Thank You, Pink Panther

November 27, 2007 at 12:05 AM | Nostalgia, Site/Personal, Wichita | No Comments

When I was home for the weekend, I had an opportunity to play around a little on the drums. It’d been way too long since I’ve been back home… since last Christmas, actually. In the room where I keep my drums, I have a large stuffed Pink Panther sitting in a leather swivel chair. For so many years, he’s hung out in there with Matt’s Pookie, the X-eyed green giraffe–the both of them being the constant company when I’m hanging out in there. I don’t exactly remember when this happened, I dunno probably middle school or early high school… but I put my black zip-up hoodie (from my “Stealth” years) on Pink Panther and he’s been wearing it ever since.

Until I came home this Thanksgiving.

I decided it was time to get my hoodie back from Pink Panther. I felt kind of bad at first, because he’d worn it for so long, he’d probably gotten himself quite attached to it. Or at the very least, he’d be cold when I took it off. But to my surprise, when I unzipped it, I discovered that he had on a sweater underneath! That sneaky guy had been layering the entire time and I didn’t even know it (or I’d forgotten). Anyways, the hoodie was a throwback to my youth and it felt/looked pretty good. Thank you, Pink Panther, for holding onto that gem for me.

Happy New Year

February 18, 2007 at 11:07 AM | Site/Personal | 1 Comment

Happy new year! It’s the year of the boar, which happens to be my zodiac sign… means I’ll be turning 24 this year.

An Eating Disorder

February 12, 2007 at 12:39 AM | Food, Site/Personal | No Comments

The first step is admitting there is a problem: I have… an eating disorder.

It’s where I eat, but primarily chew with the left side of my mouth. Maybe this is all in my head, but I noticed it the other day when I was brushing my teeth and it seemed as if I had teeth to brush on the left side of my mouth, compared to the right. I’d never really thought of it, but I think I’m left-jawed. I got myself a fistful of raisins and popped them in my mouth, forced myself to chew with my right jaw and the whole thing seemed very unnatural, very foreign. So what is my problem? Is it a documented condition in the dental community? Is there a name for it? I really would like to know.

The whole thing reminds me of how cars need their tires rotated every so often. The wear on the tires are uneven, front to back, even left to right. But the thing is, with my teeth, I can’t just pop them out and switch them around. I’d love to, but I can’t. Something must be done to correct this and what I envision to be the solution is this: I will be conscious of my chewing, making sure to chew with my right side for a while, and then gradually phase it out to an even chew. OK go!

New Years Resolutions 2007

January 15, 2007 at 12:44 AM | Site/Personal | No Comments

I’m not the type to make New Years resolutions because I happen to be the type that breaks them. I always figured, if I don’t make any, I can’t break any. But this year, I don’t know, things just felt a little different and I really want to have some good solid goals to work towards. I’m just “tired of the mess,” as I so eloquently put it. Maybe it’s the old man in me, coming up with all this, but you know what, I respect my elders. Especially when that elder is an imaginary older version of myself. Here goes:

  • Give up drinking (save for special occasions). OK, now I’ve tried this one before and it turned out it didn’t work so good because everything started turning into a special occasion–St. Patrick’s Day, birthdays, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, President’s Day, Fridays, etc. But, I’ve never attempted this on a New Years resolution run, so I’m going to give this one a serious try.
  • Eat healthier. In particular, I will be reducing consumption of eggs, shrimp, red meat, fast food and junk food. If I were a stronger-willed person, I might have tried giving up meat altogether… but as we all know, I love me my chicken. I think I already eat pretty healthy, but I think there are things that I could probably do without.
  • Work out more. A few months ago, I signed up for this program at my work’s gym where we logged workout times. I didn’t meet my quota because A) I was gone for a week, B) I underestimated the task, C) the holidays really are taxing on a workout schedule, for me, anyways, and D) work gets in the way. I need more motivation to get myself into the gym more regularly.
  • Get my finances together. I’m not really sure what this one means, yet… but I gotta get my shit together.
  • Spend more time on extracurricular activities. I’ve been out of college for about a year and a half now, doing the work thing. To be honest, I don’t think it suffices for life to consist entirely of working, eating, sleeping, repeat. Oh, unfortunately, TV and video games (god bless them both) do not count. I’m talking about things like doing some art projects. Some music projects. I don’t know, something.
  • Get more sleep.  Like getting to bed before midnight.  It’s 12:45 now.  You see, resolutions are fucking hard to keep.

