Thursday, December 13, 2007


Maybe it's good I don't have an iPhone. With internet access instantly at my fingertips and an easy-to-use typing system ... Sha! If your fingers are hobbit-sized - geez I feel like Homer in the fat episode whenever i try to use the damn thing!!It really makes me wish I had some kind of note-taking device that wasn't a cell phone - as they can be rather complicated to quickly operate to get a note-to-self.

Anyway, if I DID have something that would work like that I might post more random blog-thoughts that might be entertaining and witty, but might not be as informational for me later, or for anyone else... i digress.

Throughout the day I have thoughts, lots of them, as most people do! I am not doubting your thought potential, but I really do have more interesting and deep thoughts than I believe the average person might have. I blame the ADD. I think pretty much constantly. I don't like suing the mouse on a computer because it's too slow, just to give you an idea.

I have often joked that my memory is not so good. I decided to draw a picture to make it perfectly clear what is going on in there and why I talk to myself.
As you can clearly see here, beautifully illustrated in 8 colours, we have a fellow who's main cortex is clogged with thousands of cycles of data. But if he talks to himself - the information goes out his mouth, and much like taking a back road to dodge a deadly body smeared motorbike crash - which may - at times -resemble my thoughts to the outside viewer - You can see it goes right back into the ear, around the problem, and into the 'ol storage. Great, eh?

* * *

Now, that you understand more on to the topic of this very interesting post. How I Met Your Mother, a fairly awesome show on CBS on Mondays has a character played by the Doogie Houser of old fame. Now he's a very amazing and insightful character dubbed Barney.

Barney has taught me so much, he's insightful and shallow, but also a genius.

Women are a complicated species, but with Barney literally (figuratively - watch the show you'll get it) then you can be a major player (major player - salute -- again watch the show).

Anyway, The Hot Crazy Scale is pretty much awesome.

The scale operates around a principle of dating that guy's cling to, many without even realizing it's functioning:

Therefore the Hotter you are the Crazier you can be! Illustrated below.

Watch this convenient educational video:

(for those of you thinking that this is hilarious you're good thanks for playing, else go to line 530)

Now. There are also ladies that might be curious... where do I lie on this scale!?

Luckily our mentor Barney the All Knowing expands on his ideas throughout the episode. Take this quiz and post a comment with your results so we know how Hot/Crazy you are!

“1. You’re walking down the street and see Matt Damon. You:
a: Gawk from afar and let him pass unbothered.
b: Run up to him and beg to have his babies.
c: Stab him with a pen.

2. You’re driving on the freeway and someone cuts you off. You:
a: Take a deep breath, count to ten, and do a random act of kindness.
b: Hold down your horn and scream obscenities.
c: Stab him with his own broken windshield wiper.

3. You see a kitten stuck in a tree. You:
a: Call the fire department and wait for professional help.
b: Climb up and rescue it, then take it home to join the 125 other cats you currently care for.
c: Stab it with a tree branch.

4. You’re on a date with a fellow and it’s not going well. You:
a: Explain to him you’re just not compatible and offer to split the check.
b: Start a small fire in the ladies’ bathroom thus evacuating the restaurant and ending your date.
c: Finish your decadent five-course dinner, then stab him with a lobster claw.

5. Your boss makes a pass at you. You:
a: Report it to human resources.
b: Go for it, then blackmail him for the rest of his natural life.
c: Stab him with his tie.

6. The barista screws up your double skim, half café, no sugar added caramel macchiato. You:
a: Drink whatever she gives you, so as to not create a scene.
b: Throw the scalding hot beverage into the barista’s face.
c: Stab her with a coffee cup.

7. It’s Christmas, a time of giving, charity, and joy. One of the Salvation Army Santa’s won’t stop ringing the bell in front of your apartment. You:
a: Thank him for doing the Lord’s work and give generously.
b: Tar and feather him from your fifth floor balcony.
c: Stab him with his bell, then steal his bucket.

8. Your grandparents are in town visiting. You:
a: Happily show them around town taking extra special care of them.
b: Berate them for the measly 12 bucks they gave you on last year’s birthday.
c: Stab them with their dentures.

9. You find a wallet in the middle of the street. You:
a: Locate the wallet’s owner and return it as found.
b: Steal the person’s identity and live as them.
c: Locate the wallet’s owner and stab them with their license.

10. Your boyfriend proposes. You:
a: Tearfully admit that you’re already married but not opposed to polygamy.
b: You say, “Honestly, we’ve had a lot of great times together but I just don’t see a future between us” thus breaking his heart… then you pick up the pieces of said broken heart, and stab him with it.
c: Say, “Yes, yes, a million times yes!”

To find your “Crazy” rating, give yourself 0 points for every A response, 1 point for every B, and 2 points for every C. Take that total and divide by two. You now have your crazy number.

Now, using your self-assigned hot number, find your position on the Stinson Hot/ Crazy scale. Remember, you want to find yourself located on the hot side, not the crazy side. If the results are not to your liking, please adjust your appearance or personality accordingly. ”

Fellas! Be sure you keep this scale in mind and even draw it out if you have to, sometimes it help - as illustrated above to talk out loud.

Line 530: Thanks for reading! Ciao Arrevederci!

Friday, November 30, 2007

72 Hours with Fi

Monday began as a normal day, I woke up, I watched some television and then I got things together to drive to Kalamazoo. I was on a mission. A mission I chose to accept. Around 4pm I got into my car and started out into the snow... It was snowing btw. Little did I know that I would never return!


Lookie! Snow!

Okay maybe not never, but I my plans to return the next morning was most definitely not followed, and as usual it was Fiona who started my downward spiral. Not unexpected.

