Sunday, December 30, 2007

Finally!!!!!!!

Once in a while, when I come across something truly remarkable, I feel it is my obligation to share my experience with you, my fellow bloggers. As luck would have it, today was one of those days with one of those experiences. The morning after a wonderful holiday party thrown by Barbara Peapod (the food gets better every year!), my wife and I decided to go to Denny’s for breakfast.

Normally, there is nothing of note at a Denny’s on a weekend morning, outside of some church-goers and hookers. However, Denny’s did something revolutionary to its breakfast menu. Let me step back for just a second. Remember a few months ago when I blogged that I hated the lack of breakfast options at local diners and restaurants? Specifically, I was upset that most of these places would pile on a side of home-fries or hash-browns, even though I do not like these.

Denny’s must be listening to me, because the company, in a rare display of brilliance, has begun offering the “Grand Slam Choice” option on its menus. Basically, you have a choice of 4 items to include on your plate (and if you want a 5th or 6th item, it costs an extra dollar). So, now you can choose between such items as eggs, pancackes, bacon, sausage, toast, hash-browns, and grits, just to name a few.

It was as if the heavens opened, and the breakfast angel granted my breakfast wish. I’m hoping this trend sweeps across the fine diners all over Pennsylvania, and, eventually the nation. I rank this brilliant idea right up there with the value menus that fast-food joints came up with around 15 years ago.

This will certainly rank up there in great events of 2007. Speaking of which, have a safe and happy new year, everyone!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Wii-markable!

So, first, let me wish all of you a happy holiday season - I know that some of this is belated – I was busy with final holiday stuff. One of the things that occupied me was the Nintendo Wii – yes I got it for Christmas, and let me tell ya, it is AWESOME! But, this item gave me joy I didn’t expect … watching my wife’s parents play boxing against each other! It was absolutely hysterical! We videotaped it, and who knows – maybe we’ll put it on Youtube – it was that funny! There was trash talking and horrible boxing that would even make Manut Bol cringe.

My body was hurting the next day – I don’t know if it was from the laughing, or from playing the Wii for too long. Hey, at the very least, it gives you a workout. But, I digress. The online capabilities of the Wii are remarkable to say the least. I am able to not only surf the internet, but I can download older games from the Nintendo systems, as well as Sega Genesis, Turbo Grafix 16, and NEO GEO. I’m hoping they put on some old Commodore 64 games – that would be cool.

An added bonus (is that even good grammar?) is the “Mii Creator,” in which you get to create characters to use. In addition to creating myself and my wife, I’ve created my wife’s parents and sister, and 4 members of the Rolling Stones … I probably still need to do some work on the Stones, but they look pretty good so far.

Now, I’ve gotta start planning which games I need to buy in the future. My brother already tipped me off on a golf game coming out in a couple of months … I’m sure I’ll get that one. Any other suggestions? Oh, and again, I hope you had a great holiday!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Some More Sports Stuff (Sorry!)

HGHorrific!
To continue on my sports-related rants (with apologies to El Padrino), this time I want to focus on the steroid and HGH situation in Major League Baseball. Last week, the Mitchell report came out and outed more than 80 baseball players who used these … unfortunately, it really wasn’t anything new ... probably the biggest outing was Roger Clemens, probably the most dominating pitcher of our era.

But seriously, should it surprise anyone that Clemens was on the juice? He was still throwing ungodly stuff even into his 40’s … and had some of his best seasons in his late 30’s. Folks, that doesn’t happen in “real” life. The man was a hall-of-famer long before he started taking steroids, but now his legacy is tainted … much like Barry Bonds.

The only difference between the two is that Bonds is a much bigger ass-clown than Clemens. That is also why Bonds has been scrutinized more than others. Karma really took a giant dump on Bonds’ overgrown melon for all of the years Bonds was a jerk (and it sounds like he was born a jerk). Clemens will get his, I’m sure.

But, I have this feeling that this report only scraped the surface of this performance enhancing drug situation … there were probably close to 100 MLB players who breathed a sigh of relief that they weren’t mentioned in the report (ya hear that, A-Rod?). The 1990’s have been irreparably tainted, and the hope is that Major League Baseball (and all of sports, for that matter), learned its lesson. We’ll see – there are a lot of greedy people involved.

McNabulous
Trouble follows Donovan McNabb like a duckling follows its mother. And the city of Philadelphia just eats it up. This city has refused to embrace the guy ever since he was drafted instead of Ricky Williams (a smart move, by the way) in 1999. Donovan has weathered that draft, the T.O. era, throwing up in the huddle during the Super Bowl, Rush Limbaugh, and numerous injuries in his time.

But, I get the feeling that his conversation, whatever it may have involved, with Pam Oliver, might be the straw that broke the camel’s back. McNabb apparently expressed his dissatisfaction with the ownership and the city, and said something along the lines of feeling that ownership is distancing itself from him, and might trade him next season. Pam Oliver reported this during the game.

One thing must be noted here – you should never, ever say negative things about the city of Philadelphia if you play here … the fans will never, ever support you. Mike Schmidt’s popularity is still only luke-warm in this city, even though he was VERY successful. Mitch Williams is possibly more popular, even though his last pitch caused the Phils to lose the World Series in 1993. Why? Because Williams is likeable, and lets criticism roll off his back. McNabb seems to take a lot more personally, and that’s the problem.

McNabb will probably be best off playing in a city that only cheers for its team, and never criticizes it – like maybe San Diego, or Miami. He should stay away from Chicago or New York, or more of the same will probably happen.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

BCS .. It's Fantastic ...

I don’t normally blog about sports too much, but please allow me to get some of my thoughts off my chest – I’ll try not to be too boring or long-winded (applause!).

First, I’d like to discuss college football – specifically the BCS system. For some reason, still not entirely clear to me, there is no legitimate playoff system in division 1 college football. I know, I know – a lot of sponsors (and college football itself) make a lot of money with the current bowl system. Basically, there is some sort of elaborate calculation that chooses the top two teams in the country (as well as a few others who play in other “bowl championship games” that, besides being more profitable for the “qualifying” schools, serves no real purpose). This season was especially trying for the BCS, because so many teams ended up losing games they probably should’ve won. Hence, a huge dilemma resulted – which teams should play for the national championship? The BCS (and all of college football) breathed a sigh of relief when Kansas, Missouri , and West Virginia all lost – these three teams don’t really carry a lot of weight in the world of college football, and sponsors probably would’ve lost out on advertising had any of these three teams survived.

As it turns out, LSU – a team with two losses, is facing Ohio State – a team that really hasn’t played anybody great, for the national title. How can a two-loss team possibly qualify for this? The answer is MONEY. I’m guessing the BCS calculations were mixed with sponsor pressure to force this game. Shockingly enough, USC isn’t involved in the title game – I figure the sponsors were really “hoping” for an LSU vs. USC game – they’d just have a difficult time justifying having two 2-loss teams play for the national title.

My question is this – why can’t we have an 8-team playoff in the month of December? I mean, most of the month is spend watching lower division playoff games, right? Can’t we have a playoff system, as well as bowl games? Wouldn’t the sponsors, as well as college football, make even more money this way? Wouldn’t this alleviate the issues college football currently has to deal with?

I’m sure there will always be issues, even with a playoff – especially trying to decide which 8 teams make the playoffs. I mean, would Hawaii (undefeated) even get represented? Would only the major conferences (and Notre Dame, unfortunately) demand representation? Possibly. But, wouldn’t this dilemma be far better than the one we currently have? I just wanted to see your thoughts, opinions, and suggestions.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

So ... What is Rock And Roll?

Big news in the “rock” industry this week, as it was announced that Madonna will be inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Let me first start by saying that I actually like Madonna’s music, for the most part – heck, I even bought the Immaculate Collection cd … by the way, that doesn’t automatically make me gay, does it? My wife is a huge Madonna fan, and she says that next time Madonna goes on tour, I have to go to the concert with her (probably a topic for another blog, but I wonder what the over-under will be on gay people hitting on me).

My question really focuses on what the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is. I mean, is Madonna’s music really rock and roll? And if so, what constitutes rock and roll? Will the Beastie Boyz make the rock and roll hall of fame, and if so, why? Is their music really rock? If these people are let in, what about Tony Bennett? Should he be there? How about Sammy Davis, Jr.?

This may be more confusing than college football’s BCS “scoring,” or what race Michael Jackson really is at this point. Speaking of which, what about Michael Jackson? Should he be in the hall? Back to the argument. Are there set rules in place that makes one eligible for the rock and roll hall of fame? I know one rule is that you cannot be selected for it until 25 years after your group formed. Outside of this, what are the rules? Do you have to have a guitar, drum, and bass in your music? Do you have to have a certain amount of top 10 hits? Do you have to have documented proof that you did a certain amount of drugs? Do you have to sleep with a certain amount of women? Do you need a certain amount of STD’s? How many times do you need your stomach pumped?

Again, let me stress that I like Madonna – I’m just wondering if a “new” hall of fame needs to be made for pop music – maybe it can be built in San Francisco or something.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

War of the Roses!

So, this weekend, I play in the semi-finals of my fantasy football league. At stake is more than $1,000 (we have a 20-team league … it’s kind of complicated). If I win, it’ll be the second time in the 10-year existence of this league that I have won … I will be the first repeat champion … so, in addition to the hefty winnings, I will also have bragging rights for a year … almost as important as the money … almost.

However, I face an interesting challenge … you see, my opponent this week is none other than my wife and her friend (Barbara Peapod – check out her blog on my blog roll!). History could possibly be made either way here – in the 10 years our league has existed, no woman (or women) have ever gotten close to winning. I stand in the way of this – and I know that many of you bloggers will claim that my “manhood” is at stake.

The girls had a really good season … in fact, they’ve had a really good three years, making the playoffs each of those seasons … they aren’t your typical “girls.” These girls follow the games rabidly, and converse quite a bit about fantasy football strategy. If one didn’t know any better, one would probably swear that they are hiding penises between their legs.

I have to say this – I’m a long shot to win this game. It’s really a surprise that I’ve made it this far, especially if you consider the 0-3 start that I had to the season. My roster is full of hit-or-miss players (with the exception of Peyton Manning and Jason Whitten). Thankfully, I caught a couple of breaks and my players have been performing very well the last few weeks.

