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.