Sunday, September 28, 2008

I'm Conor Glassey ... And I Approve This Message

Sorry I haven’t posted in a while—but I have a good excuse. I’ve been up in Washington DC for the past few days with my family. That’s probably why nobody’s complained around here—I’m with 3/5 of my readers! Anyway, for you other two, here’s a recap…

The reason I came up to DC was because my dad was coming out here for an annual business trip. When I got the internship, his trip turned into a family get-together, as DC is just a few hours north of Durham. I took off from work a little early on Wednesday to drive up here. Most people told me the drive would take about three to three and a half hours but, even without traffic, it took a little more than four. I ended up parking at the southern-most Metro station at about 7 and then took the train into Arlington, Virginia, where my parents had a room at the Hilton.

The Metro stations have some of the longest escalators I've ever seen!

Cheryl was flying standby and got shut out on Wednesday, which was a real bummer. When I got to the hotel, dad was out, so I went to dinner with mom. We just hung out that night, but got up early on Thursday morning, hopped on the Metro and got our tourist on. We got off on the wrong metro stop and ended up walking a ways, but we saw the Washington Monument, got a nice view of the Capitol Building and saw the Lincoln Memorial and the Vietnam Memorial. After that, we took a cab out to Georgetown where I found a great BBQ joint called Rocklands. If you’re ever in DC, hit it up and try the corn pudding. So good! After lunch, I got a call from Cheryl and she made it onto the first flight Thursday morning, which was such a great relief!

Cheryl in front of the Capitol Building on Saturday afternoon.

So, after lunch, mom and I hopped on a bus and got back to the Metro line, where we went home and kicked up our feet for a while before I headed out to the airport to meet Cheryl. She got in at about 4:30, we got back to the hotel and had plans to head out to the Nationals game. But, it was raining pretty hard and was scheduled to rain even harder. So, we didn’t want to go all the way down there, find tickets and then sit in the rain while the game got cancelled. Instead, we went out to dinner with some of the guys out here for my dad’s conference. I felt relieved when the game was cancelled, because I would have been a little bummed if they ended up playing it.

Friday morning we all slept in a little more and then headed out for more sightseeing. We went to the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History and the National Art Gallery. That took up pretty much the whole day and wiped us out, so we headed home after that and then ordered some pizzas from a place called Piero and took it easy that night, watching the presidential debate on TV.

Cheryl is funny!

It was a big day on Saturday. I was really looking forward to heading back to the National Mall for the Library of Congress Book Festival. I was excited for this because Judith Viorst was scheduled to be there. For those that don’t know, Viorst is the author of “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day”—my favorite children’s book and the inspiration for my first tattoo.

I got in line with Cheryl to show Ms. Viorst my tattoo and she was floored. She asked me if it was permanent, which was cute, and then told me that her son Alexander has a tattoo of a bicycle in the same place, because he loves bicycles. It was the first Alexander tattoo she had ever seen, which I thought was awesome.

After that, Cheryl, mom and I went to a Jim Henson art exhibit, which was really neat and then Cheryl and I went over to the Holocaust Memorial Museum. We headed back to the hotel for a little bit before embarking on a Monuments at Night tour, which was a little long, but a lot of fun. We got to see all the stuff Cheryl missed on Thursday morning, plus got a great view of the White House, Arlington National Cemetery, the FDR Memorial, the Thomas Jefferson Memorial and the Iwo Jima Memorial, among other things.

I told you Cheryl is funny!

At the Vietnam Memorial, a man noticed that I was wearing a Seahawks hat and asked if I was a football fan. I said that I was and he told me a story about Bob Kalsu. Kalsu was drafted out of Oklahoma and played for the Buffalo Bills in 1968. He was voted the team’s top rookie that year, but ended the season with a minor knee injury. After the season, he was drafted. The Bills apparently offered to exaggerate the severity of Kalsu’s knee injury, but he wanted to serve his country. At just 25 years old, Kalsu died in action just two days before his wife gave birth to their son. It was a very sad story that personalized an extremely moving memorial. It’s chilling to see how many names are on those walls. There was one Glassey…

This morning we all woke up, went to IHOP for breakfast and then headed out to the Washington National Cathedral. We missed the services being offered, but it was fine because we still got to walk around the breathtakingly-beautiful building that took nearly 90 years to build. There are all kinds of gargoyles throughout the building, including Darth Vader. After that, mom and dad headed back to the hotel and Cheryl and I headed downtown to continue exploring. We went back to the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History because a new exhibit had just opened and then went up to the National Portrait Gallery, where there were portraits of many Presidents, some great political cartoons by longtime Washington Post cartoonist Herbert Block, an exhibit with all kinds of old movie, music and political posters and an exhibit featuring hip-hop and graffiti photography.

It was a blast!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Hey Cosmo!

