Showing posts from November, 2006

CD Review - A Bar Down In Mexico

I got the latest Mark Mulligan CD on Sunday and it's been playing nonstop in my car ever since.

I gotta tell you, there's not a miss in the bunch. Each time it ends, I have a different song stuck in my head. And not unpleasantly stuck.

Sure, you're thinking, "Mark's her bud so what else would she say?" But, remember, I'm the one who told him he sucked so I think that gives me street creds here on the sincerity.

The songs are a mixture of happy bar songs and, especially poignant to us with Adela's passing, love songs.

One song really brings the emotional level up, especially with what's been going on lately. It's About Time came to Mark when he was out on his kayak thinking about his life. He realized that he was living in a fantastic place with a wonderful family but he kept having to leave to chase a buck in the US. That's when he decided to re-prioritize and spend more time at home.

This is the part of the song that sums it up for me:


It's Just Not Right

Photo courtesy of LewieCraig and Dianne in Key WestIt's been a year of loss for us. Mom O'Malley, Adela Mulligan and now we have to say farewell to another good friend. Craig left us yesterday, suddenly and with no warning. He was about my age, seemed to be in the perfect health and was very, very happily married to Dianne. They had a relationship to be envied and it was too damn short.None of us can wrap our minds around it. I keep going back to Key West and the great times we just had there with Craig and Dianne. One night, we were all squished in at a table and he reached down to rub Dianne's leg. Only it wasn't her leg he got. It was mine. The look on his face when he realized it was priceless - he was so shocked and embarrassed. Dianne and I both just laughed at him: no harm, no foul.I think back to Parrot Grande where Craig made a model seaplane (he was totally a plane guy) and offered it up for a special raffle for our friend, Mark Mulligan. He was so proud of i…

Personal DNA

You are an Encouraging Inventor.

You are an Inventor

Your imagination, self-reliance, openness to new things, and appreciation for utility combine to make you an INVENTOR.

You have the confidence to make your visions into reality, and you are willing to consider many alternatives to get that done.

The full spectrum of possibilities in the world intrigues you—you're not limited by pre-conceived notions of how things should be.

Problem-solving is a specialty of yours, owing to your persistence, curiosity, and understanding of how things work.

Your vision allows you to identify what's missing from a given situation, and your creativity allows you to fill in the gaps.

Your awareness of how things function gives you the ability to come up with new uses for common objects.

It is more interesting for you to pursue excitement than it is to get caught up in a routine.

Although understanding details is not difficult for you, you specialize in seeing the bigger picture and don't get caught up…

Happy Thanksgiving!

I was talking to two work buds this week about Thanksgiving. They're both around my age, married and with kids. I asked them if they've ever hosted Thanksgiving. The answer was once between the two of them. Their parents and in-laws do the hosting duties. I'm sure at some point, we'll all be carrying on the tradition when our folks are too old (or too tired or wise up enough to realize there's a lot less work involved when it's not at your house) but for now it's off to the folks'.

I just called Steven to ask his ETA at my parents'. We try to time it so we get there close to each other so we have each other to entertain us. (Could I put the word 'we' any more times in that sentence?) He told me he was on the way to the grocery store for Shorty because he didn't have enough butter.

Being Steven, he tried to get out of it when Shorty called him. "Why don't you ask my Mom to do it?"

Apparently, Shorty replied, "She's too…

Mrs. Robinson Gets Busted

I was hanging out at The Jello-Shot Queen and The Goat's place on Saturday afternoon to watch the Ohio State/Michigan game. Not caring much personally (no Badgers or Sun Devils were involved), I jumped on the Ohio State bandwagon.

Mostly because I would have been asked to leave otherwise. Those Ohio State fans are pretty intense.

The Queen's nephew was visiting for the weekend. I've met him before, ever so briefly, and to give you a little picture let me just say he's not so bad looking. I might go so far as to say he's hot. Twenty-eight years old and a marathon runner. Very nice.

Anywhooo, I got there right after a call was made for roughing the center. The question was asked, how do you actually rough a center?

The nephew demonstrated by pretending to be the center. He bent over and showed where the defensive player hit the center while he was down.

Are you picturing the bent over part? Because it's critical to the story. He did it pretty much right next to me and…

Fun With Kids

My friend, Maria, teaches grade school near my work. Every year, her grade does a Thanksgiving program where the kids recite poems and sing songs accompanied by some basic choreography. I don't think I've missed one since she started there.

She used to teach third grade and those kids were pretty good. For the most part, they knew their lines and performed well. This year, she moved to first grade. Let's just say the littler kids are not as "polished" as the older ones.

Apparently, there was a leaf problem. The kids were supposed to sit on the lawn. It being fall, (or as close to fall as 89 degrees in Arizona can be) there are leaves on the ground. Leaves that stick to your clothes. Leaves that get in your hair. Leaves that stick to your friends. Leaves that can be put down your friend's shirt. You can get the picture from there.

By the time I got there, however, everyone was pretty well behaved and sitting down. There were some parents and grandparents there to…

Jimmie Wins, Jimmie Wins!!!!

I can finally breathe. Those last few restarts were killing me.

Jimmie Johnson, Nextel Cup Champion!

How great does that sound?

Pretty frakking great, if you ask me.

OK, Sorta Funny

This is what one of my other work buds did today. I think I need to get new friends at work.

Not Funny

Sunday is the last race of the season. Jimmie needs to finish 12th or better to claim the championship.

I was talking to Kevin, one of my work buds, on the phone and he said, "Jimmie's going into the wall." I replied, "I'm not talking to you anymore." Then, I hung up on him.

That's not even funny. The racing gods hear stuff like that and they'll zing you. They'll also zing you if you're over-confident and declare a victory ahead of time. So, I'm just keeping quiet about the whole thing and hoping I don't throw up during the race from nervousness.

There are two people in my life that know, exactly, what buttons to push to send me over the edge. Sugar Daddy and T, another work bud. Sugar Daddy doesn't usually push the buttons but T absolutely delights in doing so.

T found out about the wall comment and has run with it. He's snuck little messages into our phone conversations. I'll say, "Talk to you later" and he'll…

Team Meetings

Our IT department has been having bi-weekly meetings for a couple of years now. Everyone is expected to bring a one page status report to pass out to everyone else and we go around the table and talk about the highlights of the past two weeks. The purpose was to get everyone together, keep people informed on projects and give everyone an appreciation for what their teammates were doing.

At least, that was the idea.

The reality was that people would show up late, not have sheets and, instead of just touching the highlights would read their sheets verbatim. Not everyone, and not consistently the same people but enough that it was getting pretty boring and aggravating.

So, Sugar Daddy suggested we change it up and he and I brainstormed on how to make it all more interesting. We came up with the plan that one meeting a month would be about going over the company financials followed by giving everyone up to 2 minutes to talk about their most pressing or interesting issue. The second meeting t…

Last One For A While, I Promise

You're Totally Sarcastic
You sarcastic? Never! You're as sweet as a baby bunny.
Seriously, though, you have a sharp tongue - and you aren't afraid to use it.
And if people are too wimpy to deal with your attitutde, then too bad. So sad.How Sarcastic Are You?

Getting Into The Holiday Season

You Are Blitzen
Always in good spirits, you're the reindeer who loves to party down with Santa.

Why You're Naughty: You're always blitzed on Christmas Eve, while flying!

Why You're Nice: You mix up a mean eggnog martini.Which of Santa's Reindeer Are You?

Not True...At Least, I'd Like to Think It's Not

You Are Not Scary
Everyone loves you. Isn't that sweet?How Scary Are You?

I Swear I Didn't Cheat

You Are Most Like John F. Kennedy
You live a fairy tale life that most people envy.
And while you may have a few dark secrets, few people know them.What Modern US President Are You Most Like?

The Fall Lineup

It's pretty eerie at my house. I have zero shows to watch on my DVR. Yep, somehow through some major couch time, I've completely caught up on my TV viewing. Considering that a few weeks ago, I had the dang thing almost filled that's some accomplishment (sad as that may be).

What have I been watching?

Returning entries:
Poker, poker and more poker
Boston Legal
Dr. Who
Battlestar Galactica
Desperate Housewives
My Name is Earl

And, new to the lineup:
Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip
30 Rock
Friday Night Lights

Here's my take on the newbies.

Heroes: Best new show on TV! Frakking awesome!

Kidnapped: Great actors (Dana Delaney, Jeremy Sisto, Delroy Lindo, Timothy Hutton (still hot)) and the storyline still has me intrigued.

Vanished: I'm still watching even though I think it's turning into the DaVinci Code. Sugar Daddy is about ready to give up on it, though. There are too many annoying characters so the storyline needs to keep me interested or I'll …

This One Was Just to Show Off

Your Vocabulary Score: A+
Congratulations on your multifarious vocabulary!
You must be quite an erudite person.How's Your Vocabulary?

No Surprise Here...

You Date Like a Man
According to studies on dating, you date like a man.
You date casually and frequently, getting serious with select people over time.

Physical attraction and chemistry is very important to you.
And if there's nothing more than a physical connection, that's okay with you (at least for a while).

You are definitely looking for love, but you are in no rush to find it.
You figure love will eventually come your way, and you're not going to live like a monk while you're waiting!Do You Date Like a Man or a Woman?

Couldn't Resist the Title of this One

What type of person do you attract?Your Result: You attract artsy people! Those free spirited artists with great imaginations find you interesting. They are usually interesting themselves, so its not a bad thing, but they CAN be a bit wifty and choose odd goals. If you like life to always be a bit 'different' from the norm, but not too extreme in any one direction, these are the people for you. If you seek logical decision making skills and good money management, you may want to change something in the way you appear. Artsy people are fun for adventure and exploring, so, have fun! (smoking weed helps too)You attract Yuppies! You attract models! You attract unstable people! You attract geeks! You attract rednecks! What type of person do you attract?
Quizzes for MySpace

I'm surprised geeks and rednecks scored so low.

Still a Small Town

Despite being one of the biggest cities in the US, Phoenix is still a small town. It seems like everyone knows everyone else.

As Doona and I were waiting at Will Call for the Stones, I saw one of our club members, Dave. Dave joined the club because of Pab - they used to work together. Pab is Doona's sister. Coincidence? Or, just evidence as to our small towness? (If towness is even a word.)

After that, I was pretty much convinced I was going to see someone else I knew so I kept my eyes open. When we got inside, Doona introduced me to a couple of guys from her Event Planners group. I kept looking at one of them and thinking, "I know this guy."

After running his name and face through my mental database, I came up with the answer. It was Randy who managed the Hilo Hattie's that used to be in Tempe. He used to do stuff with our club and I haven't seen him in a couple of years. Turns out that Doona's known him even longer but hadn't realized the Parrot Head conne…

Can't Take the Cheesehead Out of the Girl

What American accent do you have?Your Result: The Inland North You may think you speak "Standard English straight out of the dictionary" but when you step away from the Great Lakes you get asked annoying questions like "Are you from Wisconsin?" or "Are you from Chicago?" Chances are you call carbonated drinks "pop."The Midland The Northeast The South Philadelphia North Central The West Boston What American accent do you have?
Take More Quizzes

Got this from Vern.

Clearly Challenged

I am notorious at losing my car...airports, shopping malls, they're all bad. I really, really try to note where I am but it never seems to help.

There were 100,000 people at PIR yesterday. That's a lot of people and a lot of cars in a very big parking lot. I was actually pretty proud of myself that I got there without getting lost. The only time I've driven there, I was following someone so I didn't really pay attention.

I came in on Estrella and parked. As I was walking towards the raceway, I looked back and made a mental note of the parking lot sign, Butterfly 2. It was quite far from the track but I thought I had it marked in my brain.

After the race, I started the trek to my car. Traffic leaving PIR is horrible. Lots and lots of people all in a rush to leave. I walked by a couple of signs: Estrella 2, Mountain 2, Palm Tree 2.

I thought I was on track but then things stopped looking familiar. I must have walked up and down 30 aisles between all of the sections without s…


Yesterday was my day at the races. If you've never been to a NASCAR race, you have no idea what you're missing. It is so frakking fun! Seeing everyone with their gear on, listening and talking to fans about their drivers, seeing all of the motorhomes with their many drivers''s all quite the spectacle.

Nice Jimmie Sign.
The MBA in me can't help but calculate revenues. There were over 100,000 people at PIR yesterday for the race. A lot of them came in for the whole weekend. Counting food, drink, lodging, merchandise and ticket prices, that's an incredible amount of moola. I read that one race weekend is worth more than a Super Bowl in revenue and I believe it.
The crowd in front of Jimmie's merchandise hauler.
Getting to the race wasn't hard. Traffic wasn't too bad and the hike up to the raceway was pretty easy. Getting past the merchandise haulers was not so easy. I should clarify, getting past Jimmie Johnson's merchandise hauler wasn'…

Thanks to our Veterans

God Bless all of the men and women who have served, or are serving, our country. The extent of the sacrifices they make and their commitment to duty are probably unimaginable to those of us who've never served.

Thank you for all that you do and have done.

I Prefer "Fan", Not "Stalker"

When we went to Key West in 2004, we discovered a band from Cleveland that we just fell in love with. They were a group of rockers who played at Sloppy Joe's and had nothing to do with the Parrot Head convention. With a name like The Mighty, Mighty Cocktones, you really wouldn't expect they'd be doing Margaritaville.

Our discovery was completely accidental. We were in the bar during the afternoon and the waitress said something to this guy I was standing next to about playing that night. Being me and always talking to strangers, I asked him, "Are you in the band?" He said, "Yes." So, I got my picture taken with him. I think I used some line like, "Can I have my picture taken with you since you're famous?" I am so suave at times.

I don't recall if we even planned to check them out but we stumbled by one night and caught their act. And were hooked. They do covers. Covers of all sorts of stuff. It ranged from AC/DC to Gloria Gaynor (yes, th…

MOTM Registration

So, my gig at Meeting of the Minds in Key West is to be the Registration Assistant. Great job for a social butterfly since I get to see lots and lots of people as they come in to get their convention credentials and goodies.

Before we can start registration, though, there's a Goody Bag stuffing party on Wednesday. We line up all the stuff that goes into the bags (hats, koozies, paper ads, beads, bottle openers, CDs, lanyards, convention guide, etc.) on tables. A conga line forms with people first grabbing a bag then dancing by the tables as other folks drop the items in the bags. The bags are then delivered to a group of folks who stack them up in the back room.

Stars on the Water plays to keep the party going and there's a bar in the room so you can take a break and have a cocktail (sure, it starts at 9 AM but, heck, we're on vacation so why not have a beer?).

In addition to stuffing bags, there's also T-Shirt folding duty. I roped Dawnie into joining me for that. Even w…

Trading Pants

Pete and Wayne are a hilarious duo that play at Sloppy Joe's in Key West. I try to catch their show at least once when I'm there. If I had to describe their act, I'd say it was clever vulgarity. They say it's "Adult Comedy Childish Behavior".

Pete and Wayne.

They do this one bit where they sing a song called Trading Pants. While they're singing, they either trade pants with someone in the audience or they get two folks in the audience to trade. Of course, everyone just drops trow in front of God and country and swaps their drawers.

It was inevitable that someone in our gang would eventually participate in the silliness.

It wasn't at all surprising that it was Roger and Dawnie.

Here's a little visual sequence for you to see how it went.

I can't believe Roger actually got Dawnie's capris on. It wasn't a pretty look, that's for sure.

Poker Dork

Since I left on vacation, I've accumulated 22 programs. Yikes! That's a lot of couch time. I'm trying to clear out my DVR by watching the 2 hour programs first.

Tonight, I decided to start out with The Professional Poker Tour. It was down to the final table and out of the 6 finalists, 3 are some of my favorite players. Erik Lindgren and Lee Markholt are incredibly hot and Doyle Brunson is any poker player's idol.

I had to admit, I was absolutely giddy to see that final table. I can't wait to watch it!

Update: Edog (Lindgren) went out right away but it was still worth watching. Markholt came out on top. Have I mentioned that he used to be a professional bull rider? Yum.

After he won, they showed him hugging his wife. Wife? That's another fantasy dashed, thank you very much. There really needs to be a law that all married men should wear rings. It would save me a lot of time thinking "what if?". Not that I ever really thought I would meet him, let …

Concert Review - Rolling Stones with Alice Cooper

Doona belongs to an Event Planners Association and they got free tickets to the Rolling Stones show last night at the new Cardinals Stadium. Oops, I mean the University of Phoenix Stadium. Alice Cooper was opening for them and I thought, "Why not? I can always catch up on my sleep, maybe in December."

I saw the Stones once before at Sun Devil Stadium. I think it was 1981 or 1982. (God, I'm old.) I thought it would be interesting to see how they've aged, I love Alice and I haven't been to the stadium yet so it seemed like a swell plan to me. Plus, it was free!

The tickets were $60 face value and we were high in the sky. Top level, stage left. I doubt I would have paid $60. I mean, we were way, way up there. But, we were there for the experience and, again, it was free, so I wasn't unhappy with our spot.

The set was huge with lots of impressive lights and screens and part of it was set to roll across the stage floor and move the band to the other e…

Stephanie Plum Moment Not of My Making

I went to lunch with a work bud today. Just after the waitress delivered our food, he knocked his glass of soda over.

All over. Directly toward me.

I have to say it was an efficient soaking. Shirt, bra, pants, underwear and even one sock. I was completely drenched.

I told him, "Thanks for buying me lunch and driving me home to change."

We have a company-wide presentation today so there was no way I could hide out in soda soaked/stained clothes. I'm waiting to see if anyone notices that I came back with an entirely new outfit.

Zero Days Since a Pfister Was in the Hospital

We were on a pretty good roll there for a while. It's actually been 218 days since a Pfister was at Scottsdale North.

Shorty broke the streak today, though.

Steven called me around lunch time to say he was taking Shorty to the Emergency Room. Seems he was feeling dizzy and his blood pressure was low. 115/49 was what he measured with the cuff at Wal-Mart. He's actually got high blood pressure so that was way low for him.

He'd popped in on his Doctor this morning who told him to go him and rest and call him if he didn't feel better. He didn't recover so the Doc told him to hit the ER. A couple of hours and several tests later, they decided he needed to cut down on his blood pressure meds and see if that helped.

I picked him up at 2:30, dropped him off at the house and said, "I'm glad you're not dying and I gotta go because I have a meeting at 3."

Such a caring daughter.

Did I mention that he hadn't eaten anything but one piece of toast with some peanu…

Crime Dog Shoulda Been There...

Crime Dog already moaned about not being at MOTM this year. It was a bad call and we did nothing to make him feel good about it. In fact, we pretty much rubbed it in that we were having a great time why he was sitting at home. I don't know how many phone calls and text messages he got from us but each time, he sounded a little sadder.

"Can you hear the Boat Drunks, Crime Dog?"
We weren't the only ones who thought he was crazy to miss the trip.

I ran into Jake from Boat Drunks at Jack Flatts on Sunday while watching football. Crime Dog had asked me to deliver a message to Jake. "Hi, I have a message from the Crime Dog and I quote, 'Where's my fucking advance copy of the new CD?'" Jake laughed and said, "Where's he been all week?" When I said he was at home, Jake just shook his head.

I'm with you, Jake.

What was the Crime Dog thinking?

BTW, Crime Dog, I have a copy of the new CD if you want to listen to it. It's autographed by the …

So Tired...

Not that I expect any sympathy since I just got to spend a week in Key West, but I am so frakking tired.

How tired?

Well, let me give two stories to illustrate.

I tried to use my shopper card at the grocery store tonight. I scanned it in and didn't get a message that it took so I asked the clerk if my Fry's card went through. She said, "Well, you're at Safeway."

When I got home, I moved a load of wash into the dryer. Then, I started the washer again. That empty washer is going to be plenty clean, I tell you.

It's going to be an early night...