Tuesday, January 30, 2007

The Weekend

This past weekend turned out to be an eventful one. This wasn't expected, since I didn't have a single plan on Friday. I enjoyed a calm week at work only to be slammed with a ton of problems on Friday. That's how it always happens, it seems. I drove down to the old hometown to help my father reconcile the yearly OSHA paperwork, expecting to do nothing over the weekend other than make a much-needed trip to the grocery store to stock up on provisions. As it happens, I didn't have the time to make it there.

Friday night I called up the Lieutenant to see what was new in his world. I knew that his birthday was a week ago, but I was ill and he was out of town. As it turns out, he was downtown and I quickly agreed to meet him there. Ever since my graduation I haven't made any regular visits to the downtown bars on State Street. It's just not my style. But every so often I like to prove that I still can. So Friday became that proving grounds. We started off at one popular nightspot and made our way to several others. It was 3:30 in the morning before I returned home. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't just a little proud of the fact that I can still debauch myself in this manner.

Saturday morning wasn't the high point in my life, to be sure. But I was cognizant enough to remember that I had agreed to undertake a Clint Eastwood marathon of sorts. The night before I agreed to go see Letters From Iwo Jima followed by Flags Of Our Fathers. These are both exceptional movies, but this experience was grueling. The full effect of this has not yet set in for me, but after watching these movies I was just numb. Eastwood is without argument one of the greatest directors of our time. I enjoyed these movies as much as one can enjoy the representation of so much human suffering and loss of life. It is one thing to watch a fictional movie and celebrate the good guys winning, but when you see movies like this, and of course you know just a bit of the history of the events behind them, it is difficult to come out all warm and fuzzy. Lt. Ramm put it best when he said following Letters, "That was a good movie. I was nearly for the Japanese."

After this Eastwood marathon I ran home to change quickly from my moviegoer garb to something more appropriate for a night out at one of the newer pool lounges in town. I was meeting my good friends Natan and Bart for a night of pool at the The Brass Ring, next to my beloved High Noon Saloon. We played Cutthroat, appropriate for three dudes. I distinguished myself by losing the last game by inadvertantly shooting in my own ball following an incredible shot. So it goes.

Sunday morning was one of those rare mornings where I awoke with the joy of no hangover. It sucks getting old, and what gets me the most is the recurrent shittiness of the morning after. I called up E Eugene, who was stuck with an open house during the Badger game. Too bad for him. I watched my Badgers beat the Hawkeyes and then journeyed over to the Chalet for a little afternoon drinking. Once his lovely wife returned, we ordered in Picasso's pizza and watched Little Miss Sunshine. I had heard the buzz regarding this movie, and I have to say I was not disappointed. I've always been partial to the blacker shades of comedy, and this movie hits all the right notes.

So, for not having a single thing to do as of 6:00 Friday night, it turned out to be just about the best weekend a guy like me can hope for. I saw three great movies, and touched base with a good number of my friends. What more can you expect out of three days?

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

A quick at-work update

It would appear that my days of stealing WiFi internet access from my neighbors have come to an end. I haven't been able to get online at home for a few weeks. This will put to an end my procrastination on getting that cable modem for myself. So that's my excuse.

Anyway, here is that picture of the Saturn next to Arrowhead Lake in northern Minnesota. My trip up there was relatively uneventful. I was surprised by about 2 inches of snowfall when I came through Duluth on my way up to the Range Cities. I had thought that I'd checked the forecast, and that it had called for two days of clear weather. Apparently I was wrong.

Last week I had another site trip, this time up to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. I went to five sites over two days. The weather was mostly cooperative, with just a little snow. Unfortunately, I came down with a cold on the second day of the trip, which resulted in me being for the most part out of commission over this last weekend.

Here is a picture that I took from the top of a hill overlooking the town of Wakefield, MI.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Martini Party

This last Saturday I ventured over to the Chalet for E & C's Martini Party. It was the second time this event has occurred, and I was determined not to relive the events of last February. This only required the self-control to limit myself to less than five of the aforementioned concoctions. I am happy to report that I was successful in this regard. It was a fun time had by all.

It was especially good to see a couple of old friends from back in the college days. Back in 2001-02 I lived in an apartment with E & C on the outskirts of campus. Our upstairs neighbors ended up becoming good friends. We used to drink Pabst in the front yard and generally have a good time. It was one of the best years I've ever had. So I was very excited to hear that Upstairs Eric was coming down from Fond du Lac with his lovely wife Jenny. I believe the last time I'd seen these two was way back at E & C's wedding. There was plenty of the requisite reminiscence, fueled in part by plentiful quantities of gin. The only downside to the night was the relentless headache I developed several hours into the party. I suppose the upside of this was that it did prevent me from imbibing enough to cause an even worse headache the next day. Still, that's a consolation prize I'd rather do without.

One couple was notably absent from the festivites: AE and Rebecca. Their excuse passes muster, however: Rebecca gave birth just last week. Congratulations to both of them. I look forward to meeting young Aubrey, and perhaps joining forces with Rebecca to ensure her progeny is raised a proper Cub fan. If it were left to AE, the poor kid would be rooting for the Brew Crew. I just can't let that tragedy happen. Because this season will be THE season they go all the way. I can just feel it. Sure, I say that every year, but this year I mean it!

Prior to the weekend I journeyed up to the Mesabi Range in northern MN. I've got a pretty sweet picture of the Saturn next to a pristine frozen lake that I'll try to get up tomorrow.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Experience Is Everything

So last night I was reading a book and half-watching the Giants play the Eagles. And then I saw this:

If I were to tell you that I love Old Spice and that I worship Bruce Campbell, maybe you would then understand why I watched this clip seven times at work. I know, seven times isn't a whole lot, but I simply couldn't watch it any more without losing control of my faculties. It's just so damn funny...