Sunday, September 30, 2007

We won last night, our second game of the season. So far, we're 2-0. Luckily, we were playing a fairly untalented team because we only had 8 skaters. Thankfully, we weren't playing on the Olympic ice, which is markedly bigger. Also thankfully, one of our guys who wasn't supposed to come ended up showing up, otherwise we would have had only 7. It was a tiring game, and we almost gave it up from exhaustion but came back to win it in the end.

Afterward, a couple of the guys and I went and grabbed some food at this outdoor burger joint in Pasadena that's open late. I've driven past there hundreds of times, but it's not really the type of place I would just stop in at. I've always noticed it because there's always a small line of people ordering, even late at night. After not having eaten any red meat since seeing "Fast Food Nation" a month ago, I finally broke down and ordered a bacon cheeseburger to find it had about a pound of bacon on it. The perfect food to eat at midnight right before you go to bed.

The song of the day is "Only Time Will Tell" by Asia off their 1982 self-titled debut album. I forgot how much I totally love this song until I heard it on Jack-FM earlier today. Asia when they were still Asia and not (yet) arguing every minute of the day. The members may not have gotten along very well, but the gathered skills of four seasoned musicians and song writers really shines through, especially on this album and this song.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

My women's team finally won a game last night. The other team actually totally outplayed us, but their goalie gave up a lot of big rebounds and we were able to hold them to one goal.

We were down in the locker room before the game, and everyone was changing into their game gear. At one point, I heard someone say, "I guess it's time for the unveiling," and four of them all reached to take their tops off at once. Since I'm new to the world of women's hockey, I thought this was just yet another difference between the men's and women's locker room, although I did think it was a little odd that they referred to undressing as "the unveiling" and they seemed to be doing it in sync. It took me a moment to realize that all four women had just undressed to reveal matching bras and thong panties. Yes, they had all gone shopping at Victoria's Secret together and gotten purple bra and underwear sets (in tribute to the Kings, I imagine). This all occurred because last week (when I was out of town), someone exclaimed in the locker room to another player, "Oh, my God! That bra is so cute! WHERE did you get it?" (Another on a long list of things you will never hear in the men's locker room). It occurred to me to take a photo with my iPhone, but I didn't think everyone would appreciate me posting it on my blog. (RE the photo, yes that's the bra; no, that's not one of my co-players. Sorry, James).

After the game, we all went out to the Stick & Stein to get food and drinks. It was nice to finally be able to chat with some of the girls away from the ice and find out where they work and live, and where they come from. I wasn't able to talk to everyone (it was super loud in there), but I did discover that we have a lawyer, an architect, and a District Attorney, and some of our players come from as far away as Tujunga and Huntington Beach.

The song of the day is "Always Love" by Nada Surf off their 2005 album The Weight is a Gift. I can't remember where I first heard this band, but I'm sure it was KROQ. I'll write down the names of bands when I'm in the car if I like something I hear, and when I have a small list, I go to the store and pick up a pile of CDs. When I bought this disc, I couldn't even remember why I had written the band's name down. I was happy to find this entire disc is great. If you only know the band from the song "Popular," I suggest listening to this album for a different sound.

Friday, September 28, 2007

I hope you all caught the season premiere of The Office last night. If you haven't yet watched it, I won't spoil it for you, but you'll be pleased to see the show continue in its wonderful form this season, and it looks like it will only get better.

It's a dreary day here in L.A. It was overcast when I left this morning, and the drizzle began before I even reached the office. I actually love rain, and it's nice to see it when it comes (although I can't stand being in L.A. on the roads when it's raining), but I'm not so much a fan of drizzle. You know, when it's raining enough for you to need your wipers, but not enough for you to use them without them making a horrible sound against the half-dry window.

I'm off soon for another game with the women's league. They lost their game while I was out of town, so they're now 0-2. Time for a W!

The song of the day is "Crown of Thorns" by Mother Love Bone off their 1990 debut studio album Apple. Mother Love bone is one of the earlier grunge bands to come out of Seattle, and though they had a lot of commercial potential, front man Adam Wood's death of a heroin overdose on the eve of the album's release ended the group's hopes of success. I know of this song from the Singles soundtrack (full of good early grunge), and have always enjoyed it. Members of Mother Love Bone would go on to play in Temple of the Dog, and ultimately, Pearl Jam.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

The U.S Navy has agreed to spend up to $600K in landscaping and architectural updates to mask the fact that a group of their buildings in Coronado, CA look like a swastika from the air. The Navy reports that no one realized the shape until groundbreaking began in 1967, and since the shape is not visible from the ground, they decided not to fix it. Really? Am I totally unclear on the building process? Because I have always been under the assumption that at some point, the architect would turn in blueprints at some point, which would then go through several levels of people for authorization to build. And since the buildings are owned by the Navy, you can only assume those prints went through numerous levels of approval. And yet not a single person, only 20 years after WWII, noticed that they were in the shape of a swastika?

