Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The best advice I ever got...

I think the best advice anyone can give works on a few levels. It's true on the surface, but can also be adapted to any number of situations. My mom gave me the best piece of advice I'd ever received, and not a month goes by when I don't think about it...

When I was young, she sat me down on her knee, and she said, "Ryan... Never refuse a breathmint."

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

1) Big decision tonite. Do i pack for my trip back home. Or wait until the very last minute and go see "True Grit."
2) Cracker Jacks.
3) Not seeing 'Little Fockers'
4) I like this quote, too, from Eleanor Roosevelt: "Do one thing every day that scares you."
5) Altoids.

song of the day...
"I'll try anything once" by Julian Casablancas

movie of the day...

Sunday, December 19, 2010

So, apparently, I'm attractive.

Upon the advice of the famous and talented C.K. Dexter Haven, I recently joined a dating website called OkCupid. Wasn't really sure what I was going to find there, but, I figured "eh, why not?" Meet new people, network a bit, find a date or two, that type of thing. And, it's free. And I'm all about the free.

I've been on the site for a little over a week now, and have been pretty happy with it so far. I don't think I've met the woman of my dreams yet, but interesting conversations have popped up out of nowhere, friendships have been formed, and I quickly received my first stalker. Which is always good for the ego.

As was the first part of this OkCupid email...


We are very pleased to report that you are in the top half of OkCupid's most attractive users. The scales recently tipped in your favor, and we thought you'd like to know. How can we say this with confidence? We've tracked click-thrus on your photo and analyzed other people's reactions to you in QuickMatch and Quiver."

Now, I still don't know exactly what a quiver is, but if it was something that somehow led to more compliments about my appearance, then, I'm all for it. Massive egomaniac that I am.

Although, I should say that I thought it was sort of a weird way to compliment someone. (I'm sure they got "The scales recently tipped in your favor" from a fortune cookie.) And it is a bit of an odd thing to keep a track of, now that I mention it.

Also, I think I would have liked some more specific data ("There are a grand total of 13 men on OkCupid, and, as it turns out, you are more attractive than six of them! Congratulations to you. And, I guess, to your parents as well.")

But, overall, it wasn't exactly the most terrible thing to read about yourself on a Sunday evening.

And, yet, the email continues...

"Your new elite status comes with one important privilege: You will now see more attractive people in your match results.
This new status won't affect your actual match percentages, which are still based purely on your answers and desired match's answers. But the people we recommend will be more attractive. Also! You'll be shown to more attractive people in their match results. Suddenly, the world is your oyster. Login now and reap the rewards. And, no, we didn't just send this email to everyone on OkCupid. Go ask an ugly friend and see."

I read that and thought, Wait... Suddenly the world is my oyster??? My new "elite" status??? Go ask an ugly friend???

I dunno. I mean, I just now received this email, and haven't really had the time to process it all, but... my first impression is that it all sounds a bit too... Studio 54.


Like I've been on the outside of the ropes on a cold night in NYC, until Steve Rubell spotted me to say, "Come on in, kid, you're one of us." Sure, everyone wants to be included. No one wants to be left out. But, if I know that a host is going to exclude more people than he invites in, based primarily on physical appearance... is that really a party I'd want to walk into?

Maybe I'm reading too much into this, but it all feels pretty shallow to me. Like they're saying, "We're very sorry, Mr. Martin, had we only known that you were 51% more attractive than some others, we would have let you into the VIP room right away..." And that's kind of ridiculous, enit?

At the end of the day, while I am a sucker for a nice compliment, the only kind words that truly stick with me are the ones that come from somebody I respect. And I think Cupid's aim might have been a little off tonight.

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

1) I got the greatest email in my spam folder the other day: "Get Kim Kardashian hair in minutes!!!" Dream come true.
2) A tuna fish sandwich. (I don't think I've ever even had an oyster.)
3) All my ugly friends.
4) Mike Myers.
5) Beautiful women. I think looks are important. I'm not knocking that. But I also believe that a personality can go a long way in making anyone more or less attractive.

song of the night...
"Pretty (Ugly Before)" by Elliot Smith

Movie of the night...
"Robin Hood"

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Westboro Baptist EXCLUSIVE!!!

Here's a letter, stolen from the desk of Fred Phelps, the leader of the Westboro Baptist Church...

"The top 20 funerals I wish I could have picketed...

1) Eliot Ness... gay.
2) Frank Sinatra... gay.
3) Mickey Mantle... gay.
4) The 1928 Chicago Bears... gay.
5) Old Yeller... gay.
6) Walt Disney... Straight, but never made an honest mouse out of Minnie.
7) John the Baptist... gay.
8) The Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man... gay.
9) Seabiscuit... gay.
10) John Wayne... flamboyantly gay.
11) Liberace... Back in '75, he didn't stop for me when I asked him for his autograph.
12) Adolph Hitler... gay.
13) The shark from Jaws... gay.
14) St. Francis of Assisi... gay.
15) Adrian Balboa... lesbian.
16) That toaster oven I used to have in college... Never quite cooked my muffins as thoroughly as I would have liked. Also gay.
17) John Quincy Adams... "Quincy"??? So, so gay.
18) Paul Lynde... made me lose a fortune in cash and prizes when I was a contestant on Hollywood squares.
19) That gay little Ewok who died near the end of The Return of The Jedi... gay.
20) Jesus Christ... Probably straight, but was way too liberal, hung out with the wrong crowd, disrespected the Sabbath, and consistently showed unconditional love towards all the people I hate. "

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

1) Churches that go out of their way to love their neighbors.
2) It always meant a lot to me-- how Jesus would hang out with the people who were otherwise ignored. I love that about Him.
3) Peter Marshall: Now listen carefully, Paul...during the time of the hula hoop, the yo-yo, and Davy Crockett hats, who was in the White House?
Paul Lynde: I'll say the yo-yo.

Peter Marshall: Eddie Fisher recently stated, “I’m sorry. I’m sorry for them both.” Who or what was he referring to?
Paul Lynde: His fans.

Peter Marshall: If the right part comes along, will George C. Scott do a nude scene?
Paul Lynde: You mean he doesn't have the right part?

4) Last night I spent about four hours on the phone, cracking up with my amiga C.K. Dexter Haven. She's pretty amazing, and has become a great friend to me in a short period of time. I'm very thankful for people like her in my life. Thanks, Dex.
5) Elizabeth Edwards. May she rest in peace.

song of the night...
"All you need is love" by The Beatles

movie of the night...
"The Passion of the Christ"

Sunday, November 21, 2010


Before going to the movies this afternoon, I consulted and found out that one of the films on my list of must-sees had a pitiful grade of 14%.

Now, you'd think I would have learned something after checking out 'Sex and the City 2' (16% at Rotten Tomatoes) and 'The Last Airbender' (6%) but, no. "Well, THIS i gotta see!" said I.

However, I am happy to report that this time, THIS time... I chose wisely!!!

Sort of.

The movie was 'Skyline'. And it was terrible. I mean, just plain awful. But it was also fun! True, most of the fun was completely unintentional, but it was fun nonetheless.

Basically, there's a big, honking alien invasion that's taking over the world, and we're following about a half dozen chuckleheads who are trapped inside their apartment building, hiding from all the aliens who want to take them aboard these big, honking space ships and suck out their brains. And they say stuff like this...

"I just... I just can't believe this is happening!"
"Well, you better believe it! This IS happening! It's happening RIGHT NOW! And you'd better wake up!!! WAKE UP!!! ...And survive!!!"

But, hey, I mean, I dunno, there's no exact point of reference here. Maybe, at the end of the world, we will all turn into bad actors with choppy dialogue. Who knows?

The thing I was most worried about going into Skyline was this tried and true formula: "OH NO!!! ALIENS!!! WE'RE DOOMED!!! THEY'RE UNSTOPPABLE!!! THERE IS LITERALLY NOTHING IN THE ENTIRE PLANET THAT CAN-- oh, wait. Turns out, if we splash a little water on them, they'll die........... Right on."

