New tattoo, long overdue, done yesterday. Take that, Joe-who-also-wanted-a-tree-on-his-arm.

That's my upper left arm. Better start lifting.


Supreme Trivia Knowledge

Won Lemmon's Trivia Night for the second time in three weeks. No big. I'd highly recommend you check it out on the nights our team, Dry Cold Canadian Winter, doesn't go. It's free; the winner of each round gets a free pitcher, and the overall winner gets a case of beer and a free pizza, the same wonderful pizza served at Blackthorn. You also get to decorate a whiteboard with whatever your team wants. This was great because Dan was on our team, so we got a pretty professional illustration. After he drew the board, the trivia lady came over to get it. The trivia guy came over to her and said, "What took them so long?" She replied, "Uh, it's pretty fucking sweet." Dan drew a maple leaf tazering that news anchor, Larry Conners, who got tazered not too long ago (which was a trivia question). Tonight's categories: Russia, Current Events, Disney Movies, Meet Me In St Louis, and Computer Acronyms. I contributed not a whole lot except I was really, really certain that The Mighty Ducks came out in '92. And that Dick Van Dyke's character in Mary Poppins was named Bert. Chim-chimeree!

Big Timer

Word on the street is that I'm about to expand my blogging to a professional (i.e. PAID!) level. I just got a regular writing gig, blogging twice-weekly on GreenOptions.com, a new green-living website set to launch in February. I'm going to be blogging mainly about sustainability and sustainability education from a teacher's perspective, although I'll be writing about all kinds of green-living goodness. From the site (still in Beta testing):

When our site goes live in February, you'll find a constantly-updated blog featuring some of the green blogosphere's best writers, a green living wiki with a wide range of practical information, a central news page for green stories from around the globe, discussion forums to share your own green practices and insights, and tools to help you make the jump to solar energy (and eventually other technologies) for your home or business.

Green Options is the brainchild of Shea Gunther and David Anderson and the senior editor is St Louis's own Jeff McIntire-Strasburg. More deets to come as I get them.


One More Thing...

...that's completely irrelevent.

How many more seasons until American Idol has split screens during auditions, with one side showing the ridiculous performers, and the other side showing Paula's drugged out, lazy-eyed, word-slurring, wrinkled-tits reaction? I know I'm not alone in my demand for this.

I've said it once, and I'll say it again: delusional people getting their dreams shattered in a cruel, intentional manner never ceases to be funny. I love the next four months, when I get to be a vocal expert. Time to get me to River City...

P.S. If I wasn't so lazy, I'd upload the pictures my grandma took of Ryan Seacrest at the Arch.


Completely, completely random...

I am pretending to finish working on my doctoral application while Chris cleans the basement, but I'm really looking at the new Blogger and watching soaps. Of note:

1) Newman's Organics puts out great products, like fake Oreos that I used to make vegan cupcakes that were awesome. Those great products do not include their new dog treats, which are making Asher's farts reek worse than a hog confinement. Seriously, I can't even breathe through my shirt, it's invading my persona.

2) Days of our Lives update: something is going on with Belle, Shawn, Phillip, and Mimi, custody, babies...blah, blah, blah WHO CARES? The real news is that the old Phillip (pre-douchebag Kyle from The Real World) is back, and, in an awesome courtroom scene, peeled off a full head of facial bandages, then Victor explained that Phillip got a face transplant after he was hurt in Afghanistan. The greatest part, maybe, was that Belle was protesting how that couldn't possibly be Phillip, even though that bitch isn't anywhere near the original Belle. She's the third one. I love suspending disbelief, so that was pretty meta and sweet. TPTB must have known I was going to be off school today. So what happened with the douchebag? I don't know if he got fired or what, but from reading his blog he seems like a real peachy guy. Err, not. Misogyny and all-around asshattedness is so hot these days.

3) Chris and I, on a whim, started rewatching every episode of Carnivale. Sigh. Why was it cancelled? Why? It's so fucking good. The opening credits is probably the most badass intro to a television show, ever.


Jack is Back

At the midway point of the season premiere--

"Was there any doubt that Jack Bauer would bite out someone's jugular in the first hour?"

Noted by Chris.



If anyone has complete season DVDs of the following shows:

Grey's Anatomy
Desperate Housewives
The Sopranos

and is willing to let me borrow them to study for the World Series of Pop Culture, I would be greatly indebted.

Also, anyone who has any current versions of Trivial Pursuit, particularly 80's or Pop Culture 1 or 2 and can let me borrow it for the same purpose, the Champagne of Trivia would be greatly indebted.

Hooray for local businesses.

I've been saying for a while that I wish our neighborhood had a coffeeshop within walking distance. I've also, for a while, been waiting for the opening of the Stellina Pasta Cafe on Watson just a bit down from Biggie's. They opened Monday, and although I haven't been there yet, their menu is now online and they have full-service coffee and espresso drinks. Hooray! They have soups, pastas, salads, and sandwiches, along with selling their organic handmade pastas to take home. Hours are M-F 8-7 and Saturdays 8-5, closed Sundays.


There's a State Radio show at the Creepy on Thursday, February 22nd. They are an awesome band to see live, even if you must venture into the throes of teen angst that drip from the walls at the Creepy. Tickets aren't on sale yet, but should be dirt cheap. They stream stuff online, so if you don't know them, click above to hear their music. If you were/are a Dispatch fan, this is Chad Urmston's current band. Should be badass.


