Tuesday, September 29, 2009

going, going, gone? well, there y'go...


turns out it was "beautiful woman walking down the street day" in white plains, new york. if i would've known i would've worn a better shirt. or a tuxedo, or something. i clean up nicely, so i've been told. i don't know if any of that would have given me the confidence to do anything more than i did to celebrate this holiday, but it probably couldn't have hurt.

i'm not at all the guy with a hundred pick up lines. they always sound cheesy to me. and whenever i think of something to say to someone i think is someone i'd like to say something to... i'm afraid it's going to sound like a really cheesy pick up line. and i naturally assume this particular someone has just spent half her day hearing one pick up line after another. and i don't want to come across as annoying.

so i usually keep quiet.

i kept quiet when i saw the ridiculously gorgeous blond at the train station. and i kept quiet when i saw her again a few minutes later across from the italian restaurant. i kept quiet when i was riding on the escalator with the brown eyed girl in black jeans, and felt even more justified in my silence when she rolled those eyes at the dude who looked her up and down.

BUT!!! then i saw a woman walking out of barnes and noble carrying four coffees and something that might have been a scone. i rushed over to see if i could grab the door for her, but not only did she get there quicker than i did, she held the door open for me.

the open door was my open door.

"that's pretty impressive," i said, "i was actually going to see if i could hold the door open for you!"

she was even more ridiculously gorgeous than the ridiculously gorgeous blond. very petite-- couldn't have been more than five feet tall. a natural beauty. with gentle eyes, and a sly, sweet smile.

"aww, thanks!" she said, "and you're a steelers fan!"

"yeah!" i said, "are you a steelers fan, too?"

"no, but, i like your hat!"

"well, there y'go!"





.......and that was it. that was all i could think to say! nothing else. nothing else at all. or, y'know, nothing that wouldn't have made me sound like a dumbass. i kept circling around my brain hoping i'd come up with something-- ANYthing other than, "football's cool!" or "you pretty!" but that was it. that was all i had. that was all my stupid brain would allow. so i just decided to stick with, "well, there y'go!" i think i said it three times as we stood there, nodding our heads. and then i cleverly added "have a good night!" thus officially putting a simultaneous end to both the conversation and the potential of future smoochings.

good one, ryan.

it was exACTly like the scene in the movie 'knocked up' when seth rogan first meets katherine heigl. he makes her laugh, and she introduces herself, and he says, "hey i'm ben." but she's so pretty, and he's such a schlub that they just leave it at that. "okay, well, take care!" ...except, of course, in the movie, he has jason segel by his side to encourage him to start that conversation back up again.

who did i have? my stupid brain. twenty minutes & a half a mile down the road later, it said, "ooh! i know what you should've asked her! 'so, if you don't like the steelers, who's your team?' she might have said, 'the jets' or 'the giants' or whoever-- didn't matter! you know football inside and out! you could have kept that conversation going for HOURS!!! ooh, ooh! OR!!! you know what ELSE you could have said??? oh, this would have been SO GREAT!!! it would've swept her off her feet..."

(sigh)... good one, brain.

i talked to my friend, the catwoman, about all this, and she confirmed the worst. that, yes, "in womanspeak, hat = ass. you blew it." but she also said that there were other fish in the sea. and sharks and squid. piranha and barnacles.

but i'm going to sleep well tonite, because i've made up my mind that, even though i didn't notice a ring, she was probably married. and that's who she was carrying all that coffee for. her husband. and he was 7' 3. and he needed all that caffeine because he was a mixed martial arts fighter. and he was preparing for his next fight with randy couture. except, he was just about to receive a phone call from randy's trainer saying that randy had a bum knee and had to withdraw. and that would've made him angry. really angry. because he was ready to pound someone. especially randy couture. because his wife had once held the door open for randy. and complimented his hat.

the five things i fell in love with today...

1) seth rogan.
2) my coworker split her pants today. and i can't remember how she said she did it. all i remember is her saying, "it wasn't because i farted!!!" which... the more i think about it, is incredibly intriguing.
3) the catwoman. one of my best friends of alltime. and --i'm sorry, folks-- but THE funniest person i've ever met.
4) the guy making an announcement on the train the other day, asking people to respect the passengers around them. he actually said this: "no one wants to hear your conversations. especially if you're loud and obnoxious."
5) scones.

song of the day...
"gone fishin' " by louis armstrong and bing crosby

movie of the day...
"knocked up"

Monday, September 28, 2009

muddy shoes, fights i've avoided & the struggle of gilbert...

the first things i saw, when i got on the train this afternoon, were the socks of a fellow passenger. his muddy shoes were on top of the seat next to him. thought that was pretty rude.

but, because i was able to hold my breath and quickly walk by, i wasn't nearly as annoyed at him as i was by the dude who sat behind me and kicked my seat for 20 minutes. why do people do that? has this never happened to him? does he not know how infuriating that is? or was he doing it on purpose, because i wasn't wearing a yankee cap? i don't get it.

i shot him a few looks, and considered asking him to stop, but that's always a risky maneuver. trust me, i know. after shushing a woman and her kid at a movie theater once, she rushed out of the room to get her husband to beat me up.

this is a true story. i haven't had to shush anyone at a theater in awhile, but i'd do it again. especially her. i would shush this woman any day of the week. i mean, it's one thing if you're whispering during a movie. making an effort to be considerate, y'know? or if you're talking just above a bird-like whisper because you're trying to explain the plot of the film to your blind, deaf and mentally disabled grandparent. that's slightly okay.


but this woman was having a full-blown conversation with her perfectly healthy kid. and she was so loud that she was drowning out hugh jackman! i shushed and i shushed, and i wasn't the only one. six rows of people hated this woman. finally-- and i never do this-- i walked out of the theater to get security.

i walked back in and gave her my best, "m'hm! now you're gonna GET it!" look, but security never came. and she kept talking. and talking. and, after that, she was talking. eventually, i'd had enough. i just walked over to her and said-- louder than hugh-- "would you PLEASE just SHUT UP?!?!?!"

that's when she took off. in a huff. security came about three minutes later, and i said, "it's okay, she left." lol, like i was one of them, y'know? "it's alright, boys, we nearly had ourselves a four-sixteen, 12-oh-niner, but i took care of it."

"would you come with me, sir?"

they were cool about it. i think it must have been clear to everyone in the lobby that this woman, and her steroid-inflicted husband, were both a bit out of their coconuts. so we just stood there for awhile talking about how rude people are sometimes. and then they gave me a free ticket to come back and see the movie again another day, and snuck me out of the building through the employee exit. which made me feel like a rock star. with an entourage.

but i am amazed at how rude people can be.

back to today. when i got off the train, i headed over to target, because i needed to pick up a few things, and... well, i had to pee. and their bathrooms are sparkly. as opposed to the facilities in the galleria mall of white plains.

("galleria" --as some of you may know-- is actually a latin word meaning, "we never clean our toilets.")

i thought i could make it, but, hey. when y'gotta go, y'gotta go. and the galleria mall is much closer.

because i know some of you read this while eating a late night snack, i won't go into details about the state of things in that room. but i will tell you that while i was washing my hands (profusely), a man in a suit came in-- stood right next to me, and began a furious struggle with his facial blemish.

it was more gross than fascinating, but it was fascinating nonetheless. like something out of the discovery channel. man vs. zit: gilbert before the big job interview.

all in all, though, it was just something i didn't really need to see. nothing to call security about, but it would've been nice to see those guys toss gilbert out on his arse. i'm sure, whenever he's on a train, gilbert kicks the backs of people's seats, too.

the five things i fell in love with today...

1) the thought that one day hugh jackman will gain 500 pounds. because then i can call him huge assman.
2) ken burns. watched his new documentary on pbs last night-- "national parks: america's best idea". just unbelievably well done and beautiful.
3) we have this little girl in our classroom who should have been named joy. literally every single thing you do (except clean her nose) is a reason for her to smile. and it's not just a regular smile. it's like a cartoon character's smile. just picture the widest grin you've ever seen and multiply it by twelve. and then add three. and that's joy. it's the sweetest thing.
4) refrigerator magnets.
5) the thought that someone reading this will actually turn to a friend and/or loved one and say, "hey! did you know that 'galleria' is a latin word that means 'we never clean our toilets'?"

song of the day...
"i kicked a boy" by the sundays

movie of the day...
"the prestige"

Thursday, September 24, 2009

eharmony royalty...

i was just casually browsing through my eharmony matches, and found this very interesting woman from south carolina. she's not really from south carolina, but i'm trying, for reasons that will soon become apparent, to hide her identity in as many ways as possible. an example...

