Monday, December 28, 2009


For the last month or so I've been having dreams much more frequently than usual.

That's fine.

The dreams have all (at least all of the ones I'm able to remember) been good ones- some "great" ones- been about the same person.

My question is, why?

What should I read into this? Anything? Nothing?

Things I wonder about...

  • Will another movie I want to see ever be released?
  • When and under what circumstances should "cash value" trump "sentimental value?"
  • How do you "unfriend" somebody in the real world?
  • Does she still have the key? Has she ever thought about using it?
  • What should I do with my IRS refund when I get it?
  • Will I ever not be tired?
  • As I get older, shouldn't my attention span be getting longer?
There's more, I'm sure of it, I just kind of lost my train of thought...

Sunday, December 27, 2009

The Christmas Betting Line Results

Well, let's see how I did:

George Foreman Grill with removable plates.

I struck out on this one last year, but this year my mother has all but told me outright that she's going to get it for me, so: 100%

Winner- I've already used it twice since Christmas Day!

A subscription to Consumer Reports

I know, it's a nerdy thing to ask's not expensive, somewhat practical, and easy to pawn off on somebody outside my immediate family, so: 50%.

Winner- I'll be waiting by the mailbox for the first issue to show up!

Western Mass Pioneers Season Tickets

This is one of those things I was planning to buy for myself, so I thought there was no harm in asking...just in case. Still, there a bit pricey, can't be ordered online, etc., so: 1%

Winner- I think. I didn't think I'd get it, and I didn't.

FIFA 2010 for PS3

Last year I was certain that I wasn't going to get the 2009 version, but my brother and sister in-law came through, so I'll count on that again: 75%

Loser- I was pretty confident that I'd get this, and I didn't.

New York by Eduard Rutherfurd

It's a book. People like to buy me books, so: 100%

Push- I didn't get it as a gift, but I used one of the Amazon gift cards I received to purchase it.


What?! Why pay for them myself? I asked for a specific brand in a specific color, they're cheap and easy to get, so: 100%

Winner- it's always nice when I don't have to spend my money on "necessities."

Printer Cartridges

Expensive. Boring. Didn't want to buy them myself if I didn't need to. I'm not expecting them unless my brother can find a "deal" on them, so 5%

Winner- I didn't think I'd get them, and I didn't.

IKEA Gift Card

I don't even know if they have gift cards at IKEA, so 1%

Loser- this is one that I'm happy to lose. Unfortunately it means a two hour drive to the nearest IKEA as they sell only a few of their products on line.

Well, there we are, maybe my best year yet. 5 wins, 1 push, and 2 losses.

Other cool stuff I received:
  • A coffee table book of film noir posters.
  • A new digital watch
  • A DVD of Blackboard Jungle
  • A $25 iTunes gift card
  • My Custom Van by Michael Ian Black
  • A subscription to Outside magazine

I think I'm in love...

Imelda May

  • Looks like a pin-up girl? Check.
  • Sings rockabilly and blues music? Check.
  • Delightful Irish accent? Check.


Monday, December 21, 2009

I may already have said this...

...but it's worth repeating:

I really can't stand Meryl Streep.

Friday, December 18, 2009

The Christmas Betting Line

Welcome to the Third Annual Christmas Betting Line Spectacular!

I've done "okay" with my prognostications the first two times, but this year could be a bit more difficult. While I did make a list for my mom- as she requires- it was also farmed out to my siblings and other family members who are far less predictable than my beloved mother. Still, I will do my best.

The only change this year is that I'm going to express the chances of receiving the gifts in question in terms of percentages.

George Foreman Grill with removable plates.

I struck out on this one last year, but this year my mother has all but told me outright that she's going to get it for me, so: 100%

A subscription to Consumer Reports

I know, it's a nerdy thing to ask's not expensive, somewhat practical, and easy to pawn off on somebody outside my immediate family, so: 50%.

Western Mass Pioneers Season Tickets

This is one of those things I was planning to buy for myself, so I thought there wa no harm in asking...just in case. Still, there a bit pricey, can't be ordered online, etc., so: 1%

FIFA 2010 for PS3

Last year I was certain that I wasn't going to get the 2009 version, but my brother and sister in-law came through, so I'll count on that again: 75%

New York by Eduard Rutherfurd

It's a book. People like to buy me books, so: 100%


What?! Why pay for them myself? I asked for a specific brand in a specific color, they're cheap and easy to get, so: 100%

Printer Cartridges

Expensive. Boring. Didn't want to buy them myself if I didn't need to. I'm not expecting them unless my brother can find a "deal" on them, so 5%

IKEA Gift Card

I don't even know if they have gift cards at IKEA, so 1%

I'll be back after Christmas to let you know how I did this year.

2009: A Partial Reading List

Here are the books I read during the past year and those I should have wrapped up before 2010.

  • Death on the Cheap: The Lost B Movies of Film Noir by Arthur Lyons
  • The Film Noir Reader: Volume 2 edited by Alain Silver and James Ursini
  • Newton and the Counterfeiter: The Unkown Detective Career of the World's Greatest Scientist by Thomas Levenson
  • The Black Lizard Big Book of Pulps edited by Otto Penzler
  • Fright by Cornell Woolrich
  • The Dead Man's Brother by Roger Zelanzy
  • The Cutie by Donald E. Westlake
  • House Dick by E. Howard Hunt
  • Casino Moon by Peter Blauner
  • Fake I.D. by Jason Starr
  • The Criminal by Jim Thompson
  • The Getaway by Jim Thompson
  • Roughneck by Jim Thompson
  • The Nothing Man by Jim Thompson
  • Passport to Peril by Robert B. Parker
  • Stop This Man by Peter Rabe
  • Losers Live Longer by Russell Atwood
  • Honey in His Mouth by Lester Dent
  • Quarry in the Middle by Max Allan Collins
  • The Galton Case by Ross MacDonald
  • The Blue Hammer by Ross MacDonald
  • The Way Some People Die by Ross MacDonald
  • The Ivory Grin by Ross MacDonald
  • The Doomsters by Ross MacDonald
  • The Barbarous Coast by Ross MacDonald
  • The Instant Enemy by Ross Mac Donald
  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
  • The Girl who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson
  • The Girl who Kicked the Hornet's Nest by Stieg Larsson
  • Thunderstruck by Erik Larson
  • The Whiskey Rebels by David Liss
  • Drood by Dan Simmons
  • The Professional by W.C. Heinz
  • Redemption Song: The Ballad of Joe Strummer by Chris Salewicz
  • Born Standing Up by Steve Martin
  • The Nasty Bits by Anthony Bourdain

