Thursday, March 29, 2007

Stoppage Time

Just some thoughts and observations to wrap up a rather hectic week. Enjoy (or don’t):

1. Haven’t gotten an estimate on the repairs to the car yet. In talking with my insurance agent, it seems as if the girl who unceremoniously hit me with her tank is trying to change her story. Apparently, she now “remembers” that I had put my car in reverse when she was entering the parking lot … strange, as I have never knowingly exited a parking lot in reverse before. I guess I should be thankful that I got the police report, in which she stated that the sun was in her eyes when she was turning (which is a good reason to make that turn as quickly as possible).

2. I don’t know why, but for some reason I find fat guys in suits funny … this is probably why I’m a Laurel and Hardy fan ... and why I’m such good fans with the Reverend.

3. So, all I’m hearing about from just about everywhere is stuff about this American Idol knucklehead contestant named Sanjaya. Apparently, he’s got very little talent, but he wears such exotic (flaming) outfits that he has managed to make it to the final 10. Seriously, why does anybody even bother at this point.

4. Nickleback, I’m serious … STOP MAKING MUSIC! That goes for you too, 3-Doors Down!

5. Could it be true that ESPN has released both Michael Irvin AND Joe Theismann? Why not hit the trifecta and let that ass-hat Merril Hoge go as well?

6. Easter would be a great holiday if it wasn’t for that unnecessary tradition of eating ham.

7. I’m intrigued/concerned about the latest Will Farrell movie release, Blades of Glory. I’ve liked most of the Farrell movies I’ve seen, but I hope he didn’t jump the shark with Anchorman, it seems as though his movies after this point haven’t approached the pure comic genius of the prior movies.

8. This last piece is a “comic” strip done a while ago by one of my former coworkers – it is probably only funny to me and a few others, but I thought I’d share it with you anyway:

Monday, March 26, 2007

The Aftermath!

Thanks to a great suggestion by Superstar, I am showing you a picture my car, a 2005 Nissan Altima (named Smokey) after it was hit by the notorious Chevelle. The suggestion was to have you all estimate the cost to fix her. Bob Barker would be proud!
The second picture shows the back bumper being held in place by duct tape (it was hanging off the car originally).

Sunday, March 25, 2007

And the Hits Keep Comin' ...

So, I was having trouble coming up with something to blog about today, when it hit me … literally!

What started out as a pretty good weekend, came crashing down in the Kohls’ parking lot on Sunday afternoon. My wife and I spent Sunday doing some shopping, going to places like Linens and Things, Marshalls, Bed Bath and Beyond, prior to reaching the “climactic” destination. Yes, some may say I was getting in touch with my “feminine” side, and that’s o.k. I don’t mind shopping with my wife every once in a while. However, in hindsight, I probably should’ve just stayed home.

As we were leaving the Kohls parking lot, I noticed a black 1970 Chevelle (another reason for me to hate Chevy now) flying into the parking lot, apparently not noticing the smoke-gray 2005 Nissan Altima that was pulling out. It wasn’t even a contest – the Chevelle smeared the rear driver’s side door, and took off the back panel and bumper for good measure. The Chevelle had a few scratches on the bumper, but outside of that ,was in pristine condition.

The culprits? Two 16-year-old girls who apparently couldn’t wait to dive into the savings offered at Kohls. They were a little shaken up emotionally, and for good reason. This is probably going to raise their insurance rates a decent chunk. We called the cops, and the young driver called her dad. The dad showed up first – he surveyed the accident, and give me his insurance information. As an aside, he used to work for an Auto Body company, and gave me the info and suggested I take my car there. Additionally, he has his own home improvement company (self employed), and I got his card, so maybe he’ll offer me a good rate if I ever need my attic or bathroom done.

What sucks is that nobody is available at my insurance company until 8:00 a.m. tomorrow, which means that I’ll be late for work … hopefully, that is all I’ll have to deal with. What a way to end the weekend … at least nobody was hurt, so I guess it could’ve been worse.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

On Second Thought ...

You know how sometimes when you say or do something stupid, it comes back to “haunt” you? It’s called Karma, and I have an “egg-shell-ent” story that demonstrates this “principle.”

