28 December 2007

It's A 2-Story Brick Colonial!

Today, we successfully closed on a house... seriously. Somebody gave us a set of keys and all we had to do was bring a gigantic (or giant, depending on which Russian you ask) cashier's check and sign several pieces of paper.

We never laid eyes on the sellers (which struck me as a bit odd)... we were quarantined in a small 'signing room' as they were, then had papers delivered over. We did, however, meet the wholly dishonest and shifty Real Estate Agent, who played so many games that we thought we eventually wouldn't get this house.

Tonight we headed over to the house for snacks & champagne w/ Brigette, then struck out into the neighborhood & found Swayz'... A Mexican Restaurant in our 'neighborhood'. We hit the local liquor store (less than 3 blocks away) - good prices and an excellent selection... And met the neighbors across the way... Some of whom are really into their snowblowers... but, they were drinking along on the sidewalk, so they can't be all bad.

It was an evening of 1sts... Rex Grossman's 1st poo in the back yard - Brooke's 1st (and 2nd) spill in the kitchen - Joel's 1st pee - the 1st fly in the house (a late-season January giant) - and the 1st shovelin' (which wasn't up to stuff according to the neighbor, who snowblowed it after i left).

We were also left a series of fine manuals for all of our new appliances & installations... One that i read through was quite revelatory. Our doorbell switches tones. To most any song you can imagine (or at least type of song)... Sadly there's not Counting Crows on the playlist, but The Colonel is well greeted.
That's right, The Colonel, that's what the house on Austin Street will be known as. He's the colonel. 4131 Austin St. In the Tippecanoe neighborhood.

We hope to see you all down there real soon... A hint of a progressive party was broached for late January, but it now seems we might move out sooner to save on January rent, so our two-estate state won't last much longer...

Happy new years all...
Be Excellent to Each Other
&...

Party on, Dude

15 December 2007

retrospectively, respectfully, John Waters

We went Wednesday last to A John Waters Christmas, which really set me into the Christmas Spirit...

#     *      #      *      #


It has been some time since I saw this show.  I think I thought at the time that I would come out of this show with a new appreciation of John Waters.  He's a genius, but I knew little or none of his work when I first when to this show at Turner Hall, and I've still seen almost none of his work.  I remember it being a fun show, funny and nostalgic. (jss - 14 March 2017)
 

27 November 2007

Post of (many) posts

While operating this blog, i've run into a lot of 'ideas' for entries that never came to fruition. Most of these idly floated away into nothingness, but a few got started as new entries... and i'd like to collect those here -


Wiki-Wiki-Wa-Wa
(20 April 2006)
I am a wiki-maniac.

*this was obviously a brilliant idea for a post... it was going to be all about how i was (momentarily) obsessed with posting on wikipedia... which didn't end up being totally true...



review of "The Walking Dead"
(6 June 2006)

The Walking Dead (Vol. #1-4)
Image Comics
Reviewed by : Seeger
Reviewer’s Grade : C-

When my set of all four volumes (thus far) of Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead first arrived from amazon.com I was positively giddy… I’d heard nothing but good things (from reviews that evidently were written by his mother) and was thinking I was coming into a world of Romero-level zombie thought in this exciting new series.

BUT, instead, what I found was a cliché-ridden work of zombie survivor fiction that’s been told too many times, and always in the same way. Kirkman does not help his cause in the introduction to Volume 1 when he writes:

“To me, the best zombie movies aren’t the splatter fests of gore and violence with goofy character and tongue in cheek antics. Good zombie movies show us how messed up we are, they make us question our station in society… and our society’s station in the world. They show us gore and violence and all that cool stuff too… but there’s always an undercurrent of social commentary and thoughtfulness.”[1]

Even casual fans of zombie films and literature see such societal critiques at work, but for Kirkman to explicitly make such a blatant statement in the introduction to his first volume bodes ill for the whole run and is a sign of what’s to come. Kirkman suffers from over-writing and an often painful lack of subtlety, a trait shared by artists Tony Moore (Vol 1.) and Charlie Adlard (Vols. 2-4).

The story traces police officer Rick Grimes who awakens from a coma in an empty hospital some days (28 perhaps?) after the zombie necropalypse has hit earth. We follow Grimes as he heads home, discovering his old neighborhood mostly abandoned and slowly discovering the new world order. Through contrived conversations with another survivor and a horse we learn about his wife and child (which we also found out about several panels earlier in the artwork), who he leaves town to try and find.

Kirkman shows disrespect to his readers by having to spell out every notion in words. He seems to not trust his artists, who in turn seem not to trust him (using the most extreme ‘surprised’, ‘angry’, ‘sad’ looks in any frame they want to express emotion). Some of his frames are so full of words there’s almost no room for characters to walk around in them. When his characters fight, their dialogue feels like an 8-year-old at play: “I’m going to blow your head off” says one survivor to another at one point, presumably before she is about to blow someone’s head off.

With all its negatives, though, the most frustrating thing about The Walking Dead is its amazing potential. The artwork, when it’s not painfully obvious, is quality black and white, which adds to the bleakness of the world the characters inhabit. The covers, all done by Tony Moore are beautiful, if a bit repetitive and the splash pages, few and far between are used very effectively. Walking Dead is at its best when Grimes is wandering alone and there are two or three wordless pages in a row, capturing the voiceless zombie threat more perfectly than any conversation can, but Kirkman again finds a way to spoil many of these with a speech bubble filled only with “…”.

Kirkman is asking very interesting questions about humans living in extreme circumstances, I just wish he could sometimes avoid asking them right out loud.

[1] Kirkman, Robert. The Walking Dead: Vol. 1: Days Gone Bye. Introduction. Berkeley: Image Comics, 2005.

*this post may actually have been posted... but it's listed as a draft. Regardless it first appeared on fourcolor.org, a now defunct awesome comic blog.



Michaels or Sorkin
(30 September 2006)

Sitting here this evening watching (what i think is) the season premiere of Saturday Night Live, i am quickly realizing that the fake SNL on Monday nights this season is a hell of a lot more entertaining than the actual SNL. It's all part of the recent TV phenomenon of to create shows about what folks wish their real work was like. To my knowledge, the tradition started with Ally McBeal & on with David E. Kelly's other shows, where he made shows about what we all wish our lives were like. Boston Public tried to show what teachers wished their lives were like. The Practice was a dreamy lawyer's life & shows like The West Wing and Gray's Anatomy follow the same model, where we watch every week and see people doing what we wish people in their positions were doing, were being. More real.

