Nothing Special, Really

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

The's FANtastic

Here's something you don't see everyday:

And here's something to make you feel a little bit better about seeing that:

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Boo Coachella, Yay Sasquatch!

Although we haven't 100% definitively dismissed Coachella, we're at about 98%. When I last posted about this, there was the possibility of travelling to Indio for the first day of Coachella, mostly to catch Bjork & Interpol. Now, thanks to the Sasquatch Music Festival, I won't need to.

Sasquatch is a music festival that that takes place every Memorial Day weekend here in Washington. It's held at one of the most beautiful venues I've ever been to - The Gorge, about 2.5 hours east of Washingtion. It lies on a big hill on the edge of the Columbia River - check it out:

This year's lineup, although not as action packed and eclectic as Coachella's, is probably better suited for our needs:

The Arcade Fire
Citizen Cope
Grizzly Bear
Ghostland Observatory
Viva Voce

Beastie Boys
Bad Brains
Dandy Warhols
Minus The Bear

Overall, I think Sunday's lineup is much weaker. I'm leaving off a bunch of other bands that I'm not as interested in like Manu Chao, Spearhead, Spoon, and a bunch of other lesser acts, but maybe I'll end up enjoying those acts as well. But for less than the price of a trip to the 1st day of Coachella, I'll be able to enjoy this whole festival, and I won't have to spend the whole day in 100 degree heat! Bonus!


Not much else is going on up here in my little part of the Pacific Northwest. We spent out three day weekend (thanks Presidents!) filled with equal parts action and inaction. I went out drinking with a friend on Friday night while Wac rocked her balls off at the Tenacious D concert. The night didn't end too well though. I tried to catch the bus back home only to discover that it stopped running by midnight. With a dead cell phone and an unwillingness to shell out $15 for a cab, I got home the only way I knew how: by foot (for my Seattle readers, we're talking Broadway & Pine to Lower Queen Anne, Ozzie's area). I finally made it home about an hour later.

Saturday, we had a nice little Saturday planned. Stopped by Home Depot, and yes, Bed Bath & Beyond as well. Picked up some nice bath towels and a bath rug which the big kitty really enjoyed. At least that's how I interpreted his act of urination. We started all this with breakfast in Madrona, a quiet neighborhood near the west bank of Lake Washington. We then capped things off with a trip to Fred Meyer for some groceries and more bathroom accessories.

For the folks back home in AZ, remember how Fred Meyer tried to open up some stores in the Phoenix area? I know the Fry's on McClintock and Baseline was a Fred Meyer for a short period of time. Anyways, it wasn't that impressive, was it? Well, the Fred Meyer up here blows all that away. It's like it combines the decent quality and assortment of Target with the price and selection of Walmart, but without the ghettoness factor. The best way to put it - does anyone remember Smitty's? Specifically the one on Stapley and Brown? It's kind of like that. I miss Smitty's. That was one kickass grocery store.

Anyways, I had some free time while Wac went out to dinner with a friend, so I caught most of the NBA Dunk Contest. Some observations:

1. Yes, Nate Robinson has hops for a little dude. But he didn't deserve to win it last year (Andre Iguodala's dunk is probably the most incredible dunk ANYONE will ever see - check it out here) and he definitely didn't deserve to be in the finals this year. It's bullshit that someone can miss a dunk 10 times in a row before finally getting it and still move on. Which brings us to point two:

2. Dwight Howard got ROBBED. The dude reached up to 12.5 feet on the backboard, stuck a sticker up there, then threw it down. And he did this dunk because the NBA refused to let him raise the hoop to 12 feet for a dunk. We're talking about one of your future superstars, a player who throws it down with Shaq-like ferocity, and not only do you not accomodate him for what would have been an amazing dunk, he doesn't even get recognized for his creativity and circumventing ("the ol' reacharound") the NBA's retardedness. Simply put - he got shafted!

3. Gerald Green deserved to win this. He was the most consistent, he was original, and we was the most entertaining. The whole homage to Dee Brown was awesome, although it should be noticed that he peeked at the end - Dee Brown didn't peak.