I guess the real question is, what should the league do if the girls win the championship? Have we gone into uncharted territory here? Please, be candid with the responses!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Tree-mendous?

We got our Christmas Tree (no, not holiday tree) last week, and had a small Christmas tree decorating party this past Saturday night – the tree looks “tree-mendous!” However, it got me to thinking about positives and negatives of real and artificial trees.

I’ve never had an artificial tree – I kind of like the fun of going out and “finding” the perfect tree. But these prices are starting to get ridiculous – we paid around $40 for our tree this year – by far the most we’ve ever spent on a tree. Sometimes, it seems more “economical” to pay a one-time fee for an artificial tree.

However, I love real trees – love the smell of them in the house, and frankly, I think they look far better than any artificial tree I’ve ever seen. Plus, taking an artificial tree out of a box in the attic and putting it together doesn’t really signify Christmas for me.

But, stripping the tree naked after the holidays and throwing it to the front curb doesn’t feel like Christmas either, does it? It feels like an unwanted family member, or something. I’m sure the real trees would probably agree with me on this.

Where do these trees go once they no longer are of use to us? Is there a Christmas tree burial ground somewhere near the airport that I’ve never heard of? Does somebody have a huge Christmas tree bonfire after the holidays? Is there somebody out there with the biggest Christmas tree collection ever? I gotta know!

Sunday, December 09, 2007

More Trash???

So, by now, many of you have probably heard or read about the writers’ strike going on in Hollywood. Basically, it has something to do with the writers wanting to get paid for DVD sales – I’m sure one can argue either way whether this is a good idea or not (this is not the purpose of this post).

Probably the majority of you don’t care, and normally I wouldn’t, either. However, I have a few fears. First, the most obvious ones surround my favorite tv shows – namely, Lost, Heroes, 24, My Name is Earl, and the Office. These shows have stopped production, and, in the case of Lost, may result in the cancellation of the entire season. This does not sit so well with me, although it will give me more time to follow college basketball, football, and hockey.

However, a more disturbing fear I have is that the networks will increasingly rely even more on those awful reality shows that have already, in my opinion, supersaturated the airwaves. I just saw recently (no offense, Barbara Peapod) a gospel talent show commercial … seriously? Is this what’s it’s come to? What other shows will be on the horizon – Who Wants to Be a NASCAR driver? If this happens, I may do more than throw up a little in my mouth. Will we have to deal with reruns of long-forgotten shows like, god forbid, Mama’s Family or T.J. Hooker?

What about those talk shows, especially the late night ones? I mean, I’m thankful that I don’t have to hear any Jay Leno sound-bites, but I genuinely miss Letterman, Kimmel, and even Conan O’Brien. Sadly, The View is still being run, and Ellen’s talk show is still being filmed.

And, what about movies? I know production has stopped on quite a few (probably all major ones). What does that mean for us (the consumers)? Does that mean that Hollywood execs will begin releasing movies that they’ve had in the can that should never see the light of day – like Problem Child 4, or Police Academy 12? If this all continues, I might actually have to … gulp … pick up a book!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

R.I.P. Evel

A few days ago, the renowned Evel Knievel passed away, seemingly unable to defy the odds one last time. I remember growing up and hearing these legendary stories – heck, I even had an Evel Knievel action figure. I never got to see any of his death-defying stunts, but the stories I heard made me feel as if I had.

I remember some friends telling me some crazy stories they heard – when we were kids, our imaginations were boundless (plus, we’d believe just about anything). One friend even told me that Knievel was planning on jumping his bike across the Pacific Ocean … it made perfect sense to me.

I saw a documentary on the guy this weekend – it was actually pretty good. One thought kept going through my mind – how the heck did he get into this line of work? What prompted him to say to himself, “Hey Evel, I really got the jonesing to jump my Harley Davidson over 15 school busses?” Maybe it was the celebrity and fame, perhaps it was the money, maybe the insatiable appetite for danger, more likely it was because he knew that he’d be able to sleep with just about any girl out there.

Jumping over busses, trailers, cars, and trucks is one thing. Mr. Knievel’s desire to jump the Snake Canyon makes me think that insanity had probably taken over. I saw the footage of this “attempt,” and can’t believe all of the hype this guy got. In a way, it was sort of an early “reality” show. In fact, I’m surprised we haven’t seen a reality show in which stunt men tried to outdo each other … I’m guessing insurance costs would be through the roof. Which brings me to another question – would this Evel Knievel thing even work in this day (First, would there be a market in this, and second, would the insurance risk involved even be worth it?)?

We’re gonna miss ya, Evel!

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Ho, Ho, What???

Do you remember growing up and experiencing the whole “pageantry” of Christmas? You know – going shopping at one of those big department stores, like Gimbels – you know – the ones that anchor the nicer malls? In the center of those malls, there would be some sort of elaborate area where Santa Claus would be “taking time out of his busy day” to take pictures with kids (quite coincidentally, this area was also frequented by the Easter bunny in April – kind of like that one scene in “A Christmas Story.”

Well, apparently, Walmart has put a new twist on this “tradition.” Unfortunately, because I now have a significant amount of cash “locked up” in Walmart gift cards, I have to frequent their hideous stores – that’s besides the point. Whilst trying to find something useful at a local Walmart store on Saturday, I came across the Garden center, which also doubles as “Christmas and Holiday Headquarters” in the winter-time at Walmart. The Garden center is usually located way in the corner of most department stores, and with Walmart, this is no different.

However, I discovered that Walmart’s holiday headquarters also includes a park bench complete with Santa Claus, and a camera person, and elf waiting for families to “find” him … kids, he’s located right next to the manure and fertilizer. That’s right folks, Walmart has decided to add their own Santa Claus tradition by sticking their Santa “Display” right next to the lawn mowers and grass seed. Nowhere in the store does it even indicate that there “may” be a Santa Claus in the building waiting to have his picture taken with you. Who came up with this idea, anyway?

The even funnier part about this is that for the 15 minutes I was in this area (lots of Christmas lights to look at), not one child had his/her picture taken with St. Nick. Poor Santa was just sitting there staring into the deep, dark abyss that is Walmart. In fact, at one point, he was just slowly lifting his feet up and down off the floor, and seemingly counting the amount of times he could do this.

I felt bad for the guy. I mean, how does one get to the point of being Santa Claus at Walmart? Is there some sort of Santa Claus pecking order? If so, how does one climb up the Santa pole (wait, that didn’t sound right)? What are the skills that must be proven to become a mall Santa as opposed to a Walmart Santa? And what about the elves and photographers – are they just as scrutinized as the Santas? Did the Walmart Santa lose a bet? I gotta know! If anybody has any insight, please share!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Slow Down!!!!

I guess I’m getting old (how many times have I said that?). Remember when you were growing up, and the time in between Halloween and Christmas seemed to take forever? Doesn’t it seem like time is going by much quicker now? I mean, wasn’t Halloween just yesterday?

I remember as a kid talking with a few friends about how “unlucky” we were as kids, because we weren’t old enough to do anything cool, and how great it would be once we turned 21. If I had a time machine, I’d go back to those days, grab my little ass by the collar and tell me to chill out, and enjoy it, because getting older is not all it’s cracked up to be.

Think about it – what were our responsibilities as kids anyway? Go to school, do homework, do some chores? That’s it, right? And for all of that, we even got 3 months off of school in the summer! We played in baseball, basketball, football, and soccer leagues – never a care in the world. The only care we had was going to the local 5 and 10, and hoping we’d get a Bo Jackson rookie card in the Topps pack we just bought … oh, and that gum was pretty good too, wasn’t it?

Yessir, those days seemed to go on forever, didn’t they? Now, weeks go by like days. I wish I had some sort of emergency brake where I could slow things down a little (only being used on weekends, of course). Anybody else feel this way?

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

ANother Reason To Hate Walmart!

Look, I’m not telling you where to shop or where not to shop, but I wanted to pass along a VERY dissatisfying experience I had recently with a store that many people probably frequent. Besides, getting this ridiculous frustration off of my chest will make me feel better. The store is Walmart.

Now, I watched a very disturbing video (I believe it was on the Starz channel) a few months ago about this “Monstropoly” of a store (yeah, I made that term up) – basically, the documentary states that Walmart comes into towns, makes absurd requests of the local government, threatens to leave, gets its way, kills off other smaller mom and pop stores, all while providing unfair wages and health benefits to its employees. It also went into the work facilities in China and other third world countries. So, the wife and I decided we would never shop there again.

Well, as luck would have it, we were looking for a Nintendo Wii (or two) on Black Friday. I woke up around 4:00 a.m. (call me crazy), and decided to check some online stores before I went out. I ended up checking out Walmart.com to see if they had any Wiis for sale. I searched for “Wii” and then checked under “Hardware.” To my surprise a price for a Nintendo Wii came up and it said it was available. I quickly purchased two of these …. Sadly, I didn’t realize these were gift cards for Wii’s. I contacted Walmart and told them of my mistake, but they said they had a policy of not refunding gift cards.

I flipped my lid. I know that I should’ve looked a little more carefully. However, I have two complaints. First, why is a gift card listed under the hardware section?? Second, why does Walmart need to have its own Wii gift card when Nintendo already makes gift cards for the Wii? Third, why couldn’t they refund this – I mean I contacted them right away. So, now I have two Wii gift cards and no Wiis. What the hell is up with this.

I immediately sent a complaint to them, informing them that I would check into what legal options I had. Then, I sent e-mails to local media outlets informing them of this issue (I know, they won’t do anything, because I’m sure Walmart gives them a lot of advertising revenue).

So, I hope that Walmart goes to hell, and I mean that from the bottom of my heart.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

This and That ...

To really get into the “spirit” of Christmas, I figured I’d write down a few observations/annoyances from the past week.

1. You’ve probably heard of handlebar mustaches (think Rollie Fingers). I have no problems with these – in fact, depending on the person who decides to pull this one off, it can be kind of cool. However, I do have a problem with the handlebar eyebrow – I don’t think I’ve ever seen this before, until last week at work – an older gentleman was “wearing” his eyebrows this way. I found this slightly repulsive for some reason … kind of like the neck beard.

