Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Nerd Word(s): Swing the bat

Swing the bat
- verb

1. To help a friend out, especially in relations with members of the opposite sex.

[ Origin: Unknown ]

- synonyms
1. H.B.O.(Help a Brotha Out)
2. Go to bat

- usage
1. "You gonna swing the bat for me with that new girl at your office?"
2. "Come on Kendall, I think your sister and I would hit it off well. Go to bat for me."
3. "Sean really swung the bat for me by calling in a favor. His buddy got me 2 grand off my new car"

Miranda's 21st

Part 1 - Miranda Swings the Bat

Miranda's 21st birthday was divided in to two separate, but equally intoxicated events. The first was to be a gathering of friends and family at "Fox & Hound", a local bar. At that point in time my bar experience included a trip or two out with Stacey where I probably embarrassed her by clutching to her arm like a child to his mother's apron strings, and a few Nick at Night reruns of Cheers. If it has yet to be made apparent, I'm a bit uneasy in social situations, and in a social place like a bar I'm worse.

I arrived at the bar after most of the people had shown up. I did a quick headcount. Norm, Cliff, and Sammy were nowhere to be found, and it was unlikely that Miranda had invited my ex-girlfriend, so all of my bar experience was for not.

At this point in time, I also didn't know any of my sister's friends(Funny how my knowledge of bars and my sister's friends grew in parallel). I pulled up a bar stool and made conversation with my family and a few of the other people, but my family quickly left.

"So are any of your friends cute, single, and in to short nerds?" I asked my sister who was already quite inebriated.

"No, not that I can think of. There's Pat.... Shelley!" her face lit up as she paused to yell and wave to her friend who had entered the bar behind me. "Shelley" she said turning back to me as if in answer to my question.

I turned to see Shelley who was exceptionally cute, exceptionally tall, exceptionally out of my league, and to top it all off bore a striking resemblance to Stacey. I twisted back around ready to ask Mory what the she was thinking and then remember, Oh yeah, you're drunk.

"Come here Shelley, sit by me. This is my brother. Play him in checkers." Miranda said while busily arranging the checker board built in to the bar, "He's smart, and rich!"

I shook my head to dismiss her. I appreciated the talk up, but it would have been nicer had it been true. I nervously made small talk with Shelley while simultaneously getting crushed in checkers. Half way through the game my sister turned back around from the conversation she had been having to "help" yet again. "TELL MY BROTHER HE'S HOT" she yelled(Thinking she was whispering) in to Shelley's ear.

"You're hot" Shelley told me.
"I'm sorry" I responded, again shaking my head.

As the evening wound down people began to leave. Eventually there were only a few people left and everyone save Mory, Shelley and myself had gone to play darts. A minute or two after the split my sister's drunken eyes saw yet another opportunity and soon announced, "Oh, I'm going to go over there. I have to... um... tell... ah... um... Barbara something"

"Wow, that was awkward. I at least appreciate her trying" I said to relieve the weirdness.

We talked for a moment before Miranda returned.

"I forgot my beer" she said. She reached for the full glass that was sitting in front of me, but missed slightly and the glass tumbled over spilling beer down the front of my shirt and squarely in to my lap.

"Alright, thanks for the lovely evening. Happy Birthday Mory. It was nice meeting you Shelley"

Sunday, May 27, 2007

NerdMory Word(s): Heart

Heart
- verb

1. To really like. Especially when intoxicated. Really.

[ Origin: Around the time of my sister's 21st birthday she decided she "hearted" everything ]

- synonyms
1. (In text message) <3

- usage
1. Drunk Girl #1: "I thought you were mad at me when you didn't call last night."
Drunk Girl #2: "No girl, I heart you"

2. "I totally heart that shirt"

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Stacey Turns 27

Jesse Meets a P.A.P.

Intro

Yeah yeah yeah, I know I'm falling behind, and unfortunately this isn't the normal story that you've come to know and lovetolerate. 98.3% of you will dismiss this one as whiny and emo, and the other 1.7%(Read: My mom) are now calling Miranda because you're "worried about Jesse". Don't worry, after I finish this story I'll try to get back to our regularly scheduled programming.

I've had 3 computers break in the past week(2 at work, 1 at home), and work has been killing me. Hopefully that's all behind me now and I can actually get back to the blog. Sorry for the delays. With any luck, I'll have something amusing to write about soon. This is an entry I've been not writing for a while. I've wanted to write it, but every time I sat down to do so it just didn't come out.

