Monday, December 19, 2005

Call me!

I'd love to talk.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

The Rainbow called...

Today, after months of debating and rationalizing, I finally broke down and purchased another pair of Rainbow sandals. After ruining three pairs due to water damage, I wised up and bought the smooth leather sandals (which are water resistant). My wallet is a little lighter, but that should aid the bounce that I'll have in my step when I finally put on my new kicks (shout-out to Sarah).

The rest of this blog will be buffet style... except I'm the one making your plate. So, with much to choose from, here are a few things that I've thrown together to fill you up. It's been awhile, so tuck a napkin into your shirt and keep the Pepto-Bismol close (incase your body reacts to this blog in the same way that it reacts to Imperial China Buffet)

Team Spirit Tour

On September 13th, The Sweetheart Gang (minus one member, but adding two new members), made our way to Cleveland to see Sufjan Stevens. In a word: heavenly. Seeing Sufjan earlier in the summer was great, but seeing him by myself didn’t compare to experiencing the concert with people I love who happen to really love Sufjan. And witnessing the girls melt over his vocals was pretty great too. Many fond memories were made that night. It was really good to see Dan. I miss that guy so much-- he's such a phenomenal man. I'm so blessed to have him as a brother and I really can't say enough good things about him. The evening concluded with getting our merch autographed (by both Sufjan and Dan). Good times!

Strong bones, weak stomach...

Several weeks ago, some of my friends and I stopped at Tim Hortons on the way home from Wal-Mart. Earlier in the night Chris Escueta said that he could drink a half-gallon of milk, after seeing me do it while we shopped (I had to wash down my cinnamon roll). Overly confident, Chris said: "I could do it in a half hour." To which I replied: "Then do it." Being a man, he couldn't step down. So he ordered a bear claw at T. Hortons and got to drinking. After a quarter gallon, he began to act as if he was drunk-- no joke. The more milk he consumed, the more delirious he became. The whole situation was just sad. The peer pressure was intense! Guys were questioning Chris' masculinity and threatened to think less of him if he didn't finish. Long story short: he didn't finish the milk, but he did throw up twice in the bathroom (he managed to cover most of the floor and a little bit of his shirt with barf).

The Tim Hortons incident was worsened by the fact that we brought in outside food and beverages. I went as far as to ask the guy behind the counter to warm up my Pop Tarts. Being a kind guy, and because I asked very nicely, he gladly microwaved them (NOTE: there is a misprint on wrapper's heating instructions. 3 seconds should read 30 seconds). So Tim Hortons only sold us a bear claw and a muffin, which were promptly returned to them. A bad deal if you ask me.

Say Cheese

Caroline and I went to Robinson on Saturday afternoon with no idea what we were in for. We began at Ikea, with two rules: (1) we could only buy candles if they were for John Magee and (2) we could only talk to strangers if they talked to us first. As we browsed, I turned around and noticed this special gentleman (in his early thirties) sitting on an awkward wicker basket. I shook my finger at him and gave him a look of disapproval (much like a parent would give a child). He began to talk to me and ask me questions, which was a little odd... I went with it though, and quickly made a new friend: fascinating!

Drained from meeting new people and shopping for poor quality furniture, we decided to go to Fat Burger. I opted for the King Burger (1 1/2 lbs. of meat and your picture is placed on the wall). The food, as always, was choice. Unfortunately, the consumption of my mound of meat was complicated by a bun that could not stand up to the grease that was oozing from the three hamburger patties held within it. The bun looked a little something like this: imagine an entire Kindergarten class sick with runny noses (go with me). Now instead of each child using their own tissue, they all share the same one. My bun looked like that tissue after it's 35th use. And I enjoyed every bite! Should you be at Fat Burger anytime soon, look for the picture of the brightly dressed guy giving a thumbs and the caption: "Like BUTTAH."

Well, I must be getting to bed now... I have to wake up early for a dentist appointment. As much as I want to get the huge hole in my tooth filled, I'm honestly going to miss it. Poor dental health has created a great solidarity between myself and the people of the Ohio Valley Region.

**This blog is dedicated to my good friend Carrie. I’m look forward to our study time.

Also, did you have "Book-It" in Washington? If not, it's an elementary school program that rewarded reading with pizza. After reading five books, a student would get a free personal pan pizza from Pizza Hut-- pretty sweet! I think we should apply the same system to our study habits. How does pizza after ever 5 hours of study together sound (that's combined hours... I get hungry every 2 1/2 hours)? Let me know what you think, buddy.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Size Too Small

There comes a time in a person's life when he or she must "suck it up" and git-er-dun. Just as my sister did not want to watch Must Love Dogs with me this evening, but went to make me happy (and for a free Icee), I really do not want to blog, but I will for another person's happiness (as per Grace's request). Which brings me to my first story. Tonight when my sister and I were loading up on all the free food and drinks we could carry, I thought to myself: "This is cute: a brother and his little sister at the movies. We look so much alike (we were both wearing black framed glasses)." On my second trip to the concessions stand, the girl helping me said: "So you brought your girlfriend-- that's cute!" I replied: "Yeah! She's a great girl-- I'm so glad that she puts up with me... even when I want to see movies like Must Love Dogs." Well, I didn't say that... but you can imagine what'd be like. I simply thought to myself: We look so much alike! What are you thinking???"

The following is a synopsis of the past week...

Guero, Texas Ranger

Usually, I fall asleep at 5am and wake up at 3pm. This was not the case on Tuesday. For some reason, I fell asleep at 11pm and woke up at 3am. After dividing my time between thinking about monkeys, dinosaurs, sailing, fashion, Jell-O, and spending time on the computer, I turned on the TV to find that Walker Texas Ranger was on! Score! The title of this episode was "El Coyote (part II)." In this episode, Walker goes undercover, posing as a Mexican immigrant/ farm laborer, so that he can investigate the murder of a field worker. First off, Walker is white! What were the producers thinking?: Hey if we give him a beard and dye his hair black, no one will question his ethnicity!" Yet another reason to love the show. So as I ate my breakfast (choice leftover pizza), I couldn't help but be thankful for a show that has a two-part episode in which more happens in the last ten minutes of the second part, then in the first hour and fifty minutes. We’ll all agree, it’s the show’s flaws that make it so entertaining!

Small Body, Large Belly

In a momentary lapse of boredom at work, I looked out a window to see a little girl punching her grandpa's huge belly. He would tighten it up, as much as a beer belly can tighten, and then he would give her the signal to hit him. She punched him with her tiny fist about five times, and I couldn’t help but laugh each time. It was such a bizarre and fascinating sight. But what kind of message was he sending to this little girl?: that's okay to hit the elderly and people who are overweight?...

Check Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself

I encounter enumerable rude people while working concessions at the movie theater. I can partially understand adults being short or demanding, but teenage punks are another story. Often times, kids will ask for an item in a rude or harsh tone. On several occasions, I've glanced up from what I have been doing with a look of "What did you just say to me?". Two of these times, the kid (one a thug) said to me: "Please. I'm sorry, I didn't say ‘please’." Also, there was time when a kid walked through our lobby and let loose a huge burp as he looked at me. I gave him a stern look and he promptly said "Excuse me." Don't get me wrong, I'm a fan of releasing gas, but there's a time and place for it. That time is when you're in your 70s and the place is the church pew.

The Fast And The Frustrated

I spent a few days at the beach this past weekend, which proved to be an interesting time and a good lesson in humility. When I put my wetsuit on I thought: “Wow, I must be getting buff… this suit is really tight in the arms.” Later, I realized that I had used my sister’s wetsuit, which was meant to be worn by someone who doesn’t weigh more than 105lbs. After surfing, I rode ATVs with my cousin, who has several quads and a dirt bike. It was a criz-azy time of riding on massive dunes and going a little faster than I should have. In all, it was a fun weekend and a good opportunity to spend time with my cousin who still looks up to me (he's 16, and despite admiring me, he thinks he can kick my butt because he's got a half a foot on me). I tried to treasure my time with him while he still thinks I'm cool. Chances are, the next time I see him he'll put me in a headlock or pants me.

I would just like to give a quick shout-out to the people who have been with me since the beginning of this blog. Though the number of people who visit this blog daily has greatly increased (from about 2 a day, to over 30 a day), I most appreciate you who have been loyal from the beginning. Even though I'm making it big in the blogging world, I promise to remain the same person. I expect you to refer to me as Sir, but I'm the same guy. I keed! I keed! But seriously, keep it bloggerific, like it's all terrific! Much love!

Friday, August 12, 2005

How I've Bean...

My sister and I got really hungry at 2:00am a couple of days ago, and decided to make a trip to the Taco Bell Drive-Thru. As I pull up to the box to order, I hear a voice say: "Welcome To Taco Bell! How have you bean?" I started laughing really hard and responded in a thick Mexican accent: "I bean real good!" My sister got really mad at me for making fun of the girl and called me insensitive. I replied to my sister, in the middle of ordering: "She said bean, instead of been! She had to have said it on purpose-- I'm sure it's a common T-Bell joke! Of course I'm going to say something about it!" As the girl taking my order read back my items, it occurred to me that maybe she wasn't joking earlier. She did indeed have a very thick accent, which was highlighted by the pronunciation of the words Gordita and nachos. I felt bad about commenting on her accent and got out of there as soon as she spit in my food.

I haven't really done much the past few days. I was asked to lead the high school youth group while our youth minister is at World Youth Day, so I did that on Wednesday. It was a great opportunity to continue to discern my future profession and get to schooled in humility. The group has grown and changed a lot throughout the past year, and very few of the new kids know me. I spent the first hour of the night introducing myself to everyone and getting to know a little about their faith. Most kids were surprised by my forwardness, but understood why when they found out that I wasn't a fellow high school student. Most of the kids: "Which high school do you go to? Is this your first time at youth group?" Many laughs were had and it was definitely a good time! I gave a lesson on the Saints and it was great to clarify a lot of misconceptions. It was also good to share about the honor that is due to Our Lady and how my relationship with St. Joseph has transformed my life.

On a completely different topic, I heard this song yesterday that blew me away! The song is called "Hide And Seek" by Imogen Heap. I haven't heard a song by a female vocalist so unique, moving, and so choice, since Frou Frou's "Let Go" (it's probably not a coincidence that the songs are by the same artist). So download it today-- your music collection will be greatly improved.

Monday, August 08, 2005

In Honor Of Sarah

Well, it's a new week and that usually means a new CD. This week is a little different... I HAD to buy two discounted CDs that jumped out at me. For weeks I've been waiting for the new Foo Fighters ultra-pricey double disc to go on sale. Well, it finally did, along with another CD that I had been looking for. So I broke down and purchased "In Your Honor" and Aqualung's "Strange And Beautiful." So much music... and so little time to listen to it. As of now, I've only given a good listen to disc one of the Foo album.

Foo Fighters - In Your Honor (disc one): This project screams ambition. Creating an album rivaling the unique and clever Speakerboxx/Love Below, the Foo Fighters have produced a double disc album that is incongruous with the typical CD formula. The band describes the discs as "one loud and one not so loud." I didn't know what to expect by loud... but they mean loud!! Disc one, beginning with the sound of guitar feedback, builds to a powerful first scream, which takes you deep into a sea of loud rock and doesn't let you up for air. Track after track (until about track 8), The Foo sock it harder and harder to the listener. At times a scream-fest, this album is very layered and extremely well done. While not at all like the soft/acoustic music that I have preferred throughout the past year, I still found beauty in the emotion of Dave Grhol's voice-- even his screaming. Screaming, for me, is like putting mayonnaise on a choice sandwich... it just sours and ruins the entire thing for me-- but that is not the case with Grhol's vocals. With this album, the screaming is more like a tomato on a BLT: I don't prefer tomato, but it is an essential component, which in the end result makes for a very enjoyable experience. So take a big breath and dive right into this album-- it is a treat!

Disclaimer: drive with caution when listening to this CD, it has been known to pump people up and lead to speeding (and if you live in Michigan, driving 5mph over the speed limit results in a $90 ticket and a feeling of a loss of innocence)

Disc Two is predominately acoustic and needs further listens before I can give it a review. So far, my gut tells me that it's the weaker of the two discs. To be continued...

Thursday, August 04, 2005

You Don't Know The Half Of It

The following blog, while long, isn't even close to half of what I wanted to discuss in this post. Blogging is just too much work and I have far too many thoughts and stories floating around my head. I hope you enjoy what I decided to share.

