Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Cribs: Milwaukee Edition

There is a video of our place on facebook. So, all of you that have an account there you can go check it out. I am still trying to get one on the blog for everyone to see. I will upload another one to facebook as well. Cheers.

McDonald's New Soda Size

File this one under why are Americans obese? Why are there 4,100 new cases of Diabetes everyday? Or, simply, why I might have muffin top, a bingo wing, or back cleavage.

“McDonald’s Supersize soda just got a friendlier name. Hugo is the new name for the 42-oz. (1.25L) soft drink, which has more than 400 calories.”

“When the fast-food chain opened in 1955, the largest soda was 7 oz. (about 200mL).”

This is wrong. Hugo? What the hell? Even if Chipotle had a soda that size I wouldn’t be okay with it.

Source: “Supersized Again.” Time 6 August. 2007: 17

Monday, July 30, 2007

Cribs: Milwaukee Edition

Kate and I made a video of the apartment yesterday. I am trying to get it uploaded onto YouTube so I can easily post it here, but no such luck yet. I am going to get it on here very soon. I promise.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Fish Fry First

When you go out to eat on Friday in Wisconsin you go to a fish fry. Every local restaurant, bowling alleys, community centers, and maybe even gas stations has specials on fried cod. Fish and chips basically.

We had our first Wisconsin fish fry tonight. It wasn’t Kate’s first fish fry, but it was our first together since moving here a few weeks ago.

The whole fish fry phenomenon is hard to explain. I don’t know where the tradition comes from. I don’t know why it is fish. Why not steak? Ribs? Crab? Falafel?

I bet you if you stop at the first local restaurant you see in Milwaukee it will have a fish special on Friday night. Whether it will be good fish or bad fish is a tougher call.

Tonight, we went all in on Beer Belly’s Restaurant. It was a draw.

It is easy to make a mediocre fried Cod and French Fries. That is how I would describe Beer Belly’s Cod dinner. I ate it. It was decent. I won’t ever have the desire to have it again. There must be a perfect ratio of batter to fish. The batter must accent the fish, but not overwhelm it. The fish should be moist enough to not zap your mouth of all that greasy batter right away. The fish tonight was not good enough for the batter it was cooked in. That’s why Beer Belly’s came up short tonight.

The restaurant definitely felt like a local joint. So, if I was a local, I think Beer Belly’s would receive high marks, but I am not. The place was packed, loud, plastered with cheesy depictions and photographs of famous Packers and Brewers of the past and the present. Also worth mentioning, I felt out of place because I wasn’t in cutoff jean shorts and a camouflage trucker hat. I feel we got some stares just for that. You throw in the fact that I was a good six inches taller than anyone in the place and Kate is a babe and you get a lot of stares. Stares bring the atmosphere way down. Way down. I can’t blame Beer Belly’s for that. It takes some serious talent to make me feel unaware of my size in a public place. I hold those places that do near and dear to my heart. Maybe, just maybe, we will find a good fish fry in Milwaukee that will do exactly that.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

It is 7:39pm in Colorado

I am into brevity right now. Let’s get to it.

I am still unemployed.

I have been offered a part-time assistant swim coach position at UW-Milwaukee. It sounds great. I would need another job though and that is why I haven’t taken the position…yet.

Kate works a lot. Tomorrow is her 12th straight day of work. She gets this weekend off. We are excited. I am excited. I love her.

I still don’t know anyone in Milwaukee. I spend an extremely large amount of time alone.

I run and bike for exercise. That hasn’t changed much. It hasn’t been too hot lately.

I am used to loud trains. They don’t bother me. They might bother you when you come to visit.

Wisconsin drivers are annoying. Maybe it is just Milwaukee drivers?

Mullets seem a little more common out here. One day I saw three.

There is a full liquor store in every grocery store. It is so hick. I sort of love it.

My desktop picture is of Manhattan Beach and the Manhattan Beach Pier at Sunset. I was there. The picture brings back the breeze. Cold sand between my toes. Crashing of waves.

I have never had cable internet before. It is fast.

The Daily Show is on at 10 around here. No more staying up until midnight to wait for it.

Our study is a mess. Everything that doesn’t have a place and isn’t unpacked is behind me.

This is my 364th posting on Six Hours on Sunday.

I won’t ever be able to see that pier into Lake Michigan and not think about the trip I had out here with my wife and two fine gentlemen. I see them leap from it. Sounds of that trip come to me when the apartment is dark and empty. They make me smile.

Our vacuum is a beast.

We haven’t found a church yet. The first one we tried was awful. I can’t be polite about it. I have never been to anything like it before. I think if there was ever a church that could scare someone away from Christianity and convince them followers of Jesus are crazy it might be that one. Sad to say.

Redbox hasn’t made it to Milwaukee. Chipotle has.

I keep a map of London on my desk. I look at it at least once a week.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Quote of the Day

Russell Brooks, an Australian who rode his bike up the climb of the Aubisque before parking it to watch the racers travel by, disagrees, saying he believes doping should be allowed.

“Why not just let them take it?,” he asked. “As long as it’s only harmful to themselves, it should be okay. They’re only entertaining the public anyway.” And it is understandable, he said, given that teams require sponsorships to survive, and sponsors like to see their team gain victories.

“It’s the same thing at the club level back in Australia,” Brooks said. “Our club likes to get results so we can get a sponsorship for next year.” - The New York Times, July 25, 2007, By Edward Wyatt

What a fool.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Trip to Madison

I offered to drive with Kate today to Madison. She had to take a licensing exam and when you need that done in Wisconsin you have to come to the capitol. We easily found the licensing building. I couldn’t stay with Kate so I was going to find a place to stop just up the road. So much for that idea. Madison is under construction and driving here sucks. I just drove around the city trying to find any commercial district for the last 45 minutes. I feel like I had to leave the city to find any kind of store. So the impression Madison is leaving me with right now isn’t good.

The university is huge. I would hate to go here for school. The student body is something like 40,000. Someone I used to know from Fort Collins went here to play football. He did so because he was good, but also because this is where his older brother went to play football. The roads suck in Madison, just like everywhere else in this state. Really, there are no newly paved roads out here.

With my luck lately I was surprised that Kate didn’t call me the minute I got a drink and sat down to this computer. I might be here for two more hours. I might be here for two more minutes.

I am ending this now. I am going to write something else or read more of The Historian.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

A Walk in the Woods

After Kate went in to work I took a drive to one of the parks nearby. I drove to Grant Park and pulled off the road to hop on this trail that runs parallel to Lake Michigan. The forest and its ceiling remind me of being in the woods near Princeton. I haven't seen a forest like this since I left New Jersey, maybe a bit in England but it wasn't this green in winter. I walked around for a bit snapping a few pictures and meandering my way down to the water a few times. Maybe by uploading some photos I can give you an image of what life in Milwaukee looks like. An apartment walk through, courtesy of YouTube, should be up in the next week. Okay. Back to the forest...

Some sun sneaks through the canopy.

There are paths leading to cliffs and beaches all along the walk.

It is hard for me to believe that is a lake. It could be the Pacific minus salt and big waves.

*Thanks to Bill Bryson. I borrowed the title of a book of his for this post. It is a great one.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Wedding Day

When I look at pictures of the wedding day I feel like it was years ago or a big dream I had. Kate feels the same way. It was surreal. For four years we knew we were going to marry each other. Our eleven-month engagement was full of work, school, and crazy wedding planning especially in the last couple of months. Before long the week was upon us and Kate and I were struggling to slow things down and relax. I really started to worry that I would get caught up in the stress with Kate and then come out of it only to find that what was supposed to be the “best day of our lives”, according to everyone else, had passed us by while we were at the Marriott choosing the napkin color and fold.

Luckily, that didn’t happen. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday were three amazing days—the best of my life. I was humbled again and again by this amazing group of friends that treat me so well. I was humbled by seeing so many people come together to celebrate the union of Kate and I. I was humbled by toasts. I was humbled by amazing parents on both sides of the aisle that I owe so much to. Lastly, I was brought to my knees before God when Kate rounded that corner in the atrium of the church so I could see her. From that point until Tim handed me the arm of his firstborn were the most humbling moments of my life. I was overcome with emotion and, as many of you could see, pretty much cried during the whole ceremony.

I felt out of place at times because during the week of your wedding all eyes are on you. And, well, all eyes were on us. It felt weird, but I was constantly reminding myself that they aren’t staring at me because I am 6’9” or because my fly is down, rather they stare because that was our day, our week, and a leap of love and faith that you just don’t want to miss. So you stare, hoping you can read the person’s feelings or record the moment with a smile, an image, or sound bite.

The attention, no matter how unusual, could not take my eyes off Kate for more than a few seconds that day. She was beautiful before, but I was taken aback by how stunning she looked that day. It was like seeing her for the very first time. He makes all things new. I felt that on the wedding day. I still do. That is a part of love at its best.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The Amtrak

Here is a video I took--all by myself!--of the Amtrak coming by the apartment. This is the 11:05 train, meaning it comes by our place every weekday at that time, bound for Chicago. In the video it sounds like I say, "It is about to get wowed." I said loud. I don't know why it sounds like I am five years old. Enjoy.

To Rachel

I have definitely fallen behind with the birthday blogs. Accept this as my official apology and a weak promise to do a birthday blog for two fine gentlemen sometime in the near future.

Today is Rachel's birthday. This captivating image of her was taken the morning her steed (Travis) was leaving for Milwaukee with the moving crew.

I told Travis a few weeks ago that I have been surprised at the amount of growth our friendship has seen in the last year and a half. He is an amazing dude, but this isn't about him today. This is about Travis' honey bunches, Rachel.

Rachel might be the most consistent reader of this blog. I discovered that before I even could remember her last name. Sorry, Rachel. Apparently she likes what I say on here. That is both cool and shocking. Yeah, someone likes this blog. Wow, someone likes this blog. I don't know the Rachel of the past. I know the Rachel of the present, the Rachel that went off to college on a golf scholarship, tore it up out there, won a conference title, got everything in her house stolen from her, started a blog herself, and has tried to follow God with every step.

I am excited to know the Rachel of the future. Hear, hear!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Today in Wisconsin

A 500-pound man goes tubing for the first time.

He ends up needing help.

Boats and a helicopter aren't enough to pull the man out of the river. The rescue workers must tie three canoes together in order to save the man.

Oh Yeah!



A Borat wannabe makes an appearance at the Tour de France.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Blog the Wedding

Some of you have been requesting a blog about the wedding, the honeymoon, and being married. I think I have something in me about all that, but whatever it is, it is not going to be this blog that encapsulates the joy and excitement I had during the week of the wedding and all the fun Kate and I are having now as a newly married couple.

That's it. I wanted to let you know that I have been thinking about it. It is just not at the blogging phase. Maybe it will be tomorrow.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

The Untouchables

I have actually had some time to read this week, not much time, but enough to get caught up through a couple of back issues of Time. Rupert Murdoch recently made the July 9 cover. The article was an eye-opener for me. I knew he was a media mogul but I didn’t know that he alone owns 100 newspapers. Anyway, we all know who the guy is.

At one point in the interview he said, “My worry about the New York Times is that it’s got the only position as a national √©litist general-interest paper. So the network news picks up its cues from the Times. And local papers do too. It has a huge influence. And we’d love to challenge it.”

I don’t think Murdoch would be saying this if he owned the New York Times, but forget that for now.

What he says about the NY Times accurately sums up some of my feelings toward the paper. It is the only high profile paper out there. But what about the USA Today? What about it? Every article in the paper comes with a color diagram just in case you don’t make it through the 500-word article. It doesn’t contend with the Times. The Times is alone in its dominance of mainstream dailies.