In progress or about to be:
  • Europe by Norman Davies
  • 2066 by Roberto Bolano
  • The Island of the Day Before by Umberto Eco
  • Black Angel by Cornell Woolrich
  • The Valley of Fear by Arthur Conan Doyle
  • The Corpse Wore Pasties by Jonny Porkpie
  • The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen
That's not everything, but it's probably pretty close- there are probably a few from late 2008 on here and there are certainly some from this year that I've forgotten. Not a bad year overall.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Items of note

Every once in a while I need to clear the decks, so here we go!
  • Is my right knee becoming arthritic? Could be.
  • I need to start writing again.
  • Today's mail brought an issue of Rolling Stone that reviews the best albums, songs, etc. of the decade- it was worse than I thought. Yeesh.
  • I dawned on me today (yesterday?) that every woman I've ever dated has been smart- very smart, some even smarter than me! I've always assumed that this was a good thing, but give my, um, history, I'm beginning to have second thoughts.
  • I need a vacation. A long, far away vacation. I'm going to be going to Florida again in the spring, and I'll have fun, but it won't be long enough and it's not far away enough.
  • I've said it once and I'll say it again, I HATE being sick. I'm not saying there's anybody who actually likes it, but I feel like it highlights every negative facet of my personality, and that's not good for anyone.
  • I'm still not a fan of poetry, but Walt Whitman is growing on me. Don't tell my dad, though, I can't bear to see the look of self-satisfaction that will affix itself to his face.
  • After a couple of years of failure, I have once again been able to complete all of my Christmas shopping from the comfort of my couch and without having to talk to anyone.
  • In addition to the one book I'm reading, I have a stack of four more waiting for me and another one on the way to me from Amazon. Sweet.
Well, there's actually more, but I've got things to do...

Monday, December 07, 2009

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Make with the sympathy!

I've had two days off (one being Thanksgiving) since November 10th.

I'm tired.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

I know I've explained this before, BUT

I feel I need to once again point out that my diminished "output" here is not a reflection on my dedication to this "thing" that I've been doing here for (GULP!) five years. Rather, it is a reflection of all the work I have been doing here-

When I agreed to help found the site last February I had no idea (in the best possible way!) what I was getting myself into! It has been, to say the least, a really rewarding endeavor and I hope that the people (person?) who still stop by here from time to time understand that this blog is still something I value and still something that I plan to continue.

How's that for unnecessary self-importance!?

Saturday, November 28, 2009

One Good Reason To Rent "Crime Story"

...because you get to hear Del Shannon's "Runaway" at the beginning of every episode.

Plus, in the pilot "movie" alone there were also songs by Sam Cooke, Chuck Berry (as covered by George Thorogood), as well as a few other gems.

Sunday, November 15, 2009


Although I've played indoor and outdoor pick-up soccer pretty much year round since my high school days, this winter I'm playing in a competitive league for the first time in about a decade.*

My weekly match is on Monday nights. By Sunday night (which is now!) I can't sit still, the anticipation is more than I can take!


*prior to this decade I'd played in indoor and outdoor leagues for about a decade.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

This woud have been relevant over a decade ago...

...but since I just listened to it, Sugar's Explode and Make Up is a song that grows and grows on you until, finally, you say to yourself, "That's a REALLY good song!"

That's it.

Return to your normal daily activities.

Veteran's Day

Thanks, Poppy.

Monday, November 09, 2009

It strikes me as wrong...

...that I should have to clean a vacuum cleaner in order to keep it in working order.

I don't know if that falls under "ironic" or "counter-intuitive" or what, I just know it's annoying.

Monday, November 02, 2009

This made me feel good about myself

I just looked at Rotten Tomatoes "100 Worst Movies of the Last 10 Years" and I've only seen three of them, and only paid to see one of them- and I'm pretty sure that I confused it with another movie when I was buying the ticket.

I am not, however, going to name any of the movies- nice try!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Poor Guy

It's World Series time...the Red Sox didn't make it and the Yankees did, so clearly, I'm pulling for the Phillies. In that sense, I don't have it too badly, my choices are clear.

And there's Tommy.

I work with Tommy.

Tommy and I talk baseball a lot.

Tommy is a really nice guy and a really big Mets fan.

Tommy has a problem.

Does he root for the hated crosstown rivals?

Or does he root for the hated National League rival?

Well, luckily, in addition to being a nice guy, Tommy is a smart guy, so let me say it for him:


Monday, October 26, 2009

Soccer As It Should Be

I played "real" (outdoor) soccer today for the first time in, I'm guessing, 2-3 years thanks to randomly running into one of my indoor soccer acquaintances a few days ago.

I'd almost forgotten how much superior it is to indoor "soccer." And, since this is my blog and everything is "about me," I have to say that I did well. I am in no shape to running around like a crazy person, so the ball did most of the work, but I was happy to see that my touch, both in terms of close control and being able to pick out teammates with passes both short and long, was still there.

