Why Plinko hates you.

the life and times of one jaded motherfucker.

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Uncle Phil

:.News of the World.:
Washington Post
NY Times
Howard Kurtz
Leonard Pitts
The Onion

:.On Wisconsin.:
Milwaukee J-S
Wheeler Report
Gannett Wisconsin

Penny Arcade


:.Current Book.:
Woman In the Dark - Dashiell Hammett

:.Last 6 Books.:
The Catcher In the Rye - JD Salinger
Grendel - John Gardner
Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha - Roddy Doyle
The Road - Cormac McCarthy
Theft - Peter Carey
Saturday - Ian McEwan

:. Bands .:
Dismemberment Plan
Jets to Brazil
Promise Ring

Mark Helprin
Kazuo Ishiguro
Wilkie Collins
William Faulkner
Philip K. Dick
Dashiell Hammett

The Lord of the Rings
J.R.R. Tolkien
Frank Herbert
Dan Simmons
The Dark Tower
Stephen King

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Thursday, July 31
If you are interested in an apartment update, the gas now works, so now I can cook at home. It's so fancy, I can even use two burners at once! Yes, I know it's very exciting!

So, work has been more confusing yet somehow less stressful than I thought without the boss. I've had to be responsible for some things I hadn't planned on, but there really isn't much for me to fuck up, at least. I made a smart decision to avoid my boss' boss at every opportunity. I think that alone has saved me a lot of headache. I'm sure there are things that by all rights, I should have gone to her and asked her to make a decision on or give me some guidance, but I know that that is a can of worms I have no interest in opening.
Today I tried to get all the way caught up on things to give myself a nice easy Friday, but I got tired of the headache at 6 so I went home.

I have been having a slightly tough time entertaining myself, since I am still Internet-free at home. Monday and Tuesday night I watched LotR: FotR, which is always a good experience. But last night I foolishly put in Event Horizon. Suffice it to say I spent most of the time wondering if it was a serious contender for worst move I have ever seen. In the end, I don't think it's quite to that point, but it merits consideration, that's for sure.

I am inclined to say that in general, Wisconsin drivers are pretty good, but Oshkosh driving is an unusual hazard for the state. I mention this not just because others have brought up driving and accidents a lot lately, but also because I was nearly in a low-speed accident on the way home from work today. I was driving down Ceape Street (a one way, for those of you needing a reference) when in the left lane when the car in the right lane attempted to make a left turn. From her lane. Now, I had been next to her for maybe two blocks already and she was slightly ahead of me so I was a quarter second from broadsiding her. Fortunately, the quick video game reflexes paid off and I managed to stop a few inches from her door. The best part is the old woman just sat there, completely perplexed by the whole thing for thirty or more seconds, with her giant white sedan blocking both lanes before she decided to back into the lane she had come from to let me go on and then she turned, from that wrong lane, anyway. I don't know what it is, but I've never seen the rash of disgustingly bad driving I see around here when I'm driving elsewhere in Wisconsin.
I think it's the unusually high percentage of residents that are old and/or crazy.

Monday, July 28
So, when I go home in a few minutes, the water should be working. The gas could possibly be turned on as well, but I'm not willing to bet on it just yet. Pretty soon I'll be totally up to speed on things at the new place.

Did I mention that the boss is off this whole week? Fortunately I don't have to wear daddy-pants or anything while she's away, but it's still pretty terrible. Did I ever tell you that I have the greatest boss ever? I am sorta lost, since I usually bother her for answers every, say three minutes. And she also shields me from a significant amount of her boss's brand of crazy. So, for this week I'm exposed and almost helpless. I guess it's time I learned to walk on my own . . . Or, just ask my trusty co-worker more questions!

I don't have the energy to post links to news stories (check the Journal-Sentinel) about this right now, but as long as I'm trying to get more politics in here:
The people talking recall campaign for Governor Doyle over his veto of the property tax freeze should have their citizenship revoked and be deported to some Commie country like China or Finland. They're complete retards for a number of reasons, the least of which is you can't recall someone until they've been in office a year, not to mention the whole crybaby whiny attitude about politics. I want to kick every one of them in the nuts, even the ladies.
You can disagree with his veto, which is dumb, but not a deportable offense by any means. Sure, you're a namby-pamby (why am I using that word all the time?), but the idea has some merits, unlike the idea of mounting recall efforts every time a politicians votes a way you disagree with which is for, you know, commies.

Sunday, July 27
Well, the moving happened at near-record speed, just about four hours to move all my possessions. It's amazing what a good mix of organization and hard-working, smart friends can do for the moving experience.
Nuts to all of you that missed the fun, it was a sweaty backbreaking party!

