Sunday, August 31, 2008

One Banana, Two Banana, Three Banana, Four!

You know, every once in a while, I get that song “One Banana, Two Banana, Three Banana Four” song swimming around in my melon … no, seriously, I do. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, obviously the Banana Splits show was probably before your time.

The show was originally done in the late 1960’s … before I was born (thankfully), but it had a bit of a renaissance in the late 1970’s. According to Wikipedia, “The Banana Splits Adventure Hour, syndicated as The Banana Splits and Friends Show, was an hour-long package television program featuring both live action and animated segments.”

Basically, it featured four furry animals that were part of a “band,” similar to the Monkees. The group is as follows: The main characters were Fleegle, a beagle; Bingo, a gorilla; Drooper, a lion, and Snorky (called "Snork" in the theme song lyrics), an elephant. For the most part, they would goof around trying to play songs, but mostly ride around in bumper cars, spill food on each other, and introduce Hanna Barbera cartoons.

As a 4-5-year-old, I was mesmerized by these clowns …. much like I was mesmerized by other bumbling “comedy groups,” like the Stooges, Abbott and Costello, and the aforementioned Monkees. I haven’t seen the show since I was a youngster, and if I watched it now, the novelty and humor I found so … well … humorous as a child would probably not carry over into adulthood . Plus, I could probably catch some of the Banana Splits antics on Youtube if I really wanted to.

With that said, a news report recently came out stating that the Banana Splits will be redone for the 21st century. Here’s to hoping the creators don’t take the same path they tried to take in revamping Bugs Bunny.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

A blogging "exercise"

So, I got a "homework assignment" from Mama's Losing It - and I figured, "What the heck?" I don't have writer's block, mind you, but this looked like a fun exercise. So, Mama put together a few topics, and we (bloggers) were tasked to write about them ... on a side note, this may be a weekly thing. OK, enough small talk - topic #1:

1.) Did you have a favorite blanket or toy? Tell about it.
I got this Oscar the Grouch alarm clock one Christmas ... it was probably the most excited I've ever been about a Christmas present. When I opened it, and realized what it was, I came about as close as I ever have to jumping out of my skin. I remember vividly jumping up and down trying to scream but no sound coming out of my mouth (that's probably a first, by the way). I had been eyeing this alarm clock for months in a Sears catalogue, and my parents put together a pretty good poker face the entire time claiming that "Santa" couldn't find the clock anywhere ... of course, I took the bait hook-line-and sinker ... which added to the surprise.

Oscar would wake me up every morning with some sort of saying that included hoping that I would have a grouchy day. I ate it up ... I must've listened to that alarm clock 50 times that very first day. At some point, that alarm clock broke, and my interest for it did too. But I will never, ever forget how excited I was that Christmas.

2.) I wish I could...
Oh man, there are so many things I wish I could do. I wish I could enjoy healthy food more ... I get bored with it, and go back to potato chips and burgers. I wish I liked beans ... I can't stand them for some reason. I wish I could play a good guitar, because my air guitar skills are out of this world. I wish I could win the lottery ... it would make things so much easier (at least, I think it would ... although there are probably a lot of negatives that I can't currently see).

Whew, that was fun! If you guys or gals are interested in this exercise, go visit her site by clicking here:

Sunday, August 24, 2008

You Won a Gold Medal in What???

Last weekend, I went over my friend Ray-Ray’s place – his fiance’s bridal shower was going on, and the guys decided to hang out, goof around, drink a little, and most importantly, avoid the shower. First item on the agenda was to go out and get some lunch – we chose a bar down the street from his “crib,” a crab-shack/bar.

We were immediately overwhelmed by the wafting seafood odor, similar to the stench one is overwhelmed with when entering Lou Turks (inside joke for those of you who live in Delaware County). Other than that, the bar was quaint, and filled with many toothless red-necks who were eagerly awaiting the upcoming NASCAR race.

On the big screen in the center, the Olympics was on … but not the good Olympics - you know, the one featuring women’s beach volleyball, basketball, baseball, or soccer. No, instead, we were saddled with watching women’s trampolines. Seriously, women’s trampolines??? How the hell did this become an Olympic sport anyway? I mean, the Olympics is getting rid of baseball and softball, yet they keep trampolines, synchronized diving, and badminton???

Why not add other summer barbecue sports like cornhole, lawn darts, and horse-shoes? Seriously – that way, when parents have picnics and barbecues in the summer, they can gauge how well little Joey is doing throwing the plastic shoes. Should waffle ball or pool volleyball be added. If there’s a protocol, or an application process, what is it? I’d like to add shuffle ball to the list. Maybe we could add hot-dog eating, or a belly-flop contest. Who wouldn’t watch those?

You know, if Guiness got smart, they could hold a “Guiness Book of World Records” Olympics every 4 years – I’m pretty sure that MTV or E would totally be on board.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Fantasy Football is Back!!!!

So, we had our big fantasy football draft last night - I believe this is our league's 10th year. We've done a live draft every year, and even though technology obviously supports internet drafting, to me, it's just not as fun as having all parties at a central location ... of course, this is difficult with our league, as we have 20 people participating (2 separate conferences that draft from separate pools).

Anyway, I picked 6th last night, and I think I did a relatively good job. No, I didn't get Tomlinson or Peterson, or really any top tier back, but I still think I did a great job. Here, see for yourself:

Tom Brady
David Garrard
Jason Campbell

Clinton Portis
Michael Turner
Ryan Grant
Selvin Young

Andre Johnson
Greg Jennings
Dwayne Bowe
Nate Burleson

Jeremy Shockey
Heath Miller

Jason Hanson


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

What Side Effects???

It’s almost football season again … and you know what that means …. An incessant amount of commercials about drugs for ailments we didn’t even know were real illnesses! “Do you burp? Well, have we got a cure for you!” Wait a minute … burping is an illness? Man, then my burping illness must be in the advanced stages!

Seriously, we Americans must be the biggest hypochondriacs in the whole world … either that, or these drug companies are successfully implementing hypnotic suggestion in their commercials.

But, I love watching these commercials. Why? Because I enjoy how the first half of the commercial is about how great the drug is, and the second half of the commercial consists of the narrator reading a list of potential side effects while the video is of the person enjoying his/her time frolicking in a country field. Seriously, have you heard some of these side effects?

For instance, Lipitor is a pretty popular drug on the market right now. It apparently helps to lower cholesterol … which is fine, if you don’t mind the breakdown of skeletal muscle tissue, which can lead to kidney failure. Seriously, I’m not making this up!

How about Flonase? Sure, this one helps with chronic nasal congestion. The only thing you have to worry about is severe or ongoing nose bleed, vision problems, sores in the nose that won't heal, fever, chills, body aches, or flu symptoms. You know what, I think I’ll breathe out of my mouth, thank you!

You can find out more about prescription drugs here, if you want:

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Office Clowners!

I don’t know if you’ve ever popped over to the office clowning blogsite that I have on my blog roll, but these guys are absolutely amazing (in my humble opinion). Sure, I know them very well, as I was once part of their office-clowning … er … shenanigans (translation – I worked with them), but still.

My wife Schue and I were perusing office clowning once again, and couldn’t stop laughing. Particularly funny was the “My Name is Los” pic they recently did. These guys are pretty darn good with Photoshop, and think outside the box with regards to photo-doctoring.

I wanted to give them a shout-out because (a) they spend lots of their work-days hard at work ... with this, and (b) because I miss those sumbitches! Here are a few of my favorites (of, course, these all include me … deal with it).

Me, demonstrating my soccer skills ...

My Name is Los

The blockbuster comedy of 2007, Knocked Up!

Others, I liked:

Thursday, August 14, 2008

A Pleasant Surprise ...

Have you ever come across a movie you never heard about, watched it, and absolutely loved it? Yeah, me too – movies like National Lampoon’s Senior Trip, High Fidelity, and Grandma’s Boy are a few of the more recent ones that fit this bill for me. I have another one to add to the list, thanks to my brother. You are all probably at least remotely familiar with the Onion website, right? It’s really just a “faux” news site, that is downright brilliant and hysterical ( for those unfamiliar).

Well, apparently, these geniuses put together a movie back in 1993, but never released it, partly due to the poor feedback they were receiving from private screenings. They sat on the movie until this year, and released it on DVD in June, to really not much fanfare.