We ended the night by watching The Science of Sleep, to which I decided to conduct my own experiment 15 minutes into it and fell asleep myself. We watched it again on Monday and it's a good movie, just not the right movie after a busy Saturday afternoon.

Sunday - TV, TV, TV, TV, TV, Saw the Shins in concert, had some late night Dick's (AZ folks - Dick's is a burger joint. I'm telling you, I'm not gay!) All in all, it was an overly lazy day, and it was perfect.

Monday, we headed over to the gym to make up for our lazy Sunday, then headed out to TGI Friday's for dinner to make up for going to the gym earlier. Green Bean Fries are the shit. Cinnabon cheesecake is the shit. However, their grilled Mahi Mahi is just shit.

Oh, BTW, for what's it's worth, I'm sick of hearing about Anna Nicole Smith. She had big breasts, she married a billionaire, and she got fat and acted more stupid than she really is just for the sake of her reality show. Her son's death - tragic. Her death - not surprising. Both of their deaths - mean nothing to me. I don't care who gets her money or how she died or who the baby daddy is. As you can see, I already know more than I want to about this whole ordeal. I'm done with it. Let's talk about something else instead, like how ugly Carrot Top in a basketball jersey is. The dude is built, though.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Not That There's Anything Wrong With That...

For those of you who don't follow the sports world, you may or may have not heard about this, but recently a former NBA player, John Amaechi, publicly announced that he's been gay this whole time. He wrote about it in a book recently, which I might end up reading because I'm fascinated with the behind-the-scenes world of the NBA. I just have to finish reading my book on the Phoenix Suns from last year first.

Anyways, without getting bogged down by too many details, former NBA player and member of Run TMC, Tim Hardaway has publicly announced that he hates people like Amaechi because they're gay, going as far as to admit that he's a homophobe.

For what it's worth, my personal stance is this; I honestly couldn't care less if Tim Hardaway hates gay people. I regard his opinion on social matters as much as I regard the opinion of the Starbucks barista across the street or the CEO of the company I work for - that is, I don't. I do, however, think his opinion is wrong. There's a strong difference between disagreeing with but accepting someone else for their characteristics, especially when their actions don't harm you in anyway, and purposefully hating a whole group of people who share the same characteristics when, yet again, THEY DON'T AFFECT YOU.

In my opinion, one of the main problems in this country is a lack of tolerance. Tolerance doesn't mean that you have to accept someone else's viewpoint, nor do you have to admit that their viewpoint is "right". Nor does tolerance mean that you have to accept behavior that is potentially harmful - it's certainly beyond the notion of tolerance to be accepting of child molestors, serial killers, and thieves. However, for some reason I can't comprehend why, we are a country that is so obsessed with being right, so uncomfortable with conflicting viewpoints, that we often choose to hate someone because they have an appearance or behave in a way that we don't approve of. We take whatever moral direction that we've come to accept, modify it so that it is convenient for us, and then refuse to accept anyone who disagrees. That doesn't completely apply to everyone, but it certainly can apply to many people to a large degree.

We express disgust at someone who wears sports apparel and flashy jewelry and decry them as being a "ghetto ass thug". We see someone walking down a metropolitan street wearing a cowboy hat, and we automatically assume that he's a redneck. If someone comes to us asking for directions in broken English, how many people act harshly towards that person, writing them off as some immigrant who can't speak "our" language? How many people have taken cabs, seen that the driver is white, and breath a sigh of relief that we're not being driven by a Middle Eastern wearing a turban?

It's absolutely appalling the lack of tolerance so many people in this country have. We allow ourselves to become affected by groups of different people, including people who have no discernable impact on our lives, to the point that we hate certain people because of some characteristic. Furthermore, we allow ourselves to become impacted by these people that we hate simply because we hate them. We yell at slow drivers when we can just go around them. We become rude to homeless people who ask for money when we can just say "Sorry, I don't have anything." We roll our eyes when we see two males holding hands and talking with a lisp. We put our hands in our pockets or cover our purse if we see a young black man with a baseball cap walking toward us. We hear religious fanatics preaching on the street corner and think to ourselves how much we hate them and wish they would just shut the hell up. We've become so caught up in our own notion of what is right that we act negatively towards anyone who doesn't have the same notion.