It's ironic, and it's amazing, and it's almost always completely underwhelming. And we've seen it before, too. Not necessarily water, but, y'know-- "nuclear weapons won't do the trick, but there's a simple solution here that no one's thought of before, and it's working like gangbusters!" For example...


'War of the Worlds'? I liked that movie (the recent, Steven Spielberg one), but that "easy solution" part of the film left me feeling a bit ...blah. But not as blah as when Tom Cruise was reunited with his kid at the very end. Too much sap for me.

'Signs'? Yeah, kind of a crap movie, I thought. Mainly because of the whole "swing away/cup of water" thing. Well, no, mainly because the aliens looked like knock-off Muppets. But, still.

Even 'The Wizard of Oz' --it's a classic, of course, and I love it as much as everyone else does, but... really? No one ever thought about dousing the Wicked Witch with water before? I mean, her skin was green for Pete's sake, she clearly never took a shower! None of her henchmen ever put that together?

None of the flying monkeys ever got suspicious whenever they were like, "Hey, we're gonna head over to the beach for a swim, y'wanna join us?" and she was all like, "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!"


But, yeah, after seeing so many negative reviews, I just figured I was going to see more of the same old stuff with 'Skyline'. BUT!!! They very much went with a different ending. I won't tell you what it was, but I will tell you these two things: 1) It was not at all the typical 'Throw some water on the bad guys, and we'll save the planet' ending. And 2) It was far, FAR more stupid than the typical 'Throw some water on the bad guys, and we'll save the planet' ending.

I mean, dude!!! ...It was just dumb.

And, not only that, but it was a dumb idea, executed poorly!

But, hey, at least it was original. And, at least it wasn't a movie that was pretending to be something it wasn't. They weren't going for the best picture Oscar, right??? They just (I believe) wanted to make a big, goofy flick with a buncha aliens sucking the brains out of a few billion homo sapiens. Something to relax and mow down a bucket of popcorn to.

Total, TOTAL crap movie. And I loved it. Mark my words-- this is bound to become a campy, B-movie classic.

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

1) How simple it is to write "SPOILER ALERT!!!!!!!" This weekend, I was three short hours away from watching the latest Harry Potter movie when I noticed one of the characters was a trending topic on Twitter. So, I foolishly (foolishly, because I've not read the books) clicked onto it, and found out that this person was going to die!!! Not only this-- here's the message I read (without the names, of course)...

"Dear people who moan about the RIP (Character X) Trending Topic because it's a spoiler. (Character Y) dies in the next one. Yours sincerely, the people who read books."

Seriously, what an asshole, right?!

2) I am, actually, reading a really good book right now, thankyouverymuch! --'Unbroken' by Laura Hillenbrand.
3) Donald Faison.
4) Margaret Hamilton.
5) My less-than-mature response to the twitter jerk: "Hey, thanks SO MUCH for the HP spoilers yesterday! Yours sincerely, the people who are sarcastic to douche bags."

song of the night...
"Somewhere Over the Rainbow" by Judy Garland

movie of the night...
"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part one" --liked it quite a bit!!!


When I go to Target, I'm sometimes handed a coupon with my receipt. And it's almost always something that has some sort of relevance to what I'd just purchased. If I buy a toothbrush, I may get a coupon for toothpaste. If I buy tortilla chips, I might get a coupon for salsa. Spaghetti sauce? Macaroni. Cough drops? Some sort of cold medicine, and so on...

Today, I bought hot dogs.

Just hot dogs.

And I received a coupon for toilet paper.

Now... did I completely misunderstand the Target coupon filtering system? Or is this just a testament to this particular brand of wieners?

"Wow! Yikes! Nathan's??? ...Well, here. You're gonna need THIS!"

Yeah... anyway, if anyone has some inside information on the topic, I'd greatly appreciate it if you'd share it with me, as quickly as possible. Y'know... before I get my dinner ready.

I'm a little bit frightened.

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

1) The dude in the public restroom yesterday, belting out "Lady" by Kenny Rogers. I have no idea if he'd assumed he was alone, or what, but I just thought it was great. Not the best rendition I'd ever heard, but certainly the most passionate version I will ever witness. While peeing.
2) This afternoon, my dad and I were talking about my last blog post about airport security. I told him, "Y'know, really, I don't care what they're going to do to me-- I'm never going to see those people again." And he paused for a few seconds and said, "Yeah... I guess I don't mind the groping. As long as they're not smiling while they do it."
3) Peanut butter (extra crunchy).
4) Jelly (grape).
5) I've never been truly, desperately, third-world-country type of hungry.

song of the night...
"Coward of the County" by Kenny Rogers. I'm not a huge country music fan, but... I have to admit, I think Kenny Rogers is pretty damn awesome.

movie of the night...
"Six Pack" ...bit of a guilty pleasure, I s'pose, but I remember renting this flick when I was a kid-- twice in as many nights. Loved it!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Our civil liberties, and our junk...

"Let justice be done... or the heavens fall!"
William Watson, 1601

"Give me liberty... or give me death!"
Patrick Henry, 1775

"I shall have you arrested... if you touch my junk!"
John Tyner, 2010

John Tyner, in case you haven't heard, is a fellow who refused to go through a pat-down search at a San Diego airport over the weekend. He videotaped the incident on his cell phone, and basically told the TSA agents involved that what they were doing would be considered molestation, if they were not, in fact, the government.

It's an interesting debate, really. Before we step onto an airplane, we have to take every precaution we can, of course, to make sure that we're safe. But... how far is too far? What is that line that we cannot cross? What if that line is in a different place for you, for me?

And, at the end of the day, is it all worth it?

Are we being stripped of our basic human rights just to get on board an airplane? And, if so... have the terrorists won???

...I dunno.

I mean, honestly, I can understand the uncomfortable nature of it all. I thought about that this afternoon-- about where exactly my line would be. What would make me pull a John Tyner? What would make me turn around and say, "No, thank you, I would rather not fly." What would make me get so angry that I would rather put an end to the security procedure, and get stranded in Cleveland? And my answer...?

Naked jumping jacks.

If a TSA agent pulled me to the side of the security line, made me take off my shoes, my watch, my belt? No problem.

If he patted me down, touched my junk, made me take off my clothes? Well, I wouldn't thank him for it, no, but, whatever. I'd get over it.

If he squeezed my buns, touched my junk a second time, and covered me with peanut butter? ...Yeah, actually, by that point, I think I probably would get a tad suspicious, but, hey, the man's just doing his job, right? "There's probably a perfectly good explanation for the peanut butter," is what I would tell myself. Every night. For the rest of my life...

However! Naked jumping jacks??? That's just not cool.

(Well, not in public, anyway.)

But, really, just about anything up to that point, and I personally would be pretty damn okay with it.

Again, I truly understand those who would feel differently, but I'm still incredibly leery about flying. As a matter of fact, after 9/11, I didn't think I would ever be able to fly again. It took me YEARS to be able to look into the sky, see a plane, and not feel a terrible mixture of deep sadness and angst.

And, seriously, we're not talking about the caressing of junk and buns, peanut butter jumping jacks, or anything all THAT bizarre, are we...?

I'm not saying I have all the answers, but... the truth is, there isn't a whole lot I wouldn't do to make 100% sure the airplane I'm about to strap myself into is completely safe. Someone wants to send me through an x-rated x-ray machine? Let's do it. You need to pat me down? Go for it, homie! You wanna touch my junk? Here y'go... Enjoy!

Well... y'know, maybe "enjoy" isn't quite the right word, exactly, but...

I mean, it's not like I ENJOY going to the doctor and having him feel around... that particular area o'mine. But, he's gotta do what he's gotta do. And, I know he's (hopefully) outstandingly qualified to check things out down there, so...




...I'm just thinking out loud here, and, maybe this is crazy, but... maybe that's the answer, enit? I think I even heard John Tyner say as much-- he doesn't want anyone to touch his junk other than his doctor.