Allergic to Small Cats… Not

December 28, 2006 at 10:42 PM | Site/Personal | 1 Comment

My recent announcement that I was “allergic to small cats” may have come as a surprise to some, but only because my allergy is not a topic that comes up very often or at all. But I’ve been thinking about it and I think I may not actually be allergic to small cats, as I had thought that I was for a number of years. Here’s what happened:

Years ago, when Aldie first got Geppetto (a small cat), I found that whenever I was over at his place, I would have an allergic reaction that I did not have pre-Geppetto. The difference was like day and night, as soon as I was around that cat, the symptoms would come. And they were ordinary enough… the usual constant sneezing, itchy feelings, etc. To the point of needing to take allergy pills. This is significant because as far as I know, I’m not allergic to anything else. I’d been around other cats before, so I really didn’t know why this happened. It could’ve been anything…

But then fast forward a few years and Geppetto has grown into a big fat cat which hisses at me on sight (my fault, for chasing him around the apartment one night…). No allergic reaction of any kind! Could it be that Geppetto was now on a different diet? Could it be that I had somehow adapted to Geppetto-dander? Or could it be that Geppetto is no longer a small cat? I thought the latter was the most reasonable. No adult cats had ever caused me any problems, but small cat Geppetto killed me. Case closed.

But here’s what I thought of that just killed the whole “allergic to small cats” theory… remember Teacup? I, as expected, was not allergic to her, because she was not a small cat. I mean, she’s about half the size of fat cat Geppetto, but only because… well, fat cat Geppetto is really, really fat. But then when she had a kitten (Simba?), I was not allergic. And that cat was small, too. They don’t come any smaller than newborn cats. I know, I was there.

So what does this all mean? I’m back to square one on what I was allergic to, so many years ago. It means that if I am going to find out what happened, I’m going to need more information to work with, and then apply the scientific method n shit to figure it all out.

Thanksgiving 2006

December 6, 2006 at 1:09 AM | Food, Site/Personal, Wichita | 2 Comments

So this past Thanksgiving was a little strange for me. No Thanksgiving Pt. II. No Black Friday. And the weather… it was so warm! What’s the world coming to?

The big thing was the lack of the Black Friday madness that has now totally gotten out of control. People were lining up at Best Buy on Thanksgiving around (maybe before?) 3PM. By 6, rumor has it, that it’d reached the end of the building. I swear to god, people are so hardcore now… and they must be obsessed with waiting in lines for things. Like when the first Krispy Kreme came to town. Like when the first Matrix sequel (gag) came out. Like when the PS3′s first came out… And yet, the Black Friday sales get worse and worse every year. Maybe I think the deals just aren’t worth it anymore. Maybe I’m just too old for that shit. Maybe it’s all of the above.

Well, actually, you know what… the PS3 might have been worth it, for the resale value.

I am happy, however, to report that at least one Thanksgiving tradition has not died. And that is the tradition of a hot bowl of pho at Pho Hien. OK, maybe that’s not so much of a Thanksgiving tradition as it is a Wichita tradition, but who’s keeping track?

