Stupid @#$% snow.

I hate snow. It’s the freaking last day of March. I have no idea why this always happens around here. It was a beautiful weekend with temperatures near 50. My grass was greenish, and my yard was free of snow. Now, KERSPLAT: Dumped on.

Two years ago, something very similar to this happened. That time, school was cancelled. It turned out to be awesome, because I had a 25-page paper due that night that I hadn’t written to the best of my ability. The snow allowed me to make some very necessary revisions. I’ve got a similar situation this evening: A test in Income Tax. Although tonight’s test is far less stressful than the paper from days of yore, it would still be nice to not take the test until Wednesday. Still, this year, I’m so sick of snow that I could puke. I’d rather take a test.

With my luck, we’ll get snow dumped on us and class won’t be cancelled anyway, so I’ll get the poopy end of that stick…twice.

This weekend was incredibly uneventful. I watched a ton of Star Wars (II, III, and IV) and did quite a bit of studying. The Fam and I went out on Saturday night to Don Pablo’s with a couple of friends. That was fun, but the service was incredibly bad. We got on a wait list and went upstairs to sit at the bar. Yep, we had the baby with us, and were sitting at the bar. It’s never too early to learn how to drink. Anyway, while we were up there, they scribbled our name off the list, because they were a bunch of freaking idiots. Kerry eventually went downstairs and threw down. It was precious.

Gwen stayed up really late that night, which was stressful and cute all rolled into one. She was wild and crazy, chasing after the doggies at our friends’ house while the rest of us played Wii. She had a TV remote that she was carrying around, and she would try to make the Wii work with it. What a cutie. She was up until way past her bedtime, though. You’d think that that would have inspired her to sleep in late…she slept until 7:30. That’s pretty good for her, I guess -- still not great. She was sleeping in my arms by 9:30, though. She hasn’t done that in a long time. The funny thing is that that was the second time that she’s fallen asleep while watching Star Wars Episode III with me. No daughter of mine, I say!

My parents are currently in Paris, which would make me burn with jealousy even if the weather there were cold. Adding insult to injury, all of the pictures they’ve sent include flowers, sunshine, and green grass. My jealousy is heightened. However, one of the emails that my Dad sent me included this nugget of hilarity:

“This evening we walked down by the Seine and had a beer and dinner at a sidewalk cafe. The attached picture was taken just before a bird pooped on my head. Your mother enjoyed that more than [the Louvre]. I am getting the full Paris experience.”

Good times. Hee hee.

Thoughts on writers

I finished the fourth book of George R.R. Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire, and I was thoroughly impressed. There are only four books to the series thus far, unfortunately, so now I’m forced to chomp at the bit waiting for the next one. In the interim, I’m stuck with Terry Goodkind.

Here’s the deal with Terry Goodkind. Actually, there are several “deals” with T.G., and I’ll probably rant about it for a while. Heh. I started reading this series when I was in college. It wasn’t the first epic fantasy series that I’d ever read, but it was my favorite at the time. The books were fantastic, engaging, and interesting. That changed drastically, unfortunately.

I’ve stuck with the series, because I feel like I’ve invested a good portion of my life to finding out how this saga ends. The series has become something terrible, though. There are little things that annoy me about it, and big things that annoy me about it. For example, he tends to write tons and tons of one-sentence paragraphs in a feeble attempt at suspense. This is a relatively “little thing” in the grand scheme of things, but it’s still annoying.

The result looks like this.

See how dumb that was? There was no reason for that sentence to hang there like that. It’s stupid. Oh well. I recognize the difference between being a critical guy that writes a blog and being a huge bestselling author. It’s not going to stop me from making fun of the guy.

One BIG problem with what these books have become is that he keeps rehashing all of the same old crap. He has multi-page sections of people giving a speech about how life is your own and about how evil the “Imperial Order” (giant antagonist army) is and blah blah blah. The problem is that we’re now at the eleventh book in the series, and these rants have taken place before, almost verbatim, at least 7 times. YEAH DUDE! WE’VE READ THAT ALREADY. Another big problem is that the plot of every one of his books is the same: The main characters get separated from each other, something horrible happens, Richard has to find out some new way to use his magic to make everything better. AGAIN, ALREADY READ THAT ELEVEN TIMES.

