Friday, February 8, 2008

I Guess I'm "It"

I (and Vesper if she is game) have had the honor of been tagged by Marie. As she so aptly put it, I now have the honor being tremendously boring to all 3 readers of this blog by providing "Seven random things about myself that you neither know nor care to know". So, without further boring adieu...

1) I have an unnervingly addictive personality. Really, at times it scares me. I often praise the powers of the universe that I was raised to never go near addictive substances or practices. Unless you count Hot Tamales as an addictive substance.

2) My mother's pet name for me is scoombeata. (Pronounced scoom-bee-ah-tah) The first syllable of that phonetic mess rhymes with zoom. In her defense her and her 2 younger siblings have developed a vast and mysterious vocabulary over the years of make believe words. So, I think she just applied this language skill to give pet-names to each of her children. Or our nicknames were derived from the sounds she made while we were crowning during the birth process. I can just she her screaming my nickname primevally with flecks of spit flying from her violet-hued face.

3) All four of my first molars came in without enamel. So, I have four fancy crowns in my mouth. (Too bad it's not my front teeth so I can't put together any oral bling.)

4) I used to hate eating chicken so much that when I was younger I faked that I was allergic to it by making strange sounds in my throat every time we ate it. This worked for a year or so. When my mother finally saw through that and I was forced to stay at the table until I had finished my chicken dinner I would wait until my mother's back was turned and stuff as much chicken as I could into the tracks underneath the table before she turned back around. Eventually I learned to overcome my hatred and completely forgot about the chicken that I had crammed underneath the table. That is, until around 10 years later when my mother was under the table trying to figure out why it wouldn't close back up after being expanded for Thanksgiving and found the petrified pieces of chicken.

5) In the summer between 8th grade and high school I was playing for a traveling, select sort of basketball team that had George Karl's son Koby on the squad. As neat as it was to be on the same team as somebody who is now in the NBA (who at the time was 2 years younger and rarely got into games) the real point of this numbered point is that my team did not qualify for nationals so I quit the team to start playing summer ball with my soon to be high school team. Well, the coach (who was excellent friends with and future agent of George Karl) did not take too kindly to this and got George Karl to "talk" to me about commitment and how I should stay with the team throughout the summer. This turned into an on again, off again feud between George Karl, myself, and the coach over the summer. I was even used an example of how spoiled and shitty, I mean, spoiled and entitled young basketball players are in Karl's book "This Game's the Best: So Why Don't They Quit Screwing With It". (You can even read my father's response to the book. It's the second comment on the page.) Though the disappointing thing is that the story in the book is obviously me, it is 75% false. I've been kicking around whether or not to blog about this story in detail for the last 8 months or so but have decided that it's really quite silly to drag their names through the ineffectual and unimportant mud of my blog so long after the fact, and for no good reason. (Though I do have a snappy title for the blog waiting to be edited on blogger "If This Game's the Best: Why Lie About It.)

6) I've been in the same room as my parents know. (In their defense they must have thought I was asleep...though the memory is seared DEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEPLY into my consciousness. Not in their defense, it was a hotel room and I was 12 years old. I have NOT considered writing a blog about this "experience")

7) When I was in sixth grade, like most sixth grade boys, I was fascinated by fire. Unlike most sixth grade boys I would carry around in my jacket pocket various flammable liquids. Such as nasty old perfume samples lifted from my father's drawer or different aerosols. I was so bored in class one day that I raised my hand and asked to go to the bathroom. Once inside the bathroom I pulled the plastic garbage can away from the wall, grabbed some paper towels, doused them in musky cologne and put a lighter to them and walked out of the door back to class. When the embers of the garbage can were found on the floor of the bathroom the teachers at school placed the blame immediately upon my troubled class mate Dave. He had a history of such shinanagans (and to be fair, I did too, but I was just clever enough never to get caught) and he had used the restroom earlier that day. Though I had used the same restroom I was never questioned an certainly never volunteered any information. It's been long enough now that I don't feel too guilty about it and actually chuckle a bit at the experience...but that doesn't change the fact that I'm a coward for not speaking up.

Well, there you have it. My tagging has been fulfilled. And since I don't believe in passing along chain blogs I will not tag 7 others so thy have to go through this same exercise like some people we know.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008


So Marie was so kind to consider Gawain and I to be tagged. The deal is we write 7 things about us that everyone may or may not know. Here I go:

1. I am officially the biggest band geek you know. I started in 6th grade and stayed with it through 12th grade. I can play the trumpet, trombone, baritone, euphonium, and piano. My senior year of high school, I played in the marching band, jazz band, two concert bands, and was an assistant drum major and elected band president. oye.

2. My sister and I used to be obsessed with stealing bathroom signs. This also lumped over into stealing any sign my friends and I could steal when we went to Vegas one time in college. I have since curbed that obsession.

3. I have really really really really really long arms. Its almost embarrassing! They were even measured once. From finger tip to fingertip I have a 6 foot long arm span. I can also do a "rubber girl" impression with my very long arms (think Ace Ventura when he is running through the woods after being shot with African tribal darts and his arms are going numb)(start at 45 sec to see full fledged rubber arm action, and yes I can do that)

4. I have met Dale Chihuly on multiple occasions. He is very nice, but shy. I have also nannied his son on a couple of occasions. He is very bratty and whiny.

