Tuesday, January 24, 2006

The Crash

It was a rough week. Truthfully, most of my weeks are rough ones, which tends to be a problem. As previously mentioned, I haven't had a lot of time to update this. In fact, my singular goal for last night was to post about the previous weekend. Mission NOT Accomplished. I spent the evening sleeping in three locations: the chair to the couch to the bed. Despite the frightening similarity to my father's modus operandi I needed it. For the first time is memory, I was up and about before my alarm went off this morning.

So, what exactly was it that brought about my eleven hour sleep-fest? We'll have to go back to last Wednesday's poker game, where better judgement lost out to a full house of Mile Rock Amber Ale over Berghoff Lager. The intial game of Hold 'Em was followed by a chaotic four-man game of Dealer Calls, which resulted in a 2 AM bedtime.

Thursday was supposed to be my day of rest, give the four hours of sleep I was going on. I had nearly been late for work in the morning and I can't say I had much in the tank that afternoon. I was really looking forward to going home and sleeping. However, Sarah F, an old friend from high school and college, called and wanted to stop by that night. She is currently wrapping up med school in Milwaukee and has the month off for interviewing. Sarah F was down in B-Ville and wanted to play a little cribbage. I managed to squeeze in a short nap before she arrived. We managed to finish three games and a bottle of Prairie Fume. Randy arrived with stories to tell of helicopters and the night ended around 12:30 AM. However, I felt that it was a good idea to attempt to both to upload a few songs onto the iPod and post an entry on the blog. Of course the filthy fucking whore locked up on me, and after two unsuccessful attempts I called it a night. Or so I thought. My friend Joe then called at 2 AM to tell me about a private German club he went to that night in Racine. He was well aware of the time and only intended on calling to leave a message, but since I am incapable of not answering a ringing phone I ended up talking to Joe for a good ten minutes.

This brings us to Friday. Luckily I managed to sleep in since I had to pick up copies in Madison. It was needed. Four and a half hours of sleep feels so much better than just four. On Fridays my office is open until noon and everyone gets the afternoon off. I choose to spend my free time... working. I go down to my father's shop and spend the afternoon there. I was surprisingly productive this Friday afternoon until we decided to make a quick "delivery" to Old Duffer's Pub in Verona to have a drink with one of the machinists. This became three drinks and a game of darts. About this time the snow starts. My father and I return to the shop and close down around 5. My mother is crawling back from Madison at this point, to meet my father and I at J&M's Bar in B-Ville for dinner. It is at J&M's that Alex calls me. I had spoken with him the day before, and he was looking to come up and go skiing. Downhill skiing is not my thing, and I was not exactly enthused to be a party to his plans. I had told him that I was busy Friday night with the festivities surrounding Randy's birthday. Alex then calls me at J&M's to tell me he is on his way up from Chicago, in the snow, to go out for Randy's birthday. Alright then, we roll with the flow. I head back up to Madison in the tempest.

Alex is struggling with the weather, and Randy's other friends are at the hockey game, so Randy and I have a few Heinekens and watch the game on TV. Not a pleasant experience, since we lost 1-0. Alex shows up soon after and Randy and I make him drive, both being well on our way to Partytown. We end up going to the State Bar & Grill, appropriately enough on State Street. I haven't been down to the bars on State very much in the last year, mainly since I don't know anyone else that regularly goes there. Back during college I remember running into people from class or other acquaintances on a regular basis, and now it is a little depressing to know for a fact that you aren't going to see anyone you know. So I was happily surprised to have Jake, a close family friend and high school classmate of my sister, come up to me at Buck's (not quite State Street, but we had to pick up Jessica, who lives above Buck's). Huzzah! I am popular. Onto the State.

