Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Fruitcakes in Las Vegas or The Year of We're Still Here

This past week has been we have been anticipating for quite sometime. Maggie, My Mom, her friend Cindy, Brad Neve and his wife Mandy and I went to Vegas and saw Jimmy Buffett. Friday Maggie drove to St. George to go with my mom and Cindy to see the Elton John's Red Piano show at Ceaser's Palace. I was really envious. I have seen Elton before when he was touring with Billy Joel, but I have really wanted to see the Red Piano. I had to stay in Salt Lake because Friday night I had my Defensive Tactics Final Exam(Butt Kicking 101). I did really well scoring 185 out of a possible 188(Walker Texas Ranger's got nothing...just kidding Chuck Norris please don't hurt me.) Saturday Morning I had to shoot so I was flying to Vegas that afternoon and would meet up with the motley crew to go see Jimmy. This is where the story gets interesting. ..

Maggie, Mom and Cindy at Red Piano

Maggie at the pre-Buffett Street Fair

I flew to Las Vegas dressed in my white sequined Elvis jumpsuit. For those of you unfamiliar with what it means to be a true Jimmy Buffett fan this might sound strange. When one attends a Jimmy concert, one goes in costume: be it tropical, pirate or any Jimmy song related attire. I have seen people dressed as tequila bottles, boats, and blenders. Jimmy is a good ole' Mississippi boy as was "The King." Also one of my favorite Jimmy songs was on the album Take the Weather with You and was entitled Elvis Presley Blues. That is what made my choice to go as Elvis all to appropriate(not that appropriate matters at a Jimmy show.) I came home from the firing range showered(I was really paranoid that all of the gun powder residue would set off bomb sniffing dogs.) Dressed as Elvis and waited for Dale to come take me the airport. I was more than a little worried that this would result in my ending up on watch lists that might keep me from ever flying the friendly skies again. However, people loved it. In the terminal people were trying to sneak photos with their camera phones. When I got on the plane one of the flight attendants said "They are already asking if they can take pictures with you." I asked who was. The flight attendant answered "They entire flight crew." I then learned that Vince Vaughn was on my flight and that none of the the crew had asked for his picture, but me they all wanted one with.

When I got off the plane in Las Vegas I had a line of people wanting to get photos with me. I of coursed obliged them all. It was AWESOME. I have come to the conclusion that doing something just a little bit crazy from time to time is the best way of never truly growing up, after that flight I was probably 15 again. Brad and Cindy picked me up at the airport. Brad was in an Elvis costume he had made himself that was pretty sweet if I say so myself. We met up at our favorite Vegas hotel South Point(Affordable Luxury is what they do best). My mom and Cindy were in tropical attire with hats Cindy made featuring Margarita glasses and "lost shakers of salt", Maggie was dressed in her pirate best, and Mandy was dressed as a sailor. Once we got the MGM Grand for the show people started chanting "ELVIS, ELVIS, ELVIS" as we entered the concert area. We again were in about a dozen pictures with people. One inebriated parrot head remarked "whoa two Elvises!" I responded "hey, pal you've been drinking way too much there is only one of me."

Pirate Maggie, King Colt, Sailor Mandy, and Hunka-Hunka Burning Brad

Holy Rock n' Roll Batman...2 Elvi

Two kings with Pirate kicker

Once the show started we did not sit down(We did sit down for the God's Own Drunk, but that's a really long slow song). Jimmy also did an updated version of Fruitcakes that talked about being screwed by oil tycoons. Maggie cheered extra loud ,on behalf of her Deadhead Dad, during Jimmy's cover of Scarlet Begonias. Jimmy also told a great story about wanting to do a show for the US Navy's Pacific fleet. The admiral is a parrot head and wanted Jimmy to show when the USS Harry Truman was docked in Dubai. The problem was that Jimmy had to fly home for his son's soccer game on the day the ship was set to anchored. The admiral then asked "Well Jimmy when do you want the boat to be there?" Jimmy said "Hell, I guess they work for me." Jimmy then showed a video of concert for the sailors while playing the song Son of Sailor.

Parrot Heads waiting for the show

Here we are somewhere southeast of disorder

I was totally struck with why I love this Jimmy's music so much. For those of you only know Margaritaville and 5 o'clock Somewhere you don't really know Jimmy. The songs known to parrot heads are the ones that really give incite as to why this 60 year old can sell out shows in 20 minutes all over the world. It is totally about having adventures, and giving yourself a life well lived.

After the show we went to Johnny Rocket's so I could get apple pie with melted cheese on top...yum the king would be proud.

Us pretending were normal before we all head home

We headed to St George Sunday after breakfast at the Cheesecake Factory, and a little stroll through the forum shops at Cesar's Palace. It was great to be able to spend a little extra time with Brad and Mandy who we just don't get to see enough. Maggie and I got our hair done that night Sariann's new shop Sinful Pleasures. I hung out in the hammock with Sparky for a little while before going to bed. We hit the road at 4am the next morning so Maggie to be to class by 10. She slept in the backseat while I rocked out to Jimmy on my Ipod.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Things I Miss About Cable

Maggie and I had pretty slow week with little excitement. We did go to dinner with the Plothows Saturday night at Johnny Carinos. The food was good, the wait was awful, the company was excellent. We then watched "The Others." I enjoyed it, and was able to cross another movie off of my "List of Films to See when I Get Home from Mission." I am still working through this list; in large part because a good portion of these films were recommended by sisters, and I have no desire to Kate and Leopold.

I have however been mulling over some of the things I miss most about cable TV. Here in no particular order are my most missed things about cable TV.

Sports Center

It may sound strange, but when ever I was feeling low on those two years of service to God when I was without even broadcast television all I had to do sing "Da-Na-Na-nanana"(guys know how the tune goes) and I felt better. While I miss Sports Center the most, it is really representative of all of the fine programming at ESPN: Baseball Tonight, NFL Live, Monday Night Football, PTI, and even to a lesser extent Around the Horn.

Alton Brown

I am a foodie. I love to cook, and I love to eat. Alton Brown's Food Network show Good Eats taught me how to do both better. I miss being able to know how the denaturing of protein strands in eggs will improve the texture of my next omelet.

The CNN Crawl

I miss being informed on all of the useless crap that is happening somewhere to someone, but more than that I miss reading it at the bottom of the screen while remaining oblivious to the news broadcast with pictures and live video filling the majority of my television. Reading the crawl was like reading the newspaper headlines, only I was watching TV so I looked, and felt, much lazier.

The Daily Show

One of the few newsmen I really trusted is lost to me now that I live in a land of broadcast television. He asked the questions you really wanted asked, and actually held people accountable for what they said. The sole consolation I have is that the Bush Administration is ending, and so are the Daily Show writer's days of being able to phone it in and still produce an amazing show...unless Palin is elected VP then a whole new era of comedy begins.

The History Channel

I still have PBS which is a great source of documentaries and high culture, but during the afternoon when I want to learn about Hitler's obsession with Little Debbi Snack Cakes, or what a true marvel of engineering the battery operated pruning shears are. PBS can only offer me children's programming. I have developed a renewed respect for Sesame Street in my 20s, but alas even Grover can not fulfill my need to watch 10 hours of programming on the men who tamed the island of Guam at 2 o'clock(in the afternoon or the morning).

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Sinatra, Lies,and Oinks

This past week was quite an eventful one for Maggie and I. It started with my mother coming to Salt Lake to attend the Utah Treasure's Academy, at the University of Utah's Sandy Campus which is near where I attend the police academy. She arrived on Sunday and joined us for our weekly Sunday Dinner at the Elton's home. The highlight of that evening was watching Kathy trying to introduce her dog Frito to the Pedi-Paws; a device that resembles a rotor-tiller, and is supposed to make it easier to clip your dogs nails...I am sure the infomercial made it sound like this would work.