Hippie Resolve

So anyway, with Christmas and everything, I really got caught up with the whole consumerism bullshit. I generally try to stay away from the siren call of the mall and shopping in general, except for grocery shopping and an occasional trip to Target or Home Eco for house stuff or the bookstore. I know that, given the opportunity, I could drop a shitload of cash on shit I don't need at places like Sephora or H&M or Sur La Table. I had been spending more time spending money than I normally do, and I felt dirty, even if they were for gifts. I thought more about this today in class when, while discussing Ishmael one of kids said, "Most of what we think we need is just psychological. We just think we need it, when in reality, we don't." Word, Elizabeth L. Word. Do we really need all the things we have?

It's not the whole it's-fucked-up-because-buying-stuff-should-not-be-a-form-of-validation thing (although that is fucked up), it's more that buying stuff means we're producing all new stuff. That takes resources and produces waste and pollution. Someone was probably exploited to manufacture it. Fossil fuels were used to transport it from manufacture to retail. And, if you didn't get the memo, global warming is upon us and we need to cut back on fossil fuel use.

It's not just that. Chris and I could be carpooling, and we haven't been. Leaving the lights on when we're not in the room. Using cloth shopping bags. I haven't been consistent with the easy things, and I feel shitty about that.

I'm not naive. Living 100% sustainably is not realistic for most people, unless you want to abandon any type of urban area, head for the hills, and live off the grid. Everything is truly a compromise. Ultimately, unless you are completely bike/human powered, you need to use fossil fuels to get places. The way Americans are going to become more sustainable is by small adjustments and changes in lifestyle. Like not validating ourselves through needless consumerism. Or eating less meat. Not becoming vegans, but one or two meat-free meals a week. Two less car trips a week. Using all compact florescent light bulbs.

To cut a rambling rant short, I'm making a re-commitment to living more sustainably. I want to show my kids and my friends that you can do it and not smell like patchouli and have stank pits and eat only soy cheese (I don't care what the vegans say, nothing can replace cheese, ever.) And you don't have to buy $2,500 organic cotton/bamboo armchairs to live sustainably. Fuck Gaiam.

Also, there's a new Freecycle-type website that is pretty badass, called Gigoit (Garbage In, Garbage Out.) Check it out if you are into the free stuff board of Craigslist.

Also, I'm going to try to sell my car again. If you are in the market for a 2004 Ford Focus with 31,xxx miles on it, holla at a girl.


I guess some girls really will cut you.


Monday Anecdotes

I hope you had a good weekend. Briefly...

* Saw an interesting show at the Mad Art Gallery. My friend Dan showed and he rocks.

* New restaurant next to Soulard Market, Franco, is delicious and had the best restaurant music of my life. I heard Jeff Buckley, the Jayhawks, and Guster, all in one ladies luncheon. Pricey for dinner, but lunch was affordable and you can go to the market before or after.

* I'm retracting the statement I made about reading Ruby Payne's work. I now think she sucks a fat one. Read something else. Like Paulo Freire.

* Saw Thank You For Smoking this weekend and loved it. Next on my list: Children of Men, Six Feet Under: Season Three, Lady in the Water, and Transamerica.

* I just finished reading T.C. Boyle's A Friend of the Earth, which chronicles a fictional eco-saboteur reflecting back on his life, his activism, and the state the world has fallen into in 2026. Even if you aren't into the environmental or environmental activism, it's a great read without being preachy.

* I like the iTunes feature where your library is beamed to others within your wireless network. There's a lady at work, who is like 39, whose library consists of two CD's: George Michael and the Pussycat Dolls. No comment necessary.


Holiday Recap

I had a great holiday break, which was rudely interrupted by school yesterday. Alarm clock are a bitch. The highlights/commentary:

*DMI was great. Good family time. My brother Andrew got his First Real Job working for the Miller distributor in Des Moines. Consequently, my house only has MGD and High Life bottles. So, it's kind of like the Champagne of Trivia is sponsored by the Champagne of Beers. I saw an old guy almost die at my brothers' favorite bar, and came to the conclusion that my life would be infinitely better if I could drive around and chill with my brother Jake on the regular. Grandma Best, like the baller she is, decided to sell her Wal-Mart stock and the whole family benefited.

* I hung out with Pogge, Schuler, and Ness. We tried to avoid all other UHS alums, but people pay homage like we are godfathers, which, since we bought a lot of younger friend beer back int he day, I guess we are. Had great times with other randoms from HS, so, all in all, a good visit.

* Drank a lot and chilled a lot, college style, with my dinner club friends, as we spent an entire day gossiping, knitting, and watching the THS: Hugh Hefner and Little People, Big World, then won Lemmons Trivia Night.

* New Years was off the chain at Meghan's and Paul's. Recipe for fun: Guitar Hero, Chubby Bunny, Ice Block holding contest, Scene It, dance party featuring late 90's rap. Emily and Dan were crowned Mr. & Mrs New Year, mainly because they were the only ones who wanted to hold blocks of ice and shove marshmallows in their craws.

* Caught up with other old friends, namely Mike Cannon at Blackthorn/Friendly's and Charlie and Kim tonight at Bottleworks. There's nothing like old friends, beer, and good conversations.

* Keep my friend Ness in your thoughts. His brother Jason, only two years younger than us, passed away unexpectedly yesterday from a brain aneurysm. I was pretty close with their family in high school and they are great people facing a tragic loss.