Tim Hardaway wasn't wrong in voicing his opinion. Tim Hardaway wasn't wrong in not being comfortable with homosexuality. But Tim Hardaway IS wrong in hating homosexuals, just as someone would be wrong for hating smokers or blacks or people who drive Hummers. There's no reason, there's no good accomplished by wasting so much effort on hating someone. This doesn't mean we can't be annoyed or uncomfortable, but I will never understand why it's so hard for people to just brush these notions of hate aside and concentrate on living their own lives. When did everyone become a moral policeman? Why are so many people uncomfortable with just living their life as they believe and letting others do the same? As long as those morals don't pose any harm, why should either side really care?

For an example of what I'm talking about, please read this excellent column by another one of ESPN's columnists.

And please take some time to just read some of the comments about the Tim Hardaway article. It'll really open your eyes to the level of intolerance in this society.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007


First, I want to address my last post briefly. I'm not as bitter as it may have sounded. I've just been through a weird point in my life & under a lot of stress from unforseen predicaments (having to move within two weeks, at risk of not having a job, etc.) I'm not apologizing for what I said, but I realize now that things aren't really as drastic as I was.

Anyways, I'm just recovering from a mini panic attack. I just found out less than an hour ago that the 3-day passes for Coachella are now sold out. So is Saturday, so that only leaves Friday single day tickets available.

I was just getting really excited about this trip, especially since Wac and I have been thinking grandiose thoughts and turning it into the end-all, be-all of road trips, a possible 12 day road trip down to Cali, hitting up two baseball games on the way, peaking at Coachella, then making an insane drive back to San Francisco to catch another game, ending with a 13 hour rush back from SF to Seattle. 12 days, 3 states, 3 baseball games, one music festival, many friends, and a lifetime experience.

And it's up in smoke because Rage fans are fucking insane and will buy up 3 day tickets just so they can see the band on the last day.

I freaked out and had to wake up Wac to calm me down because I was ready to throw shit through the window. Fuck them for ruining my trip, or for forcing me to pay scalper's prices if I want to go all three days (which I can't afford anyways).

But then I calmed down and realized that this isn't the worse thing that could happen. In fact, it could end up working out very well. The fact is this was going to be a very expensive trip, even despite that we scored three rooms in Indio at a time share for free (thanks Wac's parents). This may allow us to spend our money more wisely.

Plus, there are only about 12-15 bands that I really want to see:

Bjork - haven't seen her yet, would like to.
Interpol - saw them once, will always see them when I can.
Jesus & Mary Chain - the more I listen to them the more I would like to see them.
Sonic Youth - already saw them once, wouldn't mind it again.

Arcade Fire - really stoked about this, have been rockin to Funeral for days, but I can always go see them in Portland on 5\27 if I really want to.
Blonde Redhead - they are playing in Seattle on 4\21, which is possibly the day that we would have left for the road trip. I think I could probably adjust to accomodate this.
Girl Talk - just saw him at Chop Suey, don't really need to see him again.

Rage Against The Machine - I'm sure this will be a phenomenal show, but the fact is I've already seen them three times.
Air - Probably the biggest let down, although they haven't announced any other U.S. dates, they are putting out a new album, and I doubt they would only make a stop at Coachella.
Explosions In The Sky - they'll be in Seattle on 5\6, and I'd much rather see them in a smaller setting.

There are other bands that I'd like to see, like !!!, Grizzly Bear, Junior Boys, The Roots, The Frames, and Against Me!, but I'm sure I'll be able to see all these bands at another point.

So, using the $300 I would use for the 3-day pass, I could use the money instead as so:
Friday @ Coachella - approx $100
Blonde Redhead - $18
Explosions In The Sky - $12
Arcade Fire - guessing about $30
That's only $160. I can then use the left over money for:
Bloc Party - $25
The Shins - $25

Wac just woke up and I ran this by her, and she seems pretty keen on the idea too. We'll get to see the bands that we really want to see, still make a trip out of it, and add in a couple of bands that aren't going to Coachella. Plus, we'll have a day or two at a nice time share so we can hang out by the pool, go to the casino, go drinking in Palm Springs, who knows.

