Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Danceathon Jam Circle

This clip is by Chris Clark at the Danceathon. It was around 2am, I think. Maybe 3am 1am. A jam circle is when people will show off a few of their moves, then back out for other people to show off. Lots of pros here, and some of the better amateurs in OC too.

And me in the crowd between 6:56 and 6:57 (black tuxedo T-shirt). And check out the freaky aerials starting at 2:30.

Romance Pt. 2

H: Remember that question you asked? Well, we're dating now.
Me: So you're saying I knew before you did?
H: ......
Me: What pisses me off is that my blog isn't accurate now.
H: Your blog?
Me: I guess you haven't read your email in the last 24 hours. I send you a link.
H: Uh oh.

Monday, March 24, 2008


I sat on the couch and engaged in the following conversation:

Me: So, what's up with this carpool romance that everyone's been buzzing about?
H: What? Why would everyone assume that?
Me: Don't worry, I just made that up.
H: [ignoring my qualifier] We hit it off, but we're not dating. We're pals now.
Me: And besides, why can't a guy and a gal be good friends without 30 people assuming they're bumping uglies in the back seat of a car?
H: Yeah. Wait, what?!
Me: Don't worry, I made that up too.

And It Doesn't Even Rain Here That Often

Spent a couple evenings eating dinner with P and her parents, due to her reduced mobility. During a wide-ranging discussion, I wondered aloud about the viability of creating a garden designed specifically to be viewed during rainy weather. This immediately morphed in my mind into an environment that was designed to be more beautiful during rainy weather, effectively using the falling water to transform buildings and sculptures. For example, the falling water sluicing off of roofs in intricate curtain-like patterns. Or channeled into gravity-based fountains and water sculptures.

I swear I've seen this before, but I have no idea what it's called. I called it a rain garden, but apparently, a rain garden is a man-made depression designed to soak up rainwater runoff from man-made impermeable surfaces. Not what I was thinking of.

Perhaps I'm thinking of the way rain sluices off of of slanted roofs. Or Japanese rain chains (external link to video). I'm thinking of all the ingenuity that was put into medieval fountains turned to making sculptures out of channeled rain.

Why can't I figure out what this is called? I can't imagine I'm the first person to ever think of this.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

One Test Passed

Apparently, I won't kick P out of bed for eating cookies.

Fine, that deserves an explanation. P hurt her back and can't sit on a couch for any normal length of time. And can't grade at home before she goes stir-crazy. So she's grading in my bed with an ice pack tucked underneath her.

Cookies? Joe's O's Joe-Joe's (that's their version of an Oreo) with vanilla bean filling. Not bad.

P: You're going to have crumbs in your bed and I'll have them in my shirt.
Me: I have a solution for that.
P: [warily] Really?
Me: Yeah, after I get your lazy butt home, I'll just scrape the crumbs off and vacuum.
P: Oh.
Me: Why, what did you think I meant?

Can't Sleep

I've been tossing and turning for a couple hours now.

What's in my YouTube "to watch" queue?

Mozart a la Bass Guitar

Friday, March 21, 2008

Extra-Terratorial Birth and the Presidency

"Can you ever be President?"

It's odd how many times I've been asked that question, since I'm not a politician. But it does come up when I mention that I was born overseas, on an Air Force base.

And I guess this is an issue for John McCain as well.

McCain 's Canal Zone Birth Prompts Queries About Whether That Rules Him Out

SSC 21

Short Shameful Confession:

Since cleaning my stove top, I've been afraid to use it's gleaming white surface for fear that it will never be this clean again. No, I might be afraid that nothing in my apartment will ever be this clean again.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The Real Housewives of Orange County

It's what was on television when I came home and turned it on 15 minutes ago.

It's like My Super-Sweet 40-Somethingth Birthday.

Rich egotistical people act self-centered.

I can't stop watching. It's like watching a train-wreck.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

My Fantasy Life

P is over, grading.

I'm trying to catch up on a month's worth of chores.

So I tackle the stove-top, removing my coil guards and breaking out the Soft-Scrub. I get about two minutes into the whole thing before P starts clucking about how I'm "doing it all wrong," and takes over, pushing me out of the kitchen.

Hey, I took "tell me your non-sex fantasies" literally.

OK, back to the stove-cleaning.


