November 30, 2003

Aw Nuts

Check it out, Chef Monkeywerks wants to show everyone his nuts!

Cheers!

Posted by jed at 10:03 AM | Comments (0)

November 28, 2003

Thanksgiving Day Fun

Welp, this year's Turkey Trot was a complete success. Jay, Joe, my mom, and myself all took part in the fun and had an excellent morning. Joe ended with a time of 47 minutes, Jay was 52, my mom was 55, and I was 56. The good news, however, is we were all right in the middle of the whole pack- not in the front, but not in the back. Out of 450 or so participants, my mom and I finished in the mid 200's, Jay was 171, and Joe was something ridiculously lower than that. I think the winner ended with a time of around 32 minutes, while last place was well over an hour and 20 minutes. All that aside, I was just happy to finish, without stopping, in under an hour, on 5 hours of sleep. It was the perfect morning, too, with blue sky and temperature's in the upper 40's. One lesson I did learn from all this, though, is that a lot of coffee and a bagel with veggie cream cheese an hour before running 6.2 miles is not the breakfast of champions.

There was also plenty of Mario Kart over the last two days, and probably much more to come. It really is ten times better with a big group of people- this coming from someone who really enjoys the game single player. Ah yes, if only work didn't get in the way we'd be playing right now... but I guess it can wait a few more hours.

Also, Chase has officially joined me in the Shave Challenge, 2003. You can find links to both of our pictures in the right hand column of the poop deck, or posted on lopolis.com.

Cheers!

Posted by jed at 12:06 PM | Comments (2)

November 26, 2003

New Challenge

Now that the Chiller Challenge is over, I've found myself searching for a new way to torture myself. Today, I came to the realization that a new challenge has, in fact, already begun, and I proclaim the official starting point as of now. Wondering what it might be?

The last few days I have been moderately busy, with running, and many other circumstances and situations that have cut into my free time. While I (luckily) have had plenty of time to shower, I just haven't had the motivation to shave. So, as of today, I am going to go unshaven for as long as possible.

Now, keep in mind, I shave my head (the hair that is there, anyway), I usually shave my face (I don't have a goatee or anything), and I have to, or should, keep myself respectable for work. However, all of these things are void from this point on. My goal is Christmas... but it might end tomorrow. I guess we'll just have to wait and see. After just 2 or 3 days I'm already pretty itchy- but keep in mind, I'm crazy and stubborn, and refuse to quit (unless I am forced to by work).

Godspeed!

Posted by jed at 11:58 AM | Comments (31)

A New Record!

Last night was the final training run before the big race tomorrow, and we shattered our record of 58 minutes by completing it in 43! That's right, we were on fire last night, cruising through the course with ease. It was probably one of the coldest evenings to date, with temps in the low 30's to upper 20's, but the sky was lit up with stars in the back roads of Goshen, and the fire from our feet kept us warm. We looked like a train chugging through the darkness, our breath filling the air like smoke, and the pitter-patter of our footsteps sounding off a melodic rhythm, keeping us in sync with one another, racing towards the finish line. It was incredible, and we are ready for the real deal tomorrow morning.

Oh, did I mention we only did half the course last night?

Cheers!

Posted by jed at 10:29 AM | Comments (0)

November 24, 2003

Live Stuff Is Good Stuff

This weekend I had a chance to catch a few different shows in the area. It was a whirlwind of performances ranging from the not-so-funny, to the awe-inspiring. Let's jump right in, shall we?

Friday night started the whole thing in Albany, New York, with a comedy show starring some of the people from the Howard Stern show. KC Armstrong, the Reverend Bob Levy, and Artie Lange put on a show for us folk, and it was pretty funny. Actually, let me rephrase- Artie and the Reverend were funny, while KC Armstrong SUCKED. He was so bad, it was funny- it was so funny, he was bad. He was like a drunken frat boy who realized his voice was louder than everyone else's, and just decided to use it. He didn't care what came out, he just had a power and took advantage. It was... bad.

Saturday involved a lot of sleep early on, as the trip home from Albany didn't get us back here until around 4:00 a.m. Of course, waking up involved walking to the couch and playing Mario Kart. Ah yes, it was like college all over again, except no homework. It was nice to rest up for the evening, however, as Medeski Martin and Wood were in town. Not only were they within walking distance from my apartment, but Jenn here at work scored me a free ticket. We went out to a few parties around town, and ended up in the majestic Warner Theater. Medeski Martin and Wood were very impressive, and I recommend seeing them if the oppertunity ever arises. Just be prepared for a hipster frenzy, as they seemed to crawl out of the woodwork even here in Borrington, Patheticut. Very good stuff none-the-less.

