Tuesday, May 31, 2005

new residence

this past weekend my wife and i moved into a new house. quite exciting. it is roughly 3 times larger than our apartment, which is quite nice. the only real downfall is that the house also requires about 3 times more furniture. in our apartment, we never actually had a kitchen table. the living room/kitchen/office/entryway was all the same area, so there was not room for such a table. now that we have a house, we have gladly bought a kitchen table so we no longer have to haunch over the coffee table on the couch to eat. we have already been to home depot thrice and crate and barrel about 11 times. i still think that the barrel is the best value for the young american like me and andTim. great stuff, great price. pretty soon our entire house is going to morph into a crate and barrel store and the crate and barrel financials will be based solely on our purchases each quarter.

a very sincere Thank You goes out from me and Kristen to all of our friends and family that helped us with our move (andTim was there, thanks buddy). we could not have moved without each of you and we are grateful!

song of the day: "the sharp hint of new tears" by dashboard confessonal


Friday, May 27, 2005

Beautiful Frustration

The title probably sums up a great many things, but I am talking about one girl specifically right now. Her name is not important, but she is amazing. We met at the beginning of February, and since that time she has done her best to consume my thoughts- without even trying very hard. We've had a few great dates... the kind where the conversation was so good and we got along so well that we didn't even eat our food. Thrice this occured. However, I came on quite strong (as is normal for me) and she has things that she needs to work through before having a relationship.
So, you're me. Or I'm me. Or whatever. And there is this great girl that you only get to talk to once every week or two because she isn't ready to date you yet, even though she wants to. And she's great. She's physically beautiful, wants to travel, has a great sense of humor... in short, why should I bother to date anyone else? I even told her that last night: "I don't even want to date anyone else because I know you are there." And she counters with, "Why do you think I am not trying to date anyone else?" AHHHH! Unbelievable... the Beautiful Frustration and the waiting game. The waiting is truly the hardest part... thank you Thomas Petty and your Heartbreakers.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

album review

after many listens to the new "Devils and Dust" album by Bruce Springsteen...

if you are a springsteen fan and love songs like "downbound train", "atlantic city", and "with every wish", you will think this cd is great. if you have never heard of any of the three songs i just listed, you will consider the Devils and Dust album rather boring. you will listen and say "eh, i dont really know what the big deal is, this isnt anything special." there is a song or two with some questionable lyric. for example, the song "Reno" is about a start to finish experience with a paid lover in a Reno hotel room. hmm. one thing bruce can do well is tell a story and make you feel like you know the character in the song, but sometimes you would just rather he stuck to more pleasant/non-offensive material. i should not highlight that one song because the rest are really good, but i dont have an hour to write this review so thats all you get. the other songs are very good, and actually the Reno song is great musically, i just dont care for the imagery.

i think the album overall is "quite good" but not "amazing." his song lyrics tell stories and are refreshingly honest/straightforward. his voice seems to adjust to the situation/person that is telling the story with each song. it is subtle though, and if you havent listened to much bruce, you might not even get what i mean by that.

bruce is a musician that i strongly recommend starting your collection with his early work and buying his later albums after you see where he is coming from. i love ending sentences with prepositions by the way, so grammar freaks...please dont even waste your time with mine cause i gave up on that when the blog was invented. back to bruce, this album is strong if you are already a fan, but i dont think he is going to win many new fans over because of this performance. other bands you need to listen to their earlier work to understand their current music include: radiohead, r.e.m., the beatles, among others. if you don't like to work to enjoy your music, you are probably a country, rap, or ashlee simpson fan, and it certainly doesnt make you a bad person.


Tuesday, May 24, 2005

My Weekend Story (the good)

So.... Saturday night, a friend of mine, Megan Gilbride had a little going away party in Houston which of course was held at a bar on Montrose. For the occasional tertiary reader of the MikeandTim blog who may not be familiar with the Montrose area of Houston, it is well known as being hotspot for men who like other men. Megan- who was very involved in beauty pageants had become "best friends" with her pageant coach, who is a 55- yr. old man who likes other men.
So, as a matter of reassurance about embarking on such a journey, I bring along my proven heterosexual friend, Wes Robertson. So we go down there, and go to a bar called Prive', which is small but loaded with men who like other men. Fortunately, Megan has a friend that she would like me to meet, so I start talking to her and she is cool. Wes, fearing that he may end up not being able to hang out with me much- calls up a couple of his buddies from U of H to come and hang out with us. Of course, I assume they are not going to be men who like other men, but they are. All 3 of them. I begin to see Wes in a whole new light, especially when finding out that these guys were all in marching band with him in college. Well, I end up making a slight ass out of myself with the girl, as after having a few drinks I turn her into a psychological experiment (being that she also is involved in pageants and I can't help myself) instead of treating her like a normal girl. (Her inherent sass led to this as well.) Wes and "buddies" end up having fun hanging out all night, and thus was Saturday- the night andTim andWes went to a gay bar.

Monday, May 23, 2005

weekend happenings

a few interesting things happened this weekend. typically my weekends consist of homebuying tasks and trips to bed bath & beyond pasted together with an occasional meal jammed in between. this weekend however, was a bit different for an old married guy like myself.

a very cool/encouraging random event happened on friday after i got home from work. we had a ups thing on our door earlier in the week (wednesday) but neither me or kristen ordered anything, so we had no idea what it was. package was delivered on friday, and it was something from crate & barrel (a terrific store for the married couples of america). we registered with crate & barrel when we got married, but that was almost a year ago, and both of our birthdays are in april, so that is pretty much out of the question as well. or is it? we opened the package and found a card with a note that said "God's blessings for you!" that was it. no name signed, nothing. the gift was a glass pitcher off of our registry. i have seen my share of Bond movies so i play 007 and dig through the box for any other form of buyer/sender ID. there is a receipt in the box amidst the packaging, and the purchaser was from a town a hadnt heard of in Georgia. neither of us have any clue who this person is and are certain we have no connection to them, except Christianity. this was truly a random act of kindness and it was awesome.

sunday we woke up circa 530am to go out to watch fred funk play his round with our friends james and charlotte, barry and his girlfriend lindsay, and james' parents. quite fun but quite early since we had to be in ft. worth by 715am. fred played alright sunday, but he barely made the cut after friday's round, and fell to last place on saturday. at his worst he is still shooting par for the course and an amazing golfer. i have officially come to terms that my ambition to become a golf pro on any tour will never happen.

have a good week. do a random act of kindness yourself and dont tell anyone. unless andTim does one, then he has to blog about it.


Friday, May 20, 2005

best rock songs since 1990

in no particular order, my top 20 "rock" songs in the last 15 years...

1. enter sandman - metallica
2. outshined - soundgarden
3. mr. jones - counting crows
4. right now - van halen
5. mysterious ways - u2
6. alive - pearl jam
7. smells like teen spirit - nirvana
8. bawitdaba - kid rock
9. just a girl - no doubt
10. today - smashing pumpkins
11. november rain - guns n roses
12. are you gonna go my way - lenny kravitz
13. cryin' - aerosmith
14. longview - green day
15. wonderwall - oasis
16. killing in the name of - rage
17. politik - coldplay
18. creep - radiohead
19. under the bridge - rhcp
20. where it's at - beck

i have reluctantly left out the following very critical bands but i just couldn't think of a rock song that fit in with the others from them: dave matthews band, rem, weezer, blink 182, and many others. this was pretty tough to even get to 20 in a short period of time. thoughts? what did i miss that i am going to kick myself for?


Thursday, May 19, 2005

andTim's top 15 of the last 15 years

After much deliberation, here is my list of the top 19 alternative/rock songs of the last 15 years- in no particular order:

1-Paranoid Android: Radiohead
2-Loser: Beck
3-Smells Like Teen Spirit: Nirvana
4-Longview: Green Day
5- Are You Gonna Go My Way: Lenny Kravitz
6- Sober: Tool
7-Possum Kingdom: Toadies
8-Under The Bridge: Red Hot Chili Peppers
9-Freak On A Leash: Korn
10-Catch The Sun: Doves
11-Say It Ain't So: Weezer
12-No Rain: Blind Melon
13-Semi-Charmed Life: Third Eye Blind
14-Plush: Stone Temple Pilots
15-Wonderwall: Oasis
16-Killing In The Name: Rage Against the Machine
17-Unforgiven: Metallica
18-Three Days: Jane's Addiction
19-Cherub Rock: Smashing Pumpkins

Let the debate begin.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

playlist for the day

i really think eric clapton's "from the cradle" album is terrific. if you havent taken a listen, i encourage. here is a playlist i listen to at work every so often to remind me that work isnt our identity, it is a part of our lives that we certainly spend a lot of time doing, but it should not merge into a microcosm in which we cannot escape...

we have the facts and we're voting yes - death cab for cutie
third degree - eric clapton
inaudible melodies - jack johnson
the fly - u2
lover, you shouldve come over - jeff buckley
jimi thing - dmb
i'll catch you - rocky votolato
cabron - red hot chili peppers
hysteria - muse
paranoid android - radiohead
all mixed up - red house painters
love and peace or else - u2
hotel arizona - wilco
nothing better - postal service

if torn between enjoy and disenjoy, i'll take enjoy.


Monday, May 16, 2005

Urinal Talker response (courtesy of Sherry Raines)

Two alternative "UT" situation responses:

1- Without any sort of warning, turn and pee directly on the other person's leg until they shut up.

2-Pretend to be an epileptic, have seizure, begin shaking and peeing all over the UT.

Keep it up.


i am pretty certain that there are very few things that are more uncomfortable than being pulled into conversation with another man while at the urinal. in fact, i bet you couldn't name three things (that could actually happen) that are more uneasy. can you? hmm...walking in on your parents having sex. that's one for sure. what about being out with one girl and running into another girl you are dating at the same time? that's pretty awkward.

the point is that it is quite awkward. so the only way to step up to the plate on this is to fully embrace or to reject completely. to embrace, you must respond to the proactive Urinal Talker (UT) with a higher level of fervor by asking lots of personal questions so the UT is thrown off guard, becomes uncomfortable himself, and ends discussions.

the other option, full reject mode, can be executed in a few different ways, none of which are polite. you could (1) totally ignore and not respond at all (2) ignore, turn head other way, and whistle a 1980's power ballad, or (3) say "shut your face, can't you see i am tryin to pee here!"

alright, i am tired now. i took 2 benadryl and am going to crawl under my cubicle desk and take a napster.


Friday, May 13, 2005

tiger boofs

i have a ticket to the byron nelson golf tourney on saturday in dallas, and of course, the one tournament i have ever gone to in which tiger woods has entered, he has missed the cut. damn.

this week has been a slow one at work. not really sure why, but it has. today is day 17 in a row (except sundays) that i have done 100 pushups each morning. i am trying my best to look like the governor of Kah-lee-phor-nee-ya before the summertime. and yes, it is indeed working. my pecs have grown approximately 1/75th of an inch. and by now you have called my bluff because i cannot measure my own pecs with such accuracy. pecs. i will practice all weekend on making them jiggle to the rhythm of assorted gangsta rap songs.


Tuesday, May 10, 2005

dont say we never taught you anything

go ahead, learn about the class ring of Texas A&M...

Aggie Ring
The Aggie Ring is worn by students and graduates of the University, and each aspect of the ring is used to promote school spirit. It was designed by E. C. Jonas in 1894 and the design has been used since with only the class year changed.
The top of the ring depicts an eagle and shield. The shield at the top of the ring symbolizes protection of the reputation of the alma mater. The thirteen stripes in the shield represent the thirteen original states and symbolize patriotism. The five stars in the shield refer to the facets of student's development: mind, body, spirit, emotion, and integrity. The eagle denotes agility, power, and ability.
On one side of the ring is a large star, borrowed from the seal of the state of Texas. The oak leaves symbolize strength.
On the other side of the ring are a cannon, a saber, and a rifle, symbolizing Aggies' preparedness and valor in defending their land. The crossed flags of the United States and Texas symbolize allegiance to both nation and state.
Traditionally, students wear their ring with the class year facing them to signify the fact that their time at A&M is not yet complete. During Senior Weekend at the annual Ring Dance, the student's ring is turned around.


Questionable Behaviour at Galas

This past weekend I attended the South Texas College of Law Annual Alumni Gala in downtown Houston. (If there is a longer title for an event, let me know.) It was somewhat interesting- 750 lawyers in one room- Dan Rather as an emcee, old honorees, etc. Well, the interesting part was- this was a $250/plate dinner. (I went with my friend from church, Mary Pate.) So we get our salad, which is quite the inadequate portion. Then we get our next course- filet mignon, crab cakes, a (1) shrimp, mashed potatoes, and asparagus. Not bad. Unfortunately, I was still quite hungry after my dinner. So... I asked for another. The waitress at first looked at me in a very strange way, to which I smiled, and she goes- "Alright, I'll see what I can do." Plate #2 in under 5 minutes. Awesome. Every guy at the table starts saying, "Man, that was a great idea"... etc, etc.
Very cool.

Later on we were waiting on the Valet to bring cars around, when I see 3 high school guys trying to get a cab. They were wearing shorts and t-shirts and enjoying themselves, but you could tell they were out of place amidst all of us in our tuxes. Come to find out they were gymnasts in town for a national meet. Of course, I feel obligated to reminisce about my past as a competitive gymnast. Of course, there was no way for me to back my claims at this point. So I encourage them to do standing back-flips with me. In their state of disbelief, they go along with it.. 1,2,3, backflips. We commence high fiving- as the lawyers around look stunned that I would dare backflip with 3 adolescences in a tuxedo after the Gala. Surely, this was a good evening as "that dude was tight!" was overheard while getting into the car.....

Monday, May 09, 2005


allergies suck. my eyes are red and irritated and i haven't been able to smell since my birthday. the weird thing is that i never had allergies until about 4 or 5 years ago. all growing up and almost all the way thru school i was fine. then one year the pretty little flowers of texas started spraying mase into my eyes and little pockets of pollen had a fiesta in my beak. no bueno.

try and use the word "slake" in a sentence. that's your challenge for the day.


Thursday, May 05, 2005

insecurity or competitiveness (part 2)

continued from yesterday's post...

i am trekking along in this 5k of misery and am about half way done with mile 2. i am so hot that i consider shedding clothing with no intention of recovery. however, i do not, and am very dehydrated. at this point my pace begins to slow as each step feels like i am lifting bricks attached to my feet while i run. i make the executive decision that once i reach mile 2, i am officially done with the running. i will walk until i feel like i have cooled down and can offer a slow jog. i am getting passed by dozens of runners at this point and i feel shame with each that runs by me. finally one of my buddies that i passed long ago has caught me, so i jog with him. i am so out of shape, even at this 9min mile pace, i must stop and walk once more. i walk for maybe 100 yards this time i think, my friend happy we are walking as well. then we jog the rest of the way and reach the finish sans vomit.

after the race, all of us (there were 10 of us total, 5 guys/5 girls) go to cracker barrell for "brunch". i sip some water although i begin to feel nausea. i am so exhausted i want to put my head on the table and close my eyes. so after i put my head on the table, i am pretty dazed and after ordering lunch, i decide my only hope to recover from dehydration/exhaustion is to leave the table and go lay in the car. this turned out to be a good move because i made myself pound a bottle of water before taking a 20min nap. everyone else gets their food, eats, and comes out to the car and i wake up.

we are now supposed to split off from the girls and the guys were going to go play a round of golf. i sloth around until we leave for the course (which is only about 5 min) and my love for golf outweighs my internal self-destruction meter. upon reaching the course, i slake my thirst with a powerade and eat a hot dog, hit the range, and turn in a respectable 94.

so why the long story? because as i said before, i am now a hamster. i feel so much less shame as a hamster than i did after my insipid 5k performance. i was so disappointed with my 5k that even though i execrate running, i will run more and will do so on a treadmill in a climate-controlled environment like the rest of you runners. since then, i have been running quite a bit and evidently i am outwardly proud of this since i am blogging about it. i have since ran a 5k on the treadmill and felt great afterwards. althought that may sound pathetic that i point that out, i consider it an accomplishment since i am closing in on 25min/5k. my goal is to be able to do it in 23min (averaging 7min miles). i can't really figure out if i run due to insecurity about my athletic abilities or if i am just very competitive, but i am leaning towards the competitive side.

i plan on running many more 5k races in the near future and invite you to join me if you feel the desire.


Wednesday, May 04, 2005

insecurity or competitiveness? (part 1)

there are a lot of runners out there. people have become hamster on the treadmill. i think the stair stepper is still the easiest workout to make fun of, but so many others are ridiculous as well. too bad i have now fallen victim to such practice due to one of two things. it is either out of insecurity or sheer competitiveness. let me explain...

a couple months ago i ran in a 5k race in downtown Ft. Worth. i was thinking to myself, "3.2 miles? no problem. i used to run 2 miles BEFORE lacrosse practice in college, and that was with a helmet and pads on in the heat of august." so i get up at about 6am on a saturday morning, forget to eat or drink anything pre-race (critical error #1), let alone the fact that college was 3 years ago and i have done very little long distance (critical error #2) running since. the race begins and i am feelin pretty good, it is cold so i have on shorts underneath my college lacrosse windpants, under armor-like nike shirt, t-shirt, long sleeve t-shirt and trusty red sox cap. i am not a red sox fan really, but i got the hat at fenway the one time i have been there and it just happens to fit well. all these layers were going to be unnecessary about 1/4 mile into the race (critical error #3) when it is a little warmer than it was at 6am and i have warmed up from the incipient stages of the run.

i am stubborn and strong willed and get annoyed by all the people in front of me running at probably 7-9min mile pace (these races are really crowded unless you start at the very front, which i did not). of course i set out at circa 6 minute mile pace weaving in and out of hamster traffic so i can get a clear space in which to run. of course, this takes me about a mile so i am starting to feel the burn. i am the guy on the freeway that is wreckless and every other driver thinks to themself how much of an idiot that speed racer is and hope he gets busted by a cop. except in this case people are hoping that they pass me later in the race because i ran out of energy to put one foot in front of the other. at the end of the first mile, there is a hill that felt like running up K2 and i am starting to get really hot. shedding clothes is really not an option at this point. i grab a cup of water and try to drink but nearly choke since i am breathing so heavily. i start to realize that my pace far outweighs my stamina and come to terms that i might have to walk part of the 3.2 miles at some point. i am no longer able to consider myself a respectable athlete and am not what the common folk call "in shape".

(story is too long and i must work. it will continue in tomorrow's entry)


Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Kelly Osbourne and Vocal Overdrive

Ever read Dante's Inferno? I believe there is a special level of hell for most pop musicians. Especially those who are manufactured. Kelly Osbourne- you will burn. That's all I have to say about that.

When playing "Karma Police" last night in an impromptu open-mic setting, I realized that there are many chords in the song. Am, F#/Am, Em, G.. Am, F, Em, G.... Am, D, G, Em, Am, Bm, D.. and that's just the verse. The chorus is pretty easy... C,D,G... but then the alcohol took over. What is the mysterious fourth chord? Bflat? Nope. F? No, moron. C? Why would you go back to C? Of course it's F#, however, I didn't remember that until the 3rd "..This is what you'll get...", which of course doesn't go to F#, it goes, Bm-D, then back to the verse! Fortunately, after years of being a half-talent at the guitar and being around those who rarely prepare at all for Young Life.. I have a built-in Pavlovian response to playing the wrong chord... Vocal Overdrive. Vocal Overdrive is when the guitar player's strumming turns tentative, (especially in the case of not remembering a chord) and the guitar player's voice instantly doubles in intensity and style while increasing around 30% in volume. Vocal Overdrive.. look for it at your next open-mic occasion.

Monday, May 02, 2005

rolling stone music review

i subscribe to Rolling Stone. it is a decent publication, has reviews on new music, stories on musicians, etc etc. really just to pinch andTim's cheeks aggressively, i would like to point out that in one of the April issues of Rolling Stone there was something interesting. they do music reviews based on a 5 star scale. 5 stars means the album is an instant classic, 1 star means you have the talent of a deaf three-legged donkey playing the french horn.

recently, there have been reviews on two albums that i would like to point out. christopher o'riley, one of andTim's most favorite current musicians, covers radiohead songs but plays them on piano. andTim claims this is great music, however, Rolling Stone differs. Rolling Stone gave his album an emaciated 2 stars.

in contrast, one of the musical greats of our time received 3 stars for her album, making it quite a bit better in the opinion of Rolling Stone than O'Riley. who is this musical great you ask? why, none other than kelly osbourne.