Sunday, December 24, 2006


It’s good to be back in the Midwest. Oh and in case you’re wondering, yes that is a Lexus in the picture. Class.

Monday, November 27, 2006

What's black and white, and read all over?

Today I splattered a meat-based tomato sauce (homemade from scratch of course) all over my Moosewood cookbook. It’s going to taste delicious.

That's your answer for everything

epiphany in a blink and i’m knuckle deep in eggs and baking powder. buckets of flour and a thirst for vengeance. coffee strong enough to choke a dead horse. godlike, this power of creation : vanilla extract takes the edge off. top of the world ma, no one’s gonna stop us now. but the thing is, kings do fall – too late remembered. substitute ingenuity, but something’s off - calamity & downward spiraling. life makes the best choose-your-own-adventure of all, don’t you think? maple syrup fixes all.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Ten Punch

So it turns out that someone over at the BRC thinks I’m pretty f’n cool. I know this because when I got my pass in the mail the other day I saw that they had given me a nickname. I’m now Mike (ten punch) Lastnamehere. That’s right, ten punch – pretty masculine sounding, isn’t it. They must have dreamed it up while watching me climb some of the more impressive 5.9-s.

Oh and sorry for blocking out the personal info but I’ve already had my share of stalkers and although they make for interesting stories, I don’t really need more. Unless of course you’re young, female and cute (with photo) – then stalk away because my wish is your command and I’ll do whatever you say. Unit.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Ah, nostalgia

So this past Tuesday I flew to Cleveland, OH – smack dab in the heart of the Midwest. The cold, grey, drizzly Midwest. Sunshine? Ha! The Midwest scoffs at sunshine, that’s for West Coast vegetable eaters. Eternal bleakness punctuated by a cold & steady drip. drip. drip. Water torture at it’s finest – each drop more crafty then the last as it sneaks down your collar and attempts to steal your soul. Ah, nostalgia.

On a related note on the plane ride from Denver to Cleveland I begin the book Naked Lunch by William S. Burroughs. What the hell was I thinking. Before I finished first page I had come to the conclusion that I will never be cool enough to understand this book. Now I’m a huge fan of free association, but seriously, damn. How many drugs I would have to do before this thing makes sense? (Seriously, I’m curious.)

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Walking Sucks

So as it turns out it takes just over an hour to walk from Boulder Station to my place. Stupid walking, I could have done that in less then 15 minutes on a bike (and still stopped to pee in the bushes near Folsom & Valmont).

Thursday, August 31, 2006

So um hey, welcome back

Tuesday evening was the first night that I spent in my new place. Boxes scattered everywhere of course, but on the whole the scene was ideal. Before bed I sat out on the patio listening to crickets chirp - truly serene. Wed morning I wake up and have coffee on the patio while birds sing in the background. What a lovely idea it was to purchase a condo, whatever was I worried about?

So after a long day of moving I return to my new place around 11:30 pm. It's late but what the heck, decide to unwind with a beer on the patio (I like the patio). I'm sitting there making condo related plans and thinking about life in general (i.e. girls), when I hear a rustling in the nearby bushes. Excellent, I'll get to meet another of the neighborhood cats! Now I'm peering through the bushes trying to locate whatever is making the noise - here kitty kitty kitty. Rustling gets louder, bushes part and suddenly 10ft away there it is in all it's glory - white stripe almost glowing in the moonlight against the bushy black fur. Bad kitty, I think I'll slowly go inside now. Ease the slider door shut and breath a sigh of relief - and then proceed to turn off all the living room lights so I don't accidentally startle the thing. Interesting encounter, not the neighbor I had hoped for but what can you do.

Time for bed and I'm in the bathroom brushing my teeth when I have encounter number two - a spider the size of a quarter sitting in the bathtub plotting to kill me. Seriously it had a whiteboard out and was brainstorming different ways to kill me, it was very frightening. If it wasn’t for the glass partition separating the bathtub from the rest of the bathroom I’d have been a goner for sure. With the glass providing a comforting illusion of safety I decided to let the spider be until morning – after all it had lived in the condo longer then I had (plus it scared me and if I had to go head to head with the thing there was no way I was going to do it in the black of night when it's powers were strongest). I was really hoping it would just go away nicely during the night - it didn't so we had to rumble this morning. Sure it was evil incarnate, but I had good on my side and the telephone book to prove it. Victory is mine.

Okay so two strikes against this place but what the heck, it's a beautiful day and life is good. Make coffee and proceed to the patio, wonderful times. Sip my coffee listening to the birds, the sprinklers, dogs barking quietly in the distance, the buzzing. The buzzing? Oh fun, a bee. And another bee. Look, lots of bees who like to hang out on my patio. Joy. So that's three plagues in less then 24 hrs - what the hell have I gotten myself into?

Monday, June 05, 2006

Joey, do you like movies about gladiators?