... anyway, I headed for Kalamazoo. In the snow. I get there around 5 or so and after some catch up and re-introduction to Erik Murillo. After a short time at Fiona's waiting for Katy and Eric to join us we headed out to Bells for some good beer and café food. You might think this was just the beginning of a normal night with the peeps, but you'd be wrong my friend. Dead Wrong.

At Bells I got a nice wrap, and it was yummy and a couple of beers, Erik and I bonded - as we'd never officially hung out - by officiating and commentating for the game of Coppers vs. Silvers checkers going on b/w Fiona and Eric on the next table. People really seem to like me I've started to notice, and I've also noticed that I am one witty bastard... we had a great time commentating, and the game came down to Eric's Silvers with a few Kings and Fiona with only one little penny all alone trying to fend 'em off. But like at the Ford Theater, the Lincoln got hosed and Eric claimed victory, but he didn't get a doctor shot for treason afterward.
The group of us trying to watch all of Shultze at 3am

After a couple of beers and some excellent conversation we headed out of Bells and back to Fiona's to watch an Foreign film that Fiona had NetFlixed called "Shultze Get the Blues." A littler diddy about a portly German fellow who starts off retiring from a mine after 25 years and is seen doing a number of repetitive, mind-numbing tasks before finally listening to the radio late one evening and discovering a new kind of music... Zydeco.
This is how excited about Shultze we were. We took pictures instead.

For those of you that aren't familiar with the creole tradition of Zydeco the wiki article I've linked you to on Zydeco should fill you in, and then the one on Creoles themselves in case you need info on that too. I'll just say that it's kind of like Ska but with more traditional instruments (accordion featuring prominently) and a less frivolous storyline. Sheesh, I thought everybody knew this stuff.

!! Spoiler Alert - Skip this Paragraph if you want to see this movie !!
So as the movie went on we were becoming increasingly disillusioned, as Shultze seemed to be not only boring but when he wasn't boring he was predictable. They spent half the movie running up to sending someone (who knew?!?) to the United States for a German Accordion Music Festival and of course... Shultze didn't want to go, but then he discovered Zydeco and now he was interested, then he got to the festival and the Americans were idiots in Lederhosen who had a preconceived notion of Germans that was all wrong so he skivved off and went to Lousiana by riverboat from wherever he was, meeting people along the way and not knowing and english - this part was interesting. He was camping and heard Zydeco so he went to find it and they were all speaking French, as creoles do, and then after a fun night moved onto a family who he discovered when he was out of water and food... They took him in and hung out with him and took him to a dance club, he got short of breath a later died sitting on the roof of their boathouse... but he got to enjoy the zydeco dance club... it was an indy german film... interesting.

!! Spoilers over !!

We watched this movie from around 1-3am and remember I'd had a full day already. Bri had joined us in the first 1/3 of the movie so it was 4 of us now... Fi, Me, Eirk, and Bri and we had recruited Bri for the breakfast at Carmen's, but the debate was raging, should we sleep first? Drive first?
the Erik

A half-hour later We were about halfway to Carmens, I had entertained us (and kept awake) by playing the harmonica and we all sang as many pub runners as I knew that Fiona and Bri knew, but Erik had long since left the company of the car and retreated into his subconscious... Bri was in and out, so it was really just Fiona and I that were going well when Fiona, glancing at Erik's placidly sleeping face decided things were getting a little too comfortable.
A long car ride after a long day with no sleep can do things to your mind...

I saw in her face the scheming teenager that I am sure she was before I knew her - and the scheming college student she had become when I met her and the scheming nurse she was now... we drifted slowly out of the lane toward the shoulder. Across the white line...

At 350AM we hit the rumble strips at 75mph.
A devious look? Or just a devilish girl...

The instant the tires ran over the grooved concrete there was a reaction.

A number of things happened at once, Bri and Erik started awake, Fiona and I smiled and a second after hitting the rumbles Erik flung his arm toward the steering column, hand taught and arm steady grabbing the steering wheel to right our position.

Fiona pushed his hand off as she was already off the rumbles and on the way back to the centre of the lane. She laughed and complimented him on his reflexes as the rest of us joined in. Erik laughed as well, as soon as his heart had dislodged itself from his trachea.

415AM: Arrive at Carmen's house. This whole 'Drive First' had been based on Carmen's usual tactic of either leaving the door unlocked or leaving a key where we could get it. Unfortunately, for us, her Mom often stops by and locks the door. That was the case this night as well.

We walked up to the house and the security light came on outside, and we began to worry if the neighbors would think we were breaking in! We found our way behind the house... the dog jumped on me before I knew what it was, but I soon realized it wasn't a zombie or something and pushed it back down... oddly it never once barked... how strange. Anyway, we made it into the house and began making ourselves ready for bed. Erik labelled a toothbrush as his own, all the contact wearers adopted Carmen's solutions and holders and Erik even put on Carmen's WMU Sweats! The Sweats!!

"The Sweats" : a sidestory...
For those of you that don't know, The Sweats were a gift from Fiona's Mother in The House V1.0. Of course, at the time we were unawares of the V1.0 it was just The House.
We all received a pair of the same amazing pants, 5 total. I've never seen it's equal. To this day we all have our pairs of The Sweats. They are a symbol of our unity, our mission, our mutual love of The House and comfortable pants.

It's blurry but you can see the elusive Sweats in their natural environment...

