Sunday, December 25, 2005

I am the champions.

Merry Christmas to me.

Final score:

After five long years of disappointment and second places, I can finally call myself Fantasy Football Champion of the Universe. I took home the $90 first prize.

Damn that feels good.

As you were.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Random pre-Xmas tidbits.

I have no idea what is happening to me. I am the most disorganized person I know. I probably couldn't produce a copy of my 2005 tax forms if you asked me.

Why I am I telling you this?

I was searching through my junk e-mail account for our flight information for Christmas. I knew we were flying on Southwest and leaving Thursday night, but I didn't know the specifics. So I searched for the confirmation e-mail. I checked my credit card at the convenient website provided by the issuing bank and saw I was charged for the tickets on November 10. However, there was no confirmation e-mail from Southwest in my inbox on or around November 10.

Then for some reason I checked my file cabinet at home. Under "F" there was a folder labeled "Flights." It contained print-outs of all necessary flight reservation information and confirmation numbers. I have no idea what possessed me create a hard file of this, seeing as the only other thing in my file cabinet is a receipt for a donut filed under "D." You never know when you might need to prove you bought a donut.

For three seconds on November 10th I decided I was going to be some kind of responsible adult or something. Inexplicable. That's my new favorite word: inexplicable.

Last night the Suns beat the Sonics by 28 points. Steve Nash had 8 assists and 5 points. For some reason I was incredibly thrilled by this blowout win combined with a crappy game by Nash.

I went to Target last night to do some Christmas shopping. I was going to get my cousin a Target gift card because I have no creativity. On my Mom's side, there are nine cousins and each Christmas each of us are assigned one cousin to buy a present for.

I think I have defaulted on three of the past six Christmases. Of the three cousins I have actually remembered to send a present to, two got Target gift cards. The third cousin got a little Swiss army knife (purchased at Target).

Why a little Swiss army knife you might ask?

Because I remember him losing an identical pocket knife in 1988 when my family was visiting his family (our moms = sisters). He had just received the pocket knife for Christmas. He and I were sitting in the front seat of our uncle's truck and he dropped the knife down the vent in the truck's dash, never to be seen again. Good times.

Anyway, I'm at Target. I've got my $30 gift card for the cousin, and the "Planes, Trains and Automobiles" DVD that my sister wanted.

"There's got to be something else I need here," I thought. I couldn't think of anything, so I left. Then later at home I thought: "Clif bars. We're out of Clif bars."

Damn Target tunnel vision. And yes, the Bricks do burn through 30 Clif bars in two weeks.

The only thing my sister could think of when I asked her what she wanted for Christmas was a "Planes, Trains and Automobiles" DVD.

"That's all I want. I'm too busy to want anything."

I guess when you're a lawyer working 80 hours a week and you own a one-year-old child, the only thing you want that might bring joy to your life is a copy of a 1987 comedy starring John Candy and Steve Martin.

So that's what she's getting. That and a $50 gift card for gas. That's all I could think of. Everyone needs a little 87 octane, right?

Extensive research went into the purchase of this gas gift card. I mapped her residence to her job, and pinpointed gas stations in the vicinity that might be along the way. I saw that the law office where she works is flanked by two Shell stations: one at the freeway exit just south, and another at the freeway exit just north.

Furthur research showed that Shell gift cards are sold at Walgreens. After Target, I was off to Walgreens. Unfortunately, unlike Target gift cards, Shell gift cards are not available in Christmas themes.

I hope my sister doesn't have any gasoline-brand loyalty that doesn't include Shell.

Why is it acceptable to give gift cards but not cash? It's like: "I was too lazy to think of a real gift, so here is this money that you can only use at one store. Merry holidays."

That's totally fine, but if I were to hand my sister a $50 bill and say: "Here, spend this on gas," that would not be socially acceptable.

I would much prefer cash to a gift card.

Did you know that corporations love gift cards because nearly 50% sold are never redeemed? Did you know that accounting departments of corporations hate gift cards because they create bookkeeping nightmares where the money received can't be counted as revenue or reported as sales until the gift card is redeemed?

Stupid gift cards.

That's all. The Bricks are leaving for Phoenix tomorrow.

