552 miles... 1 million more smiles.

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Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Joining the Circus

For the second time in my life, I'm covering a Super Bowl. As you can imagine, I'm pretty excited about it.

Super Bowl XLI is in Miami, just a 2 1/2 hour drive across the state. The last time I covered a Super Bowl (XXXIV), it was in Atlanta, and I was working in Northeast Missouri... so it was about a 14 hour drive. By comparison, scooting across the Everglades is a breeze.

Unfortunately, Dolphin Stadium is just a little too close. Our station isn't paying for us to stay in Miami, so every day, that means we're driving 5 hours roundtrip before we even really start doing our work for the day.

It also means that yet again, I'm missing the ultra-swanky media parties. Believe me, I'm not happy about it at all. Even worse, I got an invite to a couple VIP events over the weekend-- a Beach Barbecue Friday hosted by Kanye West-- and a beach party Saturday night... Ludacris was performing, Biz Markie was the DJ. Sure, I would have felt a little out of my league at both of them, but think about what an interesting experience it would have been.

Last night was the big media party, hosted by Miami-Dade county. Where was I? In my apartment, taking a nap. Resting up... because I'd had a long, long, long day on Tuesday.

I spent it at the biggest media circus in the Sunshine State: Super Bowl Media Day. And while it was just as bizarre as everyone has described, there was a sense of order around all the chaos. Maybe it's the giant ticking clock on the scoreboard that tells you exactly how long you have before they kick you out of the stadium. I'm not sure.

Some of the strangest things I saw and heard at Media Day?

1) A reporter asking one of the Chicago Bears "Do you think Tyra Banks looks fat?"

2) A reporter (not the same one) asking one of the Indianapolis Colts "Since Barbaro died, is that a bad omen for the Colts?"

3) ESPN poppa-bear Chris Berman actually talking to me. In a real conversation. Very cool.

4) A puppet interviewing players. Upon further investigation, I've determined he was a Chilean puppet.... if that matters.

5) The little "special" guys from American Idol (the ones that Simon ripped because he thought they were simply talentless, and didn't realize that they were more "special" than all the other people at the audition). They were on assignment from Jimmy Kimmel Live and coaxed Adam Vinatieri into singing "Take me out to the Ballgame" with them. Vinatieri was a total sport.

Anyway, to get to Miami in time for Media Day, we had to leave work at 6:00 a.m. That meant I had to be up at 4:30 a.m. Like I said, it was a long, long, long day.

Before I left, Cory told me to be on the lookout for Bill Simmons, who is a writer for ESPN.com. He's a pretty funny guy. But because he's a writer, I don't really know what he looks like.

Every year, Simmons does a little photo blog from Media Day. And as it turns out, he was about four steps behind me the entire time. Literally. Here's one of the pictures he took:

Yep. That's the back of my head.

My co-worker Randy called me to tell me that my picture was on ESPN.com. He's apparently a pretty observant guy, because I wouldn't have even given that photo a second look.

To get an inside look at the chaos of Media Day, check out Simmons' article. It's several pages long, but it's almost all pictures, so it only takes a few minutes to peruse. Plus, as an added bonus, you get to see a larger picture of the back of my head. How's that for enticement?

In the meantime, I have to get ready for work. I'm leaving for Miami in an hour.

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Monday, January 29, 2007

How Cool is This?

I've added another new feature to the ol' blog. Now, whenever you hover your cursor over a link, it will preview that page for you in a tiny little window.

Want to try it? Well, I found the link at my friend Kelly's blog. Here's a link.

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No Happy Endings...

For the last several days, I've been following the plight of Barbaro, the Kentucky Derby winner who stole the hearts of horse-lovers worldwide. I haven't posted about it, because, quite frankly, it was too depressing.

Barbaro had several new and risky procedures performed over the weekend, and this morning, had to be euthanized.

I've always found animal tragedy to be much more harrowing than human tragedy. Show me a news segment about a man who gets dragged to death behind a car, and I'm disgusted. Show me a news segment about a dog who gets dragged to death behind a car, and I'm traumatized for days.

My co-worker, Randy, says I feel that way because animals are more defenseless than humans. Honestly, I think it's because I don't like people very much. Why do you think I don't want kids?

At least I know I'm not the only one. One of the anchors at Cory's station broke down in tears a few weeks ago on the air when doing a story about a pet spa that burned down, killing seven dogs.

