Monday, January 30, 2006

How to Take Pictures:

If you need a photographer, I highly recommend Tony Valadez.

The line forms at:

Saturday, January 28, 2006

The Toadies – Back in Action!

I believe it was a week ago today that I was spontaneously moved to listen to “Rubberneck,” and sighed as I reminisced about what a great band the Toadies were. That is, they broke up years ago, which you know unless you’ve been living under a rock, or just live outside of Texas and have never heard of them (despite the fact that they are a platinum-selling band – but that’s another story).

Monika found out that there are performing a reunion concert on The Knot, of all sources (is there anything that The Knot *can’t* do?!). I was shocked, amazed, and immediately went to to buy away, for the insanely low price of FIVE dollars a pop. God bless this band.

And all of a sudden we fans breathe a sigh of relief that their parting words from a few years back didn’t ultimately ring true, and that time hasn’t run out...

“Catch that light
It falls in subtle patterns
It crawls in and tells them when their time is up
And now it's over
Where have you gone
You're still a part of me”

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Let’s Brainwash Them Into Liking It!

Anyone who has heard the new Kevin Federline track, “I Have Zero Talent*,” knows that it might just be the most heaping, steaming, god-awful piece of shit ever to terrorize planet Earth. I often speak in superlatives, but seriously, it is BAD. Even DJ’s are wincing in repulsion, which must mean we won’t have to hear this filth is the future – right?!?...


“And radio airplay could soon follow. Even though Star dissed the record, he vowed to play it.

"Who am I to say to say he doesn't have his pulse on his generation?" asks Star, who added that despite the negative feedback, Federline may still have his hit.

"Radio is a mind-altering and conditioning monster within itself," he says. "You play something 45,000 times ... you're going to start singing it."”

…Ladies and Gentlemen: I give you modern radio, and yet another reason why I avoid it like the plague.

*Not the real song name, but does it matter?

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Keeping it Real.

On the Corvetteforum tonight, a member asked for opinions concerning new C6 Z06 parts. That is, should anyone be able to buy these parts, or should some sort of proof of ownership be required before obtaining them? The idea, of course, is that if some douche-bag slaps a Z06 emblem on their non-Z06 car, other “real” Z06 owners’ dicks might shrink 0.8-1.2 inches on sight at the atrocity they are witnessing.

Back when I had a Mustang GT, I once got into a minor fender bender which necessitated a fresh repaint and new GT badge for my car. But before that took place, the body shop owner called and asked me, “would you like me to put a Cobra badge on there instead? It’s the same price.” To which I replied, “No thanks. I have a GT, not a Cobra.”

I just don’t get it. Why would someone want to misrepresent something they own, particularly when other signs so clearly indicate that they are full of shit? Perhaps their intention is to “trick” the bottom 10% of society. Congratulations, member of the 11th percentile! You are slightly smarter than someone who is a total moron!

Sometimes I wonder how much of the jewelry celebrities wear is actually real, and how much of their superfluous things they actually pay for. I once heard that the MTV show “Cribs” was comprised mainly of rental houses, and that the whole thing was a façade. That’s probably an exaggeration of partial truth – but I can say that my favorite “Cribs,” by far, was Red Man. He lived in a shitty apartment, where his cousin was asleep on the floor the whole time, the TV was surrounded by nothing but heaping piles of porn, the fridge had beer and old fast food, and the “piece de resistance” was his “bank” – a cardboard box that had wads of crumpled-up cash. Now *that’s* keeping it real.


Yes, yes, I know. Ironically, Red Man was probably deceiving the audience just as much as anyone else, but in the opposite manner. At least he was original in that he didn’t think it was his mission in life to maximize his perceived wealth.

Monday, January 23, 2006



I've never seen the movie, and I sure as hell never will - particularly after reading this:

I have to admit, though, there is a teeny-tiny part of me that's incredibly curious to see how something could possibly be that bad...

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Case in Point.

I finished typing the last entry and turned back to the TV just in time to see Roddick lose.

Why? He let the other guy get in his head. Not to take anything away from Baghdatis, because the guy is obviously talented, but Roddick clearly has more firepower and didn't use it. He got on the defensive and let the guy chip away at him.

I hope that Roddick can pull it together and grab some better results this year. He has trained incredibly hard, has a new coach, and everything seems to be in its right place; but there are a lot of sharks out there, and if you lose that mental strength for a second, you lose to an unseeded player in early rounds.

At least he has his "bikini brigade" to cheer him up.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Australian Open Ramblings.

Tennis is underappreciated, and it pisses me off. My friends and I get into this debate all the time – that is, what is the “hardest” sport? I always argue tennis to the bitter end…until it comes up again a few months later. Many say basketball, many say boxing or martial arts; luckily no one is dumb enough to argue football.