Friday, March 14, 2008

Bacon-Wrapped Hot Dogs

Ever since bringing bacon-wrapped hot dogs up in a conversation a few weeks ago, they've been tickling my mind as a comfort food. I first heard about them from my brother, who would rave about the street vendors selling them outside USC football games. Always sounded like overkill of a good thing to me. Then I got to experience them for myself a little over a year ago when my bro invited me to a USC home game.

Oh. My. God.

Horribly indulgent greasy goodness.

They fry up onions in the bacon grease too. He forgot to mention that.

So after a few days of being battered by work, I decided to treat myself. I bought some bun-length hot dogs, thick-sliced bacon, toothpicks, and onions (the brown-skinned ones were on sale).

I immediately realized the paradox: The onions take longer than the hot dogs to cook, but need the bacon grease to cook in! I decided to start the hot dogs on lower heat to render the fat, then get the onions started, then boost the heat to crisp up the bacon.

With my plan of attack in place, I cracked the packages, pulled out three hot dogs, and started wrapping. Each hot dog required two to three pieces of bacon, depending on how much overlap in the bacon-wrapping I did. The toothpicks held the bacon in place, but I broke each one in half to allow flat frying. I did the hot dogs in a non-stick pan and the onions in my All-Clad.

I started off the hot dogs for fat rendering and turned my attention to the onions. I split the onion in half, bisecting the root, then sliced the half, ending up with half-moons. I only used half an onion. I had about a teaspoon of bacon fat about 10 minutes in to the cooking process, so transfered it to the heated saute pan, and started the onions. Carmelizing onions is easy. Spread into an even layer and walk away. If it burns, that's just flavor. Stir every 5-10 minutes or so, but no more often.

I boosted the heat on the hot dogs to the high end of medium, and started to look for crispiness, turning after I saw it. As more fat rendered, I added it to the onions. After about 45 minutes of total cooking, everything was ready.

I prepped my bun by toasting it in the hot dog pan with a little bacon grease, added ketchup, dijon mustard, and some onions. Removed the toothpicks from the hot dogs, and chowed down.


But after eating one, I threw away the other two. I wasn't feeling that self-indulgent any more.

Anyone want hot dogs and raw bacon? I can't bear to look at them. I'll throw in one and a half onions too.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The Best!

If you've ever met me, I've probably bullied you about watching "The Wire," perhaps the best show on television. Ever. Fuck probably. It's the best show it's ever been my privilege to watch.

The Sopranos? I admit that I only watched the first three seasons, and there were some brilliant episodes. But it couldn't begin to approach the scope of The Wire.

The West Wing? Brilliantly written dialog, and some terrific episodes. But ultimately, it was episodic television with some interesting story arcs. The Wire didn't have quite the same level of dialog, but kicks ass in the characterization and story arcs. You couldn't expect an episode to end having wrapped something important up. It was a 10+ hour story. Maybe a 60 hour one.

On the surface it seems like a cops vs. gangs show. But really, it's about the drug trade and the city of Baltimore. Fascinating. The story of the city is a tragedy, but the story of the show is a triumph. The ratings were never high, like The Sopranos, but it was critically acclaimed and a growing audience.

P never watched it, and I've had fun seeing it all over again with her. We're in the middle of season 3. But at the same time, I've been watching Season 5 as it's been broadcast. And today, I watched the series finale. Yes, the final season is done. My TiVo recorded it on Sunday, but I didn't want it to be over.

I admit it, I was tearing up at the end. And I didn't even feel the need to do any push-ups after. They were very manly tears.

If you're a Wire rookie, Netflix the first disk of the first season, set aside 3 hours or so to watch the first three episodes straight through. There's a "hook" point somewhere in there. Probably the "fuck" scene. No, not a sex scene, a crime-solving scene. But some language and dead body nudity:

As long as I'm posting my favorite scenes:

"I robs drug dealers."
"Day at a time, I suppose."

Snoop buys a nail gun.

Weebay and Stinkum execute their plan to kill Scar.
"Ayo! Lesson here, 'bay..."
By the way, that tune is "The Farmer in the Dale"

For you "Airplane!" fans, here's State Senator Clay Davis in a scene I'll call "Major crimes? Golly!"

Also, the desk shot:

Oh man, I could go on for ever.