Whoever called me today using, I'm sorry to say that I didn't get the message. I must have pressed the wrong button or something because it didn't work. It just beeped at me three times and then hung up. I tried to call back, but they said the software is in beta mode and cannot retrieve messages. Try again—I have my guesses, but I'm curious to know who it was!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

September 20, 2008

Crop circles, fat twins & hand dryers

The morning started out a little rough. I slept through the alarm I set (probably because I didn't end up going to bed until 4) and woke up at 11. I was worried that I wouldn't be able to make it to Tire King in time to get my oil changed. See, they don't take reservations on the weekends, it's on a first-come, first-serve basis. Plus, they close at 1 on Saturdays and aren't open on Sundays. Convenient. Things didn't get any better when, on the way out the door, my shoe got caught on the screen door somehow and I faceplanted on the walkway—landing, almost exclusively, on my right pinkie nail. I'm actually surprised it didn't bleed and isn't sore right now. I hate that screen door. The hinges are really tight and it always seems like it's attacking me.

I didn't get lost this time, although it took me a little while to maneuver my way to the place because some streets were blocked off downtown for an art festival. I got in and they had room for me to get my oil changed and tires rotated. I just made it though because, literally, about a minute after I handed the guy my keys, a couple came in and he told them they were booked up for the day. Phew! It only took a few minutes and only cost $15, thanks to a coupon I had. Every Durham Bulls ticket is worth $5 off an oil change at Tire King. Plus, for every batter a Bulls pitcher strikes out, another dollar is added on. So, when I went to see Jeff Niemann pitch and he nearly threw a no-no, that took an extra $13 off my bill. Thanks, Jeff!

After the oil change, I decided to walk around the art festival a little bit, since it was right next door. I strolled through, but nothing really caught my eye. Oh, actually that's not true. There was one guy there that did silk screenings of his old Atari system and of crop circles. That was my favorite I guess. I couldn't stay at the festival long, because I had to be at the mall at 2 for my follow-up eye exam. But, I decided to grab lunch while I was there. After all, there was a Thai booth and I think that's a rarity around here. So I pulled money out from the ATM and got absolutely raped on the service charge. $4.95! I paid $6 one time in Vegas, which should be illegal, but that's what you get for sucking at blackjack, I guess. I never would have thought that my second-biggest fee would be at a rinky-dink arts festival in Durham. The Pad Thai sucked, too...

After lunch, I zipped down to the mall. I grabbed a coffee and walked around Barnes and Noble for a little while, as I had about 15 minutes to kill before my appointment. I had actually been meaning to look around there sometime this weekend because the new Guinness Book of World Records came out recently and I wanted to look though for a beatable record. One of my biggest goals in life (in the top 5 on my "bucket list," you could say) is to someday be the holder some sort of world record (worst beard?). There was one that I had my eye on last year, but evidently I wasn't the only one that thought it was easily beatable, because it's changed hands this year. I did see that the world largest collection of back scratchers is at a dermatology office in Fayetteville, NC. Maybe I'll check it out sometime. The back scratcher I got myself at Prairie Dog Town has been invaluable to me out here! I also flipped through a book of North Carolina Day Trips and found the perfect place for my dad to have a vacation house: Bald Head Island!

I also saw something at Barnes and Noble that I wanted to buy for my friend Caroline, but didn't. It's the thought that counts though, right? Instead, I took a picture. We can call it a digital gift!

My eye exam went really well. The trial contacts that I got last weekend bothered me all week. When I could focus on things, they were really good, but they felt like they were constantly sliding around, which made focusing difficult. I saw a different doctor this time (last week was a sub) and she was great. She assured me that the prescription was correct, it's just that some people have difficulty with different types of plastic. She gave me two different brands to try this week and I have to call when I decide which one is best. Already, the first pair I tried is 10x better than the last set. It could just be a placebo effect, but I'll take it.

After the appointment, I walked around the mall for a bit. I decided to do some laps and get my daily exercise in. I had to laugh at myself after I made the decision, because I was like...walking around the mall for exercise? What am I, 80? But, let me tell you, those 80-year-olds know what's up. Exercise is so much enjoyable when it's air-conditioned and you can window shop and people watch at the same time! I saw an woman with the highest pants I've ever seen, a pair of female twins where one was fat and one was skinny (awkward!) and members of the Georgia soccer team. I tried on some sunglasses and also went into Spencer's for a little bit. I realized that getting Carolina a digital gift without having something to show Horia would be a little rude, so I found this badass hoodie. The hood zips up over your face to make a mask (with little mesh eyeholes. Wicked!

After that, I got my picture taken with the Chick-Fil-A cow and then did a few more laps. Altogether, I walked about a mile in a little under an hour. Oh yeah, I also wanted to mention the bathrooms at the mall, because they reminded me of something I never mentioned in an earlier blog. The bathrooms at the mall have these high-powered hand dryers called XLERATORS. They're pretty cool. They work really well (they actually make your skin ripple, which is funny), but they're nothing compared to the Dyson AirBlade they had in the bathroom at the St. Louis Arch.

After the mall, I came home, played some Madden, listened to the M's, put up a post on USSM, made the awesome video under this post, watched SNL (meh...) and Skyped with Cheryl. I found a sports bar to hit up tomorrow so I can finally see the Hawks play. Maybe they can pull out a win!

Watch out Scott Culver!

