Blog Culture Box: Puppy Bowl Edition

Posted by Brandon |

If it's hard to read, click image to bigify.

Who cares about the Super Bowl, it's Puppy Bowl time! Thanks to Catherine, NYCWD, Becky and Shiny for their great answers.

If you'd like to join in, please feel free to answer these questions (and yes, this week they are questions) in the comments...

  1. Super Bowl, Lingerie Bowl or Puppy Bowl?
  2. If you were a puppy, what kind of puppy would you be?
  3. What should the Obama's name their puppy?
  4. Who's a good boy? Who's a good boy?

The Blog Culture Box will be back in two weeks. If you haven't participated before and would like to, please let me know.


Keyboarding and Driver's Ed

Posted by Brandon |

Personally I think this is kind of a sad commentary on both my education and the state of schools in general, but there are only two classes from high school that the information taught to me there I still use on a day-to-day basis. Sure some other classes contributed to my knowledge, but two classes stand out in my mind as being very important to me now. Those two classes: Driver's Education and Keyboarding.

How many people had Driver's Ed in their school? I rarely find anybody outside of the North Thurston School District that learned how to drive from their high school. Our Driver's Ed was taught by two sports coaches: Mr. Mendleson and Mr. Dunn - both total a-holes, but not terrible Driver's Ed teachers.

I remember Mr. Dunn getting unbelievably frustrated with me when I couldn't figure out passing - it took me like five tries to get checking my blind spot when I move back over into the correct lane. I also backed into a rock the very first time I ever got behind a wheel when Mr. Dunn had us back around a corner on the very first day - he was not happy. Surprisingly, those two a-holes helped shape a, I'd like to consider, better than average driver and I still remember a lot of the obscure rules of the road that they drilled into our head and use them quite often.

Keyboarding was a required class at North Thurston, unless you were smart and went into AP classes or were in music, and I contend that it was the single most important class that I took in all of high school, and I knew it would be. I was a choir-nerd, I could've gotten out of it, but I wanted to learn how to type and it's served me well over the years. What you are reading now is all typed without looking at the keyboard one bit and in near perfect form all thanks to one of the most mindless classes there ever was.

Death? never took keyboarding and it has come around to haunt her. One of her biggest frustrations with work is not being able to fly through the typing of notes and reports and whatnot. Now she really wants to learn how to type correctly. I suppose I'll have to teach her (in combination with online tutorials). I don't mind, I really do think that Keyboarding is super important and I wouldn't pass up my high school training in it for any other class.

What about you? Were there any classes from high school that you took that stand out as being important in the long run?


Hot Cheetos Phantom: A Letter to TBTL

Posted by Brandon |

Yes, I've officially crossed over into uber-fandom or ten-ness...I wrote a letter to Jen Andrews, producer of Too Beautiful To Live - my favorite radio program - to relay a little coincidence (or not) that happened to me the other day. I am a nerd. Also, you should get the Hot Cheetos ringtone or any of the other TBTL ringtones.

Hey Jen,

Just wanted to thank you guys for playing a part in freaking me out a little bit the other day.

I was listening to the show on Wednesday night (I'm usually a time bandit, but was driving back to Seattle from Olympia and listening live) and when you played the Hot Cheetos song (note: a listener submitted song inspired by the audio clip the ringtone is from), at the very same moment my phone started ringing, blasting the Hot Cheetos ringtone. At first, I thought it might be part of the song, but nope, it was my phone telling me all about the Hot Cheetos. When I picked up the phone and tried to answer it, the caller had already hung up...but I never got a missed call notice or a voicemail or anything.

Was it a Hot Cheetos phantom triggered by that song or just a coincidence? I like to believe in the phantom nature of the Hot Cheetos, myself.

Freaked out-edly yours,

Of the Edmonds tens


Winner Winner Pepsi Dinner

Posted by Brandon |

Congratulations to Anthony for taking home the Super Bowl prize pack from Pepsi. Mike Singletary intimidated me into picking his name out of my hat.

No Top Chef recap tonight despite tons and tons to write about since it was muthafucking Restaurant Wars! The wife had to work and didn't get to see it yet and if she were to accidentally read spoilers on my blog, there would be hell to pay.


What a Day, Huh?

Posted by Brandon |

Well, that was something else, wasn't it? What a day. I really have no words to describe what happened today and I really don't think it needs any. Once I found out it was pundit-less, I watched C-SPAN so I could just let the pictures and words of the participants move me, and that they did. No punditry needed, no analysis necessary, no explanation needed. Just history.

