April 28, 2005

Are those sprinkles or are you happy to see me?

The gratuitous Krispy Kreme portion of yesterday's post got me thinking.

First, Patty: What are these "grams of fat" you speak of? Anyone? I have no idea what he's talking about. Pass the box, please.

Second, which camp do you fall into: doughnut or donut? It's something I'm always curious about and have asked people in the past, but I don't think we've ever gone into it here.

Third, if you like doughnuts at all (I know there is at least one person reading who doesn't!): What is your favorite kind?

That should be enough to get us through the weekend. Bon appetit!

April 27, 2005

Revenge of the Gnome

What a day yesterday was! It was, apparently, just too much for one browser to take. I had so much to say and no outlet that wouldn't make me absolutely batty. I had no choice...but to sleep.

The evening got off to a great start, going out to dinner with a dear friend at one of my favorite restaurants and having an award-winning pizza that was just delicious. (I had the one with the very Californian prosciutto, caramelized onions, Gorgonzola and apples topping.) Yum-my.

Then it got even sweeter. Finally, finally, FINALLY the day had arrived. A day I had been counting down to and anticipating and salivating over for months. No, not my sabbatical; still have a few lil' ol' days left on that countdown. Yes, in fact, the Krispy Kreme in my area opened after months of rain-induced delay! (
Apparently my clue was not obscure enough, because you were able to guess that it involved doughnuts, darn it.) Surprisingly, it wasn't swamped like other new ones out here I had been to, so we were able to escape with our dozen...after getting our complimentary hot Original Glazed right off the line, of course...without delay. And it was heaven!

Lastly, it was time for Amazing Race and it was a corker. I was surprised to see how little time there was between Joyce and Uchenna (or, as they have become on TVgasm, Joychenna) arriving and leaving in first and
RA/RK, who came in 2nd/3rd. It must have taken Joychenna a really long time to find the head-shaving guy.

Anyway, it was off to Istanbul, but not before Rob was able to shoot himself in the foot by being just a little too cocky. Now, I've been an RA fan from the start, but Rob ticked even me off last night by trying to play his little mind game on Gretchen and Meredith (or, another TVgasmism, Gretchedith) and then being so smug right up until the time he learned the truth.

By trying to freak Gretchedith out by making them think there was an earlier flight to their destination from the connection in Delhi, he prompted Joychenna to make a call and find out that there was indeed an earlier flight that, inexplicably, RA/RK were unable to procure. The race was on, but RA/RK were blissfully ignorant for hours and Rob spent that time busting on the other teams. Not nice, Rob. May I introduce you to Mr. Karma? Perhaps you've heard of him?

During this time, RK were in a cab and Kelly made her already-infamous comment about Ron being a commitmentphobe, as demonstrated by his becoming a POW (he was in Iraq, did ya know?) and thereby "getting out of" his military service. It wasn't quite the grenade (so to speak) that the preview the week before had us anticipating, because Ron took it better than I think many of us would. He was sarcastic (but he didn't call her a bitch like, um, I would have) and, while you can practically see their relationship dissolving before our very eyes, the moment passed.

Once they arrived in Istanbul, things really got moving, much of it by sea. After a pair of boat rides, teams had to search an island lighthouse for something. What was it? A can of cold, refreshing Coca-Cola? A bag of Star Wars-branded "Dark Side" M&Ms? No, in a prime moment of true product placement abuse, four of the Travelocity Roaming Gnomes were hidden about this spit of land, which the teams then had to take with them for the rest of the leg and deliver to Phil at the Pit Stop. (Along the way, Meredith named his gnome Jerome, which I thought was pretty clever.) If we hadn't realized by that point that Travelocity is putting out major bucks advertising with this show, we were beaten about the head with it last night. WE GET IT ALREADY! The Race is all about travel, you are all about travel; these teams are trying to win big bucks, you can save people big bucks on travel so they don't have to compete in these harebrained reality shows. Now please take your gnome and stick him somewhere...unpleasant.

