It’s been several months now, so I no longer wake up in strange European hotels craving freshly squeezed orange juice or Nutella-flavored Gelato or pain au chocolat. That stuff has worked its way out of my system. I also no longer have blisters on my feet and now have air conditioning aplenty.
Last summer I got to spend a month in Europe. In 5 weeks I was able to visit 6 countries (took the train through Switzerland and stopped at the station in Geneva, so I’ll count it). It was one of the awesomest months of my life. Read the rest of this entry »
When I was a bookworm of a kid I loved to read books from the Choose Your Own Adventure series. The books were unique in that at the end of each chapter you were confronted with 2 choices. The alternatives would be things like, “to attack the dragon turn to page 10” or “to challenge the dragon to a dance-off turn to page 15”. You’d pick an option, then read the results of that selection before facing another pair of choices. Depending on the writer, if you chose the dance-off, you and the dragon might end up as Solid Gold dancers, or you’d be a crispy noodle in Chinese dragon stir-fry.
When I’d reached the end of the book, or the end of the sequences I’d chosen, I would go back and read the book again, picking the other alternatives (fainting goats/epileptic sheep). Sometimes I would peek ahead all along. Often a different result was better. Occasionally worse. Sometimes the alternative was just different.
Here it is May already and summer is knocking hard at the door like the determined home exteriors salesman I just had trouble shaking. For many of us there’s summer vacation; time off of work and school. In the meantime, there’s your stunningly crafted Bucket List that you want to complete. Here’s the perfect opportunity to hammer at it.
Instead of catching up on multiple seasons of cancelled Joss Whedon TV shows while lounging in your neighbors’ pool, challenge yourself to to work on your Bucket List this summer. Pick 3 or 4 or more items from your list and do them. If you don’t already have a bucket list, make a list of your hopes and dreams, the things you’d like to do before you die (if you want ideas, here’s mine- My Bucket List: 100 Things To Do Before I Die). Maybe you want to take a road trip across the US in a rusted Pinto or visit all the National Parks and take pictures while only leaving fingernail clippings. Maybe synchronized swimming with the dolphins is your thing or walking the Great Wall of China in a dirndl as you grow your beard. Read the rest of this entry »
This is Danish singer-songwriter Oh Land (real name Nanna Øland Fabricius) with “White Nights“. I think she sounds a bit like Bjork in a pixie-ish way. Fantastic song. Cool weird video.
I’m really loving her eponymous album which was probably my favorite album of 2011. And that’s saying something because I have trouble getting full albums to stick anymore. It may be that I’m getting old & less easily impressed or it could be that new music isn’t as good or that the iPod set-up is messing with my head. Maybe there’s just too much music to sort through.
Her album features several really cool songs (check out “Sun of A Gun“, “Wolf and I” and “Turn It Up” (which was featured in a tv commercial)). Last year she toured with & opened for Katy Perry and Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (OMD). By the way, Oh Land turns 27 next week (I only know because I just checked info about her online. It’s not like I’m stalking her or anything.). Happy Birthday, Oh Land. May you sell lots of music and perhaps put up a tent in my backyard.
“AWESOME! That would really boost my Mo-REL.”
Randy had just been mushroom hunting a few days before and bagged several tasty morels out at his old hunting grounds in the country. He’d been mushroom hunting since he was knee high to a grasshopper, as had a few other coworkers, but until about 3 years ago I didn’t know it was a thing.
Though I’d lived in Nebraska 20 years, I hadn’t really been tight with any old-school Nebraska natives or known the strange ways of the country folk until one day I overheard Randy and Dave whispering about the hunt in reverently excited tones (which would have sounded cooler with Irish/Amish accents). Read the rest of this entry »
Let’s say you suddenly fell into a great deal of money. $500 Million. An insane amount of money. That’s half a BILLION dollars. We know you didn’t win the Mega Millions this time, but maybe you’ve won the sweepstakes or another insane Mega Millions Powerball or sold millions of books like JK Rowling. Maybe your name is Pip and you inherited your money from an English fugitive you fed on the moors, though you thought the money came from Miss Havisham. Whichever way you acquired the $500 million, it’s yours to spend. How would you spend it?