I watched the pilot for Journeyman earlier in the week. It's a time travel story, and I knew I'd like it. In the show, the main character seems to time travel unexpectedly, into a situation where he needs to help someone. (It's a bit like The Time Traveler's Wife meets Quantum Leap). At any rate, one of the ways he knows he is in the past is that his iPhone (great product placement - it's all over the show) loses its signal. If this show happened in the real world, he would think he'd traveled through time any time he walked into our ice rink or my old sound stage. I hope the fact that I like this show doesn't mean it will have an early demise.

The song of the day is "Misery" by The Moffatts off their 1998 album Chapter 1: A New Beginning. I'm sure most of you are asking, "Who the hell are the Moffatts?" To be honest, I didn't really know until I just looked them up. I was watching MUCH Music (the Canadian MTV) a long time ago and came across these guys performing this song live at some festival in the snow. I liked the song, and while I never sought out the record, I did download it when MP3s became common. The band is a full group of brothers, which I guess would sort of be the equivalent to Hansen. Except they're good. At least on this song.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

I came across this article online the other day. It's about Episcopalian All Saints Church in Pasadena, where Pastor George Regas gave a sermon in 2004, the weekend before the presidential election, that sent an anti-war message. While Regas endorsed neither candidate, he strongly criticized the war in Iraq and said that Jesus would have told Bush that his preemptive war strategy in Iraq "has led to disaster." A few sentences of his sermon were reprinted in the L.A. Times, and in 2005, the church received a letter from the IRS informing them that they were being investigated to potentially strip the church of its tax exempt status. Apparently, Federal law prohibits tax-exempt organizations, including churches, from intervening in political campaigns and elections. It's not like the church was out organizing an anti-Bush rally. In fact, of the two presidential candidates, Regas said that "good people of profound faith" could support either one. I knew that churches had tax exempt status but didn't realize it was a quid pro quo agreement with the government. It seems that First Amendment rights must be given up in exchange for the no-tax agreement.

As you can see, Wally was very happy to see me home on Sunday afternoon. He was a little needy for the rest of the day.

The song of the day is "All These Things That I Have Done" by The Killers off their 2004 album Hot Fuss. As you can see, I still like current, alternative music, but it seems like bands and songs that I like, that sound fresh, are few and far between. This is certainly one of those bands. I love this album and especially this song. I read on Wikipedia that there's a rivalry between The Killers and Fall Out Boy, and am trying to imagine a gang-like ruble between two small groups of skinny, eye-linered rock and roll boys.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

I came home from work at 1am last night and saw that I had 5 season premieres Tivo'd, all from Monday night. Hello Fall Season! Some people look forward to the fall for football and such, but I always look forward to the mental rescue of new things to watch on television. I watched Heroes and Two and a Half Men this morning - god, I love Heroes! It always leaves me wanting to watch the next episode. I also Tivo'd the new show Journeyman, but haven't had a chance to watch it yet. I'm a sucker for time travel stories, so I hope that it's well done and I like it. Because I REALLY need more hours of television to watch every week!

Someone e-mailed me this video and I thought I'd share it with you. It explains the origin of shooting stars and, is both entertaining AND informative!

The song of the day is "Sweetness" by Jimmy Eat World off their 2001 album Bleed American. I could have picked almost any of the songs off this album - they're all good. I noticed when I looked them up on Wikipedia that they renamed this album after September 11. I wonder who decided to do that, the band or the record label? I went and saw these guys when they were touring for this album. They played at the Long Beach arena or whatever it is down there. There were two opening bands, so they didn't hit the stage until after 10pm. It was a great show, but all the kids were stage diving, it was super loud, and late on a week night. I felt very old!

Monday, September 24, 2007

I came home from being gone for a few days to find I'd finally received my replacement credit card in the mail. I don't tend to keep money in my checking account anymore and usually charge everything to the card and pay it off at the end of the month, so in a certain sense, it's my first resource for money. I took the card out of the envelope and went through the process of calling from my home phone so they could verify it was actually me who had the card and not someone else. I woke up today and headed out to the grocery store to buy much needed food. I get up to the register (with a line of people behind me), and my card keeps getting rejected. I'm irritated because I know I activated the card, and it's embarrassing to have your card rejected with people lined up behind you like that. I had to charge the groceries to my AmEx and came home to call B of A.

