Sunday, December 07, 2014

Eric's Christmas Concert...Recital...Service...Thing.

My cousin, Eric, invited my family to one of his university's Christmas concert thing. I don't know what to call it because it was a mix of instrumental and choir stuff. He plays a freak ton of instruments so we were going to see him participate in that. The whole production was incredible. No lie, one of the best performances that I have attended.
L-R: Mom, Dad, Aunt Connie, Cousin Eric, Uncle Marc, Me, Sister Kris, Cousin Jessica, Jessica's boyfriend Mike
Had to acknowledge this photobomber's effort.
I went in expecting the usual Christmas fare but some of it surprised me; none more than an African spiritual called Noel. This youtube video (h/t to maestroz25) is this closest that came to what I witnessed.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Niles, Michigan Main Street Bridge

A couple months ago, the Main Street Bridge in Niles, Michigan was closed for demolition and replacement. The project is expected to take a year. I took the opportunity on Oct. 5th and took pictures of the bridge. I came back later on Nov. 30th to shoot a couple updates.

From what I heard and understand, the bridge isn't in any immediate danger however it has deteriorated to the point that any attempt to repair the bridge would not be as economical as tearing it down and building a new one.
This is the second bridge. Its replacement, from what I understand, is going to be modeled on the original, first, bridge. Given the town's drive to restoring its turn of the century architecture, I am hopeful that the new bridge will fit right in.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Screw the McGangbang, I'll take the Meat Mountain

While browsing through Facebook, I saw that my friend, Brian, posted that Arby's was coming out with a sandwich called the Meat Mountain. At first glance it reminded me of an Onion article that claimed that Arby's had an all-you-can-grab promotion. For a set price, you could grab all the roast beef you can. It's one of those ideas where it is too ridiculous to be true but would be awesome if it was. All I can grab roast beef for $2.99? I'd be at Arby's every single day. The actual article seemed to be true. It was coming from the Washington Post and not the Onion so that that was a plus. I then checked on Twitter to see if anyone had gotten the sandwich. Most tweets about the Meat Mountain were just links to the article or reactions. I found two. That was proof enough for me.

After work I went to Arby's in Niles and asked the lady at the counter if I could have the Meat Mountain and she didn't know about it. So I pulled out my phone and showed her the article. She found it amusing and took my phone to the back and got the manager. They both came back and apparently the manager had only recently found out about it as she had some paperwork with her. I was the first person to ask for it and the manager had to modify the register and give the people in the back the instructions on how to make the sandwich which is bacon, roast beef, angus steak, brisket, corned beef, ham, turkey, chicken tenders, cheddar, and swiss.

Being the first there, and one of the first in the country, I had to share this. So I took a couple of pictures and shared them on Facebook and Twitter before I tucked in.

If you are wondering if I was able to eat all of that in one sitting, the answer is no. Not that I didn't want to or couldn't but I was pressed for time as I had to make a drive to Mishawaka to make the 7 o'clock showing of the Doctor Who at Movies 14.

After posting that picture on social media, I was getting notifications though the show and into the night about people liking it, commenting on it, or retweeting it. It was great. I have never posted anything that reached that size of an audience. It was also sad, as I didn't want my claim to fame to be a ridiculously huge sandwich but you know, gotta go with the flow. Early the next morning, woke up to a twitter notification from a guy asking if a TV station out in LA could use my tweet on a news segment that they were going to show.  That was pretty cool that a picture I took was now going to be viewed by thousands more so I said that it was OK.

For $10, I'm not sure I would get one again. The idea of taking one on, and being one of the first to do so, was more appealing than the actual taste. I only have two complaints and none of them are the fault of Arby's.  1.) My hatred of ham.  2.) My dislike of cold meats mixed with warm meats.  But...if any of my friends want to tackle one, I'd be more than happy to come with them and do it again.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Atheist Ass

I had two interesting encounters with Christians at the fair last week. While walking by the various commercial booths, I came across one that had a display with three doors that you could open. The claim was that behind those doors you could see three things that God cannot do. I forget what all the third one said but the other two said that God can not change and that God can not lie. I laughed as I don't believe those statements.  The guy saw me laugh and asked, "do you believe you will go to heaven?"

I knew where he was going with that question and it pushed my button. I said, "no." I could tell that he was taken aback by what I said but after a he collected himself, he said, "would you like to know how."  I said, "No, but thanks," and walked away. I have a low tolerance for people who make judgement on who can go to heaven and believe they know what criteria is needed to be met to get there.  I wasn't about to have a conversation with a fundamentalist because I already know that I do not meet his requirements. I will not go to his heaven.