Now that I've thought about all this, I'm really not all that devastated anymore.

Friday, February 9, 2007

Caution: Mostly Whining Ahead

Every once in a while, I'll post something on here that's less of a tongue-in-cheek recap of what's been happening in my world and more of an honest outpouring of my thoughts. This is one of those times.

When I moved up to Seattle I knew that I would be fracturing many of my relationships with my friends. I've had friends move away before, and it's usually when someone moves away that you find out just how strong your friendship. Inevitably you will lose all but the closest of friends. How long someone keeps in contact with you will vary and it's not always based on the strength of your friendship, but when distance is put between friendships it makes it harder to stay in touch because you're no longer a part of their immediate life. Out of sight, out of mind.

I haven't been blind to this and I knew that I would become victim to this as well. Now, in this day and age we have things like email and Myspace that allow distant friends to stay in contact, even become reaquaintted with little effort from either party. I've been able to use both of these to keep in contact with friends back home who otherwise would have drifted off into the distance, only to reappear whenever I made a trip back to AZ. What has been the source of frustration is how many friends I have that I considered to be "good friends" that have drifted away. Friends that I thought would stand the test of time, that wouldn't be burdened by the distance between us. I'm realizing now that this isn't the case.

Before I continue, let me throw out some disclaimers. One, there are a handful of good friends that have steadfastly continued to keep in contact, even putting more effort into it than I have, and for that I am eternally grateful. Two, I am more than willing to admit that I have not kept in contact with others consistently as well. There's a number of reasons for this: I really don't like talking on the phone all that much, I'm inherently lazy, and I have other relationships (one in particular) that I'm continuing to build as well.

However, my counter to those who try to throw point two at me is this: I have, in most cases, been the one to initiate the contact, especially after I moved to Seattle. And I'm not talking just about my generic mass emails I send on occasion, I'm talking about actual phone calls, voice mails, specific emails, birthday wishes. Did I fall off the face of the Earth for a while? Admittedly, yes. But I've always made a point to make up for my disappearances, which is all I really expect in return.

I recently sent an email to the wife one good friend, and she herself is a good friend as well. In fact, these two were some of my closest friends for a good period of time. I hadn't heard from them since my last trip to AZ, except once when I made a flurry of phone calls on one lonely trip to Oregon. It was nearing Christmas time and I wanted to get in contact with them, if anything, to get their home address, but also just to check in. I knew they had quite a bit on their plate recently, so I wasn't upset after my first phonecalls and voicemails went unreturned. But when the second one didn't, nor did my email, I couldn't help but feel disappointed.

I finally heard back about a month later with an explanation of what was going on recently, and it was then that I sent off the aforementioned email to the wife. I hated to communicate my feelings like this, especially since my disappointment was more with her husband than her, but this was the only chance I knew I'd have their audience. I explained to her how I felt and that I was upset with their lack of correspondence, and I did so in a tone that I felt was non-threatening or harsh. I've yet to hear back from either one of them.

The two friends in question are not the only ones that I feel disappointed with. I have admittedly been more sensitive about theirs than others because, especially in the case of the husband, he is one of only less than five guy friends I have right now that I consider to be good friends. In fact, all of my friendships with my close guy friends have changed to the point that it's tough to call them close friends anymore. I've never been one to be part of a group of guys that are "like brothers", but these guys have been the next closest thing. I tend to forge friendships with girls easier than I do with guys for a number of reasons, so my good friendships with other guys mean that much more to me.

But this isn't about just one person, it's about the nature of friendships in general. I had a conversation with my girlfriend last night, and she pointed out that some people are just bad at getting back at other people or keeping in contact, and that they eventually become friends that you see when you visit but that's about it. I agreed that there are friends like that and I've come to accept that, but I don't believe that all friends should be like that, and I believe that in the case of a good friend, a failure to keep in contact or even return a phone call (however long it takes) is more than just a personality flaw, it's (for lack of a better term) disrespectful.