Sure you’d pay off your bills, build a mansion, travel the world, maybe donate to charities. Definitely retire. It’s hard to know for sure until you actually get there. Yes, you’ll lose half of it to taxes, but still $250 million would hold you for a while. You’d have to build up stamina against all your new best friends asking for handouts. Certainly you’ll give some away, but you have to draw the line somewhere. You’d have to walk through a dirty city in shame just knowing you’re one of the hated 1% protested by the same folks who bought tickets hoping to be members of the 1%. If you’re smart (and trust the stock market & investments in general), you’d invest a large portion of it, so that it regrows like the freaky tail of a lizard. What else would you do with it? Read the rest of this entry »
I was driving from work recently and thinking about the nature of my new quasi-regular “Friday Song”. How do I pick the song? What does it represent? Is it hip enough? Is it too hip? Can I play Benny Lava again? Am I going to die alone thinking about crap like this? Davy Jones of the Monkees had just died, and “Daydream Believer” was on my mind. Also, I thought about dredging up that song he sang for his Brady Bunch cameo. “Girl” or whatever. That was a good song. As I was thinking all this, “Everlong” by the Foo Fighters came on the radio and totally hit the spot, like it usually does.
The Foo Fighters don’t do much for me, except for this song. This is the only song they’ve done that I ever need to hear again (unless they write an equally good song, which I don’t see happening). You can almost dance to it & it does stuff to you. About 10 years ago or so I saw the Foo in concert at a rock fest in Council Bluffs, IA with my buddy Ted. There were probably a dozen bands performing (including Semisonic and Creed) & I only really cared about 4 of them. The Foo were great in concert. As for this video, it’s funny, dramatic, well-written, has a dude in drag, & the director, Frenchman Michel Gondry, is as brilliant as ever. There are big hands & stuff. Check it out.
In every election season, there’s a tough vetting process for the candidates. Sometimes it’s accidental vetting, but occasionally the candidates are forthcoming with their quirks. We want someone who fits us. I know many of you guys are dragging your feet on dating or committing because, well, you’re just unsure whether that girl you like has what’s needed to complement your own quirks. In other words, you’re not sure how much like your mom she really is. This fixes that. Just hand her this questionnaire and sit back while she fills in the magic. You’ll know soon enough whether your girl is the perfect cross between Giada, Megan Fox, Natalie Wood, and your mom. Also, don’t be surprised if she high-tails it out of there, slaps you, or turns the tables and hands you a questionnaire of her own.
In my generous effort to help my fellow helpless men who inexplicably find themselves in situations where they’re receiving ‘love’ applications and/or resumes for a certain position, I’ve made this excellent questionnaire. Start vetting your ‘love candidates’. You are welcome. Read the rest of this entry »
(While other guys were out on romantic Valentine’s Day dates with their girls, I was home pondering the nature of life and how much chocolate ice cream I should eat in one sitting. I’m sure I did something manly. I also worked on this.)
You’ve cooked a very special dinner for your girl and are seated at a candlelit table on a neighbor’s roof (non-sloped). This is approximately how you want your romantic dinner conversation to go (assume breathiness):
You: My Dear, can I give you any more of anything?
Her: My Darling, I’m quite full, it’s all so delicious, but I think I have a little room left for some of your yummy manicotti.
You: Of course, kitten. Here you are. Be sure to save room for dessert. It’s cherry cheesecake.
Her: Mmm, I bet it is, tiger. And you better save some room yourself, my love. (
You: Actually, monkey, that’s a turtledove I borrowed from the aviary. I thought the cooing was soothing. Just look at that cute little leash.
Her: Um, yes, Sniffles. It’s lovely, dearest, but the local pigeons are trying to…Oh, no! Stop that!!
Disgusting stuff like that. My grandma is blushing. Read the rest of this entry »
It’s always cool to find a song that not only sounds great, but resonates with you. For me, “California” by Delta Spirit is one of those. As someone originally from California who’s drawn back there by loaded memories, I almost feel this is for me. Here Delta Spirit sounds a bit like My Morning Jacket or Kings of Leon, even Fleet Foxes, with smooth vocal harmonies, driving guitar, and emotional lyrics. It’s a super tune. I need to check out the rest of their music. Get a happy wallowing fix going. Happy Friday.