Wednesday, November 29, 2006

"Random Craving..."

So I skipped dinner earlier on (got engrossed in some reading), and when sorting myself out with a roll for Supper, I found myself really badly wanting a Moro bar...

Maybe it's because the end of the semester is rapidly nearing that I'm allowing myself to think about something I can't get here, but it's quite bothersome... The cheap American chocolate that I got to distract me from this innate physiological need only left an after-taste of vomit, as all cheap, crappy American chocolate does.

While trying to find a picture of a Moro, I found some strange things on Google Image Search... Like This, for instance. But I was also reminded of the Peanut Moro... Sweet Lord, if I haven't only gone and made the craving worse!


Monday, November 27, 2006


Northwest Airlines is the ugly-step sister to the other pretty decent people-carriers that the American aviation industry has to offer. The flight crew seems to consist of 'has-been' air-hostesses, who have exhausted their pleasant demeanours and warm smiles whilst working with other airlines... a century ago. The gentleman behind me was screamed at to sit down during the safety demonstration (which is a load of balls, because in all fairness, if this plane hits cold hard ground, nobody's going to worry about inflatable ramps or emergency ramps, but rather, "Whose head is this by my feet? Oh wait, mine, nevermind..."), and he was told that FAA regulations mean that he has just broken the law by 'interrupting' the "important announcements".


It wouldn't be so bad if they were anyway decent looking mind, at least that'd mean that there'd be at least something pleasant about interacting with them, but alas...

To be honest, I'm just bitter because I'm sitting at the back of the plane, and there is an absolutely woeful noise coming out of the engine; so much so that if it were to just cut out altogether, I dare say I'd see the positive side of it. It's a hideous, deafening, monotonous droning, (much akin to how my own voice has been described, incidentially) and when the turbines slow, you can actually hear the propellors chugging on each individual rotation... Even with my headphones in, and the laptop turned up to full volume, I cannot escape the racket.

Funny, I just realised how adept I am at complaining, so let's balance this post out with some postive stuff - I'm happy that I didn't have to transfer in Chicago on my way over and back to Wisconsin. I'm also happy that the airline operates as NWA, even if it reminds me that the air-worthiness of this plane (which is comparable to that of a pear that's been flung from a large-sized elastic band) means that I might be seeing Eazy-E sooner rather than later...

Sunday, November 19, 2006

I believe I can fly

So I fly to Wisconsin tomorrow, (well, today actually - my flight is in about 12 hours), and I've been told that because this is the weekend before Thanksgiving, I should expect a lot of hassle and queueing at the airport. I have been flying a lot in the past few months, and every time I'm in an airport, the security staff seem to get that little bit more suspicious of me...

5 bucks (€3.89) says that tomorrow I'm gonna get a latex-gloved-finger shoved into every orifice I know of (and probably a few I don't).

This is a real-time alert, and at the time of writing, it says Elevated - which isn't bad, I suppose - it cracks me up reading these things; so here are the others!
I'm pretty sure it was orange a month ago last time I went to Wisconsin

Since the current alert is in third position out of five, does that mean that the chances of my plane being hijacked and crashed into some goverment building do not exceed 60%? Maybe someone can explain it to me in the comments.

Perverse as it may sound, I'm actually looking forward to flying when it's on "Severe"... I mean, I've been pretty lucky up til now, and I'd fancy my chances!

Well hey, if things go horribly wrong, and this is my last blog post - look on the bright side - you won't ever be in the awkward position of having to answer me asking if you've read my most recent, poorly-articulated drivel!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

The fabled 'Steelers' blog entry; as foretold in the prophecies

Here is my account of my first NFL experience, which happened... two months ago or so(?). I'm not expecting the details to be razor sharp, but I do have some pictures to jog my memory!

My good friend Allison, true to her word, took me to see the Steelers play the Bengals, which was more than decent of her! Spending the day with the locals made me feel as though I was getting the 'full' experience - which started with crossing the Allegheny river on a ferry, where I took a few pictures of the interesting things that popped up along the way, like this pretty fountain:

Once we got over, we met up with Allison's Dad and his friends, and I checked out the whole 'Tailgating' thing that baffles me so much. As mentioned in an earlier post, the premise is that the fans amass before the games in the car parks around the stadium, set up tables, chairs, or whatever, then eat and drink beer until the game starts! There are some pretty elaborate setups, ranging from simple lawn chairs and prepared food in tupperware, to RVs decked out with bigscreens, with food cooked on a barbeque!

I ate my fill of oddly named Pittsburgh 'specialities', all the while suppressing the grimace that instinctively accompanied each chew and swallow. In an attempt to settle my stomach, I wandered around to see what the other tailgaters were up to.

I know the pictures aren't great, but bear in mind that the big bus converted into a Steelers-mobile was a fan production! And that big Steelers blow up figure was also put there by a fan. I also wanted to take a picture of a sign, with black text on a gold background (Steelers' colours), that read "Fuck Ohio and the Horse they rode in on", but I was afraid of the woman who sat underneath it - she could have eaten me, and I've learned it's best not to upset fat people.

Here's about a quarter of the tailgating party I was attending.

