Saturday, February 26

see how they run

formerly published as The Jericho Commandment

I just finished this book a few moments ago. This was a very early effort from James Patterson. I didn't like it as much as I like his current books, but it apparently held my attention well enough as it took me less than a week to read.

This book was about this group of Jews who wanted to avenge the Holocaust. At first their attempt was disguised as a Nazi uprising, but then it turned into a "Jews as terrorists" thing. Not a very believable premise.

The thing I like about James Patterson novels is how short the chapters are. That is one thing that apparently hasn't changed over the years. I think that's why I read his books so quickly--if I have two minutes to spare and want to read a chapter, no problem! Whereas another author's chapter might take 20 minutes to read, so there's no sense in getting involved if you don't have the time.

The thing I don't like about James Patterson novels is the titles of them. Most of them are taken from nursery rhymes and have no apparent tie-in to the plot of the book. So, I can never remember what any of his books are about, given the title, and therefore I can't ever remember which ones I have read versus which ones I have not.

kill bill vol. 2

Another movie and a margarita night was had last night. The flick was Kill Bill Vol. 2. I found it about as enjoyable as the first one. I liked Vol. 2 more, but Brian liked Vol. 1 best (not enough blood in this one, I guess). I just hope they don't teach Jake how to pluck out someone's eyeball or the "five point palm exploding heart technique" at karate. That could be dangerous.

I think the Flick Filosopher hated this one even more than the first. Her review was pretty entertaining, though.

Friday, February 25

rockin' with dokken

Somehow Dokken has been playing the soundtrack to my life. I realized the other week that when certain events happen, the appropriate Dokken song starts playing in my head. At first I thought that maybe I was responsible for this somehow, but then there was last night...

We started a new rule that Jacob isn't allowed to come into our bed until either the sun or Brian is up. Well, last night, he sauntered in around 3AM. Brian made him go back to his own bed. Jake started crying and the song "Heartless Heart" started playing in my head. I kid you not. Being it was 3AM, I wasn't exactly thinking "what Dokken song would be appropriate for this moment?" It just started up on its own. I think this may be some kind of disorder in need of possible psychiatric intervention.

The weird thing is that I was never a huge Dokken fan. I mean I liked them around 15-20 years ago, but they weren't exactly one of my favorites. If anything, you'd think I'd be hearing Whitesnake songs in my head. If there was one band I listened to, to death, it was them. "Still of the Night" was on my mix tape for like 10 years! Yeah, 10 years. And I still like it. And any mention of Whitesnake to this day tickles me beyond all comprehension. They've had a running joke on Joey about Whitesnake and it just makes me like the show more.

But, enough about Whitesnake. If anyone has a cure for my Dokken issue, please send it my way.

Thursday, February 24

baby snakes

This is my mom's worst nightmare.

Wednesday, February 23

calvin and hobbes

Calvin and Hobbes is my all-time favorite comic strip. And you can read 'em all right here.

Tuesday, February 22

new zealand marlborough pinot noir

The short guy and I mixed up another batch of wine this evening. I always like having two batches going at once. Bottling one batch of wine is a bit of work, but bottling two batches is surprisingly not twice the work, so that is my reason. Plus it's always cool to add fifty-plus bottles of wine to the wine rack in one day.

I'm still waiting for my other three kits to arrive. One was supposed to come in January, but hasn't been shipped to my supplier (Thomas Feed Mill) yet. The second is scheduled for March, and the third for April. And, I really, really think I'm going to mix up a batch of Strawberry-Zinfandel this summer. It isn't definite, but if I manage to catch some strawberries on sale somewhere, I'm going to do it.

today's health news

Is this the freakiest thing you've ever seen in your life or what?

And, I don't know why I even read stuff like this. I should get a hypochondriac filter for my web browser. It would save me a lot of stress. Just remind me to get a flu shot next year. At least I've prepared myself for this by reading Stephen King's The Stand about a half dozen times. The real question is--if you survive the pandemic, will you go to Boulder, CO or Las Vegas, NV?

Sunday, February 20

another birthday dinner

My mom's all about celebrating birthdays, so she had us over today and made a delicious dinner in order to properly celebrate Brian's birthday. It was an enjoyable way to spend an afternoon. And, Brian didn't have practice this evening so we didn't have to rush home like we always do. So, I guess this concludes Brian's Week-Long Birthday Celebration.

Jake was plum-tuckered out on the ride home and slept for most of it. Pappy always tires him out. It took him a bit to recover from his nap, but he seems rather chipper right now. I hope he goes to sleep tonight because I want check out the Saturday Night Live special that's on at 9:00 (and not be interrupted every 5 minutes while I'm doing so).

