Make me a sandwich

A new Jimmy John's opened downtown a few weeks ago. It think they've been trying to drum up some business because they offer free delivery and have been putting out flyers everywhere. So I swung by about a month ago to check it out. It was about three in the afternoon and the place was fully staffed but dead. I placed my order, then the manager told the guy ringing me up that he had this one. Yes, a free sandwich!

The free sandwich did just what it was designed to do. I became a big supporter of the new Jimmy John's and told everyone about my awesome free food experience. I went back a couple more times and had a lovely, if not overly exciting, sandwich experience.

Then, today I returned for lunch after a fairly long absence. It was right at noon and the place was much more crowded. After I placed my order, though, the woman just said, "thank you' and closed the cash register. I had scored another free sandwich!

So tonight I was reflecting on my good fortune. Did the manager remember me, perhaps? Did I just naturally seem like a nice person who deserved free things? Then I remembered that I was wearing the exact same shirt the last time I got a free sandwich. It is a lovely shirt - bright green with a boat neck - but its overly complicated care instructions (Delicate cycle, what's that?) means I don't wear it much. But now that I know green shirt = free sandwich I'm gonna be wearing it every day. Really, though, it probably just has something to do with boobies...


A shadow came this morning and left some candy in my shoe

At least the asking for money got all you guys talking again. See how I bring people together! I'm really hoping Warren Buffett will stumble upon my blog. It sounds like he has nothing better to do with his cash and we all know what a fan of Omaha I am.

I feel like I should give you, dear reader, an update on my life but sadly it has mostly been work, work, work. Jeff and Mads (the Dane) and I are going whitewater rafting in West Virginia next weekend. We're meeting up with Carrie there who has sadly left us for the excitement of the greater Washington D.C. metropolitan area (Summer, I really need to get you two in touch with each other). It has all the makings of a Deliverance moment, but I'm thinking it's just gonna be fun. Beckley, West Virginia, we are coming to rock you!


So on to today's album. This one has a long history with me. I'm pretty sure I first bought Don't Try This At Home by Billy Bragg on tape at the record store in the Texarkana mall when I was in 9th grade. I was a big fan of 120 Minutes on Mtv and they played the video for "Sexuality" about three times total. That was enough, though. I was sold.

So I bought the tape, listened to "Sexuality" over and over again and gave the whole thing a listen a couple of times. I liked it, but eventually gave up on it. It just seemed too British and I didn't understand half the stuff he was singing about (like what the hell is a "two up, two down two point five with a dish on the roof for the soaps?").

The poor tape just sat around in a drawer until the summer of 1998. I'd just gotten back from a semester in London and my "English" was much better. I popped the tape in and suddenly I understood everything. In the next year I bought every Billy Bragg album I could get my hands on in Columbia, Missouri and I've been a huge fan ever since.

Don't Try This At Home also happens to be an excellent album in the Billy Bragg discography. It was a major departure from his early work that usually just featured Billy and his guitar. The songs are more musically intricate but they still keep all the emotion and humor that I love in all his stuff. I'm going to say it's my third favorite Billy Bragg album, but number one in sentimental value.


You get your history from the Union Jack

I'm a terrible saver - I mean really terrible. My life (more specifically, my car) has a way of popping up with unseen expenses to take care of any good saving I may have been doing, anyway. Thanks, life!

But every once in awhile something comes along that really motivates me to save. Summer can recall the great lengths I went to save the money for my first guitar during eighth grade. I even went so far as to team up with my friend April who was strict about only eating exactly half her lunch every day. I ate the other half and saved my weekly allotment of lunch money to "feed the piggy" - bank, that is. I'm not sure I ever told my parents about that but there you go.

I don't remember how long it took me to save up the $250 I needed but it seemed like forever. I collected spare change from friends and saved every penny I found on a sidewalk. So with those memories running through my head this week, I thought I'd bust out with the modern day equivalent.

This November Jeff, Carrie and I are heading over to London for a week. I like to consider it a refresher course for the blog. A necessary expense as it were. I've been doing a little saving, but why not hit up my friends, too?