"tonite, eharmony was kind enough to match me up with an alpaca farmer from south carolina by the name of trampy."

now, her name isn't really trampy, but... it might as well be. for, if i were in charge of putting a caption underneath the six pictures trampy decided to share with her potential suitors, it would go... a lil summin' like this:

1) hello! i'm a very sweet woman who loves to laugh!
2) AND i am also a ho!
3) annnnnnd, here are my boobs!
4) might i interest you in my bed?
5) did i mention i was a ho?
6) ho! ho! ho!

lol, it was pretty unbelievable.

i couldn't help myself, i had to go onto her page and see where trampy was coming from-- if, for no other reason, to come to a better understanding of why exactly mr. harmony decided to set us up.

turns out, she loves her family, because they "thaught me generososity empathy".

the first thing you'll notice about trampy? "loyale,sincery,honest,funny peerson.hard worker,carryng, lovely,interested person".

she loves to read, and particularly enjoyed the "Magic JOHSON BOOK".

and what is it that trampy is looking for in a person? (ahem)...

"Im strong faithul person, Im looking for a serious and deep re-lastionhip.This special person who is ready to be commited. Im honest, sincery and know what Im looking For. Im not here for a game.Im looking something more than to have sex. Please you are not ready to be commited don;t writte me because Im serious of my choice ,And i want to have my own family and my own kids. THis person who can love me and I can love him back,, Im not looking or cheater person.and Im free to be spend a lottime with him on the week end, he will treat me as a queen and I as a King"

...honest to pete, i just read that paragraph aloud three times, and i couldn't do it without sounding remarkably like steve carell's character from 'bruce almighty' when jim carrey messed up his teleprompter: "i... lika da doo... da cha cha...?"

but, really, trampy sounds like an interesting person, and she truly might be a sweet girl, but i don't think she's for me. because, while i do admit to being a touch crazy, i'm not quite ready to be commited just yet.

and i don't know what a re-lastionhip is. or why she might be looking for a serious and deep one.

nor do i know who magic JOHSON is. and i probably don't want to read his BOOK.

and, while i'd like to meet a funny peerson as much as the next loyale,lovely,hard worker, i remain a bit confused as to what she might be so interested in. and what she might be carryng.

also... i'm not sure about how i would treat her if we ever met. i mean, sure, on the week end, i'm free to be spend a lottime with her, too, but would i be expected to treat her like a queen AND a king? or just a queen? or just a king? or just a king during the week ends, and a queen during the week days? or the reverse of that? should i buy her a tiara? or a scepter? or both? i really didn't get that.

and i want to. i really want to, because, again, while i'm not interested in trampy for myself, i respect someone who is not looking or cheater person. and i thaught someone like that should find another not looking or cheater person to call their own. and so i was thaughnking that maybe trampy should be more clear as to what type of royalty she would like to be treated as. and when... she would like to be treated as such. because... oh, i dunno, forget it. it was just a thaught.

wow, i really hope trampy never reads this. i think i may have overdone it a bit.

trampy...? bless your heart, if indeed you are reading this, i apologize. and i apologize sincery.

the five things i fell in love with today...

1) i just googled "ion hip", and it gave me 2,330,000 results. then i googled "re-last ion hip" and it gave me 55,700 results. and THEN i googled "i'm looking for a serious and deep re-last ion hip" and it said, "dude! what the hell???"
2) i saw 'the wizard of oz' on the big screen last night with the smart lady. such a fun night, such a classic film!
3) saw some great tv tonite! 'flash forward', 'the office' and 'community'! REALLY, really good writing!
4) conviction: if i ever have kids, there's no way i'm putting a leash on him. blech.
5) eharmony. most of the people i've met-- either online or in person-- have been really wonderful. and, i meant what i said about "trampy". maybe she really is sweet. i just kind of hated the way she put herself out there.

i mean, i know i make a bunch of typos, but i try to make as many corrections as i can, y'know? she could NOT have been making her best effort there, right? and, sheesh, years from now, when my grand kids ask me what the first thing was that i noticed about grandma, i don't want to have to say to them, "cleavage."

song of the day...
"do you realize??" by the flaming lips

movie of the day...
"bruce almighty" the scene i mentioned above is still one of the funniest things i've ever seen on film. "and my tiny little nipples went to france... uhm, uh..." HA!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

God is a damn good painter.

i've been delaying the topic of this blog for about a day and a half now, because i didn't know how to say it without sounding like a moron. i figured i'd sit on it for awhile, wait on some inspiration to click, and then i could get it all out.

but, no.

didn't happen.

so, i'm winging it.

wish me luck.

when i was a freshman in college, i was taking a walk on campus with a friend of mine named bob (not his actual name). this was right around dusk, on the night before our classes began, and we found ourselves talking about our futures. how excited we were about whatever the next four years would hold, and how terrified we were about the same thing.

and then the stars came out.

and, y'know, this is the craziest thing, but i had never actually looked at them before. i mean, i'd looked at the stars-- i've always loved to look at the stars. but i had never actually looked at them while they were coming out. and i was just amazed.

it sounds funny, i guess, but it had never dawned on me that the stars came out the way they did. one by one. slowly. like they were taking their time, you know? like they were backstage at a show, and God was there, directing them as to where and when they were to make their entrances.

and it really touched my heart. i thought, y'know, i mean, He's God, right? if He wanted to, He could have just plopped the stars in the sky like something out of a monty python flick: "(DOINK!) there y'go. stars. I'm going to bed. zzzzzzzzzzzzz."

but, something about it seemed so deliberate. as if He were lovingly creating this display every single night, whether there was an audience for it or not. and that night, i felt like i had a front row seat. and all my fears about the future seemed a lot smaller.

i was thinking about this yesterday, as i was walking to the train station. one of the very (very) few advantages of being awake and outside at 6:30 in the morning is the way the sky will sometimes greet you. and yesterday was like that. it was like something forrest gump was telling jenny about toward the end of the movie. pink and blue skies, like a mural on the wall of a baby's nursery.

God is a damn good painter.

when someone asks me, "if you say you believe in God, then why is there so much pain in the world?" i always think the opposite. "if there's not a God, then why is there so much beauty?"

and i know that sounds corny, and i know that makes me sound naive and a bit moronic. believe me, when my mom passed away a few years back, the last thing in my heart and mind was, "it's okay, because God made rainbows."

but i'm telling you, whenever i take the time to appreciate the things He's created, i can feel God's love. i can feel His warmth. i can feel His mercy, and i can feel His grace.

it is absolutely devastating.

the five things i fell in love with today...

1) God (again).
2) having a card in my wallet that says (something like), "ryan martin: asst. teacher at a child care center." i'm always making silly faces at kids on escalators, and i know one of these days a parent is going to have a problem with it. but now i'm prepared. i'll just whip out the card and tell them, "it's okay, ma'am. i'm a trained professional."
3) i just heard today that one of my favorite bands --a crazily good blues duet called the black keys-- is going to make an album with some of my favorite rappers!!!!!!!!!! ludacris, q-tip, mos def!!!!!!!!! can. not. WAIT!!!!
4) death cab for cutie: "pretend that every slot machine is a robot amputee waving hello." genius.
5) the funny thing about the "stars coming out" story was me immediately rambling on and on about it-- this profound, insightful, poignant moment in my life-- only to turn around to see bob peeing in the middle of the soccer field. lol, he was like, "yeah, man, that's cool. stars, dude."

ahh, college.

song of the day...
"happy where you are" by chance of rain

movie of the day...
"american beauty"

Sunday, September 20, 2009

"that's what she said"

if you haven't seen the tv show 'the office' you're really missing out on some good stuff. it has one of the best casts on television and the writers are nothing short of superb. how else do you explain what is essentially a pretty dumb joke being so damn funny for six years and counting?

steve carell plays michael scott. basically the world's worst boss. with the world's worst sense of humor. for years, he's continued this running joke in which he hears something that might sound vaguely like an innuendo, and saying, "that's what she said" after it.

an example...

"oh my gosh! that's HUGE!"
"that's what she said."

immature? absolutely.
hysterical? yes.

we've had a lot of fun with it at work over the past few months. wrote a list which we put near "the hall of fame." we're big with writing things down.

anyway... i thought i'd share what we had so far. yes, we have actually heard people say these things. but names have been withdrawn to protect the innocent. but mostly because i'm on here more than once.

remember, to play along at home, all you have to do is say "that's what she said" after every one of these quotes. good times.

"well, i had a big one last thursday."

"we have to make sure that thing doesn't pop out tonite."

"okay, now it's getting stiffer."

"you know what's overwhelming about your thing?"

"that's a big chopstick y'got there!"

"now we're going to learn how to grasp the tip."

"well, that is a big chunk of wood."

"it's hard and it's big so you really have to suck on it."

"he got a lot of penetration in the backfield."

"i don't like the soft ones."

"do you want me to hold it while you slide it in?"

"look at the snake! it's so big!"

"i have to go downstairs because that's where my box is. it's dark down there."

"whenever you get inside the hole, i don't remember it lasting more than five minutes."

the five things i fell in love with today...