Now I am never going to be one of those people that can repeat dialogue, especially after a night of drinking. So we will leave it at this: I drank a good quantity of scotch, repeatedly forgot the names of Randy's friends, used the phrase "inner sanctum" at least seven times, gave my business card to a Nigerian civil engineer, tipped a bouncer $2 for "being cool," and bought a random girl at Ian's Pizza a slice of macaroni and cheese pizza for reasons unknown. We managed to hail a cab, and Randy fell asleep on my shoulder during the cab ride back to Middleton. Total damage: approximately $85 in expenses, in bed by 3:30 AM.

9:00 AM, Saturday morning. Alex wakes my still-intoxicated ass up. He want to go snowboarding. I would rather beat Alex with a rubber hose at this point, but being the gracious host that I am, I get my still-intoxicated ass out of bed and down to McDonalds. I get an Egg McMuffin for Randy, although he tells me he won't be there when I get back. He is, and he eats his McMuffin and takes Alex back to get his car. I then had a good twenty minutes to drink my coffee and attempt to read a magazine. When Randy and Alex return, Randy has more McDonalds and Alex gets ready to go snowboarding. We go to Tyrol Basin in Mt. Horeb. I have not been downhill skiing in nine years. I grew up going cross-country skiing with my parents, but only went downhill a few times through school or the Boy Scouts. Come to think of it, I believe I earned Skiing Merit Badge. Regardless, my confidence level is running at about 18% on the drive over, and my blood alcohol was sitting somewhere around 0.1%.

I am happy to say that I did alright and more importantly, did not fall. My main problem came from my background in cross-country. I started going down the hills downhill-style, from side to side. As I picked up speed I would revert back to cross-country style and turn the ski tips downhill. I would then tear down the hill, terrified, until I reached the bottom. Even the "easy" hills are fast this way. I tried a few of the harder slopes to begin with, but as the day wore on I started to get tired and unsteady. We then ended the excursion around 3 PM, and after the obligatory trip to the Double Diamond Bar, were on our way back to Madison. One thing that stuck with me was the amount of snowboarding kids there were on the slopes. I was intimidated by all these teens and pre-teens with their baggy snowboarding clothes and brightly colored hats. They were, to say the least, much cooler than I could ever aspire to be. But I sure as shit went down those hills faster than they did!

Alex went back to Chicago that night after an early dinner at Quaker Steak and Lube. I had called E Eugene and told him that I would head over there later that night. I decided that after Alex left I would take a brief nap. I got about an hour and a half in before my grandmother called me about the hockey game. I had thought it was not being televised since a Buck's game was on FSN. Apparently the game was on UPN 57, so I trucked my ass over to E Eugene's to watch a disappointing 4-2 loss. Swept at home by Denver, plus a home loss to North Dakota State - what the hell? To drown my sorrows I had several Breckenridge Avalanche Ales and watched at least six "Arrested Development" episodes. E Eugene kicks me out around 1:30 AM, but instead of going to bed I stay up to watch a Bill Maher HBO comedy special. I only had to go down to B-Ville to do laundry at the parents' the next day, so I figured I could be tired for that.

There you have it. The reason I never update this. The reason I am always tired. The reason my life is so much damn fun.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Blog Lazy

I realize that I have not lived up to my claimed prolificacy. I fully intend to get back on this horse, starting tonight with a lengthy post about my weekend. Here's a teaser - it was Randy's birthday, Alex came up from Chicago and I attempted both downhill and cross-country skiing. Don't miss it!

Friday, January 13, 2006

Don't Know How To Party

I told myself that last night was my night for rest. I would at least have time for a quick post. This week to date has been a rough one. I haven't even regaled you with my weekly poker post yet. I promised myself that I wasn't going out - no drinking, no carousing, just recharge. I think you all know where this is leading...

I was staying late at work trying to wrap up a report. Two people from work invited me out for a drink at the Bristled Boar, which is conveniently located one block from my place. I didn't stay out long, only until around 7, but when I got back to my place I decided that one more would taste pretty good. Mind you, I haven't had anything to eat at this point. Then I decided to watch a movie and have another. By 9 I was in the bag.

I'd like to say tonight will be the night I wind it down, but that just isn't that likely.