Saturday, February 19

out for drinks

Since Jake is staying at my parent's, we decided to go out for a few drinks this evening. We went to the Johnstown Brewing Company. This turned out to be a good decision because we knew the barmaid and she gave us our first round of drinks for free (thanks Tiffany!). Anyway, it's 11:00 and we're already home. I guess you could call us pathetic. Or drunk. Those were some good drinks.

makin' music

The past few days have been productive on the music front. Brian finally got around to writing the lyrics for (a)pathetic. And, he recorded them as well. I still need to write/record the guitar solo then it will be done. It will be the first solo for me, so it should be interesting. Worst case, Brian will have to write something on piano and I'll just play it. That will wrap up our first rottenstone EP. We're thinking of doing a cover song as a bonus track, but that shouldn't take long, seeing that the song has already been written.

I managed to write and record the bass for the newest (and perhaps best) East of Eve song. This one went really quick for me. I'm getting better at figuring out Shawn's guitar parts (general rule: always start with B). And I started tabbing out my stuff as I write it so that I don't need to figure everything out every time I practice. I can't believe it took me this long to come up with the idea. At any rate, either I'm improving on the bass or I'm becoming a Kip Winger clone. Either way, my work is done for now.

now that's dedication

Jacob is staying at my parent's tonight. I took him there this afternoon. On our way to their house, I saw a guy on a motorcycle on route 219. Just for the record, it's about 20 degrees outside with a windchill near zero.

I have seen a lot of motorcycles out this winter, but this is the first one I've seen when there was snow on the ground. Granted, the roads are clear, but still.

Every time we're in the car, Brian jokingly says, "Just think, if this were next year, we could be on the motorcycle right now." Maybe he's not kidding.

Wednesday, February 16

when bad things happen to good people

I was actually running early for work today for a change of pace. Then I went to dry my hair and my hair dryer wouldn't turn on. I didn't have a backup. Nor did I have so much extra time that I could run to the store to buy a new one. So, I fiddled around with it for 10 minutes and it still wouldn't work. Luckily, since I was running early, my hair was almost dry by this point, so I messed with it a little and ran out the door. Of course, I was a few minutes late for work, as usual. I don't know what the deal is because the hair dryer wasn't that old--usually I get a few years out of them anyway. You can add ConAir to my boycott list.

I started on supper a bit ago. I went to grab some potatoes out of the pantry and the potatoes were rotten. Have you ever smelled a rotten potato? Ick! I always forget what they smell like until I smell them again. It's definitely something you want to forget about. So, I pulled the bag out of the pantry and some of the potato rot spilled onto my jeans. Now I smell like rotten potatoes. I guess I could change my jeans, but it's not like we're getting company or anything. Hopefully the smell will dissipate sooner or later. Luckily, I had some backup potatoes on hand, so things are looking up.

Lizzy apparently found a drop or two of rotten potato juice on the floor because she started rolling around in it with reckless abandon. Apparently she's going potato hunting later.

Tuesday, February 15

neglect

I neglected to thank Brian for helping me to get my new template working the way I wanted it to. What took him two hours would've taken me two days. I guess it pays to be married to a graphic artist.

changes

I was sick of my blog template, so I found a new one at NOIPO.ORG. Looks pretty cool. Brian's going to create one for me eventually, but this one will do nicely in the meantime.

Monday, February 14

kindergarten bound

Today, I registered Jake for kindergarten. It was a pretty painless process; I just had to fill out a bunch of forms. We also have forms his doctor and dentist need to fill out. Since he has to go to both places in May, it's no big deal. We also have to return to the school in May for some sort of testing and that's it--he'll be school-bound in the fall. I can hardly wait because we will be able to eliminate our daycare payment for the months he is in school and that's pretty significant.

I took the day off for a number of reasons--one being the kindergarten registration process, another being that it's Brian's birthday, and lastly, I was due for a day off. This morning, while Jake was at his preschool class, I started preparing Brian's birthday feast. He wanted club sandwiches, ruffled potato chips, and pickles. Sounds like the last supper for someone on death row, eh? Or maybe someone who really likes eating at diners.

I thought this was an odd thing to request for a birthday dinner, but Brian's argument was that it was hard to come up with an idea since we eat well every day. So instead, he opted for something that he was hungry for and that I don't make that often. Makes sense, I guess. He's kind of like Joey when it comes to sandwiches. The club sandwiches I like to make are a double-decker chicken salad/blt combo (and quite yummy at that). I prepared the chicken salad this morning to get the hard part out of the road. For dessert, I'm preparing something called "Chocolate Decadence". When you have the words chocolate and decadence in the title, much like Smuckers, it has to be good.

happy birthday, brian!

If anyone sees my sweetie today, be sure to wish him a happy 34th.

Sunday, February 13

holy crap

I now have 50 gmail invitations available. If anyone wants one (or two or twenty or fifty), let me know. I guess these aren't as hard to come by as they once were.

australian mataro-shiraz

The short guy and I just mixed up a batch of vino (he likes to stir). The wine kit maker seems to have changed their directions from years past (either that, or I haven't been paying enough attention), so I'm going to change some of my methods as well. This will allow us to rack the wine less (the worst part of wine-making is racking the wine) and we'll also skip the carboy-aging and just age it in the bottle longer. We'll see how that turns out--in about a year. I'll let you know. Hell, I might even give you a bottle.

Jake might only be one quarter Italian, but he's obviously going down the right track--he's out in the kitchen making pasta while I'm blogging. Time for supper!

Saturday, February 12

tattooed freak

Here's a conversation Brian had with someone recently:

someone: "I hear you're getting a new tattoo. What are you getting?"
Brian: "Flowers."

That certainly doesn't sound like an answer coming from a soon-to-be biker.

Yesterday, Brian got some purty flower tattoos added around his King Jacob tattoo. In his defense, these flowers are in the Japanese traditional style that his tattoo artist, John Joyes, specializes in. Brian had to drive all the way to Winchester, VA, because John is the only one who is allowed to touch a tattoo needle to his skin. This is the place he went to. Cool website, eh? :)

Now the cycle is complete--Brian's first tattoo was a flower (rose) and this tattoo is a bunch of flowers, so I guess he can stop getting tattooed now. Right.

Here's a pic of the new tattoo. And, a perspective shot as well.

Friday, February 11

intolerable cruelty

We sort of caught this movie last night. I had one eye on it and one eye on blogger for the first half, so I'm probably not qualified to comment on it much. I did manage to catch a few funny scenes. I especially liked the ones featuring two Rottweilers (go figure). They would've been better had they featured Dobermans, but hey, you can't have everything.

As for the actors, George Clooney is ok. I don't understand why everyone goes ga-ga over him. I can't do that because I can't get past him being a character on Roseanne (a show I loved, by the way). That's always what I think of when I see him--some dorky twentysomething.

All of Billy Bob Thornton's scenes were good. I didn't even know he was in the movie. Against my better judgement, he's becoming one of my favorite actors.

Now I've always found Catherine Zeta-Jones attractive but she has since lost the throne to Cristina Scabbia from the band Lacuna Coil on my "I wouldn't kick her out of bed for eating crackers" list. Just kidding. Not that there's anything wrong with that. Uh, back to the point...she's a decent actress and played her part well. I liked her best in Traffic, though. Now, that was a cool flick.

The FlickFilosopher rather liked the movie.

Thursday, February 10

revocation of cooking privileges

Jacob has karate Thursday nights at 6pm. 6pm also happens to be our usual suppertime. So, Brian has been cooking supper when he gets home from work on Thursdays. The past two weeks, however, the proverbial dinner hasn't been on the table when Jacob and I arrived home from karate.

Last week, we discovered that Brian doesn't know how to use the broiler. Who would have thought? Tonight, the excuse was that he "got out of work late" and "the roads were bad". Likely excuses for someone who works in Bellwood and lives in Johnstown.

I don't like to complain. Well, actually I do like to complain, but I try to keep it to a minimum when it comes to Brian. But my suppertime isn't something you want to mess with. I lead a very structured life. Very. And, I have the lists to prove it. So, I guess Jacob and I will either be eating supper at 5pm or I will put something in the oven that will be ready at 7pm because eating supper at 7:15 or later puts a kink in my rigid schedule.

Monday, February 7

superbowl xxxix

Despite the fact that Terrell Owens was playing yesterday, I was rooting for the Eagles to win the Superbowl. It's not so much that I dislike New England--I actually kind of like them (their players are classy and obviously, they are a great team)--but I couldn't forgive them for beating Pittsburgh in the AFC Championship two weeks ago, so that's why I was rooting for the "other" team from Pennsylvania.

Terrell Owens played a great game last night. I'm surprised that anyone could come back from such an injury that quickly. If Philly could've pulled out a win, he would've been partially responsible for it. McNabb left a little to be desired, though. He looked much like Roethlisberger did two weeks ago. You can't have that many turnovers and expect to win a game against a team as good as New England.