Lets return to the tale at hand shall we?
So after a few hours of sleep I awoke, tired but excited to be at Carmen's. I heard voices so I ventured out, rubbing the sleep from my sockets and made for the kitchen. I walked in and as I extended my arm for a hug while rubbing my eye with the other I saw a case of beer and soon had one in my hand. I checked my phone, 820AM - bed at 5AM... sounds like time for a beer to me. So with a Stella Artois in one hand, and a smile in the other, we drank our breakfast, while Carmen made some bacon and potatoes.

Erik and Bri joined us shortly and after beers were handed all around and we all were finally fully awake we laughed and talked and as always enjoyed Carmen's company. Sitting down to a second breakfast of solid food we related to Carmen the story so far... she was very happy and related back that she'd spilled the beans to her co-workers that someone had "broken-in" to her house while she was at work. Erik was the most interesting to Carmen as he is the least seen, though Bri was new so Carmen attempted to get her to come and have fun too...

After breakfast we cleaned up our messes, got all personable and sat on the couches to chat some more. I have to admit, I began to doze, the next thing I knew, Carmen was sitting on the floor and it was nearly 10! I'd dozed for about a half-hour and it was about time to go. At 1020AM, 5 hours after falling asleep, we were back in the car on our way to Kalamazoo. Fiona and I up front keeping things interesting and awake, Erik and Bri - the weak shall be separated from the strong - in the back dozing.

We arrived back home and spent the afternoon in a steady daze, sleepy, napping, not napping, and Bri and I went out shopping for a while and Fiona worked on some home projects. Erik was going to head to Chicago to see his fam. After we all exchanged hugs and goodbyes he was gone.
Soon, Bri and I decided that before I skipped town like a 1992 Skip-It she would accompany me to the WMU bookstore for some apparel. We arrived at the windy parking lot and who should we see inside?! ERIK MURILLO! We shook hands and shopped like friends, and due to my lack of funding we left with my arms woefully empty while Erik's were full and happy with his consumer ways thanks to full-time employment!


Andy was due to arrive later and so was Ray... Rather than skip town I concluded I would continue my sleepless in kalamazoo and joined shopping at Hobby Lobby for patterns and fabrics with Jessica and Fiona. That was over an hour of my life that I can't get back. Tired and bored I sat in a chair and spun like a kid at his mom's workplace post-lunch. After HL we decided it was time to go to dinner! Collectively settling on Martini's we made for Westnedge ave.

For those of you that don't know Martini's, if you live in or near Kzoo GO. It's Amazing. Locally Owned, and Amazing. It's off Westnedge and Village St. GO. Just go.

Martini's has expanded since I used to frequent it, once promising myself a once-a-week visit because of it's healthful lasagna and salad, some of the only salad I was getting at the time... hard to believe now... anyway, it's expanded and it was great!

Our waitress had a sort of colourful dreadlocks thing going for her, and she really went with it. Jessica, Bri and I were alone for a while, so we ordered waters and waited for Fiona to get Ray... We looked out the window and 'lo and behold it was Mark too!! So we gathered a new table in and had a great meal... of amazing garlic bread, salad, and meat lasagna for me... and other things for others... it was amazing.

Afterward it was time for Hockey. The rest of the gang were going to just chill out, but we decided to surprise the boys and head to the game.

We cheered, we laughed, we caused a general ruckus and after making up russian names for all our favourite players (Mark was Markomere Gilletteovich) we heaeded up to the in-house bar for some $2 Wiskey Sours.

A while later, Jessica was drunkish and the rest of us were ready to leave and head home to finish out the night. We rented a movie from Blockbuster - I peeed on the wall outside because it was taking too long to find a DVD we liked. We made a pit stop at Taco Hell and then headed back to Fiona - who we would have bet all the money in our pockets was asleep.

We all watched Ocean's13 with a very awake Fiona and then headed to our beds.

The next morning after breakfast my 72 hours with Fiona - that included on 8-10 of sleep were concluded and I sped off onto the cold highway with my windows down and the heat and music up...

I love my friends.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Escape to Kingston

The reasons for my visit to Kingston!

Jacqui's takin' Katie's data in the mouth... dirty...

The last couple of weeks have been interesting... I've finished my time on the island, and now it's almost Halloween. I'm back in Lansing and I've got a meeting at the Kelley-Cawthorne Law Firm Monday, I hope it's a meeting that involves a job/internship offer... or maybe something that opens a few doors... But thats just me lately...
pretty shot of one of the many rooms in the Queens library

In early October I was still on the island with Hesse, Leanne, Brent and the occasional Melissa and/or Tom. I left in between my last weeks to go to Kingston, Ontario. That seems like a good place to start if any! Thats a long ass drive! Holy crap, but the weekend before when I was in Lansing for 16 hours (see previous post) my Dad gave me a GPS tracker so I used it to track my progress all the way there...
As you can see it's a long ass way. It was a pain to get off the island, I had to carry my Laptop and a bag of t-shirts as well as pull a suitcase and my backpack all the way up to the fort and then down to the boat, only to find out that I had an hour to wait till the next boat - dammit. Then after a number of hours on the road - getting more excited every hour - I made it to the border in Sarnia. Once at the border I was pulled off to the side, I had all this stuff in my car because after Kingston I was going back to Lansing for the night and wanted to drop stuff off... well the customs woman didn't like that idea, so in the course of the conversation she asked me the same questions two or three times and asked how I know people in Canada and who i was visiting and how long etc. I ended up having to pull over and they brought a cart and these two nice guys began to search my car and ask me the same questions again!

Jacqui and Katie blurry due to jockeying for position in frame

After the search, I went inside and the not-so-happy woman behind the bulletproof glass asked me the same questions... AGAIN and then stamped my passport and said, "With this stamp you have an immigration visa to Canada until 20 October, if you stay after that date you understand that you will be illegally residing in Canada." So they stamped my passport and I was on my way!