I was thinking about gladiators today (try to find a way to twist that out of context why don’t you). Well not gladiators per say, that might have been a bit creepy. What I was really thinking about was the spinny kniffy thing on chariot wheels. I think this somehow needs to be adapted for bikes. First of all I freely acknowledge that Boulder is a bike friendly town – the variety of bike lanes offered here is pretty darn cool. Still, auto vs. bike incidents are bound to occur. In the past few weeks I’ve has two separate encounters where drivers (in large SUVs naturally) decided to make sharp right turns directly in front of me. In one instance locking the brakes and skidding sideways was the only reason I didn’t end up doing a face plant on the side of a Toyota 4-Runner. Now I’m not seriously thinking that bikes will ever be a significant contender in a Cars vs. Bikes cage match o’death. Still, the thought of two spinning blades of justice wreaking havoc (and war – can't have proper havoc without war) on the paint of their precious SUV might make some drivers think twice before cutting off another biker. Failing that at least the biker could take it like a man and go down fighting - you know, gladiator style.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

One Toke? You poor fool! Wait till you see those goddamn bats.

I am currently in the midst of reading Hunter S. Thompson’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Although I checked it out from the library because it has long been on my reading list, it is especially apropos today as friends are I are about to embark on a road trip of our own this Memorial Day weekend. There are any number of truly excellent lines from the book, many of which I would like to share with you here. But I won’t. The real reason that I am discussing the book is that as I was reading today, rolling papers fell out of the book. Rolling papers with adorable little pot leaves printed on them. I mean really could it get any more cliché? I get it already, it’s a book about drugs. No doubt the same person who left the papers used a live tiger as a bookmark when they were reading Life of Pi.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Spanking the Monkey

Recently an opportunity came across my plate to act as a meeting coordinator for an event taking place in Denver. This isn’t what I normally do, but since the day rate was semi-decent and I had nothing else going that day I decided what the heck. Wait a few days and receive the information packet/meeting materials that were sent to me. And the topic of the meeting is….. Porno! That’s right, porno porno porno. Actually it’s Pornography: Strategies for Helping Client’s Manage & Overcome the Addiction and it’s offered to Psychologists and other counselors in need of continuing education credits. And by continuing education I mean freaky Internet porn.

So today’s the big day, and as I type I’m sitting outside the Porno meeting room. All morning I’ve been expecting to hear a driving bass line and all sorts of shrieks of delight emanating from the room, but so far nothing (ball gags must be working – not that I know what a ball gag is of course, but I saw them on Pulp Fiction). The meeting is not a complete disappointment however – when I stepped inside the room a few minutes ago to see how things were going the first thing that I heard was “giant raging hard-on”. Naturally I started giggling (to myself - I am a professional after all). So basically the meeting is amusing, but sedate. I think it might need something to liven it up a bit (within reason of course). My thought is to have the hotel roll a trundle bed into the front of the room and leave it up by the presenter’s area. Nothing would be said or done – no overt porno references. Just a nice visual aid. What do you think?

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

It’s funny because it’s true.

I found this picture on my friend Emily’s blog (she’s an excellent wedding photographer, so if any of you plan to get married you should hire her to shoot the wedding). This kid is going to have to suffer through years of expensive therapy to get over his (perfectly rational) fear of clowns, but if one ignores the crazymaking aspects then this is the coolest shirt I’ve ever seen.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Self-Deprecating War Room Sandbox

As you may have noticed, my postings these days have grown few and far between. With the weather as beautiful as it has been recently I have been too busy playing outside to do justice to my blog – a pattern that I can only see continuing as the days get nicer. So with that in mind I plan to take a page from network TV, and offer you… a clip show! Enjoy this bit of recycled reading material, and I hope you’re enjoying this time of year as much as I am!

I Make A Suit Look Good
Survival hinges upon the destructive cycle of male pattern baldness. Monkeys check the blond box, am I right people? Who’s with me! Communists. Lymphoma, Idaho sets off a phone tree that would do any PTA proud, crashing down on my mind like a hippo with a 2pm tee time. Can see potential in the Styrofoam pieces non-fraternization policy; food is dead to me.

The logical assumption: The form of a young female covering myself in acorn-butter. Except replace the word startling with blueberry and the word revelation with monkey. A real life Natalie Portman riding at the head of a squirrel armada: Back off, I’m not a zombie yet. Baseball, Bud Light and lap dances. My boyish good looks and giant foam fingers - a body built for sin. la La la freakin’ la, the plan is abandoned.

Nights in the laboratory attempting to perfect my soup du jour. I own wicking base layers and resort to cannibalism. I feel dirty but I digress.

Brief flirtation with a viscous Lion King chanting “kill kill kill kill”, to be honest I wasn’t listening too closely. I’m tearing the cupboards apart to protect my well crafted theory - the form of a young female lying on the kitchen floor clutching a small (lexan) vial of holy water. Crap again, talk about foreshadowing.

I’m not skinny, I’m sweet and innocent – the flavor of the month. Smart, cute & outdoorsy women bite me so I could become a zombie. Eating people, the perfect cross-training activity.