To me, tennis stands alone in its isolation of the player (i.e. no coaching during the game), the incredible level of fitness you must maintain to perform at a high level, and most importantly – the mental fortitude required to get through a match. Maybe I’m crazy (definitely a possibility), but here is a sampler of some of the random things that go through my head while I play a match:

“This guy’s pushing. Is he messing with me, or is this actually his game?”

“I just hit an ace with this ball, so maybe I should use it again because now it’s a “magic” ball. Or maybe the magic is gone, and I need to leave it to the side…” (Note: I tell Monika that she can stay sufficiently entertained watching me play just in speculating why I choose which two balls to use before I start a point)

“You have GOT to be kidding me. He can’t hit a backhand like that. This is bullshit!!!”

“Stop being such a pansy. Hit the freaking ball!”

“Did you see that serve? Man, you are so screwed.”

…Now, even worse, none of those complaints are things that really matter – those are the tip of the “mental block” iceberg, trying to convince myself that I can win in the first place. When the match is underway, the serious challenges start to crop up in pattern recognition, and *real* mind games. Say, for instance, that a player consistently hits cross-cross-cross until he gets a shorter ball to smack down the line, but then all of a sudden starts switching his game plan. Is it based on recognition, or luck, or both? Should you adapt, or consider it an anomaly? One of my friends can tell you that I’m a big fan of ripping my backhand cross-court, so much so that one time when I smacked it down the line during a match, he popped his ACL. Mind you, by the way, that one of my favorite shots is the backhand “down the line surprise,” and he knows that, but again, it’s that mental game that got him guessing.

Furthermore, it has been stated ad nauseam that the hardest thing to do in all sports is to hit a baseball. I won’t necessarily disagree with that, because I played baseball for 9 years, and let’s just say that I got sick of trying to hit a baseball. At the same time, though, if you manage to get a hit about a third of the time, then you’ve had a great freaking year.

Professional tennis players are expected to return serves that typically hover around 130 mph – and they are expected to never miss, unless they’ve been served an ace or service winner. Once they return the serve, they must cover every bit of their side of the court, or they are going to show weakness. If they start to fall victim to an opponent who gets in their head, they can’t take a timeout where their coach tells them how to counter what’s going on. They are on the court alone, with nothing but their training and wit.

…And now, back to watching the Roddick match, which prompted this little rant. He’s playing Marcos Baghdatis right now, and I think that Baghdatis’ first set victory gave him just the right amount of “I can do this” for him, and “this can’t be happening” for Roddick. Hopefully Andy will pull it together, though – a Slam isn’t complete without seeing Federer display his dominance over the #2 man.

Thursday, January 19, 2006


I’m sitting at my computer, and only its gentle whir breaks the complete silence.

I saw “Munich” today, which was a fine film and thought-provoking as well. I left the theater pondering why so many people in this world are so violent, and furthermore, how crazy it is that much of that violence is in the name of religion. Where did they lose themselves…

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

First Impressions of “First Impressions”

The new Strokes album, “First Impressions of Earth,” came out a couple weeks ago, but I haven’t had an opportunity to pick it up until an hour ago. The reviews are correct – it is certainly a departure from their first two albums, which were tight, fast, and catchy, to be blatantly honest. The new album is quite obviously an attempt to branch out and expand their sound to avoid pigeonholing themselves. My first impression, though, is that I like it. I’m not sure I like it more than the first two, though.

Unfortunately, it takes me 20 or so listens before I can really form any sort of lasting picture of an album, and particularly for a great one, it could take months, even years for me to decide just where it lands in the great totem pole of historical significance. From that perspective, I believe it would be very difficult to be any sort of critic, musical or otherwise. I noticed that Roger Ebert named “Crash” the best movie of 2005 recently, and as an avid reader, I can tell you that’s not the movie he scored the highest last year. But after he chewed it up, had some wine, let his stomach settle for a while, and came back for seconds and thirds, his opinion must have changed a bit.

So stay tuned for my review of the new Strokes CD, which will be appearing here in a year or so. Maybe.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

F Week

Right now I’m on American Flight 5288, flying non-stop from Pittsburgh to DFW. I was in Pittsburgh for Fast Week, a.k.a. Special Week, but my colleagues/classmates and I have decided that the best name is “F Week,” because you can have it any way you want it – frenzied, fruitful, fantastic, plus another ‘f’ word that comes to mind when we have to wake up at 6:30 a.m. to catch the bus to school.

As usual, the week has been hectic, but the first 24 hours were particularly “special.” Here’s what happened (I’m going to try to write this in real-time, just for the heck of it):

---Sunday: My flight leaves around 2 pm, to arrive in Pittsburgh in time to meet up with everyone at the Residence Inn at Oakland. I have 4 other classmates on the flight with me. Rob’s pager is set up to receive any updates on flight status, and he is paged with “Flight Delayed – New Departure, 2:17.” Fine, twenty minutes is no big deal. Here comes another page:

“Flight canceled.” Great.

