Thursday, November 30, 2006

Some Call It 'Futbol', I Call It Soccer

Before I commence with more vacation recap, I just wanted to give props to something I heard on last week's Top Chef. I think it's one of the best lines I have ever heard on TV, uttered by Anthony Bourdain: "It's like Betty Crocker and Charles Manson gave birth to a love child, and he's cooking for me." Giggle.

Saturday morning began for me with reading the newspaper on the couch, coffee in hand (as is my wont). I noticed that the women's soccer team from my alma mater was playing the University of North Carolina in the NCAA playoffs that afternoon. I thought it might be kind of fun to watch that, so I convinced my sister to go to the soccer game. It was a beautiful day, about 70 degrees. It actually almost felt a little hot since we were sitting in the sun. We sat right in the middle of a bunch of Carolina fans. We didn't think there were any fans rooting for my school, but there turned out to be a section that had a decent number of fans. We decided to stay where we were. It was kind of funny, my sister was actually openly rooting for my team (she went to my school's archrival), and drew a few looks from the people surrounding us. My team lost, but it was a good game and the Carolina people were gracious victors.

After the game we walked around the UNC campus, which is very pretty. Some of the buildings are quite old, the school was opened in 1795.

#9 took a full-speed soccer ball to the gut.

Still hurting.

Still hurting.

This girl later went on to commit a foul and break her ankle at the same time. Ouch. Instant karma?

When guys do this they have to protect the fambly jewels.

I'm not sure, but I think that smile is for me and me alone. Yep.

UNC huddles to determine who will get to drink the blood of their fallen teammate.

Ah, there's some of that Fall color I've been craving.

More statues with guns!

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Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Cackalacky of the Northern Variety

So now to talk about vacation. It was a great vacation, I think because I really needed a break and a change of pace, even for just a few days. I did a lot of stuff, but I got to catch up on sleep too.

I pretty much covered everything that happened on Thursday, with one exception. I awoke after my 10 hour slumber (it was so choice) and stumbled into the kitchen to find a pumpkin pie with a large gouge scraped out of it. Appalled, I asked my sister why there was a gouge in the pie. Apparently my mother didn't realize that the recipe called for sugar. I think she's used to making it with sweetened condensed milk, and this recipe called for evaporated milk and sugar. So the pie had no sugar. It was deemed unfit for human consumption, so my sister decided that the lemurs could have it. Another pie, with sugar, was made.

Friday was my sister's birthday (the big 3-oh), so we did a bunch of things that she wanted to do. We had tickets to go to a Monet exhibit at the North Carolina Museum of Art, which I was looking forward to because I love art museums. I think my expectations were not all that high for some reason, but I have to say that this was a pretty good exhibit. It was more crowded than Hooters on payday, though. And no cameras allowed in the museum. Pfft.

After the art museum we went and gawked at the North Carolina state capitol. The building was kind of cool, but nothing to write home about. Lots of statues. We saw a pecan tree, and I gathered some nuts to snack on while waiting for dinnertime. Some of those boogers were hard to open sans nutcracker. With the last nut I finally hit on the idea to use the power windows in my parents' rental car to crack the nut. Worked like a charm. I'm classy like that.

The original G-Dub.

Yes, Johnny, cherish your blade more than the flesh of any of womankind...

Thus may it slayeth many a carpetbagger.

My sister's choice of restaurant was in Chapel Hill so we headed in that direction. Before dinner we went to this store called, snootily enough, A Southern Season. It's actually pretty cool, they have tons of coffee beans, unusual food items (spotted dick, anyone?), a decent beer selection, a great wine selection, and the biggest candy selection I've ever seen. Lots of weird candy from all over the world. My brother-in-law can't stand more than about 20 minutes in there, but that's just not enough time for the rest of us. We sent him to the pet store next door while we shopped. I bought some coffee, beer, and a fancy-ass chocolate bar for my sister. Um, they have $13 chocolate bars.

For dinner we were planning to go to this place called Patio Loco. It sounded pretty good to me (scores points on name alone). We got there about 5:30, and it was closed. My brother-in-law went up to the door, but he didn't see any hours posted, which seemed odd. I thought it was weird that it would be closed on a Friday night. There was a car waiting in the parking lot with a family in it, too, so there was a suspicion that maybe it opened later. Being the patient people that we are, we decided to go somewhere else. My sister's next choice was Crook's Corner, which looked like your typical diner-dive from the outside. However, when we entered and I saw a Brussels sprouts & blue cheese salad on the menu, I figured we were entering a place with a little more ambition. Just check out their menu. I had the shrimp and grits, which was excellent. My sister had the curried butternut squash soup. I think my brother-in-law may be the most culinarily unadventurous person above the age of 5 in America. He had a hamburger. My mom had the aforementioned sprout salad, and my dad also had the shrimp and grits. I really wanted to try one of their desserts, but by the end of the meal I was stuffed and we had birthday cake at home (store-bought, non-descript). As we left Chapel Hill, we passed by the now open Patio Loco.