Vote Republican - too horrific to contemplate or a rose by any other name.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Rock(ed) My World

So my whole world was rocked the other day. Not like that – I mean rocked as in turned upside down crazy-like (again, not like that), whole life is a lie kind of stuff. I was in the midst of casual conversation with two friends, passing the time of day as we worked. Little did I know what sort of bombshell they were about to drop on me. I’ll give you a second to brace yourself – a courtesy sadly denied to me. Ready? They said I have neither blond hair nor blue eyes. Whoa. I mean certain things in life we hold to be self-evident and are not to be trifled with. The world is round. Colorado kicks ass. Monkeys are funny. I have blond hair and blue eyes. It even says so on my driver’s license – both the old Michigan one and the new Colorado one! But no, my friends decide to kick in the very foundation of my beliefs, my very being if you will. I’m not talking about some crap like being of blond haired blue-eyed German descent (Aryan sounds to neo-nazi, although I guess it would technically have been the correct word to use here), that’s not important. I’m talking about simplicity. For example, now when I’m filling out a form and it asks for hair or eye color, what do I do?! Do I have to put some drivel about sandy blondish brown kinda? Not really blue but almost blue grey, depending on whether I’m wearing my blue-tinted contacts or not? Life used to be so simple – check the blond box and check the blue box. Now it looks like I have to check the “other” box, and you know what kind of people do that? Communists.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Tennis & Oreos

I had a startling revelation today. Except replace the word startling with blueberry and the word revelation with monkey. Monkeys are funny. Now replace monkey with thought, and delete blueberry altogether. I had a thought today. That’s still not the right word, but it’ll do until I can find a better one.

Right now I’m sitting in an airport bar (a sports bar, but in my defense it is the only bar in the terminal. Plus they are showing women’s tennis on TV, and that’s just hot) reminiscing about my diet during the 5 or so days that I was working down in Florida. I was looking at the menu (after ordering a beer of course – I have priorities) and I realized nothing sounded good. I’ve eaten so much crap over the past few days that food is dead to me. This is common – it happens on just about every program. But why? I’ve never really stopped to analyze the cause of my gluttony. Experience has taught me that structured meal breaks are few and far between while I am on the road. While my clients have scheduled meals and breaks, for me those times are more likely to be slated for rehearsals and other production related tasks then they are sustenance. As such it is now ingrained within me that my very survival hinges upon the handful of cookies I am able to pilfer from a break station. Pastry for breakfast. Cookies for lunch. Cookies for dinner – followed by a “real” dinner around 11 because one can not live on cookies alone. And then we get to the real culprit – leftovers. On those (not so) rare occasions that there is leftover food after a client’s meal function has completed, that food will typically be delivered to the staff HQ for our consumption. This is the high point of the staff’s day - myself included. I don’t really have the words to describe how exciting this is to us. The merest hint of an impending meal sets off a phone tree that would do any PTA proud. “Cookies spotted in Salon A”. “Lunch being delivered to HQ in two minutes – tell your crew”.

Sorry I lost my train of thought – was watching women’s tennis again. Damn. I mean seriously, damn. Anyway I was thinking about this food phenomenon, and I may have figured out why I continue to engage in this destructive cycle of male pattern baldness. Sure part of it is that at heart I’m thrifty, and if I can eat free food instead of spending my per diem I will do so every time. There’s more though – it goes pretty deep. I think the reason that I (and my coworkers) engage in such poor dietary habits while on the road is that food is the only real outlet that we have. While on the road I’m usually working crazy insane hours – and even if I have an evening off it’s usually with the understanding that I’m on call and could be required to return at any moment. Most of my clients also have a non-fraternization policy, which basically means that hotel bars and what not are off limits even if we had time to patronize them. Food is really the only thing we have left to add excitement to our lives. This is why it’s okay when I eat an entire box of Oreos in 3 days or have 2 deserts with every meal. I feel fat.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Wooden Fish Mallet

So today I’m packing up ten Dell 20” LCD monitors that my client used during a conference down in Florida. My computer vendor had shipped the monitors to me in the original OEM boxes, complete with three pieces of Styrofoam that had to be layered just so in order for the box to close. I’m working on the first monitor, but the Styrofoam pieces just don’t seem to want to fit properly around the monitor. No matter what I do one part ends up sticking up too high, and the box won’t close (but then again who hasn’t had that problem – am I right people? Who’s with me!). Now I have packed this style of monitor on many occasions, so I know how it’s done. In the back of my mind I recall that one box had been packed differently – an older style of packing perhaps before Dell changed to a newer easy to use system. Still it’s just Styrofoam right? I can get this. I try every single possible combination at least five times. Thirty minutes have passed since my first attempt. I can see potential in the Styrofoam pieces – each one is crafted in such a way that it is obvious where it should go in relation to the monitor. The thing is, it just doesn’t work with the box. Crap. I’m approaching the 45 minute mark now (in reality it was more like the 25 minute mark, but it seemed like 45) so I decide to step back and try something new. I’m sold on my theory that this box is just a slightly different/older style. I decide to pack the newer ones first and come back to this one last. Maybe I can sneak up on it, and if it doesn't see me coming it won't put up such a fight. Life is good, I have a plan. Move on to the next box… and it’s exactly the same. There goes my well crafted theory. Stare at this one for about 20 seconds, when the answer hits me: I’m a moron. Actually what occurred to me was the fact that the LCD screen has to be disconnected from the base before it can be packed in the box, and I had been trying to pack the unit as a whole. Still a rose by any other name. Anyway with this brilliant piece of insight firmly within my grasp I finished with all ten monitors in a scant 30 minutes – the same amount of time I spent trying to figure out the first monitor. One of my prouder moments.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Joseph Heller

Remember that scene in the movie Howard the Duck where Lea Thompson does that thing with the pizza? Well three days ago I ran out of coffee.

