Archive for January, 2004

What's up

Hey ya! Not much goin’ on. I just thought I’d write so you wouldn’t think I was dead. I’ve been feeling quite “expressed” lately. I think it was good to get that rant about salsa off my chest. Okay, it’s not really that, but I’ve been keeping busy despite only working part time. I can actually see my desk again! Apparently it’s made out of wood. Who knew?

Speaking of work, I’m busy applying for a lot jobs. I hope something will come up soon. I’m getting quite sick in working in the ol’ call center. I think it’s improved my phone skills a lot, though. I could probably cold-call the pope and convince him to send me money. There are adverse affects, however; I catch myself about to launch into my standard greeting when I answer the phone at home now. God, it’s taking over my brain!!

Other than that I’m just working on various music-related things. I’m still sorting through all the MP3s I got at the last LANparty in November. Yeah, I got a lot. I’ve also got a shitload of new CDs (burns, mostly) to listen to, and rip the good tracks from. Besides that I’ve been doing some recording; getting some acoustic demos down for my mates to listen to. Just blurbs, mostly. It’s all good in the hood. Oh, and it’s my birthday in two days. I’m expecting virtually no presents. Ah well, the only things I want are rent money and car-repair money (which I will soon need as the frigid cold is killing my car at an alarming rate). Not very gift-y. Well, I will try to write more often. I can’t believe I feel responsibility to keep up a blog that nobody reads. Maybe I need to chill out.

Horkin' Fiber Chunks of Salsa

I don’t know if you noticed, but I started adding the time to my blog entries. This way I can post several times a day without confusing things. This also encourages all you internet wackos out there to check back here obsessively. Speaking of that, my birthday is coming up soon, so make sure you finish up those huge, overwrought gifts that’ve you’ve been spending countless hours on, okay?

You all know I’m kidding, of course. I know very well that nobody actually reads this ‘blog. I can check my web stats, ya know. Of course, it’s not like I’ve been a consistent blogger or anything, and it’s not like I’ve even advertised my site. A few of my friends stumbled on it, and I was like, “what, you actually go to my website periodically? Psycho. Stay away!!” Or not. Actually, though, I was quite surprised. It means I’m not writing into a gaping void. And here I thought that the best place to keep a journal was on the internet where everybody is too busy looking at porn to care. I figure if I wrote stuff down on a secret diary people might actually see the book and be curious. This way, I was sure, nobody would give a rat’s ass. Then I found out my mom was reading my blog. The horror. The HORROR! I saw an Onion article about it recently, and it hit a little too close to home, as they often do. Anyway, that was a while ago; maybe she’s moved on to more stimulating ventures like dusting the blinds.

I keep ragging on my blog’s lack of excitement for good reason, methinks. I don’t read blogs. None except Tom Tomorrow’s, that is. And his is a political blog; there are very few rants about the poor quality of American salsa.

Okay, you asked for it. I’m declaring jihad on crappy American salsa. Having tasted the real thing down in Mexico I realized that I can never go back. The only salsa you can buy up here in MN is that corporate sludge that has no taste. It’s always labelled as “SUPER-MEGA CHUNKY” or “SO MANY GODDAMN CHUNKS YOU’LL FUCKING HORK!!!” This is, at least, true advertising. There are so many chunks of crap that you can’t even fit them on a regular sized chip. That’s probably why they started making those huge corn ships that are about 18 inches long. Anyway, my point is this: FUCK CHUNKS! Give me some goddamned flavor! Where’s the spice! I bought a “medium” salsa the other day and it tasted like fucking ketchup. No wonder salsa has surpassed ketchup as the condiment in this country; nobody can tell the fucking difference! And, before you ask, I could not find a “Hot” or at least “Medium-Warm” salsa anywhere; that’s why I went with that godawful medium shite.

You may be concerned about war or terrorism. Fuck that; why can’t we get some decent salsa up north. That’s my biggest concern. Okay, I’m kidding, but it really does bother me. Salsa in Mexico (at least the stuff I had) comes in two flavors: Hot and Burn Your Tongue Off. I prefer the latter. And the chunks that were in there were chunks of flavor and spice! Oh sweet rapture! It was excellent. The Mexicans puree their salsa so it’s smoother, with smaller chunks that you don’t have to cut up with a knife or worry about choking to death on. And God I love the flavor; it makes me feel alive! My friends make fun of me for being obsessed with Ceasar dressing and A1 sauce, and stuff like that, but I don’t limit myself to those kinds of flavors. I like anything that has kick to it and a pleasing flavor, which is admittedly a very subjective thing. Suck the marrow out of life, that’s what I say. And then gnaw on the bone to see if you missed any flavor. When I was a kid I used to grab a box of Macaroni & Cheese and rip open the cheese packet and just eat that. Screw the noodles. I only ate those (dry and uncooked) so my mom would buy more. Damn, if I could buy those cheese packets in bulk…

Anyway, this rant does have a happy ending, because there is one place where you can find good salsa. I haven’t seen it in the stores yet, but Chipotle has excellent salsa. Their hot sauce doubles as salsa. Put some in your burrito or just have it with some of their chips, which are, I might add, authentic Mexican-style. I’ve been obsessed with Chipotle for awhile now, and given the lines that form at lunchtime downtown so is everybody else. Pretty soon it’ll be a lame, omnipresent corporate chain, but I don’t care as long as the food stays good. If they show up on every street corner like Subways and Starbucks, more power to’em. I’m willing to accept that in order to have good salsa in Minnesota. They say eating spicy food makes you happy. Damn straight.

I hope you’re okay with the fact that this site is in a shameful state of disrepair. I’m catching up man, I swear. I’ve finally got time to do all the stuff I couldn’t do during school. There was an awful lot I put off, but now I’m slowly getting to all of it. Work still takes up a big chunk of my day, but that’s to be expected.

I went to see Lord of the Rings: Return of the King today. Pretty good flick; apparently there were elves in it. Haha, just kidding. Yes, I’m a geek, so I’ve read the book and I was thoroughly put off by the ending (which was sappy and not nearly as cool as the book). Otherwise, it had some of the most amazing battle sequences that I’ve ever seen. A tolerable acting job from Bernard Lee (Theoden) this time around helped, as did the ever-inspiring presence of Miranda Otto (Eowyn). How many ways can I say this? Eowyn is hot. Eowyn is really freakin’ hot. Hot blonde chicks killing demons makes me hot. Life is good.

Anyway, I promised to say more about Cancun. Mexico is on my mind once again because a good friend of mine just went down there. She’s going to Cozumel. I’m so damn jealous. But, I probably don’t need any more sun just yet. I’ve pretty much recovered from my incredible sunburn-of-doom, but the skin on my ankles is still peeling. This process has been quite fascinating, such as when I took a shower and noticed that some sort of translucent slug-like lifeform had attached itself to my leg. It turned out that my skin was filling with water, forming a 3-inch long sack of water underneath the layer of dead skin on my ankle. It was a tad disturbing.

But enough about that. Mexico is like some sort of dreamland. It was in the 70′s for Christmas. As a Minnesota boy, this is just weird. When we were first descending through the clouds on our final landing approach, I thought we’d somehow found heaven. The clouds were just perfect that day; spaced well enough so you could see the ground below. And as we got closer to the ground it became clear that the vegetation is incredibly thick. You literally cannot see the ground at all. There’s so much green, leafy life everywhere; trees, vines, bushes. But there probably isn’t much for grass because the light can’t penetrate through the canopy above. If you wanted to cut directly through the forest you’d need a machete and a lot of time. It would probably take all day to get a couple miles.

The Mexicans present a wonderful, Fantasy Island-style face to the tourists, but you don’t have to go far to see the crushing poverty of those folks who aren’t getting exorbitant taxi fees out of tourists. Whether in the city or in the country (well, “jungle” might be a better word. Or “wilderness” or something) there are a lot of people who don’t have a pot to piss in. The rundown shacks in the rural areas are the most depressing. It looked to me like people were using some corrugated metal – placed atop some stones or whatever, forming a roof – as a house. Yeah, the weather is nice all year, but still. And of course, the yards are strewn with trash, or maybe those were their possessions, I don’t know. I suppose if you’re poor you hold onto anything you might find in case somebody wants to trade for it. Also, there were stray dogs wandering everywhere, looking rather depressed themselves. Mind you, I only saw this side of Mexico on the way to Chichén Itzá and back. In Cancun proper life is more like that of an American (by which I mean USA; Mexicans are North Americans, too) urban center. By the way, make sure you check out the Photos page for some cool Chichén Itzá pix.

Well, if you made if this far, I suppose I can let you see the sunburn pic. Laugh if you will, but I learned a very valuable lesson: Never suntan for 3 and half hours without suntan lotion in Mexico. Even though I’m Whitey McPale I probably could’ve gotten away with only a slight burn in Minnesota. The sun is different in Mexico; it’s activey trying to kill you. In Minnesota the sun tries to kill you by withholding its mighty heat. Really, there’s no excuse, though. I don’t know why I did it. Maybe it’s the only thing convincing me that Cancun is a real place. Anyway, that’s enough for now. Until next time….

Back from Mexico

I’m back after much adventure. I must admit that I abandoned Minnesota, this great frigid wasteland (today’s temp: -2 degrees Fahrenheit), during the holidays and made my escape to greener pastures. I went to Cancun with my family for about 5 days. I’m still not sure Cancun actually exists. It could all be a big scam, like Total Recall or something. It certainly feels like some vivid dream now that I’m back in the states, in fucking Minnesota no less. God, what a horrible place. Okay, no, I love Minnesota, it rocks as a state, and the people here are cool and generally won’t steal your camera out of your luggage, but that’s because the winter is a killer. Nobody’s going to take the time to rifle through your luggage, or even say “hi” to you on the street because every time you expose flesh you run the risk of frostbite and/or death. People here actually spend large amounts of time sitting in a frozen hut on the ice while drinking beer and fishing. I’m related to a lot of them.

Anyway, I have a lot of shit I want to talk about. I probably won’t get to all of it. I have to leave for work soon. I’ll talk about Cancun (and my my spectacular sunburn) more later. If I think too much about it today I’ll get really depressed and try to kill myself with an icicle….which would actually be pretty easy. The hard part is avoiding the ice-death route. It’s so cold out I’m worried that the entire atmosphere might just spontaneously freeze and fall out of the sky in bathtub-sized chunks, crushing us all instantly. That’s why I keep a blowtorch on me at all times….well, that and the other reason, which (ahem) I won’t go into here.

I told myself I wouldn’t be “that guy.” You know. Him. Yeah. Okay, I’m being vague; I’m talking about the blogger who has a song for every day, every mood, every-goddamn-moment of his stupid life. Shit, it’s not that I don’t have enough songs to cover every second of my life; I’ve got more MP3s than Jesus (fun fact: Jesus only had a 5 gig iPod). But I don’t want to give the impression that my moods or life can be condensed to a few choice tracks. Far from it; yet, today and yesterday really can be summarized by one song. It’s title pretty much captures my state of mind: “Blurry” by Puddle of Mudd. So, listen to it if you want to know what I’m feeling. But, ironically, right now I’m listening to Praga Kahn. Go figure. Anyway,I’m really confused about a lot of things, and otherwise distracted from….what was I talking about? Well, I got really drunk on Saturday night with some of my favorite people, and all I did on Sunday (that would be yesterday) was sleep off my hangover, look for a job, look for a place to live, and sleep some more.

Anyway, I hope all of this explains my this site is such a goddamned mess. I didn’t know that it was completely fuct on Windows Internet Explorer. This is probably because I don’t care much about Windoze and all that crap; I’m a Mac user and as such I use a browser that actually renders pages properly. Gasp! What a concept! But since Microsoft has crushed the competition so thoroughly (and illegally) on that platform, there’s no real incentive to make their crap work. Why bother when they can make the rest of make our site work on their browser. Of course, there really is no excuse because this webpage does work on the Mac version of Internet Explorer. But apparently the Windows IE is a rancid pile crap which does not feature tabs, pop-up blocking or other necessary features. Anyway, sorry to bitch, but I’m not sure if I can get this thing to look right without a complete redesign. Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that. In the meantime, I urge you to try a non-crappy browser, like Mozilla Firebird. I’m sure most of you are stuck with IE, though, for a variety of reasons, so I’ll do my best to “fix” this site. I’ll be back.