Flu Shot

December 6, 2006 at 12:33 AM | Site/Personal | No Comments

I think I may be getting sick. I can taste it. Makes sense… after all, I did get get a free flu shot last week, come to think of it. Sure, they said it was “inactivated” but can I really believe that? It was the first time that I’ve ever gotten a flu shot. That I know of, anyway. I remember back in the day when all these different shots were mandatory for children. I had come to expect it. Maybe one of those was the influenza vaccine. Maybe it wasn’t. Who knows.

This time, I took it out of convenience. I had just been weighed, my blood had just been drawn. So what’s another needle? I tried to reason it out.

“But I’ve never gotten the flu before.”

“Oh, trust me, you don’t want to get the flu. Oh no, you do not.”

“OK… I suppose…”

“Alright then, which arm do you want it in?”

And that’s how they suckered me in. And who knooows what was in that shot?? I’m no microbiologist… can I really be 100% sure that what they injected me with would keep me from coming down with this terrible flu they they spoke of? Or was it really some kind of a conspiracy put on by the pharmaceutical industry? Injecting me with something that, while would grant me roughly 1 flu-free year, would actually hinder my body from being able to naturally defend itself against new strains so that I keep coming back for these shots year after year until I perish? Or worse, would actually make me sick in some other way that could only be remedied by product xyz, created by none other than the pharmaceutical industry, the very people behind the free flu shots?

It’s too late for me… save yourselves!

The Icy Hill

December 2, 2006 at 3:41 AM | KCMO, Site/Personal | No Comments

OK here’s a first.

2 days ago, Kansas City iced the fuck over. Prior to that, we were having perfectly charming weather. A jacket was necessary, but the temperature was pretty moderate. And I even made the comment “the weather sure is nice for winter.” That was when someone informed me that a cold front was coming in tomorrow and that real winter weather was here. It came in the form of frozen rain, coming everything in a sheet of ice. Accidents everywhere, schools and work letting people out. The following day, it snowed pretty heavy in the afternoon. I had had plans to go to Lawrence that day to see Lauren’s photography exhibition and pick up tickets for The Faint, but that got scrapped when the snow came down like a fog and we rolled out of work early. That and the thing was moved to a different date.

The weather that I just described above was NOT the “first” that I mentioned. I’m sure I’ve seen similar freezing rain/snow combinations before. I’m still getting to that.

So anyways, I was driving back home and at a certain point, the snow went from white fog to no snow at all. It seemed that the snow was only happening in a certain part of town. Up north, the highways were pretty clear, save for some ice that was refreezing on some off and on ramps. But the worst was when we got back to our neighborhood, where it was still completely covered in ice. Why nobody had come by to do something about it was beyond me. “That’s MO-DOT for ya… good for nothing.” The Missouri Depart of Transportation is worthless.

Well, driving around on this ice was alright. It should be noted that while I don’t have mad snow/ice driving skills like my brother, Tokyo-drifting around turns with the hand brake (something I’m sure comes with living in Alaska), I can usually get where I need to go despite the road conditions. All you got to do is take it slow and everything’s fine.

That is, until I came to this “hill” (I parenthesize because it was more of a slight incline in the road than an actual hill, Zack) in the neighborhood that I needed to go up to get back to the house. That thing was covered in a perfectly smooth sheet ice. I could not drive up this thing for the life of me. And what’s worse was there was actually a car at that point in the road which looked like it had hit something or something had hit it. Hard. So there was this car chilling on the side, all messed up. And there was this cop car right there in a driveway, overlooking the hill. I saw that cop just sitting in his car, watching me trying to get up this hill. I already hate the police as it is, so this wasn’t really helping them when he remained the silent observer on the side of the road. “Damn po-lice, I fucking hate them so much. Serve and protect huh? Pssh.” I’m not sure what he could’ve done, really, but I just really hate the police is all.

Sam suggested that I back the car up, get some momentum to get up the hill. No dice. As a matter of fact, we actually saw another car come around the way to come up the same hill. I watched in my car, seeing if this guy knew something about this hill that I did not. Apparently not… it couldn’t get up the hill either. But this guy, after one attempt, immediately proceeded to back up and drove back the way from which he came. I’m not sure where he was going, since I knew about the other ways back to the house, but they were all super hilly too.

Out of options, I parked the car in front of someone’s house, and we walked back to the house. That there was the “first”. Abandoning my vehicle because I couldn’t drive up a hill. It was ridiculous. Even the grass was slick. When we finally got home, I told Albert what I had just done, but that fool didn’t believe me… at least, not until he saw that my car wasn’t at the house. I recovered my car today after work, after the ice cleared up some. Hopefully that was also the last time that I’ll have to do something like that.

Sea-Tac

November 16, 2006 at 1:36 AM | Art, Food, Site/Personal | No Comments

I had about an hour or so to kill during my layover in Seattle on my way back from Alaska. I’d been to the Seattle-Tacoma International airport (known as “Sea-Tac”) before, but the last time that I was there (just a little over a week prior), I only had enough time to get to my departure gate. And plus it was late and all of the shops were closed/closing down. All that I got to see were gates, the same old newsstands, and empty eateries. My return trip, however, gave me an opportunity to see a little more.

The chance to explore an airport is something that I have mixed feelings about. On the one hand, if its an airport that you’ve never been to, with lots to see, and you’ve got some time to kill, sure, it’s a fantastic time to check things out. On the other hand, if there’s too much time between flights or the airport has little/nothing to see, it can be sheer torture (ie. Manila International Airport). Plus, things in airports tend to be on the expensive side. Like when I was at Chicago O’Hare, I looked over a McDonald’s menu (there were McDonald’s everywhere), thinking that prices for fast food chains would be standardized. Not the case. Everything on there was a multitude more expensive than any McDonald’s on the outside. The Dollar Menu was nowhere to be found.

So back to Seattle. Apart from California, I’ve never really spent a lot of time on the west coast. As a matter of fact, I’m not even sure if Seattle is considered west coast because its kind of northwest… I dunno. Anyways, Seattle certainly looks like a fascinating city from above the night skies. It wasn’t a big perfect grid of orange lights like Chicago; and it most certainly wasn’t a big black abyss like Kansas City. No, it was filled with different colored lights in an array of different shapes, curving along contours. It looked alive. But since this was the summation of all my interaction with the city of Seattle outside of the airport–that is, through airplane windows, I won’t even attempt to write about the city. But I will say that it has piqued my curiosity.

No, instead, I will say what I can about the hour or so that I spent in the airport, waiting for my flight to Denver. Wait, I lied. I really need to start from the departure gate in Alaska, which is where I was flying into Seattle from. There was about half an hour before the plane boarded and I was sitting at the packed gate, just waiting. Seats were scarce and I found myself sitting next to this woman who was sleeping, kind of sprawled over across 2 seats. I mean there were plenty of open seats, but they were seats right next to people or between people. Or they were handicap seats. You can’t sit next to a stranger and be comfortable. You have got to have a buffer seat or two, like at a movie theater. The seat that I had settled for was not great, because I was sitting directly next to some stranger, but at least that stranger was asleep, so it made it easier to bear. On the other side of me was an empty handicap seat. Waiting, just waiting. They say you should get to the airport at least an hour before your flight (even more for international flights), and I always try to do just that. But waiting for a plane to start boarding is so excruciating. I put my hands in my pockets, stared at my shoes.

This was when this girl with a backpack and a pillow (a full-size pillow, not one of those inflatable U-shaped flight pillows) came up to where I was sitting and eyed the open seat to my left. There was a moment of hesitation as she realized that it was marked handicap and looked around the room for a different seat with buffers, but with no such luck. Silly girl, if there had been one, I would have gotten it. She turned around, sat down, looked at me and smiled.

“Hey… you’re not handicapped.”

