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Nick Curran Posts

PRK: Day 0

Three and a half hours until I go under the laser – specifically “Wavefront” PRK. I’m excited, a bit nervous, and extraordinarly curious about what life will be like without glasses or contacts, provided all goes well. Today they’re doing the right eye. Next Friday, they’ll be doing the left.

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Funnest Day Ever

Bachelor Party 3333

My bachelor party was last week. I can’t fully describe how much fun it was. We had a blast playing paintball and dodgeball. Relaxed at my place for a bit, enjoyed a cigar on the roof, and went out to dinner at Figlio. Some of us even got dressed up.

On the field and court, a couple of the boys learned the value of the cup, and for the next few days many of us were incredibly sore (dodgeball is very demanding!). That aside, the day was injury free!

I think my favorite moment came during the last game of paintball. The field had been narrowed down to Jason and me versus Marc and Carlos. Pinned behind a tree, I found myself caught in the crossfire from Marc and Carlos, with Jason in a similar boat. J started firing on Carlos, and I saw Marc’s bright white head sticking out from his hiding spot. In a few seconds, Jason shot Carlos, and I nailed Marc. Walking off the field, victorious, I went to shoot of my remaining paint only to find my gun already empty. I won the last game of the day by hitting the last guy in with my very last paintball! A very cool coincidence!

All in all, the day was just fantastically fun. I felt truly touched to be surrounded by so many good friends. Thanks to all of you, and especially to Ryan for putting the day together!

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Those Aren’t Hickeys

Worst Case Paintball Results

My bachelor party is this Saturday, and I couldn’t be more excited. While we’re generally a tame bunch when it comes to this sort of thing, you’d be hard-pressed to a more fun bunch. We’ll spend the day playing paintball and dodgeball, enjoy a nice dinner and cocktails, and finish it off with a poker tournament. I’m due for a win.

At any rate, talking about bachelor party paintball (a tradition among us), got Ryan and I reminiscing about an infamous match played at Anthony’s bachelor party. When I play, I get fully geared up: full camo in battle dress, gloves, even a cup. No skin exposed, except for perhaps a small strip of neck between my collar and the mask. Practically an impossible spot to hit, especially the way I move.

Practically. Sure enough, a game or two in to it, I got blasted in the neck. A huge welt arose. I was pissed, but oh well. It couldn’t happen again right? Wrong. It happened again, in the very next game – hitting me with almost perfect symmetry.

I’m glad I’ve recalled that for you. Now that it’s out there, I can feel good about it: there’s no way it could happen again, right?

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The Return of the Tray

Guys' Weekend 03

Ah, guys’ weekend. Poker, cigars, cocktails, volleyball, football, wakeboarding, basketball, jet skiing. Almost constant nonsense (see: updog, literally, and marshmallow welts… I pinch). Strange sights and movie parroting. It really doesn’t get any better than that. This year was especially memorable, as a classic chapter from one of our past guys’ weekends was reopened… and finally slammed shut.

Many years ago of a Saturday afternoon at the old Shell Lake estate, one of our finest did his brothers from other mothers the kindness of preparing them a snack. He grabbed one of Jack’s finest from the freezer, and popped in to the oven on a tray he found in Ma Kessler’s immaculate kitchen. Simple enough… until we discovered that the pan in question was none other than Pa Kessler’s prized NFL collector serving platter… and made of plastic to boot! 450 degree heat + plastic? The pan was melted and warped beyond repair. Over thirty years of game-time treats and gridiron memories up in smoke.

We’ve never really let poor Anthony live it down. Guys’ weekend (GW) is all about constant repetition. Repetition somehow makes the unfunny laughable, and despite T’s, “Why ya gotta bring up old shit?,” the old shit always seems to entertain. The melted tray is a story for which we all have a particular fondness, so it comes up even more often the rest. As was the case a couple of months ago while a few of us were dining in Tim‘s screen porch. During our reminiscing, someone wondered whether such a tray could be found on eBay. A laptop was produced, and much to our surprise, there it was! And only ten or fifteen dollars! We bought it on the spot, and immediately went in to hyperactively, mischievously scheming mode. One thing was certain: some funny stuff was going to go down at this guys’ weekend.

Soon after, Tim received the tray and a cracked extra that we hadn’t noticed was also included in the auction. Last Thursday before our departure, Tim re-listed the tray on eBay. The plan was to casually suggest that we all look for the tray, just out of curiosity. This is exactly what we did when Anthony arrived on Friday, and gosh, who woulda thunk it, there one was. And only $60! “Anthony you have to bid on this!” After a bit of cajoling, Anthony placed his bid. We let him think about it more, letting the anticipation and tension of the auction build over the course of the afternoon and evening. I even called Patrick and had him bid on it, upping the suspense! The auction closed that evening at $68.

