27 October 2013


Heavy-hearted for Halloween this year. It was Reese's favorite holiday by far.

She had a lot of costumes from which to choose. She looooooooooved trick or treating so much. Every time someone came to the door she would get sooooo excited, pick up a toy to share. Then she would leave it by the door in her excitement. We knew how many groups had stopped by because we could count the pile of toys by the door.

This is what I wrote for Halloween last year:

She was a dinosaur for Halloween. Puppy loves Halloween because so many happy kids come to the door. She wants to greet everyone with love but sometimes she knocks the toddlers over so it was my job to make sure that doesn't happen. I did really well. Except for that one kid. Oh well. He got an extra candy bar. And he should know better than to try and wrestle a dinosaur. 

By the time The Girl and I split up the woman I fell in love with was long gone. The reverse was probably true for her. I don't miss that and neither does she. But I miss Reese terribly. Every day.
She was the best.

Enjoy your Halloween. Give your pups a hug.

25 October 2013

I-give-up Phone

Custom Graphics!
:: deep breath ::
I ordered an iphone. 

I loathe touchscreens on phones. Long-time readers know I've been pushing that rock up a hill since 2007. So what changed? How could the universe re-align in such a strange and mysterious way?

In no particular order:
- It is available on my preferred carrier (Verizon)
- Battery life is improved over earlier iterations. Almost all facets of the phone are substantially improved over earlier versions. It still isn't all that great to talk on. But...
- I don't talk on my phone any more. Seriously: it's a txt device. I could almost get a pager / data relay and do away with the voice stuff completely.
- 70's phone I have now is barely hanging on. Buttons are worn out, battery barely lasts a day. This from a phone with a battery life so good that I thought the battery indicator was broken when I first got it. I guess that's what 4+ years of charging cycles will do.
- Sometimes when I receive messages from people it crashes 70's phone. That was fine when I had a girlfriend who never bothered with that stuff but the wider world seems to have embraced the concept and I'm missing content. Dealbreaker.
- Being the last holdout is quaint but at some point it's time to let go. If you can't beat them, join them. If I felt there were a better option I would get that instead. But I don't.

So here we are. Phone should arrive some time early November. Can't wait to msg everybody. Yayyy!

Like my friend said, welcome to 2008!

Special Eighth Anniversary Edition Retrospective

Embrace the Yoga
I thought that 25 October was the official launch but a quick browse of the archives says that I'm actually a day late. Weird.

Planned to mark the occasion with a thoughtful retrospective at the highs and lows of the past 8 years. Then I realized I didn't have the energy, and also it would have sucked. More interesting: some photos from that trip I took to Costa Rica. And I'm actually in them, which is unusual.

The circle photo is from the last day. That was where we had all our classes - it was a cool place to practice.

Going for a Walk

24 October 2013

Dessert Pies, Ranked

Deadspin has a spinoff called Foodspin, where(in) they deliver food-related articles, commentary, and rankings. I take issue with their selections and created my own. Theirs are further down, if you are curious/bored.

So, my rankings: 
  1. Pumpkin
  2. Pear - As made using the recipe for pear pie from the Silver Palate Cookbook. So good. And surprisingly easy. I have never made it for a social gathering because it's cheating.
  3. Apple - benefits from a homemade crust since it's got a covering.
  4. Mixed berry
  5. Cherry
  6. Strawberry Rhubarb
  7. Peach*
  8. Pecan - Grandfather had a recipe for this that produced a pie that weighed in excess of 8 pounds. I think if you made it today Michael Bloomberg would try and legislate the portion size. It was great.
  9. Rhubarb
  10. Key lime**
  11. Lemon meringue
  12. Banana Cream
  13. Coconut cream
  14. Mississippi mud
  15. A baked crust filled with rocks and sadness
  16. Cheesecake
*Peach would be higher if cobbler counted as pie. Alas, it does not. In my rankings it would immediately vault to number 2. Nothing can touch pumpkin.