It was about this time that RA/RK realized that they were actually trailing the other two teams and they tried to kick it into high gear. The Detour unwound in its normal fashion, with Joychenna banging it out and moving on, Gretchedith wandering around looking clueless but getting it done, RA funnin' with the locals and making short work of it, and RK being passably competent as Ron showed he can follow a grid real good, by golly.

Finally we were to the Roadblock, "Storm the Fortress," wherein one person had to scale a tower, run around and find a key that was hidden in plain sight, then rappel back down the side of the tower to unlock a book with the next clue. Uchenna did Team Baldy proud and tore up the ladder -- I looked down for a moment and he was up the darn thing -- and they finished in first place again.

We anticipated that whether it was Gretchen or Meredith who took this Roadblock on, it was going to be a killer challenge for them. In true Gretchen fashion, however, she assessed the situation as they read the clue, whined, decided "this doesn't look good," whined some more...and decided she'd do it. I think she felt guilty over the whole elephant debacle and went for it without thinking it through. She struggled, but by damn, she did it and Gretchedith pulled off a miracle by coming in second!

RA/RK couldn't make up much time on the others, though RA got ahead of RK just enough to come in third as Ron looked on from atop the tower while still searching for that key. As we knew (by, you know, keeping track), it was going to be a non-elimination round, so RK hit the mat last and had all their money and belongings taken away from them.

But, in the midst of all this bad news, there was a ray of sunshine-y happiness for this season's Team Dysfunction: their stupid gnome won them $20K worth of Traveliciousness and a luxurious suite at the local Four Seasons for the night...which they could enjoy with none of their own possessions. How would you have liked to be a fly on that very expensive wall to hear The Beauty Queen wail and bemoan their fate that night? Yeah, me neither.


Sorry for the lack of a post on Amazing Race or anything else last night. I was having nothing but trouble online so I gave up and went to bed. I'll have something later today, though!

April 25, 2005

A Day In My Terribly Exciting Life

Dear Diary,

Today at work, [insert, you know, non-confidential work-type information]. It was a beautiful spring day outside, though, and I really wished I were out and about instead.

I went to Wendy's for lunch now that the whole finger thing has been declared a hoax and people in the area are making a real effort to go back to them and show our support. (I actually had not stopped going there because of it, I just hadn't had occasion to eat there until recently. I did go the day after the initial news broke, though...it's not like I ever ate their chili anyway.) One jerk ahead of me in line actually made a comment about "Fingergate" being over. Please. But the woman behind him was genuinely distressed to hear that they had run out of chili.

When finally sprung from work -- a mere nine working days away from my glorious sabbatical! -- I went to the shop to pick up my car before going out to enjoy a nice little Italian dinner with my mom. She had a hankerin' for spaghetts and I'm just the kind of daughter to indulge her...don't want to freeze her out or anything.

I did a few errands after dinner before coming home to enjoy some TV. Aside from watching one of the only decent shows on Mondays, Medium, I caught up on the Formula One race from yesterday that I hadn't been able to finish watching. What a great race and a thrilling finish; I thought "my team" had a chance to steal a victory, but it's nice that we were able to get on the podium at all, after the way the season has gone thus far.

While watching TV I decided to play at being an adult and I actually matched my socks out of the dryer! Usually I just toss them all in the drawer and enjoy "the thrill of the hunt" in the mornings. But then I ate some ice cream out of the carton (Marsha Marsha Marshmallow) and shot that illusion all to hell.

I had better get to bed now -- tomorrow is going to be a big day! I don't want to spoil it but here's a hint: my eyes may glaze over.

April 22, 2005

Barely breathing...

...but for a good reason. I just got back from seeing An Evening with Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood with April and it was so freaking hysterical that I'm still trying to catch my breath from laughing so much. If they're coming to your town and you like improv comedy, you shouldn't miss it.

I think April is going to do a post about it, so I won't go into detail but it was over two hours of absolute crack-your-ass-up comedy that is an expanded, slightly naughtier version of "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" that uses people from the audience and their suggestions. This article has an interview with Brad that gives you a pretty good idea of what it's about. Check out the next-to-last question -- they actually did that tonight and it was a riot, even as you winced in sympathetic pain.