At 2 am I arrived in Kingston. It was such a long drive, but I was so excited to see Jacqui that I wasn't even tired. I pulled in and we stayed up till 5am just chatting and marveling at the oddity that was our meeting.

Around 11am I got up and we spent Friday just hanging out together, Queen's University's campus is nice, we toured around and it was neat to see the places that she always talks about spending time. Meeting Jacqui's friends was made more interesting as I'd seen many of them in pictures and heard about them for a couple of years! After Katie the roommate I met Kaela the old friend, at first she seemed very quiet, but I have a way of making people comfortable very quickly so that went well. Jacqui, Kaela and I had lunch with her Mom and Aunt at this really great restaurant where I had a beer and a WONDERFUL pizza. I was a bit nervous, I don't see Jacqui but once a year and usually we're on Mackinac Island, and the island is not the real world, it's like practice vs. real life, it's similar, but not quite the same... so I was nervous... but things seemed to be going well.
Fort Henry was boring so Jacqui and I made our own entertainment
Jacqui on the hill outside of the Fort

After lunch and some shopping we headed to Fort Henry and on a walking tour of Kingston. Fort Henry was a bit disappointing in that all the interpreters were gone and that really seemed the focus of the whole Fort, without them the place is rather bare and dreary. The view was great though so I took some pictures and after a short self-guided walking tour we headed back into town. That night we had dinner at a Texas Grill - a chain restaurant. It always tickles me when, in a foreign country I go to an eatery that is supposed to approximate 'American' or in this case 'Texas' cuisine. The margaritas were okay and the chips were good. Jacq's friends were all really nice and the guy she was not-dating-but-had-complications-with was there and he was nice enough so everything was going well.
The View from Fort Henry hill overlooking Kingston
Fort Henry
Me and my new cannon!

After some drinks and carousing and dinner we headed back to Malcom & Maggie's house for some drinks and a movie. We stayed a while and talked through most of Goldeneye which, btw, has not aged well, very 90s looking. Jacqui, Kaela and Maggie looked at bridal stuff most of the movie while the RMC kids talked about military stuff. This made me laugh in my head because it really is exactly the same as hanging out with the soldiers at the fort, guns, tactics, military terminology, and we're not even really in the army... but the conversations were the same, just with a more modern edge.
A picture of Kaela and Jacqui on the walk home that i liked - cool bridge

Saturday was Queens' Homecoming! A big day on any campus Queens takes it one step further. There are a lot of things I like about Canada, some things I don't, but in Kingston there is a street called Aberdeen, it's similar to WMU's Euclid and they have a block party but rather than the cops showing up and making mass arrests before anything happens and shooting rubber bullets into the masses the Canadian Police PROTECT and SERVE the public by keeping things from getting out of hand by putting up barriers so no cars come down the street and the community helped by VOLUNTEERING to hand out Water and pretzels to keep the students safe. It was a very different environment, tho not nearly as crazy at the block parties at Western, it was still quite crazy.
Charlie and Katie with the fife playin' Jacqui... thats right, she wanted to play my fife ;)

Two girls played my fife that same day!

We all woke up and got around before heading to the Grocery and LCBO to get some supplies for the day. I made french toast for everyone and we sat around drinking mimosas before starting in on the drinking games... It was around 1130 when we started on the mimosas...

As Kings/Circle of Death got more heated and the drinking get more fun we became less interested in playing and more crazy and run-aroundy! And that afternoon we headed out and eventually after a night of drinking at a house party, bonding with Kaela, and a girl named Amanda trying to get in my pants I ended up wandering the streets of Kingston - a place I didn't know - late at night, with 3 people that I didn't know, going somewhere... Jacqui had disappeared earlier on and I wasn't sure where she went and I'd even stopped drinking just for ease of mental capacity so I was getting a bit miffed. Finally, we met up in what seemed to be a bit of a hub, and wandered around Aberdeen, found Jacqui carousing with friends in front of some house. I was a bit confused, as I would never leave a guest in that kind of a situation regardless but I don't blame her as there were a lot of people coming and going out of that party.
After a late night of a wrap of some kind from a mexican place, and some late night dairy queen we ended up back in Jacq's apt around 230.
Charlie telling off Jacqui for trying to get all-up-ons with his woman

Jacqui's response to Charlie... it was mere hesitation

Sunday was the last real day in Kingston... unfortunately Jacq was stressed out because of her impending classwork, tired from her string of late nights and understandably so. We had some breakfast out with a couple of others and I sat while the three of them talked about people they knew for 40 minutes... at this point I felt a little bit awkward, like i should have just gone home and let Jacqui head back into her normal life, but I hoped that was temporary. After breakfast they were going to go to the library and get homework done, I had grad school work to do so I went also and for the next couple of hours finished and submitted my London School of Economics application!
John, Jacqui and Charlie being odd after playing drinking games
I left the library and wandered around the campus for a while, enjoying my freedom before heading over to see Amy and chill with her for a while. Amy and I hadn't really kept in touch as much as Jacqui and I so we caught up and chatted for a couple of hours while I distracted her from her homework like a good friend... Jacqui met up later and we were going to have dinner together, and actually alone (!!), but we stopped by her apt. Gavin was there and sick so she invited him out. I could see the look on her face that she did it out of politeness, and didn't want him to say yes, but he did and it was cool. I hadn't had a chance to get to know him and he was more than happy to mention a few embarrassing stories about Jacqui while we had sushi. After dinner we headed back to her apt and watched Mulan, and the next morning I packed up and left.
Closet fight!