** I'm not sure that Key Lime and the cream pies (Banana, Chocolate, Coconut, etc) should be on the list. They are puddings dumped into a crust. Whatever.

The Foodspin rankings:

1. Cherry
2. Pumpkin
3. Apple
4. Mixed berry
5. Key lime
6. Cheesecake
7. Peach*
8. Chocolate cream
9. Sweet potato
T-10. Banana cream
T-10. Coconut cream
12. Lemon meringue
13. Shoofly
14. Strawberry rhubarb
15. Rhubarb
16. Mississippi mud
17. Mincemeat
18. Being hit by a car
19. Pecan
*Peach would be higher if cobbler counted as pie. Alas, it does not.

22 October 2013

Throwback Tuesday (early): Half a World Away by REM

I love this song.

It came out in 1991. I listened to it on repeat in my cousin's grey 1985 Honda Accord because he was cool and let me borrow it. The CD was mine. The audio fidelity from those speakers turned up to MAX was shit. (I would know.) A brief browse of the internet indicates that I'm not alone; quite a lot of people have a history with this song.

True story: when I got to college in Fall of 1992 I had a huge crush on a girl that lived downstairs. She was impossibly gorgeous and smart and funny. Wasn't able to manufacture a reason to talk to her but one day I was walking past her room and this song was playing. I stopped and said, wow I really like this music, is it yours? Turns out it she really liked it too. I didn't say anything to her for another month, but I found out later that she liked me and played it over and over again in the hopes that I would hear it and stop to introduce myself. How great is that? Pretty great.

Ended up dating her for a bit, and although it ended badly (as relationships between two tempestuous 18 year old's tend to do), it was awesome.

20 October 2013

Life is Uncertain - Eat a Cookie

The Best
Yeah I repeat myself, but whatever. It is.

This week marks the 8 year anniversary of when I first kicked off this blog. It used to be called something else, but eventually it became GJAW. I got the name from a guy I used to work with back in the day. He would use the expression sarcastically at any time during the week. You kind of had to be there, but I promise it was funny.

So that's 8 years, around 1480 posts (so far), some unquantifiable number of curse words used, knowledge dropped, and time spent. This week I'll take a trip down memory lane and post some of my favorite topics. Or at least the favorites that I remember. Or whatever I can find that still seems somewhat funny after several years.

Cookie Monster is always appropriate. Always.

Special shoutout to Sweet Katie, a long-time Cookie Monster devotee.

Thanks for reading. 

18 October 2013

Hangover Bear

No particular reason for Hangover Bear except that I wanted to get that boob off the top of the page. This photo is way better.

16 October 2013

Bow Ties: Underrated

^^^^^^^ Guess who doesn't like having their picture taken? ^^^^^^^^^
If you wondered what I looked like with a more-stupid-than-usual-chewing-on-an-ice-cube (really that's what I was doing) smirk on my face: now you know. Glad we cleared that up.

Could be worse. Special credit goes to the guy at the wedding that tightened up the knot in my bow tie. It made all the difference. And also to the photographer, for doing what good photographers do. 

15 October 2013

Throwback Tuesday*: Only You by Yaz(oo)

* One in an occasional, irregular series.

Lately this has turned into a random music blog with occasional essays about this or that. I've been hearing a lot of sharable music lately. I promise to post another bitchy essay sooner than later.

Most of what I've been posting is fairly new. This song is the opposite of new. Without this brilliant early 80's synth-pop there is no Hold on We're Going Home by Drake. Listen to them back to back and enjoy the overlap. Throwback Tuesday!

14 October 2013

Let's Take This a Different Direction: Kite String Tangle covers Tennis Court by Lorde

Not really a fan of Lorde, but I think this cover is great. Also: another free download! Put this in a playlist and surprise yourself with your musical taste. No one else is going to spin it for you.

