Friday, July 31, 2009

80's Corner

Ah, the Green Machine. You were the coolest of the big wheels. If you were a kid, and you were lucky enough to be the owner of the Green Machine, you instantly became the coolest kid on the block ... sort of like the Mayor the street.

The Green Machine was sleek, fast, and different. It was green for crying out loud! Plus, it didn't have a steering wheel, just two gears you would push and pull to steer. This made it easy to spin out the green-machine ... by far, the coolest trait of any big wheel.

Sadly, I didn't have a green machine. No, I had the traditional big wheel - you know, red, and yellow, with the blue seat ... yeah, the boring one. I was not the cool kid ... I was not the Mayor of the street. I was just a typical serf of the neighborhood, riding around in my normal big wheel, with my normal Buster Brown sneakers (no, I didn't even have Zips). Sigh.

Just look at this commercial! The voice is famous. The kids were show-boating. It was like they were selling you a new car! Man, I wanted it! I wanted to drive it with my grey corderouys ... I wanted to easily slide through an obstacle course of road cones. There's no way my red big wheel could do this.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Weekly Homework Assignment

It's time once again for Mama Kat's Weekly Homework Assignment! With summer moving rapidly by, I decided to choose this one: How will you enjoy your last days of freedom (aka summer)?

I can't believe it's almost August already! Where did the freakin' summer go? Didn't it seem like summer went by so much more slowly as a kid? Allright, I'm done complaining.

We've had a busy summer, and that's probably why it's gone by so quickly. Here are some upcoming "events" we have left:

* We have a horeshoe tournament/barbecue to go to this weekend at my friend Rich's house. He and his wife always have a good party, and adding a horsehoe tournament is always a good thing. Plus, another friend may be bringing some heavy-duty fireworks!

* August 22nd, we are going to a crab-fest at the Delaware Saengerbund - just wondering how the Germans cook their crabs ... at least we'll have good beer!

* I'm sure somebody will have a Labor Day party ... please?!?!?

* Maybe we'll take a trip to the shore before it's all said and done.

* Oh, and we are going on a cruise to Bermuda towards the end of September. I've never been on a cruise before, so I'm excited/nervous for it! Oh, and it's right in the center of Hurricane Season ... should be good times all around!

And then, before you know it, we'll be making plans for Christmas ... sigh.

Attention Radio Program Directors ...

Many of you know the annoyance I have for terrestrial radio ... sure, I listen to it - usually with Preston and Steve in the morning, and sports-talk radio at other times (when I'm NOT listening to my cds). You probably know some of my "typical" complaints - too much talking by the DJs, very small and redundant playlists, reluctance to play anything new, playing the same 3 songs by the same 3 groups (enough already with the Metallica, Ozzy, and Zeppelin!). I won't bore you with repeating these messages. I figured I'd talk about a couple of others:

* When you play Tainted Love by Soft Cell, you MUST play the "Baby-Baby" ending. This is how everybody remembers it. Yes, I know it's really another song, but so what. If they played "We Will Rock You" by Queen, you'd expect them to play "We Are the Champions" right after it, wouldn't you? This is the same thing. Just do it!

* While we're talking about the "2-song" thingy, I think you HAVE to play "Mediate" along with "Need You Tonight," by INXS. This is the way it was done on MTV, and this is the way it should be done on radio. Problem is, NOBODY does it. Why is this?

* There are a couple of radio stations in Philly (I'm looking at you, BEN), who cut songs short. They take out important guitar solos, or choruses, just so they can get the song in at the 3-minute mark. That's disgraceful, guys! You're better than that! Play the song like it was meant to be played. You annoy people when you don't!

* 610-WIP sports-talk hosts - this one goes out to you. The pitcher's name is Roy HALLADAY, not Roy HOLIDAY! Could you please get this right! And please, correct all the idiot callers who are calling him HOLIDAY! Oh, and it's Jaguars, not JAGWIRES.

