Thursday, April 28, 2005

A Nation of Millions

I went to Zia's at lunch yesterday. For those that don't know, Zia's is a music store that trades albums, and you can find some obscure stuff pretty cheap. I decided to check out the bargain bin, and see if anything good was in there. I came across a new copy of Public Enemy's "It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back".

As a white kid growing up in Phoenix, I didn't have a lot of exposure to rap. However, when I joined the navy, my company in boot camp had about 20 guys from New York City, the birthplace of hip hop. I immediately became enthralled with their rapping and beat boxing.

The first two rap albums I ever really listened to were "Paid in Full", and "It Takes a Nation of Millions". So to see it in the bargain bin in part was nostalgic, and in part really pissed me off. I mean, how is one of the most influencial albums of all time sitting on the same level as "Elmo's Christmas"?

I ended up buying it with damn near pocket change. I listened to it all night, and had forgotten how much I enjoyed that album. It reminds me of that angry young man who wanted to change the world in what seems like a different lifetime. I think tomorrow I am going to go look for "Paid in Full".

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Nothing new

There has been a lack of updates because life has been incredibly uninteresting. I know, that is nothing new. Although I did get my redneck on, and went to a demolition derby at the county fair this weekend. Oh, and Cheap Trick was there. I don't know which surprised me more, the fact that they are still touring, the fact that they have a new album coming out, or the fact that they still have all of their original members.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Water balloon warfare in the 21st century

I coach girls softball. I have done it for 9 years. Growing up as a jock, I always envisioned having the superstar son, and all that. Cut ahead, and two daughters later, that obviously didn't happen. However, I still have a huge love of sports, and both of my daughters enjoyed softball. So here I am.

As Tom Hanks can testify, coaching girls is quite a bit different than boys. For example, screaming "Grow a set of balls!" doesn't work as well. But I am getting off topic.

It has been really hot here, and we are at about the mid-season point, so I decided to shake things up at practice last night. I decided to make a bunch of water balloons, and have a giant water balloon fight. I figured it would be fun, and loosely could justify it by saying it was a throwing/running drill. On paper, it was a great idea.

I ended up leaving work early yesterday to go home and make the balloons. I haven't done this since I was a kid. Either my technique sucks now, or the balloons have gotten worse. After a half hour, I had a total of two balloons, and was completely soaked. I guess I was overfilling them, because they were exploding all over the place.

Being a reasonably intelligent person, I decided not to fill them as much. This seemed to work. After about an hour and a half or so, I had a couple of coolers filled with water balloons. At least 300 balloons, I am guessing. I was ready to rock.

What I hadn't counted on is how heavy a cooler full of water balloons is. I am not a weak man, but damn if those didn't weigh a ton! So I am grunting and groaning trying to carry them from the back yard out to the van. Then, when I got to the practice field, it was even a longer haul. By the time I carried both coolers out there, I was half dead.

The girls show up, and see the two coolers and are intrigued. Me, being the sneaky and somewhat evil type that I am, invited them to come over and see what was inside. When they came over, I completely ambushed them by firing about three balloons in rapid succession. However, in my attempts to not have the balloons explode while filling, I erred too far in the other direction, and didn't fill them enough.

Unfortunately, my accuracy is still pretty good, and all three balloons hit their intended targets. None of them exploded on impact though, and so I had knocked three girls over. One had the wind knocked out of her, and the other two were rubbing their heads. The initial excited looks on the girls were quickly replaced by a "This guy is fucking crazy" look. I decided I had better not throw any more balloons, and just let them have their fun.

For the record, between bending over for two hours filling balloons, and lugging those damn coolers around, my back has decided to check out for the day. I can barely move. Getting old really sucks.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

A new kind of pain

I had to come in to work pretty early this morning for a meeting involving Italy. Damn time zones. I was half asleep, on cup of coffee #1, and generally an unhappy camper. I decided to get a good stretch in before getting down to business. However, one of my armpit hairs somehow got caught in my shirt. As I raised my arms for that cleansing stretch, a pain shot through me as the hair must have just been plucked right out. I gave out a little yelp, and jerked my arms down. Everyone in the conference room just stared at me like I was insane. I started to explain what happened, but decided it just wasn't worth it. How the hell do you get an armpit hair caught in a shirt? It's not like I have snaps in the pits, or anything like that.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Anniversaries are overrated

I went out to club crawl last night with my lady friend. (Side Note: If you get a chance to catch Troy's Bucket, do it! Those guys rocked!) Anyhow, she ended up staying the night at my place. So this morning, I was awoken by her, serving me champagne and chocolate covered strawberries in bed. Of course, I am thinking that I must have completely rocked her world last night. Like an idiot, I asked what the special occasion was. Big, big mistake.