It was a very packed weekend, and Sunday was definitely a different feel from Thursday-Saturday, but I was really glad that I went! Jacqui and I have had this odd dynamic for a while and it was really interesting to see and spend time with her in the 'real life' situations and it really didn't change my mind any about how I see her. She's just a real person now, with her own way of living, working and communicating.

During the long ass drive back I made this video:

...stopped at the Sleeman Brewery for a 24, at Duty Free for chocolate, and after a night in Lansing I headed back to the island for work on Wednesday.
Sleeman's Brewery!!

The next week was spent cleaning and packing and finally on Friday morning I was out, gone and happy to be so.

Since then I've spent some time in Kalamazoo and generally relaxed with my family. I have that meeting on Monday and the last few nights I was in Kalamazoo for Halloween Weekend. I might be able to get some pictures soon enough and make an actual post about that, but this was mostly about Kingston... so deal with it.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Damn You Semi-Functional G'vt

So Sunday was my day off, and after an unproductive morning waiting for the Michigan Legislature to pass a budget to see if I would be working on Monday.

This is not the governor's fault just so you all get it, she put a budget on the desk of the legislative branch of her government 7 months ago. I don't care if they didn't agree with the cuts and added taxed in it, they had over a half-year to change these things and haggle and compromise and instead did NOTHING.
Who failed here, was it the woman who refused to bow to pressure? The woman who did no more than any 10th Grade Government Teacher would do - and refuse to accept late work, even at half credit? Oh Nay nay! It was the legislators, and remember that when you go to vote for them. They've forgotten democracy is for the people not the party, forgotten that they work to better everyone not just their contributors, the wealthy or their specific interests. Compromise is the Essence of Democracy, in lieu of compromise we get an alternating dictatorship.

Rant over.

So anyway, i decided, fuck it! I'll go home, and then if they fix it I'll come back Monday, and if not then I'll see my family and a movie and get chinese food.

I did just that, I got home around 430 and chilled with the 'rents before going with Mother to Uncle John's Cider Mill. I remember this place from my youth, they used to press the apples in a huge cider press, but now it's all industrial. When i was a kid it was hay-rides and a barn, but now a crowded sprawl of family-farming-fun complete with play area for the kiddies, haunted hay-ride and wine tasting for the parents! Oh and occasionally they serve cider.

We got: 3 gallons of Cider and 3 dozen donuts... wow... Home Time: 2hrs

We then headed back home to meet Grandma - who Brock and his new g/f had picked up. I played with Brock's iPhone for a while (frickin' sweet!) and Dad gave me a GPS unit that I can plug into my laptop.

After playing with that for a while Dad suggested we test it out so I grabbed it and we headed to pick up the chinese food from Chen's. If you're from Lansing, Michigan, and you want great - and affordable - Chinese Food go to Chen's Restaurant on Cedar/Larch by I think it's Otto Middle school and the Ace Hardware up from Bannsach Welding or something like that. It's amazing. Big White dome can't miss it. We grabbed the food and drove back using the directions on the GPS which were pretty accurate...

We bought: 3 orders General Tso's Chicken, 1 order of each - Mushu Pork, Cashew Chicken, Crab Rangoons, and also recieved wraps for the pork, fortune cookies, rice crackers, 2.5 pints White Rice and 1pint (free with order over $30) Pork Fried Rice... WHEW! They didn't even give us a bag, we got a BOX. A 3foot long and 1ft deep BOX!

Total Home Time: 4.5 hours

Arriving home we drank wine, listened to blues and sat on the deck eating fabulous chinese food while Dad wandered in and out watching the Lion's game. A beautiful night. After dinner we relaxed on the couches in the living room talking and laughing wondering where Evan was and eventually I decided it was time to go have a pint with Ray. There was still no budget and it was coming up on 1030!

Total Home Time: 6 hrs

Dublin Square was dead this time of night on a Sunday - maybe all the State employees were watching the news, but Ray and I sat and talked to the bartenders - the only three people in the place besides us. I had a Guinness and Ray admitted, "My only goal this summer was to learn to like Guinness - it didn't take long..." We nodded our approval and continued the drinking, chatting about the budget and other such things. Fiona called and she and I made plans for a lunch the next day if there was no budget and Rat and I planned on a movie... it all hinged on our legislature's outright failure. The minutes ticked by like... long long minutes... I was glancing at my watch so often I might have given off the aura of someone with minor Tourette's.

Eventually I just set my alarm for 0:00 and waited. The football game ended and we watched the news - no deal. There were commercials and teasers and of course the WEATHER! GODS BE DAMNED WE DONT CARE ABOUT THE WEATHER!

My pint was almost gone... midnight was moments away, no word... and just as the alarm went off!! The stupid news went to commercial. Gods damn i hate Tv.

12:07 - NO BUDGET! w00t! Yay! Day off I had made the right call driving my ass home! The bartender topped my pint off for free - a good 80% of my 3rd Imperial Pint... I recieved a number of congratulatory texts including one from Frost: "Viva la revolucion!"

Ray, the bartenders and I then proceeded to watch episodes of Rad Girls - the rather stupid female version of Jackass till around 1 - tho the place closed at 12.

I made my way home and fell asleep after a short conversation with Mom.

Total Home Time: 8.5 hrs

I had a fitful sleep, dreams and whatnot, woke up at 630am for the traditional night pee... anyone else get these? I find them irritating. My Dad was up for some reason, heard the flushing water and come down to inform me that the Legislature had worked through the night. The partial shutdown was over after only 5hours and 40minutes. I was going to have to drive back ASAP to work.

I collapsed for another hour and then packed up my stuff - including left over Chinese, a dozen donuts, cider and the new GPS unit and drove off into the morning that came very early.

Final Home Time: 16 hours

Long story short - too late - I arrived in Mack City at 1134 and therefore missed the boat... the next would be at 1230. ARGH! Work was excellent tho and I even stayed an hour after to clean my rifle and make up time!

Woohoo! What a long day off...

Saturday, September 15, 2007

A quiz for no reason

Your Seduction Style: Sweet Talker

Your seduction technique can be summed up in one word: "charm."
You know that if you have the chance to talk to someone... Well, you won't be talking for long!

You're great at telling potential lovers what they want to hear.

Partially, because you're a great reflective listener and good at complementing.
The other part of your formula? Focusing your conversation completely on the other person.

Your "sweet talking" ways have taken you far in romance - and in life.
You can finess your way through any difficult situation, with a smile on your face.
Speeding tickets, job interviews... bring it on! You truly live a *charmed life*

<<<<>>>> Not bad! I guess I am defiantly a good talker <<<<>>>>


Your Kissing Grade: A-

You are truly an amazing kisser. Your kisses are extraordinarily mind blowing.

Whether you're naturally a good kisser or not, you've taken the time learn how to be the best kisser possible.

Anyone would be lucky to get a kiss from you!

<<<<>>>> I dont know about this, but I rate pretty good! <<<<>>>>


Your Movie Buff Quotient: 70%

You are a total movie buff. Classics, blockbusters, indie favorites... you've seen most of them.

Your friends know to come to you whenever they need a few good DVD rental suggestions.

<<<<>>>> Yea duh. I think we all expected this one <<<<>>>>

well enough time on the internet I am going to go sit on the porch and read my new book!

Friday, September 14, 2007

Dullery and Debochery?

So post-season is pretty boring. I always get a bit down in the first week, everyone leaving and all that, but now that we're in full swing I'm making plans and enjoying myself.

Jared came back for a weekend recently, that was great... I miss that kid and his clichés.

Ken Chambers came for a visit as well... that was good we had actual days off then! Also, Rhonda visited over the weekend and we all went out and had drinks and ice cream and then more drinks. A good night overall and I didn't get in till quite late, but it was excellent. Great fun!

Last monday was the first Monday Night Football cookout and the Johnsons and Greg came down for it. Hesse bought some food and we all tried to contribute something, unfortunately I don't have a lot of variety so I made a chocolate cake but then we already had 4 desserts. Bruce stopped by and we chatted for a while.
Brent No Like Phone!

Hanging out on the porch talking football and U.P. stuff.

Greg Hokans, a Packers fan through and through, and a yooper... ask him about Toivol and Ano

Ah nothing like a good cigar while relaxing on the porch

Ken decides to go for two at a time. Yea Ken! Let's go for heart attack number 5!

Ryan cooking away on the grill with the shadily procured Star Line cart being used as a prep table.

Yes, Brent really ate all of that, and it wasn't even his first plateful

Tuesday my parents came to visit as it was my day off. We didn't really do to much, but I really miss them, the more time i spend with them the more i realize they're not getting any younger and that i should cherish every moment with them. I love them so much and they have and still do so much for me... I really... i dunno my emotions are going to get the better of me... moving on. We drove to Petoskey and played around in the bike shop and then down into the downtown area to shop and wander together. It was rainy and then HAILING but we had fun just wandering, Mom looking at the kitchy and knick-knacky shops while Dad and I chatted. There was a woman in one of the shops who - after I left - stopped my Mom and said, "He is adorable! Is he your son?" she said yes and that I lived in the area to which the woman replied, "Oh well he looks like someone who needs an intelligent girl..." she stopped to ponder that for a moment and continued, "I don't really know any girls who can think." My mom chuckled heartily as she related this to my Dad and I moments later... interesting i thought.

I Simpsonized myself. I was bored.
It's post-season dammit!
I think it came out quite accurately

After a beer and some potato skins at Mitchell St. Pub we got back in my dad's 2007 Honda Accord Hybrid - a very cool car btw, great pickup and handling and an avg gas mileage of 32 mpg on that trip - and headed up the back roads back toward Mack City. We went to Nona Lisas for dinner an hour later - none of us hungry mind you until we walked into the restaurant and smelled the AWESOME pizza. We got a single pizza for the three of us (Roasted Garlic, Mushrooms, Pepperoni, Pineapple & Pepperocinis) and ate it so quickly we debated getting another, but instead we got Tiramisu and split it (yum!). Then they dropped me off at the boat and started home... i missed them the moment they left...

Yesterday (Wednesday) for some reason we all decided to go to the Seabiscuit for a night out. I had just been there with Rhonda but I had recommended it to some folks at the fort:

** and now an aside for this interesting conversation **
Man: "Hello, I have a question." - a very inquisitive look on his face
Me: "Well, sir, I'll do my best!"
Man: "Are you Trace Dominguez?"
Me: a little nervous now, "Yes..."
Man: "The guy down at the booth said you were the one to talk to about getting a good beer..."
I immediately relaxed and had a good 10-15 minute conversation with this man and his female partner on beer and how great it is and how we're beer snobs and places to get good beer in Michigan and their last beer-stop etc... it was great fun!
Anyway the night went well Tom, Hesse, Leanne and I went out to the Seabiscuit and proceeded to drink and eat and be merry till very late at night... We had two car bombs and a beer topped of with my carrot cake and Hesse's mussels (which were quite good) and then headed home to lay on the grass quite tipsy around a blasphemous 1030 or so... I was in bed by 1130! Crazy.