There, I feel better.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Dope or Nope

I love hot dogs ... I mean, I LOVE HOT DOGS! And there really is no better time to eat them than in the summertime (in fact, I recently enjoyed dollar-dog-night at a Phillies game). I'm traditional in that I love hot dogs with mustard. I'll eat the sucker plain, but I'd prefer mustard. I'm ok with adding some onions, and maybe some hot peppers on it ... heck, even bacon wrapped dogs are good (you can never go wrong with bacon).

However, I'm not a big fan of hot dogs with ketchup. It just doesn't make sense to me. It's kind of like adding mayo to a pretzel (I know some people who swear by this, by the way). Ketchup to hot dogs is like oil and water. But, I wanted to get a sense of how others feel with this.

So ... ketchup on a hot dog ... dope or nope?

Monday, July 27, 2009

Song of the Week

George Thorogood is like Liverwurst ... you either love his music or you hate it. I fall in the first category - I'm a big fan of "Blues-style" music, and love his metallic-sounding guitar. Plus, his voice fits in well with the sound of his band. He's seen better days, that's for sure, but that doesn't mean the man can't put out good music anymore.

Case in point - his new effort, a song called Taildragger. Very traditional-Thorogood-sounding (think Madison Blues). It starts off with a guitar pick sound similar to a loud ticking-clock. This is followed by Thorogood's trademarked growl. Nothing new to this sound - strong and steady backbeat ... check; slide guitar ... check; many, many solos ... check. But, much like AC/DC, he doesn't have to stray. The music is good just the way it is.

Have a listen to a couple of his new songs here.

You can find out more about Lonesome George here.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Fast-Food Corner

They leveled the Burger King closest to my house a few weeks ago ... that's two fast-food places gone in the past few months ... WHAT IS WRONG WITH THIS WORLD?!?!?! Truth be told, this Burger King, which is/was located on Mac Dade BLVD, in the mall parking lot, wasn't run very well ... plus probably needed some major updating, both cosmetically, as well as equipment-wise (I think they may be building a new Burger King there - they just figured it would be easier to start from scratch).

For example, one day a few years ago, I drove up to the drive-thru and ordered some sort of burger - I believe it may have been the bacon-cheeseburger or something like that. The lady taking the order informed me that they had run out of burgers ... it took me a second to digest (no pun intended) ... HOW THE HECK DOES THIS HAPPEN AT A BURGER JOINT? REALLY?!?!? YOU ARE CALLED BURGER KING ... YET YOU RAN OUT OF BURGERS?!?!? IF YOU ARE THE MANAGER, HOW DO YOU KEEP YOUR JOB? I ended up ordering the original chicken sandwich instead ... a good backup to a burger at BK.

Anyway, here's to hoping that they DO indeed rebuild a better Burger King there, and lets hope the service is better ... oh, and that they don't ever run out of burgers again!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Wait ... you want to play on MY team?

My wife suggested I tell some stories about my experiences with the Philadelphia Eagles (when I interned in 1996). One of my favorite stories centers around Rodney Peete getting injured against the Cowboys on Monday night ... no, I wasn't happy that Peete got hurt - he was actually having a pretty good season at the time. However, after he got injured, the Eagles searched the free agent market for another qb. Their search produced a former Super Bowl winning quarterback - Mark Rypien.

As a PR intern, I was asked to keep him company prior to the press conference. As luck would have it, we were also collecting sports items for an auction, and we had a hockey stick signed by the Buffalo Sabres. Rypien started fooling around with this hockey stick, and I was searching for something to talk to him about, so I asked him, "Hey Mark, you like hockey?"

Mark responded that he did indeed love hockey, and that if he wasn't playing football, he'd be playing hockey. I'm not sure what prompted me to bring it up to him, but I told him that I played on a deck hockey team ... to which, Mark responded, "Really? Are there any spots open?" I almost fell out of my chair.

Mark Rypien just asked me if there were any spots open on my deck hockey team. Super Bowl champion Mark Rypien just asked me this. "Sure," I blurted out, having to wipe a bucket-load of saliva off of Mark's face. "I have to check with Coach Rhodes to see if it's ok first," he said excitedly.

I called my deck hockey captain, and asked if we had any spots open. "No, we're pretty packed," was the response. Then I mentioned that Mark Rypien wanted to play, to which my captain responded, "Yes, I believe we have a spot open." That's what I thought.

Two days later, Mark Rypien came up to me sadly with his head down. "Coach Rhodes said I can't play." He looked really upset by this ... however, he was getting paid about a million dollars from the Birds, and all we could offer him was maybe some free beer and wings after the game. Still, that would've been something if we showed up to a deck hockey game with 6-foot-6-inch, 245 pound Mark Rypien. That would've been quite awesome.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Weekly Homework Assignment

It's time once again for Mama Kat's weekly homework assignment. This week, I chose the prompt: They just don't make (fill in the blank) like they used to! So many to choose from, but I chose the Nestle Crunch Bar. At one time, this was my favorite candy-bar ever! A long thin tablet of chocolately goodness hiding fun rice crisps that somehow made eating it all the more fun.

It was wrapped in a silvery tinfoil-like ... ummm ... wrapper, and a Nestle Crunch name-plate wrapper (or whatever they call it). I notice about 15 years ago, the fine folks at Nestle did away with the tinfoil wrapper, which was ok with me as long as the quality and taste of said candy-bar deliciousness didn't change. Sadly, the lack of tinfoil wrapping did cause a change in taste. I'm not sure why. Maybe it has something to do with locking in flavor. Maybe unwrapping the tinfoil that revealed the chocolate from Heaven only made it seem to taste better (and quite frankly, made it seem ritzier).

Or maybe, Nestle decided to cut other corners along with the retiring of the tinfoil wrapping ... like skimping out on the recipe - replacing integral components with cheaper and inferior ingredients. I'm not sure what the deal is, but Nestle Crunch rapidly fell out of my top 5 ... and then the top 10 ... and the freefall continues.

1980's Corner

Not sure if this will be a recurring segment (I'll leave it to you to tell me whether this is "Dope or Nope."). Anyway, since I grew up in the 1980's, I figured I would impart some of my wisdom and experiences to the decade that brought us Acid Washed jeans, leg warmers, and A Flock of Seagulls.

This week, I focus on the Sit and Spin ... now, before I get any messages saying that this device was actually created in the 1970's, let me assure you that I don't care. To me, this was personified in the 1980's.

Basically, the Sit and Spin is a device/toy that allowed kids to experience getting drunk without having to drink. You sat down indian style (I know, I know ... this is no longer politically correct to say ... loosen your belt-buckle!) on the platform. Next, you put your hands on the wheel in the center, and then you spun around as fast as you could. Usually, if you did this for more than 30 seconds, you would get light-headed ... I think after a minute of this, you could puke ... 2 minutes, and you were a certified politician.

It was so simple, yet so much fun. I facebooked that I wish they made these for adults, and apparently somebody told me that they do. Sadly, I haven't found it.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Dope or Nope ...

Last week's "Dope or Nope" was so successful, I figured I'd give it another try ... who knows, maybe this thing will catch on. This week, my co-worker friend (who I give all the credit for coming up with Dope or Nope). We were discussing rock/pop bands and hearing their music on commercials. We got to the discussion of "selling out." Certainly many remember when the Stones allowed Microsoft to use "Start Me Up" in some of their ads in the mid 1990's. U2, the Beatles, Kiss, The Who ... they've all done it.

So, with that said ... Dope or Nope? Is it OK for bands to do this? Do you lose respect for them? Here's a twist, though.

A lot of "newer" bands are being "discovered" in commercials, especially with the new Apple-related commercials. It's a pretty good way to get discovered.

To me, it's really not a big deal to allow your music to be played in commercials (with the exception of any music played on Chevy commercials). Bands need to make money, and for the most part, it doesn't take away from the music (at least, not in my opinion). Now, this is coming from a person who is not a musician ... I'm sure serious musicians may have a different opinion than I do.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Song of the Week

Jet is a band that released an amazing debut album called "Get Born" in 2003, but then followed up with a not-so-amazing second album called "Shine On." Sadly, this sophomore release was heavily influenced by Oasis ... and don't get me wrong, I enjoy Oasis, but Jet's first album was quite hard-rocking, and this one was really very somber ... a major disappointment.

However, it looks as if the boys from Australia are back to their hard-rockin' ways with the first single off their upcoming album (interestingly titled Shaka Rock). The single, called "She's a Genius," has a catchy chorus, not to mention a a great (although overly repeated) guitar-riff. It certainly harkens back to the first the first album, but also seems to be more greatly influenced by mega-modern bands like Franz Ferdinand, The Killers, and The Bravery, while still having the AC/DC/Rolling Stones backbone.

This is certainly a song you'll be hearing a lot of this summer ... let's just hope it doesn't get overplayed (tired).
Here's the video (nothing like a wookie riding a bicycle):

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Fast Food Corner

I've been to McDonalds for breakfast more than I care to admit. I enjoy many of their breakfast sandwiches ... especially the sausage mcMuffin with egg - probably my favorite sandwich on the menu (as most of you know, I can't stand ham or Canadian bacon, so the egg mcmuffin is out). Here's one question I have - why is there no bacon mcmuffin on the menu? Wouldn't this be logical? Isn't bacon the most popular of breakfast meats?

Sure, they have the bacon, egg and cheese biscuit, but in my mind, that's not enough. Besides, the biscuit falls apart too easily, and is nowhere near as scrumptious as the McMuffin. And, I'm by no means interested in the McGriddle ... can't get used to the idea of having what essentially is 2 pancakes as the "sandwich bread."

Friday, July 17, 2009

Song of the Week

I have some weird tastes in music, as you've probably noticed with my Song of the Week posts. It's pretty darned diverse - from heavy metal, to classic rock, to funk, to alternative, to indie ... I basically love all kinds of music (notable exception is country music). So, hopefully, you won't mind this song of the week from me.

Anita Ward sang a pretty catchy disco song in the 1970's called Ring My Bell (which of course means sex, sex, and more sex). The song has your "traditional" four on the floor disco beat, with a decent bass backbone, along with some sort of cool "bing" sound that is peppered throughout the song. Ward's voice is a little to high-pitched, but for this song, it works. I just can't get enough of this diddy for some reason.

The ironic part (I think irony is the correct term here) is that bands like the Killers, Franz Ferdinand, and the Bravery use quite a bit of disco sounds in their songs. I'm actually a little bit shocked that none of these bands have tried to cover this song (instead, we get an awful cover of Careless Whisper by some emo band that I can't stand ... they all sound the same).

Anyway, you can find out more about this song here.

And if you have a strong-enough stomach, here's the video:

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Weekly Homework Assignment

It's time once again for Mama Kat's Weekly Homework Assignment! This week, I've chosen a prompt most (well, maybe some) of you might be interested in - What are 3 things we'd (you'd) love to know about you (me). You probably already know some of these, if you've been following my blog (and shame on you if you haven't!).

* First, I did a PR internship with the Philadelphia Eagles in 1996. I met players like Rodney Peete (cool), and Ricky Waters (not cool). I also met stars like Michael and Mario Andretti, Michael Buffer, John Madden, and Boyz to Men. All in all, the job was pretty much grunt-work, and sucked.

* Second, when I worked at the Leukemia Society, I met and got to speak to Jim Craig, the goalie of the 1980 U.S. Olympic ice hockey team. I made a fool out out of myself by telling him how that game was one of the most important moments of my life ... not really sure if it was, and I'm sure he heard that from millions of people, but still, it was cool to meet him.