The rest of the week was pretty standard we went to dinner with my mother after I got out class a couple of times, and I got to watch Monday Night Football at her hotel. This is exciting for me because we have not had cable ,hence no ESPN, since we moved to Salt Lake. I was not sure I would be able live with out Sports Center, but somehow against all odds I have endured. I also had a class from one of my favorite academy teachers Captain Kenny Payne from the Davis County Sheriff's Department. It was a class in Death Investigations so it had lots of gory autopsy and crime scene photos that would make normal people cringe, but being a cop wannabe; I was captivated. The best story of the night(this might be a little gruesome for some, others will laugh) was the story of a plane crash that scattered body parts across the county, a policeman trying to recover these parts comes across two kids trying to steal a ring they found on a missing arm. Capt. Payne said "I know what your thinking...Armed Robbery." Cheesy? A little. Did I laugh? Uproariously.

Thursday we went to the Hale Street Theatre to see a performance of Into the Woods. I am a big Steven Sondheim fan(as much as a fan of musical theatre I am...which isn't much). The performance was good, and the theatre had great special effects. I must say that Dixie High School did a better job, but they had Justin Hansen as their musical director so you would have expect that.

Friday I went to visit the Psychiatrist. I have to as part of the application process for Salt Lake City's Police Department. I was very disappointed I wore my inkblot tie, and was fully prepared to talk about what animal I would be and why(a platypus, because they are kind of like the X-Men of the animal kingdom). It was just a normal little interview, with boring questions. Oh, well Maggie is in an abnormal psych class maybe she will ask me "What historical figure I most envision my father as?"(Thomas Hart Benton, because the shrink will have no idea who that is...He was a Missouri statesman nicknamed "Old Bullion.")

That Afternoon we went the Red Iguana for lunch. I had puerco pibil; one of my favorite Mexican dishes. Maggie and my mother both had mango enchiladas. I drank my weight in horchata. Maggie had a Jarritos Naranja(orange soda), and Mom had a margarita. I then went to POST where that night instead of our normal PT we ran the South Jordan Race For the Cure. It was a lot of fun to run in race for a change, and I was pretty happy about my time. I had wanted to Race for the Cure with Maggie last spring, but had class that day and was unable to do so. That made being able to run this fall particularly nice.

I have my eyes closed to show the excellence of the food;
Maggie is much more interested than I in the camera at this point

Maggie, Mom, and Jose Cuervo

Saturday I went to the shooting range to qualify for the first time(I did so). I then came home went to dinner at the Cheesecake Factory(I had Wasabi Crusted Ahi-Tuna YUM, Maggie had a killer Mac-n-Cheese, Mom had Shepard's Pie.) We then went to a performance of the Rat Pack at Kingsbury Hall. It was great. I am a huge Sinatra fan as almost anyone who knows me well knows. I went clad in my Stetson Fedora, top coat and all. I was debating going in my tux to complete the Rat Pack uniform, but decided it was just a little over the top. We had a few extra tickets so we invited Hillary and Shawn, and Holly. They were seated behind us. I was talking over my shoulder to Holly and was telling her about my upcoming CVSA(Computerized Voice Stress Analyzer) Test(Lie detector). The man sitting next to her leans over and says "I am sorry I didn't mean to over hear, but where are you doing this test?" I answered "Salt Lake City P.D." He then replied "I'll see ya Tuesday." It turns out he is a detective working in the office that will be giving me my truth test.

Me doing my best to look like Frank. Ring-a-Ding-Ding!

Holly, Maggie, Colt/Frank, Shawn and Hillary

Sunday we went to church and then had breakfast before my Mom headed home to see her lonely dog(remember when he was our lonely dog? Not so much anymore). I watched my Bears do everything in their power to loose a game they had won. Then off to beef stew at the Elton's.

Monday Maggie got to come to POST with me for a class in Mental Conditioning for Combat(is that not the freaking sweetest title for class ever?) The class went over some the bad things that can happen to you in the line of duty and what a spouse can do to be supportive. It also talked about how to prepare your mind for what to do when bad stuff goes down. Maggie enjoyed the class,(as much as one can about when hearing of the perils of your loved one's impending job) but after having been in class all day herself at Westminster she was ready to be done listening to people.

Tuesday I went in for my CVSA at 7AM. The guy at I met at the Rat Pack walked into the darkened lobby and greeted me with"What's up buddy, come on I'll take you upstairs." He took me up the detective's division and toured me around a little. I went into the homicide division where he worked and where I would be tested. It was awesome. It looked and felt like I was in one of my favorite cops shows ever "Homicide:Life on the Streets." Cases on a board, discussion about the first 48 hours, talk about who would get the next call, it was great. I felt like Frank Pembleton(Andre Braugher's character from Homicide) would walk around the corner at any moment. The CVSAs were double booked, so I had to come back that afternoon. I went home Maggie went for a run, I folded laundry, and then we went to traffic court.

Frank Pembleton from Homicide:Life on the Streets(Note: He has the same gun I do. Pretty sweet I know)

Maggie was given two parking tickets for having an expired registration on her car even though we she had the temporary one in her rear window. I told her to fight it, and was trying to be supportive. This was hard because she called me and yelled "This is why people HATE cops!" I started to say something when she OINKED at me. It was pretty funny. When we got to court the clerk made us pull the car up to show her where the registration was, and then dropped the tickets.

I then went back to the police station for my CVSA. I must say it is one of the most stressful things I have ever done. The detective did a great job of putting me at ease and trying get me through the interview. It was hard, but I got through it. I joked that having spent most of my previous years in politics it is sometimes hard to tell the truth for that long.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Whiskey for my Men, and Beer for My Bloggers

Two weeks ago Maggie, my Mom and I went to the Toby Keith concert at USANA amphitheatre. IT was AWESOME!! During the day Saturday Maggie and my mother went shopping for Maggie to get a new western outfit. She got a great new cowboy hat, and a cowgirl shirt that she looks great in. I went to class where we did scenarios and shooting.
This was Maggie's second country concert (Willie Nelson was her first she went to last year) that she can remember. She has been to a few folk-country shows before not many pure country shows. She got dressed up and was pretty excited. I was stoked because I have not worn my Bailey(cowboy hat) or boots in a long time.
That night we went to concert and really enjoyed all of the opening acts. Trailer Choir which is one of the smaller bands on Toby's label was really good. I would recommend anyone who is a country music fan to check them out. Then Montgomery Gentry performed. I have never been a big Montgomery Gentry fan until I saw them live. They put on a great show. I knew a few of their songs, more than I thought I would, but I just learned the chorus quickly for the ones I didn't.

Montgomery-Gentry Rockin' It

When Toby came out it was awesome. Our seats were five rows from the front of the stage, and the pyrotechnics were awesome. The stage was set up to look like the grill of a Ford 150 pickup truck(Ford was the sponsor for the tour). It was the last night of the tour and the show was just awesome. Maggie said she was surprised at how many Toby songs she knew, and was able to sing a long with. I went nuts during "Beer for My Horses" (with all of COP wannabe spirit). One of the more fun moments of the show was when Toby started giving toasts. He started by toasting the firefighters really loud cheers from everywhere(everybody loves firefighters...darn firefighters), then he toasted "Police, Sheriffs, Highway Patrol, FBI and everybody else keeping us safe." 60% cheers 40% boos....darn firefighters. I have to say that Toby put on one of the best shows I have ever seen, and I have seen some great shows.

Toby wearing his Bailey, playing his patriotic guitar while singing "The Angry American"

Maggie and Me in front of the stage
Mom, Maggie and Me

Maggie showing off her new boots