Thursday, February 25, 2010

jameson presents on bugsy seigel: it's what we've always wanted as parents... that our son could portray a gangster

jameson recently had to do a project for class on a famous nevadan. at first when he told me about it, he said the person had to have been born in nevada and that the person had to be dead. that really narrows the field quite a bit seeing as how hardly anyone is actually born in nevada anymore. everyone's a transplant. and anyone who is famous and from nevada, is still alive.

the obvious choice would be the blogmaster since i am a proud native, problem is, i'm still alive and i wasn't about to take one for the team just so the boy could do a presentation on me. when jameson first told me about the project, i spent some time in deep thought trying to be a helpful parent, but wasn't really able to come up with anyone. after a while i just forgot about it and figured he or mrs. blogmaster would figure it out.

next thing i knew, he had been given the option of presenting on bugsy seigel or benny binion. ah yes... two of nevada's favorite sons. we nevadans can all hold our heads high in honoring the memory of these two examples of model citizens who blessed our great state with their presence and respective contributions. oh, that every parent could have a son or daughter grow up to be a gangster/murderer who establishes mafia run gaming in a desert town before being taken out by the mob himself. on the other hand, if the mafia is out of reach or one doesn't want to set his/her sights quite so high, each child can still set his/her sights on opening a trashy casino or two and be implicated in a murder and other crimes. allegedly. we should all be so lucky.

virginia has chumps like thomas jefferson and george washington, but we've got bugsy and benny... at least our guys didn't own slaves. apparently, the teacher changed the requirements of the assignment since bugsy wasn't born in nevada. i just think it's funny that nevada's heritage lies in a bunch of knuckleheads like these dudes. on the other hand, what else should i expect from a town that lives and dies the poker table? besides, i shouldn't judge... we've all been faced with the option of: should i kill this guys or not... he's losing me money? it's not an easy choice to deal with.

back to jameson...

so, jameson put together a report on bugsy's life along with creating a tombstone replica of bugsy's tombstone. i helped jameson with the report and ended up researching bugy's life quite heavily by skimming wikipedia. first, let me just say that writing papers for kids these days is so much easier than it was when i was a kid thanks to the internet. i can't complain though, 'cause i can't imagine going through college or law school without the internet either.

thing is, i think kids shouldn't even waste their time learning how to write anymore... what's the point? if someone wants to learn latin, morse code, how to use a rotary dial phone, a fax machine or how to write, then to each his own; but, do it on your own time. schools should be teaching kids how to type from 2nd or 3rd grade on. to people like mrs. blogmaster, penmanship is an art that should not be undervalued... i say, bullocks, it's an inefficient waste of time, especially for error prone kids. word processing for kids would make every parent's life easier... plus, end products would look much better.

the reason i bring this up is because jameson had to hand write his report. no big deal, if you get it all right the first time. but not so good when you have to erase a few times here and there with a cheap eraser... after a while the report starts to look like an ancient manuscript that survived a world war or two. so, instead of having more time to do important things like play x box or watch the suite life of zach and cody (kill me now), jameson has to re-write his paper. consequently, while elementary school kids and the guys who still use those really old school printing presses that required you to place every letter on a page in backwards in order to print it are wasting their time with that stuff, the rest of us are typing blogs, emails, books, and the like in a fraction of the time.

can you imagine if i had to handwrite this blog? one good thing is that my posts would probably be shorter. but, they wouldn't be nearly as legible and they'd probably be less coherent than they already are.

back to jameson again...

at some point that night before his project was due, we finished it. i was pretty involved in helping, maybe too involved... but that's debatable. i couldn't let him turn in garbage when it comes to writing, i just couldn't... not the blogmaster's son. it was actually an oral report he was going to be giving, as well, not just a paper he turned in. so, i'm sitting at work the next day and i get a voicemail from jameson saying that the vice principal liked his paper so much that he wanted jameson to come back the next day to be videotaped as he presented it.

my first thought was, uh oh, was i a little too helpful on jameson's project? but, i quickly rationalize it all (a git we lawyers have) figuring it was all good since wikipedia was literally the sole source of research for the project and he physically wrote it out. all i helped him with was sentence structure, grammar, overall paragraph organization, and research. not that much, really. anyway, like i said, he did write it out all by himself... three times. let's just say, jameson tries to get his homework done before i get home so his mom will check it and go over it with him instead of me. it's funny, because i learned that lesson early on in life, as well (to avoid having my dad help me with homework). thing is, from about 2nd grade on my mom wasn't able to help with any of my math homework... that stuff was way too complicated for her.

