Thursday, November 29, 2007

Wes beats P.T. but not Maui

I took the poll down but was a little surprised to see how handily Wes Anderson beat P.T. Anderson (9-1). However, I admit I was the lone vote for P.T., and I was a bit conflicted.

Back to Maui, the Crater was amazing. I have never been any place like it and could have explored longer...but then again, we were staying here:
So coming back to the hotel was not such a bad thing. We could snorkel right off of the beach from our hotel! We saw many colorful fish and several friendly sea turtles. I was slightly appalled by the people who insisted on petting the turtles, but they were indifferent.

Our hotel was the Sheraton Maui, which was really nice. But it had a few flaws:
1) employees seemed required to say 'Sheraton Maui' at least once per sentence [For example, every evening at dusk, they have this cliff diving ceremony, which reenacts a native Hawaiian tradition. During the 5 minute or so description, they must have said Sheraton Maui about 15 times. It was distracting to say the least.]
2) they charged for everything [we paid $20/week for our snorkel gear offsite; they charged $20/day!]
3) the food was pretty mediocre and definitely overpriced.

Stay tuned for at least for one more Hawaii post---the Road to Hana

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Mahalo is fun to say.

Andy here. Yesterday morning we were snorkeling in the 86-degree Maui morning. By last night we were standing int the 44-degree Seattle night waiting a little too long for a shuttle bus back to the parking lot. This trip rendered a massive amount of pictures, so we're going to break it up into a few posts. Here are some highlights from day 1.
The first day we woke up early and drove from our hotel at sea level to the top of Mt. Haleakala (10,000 feet). This is a 38-mile drive that takes a little over two hours. It is the only place in the world to get from sea level to that elevation in a car. Elizabeth will likely have more to add about this, because she was particularly fascinated. It was a very cool experience, one I'd recommend to anyone. Here's a picture of the two of us at the crater.

On the way back we took some rickety, one-lane, two-way, fall-off the-edge-to-certain-doom, blind-corner-laden road that was fun (if nerve racking) to drive on. Plus, it had some incredible views. Like the one under here. That's all for now, but there will be more pictures of paradise up soon!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving. We hope everyone has a great time over the holiday and gets to spend some valuable time with friends and / or family.

We regret to inform you, loyal readers, that we will not be updating the blog until Wednesday, November 28th. But at that time you should expect to see some pictures of the beautiful island of Maui. We made the tough decision to go to Hawaii over the Thanksgiving holiday. Moving back to the Midwest in February means that if we were going to get to Hawaii while it was a shorter / cheaper trip, now was the time to do it. Sucks to be us, right? See you Wednesday with some fresh pics!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Wes Anderson

Andy and I finally saw The Darjeeling Limited a couple of weeks ago (not sure what took us so long since we are both huge Wes Anderson fans). I was really impressed with this film, though I am unabashedly in the bag for Adrian Brody. Wes Anderson has a unique way of creating a setting and putting mildly dysfunctional characters in it. By the way, you can read Andy and Ryan's review of The Darjeeling Limited here (and you can expect a new review every Tuesday).

With the completion of his 5th movie, I thought I'd post our top five lists. For me, 1 and 5 are definite, but the other 3 shift depending on how recently I've watched them and my mood.

1. Bottle Rocket
2. Rushmore
3. The Royal Tenenbaums
4. The Darjeeling Limited
5. The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou

1. Rushmore
2. Bottle Rocket
3. The Darjeeling Limited
4. The Royal Tenenbaums
5. The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou

I also thought it was high time for the newly added poll. Who do you like more: Wes Anderson or P.T. Anderson (Boogie Nights, Magnolia, Punch Drunk Love). One of my all time favorite movies is Magnolia, so this is a toughie for me, but Andy said it was easy...


Sunday, November 18, 2007

And the winner is...

The circle city: Indianapolis, Indiana. We should arrive there in mid-February. See you soon, Hoosiers!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Unconnected Thoughts

ESpalt here with a trio of ramblings.

Career Counseling---In the past few weeks, I’ve found myself in an unusual position. I’ve had two people asking me for career advice. One was “junior” staff where I work, and the other was someone just starting the searching process and looking for input on consulting firms. I feel completely unqualified to offer career advice since I have absolutely no idea what I want to do right now. That’s a bit of an overstatement. I know I am ready to get out of consulting (I can’t wait to be free of my bill rate!). And I think I want to try the public sector for a while, but I can’t decide if I want to stick with “hard science” or move more into the public health arena.

MLB Awards---Bob Melvin of the Arizona Diamondbacks won National League Manager of the Year. Here was my reaction to Andy: “I don’t care what anyone says-he still sucks.” This reaction seems pretty unreasonably given he took his small market team to the NLCS, but I have some basis for it (sort of). Bob Melvin was the manager of the Seattle Mariners when we first moved to Seattle, and he seemed so incredibly complacent, which was reflected onto the team. But is this fair? He took over a team of aging players past their prime, some of whom had to stop taking steroids (Bret Boone). And he only had the job for 2 years. So it is probably completely unreasonable, but I can’t help thinking that Bob somehow found himself in the perfect situation in Arizona, that he lucked into a great team and is surrounded by the right people.

Impressions---A couple of weeks ago, we went to see The Hold Steady and Art Brut play an early, alcohol free yet kickass show at the University of Washington. The thing I was most struck by is how surprised I was by the appearances of the lead singers. Listening to this music for the last year or more, I had (unconsciously) developed definite impressions of how these bands would look, but when I saw them, I was completely wrong. The lead singer of Art Brut (who sings in a British accent, Liz!) was pretty sloppy, had stringy dark hair, and a small gut. And then, the lead singer of The Hold Steady looked like an accountant. I was expecting someone with more presence, with a big gut, and maybe a worn leather jacket, someone, well, who looked a lot more like our Portland friend, Hal. It was shocking. This has happened to me before. I always expect Britt Daniel of Spoon to be attractive, but he really just looks like a young Gary Busey. I think this adds to the appeal of seeing a band for the first time for me. I get to find out just how wrong I am about the image of a band.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

You'd think I just turned 14 or something...

Andy here. A couple of orders of business before I get to the point of this post. First of all, there are some pretty sweet pictures of us posted at the bottom left of the page. Scroll down to check them out. Second, Elizabeth said I wasn't allowed to post about sports again until I talked about something else, but I have to briefly mention some college basketball first. Hats off to (Roy) Williams for scheduling Davidson on a neutral court to open North Carolina's basketball season. Many people might not know it, but Davidson is a really good team, and that game had trap written all over it. UNC won a very close game, 72-68.

Now, down to business. I was riding the bus to class this morning, listening to my ipod, when War Pigs by Black Sabbath came on. I've never really gotten into Sabbath, but for for 7 minutes and 58 seconds this morning, it was the coolest song in the world. I know this is the sort of revelation most people have around 9th grade, but for me it was this morning.

So anyway, I got to thinking about an assignment Jack Johnson (no, not that one. not that one either...our high school Music Appreciation teacher and eater of questionable fruit) used to have us do: the listening guide. Because I'm currently in a War Pigs love-fest, I thought I'd do a listening guide for it now. If you have a copy of the song, feel free to play along.

This should probably be listened to pretty loudly to get the desired effect.

:01-:57 The opening is admittedly boring, though the crank-style siren sound effect is pretty cool.

:58-1:44 The first verse begins with just Ozzy's vocal while Bill Ward keeps time on the high-hat. The lyrics are typically ridiculous heavy-metal sounding stuff about war, but they're not important here. At the end of each line we get a teaser drum fill or guitar riff from Tony Iommi. But thing don't really get going until...

1:45 Ozzy yells something that sounds like, "Oh, lord, yeah!" and then it hits its stride. This is where the song really pays its bills, first with some fat drum fills and then some sharp, little riffs.

2:17 Ozzy's vocals come back in with more political-metal lyrics and a vocal that Chris Cornell must have listened to endlessly when he was 14.

3:08 Ozzy yeahs us into another instrumental section - the absolute strength of the song in my opinion.

3:30 Here a pretty cool guitar solo kicks in. It's longer that I usually want a guitar solo to be, but I'm not going to doubt Tony on this one. He's on fire.

4:30 Finally back to the verse. Ozzy's lyrics really kind of crack me up here. They're so "tough." "Satan laughing spreads his wings...oh lord yeah!" (5:17) takes us back to pretty much the same instrumental we got at 1:45, but it's good enough that you want to hear it again.

6:34 The coda guitar solo takes us to the end of the song. Appreciate the thickly layered, vintage heavy-metal sound of the song here. I can't hear this part without thinking of the neon pink, sword and shield wielding warriors on the album cover marching into the woods to slay the level-18 Dragon Lord that awaits....but I digress.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Moving Polls

If you are so inclined, vote in our polls.


Elizabeth here.

So, I know it's not baseball season. It's actually the start of college basketball season! Indiana won last night, Carolina plays its first game tomorrow night (against non-cupcake Davidson), and as I write this, UW is about to win its first game (against non-powerhouse NJ Tech). Yet, this post is still about the Pittsburgh Pirates, the worst baseball team in MLB over the last 15 seasons (can't argue with 15 straight losing seasons).

The Pirates have completely overhauled---new president, new GM, new manager. Hopefully, they'll keep Oliver Onion in the Great Pierogi Race!!

The hiring of the new manager was incredibly underwhelming---some guy this same organization fired 2 years ago who has never coached in the majors? Yikes! And former manager Lloyd (base-stealing) McClendon, his former boss, has no comment?!?

And now there is talk of trading Jack Wilson and Jason Bay. I understand that they want to start from scratch, and they can get something in return, especially for Bay. But it seems like Pittsburgh fans have had to start over almost every year. It's really hard to support a team if you can't name any of the starters. For me, Jack Wilson and Jason Bay are my two favorite players and are really the only players I have a real attachment to on the team. With the team set to break the MLB record for most consecutive losing seasons next year, it's going to be harder to support a team filled with no names (and it's not like Wilson or Bay are exactly A-Rod or Ichiro).

I think even Andy ($Cubs$ fan) can agree that the baseball system is messed up. The Yankees payroll is about about 8 times the team with the lowest payroll (the sad, sad Devil Rays). Teams like the Pirates (4th from the bottom last year) are at a huge disadvantage. Yet, 3 of the 4 teams in the NLCS/ALCS this year were in the bottom 10 in payroll and came from small markets. Small market teams are capable of competing, so the Pirates can't blame their lack of success completely on lack of dough. The management of this team over the last 15 years has been awful. Maybe this shake up will turn it around, but I can't say I am hopeful. We need to bring Stargell back!

But like I said, it's college basketball season! Let's go Heels! And Hoosiers! And Huskies!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Scary Good

Andy, here.

Indiana beat Tennessee-Chattanooga last night 99-79. Eric Gordon, perhaps the best freshman Indiana has had since Isiah Thomas, put up 33 points in the victory. I've been reading the hype about this guy on Peegs for years now, and the early indication is that he's better than I thought he'd be.

In spite of the win, the Hoosiers looked exposed in a few different areas. The defense in the first half was a joke (allowing 50 points in a half at home!?! Inconceivable!). DJ White was disappointing down low (he needs more than 4 rebounds, especially against a small team). And when Gordon wasn't on the floor, the offense looked a little confused. The good news is that these are all correctable issues, and it is only the first game of the season. And it was a twenty point win. At this point there seems to be no limit to the amount of success this team can have.

Sunday, November 11, 2007


Andy and I have started a blog. We plan to post about a variety of topics: music, sports, travel, movies, and much much more. We'll also be posting our moving plans here! Be the first to know where we are moving! Decision to be announced by Sunday, November 18th.