Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Day Zero Project #20: Learn Basic Car Maintenance

Do you want to know what I learned today?

I learned that the best time to learn basic car maintenance is when your car tires rips to shreds on the way to work in the morning.

There's just something about learning how to change a tire while cars zoom past you going 80mph on a busy highway at the peak of morning traffic. I don't know if it was the extra embarassement caused by the fact that hundreds of cars drove by, every single one of them laughing at my misfortune (probably not true, but that's how I imagine it.), but I managed to get what was left of a tire off my car, and the donut on it, in record time.

I wasn't even sure I could do it at all, but I'm glad I didn't call a tow truck to do it because now I have super-manly blood blisters on my hands.

And now I'm proud to say that after two hours, $400, and at least a dozen near-death experiences, I can check #20: Learn Basic Car Maintenance off of my list.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Day Zero Project #23: Go Without Soda For A Month

Day Zero #23: Go Without Soda For A Month
See that picture? That's an image of my desk the day that I started the difficult task of going without soda for a full month. That's probably about two days worth which, as you can see, tells you many things about me:

1. I drank way too much soda.
2. I also tend to sprinkle in a couple beers here and there.
3. I'm indecisive. You can see Dr. Pepper, Coke Zero and Pepsi in this picture. I need to make up my mind.
4. I probably need to do a better job of keeping my desk clean.

I can say the obvious stuff, "Yes, I felt better without drinking soda." "Yes, I saved money without having to buy the stuff."

Was it a good idea? Let me just say this. I celebrated the end of a month without soda by drinking soda. And what did I have. One Dr. Pepper, one Coke Zero, and one Pepsi. I guess habits don't change much, even after 30 days.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Day Zero Project #16: Make My Own Soap

Our Life of Lists-inspired soap
 If you were young and idolized Chuck Palahniuk, like I did, then you assume that soap is made via a  difficult process that involves stealing fat and punching each other in the face. Imagine my surprise when I walked into Milagros in St. Pete to accomplish Day Zero Goal #16 "Make My Own Soap" and was greeted by two nice ladies and an overly lovey Golden Retriever puppy. Nothing about this place said, "OK, time to make some soap up front, before walking into the back room and getting the crap beat out of you."

Well, there was a very angry Chihuahua. I think he may have preferred Fight Club's version of soap making. He was pure evil in the form of the Taco Bell dog.

All told, soap making was a fun experience, even if it made me smell like sandalwood and lavender for two straight days.

Hard at work designing our soap
My wife's much more "normal" soap

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Day Zero Project #76: See a Live Comedy Act

It's Saturday afternoon and I send a text to my friend, "Hey, What's up?" I send a text because I'm staunchly anti-talking on the phone. This is probably a sign of a very serious anti-social disorder.

My friend, obviously better with people than myself, doesn't text, but calls me back and within minutes. Not only do we know have plans for the evening, but I also get to check something off the list. A few hours, and a couple frozen drinks later, Day Zero List #76 - See a Live Comedy Act was in the books.

And this is why I don't make plans. I just keep my schedule open so whenever something pops up I'm ready to go. This keeps us in good standing with everyone we know, who I like to imagine think of us as "Those guys you can always call and they'll be ready to hang out no matter what."AKA "They don't have kids, so they'll hang out."

And what did I learn from these comedians? That I think they are somehow listening in on my regular conversations with friends and stealing my material. 50% of people I hang out with are Latin and 100% of the time that I hang out with them we are making jokes that are either a) jokes about how fat we are getting or b) jokes about angry Latin girls stabbing people. And what did the comedians talk about this fine evening? Fat jokes and angry Latin girls stabbing people. I want my royalty check.

Usually I get made fun of for being the token skinny white guy who wears shirts that are too small. If the next comedy show I see is about that, I'm gonna convince all my friends to quit our jobs and become writers for some sitcom.

And, just in case you want to watch the professionals at work, these are the people that we saw

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Day Zero Project #48: Learn How To Make Lasagna

I slaved in the kitchen for hours making my own tomato sauce, carefully seasoning the ingredients and painstakingly creating what I hoped would be a beautiful lasagna. What did I get for all that time invested? A very average lasagna.

Next time I'll save the three hours and go to a restaurant.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Day Zero Project #8: Complete the 30 Day Song Challenge

Limited-Edition Facebook Cover Photo I made to celebrate finishing this.
I did this on Facebook, but here's a summary of everything. I'm too lazy to link or embed 30 videos. Sorry.

30 Day Song Challenge - Day 1 - Your Favorite Song: "Bury The Evidence" by Tricky.
I saw Tricky open for Tool way back in 2001 and this has been my favorite song ever since. For someone with my musical tastes, it's about as perfect as it gets. P.S. This is part of my Day Zero List challenge, so I'll pre-apologize now for the daily post of music you don't care about at all.

30 Day Song Challenge - Day 2 - Your Least Favorite Song: "Down With The Sickness" by Disturbed.
There are so many bad songs in this world that it's hard to pick just one. Usually I can appreciate them for their badness, but not this song. Absolutely unintelligent music with lyrics that have always made me think that their singer is trying to emulate an ape. And this is the sort of stuff that goes platinum...

