Tuesday, July 29, 2008

You're *mumble* magic, you're right where I wanna be

So one of the Great Films Of My Childhood is the Billy Crystal-Gregory Hines-Jimmy Smits opus Running Scared. My sister and I watched this movie so many times we pretty much had it memorized. In fact one of the high points of my recent trip home was walking into my parents' house and hearing my sister yell, "Jeannie! We're upstairs watching Running Scared!"

Last night I got home from a meeting and Aa was perched on our sweet new sectional. He'd been to the video store. And, after hearing me talk about both Running Scared and the big hit song from Running Scared for years, he rented the DVD. I was happy. We settled in to watch it.

I will not defend this movie at all. Jimmy Smits' character is a total stereotype ("Eyen gonna be the first Hispanic godfather of Chee-cah-go", Jimmy says at one point). It is just weird upon weird that the two vigorously heterosexual characters played by Crystal and Hines want nothing more than to open a bar in Key West, where they can go back to roller-skating in little shorts and T-shirts tied at the hip (for real).

But there is the very special companion piece to this movie - the video for that big hit song I mentioned earlier. (use the link, I can't embed it here, which is stupid.) Did I forget to say that song is by Michael McDonald? And that I actually saw him perform it live when he opened for Steely Dan a few years ago? And that I was the only person there who appeared excited about the performance of said song? And Aa and our friend Mike didn't get why I was so excited? But then later when I told my sister I saw Michael McDonald open for Steely Dan, her first question was "Oh my God! Did he play that Running Scared song?!"

Monday, July 28, 2008


After years of complaints and frustration that our little blue couch just wasn't comfortable enough for the two of us, we finally did something about it. Craigslist offered up, and we grabbed, this killer sectional - cheap, comfy, and cuuuuute.

Last night, we both lay down on opposite ends of our sweet new sectional and watched a movie. It was The Sting. We both fell asleep before the end of the movie. It was awesome.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Cake Wrecks

My new most favorite thing. Particularly because of this.
Or, maybe this.
or, for the love of God, this!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Hey! Want To Know More About Shingles?

I do right now, obviously. Perhaps you do too! Dr. Sanjay Gupta to the rescue.

Standout line for me: "In most cases, the shingles rash and blisters go away in a few weeks or months, but in some cases the pain can last for years." Hey, great!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Cumpleanos Amigos!

So last night, while waiting for a seat at Senor Moose, Aa turned to me and said, "I never got a cake for my birthday. This is the first year I haven't gotten a cake for my birthday in a long time." We then had a discussion about the challenges of celebrating Aa's birthday. (background: in the past, I have thrown / co-thrown him two surprise parties because I thought he was passively hinting he wanted people to acknowledge his birthday, but he didn't want to be the one to organize or remind anyone. I was very, very wrong in my analysis of his desires in those situations. I'd learned to never, ever again throw him a surprise party. The only exception is if he dies before me and I have to make funeral arrangements.)

After a few minutes, we got a couple of sweet counter spots. We both noticed a really yummy piece of half-eaten tres leches cake sitting on the counter. And we actually both went, "hmmmm" and looked at each other. Aa then said, "DO NOT tell them it is my birthday".

Then we started ordering food. And, holy cow, the food. The eating and the eating and the more eating. During one break in the eating, I turned to Aa and asked, "Hey, do you know what cumpleanos means?" He said, "Yeah, it means friends. I remember we would sing a song in Spanish class, like Bienvenidos cumpleanos or something. It was a song about friends." I grinned at him and went back to my eating. A plan began to form in my head. I could lean over to one of the cooks or the waiters and tell them, in Spanish, that it was Aaron's birthday and we needed a little of that awesome-looking tres leches cake to celebrate. Very exciting.

Unfortunately, all that eating we did led to a final bloated check-in. Aa couldn't handle more food. Neither could I. So my super-slick plan would go unrealized. We left the gustatory wonderland of Senor Moose and started waddling home. As we waddled, I decided to share my thwarted plan with Aa. I explained that cumpleanos actually means birthday. He was annoyed at first, until he realized the song he used to sing in class was actually "Happy Birthday". At that point he started berating his own inability to speak any Spanish. We wound up laughing about the whole thing. But I've been thinking about this today. Apparently, I haven't learned my lesson. I still want to surprise/embarrass Aa. I wonder why that is.

PS - I know I need a tilde above the n's in cumpleanos and senor, and the upside down excalamation point. But I don't know how to make them happen. So, blah.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Because you don't have enough crap bookmarked yet

Well, whatever. You don't! Because you don't yet have my sister's blog about her impending parenthood bookmarked. Seriously. You may be thinking this blog is only something that's of interest to me, as I will be Aunted with the birth of this Superbaby. Well, you're WRONG! This blog is of interest to everyone. EVERYONE. Mainly because my sister is the funniest person in the Midwest, if not the whole country.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Very Special Announcement!

It's Aaron's birthday today!!!

He's currently out eating way too much grilled meat at Korean BBQ. Yay! Happy birthday babe.

Getting Married When You're Already Married

My Salon Of Shame co-conspirator Ariel wrote about Aaron and me and our getting weddinged plans on Offbeat Bride. I love the comments - it was really nice to see we aren't the only people to have gotten hitched for insurance! Also, it's fun to see a phrase my awesome co-worker Jenny made up get some love.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Wherein I complain at length about my health

So, three or four years ago, I was diagnosed with gout. Yeah, that weird inflammatory condition you get if you're a 50-year old man who eats too many cream sauces and drinks too much beer. At 29, about a month after having run a half-marathon, a doctor looked me in the face and said I had gout. Turns out he mis-diagnosed me, but not after I took a regimen of pills that knocked me out for 3-4 hours each time I took one. But even after all that, I was profoundly relieved to find I'd been mis-diagnosed. How could I have gout?

Sunday, I found myself in urgent care near my parents' house because I was getting freaked out by what I thought was a spider bite. Except within four days, it had spread so it looked like a spider walked across my belly to my back, taking bites as he walked. Bites that were getting kind of...hurty. I was going to be in Chicago for two more days and it was clear my strategy of lifting my shirt and asking my sister, "hey, does this look like a bug bite to you?" wasn't helping. Turns out, I have shingles. Yep, shingles. The emergency room doc said that they're seeing cases in a lot more people these days. But I still had - and am still having - kind of the same reaction I had to the gout diagnosis. How could I get shingles? Who the hell gets shingles?

Turns out, pretty much anybody can get shingles. It just happens, it's the chicken pox virus, pretty much anyone can get it, blah blah blah. Basically the viral version of crappy luck. But still. That didn't make me feel any less weird when I had to call friends to cancel plans because of my shingles. And it's not gonna help when I have to go to work tomorrow to explain why I'm leaving early after being gone for four days (follow-up doctor's appointment! For the shingles!). Oh, right, and two weeks ago I was knocked flat with a respiratory infection and missed a full week of work then too. But now? I have shingles, so I'm gonna be MIA for a little bit again. Hey, sorry about that.

In a few months I'll think it's totally funny that I had shingles. But right now? It's uncomfortable and frustrating and I just can't find the funny in it.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Gifts from the Interweb

Mystery of the Meat-Eaters' Molecule (thanks, Nick!)

The Rocka-Fire Explosion covers Usher's Love In This Club (you will probably only like this if you ever went to Showbiz Pizza as a kid). I recommend watching the whole 4 minutes and 31 seconds. Really, really.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Hi, Normal Life!

AND! By the way! I feel better. Still coughing, still sounding funny...but I'm finally back at work. Yesterday I did a super-slow run. I've been tasting food (and eating! MEALS!) since Friday evening*. It's very, very exciting.

*I am shopping a new diet book pitch because of this - "The Upper Respiratory Infection Diet: Lose A Pound A Day!"

Sunday, July 06, 2008

One of the most fun interviews I ever did

Photo Credit Alan Berner / The Seattle Times

That picture above is of Pierre Sundborg. He's a retired engineer here in Seattle who, a few years ago, decided to ride every Metro bus line in numerical order end-to-end. Seriously.

Last week, the Seattle Times wrote a really sweet piece about him. I just read it, and I sat here grinning like a dork the whole time. I could hear Pierre telling stories and laughing while I read the article. He actually called me a couple of weeks ago to tell me the article was coming out. I asked him if he was looking forward to it, and he laughed and said "This is your fault! I don't know whether to thank you or blame you."

Pierre is one of the people I feel ridiculously lucky to have met. My job isn't always sunshine and roses, but getting to talk to somebody like him is about the greatest thing ever. And I love that someone else asked about his story. I'm happy to get blamed for that.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Going Crazy

So I've had this insane respiratory infection thingie that has knocked me flat since Monday. Monday, people! I have a killer sore throat - it actually feels like there's a nasty plug of some kind in there which makes swallowing and talking difficult. My voice sounds awful and hoarse (which, yes, thanks for asking, makes my job where I talk on the radio for a living kind of tough to do). I've been bored enough to clean out our closet, clean out old clothes in my dresser, wash every dirty piece of fabric in the house, change (and then change back) the design of our getting weddinged site, and make carrot salad and baked tofu for me to snack on when I actually feel hungry (not often right now). I also tried to work from home yesterday - but much of my job consists of talking to people on the phone and I am having a tough time doing that.

I know I'm supposed to be resting and all, but I can't seem to settle down long enough to actually do it. I feel like I should be doing something. How do you get yourself to settle down when you can't seem to? How do you force yourself to rest? I can't figure it out, and telling myself it's the only way I'll get better ain't working.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

tour ended...

i could try and write a post about tour...but ryan wrote the best one. i couldn't have said it better.
read it: http://ryanschierling.blogspot.com/2008/06/end-of-tour.html