Tonight we had a spontaneous movie marathon, Brent was watching Xmen 3 (a thoroughly crappy piece of shit) on TV which I followed with Major League and then Stranger than Fiction, it was an enjoyable evening for me and I even managed to only consume 3 beers all night! Oh well... now it's time for bed I think... post-season has it's ups and downs, but this week has been pretty good...

I found online an interesting gallery of art, I saved this one as one of my favourites
but I don't want people to steal it without knowing where it came from so be sure and check out: Creative Imagrry by Eric M Gustafson
It's very cool stuff.

OH and in the process of writing this I did the final submission of my Graduate School App... I'm so fucking freaked out about it... I really don't want to be rejected... Omg... And also I sent out for a Graduate Prospectus for my Dream school... but I won't get in, but I thought I'd read about it... London School of Economics and Political Science... that would be amazing... I looked at their program today... rigorous but amazing...

Two of the people I miss the most from London and Europe... I procured this little tidbit from Amanda's Blog,
you'll find it on my sidebar there in Muses... If you read this Amanda and Ross - I heart you!

Monday, September 03, 2007

Trace Dominguez and the Leaving Fellows

August... the month named for Emperor Augustus... he just sort of stuck it in there after July named for Julius, and before September, the 7th month. And yet for some reason we cling to it... the month of heat, the month of Blake, the month of the return of Todd the month of Fun and yet at the same time the month of the leaving. By the end of August most of the people who I grew to love here on the island will be gone and we'll be into September and then October (the 8th month - Oct get it?). So lets get to it!

August is great! Started out fantastic and stayed pretty well up most of the time, there were the occasional tiffs at work but most everyone got along for the most part which is fantastic! Just after the last post on here the Pub Runners were back and this was the weekend when Hot Carl would be gracing us with their somewhat lovely and somewhat horrible presence... which is why they are amazing.

The Amazing-ness of the Hot Carl posters around town.

Hot Carl and the Cleavland Steamers. Louie as frontman! They kept turning down his mic.

The Porter's and Pellerito's danced up a storm. I joined up as well, what fun... I love dancing with people who I know. I feel so damn comfortable on this island, it's kind of scary sometimes, because I know I dont really want to stay here forever, but I can't imagine it not being part of my life. I feel so at home here with all these people and all their families. Everywhere I look I see familiar faces, i dunno... maybe i'll build this kind of feeling somewhere new soon, but it's been so long...The pub runners were a great show as always and Joe and I got up on stage and played the Bodrahn for a few songs and even some Irish whistle! Great times as always...

Billie. Sad and drunk at the bar.

Jerry, Me, Doug and Joe!

In the next week or so I was so busy with work and the Current that I was not doing much, but we knew that people were getting ready to leave... the second week of August was a great meteor shower, and really the first one I have ever seen. Meteor showers remind me off that horror movie I saw when I was a kid... about this shower that caused everyone to go blind, and then these plants from Venus came down during the shower and they could move around and hear things, and since everyone was blind they knew where they were and they killed and ate them!! I never got to sleep that night and vowed to my 9 year old self to never watch meteor showers... ... i guess I finally got over it... Anyway, I couldn't get any pictures of that because it was dark. So... sorry.

Brynne visited in August too! And so did Todd and some of his co-conspirators! Brynne's visit was fun, tho we didn't do too much, it was a bit strange walking down to meet her at the park not knowing her that well, but we got along quite well! We hiked around and even went up to the Grand to sit in the Cupola bar for a bit, got some lunch downtown and even headed over to Arch Rock before her parents called her to escape the island. A brief but entertaining visit to be sure. Todd visited for the day and came up to the Fort before heading into town for some drinking... after work I went home and grabbed Amy who wanted to get out as well - and as she'd met Todd in the Sault Ste. Marie trip in June - she would have some history!

** BTW I forgot to mention that I went to Sault Ste. Marie for a night... literally... with Jessica, Janna, Jared, Jenny and Amy... TJJJJA... or AJJJJT or TAJJJJ ... something... Anyway, however you arrange it it was a fun trip, we had dinner at Antlers and then went to buy some alcohol and hang out at Jared's house which wasa locate between KFC and BK or something... yea their house borders parking lots on either side. Crazy. Also Todd and Tessa had gone to the Sault too and we met up for a few hours and played pool with Jenny and Amy, good times were had and we did some good drinking before heading back to Jared's House for some more and then I woke up at 6am to see Janna staring at the wall with an Angry look on her face... which was pretty damn funny. I drove back around 7 and got to work on time... a great night all around... ***

Back to Todd in August now, Amy and I met them at Goodfellas and we had drinks for a while chatting and laughing with some co-workers of Todd's. They were a cool group and they liked to make fun of Todd so we had a good time before heading down to the Pink Pony where we drank until late into the night and partied with them. It was odd being at the Pony and not seeing Bill, but I had fun nonetheless - she was trapped in Detroit on her way back from NYC.

The following week was the Talent-No Talent show, which - again - the mainlanders chose not to attend, as did many of the island employees. This ticks me off. The Lead Interpreters should have attended, especially the HHI Lead because with a mostly new staff you needed to set that example. The mainlanders often are anti-social toward the island, commenting how we are the privileged ones etc, but maybe if they were excited about the organization and didn't treat it like a job and actually left their little compound they'd get some recognition on a daily basis too. Rant done.Playing with the camera before the Talent/No Talent Show

Hi Island!

Chim-iney Cricket!

The show was not as good as previous years, or as well attended, all islanders, and mostly new people, they had fun, but I can't help but wish that there'd been more support. I don't think Katie is going to organize one for next year... which is sad, but oh well...

