Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Man Cave

Matt and Beth invited me out to the O to the C (Orange County - The Yorb to be specific) for the night last Saturday to check out Matt's favorite dinner joint, The Yardhouse. It turned out to be a grand affair since Mitch and Val were able to make it out and Beth's pal Jenille and her peeps happened by. How did I not get a picture of the whole table? So I went from being the 3rd wheel to being the 9th wheel. Actually, I like to think of myself more as the bus driver, steering the evening toward enlightening conversation and general hilarity.

Dinner was excellent - even though they were out of, or in some cases not yet "in" some things. And we even got to play a fun dinner game called "Guess the Waitress' Ethinicity". That's not offensive in any way, right? Well we never quite finished anyway since we didn't let our very friendly, competent waitress in on the fun. Just for the record, I did not come up with this game.

But the real fun happened back at Matt and Beth's, specifically the garage a.k.a. Man Cave. We got our darts on, had a couple garage beers, and Matt even started me on my way to a ludicrous career in show biz. Talk about being in the right place at the right time. He taught me two chords on the gee-tar, G and D, I believe. I even kinda remember one of them still, though I can't remember which one it is. Needless to say, I'll probably be awesome before the month is out.

Nice dart.

G chord?

As fun as it was for Matt and me, Murphy was the only one who ventured out to hang with us. To reward his loyalty, we decided to replace any non-article in the lyrics of Play a Train Song with some variation of "Murphy" and sing it to him. It was pretty clear he was moved. Also, Murphy is a dog.

"Murphin' 'em one last Murph..."

Thanks to the Pilgrims for a fun night. We'll have to do it again. Orange County isn't so bad I guess.

Rock n' roll! Sepia!

More pics.

New Niece

There were a bunch of puns I wanted to use for the title of this post, but they all seemed gross , inappropriate, or both. So I went conservative (read: boooorrriiiiiing). Anyway, as of sometime in the middle of last night, I have a new niece, Rease Olivia, courtesy of Chelsea and Chris. If you want specifics, head on over to Abrah's blog. And if you want to see the most hair that's ever been found on a newborn (with frosted tips even - I'm assuming she gets that from Chris), then you'll want to stop by the Corwin's blog. Congrats to the both of you; I'll start ironing-on shirts now that I know the name.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Tour de Tuesday

Matt and I have been meeting up on Tuesday nights so he can avoid American Idol. Generally we just grab a bite or catch a flick or watch some Flight Of the Conchords or just hang out and generally be awesome. Never before did this involve any amount of exercise beyond opening and shutting a car door, but a couple weeks ago we went for a bike ride down to Manhattan Beach to grab dinner. Justin was supposed to come too, and we'd turn it into a photo op as well, but he bailed. Somehow we managed to get along without him.

I had been trying (unsuccessfully) to think up a rig to attach my camera to my bike. If you look at the pic below, you might see the moment of inspiration finally arrived.

Pumping air. Sadly that air was little help in stabilizing Matt's
loose rear wheel. He could use some Heavy Duty maintenance.

We got inspired by some NASCAR highlights on SportsCenter, so we figured I could just screw my camera into my dSLR GorillaPod and last the GorillaPod to the bike frame with duct tape. Genius? You decide. Here is a closer look at the handiwork.

My idea was to do some time lapse movies as I rode my bike around the strand / town. Per the yooz, the first few didn't turn out great. The bike is just too stiff and the uneveness in the road transfers right up to the camera resulting in a jittery, motion sickness inducing video. I was able to steady it a little better once we got down to the smoother Strand, but it's still a little jumpy.

Strand Bike Ride Time Lape from Ryan Tuttle on Vimeo.

I'll have to build some sort of isolation system for it this summer. I was also thinking of getting one of those 3rd wheel trailers and securing it to that. Most importantly, I think I need to waste a lot more time tinkering around with this. We had a pretty good time, and I got a little more practice with my new fast lens. Even though it's a little washed out and a little out of focus, I liked this one of Matt.

Hi there.

It shows how great portrait shots can be with a lens like this. The shallow depth of field really emphasizes his face (not usually a good idea with Matt, I know) and blurs the background.

I'll post a couple more pictures below. Everyone enjoy the rest of the weekend. And Happy Mother's Day to all you moms out there. And Mom's go ahead and get your drank on for some extreme relaxation. You deserve it. Slow your roll.

I estimate that roadie was going approximately a brazillion (thanks,
Matt) timesfaster than me based on the image blur. I did the math.

I thought this one was kinda cool. You might disagree.

Saw Kate outside the new pub.

Wait Until Next Year

Rrrrrrrevenge! ended the spring kickball season on Wednesday night with their second consecutive trip to the playoffs. Rrrrrrrrevenge! is becoming a fixture in the Manhattan Beach Adult Kickball Elite. The team has yet to get over the hump of winning a playoff game, having been ousted in the first round each trip. Maybe adding more "r's" to the team name could give them the edge they need. Just a thought. It should be noted that the team again led the league in the competitive "Peg-Outs By a Female" statistic.


Monday, May 4, 2009

Late To the Party

As most of you reading this know, I am generally on the cutting edge of fashion / style / music / action sports... the list goes on and on. Well it turns out I've been ignoring a gem of a barbecue restaurant in my back yard. (Not really my back yard. I don't have a back yard. It's an expression that means in close proximity to oneself. Get with it, people. Do I really have to explain everything?) The shame of it all, is that I love love love barbeque. And I haven't been getting something I really desire. I think we all can agree that is a tragedy.

