Sunday, March 28, 2004

And it goes a little something like this...

Friday: work und more work. Left earlier than I had planned in order to meet up with Los Os, JG and JW. Tonight's destination: Hard Times Cafe, Alexandria style. Of course, I still got there later than the designated 6:30pm start time. It was a good time, as I got to catch up with Los Os, while JG and I gave Mr. O a hard time for being a bit of a name-dropper in his blog. (He's not really that guy, but it's much more fun to pretend he is and give him shit for it. This harassment would last well into Saturday night. More on that later.) The food, as always, was fat-packed with deliciousness. I ordered and appetizer of southwestern egg rolls (forget their menu name), and then, after seeing JG's order, eventually got myself some Coney Island dogs. Now that's tasty! After much conversation and food consumption, we's called it a night. I returned home, did a load of laundry, goofed off, then went to bed.

Saturday: On Thursday evening, via telephone conversation, JG and I hatched a plan. We sprung this plan on the Hard Times attendees to try to drum up a little group road trip. Alas, they were all pussies. Consequently, it was only JG and I who made the trip to Pennsylvania for a journey into deliciousness. That's right, it was another journey to Hoss's. As JG put it: carpe salad bar.

So, I wound up getting up butt-ass early for a Saturday (and a dreary morning Saturday to boot), 'round 8:30, just so I could get to the gym before meeting with Mr. G. Did that, returned to my tasteless hovel, cleaned myself, and set off to start my day at about 10:30. Met JG just after 11am in the Best Buy in Tenleytown and we began to make our way there. We get to Hoss's, place our orders, and we're heading for the salad bar. JG, being a Hoss's veteran and (as I discovered) a salad artiste, got in line ahead of me. We're moving down the length of the bar, assembling our salads, when all of the sudden, there's a halt in our progress. It turns out that JG's favorite salad dressing, the dressing to which he was building this particular salad (a sight to behold for sure), was no longer available. In its place was some heinous, non-fat raspberry vinaigrette concoction. Feh! I chuckled at first, but it was no laughing matter. Salad philistine that I am, I was not able to comprehend just how important this particular dressing was to the overall salad experience. Its absence knocked JG for a loop and he had no idea how to proceed. Italian? French? Buttermilk ranch? I'm not even sure on which dressing he eventually settled, but the experience was certainly an eye-opener for both of us. The lesson learned? Always check what dressings are available before you start throwing salad fixins together. On the fly salad making is not recommended.

Anyway, after stuffing ourselves thoroughly, we made our way back to JG's spot to watch the Saturday afternoon tournament games. Of course, there was about 45 minutes until tip-off, so JW and I squared off with a trash-talking filled game (or three) of Hot Shots Golf 3. Needless to say, he put a solid beating on me. Someday, though, his virtual reign of golf terror will end. JG, meanwhile, fell into a food coma, not to emerge until the first half of the first game was nearly complete. When he finally did make his way downstairs, we just chilled until C (a co-worker of JG's) showed up and we were ready to make our way toward our next destination: The Red Room Bar at the Black Cat. The four of us got there and planted ourselves at the end of the bar (our usual spot) and proceeded to drink up. Mr. O eventually joined us for the merriment (at which time JG and I proceeded to give him more shit for his alleged "name-dropping" crime). As time passed, Mr. O, JG and C decided to call it a night, leaving only JW an I to fend for ourselves. The rest of the night was rather non-eventful for the two of us, the high point being my clumsy flirtation with some girl who seems connected in odd ways to D.C.'s music/arts scene and who also seemed to be in the red as far as her drama-ometer was concerned. But she was friendly enough, so no harm in talking to her. Eventually, JW and I made our way out of there sometime between 1:30 and 1:45, where he would make his way back on that long ass ride to Alexandria, while I walked the 15 minutes or so back to my spot (with the obligatory stop for ghetto chinese).

And that was Saturday.

