Five Things I Learned from my Puppy

Posted: August 15th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , | 2 Comments »

#DeweyDecimal posing in the sunshine.

I presume this post will be either of very little value to people with kids, or will have them laughing uproariously at me for thinking that a wee little puppy could be such a handful. None the less, ever since rescuing the guy above back in March, I’ve had a lot less sleep and a lot more stern conversations with an audience that doesn’t exactly communicate clearly in return.

1.) Patience.

Puppies are work, or so I was told before I got one not too long ago. Damn was I foolish for doubting them. I presume this is what it’s like when 50 year old dudes decide to have more kids. It’d been ~6 years since I’d had a puppy and boy was I lying to myself about how easy it would be. The first thing I learned was to try to chill out. (Not always effective. Shit was lost. Like a shit collector with amnesia.)

2.) Rules will be broken, deal with it.

Or better yet, “who says that the rules you made before still apply?”. Indeed, one of the hardest things for me to get over was the idea of a puppy changing my life and impact the ways I was happily living it. Turns out I was mostly angry at the idea of losing some independance, and having things randomly broken, but the little guy is pretty awesome and I’m sure once we both learn how to live around each other, it will be worth a few stressful evenings.

3.) The best toys are still disposable.

Sure, last time I bought him a Mario plush it lasted for weeks before he finally tore enough parts off that the stuffing was starting to leak. That doesn’t mean that the replacement Mario plush is going to last just as long. Pfft! Round 2 took him about 5 days and it was TKO for this plumber.

4.) Make the quiet moments count.

Right now I’m sneaking this blog post in while the puppy is taking his after-dinner nap. Very shortly that nap will be followed by 10pm psycho-puppy laps while I try to calm him down before the crabby downstairs neighbor complains again.

5.) Revenge

Sometimes when people refuse to wake up and take you out, the best revenge is peeing on their floor.

As true as that is, it’s a bit cynical to how about an alternate:

5.) Just because a hair-do looks good on the puppy doesn’t mean you should emulate it.

How many extra pageviews/shares will I get if I sneak in another cute puppy photo at the end?

#DeweyDecimal mudhens ball

Five Things: Places I Love on the Light Rail

Posted: January 8th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

I know this topic has been covered much more thoroughly by Light Rail Blog (and I encourage you to click & subscribe), but I figure I’m in the camp of “more support never hurts”, so here’s a quick list of spots I love to frequent along the Light Rail route.

(to non-Phoenix readers, sorry)

1.) All About Books & Comics
In truth, I first started going to this shop because of their Central location, but the service and ambiance at AABC would keep me coming back even if I moved. Just like a bar, a barber shop and a burger place, every nerd needs a comic book shop to call his own, and this one’s mine.

2.) Phoenix Muni / Chase Field
There’s something about being able to leave work at lunch time on a spring day and spend the rest of the afternoon at the ballpark. Admittedly, we’ve been getting total crap baseball for our dollar here in Phoenix lately, but I still hold out hope that someday we’ll stop being ripped off when it comes to America’s Pasttime. Until then, enjoy the day games when a team you like comes to town.

3.) AJ’s Fine Foods
This may seem like an odd addition to my list, but other than Pizzaria Bianco, this place serves the best slice of pizza along the Light Rail. I like to go there on Thursdays after-work and grab a slice, a salad and a random craft beer before I head home.

4.) George & Dragon
As much as I like The Turf, my pub will always be the G&D. This place is always packed on Friday nights and most weekends, and has everything you’d need in a watering hole. Huge drink selection: check. People watching: check. Good wings: check. Random accents: check.

5.) Cheese-n-Stuff / Pane Bianco
Depending on what mood you’re in, these two represent my favorite place to get a real, honest to goodness sandwich. For randomness, Pane Bianco has rarely let me down, and the ingredients are always top-notch. For comfort food, Stan & his family at Cheese-n-Stuff are my go-to. Get a Doughboy and a Yoohoo and you’re set for the rest of the day.

Five Things: Taco Tuesday edition

Posted: November 9th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment »


Favorite Taco Tuesday Places*

America’s – This is my most recent and most frequent Taco Tuesday destination. Getting 2 burritos, 2 tacos and 6 Coronitas for $20-some is a decent deal. Enjoying these on the patio in our great “fall” weather is what really make this. Also, two of the last three time I’ve gone, I’ve run into someone I knew there, which is an event that always binds that place as part of the neighborhood in my mind.

Gallo Blanco – The beef at this place is amazing. Seriously, every bite is amazing. Once, after taking my boss there, he told me that he preferred America’s because he thought Gallo used “too much marinade”. I had to tell him that’s what real meat tastes like. I love the natural & local ingredients here, and the food reflects it. My only gripe is that they seem to always have a lot of staff on hand and yet I still have to wait a long time for help.

Verde – I don’t think I’ve met a more welcoming business owner than the guys at Verde. True story, a couple weeks ago I thought I’d imagined up a new great variation on one of their dishes. I peddled over to Verde and as I started to ask if they could make it, Matt & Joseph pointed to the menu and SURPRISE, it was already the special of the day. It’s like they were Taco Psychics. Seriously, go there, get the Green Chile Tacos. You’ll love it. If only they served beer, though….

Macayo’s – The old standby. Nothing spectacular here. Beers are cold, service feigns interest. Don’t get the burrito, ever. We had to put these guys on the do-not-eat list for about 6-months after a recent complaint.

El Portal – Greasy greasy, rarely a full step up from ‘berto’s. In fact, if it wasn’t in my neighborhood, I’d probably go to ‘berto’s instead.

* for purposes of this list, I’m describing places that you could visit on your lunch hour, and not reflective of a trip to these establishments where you don’t mind the time.

Five Things: Recent “Favorites”

Posted: August 30th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off on Five Things: Recent “Favorites”

I’m not sure how the “Favorite” feature was on Twitter was designed to be used. Presuming that “micro-blogging” is still the intent of the platform, I really don’t see myself using the “favorite” feature to save things, so I can refer back to them later. I’ve never said, “Ha ha, oh man, @lafinguy posted a hilarious 140 characters, I MUST keep this around in my life”.

Perhaps it’s supposed to be version of the ubiquitous (and self-gratifying) “like” button… but then why does it save them on MY profile?

Since it’s a mystery to me, I have taken to using the “favorite” feature in a way that makes it 10x more useful than either of the above options: server-side bookmark. Yep, if I see a tweet with a link that I don’t want to click at work, at that moment, or want to read the article in detail later, I’ll favorite that bad-boy and check it out next time I’m looking for blog inspiration.

Here’s the last five things I’ve done in such a way:

1.) @tysoncrosbie: “Fun new blog of randomness: Enjoy. :)” // pretty fun site, hope to see this take off.

2.) @matisyahu: “Put up a playlist I made of some music i’ve been listening to. more to come…” // I don’t subscribe to this service, but thought it was very cool to see a musician post a playlist that did not include any of his own music, or have iTunes telling me I should buy the whole list for “only $1,423.99”.

3.) @CenPho: “Vote for your favorite locally owned CenPho businesses in the PNT’s “Best of Phoenix” readers poll” // Some of these entries and categories make no sense, like how Short Leash Hotdogs is listed under “Best New Restaurant” baffles me, and why we have so many chain options listed for “Best of Phoenix” when we could be using this as an opportunity to tout local success and drive suburbanites TO the small businesses instead of over to Cheesecake Factory. Nonetheless, as an annual valley tradition, it’s sorta fun to cast your vote.

4.) @GOOD “How to dress like a grownup” // Pretty cool video from Put This On. Interesting enough that I’ll check out the rest of the series.

5.) @DesertSmokeBBQ: America’s Favorite Food Truck Giveaway Vote for @truckingoodfood + chance to win prizes // Definitely be sure to click this link and vote. Jeff is a crazy-passionate dude when it comes to food, and is just good people. Plus, those crepes are ridiculously delicious. Just ask his stalker seen in the picture.

Five Things: Best Part of being a Grown Up

Posted: August 9th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , | Comments Off on Five Things: Best Part of being a Grown Up

1.) Don’t feel like wearing pants when you get home from work? Take those bad-boys off. Pants free is an awesome perk in exchange for paying rent and such.

2.) Alternative Meals. Apple Jacks for desert, pizza for breakfast, beer for dinner. I’m sure Dr. Oz hates my dietary habits, but I’m pretty much sure it’s a good way to go.

3.) Chores. Pfft. Who does those? Place gets dirty? Get the GF to clean.

Kidding, I clean my place but I like being able to say “i’ll do those dishes on Saturday, tonight is for Dr. Who”

4.) Not having people touch my shit. Don’t get me wrong, I love my little brother, but damn my stuff always used to be moved around or hidden when we were kids, and somehow there was always playground sand in my bed.

5.) I get to buy all the cool toys and play all the new video games. Take THAT oppressed childhood. Now I get what I want. Hooray me.

Yeah, I know this is a pretty immature list, but this is what floats my boat tonight. Perhaps I’m being rebelious.

Five Things: Habits I Wish I Didn't Have

Posted: July 22nd, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , | Comments Off on Five Things: Habits I Wish I Didn't Have

I saw a Venn Diagram that indicated that Habit is where Skill, Knowledge & Desire overlap.  Well, that doesn’t explain these habits that I wish I could get rid of.

In no particular order:

1.) Nail-biting:  As near as I can tell, this is a combination of stress and perfectionism that leads my mind to wander off of whatever I’m watching/thinking of and finds some menial task that must be done before I forget about it.  Forget the financial situation or huge work project on my mind, when the hell did this damn nail get extra long? It’s not clean, I wish I had stopped years ago when my mother threatened to put Tabasco on my nails. (I knew it was a bluff because she never bought hot sauce)

2.) Always having to be Right: Various reports have told me this is one of my most annoying traits.  Supposedly, people don’t like to you to remind them that you have the right answer.  I’m not quite sure why this is, but I am willing to accept the theory.  I have yet, however, to come up with a way to keep my mouth shut when I hear someone saying/doing something #FAIL.

3.) Eating Junk Food:  I know how to cook.  I enjoy cooking. I know what healthy food looks like, and I enjoy the taste of loads of healthy food.  So then why do I eat so many cheeseburgers and tacos and pizzas and fatty fat shit?  Don’t give me the whole “culture of obesity” bit, this is my failed life choice and it’s time to turn the ship around, damn it!  Right after I finish the left over pizza in the fridge…

4.) Awkward First Impressions:  (See here)

5.) Procrastination:  Prime example, I was supposed to write this blog, along with 6 others, last night.  Instead, I put it off and now I’m jamming it out before work while my shirt & pants are in the dryer (because the dryer is how you de-wrinkle clothes when you’ve put-off hanging them up nicely).  How much more could I get done if I just hopped to it?  Years ago, when I was first living alone, I intentionally did not have any television signal, and got load of stuff done.  Bills paid on-time and filed away, books & magazines read faster than I could acquire more, took random trips exploring places in the city just to see what was there.  It’s miraculous what we can get done when I just unplug and go live.

Five Things: Why I Love the Yankees

Posted: April 18th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment »

Weekends in Spring & Summer make me think of two things: new movies and baseball.  Right now we find ourselves two weeks into the season and my Yankees are in 1st place in the division.

Yes, I live in Phoenix, could walk to D-Backs games, but I love the Yankees.

(here’s why, after the jump)

Read the rest of this entry »

Five Things: Blast from the Past – Songs

Posted: February 28th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , | Comments Off on Five Things: Blast from the Past – Songs

Here’s an old blog from two years ago.

At this point, I’d been wrestling with the possibilty of single-fatherhood, was hating my living situation, had seriously let down my brother, and had intentionally isolated myself from the woman who would later let me come to my senses and spend the last 19 months with her.

Wonder how much I have changed and how much it’s just that my environment/viewpoint has changed….


Posted: Leap Day, 2/29

I’ve just been rocking out a lot lately, so I thought I’d share some. Here below are my favorite lines from the first five songs in my playlist.

Rest My Chemistry by Interpol
“And I’ve made stairways/ such scenes for things to regret/ oh, those days in the sun/ they bring a tear to my eye/”

While My Guitar Gently Weeps by The Beatles
“With every mistake we must surely be learning/ still my guitar gently weeps/”

Martyr for My Love for You by The White Stripes
“And I bet we could build a home/ but I know the right things for me to do is to leave you alone/”

Tear You Apart by She Wants Revenge
“It’s only a crush, it’ll go away/ it’s just like the others, it’ll go away/ or maybe this is danger and he just don’t know/ you pray it all away but it continues to grow/”

I Saw Her Standing There by The Beatles
“Well she/ looked at me/ and I could see/ that before too long/ I’d fall in love with her/” While often times my fews on the viability of love and it’s further institutions can easily be contrued as “cynical” or “anti-”, I think the songs above illustrate that even when we tell ourselves we are stepping back and resolving our own demons, we cannot help but encounter unknown possibilities. Maybe there is truth to the old maxim “it’ll come along as soon as you stop looking for it”. Or perhaps it’s just obsession. Certainly we all know people who are addicted to one behaviour or another. I’d hate to think of someone as “my new drug”, but in hind-sight, I think we can all easily call to mind at least one person from our pasts who would fit that describtion. Sometimes a fling is just a fling, but sometimes a fling is a fucking harsh life lesson. In fact, I will venture the following hypothestis; it is easier to stand tall and firm in the snarling face of adversity than in the comforting warmth of awful embrace.
When it’s all said and done, I wonder who will think of me as their “Best Mistake”.
By the way, the rest of the songs follow a vague narrative arc. I don’t think this applies to any one person so much as the natural cycle of my own love-life.
Then again, it could all be “true love” and I haven’t realized it yet…..

Five Things: Dogs I'd Like to Own

Posted: February 24th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | 5 Comments »

This list has been actively debated by the GF and I for a little while now, and I want to get down my ideas right now, just in case I’m later persuaded that my ideas are less right and I end up with some kind of tutu dog on a bedazzled pink leash….

Without further ado, here’s the pooches I’d like to own
(btw, all of these dogs are compact, to be better suited to urban, yardless living)

1.)  English Bulldog

English Bulldog

I’ve wanted one of these dogs probably since I saw Adam Sandler’s dog playing basketball with him.  Slobber-machine aside, these guys are stocky & solid (just like me) and pretty irresistible when you see them in public (also just like me).  After-all, everyone wants to have someone around who makes them feel loved and secure at the same time.  Possible names include:  Brooklyn, Bronx, Igloo or Roosevelt.

2.) Schnauzer

Kakfa the Schnauzer

I’ve already covered the predominant reasons I want to own a schnauzer in this post.  In addition, I’m decently sure that if I owned one of these, I’d probably end up reading more, and being someone who says to people “Wasn’t it so and so who said (insert great quote here). (receive nods and applause here)”.  Sounds like win-win, no?  Possible names include:  Kafka, Franz, or Herman.

3.) Jack Russell Terrier

I admit, I really first liked these guys because Fraiser had one.  I have to say, I’ve gotten mixed reviews about Jack Russells and their boundless energy.  Might have to get mine a treadmill or something.  Perhaps, though, owning a hunting dog in the city is just not a great idea.  Damn you, Wishbone, you made them look so cool, and literate.  Possible names include:  Alexander or Simon

4.)Cairn Terrier

cairn terrier

This past weekend I saw one of these at the Humane Society and was mere seconds away from taking it home and hiding it’s existence from my apartment complex until Anie convinced me that it’d be much more reasonable to wait.  It was not a great feeling leaving the poor pooch there, but probably for the best.  After all, it’s at the Biltmore. That badboy is probably eating out of some kind of gold-plated food dish tonight.

5.) French Bulldog

French Bulldog

Not sure whether it’s fair or not, but I see these dogs as a streamlined version of their English counter-parts.  Typically, I shy away from most things with “French” in the name, likely tied to a French’s Mustard overdose as a youngster, but having seen one or two of these in the park across the street, they seem to be Americanized enough to love.  After all, one of my favorite YouTube videos features a frenchie.  (Don’t worry, he figures it out)

List completed, let me say that whatever dog I get will most certainly be a rescue of some type.  There are too many dogs out there that need homes, and puppy-farms have to be among the most evil places ever created.

Five Things: Random Topics Still Bounching Around in My Head

Posted: January 12th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , | Comments Off on Five Things: Random Topics Still Bounching Around in My Head

1.)  Eating better.  True, I always have a great time at the Phoenix Public Market, and have been reading the “Abs Power Diet” book from Men’s Health (can the title be any more “buns of steel”-esque?) but now it’s up to me to put this into practice.  On nights when Anie’s around, it’s pretty easy, since she does a great job motivating me to cook usually.  The challenge will be the nights when I get home from the office late and really just want a sandwich on the way home.   Add to all this the part about me & Anie watching “Food INC” last week and now feeling guilty about eating factory-meats and such. 

2.)  Calling Cards (or personal business cards).  Yes, I’ve been thinking about this since Nov 2008 and still haven’t taken action, but hopefully now I’ve found a good source (both in performance and business ethics), and can meet with my resident branding specialist to get something accomplished.

3.)  Writing.   I like to pretend that I’m a pretty decent writer and that the only thing holding me back is my lack of ambition and/or resources.  I say “like to pretend” to make it sound like less of an embarassing admission of truth.  Sorta like “oh, Jake just likes to pretend like he’s Superman and jumps off of things pretending they’re really high”, as opposed to “poor Jake, he actually thinks he’s Superman.  That body-cast has to be itchy”.  See the difference?  In truth, if I could write fulltime, be it for a magazine, blog, my own novels, random people on the street, whatever, I’d be pretty happy doing it.  I don’t know that I could enjoy the solitary hours of a writer, but I suppose there’s always Twitter for that.

4.)  My nerd-crush on Tina Fey.  Yup, that one’s not going anywhere anytime soon.

5.)  Leading by example.   This one is pretty tough to illustrate for you here, (or for myself, for that matter), but more than anything I’ve been kicking myself these last 2-3 months thinking “I really need to start leading by example”, both at work and at home.  It’s time to get up off my duff and really make things happen.