My favorite part of the inauguration was Rev. Joseph Lowery's Benediction...

I'm not religious at all, but even I was yelling AMEN! AMEN! AMEN!


How To Cook A Wolf

Posted by Brandon |

One of the best things about having a kid and not going out on dates as often as we used to is being able to go to nicer places than before. Our one date usually equals the four we would've gone on two years ago. So that's why we ended up at How To Cook A Wolf before we went to the Seattle Rep for a play on Saturday night.

We got there at about 5:15 and were informed that it would be an hour and a half for a table but could be seated immediately at the bar - so at the bar we sat. It's a very comfortable place to sit, unlike most bars, and watching all the action in their little tiny kitchen is interesting. We were very impressed with how they use their available space. The kitchen is probably smaller than our kitchen, and we don't have a big kitchen by any means. They really get the maximum out of the square footage that they have.

I expected How To Cook A Wolf to be much more trendy and uncomfortable and pretentious than it was. It was actually kind of cool and laid back, service was friendly and helpful and everybody seemed to be genuinely enjoying themselves. Perhaps it's pretentious for Seattle standards, but I just spent three years in the Los Angeles area - I know pretentious when I see it.

On to the food. Plates were bigger and more substantial than I was expecting, but overall it was kind of a mixed bag...

Bread - Great bread from Columbia City Bakery, served with olive oil and some olives. I don't like olives, but Death? was really into them.

Buffalo mozzarella with shaved fennel, green apples and red onion - The cheese was great with the fennel and green apples but the red onion and parsley were a little off-putting.

Seared scallops - Scallops were perfectly cooked and tasty. Too bad there were only three of them ($6 per scallop) and the sauce that they were in tasted like ranch dressing and not even good ranch dressing - like Hidden Valley light ranch or even fat free.

Frissee salad with oil poached tuna - Tuna was great but overall the salad was all over the place. The red onions in the mix were unbelievably overpowering. One bite that included red onion got up into my nose like horseradish does and I had to take a minute to let it clear. The onion stayed with both of us and we were tasting it throughout the play. A Coke at intermission was the only thing that helped kill the flavor.

Cavatelli - Absolutely delicious. Perfect pasta with hedgehog mushrooms, cheese and cream sauce. The highlight of the night.

Gnocchi - Not really gnocchi, made from semolina, they were more like polenta cakes than anything. Covered with a little bit of cheese and butter, they were delicious. Perfectly creamy - almost like a fried piece of cheese. We ordered the gnocchi after finishing everything else and deciding we wanted one more thing. It took almost half an hour to come out and we were sweating getting to our play on time, but the waiter did give us a free half glass of wine each to make up for it and since we'd gone dry that perfectly complemented the dish.

Booze - Both of the wines Death? got were great and the oatmeal stout beer that I drank was delicious.

My biggest problem with the meal is that there was nothing mind blowing. In fact, I'm no cook, but quite honestly, I think that I could make reasonable facsimiles of those dishes at home. The buffalo mozzarella was just a hunk of cheese with some sliced stuff. The pasta, while very good, wasn't very complex. The scallops - well, I'm bad at cooking scallops, but I have some Hidden Valley Ranch in the fridge right now.

That being said, we didn't feel ripped off by the meal and we weren't upset about it any way. In fact, we really enjoyed ourselves at How To Cook A Wolf. I just doubt that we'll be back or if I would really recommend it to others.


Top Chef Recap **SPOILER ALERT**

Posted by Brandon |

Right away, Hosea is wearing an I (Heart) Padma t-shirt and as soon as it comes on, a little advertisement flies across the screen to get your own I (Heart) Padma t-shirt at the Bravo website. Ugh. I also found a Team Rainbow t-shirt over there. Double-Ugh.

How many of us hours before this episode aired had something made from a can or package for dinner? Look, I know they aren't quality ingredients, but to just be outraged in the way that these "chefs" were when the challenge was revealed was ridiculous. For me, if I were on there, the random crazy challenges would be the most fun. Just doing haute cuisine every time would be boring as a competitor, don't you think?

Anyway, was it just me or was this the most boring episode of the entire season so far? Hung added nothing, the supposed drama wasn't very interesting, the upper-class white folks posing as farmers were off-putting and Toby Young's zingers were just stupid. The only remotely interesting part was Arianne getting the boot.