Of course he won it, and the next afternoon we let him in on the joke. While Tim was in the kitchen cooking, he asked Anthony next to him to please grab a tray from the cupboard. There he found the tray we had planted, and the fun ensued. He walked around bewildered, asking, “did you guys see this?” while we pretended to be equally shocked. We let him stew for a few more minutes before letting him in on the joke.

It probably should have ended there. But there was the problem of that extra. What were we to do with it? That night during our regular GW poker session, Tim was back in the kitchen cooking pizzas again when I figured out exactly what to do: melt it! I grabbed the extra tray from its hiding spot, and while Anthony was in the next room dealing poker and smoking his cigar, Tim carefully melted the tray in the oven, then set it on top of the warm range while the pizzas cooled and pizza rolls cooked. Returning to his place at the table, Tim asked Anthony if he’d mind checking on the rolls in a few minutes. When Anthony did, we heard nothing but silence for at least two minutes. I have never wished for a hidden camera so much in my life. I can only imagine the look on his face as he saw the new tray melted just as the old one had been. Even when he did finally pop his head back out on the deck to tell us, “I don’t know how this could possibly happen,” his expression was hilarious.

We let him on in on the double tray joke, and we all laughed even harder and longer than before. Now the tray has been restored, and I’m sure the story is finally over. But we’ll be telling it forever, with a bit more embellishment each time. And that is Guys’ Weekend.

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4 Generations

74 4 Generations

I’m not sure what’s more remarkable about this picture: four generations of Curran men all together on one davenport, or that outfit my father is sporting. The glasses, the moustache, the baggy green tank top tucked in to short plaid shorts, complete with belt… it’s really something! I think I have my next Halloween costume lined up.

Anyway, it’s part of a bunch of childhood photos my dad just sent me. This might call for a more comprehensive project.

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Cut the Cake!

Anniversary 049

My grandparents celebrated their 60th anniversary on Thursday. 60 years of marriage (or almost 22,000 days, as my grandfather put it)! 7 kids, 22 grandchildren, 2 great-grandchildren (or nearly 68,000 diapers by my own baseless estimation).

60 years together and still happy as ever – that’s a remarkable achievement. And they’ve always been there for each other, all of their friends, and everyone in their family – certainly for me on more than one occasion.

For that we’re all incredibly grateful, and we look forward to many more years of their infectious laughter, sharp wit, and never-ending wisdom. We love you, Grandpa and Grandma!

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Rhett Miller

Other than the great coffee-shop shows by my friend the incomparable Kevin Taylor, I haven’t been to many concerts in the last year or two. My jar of First Avenue ticket stubs was starting to get pretty dusty. So I was excited when I had a chance to see Rhett Miller play there on Friday night.

He certainly didn’t disappoint. He played a dense, rockin’ set for over two hours with only a minute or two of break near the end. Rhett is such a great performer: excuberant, enthusiastic, and energetic… and he doesn’t miss a beat or kick or expression if a string or guitar strap breaks. I got to hear all my favorites from his last two albums, not to mention those from the Old 97’s.

I first experienced Rhett Miller’s music when he was the opening act at a Tori Amos concert I was dragged to a few years ago. With just a mic and an acoustic guitar, he demonstrated all the aformentioned talent along with great pop hook and impressed me immediately. I even bought the disc at the show – a rare event. Not sure what else to say. Rhett Miller just strikes the perfect balance between power pop and alt country with clever, witty, and heartfelt lyrics that never lack from inventive wordplay and allusion.

Anyway, go see Rhett when he’s in your town. Until then, spin The Instigator and The Believer until the laser breaks.

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Flickr

Looks like I’m a Flickr convert after all. For those that don’t know, Flickr is a great web site for management and sharing of your photo library. It’s great for simply managing your own photo collection, but the social aspects of it are very interesting as fun as well. You can keep your pics completely private, share them with just your friends and family, or flaunt them to the world.

My personal collection is almost entirely up, with the rest of 2005 & 2006 to follow soon. Besides that main page, there are other ways to browse my library:

With a Pro account, I get unlimited storage and archiving of all my full resolution images, so if you’re among my friends and family, you can create your own free Flickr account and order prints of any of my photos. Or posters or mugs or stamps! Now you won’t have to wait until I’ve been president and dead for decades.

