Sunday, October 14, 2007

The End

The End by Roadrunner United

So, 565 posts later I've decided to bring this blog to an end. I'd like to thank the few people who read my less than brilliant rants over the three and a half years I've been doing this. It's been fun but as of late I just haven't been feeling it. Good bye all. Stay in touch ...

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Fox In The Garden

Maybe the Knicks will have a chance now that they have some Marist brains on the team: Knicks Acquire Draft Rights To Jared Jordan From Clippers, Work On Dan Dickau Buyout

I can't wait to buy a Jordan jersey.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Goin' Nowhere Fast

I think it's safe to say that this little fool isn't going to be too quick to get anywhere. Ever.
Store manager Jay Jacoby displays a two-headed red slider turtle at Big Al's Aquarium Supercenter in East Norriton Pa., Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2007. The rare turtle is on display at the store. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

That's No Lie

Yesterday I got this message from Lozo via Gmail chat: Your instincts for finding jackassery never fail you

It was part insult, part compliment and part fortune cookie wisdom. Either way, I think it's absolutely correct and maybe even worthy of being a tattoo on my body someday.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Bacon That Sausage

Everybody knows that bacon is delicious. Really, most meat considered suitable for breakfast is. This weekend an acquaintance was making some bacon. I was patiently waiting by for a piece. As the bacon is cooking he busts out some sausage patties. Breakfast is looking batter and better, right? Well yes, but the curious thing here is that it wasn't breakfast time at all. It was like 10pm. But whatever! If salty pork products are being made who am I to complain about the timing?

Anyway, the bacon is pretty much cooked and the cook has not bothered to drain any of the bacon grease at all so there is a pretty deep collection of artery clogging liquid in the bottom of the pan. As he pulls the bacon out I'm expecting him to dump the grease in a can or whatever and continue to stage two -- sausage. As opposed to the expected grease drain and then sausage cook he just goes straight in with the sausage. Now we're cooking sausage right in the bacon goodness! Genius.

Sure I've cooked eggs in some bacon grease, some potatoes in bacon grease and maybe even a couple of pancakes in a little residual bacon grease, but I don't think I've ever bathed my sausage in bacon grease. I'm guessing 5 out of 5 doctors would agree that this isn't a good idea, but I am also guessing that 5 out of 5 doctors would agree that this idea is mighty delicious.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Whorin' Across America

This posting on craigslist got me wondering many things, but mostly, who the fuck in their right mind would buy into this "deal"?:
Ladies-Cheap/free ride to SF or LA 9/28
Reply to:
Date: 2007-09-20, 4:29PM EDT

The trip:

Western PA
Salt Lake City
SF-2 nights
Big Sur

All hotels three star or better. Real restaurants,no Denny.s no fast food.
The options:

Share all expenses. Rooms with two beds or get your own room.

I pay for rooms with two beds and we share my bed an hour each night.

I pay for hotels,gas, meals and all expenses. We share one bed each night

I suppose the "own room" option isn't bad, except that you know the guy you are in the car with all the way across America is creepy as hell and is wanting to hump you for the cost of splitting a hotel room. What's that, maybe $40 in most parts of the country? The other option will save you money, but will have you in that creepy guy's hotel bed for at least 9 nights. Sure it's just one hour each night, but that one hour is probably 60 minutes more than would be comfortable. And of course, this is all contingent upon you making it past night three without being chopped up and thrown in a ditch.

It's like a movie waiting to happen.

And no, I'm not the guy who posted that deal.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Watch Love

So I got myself a new watch. Mostly for running which I have been trying to do yet again. I did a half-marathon not too long ago, but once I was done with that what did I do? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. I ran twice the week following just to stretch out and get back in the groove, but it was really hot that week and as opposed to getting back in the groove all I did was get really sweaty, curse a lot and complain about how my legs hurt. After that, I sat on my ass for close to a month.

I'm beginning to face facts that I don't really like running. I don't look forward to running or get runner's high or anything like that. I do get a sense of accomplishment if I reach a goal I have set for myself and I tend to lose some weight and I think I must like self inflicted torture on some level, but other than that running is not my friend. Anyway, now I'm back into it again and since the battery on my old watch was dying I just opted for a new watch. This is the one I got: Highgear Enduro Max (in red).


I haven't even gone running with this watch yet, but I love it. Yeah, so I'm excited about a watch. Fuck off.

Black and red (my favorite), easy to use, on sale at Campmor and has all the features I need/want. I am especially excited at the fact that it has the ability to keep track of intervals. So if I want to run for five minutes and then walk for one minute and then run for 15 minutes and then walk for three (or whatever combo I'd like), the watch can be set to count that down for me. No more math in my head while trying to run. The less math the better I like to say. I didn't even know this watch had this ability until I got it home, making it a pleasant surprise indeed. I had asked around at various stores for years trying to find a watch that did this. Everyone would always tell me that such a thing did not exist. Most watches would have a standard chronograph and a countdown timer and usually some sort of lap counter, but not something for intervals. Well, my quest is now over. Thanks, Highgear.

If you'll please excuse me, I'm going to go have some sex with my watch now.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Playtime Over

This is a sad state of affairs, no? The Playpen not only closed, but knocked to the ground?: Old Times Square Theater Now Porno Emporium Faces Wrecking Ball I hate it.

Not only is the Playpen the only filthy Times Squarish porn joint I have ever been in (very briefly), but it also served as the backdrop for the liner photos on Kid Rock's Devil Without A Cause. Not a landmark, my ass! I say build your big, "luxury" high rise and keep the facade, marquee and all. It would be awesome.

"Hey man, where do you live again?
"Oh, I live in the Playpen building."
"Sweet. I'll be right over."

I'm no real estate mogul, but keeping that facade certainly sounds like two things: (1) Genius. (2) Gold mine.

Think about it, Tishman. Think about it.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Slightly Therapeutic. Only Slightly.

So another September 11th is upon us. I would like to think that at some point this day will stop being a depressing, reminiscing, anger brewing day, but I'm sure this is the way it will always be. This year sucks extra as it's pretty difficult for me not to trek through Ground Zero and the chaos that surrounds it on the way to work via the PATH train. Conveniently, I got out of the subway and was a quarter of a block away from Ground Zero when the bells start ringing, signaling the time when the first plane hit. Downer. And this rainy weather certainly isn't helping either. I can't believe all that went down six years ago. How fucking old am I?

Anyway, I don't care to watch any video montages of that sunny day back in 2001 or really blah, blah, blah about this, but I figure some sort of WTC something is in order, no? How about one of my favorite uses for the towers ever (at least in a media sort of way)?:
Is Fred Durst a tool? You betcha, but that's not the point. Rockin' out on the roof of the south tower is pretty cool (Who gets to do that? And how much did all that cost -- clearance, helicopters, dancing girls?) Personally I find it a bit less depressing than watching planes hit buildings, people jumping to their death and lots of running from explosions of dust. Wes Borland's makeup is pretty cool too. Take note.

Keep your chin up, everyone.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Not On Oprah's List, But I Don't Care

After work today I went to the Strand where I picked me up some books. Imagine that, me reading! Anyway, among the books selected, I picked up Melissa Plaut's book, Hack: How I Stopped Worrying About What to Do with My Life and Started Driving a Yellow Cab.

I've been reading her blog for quite some time now and figured why not see how she is in non-electronic form and at the same time possibly contribute some cash to someone who seems like a decent human being.