1) steve carell
2) jenna fischer
3) john krasinsky
4) rainn wilson
5) ed helms

song of the day...
"the big guns" by jenny lewis w/ the watson twins

movie of the day...
"8 mile"

Saturday, September 19, 2009

"is sticks a shape?" hall of fame blog, part three...

just when you thought it was safe...

here's another hall of fame blog!

but, before you dig in, i'd just like to point something out. upon further review, i noticed tonite that, when i wrote down a previous entry into the hall of fame (the original document, not the blog), i misspelled the word "octopus."

this had to be a year and a half ago...? and i just noticed it tonite.

so, there it is, friends-- more evidence that the infamous "smart lady" is not the only contributer to this great hall.


and yikes.

anyway... enjoy!

"i can't speak today. i sound like yoga."

"we have to work on your oral/odor skills."

"c'mon, kids, let's sit down! crisscross crapplesauce!"

"ouch! this spalsa is sicey!"

"remember what shapes we used to make our dredels? triangles, squares and sticks! ...wait, is sticks a shape?"

"i think i'm getting a brain asthma-rism."

"i don't know, i think he has dyslexia of the brain."

"my tongue feels hot today."

"friday happened on friday."

"hey, did you tooken the, uhm..."

"look at how close my thigh is to my heart!"

"it's not messy. it's just piles of things."

"i need to go to the dental visit."

another smart lady: "scottish people say 'top of the morning, right?' "
me: "irish people."
another smart lady: "oh. what kind of accent do irish people have? oh...... an irish accent."

"without water, the ocean animals would not live."

"i had to fire extinguish it."

"what was it? the steel drum? the banjo? ......the BONGOS! yeah ...bongos."

"j.r.r. tolkien! yes! from 'the lord of the flies'!"

"that's weird. that clock is way off. says it's 3 o'clock, but... oh... uhm, no, actually, it says 12:15, doesn't it?"

"OW!!! ...i just took a deep breath, and the snot went right into my brain! ....it REALLY hurts!!!"

the five things i fell in love with today...

1) i think we have enough material to have a hall of fame blog, part 4.
2) i saw 15 kids at a bus stop yesterday morning. this made me feel really, really, really good. i can't even tell you how many times i've been late for work in the past, because i was stuck behind a bus in mt. kisco that would stop at EVERY freakin' house on the street. every house!!! urgh, God forbid a 16 year old kid has to walk twenty extra steps to get to his neighbor's curb.


3) usc lost today!!! w'hoooooooo!!! i guess bill withers put the hex on their receivers? i haven't seen the highlights yet, but i'm betting that's what happened. made them look like they had his grandma's hands! m'hm...
4) :) someone told me something cool last night, but i'm sworn to secrecy. it won't affect many of you at all, but it made me happy!
5) tonite, because of me, my spell checker learned the word, "crapplesauce."

song of the day...
"lovely day" by bill withers (if you don't already own it, run out and get his greatest hits cd! he's fantastic!)

movie of the day...
"the lord of the rings: the fellowship of the ring"

Friday, September 18, 2009

taking drastic measures to lose weight...

first, the good news! according to the scale at work, i lost TWO POUNDS this week!!! w'hoooooooooo!!!

the bad news? the scale at work is a liar. i know this because right before i weighed in, i heard it whisper, "oh, bless his heart."

it knew that i'd gone to burger king three times this week. it knew that my breakfast tuesday morning included more than one piece of salt water taffy. and it knew about all the ice cream i had for dessert on wednesday evening... and for dinner last night.

it's a compassionate scale. and while i do appreciate its sympathy, i would also like to take this time to send it this public reminder: the road to obesity is paved with good intentions.

y'know, this happens to me a lot-- about every fourth or fifth time i order a coke at a restaurant somewhere, the waiter will say to me, "okay, you said, 'DIET coke'?"

and when i tell them, again, that i asked for a regular coke, they'll usually shoot me this slightly stunned look, as if they want to say, "really?! are you... are you sure you're not on a diet? because... i gotta tell ya, jabba, when i saw you waddle on in here, i didn't think there was a CHANCE that seat was gonna support your fat ass."

i don't tip those waiters. or pay the bill, actually. don't let the belly fool you, i'm quite swift. never met a manager of an applebees that i couldn't outrun.

anyway... all this to say that the previous seven paragraphs should be enough motivation for me to lose weight, but it doesn't seem to be working. i've not fallen completely off the wagon, but i am starting to lose my grip a little bit.

i set an ambitious goal a month or two ago to weigh in at 180 pounds by the end of the year. to get there at this point would mean losing 3.328 pounds a week, which isn't... terribly out of the realm of possibility but, from what i hear, isn't exactly healthy either.

so, here's the new goal. i want to lose two pounds a week-- two pounds, according to the scale in my apartment (the cold-hearted, sans-mercy, but bitterly truthful bastard that she is). there are 15 more weeks until the end of 2009, so that's 30 pounds. i would be very proud of losing 30 pounds.

of course, i would have been proud to lose 30 pounds six months ago, or a year ago, and so on, and so on, which begs the question, why is this time going to be different? and it's a fair question that deserves a serious answer. sadly, all i can tell you is this: it will be different this time because of facial hair.

my friends... if i do not lose thirty pounds before friday, january 1st, 2010... i will grow a mustache.

now, this might seem silly to a lot of you, but that's only because it's really, really dumb. still, and believe me when i tell you this, it's impossible-- IMPOSSIBLE-- to describe how ridiculous i look with a mustache. i'm no authority on the topic of gay porn stars from the 1970s, but i do think that's pretty much what my face looks like in a mustache. except, if i don't lose those 30 pounds, i'll look a good deal like phillip seymor hoffman's character in 'boogie nights'.

so, there it is. not all that long ago, at my largest, i was 235 pounds. this morning i was 226.6. and i have 196.6 pounds in my sights!!!


(author's note to the good-lookin' single ladies who happen to be reading this-- don't be alarmed when you read 226.6 pounds!!! i'm actually 7 feet tall)

the five things i fell in love with today...

1) encouraging, caring friends who will not tempt me with chocolate and french fries just because they reeeeeeeeeeeally, really want to see how stupid i look in a mustache.
2) remembering before i walked out of the day care center to take the snow white sticker off my shirt. good times.
3) new car smell!!!! my homie got a new honda civic! congrats to her!!!
4) when i told the new car owner that she would probably make my blog tonite, she said, "because of my smell?" to which i replied, "uhm... yeah, sort of."
5) outsmarting my enemies: wait-- did i say "tempt me with chocolate and french fries"??? sorry, i meant to say, "i hope they don't tempt me with brussel sprouts and beets!" mmmmmmmmmm!!! brussel sprouts and beets!!!

nom nom nom

song of the day-- a tGif special!!!
"weekend" by saloon. amanda gomez' vocals are so beautiful that it took me four listens of this song to start wondering whether she was singing in french or just mumbling. in fact, i'm still not sure.

movie of the day...
"the thin blue line"

Thursday, September 17, 2009

jimmy carter and, of course, starfucker...

a coupla' things tonite...

first, i wanted to briefly elaborate on something i mentioned last night about president jimmy carter. a friend emailed me about this, and asked me if i did not think carter had unfairly put all white people in a bad light by "bringing race into this whole thing." and by "saying that if you disagree with obama, you're a racist."

and i told him, "no, because, clearly, i think the ignorant chuckleheads who carry signs to 'tea parties' of president obama as curious george have done a LOT more than jimmy carter has 'to bring race into this whole thing'!"

and, more importantly, from where i'm sitting, that is not at all what carter was talking about. look again at what he said...

"i think an overwhelming portion of the intensely demonstrated animosity toward president barack obama is based on the fact that he is a black man. that he is african-american."

this is what i meant last night when i said i admired how president carter chooses his words carefully. he didn't say, "an overwhelming portion of those who disagree with president obama." he said, "an overwhelming portion of the intensely demonstrated animosity..."

now, i can't be sure what he was thinking when he said, "intensely demonstrated animosity" but i can guess that would mean-- oh, i dunno, another sign at a pep rally featuring our president as some sort of voodoo witch doctor? or maybe he was thinking of how rush limbaugh found humor in the song, "barack the magic negro"?

i don't think president carter was speaking just to hear himself speak, i don't think he was speaking just to get attention, and i do not think he was being unfair to anyone. i think he was speaking up because he saw something wrong, and he did not want to ignore it.

and, now, as they say, for something completely different...

i've been a fan of paste magazine since their first issue. they've introduced me to dozens of amazing bands i would've never have heard otherwise. and because i'm such a loyal fan, and because i'm so genuinely awesome, but mostly because i'm on their mailing list, i receive an email from them every week. and it's always a good read.

i especially liked the article they sent yesterday. and, i'm sorry, but this has to be in the top ten headlines of the decade...