Or perhaps that it's just a symbolism of differences in each other's perception of the friendship. Perhaps what I perceived to be strong friendships are viewed as casual friends or drinking buddies by the other. Maybe the solution isn't to expect more from certain friends. Maybe the solution is to just be content with the friendships that I still have and let the chips fall where they may. Maybe I should stop feeling so slighted when I don't hear from certain friends and just accept it as what our friendship has become.

The problem with that is I'm fiercely loyal to my good friends and I feel that certain friendships are worth fighting for, even if that means that I have to put forth more effort than the other. I get upset when I don't feel that efforts are being reciprocated fairly, but I also don't know if that's worth abandoning friends over. But I can't help but feel upset when some can't even remember a fucking birthday.

(Yes I know, I'm not always on time with birthdays myself, but at least I'm close, or at the minimum very apologetic if I miss it)

The other part of the problem too is that I'm not always the best at making new friends. I'm a bit of a recluse and often shy, and it's difficult for me to find someone that I'm comfortable with to truly be myself and become friends with. Most of my friends up here I've met through my girlfriend, and those that I've met elsewhere I hardly keep in contact with. (Note: for those that I've met elsewhere, I COMPLETELY admit to the possible hypocracy of this post and the fact that you very well could make the same comments to me). So I get bothered when I feel that my friends back home are drifting away because I don't have all that many friends to begin with.

I don't regret ever moving to Seattle, and given the chance to go back I would still make the same decision. I wouldn't give up what I have right now for anything in the world, but maybe that's because I've already given up enough. Perhaps I'm just naive and idealistic, but it's been eye-opening to me what I've had to sacrifice by moving to Seattle.

Monday, February 5, 2007

I <3 Leandro Barbosa

No, this post won't be completely Suns-related, but there is one thing I have to get off my chest.

Boris Fucking Diaw is no longer the object of my (Suns) affection.

Boris, you've been half-assing it all year long. We extend your contract to the tune of 5 years at almost $50 million, and you showed up to training camp 20 pounds overweight. You've had some nights where we've needed you and you've came to play, but more often than not your tentativeness and over-focus on trying to pass the ball has been a hinderance. But you've finally outdone yourself.

We lost to the Jazz (at home!) Saturday night 108-105. You had four free throws in the last two minutes. You made one. You do the math, you French bastard. Yes, one of the misses was intentional, but that's ONLY because you missed the first one. Way to choke that one, buddy.

From now on you're no longer Boris FUCKIN Diaw, you're FUCKIN Boris Diaw.


Not much happened this weekend, aside from a trip to Ikea. We went there looking for a small rug or something and ended up with $220 worth of stuff. I'm pretty sure that, if there is a hell, it's just one long, endless Ikea store. And the entire store is the kids section.

Rented a couple of movies this weekend. First was Beerfest. After Club Dread and now this, I'm almost convinced that the Broken Lizard gang's only hit will be Super Troopers. I'll give them one more chance, but it's sad to see such promise go to waste. As lowbrow as Super Troopers is, it's still a very smartly written comedy, and they show that you can write jokes about boobs and sex and smoking pot and cursing and still pull it off in a way that fits the plot and seems realistic. In Beerfest, they mistake "smartly written" for "gratuitious" and decide to cater to the lowest common denominator for a laugh.

Also checked out An Inconvenient Truth. I had reservations about seeing this because I was afraid it was going to be too much political propaganda, like Fahrenheit 9\11. Sure, that movie was hysterical, but when I sat back and looked at that movie objectively, it's a horrible movie if you're looking for truth because it's so skewed to the left. Anyway, I was pleased to find that the political messages were kept to a minimum, and the movie did a great job of illustrating the impact we're having and how relatively easy it can be to undo the mess we've caused.

Of course Sunday was Super Bowl day. What a waste of time. The game was a mess, the commericals were only sometimes amusing (see below for winners)...really, the only good that came out of it was that it gave me an excuse to make some cheesburgers, and those were outstanding!

OK, here's my five favorite Super Bowl commercials, in order:

5. The Snickers commerical. This was the first one that got a giggle out of us. It was just so absurd and weird.

4. The Sierra Mist commericals. Mostly the one with Jim Gaffigan's beard over. What a novel idea - make a commerical featuring professional comedians, and it turns out funny? Who knew?

