Weekend Roundup

So, what a weekend. Warning, this is a rambling whiny post whose purpose is to serve my mental health.

I worked Friday night as my restaurant hosted a local chapter of the Hash House Harriers. For those who don't know, "Hashers" are runners who drink, run to drink more, then finish the evening with more drinking. According to Wikipedia, the tradition has British origins, which makes sense because the people in this group tipped about as well as British people. One guy actually managed to tip my 73 cents on one checked then opened another and tipped me 10 cents. As a word of warning, the next time I know that the group is running I am calling the police and informing them that people are drinking in public.

The other thing they did, and this is actually very bad, was bring the remainders of their running beers into the restaurant and finishing them. This behavior could get my restaurant in a lot of trouble.

I worked a fairly unremarkable shift on Saturday. We had a group of 14 come in, and when my bartender asked if they were celebrating anything, the woman on the phone answered that they had just buried her mother. This knowledge really prevented me from being my normal charming self. For example, questions like "How are you all doing this evening?" were just out of the question.

I played two very emotional church services on Sunday. My church said goodbye to a beloved pastor who had been at our church for 14 years. She had a hand in every part of my church that I love. She was forced out of the church in some very ugly backroom dealings. A tip for my friends who will eventually get married and decide that their kids need to go to church, avoid the politics at all cost. The combination of faith, friends, money, and political views makes for some very ugly dealings. Add people acting nice to each other, because it is a church, and things get very cold and vindictive and decidedly un-Christian. But she will be missed by a good many people in our church, including myself.

So I finally get home around 9:30 on Sunday hoping to watch Deadwood and Entourage, then go to bed and put the miserable weekend behind me. Well all of the rain has blocked our satellite signal, so no HBO. Then around 11:00 my mom calls me. She is home alone and the basement of my house is flooded. So I head out to Arlington, negotiate numerous street closings, get to my house and find my mother in the basement with a bucket and about 6 inches of water. There are coolers and litterboxes and lord knows what floating around. The only thing to do is grab a bucket and start bailing. We finished around 1:30, but at least I got a great lat work out.

I didn't go to work today so I could hopefully finish the process of registering my car. In a bit of good news, my car passed inspection! Yeah! So I go to the DMV triumphantly, knowing that I am finally going to be done with this whole car thing only to find that the DMV is closed on Monday. I guess this is my fault, I didn't look to see if the DMV would be open on Monday, but in my defense I just can't fathom how a DMV can be closed on a Monday, much less every Monday.

So I returned home dejected and beaten and now I am drinking Scotch. My current problem is that I finished the last of my Scotch and worry about my Scotch supplies for the rest of the night. So how was your weekend?


Soccer Sucks!

Now that the US is out of the world cup I think it is time to engage in one of my favorite pastimes, being a sore loser.

Soccer is a stupid sport. America lost because we don't care about this stupid sport, and if we did we would win every time.

Before Darren starts yelling at me, let me say that I actually do like watching soccer, and that in reality it is a fine sport. But I have been thinking about something Marc Fisher wrote in one of his recent chats:

"Marc Fisher: Don't worry--soon after they arrive, they will discover the complexities and rituals of other sports and free themselves from the chains of the single-sport obsessions of their homelands."
I think this is true. It is no wonder that Soccer is the most popular sport in the world because the rest of the sports that the world plays suck more.

Lets us take England as an example. England is a wealthy, highly educated country with amazingly crappy sports. Lets say you are a kid growing up in Leeds. What are you going to get excited about? Polo? It is like hockey, but with animals shitting all over the place. Rugby? It is like football, but manages to be both violent and boring.

And then there is Cricket. Cricket which might be the single stupidest game ever invented. From the Wikipedia entry:
"Generally, the batsman attempts to strike the ball with the bat, and run to the other end, exchanging places with his partner, scoring a run. However, he can attempt to run without hitting the ball, and vice versa. While the batting team scores as many runs as it can, the bowling team returns the ball back to either wicket. If the ball strikes a wicket before the batsman nearer to that wicket has reached safety then the batsman is out, or "dismissed". The batsman can also be out by failing to stop the bowled ball from hitting the wicket, or if a fielder catches the ball before it touches the ground. Once the batsmen are not attempting to score any more runs, the ball is "dead" and is bowled again."
I highlighted my favorite line. Idiots stand on a field and just randomly try to run back and forth between two sticks. If you can't make it, don't bother running. And what is worse, this altar to absurdity lasts for 3-5 days. Some of you are probably want to make comparisons to Baseball, which is fine as long as you accept that Baseball makes sense and Cricket does not.

So kick away citizens of the world, what other options do you have?

This Just In, Ipods are Killing Music!

I recently read "Everything Bad is Good for You" by Steven Johnson. One of the arguments in the book is that advances in technology are responsible for the increased complexity of television shows. The premise is that the widespread adoption of TiVo's, VCRs, DVDs, and On Demand reward shows that can be enjoyed after multiple viewings, and the shows that can be replayed often are the more complex shows. This is the main mechanism he identifies for the increase in quality and complexity of television over the last 20 years.