Along the same lines, I find inspirational stories about animals far more moving than inspirational stories about humans. That's one of the reasons I found Barbaro's plight so compelling. For eight months, he had the heart of a champion, and it really looked like he was going to make it.

Okay. Confession time. Remember the Budweiser commercial from a few years ago-- the one with the little donkey that wanted to grow up to be a clydesdale and pull the Budweiser wagon? (If you don't remember it, watch it here.)

Cute commercial, right? Honest to God, I cried. Seriously.

By the way, I've seen previews of Budweiser's Super Bowl commercials for this year-- there's a dalmation puppy that's already stolen my heart.

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Sunday, January 28, 2007

Room For Living

Hopefully, you got a chance to take a gander at the pictures I posted a few days ago. If you haven't yet, scroll down the page. Really, it's a delight. Yep... orange walls and a teal closet door. Good times.

The front hallway wasn't an anomaly. This condo has plenty of quirks. Take, for example, the living room wall.

Sure, the wall itself is a fairly normal color. "China White," it's called. The pirate and his lovely wife were sure to let us know that they didn't paint it that color... that's the color it was before they moved here.

Since the condo has cathedral ceilings, there's a lot of wall space. So they made a mural.

Now, it's not great-- but it's not horrible, either. Mostly, it's just not my taste. Neither are the hot-pink floorboards (the blue along the floorboards is painter's tape... not part of anyone's artistic vision).

Something else I should mention-- The hot pink floorboards don't extend all the way across the wall. Nope. They had a big china cabinet (or something else rather heavy-- I can't remember what it was) along one wall-- so they never painted the floorboard behind it.

Anyway, we picked a smoky sage green color for the living room/kitchen. We liked the name of the paint color: "Restful."

Finding furniture we liked was hellish. My mom and I spent a whole day, driving around town, going in just about every furniture store we saw. Couches were about $3000 at all of them. Ridiculous.

A friend of mine had recommended Savon Furniture-- he said they always had good deals in their scratch-and-dent department. These pieces weren't scratched or dented, but they were actually reasonably priced. hooray! (I've since learned that Savon/Kane's has a pretty crappy reputation. Boo!)

Regardless, I used some money that my mom gave me to buy the couch and the coffee table, and Cory's mom bought the end table for us. Everything else is just kind of a mish-mash. The lamps don't match (but that's something we're willing to put on hold for a while), and there's a stack of boxes you can't quite see in front of the bookcase. It's one of the few parts of the condo that's kind of finished, though. When Jan was visiting, all we had in the living room was one 40-year-old chair... and lots and lots and lots of boxes.

I know, I know, you want another picture of the crazy colors around the condo.

Your wish is my command. On the other side of the living room is a breakfast bar, which opens into our kitchen. While the living room and the kitchen weren't painted with that many unusual colors, they had a little fun with the breakfast bar. Note that once again, the hot pink mouldings don't stretch across the entire floor. That's because they had a mammoth entertainment center along that wall, so they never painted behind it.

I don't have an "after" picture for this one. While we've painted the breakfast bar to match the rest of the living room ("Restful" green), the breakfast bar is where all of our remaining unpacked boxes live. But trust me, boxes aside, it looks much better.

Coming up in a few days-- some blindingly vivid photos of our bathrooms. Don't miss it!

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If you label me, you negate me.

Fortunately, I don't think Kierkagaard was talking about blogs.
You may notice at the bottom of every post I make, there is now a label (or a number of labels). It's another one of blogger's nifty new features. Eventually, I'll have a label index on the side, and if you want to find some photos I've posted, you'll just be able to click on "photos," and all of my posts with photos will pop up.

Yes, I know it's pretty egotistical to think that you'd actually want an index to my life so that you can look up significant events that I've blogged about... but it's a cool feature that I've coveted from afar while reading the Lady Crumpet's Armoire.

For now, it means I have to go back over the course of 4+ years and 1300 blog posts, and label every single one of them. So don't expect to see an index for a while.


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Saturday, January 27, 2007

Good Doggie...

I've been meaning to post to this site forever:

I Do Dog Tricks

Type in a few obvious doggie-trick commands... "Fetch," "roll over," "shake," "speak." He (or she) also knows a few more tricks-- just give it a try. I couldn't get him to "take a pee on the couch." I could, however get him to "dance."