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Weekend Lessons

Lessons I learned this weekend:

  1. If you’ve been drinking… especially gravity-fed, upside-down margaritas in a barber chair right before a fast spin in said barber chair… driving around on a gas-powered scooter, AKA Zooma, is not a good idea. If you’re lucky, you’ll only get some road rash.
  2. No matter how sincerely she promises to not get angry or upset if things don’t go exactly how she imagined them, never cut your girlfriend’s hair. I knew it was a bad idea before I cut, and that was confirmed before the last hair hit the floor. On the other hand, it was fun, and her hair has already been complimented today!
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Coincidence

So I’m watching Delicatessen, an earlier film by the director of Amélie (one of my favorites). In one scene, a tenant who is late on his rent is showing the landlord (and butcher) the new things he has to trade for his late dues. Here’s where the weirdest coincidence of my life happened:

The first thing the tenant pulls out is a non-sensical looking device. The landlord asks, “What’s that?”

The tenant says, “It’s a rat call. This is the female version. It attracts male rats.” He begins playing it, and it makes a funny sound.

At this exact moment, a mouse appeared in my living room, having just made it’s way out of my kitchen. Crazy.

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Mitch Hedberg

I was saddened yesterday to learn that my favorite stand-up comedian, Mitch Heberg had died on Wednesday. This is a real tragedy. I’m grateful that I was lucky enough to see him perform a few times. Mitch’s sense of humor was truly bizarre, and it was largely his nervous, stoner, staring-at-the-floor delivery that made his act so hilarious. One of my favorite Mitch one-liners is “I wish I could play little league now… I’d kick some fucking ass!” Another: “I bought an ant farm… those guys didn’t grow shit! C’mon guys, how ’bout some carrots.” I’ll really miss him.

This news came out yesterday, so I’m guessing this isn’t some sort of demented April Fool’s joke. Mitch wasn’t the publicity stunt type.

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No Longer Left

… of the dial. Minnesota Public Radio launched a new radio station (KCMP – 89.3 FM) this morning, and it’s instantly everything these Twin Cities have been missing since the brilliant Rev 105 left the air years ago. The Current, as this new station is called, is even better – essentially the same eclectic (don’t say alternative) format, but with no commercials! The station is so good that I’m not even missing my iPod, which is out for repairs after a tragic, locker room plummet. Atmosphere, Wilco, The Replacements, Death Cab for Cutie, Luna… all in the first 45 minutes… does it get any better than this?

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Corruption

Yesterday, while over at Ryan’s watching the Vikings meet everyone’s expectations, I taught Nina a new trick! She was sitting on her father’s lap and grinning at me. So I started sticking my tongue out at her, and to my amazement, she did it right back! Ryan said she had never stuck her tongue out before. Later, while alone with Jess, Nina was doing it again on her own! I couldn’t have been more proud. Next, the finger. This has to be more fun that having my own children!

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Guy’s Weekend

I like Nina already. She demonstrated her father’s gift for courtesy by patiently delaying her arrival just long enough for the guys to enjoy their annual retreat to Shell Lake, Wisconsin. I’m not sure what these signs have to do with anything, but it can’t possibly be good.

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Cartel Party

I’ve also posted photos from a small, recent reunion of sorts. I can’t remember the last time two of my mother’s sisters sat at her dining room table at the same time. It was great seeing my aunts Toñita and Concé again as well as my cousin Ana Maria.

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Thirty

I’ve posted a few random recent photos from the past month or so. I spent a weekend in Chicago with little sister, where we rocked out at the Strokes concert and got sick at Six Flags. I can’t go on rides anymore without getting sick! Does this mean I’m getting old? Is there a cure (for either the aging or the motion-sickness)?

The other shots are from a small, three-way 30th birthday dinner at Rossi’s for Ryan, Jason, and me. Fun times, despite the fact that I was wearing a full pint of beer within two minutes of my arrival.

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Triplets

I saw the The Triplets of Belleville last night at the Lagoon Theater. This is easily the funniest, most interesting, and most beautiful animated film I’ve ever seen, all with only two or three lines of spoken dialogue. Do whatever you have to do to see this movie. If it loses the best animated film Oscar to Finding Nemo, there is clearly no justice, reason, or logic in those awards. But we already know that. See Saving Private Ryan losing to Shakespeare in Love or the perfect LA Confidential losing to Titanic.

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Krispy Challenge

I’ve been meaning to post this for a while…

Congratulations to Patrick! On November 29, 2003, he met my challenge of eating one dozen Krispy Kreme glazed doughnuts in less than thirty minutes. The new time to beat: 21 minutes, 45 seconds. He certainly earned his five dollars.

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Broken

In other news, I recently broke my left collarbone. It really
hurt. A lot. But even as I could feel the pain through three shots of
morphine, I was chillin’ in the ER and laughing with Marc – who always
said he’d take me to the hospital some day. As I noticed the overdosed
teenagers and gunshot victims around me, I was pretty grateful for my
relative good health.

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Novus

I’m also pleased to report that my new job is going rather
well. I leave for Colombia in eight days, so watch this space for what
I hope will be another bunch of lovely photographs.

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