2. Black Friday shopping has gotten absolutely ridiculous. My wife and I decided to go out for this – we went to Target in Delaware (the home of tax free shopping), and the place was a zoo. You couldn’t even move in the store – never again.

3. Shopping for the Nintendo Wii has been an ordeal to say the least. My wife asked me in October what I wanted for Christmas. I had mentioned that the Wii would be cool. I didn’t think it would be this difficult to purchase, since it’s been out for a year. My bad – this thing has been tougher to get than Cabbage Patch Kids in the mid 1980’s. I was really close this morning – I went to Toys ‘R Us, and they had 30 of ‘em. I was 32nd in line. Many of these retailers are now selling the Wii in bundles – basically meaning, they are trying to get rid of sh*tty games whilst selling the Wii. I’m getting frustrated with this.

4. I really want to meet the guy who designed Wawa parking lots. He has made life difficult for many, many people in the Philadelphia area. I’m wondering if this guy (or gal) came up with the design as a joke, just wanting to see if the fine people at Wawa would actually agree to it. Wawa is lucky that it has good coffee.

5. I played football again on Black Friday (in the afternoon, after Christmas shopping). A few years ago, we scaled it back from tackle to two-hand touch … however, even after a few days, I feel like I was hit by a tank … ah, how good it feels to get old.

That’s it for now – I gotta prepare myself to watch the catastrophe that will be the Eagles annihilation tonight.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

When I Want to Grow Up, I Wanna Be ...

Remember when you were little, and the sky was the limit in your mind? Some kids wanted to be astronauts, others wanted to be president. Still others wanted to be movie stars, or even train engineers (hey, lots of young kids loved trains – my younger brother was a freak about it … he ended up becoming an engineer, but not a train engineer).

I didn’t want to be any of these. No, instead, I wanted to be an ice hockey goalie. Sure, I had never, ever ice-skated before, but I figured that would be easy enough to learn. I was decent in all sports, but in my school, I was one of the best floor hockey players in my class. I used to wow the classmates in gym class … probably because hardly any of them played street hockey like I did on a religious basis. I was great in net, and had a devasting left-handed wrist shot … plus, my ball-handling skills were impeccable (and I was pretty good in hockey too … hey-yo!).

The problem is that I didn’t grow up in Canada (or Sweden, or any other place that had lots of ice). In fact, at the time, there really weren’t many opportunities for kids in our area to play hockey … and the opportunities that WERE available were, quite honestly, out of our price range. Still, I thought that somehow, someday, I would be playing ice hockey for my favorite team, the Philadelphia Flyers. I would someday trade in the baseball glove I used, and the sock I stuffed down my pants (to protect the boys, of course) for real hockey equipment.

Sadly, that day never did come. As I grew up, I realized that hockey wasn’t to be. I played in some deck hockey leagues, and realized that I was average at best compared to some of the others who apparently lived, breathed, and drank (heavily) hockey. I still enjoy the sport to a great extent … especially when the Flyers are doing well.

And one time, I even got to meet Jim Craig, the goalie of the 1980 gold medal winning Olympic team from USA. He was an idle of mine growing up – and as fate would have it, he was doing some sort of promotional appearances for the Leukemia Society when I was working there. I got to have my picture taken with him, and even got to tell him how much I enjoyed watching him play in those Olympic games. We spoke for about 10 minutes, and he was a great guy – really seemed to be thankful and was humbled that he had such an impact on my life.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

What to Watch?

Thanksgiving week is finally upon us, and that means a short work week, football, and best of all, Turkey with family! We have a couple of traditions – one being going to the movies on Thursday night – after dinner. In the past, we’ve seen some really good ones, like Elf, Just Friends, and Borat. Of course, we’ve also seen some real clunkers. I think we might be in for another clunker this year, mainly because there really aren’t any decent movies out right now.

I guess the obvious choice, would be Fred Claus (can’t believe I’m saying that). Hey, it’s got Vince Vaughn in it, and he’s usually a sure thing. It’s also produced by the guys that brought us Wedding Crashers (a phenomenal movie). Plus, it’s a Christmas movie, so it should get us in the mood for the holidays. However, the previews I’ve seen haven’t really been all that inspiring.

American Gangster is out, and this looks like a fantastic movie … just not the type of movie one watches to get into the Christmas spirit.

Bee Movie is out, but from what I’ve seen, it just doesn’t look that funny. I think Jerry Seinfeld should really consider going back to TV.

Watching Beowulf would give us the opportunity to see Angelina Jolie naked … even if it is only a CGI version of her naked.

Other than that, I have no idea what to see. If any of you have suggestions, please pass them along.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

The Good Old Days ...

A friend of mine were talking about the “good old days” the other day, and how things have changed. Please, let me bore you youngsters with the discussion, if you don’t mind.

First of all, nowadays a parent has to pretty much accompany a child wherever he or she goes, or at least have a member of the “parenting pool” of the neighborhood volunteer to do this … it very much sounds like being a designated driver, doesn’t it? Has the world become this evil this quickly?

Geez, when I was growing up, a typical Saturday would involve me waking up at 7:00, eating breakfast, then going out with my friends … whether it was playing sports, video games, going to the pool, going to the mall … the choices were endless. Sure, I’d have to be back by noon for the usual peanut butter and jelly sandwich … but then, I’d once again leave for the remainder of the day. Back then, all I had to tell my mom was what I was planning on doing … and even this didn’t have to be set in stone.

Our parents would let us go … even if we had to ride our bikes miles to get to wherever we were going. Public transportation? Sure, no problem! Playing basketball in a neighborhood we’d never been to? Absolutely! It never crossed our minds back then that dangerous people could be on the prowl.

I’m not sure if things just changed, or if these dangerous people were always out there … I mean, I’m sure some dangerous people were out there, but has this number increased? Today, there is no way my mom would’ve let me out the door without making sure that we had parental supervision. … and heck, I don’t blame her. All you hear on the news nowadays are stories of abduction, kidnapping, and murder.

When I have kids, I don’t think I’ll be able to give them the leeway my parents gave me … and that’s a sad thing. I miss those days.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

You Collect What???

On every other Wednesday, I play cards with my friend Slant’s father-in-law and friends. It is normally low stakes, dealer calls. We play such interesting games as “Follow the Queen,” “Queen of Spades,” “44,” “Baseball,” “Criss-Cross,” and even a little “Hold-em.”

Last Wednesday, I went over to play, and realized that I was the only one showing up. Slant’s father-in-law (that’s where we play) informed me that when a month has 5 Wednesdays, we skip one of those weeks, so I was out of luck. However, I guess he felt bad that I drove all the way over, even though it is only a 10-minute drive. He invited me in for what I was hoping was only for a little while.

However, with Mr. Slant (that’ll be his name from now on, because I’m getting sick of writing Slant’s Father-in-law), one has to understand his stories tend to last for hours. He is an antique collector/seller … boring enough. However, the antiques he focuses on are pottery … even duller.

I spent the next two hours listening to all of these stories about how he collects, sells, and restores pottery. He went into great detail, much to my dismay. In fact, he talked excitedly about such things as the different kinds of sandpaper, types of glue, and the difficulty of matching blue paint with pottery. Even when my own eyes glazed over with boredom, he refused to acknowledge this, and continued to talk about the wonders of pottery.

When he was finished with these stories, he went on to talk about friends who collect and antique jewelry and guns. Then, he asked me what I was interested in collecting. I made the mistake of saying music and board games. Mr. Slant owns a book on toys and board games, and proceeded to show this to me … this, of course prolonged the night by a good ½ hour, and dramatically increased the headache that I had developed.

Mercifully, he let me go, but not before asking if anybody in my family collected or sold antiques. Having not learned my lesson, I informed him that my uncle collects antique radios. His eyes brightened … but thankfully, I was already out the door, and told him that we could continue our interesting dialogue next week during cards … unfortunately, next week is now here. Gulp!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Laundry Done Right!

On every Friday after work, I drive my shirts to my mom’s house so that she can clean and properly iron them … she insists on doing this. My mom has always tried to go the extra mile for her kids. As an example, I probably only mowed my lawn about 5 or 6 times this past year … not because I’m lazy, but because my mom beats me to the punch. Heck, she’s already raked my leaves a few times, and is ready to come back for more.

But I digress. Back to the shirts. So, I bring these shirts to my mom’s house on Friday. Then, get this, she gives me $20 … EVERY WEEK! I tell her there is no need for her to do this …. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the extra cash, but still. This is probably why my mom never got into the laundry or dry cleaning business. I mean, she’d have great clientele, but she’d lose money faster than Leonard Tose in Atlantic City.

Plus, Inga (my mom’s name) continually gives me chocolate when she hand-delivers the shirts on Sunday … yes, folks, the delivery is free-of-charge, as well. This week, it was Snickers, last week, it was Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. I’m hoping for Butterfinger next week.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Eww, Gross!

So, I’ve seen some pretty sick things on the internet in my life … but the past few days have taken the cake. First, I saw the death pic of Chris Farley … this thing kept me up all night (that’s what she said). I’m probably going to have trouble watching any of his movies because of this – if you haven’t seen it, let me give you some advice … STAY AWAY! Remember the guy as a comedian. Remember him for his skits on Saturday Night Live. Remember him for his funny movies like Tommy Boy and Black Sheep. If you look at his death pic, you’ll never look at him the same way again. Don’t say I didn’t warn ya!

This other one that a “friend” sent was a video of two girls … normally, this is a good start to a video. However, it ends up just plain nasty. If you are interested in viewing it, you can find it on bangedup.com using the search “Two girls, one cup,” but let me warn you – this is one of the most disgusting videos I’ve ever seen. My toes curled, and I could feel my dinner fighting it’s way back up. I won’t even go into a detailed description, because just thinking about it makes me nauseous. Let’s just say that these two ladies do things with bodily fluids that one would not expect. I hear some people have fetishes for this, but I would consider these types of people crazier than Michael Jackson in a nursery school.

I just thought I’d share these two “experiences with you. I’m sure all of you have stories of disgusting videos that you’d like to share …

Monday, November 05, 2007

Pics from our trip

Ugh, another Monday! My wife and I had a great time in Atlantic City and Cape May this weekend. We forgot our camera, but I do have a camera on my phone, and was able to take some pics.

