Marc’s GChat Status Expanded

Anatomy of a Food Stadium

Super Bowl XLV marked the third year that my roommate and I constructed a food stadium in honor of the most glorious holiday of the year, Super Bowl Sunday.

It starts with a lot of food: several bags of bread, white and spinich tortillas, flat bread, butter, writing icing, whipped white icing, cheddar cheese, guacamole, sugar cookie dough, carrots, chicken sticks, pigs in a blanket, tater tots, black olives, refried beans, string cheese, celery, queso dip, triscuit crackers, chocolate bars, chips, marshmallows, and rice krispys. Total cost this year was around $150.

My roommate is the jumbotron master, and that is usually the first thing he does. It’s very time consuming and tedious. We use toothpicks to sketch all of the chocolate work, then writing icing for color. This year, he decided to do Clay Matthews and Troy Polamalu on one, and the team logos and Super Bowl XLV logo on the other.

Almost done with jumbotron 1. At this point I was making rice krispy treats, and cutting them into blocks to use as an outer wall of the stadium.

Freezing the other jumbotrong, scoreboards, and field logos. They are resting on top of the dome, which, sadly, never came to fruition (more on this later).

Normally we just do one dip in between the two endzones, but since this would be the first year that people would be watching the Super Bowl at our place (year one we didn’t realize what a massive undertaking eating the stadium would be, year two was Snowpocalypse) we decided to change things up. We did rows of carrots, ranch, chick sticks, and bleu cheese, then covered the with green pita bread.

Packers endzone was made with guacamole and letters cut out of cheddar cheese. The yard lines are string cheese.

The Steelers endzone was made out of queso dip and black olives. We had the queso dip out of the fridge too long, so the black olives sunk a lot quicker than they did two years ago when Pittsburgh was in the Super Bowl.

The completed field.

We used bread to construct the bleachers and outer stadium. Flat bread made up the sidelines of the stadium.

Ohhhh rice krispy treats. Initially I wanteds to build an outer wall that would surround the stadium completely out of rice krispy treats. I dramatically underestimated how much rice krispy treat that would be. Instead, we used them as the walls at either end of the stadium (which actually made it look a bit like Dallas Stadium). We also planned to construct a roof out of two giant cookies, but they ended up not being wide enough.

My roommate and I also spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to suspend the jumbotron above the stadium. We knew we could successfully glue the chocolate together, but couldn’t figure out how to suspend it. Therefore, we put them on both sides of the stadium.

Ruffles and blue corn chips made up the Packers and Steelers fans in the stands. Pepperoni and triscuit crackers on the sidelines. We cut up celary and stuck cheese helmets on them to make the Packers. We used pigs in a blanket for the steelers. Goalposts are alo made out of celery.

We paid homage to the fact that some really dumb people decided that spending $200 on tickets to WATCH THE SUPERBOWL OUTSIDE OF DALLAS STADIUM ON LARGE MONITORS was a good idea by putting a monitor out there of our own.

Side note: the scoreboard and monitor are a bit messy. We ran out of time and I had to do it really quickly.

Closer view of the field with the players.

Close-up of the absolutely insane jumbotron my roommate made.

The completed stadium (minus the parking lot, made out of pita bread, refried beans, and sour cream, with tater tot cars. It is behind the far wall of the stadium).

Because there were some things I was anticipating spending a lot of time on that didn’t end of happening (suspending the jumbotron, building the rice krispy outer wall), the total build time was around 6 and a half hours. I expected it to be a lot longer. I was very, very happy with it. Looking forward to building next year, and hoping that teams like the Jacksonville Jaguars never play in the Super Bowl. Honestly, how are you supposed to make something that is both edible and teal?

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February 7, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Random Thoughts: Because My Ears Are Bleeding from Writing Cover Letters

Seriously, bleeding from the ears. I wish “able to write excellent cover letters in very short periods of time” was a marketable skill.