Nobody's incredibly comfortable with a physical, but nobody really objects to one either. At least, in principle. And certainly no one would confuse a routine physical by a reputable physician with a gross disfiguration of civil liberties.

So, let's just combine the two! TSA screeners/physicians! This is GENIUS!!! Why has no one ever thought about this before???

"Please place any metallic items on the tray, and step forward... Okay, now, turn your head ...And, cough? ...Good, now, turn your head again, please ...Annnnd, cough? ...Great. Thanks, you're all set. Have a nice flight!"

See that? I sold myself short-- I really did have all the answers!

The five things I fell in love with today...

1) The great Roger Ebert, upon having his groin searched at an airport security line: "I would like to say he found nothing, but I don't know how that would sound." LOL!
2) Life.
3) Liberty.
4) The pursuit of happiness.
5) My junk.

Movie of the night...

Song of the night...
"The Streetbeater (Theme to 'Sanford and Son')" by Quincy Jones

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

A Poem (based on a true story)...

Once there was a happy fellow.
He went by the name of Ryan...

If i told you that he loved to rhyme,
i sure would not be...

...trying to misrepresent myself. Or Ryan.
Not by any stretch of the imagination.


There were things that Ryan was good at.

And things that he just wasn't.

There are things that Ryan likes a lot.

And things that he just doesn't.

This candle with an apple shape
is clearly to his liking.

Its crisp, autumnal scent will make him...



All was grand in Apple-land!
His apartment smelled of orchard...

But then a big, honking hole shot through one side of the apple,
causing a boatload of hot candle wax to cascade all-the-freak over
Ryan's computer keyboard.

This actually happened.

(By the way, the irony of a candle in the shape of an apple
wreaking having on Ryan's iMac is not lost on him.
He's just not ready to accept the humor of this particular
part of the story at the present moment).

Most of the harm had been avoided.
which was a great relief.

And yet the news
was not all good...

The wax had taken a P.

"NO P ?!?!?!" Ryan cried...
"No P ?!?!?!?!?!?!?!" he sighed,
"What if i want to write 'Cha_el' ???

"What if i want to write '_etunia'
Or '_lastics' Or what if, for that matter, 'A_ _le'???

"What of my friends _atty and _aul?
And what other friends have i missed?

Wait! I think my _assword has a P in it!!!
Aw, man, i am really quite _issed!!!"

BUT!!! it turned out, things weren't all that bad.
Back came the P, that wacky nomad
And Patty and Paul would surely be glad
to hear such a bright, happy ending!

Yes, this is the tale of Ryan, the brave!
Fixer of things, the keyboard he saved!
Wanting of nothing, but needing a shave,
For him there was so much rejoicing!

Probably a bit too much rejoicing, actually.
I mean, it's not like he fixed the economy, or anything.

I'm just sayin'...


While cleaning the rest of the wax from his desk,
though this was a bleak and ridiculous mess,
Ryan felt the need to kneel down and confess,
and to thank the good Lord for small favors...

For Uno, and rhyming, and keyboards with P's...
For smell-good apartments, and apples on trees...
For C3PO, and dictionaries...

And for chords that will wake up my neighbors!

Thanks, God! :)

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

1) Y'know, my friends, i have to be honest with you... God is just really, really good to me. Sometimes i don't feel that knowledge as much as i'd like to. But tonite is not one of those nights.
And that's numbers one through five.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Conan O'Brien For President!!!!!

A few hours ago, i was walking home, and i stepped over a discarded political flier for someone i didn't vote for. I stopped for a moment, and then let out a heavy sigh, reminding myself that the elections were over.


I guess i'm not alone-- i really hate the elections. Mostly all the attack ads, and all the negativity and confusion that they bring. You're just about set to vote for the candidate you believe in, and then you turn on the tv and discover that they once voted in favor of a school bus driver's right to smoke weed on the job, or dogfighting, or something even more outrageous, like higher taxes. And y'think, "Wait, could this be true???"

Who knows...

There was an article in the USA Today after the elections that i wanted to write about, but never got around to. I was planning on quoting it tonite, but it seems as though i've accidentally thrown that paper out.

(I mean... RECYCLED it!!! ...Yes... Yes, i recycled it... :D)

Anyway, the gist of the voter reaction in that particular article seemed to be pretty one-sided; A lot of people were using their votes as a means of protesting against the Obama administration. And, hey, that's fine. I mean, a lot of people are still out of work. A lot of people have been hit pretty hard by the economy, and there's a ton of frustration all across the country. I understand that.

But it looked, to me, like the vast majority of people in that article had forgotten that President Obama's 2008 campaign slogan was "Change we can believe in" and not... "We're gonna change things overnight and y'all're gonna get a big honking check for $50,000 in the mail, along with two complementary scoops of ice cream at your local Baskin Robbins!"

It's like the conversation my cousin and i were having last night. "Hope n change," he texted, "Got all the answers and in 2 yrs a total failure." But when i responded by asking him if he thought it'd be a better idea to do what Republicans appear to want to do now-- to go back to the total economic failures of the previous eight years, he said, and i quote... "U r utterly clueless."

Which, y'know, might be true. But, still... not exactly the best way to win a debate. I'm pretty sure.

The thing that scares me is this feeling i can't shake-- that the conversation i had with my cousin perfectly mirrored what's happening in Washington right now, and what's going to happen over the next two years...


"Okay then, well, uhm... Look, we need to work together to straighten things out. And we're more than willing to listen to your point of view. Do you have any solutions that you can bring to the table?

"..............YOU'RE STUPID!"

Be careful what y'wish for, right-wingers. You got it.

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

1) I had a few days off recently, and, while most of that time was spent trying to overcome sickness, i did get to watch a bunch of movies. And that's never a bad thing!
2) I also, today, took TWO separate naps!!! And each one was more glorious than the one that had come before...
3) I am going back to work tomorrow, though, and i am very much looking forward to it. Miss those kids... Some of them...
4) I was only kidding about the naps. The first one was about six times more glorious than the second one.
5) Conan O'Brien. Very good to know he's going to be back on tv tonite. And, i thought this clip would be appropriate to share, especially in light of tonite's topic. I'll always have a deep, deep respect for him for exiting The Tonight Show with such grace and class.

Movie of the night...
"Conan the Barbarian."

Song of the night...
"There's a Light (Over at the Frankenstein Place)" by the cast of Glee. I probably could've found a song that better fit the theme of tonite's post, but, the truth is, i just can't get this tune out of my head. It's haunted me for days. Damn you, cast of Glee!!!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

The Great Rumor Mill Begins Here...

I want to start an internet rumor that this was me back in 1987. Little help...?

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

1) the moves...
2) the audience reaction...
3) the music...
4) the shirt...
5) the chance that somebody will one day stop me on the street and excitedly say, "Yo, man!!! Aren't you that break dancing guy???" Yes... Yes I am.

song of the day...
"Dancing with Myself" by Billy Idol

movie of the day...

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Upon seeing the drugged up raccoon...

Last night on facebook, my friend posted the picture below with this caption underneath...

"I don't get what one thing has to do with the other...? Could someone PLEASE explain what a raccoon wrapped in christmas lights has to do with vanilla and cinnamon black tea?"

And these were the comments that followed...

"Me... It's a well-known fact that raccoons are CRAZY for vanilla and cinnamon black tea. And the Christmas lights are there to remind us, of course, to properly fasten all of our holiday decorations, so as not to accidentally entrap our furry, forrest-dwelling, tea-loving friends.
22 hours ago

Me... Although, the more i glance at it, that cup looks like it's filled with hot chocolate. Which raccoons are also big fans of.
22 hours ago

Matt... ‎^^roflzroflzroflzzzzzzzzz!!!!!!!! yu are my hero haha
22 hours ago

21 hours ago

Will... This is too funny!
20 hours ago

Matthew... Meg, thats actually a lemur.. lmfao
6 hours ago

Me... HOLY CRAP!!! ...That IS a lemur!!!! WTF??? They freaking HATE tea!!!
6 hours ago

Meg... I CANT
2 hours ago

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

1) Mark Zuckerberg.
2) I feel good knowing my job doesn't require me to know the difference between raccoons and lemurs. And, for that matter, chipmunks.
3) Tea.
4) Alabama just lost! W'hoooooo!!!
5) The conversation continued between me and Meg on our fb walls...