The first episode of Studio 60 had Judd Hirsh, essentially as Lorne Michaels apologizing for the past years of network cowardice and selling out the material for political correct-ness and sponsor friendliness. The question, though, is whether SNL (or any show) was ever any kind of idyllic challenging, comic programming that we like to imagine once existed (and has been since lost.) And i think the easy answer is no.

*i vaguely remember thinking of this tv commentary... Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, woo-hoo!



Line Up
(25 December 2006)

The American Spirit of Christmas is alive and well this year and i would like to take this opportunity to try and educate us all how we can make a slightly better world.

We Americans have an abysmal habit for forming a line. Everyone is so interested in winning the line lottery, sneaking into the new register that just opened up, beating a total stranger to the check-out & we all suffer for it. While i'm surely not the first person to point this deficiency out, i was so struck yesterday at the liquor store by how uncivilized we all are, that i feel it's my Christmas duty to try and fix this.

Step 1:
Everybody chill out. You are not that important & an extra 45 seconds out of your day is a small price to ask for universal harmony. Don't be so discontent with where you are in lif(n)e that you are constantly looking at other lines to see who's going faster or slower than you are. Line envy is just where the trouble starts.

Step 2:
(this is the hardest step) - we need to work toward a more civilized queue.

*oh yeah... here was when my blog was going to change the world, on Christmas Day, no less)


Turn my pants into shorts
(30 March 2007)

It's March in Omaha, which means the sun is shining (onto the sun porch), it's occasionally uncomfortably hot both here and outside, and despite the idyllic weather, none of the bars in town have their outdoor seating set up yet.

Early on in our tenure here in Omaha, brooke heard a statistic on the radio (almost certainly false, but nonetheless exceptionally compelling) that Omaha had as many sunny days per year as Fort Lauderdale (or Fort Knox, or perhaps Miami Beach... i can't remember any more). On first moving to Omaha this seemed like an apollionic blessing. Omaha seems to have a lot less of the heavy, bleak, gray season that i remember growing up in southern Wisconsin, and later in Iowa and Minneapolis. Almost every memory i have of Clinton is gray-colored

*this was before i lived in milwaukee again...


Total Sell-Out
(31 May 2007)




Due to the fact that i don't actually have any fans, or anyone really who pays that close of attention to what i do i am officially announcing that i am (or would be, rather) a total sellOut. If ever, any of my future work is of any value to any one with more money than me i will sell it...

But, moreso, over the last few weeks i've been desperately trying to whore out every bit of my life... With a looming move floating overhead, we've been trying to sell as much of our stuff as possible.

*think i covered this one



your time is almost up
(16 October 2007)

While i should be reading Gloria Anzaldua's i'm sure glorious essay "Entering into the Serpent", i find myself instead updating my facebook page. This isn't to say that facebook is to blame for the eventual failure of my students... Colbert's exciting announcement

* Here i was trying to get out of teaching... which i think i've done admirably since...


Bowl Prospector
(21 November 2007)

Evidently, i'm now a fine art collector.

*I was totally going to blog about this... a few weeks ago brooke & i went to a non-profit event called Feed Your Soul, put on by Brigette's company, America's Second Harvest... At this event there was a silent auction on pieces of art shaped like bowls... We won two. Evidently, the Milwaukee Art scene is full of cheap bastards...





22 November 2007

Totally stealing...

Because i think this idea is so ingenious i'm totally stealing it from Russell... Russell, thank you for your borrowed idea. If you want a better, originaler version of this idea, check it out on its original...

Because it's Thanksgiving & because i'm reading about postcolonialism, i figure the drink/eat/read photo will be a great addition to my blog... Thursdays, i'll say... i'll try to present a "snapshot" (by which i mean snapshot) of what is going on in my world... what i'm eating... what i'm drinking... what i'm reading.

And here's this week.

20 November 2007

on the Pathologist to success...


It's been a lovely last several days... Since Saturday aftereve much has happened. We've not been without houseguests, we met the house we think we might LOVE, and we made an offer (and had said offer rejected) on said house.

Saturday we discovered a lovely 2-story colonial... that's just about perfect... and we think we'd like to buy it. Then, Saturday, andy flew in from Atlanta, after a conference presentation, and good times were had... Dinner at Lulu's, then some drinks at At Random... He stayed long enough to watch the Bears lose and for us to put an offer in on the house and headed to Clinton Monday morning... at which time, the wheels of houseguest fate spun joel miron in our direction. Miron is interviewing pathological programs for his residency coming up next year and one of his possibilities was here in the greater Milwaukee area.

We explored a bit of Milwaukee - drinking, seeing the lake on a cold, sleety, rainy afternoon, drinking old school cocktails (Bourbon Old Fashioned - Sour, Tom Collins, & a Harvey Wallbanger) at Comet Cafe, revelry, drinks at Paddy's, sleeping.

Our alleged new house is in the Tippacanoe neighborhood (seriously) of southern Milwaukee... Theme party's abound - then, it's also a two-story colonial, opening up even another realm... So, start your theme engines now... and get ready to visit real soon...

28 October 2007

Tech Geek

I am a tech geek.

Sure, not in the traditional sense of knowing lots about new technologies coming out, or always (read ever) buying the latestGreatest new toys, or even in the sense of being able to fix and rig things to do stuff it's not designed to...
No, i'm a tech geek in the sense that i'm lousy at using technology. I look geeky doing it.

As of late, i've been walking to school a lot and listening to my video iPod... I'm listening to Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States: The 20th Century, read by Matt Damon (not joking), which makes me a whole other sort of geek, and i just can't quite do it right... I'm constantly getting my sleeve caught on my cord, adjusting the earBud in my ear, or bumping the pause/play/next/volume ring... I'm just a bit crap at walking down the street looking cool bopping on my iPod.

And then, (this email is perhaps becoming a bit too self-revealing, but i shall persevere), i'm also even a tech geek among other geeks... I've noticed that the "iPod nod" is mostly a thing of the past, but there is still a bit of it among late adopters... We, who've only recently discovered the joy of iPod still occasionally recognize each other (perhaps due to our over-earBud self consciousness, or constant crossing of cords) and as we bop & nod by each other (perhaps a little too eagerly) i adopt some false rhythm of an imagined song as i listen to Matt Damon drone away about the dire state of Hispanics during the Vietnam War

***Post date Note: Since beginning this post, i have finished The Twentieth Century and the iPod music world never ceases to amaze me. I love the sensation of creating a soundtrack to my surroundings, but i still clumsily search for a fitting song for each moment... late adopter indeed

17 October 2007

Searching for "yourself"

I have a friend, Ron, in the Program who has enjoyed, at times, playing this 'character' during the course of his life here at Milwaukee. The 'character' is a guy who has just discovered the Internet, is just finding all of these websites and who likes to share with other people his new discoveries: "I was at this website and any word i typed in, it would bring up, like, a million pictures of that thing, i mean, literally, a million, man, can you imagine?"