This past weekend, in Rehobeth, my brother told me about the movie, and as luck would have it, he had acquired it. I didn’t really have high hopes for the flick, considering I heard nothing about it, but he assured me it was a riot. So, we decided to watch it, and I was more than pleasantly surprised – this movie was a laugh a minute … much like the website.

This movie, in my opinion, is comparable to The Kentucky Fried Movie (and if you haven’t seen this yet, stop reading and rent it, dammit!). There are a lot of little “vignettes” tied together in a newscast … and yes, there is a storyline, although it is really not important. I won’t give too much away, other than Steven Seagall is in the movie, and basically spoofs himself.

If you get a chance, rent this – if you have a good sense of humor, and are not easily offended, you’ll love this. If you are an activist of any kind, you’ll probably want to stay away from it … of course, if you were an activist, you probably wouldn’t be reading this blog, right?

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Rehobeth ...

You know what – I still got PVD, or post-vacation depression. Usually, this condition lasts for a few days and then gradually subsides, but I’m still saying things like, “you know, two Sundays ago, we were at the Sunburn Bar watching the Philadelphia Soul win the championship.” Well, sometimes you need a little “hair of the dog that bit ya,” and that is exactly what we got this past weekend.

My wife Schue and I went down to Rehobeth Beach to meat up with my brother, his wife, and his wife’s sister – their parents have a place not too far from the beach and they invited us down. I’ve realized something – GOD I LOVE VACATION! Traffic to Rehobeth wasn’t too bad on Saturday morning – sure there were some slow spots, especially as you enter the town on Route 1.

We got there a little before 11, and it wasn’t too long before we were on the road to the beach. This must’ve been one of the busiest weekends of the year in Rehobeth because the traffic was brutal. In talking with my brother, he said that a lot of new developments were built over the last few years, but the town’s short-sighted government decided against upgrading the support infrastructure … translation – the town decided not to expand any of the two-lane roads into four-lane roads, and no parking garages were built to accommodate the increase in visitors, making the task of finding a parking spot near the beach a near impossibility. Plus, most of the parking spots are metered – and the meters cost 25 cents for 10 minutes! However, Rehobeth does not require beach tags, so I guess it all evens out.

The beach itself was ridiculously crowded – beach umbrellas as far as the eye could see … in a way, it looked like a giant mushroom patch. I guess we were spoiled in the Outer Banks, because the beach was never THAT packed, and the traffic was non-existant. Still, the weather was perfect, we found a nice spot, and had a great few hours basking in the sun. By the way, the water was REALLY cold - and you men know that the toughest part about getting into the water is when the water rises about your “wedding tackle.”

After the beach, we walked down to the boardwalk area of Rehobeth, and went to the Purple Parrot for a late lunch (or as our friend Andy says it – “Dunch,” which is a combination of lunch and dinner). I had the Pot Roast hoagie – I highly recommend it, by the way! We spent some more time walking around the boardwalk, going into some local shops, and playing some games (winning some cheap stuffed animals).

Later that night, we went to the Am-Vets – my brother’s wife and her sister are members. The alcohol is cheap, and the entertainment is “interesting.” You only have to get passed the smoke-filled haze of the bar, but it is a ton of fun – we played some shuffle bowl, and pool …I had a hankering to play one of the slot machines there, but everyone else was ready to leave (which is probably a good thing).

On the ride home, we were making great time, until we hit a major rain/hail storm that slowed us down a bit. Still, we had a fantastic time … someday, when I win the Powerball, maybe I’ll get a place down the beach … sigh.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Top Ten List ...

I got to thinking about my blog and what other things I wanted to do with it – maybe have some sort of themes (there was a time when I posted pics and asked for the best captions). I think I came up with something that might or might not be funny. It’s a little hard to explain, but I guess it can be best compared to a top 10 list, but I’ll be focusing on (hopefully) topics that Letterman doesn’t. I’ll give it a whirl, and you can let me know what you think, or even offer suggestions on other topics.

First topic: Things you probably shouldn’t say while you’re dancing with a girl:

10. So, what did you do with the money your mom gave you for dancing lessons?
9. I learned all my best moves from Michael Jackson.
8. Do you wanna have a Moonwalk contest?
7. Last time I saw moves like that was whilst watching a guy have a heart attack.
6. Wow, you must be something in bed!
5. You should see my “It’s Raining Men” dance routine!
4. So, do you have a daughter?
3. You dance pretty well for an ugly chick!
2. I haven’t danced this close with a woman since I hokey-pokeyed with my mom.
1. Seriously, you need to drink less/more.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Scratch That ...