Merry Holidays.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Fantasy football.

I apologize in advance for this boring content that will only be of interest to me, Scott, and Scott's brother.

I won my fantasy football game in our league semi-finals by half a point on Sunday. Of course, I shouldn't count my chickens yet because stat updates on Yahoo Fantasy Sports have been known to go in as late as Thursday. Two years ago Scott thought he had lost a game and then a stat correction went through mid-week and he was awarded a late victory.

I saw that I had won on Monday morning and felt the sweet taste of victory and revenge. The game was against Scott's brother, Slim. Slim always seems to get just what he needs to beat me. A couple years ago I had a solid lead on him going into a Monday night game. I didn't have any players left and he had one: a no-name tight end on the Bears. He would have needed 100 yards and a touchdown to win, pretty damn unlikely. He had two touchdowns and Slim beat me by about 3 points. This year in our regular season Slim got a late touchdown from Anquan Boldin to beat me by 2 or 3 points.

This time around, I thought I had him annhilated with my one-two punch of Matt Hasselbeck and Shaun Alexander. I had about an 80 point lead going into the late game on Sunday and all of my players were finished playing. Slim had three Bengals left:

C. Palmer at QB:

T. Houshmanzeadcquclakah at WR:

and Rudi J. at RB:

God, those uniforms are gay. Do you think a couple years ago, Bengals execs had a meeting: "People, our uniforms, they're just not gay enough. We need more tiger stripes and ugly contrasting colors. I want five ideas on my desk by 5PM. FIVE BY FIVE, I SAY!"

And what you see above was the end result. Also, Rudi's pose just enhances the gayness.

Even if Slim got above average performances from all three, he still would have lost.

C. Palmer then proceeded to throw for 274 and 3 touchdowns, Rudi J. went for 100+ and 2 scores, and Hooshmenzadayadakah had 60 and a TD. Two kick-ass performances and one above average performance. Rudi J's second touchdown late in the fourth put Slim within half a point. The Bengals had the game put away and I was praying that Coach Lewis would take the starters out. That's exactly what he did. J. Kitna took over passing duties, and J. Johnson handled the rushing. The game finished with no further damage. However, it was a photo finish, and stat corrections made the night after games can cause 2 or 3 point swings. I had to sleep on it.

I woke up on Monday and saw the final score of:

Me: 148.95
Slim: 148.40

He can just eat it.

Then I saw that Shaun Alexander was awarded 26.2 points. It was inexplicable. He had 172 yards for 17.2 points, and one touchdown for 6 points. That's 23.2 points.

"Oh, fuck. There's going to be a stat correction tonight and they are going to take away the 3 mystery bonus points," I thought. Oh well.

I woke up this morning fully expecting to see the three points taken away and Slim emerging victorious once again.

That was not the case. The schedule for the finals was posted and I was slated to go up against Tits McGee for the league championship. "Oh well, they'll just take it away later."

I even did Google searches for "Shaun Alexander wrong Yahoo stats" and "Yahoo Fantasy incorrect Shaun Alexander" to see if anyone had posted anything about it, but I couldn't find anything.

Then it hit me. Commissioner Scott implemented a bonus system. I knew that a QB passing for 400 yards was awarded 5 bonus points. Perhaps a similar bonus was in place for running backs? I checked our league settings and there it was:

150 yards: 3 points.

Three bonus points for 150 yards rushing. Thank you, Scott. Scott can now tell his brother that he lost because of this. That, and Scott's decision to include a defensive player as well as a team defense on the roster.

I was the commissioner of our league for the three seasons before this one, and I never had a bonus thing like this. Handing the reigns over to Scott prior to this year was the greatest thing I could have done. If I was the commissioner I would have lost by about 8 points (no bonus points, plus my defensive guy outscored Slim's defensive guy by about 6 this week. Thank you for those return yards, Pacman Jones).

Still, I will not assume I won until I am playing in the finals this Sunday against Tits McGee.

Bring it on, Tits.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Blog hiatus.

It seems I haven't had much to write about lately. I haven't really been reading any blogs either. Maybe I just don't feel like sharing, because I actually have written a few posts lately but decided not to post them.

It just kind of seems like a natural blog vacation time or something. I know of a few bloggers that are taking planned breaks for the next few weeks. I'm not going to do that; if I want to write about something I will, but I honestly don't think I will be writing much in the next few weeks.

Christmas is in ten days. That's pretty fucked up right there. It seems like we just had Thanksgiving, Halloween, summer, Valentine's Day, New Year's and Christmas. Remember back when Christmas only came once a year? Wait, nevermind...

Ms. Brick and I are going to Phoenix next week to spend Christmas with my parents. That will be good. We are trying to enforce new present rules so presents are kept to a minimum. I'm in favor of that. The present aspect of Christmas just adds stress to the situation. I don't need any more crap. I wish I could just take some time off work, go home, hang out with my family and drink cocoa, and not worry if I bought people enough presents. Actually, since I will be in the desert, I probably won't be drinking cocoa. I wish I could just take some time off work, go home, hang out with my family and drink Margaritas.

The Christmas parties at work (or lack thereof) have started. I work for a huge disgusting corporation, so you would think we would have a big huge party. Nope. The last two years it has been in the cafeteria of our building, but at least it was held in the evening, and there were nice treats and a nice open bar with free white russians.

Not anymore.

Last year building management had a lunch party for occupants of the building. It was basically just a free lunch buffet thing. This year company management decided to pass that off as the company holiday party. Awesome. We filed through a line, were given our rations, and went and sat in the cafeteria and ate. The food was actually portioned out and we were told how much we could have. We got one chance through the line and that was it. There was no Christmas music playing or Christmas decorations.

It was basically just: "Here is your free crappy lunch, now go eat. If you want a Coke it's 75 cents." Seriously. Cans of pop were 75 cents. At the company. holiday. party. Way to boost employee morale, there, upper management. Actually, I don't know who makes these decisions, because even the North America CFO was bitching. Maybe he was fake-bitching so we would think he had nothing to do with it.

Yesterday we had a potluck (wait, I mean pitch-in. That's right, pitch-in) Christmas party just for people on our floor and that was a lot better. At least pops were free and you could go in through the line more than once. I brought cookies. I made chocolate chip, but threw a combo of chocolate chips and peanut butter chips in there for an unexpected twist.

There was a large amount of random food. Fried chicken, beef sandwiches, shrimp, eggrolls, spinach pastry puffs, and a disgusting amount of desserts. I ate an unnecessary amount of cake treats. After that I made myself do 1,000 calories on the treadmill last night. Although, I don't know how accurate the calories-burned measurers on the treadmills are.

I've got another potluck Christmas party tomorrow. Alchohol will be involved. I am bringing biscuit weiners and will be getting hammered. Hilarity will ensue.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Weekend and stuff.

Scott and I went out on a date on Friday.

I decided to travel by train. I was waiting at the stop and another dude waiting was talking on his Motorola Razr cell phone. After he was done talking he pulled out his iPod and started cranking the tunes. An overwhelming desire to cockpunch this kid immediately consumed me. He just had to run out and buy the latest cell phone as soon as it came out? And he can't go 3 seconds without some kind of audio stimulation? Cockpunch. iPods piss me off, and it tears me up inside that I actually own one. That's why it is still shrinkwrapped.

The train came and I met Scott at our destination.

We saw a 40-year-old Virgin/Wedding Crashers double-feature. It was showing at the theater that shows 3-month-old movies and serves beer. It's been about 15 months since I have seen a movie at that place. That time it was a Dodgeball/Chronicles of Riddick double-feature, and I was packing some Southern Comfort. I got wasted and puked in the street later. I was passed out during CoR. I heard it was really bad. I won't be seeing it again to verify.

Anyway, back to our date. Scott bought me some popcorn. Actually, he bought it for both of us, but I ate most of it. I like popcorn. I would have bought him something, like a beer, but I spent my last $5 on a large Diet Coke. I don't remember the Diet Cokes being that expensive the last time I was there. I stupidly thought that since admission was only $5 for two movies, that concessions might something less than the standard, national movie-theater gouge rate. Silly me.

We had seen both movies before, but not together. They were still funny. They would have been way funnier if Ubaldo was present.

(Note: The consultant guy who sits in the cube next me just walked listening to that new Gorillaz song on his iPod. Cockpunch.)

Then I went home and Scott went and had sex with Ms. Scott.

On Saturday, Ms. Brick and I went to this birthday party at a bar (I referenced the invitation in the "News in Brief" post). It was similar to Scott's deal last week ($25 for 3 hours of bar), except Scott's was better. Scott's had food and a separate room. This one had no food and no separate room. Ms. Brick and I decided to pack flasks and not to do the $25. That's a way better deal. A pint glass of cranberry juice is $2. The liquor I put in it cost me about $1. That's a $3 jumbo cocktail. A smaller glass filled with cranberry juice and crappy vodka costs about $5. Higher quantity, higher quality, lower price. I am a cheap-ass.

The party was okay. We were lumped in this one big room with about four other groups of friends having parties. There was a bar with four attractive, female bartenders and a small, elevated dancefloor with a DJ pumping the phat beats. I didn't know anyone except for about 4 people from work. Everyone else in the room appeared to be an iPod Razr kid.

I didn't get drunk. I got buzzed but not too bad. Just enough to dance a little bit, but not enough to get up and dance by myself when the small, elevated stage was empty.

Nothing remarkable happened. After wrapping up our $15 bar tab, Ms. Brick and I left just before midnight, because we are lame 27-year-old, non-iPod, non-Razr kids. Then we went and got hot dogs and went home.


Thursday, December 08, 2005

Drunken update.

I haven't checked my voice mail for about six days, and I finally checked it today. I had one message. It was left on Saturday from Matt. It went something like this...

"Hey, it's Matt. You were drunk off your ass last night. I've been known to get drunk off my ass from time to time, and no one has ever called me the next day to say: 'Hey, you didn't make an ass out of yourself last night.' So I would just like to take this opportunity to say: You did not make an ass out of yourself last night. Bye."

So, while I might have acted like an asshole, at least I didn't make an ass out of myself.

Also, in case you care, this is what I look like in real life:

Have a good day.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Target is fun.

The coolest thing about getting plastered on a Friday night is that the next day feels like a Sunday, but it's really Saturday, so it's like your weekend has a bonus day tacked on to it. I need to get drunk on Friday more often. No I don't.

I am going to another similar party at a different bar this weekend where you pay $25 for 3 hours of bar. It's on Saturday, though, so no bonus weekend day. I will only know about three people there, so the only way I will talk to people is if I'm tipsy. Let's hope I can keep it at tipsy, instead of obnoxious-in-your-face-wasted. I don't really feel like getting drunk again this soon. It's not as fun as it used to be. Maybe I will spend this party as the awkward, aloof, non-talking guy. I'm good at being that guy.

So anyway, on this past Saturday (immediately following this past Friday), I made the mistake of asking Ms. Brick if she wanted to go to Target. We had just dropped Ubaldo off at his car and I figured: "Hey, we're out in the car anyway, so we might as well go shopping." When will I learn?

Going to Target is a rare treat for Ms. Brick, as she is not a licensed driver, so she feels the need to maximize her time there. I, on the other hand, can go to Target whenever I want, so I just want to buy the one thing I came for and leave.

This time it was Clif Bars. We were all out of Clif Bars. Target is Clif Bar utopia. Every other store sells them for $1.49, and expensive places (White Hen Pantry, I'm looking at you) sell them for $2. At Target they are 97 cents, and a box of six is 5.39. Also, Target is the only place I have seen the new "oatmeal raisin walnut" flavor, which basically kicks ass.

So with Clif Bars on my mind, and the consequences of taking Ms. Brick to Target not considered, we pull into Target. I head over to the Clif/Balance/Zone/Powerbar section and what is this? Six-packs of Clif Bars are on sale for 4.85? Oh, what a glorious day! I shall buy five boxes! Hoorah!

Since the Clif Bar section is near the personal hygiene section, I managed to remember that I needed face soap. I find this somewhat amazing seeing as I have a one track mind when it comes to shopping. If there is something I want, I drive to the grocery store or Target and buy that one thing, while completely forgetting about other items I might need. It's okay, I will make individual trips for that stuff later.