The usual process of calling any Customer Service line is to now wait on hold, explain everything to the first person, only to be told you need to speak with another department. Get transferred, wait on hold again, get second person on the phone who you have to repeat not only your account number and verification info to, but the entire story all over again. Needless to say, by the time I got to the third person, I was already not pleased. I repeated (again) that I had activated my card but it was being declined, and the guy said, "Well, because of the fraud on your account, we needed to verify the transaction with you." ??? I asked, "Then what was the point of activating the account FROM MY HOME PHONE with you?" Ultimately, he had no decent response, other than continuing to repeat the same unacceptable answer to me. I suggested, not very kindly, that perhaps they might be able to come up with a better process of verification (since I'd already gone through the process while activating my card) that wouldn't result in being publicly embarrassed. After all, I am the victim in this situation. This is just more proof that Customer Service doesn't exist anymore. It's why pages like this one have popped up.

The song of the day is "Celebrity Skin" by Hole off their 1998 album of the same name. I loved Nirvana, and was therefore under the belief that Courtney Love must have somehow been responsible for the death of Kurt Cobain, or at the very least of breaking up the band a la Yoko, so I wanted to hate the band Hole. Unfortunately, I loved them from the time I heard this song and ultimately bought the CD which I loved as well. She might be crazy as all get out, but her band was tight and rocked.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

I woke up really early this morning to try to spend some more time with my mom before flying out early ion the day. I had a good trip, but it seems like no matter how long I go for (and this was not a long trip), I never get to see all the people I want to see for as long as I want to see them for. I didn't even get out to my sister's house to see the bathroom her husband just built.

This time, I sat next to a nice guy on the flight. The downer was that he was returning to Burbank where he grew up to have a bit of a memorial service for an old school friend of his who had killed himself drinking alcohol. That put a bit of a damper on the conversation. How do you segue out of that? "Wow...that's horrible. (pause) about those Winterhawks?"

The song of the day is "Hey Jealousy" by the Gin Blossoms off their 1992 album New Miserable Experience. Though the album was released in '92, it was more than a year later before this single was released, resulting in a climb up the charts for the record. That was right around the time I moved to Los Angeles, and every time I hear this song or even this band, I'm reminded of the time when I was truly in awe of this city and the traffic didn't even bother me. Yeah, that was a long time ago.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Whenever I come home, I try to make a point of going over to the Portland Saturday Market. It's a big market under the Burnside Bridge where local artist sell original creations. I always enjoy shopping in the artisan's market, but the main reason I go is to get an Elephant Ear. An elephant ear is a big ball of dough pounded into a flat piece, thrown in a fryer, and then dipped in cinnamon and sugar. You can pretty much only get them at markets or fairs. They are SO good. I highly recommend trying one if you're ever here. (Or apparently in Ottawa, where they're referred to as Beaver Tails). I went with my friend, Rob, along with my mom and my two sisters. We spent a few hours over there, then took the train back to our side of town.

Rob and I are hanging out now, so we went and got ourselves some Smokey's Pizza. We used to eat it all the time when we were kids, so it always sort of tastes like home. It's so very good, and yet so very bad for you. My stomach is turning over and over right now.

Let me tell you what happened when we pulled out of the parking lot after we picked up the pizza. And when I say "we" I mean Rob, because he's the one who was driving. I was just a reluctant passenger. We were turning out onto a 4 lane road that was split intermittantly in the middle by an island. So, right in front of the lot, you could actually only turn right, not left. We're sitting there, waiting for traffic to clear, and Rob's like, "I think I could go left." I chuckled and assumed he was kidding - the island was right in front of us. There were a bunch of cars coming, and he's like, "I think I can make it!" guns the engine, and heads straight toward the island, turning left at the last second into oncoming traffic! Luckily, the island split there and he could get through to the other side of the road, but not before two cars nearly hit us and had to swerve out of the way. I said, "I thought you were kidding when you said you were going to go left!" and he said, "I didn't know the island was right in front of us!" I almost had to go change my pants.

The song of the day is "I Will Buy You a New Life" by Everclear off their 1998 album So Much For the Afterglow. When I first started to hear this song on KROQ, it always reminded me of Portland. There's a line in the lyrics that goes, "I will buy you a new house, way up in the West Hills," and that's the area where all the nice houses are in Portland. I realized when I bought the CD that they're actually from here.

Friday, September 21, 2007

I started out the day at Sunrise Bagels (awesome bagels!) having breakfast with an old friend. I'm driving my mom's car, an older Saturn wagon that has been quite personalized. When I pulled up to the bagel place, my friend took one look and said, "I take it that's not a rental car." This could have been what tipped her off:

Since I had some time to kill before heading out to my dad's near Oregon City, I took a short tour of the neighborhood I grew up in. Every time I go home, I find the old neighborhood less and less recognizable. I drove by the place where my old best friend's house was, and saw this:

The house is completely gone. Just next to the house used to be a pond. We'd go out on my friend's raft in the summertime, or play on the ice when it froze over in the winter. In fact, one time, another friend and I fell through that ice, and I got to walk home soaking wet in near freezing weather. This is what the pond looks like now:

You might notice there is no water. I'm sure it's only a matter of time before this is filled in and houses are built there.

