Ramblings

Usually drunken.

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Update

Jan 19, 2011, 11:43 am by Paul Stiverson

Howdy everybody, I’m sure my tiny group of readers has dwindled since it has been so damned long since I’ve posted anything. Sorry about that, just ran out of stuff to talk about I guess. Anyhow I’ll post a little update about life right now, and I think I’ve some things to say again so expect upcoming updates.

To begin things, I finished my Master’s Degree many moons ago (I’m a master of science. Take that, Bitches). I had posted that I wanted to work on a Ph.D., but I’ve abandoned that plan due to lack of research interests. I’ve been filling my days with tutoring, and my evenings with dancing. I’m going out on a limb and focusing my efforts on being a professional ballroom dancer. My teacher has taken me under her wing, and has been formally grooming me to teach and dance as a career. I’m happy to announce that I’m now available to teach as an associate of Susan’s Ballroom Dance, if you want some lessons you can get in touch and we can schedule a lesson.

As a happy result of focusing so intently on dancing I lost 75 pounds in the last year. I still have a bit to go before I start building a permanent wardrobe, but I’m extremely happy with my results thus far.

In other news, I was arrested for aggravated gardening. I’ll probably tell the story more completely in the near future. The case has been resolved: my charge was pled down to a misdemeanor and I’m serving 2 years of probation, paying $2000 in fines, and serving 200 hours of community service. Justice served. For community service I’m going to try to start a dance program at a local community center, barring that I’ll do whatever they ask of me. If you are sympathetic to the cause then you can donate to my fines and legal defense fund, I’ll choreograph you a dance in return. I’ll probably have a series of posts relating to the joys of community supervision. One of the terms of probation is that I cannot consume alcohol, or enter the premises of any establishment that profits primarily from the sale of alcohol (What alcohol has to do with pot is beyond me, but I’m hardly in a position to dictate the rules). The upside being that I now have a good reason for turning down invitations to bars, sorry folks I never liked them anyway save for the dancing.

Barring any major catastrophe my probation will end December 17, 2012.

Hulu Adverts

May 25, 2009, 11:27 am by Paul Stiverson

Sprint’s Now Network

According to an interesting commercial which is appearing on Hulu these days, Sprint’s Now Network privacy policy needs some revision. Apparently they want potential customers to believe that they monitor and scan emails, text messages, tweets, locations, and… well everything else that their customers are up to. Interesting gambit, lets see if it works out.

Ketel One Vodka

Ketel One’s new ad campaign which is appearing on Hulu features a bunch of manly men (think people acting like Barney from How I Met Your Mother) purporting that drinking other vodkas is not manly because they come in “Delicately painted perfume bottles.” They end the ad by saying “Gentlemen, this is vodka”, while at the bottom of the screen they flash “DISTILLED FROM WHEAT. 40% ALC/VOL”. Yeah, real manly, vodka distilled from wheat, why don’t you ‘real men’ try drinking some real vodka made from potatoes.

Party like a Texas-Country Star

Apr 8, 2009, 10:08 am by Paul Stiverson

Stoney and the brisketI have a clear memory of the following, but should the accuracy of any of the following come into question my fellow blogger, John, can be contacted for corroboration: he was there and reliably sober.

Prelude

For those who are unaware, an event by the name of Chilifest occurred last weekend. Chilifest is a fairly large 2-day Texas-Country music festival, probably about 12 bands played, 70,000 fans watched, and each of them averaged about a 24 pack of beer. It’s a pretty big deal for this area, this year I elected to stay home and not get irreparably sunburned, and I’m certain I didn’t miss too terribly much. A fair number of local businesses try very hard to cash in on the obvious cash cow that is Chilifest, and The Hall is no exception. Each year they throw an after-party to ensnare the group of people that didn’t quite get enough excitement—or that hate their livers a little more than most. This year The Hall brought in a great act, The Doug Moreland Show. The show was outstanding, but poorly attended because about three quarters of the standard demographic for the hall had collapsed from exhaustion at this point. This post is not about Chilifest, The Hall, or The Dough Moreland Show, but rather the events that unfolded after the after-party. The names have not been changed: fuck the innocent.

The Doug Moreland Show

Doug Moreland is probably one of my favorite Texas Country Acts, John, my fellow blogger, is also a fan. As you may know from reading this blog John lives in Houston, but he comes in whenever there is something cool happening, and the night in question was no exception. When he comes to town he stays with a common friend and dance partner, Mallory: an energetic, outgoing, and generally pretty fun gal, who joined us on this magical night. During Doug’s show we notice a small entourage in a nearby area, and one of us recognizes that Stoney Larue, a fairly prominent character on the Texas-Country scene, and his band are that entourage. Occasionally we would see them perk up their ears as John and Mallory would start putting on their Jitterbug routine, and we agreed that it was pretty cool that the performers were enjoying our performances.

