The Life Aquatic

August 12, 2005 at 11:32 PM | Good Times, KCMO, Nostalgia, Site/Personal, Work | No Comments

It’s almost as if there’s no limit to how many posts that I can write about skin peeling! Today’s theme: skin peeling from sunburns.

I went to a Royals/White Sox game a couple weeks ago with my new hire group. It was a pretty good time, we got there a little early to start up a grill, drink some beer, and have ourselves a little tailgating session going. It was all sunny n shit that day and the heat was out of control. I could already tell early on that it was going to be an effort to sit through this game. And what a game it was! The score was all tied up and tension was high in the atmosphere… until about the 12th inning, with the same ol’ fucking score. Half of our group left an inning or two before then, but us hardcore motherfuckers decided to sit and watch the game through, because we’ve already stayed this long, we might as well see what happens. Well, we didn’t make it to the end. We decided to leave at that point because who knows how long that thing could’ve lasted. We could’ve been sitting out there all afternoon! I mean, at that point, I really couldn’t care less who would win the game, I just wished somebody would just finish it up and call it good, so I could get the fuck on up out of there. I checked the game later on that day online and I guess the Royals won. Oh well, I’m pretty indifferent towards baseball.

I normally never sunburn. But this game was especially long. And we did stay out there for a good couple of hours. The only other time that I have ever burned in my life is one summer when my brother and I were taking sailing lessons out at some lake. Also did some kayaking, some canoeing… it was all good. That was a crazy summer, a long time ago. Yes, it’s a little known fact, but I used to be quite the sailor! I knew all about the different nautical terminology, all the cool sailing knots, etc.

I don’t remember shit about sailing. I couldn’t tell you which way was which and I can barely tie my own shoe now. I’d probably be the one to get scurvy out on the open sea if it really came to it. It’s sad, really.

Interestingly enough, I can remember all kinds of useless information from that summer. I remember the stench of the lake; I remember the vanilla/banana smelling sunscreen in the summer mornings. I remember that was the summer when Semisonic first came out with the song “Closing Time” because that song was all the rage, even before every bar across the US decided that it would be clever to play that song when they kick everybody out. Seven years later, they’re still doing it. I mean come on, that shit’s so old hat, it’s not even funny anymore. Oh, you’re so clever.

The reflection from the water and magnification of the sun through the water on my body really did a number on me. That summer, I got the most hardcore tanning/burning that I have ever experienced in my life, and hope to God to never experience again. One artifact of my exposure to the sun, was seen in my very distinct “sandal tan” that was like the difference between night and day. That thing lasted well into and even past the following winter. I mean, it was snowing n shit, 20 below, and there I was, with that blasted sandal tan underneath all of my winter gear. It was ridiculous.

I never knew the sun could be so cruel. Showers were especially painful. This was the sort of thing that’ll make you take an ice cold shower. And even then, you’re in one corner of the shower, clutching at your arms to dampen the impact of the water. This was the sort of thing that made it painful to put socks or shoes on. And the peeling! My god, the peeling! I don’t even want to get into it. It wasn’t a pretty sight.

But I was really surprised that I got burnt at that Royals game. Nowhere as bad as that summer, but burnt nonetheless. I spent a week in the Philippines. I’m talking about some motherfucking tropical islands! And all that got me was a lovely dark tan that got me mistaken for a local more times than I would care to recount. What happened? I spend an afternoon at a baseball game and suddenly I find myself wincing in pain two days later in the shower, skin starts to peel a few weeks later. At least I didn’t get the sandal tan this time around.

The Show

July 6, 2005 at 12:22 AM | Concerts, KCMO | No Comments

Beach Ball IPerhaps the biggest shame is how they traded in that awesome stageshow “W” that some might consider synonymous with the band itself… for a big electronic, multicolor glowing thing that appears in the background of Make Believe.

Nice going, Weezer.

But seriously. I was excited about going to this concert all day. It was an OK show… Cake was a lot of fun and Weezer played about half and half in terms of Make Believe and pre-Make Believe. Hell, even the songs from Make Believe sounded decent live. Hearing these songs performed live, you kind of get a better sense of what Rivers might have intended them to be. But I’m still upset about the W. I ain’t even joking about that shit.

Also, I spent an hour and a half just getting out of the parking lot. That was a fucking riot. I must’ve used a quarter tank of gas just inching my way out of that goddamn grass lot. It’s not like I could’ve just waited it out… cuz cars were moving, just ever so slowly. They had to send in the police to regulate that shit. I almost remember the drive out better than the show itself.