bottom line: jameson did a splendid job preparing and presenting his report on someone who should be very close to all nevadans' hearts: bugsy seigel. if you live here, hang a picture of him on your wall next to Jesus (or moses, if you're jewish, or oprah or any holywood star if you're spiritual, but not religious, etc.).

here's some pics of jamebo and his ilk looking very debonair in his gangsta' get-ups:

Sunday, February 21, 2010

phase one of the gauntlet, valentine's day: check

i know it's a little late, but i needed to report on phase one of the gauntlet. for those who are unfamiliar with my personal gauntlet, you can read about it here... but basically it starts with valentine's day, then leads to the anniversary, then to aim's birthday, and then to mother's day and all in successive months.

luckily for me, the last couple years for valentine's day have worked out pretty nicely since the law firm i work for does an attorneys retreat to newport, california right around valentine's day. being the opportunist i am, i seize the moment and have aim come up with me so we can stick around an extra day or two and we make a weekend of it sans kids. it's a pretty good time.

for the most part the weather is pretty good, but sometimes there's some overcast, but nothing too bad. either way, that never stops us from renting some beach cruisers and riding up and down the coast, though. we usually make the trek up to hunington beach and hangout in the little downtown area there always willing to support the ca economy by buying some clothes we don't need and taking in some of the local cuisine. this year we had some fish tacos from wahoo's. they were pretty rad. we have also seem to have made it tradition to stop in on fashion island so that we're tempted beyond capacity to spend even more money on more things i'm sure we could do without. it's actually quite pathetic, but we are unable to resist the allure of this crass shrine to commercialism. we're still bargain shoppers, though, and even at joints like this you can find amazing deals.

after hunington beach, we head back towards newport which is nice because that's mostly downhill and the wind's at your back. this year aim didn't crash on her bike, which is always a plus. without fail, we always hit bablboa island to do a little shopping on it's enchanting downtown strip and, most importantly, to grab some balboa bars at dad's. as i mentioned in the previous post, no trip to newport would be complete without a balboa bar. i highly recommend them to all and would even go so far as to say the 3 hour drive there is worth it just to enjoy a balboa bar.

all in all, the weekend is a nice break from normalcy and the daily grind of endless responsibilities, work, baseball practices, homework, laundry (so i hear), parenting, etc., etc. visiting southern cal is always a therapeutic, if not nostalgic, event for us. while we only lived in california for three years... and it was nor cal, we still find ourselves longing for the ideal weather, the proximity to the beaches, the good people we met, the food, and that permeating feeling of being on vacation 24/7 when we visit. of course, we only tend to remember the positives of ca while we're there, but that's what keeps us coming back for more.

this year was no exception. and add to all the amenities of southern cal the fact that this was a valentine's day weekend getaway and, as usual, it was a match made in heaven. this being the case, there is always a portion of the trip set-aside for some "special" time between aim and me... if you know what i mean. don't worry, i'm not going to get all "tmi" on you here, (although, maybe i already have), except to say that when you have the ipod playing in the background in an attempt to set a sultry/romantic tone for the evening, make sure you're using a playlist that doesn't include any church hymns, mormon tabernacle choir or otherwise... because i can attest that when you're trying to get your love groove on and all of a sudden a crying violin starts cranking out "i know that my redeemer lives", it's a real mood killer.

luckily, this is a problem that can be easily remedied. unfortunately, revealing too much information, or the wrong information, during a newlywed game at a valentine's day party cannot. i'll just leave it at that except to say that when addressing the question about what first attracted you to your spouse, steer away from anything that might sound like "her spaceship-looking nose." just a gratuitous pointer from the erudite blogamaster. you can thank me later.

here's some pics of us on our way to the v-day party. note that aim's not mad or overly embarrassed yet because this was pre-spaceship nose comment. also, note the spaceship like nose. lastly, please note that i wasn't intentionally trying to pull-off that "i'm way too cool to even be interested in this photo" look on my face, i was just born that way... there's nothing i can do about it.

happy belated valentine's day from these two lovers!

a celebration is an order: colston turned fwee!