* Third, I once called a grade-school teacher a homo ... it was fifth grade ... we were walking back from recess, and my teacher said he liked The Village People ... my other friend said, "Oh, you're one of those." Of course, I followed with, "Yeah, a homo!" Now, I didn't know what a homo was ... I just knew they liked the Village People. Man, did I get in trouble with that one ... almost got kicked out of Field Day - our big end of the school year celebration (I had to do some serious butt-kissing, and had to be a model student for the rest of the year) ... If I learned anything in my life, it was never to call a teacher a homo.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Dope or Nope...

A friend of mine at work and I have this "game" that we play called "Dope or Nope." Basically, we come up with a topic, and decide whether it's cool (dope) or not cool (nope). This past week, the topic was "getting engaged at a baseball game." Is this dope or nope? Now, most of you know that I absolutely love sports ... at times, the love is more of an unhealthy obsession.

However, I don't think I could ever, ever get engaged at a ball game. And, truthfully, I can't really think of any time or situation in which this is ok. Maybe, if you are a former ball player for that team, or possibly if you met the person at the ball park ... I guess an argument can be made for those people.

But, outside of that, I consider this a big "NOPE," much like I consider baseball jerseys with your last name on them a big "NOPE." What are your thoughts?

Monday, July 13, 2009

Fast Food Corner

Whilst ordering lunch last week at Burger King, I notice the Tendergrill Chicken sandwich on the menu. It got me to thinking - the Tendergrill Chicken sandwich ... isn't this what Burger King was calling the Chicken Whopper a few years ago? And isn't the Chicken Whopper what BK was calling the BK Broiler for years before this?

Nothing against the sandwich itself - it's a pretty darn good grilled sandwich (gets overshadowed by the Original Chicken sandwich). But, my point is this - who is making the naming decisions here, and has this person been fired? What was wrong with the name "BK Broiler" anyway? Did that fat-headed king have a problem with it?

I mean, I can understand the Chicken Whopper name not working. Whopper should only be used for the burger, not the chicken. And, I hate the current name - Tendergrill Chicken Sandwich is far too long of a name for a fast-food sandwich, isn't it? I'm considering putting together a campaign to bring back the name BK Broiler ... just wondering if it's worth my time.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

What's the difference, anyway?

Some of you more mature (see older) bloggers may remember the Miller Lite commercials of the later 70's and early 80's. Most of these commercials took place in a bar with former athletes who would get into an argument about the beer being "less filling" or "tastes great." The commercials would usually end with John Madden tearing through a Miller Lite sign, babbling about something beer or football-related.

So, why am I bringing this up? Now, I'm not 100% sure, but I think Miller Lite originally was the light version of Miller High Life? I think it makes sense, right? So, that's why I'm questioning Miller pushing Miller High Life Light beer. What was the point of this (and yes, I know many of you probably question the point of light beer itself)? Was there really a market for people who loved Miller High Life, but just didn't like Miller Lite, AND wanted a light beer that tasted more like Miller High Life?

Is Miller mulling the idea of putting out a full-strength version of Miller Lite, and if so, what would they call it? It's just something I've been thinking about for some reason.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

It's time once again for Mama Kat's weekly homework assignment! This week, I chose the prompt, "What am I paranoid about?" I'm not really paranoid about much, but here's the main thing I tend to worry about: I have a list of "to-do's" in my head - I never feel at ease until I've completed a good chunk of the to-do's in my head.

For instance, when a weekend approaches, I'll create a to-do list ... usually, it includes washing the car (not every weekend), vacuuming and cleaning the house (again, not every weekend), laundry, grocery shopping, cutting coupons, and ... yes, blogging. I need to get to all of these in order to feel comfortable or at ease. The sooner I get these accomplished, the better.

If I don't get to these, I have trouble sleeping. Sometimes, I'd rather stay up until I get these accomplished ... probably not the healthiest outlook. I tend to sometimes do this at work, as well ... If I don't accomplish what I set out to accomplish in the morning, I stress about those tasks after work ... again, probably not healthy.

Stoppage Time ...

* I learned this week that Jim Croce was a school teacher in Chester before he became a folk singer ... I'm usually the encyclopedia of music trivia ... it reminded me that I don't know everything ... but just about everything.

* I'm really concerned about the Billy Mays death ... who will they replace him with in those infomercials that I can't stop watching?

* A TV show called "The Superstars" is getting a lot of ink lately, mainly because of the team of Terrell "quarterback killer" Owens, and Joanna "Supermodel I've never heard of" Krupa, and their constant bickering. I've heard that many people actually feel sorry for T.O. after the verbal tongue-lashing that Krupa gave him. I'll never, ever feel sorry for T.O., and actually loved every second of this. Have a look!

* Sounds like NASCAR isn't growing very much anymore ... in fact, they're having some trouble right now, and are not able to fill up the stands anymore ... that's too bad ... I mean, really bad ... I mean, what a shame.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Another One?!?!?

We've had a lot of celebrity deaths in recent weeks ... as you may be aware of, thanks to every TV network overblowing the coverage. The latest is former pro-bowl quarterback Steve McNair. Just this past weekend, he was found in a condominium with multiple gunshot wounds, along with a 20-year-old woman with one gunshot wound ... most likely a murder-suicide.

It's a depressing story, but probably just as embarrassing to McNair's wife and kids ... This story just doesn't sound good, and may deal a severe blow to McNair's legacy. He was an outstanding college quarterback for a division 1AA team, and actually almost won the Heisman (would've been amazing). There were a lot of questions as to whether McNair could make it in the pros. And, he proved all of his critics wrong - taking the Titans to the Super Bowl, and making 3 pro bowls.

I'm sure much more will be coming out, and scandal will splatter all over the tabloids, much like vomit splatters in a toilet. Here's to hoping McNair had a good alibi.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Song of the Week

Since it's Independence Week (just made that up), I figured I'd do something a little different this week. As many of you know, I am NOT a fan of Nickleback ... in fact, I e-mailed them once and asked them to stop.

I figured I'd show you just how "non-talented" these mass-media-produced yogurt throwers are. Just a little background - somebody posted this on You-Tube. It's basically two Nickleback songs that are playing simultaneously. This is truly your typical formulaic rock group ... and the record-companies love this. Let's get a band to record crap, and then sell it quickly ... then, have them record more of the same crap ... kind of like Creed's formula back in the 1990's.

Money talks, I guess. Enjoy:

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Fast Food Corner

This will eventually be a two-parter ... not sure when the second part of this will be done, however. I just found out that McDonalds is getting ready to introduce a new burger ... however, unlike the Big Mac and the Quarter-Pounder with cheese, this burger will be and Angus burger (no, not a burger made out of that guitarist from AC/DC, silly!).

McDonalds is trying to bring in more of a high-end burger consumer with this "edition." Here's just a little "taste" of what the burger is all about from an MSN article online: The new burgers feature a braided sesame seed bun, a thicker tomato slice and red onion, Dan Coudreaut, executive chef for McDonald's, told Bloomberg News. Hickory-smoked bacon is also available on the burgers.

This is not McDonald's first attempt at the "snobby burger eaters" or SBE's. In the early 1990's, McDonalds introduced the ill-fated McDLT - which had the "cold stuff" on one side of the box, and the "warm stuff" on the other side. Then, not too long ago, McDonalds tried introducing the Arch Deluxe, which, according to Wikipedia, was launched "with the intent of capturing the adult fast food consumer market, presented as a more sophisticated burger for an adult palate."

So, now McDonalds is introducing an Angus burger (by the way, BK tried this too) ... but with a price-tag of $4 per burger. That's a steep price for the fast-food market (take my word on it). Also, a work buddy of mine brought up a great point - he would rather eat a burger like this at a bar/restaurant with a pint of beer, and not in a McDonalds filled with lots of young, loud kids, and a disturbing-looking clown.

I'll be trying this when it comes out - and I'll report back my findings (it's the least I could do for my blogging public).