"Starfucker Realizes It's Named Starfucker, Holds Contest for New Band Name"


i have to admit, i've never even heard of these guys, but it turned out to be a great article (written by justin jacobs) about these dudes who created a band and came up with the name as a joke, thinking that no one would ever hear them. and then, to their amazement, people started listening and digging their stuff, which made them collectively say... "uhm...... oops."

so, they decided to hold a contest on their myspace page to rename themselves. the winner gets a free concert at their house, and bragging rights for all eternity. or something.

believe it or not, we had the same exact problem with the last band i sang in. except our band's name was rated pg. and we sadly never made it into paste magazine. at any rate, what with my wealth of experience on the topic, i thought i could maybe help them out with a few more appropriate band name suggestions. here are just a few off the top of my head...

1) cometfucker.
2) the motherfucking rays of sunshine.
3) andy williams and the starfuckers.

actually, that's all i have so far. pretty good though, right???

the five things i fell in love with today...

1) bands that think things through.
2) i'm not a huge fan of usc-- especially after they trounced my ohio state buckeyes recently. but it was cool to see coach pete carroll bring in legendary (and yet tragically under-appreciated) singer bill withers for a little pep talk.
3) the thought that someday soon the landlord will see that his dryer will be fixed, and i can actually do some laundry!
4) that, even if the dryer isn't fixed by this weekend, i still have five dollars left on a target gift card, which should be enough to get... something. right?
5) pastemagazine.com

song of the day...
"can't get used to losing you" by andy williams
(yes, carla, i do have an andy williams cd! and y'don't know what yer missin' kid)

movie of the day...
"jimmy carter man from plains" great documentary from jonathan demme.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

why i'm not bashing kanye...

when kanye west ripped the microphone out of taylor swift's hands the other night, i was watching football. i didn't even remember the video music awards were on until i glanced over at my facebook page to see about a dozen of my friend's status updates. and they all said pretty much the same thing: "kanye!!! asshole!!!"

i saw the incident on youtube about an hour later, and watched it again the next day when mtv re-aired it. (and if you still haven't seen it, by the way, i'm sure mtv is replaying it again, right now. clearly, i have no way of knowing when you're reading these words, but mtv does tend to replay their awards shows four times a day for the next year and a half. anything, i guess, to keep them from airing actual videos.)

anyway, i was surprised to see a few people in the crowd cheering kanye on. i dunno, maybe i misinterpreted this-- maybe they were cheering the fact that he eventually left the stage. or maybe they had a tiny laptop with them and were watching the same football game i was. or maybe they weren't paying attention to what kanye did at all, because they hadn't stopped cheering for janet jackson. but, it looked to me like these ignorant few were in total agreement with kanye, rudeness be damned. and i thought that was more unbelievable than anything else.

i mean, y'got this --what? 17 year old kid? the smile on her face so endearing, and she's saying that this was a dream of hers that she never thought would be possible, actually coming true... and then out of nowhere, some dude comes over and tells her-- "well, yeah, congrats, but, compared to beyonce, you suck ass."

it was terrible. and so completely uncalled for. how in the world could anyone find anything to cheer for in the big heaping pile of turd that was kanye's faux pas?

i don't know. i'm asking. and i'm not writing this blog to defend his actions at all.


i will say this. the only difference between what kanye did three nights ago, and the worst thing i've ever done or said or thought, is how many cameras were on us at the time.

i get the kanye backlash. and i'm not saying he's a prince. but what i am telling you is that i am a lot more far-from-perfect than anyone i know. and i'm incredibly grateful that my worst moments were never displayed in front of millions of people. because i think it's just ugly human nature to dwell upon these kanye-esque occurances for days and weeks and months, because it's much easier to do this than it is to focus on how much ass we suck. compared to beyonce.

one of the things i read on facebook that night said, "i only own one kanye west cd, and it's already in the garbage." and, i'm sorry, friend, but i thought that was just dumb. 3 nights later, three hours later, three seconds later, that was just dumb. i own somewhere around 1,800 or 1,900 cds, and if i threw away every one of them that featured a singer, rapper or musician who acted like an asshole at one point in his or her life, i'd probably be left with one: andy williams' greatest hits.

am i going to throw away "late registration"?
absolutely not.

would i rather have lunch with ron howard than kanye west?

but, whatever. i'm moving on.

the five things i fell in love with today...

1) apologies.
2) when one of our new 18 month olds fed her breakfast to her baby doll yesterday. cute!!! messy, but cute.
3) speaking of cute kids-- did you see this? last night, a guy at a phillies game made a great catch of a foul ball. while collecting high fives from the crowd around him, he handed the ball to his young daughter... who immediately tossed the ball back onto the lower level!!! gone forever!!! HA! it was actually really adorable. the dad just looked at his kid for a second, like, "baby, what the FREAK?!?!?!?!" then gave his little girl a hug. probably waited his entire life to catch a foul ball, but quickly realized, at the end of the day, it was just a ball.
4) jimmy carter. big, honking controversial statement he made yesterday. and, sadly, i think he was right on the money. i really love jimmy carter. he says what's on his mind, but he always seems to choose his words very, very carefully.
5) forgiveness.

song of the day...
"gold digger" by kanye west f/ jamie foxx

movie of the day...
"dave chapelle's block party" i LOVE this movie!!!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

five things, and thirty more things...

i got a text from a friend this afternoon, asking me, "u dont blog anymore?" which made me feel a touch guilty. y'see, when i started this thing, i wanted to write every single day. and i really thought i could do it. but i very much underestimated the time it would take to complete such monumental works of genius on a daily basis. or... i'm lazy.

AND i'm long-winded. deadly combination, that.

but i do love this blog. maybe not as much as i love, say, the opening weekend of nfl football, but it's an extremely close race. and that's saying something!

what i love most about this-- the blog, not the football-- is the way it's kept me on my toes. because i've noticed already, in the month or so i've been at this, that i've generally been in much better spirits. and i think that's partially due to how often i'll find myself just walking down the street, searching for things and people and places to "fall in love with".

so, in a very real way, when i miss a few days behind the keyboard, i'm kind of hurting myself a bit. and so, with that in mind, i thought i'd dedicate a blog or two, every now and then, to catching up with all the "five things" i've missed.

so... it turns out i've been blogging for... (wow, i really hate math.......) ...39 days now. and i've written 32 blogs. which means i've missed seven, and seven times five is...??? (help me out, smart lady.......) yikes! 35! thirty-five things i love.

i think i remember squeezing in ten things i love into one blog, but... eh, i'll stick with the number 35. because i'm sure there's a monday somewhere in my near future in which i won't be loving anything or anyone or anyplace. and, i s'pose, if i am going a bit overboard tonite, it will only grant me permission on that wretched monday to just say, "screw you, bitches! i didn't fall in love with shit today!"

but, no. that's not today. so here we go...

the thirty-five things i fell in love with today...

1) loving a football team passionately, and bragging about their six super bowl rings!
2) the leaves are starting to change already. i'm actually a summer guy, but autumn in new york really is something to see!
3) only two more months until 'up' is out on blu-ray!
4) jay-z. he's so damn cool.
5) that, no matter how drastically the world changes, a kid will always come into school with a huge smile on his face on the day he's wearing his brand new sneakers!
6) on my way home tonite, i thought i was going to witness a fight between a BIG honking seeing eye dog, and two tiny yip-yip puppies. and i'm very glad it was averted. coulda been ugly. for so many reasons.
7) finding yourself alone at the exact moment the urge strikes to sing "brimful of asha" by cornershop: "everybody needs a bosom for a pillow, everybody needs a bosom! everybody needs a bosom for a pillow, everybody needs a bosom..." (sadly, this was not the case last night-- apologies again, walmart shoppers. that must have been odd).
8) boston market.
9) francis albert sinatra.
10) brother ray charles-- my favorite musician ever.
11) the three year old who told me yesterday, "ryan! i'm a grown man!"
12) only three more months until the fifth season of LOST is out on blu-ray!
13) that i was warned ahead of time about the '400 lb. snake' video that's been circling around the web lately!
14) NEW BABIES!!!!!!!! i met my coworker's weeks-old baby girl today! so cute!!!
15) madonna's speech at the beginning of the mtv music video awards the other night. i'm not a fan of hers at all, really, but i thought what she had to say was very moving, very sweet, very sincere, and spot on. well done, madonna!
16) beyonce-- classing up the joint by inviting taylor swift back onstage at the vma's! i thought she turned a ridiculously awkward situation around in the best and most beautiful way possible! she's so great! i like her. i shoulda put a ring on it.
17) resisting the urge to ask a coworker, "hey, how do you spell 'bosom'?"
18) ben
19) my recent blitz of friend requests to people i've never seen before in spite of their appearance on my "people you may know" facebook page has been fun! as meeting new homies often is. although i have had a friend send me an email asking, "dude, why are you friend requesting my mom?" (to this i've replied, "because she is goooooooood-lookin'! hubba, hubba!!!" wish me luck with that!)
20) pixar movies. i was reminded of how much i loved them when i was watching '9' last weekend. i felt like i could almost hear the director telling the animators, "hey, that's good enough, let's move on, time is money!" but there's never any compromise at pixar. the story always comes first, and because of that, you always, always, always care about their characters-- even if it's a car, or a bug, or a robot.
21) jerry.
22) there's a dude who just started working in our kitchen, and-- poor bastard-- he looks a lot like me. i think it's pretty funny, though, as the preschool kids always shout at him (even when i'm in the same room!), "HI RYAN! HI RYAN! HI RYAN!!!" lol
23) that i've yet to give into the temptation to buy the new beatles box set. i'm getting better at saving money!!! feels good!!! w'hooooooooooo!!!
24) FRIZZY!!! my long-lost homie is moving to white plains soon!!! w'hoooooooo!!!
25) "a moo point." joey from friends: "yeah... a moo point. it's like a cow's opinion. it doesn't matter. it's moo." LOL!
26) i met ron howard once. very cool. i was working part time at a movie theater, and he came in with his family and asked me, "hey, how old do you have to be to work here?" and, i'm usualy pretty cool with celebrities, but, at that moment i just got really caught up in not only how many things ron howard has done that i loved, but who he's worked with-- tom cruise, tom hanks, jimmy stewart, john wayne, the FONZ!!! and i thought, "wow, this is so great! i just shook his hand! we're having a conversation! ron howard is asking ME a question!!! and... crap, i don't know the answer to that question!" i'd just started working there that week! so, i tried to explain that to him, but-- dork that i am-- got a bit flustered and said to him this painfully accurate quote...