We talked right up until we got on the plane. Her name was Amanda and it sounded to me like this was the first time that she had ever flown before, because she had all these questions, but she insisted that she had once flown to California. It almost seemed like she was running away, but I didn’t want to pry. Before I knew it, it was time to start boarding. I sat like 20 rows back from her so I didn’t get to talk to her after we got on the plane.

When the plane arrived in Seattle, I thought that I might run into her during my layover, but she was going to a completely different gate, different airline. I didn’t see her again.

I found my departure gate on the flight board and proceeded to the gate, taking note of anything interesting along the way. I checked the time and determined that I had approximately one hour to wander. That’s how I always roll. Go to the gate and branch out from there… because I don’t want to have to find my gate after wandering about the airport, and then realizing that the flight is about to leave.

I found myself in this sort of junction where shopping and dining came together. It was super busy for being something like 6 in the morning. I came across this place called Ivan’s Fish Bar. I remember my brother personally recommending that I try the fish taco at the Seattle airport. But was it at Ivan’s? It sounded familiar. But there was no fish taco on the menu. I looked across the way and saw Anthony’s Fish Bar. That also sounded familiar. I thought that it was funny that there were these two competing fish bar establishments all within the general vicinity. But then again, there were a lot of other things there, too. There’s “Explore Puget Sound” which appears to be some kind of a flight/marine life gift store. The Discovery Channel Store. 2 coffee places (Starbuck’s is there, not surprisingly). Book stores. All kinds of food. Clothing stores… And this fantastic shop called “Fireworks” (their slogan was “Celebrating Art In Life”) that sold the neatest design/art items–creative salt and pepper shakers, piggy banks (I love pigs), children’s books, useless little trinkets that just strike up your imagination and fancy. You totally just want to buy everything up. And they played the coolest music! I loved the atmosphere in there. It is literally my new favorite store. In Seattle.

I looked at the time, I had time to stop by Anthony’s fish bar, grab a fish taco. Prior to my trip to Alaska, I had never ever had a fish taco. It’s not that I don’t like fish. And it’s not because I don’t like tacos. It’s because its name, unfortunately, is slang for something… else. Something quite revolting. But my brother went and got some fresh rockfish, grilled it up, and made fish tacos for dinner one night. They were good and I feel silly for never giving them a try. Anyways, it turns out that my brother’s inspiration for the fish tacos came from the fish tacos served at Anthony’s Fish Bar, in Seattle airport. And thus the reason for the recommendation.

So it was like 6:45AM and I ordered a fish taco, despite not knowing what meal it would be for me. It was way too early for breakfast, but way too late for a midnight snack… and the truth is, I had eaten a pretty large dinner in Alaska. I wasn’t the slightest bit hungry, but I ordered the Alaskan rockfish taco anyway… who knows when I would find myself in Seattle next? It seemed ironic that I was ordering this Alaskan fish, after having come from there, but yeah… that taco was amazing. It had this mango salsa all up in it that was just so fucking delicious. It came with chips and salsa, but I didn’t care much for the chips. They were too hard. I think my brother warned me about that, actually.

I finished my taco, took another short walk around the area shops, and then returned to my gate for departure.

My ChapStick Addiction

November 7, 2006 at 9:49 PM | Nostalgia, Site/Personal | 1 Comment

I remember years ago Jessie told me she was addicted to Carmex, there was a part of me that held some reservations as to whether there was any truth in her claim. I thought to myself, “How can a person become addicted to an externally applied substance such as Carmex?” And then I watched her put some more on her lips.

It’s now the year 2006 and I find myself in a similar situation, only it’s me. And it’s not Carmex, it’s ChapStick. Is that similar? I dunno. Anyways, I believe that my lips have somehow lost their natural ability to go unchapped, if that is even such a thing, without the aid of a lip balm such as ChapStick for even an hour or two… I’m not sure what it all means, other than the fact that I will be purchasing more ChapStick in the near future, and that this goes right along with my theory that medicine makes the body weak.


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