No, we didn’t hit it big in Atlantic City, although my wife did win $180 on the nickel machines (of course, I gave it all back). We did have a nice free dinner at Pickles in Bally’s, and our room was free, so all in all it was fun.

Cape May was decidedly more interesting. We stayed at the Cape May Inn, which, if you are not familiar, looks strangely similar to the house in The Munsters. Shockingly enough, the place is also apparently one of the most haunted houses in Cape May … especially, the fourth floor, which coincidentally was the floor we were staying on. No, we didn’t experience any “ghost action,” but it was still pretty funny. The Inn has a very good location though – right near some really nice shops, restaurants, bars, and the beach. Plus, for some reason, the Inn gave us a $50 credit for the restaurant and bar. Couple that with the highly inexpensive food and drink, and we felt like royalty.

Anyway, here are some pics of Cape May (and Mr. Stinky McSmelly, from the Penn State game):











This is the Cape May Inn – it was opened in 1894 … and it seems as if they tried to keep things the way they were then.










This is the little shopping “district” in Cape May. Since it’s November and the remnants of a hurricane were battering the area, not many people were out.










This is the light house in Cape May … we didn’t tour it, so I can’t really tell ya much about it.






This was the view from our room.






This is Stinky McSmelly … avoid him at all costs!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

4 Years, already????

I won’t be posting on Thursday/Friday this week (I know, a truly sad day for Bloggerville), but I have a legitimate excuse. My wife and I are celebrating 4-years of marriage this weekend … in Atlantic City AND Cape May! Atlantic City is a fitting place, considering she took a “gamble” in agreeing to marry me in the first place (sorry folks, I couldn’t resist). Seriously, though, I think she made out ok. 4 years! It seriously feels like a year ago that we got married. I guess time flies when you have fun (that should build up those brownie points with the Mrs.).

So, what have I learned in these 4 years? First, I’ve learned that I REALLY am not creative when it comes to food. I can thank my mom for that. Do you realize it took me going to college to actually try Chinese food? I didn’t try sushi until was with my wife. Heck, on our first real date, we went to a sushi restaurant, and I ordered Chicken Teriyaki … that’s like ordering a hot dog at a steak restaurant. I’m getting better, but I still have a ways to go. My wife loves going to fancy restaurants, and making culinary concoctions. I’d rather just get a burger and fries (point of pain, folks).

I love sports and sports entertainment, and my wife loves reality tv shows and any “news” surrounding celebrities. Hence, we have 4 televisions in our house. But, we have both compromised a bit. My wife is in a fantasy football league that I’m part of … and she’s currently in first place. I agreed to watch Top Chef with her this summer, and hey, I kind of liked it (however, no chance of me watching American Idol this year).

My wife likes to sleep in on weekends, and clean the house at odd hours of the night during the week. I like to relax, blog, and practice guitar during the week, get up early on weekends, and complete chores.

Somehow, we still find a common ground, and time to love each other. I guess Paula Abdul was right – Opposites DO attract! I love you, cutie (that’s to my wife – not to you, my fellow bloggers … although I think you are all great in your own ways …).

Monday, October 29, 2007

The Butt-Guys!

This weekend was not like other weekends … no – I had tickets to go to the Penn State vs. Ohio State game in Happy Valley … the game of the year for Nittany Lions fans … and a chance for JoePa’s boys to take on the number one team in the land on national television … sure, they ended up losing, but I got some great stories!

First, since we got the tickets just a few weeks ago, we were unable to get a place to stay in or around State College … normally not a huge issue, except the game was a night game, and there aren’t many hotels to begin with … couple that with our 3-hour ride (that’s without traffic, folks), and it was going to be a looooooonnnnnnnggggg day.

No need to worry, my friend Ivan and I were up for the challenge. We brought some necessities … mainly consisting of beer, and were planning on sleeping in the truck after the game for a few hours, until traffic died down. “Thankfully,” we didn’t have to worry about that, as the Buckeyes were well on their way to kicking our ass by the end of the third quarter … that’s when we ended up leaving, beating traffic, and making it home at a “reasonable” hour … reasonable, as in 2:45 a.m.

However, there were a few more “highlights” to the trip. First and foremost, I ate at a Sonic for the first time ever. This has been a dream of mine since I first saw those goofy commercial about 10 years ago … problem was that Sonic hadn’t made it to Pennsylvania … however, if you are traveling out near Morgantown, a Sonic now awaits you! Let me tell ya something, folks, those burgers were awesome! The fries were very good to … and the selection is top notch! Plus, you get to order AND eat in your car, like a drive-in … very cool! We need one of these a little closer to Philly, darn-it!

As for the game, Ivan secured us some really great seats – right around the 10-yard-line about 30 rows up (this stadium sits 110,000 people, mind you). The weather, which was not-so-good the entire week, cleared up, and the conditions were perfect for football (in my estimation, of course). Just one problem with the tickets …. I was forced to sit next to a guy who apparently was related to a skunk … ladies, and gentlemen, the man stunk … it was as if he had taken a nap with a turd blanket. I swear, this guy must’ve crapped himself on more than one occasion that night … and he swayed like he was Stevie Wonder … I’m not sure he even realized where he was. Folks, I would’ve rather have watched the game in an overused outhouse in the middle of the summer … I thought this guy was going to at some point “share” the alcohol he had consumed for close to 12 hours with me … thankfully, he merely passed out … money well spent!

All in all, it was a great time – except for the game, of course.

P.S. I was able to take a picture of this pile-of-manure-of-a-guy ... however, blogger was uncooperative. I'll try to post this later.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

S-A-T-U-R-D-A-Y Night!

On Saturday night, the wife and I had the pleasure of going out to dinner with Reverse and his wife. For those not in the know, Reverse is a former co-worker of mine, and still a very good friend. And surprise, surprise – he’s Jewish. That’s right, ladies and gentlemen, I AM capable of being friends with anyone, even though I am of German heritage (of course, I hate ham, and am not crazy about potatoes … so maybe my parents adopted me, or something.

But, we had a great time, lots of laughs. We went to the Iron Hill in Media for dinner – we didn’t realize that Media was having their Jazz Fest, and the place was crowded. Plus, Iron Hill was still celebrating Oktoberfest, and had these Bavarian flags hanging from the ceiling. It prompted Reverse to say that he wanted to take one of those flags and make a cape out of it, and run through the jazz crowd with it. We then came up with an idea for a new superhero – Bavarian-man! His super-powers would include shooting beer at criminals and intoxicating them. His sidekick would be, “The Brat,” and the main villain would be “The Wurst.” Good times!

We later went to the Town House, and hung out at the bar – very tacky, but so tacky that it was cool. The bar had two huge moose-heads hanging from the wall, and many other items that would’ve made Bennigans jealous. When we left the bar, we swear we walked right by M. Night Shyamalon … I guess it’s possible because he lives in the area. Hopefully, he’ll start creating some good movies again.

Anyway, it was nice to hang with Reverse again – I don’t get to see him, or the others at Lockheed enough anymore.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

More "Pillow" Talk

There was a time in my life where I needed total silence to sleep … which was troublesome, considering we lived right near the airport and train tracks. I would never be able to fall asleep when the tv was on, or if music was playing … heck, I had a tough time falling asleep with a fan on.

Funny how things change. NOW, I have a really tough time falling asleep when there is no noise in the background. I toss and turn more than a death-row inmate (does that comparison even make sense?). I, at the very least need some sort of white noise in the background, like a fan … heck, I even have a fan on in the winter-time just for the rhythmic sound.

My wife likes the tv on, and although it takes me a little longer to fall asleep with the tube on, I end up doing so anyway … I will fall asleep rather easily to the news, or any Bob Ross painting show (the guy was hypnotic – he would start off with a white canvass, talking about adding some happy trees to the canvass … I would close my eyes for what seemed like a few seconds, then I’d wake up, and ½ hour had gone by, in this guy just created a masterpiece … I’m not sure if it was his subtle voice, his crazy afro, or a combination of both … best naps I ever had).

Anyway, I’ve given you guys two weird sleeping “fetishes” I have. I wanted to see if you had any to share. C’mon, don’t be nervous!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Pillow Obsession!

Pillow Obsession

I’m pretty easygoing about everything – I don’t really care which kind of soda I’m drinking, I like the shore just as much as I like the mountains, and I’m really willing to drink just about any type of beer. However, there is one quirky thing I need. And that, my friends is down-feather pillows when I sleep. If you must know, I prefer three of them, however, I can make do with one if needed.

Strange, you may say. I agree fully with you. But, that’s just the way it is. When I went to college, I had to pack my down-feather pillows with me. When I sleep over somebody’s house, I HAVE to bring my down-feather pillows. My wife has prevented me from bringing them to hotels, and it bothers the hell out of me … thankfully, many of the hotels in Atlantic City apparently know about me, and make sure that these types of pillows are available when I get there.

I know there are quite a few people out there who probably can’t sleep on down-feather pillows because of allergies. I think the worst thing that could ever happen to me is to develop one of these allergies … I’m not sure how I’d ever be able to get a good night’s sleep again … I’m sure I would look for the help of some good alcohol.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

An Important Dilemma!

I guess I first noticed this phenomenon many years ago with my dad, but was reminded of it just recently with a fellow coworker. What could I possibly be talking about? War? UFO’s? Political preferences? No, no, and no. This is something much more important … cereal preferences.

Let me explain … my dad eats corn flakes for breakfast every morning … I know, I know, you are probably asking, “What the hell is so unusual about that?” Let me continue … he pours his cereal into the bowl, adds the milk, and then lets it sit for about 5 minutes or so, to make the flakes soggy. This is how he enjoys his cereal – totally soggy. I thought this was a rather quirky and unique preference, until a coworker of mine told me that he prefers his cereal this way too.

In fact, the coworker went a step further and said that he hates cereal that doesn’t get soggy … you know the kind – Cocoa Puffs, Cap’n Crunch, Kellogs Pops. I was blown away by this. I, by no means play cereal favorites. In fact, I end up buying whatever’s on sale – whether it’s healthy cereal or kids cereal (although, I have to admit, there is no way I’m buying Grape Nuts – I’ve had that before, and it’s like eating gravel).

