Friday, July 31, 2009

never too early

In a month I'll do my preseason predictions for the entire NFL. But I figure if there are point spreads out there to bet on, I might as well see how I'd do for the Chiefs 09 season.

Chiefs +8 over Ravens

Chiefs -4 over Raiders

Eagles -10 over Chiefs

Giants -5 over Chiefs

Cowboys -4 over Chiefs

Redskins -6 over Chiefs

Chargers -4 over Chiefs

Chiefs +6 over Jaguars

Chiefs +1 over Raiders

Steelers -6 over Chiefs

Chiefs +9 over Chargers

Chiefs -2 over Broncos

Bills PK over Chiefs

Chiefs -2 over Browns

Chiefs +3.5 over Cincinnati

Broncos -3.5 over Chiefs

Thursday, July 30, 2009

I'm a man

I'm a man. I have a lawn. I have to water the lawn.

I was told to water it for about 20 minutes every other day. It had been a couple days, so I thought maybe it needed a half-hour. So I set up the sprinkler which covers half the lawn and turn on the outdoor faucet. And nothing happens.

So I go over to the hose and find the kink, stretch it out, and then get sprayed because now I'm in the sprinkler path.

I go back in and start doing something else. After who knows how long, I remember the sprinkler's running. I go outside and the lawn is soaked.

So I drag the sprinkler over to cover the other half of the lawn and set a timer for 20 minutes this time.

I'm a man.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

what is going on here?

Let me guess. "It's the pleats." Between his facial expression and her placement, I'm not quite sure this is safe for work. Let's zoom out a little bit.

Ah yes, it's a simple banner for a movie that is rated PG. Makes perfect sense.

Monday, July 27, 2009

A Wild Weekend Transition to Oak Park

Although we've been making trips to our new place to drop off stuff and assemble furniture, we hadn't really spent any time there. Hadn't had any homemade meals, hadn't spent the night.

The weekend started with Kirat & Nirali's engagement ceremony. It truly was a cool thing to be a part of, from the traditional greetings to the cool slide show. And even though every time I go to an Indian buffet all I get is chicken tikka masala, tandoori chicken, and the lamb curry--I still enjoyed the vegetarian buffet. Where can I get some of that sweet brown sauce?

Then on our last night in Chicago (sounds weird, doesn't it?) we got some pizza and watched a double feature of Revolutionary Road/Kicking and Screaming (Ferrell version). I was up til about 1:30 am or so, scrubbing down the George Foreman, and packing plates and bowls and stuff that we were using until the end. I didn't sleep very well that night, mostly because my brain was running on overdrive thinking about what was to come.

I maybe got 5 hours of sleep, as the movers were arriving at 8. We went with The Professionals and I can't say enough good things about them. Would use them again and recommend to anyone.

By 10:45 am, they left our Oak Park place with all of our furniture there, they even reassembled our bed and lifted the TV back on to the entertainment stand. One thing that our townhouse guy warned us about, is that the staircase to the master bedroom is too tight to fit a Queen box spring. The mattress fits because you can bend it. But the box spring is in our living room. So what we need is a split box spring, two seperate pieces. And the way our bed is, you couldn't even sit on a mattress without a box spring.

We put some stuff away before making our last trip back to our Chicago apartment. We polished off the previous night's pizza and made some phone calls about the split box spring. We packed everything that we had behind, cleaning supplies, the computer and modem, the vaccuum, the steam vac, a drawer of utensils that was almost forgotten, shower curtain.

And then we locked it up.

By 3 o'clock we had everything that we owned in one place again. Meanwhile, I was making calls about getting a box spring so we'd have a place to sleep tonight. The cheapest place I could find ($160) was closing at 5:30. The problem is that our Carolla was only going to be able to fit one at a time with the seats folded down, if it even fits.

At 4:25 pm we rolled up to Back to Bed in Elmhurst. I had called the store 4 times with questions--turns out it's a one room store and there's just one high-school employee. And he had caller ID. Anyways, he told me over the phone that they had it in stock and that delivery was $50. We figured it would be worth it to do it ourselves, even if it meant 2 trips, at least so we could sleep in our bed tonight.

So I walk in and say I'll take it. He says "the box spring is in the warehouse, I can have it shipped to this store for free for tomorrow." I couldn't believe it. I talked to this guy 4 times about what time the store was open til, if I could fit it in my car, and if it was in stock. And now's the time that he mentions that it's in the warehouse. So I ask him, where's this warehouse?

He pulls up "MapQuest" and quotes me 9 miles, 15 minutes away. And I say we'll pick up the box springs from the warehouse ourselves. He even drew me a map. So now we're on our way to the warehouse. And it's taking forever and it looks like we're in the middle of nowhere. (A subsequent Google maps search reveals the trip is actually 12.2 miles, 25 minutes.)

So we get to the warehouse, pop the trunk, fold down the seats, shove 1 piece of it in the trunk, and it gets about a foot past the backseat/trunk portal. The angle of the seats even when folded make a small vessel for rigid objects. So it's sticking out of the back of the trunk about three feet and I don't know what to do.

And the warehouse guy mumbles something. I ask him again, and he says "it works better on top." I ask him if he's got something to tie it on with, and he says "I've got rope."

So now we've got two pieces of a box spring double-stacked on our Corolla and he's tying rope around it. He does the back seat first, and then we get in the car and he ties one through the front seat windows.

And now we've got to make this trip back: 17.8 miles, 38 minutes, taking North Avenue to avoid the bumpy highways.

Brittany's hungry and thinks about Subway, but I tell her that if she wants anything it has to be drive-thru since we're tied into the car. So now we're rolling through the Portillo's drive-thru with two mattress on our roof. I get the combo roll (italian beef & sausage with hot peppers). It's easily the best thing I've ever had there and makes me regret all the times I've ordered anything else.

A little after 6pm we get home. I think about crawling out through the window to get a scissors, but was able to untie the knot while sticking my head out. We finally assemble the box spring, bed skirt, mattress, mattress pad and sheets. Of course we have no food. So I make a trip out to Trader Joe's and Jewel at 8pm. Oh yeah, and I forgot to mention that almost all our outlets are only 2-pronged, and everything from a TV to a laptop to the other TV needs 3-pronged outlets. So I stopped by Walmart as well.

But boy did it feel good to go shopping without any hassles. And to come home to a parking spot.

Things are pretty well unpacked but the first thing I did this morning was go to the landry room to get a towel, and find my robe in a box under a bunch of clothes. Today was also my first commute. Brit dropped me off at the Oak Park El stop.

Travel Times: 7/27
Left home around 7:56
Dropped off at 8:02
Green Line: 8:05-8:32
Red Line: 8:35-8:37
Arrive at work: 8:44

So it's about 45 minutes if Brit takes me to the train stop, I'm guessing about an hour if I bus/walk the Oak Park leg of the trip.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

movies to see

After the great (500) Days of Summer, here are some movies that either my wife or I might want to see this year.

In Theaters
Public Enemies
Away We Go

Coming Soon
Julie & Julia (August 7th)
Paper Heart (August 7th - limited)
Time Traveler's Wife (August 14th)
The Goods (August 14th)
Inglourious Basterds (August 21st)
Taking Woodstock (August 28th - limited)
Whip It (October 9th)

Duplicity (August 25th)
State of Play (?)

Any good ones I missed?

Saturday, July 18, 2009


This is the bookcase we bought. I helped pick it out.

I'm an idiot.

Sure it looks cool, but I didn't think about the fact that every little line is it's own piece of wood. That needs a bunch of screws that don't want to go in unless you crank the fucking screwdriver until you get a blister on your thumb.

Anyways, after three days of working on it, it's finished and it looks pretty cool. And we've got most of our stuff over there. I'm looking forward to everything about it, except the commute. But who cares about that. It's not like I'm riding a camel, it's a train.

- - -

I just googled ("british open" what to eat) and "what to eat while watching golf" without any good results. My best guess is, because of the starting times here in the states: bangers, hash browns, and then a bag of chips. I think about the only thing I have around here is chicken patties, anyways.

- - -

We've got a third anniversary coming up, and I can say without reservations, that it's a lot more meaningful than a birthday. I mean, all you have to do to make it through to another birthday is stay breathing. But a marriage takes work. And I'm sure Brittany would agree with me that it's not always easy. She's been doing almost all the housework, all the arrangements for the move, in addition to making just as much money as me. (I need to step up my game around the house.)
Anyways, the point is that I think it's a worthy occasion to reflect upon our lives and celebrate the fact that we're still together and in love.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009


Today, I woke up and purposefully didn't watch Mike & Mike before I went to work. Something that I haven't done since I started working in June 2005. There have been days where I went into work early, or holidays of course, but this was the first time that I chose not to watch.

In my studio, I would only watch for about 20 minutes as I got ready. But since getting Tivo/DVR in 2006, I would wake up around 7:45 and pause the TV on ESPN2. Then I would shower and start watching around 8am. By around 8:40, I'm dressed, have my lunch made, and caught up to live TV, and out the door.

But today I stopped watching, and it has nothing to do with Mike & Mike. I still enjoy as much as ever.

In the short term, it's because I'm working on a pitch and was tired and though I could use an extra half-hour of sleep. But the only reason I thought of it, is because I'm moving. The first issue is that I'll be leaving my new apartment around 8am to take the train to work. That's an increase of 40 minutes of transit time each way. But instead of getting up 40 minutes earlier, I figure I'll just get up at 7:35, shower, dress and make a sandwich in 25 minutes.

Plus, there's the logistics. If the TV is in the basement, and my shower/clothes are on the 2nd floor, and I make my lunch on the 1st floor, it's not really conducive to watching TV as I get ready. There are some advantages to having everything is one room, I suppose.

This leads to a separate yet related transition. We're not planning on getting cable TV, and I'm actually looking forward to it. No Comedy Central, no Food Network, no movies on FX/TNT/TBS, no Mythbusters, and NO ESPN NETWORKS! Egad. Have I lost my marbles. Well, for too long TV has been sort of a given, a standard timesuck that eats away the free time. Especially with DVR, there's always something to watch.

But really, what do I need to watch on TV? I like 30 Rock and 24. And I need football. And they're all on the major networks. I can catch Always Sunny and even the Comedy Central shows on Hulu if I want. But mostly I don't think I'll miss all that TV much at all. Between being more active, reading books, watching DVD's, and writing I'm looking forward to not paying $50 a month for cable.

Besides, it's not like I'm giving up the PS3. That'd be crazy.

Monday, July 06, 2009

a good walk spoiled: part two

For the first time in almost four years, Niraj and I went golfing. (previous scores here) In fact, this time it was a threesome. Here's how we did:

Matt was playing with rented clubs as he doesn't have his own. We started out on the easier (red) tees and after playing the 3rd hole we switched to the white. On hole #3, the red tees take the water hazard out of play, chop 60 yards off the distance, and turn it into a wedging exercise, which accounts for it being the easiest hole of the day.

Basically, Matt and Niraj struggled in the beginning, and again once we switched to the white tees, but finished strong. They were tied up after 7, but Matt played his way ahead with back-to-back double bogeys!

My goal was to get a par, and I didn't do that. Hole #7 was particularly frustrating as my tee shot was just off the green, and I needed 5 shots to get it in the hole. I was on the green-in-one on holes #1 and #3 but 3-putted both times for bogey.

Actually, if you consider the increase in difficulty, I did better than my first time out in '05, and Niraj did about as good as he did the second time out four years ago.

Easiest Hole: #3 red: average score: +1.33
Toughest Hole: #5 white: average score: +5.33

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

where i've been

It occurred to me that in only six months of 2009, I've traveled to quite a few places. I'm counting any city that I spent a night there.


Seattle, WA
Portland, OR
Chicago, IL
O'Fallon, IL
Peoria, IL
Kansas City, KS
Rome, Italy
Florence, Italy
Venice, Italy
London, England
Jacksonville, FL

Los Angeles, CA
Chicago, IL
Peoria, IL
O'Fallon, IL
London, England
Memphis, TN
Carbondale, IL
Yankton, SD

Paris, France
Chicago, IL
O'Fallon, IL
Peoria, IL
Kansas City, KS
New York, NY
Grand Cayman
Los Angeles, CA
Las Vegas, NV

Kansas City, KS
Chicago, IL
O'Fallon, IL
Peoria, IL
Mayan Riveria, Mexico
Paris, France