"uh, well, it's my first very week, so... uhm... uhhhhh..."

and he just nodded and smiled very politely and said, "oh okay!" and walked into whatever movie they were seeing. and i've always loved him for that. y'know, for not saying to me, "oh! i see. it's your first very week with grammar, is it? and you're a moron? great. got it. thanks... ASSHAT!!!"
27) eh, forget getting better at saving money!!! it's THE BEATLES!!!!! w'hooooooooooooo!!!
28) loving a baseball team passionately no matter how hard we suck.
29) the compliments our classroom has received over the past few days! good times!!!
30) a new 18-month old toddler didn't wake up screaming like a crazy person at naptime this afternoon! first time ever!!! whew!
31) that i've never pissed off serena williams while she's had a tennis racket in her hands.
32) red dawn, ghost, donnie darko, and the outsiders. rest in peace, patrick swayze.
33) billy graham.
34) mo willems.
35) i got a text from a friend asking me, "u dont blog anymore?" which made me feel like people are actually reading my stuff!!!


playlist of the day (though not necessarily in this order). a dozen GREAT songs you've probably never heard before...

"not the girl you think you are" by crowded house
"rafiki" by zap mama
"do i wake or sleep?" by homer hiccolm & the rocketboys
"destiny calling" by james
"don't tell your mother" by the sundays
"nylon smile" by portishead
"independence day" by elliot smith
"these foolish things" by ella fitzgerald and louis armstrong
"put a penny in the slot" by fionn regan
"mossback" by the parson red heads
"raindrops in my coffee" by sexsmith and kerr
"this must be the place (naive melody)" by shawn colvin

movies of the day...
because i've heard from many people what a great guy he is (used to come into that theater quite a bit, it seems, and always had a kind word for everyone), and because i think he's also a damn good filmmaker, i'm going to suggest a ron howard marathon! here are eight of my favorites...
apollo 13, cinderella man, frost/nixon, cocoon, a beautiful mind, the da vinci code, the paper, and ransom.

Friday, September 11, 2009

"hey, what's that smell like to you?"

you never know what you're going to hear when you walk into a new church. you could hear something true, something boring, something thought-provoking, something offensive... or someone could say something jaw-dropping, making you take a look at a familiar verse in the Bible in a brand new way. but, a couple of months ago, i walked into a church and heard this sound...


few things in the entire world are funnier to me than someone farting in church. it's how i know i could never be a pastor. pastors tend to rise above that sort of thing; i don't know how they do it. i would just stop in the middle of my sermon and say, "wow! who DID that??? that was aMAYzing! i didn't know taco bell served breakfast on sunday mornings!"

actually, i think it might be better if pastors did stop to acknowledge such things. just to get it out in the open. because, after the toot is heard, everyone in the congregation just freezes. and that's the funny part to me-- it's like it's choreographed: sit up real straight, try our damndest not to laugh, put on the most serious face we can muster, and pretend to be concentrating very, very hard on what the sermon's about-- although we all know that's the LAST thing we're really doing.

no matter how people are in the pews, inside everyone's mind it's the same thing: "just pretend it didn't happen, just pretend it didn't happen, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, nobody farted, nobody farted, nobody farted, virgin mary, virgin mary, virgin mary-- urgh!-- you can't smell that, you can't smell that-- blech! NO! you can't smell that, deuteronomy, dueteronomy, dueteronomy..."

i mean, c'mon! that's hysterical! so, why can't we just recognize the faux pas, deal with it and move on, right? silly problem, easily solved.

eh, probably not, but... a man can dream.

by the way, for those of you who've read my stuff this week and are thinking this was something of an uncomfortable segue between tonite's entry and my recent political opinions... well, yeah, i can't really argue against that. but! you might be interested to know that the inspiration for tonite's blog came after a careful re-examination of the photograph below...

no, not, joe wilson. we've seen enough of him already. look instead at the men surrounding him, and tell me they don't look EXACTLY like they've just heard a fart in church.

it's uncanny, isn't it?

the five things i fell in love with today...

1) melina mara of the washington post, who took the above photo.
2) subway meatball sandwiches. with provolone cheese.
3) we have a bunch of great kids in our class this year! so cute!!! and very mellow! which served me well today-- working on four hours of sleep after watching my steelers last night! lol
4) speaking of segues-- my steelers are UNDEFEATED!!!! w'hoooooooooooooo!!!
5) the verbal flatulence of congressmen everywhere.

song of the day...
"smells like teen spirit" by nirvana

movie of the day...
"blazing saddles"

Thursday, September 10, 2009

raise your hand if you're a proud republican. ...anyone?


i'm not much of a political person. so, i'm a tad surprised to realize that this is the fourth consecutive night that i will not be writing about baby squirrels, goofy movies or foul-mouthed woodchucks. but i do feel compelled to write about what i saw on tv last night.

four nights ago, i wrote about the reaction my elementary school teachers would have given us kids if we misbehaved during a taped speech by the president. last night, in the middle of a speech that will affect the lives of millions of americans, a congressman reacted like a preschooler. and, an hour ago, i heard him praised for his actions. by an adult.

but i was appalled long before joe wilson heckled president obama, calling him a liar in front of the world. wilson's mistake was just the loudest and most egregious one of many throughout the evening.

i can live with all the smug looks of indignation and contempt among the republican
camp. although, to me, their faces seemed a touch rehearsed-- like they all got together in a big room the night before to practice their unhappy faces in front of one another, probably handing out prizes for "most grumpy" and "best scowl" and "most able to hide his blatant racism."

i'm less enthusiastic about rep. eric cantor, who was caught texting during the joint session of the congress. i mean, look, i'm sure he was in the middle of something pretty important-- like the reminder of the gallon of milk he needed to grab from the store on the way home. but, speaking as someone who spent two years praying he didn't get into a car accident because he couldn't afford health insurance? i would have appreciated it if cantor's attention were on what the president was trying to say.

i also wasn't a huge fan of the home made signs i saw in the crowd. as if this wasn't a congressman listening to the president, but some schmoe trying to get on camera during monday night football on espn.

E nter
S ocialist
P arty?
N o!!!

and i wasn't even sure what those guys in the back of the room were doing holding up those pieces of paper. what were they anyway? coloring books? children's books? what were they trying to say? "mr. president, we need your help! we can't seem to stay within the lines, we remain uncertain about eating green eggs with our ham, and we can not find waldo."

but, back to wilson. the proud graduate of the gary p. fartknocker school of book learnin'. in case you haven't heard, in the middle of the speech, congressman joe wilson shouted down to president barack obama, "YOU LIE!"

absolutely inexcusable. even if you disagree with him, there is a time and there is a place to disagree with your commander in chief. but, during the joint session of the congress? with the eyes of the world watching? uhm... no. that wasn't it.

and yet, earlier tonite, i saw this man relentlessly defended. why? because, in the words of this woman who i wont even name... "at least he said it to his face." again, this was an adult who said that.

look, i'm not a democrat. i'm a registered independent. and i'm not even especially proud to be so. i don't really care a whole lot about politics one way or another. i'd much rather be writing about football. or camp haluwasa. or just about anything else in the world. but, tonite, i'm mostly very thankful that i'm not a republican.

the five things i fell in love with today...