Sure we all make contingency plans for this sort of thing – battle plans are drawn up, scale models are pushed around in the war room sandbox, any number of hollow gestures designed to make us feel safe and secure. Why worry – there is a plan in place! So there I am, waking up to another pleasant valley Sunday here in status symbol land. Splash some water on my face and head downstairs for the first cup of the day. Who knows, maybe I’m even whistling – la La la freakin’ la. Because I don’t know. I just didn’t see it coming.

When I come to I’m lying on the kitchen floor clutching an empty bag of Peet’s Major Dickason Whole Bean – and that’s when the whole horrifying chain of events comes crashing down on my mind like a hippo with a 2pm tee time. There is no coffee. There was no coffee.

This past Friday I was shocked to discover that I only had enough beans for one cup of coffee – two if I drank it normal strength instead of my usual superdark. No worries, I’d pick some up at the store and be ready to roll by Saturday. Stuff happens. No coffee Saturday, but a friend takes pity on me and shares her stash. Sunday shows up – still no coffee. Remember driving home from a friend’s house at 2am that morning, thinking I should see if there is an all night grocery store so I can buy coffee. Didn’t do it. Crap. Coffee shop time. I had every intention of going to the grocery store on Sunday (after all I had run out off food at least 3 days before I ran out of coffee), but in the end the couch prevailed. Monday rolls around and now I’m desperate – I mean I’m tearing the cupboards apart looking for a single serving pack that I missed (I take single serving packs from hotels – one of the aforementioned contingency plans). Elated I come across a handful hotel coffee packets! Decaffeinated hotel coffee packets. Crap again.

There’s no way around it – I’ve got to go to the grocery store… but I’m so tired! Drink one cup of tea. Nothing. Drink another cup of tea. Nothing. Drink cup number three. Still nothing – the plan is abandoned. Eventually the lure of ice cream forces me to leave the house – but not until 8:45 pm that evening. The plague is over – I made it to the store and I now have a fresh supply of coffee. Still that doesn’t change the fact that for three days I wanted coffee, but a lack of caffeine induced motivation kept me from fulfilling my dreams. It’s like a viscous Lion King/Circle of Life thing where the hyenas are played by an empty bag of coffee beans and Nala is played by a real life Natalie Portman. Except that analogy really doesn’t apply well to this situation. It’s more of a Catch-22 then a Circle of Life, but Catch-22 doesn’t involve Natalie Portman and what good is an analogy that doesn’t involve Natalie Portman. Talk about a Catch-22! Wait that doesn’t make sense either. I’m going to go have another cup of coffee and think this over.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Sweet delicious brains

You know, I’ve got a pretty good thing going right now with this whole freelance thing. I expect that I will be able to milk this for another few years at a bare minimum – more if I put the smallest amount of effort into finding new clients (doubtful but stranger things have happened). Still it’s never too early to be thinking about your future. As luck would have it, my recent work related trip to Orlando uncovered a unique skill-set that I had long forgotten. When under the effects of stress and a severe lack of sleep I have the uncanny ability to turn myself into a zombie. Okay so the transformation isn’t perfect – right now it’s just a dumber version of me – but it has potential. I mean I can carry on conversations using words that have absolutely no relevance to the topic at hand. I can walk for hours with a purposeful stride, and upon arriving at my destination have no idea why I wanted to be there. I make a suit look good (that has no relevance to my zombie story, I just wanted to throw it out there). As if those weren't reason enough, a friend once told me that my run could only be described as the shambling gate of a zombie. Talk about foreshadowing!

You know, when I think of it the possibilities are endless. One day I could be an extra in a slasher film, and the next day I could be the guest of honor at the groundbreaking ceremony for the latest McDonalds in Lymphoma, Idaho. Sure I’ve got a bit of work to do – the whole eating people thing will probably take some time to get used to – but like I said I’ve got a few years before this comes to pass. It feels kind of nice knowing that my future is secure.

PS – So I know what you’re thinking. “That sounds cool, I wish he would bite me so I could become a zombie”. First of all back off, I’m not a zombie yet. Plus even though it’s an established fact that the werewolf gene is passed along through biting, I’m not positive that zombies are created that way. Unless someone can come up with a definitive answer to this question I guess we’ll have to rely on trial and error (a valid scientific method).

