Thursday, May 29, 2008

Breaking News!

Someone stole the Obama sign from our yard! I can't figure out why at this particular juncture. Other Obama signs on our street remain. Very mysterious. Luckily, Andy ordered replacements, so our yard will not remain Barack-less for long!

If hating the Reds is wrong...

Last night, Ryan, Mike, and I attended the Pirates-Reds game in Cincinnati.* (Andy was off mooning over Tom Crean in New Albany). I have never been a Reds fan (a couple reasons include: 1) they beat the Pirates for the pennant in 1990 and 2) Pete Rose). But recent trips to Great American Ballpark have given me new reasons to dislike them.

1) They've stopped serving kielbasa at the park. (I will say their frosty malt cups (UDF) are delicious plus they have Skyline.)
2) They have cheerleaders!!! Apparently, the Marlins were the first MLB team with cheerleaders. Other teams that appear to have cheerleaders too are the Blue Jays, the Padres, and the Cardinals. This is a trend I do not like.

*The Pirates were awful giving up 6 runs in the first inning and walking in a run in the 7th, losing 9 to 1. Ugh!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Da Beach

We just returned from Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, where we spent the weekend having a very nice visit with Elizabeth's family. The weather was a little bit questionable on Saturday, but Sunday and Monday were outstanding, and we did get some quality beach time in. We got quality time with family, we ate lots of great seafood (and of course some Eastern North Carolina Barbecue) and generally had a good time.

We also saw some pretty entertaining vanity license plates on I-40 between Wilmington and Raleigh. Highlights include: CHK U L8TR, and my personal favorite, ELFPRNCS.

Ridiculously, we did not think to bring the camera, so the picture above is a bit of an impostor.

Friday, May 23, 2008

The Soldiering Life

Many of you may have heard about the 75,000+ people who attended an Obama rally in Portland. If you haven't seen it yet, John posted a stellar picture from the Marquam bridge. Pitchfork had a sweet article about conservatives claiming that a large part of the attendance at the rally was due to the Decemberists concert before hand, which is pretty funny. Portland loves their Decemberists, but I just don't think that had much to do with the 75 gr. who showed up. Click here for the story.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Stealing from other blogs

My regular blog reading turned up a couple of things I feel the need to share.

First, Mike posted a link to one of his new favorite sites:
You must check this one out.

Also, a site I check sporadically had a post about the new Weezer album, which I very much enjoyed. Like many who ridiculously overplayed the blue album, new Weezer just doesn't hold up.

While I'm sharing sites, this is another enjoyable one (thanks Caroline):

Also, in case you missed it, all of you Indiana folks, or just those interested in Indiana, should really check out John's recent posts about his visit to the Hoosier state. Check out his posts between May 2nd and May 15th.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The pull of Seymour

I came across this map while doing so research at work. American Water, supplier of drinking water to communities in 32 states (plus Ontario!), thought it would be more convenient if New Albany and Jeffersonville moved northward. As if a single company supplying drinking water to communities in multiple states wasn't disturbing enough, they had to go and relocate Indiana's cities! For those of you who aren't Indiana geography buffs (me for instance), New Albany is located on the Kentucky border (it's known as the sunny side of Louisville).

Monday, May 19, 2008

We can be happy underground

Before we moved here, I had no idea that downtown Indianapolis had a serious of tunnels. For some reason, the existence of these tunnels now fascinates me. I generally take one from the garage to my building. And on rainy days (and I expect steamy July and August days), I become a mall walker, heading to Circle Center and then walking past the H&M and food court sample hustlers. Every day, as I wander by, I am amused at the prospect of hitting the OTB on my lunch break.

On nice days though, I take advantage my proximity to the canal.

On a side note, I feel like a google failure (or that google has failed me) because I could not find a single picture online of the Indianapolis tunnels.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Josh Ritter Can't Stop Cheesin'

Thursday night, we (along with Kerns, Heidi, and Bop) went to the Music Mill to see Josh Ritter perform. I'd seen Josh Ritter once before in Seattle several months ago, and it was a pretty special show. It was a sold out show at the Showbox, which he clearly had not expected to sell out. Plus, because he is from Idaho, he had a lot of family there, including his mom. To top it all off, it was his birthday. So that show had a lot going for it, and it was an amazing performance. I had talked up how good he was, but I didn't really expect it to be the same on a Thursday in Indianapolis. But shockingly, it was almost as good.

Ritter has a whole lot of really good songs, so that always helps. He also has a pretty kick-ass band, including a bass player with an old-timey mustache. But what really sells the performance is that about 75% of the time he's on stage, he is grinning from ear to ear, as if whatever is happening at that moment is the most awesome thing he's ever experienced. Such enthusiasm really translates to the audience well, and makes for a great show. So the bottom line is, if you ever have the chance to see Josh Ritter, you should definitely do it. Below is a video of them playing Letterman.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Bundle of Joy

I want to give a belated shout out to our good friends Doug and Becky, who on May 2, increased the size of their household by 50%. Ava Marie Watson is an adorable looking little girl, and we hope to get down to Green County to meet her in person soon. Congratulations Doug and Becky! Click here for pictures. And check out that hair! I'm so jealous.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Snazzy New Website!

I wanted to take a moment to brag about my aunt's Italy travel blog ( She's made some major updates to it. It has tons of reviews and is really easy to use. If you are traveling to Italy soon or just want to, I suggest you take a look. If you've been to Italy before, please join and review some restaurants, tourist spots, etc! Haven't been to Italy? No problem, Jackie is hoping to expand to other countries soon (I'm waiting for the U.S. version since we've been all over this country lately!).

Monday, May 12, 2008

Demodog to the Rescue!

This weekend, Ramona received a fantastic gift from our friends Graham and John (otherwise known as Bert and Ernie). She is super happy to show off her brown dog democrat pride in this fetching t shirt. With Ramona's support, there will definitely be a big change in November!

In other news, Andy and I attended a play at the Indiana Repertory Theater this weekend. The play, Iron Kisses, was written by their playwright in residence, James Still (who actually lives in California!?!). The play had two actors playing multiple roles and examines the idea that siblings can have very different relationships with the same parents (which is something I've actually thought about a lot). The play also very effectively captures parents (from a small midwestern town) coming to terms with having a gay child. To sum up, huzzah for good theater in Naptown!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

King Dork

Thanks to a tip from Shawn, I just finished reading the Young Adult fiction novel King Dork by Frank Portman. As an English teacher, I try somewhat regularly to read YA titles, and this one was a nice treat. First of all, Frank Portman is more commonly known as Dr. Frank, the leader of the San Francisco band The Mr. T Experience. I've heard of this band, but the only song I've actually heard them perform is a pretty rockin' cover of "Unpack Your Adjectives" from Schoolhouse Rock. It is pretty cool. The book itself was a pleasure to read, though I did initially have trouble with its treatment of my all-time favorite book Catcher in the Rye. It largely makes fun of people who claim this as their all time favorite book, but ultimately you realize that a.) it needs to be made fun of some, and b.) in spite of making fun of it, King Dork acknowledges that Catcher is a pretty important and influential and meaningful novel.

My biggest problem with the book is the insanely harsh characterization of high school girls. It's almost bad enough that I would not recommend the book to a high school kid. But the book is entertaining and well written enough that I would still recommend it most adults that I know...well at least the ones that are a little hipster-ish. Check it out!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Mini Good Returns

Thanks to a big assist from Christopher Smith, I ran in the Indianapolis Mini-Marathon on Saturday. I was actually running as Chris, as he was a late scratch due to back problems. Thanks Chris! My goal was to run the entire 13.1 miles without walking and to finish somewhere between 2:15-2:30. I did manage the whole race without walking (though I did stop for a bathroom break just before the 5 mile point), and my time ended up being 2 hours and 2 minutes! That was good for 8,952nd place out of around 36,000. I was pretty happy with the results.

I was also very happy with the event itself. It is an amazingly well organized event considering the number of people involved. There are hundreds of volunteers visible to the racers and no doubt hundreds more behind the scenes. They were all energetic, positive, and very encouraging. Also, there is a bunch of entertainment along the race route for the runners to enjoy. I probably saw ten local bands performing (including an indie rock band in front of the zoo), people line dancing to horrible top-40 country, people square dancing, some dude rapping, and on and on. The middle of the race takes a lap around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, which was very cool, and there were several cheerleading squads in the track doing running themed cheers.

So now three days have passed and my body is almost back to normal. It was a great time, and I'll definitely do it next year. Probably even under my own name. Now the I go ahead and finish out the second half of the training and do a full marathon? Time will tell...

And speaking of good's hoping Obama pulls out an unlikely win in Indiana tonight and ends the nonsense. End the drama, vote Obama!

Monday, May 5, 2008

Vote your hopes not your fears

We just got back from an Obama rally downtown. After a musical introduction by Stevie Wonder (who finds Obama's name particularly lyrical), Obama gave an inspirational speech to thousands (according to this blog: 21,000!). We left filled with hope and excitement! Hopefully my Hoosiers and my Tar Heels will both vote their hopes tomorrow.