At this point he spends a full third of the books talking about the crap that happened in the last books. I understand the necessity of doing that, just in case someone is stupid enough to have started on book eleven. T.G. could do it more concisely. Robert Jordan packs all of that into a prologue. Granted, R.J.’s prologues became enormous monstrosities by his last book of the Wheel of Time. Time will tell if the surrogate author chosen to finish that series continues that crap. R.I.P., Mr. Jordan. You were my favorite. ANYWAY…

I guess the point of this is that if you like epic fantasy and haven’t read any George R.R. Martin, you owe it to yourself to pick up A Game Of Thrones and prepare yourself for a whole lot of awesome. It is hands down the best fantasy series I’ve ever read, so far.


Wow, it’s been quite a while since I’ve posted anything. I’ll try to get back into the swing of things.

I’m currently listening to a RatDog show that took place in St. Paul on Friday night. Apparently RatDog has a fairly awesome system where you can get a soundboard copy of the show within 20 minutes of the show’s end. Kerry’s boss was at the show, and kind enough to give me a copy. It’s making realize how much I’ve missed jam music lately.

I seriously listen to a lot of different types of music, as is probably obvious from my posts. I’m not gonna be one of those guys that says something like, “I listen to all kinds of music”, because I don’t. There’s tons of music that I can’t stand or just don’t listen to. I’ll freely admit that my tastes are somewhat eclectic, though.

In fact, Ryan and I decided to write some punk rock the other night, and the results were rad. Since Sleazy Oral B never finished anything in his life (including his suicide attempt, wherein he jumped off a bridge over 394 and was tragically hit by a bus before he could hit the pavement), I’ve decided that it’s on to punk music for…oh, let’s say two songs; maybe more. Ladies and gentlemen, I present PIEHOLE.

Kerry gave me a compliment (I think) about this type of thing. See, I go through phases. I’m not ashamed to admit it. Some of them have been pretty stupid. For instance, I had a Batman phase when the first Batman movie came out. That was pretty dumb. However, most of my current phases have been musical. Anyway, what Kerry told me was that I impressed her, because when I have an idea I go do it. On a whim, I decided to record some rap music. So I did. Same with the punk. Anyway, I’m not trying to brag about myself or anything, I just thought it was nice to hear. I’m sure this annoys other people quite a bit. (“Hey Ryan! I’m coming over. We’re going to record some punk rock.”) It’s fun for me, though. Oftentimes, after the initial WTF moment, it ends up being fun for other people, too.

We had a good Easter weekend. Gwen and her cousin Charlotte were both dressed up in pretty yellow Easter dresses, and were the two cutest girls in the universe. They were both adorable, and were the center of attention as usual. It’s so fun to see the two girls interact with each other now. They used to just kind of lay there. Now they’re both mobile, Gwen walking and Charlotte very close. They smile at each other, wave, babble, and put pink grass from Easter baskets on each other’s head. All in all it was a really fun time.


I had a moment of grossness this morning that people may remember forever. I was positioned among a posse of people lethargically listening to a copy machine man spew a spiel about our new copy machine’s multitude of meaningless marvels. (Sorry, couldn’t resist alliteration.) He asked me to program a fax number into it. I walked up, grabbed the stylus, looked down, and watched as a drip of snot fell out of my nose and landed on the touch screen. I did what any good citizen should do in this instance: I pretended it never happened. Thus far, no one has mentioned the incident.

This whole thing brings me to another point related to said copy machine. There seems to be an army of people that like to eat things like deep-fried cheese curds and mounds of butter and Vaseline – with their bare hands – and then mash all over the touch screen. Seriously people, that’s effing disgusting. Use the stylus. That’s why it’s there.

I acknowledge the possibility that it could all be the work of fingerprint gnomes.

Maybe it’s a personal hang-up, (I have more than my share) but an infraction of a far worse degree occurs whenever someone touches my computer screen. I have an automatic slap reaction when someone’s fingers get too close. Many a coworker has been slapped. My wife has also experienced this knee-jerk reaction (sorry, honey…). The worst ever, though, was an old lady that touched my screen with her freaking ballpoint pen. I wasn’t fast enough to slap. She just freaking wrote on my screen. No respect. Bah. Well, now that monitor belongs to some other schlep.

I’m hangin’ out with Gwen tonight, because the wife has to work late. We’re gonna have a party. She’s been so cool to hang out with lately. She’s just an incredibly silly girl. Her vocabulary is getting to the point where I can understand what she wants and stuff, and it’s just really a joy to hang out and play with her.

Tomorrow is the birthday party blitz. Gwen’s cousin Charlotte turns 1 year old, so we’re going over there after my Criminal Law class. After that party, we’re headed to Wisconsin for Reuben’s middle child’s 2 year birthday party. A bunch of people and their kids will be there, which is awesome. Should be a good time.

Spring is springing, I'm still a geek.

It’s all melting! The snow is swiftly receding and the air has a hint of spring to it. Lemme tell ya, being outside soothes the soul. Unfortunately, my soul has been thoroughly un-soothed by the beige and fluorescent world that is work. So yeah – it’s hard to “put my all” into being here. Blech.

It’s kind of funny around here this time of year, though. My work’s parking lot was designed by a madman, because the whole thing is a slope, right next to a really big hill. What this means is that on warm days, all of the snow melts off of the big hill and runs into our parking lot. Then the sun sets, and all of that water running through the parking lot freezes. The end result is a sloped skating rink of sorts. So, people come in to work in the morning, park on said skating rink, and are surprised to find that all of their cars have slid into each other. I wish I was kidding, but it happens every single year. Heck, it happened to me once, the first year I was here. Once, mind you. I’m not one of the people that it keeps happening to, year after year. I laugh at them. I laugh at them because I’ve been there, and am now wiser. They’ve been there, and are not. Hee hee. Chortle chortle. Har har.

The great melt that has been taking place has also been a source of a little disappointment for me. I had this ridiculously awesome icicle that was hanging off of my house. It almost went from the roof to the ground…that’s a big icicle. It was hard and straight and fierce. My plan was for it to continue building its awesome girth, and then on Sunday I would pluck it from its perch and bequeath it to T-Rav, saying something to the effect of, “Here is thy FROSTSABER, sir.” Then…I dunno, he’d hold it like a sword and we’d take a picture and then photoshop it into something epic. I’m telling you, it would have been awesome. Unfortunately, the problem with epic frostsabers is that they don’t survive 50-degree weather. The whole thing was completely gone on Tuesday…wiped from existence by the vengeful Sun God, Ra. Plan B: MUDSABER!

Continuing this thread of me being an absolute effing DORK and LOVING it, I’m super excited for Sunday, because on that evening, a vast horde is coming to my home to play some good ol’ Dungeons and Dragons. Yes, you read that right. Yes, I’m that much of a dork, and Yes, if you’re reading this there’s like an 85% chance that you’re going to be there, too, which makes you as much of a dork as I am. HUZZAH, I say. Lift high a horn filled to the brim with the Dew of the Mountains, and let loose your battle cry. The sky may rain fire, but all will be well in the land ere long.

Quick Recap

Wowzers, it’s been a while. Let’s see here. I’ll start with the weekend.

Kerry, Gwen and I left town on Thursday night last week for another mini-vacation. Our first stop was my parents’ place. We arrived around 8:30 that evening and hung out with my parents for a while before putting Gwenner to bed. Unfortunately, she didn’t keep sleeping very long. She was awake and VOMITING within a couple of hours. The poor lil’ girl threw up 10 times in the next 2 ½ hours. After that she was able to sleep for the rest of the night.

The next day she seemed to be feeling much better, so we took off for our hotel in Alexandria. We had a great time in the pool (possible pictures later) and then we went out to dinner with my parents. After we put the girl to bed she puked again. She had overdone it. Poor thing. There was only one occurrence that evening, though, and she was able to sleep after that. Thankfully, so were we.

I went to see NOFX on Sunday night, which freaking ruled. It was a badass time, and Ryan, Reuben, Ramsay, and CJ were all there rocking with me. Unfortunately, I got a text message from Kerry that night, stating that she had come down with the Punkin’s stomach flu.

I got it at 4:45 am the next morning.


But, I’m better now. Yay!


I’m not in a metal mood right now, but I’m in a “surprise me, iPod!” kind of mood, so I’m listening to songs on shuffle. I’ve been skipping any metal that comes up, but “Pull Harder on the Strings of Your Martyr” by Trivium just came on, and I just had to listen to it because it makes me laugh so hard. BOAT! RUDDER! STRANGE MOUNTAIN! Twigidee. You know, maybe I should listen to their newer album, because as it stands I just think their band is kind of a joke. I heard they got better. Meh.

I went to Lundo’s place last night and played Rock Band with him and Rhyno. That was holy-crap-awesome. It really is just Guitar Hero +, but the + is a +20 to awesomeness. I would buy it if a) I had friends that came to visit more than once a month and b) it wasn’t so darned pricey. I was also surprised that the song selection was so awesome. Many of the tunes were actually repeats from the GH games, but there was a ton of cool stuff. Songs would come up when we were doing “mystery setlists” that would make all three of us cheer. (Enter Sandman! Hell yeah!) Great fun was had, especially when making Lundo sing songs that he didn’t know at all. Yay for the Pixies.

