Saturday, February 26, 2005

Believe it or not, the Sutherlands in Nature

Responsibility - what a drag. Things at work have really started picking up, so there has been no time to blog on the clock.

The trip to Vegas was really good. No matter where we go on vacation, it always rains - even when we are going to the desert. Nevertheless, it was still good to get away. The original plan was for my sister's boyfriend, Dan, to fly us to the Grand Canyon in his little plane (he's working on becoming a pilot) but it was too rainy. I thought the idea of us being in a fiery plane accident would be really good blog material, but no such luck.

Breaking our own general rule of only frequenting man-made attractions in Vegas, we replaced the plane trip with some light hiking with Sarah and Dan at Red Rocks Canyon. Hiking in Vegas, who would've thunk it.

This is blog-worthy only because I believe this is the first hiking Traci and I have done in our married life. It's not that dislike hiking - I quite enjoy it, actually. The thing is Traci and I would never spend time in nature of our own accord. We will only do it if it's someone else's idea. We're city folk.

We had a good time. We got some fresh air, got out of the city and I saw my first wild burrow. Can't beat that.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Springfield is For Gay Lovers of Marriage

The Simpsons has always been political - but it's always been kind of tongue-in-cheek. The past couple of years it's become quite blantant - the characters singing "O, Canada" instead of America's "Anthem to War" comes to mind - and the humor has gotten lost in the overtness.

I was skeptical that the Simpsons tackling gay marriage would likewise be a drag. I was pleasantly surprised. Very funny. But I guess if there's one thing the Simpsons does well, it's gay comedy. Homer taking Bart to the gay steel mill may be one of the show's all-time funniest moments. Homer moving in with the gay couples was also a great episode. Thanks, Springfield for welcoming "Gay Lovers of Marriage."

Beaker Buddy

Just in case you don't believe that I was really on TV, I finally have the pictures to prove it. I wish I could post the whole video on here to impress all y'all, but you'll have to settle for this uncensored manuscript:

Shelley Osterloh: "Spencer, you look pretty hottt in those Beaker Buddy scrubs. But I bet you'd look even better out of them. If you know what I mean. [Shelley winks, then coughs. Then begins a hacking cough.]

Spencer: [Spencer smiles]"Oh Shelley, I'm flattered. But I'm married and you're such a dirty ho."

My television debut was a smash hit.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

iPod Road Trip

iPods are sneaky little things. You would think that after shelling out your life savings to buy one ($300), you would be in music heaven. Oh no, you soon realize you can't plug the thing into your car without buying a new stereo. And that you can't plug into your home stereo without buying an RCA cable. And that you can't go on a long road trip without needing a power adapter so you don't run out of juice. (Not to mention the problems with power conversion in foreign countries)

To solve the can't-listen-to-the-thing-in-the-car problem, Traci bought me a Belkin Tunecast FM transmitter for Christmas (shown above). This little contraption allows you to play your iPod through an unused FM station on your car radio.
I was skeptical about using this on our trip to Las Vegas, for fear that it wouldn't work and we would be stuck music-less for six hours each way. As a backup plan I burned a few of my iPod playlists onto CDs.

When the CDs ran out, we plugged in the Tunecast. It worked surprisingly well. On the way there we were able to go an hour without having to switch to a new station. On the way back it was slightly more often.

The transmitter works a lot better in the country than in the city - obviously less radio stations in less populated areas. Though not as clear as CD sound, the Tunecast was a nice alternative to having to drag a bunch of CDs along. With Traci as an able transmitter operator, it was a successful music road trip.

Friday, February 18, 2005

College Drama Continues

First I didn't graduate at all, and now I'm going to get to be the star of the show. Since the U. changed my graduation date from May 2004 to Summer 2004 (the start of a new school year), I am eligible to go to commencement again this May. And according to a letter that I received yesterday, not only can I walk again (heck, I did buy the cap and gown), but they want me to give a speech.

From the letter:

"You are presently a candidate to receive academic honors upon your graduation from the University. Final academic honors determinations will be made whenSpring Semester, 2005 grades are recorded. In the meantime, I am pleased toinvite you to submit a speech for consideration in our selection of a student speaker at the University's May Commencement ceremonies."

I think I will give a speech. It'll go a little something like this: "Hello, I would like to tell you about all the crap I went through to get a diploma - all of which occured after I was done with my coursework." Do you think they'll pick me?

Thursday, February 17, 2005

What's Become of the Smashing Pumpkins

Billy Corgan did Zwan and now a book of poetry, James Iha is rockin' with A Perfect Circle and now the only Smashing Pumpkin to be fired- Jimmy Chamberlin - is doing his own thing. The Jimmy Chamberlin Complex recently released its first record. (I am waiting and waiting for a Darcy solo project.)

I was hoping that Jimmy was going to go 100 percent Ringo Starr on us (or Tommy Lee, for that matter) and switch from drumming to singing. That is not the case. Billy Mohler is handling the vocals, but there are some guest performances from Billy Corgan.

If you want to go the effort of going to their website and signing up for the email list, you can hear a couple of full mp3s. Otherwise, you're stuck with 30 second clips. I always think it's a little strange to name a band after the drummer, even if the drummer is the only famous person in the band.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Everyday the 14th

Happy Valentine's day. Nothing too much exciting going on lately. I spent the weekend trying to finish up a new song to put on the website; it's a drag to face the reality that you are not very talented. I made some progress, but my voice isn't very good and the vocals sound crappy.

The highlight of the weekend was seeing a Hummer parked in the handicapped spot- handicap sticker hanging from the window and all - at Furniture Warehouse. I guess the handicap must not be affected by having to pull yourself up four feet just to reach the door. Or maybe being able to run over anyone in your way is compensation for having a handicap. Who knows.

The Sutherlands are heading to Vegas for President's Day weekend, hopefully catching Bouncing Souls and Me First and the Gimme Gimmes at the House of Blues. (In case you were wondering about the weirdness of "I Like Your Mom" being on a Pepsi commercial during the Superbowl, the Souls defend themselves here) Of course, the forecast says "rain" for our days in Vegas, but 58 degrees beats the 37 degrees here.

Monday, February 07, 2005

Hooray for Monkeys

This year's Superbowl commercials were l-a-m-e. The exceptions were's monkey spots. Who doesn't think it's funny to see monkeys laugh and laugh about a whoopi cushion? The monkey butt-kissing commercial was good as well.

To watch all of the superbowl spots check out

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Weekend Movie Reviews

Traci brought home a bunch of DVDs from the library for our weekend viewing pleasure. We got around to two of them.

Little Black Book

I don’t know why Traci chose this one. Every time we watch a Britney Murphy movie she spends two hours saying how much she hates Britney Murphy. Oh, she had a lot to hate about this movie.

It is the story of emaciated Britney Murphy trying to find out the truth about her boyfriend by contacting all of the old girlfriends listed in his Palm Pilot while he’s out of town. Slow, uninteresting, lame.

Keeping the Faith

We gave this one a shot because it stars Ben Stiller as a rabbi—yep, a rabbi. It’s also got Ed Norton, Jr. and Jenna Elfman, a.k.a. Dharma from “Dharma & Greg.”

While not the greatest movie in the world, it wasn’t bad. Stiller’s best friend is Norton, who is a Catholic priest. The rabbi and priest both fall in love with the same Jenna Elfman. Uh-oh, trouble! If you’re going to rent this, get it from your local library—it’s free!