Monday, August 31, 2009

New Link of Interest (3)

TFLN or txts frm lst nght. I'm a notorious drunk texter (is that a word?) and I usually feel guilty about it the next day. Not anymore! I ran across this site today and I haven't been able to stop reading, too funny. I should really do some work, you know, while I'm at work...

Friday, August 28, 2009

The Choirboys

I finished reading The Choirboys by Joseph Wambaugh the other day. I’ve had the book for some time but I never got around to reading it until now. I wish I had read it earlier, the book is fantastic. It was published in 1975 and takes place in 1974. The book centers around ten Los Angeles patrol police officers who’ve dubbed themselves “choirboys”. All the officers work the night shift and often meet late in the evenings when off duty for “choir practice” at MacArthur Park. Choir practice usually involves heavy drinking, some fighting, the re-telling of war stories and visits from a couple of local barmaids who would on occasion let the boys ride “the train”. Each chapter usually entails a story or two about the officers who are paired up as partnered units. The story culminates with a final and tragic “choir practice”.

The book is hilarious, sad, politically incorrect (putting it mildly by today’s standards), sick and superb. Wambaugh was a policeman who quit his job shortly before The Choirboys was published. I can only imagine if the antics from the book were pulled from his experiences. I like his writing style so well I plan to check out some of his other published works new and old. If you’re like me and usually don’t like police novels, do yourself a favor and read this book. You won’t be disappointed.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

New Blog I'm Reading

Cake Wrecks (When Professional Cakes Go Horribly, Hilariously Wrong). I have no clue how I found this site, it looked interesting so I bookmarked it yesterday (I was probably doing some kind of food search on google). The content is hilarious!

Top Chef: Battle of the Sexes

Dann and I met up last night for episode two of Top Chef Las Vegas. The agreement was that we would take turns cooking every other week during Top Chef night. That didn’t last long. Dann wormed out of his commitment this week and brought food from Market C. I immediately forgave him when I found that he also brought two bottles of my favorite wine. I had lamented in a previous post about not being able to find St. Supery around town. Apparently Dann knows who to blow… The meal Dann purchased was molasses glazed salmon, loaded mashed potatoes, Caesar salad and chocolate cake (Dad is great! Give us the chocolate cake!). The food was really good especially considering it was a pick up and reheat meal.

Top Chef last night saw the very first battle of the sexes elimination challenge. The girls lost. Of the two groups I definitely think the boys are stronger. Something I found of particular interest was Ashley’s attitude toward the challenge. The challenge consisted of serving two groups of people, a Bachelor and Bachelorette party, where the boys team served the Bachelorette’s friends and the girls team served the Bachelor’s friends. Ashley got her panties in a twist a bit having to prepare food for a group about to get married since she's unable to practice the same ritual legally being a lesbian. I understand her point to a degree but this is Las Vegas, you would have to think marriage would play some kind of role in at least one of the challenges.

Poor Eve was sent packing last night. Eve was who I picked to make an exit last night before the elimination judging began. I felt kind of sorry for her the last two episodes since she never really stood out in anything she did, not to mention she was on the chopping block the first two weeks in a row. My three predictions from last week are still alive in the competition.

Anyone else over ceviche? The dish must have been made half a dozen times already in just two episodes.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Daily Fish Wrap

The Daily Fish Wrap aka The Daily Disappointment aka The Daily Oklahoman (the worst newspaper in America according to the Columbia Journalism Review some years ago) actually had a piece of useful information in it today. Auntie Mame is playing at the Jewel Box Theatre. Too bad it’s not the musical.

I don’t know why I read The Daily Oklahoman but I’m sure as hell not going to pay for it. I feel bad enough visiting their website from time to time.

RIP Edward M. Kennedy (1932-2009)

Truly sad news. The "Lion" of the Senate will be missed...

For all those whose cares have been our concern, the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die.

Senate page
Huffington Post

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

New Blog I'm Reading

I came across this site, The best and worst of OKC from a link on one of the other Oklahoma blogs I follow. Just as the title suggests, it’s a collection of opinions on activities and eateries that Oklahoma City has to offer. Pretty good stuff.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Sunday Funday Monday

In an effort to continue to improve my writing skills (not to mention a way to post more often) I thought it would be fun to have a weekly column. A subject I can write about that has a similar theme but broad enough where I can encompass several different topics. What I came up with is Sunday Funday Monday. Every Monday I’ll try to create a post dealing with my favorite day of the week, Sunday Funday. Sunday Funday for those who’ve never heard the phrase is a day out of eating and almost always drinking that starts early in the day and usually ends in the early evening. I have no clue where the phrase was coined but I first heard it used by restaurant employees to describe going out usually in the afternoon after a brunch shift or after a long weekend working several shifts. It seems to be the restaurant industry’s “Friday night”. For me I can text a number of friends the words “Sunday Funday?” and they would know I’m asking, “What’s the plan today for brunch and drinking this afternoon?” Without further ado, Sunday Funday Monday vol. 1:

What's needed for a successful Sunday Funday? I’m no expert but I’ll try to compile a list based on my limited experience… OK, I’m full of shit, I am an expert!

