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:


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 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:
Mark Bulger – Stl
Matt Hasselbeck – Sea

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

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

Jeremy Shockey – NYG
Jason Witten – Dal

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:

Marc Bulger – Stl
Jon Kitna – Det

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

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

Jeremy Shockey – NYG
Jason Witten – Dal

Shayne Graham – Cin
Neil Rackers – Arz


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?