I thought I'd try my hand at writing something more serious. Unfortunately I just don't think that's me. It didn't come out well, but I don't think anymore effort on my part will change that.

I'm going to break with tradition and explain the obscure reference in the title(that nobody would have gotten anyhow). Stacey and I used to watch the old 60's show "The Avengers" together on DVD. Each episode had a brief summary beforehand that always shared the same format. For example:

Steed is shot full of holes
Emma sees stars

There's a part 2 coming... hopefully soon.

Stacey Turns 27

Jesse Meets a P.A.P.

Part 1

"Turn around, you went the wrong way" I said as she picked up the phone. I didn't even wait for the customary "Hello".

"I wasn't sure where I was supposed to turn" she replied with a laugh.

I knew she would take the wrong turn, which was why I was downstairs waiting for her. It'd been almost a year since I'd seen Stacey, but some things don't really change. I still knew her better than I knew myself in some ways, and I'm sure the reverse would hold true.

For some inexplicable reason I'd offered to take her out for her birthday. In fact, I'd gone a step further and gotten two tickets to Ballet Arizona's production which included a piece from George Balanchine, her favorite choreographer. It was the birthday that Jesse from five years ago wouldn't have been thoughtful enough to make. It was the birthday that Jesse from now would like to kick him square in the ass for not thinking of.

I hopped in to the passenger seat as she pulled around and found her smiling back at me with a quick, "Hi".

Stacey has two, almost indistinguishable lines on either side of her smile. They're the only marks on an otherwise perfect face; they're the only sign that 10 years have passed since I met her. These "laugh lines" are so small that nobody else would notice them, but I do. They could be described as blemishes, but to me they're a mark created from years of smiling, years of happiness. They are a visual sign of who she is. They are beauty.

At one point in time I would have liked to take some of the credit for these lines, but I knew in my heart that they were not my doing. Her's is a happiness not dependant on external things. It's something I've always been simultaneously jealous of and attracted to.

I snapped back to reality as we pulled up to my condo. There was time before the ballet so we went up stairs to catch up. Within moments I fell back in to a familiar role. Old jokes were told, laughs were had, memories were reminisced. I love hanging out with her. Why did I wait 10 months to call her? I wondered to myself.

After an introduction to the neighbors, who were dying to meet her, we headed off for lunch. I had planned to take her to Postino's, a small sandwich/wine place. It was a favorite of the twins, and somewhat hidden. I knew that Stacey would like it, and was surprised when she said, "Postino's? Tara and I go there all the time." Oh yeah. Just because we haven't hung out in the past 3 years doesn't mean she's been at home knitting.

We decided instead to go to a sandwich shop close to the ballet as we didn't want to show up late. Lunch was great and we were soon on our way.

"So you're going to spend half the summer in Europe?" I asked on the car ride to the Orpheum, continuing our conversation from lunch. "Why so long?"

"Well, I'm going to a wedding in Italy, and one in France. I didn't think there was much point in coming back in between"

"That makes sense, who's getting married?" I knew an answer I wasn't looking for was coming, but I asked the question anyhow.

"My boyfriend has a friend who's..."

The words hit with an unexpected weight. I knew Stacey had someone in her life now. She has a way of letting me know without flat out telling me. It's an uncharacteristically sensitive approach to my feelings. Whether on purpose or not, it's something that is greatly appreciated.

It wasn't that there was someone that surprised me as much as the usage of the word boyfriend. In 3 years, she'd never used that word to describe somebody and had even gone so far as to protest when I had used it to describe someone she was "just dating."

"Oh, I guess I should have turned back there" I commented, trying to not seem affected even though the realization that I had missed my turn came almost a mile late.

We got to the ballet with plenty of time to spare, and discussed the only other time we had been before. I believe she had taken me last time because she needed to go for some school project. We couldn't exactly establish all of the details, but the one thing we both agreed on was that I had upset her in some way.

"I think you were making fun of the dancers and wouldn't shut up."
"I thought I was making fun of the people in the audience and wouldn't shut up."
"No, I got mad at you for that the time we went to..."

With that in mind it was my intention to make up for the past failings, and I think that for the most part I succeeded.

After the ballet we went back to my house, then later out to dinner. After spending the majority of the day together she decided it was time to go. I was quite happy as I walked her downstairs to her car. The day had gone better than I had thought it might, and I again felt a connection to a person who's had a major impression on my life.

As I closed the door to her car and watched her drive away I felt a slight hole in the pit of my stomach, a slight loneliness that I had forgotten I could have. Oh Yeah... That's why I don't hang out with her more often.

I paused for a moment to let the 10+ hours I had just spent with her sink in before finally turning to go back into my building.

My condo was an 11 floor elevator ride away, but I didn't end up making it home for quite some time...

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Stacey Turns 27

Jesse Meets a P.A.P.

Part 2

As this is a 2 part story, you should probably read part 1 and the intro(See below) first. Otherwise you'll be all confused and it won't make sense. Not that it's going to make sense anyhow, but you stand a better chance if you read those parts first.

The weekend that I was planning on taking Stacey to the Ballet, Ruth and Rachel's friend Bridget was in town from New York. I didn't really stress that fact because:

A) I had bigger things on my mind

B) My twin time had fallen to an all time low. They had both become busy with work, boyfriends, and family things. At the very least, they had become too busy to make me be social, which is a task unto its own.

The Saturday evening before the ballet I found myself with a slight bit of insomnia. I tossed and turned for a long while before finally falling asleep. Just as I did, "RING RING RING" the doorbell violently brought me back to a place I had spent the past few hours trying to leave.

Rachel. It had to be Rachel. Ruth, or any sane person would only ring once. A glance at the clock as I searched for my pants in the dark told me that she had probably been out. The odds were that she was slightly intoxicated. I've never even been buzzed in my life or had more than a sip of alcohol, but I know for a fact that I can hold my liquor better than Ruth and Rachel combined.

"Hi Rachel" I said as I opened the door and she moved in for a hug.
"Bridget likes you" she whispered in to my ear, "She wants to cuddle with you"
"I'm sure she does Rachel. You can tell her to come hop in bed with me" I said dismissively. "That's where I'll be."

It should be noted that Rachel seems to have taken my current lack of sexual exploits as her personal fix-er-up-er project. Maybe her and my mom could form a club.



I paused for a moment to let the 10+ hours I had just spent with Stacey sink in before finally turning to go back into my building.

With my head down in contemplative thought I said goodnight to the doorman as I past. I then looked up to see the 11-L gang exiting the elevator I was bound for.

"Come on, we're going to Four Peaks, and you're coming too" Rachel told me while giving me the, "Everything okay?" look.

"I don't know, I've had a busy..." I began to protest. Rachel is either quite astute at reading me and making me do what I should do rather than what I feel like doing, or she's just bossy and gets her way. Whether the former or latter, I soon relented.

"We'll all ride in Eldad's car" she said.

I put my five and a half years of college engineering math skills to work and realized 6 people in a Honda Accord wasn't going to work. I didn't have to check my driver's license or bank statement to remember that I'm not 17, and can afford the gas.

"My car's already up here" I said. I felt like the drive would do me some good anyhow, and it's always best to have an escape route in the event that plans change unexpectedly, or I feel the need to perform grand larceny. "I'll drive too"

"Bridget will go with you" Rachel motioned Bridget towards me. As Bridget turned to look, Rachel gave me the "Go get em tiger" head nod and wink from behind.

I had briefly met Bridget on Friday when we discussed my view and her raspy voice. Everything else I knew of her was from a discussion with Ruth 3 months prior while she was showing me all of her friend's myspace pages. My memory was vague, but the thing that I remembered most was that Bridget likes to party. Her page includes the description, "Party girl and P.A.P looking for a sponsor", what appears to be a legit picture of her and Puff Daddy shaking hands, and the profile song, "Party All the Time". But it wasn't just "Party All the Time", it was the club remix.

I would later be told that P.A.P. stands for "Park Avenue Princess.", and with that in mind "looking for a sponsor" means, "looking for a sugar daddy."

To say that I was a little skeptical of our social compatibility would be an understatement. Bridget is a cute girl, but aside from my love of cute girls, I felt there would be no common ground to find, and was worried about a possibly awkward car ride. I couldn't have been more wrong though as I realized once again that my first impressions are often drastically wrong. Bridget has a charm that rivals that of the twins, and a head on her shoulders that backs the charm up. We spent the entire car ride discussing everything from software development to ex's.

