Friday, December 31, 2010

Should old acquaintance be forgot?

Anonymous Boxer is hosting a NYE party at her blog, and you should check it out if you have the time (if you haven't already that is). With the new year just around the corner, it seems appropriate to sit back and reflect on the year that just passed.

The year 2010 was the year I almost pulled the plug on my blog. The timing seemed right. I was finally finished with school, got a "real" job, and moved away from Vegas. I always thought the move would be the right time to do it, but when it came right down to it, I couldn't follow through. I know I haven't been posting as much as I used to, but I'm still glad that I kept it alive, albeit on life support.

I don't make it around to visit other blogs as often as I used to either. I'd apologize for that, but it's unlikely to change this year. Something about being busier now, you know, with the new job requiring me to actually work. But, the relationships I've forged with you guys over the years are too good to just let evaporate into the blogosphere.

It's just changing. Twitter is easier and faster. I don't have to think of a way to tell a story when the punch line can be delivered in fewer characters. So, if you really miss me, and haven't been following me there already, I welcome you to do so. If not, you can always check the sidebar here to see what I've been up to.

I'm looking forward to 2011. I think there are some good things in store. When you see the following list of highlights from 2010, you'll see that it won't be THAT hard to top.

My 2010 online highlights:

- I was re-tweeted by Michael Ian Black

- I had part of a text conversation published on Texts From Last Night

- I played a 128 point word, and had a 462 point game in online Scrabble through Facebook

- I received a marriage proposal via Twitter

Now you know where the bar has been set.

Happy New Year everyone!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Jolly old St Nicholas

Mr M has argued with us about whether Santa is real or not for the past two years. This year he won the argument.

So, instead of getting presents from Santa this year, he got them from the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny, Your Mom, Ed the Homeless Guy From Van Buren, Bambi From The Best Gentlemen's Club in Phoenix, Will Smith's Robot Arm and Sunny From iRobot.

Good luck trying to deny THOSE entities, Mr M.

Monday, December 27, 2010

I got game

Tonight, Togers and I taught Mr M how to play Mancala. In one of the games I started beating him pretty handily, and started taunting him*.

In a sing-songy voice I said, "I'm going to win. Ha ha ha ha ha ha."

He said, "Maybe not. I have a trick up my sleeve. It's called flipping the board over."

*Because I'm such a great father.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Lived a freak of nature named Sir Psycho

My kids love each other very, very much. If you don't believe me, just read the following quote from Mr M while we were in the car on the way to Grandma and Grandpa's house for Christmas.

"[Tortellini], after you die, I'm going to go dig up your body, cut your face off of your skull, and use it as a mask for my crotch."

See? I told you.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Because my love is strong and my heart is weak after all

And now it's time for the list you've all been anxiously awaiting with bated breath: Native Minnow's favorite* albums of 2010.

Delta Spirit - History From Below
Quite frankly, I'm surprised these guys don't generate more buzz. This was the album I listened to more than any other this year, and I'm still not tired of it. Devil Knows You're Dead is a fantastic song. Just before I moved, I told Girl Who Wouldn't Be My Girlfriend that it should be our theme song, but she said it was too sad. Fair enough. It was the first song I heard off of this album, and I thought it would be my favorite, but that honor now goes to Bushwick Blues. Watch the video on YouTube. Great stuff.

The Whigs - In The Dark
One of my lamest brushes with "celebrity" (aside from Joe Jackson giving me a fist bump at a Halloween party because he liked my Axl Rose costume, or the time I walked right past Luke Wilson without realizing it because I was ogling the girl he was with) came when I saw these guys open for Black Rebel Motorcycle Club in February. When BRMC came on, some of the band members for The Whigs went out into the crowd to watch. During one of the faster BRMC songs, I got shoved into the bass player who was standing to my left. He caught me. I apologized. He said no need to. I told him he played a good set. He thanked me. Oddly, we never hung out again after that.

Band of Horses - infinite Arms
One of my regrets this year was missing these guys live because of the timing of my move away from Vegas. These guys played here a week or two before I moved, and played in Vegas the weekend after I left. Talk about missing the boat. Of course my Vegas friends had to keep texting me to let me know what a great show I was missing. Pricks.

Local Natives - Gorilla Manor
One of the benefits of living with a music fanatic is that I hear about a lot music I'd never find out about otherwise that way. My roommate told me to give this album a listen shortly after he moved in. I'm obviously glad he did. There's a pretty good chance that either Camera Talk or Warning Sign will make it onto a future mix CD of mine. I guess this album was actually released in 2009, but that was just in the U.K., and it's U.S. release was 2010 so I'm counting it. Sue me.

Ok Go - Of The Blue Colour Of The Sky
The kings of making music videos that go viral were at it again in full force this year with their videos for This Too Shall Pass and White Knuckles (I'm pretty sure the latter would hold a special place in the heart of everybody's favorite Anonymous Boxer). In the band's own words "'Cause nothin' ever doesn't change, but nothin' changes much." I also listened to this while cruising around UCLA's campus with some friends in early July. Somehow that mental image comes back every time I hear the song Skyscrapers.

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club - Beat The Devil's Tattoo
I'll be honest, the first few times I listened to this album I only liked the first three or four songs, so I rarely listened to it past that. But, as I work in the lab, or write, or drive, I often listen to my iTunes (or iPod) on shuffle so that I don't have to constantly restart it after an album ends. As you might guess, when that would happen, and random songs from this album would play, they started to grow on me. I love them now. It's still not my favorite BRMC album, but it's climbing the ranks. Plus, I got some kisses when I bought concert tickets for me and GWWBMGF, so that was a plus.

Neon Trees - Habits
This album is just fun to listen to, plain and simple. It's one that can instantly cheer me up if I play it while I'm feeling down. Which probably means I should play it a lot more than I have been lately. Kudos also go to these guys for making it out of Utah, a place with very little going on when it comes to the local music scene.

Eels - End Times
Speaking of feeling down, this is an album that you may not want to listen to while you are. Every song is centered around Mark Oliver Everett's divorce, and can be quite depressing for anyone who's been through one themselves (or anyone going through a break up of any sort). That said, it's got some powerful stuff. Like the song Little Bird, and The Mansions of Los Feliz. It didn't receive a very good review from Pitchfork, but those guys are too hip for their own good anyway, so pay them no mind.

Julian Casablancas - Phrazes For The Young
This solo album from the frontman of The Strokes has a bit of an '80s feel to it, but not in a bad way. Fans of The Strokes should really like it, and really, there's no reason any of you shouldn't be fans of The Strokes. They're another band that it surprises me they don't get more attention.

So there you go. Now you all know how to spend those iTunes gift cards you get in your stockings. You're welcome.

*One of my very favorite albums of the year was Kasabian's West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum. Too bad it was really released in 2009 and I was just late coming to the party.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Now that we're old and prouder than we should be, I hear you talking but I don't see the need

Girl: She's beautiful.

Me: Yeah, she is beautiful, but you know is more beautiful?

Girl: Who?

Me: You.

Girl: You think I'm beautiful.

Me: You know what they say about beauty?

Girl: It fades?

Me: It's in the eye of the beholder.

Girl: True.

Me: And you know who the beholder is, right? Me. So you don't really get a say in this.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

I used to love her, but I had to kill her

Friend: Wow, this guy had a rough month of July.

Me: Why do you say that?

Friend: He had three charges of aggravated assault, two charges of aggravated kidnapping, one charge of unlawful detention, domestic violence in front of a child, among other things.

Me: Damn. Sounds about like me when I was going through my divorce.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Is he alive or is he dead? Has he thoughts within his head? We'll just pass him there. Why should we even care?

This week's seminar speaker was a guy who was involved with the sequencing of Ozzy Osbourne's genome. I wrote down some quotes from his talk (the only notes I took, and only because they were hilarious).

Ozzy's motivation for participating in the study? "Given the swimming pools of booze I've guzzled over the years, not to mention all of the cocaine, morphine, sleeping pills . . . you name it, there's really no plausible medical reason why I should be alive. Maybe my DNA could say why."

When they analyzed his genome, they found some unique gene variants, one of which was a protein that alters the way his body processes alcohol. Ozzy's response? "I used to drink four bottles of cognac a day. I'm not sure I need a Harvard scientist to get to the bottom of that mystery."

Ozzy possesses a gene that makes him more resistant to heroin addiction. His take on that? "I was never addicted to street heroin, 'cause it made me throw up. A terrible waste of booze."

Ozzy's genes make him slightly more likely to develop an addiction to cocaine. Apparently he didn't buy that: "This must be bollocks, because anyone who takes coke as much as I did gets hooked."

The presence of other alleles that they found mean that Ozzy is more likely to hallucinate while on marijuana. He did believe that one: "Makes sense, although I was usually loaded on so many different things at the same time, it was hard to know what was doing what."

He also has one region of his genome that contains DNA sequences from Neanderthals. Apparently it's very common for Europeans to carry Neanderthal DNA sequences. Pretty cool stuff in my opinion.

Kind of makes me want to go get my genome scanned so I can find out what unique traits I'm carrying. I doubt mine would generate as many headlines as this one does though.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

The statue got me high

If Hollywood has taught us anything, it's that you need to be aware of the following if you ever find yourself exploring ancient ruins:

- Don't touch the statues as moving their arms will more often than not open a trap door.

- Simply stepping over a skeleton is a sure way to end up in the same position (as long as you're not the main character).

- Poison darts always shoot into your neck when you least expect it.

- Ancient ghosts have nothing better to do than hang around for centuries hoping someone will come by that they can haunt.

- Bad guys will always show up within fifteen minutes of your arrival, thus making your exit difficult.

- Hidden treasures are always booby trapped*.

- A girl will always make out with you after you've absconded with the treasure.

*Heh, heh, I said booby.

Monday, December 06, 2010

It's times like these you learn to give again

I went to visit my sister this weekend. Yesterday morning, we decorated gingerbread men. My sister was drawing on one of them with the frosting dispenser (I have no idea what those things are really called).

I said, "Give it boobs."

My sister said, "No."

My two year old niece said, "Yes!"

My sister didn't do it.

Later, when my two year old niece was decorating her next cookie, she told me she wanted me to put a star on it (one of the frosting dispensers was star shaped). She showed me where she wanted it, so I put it there.

Then she said, "That's a boob!"

I'm a great influence.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

I'm not looking for a warm embrace, I'm not looking for a friendly face, I've got everything I need

Uncle: How old are you again?

Me: I'm 35. Why?

Mom: He doesn't want to be set up.

Uncle: Okay, how about just introduced?

Me: Uh. I guess that'd be okay.

Uncle: I know this girl who lives near you and works in the medical field. Gorgeous girl. She's 31, so pretty close to your age.

Me: She's probably too old for me then.