PPS – I was just kidding about that back off thing. Um hey, how’s it going.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Red States

This is fairly interesting for the non-worldy traveler. Follow the link below to create a map of all of the States you have visited. Notice that I am not attempting this with a world map! Incidentally be warned - I'm fairly certain that since the program automatically colors visited states with a nice bright red you are agreeing to vote Republican in the next election if you reside in or visit one of your red states on election day.

create your own visited states map

Soup du Jour

As I was sitting down this morning having my coffee time (i.e. 9 to 11:30), I came across an interesting article on the web. This article is really meant to be an editorial piece on another story dealing with blogging and corporate PR departments that is currently running in the New York Times. Since blogging seems to be my soup du jour at the moment I dove right in without hesitation – after all what if they mentioned my blog? (Surprisingly enough they didn’t). The gist of the article(s) is that Wal*Mart is feeding PR releases to independent bloggers, who then post the information on their own sites – often unedited and under the guise of their own opinions.

What great stuff! If I post about this on my blog maybe I can share a real world relevant opinion about something – perhaps even raise the intellectual level of my writings up a notch (or dare I dream, two notches?). Plus who doesn’t love some good old fashioned Wal*Mart bashing!?!? The thing is, I don’t have a problem with this. Hell I don’t even consider it newsworthy. So a big corporation decided to look into creative marketing/PR techniques. It probably wasn’t even their idea, no doubt it was some smart & shinny PR firm doing what they do best, and getting paid handsomely to do so. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not fond of Wal*Mart in general - after all I’ve seen at least 60% of the PBS documentary exposing them as the Al Qaida of the big box retailers. But we are purported to be a capitalistic society and people vote with their dollars. Personally I do my best not to shop at Wal*Mart because I do not approve of their labor or supplier practices, but

Can we stop a second to acknowledge the fact that I just used the words purported AND capitalistic in the same sentence! Who cares if I didn’t necessarily use them in the “correct” context – them’s still some big words. I think I raised this blog up an intellectual level in that sentence alone – maybe even a level for each word.

And we’re back. Okay I’m bored with the direction the blog was headed – that’s not news and I don’t care. Luckily that was just the opening monologue, the real reason for me highlighting this article is the following sentence:

“What is the use of a blog if bloggers are just going to copy sentences and sentiments from the puppetmaster's email?"

WOW! I mean seriously, this opens whole new realms of possibility! I’m obviously talking about the role of Puppetmaster here. Sure everyone has the dream of riding at the head of a squirrel armada – with the furry little creatures under your control no one could stop you. No one that is besides a Puppetmaster with his own army of bloggeteers… Is it possible – has technology advanced to the point where I can give up nights in the laboratory attempting to perfect squirrel mind control? In one sense that would be nice, because so far the only mind control technique that I’ve had any (limited) success with thus far involves covering myself in acorn-butter, and as you well know that can get fairly sticky. So what do you think, is it time to refocus my energies? Could this article be the sign I have been waiting for that the world ready for a new Puppetmaster to emerge? Does anyone need 5 gallons of acorn-butter?

Monday, March 06, 2006

A body built for sin

So this past weekend one of the people that I was climbing with came out with a startling revelation: I’m an ectoplasm. Or an ectomorph. It’s ecto-something but to be honest I wasn’t listening too closely. The general thrust of her statement had something to do with the three general body types – pear shaped, muscular and ectoplasm. Apparently I’m the last, which further discussion defined as someone who has the ability to work out and become toned, rather then “built”.

I have long suspected something of this nature to be true as my athletic endeavors seem to have no correlation whatsoever with weight gain or muscle mass. In fact in the past 7 years the only time that I gained any significant weight (okay it was only 10lbs, but for me that’s significant as it landed me at my highest weight ever) was the winter of 2003 when my friends and I decided drinking was the perfect cross-training activity to get us in shape for the spring season. Didn’t work too well for riding, and to add insult to injury I was back to my old fighting weight within weeks of getting back on the bike. Cynics would say that it was my choice of activities that was the limiting factor here – after all biking is not really a sport renowned for turning out body builders. The thing is, my brief flirtation with indoor climbing during the winter of 2002 and the few short affairs that I had with gyms/weight lifting have yielded similar results. I get toned – fairly quickly actually – but that’s it.

It’s nice to finally have a definitive, science-based answer to this issue. Yes it means that I might finally be forced to give up my dream of playing quarterback on the high-school football team, but even so it’s as if a giant weight has been lifted of my shoulders (I mean in addition to the weight that would come with being forced to learn the rules of football or actually start caring about the game). I’m not skinny, I’m ectoplastic!

Friday, March 03, 2006

I love you - change

When my friends and I have gotten together recently, a recurring conversational thread has been humor styles and the possible adverse effect they can have on beginning a relationship. Specifically, one of my female friends put forth the idea that women perceive self-deprecating humor as reflecting a lack of confidence in one’s self. Personally I believe nothing could be further from the truth – jokes of this nature are all about confidence. In the right context and when used in moderation I feel that this style of humor can be very effective and amusing. The thing is though, how I feel about the subject really doesn’t matter. After all, the point my friend was making was not how I perceive self-deprecating humor; it was how women perceive self-deprecating humor, and in a larger sense humor in general.