I spent the majority of the night at Four Peaks talking to Rachel about my day, and other goings on. There were about 8 people there total, some I knew well, some I did not. The evening was great. New jokes were made. New laughs were had. New moments were shared. Things were unfamiliar, but in a good way. After a day of remembering the past, not knowing what was coming next was refreshing.

By the time my head hit the pillow I was exhausted. My day had started at 9am and ended after midnight without a moment's rest. There would later be time for contemplation and analyzation, but for that night there was just sleep.

I apologize if the reference to Puff Daddy was wrong. Is it now just Puffy, or P-Diddy? I'm so out of the loop. One of you young whipper snappers feel free to correct me.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

NBA Action: It's FANtastic

Anyone who knows me, reads this blog, or has seen me walking down the street knows my feelings on the Phoenix Suns and Steve Nash in particular. My crush on him is rivaled only by my crush on the twins, and it took two of them to even come close to my feelings for the small Canadian genius.

With that in mind, I was obviously a little upset yesterday when the league decided to suspend Stoudemire and Diaw after they got up off the bench because Robert Horry took a cheap shot at Nash. I'm not going to retell the story as it's all over the news, but basically San Antonio played dirty, and they got a boost because of it.

Everyone who's followed this story has commented that we should take out one of their guys in a dirty play. Normally I'd say, "Turn the other cheek", but in this case it seems like the league is condoning that kind of action.

On a totally unrelated, and apparently obscure note, azcentral is reporting the following story:

The Phoenix Suns announced today that they had signed Scottsdale resident Mike Tyson to a 10 day contract.

Says Phoenix coach Mike D'Antoni, "His ball handling is a bit weak, but I think you'll find his defensive abilities on Duncan... striking."

When asked for his thoughts Tyson said, "I'm just biting at the chance to get out there and show the world what I can do again"

My boy Sean N over at www.blarrg.com even got an advanced picture of Tyson in his uni.



At any rate, Sun's in 6.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Nerd Word(s): 60%

60%
- Verb, State of Completion

1. The exact point of any project that interest in said project is lost.

[ Origin: The word comes from Sean's tendency to lose interest in any project just after the half way point, although the same holds true even more so for me ]

- usage
1. "Yeah, I've been meaning to get back on that project"
"Gonna 60% that one too eh?"

2. "Man, you really 60%'d that 'car restoration' that you were so hyped about"

- examples
I have over the years done the following:
  • Written half a screen play that was shelved when the main idea was used in another movie that was released.
  • Built a working hovercraft in my parent's garage that actually floated and would support a person all working on a gas powered blower. Unfortunately I never made the propulsion system
  • Had a band that practiced a total of 3 times
  • Written a video game from scratch that had a beginning, but no ending

Dunkquest

"Man, I used to have mad hops for a short white boy" I told Sean the other day at work while discussing the playoffs and basketball in general.

"Could you ever dunk?" I ask. Sean is about 6'2, and used to be that athletic skinny skateboarding kid(emphasis on the used to be). The only real thing he's got going against him is that he's Canadian, and everyone knows Canadians can't dunk.

"I never really tried" he responds, "I gave up on basketball after eighth grade". Sean went to school with Richard Jefferson, who now starts at forward for the New Jersey Nets, and informs me that upon showing up to try out for the team and seeing RJ dunking he gave up on hoops.

"I always thought I'd dunk some day" I tell him. "I think I was about 8 to 10 inches shy even at my best though, and then I stopped growing"

We soon both, half jokingly, decided that our goal for the summer should be to train to dunk the ball. Tuesday I, still half jokingly, ran the idea by my mom while watching the Sun's game.

"I'm gonna dunk the ball this summer mom"
"Oh honey, you can't"
"Why not? You said I can do anything I put my mind to" I ask with a feigned ignorance.
"You're just too short"

By Wednesday we had dropped the "half jokingly" and were both getting serious. We went to Walmart for lunch and got jump ropes and I got a basketball. We stopped by a court and shot it around for a second before heading back to work.