This is the second...or is it the third?...time we've seen Brad Sherwood doing this kind of show and, while Colin is good, Brad is amazing. His ability to be topical and local and utterly clever is so engaging that you're made to feel so a part of the show even if you don't get up on stage, which I actually did do one time and it was quite an experience. Seeing them in a smaller venue than the one we were in tonight is a lot better, but no matter how big the audience, it's worth the price of admission.

April 21, 2005

An Inside Job

For some reason, I was thinking about "inside jokes" tonight. You know, those phrases that are funny and meaningful only to a select group of people in your life. Even decades after one is born, hearing it will still make you chuckle, or take you back to a time or place in an instant.

The first three from the distant past that came to mind for me were:

"What d'you think about that?"
"I can be...flexible."
"But...when will they open?"

Without setting them up for us -- just to maintain their mystique for the rest of the world -- what is the punchline or tag phrase from your favorite inside joke?

April 20, 2005

Help Wanted

Major sports organization seeks ideal candidate to help nascent season. Currently experiencing a dearth of anticipated firepower, we are looking for the athletic equivalent of a good, swift kick in the ass. The barbarians are at the gates, and they're such lovely gates that we'd really like to keep them intact. Charming locale, dynamic population, great food -- all this could be yours. Come hit a home run with us! (No, really, please come hit a home run...now.)

April 19, 2005

Take it off, Joyce, take it all off!

The Amazing Race didn't disappoint tonight -- we were treated to an action-packed episode, even though there were a number of bottlenecks to muck things up.

It kicked off where they left us hanging last week, with Rob and Amber arriving at the mat with Phil, only to learn "But wait...there's more!" I'd say that Uchenna and Joyce took the news that they were only getting another clue best, with the others reacting with a mixture of relief or dismay, depending on where they were in arrival order.

Phil's clue took them across the street to the train station where they had to find a particular train, whose destination they didn't know and where they would at some point get their next clue, only to learn that the train didn't leave for many hours. As usual, the whole catch-up thing didn't go over well with Rob because they lost their lead.

Finally aboard, they were given sleeping accomodations and settled in. To me, it appeared that as soon as they got to sleep, they sent this somewhat creepy, silent man around to wake them up and hand over their clues! That's when they found out they were on the train for about 24 hours, as they headed to Jodhpur, India. Lynn and Alex seemed to keep to themselves, where Lynn started jonesing for his skin care products, while Rob and Amber and Ron and Kelly (collectively "RA/RK" from here on out, because I'm getting tired of writing it) sat together and bonded a little more, spending quality time learning that Rob doesn't like to go see horror movies, whereas Ron loves them. Gee, the personal insight one can gather on a choo-choo train.

Once reaching their destination, they easily found the clue (I was hoping they'd at least have to race all over the station looking for it) but learned the next clue was in a clock tower that, you guessed it, didn't open 'til the morning, still many hours away. The teams scattered to a couple of hotels for the night, where Rob conscripted their hotel manager to be a guide for RA/RK for the whole next day. I don't know if the guy recognized him (do they show Survivor there?), or if he was attracted by the chance to be on camera, or if Rob just intimidated him into saying yes, but he was on board and he was somewhat helpful.

At long last, they ascended the tower the next morning to find the clue, which was both a Fast Forward opportunity and a Detour. The Detour offered the choice of Trunk or Dunk -- gotta love the names, really, don't you? -- where they had to either push a huge teak elephant on a wheeled base along the crowded streets, or tie-dye up to 25 sheets to find the one with the clue. Uchenna and Joyce decided to go for the Fast Forward, followed by Lynn and Alex, while everyone else went for the Trunk option. I was a little surprised that no one chose Dunk, having seen how the streets are so packed with people and vehicles that it can be hard to get around, especially, you know, with a giant wooden elephant.

A few minutes into their rickshaw drive toward the Fast Forward, Lynn and Alex decided that they would be screwed if they couldn't catch up to Uchenna and Joyce, so they changed their minds and switched direction to the Trunk task. Trying to describe the melee that followed is beyond me at the moment -- I'm sure TVgasm will capture it all, with pictures, so check it out later today -- but it wasn't pretty or easy.