1) the start of the nfl season. finally.
2) the dude who stuck his hand out of his car window and yelled at me today, while i was walking to the mt. kisco train station. no idea who he was, or what he said. but it was interesting.
3) the sky over white plains early this morning.
4) troy mother-freaking polomalu.
5) that barack obama seems to not hold too much of a grudge. he publicly forgave wilson today. i suspect, in the same situation, sarah palin would be making this a political statement for the next five months.

song of the day...
"how to be dumb" by elvis costello

movie of the day...
"stand by me"

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

okay, now i REALLY feel dumb...

two nights ago, i wrote a blog about how sad i was to hear so many people coming down on the president for wanting to make a simple speech to school children about working hard and trying their best to acheive their goals.

last night i followed that up with a sarcastic blog, poking fun at all those people who cried "the sky is falling!" before they even read or heard president obama's speech. i was trying to equate their fears with the most ridiculous buncha tripe i could come up with. and i went to bed feeling pretty good about what i'd written.


as it turns out, i think i may have a bit of egg on my face. it seems the rumors that president obama CHANGED his ORIGINAL speech at the last minute... may actually be true!

apparently, his first draft included many, many passages in which he tried to subtly indoctrinate the unknowing youth of this great land into lives of corruption. and socialism. and corrupt socialism. and social corruption. and several other -isms and -uptions that i am not at liberty to address at the present time and/or in the near future. and/or possibly, the distant past.

i guess barack obama thought he could just sneak these little deceptions by the american public without our knowledge. but, thank goodness the right wingers were on. the. ball! you can call them arrogant, you can call them pig-headed, you can call them unpatriotic, you can call them selfish, you can call them sore losers, you can call them scared to death about the future of the republican party and you can even say that they would do anything at all to gain back a mere foothold of relevance in the politcal stratosphere-- up to and including running over with a muddy harley davidson their great grandmother's wedding dress, and then selling it back to her for three grand, even though they know she can't afford it, because she can barely afford her medication, because the healthcare system in this country is so damn screwed up...


.......actually, i'm sorry, i don't remember where i was going with that. but, anyway, i just received an email from rush limbaugh who received a copy of president obama's school children speech-- the first draft. and, while he would not reveal how he got his hands on this speech, i know for a fact that it was from a reliable source. because it was from the same guy who found barack obama's REAL birth certificate. the one that proves he was born in mexico.

so, here it is. a sample of what president obama REALLY wanted to tell our kids...

"I know some of you are still adjusting to being back at school. But I'm here today because I have something important to discuss with you. I'm here because I want to talk with you about your education and what's expected of all of you in this new school year. And I am also here to indoctrinate you.
Socialism is cool. If you're not a socialist, you won't have any friends to play with at recess time. It's also cool to be corrupt. So, don't listen to your teachers. They're only in it for the benjamins, anyway.
Hey, you know what else is cool? North Korea. Man, I wish I was a North Korean! Don't you wish you were a North Korean, too, kids? Yeah, I thought so. Boy, that would be sweet, wouldn't it?
So, remember, kids, when you go home tonight and your parents ask you what you learned in school today, you can tell them, 'if you go carrying pictures of Chairman Mao, you ARE going to make with anyone anyhow.' And, no matter what names anyone may call you-- or me-- you can tell them, 'sticks and stones may break my bones, but socialism is so much more rad than deomcracy.' "

wow. crazy, right?

that back-stabbin' sonofabitch.

the five things i fell in love with today...

1) barack obama.
2) michelle obama.
3) having a president in the white house who has a brain.
4) the soda guy owed me some money that he paid me back today. and, what's even better than that is he paid me back, while wearing clothes.
5) the fact that out of the scores of children who did not get to hear the president's speech, there were millions of others who did. and the thought that having a president with so much to offer, and a president who emerged from humble beginnings, can inspire so many kids throughout the world.

song of the day...
"revolution" by the beatles

movie of the day...
"the american president"

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

oh, the backtracking...

wow, was i wrong about president obama in my last blog.

after reading the full transcript of his speech to schoolchildren this morning in the usa today, i was absolutely astounded. here's a sample...

"Now I’ve given a lot of speeches about education. And I’ve talked a lot about responsibility.
I’ve talked about your teachers’ responsibility for inspiring you, and pushing you to learn.
I’ve talked about your parents’ responsibility for making sure you stay on track, and get your homework done, and don’t spend every waking hour in front of the TV or with that Xbox.
I’ve talked a lot about your government’s responsibility for setting high standards, supporting teachers and principals, and turning around schools that aren’t working where students aren’t getting the opportunities they deserve.
But at the end of the day, we can have the most dedicated teachers, the most supportive parents, and the best schools in the world – and none of it will matter unless all of you fulfill your responsibilities. Unless you show up to those schools; pay attention to those teachers; listen to your parents, grandparents and other adults; and put in the hard work it takes to succeed.
And that’s what I want to focus on today: the responsibility each of you has for your education. I want to start with the responsibility you have to yourself.
Every single one of you has something you’re good at. Every single one of you has something to offer. And you have a responsibility to yourself to discover what that is. That’s the opportunity an education can provide."

dude!!!! ...what the FREAK was THAT?!?!?!

i mean, c'mon!!! who does this man think he is??? taking our education seriously??? what's up with THAT??? and what does he have against the xbox? and what's he trying to say about those of us who DO spend every waking hour in front of the tv??? and what's all this stuff about "doing your homework"??? uh, hello? SOCIALISM!!!!!!!

...isn't it?

whatever. anyway, forgetting-- if we can-- all that junk this guy is trying to warp our children with, what about the adults he mentioned in his speech?! huh?! what about US!!! the fine, upstanding tax-paying big people in this great nation of ours???

specifically, i'm talking about the educators and the parents. i'm an educator-- have been one for quite some time now, so i think i can speak with a great deal of authority when i question his choice of words here:

"I’ve talked about your teachers’ responsibility for inspiring you, and pushing you to learn."

uh, excuse me?! what, suddenly i have a "responsibility" for "inspiring" kids?!?!?!?! when did THAT happen?!?!?! "pushing" them to "learn"?!?!?!?! lol, yeah, right! hey, bub, i'm sorry, but i didn't sign up for THAT!!! i'm in it for the money, mr. president. it's all about the benjamins, baby.

and what about the parents??? uhm, it's somehow up to THEM now to make sure their children are on track??? well, pardon ME, mr. president, but, what about the jonas brothers??? what about miley cyrus??? what about the twitter???

and, really, why is president obama putting so much weight on the shoulders of parents, anyway??? doesn't he know how freakin' TIRED they are??? or does he not think the parents of america have EARNED the right to slack off? to take some time (or all their time) for themselves? to, if they so desire within the confines of their own homes, ignore their children completely?

"dad...? ...am i on track?"
"hey, shhhhh!!! glen beck's on!!!"


all apologies, friends. i don't know what i was thinking, backing this guy, our president. he's got a lot of nerve, that guy.

the five things i fell in love with today...

1) sarcasm.
2) the usa today.
3) spending too much time in front of the television.
4) that i truly didn't know how to spell "cyrus". had to google it.
5) barack obama's speech today. if you've missed it, i'd highly recommend looking it up on youtube. no matter how you feel about the president.

song of the day...
"dreams" by the cranberries

movie of the day...

Monday, September 7, 2009

some thoughts on the president. and jelly beans.

when i was eight years old, ronald reagan was running for president against jimmy carter. and the one and only thing i knew about the canidates was the type of snack food both men prefered to have on their desks. reagan? jelly beans. carter? peanuts. or, at least that's what i'd heard. but i remember rooting vigorously for reagan, because of his jelly bean platform, and i was very happy when he won.

i don't even remember my teacher's name in 1980, but i can recall quite vividly that she made a big deal about what an exciting time it was. to be inaugurating a brand new president. that stuck with me.

back then, if the president chose to make a speech to our school... to be honest, unless he was actually going to be there in person, i would have been much more thrilled with the thought of getting out of class for a little while. any break in the monotony was a welcomed part of the day. but, i can say this, too. i am certain beyond a shadow of a doubt that, if any one of us kids at leda shishoff elementary school was goofing around during said speech, a teacher would swoop down upon us in three seconds flat and say something to the effect of, "excuse me! but that is the president of the united states of america! you need to close your mouth, and show him some respect!" that, too, would have stuck with me.

i'm bringing all this up because i'm deeply saddened by what might stick with the kids tomorrow who will not be shown a speech by our president. to the schools that will not be screening for their students president obama's speech because of a fear of what he might say, or a fear of how many parents may be angered by what this man is trying to teach their children, i would love to ask what in the world they could be thinking...

this notion i've heard from the right that his speech contains hints of socialism, and that he is trying to corrupt the young minds of this nation, absolutely baffles me. i find it to be completely inappropriate and more than a little bit dangerous.

last night i received an email from a relative of mine. we constantly go back and forth on a lot of issues. it seems i'm getting a touch liberal in my old age, and... well, he's from georgia. this thing he forwarded to me was called "a special message from... league of american voters" & was titled, "obama's five big lies on healthcare." included within it was this passage...