As the day progressed I had told a few people, "At the end of this summer, I, Jesse B, will dunk a basketball" Soon, like good little nerds, we had both sat down and started doing some calculations and measurements. Apparently I have a 6'10" reach, which means I need roughly a 44" vertical leap. My current vertical is about 22", and for comparisons sake, Michael Jordan had a vertical leap of 42". I soon proclaimed, "At the end of this summer, I, Jesse B, will dunk a basketball, on a nine foot hoop"

Just to give you an idea of the kind of results to expect, I've got a video of Vince Carter jumping over a 7'2 guy in what many consider the greatest dunk ever. Except in our case, the part of the 7'2 guy will be played by our friend J.R.



We're now on day 1 of "Dunkquest", and I've already learned a few interesting facts:
  • 99/100 guys will try to prove that he can jump and touch something given the challenge. You could tell a 94 year old blind man in a wheel chair that he can't grab the rim, and he'd go for it without reservation.
  • 99/100 men, after not jumping as high as they thought they could, will tell you that they could in fact dunk on a 10 foot rim at some point in their life.
  • 97/100 men are in fact, liars.
Sean's as pumped as I am, so you should probably read his post too:
http://www.blarrg.com/

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Rose finally "makes" the blog

I have, on occasion, asked a few different people to ghostwrite an entry on my blog. It usually comes about from someone saying, "You should write about the time...", to which I normally respond, "You write it and I'll post it". Well, apparently tired of the lack of mentions in my blog, Rose got it together and wrote the following. It should be noted that I had planned on writing this story at some point in time, but Rose did a better job than I would have anyhow.

I had just broken up with Stacey (you may remember her from such posts as Vegas: 2003) after a 6 year relationship. I was in a somewhat delicate state (to put it mildly) and I was seeking comfort in the warm, welcoming arms of one of my closest, nicest, most beautiful, special, caring friends, Rose. You probably won’t remember her from too many posts because we don’t have the drama. Anyway, I took Rose to one of my favorite places, Pei Wei for dinner. We placed our order and began looking around for a table. If you have ever been to the Big PW you know that some of the tables (especially those built for two) are really close together. On this particular occasion the these were the only tables left, so we sat down and began to wait for our food. I’m going to say I had the Honey Seared Shrimp. And that’s all fine and well, but here’s where the story gets weird.

Rose and I were soon joined by neighbors to our right. They sat down and immediately began having a conversation, so we didn’t pay them much mind, an act we thought was mutual, but were soon to find out was not. I was telling Rose about how hard I thought it was to meet people (read: women) and sharing my feelings about the “loss” of Stacey. Rose, to her credit, was being quite understanding and sympathetic considering that she had a major crush on me for a long period of time and was Stacey’s best friend until we started dating. Thank God all of our drama is now in the past, lest I would be forced to regale you with the banal minutiae of our early relationship…in which I pretty much come off like a jackass.

Rose was telling me something like, “Don’t worry, you’ll probably find someone, but you know what? Even if you don’t, we all die alone anyway, so it doesn’t matter. I mean sure, it’s nice to be with someone, but you can’t take them with you…well, you can, but generally the law and society frown on murder-suicides. That’s not how you want to be remembered.” Now let me say a little something about Rose. She uses humor to cope in situations. It’s taken me years to break her down to a level where she will actually communicate what her problem is instead of just using sarcasm to wear me down. So she said this in jest to lighten the mood. And here’s where it all went downhill….

One of the women at the table next to us, turned to Rose and said, “No one ever has to die alone. I’m a spiritual person and a counselor of sorts and I can tell you that no one ever ever has to die alone. There is always hope and people to be there for you.” Rose then tried to stammer out something about “just kidding”, but the women pressed on. “You don’t have to despair, if you ever need anything, I want you to take this card. You can call me any time.” She handed Rose an index card with a name, number and some message scrawled across the bottom. Then she and her companion left. After she left, Rose and I looked at each other for a good 3 minutes without speaking, so great was our shock.

Rose was the first to speak, “What the hell just happened here? And why the hell was she talking to me, you’re the one that’s gonna die alone. I still have prospects.”

“I don’t know what just happened here, but what does that card say?”

Rose looked at the card and said... “I can’t quite make it out, but I think it says, “Shamanic Transitions”. We just stared at each other for a moment in awe. “What the hell are 'Shamanic Transitions'?”, Rose asked and looked to me for guidance.

“How the hell would I know?”

We sort of made some half-assed attempts at conversation for the rest of our meal, but I think we were a little shaken by the experience. And to this day, I cannot enter a Pei Wei without seruptiously checking for the crazies and attempting to avoid them.