The Tailgating thing is a nice tradition - it gets people excited about the game - at least that's the effect it had on me, as I was discussing the Steelers' prospects against their rivals, considering our quarterback was still struggling with injury. Another nice purpose these tailgating parties provide; sustenance! Those football games take hours! Four 20-minute quarters add up to quite a long time when you factor in the minute or so of stoppage in between every play! Unless you're well fed going into the game, you'll end up spending a lot of money on ridiculously overpriced stadium-food! (which I indulged in anyway, just for the sake of experience)

Anyways - we eventually ventured into the Stadium - which is pretty friggin' nice, by the by. Here's the entrance to Heinz Field:

After heading in, there was some unspectacular high-school band playing something in the background, while everybody waited for the teams to make their way onto the field. We went over by the tunnel to watch the players emerge, and it was quite the spectacle - in fact - I suggest you check out the footage I took; it'll give you a better idea of what it was like. After the Bengals plodded onto the field, greeted by a cachophony of boos and jeers, the Steelers got the heroes welcome that they didn't deserve, seeing as they've gone from Superbowl Champs to 'We'll be very lucky to make the playoffs this year'.

If you couldn't tell from the last, almost bitter sentence in that paragraph, I'm getting into this whole 'American Football' lark! It's hard not to - I generally watch the Steelers games with my suitmates, Tony and Dan (Dave's never around on match day, sniff), who constantly berate the decisions made by the players and officials, so I pick it up! I understand the rules and the gist of what's going on - not too sure on the strategies and all that, but I've become accustomed to the stop-start nature of the game - I was mostly educated on the sport by playing it on PS2, but hey, whatever works - right?

Here's a pic from my seat:

Nice Yes? I'm but one of the 65,050 (approx) present at this sellout game.

Those yellow things that are being held up are towels... The Terrible Towel, to be precise - one which is never more than a foot from my head when I sleep! I won't go into the origins (Wikipedia will do a better job than I could), but trust me when I say every fan has to have one. The done thing is; every good play will be complemented by the fans standing, cheering, and waving their towels around, which is a feast for the eyes, believe you me! It's also good fun to join in, making random noises and feeling the fanning effect of the propellor like motion every person around you is making.

Here's another picture I took after half-time (after enjoying some finger-lickin' chicken wings!) that might explain the scope of Heinz Field.

The Steelers lost by 8 points, which was as shame, as they really did throw it away (but I won't get into that now... or ever). Despite the loss, the whole experience was pretty worthwhile - so much so that I'm willing to post a rather "Mommy, what happened that man's face" picture of me having a good time there.

Uch - no more low angle shots. Ever.
Flattering, no?

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Feeling Nostalgic

So I'm up to my lame tricks again, posting videos on Youtube that I found at bizarre hours of the morning, but I couldn't resist this one, posted here mostly for my older brother's amusement (we were both hopeless WWF fans back in the day and had a tendency to quote the best there ever would be...)

I always wanted to be the kid who got the glasses! (even to this day, I wouldn't mind being the recipient!)

Friday, November 03, 2006

The Trip To Niagara Falls

So I went to see Niagara Falls a fortnight ago, tagging along with Joanna, Claire, Luci and Tom.

Since we had to get up at 6am or so to catch a bus, I decided, in my infinite wisdom, that since I was going out the night before anyway it would be a really good idea to just stay up altogether. I achieved this by hanging out with my friend Caitlin over at her apartment til after 4 or so, then spending an hour or so cramming a weekend-full of clothing and electronics into my schoolbag.

The lack of sleep left me in a state I can only describe as temporary narcolepsy; as for the rest of the day, if I sat down or stopped talking, I'd fall asleep. So I slept in the taxi on the way to the bus terminal... Then slept on the way from Pittsburgh to Erie, in the terminal in Erie, on the bus from Erie to Buffalo, and from Buffalo to Niagara...

The buses were quite uncomfortable, but sheer exhaustion was enough to overcome any superficial worries of discomfort, which was nice, because it made the travel less of a chore.

I'm already a little hazy on the details, so I won't pay much attention to chronology, but we ate out at a decent restaurant the first night, and the girls availed of the fact that Canada's legal drinking age is 19 (I myself was quite happy to no longer be considered a legal 'minor'), we walked around the tacky, neon lit area that houses all the tourist traps and restaurants. Over the course of the weekend, we managed to eat at Wendy's twice, which made me pretty happy (Wendy's is the best fast food I've encountered here so far), despite the guy serving me being an incompetent fool who charged me for a large meal but gave me a regular portion...

Of course, we checked out the falls, and rode 'The Maid of The Mist' boat, that sails over into the mist of the falls, soaking us in the process. The falls themselves are... really something, I guess. I was expecting them to be bigger. Or maybe I was expecting to be more impressed by them... How mesmerised can one expect to be by a bit of water falling over an edge? I'm pretty sure that nature in general is wasted on me, but I looked at the falls for a moment, and in my head just ticked another thing off my list of things to do before I die!

Seeing as I was yet to shoot a single frame of footage on my neglected (but beloved) camcorder, I decided to take it along, figuring I'd find something interesting to film. The end result is this four-minute long montage that I spent a lot more time than usual tweaking - of course, I could pick it apart if you asked me to, but for the most part, I'm happy about how it turned out (mostly because of the class new program I got for editing video). So anyways, I'll put it here, and I hope you enjoy it (and damnit, if you do, leave a comment and say so - I enjoy feedback!)