Burger King did a version of the same thing a few years ago, called the Subservient Chicken. Go ahead... ask him to do something naughty. I dare you.


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Friday, January 26, 2007

An Experiment

Blogger has recently undergone an overhaul of sorts-- and as a result, there are some groovy new features I can test out on the ol' blog. One of them is posting via email. Right now, I'm attempting to do just that.

I'm really hoping this works, because I'm not comfortable with blogging from work. It didn't really bother me to do so at my last job, since (by the end) I was practically looking for reasons for them to fire me. I actually like my current job, so I'd prefer they think I'm a busy little bee, always working hard, and not screwing around on company time. That said, they don't seem to mind me checking my personal email at work (I think because our at-work email system is so archaic).

Anyway, sometimes when I'm at work, I see a wire story that I really, really, really want to blog about. And I can't. And when I get home, I forget all about it. We'll see if this new system helps.

Update: It works! It works!


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Only In Florida...

Did these guys really think they were being inconspicuous by driving around with a bumper sticker that says "I love Porn?"



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Thursday, January 25, 2007

Pimp my Picture!

One of my coworkers discovered this site about a month ago:


You upload a picture, then you can put all kinds of fun stuff (wigs, accessories, facial hair) onto the image. Below is one of the most photogenic "people" I know, Missy K, all pimped out.

my pimped pic!

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Tuesday, January 23, 2007

An Anniversary

As of today, Cory and I have been living in our condo for exactly one month. And we've made progress. Really, we have. Despite the fact that we're still living out of boxes, that I still can't find my favorite pair of pants, and that our kitchen has more tools in it right now than a junior high school metal shop classroom... we really are making progress.

I have evidence to support this claim.

As promised, we took pictures of the "before" condition of our condo. Ready?

So, here we are. The front door. You enter our condo from a fenced-in patio area. You may notice the "artwork" on the outside of our patio. I think I mentioned that the previous owner was an artist. And a pirate. Seriously.

The little palm tree painting on the left side of the door says "Island Time Living" next to it.

The painting to the right of the door is of the state of Florida, a big tequila bottle, along with some Sammy Hagar-inspired phrases like "Mas Tequila" and "Cabo Wabo."


We haven't had an opportunity to do anything with the outside yet, other than filling the patio with our stuff. So, yeah, it still looks like that.

So, now we've stepped inside. This is the front hallway (you can see a little of it from the photo above). No, your eyes aren't deceiving you. Those are orange walls, pink mouldings, a blue door-- and a teal closet door (and teal around the window frame, too, though it's hard to see in these pictures). And yes, the ceiling is also painted orange. All of the paint they used was semi-gloss... so if the colors weren't vibrant enough on their own, the walls also shine.

By the way, the previous owners were kind enough to leave us all their leftover paint. So we have enough cans of these colors to repaint much of the condo.

We opted to go to Home Depot and pick out our own colors instead.

Anyway, the front hallway doesn't look like that any more, which is good, because I got stressed out the moment I walked into the front door. We haven't given it a total renovation, but it's about 2oo percent better than it was.

Here it is... a work in progress.

I actually bought the paint color ("Desert Camel") For the spare bedroom, but it was way too gold when I put it on the wall. It doesn't look too bad in the hallway, though... and it apparently looks nice in photos.

Obviously, there's still plenty of work to be done. The linoleum is peeling off of the floor (we've already picked out some sweet-looking terra cotta tile at Home Depot). And obviously, we need to change the door color. There's still pink paint around the doorframe-- and teal paint around the window. We'll fix it eventually.

I'm just glad it isn't orange any more.

Next, a sneak peek at the living room. Stay tuned.

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Monday, January 22, 2007


Ugh. I just spent three hours paying bills, changing addresses and phone numbers and updating other information. And I still have a bundle more things to do.

These are the things that I always forget about when I move. It's bad enough having to pack up everything that you own and cart it across town, across the state, or across the country... but then you have paperwork to fill out. Lots and lots and lots of paperwork.

I'm exhausted, and all I've been doing is sitting at my computer.


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Friday, January 19, 2007

A quick note....

No... I haven't fallen off of the face of the earth-- we've just had company in town two of the last three weeks, (and I've been working longer hours than usual, to boot), so I haven't had many chances to get on the computer since we moved. Cory just took his mom to the airport-- and I'm about to leave for work, so I really don't have time to write anything right now... but I promise, eventually, I'll get back in the blogging saddle!


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