The name of the place is Pinkie's in Hermosa Beach. My pal Gwennie invited me out for a BBQ and beer pairing dinner last week. (Gwen has a connection with the ownership. Her boooooyfriiiiieeeend - drag it out like that, it's more fun - is a member of one of the three families involved, if I understand it correctly.) They had a rep from Stone Brewing- one of my favorites - come in to explain the beer and pairings, and we had four courses of beer and excellent food. The main course was beef brisket, which happens to be a personal favorite of mine. Let me tell you, I was blown away. And those of you that know me, realize I am a pretty picky person. It was sooooo good. Really excellent. Unfortunately it is as yet not a part of the full time menu. I think I really went on and on about how good the brisket was to the point of annoying several people. I'm pretty Steve gave me a tour of the kitchen just so I would shut up. But I'm not even sorry because that was fun.

The brisket. I heart you.

Me: falling in love.

The hush puppies were excellent as well. Very unique. They were made with a very fine corn flour and were really quite sweet as opposed to the spicy, herby ones to which I am accustomed. It was a really fun night hanging out with Gwen and Tom and the gang and enjoying delicious food. Thanks to Pinkie's for putting this on and Gwen for the invite. See you next time! And if you're in the area, get down to Pinkie's sometime.

Tom, Gwen, & Co.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

A Little Less Of a Man

In the words of one Jerry Seinfeld, "it's very emasculating!" I went to what I thought was my first baby shower last weekend (only later was I reminded that I went to one for Lana as well). This latest one was for Jack Mellquist. (More on this name to come.) Congrats, Jack, you've set a AMHTFUHL record for youngest blog mention at -1 months. That will be tough to beat.

Just as with Lana, I have Anne to thank for siphoning away a little more of my masculinity. With this shower and trimming my beard 2 weeks ago, the dipstick is showing I'm about a quart low on masculinity now. Seriously, though, the shower didn't suck. Anne made some really great food and with the "no baby games" agreement reached pre-shower it was really just a normal get together, except for... the gifts.

The process of buying baby shower gifts was, to say the least, disorienting. I still don't think my head is quite right. So some night during the preceding week I'm wandering through the baby aisles of Target. I'm mainly looking for blank tees and onesies (sp?) so I can make some clever / stylish iron-ons. Did you notice I typed "aisles"? Plural? Now I'm thinking babies probably need maybe an endcap to cover all your needs. Maybe an aisle entirely of diapers as well (from what I hear they go through a lot of those things). What I'm trying to say though is that I thought babies were pretty simple. I could not have been more wrong.

When they're not making Snuggies, the people inventing products to solve non-existant problems seem to be focused intensely on infant products. For example, as I'm strolling through the Target Labrynth of Baby Products, I notice this:

I think to myself (I have yet been unable to think something to someone else, but I'm working on it), "my that's a strange looking brush." So I examine the packaging to try and figure out what could possibly be the intended application of such an item. There is, naturally, a cute little child on the front, and as I'm thinking this brush is way to rough to use on an infant's skin, I see the alarming "nipple brush" feature. It's a small auxiliary brush that pops out of the handle.

It is at this precise moment I become absolutely terrified of where we have arrived as a society. I mean, how did we get to the point where we need dedicated nipple brushes to "care" for children? A split second before I would have run out of the store in fear, I happen to read the product title: Baby Bottle Brush. Whew. This is starting to make a little sense. Absurd? Yes. But no longer terrifying. Most of you are probably thinking, "hey, try maybe reading the product description first, Dumbo," which would have avoided this panic attack, sure, but I think we can all agree that the keys to any good blog post - and life in general - are quick judgment, lack of information, and dedicated nipple brushes (I'm installing mine as I type this).

One thing I found enjoyable about infant products, is that some clothes would not only list a size (which is not really a size, but more of a time period, e.g. 4-6 months) but also a weight. The idea of all clothes being listed with weights amused me. I could go in to Sears and buy a pair of 195 lb jeans, much like an old-timey farmer might have had a 5 lb sack for potatoes. The added bonus being that as you gain weight you actually get to buy a superior product. This appeals to me as a guy, particularly one whose weight could possibly be increasing. Clearly a 10-ton tow strap is superior to a 6-ton strap. Wouldn't than 195 lb jeans be bettern than 170 lb? Not only that, but our clothes have now become "gear". And guys like gear.

OK, back to the gifts. Or, the gifts. I made a couple goofs with the iron-ons. Since I thought Mom and Dad Mellquist had yet to decide on a name or had they decided, not told me yet, I was going with generic things like "baby" and "boy". The Mellquists graciously reminded me after opening my gifts that they had, in fact, told me they'd decided on "Jack". Oh... Yeah... I also managed to iron-on "MLQST" as "TSQLM". This was actually a blessing in disguise as Emily has a fondness for backwards words. It wards off senility or something I gathered.

To this point, the gifts were really just attempts to amuse myself. For a gift the Mellquists actually wanted I naturally waited until the last minute and stopped by Babies R Us on the way to the shower. I fear I do not have the literary skills required to describe accurately what this experience was like. The term "soul crushing" comes to mind. I think it took approximately 45 minutes to find something off the registry. I can assure you it seemed much longer. There was a silber lining in the fact that I stumbled upon the "sleep sack". Again, highly amusing. I imagine stuffing all sorts of other necessary items in the unoccupied space in the bottom of the sack. Spare diapers, powders, and ointments being kicked around by the infants feet until the moment they're needed. It's like the SUV of pajamas. I do think the lack of an integrated handle was an oversight, though.

While the prelude to the shower was a harrowing experience, the actually party was pretty fun. Many thanks to Anne for her organization and preparation. And best of luck to the Mellquists in the next few weeks / months / years.

Mellquist Shower Gallery