For example...

Her: "What did you get at the store?"
Me: "Diet Pepsi."
Her: "Didn't you say we were out of milk and pickles?"
Me: "Yeah."
Her: "How come you didn't get milk and pickles?"
Me: "I wanted Diet Pepsi."
Her: "...?"

So you can see I was quite proud of myself for remembering the face soap. Unfortunately, I forgot I needed shaving cream, even though it is located right next to the face soap.

So I was ready to go. I walked around for about 17 minutes and finally found the Ms. Of course she wasn't ready. After shopping for Christmas balls she was now shopping for shoes.

Me: "Let's go."
Her: "Can I have a few more minutes?"
Me: "I'll be sitting up front."

So I paid for my Clif Bars and my Cetaphil daily cleanser for normal to oily skin. Then I got a diet Coke and sat in the little restaurant area. I was happy I made it through the trip without having to try on any clothes. I continued to sit in the little restaurant area.

Finally, I saw Ms. Brick in line. I figured she would come get me when she got through. Then I didn't see her anymore. I walked up and down the front of the store and she was nowhere. I figured she thought of something else she wanted and went back into the store. I went back to the little restaurant area.

She was not shopping. She was looking for me. She thought I would be sitting on the one little bench in the front and not in the little restaurant area. She didn't even consider the little restaurant area. On my next trip walking up and down the front of the store she saw me. She got mad and said I told her I would be sitting on that bench. I said I told her I would be sitting "up front." Apparently we are in disagreeance[sic] as to what "up front" means. It's okay, it only added 30 minutes to our trip. I will be more specific next time.

If you are at Target with someone and they say they will be "up front," always consider the little restaurant area.

So we headed home. On the way she turned to me and said:

"Can we stop at the dollar store?"

Saturday, December 03, 2005


Friday night the Scotts got a room at a bar for a joint birthday party. Scott turns 28 in about a week, and Ms. Scott turned about 30 or something a week ago. So they decided to split the difference as far as parties are concerned. Ms. Brick and I took a cab straight from work and the Ubaldos drove down from their far-away place of residence. A bunch of Scott's friends that I sort of know came, and some of Ms. Scott's friends that I don't know at all came.

The Scotts put up some $$$ for some free bar food. Me, Ubaldo, Ms. Brick, and Mrs. Ubaldo stationed ourselves right next to the buffet so we could be on top of that shit as soon as it came out. I was pleased at the inclusion of hot wings. They didn't put any ranch dressing out, but Ubaldo hooked us up by talking Spanish to the one Mexican employee. Ubaldo's Mexicanness has come in quite handy over the years.

So we pounded lots of hot wings and and ingested lots of alcohol.

There was a three hour open bar for $25. I made sure to get my money's worth. Unfortunately, white russians and Woodchuck were not part of the menu. I can understand Woodchuck not being included, but they had a lot of stuff that costs more than Kahlua up there, like Stoli, Tanqueray and Absolut. I was able to come up with plenty of gay drinks to satisfy me, though. I think it went something like this:

Southern Comfort and Coke
Captain Morgan and Coke
Bacardi and Diet Coke
Bailey's on the rocks
Bailey's on the rocks
Malibu and pineapple juice
Stoli Vanilla and cranberry juice
Absolut Citron and lemonade
Stoli Rasberry and lemonade
Stoli Strawberry and lemonade
some pink thing that Adrienne the bartender made for me

After about the third drink Adrienne and I were on a first name basis. And yeah, we have already established that I am gay. I think it's interesting that as I kept drinking my choices just kept getting gayer and gayer. When I went to take a piss after about the eight drink I decided I might as well just sit down.

I was feeling pretty good and talking to people and hugging them. I typically prefer to avoid any kind of verbal exchange with other humans, but get a few drinks in me and I become Talky McTalkerson. I talked to some of Ms. Scott's friends and one of them (I think her name was Liz) convinced me that she grew up on a farm in Ohio and they grew corn. I think she was lying. I am also pretty sure I offered to go down on Scott at some point. If I didn't, I at least reminded him how hot he is.

I should have quit drinking after the first vodka lemonade. I had a nice happy buzz going and I kept drinking. At about the time the open bar closed I hit the drunk wall and started feeling not too good. People started trying to hand me white russians but I refused them. I knew mixing milk with all that fruit juice and sugar and crap would not have been a wise decision. Don't worry, they didn't go to waste. Ubaldo and Ms. Brick took care of them.

Then I started falling asleep at the bar. Apparently this practice is frowned upon. Adrienne kept tapping me awake telling me I couldn't sleep at the bar. What the hell is wrong with sleeping at a bar? We had a semi-private room and I wasn't causing a ruckus. It didn't matter, though, because soon after I had to go to the bathroom to dispose of the hot wings.

I sent them back the way they came in.

I remember a time when I could get hammered without vomiting. One time at a family reunion four years ago I got obliterated on Woodchuck and long island iced teas, and I kept it all down. Now it seems the vomit is inevitable. Is 23 that much younger than 27? I guess so.

I was in there for quite a while and people started to notice. Ubaldo and Ms. Brick began knocking and I let them in. When he saw what I left on the toilet seat and floor, Ubaldo turned to her and said: " can handle this." I got all emptied out and Ms. Brick wiped up most of the puke. You know someone loves you when they willingly clean up your expelled hot wing chunks. I think we had the following conversation:

Me: "I can't perform tonight, honey."
Her: "That's okay."

I managed to not get any throw-up on myself. I got cleaned up and we went back into the bar. Ubaldo told us it was time to go.

I didn't know this at the time, but apparently we were asked to leave by the bouncer. I didn't know falling asleep at the bar and then throwing up in the bathroom was grounds for removal. It's not like I was causing a ruckus or being rude or disruptive in any way. If I had thrown up on the bar and fallen asleep in the bathroom, then I would understand.

It was fun, though.

No one was in shape to drive so Ubaldo left his car and we cabbed it back to our place. Despite my inebriated state I thought to get out the air mattress for the Ubaldos. Then I threw up some more, drank some water, brushed my teeth, and passed out on the bed.

I was hoping to do some drunken blogging, but I was in no condition to do so. The drunk version of the story would have been more entertaining, I'm sure.

The next day Ubaldo realized he left his cell phone there. It was okay, because I had to drive him back to get his car anyway. We went out for breakfast and went back to the bar to get his stuff. I didn't go in, but Ubaldo said the same bouncer was there, who told him: "Hey, thanks for taking care of that last night."

Taking care of what?? Jeez, I really hate to think of the panic that place goes into when someone actually does become a disturbance.

Oh, if you were there, and you are reading this, and I actually was being an annoying jackass and you wanted me to leave, please let me know.

That's all. At breakfast we all got this turkey-egg thing, except for Ubaldo. He got this Cajun-egg thing.

Thursday, December 01, 2005


I'm glad I checked my junk e-mail account...

I thought I was broke, but apparently my poker bankroll has $30.38 in it.

I got an e-mail from Noble Poker saying I have 20.38 in my account that I forgot about. I signed up there a long time ago for the sign-up bonus but quit because it sucked there. In my hurry to leave I must have left 20.38 behind. Wow, I haven't played there since May or June. I really liked their crappy sound effects; so much that I muted them. I haven't seen any of their ads lately and pretty much forgot they existed. They probably would have been better off just taking the twenty bucks rather than tell me about it. It's not like I'm going to start playing there again.

Then I got an e-mail from Empire telling me I have $10 free in my account to play with. I have to play 300 raked hands if I want to cash out. So basically, I can't cash it out. Empire has resorted to passing out free money to deserted accounts to get people to play there. That's just sad. I think Empire will be going away soon.

So now I have $30.38 to play with on crappy sites. I think I'm going to cash out Noble Poker, deposit it into Empire, then lose the whole thing at the 1-2 6-max tables. That is if there is anyone playing. I haven't been on the exiled half of the Party network in over a month. Also, I haven't really played much poker in general for a while. I hope I remember the rules.

I find it somewhat pathetic that I am excited about thirty bucks.

That's all. Sorry for talking about poker.