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Saturday, January 30, 2010


There aren't too many drummers I can name - Meg White and Jules de Martino are two I can come up with offhand. But you'd think with drummers being such a vital part of any band, that they should be a known quantity and practically SYNONYMOUS with the band itself. After all, the rest of the band tends to look towards the drummer to keep on beat at ALL times, and without the drummer, the sound usually falls flat.

However, my favorite drummer is definitely Travis Barker of Blink-182. People rag on him -- calling him a hack, a poser, a showboater. Puh-lease. The guy's really good at what he does, and that's entertaining. Plus, his drum solos in just about every hit Blink-182 song - What's My Age Again, All the Small Things, First Date, and many more - really sound spot on and energetic.

So, here I am, trying to emulate the spikey-haired percussionist with my brand-new Band Hero drum kit. Yeah, watch my living room turn into a band practice haven. This kit is AWESOME. I feel like I'm actually learning how to play - now if I could only read music, I can't exactly learn to play by ear here. The game that came with the set is HARD - even on the easy setting! You have to think in so many different dimensions than when you're playing guitar - you don't just slide up and down a neck, you have to figure out where in the kit you're supposed to hit, all while keeping your eyes on the "music highway."

What I really enjoyed was turning it on and going to one of the older Guitar Hero games I picked up last year - Guitar Hero 5 had a smashing number of hits I love, and I got a kick out of playing those a whole new way. "Steady as She Goes," "Blue Orchid," "Feel Good Inc," and "Smells Like Teen Spirit" are just so great that I could listen to them over and over - and I've always wanted to drum to them. Yehaw! Living the dream.... ;-)

Monday, January 25, 2010

Bacon bacon bacon!

Yeah, so I'm hog-wild for bacon lately. Not necessarily eating it... but talking about eating it. There's a difference!

Why talk about bacon? Well, it all kind of started when I got to teasing Kel about bacon chocolate. Bacon CHOCOLATE? Heck, yeah, I really have been wanting to try out that delicious sounding combination back even before I found out that they have a chocolate bar for it:

Yessiree, that is an actual product, that I have seen with mine own eyes, at the Better Cheddar store in Kansas City. Yummy place to go, by the way, highly recommended, the cheese samples there are great and have educated me quite a bit about cheese. In fact, I've discovered a favorite cheese there - the Norweigan Gjetost, a goat cheese that is excellently sweet and tastes like caramel.

Anyway, the whole bacon joke has culminated in me hosting "The Big Game" (ya'll know which game I'm talking about) at my house on Feb 7th with bacon as the theme. So I'm gonna make some bacon and chocolate for all my friends, and maybe even highlight some more goodness about bacon. A sample site is below....

On the other hand... not everyone appreciates the goodness that is bacon chocolate. *sigh*

I guess what I'm getting to is, maybe I'm talking a bit too much about a good thing. Y'know? You can only take so much of a good thing before you get sick of it. So I'm gonna blog about it, get it out of my system, and then get ready to enjoy it the day of the kickoff.

Bacon was actually one of the first things I learned how to cook. My mom let me learn how to make eggs and bacon on the stove at home when I was in middle school. I didn't think it was all that fair that she had to make all the food in the house. Little did I know that knowledge would save me in college, and eventually lead the way for me to enjoy cooking often at home once I was diagnosed with celiac disease. Bacon is naturally gluten-free, as is most meat. So I'm gonna take that as a sign that bacon is good for me... in moderation. ;-)

When I was in high school, one of my favorite lunches to have off-campus was the Jimmy Dean's BLT. Jimmy Dean didn't have the Western Bacon Cheeseburger (referenced in a past blogpost), but the BLT was darn good stuff. Then you have the bacon cheese fries... man, my arteries are clogging up just thinking 'bout it.

I'm just looking forward to a great time playing with the pigskin, laughing at crazy million-dollar commercials, and seeing all my friends. If I can combine that with bacon... that's just the icing on the top. Yum!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Getting back in to HLAA

I try to be a leader. Genuinely, I try. I aim to shape my world into being the way I want, a better place to be. Some days, I think I'm only doing this for myself, but I honestly do want to improve everyone's life and make being alive something to enjoy.

I've been slackin' lately, though. My work with HLAA (Hearing Loss Association of America) needs someone dedicated to keeping on top of things every week, not once a month or "whenever I feel like it." I've had a lot of my plate towards the end of last year in terms of job, family, relationships, friendships, and generally just a lot of stuff to do. I think it's getting a bit more stable to where I've figured out how much more time my work will take from me, and I see how much effort I really want to put into my relationship with my brother who lives with me, and I'm taking a (short!) break from vball and X to heal, so maybe I can start putting more time back into things like DPHH (ahem! Oh, it's Deaf Professional Happy Hour) and HLAA.

HLAA is not a social club for me. The previous president of the chapter looked at the group as a way for us to all get together and talk about our challenges with losing one's hearing. I see a place for that, no doubt - but HLAA will always be about RAISING awareness, making connections, and using our numbers to shape our world. The only way that's going to happen is if we drive together towards a common, long term advocacy goal.

So, I'm actually searching for a one point advocacy goal to focus on in KC in 2010. Is it Arrowhead Stadium football game captioning? Is it working with the KC metro police so that accessibility for people under arrest is mandated and apparent? Is it making captioned movies more prominent in the KC area?

I'm going to establish a committee to search for that goal in 2010. Then I'll head up a group of people who will fight for that goal. It's important to show that we can accomplish something with HLAA - people will join if they see they can make a difference, no matter how small.

I'm also setting up a blogsite for the KC Chapter of HLAA - In there will be posts keeping everyone up to date on our next events as well as the actions towards advocacy. Being communicative has been my weakness in the past quarter so I'm stepping up to make the change.

Let's rock, people!

Friday, January 15, 2010

I'm just a lap

Sometimes, it seems like I'm just another piece of furniture around my house. So I'm having a night in with my bro - I've been trying to connect with him better since he does live here and I do make myself scarce with all the activities I do outside the house. It seems like the best way to do so is to play games together. I got pretty miffed at him yesterday when we agreed to go in halfsies on a game and then I went out to have dinner with Kel - then he played the game despite my telling him that the whole point of getting the game was to play together! He seemed pretty bored with the game already when I played with him tonight - he already knew the beginning steps and was leaps and bounds ahead of me when I was trying to get acclimated - but maybe he'll figure out the whole bonding thing soon enough.

In any case, as usual, the whole night while we were playing and when I was taking a break for dinner later, my kitty Fizzlesnitch kept trying to get on my lap. In fact, as I'm writing this now, Fizzle is comfortably on the crook of my right arm, making it quite difficult to use the mouse, but he looks pretty content and sleepy. Ah, yes, he is purring gently, happy to have found the self-heating furniture again. I hope he doesn't think to himself, "Curses, the warm furniture keeps moving around! Why must it make me work to find it again and sleep on it?!" ;-)

My two boys are the best cats I've ever had. Both have a really sweet disposition, aren't afraid of strangers, and Rascal seems to have taken quite a liking to Kel. ;-) They entertain themselves and have gotten really good at the kitty therapy thing. However, in addition to the whole "give me lap or I'll never leave you alone!" thing, Fizzle's developed a thing where, if I'm wearing a hoodie, he'll burrow under the hoodie and sleep on my tummy. So not only am I furniture, I'm also a blankie! Multipurpose..... *sigh*

I sometimes wonder what my life would be like if I never grew up with cats. At one time at my mom's place, we had 18 felines - 3 mother cats (that had not been spayed!) and 15 offspring from those three - and I was kind of attached to 'em. I gave 'em all names - Cuddles Jr, PJ, Skitty - but all of them had to be given away. I'm not inclined towards any other kind of housepet, so I don't think I'd be as caring of a person to anyone or anything if I didn't have a pet to keep me grounded.

In any case, I'm enjoying my night in - tomorrow's another HLAA meeting (movie night!) and then Sunday's the first night of dodgeball. Things are picking up now!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

So I gotta stop riding for a bit....

See that guy's form? That was me yesterday. Well, I probably didn't look as cool as that, but my point is that the guy is falling down and is putting out one of his arms to break his fall. I want to direct you to his left arm. You know what happens when you land like that? For me, it resulted in what feels like a dislocated elbow. The pain was so bad I had a hard time getting down the mountain and locating Kel then getting to the ER. Yay for the buddy system!

I thought it would be a broken arm, but they didn't find anything that bad. Thankfully, that just means I'm out of commission for several weeks instead of months.

I was doing pretty good on the slopes, too. I've been picking up things at a rapid pace - being able to turn on the board, stay upright, maintain some speed on flats, go through light powder (not like Tara's and Kel's waist high experience!) in only about 6 1/2 days of snowboarding. Well, only if you count the two days at Snow Creek in Kansas (which absolutely does NOT compare, not even remotely!)

Comparing Snow Creek to Vail or Steamboat is like comparing a snail to a Porsche. Or like a recreational C volleyball player to 2-time beach volleyball gold medalist Misty May-Treanor. Just... wow. In Vail, I was going on some runs that took me an hour to get to the bottom - when in Snow Creek, it's maybe 2 minutes to the bottom (at the skill level I'm now within). The slopes can be wide and long, or narrow and bumpy, powdery or packed.... when Snow Creek's just all ice, ice, baby.

As soon as the girls get home from their staying an extra day on the mountain while I hit up Vegas, I'll get some pics up. It's been a fantastic trip!

Friday, January 1, 2010


Another day, another year. What new possibilities does this year bring?

I'm posting from Steamboat Springs, CO, staying mosty toasty in the hotel room getting ready for another day of shreddin'.

Yesterday and the day before were quite the experience. It's not often that I get to put my life in the hands of someone else during a blizzard - especially when going through someplace hazardous like Rabbit Ears Pass between Silverthorne and Steamboat. After having been awake for some 24+ hours. Thing is, if Kel and I had waited until the next morning, we would have had to do the while thing with another 3+ or so inches of extra fluffy snow - not good when you're driving my rear-wheel drive SUV with (not so) all season tires. Earlier in the week, I had to dig myself out of maybe 1 or 2 inches of snow where I got stuck - and now we're tackling the Everest of snow locations?! Bring it on! We made it in okay, thank goodness....

Now we're on for almost a week of snowboarding. I'm getting banged up pretty good just from the blues and greens - I can't imagine what it'd be like on the diamonds. At this pace it seems like it'll take me forever just to make it down a mountain without falling. I have some pretty good incentive not to fall - my tailbone's already almost had enough of me. I'm kind of fond of my tailbone....

What's next for us? Another day at Steamboat, then hitting up Vail, Breckenridge, A-Basin, Beavercreek and Keystone.

With all that excitement, I'm kind of glad the whole NYE celebration was low-key. Riding high all the time makes for... some rough crashes. I hafta be fresh on Wednesday when I meet in Vegas for work!

Off we go... hi ho!