It's an amusing diversion, but it's recently gotten me thinking...am i still the only one whose sort of blown away by this whole internet thing? I mean this sort of seriously...i was googling myself the other day (does anybody else still do this? if not, don't worry, i've probably googled you recently, so i can tell you about yourself or others who share your same name) and first of all, i was appalled to find that google suggests that when you search "joel seeger" you might instead want to search for "joel siegel". This didn't use to happen, but now it's the first result. It kind of verärgers me.

I remember having a conversation with Dave Wake several years back after i'd met a cute girl at an emergency room... I'd googled her to figure out a little about her, which at the time i thought nothing of, but he informed me that "that's a little creepy." I wasn't convinced, but for the most part i desisted in looking up information on people unless i knew them fairly well, it would strategically help me for some reason (e.g. i'm going in for a job interview with them, or something), or i just really wanted to know more about them.

Anyway, i noticed in googling myself, that my Chips columns were still showing up, but no longer on anything resembling the Chips website. Some other site had co-opted them... When i went to investigate (to see if/who i could sue) they had some sort of disclaimer in their "About Us" section that the copyright for the intellectual content on the website is not theirs and their content is 'spidered' from other websites.

Not only am i continually overwhelmed by the sheer amount of 'information', but how much easier it is to maintain personal relationships with the internet. Before the internet, i would completely ignore my friends for months & years on end, miss their birthdays, steal their pants, i would have to make amends, apologize, or return their pants. Now, i can use the internet to find new friends... so much easier.

Occasionally, i enjoy typing in random words into google... Did you know, for instance, that if you search for "yourself" your first result is a site that tells you how to be yourself? Very useful information. Not only that, but the site that teaches you how to be yourself, wikiHow, can teach you how to do any number of useful things, like make deviled eggs. I love deviled eggs.

12 October 2007

Bright New Day

Greetings faithful reader(s) (Perhaps i have unfortunately downgraded you to checkers, and for that i am sorry).

Here's what's going on in the exciting world of joel. I bought a new backpack. This may not seem terribly exciting to you, but it has changed my Milwaukee life. My previous backpack, which i purchased (had purchased for me, more likely) sometime in the early 90s finally decided it was time to hang it up. Actually, Rex ate one of the buckles and it became one of those 'single-shoulder back packs' that were such a fad in the late 90s/early aughts until they got into heavy drugs and ended up dying in a fiery, quite ugly riot (you remember, PackQuake 2003, i know, it hurts to remember, but we must).

Anyway, i'm back in pack. I can ride my bike again to get to school (i'm not really a good enough bike rider to carry my briefcase/shoulder bag thing), although i haven't yet, as my tires are flat. This situation really came to a crisis when my briefcase/shoulder bag thing started coming unbolted. Each day a new metal bolt thingy would pop off on my way to school. There were a total of 6 and by my last day i was down to 2, one on each side. I knew Ken didn't have much longer to go. So, i headed up to the mall & bought a new bag. I shelled out $8 for it, so i expect to get another 15 years out of this one. It's red, though. Who knows how much longer red will stay popular.

Anyway. That's my news (huh, did you ever notice that the word "news" contains the word "new"? It's like a pluralization of new. "What is new?" "What are news?")

**Note - My shiny new red bag actually ended up lasting me less than a year. I've now bought a new new backpack - 'Swiss Army Backpack' - which I've been using for the past month and a half. Hoping it lasts significantly longer. Don't trust a clearance backpack from Kohls...

15 September 2007

Posting on the Down-Lo

So, it's saturday morning and i'm at work.
That's right, despite my return to grad school, i've become a soul-less, corporate, sell-out. I come in a couple days a week and play office-guy. They seem to enjoy it & they occasionally give me money in exchange for my time.

So now i'm the kind of guy who wakes up on Saturday mornings and goes in to the office after (for instance) a lively English Department party at the Department Chair's house (which somehow we & the v.cool 'Angy' ended up being the very last people at. One moment the house is swarming with smarmy English majors & professors, the next moment we're in the foyer sipping chardonnay and realizing the homeowners are quietly chatting with close friends in the kitchen and no one else is anywhere to be seen - we slipped out and took our drinks to the street.)

Some Saturdays have been harder to get going than others, but overall it seems to be an ok arrangement. For now, i'll carry on working hard at not working, yet getting paid for it, whilst i simultaneously working hard, not working and not getting paid to go to school and also avoiding work for which i am paid, but don't really have time to do teaching freshmen 'how to write', yet actually not telling them anything.

Get that?

07 September 2007

Tonight: Tonight. Men's Club

Yeah, a good times...


Men's Club was a good time, extending itself into the evening. New folks, old folks (well, no actual old folks).

The event expanded to a game night. Who knew that Turner Classic Movies Edition of Scene It
only requires you to know like 3 movies (Ben Hur, Citizen Kane, & __________ {i'll leave some mystery to the middling game})

The tradition carries on...

04 September 2007

Schedule for the Week

Tomorrow begin my classes. Strictly speaking classes started today, but evidently Tuesday will be my Mahler day, my day off. The first day of English 101 is pretty much scripted out, so i haven't really much to do. I will walk in, briefly perform, and give an in-class writing assignment that lasts the rest of the class.

After class i've got another class, this one where i'll be a student. 'Introduction to the Modern' or some such (i've just snuck in, barely).

Currently i'm registered for three different classes, though i'm told i only ought to take two (two, i can't imagine what i'll do with myself taking just two classes, the U of C schedule has set me up for a strong feeling of underachieving no matter how much work i'm doing). I'll likely end up dropping my German Lit after 1963 course, which won't be such a loss as i don't think i can take die neuen Leiden des jungen Werthers again.

Friday, i'll be looking forward to (after teaching again) another installment of Men's Club. All are welcome to Milwaukee's local chapter, and it should prove to be an interesting crowd. With a crowd ranging from fashion design majors to English PhD candidates with folks scattered in between.

In other news, Roman Numeral J is sponsoring another reader contest (that's right another, check the archives). As some of you may know, brooke and i recently came into a Wii. Our collection of Miis is as yet underdeveloped. And so, a joel trivia question (the winner will have an honorary Mii created {a Mii, for you uninitiated, is a cartoonish version of a person that plays various games on the Wii} of them) The question is: What is the most recent alcoholic beverage purchased by joel? For the purposes of this quiz, "purchase can be purchased for me by someone else, but the most recent beverage, whether it be at a bar, liquor store, or guy in a parking lot. The answer will change and will be checked based on time i check answers. As a bonus, if you can also name the brand you will gain an extra Mii (you can choose anyone you like, as long as i know what they look like or you can provide a picture).