What a tease, though, it was the last outdoor pick-up game of the season due to the impending changing of the clocks that will cause it to be dark out at, oh, noon, here in the hinterlands of New England. For what it's worth, though, playing soccer in the dying afternoon light of a crisp fall day is one of those simple pleasures that cannot be overrated.

Oh well, indoor soccer starts back up in the first week of November, so I'll not only be able to work myself back into shape, but I'll also have something to do 1-3 nights a week.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

An Accidental Discovery

By not watching what I was doing I just set my microwave for...3:80.

Needless to say, I was to scared to actually press the "start" button for fear of what might happen.


Time machine?




Super power?

I think all that remains now is to trick somebody else into doing it first...

It went down to the final half of the final match...

but the New England Revolution are in the playoffs for the 8th straight year!

It's all "gravy" after this!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Suddenly, it all makes sense.

Do you ever wonder why you like the things that you do? I actually spend a lot of time mulling this over, as well as a related questions- If I like all of these things, surely they must have something in common? And, if that is the case, surely there must be a concrete connection between them? Well, as it turns out, there is at least one case where there is a tangible and specific relationship between some things I like.

If you've spent any amount of time reading this blog, or if you've even just read through my profile, you may have picked up on the following.
  • When it comes to literature, I like "hard-boiled" crime fiction. The work of Dashiell Hammett, for example.
  • When it comes to film, I like "spaghetti westerns" (especially those featuring Clint Eastwood) and samurai films (especially those by Akira Kurosawa and/or featuring Toshiro Mifune).
Well, check this out:

Hammet's novel Red Harvest is considered by some* to have been the inspiration for Kurosawa's film Yojimbo, which, in turn was the direct basis for Serigo Leone's A Fist Full of Dollars, starring Eastwood. This isn't just the speculation of critics and scholars either, both Kurosawa (privately) and Leone (publicly) acknowledged the connections.

So, the connection between these particular things that I like is concrete, but what do they have in common? They all deal with "moral certainty" of the kind discussed by Aristotle in Nichomachean Ethics, not in the legal sense. Why I'm so intrigued by moral certainty is a whole different question...

*Others contend it was based on the novel, The Glass Key, but that's by Hammett too, so my the argument remains valid.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Is this ironic?

The people I want most to leave me alone, won't.

The people I'd most like be in touch with me aren't/can't/don't or are to a lesser degree than I'd like them to be.


Also, I need a haircut.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

There are so many things I should be doing right now...

and watching back-to-back hours of "Classic AWA Wrestling" is not one of them.

Then again, how often do you get to see Michael Hayes of the Fabulous Freebirds wrestle these days?

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Nails On A Chalkboard

Is there anything more cringe-worthy than somebody who clearly has no talent for it trying to rap?

I've come across this twice today and would have done just about anything to make it stop.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

A Lesson in Retail Counter Measures

When a retailer has a product it wants to sell, especially a product that might be of lower quality, over abundance, or one that is not terribly desirable, they will take measures to make the item more appealing to the consumer by offsetting one or more of the "short-comings" I have just mentioned.

For example, the retailer might offer the item as part of a "buy one, get one free" promotion, which will increase the items value to the consumer, or simply appeal to the idea of "getting something for free," it doesn't really matter what consumer trait the retailer is playing to, because it works. A local grocer in my area often offers items "buy one, get two free" deals which I cannot resist.

What happens, however, when the consumer has only a mild interest in a product that is not offered as part of one of these promotions? For example, what if you want to see a movie, but you are not even interested enough to pay the matinee price- never mind the full price- to see it? Well, the solution is actually relatively simple- you create your own "promotion." Here is how you do it:

Step 1: You pay the matinee price to see The Informant!
Step 2: When The Informant! ends, you walk down the hall and see Whip It.
Step 3: When Whip It ends, you walk back down the hall and see 9.
Step 4: Profit.

And, of course, you bring your own food.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Quote of the Day

"When I get a little money I buy books; and if any is left I buy food and clothes." -- Erasmus of Rotterdam

This quote is far more accurate than it should be when applied to me.

So, I'm going to go order some books and tomorrow I'll buy some ramen noodles to make up for it.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Here's why choosing Rio was a mistake.

The Olympics get better ratings when the athletes are setting records.

Putting the Olympics in Rio and expecting things to go well athletically is kind of like taking your homework with you on Spring Break and expecting things to go well academically.

Another one of those eternal questions

Why must people make my life more complicated than it needs to be?

Here's an idea: how about handling your own business before getting into mine?

It seems to me that this would work better for everyone involved.

Come to think of it, if you handled your own business first you might not even have to bother me at all, and that would be swell.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Is this a good thing...or a bad one?

My electric shaver broke the other day. Nothing dramatic, I just needed to purchase a new piece and replace the broken one. It's only about two years old, but otherwise, it's in fine shape and works very well.

This being the 21st century, I went online and searched for the part. I found it quickly and it was only slightly more pricey than I would have liked it to be- about $22.00 to fix a shaver that retails for about $80.00 (I got on sale for around $55.00). Not to bad, I guess.

However, among the results of my search were many other complete shavers, so I poked around a bit... and ended up buying a brand new shaver. It's a brand I've owned in the past, has all of the same features as my current one, and was on sale for $3.00 more than the replacement part I was planning on buying.

I'm conflicted by this. Repaired, my old shaver would have been perfectly fine- it did not need to be replaced. And yet, for $3.00 I now have a brand new shaver that will likely last me that much longer than the old one because, well, it's new.

So, this is a good thing, right?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

R.I.P. Fred Cusick

My apologies if this blog has seemed more like an internet obituary page as of late, but there have been a lot of deaths recently that have hit me on a personal level.