So over there on the right you'll see a little donation button. In just a couple clicks you can help make the Sad & British tour a reality. C'mon, think of how good it will make you feel to help send a blogger to the home of all her inspiration. I'll also throw this out there. If you donate $100 or more I'll post a photo of the three of us in front of any place of you choice in the London metropolitan area. Wouldn't that be a dream come true?

Really, though, this is about fun. Toss me a buck or two and we'll see what it all adds up to. Who knows, maybe it will be enough for a full pint of beer!


Keeping with the British theme, today's album is one I was never going to own. I had given up on Britpop kings Oasis after their really awful album, 2002's Heathen Chemistry. In my mind, the band I had loved was dead, never to make good music again.

Ah, but minds always change. Jeff talked me into going to see them play in Cincinnati in March and then hooked me up with their new album Don't Believe The Truth. I'd heard the plodding first single "Lyla" and didn't have high hopes for the rest of it. I gave it a listen, though, and was pleasantly surprised. It's not earth shattering. It won't change your mind about Oasis, but Don't Believe The Truth is good! My hope was renewed. Maybe this band has a future after all.

"Part Of The Queue" and "Keep The Dream Alive" are as good as anything the band has ever done. It also seems like a little (just a little) of their sneer is gone. Maybe that's not good for a band built upon pure bravado, but maybe it will help them see when they're making terrible music. If there are any lapsed Oasis fans out there, I officially declare it safe to head back to the record store.


Mouse hunt

There is a mouse somewhere in my apartment. He's actually kind of cute - very little and black with back legs that make him hop around the room. How did he get in my house, you may ask? Why the thanks goes to Tippy.

Tippy loves to catch mice, but it's not fun unless he brings them back into the apartment perfectly unharmed, gently cradled between his big sharp teeth. I can usually trap them before they get too far but I wasn't quick enough last night. I spent a couple hours shining a flashlight into every corner and cranny in a futile attempt to find the escaped rodent. Tippy, assuming that I had already done my job of disposing of the animal, lounged calmly in the middle of the living room.

There was no sign of the mouse this morning either. I'm hoping he wasn't riddled with internal injuries and crawled off somewhere dark and quiet to die. Then, I will only discover his presence from the disgusting smell emanating from an inaccessible corner of my apartment. Maybe while I'm at work tonight Tippy will find a sign of the mouse, thus renewing his interest in the hunt. He's a really good mouser when he puts his mind to it so, with any luck, the source of my mouse problem will also be the solution.


Standing on the shoulders of giants leaves me cold

I've been sort of out of ideas to write about the last couple weeks. I've read a couple good books and one okay one, but the writing - not so much. I choose to blame it on the heat.

My album today is an easy one, Document by R.E.M. I've had this one for a long time and it's been a good friend. I didn't buy it when it was released in 1987, though. I have to admit to being one of those bandwagon R.E.M. fans who jumped on board after 1991's Out Of Time. I worked my way backwards, and until about 1999 every R.E.M. I bought was like a perfect encapsulation of my life at the time I bought it. In other words, it was my instant soundtrack for that year.

I'm trying to remember when exactly I picked up Document and I think it was about 1992. It was an early acquisition due to the presence of everybody's favorite song "It's The End Of The World As We Know It." It's still a sweet tune, but I also enjoy the two bird themed songs on the album "Disturbance At The Heron House" and "King Of Birds." What's up with that? It also contains the minor hit "The One I Love" which one of my sharp readers had picked as an inappropriate love song. That's a good call. I never liked that song anyway.


If you look to the right, you will notice my new picture. I have to say I'm not a huge fan of it but I wanted to update my photo with the longer haired version of myself. Unfortunately, Tippy was not being cooperative. We'll working on getting a better one so watch that space.

I should take this time to let you all know that Josh's birthday is tomorrow. Unlike Shawn, he is not a lady so I'm happy to say he'll be turning the big 3-0. If he still had a blog that worked, I'd suggest that people leave a message for him. Instead, I'll suggest that everyone go out their front door (or onto their back porch, etc.) and scream "Happy Birthday Josh!" at exactly 6 a.m. eastern daylight time tomorrow. Trust me, your neighbors will love it.

Now I have to go. Project Runway will be on in a minute!