Sunday (today) has been a total wash. Didn't get out of bed until it was firmly in the PM, and have done not much of anything since, save going to CVS for a couple of items. I need to put a serious cleaning on this place, I'll tell you what. But no energy for that today. Mmmmm.....slothful.

This week could have some interesting possibilities, as there's a position open at the hotel that I'm considering applying for. Word on the street is that the director in that department has actually considered me for this, but is afraid my current boss wouldn't let me transfer. That, of course, is not true, as he has already told me he's willing to promote me wherever I want in the hotel, and even gave me first shot at a position that came up in engineering back in November. But we shall see. I do hope the pay is a significant increase, as I'd like to start saving more money and, more importantly, move out of my current apartment and find something nicer/bigger.

Also, The Black Dahlia Murder will be playing at The Ottobar in Baltimore next Friday. I may try to make that, if I can get all of the logistics worked out. I wish they would play in D.C. proper (is there any place in D.C. that books metal shows?), and it's either this or Jaxx. We'll see.

Friday, March 26, 2004

Okay, right away, I will say that this is fucked up. Really. But I also started picturing the teacher singing "Kill the Wabbit" as soon as I saw this. Elmer Fudd has ruined me. Damn you!

Take that, Atkins!

We've done the twinkie, boys. Do we dare?

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

When Two Tribes Go to War: A History of Video Game Controversy: this is a fascinating read over on Gamespot. (Found via Scrubbles.) On page six, they mention the new carding system, to which I was subjected last week when I bought Mafia. When you scan a game that is rated M, a screen pops up and prompts the cashier to ask the purchaser if s/he was born before whatever year would make them 17 and consequently old enough to buy the game. Of course, I didn't get carded after I said yes. I don't know if that's cashier discretion (because I'm obviously of age) or just laziness. But I have to say, I'm glad its in place. It's a fairly harmless precaution and it puts more of the responsibility on the parents if their kid comes home with a game with questionable content. (And my rambling editorial re: games that go too far and what exactly is the responsibility of game designers that I threated a few weeks back is still brewing. Worry not.)

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Well, since Mr. O has started talking about his recent trip, I guess I can't really use fatigue to be lazy about going into this past weekend. Thank you for raising the bar yet again, bastard.

(I keed!)

Actually, there isn't much to say about the weekend. It started for me on Thursday, where I was set for a 12:30pm meeting with JG at the Tenleytown Best Buy (he was working up in that area), at which point we would make a beeline for his spot with a stop for vittles along the way. So I'm inside Best Buy (where I wound up buying Mafia and Splinter Cell), it's about 12:45 when I get the ring-a-ding.

It begins.

"I'm still in this meeting and it's going to be another half hour or so." (That's probably not an exact quote, but that's the long and short of it.)

So I continue to walk around the store, seeing what else I might buy (almost picked up two Slayer CDs, a WWE DVD or two; the one thing I actually wanted--season one of Chappelle's Show--was not in stock). Before I know it, JG is standing next to me. I make my purchases and we depart. We go across the street to where he's parked, load into the car, he pays $4 for ten minutes of parking, and we're off. NCAA tournament, here we come. (Mind you, the first few games are already in progress.)

So we're heading down Wisconsin...traffic ugliness. We turn right on Van Ness to head up to Nebraska (?...lord, I don't know my Tenleytown geography any more) and BANG! The po-po have a stretch of Nebraska outside blocked off. So we make a U and continue up Van Ness, a left onto some street and BAM! Backed up traffic, because there's a light and everybody is waiting to turn left onto Massachusetts. At this point (actually, much earlier--long, useless meeting don'tcha know), JG is steaming. After some more tricky navigation, we finally make it onto Mass and we're home free. We have a generally trouble-free drive from that point. The plan was to find a Popeye's up near where J and J live, but it was not where it was supposed to be. So JG and I decide to make a trip to Giant for some rations and a drive-thru at McDeath's on the way back from Giant. Inside Giant, JG and I embark on what I dubbed the "stoner special." Our haul: beer (2 cases), chips, soda, cookies, ice cream, mini corn dogs, donuts and the most brilliant move of all: a whole chicken.