I made it out to my dad's around 1pm to be greeted by the frenzied barking of my dad's dog, Sara, an Australian Red Heeler (aka a cattle dog). Having a herding dog is convenient since my dad owns several head of sheep and Sara seemed to know how to herd instinctually. She has a big bark, but once she warms up to you, she's just like Wally, rolling over on her back so you can rub her belly. She's a cutie:

I then met up with my three nephews and my friend, Melanie, and we headed out to see the season opener for the Portland Winterhawks, the area's major junior hockey team. I bought four adult tickets for roughly $70 - gotta love junior hockey. My nephews don't know much about the game, but they love to watch the fights, and in junior hockey there are a LOT of fights. The Hawks played last season's Memorial Cup winners, the Vancouver Giants, and lost 2-6. Still, it was a fun game to see. I was going to post a highlight video from YouTube that I saw a few days ago, but when I searched for it, I came up with this much better clip from one of their games last season:

The song of the day is "Bad Company" by Bad Company off their 1974 album Bad Company. Wow - creative! My sisters came up with this song last night for me after suggesting about 100 other songs and getting the response, "I've already used it." I was surprised when I looked it up to see how old this song was - I always thought it was from about '79. Good song from a good band.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

I couldn't get to sleep until about midnight last night, which made waking up at 4:30 this morning all that more fun. I had a 7am flight to catch, and I'm glad I got to the airport early because there was an unusually long line to clear security. I was planning on snoozing most of the flight but a few things prevented me from doing that. One was the two business travelers across the aisle from each other directly behind me who thought the early flight would be a great time to (loudly) discuss the plan for their pending business meeting. The other was the guy sitting next to me reading the Wall Street Journal. Now, you might be thinking to yourself, "Hey...he was reading, how distracting can THAT be?" Well...he was reading a NEWSPAPER, which means every time he turned the page, he had to open the whole thing up, constantly jabbing me with his elbow when he wasn't taking full control of the center arm rest with it. Because he was taking up so much space, I was leaning into the aisle which meant - yes, you guessed it - every time someone walked down the aisle I got bumped.

My mom, sister and nephew happily greeted me at the airport then we went out to breakfast (IHOP - whoo-hoo!) and back to my mom's house, the interior of which was approximately 40 degrees. I forget how cold it gets here, and can't believe I grew up in this climate. Southern California has runied me for warm weather. I used to have a rule where I would only go home in the summer when it was guaranteed (nearly) to not be terribly cold, but here I am in fall.

It's my mom's birthday today so we're having a big family dinner at her place. Inspired by my compliments of the parmesian chicken I had at Green Street the other day, my sister is making it for dinner tonight. She's a really good cook, so I'm sure it will be just as good. My mom went out to buy cigarettes and bought a lottery ticket which ended up being a $75 winner. Happy birthday, mom!

The song of the day is "Lose Yourself" by Eminem off the 2002 soundtrack album for 8 Mile, the semi-autobiographical movie of his life. I've never really enjoyed rap music much, but for some reason, I really like Eminem. Not his obnoxious, obscene songs, but songs like this. He's got a really interesting way of putting words together that I find sort of hypnotic to listen to. When I first heard he was going to try to act in the movie, I scoffed, but I have to admit he did a pretty good job for a non-actor. I guess I'm not the only one who appreciates this song, as it won both an Academy Award and Grammy.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Hey, everybody! It's Wally Wednesday! My real camera is still in a box somewhere in my office, but here's a photo I took with my iPhone of Wally enjoying the new futon. You can get an idea of what the new paint and carpeting look like.

Someone has flipped a switch and it suddenly feels like fall here in Southern California. Just a few weeks ago, during Labor Day weekend, it was 113 degrees here. Right now, it's overcast and cool, but warm enough to still run around in shorts. In other words, perfect weather. Wally is enjoying being able to play fetch without puking afterward from the heat. I'm enjoying being able to live comfortably without the air conditioning, and the windows wide open. I know it will only be a matter of time before I have to turn on the heat for the first time this year.