I almost got murdered twice by my friend Ana-Lisa for not updating in two weeks. I do apologize for the sparse updates. I have started and deleted like 3 entries. Massive writers block. Everything read like crap. Hopefully I can get back into the groove now. Anyway, onto the random thoughts.

We are well past due for closing the vote on the “What should Marc dress up as for Halloween” poll. The winner is….

THE GOLDEN SNITCH!

Teletubby and Mighty Ducks finished second and third respectively. Since posting that entry, I’ve actually come up with some additions to the costume. I will almost certainly be incorporating a pair of gold fairy wings, since the snitch has wings. If anyone would like to volunteer to dress up as Harry Potter and chase me around, let me know. I’m actually really looking forward to this. Maybe I’ll send the pictures to JK Rowling as a way of saying thank you for writing the books. Next poll, “what bar/club should Marc go to on Halloween in his amazing Golden Snitch costume?”

1) The Guards
2) Love
3) Heaven and Hell
4) Ghana Cafe
5) Cobalt

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Why did no one vote for the Mika costume? I think I would look wonderful in skin-tight pants. I have the voice of an angel, and Grace Kelly is right in my range. Eff you.

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I arrived home on Saturday night after going out to celebrate my friend Ernesto’s birthday. It was 2:30AM, and the only thing on TV was live coverage of the Australian Open. The match I watched, Francesca Schiavone vs. Svetlana Kutznetsova, was quite good. That’s not the point of this post though. The sounds that female tennis players make when hitting the ball may be one of the least attractive sounds on the planet. I’m pretty sure my hell would be sitting in a room with noise canceling headphones on listening to Francesca Schiavone scream, “AAAAACHAAAUUUHHHHHH!@!@$#!@” at the top of her lungs, and then 2 seconds later, hearing Svetlana Kutznetsova scream, “EEEYYYYAAAAAACAAAAAAA!#$@#$” in response. Good lord. I muted the TV after about 20 minutes. I’m sorry but there must be a way of mustering all the strength in your body to punish a tennis ball that doesn’t involve yelling like a pissed off yak.

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I just “liked” Enrique Iglesias’ “Do You Know (The Ping Pong Song)” on Pandora. His voice is so haunting.

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I had a chance to watch three movies last week. Easy A, The Social Network, and The Town.

Easy A: Quite funny, not one of those movies where they show all the funny parts in the trailer. Emma Stone can definitely carry a movie on her own, especially when she spends the movie dressed like this. Stanley Tucci is hysterical.

The Social Network: The second best movie of 2010 (behind Inception, which after a second viewing last week, is probably one of my favorite movies of all time). I went in with incredibly high expectations, and they were met. Jesse Eisenberg is awesome as Mark Zuckerberg. By the end I felt really bad for Eduardo Saverin, who got royally screwed out of his share of the company (if we are to believe Aaron Sorkin’s take, which is based on Ben Mezrich’s The Accidental Billionare, a book that has come under scrutiny for juicing up the details of the founding of Facebook). Watch the movie, you won’t be disappointed.

The Town. Solidified that Ben Affleck is A) not the idiot sidekick of Matt Damon, B) probably DID contribute to writing Good Will Hunting as opposed to drugging Matt Damon and sending the script out with his name attached before he woke up, and C) it is safe to like him again after a series of amazingly atrocious film choices. The robbery scenes are amazing. The acting is solid. Something about the underlying story bothers me. I think the movie develops several plot lines incredibly well, then ran out of time, and ended up mailing in their conclusions. I thought the ending was a cop-out (no pun intended). I would definitely watch the movie again, and enjoy it. Not God’s gift though.

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Congrats to the Packers and the Steelers for making it to the Super Bowl. I hear the Packers are early favorites, which is surprising unless you think about how these teams got here. The Packers beat an Eagles team that many thought were Super Bowl bound (although “they” will never admit that now), then decisively beat the Falcons in Atlanta, and the Falcons never lose at home, then beat up on the Bears in Chicago in a game that ended closer than it actually was. The Steelers haven’t exactly looked impressive against the Ravens or the Jets. They could have easily lost both games. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Packers win.

