Friday, February 25, 2005

Ode to the Good Doctor

As most of you knwo Hunter S Thompson shot himself dead on Sunday and I'm mad. I've always felt that suicide is one of the most selfish acts a person can do. However, in this case, with HST, I'm not so sure that that's why I'm mad. Let's be honest: anyone who experienced 1/10 of the things he claims to have been through (which is probably an accurate assement of what he actually did go through) has no right to live to 40 let alone well past 60.

I'm mad because I realize that there isn't anyone of his ilk to be rousing the rabble. There isn't anyone around today that even remotely captures the essence of what it's like to be ALIVE today. And I'm not just saying what it's like to be around today, I'm talking ALIVE, blazing the trail, allowing people to live vicariously through your adventures and at the same time be the voice for those people when the shit's going down and somebody needs to be told what a monumental prick he is (we're looking at you, Mr. Village Idiot President). Jon Stewart comes close. Real close. He's an excelent voice. But maybe too Jewish? I don't know.

Blair introduced me to the joys of HST. Something I've never thanked him for. We rented Where the Buffalo Roam for the Cheeto one weekend: a movie about HST's Super Bowl adventrue as portrayed by Bill Murray. The problem with making a movie out of HST's work is that his writing is already a movie. You're there. You're a witness. Like it or not, your'e along for the ride. So making a movie is a tad redundant.

I'll fess up: I've only read one of his books and any article he's writen since 2000 that appeared on ESPN Page 2. So I'm no expert. But he's one of those people that made you feel better to know he's around. And to be honest, I'm not sure anyone under the age of 30 could ever really FULLY appreciate him. His writing and frame of reference is one based on Experience which instills in you Fear and Loathing. Anyone who pays attention to his surroundings understands the Fear early on. At worst, by 21. It grips you. You think about what was and what is to be and you shudder for it's frightening to think that you're still around and will be in the future.

But the Loathing part... I know I didn't get that until about 2 years ago when we went into Iraq and nobody batted an eye. You have to Loathe ignorance enough to ever understand it. You have to Loathe power enough to realize that those with it shouldn't have it. And you have to have enough Fear to Loathe those that don't.

Anyway, I Fear no one my age is writing the way Hunter was back on the Campaign Trail in the 70's. That's a Loathesome thing, to think that maybe, you are voiceless.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Big Announcement

I'm getting married!!!! I proposed to Jenn over the weekend and she accepted. Joy!!!

How: We went to a karaoke bar on Saturday night in San Clemente with our friends Austin, Leslie, Pamela and Cameron. I had been prcticing "Just the Way you Look Tonight," the classic stnadard featured in dozens of movies, frequently the Dean Martin version. I had it down pat. Then we get to the joint and they don't have the song!! This was a shocking revelation, honestly. To not have sucha standard is criminal. So I opted to use "Your Song" by Elton John as featured in Moulin Rouge. 10 years ago, I would have used that song without even considering another as I love it, I think it's a wonderful song aobut how someone goes about telling someone they love them, and I know it by heart. But the fact taht it was in Moulin Rouge made me opt for something else becasue Jenn doesn't like that movie (Iknow, I know, but I don't hold it against her). Prior to singing, I dedicated teh song to her and then after I asked her to marry me. In her meek little voice she said "Yes." I'm going to try to get her to sit down and watch Moulin Rouge again. Maybe she'll have more appreciation for it.

The ring: I had it specially designed by a guy at a local jewlery shop. It looks like a vine around her finger witha Blue Topaz as a flower and 2 smaller pear-dut diamonds as leaves. The main stone is not a diamond becasue Jenn doesn't like them and requested a blue topaz. Some of the money I saved will be put towards more wedding reception fun.

As for specifics on the wedding:
We're shooting for September witha focus on the weeekend of the 24th.
It will most likely be in Los Angeles, mayb Las Vegas and HUGE maybe on Fresno. I realize that for all my East Coast friends, Fresno makes the air fare cost prohibitive, so that's why it would only be here if LA and Vegas were cost prohibitive to Jenn and I.
No, you're not invited.
Yes, you should send a gift anyway.

Seriously, other than we'd prefer to have a buffet, there will be a bachelor party with boobies being a key feature and there will be a DJ with 80's music (for me) and modern R&B (for Jenn)being a key feature, there's not much else to tell as of now.

Stay tuned and keep an eye out for invites!!!

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

On Hold with the Insurance Folks

If you want to know how I've been feeling the past coupel of days, all you need to know is that I'm typing this while on hold with the car insurance people. It really is a kind of torture. Why would I want to be on hold to deal with one of the most evil groups of people in the world? It's like waiting in line to have your head cut off during the French Revolution. I suppose the folks back then could think in the back of their minds that they haven't done anything wrong and soem of them might have actually died for a good cause. Thankfully, that is the case with this current phone call. I'm not reporting an accident, which would totally suck. I'm adding Jenn to the policy and adding Jenn's (and my) new car.

YAY NEWS! We got Jenn a new car yesterday. It's a dark grey Huyndai Accent. It has power windows and a CD Player but is Standard transmision. I suppose the bright side of that is, after drving for nearly half my life now, I'll finally learn to drive a stick.

That's the good news. For some reason, I have it stuck in my head that nearly everything else in bad news. Which isn't the casse. But I worry a lot and I dwell on things.

by the way, I'm off hold now.

Anyway, I dwell on things, usually the bad, so when I have bad stuff go down, that's all I tend to think about. And it brings me down and makes me sad. It's a charcter flaw that I'm trying to change, and Jenn's helping with that. But that's where I am right now.

First, I got pulled over on Sunday. Yes cops, another group of the most evil people around. I was driving along, not swerving in and out. Not anywhere near anyone or anythign that going 52 in a 40 would cause any alarm. I clear a highway overpass and apparantly, the cop was at the bottom of the overpass's man-made hill. I can't say for sure becasue I didn't even notice him until I saw him with his lights on in my mirror. That's how innaucuous the situation was. All I know is that once I noticed him, I checked my odoometer and it said 48-ish. He says I was doing 52. I suppose we have Newton and the hill that isn't there for that one. It's jsut stupid. Of all the SHIT happening int he world today, that's what this guy chooses to focus his time on. If I didn't hate him, I'd feel sorry for him for leading one of the most meaningless, pointless and rage enducing existances around. I can't think of a job that serves less a purpose than a cop that sits at the bottom of an over-pass hill and waits for drivers that forget about gravity for 5 seconds.

And the other big thing is that my computer isn't working. I don't even want to get inot this one, but anyone who knows me knows this is infuriating. *sigh* And a bit sad.

Much like I hoped, now that Jenn's car has insurance, I feel better. We're going to pay almost exactly what I had anticipated for the 2 cars and 2 drivers, which makes me very happy. Usually with insurance, you're looking at much much more.

So maybe things are looking up!

*sigh* and that one is relief rather than grief.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Paul's Social Calendar

It's time to doa public service announcement for my stalker(s). I don't have too much going on at the moment, so that means I just have things to look forward to. And since I know everyone reading this is just DYING to know what's in store for me in the coming months, I figured I'd let you in on the excitement. Also, I'm doing this because it satisfies my compulsive planning gene.

Feb 19-20 - Going to LA to see my friend Pamela in from Miami and hang out with Austin & Leslie, Jana (hopefully) and Jim & Diane (hopefully, though they don't know I'm coming yet). It'll be a nice little weekend. Saturday night will be karaoke night. I'm planning on doing a brand new song, so we'll see how that works out. I would also liek to go to Disneyland, but I haven't asked Jim if he'll be able to get us in yet, so we'll see about that. At the very least, I'd like to grab lunch in the general Disney area.

Feb 21 - I have the day off and I'm planning on watchign teh Extended LOTR trilogy. I'm not sure if that's really possible to do ina single day. But I"m willing to find out.

April 21-24 - My brother is getting married in Vegas. VEGAS BABY!! I'm super excited. Jenn's never been there before. And though I know she's not all that into gambling, I'm hoping a little bit of the fun of it will rub off on her. At the very least, I'm hoping she likes walkign around and looking at the crazy casinos and crazier people. I think she'll also like the shark reef at Mandalay Bay (also the best buffet is there) and the New York, New York roller coaster. We're going to see Zoomanity with my folks on Saturday night. It's the new Cirque du Soliel show. It should be a good show and I think we will all enjoy it a lot. Me personally, I'm looking forward to the buffets and playing some craps. Obviously, I wish I had a little more fundage than I actually do for the gambling. But whatever. I know I'm going to have a great time and I think that Jenn will, too.

End of May - Going to LA to see the final Star Wars mvoie. I'm actually hoping Chris and Katie will come a long for this one. I think it be fun for us to have a little LA weekend. Plus, it's the last Star Wars movie. And the buzz is that Lucas isn't messing this one up. We shall see.

Maybe some time in May - I'd like to go for a long hike into Yosemite. An overnight deal. We'll see if I can convince Jenn to come along. She's said in the past she's not much of a hiker. And I know she dislikes camping out when it gets cold at night. We'll see what I can do.

Anyway, that's what's ahead for me. I'llgive updates on each as they happen. Excited yet? I thought so.

Friday, February 04, 2005

Super Bowl Predictions

I'm sure that most of you will be pleased to know that this should be my last football realted blog until the draft in April. Now we just need to hope something interesting happens in my life between now and then. But we'll worrya bout that next week.

My favorite sports write is Bill Simmons who writes for He covers pop-culture and other fringe influences on sports and vice-versa. I think, even if you don't care for sports, most people woudl enjoy some of is stuff because it actually is very funny. Plus, it's a look on the subject that you rarely see (i.e., not just X's and O's).

Anyway, he used to be known as the Boston Sports Guy before ESPN found him. He's a big time Boston sports fan and doesn't hide it. And he's been smug as hell all season. That's the feeling I get from this whole Patriots team. They aren't over achievers any more and I don't think they're sneaking up on anyone. The Eagles will be completely ready for them. I think the Eagles will be winning on Sunday and not just because I want them to.

Here's the thing: what I'm looking forward to the most is the Sports Guy's article on Monday. It's one thing when he was sad when the Red Sox were still a franchise that just couldn't make it to the big time. You kind of felt bad for his loss. It's another thing to watch as his Patriots lose after him being so confident for 4 months. He's got it coming, just as much as the Yankees and their fans had it coming in October. And as much as I dreaded his stuff prior to and after the Steelers' game, I'm just as much looking forward to his post on Monday.

Anyway, there you have it. I think the Patriots are in for an upset. It will be a good game, but I think the Eagles are just a little bit better. We shall see.

I should be seeing a couple movies this weekend, so if you're all good, you might get to see a review or 2!

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Relative Betterness

I look at where I was a week ago and compare it to where I am today, and I would have to say that I'm better.

I'm not even remotely as bitter as I was about the Steelers. I realize now that rookies don't win Super Bowls because they get tired, not becasue they dont' have the skills. He'll get us one within the next 5 years, I'm sure of it.

I can visit again. I was avoiding it like the plague before I went on vacation to Joshua Tree.

I had a grand time at Joshua Tree. Being outdoors for a little while does wonders for one's psyche. Also hanging out with cool friends helps. And rock climbing is every bit as fun as I remember.

I bowled very well last Wednesday. I'm finally getting my consistancy back. 2 weeks ina row with a 200 game. And this time, I didn't shit the bed in the third game with a sub-150 effort. 161-209-161. I'd like thos to be 171's. But I realize that htat's just one more spare each game, and I know I can do that if I keep focus.

Jenn is feeling better. And that makes me feel a lot better.

Sure, in some areas I'm worse. I've had terrible diarreah since getting back from J-Tree. I took Imodium this AM and it may have done the trick because I haven't had any problems. but also, I'm not eating anything that would be even remotely offensive to my stomach so that might be the true cause of the potty respite. We'll find out tonight, I suppose, when i try mashed potatoes again (that didn't go over too well last night).

In getting over the Steelers' loss, I've come to the realization that I've got another 8 months until meaningful football again. The immediate disappointment from the loss is far more severe but temporary. The lingering loss of football in general is prolonged and doesn't really surface until you deal with the team loss.

And then you have the dichotomy stuff. Things that I'm both excited and sad about at the same time. Like I'm going to Vegas in April for my brother's wedding, which is fantastic. But I don't think I'm going to have the funds to really show Jenn how much fun Vegas is and also gamble as much as I'd like, which is kind of sad. Also, Jenn's not a big gorger, so she won't ever really understand the joy of a Vegas Buffet, which is really very sad, indeed.

Jenn and I are starting the long process of getting a house, which is exciting. Looking at on-line listings is tons of fun. But then you sit down and do a budget and figure out what you think you can afford and you realize that you can't really afford all that much, which is sad. Especially when you feel like youa nd your woman deserve the best.

So that's where I'm at now. I'm better, which is good. Now if I can just stay off the can for another 12 hours, I'll be FANTASTIC!