So I spent a little more time with iMovie today and created this gem...

Is this digital smothering?

Friday, September 19, 2008

September 19, 2008

I was pretty excited for work this morning—mostly because it was announced yesterday that we'd all be heading to The Q-Shack for lunch. I skipped breakfast, mostly because I woke up late, but it was okay because I knew I'd want to be hungry for lunch. Plans changed, however, due to some time constraints and Q-Shack was re-scheduled for Monday. So, we ended up going to a nearby Mexican joint called El Dorado instead. It's nothing special, but it's cheap, fast and they have horchata, so I can't complain too much. Plus it's always fun whenever we have a big group going to lunch together.

After work I came home and, for some reason, started organizing all the movie files on my computer. Cheryl and I love taking videos with our camera, but all of the videos we've uploaded to the computer (and there were nearly 60 of them) are ambiguously titled. So I watched them all, gave them all appropriate titles and put them into folders. Jen Bean would be proud!

Here are the four best ones I found (and uploaded to YouTube)...

"Shy" plants in Hawaii

Ali singing the ABCs (sort of)

Paxton showing off his white-boy dance skills

And Greg getting a pie in the face at his birthday party a few years ago. I actually edited this one with iMovie (which is harder than I thought it would be, but it could be pretty sweet if I get better at it!)

After dinner I headed out to LocoPops, because I haven't been there in a while. I got two popsicles—banana chocolate chip and mint Oreo. Both were amazing and, although they still didn't have T-shirts in stock, they did have free stickers!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


I didn't mention anything about it yesterday, but during my dinner with Dave last night he asked if I'd be interested in joining the crew at, as he's getting married and Derek already spends tons of time on the site. I said I would, but didn't think anything would come of it—certainly not so quickly! But later that night I got an e-mail from Dave saying he was serious and, less than 24 hours later, I've got my first post up. It's very exciting and actually a bit surreal, as I've been such a huge fan of the site since it's inception (on my birthday) in 2003. Writing for USSM will be a lot of fun. It will sort of be like what I was doing over at StopTheWave, except people will actually read it! It will certainly be an interesting off-season, so I'm sure there will be plenty to talk about over there and I'm happy to be a part of it!

Oh, and to get an idea of what a link on USSM can do for your site, check out this graph of the visitors here...

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

September 16, 2008

It’s been a while since I’ve done a daily recap around here, which apparently annoyed my loyal reader(s), so here goes…

I had a great day at the office today. I went in a little early (because I wanted to take off a little early), but it turned out that I couldn’t actually start work early because the Internet was down at the office. That only lasted about a half hour though, so I wrote my last blog entry for a while, recapping the Texas League championship. After that I worked on writing up some of the most memorable moments of the season for the next issue and then wrote little playoff recaps for another part of the issue. So, including my player feature, there will be three parts of the next issue that I worked on, which is cool.

I was hoping to leave work at about 5:45 because I was meeting a friend for dinner at 6:30 in Burlington, which is about 45 minutes away. But, at about 5:35, one of the designers came up and asked me to proof the page he laid out with the playoff recaps. They had to put an ad on that page, he said, and I needed to cut out 90 lines of text! 90 lines! It took about 20 minutes and right when I was going to save, my computer crashed. We pulled it back up and the changes weren’t there. So, I asked him if this was something he absolutely needed tonight, or if it could wait until the morning. He said it would be fine in the morning, so that’s how my day will begin tomorrow.

So I didn’t end up leaving the office until 6:10. I had no idea what to expect, traffic-wise, but I just put the pedal to the metal and headed out to Burlington. I met up with my buddy Dave and had dinner at a place called O’Charley’s. There was no traffic and I ended up making it out there in just 30 minutes. Dinner was good and it was nice to meet up with Dave. We talked about the Mariners (depressing), his fantasy baseball domination (he was so good after one year the whole league folded), life in Carolina, the price of going to see Duke or UNC play basketball (too much), his wedding/honeymoon, college, all kinds of stuff. Dave’s a great guy—he had a hand in getting me out here in the first place, so I owe him a big one (and a dinner)!

I got lost on the way home, though. Normally I wouldn’t care, but I really had to pee. There’s a part of the freeway where it basically splits and says:


Which one would you choose? I stayed left, but that ended up getting me lost. I could have gotten home either way, but I came from the other way, so that’s what I was expecting and it got me turned around. I drove around and around and finally ended up right next to Locopops. Unfortunately they had just closed, otherwise I would have put another stamp on my card! But I knew how to get home from there and finally made it home at about 9:15 (meaning it took me about an hour to get home, or twice as long as it took me to get out there!). So now I’m just chillin’. I watched last week’s Project Runway on YouTube and now I’m reading baseball blogs and looking at stats (shocking, I know).

In random news, I’m growing a beard for my potential Halloween costume. This is just a trial run though because I told Cheryl I’d shave before Washington D.C. Also, my new shoes started falling apart today. I’m taking a page out of the Jean Addams playbook to see if I can get Phil Knight to send me a new pair.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

My Top 25 Favorite Albums

The iPod shuffle post the other day got me inspired to think about my favorite albums of all time. The bottom part of the list is pretty fluid, but here's what I came up with...