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We are 12 hours into Super Bowl coverage and I am already tired of hearing about Ben Roethlisberger. The next two weeks are going to be intolerable. Is there any chance ESPN will run round the clock coverage of Brett Favre answering questions on penis pictures and his feelings about the Packers reaching the Super Bowl? I would much prefer that.

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The third annual Marc and Endrit food stadium build will be happening on Super Bowl Sunday. Right now we are in the conceptualization stage. For the first time we are going to attempt to replicate the actual stadium the game is being played in, which means building Texas Stadium with it’s massive jumbotron and retractable roof. We’ll also be incorporating dessert food into the stadium for the first time (unless you count the chocolate bars we use for lights and jumbotrons in the past. I think this may end up being a two day build.

Also, barring another snowpocalypse, we are going to be having people over to enjoy the stadium and watch the game, which will be a nice change from the usual “Marc and Endrit attempt to eat the stadium by themselves and fall into a food coma by halftime.”

January 24, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | 2 Comments

January 4th For the Win/For the Loss

The first FTW/FTL of 2011!

For the Win! 😀

Dear Blank, Please Blank: I don’t recall who shared this website with me. If it was you let me know and I will edit with a h/t. Dear Blank Please Blank is similar in layout to FML, TFM, TFLN, and all the rest. I particularly like this site though because there is only so much fail I can take in one day. Dear Blank Please Blank has users submit entries using the format of a letter. Some of my favorites:

Dear backwards baseball caps,
Thank you for allowing us to spot douchebags from afar.
Sincerely, college girls
Dear Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry,
Please send me my letter already. I’m tired of the Muggle world.
Sincerely, the kid who still believes in magic
Dear Noah,
We could have sworn you said the ark wasn’t leaving till 5.
Sincerely, Unicorns

Forever Remix: I have no idea what unemployed people did when they got bored/realized they had blisters from writing cover letters/untucked from the fetal position before YouTube came around. In the midst of searching YouTube rappers remixing songs, I came across this rather incredible cover of Forever by four of the more popular YouTube rappers (I think). The song features Traphik, Dyme-a-Duzin, Dumbfoundead, Prince EA, and DPryde. Follow the link to take a look.

Winning Fantasy Football: I won my remaining fantasy football league this past weekend. I’ll spare you the gory details. I won my first four games, then lost six of nine, then got hot in the playoffs. Basically I am the 2008 Arizona Cardinals, except I won it all.

My Buddy Nick Defying the Odds: Congrats also go out to my buddy Nick, who has never played fantasy sports before. He won another league I was in using the team name, “What Am I Doing?” Way to go Nick.

New Hyperbole and a Half Post: If you aren’t reading hyperbole and a half, you need to. Head over to her blog to read about the year Kenny Loggins ruined her Christmas.

For the Loss!? 😦

My Party Hosting Skills: If you attended my New Years party, and were ringing in the new year in my living room after I passed out at 12:45 or 1:00AM, I apologize. Blame the champagne flip cup and Four Loko assassinations.

The Next Great Baker: On Sunday I had the misfortune of catching TLC’s The Next Great Baker. The show features Cake Boss Buddy Valestro putting 10 bakers through a Top-Chef like series of challenges to see which will gain the “honor” of joining his bakery. The show is terrible. Buddy Valestro has to be one of the least likable reality show hosts in history. The show is ripe with twists that are only loosely linked to the challenges they are a part of (one of the episodes I caught had Buddy surprising the BAKERS with the task of cooking an authentic italian dinner for 100 people). The judges table segments are devoid of any suspense to the degree that Buddy compensates by taking on a persona that can best be described as “Gordon Ramsey and Tom Colicchio’s love child.”

The biggest issue;  these bakers are not the best in their trade (like the ones you see on all of those Food Network Challenge shows). When they have seven hours to complete a cake that would normally take them two days, the end product ends up looking like crap. The time constraints dramatically impact the quality of the work produced. Who wants to watch a bunch of amateur bakers produce cakes that look like crap? Do yourself a favor and stay away from this show.