Ok, good luck, and good luck. Enjoy the coming week, and get your Men's Clubs planned now. Remember, all you need to do is have a few cocktails between the hours of 5 & 7 pm CST (i decree that times move back a bit to accommodate working-ness) and wear a tie (preferably bad).

20 August 2007

Ah, finally. The new school year is fast approaching (I’m so glad I can be fully thinking in school year terms again), yet I haven’t done a damn thing about it really. I’ve been temping steadily for the last couple weeks, except for the break I took for Dave & Carolyn’s Wedding Weekend up in Fairibault (congrats, kids, again, this time a bit late).

So, loyal readers, I’m sure you’re all wondering what’s new in the world of Roman Numeral J. I’m most of the way through Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows (don’ttellmehowitends) working at a strange little company, and getting acclimated to Milwaukee (mostly by drinking at different times and in different places)

I am also mourning the temporary loss of my laptop. As my service warranty was fast running out at CompUSA (which itself, also seems to be fast running out), I brought it in for some repair and optimizing. Because the laptop’s interior parts are so teeny tiny, they send it in for repair, so it’s gone for a spell.

In other news, Brigette, live-in sister-in-law extraordinaire is moving on to bigger (or at least better) things. She’s found herself a place to live in Wauwatosa – ("Tosa" to Wauwatosians) – and is moving in this weekend. She will be surely missed, in particular by Rex Grossman, who has had trouble enough adjusting to an empty house during the day due to our vigorous work schedules. He’s taking it poorly… and acting out because of it. Running off through the neighborhood, eating newspapers, eating arms…

Well, this is the sad, little update for today… Stay tuned for more updates, i'm sure they're imminent.

19 July 2007

Bicycle Races are coming to town

Today was a lovely day in Milwaukee. The 4th annual Shorewood Criterium rode by our front lawn this evening. We fired up the new grill, cooked up some sweet corn that was picked this morning (West Allis Farmer's Market, i love you) & portabella sandwiches. We weren't entirely sure what a Criterium involved, but evidently it's several stages around the area, but each one is its own separate race... which i don't fully understand.

So, we sat around outside (alternately with & without Phil Tillotson as well as alternately with and without Rex Grossman) for around 4 hours and watched all the folks go by. We especially enjoyed rider #78, who for the first 2/3rds of the race just rode at the tail end of the line smiling and waving at everybody (at one point he pointed at Rex G and yelled "I love that dog!"), then at the end pulled ahead of the latter pack of cyclists (then fell a bit behind some people right at the end). Anyway..., Well done, you, #78.


04 July 2007

I do declare -


The 1st monthly International Men's Club meeting.

...because i can, evidently. Some months ago i was in a discussion with Dave Kruse and we decided that we needed to re-instate the men's club tradition, wherever we may be in the world. Ideally this event will be held simultaneously around the world, but to start with only Roman Numeral J readers and those who i get a hold of will likely participate. I trust that Luther College's Larsen 3rd floor is still carrying on the tradition, but i propose a monthly remote party be declared.

The first Friday of every month International Men's Club will be held from 4:30 - 6:30. The only stipulation is that everyone wears a tie.
And so...

Men's Club Returns
FRIDAY
6 July 2007
4:30 - 6:30 CST (if you're outside of central time you'll have to adjust your schedule - according to the 'it's 5 o'clock somewhere rule')

...on this date in history...

i was cynical and sad

30 June 2007

This Guy goes to Summerfest

Last night we made the foray to Summerfest, via the East Side drunk bus. After some Happy Hour cocktails and crab cakes at Yield a large yellow school bus pulled up and took us in the direction of the Fest.

First, though, we made a stop at Vittuci's, a bar we'd visited just the day before for happy hour. At Vittuci's, several bus rider's (who were enjoying the Summerfest spirit already) jumped out to "do some shots" at the bar. I rushed past them to use the loo and thought i'd pick up a couple "freshener" cocktails on my way out (our last bar had been kind enough to provide us with 'to go cups' for our previous drinks). At the bar, i ran into a couple of my busMates who were preparing to do shots. I'd payed for my drinks and made to leave, but i was halted and given a chilled lemon-vodka shot. It would've been rude to say no, so i downed the drink and we scuttled back to the bus.

My new friend yelled to his friends on the bus, "This guy did a shot with us," and then asked me what my name actually was.

I cleverly* said, "Actually, my name is This Guy, how did you know?"

For the remainder of the bus ride, everyone called me That Guy, "That Guy, get up and dance" - "That Guy, are you going to see Def Leppard?" (my response that, no, in fact, we're going to see Sugarland greatly confused him) - "That Guy, why are you still not dancing."

The fest itself was fairly typical (which means pretty damn cool). Eggplant fries, Lakefront beer, and meeting the Leinenkugel's owners. We watched Pat McCurdy as we floated by on the sky-glider, then wandered back to the 102.1 stage to catch part of Silversun Pickup's set. After a couple less than hip songs, we wandered down to the Harley Davidson Stage, where Sugarland was headlining. The crowd was enormous and packed in tight. We stuck around for a few songs and either bought a guy a beer or were bought a beer (in an odd exchange, the guy said he was "in" with the bartender. Brooke handed him our money and asked for two MGDs. He procured for us, rather pokily, two Miller Lites and handed us less money back than we'd handed him. Still not quite sure what happened).

We swung down to Blue Oyster Cult's set, but they were pretty dull, so we left SummerFest, immediately found the correct bus and boarded.

I think my favorite thing about living in Wisconsin again, is that i totally do not feel like an alcoholic here. Most times, i get the feeling that i'm a big drinker, that my 'noon rule' (often more of a guideline) is bordering on obscene, but since we've been in Milwaukee, we've found that we are generally considered borderline fuddy-duddies. We're usually the most sober and in-control people in any given room, which is... refreshing.


*Cleverness is relative to the amount of alcohol consumed

26 June 2007

Waiting for the Man


It's Tuesday morning, i'm enjoying a cup of coffee (well, holdup, i haven't tried it yet... - hmm, yes) enjoying a strong cup of coffee that was mailed to me by an organization i have dealings with, and waiting for the Dish Network Man to come and give me TV.

This was supposed to have happened last Thursday, but they never showed, but today is looking better already as "Jim" has just arrived and we've figured out an agreeable place to place the Dish. Our landlord was concerned when i presented the idea of the "Dish", because he didn't want his house to start looking trashy.