And the Times does have this air about it. Sure, they have writing superpowers, but ones that are treated as untouchable by many of the big networks. You can’t disagree with the Times and remain respected in that many circles. If you make a habit of picking apart the Times’ reporting you dig yourself a hole or you join Fox News.

The name of this paper, The New York Times, carries with it infallibility and greatness. You can’t deny it has acquired that respect from having world class writing and reporting, but I feel like the Times is just getting by on its name. It would be nice to see a challenger to their monopoly.

Friday, July 13, 2007

The Move

The move to Milwaukee started months ago as Kate brought van load after van load of stuff to the Longmont house and as I packed my stuff away in hand-me-down boxes from my grandparents. It ended when Kate and I put Chris and Travis on a plane destined for the west. The in between was full of sacrifice, laughter, and hard work that made the goodbye at the airport hard and the apartment so quiet when we got back. So this is a little bit of the in between, but not all, that belongs to the four of us that shared those four days in and out of the three vehicle train that drove through five states and covered 1100 miles.

Day 1: When renting a U-Haul don’t expect to get the size of truck you want. We reserved a 17-footer. We got a 26-footer. Initially I was so freaked out about maneuvering the beast that I tried to get anything smaller and thought of canceling the reservation. I quickly realized that it would take maybe up to a week for a smaller truck to come our way. I had to drive that ugly, rotten behemoth to Milwaukee…all by myself. As I drove to Allen Drive the truck calmed my nerves. It was slow, jerked when I pressed on the brakes, and smelled of U-Haul, but it moved, and there was a lot of space for our stuff.

Chris, Travis, Kyle, and Rachel were all a huge help later that day when we started loading the truck. We stacked the truck waist high from end to end so things didn’t slip too much. Chris proved he was an excellent packer. No pun intended. Okay…pun intended. The hetero and homosexual punning was perhaps at an all time high for the days to follow.

The 26, the Maxima, and the Regal rolled out of Longmont shortly after 7am on July 3. Our first stop was Ogallala, Nebraska. The truck took $175 worth of gas there. She was getting 8-7 miles a gallon, but cruised really well at 70 mph. We really didn’t know how far the truck was going to allow us to get that day. I was hoping for Cedar Rapids at least, but just outside of Lincoln we realized that we were making much better time than that. We decided to shoot for Des Moines.

It should be said that I was the only driver who had to drive the entire way. We didn’t pay for an extra driver on the U-Haul. So I owned all the miles between here and Allen Drive. However, the person who wasn’t driving at the time always rode with me. I was spoiled by company, so I really had it sort of easy. Chris brought his iPod and FM transmitter, which didn't leave the U-Haul once. He was kind enough to introduce me to Immortal Technique, a Peruvian-born NYC rapper, who has a lot of educating to do through arrogant and angry words. I enjoyed perusing through his lyrics and the rest of Mr. Nicoletti’s fine music collection. There was one album missing from his library though. Luckily, the self-titled Good Charlotte album was in the Maxima, still written onto the Seattle Doulos copy that saw at least 50 spins on that trip. Chris rocked out to that throwback piece of noise a lot.

Des Moines was a great place to stop. Milwaukee was within 400 miles, so we got the big chunk of driving out of the way. Now we just had to find a place to stay. We pulled into a Travelodge and a Baymont. We first went into the sketchy looking Travelodge and got a room quote. We then walked around the corner to the Baymont to get a quote there. The Baymont looked much nicer and wasn’t that much more. We decided to book there. I left the lobby with Travis to walk back to the cars. When we rounded the corner I could see the back of the Regal and Maxima fifty yards ahead of me. Immediately, I was drawn to the Regal. Its reverse lights were on. Holy shit, I thought. Someone is in the Regal. Our pace quickened and the Regal backed out. My heart was really racing at this point. I was so shocked. How could this happen? I even got more scared when I saw the driver was hiding underneath a shirt. The Regal started coming toward us. Travis moved to the side. I didn’t move. I positioned myself right in front of the Regal and decided I would move at the last second possible. This person was not going to get away. The Regal came very close and then stopped. By that point Travis was at the driver’s side window. The driver took the shirt off and I saw Chris Nicoletti behind the wheel. I was drastically relieved, cursed out loud, and congratulated Chris on completely punking me. Chris had sprinted to the cars by way of another route to beat us there. I later found out that Travis’ plan was to ask for directions and then rock the poor bastard behind the wheel with an Irish fist. My plan: block car with body and probably get badly hurt as I fail to move out of the way at the last second. There had to be something there to slow the driver down and I was fine with it being me. That dude behind the wheel was not going to get away with Kate’s car.

