Saturday, March 22, 2008

I'll Stop The World...

The Modern English song, "I Melt With You," is making a comeback.

The problem's in a Taco Bell commercial.

I heard it on TV today among images of cheese and meat and tortilla shells, as Taco Bell promoted its new Cheesy Beefy Melt.

And I was a bit saddened.

Something about such a classic '80s anthem being used to push generally crappy Mexican food just doesn't fit. I'm considering boycotting Taco Bell; at the very least I know I'll never order a stupid cheesy beefy melt.

But my disappointment should really be directed at Modern English for selling out. Don't they realize that song should just stay on the "Valley Girl" soundtrack where it belongs?

"Taco Bell is not a
Mexican telephone company."

Friday, March 21, 2008

An Easter Splash

One Easter morning many years ago...I wish I remember how many, but let's just say more than two, but fewer than 40...I was hunting for my Easter basket. (wait, maybe it was two or three years ago!)

My Easter basket was a big tall yellow plastic thing. I'd finished looking upstairs and I made my way down to the basement, where we had a second refrigerator and a freezer in one of the rooms.

I want to say I found it on top of the refrigerator, behind a couple boxes of cereal, but...I can't be certain. And I'm not sure if I was too young and short for that to be a "mean" hiding place, or if I was tall enough to at least consider it a possibility, and maybe pull a chair over and stand on it to check on top of the fridge.

Anyway...all my rambling is leading to the fact that it was somewhere near that fridge. Either on top or inside or next to, get the idea. That much I remember.

And when I found it, I put it on the concrete floor and knelt down in front of it, rummaging through the fake green plastic grass to see what candy treats the Easter Bunny brought me. (I think I was old enough at that point where I didn't believe in the Easter Bunny anymore.)

I think each year one of the things in my basket was a two-piece plastic bunny filled with candy...and you had to pop off the bunny's head to get it.

But this particular year, along with the chocolate goodies and malted milk eggs...there was a small white cardboard card with rounded corners, maybe about twice the size of a credit card, and on it in my mom's flawless printing, it said...

"Gregg is wished a Happy Easter and a summer of fun at the Family Swim Club!"

That was the community pool across the street from my house. And that unofficial membership card was the beginning of quite a few summers of many...oh, so many...hours spent at that pool.

One of my favorite Easter memories.

"In matters of principles,
stand like a rock.
In matters of taste,
swim with the current."
—Thomas Jefferson

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

It's Already Broken.

So I'm sitting here staring at my I have each year at this time for the past several years.

Apparently, this NCAA tourney thing is a pretty big to-do. And I just wanna fit in. Oh, I've watched a little bit of hoopin'. I've listened to what some analysts have to say...who they like, who they don't, who they think got snubbed.

And I copied and pasted the teams into all the right cells on the spreadsheet, and tomorrow I get to watch it all start crumbling down. It always does, you know.

Perhaps this year, though, I have a secret weapon. Someone I never would have thought I'd call an ally.

I've heeded the advice and basketball knowledge of Bobby Knight. I never cared much for the guy, but his 900-plus wins as a coach make it pretty obvious that he knows his stuff. And in his first year as a guest analyst on ESPN, I can see the storyline playing out: "Knight Joins ESPN, Picks National Champion."

So I sent Pittsburgh all the way to the center of my bracket, because Bobby Knight told me to. I just wanted to do something a little different than all the North Carolinas and Kansases. I'm already resigned to the fact that my bracket will be sufficiently broken by Friday.

But as of right now, it looks like a sure thing...because it's got Bobby Knight's seal of approval. (at least the final slot does.)

My Final Four: Louisville, Kansas, Pittsburgh and Duke.

The chuckling may

"Trying to take money out of politics
is like trying to take jumping
out of basketball."
—Bill Bradley

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Does Anyone Have A Lint Brush I Can Borrow?

Today I learned what "chenille" is.

And I learned that it leaves a trail.

A couple weeks ago I was end-of-season clearance-rack shopping (not something I'll admit to in person...only on my blog) and found a sweater that was a prime candidate for purchase, because it a) fit; b) was practically a steal; and c) looked good, too. (I do have some taste, in case you were wondering.)

And this morning, with winter's last chilly gasp still in the air, I decided to wear it to work. So I snipped off the tags, noticing that one of them said, "Textured Chenille."

At the time I didn't know what chenille was. But by about mid-morning, I noticed that the front of my khaki pants looked a little...dirty, for lack of a better word. And I knew they weren't dirty when I put them on.

Turns out "chenille," in the fabric world, means "tiny, almost imperceptible fibers that get on your pants and make them look dirty, and are tremendously difficult to brush off."

I doubt that anyone at work noticed, and even if they did...I don't really care. But I came home from work and my white T-shirt was no longer white, but instead sort of a fuzzy gray. (ish.)

Oh, and I learned one other thing, today, too. If you wear a white T-shirt under a dark-colored sweater that has a loose weave or is a loose knit or whatever the hell it's called (this isn't a fashion blog,'s a blog where I bitch about stuff!), as you move and twist and turn in the sweater, little pinholes of white will peek through.

If I stood under a black light in that sweater and that T-shirt, I would probably be a spot-on match for a clear night sky. I'm actually going to make patterns with the holes in the shape of the Big Dipper and Orion.

Or perhaps I'll instead remember to never wear a white T-shirt under that sweater again. Yeah, that might be the better way to go.

I'm assuming that a spin through the washing machine will take care of most of the stray nineteen billion chenille fibers resting among that loose weave.

And if not...then I need to go and buy a lint brush.
Or two.

"If you are a dog and your owner
suggests that you wear a sweater,
suggest that he wear a tail."
—Fran Lebowitz

Monday, March 17, 2008

Happy St. Uhh...Um.......Go Have A Green Beer!

This might be an extremely picky point, but...

...which is it?

St. Patty's Day? or St. Paddy's Day?

As a newspaper ad designer, this holiday always bothers me, because plenty of restaurants and bars are advertising their green beer specials and their corned beef and cabbage. And some write it as St. Patty's, while others write St. Paddy's.

Every year when I look through other newspapers, I never see a clear favorite, either. I think the d's are slightly more popular, but you see plenty of t's in ads, too.

What really irks me about this dilemma is that I don't have a strong opinion one way or the other. If it's up to me, I spell it St. Patty's Day. But if people want to push for Paddy's...I don't argue. I see the logic in that spelling, too.

But it taps far enough into my neurotic self that I wish we could pick one and go with it! I don't see that happening anytime soon.