A while later I came across another Christian booth. They had a display that had Bible trivia on it with true or false choices. You would choose with a stylus that would activate a green or red light depending if the choice was correct. I went through the questions and got most of it right.  (Did you know that there was a female Noah?).  The guy was not pushy and the environment was more inviting.  He was pretty cool and he even gave me a book after I completed the trivia board.

Later on after I had left the fair, I was thinking on the interactions I had between the two men and why I had reactions that were quite different even though they represent the same faith and my thought was this: the first guy was telling me what I should know and the second was inviting me to know more.  It occurred to me that how I view Christians--is shaped by similar attitudes. Of course it's a lot easier to get along with someone that doesn't condemn you to hell than someone who does.

Saturday, August 09, 2014

Galien River Park

It has been a stressful couple of weeks at work and I wanted to get away. I thought that I would check out the Galien River Park near New Buffalo. I had read earlier in the year that a canopy walkway was built and was supposed to provide a great view.
Renting a kayak seems like a really great idea!
It's not a very big park and you can cover over all of it in less than an hour but I think it would be nice to come to and see it as the seasons change.  Construction is still going on to make it more wheelchair accessible. The trails are there but it looks like they are going to put in more wooden planks.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Day Trip to Chicago for the Pride Parade

Today I got up early and drove to Michigan City to catch the South Shore train to Chicago. This was a day trip to see the Pride Parade. I would have liked to have been there for more but I am short on money and I wanted to keep it as cheap as possible. I swear that train picked up every queer person from South Bend to Chicago. It was a crowded, loud, but exciting trip. A rainbow, hooting and hollering, came out of that train at Millennium Station.

I met up with my friend, Kevin, and his boyfriend, William. After getting my transit card, we rode the L to North Avenue Beach.  The plan was to fly a pirate kite. Kevin also tried to talk me into jumping into the lake with him. Lake Michigan in June? Lol, I don't think so. I knew that water was too cold and judging by how quickly Kevin and William went in and came back out, I was found out that I was right.

We didn't have much time at the beach and we had to make our way quickly to the parade route. I whipped out my phone and had google give me transit directions. First time ever used it and it worked... up until the driver announced that the route was being detoured. I don't know Chicago so I couldn't keep up with the alternative route information that he was giving out. Fortunately William got the driver to drop us off at a good place that we could walk from to get to the parade route. Much thanks to the unknown CTA bus driver.

After a bit of a walk we got to where we needed to be and met up with two friends of William's. We were now all set to watch the parade:

The political nerd inside of me was happy to get a chance to see Mayor Rahm Emanuel, and Gov. Quinn. Not that I like them personally.  It's just neat to be close to people who wield power and are known nationally. Indeed, sometimes it felt like a Democrat Party parade but you know... I get why that is.  I don't see the Republicans ever getting the trust of gays as a bloc and for good reason.

This parade went far longer than I ever guessed.  Three hours maybe?  I hadn't eaten at all that day and I just had some water so by the end of it, I was dying to get some food and drink in me. We went to a sushi restaurant. It wouldn't have been my first choice except that it wasn't crowded so ding ding ding, we had a winner.  Lunch/Dinner was good.  I had a terriyaki beef bento box. Way too expensive but I wanted a sample of everything,

We left William's friend's and boarded the L back to the loop to catch the blue line to Logan Square where they lived but as we were making the loop, I noticed that I would have caught the 6:22 back to Michigan City if I got off.  Otherwise I'd have to go all the way to Logan Square and come back to catch the next train at 9:15.  I didn't feel like it was worth it so I quickly made a decision to say my thanks and goodbyes and got off at the Randolf stop.

I had some good eye candy on my way back home. Apparently this short guy with dark hair and a bit of scruff on his face had marched in the parade.  I think he was a Sears worker. Pity he seemed to be attached to a taller guy but I stole some glances every chance I got.  There was also this one...MTF?  Anyways, she reminded me of Xerxes from the movie 300.  The facial structure was there and so was the excessive amounts of jewelry.  The difference was that Xerxes in the movie was balled.  She had a tight bun on the top.  Then there was this crass girl who kept talking about her vagina and her "seven thousand dollar boobies."  The conductor had to shut her up a couple times.

It was a good day. I think I shall try to do more next year.