1. Some friends: One really doesn’t want to celebrate Sunday Funday alone for a multitude of reasons. Brunching and bar crawling is definitely much better with a group so your chances of being the biggest fool of the day goes down depending on the size and drinking experience of the others in the group.

2. A restaurant that serves brunch: We’re really not concerned with the food menu as we are the beverage menu. A lot of restaurants that sever brunch also have mimosa or Bloody Mary specials. Drink liquor cheaply to start the day off with a bang or to get a little hair of the dog to help with last night’s festivities.

3. An early hour bar that’s open on Sunday: Though it is technically possible to drink at home or another social gathering on Sunday, it doesn’t turn into Sunday Funday unless you’re at a bar or maybe a cool ass restaurant with a patio. If you’re at home it’s a party that falls on a Sunday or it's the Super Bowl.

4. Self control: One part of the “experience” I sometimes lack. Crossing over isn’t always pretty but it happens to the best of us, it’s just more fun when it isn’t me! Know your limits if possible, eat some peanuts at the bar, switch to water for a while or pass on the seventh Vegas Bomb.

5. A ride: Trust me, no one wants to spend the night in County lock up or mangled in the hospital just because they thought they could drive home after binge drinking for nine hours. Call a cab, call your mommy or catch a ride with a sober/under the limit friend. Friends don’t let friends drink and drive, drink responsibly, only you can prevent forest fires, etc., etc., etc.

Sunday Funday

It also doesn't hurt to have your very own snazzy Sunday Funday shirt (thanks for mine Kim!). Because good friends don’t let you do stupid things… alone.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Inglourious Basterds

I just returned from seeing Quentin Tarantino's latest movie, Inglourious Bastards. Typical Tarantino flick, interesting story and dialogue with some violence mixed throughout played out by a superb cast. I won't spoil the film for those of you who haven't seen it but don't go in expecting to see a typical Hollywood WWII epic. Expect Tarantino style WWII storytelling, for example there isn't one military battle scene in the movie. Everything is condensed into smaller sequences that all come together in the end. If you like Tarantino's other works, you'll enjoy this one as well.

I was a little put off by the subject matter initially, WWII, Nazi's and the holocaust, but I got over it quickly as nothing seemed too tasteless. The only other nit I had was personal. My mom kept asking me what they were saying every time there was dialogue not presented in subtitles (only a small portion in German that doesn't amount to much). Prepare to be reading a good portion of the movie's dialogue this way. All in all I would definitely recommend this movie, probably my third or fourth favorite Quentin Tarantino film.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Drink of the Day: Wine

It's been a while since I did one of these posting but it came to mind when I came home with a couple of bottles of wine this afternoon. Today's drink of the day isFat Bastard Chardonnay. I love this chardonnay though I don't drink it too often, I usually stick with sauvignon blancs when drinking white wines. We sold the Fat Bastard brand the entire time I worked at Pearl's Oyster Bar and this is how I became familiar with the wine.

Tasting notes: Round in the mouth with white flower aromas and a long, toasty finish.

The unusually cool August weather we've been enjoying is perfect for sitting on a patio or front porch sipping this chardonnay.

I'd rather be sipping on some St. Supery Sauvignon Blanc! Who do I have to blow to find a bottle of my favorite wine in this town?

The Not So Long Read

I finished reading "The Long Walk" by Richard Bachman aka Stephen King this morning. I flew through it in less than 24 hours, nothing do to at work helped a lot! It's the story of 100 teenage boys that meet for an annual competition called The Long Walk. Winning the competition is easy: outlast everyone else. Stumble, fall, sit, leave the road or average a pace under 4 miles an hour and you'll get a warning. Get three warnings and you get your "ticket" out of the competition. A ticket means immediate death. Got a cramp? Too bad a warning. Got to take a shit? Too bad a warning. Well you get the drift... Outlast everyone and you are rewarded by the government with everything you could ever want.