5. My favorite job I've ever had was working as a server at Joe's Crab Shack. I had to dance every 30 min (not like a stripper, like doing the Cotton Eyed Joe and the Macarana). It was the most funnest job in the world!!!!!

6. Gawain and I got to go to Vancouver, BC and see U2 perform for their Vertigo tour. My ticket won us the chance to go into the "bomb shelter", or the inner part of the pit to be right next to the stage. It was literally the fence in front of the stage, a crazy couple from Miami, and then us. I am now in love with The Edge.

7. Although I deny that I ever did it on purpose, everyone around me (meaning my sister) swears that when we were little, I used to swing on a see saw on our swing set and call her over and try to hit her on purpose. I think she was just stupid and would walk in front of me when I was swinging. Either way, she got hit on more than one occasion from my swinging on the see saw.

There you have it! Please don't think less of me!

Monday, February 4, 2008

Our Ride On the Magic Mitt Mobile

While in Florida on January 22nd of this year Vesper's dad took us to hear Mitt Romney give a speech at the Jewish Republican Coalition in Boca Raton. Like I'm sure most politicians are, Mitt Romney was quite convincing. (Though, I must say I was quite impressed the Mr. Romney did not refer to notes of any kind during his 45 minutes speech and subsequent question and answer session. I know that such facts have zero baring on his fitness to be President, but worth noting none the less) As interesting as this Jewish political gathering we were a part of was (being not Jewish) that is not what this blog is about. This blog is about what took place after the formal speech. (As a side bar - Vesper and I are still quite ambivalent about which candidate(s) we really like or want to vote for. But Vesper's father on the other hand loves Mitt Romney with a love that will not die, nor will it fade. He hosts phone banks at his home to call other registered republicans in the states that are holding primaries soon to try and persuade them to vote for Mitt. The campaign provides prepaid cellular phones, call lists, and scripts) After the speech, some area campaign rep. comes up to Flint (Vesper's dad) and asks him if he would be willing to drive the Mitt Mobile up to the Orlando area. "The Governor" (the fact that the campaign referred to Mitt as "The Governor" every time he was mentioned was a highlight of the day) was taking a flight up to do some more campaigning, but the Mitt Mobile still needed to get up north. Flint said that he had to work but that Vesper and I weren't doing anything so we'd be able to. After talking it over, and initially resisting, we talked about it and Vesper had friends that she wanted to see in Orlando anyways so we agreed to make the 2 1/2 hour drive north up the turn pike.

After speaking with a higher up Mitt Romney campaign rep and getting instructions on where and how to pick up the Mitt Mobile (the Mitt Mobile will further more be referred to as the "MM" to stave off the inevitable onset of carpal tunnel) I envisioned a quick get away so we would have time to make it to Orlando before rush hour traffic and see Vesper's friend before her 3 little ones had to get to bed. This was most certainly not to be. First, we found out there was an appointment to get the oil changed on the MM. That took a good 40 minutes of our time. Then Flint just about begged us to bring the MM by his work so he could take pictures. That cost us another 30 minutes. Now, I must admit, though my heart was blackening by the second with the delays it was a treat to see the huge goofy smile on Flint's face. I haven't seen such a look of joy on his face in quite some time. (He celebrated by lifting a bunch of incidental paraphernalia from the MM) Lastly, and most necessarily, we had to swing by Vesper's folks' place to grab some gear for the road trip. We were in our best and spit-shined from the earlier rally/speech, and that is no state to be in for a road trip. That cost us another half hour.
Now, I would be lying if I didn't say that when we stopped over to get our things for the trip if we didn't stop and make a thorough tour of the MM and catalog everything that we saw.

The above sticker is what greets any visitor upon entering the MM. The thing that made me laugh in this picture were the children's toys in the open cupboards. (Notice the red "Eragon" book) I also thought it was neat he had one of his dad's campaign stickers displayed prominently.

Vesper and I survived mostly on the contents of the small kitchenette that was part of the MM. Though the fridge contained amazingly rancid feta cheese, the rest of the stock was pretty good, and mostly non-perishable.

Have you ever tried to imagine the splendor of the campaign trail? The opulence that the candidates lavish upon themselves whilst lying to the masses? Well, here it is. The master (and only) suite in the MM.

Of course, I couldn't pass up on a shot of the bathroom. Do you notice a flushing mechanism in this picture? I didn't either the first time I gazed upon this washroom, but I was full to bursting so I utilized the room regardless. Well, poor Vesper had to use the facilities later on as well, and as horrible as the smell was in there, I can't help but believe she was secretly very thankful I only engaged in numero uno. (She then proceeded to show me a foot pedal that flushed the toilet. My RV rank was revoked to novice.)

We greatly enjoyed the patriotic air fresheners.

Here is an example of what Flint made off with earlier in the narrative and a very fat looking hand.