I didn't envision myself as the sort of person who has a dish on their house, but cable was just too crazy expensive, obscene really. To get anything more than the networks +TBS & C-SPAN, the lowest possibe price was $50 & THAT was a 6-month promotion.

I guess we don't NEED tv in our lives, but well, you know, it's nice to have something to stare at once in a while...

21 June 2007

Roman Numeral J Greatest Hits: 7 May 2007 - 18 June 2007

Throughout most of the month+ prior to my previous post I had a lot of fine ideas for blog entries, but just never got around to blogging them... I'm sure many of you wasted precious moments checking the blog for updates and i want to try and make it up to you, Faithful Reader, by providing you with a sampling of discarded blog entry ideas, that never came to fruition. Enjoy!

I Would Like to Be a Sell-out
Over Memorial Day Weekend, brooke & i decided we needed to lighten our load before the move to Milwaukee and we had a neighborhood yard sale, at which we tried (and to a large extent succeeded) to sell off several of our large items and a good many small pieces of crap.
We advertised in the World Herald (and oddly enough got free Whopper coupons because of it) and people came from all over to view and haggle over our garbage.

At the time it occured to me that i was simultaneously selling a good many books and was pretty well willing to part with almost anything i own for the right price. I'm not into stuff... i'm just into money.

So, my idea was that i would try and market a sweet cruiser bike, a versatile glass-top desk, and some of my books on Amazon Marketplace in an attempt to make a little money off the blog...

Suddenly It's all Good


I meant for this post to be about how just as we were preparing to leave Omaha, everything about it seemed to be getting better and better.

The farmer's market produce was improving, getting better produce each week, the weather was lovely, the College World Series was just getting underway and Shakespeare on the Green was looming. At the same time, we were mentally preparing ourselves for taking what would likely be our last leave of Omaha by going to all the bars, restaurants, and events we'd always meant to get to, but somehow missed like Taste, Tanduri Fusion (which we highly recommend), and Omaha's most recent addition, The Slowdown.

The Slowdown is Saddle Creek's new facility and their grand opening featured a number of great hipster bands (Connor Oberst played a "secret" Thursday night pre-opening show). The place is fantastic, with a balcony, pit & ample seating both near and away from the music (so you can actually have a conversation while a bad band is playing...) Slowdown also features games to play, pool, and some of those sweet garage door-style windows for nice days and would be great for seeing a band at or just hanging out at. The crowd, at least those first two days, wasn't the typical Saddle Creekers, however, mostly, i think, because it was too clean and not enough of a dive...

The crowd was a mix of older folks who go to check out all the new "things & events" in Omaha and the exceedingly young variety of hipster who are convinced nobody who goes to Sokol drinks, they just go to dance... Then there was another type of person who i couldn't quite place... the sort of person who handed me this invite to a kegger, because he butted in fron tof me at the bar. But the music was fun, the lines were long, definitely cool stuff

Taste of Joel & Brooke

This was always going to be an ill-fated entry, but i had the idea to do a brief tour of all the food we'd had recently... Mostly at Taste of Omaha, which happened just before we left (see "Suddenly It's All Good"), Taste of Clinton (which featured somewhat less food and some last minute restaurant visits - really, it would have been a waste of your time, so it never materiealized.


Well, now you're all caught up with Roman Numeral J, thanks for riding along...

19 June 2007

And so, Milwaukee...

Once again, the interim has been far too long, but the times they are a-changin' and i've turned over a new beer-soaked leaf. Our move to Milwaukee is complete and though there are still many boxes to be unpacked and plenty of holes to be made in the walls, but last night Brooke, RexG & i walked six blocks and then directly into Lake Michigan (it was rainy & the water was freezing, so Rex was a bit unsettled {though he did try to drink most of it}).

En route to Milwaukee, we rendezvoused with Jackie in Iowa City at Bob's your uncle, a pizza cafe. We carried on to Clinton on Saturday and arrived at our new place in Milwaukee Sunday morning. An extra-special shout out of thanks to Grant, Liz, Ross, Shane & the Sahlstroms for making it possible for us to move everything we own.

Upon arrival we discovered that the house, which is exceeding cute & old-sy, was also previously leased by a complete slob. There was abandoned furniture, papers, soaps and lotions, and beers (a Coors Light & a Leinenkugel's Summer Shandy), most of which we threw out. After 15 man-hours of cleaning we were ready to move in... which we did. If Grant, Shane, and Liz were perhaps a bit dismayed at the number of bricks we own & moved, they didn't show it. They were tireless, if a bit winded, and we celebrated the move with a visit to the Oakcrest Tavern (established 2007), a decidedly non-dive bar in our neighborhood.

And so we are moved in, and starting to settle in. All are welcome anytime in Milwaukee. A housewarming is in the works, but feel free to come sooner (or later). The house is now clean
if cluttered... and ready for all comers...

07 May 2007

Total Sell-Out



Due to the fact that i don't actually have any fans, or anyone really who pays that close of attention to what i do i am officially announcing that i am (or would be, rather) a total sellOut. If ever, any of my future work is of any value to any one with more money than me i will sell it...

But, moreso, over the last few weeks i've been desperately trying to whore out every bit of my life... With a looming move floating overhead, we've been trying to sell as much of our stuff as possible.

06 May 2007

Reconstruction


At this point, i've got 3-4 blog entries rolling around in my head, but the first thing that keeps occurring to me is the concept that Adam Sandler is sketch comedy deconstructed, a concept derived from Sunday night's SNL in the 90s prime-time special.

Though i've been through a University of Chicago graduate program, i have never read any Derrida, nor do i know quite what Deconstruction is. Before i wiki-pedia that shit i will comment on it for a while. When i handed in the rough draft of my zombie-thesis Malynne made the comment that i'd made "a Derrida move there". I nodded knowingly and said, "...ummm, ok. What does that mean?" She just laughed.

I've read through my paper many times since the encounter and found nothing that i would consider deconstruction (which, for those keeping score at home, i still can't really define). My belief is that deconstruction has something to do with boiling an object down to its essentials. With language, then, i imagine it might look something like Roland Barthes' S/Z, which takes small bits of meaning and imparts them with meaning and symbolism (see my own attempt at using Barthes' method on Stan Brakhage's The Act of Seeing With One's Own Eyes). I wonder, though, whether this act of imparting meaning is in itself anti-Derridian. Still, i will blindly claim here that Barthes is derivative of Derrida.

According to an snl writer, Sandler represents Derridian sketch comedy in that he essentializes it with his "____-Man men" (OperaMan, Pickle-Mustache Man, Bag-On-My-Head Man). These basic characters represent sketch comedy's core work.

Well, i'm not really sure of any of this, but right now it's my working theory. Now to check my work...

22 April 2007


*exerpted from an email to joel miron

So, as to World War Z. The novel was overall enjoyable, to be sure. Max Brooks' previous work The Zombie Survival Guide, while interesting is primarily comical and easily overlooked. WWZ on the other hand gives us new and interesting ground in zombie thought.

First off, the way it is written is new and interesting (or as new and interesting as you can be in our post-Shakespeare world). The 'oral history' of the Zombie Wars is told in a huge array of voices and, for the most part, Brooks captures those voices interestingly. The premise of the book sometimes necessitates selling some of the best stories short, not giving us enough time with them, but I think it does the story service. I also find it wildly amusing that Brooks finds some answers to some questions that have been weighing heavily in my mind (and disproving some very minor points from my thesis). Seeger claims that zombies

"can also be thought of as life that merely meets the requirements for biological existence. While the zombies are dead humans, upon reviving they behave in a way that approximates life, by consuming, presumably excreting (or zombies in later films would be bloated having fed for so many years) and performing a kind of reproduction by creating more zombies. Although the zombie condition in Romero's films is environmental and not viral (that is, all dead humans rise from the dead, not just those who are bitten), the zombies still reproduce themselves either by killing humans or making for difficult living conditions, leading to human deaths, thereby creating more zombies. The zombies are in some sense alive, even if they can no longer be considered human life (Seeger 12)


Brooks, however, answers at least the excreting claim by pointing out that zombies are often broken apart in the middle, having torn themselves apart because they cannot excrete and only eat more and more and eventually... pop.

Additionally, while i thought there was a fair amount of 'in China people are like... in South America people are like...' i think Brooks does quite an amazing job of making characters not sound unique and (usually) interesting. Brooks seems like the type of zombie fan who plays through a lot of scenarios, somewhat regularly visits zombiedefense.org, and has seen every zombie movie ever made. Overall, i enjoyed the experience (though i had it a while back) and think there's more to look at there, but not, ultimately, a lot more...

15 April 2007

Kid Rock ain't got nothin' on me

except perhaps that short-lived marriage to PamAnderson.

Friday night Brooke and i were as far out west (the wiki-wiki-wildwildWest) as you can get in Omaha (except for the remaining 40 or so blocks that Omaha recently annexed) to hit an Irish Pub she'd heard about and was having living music that night. Sadly, the Irish pub was sadly un-Irish (a large Irish flag was draped from the roof, alongside Old Glory). Disappointed in the scene (and the cider selection) we headed (a little bit) back into town. On the way out we'd passed a bar called The Shamble Inn. Fantastic name... we had to go. As we pulled up, however, we noticed the American Flag curtains and were hesitant.

Nevertheless, we ventured forth and were rewarded with (yep, you guessed it) an electric bull. I'm not one to pass up an opportunity to ride an electric animal (or publicly embarrass myself) so i volunteered (to pay $5). Most of the people who'd been riding the bull up until this point had been women wearing tube tops. While i was wearing my new tight t-shirt, i didn't feel as though i measured up. Boy, was i wrong.

In fact, this wasn't my encounter with a raging, headless, automated bull. Back in '99 i attended Münster's annual Stadtfest and though we regrettably failed to find the Jägermeister-Coke guy we'd met in Soest (he had a jet pack type contraption strapped to his back and roamed Soest's city festival handing out drinks. One chamber contained Jägermeister, the other Coca-Cola) we did happen upon an electric bull. Because i was the only American in our group, cries of "come on, cowboy" started up and i was compelled to climb aboard the bull. Though my performance in Germany was disappointing, i managed to stay on for a good 13 seconds before being tossed aside (i blame my poor performance that time on my lack of shoes, owing to the fact i'd been wandering around most of the summer in Birkenstocks).

This time, i swore it would be different. I climbed aboard my first of two rides (2 rides for 5 bucks, what a deal) and set what i believe is a new record for the establishment. In order to clock the exact amount of time remained on the bull you'd need a team of scientists and some of those speed-of-light measuring type devices. I can't even estimate, but it was long enough for the photos bouncing off of me to reach the camera, so some evidence exists, but man, it was embarrassing. I'd like to blame drunkenness for my poor showing (my second ride lasted twice as long), but i don't actually remember being that drunk... (hey, memory loss is a sign of inebriation, isn't it?.. so, yeah, i'll say i was zonked).

Anyway, what i really wanted to say, before i got distracted in storytelling, was that these electric bulls are a menace... truly quite dangerous... and i urge all of my readers to never Ever try one. Don't be tempted to get on, just to see if you can "beat joel's time" because more likely than not, you will die, so let's just agree to have a non-competition for this event... we'll call it a tie, ok... just don't get on for ... your sake.

13 April 2007

The Work of a Poet

Yesterday afternoon i went to a public reading by Ted Kooser at Metro's South campus. This was actually my second personal encounter with Mr. Kooser, as i met him briefly at Woody's wedding a couple summers ago.

Kooser's poetry is understated, approachable, and funny. I've only read poems here and there, never an entire book. Part of this is due to my own personal issues with poetry. I never really know how to approach a poet's work. Obviously, a collection that the poet puts together around a specific theme or idea (say Leaves of Grass) you take as a whole and read through, but is that true of all books of poetry? I find that if i read too many poems in a row (especially by the same poet) they start to run together.

Kooser's reading was broken up with brief anecdotes and commentary on his works. Kooser's poems are generally short and often surprising. His humor comes from quick turns and juxtapositions as well as actual funny moments. Where he is at his best, i think, is when he is doing the work of definition. As he read a poem describing encountering a person walking down the street who you think you recognize, but aren't quite sure, i was reminded of another great poet, now lost to us: Douglas Adams. Adams' The Meaning of Liff is a dictionary of things and experiences we all know, but have no words for. Adams (along with John Lloyd) provides those words to us (though the index is maddening and nearly unusable, because it is clever and witty instead of structured - though i think it could be both). Kooser approaches these things and events from the other angle, however, forcing us to consider and understand these moments instead of naming them. Naming is the easy way out (sorry Douglas)... the real work is consideration.

31 March 2007

The Birds and the Kitties


Ah, my young pup's getting all grown up. While still limping around the house, his condition is steadily improving and today we noticed for the first time that Rex is really starting to show some... ahem... interest.

