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.

Friday, March 2, 2007

You Can't Stop This Mouth

So NYC has banned the "n" word ... hmmmm.

Two things about that.

First, why are you city council members wasting time conjuring up and voting on something that is strictly symbolic and isn't enforceable? I'm guessing there might be something a little more pressing in this mess of a city.

Second, I don't use the "n" word and I don't normally have a big issue with the government sticking their nose in my shit. Feel free to watch me via cameras on light posts, search my bag when I'm getting on the subway, listen to my phone calls or whatever. I don't care. But telling me what I can and can't say? Here's two words that have yet to be banned ... Fuck. You.