I can't really give a review yet (nor will I knowing my laziness), but I can tell you a couple of things. First, I was reading her book on the train uptown tonight and read right through my stop. I didn't notice I had missed it until I was two stops past where I should have gotten off. That must be some sort of endorsement. Also, during my ride uptown and then back out to Brooklyn I managed to read 52 pages which is very unlike me. So, my review at this point is "thumbs up." Go ahead and buy it.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Just When I Thought Things Were Gettin' Better

Another fun day in my 'hood ... three blocks from my apartment: Brooklyn Girl Shot, Leads Little Brother To Safety

And that girl? Totally badass.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Consolidate My Pocket

I always seem to have my pockets filled with crap when I leave the house. Keys, cash, cell phone, credit cards, ID, ATM card, MetroCard, PATH QuickCard, grocery store discount cards, library card, insurance cards, blah, blah blah. Sure, some of it I never seem to use, but the one day I leave it at home is always the day I need it. This little iCache may just be my answer to me livin' a bit lighter: iCache

Keep that in mind, Santa.

Who Doesn't?

I went to N.J. today and the first car I see when leaving the ferry terminal had this awesome bumper sticker on it:
Maybe the greatest bumper sticker of all time.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Slightly Bingey

Here you go, Lozo. No more toe photo. You can stop your crying ...

This weekend I went away with some of my friends and despite not being quite as young and iron-livered as we used to be we still managed to drink a fairly decent amount of booze. Along with the cans of Genesee and Coors Light (I don't know why -- leave me alone), we also busted into the hard stuff. It was a textbook binge drinking sort of situation. Note this photo:
That Chivas bottle? 1.75 liters. Little more than halfway gone. That emptiness is due to myself and one of my friends going a bit overboard one night.

The other bottle? That's 90.4 proof Smirnoff. At the liquor store, there was two bottles of Smirnoff to chose from. One, the standard 80 proof, the other the 90.4 proof., both the same price. I'll take the kick in the face please. About three quarters of that bottle was gone by morning. That was me too. That was split with a different friend the night after the Chivas night.

Moral of the story? I think at the time there was one, but at this point, I don't really know. Nevertheless, I think my liver hates me.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Toe vs. Cart

Maybe it's too many years of having my groceries delivered by Fresh Direct or perhaps it's just the fact that I am a shopping spaz, but here's what a trip to the grocery store on Friday resulted in:
Yeah, so accidentally kicking the wheel of your shopping cart, while trying to get at some produce isn't good. Unless turning your little, defenseless toe a purplish black is somehow good.

Friday, August 10, 2007

The Ohio and The Bklyn

So, as I previously mentioned, I've been out in not so sunny Cleveland, OH for work. It was a two week stay, then back to New York for the weekend as I was signed up to run the NYC Half-Marathon and then after brunch and repacking, it was back to Cleveland again for another week.
Cleveland has involved work (obviously), a baseball game (Indians vs. Twins), some runs through some sketchy neighborhoods, a lot of corned beef sandwiches, some grilling, a lot of rain, some bowling (143 and 137, thank you very much), many comments about Styrofoam and other environmental fiascos the city seems to embrace, some beers, a couple of concerts (Slayer/Marilyn Manson & Incubus/The Bravery), lunchtime naps in my hotel room, etc. It's not the worst place in the world, but certainly not the best either.

Speaking of worst places in the world ... remember how I recently moved? Well, while I don't find my neighborhood scary or horrible (yet) there have been a few neighborhood "incidents" that are making me wonder what the hell I have gotten myself into.

Incident #1: Saturday, (the day I moved in), this guy manages to carjack two different cars, shot at the home of his girlfriend and then got killed by the police in a shootout (135 shots, NYPD? Really?). story

Incident #2: Early Monday morning (two days after I moved in), police pull over a stolen SUV. As they approach the vehicle, both cops are shot. One dies, the other would have been dead if not for his bulletproof vest. story
Note: the dickheads involved were caught quickly

Incident #3: This past Saturday, when I came back to NYC from Cleveland, I get in a cab at LGA to go home. I tell the driver where I am going and he looks at me in the rear view and says in a thick Indian accent, "That's not a very nice area, sir." Gee, thanks. Either way, that's where I live so let's just go. The as we get close, he adds, "Perhaps this is not a very good neighborhood for you. When I drive around here, if I get lost? I don't stop to ask for directions. I just keep going."

Incident #4: This past Sunday, post running the half-marathon, as I'm cleaning up the apartment and myself a bit and packing for my return to Cleveland, the doorbell rings. I answer it and see a guy standing there with a badge around his neck. He introduces himself as whatever his rank is at the NYPD and asks if I live in this apartment. I tell him I do. He asks if I was home last night. I tell him I was. He asks if I heard or saw anything unusual outside the night previous. I tell him that I was in the back of the apartment in my room or the "office" most of the night and ask why he is asking. He tells me, "There was an argument between two men out here last night and one of them got stabbed." Perfect.

So, that's the fun in my life at this point. Two more days here in The Cleve and I'm back to my glamorous NYC life.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Secret Sauce

I've been out in Cleveland, OH for work the last couple of weeks. More on that later.

In the meantime, check out this receipt from a pizza I ordered from Donatos while out there:
CUMSHAKE? I don't remember ordering that at all.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Nothing To See Here

This post on craigslist isn't even a tad bit sketchy:

I need to rent someone car with tinted windows
Reply to:
Date: 2007-07-19, 11:11AM EDT

I need a car with tinted widows to rent thanks

Location: Staten island
it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests
PostingID: 377346903

Lexington Crater

So I happened to be in midtown (or whatever you want to call that neighborhood) last evening and got to witness this shitshow. Crazy.

I took an obligatory cell phone photo and once again kicked myself for not carrying my real camera with me more regularly:
Mmmmmmm smokey

I have to wonder if a bit of karma or cosmic intervention or luck or whatever might have saved my ass. On my way up to 42nd Street on the 4 train, we get to 14th Street/Union Square and proceed to get stuck in the station for like 15 minutes due to some door issues. I guess they wouldn't shut or something. If not for that, I probably would have continued on as planned, got off the train at 42nd Street and walked back down Lexington to my destination. And the timing of it all makes me think that I very well could have been right around the explosion zone at the wrong time. Instead, thanks to some crappy door, I wound up getting off my 4 train and got on the 6 train (also slow). When we got to 33rd Street they announced that it would be the last stop and everyone got off only to come upstairs to a giant cloud of smoke and steam.

Man September 11th has changed everyone. It's just complete panic if anything goes wrong. Not that I wasn't thinking like that too, but it really is shitty that when anything of decent magnitude happens we all think "terrorists!"

So anyway, it wasn't terrorists so that's nice and I guess I owe that shitty door some thanks. Or maybe the stars. I don't know. Either way, I feel pretty OK to be alive.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Stop Me When I'm Passin' By

So this new neighborhood of mine is quite different from my old one. There are a lot of things such as (a) I'm the only white person that I've seen and (b) there are lots of anti-robbery styled Chinese restaurants and delis. There are plenty more, but I don't know that they need to be discussed here and now. That said, the one difference that I think is the most entertaining so far is the ice cream man.