This got me wondering if the opposite is happening in music. Thinking through the progression from records to Ipods, technology has made it easier to carry and acquire large amounts of music.

For example, I use to have a 6 disc CD changer in an old car. So on any given car trip I had about 60 listening options. Now, I just hook my Ipod into the tape adapter and have 6000 songs at my finger tips. I also wouldn't change the CDs in the car that often, and thus would listen to the same albums over and over again.

Also, the ability to download, legally or otherwise, large amounts of music allows the listener to constantly be updating their library. I actually hold myself back. For a while I was acquiring new music faster than I could listen to it. Now I wait until I have listened to whatever I have recently downloaded at least 3 times before I go out searching for more.

The result is that I just don't spend as much time with new music as I use to. I can remember listening to a new album for a week straight. The upside is that I find myself exposed to more music, and that is very exciting, but I wonder if I am missing out on the type of epiphanies one would get on the 12th time through "OK Computer."

While I don't think that these new developments are a hindrance to more complex music that takes repeated listens to appreciate, I think technology is creating a situation that rewards music that is immediately likeable. And while there are examples of music that is immediately likeable and fairly complex, like the Beach Boys for example, I tend to believe that complex music takes time seep in and make sense.

I don't advocate going back to records or a mass public smashing of Ipods, I just wonder where this technology will lead us.


Did you know?

Did you know that there is place called "Geekpad?" And did you further know that it is in the DC area? And finally, and most surprising, did you know that I do not in fact live there? Apparently there are three guys in Arlington who have wired their house and called it Geekpad. I can't find specifics as to the set up, but it is wired, has fancy lights, and an automatic ball cleaning Beer Pong table, oh and video games.

My problem is that I don't find anything particularly Geeky about them. Like say the fact that they are included in People Magazine's "Hottest Bachelors" of 2006. Yeah, real Geeky guys. Also, their website is too ugly to be designed by Geeks. Also, they raise money for charity,which is patently un-geeky.

Lame. I bet they don't even have a Linux server in their house, much less one that sends information to your cellphone. So there!

Also, I am not a man with many goals for my life, but an important one is that I will not have a Beer Pong table in my house when I am 32.


Me Talk Pretty One Day...

I spend a lot of time reading the Washington Post chats. One I find particularly fascinating in Gene Weingarten's mainly because it is suppose to be about humor, and I don't find Gene particularly funny. That said, he posts links to funny things, like my previous post. Well, now I wish I had waited a little longer because someone posted this and it is much funnier than the picture.

Also, if someone could explain how to have those fancy YouTube boxes appear on the blog, rather than in links that would be great. I have decided that I am not particularly interesting, but I can use my little corner of the internet to direct people to interesting places and hope to bask in their glory.


I hope this has gone all around the internet, but let me further its progress if it hasn't.


Thank You

I want to write a quick nice thank you note to all of the Yankees fans who attended the game at RFK yesterday. If you hadn't been there cheering, shouting, and generally acting like the asses that everyone knows you are, I don't think I would have enjoyed Ryan Zimmerman's walk-off homerun as much. There was just something about the look on your faces as you silently shuffled out of the stadium that put a smile on my face. In fact, I am smiling now just thinking about it. You truly created a memory that I will cherish for the rest of my life.

So thank you again,


An Apology...

This is an apology to Kriston, Kevin, Mercedes, and Wreck. According to the District of Columbia the car I ferried you all to North Carolina and back in is not "safe" and "pollutes the environment." So sorry about that.

Also, I apologize for not mentioning this at the time, but there was at $500.00 per person charge for the trip, but don't worry Kriston I am willing to count Wreck as luggage. It would be great if you could get that to me as soon as possible.

I'll Show You How I Cook Up Summer in the Winter

I am not 100% certain, but I am going to declare Phoenix's new album, "It's Never Been Like That," to be the album of the summer. While it is not the greatest album of all time, I think it fits the criteria well. It has pleasant major key melodies and upbeat bouncing rhythms. It just generally a pleasant album to listen to. While probably not the best album of the year, it is a very good album. Now, I only got the album yesterday and may change my position, but I feel pretty confident right now.

I will say that "It's Never Been Like That" is certainly better than Linkin Park. I feel like I was not adequately consulted when that album was anointed its status.


I Want To Get Nearer To Thee...

I love Sam Cooke, he is definitely my favorite singer. I started reading Peter Guralnick's biography of him last week, and it is pretty good, but I have some concerns. Principally, I am about 150 pages or so into this 700 page work and Sam already has 3 children by 3 different mothers. And while this seems bad at first, I should also say that his pop career hasn't started yet. He has three children by three different mothers based on singing about Jesus in churches. I can't even fathom what will happen when "Cupid" comes out.