To give you a little set-up, I was a freshman at college when this story took place. I had come back home for spring break, and went to a friend’s house for a party – kind of a chance for all of us high school and neighborhood buddies to get back together and catch up. Well, since this friend had a sister who was one year younger than us, she invited some of her friends to the party … of course these friends were still in high school.

I was standing around a pool table in the basement, when this one girl who I knew but never talked to came up to me. We started chatting a little bit, when out of nowhere she starts talking about all these wild sex stories, even mentioning to me that she would never pass up a good f*ck. Naturally, I found this story quite interesting, but felt she was all talk. I decided to go upstairs and watch some of the Flyers game. Shockingly enough, she followed me upstairs, then started going around all the rooms of the house. She then came back and informed me that it was a shame that all the rooms were taken because she was hoping to give me the best “hummer” of my life. Never one to pass up an opportunity, I pulled my car keys out, and she immediately took me to my car. I won’t go into any details, but let’s just say it was a good start to the spring break.

Fast forward to the end of the semester. I come home from school, and go back to work at the pet shop that I had been working at for a few years prior to college. A coworker mentioned that he took this same girl to his prom a few weeks ago, and that she was absolutely wild and crazy. I have trouble passing up on opportunities for a good joke – so I told him that I heard she may have some sort of disease, and that he really should get himself checked out. He got all nervous and sweaty, and asked me questions about this … and of course I was very vague about the answers I gave. Sadly, I forgot to let him off the hook at the end of the night, which prompted him to go to school the next morning and confront her.

He basically asked if she was in good health. She got very defensive and made (understandably), and she asked who he heard this from. He said he didn’t want to give up his source, so she started going through a list of names. When she got to my name, he nodded … what a guy. Later that night, she came to the pet-shop, and motioned me over. I immediately thought to myself that she wanted another round of “Vitamin K.” So, I went over. She asked me to come closer, which I obligingly did, thinking that she wanted me to plant a kiss on her right then and there. Unfortunately, that was not her desire. Instead, she planted an egg on the top of my head. As I was picking the egg shells and gunk out of my hair, she took off – I stood there yelling something stupid to the effect of, “And stay out!” I guess the “yolk” was on me.

I hope we all learned a lesson here.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

This and That...

Here are some questions you’ve probably been dying to ask me – consider yourselves lucky I decided to answer them:

1. What is your favorite breakfast meat?
“Believe it or not, this is a tough one for me. It really comes down to two – sausage and bacon, but not that Canadian bacon crap – looks too much like ham. I’m leaning towards bacon, because the smell of it cooking moves me more than the smell of sausage cooking ... and yes, it comes down to that for me.”

2. If you could choose anybody to be president, who would it be?
“I think I’d choose the Wolf from Pulp Fiction. The guy had a way of cleaning up messy situations … sounds like the perfect gift for a president to have.

3. Are you a cat man or a dog man?
“Dogs, dogs, dogs (and not in a sick way, ok?). Cats have about as much of a personality as Bill Wyman.

4. If you had to choose between having to puke, or having to go diarrhea, which would you rather do?
“I’d rather just go for it and shit my pants. I hate puking. I hate the sound, sight, and smell of puke.

5. What would your dream job be?
“Phew, anything that would pay me a lot of money, and produce very little stress on me. I would love to talk sports, movies, and farts … if somebody would give me a lot of money to do this, I would be a happy man.”

6. Your favorite fast-food chain?
“Ugh – tough call. If I could form a hybrid that included Wendy’s Kaiser rolls, Burger King’s flame-broiled patties, and McDonalds’ French fries, I’d be a happy man … probably weighing 50 more pounds as well.”

7. Who was the first person you had a crush on?
“I was in fifth grade. The girl’s name was Kathy. She thought I was a toad. Maybe it was the red sneakers my mom made me wear. Once, she got head lice. I still had a crush on her. I was a sick kid.”

8. Do you have a first memory?
“I remember my mom threatening to not let me outside until I pooped in the toilet … I held out for 3 days until I finally pooped again … some things have a way of staying with you for some reason.”