'There Will Be No "Death Panels." More lies. Sure, they don't call them "death panels" in the legislation, but that's what their job will be. These committee members will set guidelines with which faceless bureaucrats will make decisions about you and your healthcare. They will decide who lives and who dies. They decide who gets critical procedures and expensive medicines.'

this is remarkable to me. we have actual congressmen going around, scaring the ever-loving shit out of people, saying that our president wants to "pull the plug on grandma" and no one is standing up and saying what should have been said weeks ago, "ENOUGH!!!" where are they??? we need them to stand up and shout it! "enough!"

shoot, forget "they" or "them" --we only needed one man with a brain to stand up to mccarthy's nonsense, right? so, when we need him today, where is he?

it's time. when the absurd becomes something that we're told to think and debate about in a serious manner, it's time to say, "enough!" when the ridiculous is being used to manipulate the poor and the elderly, it's time to ask, "have you no sense of decency?"

and, tomorrow, when schoolchildren are being told that they're not going to hear the words of barack obama, because they're not sure if what he has to tell them will be suitable for their young, impressionable ears, it's time to say, "excuse me! but that is the president of the united states of america! you need to close your mouth and show him some respect!"

the five things i fell in love with today...

1) habitat for humanity..
2) even though my rutgers team got throttled today, my madden-ized pittsburgh steelers won the super bowl!!! w'hooooooooooooo!!!
3) espn's wendy nix. she's always been beautiful, but-- holy cow, something about her in those glasses... hubba hubba!
4) oof, i have to wake up early tomorrow and go back to work. but!!! i get to see my homies again, too. so, good times.
5) jelly beans.

song of the day...
"a horse with no name" by america

movie of the day...
"state of the union" fantastic film, with spencer tracy! check it out!

the naked man outside my door...

so... y'know those mornings when you wake up and you think to yourself, "hmmm... i wonder if i'm going to see a naked man today"?

no. me neither.

because there is absolutely no reason for me to be seeing a naked man, on pretty much any day of the week. and yet... there he was.

the soda guy. naked. as the day he was born. naked. three steps away from my door. and two steps away from the frequently used door to the basement. seriously, people come through there all the time to do their laundry-- and it was five o'clock in the freaking afternoon on labor day-- everybody's home!!! and the soda guy is RIGHT THERE!!! ...NAKED!!! taking off the last stitch of his clothes, about ready to get in to the shower.

bit of an unpleasant surprise, really. especially since i reached my tri-monthly naked man-ass quota last week, when i watched the woodstock movie.

"oh, sorry about that," he said.

and this is where i failed. kind of froze up, i think. 'cause... i dunno, it was such a shock-- i came out into the hall to microwave some blueberry poptarts, i didn't expect to have dinner and a show, y'know what i mean? so, when he said, "oh, sorry about that" i just chuckled and said, "hey, don't worry about it, no problem."

don't WORRY about it?!?! NO PROBLEM?!?!?! well, yeah, actually, there is something of a problem!!! and, yes, this IS something he should worry about, right??? urgh, what the hell was i thinking???

"oh, sorry about that."
" 'that'??? ...oh, you mean your penis in my face? yeah. that. look, 'sorry' won't bake the cornbread, home skillet. y'gotta cover up yer business, cochise."

see? how difficult would that have been??? but, no, instead i somehow decided to go with the casual, friendly neighborhood, "no problem." basically giving him the okay to streak across the entire building whenever the mood struck. "hey! come on over to ryan's house! come see the naked guy!!! w'hoooooooooooo!!!"


dude, when i win the lottery, i'm building a house wherein naked men will be strictly forbidden. i'm gonna put up signs that say, "this is a clothed man only zone" and "naked man free since 2009".


the five things i fell in love with today...

1) modesty.
2) wrigley's doublemint gum.
3) it's been pretty much non-stop football today. madden football, watched 'rudy' this morning, rutgers football's on espn, and then miami'll be on later tonite!
4) saw the trailer for the new 'boondock saints' movie a few days ago!!! sweeeeeeet!
5) that i live in a house with five other people who have yet to show me their naked ass.


song of the day...
"bare naked" by jennifer love hewitt

movie of the day...
it's actually a tv show-- one of the best ever, in fact-- 'arrested development.' because i've been sitting here for the past hour or so wondering why i couldn't have had as a housemate tobias funke, the never-nude.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

revenge of the squirrel!!!

so, this morning, about an hour after i finished a blog about killer squirrels, i went outside to grab a bite to eat and was startled by-- what else? --a squirrel darting out of the bushes.

seriously, i'm not kidding, he practically went underneath my foot! it just really made me laugh, after having spent so much time wondering, in blog form, how a squirrel could ever be considered dangerous. and then, boom! i literally could have broken my neck, tripping over one.

death by squirrel.

you'd have to assume, right? that, if that would have happened, God would have laughed at me? i mean, y'know, not in a mean way; i don't want to be accused of being a blasphemer, i'm just saying that i think God has a good sense of humor, and a rich appreciation of irony. and i really could picture Him welcoming me into heaven with a hug and a smile, saying, "well done, my good and faithful servant... hahaha! little bugger came outta nowhere, didn't he??? hahahaha! ah, squirrels! anyway, come on in, let's grab some pizza!"

...i dunno. maybe not.

but i am sure that the squirrel i saw this morning was not too happy with my previous blog. it was a little scary, i'm not even gonna lie about it. it was kind of like that hitchcock movie-- y'know, the one with all the birds? i can't recall the title of it, but basically, what happened was tippi hendren wrote a blog about how much she hated birds, so they tried to kill her. with guns. or something like that.

anyway, all this to say, i decided to make up for any squirrel animosity i may have caused in the past by sharing with you this story. it's not exactly a squirrel-in-cape super hero story, but i think it's quite adorable.

my friend from south africa moved to new york to become a nanny about two years ago. i'll call her meryl, as she's now in california to pursue her acting career. meryl and i used to talk on the phone all the time, and one day, in the middle of a sentence about something or other, she got really excited about something else--"ooh! look!!!" she said, "there it is!!! there it is!!!"

when i asked her if she was okay, and asked her what she was talking about, she told me, in a high pitched voice, "oooh, it's so cute!!! there's a baby squirrel in the back yard!!!" i thought about it, and... i have to tell you, i got a little excited, too. i said to her, "really? because... honestly, i don't know if i've ever seen a baby squirrel."

think about it, have you ever seen a baby squirrel? y'know, i'm pretty sure they exist, but... meryl was the first person i know to ever claim to see one. i asked her to take a picture, but it scooted away rather quickly. which didn't surprise me a great deal, as elusive as baby squirrels have proven to be.

the next morning, and for weeks afterwards, i told my coworkers and all my friends and family about this. really, i thought this was the coolest thing, because no one-- absolutely no one-- i talked to had ever seen a baby squirrel before. and yet, about once a week, meryl and i would be on the phone, and she'd say, "ooh! there it is again!!!" her place seemed to be a baby squirrel safe haven or something. i was pretty jealous. it was like they had a sign in their backyard, "no need to scurry, baby squirrels. for on these grounds you shall be protected and warm..."

(by the way, i find that last sentence to be a great deal funnier if said in the voice of "inside the actor's studio" host james lipton)

so, a few months go by, we're on the phone again, and meryl says, "oh, by the way? remember the baby squirrel?" of course i remembered the baby squirrel! "yeah, well, it turns out it wasn't a baby squirrel." WHAT??? "yeah, it was something called a chipmunk."


i laughed pretty hard and said, "are you serious???" to which she responded, "well, yeah... what do i know about squirrels? i'm from south africa!" fair point actually, but then i asked her, "their tails are so different! what the heck, dude?"

"yeah," she said, "i know, but i just thought they hadn't grown in yet."

and again, i say...


the five things i fell in love with today...

1) actors.
2) meeting new friends. everytime i go onto my "people you may know" page on facebook, it's always crowded with 50 people i've never even seen before. so i finally gave up and decided to friend request everyone.
3) citi field!!! holycow, it's the best ballpark i've ever been to! my farmville homies and i went to a game last night. it's beautiful.
4) and the mets actually WON!!! and i got ice cream in a baseball helmet and a pepsi in a souveneir cup. and! i successfully made it through the entire game without purposefully mispronouncing the last name of the centerfielder for the chicago cubs, kosuke fukudome.
5) all creatures great and small.

song of the day...
"the chipmunk song" by alvin and the chipmunks.

movie of the day...
"rear window."

squirrels on a plane!!!

so, i'm wrong a lot.

if you've never seen mystery science theater 3000, it's basically a show where a guy and a coupla' wisecrackin' robots sit around and watch bad movies in order to make fun of them. and it's hysterical. really, you should see it.

now, 'plan 9 from outer space' is a legendary film from ed wood, that's widely considered to be THE worst movie ever made. and, believe me, i've seen it three times-- it's earned its reputation. so, when i heard that the mst3k troupe was going to be showing & making fun of it on the big screen for one night only, i immediately emailed my friend frizzy (and i'll call her frizzy, because i know how much she loves that nickname), invited her along, and told her to get back to me as soon as she could about the tickets, before it was sold out.

she couldn't make it, which is a drag, because it was hilarious! the movie only gets worse with age, and the skewering was at an A+ level. or maybe A-. either way, she missed a fun night. and... as it turned out, so did a lot of people.

including myself, there were six of us in the entire theater. six of us. in the entire. theater. not exactly sold out. and yet, the new sandra bullock comedy will probably gross over $10 million this weekend. but, anyway, i digress. the point i was trying to make is that i was very, very wrong about the show being sold out. which, i'm totally okay with, because, seriously-- the six of us had a great time.

however, i have to admit, the one thing that truly stood out from the entire evening actually took place before the film was presented. of the many quirky little factoids they put on the screen to divert your attention away from how stale the over-priced popcorn was, this one got me. and, it's not an exact quote, but, believe it or not, it's incredibly close. it said...