30 Day Song Challenge - Day 3 - A Song That Makes You Happy: "Sunshine Highway" by Dropkick Murphys.
Reminds me of road trips and excellent times with the lovely K. If it doesn't make you smile within 30 seconds, you don't have the capability for happiness.

30 Day Song Challenge - Day 4 - A Song That Makes You Sad: "Let Me Go" by All Get Out
Lots of things make me cry. I'm emotional like that. Word on the street is that is due to the fact that I'm a Sagittarius. This is the latest jam that gets me all choked up every time I listen to it.

30 Day Song Challenge - Day 5 - A Song That Reminds You of Someone: "Basket Case" by Green Day
I moved in with my Madre when I was 14. the time I didn't like any music at all. Luckily, this video was in pretty heavy rotation on MTV at that same time and my mom almost always stopped to watch it (odd for a woman who's favorite musicians are anyone who has appeared on American Idol). Anywho... I eventually started liking the song which lead to playing instruments and listening to better bands and turning into the person that I am today.

30 Day Song Challenge - Day 6 - A Song That Reminds You of Somewhere: "Summerland" by Everclear.
The "somewhere" is on a road trip through Iowa. Ever since K and I were little kids we would listen to Sparkle & Fade on every road trip we went on. It's a near-perfect album for two kids driving hours through corn fields talking about leaving the Midwest. We've continued to listen to this every road trip we've ever taken, which means that since you stopped listening to Everclear back in '96, I've listened to this CD 50 more times, at least.

30 Day Song Challenge - Day 7 - A Song That Reminds You of an Event: "Stay" by Onelinedrawing.
I am more awesome than my brother in almost all ways, with the exception of one. At my wedding I played a bunch of very normal wedding type songs. He played this little piece of beautiful indie rock that most likely no one but him, his wife and myself had actually heard before. I was so proud I almost cried...

30 Day Song Challenge - Day 8 - A Song You Know All The Words To: "Straight to Hell" by The Menzingers.
I know lots of words to lots of songs, but in honor of concert #209 last Friday (Bouncing Souls, The Menzingers, Luther), I picked a great band covering a song by a great band. We've known these guys forever and they are super-nice dudes and you should give them all your $ and visit whenever they are in your town.

30 Day Song Challenge - Day 9 - A Song You Can Dance To: "Lean Back" by Fat Joe.
I don't dance. I just pull up my pants. And do the rockaway. And lean back. And lean back. And lean back. And lean back. I'm not sure why I lean back four times, it's just something that all the cool kids were doing so I thought I'd copy that. It seems to work.

30 Day Song Challenge - Day 10 - A Song That Makes You Fall Asleep: "The District Sleep Alone Tonight" by The Postal Service.
There is no such song. Its impossible for me to fall asleep listening to music. I regularly listen to instrumental music for enjoyment, so not even that works. Instead, here's a depressingly beautiful song with the word "sleep" in the title.

30 Day Song Challenge - Day 11 - A Song From Your Favorite Band: "Sextape" by Deftones.
Deftones have been my favorite band since I was 15. For those keeping track at home, that is the longest relationship that I have had, beating out my relationship with K by 2 years. Thankfully K is not the jealous type so she doesn't mind when I ignore her for hours on end listening to the bands full discography.

30 Day Song Challenge - Day 12 - A Song From A Band You Hate: "Thunderstruck" by AC/DC.
Everyone loves these guys, I have no idea why.

30 Day Song Challenge - Day 13 - A Song That Is a Guilty Pleasure: "Yeah" by Usher.
I'm not a huge fan of pop music, but I know every single word to this song. Someday I will form a karaoke group just to perform this song. I call dibs on being Ludacris.

30 Day Song Challenge - Day 14 - A Song That No One Would Expect You To Love: "Black Water" by The Doobie Brothers
You probably know me as the metal and punk guy, but I also happen to love me some vocal harmonies. This song is the best of all such songs. Probably in my Top 10 songs of all time...

30 Day Song Challenge - Day 15 - A Song That Describes You: "Won't Be The First Time" by As Friends Rust
A great song about everyone growing up around you, whilst you still are fairly immature. If you are in your 30s, don't have kids, and do things like go out more days than not, you may relate. Plus it starts with the sound of a beer can opening...

Day 16 - A Song That You Used To Love But Now Hate: "Blind" by Korn.
Like all good Midwestern teenagers I had the requisite Nu Metal phase and this song got some heavy airplay on my walkman. Thinking about that makes me cringe a little bit...

30 Day Song Challenge - Day 17 - A Song That You Hear On The Radio: "Somebody Tht I Used To Know" by Gotye.
Remember the first time you heard this and thought, "That's not too bad"? And then the radio proceeded to ruin it by playing it 80,000 times per day.

30 Day Song Challenge - Day 18 - A Song That You Wish Was On The Radio: "St. Matthew Returns To The Womb" by Botch.
Any world in which Botch is on the radio is a good world. A good world in which only a handful of people, myself included, actually like what's on the air.