earlier this month, our youngest, colston, celebrated his third birthday. or as he would say, he turned "fwee." colston has a little bit of a lisp, but i'm not too worried about it. his mother, on the other hand, sometimes acts as if it's so outlandish that any minute, charles xavier is going to appear out of nowhere with a white haired black chick and ask if colston can join his school for gifted mutants. babe, it's not that pronounced... ok, maybe it is, but he'll grow out of it and if he doesn't, i'm sure he has a bright future as the x-man who beats down bad guys by furiously amplifying the sound waives of his lisp at them. in the meantime, no sense in giving the poor kid a complex. thank goodness he doesn't read the blog.

the birthday was nice and low key... at least for everyone but the evening's entertainer: me. we only invited family and a neighborhood buddy of his or two, but i had the wondrous idea of preparing frozen hot chocolate, frozen bananas and balboa bars rather than the traditional stuff. the idea sounded great in theory, but i have since learned that balboa bars aren't that easy to replicate and since it was my idea, it was all on me, but, as usual, aim made for a great help-mate and did all the decorating and the like.

for those unfamiliar with the term balboa bars, these are one of my all time favorite ice cream novelties. one reason the term may not ring a bell is because you can/should really only eat these things on balboa island in newport, california. basically, they're an ice cream bar, dipped in chocolate that freezes into a shell, but not before you choose a topping to cover it in (oreos, nuts, almonds, sprinkles, etc. fyi: almonds are the best). aim and is spent the weekend before the b-day in newport where i had my fair share of balboa bars and, as such, we were both channeling the deliciousness of this delicacy and thought we'd give it a whirl in lv. long story short, the bars weren't bad but they weren't great. the frozen hot chocolate was much better and the frozen bananas were pretty tasty, too.

back to colston...

it was kind of funny, but colston had a black eye on his birthday. we don't know how it happened since it was inflicted while my parents were watching him. don't ask, don't tell, but you can see the remnants below. the i've posted span the course of about three days which is approximately the amount of time we spent celebrating cold stone's birthday in one way or another. i especially like the shot of coles the day he apparently got a hold of the gel and try to pull of his best glen danzig impression. what's more is he's guarding that truck and trailer toy he's sitting by in the pic with a scowl that no fool would want to mess with... and if any particular fool did, i would pity him. just ask caleb. joking, kind of... funny thing is, jameson had a black eye, too, when we got back from cali (word on the street is that caleb is responsible for both of them). it's an eye for an eye thing in this brotherhood.

bottom line, colton is inexplicably adorable. i don't know if it's the cheeks, his belly, his little voice or the fact that he's probably the most jovial toddler you'll ever meet, but he is seriously one of the most endearing souls on the planet. the kid is ticklish on literally every spot of his body and it's almost impossible to resist tickling him on a daily basis. his laugh is not only contagious, but infectious.

colston is also a very smart dude having learned to talk, count and recite the alphabet at a pretty early age. he picks things up quickly and is constantly trying to keep up with his older bros... which he's not too bad at, except that he's not near the fiend for speed that they are. i remember the time at disneyland when i was going to rock the tea cups out of this world when all of a sudden i looked over at colston and against the backdrop of blurry park-goers i saw what looked like a giant tomato that was about to pop in place of where colston's head used to be. i immediately slowed down and learned that he's just not into that kind of stuff... fine by me, less likely to break his back at powell that way. in summary, we're luky to c-town on board at the cooperfive and i can't imagine what life would be like today had i not put my special dance moves on aim that special night some three years and nine months ago. she never knew what hit her.

ok, getting serious again... the aforementioned is great and all, but i have to admit the achievement i am most proud of when it comes to colston is the fact that he followed in the footsteps of his indefatigable dad by potty training himself. yes, zombies, it's time to clear-up the urban legend you all have likely heard that the blogmaster potty trained himself... it's not an urban legend, it's true. consider it cleared-up. and just like his father before him, c-town decided one day he'd had enough of the diaper life and bam all of a sudden we're saving like $40 a month not having to buy disposable swaddling loin cloths.

queue joke about the blogmaster being 6, 10 or even 15 years old when he potty trained himself.

to the contrary, my friends... i've heard it all before, besides, those jokes won't fly in these parts now that i have some proof of my accolade which proof is none other than the flesh of my flesh and blood of my blood heeding the manifest destiny of his genetic make-up by teaching himself to use the loo at the tender age of two. it's in the dna, zombies. accept it. teaches it in the schools... there's science in that logic and, thus, it cannot be anymore disputed than say global warming, err cooling, err climate change.

time for the pics...

epilogue to previous post: in the spirit of full disclosure, the blogamster has been known to sleepwalk a time or two

after revealing mrs. blogmaster's penchant for sleep talking in my previous post, i thought it only fair that i expose a somewhat equally unbecoming aspect of my life: sleepwalking. yes, i, the great blogmaster have had a few nocturnal strolls in my day... no big deal, right? i'm not above that. bottom line: when it comes to the patriarch and matriarch of the cooperfive, she's all talk and i'm a man of action... sounds pretty accurate except that it's not.

fact is, it's been years since i've slept walk. it's actually only happened a handful of times, but that's probably a few more times than most people. and when you think about it, sleepwalking is a really weird phenomenon. there you are practically unconscious, but walking around and completely unaware of your surroundings. as far as i know, the only other time that really happens is when someone is sloppy drunk... and i don't drink, nor have i ever been drunk, so it's at least really weird for me.

i know i'm not the only one, though... some of you have probably slept walked at some point in your lives. either that or you know someone who has. i could be wrong, but most of these incidents were likely uneventful. my misadventures, however, were pretty embarrassing... maybe even more embarrassing than calling for a big hairy wolfman to come hither or singing a monotone tune while in a near comatose state. in my defense, though, it has been quite a while since i last slept walk. in fact, last time i had a sleepwalking incident was probably in the 5th grade which was, coincidentally, the crowning moment of my sleepwalking achievements. we'll save that one for later, though. for now, let's warm-up with a little something else i like to call "urinal or laundry basket: how the heck am i supposed to know when i'm 95% asleep."

late one night, back when i was a wee lad, i was fast asleep. the end.

actually, that's all i remember, so that's all i can share in the first person. the rest of the story we will have to accept on my brother and mother's word since, according to them, they witnessed the following series of events firsthand. allegedly. i'm still not convinced as i have suspected a smear campaign from my brother ever since the day my brother posted a youtube video of me in a speedo.

jeff, mom didn't nurse you because i was in the womb and needed the nutrients as a growing fetus more than you did as an already born baby. deal with it.

sorry, zombies... i don't mean to air the family's dirty laundry on the world wide web, but that's the beauty of modern technology... it has allowed me to express feelings and concerns on an intergalactic platform to an extent i never thought possible. i weep in awe.

back to the story at hand...

for starters, i have done my best to recreate the series of events based on alleged eyewitness accounts, my own fleeting and somewhat drowsy memories and a wikpedia entry on the matter. so, one night, as a wee lad, i allegedly had to take a wee... allegedly. unfortunately, i was asleep when i felt this sudden urge, but because i was in such a deep sleep or because the urge wasn't that strong (we'll never know), my slumbering mind did not snap into full consciousness while the rest of my body apparently did. allegedly.

and so i made my way to the restroom. back in those days, we had the dirty clothes hamper in the bathroom, not far from the toilet. the loo itself was in between jeff's and my room and my parent's room. not much of a trek unless you're trying to find it while you're asleep.

i remember the light being on in the bathroom and my body being there in the room. i also remember the singular sensation of relieving myself in the middle of the night. i also recall some laughter and then slightly slipping out of my nocturnal state just long enough to realize that my mother and brother were standing at the bathroom door laughing at me. apparently i was facing the wrong direction. allegedly. i guess they think it's funny when someone urinates on their clothes while in the dirty clothes hamper. personally i think that's gross, but to each his own.

ok, so it was funny... still is, i guess. thing is, i can't for the life of me figure out why my mom and brother were somehow awoken by me urinating on the laundry basket in the middle of the night. i mean, it's not like that's really loud or disruptive. besides, i'm not so sure i like the idea of my mom having seen me in a urinating stance mid-stream... i was in third or fourth grade at the point... maybe even fifth or sixth. i smell a conspiracy. thank goodness there was no youtube back then... jeff!

i think i actually did that twice (urinate on the dirty clothes hamper in the middle of the night while mostly asleep). apparently, the rate of recidivism is fairly high once someone has taken to taking a leak on dirty clothes. it's a vicious cycle.

for my last account of the evening, i will share an experience that is almost unbelievable. this particular incident occurred one night when i went babysitting for our neighbors who lived two doors down from us. it was a late night job which wasn't a big deal since i'd done that before, but apparently i'd never been quite as tired during past babysitting jobs as i was on this night.

this night i was watching a couple little boys who went to bed around 8 or 9 if memory serves (which it doesn't, that's total conjecture) and after that i was on my own. i guess i got bored and eventually crashed on the couch or something. no big deal, babysitters fall asleep all the time... kids had been good, no drama, just me and the couch cushions now. it's all good.

thing is, next thing i remember, my my dad's waking me up in my own bed for my paper route early the following morning. so there i am, getting up when big jeff asked me how the babysitting job went the night before. "good," which was my automatic response. he then asked me how much i got paid. "$7 or $8," i said... but wait, was it that much? i couldn't remember, but in my mind that sounded about right. but, it was so wrong... i hadn't gotten paid at all because i slept walk home before the parents got back from their night out on the town.

turns out big jeff knew full well i never got paid the night before because i'd made my way home well before the parents who hired me got home to their house (they'd called my parents looking for me). at first they thought i was hiding from them when they got home because what kind of kid leaves his babysitting job before the parents get home? the kind of kid that sleepwalks two doors down the street back to his house without realizing he's leaving two little boys at home alone helpless and vulnerable.

kind of strange. no recollection whatsoever. surprisingly, i still got paid for the babysitting job, but not so surprisingly i don't think i ever got asked to babysit for the family again.

thus, we see that aim's not the only one who can't control herself during her sleep. don't judge us.

on a side note, let me know if you'd ever like me to watch your kids.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

so, mrs. blogmaster has a habit of sleep-talking...

it's saturday afternoon and a couple members of the cooperfive are taking naps. naps are a precious commodity around here as they are hard to come by but when some of us do get one we're all much more pleasant to be around the rest of the day.

colston is a pretty good napper, but the two older boys think napping is for the birds. in fact they think sleeping in general is for the birds... unless, of course, it's 9:00 am in the morning and jameson has to be to school in 15 minutes and he is home alone and i am on the golf course calling him to get him up and over to his friend cooper's house so they can walk to school together and he's not picking up the phone and he hasn't showed up to school yet and i'm sending people over to knock on the door and he's not answering and i'm starting to freak out now as i'm stuck behind a highway patrolman on the 215 and can't speed up to get home to see what's going on when emcghee breaks in and finally finds him in bed fast asleep. those are the times when sleeping is the greatest thing in the world for the kids... or right before church. go figure.

my kids take a similar stance on eating, which is extremely odd to me since, as a kid, i pretty much ate indiscriminately. eating was the activity that took precedence over all other activities. if something looked good, i ate it. if something looked good and i was full, i still ate it. in fact, i'm convinced some of us coopers don't possess whatever synapse or chemical or membrane or whatever it is in our brain that tells your body to stop eating once it is full. if it tastes good, i'll eat it. even if it doesn't taste good, i'll eat it sometimes, too, if there's nothing else to do.

to the minors in the cooperfive, though, eating is a burden... that is of course, unless it's time to go to bed and all of a sudden they try to filibuster their way out of going to bed by moaning about being hungry even though we had a very adequate dinner two hours earlier. i have to admit, it's a pretty good tactic on their part as no parent wants to send their kid to bed hungry... that's just neglectful/borderline abusive. plus, my boys are tiny so i think they need to get all the food in them they possibly can. as of late, i've taken more of a tough-love stance when they pull this shenanigan on me and refuse to get them anything, but i still usually let them go find what they can in the kitchen... which is typically something nice and hardy like marshmallows or graham crackers.

back to the sleep talking stuff...

like the title states: aim likes to sleep-talk. ok, so it's not every night... or maybe it is and i just sleep through it, but every once in a while, i'll be up and she'll be out when all of a sudden she mumbles some weird combination of words and a conversation ensues. usually the conversation is pretty one sided, but i do my best to keep mrs. blogmaster talking so i might further entertain myself. unfortunately, mrs. blogmaster gets a little stand-offish when she sleep talks and, thus, gets very annoyed with my persistence in trying to keep the conversation alive.

i usually have to call the dogs off after three or four attempts to keep her gabbing out of fear that as her volatile sub-conscious temperament escalates, she might graduate from sleep talking to sleep kicking or smacking. it would be bad enough to be a battered husband, but i've got to think it would be even worse yet to be a battered husband who gets battered by his wife while she sleeps. either way, i don't want to find out. thus, for the sake of our marriage, i don't push the sleep talking pillow talk too far.

the sad thing is that every time this happens, i think i'll remember whatever it is she says so that i can give her a hard time about the next day. unfortunately, more often than not, i usually forget and these gems of moments are lost forever. lucky for us i do remember a couple of choice utterances off the top of my head.

one sleep-talking occurrence might not come across as funny on the blog as it actually was in real life, but i will share it nonetheless. this took place not too long ago when mrs. blogmaster and i were watching an episode of glee. at the end of the episode, aim was dozing off and after the show ended, i noticed that she was out cold. as such, i reached over and started to give her a little nudgie to wake her up so we could go to bed. after a couple of jostles, i successfully jogged her out of nocturnal slumber and unlike she usually does, she barely awoke and was clearly still half-asleep. usually when i wake her up she jolts right back into the land of the living with a heightened sense of urgency and eyes popping all around like she just injected a red bull directly into her heart. not this time, though.

actually, i was pretty surprised she fell asleep in the first place since she absolutely loves glee. that being the case, i said something about being shocked she fell asleep and how she missed the best part of the show, which was the closing musical number. she, of course, insisted she hadn't fallen asleep and that she had, in fact, seen the final number. i knew she was full of it since she was barely even awake at that very moment and, so, i asked her to prove it by telling me what the last number was (this ought to be good).

she tried to cover by saying she didn't know the name of the song, so i said "alright, how did the song go?"

with that, half-asleep/half-awake aim, managed to mumbled out a monotone "hum-ma-na-hum-ma-na-hum-ma-na." i have no idea where she got that from, but it wasn't even close to the "don't stop believing" number they actually performed. it was priceless, aim singing some nonsensical rubbish while barely awake and completely unaware of what she was saying. to be expected, she disavowed all knowledge of this moment the next day and i believed her. i wish i had gotten it on camera if for nothing else, for posterity's sake.

that was pretty funny, but the absolute funniest thing she has ever said came about around the time "new moon" the movie was coming out... either that or there was a full moon out. those are the only things that could explain why aimee kind of moaned a "com'mere you big hairy wolfman" as she rolled over in bed one night. i'm still not sure how to take that since i'm not an exceptionally hairy man and the guy on the "new moon" movies, while admittedly abercrombie and fitch model'esque, is only like 15 years old.

either way, i laughed my head off in my non-expressive/non-demonstrative kind of way and knew there was no way i could forget that one. and now it's documented.

guess she'll want me to be chewbacca for halloween. i'm ok with that.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

achtung, baby!


i wrote a post tonight that was so long i felt it appropriate to break it out into three separate posts. these posts are the ones that immediately follow this one. i make note of this so that as you read, if something seems a little disjointed or out of context, remember that the individual posts were all part of one great whole in a past life. think pangea or the sum of these individual posts is greater than the whole. your choice.

thank you.

documentary review: trekkies

one of my other new year's resolutions was to watch at least one documentary each month (like i said, aiming high with the annual goals). ever since i recently watched new york doll, which i also highly recommend, i have been on a documentary kick. that documentary is about a pioneer punk rocker turned mormon. the story is fabulous and the special features an acoustic version of "a poor wayfaring man of grief" performed by his former frontman is pretty dope:

but, that's neither here not there seeing as how the first installment of my documentary series was trekkies. as you can guess, trekkies is about obsessed star trek fans. actually, "obsessed" is being too kind, these guys are actually certifiable whack-jobs who need a serious intervention in their lives. nevertheless, chronicling the happenings of their sweet spirits is not only interesting, but amusing.

i've never been a trekkie myself, but because i like star wars quite a bit it is not uncommon for people to assume i also like star trek or that trekkies and star wars fans are one in the same. not so, my friends... nothing could be further from the truth. i'll admit that i really liked the new star trek movie, the wrath of khan was great (they put bugs down the dudes' ears for crying out loud) and that even aim was down with one star trek movie we watched about the borg, but that does not make me, or mrs. blogmaster, trekkie material. far from it, to say the least.

and if there is any doubt about that, this movie makes any such misperception abundantly clear that such is not the case. check the trailer.

overall, the show wasn't what i hoped it would be, but there were some choice lines that definitely made the 86 minutes worth it. i can't repeat them here because doing so without putting them in their proper context would not do them justice. as such, i recommend that you watch this show with a light heart and with some friends you like to laugh with just to hear those lines. and if that's not sufficient incentive, if for nothing else you should watch this show to take note of the warning signs that may tip you off to a child's involvement with the star trek universe. mothers, don't let your babies grow up to be trekkies... at least not the freakishly extreme kind of trekkies like the ones detailed in the documentary.

for those of you who are not good enough parents to watch the show, i have summarized some warning signs for you to look out for, not only your sake, but the sake of your children and any hope you might have of your child ever meeting a member of the opposite sex and creating a child of his/her own.

1. intergalactic army space patches for some alien nation, people or planet you have never heard of. if your child starts asking you to iron these on his/her clothes, iron them directly on to his or her back as a lesson of what's to come if they keep watching star trek.

2. phaser beam guns or communicator devices held in holsters on their belt that they are willing to wear in public after the age of 6. what in the name of all that is holy.

3. a "klingon language for dummies or doghs (that's klingon for fools)" book. they have a written language for not only a fictional people but a fictional alien people hellbent on violence and with massive foreheads that look like brains... need i say more?

4. dungeons and dragons books... d and d is a gateway drug to the highly addictive and highly dorky universe of all things fantasy and science fiction. i admit, that fantasy and science fiction are great in moderation, but when taken to an extreme they can spell the ultimate ruination for many a poor and unfortunate soul. either that or these same individuals become really good computer programmers, start a .com company and make billions of dollars before they turn 25. even then, no amount of filthy lucre can quell the severe degree of scrutiny they'll go through during those ever so tender early adolescent years.... oh well, to each his own.

that is all i have time for tonight, zombies. stay tuned for february's documentary review (okie noodling). you're in for a treat.

restaurant review: settbello pizzeria napoletana

i made a new year's resolution this year to try a new item of food selected from a list of "vegas musts" by some food critic guy and a chef in a recent issue of a local publication (the desert companion) i read when i'm bored at work. there were twenty items on the list, but six or seven of them were adult beverages... of which i do not partake... and one other one was fried intestines, so that left about twelve eligible edibles. thus, one item per month for the rest of the year. as you can see, i aim high when i set my goals... we should all be so ambitious. and altruistic i might add as this has given me a way to give back to you, my zombies. as luck would have it, i have decided to review each item i try over the course of the next year and, as a free-service to you, i will share my thoughts in an effort to broaden your culinary horizons.

first stop: settebello pizzeria napoletana.

settbello is one of the two best pizza places in vegas (gramaldi's being the other) and it's not even close (ok, anthony's is in the discussion). supposedly, in order to make the kin of pizza settebllos makes you have to be part of some exclusive italian pizza club or something. here's what there site says about it:

The Vera Pizza Napoletana (VPN) was established by Antonio Pace in Napoli, Italy in 1984. Signore Pace led a group of pizza makers whose sole purpose was to protect the integrity and defend the origin of the pizza making tradition as it began in Napoli over 200 years ago.

The VPN charter requires that members use only specific raw ingredients to create the pizza dough, that the dough be worked with the hands, never using a rolling pin and that it be cooked directly on the surface of a bell shaped pizza oven that is fueled solely by wood. The charter also requires specific types of tomatoes be used and only the use of fresh milk or buffalo milk mozzarella is acceptable.

i've been to settebllo before, so when i went a couple of weeks ago it wasn't a first, but i hadn't tried the specific pizza selected in the magazine article i mentioned above: the carbonara.

here's the description from the site:

Crushed Tomatoes, Pancetta, Egg, Fresh Mozzarella, Basil, Parmigiano-Reggiano, Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

it was good... but not as good as their signature dish, the settebello. this particular pizza, i can't get passed... which is why i hadn't tried any of the other pizzas. it's that good. here's the description:

Crushed Tomatoes, Pancetta, Wood Oven Roasted Fennel Sausage, Roasted Mushrooms, Toasted Pine Nuts, Mozzarella, Basil, Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

we also tried the diavola:

Crushed Tomatoes, Finnochiona (Peppered Salame), Roasted Red Bell Peppers, Crushed Red Peppers, Garlic, Mozzarella, Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

this one was also good, but if i had to rank them, i would say: 1. the settebello, 2. the carbonara, and then 3. the diavola. the settebello is as standard a pizza as settebllo the restaurant can get: sauce, cheese, sausage, basil and pine nuts (my favorite). it's close to traditional american stuff, but not so close that it's little caesars (not that i'm coming down on lc, it serves a purpose) and yet distinct enough to be a delicacy in its own right (the olive oil and pine nuts are a great addition, but the fresh mozzarella is divine). the carbonara is pretty similar to the settebello except that they put some fried egg on it... not bad, but it takes away some of the succulent flavor of the settebello which makes it not nearly as good as the same. the diavola is a nice change up in that it's a little spicier than what you're used to on a pizza... but it lacks the overall flavor of the other two, especially the settebello.

you can't go wrong with any of them as they're all exquisite, but if you're a first timer there, i would definitely start with the settebello and branch out from there. but, before you even get that far, the caprese salad is a must... i might like gramaldi's pizza slightly more than settebello's, but settebello gets the nod on their caprese salad. we also tried the insalata carpaccio this last go and really enjoyed that, as well. here's the description:

Bresaola, Parmigiano-Reggiano, Caciocavallo Cheese, Arugola With a Splash of Balsamic Vinegar and Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

bottom line: i recommend all of the items listed above.

pedicure part 2

some of you may recall a previous post i authored in which i detailed my first experience with receiving a pedicure. only the hardcorest of zombies will note that said post took place almost a year ago to the day during an attorneys' retreat to newport beach. yes, for those who have done the math, we just had our annual attorneys' retreat in newport again and, yes, i was fortunate enough to get another pedicure... but that's not all.

first, i stand by my previous assessment that pedicures are a wonderful thing and the fact that i enjoy them says nothing about my unquestionable masculinity. second, even though i have not had a pedicure since i first had one a year ago, i have been long looking forward to the newport trip so i could receive my second. finally that day came and after a bruising battle of a football game on the beach and a rain soaked biking expedition to balboa island, my esteemed male colleagues and i made our way to the local albertson's shopping center pedicure chop shop for some self-pampering.

the five of us who were secure enough with our masculinity to embark on such an endeavor entered the nail salon and were immediately greeted by a score of vietnamese women who showed us to our chairs and commenced chiseling away at the roughshod on our feet. but that wasn't all, one of the ladies asked if i wanted a neck and shoulder massage. is the pope catholic? let's do it.

next thing i knew, though, was that she was asking me in broken english to lift up my shirt. huh? then the next thing i knew is that she was not only asking me to lift up my shirt, but to remove it. huh? then the next next thing i knew was that my boss and another colleague of mine had already peeled their shirts off and were getting the rub down. so, if all your friends jump off a bridge, should you jump off the bridge, too? absolutely... if it means getting a massage. off went the shirt and on went the massage oil.

let me be clear... we weren't in private rooms tearing off our tops and getting massaged, we were in the main area of the entryway to the salon whose whole front wall was a window to a fairly busy shopping center parking lot in broad daylight. oh, and i was the one closest to the window... surprisingly, i didn't care. i guess it was the super relaxing massage i was getting that calmed my nerves and tamed my apprehensions.

in addition, there was an older lady sitting next to me and then on the other side of her were my boss and co-worker. when the tops came off and she was surrounded by some not so strapping fleshy males, she was all of a sudden smiling in a laughing at us and not with us kind of way. but, as noted above, i couldn't have cared less although it was kind of awkward... and i'm sure that anyone who might have waked in at that moment would have been beholden to quite the site. you come in, thinking you'll enjoy a people magazine, an episode of harpo the she-devil, or private viatnamese language lessons and the first thing you see is three pale white guys whose better days in terms of being in physical shape are well behind them not only sitting in your starship enterprise chair but getting a combination pedicure/massage. like i said, quite a site in that it's not quite the site you were expecting. feel free to take your patronage elsewhere.

all i'm saying is, don't hate me because i've got finely trimmed, filed, waxed, and buffed toe nails. hate me because i not only have finely trimmed, filed, waxed, and buffed toe nails, but because i've also got finely trimmed, filed, waxed, and buffed finger nails... oh, and did i mention i got all that done simultaneously with a massage. to say the least, these ladies were master salespeople. every five minutes they were asking me if i wanted something more, all while being under the influence of nail polish fumes, massage oil and the massage itself... i didn't know what to say. actually, i just kept pointing to my boss and saying, "whatever he's getting." and, of course, he was getting whatever they were proposing... at least according to them he was.

and that was just the pedicure. the rest of newport was great, too... but that's a story for another day.

iinitiate the blog

iinitiate the blog