12 October 2013

Love Hard when there is Love to be Had: Congrats Mr. and Mrz. Ze Newbs

Lovely Venue, Wonderful People
A couple-odd weeks ago I attended / participated in Ze Newbs wedding. It was lovely. The people were super nice, got to catch up with some family I hadn't seen in a while, and I got to sport my summer formal wear.

My wedding experience was somewhat unique because Ze Newbs invited me to do a reading for him at the ceremony (bride had a friend of hers do a reading as well).

// Some backstory:

Ze Newbs and I go way, way back. Like 20+ years. I met him through Spud when they were still in high school. (Spud is awesome, btw - Hi Spud!), but we didn't become closer friends until after he had graduated from college. Anyway, we kept in touch over the years and visited now and again, usually with great fanfare. And by 'great fanfare' I mean that we occasionally drank to excess. And by 'occasionally' I mean 'always'. Yay for hangovers!

Not for nothing, but Ze Newbs znapped the current profile pic that I use here on the blogspace. It was on a train from Seville to Madrid. Because we went to Barcelona to have dinner, mixed in some other parts of Spain while we were there.

I hadn't had a chance to visit with the new Mrs. Ze Newbs since they got back together after not dating for several years. When they got engaged I called Ze Newbs and communicated how thrilled I was for him, because I always loved the future/current Mrz. Ze Newbs. She is a fantastic, joyful person and I was so happy that they had decided to spend their lives together. At the time things were difficult for me, and I hadn't seen or talked to anyone for a long while. Ze Newbs and I caught up like we always did, and he was himself, because he always is. That was late last year or thereabouts.

End backstory. //

Fast forward months and months to a couple weeks before the wedding, and Ze Newbs invited me to do the reading. I found the prospect intimidating but considered it a great honor so I accepted. Mainly I didn't want to screw it up. Public speaking is not easy for me, and the material was dense.

When he sent me the material he wrote, "the poem captures the impact of (future/current Mrz. Ze Newbs) joy, spirit and positivity on my life... It was important for me to have someone read it that sees those same things in her." I read the first sentence aloud during the ceremony to preface the reading because I thought it was beautiful.

I didn't read the second sentence because a) it wasn't germane to the ceremony itself and also b) I would have burst into tears, because it meant a lot to me to hear that from him. It means a lot to me now. 

So: the reading. I printed a cheat sheet, broke the poem into manageable sentences with pauses in places that seemed to make good sense. I practiced it over and over again to try and find a good rhythm and inflection. I worked on a cadence that seemed to suit the structure. In short I worked very hard to do it right, to do my friend's request justice. It really, really stressed me out.

It went well. As far as I know I managed to do it without skipping any words and I know I didn't stutter or repeat any lines. I got a lot of compliments and kind words from the peeps but the most important thing, and the thing I'll never forget as long as I live, was when Ze Newbs walked up to me afterwards to give me a big hug and said, "That was perfect, man. Thank you so much. You nailed it. I knew you would." Well, I'm glad HE knew, because I wasn't so sure.

I am deeply grateful to have friends that trust me with that kind of responsibility, and immensely proud that it was a success. And also there was a wedding and a big party, and that went well, too.

Congrats to Mr. and Mrz. Ze Newbs. I love you both.

//Thanks for reading.

11 October 2013

Live and in Person: Who Invited the Bro?; also: The People Have Spoken

Visited with my friend Sam Outlaw yesterday when he played a fun, entertaining show at Memphis Costa Mesa (that statement makes sense, I promise). I looked for a youtube of him playing but everything posted didn't really capture the goodness. Go here and try some of the jamz on your own. My favorites from that list are Say it to Me and It Might Kill Me. Which is a lot of 'me', but that's country music for you.

Sam's Instagram looks like a hipster commercial so the show was pretty much a hipster commercial come to life, but without the absurdly hot girls. (Sam tells me that I have to come to LA for that. I'm not sold.) So the crowd featured some good people watching: lots of plaid / facial hair / 'edgy' tattoos, and some impressively ugly unflattering clothes. I was the only bro in attendance. The kids probably thought my t-shirt was two sizes too small, which: fair point. Great show either way.