Enough about that.

Today in my e-mail I found an Irish blessing, and while I know St. Pat's is nearly over as I write this, I thought I'd share it anyway...

Always remember to forget
The things that made you sad.
But never forget to remember
The things that made you glad.

Always remember to forget
The friends that proved untrue.
But never forget to remember
Those that have stuck by you.

Always remember to forget
The troubles that passed away.
But never forget to remember
The blessings that come each day.

Happy St. Patrick's Day, everyone. And if you find yourself mulling over the d's vs. t's debate from above to the point of confusion...just order another one of these, and soon you won't care how anything is spelled!

"In Ireland the inevitable never happens
and the unexpected constantly occurs."
—Sir John Pentland Mahaffy

Sunday, March 16, 2008

They've Got A Lot Of Sole

What do you get when you take ordinary objects like push brooms, newspapers, rubber hoses, plastic and paper bags, empty water jugs, plungers, folding chairs, basketballs, Zippo lighters, trash cans and trash can lids, the occasional 55-gallon drum, and yes, even the kitchen sink...

...and combine them all with bushels of creativity and more rhythm than ordinary human beings should be allowed to possess?

You get...STOMP!

Yesterday I went to see the percussive performance group at the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center, unsure of what to expect. I'd heard glowing reviews from a couple people, and read even more online.

But the age range among the people with whom I was attending stretched from kindergarten through AARP member. So I was hoping there was enough appeal in the show to entertain everyone.

There was.

The show starts with one lonely individual walking out on stage with a broom, and as he sweeps the floor, a rhythm begins to build. He's joined by a friend...and then another, and another...until the entire eight-person cast is on the floor, all making magic with push brooms.

They did that throughout the show, using all of the items mentioned above, among others. Many of the props were accompanied by clapping and...wait for it...stomping of their boots on the floor to add different layers to the beats.

The rehearsal time that must go into a show like that has to be immeasurable, to get the choreography down as well as they do. Because if you don't bounce a basketball from the correct height, it won't hit the floor at the right time, and that particular beat has just passed you by.

During one skit, four of the members came out with stainless steel sinks hanging around their necks and used the sounds of rubber gloves against the metal and drumsticks against pots and pans filled with various levels of water to create the rhythm.

And after getting the floor more than a little wet from some overzealous drumming, other members come on stage and put on a show among the puddles using plungers.

It's all very unique, very percussive, very creative.

Have you ever looked at a Zippo lighter as a percussion instrument? All eight members came out on a darkened stage in a single line, and had the crowd's full attention by flicking them on and clicking them closed, the tiny flames lighting the stage.

The beats and the odd props and the energy, I expected. The comedy...I didn't. But there was plenty of that to go around as well.

Although there were no spoken words in the entire hour and a half show, save for a few grunts and "wup!" sounds as they performed their skits, each member's personality came through, from the confident leader who urged the crowd to mimic some of the clapping and finger-snapping rhthyms he demonstrated, to the comedic hit of the cast member who tried so hard to fit in, but was always a step or two slow. His timing was impeccable.

The first hour of the show was relatively tame, noise level-wise, but the last half hour included some of their trademark metal garbage can drumming and lid smashing, along with a slow, plodding, Imperial Walker-esque trek across the stage by several members with 55-gallon drums attached to their feet.

After the show was over, I asked my six-year-old niece if she thought it was a lot of fun, or if it was too loud.

"Toooo loud," she immediately answered.

But more than once I saw her clapping along with the lead member, and laughing at the funny guy, and staring pretty intently at the action on the stage.

So maybe it was a combination of the two.

I think I'd still give a slight edge to Blue Man Group, but STOMP! far exceeded my expectations. And as they were highly recommended to me, I can also highly recommend them as an unforgettable, high-energy performance.

OK, now...what can you do with an empty yogurt container and a plastic spoon? Grab a couple friends and find out! It's a percussion instrument!

"Pop art for the ears.
Rhythm for the eyes.
Theatre for the feet."
—from a review in an Australian newspaper

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Anybody Need A Pint?

I'd love to sit down tonight and write a long, engaging, entertaining blog post to make up for the drivel I hastily posted last night, but I'm feeling kinda drained.

Literally. (Heh.)

I gave a double unit of platelets and a pint of whole blood this morning, which is I think the most they can take out of the human body in one sitting before it starts to shrivel noticeably and take on a ghostly white tinge.

Truth be told, I'm fine. I just couldn't resist such a...*ahem*...witty opening line. But I was in a chair with a needle stuck in me for 96 minutes this morning.

About four years ago, the Blood Center of Wisconsin came around for one its biannual blood drives in my village, and I thought it might make for an interesting column if I donated my first pint.

I'm not squeamish around needles or the sight of blood (usually), and everything went off without a hitch. I dropped off a pint, got some free cookies and juice (whoo hoo!) for my troubles, and went home and wrote the column.

Thing is...once you give them your personal information and fill out all their paperwork, you are officially entered into Their System.

So about eight weeks after my first donation, when I was eligible again, my phone rang one night, and the nice lady on the other end explained to me that there was a critical need for my blood type in my area, and would I be able to stop by the Blood Center's Manitowoc site sometime soon and donate another pint?

"A critical need?" I thought. Uh-oh. That sounded serious. And I'd proven the time before that I was a textbook example of a swell blood donor. So I made an appointment for a Saturday morning, and drained another pint.

This time they asked me before I left if I'd like to make another appointment.

I had just become a "regular."

After a couple more whole blood donations, I was asked if I'd consider giving platelets. This process takes longer than a whole blood donation...up to an hour and a half...and the blood is drawn and run through an apheresis machine, where the cells are separated and collected, and then the blood is returned.

In every minute on the machine, 50 seconds of that minute are spent drawing blood and collecting what it needs, and 10 seconds are spent shooting the blood back into the donor.

Basically...I go and sit in a chair, a needle stuck in my arm, and read a book. Not too difficult. It's like being at the library. Except for the women in the white coats. And, um...the needle. And the bleeding.

Several extra minutes on the machine can usually lead to a "split," or a double unit of platelets. And the new platelet machines at the Manitowoc site allow for donation of a unit of whole blood at the end of the platelet session, if the donor wishes.

So I kinda gave the full menu this morning. I try to go and donate something once a month...or as my schedule allows, because the Manitowoc site is only open two Saturdays a month. But last October I went in to give a unit of whole blood, and was asked if I had a little extra time to give a double unit of red cells, which involved being hooked up to the machine for about 40 minutes.

A donation of a double unit of red cells, though, takes you out of commission on their eligible donor's list for sixteen weeks!

Hey, I'll give 'em whatever they want, or what they need most...but that's a longgg time between donations.

I think I'll stick to platelets on a semi-regular schedule, instead. And the 90 minutes it provides for turning pages in a book.

Not to mention the free juice and cookies!

"He that will not give some portion
of his ease, his blood, his wealth,
for others' good, is a poor, frozen churl."
—Joanne Baillie

Friday, March 14, 2008


Sometimes I think I should make a rule:

No napping.

Oh, I don't mean that for everyone. Babies and toddlers, they sure still need naps.

I'm talking about just for me.

I should learn to sleep during the normally accepted and clearly posted "Sleep Hours." And during all other hours of the day, I should be awake.

If I wish to sleep, I have a bed for such an activity.

If I'm on my couch, I should either be watching a movie, or a basketball game (cursing whichever basketball team just screwed up my soon-to-be-filled-out bracket), or reading a book...not lying horizontally, dozing off at unacceptable hours of the day...

...and waking up fifteen minutes before midnight, only to jump up and recall four very. frustrating. syllables. that make me rush to this chair and this screen, thinking, "Shit! I've gotta write a stupid blog post!"

So no napping.

All in favor?............

...that's what I thought.


"I generally don't feel anything until noon.
Then it's time for my nap."
—Bob Hope

Thursday, March 13, 2008

My Moon, My Sign

One of the gadgets I added to my Google homepage a long time ago when I was clicking through the gazillions of options was a daily horoscope.

Not surprisingly, I don't read it every day. But I glanced at it tonight...mostly for a distraction, possibly for inspiration. And what do you know? It became a blog post.

Below is my Thursday horoscope, along with my footnoted reactions.

Listen to your inner voice(1) now that the Moon is in your sign(2), for it's encouraging you to leave the logical realms(3) and step into more intuitive spaces(4). Forget about words for a while(5); you already know the truth(6). Sometimes precognition can make you feel uneasy(7) as you struggle with the reliability of the information(8). A dose of emotional detachment(9) can help you to be an objective observer of your own life(10).

  1. I often listen to the voices inside my head, but they rarely have anything positive to say. Off to a bad horoscopical start already.
  2. Whoo hoo! The Moon is in my sign!! I have no idea what this means, but I'd rather have it in my sign than anybody else's.
  3. How can I leave something I never visit?
  4. And what exactly makes these spaces more intuitive? Feng shui?
  5. What?? Do you know to whom you're speaking? If I forget about words, what else is
  6. Yeah, the truth is that without words, I'm stuck with beer. And after brief consideration, I'm OK with that.
  7. I feel especially uneasy when I have to look up the word "precognition."
  8. Now that I know what it means, I think very little precognitive information is reliable. (not sure, but I think that just made me sound kinda smart.)
  9. Worded this way, it sounds as if those emotions need reconstructive surgery.
  10. I saved the deep one for last...Do you really think it's possible to be an objective observer of your own life? Hmm.
For the record, none of the ideas expressed in my Thursday horoscope pertained to my actual Thursday in any way. Here's hoping that tomorrow's horoscope hits closer to the mark.

And that it has something to do with beer.
It is Friday, after all.

"Faithful horoscope-watching, practiced daily,
provides just the sort of small but warm and
infinitely reassuring fillip that gets matters
off to a spirited start."
—Shana Alexander

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Stuck In The ’80s.

I got a bit of an eerie feeling this afternoon that I wasn't where I was supposed to be. Or perhaps it's more correct to say that I wasn't sure I was when I was supposed to be.

I was making my weekly jaunt around the village (yes, I jaunt on a regular should, too!) to distribute the latest issue of the paper to the newsstands, and on my last stop, I walked behind a parked car that had a "Baby On Board" sign suctioned to its rear window.

Haven't seen one of those in quite a few years.

That was enough of a blast from the past all on its own, I got back in the company van and started to back out of my stall next to the car with the "Baby On Board" sign, I noticed that..."Jesse's Girl" was playing on the radio.

(Brief Parenthetical Aside No. 1: When I was in high school, I had a "Tennis Player On Board" sign in my car window. Um...why?? Was it to alert other drivers that it was OK to yell, "Go, Ivan Lendl!!" or "Mats Wilander rocks!" as they met me on the roadways?)

I quickly checked myself in the mirror to make sure I wasn't sporting a mullet and didn't have my shirt collar turned up, and drove back to the office.

Tonight when I got home, I had an overwhelming urge to play with my Rubik's Cube and crank some Flock of Seagulls on my stereo.

(Brief Parenthetical Aside No. 2: Did anyone else notice that a certain mega-super-humungo retail chain that begins with "Wal-" and ends with "-tons are so damn rich, why do they have to build another damn store right in my neighborhood??" had an obnoxiously large display of Rubik's Cubes in their aisles last holiday season? Are they making a comeback? Have they ever left?)

I really hope when I wake up tomorrow I'm back where I belong, and that I don't have to write my next blog entry on this Commodore 64.

"The 1980s are to debt
what the 1960s were to sex.
The 1960s left a hangover.
So will the 1980s."
—James Grant

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Why I Went Bananas Last Night

So last night I sat down in front of this screen at shortly after 11:00, much the same as I'm doing tonight.

I didn't have much on my mind, but I had to fill my quota for the day.

I was going to discuss bananas and peanut butter, and what an incredible snack they make when combined. I mean...this was riveting stuff I was going to deliver. I had plans to promote creamy over chunky (the only way to go, peanut butter-wise), and that, while I'm not necessarily a choosy mother, most times I also tend to choose Jif.

"Perhaps a word or two about other great combinations," I thought to myself as I was putting together my post in my head. "Gotta mention peaches and cottage cheese, too." screen was unresponsive, and I got nothing when I clicked around the page.

So I logged off and got back on, and...

...wait. Check that. I tried to get back on, with no success. And then I tried again. And again. And again and again and again.

It was about 11:15 by the time I'd made several unsuccessful attempts to reconnect, and while my internet provider has been incredibly stable for all the years I've had service from them, I've had a handful of glitches like this in the past. Nothing to worry about. I said a few choice words in the direction of my monitor, read a few pages of Bryson, and tried again to log on.


"As long as I get on with 20 minutes to spare, I can knock out a quick and dirty blog post and stay in the game," I thought. By the time my clock read 11:40, I was more than a bit concerned, and my swearing had turned to begging. "Pleeeease connect, just for a few minutes." Uh-uh. Nope.

My last attempt to connect was at 11:58, and when that one failed, I pushed in my keyboard tray and took a well-deserved breather from the frustration, leaving "Monday, March 10" conspicuously absent from my blog.

Oh, don't worry. I realize that the sun will still rise, the earth will still rotate, and Brett Favre will still be retired, whether I blog every day in March or not.

But it still leaves me feeling a bit defeated.

Whether I vow to write three blog posts a day for the rest of the month, or meet a thousand-words-a-day goal...I'd still finish the month as a thirty, out of thirty-one.

You win, oh powerful and stubborn Internets. You win.

" a queer thing.
It brings you great gifts with one hand,
and it stabs you in the back with the other."
—Carrie P. Snow

Thirty of Thirty-One Isn't So Bad, Is It? (Yes...It Is.)

Technology sucks.

Longer version to follow tonight after darts.

(Unless I decide to stay at the bar and drown myself in tequila shooters in an attempt to wash away the realization that I've just failed the March NaBlah.)

(I won't. Tequila sucks as much as technology.)

(I will most definitely be drinking Diet Coke, or Diet Pepsi...or whatever the hell's coming out of the gun.)

(I'm finished with the parentheticals now.)

(Well...until tonight, anyway.)

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Amen! Or...Not.

For several Sunday evenings earlier this year, I attended a community forum series on the major religions of the world. Every Sunday a different religion was presented, with a half-hour overview of the religion's history and beliefs, and a half hour for questions from the audience.

I don't think I came away from the series on a more focused path toward one religion or another, but I learned a little bit about each along the way, which is all I was looking for. Actually...if I had to pick one out of the sessions I attended, I'm probably a Hindu. But that's still up for debate.

The religions covered were Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism, Judaism, Protestant Christianity and Catholic Christianity. And because of bad weather one week, and my swell winter cold the next, I missed the last two dealing with Christianity. (I wonder if that's some sort of sign.)

Religion is a topic that I have a hard time discussing with much conviction, because I'm *mumble mumble* years old and I don't know what I believe. Or...if I believe.

I was raised Catholic...and I have a buddy who's got more brains than most people I know, and he's a devout athiest...and I can understand both points of view, and every one in between.

I guess I'm just confused.

I got a little insight earlier this week in my quest for answers, when a quote popped up on my homepage that made an awful lot of sense to me. And it was the impetus for this post.

Abe Lincoln used only nineteen words, but came out sounding incredibly profound.

"When I do good, I feel good;
when I do bad, I feel bad,
and that is my religion."
—Abraham Lincoln

Saturday, March 08, 2008


I was watching an episode of Poker After Dark last night, and the theme was "Dream Table," where an amateur won a contest and was able to choose the five players he'd most like to play against.

And he made some pretty good selections, as three of his five are in my Top 10 List, if I was ever to be lucky enough to play at a full dream table of my own. The amateur, Ken Light, chose Daniel Negreanu, Jennifer Harman, Scotty Nguyen, Mike Matusow and Phil Hellmuth.

When I was in Vegas last April, I got to check out the poker room at the Bellagio for a few minutes, and saw the high-stakes room partitioned off in the corner...nothing flashy, just a few tables, a small seating area, and several well-known faces. But the money that must have been exchanging hands in that room is probably something I can't even fathom.

I walked over by the entrance, but if you stood there and gawked for too long, you were ushered away and told to move along. Sammy Farha was sitting in a chair right near the door, and as I watched for a bit, he looked out at me, probably used to the attention from Ordinary Joe passers-by like me.

But it really struck me. There, about 15 feet away from me, was Sammy Farha! A guy who...looks the part of a poker player, and whom I've seen on ESPN many many times. Also in the room were Allen Cunningham, Gabe Thayer, Barry Greenstein. It was one of the highlights of my trip. (although...isn't Vegas pretty much one big highlight from start to finish?) the past I've compiled most of a list of a Dream Table of my own, so I thought I'd fill in the holes and publish it. And because the Tournament of Champions a couple years ago had a 10-person table, here would be my top nine, with one seat left open for me, of course.

Daniel Negreanu. Easily my favorite poker player, and a great personality to have at any poker table. He talks a lot, jokes around a lot, and is scary good at reading people and the cards they hold.

Johnny Chan. A 10-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner (in poker, it's all about the bracelets as far as bragging rights go). The guy's overflowing with style and poker smarts. It would be an honor to sit at a poker table with him.

Jennifer Harman. Not only is she a great poker player, but she's all perky and bubbly and cute and...yeah. Huge crush. Huuuge.

Gavin Smith. The dude's just funny...what more is there to say? He knows his poker, but he's also a big gambler. Guaranteed fun when he's at the table.

Phil Ivey. Some say he's the best player in the world. I just wanna win a pot off of him while he's got me in one of his patented staredowns.

Antonio Esfandiari. A former professional magician, he can do some pretty amazing chip tricks. (The more chip tricks you can do, the more table cred you sometimes get. I can do, chip tricks. Therefore, no cred.) He's also very witty.

Sam Farha. Like I said, Sammy looks like a poker player...often wearing a sportcoat and no tie, cool-guy shades and holding an unlit cigarette as a prop. He plays a LOT of pots, no matter what his first two cards are. I like the gamblers.

John Juanda. Very quiet at the table, but he's wicked smart. And when you least expect it, he comes up with some one-liners that can make you roll.

Phil Hellmuth. As much as I hate to include his name on any list of poker players, the entertainment value he provides makes it a necessity. One of the best in the world (or the best, if you ask him), he holds the record for most WSOP bracelets with 11. He's better-known for berating his opponents at the table than he is for his skill, however. His nickname is "Poker Brat," but that's only because they can't print what he really is on T-shirts. Truly an asshole, and an awkward human being...but he makes for good TV.

The slogan at the World Series of Poker is, "anyone can win." If I sat at a table with these nine players, I think it's obvious that that slogan would not apply to me. But it'd be a fun couple hours until I lost my chips.

"I am the Jack Nicklaus of poker,
the Tiger Woods of poker,
the Mozart of poker."
—Phil Hellmuth

Friday, March 07, 2008

Is There Such A Thing As A "Good" Morning?

There’s an old saying that says it takes all kinds to make the world go 'round.

Short people, tall people; big people, small people...
(Dr. Seuss would be so proud.)

But I don’t think there’s ever been a bigger canyon of difference between two groups of people that everybody’s familiar with: morning people and night people.

As soon as you read those words, you knew which one you were, didn’t you? Yep. I’ve known from a very early age in which category I belong ...(“Gregg, will you get out of bed already? It’s almost noon!!)...and it’s not easy to change.

The dreaded “m” word has haunted me for much of my life, and it’s even twice as scary when turned into “Doube M”: Monday morning.

I marvel at people who can wake up with the sun and start their day with a half hour of exercise, read the early edition of the newspaper front to back and have a well-balanced breakfast. I don’t know where they find the time.

My morning exercise consists of one giant leap out of bed and into the shower, and I’m lucky if I grab a granola bar on my way out the door...if I have a couple extra seconds to open the cabinet door. I don’t read anything before maybe 10:30 a.m., because my eyes are still closed, trying to make a slow transition from sleep mode to grumpy awake mode.

I must state here that I’ve seen my share of sunrises. But there’s a big difference between getting up at sunrise and staying up until sunrise. I once was a champion of the latter, and have never been too crazy about the former.

The first one has happened a time or two in my life, though, and I’ve got the pictures from trolling on Lake Michigan to prove it. Actually, they’re just pictures of the sunrise; they’re not pictures of me in a boat at sunrise. You can take my word for it that I was pressing the shutter, though, ok? I really was.

I prefer an all-night card game where I’m driving home to find my bed as the sun’s peeking up over the horizon. I pause to soak in all of Mother Nature’s beauty in the morning light and a strange calmness falls over me...because I know that soon my head will be on my pillow and I’ll be catchin’ some serious zzz’s.

Some people are talented enough to pull of the double duty of being both morning and night people. These people are called insomniacs. Or to save a few syllables...tired.

What’s the Army slogan that was in their commercials years ago? “We get more done before 9 a.m. than most people do all day.” That may be true, but do they get more sleep before 9 a.m. than us nightowls? I rest my case.

For the record, I have given serious consideration to attempting to change my ways and becoming a more awake, alert, ambitious morning person. I’ll let you know how that all turns out.

Until then, it’s gonna be granola bars on the fly instead of scrambled eggs and toast with the daily sports page.

And an alarm clock with a boxing glove attachment, for that industrial-strength wake-up call.

“It’s hard to seize the day when
you must first grapple with the morning.”

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Refreshments, Anyone?

"So just how far down do you wanna go,
and we it out over a cup of joe
and you could look deep into my eyes
like I was a supermodel."


One day back in 1996, I was driving home from Milwaukee...listening to a Milwaukee radio station (that tidbit of trivia is critical, because I don't think the song was ever played in smaller markets like Green Bay)...and those lyrics came through my speakers.

"What did he say?" I thought to myself as I stared at the stereo. And then the beat kicked in, and I started doing one of those dance-in-the-driver's-seat moves, as I listened to the rest of the song.

And so began my love affair with one of my favorite groups that very few people know about...The Refreshments.

The song was "Banditos," and I went and bought their disc, "Fizzy, Fuzzy, Big & Buzzy," very shortly after hearing that song. As it turns out, "Banditos" might be one of the weakest songs on the disc, which isn't so much a slam against that song, but a testament to the rest of them.

I played that disc so much, if you could possibly wear out a CD, that one is a good candidate. I introduced The Refreshments to my friends, and one summer night after more than a few beers, I went off on a latenight, slurred ramble about why I was such a big fan. "The reason I like The Refreshments...," I began. And...nobody can remember what I said after that.

That became a catch phrase for a summer or two, whenever I played the disc. "The reason...I like The Refreshments...," someone would say to me. And I'd repeat it back to them, "The reason I like...The Refreshments..." To this day I still have no idea what I said that night, but apparently I repeated it over and over.

After two discs, The Refreshments disbanded, because one of the members decided he didn't want to be a rock star anymore, and another member wanted to be a bit too much of a rock star, complete with all of the substances that many rock stars tend to enjoy.

Shortly thereafter, the lead singer and the drummer formed a new band, called Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers. They've put out four CDs, and I've been fortunate to see them live three times, after thinking I'd totally missed my chance to see them as The Refreshments before they parted ways.

The music is still just as good, and I was listening to some old Refreshments stuff at work today, thinking to myself...

"The reason I like the Refreshments..." because they fuckin' rock!
(that's the abridged version of what I must have said that inebriated summer night.)

Give "Banditos" a listen if you're so inClyned.

"I wonder where I'll be in a year.
Probably be sittin' right here.
But if you know the answer,
don't tell me, anyone.
I don't wanna know."
—Don't Wanna Know, The Refreshments

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Dubya Is The Bestest President Ever!

George W. Bush wants to be my friend. He wants to be all our friends, really.

So much so, that he and Congress have expedited a bill that is going to send us all free money. Everybody cheer..."Hooray for free money!!"

Supposedly it's to stimulate the economy, but I think he's just trying to pull his approval rating up to something that doesn't include a zero and a decimal point.

Here are a few ways I'm considering using all the fabulous money that my new bestest friend is going to put in my mailbox in a couple months:

  • Put a down payment on a house. (a doll house.)
  • Kick start my travel plans to New Mexico...or The Keys...or a small tropical island with umbrellas in the drinks...or pretty much anywhere that's not Wisconsin.
  • Buy beer. (duh.)
  • Spend $599.50 to rent an airplane to fly over the White House with a banner trailing behind it that says, "Stimulate THIS!" (I mean...uh..."Thanks, Dubya!") Spend the other 50¢ on a Diet Dew from the vending machine across the street.
  • Start paying for haircuts, rather than just letting my hair grow until I'm annoyed with it and then zipping it off with a clippers.
  • Cash my check when I get it, and stuff the hundred-dollar bills under my mattress, so that I'm completely to blame when Bush's economic stimulus package does nothing to pull the country out of this recession that we may or may not be in or heading for or getting close to or at least discussing on the cable news networks. rebate check is already earmarked (Earmarks? I thought John McCain was going to reject of those.) for my car. How sexy is that! Not a week's vacation to a place where I can get a tan, or a wheelbarrow full of Milky Way bars, or funding for a time machine so that I never ever have to turn 40.

Nope. Tires.

I can hardly wait to go shopping.

"The best way to keep children at home
is to make the home a pleasant atmosphere,
and let the air out of the tires."
—Dorothy Parker

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

A Disturbance In The Force

The population of the NFC North has been shaken up quite a bit so far this offseason.

In my favorite NFL city, the Detroit Lions have traded away Shaun Rogers for basically a cheeseburger and fries. Or maybe some cornerback I've never heard of was included in the deal, too. Rogers was massive, and dominating...when he wanted to be. Thing is, he only wanted to be maybe five or six plays a season. The ultimate underachiever in Detroit, now he'll probably go be a stud D-lineman in Cleveland.

Offensive lineman Damien Woody also made his exit from The Motor City. But as any Lions fan knows, the offensive line has for decades been the team's most consistent(ly horrible) unit. What's one more hole in the offensive line? The draft is coming up soon, so I'm sure Millen & Co. will address those drafting a wide receiver.

Sorry. I didn't mean for this to turn into a tirade about how bad the Lions are even when they're nowhere near a football field. Instead, it's supposed to be a tale about the NFC North's elder statesman. Its mayor, if you will.

Today, Brett Favre announced that he's turning in his hardhat, packing up his stuff and going home for good. After the season he and the Packers had last year, I don't think anybody saw it coming. Why wouldn't he want to come back for another year with such a talented young team? Why wouldn't he want to come back to a game he proved he can still play at the very highest level? Why wouldn't he want to come back for another nine or ten mil to pad his checking account?

The answer was one that we mere mortals probably can't understand. He's tired. After 17 seasons, 275 consecutive starts, and more than a few bumps and bruises along the way...he felt it was time.

Being a Lions fan living an hour south of Green Bay poses a strange conflict. If Favre was easier to dislike, then it wouldn't have been such hard news to take. But he's the kind of guy you cheer for. He played the game because he truly loved it. And he just "accidentally" racked up every major quarterback record, and fame and fortune beyond his dreams, along the way.

A buddy of mine who's a Seahawks fan went to the Seattle/Green Bay playoff game in January. And he went as a Packers fan, wanting to see Favre get another Super Bowl ring. As cracked as that logic might seem to some, I knew where he was coming from. I wanted to see No. 4 finish this magical season with the Lombardi Trophy in his hand, too.

Granted...if the Packers had been playing the Lions in that game, I might have been whistling a different tune. But the Lions in the such a preposterous notion, I didn't have to bother dreaming of that scenario.

After Green Bay got home field for the NFC championsip game, I figured it was a foregone conclusion that we'd be watching Favre vs. Brady in the Super Bowl. Talk about must-see TV!

But he looked pretty cold out there that day. And a bit like an aged gunslinger. And he threw that pick.

And now...a month and a half later...he's hanging up his six-shooters. On his terms.

Thanks for it all, Brett.

Should you decide to come back in a year and play some more, there's a team across the pond that could use you. They've got a few pretty good wide receivers. But watch that offensive line.

"It's hard to throw for
4,000 yards and 30 touchdowns
in good shape or bad shape."
—Brett Favre

Monday, March 03, 2008

I Could Have Had A V8!

At the end of my very long first post of the month, I said that my next list would be two vegetables I hate, and that it'd be very difficult to find two that fit the category.

While I give Brad credit for quickly offering beets as one option, I'm afraid that one doesn't make the cut. My parents used to make incredible pickled beets. So that one stays firmly planted in the "yum!" column.

I ran across this list of vegetables on Wikipedia tonight, and thought I'd share. There has to be something on that list I don't like, because half of them I've never heard of! I have no idea what a scorzonera is, or a gobo, or a sea grape, or a fiddlehead.

But since I'm lacking a bit in substance tonight, I'll ramble for a few paragraphs about the one and only...tomato. Years ago, that would have made my list. I'm one of the biggest ketchup freaks I know, but for a long time, I kept my distance from tomatoes.

When we'd have BLTs for dinner at home, I'd always have a BLB. (bacon, lettuce and bread.) And because I wasn't eating the sandwich the way it was supposed to be eaten, I felt guilty about reaching for the bacon. Like I shouldn't be allowed to have any if I didn't eat the other ingredients with it.

Over time, I started to include diced tomatoes in my Mexican food, and the occasional T on my BLTs. Perhaps a slice of tomato on a burger or other sandwich as well.

Today, I'm somewhat of a fan. Tomatoes are vital to good Mexican food, and are more than welcome on a burger or BLT.

I can eat a raw tomato slice by itself, although I don't actively seek them out. And I still don't get how some people can eat tomatoes like apples. Uh-uh. That's not for me. I could do it if I was forced, but...I doubt raw tomato eating (with salt & pepper shakers at the ready) will be a challenge on Fear Factor anytime soon.

Meanwhile...I'll continue my search for two vegetables I hate.

Does anyone have a lotus root handy? That doesn't sound too appetizing.

"Vegetables are interesting but lack
a sense of purpose when unaccompanied
by a good cut of meat."
—Fran Lebowitz

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Left Foot, Left Foot, Left Foot, Right

Happy Birthday to yoouuu,
Happy Birthday to yoouuu,
Happy Birrrthday, Dr. Seuuuss...
Happy Birthday toooo yooouuuu!

(be grateful there isn't an audio file attached here where I actually sing.)

Today is Dr. Seuss's birthday. He would have been 104 years old.

Several years ago...I don't remember how many...I went to get my mail and found a flat cardboard package stuffed into my mailbox with an envelope attached to the outside. I opened the package to find The Foot Book, by Dr. Seuss, an "incentive" to get me to join such-and-such book club.

"Please review our introductory offer and consider joining our swell club, and keep this book as our gift to you," the note told me.

Well...I'll admit that I didn't rush right out and sign up for their club. But it kinda makes for a good day when somebody sends you free Dr. Seuss books, don't you think?

I still have the book, and someday will have more Seuss next to it on my shelf.

So pay tribute today to the Hunches, the Hortons, the Lorax, the Long-Legger Kwong, the Sneetches, the Sneedle, and of course, Sam I Am. The Cat In The Hat (and Thing 1 and Thing 2), the Brown Bar-ba-loots, the Zax...and on, and on, and on.

And have some cake. Don't you think Dr. Seuss would want us all to enjoy some cake?

"Today you are you,
that is truer than true.
There is no one alive
who is youer than you."
—Dr. Seuss

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Ton-Fifty-ONE By One By One

So NaBloPoMo is back.

No, it's not November yet. The organizers have instead decided to "go monthly," meaning that any month in which you need to give your blog a boost, you can sign up and on the first of that month, off you go...blogging merrily every day.

Apparently I need some sort of acronym pressure in order to pay attention to this blog, because once a week just isn't cutting it. So I signed up. To help bloggers on their journey, NaBloPoMo is going to have a theme each month, and the theme for March is: Lists.

I doubt I'll follow the theme every day, but it gave me an excuse to finally do one of those hip-and-trendy 100 Things About Me posts that many bloggers have. Seeing as how my blog title references one hundred fifty-one, however...I'm going to try to stretch it out that far.

So here...lucky readers...are one hundred fifty-one things about me. I hope.

  1. I think this month will be harder to complete than November was, but I don't know why.
  2. One hundred fifty-one things about me is going to be ridiculously overdone.
  3. Six would do just as well.
  4. You can stop reading when you get to six and I'll understand.
  5. In the late '80s, I broke my fibula playing football with friends. I limped around for several weeks before having it checked out, and by the time it was X-rayed, it was already healing well enough on its own.
  6. I used to have a pretty good arm throwing a football, baseball, etc. Now it's probably below average.
  7. If you're still reading this list...thanks. It might not get more interesting, though. Sorry.
  8. I would choose skydiving over bungee jumping, although I've never done either. But I'd kinda like to try both.
  9. I would hate for either of those activities to include the sound, "splat!"
  10. I think onomatopoeia is cool. But that's a lotta damn vowels.
  11. Sunsets over sunrises.
  12. Malts over shakes.
  13. Vanilla over chocolate.
  14. I've been reading since I was 4 years old. (or so I'm told.)
  15. I don't remember much about my life so many years ago.
  16. I like cookies just fine, but I could go the rest of my life without eating another Oreo and never miss it.
  17. I can't remember the last time I had an Oreo. (Maybe it was when I was 4 years old.)
  18. There are many big snowflakes in the air as I'm writing this.
  19. Being the owner of exactly zero snowmobiles, I've had all the snow I can handle this winter to last me until I'm 40.
  20. Oh, shit. I'm only about 16 months away from 40.
  21. I've only been to Vegas twice, but I was hooked in about the first hour I was there.
  22. Vegas isn't a place you should go if you have an addictive personality.
  23. I think I do. And I hope to be there for my 40th birthday.
  24. But every holiday for the past few years, I've had a cup, just so my family can laugh at me drinking coffee.
  25. Tea over coffee.
  26. I've had the nickname "Vach" (rhymes with "blotch," not with "Spock") since eighth grade.
  27. It was given to me by the captain of our freshman rec league basketball team.
  28. Our team name was "The Masters of Slam." But only one player on our team actually could. Not very masterful.
  29. The next year, our team name was changed to "The Masters of M.G.D." I would have preferred to stick with "Masters of Slam" and work on my jumping ability.
  30. For a very long time, I was quite finicky about the beer I drank: Corona or Miller Lite, thank you very much.
  31. In the past several years, I've branched out substantially, and enjoy sampling many different beers.
  32. When engaged in latenight philosophical discussions on living up to one's potential, I've even been known to reach for a Blatz Light (provided it's within arm's reach, and there's probably no other beer left on the premises).
  33. Dasani water is the best water on the planet, with City of Two Rivers water coming in a close second.
  34. If all the water I drank was Dasani, I'd be broke. I regularly drink oceans of water.
  35. I like water more than I like beer.
  36. When in the company of my beer-drinking buddies, I will flatly deny ever admitting to Item No. 35.
  37. I have an unhealthy obsession with office supplies: roller ball pens, notebooks, rulers, mechanical pencils, Sharpies.
  38. If I golfed once a week during the season, I think I could consistently shoot in the low 40s.
  39. As it is now, I golf three or four times a season if I'm lucky, and my scores range from low 40s to low 50s.
  40. I stare at the moon and the stars...a LOT.
  41. I don't drink much milk. But I eat a lot of yogurt.
  42. I have no idea if those two things should be in the same item or not.
  43. Maryann over Ginger. (not. even. a contest.)
  44. Someday I'd like to be a better photographer than I am now. (that won't be difficult.)
  45. And also own a dSLR with some kick-ass lenses.
  46. I've never seen Barry Sanders in person.
  47. Did I mention I'm a Lions fan?
  48. And in a constant state of depression during football season?
  49. I learned to drive in a brown 1970 Chev Impala, affectionately known as, "The Tank." I miss that car.
  50. I've been in the presence of Natalie Goldberg (twice) and Dave Barry. It doesn't get much better than that.
  51. While all families have some level of dysfunction among them, mine is quite...functional. And hanging out with them pretty much rocks.
  52. Thanksgiving is far and away my favorite day of the year.
  53. Every day during the year in which I get to attend a concert is tied for second.
  54. Music over air.
  55. I've had a smoker's cough, even when I'm not sick, for as long as I can remember.
  56. I've smoked maybe 40-ish cigarettes in my life.
  57. My very first CD was Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark's Greatest Hits.
  58. I used to know what my 100th and 200th CDs were, too. I don't anymore.
  59. I currently own more than 600 CDs.
  60. In 2000, I had hernia surgery the day after Thanksgiving. That was quite a painful weekend of recovery.
  61. I wish I knew how to play the piano.
  62. I used to be pretty damn good on the saxophone.
  63. One of my guilty pleasures: the Jackass and Steve-O DVDs. (those guys are mad funny.)
  64. I've been scuba diving once, and it took me a few minutes to trust that I could actually breathe under the water. I'd love to go again.
  65. I grew up across the street from a community swimming pool, and am quite comfortable in and around water.
  66. You're not actually still reading these, are you?
  67. Seriously...go put a jigsaw puzzle together or something.
  68. I own nine parrots. None of them are real.
  69. I've partied like a rock star at Tao in Las Vegas.
  70. When I go back to Vegas, I want to go back to I can say that not only have I been there, but that I am now indeed a "regular."
  71. This just in: I am not...a rock star.
  72. When I was younger, I used to want to be a garbage man, and would hang on to the handrail on the bottom step of our basement stairs, and lean back, making garbage truck noises, and throwing the "trash" (blankets, pillows, etc.) up onto the stairs.
  73. When I see a garbage man today, I still think they have a cool job.
  74. Staying up late over getting up early.
  75. I keep some very strange part because of insomnia, and in part because I'm just a dork who doesn't know when to go to bed.
  76. I've been at my current job for nearly 13 years, and while I love the job part of the job, I don't think I should be there anymore.
  77. I'm not quite certain where to go from there.
  78. Maybe I should be a dealer in Vegas. (nooo, not a drug dealer, stupid.)
  79. I can throw a Frisbee pretty well.
  80. I don't understand why some people can't.
  81. I can't water ski or downhill ski for shit.