It was a good game, though. I really thought it was going to be a blowout. I guess Philly is a better team than I gave them credit for. Given the lack of good teams in the NFC, I wouldn't be surprised to see Philly in the Superbowl again next year. Maybe we'll get that all-Pennsylvania Superbowl next year...

Sunday, February 6

secret window

It's a Movie Marathon weekend at the House of Law. We caught our second movie of the weekend last night (yes, two "adult" movies in one weekend constitutes a marathon for us). Secret Window was the flick. The movie was based off of a Stephen King story called Secret Window, Secret Garden. I read the story quite a few years ago, so I didn't really remember the details of what it was about. Johnny Depp was cool, as always. I don't know if the movie would've been as good had someone else played the main character. In conclusion, entertaining, but not memorable.

Suprisingly (to me) the Flick Filosopher kind of liked the movie.

the two jakes

Jacob had his first playdate yesterday at his friend Jake's house. Everything went really well--Jacob even managed to behave himself (or so says Jake's parents). The boys got along famously. All I know is that it was the fastest 2.5 hours of the week. I will be calling Jake's mom this week to set up a playdate at our house. I have a feeling that this is going to become a regular thing as Jake's mom was already discussing the fun they'd be able to have playing outside in the summer. Jacob was rather disappointed when Brian arrived to pick him up, but it sounds like he arrived just in time--both kids were exhausted. Brian had some stops to make on his way home and Jacob ended up sleeping in the car for 45 minutes.

Saturday, February 5

lizzy and the ferocious beast

A few months ago, I mentioned that I was going to try to find a kennel closer to home to board our dogs when we go on vacation. We're going on vacation in May, so I had to get on the proverbial stick today and call around. Here's what I found out...basically all of the places in our area are your run of the mill kennels. They all cost about the same, too. All places would probably be equally good, but I absolutely know that the dogs are well taken care of at the Cozy Inn Pet Resort, so it looks like we're sticking with them (assuming they are available the dates of our trip). Like Brian said, going there is annoying (because of the distance) and expensive--just like my dogs. It's a match made in heaven, more or less.

I was rather disappointed with the racist comments made by the one place I called. They didn't want to board Ripley because she is a doberman. Something about their temperament was the reason. All I can guess is that this person is still living in the 1970s when dobermans were overbred and overly aggressive. Who else could possibly say such things about my favorite dog breed? Hmm. Maybe I should've found a different picture for display...

the life of david gale

I know it's becoming cliche, but we had another movie and a margarita night Friday evening. The movie was pretty good. I really wanted to see it when it was at the theater, but had since forgotten the plot. It is so much more enjoyable to watch a movie and have no idea what it's going to be about. I should do that more often. Anyway, I thought it was a pretty cool movie. And it just goes to show that if more men could keep their dick in their pants, they could make their lives a whole lot easier.

The FlickFilosopher and I haven't been agreeing on much these days. She didn't like the movie.

Wednesday, February 2

the saturation point

Brian has finally gotten sick of watching Friends. I never thought I'd see the day. One day last week, I caught him watching reruns of Everybody Loves Raymond. I found that odd seeing that Friends was on at the time. The same thing happened again today, so I inquired about it. It turns out that he's sick of watching it. I guess seeing each episode eight times will do that to you. I actually still think the show is funny, but I don't watch it anywhere near as much as he does--I've probably only seen each episode six times a piece.

that rodent prognosticator

Punxsutawney Phil predicted another six weeks of winter today. Doesn't he usually? Seeing that we haven't even had six weeks of winter yet this year, it's hard to complain about the forecast. I'm just glad we got through January. I hate that month. Not that February has that much going for it weather-wise, but at least the weather usually clears up by the end of the month.

Tuesday, February 1

it's taxing

I'm done with our taxes. Sort of. The local and state taxes have been submitted. The federal ones are just about ready to go. (I'm still waiting on one of my forms. sheesh.) Thank God for TurboTax. We will be getting a few dollars back--enough to cover our upcoming yearly garbage bill and then some, anyway. That's pretty much what I shoot for--getting a few dollars back. I don't understand these people who get all excited about getting a bunch of money back from the government (otherwise known as an interest-free loan to your Uncle Sam). Maybe you ought to adjust the withholdings on your W-4 form and not get so much money taken out of your paycheck. I don't know about you, but I'd rather have a fatter paycheck year-round than get my money refunded to me when I file my taxes. Of course, given how low interest rates are right now, it probably doesn't matter.