Sunday, April 11, 2010

30 days of Music

We'll see how far I get with this... stolen from Kieron Gillen's blog. And I'm going to do it 5 song increments, so it is more like 6 Days of Music!

Day 01 - your favorite song

Wow. This is a hard one. My favorite song has changed over the years, but in the end it made sense to go with a song from my favorite band, Metallica's Master of Puppets:

Day 02 - your least favorite song

Mere words cannot express the depths of my hatred for this song. Kid Rock is bad enough, but add in Sheryl Crow and you have suckage of epic proportion:

Day 03 - a song that makes you happy

Especially after seeing Tom Cruise dance to it in Tropic Thunder:

Day 04 - a song that makes you sad

Because Aaron Lewis is the most depressing person on the planet.

Day 05 - a song that reminds you of someone

On our second date this song came on the radio and my wife sang along with me. I cannot express how awesome it was to be with someone who likes the same kind of music you do and loves singing along with you.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Random Quick Hits!


has replaced Frankie the Fish as my favorite commercial. It gets better every time I see it. Best youtube comment I've seen about it: "I've watched this video about 3,000 times. i laugh each time. i wish it was a full length movie". If it was it would outgross Avatar.

2. This past weekend was awesome. Charlie Engle (the ultra endurance runner who ran across the Sahara) gave a great talk and was much less mean in person then he was in the documentary. Wicked the musical, though different than the book, was excellent. Helene Yorke was great as Glinda and the stage and effects were off the charts. Finally, the weather turned and it wasn't freezing for the Splash and Dash!

3. Douchebag of the week was going to be a toss-up between Carl Edwards (seriously bro... handle your business after the race with your fists if you feel the need to get some payback) and Big Ben (seriously... again?). But then Lindsey Lohan came around to take the title, with her ridiculously frivolous lawsuit. 100 million dollars? Really?

4. Horns by Joe Hill is an awesome book.

5. Last night's episode of Lost didn't give us a lot of answers but it was a damn good episode. I actually almost felt sorry for Ben Linus... kudos to Michael Emerson for pulling it off. The line "Because no one else will have me" was perfect. This episode was a great example of why Lost is so awesome... you really care about the characters. Also, Widmore is back bitches!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Lost: Sundown

A few thoughts on tonight's episode:

1.)Well I guess that's why Sayid was in the Judas position in the Last Supper promo picture. Oh wait! Fake Locke was in the Jesus position. Maybe Sayid will be redeemed before the season's end.

2.)Goodbye Dogen and Lennon... we hardly knew ye. As soon as Dogen started waxing poetically about his son you just knew as soon as he finished the story Sayid was gonna whack him.

3.)I was so excited Keamy returned! And then he got whacked. Without killing anyone. What. The. Hell. He better have had a bullet proof vest on or something. Keamy is like bacon. He makes everything better.

4.)I wrote a Haiku:

Jacob and Smokey
Are Looking for Replacements
Who? Jack and Sawyer

I think at the end of the series, Sawyer will be the new Jacob and Jack will be the new Smokey.

5.)Looks like a Ben episode is coming next week. I hope this means we get some Charles Widmore...

That's it for now! I'll digest tonight and later I'll explain why Penny is Jack's son's Mom!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Rent Review

Last Sunday, Indian takeout sounded like an awesome idea. Normally my wife and I have a stack of coupons for $7 off a 2 dinner order for both Amar India and Jeet India. However, this time we couldn't find one that wasn't expired. Thankfully there's always one in the Dayton City Paper so I wondered around the strip mall Jeet is in until I found my coupon.

Anyways... while flipping through the paper I happened to see that Rent was being performed at the Playhouse South Community Theater. I had never seen Rent before and we didn't have any plans this weekend so my wife and I figured, what the hell!

The Venue: The theater was located in a building that looks like it used to be a high school but has been re-purposed into a community theater (and a preschool). The concessions were good and very inexpensive ($1 for drinks, 50 cents for popcorn). My biggest issue was there was too much interference/feedback from the microphones during the performance.

The Cast:

Sean Jones as Mark Cohen: I thought Jones did a good job playing Mark. The highlight was probably the Tango: Maureen, where I think Jones did a good job with the witty banter and dancing. At another point he did flub a line I believe, but recovered nicely. On the rating scale provided by the theater (1- Average, 2-Good, 3-Excellent) I'd give Jones a solid 2.

Bobby Mitchum as Roger: I enjoyed Mitchum's portrayal of Roger, however I can't pinpoint what stood out. Perhaps it was his voice... highlights include the duets with Mimi, Light My Candle and I Should Tell You. 2.

Jamal Caan as Tom Collins: For some reason I had a difficult time understanding Caan's Collins. He just seemed a little soft spoken. I thought he did a good job making the relationship between Collins and Angel seem real. 2.

Tina deAlderete as Mimi Marquez: The real standout of the show in my opinion. deAlderete's dance background really showed when she worked the stage during Out Tonight. Her facial expressions really drew me in and I thought her vocals were one of the best in the cast. 3.

Lindsay Sherman as Maureen: I'm torn on this one. Sherman did a great job with Maureen's protest speech. I thought she really nailed the slurping milk scene. And the mooing was hilarious. But... I wasn't a big fan of her voice. At times I think she was overpowering it. 2.

Kelly Campbell as Joanne: The duet with Sherman's Maureen was one of my least favorite parts of the show... the singing at times was so piercing it hurt my ears. However, Campbell did a fine job with Jones' Cohen during the Maureen Tango. 2.

Mike Embree as Angel: Angel seems like a character an actor can really work with and Embree was up to the challenge. The jumping on the table in the drag queen santa outfit was awesome. Embree's bio says he was in Cabaret and I'm going to assume he was the Emcee. I would have liked to have seen that. 3.

Ben Miller as Benny: I find it strange that in a show that is almost all song, this main character never got a chance to air out the pipes. Maybe that's the point as Benny was the bad guy who abandoned his artist friends. Anyways, there wasn't a lot to judge this performance on. 2.

Ensemble: Hard to match up the names with the various roles, but the actress playing Alexi Darling was funny in that role, the The Homeless Woman who told off Mark Cohen was good, and the big tall guy resembled the big tall guy in Doctor Horrible which has to be good for some bonus points. (Now there's an idea Playhouse South... do Dr. Horrible!)

Overall I enjoyed the show. I hope I wasn't too hard on the cast, but I was trying to give a fair and honest review. The majority of the ensemble songs were well done and I would recommend checking it out. The wonderful performances by deAlderete and Embree, the solid showings by Jones and Mitchum, the surreal performance by Sherman during the protest, and the relationships between the couples (Roger&Mimi, Angel&Tom, and Maureen&Joanne) more than make up for a few sound issues, a little difficulty understanding some of the actors, and a duet that didn't quite hit the right notes for me.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Five Ways to Stop Wasting Money

This list will not be about how I think you should stop buying soft drinks when you eat out or remembering to turn out the lights when you leave a room. You already know that stuff and I think everyone is entitled to choose how they want to spend their money. I blow my money on books and race entry fees, so I can't judge you if you want a 40K vehicle or a big screen. However I do want you to know that you might be leaving money on the table. What can you do to stop?

5. Stop using cash Now this comes with a serious caveat. Only follow this advice if you are not in credit card debt and you can afford to pay off your credit card bills each month.. If you can do that then it makes zero sense to buy anything with cash. Why? Credit Card Reward programs. Last year I cashed in reward points for over $600 in gift certificates to stores like Macy's, Best Buy, Sears, etc. Which cards do I recommend?

The Citi Forward Card from Citibank. This card gives 5 points for every dollar spent on restaurants, book stores, music stores, and the movies. Also, is considered a bookstore so you also get 5 points per dollar when you buy from them. 10,000 points can be redeemed for $100 gift certificates to places like Macy's, while 6,000 points gets you $50 gift cards to Best Buy, Home Depot, Barnes & Noble, just to name a few. No annual fee.

Capital One World Mastercard I use this card for groceries and gas since it gives 2% cashback for those categories. This card is also great for traveling international because there are no currency conversion fees and they even pay the 1% Mastercard fee for you. No annual fee.

4.Score Frequent Flier Miles for Car Rentals I get that not everyone flies as frequently as I do, but that doesn't mean you should leave frequent flier miles on the table. Whenever I rent a car I make sure to visit Delta's website to see what special offers are currently going on. Right now, Avis has a great deal, giving 2010 miles if you rent a car for 2 days from an airport location. Beyond these special offers you can usually get at least double miles (i.e. 2 miles per dollar spent) every time you rent a car. This helps rack up miles and keeps your frequent flier miles from expiring.

3.Ditto for Hotels Join Hotel reward programs. Even if you don't use hotels enough to move up to the next status level, there are still perks and often you can choose to earn frequent flier miles instead of points in some instances.

2. Check if your Company has a Cell Phone deal If you are a student I can almost guarantee you can get a cheaper group rate with your cell phone provider if you have a .edu e-mail address. See here for more details.

1. If the Reward Program is Free, Join it . I'm earning points with Speedway every time I get gas (good for reduced price per gallon). Borders sends me a 33% off coupon every three days and provides me with $5 gift certificates once I've spent a certain amount (and sometimes just because). Ace Hardware give a $5 gift card for every $250 spent. So whenever I need gas I try and hit a Speedway, I shop at Borders instead of Barnes and Noble (with the coupons and Borders bucks it's usually cheaper than Amazon!), and I go to Ace instead of Lowe's or Home Depot.

5. Read My Money Blog. My Money Blog is the site that I got most of these ideas from and boy have they paid off!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Whacky Races

As you can see over on my goal list, I'm a pretty active person. With a Half Ironman and a Marathon under my belt, I'm eyeing a Full Ironman this year. However I do like to break up the monotony of training with fun races along the way. So far I've done:

Urban Challenge - Solve a series of clues pointing to locations around a city, run there and snap a picture

The Mad Cow Urban Adventure Race - A Canoeing, Rollerblading, Orienteering, Biking, and Running Race

The Muddy Buddy: The Muddy Buddy is a race that consists of a two person team. One person begins the race on foot while the other begins the race on a bike. The person on the bike rides until they reach an obstacle. They drop the bike, complete the obstacle, and then take off on foot. The guy who started on foot completes the obstacle, grabs the bike, and then leapfrogs his teammate. This pattern continues through the course as you encounter obstacles. At the end, you are your teammate meet up and slog through a mudpit to the finish line.

The Tour de Donut : A 30 mile Bike Course with Donut Eating stations. Every donut you eat takes 5 minutes off your time!

And this year I'm signed up for The Warrior Dash

What will the future bring? Well I have some MORE ideas:

10. SkirtChaser 5k The women start the race 3 minutes before the men. Then the men get to chase em down! I think this would be tons of fun to do with my wife

9. Marine Mud Run 3 miles of hills, obstacles, and mudpits.

8. Krispy Kreme Challenge Run 2 miles, eat a dozen donuts, run two more miles all in under an hour.

7. A Bare as You Dare 5K.

6. Escape From Alcatraz A triathlon that starts with a swim from Alcatraz to San Francisco. Awesome!

5. The Survival of the Shawangunks After a 30 mile bike you run, swim across a lake, run, swim across another lake, run, swim across yet another lake, then a run to the finish. All while carrying your shoes during each swim.

4. A Reverse Order Triathlon

3. Loveland's Amazing Race A course that: "challenges the contestants agility, balance, coordination, strength, intelligence, problem solving skills, fine motor skills, and most important their sense of humor"

2 & 1. The Tough Guy Challenge. Summer and Winter Versions Just watch:

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Weekend Wrap

Making lists is a lazy way to blog, but it is better than not blogging at all (well maybe...). So here we go, the Weekend 10!

10. I lost my world record this weekend which sucked. In 2003, my Dad and I attended the Basketbowl between Kentucky and Michigan State. 78,127 of our closest friends also showed up setting the world record for attendance for a basketball game. The NBA All Star game on Sunday this weekend in the new Cowboys stadium blew past that record.

9. Speaking of Kentucky basketball, the ESPN Gameday Crew was a Rupp Arena on Saturday at 11AM. Digger Phelps was in the house and one of my buddies got his picture taken with Digger. Seeing a UK fan chumming it up with Digger Phelps probably has Coach Rupp, Cawood, Mr. Wildcat, and my Grandad rolling in their graves. Regardless, it was awesome to show the world UK has the best fan base, as we filled Rupp at 11AM for the gameday show then rocked Rupp for the game at 9PM with another 24K. The Cats have a great shot at the Final 4, and since it is in Indy, I've already got my tickets! Here's hoping they get there!

8. And back to the NBA All Star Game for a moment.... I always get my hopes up and then they never play defense (well until the 4th quarter... and only sometimes then). I wish they'd pay the winners 250K each so we'd get some more effort.

7. I feel bad for NASCAR. Their Super Bowl suffered through two ridiculously long red flags and then what felt like 20 cautions in the last 15 laps (one of which rendered moot a sweet pass by Kevin Harvick). Little E got me out of my seat with his 10th to 2nd in a lap move, and the end was pretty exciting, but 6 1/2 hours to finish the damn thing? Ugh.

6. I ate waaaay too much chocolate. My wife and I stopped at the Golden Turtle Chocolate Factory and I went crazy. An almond cluster, a cashew cluster, a peanut butter cup, a double dipped pretzel, and a Texas Tortoise later and I have officially OD'ed on chocolate. Yum.

5. While watching the UK-UT game at my sister's boyfriend's house, I had a lovely conversation with a Cincinnati Bearcat fan. After he said he wanted UK to lose I asked him if he remembered where he was the day Kenyon Martin broke his leg. He might still be crying.

4. My wife and I had dinner with my sister and her boyfriend at Chi-nnati's a Chicago Style pizza place in Cincy. I was too hungry to wait the 40 minutes for the deep dish, but the thin crust onion, pepperoni, mushroom, and jalapeno pizza I ordered was fantastic.

3. Was also fun to see my sister and tour her boyfriend's house. I found out that despite my sister's claims to the contrary, she can't keep up with Left Eye during the rap part of Waterfalls either.

2. Driving around the mall on Saturday was hellacious. Everyone was out since the road were finally cleared. But after multiple trips to Bed Bath and Beyond we got the shelving we needed to start work on the hardware display upstairs. Our running pictures/medals/trophies look pretty cool up in the loft. And speaking of hardware..

1. The Wife and I grabbed second place in the Married Couple Division at a Valentine's Day Race 2 Miler. I love that my wife enjoys running and it was fun lighting up suckers, knocking out chumps, smoking fools, and talking noise about it with her.