I've been running around all day trying to get everything done so I can leave town tomorrow for a few days. One thing I did was go by the Apple Store to use my $100 store card which I got as a consolation gift for not buying my iPhone when they dropped the price $200. The people at Apple are brilliant. Someone said, "Ok...the original iPhone users are pissed about the price drop, what can we do to appease them?" And some genius said, "I know...we'll give them back HALF of the money they lost...only we won't give them cash, we'll give them a gift card, so they can only use that money IN OUR STORES!" And then they made that evil laugh sound. For those of you unfamiliar with the iPhone, Apple, in their infinite wisdom, designed the headphone jack so you can ONLY plug in their headphones that they designed for the unit. If you try to plug in your own iPod headset, no go, because the opening for the jack is too narrow. Belkin designed an adapter that costs $9.99, which I bought so I could only bring my iPhone instead of that and my iPod on the plane. I wish I had invented that adapter.

I glanced at the To Do list on my Tivo today and almost wet my pants when I saw all the shows that are returning in the next week or so. Very soon, I will be in TV heaven.

The song of the day is "I'll Be" by Edwin McCain off his 1997 album Misguided Roses. The lyrics about rain falling on a tin roof always remind me of this cooler time of year. This is one of those songs I loved so much that I bought the CD and was really disappointed in the other music on it. This song stands out, though, as being quite poetic and wonderful to listen to.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

It seems like death is all around these days. I'd like to take a moment of silence for my sister's dog, Emit. Emit was a really cool shepard mutt who the boys have had since they were really young. Emmit died today at the ripe old age of 13. He will be sorely missed, especially by my nephews. Wally is sort of a pampered pooch with no callouses on his paws, so to speak. Emit, on the other hand, is a rough and tumble guys dog. He was really cool and sweet and I always looked forward to seeing him. Here he is with my nephew, Nathan:

Early today, I watched the episode of Californication from last night, wherein our hero, Hank Moody, awoke in the morning to find his guitar and a box of albums had been stolen by some nameless girl he had picked up at the grocery store and slept with. He had a small rant about how much better vinyl is than digital recordings. So while putting my desk, computer, and peripheral electronics back together, I was pleased to discover I could plug my little turntable directly into the new computer speakers I have. In this way, I was able to go through all those boxes of books while listening to Asia and Night Ranger on actual vinyl. So far, I have three full boxes of books I'm not keeping, including an entire box on the arts of editing and screenwriting. I've apparently spent far more energy buying books on script writing than actually writing scripts.

The song of the day is "Plowed" by Sponge off their 1994 album Rotting Pinata. This song reminds me very much of the time when I first moved to Los Angeles and started listening to KROQ, and every time I hear it, it takes me back to those hot summer days in Tujunga. Eew. I'm glad I escaped there. Despite the memories, this is a great song, and I wonder why I've never heard much more from the band.

Monday, September 17, 2007

I went to play some pickup hockey last night with some buddies who had heard there was a good pick up in Culver City. "Good" pickup usually means there aren't a lot of guys there, so you get a lot of ice time for your money. The downside - the pickup ran from 10:30p-12:30a. Since I'm working the night shift tonight, I thought it couldn't hurt. A couple of guys from my team had gone last week and said there were only 7 guys total, which isn't nearly enough to play full ice pick up, so a bunch of us from my team headed out. The pickup is run by a guy named Bernie who is, I kid you not, at least 80 years old. Bernie has been running this same pickup every Sunday night like this for the past 30 years. Bernie is old enough that he can barely walk - it really looks like it takes him a lot of effort just to get around on foot. This doesn't stop him from lacing on a pair of skates and throwing on a 30 year old hockey sweater to hit the ice with the rest of us. You could tell the guys who skate regularly know him and respect him - every time he got the puck, everyone backed off a bit and let him skate. It is, after all, Bernie's pickup, and without him none of us would have been out there skating. I have to wonder if Bernie was ever any good, if he once skated across the rink quickly and smoothly before age stooped his back and slowed his limbs. I do know, without even asking, that he loves this game, and I hope that when I'm his age I still have it in me to lace up those skates and get out there.

The song of the day is "Tomorrow" by Silverchair off their 1994 debut album Frogstomp. The Australian band originally won a radio competition to record this song, which eventually led to a contract with Sony music and worldwide distribution. They are the first Australian band since INXS to hit the U.S. Top 10. The first time I heard this song, the band was playing at the open of the MTV Music Awards and I'd never heard of them. I couldn't get over how young and cool they were and went out to buy this record. I think they were 17 when this album was released. They're all grown up today with a new hit song which I also love. I've always wondered if they got their name from the C.S. Lewis book of the same name. Check out the video if you don't remember the song.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

I worked into the evening last night, and then a friend came over to help me move some furniture from my office down into my garage. When we were down, I repaid him by taking him to dinner. I had THE BEST chicken for dinner - it was two huge chicken breasts lightly breaded with parmesan cheese and pan fried. It was SO tasty! I was only able to eat one breast so I took the other one home and had it for lunch at work today. We then moseyed over to Cold Stone and totally overate on ice cream.