3. The Budweiser commercial. The one featuring the sad dog who wants to be in the parade but he doesn't have spots so he can't but then he gets dirty and sneaks up onto the float. This was all pretty lame. But it was saved in a big way at the end, when the float queen gets filthy from hugging the dog. Turned what was going to be a sappy commerical into a pretty funny one.

2. The Blockbuster commerical. Of course talking animals would probably try to use a real mouse to sign onto the internet. Although the joke was obvious, it was done in a subtle way. And we're suckers for animals.

1. The Career Builder commericals. One of these wasn't that great, one was OK, but one was just absolutely brilliant - the one with the Post-It man and the chinese-food-wielding delivery guy.

I thought the Bud Light commericals were just ok, the Go Daddy commericals disappointing, and Jessica Simpson still looked like an overpriced whore.

One final note: everyone go check out the Girl Talk album, Night Ripper. I got to see this guy a week or so ago when I went out with Damon for his birthday. He had been jocking his nuts for weeks and was determined to see him play. Of course the show was sold out but that didn't stop us. It's amazing how much a smeared ballpoint pen drawing can look like a worn out stamp on the wrist. It helped that the show was so packed that they weren't investigating it closely.

Anyways, so what this guy does is basically take a bunch of songs, throw them into a blender, and make new songs. It's not like he's a DJ though because he's not just mixing one record with another - he takes snippets from random songs, like putting Ludacris's lyrics to a mixture of the acoustic guitar from Oasis's Wonderwall and a beat from LL Cool J, or splicing together Neutral Milk Hotel, Billy Ocean, and the Ying Yang Twins, or something like that. You can check out the Wikipedia entry for more details: Even if you're not into most of the music he's using, it's just a fun album to listen to.

And, of course, he's another reason why I'm going to Coachella this year, as should you!

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Best. Gift. Ever.

Amongst my friends I've become notorious for being expressionless when receiving gifts. It's not that I don't show gratitude or happiness when I receive a great gift, but I hate to have someone feel that their gift isn't as good as someone else's, so I try to have the same reaction to each gift. Most of my friends find this really annoying.

But every once in a while there's a gift that is so money that I can't help but break my stoneface and show my excitement.

For Christmas this year, my first one with my girlfriend, I received a new car stereo. It's pretty awesome, it even comes with a USB port so I can plug my iPod directly into it. It was a really great gift and I tried to show my genuine excitement about it but I held back some. It probably doesn't help that it's still sitting in the box waiting to be installed, which is a whole 'nother story. But it doesn't change the fact that it's an excellent gift and I can't wait to get off my lazy ass and go get it installed. So if you're reading this, which I know you will at some point, thank you again. Don't let my laziness fool you into thinking I don't like the gift.

But you really outdid yourself last night.

You see, last night we celebrated out first anniversary together. I didn't know what to do, I've never made it this far before. I knew that I wanted to take her out for a nice dinner so I decided to take her to one of her favorite sushi restaurants, Rain. She's also shown an interest in trying to make sushi herself, so I decided to make it a sushi themed night and bought her some books on making sushi.

She comes home from work with a package, a decorative bag. I read her card, which had to have been one of the funniest cards I've ever read (it was meant to be a baby shower card). Then I reach in the bag and pull out.......oatmeal raisin walnut cookies. Um, thanks babe, that's sweet, but I don't like raisins. They were supposed to be chocolate chip she said. Oh well, maybe they can be returned.

There's more inside she says. I look and I see two pieces of paper that I thought were tissue paper at first. They're tickets. For Valentine's Day.

To go see the Suns play the Sonics.


Unbelievable! I'm so excited I can't wait! This is the only time they're coming to Seattle, and it'll be my first time ever seeing the Suns away from AWA (I know it changed but it's still the AWA in my book). If this does end up being the year that we win it all I'll be able to say that I saw them play the year of their championship.

And it'll probably be a blowout because the Sonics are really struggling this year, but I will be there to the end, probably a little bit drunk, cheering on Pat Burke as he rains down threes with 20 seconds left to go.

Who could ask for anything more?