Sunday turned out to be the perfect end to the perfect weekend. Not only was another show scheduled for the evening, but I must have played Mario Kart for a good 4 hours. After the racing was out of my system, I met up with Joe, Karen, and two of Joe's friends for some sushi and some Ani Difranco, playing at the University of Hartford (I hear some really cool people have graduated from that school). The opening performer for Ani was probably one of the strangest, yet most amazing things I have ever seen. That 1 Guy came on stage with his homemade, one string, galvanized pipe machine and created some of the weirdest sounds I have ever heard. What made it so amazing was that, as his name suggests, he is just one guy. If you go here and watch some of the video, you'll see what I mean. Seeing it live was one of the most confusing things I have ever been witness to. I also bought his cd, which is wonderfully titled "Songs In The Key Of Beotch."

Anyway, That 1 Guy brought us right up to Ani Difranco, who is yet another person who should be on the list of 'must see' live performances. She has such an aura about her, and an amazing stage presence. And as I said last night, regardless of what she is speaking of, ranting about, or whatever you want to call it, you can't deny the fact that she makes the guitar her bitch. I don't know how she makes that kind of noise come out of just a few strings. It was incredible, and a great way to end the weekend.

No more live shows on the calendar for awhile, but at least we get turkey on Thursday. Thanksgiving here I come!

Cheers!

Posted by jed at 09:57 AM | Comments (20)

November 19, 2003

Ramblious Rambonium

Today was day three of training, and we scored a time of 58 minutes! Hurray for progress! Also, we managed not to stop once during the whole 6.2 miles... yay we accomplished something!

Here is a fun game for all you bikers out there. Kind of like Excitebike for Nintendo, except on the computer in non-nintendo form.

Most cats like mice. Mine like's mouse. Whenever I sit at the computer, he stares in wonder at the little arrow fluttering around the screen. It's the funniest thing in the world, because he doesn't really know what to make of it... he just kind of stares, tilts his head, and reaches for it, only to stop at the last moment and watch it fly away. Only problem is, he's always sitting right in front of me, so I can't see the computer screen. (Like right now, for example)

Mario Kart for Gamecube is tons-o-fun. I will admit that it took me a few rounds to really start enjoying it, but once the real racing began (the faster paced racing) I became addicted. The game itself isn't all that spectacular in terms of gamecube to N64 graphics, but it's Mario Kart, so it's fun. It's a great sequel to the last one, and picked up nicely from where the previous installment left off. I can also say, without question, that the multiplayer races and battles will equal, if not surpass the quality of it's predecessor. Ah yes, I see sleepless nights and fierce championships on the horizon.

Ok seriously, my cat is like RIGHT there. I can't even see what I'm typing anymore.

Godspeed!

Posted by jed at 07:49 PM | Comments (1)

November 18, 2003

Sleep Is Good, Mario Is Better

This morning was strange. I slept very well last night, until my alarm sounded off at 6:30, or whatever God awful time I set it for. I reached over and slapped the snooze like I always do, happy that I can roll over and fall back asleep. Only this time, in my dreamlike wonder, I hit the 'off' button- I think I sabotaged myself. From that point on, I fell into the deepest sleep I've had in recent memory, and had a really strange dream. One particular point that made the dream so strange was that towards the end, I found myself at work, wearing pajama's. I was frantically walking around, trying to find a place to change my clothes before anyone saw me (though during this time everybody saw me, but didn't seem to care). I would walk into a bathroom only to find the door wedged open, or find a room but the door would be locked, along with various other unfortunate circumstances that would prevent me changing into normal clothes.

After my search seemed over, I came to the realization that the pajama's were actually very comfortable, and I no longer wanted to change them. Unfortunately for me, however, I woke up after coming to this conclusion, looked at the clock, and it was 7:49. (I'm supposed to be at work at 7:00. Over the past year and a half it has gotten later and later, until I found my equilibrium for waking up while not being too tired, making my arrival time hover between 8:10 and 8:13- a time I have been consistent with for at least 3 months now) Much to my surprise, I was able to hop right out of bed, and it felt great to wake up naturally, rather than to the normal "EH-EH-EH-EH-EH" of the alarm clock. Sure I missed breakfast, but luckily my coffee pot starts automatically and I had a fresh pot waiting for me. I chugged a huge cup (it was very hot), enjoyed my few minutes smiling, and had a great feeling about the day. It was weird.

Oh, and it's been a decent day, too. I wish I could remember what side of the bed I got up on, because it appears to be the right one.

Also, Mario Kart for Gamecube comes out today, which means I will no longer be seen by the public eye for at least the rest of the week. Mario Kart for Gamecube (a.k.a. Double Dash) promises to be the greatest invention since... well, since Mario Kart 64 for Nintendo 64. I remember the very first Mario Kart for Super Nintendo, playing with my sister and Sean on a warm summer's night in Charlotte. Something about the game was so mesmerizing, so fun, so awe inspiring, even in it's antiquated form. I remember the college days when Mario Kart 64 would literally be a nightly routine. We'd have competitions, fierce battles, and the greatest time any game has ever brought me. I remember this one rich kid, who sucked at the game but always wanted to play, and would bet money because he had a ton of it. My friend Dave would play him everyday and win... I think it paid his tuition. I remember the glory that was 4 controllers, allowing for a group of us to participate, and "I got winner" meant just a couple minutes. I remember furniture being destroyed because Toad flew by at the last second. I can remember games going well into the night, and waking up to see my roomate Lee fixated on the screen..."I just have to beat Peach!"

Of course, my favorite part was that I was the nerd... er, the Mario Kart King... of the castle. Unbeatable, unstoppable... the sliding e-turns, the short cuts, the ability to use weapons at just the right time. Ah yes, I was truly a God in my own mind; it was my claim to fame, my pride and joy. I remember the rich kid played me once... I refused to take his money. From that point on I had the respect of a thousand kings in our suite. "Ah man, I have to play Jed?! I may as well give up now!" became a common phrase. "Jed, how do you e-turn so well, can you teach me?"

"It comes with time, my son," I would reply. "It comes with time."

Those truly were the days. But, with a new Mario Kart comes a new era; will I still be King? Only time will tell...

...wow, I really am a nerd- a nerd that can RACE!

Godspeed

Posted by jed at 10:45 AM | Comments (25)

November 14, 2003

The Matrix... Or Was It?

Just got back from seeing the Matrix 3. For any of you who have not seen it, and don't plan to, I am going to attempt to sum it up as best as possible. For those who have not seen but DO plan to, I am going to attempt to sum it all up with the hope that I can prevent you from wasting $8.75 (or more) for a movie ticket. Was it a bad movie? No, not really. Was it good? No, not really? Was it mediocre? No, not really.

Essentially, I could stop right there. That pretty much summed it up, but I will continue... or will I? Yes, I will.

(The following gives nothing away, simply because there wasn't much to give)

Movie begins... ah yes, I am already confused. Quick dialogue blended with too many questions is the perfect recipe for confusion soup. The characters just talked so quickly, and it cut from one to the other so fast, that it was hard to follow what they were saying. It seemed to go something like this:

Morpheus: Neo do you know what to do?

Neo: What do you mean?

Morpheus: I think you know, do you not?

Neo: I do not know, do you?

Morpheus: I am unsure, but only if you are sure.

Neo: But why?

Morpheus: Because I am.

Neo: What for?

Morpheus: Because you are the one.

Neo: (profound expression)

Me: wha...t

So this goes on for a good 45 minutes or so. Enter the middle of the movie, and the highly anticipated attack on Zion. Now, I know I seem to see phallacies everywhere, but this one was just so obvious that the 8 year old next to me giggled. When the first hole was drilled into the ceiling, leaving a perfectly round hole for thousands and thousands of tadpole-ish looking machines to come flowing through, only one thing comes to mind. Needless to say, the parents of that 8 year old probably chose that as the perfect time to inform him of where babies come from. We are also introduced to the 'character who swears.' There is this one guy who curses in 95% of his lines- lines I think he memorized the night before.

Anyway, so here comes the battle scene. It went something like this:

Movie: BANG BANG EXPLOSION BANG DEATH BOOM BANG

Me: Suh-weeeeeeeeeet

(10 minutes later)

Movie: BANG BANG DEATH BOOM FIRE BANG

Me: heh...sweet

(10 minutes later)

Movie: BANG BANG EXPLOSION BLOOD

Me: Did I leave the oven on?

(10 minutes later)

Movie: BOOM BOOM "FREEEEEEDDDOOOOOM" BANG DEATH BLOOD

Me: Oh wait, I never used the oven today

(10 minutes later)

Movie: BANG BLOOD BOOM

Me: Zzzzz...Zzzzz

Sure it was cool...for about 20 minutes.

We then find ourselves in the 'bridge' of the movie; that one point where everything comes together to lead us to the ending. Unfortunately, it resorted back to the same format as the beginning. More useless talking, more dumb questions, blah blah... wait, isn't this the Matrix? Where is Keanu, we haven't seen him for at least 45 minutes?

Or have we?

No, we haven't...

Oh there he is, and he's doing stuff. What exactly is he doing? I'm not sure, should I know? Perhaps I should... or should I? I don't know?

And then the movie ends.

Yup, it sure was a... um... the movie was uh...

Hey, I DID leave the oven on.


Godspeed!

Posted by jed at 10:04 PM | Comments (23)

November 12, 2003

Dreamlike Reality

Today was day two of our training for the 6.2 mile Turkey Trot. Jay, Joe and myself continued the routine, but this time Jeff wussed out, and was replaced by a 25+ mile-a-week runner and his 11 (or so) year old daughter, Kelly. No rain like last week, but it was very, very foggy on the back roads of Goshen, and there was definitely some mist floating around. It was, without a doubt, the creepiest run I have ever done, including all the times we ran through the Blair Witch woods over the summer. Oddly enough, though, I was really enjoying it.

Picture the route as a giant lollipop- we run up a road to get to the loop, run around the loop, and end coming down the same road we began on (make sense?) The "stick" part of the trail is a straight, dirt road, really in the middle of nowhere, with big trees hanging over, and dead silence all around. As I ran through, Sleepy Hollow came to mind; dark, foggy, and just all around creepy. It was basically about a 15 yard visibility ahead of me, and anything past that just disappeared. I also couldn't see the road below me at all, it was a very odd feeling... but for some reason, I was enjoying it...

Another mile or so passed, and I was chugging along. By this time we were on a very secluded road, trees everywhere, and darker than before. Picture, if you will, pitch black darkness with really thick fog, and you'll have an idea. I could barely see Jay's white shirt, even though he was right in front of me. Suddenly, I got a flashback from WWII. It was as though I was transported into the mind of a soldier, and we were running through the darkness, not knowing what was around us. It was that kind of vibe, almost like a 'loud silence.' I kept right on him, making the same steps he did, marching along in the darkness, running for my life, and refusing to be left behind... I swear I could hear bombs in the distance, and gun shots going off. And yet I was really enjoying it...

Another mile or two came and went, and I suddenly felt as light as the air. My body no longer hurt, and I felt like I was dreaming- floating along with ease. I had to look around and find the shadows around me passing, just to make sure I was still actually moving. I felt so carefree, so relaxed, it was wonderful. I was very much enjoying it...

This was about the point at which I found myself in the soggiest, foggiest, dampest, most desolate HELL anyone could ever imagine. Downhills felt like uphills, flat roads felt like mountains, and uphills... well, we can just forget about uphills. My body hurt, my toes hurt, my back hurt, my head hurt, I was ready to stop. Jay turned to me... "looks like we're on pace for about an hour and one minute."

Now, I don't really know what happened within me, but I got a gigantic surge of energy. I turned to Jay, and in a display of majestic stupidity, I shouted "I'm going for under an hour...I WANT UNDER AN HOUR!!"

I took off, sprinting down the road. Jay couldn't believe it, but he kicked it up, too. We ran our hearts out, using the last bit of energy we had. I felt as if I hadn't run at all prior to this moment, and everything I had in me just burst. I could hear Jay behind me, I knew he wanted it, too.

We arrived at the car to meet the other folks who beat us by a couple minutes, and Jay said quietly, and with little expression...

"Yup, just like I said...hour and one minute."

Sigh... but not all was lost, I did beat my time from last week by 9 whole minutes. I'm no runner, so I'll take what I can get. I also have one completely purple toe now, it's pretty sweet.

Till next time...

Posted by jed at 09:30 PM | Comments (22)

November 11, 2003

End Of An Era, Start Of A New

As you may or may not have noticed, Chiller Challenge ,2003, has officially come to an end. This years winner?

It ends in a tie! We decided yesterday that illness was no longer worth victory, especially with harsh training for the Thanksgiving Day race, and we both agreed to a tie. But, let the records show, that Jay was the one who brought it up... I only felt bad for him, and wasn't in the mood to see him cry.

It was fun while it lasted, though. It feels very weird sitting here with long pants on; I keep thinking something is grabbing my legs from underneath my desk. I'm also very surprised/impressed as to how many people noticed. I wasn't aware that so many people were keeping tabs on us.

On another note, I fell into a possible addiction this morning- going out and getting breakfast before work. The very thought of waking up earlier than I have to has never been an option, but this morning all of that changed for just one day. I met Joe, and two guys I play basketball with at a little diner near my apartment and grabbed a nice, hearty meal- and of course, chugged some coffee. It was a very nice way to start the day, as opposed to the way I used to wake up which was before dawn to go run around the Y, pretending I knew how to play basketball. Not to mention that now, rather than sitting here tired and exhausted, I'm actually full of energy, and running around.

The only downside, however- all I can smell is fried food, it's kinda nasty... especially because it's probably ME that smells like fried food... but it was worth it.

Cheers!

Posted by jed at 09:39 AM | Comments (18)

November 07, 2003

I'm Having...Chest Pain! (in my legs)

Exactly 48 hours ago, Joe, Jay, Jeff and I (wow, didn't realize how close all our names are) set off for round one of training for this years "Goshen Turkey Trot." (sorry, no link...Goshen barely has electricity, let alone internet) It's a 10K (6.2 miles) race through the back roads of Goshen. Wednesday was one of the wetter nights we've had, not to mention mildly cold...oh yeah, and completely dark. Running 10K is not easy, but it's even more difficult when your shoes are full of water and feel about 10 pounds a piece.

We chugged along, however, and completed the full 6.2 miles. But now, two full days later, my legs are still killing me. It makes little sense, as I am used to running up a mountain, so why would road running (meep meep) make such a drastic change? You might say pavement, but the majority of the run is on dirt roads, much like parts of the trail we used to run.

Anyway, not that any of that matters now. I guess I need to get used to it, as we plan to train once a week by running the course in full every wednesday till race day, which is bright and early Thanksgiving morning. All of us except for Jeff, who made it perfectly clear that that the next time he runs it will be that day, if he even joins us then.

Oh, and for the record, we did not wear shorts (the clock struck 5, which means it wasn't during working hours) We might be crazy, but we're not stupid. Somehow none of us have gotten sick, because by all rights we should be laid up in bed with pneu...numon...pnuemoni.....uh, a really bad cold. It was very, very wet.

Cheers!

Posted by jed at 07:25 PM | Comments (19)

November 04, 2003

Re-routing Societal Boundaries

I wanted to comment on Average Joe. It was so pathetically humorous. The contestants were so.... so.... dorky, it was amazing. The best part of the whole thing is that the guys realize why they're there, and they're taking full advantage. It appears that, within each individual guy, 60% wants the girl, and the other 40% wants to drink and party (that's per person, not for the group as a whole). It seems this ratio may be true for the simple reason that these guys realize this is not the kind of girl they truly want- they just want to keep her as a fantasy. After all, once they get her, they'll have nothing more to dream about (the whole point of a fantasy, in my mind, is to not necessarily live it out, but always dream of it; be it a girl, owning a tropical island, purchasing a brand new Mercedes, etc.)

I think it's very funny to contradict society, and this show, in one episode, has done it perfectly. It's great to see that the perfect girl is the one who is not right for these dorky guys... society has taught us it's the dorky guys who are wrong for the gorgeous girls (believe me, I know this one).

Don't get me wrong, I would love to see "Average Jane," where some butch, handsome dude is put in the same situation with 12 average gals. Presumably, that would be even more entertaining than Average Joe, since the jock-esque, pretty-boy guy tends to be much more shallow than the girl (given the situation). Example- the girl in this show is willing to give it a chance; maybe because she's on TV and wants to look good, or maybe she really DOES want to give them the benefit of the doubt. Either way, she is willing. Conversely, I feel a guy in that situation- the type of guy they would choose for this particular show- would be much too self absorbed, and filled to the brim with pride, that he would mock and make fun of the girls behind their backs so as to not look like a pansy to his TV audience, which, in turn, makes him look like a douchbag. Of course, I think those types of guys are douchbags anyway... it's just great to see them oblivious to that fact. Furthermore, I'd be willing to bet the average girls wouldn't want the guy, either, making him look even more ridiculous.

Aaah yes, I am relating to this show way too openly.

*sigh*

Posted by jed at 10:01 AM | Comments (1)

November 03, 2003

Mmmbut Warm Heart

This years Chiller Challenge has definitely seen a few cold days. There has been snow, frost, and very low temps to contend with, along with various remark's from co-workers and customers who are in awe that we're still wearing shorts (I'm still unsure why it's such a big deal) Lately, though, temperatures have been extremely warm. I'm not talking 50° or 60° weather... no sir. Right now, as I write this, 11:00 a.m. on November 3rd, it is 72°! That's unheard of for Northwest Connecticut during this time of the year. It hasn't been just today, either, as the temperature rose into the 70's on Saturday, and upper 60's yesterday and Friday. Forget the chiller challenge, I'd be wearing shorts even if I wasn't challenged by Princess Jay.

Cheers!

Posted by jed at 11:13 AM | Comments (19)