When I came home at 1am on Friday night after playing hockey, I was irritated to see my next door neighbors were having a bit of a party and there were a group of people out on their front patio drinking and talking loudly. In essence, this means they're right under my bedroom window, and I had to work in the morning. The people next door are some younger kids who rent from the owner of the unit, and we've had several problems with them being too loud. So when I came home last night and saw more people on their patio, I was already ticked off before I even knew if they were being loud or not. When I went to bed, I heard a woman being very loud outside, and assuming it was someone at my neighbors, I angrily slammed the window, put a pillow over my head, and finally got to sleep. When I went down to play with Wally before heading out to work this morning another one of my neighbors came out. As it turns out, another neighbor in our unit, and older woman, had died last night, and that was the sound of her daughter screaming when she stopped by and discovered her dead mother.

I live in a small condo complex, so we all pretty much know each other. Several of us are pretty good friends, and while I didn't know Briguitta well (I don't even know if that's how you spell her name), I certainly knew her and stopped to talk to her on several occasions. She was an animal lover and even though she was quite old, would always stop to throw the ball for Wally once and pat him on the head. She'd rescued a small dog recently and though she needed a cane to walk, I often saw her out walking him, sometimes even late at night and it used to worry me that something might happen to her. She was a great cook, and when we had neighborhood get togethers, she always brought something tasty. I hope she's moved onto a better place where she can be with her husband once again.

I was talking about this with my friend, Rob, earlier today. I've always had this fear that I'm going to die old and alone with no one to find me. At least my neighbor had a daughter to come by and find her - I won't have that. I'm the youngest in my family, it's likely I could be the last one around. Rob said, "I'd know something was wrong if I didn't see you online for a couple of days and you didn't return my e-mails." After a moment, I said, "...when I'm in my 80s??" And he said, "Don't worry - I'll be there." But of course, Rob will likely die before me, too. He's a man. Sigh.

The song of the day is "Kyrie" by Mr. Mister off their 1985 album Welcome to the Real World. You can say Mr. Mister were cheesy, but I really love this album, and this song in particular. In fact, my band covered it...super badly. Most horrible a cappella EVER. If you don't remember this song, here's the video:

Saturday, September 15, 2007

I played my first game in the women's league last night. Having played in both women's and co-ed leagues now, I've discovered many differences between the two. For instance, for the same $540 league fee you get:
Men's league
20 games

Women's league
20 games
jersey and socks
an actual coach on the bench
coached clinic every week
Here are some other things I saw last night that I have never experienced while playing with the guys:
  • Someone walking in waving her left hand in the air while other players gasp and say, "Oh my God! Oh my God!" "How did he ask you?" and "Did you say yes?!" when they see the new engagement ring.
  • Someone with a program for the Kings upcoming season, with 5 other players standing around gushing at photos of the 22-year-old players and talking about how hot they are.
  • Lots of spectators in the stands. Apparently, guys are more interested in watching their girlfriends play hockey than vice versa.
  • A group cheer on the bench before each period.
  • Giggling on the bench.
  • Getting to strip down and towel off after the game and not go home wearing wet underwear and a sports-bra.
  • A male friend asking after the game, " #32 cute?"
It is definitely a different game. Perhaps due to the coaching and the clinics offered, I found my team to play better as a group, cycling the puck and communicating on the ice. There is only one women's division with 5 teams, so the league puts their hand in and tries to create parity in skill between all the teams, sometimes trading players to other teams if necessary. They seem to have done a decent job, as the game I played in last night was very evenly matched, even though we lost 1-3. I was happy to discover my jersey number was available, but it only came in an XL (didn't they know they were making jerseys for the women's league?). If I don't tuck it in a la Gretzky, it hangs down far enough to nearly cover my hockey pants. It did feel good to be able to skate faster than pretty much anyone on the ice, but was a reminder of how much I need to work on things - I had at least 3 clear break aways and didn't score one goal. D'oh!

Here's a few photos from the game my friend, James, snapped on his iPhone. I'm in the black jersey with red helmet, so pretty easy to spot:

OMFG - I just looked online and my OTHER credit card info has been stolen and there are over $5k in charges. Same person - motorcycle parts and clothing. Mother fucker. Now my two main sources for cash are frozen. The police had better follow up on the report I make.

The song of the day is "Girls, Girls, Girls" by Motley Crue off their 1987 album of the same name. Boy, you read the lyrics for this song and you can just feel the sensitivity for women these guys had. Doesn't mean I didn't like to listen to it. As much as I hate to admit, hair bands are fun to listen to, and equally as fun to watch.

Friday, September 14, 2007

I believe I've mentioned before my general inability to read more than one book at the same time. Unfortunately for me, right before the new Harry Potter book came out, I had just started Ayn Rand's 1200 page epic Atlas Shrugged. I held off starting The Deathly Hallows until I had reached a stopping point in Shrugged, about 350 pages in. It took awhile to finish the Potter book, and once I did, I was out of books to read. I actually was without books for a few days before I got to the store to pick up Jon Krakauer's Under The Banner of Heaven and started in on it straight away. That's when I realized I still hadn't finished Atlas Shrugged. Drat! I have to admit, I didn't find Rand's prose gripping, but it's compelling enough to make me want to finish the rest of the book and discover - Who Is John Galt?

I talked recently about my friend's foster dog, Ray Charles. Ray was recently adopted by a family with kids and another dog. They took him home and proceeded to feed both dogs at the same time. Keep in mind, Ray is a dog who has been in a shelter for a long time, so he's kind of like a parolee. When you put food in front of him, he eats as quickly as he can because he doesn't know when he'll be fed again. So when they put food for both dogs down next to each other, and the older dog looked at Ray eating, Ray growled. The family decided immediately that they couldn't deal with poor Ray and returned him to the rescue organization fostering him. The cute little guy is still up for adoption. He's cute and sweet and lovely. If anyone knows someone who might like to take him home for keeps, let me know. Here's a photo from him hanging out in my office today. As you can see, he's dead tired.

In honor of little Ray, the song of the day is "Georgia On My Mind" by the real Ray Charles off his 1960 album The Genius Hits the Road. Everyone has been singing it to Ray, as it is apparently the only Ray Charles song that your average white guy knows. The song, written in 1930 by Stuart Gorrell and Hoagy Carmichael, was first recorded by Charles and then by several other artists. In 1979, the state of Georgia adopted it as the state song.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

You ever have one of those days where you think you have an easy day coming up at work, and then you arrive to find you were sadly mistaken? That's how my day started off. Today is my Monday, but when I had last left off at work, I was in the middle of a couple of days of digitizing for a new show. In layman's terms, it means I had not much to do - the computer would do all the work for me. I came in this morning with a skip in my step, a book under my arm, ready to call up KROQ on the internet to actually listen to K&B's whole show...when I discovered waiting for me two days of notes from a show I had done a few weeks ago. Snap! So much for a lazy day.

And then my headache, which I've had for most of the past 4 days, returned in full force. About every 6 weeks, I get a headache that lasts a few days, a stress headache where, if I stand up too suddenly, it feels as if my head is going to explode. The stress headache aspirin I took isn't working. To add to that, my neighbor is out front clapping for her cat. Yes, you read that right. She calls for her cat, and claps for him the whole time. It's super annoying when she can't find the cat, because she walks up and down in front of our apartments, sometimes for as long as 20-30 minutes, clapping loudly and calling for Calvin. This sometimes happens at 9 o'clock on a week night. Perhaps even Calvin doesn't want to go home.

The song of the day is "It's a Shame About Ray" by The Lemonheads off their 1992 album of the same name. For those of you unfamiliar with the band, you really should check them out. They're an alternative band from Los Angeles, and this record is full of catchy 2:00 songs. It also includes a cool remake of "Mrs. Robinson." I must say, I admire Rhino records for not only putting the video on YouTube, but allowing us to embed it elsewhere, something Universal Music (annoyingly) does NOT do).

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

I was sitting here at home today on my only day off this week, minding my own business, when my home phone rang. I get most of my calls on my cell phone so the home phone usually means a sales call. For some reason, I picked it up. I could tell right away that it wasn't a telemarketer because he answered right away when I said, "Hello," and because it didn't sound like there was a party going on in the background. The guy used my name, and said he was from some Motorcycle store. He wanted to talk to me about the order I placed online an hour before for $1400 motorcycle tires. I told him I didn't order any motorcycle tires. He had my full name, my home phone number, and my address. He said it was clearly a fraudulent charge and said he'd call the bank and hung up. The phone took about 30 seconds. I was so stunned I didn't realize until after I hung up that I should have gotten more information from him.

I checked online, and sure enough, there was a pending charge of $1400 to said motorcycle shop. I called the bank immediately, told them what happened, and they stopped that card (the debit card that comes right out of my checking account) and said they'd mail me a new card. The phone number for the online store was on my bank account for the charge, so I called them back to make sure we were on the same page. I got a woman who verified they had canceled the order. The reason they had called in the first place was that the ship to address didn't match the bill to address. Out of curiosity, I asked where it was supposed to ship and they gave me the name and address - about 5 minutes away in Monrovia.

I called the Pasadena police and they stopped by with a Financial Crime Report for me to fill out. About an hour later, my phone rang again. This time, it was Macy's wanting to verify an order. I told them to cancel it. This time, they wouldn't give me the shipping info. Nice to see Macy's is happy to protect the people causing the problem.

I haven't forgotten it's Wednesday. I believe I've mentioned before that Wally doesn't like the barrier a door creates. It's not necessarily that he wants to go through the door, he just doesn't want it to impede him should he decide he does want to go through it. Therefore, whenever I've opened a door that isn't usually opened, he can often be found straddling the threshold. Here is is from work the other night.

The song of the day is "Who Are You?" by The Who off their 1978 album of the same name. I've never been a huge Who fan, but there are a few of their songs I really like, and this is one of them. This video involves another Who song, which is totally off topic, but it does give absolute proof of why David Caruso is a complete cheeseball.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

If you aren't yet, you should be watching Californication with David Duchovny. I blogged about it before when it first aired here. As the season has progressed, it continues to entertain as morally bankrupt protagonist Hank Moody plods through his troubled life in Los Angeles. Hank, a successful novelist who is in the middle of serious writers block, has recently taken a position as a paid blogger where he rants about things that bother him. In this episode, he becomes annoyed that his current girlfriend (if you can use that word for Hank) often uses the phrase "Lol." As in, when she finds something funny, she SAYS "Lol" instead of...well...actually laughing out loud. While on a radio interview (with guest star Henry Rollins), Hank goes on a rant about how the internet is making people dumber. I found it quite amusing. You can watch the video clip here. And is there something wrong with me if I think Hank Moody just might be the perfect man?

The song of the day is "Back on the Chain Gang" by the Pretenders off their 1983 album Learning to Crawl. The Pretenders are yet another band that I came to appreciate after the fact. I would never have been caught dead listening to them in 1983 when I could be listening to Def Leppard or Duran Duran. I heard this song on the radio on my way home last night and realized I'd come to like it. According to Wikipedia, the song was originally intended to be about Ray Davies, whom Chrissie Hynde had dated and had a child with, but the meaning of the song changed after the Pretenders' guitarist James Honeyman-Scott died in 1982 from a drug overdose at the age of 26.

Monday, September 10, 2007

My office refacing is almost done. I finished painting trim today and the carpeting is scheduled to be installed on Wednesday. I also went and bought the futon which I'll use to replace the tiny, uncomfortable hide-a-bed couch I have. The futon will be delivered Thursday, so in theory, everything will be back to normal on Friday. Hypothetically.

Love Polar Bears? Love Huskies? You'll love this story, too. A guy at work turned me onto this cool link. A guy was out near Hudson's Bay in the snow wanting to take a photo of his Husky, when along came a Polar Bear. He thought it would be the end of his dog, but something quite extraordinary happened. Click on the above link and play the movie to see the rest of the story.

The song of the day is "Is She Really Going Out With Him?" by Joe Jackson off his 1979 debut album Look Sharp! I'm surprised to see I've never used him for a song of the day before because I like several of his songs. I've always found this one to be particularly catchy, and whenever I hear it on the radio, I'm sure to be singing it over and over to myself for the rest of the day (much to the dismay of the people around me).

Sunday, September 09, 2007

For several years now, I've played in two different hockey leagues, so at the minimum, I get to play at least twice a week. I've played at different rinks at different times, but in general, always two teams. At the beginning of summer, I decided I was tired of playing at the Pasadena rink and dropped back to just one league. Unfortunately, with my change in schedule and other things going on, I've only been playing once a week. Needless to say, I've been desperate for more ice time. I've always played co-ed with the guys, and have never really wanted to play in a women's league. Aside from the fact that women's leagues are generally not as competitive as even the lower divisions in men's league, I just generally...well...don't want to hang out with that many other women. I'd rather have to deal with some ass of a guy on the ice, than some girl who is being bitchy.

I thought I'd see what local women's hockey is about. On Friday night, Madeline and I went down to the rink to take part in the draft for the women's league. In co-ed hockey, it's almost impossible to get picked up in a draft unless you're remarkably good. There are far too many players looking for teams than the other way around. As it turns out, if you show up to the women's draft, you are automatically placed on a team. I told the guy running it that I wanted to play first and see how it was. As it turns out, it was pretty fun, mostly because I was one of the fastest people on the ice. There were certainly other players who were more skilled than I, but it doesn't hurt your self-esteem to be that fast! So we both signed up and our first game will be this Friday night. I'll keep you updated on my progress playing with the Lady Kings. I'm not kidding - that's what they call us. I guess it's better than being called the Queens.

The song of the day is "Wise Up" by Aimee Mann off the 1999 soundtrack album for Magnolia. The film was inspired by Mann's music, and only two of her songs on the disc were written specifically for the film. I absolutely love the emotion in this song, as well as the lyrics. I also really enjoyed the film and the unique way the director used this song.