The last post was a post about the first crush I had … at least I thought that was my first crush. I actually had interest in girl years before Kathy … her name was Phadra – I’m really not sure how to spell it, as I was only 5 when she moved into my neighborhood. Now, don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t as if I, at the ripe old age of 5, was interested in having “relations” with this girl, but she was the first girl I knew who I actually wanted to hang out with.

Honestly, I really don’t know much about her, other than she was funny, and liked to do things I did – which basically consisted of trying to catch crayfish in the creek in my back yard. Unfortunately, I had a nemesis – his name was Bill, and it wouldn’t be the first time the two of us would fight over a “woman.”

Bill had a distinct advantage over me – his family owned a swimming pool. That’s a huge advantage for a 5-year-old. Seriously – Phadra had to choose between getting dirty trying to catch god-knows-what in the creek, or taking a plunge in a swimming pool … complete with a volleyball net.

The choice was pretty simple … or at least it seemed that way on paper. However, I did have one thing going for me – my advanced sense of humor, and the uncanny ability to make Phadra laugh. Sure, sometimes Phadra chose the pool, but more times than not, she hung out with me.

For some reason, Bill, Phadra and I never really came to the conclusion that it would be good for the three of us to hang out. I think that Phadra liked the attention she got and the competition she created. Bill and I, unfortunately, didn’t learn from this, as we had another fight over a girl in the 7th grade … this time the stakes were a little bigger than just a swim in the pool … eh, a story for another time.

Phadra and her mom only lived in our neighborhood for a year or two – I’m not really sure where they moved to or what ever happened to her. I think she and her mom may have stopped by our house a few years after they moved, but by then, the magic was gone, and Bill and I could resume being friends.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

My First Crush ...

After getting back from the Outer Banks, I got talkin' to my friend Slant about relationships with girls. It got me to thinking – I’ve had some really “interesting” girlfriends … and even girls I had crushes on. Like for instance, I remember very well the first crush I had. I was in 6th grade, and had just freshly retired my Super Friends lunch box in favor of the more socially accepted brown bag. That’s right, I was starting to become an adult, and quite naturally, Cupid would eventually point his love arrow my way (wait, that didn’t sound very good).

The girl’s name was Kathy, and she had recently moved back to my school district – she was in my Kindergarten class all those years ago (about 6 years ago, actually). I immediately felt a tingling in my heart … all of the sudden, girls no longer had cuties. In looking back, Kathy really wasn’t a knockout … she had dirty blonde hair … so dirty in fact, that she was kept home from school because of a case of head lice … no matter – I still had tingles for her.

Unfortunately, my mom was right in the middle of a run of bad clothing purchases for me – clothes like Uncle Charlie’s and Smacks pants, the fire-engine red Copa 83 and brown Nado Super Primo sneakers – I didn’t stand a chance with Kathy. Somehow, it got leaked to her that I liked her … she never gave me a second look. I was crushed … and I soon realized why they called them crushes.

I remember looking at our 5th grade yearbook longingly at the picture of Kathy. I had the full-blown crush … loss of appetite, even with my mom’s patented peanut butter and jelly sandwich, Herr’s potato chips, Kit Kat bar, and Capri Sun drink. I couldn’t think straight in class, and felt dizzy anytime that I saw her in the hallway. One time, she was walking down the hallway in one direction … alone … and I was walking in the other direction … alone … I thought I was going to pass out … and I probably would have if she made eye contact with me … which she sadly didn’t.

I’m not really sure what I would’ve done if she had agreed to go out with me. Maybe I would’ve met her at the mall and bought her a soft pretzel and possibly an Icee … if I had enough money in my brown soccer wallet. Maybe we would’ve danced real slow together at the middle-school dances that were held 3 times a year. Or maybe we could play kick the can or freeze tag with my neighborhood buddies.