9. Who is your favorite super hero?
“I’ve never been really big into Super Heroes. However, I always liked El-Kabong.”

10. What would you rather be doing right now?
“I would rather be swimming in money … a lot of money.”

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Where Did The Weekend Go?

It was a fun weekend all around for the most part. It started a little earlier than normal, thanks to the ice storm that the weather forecasters once again miscalled. I ended up leaving work at 1:30 p.m., and thankfully I did, because not long after that, the blue route was stifled because of multiple accidents. So, I was home safe and sound by 2:30, and was able to get the chores that I normally do on Friday evening done much earlier. Of course, I got a frantic phone call from my wife – she was at the train station and her car wasn’t starting … I later found out that the reason behind this was because my wife, bless her soul, left the lights on … again … the second time in two weeks.

After we got her car started (she said she was going to ask someone at the train station to “jump-her,” to which I responded, “maybe you can phrase that a little differently.”), we came home, made some dinner, and hung out in the basement, watching some of the basketball games (at least, I was), throwing darts, and just relaxing … we had a big day ahead of us on Saturday.

Well, Saturday morning comes, and I realize that I have to shovel 2-3 inches of thick ice from my driveway and sidewalk … oh the joys. My back, shoulders, arms, and legs are throbbing more than 24-hours later. It took about 2 hours to fully shovel … normally, it may take up to ½ hour, but for special icy occasions (ones we’ve had all to much this year), I get to “work out” a little longer.

Then, it was time for our inaugural “public transportation St. Patty’s Day bar tour,” which had to be changed slightly, thanks to said icy conditions. We started off by hitting two Irish bars – R.P. McMurphy’s and Haggarty’s. Then, we decided to eat some Irish dinner at the …. Italian Delight pizza shop (we were already a few beers in … and besides, I HATE ham and cabbage). We ended up going to a few not-so-Irish bars – Walt’s Red Rose and the Frontier Saloon, pissed a few people off with our group intoxication, and then finally too the bus to our final destination – The Milmont Inn.

The Milmonster, as we like to call it, is the classic description of a dive bar … with an unfortunate Notre Dame fighting Irish logo to go with it. But, since I was already hammered, I decided to ignore the logo and have a good time anyway. I’ve only been to this bar maybe 3 times in my life, and the first two times were pretty non-descript. But, for one reason or other, we had an absolute blast this last time – sometimes a perfect storm of alcohol, friends, and good music can make any bar fun (this, I’ve learned on a number of occasions). We spend more than 4 hours there prior to calling it a night (at the request of my liver).

So, Sunday was mainly a lazy, relaxing, recovery day – one in which I watched both The Money Pit, AND Animal House. I’ve also watched some of the basketball games, but since my basketball pool now has more holes in it than Swiss cheese, I’ve rapidly lost interest (hey, at least Duke was ousted … speaking of which, I made an interesting comparison … Duke Basketball = Notre Dame football). I’m sure I’ll go for the trifecta and find a third silly/funny movie to watch before the day is out (helps me keep my mind off of Mondays).

Thursday, March 15, 2007

It's All About Karma...

So, remember how I was having trouble with "Chrome Repot?" Funny, I wasn't the only one. To make a long story short, somebody wrote an article about how this company, which once was all about customer service, has forgotten the customer. Additionally, the company's stock prices have fallen faster than Brittany Spears' fame.

I have two articles for you guys to look into. Apparently, the new CEO of Chrome Repot is set on repairing this company's shattered image, by "rectifying" customer complaints, and refocusing the company on customer service (and customer satisfaction). We'll see - I posted my complaint on the message board as well as sending my complaint via e-mail to the company. I'll keep you all posted.

Check out these stories:

Deep Thoughts ...