Meg... That's one of the funniest things I've EVER read
21 hours ago

Me... ‎:) Thanks! Yeah, i was on a bit of a roll there (pats self on back)... but... you do know it's true, right???
21 hours ago

Meg... lmao, yes. funny thing is, i put that down when i saw it, and somehow it ended up being bought, bagged, and put into my kitchen. i flipped out last night upon seeing the drugged up raccoon.
8 hours ago

Me... Man, i wish i was still in a band-- i would totally name our next album "...upon seeing the drugged up raccoon."
7 hours ago

Song of the night...
"Rocky Raccoon" by The Beatles...(raise your hand if you saw that one coming)

Movie of the night...
"The Social Network"

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Scale of one to ten...

On a scale of one to ten, how seriously, seriously wrong is this?

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

1) Harrison Ford
2) Carrie Fisher
3) Alec Guinness
4) Anthony Daniels
5) Current retail price of the above item on ...? $349.95 ...(By the way, it's a tape dispenser).

Song of the night...
"Become a Robot" by They Might Be Giants

Movie of the night...
"George Lucas in Love" ...I don't know how many of you have seen this, but i think it's a must-view. Especially if you're a Star Wars geek like i am. It's a brilliant 8 or 9 minute mix of the original trilogy and 'Shakespeare in Love'. Good times.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


Okay, so, i know i should have uncovered this MASSIVE CONSPIRACY sometime before the day AFTER the elections, but... honestly, i'm just too dumb to understand how to upload a video from my iPod touch.

STILL... this is shocking... check this out...


Seriously, am i crazy, or is the same exact person????


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

1) My friend Abby, who, upon hearing of my problems with uploading, suggested i go the youtube route. Thanks, Abby.
2) The family in the minivan next to me, watching me the whole time with a "What he doin'?" face.
3) Yes, because i have a cold, i was, in fact, devouring a blueberry pop-tart. And it was delicious.
4) Good to see my stellar paper-foldin' skills came in handy on camera. Come to think of it, that was probably the real reason the minivan family kept staring at me... "WOW! LOOK at him FOLD!!!"
5) Okay, so i just watched the video again, and maybe Nita Lowey and Dilma Rousseff aren't the same person after all. But, hey, it wouldn't have been the strangest thing to happen in Washington last night.

song of the day...
"Non-stop to Brazil" by Astrud Gilberto

movie of the day...

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Dropping F-bombs at my television...

Years ago i was at a diner, finding it difficult to enjoy my meal, because-- well, number one, because i was at a diner. You don't so much "enjoy" a meal at a diner on the East Coast as much as you "experience" it.

But, also because the couple in the next booth was arguing loudly. Very annoying... And perhaps even more annoying than their volume was the fact that they were arguing in French, which made it virtually impossible for me to know who i was rooting for.

And, that's kind of how i feel about the recent bidding war between news corp. and cablevision. I'm pissed that i wasn't able to watch anything on fox for two weeks, and part of the problem is... i still don't know who to be angry with. I've seen hundreds of ads over the past two weeks, each side blaming the other-- "News Corp. doesn't want you to watch The World Series!!!" "Cablevision doesn't want you to watch Glee!!!"


But, who was there for me to shout to? Was anybody listening?

This is the third time this has happened since i've had cablevision. The Food Network, and HGTV pulled the plug awhile ago. ABC was gone for a good portion of the Academy Awards. And now Fox and My9 were static for two weeks! TWO WEEKS!!!

So my first inclination was to call up cablevision and yell at them. Which i did. But i spoke with a woman who was very passionate in her response. Saying it truly was the fault of news corp (owners of fox). THEY were the ones who decided to black out their programming, THEY were the ones who were holding their customers hostage, THEY were the ones who were asking for an arm and a leg at the negotiating tables.

And i thought, "Well, shoot, i dunno... maybe she's right." Or, of course, maybe that's just what she's told to say. Still... she was very convincing. Rather, she seemed to be genuinely convinced. Which... obviously, doesn't mean she was right.

Very confusing.

At the end of the day, here's the thing... if i enter into an agreement with someone, i expect them to stay true to their side of the deal. An example...

ME: "I will give you this money and, in exchange, i would like to be able to walk out of this grocery store with a half a gallon of milk, this block of cheese, and these tasty Cool Ranch Doritos."
CLERK: "Very well, sir. I accept these terms. And i wish you the best of luck with those Doritos."
ME: "Thank you, sir."

Now... i entered into a deal with cablevision, and i pay my (ridiculously large) bills on time. Is it too much to ask to be able to put my feet up on a Sunday afternoon and watch as much football as i possibly can?

Apparently so.

Look, it's not the end of the world, i understand that. It's only television. There are some, in fact, who will read this and say, "Well, maybe this is a blessing in disguise. Maybe, if you're really this upset about it, then maybe you should wonder if you're watching too much tv?"


But, maybe i'd like to make such a decision on my own, thank you. And maybe i don't want that decision to be made for me. And maybe you should shut up.


But, anyway, here's something else i know i don't want: A half-hearted apology. Like the one i got in my email box yesterday...

"Cablevision is pleased to announce that we have come to a resolution with News Corp. Starting immediately, you can now enjoy your Fox 5 programming. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused. Thank you for your patience, patronage and continued support."


Very nice. But, how about this instead...

"The kajillionaires at Cablevision are pleased to announce that we have come to a resolution with the kajillionaires at News Corp. Starting immediately-- a full three days AFTER the first pitch of the World Series-- you can now enjoy your Fox 5 programming. We apologize, because we know how shitty it's been of us to put our customers in the middle of this dispute. As a matter of fact, we can not BELIEVE that you're still a Cablevision customer!!! SO, to reward you for your patience, patronage and continued support, we fully realize that you deserve a FREE DVR!!! And yet, we will give you absolutely nothing. Oh, and, by the way, you don't want to know when the contracts are going to be up for NBC, CBS and ESPN, so don't ask us."

All this to say, i have no regrets about dropping the f-bomb last night on facebook and twitter. For those of you who missed it...

"I want to thank all the good ppl at fox & cablevision. I think it's great that we've only been blacked out for 2 wks. Oh & also... fuck you."

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

1) Swearing. I mean, look... could i have been more of a gentleman? Absolutely. Was it completely necessary to swear? No. Not at all. Am i going to apologize for it? No. Because, as mentioned above, i hate half-hearted apologies.
2) I actually really love diner food. So much so that i rarely put two and two together the next morning:

"Whoah!!! ...Why am i so nauseous???"
"Whoah!!! ...What's up with all this botulism???"
"Whoah!!! ...Where's my pancreas???"

3) Props to friend Em for reaching out and befriending my delusional sister.
4) My sister. Delusional in that she has recently claimed to be more awesome than me. Poor thing.
5) Putting my feet up this afternoon and watching as much football as i possibly can.

Movie of the day... "Back to the Future". Just such a perfect flick, y'know??? I recently saw it on the big screen again in NYC. Just a great time.

Song of the day... "The Power of Love" by Huey Lewis and the News. Yes... i listened to Huey Lewis all the way to the theater.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

NFL Power Rankings!!! Week 5

32 Carolina 0-4 (-458)
31 Buffalo 0-4 (-434)
30 Detroit 0-4 (-428)
29 San Francisco 0-4 (-427)
28 Oakland 1-3 (-210)
27 Cleveland 1-3 (-183)
26 Dallas 1-2 (-52)
25 Minnesota 1-2 (-44)
24 Jacksonville 2-2 (15)
23 St. Louis 2-2 (23)
22 Seattle 2-2 (32)
21 Philadelphia 2-2 (39)
20 NY Giants 2-2 (42)
19 Cincinnati 2-2 (54)
18 Arizona 2-2 (62)
17 Denver 2-2 (66)
16 Washington 2-2 (73)
15 Miami 2-2 (77)
14 tennessee 2-2 (103)
13 Indianapolis 2-2 (110)
12 San Diego 2-2 (117)
11 Tampa Bay 2-1 (193)
10 Chicago 3-1 (330)
9 New Orleans 3-1 (334)
8 Houston 3-1 (347)
7 New England 3-1 (377)
6 Green Bay 3-1 (396)
5 Atlanta 3-1 (411)
4 NY Jets 3-1 (432)
3 Baltimore 3-1 (466)
2 Pittsburgh 3-1 (472)
1 Kansas City 3-0 (500)

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

1) Ridiculous lists of the best teams in the NFL.
2) Ridiculous lists of top things in general. I'm a sucker for them. Top Ten Bruce Willis films? Top 36 shades of red? Top Seven Flavors of Instant Oatmeal? Can't get enough!
3) My sister tells me that i have a coupla' fans of this blog down in Tennessee! Cool! Thanks for reading!!! (and sorry for not writing as often as i should!)
4) Number One Team in the Nation???? OHIO STATE BUCKEYES!!! W'hooooooooooo!!!
5) Quaker brand Maple & Brown Sugar.

song of the day...
"101 rap" --Donald Glover and Danny Pudi

movie of the day...
"Iron Man 2"

Sunday, September 12, 2010

NFL 2010

And so-- FINALLY-- we're just a few hours away from the first Sunday of the NFL season!!! W'hoooooooo!!!!!!!

I decided to make some predictions. And I hope I'm wrong. Go Pittsburgh!!!


Green Bay 13- 3
Minnesota* 10- 6
Detroit 6- 10
Chicago 3- 13

New Orleans 13- 3
Atlanta* 9- 7
Carolina 6- 10
Tampa Bay 3- 13

NY Giants 10- 6
Dallas 9- 7
Philadelphia 7- 9
Washington 6- 10

San Francisco 12- 4
Arizona 7- 9
Seattle 6- 10
St. Louis 1- 15


Baltimore 12- 4
Cincinnati* 10- 6
Pittsburgh 10- 6
Cleveland 4- 12

Indianapolis 13- 3
Houston* 12- 4
tennessee 5- 11
Jacksonville 2- 14

NY Jets 11-5
New England 10- 6
Miami 10- 6
Buffalo 3- 13

San Diego 11- 5
Kansas City 9- 7
Oakland 8- 8
Denver 5- 11

*wild card winner

The Playoffs

Wild Card Round: NFC: San Francisco routs Atlanta, Vernon Davis gets a few TDs. Minnesota wins a squeaker against the Giants, despite Brett Favre's 18 interceptions.

AFC: The Jets get the win over the Chargers, as Phillip Rivers trades profanity rants with Rex Ryan on the sidelines. Houston beats the tar out of the Bengals, Batman cries on Robin's shoulder.

Divisional Round: NFC: Green Bay beats San Francisco after injuries force Mike Singletary back onto the field (he gets four sacks and an interception, but also gets called on a critical fourth quarter 15 yard personal foul penalty). New Orleans rips the heart out of Minnesota once more, and Brett Favre retires. And then he comes back. And retires again. Then he takes a job bagging groceries. And then he returns to the NFL, winning another Super Bowl at the age of 47.

And then he plays minor league baseball for a coupla' seasons.

AFC: In the best game of the year, Baltimore beats Houston in overtime on a Ray Rice fumble recovery in the end zone (Michael Oher thought he saw Jesse James in the stands and forgot to protect Joe Flacco's blind side). Indianapolis pulls away from the Jets late in the game as Sanchez gives up two fumbles on consecutive plays to Dwight Freeney and South Jersey's own Gary Brackett. (Rex Ryan loses a side bet and allows Tony Dungy to wash his mouth out with soap live on NBC).

Championship Round: NFC: No team has had a more dangerous offense this year than the New Orleans Saints. Every single day of the year. Except for this day. Aaron Rodgers and the Packers in a big road upset.

AFC: I see Baltimore struggling a bit early in the season, but they'll get on a huge roll late in the year. That continues today. The Ravens in a blowout.

THE SUPER BOWL: I think Rodgers, Finley and Jennings come up extra large in the biggest game of their lives. The Ravens keep it close, but Ray Lewis and the defense begins to age before our very eyes. Green Bay 38, Baltimore 20.

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

1) I know it's somewhat early in the season, but so far I'm batting 1.000 for my 2010 NFL predictions! (Picked the Saints over the Vikings Thursday night).
2) Joe Flacco? Also from South Jersey.
3) The "America's Game" series from NFL Films.
4) The "America's Game" series from NFL Films is free on Hulu.
5) Peter King picked my PITTSBURGH STEELERS to win the Super Bowl this year!!!

song of the day...
"Start me up" by The Rolling Stones

movie of the day...
"Steel Magnolias" ...(to offset all the testosterone in today's blog)

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Vote For Me! ME! MEEEEEE!!!!!

As much as i hate negative campaign ads, i think i'm starting to hate positive ones even more. I just saw a tv commercial for a candidate who will remain nameless. But, apparently, she's a saint. She helps everyone in her community, she loves animals, feeds the hungry, shelters the homeless, adores children, sings in the church choir, and her poo smells of lavender.

Reading in between the lines there on some of that-- but it was just 30 seconds of pure wonderfulness. And, at the end of the spot, she looks right into the camera and says, "My name is (Name Withheld), and I approved this message."


The ad that makes you look like Mother Teresa? That one? You're approving that one...


I mean... I dunno, but I'd think she'd want to at least TRY to look a bit humble at that point, y'know? Like, "My name is So-and-so, and... well, yes, begrudgingly, i would have to approve this message. I may not be the greatest person in the world, but, sheepishly, I have to admit it... I am, in fact, somewhat awesome."

I dunno...

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

1) It's a beautiful day in New York. Really pretty freaking hot, but beautiful nonetheless.
2) I'M GOING TO SIX FLAGS GREAT ADVENTURE TODAY!!!!! Which is altogether awesome, except... I think i may have a bone spur on my left heel. Which is actually quite painful. Hurts A LOT, as a matter of fact. Really, only a complete moron would consider walking around in a theme park all day with a bone spur on his left heel.
3) Captain Farmville is picking me up in about fifteen minutes.
4) Cinnamon and sugar toast.
5) I am not a politician.

song of the day...
"Poker Face" by Lady Gaga (I don't actually like this song, but just heard it in a movie trailer online, and now it's going to be stuck with me all day. Might as well get used to it, i guess)

movie of the day...
"The American" ...i saw this yesterday afternoon, and i really liked it a lot. BUT!!! There was a HUGE flaw at the end of the flick that i can not for the life of me figure out. It was one of those things where i thought... "Wait... did i miss something??? I must have missed something-- did that just happen???"

Because... i mean, it's impossible to talk about without giving anything away, but... i thought this was an extremely well-crafted film, and... for them to kind of throw in something that so obviously didn't make sense, i really think... y'know, i must've missed something.

If you've seen the movie-- send me an email, because i gotta talk to someone about this!!! It's driving me crazy!!!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Justin Bieber!!!!!!! W'hoooooooooooooo!!!!!

At the risk of ruining any street cred i somehow manage to have left after my Duran Duran post... i have to tell you, i'm really digging the new Justin Bieber/Kanye West/Raekwon song.

This is honestly the first time i'd heard Bieber's voice, which, i guess, considering his popularity, is kind of shocking. Until, that is, you consider that, one: i stopped listening to the radio a few years ago. And, two: i am not an eleven year old girl. Regardless, this video i stumbled upon a few months ago was my first impression of him...

I love that video! How can you not love that video??? I mean, watch it again, and listen for the sound at the 0:05 second mark and tell me that Beethoven couldn't have constructed a beautiful symphony around it!!!



It's just perfect.

But, anyway.... I really liked the kid after i saw this. Because, truthfully, how many other stars in this situation would have been whisked away suddenly by his entourage, as if smacking your face on a door was a potential career-wrecker?

"MOVE!!! MOVE!!! JUSTIN WALKED INTO THE DOOR!!! JUSTIN WALKED RIGHT!!!! INTO!!!!! THE DOOR!!!!!!! WHAT DO WE DO?????? GO GO GO GO GO GO!!!" (van door closes, tires screech off into the distance...)

But, no, he just walked up to the cameras and said, "Hey guys... not sure if you noticed, but i'm a geek! Walked into a door over there-- can you believe it???"

Now, i'm sure, in between the "Poinnk" and the "What up?" there was a twenty minute deliberation amongst his team on how to handle the event. ("Did the paparazzi see it? I think they saw it... Crap, it's gonna be on youtube in like 15 minutes...") But i still give him credit for not shying away from the cameras at a moment when he didn't look his best. And for seeming to be genuinely okay with being a nerd.

It's good to be able to laugh at yourself, enit?

Okay, back to the song. I was surprised at how much i liked it. Bieber's voice in particular. Reminded me slightly-- slightly-- of the Jackson 5. Or... maybe not so slightly. Or maybe not a seven year old Michael, as much as a late-twenties Janet.

"Come go with me, we've got it made... Let me take you on an esc-- onnn an escapade, baby..."

Anyway, you be the judge...

Tell me what y'think!

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

1) I HAVE THIS WEEK OFF!!!!! So far, i really haven't put it to good use, though-- playing a lot of Madden football, watching too many movies. But i'm determined to not let the rest of the week go by without .... eh, nevermind, whatever.
2) I have the first line of a GREAT novel! I didn't really have any plans on writing a novel until i saw my friend's inspiring facebook status update yesterday: "Bad day for the organic deodorant." Seriously, how intriguing is that???
3) Yes, I, too, have walked into a glass door. I was in a hotel room with my sister in Cairo, Egypt. She was reading a book on the balcony and i walked out to tell her something, when-- POINNK! And, after a few Bieber-esque "Ow's", I thought the same thing as i did when a doctor, a few years back, diagnosed me with pneumonia... "Does this actually happen to people?"
4) Laughing at yourself... Although, y'know, sometimes the jokes aren't as funny as y'think they are. I bumped into a friend on the train yesterday afternoon, who immediately took my saying the word "food" as his cue to pat me on my increasingly large belly. "Yes... Yes, it's a whimsical visual aid. Thank you for reminding me, asshole."
5) Not hating Justin Bieber. I mean, c'mon, he's just tryin' to be cool. Cool. What else you 'spect him to dooooo?

Song of the day...
"Escapade" by Janet Jackson

Movie of the day...
"Michael Jackson's This Is It"

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Duran Duran...

Y'know what's great about being thirty-seven? I no longer worry about what people will think of me when i make startling confessions like this one: I dig Duran Duran.

When i was a kid in the mid-80's, Duran Duran was at their peak. They were everywhere. Every single girl i knew was in love with Simon Le Bon, and every single guy i knew automatically rolled their eyes whenever he or they came up in conversation.

"Urgh, i HATE them!!! Buncha pretty boys!!! Urggggggghhhh!!!"

For years this went on. I was like a Pavlovian dog, if someone said anything remotely close to, "Hungry like the Wolf" i would instinctively want to punch a poster of something adorable.

Then, sometime after high school, they came out with the single, "Ordinary World" --a song i truly, truly wanted with all my heart to hate, but... y'know, i couldn't do it. It's just a beautiful tune. I had to give them their due, and my money. Very embarrassed to buy that album, but i couldn't help it.

Somehow after that, i found myself listening to their greatest hits-- i think a friend of mine had it on? I dunno. But i remember telling someone, "Oh, c'mon, do we have to listen to this crap? I like that one song of theirs, but, the stuff they did back in the 80's was garbage."

...which turned into, "Okay, well, that song wasn't too bad."

And then, "...Hm, actually, that was quite good, i don't remember that being as good as it was, but..."

And, "Oooooh! I haven't heard this one in YEARS! Turn it up!"

And finally, of course, "Oh no.... I freaking love Duran Duran."

Not only that, but i pretty much knew every word of the entire album by heart. How that happened, i don't know. Osmosis, or something.

Anyway, i've kept it a secret for too long. But not anymore. Simon Lebon, Nick Rhodes, Taylors... I apologize for all those things i said about you when i was in junior high. As it turns out, y'all actually rock. And i wish you well.

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

1) in addition to duran duran, i've also been listening to a lot of michael penn recently. which brings to mind the advice i wish someone had given me when i was in college: "if you have a crush on a girl and want to make her a mix tape, make sure you don't include any songs in which the singer belts out, 'I GOT A FEELING SHE'S BEEN SLEEPING WITH THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD!' three times during the chorus."
2) ibraheem youssef.
3) MADDEN football!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! started building up the new franchise last night. my defense is killer.
4) i just looked up "osmosis" on wikipedia. ...i don't think that's how i knew the duran duran lyrics.
5) hairspray.

song of the day...
"Rio" by Duran Duran

movie of the day...
"A view to a kill"

Monday, August 2, 2010

Brand new backdrop...

These are my, "W'hoooooooooo!!! I cleaned my apartment, and finally positioned things around so that my camera will now capture some dvds instead of my barely-folded laundry!!!" pictures.

...much more better, i'd say.

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

1) Got the day off!!!!!! Going to use the time wisely by doing some writing, entering a crazily amazing contest, eating too much food and possibly seeing 'inception' again!!! Good to be me!!!
2) Football's right around the corner!!! Someone posted on twitter recently that we just passed the last non-football weekend we'll have until next February. Nice!
3) BREAKING NEWS!!! Yesterday, the Soda Guy-- THE SODA GUY!!!!! --after THREE consecutive days in which i saw him either naked, or in his bikini underwear-- actually said this to me, "I should really start wearing a robe..." .......(yeah... yeah, you really should).
4) Ohio State!!! Go Buckeyes!!!!!!!
5) Being secure enough in who you are to freely admit to the world that, yes, you had to go to a calendar to look up the word "February."

...also, you spelled "calendar" wrong.


song of the day...
"So Fresh, so Clean" by Outkast

movie of the day...
"Nobody's Fool" --fantastic and terribly underrated Paul Newman film! One of his best!!!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Groovy People

This is a video i did awhile back (first thing i've ever edited on iMovie), featuring "Groovy People" by Lou Rawls and pictures i've taken of complete strangers. Which is... probably illegal to post on the ol' interweb, so... here's hoping i don't get sued! W'hooooooo!


Along those lines, i figured i'd throw in a coupla' pictures of me looking like a big honking moron. Not exactly sure "well, your honor, if there's anyone who should be offended by these photos, it's me" would hold up in court, but... eh, we'll see. I do look pretty odd in a blond wig, but, whatever. In the meantime, i hope you enjoy it...

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

1) Really, i don't know of anyone who'd be terribly interested in this video, but it was a lot of fun to put together, so... good times.
2) Been a bit of an up and down week filled with crazy things i don't even know i'll ever blog about, but... at the end of the day, i'm blessed to have great friends around me and i still believe God knows what He's doing.
3) Being a bit wiser than i was six or seven years ago.
4) I should point something out about the homeless man you may have seen at the end of this video. While he may have appeared to have been stretching out his hand to that little boy for some spare change, he was actually offering up a high five, which the boy gave to him. The man cheered out-- something like, "Alright, man! Yeah!" ...It was a bit of an odd moment, really. Not exactly sure "surreal" covers it, but it's close enough for tonite.
5) Lou Rawls.

song of the night...
"This is the picture" by Peter Gabriel

movie of the night...
"Beautiful Girls"

Friday, July 23, 2010

The Yankees Express, part two...