Best. Fucking. Show. Ever.


I think these Dunkin Donuts latte commercials are hilarious. And maybe just a bit too late. By 8 to 10 years.

"It's a Large"



A couple weekends ago, my brother and I hung out for a Saturday evening. So much fun. We saw Rambo (tremendously bloody, mindless fun), and hit the Yardhouse afterwards. I stole a couple sips of what he ordered, but didn't drink otherwise.

When he ordered, we ended up talking to two women who were hanging out at the bar on a "girls' night out." I got to play the role of wingman: charming, funny, but ultimately a support role for the bro. Especially important to engage the "other" girl in conversation. I'm really bad at it.

I'm not sure why a pretty investment banker is an "anchor." Except that it rhymes. When watching this commercial again, I realized what I did wrong. I didn't buy her a beer. And I left my brother alone so I could sleep.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Oh My Feet!

24 hours of dancing! I didn't get to sleep on Friday evening 'til about 3am, after dancing at Atomic. I woke up early, around 8am, got breakfast... and took a nap.

I stayed 13 hours, dancing long stretches as the team's designated "on the floor" guy. Tried to nap, but couldn't fall asleep. Couldn't make it to the end, but loved every minute I was there.

Amazing DJs. Amazing teachers. Amazing bands. Soooo worth doing!

And now, sleep.

Friday, March 7, 2008

24 Hours for Hope

Tomorrow morning, I'm going to be participating in the 24 Hour Cancer Dance-a-Thon, an event that's raising money for the City of Hope. I can't honestly call myself a crusader, but I lost both of my grandmothers to cancer. I'm sure we've all been touched in some way by it. And I can help raise money by dancing?!

I'm embarrassed that it took me as long as it did to sign up.

The great news is that it's at a terrific venue, the 24 Hour Fitness Ultra-Sport in Irvine. We'll have full access to the locker-rooms, showers, jacuzzi, etc. I just realized I have some serious packing to do. Protein bars, water, mattress pad, sleeping bag, pillow, swim trunks, Icy Hot, etc. Yikes. And that's after dancing all night Friday.

It's going to be a long, fun weekend!

Oh, and I'm not one to beg for money, but it's all going to an amazing cause, so I'd certainly appreciate it if you could pitch in and sponsor me, even for $5 or $10. I believe $50 gets you a visitor's pass to the event to watch. Donate from my page, and I'll throw in 45 minutes of lessons from me for you and a partner for every $20.

And if nothing else, leave me your best survival wishes as a comment! Someone from our 28-person team will be dancing the entire 24 hours. Yikes!!!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Madwoman Came A-Dancin'

That's not a song title. Madwoman out of the Attic joined P and I for dancing at Atomic Ballroom this past Tuesday night. I came late and saw her in the class she was taking, moving as if she'd done it before. Oddly, she was doing a coaster step like a Westie. Turns out, she'd taken West Coast Swing classes before.

P and I joined the level 1 class with roles reversed (I followed and she led). That's really fun. I'm impressed that she has the courage to do it. When will we dance a song where she leads and I follow? :-)

Darren's class is a blizzard of content: 12 moves! Maybe I'm improving, but I manage to get everything.

Quick dinner at In-n-Out (no healthy options there...) with Tim and Chrissy, then back to dance.

Madwoman does really well, and we spend quite a bit of time on her swing-out. She tries to break her coaster-step habit, then works on footwork during social dancing, then 6 to 8 count transitions. Probably a bit overwhelming, but she does great, even getting asked to dance by other guys.

My swivels rock.

P is feeling sick, so leaves not too long after Madwoman.

I stay 'til closing time, 12:20 AM or so. First time in a while. A great night. Hopefully we hook Madwoman. Mr. Madwoman better get on his game and make the trip to Atomic or he might not see his wife on Tuesday and Friday nights!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008


From Wikipedia:

The Vermonster

A Vermonster is a large ice cream sundae made by Ben and Jerry's.[1] It is named after the company headquarters' home state of Vermont. The Vermonster consists of the standard sundae ingredients, but uses them in excessive amounts. It contains the following:[2]

The sundae is usually served in a commemorative plastic bucket, which can weigh anywhere from 4 to 9 pounds.

I'm speechless. Wait, no, here's what I think:

Sheeeeeeeit! -- Clay Davis