I promised something funny after the last blog, and here it is. These are some “thoughts” a friend of mine sent me:

1. Can you cry under water?
2. How important does a person have to be before they are considered assassinated instead of just murdered?
3. Why do you have to "put your two cents in".. but it's only a "penny for your thoughts?" Where's that extra penny going to?
4. Once you're in heaven, do you get stuck wearing the clothes you were buried in for eternity?
5. Why does a round pizza come in a square box?
6. What disease did cured ham actually have?
7. How is it that we put man on the moon before we figured out it would be a good idea to put wheels on luggage?
8. Why is it that people say they "slept like a baby" when babies wake up like every two hours?
9. If a deaf person has to go to court, is it still called a hearing?
10. Why are you IN a movie, but you're ON TV?
11. Why do people pay to go up tall buildings and then put money in binoculars to look at things on the ground?
12. Why do doctors leave the room while you change? They're going to see you naked anyway.
13. Why is "bra" singular and "panties" plural?
14. Why do toasters always have a setting that burns the toast to a horrible crisp, which no decent human being would eat?
15. If Jimmy cracks corn and no one cares, why is there a stupid song about him?
16. Can a hearse carrying a corpse drive in the carpool Lane?
17. If the professor on Gilligan's Island can make a radio out of a coconut, why can't he fix a hole in a boat?
18. Why does Goofy stand erect while Pluto remains on all fours? They're both dogs!
19. If Wiley E. Coyote had enough money to buy all that ACME crap, why didn't he just buy dinner?
20. If corn oil is made from corn, and vegetable oil is made from vegetables, what is baby oil made from?
21. If electricity comes from electrons, does morality come from morons?

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

We'll Miss Ya, Richard ...

Sad news to pass along – Richard Jeni, a very funny comedian, one I was very fond of (not in a gay way), passed away over the weekend. According to some reports, it looks as if he committed suicide. I guess sometimes it doesn’t matter how successful one is, because success doesn’t always equate to happiness.

Jeni was very good with observational humor, much like Jerry Seinfeld, but probably with a little harder of an edge. He was one of the best at working a room, and he was able to generate new material rather quickly. He did manage to make it to the silver screen, landing a part in The Mask as Jim Carey’s bank work buddy. He was pretty good in this limited role. Additionally, he’s done a lot of commercial voiceover work in his time. Quite honestly, I’m shocked he never really hit it big with a sit com or a lead role in a movie. Sometimes, those are the breaks, I guess.

The suicide thing connects to me, not because I’ve ever tried to commit suicide, but because my older brother committed suicide. Don’t worry, I’ve learned to deal with it, but it is something I don’t think I’ll ever fully get over. But, I do want to make a sort of a public service announcement to you all.

In case any of you (or people you know) ever contemplate taking your life, just remember this – it’s never the easy way out, even though at times it may seem that way. I have had a difficult time forgiving my brother for what he did, not only to me, but more-so to my parents. The strong foundation that I had growing up was rocked by this, and has never fully been the same. My parents are very strong people … sometimes too strong for their own good. They have been conditioned to internalize many feelings - probably a product of growing up in World War II Germany.

I was used to this … but when their first son took his own life, not even they could hide their emotions. It was one of the most depressing moments of my life … I wasn’t even as depressed that I lost a brother – I was more depressed that my parents lost their son. Even as we approach the 15-year point of this tragic event, my parents have still not fully recovered. They thought, and continue to think, that it is a sign of weakness to go and get professional help in dealing with this. The worst part is that they think it is their fault TO THIS DAY that he ended it.

This is why I have trouble forgiving Albert for what he did. For even though he “took the easy way out,” he ended up taking part of my parents with him, and dumping his problems on the rest of us. During the time I should’ve been mourning, I cursed him. I couldn’t believe that he would do something so selfish, and never consider the consequences. It’s hard for me to put myself in that position, though. I understand from talking with others who have contemplated suicide that it’s not about being selfish, it’s about feeling lonely, and thinking the world would be a better place without their existence.

It took me 5 years to visit his grave. I’ve only gone back a few times since. I was lucky enough to have some great friends to help me through this. At the time, I probably should’ve gone for professional help, but I just didn’t know my options, I guess. My friends became my rock. They helped me through those first few years. I wish my parents could get over this, and I hope that this post at the very least puts things into perspective for any of you who may be feeling overly depressed.

Sorry for the depressing post – I just got off on a tangent with it. I promise I’ll be funnier next post.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

California, here I come ...