(BTW, Mr. O, kick Mojo in the nuts for dropping the ball on National Corn Dog Day, a'ight? Fucker.)

So with food in hand, we get our Mickey D's on, and we're heading into the final turn. Humorous (sorta) aside: my cell phone was blowing up that day for some reason. All wrong numbers, of course, and JW, who was wondering where the fuck we were. By the time we get to the spot, two of the games are over (and JG and I had already lost one Sweet 16 team from our brackets with Charlotte losing to the Big Joke in a Red Sweater), we were just in time to watch the closing minutes of the Maryland game.

From this point forward, there's not much to say about the weekend: Chappelle references, basketball, gluttony (we housed just about everything from our haul except for the chicken of all things, plus we ordered Monterey's twice, chinese food once, and JW and I went to IHOP on Saturday afternoon), lechery, beer beer beer, a trip to Bugsy's, "Free Westy!" (All these ducks are killing me inside!), The Swimming Pool, and PS2. Now that's a boys weekend. JG and I are pretty much on the losing end of the tourney pool (he was blasted out with extreme prejudice on Sunday night; I was done the night before), though, I still have my eventual champion alive and kicking. That might be good for third place again.

I came home Sunday night, rested (got more sleep at their place than I would have if I had been home the whole time) and not at all wanting to take on the work week. But so far, it's been very tolerable.

By the way, in case you didn't notice it on the links to your left, there's a new blog for everybody to visit and laugh with: Ruidoso, presented by Mr. GC himself.

Thank you. Now go.

Sunday, March 21, 2004

I'm back. My mini-"vacation" at the Double-J Ranch was a great time (as expected). Will blog more about this when/if I feel like it. Right now, just going to catch up on a few things and then call it a night.

Also, since my brackets are pretty much shot, I will now cheer for Xavier for the rest of the tournament. Go Musketeers!

Thursday, March 18, 2004

Like my friend Carl O., I, too, will be away from the blog for a few days, as I'm heading for a luxurious stay at the Double J Ranch, where much beer (and Monterey's, hopefully) will be consumed and an assload (Asl; Buttload, or Btl in metric) of basketball will be viewed. I'd make public my picks for the Final Four, but I could do without the ridicule, thankyouver'much.

Of course, my absence means considerably less since I don't update as regularly as Mr. O, nor do I update with news of much "consequence."

Now then, go on about your "bidness."

Wednesday, March 17, 2004

Just heard on Sportscenter (re: Bobby Knight): "...the general tosses salad everywhere." I knew it! Ha!

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

Now wait just a goddamn minute...they cut out Eudora Welty's belch. THEY CUT OUT EUDORA WELTY'S BELCH! Did her estate sue, or is this just outright insanity? Someone help me out, please.

Fuck.

Sunday, March 14, 2004

This weekend (so far) in patented Carl O. bullet point form:

Friday: apres work, met up with JG and AE for some hot ACC Tournament action at the ESPN Zone. This was my first visit, and I have to say, I wasn't terribly impressed. Bailey's is a better venue, in my opinion. (Especially for its "JG Sports Bar" status.) Didn't do anything after that.

Saturday: early part of the day was spent shopping (first for presents for my sister's birthday, then for myself), while the evening was spent in the company of JG and JW watching the Comedy Central Chappelle's Show Marathon. (What?! Okay!) In between was some more hot ACC Tournament action (fuck Duke).

Sunday: Birthday lunch for sister with sisters, parents, nephew and niece. Also, was able to watch the first half of the Patriot League championship game, where my alma mater was competing for the third year in a row. Once again, they lose a close game and fail to get that automatic entry into the NCAA tournament (again, fuck Duke). Soon, lord let's hope they make it soon. In about 30 minutes, I'll be watching Wrestlemania XX. And while we're on that subject, let me give you the rundown on the card and my predictions.

Christian vs. Chris Jericho (Raw): This should be a solid match as far as the workrate. They certainly did an excellent job building to the match the last few months. Jericho usually steps it up big, and this is probably Christian's biggest non-tag team match at any Wrestlemania. My guess here is that they put Christian over, but not before he gets a solid beating from Jericho. Pick: Christian

Torrie Wilson/Sable vs. Stacey Keibler/Miss Jackie ("Inter-promotional"): Total T&A trainwreck. I wish they wouldn't waste PPV time on matches like this. Only good thing that can be said is that there might be a nip-slip. Otherwise, utterly worthless. Pick: who cares?

WWE Cruiserweight Open (Smackdown) featuring Chavo Guerrero (Champion) vs. Kidman vs. Rey Mysterio vs. Tajiri vs. Ultimo Dragon vs. Akio vs. Funaki vs. Nunzio vs. Jamie Noble vs. Shannon Moore: This should be an entertaining spotfest. No psychology at all. I'm not even sure how the rules are for this match. I'm assuming it's going to be gauntlet style (first two square off, then the winner faces the next entrant, and so on). It could be a battle royal. There have been rumors that Dean Malenko could be a surprise entrant. I'm hoping that due to the fact that they're calling it an open that there are at least one or two surprises (Hurricane? Spike Dudley? Nova?). I'd like to see Chavo retain and enter a feud with Paul London, who really needs a push, because he's probably the second best cruiser behind Rey Mysterio right now. (And Mysterio, who is ridiculously over, is being rumored to be getting a push against heavyweights soon.) Pick: Chavo Guerrero.

WWE Tag Team Championship featuring Rikishi/Scotty (champs) vs. APA vs. Haas/Benjamin vs. The Basham Brothers (Smackdown): The Bashams just had a long run come to an end, so I don't see them picking up the win. Rikishi and Scotty are ridiculous. Rikishi should be cut and Scotty should have his character made over and entered in the cruiserweight division. Haas and Benjamin are the best wrestlers of all 4 teams and would put on the best matches, but don't have much personality at this point to be a top drawing tag team. That leaves the APA, but that's been done many times before. A toss up, but I'm going with the self-proclaimed "World's Greatest Tag Team." Pick: Haas/Benjamin

World Tag Team Championship featuring RVD/Booker T (champs) vs. Jindrak/Cade vs. the Dudleys vs. La Resistance (Raw): You have two guys (RVD/Booker) who were thrown together because they were being wasted otherwise (they should really be in the World Title mix), a team whose gimmick (and title reigns) have become stale (the Dudleys), and two very green, but promising, teams. It's a far cry from the Hardys vs. Dudleys vs. Edge/Christian days of a few years ago, when the tag division seemed exciting. Total tossup, so I'll go with Jindrak/Cade, as they're expected to get a big push in '04. Pick: Jindrak/Cade.

WWE Women's Title featuring Victoria (Champ) vs. Molly Holly (Raw): If only the entire women's division were as good as these two. Though they'll only get 10 minutes tops, it should be entertaining. I just hope that they don't get too excited (considering the event) and blow a bunch of spots. They deserve to shine. The stipulation that Molly has to shave her head if she loses pretty much means she'll win. Because a woman with an ass as fine as her's should not be bald, ya heard?! Pick: Molly Holly.

The Undertaker vs. Kane ("Inter-promotional"): Another match that has been getting solid build up for the last month or so. The big draw to this, of course, is the return of the Dead Man gimmick for 'Taker, after a few years as "The American Badass" biker gimmick. The vignettes of him spooking Kane have been excellently done. I'll totally mark out for his return. As for the match, it should be a lot of Undertaker no selling, then destroying his "brother." Pick: Taker.

Rock and Sock Connection (The Rock/Mick Foley) vs. Evolution (Randy Orton/Batista/Ric Flair): Yet another match that has had an excellent story building to Wrestlemania. Three legends plus two guys who are being touted as the future of the company (part of the future, anyway). The obvious choice would be to have Evolution go over, since Orton and Batista need the rub. Not to mention that neither Foley or the Rock are part of the long range plans for WWE. The wildcard is Flair. If The Rock and Foley win, they could use Flair as the guy who gets beat. That way, Orton and Batista lose nothing in terms of stature, and it would fit perfectly in a future Randy Orton turn. (Flair would be the ultimate legend for the "Legend Killer" to face.) Still, I have a hunch it won't work out that way. Pick: Evolution.

US Title Match featuring The Big Show (Champ) vs. John Cena (Smackdown): Cena is certainly headed for main event status, and it will be sooner than later. An impressive (not to mention clean) victory over Big Show will help that move into the top spots. As far as quality, I don't see this being up there. Cena is good, but he isn't great, and certainly not talented enough to carry The Big Show (improving though he may be). In any case, Cena should get the duke here. Pick: John Cena.

Goldberg vs. Brock Lesnar with Stone Cold Steve Austin as enforcer ("Inter-promotional"): This could have been an epic, but now, with Lesnar announcing he is quitting after Wrestlemania, and Goldberg having made that same announcement months prior, who knows how this will end up. Before Lesnar's announcement, he was the obvious choice to win. Now...who knows? I'd like to see these guys tear it up (Lesnar is good enough to carry Goldberg, that's for sure), but with one foot already out of the door, it could be less than spectacular. Pick: will probably be a lame no-contest or double DQ finish.

WWE Title Match featuring Eddie Guerrero (Champ) vs. Kurt Angle (Smackdown): Many--myself included--believe this will be the match of the night. Two of the finest wrestlers in the world today squaring off in the sub-main event of the biggest PPV of the year. They always leave it all out there, and I don't expect this to be any different. I expect a lot of psychology, a lot of clean, mat-based wrestling, with perfectly placed high spots. I hope this match gets at least 30-40 minutes. Pick: Eddie Guerrero.

World Title Match featuring Triple H (Champ) vs. Chris Benoit vs. Shawn Michaels (Raw): The second best match of the night, most likely. All three of these guys can put on a great show and this should be no exception. Before they made this a Triple Threat match, I would have picked Benoit to win. Now, my guess is Triple H will pin Shawn Michaels, leaving Benoit to take the title next month at the PPV in his hometown of Edmonton. Pick: Triple H.

And there you have it.

Oh, and one last thing. My niece (who is only 2) was singing "Get Low" by Lil Jon the other day according to my mom and my sister. Thankfully, my mom doesn't know what "skeet skeet" means. All she knows is that her grand-daughter is singing a song off the radio. Ha! My sister (the mother of my niece) just laughs it off. Hilarious. Wish I could have heard that myself.

Thursday, March 11, 2004

A Thought

This popped into my head on the way home from the gym. And I must preface these remarks by saying I don't know enough to verify or refute this analogy, but does anybody else think the Sedaris/Vowell/Pollack/Eggers school is to literature what the Dave Matthews Band is to music? (I'm sure the more obvious comparison would be Belle and Sebastian, but I'll stick with my original thought.)

No, there was no substance to that. Just something that popped into my head quite randomly. Cheers, monkeys.

Tuesday, March 9, 2004

Another game: Campfire. JW sent me this link, where you play as one of four serial killers and terrorize a campground. From your good friends at Daydream Software. (Crazy Swedes!) There's a little commentary percolating here (re: the increasing number of games which allow you to play on the "other" side of the morality line and how this game might be going a little too far), but I haven't the time to write it out now. Until then, enjoy the link.

