10 random thoughts on a chilly Friday morning

1) I'm ready for spring now, but thanks for all the snow. M is ready for spring, too, so she can get her garden in the ground and off the kitchen table.

2) In the past week, I've managed to roll my left ankle TWICE. Read about the first time here. The second time happened last night. While walking down the two steps that lead into the garage, I landed on a partially hidden shoe, rolled the ankle again, and screamed "MOTHERFUCKER" while hopping on my good ankle until I could stabilize myself on the garage door. Fun times!

3) At the above link, you can also read about my recent social/sporting experiment: tennis lessons. Mr. DF, if/when we play again, let it be known that I will have with me $79 worth of knowledge that I did not possess the last time we faced off.

4) Sorry I've neglected the blog over the past month, but my life has been full of big decisions of late. Many of you already know about my recent job offer. But if not, in short I was offered a lucrative position with another company in another college town in southern Indiana. On the surface, the offer was tempting. But after much deliberation, I decided to stay put and sweat it out a while longer. I left a lot of money on the table, but I leveraged the offer into a 25% raise where I'm at, plus a significant promotion. So, that's good. I'm not anxious to go through the entire process again, as charting out your financial health under various salary/cost-of-living scenarios on a spreadsheet is not fun. But it was good to reassess my worth in the outside world.

5) I've been downloading a lot of obscure, out-of-print records from the '60s and '70s. Most of it is psych/prog/garage, and many selections are foreign (i.e. non English speaking). But one new band that I've fallen in love with is Fleet Foxes, who recently released a debut EP titled Sun Giant on Sub Pop. In my opinion, the two songs featured on their Myspace page from the EP don't do the five-song EP justice; the other songs are great. (Still, "English House" is cool.) Fans of Band of Horses, The Shins, and mellow My Morning Jacket will likely dig this Seattle band.

6) I'm so loving the German board game Carcassonne. If you're ever been a fan of Risk or Stratego or really any strategy-based "war" game, then you'll probably dig Carcassonne, which is not a "war" game per say but carries with it some similar concepts. The advanced copy of the game that I've been playing will be leaving town in a few months with its owner. So too will two of the three people I regularly play the game with, so I'll need to purchase my own copy and recruit some new players. Listmaker's recent post about Settlers of Catan, coupled with Tim's desire to play the game, will probably lead to my purchase of it soon.

7) I've totally tuned out college basketball this year. It's funny how my favorite team's horrible season has impacted my desire to pay attention to the rest of the sport. Last year, M and I watched 4-6 games per week, sometimes two or three on Saturday alone. This year, meh. Maybe I'll be able to get geared up for the tourney?

8) The final episode of The Wire has arrived. I'm terribly sad to see the show go, more so than I was for The Sopranos, even. There is nothing else on TV (or really, in the theaters) that's similar to The Wire. The show's complex examination of the American big city is enthralling, to say the least. But like any great TV show, the real drawing card is the characters, not the plot or thesis. And The Wire has some of the most engaging characters that I've had the pleasure of getting to know since, well, Six Feet Under. It will be sad to know that after this Sunday there will be no more Bunk, McNulty, Sgt. Landsman, Omar, Bubbles, Snoop, Dookie, Marlo, Gus, Carcetti, Prez, and especially, Senator Clay Davis. Sheeeeeeeiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit, brought a tear to my eye just to type that sentence.

9) The battle between Obama and Clinton has been so enthralling to watch. I'm saddened that Obama has lacked the knockout blow of late, but that's in part a testament to the staying power of Clinton. It's a shame we're now going to go weeks without any significant developments in terms of big-ticket primaries. But I, for one, don't buy this sense from many that the longer the race for the Democratic nomination goes on, the more the Republican nominee will benefit. This is such a captivating race that it has buried news coverage of Republicans, and that was even when there was a Republican race to be won. Now that McCain is the nominee, I don't see how he will continue to keep his name in the headlines as the press continues its smothering coverage of Obama-Clinton.

The potential drawback to a lengthy bout is that McCain, with no Republican to pick on, could begin the sort of character assassination we know the Repulbicans will resort to, on both Democratic candidates. The person who stands to lose the most in that instance, I feel, is Obama. That could hurt his chance to seal the nomination, and cause him to take his focus off Clinton. I'm also a bit worried that the two sides (Clinton and McCain) will gang up on Obama, becuase it's been widely discussed that the Republican party would rather face Clinton, whom many feel is more beatable than Obama.

10) I'm already thinking about taking a few trips this summer. Luckily, my new job will allow me to be less tied down to the usual summer deadlines, so I can afford to sneak away for a few long weekends. M and I are already planning a trip to NYC in late June. I'd also like to go through with our long-discussed trip to Cinci. And we've got tickets for one Cardinals game in early August. Outside of that, if there was any way to make it to a beach this summer, I'd love to follow through with it. But I just don't see it happening.