Saturday, July 04, 2009

The 4th of July will always be different for me ...

The 4th of July in the United States commemorates an important moment in history for our country, the day we declared our independence from Great Britain. Many, many soldiers fought for this freedom, and continue to ensure it ... words cannot express (nor would they do justice) the gratitude I have for these sacrifices.

The 4th of July is supposed to be a happy day - a day spent with family and friends, barbecuing hot dogs, burgers, ribs, chicken, steak ... eating potato salad, corn on the cob ... watching fireworks light up the sky ... and of course, beer consumption.

For me, sadly there is another part of the 4th ... it's the day my older brother chose to end his life. Still, to this day, it is surreal to me. Sometimes, I still can't believe it happened. Maybe it's my brain trying to protect me and deny this ever happened ... I don't know.

I do know that it was a very traumatic period in my life. Unfortunately, when my brother chose to end things 16 years ago today, he didn't really take into account this "easy way" out of things, really wasn't "easy" for anybody else but himself.

I was so mad at him for doing what he did ... I can't even conjure the words to describe how mad I was ... and sometimes, the anger still lingers. I was probably more filled with anger than I was with misery and depression. How could my parents' first-born son do this to them? What the heck was he thinking? How could he be such a coward (a man who was built like a brick shit-house, by the way)?

My parents still suffer from this ... deep down inside, they think it's their fault, and they should've been able to do something to save and protect him. It breaks my heart. The year after he died, my mom came into my room, and asked me if I knew what today is. Of course I did. My mom broke down crying in my arms ... THAT is something that never should happen. Roles were reversed, and it sent shock-waves through my body. Part of me wanted to dig up his grave and beat the crap out of him.

It took me 5 whole years to visit his grave, by the way. The anger has subsided. I've learned to forgive him, thanks to many, many days, nights, weeks, and years of "counseling" from my very close friends ... I'm lucky to have them, and probably will never be able to thank them enough for helping me through.

But, sometimes through these difficult times, you need to look for the "rays of sunlight," or the bright spots. First and foremost, I have put more of a focus on staying close with my family - my younger brother and I are very close, and it means the world to me. Second, I found out how good my friends really are - I wish it was under different circumstance, but sometimes it's critical/crucial situations when the best in your friends comes out.

I don't take life for granted anymore, and I try not to hold grudges (a difficult thing for someone who is stubborn as an ox). The 4th will never be the same for me, but in some ways, hanging out with friends and families, things are better and more special.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Weekly Homework Assignment

It's time once again for Mama Kat's weekly homework assignment! It's fun - you should give it a try! Anyway, I chose the prompt: Write five "Incredibly Short Books." Basically, it needs to be a contradiction, kind of like "Top Jewish Sports Heroes," or "Words that rhyme with purple."

OK, so here is my top 5:

* Honest Politicians of the 21st Century ... It just seems everywhere you look, a politician is cheating on his/her spouse, involved in some sort of political scandal, or not interested in doing what's best for the country ("my party over my country" shirts would sell millions on D.C. ... of course they'd find a way to make sure the tax-payers received the bill ... hey-yo!).

* Enduring Songs by Groups like Creed and Nickleback ... folks, this music is just plain awful, repetitive, and most unfortunately, popular. I've e-mailed Nickleback before, and asked them to stop. Sadly, they didn't listen.

* Funny Things Elaine Boosler Said ... I just never found her funny ... in fact, I hardly every find female stand-up comedians (comediennes) hilarious. Why is that? Sure, Ellen is kind of funny at times ... but outside of that, what else is there?

* Successful Family Feud Hosts Not Named Richard Dawson ... It seems like a revolving door when it comes to Family Feud ... Ray Combs, Tim the Tool Man's sidekick, that guy from Seinfeld, Louie Anderson ... who's next?

* Smart Decisions Made After Drinking Lots of Alcohol ... This is probably self-explanatory ... Many of these "great" decisions start off with a "Hey, watch this!" comment ... and end up in a hospital room.