I think that Arianne probably deserved to go based on this meal alone - though Radhika and the dead-to-me lovebirds all could easily have gone because of their lack of effort, but I would still eat any meat dish that Arianne made over all of the others. Except for that lamb, every piece of meat that she cooked over the course of the show was cooked perfectly. I want her to make my turkey, cook my steak, lamb chops...whatever.


Blog Culture Box: 2009 Predictions Edition

Posted by Brandon |

If it's hard to read, click box to bigify

Big thanks to Replicant, Ginger, Anthony and Pixie for taking part in the first Blog Culture Box of the new year.

If you are wondering about the color, I totally didn't know what color to use for 2009 predictions, so since Pixie was reminding me of Bowling Green State University - my kind of alma mater (no degree) - on Twitter earlier, I had the brown and orange on my mind. Oh yeah, the beautiful brown and orange of BGSU. Roll along BG warriors.

Anyway, if you would like to join in, please feel free to answer the questions in the comments...
  1. After leaving office, George W. Bush will...
  2. Who will make the biggest comeback of 2009?
  3. In 2009, I will...
  4. Down With Pants! biggest contribution to society in 2009 will be...
The BCB will be back in two weeks.


Baby Dreams

Posted by Brandon |

Since Addie was born, I've been thinking about baby dreams. Don't you think that the dreams that babies have must be totally and completely crazy? They don't have language, they don't really know what the things they see everyday are or what is real and what isn't real and they have no idea of narratives and whatnot. They must just be jumbles of images all mixed up together.

Example: yesterday we went to the zoo and Addie was totally taken with the gorillas and the Willawong Station - which is one of those walk-in bird cages where the lorikeets and other tropical birds fly around and land on you and eat feed sticks that you offer them. Combine those two things - baby gorillas and thousands of birds flying around - with her favorite commercials on TV - the Lectric Shave commercial where the guys face is on his whiskers and those NoStankYou.com commercials - and her dreams have to be super trippy.

Those things mess up my dreams sometimes and I totally understand them. I can't even imagine what it would be like to have those floating around in your head without any way to tie them together.


Shameless Commerce: It's a DWP! Giveaway!

Posted by Brandon |

I am happy to announce the very first real Down With Pants! contest/giveaway. I've got the "Ultimate Super Bowl Party Pack" from our good friends at Pepsi to give away - Pepsi, the choice of a new generation of pantsless pop drinkers. If you win, you get all this...

That's a football, a snack helmet, a beverage pail, two hats, two t-shirts, two keychains, five Pepsi 24 pack coupons and five Frito-Lay coupons.

And all you have to do is just leave me a comment telling me who your favorite NFL football player of all-time is. You have to name an NFL football player to be eligible. I'll pick the names out of a hat on Wednesday, January 21st so you can get your prize pack before the big game.

UPDATE - And make sure that there is some way in your comment to contact you. Either it goes to your blog with a email address posted there or you are on my Twitter or whatever. But a link to a profile that is private won't work especially if I don't totally know who you are.



Posted by Brandon |

Addie was sick for the very first time today. She was running a fever and had a runny nose and a little bit of a cough. You know, a basic, normal cold. But we're very lucky to have such a great baby - instead of being a little pain like I had anticipated (the day started off with much crying), she calmed down and she got all cuddly and sweet and we basically had a nice day of sitting around, watching college basketball, napping and generally taking it easy. She had her moments of fussiness, but overall, it was almost kind of nice to just have her sitting on my lap all day.


Diet Dr. Pepper Top Chef Recap **SPOILER ALERT**

Posted by Brandon |

Despite being excited for the return of Top Chef from what seemed like an unbelievably long hiatus, I was half-asleep during the episode so some of the thoughts I had during the show have already escaped me - I need to start taking some notes.

By the way...did I mention that this post is sponsored by Diet Dr. Pepper? This is the Diet Dr. Pepper Top Chef Recap - the Diet Dr. Pepper Top Chef Recap that tastes more like Regular Dr Pepper. Diet Dr. Pepper and Down With Pants!...There's nothing diet about it!

First of all, did anyone else think that it looked like a lot of people got into fights? Everybody looked bruised and battered. Fisticuffs may have broken out in the house and we were not informed. What gives?

So Radhika wins immunity in the Diet Dr. Pepper Quickfire Challenge by making bread pudding, which isn't Indian, so I find it odd that we didn't hear about how she doesn't want be to be known as the one that makes Indian food. Usually, we hear her say that she doesn't want to be known as the one that makes Indian food...and then she goes off and makes Indian food. It's like clockwork.

Hold on for one second...**click, fizz**....Mmmm, Diet Dr. Pepper. It's like there's a chocolate cake in my mouth but without the chocolate cake. Now, let's return to the Diet Dr. Pepper Top Chef Recap.

Following the Diet Dr. Pepper Quickfire Challenge, Tom tells them to make to make one kickass family style dish. My first thought when I heard that of course was fish tacos! I mean, it had to have been yours too, right? Any rational person with bangs that cover their eyes and no clue how to cook would automatically pick fish tacos - that's why I did.

Mmmm...did I mention how much Diet Dr. Pepper tastes like regular Dr. Pepper?

So predictably, Bangs - the non-chef that the producers set up to get kicked off first (my theory) but then got lucky for a few weeks - finally got the boot. And Eugene, oh Eugene, oh Diet Dr. Pepper Eugene, also got sent packing - which was also easily predictable not only because of his bad food but because they showed him talking to his family. That's the Diet Dr. Pepper kiss of death.



Posted by Brandon |

My blogging career is being threatened my friends. Just a few weeks away from my five year blogiversary, I'm in trouble. For I got a Wii for Christmas and Mario Kart is seriously taking up a lot of my very precious time.

Sadly though, I still suck at video games. I was once good...no great...like Fred Savage great. But that was in the days of the Nintendo and Super Nintendo - I could lick any of you in a game of Super Tecmo Bowl - after that though, I fell apart. In college we would have days long marathons of Bond and college football and I would always be the whooping boy. The more complicated and button heavy the games got, the more I totally sucked it up.

Anyway, if you want to beat up on a crummy video game player in Mario Kart, Tiger Woods Golf, NHL Hockey or some baseball game I haven't played yet - those are the games that I have other than Wii Sports - let me know.

Blog Culture Box Update - I've decided to make the Blog Culture Box a bi-weekly feature here at Down With Pants! Look for it next week. In the meantime, if you'd like to participate, let me know. I'm taking any and all, even if you've participated in the past.


Snowy Soccer Monday

Posted by Brandon |

My feet still feel a little bit frozen after tonight's 2009 soccer season opener played at Lynnwood High School on a field still covered by an inch of snow from last night's freak snowstorm. My toes were so numb from the slush that whenever my feet hit the ground, it felt like I had peg legs, the only sensation of running coming from what my body felt in my ankles.

That being said, I didn't sweat one bit - it was so cold that even though I was working hard my body was trying to heat itself up and not cool itself down - and for whatever reason I never really ran out of breath. I felt pretty good out there even if I didn't really do much. Whether it's a conscious decision or not on the part of my teammates, they keep the ball as far away from me as possible, or so it seems. It's probably just me not being where I should be to get the ball that is the problem. Either way, I kind of just run around and occasionally kick the ball or take a shot off the butt or whatever is needed out of this anonymous soccer player.

I did actually take a shot tonight and I was within a inch of scoring my first competitive soccer goal. If the ball would've ricocheted off of my knee just a little bit differently or I would've caught it an inch to the side, I'd be celebrating like it's 1999. Instead, it missed by about a half a foot and went into the side of the goal. Oh well.

I've said this before and it hasn't happened yet, but I do feel a goal coming some point soon. It's going to be an accident, some crazy ricochet off of my foot that I didn't intend or a broken play of some kind, but it's going to happen. For this to happen though, I need to touch the ball more than a couple times in a game, we'll have to work on that next week.

By the way, I was thinking about how unique it is for us to be playing soccer in the snow. In cold climates like the Northeast and the Midwest where snow and freezing temperatures are the norm, they don't have outdoor soccer leagues in the winter - which makes complete sense. In California - where I first started playing soccer - if it rained even just a little bit earlier in the day, there was a good chance that soccer would be canceled due to weather. So to be in a place that plays soccer in any and all conditions is pretty interesting. The way this year has gone, who knows what kind of crud we'll have to deal with in the nine weeks. Would we play in a swarm of locusts or if frogs fell from the sky? I guess we'll just have to wait and see.


DWP! Year In Review - September to December

Posted by Brandon |