I’d have to say that I prefer my cereal to stay crunchy, though, so I eat it as soon as I pour the milk on it. I love Raisin Bran cereal, but one of the things I dislike is how quickly the flakes become soggy … it’s kind of like the texture of cold soup.

Anyway, I wanted to see how you guys and gals prefer your cereal. Is there really a split in this nation as to whether cereal should be eaten crunchy or soggy? Help me out on this one!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Good Luck, Ivan!

Today is indeed a sad day for me, for my coworker, we’ll call him “Ivan,” is transitioning to another department. You see, Ivan was my mentor at Vanguard, and a damn good one at that. 10 months ago, when I “came aboard,” he was the guy that took me under his wings, and showed me the ropes. I couldn’t have asked for a better mentor.

It’s always tough when you start a new job – you don’t know anybody, you are unsure if you’ll ever fit in, and you have doubts as to whether you can even do the job. Ivan took care of all of this for me. He immediately helped to immerse me into the department, showed me the ropes, and most importantly, became a good friend.

Sure, we’ll always be friends – we’re going to try to meet up for lunch once a week, and I’m sure we’ll hang out, outside of work from time-to-time. But, I’ll miss having him around the office – being able to go to his desk and ask idiotic questions about stuff I was working on, but most of all just shooting the breeze (no, I’m not gay).

I wish him the best of luck in his new endeavors – he’ll be fine. But, the department he’s leaving will never be the same. Good luck, Ivan!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

A Little This, A Little That ...

Just a couple of other items about me because … well, because I can’t think of anything to write about:

Favorite fast food French fry.
This used to be easy for me – McDonalds fries all the way. But, I gotta say, I’m a big fan of the Chick Fil-A waffle fries. Hey, I even like the Arby’s curly fries. At this point, it’s pretty much a dead-heat.

Favorite newer band:
If I had put down my favorite band, this would be far too easy – that would be the Stones. However, I wanted to make it challenging, because that’s the kind of guy I am. I totally love Electric Six – I’ve seen them on a few occasions at the Khyber in Philly (basically an oven). Sure, their third album wasn’t anywhere near as good as their first one, but still. I just downloaded their fourth cd (I-Tunes), and I gotta tell ya, they made a heckuva comeback – I’m halfway through it, and I absolutely love it! They are apparently coming to Philly in November – maybe the Rev and I will go see them again.

Interesting childhood memory:
I remember thinking that any sports team I was on or that I followed was destined to win a championship. Boy, did that theory come crashing down on me. My first tee-ball game, my team lost like 13-0. I remember being so upset and crying hysterically … how could this be happening to me? I had much the same reaction when my sports teams lost. For instance, when the Flyers lost the Stanley Cup to the Islanders in 1980, I remember getting so upset that I actually threw up.

Potato dislike
Shockingly enough, I’m a picky eater. I prefer noodles to any form of potato (with the exception of French fries, but that doesn’t count, really). I get upset at breakfast places that force home fries on me. I would rather have tater tots, fries, or even grits. I consider home fries as a filler, and should be replaced with more eggs and/or bacon. Don’t get me wrong – I’ll eat potatoes, but I really don’t care for them.

Favorite movie growing up:
I gotta tell ya, when I was like 7, I remember seeing a movie in the theatres called “They Call Me Bruce.” I thought this movie was probably the funniest movie that was ever created …. And that the rest of my life would be a waste, because I had already seen the Holy Grail of comedies. About a year ago, I saw a copy of They Call Me Bruce in a Best Buy bin for $5.00. I thought this may be the best money that I would ever spend. I immediately purchased it, and went home to watch it. Ladies and gentlemen, the movie sucked balls. I couldn’t believe that I had just been “Bruced.” By the way, that is a term I came up with after watching this movie. This is any time you go back and watch a movie you loved as a child, and realize it sucks.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

King of the Dips**ts

Don’t know how many of you saw this, but a few nights ago at the Yankees vs. Indians game, LeBron James, basketball star for the Cleveland Cavs … and a guy who grew up not far from Cleveland, had a Yankees cap on at the game, and basically said that he hoped the Indians individually do well, but he hoped the Yankees would win. So much for all of that fan-support that you got in Cleveland, Bron-Bron, you front-running imbecile.

You know, I just expect sports players to be a little smarter than that. Even if he HAD grown up in the Bronx, he probably shouldn’t have been wearing that Yankees cap in Cleveland. What a douche-bag. He has even professed to be a Cowboys fan. Seriously, LeBron, is your favorite hockey team the Detroit Red Wings? Do you wish you were playing for the Lakers? If you had a chance to go to college, would you have gone to Duke? Do you change your favorite sports teams every year, depending on who wins?

Man, I used to like this guy. Now, I can’t stand him. You think his agent almost had a heart-attack that night? So much for all of that local advertising Bron-Bron could’ve made this year. I hope he tears both of his ACL tendons in training camp … then we can see him on the sideline with his New York Yankees three-piece suit. Did I mention I think this guy is a douche-bag?

What does he expect from the Cleveland fans now? Does he think they’ll forget about this? Unless he wins this city 3 championships, I’m pretty sure he’ll be about as popular in Cleveland as Jose Mesa and Ernest Byner (look ‘em up). I thought this guy was very mature for his age … now, I don’t think this guy has a clue what maturity means.

What a slap to the face of the entire city of Cleveland. I hope the Tribe sweeps the Bronx Bombers … then, I’d like to see somebody interview this heaping, steaming, pile of LeBron. My guess is that he’ll backpedal faster than a clown on a unicycle.

LeBron, I think I might like you less than Kobe now. Go figure.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Just Like Old Times ... Sorta



Last night, I went to see Van Halen at the Comcast Center … not really a big deal, I guess, especially since I’ve seen them quite a few times in the past. BUT, this time around, Diamond Dave was back leading the band for the first time since 1984, and this was my first opportunity to see them with him fronting the band (I saw them twice with Sammy Hagar, and once with Gary Sharone). Also, instead of Michael Anthony laying the bass down, Eddie Van Halen decided to instead insert his 16-year-old son Wolfgang as the bassist (more on that later).

First, let me say that Eddie Van Halen is by far the greatest guitarist I’ve ever seen. Sure, now he looks more like Skelator (Keith Richards thinks this guy looks bad), but to this day, he still is a wizard with the axe. I’ve seen some of the best – Clapton, Townsend, Angus – but they just can’t compete with this guy.

David Lee Roth’s voice was still very much intact, and let’s face it, even though Sammy did sing some of the Dave songs when he was with Van Halen, nobody does it like Diamond Dave. A couple of things, though – Dave acted more like a lounge singer than the lead vocalist of Van Halen (the one we remember from the videos). Plus, the hair-cut that Dave has, combined with that goofy smile he had, made him look more like Steve Martin’s brother.

Alex Van Halen is amazing behind the drums, and if his brother wasn’t the lead guitarist of Van Halen, Alex would probably get some consideration as being one of the best rock drummers of all-time. That being said, do we really need a 10-minute drum solo from him? Maybe it’s just me.

Wolfgang is no replacement for Michael Anthony. In fact, Wolfgang looked more like Bill Wyman … a fat Bill Wyman … than Eddie’s son. One person described Wolfgang as looking as if he had eaten Michael Anthony (high comedy). Still, one has to understand that the kid is only 16. I mean, I’d probably try to stay out of the way of Dave and Eddie as well. Plus, now that Wolfgang is in the band, he might carry on the Van Halen legacy even long after Dave and Eddie retire or die … kind of like Menudo.

All in all, a great show. Certainly, it was way different than the other Van Halen shows I saw – It’s a totally different band with Dave leading. Plus, they only played Dave songs … the more rockin’ Van Halen tunes.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

We've Got High Hopes ...


My goodness – the Phils are in the playoffs! It seems so surreal. I’m still not sure if I believe it. This team has given us so many heart-aches the last few years, and before that, the product that was put on the field had no heart. I’m sure by now, many of you know it’s been 14 years since the last time the Phillies made it to the postseason. I was a senior in college then.

This team, much like that 1993 team, has a lot of heart and character. Sure, their pitching staff isn’t the greatest, and the manager would never be confused with a Nobel Prize winner, but somehow, this team never quit. Obviously, they got some help from the Mets, but the Phils still had to go out there and win … and win, they did.

I’m not sure how far they’ll go – I have my doubts, especially with the starting pitchers they have. But, look at what the Cardinals did last season, and their pitching staff was probably worse than ours.

I’ll be the first to admit that I wasn’t a believer. I’ve seen this team fall short far too often. That doesn’t mean that I wasn’t rooting for them. I just had low expectations. After they lost yesterday, I even said, “Here we go again.” But, this team is different. The players they have on the field will run through walls to win games.

I was talking with a friend of mine earlier today, and he summed it up perfectly when he said, “I’m not really sure what to do, or how to act, because it’s been so long.” I assume he was talking about the Phillies and not about his sex life … ba-da-bing!

I remember how excited I was with every pitch of the playoffs in 1993, and I can’t wait to once again take that ride with this team. Whether they win or lose at this point, this season is a success. Go Phils!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Sir Mick!




Hopefully, you’ve heard, but if you haven’t, Mick Jagger is releasing his greatest hits cd …. And no, smart ass, it’s not an EP! Many of you know of my love for the Rolling Stones, I consider them divine, their music like a gift from God. And sure, Mick’s solo work doesn’t really compare to what the Stones have released, but it really isn’t that bad.

I already have most of the songs, but that won’t stop me from buying this album –there are 3 songs I don’t have … more than enough to warrant a purchase. Sure, I could theoretically go to I-Tunes and just download those three songs, and for an ordinary band, I would do this. However, with the Stones and anything Stones related, I HAVE to buy the cd.

Plus, there is a limited edition cd with a DVD that features the music videos from 9 of his songs. Now, if you’ve never seen a Mick Jagger, or Rolling Stones video for that matter, do yourself a favor, and go to Youtube, and watch the “Let’s Work” video. That should tell you all you need to know about Mick Jagger and videos. Over the years, I have developed some very good Mick Jagger dance moves … so good, in fact, that I am frequently requested to do this dance at weddings.