So, I'm in the new place, but without water, gas, phone or Internet.
I'll be visiting my parents a lot for the next few days while things get turned on and transferred over. Just so you know, the phone number will remain the same, if you're one of the weirdos that actually tries to contact me via telephone.

I guess as soon as that's over I'll have to get on the planning of the new apartment party, for all the lovely people that helped me move.
And maybe even some of the people who didn't . . .

Alright, I'm getting tired of hanging out at mom and dad's, time to go home and unpack some more.

Saturday, July 26
I'd like to be saying 'ahhh. . . the weekend' right now, but the fact is that this weekend I'm moving.
Not that it's really news, but sometimes I forget just how much work it really is to move, even such a short distance as I am about to move.
I went home early tonight to get more packing and cleaning done. I'm gettng the feeling that no amount of packing and cleaning could possibly result in me being able to successfully move this weekend. This is not to say I haven't made considerable progress, just that it doesn't look like much to me.

There are times when I think I should just go totally simple with life. Throw away most of my stuff, get rid of the TV and videogames and the computer. Live a simpler life.
I mean, I like lots of things that don't require all those extras: cooking, biking, reading, to name a few.

But then I relaize that I spend like four hours a day online and I don't even begin to read all the things I want to, and that the only significant writing I accomplish takes place on this very site. While it's nice to spend an entire evening biking through rural Winnebago County, I like my variety a little too much. So, the modern trappings stay, even if it's more stuff than I care to admit.

We ate at Caliban's tonight, I think we all enjoyed our meals thoroughly, then we visited the new and improved mall, with the excessivly gi-normous Scheel's. The store is so big and spendy it made me ill, almost literally.

Miss Velveteen and I did a little checking up on the competition while we were there as well. Yes, sometimes we're geeks for work.

Once the moving begins tomorrow, I will be offline for 10 days or so. I'm sure I'll find the time to post from work or my parents' place, so don't get all worried you won't get to hear from me for almost two weeks. I know you were worried!

Thursday, July 24
I'm tired.

So, I decided to head out on the WIOUWASH again tonight after work. I let myself get a little out of hand, as I was about a mile shy of the Outagamie County Airport when I finally decided to turn around and head home.
All told, my little jaunt was somewhere between 25 and 30 miles and took about three hours. The trail on the way home was basically a soild mass of tiny, tiny bugs.
As I was riding home I got kind of worried.
What if I got too tired?
What if it got dark?
What if someone stole me?

But, I made it home just fine. I expect to sleep well tonight and remember to save the long-distance bike rides for the weekends.

Speaking of weekend, I fully expect to be moving Saturday. So, if you're in town and not working and not broken, feel free to stop over to help move.

I spoke with Mr. Phil at length about some more disgust for my previous to my previous employer. But as much as I have the desire to rip on them even more than yesterday, I don't have the energy. Suffice to say I wish I had a subscription just so I could mark it up in red ink with corrections and a whole lot of 'what the fuck were you thinking?' scribbles all the time.

Since I'm too tired to write about that, I guess I'm too tired to talk about other stuff as well. So, I guess this is good night!

Tuesday, July 22
I think I'm finally starting to get a handle again at work.
I didn't really say much, but for about a week things have been totally confusing to me, mostly because it's my job to sort out issues with the new season so the factories can make sense of what we want from them (really it's my job to tell other people to clear them up), and this young season has been a real dick in the ear, mostly because there are so many mistakes and errors and confusion I couldn't keep track.
But, lucky me, I think I've gotten an awful lot of it cleared up and with any luck it will be smoother from here on out.

Okay, so I'm just going to cut to the chase here, sight unseen, I'm going to suggest that today's edition of the Nowhere is the biggest crime against intelligence in the paper's 100-odd years of publishing.

My evidence:

Today's local news headlines:
• Adults want smoke-free restaurants
• Food served with a side of fun
• Cows come to town for Holstein Show (By Doug Zellmer)
• Schools get new systems

The sports section features a column by Chuck Carlson on why it was great for everyone that George Karl walked away/was fired as head coach of the Bucks. No matter that the Bucks are paying Karl $7 million not to coach this year, or that Karl was the highest-paid coach in major American professional sports (not counting those who sport general manager titles as well, but still considerably more than most of those as well). Karl's a smart guy, Chuckles says. Though I'd lay $10 he hasn't spoke to Karl for a grand total of ten minutes in his whole life.

But the grand vizier of stupidity is today's editorial on downtown. Were there a worst editorial writing award handed out by the Pulitzer committee, I imagine today's would be a runaway winner. In sum, it calls for the Exclusive Company to do something with the old V&S Variety Store building downtown at the corner of Washington and Main. This is possibly a noble idea, but the execution was pitifully, laughably inept.
Though the paper is willing to call out the company that is occupying the store (the Exclusive Company) as a storage facility, they are too namby-pamby to call the owner of the business and present his point of view (even though he is a relatively prominent Oshkosh businessman). But this is only the simplest of the crimes against rhetoric invovled.

My favorite, as it is possibly the most perplexing is the classic of asserting something's existence as proof that it's opposite is true:
"The building location across from what has proven to be a major gathering point for people verifies that the location continues to have viability as a prime retail property."
Yes, clearly the fact that the building is an empty storefront across from a park is hard and fast evidence that this is prime retail space, because the hottest properties are always ones that have stood empty for decades!

The the Nowhere draws upon its well of retail genius to provide advice to the hordes of businessmen lining up to occupy the old building with such gems as:
"Generally, experts have said we need to continue to attract those stores that offer unique and non-mainstream products."
This obviously points to the tried and true method of selling things people don't want to buy. Yes, nothing would draw people to shop downtown like even more stores selling things people aren't interested in purchasing. You see, it's only a matter of minutes before stores like the Magic Spot complete their transformation of Oshkosh's downtown into the next Fifth Avenue!

But wait, there's more!
Channeling some market analysis based on their extensive knowledge of what all the kiddies want, the county's paper of go-tard suggests that "Oshkosh is ready for a coffeehouse that also doubles as a music store that specializes in hard-to-find CDs." I suppose this is because of all the latent love of rare and unusual music found in Oshkosh, which is only fed by the masses of eclectic music lovers traveling through Oshkosh who are unable to sake their undying thirst for out of print vinyl from 80s garage bands while enjoying a double mocha. "Local stereo aficionados say they know the drive to Milwaukee well because that’s where they get their records." With a straight face, they've argued that downtown needs a vinyl records store to revitalize downtown.

And, a real crowd-pleaser because of it's sheer ignorance: "Yet another opening is for a movie store that offers what the larger chain rental places do not offer. There is some local interest in Japanese and Korean animated movies. A mix of these also could include DVDs by independent moviemakers."
For those of you not attuned to Oshkosh's video rental industry:
An independent video store opened and closed just a block down Main Street from the V&S store within the last two years, a decade ago one at the then-Park Plaza mall had a short existence as well. I don't remember and editorials lamenting their demise, though they might have been just what Oshkosh's downtown needs! Especially since none of those big chains carry any anime or independent movies on DVD.
I get the feeling that the editorial board got their hands on a list of hot retail trends from 1993 and then threw darts at it to determine what sorts of businesses it would take to draw shoppers downtown.

The ignorance here is astounding. It's actually full-on offensive. It's like they're pushing to be the single-most powerful force behind this city's repuation as a lifeless boring hole. I certainly don't think it is, but then the local paper hasn't gotten their way just yet. Fortunately for us, most people don't take your ideas all that seriously when they're written with the grammar of a sixth-grade book report.

Bed, what's bed?

It's 12:30 and I'm a little hyper, but the laundry's done, at least.

After eating the fancy Kokuho rice several times in a row, I must say the regular long-grain Carolina rice does taste a bit like cardboard. Ahh, the nasty effects of trying new things!

I went biking on the Winnebago County Recreation/WIOUWASH trail on Saturday. It was cool, if a little buggy. Miss Velveteen and I almost made it to Butte des Morts from the Kolf Center before we decided to head back because it looked like rain. I think I'll try going out further on another, less cloudy day and see how far out I can reasonably go.

So, a lot of the ladies at work are trying to lose weight by counting the points and limiting themselves to some certain number. I think I should just count my points for a couple of days and see how sick it seems.
When they were talking about weights and whatnot the old 'getting to your drivers license weight' came up.
I thought to myself that that wouldn't be a bad goal, since I could definitely be more healthy.
Yeah, it was a great idea until I actually looked at my license. I'd have to lose 20 pounts to make my drivers license weight, and those of you that know me know full well that I don't look like I need to lose 20 pounds. So, when I say I was scrawny in high school, now you can definitely believe me.

Catch the last train to Marsailles

Saturday, July 19
This is the morning where your host tries to wean himself off of the caffeine.
I think I spend way too much money on soda, and it makes me hyper and jittery, not to mention that it's terrible for you.
So, I'll try to fight the withdrawal headahce and overwhelming desire for sugary carbonated water all day today while attempting to accomplish all sorts of useful chores.

So I was talking about recurring dream themes last night for a bit and I thought I'd share some common ones in my dreams for all you amateur psychologists out there.
The first and most important thing to note about my dreaming is that I rarely remember anything I dream about. For instance, I don't have any clue what any of my dreams were about last night. I've been up for maybe 10 minutes and I can't remember a goddamned thing about any of them. This is a typical morning for me, not in that I am up at 11:45, rather in that I wake up not even sure if I dreamed at all.

So, anyway, there are a few things I commonly dream about:
Riding my bike: I don't remember any dreams ever where I was driving a car. I am always riding my bike places in my dreams. As a matter of fact, there are rarely cars in my dreams at all. I bike places and the streets are relatively empty. Of course, the places I go are always tiny little towns and I ride there on back roads, so it kinda makes sense that I don't see much other than the scenery.
Trains: I take a lot of trains in dreams. There's a train station in some small town I always ride to, and there I get on a train and ride to some other tiny town. I want to say I always leave from Winneconne, but I know that the Winneconne in my dreams is nothing at all like the real village of Winneconne. I also go places on trains, but I never dream about being on the train. I go to the station, maybe wait in line, wait for the train, and then next thing I remember I'm in the train station wherever I wanted to go. And, yes, I ride my bike again once I get there.
Running slowly: I know periodically I dream that I have to run somewhere, or run away from something. But I always run in slooow motion, like I'm running waist-deep in water. I suppose you amateur Freudian scholars out there have some handy explanations for this, as well as the next one.
Teeth: In a lot of my dreams my teeth fall out. Yeah, it's kinda sick.
I'm sure there are more, but these four come to mind pretty strongly. So now you can gleefully analyze everything about me from the comfort of your own chair in front of your preferred Uberweb appliance.
You amateur Freudians out there make me think that it was a great man who once said 'sometimes a cigar is a cock.'
Okay, I just wanted an excuse to say that, no matter how clumsy and capricious my logic in doing so.

So I got teased a bit last night because I am single despite working at a place literally crawling with women. The argument that I can think of exactly two unattached women at work didn't really faze my friend, nor did my mentioning that I asked out one of the two and found out she was in the middle of a divorce at the time and I dated the other one for several months. Not good enough, she says!

So it made me think of all the girls I've been interested in over the last 3 years or so, and I really can only think of a grand total of 6 in whom I was so interested as to do anything about it. I know people that meet more people they're interested in dating in a month than I do in three years.
And the results of those six?
1. Had a boyfriend she eventually told me about after I asked her out two or three times.
2. She's getting married in 6 weeks to a lawyer
3. Just wanted to be friends, so I stopped calling her.
4. No thanks, busy getting divorced
5. Now my ex.
6. (my favorite, so I saved it for last) Too busy moping about her stupid on-and-off boyfriend that wants to break up every time some girl wants to go out with him then gets scared and comes back to her a little bit later. Love that.
Any time I get a little crabby about being single I can look at #6 there and say at least I'm not in that relationship.

Anyway, now that the above is out of the way, I can get back to the usual Plinkosity.

It's beautiful out and I need to get a little packing done. The withdrawal isn't too bad, so far, I'm making up for it by drinking Kool-Aid which is fairly sugary so I'm not sure if I'm really getting anywhere here.

You know how it goes, and so do I so call me when you can now. You know I would love a surprise.

Thursday, July 17
Okay, so I'm a dork.

I mentioned Friendster the other day and promptly dropped the idea since no one seemed interested.
The yesterday my old pal Josh wrote about how he's started using it and sent me an invitation. So, I clicked in and it is scary how much time I could spend looking around there. So, being the geek I am, I sent out some invitations to people who's e-mail addresses I had that I thought would get a kick out of it. I expect every one of you to go out and have a grand old time! It's free for god's sake!

Anyway, with that off my mind I can post about other subjects floating in my mind.

I think I've said it before, but I have an ever-increasing urge to start regular, if not daily, commentary on Wisconsin politics. I can't really think of anything dorkier that I would like to do, except maybe for sit around at work and discuss in detail the price factors behind the latest internal marketing pieces sent to all the employees. I have refrained for two reasons. The first being my conviction that none of you care one iota about state politics. The other reason is that while I think it's a great idea, I don't think I would possibly put forth the regular effort necessary to do what I want with it.

In other growing desires news: My desire to perform is getting out of hand. Way back in the high school days of yore I was always in plays and in forensics. But since then, nothing. I know I needed a serious break from it, but now that eight years have gone by I really am getting the itch to do something like it again.
Too bad there isn't any serious community theatre around. And I don't count the stuff we do have as serious. And I'd prefer I could do forensics-y type things again, because that's what I miss. They just don't have that sort of thing for adults, and sometimes that makes me sad.

I went bowling tonight with some people from work, it was a strangely good time. I bowled like crap, and apparently it rubbed off on Miss Velveteen, because we ended up with the exact same score, just 85 pins.

I haven't mentioned it, and I usually don't mention this sort of thing, but I'm reading my favorite novel (again), Winter's Tale by Mark Helprin. I really think everyone on earth that hasn't read it is missing out, big time, and I hate to hear about what books other people liked and so I am reluctant to tell other people what I think they should read.

Anyway, the middle chapter (and thesis, if Andrew Weiner is to believed) of the book for your edification:

Nothing is random, nor will everything ever be, whether a long sting of perfectly blue days that begin and end in golden dimness, the most seemingly chaotic political acts, the rise of a great city, the crystalline structure of a gem that has never seen the light, the distributions of fortune, what time the milkman gets up, the position of the electron, or the occurrence of one astonishingly frigid winter after another. Even electrons, supposedly the paragons of unpredictability, are tame and obsequious little creatures that rush around at the speed of light, going precisely where they are supposed to go. They make faint whistling sounds that when apprehended in varying combinations are as pleasant as the wind flying through a forest, and they do exactly as they are told. Of this, one can be certain.
And yet, there is a wonderful anarchy, in that the milkman chooses when to arise, the rat picks the tunnel in which he will dive when the subway comes rushing down the track from Borough Hall, and the snowflake will fall as it will. How can this be? If nothing is random, and everything is predetermined, how can there be free will? The answer to that is simple. Nothing is predetermined; it is determined, or was determined, or will be determined. No matter, it all happened at once, in less than an instant, and time was invented because we cannot comprehend in one glance the enormous and detailed canvas we have been given — so we track it, in linear fashion, piece by piece. Time, however, can be easily overcome; not by chasing the light, but by standing far enough back to see it all at once. The universe is still and complete. Everything that ever was, is, everything that ever will be, is — and so on, in all possible combinations. Though in perceiving it we imagine that it is in motion, and unfinished, it is quite finished and quite astonishingly beautiful. In the end, or, rather, as things really are, any event, no matter small, is intimately and sensibly tied to all the others. All rivers run full into the sea; those that are apart are brought back together; the lost ones are redeemed; the dead come back to life; the perfectly blue days that have begun and ended in golden dimness continue, immobile and accessible; and, when all is perceived in such a way as to obviate time, justice becomes apparent not as something that will be, but as something that is.

Wednesday, July 16
Volleyball was done about two hours ago and I'm still swampy, possibly because it's warmer inside than outside.

I'd have stories to tell but I probably should just take a shower.

Tuesday, July 15
So the moving and packing's coming along slowly.
I do have a spare room to start stacking packed boxes, though. I need some packing tape to secure boxes better, but I've been too lazy to head to Wal-Mart.

No more clarity on August weekends, really. I need to get on that.

If there's one thing I don't like about work, it's that I am supposed to stay still while I do it.
Nothing puts me to sleep faster than sitting down for more than five minutes at a time. So lately I've been fighting the droopy eyes all day, even while I have a fuckton of fairly interesting work right in front of me.
It's very annoying.

If I don't write, then I'm OK.

Monday, July 14
So, the Internet is sorta out.

Turns out one of the lines in the house is brokey. So, I snaked the phone line out to the NID box outsiode the house and plugged the DSL modem directly to the line. So now my Uberweb works, but the telephone line doesn't, unless I go out and put everything the way it was. So, if you're trying rto call me, you'd be better off e-mailing.

I am sort of at a loss about what to pack now. Mostly because I am lazy and a pack rat, and therefore do not care to throw things away.
Provided there aren't any crazy developments, I plan on doing the major moving this weekend. If you are at all strong or feeling helpful, let me know that you can help out, I'm a bit wee to move the large furniture all by my lonesome.
I'll be borrowing the truck and trailer for the job, so I hope to be able to get everything that won't fit in the car in two trips. I know Sunday's kinda busy for a lot of people, but I'll make do with whatever help I can get.

Sunday, July 13
So today I'm beginning the first stages of getting ready to move: Getting rid of things. One garbage bag's worth of clothes for Goodwill, another of garbage tossed out already. I'm trying to sell of a number of computer games and miscellaneous bits of hardware, but I doubt anyone is interested, even with my bargain basement prices.
I'm going to need to get some more boxes, as I own a lot of crap, it turns out, and I don't want to get rid of very much of it, sadly enough.

Saturday, July 12
I'm totally supposed to be getting ready for some geekery at the Robin's Nest, but I just have to say that the editorial standards at my previous to my previous employer have fallen sickeningly low. It makes a little piece of my soul die every time I look at their web page. I wish I had time to recount their recent sins against journalism and good sense, but I don't.
And frankly, anyone that picks up an issue can see it for themselves all over the place. It's disgusting and I'm oftentimes ashamed to tell people I worked there. I swear it was better then, and all but maybe two of the really talented people have left since I was there, but I don't think it matters now.

So I have thoughts, why not share them?

Some days, I think my dream job would be a newspaper restaurant critic. Mostly because I like the three things involved, good food, writing and criticizing things. Too bad this area could never support a restaurant critic or else I would campaign day and night to get the job.
So, I shall attempt to entertain you with my short, amateur review of Lemon Grass, the new Thai restaurant in Appleton, next to Citrus Grove near Media Play on Wisconsin Ave.

Lemon Grass is new, which is an important point to keep in mind when reviewing (and yes, the name is a very common one for Thai restaurants). The menu had just five entrees ($13 to $20) and five appetizers ($6 or $8), Supposedly there was a dessert menu as well, but none of us chose to have dessert so we never asked to see it. The wine list was short but strong with some popular types meant to go with spicy foods and some interesting lesser known wines; all at a fairly high price level.
The atmosphere was fairly upscale and open, a brown and cream dominated look that seems to be popular for the higher end Asian restaurants in Appleton (and I assume the rest of the nation as well) right now. There was a bar and a set of chairs and a coffee table which apparently constituted a lounge area. When we were there two young women played musical instruments and sang some very mild and light music. I assume it was their first night doing so, as one of the young ladies parents were at a nearby table and the girl went to the table between almost every number. The floors were very beautiful, but the ceilings were unfinished and looked out of place, I kept staring at them the whole time. At the time we went, around 7 on a Friday night, there were about twenty or so patrons, not a bad start at all.
Our server was pretty slow and did not appear neat. He claimed to not know the weekend menu, despite the fact it carried just 10 items. He disappeared for long periods of time and needed to be prompted to refill drinks rather than asking, both a bit annoying in at a restaurant that serves spicy foods.
The menu was sparse, as I mentioned before. There was a disclaimer on it saying that more 'exotic' dishes were served on the weekends, a change from the regular menu. The six of us ordered three dishes, the garlic beef, two Chicken Phad Thai and three Thai curry chicken dishes. With an entree one gets a choice of soup or salad. the soup was an orange brothy soup that looked like Miso, but as I didn't order it, I have no idea what it tasted like. The salad as a bitter green salad (endive, arugula, dandelion leaves, spinach, tomato plus a green I didn't recognize) with a lemon viniagrette. The salad and dressing were very good, until one got to the greens that were soaked in the dressing, which was overhwelming.
The entrees were served with steamed rice and a separate bowl of steamed vegetables (cabbage, snow peas and carrots) that was intended to be shared. The rice was a little watery but tasted great (for all I know this is how the Thai like their rice, I am used to the clumpier rice served at the local Chinese and Korean restaurants), the steamed vegetables were good as well.
My dinner had a great flavor. The menu promised a dish that seemed like Indian curry but with a distinctive Thai flavor. At first I was skeptical but the flavor delivered. The curry had a very spicy, turmeric flavor at first that gave way to a warmer, spicier flavor heavier in garlic and a faint hint of peanuts after a few seconds. The chicken was very tender, but some of the potatoes seemed underdone. I felt the dish needed another vegetable other than the potato, as the chicken and potato only carried the flavor of the sauce. It needed something else that would have put more variety into some bites.
I tried the garlic beef as well and had a similar response. The flavor was outstanding, but considering could have used something more to create a more interesting experience, considering the type of atmosphere for which the owner seems to be striving.
I didn't get to try the Chicken Phad Thai, but it looked and smelled great, and both Atom and UPB seemed to love it, I assume I would have as well, as it appeared to have what the other dishes lacked, a little variety.
For a restaurant that has ostensibly just opened its doors, Lemon Grass is fairly promising. Several pretty good Asian restaurants in Appleton have started small and grown dramatically in recent years. I wonder if its location and atmosphere combined with the apparent ambition will work against it, making expectations too high and preventing customers from growing attached to it, especially with the mediocrity of service we received (of course, a second visit could prove that tonight was a fluke).
The best part of Lemon Grass was easily the flavor of the food, even considering it left me wanting more variety.
The worst was definitely the service.
I would go back, though not for a while, in the hopes of seeing improvement in the menu (if this was 'exotic' I wonder what the weekday menu is like?) and service. But for now I would much rather visit similarly-priced, more polished Asian restaurants in the area like Koreana, Cy's Asian Bistro and Sai Ram's.

Okay, now that bit of vanity is out of the way.

Full-fledged geekery begins tomorrow (hooray!).
I was totally going to write more about things I noticed at Media Play, but you've probably had enough of my writing for today. That and I'm starting to get tired.

So I'm going down the Amazon in a light-pink push-up bra.

Thursday, July 10
Yep, still lazy.

I've been a busy little bee at work, wrapping up one season and starting another. I'm also busy trying to figure out my weekends for the rest of the Summer. I've got geekery this weekend, moving the next, followed by Ken and Dixie's, two nothings and then off to Marquette for a wedding. Now, somewhere in there I am supposed to go to St. Louis and also possibly Up North, if that ever happens. So, that pretty much covers all my weekends until September, don't you think?

I'm crabby a bit about work because some people are just black holes for information, you keep trying to get stuff out but there's nothing doing. Naturally these same people are usually plenty quick to criticize how you or your department handles things. I'm fine with getting things done, and we do manage that pretty well, I think, even if I have to spend half my day chasing people around to make it happen.

I am supposed to be at home making cookies, as tomorrow is the day everything changes at work, mostly physical locations, but it's all to get people going in their new jobs. Thankfully, those of us not changing will also not be moving. I call that reason enough for cookies. But I decided it was more important to have clean clothes than cookies, at least for now. I guess I'll be putting the baker's hat on when I get home.

The drum beats out of time

Monday, July 7
Okay, so I've been a lazy ass when it comes to the blogging.

So, let's start.

I have a lot of cleaning to do, especially if I'm moving out of this dump soon. I've been mostly drawing blanks on the roommate search so far. I'm going to head on over to the future landlords' to drop off my application in a few minutes.

The trip to Scandanavia was a success, I didn't even get lost, though we had to take a scenic route back during the storm. After visiting and discussing all the things I need to do to help my Krause-employed pals this summer, I am actually really, really busy for the rest of the summer weekends.
Also, you can buy a lot of house for not too much money in Scandanavia. Being 30 miles from a city over 10,000 people helps, I suppose.

I watched Donnie Darko last night. Good movie, good soundtrack, not as fucked up as some people led me to believe.

I'll leave the antecedent story on this to Miss Sullivan, but while discussing the lacking merits of driving quality in Oshkosh versus Sheboygan today during lunch, I witnessed some of the worst driving I have ever seen in Oshkosh today. No less than three cars completely fucked up left-turns and a fourth car seriously jumped the curb making a right turn. One of these, the last one I saw actually, nearly caused six accidents during a 30-second time period.
This winner was sitting in the left-turn lane at Pearl and Main more than a carlength into the interesction, with no oncoming traffic.
He sat there.
And sat there.
Then, the light turned red.
And he sat there.
And sat there.
The cars behind him backed up to give him room to retreat from the intersection. He was blocking 1-1/2 lanes of Main Street South and he sat there. I thought perhaps his engine had stalled, and that common courtesy dictated he should turn his hazards on.
Then, suddenly, he turned on his left-turn signal.
And sat there.
Then, with cars swerving through the intersection to go around him, he started jerking forward a foot or so, then slamming on his brakes as the cars that were all of five feet from him were in no position to stop when he started to jaunt forward.
He did this little start and stop five or six times, each time he would have broadsided a car in the northbound lane of Main Street as he started to go at that exact moment when the oncoming car could not possibly have avoided a collision, rather than trying to slip between them, when oncoming traffic might have taken pity on him and let him in merely by slowing down.
Eventually (it's a long light at Main and Pearl), he got to go once there was a lull in the oncoming traffic.
Three seconds later, the light turned green. And I got far, far away from him.

I have suffered a setback for this weekend, I suffered a hard-lockup during the training session, now I'm worried that things still aren't well with the PC, for those that are interested in such things.

I don't mind worry following me like a dinosaur

Sunday, July 6
Whew is it hot.

I was totally blanking just now on how I spent most of my day, how silly of me.

Woke up, installed Neverwinter Nights and the Shadows of Undrentide expansion.
Tested the game out while eating pork chops, then tested my new copy of Soul Calibur.
Went to work for four hours, rode the bike to my parents' and back.
Had fried eggs and potatoes for dinner, rented two movies, watched one, blogged.

I did some dishes in between somewhere, but I'll be darned if I can remember.
Tomorrow I planned on going to Scandanavia to visit some friends that just bought a house there. Unfortunately, either they've moved into a wormhole and now exist in an era without modern technology, or the phone line isn't hooked up yet. So, maybe I'll make a surprise visit or possibly take a driving tour of the town if I can't find their place.

You think I'm dead but I sail away on a wave of mutilation.

Friday, July 4
The Fourth of July is one of my least favorite holidays, mostly because in my lifetime it has mainly meant Sawdust Daze and is generally celebrated with hootin' and a hollerin' which are things I would prefer to not have to abide. I know that between now and, say, two am, I will have to endure periodic explosions and screaming from people in the neighborhood. The upstairs neighbors, in particular, have a gaggle of their kind setting off extremely loud things right now. Did I mention that these folks have a big ol' Confederate battle flag hanging in the garage? I always figured those types shouldn't be celebrating the birth of the Union, I suppose.

Other than the noise, today was just fine. No storms, grilled corn, plenty of Berghoff.

Wednesday, July 2
I am now coated in a thin layer of sand.
It's a good thing I actually like sports.

Today was a sleepy day at work, my eyelids kept wanting to stay closed on me as I was trying to get things filled in on my spreadsheets.

Maybe tomorrow will be exciting, despite the fact that there will be little to no cake involved.
My cake, by the way, was pretty good.

Unfortunately for you, half-sleeping through a day at work leads to me not having any interesting stories to tell. Tomorrow we have more birthday party, at least.

People in this world, we have no place to go.

Tuesday, July 1
Okay, I admit that last post may have been my dorkiest ever. I hope you weren't surprised.

It's still hot, so it must be time for baking. The orange-almond cake is in the oven right now, and it damned well better turn out to be the dreamiest cake on earth.
Well, unless I mess it up (see the zucchini bread fiasco of a few weeks ago) I know I will love it.
Orange cake is easily my favorite.
Of course, I always expect that everyone else would be happiest if I fashioned a mountain of chocolate bars and could care less whether the cake is orange almond or I bought them an almond joy bar.
Okay, so I'm feeling extra cynical today, let's run with that.

I got the paperwork for the new apartment today. Barring unforeseen delays, I'll be Miss Sullivan's neighbor next month. The downside is that while I was figuring out my budget in the new place, I realized I need to work about 15 to 20 hours of overtime every month to pay my bills as rent+car payment+utilities+insurance+student loan payments+monthly minimum debt payments exceeds the after tax total of two paychecks by about $50 and I still haven't eaten or put gas in the car yet.
Now some months I get three paychecks, August being one of them. I also do get some overtime. I also currently don't pay anything on my student loans. That helps a little, but overtime isn't guaranteed forever and I'll have to start paying the loans back soon or risk emulating Shaft's financial situation.
Ick. So I'll start looking for a roommate for the new place directly, as their half of the bills would be nice.

Less cynical now:
I made Hello Kitty and Badtz-Maru icons for the new MSN Messenger. Between that and the cake, I feel fairly productive.

Time for some whining about things none of us have any influence over:
I had to run through a fast-food drive-thru for lunch. Hardee's is the closest to work and I hadn't been there for a while. Now, you've all bitched about their terrible angus beef ad campain already, so that's known stupidity on their part. On top of that, they've apparently decided that the only thing on their drive-thru menu is the goddamn thickburger combos. If you want anything else, you'd better remember everything they used to have yourself. Or, maybe they scrapped the whole menu in favor of combo meals, I don't know. I hope it was the latter, because if your whole ad campaign is based on the concept that everyone hated your chain before, I hope you're not so stupid as to think new customers will remember the old menus.
Ever better, my bacon cheeseburger had real bacon.
And also a large pile of artificial bacon bits.
I think that's all that needs to be said.

I would love to give you a recap of the ex-girlfriend-calls-out-of-fucking-nowhere from last night, but since none of you really went to high school with me, you could care less about the subject matter, since 90% of the conversation revolved around people she or I went to school with. I can say that apparently she's very glad I broke up with someone for once (no offense to you specifically, this is a commentary from her on me). I also was throughly reminded why the only reason I can stand still living in Oshkosh is that I only see one or two people I went to school with on a regular basis. Not having to live your life recounting your teenage years or playing 'guess what so-and-so is up to' really makes life so much more bearable.
But it was cool to hear from her, it's just that it's tough to really talk to someone you were really close to but have spoken with maybe twice in two years.

Wow, what a crabby, whiny post.
No wonder I hate all you muppetfuckers.

Wish I knew what you were looking for.
Might have known what you would find.

Okay, I was totally going to hunker down to an hour or so more of reading the new Harry potter book when one of my age-old ex-girlfriends called me from Colorado to see how I was doing. Weird. I talked to her for almost two hours and now it's time for little Plinkos to go to bed.