Monday, March 8, 2004

I grabbed this article from Scrubbles. I post this only because I wondered quite the same thing when the issue of gay marriage started hitting media saturation recently. It's parallel to the kind of sentiments I've heard before when women want to enter a traditionally men-only area/institution/whatever: "Sure, we support your right to , but honestly, why would you want to?" I know, I know, it's all about access; not whether they should, but if they can. But still...despite my own inclinations toward marriage, I see my mother and father (and stepfather) all having two failed marriages under my belt, my sister on her way to her first (and hopefully last), and I think, why bother? Then I see how happy all of my married friends are, and how strong their marriages appear to be, and I reconsider. Then Little Lord Thistlewick Vegas speaks up and says, "just bring me the women, I don't care how long you decide to keep them around."

As you can see, I have no way to finish this bit up. So I end it with this awkward sentence.

Yep.

Sunday, March 7, 2004

Continuing off the previous post re: the new Grand Theft Auto game, here is a short list of games that are either newly released or future releases that figure into my purchasing plans:

The Suffering: This looks like a solid new entry into the rather thin horror genre. The storyline doesn't seem like it lends itself to a sequel (at least, not a storyline sequel), but that's not necessarily a bad thing. The question is, will it live up to the standards of the genre established by past titles like Resident Evil (at least the first few titles) or Silent Hill?

Mafia: Grand Theft Auto transported to the 1930s? That's one (apparently, off-the-mark) interpretation. Despite the technical problems (it seems all reviewers, when discussing a port to the PS2, has to bitch about the loss of visual beauty and some relatively clunky mechanics) mentioned in this review, the gameplay still sounds satisfying.

God Of War: Sweet. Any game where the preview invokes Clash of the Titans and Heavy Metal (and this is the second preview I've read that does) has got to be quality. Or else, game review land is fileld with a bunch of unimaginative semi-plagiarists. Either way, this looks solid.

Hot Shots Golf Fore!: Looks like it will be even better than HSG3, which means I will be playing the shit out of this game.

Syphon Filter: Omega Strain: I love this series (even though I never got around to the picking up the third one). This is the first one for the PS2 and it looks like it will be as good as the previous installments. And to think, the first game got dismissed by some as a Metal Gear Solid ripoff. Ha!

Friday, March 5, 2004

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas Announced Hell yes. Mark your calendars, kiddies. Some questions: Will this be set in the present, or will they go back in time again? (70s style would be the next logical step.) Which music groups/artists will be featured on the soundtrack? For what kind of station will Lazlow be working? And what celebrities will be lining up to voice characters in this game?

Wednesday, March 3, 2004

Godzilla: dead? I love the headline on this article. ("Japan safe at last; Toho to kill Godzilla.") This link swiped from Jinjur.

In other news, I'm one step closer to being in Salt Lake City next month. All that's left is to book the flight. I know, that's about the most unglamorous announcement ever. But, the trip is to see a couple of my best friends who will be moving there at the end of the month. So fuck you. SLC, baby! The one thing is, I booked these dates on the same weekend of my nephew's birthday party (though, I will not be missing the actual birthday itself, which is that Monday). I told my sister this a couple of weeks ago, and she was not upset. I'll be seeing all of them so much in the next month (I have four birthdays coming up; both sisters, my mother, and my nephew), they'll probably be sick of me by then, anyway. Still, I feel kind of weird knowing I'm not going to be there. I'll just pop-in on his birthday proper and surprise him. Damn, I love that boy.

What else? I dunno. It's almost tourney time. A personal aside: Mr. O, what's up with National Corndog Day, fool? What's Mojo's story?

That should do it for now. And oh Lord, JG and I absolutely wore out our bad Lil Jon impressions on the phone tonight. Curse that Dave Chappelle; his comedy tractor beam is too powerful. If we resist, our hilarious hulls will splinter, revealing our unfunny interiors. (Where did that metaphor come from?)

You know, I really want to comment/rant about the housecleaning the Washington Capitals are currently undergoing. Then I remember, I don't know jack shit about hockey, nor do I particularly care. Everything I know about the NHL I learned from the Sega Genesis circa 1992. Go Ulf Samuelsson!