  82. Those who can have every right to tell me to get the hell off of their skis and go play Frisbee.
  83. I've seen Rounders about 7,245,396 times.
  84. That might be a conservative estimate.
  85. I watch poker...and golf...on TV.
  86. Phil Mickelson over Tiger Woods.
  87. People who make me laugh are without question my favorite people.
  88. I hang around with some outrageously funny human beings.
  89. Winchester over Frank Burns.
  90. My favorite curse word is "fuck," and all its incarnations. A truly versatile word.
  91. I'm quite careful about where I use it, however.
  92. The coolest thing I got in the mail recently was a little Beanie Baby polar bear to officially mark my Polar Bear status from January 1. Completely unexpected. And completely cool.
  93. I'm supposed to give platelets later today, but I'm still hanging on to the end of a week-and-a-half-long chest cold, so that appointment will probably be postponed.
  94. I've worn glasses since third grade. I took them to school in their case rather than wearing them, and when the girl next to me found out I had them, she went and told the teacher, who told me in front of everyone to put them on. Not the kind of attention I was seeking.
  95. I am a condiment king. I bet I could slather a hot dog bun with about ten different condiments, forget to add the hot dog, and not even notice.
  96. I might have five or six different kinds of mustard in my fridge door at this very moment.
  97. I can't remember in what grades...I think it was sixth and eighth...but I have two city-wide spelling champion titles.
  98. I didn't do so well at the regional level, though. Either year.
  99. When Andre Agassi's first Nike shoe came out, with the neon orange swoosh, I must have looked at a billion different stores before I finally found it. I kept that pair of shoes until the soles were almost falling off of them.
  100. I've seen Agassi play an exhibition match with Tim Mayotte.
  101. When I was in high school, I had a thunderous serve. If my groundstrokes would have matched my serve, I might have been dangerous. As it was, I was...pretty good.
  102. I've made it past one hundred.
  103. This is not easy.
  104. I bet our next president's name will rhyme with "Yo Mama!"
  105. I have done and will do my part to make sure that Item No. 104 comes true.
  106. March Madness isn't too far away, and what I know about college sports makes me undeserving of my own bracket.
  107. I'm going to have one, anyway. Probably two.
  108. In my grade school art class, I took a couple gouges out of my hair with a pair of those blunt-ended scissors. Of course I did it only days before class photos. My mom was so proud of her artistic little boy!
  109. If space tourism ever becomes even remotely affordable, that's a trip I'd love to take.
  110. Diet Pepsi over Diet Coke. Diet Dew over both.
  111. I'm a Gemini.
  112. And an INFP.
  113. My favorite "red" flavor for just about everything is raspberry. Except Kool-Aid...then it's cherry.
  114. For a very long time, I thought "for all intents and purposes" was really "for all intensive purposes."
  115. A buddy I went to school with thought it was, "supposively."
  116. I haaaate making typos. But I know I make more than my share. As soon as someone brags about how perfect they are, that's when an ill-timed typo crops up.
  117. I'm going to have plenty of typos in this entry, because I'm not going back to reread all of these. We'll call Ton-Fifty-ONE.
  118. Spring over summer. Summer over fall. EVERYTHING over winter.
  119. I don't get NASCAR, and have never watched more than three minutes of a race, much less the entire several hundred miles.
  120. My favorite color is purple.
  121. Now I'm really reaching for shit.
  122. While I'm still totally enamored by my blog title, and the meaning behind it...I haven't hit a Ton-Fifty-ONE in dart league for a couple years now.
  123. I better get to it, or I'll have to change the title to, "An Occasional Hat Trick." And that doesn't have quite the same oomph.
  124. If I don't ever write a book that people read, or even a short story or a widely read'd be cool to have just one quote that people remember, and occasionally use.
  125. I'm a quote-aholic.
  126. Barry Manilow is cool. And I'm not just saying that to fill Item No. 126.
  127. Do you know how much of an impression Colmes makes on me from Hannity & Colmes? I bet I've looked up his first name a dozen or more times, and I can never...never...remember it. It's Alan. Don't ask me that tomorrow, I won't remember.
  128. The only neat thing about this winter is all the icicles hanging off of so many of the buildings. Some of them are huuuuge. I'd take some pictures and post them on my blog, but a lot of them have dropped off, and I hope they don't come back. But they will, won't they?
  129. Spending a couple hours listening to Adam Duritz sing songs and tell stories is about as perfect as a night can get.
  130. Ditto when you replace "Adam Duritz" with "Matt Nathanson" in Item No. 129.
  131. I can eat fifty eggs.
  132. No...I can't. I just felt like quoting that down here. Great movie.
  133. I wish I was a Photoshop genius.
  134. I saw the Kentucky Derby from just a few yards past the finish line the year Smarty Jones won it. He was my horse. I quadrupled my money. Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey were there that year, and so was Anna Nicole Smith. Supposedly Kid Rock was too, but I didn't see him.
  135. We were in the infield the day before for the Kentucky Oaks. I highly recommend the infield as a first party of spring kinda thing.
  136. The mint juleps were pretty awful, though.
  137. My childhood days were spent playing a LOT of two-on-two driveway basketball, and snowbank Nerf football in the street.
  138. I grew up on a one-block-long street, so the instances where we had to yell, "Car!" were few and far between.
  139. To borrow a line from Dustin Hoffman, "I'm an excellent driver."
  140. Driving is relaxing to me.
  141. A year ago I saw Blue Man Group in Chicago, and in a couple weeks I'm going to see STOMP! I'm eager to see which one makes more of an impression on me.
  142. I'm kind of addicted to the yellow "Energy" flavor of VitaminWater. But I have no idea if it really gives me energy or not. I don't care.
  143. I've been planning a trip to New Mexico for more years than I care to remember.
  144. Other trips (Vegas) always seem to get in the way.
  145. Someday I'll drive there, spend several days enjoying the scenery, and then drive a different route home.
  146. Another place I want to spend a long weekend is in the Florida Keys.
  147. But my next trip will probably be to...Vegas.
  148. What was that I said about addictive personalities?
  149. I realized this a long time ago, but I think I should re-emphasize it here: One hundred fifty-one things is way too many.
  150. This will be my longest post of the month, for sure.
  151. Thanks for putting up with my foolishness, and goodnight.

Tomorrow's list will be Two Vegetables I Hate, and believe me...that one will be harder to complete than this one was. I honestly can't think of a vegetable I don't like.

"My to-do list is so long
that it doesn't have an end.
It has an event horizon."
—Craig Bruce