It turns out today was the one year anniversary of the first time we ever went out. I can barely remember when my birthday is, much less this. Needless to say, she wasn't real thrilled that I didn't remember. So the question is, am I a schmuck for not knowing this? I mean seriously, how many people know the exact date of the first time they ever went out?

I couldn't think of a real graceful save from this one, but I went with "A year?!? That's not possible. It feels like we just met." I don't think that worked too well, so I went to plan B, and took her out to a fancy dinner tonight. She seemed pretty happy when I took her home, so I think I may be off the hook. So I guess I better remember today. What's the date again?

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Back from the abyss

I have survived my business trip, although my sleep schedule is completely screwed right now. Tonight, I am going out partying with my lady friend. Should be fun.

As for the blog name update, I am still deciding. Nothing jumps out as the one, although I have to admit "My umbrella, your vagina" made me laugh aloud.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

New blog name update

I am back from the cruise. It actually was pretty fun. My mom and I decided that we would each do our own thing, and so I barely saw her, except for dinners. No gin, but I had some really good tequila in Ensenada, and many many beers.

It turns out that I have a business trip to go on next week, so I have two days at home. Lucky me. So that means I will have another week to get blog name requests. The leading candidate right now is The Umbrella Corporation.

And Mike, when I get back from Northern California, I'll tell the story of Umbrella. It's not great, but then again, many nickname stories are pretty stupid.

Friday, April 01, 2005

My blog name needs work

Somehow, it slipped out at work that I was going on the cruise with my mom. Hoooo boy. Talk about throwing meat to the lions. At this point, I think I have heard every Oedipus and/or incest joke in the book.

So I am hiding in my cubicle, surfing. Screw it, it's Friday, and I have worked almost 60 hours this week. I decided to google "Under the Umbrella", just to see what I would find. The results were not very good.

First off, there is an actual site with a URL of Under the Umbrella. They sell vases that you put under those outdoor lawn table umbrellas. There were also a few blogs with that in their title. Most of these were the types of blogs that feature bad poetry written by depressed teenage girls. Between seeing this, and being harassed by my coworkers for the last half hour, I feel like my manhood is slipping away.

So here is my challenge. I need to come up with a new blog name. My nickname is Umbrella, and that isn't going to change. Maybe I'll tell that story on a later date. But I would like to keep the umbrella concept in there, with a more manly and/or humorous approach. Under the Umbrella was something I just came up with off the top of my head, and the more I think about it, the worse it sounds. So all of my loyal readers, who have been here the whole day of this blog's existence, submit any ideas!

Gin, beer, and other painkillers

I received my first comment (woo phraink!), and I was going to respond in the comment section, but decided to milk another post out of it. The comment offered advice to deal with my mom on the cruise by drinking heavily, preferably gin. Not bad advice, and honestly, that was my Plan B. Well, all except the gin part.

You see, I really hate gin. I never really liked the taste of it, but I don't think that is the big issue. Heck, I hated the taste of beer initially, and now I am in the running for a lifetime achievement award at a local brew pub. No, my problems with gin are more deep seeded than that. I joined the navy as a very young lad. During that time, we did the stereotype sailor thing, go drinking every weekend. One of my buddies was a gin and tonic man. But to use an old phrase, "He loved gin, but gin didn't love him".

Gin would mess with his gastro-intestinal system something fierce. I didn't have to go out with him to know what he was drinking the night before. Right around 10:00 the next morning, his bowels would trumpet with the announcement of the previous nights drink of choice. In other words, this guy had the worst gin farts in history. They were BAD! Clear the room bad. Noxious cloud of haze bad. Couldn't stand his own bad. Bad.

So I stay away from gin. Even someone suggesting playing a quick game of gin rummy send my thoughts back to that guy and his rancid gas. I would much rather stick with tequila. Mmmmm, now we're talking!

The bowl is washed

I forgot to bring my camera in to work. Just as well, because the bowl was washed. However, I think the coffee stained it, because there is a gross brown ring around the perimeter. I still need to get a picture of the hobbit hole, just to show how much food he has in there. I don't think people would believe it unless they saw it.

And just to show how much of a loser I am, I am going on a cruise next week. That's not the loser part. My lady friend was supposed to go with me, but her boss nixed that idea at the last minute. I tried to get the dates changed, but it was waaaaay too late in the game for that. So I had to use the 2nd ticket, or eat the cost. The only person I know that could go on short mom. Yep, I am taking a cruise with my mom. What a dork. Oh well, she thinks I am the greatest thing since sliced bread right now. But the thing is, if I spend more than about 3 hours straight with her, we end up fighting. I have a feeling I will be spending a lot of time in the shipboard casino.