The question of humor is one that I have recently been banging my head against in my own life. As I mentioned in an earlier post I am experimenting with online dating. I am a bit skeptical of the whole scene and figure that my chances of meeting someone “in real life” are better, but I have heard enough success stories that I no longer distrust it entirely. Still, even though there appear to be a large number of smart, cute & outdoorsy women (Thank you Colorado, I am so glad I am no longer in Saginaw, Michigan!!!) I am not blanketing the internet with pleas for attention & dates. Instead I might occasionally find someone whose profile really amused & impressed me – someone that I could tell had a sense of humor. I’ll be honest humor is pretty key to my life, and I’ve ended more then one potential relationship when I didn’t find the girl funny or she didn’t understand my style of humor. Because of this on the rare occasion that I find someone that I am interested in writing, I will attempt to interject humor into the letter. With my boyish good looks, capacity for witty, intelligent banter and general love of the outdoors (a prerequisite for dating Colorado women it seems – and one I approve of) you would think I would be getting responses left and right! Sadly however, this is not always the case. At first I went with the logical assumption – freak electrical storms shutting down the internet at the exact moment that I hit send, causing my messages to be lost in cyberspace forever. Unfortunately Comcast refused to authenticate my theory, which in turn pointed the fault squarely in my direction. Since I have already eliminated all other possible explanations, could it be that my attempts toward humor are deterring women? I admit people don’t always know what to make of my concept of humor, especially before they get to know me. In the interest of meeting new, pretty female types do I need to remove all aspects of my personality from the initial correspondence? “My name is Mike, I like baseball, Bud Light and lap dances?” My response rate would go through the roof, but at what cost! What if she liked that guy, and all of a sudden I was locked into a life of mind numbing baseball games, watery beer and constant lap dances! It’s almost too horrific to contemplate.

So what should I do? Do I let humor continue unchecked and hope for the best? Do I dial it back to get the girl and then let my personality seep out over time? Do I have to buy one of those giant foam fingers and start supporting the team? Is it time to start considering the whole mail order bride thing? So many unanswered questions.

PS – In retrospect this might not have been the best topic of conversation as I recently shared my blog address in one of those so called “humorous” emails. I’ll let it slide though, as it makes for an excellent example in the case of Women vs. Self-Deprecating Humor. Besides I haven’t written anything in a while and I don’t want to have to think of a new topic.

PPS – Incidentally do you think the lap dance line would work? Because, um I could put that in my profile if you think it would help.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

I feel dirty, and I like it

I’ve been noticing a dangerous trend recently – I’ve been thinking about climbing. Sure this sounds all sweet and innocent, what could be wrong with thinking about climbing? I’ll tell you what. I’ve been thinking about climbing at times when I should have been thinking about mountain biking. I’ll give you an example: this past Friday as I was driving to Aspen for the aforementioned hut trip, I found myself staring wistfully at the mountains around me. Did I think “wow, I bet there is some kick ass mountain biking around here”? No, not at all. Instead I said to myself “you know, that might be fun to climb”. It gets worse, much worse in fact. This past weekend was one of the best I’ve had in a while, and when I woke up to a beautiful Sunday morning I knew that the perfect cap to the weekend would be to get out and ride. I’m sitting at home going through my coffee ritual and thinking about my day, when out of the blue Temptation calls. In this particular instance Temptation came in the form of an invite from my friend RJ to go climbing in Boulder Canyon.

I’ll get back to my rant in a moment, but I’d like to take a second here to say Temptation, RJ is cool but the next time you decide to come my way I would REALLY appreciate it if you take the form of a young female type. Enough said, back to the story.

To continue, what did I do? I went climbing of course. Sure I could say I had never been climbing outdoors before and I was really looking forward to trying it. I could say that my friends are cool, and I wanted to hang out with them. I guess I could even try to write climbing off as the flavor of the month – god knows I’m fickle enough (um, just for the record if any of the young female types do read this I’m just kidding about the fickle thing. Really). The thing is when you get right down to it the reason really doesn’t matter – I’ve still been choosing climbing over the bike. I feel ashamed. I feel dirty. I kind of like it.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Ghosts 1 : Mike 0

Damn that’s good coffee, but I digress. So this past Friday two friends and I headed west, bound for the snowy slopes of Aspen. Not to ski of course, that would have been crazy. No, we were going on a hut trip.