Nothing says class like a pig on a pole.

Some of the Crook's Corner "ambience"

I spy the caps of a Thunderbird and a '67 Mustang. Not kidding.


Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Self Portrait Challenge - Glam 4

Do you all find this as disturbing as I do? I certainly hope so.

(I swear I did this before I saw that the December theme is "red". Weird.)

See more glam here.


Monday, November 27, 2006


I am still on vacation, I won't be getting home until tonight. I decided to just wait until I can post pictures rather than do two posts on everything. It's been a great trip, I've done tons of stuff. So stay tuned for details. All three of you!!

Friday, November 24, 2006

So Far So Good

I feel like I've fallen off the face of the blog earth. But a little break hasn't been bad.

We were planning to have a nice, low-key dinner with just my parents, my sister, and my brother-in-law. I think I know where I got my procrastination though. We were supposed to eat dinner at 4PM (too late if you ask me, but non-cookers can't complain), one thing led to another, and a last minute trip to Kroger to get the missing dinner rolls meant that we didn't get ready to chow down until 5:30! My sister had invited her across-the-street neighbors over for dessert. We were finally ready to eat, plates in hand, we said the blessing, and then the doorbell rang. The neighbors were at the front door.

Of course we couldn't say "Come back later", so we had a last minute addition of 4 people to our dinner. A card table was set up, 3 chairs were carried across the street, and dinner was served. I didn't think I ate a tremendous amount, but something that I ate early on made my stomach feel very full.

Best thing for me so far? The 10 hours of sleep that I got Wednesday night! Pure heaven.

It looks like I may have to wait until I get home to post pictures, the computer here doesn't have the proper software to download photos from a Canon camera.


Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Turkey Day!

Michael Richards hates the dark meat.

If you're in the U.S. have a great Thanksgiving, if you're not have a great Thursday!


Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Turkey Week Ramblings

* This is for all the doctors out there - Is it normal to feel dizzy when you turn your head to the side? It went away after I ate dinner. Just wonderin'.

* To give you some perspective on my hit whore comment yesterday: I posted my picture around 6 AM. By 8:15AM I already had more hits than I got all day on Monday. Yeah. Some day I hope to not care about this.

* Last night I had a dream that I was staying at this fancy hotel with a bunch of Mormons. Mmmkay. It's probably because I just recently watched Big Love. Or maybe it's a premonition!

* This is really funny.

* Sucks about Robert Altman. As I mentioned in my Oscar post, he made some stinkers but he also made some really great movies. I'm still a bit scared of Prairie Home Companion, but I will have to see it now. If for no other reason than Altman's last DVD commentary. He's one of the few that gives good commentary (John Waters does the best ones!).

* I'm heading for the land of NASCAR, pork barbecue, and lemurs this afternoon. Once again our family is going to my sister's house in North Carolina for Thanksgiving. I definitely hope I don't get sick like I did last year. This is my first time to fly since the liquid restrictions, so hopefully all my toiletry items will not get lost and end up for sale here. Or here. If any of you will be near the greater metropolitan Raleigh area, give your boy a holla.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Self Portrait Challenge - Glam 3

Glam. This theme has left me cold. I think it's really interesting that a lot of people hated last month's theme, imperfection, and a lot of people decided not to participate. For me it's the opposite - I'd much rather tell you about my imperfections than try to be "glam".

But what can I say, I'm a hit whore. I miss all those Tuesday hits from all over the place. So I'm throwing this out there.

When I think glam I think of David Bowie, T. Rex, or KISS. Hey, I saw "Velvet Goldmine". The problem is, I don't have any wigs, makeup, or sparkly clothes. And it's kind of hard to look androgynous when you have facial hair. I already did my Gene Simmons thang. I've noticed that lots of people are going the "glam" as "glamorous" route, and that's what I'm feebly attempting here. I'm going for the look of one of those Euro-model jerks you see in magazine ads. It's total Velveeta I know, but if you can't laugh at yourself, what have you got?

Proud graduate of Handsome Boy Modeling School®

See more glam here.