After Doug finished up the show we resolved that it was time to go home, John went to close the bar-tab, I went to greet Doug and his band, and Mallory vanished like a fart in the wind. When John and I approach the empty table we both notice a distinct absence of Mallory and set out to find her, I find that she left her phone at the table leaving us incommunicado. I track down one of the other girls in our party and get her to check the bathrooms, no Mal is forthcoming, at this point I am a little worried. I asked the bartender, he has no idea. I decide that she must have gone out to the car, not there; at this point I realize that John is now missing too, I am very worried. The last place that hasn’t been checked is Stoney Larue’s tour bus, which is sitting in the parking lot.

The Tour Bus

I snatch open the door to the bus and poke my head in to see Mal and Stoney’s bass player, Jesse, siting on the couch chatting, they notice me and invite me in where I find John sitting on the opposite couch. At this point my phone buzzes at me with a new text message from John: “In stoney’s bus” (1:50AM). Gee, thanks for the update. I sit next to John and we start in with some mindless banter. Stoney and his band are sponsored by Shiner, so Jesse offered us each a beer which we gladly accepted. There was general coolness going on as some of Doug’s band-mates and Doug himself came and went from the bus, aslo a couple groupie-type girls came on the bus and started pouring (horribly mixed) shots. Eventually Stoney himself emerged from the bowels of the bus and joined us.

There was a disposable pan on the counter that held about half a brisket—apparently donated by a fan—that Stoney was intermittently munching on and offering to the 6 of us on the bus (it is not an exaggeration when I say this is the best 2AM brisket I have ever had). At some point Stoney inexplicably took off his shirt (I think one of the groupie-type girls asked to see his tattoos or something stereotypical like that). While getting some more brisket Stoney impales the whole thing with the knife holds it up while making a pirate noise, it was pretty hilarious, but you could tell he was doing it to please himself (he was not looking at us, but rather the darkened window which was giving a small reflection). We continued talking about nonsense for a while; Stoney disappeared and re-emerged still topless but with a guitar. Now, I am not really a fan of Stoney’s music, I like it but I’m not going to go out of my way to hear it, but when he turned down the lights on the bus and started jamming out I really enjoyed it. It doesn’t come out in his stage shows, but Stoney is fairly talented on the guitar.

The Brisket

Toward the end of Stoney’s solo jam he hits the wrong fret and everybody’s ear cringe, Jesse calls him out and the two of them start joshing with each other, Jesse takes off his shirt and they—while on all fours—start circling each other like dogs trying to sniff each others asses. The pair stand up—in the process Jesse’s pants fell down, and, not one to be outdone, Stoney loses his pants too. Stoney grabs the brisket and throws it at Jesse, hitting him solidly on the chest and falling to the ground. Jesse laughs it off and hugs Stoney, the both of them are now greased up, and Stoney picks up the brisket. I though he was going to put it back in the pan, but he has a different idea: throw it at the mirror (you can see the mirror in question in the picture at the top of the post, pre brisket stain). Stoney picks up the brisket a third time, I thought one of the other people in the room was going to get a brisket to the chest, but instead he takes a bite, tearing it like a lion. One of the groupie-type girls thought this was pretty gross considering the circumstances, but everybody else saw no problem with the consumption and Stoney held it in front of everybody (one at a time) to allow us to tear a chunk off with our faces. Shortly after partaking in the brisket, Stoney passed around the salsa (which can also be seen in the image above) for everybody to take a swig from, only Stoney, Jesse, John and I were manly enough to drink it though. Also John, then later Mallory licked the brisket spot on the mirror.

Soon after the brisket incident everybody calmed down and we parted ways at about 4AM. Waking up the next morning I realized that it was not all a dream because of the chunk of brisket that was on my glasses. I can honestly say that this night was one of the strangest and most unexpected events of my life, and walking away from it I will forever be a Stoney Larue fan.
Stoney being pensive

Finally Home

Aug 22, 2008, 12:35 pm by Paul Stiverson

Well I’m finally back from California, I’ve been in Texas since late Sunday night, but I didn’t feel it would be appropriate to make a post about it until I really got home. Last night was Thursday and—as usual—we went to the hall. The very minute I walked in there and saw all my friends all the homesickness I had been feeling went right away.