The third week of August the boys came to visit me! I really missed them, Justin, Ray and Brock drove up for 3 days! It was sweet. We started a posse. Tank (Ray), Blinky (Justin), Brock-Brock (duh) and me - Mr. Trace. It was sweet. We even had a finger snap thing... it was so cool. We went to meet Billie at work and after the intro's talked for a few minutes before she had to get back to work so we did our snap thing (to tumultuous laughter) and escaped into the afternoon to hang out later. I love those guys! We decided who got to wear the Canada Fleece and we sat on the porch and hang out in the common room drinking and generally creating conversational humor it was fantastic. I don't meet too many people as quick witted as these guys, it was so refreshing... I'm feeling all giddy just typing about it...

I had Friday off so after an excellently flirtatious breakfast at the Pony we headed off the island (on my commuter passes) and saw a movie - Superbad - HILARIOUS! So funny and great to see with them. Then we headed over got some groceries and played around on the mainland listening to music before catching the boat back. Friday was dinner at Sinclair's and then the last Pub Runner's weekend before September 21 & 22 (which they are planning a return trip). Billie is addicted to the Pub Runners - how can you not be - so she came too and we all had a great night, taking pictures in B&W and Sepia, playing music on stage with the boys, and drinking up a storm.
Brock-Brock and Tank belt it out. Blinky blinks.

Drink it! Yum... Boddingtons...

And now presenting for your viewing enjoyment: Hot Brother a.k.a Brock-Brock!

Did you? I dunno... Did you?!? No... I didn't... who was it?

A wonderful snapshot in time of what it's like at the Pub Runners... not in 1936 but whatever

Hot Brock-Brock again. Justin, not impressed, but Amy is!

No! We're not related at ALL!

Lemon anyone says Blinky; Tank is "And She Was!-ing"

Not really sure why, but I was going to kill her.
The faces are good even if the pics partly blocked.

He's not hurt! He's just clapping with such zeal!

Don't look at the flash! Don't! Oh well... Susanna and I did.

They swoon for me. Holy crap. I can't take it.
Ahh Raymond... i mean Tank... I mean my homie g funk sippin jiggy juice on a fly tip and all that jazz. excel.

Saturday they all had to leave and it was sad, but after another breakfast at the Pony they wandered the island and I went up to work. They left in the afternoon after lunch at the Icehouse, Bill even stopped by to say bye, but it was all great fun. I miss them even now. We went the Grand that evening, for the last big night of the season. And then back down to the Pub afterward for the last night as all of us... what a night!

Playing in sepia and suits. Sounds like a cool band name... Sepia and Suits. Okay maybe not that cool.

The girls at the grand... gratuitous lack of alcohol, and Claire frickin blinked! AGAIN!
Hot Bill. Hot.
Katie, Angela and Brent with their amazing ($9) daiquiris!
Trying out the Long Straw!

The fourth week of August was peppered with the leaving of employees and the gearing down for the end of the season. Everyone spent their time packing, doing evaluations, trying to heal any leftover wounds or lick the ones that had been left for most of the summer... it's always odd leaving the island and knowing you'll be back with some of these people, you can see it in people's faces (and hear it when other's backs are turned) that they are not sorry to be leaving some of their coworkers, but they still hug and smile and say goodbye to the very end... how strange.

Not surprisingly the last week was expensive, people were going out to dinner left and right, drinking together for the last times, and even Bri went and had some alcohol (shocking!) before the last week was over. As the rooms started emptying out and the Mission House became quieter and quieter I started to get a little down, knowing I have two months still to go... but it helped that Blake was visiting and I could blow off steam and relax down at the gatehouse or the 'stang with them. Blake had been visiting all of August every week (Tuesday at the Gatehouse and Wednesday at the Mustang) and we'd all been having a great time meeting up and swapping stories, rounds of beer, and cigars. What a great life that is. I've been looking into working for Tauck Tours for and thinking about it for a while now, the travel opportunities alone are pretty impressive, but it's not being paid to travel, it's hard work, but I think I would really like it... We'll have to see if I can get the job before I really get myself too into doing something like that, though Blake says - as does Bruce, Phil and most every tour guide I've gotten to know - that I could be really good at it... but I don't want to get too stuck into something like that and forget about my dreams... it's a conflict to be certain.

Blake's last night at the Mustang was pretty fabulous, and we had a great time with Katie, Bruce, Blake and I just hanging out and drinking a few pitchers. Reminiscing about Maria being Blaked the week before and then Ben the week before that... we really need to make t-shirts that say I've been Blaked... it would be fab. You know it. I know it.

August wound up to be a great month on the island, but not the last one... I have been thinking a lot about this summer and it was really a growth summer for me. I hung out with more new people, left the house more and met/hung out with more downtownies and actual islanders than ever, and loved it even more than other times. I spent Tuesdays @ Square Dancing and Jazz & Wine Night, met the Pellerito's, hung out on the Haan's porch a few times, Spent a few Thursday's playing music and singing at the Mustang with Val and Phil and a few others. Really an amazing summer again... how can I leave this place... work may not be what it used to be, but the place gets better every year... oh well.

I'll post again soon, I have more free time now, and I've just found out that I'll be here until at least 25 October... wow, that's so late... I may just stay for Halloween so if anyone is interested in making a trip up for the Haunted Holiday on Mackinac Island, let me know, I really think I want to just make it a full 6 mo!

And finally, a bunch of random pictures that Billie took on the Pub Runners night!
Look out it's Emo Trace!
You couldn't cut that love with a knife...
Oooooooh yea... a cigar from a lovely island off the coast of Florida...

Wow, a cigar smoking woman... that is pretty much one of the sexiest things I've ever seen
Billie and Bever