Anyways, I guess I should explain how I found myself at this show so suddenly. I mean, I usually announce these sorts of things months in advance as being “on the horizon” but this one really jumped out of nowhere. You see, I had heard of this concert a long time ago but had been debating whether or not to go simply because I had listened to Weezer’s new album and was unsure whether supporting their release of such garbage was my best move. Plus, I had to work on the day of the show. But I do like Cake. And The Elevator Division would be there. I was pretty torn about the whole matter.

The first resolution came when I realized that I really didn’t know anybody interested in going to this show. I decided that if nobody else was going, then I wasn’t going to go. There are some exceptions, but in general, I probably wouldn’t go to a concert by myself. It kind of falls in the category of going to a movie by yourself or eating at a sit-down restaurant by yourself… you just don’t do it. Case in point, if The Cardigans come around these parts again, y’all can go fuck yourselves, cuz I’m going to that show regardless of my company.

The reversal came when I started talking to Mandy about the show and she was telling me that she might go and that she knew some people interested in going. Well that just about sealed the deal?I was going to the show. Nevermind that this all went down less than a week from the day of the show. Nevermind that nobody had tickets yet. Having suffered a recent series of missed concerts due to lack of planning, I wasn’t about to give up on this one so easily.

It was Monday, the day before the show. Due to unexpected ticket prices, I suddenly found it upon myself to get ahold of some tickets. I drove down to the local Price Chopper. They didn’t do Ticketmaster. I asked them where I could do Ticketmaster. They didn’t know, they just knew they didn’t do it. I drove down to the Hyvee in Gladstone. They did Royals tickets, but no Ticketmaster. I asked them where I could do Ticketmaster. The guy behind the counter didn’t know, pulled out a phone book to see what he could find under “Ticketmaster” in the business pages. The whole time, I’m standing there thinking “my god, what an idiot…” Another guy behind the Hyvee counter comes up, says they do Ticketmaster at The Jones Store at North Metro. I went to The Jones Store in North Metro. As I walk towards the entrance, somebody yells at me from their car: “They close in 5 minutes!” I ran inside, found the Customer Service counter (upstairs) and asked if they did Ticketmaster. “Yes, we do, but we stop selling at 6.” It was 6:58. The lady behind the counter informed me that everybody stops selling tickets at 6. There wasn’t another place for me to drive to, even if I wanted to. I didn’t want to, but I would have done it.

I must have been driving around town for like an hour. At least. Oh yeah, and while I was at Price Chopper, I bought some peaches and a big pack of chicken drumsticks. So I was driving around, trying to keep my chicken cool so it wouldn’t go bad. I honestly didn’t think I would be so long.

I know when I have faced my defeat. I called up Mandy and told her that I couldn’t get tickets. She went and picked up tickets at her local Hyvee less than an hour later. They got the Ticketmaster hookup in Lawrence, I guess.

On the horizon: Coldplay / Rilo Kiley, 09/21/05, KCMO


June 30, 2005 at 10:14 PM | Good Times, KCMO, Site/Personal, Work | No Comments

Last Tuesday, a big group of kids from my Compass group met up at this bar in Westport called Harpo’s to hang out. They have a special on Tuesdays where you can get 25 cent draws… of Natty Light, quite possibly one of the most terrible beers of all time. On the cheap end of the beer spectrum, you’ve got beers like Keystone, Old Style, and of course Natty. Now, I won’t dog on Natty too much… me and Natty have a sort of a history, but I won’t get into that. The point is, they were selling cheap beer for a price so low that it was still a good deal. Good deals taken in mass quantity equals great times. That’s a little introduction to the discipline known as Beer Mathematics.

One of the most interesting points in the night was right when we arrived at the bar and of course, I routinely pulled out my driver’s license to show them that yes, I was indeed 21+ years old. Now, if you’ve ever seen my driver’s license, you will know that I really don’t look like I did back when the photo was taken. In that photo, I was wearing glasses and I had just shaved my head. And it was like 3 years ago. Just from past experience, I know that people will often feel the need to give me the “double take” where they look back and forth between my ID and me at least twice, and then hesitantly return it back to me, not really sure if I was who I claimed to be. It’s happened at bars with my license; it’s happened at airports with my passport (for which was I was coincidentally photographed for around the same time as my driver’s license). I don’t blame these people, I can see where they’re coming from…

But I had something happen to me that night that took the whole thing to the next level. I hand the guy at the door my license and he did not believe that was me in that picture. So he pulled me aside, and let everyone else that was with get their ID’s checked, cover paid, and wristband distributed. The guy hands my license to this big bald guy standing a couple feet back in the corner. He says something to the bald guy, who proceeds to analyze my license under some kind of magnifying glass/flashlight combination tool. The big bald guy didn’t think I was the guy in the picture either.

At this point, I was just afraid that they would confiscate my driver’s license or cut it up or whatever they do to the licenses of kids who try to sneak into bars under the guise of a friend or relative.

“No that’s me, I’ve got other forms of ID on me…”

“Doesn’t matter.”

He clamps my license on a clipboard and hands me a notepad and pen and instructs me to sign my name “exactly as it appears” on my driver’s license. The page that I was going to be signing on had two other signatures on it. It seemed like a pretty common procedure around Harpo’s. I was like “OK.” I was confident that I knew how to sign my own name, but I’ve noticed that signatures evolve over time. Mine has, anyways. I don’t know about yours.

So I signed it like I do and the bald guy compares it to the signature on my driver’s license using the forementioned magnifying glass and after giving my signature the double take, he finally says, “well, I guess it looks similar enough.”

I was like “OK, thanks… I guess,” all sarcastic as I return my license to my wallet. They were treating me as if they had just let some 18 year old slip through the cracks of their security, trying to get by with a borrowed/stolen ID. I rolled my eye and got my wristband, a little irked that I had to jump through all these obstacles to drink some Natty, when I never once had to prove myself at bars, never once had to prove myself to the people working at various airports in numerous countries. Just who the fuck do these people at Harpo’s think they are?

So anyways, there were a bunch of us out back, occupying like 3 tables pushed together. It wasn’t just my Compass group there obviously because Sam and Chris also came. Micheala brought her friend from that other night. Amanda’s friend Natalie showed up at some point. Summer brought some of her friends and I am pretty sure there were people there that night that I didn’t even get a chance to meet. Great times.

That was the same night that Sam and I ran into Jenny back at the apartment and the L Word was dropped. But that’s another story.

New Job

June 14, 2005 at 11:27 PM | Food, KCMO, Site/Personal, Work | No Comments

"New Job" by Sam Brown (
I haven’t decided exactly how I am going to do this yet… I mean blogging about work, the future of this site, etc. I am thinking about making some pretty radical changes to the website, but I assure you it’s all for the better. I’m sure a lot of you are wondering how I am doing in Kansas City and what I think about my new job and all that good stuff, so here goes:

Waking up for my first day was surprisingly easy. As you may recall, I did not get back to KC until about 8:45PM on Sunday. My flights back were both extremely (and unnecessarily) nerve-racking. On the flight from Fairbanks to Minneapolis, I was seated behind 2 of the loudest, most energetic little brats. Yelling, screaming, crying, dropping shit everywhere, constantly asking stupid questions of an apathetic father… these boys fucking covered that shit over, countless times. My God… by about the fifth hour, I wanted to strangle the little shits so bad, just reach right over the seat, fucking smash those little heads together, then pick one of them up by the neck and….. but I kept my cool. “Patience,” I told myself. And it was about this time that I realized that they’d dropped some kind of gum or taffy-like substance onto the area where I had been resting my feet. It was a bright blue color, had an artificial fruit flavor’s scent, and it was sticky as all hell. It had tracked onto my shoes, got all up on my shoelaces. Some of it even got on my backpack. The seat belt sign was on when I made this discovery so I could not go get myself cleaned up or anything and I would have to wait until I got off the plane. And if that wasn’t the end of it, I guess there was some storm in the Twin Cities area that kept us from landing on time, bringing me extremely close to the time of my connecting flight. I was just thinking to myself, “Yeah, hopefully I get a chance to stop in a restroom and clean this gunk off my shoe…” I made the flights OK, so I guess that was cool. I even stopped in a restroom, cleaned everything up. Sam picked me up at the KC airport (held up a sign with my name on it, said “Welcome to The KC.”) and it was about 9 when we got home. It looked like it had rained a lot while I was gone.

Part of the reason why waking up for work on Monday was so easy was because it was light outside when I woke up. It was about 7:45, a lot later than I am used to when waking up for work purposes.

So for the week, a group of about 40 or so of us new hires went through orientation classes. Classes are classes but it was a good time because there were a lot of cool cats in that class and we got free lunch everyday. I’m talking like fajita bar, sirloin steak, grilled chicken… it was pretty sweet. Oh yeah, and all the beverages that we could handle. Towards the beginning of the week, I probably had more coke/root beer/mountain dew than I’ve ever had in my life in such a concentrated amount of time. So come Thursday and Friday, all I was drinking was hot tea for detox. Nothing quite like a hot cup of tea on a warm summer’s day.

There’s this girl in my orientation group, Summer, who I guess sings for a band. I went and checked out their music and just as she had warned, it was very Tool-esque. I bring this all up because I guess they are looking for a drummer. I haven’t played the drums in any sort of serious manner for a long time, but I think it’d be interesting to get involved with a band again. Gotta do something to keep it real, right?

On Wednesday, we got our laptops (they call them “devices”) so that was pretty bad ass. There were 3 kinds of devices: Toshiba tablet PCs, Dell D600′s, and Dell M60′s. Most software engineers got the 600′s and I believe most non-engineer types got the tablet PCs. I was fortunate enough to end up on a team whose manager insisted on getting us the M60′s, with the pimp ass widescreens and bigger hard drives. There were only 3 of us in the class who got the M60′s and all of us are currently in the same group. Holla.

The stuff that I am going to be working on is bleeding edge for the company’s newest products, so I’m very excited about all that… but… alas, I’ve still got a ton of training left to do. I met my team on Monday and it seems like a smart bunch of people.

And I’m enjoying myself a lot working here… we’ve got this bad ass cafe where a lot of people go to eat (has a lot of different kinds of food available, which is important in my book), can sit outside next to the fountains n shit. I haven’t eaten outside yet but it looks pretty relaxing. Eating inside is already a treat. Annnd! The demographic of the company is very young and luckily we’re not all software people (thank God for finance, HR, sales, etc.) because there are swarms of fine ladies everywhere on campus (we’ve got about 9 buildings, I believe…), just like I ain’t never left college n shit only minus trashy looking kids, everybody’s dressed professional n shit round herre; I’m lovin it.

Oh yeah. And today, some of the guys on my group (who are fortunate enough to be able to park on campus) took me and two other new people out to a little restaurant south of the river known only as “Vietnam Cafe.” You knew it was going to happen sooner or later! Someone breathed the word “Vietnam” in the room and I jumped up, shut my laptop, turned around and was like “alright, I’m therrrre!!” You know I love the pho. I had been meaning to find a good Vietnamese joint in KC and opportunity came a knockin’. So we rolled down there, ate some pho, had some cafe sua da, and it was good. Apparently, KC has a fairly large Vietnamese community. It’s sort of mixed in with an Italian community, forming one amazingly delicious little district just for my enjoyment. Life is wonderful at the moment.

KC Moe

May 26, 2005 at 1:04 AM | Good Times, KCMO, Site/Personal | No Comments

I am in Kansas City. Moved in n shit, still in the process of unpacking, setting things up just right. Finally got up on some internet. Yes, it is stolen, what of it? For now. I think we may actually get up on a paid internet account sometime soon. I am glad to report that our apartment is not remotely close to Barry cemetery, thank God, you can’t even see it from where we’re at. Also, I should mention that I am pretty backlogged on the blog post thing, in case you didn’t notice. Not having internet for a bit will do that to ya. I’ve still got to finish/post the one about that last party at our house. I’ve got “killer” stories on that one.

Anyways, life is pretty strange right now, living in a city where you don’t really know too many people. Like just today when I was dropping off the U-Haul, I had to fucking call up a cab because everyone that I knew in the area was working at the time. It’s definitely not the same as back in Ta Town or Manhattan where there is always a number of people that you can holla at. But yeah, they don’t usually have cabs come up this north, so it took the motherfucker like an hour to get up here (partly due to Paseo being closed). But yeah, it was hot today. Several times I thought to myself “shit, man, I could’ve walked home by now.” But then, I knew the cab was on its way so I couldn’t really leave cuz they be expecting you n shit. And before you know it, you’ve already invested so much time in waiting that it would seem like a terrible waste if you did not see it through. Such is the dilemma with waiting. There’s probably nothing that I hate more than waiting. It fucking sucked. Hopefully there’s not too many more events like that.

OK. And then there is this girl, Jenny, that lives a few doors down that I am trying to figure out. Like, first of all, who the heck does she live with?? I seen her drive 2 distinct cars today, so I think she may be living with a twin sister, maybe? We can only hope. Yeah, I’m not sure what is going on for sure, but I ran into her like fucking 3, maybe 4 times last night, just from unloading stuff from the U-Haul and our cars. But then the “kicker” was when one time she had this other girl with her and she explained to me that she was just her friend visiting. I didn’t think too much of it, but Sam was saying later on “yeah, they lesbians.” The basis was that she was having a female caller so late in the nighttime. But I mean, it can happen, right? I can’t tell… I have the worst gaydar instincts out of everyone that I know. So yeah, she’s just such a mystery. A mystery that I intend to solve in the near future; I’ll keep you guys posted on the latest Jenny happenings as they come to me.

Basically, I am just hanging out at the apartment with nothing to do, just waiting around until Saturday when I fly out to Alaska to visit my brother. I’ve got all kinds of shit to do like furniture arranging, poster hanging… you know the usual stuff. Stacy called me up when I was waiting for my cab and later we arranged to meet near this museum close to the Plaza, pretty close to Westport.

I kind of know my way around the town but not that well so it was pretty hardcore, basically trying to arrange a meeting between people not from KC. I’m surprised it even went down without a hitch. But it worked out and so Stacy, Sonny, and I roll down to Westport, drink some beer at this place called something or other Horse. Actually Sonny didn’t drink because she was going to be driving. I kind of felt bad because I felt like we were leaving her out, but hopefully she had an OK time… In either case, I learned that Sonny has a thing for The Cardigans (especially Nina), which I thought was fantastic/impressive/admirable. That girl’s alright, lemme tell you. They’re both alright.

My plans for tomorrow? I am going shopping for things that I will be needing at this new place: tall mirror, plug-in air fresheners/potpourri?, folding chair, desk lamp, frames for Rilo Kiley paraphenelia, and most importantly, food. Actually a pretty nice little Thursday, I’m going to go to Wal-Mart. Yeah, buy some things. Maybe Bed, Bath & Beyond, I don’t know, I don’t know if I’ll have enough time.

Dashboard Show / LCD

May 28, 2004 at 6:28 PM | KCMO, Music, Nerd | No Comments

Yeah so that Dashboard Confessional show was pretty good. Well, Dashboard was good but I can’t say the same for The Get Up Kids or Thrice. Dashboard played a pretty long set and they had these crazy spotlight backdrops that were always changing. There was a whole lot of people at the thing and we were in line for like an hour because apparently, that City Market venue was big and outdoors and everybody decided to go through Ticketmaster. Anyways, as I had expected, there was a bunch of bitch ass emo kids who showed up to this thing. The type of bitch ass kids who know every lyric of every Dashboard song and sing along. Just like the ones from the Dashboard MTV unplugged set that you may have heard/seen. We were surrounded by em! Even as we drove into town, we saw them walking towards the show… “augh! lookit them bitch ass kids, prolly walking to the Dashboard show.” And yeah, they were.

Also, I bought this LCD flat panel monitor today because my Samsung 19″ CRT was going all blurry on me. The thing is, I didn’t even notice until way late when Sam came over one day and I was just chillin and he goes “damn lookit that monitor!” or something like that. It had all happened so gradually that I didn’t notice… I thought I’d just spent too much time on the computer or something. Anyways, it’s a 17″… which I guess went against my rule of not being able to go backwards in terms of size, but because it’s a flat panel I can make an exception. I ain’t made of money you know.

Down To Business

May 24, 2004 at 10:15 PM | KCMO, Music, Random, Site/Personal, Work | No Comments

Well, I’m back up in Manhattan and there’s a couple of things going down:

  1. It’s time to get my shit together, stop messin around, and start lookin for a job. I mean… really getting serious and going out there and doing shit. Starting tomorrow, that is.
  2. I want to give a shout out to Amanda, who’s in Europe right now, having a grand ol’ time. I wish I would’ve been able to go. I wish I would’ve been able to see you when I came down to Wichita. I miss you, gurr.
  3. On the horizon: Dashboard Confessional, Thrice, The Get Up Kids / May 27 / City Market (KC, MO)
  4. Remember: summertime = mosquitoes

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