My wife and I have begun planning our vacation … this year’s destination – San Francisco and the Napa Valley. Here’s the thing – I am not a wine drinker by nature. I am 100% German (both parents are from the “Vaterland”), which means I have a strong taste for beer. My wife LOVES wine, and I’m certainly willing to give anything a chance. Plus, after watching Sideways, it seemed like getting to know wine a little better would be kind of cool.

A few of my friends dig wine as well. A fellow blogger, and good friend, the Rev, has been diving into the wine tasting (and drinking) hobby. I figure if he’s enjoying it, I’m missing out on something.

Becoming a wine aficionado takes lots of time (and lots of money, I’m guessing). Currently if you handed me a glass of Thunderbird and told me it was Dom Perignon, I’d believe you … translation, my pallet is not so advanced when it comes to vino. But, again, I’ll give anything a try, and what better place to go to do this (outside of Europe), than to go to Napa.

If any of you bloggers have any suggestions for me, please pass them along. These can be suggestions on wines that I should give a try (please, keep them on the reasonably priced level), books to read, websites to go to, or any places to visit in Napa. Thanks in advance for the love.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Stoppage Time

Just some random thoughts for the end of the week:
  • I’ve had a lot of issues with “Chrome Repot,” as you probably know. Well, now I have another one. Because of a lack of forethought, I had to purchase salt today (it snowed, our sidewalk and driveway were icy). I went to said hardware store to purchase this bag of salt. Ten frickin’ dollars for this bag. I know this is capitalism at its best, and if I was smarter, I would’ve purchase a bag last week when temperatures were in the 60’s. But still, I’m really starting to hate this company.

  • This may be a little late, but I had to comment about Anna Nicole’s funeral. Am I the only one who thought that this may have been a little excessive? I mean, not only having a country music singer perform at this event, but to release a bunch of white doves as well? I thought we only lost a bimbo, not a deity. Things like this tend to bug me.
  • So, apparently Allen Iverson is causing trouble in Denver now – so much so that Carmelo Anthony might get benched. This cat is some kind of team wrecker, isn’t he? Maybe Allen should change his last name to Owens. But, here’s the irony – what if the Sixers somehow happened to back their way into the playoffs, AND Denver tanks and misses the playoffs? I wonder what Iverson’s defense about this would be.
  • I just switched cable companies (and phone and internet) from Comcast to RCN. I found it humorous how Comcast has been calling me all week trying to make these spectacular offers to get me back. Where the hell were you guys when I was complaining about the high prices a few months ago? Funny how priorities change when you remove their power.
    I got a kick out of reading about how some far-right groups do not want Giuliani to be the Republican choice to run for president in 2008 because he is divorced. I try never to reveal my political affiliation, mainly because I agree/disagree with both sides on issues, and more importantly, I think they are for the most part scum-bags. But, this one killed me. I’m surprised these lunatics haven’t gotten Pat Robertson into the White House yet.
  • Does every Chevy commercial have to be annoying?

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Maybe you should just order the hot dog ..

I went on a guys night out this past weekend with buddies from grade school – kind of amazing how we all still are friends after this many years. Anyway, it is very customary for “the fellas” to pretty much constantly make fun of each other from the second we see each other … People with thinner skin probably would’ve offed themselves long ago, but not us. Again, pretty amazing how we’ve all managed to remain friends for so long.

There was one moment that really stood out as being the funniest/head-scratchingest (is that a word?) event of the night. After hanging out at the Toll House (yes, it’s still open, somehow), we decided to go to a Japanese restaurant, Hibachi. A friend of ours, we’ll call him “Big Red,” ordered the Philadelphia roll. Now, most people would expect that when they order a Philadelphia roll at a Japanese restaurant, that this would be some form of sushi, right (I know, I’m making a leap of faith here)?

When his appetizer came, Big Red was perplexed. This is not at all what he had in mind when he ordered the Philadelphia roll. In fact, when the waitress informed him about the sea-weed wrap, Big Red’s face got so white, local snow-men got jealous. He immediately began unwrapping the sushi, scraping the rice off of the seaweed, and eating the contents of the wrap.

One of us HAD to ask him what he thought he was ordering. He responded that since it was a Philly roll, he had expected the sour cream and salmon to be on an Amoroso (South Philly sub) roll. My question is this – does anybody else make this same “assumption” when ordering a Philly roll or any kind of roll for that matter at a Japanese restaurant? Yeah, I didn’t think so either.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

De-do-do-do ... de-da-da-da ...

I just found out that a good friend of mine was able to get me tickets to the Police concert taking place in Philly on July 19 – I am thrilled by this because (A) I’ve never had the opportunity to see the Police in concert (I was all of 13 the last time they played together at Live Aid), and (B) I love a good rock concert, and these guys fit that bill nicely … it could quite possibly be the best rock concert of the summer (and that’s saying something with groups like Genesis, and maybe Van Halen planning tours).

However, I do have some concerns. Oh, I guess they aren’t huge concerns, but nevertheless, I thought I’d share them with you. First and foremost, I sincerely hope that they ONLY play Police songs. I really don’t want to hear any of the Sting solo crap that he has “graced” us with over the past 20 years. There was a time when the Police were cutting edge, and the music sounded fresh with a nice fusion of reggae, rock, and maybe even a little R&B.

But when Sting set forth on his solo journey from hell, he shed cutting edge musical dynamo of the Police and jumped into the world of Adult Contemporary boringness (is that even a word?). His catalogue of songs now grace easy listening stations, and he is no longer looked at as a musical pioneer. Sure, there may have been a few tunes that weren’t so bad, but for the most part, he was traveling to the “ancient” rocker burial grounds with the likes of Elton John, Brian Adams, and Rod Stewart.

By the way, this observation is not up for debate – I don’t want to hear from any of you Sting fans who will try to defend him. When he left the Police, he really should’ve change his name. Sting sounds like a manly name, and this by no means carried over to the steaming pile of songs he shat out. He should’ve just gone back to using his real name, Gordon.

Another issue is whether or not the Police can recapture the magic of the Police of the early 1980’s. Sure, they sounded great during the Grammies, when they performed Roxanne. But, can they put together a good 2 hour show? Andy Somers was looking mighty old on stage, standing still much like Billy Wyman.

I have faith, though. The songs themselves should help to carry the band members. For the most part, they seem rejuvenated. And, if they do decide to create some more songs, let’s hope that Sting and the gang can at least put forth a decent effort.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Come and Knock On My Door ...

I’m sure you local Philly people read or heard about this story, but for those of you who haven’t – a principal in an Allentown school district was arrested for dealing crystal-meth ( Now, that would be strange, and just wrong in itself, however, the news about what was discovered when the cops arrested him in his office is laughable, to say the least.

According to news reports, the cops entered his office to arrest him, when they discovered him naked, watching gay porn, with sex toys. Many questions come to mind when reading this story. First, and foremost, how the hell could this guy rise all the way up to principal of a school without anybody noticing his … er …. Um … tendencies? Don’t you think other teachers would’ve or should’ve caught onto this guy long before he got to his place of power?

I remember when I was in high school, and there was a teacher who was the “cool teacher.” I think most people can remember a guy (or gal) teacher they had in school who was the “cool one.” Usually, this teacher had long hair, dressed kind of scraggly, usually had rock and roll posters or pictures hanging in his (or her) room. Yep, he was the guy that most people agreed probably still smoked pot on a regular basis.

Heck, I even had a teacher who used to play the harmonica in the stalls when he was “taking the Browns to the Super Bowl.” But, I’m pretty sure that I’ve never had a teacher, or principal for that matter, who ever chose to watch porn naked in his room, whilst also being a drug dealer … I’m pretty sure I would’ve found out some way about this (and hopefully not the “wrong” way, if you know what I mean).

Another question is, what is an adequate penalty for this schmuck? Think about it – he probably was probably a pretty influential figure in the school – or at least I would think someone with his title would be. Was his school zone one of those “drug free school zones,” and if so, will his penalty be substantially higher than a school that isn’t a “drug free school zone?”

Finally, what about his secretary? I’m guessing she was (a) so oblivious and stupid that she probably wasn’t even qualified to bag groceries, or (b) an accomplice to this. I mean, did she take orders for the principal? Who replaces this guy as principal? Does the school board opt for a more hard-line person, or will they try to find somebody that can continue supplying them with the “hook-up?”