I have long dreamed of doing a hut to hut trip in Europe, and so when I heard about a system of huts in my new back yard I knew this was something I needed to try. When (3) spots opened up in a hut this past weekend, my friends and I jumped at the chance. We headed out toward Aspen relatively early, and by noon we were at the trailhead. Rumor had it that the hut was about 6 miles in, so without further ado we shouldered our packs and began to hike. It was a beautiful day, we could not have asked for better. The sun was shining brightly and the air was crisp but not too cold. Before long I found myself stripping layers and hiking without a coat – a far cry from the freezing cold winter temperatures I was expecting. After a relatively flat and well traveled mile we donned our snowshoes and began the trek in earnest. From this point on we were climbing – total elevation gain was 2,590 feet from trailhead to hut. The day progressed and so did we, and as the sun began to set we found ourselves high in the mountains by a frozen, snow-covered lake. This was wonderful news, as according to our map the hut was “just around the bend” overlooking the lake. Dreaming of dinner (and the multiple bottles of wine we packed in) we continue, sure that we will come across the hut at any second. The trail leads away from the lake, but it will curve back right? We continue. The sun is gone, time to break out the head lamps. We continue. The trail keeps climbing – higher and further from the lake with every step. Consult the map, and once again see the well marked hut positioned next to the lake. We’re not near the lake, we’re in the woods. Consider making a lake, but after much discussion decided “if you build it they will come” did not apply in this particular situation. We resolve to return to the (pre-existing) lake on the assumption that due to the fading light we must have missed seeing the cabin the first time around. Unfortunately this does not work – the cabin is not there. Stare at the map some more and mentally retrace our steps. Yup, the elevation gain proceeding the lake exactly matched the contour lines on the map, we are where we think we are. Probably. At this point our faith in the map is fading faster then an orangutan at a Billy Joel concert, but we eventually identify an offshoot trail that may lead to the hut. We retrace our steps and find the trail, but it’s obvious from the lack of footprints that this is not the well traveled trail that leads to the hut. It’s dark, our map is a filthy liar and when I listen to the wind I swear I can hear a voice chanting “kill kill kill kill”. We make the only sensible decision and decide to return to our car. With our Cliff Bar supply dwindling odds are good that we’ll be forced to resort to cannibalism at any second, so I take a spot at the back of the line where I can keep an eye on the others. From this point on things progress smoothly - the return trip was primarily downhill and we made good time back to the car. The hotel that we spent the night in was well appointed, and we had blueberry pancakes for breakfast.

I’d like to take a second to praise the two friends who joined me on this little adventure. In total we ended up backpacking for upwards of ten hours, and at no time did anyone lose hope or focus. That was ten solid hours of backpacking too – with the exception of one 15 minute dinner break on the way back to the car we really did not stop at all. Options were analyzed based on the information we had available to us, and decisions were made rationally. If I had it to do over again under the same exact circumstances I can honestly say that I would have done exactly the same thing. I would not hesitate to go into the woods with these people again.

Okay I know what you’re thinking – their story makes sense but something still just doesn’t add up. These people are experienced woodsmen, how could this happen? I agree. I mean I own wicking base layers and a windproof fleece. I carry my wine in a Nalgene bottle. I have two compasses and a shiny whistle. How could we possibly lose our way? Luckily I had a lot of time to think about this on the return trip to the car, and I now know what happened. None of us had actually met the others staying at the cabin that weekend, we just exchanged a few emails prior to the trip. Now I haven’t fully investigated this yet, but here’s my theory: The cabin burned down 10 years ago and was never rebuilt. Bill, Susie, Joe and Frita (names changed to protect the undead), the very people we had been emailing prior to the trip, all perished in the 1996 fire. That’s right, they were ghosts – spirits that had attached themselves to the remains of the cabin and were unable to leave this realm. When you think about it this is really the only explanation that makes sense. Now that I know the truth a part of me wishes that we had pushed on to find the remains of the cabin so that we could have done our part to help these lost spirits find peace. Alas it was not meant to be, but at least I am able to learn from the experience. The next time that I venture out into the wilderness I will make sure to include a small (lexan) vial of holy water in my pack. Because when you get right down to it, survival in the wilderness is really about being prepared.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Because shut up, that's why

So I think I’m going to buy a new bike. I want a full suspension bike – something with 5” of travel that will tear up the rocky Colorado trails. I’m thinking of either the Turner 5-Spot or the Intense 5.5, both of which are for sale at Redstone Cyclery. I will have a full suspension bike – the sooner the better. The thing is, that isn’t the bike I’m talking about buying. I want a dirt jump/urban bike. I don’t dirt jump – hell I don’t jump at all. I’ve never been into urban. So why would I buy a DJ/urban bike that I will rarely if ever use? Because shut up, that’s why.

Right now the weather in Boulder is cold. Freezing cold. There is no way that I am going out to ride right now. Normally this wouldn’t be so bad, I have plenty of other things to do that keep me occupied. This time however, I made a mistake. When my Thursday evening night ride was cancelled (due to sub zero conditions and um, wolves. Lots of wolves.), I stayed in and watched The Collective – an awesome mountain biking film. Within 2 minutes of the start of the film I was anxious to ride, a feeling that stayed with me for the whole film. In addition to tons of amazing looking singletrack, this film featured a lot of jumping. Now I want to fly. Maybe not high and far, but I want to fly a little. Besides, a decent hard tail DJ bike is only about $600 – less if I can find a closeout 2005. That’s practically an impulse buy when compared to spending 3+k for a custom steel hard tail or a full suspension bike.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Pillow Fight?

"Nearly 1,000 people drawn by Internet postings and word-of-mouth converged near San Francisco's Ferry Building on Tuesday night for a half-hour outdoor pillow fight. The underground event erupted at 6 p.m. in the center of Justin Herman Plaza with a mass rush of shrieking, laughing combatants -- many of whom arrived with pillows concealed in shopping bags, backpacks and the like." - San Francisco Chronicle

Now that's a cool idea - I wonder what it would take to plan something like that here in Colorado. It's too bad I let laziness rule my life, otherwise I might be tempted to give it a try. Still great concept - click on the title "Pillow Fight" above for a link to the article. I am your intellectual superior! Oh wait sorry - that was the last post.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

I’m your intellectual superior!