Friday, September 12, 2008

Yankees win Governor's Cup

Not quite the pitching duel I had envisioned! The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees absolutely destroyed the Durham Bulls, 20-2, to win their first-ever Governor's Cup. On Tuesday they'll play the winner of the Pacific Coast League in the Bricktown Showdown (check it out on ESPN2). Phil Hughes got off to a shaky start, but absolutely dominated innings two through five. Over the five innings, he gave up one run on four hits, walked four and struck out 12!

The game was basically over in the third inning, with the Yankees already ahead 10-0. There were many rowdy Yankees fans in the crowd and whenever they would get too loud and obnoxious, the scoreboard operator would show the AL East standings. That was awesome and shut them up every time.

But, the best part of the game (aside from Hughes' ridiculous curveball) was listening to the two kids behind me. They were about seven years old and were sitting with one of the kid's dad and grandpa. The kid's older brother and his friend (probably 12 or 13 ) were sitting in the next row down, on the other end of the aisle. We were right behind home plate, so there was an attractive teenage girl that was taking concessions orders for the people in our section. One of the 12-year-old kids ordered some food, so the dad yelled down to him, "Hey! When she comes back, make sure you give her a tip." Then, this conversation happened...

7-year-old: Why, so he can get the babes?
Dad: No, just because tipping's the nice thing to do.
7-year-old: Oh, so you want him to stay a homo?

I couldn't make that up if I tried.

A few innings later he asked his dad if the radar gun my co-worker was using was a taser.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

I sweat playing XBox

Not because I'm out of shape, because my 360 gets ridiculously hot. At least now I know that I don't have to buy a space heater for the winter. If I'm cold, I'll just play some video games!

September 11, 2008

Sorry I didn't post yesterday, I stayed up late watching the Rays beat the Red Sox (Go Rays!) and was too tired to write. But, the coolest thing about yesterday is that I got a package from Cheryl! It was awesome. She sent me a couple framed photos from our wedding day, a few ESPN Magazines, some great candy, some wiffle balls and a cute card.

Today was a great day at work. After my morning blogging, I finally got the player I'm writing my next article about on the phone. He's been a little tough to track down, so it was nice to talk to him. He didn't have a game today, so we were able to chat for about 40 minutes and he was a kick in the pants. Very SoCal — awesome guy and I think the article is coming along nicely. I'll finish it up tomorrow. I've also been calling around to NL front offices, asking the player development departments for their Fall Instructional League rosters, so that's been fun too.

After work I went grocery shopping because I'm out of pretty much everything. I got some good stuff, including some collard greens and ham hocks that I'm going to try and cook. Hopefully my pot is big enough. I also got a little muffin tin and some cornbread mix. Should be an adventure! Here are some of the other cool things I found at the grocery store...

From left to right, you're looking at a coconut soda I found on the Mexican aisle, these really easy steamed broccoli things I found in the produce section, next to the bags of salad (you just throw them in the microwave for three minutes and ... voila! ... steamed broccoli with cheese sauce!), the easiest Easy Mac ever (these will be nice because I can take them to work if I don't feel like making a sandwich. I've been coming home for lunch, but I realized that I'm missing a great opportunity for camaraderie in the break room. Everyone pretty much eats lunch together and it always sounds like they're having a blast), new blackberry Nutri Grain bars, these little salsa cups (no more wasted salsa down the drain and they were the same price per ounce as the jars), peanut butter and honey crackers (you always see peanut butter and cheese, but honey? Too awesome to pass up), and a big jug of sweet tea (mmm ... sweet tea!).

After that I came home, made some dinner and surfed the web a little bit before Brandon Morrow and the M's came on. Brandon looked okay—this is more what I was expecting last time out. I turned it off when it was 6-0 because I'm tired and about to hit the sack. The best baseball news of the night, though, was that Durham won, meaning they lived to play another game tomorrow. It's an awesome pitching match-up too—Phil Hughes vs. Wade Davis. For those of you that aren't prospect junkies, Baseball America ranked Phil Hughes as the fourth-best prospect in baseball in 2007. He's been in the majors, but has had some injury problems, which is why he's still in AAA right now. Wade Davis was ranked the 15th-best prospect coming into this season so, yeah, it's going to be a treat! It's been a very anticipated game around the office and I'm really looking forward to it! On Saturday I'm going to try and an oil change and then I have an eye exam at 5:15. The exam is at the mall I've mentioned before, so maybe I'll go up there a little earlier in the day and walk around a bit, maybe catch a movie. That new Coen Brothers flick (Burn After Reading) looks pretty good. Sunday = football.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Truffle Shuffle

Instead of doing a post recapping my day (awesome day at work, bike ride, surfed the Internet…happy?), I thought I would do something fun. I’ve seen these types of posts on other blogs and have always wanted to do it myself, but never had the outlet. So here’s the deal: I’m going to put my iPod on random and write a little bit about the next 10 songs that come on. Here goes…

Neutral Milk Hotel – “In The Aeroplane Over The Sea”
I got into this band because my friend Nic recommended them to me. Certain bands always remind me of certain people and this is one that will always remind me of Nic. Everytime I hear them, I like what I hear, but I haven’t listened to their album as much as I would like. This is a great song, though. The acoustic guitar sounds really rich and the singer has a nice voice — similar to the guy from the Decemberists. At about 40 seconds, strings kick in (or is it a saw?) and about 30 seconds later there’s a horn solo of some sort. Definitely a band I should play more often.

