The Competition

After going for dinner, Amy, Cam, Melissa, MJ and I went to a play last night called “The Competition”. It’s a Russian comedy about citizens of a small town dealing with the transition from communism to capitalism, set in present day. Wow – I found it well done, very moving. Neither -ism “wins” in the show, but what I think it is effective in doing is challenging a capitalist society to think about what capitalism means. And that’s cool. I like productions that activate your mind, ask you to rationalize.
What’s the last film/production that made you think?

Turkey Day

So disc golf yesterday was a ton of fun. I really need to play more often. Definitely one of the more laid-back fun sports I’ve ever played. Think traditional golf, except played with specialized “driver” and “putter” frisbees (smaller, harder and fly further than the 175g Ultrastars used in Ultimate). It was myself, Helen, Mankow (John) and Goof (Cheri).
Before we started, we decided to play teams and that, for each of the 18 holes, we’d sum the strokes for each player on the team to determine the “winner of the hole”. Our ante was certainly a motivator: at the end of the course, the difference between the number of won-holes for each team would be the number of beers owed!
The teams were Mankow and myself, Helen and Goof. Guys vs. girls as it were. That’s Goof in the foreground.

Mankow and I got off to a quick lead, so the girls owed us a beer pretty much right off the bat. Mankow started the heckling and we went up another point, and then another. Helen and Goof clawed their way back to make the count even before we got to the bottom nine.

But Mankow and I owned the second half, taking the next 9 holes straight. Near the end we offered the girls several opportunities to even up the count — even double or nothing for their entire loss — but they didn’t take us up on it. So now Mankow and I were owed 5 beverages each. Hee!
After the game, Mankow invited me to come over to his place for Thanksgiving dinner. But drinks were getting started at half past four and it was only half past noon (and it was a 90 minute round trip to my house), so Helen suggested I hang out at the beach near her place. A most-excellent suggestion.
But man. It was 27 celcius out and I was in shorts getting sunburnt; although Christmas is coming, it sure doesn’t feel like it (though some folks at the beach were doing their best to help):

After hanging out on the beach for a couple hours, Helen and I made our way over to Mankow and Ivee’s place, where we enjoyed a unique appetizer of Mankow’s creation: figs, stuffed with with goat cheese and wrapped in prosciutto. So yummy! (I didn’t even know I liked figs!) We washed it down with Alberto No. 1, a crushed mint-vodka-lime-champagne cocktail.

But that wasn’t the end of it! While I was enjoying my Alberto No. 1 in the living room, Mankow brought out another appetizer tray, containing carrots, a sundried-tomato-goat cheese mix, chipotle cream-cheese (made by Ivee), garlic butter, tapponade (crushed black olives) and caramelized onions. There were also sliced olive and cheddar baguettes, grapes, sliced pepperoni, sliced cheeses, grapes and 10 different kinds nuts Ivee roasted over the past few days! Talk about getting spoiled!

Dinner was served buffet style — there just simply wasn’t enough room on the table for it all! Everything was really delicious, almost as tasty as Mom’s. 🙂

Clockwise from front-left: Brenda, Me, Helen, Mankow, Ivee, Doug, Michelle, Steve, and Eric. (Not shown but also present that night: Goof, Josh, Sidney, Josh and Sid’s kids, Helen’s parents, Paul).
We invented a form of Balderdash that night too, which was a lot of fun. Our version involved one person choosing an obscure word from the dictionary, and the rest of the group trying to come up with the most convincing definition. The person whose definition gets the most votes for being correct gets a point. Lots of fun, competition for the best poker face 🙂 Learned a few words that night: “escape wheel”, “hyrax”, “quoin”, “manqué”, and a noun whose name eludes me at the moment which means “nonsense language without meaning”.

We played until about quarter-past two, at which point Ivee offered for everyone to take home leftovers. Have I mentioned how lucky I am yet?


Roll the Bones by Canadian rock icons Rush was probably the second CD I ever bought, and it’s been enjoying a new home in my car stereo and work computer during the past couple of days.
Now maybe it’s just striking some sort of nostalgic chord in me, but I’m struck at how good all the guitar and melody-work sounds, 11 years later. Listening now, though, the lyrics are what get me the most. I’m now getting a whole new enjoyment out of listening to the music because I can re-interpret in terms of my own life experience. Lyricwise, Rush seems to be pretty good that way. Here’s the second track off Roll The Bones, “Bravado”.
If we burn our wings
Flying too close to the sun
If the moment of glory
Is over before it’s begun
If the dream is won —
Though everything is lost
We will pay the price,
But we will not count the cost
When the dust has cleared
And victory denied
A summit too lofty
River a little too wide
If we keep our pride
Though paradise is lost
We will pay the price,
But we will not count the cost
And if the music stops
There’s only the sound of the rain
All the hope and glory,
All the sacrifice in vain
And if love remains
Though everything is lost
We will pay the price,
But we will not count the cost



So it’s Thanksgiving up here in the US today.. and, well…. I guess tomorrow too. As Cam noted at work yesterday, Americans really don’t have many public holidays, so getting one which spans two days is extra-special. So I’m trying to make the best of it.
So far, plans include driving up to St. Pete to play disc golf with Helen and John (that’s John in the blue shirt/sunglasses, Helen getting embarassed). That should be fun, I’ve only been disc golfing two or three times before, all of which were in Victoria with Calvin (who now lives in South Korea).
Other than that, time to relax. No plans for tonight, or for tomorrow. We’ll see what happens I guess! What does your day hold in store?

On the plus side I’m taking my multivitamins

Click the pic for a huuuge version (will open in new window)
The weekend was great — beach, friends (some new, some not), curry, great disc at the first tournament the city has ever had, BBQ and margaritas.
But now it’s time again to find some balance.
General life stress is on the rise… ack! Work deadlines are looming and housework (as well as sleep and diet) is getting, well, kinda shafted. Not good.
So first thing tomorrow, those dishes are toast!! Well. Hrmm. Maybe that’s my breakfast. Maybe I should have an apple?

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To say I had a great time this weekend would be understating things a bit. Sorry for the short entry, I am tired and exhausted… I promise to make it up to you though — look for some great photos in the next two or three days. 🙂

Oh glorious weekend, how I love you

Well I hope you all managed to catch ER on Thursday night. If you missed it, Cam’s got a nice summary of how it all went down. 🙂
The weekend is looking great — this afternoon/evening, it’s a going-away party for MJ (we’re going to the beach, then later to a certain Indian Restaurant for dinner). Should be delicious. Tomorrow, it’s the first-annual Manatee County Ultimate frisbee tournament, “The Turkey Gobbler”, followed up by a BBQ at Jeff’s place! Then of course, because of Thanksgiving, we get two days off next week. No plans for that yet! I love unscheduled time off. Yes, indeed, things are looking good.
After I got home last night, over iChat Jeff gave me several recommendations on how I should spend the remaining cash on my iTunes gift certificate.
So far, here are the songs I’ve purchased for 99 cents each:

  • Massive Attack – Unfinished Sympathy
  • Peter Gabriel – Shaking the Tree (Remix with New Vocal)
  • Big Audio Dynamite II – Rush
  • Rob Zombie – Dragula
So I’ve got $6.04 left to spend at the iTunes Music Store — anyone have a recommendation? (check here to see if a song is available.)

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