The Conversion That Leads To Death

That’s right kids, it’s that time again: time for more stories from work. Until Tuesday, I had not had butter on movie theater popcorn in 15 years. I remember very clearly the day that my Dad let me get butter on my popcorn. It was the first and only time that he allowed it because he’s such a health freak. To be honest, 15 years ago I thought the fake butter was gross! But Tuesday, I was so hungry that I would literally eat anything. After hours of serving popcorn, and having not eaten the entire day, I broke down and ate buttered popcorn. It was actually quite choice. Chased with Mr. Pibb, it was a bomb combination. I was converted, but how long would it last. It was very likely that I could die that day from the small amount of butter that I consumed. Minutes later, a huge box of butter split open and leaked about a gallon of fake butter everywhere. I was the only one there to clean it up, so I got to it.

A Different Kind of Roach At 4:20

I went back to our storage closet to grab a mop and bucket. I turned the light on and the roaches scattered. As I grabbed a mop, a roach ran up my arm. I felt a little sick to my stomach. I kept my composure and saved what I could have thrown up into my mouth for my 30 minute clean up of the smelly, oily butter—just plain sick!

A Habit That I Don’t Want To Kick

I decided yesterday, after recognizing my music purchasing habit, that I’m going to make a point of buying one CD that is under $10 every week. Yesterday, I realized that I have done just that, every week for the past month (except for the week that I bought four CDs… but I couldn’t pass them up—they were a steal!) The past two weeks I’ve purchased on a whim. Last week I did minor research and decided to buy the CD based on ten seconds of one song. This week's CD was purchased because of the buzz it had been receiving and without ever hearing any of it. The following is what I think of these discs in the order that they were purchased.

Feist – Let It Die: I bought this CD after only listening to four songs from it. When I heard DJ scratching in one of the songs, a song that you would never expect to hear scratching in, I knew I had to by this album. My description of the album as a whole: so fresh and so clean, clean. This CD, while nothing extraordinary, still manages to be refreshingly hip. Its vocals are smooth, soothing, and catchy. If you want to chill out with a smile on your face, listen to this CD. (Note: this review was intentionally vague, so as to peek your interest in listening to the music yourself—so get to Amazon!) Grade: B+

The Shout Out Louds – HOWL HOWL GAFF GAFF: This group inspired me to create a new genre of music: Trindie Rock. Any band whose name begins in “The,” or is from Sweden, Iceland, or Norway, or whose band members look like Kenneth Cole models, fall under this genre (i.e.: The Strokes, Sondre Lerche, Kings of Convenience, etc.). But that’s about the only inspiration this CD created. I would describe the quality of the disc as being the exact midpoint between mediocre and superb. It’s definitely better than average, but it also doesn’t really do a whole lot for me (kind of like Cheerios). The songs are Strokes-esque, in that they sound very 70s, but The Shout Out Louds just don’t rock as hard nor as well as The Strokes. For fans of Indie music, you’ll find this CD enjoyable in the same way a cigarette smoker finds the patch enjoyable: you’ll be temporarily satisfied but eager for the real thing. This disc is decent rock music with a foreign twist. I’ll give the band this: they sure can make a cardigan look hip! Grade: C+ (NOTE: reviewed after only two listens)

Monday, August 01, 2005

Meet The Grandparents

Choose A Natural High

I had a conversation with my grandpa, a few days ago, about school and my plans for the future. He was excited to hear about what I’ve been up to and eager to offer advice. My grandpa: “Well Robert, you’re very close to being done with school. Now don’t let drugs interfere with accomplishing your goals. Stay away from those drugs, Robert.”
“Haha! Are you serious?”
“Yes. Those drugs… they scare me! But… I guess you’ve outgrown the ‘drug age.’”
“I’ve never used drugs, Papa! And I don’t plan on starting.”
(My grandpa gives me this look like: Yeah right, you’ve never used drugs) “I know you haven’t, Robert. I’m sure you’ll be fine.”

Grandma’s Baby Boy

One thing that I have to get use to, when I come home from school, is letting my grandma spoil me. I frequently go to her house to eat pizza on my lunch breaks, which are always choice meals. A couple of days ago I called her and said: “I don’t work tomorrow, but would it be okay if I came over for lunch?” Nanny: “Why sure honey— you know you’re welcome anytime!” I went to my grandma’s the next day expecting to eat pizza, only to find that she had prepared me a steak that weighed well over a pound. I was psyched, to say the least. On top of that, her refrigerator is fully stocked with Coca-Cola Classic. As I opened my Coke, my grandma handed me a “bendy straw” and said: “These are new straws-- they have a monkey on their box! I got them because I know how you love monkeys.” So cute! My grandma is too good to me.