But I digress … I’ve seen the song list for the cd, and it really is solid. He has collaborations with Bono, John Lennon, David Bowie, and Lenny Kravitz – pretty heavy hitters in the music world. I guess the next time I’ll be this excited is when Keef rolls out his greatest hits cd … I’m waiting!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

WHere Do I Change, Now????


With the increasing popularity of cell phones, one of the “traditional” hallmarks of Americana, the pay phone, is rapidly reaching the point of extinction. Isn’t it funny how quickly a technological advance like this can affect a product? I guess this is similar to what the CD did to the cassette tape, as well as the vinyl record (although, there is still a very strong niche market for vinyl).

Has anybody thought of this point, though? What happens to Superman? He uses payphones to change from Clark Kent to Superman. How will the comic strips handle this? Am I overreacting? Will Clark Kent choose a cyber cafĂ© to change, instead? I’m sure my friend “Reverse,” who is probably the most rabid comic book freak I know, already has an answer for this. I’m eager to find out!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Godfather, Part IV?

Ladies and gentlemen, Sunday marked a first for me. You see, I was asked to be the Godfather of my niece – the church service was this afternoon, so I can officially imitate Marlon Brando … seriously, though, I am truly honored that somebody has enough faith in me to ask me to be a Godfather … sure, the family has 6 children (my wife’s brother has 3 kids, and my wife’s sister has 3 kids) – so I guess my name inevitably had to be called … again, just kidding!

The church service was interesting, to say the least. First, there were 8 children being christened. I’m not one to complain, but shouldn’t this be limited to like babies being christened at a time? It was utter chaos – lots of crying and wet diapers … and I haven’t even gotten to the babies yet (hey-yo!). It just seemed like a lot – especially for the Priest.

Speaking of the Priest, this may have been his first christening, because things didn’t run so smoothly … in fact, I would compare his “smoothness” to that of a herd of porcupines. Also, he was of Asian decent – not that this is a problem, but his thick Asian accent and lack of grammar skills probably would’ve made some language arts teachers throw up a little in their collective mouths. No need for him to differentiate between singular or plural, or nouns and verbs.

Also, the guy was definitely not a football fan – this christening went well over an hour, and probably didn’t need to. Unfortunately, I missed the best Eagles half of offensive output in over a decade – but that’s ok, because even Oregon Ducks football fans thought the Eagles’ uniforms were hideous. I do have to give props to the parents of my God Daughter – they were keeping me in mind by trying to schedule the christening to fall during an Eagles’ bye week – unfortunately, the church had no openings for this (looks like others had the same idea).

In all seriousness though, I am honored by this, and I will do everything to make sure that Lilly has the best Godfather around … I’m not really sure what my responsibilities are, but I’m ready to honor them … whatever they may be.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Foot in Mc-Mouth

The big story going around in Philly these days are the comments Donovan McNabb, quarterback of the Philadelphia Eagles, made on HBO the other day. Basically, what he said was that black quarterbacks are still playing on an uneven field, as opposed to white quarterbacks, and that they are forced to have to do more to be successful. I agreed with this statement …. about 20 years ago.

Back in the 1980’s, there were hardly any black quarterbacks in pro football, and the ones in college were encouraged to switch positions when they graduated. Heck, Warren Moon, one of the most successful of these qb’s went to Canada to play for a number of years, instead of switching positions. When he got his chance back in the NFL, he made the most of it. He, along with Randall Cunningham, and Doug Williams, paved the way for other black quarterbacks –those are the ones who rightfully had a beef.

The city of Philadelphia already went through having a black quarterback for years prior to McNabb – with Randall Cunningham. For the most part, this city loved him – he was athletic, exciting, and just fun to listen to during press conferences. He was indeed “The Ultimate Weapon.” He won many a game for us that we had no business winning, and was the guy that was partially responsible for the rebirth of the Eagles. Sure, he wasn’t the greatest decision maker in the world, and that Eagles defense probably won games despite his mistakes, but I digress (actually, when I was a PR intern with the Eagles, one of the coaches said that Cunningham never studied any game tapes –they would give him about 5 minutes of game tape, and then put a porno on the rest of it, just to test this – Cunningham never knew, because he never watched).

McNabb’s comments, in my opinion, were rather stupid – and hey, I’m a McNabb guy. He totally ignored the entire Cunningham era with his statements, AND basically ignored the fact that Jaworski got booed constantly in this city, AND he was white AND he took us to our first Super Bowl. Mike Schmidt, one of the greatest third basemen in baseball history was constantly booed and considered lazy by his hometown fans in the City of Brotherly Love.

At this point, I don’t think McNabb will ever win this city over. He started off on the wrong foot the day he was drafted (no fault of his own), and has never really been able to get over this. Even if he finds a way to win the Super Bowl, I’m guessing the fans will end up loving Westbrook or Dawkins more than McNabb anyway.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Way to Go, O.J.!!!

OJ Simpson has once again been arrested, and it looks like this time he might get some significant jail time. For some reason, this guy just refuses to stay out of the public eye. I know some people may debate this, but the guy was lucky to get off on the double murder case back in the day.

I just can’t understand him – for most of his life, he lived a charmed life. He was an excellent athlete who was able to parlay that into a movie career as well as a career as an NFL analyst. He was, in a sense, a role model for many, and was beloved by people of all colors. He was a non-polarizing face on television, and probably would’ve had a long career, had he not done what he did that night in 1994.

I guess we can chalk it all up to Karma, because it looks like he finally may get what he deserves. He won’t have his “super” defense team, and hopefully Mark Furman will be nowhere to be found when it comes to the investigation. Also, let’s really hope none of the other original characters, Marcia Clark, Chris Dardin, and Judge Ito, do not appear in the sequel. Maybe Frank Drebbin can make some sort of appearance, just for old-time sake.

As a side note – is anybody else getting annoyed with the Goldman family sticking their noses in every little O.J. situation? They ended up getting the rights to his book in which he kind of showed how he may have killed his wife and her boyfriend … and what do they do? They end up releasing the book, so they can make money off of it. Isn’t that a little weird? Just my thoughts.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Weekend Recap ...

Ugh, I can’t believe it’s already Sunday! I hate it when weekends fly by too fast – although that usually means much fun was had … which was the case this weekend.

I really didn’t do much Friday night except hang out with the wife, although we did have a great time listening to music, cleaning the kitchen, and just hamming it up. Of course, all of these things are fun, when done whilst indulging in some alcohol.

Saturday morning, I took my car to the dealership, because the stupid “check engine” light was on. I purposely took it early – 8:00 a.m., so that I would have it back, hopefully by noon. The guy at the counter asked that I leave my number, and wait at home for it, because there were 4 people in front of me. I don’t usually have a problem doing this, because (A) I live about a 10-minute walk from the place, and (B) I usually don’t need the car on Saturday. However, I know that when I leave the car there, it immediately drops on the “priority chart” at the dealership. I called the place at around 12:30 p.m., because I heard nothing from them. Shockingly enough, they were just getting to my car at this point. I informed the guy that I expressly dropped my car off in the morning, so that I could get it back sooner. I called back at 2:00 – the car still wasn’t done. I immediately sent an e-mail to the dealership informing them of my complete disgust in them. I did finally get the car at 2:30 p.m. – and of course, the problem wasn’t solved – they needed to order a part. Fantastic – I hope I can bring the car in and wait another 8 hours for it!

I did watch two movies this weekend as well – one good, and one not-so-good. Stranger Than Fiction, which stars Will Ferrell and Dustin Hoffman. While the movie was nowhere near as funny as I thought it would be, it was still really good – more of a drama than comedy, I guess. I highly recommend it. The second movie, Tenacious D – The Pic of Destiny, was not very good. I guess Jack Black or Tenacious D fans would get a kick out of it, but I thought that it dragged at points, and just wasn’t very inspiring or funny for that matter.

Oh yeah, and of course the Oktoberfest was a ton of fun. I drank Paulaner Beer out of a huge “Mas,” ate Bratwurst and German pretzels, as well as listening to some interesting German polka music. All in all a good time. Oh, and Notre Dame got crushed again – so all is well with the world!

Next week, Penn State plays Michigan in the Big House. Go Lions!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

End of Summer Blues ...

End of summer is always an interesting change (sorry guys and gals, I couldn’t come up with anything else). When we were growing up, it always meant the beginning of another year of school – which was always filled with stress. More homework, tougher classes … ugh, what a stressful time.

I particularly remember it being very stressful starting ninth grade. This meant going from Glenolden School (middle school) to Interboro High School – a total change of scenery. I heard all kinds of scary stories about high school, that, at one point, I seriously thought that there would be some sort of drug dealer at every corner of the hallway. I thought seniors were waiting at the door to beat the crap out of us little freshmen … that teachers were going to give us so much homework, we probably wouldn’t be able to sleep. Man, the pressure.

Of course, high school wasn’t anything like that, at least not for me. Seniors pretty much ignored us … except for the senior that was in our German 1 class – he took my friend Rich, and stuffed him into a trashcan … although truth be told, Rich did have it coming to him – he crossed the line by making fun of the guy. Since I was friends with Rich, the senior decided to teach me a lesson as well, by flinging spit that he gathered on his finger at me repeatedly. Man, good times.

As college approached, I had a much different view of the end of summer. It was time to start all over at college, make new friends, and par-tay! My parents drove me down to Mont Alto (one of the Penn State campuses), and I couldn’t get them out of the door quick enough. I was ready to immerse myself into college life.

Nowadays, I look at the end of summer as meaning more traffic on the road. See, I don’t have any kids yet, and I’m sure my viewpoint of the end of summer will change once again when I do have kids. But now, September is more of an inconvenience than anything else. I am looking forward to mowing the lawn less (and not at all once winter approaches), and of course, football season!

Funny how perceptions change.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Fake Fans ... I Hate 'Em!

I’ve probably written about this before, and if I have, I apologize, but the topic gets under my skin. Penn State played Notre Dame this past weekend, and absolutely pasted them (probably should’ve won by more, but that’s a different story). Anyway, I know a few people who are Notre Dame fans, and I’ve asked them why on a number of occasions. The only real response I get is, “well, why not?”