There were a few changes at the hall, first they did some remodeling in the shadow box area (both sides have been done now). Next, they hired a new DJ, the old DJ, Ron, is now the manager. At first I thought the new DJ was going to be a problem—he was playing a bit more Nashville country than I would have liked—but when I approached him with my concerns he was receptive and fixed the problem. He also played an impressive number of waltzes which is an entirely welcome change. They are also taking out the platform at the center of the dancefloor, good riddance as far as I’m concerned, I hate all the showboating bullshit that goes on up there. However it was quite helpful to have the raised platform for dance lessons, oh well. Overall it was a pretty awesome night though, good to see the old crew (sans John).

Mark’s Wedding

Aug 11, 2008, 11:20 am by Paul Stiverson

This past weekend I travelled to Dallas for Mark’s (a fellow contributor to this bloog) wedding, and boy howdy, it was a blast.

The Rehearsal Dinner

Everybody meets up at the church and we proceed to have a pretty elaborate rehearsal for the wedding… rather than just remember where we were supposed to stand we put pins in the carpet to mark our locations. The planner did a really great job at being prepared, but sometimes it is best to just step back and let the magic happen. On an interesting side-note, I got matched up with the best looking bridesmaid. One thing that struck me as kinda odd was that the bride didn’t participate in the rehearsal at all, she was there, but she just sat there in the pew. Apparently the planner wanted her to shoot from the hip on the big day. Anyway, after the rehearsal we all went to dinner at a ridiculous restaurant in Dallas (I can’t remember the name, Mark?). We get there and the first thing they do is start pouring us some pretty damn tasty wine, so far so good. The food they delivered was abso-fucking-lutely amazing, but unfortunately I was seated across the table from one of the less good looking bridesmaids (thanks Mark). Then came the gift giving part. Mark had everybody in the room leaking like a sieve with his emotionally charged descriptions of his relationship with everybody in the room (thanks Mark).

Post Rehearsal Dinner Drunkfest

After the rehearsal dinner we all retired to the hotel (which Mark’s parents were gracious enough to provide for us) and promptly got fucked up and retold some old corps stories. The fellow with whom I was sharing a room ended up getting a little too drunk though, and the night ended with him wandering around the room naked looking for his cellphone/underwear (well it really ended with me leaving the room after he started vomiting, but that isn’t as funny as the drunken nakedness).

Pre-Wedding Shenanigans

About an hour and fifteen minutes before we were supposed to be at the church (for preparations and pictures and shit) we decided to make a trip down to the amusement center which was conveniently located directly adjacent to the hotel to ride some go-carts. I have to admit that I wasn’t too keen on the plan, but I went so as not to be a wet-blanket. This was the right decision, I can’t remember the last time I had that much fun. Needless to say we were all about 15 minutes late to the church, and the groom was about 30 minutes late; no biggie.

Wedding Boringness

Once we are all there and dressed we commence the waiting around part of the day. We all sat around for at least 30 minutes waiting for the photographer to show up, and after the elderly couple with the camera and weird umbrella thing showed up we all wanted to kill them. They were easily the most irritating people within a two-mile radius.

The wedding went off without a hitch; credit should go to the thorough preparation by the wedding planner I’m sure.

Immediately after the wedding there were more pictures to be taken. If I had a crowbar I would have taken to each of those camera toting dorks with a fury that cannot be adequately described.

Reception

The reception was pretty awesome (I submit that Jim and Jamie’s was still awesomer but that is neither here nor there). At one point the DJ brought the entire wedding party out on the dance floor to do a wedding party dance, this was the definition of a poorly executed great idea. First problem, the dance floor was about two sizes too small for the number of people on it. Second problem, the song that was selected was entirely too fast (3rd gear and seventeen, but Aaron Watson). Third problem, I’m a natural showoff. Those three things equal my dance parter and me in a compromising position on the ground, goddamn I’m a loose cannon sometimes. Oh well, nobody got hurt, but it did so happen that the cameraman got the whole incident on film (thanks Mark, I expect you to edit that out (and put it on youtube or some shit)).

Those who know me best are aware that I love to waltz, this being the case I bugged the crap out of Mark (before the wedding) to make sure that the DJ played some waltzes, and then I bugged the crap out of the DJ to play some waltzes. Unfortunately only one waltz was played, and it was only for the married couples. I asked the DJ to spin another and he said, “Sure thing chief, the next song will be a waltz”. As it happened the next song was “The Chair”, by George Strait; at the time I thought, hmm not a waltz, but a good song never-the-less. I went back and bugged the DJ, “I though you were going to play a waltz”, the person behind the booth replied “‘The Chair’ is a waltz”. I was once again reaching for my crowbar. A lesson for the rest of you: when hiring a DJ bring along a boom-box and ask them to classify a few songs by the type of dance that is to be done to them, if they can’t determine what a waltz is then hire somebody else. This wasn’t a huge deal, but I didn’t get to waltz with Mandy or Mallory.