Lots of birds dying: I’m not sure if you’ve heard yet, but a few thousand black birds fell from the sky on New Years Eve. Then, 500 birds died in Louisiana, and 100,000 fish in Arkansas again, and another huge fish kill in Maryland. It’s not so much the birds and fish dying that has me putting this in the “for the loss” column. It’s more the “this is further proof that we are living in the end times and the world will come to an end in 2012 as predicted” feeling I get when I see things like this happen.

I immediately regret this decision: Buyers remorse begins next week as House Republicans have scheduled a health care repeal vote for January 12. Democrats in the Senate have pledged to block any repeal of the bill, so this vote will be more about creating a spectacle than about actually effecting any kind of real progress. I imagine that this will be the case more often than not with the Republican controlled Congress.

January 4, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Something to hold you over

Apologies for not being able to get today’s For the Win/For the Loss posted. Think of this as glass half full, now you will get at least three posts tomorrow (today’s FTW/FTL, tomorrow’s FTW/FTL, and part 2 of the Jason list).

Because I feel bad, here is a camel falling into the crowd at a church service in Florida.

It was going to go in today’s FTW for sure.

December 14, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

December 13 For the Win/For the Loss

NOTE: Very video-heavy FtW/FtL today. Unfortunately WordPress is really cumbersome when it comes to embedding videos so until I find a suitable plugin, I’m going to have to link to them instead. Sorry if this means you can’t access them at work!

For the Win! 🙂

Delta Day: Where will you be when Delta Day 2010 begins?

4 days.

Yogi Bear Alternate Ending: You couldn’t pay me to go see the Yogi Bear movie, but this alternate ending is pretty great. I’m having trouble getting the video to embed, so if you can’t see it below, click here to view it.

h/t someecards

Thor Trailer: Check out the full length Thor trailer. Pretty awesome. My first thought when seeing the trailer was, “hey! it’s Anthony Hopkins!” My second was, “waddup Natalie Portman.” There are worse initial reactions to have when one sees a trailer.

For the Loss! 😦

Graham Gano and the Washington Redskins Special Teams Unit: The Redskins found a really special way of losing yesterday. Graham Gano, who had already missed two field goals on the day, lines up for the game-tying extra point with 9 seconds to go that is sure to send them to overtime against the Bucs.

That is, until the fail whale takes a big dump all over Hunter Smith.

We’re All in This Together…kind of: Sad news today from the world of celebrity. Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens have split up. I am sure they are both distraught over the end of their relationship. Perhaps they will be comforted by my favorite lyrics from the Disney movie that started their storybook romance all those years ago, High School Musical:

You know the world can see us
In a way that’s different from who we are

Creating space between us
‘Till we’re separate hearts

I will never forget you, Troy and Gabriella.

h/t Jezebel

December 13, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

The Best Dinner of My Life

I love Restaurant Week for obvious reasons.  It gives everyone an opportunity to eat at some of the best restaurants in DC for a set price of $35.  Expensive?  I guess, but absolutely 100% well worth it no matter where you go.  The restaurants don’t serve the cheapest and worst things on the menu.  Most if not all roll out the red carpet because they want to be the place you call on those occasions where a nice dinner is in order.

Last night I went to Art and Soul with my friends Amanda, Jason, and Jackie.  Art and Soul was opened by Chef Art Smith, who recently appeared on Top Chef Masters and was Oprah’s personal chef.  According to the website;

The menu is a blend of Chef Art’s cooking heritage – Southern roots and decades of southern cooking

The meal was absolutely amazing. To begin the meal, the waiter brings out “skillet bread” which is exactly what it sounds like, bread cooked in a skillet. It was some of the best bread I have ever had. It tasted like a biscuit but had the texture and feel of a croissant.