Now maybe I've lived a sheltered life, but most of my experience involves the ice cream man rolling by in the afternoon or evening -- targeting times when kids with money from mom and/or dad can chase them down. Not around these parts. The first night I was here was a Saturday and two friends were over enjoying some Chinese food and a 40 oz. or two. Then that distinctive ice cream man music came sailing through the sticky Brooklyn air. It didn't even really register at first, but then a couple of minutes later my friend says, "The fucking ice cream man? It's 12:45! A.M.!" I instantly think of Mr. Whoopee from Vice City out delivering things other than ice cream.

Then tonight I just heard him again. 11:04pm on a Tuesday? Lot of kids out there? Maybe there are. I don't really know nor do I feel like looking, but nevertheless, it's odd. At least odd for everywhere else I've ever lived.

Ah, Brooklyn.

Monday, July 16, 2007

When Lacking in Material Run With Gore(d)

So I was going to blog and then sort of drew a blank. There's some shit I wanted to blah, blah, blah about, but can't for various reasons. It's a little annoying to say the least but that's life I suppose. Anyway, just so I don't have nothing at all, I thought I would post a photo. Photos are always fun, no?

So, I was away this weekend. Where? None of your F'ing business, that's where. Ha! Anyway, when I was away this weekend I picked up the local paper during breakfast/TV watching and there was a nice, big version of this photo. Pretty sick for a family publication, but really, who's going to pass on this shit when the AP shoves it in your face?
Michael Lenahan, 23, of Philadelphia, Pa. is gored in the leg by a fighting bull during a traditional bull run in Pamplona, Spain, Thursday July 12, 2007. Two American brothers were gored Thursday during the longest and bloodiest morning bull run at the San Fermin festival in the northeastern city of Pamplona. Lawrence Lenahan, 26, of Hermosa Beach, Calif. and Michael Lenahan, 23, of Philadelphia, Pa. were gored by a bull who strayed from the pack, turned around and ran the wrong way. The older brother suffered a eight-inch (20-centimeter) goring in the left buttock after a dangerous sharp right turn in the course Lenahan described as a 'dead man's curve.' The younger brother was injured shortly before the bull ring, the end point of the daily runs, after the bulls horn entered beneath his skin in his right shin. (AP Photo/ Inaki Porto) []

And if you read that caption, you'll see that Shin Boy and his brother both got gored. Worst running family ever it seems.

I knew it was bad, but the color version really shows the detail a little better than the B&W version in the newspaper. I think it's safe to say that this is not something you want happening to your leg. Ever.

I'm into piercings, body modification and cool scars, but a horn under my skin from mid-shin to knee is a bit much. Nevertheless, who wants to run next year? It looks like fun. Oh, and you Lenahans ain't invited.

Monday, July 9, 2007

New Pad

So as of this past Saturday afternoon I am a resident of Brooklyn. You can probably tell as I am already way more hip and slightly more gangsta.

When I first moved to NYC, I lived in Manhattan for a bit, but then moved to Brooklyn where I spent a year in a rather annoying and awkward living situation. Although I managed to have fun (mostly thanks to $1.75 PBRs at The Village Idiot), it wasn't my greatest year on the planet by any means. I sort of blamed Brooklyn and swore to never move back, but here I am once again. But whatever, I think this time through it might be a little better. If nothing else I'm sure it will result in some blogging material (let's hope).

Also nice is the fact that I can now make use of some popular (or not so popular if you're not me) music that just isn't fitting unless living in Brooklyn. Well I suppose it could be, but I think it's a little bit better as a resident. Let's see:

Beastie Boys (featuring Kerry King of Slayer fame on the guitar solo)
"No Sleep Till Brooklyn"
You know you this will be in my head during every late night journey back home. Rule of the year -- don't fall asleep until I get to my bed. Or at least the couch.
Universal Music Group ain't down with the embedded feature so you'll have to hassle yourself with a link:

"Five Blocks To The Subway"
This is nice as my new crib is actually five blocks away from the subway. Now I can honestly sing along "Five blocks to the subway, I can do that any day." Any day. I did it this morning as a matter of fact.

"Wrong Side Of The Tracks"
This is all about gearin' up for possible trouble when wondering around, but probably more useful when wanting to (a) scare my family with how tough my neighborhood is or (b) building street cred with all those pansy friends of mine who are back in fancy Manhattan or the suburbs. I'm tough now. Remember that! Oh, the phrase that makes it all work is "And when you're in fuckin' Brooklyn, you best watch your back!"

3rd Bass
After those Biohazard tunes, you have to lighten the mood a bit. How better than with some good ol' 3rd Bass? Brooklyn footage, sweet 1989 fashion and some dope dance moves by MC Search (including a sweet leap frog move) make an already catchy tune even better when in video form. Feel free to sing along.
Another Universal Music Group restricted deal (what's up with you, Universal?):

Watta Ya, Born In A Barn?

So on Saturday I moved out of StinkStuytown to head for greener pastures. Greener? Well probably not, but definitely cheaper pastures at least.

On my way out I had one of those nice last kicks that made the leaving less bittersweet and more just F.U., I'm out.

I'm standing by the moving truck guarding all my riches and this older woman comes out and heads my way. She's old enough to be my mom and seems pleasant enough. She starts off with "You have the door propped open." Definitely a statement, not a question.

Me: Yeah.

Lady: You know there was a break in a few weeks ago because the door was propped open and someone got held up at knife point.

Me: [thinking "Bullshit, lady"]: No, I didn't hear that.

Lady: Well it happened.

Me: Sorry to hear that.

Lady: Well the door shouldn't be open.

Me: OK.

Lady: You wouldn't think a knife point hold up was funny if it was your mother or girlfriend or sister.

Me: I don't really think it's funny now. I'm not laughing.

Lady: Well it's serious.

Me: OK. I know that.

Lady: You are standing here within sight of the door, I understand that, but you don't know who lives here and who doesn't.

Me: OK. I get it.

Lady: [walking away] If you get it, then go shut the fucking door.

Me: I'm not sure why you are cursing at me.

Lady: Fuck you.
Geez. How I'll miss my friendly, friendly neighbors.

On a side note, the neighbors I "saved" were nice about me leaving. No "F" word at all. The lady gave me a hug and even got a little teary and the guy gave me a "Good luck out there kid" which is I think as close to a hug as he's ever come.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Chili Dog

I'm not Mr. Sports by any means, but this is a sports story that inspires a little mention here in Stinktown. Rod Beck was found dead in his home on Saturday. Two things motivated me to write here.

The first is that he was 38. This always freaks me out. It sounds pretty young to die to begin with, but then I realize that I'm only four years younger than that and I think "shit I'm old" and also reinforces that 38 is too young to die. At least for me.

The second thing is my friend and former co-worker, Matt D. Matt is probably the only reason I paid any legitimate attention to Beck. This happened back when Beck was on the (hated) Red Sox. One night we were watching the some Yankees/Red Sox action on the work TV (watch CNN my ass!) and Beck was just being his usual fat, messy, crazy mustache-wearin' self, but that was enough for us.
Matt says to me something like, "You know what that guy's favorite food is?"

I say, "No, what?"

"Chili dogs."

"What? How do you know that?"

"I don't know. He just looks like he eats chili dogs all day long."

"You have a point. That's entirely possible."
I was sort of mulling over the idea of eating nothing buy chili dogs a little while later while still watching the game and Matt comes by again.
"You know the flavor that gum Beck is chewing?"
I look over at Matt and before I could throw out a guess ... "Chili dog."
So, ever since that day I've referred to Rod Beck as "Chili Dog" and probably always will. I hope Beck will understand that this isn't all that much of an insult coming from someone with my eating habits and won't ask God to drag me off this wacky planet in less than four years. I've got shit to do around here still.

Thanks for the memories, Chili Dog.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Smokey Wakeup

So I'll start by saying that I sleep pretty heavy. If there is one thing I do in this world well, it's sleep. I've been known to sleep through some pretty loud shit in my day and honestly it is nice.

So, that said, last night I'm doing my usual deep sleep and I get blown out of it with the sound of breaking glass. The first one I'm thinking maybe it is just some A-hole garbage truck guys throwing shit in the back of the truck, and don't allow myself to get all the way awake, but then another one comes and another. I jump out of bed. It's 2:50am. I go to the window figuring that someone is smashing up someone's car windows or something. Maybe some sort of Jerry Springerish love triangle exposed or something. When I look out, there's none of that. Instead, it's a big fucking fire truck, ladder extended up to the 5th floor (just three floors under me) with a fireman smashing out my neighbors windows so they can get at what? A fucking fire. A fucking fire! Just three floors below. Holy shit!

Years of stupid fire drills at work and school and then all kinds of PSAs and educational pamphlets and movies and whatever else fire-related shit I have in storage fly through my head. I grab some shorts, jump in them, throw on my newly purchased flip flops and gather up money, cell phone and credit cards/ID. I quickly rethink my process and then opt for sneakers instead of flip flops as that seems like open toe style could be a mistake. I open the door (after feeling it first, of course) and the hall is filled with smoke. Stinky smoke. It wasn't so bad that I had to crawl or anything, but I did put my shirt over my mouth and nose. I knock and ring doorbells waking up neighbors (Hero!!) and hit the stairwell furthest from the fire.

Once I got below the 5th floor I felt a little safer and tried to get the adrenaline under control. I was still pretty jittery for awhile though. I think waking up to glass breaking alone would have gotten me riled up, but the fire along with it was sort of overdose.

Anyway, the fire was put out and other than the usual water/smoke damage I think everything ended well. My hall still smells a bit smokey and I'm sure there are some messed up apartments, but mine is fine. Phew. I was able to get back in bed around 4ish and got back to what I do best, sleep ... and oversleep, making myself late for work. Perfect.

Here are some photos from the night taken with my cell. I missed most of the action (the smoke, flame and glass smashing) but at least it's something:

From the ground, looking up:

From my living room window looking down:

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Nothing Like Sex To Bring Back The Blog

I've had some complaints about my lack of blogging. You know what? Fuck you guys. Really. I do this for free and to be quite honest I have quite a bit going on in my world.

I kid. I'll admit it. I have been pretty lazy, but I guess that's nothing new. I've been really lazy. Really, really lazy. Plus I've been just feeling rather lacking in the creative or interesting I guess.

Anywho, here's something for you complainers, those of you with patience and maybe even for me as perhaps this will get the old creative juices flowing a bit ...

I went to the Central Park Zoo this weekend. The polar bear swimming around on his back was cool as were the wacky penguins, but this was my favorite part of the day:
That's right. Reptile sex!! Note how the guy doing the riding is using his buddy's (or maybe competition's) head for leverage. Just step right on there and you've got a whole new angle to work from. You can click on the photos for a bigger version if you want to really inspect the method in use and perhaps incorporate it into your own bedroom or barnyard antics.

Although I couldn't get him to turn his head any further, this shot still manages to capture the O-face pretty well:

Good times!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Man, That's Refreshing

I keep stumbling upon this retarded ad for Skoal Citrus Blend:

I'm not much for analyzing ads, but every time I see this I think there are some major problems going on.

First, is the gal in the background with the surfboard. Where the fuck is she going? There are no waves anywhere in sight and unless a tsunami comes I don't think there will be. Sorry honey, but that's the way some of these reef-protected tropical islands work.

Second (and this is the big one, at least in my eyes), is these idiots jumping off the boat. Check out the two girls closest to them. The water barely comes up to their thighs. That leap from the boat is going to hurt. The water isn't going to do a damn thing to cushion the impact. Those three midair jackasses are going to hit the water, the packed sand below, break their legs, scream, swallow their Skoal, throw up and then get dragged to some shitty hospital where they will stay for the remainder of their vacation. They will not be getting laid, getting tan or having fruity drinks with little umbrellas in them. How embarrassing. But shit, maybe that is just one of the best ways of "discovering local flavor."


Sunday, May 6, 2007

Sunday Again

For the first time in awhile I have had a weekend that was a nice mix of activities. Really all the way from nothing to something. Such a Renaissance man, I am.

Thursday, I went to B.B. King's to see Front Line Assembly with Jeff (aka Y.B.). Not one of my favorite bands ever, but I've heard some of their shit and I thought I'd give them a shot. It was a good time. Good music, dry ice fog, lots of kickass drumming and a wacky crowd. A lot of older, industrial/punk types which is always fun -- business jerks by day/hard rockin', head bobbin', surly starin' fucks at night. It doesn't get better than that.

After a late start on Friday, I found a date for some early evening fun. My date was Lozo. H-O-T!! When I get together with Lozo there are two givens: (1) making fun of people (including ourselves) and (2) laughs. I guess I really should add (3) drinking as I think every time I've seen Lozo since he left my place of employment there has been beer involved. Anyway, we went to see Hot Fuzz. I'd recommend that you go read Lozo's review here, as he is a bit more slick with the words. Brigita has a little review 'round here also. I'll just wind up saying things like "fucking funny" and "I nearly pissed my pants laughing" which isn't really classy enough for you educated readers so I'll leave the dirty work to them. But really, I suggest seeing that movie STAT. That is if you like to piss your pants in public.

Saturday, I headed up to the Boogie Down for some Yankees baseball. Bleacher seats, baking in the sun, idiots all around and thanks to "rules" there is no beer. No beer in the bleachers. It's like prison. I eventually got over this irritation and was fine, but really! Come on! The game came pretty close to being a historic event. Chien-Ming Wang, so very, very close to being only the 16th pitcher to manage a perfect game since 1900 and the first since 2004, but alas, one out into the 8th inning it all got wrecked.

Saturday night I had some Brooklyn time, visiting with some long lost friends in "The Slope." We went to Union Hall. Pretty cool minus all the douche bags there. Especially the one guy playing bocce who was so fucking smug I was feeling the urge to smash my beer bottle across his face. You'd think I would have just gotten in there and beat him in bocce, but I felt like the beer bottle was a better solution at the time. Nevertheless, I opted to not play or smash.

Today (Sunday) I did jack shit. Well, I did some stuff, but nothing worth reporting at all.

And the curtain falls on another weekend.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Say It How It Is

On my way to work today I passed the Beauty Bar as I often do. The majority of the front window is totally smashed. The one chunk of surviving glass had this note attached that really started my day off right:
Photo taken with my new phone. Not too bad.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Nevada to the Pig

Dear Nevada Smith's,

Sorry it has taken me so long to write this, but I've had a bit of an off week. But anyway, better late than never as some like to say. So, here we go. Remember last Sunday when I stopped in to have a couple of brews with my friends? Well, whether you do or not, I'd like to voice my disapproval and give you a big ol' "fuck you" for throwing me out just because I had a skateboard with me. Was I riding it or swinging it around or even talking about its existence? No to all of the above. It was just leaning against the wall, out of the way. It wasn't dangerous to anyone or anything. This is extra sad as we've had such a long history together. Since I first visited you back in June of 1996 you have been filled with annoying people, but at least you were cool to me personally. But now you've wrecked it. WRECKED IT! I'm sure you'll survive without me, but I thought you should know what happened. Jerks. You suck.


PS We went a few blocks away to the more accepting, Blind Pig Bar and Grill. They didn't mind the skateboard or the fact that we liked exchanging money for beer.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Bring On the Heat

I know it's not even the end of April yet, and I know the weather certainly hasn't been hinting at anything other than winter lasting forever, but today I got something that makes me feel a little confident that summer is just around the corner. Strawberries. Feast your eyes on this fat motherfucker and tell me that juicy, red deliciousness doesn't shout "Warm days ahead!"

And it was indeed delicious.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

The Cleve

So, this past weekend I went to Cleveland, Ohio. I got to visit with some old friends and made some new ones. Sure the new ones were mostly drunken lunatics, but would I want to meet anyone who's not?

It was my first time in Cleveland. Actually, it was my first time in Ohio. Due to the last second nature of the trip, I got there via automobile instead of by plane. Just in case you are thinking that is a good idea, I could tell you otherwise. While it's not the worst thing in the world, it's certainly not the most fun either. Construction, truckers clogging up both lanes, rain, snow, wind, zero scenery to look at ... it's crappy. Co-worker, Jeff (aka Y.B.) made the trip with me in a rented Hyundai Sonata. I didn't think it was too awesome on first glance, but it was remarkably smooth drivin' and quick. When traffic wasn't messing up our business we hovered around 80mph or above, and the Sonata complained not. Nor did the police. We survived 1,018 miles of driving over a span of about 16 hours (roundtrip, stops included) on a steady diet of sunflower seeds, water, beef jerky, Gatorade, DQ Blizzards and CDs galore (including Huey Lewis and the News -- can someone tell me how they are not in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?).

So anyway, despite all that, it turns out that Cleveland was pretty fun. I'm not sure I'm prepared to move there, but as far as a town with some good people, drinkin' options and entertainment, it ain't half bad. We hit an Indians game, had some beers, stole some pizza, yelled at smokers, did a little tour of the town, ate some brunch, went for a jog, ate some dinner, went to a birthday party, drank many drinks, brawled with one of my hosts (the female one), went on a joyride to Denny's and slept very little.

An exciting sidenote, is that I have now been in another state in our great land. That puts me to being in 50% of our great nation (does not include stopping in airports), and spending the night in 39%. I have a ways to go, but I have plenty of time.

Been in 26 states (50%):

create your own visited states map

Slept in 20 states (39%):

create your own visited states map

Woooo! Exciting stuff!

Here are some photos that I think are worthy of showing (hopefully the subjects in them won't mind):

Myself and Kevin doing God knows what. Looking tough. Or maybe just lost. I don't know.

When I was younger, someone making this mistake might get written/drawn on with a Sharpie. Now that we are older, wiser and more mature, they just get fingers of disapproval. Here Alberto gets the abuse.

Here's me with Meg C., 50% of the birthday team that was our motivation for our trip to begin with. I think we may have had a bit to drink at this point in the night. Oooh, yes. I actually have a shot in hand at that very moment. Kudos to me.

Here my trusty roadtrip sidekick/co-pilot, Y.B. [right] demonstrates how we in Jersey City react when B.C. [left] sends us requests/work/anything from Cleveland.

That's all I guess, until my next journey to the state that's Hi in the middle and round on both ends: O-Hi-O ... get it? That never gets old.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007


Last night I went to see Peeping Tom at Irving Plaza. Fucking good.

Before I get to the goodness, a brief side note. According to a sign there, that was the last show at Irving Plaza as the name is changing to The Fillmore. Why? I don't know. Change in ownership I'm guessing, but even so Irving Plaza seemed good to me. Irving Plaza on Irving Place ... it seems like that all makes things easy to recognize and easy to find, but that's just me.

So, in any case, the show was good. Well, I said fucking good in the first line so I guess I should stick with that. The show was fucking good. Mike Patton (although possibly deranged) is a musical and entertainment genius so off to a good start. Along with Patton was Dan the Automator making Synthesizer noise/scratching, a keyboard guy, the Dub Trio (a drummer, bass player & guitar player), a back-up singer, Imani Coppola who added some violin when not singing, and another back-up singer/beatboxer, Butterscotch.

As an added bonus, Jennifer Charles of Elysian Fields and Lovage fame (?) came to (sort of) help out on a tune and Rahzel of The Roots fame came on encore style, to do a little beatboxing and help out on a cover of Bobby Womack's "Across 110th Street." Pretty sweet.

I'll also mention that Patton was wearing a red, button down shirt with a bulletproof vest over it. I guess he was going with the gangsta motif. Anyway, that's all the recap I'm gonna do.

I will also mention this too ... now I'm not one to often get all that excited about famous folk, and even less often do I get a stage or celebrity crushes going, but I think I now have one. It's Butterscotch. The beatboxing was awesome, she sings, she plays instruments, she can dribble a basketball better than me (that might not be too impressive actually), oh and did I mention the cuteness? No? Well, she's cute too. I think big, fat guy when I think beatbox, but not in this case.

There. I said it and it feels good to get it off my chest.

Anywho, here is a pretty cool clip of her on Tom Green Live. Sit through the whole thing. It's worth it:


Monday, April 9, 2007

Sneaking Under The Midnight Cutoff

Dear Meg C.,

Happy Birthday, yo!


Sunday, April 8, 2007

Calendar Confusion

Is it just me, or is it odd they are releasing the remake of Halloween on August 31? That's two months before the actual Halloween just in case you couldn't piece that together. It will probably be out of the theaters by the time October even hits. I think that might be beyond just odd. It might actually be dumb. But then again, I'm not a Hollywood bigshot.

If you desire, you can peep the trailer here. I don't know if it will be good, but I think it is safe to say that it will be bloody.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Geographical Genius

So I'm at the post office in good ol' Jersey City on Thursday. I overhear a conversation between a guy in line who has a package going to Canada and the woman behind the counter:
USPS lady: You want airmail?
Guy: Sure. I guess.
USPS lady: OK, that will be seven to ten days.
Guy: OK. How long for the non-airmail option?
USPS lady: Airmail is seven to ten days, the other option is by boat which will take fourteen to twenty days.
Guy: By boat?
USPS lady: Yup.
Guy: By boat?
USPS lady: Yes.
Guy: Um ... Oh ... Kay. Um, I guess I'll go with the airmail.
Boat to Canada? I'm not sure which part of Canada it was going to, but it's odd they wouldn't just drive it or maybe put it on a train. Maybe they go via Erie Canal? Or maybe from Jersey, down through the Panama Canal and back up to Canada? Who's to say? I guess the USPS knows best though.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

That Looks Natural

When I was up at the 'rents house a couple of days ago I found a bag of photos in my closet. I haven't looked through all of them yet, but from the looks of things most seem to be from my college years. And that means some real historical gems. Lucky readers you are!

Instead of being patient, looking through them and finding an order or a theme I'm just going to get one from the top of the bag into the blogging mix ASAP.

This is another in the "Man you had some stupid awesome hair!" category. I had had some dumb haircuts before this, but this is my first venture into dye ... well, that is if you ignore the time I soaked my hair in cranberry juice (which seemed to attract a lot of winged insects and not really make my hair reddish) or the time I dunked my head in a bucket of undiluted swimming pool chlorine (which burned my scalp and made my hair feel a bit like straw). So, yeah. Let's just say it's my first hair dye venture. This was my sophomore year of college, so it was 1992 or 1993, making me 19 or 20. My friend Marge helped me with this venture as she is always up for anything that she can laugh at.

Along with the color, there seemed to be a strange part going on. Just to set the record straight, I think this part was created from having it in some sort of weird position, up in a towel while drying. I didn't generally walk around with my hair parted like this:

Either way, it was pretty obnoxious. Mission accomplished.

Stay tuned for the evolution of WJR's hair. Eventually more photos will surface. Guaranteed.

Back To The Grind ... A Slightly Odd Grind

So, Friday was supposed to be my last day at work, but I was asked to stay on for a little while. I had a couple of days off, and went upstate to visit with the 'rents but was back to the grind today. When I walked into work this morning I was the only person here. Really, the only person. So it's just me and my computer and the apple I brought. A little spooky coming in and seeing nobody in an area that in normal times, over the course of the day had forty somethin' people running around, screaming, throwing papers and slamming phones. ... it was actually so quiet today that I could hear water running down from the roof through some sort of drainage pipe in the wall behind me. At least I hope there is a pipe back there. My aloneness ended after an hour and a half or so, but even then it was only a five person posse. Anyway, crisis averted, other than a lot of forest destroyed to fulfil my need of tissues to mop up my tears.

I did get to have some "me time" before anyone got there which involved staring into space and listening to the new Machine Head album. Only eight tracks, although some were long, so we'll let it slide. It's actually pretty good. Some are saying their best ever. I'm not sure if I agree with all that. The music may be more intricate, but intricacy isn't what necessarily brings joy to my ears.

Anyway, work is OK in this new format. Fewer people, fewer phones, less interaction with the outside world all pluses. I thought going back after already having my mind set on being an unemployed slob would be bad, but it's not all that horrible. At least after one day it's not. We'll see if that lasts.

What a disjointed mess that post was!

Friday, March 30, 2007

Still Workin' It Out

So, as I mentioned before, March 30 (today) was my last day at work. Exciting, no? Well, actually no. There was a last minute change of plans. I'm back working again. Just keeping you people on your toes, yo!

Due to some staffing issues in other offices, good ol' work was looking for some people to help out for awhile longer. This was brought up on Thursday which, if you are familiar with calendars you may be able to figure out was just one day before the end. It was at like 3pm the day before the end. Not the best prior planning in the world.

Anyway, some of the helping is for our Dallas office and our San Francisco office. At first I thought this helping out was going to involve going for a little venture to SF, but as it turns out I will just be helping from Jersey City. Not quite as fun or exciting. But nevertheless, I'm still employed. Until the end of May unless I find something new in the meantime or I freak out and quit.

So, that's really all I need to say about that. Just thought I would let you know that I'm not a leech on the neck of society yet.


Celebrate With Liver Damage and Murdered Brain Cells

So last night was our last hurrah for work. One more night of boozing before we all go our separate ways. It was enough of a hurrah that my original plan of going out Thursday and Friday was pretty much crapped on. Those of us who worked in the morning were a little too spent to do a second round at 1pm on Friday. Although, I'm sure if we got a beer in hand we would have been off to the races again, the thought of that first one just crushed our motivation. Let's review the evening and the day after went, shall we? It went something like this ...

Work, class, bar, drinking, coloring, drinking, yelling, drinking, hugs, dismantling a trophy, laughing, drinking, posing for photos, drinking, cab ride, bed.

The drinking began around 9pm. The bed was hit at 4am. My alarm goes off at 5:15am. You can probably see how this day was not one of my best.

My alarm was going off forever apparently. Eventually my wife gets up, and wakes me up. I'm late as hell and definitely still drunk. No doubt about it. I take a shower (which mostly involved staring at the floor of the tub with the water falling on me and not making me feel better in the slightest).

After getting dressed, I grab my skateboard and head for the door. I get this from my wife:
You might want to wear some sunglasses today, champ.
Have you seen yourself?
Off I went sans sunglasses.

I get to work about 50 minutes late. Late, but I still managed to beat a good number of my co-workers ('cause I'm fucking great!)

My lateness prompts some understanding giggles from those who are there. And me too.

A co-worker who was not out with us comes in awhile later. She says:
You look like you had a late night.
I guess I really am looking shitty.

Just to confirm, a few hours later Kevin comes in and as he flies by on the way to his seat spits:
Did WJR even sleep?
Jesus. I'm a mess rockstar.

In a related note to the end of an employment era, my friend Todd throws a little zinger my way. If nothing else, it sounds like some sort of challenge to prove that we still have it. Who's down with a little reputation redemption?
Todd: how's the head
me: Not as bad as it should be. My stomach isn't doing so hot though.
And my brain isn't really working.
Todd: nothing worse than an irritated stomach
was it ever?
what's your plan for the afternoon
me: Nothing planned.
Todd: no 1:00pm drunk fest?
me: I don't think so. Only the morning people are coming in and I don't think anyone is really too excited about booze right now.
Maybe just some couch time instead.
Rest up for tomorrow.
Todd: now i know why they are closing that place down... that PRN crew just ain't what it use to be.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Jump Around

I've had some pretty dumb hair in my 33+ years on this earth. Some might say I still do. In any case, I stumbled across this old photo yesterday and could only wonder what the fuck was possibly going on here (if you click on the photo you can get a closer view of the disaster):
I wasn't even sure if that was my hair until I was able to lighten up the image. I thought maybe a plant was behind me. Nope, it's my hair.

Beyond the hair, what the hell was I doing other than getting really excited about finger guns? Finger guns and jumping in the air with them locked and loaded. Although it seems to have my friend Jay rather frozen with fear, so maybe they looked realistic at the time.

I have no recollection of this particular party or this photo, but I'm presuming it was around this point that things started to get out of control. That poor, poor house. If my parents only knew half of what went on there.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

At Least I'll Look Good

Being forever an optimist (yeah right) I'm anticipating a new job (or at least some interviews) so I went out today and bought three suits, three shirts and three ties. Credit card says "thank you" and bank account says "ouch."

Now I better get a fucking job that requires some gettin' fancy or you may find me lookin' fancy for no reason at all. Out at bars, jogging, going to concerts, etc. Or I may very well wind up the best dressed homeless guy you've ever seen, sleeping on a bench in the East River Park.

We'll see.

Head First

I'm not sure if this is a trait that I should be proud of or embarrassed of or at least grown out of, but yesterday I was e-mailing with a friend of mine who now lives in Seattle and I asked her how she was liking it and this is what I get:

I love Seattle. You should come visit! Lots of great dive bars. :)

"Lots of great dive bars." Jesus. Is that what lures me to visit a city? Yes. I guess it actually is.

I'm so easy to please and so fucking predictable. Nobody sells a place to me with "Lots of great clubs" or "Lots of fine eateries" or "Lots of museums." She hit the nail on the head with what entices me -- dive bars. That's what I like to judge places on. Sad or perfectly sensible? I'm not really sure.

Friday, March 23, 2007

I Think We're Beautiful

I love the intro to this video. "You and me in a world that stinks." Classic:

Totally Lacking

I don't really have much to offer, but I've had some complaints about my slacking (some even from me). So in an attempt to please, I guess I'll share the big news on my end which is that I only have one more week or work left. As I mentioned briefly a couple of times, my office is getting packed up and moving. I've opted to not move, so as of right now, I've got five days of work left and then it's into the unfamiliar world of unemployment. Five days!! Slightly scary. Slightly exciting. Either way, the countdown is on.

That said, the tail end of next week has all the ingredients for a good ol' fashioned bender. And who doesn't like that? There are plans for boozing Thursday night (which should feel real nice on my final day of getting up at 5:15am) and there is also talk of a part II on Friday. I have a bachelor party on Saturday and then Sunday (or maybe Monday depending on my liver's status) I'm heading upstate to hang with my 'rents as it is my father's big 75th birthday. I don't know if that part is really part of the bender, but you never know. Maybe my father will be all about kegstands, strippers and robbing banks on his 75th. We'll have to wait and see.

Anyway, that's really all. Hopefully these little calendar bookings will turn into a legitimate post or better yet, maybe I'll have something before then.

Happy weekend, everybody.

Saturday, March 17, 2007


One St. Patrick's Day ritual I used to like to enjoy, even before I introduced boozing into my ritualistic was, was the McDonald's Shamrock Shake. A frozen treat with a mysterious green color that has the funky taste of mint and mulched up leprechauns. So festive!

I used to get one every year around this time just for the sake of tradition. I don't think I really even like them to be honest. At some point (and I wish I could remember who turned me on to this) someone taught me a delicious, little trick of mixing a standard chocolate shake with the Shamrock, making a minty, chocolatey mashup. Sometimes the McDonald's server wasn't really down with the mixing, but they were easily swayed. Delicious!

Anyway, at some point in college I went to get a Shamrock Shake from my local Mickey D's and they didn't have any. I went to another. They didn't have any. Worst. St. Patrick's. Ever. I went home, busted out the phone book and started calling McDonald's one by one. Eventually I found one but it required quite a drive. After that year, my ambition wavered a bit, and when I couldn't find a shake at my local option I'd give up.

Well, this year I was craving to get back on the tradition wagon. I figured with all the McDonald's scattered in NYC I should be fine. I checked out a couple with no reward. Then I see this article telling how they just don't exist in the New York Metropolitan area. Bullshit.

Despite this article, I decided to take a chance with the McDonald's on Grove Street in Jersey City. I called ahead since the weather was crappy and it is a decent walk to get there.
Me: Hi. Do you have Shamrock Shakes.
McD's: Yes.
Me: Great.
I'm living large!

I get my jacket on and walk out there. The exchange in person was a little different than it was over the phone.
Me: Could I have a Shamrock Shake?
McD's lady: [Blank stare]
Me: Do you have Shamrock Shakes?
McD's lady: We have shakes.
Me: Yeah, I know that, but do you have Shamrock Shakes?
McD's lady: [Confused look]
Me: They're for St. Patrick's Day? They are green? They taste like mint?
McD's lady: We have banana shakes.
Me: What? Banana? No. That's not right.
McD's lady: We have vanilla, chocolate, strawberry and banana.
Me: Thanks anyway.
Fuckin' A that's annoying! What is the problem!? Get some mint up in this town!

Friday, March 16, 2007

Help Us, Al Gore!

Is it my imagination, or was I outside two days ago wearing jeans and a T-shirt?

68 degrees and sun on Wednesday to 28 degrees and snow on Friday? Seems like a bit much.

Always An Idiot

So, as stated a few posts ago, things have been a little hectic 'round here as of late. Mostly in my head, but I'll give you the rundown of frenzy. It will probably bore you, but that's tough shit.

A few months ago a friend of mine mentioned going on his annual trip to Whistler, British Columbia. The previous year I had been invited, but couldn't go for whatever reason. This year I didn't plan on going either as I was soon to be unemployed and I was also taking a class at NYU. On Saturday, February 24th, in anticipation of some good stories I text my friend to ask if he had been yet.
He texts back: Next week. Getting there on 03/03.
I say: Shit. I should have invited myself. I could use a break from work before it is all over.
He says: Do it.
I think, hmmm, that would be nice, but I'm not convinced I should do it.

I think. I discuss with the wife. I think some more.

I can't get there on Saturday, as they are, because I have already committed to the Vertical Challenge upstate, but I decide I could, at least in theory go up after that if I want to torture myself -- trip upstate, 24 hours straight of snowboarding, back to NYC, sleep, wake up get on plane. Skip work, skip class, run myself ragged ... walking that fine line between brilliance and insanity. Yes!

I then speak with my friend the following day. He confirms that it is cool with the rest of the crew going and even though it is last minute I should check out flights.

That night I get online. I find a flight for a little over $400. I likes.

I do a little more thinking overnight. I sleep on it as they say.

I wake up Monday with a decision to do this thing. I get to work and go to book it. The price of the flight has gone up. A lot. I won't be deterred as I now have vacation on the mind. I find another flight. This one's not direct, but whatever. I'm on a fucking mission. I book my flight -- Monday morning, NYC to Dallas to Vancouver and then the return is Vancouver to Seattle to NYC. Easy fo sheezy. So, I'm thinking all is cool, feeling that happy, "I'm goin' away" feeling.

That night I figure I should dig out some of my shit that is mandatory for this trip. My snowboarding shit, my camera, my passport, my flight information, etc. After some searching I eventually find my passport. I throw it on the table. Then I happen to browse through it, checking out my various stamps from here and there for a little reminiscing and then, the horror! My passport expires on Tuesday -- one day after my arrival in Canada. That's not good. I panic.

I get online. A passport is definitely needed. Fuck.

I start trying to figure out how to get me a passport. Fast. Use someone else's? Alter mine? Walk across the border somewhere in Montana? I've seen Fahrenheit 9/11. I know there is only like one guy that patrols the whole middle of nowhere section of the border. Fuck.

After about a million calls to the passport people. Well, the automated passport people anyway. I get nowhere. I give up that night and decide to call in the morning. (That phone system sucks balls. I'm not even going to get into it, but believe me. It's the worst.)

Early Tuesday morning I finally reach a human. There is an office in NYC that can make a passport on the spot. When's the next time I can get in? March 14. Four days after I return. That's not going to work. There's no talking my way in, no walkup-squeeze-you-in service, no nothin'. I decide I should try the local post office to see if they can do anything.

I get myself a photo, fill out all the paperwork and go to the post office right when the passport window opens on Wednesday on a break from work to see if they knew of any way out of my predicament. The woman at the Jersey City USPS was surprisingly nice. And helpful, or at least understanding. She couldn't really do anything for me, but suggested I try the office in Philly. Good thinking, lady! I tried to get an appointment at the Philly office that does the on the spot passport renewals, figuring if I could get in I would bus down, get my passport and be golden. No luck there either. The earliest day I could get there was March 12. Damn all these last second A-holes!

At this point I decide this passport thing is a loss. Even though I have my photos and my application filled out, I'm not getting myself a new passport in time for this trip.

I do a little more research and find that getting into Canada shouldn't be a problem, but getting back will be (thanks U.S.A.!). I actually called USAirlines to see what they had to say. It went like this:
USAir lady: [Answering formalities]
Me: "Hi. I'm going to be flying with you on Monday to Canada and then I'll be returning the following Sunday. My passport expires on Tuesday. You think that will be an issue?"
USAir lady: "Well you do need a valid passport to return to the U.S."
Me: "Right, but you don't getting into Canada will be a problem?"
USAir lady: "I don't think so."
Me: "And coming back? What happens without a passport? I'm not going to get thrown in prison am I?"
USAir lady: "No ... I don't think you'll wind up in jail. I just think you'll be delayed."
Me: "Well, if there is no jail involved what's to worry about really? I think I should be fine. Thanks."
Although being delayed doesn't sound horrible, I'm not that interested in sitting in the Vancouver airport with nothing to entertain me so I do a little more research. I find that the passport rule only applies to flying. For some reason you can still get across the border with a birth certificate and photo ID if you drive, walk or boat. I guess terrorists only travel by plane?

I get on the horn again and call Orbitz (just for the record it was a very pleasant experience). After some minor financial adjustments I alter my trip. Now it's NYC to Phoenix to Vancouver and on the return it's just Seattle to NYC. And to get to Seattle I find me a bus. Right from the Vancouver airport to the Seattle airport. Thank you, loophole.

I know that was long. And boring. And unnecessary, but you could have skimmed or skipped it or whatever. This is my shit and I'll babble however I like.

So, the trip up was easy (and might I remind you that a previous trip to Canada did not go smoothly at all). The gal at the Canadian border just asked me some basic questions and I was in. Suckers!

Then it was bus up to Whistler. The bus was pleasant. Great scenery outside, a movie inside, and a free Arson sticker which I put on my board. Whistler itself was fucking awesome. Great snow, breathtaking (really, it made me slightly weak feeling) views, Beirut, some stinky BC weed, cold beer (served in "jugs" not pitchers), bacon, jacuzzi, grilling, many laughs and lots of curling on TV. Almost heaven. There are some photos floating around if you care (check out the Flickr thing in the right column).

On the way home, it was pretty smooth sailing too. Big, dumb stretch SUV (or Stretchcalade as we like to call it) down to Vancouver, bus to Seattle and then on home. Once again, no hassle at the border. The border guy didn't say shit about my expired passport. I had my birth certificate at the ready but didn't even need it. Figures. I'm sure if I flew I would have gotten the pinch. But whatever. Mission accomplished.

So, take a deep breath. You made it through the longest post I have ever done or probably will ever do. And all for a really shitty story. If I happen to go again next year I'll be prepared and eliminate the drama and only share meaningful events. Promise.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Look in the Mirror

The other day I was reading about how Sheryl Crow dislikes American Idol. Here's a quote from an interview with Ladies Home Journal (just for the record, I wasn't reading Ladies Home Journal, the quote was in an excerpt in the newspaper): "Let's face it, it undermines art in every way and promotes commercialism. I am sad people love it so."

Really Sheryl? Commercialism like your Revlon commercial or the Subaru commercial that was using "Everyday Is A Winding Road" or your fucking GAP commercial? Or maybe the song you did for the movie Cars or the song you did for Tomorrow Never Dies or your appearances on "The Today Show" or "The Late Show" or any of the other commercial as hell appearances you have made? And those are just the ones I can remember. I can only imagine how many things you have done that have "undermined art" if I actually did some research.

Get over yourself, hypocritical clown.

Finally Foxes

I know it's the NIT and not the big NCAA tournament (where you should have been), but whatever! Nice work, Marist.

Marist 67 - Oklahoma State 64
"A great example of one team that wanted to play, that cared about being in this tournament, and one team that had a few guys that would rather be on spring break." - Oklahoma State coach Sean Sutton

Next up ... North Carolina State on Friday.

Oh, and the ladies? In the real deal NCAA Tournament ... Ohio State on Saturday.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

The Only Direction We Flow Is Down

So, I'm a little behind on the blogging here. It's been a crazy couple of weeks. Some travel, some quick plan making, some passport expiration, more travel, some snow, some booze, some international borders ... I'll get into all that later (maybe).

Part of my traveling brought me through Seattle. Actually just quickly through Seattle proper on a bus (see photo taken through the bus window) and then out to good ol' Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. As I was sitting at Sea-Tac, coming off the high of my week of fun, eating a crappy airport cafe's turkey and roasted red pepper panini, River of Deceit came on my iPod. Staring out the window into the gray, rainy sky of Seattle with this song playing might be top five on my depression list. Jesus. Mix that with a little heroin and other influences and it's no wonder Layne Staley OD'd.

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Not So Good With Kids (or Things in General)

One of the guys I did the Vertical Challenge with has two kids. You'd think knowing this I would be a little less retarded, but alas ...

Right around 9:00 the morning following the Vertical Challenge the phone rings. The phone is old. Probably early 70s if not older, with rotary dial and the loudest fucking ring ever -- especially when it is 12 inches from your face.

The phone rings again.
I pick up. "Hello?"
Little kid: "[incomprehensible babbling]"
*Click* I hang up.

Phone rings.
Me: "What the fuck!?" I pick it up. "Hello?"
Little kid: "Hi Daddy. Hi Daddy. Hi Daddy."
Me: "I'm not your daddy."
Kid: "Blah, blah, dinosaurs. Blah, blah."
Me: "Hey Peewee, you've got the wrong number."

I get up to take a piss.

Phone rings.

Friend with the kids laughs.

Other friend: "You want me to get that?"
Me: "Fuck it. Let that kid talk to the answering machine."

More laughter from friend with kids.

I get back in bed.

30 seconds later the phone rings.

Me: "God kids are dumb." Pick it up, "Hello?"
Woman's voice: "Hey, it's E___. M__ wants to speak to his father. You think you could put him on?"
Me: "E___? Shit. I'm an asshole. Hold on a minute. Sorry about that."

More laughter from friend with kid.

Me = idiot.

V-Challenge Recap

Wisely, myself and the guys making up our Vertical Challenge team went out drinking the night before the event. We didn't stay out too, too late, but Genesee Cream Ale, Busch and a few mixed drinks out in two bars that gave zero shits about the NYS smoking ban doesn't lead to feeling tip-top. We may like snowboarding and are charitable enough to raise money for cancer, but obviously we're not that bright.

I won't bore you with the details of the actual Challenge, but essentially it was snowboarding, eating, drinking, more snowboarding, cursing, more snowboarding, etc. At a point about eight hours into this thing we realized that needed sleep was not going to happen, mostly due to the loud assholes hanging around the lodge. Normally I don't mind the lack of sleep, but we started thinking about the impossibility of safely driving three hours back home the following morning and realized it would be in our best interest to wrap it up early. Our money was already turned in and our three person team wasn't on any sort of impressive path in the most trips down the mountain contest, so no harm done. Beyond the driving issue, our wrapping up early was probably in the best interest of the shitheads next to our area who were well on the path of receiving a punch in the face from me. There had already been a brief debate by our team about taking a dump in one of their sleeping bags so clearly that team was on a path to extinction.

So, with violent tendencies rising and exhaustion running the show, we packed it up after about 14 hours, headed back to our outpost where we squeezed in seven hours of sleep before the ride home. We all agreed to push for longer next year. Maybe.

Thanks to everyone who donated.