This really bugs me, and it’s not just people who decide to be Notre Dame fans. Basically, it’s anybody who just decides to be a fan of a team, even though he or she has no connection to that team. Listen, if you went to Notre Dame, live in South Bend, or have family that went to Notre Dame, then sure, you have every right to be an Irish fan, and I won’t think any less of you. However, if you have no connection to Notre Dame at all, other than being Irish or Catholic, then I’m sorry, you are a sell out, and I probably won’t be able to have an intelligent conversation with you about sports.

The same goes for you Yankees fans. Sure, if you grew up in the Bronx or New York City, or if you played on the Yankees or are good friends (or family) with someone who does or did, then, yes, you can be a Yankees fan. But, if you like the Yankees only because they win a lot of championships, then you aren’t a real fan. No, this is not debatable, so don’t waste your breath.

You HAVE to be a fan of the team in your city – it’s like a badge of honor. Do I get frustrated with the Phillies? Absolutely – on a daily basis, usually. BUT, I still root for them, and if they ever win, I’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that I was with them through thick and thin.

We have a lot of Cowboys fans in Philly, which just boggles my mind. In fact, one of my good friends is a Cowboys fan … basically, because his mom is one, and she raised him to be a Cowboys fan. Do I think any less of him? Maybe not as a person, but definitely as a fan.

You can’t just pick any team you want to root for – that’s not what being a fan is about. I get nauseated when I see people (mostly unintelligent kids) walking around with San Antonio Spurs jerseys, because they won last year. These are the same kids who will walk around with Cubs’ jerseys the second they win the World Series. Guys – you aren’t cool. In fact, you make me want to throw up in my mouth!

Support your home team, dammit! It’s what you have to do! Do you think that New York Mets fans who live in New York think highly of you “imitators” who live in Philly but like the Mets? Sure, they get a laugh out of it, but they don’t respect you. Just like I don’t respect “Sixers” fans living in Topeka, Kansas. It just doesn’t make sense!

Knock it off!!!!

Sunday, September 09, 2007

So, What is Oktoberfest, Anyway?

As some of you may know, both my parents came from Germany … which makes me 100% German … please don’t hold that against me, ok? So, with that said, one of the great drinking events of the year is just around the corner … that’s right, Oktoberfest! If St. Patrick’s Day is Irish amateur day, then Oktoberfest is German amateur day (month, actually).

Normally, we go to the Delaware Saengerbund to celebrate Oktoberfest – which is celebrated at the club the third weekend in September … of course, that happens to be this coming weekend. I’m sure you might be wondering what Oktoberfest is, outside of the chance to drink really good German beer (or Bier!). Well, you’ve come to the right place.

I got this definition from Wikipedia: “Oktoberfest is a two-week festival held each year in Munich, Bavaria, Germany during late September and early October. It is one of the most famous events in the city and the world's largest fair, with some six million people attending every year. The event traditionally takes place during the 16 days up to and including the first Sunday in October.” The beer that is brewed for this is darker and stronger – basically, an opportunity to relive college for some.

Anyway, the Delaware Saengerbund always has a great Oktoberfest celebration, with tons of great beer, German food, music, and even carnival rides for the youngsters. It runs from Friday to Sunday. We plan on going this coming Saturday, late afternoon thru night-time. In case any of you may be interested, here is the website: http://www.delawaresaengerbund.org/v5_Oktoberfest.shtml.

Prost!

Thursday, September 06, 2007

That'll Go Over Lke a ...

So, I’ve been into using the phrase “That’ll go over like a bucket of farts,” a lot lately. I enjoy this phrase a lot, but I wanted to use some other “That’ll go over like a …” phrases. I searched the internet, hoping to find a website dedicated to these phrases, but sadly, I came up empty. However, I was able to compile a list of these phrases, just by using “That’ll go over like a …” with Google. Here’s what I came up with:

That’ll go over like a …
a. Pregnant pole vaulter
b. Fart in church
c. Fart in a space suit
d. Bucket of farts
e. Lead balloon
f. Sky-diving walrus
g. Turd in a punch bowl
h. Pork chop at a Kosher wedding
i. Cold soufflé
j. Personal blimp
k. Ton of bricks

Here’s a couple I came up with myself:
A. an erect penis in a nunnery
B. vegetarian in a steak-house
C. An AA member in Munich
D. A bunch of Kaelins (inside joke)

If any of you have any others you’d like to share, that would be great … I personally like the pork chop at a Kosher wedding one, as well as the sky-diving walrus.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Lack of Labor ...

So, it was a pretty relaxing Labor Day weekend for all intensive purposes. I got to clean up around my house, mow the lawn, wash the cars, and watch some movies I’ve been meaning to see – and I feel sort of refreshed for the coming work week … although, it would’ve been nice to have the entire week off.

I took Friday off, and the wife and I went to see the King Tut Exhibit at the Franklin Institute in Philly. For the most part, it was ok, however, it just really seemed more like chaos than anything else. Too many people walking around, getting in everybody’s way, making it tough to see the artifacts. Plus, no King Tut mummy – which really disappointed me … especially, considering that I spent $32 a ticket to see this. Truthfully, I probably would’ve gotten more out of watching a King Tut documentary on the History Channel.

On Saturday, I began watching “Band of Brothers” which was a mini-series documentary on HBO about World War 2 and the E Company of the 506th regiment. I ended up watching all ten episodes between Saturday and Sunday – a fantastic series (I know, I should be watching all the series on HBO, shouldn’t I?). On top of that, I decided to watch the movie “Saving Private Ryan,” also about World War 2 – I guess it’s fitting that I did this on Labor Day weekend. If you haven’t seen either of these, I highly recommend it.

Don’t worry, I decided to watch something less intense than this – Fargo. It was kind of a dark comedy/drama based on a true story. Many friends have told me to watch this … it was pretty good – just a plain weird movie. I guess the Minnesota dialect was kind of funny. I also saw The Breakup with Vince Vaughn and Jennifer Aniston. I really expected this to be funny … however, I was disappointed. It wasn’t an awful movie (like That Darn Cat), but it certainly wasn’t a typically funny Vince Vaughn movie.

Outside of that, I went to a barbecue in the city yesterday afternoon – night, and even though we only had a small group there, I had a blast. Sometimes, those are the best kinds of parties … for whatever reason.

It was a good way to unofficially end summer … oh yeah, and the fact that Notre Dame got trounced was the icing on the cake … can’t wait to see the Nittany Lions destroy them this coming weekend. Go Lions!

Saturday, September 01, 2007

So?

So I had two fantasy football drafts this past week, and I wanted to share who I got with you, so I can get your feedback … advice.

OK, so in this first league, which has 20 teams, separated into two leagues, drafting from two separate pools of players (basically, two 10-team leagues), I drafted first … you might recall that I drafted first in this league last year as well, and made the mistake of not taking the Madden jinx into account, and drafting Shaun Alexander. Not this year – I chose LaDainian Tomlinson with the first pick – huzzah!

Anyway, here’s my team:
QB’s
Mark Bulger – Stl
Matt Hasselbeck – Sea

RB’s
LaDainian Tomlinson – SD
Ronnie Brown – Mia
Chris Brown – Ten
Brandon Jacobs – NYG

WR
Javon Walker – Den
Deion Branch – Sea
Reggie Brown – Phi
Bernard Berrian – Chi

TE
Jeremy Shockey – NYG
Jason Witten – Dal

K
Olindo Mare- NOR
Stephen Gostkowski – NEW


Defense/Special Teams
Minnesota Vikings
Tennessee Titans


This other league is a $20 per team league – much smaller stakes than the $100 per team league above – still a lot of fun (I won the championship last season when it was free). I picked 7th here:


QB
Marc Bulger – Stl
Jon Kitna – Det

RB
Brian Westbrook – Phi
Marshawn Lynch – Buf
Adrian Peterson – Min
Lamont Jordan – Oak

WR
Terrell Owens – Dal
Torry Holt – Stl
Deion Branch – Sea
Santonio Holmes – Pit

TE
Jeremy Shockey – NYG
Jason Witten – Dal

K
Shayne Graham – Cin
Neil Rackers – Arz

Def
Steelers
Seahawks


Now, I know some of how I drafted depends on our leagues’ scoring systems. They are both for the most part basic. What do ya think?

Monday, August 27, 2007

I Have a Whole New Respect ...

Look, I’m not saying that I didn’t respect plumbers in the past, but I never really gave much thought to how difficult their jobs are … that is, until Saturday. We’ve had a problem with our upstairs toilet for quite a while. The insides of the toilet tank were pretty old and failing. I decided I would replace the insides of the tank with new, more up-to-date ones. I thought that MAYBE it would take a few hours tops … boy was I mistaken!

The first part of the replacement procedure was easy enough – taking out the old inside parts. I accomplished this in less than ½ hour. I’m good at breaking things, so this came naturally to me. However, actually taking off the toilet tank posed a MUCH more difficult task. Just about all the bolts and wing-nuts were rusted together, and after a few hours of spraying them with WD-40, degreasers, and anything else I could think of, I finally had to break down, buy a small hack-saw, and cut them off.

After doing this, I had to call my dad, use an even bigger hack-saw, and cut off some more bigger parts of the toilet tank. We spent another few hours with this “fun” chore before we finally got everything off of it. The box, with the new equipment was right, however. It was easy installation … however, it never mentioned anywhere on the box how difficult it would be to take the old “guts” out.

Once we installed it, we tested it … and, as luck would have it, it leaked when it flushed … which, I somehow deduced was due to the rubber gasket on the bottom … the box said that I wouldn’t need any plumber’s putty … bull-sh&t! I ended up making 4 trips to Chrome Repot that day, but after more than 9 hours, I finally got the toilet working again.

A couple of things. First, it probably would’ve been easier, had I just bought an entire new toilet and installed that. Second, for some reason, the water isn’t filling up as quickly as it was before … it takes about 10 minutes for the tank to fill up now …. So now, we are using the downstairs toilet more … oh, what a nightmare.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Some Things About me ...

Snow Elf was kind enough to tag me with these questions. I like answering questions, and these were kind of fun. Read on, and maybe you’ll learn something about me.

4 Jobs I've Had
Waterbed mattress maker
PR intern for the Philadelphia Eagles
Pet shop worker
Telemarketer (oh, I hated that one).