Sunday, November 19, 2006

Good Weekend

I gotta say, the weekend turned out pretty nicely. It was bound to happen sometime. It's amazing what getting adequate sleep will do for how I feel. Yesterday I was so energetic, I did a ton of my school homework. I did some more today, I'm trying to get ahead a little bit so I won't have to do much during Thanksgiving break. Today I also put up my outdoor Christmas lights. I didn't put the lights or a tree up last year, but this year I want to. And don't worry, I won't plug the lights in until after Thanksgiving, I just wanted to make sure that I didn't miss an opportunity to put them up since the weather was so nice.

As I was finishing with the lights I noticed this hot air balloon floating over my backyard.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Sunrise 11-17-06

Yesterday morning I thought I would take a quick peek outside to see what the sunrise looked like. I instantly ran to get my camera even though it was past time for me to leave for work. I think this one is an instant classic, it almost makes getting up early worth it. One of my neighbors saw me snapping away, and went to get her camera too!

I like the overall framing of the previous shot better than this one, but I like that in this one you can see the moon as a sliver in the upper right hand portion of the image. I didn't even notice this until I was viewing the downloaded pictures.


Friday, November 17, 2006

Various and Sundry

*I went to the doctor last week and um, since the days of the incredible shrinking JC I've gained 20 pounds. Which puts me right where I was before I started losing weight and maybe about 10 pounds heavier than I want to be. Must be all that beer and no exercise. And eating all the candy that sits around at my workplace. With the exception of some leisurely walking, I have pretty much done no exercise since I hurt my knee. I can't run anymore, and I don't have easy access to a stairmaster or ellipse machine. I have been inspired by Anne, who is 27 weeks pregnant and still working out(!), to quit eating like such a pig and start some serious walking. Maybe it will help my mood, it sure as hell can't hurt.

* In the time that I spent not feeling sorry for myself last weekend, I took the time to install a new hard drive on my computer. My computer is 5 years old(ancient), and for the last couple of months the hard drive has sounded a little loud, so I was starting to worry that it would fail at some point. All went fairly smooth, but there were some tense moments when I first powered the computer back up. When the computer came on it wouldn't recognize either drive! I powered off and on a couple of times, and still - nothing. I started to get that sinking feeling in my gut, but I decided to make sure everything was plugged in properly and in the correct place. I discovered that I had just plugged the cable into the motherboard backwards. Once that was fixed everything was cool. I had to go with only a 200GB drive due to not being exactly drowning in money at the moment. My computer at my first job after college 11 years ago had a 2GB hard drive, and I remember everyone thought that was really impressive!

* There are a bunch of interesting movies opening this weekend - Fast Food Nation (I highly recommend the book), For Your Consideration, and Casino Royale. I admit to being a James Bond fan, mostly of the Connery stuff. Those last 2 Brosnan films were really awful, especially the last one. This new one is supposed to be grittier, a reboot of the franchise. I've liked Daniel Craig in the other films he's been in. Maybe it won't suck.

* Amazing sunrise this morning. Made me late to work. I can't download the pictures until I get home.

Thursday, November 16, 2006


I know what you're thinking:

"Man, I should do a drunken blog post. It'll be the shiznet. All the cool blog kids will like me. It'll be edgy! It'll be a good way to forget my troubles. I can break out of my blog rut, and finally post something that's actually funny, or witty, instead of that crap that I'm usually laying down. I can let go of my inhibitions, talk about how stupid those people down the street are for putting up their christmas lights already. what, are they trying to win some stupid contest or something? huh?!! Gah, why won't Oprah die already!! And no, I do not want to switch to the new version of blogger. Do your own damn beta testing you fucktards!

yeah, that's what I'll do. Man, I won't even spell check or nothin'!"

Take it from JC, don't drunken blog post!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Just say no. Fo shizzle.


It Blew and It Blows

I'm feeling extremely uninspired today. Whereas Sunday I was pissed off, today it's more like ennui. Whatever.

Yesterday was extremely windy around here. My power went off early in the morning, which means that my alarm system starting beeping, waking me up. Luckily it was only 5 minutes before my alarm was supposed to go off. I came home from work to find this in my backyard:

Luckily it didn't damage my fence or the little cedar tree that I planted. I'm not sure exactly how I'm going to chop this thing into smaller pieces. Maybe I'll just leave it there to decompose.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Sweet Jebus

If you had any doubts that the Infranets is the greatest invention ever, allow me to dispel them:


Monday, November 13, 2006

Sunset 11-12-06

Today I'll take a break from wallowing in self-pity and present another sunset. This was last night: