Wednesday, May 28, 2008


I pulled another old CD out of my trusty carrying case last weekend to make a copy for one of Megan's friends. After this, it seems to have found it's way into my car CD player and has yet to be removed. The album is Rubberneck by The Toadies from back in my high school days (Released in 1994). One of the songs, "Happyface" brought back an interesting memory. I remember laying awake, my plans for a peaceful night's sleep dashed by the obnoxious sound of a cricket chirping from somewhere in my bedroom. I remember looking for it for a while on separate days trying to figure out where it was hiding but to no avail. Eventually, I would end up trying to just ignore it and covering my head with a pillow to try to drown out its incessant racket.

Finally, one night it was quiet enough that I was able to pinpoint where the little bastard was (inside of a shoe) and took care of the problem. In that moment, The Toadies song "Happyface" seemed completely appropriate... so I broke out the album and listened to it right then. I'm sure that the song wasn't written about a cricket, but it seemed perfect for this occasion. For anyone curious, here are the lyrics:

I try to wish you away
I'll do more than wishin' someday
No no no more son of a bitch
No no no more wishin'
No no no more son of a bitch
No more happyface!

You and I have nothin' more to say
We'll do more than talkin' someday
No no no more son of a bitch
No no no more talkin'
No no no more son of a bitch
No more happyface!

No no no more son of a bitch
No no no more talkin'
No no no more son of a bitch
No more happyface

If I
could find
the will
to KILL!
Here we go again

No no no more son of a bitch
No no no no more son of a bitch
No no no more son of a bitch
No more happy face

If I
Could find
the will
Well, I'll kill you son of a bitch!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Four Day Weekend

Thanks to Justin and Cathy's wedding in St. Louis on Friday and Memorial Day... I got a four day weekend! Although, there was enough going on during those four days that I didn't necessarily feel refreshed afterwards. There were the eight to nine hours of driving associated with the wedding trip, just to come back in time to give Megan a hand with the barbecue she hosted on Saturday night. Megan did a fantastic job hosting the event and everyone that attended seemed to have a marvelous time. Sunday was barbecue number two for the weekend over at Megan's parents' home. I must admit, it is a real treat to spend time with Megan's parents. Typically, dinner with a significant other's parents (who are potentially future in-laws) can be stressful and tiring... but her family is fantastic - and I actually look forward to going over to their home. I have only been there a few times, but the visits have always been filled with good food and witty conversation. Then, Monday was my third barbecue in three days - this one was at my parents' home. Again, good food and witty conversation always makes for an enjoyable time.

Even though there were three different barbecues over the weekend, all had completely different menus and all were entertaining. All-in-all, it was an event filled weekend... but not terribly relaxing. Actually, there won't be a free weekend in the near future (family coming in to town this weekend and helping a co-worker move the following weekend), so I'd better get some relaxing done during the week... yeah right. Who needs relaxation?

Friday, May 23, 2008

Live on Location: St. Louis

Well, I'm in a city where I have had exactly zero fond memories. So what would bring me back to the godforsaken city of St. Louis, MO? My good friend, Justin (whom I worked with and spoke to nearly every day for more than three years at Iowa State in graduate school, and who slaughtered me on a regular basis on the racquetball court) and his beautiful fiancee, Cathy, had invited me to attend their wedding ceremony. How could I refuse?

Here's my quick review of the night - The wedding ceremony itself was very well done (and thankfully, not the full service including mass despite the setting in a Catholic church - it's not that I dislike the traditional Catholic service, I find it be exclusionary to non-Catholics and that defeats the purpose of gathering friends and family that may have differing viewpoints on religion). The reception blended a rare mix of surprisingly good food (I have been extremely disappointed with many, many weddings in the past so I tend to not expect much) entertaining conversation with old friends (Nate, Andrew, Mandy and Desi) and, of course, the open bar.

All in all it was a very nice night and I am glad that I made the trip. Congratulations Justin and Cathy and I wish you the best of luck in beginning your life together!

Mysteriously Absent

Many people have asked about the sudden disappearance of Megan's blog. I would like to reassure everyone that Megan does, in fact, still exist and she is still passionate (and often quite angry) about the events occurring in the world. However, with all of the work during the semester, the conferences and keeping up the blog, she has become somewhat burned out on writing. A somewhat "rash decision" (her words) led her to pull the blog, effectively erasing it from existence. I am sure that the world has not seen the last of "Megan's Blog About Flowers And Bunnies", but for now, it is officially on hiatus. I may force her to guest write for me on this site if I become neglectful... you know - like this week. Why didn't I think of this earlier?

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The Cure

For those of you that know my musical taste, you might think that The Cure would be a somewhat odd band for me to see live in concert. For those of you that don't know, my limited concert going experiences include headliners such as Metallica, Korn, Staind and Tool. Actually that encompasses the entirety of the list of concerts that I have attended. However, The Cure happens to be one of the lovely Ms. Florance's favorite bands, so I was more than happy to oblige by picking up tickets to the event.

I only know a handful of The Cure's songs, so I didn't really know what to expect during the course of an entire concert. Additionally, I had never heard any of their music performed live (in person, or on CD) but, I have absolute faith in Megan's choice of music because she has yet to lead me down a path I have not enjoyed. I wasn't worried. Since Megan considered seeing The Cure perform to be one of her "life goals", I was extremely not worried.

I can safely say that Megan and I were the best dressed couple in the entire place. Megan donned a very sleek and sexy, little black dress and I was clad entirely in black as well (black shirt, slacks and shoes) - we were quite "vampiric" in appearance... and we looked damned good. Well, I looked acceptable, but Megan was a knockout - as usual. And the weather was absolutely perfect - warm enough that Megan wasn't freezing in her dress, but cool enough that I wasn't sweating in my attire. It could not have been more perfect.

The set was simple, the lighting was non-distracting, the mixing was done tastefully, which was not too overpoweringly loud (even with understandable vocals!) but strong enough that the audience still feels the drum and bass lines. The focus was entirely on the band and the music. The crowd was loud and responsive and stayed standing for the entire event. Although we paid for seating in the amphitheater, we never touched a seat during the entire concert. I must admit, The Cure rocked as hard as any of the bands I have seen perform.

I enjoyed the entire concert, start to finish, but to make my evening complete, Megan just happened to have made this statement: "It was one of the best nights of my entire life." I could have been run over by a truck after hearing that and the night still would have been considered successful. I am just glad to have been part of it.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Long Night

It's been a long night and I am still not particularly tired. When I'm trying to relax, I have to either empty the contents of my head somehow or try to fill my head with something light and humorous. Tonight, I dipped back into the John Hodgman book The Areas of My Expertise and came across a passage that hit very close to home. In the section "Our 51 United States", Hodgman lists "facts" about each state. The entry on the state of my residence was amusing but quite accurate.

DISCLAIMER: As a little background information on this book, here is an excerpt from the cover: "In the great tradition of the American Almanac, The Areas of My Expertise is a brilliant and hilarious compendium of handy reference tables, fascinating trivia, and sage wisdom on all topics large and small. Although bestsellers such as Poor Richard's Almanack and The Book of Lists were certainly valuable, they also were largely true. Here is a different kind of handy desk reference, one in which all of the historical oddities and amazing true facts are sifted through the singular, illuminating imagination of John Hodgman-which is the nice way of saying: He made it all up."

Nicknames: The Show-Me State, The Prove-It State, The Demonstrate-Your-God-Damned-Thesis State
Motto: "We demand that it be revealed immediately."
Notes: Most experts agree that everything is up-to-date in Kansas City, Mo. With its seven-story skyscrapers, full telephone service, burlesque theaters, and multiple gas buggies, it has gone about as far as it can go. No further progress will be undertaken.

-John Hodgman, from The Areas of My Expertise

Hodgman pretty much hit the nail on the head, whether or not he actually knows anything about Kansas City. The city is truly at a point that it will either be forced to redevelop itself or it will perish. KC needs a revolution, but apparently they plan to do so despite making steep cuts to the City Planning and Development Department (see 2008-9 budget here). All I can really say is good luck in that KC.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


What do I write about? I don't know. I'd like to talk about the Royals showing improvement, but each time I have done that... they've fallen back into the suckfest that has been their recent past. I'd talk about politics, but that is completely stagnated. There's nothing really "new" to add to my previous entries (here, and here) - the Democrats are still fighting each other and McCain is still sitting around on his increasing political bank account. I could tell humorous stories about the last weekend, but Megan made a fantastic version of the weekend events and I can't compete with that. I will,however, add my congrats to Tim... or should I say, Dr. Tim, for the celebration of his accomplishment Saturday.

I guess that this "non-post" will have to suffice until I am able to complete the next entry in the "Profiles..." series. Next up in that series is the somewhat slow, but secretly violent, Benny. Creativity will return when the frustration subsides... I hope.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Profiles From Within Florance Manor: Sylvia

Today will begin the first of an irregularly scheduled series profiling the characters that dwell within Florance Manor. I'm sure that Megan will be shocked to realize that her home has now gained the moniker of "Manor" but that's all part of the fun now, isn't it?

First up in the series is the matron of the group, Sylvia. Despite her age and wisdom, she seems to garner no respect from the young males within the house. She is frequently found (if she can be found) hiding on or underneath chairs because all of the others seem to pick on her. If she naps out in the open, it leaves her vulnerable to attack from any angle. What she lacks in general size, she makes up for in quickness. This is possibly the only reason she has survived within the Manor. When I say that she is small - this is not an exaggeration. After carrying around another of the Florance Manor denizens, I once attempted to scoop up Sylvia, but instead nearly tossed her across the room.

