30 March 2006

applied statistics

last night i had one of those dreams where i was in a college class that i had pretty much forgotten i was taking. as i walked down the hall trying to remember exactly where the classroom was i realized that i had only been to the class one other time the entire semester. once i got situated and the class started the frustration and disappointment escalated. i had absolutely no idea what was going on and i literally did not understand what the teacher was saying. all of his gab about statistics came out as feeber-lee gehks and skaffity crumbs and it was a completely different level of confusion. to make matters worse my four best friends were in the class and all i wanted to do was talk to them. who gives a rip about statistics when your best friends are sitting right next to you? i kept thinking, i've got to drop this class... there's no way i'm going to pass... i have no idea what's going on... what is that guy saying?... are those picture books? and that's when the classroom turned into my elementary school - carpeted walls and everything - but old professor comb-over was still droning along with his nabbery libs and so forth. ahhh! this sucks. when is recess? i need to talk to my friends! i have to drop this class! i hope they let me... i thought i already took statistics.

and that was it.

i love dreams! how great is that? i mean the whole professor thing, the confusion, the carpeted walls, recess... wonderful! you'd think that by this time those kinds of dreams would have subsided. but on the contrary - and to my enjoyment - i believe they will be floating in the dream pool for as long as i live (right by the ones where i show up to church in only my underwear so i try to make a dress out of the coats i find in the coat room and i really need some masking tape).

22 March 2006

God bless spring break

this year as English and i revel in our spring break adventures (a mini-tour of Utah) i can't help but be grateful for this space of time to chill out. i'll be the first to say i need spring break just as much as students do (heck, who doesn't need a spring break?). by this time in the semester - and school year - we're all a little spent and even sick of each other... especially my drawing class, the punks. but spring break allows us to recharge. the sun warms us and we feel the energy reserve deep down inside start to thaw. let us fortify it with giant scones from One Man Band Diner and songs from the Ocean's 11 and 12 soundtracks. wahooooo!

16 March 2006

Duff's Smorgasbord

yeah, i know i just recently talked about buffets but last weekend i was reminded of a childhood memory and i just couldn't pass up this opportunity to reminisce about Duff's Smorgasbord. uh... yeah. i'm going to reminisce.

there used to be a Duff's about five minutes away from where i grew up. it has since been turned into an Office Max or something but this should give you a good mental picture of the type of space we're working with. i couldn't have been more than eight when we went there - on Sundays, post-church hunger setting in - but the memory is as clear as yesterday.

so it's a buffet with dark green carpet and white walls. there was a fair amount of brass and fake plants and your typical restaurant low lighting. they had a salad bar with a mound of glistening jell-o and a canister of cottage cheese at the end. but here's the kicker... the entrees were on a conveyor belt that rotated around out into the buffet area, then through a 2 x 2 foot hole and back behind the wall (and of course then back out again)! yeah, sort of like the baggage claim, only there was a wall, and it was food!

now if you think bout it, the conveyor belt idea is actually a very good one and complements the buffet idea quite nicely. the conveyor belt offers customers more convenient buffeting. no longer do you have to take as many steps to fill up your plate. once positioned at the conveyor belt, the food slowly and pleasantly passes you by (unless you're eight and then the mashed potatoes carry you away with them as you grasp the serving spoon). but i digress. besides, if you happened to miss the green bean casserole because you were staring down the 'homemeade' mac n' cheese, just hold tight little buddy... it's comin' around again! the other good thing about rotating entrees is that the customer never has to see the process of or the person who is freshening/refilling the stainless steel bin of fried chicken parts because it's all done behind the wall! voila... more gravy-smothered breaded steaks!

perhaps you are now thinking what i am thinking. sure the conveyor belt provides a sense of leisure, maybe even privacy to the happy buffeting customer, but it also creates a mysterious black box effect. what, exactly goes on behind that wall? who, exactly is freshening my creamed corn and what if they're not wearing a hair net? all of a sudden this lazy river of entrees is like Area 51. fortunately there's the soft serve machine. true, it too has a black box effect but somehow there's less risk involved. plus, aren't rainbow jimmies like antibiotics?

after all is said and done i probably only smorgasborded at Duff's a total of seven times... and then Duff's went away. every now and then i get a twinge in my right side when i think about Duff's. i'm not sure if it's a twinge of fondness or my I.B.S. but it's good to know that you can't even find the place west of the Great Plains. if only that were the case with Golden Coral.

03 March 2006

all that and a bag of chips

remember the phrase '...all that and a bag of chips'?

those were the days. such attitude in one jam-packed sentence. i think my older brother did the best rendition of '...all that and a bag of chips'. he delivered it with just the right amount of sass. sometimes, if we were lucky he'd add a wagging index finger and maybe finish the whole thing off with, 'oh no you di-int.'

just in case you were out of the country when people had trouble saying anything else, here's the definition from urbandictionary.com: To mean that a person is all that and more. Usually it is an opinion and the only one who thinks it is that person. Other people usually don't believe the person is "all that and a bag of chips." (posted by IceWarm in 2004)

well, if you're like me, you may be wondering where '...all that and a bag of chips' has been as of late. heck, you may already be putting in your own efforts to raise it from its dormancy (did you honestly think it was dead?). if so, i have a link for you to visit. if enough of us get into it, we might spark the flame and bring this jewel of slang back into circulation.

all that and a bag of chips

02 March 2006

when were you in Vegas last?

i've only been to Las Vegas twice: once, at the tender age of twenty as a side note to a Lake Mead waterskiing trip with my family, and the second time - two weekends ago, as a novice scooter enthusiast (more on this in a minute). i learned a lot about myself and Vegas on this second trip. for one thing, i was able to nail down why Las Vegas is not on my 'A' list for vacation spots (mainly this cycle of feelings: excited, overwhelmed, flabbergasted, empathetic, depressed, disgusted - enter a night's sleep here - and the cycle just repeats itself perhaps with some variation). i also realized that on that first trip my Dad knew that all Vegas buffets were not created equal and that is why he took us to the Reserve hotel/casino/buffet more than once. but on the bright side, i discovered that the best way to see Vegas is on a moped, and thanks to our generous friends and their connections, English and i buzzed around on a borrowed (but brand new) red PGO scooter.

now, i'm by no means a good specimen of a true scooter junkie, but i hung out with a few and i took the chance to do some studying up at the 2006 Vegas Rally. first, at the Shine N' Show i saw scooters of every color and condition (the same can be said for the riders and their hair). there were Vespas and Stellas and Fellas and stuff. it was quite a sight.

i feel like i should mention here that on the way to the Shine N' Show we had to do a u-turn and i crashed us into the median (with English riding on the back my center of gravity was thrown off). fortunately, the scooter suffered little to no damage and no one was around to snap a photo of my spasm. i'm also glad English has longer legs than me and was able to manage the scooter with much more ease. needless to say, he drove us around from then on as we cruised down the highways of Vegas, catching the gaze of many a-passer by.

like a bunch of punks with backstage passes we scooted up next to the roller coaster at the NASCAR casino (yes, that's right) and we got a clear, unimpeded shot of the Bonanza Gift & Souvenir shop (i've heard it's the world's largest) as a backdrop for this photo of our friends. lucky ducks!

the idea was to ride all together with every stinking scooter from the rally to Hoover Dam and back. but fate had another plan. a series of events involving a scooter wreck (thankfully no one in our party), Burger King, and some poor directions left us discussing our options in the parking lot of Walgreen's.

fortunately the ride wasn't a bust. quite the opposite. we ended up on a hill at the far end of town looking down on the city and the giant storm that was rolling in. it was like a dream. then we realized we had to go back into town (and therefore the giant storm) so we made no delay.

it only drizzled a bit as we crawled along the Strip with the hundreds of other folks making their way into town to spend, spend, spend. it was then that i was reminded of the sad and sorry face Las Vegas wears in the daylight. "pay no attention to that man behind the curtain." poor little clown.

yes, it's a stark and ugly truth. Vegas depends on that beautiful contrast of light and dark like Ashlee Simpson depends on the right camera angle. it's the sad reality. i'm not judging though. i really can't. see, i'm a product of the neon industry. my grandpa Jones worked for YESCO when Freemont Street (now considered 'old town' Las Vegas) was all the rage. the friendly, welcoming cowboy... yep. that's his work. so while the business of eye candy runs in my blood, and friends have a way of making 'America's playgound' more than just a mess of poor taste, i've decided that i prefer to consume Las Vegas in repeat screenings of Ocean's Eleven. thanks just the same!