Post Reception Drunkfest

After the reception we all retired to the hotel once again, and we got drunk(er) once again; but this time we had some intelligence and we went back to the go-carts, it was slightly less fun this time because the place was a bit more crowded, but still pretty damn fun.

Finally a decent seat, oh wait.

Aug 11, 2008, 10:18 am by Paul Stiverson

Preface: I’m writing this from American Airlines flight 1396, nonstop service from SFO to DFW. I’m on my way to Mark’s wedding.

I think I found the best and worst seat on the Macdonald Douglas Super 80, I have all the legroom an adult human could need—a full foot of space between my knees and the wall in front of me. However, to make up for the lack of tray table in front of me they gave us a seat with a build in tray table (think of the desks in a big lecture hall), this means that the width of the seat was reduced slightly, and that the armrests are not movable. This poses a problem for the large framed individual, the Asian fellow next to me doesn't appear to be in duress, but I’m a bit cramped. This seat happens to be located directly behind the flight attendants’ station—toward the rear of the aircraft—and the S80 just so happens to have twin rear mounted engines. Basically this row of seats (and the one directly behind us) is crammed between two massive turbine engines rotating at ungodly speeds; it is quite loud back here. So loud in fact that I have my iPod turned up to nearly full blast, I’m probably above OSHA regulation aural safety levels here, I anticipate that Mark will have to speak up a bit when he picks me up.

I took advantage of the TSA’s relaxation of their liquids policy by bringing on some Whiskey (Gentleman Jack) that I was fortunate to find in quantities of less than 3 ounces (90ml). I had just finished up my second 50ml bottle when the flight attendent told me that I wasn't allowed to consume alcohol that they hadn’t served me. Apparently it’s bar rules up here. Anyway, I appologized, she said it was no problem. Even though I know better know I’m still pulling this every time, it is a pretty good racket. My polite appology also bought us some favor with the nice lady because she brought me a delicious cup of ice cream, I’m not sure if she was just trying to make the other passengers jealous, or if we are like the ghetto first class, but it was pretty nice.

New Roommate

May 20, 2008, 5:11 am by Paul Stiverson

I met my roommate today, I wasn’t expecting him to get into town until Wednesday, but alas, he showed up today (well, yesterday actually, but since I haven’t slept I still consider now (today) to be part of yesterday). Bob—from Wisconsin—comes in as I was reading, introduces himself as my new roommate and then mentions that this is his third summer in the program and that he was hoping to room with his roommate from last summer. He went to the front desk and requested a different room; he was my roommate for about 15 minutes, no big deal, I like living alone. Anywho, after he got his stuff sufficiently moved into his room he came up and we (Bob, I, and Neuman—Bob’s preferred roommate) went to get some beer. The remainder of the night was spent talking about past summer experiences (boobs), science, boobs, and socialism. The latter topic ended up being the most lengthy bit of discussion by almost an order of magnitude. It was a good night.

Good night.

Delicious Beer

Mar 15, 2008, 12:07 pm by Paul Stiverson

picture of Shiner 99Some friends and I drove down to Shiner, Texas yesterday to visit the brewery. As usual it was pretty kickass, but there was some unexpected goodness; Shiner released their 99th anniversary brew recently so I was able to get a taste. It is freaking fantastic. I picked myself up a case while I was down in Shiner, and the packaging is nearly as awesome as the beer (image at right, click it for a bigger picture). I really hope they keep this anniversary brew thing going after the centennial.

On a related note I spent most of the day either in a car or drinking. During some of the drinking part there was dominos to be played, and delicious summer sausage to be eaten (that’s what she said). Altogether it was a pretty amazing day.

Old People Parties

Jan 27, 2008, 2:18 am by Paul Stiverson

This evening I went to a Mardi Gras themed party at a professor’s house, and it was pretty freaking sweet. There was nobody throwing up, everybody was at least mildly interesting—some people were downright awesome, there were tasty snacks, and nobody passed out. Basically it was like a college party filled with adults… I could get used to this.

Good Friends Leaving

Dec 16, 2007, 3:57 am by Paul Stiverson

My bartender, Carol, graduated today, and she leaves town on Monday. It’s amazing how quickly you can become attached to somebody; quite a few people have moved out of my life over the years, but this is somehow different. I will miss you, I love you.

I know I’ve told you about this site, I hope you read this, and I hope you use the contact link to stay in touch.

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