I was completely convinced that the Regal was being stolen right in front of my eyes. My heart didn’t stop racing for a while and it was such a rush of emotion that thinking of it even now gets me going.

Day 2: We rolled out around 7:30 on this day. We drove through the rest of Iowa before stopping on the banks of the Mississippi for gas and snacks. After crossing the river we were in Illinois and we were only one state away from our final destination. It was an ideal time to listen to Illinoise. Thank you, Sufjan.

There was only one more memorable stop between the river and our new home, and it was the stop we had to make for Travis before he pooped in my car. While he was taking care of business Chris and I bought Gatorades and a box of Hostess chocolate wax donuts for the home stretch. They were delectable and they gave Chris some gas that festered in the cab of the U-Haul for the next hundred miles. No regrets.

Upon arrival we found our apartment’s A/C to be out of commission. We had no choice but to deal with it being hot and humid outside and inside. It was 87 to 89 degrees in the apartment and hotter outside. The U-Haul truck was parked a hundred yards away from the front door and we didn’t have a dolly. There were many back and forth trips. Kate stayed in the apartment and started unpacking things as we brought them in. She was soon overcome by the huge loads we were bringing in. Boxes started lining the walls of every room.

I was sweating profusely. Chris and I did a few chest bumps/slides that left us feeling, well, queer. We posed for a Mick sandwich picture too. When we got down to the end of the truck we were left with the two couches, the two biggest and heaviest pieces to move. By that point we had moved very heavy loads of boxes, dressers, tables, and desks. We were in desperate need of a break before we took on the big couch, a.k.a. Dirty Girl. A neighbor who had been on his porch almost the whole time we were moving stuff offered us some beers. We gladly obliged and I received the delivery of three ice cold Miller Lites. I took them to the nearly empty truck and we sat in there with our beers that were brewed in Milwaukee. Miller Lite is not typically a favorite of mine, but you can ask Travis and Chris because they will agree, that was one of the best beers we have ever had.

After the rest we took Dirty Girl those hundred yards, through the front door, and up the stairs. Mission accomplished. We only had to move things into place and unpack now. The next two days were intermittently filled with the aforementioned tasks, but we also had a lot of fun. We went out to dinner at the Rock Bottom Brewery. We went to a park by Lake Michigan. Travis and Chris leaped into the lake by Oak Creek. We got the A/C working. We shared stories, food, and a toilet. All four of us went bed shopping. Chris and Travis still haven’t narrowed their mattress down, but we have one. It arrived two days ago.

Kate cried when we said goodbye at the Milwaukee airport which, by the way, takes five minutes to get to. I didn’t cry, but it was an emotional goodbye. The move remains unforgettable and the two men we said goodbye to, made it that way. They were a huge help. Who knows? We may call upon you again. I hope you call upon us.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Connected

We got hooked up to the World Wide Web tonight.

I have a big update brewing in the depths, but not of my GI tract, but for now here is information on how to view pictures from the wedding. Go here. Click on “Online Ordering”. Enter “Perica” as the event code and you are in. The pictures are compressed so they won’t look awesome, but if you view them in a slideshow I think they look better.

Last time I checked there were 300 pictures uploaded so far. There should be more now.

Pictures of the honeymoon, the move, and the apartment are coming up soon.