As it turned out, it was probably for the best – Kathy began smoking and drinking in the 7th grade. The closest I ever came to drinking at that point was when my parents allowed me to have a splash of wine with my ginger ale at the dinner table … there was no way I could or even wanted to compete with that.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

My God, vacation is already over??? In looking back, it felt like a dream, you know? It just went by too quickly to be real … but I guess that means we had fun, right? Here’s a brief description, complete with pics.

We left last Saturday morning – meeting Ray-Ray, Christa, and Johnnay at the Shell station in Newark Delaware around 7:45 AM. I took a picture of some sort of artwork or gang sign made out of feces at the gas station … thought this would be a fitting start to the trip.

On the way down to the Outer Banks on route 13, there is a place called Dixieland – this is the “official” beginning of the South. It is tradition for us to stop here on the trip down every year. Basically, the place sells cheap cigarettes, cheap fireworks, and cheap “Dixieland” trinkets for people to wear/hang in their houses, reminding them that they indeed crossed over into Confederate territory.

We made it down to our destination around 4:00 p.m. – the Winedown in beautiful Kill Devil Hills, NC. After we unpacked, we decided to make some frozen, fruity drinks (hey, it was hot down there!), and hang by the pool – a great start to the week.

On Sunday, I walked to the beach in the morning, and then, headed back to the pool. We decided to watch the Philadelphia Soul “AFL Championship Game” at the Sunburn Bar in Kill Devil Hills – heck, when your sports teams stink, you’ll root for anybody, I guess. The Soul did end up winning, by the way … oh, and the wings at the Sunburn … not so good.

We ventured to the beach on Monday, and there was still considerable seaweed in the water, thanks to the hurricane from the week before. It was fun, but you had to get away from the surf, or you’d end up looking like you were wearing a hula skirt. At night, we went to Jimmy’s Seafood Buffet – it featured about 8 different types of crabs, and tons of other seafood and non-seafood items. The wait to be seated was about 45 minutes or so. Unfortunately, it really wasn’t worth the wait, as was evidenced later that night, when Ray-Ray’s girl came down with a mild case of food-poisoning … on a side note, that might be the last time I do a seafood buffet … ya just can’t mess with seafood.

I fished at the Avalon fishing pier early Tuesday morning – came up with a great pic of the sun rising, as well as catching a few Spot (very small fish). We also made it to the Wright Brothers museum … in the 6 years I’ve gone down there, this was surprisingly the first time I ever made it there. Then, we hung out at the pool again.

Wednesday was another beach day, and although the water was better, there was still some seaweed. We went to the Beach Road Bar and Grill right off the dunes for some lunch, and let me tell ya-all (Southern drawl), this place is a must-go place. It is located on milepost 10.5 on Beach Road in Nags Head, and the food, drink, and company is well worth it. All their food is made from scratch, and they have fantastic specials every day. Plus, it’s located right by the beach, so you can leave your stuff, go to the bar for lunch, and head back to the beach later in the day. We went there quite a few times for the remainder of the trip.

Wednesday night, we went back to the Sunburn for some Karaoke. I have a video of Johnnay singing, but (a) it took too long to load, and (b) I figured he'd probably be against me showing this.

On Thursday, we took a pontoon boat out in the back channels and actually did pretty well with the fishing. I caught my first drum fish ever – it was on the small side, but still a coveted personal accomplishment. That night, we ended up cooking quite a seafood meal and having a few cocktails (oh yeah, I think we did this every night).

Friday came much too quickly. Ray-Ray, Johnnay, Christa and I played some miniature golf, and Christa somehow won, even though she claims it was her first time. Let me just say in my defense, that for most of my shots, either the sun was in my eyes, or the wind was blowing too hard. We spent the afternoon and evening on the beach again, and this was by far the best day on the beach. The ocean was calm and clear, almost like the Caribbean. We must’ve been in the water for a couple of hours easy throwing the football, or looking for the fish (I swear, you could see right to the bottom even 5 feet out).

Ray-Ray, Christa and Johnnay decided to leave Friday night – it was kind of sad, because that really signaled the beginning of the end of the trip. We left Saturday morning, and as we approached Dixieland on the way home, I felt the last bit of vacation drifting away. Of course, the trip back felt about 53 times longer than the trip down, for obvious reasons. God, I really should’ve taken Monday off … sigh.

Me and Ray-Ray