The book was originally published in 1979 and it seems to be typical King writing, meaning much better than the drivel he has published today. With the book being so old some of the references are outdated but it doesn't really matter as the time the competition takes place seems to be in some sort of alternate reality from our own. The story doesn't really go in to detail about the origins of the walk but dialogue suggests that it's a huge event each year with billions being wagered on who will survive. There are also other vague references of America being a totalitarian or communist society (there are no millionaires) and World War II lasting as long as the early fifty's.

Has anyone read the book? I'd really like to see what others thought about the book, the premise and especially the ending. It was recommended to me by my cousin but I won't get a chance to chat with her until Monday.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Top Chef: Las Vegas

I love the Bravo channel. Many programs on this channel are about the only thing I watch with any regularity on TV aside from news programming on other networks. Last night was the season six premiere of Top Chef in Las Vegas. In honor of the new season I actually cooked a meal (something I rarely do) and settled in with a bottle of wine Dann brought over.

I thought it would be fun to predict the winners from the outset and see how those predictions turn out at the end of the season. A difficult task since I hardly know any of the contestants. Any readers out there (both of you) who watch the show, feel free to post a comment with your predictions for this year’s Top Chef and we’ll see who comes the closest.

My top three in no particular order:

Michael Isabella: The guy seems to be kind of an arrogant d-bag, but that has served other contestants well in the past.

Kevin Gillespie: Winner of the first elimination challenge, he reminds me of Bear Hugger from the Nintendo Punch Out!! series.

Ash Fulk: Dark horse. Just rooting for the gay guy!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Feed Me Seymour!

Dann and I went to see Little Shop of Horrors last night at the Civic Center presented by the Lyric Theatre. I’m always amazed at how good our local productions can be here in OKC. Little Shop of Horrors was no exception. Great staging, music and performances, particularly by Matthew Alvin Brown and Amy Eschman. It’s been a while since I’ve seen a stage production of Little Shop of Horrors so I forgot how fun it is and how it differs from the movie, most notably the ending. The production runs through the weekend so there’s still ample time to catch Lyric’s last show of the season.

The next couple of months sees the Oklahoma City Philharmonic opening their season on September 19th and “Lyric at the Plaza” opening their season on October 22nd with “Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street.” I’m going to try really hard to purchase season tickets to both series. I’ve been to more live performances than ever this year and it’s really got me excited for the upcoming seasons. Support your local arts programs, there’s a variety of programs that can please just about anyone, not to mention you’re stimulating your local economy!

Information on the Plaza District.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

New Blog I'm Reading

I found a link to Irritated Tulsan while reading The Lost Ogle this morning. Being an Oklahoma City boy, I’m not real familiar with Tulsa, though I do think it’s a great town... just not as exciting or fabulous as OKC!

Monday, August 17, 2009

New Link of Interest (2)

DVDFile is a website that I used to frequent almost daily many years ago to stay ahead of all the latest DVD release and technical information. It’s a resource I definitely plan on using sometime in the future when I decide to hop into the 21st century and purchase a high end television with a high definition DVD player and surround sound system. I could also just ask Dann as he seems to be averaging three new TVs a year!

Slip Sliding Away

It appears as though the public option in health care reform is DOA or dead on arrival. Rhetoric from the President and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius this weekend seems to imply that the option is no longer a make or break factor in reform but just a small “sliver” as the President put it, in the overall package. I heard him say this watching his town hall meeting on TV Saturday in Grand Junction, Colorado! Apparently the talk on the news programs Sunday seemed to suggest that the administration is now willing to endorse a co-operative option. I knew we were headed to some kind of half-assed bill but I was still holding out hope that we would get something more robust from our strong Democratic majorities in both the House and Senate. We’ve been told by a multitude of Democrats this year and last during the elections that the public option for insurance coverage was needed in order to keep the private insurance companies in check and to control costs for the consumer. I guess we’re going to trust the private insurance companies to do the right thing again.

Rep. Anthony Weiner, D-N.Y., who is co-chairman of the Middle Class Caucus, said that "leaving private insurance companies the job of controlling the costs of health care is like making a pyromaniac the fire chief."


I know it may not be all bad if we can at least get some provisions which are sorely needed like stopping the insurance companies practices of denying coverage or dropping coverage for no reasons and denying coverage due to “pre-existing conditions”. I guess what I want to know from everyone out there is do we push forward with watered down legislation and declare victory or do we hold out for something better and try again next year or the following year?

I'm all for tabling the reform bill a year or two until we can have true health care reform but I'm not sure this is ever going to happen. I guess we can continue to try every 14 years or so. Change we can believe in...