4 Films I Could Watch Over and Over
Weird Science
Top Secret
Airplane
Anchorman

4 Places I've Lived
Mont Alto, PA
Glenolden, PA
State College, PA
Folsom, PA

4 Favorite TV Shows
The Office
Lost
My Name is Earl
24

4 Favorite Foods
pizza
tacos
Chinese food (I like a lot of them)
Buffalo Wings

4 Websites I Visit Daily
Blogs
Espn.com
Cnn.com
Wpvi.com

4 Places I Would Love to Be
The Outer Banks
The Poconos
Bavaria
Brigantine/Atlantic City

4 Favorite Colors
Blue
Gray
Red
Black

4 Names I love but would/could not use for my children
Mick
Katja
Soda (Seinfeld)
Champ

4 People to Tag
*** I never tag anybody – feel free to do this on your own if you want ***

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

You're afraid of What???

By the commotion that my wife was making a few nights ago, one would’ve thought that a machine-gun-toting saber-tooth tiger was loose in the house. As I was upstairs watching The Illusionist (great flick, by the way), my wife was screaming and grunting, kind of like the Tasmanian Devil. I ran down the stairs as quickly as I could, not sure of what to expect.

As I reached the living room, my wife was pale as a ghost. She exclaimed that she saw a mouse, and that I needed to find it and kill it. Being the loving husband that I am, I searched the dining room, kitchen, bathroom, and other rooms, but to no avail. I helped her upstairs … she was practically paralyzed with fear, and I told her that I would go out and buy some mouse-traps, which of course I did.

I set them up in “strategic” places in the kitchen and dining room, and assured her that if the mouse was still in the area (my wife’s shrieks probably scared the mouse half-way to China), it would be “taken care of.” Of course, as luck would have it, no mouse in the traps as of this evening, so my wife is spending tonight and probably tomorrow night at her parents’ house – the exterminator is coming on Wednesday morning.

Now, I have fears – I really don’t like bees all that much. They don’t paralyze me with fear, or cause me to defecate in my pants, but I do end up looking like Mick Jagger during one of his music videos when they fly around me (probably a topic for another time).

The fear is overwhelming to my wife – I have never seen anything like it. I wonder if as a child she had some sort of bad experience watching the Mickey Mouse Club, or something like that. Or maybe, she had a bad experience dressing up as Mighty Mouse some Halloween.

The good news is that there will be peace and quiet in the house for the next few nights, and hopefully my wife will get some sleep at her parents’ place. I wanted to see if any of you have any fears like this.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Superbad is Supergood!

I went to see Superbad on Saturday with a couple of friends and my wife … have you ever been so excited to see a movie, any movie, like when Star Wars came out? OK, I’m not comparing Superbad to Star Wars in any way. I’ve always been a big fan of comedy, and I’ve especially liked the “rated R” comedies that have graced the movie screens the last 5+ years – like Old School, Anchorman, Wedding Crashers, 40 Year Old Virgin, and Knocked Up.

I heard about Superbad maybe 5 months ago – and have been eagerly anticipating it’s arrival ever since. Yesterday was the day, and ladies and gentlemen … the movie did NOT disappoint! Hands down, it is the funniest movie of the year. I was exhausted from laughing at the end of the movie, and I had trouble remembering some of my favorite lines, because … well, because there were so many.

The guy that stole the show was Michael Cera – he played Evan, one of the two main characters, along with Jonah Hill. Hopefully, you may remember Cera as the “George Michael” character in Arrested Development – he was brilliant in that show (which, by the way, was a fantastic show. I still scratch my head at the fact that a wonderfully written comedy like this can get taken off the air after only a few short seasons, while dreck like Two-and-a-Half Men, and King of Queens are still on the air … probably a subject for another blog). I don’t believe that Cera is even 20 yet, but his comedic timing is impeccable. He plays the “awkward” teen role spectacularly, and Jonah Hill was a nice “raunchy” compliment to him.

Sure, a lot of the movie is toilet humor, which may turn some of you off. But, there is a lot of “familiarity” to this movie – they captured high school life pretty well, and it seems to me that people from all generations will be able to relate. You know, things like getting invited to the cool kid’s party, trying to find a way to buy alcohol, having a difficult time trying to ask a girl out, sheer pervertedness … this is what all good teen comedies play off of, and Superbad hit it out of the park.

BTW – there was a preview for another comedy, it looks like a spoof on the Johnny Cash “Walk the Line” movie – looked pretty funny. That one’s out in December.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year ...

I know, I know – why would I say this about the dog days of August? Well, let me enlighten you. Football season is about to start, which means TV will no longer be supersaturated with ridiculous NASCAR coverage, and now will be supersaturated with everything pig-skin. Football on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, Mondays, and even Thursdays … men can now get out of their “hibernation” state, and instead spend countless hours laying on the couch … wait, maybe I got that mixed up.

Anyway, not only will I be rooting on my favorite professional team, the Philadelphia Eagles, but I will also be cheering Joe-Pa’s Nittany Lions, hoping they crush Notre Dame, as well as Michigan, Ohio State, and Wisconsin. Sure, both teams will probably find a way to make me miserable, but it’s August – the season hasn’t started yet, so my hopes are as high as Lindsay Lohan right now.

On top of this, fantasy football once again will take center-stage, as we all get to “pretend” to be general managers with the hopes of winning championships and lots of money. After a disappointing last season (I took Shaun Alexander with the first pick instead of Tomlinson), I look to rebound. I certainly won’t be taking Vince Young, now that he is on the cover of Madden ’08 – I’ve learned my lesson.

Surprisingly, the Phitin’ Phillies are still hangin’ around the playoff scene, and playing good ball despite the lack of a good pitching rotation and bullpen, as well as a plethora (hey, that’s the name of my blog site) of injuries. So, on those Tuesday and Wednesday nights when there is no football, I have something to watch.

And yes, I’m still happily married … somehow.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Music to my Ears ... NOT!

A few days ago, a family member asked for a favor ... and since I can’t say no to family (sadly, no matter what, sometimes), I agreed to help out. Normally, a family favor includes assisting with computer-type issues, helping to move small furniture in or around the house, or something … er, not so difficult.

This request, however, was different. A cousin I don’t normally see very often, asked me, my brother, and my cousin-in-law to help move a piano … in 100-degree weather … with less than 1 day’s notice … about an hour away. I REALLY felt like saying no … I really did. I’m not even sure why I agreed to do this. I get this feeling that thanks to my German heritage, traditional work-ethic, and the importance I place on family, it was darn-near impossible for me to say no.

Thankfully, it wasn’t a baby-grand piano … that would’ve sucked. No, it was your basic piano that you probably saw in music class back in grade school. It wasn’t overly heavy, at least not for the 4-5 of us helping to move it. We got the piano up into the U-Haul in no-time flat. However, the destination posed a problem or two.

You see, my cousin wanted the piano in the living room of her house, brought in through the front door, which required the U-Haul to be backed-in in a precarious way – having to be maneuvered between trees, and uneven ground. It took quite a few pull-ups and back-ups (that’s what she said) to get the truck in a good position. However, we never took into account how the front door would open (oops), and my cousin’s husband had to actually basically take the door off its hinges in order for us to successfully move the piano in. It took what seemed to be 45 minutes to finally get the piano in the house, and of course, we were there much longer than I anticipated.

After leaving the house, drenched in sweat, and rather tired and thirsty, we trekked home, thinking the worst of it was over. However, since we left at around 9:00 p.m., we would have to deal with construction on I-95 North, that happened to start at … you guessed it … 9:00 p.m. Not only did we have to deal with this, but at one point, after picking up our car at my cousin-in-laws house (yeah, we car-pooled – think environment first!), we got stopped at a railroad crossing – the train was going at about 5 mph, and had about 175 cars (as a child, I would’ve been in heaven, as I loved trains back then … however, now they are more of a nuisance).

I guess I can count my blessings. First, I didn’t break the piano (I am known for my clumsiness). Second, I didn’t hurt myself (again, I’m known for this). And third, we didn’t get into any car accidents. But, the biggest blessing is, that next time I have a bunch of sh*t to move, I know who I’m calling first.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

What a Workout....

My wife and I have been talking about getting a new elliptical trainer for quite a while now – ever since our “Gazelle” broke. I’ve been using a rowing machine we have, but I hate it, and my wife really wants a workout that challenges her. We did some research, and decided to buy the Pro Form (http://www.sears.com/sr/javasr/product.do?cat=Ellipticals&pid=00628643000&vertical=FIT&subcat=Standard+Strides&BV_UseBVCookie=Yes) from Sears.

Being “savvy” shoppers that we are, we decided to take a ride down to Delaware, the home of tax-free shopping, to purchase the elliptical. Normally, this is a 20-minute ride for us, but, as luck would have it, PennDot was once again doing construction on I-95, near the airport. This seems to be an annual occurrence, and one would think that PennDot would have so much practice, that they would eventually get it right … but that’s never my luck. They decided to turn the heavily-traveled airport area from a 3-lane to a 1-lane highway, causing a backup that stretched for miles.

Luckily, I knew other ways to get to Delaware … unfortunately, so did everyone else, which meant that the route 1 bypass was also clogged. The 20-minute ride ended up taking me well over an hour. But, to not pay taxes on a $350.00 machine seemed worth it. We finally got there, purchased the machine, loaded it into the car, and made our way back home.

However, once we unloaded the box, brought it in, and started unpacking the pieces, we came to a realization … namely, that the machine we had purchased was already broken … I kind of got the feeling that they sold us one that was already opened before. The main part of the machine was cracked badly, and pieces that had cracked off littered the bottom of the box. We were NOT happy.

My wife called Sears, and talked to one of the sales people – she was hoping that they would come out and deliver a new one for us … and although the customer service was really friendly, they weren’t willing to do that. They did say that they would give us a discount on the machine if we brought it back and picked up another one … of course, we weren’t too thrilled about traveling out there again with I-95 being all screwed up.

We decided to go Sunday morning, and hopefully beat the traffic. But, as luck would have it, I-95 was already backed up again the next morning. My alternate route, however, was clear sailing, and we made it there in about 40 minutes, got our new machine, came back home, and assembled it in about an hour. I’ve already used it twice, and I’m sore as hell … hey, at least it’s working, right?