Luckily, we are privy to this information before anyone else, so we approach the counter before the bum rush. We are hurriedly changed to an American flight through St. Louis, which is going to transfer to a US Air flight to Pittsburgh. It’s about 2:00 right now, and the flight to St. Louis is at 2:17 - in another terminal.

Anticipating terrible weather in Pittsburgh, I’m wearing my black high-top Docs and heavy leather jacket, so clearly I’m well-equipped to run a mile or so to the next terminal. Rob and I take off to the races, and breathe a sigh of relief as we approach a moving crosswalk – that’ll take some of the load off of us! So of course, it’s out of order. We keep running and reach the next one – also out of order. You’ve got to be kidding me. We get to run across one working one finally, but I can’t shake off the feeling that I’m part of an amusing cartoon, where I eat a bowl of chili that’s extremely hot, and ask someone for a glass of water, and they hand me a glass of Tabasco sauce instead, and then habanero pepper juice.

Now we’re on the plane, and I’m sweaty. I’m glad I took a shower this morning, but I can’t wait to change out of this stuff when I get to the hotel. The flight is pretty uneventful, and I dose off until we approach the airport. Before we touch down, I notice that the pilot is making a lot of roll corrections before the landing, and I realize that I’ve officially been assimilated into aerospace nerd-dom.

Phew. It’s nice to be off that plane, and Rob has a message from Susan (the CMU Flexmode coordinator) that she has arranged for a limo for me, Rob, Mike, and Dave – the last two being GE guys that I have worked with quite a bit – great guys, so that’s a pleasant surprise for our arrival.

However, our luggage is missing.

I’m not too pleased about this, but can understand it because our race through the airport earlier was certainly more efficient than any bag-swapping an airline could ever hope to pull off. Rob and I go to the baggage office, get a claim number, and are told that the bags will show up sometime around 2 in the morning at the hotel. When we arrive at the hotel, I tell the front desk to call me whenever the bags show up, regardless of what time it is. I go to sleep feeling pretty dirty, and don’t sleep very well as a result.

---Monday: The alarm goes off, it’s 6:30 a.m. Guess who wasn’t called to pick up their bags. Wonderful. So I get to go to class today feeling extra-fresh!

The food is a duplicate of last year’s, which is a good thing. I head into Interpersonal Negotiation not knowing what to expect. It turns out to be quite excellent. Much discussion takes place, of course, and the primary foci of the class are case-style negotiations that we break out of the classroom to do with a another random student(s).

My afternoon class is Controversy and Communication, which I expect to be awesome since it’s taught by my all-time favorite professor (see “Writing Lessons”), which delivers the goods, of course. (I can write another novel on that class alone, which I’ll try to do later – but I’m going to stay focused on the trip shenanigans for this report.)

It’s 3 p.m. in CommCon, and I’m starting to feel pretty rancid. I’ve been wearing the same underwear for about 30 hours now, which is a serious party-foul. Chad understands that Rob and I are single-handedly turning his classroom into a hazard zone, and tells us we can go to the bookstore during the break.

On the walk over to the bookstore, I call US Air for the four-hundred-and-thirty-sixth time to find out where my bags are, and am told that they were placed on a flight that arrived in Pittsburgh at 2 p.m. Sweet! So that means we’ll get them soon, right? Nope, they can show up anywhere between midnight and *tomorrow afternoon.* You’ve got to be kidding me.

So we walk into the CMU bookstore, I’m looking for boxers, briefs, boxer-briefs, brief-boxers, beef-broxers, I don’t care what they are as long as I can replace what I’m wearing now. So of course they have absolutely nothing. I almost buy a pair of Champion mesh shorts to use as underwear. Since I’ve already racked up a lot of expenses for Fast Week already, though, I decide to refrain and continue to wallow in my own crapulence, betting that my bags will show up SOMETIME tonight, so I can wear something else for Tuesday.

After class, Rob and I make the executive decision to ride the bus to the airport (a three-hour round-trip decision) to get our bags personally. We walk from the CMU trolley that returns to the hotel to the 28X bus stop that goes to the airport. We get on the bus, which leaves in 10 minutes. I get a funny feeling and call the hotel to ensure our bags haven’t shown up while we were in the latter half of CommCon. Sure enough, I am told that two bags and a pair of skis were delivered to our room at 6, so we get off the bus.

Wait a second. Skis?

We didn’t bring any skis, so I call the hotel back to figure out whether the bags in our room are actually ours. The lady at the front desk tells me she’ll run up to the room to check, and will be back in 5 minutes. So now it’s 5:50. *Both* busses leave in 10 minutes. And YES! My freaking phone just died! I call back the hotel on Rob’s phone, and the hotel clerk returns to confirm the bags are ours. Sweet!