Books are good on many levels. Some have pretty pictures. Some have stories that keep us amused for hours – this can be especially useful on say the four hour flight from Denver to Dulles. Some books can be used to kill bugs, although I personally prefer a good shot of Clorox Tub & Tile cleaner for that purpose. Then there are the intellectual books. These are the ones that you put on your bookshelf to impress your friends, or read while conspicuously occupying the corner table in your favorite coffee shop. These are the books that shout “Hey look at me, I’m your intellectual superior!” Okay technically I suppose I am the one doing the shouting, but I swear the book make me do it.

What prompted this penetrating look into the literary world you ask? Simple – I recently rediscovered the library. In a (mostly unsuccessful) attempt to get more work done I have been looking for places to work outside of my home, and this search led me to the library. Although I have indeed completed small quantities of work as a result, the bigger success lies in the fact that I have once again begun to check out books and music. Don’t get me wrong, I am a voracious reader and at any given time I am in the middle of several books - I just haven't been to the library in a long time. I have to say that the variety and convenience (i.e. the fact that books are free) of the library is um, good.

Now to tie this whole book thing together in relation to my blog. One of the things that I gleamed from the few blogs that I read is that any good blog has book reviews. Not just any book either, no Hardy Boys Case Files here. No, a good blog book review should be the online equivalent of sitting in a coffee shop with your intellect held high for the world to see. Yeah. So the thing is I dislike writing about theory. Hate it actually, always have. I have absolutely no interest in delving into a characters psyche. What’s this – the story is actually a retelling of a Christian fable with a modern day twist? That’s great, love the way the author did that thing where he wrote stuff. I just don’t want to write about it myself. So here is my condensed intellectual book review. Life of Pi – interesting read, loved the ending. Shopgirl - interesting look at relationships and um, shopping. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance – this one makes my head hurt, which means by definition it has to be amazing.

I think that satisfy the book review requirements for a while. I hope it does at least because I have once again reverted to pulp fiction/"airport reads", and those aren’t nearly intellectual enough to post on a blog. After all someone might read this thing.

“Hey look at me, I’m your intellectual superior!”

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Mountain Biking North Carolina

Last night a friend of mine revealed that she might be moving to North Carolina. This would suck of course as I would miss her, but it sounds like it might be a good career/life move for her. Plus she is a very strong mountain biker, and NC has some incredible trails. Her talk of NC made me reminisce about my own mountain biking vacation to Pisgah, NC last year. We had an amazing time, and despite muddy trail conditions and a heck of a lot of rain we got in some of the best biking that I’ve ever experienced. Tight twisty single-track, climbs that keep on going and screaming descents that made all the climbing worthwhile. Plus we were smack dab in the Smokey Mountains – can you go wrong there? I love east coast riding! Just sitting here thinking about it has me wanting to get out and ride.

This year we’re planning to hit Fruita, CO for our big mountain bike trip. It’s a “short” drive for me (at least it’s better then the 13hr+ drive from MI to NC), so most likely the others will fly out to Denver and then we’ll head over from here. Since I’m close now I might try to hit it early to “preview” some of the trails so we know what we’re doing. Plus is there such thing as too much awesome mountain biking? I think not.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Girls Are Pretty

As I write this I am a relative newcomer to Colorado, having finally fled Michigan in the fall of 2005. This move was about 3+ years in the making, and although I do not regret the time spent in MI I am glad that I was finally able to pull everything together. Michigan is a great place - lots of excellent mountain biking and some gorgeous outdoor scenery. Really great friends. Still I have few regrets leaving it behind, and am excited to enter into a new part of my life. Hand in hand with the move was my desire to form my own production management company – break the yoke of corporate America and all that (or just catapult myself to the top of the ladder and become corporate America). In essence I will be doing much of the same sort of thing that I have done in the past - with the notable exception that I am offering my services directly rather then being on the payroll of a production house. The theory is that this method will allow me to make more money, while having more free time. Downside of course is that when I'm not out on a show working I won't be bringing money in, but I'm pretending not to acknowledge that fact for now.

In an effort to meet new (pretty female) people, I made a recent foray into the exciting world of online dating. What could this possibly have to do with my new (lack of) employment? Actually they have a one incredibly similar trait - the waiting. I have yet to decide which is worse - waiting for a pretty female to respond to my inquiry, or waiting for a potential employer to call me with work. Initial thoughts of course point toward work, as without it life is much harder to maintain. On the other hand girls are pretty. This is no easy dilemma, while I'm sure the answer is out there both sides have compelling arguments.

Hävdar att Verket

Right. So a new blog would seem to require a fancy starting entry - something to set the tone for the future. If I may be so bold I think I will steal a quote from Sun Tzu. I think you will find the following to be as true today as it was in the 2nd century BC.

"Advokater utan gränser hävdar att verket svarttlistat skickliga advokater och att dessa bara anlitas på flyktingarna initiativ. Organisationen är också kritisk till att Migrationsverket väljer de asylsökandes ombud och liknar situationen vid att en åklagare skulle välja den svarandes ombud. "

Welcome to my blog.