In between bread and our “beginners” we all decided to try some of the restaurant’s cocktails. They are radically different than what you would find at a normal restaurant; with many inspired by the southern roots of the restaurant. I went with the Blackberry Mojito, which was incredible. My friend Jason got the Country Kool-Aid, which is pretty much what it sounds like (except no actual Kool-Aid makes its way into the drink). Jackie and Amanda got something called the “Pinky Swear.” I would never order that drink because I don’t think I could live with myself, but if you like cocktails with a wine base then you would like this. The coolest part about the cocktails is the copious amount of fruit that they include in the glasses, which also happen to be jars with handles (happy Jackie?).

As a “beginner” I opted for the Country Caesar Salad (grilled romaine hearts, shaved parmesan, croutons), minus the anchovies on the side. I’m not usually one to finish off a salad when I go out to eat, but I devoured this one. The dressing was perfect, and they give you half a heart of lettuce that you chop up yourself before beginning to eat. The salad also includes a deviled egg on the side that was exceptionally good.

The “middle” (read: entree) might have been the best part of the meal. I had the Chicken, which included a goat cheese dropped biscuit, roasted vegetables, and chicken gravy. I am not lying when I say this was the best entree I have ever had (excluding steak from a steak house, which I put in its own category). The chicken was cooked perfectly (on the bone, even better) and the gravy was the best I have ever tasted. I think I might kidnap Art and force him to make goat cheese dropped biscuits for me every day from now to eternity. Jackie got the Ravioloi with seasonal vegetables, fresh herbs, and a butter sauce of some sort. Without a doubt the best ravioli I have ever had (are you noticing a trend here?). Jason rounded off the entrees with the Country Pork Chop with charred stone fruit relish, and a sweet onion broth. Pork Chop isn’t my favorite but I would have finished his if I had ordered it. We also shared a side of buttermilk mashed potatoes, which blended perfectly with the chicken and the gravy.

The meal ended with dessert, and all four of us got the chocolate cheese cake with chocolate sauce. Not a whole lot of explanation of the dessert is required, and it was also very good.

I laid in bed last night in a food coma daze until I went to sleep. I loved this meal. As I mentioned earlier, I put dinner at steak houses in a different category by themselves, and because of that last night’s dinner at Art and Soul was the best I have ever had. I’m searching my calendar for upcoming events that may allow me to revisit the restaurant with family and friends (Labor Day? Arbor Day? Yom Kippur celebration at Art and Soul? That one might be tough). If you happen to be going to the restaurant, I will pay you for an invite. I can’t wait to go back.

August 26, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Random Thoughts: Because…Well You Know

Tuesday morning seems like a perfect time to delve into some random thoughts.

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Now that I’ve seen The Hangover, the next movie that I am required by law to see has to be Up. I’ve heard it’s pretty much the best thing in the history of mankind. Reviews (from friends, not actual movie reviewers) range from “bad ass” to “the cutest movie I have ever seen.” I think some people say that they cried during the movie. People who don’t normally cry during movies are telling me this. I find that to be awkward. I need to see this movie.

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Speaking of The Hangover. I realized after I posted that I left one of the best aspects of the movie out of my little review.

Unlike the majority of other Las Vegas movies that deal exclusively with the allure of gambling, The Hangover focuses on the universal experience that nearly everyone who travels to Sin city has. Ridiculous experiences that you could have in no other city, long and crazy nights followed by hazy mornings spent trying to remember what occurred and how it happened, incredible gambling runs (that you sometimes can’t remember), and the ultimate decision to never, ever, ever reveal the true goings on to anyone who wasn’t in attendance in the first place. That is the Las Vegas experience. The Hangover embellishes all of the stories of those who have been to Las Vegas, and then pumps it full of HGH and Red Bull. It’s fun to watch because you are secretly reliving your own stories as you watch the antics of the characters.

Maybe this is why I loved the movie but felt slightly unsettled after watching it.

