Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Sunday, May 20, 2007

A New Chapter...

So, Amanda and I are leaving LA tomorrow morning. We set up a blog for our trip (yeah, we're ripping off Howard, so what?), so check back with us over the next few weeks here:

Amanda & Ben's Road Trip

I am going to start a new blog, I think, once we get to Atlanta, but I've got to think about it for a little while. I guess its good that I won't be there for 3 weeks. To those of you who have stuck around since the beginning (Mom, Dad, Andy), I hope you'll be able to make the transition over to the new site, whatever form it ends up taking. It's been a good run. Thanks.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Sorry Folks, Park's Closed. Moose Out Front Should Have Told You

In about 5 minutes, I'm going to shut down my computer, take the elevator to the lobby, and leave downtown Los Angeles for what might be the last time ever. Kind of sad. As much as I never really felt totally at home in LA, I have definitely enjoyed my time here, and I will certainly miss it, along with the great friends I've made.

Now that my time on the Left Coast has come to a close, I'm not sure exactly what the future holds for this blog. I think, rather than changing it, I might start a new one, with some differences here and there, but I haven't really decided yet. I guess this is kind of a crossroads for my internet journalism. And yes, I absolutely consider myself a journalist.

Wish us luck on our cross-country drive. We're heading out first thing Monday morning. First stop, Grand Canyon.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Deadly Sins: One Down, Six to Go

I think we've got gluttony pretty well covered after last night's trip to the "am/pm All You Can Eat Pavilion." This was seriously the most disgusting display of eating I have seen or been a part of that did not involve either hazing or some sort of organized competition won by a 78 pound Japanese man. Our unofficial competition was won by Joshua Barkin, who is neither Japanese, nor 78 pounds. I thought about falsifying my eating accomplishments, and when I mentioned this to Josh, he said "Not me. I want the world to know what I did." So, here are our official unofficial tallies:

Jason: 4 Dodger Dogs, 2-3 Nachos, 2-3 Cokes, some peanuts and a mini Baby Ruth bar.

Ben: 5 Dodger Dogs, 2-3 Nachos, 2 Cokes, 2 Sprites, and some peanuts.

Josh: 8 (EIGHT!!) Dodger Dogs, 3 Nachos, 4 Diet Cokes (b/c he's watching his calorie intake), some peanuts, 5 mini Baby Ruth Bars, and a Bud Light. That's him with his 8th, emerging victorious from the concession line.

Impressive, to say the least. It is worth noting that probably 75% of what we ate happened before the game even started. There's something sort of liberating about walking past the concession stand before you've even gotten to your seats, and picking up 2 Dodger Dogs and a thing of nachos without standing in line or exchanging any money whatsoever.

It was somewhere around Dodger Dog #3 that I started saying things like, "Do you think a 30 year old has ever had a heart attack?" and "You know what would have been perfect? If I had gotten a tapeworm yesterday." Jason also had what was probably the line of the night when he looks at Josh and me with a completely straight face and says, "Ok, serious question. Do you think Kobayashi shits solid or liquid?"

There were also some wildly entertaining exchanges involving one of the guys sitting behind us. Here are two of my favorites:

Guy #1 (sees his friend walking down the aisle): Hey, man!
Friend: What's up, dog. Did you work today or what?
Guy #1: No, man, I got fired!

Then they slapped hands and his friend went to his seat. Here was another good one, shortly after the Baby Ruth guys started throwing mini Baby Ruth bars to everyone in the section (Josh already had a pocketful from when we saw them by the concession stand):

Guy #1 (seeing a bunch of mini Baby Ruth bars on the ground in front of us): Hey, man, get those Baby Ruth bars!
Josh: I already have a bunch of them, why do I need more?
Guy #1: I don't know, to throw them at people!
Josh: Who am I going to throw them at?
Guy #1: I don't know, anybody!
Josh: It's not that fun, you know.

All in all, it was an excellent time. I would probably never want to do it again, though. I think I'm still burping up pieces of food.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Number 6, I think...

Josh with his "nacho dog." The best invention since floating head doctor.

Take Me Out to the Ball Game...

Tonight I'm going to what will probably be my last game at Dodger Stadium, with Josh and Jason, who are sending me off in style. You see, Dodger Stadium now has an all-you-can-eat section, and that is where we'll be sitting. Beer is off-limits, but everything else is fair game. Nachos, soft drinks, peanuts, popcorn, and yes, Dodger Dogs will be at our fingertips until the top of the 7th. Needless to say, it's gonna be an unhealthy evening. I foresee a salad in my lunch plans tomorrow.

I'll try to update during the game with some pictures of our gluttony.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

What Happens in Vegas Stays in Vegas. Hopefully.

In the future, when we're all travelling around with jet-packs, will that eliminate the need for cars? If so, then the future will be a much better place, at least for me.

I was going to be shipping my car to Atlanta, since Amanda and I are going to drive hers across the country, and that was going to cost me around $1,100 - $1,200. Then I found out my friend Howard was planning to rent a car and drive from LA to D.C. for his brother's graduation, and he's always wanted to drive cross-country. Coincidentally, it was going to cost him about the same amount to rent the car for a one-way trip. After talking about it for roughly 45 seconds, we decided that he would just drive my car to Atlanta and fly up to D.C., saving us both upwards of $1,000.