Rebellious cuss that i am, i was about to hop aboard The Yankee Express this afternoon, knowing full well that i wasn't supposed to ("This train is for Yankee Stadium... OWN-ly!!!").

Before i could step inside, however, a ticket taker pointed at me and asked where i was going. He was a big dude. Very muscular. Like, collecting train tickets was how he made a living, but his real passion was weightlifting. And cracking walnuts with his eyelids.

"White Plains," i sighed.

I knew what was coming.

"Sorry, this is just for Yankee Stadium."

I mean... i'll say this for him-- he was nice about it. Made me think he was an introspective soul. Weightlifter, walnut cracker. Writer of haikus.

"Click clack goes the train
Flexing my tattooed bicep
Making barbwire dance."

So, i put my hand on his shoulder and said, "Look, man, i know you're just doing your job, but, c'mon... there's plenty of seats."

"Oh, this just goes to Yankee Stadium," he said. "There's another train coming in seven minutes."

Neither thing he said was true, really, but, hey... i got home eventually. And i didn't have to deal with an arse. I'll take an misinformed nice guy over a know-it-all jerkweed any day of the week.

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

1) Albert Pujols
2) Mookie Wilson
3) Greg Luzinski
4) Willie Stargel
5) FRIDAYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

song of the night...
"Here Comes the Sun" by The Beatles.

movie of the night...
"A Hard Days Night" ...been on a big Beatles kick most of this week.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Smart Lady Strikes Again!

My coworker, The Smart Lady, told us about her latest "Hall of Fame" moment a coupla' days ago. I think it's a classic.

"For months," she said, "I kept on getting these emails from a guy named 'Dono Treply' and i was thinking, 'I don't know anyone named Dono Treply. Who is this? And why is he sending me all this stuff from So, this goes on and on, and i keep wondering about it, and then, last weekend, I was on my boyfriend's computer and i saw something from this SAME guy on HIS email! Dono Treply! So, i got really excited and i said to him-- 'Wait! You're getting email from this guy too??? Who is Dono Treply???????'

"And RIGHT as the words were coming out of my mouth, it finally hit me...

" 'Oh, hold on a second... that says... Do Not Reply.' "


Sheeshlouise, i love that woman!

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

1) Ted Proonly
2) Rep. Tod Lony
3) Loopy T. Nerd
4) Don O'Treply
5) tears of laughter streaming down our faces for the past three days.

song of the night...
"You don't know my Name" by Alicia Keys

movie of the night...
"L.A. Confidential"

Monday, July 19, 2010


Y'know, i don't know nearly enough about what's happening with the disaster in the gulf, but I was just thinking how it's never a good thing when you hear the word "seepage."

In any context, you never hear anyone say, "HOORAY!!!! SEEPAGE!!!"

.......I'm just saying...

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

1) clean fish.
2) clean water.
3) Mr. Clean.
4) cleaning up the messes you've made.
5) Pete Seeger.

song of the night...
"It's not easy being green" by Ray Charles

movie of the night...

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Despicable Me... or Lesson Learned, take two...

Previously, on this-here blog, i was telling you about the lesson i learned on the Yankee Express train on Friday: don't antagonize a moron. It was a lesson so valuable that i completely forgot all about it this afternoon.

I was trying to buy some snacks at Target that i was planning to sneak into the movie theater (see that? turns out i am a no good punk, lookin' fer a ruckus), but the woman in front of me had to be purchasing every last can of cat food in the city. The line was taking forever.


Well, no. 'Twas a touch annoying, sure, but i'm not going to go crazy on a woman just because she has a thousand cats.

It was the woman in back of me who was the problem. But she wasn't a moron. She was a jerk.

Next to us, there was an empty lane with its light on but no one behind the register. We all saw it-- me, The Jerk, the forty two people behind us, The Crazy Cat Lady. We all wondered when the red-shirted Target helper would return. Would it be soon? Could we get outta here a minute and 15 seconds earlier than we thought we would?

Westchester county is like that. It just kind of seeps into you. I remember years ago, driving to get some errands done before i went to the movies on a Saturday afternoon. I'd finished doing whatever it was i had to do something like an hour before i thought i would, so i was taking my time driving to the theater. But about ten minutes later, i'm stuck behind some dude who was going seven miles an hour below the speed limit, and i'm leaning on my horn and i'm thinking, "c'mon, man! i haven't got all day!"

Then i thought, "actually... no, i pretty much do have all day. I'm about five minutes away from the theater, and i'm just gonna be sitting around the lobby looking at cardboard cutouts for an hour... What am i doing?!"

Since then, i've tried to tone things down a bit. Haven't always been successful, but i'm not nearly as bad as i used to be. The Jerk, on the other hand...? She was twisting her hands on her shopping cart as if she was gripping the steering wheel of a race car, and she had the cart strategically sitting parallel to me-- practically touching my thigh, as if she was planning on CarlEdwardsing me into the rack of Nutter Butters to the side of us.

Eventually, at around cat food can number 2,652, the Target Lady appeared. Again, we all saw it. But before she could get herself completely logged into her register, The Jerk raised her voice and said, "Are you open?! Great!" And then, quicker than you could say "Chick Hicks" she zoomed her way into the lane.


Now, i really don't know, but i've been thinking about this all day: What do you do in that situation? Do you ignore it, roll your eyes and let it be? Do you politely inform The Jerk that you had been waiting in line a full six days before her, and point to your newly-realized beard as proof? I went with option number three: Sarcasm.

"Oh, good," i said, "i didn't want to go ahead of you, that's fine."

"Did you want to go ahead of me?" she asked.

"No, no," i said, "the things that you're buying are much more important than the three things in my cart. You go ahead."

Then she said, "I waited an entire thirty seconds for you to say something, but I was paying a LOT closer attention, while you were drifting off into space, so i went."

...And now you know why i'm calling her The Jerk.

Because i don't think it's all that sophisticated to refer to a woman as an asshole.

First of all, i don't know when her thirty seconds began, but i thought it might be nice to wait for the Target Lady to stop walking before asking if her register was now open. Second, when i drift off into space, you'll know it, man. I majored in Drifting Off Into Space in college. Third, and this is my main point, even if the first two points were true, wouldn't it be the nice thing to do-- to tap me on the shoulder and say, "Excuse me, you great looking bald man, you were here before me, would you like to go?"

Call me naive, but that's what i'd do. That's what i've done, as a matter of fact! I mean, y'know, not in those exact words, but, still... I mean, seriously! Let's have some dignity, could we please???

The reason i've been thinking about this all day... it's like this... i see this type of behavior around me CONSTANTLY! The guy who clearly sees me waiting to buy my newspaper with a dollar in my hand, nudging me aside to get his paper before me. The dude who cuts me off in traffic, the people who TALK and talk and talk during a movie-- i mean, there is rudeness surrounding me every day, and i couldn't help but think that it's just something that feeds off itself, growing like a virus, turning into a continuous circle that, at this point, might never be broken, or... something else that's also... scary... or something.

What am i saying, really...?

It's like the opposite of those commercials-- have you seen them? Where the woman sees a man helping a fallen man get up, so she's inspired to kick a basketball back to some kids before it bounces into the street. And a guy passing by in a truck sees this and is inspired to retrieve a bowl from a tall shelf for a short fry-cook or... something.

I dunno, i've never thought too much of those commercials, because at one point one of these inspired women saves a dude from walking into the street into heavy traffic, and i'd kinda like to hope that she would have done that no matter what. Y'know, i mean, even in my very worst of moods, if i had the opportunity to save a guy's life, i'm probably gonna take advantage of that, y'know? It's not like i'm going to say, "Well, yeah, he's gonna get creamed but i've not seen anyone do anything nice for people today, so..." BEEP BEEEEEEEEEEEEEP! KABAAAAAAAAM!