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Belly Bustin'

It appears that all my months of hard work have finally paid off! In April when I left bartending I was as thin as anyone I know. I attribute it to all the running around I did working as well as the limited meals. With limited activity since and an office job now I've packed on the weight. This is nothing new during the course of my adulthood as my weight has always varied in a range of 20 to 25 pounds up and down. I've gained 20 pounds since April and this has been a source of frustration for me but now I can attribute it to being on the cutting edge of fashion trends. The New York Times fashion and style page reports that the pot belly is the new fashion accessory for men. Oh good. So for the time being I can continue to enjoy Baskin Robbins and veg out on the sofa playing Wii.

“I sort of think the six-pack abs obsession got so prissy it stopped being masculine,” is how Aaron Hicklin, the editor of Out, explains the emergence of the Ralph Kramden. What once seemed young and hot, for gay and straight men alike, now seems passé. Like manscaping, spray-on tans and other metrosexual affectations, having a belly one can bounce quarters off suggests that you may have too much time on your hands.


Showin' off my belly in downtown Tulsa.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

New Blog I'm Reading

The Oklahoma Gazette published their best of OKC edition this week. While reading it this morning I ran across the "Best Blog" section. How cool. Supposedly the best blog in Oklahoma City is The Lost Ogle. Check it out, if you're from these parts you'll love it. If you're from Punjab, India you may not see what all the fuss is about.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Technical Support Horror Story of the Day

For those of you who don't know I'm working a new job now, of sorts. I worked for a medical software company from 2000 to 2005, after which I toiled in the restaurant industry until April of this year. I'm half way through my second week back with the medical software company. They found out that I was looking for a job and asked me to come back. Luckily I've found that I remember more than I forgot so I've been able to hit the ground running for the most part but there are two important lessons I had totally forgotten about until today...

1. The first rule of tech support is this: the client is always lying. That's not to say they're doing it on purpose. It just seems you never get the correct or full information needed. Being told a claim form is printing misaligned is not the same as the claim form not marking the correct boxes!

2. The second rule of tech support is this: do nothing to a client's system unless you can get them back to the point they were at before they asked for your help. Changing something in someone's system without making a backup is not fun when you have to clean up the mess you created!

I experienced both today. Number 1 is always true and number 2 should be easy to follow. Luckily I was able to worm myself out of the problem I created. The details aren't important but always remember the rules must be obeyed!

New Link of Interest

I have added Urban Dictionary to my links of interest. I stumbled upon the web page through a completely unrelated web search. Interesting (as the title says) and humorous.

Hot Hot Hot

Ole ole - ole ole! Ole ole - ole ole!

Buster Poindexter was going through my mind this morning as I was trying to put out a small fire that broke out in my bathroom...

It all started last night after work with a trip to Old Chicago. I met up with Dann and Kim for some beers and pizza. We enjoyed a beef, onion and jalapeno pizza. Since we were in the neighborhood we decided to check out the new Buffalo Wild Wings down the street. We enjoyed some more beers as well as some mini corn dogs with medium wing sauce (classic wing sauce, comfortably hot) and some fried chicken tenders with blazin' wing sauce (keep away from eyes, pets, children: the hottest sauce they got). The blazin' wing sauce was warm but I've definitely had a worse fire in my mouth, most recently on my last trip to Sushi Neko. Anyways we drank a little more, called it a night after some minor crossing over and drunk texting of old boyfriends (you know, the usual).

What's this have to do with the fire in my bathroom? I guess the combination of onions, jalapenos and varying degrees of wing sauce was too much for my body to handle. My digestive system decided to turn on me when I got up this morning to get ready for work. Fortunately I wasn't hurt by the huge fireball that shot through the bathroom and engulfed my shower curtain! The curtain can be easily replaced but I'm not so sure about the melted toilet. The story did end on a happy note, however; I was somehow spared any heartburn which is usually present after a night of drinking and dining on spicy food.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Technical Support Horror Story of the Day

All I can say is wow! I was helping one of our clients with a log in issue through remote desktop. So, no problem we solve the issue (user error) and of course there are other issues that need to be addressed while they have me on the phone. I'm told that we did something to her screen because there is a box frozen on her desktop that has been there for days and it has our company information on it. Hmmmm. After a better description of the problem I finally realize that the client is talking about our web page! Oh my god really? Surely no one can be this stupid! I ask her to left mouse click on the red "x" at the top right corner of the screen. Naturally this closes the Internet Explorer page that was open on her computer. Just when I think I've seen it all some fool comes along and surprises me!

10 of the Worst Restaurant Names Ever

Click here for the list.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

You Are the One

My current favorite Shiny Toy Guns song!
Click here to see it.

I try to digest my pride
but passions grip I fear
When I crawl into shallow vats of wine
I think I almost hear but it's not clear

I'm not missing seeing them here again, even if I have to go alone!