And now to veer off slightly off topic, here's a little story about the Mighty Mighty Bosstones:

Back in high school E Eugene and I both owned this album. On a snowy Saturday in February he drove us up to Madison to take the ACT exams. I spent the entire drive up berating him for being 20 minutes late as well as cursing Dane County for not properly clearing County Road D. I have always felt great fear for the prospect of being late. The ACTs went fine for me, although E Eugene neglected to use the facilities prior to the exam and consequently his mind was not on the subject at hand during the Science and Reasoning portion of the exam.

On the drive home we decided to play the best track of the album, "Someday I Suppose," on repeat at maximum volume while turning on the death heat in his VW Jetta and blasting it in E Eugene's face. In Verona I opened the sunroof, dumping a load of snow down the back of E Eugene's collar. We were laughing like fools. By the time we reached Dayton, E Eugene was at the breaking point and jumped out of his moving car as he pulled into my parents' driveway.

Ahh, to be in high school again, back when I managed to have fun without the aid of alcohol.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

I am becoming obsessed with my iPod

It has been eleven hours...

My computer has locked up an estimated seventeen times. I have used the phrase "filthy fucking whore" exactly seven times. I sustained a slight wrist injury tripping over a pile of CDs around 3:45 PM. I am still wearing my pajamas, although I have been wearing the Greek all afternoon.

But I cracked 3,000 songs on my iPod as of several hours ago. Huzzah! I absolutely love this thing. I have approximately seventy more CDs that I own that I still have to rip. I have been walking around my apartment with it on shuffle, and with each song mentally congratulating myself on my excellent taste in music. Seriously, I am at 51 songs as of right now, and I only skipped one Moody Blues track.

My only non-iPod related accomplishments of today were transcribing Shouts & Murmurs column from The New Yorker and emailing it to several people. I anticipate bafflement in response. I also read a fascinating series of articles in The Economist regarding studies in human evolution. Apparently, after a volcanic eruption in Sumatra, the population of Homo sapiens may have dropped to perhaps 2,000 individuals. The town I grew up in is just now hitting 2,000 individuals. That might explain a few things...

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Poker Post

I have just returned from another night of card playing. I am happy to report that I came in second this week. Before anyone gets too excited I should disclose that only seven players were at the table tonight, so my near-victory isn't all that impressive. Still, I am happy with my level of play. I went out to my friend Natan, who had a straight versus my flush draw. Not a bad call, heads-up.

I bought beer this week in lieu of Lt. Ramm, who won last week but was too busy with helicopter-related issues this week to sully his mind with games of chance. How nice for me.

A Quick Post-New Year Update

Twice now I have attempted to post a lengthy tale of how I came to do what it is that I do. Both times the fates have intervened and my computer has locked up, as it frequently does. I'll keep on trying to get something together, if only because I have what I believe to be the perfect picture for the post. Until then, here is a quick update on the happenings in my life.

My weekend was quite festive despite the fact that I came down with some illness on Thursday. Friday night I was out until the wee hours at a going-away party for a friend. The night started slowly, but by 1 AM there was a spirited game of hockey occurring in the living room. I managed to injure my knee by slightly hyperextending it. Badgers win at hockey.

Saturday morning was spent sleeping. I normally am not one to sleep in, even after a late night. However, I knew when I woke up at 8 that I would be needing a lot more rest for New Year's Eve. I was planning on heading over to E&C's around 8. Then I received a call from McCay, who was attempting to find E&C's three hours before the party was to start. So I made my way over there with a bottle of vodka, a bag of ice, and a bottle of Chivas Regal. Good times were had by all. Badgers win at hockey again.

Sunday morning I came to on E&C's couch at around 9. I felt surprisingly well, considering that I drank nearly the entire bottle of Chivas.

Monday I manage to miss the bowl game. Badgers defeat Auburn. I am still pissed that I missed it.

That's about it. I would like to devote a little more time to this thing, maybe figure out how to change a few settings and such. Until then...