But... right, what i'm saying is that, i think people are just getting screwed a little bit every day and they're taking that to the streets, screwing other people. "He took my parking spot, so i'm not going to give my seat on the bus to that older woman. He cut me off, so i'm not going to take the time to talk to my neighbor. She grabbed the last toy off the shelf, so i'm not going out of my way to tell my loved ones how dear they are to me."

So, where does that end? And how do i not become one of those people?

After about 12 hours i've decided that sarcasm is not the answer. Which is really, truly annoying, because i'm so damn good at it.

The Jerk egged me on some more, while putting her groceries on the conveyor belt, after having a few seconds to think about it. "Hey!" she sneered, "If you only have three things, then why didn't you go to the 10 items or less lane???"

I snapped back, "Because it wasn't open-- do you really want to continue this conversation???"

And that felt awesome! I felt good about myself, because i can hardly ever snap back so quickly in times like those. I completely shut her up. And it made me feel great because, hey, she was a jerk. I felt superior. Like, for once in my life, i was the king of the playground.

And then i just felt smug. And hollow. And i felt really, really dumb.

And, then i went in to see 'Despicable Me', an animated story about one of the world's greatest villains who might just learn to become a better person if he would just give away a little bit of his heart. Love they neighbor. In 3D.

Not that easy when your Jerkass neighbor kicks you in the shin, but i'm going to give it a shot next time, i promise.

If nothing else, it'll probably freak her out.

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

1) Ahh, the movies.
2) Steve Carell.
3) Steve Martin.
4) Steve McQueen.
5) I saw a great quote from Carrie Fisher the other day: "Resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die."

song of the night...
"Waiting for my real life to begin" by Colin Hay

movie of the night...

Saturday, July 17, 2010

The Yankees Express...

As if i needed another reason to hate the New York Yankees.

Metro North started a new line this year: The Yankees Express. Among other places, it makes stops in Mt. Kisco, Chappaqua, North White Plains, White Plains, Harlem and then heads directly to the Bronx, so all the fans in Yankee caps can watch their steroid-fueled heroes out-spend every other team on the planet.

Anyway, the great thing about this train, i discovered, is that it pulls into the station a lot earlier than my usual train. I can make it home a full twenty minutes before i usually do when the Yankees are playing a night game at home, so i'm all about that!

I was kicking myself a bit for not making that connection earlier in the baseball season. For about a month, when the Yankees Express would come into Mt. Kisco at 20 after 4, i would just automatically frown, and think about Carlos Beltran, and grumble under my breath about all the good looking women Derek Jeter was dating that week, and then i would wait for my usual 4:34 local train.

But then, a few months back, i finally woke up and asked the conductor if he was making a stop in White Plains. He was very pleasant, and a lot less creepy in appearance than Tom Hanks in 'The Polar Express'. Actually, he looked a lot like Wilfred Brimley, except maybe 50 pounds lighter, and not quite as walrusy.

"Sure!" he said, "Hop aboard!"

It wasn't until that moment that i'd realized how passionately i'd always wanted a train conductor to tell me to "hop aboard!" And he did it with such a Captain Kangaroo-ish enthusiasm that i found it really hard not to get swept up in it. Honestly, i felt like i wanted a lolipop. I could barely control my urge to say to him, "Gee whiz, thanks, Mister!" It was just this perfect mixture of his homespun charm and an unexpected extra twenty minutes to myself! Totally made my day.

It's the little things, y'know?

Since then, i've not always been able to make it to the early train, but when i have, i've usually seen Wilfred Brimley. And he gives me that wholesome smile, and i'll smile back, kind of chuckling to myself at the thought of the first time i saw him. At the way he made me feel like i was watching Mr. Rogers or something. Good times.

...And then there was Friday.

I should have known i was in trouble. A very different train conductor was on the loudspeaker, announcing that "this was the train to Yankee stadium... OWN-LY!!!"

He lingered on the word "only" like he was a super villain in a comic book movie. Like he was completely successful at hiding his creepy Transylvanian accent with every other word in his vocabulary except for that one. Or like he'd been saying that word all day, every day, for the past seventy-six years.

But i got on the train anyway. It'd been a long week. I had toddler snot on my shoulder, and i had no idea how it'd even gotten there.

"Where you heading?" the conductor asked me. "White Plains," i said. And then he snorted. And sneered. And then he snorted again.

"In the FUTURE," he said, "this is the train to Yankee stadium... OWN-LY."

I probably should have left it alone. Left it right there. Probably should have let him have his moment, said, "yes, sir" and let him go on his non-merry way. But i'm the inquisitive type. And, more than that, i'm from South Jersey. And we have something of a low tolerance for the stuff that smells of bullcrap. So i asked him why.

"Why???" he asked.

"Yes, i mean..."

"Why??? ...Because those are the rules."

"Right, but... i mean, it's really not a big deal, is it? I mean... there's nobody here."

"There are people here."

And, i have to say, that was technically true. He had me there. In the car i was sitting in, with approximately, i dunno, 75? 100 seats? i counted nine other passengers near the front.

"Right," i said, "but there's plenty of room here, so why is this an issue?"

"Look," he said, "there are a lot of rules i don't agree with in life, but i have to follow them because that's just how life is."

I could tell he'd had a tough week as well. So i told him, "Okay, fine, i get it. You're just doing your job. I understand. And it's Friday, and i don't want to get into a big thing about this, but, i mean... there's really plenty of room is all i'm saying."

"There's plenty of room NOW, sure!" he said, "But what if EVERYbody started doing this?"

"Well, then, if everybody started to do it, i'd back off, but clearly that's not happening now. Not today, at least."

"That's because this is a brand new line!" he said.

"Fine. Okay, I get it," i said.

I just didn't want to argue anymore. Seemed kind of pointless. And a bad way to begin a weekend. I could have mentioned that the season was more than halfway over, and that the Yankees had played about 40 home games by this point, but, whatever. I was having a Jedi moment. As if Obi wan's hologram was talking to me over this chucklehead's shoulder, saying, "Let him go, Ryan... Let him go..."

So off he went.

...OWN-LY to return three minutes later.

"What do you want me to do?" he said, "Break the rules just for you?! Huh?! Is that what you want me to do?!"

That was when i realized how uncanny it all was-- how much this guy reminded me of every single high school principal in every single movie i'd seen in my 1980's childhood. So I just looked at him like Matthew Broderick at the end of the 'Ferris Bueller' credits ..."You're still here? Why are you still here? ...The movie's over... Go home."

As much as i wanted to unleash my inner Judd Nelson on him ("EAT... MY... SHORTS!"), i'm very proud to tell you i was able to remain calm. He was treating me like some punk little kid with a mohawk who was up to no good. Lookin' to make a ruckus. I felt like telling him, "Dude, you've clearly got the wrong guy. I've got Blossom Dearie going on in my iPod right now...."

...which was true. And which makes the whole thing seem even more surreal than it was. Like, if i was ever going to get thrown off a moving train, i would probably want a slightly different soundtrack.

But cooler heads prevailed. Or, at least mine did. He stopped shouting me down, because i kept ignoring him. What he did after that, who knows?

The only remaining mystery is what happened to Wilfred Brimley? I kind of wanted to see The Principal again to ask about the old guy. But it's probably for the best that i didn't ("What? That slacker? He messed with the bull... and he got the horns.").

Anyhow, the point is, i learned my lesson: Don't antagonize a moron.

It was an important lesson. So much so that i forgot all about it two days later...

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

1) Math.
2) South Jersey.
3) Matthew Broderick. 'Ferris' was the first movie i ever saw twice in a theater!
4) Sarah Jessica Parker.
5) Quaker Oatmeal.

song of the night...

My Current Top Five "Getting Thrown off the Train" songs...

5) "Nightrain" by Guns n' Roses
4) "Train to Skaville" by The Ethiopians
3) "On the Banks of the Old Pontchartrain" by Hank Williams
2) "Let the Train Blow the Whistle" by Johnny Cash
1) "Stop that Train" by Bob Marley and the Wailers

movie of the night...