Tomorrow night my family and I are heading out of town, this time with the baby in tow. We’ll stop for a night at my parents’ place, and then it’s off to the wild world of Alexandria. Yeah, you read that right. It’s vacationland USA for those who can’t travel far! We might, just might, visit the Kensington Runestone museum. You just NEVER KNOW what wild craziness we’ll come up to!

Actually, Kerry and I have become addicted to hotel rooms with hot tubs, so this is just another fix for our devastating habit. ;) No, really, we just love getting out of town from time to time.


As promised, here are the pictures from this weekend. Sorry they're a day late:

Music and poop?

So my friends write some dang good music. T-Rav finished his Frostsaber album, and it’s some excellent stuff (done start to finish in February!). Likewise, Ryan finished his Kathetor album, and I know without even having to listen to it that it’s extremely well done. Me? I had fun recording some rap. I didn’t finish an album, but I had a good time. Maybe I’ll finish it someday. I’ve got it all written. Honestly, though, I’m sick of Sleazy Oral B. I think that maybe the character might just have died in mid-February in a tragic bulldozer accident. His legacy can live on in the music that he created. I’ll do a quick 2008 version of Sonicare sometime, throw Dragon Warrior onto the album, and call it good.

That’s the weird thing about me and musicianship (and maybe I’m just trying to compensate or blow sunshine up my own backside here). I know that I’m a good musician and songwriter. I also know darn well that my destiny does NOT involve the recording, producing, and mixing of music, because that stuff is extremely tedious for me. As a result, almost everything I have ever recorded by myself has been done in one take, and once I plug everything essential into the song, there’s very little I do afterwards. I might adjust the volume on a track from time to time.

I think I really just miss writing music that’s real. Sleazy is obviously not meant to be taken seriously; nor is Ghola. That one might be slightly more serious than Sleaze, but yeah…still silly subject matter, when you get right down to it. That, ladies and gentlemen, is the reason that I want to do some Jabberwocky stuff soon. Time is always an issue there, but it’s definitely past time I picked up the acoustic guitar, a pen and some paper and get to work on something.

My daughter learned a very useful new word. She walked up to Kerry this morning and said, “POOP!” Sure enough, she had a nice load in her pants. That’s gonna come in useful, for sure. Now I switch into daddy bragging mode, so if you want to tune out here, I won’t be offended. My daughter is so freaking smart! She has a HUGE vocabulary now, and isn’t afraid to use it. Mama, dada, ball, kitty, bubbles, uh-oh, flower, moon, spoon, shoe, sock, star, doggy, baby, nuk, night-night, no-no, more, turtle, juice, cow, duck, whee!, all done, bye, hi, and even POOP! There is a bunch more that I’m forgetting!

She also has the added bonus of being the cutest little thing I’ve ever set eyes on. I know I’m biased. I also know I’m right. ;)


OK, kids, I’ve got to apologize in advance, because today’s entry is going to look like a pretentious yuppie Bed and Breakfast review, which is a thousand kinds of dumb. Actually, I would love to live the life of a pretentious yuppie Bed and Breakfast reviewer; as long as I realized that I was a thousand kinds of dumb. Today, though, I’m just recapping my weekend. So there you have it. Moving on…

Kerry and I blasted out of town on Saturday headed for Stillwater, MN. We left the baby playing happily with Grandma, and both of them were all smiles as we took off. We headed up to the William Sauntry Mansion for the night, which was actually one of my Christmas presents to Kerry. She asked for time with her hubby, and I was happy to oblige. The little mini-vacation had to be postponed until now, because now is my spring break.

The Mansion is gorgeous. It’s an old Victorian home that was owned by Bing Crosby’s cousin, a lumber baron. I’ll post some pictures this evening. Our room kicked a whole lot of ass (this is me trying desperately to break away from the whole pretentious yuppie Bed and Breakfast review thing). We arrived at about 5:00 or so, and had hors’douvres and wine. We went to dinner later at the Grill at the Water Street Inn. It was fantastic. I had a coffee-encrusted steak with blue cheese sauce. It was holy-crap-good. Kerry had surf and turf, also good.

The next morning we had breakfast at (duh) the bed and breakfast, and it was also awesome. Grapefruit > Orange butter scones > Sun dried tomato and smoked gouda omelet > flourless chocolate cake. Everything tasted wonderful and the company was good as well (for the most part). The people that ran the place were funny, friendly, and easy to get along with. The whole experience gets the esteemed Stupid Ostrich Seal of Approval.