30 Day Song Challenge - Day 19 - A Song From Your Favorite Album: "Change (in The House of Flies)" by Deftones.
There are so many great albums that it's hard to pick just one, but if I had to be stuck on a deserted island with only one CD, I would most likely want to have Deftones "White Pony" album with me.

30 Day Song Challenge - Day 20 - A Song You Listen To When You're Angry: "Dopeman" by Less Than Jake.
When I'm angry there's no reason to listen to anything other than music that will make me happy. And what music makes everyone in the world happy? Ska music, of course.

30 Day Song Challenge - Day 21 - A Song That Makes You Happy: Anything with crazy breakdowns
If you grew up listening to hardcore then you are should like breakdowns and kids windmilling. Basically, any show that I went to that looked like this video makes me incredibly happy. Unless I got punched in the face, that wasn't so much fun.

30 Day Song Challenge - Day 22 - A Song That You Listen To When You are Sad: "Banditos" by The Refreshments.
Much like when I am angry, I also like to listen to happy stuff when I'm sad. And what could be more happy-making than ska? 90s alternative rock!

30 Day Song Challenge - Day 23 - A Song You Want Played At Your Wedding - "Nerdy" by Poison The Well
Our wedding song was "It's Your Love" by Tim McGraw and Faith Hill because it was the first song we ever danced to (Homecoming some year). This should have been your song, because we both love it, it's metal, and it's awesome.

30 Day Song Challenge - Day 24 - A Song That You Want Played At Your Funeral - "In The Wake of Pigs" by Oh, Sleeper
My biggest musical guilty pleasure is Christian metal music. So, I suppose at my funeral I should play some of that, just in case I've always been wrong...

30 Day Song Challenge - Day 25 - A Song That Makes You Laugh - "Wild Ones" by Flo Rida
Any time that K or I want to make the other one laugh, we quote Flo Rida. In this one he says "two-ooh-ohh" so we try to work that into our conversations as much as possible. For example, K will say "Hey D, how many pancakes did you want" and I'll respond "Two-ooh-ooh" and we will all laugh. We are dorks.

30 Day Song Challenge - Day 26 - A Song You Can Play On The Instrument - "Bored" by Deftones
This is the first song I learned to play on bass guitar. It was back in '96 and my friend thought we should learn it for the school talent show. Turns out teachers aren't very big fans of heavy music.

30 Day Song Challenge - Day 27 - A Song You Wish You Could Play On The Instrument - "Buildings Began to Stretch Wide Across the Sky, and the Air Filled with a Redish Glow" by Red Sparowes.
It took long enough to type the name of the song, so I'll keep this short. My favorite bass riff of all time.

30 Day Song Challenge - Day 28 - A Song That Makes You Feel Guilty. "Birds" by Bars of Gold
Makes me feel guilty? What the @#$@ does that even mean. I have no idea, so here's a really good song about birds from a band that makes me feel guilty because I'm not in it.

30 Day Song Challenge - Day 29 - A Song From Your Childhood. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles theme song.
I have a theory that the adult that a person turned out to be is relative to their favorite Ninja Turtle. For example, I liked Donatello and I turned out to be the smartest person in the world. My brother liked Michelangelo and lives in Iowa, has kids and doesn't drink, so he's a party.... Well, my theory is 50% true.

30 Day Song Challenge - Day 30- Your Favorite Song Last Year. "Everything's Not Sh!$%%" by Fear Before
I'm finally done! I'll now return to sarcastic and/or inside jokes only K understands.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Day Zero Project #67: Attend a Pride Parade

This was a pretty easy goal to accomplish as we live within walking distance to Florida's largest pride parade, St.Pete Pride. We walked the mile or so to the parade route in the sweltering heat and were greeted with a parade that featured everything from drag queens to politicians in suits and everything in between. I'll let the pictures do the talking on this one.

There were drag queens throwing glitter on the crowd.

There were guys dressed as flamingos.

There were guys with giant bead necklaces.
 I'm guessing you didn't notice the beads right away with that one. That's okay, neither did my wife.

There were also floats that were a mix of young, unclothed guys and ballerina drag queens.

There was this guy.

There were guys in leather stuff.

Even the President of the United States of America showed up.

And there were three whole protestors.

All-in-all we had an excellent time and will definitely be back next year.

P.S.  On a serious note, everyone should be allowed to get married, regardless of whom they've fallen in love with. Even Cardboard Obama agreed with me on that one, so come on Congress, lets make that happen.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Day Zero Project #29: Make a Handmade Greeting Card

It's my wife's birthday. And what better day for this completely unartistic person to create the first in his line of badly drawn, sarcastic greeting cards. I've decided that the name for this company is going to be ZING! Don't steal that, it's now copyrighted. And, if you want to give me $10,000 startup cash, that would be a big help, too.

I took that image from Google. If it's yours, please don't sue me. I made no money off this image. Actually, using it means that I'm probably sleeping on the couch tonight. So, if this is your image, please send me $15 for the emotional trauma that I'm going to suffer. Thanks!