The People Have Spoken!

In my Costa Rica Yoga Retreat post "anonymous" (you know who you are) says:
"Wait, you aren't gay?"


And Sweet Katie shares:
"Jeff remembers going to a gay bar in college and being so disappointed he didn't get picked up on. You aren't gay, but you're pretty cute CCF : )"

That is funny and also very kind. One unexpected thing about going to a gay bar is that the service (not a euphemism) is AMAZING. Those guys are on top of it (not a euphemism). You get anywhere near the bar and the bartenders will look right past the stack of girls in front of you and inquire about your availability drink order. So... unusual.

And in my post of that superb Smallpools remix by Chainsmokers, another (different) anonymous says:
"fuck and yes"

That's what I'm saying. That remix is the boss. And it's free???!??! So good. When I used to play records consecutively I'd have to pay $10 plus shipping for something like that. Now the kids can download at no charge. This is the golden age of electronic music.

Thanks for reading. I'll do that post on Ze Newbs nuptials today or this weekend. I'm hoping to mix in some pictures but that stuff takes months to process. I could have taken some of my own but I was too busy stressing out looking good.

04 October 2013


Let's do this!

Thanks for stopping by.

Pictures are Overrated - Yoga Retreat in Santa Teresa, Costa Rica

Not Me, but Similar
Before I get you caught up on that awesome wedding I went to, here's a photo I didn't take of a place I sped past at high speed. I remember much of the Costa Rican countryside as a beautiful green blur, preferably with the rear tires on my ATV spinning in the mud. Pura vida!

I was in Santa Teresa, Costa Rica for a week and did not take a single picture. I forgot my camera, didn't bring my phone, and wasn't about to drag out my ipad to capture the 'moment'. I promise it was beautiful, and I'll post a few of my fellow travelers pics as they are shared.

If you're a straight guy then it's not a yoga retreat, it is Fantasy Camp.  It's basically you on vacation with a bunch of fit women. There were a couple guys on the trip, but none my age that were single. Even if most of them are married and/or not cute it's still weird being the only single dude. The only person that ended up hitting on me was the gay guy, which was funny. I gave him credit for optimism, since I didn't think I was putting out a sexually ambiguous vibe. Sexy: yes. Ambiguous: Not so much.

Spent my free time between yoga classes either at the beach, in the ocean, in the pool, or doing any of the myriad activities available to the tourist in Costa Rica. Those are mainly accessible via driver (pffffft), guided ATV tour (meh) or solo ATV (awwww yeeaaahhhhhhhhh!!). So I flew solo, rode all around, went on nature hikes, went to further beaches, ripped around in the mud and tried not to crash the ATV, ziplined, toured, jumped into waterfalls, hiked rivers, swam in rivers, lunched, etc and so forth. Good times.

The yoga was great too. Learned new things, made new friends. Overall it was an excellent trip. Coming back to the real world was an adjustment, even though I wasn't gone very long and my regular work/life is pretty good. Looking forward to the next one.
See you out there.

Repeat Offender: Smallpools - Dreaming (The Chainsmokers Remix)

What it is, people.

Free download on the soundcloud page. That's what I'm talking about.

Work of Art

At the local mexican restaurant where I occasionally get involved with delicious chicken fajitas, they have a vending machine that sells a variety of fake mustache:

Good Value for a Quarter

Someone (not me) decided to upgrade(?) one of their many kitschy decorative wall hangings:

Like them on Yelp!

Well played, sir. Well played.

01 October 2013

The Light in Me Sees and Respects the Light In You

Look Closely in Front of My Left Hand
Was digging through the archives for a moto photo and bumped into this.
I always mounted the bike from the left side and had a set of stickers made to remind myself to remain calm and respectful while on the track. But also to go fast. Hence: