Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Scrubs Season 1

For all of you who know what good TV really is, the first season of Scrubs is out now on DVD. It has been monopolizing much of my time. It should monopolize much of your time as well.
So wow, May 25. And there are still no ridiculously affordable apartments to be had in Richmond. Lots of affordable, but no ridiculously affordable. I'm gonna hold out a bit longer, considering how much I paid for my last apartment (it wasn't pretty).
VCU's graduation was this weekend, so there were lots of festivities going on. I was privy to two such celebrations, one for my God-sister and one for Cyn's brother Shaun. Both of them were fun, but by the end of the day I was pooped and rather loaded. And then I woke up at 2 in the morning with the most absurd hunger I have ever felt and made a tempeh sandwich.
Why tempeh, you ask? Well, for those of you who don't know what tempeh is, it is a chunky meat substitute, kind of like a mix between tofu and pork chops (are you running out to the store to buy some yet?). It takes on the flavor of anything you cook it with, like tofu. So Friday night I cooked Cynthia dinner for our monthly date; we were also supposed to watch West Side Story for my initiation into the movie musical, but no video store in town had it. So we watched 24, our latest Netflix obsession, one and a half seasons down and still riveted! Getting back to the tempeh, I baked it in soy sauce and maple syrup for an hour and then breaded it with a mix of cornmeal, thyme, red pepper flakes, oregano and cumin and fried it. It was quite good but incredibly rich, almost too rich to eat by itself. It does, however, as I discovered on my late night hunger quest, make a terrific sandwich.
So I'm still working on that whole music blog thing, but in the meantime, here are some albums to which everyone should be listening: Back to You by Kathleen Edwards (esp. Tara), Solace by Xavier Rudd, The Forgotten Arm by Aimiee Mann, Chrome by Catherine Wheel, Baja Sessions by Chris Isaak, Blood and Chocolate by Elvis Costello, Utopia Parkway by Fountains of Wayne (wonderful summer album, if only summer would ever get here), Nashville by Josh Rouse (ditto), Be by Common, Transistor Radio by M. Ward (esp. Teddy), Trouble by Ray LaMontagne, Magic Time by Van Morrison, Ghetto Bells by Vic Chesnutt, and anything by Nina Simone, my current obsession. Oh, and Since We Last Spoke by RJD2. That's my two cents, I'm out.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Hooray for Big Daddy!

I got to get all dressed up tonight and go to an awards dinner for my dad! He was inducted into the Richmond Business Hall of Fame in a ceremony put on by a service organization called the Junior Achievers. Now they're no Little Lebowski Urban Achievers (and proud we are of all of them), but they'll do.

Nat, Dad and I looking all spiffy.

Not too much to tell about the ceremony that would mean anything to anyone who doesn't know Dad, but he gave a great acceptance speech. And there was an open bar all night, hells yeah!

My Mom and Dad

In other news, as soon as I find the time I am going to start a subordinate blog (hey, that's a good band name) of music that I have been listening. Mainly because I don't want Ted to listen exclusively to Phish shows from the late 90's.
My Bonnaroo tickets came in the mail today as well. And I finished putting primer up on the latticework of the house. Fun stuff. But not as fun as caulking.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

How to apply caulk to the exterior of your house

Gather round, ladies and gents, and hear of Cliff's adventures in caulking! I had never caulked before today, and I must say that I am now a fan. Not so much because it's fun; it is no more or less satisfying than any other home improvement task. But it is so much fun to say! Caulk. It's a noun or a verb. The word fits the object that it describes quite well, like platypus. And when someone asks what you did today, you can say, "I caulked all day" and for once not be lying.
So the proper way to apply caulk to an exterior crack is as follows:

1) Be sure that the crack is free from excess moisture, mildew, dirt, dust, and animal feces before you begin. Trust me.

2) Make sure that you have both a can of caulk and a caulk gun. A caulk gun is a metal half-cylinder with a long metal rod coming out of the back and a trigger and handle on the bottom. Now there are several kinds of caulk. The two most common are silicon and siliconated latex. Silicon is the best, but if you are planning to paint over the caulk you must get latex as paint does not stick to the silicon caulk.

3) Now you're ready to caulk. Cut the tip off the tube of caulk at a 45 degree angle, being sure that the opening is no more than 1/4 inch unless you are caulking an obscenely big space.

4) Placing the nozzle against the crack, begin caulking smoothly, applying a healthy amount of caulk to the crack. Don't worry too much about the aesthetics of the caulk when you are applying it; just make sure that the crack is filled.

5) Once you are done caulking, use your finger to push the caulk further into the crack. It is important that the whole crack is filled so that there is no place for water to seep in.

6) Finally, take a wet cloth and wipe away excess caulk from the edges of the crack. Let the caulk dry for the allotted time (usually about 2 hours) and then you are free to paint over it. Voila, weatherproofing for the masses!

Now that I am such a fan of caulk, I will look to expand the roles that caulk plays in my daily life. I will substitute it for milk in my breakfast cereal. I will begin making things out of caulk to give to my friends for their birthdays, such as monkey figurines and pocketwatches. And keep an eye out for my forthcoming book, More Fun in the Bedroom with Caulk.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Kasey at the Track

So I have two people on my ass about my blog. One is being quite encouraging and has linked my blog to hers (and as soon as I figure out some of those fancy tricks, Tara, I'll return the favor). The other has taken to berating me over AIM about how her blog is so much better than mine. Which is absolutely true. Liz, your blog is an inspiration to all of us. And, as above, as soon as I figure out some of these fancy tricks I will let all my readers rent your brain. So from now on I am going to make a concerted effort to update this damn thing regularly. So I guess I'd better start out with a good post.

Never one to disappoint or keep folks in suspense, I'll come right out and say it: I went to a Nascar race this weekend. And it was freakin' sweet, so y'all can eat my ass if you wanna hate.

I went with my friend Kyle, who is a pretty big Nascar fan.

Although he is not as big a fan as these guys.

These people get seriously crazy about this stuff. It's pretty infectious, like leprosy.
So we get there and tailgate with Kyle's mom and some of her friends, all of whom were extremely nice and hospitable people.

This is one of the guys playing a game like horseshoes, except you throw washers into a coffee can so that nobody's car gets decked by a horseshoe.

We then went to the credentials hut to get our pit passes, which we got because I knows people who knows people, yo.

Kyle was very excited about his.

We then went back and tailgated some more, this time joined by my brother Nat and his girlfriend Alison.

Then it was time for the walk to the track, where there were many many sites to behold. Many of them with very few teeth.

This sequence will give you an idea of the size of the track:

Okay, so I guess panorama sequences don't work so well on blogs. Damn.

We then proceeded to the pit area for a behind-the-scenes look at the whole thing.

This guy is gluing lugnuts onto the tires so that the pit crew doesn't have to manually put them on during the race.

A finished tire

Some pit ho's

Joe Gibbs, who almost ran into me as I was taking pictures. Shouldn't he be coaching somewhere?

My money's on these guys

Kasey Kahne's car (he ended up winning the race, hence the lame title of this post)

Unfortunately my camera ran out of batteries before the start of the race, but I did manage to squeeze one action shot out of it.

So that was my day at the races, more or less. I actually did have a great time at the race. I couldn't believe how much of an EVENT it was. It was overwhelming, expecially when the checkered flag waved and the cars got up to full speed and my eardrums and chest were vibrating at unnatural speeds. It's quite an experience, something to add to your list of things to do at least once in your life.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Asheville and Boone, hippie heaven

Hello all. Got to go to North Carolina this past weekend to see my friend Deanna, who I hadn't seen since my time in London. Cynthia and I met her and her boyfriend Chris in Asheville and spent the afternoon wandering around downtown and hanging out with all the hippies. The Southern hippie is quite an interesting thing. My friend Ted and I have had many conversations on the differences between Southern and Northeastern hippies. I myself grew up thinking of Southern hippies as just hippies, and Northeastern hippies don't seem that different to me. But when Ted hears hippie lingo in a Southern accent, it's all he can do to keep from cracking up.
Hippies aside, Asheville is a lovely town, and the Shins were just great in concert. Sadly my camera and phone were both out of batteries at the show, so I couldn't take any pictures or call anyone and leave one of those messages where you can't really hear any music, just a lot of noise coming out of your phone with the occasional distorted vocal coming through. I myself am a big fan of trying to figure out exactly who it is you're listening to.
We stayed with Deanna in Boone, another hippie haven, and the next day we went up to this place they call Firetower Point, or something like that. It overlooks the whole town, and after a night of juice my camera was ready to go!

The town of Boone

The rocky, bumpy road up the mountain (not for the queasy of stomach or those who have just eaten a large quesadilla)

Cynthia being a real sport
So that was Asheville and Boone. Quite impressed with both, I must say. And I slipped back into my Carolina accent, which made Cynthia quite scared.