Shortly after his arrival at the Martha house, Rex accrued a cat-shaped friend for Valentine's Day. His new friend speaks with a French accent and has a collection of slightly scandalous phrases. When the cat wags its tail, Rex (especially before his injury) enjoys wrestling and attacking, getting worked up and growling to assert his authority over the automaton.

Recently, however, Rex' "attacks" on kitty have changed. No longer confident in his direct assault, Rex has altered his tactics and incorporated "flanking maneuvers". The development is expected and natural, but it doesn't make it any more acceptable. Rex' overall plan (which is to say, our overall plan for Rex) includes being 'altered' sometime during puppy-dom, but with this week's surgery, we're not sure when the 'quick fix' option might be available to us, so more awkward moments are likely to come in our living room.

30 March 2007

Turn my pants into shorts

It's March in Omaha, which means the sun is shining (onto the sun porch), it's occasionally uncomfortably hot both here and outside, and despite the idyllic weather, none of the bars in town have their outdoor seating set up yet.

Early on in our tenure here in Omaha, brooke heard a statistic on the radio (almost certainly false, but nonetheless exceptionally compelling) that Omaha had as many sunny days per year as Fort Lauderdale (or Fort Knox, or perhaps Miami Beach... i can't remember any more). On first moving to Omaha this seemed like an apollionic blessing. Omaha seems to have a lot less of the heavy, bleak, gray season that i remember growing up in southern Wisconsin, and later in Iowa and Minneapolis. Almost every memory i have of Clinton is gray-colored...

29 March 2007


Rex Grossman is HOME!!! and seems to be doing smashingly. He’s still hobbled, to be sure, but everything we heard from the doctor was good news, he seems in a lot less pain, and isn’t on as many pain meds and has lost his glassy-eyed sadness he’s had the last several times we’ve saw him. He also came home from the vet with one of those E-Collars, because he's tempted by his bandages & stitches...

His limp is pronounced (but he’s moving around!), and he won’t be able to do stairs or jump off the couch for several weeks, but he’s back home with us, sleeping soundly at the moment. Every puppy expert we’ve talked to since getting Rex has told us that the most important thing is to introduce him to as many stimuli as possible as early as possible. So we take him in the car running errands, we've taken him to puppy class, introduced him to big dogs, little dogs, un-dogs (cats), and though his injury was hard to take and scary, he’ll likely be stronger for it in the long run. The wild, drug-addled experiences of youth are growing experiences for many of us and his time away from home, hard as it was on us, will likely make him even more comfortable with strangers than he already is. This event may not have cured Rex of his obsession with pant legs, but by the time he's fully recovered he will still be in the throes of his prime puppy years and more than ready to bounce off the walls again...

In the meantime, holding him in check, trying to yank back his desire to run and jump, his kitty wrestling have been hard to hold back.

26 March 2007

By Example


Living up to the tradition of his namesake, our own Rex Grossman took a hard hit Saturday night. His front leg was fractured when he got caught up between my legs. I don't think i stepped on him, but whatever happened, he's down, early in his second season (spring).

Rex' vocal development has been impressive over the last 6 weeks or so and since Saturday he's been very expressive. In the great beagle tradition (half of Rex' ancestry) Rex has a wide array of barks, whines, and whimpers at his disposal.

Right after the accident happened we knew something more serious was wrong than his previous minor scrapes. His yelp was piercing and consistent, downright scary. After taking him to a 24-hour emergency vet, i've spent the last 36 hours fretting about permanant physical and psychological damage i've done to my puppy. Although he does seem to be feeling a bit better, he had to spend last night away from home and when i saw him this morning he looked sad (and stoned).

Though the final verdict is still out and Rex may ultimately require surgery, the doctor i spoke to this morning was optimistic and he could recover in as little as 2-3 weeks... an astoundingly short period of time, in my mind...

***

And, now, mid-post i've gotten a call from the doc & he does, indeed require puppy surgery (Rex, not the doctor). His prognosis is good, though, and he should look a lot better very soon indeed. Rex should be ready to win us a Super Bowl by next season...

22 March 2007

Middling Iowa

We found ourselves in Iowa City, Iowa for St. Patrick's Day Weekend, due to a mixture of tightened budgets, familial uncertainty, and serendipity. My brother Tim had the notion to bring his family to meet up with my parents, Brooke, Rex Grossman, and me in the Amana Colonies' Wasserbahn resort. The colonies are pretty much exactly half way between Clinton, Wisconsin and Omaha and the Wasserbahn sign always looks very impressive.

Upon discovering, however, that a nightly rate for the WB hotel was approximately $14,000 Tim rethought the trip. While there was talk of my parents coming all the way to Omaha or cancelling entirely we persevered and settled on the Travelodge - Iowa City (as a side-note...click on the travelodge link and look at the picture of the bathroom {thumbnails below}. Look for a moment. Now, where is the camera?).

Not sure as to whether we'd actually go or not, Brooke and i (& Rex) settled on a single night at the hotel, thinking Iowa City only had, at most 12 hours of entertainment possibility. Serendipitously, however, my good friend nateG informed me that he had been accepted to Iowa's Mass Media program and he and lissa were thinking of making a trip to the big IC that very weekend. Additionally, jackie was also planning on being at home in Center Junction, Iowa (home of the Lib'ry Inn) and possibly making the 1 hour trip in for the St. Patrick's festivities in Iowa City.

So, we piled in the car and Rex made his longest car ride to date without incident (by which i mean peeing on us or the seat). Although having Nate & Lissa and Jackie (not to mention Sandy and Angela who live there) around probably distracted from our familial obligations, we did discover that Iowa City is a pretty damn cool town. From campus and it's old Capitol building to Masala Indian Vegetarian Cuisine to an It's Brothers satellite (untouched by us this trip) the life in Iowa City seems good. Though not as scenic, it reminded me of Decorah with just the right mix of townie life, hippie life, and college life (perhaps a little heavier on the collegial).

St. Patrick's Day started off promisingly enough, with Nate partaking in an afternoon green beer & joel tucking into a Guinness. After dinner and birthday cake with the family we headed back out to wander from bar to bar looking for open seats. The Deadwood bar was definitely a highlight, though the memory is as hazy as the air inside was. To cap off the night brooke, jax and i hit a trashy bar that may have been called the Hilltop where they were passing out Jell-O shots just before closing... a sort of parting 'one-for-the-road' sort of gift...except you pay for it. All in all, the bar scene in Iowa City mirrored the rest of the town, with a good balance of trashy, classy, hipster and poser. If you find yourself inexplicably in Iowa City, fear not for it has much to offer.