"you have a better chance of being killed by a squirrel than you do of dying in a plane crash."

which, really, i think only adds credence to the faa's controversial decision a few months ago to limit the amount of squirrels in our carry-on luggage.

but, no, really, like i said, i'm wrong a lot, but... this can't be true, can it? i mean, how in the hell does anyone get killed by a squirrel?! honest-to-pete, i got home that night and i couldn't get it out of my head! how does this happen??? are they in cahoots with, like, bears or something??? like, some big honkin' grizzly somewhere is telling a squirrel, "psst. hey. you. go over there and distract those campers, and i'll give you five bucks." squirrel's like, "yeah, right on, man."

"say... leslie...?"
"yes, thomas?"
"what is that?"
"what is what?"
"over there, is that a... is that a squirrel? ...with a top hat? and a cane?"
"what? where?"
"over there, past those bushes."
"...oh my goodness, thomas, you're right! how extraodinary!"
"what is he doing?"
"i'm not sure, but... it looks as if he's doing some sort of... shuffle."
"awww! he IS! isn't that just the most darling thing you've ever-- WHOAH!!! BEAR!!! ARRRRRGGGHHHHHHHHHHH!!!"

i dunno, stranger things have happened, i guess.

the five things i fell in love with today...

1) ninja squirrels.
2) wiseguy hit men squirrels.
3) kamakazee flying squirrels.
4) squirrel zombies.
5) teenaged, houligan squirrles who-- just for kicks, man-- run out suddenly in front of central park roller bladers. while singing showtunes: "when you're a squirrel, you're a squirrel all the way, from your first acorn nut, to your last dying day..."

song of the day...
"something's coming" from 'west side story'

movie of the day...
"plan 9 from outer space." i actually got an email last night from the rifftrax people (the mst3k alumni) saying that there will be an encore presentation on october 8th. "back by popular demand!" it said. to which i replied... "really???"
but, no, it truly was funny. so, if it's playing near you, you should check it out.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

the hungry, hungry octopus: hall of fame blog, part 2...

just a quick update, i was right: the smart lady laughed a lot when she read the previous hall of fame blog. i knew she would, though, as she frequently breaks the silence of our naptime room with a steady stream of snorts and guffaws. we'll look around for a moment to see what's going on and then we'll ask, "oh. are you reading the hall of fame again?"


again, it's all for fun, and these works of art do not entirely belong to the smart lady. just the really, really good ones. :) here we go...

"mint tastes minty!"

"at Easter sometimes the Easter bunny wears an Easter bunny mask."

"gracias! that's the spanish word for hello!"

"are they bike-packing?"

"it's gimantis!"

me: "how do you spell 'quiche'?"
smart lady: "key, e, y... wait... no."

"it's not a pro of mine. it's a major con of me."

"ooh, and look! her dress is made out of material!"

me: "hey, guess which band is opening the grammy's? they haven't been together in about 20 years or so."
smart lady: "poison?"
me: "no, it's a good band."
smart lady: "pink floyd?"
me: "no, but you got the first letter right both times!"
smart lady: "oh! is it poison?"

me: "it's a riddle. what has a mouth but doesn't eat?"
smart lady: "an octopus? no, wait... they eat."

"...y'know? from 'willy wonka'? the humpa lumpa's?"

"next week, we're celebrating our culture. my family's from italy, yours is from england, and nikkis is from africa-america."

"patience... is in the eye of the beholder."

"a baby horse is called a fowl."

smart lady: "...wasn't it william churchill?"
me: "winston churchill?"
smart lady: "...oh, wait, no, i meant w.c. fields."

(after answering a complex math question)... "how proud of you are me???"

"is there a mayor of new hampshire? ...no, because it's such a small state!"

"seven plus six equals... twelve...?"

"one shop stopping!"

"because that's how smart about how i am."

the five things i fell in love with today...

1) bike-packing with w.c. churchill throughout the small state of new hampshire, while savoring our mint-flavored key-sh.
2) gift cards to target.
3) my farmville homies and i are going to citi field this weekend!!!!
4) september means football's right around the corner!!!!!!!
5) sting.

song of the day...
"every little thing she does is magic" by the police

movie of the day...
"into the wild" emile hirsch is a rock star.

woodstock, and the soda guy...

if i haven't mentioned it before, i do not live in a sixteen-bedroom palace.

i rent out a small room in white plains that's cheap and close to the train station. the sink and toilet are in one room, and the shower's in another. i thought this was pretty cheesy until a friend pointed out what a blessing it was: because i'd be sharing these two facilities with a stranger, she said, i'd never have to worry about having to pee, just in case this guy turned out to be the type of fellow who spends half his morning in the tub.

and i immediately thought, "yeah! and if we have to pee at the same time, and he beats me to the toilet, i could always use the shower." to which she said, "ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww!!!"

i really have to stop thinking out loud.

anyway, for whatever reason, it took me a coupla' weeks to meet this guy. i'll call him the soda guy for reasons i'll get to in another blog. and because i can't for the life of me remember his first name. i do that all the time. i feel bad about it, but i'm horrible with names. and it's been five months or so-- way too late in the game to ask him, "by the way, who are you again?"

it was a memorable first impression, though. one of the first things he said to me was, "hey, let me ask you somethin'. where's the light switch to the shower?" oh, it's right over here, i said. it's been two weeks since you moved in, have you been showering in the dark all this time? "no," he said, "i haven't been showering."

he actually said that. very quirky guy. incredibly nice guy, really. but quirky. he once asked me how to reheat leftovers in a microwave. he offered me a timeshare in florida. he's asked me, on several occasions, if i wanted to take ballroom dance lessons from him, and always seems to have an unusual story for me. about fred blassie, or rice and beans, or the guy upstairs who may or may not be stalking and stealing from him.

today's story was about one of my favorite musicians. i bumped into the soda guy this afternoon while i was on my way to see ang lee's new film, "taking woodstock." and his eyes lit up when i mentioned this. "wow, man, i was supposed to go to woodstock," he said.


honestly, i was thinking... "dude, how OLD are you???" the soda guy is not only incredibly nice, but he freggin' looks GREAT! woodstock was forty years ago, so i thought maybe his parents were hippies and were going to take him in a stroller or a satchel, or in the womb or something. but then he told me that he didn't go because he and his girlfriend at the time split up. and that she, uhm... how to put this in a delicate manner...? he told me that, his ex-girlfriend not only went to the festival, but also... shared an extremely long handshake with jimi hendrix.


i really don't know why, but the first question to pop into my head-- and it's probably for the best, i imagine, that it remained in my head this time-- was, "wait, was this before or after the star spangled banner???"

but then he said he got to meet hendrix later, and got his autograph, which, a few minutes after he told me this, made me think, "dude... the guy had happy naked time with your ex-girlfriend and you still wanted to get his autograph???" i can't really figure that out. and it's not exactly the type of question i really want to ask someone whose first name i can't remember...

but, then i thought maybe he's making the whole thing up. or maybe it's the truth, and he just didn't know about the his ex's bare-cheek tango until after the autograph was asked for. or maybe he mistook jimi hendrix for bob marley. or maybe he thought, "dude, i HATE this guy for doing the hibbity dibbity with my ex, but... it's HENDRIX, man!!!"

i dunno, maybe he's just quirky.

the five things i fell in love with today...

1) hippies.
2) mud-- specifically, sliding down a hill full of mud.
3) canned heat.
4) max yasgur.
5) joe cocker.

song of the day...
"the star spangled banner" by jimi hendrix --if you haven't seen the woodstock documentary, it's worth the three-plus hours for several performances. but this is one of the standouts for me. his whole set, really. he's just so damn cool. and i can't figure out if it's a swagger because he knows he's the best guitarist who's ever lived, or if he's genuinely that nonchalant, because he has no idea that he's as good as he is. like, "ho hum, this is just what i do..." either way, it's amazing.

movie of the day...
"woodstock: 3 days of peace and music."