As the other four teams were fighting their way to the temple where they would get the next clue, Uchenna and Joyce were rushing off to a different temple where they would both have to have their heads shaved in order to complete the Fast Forward. In typical AR foreshadowing, Joyce worried during the ride about that very thing being the task, which would freak her out, while Uchenna doubted that would be it...like he had anything to worry about! They got a little delayed because there were a lot of temples in the area, but eventually found the right place and learned that Joyce's fears were well-founded. But, being a total trooper, she did what I doubt any other woman still in the race would have found the courage to do: She whipped off her bandana, sat down, covered her eyes and cried while a man with a very big turban cut off her braids and then shaved her head. I think Uchenna was just as upset as she was -- he tried to talk her out of it, even as the guy was hacking away at the braids right at the roots -- and he was the picture of love and support as it happened, holding on to her, kissing her and telling her that she looked beautiful as the hair fell away. They collected their clue and headed out to a first-place finish.

The Roadblock was entertaining in theory, with camel carts being "raced" twice around a track, but it wasn't as all that exciting or fast, and seemed to take forever so I'm not doing details. As always seems to be the case lately, RA/RK were neck-and-neck coming out of the Roadblock and had another footrace to the finish, with RK just edging into second place, even though it looked a bit like Rob tried to push them off the mat.

I haven't mentioned Gretchen and Meredith yet, because essentially they were trailing everyone the whole time and it looked they were either going to be eliminated or have their meager money and possessions taken away again. But Lynn and Alex were unlucky and went to the wrong place first, lost the slim lead they had over the oldsters, and were the last team to arrive. Because I do enjoy them, I found myself really hoping that it would be a non-elimination round but, alas, it was not to be. Farewell Team WeHo, you and your catty comments will be missed.

And then there were four...or eight...depending on how you look at it.

At long last, My Moments:

-It was sort of gay night on AR7, as Lynn and Alex were befriended by some guys on the street where a wedding celebration was taking place outside their hotel, and they happily ended up dancing their heads off with them while the other teams watched from above.

- Earlier, Gretchen seemed a little embarassed when Meredith pointed out that the guy who had been helping them last episode appeared to be gay (evidenced by the other guy in the rickshaw ahead of them putting his arm around him in a very familiar manner a few times) and she declared that he was a pretty good-looking guy.

- Rob set Indo-American relations back about a decade as he commented, "It's tough organizin' Indian labor," while snatching children off the street to help push the giant wooden elephant.

- When the shaving was done, Uchenna put their heads together and said, "We're bald together now!" I personally think that she was able to carry it off pretty damned well and, as much as I've been rooting for Romber, if these two were to win, I would be mighty happy about it because she really did take one for the team and the Race.

April 18, 2005

Slightly more than a placeholder...but not much.

Thank you all for your well wishes over the last few days -- even those from a certain someone who was not exactly as helpful by trying to hook me up with some loser! -- I do believe I have turned the corner and am on the road to recovery. I am far less grumpy and even managed to avoid being annoyed a couple times today. That's progress, folks.

In the interest of continuing that trend, I am going to forgo additional blogging time in favor of restorative sleep. Come back tomorrow for the weekly Amazing Race post!

April 15, 2005

Call me a dwarf and I'll probably hurt you.

I am sick. Again. Therefore, I am grumpy. (Which, by the way, is distinctly different than annoyed.) Therefore, I really have nothing interesting to say.

The only thing I am very grateful for is that for once I did not wait 'til the last minute to deal with sending in any taxes due -- and a hearty thank you to the person who made that possible -- because I simply could not have handled that tonight.

I hope you have a lovely weekend...almost as much as I hope that I feel better faster than soon.

April 14, 2005

Random Link Thursday

Oooh, it's back. Can you feel the excitement? I think you can.

Following up on the annoyance thing, here's a link I'm very tempted to use to place a little order so I can let those people who are too inconsiderate or too stupid to park even close to properly know what the rest of us think. Anyone want to go in on a 40-pack with me?

I know that at least a few of the people who stop by are engineers, and if you live around here you can't go ten feet without tripping over at least one, so I thought this blog, Cooking for Engineers, might interest you.

One thing I like: analogies. One thing I don't like: smoking. Put them together and what do you get? This. (Quicktime required.)

I have only one way to describe this site: Internet dating gone horribly, horribly wrong.

From the "It Was Only a Matter of Time" Department: By now you've heard that Britney Spears is pregnant. You may also have heard that she and her husband will be "starring" in a reality show about their life together, which began filiming before they got married...and before they had a deal for a network to air it. That's what I call optimistic! As you may have read (though I doubt many of you did), the show is still untitled. Being on the cutting edge of these things, and having connections that the rest of us can only imagine, TVgasm had a little contest to come up with a title to be submitted to UPN (the lucky network that landed this epic). It's with a touch of pride that I tell you that one of my entries -- "Hitched, Baby, One more time" -- made the top 11. That does not mean that I have any interest in watching the show, mind you.

And, since by the time you read this it will be "Tax Day" here in the U.S., here's a collection of tax-related cartoons to help ease your pain. I really feel the top one on the second page.

April 13, 2005

How annoying

It was pointed out to me this evening that I find a lot of things and people annoying.

My first reaction was, "No shit, Sherlock." But I didn't think Mom would appreciate my saying that to her right then.

I'd had a day filled with annoying things: people on the way to work were driving like unbelievable idiots, pulling stunts right and left; [insert work things that I am not including because blogging about work is unwise]; someone annoyed me on the phone and gave me a headache; people on the road after work were apparently Sunday drivers who had been let out too early and couldn't quite remember that the gas is the one on the right; a woman where we were eating was going on and on about something in a very loud manner that grated on my nerves; [insert experience that prompted Mom to comment (it was personal to her) that involved someone who had a repetitive habit that drove me bonkers and I had no choice but to endure it]; and evening TV (which didn't include Lost because it was a repeat, which is annoying unto itself) featured a commercial...like every other night...that I refuse to watch anymore -- the most recent AOL anti-spam one, I'm sure you've seen it -- so I immediately changed the channel with a growl. And these are just the ones I remember off the top of my head.

Each one of these events caused me to comment on their annoyingness. That is how I deal with them. I comment on it, swear if I deem it necessary, and let it go. Because I am, otherwise, someone who tends to hold on to things and let the annoyance build -- I believe this may be known as "internalizing" them -- to a point where it makes me unhappy. So I gripe. I figure it's better than obsessing on them. The frequency of said griping can vary, and I am well aware that not everyone sees the benefit in it. Obviously, those people are not bothered by the same things I am, or they handle it differently.

Do you get annoyed easily? How do you deal with it?

April 12, 2005

"I wish I had things to throw at them."

Tonight's episode of the Amazing Race was not the most exciting, but it did give us some interesting insight into the teams and how they're playing the game at this point.

Rob and Amber are very aware that the other teams don't like them, but they're just forging on, doing what they need to do and not getting caught up in it. You have to give Rob credit for how supportive he is of Amber and how well they work together. (Yes, I mean you, Romber-haters.)

Ron and Kelly have started to feel ostracized because they have also come in first a few times, so other teams are avoiding them. (Which is, of course, stupid because what does that prove on the part of the other teams?) You can also see the strain beginning to really show from spending so much time together, and they consistently don't make good decisions together.

Uchenna and Joyce are enjoying the hell out of themselves, but they are keeping their eyes on what they're doing, and so long as they don't get lost while driving, they do well.

Meredith and Gretchen feel that the other teams wouldn't mind if they were eliminated or dropped into a deep hole (like a cave?), so it was understandable that they were very suspicious when Lynn and Alex decided to "help" them at their first airport stop. Meredith straight-out asked Lynn, "Why are you doing this for us?" I thought that was pretty bold of him, considering. Lynn claimed that they wanted the oldsters to be in the final group with them. I think that surprised me as much as it did Meredith to hear that.