Today, Fred Cusick, the voice of the Boston Bruins for 45 years passed away at the age of 90.

Mr. Cusick was the play-by-play television announcer for the club from 1971-1997, or, from the time I was a two-year old until I was twenty-eight. Even when the team was bad, the games were worth watching because of the enthusiasm and class he brought to each and every game.

Even after he retired, he didn't really retire- he was the voice of the AHL Lowell Lock Monsters from 1997-2002.

So, one more time..."SCORE!!!"

Sunday, September 13, 2009

R.I.P. Dr. Norman Borlaug (1914-2009)

I've mentioned this amazing man several times in the past, so rather than boring you with all the details again, I'll simply send you here:

If that doesn't tell you enough, think about this: only five people have won a Nobel Peace Prize, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and a Congressional Gold Medal and Norman Borlaug was one of them.

Penn and Teller once called him the "Greatest Human Being That Ever Lived".

They were right.

Damien Duff

Damien is an Irish soccer player who now plays for Fulham in the English Premier League.

I like him as a player- he's both talent and a bit of a "scrapper."

However, when he speaks, I find it disconcerting. There's just something unsettling about a thick Irish accent coming out of a man with naturally whitish-blonde hair.

Not as bad as David Beckham's "baby voice," but still...

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Enemies List 5.0

Time for an update! Julio Lugo is no longer on the list because he is no longer a blight on my team.
  • Rachael Ray: ubiquitous TV presence/schill.
  • Bill O'Reilly: soulless right wing blowhard.
  • Dan Brown: hack writer of quasi-historical novels.
  • Kanye West: all-style, negative substance "rapper."
  • Miley Cyrus: over-hyped sender of mixed messages.
  • Bob Costas: increasingly self-important sports dwarf.
  • Ulf Samuelsson: NHL cheap-shot artist.
  • John Mayer: simpering panderer to the musical LCD.

Friday, September 11, 2009

"Sun Records, Memphis, TN"

After a rather trying day at work it was pretty damn cool to come home to find an LP sized package leaning against my front door with THAT return address on the outside and THIS t-shirt on the inside.

Monday, August 31, 2009

How Do I Feel Right Now?

In the words of Colonel George Taylor, "Get your hands off of me you damned dirty apes!!"

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Update: Best TV Shows

Time for my yearly update of my favorite (ever!) television shows. Remember, these are in no particular order.


Late Night/Late Show with David Letterman
The Simpsons
Mystery Science Theater 3000
24 (especially the earlier seasons)
The Sopranos
The Family Guy
The Wire
Sherlock Holmes (Jeremy Brett)

NYPD Blue (David Caruso era)
Arrested Development
The Fugitive
Monty Python's Flying Circus
Fawlty Towers
Mission Impossible
The Equalizer

Monday, August 24, 2009

How do you explain this away?

There are three different bottles of ketchup in my refrigerator. All different sizes and all containing differing amounts. I know how this happened, and it was completely innocent. And yet, when I open the door to the fridge, I just doesn't look right. No, not at all.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Happy Birthday!

I can't believe Yaz is 70. One of us has gotten really old.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Two Things To Think About

1. Not enough people listen to The Jam.
2. Steak is delicious.

Monday, August 17, 2009

How Can This Be?

I'm pretty sure I work with the only French person in the world who has never read a book, been to a museum, or listened to music.

Seriously, how do you mention Magritte (yes, yes, I know he's actually Belgian) to a French person over the age of 40 and just get a blank stare in return?

Mon dieu!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Damn You Stieg Larsson

First, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo took over my life.

Now, The Girl Who Played with Fire is doing the same.

And now I have to wait almost a month to get The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets Nest!

Supposedly there will be at least two more books, and quite possibly as many as ten.


Will I never learn?

I went for a run this afternoon. It was 97 degrees.

I may never stop sweating.

Question of the Day

Why doesn't anyone like me?

Monday, August 03, 2009

R.I.P Billy Lee Riley

The rockabilly world lost one of its longest standing members yesterday when Billy Lee Riley died of cancer at age 75.

Riley, born in Pochahontas, Arkansas, began his career at Sun Records in Memphis at the same time as Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Elvis Preseley, Carl Perkins, and Roy Orbison. While he had a couple of hits along the way, most of Sun's promotional clout was put behind these other artists, and Riley was out of music for much of the 1960s and 1970s. He returned to the scene during the rockabilly revival of the late 1970s and early 1980s and performed regularly for the next twenty years before poor health forced him off stage a few years ago.

With Riley's passing the number of "original" rockabilly singers grows even smaller, so if I can borrow a line...

Here’s tae us.
Wha’s like us?”
Gie few and they’re a’ deed!
Mair’s the pity.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Sometimes, THIS happens...

I'll grant you, that it's only 4pm, but nothing has gone wrong today. In fact, pretty much everything has gone right!

I went to get my car inspected (on the penultimate day of the month no less!) and it not only passed, but I didn't have to wait in line.

On the way back, I stopped at the supermarket and scored a HUGE deal- which is why there is pulled pork simmering away in my crock pot at this very moment.

I dragged myself off the couch after lunch and did the laundry, AND nobody tried to talk to me! The air conditioning was on at the laundramat too, which was a very nice surprise.

Now I am reclining on my couch in relative comfort with an nice cold beverage and watching episodes of "Naked City." No, no, look it up, it's nothing like that.

And best of all, I still have tomorrow off!

Monday, July 27, 2009

For the first time in 2009 I must announce

That it's so humid that I want to walk down to the corner, take a few (very few) steps through the woods, and fall face down into the Connecticut River.

Either that or push little kids into traffic.

And there doesn't seem to be any relief in sight.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Because I'm always trying to help

REALLY good sourdough bread + REALLY good crunchy peanut butter = REALLY awful taste.

I'll leave it to the math scholars out there to tell me how two positives equal a negative.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

You do employ fact checkers, don't you?

The Tom Watson story at the British Open is a great one. The reporting on it, not so much.

"Standing on the edge of the fairway, a marshal who had seen Watson work his magic at Turnberry for three decades whispered in his thick Scottish brogue, lost in time as he watched a 59-year-old champion leading the British Open."

This would be true if the marshal was talking into his shoe (especially if he were wearing ghillie brogues), but I kind of doubt that was the case.

So, for the record, the Irish accent has a "brogue," the Scottish accent (and some northern English accents) has a "burr."

Thank you for your attention.

Friday, July 17, 2009

This is why New Hampshire is great!!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

More good news?!

Yes, MORE good news!

I'm glad I'm not the only one

I happened up this, this morning:

Today's off to a good start!

Sunday, July 05, 2009

The "non-vitation"

Should this bother me?

About a week ago a very good friend of mine got in touch to say that he was going to be in town for the holiday and would I like to get together sometime between July 3 and July 7?

"Sure!" I said, "Just let me check my work schedule and I'll get back to you."

So I did.

I got in touch to say, "Hey! I have the 6th off, how does that work for you?"

It didn't.

And here's why-

Turns out that "sometime between July 4 and July 7" plays out like this:

July 3: Actually, that's a travel/arrival day, so that didn't work.
July 4: Well, that's the holiday itself and the whole point of the trip, so that didn't work.
July 5: I had to work.
July 6: Oh, actually, "we already have plans for that day," so that's out.
July 7: That's departure/travel day, so that's out.

So, basically, there was one, non-negotiable day (July 5) and I had to work.

Now I know that there was nothing malicious behind this, but c'mon man, do a little homework.

Needless to say, I'll be doing something else on my day off tomorrow.

Friday, July 03, 2009

I really thought I'd covered this already

I'm positive I wrote a post on this topic a while back, but if I did, I can't find it now. Keeping that in mind, I hereby excuse the person who TALKED TO ME AT THE LAUNDROMAT TODAY!

People*, in how many ways do I have to make it clear to you that I do not want to make small talk with you while I do my laundry? Today I 1) was working on my laptop, 2) had my headphones in, and 3) had my back turned. And what do I hear over the music I'm listening to? "Beautiful weather today, isn't it?" The weather? You ignore all of my overtly anti-social behaviors to talk to me about the weather? THE WEATHER?!


*Obviously this policy does not apply to attractive young women, though I have yet to see one- ever!- at "Suds Your Duds."

Monday, June 29, 2009


No, no, I didn't find the orange knife.

I found something even MORE lost- the case for my sunglasses and the two pairs of replacement lenses that were in it!!

I've actually torn apart my apartment on two different occasions (but not in the last 6-8 months) looking for this case and it's contents...mainly because their the only pair of expensive sunglasses I've ever had and it was KILLING me to think that I'd lost half of what I'd paid for. I was convinced the case was in one of my backpacks and when they weren't, I gave up. Not just "gave up," I actually accepted that they were either a) gone or b) would eventually turn up and that there was no point in being upset about it anymore.

So, this morning I standing in the rain and digging through the dozen or so pockets in my golf bag looking for a tee, and there it was. Which means that the case has been in the trunk of my car since last summer. Oops.

My tent has also been in my trunk since Memorial Day '08- I think it's probably dry now.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Normally, I'm above this kind of stuff-but...

So, in the past week or so I've two pieces with which I am quite happy. I can't manage to bring myself to say "proud," but I think they are worth reading.

The first is for the website I helped co-found and for which I write on a regular basis. You can find this article here: It's kind of "newsy," and that's not the kind of thing I usually write, so the fact that it turned out as well as it did was a pleasant surprise.

The other is for a website where I am going to be a "guest writer" (or in the site's parlance, a "bartender") when I have the time. I think the piece exposes me as, well, "odd," but if you're here, reading this, you probably already know that about me. You can find it here:


A complaint

Today I had to go to three different stores before I could find the kind of toilet paper I wanted.

What has become of this country?

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

A Recap

1. Still no sign of the orange knife.
2. My birthday passed with little fanfare. A pox on the person who emailed me on the day on my birthday and didn't even mention it. A half-pox on the person who didn't mention it until after the fact.
3. Kudos to the person who got me a gift when he didn't have to- I never EVER expected anything.
4. I will be trying out my birthday crock pot this weekend.
5. I bought a fan.
6. Somebody else now reads this blog. By my count that means I have three "lurkers."
7. My co-workers gave me a delicious cake.
8. Smoked shoulder, on my birthday- really?
9. Looks like I'm going to TWO Red Sox games in August.
10. I am eating cookies.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Here's a Mystery

How on earth did I lose a BRIGHT ORANGE paring knife? And more importantly, if it is still somewhere in my apartment, how lethal of an injury am I going to suffer when I am unlucky enough to "find" it?

I'm going to replace it tomorrow (Friday), which means sometime this weekend, I'll find it.

Monday, June 08, 2009

This will come as news to NOBODY

Clearly, I haven't been around these parts as much as I have been for the last few years (has it really been "years?") and there's a good reason for that- I've been here:

It's been a lot of work- like adding and extra unpaid day to my regular work week- writing my little heart out, but I think it's been worth it. We've got a good little site going, a small but loyal readership, and we've even gotten some good "press" from others in the "blogosphere."

So, I'll still be here, just not as much as I used to be...

Thursday, June 04, 2009



I slept until noon today. I can't even remember the last time that happened that didn't involve me going to bed at 4 or 5am for some reason.

It was also 10 hours of uninterrupted sleep, something else that hasn't happened in ages.

Then again, I took a PUMMELING at work yesterday and I apparently can't get a second date to save my life!

So, I guess, a mixed week overall.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009




I'm back, all in one piece, and had a fine time.

Driving across Pennsylvania is boring- but I knew that. Driving across Ohio is even worse. Driving across Indiana? I think I was either asleep for that part or numb. Except for Hammond and Gary- yikes, I really wouldn't want to live in either of those places!

Chicago...might be a cool city. I'll need to go back and spend a bit more time. Kudos for the "open spaces" in the city- nice architecture, parks, fountains, statues, etc.

US Cellular Field, home of the White Sox. Weak. Very weak. No "neighborhood" atmosphere, generic park inside and

I did get to hear multiple live bagpipe songs, though, and that was all kinds of awesome.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Reporting Back

Okay, so the potential big news is, well, taking a bit longer to develop than I thought it might, but it is developing.

On a wholly unrelated topic, I'm going to predict here and now that there will be exactly one person not related to me who will remember my birthday approximately a month from now.

I even know who that non-related person will be.

I'm not criticizing anyone, I'm just sayin'...

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Stay tuned...

I may have some very interesting news late tomorrow night, or perhaps Friday morning.

We'll see.

In the meantime, I recommend that you do not rent "Body of Lies."

Thursday, May 07, 2009

What has two thumbs and LOVES new sneakers?


These are my new ZOOT Ultra Tempo+ triathlon sneakers. Trust me, they look even better in person. There also built to be worn without socks, to drain away water, and to be put on and tightened with one hand. I'm not planning on competing in any triathlons, but now that indoor soccer is over, it's time to start running again and these are just the "motivation" that I'm going to need!

Sunday, May 03, 2009


Okay, so, there's some updates on the last few posts:

The Birthday "thing": It's a go. The date is set. Everyone is confirmed, and at least two of the three attendees now seem to have some degree of enthusiasm for it. Now I just wish it wasn't so far away!

Anger Management: A little better. Not much, but I'm not walking around one degree below the boiling point on a daily basis, just kind of "simmering."

The Proclaimers Concert: I have a solid "maybe" from somebody. I'm going to have to work on this by exerting some gentle pressure.

And finally, I've got a BUNCH of things to look forward to in the next few weeks- the concert, two different birthday parties (one I want to go to and one I feel obliged to go to), and a trip to Chicago on Memorial Day Weekend- woo hoo!!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

93 degrees on April 28

This is just uncalled for.

Thankfully, it is not humid.

And it's going to cool down tonight.

Friday, April 17, 2009

"Parks and Recreation"

Wow. This show is just not funny AT ALL.

I love Amy Poehler, but I haven't even cracked a smile after two episodes, never mind actually laughing.

Very disappointing.

A Question I Never Thought I'd Have A Reason To Ask

Why is it that every movie made in the mid-1970's has the look of a CBS "Movie of the Week?"

Is it something about the era? The technology available at the time? The horrible fashions?

I've watched two movies in the last week with actors who NEVER seem to give a bad performance- Richard Widmark and Gene Hackman- and I could barely sit through them.

I guess it's back to black and white movies for me.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

This is responsible for at least SOME of the anger

Since the new year- maybe even since last fall- I've been trying to get four people (two friends and two relatives) to join me in celebrating a rather important birthday I have coming up this summer.

I've selected a place (which will be totally free to them once they arrive), a time (which I've basically allowed them to choose so that it will be convenient for them- not me!), I will be doing as much of the driving- and there's quite a bit- possible, and absorbing about 99% of the cost and the planning... and all four of them are still waffling.


The shortest amount of time I've known any of the four is almost ten years, the most? Almost 35!

Here's the breakdown:

Person #1: Says he'll definitely be there, but is being painfully slow about committing to the dates. I believe he will be there, but c'mon already!

Person #2: Generally ignores the parts of my e-mails when I talk about this subject- and this is the person I mentioned this to last fall so that he would have every chance (he has a lot of responsibilities at work and home as well as a family to consider) to make time for it.

Person #3: I'm sure he will be there, but thus far his outward expression of interest could best be described as "tepid."

Person #4: Says he can probably be there, and probably will be (again, I've been SUPER accommodating about the dates because of his schedule), but given how long I've given him, he needs to say, "YES! I will be there, I have confirmed that I can get a few days off!!"

I'm fairly confident that things will work out, and I'm sure that I'm taking this WAY to personally, but at the same time-

Do I really mean this little to all of you?

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Two Questions

1. I have two tickets to see the Proclaimers on May 14...with whom shall I go?

2. What the hell is going on with me?! For about the last month I have just been incredibly angry. Not at anyone or anything particular, but I just seem to walk around all day on the verge of boiling over. Little things that normally wouldn't even register with me threaten to send me over the edge. Lately I've had to always keep in the front of my mind, with whom I am talking or what setting I am in. Frankly, it's kind of troubling.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Yesterday was Opening Day

Today it was snowing when I walked out of the grocery store.

Can it please be Spring now?

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

It's Opening Day!!

And the Red Sox just won!

My "weekend" is off to a great start!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009


Scotland and Iceland play tomorrow at Hampden Park in Glasgow.

I was supposed to be there.


Saturday, March 28, 2009

I declare today a "draw" far!

Today was a jam-packed sports day for me, no less than five sporting events are/will take place in which I have a vested interest.

First, Ross County FC drew with Dundee thanks to a last minute free kick. Barring some sort of late season collapse, County will remain in the SFL First Division next year- and that's a good thing.

Then, the UNH Wildcats hockey team tied their NCAA tournament game with North Dakota State with only .3 seconds left in regulation, then won the game 45 seconds into sudden death overtime.

Next, Scotland were drubbed by the Dutch 3-0 in Amsterdam (crap).

So, that's a win, a loss, and a draw, for an aggregate "draw" so far.

Still to come, the New England Revolution face the New York Red Bulls and the USMNT faces El Salvador in a World Cup 2010 qaulifier.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Today's Free Advice

If somebody uses the word "scripture," RUN AWAY!

Friday, March 20, 2009

How does this happen?

Thus far in my film viewing life I've avoided watching the 1978 remake of The Big Sleep.

The 1946 original starring Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall was so good I couldn't imagine a remake being anything but bad.

I was wrong- it's worse than that.

The only thing good about it is that it follows Raymond Chandler's book a little more closely than the original- except that it's set in England in the 1970s!

Where do I even start?

Robert Mitchum, an outstanding actor and an icon from the heyday of film noir plays Philip Marlowe- sort of. He's too old for the part, his voice is too deep and gravely, and his diction is not clipped in the way that Chandler's writing (and Bogart's earlier performance) was.

Jimmy Stewart- my favorite actor ever- has a few minutes of screen time as "General Sternwood." I'm not going to say much about his performance because I know from several other sources that he was already suffering from the onset of dementia/Alzheimer's Disease when the movie was filmed.

The Sternwood sisters- who are one of the best parts of the original movie- look like refugees from Studio 54, and the younger of the two, Camilla, is played as though she is developmentally disabled.

Joan Collins also has a small part in the film...ugh.

Lastly, and perhaps most disappointingly, one of my favorite scenes in the original movie- the book store scene between Bogart and Dorothy Malone- isn't even in this movie.

For shame.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

I guess you just never know

I'm reading a book- a novel- that I'm enjoying very much.

It was originally written under a pseudonym in 1961, but it was recently republished under the author's real name. That name?

E. Howard Hunt

Yup, the guy who went to prison for almost three years as a result of his role in Watergate.

I should have serious misgivings about reading it...but I don't.

Friday, March 13, 2009

My Apologies

I'm very busy at the moment and as a result, I've been neglecting my duties here. I'm not sure when things are going to slow down, but I'm sure they will eventually, and when they do, I'll be back.

Reading an excellent book, by the way, it's called Drood and it's by Dan Simmons. I'd explain it to you, but if I did it would set off nerd alarms from here to Tierra del Fuego.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Citi Stock Drops under $1.00/share

I could explain why I feel this way, but I'm not going to:

Karma, enjoy.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Economy Hits Home

My little brother lost his job.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

How to treat a broken toe.

1. Scream a very bad word, very loudly.
2. Finish game.
3. Go home.
4. Go back and play on Tuesday.

*if it turns pretty colors I'll post a picture tomorrow.

Listen up IDIOTS!!

"Piqued" and "peaked" have different meanings.

Your "interest" is piqued, not peaked...unless you mean it has reached it's highest point, and we both know that's not what you mean.

It's your native language- LEARN IT!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

I can't believe it's been three years.

Tho' cruel fate should bid us part,
Far as the pole and line,
Her dear idea round my heart,
Should tenderly entwine.
Tho' mountains, rise, and deserts howl,
And oceans roar between;
Yet, dearer than my deathless soul,
I still would love my Jean.


Monday, February 09, 2009


A Presidential News Conference that doesn't make me feel stabby.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009


I am currently reading a short story by Cornell Woolrich called "Angel Face."

The level of writing in it is astounding. I cannot ever remember feeling breathless after reading something. Last night I had to set it aside because I was getting so worked up over it.

Get your hands on it if you can.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Who's Worse?

  • The Fray
  • O.A.R.
  • Snow Patrol
  • Jason Mraz

Ohhhhh, sorry, it's a trick question. They are all inexcusably bad.

The Literary SMACKDOWN!

I've never been a huge fan of Stephen King's books (though my best friend loves his work, especially the "Dark Tower" series!), I've liked his movies a bit better ("Stand by Me" was very good and "The Shawshank Redemption" is as good a movie as has ever been made), but today he won me over.

Apparently he was asked what he thought of the "Twilight" books by Stephenie Meyer and his response was that she "can't right worth a darn."


I can almost hear thousands of of tweens crying into their journals/diaries/MySpace pages.

ps: He's also a diehard Sox fan, so he's always got that in his favor where I'm concerned.

Monday, February 02, 2009

I almost forgot a birthday!

My super-duper snazzy and bad ass Darth Vader MacBook is a year old today!

Tax Refunds

I did my taxes on Friday.

I should have both of my refunds within 8-14 days.

So why is my patience already gone?

When my money does get here my plans for it include:
  • Paying bills (isn't it fun to be an adult!?)
  • Laying in supplies for the coming year, basically anything that can be bought cheap, in bulk, and won't spoil. Basically, everything from soap to rice.
  • A little somethin' for myself. This will include a new pair of turf shoes, some finishing touches from IKEA for my "new" kitchen, new pillows for my bed, and maybe a few other small things.
At least all the bill paying will allow me to go to Florida again in the February, so that's nice.

Another reason to love soccer

The European "transfer window" closed today.

One move made was that Northern Ireland international Willo Flood joined Celtic (the club he followed as a child) from Dundee United.

At his conference he was asked what he thought about the move- his response was that he could never have imagined playing for his boyhood club and he was excited that he it was the first time he hadn't had to pay $80 for a Celtic shirt.

I'm not sure why I'm posting this

So, what the hell, let's discuss the women (not necessarily "relationships")who have come and gone in the last few decades. I will, in an attempt to be somewhat discrete about their identities use numbers instead of initials or names.