Here is where Vesper and I spent the majority of our time on the trip. The amazing cabin of the MM that did not have adjustable chairs. (Let's just say that my pelvis probably could have handled steering duties) Though we did not utilize the TV or the DVD/VCR combo we were entertained by the small figures in the middle of the picture. Can you see them on the dashboard? Need a closer look? you are.

A Mitt Romney bobble head doll and a bizzare alligator head. I'm not sure if they are supposed to be some sort of commentary on his campaign or his relationship with the press, or perhaps his intentions upon winning the presidency, but anyway you cut's just a tad disturbing. (Also, later on we discovered that Flint has the same bobble head on his desk at work)

Well, when we finally hit the turnpike we figured out why the Romney campaign folks didn't want to make the drive themselves, and were so gracious and thankful when we volunteered to do it. The MM reeled to and fro like a drunken man dropped upon burning coals covered in glass shards and angry piranhas. I kept checking out the trees along the turnpike to ensure that we weren't in the midst of a strong, swirling gale. I also often checked the road to make sure that there weren't any treacherous ruts that were the culprit of our cyclonic sloshing, but there were neither. The MM was simply a hurtling bullet of death and Vesper, our unborn/yet to be fake named child, and I were the gun powder. (If we extend this comparison I suppose the Mitt Romney campaign staffers were the cowards that pulled the trigger.) Though I soon acquired my sea legs Vesper was very tense to downright panicked at times during the trip. Much of the turnpike was under construction and the lanes would narrow or become difficult to navigate. The MM had about 6 inches of clearance on each side going through the toll booths. Also, we would somehow forget at times we were in a garishly painted campaign RV and be startled from time to time when folks would honk manically and wave their limbs at us.
After 90 minutes of the turnpike we mercifully pulled into a rest area to fill up the MM and get some treats. I had to disappoint a couple of different folks who asked if Mitt himself, or one of his sons was on the RV. After putting close to $200 dollars worth of gas into the MM we were off again.
As we neared Orlando we began to get a tad nervous. A campaign staffer was to call us with directions to where specifically we were to drop off the MM and we kept getting passed back and forth between staffers. After many nervous calls and rapidly diminishing patience we finally got a hold of the right person and he gave us the directions we needed. It wasn't that far, but we had to get through the heart of Orlando in rush hour, and it ended up taking an additional hour and a half. By the time we finally go to the Ramada (or whichever forsaken hotel we ended up at) we were absolutely toast. Again, the campaign rep that met us at the forsaken hotel was very gracious and full of the feral energy that only the converted possess. She kept talking about how she was only getting 2-3 hours of sleep now that the Florida primary was so soon, and all I kept thinking was how silly it seemed to give so much life for a political candidate. But, I suppose I should be happy for her since she found a candidate she can believe in so completely.

Can you see the great fatigue in our countenances?

We soon got our blessedly small rental car after dropping off the MM and had a splendidly relaxing dinner and evening alone. Unfortunately we were now over an hour away from Vesper's friend's home, so we rescheduled for breakfast the next day and wrapped up the day checking into a Holiday Inn or our own east of Kissimmee, were I proceeded to drink Vesper's contacts and contact solution the next morning. But that is a story for another day.
All in all I'm not sure what word I would used to describe the experience that we had transporting the MM. Exhausting would probably be the most apt one. It also felt a bit strange to talk about the campaign and pass out Mitt Romney stickers to those who asked since I really didn't (and don't) care one way or the other if he wins the nomination. I guess I felt like I was play acting, or deceiving these folks a little bit. I never said anything pro or con Romney (though the thought did cross my mind to be negative for the shock value of it), but it still felt like I was somewhat of a proxy for "The Governor" during the 5 1/2 hours we were in possession of the MM. Despite all of that, at least Vesper and I got a day that we will never forget instead of sitting around her parents house all day.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Here comes the bride.....

I know that you are dying to here about our recent trip to Florida to see my family and also see my sister get married. So here is a photo journey of how it went!!!

Arrgh!! A pirate baby shower complete with strawberry pirate cake!!

The Mitt're just going to have to wait for Gawain's post about it...which should be soon.

Seeing "Mom" and her beautiful children!

Gawain with "Mom's" girls. He had fun playing with them while Mom and I chatted. He's also about to get slimed by their mastif/great dane mix.

Mom and I belly to belly. Yes I know I'm huge. Everyone I encounter is horrified to find out I still have approximately two months to go.

We had some interesting times with Minnie the pillow. She decided to kiss The Belly,

Beware of snakes,

And hang out in a tree at a rest stop on the way up to Atlanta for my sister's wedding.

While in Georgia, my brother went a little crazy with so many wedding things going on.

The Belly also went a little crazy and tried to attack my little sister.

And I was excited to be the knocked up matron of honor and go get my nails and toes done in a spa chair with a delish dark color on the hands and a french manicure on the toes for $33! Damn Georgia and their cheap prices!!!

My gorgeous Bride sister and her attendents

My gorgeous Bride sister and her new husband, laughing about how she told him in a hurried card that she "can't walk down the aisle" to him.

Me apparently trying to eat my new brother in law's face?
(I just follow this mantra: Give The Belly what it wants)

In all it was a tiring trip, but lots of fun to see my family and friends!!!