And Lynn and Alex. Oh, Team WeHo (see TVgasm if you don't know what that means!), your obsession with Rob and Amber is going to do you in. Seriously, they are so focused on those two that it guides all of their decision-making. This became clear to me at the Yield before the Roadblock -- Alex seem absolutely astonished that Rob and Amber didn't yield them. Kids, they don't care that much about your progress so long as you aren't in front of them. They don't hold the grudge against you that you hold against them for being good players. You tried your little power play at the airport by scoring someone's cell phone, but Rob outplayed you and didn't look back.

This was the annoying, unexpected "To be continued" episode for this season. I was wondering how they were going to drag it out until May with only five teams left, and I guess this is how. It was clear as soon as they made a point of showing us the "final" clue that this was not going to end in the normal way; Amber caught on to that right away, because the wording of the clue was unusual, as she and Rob headed toward the mat in first place. They met Phil, who was trying to look cagey and mysterious -- at least, I think that was the look he was going for -- as he announced that the leg wasn't over and that he merely had their next clue.

There weren't all that many standout moments, so I'm going to skip that part. Essentially, all of the part of India they are in was a moment. Cows roam the streets freely; people cheered the Racers and asked for autographs, for no apparent reason; there were so many people standing around and looking on that it was astonishing -- prompting Lynn to utter what became the title here, though I'm sure he meant it in a good way; and the roads are so crowded with all manner of motorized and non-motorized vehicles that it's hard to imagine driving them -- it made Bay Area traffic look tame by comparison.

April 11, 2005

Adventures in Potatoes

If you've been reading here for any length of time, I think it has been well established that I love food. I don't cook as much as I'd like, and the best thing I make these days is reservations, but I do enjoy it.

I also watch the occasional cooking show, though I was somewhat late to the party with watching Iron Chef because we didn't have Food Network for a while. But once I started watching and caught on to what it was, I was hooked. I don't know if I've seen all of the original Japanese episodes, but I have to have seen most of them, and will watch them pretty much whenever they're on.

The first time they tried to do an American version it was, frankly, a disaster. I'm not going to even try to describe how bad it was. Somehow, they decided to give it another shot and the newer Iron Chef America, while not perfect, is at least watchable. The Iron Chefs are interesting and entertaining, and while most of the food is still stuff I probably wouldn't eat, it's at least more identifiable to me than the Japanese dishes.

Are you wondering by now if there's a point to all this? There is. I've been watching the show for years now and I've never been inspired to try to make any of the dishes presented on it. Until now. Recently they introduced the first-ever female Iron Chef, Cat Cora, who won her first battle, where potatoes were the "secret ingredient." The best way to inspire me to try a recipe is to include potatoes in it -- I loves me some potatoes.

Some of the dishes were the usual "who would eat that?" kind of thing, like blue potato gelato and a moussaka with potato and duck in place of the traditional ingredients. But one of them, a dish called Skordalia, made my mouth absolutely water. I started looking for recipes, but nothing I found really resembled the dish she presented. It's generally a potato and garlic dip, I learned, but the version she made wasn't really pureed like a dip and still had visible pieces of potato in it.

In addition to looking for recipes, I watched the show three more times just to see the brief parts where they showed it being made. Then I decided to do something I very rarely do when it comes to cooking: I winged it, which was hard for me. I'm a stick-to-the-recipe kind of person for the most part. My mom has that amazing ability to throw a bunch of stuff together and create an off-the-cuff masterpiece, but I've never been able to do it. I decided to improvise a combination of what I'd read and what I'd seen.

And it was fan-freaking-tastic. Just thought I'd share that.

April 10, 2005

Special Sunday Edition

Guess what? I was asked by my dear friend Keeme to do a guest blogging stint for him today over at his site. My entry, "Kid, it ain't veal," is now up and I hope you'll stop by to read it and say hi.

Oh, and if you're looking for a really fun movie to see in the near future, I recommend Sahara, with Matthew McConaughey, Penelope Cruz, and the very entertaining Steve Zahn -- you may not recognize the name, but you'll probably recognize the face. Of the reviews I browsed after seeing it, this is the one I agree with most. Is it high theater? No, but it's a good time, it made me laugh, and it's an enjoyable (if slightly predictable) piece of escapism to take in when you're in the mood for some light-hearted fun.

April 08, 2005

All it's really lacking is a metaphor

The thing uppermost on my mind tonight is sports.

The Masters
is going on, soggily, though I haven't been able to watch any of it yet, that damn work thing and all. I try to keep up, however, so I won't be lost when I can actually watch over the weekend. This tournament can't seem to keep controversy at bay lately, but this time no one can blame "those feminists" for it. No, it's the boys keeping things interesting this year, with Tiger being accused of possible illegal play yesterday, and Vijay Singh (who, I should tell you, I really don't like...at all) throwing a little hissy fit today and siccing the officials on Mickelson to see if he was marking up the greens with his spikes. Nice adult, professional way to handle it, Vij.

Then there's the San Jose Stealth, whose final home game of the season I went to tonight (with the best brother in the whole wide world, as it happened), though it was a losing effort. I haven't written about the Stealth much this year for some reason; it may have had to do with the rather uninspiring games and the lack of Spy Girls to ridicule. I really do like lacrosse and I think it's been a great alternative for a hockey-starved San Jose while the Prima Donna Sharks abandon their fans, I just don't have much connection with it outside of the games I attend.

But my beloved San Francisco Giants came through big-time tonight, salvaging a game in which they had blown a six-run lead to stay at .500, which they desperately need to try to do while they're lacking some hitting power. I have no idea when I'm going to get to go to a game this season, but I hope it's soon. At the very least, I should be able to take in a game or two while I'm on sabbatical -- which joyfully gets closer and closer every day -- since it's easier to get good tickets to the weekday games I usually can't attend.

The only disappointment for me on the sporting front at the moment is that the next Formula One race isn't for another two whole weeks. I hate when they have a three-week break between races -- it seems like you just get into the swing of things and really get into the season, then you have to put it on a shelf for nearly a month! If you have any interest, and haven't already either stopped reading or fallen asleep by this point, the next race is San Marino, in Imola, Italy -- a famed and tragic circuit that always provides for a riveting race. I'm hoping that Ferrari can get back on track...literally...and resume its winning ways. And if I can't have that, it would be nice if both cars could, you know, finish a race. It's unbelievable to me to have to say that about Ferrari, but this has been a challenging year thus far. Damn rule changes! They may be for the betterment of the sport overall, but they're playing havoc with things thus far.

Seeing as how there is probably a grand total of three people reading this who might actually share all of these interests, I suppose this is a pretty self-indulgent post. But then, it's my blog, so I imagine there's no better place to be self-indulgent, is there?

I hope you enjoy your weekend, sports-filled or sports-free, whichever you prefer.

April 07, 2005

Random Link Thursday

Hello and welcome to Random Link Thursday. Betcha didn't know there was such a thing, did you? Neither did I.

From the best brother in the whole wide world (and no, I don't want anything) comes this tidbit about a very hot, one-of-a-kind car that just set a new record. Sorry that I didn't win the lottery yet in order to get that one for you, bro.

In case you hadn't noticed, we're only weeks away from the premiere of the final Star Wars movie. Yes, "Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith" opens May 19th and the giant Star Wars marketing machine has rumbled to life in full force. (Did you know that the best brother in the whole wide world (nope, still not asking for anything) even got a Darth Tater for his recent birthday?) Perhaps you've also heard that people are already waiting in line for tickets to the opening, even if they are, um, like, waiting at the wrong theatre. Our friend Keeme recently interviewed one of the waitees on his podcast and it's a great listen.

For all the geeks out there, here's a nice little animation to help explain a technical development to your dense (and easily amused) friends.

Ever wished you could give someone a hug, long-distance? Well, now you can...sort of. Lit up, it looks neat; unlit it's a vaguely disturbing cross between dental and phallic imagery.

Lastly (because Blogger is being a complete pain in the ass again -- preventing me from actually posting this until Friday morning, in fact -- and I'm getting tired of having to recreate what is getting lost), here is the ultimate search engine for those of you who can't decide between Yahoo! and Google: Yagoohoo!gle

April 05, 2005

Phil, pretty please, do that really sexy pointing thing...again...won't you?

I did something today that made me very happy. And no, surprisingly, it did not involve chocolate.

I registered with the Donate Life California Organ and Tissue Donor Registry. California residents can now register to create a legally binding document confirming their wish to have organs and tissues donated, at the time of their death, to people who need them. (Details.) This is a welcome step beyond the little pink dots we've been sticking on (and having fall off) our driver licenses for years.

George Carlin fans will no doubt be reminded of his rant on organ donation (Essentially: "Hell no, I'm not telling someone before I die that they can have my kidney...what if they get impatient?"), but I am a big believer in it -- to me, the benefits far outweigh all other considerations -- and I think that a registry like this is long overdue. The topic makes a nice compliment to the recent increase in awareness of the need for living wills, because not only do you need to take action to make it happen, you need to let your family know your wishes.

I am curious: What is done in your state/country? Do you consider yourself to be a potential organ donor? If so, what have you done about it? If not, why?

Now, for something totally different: Amazing Race 7!

What was the biggest lesson leaned from tonight's episode? READ YOUR CLUES, PEOPLE. Three teams were held up because they failed to correctly/completely read and absorb their clues. The only ones whose placement it affected, however, were Gretchen and Meredith, who slipped back one place ahead of the eliminated brothers, Brian and Greg.

My Moments:

- Ron saying "I got your nipple in a noose" to a goat. I don't know why he felt compelled to tell the goat this; maybe it's some secret military code, or maybe he was sublimating his desire to put a noose somewhere on the suddenly shrewish Kelly.

- Uchenna ROCKING the "Carry It" task at the Detour. He and Joyce were the only team to complete that option, and Uchenna made it look easy. The time they saved in doing that helped prevent them from losing a place when they, too, made a clue error and had to go back to the Roadblock.

- Lynn, as he and Alex abandoned that option in order to milk a goat, proclaiming "It's, like, Uchenna and Joyce, they were really born to do that." Did I mention that this task took place in Africa? And that Uchenna and Joyce are the only black team in the Race? We had to pause the show at that point because I was laughing so hard in surprised amazement that he actually said that.

- Uchenna then took the humor out of it, however, when they then cut to him explaining that the people in his father's Nigerian village do that all the time and exclaiming "My African roots are kickin' in!" I did like watching him and Joyce really enjoying themselves and soaking up the experience of being in a safari-like part of Africa, though.

- Lynn and Alex's misadventures in driving were amusing -- okay, I took evil delight because they're being very prissy and holier-than-thou about the whole Rob & Amber thing -- but watching their reaction to learning they'd come in fourth cracked me up, as they believed they were last since Alex struggled with the Roadblock. Alex was smarter than I would have given him credit for by deciding to put on as many clothes as he could during the ride to the Pit Stop in case it was a non-elim leg and they were left with only the clothes on their backs.

- Taking the completely opposite approach, Greg and Brian decided to strip down to next to nothing before hitting the mat, showing up in their swim trunks and winter hats. Quite a picture, but it didn't help keep them in the Race. The befuddlement on the face and in the voice of the local man welcoming them to the Pit Stop was funny, but the flustered look on Phil's face was priceless, and he was rendered a bit speechless for a moment. The brothers took a philosophical approach to it all, saying how glad they were to do the Race together, and making a quick, acrobatic dive into the nearby pool since they were already dressed for it. I am very sorry to see them go -- they just couldn't make up the time to the team ahead of them because there were no catch-up bottlenecks this time.

- Rob and Amber came in first, and won a third leg to their completely comped, international, three-week honeymoon trip. Oh, and you'll no doubt be reading this in "People" but here's a scoop: They will be formally announcing that they're adopting the Travelocity Gnome.

April 04, 2005

Three Word Weekend

I'm cribbing a "feature" from the local radio morning show I listen to:
1. Sting
2. Race
3. Sleep

Ahhhh....Can't ask for much more than that!