr's, so i backed up schaub with steady david garrard.
by round 10 i knew i had to get someone for wr3. i took a gamble on jerry porter, the very talented but not hard working wr who will be catching passes from garrard. i believe he can do it and post solid wr3 numbers.
i took yet another rookie rb (this is a keeper league) chris johnson in round 11. he could develop into a poor man's reggie bush, cathing lots of passes, etc.
round 12 - pierre thomas (could take deuce's role this season)
round 13 - sidney rice (could become minnesota's best wr)
round 14 - greg olsen (lots of potential)
round 15 - will witherspoon
round 16 - julius peppers
round 17 - gibril wilson
round 18 - robert meachem (former 1st round pick...could be saints #2 wr)
round 19 - brady quinn (you never know)
round 20 - devin thomas (had to pick a redskin...loads of potential, especially in west coast offense)
round 21 - ryan torrain (super value pick....you never know who shanahan will start)
round 22 - ravens def
round 23 - some kicker (who cares)
looking back, i again fell in love with upside, which will probably hurt my team...at least this season. my wr3 and rb3 spots are questionable. chris and i were drinking (sort of heavily) as the draft went on and i could feel my attention to detail lessening. i really enjoyed doing the draft online as it clearly shows you who is still available and also i set it so that you only had 60 seconds for each pick. this helped in that nobody asked if specific players were still available and also the draft did not take 4 hours. in fact, with 12 teams and 23 rounds, we finished in less than 90 minutes. my main hope, besides league domination, is that this group remains cool and everyone comes back to maintain the keeper aspect of this league.
finally here are some random predictions:
by week 3 i will cry foul about losing my matchup while having the 2nd highest score.
by week 6 someone i actually know (chris, dan or my cousin) will give up on their team.
my cousin will send out many dubious trade offers.
i will regret many of the league scoring rules i arbitrarily assigned.
it's been a few weeks since i have returned from my vacation and i realize that if i don't blog about it soon, my memory of most things will become pretty hazy. overall it was a very nice trip with some ups and downs.
i got to spend an entire week with louise...no work, chores, errands, mentally challenged dog, etc.
the beach...ridiculously clean and beautiful
the swimming pools..also very well maintained...louise and i played a lot in the pool
our room...it was gigantic with 18 foot ceilings, sunken living room
unlimited drinking...which was good in theory
staff...all worked very hard...most were very friendly
swimming with sting rays and nurse sharks
the grounds...very well maintained, lots of plants and wildlife...ducks!
topless women...while it started off with more older women...it shifted more towards hot and young as our vacation progressed
my british gf emma
i got a serious stomach bug which i blame soley on one chubby little kid that did a cannonball off of the pool bar...he also tried to punch me at one point
the food...it was ok buffet food...but i am used to excellent cruise food
not as many activities...again this is more based on my cruising experiences...we did go to one show which was a mashup of performers imitating famous singers
aggressive salespeople that want you to tour their timeshares, look at their jewelery, etc.
lack of sunblock...my mom convinced me that our 2 bottles of sunblock were enough...she may not truly understand louise's level of whiteness...we had to buy another bottle...we went with the cheapest one we could find ($20)
rude europeans...now i generally think fondly about europe and europeans as i had a great time there 10 years ago...but damn, they were so unnecessarily nasty to the staff and seemed to never tip...they also butted in line at the buffet often
one of the guys at the omelete station...i don't know what i did to him, but he was always giving me the stink eye
it was a very nice and relaxing vacation and i would probably have more drunken exploits to report had i not gotten sick. the whole trip was a good deal and i would consider doing it again in a few years, but maybe upgrade to slightly nicer resort with the hopes that the food is nicer and there are a few more things to do.