Just to be safe, I took my car to the shop last week to have everything checked out. I specifically asked them to check the coolant (note the foreshadowing), since he'd be driving across the desert. They checked it all out and said the engine was fine, but I needed new rear struts and rear tires. $860. Awesome.

So, Howard leaves Tuesday morning. Incidentally, you can read about his drive on this blog he started. Anyway, he calls me from Vegas (VEGAS!!) where he had just finished having lunch with a friend, and the car overheated when he got back on the highway. He immediately pulled off the highway and into a conveniently placed mechanic's parking lot, whereupon the car immediately went dead. Turns out the coolant reserve tank had cracked, overheating the car. Four hours, much stress, and $240 later, Howard was back on the road. Turns out that $1,100 I saved in shipping went right into maintenance. Great. I'm just glad he's ok (and that the car seems to be ok too). He hasn't had any problems since (knock on wood).

As if that wasn't enough, I was on the bus on my way home from work that afternoon, and the bus I was on broke down a little more than halfway home. Everybody had to get off and wait for the next bus to come pick us all up. They were all pretty pissed. I sort of expected it. When it rains, it pours, I guess.

(That's not really my car, in that picture. I just thought it was appropos.)

Anyway, my car will hopefully make it to Atlanta next Thursday, if all goes according to plan. Howard's on his way to see the Giants/Rockies game at Coors Field right now. I told him to start a "Barry Sucks" chant for me.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

We Put the Spring in Springfield

Are they talking about the Bordello? No, the burlesque house, keep your voice down!

I guess these things are all over the place, but I was SO excited last night when Amanda and I got to the movie theater with our friend Naomi to see The Year of the Dog (skip it), to find this in the lobby. I immediately ran over to it and handed Amanda my cell phone with a "You have to take my picture!" request. She made some sort of comment about how it's funny that I'm her fiance, because it seemed like I might be her son instead, or something like that. I don't know, I was too excited to sit next to Homer on the couch that I wasn't really processing what she was saying. But I mean, seriously, can you blame me?

Sadly, there was no photo op with Groundskeeper Willie, Krusty, or Moe Szyzlak. That would have been awesome. This Simpsons movie is either going to be awesome or the worst movie of all time. There is no middle ground, I think. Either way, they're gonna get my 10 bucks. This is the summer of "Movies that Make Grown Men Feel Like They're 10 Years Old." Between The Simpsons, Transformers, and Spiderman 3, I'm not sure I know what to do with myself.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

I'm Super, Thanks For Asking

USA Today's Pop Candy Blog had a link today to this great website where you can create your own superhero. Naturally, I couldn't resist. I'm pretty sure this is what I'd look like if I were a superhero. Or maybe just did some situps and got a dog and some guns. Either way, I'm quite a badass, and I wouldn't suggest messing with me or my dog.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Reverse the Curse!

It became official today that the new "soon-to-be-injured" NFL star gracing the cover of Madden 2008 is none other than the 2006 Offensive Rookie of the Year, your favorite and mine, Mr. Vincent Paul Young, Jr. Congratulations to Vince, and condolences to the Tennessee Titans. After losing Pacman Jones for the entirety of the 2007 season, the Titans must be wondering what they have done to have the future of their franchise put in this kind of jeopardy. I'm sure Clay Travis will have something to say about this in the next day or two, seeing as how he's got almost as big of a man-crush on VY as I do.

For those of you out there who might not be familiar with the "Madden Curse," (Mom, Dad, I'm talking to you), just about every single player who has been on the cover of this game has gone ahead and gotten himself injured in the very next season. Most notably, Daunte Culpepper and Donovan McNabb, and most recently, former league MVP Shaun Alexander. Even Indianapolis Tight End Dallas Clark, who was merely featured in a television commercial for the game, was injured in his very next game against Philadelphia, which, incidentally, was the team he was playing against in the commercial. Weird stuff, I'm telling you. Bad mojo. Mess you up, man.

I have to agree with my buddies over at 40 Acre Sports in that it would have been nice to see someone like T.O. slated for injury instead of VY, though. However, as Burnt Orange Nation pointed out this morning, VY knows a thing or two about breaking streaks. Just check last year's Rose Bowl, which ended USC's 34-game win streak.

That computer generated image looks pretty badass, I have to admit. It kind of looks like Vince is about to start breathing fire and shooting lasers out of his eyes. While running 90 yards for a touchdown. Which, if he did in real life, wouldn't really surprise me too much.

When I was in 7th grade, I bought a Nintendo Entertainment System. The original one, not the super one, or anything remotely advanced. That's the last game system I have ever owned, and until this morning, I hadn't given any thought whatsoever to buying a new one. Unfortunately, this being Tax Day and all, I'm still not. But maybe if I'm a good boy all year, Hannukah Harry might bring me an X-Box instead of the 8 pairs of socks I'm probably already on the list to receive.

April 18 Update: I'm a genius.