NOFX – “It’s My Job To Keep Punk Rock Elite”
The first track off of “So Long …And Thanks For All The Shoes.” The album title’s a play on the title of a Douglas Adams book (So Long And Thanks For All The Fish). I guess Melvin’s a big fan and the band has had a lot of shoes thrown onstage during their 20-year career. I remember when this album came out, the album title created a lot of buzz that it would be their last. Thankfully it wasn’t!
In this song, Fat Mike does one of my favorite NOFX vocal tricks – ending a line with the first part of a word and starting the next line by finishing it. This is a perfect opening track and I really like this album, but it’s hard for me to rank NOFX albums because all of them are good, but they all have their ups and downs.

NOFX – “The Brews”
Yeah, there’s a lot of NOFX on my iPod. It’s understandable considering they’re my third favorite band behind Gatsbys American Dream and Saves The Day. This song is off of NOFX’s most famous album, and the album that really got my friends and I into punk rock in the first place, “Punk In Drublic.” It started with Green Day, which led to Mike buying a Fat Wreck comp, “Survival of the Fattest,” where we found out about a bunch of Fat Wreck bands.
This song always takes me back to junior high. I remember listening to this song like 10 times in a row, jumping around Matt’s bedroom in his old house. The song has a bunch of random Hebrew words in it and I remember always asking this Jewish girl at school what they meant.

Spoon – “Ghost of You Lingers”
I really liked their radio hit, “The Underdog,” but I’ll admit — I haven’t listened to this album much. This song is kind of psychedelic and not as hooky as the single. But they’re a good band and I should check out some of their earlier work.

A Wilhelm Scream – “Anchor End”
One of my favorite bands — these guys are so awesome. I remember interviewing them back in the BW days and they were messing with me and answered every question by somehow talking about monsters. A few years later, Matt and I took a ferry out to Bremerton to see them at some little coffee shop and I brought them a book called The Encyclopedia of Monsters. They’re awesome guys and one of the best live bands you’ll ever see. “All my friends are anchor end” is the chorus in this song and I couldn’t feel the same way. My friends are the best.

The Format – “She Doesn’t Get It”
Ooh, this one is a gem. Actually, everything The Format does is amazing. They have to be the most underrated band on the planet. They’re amazing. Every song is catchy, but not annoying. What I mean is that they’re a band you can listen to over and over and over and it just never gets old. I think every mix CD I’ve ever made for Cheryl has a Format song on it. I wonder when they’re putting out a new CD…

Meg & Dia – “Monster”
Another band that should be bigger than they are, Meg & Dia are sisters from Utah and they have two of the prettiest voices around. Their debut CD is filled with really catchy songs and the voices are a nice complement to the huge guitars and big hooks. They’re another band that makes it onto a lot of CDs I make for Cheryl and I should have gone and seen them when they came through Raleigh a few weeks ago!

Wu-Tang Clan – “The Projects”
The Wu’s sophomore double-disc is easily my favorite hip-hop CD of all time and probably in my top-10 albums of all time. “The Projects” isn’t one of my favorite tracks on disc two, but everything they do is good. Ghostface’s XXX-rated flow at the end of the song kind of comes out of nowhere, but has some good rhymes.

Gatsbys American Dream – “Don’t Think Twice It’s Alright”
Yep, this is a Bob Dylan cover. It’s a rare GAD track from a compilation Doghouse put out called “Paupers, Peasants, Princes & Kings” and I remember how excited Nic was to be asked to be on the album. I’m a big Bob Dylan fan, so it was sweet to hear my favorite band cover one of his songs. I love how strained Nic’s voice sounds on this song — it’s a nice balance to the crisp, synthesized drum track.

Gatsbys American Dream – “We’re Not Orphans”
Apple should program shuffle to never play the same band twice in a row. Not that I’m complaining too much because I love Gatsbys, but still… Anyway, this is the second track on their second album, which happens to be my favorite. I mean, I love all their albums, but “Ribbons and Sugar” just had so much raw energy, when you heard it, you knew you were listening to something special. Gatsbys American Dream is my favorite band and it has nothing to do with Nic being my friend. It’s just the combination of the energy, the passion, the innovation, the musicianship and the message. I have very fond memories from Gatsbys’ shows and I’m still bummed they broke up.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Random thoughts from the VMAs

John Norris is way too old for MTV. Listening to him greet every band by saying, “What’s up dude? Hey dude! What’s up man? What’s up dude?” was super annoying. Move on, John, you’re like 60…

Christina Aguliera was the hottest chick in the room. Wowzers.