15 March 2007

Lend me your eyes

I have been made the editor of German film reviews for the Culture Club. Not so much the Boy George variety, rather for George Washington & Georgetown University one. To whit, i call upon any German-Language movie buffs or any German-Language Buff Movie buffs (Pumping Iron, anyone) to write about them... get published, get a byline, don't get a check... That's right, although the writing is rewarding and the being read is rewarding, you won't actually be rewarded monetarily speaking.

The reviews on the website range from in-depth to extremely simplistic, so say as much as you like. Reviews can be in German or English and anywhere from 75 words to 500, or more. Anyway, so far its just been me writing the reviews (is 'it has' a situation for the "it's" or do i stick with my 'only use an apostrophe with "it is"' rule?), so i'd love some fresh blood. So, check out me on the editor's page and think about finally checking out Nosferatu...

P.S. If you happen to be listening to any German music & want to write about it you'd certainly help my brother out, as well, or any movies books music websites of any other language you might be partial to. Essentially, i want to up and vary the dialogue at the site, so, lend me your minds...


Pumping Iron (25th Anniversary Special Edition)

01 March 2007

Thunder...THunder...THUnder

THUNderSNOW! Whoaaaaaaaa....

Have any of you ever seen thundersnow? Last night on the news the weatherman was talking about it and i was sort of like, yeahsurewhatever, but this morning at 5:24 am Omaha was racked (wracked?) by thundersnow and it was truly a sight to be seen. Blizzard-like snow conditions alongside the booming and crackling of a thunderstorm.

Because Rex Grossman can only occasionally make it through the night these days without having to get up and pee i was up at 3:40 & 4:45 at which time there was literally no snow on the ground and minimal sleet. An hour later (after the thundersnow had started) there was at least a foot and a half of snow on my sidewalk and apocalyptic signs all around...

Seeing the thundersnow was like this world-altering sort of moment, where you sort of think you know how things work, but now rules are being broken and you just have to accept them. It was a big snow storm, but then occasionally, interruptively, the sky would boom & proclaim a thunderstorm... but the snow & wind would continue. It was a very strange thing. We're most of the way dug out, though tomorrow is another snow day for almost everybody... The sight was truly mesmerizing. Two natural phenomena that simply don't belong together working together to impress me... Man i'm a lucky guy...

26 February 2007

Check again

I enjoyed the Oscar broadcast last night--not quite as much as i did Jon Stewart's last year--but nearly. I thought Ellen was very funny in her awkward, embarrassed to be here Ellen way and over the past few weeks i'd made a concerted effort to see several nominated films so i was better informed as to who should win and lose than i am most years. That being said, the evening wasn't without disappointments, but most of my disappointments actually came at the nominee announcements, rather than at the actual broadcast. Films like Stranger Than Fiction and Borat surely deserved nominations in several categories (Borat's one illogical nomination for best adapted screenplay was a nod, i think, to its greatness, and also an acknowledgement of the inherent conservitism of the Academy). I also thought The Departed was tossed a few too many awards (Screenplay & Editing come to mind) beating out Children of Men and United 93, which i felt were very worthy movies that came away with no wins.

As to the show itself, Will Ferrell's song was apt, but it seemed like he'd already taken John C. Reilly's advice with Stranger Than Fiction without reward. I think its a sad state of affairs when the apparatus responsible for determining 'worthy film' (and then by extension most everyone) continues to see comedy as a lesser art. There are just as many terrible dramas out every year as comedies, but great comedies never get the recognition. For my money there wasn't a smarter, more important film last year than Borat, but not only does Sasha Baron Cohen get completely ignored for his stellar performance, the film was essentially wholly ignored simply because it's a comedy. I'm not the first to point this out (obviously, Will Farrell pointed it out less than 24 hours ago) and many have made the case far better than i ever could (Douglas Adams' introduction to P. G. Wodehouse's book Sunset at Blandings [also available in Adams' Salmon of Doubt {an absolutely amazing read}] makes this case quite well), but i think it bears repeating, because, to parrot Stephen King's argument about short stories, great comedy needs to be encouraged and supported, so consume it, read it watch it write it... write about it. Critique it analyze it live it. We need good humor in our world, not just as some sort of salve for our pain, but in its own right, as its own force. Humor is what will allow us all to step back, take a breath, and see things for what the really are... a farce.

23 February 2007

Gains & Losses

I buried my guinea pig today. Bitey Gilbertson, possibly the greatest guinea pig of all time has passed away.

2007 has been something of the proverbial roller coaster thus far and i've been in something of a funk, but i feel like the digging and filling of a hole in the ground has worked some therapeutic magic on me. So, as Jonas Mekas' project enters its 54th day i share the sparrow's feeling of freedom and release, with it comes the need to tell my story.

As i said, 2007 has already had its highs and lows. Gilbertson's passing was really hard to take. When we came back to Omaha after Christmas we noticed a sudden weight gain in him. After a couple of vet visits he had some treatment that was working on and off, but he wasn't himself. He died in his sleep, likely of a sudden heart failure.
That same weekend, Brooke's birthday, DaveT, Carolyn & Brigette were visiting and we accrued a new family member. Rex Grossman, a 2-month-old 'Bogle' (or perhaps a Boglin Terrier), came home Sunday afternoon. Part Beagle, part Boston Terrier, Rex seems to have gotten the best of both doggie worlds and is a fine looking, kinda gross, puppy. Aside from a nasty poop-eating habit the little guy is pretty cool.

On a related 2007 hi-low, January was spent watching my precious Bears win their way through to the Super Bowl and after Devin Hester's opening return i thought it was our year. But despite my obvious disappointment at the outcome they had an amazing run and i am actually excited for next year.

My first quarter of teaching at Metro Community College wraps up next week. The quarter went fairly well, though, i think what it was really good for was giving me an idea of how to do this next quarter. I've seen growth in several of my students and will likely only have to end up failing/giving incompletes to a couple of them.

It's also the season of graduate school news. Stanford wrote me to request that i kindly not go to school there, please, but i did get an acceptance letter of sorts from UW-Milwaukee. The last few days have been quite spring-y indeed and though i hear a wintering is coming this weekend, overall, things are looking up.

22 January 2007

Da Bears


Oh it's been too long.

21 Years in fact. That doesn't even seem like a reasonable amount of time to think about, but it's literally how long i've been waiting.

The Bears are going back to the Super Bowl. I don't even know quite how to accept it. There is no team i like quite like i like the Bears. And though they were decent last season, this was the first year in a long time that i've actually expected something out of them (granted, every year in august i predict they will go undefeated, but this was the first season i meant it).

I can't quite imagine who exactly will rap, but the Super Bowl Shuffle is back on. Oh oh oh go Bears!