Then déjà vu ensues, because we are again running, in the same clothes, only this time to make the bus back to the hotel. We make it there right at 6, and unsurprisingly, learn that the bus wasn’t leaving ‘till 6:15.

We get back to the hotel and breathe a sigh of relief as we see our bags. I change into shorts and work out VERY briefly (but how’s that for dedication?) before I clean-up.

I take a long shower and crash into bed. I'm exhausted, and I've only been here about 24 hours.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006


…But does it even matter? Aside from a few frequent-readers, I have no idea how many people read “Scatterbrain.” I should get a site meter at some point...

But I digress – I’m at school this week, and am too busy dealing with shit storms (see “writing lessons”) to write blog entries.

So here is a picture of me with my beautiful fiancée (who, along with our stinky ferret, I miss a lot this week), one of many you can find at to keep yourselves entertained in the meantime:

Friday, January 06, 2006

Office Space.

The space I’m referring to is the space in my head where part of my brain disappeared and was replaced by a big pile sh-, I mean work.

Frequently lately I’ve noticed myself “zonking out” while working – tasks that used to be somewhat difficult to me have become cruise-controlled, and I tend to get them done with such oblivious efficiency that sometimes I can’t remember what I just did after I did it. This is awesome and awful at the same time.

These thoughts came to me because I was trying to remember what I did at work today and man – it was a lot. Back when I first started my job, the day consisted of surfing the internet, cruising message boards, sending e-mails, reading music reviews, perusing Corvette forums, figuring out how I was going to get a Corvette, checking stocks…this is a not-so-subtle way of saying that I did n-o-t-h-i-n-g. This is the nature of the business, I might add – now that I’m older and wiser, I finally understand that where I work, you just can’t comprehend the big picture – at all – until you’ve been there for a while. This might sound insane to you – but that’s just the way it is.

So now I am Adam-tron, tester extraordinaire (speaking of made-up names, have you heard that Nick Cage named one of his kids Kal-El?!? I’m a *huge* Superman fan, but come ON, that guy needs to be beaten senseless). The amount of work I did today probably would have taken, oh, a week or so back when I was first learning it. The only way to duplicate the expression on my face as I go through these processes is to actually extent your arms forward, walk slowly, and mumble “brrrraaaaaaaaiiiiiiinnnnnssss” under your breath.

…But who knows what I’d be doing otherwise. Music Critic, Food Critic, Movie Critic (I sense a trend), Chef, Financial Analyst, Painter (one of those painters that makes millions selling crappy paintings, that is). I’m going up to school next week; maybe some of the people with PhDs (they are extremely purposeful in pointing that out) in the career center can tell me what my purpose is in life. Rock star? That’s what I’m talking about!!!

…Ah, yes, there is a reason this blog is called “Scatterbrain.”

Ode to Stinkyhead.

No one is sneakier. Like a thief in the night, he can obtain all things rubber and deftly hide them with precision likely to render them lost forever.

Faster than a speeding turtle; he hurdles, and bounds, and then flops right down.

Destroyer of carpets, scratcher of tiles, and pisser of corners, he has the ability to defy the Law of Conservation of Mass by turning a mere ¼ cup of food into a heaping 1 cup pile of crap.

Ladies and Gentlemen, here’s to my son, Cuervo, the cutest and most lovable ferret in the world.

//I wrote this entry a few days ago, but have just now found a cute picture of Cuervo to post with it. Say a prayer for him, because tomorrow he is going to the doctor - he has become incredibly finicky lately, and isn't eating his regular food. He has dropped a significant amount of weight, and Monika and I are extremely worried about him...

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Sweet Victory.

The game last night was full of ups and downs, littered with both the sloppy and the sublime. At the end, though, there was one man that made the difference, giving the Longhorns their first national championship in 35 years…

Wednesday, January 04, 2006


I tried to upload a Longhorn picture, but it's not working. Shit. Just pretend it's here:

"Ooh, what a big, mean Longhorn logo!"

Sunday, January 01, 2006


-Jade Village is the shit...
Hunan Chicken

-Hollywood will be Sam Restivo’s bitch by 2007(ish).

-My friend Chanan’s TV is absolutely ridiculous. Which is the point.

-I played the best golf of my life yesterday, since we obviously didn’t have time to play all 18 holes.

-My short game is wretched.

-My mom’s creamed onions are still a thing of myth and legend.

-What happens *after* aforementioned creamed onions are consumed is still a thing of myth and legend.

-“Lost” lives up to the hype.

-Nike Shox Turbo are incredibly comfortable.

-Once you get used to wearing Nike Dri-Fit products while exercising, it’s hard to wear anything else.

-Diamond pushups are very difficult.

-Have you ever heard the Melvins? If not, start with “Houdini” and branch out from there (their body of work is massive).

-The brush fires going on in DFW are scary – rain, rain, come back to us…