Britney Spears is back, ya’ll! I’m pretty sure MTV rigged the three awards she won to prove that point, but she looked really good and was totally coherent. Good for her!

Did they hold the thing in a high school gym?

I really didn’t think I could love Rihanna any more than I already do, but I thought the opening performance was amazing. She killed it! The zombie theme was awesome — very Thriller of her — and she was actually singing. I love her songs, I love her look, I love everything about her, really.

Russell Brand was awesome too. Those Jonas Brothers jokes had me rolling! He was very entertaining, but let’s get serious…I think I could listen to a British dude reading me the phone book. But I can’t wait until Forgetting Sarah Marshall comes out on DVD because that movie was hilarious.

If the room broke out in a fight-to-the-death brawl, I think Jordin Sparks would be the last one standing. The Seahawks could have used her today.

Travis Barker drumming along with a DJ? HELLS YEAH!

Demi Moore? Really? Ashton must have pulled some strings…

Katy Perry is a bombshell. She needs to star in a Wonder Woman movie, am I right?

I’m not really sure why Lil’ Wayne was even wearing pants, but he was entertaining.

Lindsay Lohan and Britney Spears both seemed sober. If Amy Winehouse comes on, I’m buying a lottery ticket.

Paramore sucked.

Paris Hilton’s My New BFF looks horrendous. But I’ll probably still watch.

I think that’s the first time I’ve ever seen Slash without a cigarette. I bet he was chewing Nicorette. But I love that he laughed when he saw that Linkin Park won. The world will be a better place when that excuse for a band stops making music. (Slipknot too)

I miss my TiVo dearly.

All the outside performances made it look like they were rocking out on Sesame Street.

The “just got out of bed” look works for guys’ hair. For girls? Not so much. Lauren Conrad apparently didn’t get the memo.

Add Tokio Hotel to the list of bands that should just stop. How the hell did they win the best new artist award?

Lupe Fiasco is so fresh. I’m still bummed I didn’t go see the Kanye/Lupe/N.E.R.D/Rihanna tour last year. That said, Kanye’s new song is weak.


Saturday, September 6, 2008

The trade

This post is dedicated to Anna Marie.

I got...
Stuart Stahl
San Antonio
Age: 21B/T: R/R
Born: Hull, MA
Position(s): LF/1B
View Hardball Dynasty Profile

Quinton Snyder
San Antonio
Age: 22B/T: L/R
Born: Minford, OH
Position(s): C
View Hardball Dynasty Profile


Trent Miller
San Antonio
Age: 22B/T: R/R
Born: Pittsburg, KS
Position(s): P (SuA)
View Hardball Dynasty Profile

Jin-Chi Choi
Age: 21B/T: S/R
Born: Placentia, CA
Position(s): RF/1B/LF/DH
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I know I gave up the best player in the deal, so it was a hard trade to make. But Stahl and Snyder are no slouches—ranking 8th and 18th, respectively, in last season's NL Prospect Rankings. While both are on the wrong side of the defensive spectrum (Snyder can't really catch and Stahl is a first baseman) with old-player skills, they sure can hit. Snyder is going to max out at about 350 plate appearances because he has durability issues, but he'll still make an impact. Plus, Miller is a quality bullpen arm—something my team sorely lacks. With Brent O'Donnell wrapped up for a few more years, I felt that Choi was expendable and I think I got three Major Leaguers in return.

September 6, 2008

My day started with a phone call. I jumped out of bed, thinking it might be a manager I'm hoping to talk to for a story I'm working on. I didn't recognize the number and tried to clear my throat before answering, but still sounded like I just woke up. It wasn't the manager though, it was a co-worker that lives nearby. He had a flat tire and wanted to know if I had a tire iron. I actually wasn't sure if I did or not, but I said that I did and told him I would be right over. Thankfully I did indeed have one (I would have felt like an idiot knowing that we drove 3,300 miles with spare tire in the trunk but no tire iron). I got over to his apartment complex and helped him change his tire.

After that, I headed home to change clothes because we agreed to go out for lunch (well, breakfast, but let's call it lunch, since it was already 1 p.m.). The whole reason he even went out to his car is because he said he was craving pancakes. We went to a place called Elmo's Diner downtown and it was fantastic. Now I know why it was voted the best place for breakfast in the Durham visitor's guide Cheryl and I picked up at the North Carolina Welcome Center. Good stuff. After that, I took him to Locopops, since it's only about a block away. I was very excited to see that they added a new flavor to the menu...horchata! My friend laughed at me when I pulled out my half-full stamp card.

After that I just came home and chilled for a while before heading out to the Bulls' playoff game. Last night was rained out, so I expected a huge crowd, since it was 87 degrees and clear at game time. I had a feeling that wouldn't be the case when I found a parking spot on the first level just a half hour before the first pitch. I knew it would be even emptier than I imagined when I was able to score a first-row ticket right behind the visitors' dugout. Sure enough, the place was pretty empty. The official attendance is listed at 2,689 (26% capacity), which means a lot of people missed a good game! After fouling off about 10 pitches, Johnny Gomes yanked a home run down the left field line in the bottom of the first, putting the Bulls up, 2-0. That'd be all they needed, as Jeff Niemann pitched seven no-hit innings, finally giving up a double in the eighth, that eventually came around to score. I was excited to see Danny Ray Herrera come out of the Bats' bullpen. Herrera is only 5-foot-7 — probably the shortest pitcher in professional baseball. He was drafted by the Rangers in the 46th round of the '06 draft, but came to the Reds with Edinson Volquez in the Josh Hamilton deal. My die-hard fans (just me?) will recall that I liked Herrera when he was pitching for New Mexico a few years ago.

A crazy thing happened in the fifth inning—the stadium lights went out! I don't know exactly what happened. It wasn't a power outage, because the scoreboard still worked and there were still lights on in the surrounding buildings and the press box, but all the stadium lights were out. It lasted for about 20 minutes and was pretty fun, actually. The Bulls showed an episode of This Week In Baseball on the JumboTron.

When I got home, I Skyped with Cheryl and then messed around with my fake fantasy team. For those keeping tabs, I did eventually pull off the trade that was mentioned last weekend. But by initially backing out, I was able to get a lot better package out of the other owner, so that felt good. It was a prospect deal though, so we'll see how it turns out...

Now I'm eating cereal out of Tupperware and wearing my last pair of clean undies. Looks like I'll be doing dishes and laundry tomorrow while I watch football. Go Hawks!

Friday, September 5, 2008

My first bike ride

After work, I decided to brave the elements and head out on my first bike ride. After all, it was just a drizzle and I was really excited about my new bike. So I changed clothes, threw a water bottle into my backpack and headed out the door.

It only took me about 10 seconds to realize that my assumption that this would be an easier way to work out was horribly misguided. It is just as difficult, if not more difficult, it's just conveniently packed into a shorter time span. My lungs were burning, my thighs felt like Jell-O (and slammed into my gut on each turn of the pedals), I was sweating in places I didn't know were possible and my bruised taint was screaming at me to get a more comfortable seat.

I did go down the trail I found and that was awesome. It's surrounded by woods on both sides, which makes it very peaceful and I loved the smell of wet moss and the sounds of chirping locusts. I didn't see anyone else on my trek, meaning I was the only person lonely stupid committed enough to working out on a Friday night in the rain.

The loop ended up being about 2.5 miles. Now I'm going to take a shower, throw on some sweats and hope I can stay awake long enough to watch Brandon Morrow's first MLB start at 10 p.m.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

I got a bike!

Ever since I've been out here (actually even before I came out here), I've been looking for a bike. Working out has to be fun and riding a bike seemed like the most enjoyable option to me. Perhaps it's because I have such fond memories of riding bikes with my friends growing up. Anyway, I found a full suspension mountain bike on craigslist for only $65. I was thrilled when I called the guy and it was still available and he was even nice enough to personally deliver it to my house! Craigslist comes through again! I'm not going to ride to work until I get a helmet and a bike lock, but I'm excited to go for a ride after work — maybe I'll even head up to that trail I found the other day! Here's my new ride...

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

10 Reasons I Want To Lose Weight

1) Health, obviously.

2) My 10-year reunion is coming up and I want to look good.

3) I'm going to Hawaii in June (yay!) and I want to be comfortably shirtless as much as possible.

4) Horia. I know, it sounds kinda gay — but pretty much every time I see Horia, I think, "Damn, those are cool clothes. I wish I could fit into clothes like that and look that awesome." Which leads me to...

5) H&M. There's one in Southcenter Mall now and I can't wait to check it out.

6) Another store called Zebraclub. There's one in Bell. Square and it's like walking past a bunch of Horia-like mannequins.

7) I'll have more energy to play with my nieces and nephews.

8) Megan probably won't make fun of me as much!

9) Sometimes I have to turn sideways when going through turnstiles. That's embarrassing.

10) I'll save money on gas!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

September 2, 2008

I'm up late for a guy that "ran" two miles today! The truth is, I'm waiting for my dad to call. He's in Seattle in the middle of a fantasy football auction draft for our team and I want to see who we came away with. We already got to keep Adrian Peterson, Reggie Wayne, Jay Cutler and Wes Welker, and I know he got Steven Jackson — so I know we're in good shape, I just want to see how the rest of the roster turned out.

Anyway, it was another great day at the office. Since another intern left on Friday, I did two Daily Dishes this morning (here and here). I also did a post on the business blog (here) and continued to work on some data entry stuff. Also, I wrote most of the recaps at the top of the lists here. I found out that tomorrow I'll be covering the playoffs throughout the minor leagues. I'm not quite sure what that entails/how we're covering it, but I'm excited to find out in the morning. I also found out today that I get two weeks off for Christmas, which is amazing. The two weeks align perfectly with Cheryl's break too, so that's even better! Oh yeah, and I joined a fantasy football league with some of the guys at work. So, it was an all-around awesome day!

After the run, I cooked some dinner (a little spaghetti and a lot of salad), chatted with Cheryl, surfed the Web and played some Madden. During my Web browsing, I came across two things that got me really excited.

1) I can't wait for this to be released for Mac.
2) I can't wait for this to be released in theaters (NSFW).

My first run

Well, I just got back from my first "run." I use the term loosely because it was more of a walk or a panting stumble. I knew I was in trouble when I was out of breath from bending over to tie my shoes and do a little stretching. But, that's why I'm doing it in the first place! I'd say I did 25 percent running, 75 percent walking. But hey, like I said yesterday, it's a start. I planned a route using Google Maps and I ended up going about 2 miles, which took me about 40 minutes. I'm not going to increase the route until I can run the whole thing. If you're a surveyor (or you're just curious) and you want to see a map of my run, here it is...

A is my house, so I went down to B and back. There's actually an awesome trail right alongside Fayetteville. Hopefully someday I'll have the stamina to do some sort of loop so I can run on that trail. During the first half of the run, I thought it was pure hell. But now that I'm home and showered, it doesn't seem that bad. Thank goodness for my iPod and dri-fit spandex (that I wore UNDER my shorts. Don't worry, Cheryl, I'm not running around Durham in spandex and tie-dye!)

Here are a few things I thought of during the run...
• According to this, I burned 666 calories. I knew the devil was involved somehow!
• Thank God no one knows who I am or where I live because it's insane how sweaty I was so close to my house.
• I think I need a training bra.
• Even though it was 7 p.m., it was still 75 degrees out! If a gallon of milk weighs eight pounds, I think I lost two or three in sweat, spit and snot. No tears or blood though — maybe next time!

Monday, September 1, 2008

MLB At-Bat Update

MLB At-Bat released an update today that is downright amazing. Remember how I mentioned that it was odd they didn't have box scores? Well, apparently I wasn't the only one that thought that was odd and they fixed it with their v1.2 update. Actually, they went above-and-beyond the call of duty on this one. Now, the app has Gameday, so there's pitch-by-pitch information, box scores, player cards with up-to-date season stats and summaries of every game. WOW!

September 1, 2008

I had an awesome dream last night. Ever seen that YouTube video where Travis Barker is drumming along to that Apple Bottom Jeans song? If not, check it out. Anyway, I had a dream that I could drum along to that song. I felt so cool! But then I woke up. Haha! I woke up at about 9:30, showered, grabbed a Slim Fast and headed out the door, on my way to the last Greensboro Grasshoppers game of the season. It only took about 45 minutes to drive to Greensboro and I found a free parking spot. It was a beautiful day and I got a seat right behind home plate. Like I said, I was bummed that I didn't go to last night's game, as Mike Stanton and Matt Dominguez each hit two home runs. But Stanton made me feel a little bit better when he crushed a 3-2 curveball out of the stadium in the third inning. It was his 39th home run of the season, so the power's obviously legit. He also drew three walks and was intentionally walked once, making him 1-for-1 with 4 walks on the day. Although I didn't see any myself, the strikeouts have to be a concern. On the season, he whiffed 153 times in just 125 games. Is he the new Brandon Wood?

The Grasshoppers have a beautiful stadium. It's funny going to low-A parks that are 10 times nicer than Cheney Stadium in Tacoma. On top of that, there were some other quirks that made the whole experience very enjoyable. First off, there were $1 hot dogs, sodas and beers. I'm not sure if that is a regular Monday thing or an end-of-the-season thing, but I had a couple hot dogs. They also play Bubb Rubb's "woo woo" over the loudspeaker and the whole crowd does a "woo woo" in return. At first I thought it was really cool, but it got kind of annoying late in the game after I had heard it about 100 times. No joke — it felt like I was living with Chris Miller again! They also videotape the relief pitcher running in and then replay it in slow motion with the Baywatch theme music, which was really funny. But the best part was in the bottom of the third and seventh innings when Babe the Bat Dog retrieved bats after players hit the ball. I'm not making this up! There's a black lab (named Babe) that sits behind a fence with her trainer. As soon as a Greensboro player gets a hit, Babe runs out and gets the bat. It was the cutest thing I've ever seen at the ballpark. Here's a perfect video because it shows Babe getting a bat and you can hear a Woo Woo!

After that, I headed home. But I made a pit stop at Target in Burlington because I wanted to buy a scale. I've decided that waiting to get a bike to workout is just an excuse. I'm sick and tired of being overweight and I'm going to do something about it. Why not? I have so much free time out here, I might as well do something productive with it. What's more important — being good at Madden or living to see my grandchildren? So, I've set a goal for myself and I'm going to use this blog as accountability. The goal is to lose 50 pounds by the time the internship is over. That's 10 pounds a month, which I think is doable. I'm already starting to eat better, now I just have to add exercise to the mix. After work every day I'm going to go for a walk or a jog (or hopefully soon, a bike ride). Right now I'm 260 pounds, but by the end of January, I will be no more than 210. Heck, that's still overweight, but it's a start!

I got home, cooked some chicken (and didn't almost burn down my kitchen this time!) for a chicken salad, ate dinner, straightened up my room, did the dishes, took out the trash, shaved and now I'm about to Skype with Cheryl and go to bed. First day of working out begins tomorrow ... I need some sleep!