1. We held hands (and may have kissed- I guess I should remember one way or the other!) in a stairwell at a middle school dance. When I saw you at my 20th reunion last summer it was shocking how poorly you had aged. You need to take better care of yourself.

2. All I really remember about you is your name and that my little brother mentioned that you had a big butt. You did. Not that there is anything wrong with that.

3. You were my first serious girlfriend (it lasted about a year...?). You're a wonderful person and you looked great at our 20th, but I know why we broke up, you're about 1% away from being mentally ill.

4. were a couple of years younger than me...cute...and a horrible kisser- really, really bad. I broke up with you because I was pretty sure you were cheating on me (you were). I dumped you over the weekend and was dating your best friend by Monday afternoon. THAT is why you don't mess with me.

5. I should have dated you instead of your friend from the very beginning- you were more fun and a much nicer person. I'm not sure why we broke up- me going to college maybe?

6. We worked together briefly, you were friends with *****. We did bad things together and they were fun.

7. You offered me a ride home from ****** one evening and that led to a few months of daytime rendezvous at my house and nighttime ones in your hatchback. Good fun and nobody got hurt!

8. It was doomed from the start- and I think that was part of the attraction. Still, I should have been nicer when it ended.

9. You were friends with the same person as #6 and I never, EVER, liked you and if you hate me for it, well, good.

9. You a friend of a girl in my dorm and you were my first "one night stand" and that was because you were crazy- and not in a good way. You only reinforced that by showing up at my house unannounced one summer evening- even though I'd never even told you what town I was from, much less my address. Creepy.

10. Easily the most beautiful person I've ever seen naked, in person. Unfortunately, that didn't matter because you're also the most shallow person I've ever met. Sure, I wonder what I might have missed, but it wouldn't have been worth the compromise.

11. You are a fundamentally decent person, have a great family that I liked a lot, and I never should have married you. I hope you found somebody you could be yourself with and/or dealt with your issues.

12. Second and last one night stand, but we both knew that was all it was going to be, and it was great for what it was. That only one person ever found out was great as well- because it destroyed him and he deserved it! I will never watch Jeopardy or a presidential debate without smiling.

13. You were the best thing that ever happened to me. You weren't perfect and you made mistakes. Unfortunately, I was less perfect and made more, bigger mistakes. I regret them all. We're still in touch and you seem to, at least on some level, have forgiven me for some of it and I'm thankful for that.

14. If it had all happened in a "bubble," it might have been fine. It wasn't going anywhere, but it was intense. Too bad it ruined so much for so many people.

15. There was probably too much in the way of it actually going anywhere, but I only connected with one other woman on this list as much as I did with you. You just kind of disappeared, which on some level, I can understand. I just hope you found peace of mind- you deserve it.

16. Is it wrong that I think you could have handled it with a little more class and compassion? It was your idea after all. A sincere explanation could probably set a lot of things right even at this late date, but I'm not holding my breath.

Wow! That list was a lot longer than I thought it was going to be!

Free Advice

Tonight I stumbled on a television station in the MTV family that was actually showing videos. I know, I know, amazing.

Here's a little tip, though:

If you are a hip hop artiste, a "rapper," if you will, it is a bad idea to feature a "guest" artist in your video who is a better rapper than you.

The only thing worse is if that guest is one of the, oh, top five MCs ever.

Not smart.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Racing again...

Saturday I will be running my second 5K road race- it was originally scheduled for December 15, but the ice storm caused it to be postponed.

I thought I might take a moment to lay out my excuses for running poorly beforehand:

  1. Work, weather, and an injury have kept me from running for most of the month (though I have been playing soccer at least twice a week for the last three weeks.
  2. I have a cold/sore throat.
  3. It's going to be cold.
  4. My lower back has been giving me problems for about a week.
  5. My left hamstring and quad have been injured for the last month.
My guess is that #5 will be the biggest problem.

I'm just kind of hoping to finish.

We'll see.

Sunday, January 25, 2009


Where's my W-2!?

Friday, January 23, 2009

Do yourself a favor

Go read this.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Monday, January 19, 2009

You know...

...too often I complain that nobody reads this blog. And now, there are two things I'd like to write about at length and I'm suddenly worried about who might read my blog! One of the topics is relatively harmless, but the other... I don't think I could make it vague enough not to hurt anyone's feelings.

We'll see.

At the moment, I'll just continue to enjoy knowing that there will be a new president in 16 hours.

Friday, January 16, 2009


One does not "obtain" a goal, one "achieves" a goal.

A goal is an object. If one "obtains" a goal, I hope one is then planning on kicking a soccer ball into it or shooting a hockey puck into it.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Today in musical snobbery

The fact that Matthew Sweet did not become a pop/rock star of epic proportions could not be a greater indictment of the average American's lack of music taste and lazy listening habits.

Don't believe me?

Listen to "Girlfriend" and "100% Fun," they are PHENOMENALLY BETTER than any other albums released during the 1990s and as good as any album released since rock and roll began in the mid-1950s.

I have spoken.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Credit where credit is due

I hate to say it, but running on a regular basis made my return to indoor soccer tonight a pleasant surprise.

That said, I will never, EVER choose to run when I have the option of playing soccer of any kind.

Oh, and by the way, 40 may be fast approaching, but I still got it!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Attention People of Earth


I thought I hated people who talked loudly on cellphones in public or while driving, and I do- but apparently not as much as the wandering zombies that are texters.

Today, one of these evolutionary laggards walked right into a crosswalk as I approached it in my car. She never looked to see if any car was coming in either direction, she never lifted her head from her phone, she just took a left off the sidewalk and into the street.

Next time, I'm not slowing down.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Oh. Right.

Happy New Year and all that.

Kinda busy at the moment.

Talk to you later.