To truly understand Sylvia, you must first know her background. The story of Sylvia is quite a complicated tale and I will do my best to explain it. Sylvia was born of noble birth - the daughter of a duke. When she came of age, her father had promised her to a suitor. Not long after this, two travelers from another neighborhood in southern KC both end up falling in love with the young Sylvia. One of these new suitors, Proty (whom had already promised his undying affection for another in his own neighborhood), unknowingly has his disguised lover, Julia, pretending to be a male servant in his entourage after discovering his betrayal. Sylvia's affections, however, lie with the other traveling suitor, Val. Proty became jealous of his friend and convinced the Duke to have Val banished from Florance Manor, leaving Sylvia for himself. Julia discovers that Sylvia does not return Proty's affections and the two wind up sympathizing with each other's situation. The story concludes with quite intensity in the forest outside of Florance Manor. Proty nearly attacks Sylvia, but Val, who after his banishment has become king of a group of outlaws wandering the forest, swoops in to save his precious Sylvia. The confrontation between the two friends ends when Val, for the sake of their friendship, relinquishes Sylvia to Proty. Out of shock, the disguised Julia faints and accidentally reveals her identity. Proty, upon realizing this suddenly remembers his affection for Julia, paving the way for Sylvia and Val to be together. Everyone ended up living happily ever after and Sylvia later had scores of offspring, all of which dwarf her size. And thus is the story of Sylvia.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Conceited Douchebaggery

Before I get into my next baseless rant, I have two quick updates.

First - Megan presented her paper at the conference last week, and she did a fantastic job. Now her semester is complete and it's time for her to have an opportunity to relax. Congratulations, Megan!

Second - The parking lot resurfacing project at my apartment building was finished at some point yesterday. As I was getting home after 10 pm Thursday night, I was fully expecting to have to park on the street again, but shockingly, the lot was reopened and there were plenty of open spaces. Thankfully, I didn't have to get up before 6 again to move my car.

Now that the updates are complete - time for some good old fashioned ranting!

There is one group of people that I have absolutely no respect for. These people are so full of themselves and their own puffed up worthless profession that they feel that they have the right to impose their will onto an entire population of people. I'm not talking about politicians or University professors - but rather television weathermen. People have survived storms without the aid of these morons since man originated on this planet. Now, in the technological breakthrough era, if people can't recognize the sound of the sirens that sound when a tornado has been sighted and then know head to the basement, then they probably do not deserve to survive the storm. It's not that difficult and overtaking a television station's programming is completely unnecessary.

Here is a perfect example of this douchebaggery - Megan and I were enjoying a nice evening with Chinese takeout and attempting to watch the Thursday night comedy lineup including 30 Rock and The Office. It is a cloudy night and storms had been predicted. Neither of us mind the potential of thunderstorms, the windows are open. Apparently, within the Kansas City area, clouds that have the potential of spinning have appeared This is the universal cue to every local station to switch into their own sensationalized version of the doomsday that is about to arrive in the form of mild rain and wind - the likes of which haven't been seen in centuries... or realistically, a few weeks. So, instead of being entertained by the antics of Michael Scott or Liz Lemon, we are forced to endure the pain of watching an obese imbecile in an ill fitting suit informing us of the dangers of a storm forty miles away from our present location.

I'm sorry, it's difficult to have respect for a "profession" when they can be wrong 100% of the time and still retain the position. Would you go to a surgeon that had even a 10% error rate? I can get all the information I need from the Weather Channel's website and information about any dangerous situation can be transmitted to me through a little box with color coded county maps indicating the severity of the storm. Oh wait, all the networks have had that capability from the inception of color transmission. What is the point in breaking in and not showing the programming promised through the network? There can be only one reason - conceit. They love to hear themselves talk and they love to know that they can control the airwaves. In reality, they are nothing and can be replaced with the color coded map. Worthless.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Ungodly Hour

My apartment building management should either be commended for their efficiency... or imprisoned because of their idiocy. When I moved in six months ago, the building was just over halfway through their renovations - and the building was about fifty percent occupied. Now, all of the apartments have been completed... and now they are refinishing the parking lots. Anyone see a problem with this? Normally, there are an excess number of parking spaces (two garages and two surface lots) and the parking lot repairs wouldn't be a horrible inconvenience. However, the management has failed to realize that their simple three day resurfacing project happens to overlap with one of the garage renovations and the fact that the construction crew still occupies the complete second garage - leaving the now fully occupied building with one surface lot and one half of one garage. If the building was in a different location, this still wouldn't be a problem. Since the building is in downtown KC, there are no simple alternatives... that do not result in receiving parking tickets from the city (parking at a meter) or ending with being towed (parking in a city lot).

I get home last night at about ten thirty and the available parking lots are overfilled. Of my available options, I choose the street parking because at worst, the bastard city employees (as far as I know this is a universal rule... with one exception and that would be you, Dad) can do will be to write a thirty dollar ticket. Downtown KC meter parking starts at six a.m., six o'freaking clock! In effect - if you get back to your apartment late at night, you have to get up extremely early just to put money in the meter or move your car to another location. So my late evening has resulted in an early rise at an ungodly hour - but no ticket... this time.

On the docket for today... I am leaving work early! The lovely Ms. Florance has been bestowed with the honor of presenting a selection of her work to a group of her peers and I have been bestowed with the great honor of escorting her to this conference. Megan has purchased a new dress for the occasion and after getting the preview (complete with runway style turn) will be absolutely stunning. She will be knocking out the audience twice at this conference, once with her appearance then again with her words. As an added benefit for Megan, once her obligation at the conference is complete, it marks the end of a very stressful semester. Congratulations, Megan!