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In the Stanley Cup finals, I found myself cheering for Sid the Kid. Now don’t get me wrong, I absolutely hate the Pittsburgh Penguins. I’m a Rangers fan, so I’m mandated to hate any and all teams who are capable of putting things together at the end of the year better than my obviously flawed Rangers teams. That being said, I gravitate towards wanting the gigantic young stars of the day to succeed. I think it has something to do with wanting to be able to tell my kids, “yea, I saw (insert player name) play when he was in his prime.” When young players like Crosby win championships it just adds to their legacies.

It was the same deal with the NBA playoffs. I’m a Knicks fan, but the Knicks are still a couple of seasons away from being able to contend, so I found myself jumping on the Cavs bandwagon because I wanted soon to be New York Knick captain Lebron James to succeed.

This could also have to do with my hatred for the Magic and Lakers in the NBA, and the Red Wings in the NHL.

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My name is Marc, and I use Axe bodywash. And I’m not even ashamed to admit it anymore. That stuff smells FANTASTIC. I’m not committed to any specific body wash, or deodorant, or toothpaste. I guess you could say I am a bit of a sloot when it comes to toiletries. I don’t stick with one mate. I’m a toiletry polygamist. So when I go to CVS, I let the toiletries dance up on me and just sort of grab whatever catches my eye. Axe bodywash caught my eye. Then I went home and used it, and oh man, that stuff is good. I think I’m ready to turn over a new leaf and just go with Axe bodywash from now on. The only problem; I feel like a teenager when I use it. So much so that I bought a bottle of Old Spice body wash as an insurance policy in case the knowledge that I was using a product that by all accounts I am too old to use starts to overwhelm me.

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If Brett Favre becomes a Minnesota Viking he deserves to be punched in the mouth by each and every Green Bay Packer fan in the United States and beyond.

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I’m pretty sure the order of “TV shows that I lost track of that I will watch back to back to back to etc. until i’ve caught up” goes as follows:

1) Most recent season of Heroes
2) Most recent season of The Office
3) Most recent season of 30 Rock
4) The last 4 seasons of Lost

Discuss

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That’s all for now. Heading to Barns and Noble to look for a good book or two. Fielding suggestions.

June 16, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Tigers Love Pepper…They Hate Cinnamon

Go see The Hangover. No really, stop whatever you are doing and go see the movie.

I viewed the trailer for The Hangover with cautious optimism a few months ago. My first thought was “wow, what an incredible concept.” My second thought was “man, I really hope they don’t mess this up.” In the realm of comedy it is very easy to come up with a fantastic idea for a movie, it is much more difficult for that idea to translate into a film that is actually funny. The Hangover delivers. Hard. Over and over again. All of the central characters to the movie are hysterical. My jaw hurts from laughing so hard.

I refuse to discuss anything about the actual movie (with the exception of the title of this post) for at least another couple of weeks. Everyone should have a chance to see it before we start giving everything away. Anyone who gives away relevant plot points or funny scenes should be smacked right in the mouth.

The best thing about The Hangover is that it didn’t try to be something that it wasn’t. It didn’t break any new ground in the way it presented itself. It didn’t dramatically change directions at any point (like Wedding Crashers, which suddenly turned into a romantic comedy for the final 20 minutes of the film). It was just a raunchy comedy, and a fantastic one at that.

I’m not sure where The Hangover will ultimately rank in the pantheon of great recent comedies. It is as quotable as any movie that has come out in the last ten years. In fact, when all is said and done I think it will rank right behind Anchorman as the most quoted movie in social situations over the past ten years. There are some very memorable moments that will inevitably get discussed and rehashed over drinks at bars for years to come. I definitely will need to see the movie once or twice more before I know for sure.

But if you’re looking for something to do on a free afternoon, go see this movie. You won’t be disappointed.

June 15, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

And We’re Back

For a limited engagement. I’ll start posting on Monday.

If you happen to have the misfortune of working this weekend, I will try to post a few entertaining links and the like to tide you over.

June 13, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Mic check…check 1…2….

Is this thing on?

June 11, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment