Thursday, December 21, 2006
Oh, bring us a figgy pudding
Oh, bring us a figgy pudding and a cup of good cheer
Good tidings we bring to you and your kin
Good tidings for Christmas and a Happy New Year
We won't go until we get some
We won't go until we get some
We won't go until we get some, so bring some out here
Good tidings we bring to you and your kin
Good tidings for Christmas and a Happy New Year
... A stanza that is often overlooked
So... Happy Christmas.
Friday, November 17, 2006
As for 16 November in New England - it was hot ! Sunt'in like, close to 70... Fahrenheit... Degrees... In downtown Boston?! Whaaaat? Way too warm for me, thanks... Uncalled for, in my opinion. I should,at least, be able to wear a sweater without worrying about my balls sweating.
I wasn't wearing a sweater tonight. I'm just putting the claim in, now. Fucking, 16 November and I don't need a jacket? Fuck you, ice age. How I got stuck in this period... nevermind. Curse you, autonomous, geothermic cycles !!
The cool bit has to do with everything despite the weather.
Earlier this fall, a couple of me finest mates and I invested in a 10-game ticket pak for the Bruins. It's my team - and I'm stickin' with 'em. Tonight we were at the game (#2 of 10) to watch them take on division peers Toronto. A right dust up, yeah. Just ask the loads of folks from Toronto that were there...
After the B's managed to escape with a shoot-out win over the Caps in D.C. last night, hopes of stretching the streak to three (the first being a sweet 4-3 W over Ottawa last Sat. night) were limited at best, I would say.
Nonetheless, the Bruins grabbed one (Kessel - (PP) 14:09 Boyes, Mara) early in the first and then tightened things down for the next 26 minutes, or so. You could argue, 40, as they carried their strong defensive stance half way through the third.
A suspect Holding call on Marc Savard more than half way through the third gave the Leafs a power play that they were able to exploit in under 5 seconds. Three seconds into their PP, McCabe pushed one in (McCabe - (PP) 13:18 Wellwood) to tie it, right off a face off in our zone.
Something felt different, though. There wasn't any immediate sense of doom. It wasn't like the collapse we had witnessed two weeks ago - when we were at 'the game'. Yeah, the game the B's were up 4-1 with about eight minutes remaining in the third ... and lost in an overtime shoot-out. Yep. We were at that game. Game #1 of our 10 game pak. Brilliant. This is what we're in for...
No. Overtime came as an ill-advised but, yet, not unwelcome guest. There's always hope in overtime. There's always hope in a hockey game. At least when the score's this close, that is. Overtime guarantees you that. Underlying rule in hockey (and all sports, for that matter in these instances) - last score wins.
And sure enough - our good patience was rewarded. L'enfant de la ville du Québec - Monsieur Patrice Bergeron - pots one; 34 seconds into the extra period... Bruins win. Job done. It was awesome.
So, my mates and I are jazzed up with the win and head for some sweet nachos and a couple post-game, craft brews at a local establishment. Discussion of the game and state of the B's prevails. It's fantastic. Eight more to go...
Okay - Hockey Talk over. Next best thing of the night is the random CD playing in my car on the way home. Drop me mate off to pick up his ride and I'm on my way home. With an old mix-CD I made, back when downloading was free and you could find any and everything.
My drive soundtrack was tremendous ::
> Michael Jackson - Beat It
> Avril Levigne - Sk8ter Boy
> Russian National Anthem - Red Army Choir
> Metro - Berlin
Yep. That was it. Pretty much the perfect soundtrack to a perfect night.
Seems odd, at first glance, I'm sure. Trust me... after the game - and where this CD came from - perfeck. In fact, I just loaded this up, now. Give me something to listen to while I finish this post.
Once I'm home, I gotta feed the kitties. Not that they really need it but... Anyway, the 'dinner' goes into the bowl and the creatures feast. Odd, that I have small mammals living in my dwelling with me... can barely keep meself alive.
Here are a few quick pics of dinner ::
So, there's the last of this fine evening... I feed the small mammals living in my shelter and get to entering this post. All is well. Takk fyrir komuna (thanks for coming)...
(thanks much to Andy's Icelandic Assistant site - which is where the above link takes you. Check it out if you're interested in some Icelandic... I'm fascinated with it, currently, and doing everything I can to learn. Thanks Andy.)
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
First person I see is Gabrielle Union.
They've got her pegged at something like, forty-three? forty-four? Out of a hundred!? Stop right there. Bull. Shit.
As far as I'm concerned? That's the end of the countdown. Show. Over. Why even press forward towards the so-called number one?
What's the point of moving on? Chick - Is - Smokin'! - Any further 'ranking' is entirely vestigial and suspect. Trust me.
Who pays these people?
Monday, September 18, 2006
Why are we always so shocked at these untimely deaths? Maybe not, I suppose, so much their untimeliness but that they occur, at all.
Belushi. Farley. Phoenix. Hendrix.
It must be a brutal existence, being a 'celebrity'. The pressure to remain merely relevant, never mind on top, has got to be immense.
So, I'm surprised that we're so surprised when someone in this line of work is 'taken away' from us. So they say. Typically with the phrase 'in their prime' attached to it.
I'm not saying it's not unfortunate or we shouldn't lament these losses. Quite the contrary, in fact. I think we can stop them. Honestly.
If you look at the lifestyle and actions of the aforementioned celebrities, don't you think that there were some tell-tale signs that things were going awry?
We should be more aware and active in preserving the lives of our celebrities. And as a first step to aiding our celebrity brethren in staying alive, I'm asking you all to focus on the next tragedy waiting to happen.
We need to save... Racheal Ray.
I'm serious. This chick is flying off the rails right now.
She's gone from a simple show on Food Network a few years ago to multiple shows on Food Network and an upcoming day-time network show. Three shows. One involving some serious travel. All at the same time. What's keeping her going?
A schedule like that can't be sustained by sheer commitment. Someone's got to step in and slow her down. She's doomed.
I saw an advertisement for her new day-time show the other day and that's when this idea hit me. There was a short clip of an upcoming episode and she was standing behind a studio kitchen, spatula - or some other utensil - raised high in the air, and maniacally screaming, "A Seven! Minute! Meal!"
It was startling. It was frighteningly reminiscent of the classic 'Mr. Tarkanian - Tyranical Boss' sketch on SNL. The one where Will Ferrel plays Mr. Tarkanian, a real bastard of a boss who isn't shy on laying down the physical and mental abuse necessary to run a good ship. Being the fourth ranked Airplane publication isn't easy.
Racheal Ray reminded me of Chris Parnell's character. The guy who comes bolting into the office in sweat-stained tatters wielding a trident... Confronting the evil Mr. Tarkanian... And challenging him by screaming, "I've been lifting weights and doing cocaine all day!!"
Only to have Mr. Tarkanian stand up, wrest the trident from his hand, and fall victim to blow after blow from it at the hands of his almighty boss. Really. Blow after blow after blow after blow... Easily 30 or 40 strikes. It's tremendous theatre. Especially when Mr. Tarkanian finally turns around and is absolutely drenched in only the fakest of fake 'hollywood' blood. Highest of comedy.
But that's the lesson we know. And that's the lesson we need to pass on to our unwitting celebrities. Don't let Mr. Tarkanian repeatedly stab you with your own trident.
Racheal Ray's in the weight room right now. Alternating 300-pound dead lifts and squats with 1/2 inch wide, pencil-length lines of coke... We've got to save her.
Friday, September 08, 2006
I've seen him there on multi-occasions. Weekdays. Weekends. Weekwhatevers. No worries. Until this morning.
It's a busy enough parking lot, especially with the quick nature of the business. So, you want to see things work out right - quick, efficient, & unabrasive. In and out. Make room for the next junkie.
Why, oh why, would you then take your vehicle and park it right over those freshly painted PARK HERE lines that are, fairly, de rigeur of all parking lots we solicit? How can you not see these demarcations and - maybe because your car is so much cooler than everyone else's - take over two parking spaces with such poor parking? Or, according to you, advantageous parking. Douche.
They paint slots... so, use the slots!
I don't care if you've been comin' there a day - or a month's worth of Sundays. Fuck. Me. Get your stupid Toyota Rav4, or whatever that thing is, the fuck out of the way. No way in hell that thing is wider than a parking slot! Prove it, Numb-Nuts. Or straighten it out. Douche.
Friday, August 25, 2006
It's been a while.
It's been quite the while, actually.
Me Guinness For Strength was on its last ring of foam. You know, the one next to the last one in the pint. That's where she was. And if you've never enjoyed a Guinness, through. From ring through sweetening ring. Then you may not know how close it was to the end. Shame on ye fer that.
But, not-so-needless to say, it was close. Until a few things happened.
There are probably two major things and one minor, random thing that lead me to create this post tonight. Sorry, three major things. One being the idea that I want to do this. I enjoy the written word. And I told myself early on in this travesty of a blog that I'd stick to it. That aside, two major things. And one minor. Thing.
The first of the majors (outside of my obvious) has to do with me mate, The Emetic Sage. I read his stuff and I'm amazed. The short pieces are to the point and easily digestable... the longer pieces are gourmet meals, meant to be savored and enjoyed at pace. It's a fun blog to read and I enjoy checking in each day. Everything is well researched and written and there is a sense of refined-ness, as I make up a word.
How this pertains to my situation has become clear to me. I don't mean to sound like I'm blowing The E.S. here... but I must reiterate, he was the inspiration for me to start my own blog. So, there's some connection. What I realized, however, is that I'm not the Sage. I found myself trying to come up with the ultimate post - every time. And it was crippling. And I think the pressure got to me a bit. I just gotta write whatever...
The next major influence, I'll admit, is tough to recall right now. I think it has something to do with the fact that my last post was three bloody weeks ago! That could be it. Who knows?
Forget that. The fun part is the minor, random thing that kicked my proverbial arse into gear. The catylist, if you will.
It was a song I used to listen to in High School. Then randomly after that.
I came across it tonight in my collection and gave it a go round. It still holds its punch to this day and it brings me back to another time. As I sang along, I realized that you all need to hear this awesome tune. And that was the third (or fourth) reason why I hopped on the keyboard this eve.
Now, the bad news. I have a Napster account and they added a new feature where I could post a link to a song and you all could give it a listen. Albeit in a separate "Napster" window - but listen nonethesame. Up to three times, I guess.
That's not the bad news. The bad news is, that link isn't working on the Napster right now. Yes, The Napster. It's killing me... So, I'm going to keep an eye out and as soon as possible, get a link up. They better not shut that option down!
Oh. The song? If you're adventurous and want to find it on your own, here it is ::
> The Dead Milkmen
>> Dean's Dream
I didn't want to do this - but I've found the lyrics... nah, we'll see who reads this, first. Can't resist, here are a few...
(sneak preview :
We got in a tan van
Us two in the back
With Steve McGarrett
At the steering wheel
Speeding away we slide into a
And all in slow motion
These tough guys appear....
I like. Dziekuje. Viszlát.
Okay - I've managed to get the link working. 'Cuz that's just how V-Grease rocks it. Enjoy the soothing stylings of the Milkmen...
SHIT.. not working. Bloody hell...
Give this a shot. I think you need to register but you can listen to all sorts of tunes for free.. I guess that's the deal; I have an account so I can't tell how it works for non-subscribers. If someone could report back, that'd be pissah...
The Dead Milkmen - Dean's Dream
Wednesday, August 02, 2006
What Jan Hernïk didn't like was the superficiality of most of the events to which he was invited. And the, sometimes, likewise atmosphere of these Don't Miss It!!! gatherings. It just wasn't worth it. He had his own, outside-of-work crew that he rode with.
Most of the people he knew at his office were of the same age. A few years out of college, maybe five. The I Know We're Out of College But Let's Live Like We're Not, Especially Now That We're All Getting Paid crowd. And a wonderful crowd, at that. There was simply no need for him to attempt immersion into this particular faction. One was enough.
"25 Fabulous Years of Jesse!" was the subject line of the only new e-mail message in Jan's unread messages when he returned from lunch. A hefty lunch hour clocking in close to ninety minutes. One e-mail.
"I might actually be able to get some work done this afternoon," was the almost subconscious thought trickling over his mind.
"Let's see what this is all about, then," was the very conscious idea he had next. The e-mail read:
COME CELEBRATE WITH US!!!
Our OLD friend Jesse is hitting the big 2-5 this week!
Let's send her into old age in style!
Join us Thursday night, downtown at Excellence right
Happy Birthday Jesse!
A fairly predictable message, given the subject line and whom it was from. But there was something different about this one. While glancing over the message, Jan cought a flash of a name out of the list of many recipients. Kristi Korver. He immediately wondered whether she'd be attending. Shortly afterwards, he decided he was free on Thursday.
Tuesday and Wednesday passed, if not unnoticed then definitely uneventfully. In contrast, the office held a bit of a festive air on Thursday. Not so much that there's nothing getting done. An anticipatory, festive air, it might be called. Jan could sense it but was unaffected, mostly thanks to his preoccupation with his own anticipation. Any other refusal to get swept up in it all was courtesy of what the locals call past experience.
It wasn't until Jan walked through the doors at Excellence that he realized he had probably made a big mistake. The place had only been open for three months. It showed. Somehow, the slew of young people, chatting and texting and drinking and texting, either didn't notice or chose to ignore it. This was Excellence, after all.
After a few cursory, "Hey, how's it goin'"s, to a few people he left only forty-five minutes ago, Jan found a spot at the end of the bar, closest to the front door. It wasn't an official roll call but he happened to notice Ms. Korver was late for class. No connection, whatsoever, with his parking spot.
"She could very well be out sick, today."
That was the odd phrase bouncing around his head as he tried to gain the attention of a bartender. Any of them would do. In the meantime, he took the opportunity to have a good look around the place. And wonder what that phrase might mean, while knowing full well of the instant conversation he had just finished with himself.
Excellence, he noticed, was an attempt at the newest twist in contemporary, fancy-pants, see-and-be-seen bars. Bars that have been infesting the nightlife scene with vigor, as of late. The bartender, who managed to find his way to Jan's end of the bar only after all the ladies present were freshened, did nothing to enhance the atmosphere.
"What can I get ya," he mumbled.
"I'll have a Bass Ale, please,"Jan replied, then adding in his head, "Sorry to have bothered you, ass-hole."
"Glass or pint?"
Hernïk is a Danish name. While the Danes enjoy well their fair share of beer, it was Jan's mother's heritage where he staked his claim. His mother was from England and he had visited her family back home on many occasions. As he grew older, and able to join his uncles at the pub, he eventually grew to appreciate a good pint of ale. As well as a good pint of lager, bitter, stout, or any other finely crafted brew.
Jan thought about the consequences but still decided to ask, "Is that an Imperial Pint?"
"A what pint!? It's a pint. You want one?"
On most occassions, the thought of, "Why bother?" is followed with a dismissive, "Yeah, sure," just to get the encounter over with. Something on this occassion was different. Screw this guy.
"I'd just like to know the size. An Imperial pint is measured and is a full 16 ounces. What people around here call a pint glass only hold 12 to 13 ounces. That's not a pint."
"What's the difference? It's a beer."
"The difference is that you don't even know the difference. If you're going to call yourself a bartender, you should probably know how to pour a proper beer! You make all these neon, fuck me drinks all night but you can't pull a decent pint for shit. Have some fucking pride in your work, man. Jesus. Sorry... I'll just take a Coors Light 16 ounce... please."
After some hesitation, the bartender begrudgingly fetched Jan's beer. Jan left a tip of conciliatory value, took his beer, and turned from the bar. Standing a few feet behind him was Kristi. By the pleasantly bemused look on her face, she had undoubtedly been standing there long enough to have witnessed the dialogue at the bar.
"Hi," she said, "I'm Kristi."
Tuesday, July 25, 2006
It was about time to travel.
My Velkomin til Íslands bit will continue... it will.
(Peace out! pog & road; true this!)
Getting back to my current jones :: I realized, tonight, how much I miss traveling. All the strange encounters and uncertain moments. Good and bad. The unexpected events that inevitably define a trip, a voyage, a stay in X-land. It's all of the things that aren't preconceived that are the most enjoyable in any trip. Anyone who's traveled knows the feeling. Anyone who hasn't, should.
After work this evening, I joined my boss and a co-worker at the local right around the corner from our office buliding. A shit-hole of a place prior to about a year ago - until a couple of lads from Ireland took hold and put her right. Miles away. A fine pub that serves a swell pint of Guinness, now, she is.
Tonight, after a few fine pints later, we're on our way. Before scooting home for the night, I chat a bit with my boss - who, it so happens, has been one of my travel partners in all of my past ventures. This is where the smoldering coals erupt into a giant travel flame!
We recount episodes from Budapest (the bridge/hill incedent; the Fescek dinner; the cafe), extoll the uniqueness of our stories (have you ever gotten your camera confiscated at a nightclub in Helsingborg, Sweden?), and pine for futher days abroad... and soon.
Now, I'm fired up. If it isn't this fall, it'll be November. Catastrophe? We're talking spring 2007... but that's as far as I'm willing to go. I'm serious.
It's strange but I feel the compulsion to go somewhere else. I can't explain it - and I don't wish to try... I just accept it and do what I can to accomodate.
It's the end of July. In ten months' time, I hope to have been somewhere. Someplace I've never been before. You? You should venture to do the same.
Saturday, July 15, 2006
I just lost almost two hours of work on the second post in my Velkomin til Íslands travel series. I'm absolutely gutted.
While finishing up the tale of our first night out, I had searched for some information on one of the places we went. Clicked on a link and something froze up that browser session. Impatiently, I pulled up the task manager in an attempt to get rid of it - and, instead, it killed all of my browser sessions !!
Gone. Unbelievable. I haven't got the energy or spirit to start fresh again, tonight. I'll have another go at it tomorrow... perhaps saving it a few times along the way, you know, just in case.
Instead, I'm going to do something decidedly untechnological - have some leftover pizza.
Tuesday, July 04, 2006
Italy would be playing host Germany in a semi-final match, the winner of which would move on for a chance at winning it all on Sunday - Must-See TV, in my opinion. As it was only around 2:30, I scrolled through the broadcast listings and saw the program description Copa Mondial on cable channel 17, the Spanish language Univision in my area. I pressed the 'enter' button, the television screen flickered, and the tuner settled on two in-studio broadcasters going through highlights of previous World Cup action.
As ABC and ESPN are covering the tournament, I pulled up the guide again to see what, if any, Cup coverage any of the group of networks was airing. Much to my expected disappointment, ABC was airing a soap opera. ESPN, a ubiquitous, recorded poker show of some sort. Only immediately at game-time would ESPN have any World Cup coverage - namely, the game, itself. So, I stuck with my Spanish speaking amigos at Univision and enjoyed a half hour of delightful highlights and inspired commentary.
It didn't matter that I'm no where near fluent enough in Spanish to understand much of what was being said. However, being familiar with the sport, the teams, and the tournament results to this point it was easier to pick out a few things, here and there.
It reminded me of a line in a movie I watched this past Friday night. In The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada, two men are attempting to bring a man's corpse to Mexico to be properly buried in his hometown. On their way, they come across a shack in the desert and approach it, hearing the sounds of a Spanish radio station coming from inside. There's an old, blind man living alone in the shack and when one of the travellers greets him with, "Buenos días," the hermit says, "I don't speak Spanish but I like to listen to this Mexican radio station. I can't understand what they're saying but I like the way Spanish sounds, don't you?" "Yes, I do." is the traveller's response. Well, so do I.
When the game finally began, I had no intention of switching over to the English broadcast on ESPN. Sorry lads, you've lost this consumer, err, viewer. Two hours later, Italy was celebrating a 2-0 victory after scoring a quick pair of goals in the final five minutes of the second 15 minute extra-time session. And, yes, both goals came with the requisite, "Goooooooooooooooooooool!" exclamation from the excited announcer. An excellent match, all around.
This all got me thinking. I've heard and read alot from people about how they just "don't get this World Cup thing," in some manner or other. I can't understand that sentiment. There's nothing to get. It just is. It's a sport tournament pitting the best players from 32 countries against each other for nothing more than national pride. I'm sure players receive compensation of some sort but the essence of it is that they play for their country. And want to win for their country.
As we celebrate Independence Day today in the United States of America, I couldn't help recognize the eery analogy. The reason most Americans don't "get it" is as plain as the holiday we celebrate today. We are independent. Or, in other words, alone. Aloof. Isolated. Insulated from the rest of the world. Sure, we've got our immediate neighbors to the north and south of us. But we scarcely bother to interact with or, sometimes, acknowledge them at all.
This isn't true of our distant European cousins across the Atlantic, or our extended Asian family beyond the Pacific, to a lesser degree. I thought of the four remaining teams in the tournament - Italy, Germany, France, and Portugal. Putting all four of those countries together, I still don't think they'd approach the size of the U.S. - in square miles or population.
In our isolation, we lose much. How different would our lives be if the U.S. was divided into different countries of various size, like Europe? New England could be Scandinavia. Larger swaths of land out west divided like France, Spain, and Portugal. Mix up the Midwest like the smaller countries of Eastern Europe. The southern coast mimicking Greece, Italy, and Croatia in the Mediterranean area. Each area of our country already has unique qualities, much like the unique qualities of the multitude of European countries. It's not a stretch to see the resemblance. Furthermore, these are countries from which our ancesters came. Shouldn't we hold some closer tie to them? Have some interest in what they've been up to recently, like a second cousin you haven't seen in years?
Instead, we go it alone. The U.S. is like a giant yacht anchored a mile from shore. We can see the shoreline with all its activity, yet we venture no closer. Our yacht fully supplied for a life at sea without any need to dock, we peer through our binoculars viewing the smaller sailboats, fishing boats, surfers, etc. and bemoan, "I don't get it. Why would anyone waste their time with all that trivial interaction when we're perfectly happy floating out here... a mile from it all... alone?"
"I've got my shuffleboard deck. My playing cards for playing Solitaire. Enough frozen pizza to last a lifetime. How could I possibly need anything else?" we ponder, as our behemoth vessel pitches ever-so-slightly in the barely existent waves this far from shore.
It's not just the World Cup, it's the world itself we're wont to ignore. In no way am I anti-American. I'm proud to be a natural born citizen of the good ol' U.S. of A. But I'm also curious about what our long-lost cousins have been up to. Who's doing well, who may be having some troubles, and what they are doing for fun and excitement.
People often wonder why everyone "hates America." I don't think the majority of those people "hate" America, it's just difficult, sometimes, to have anything good to say about someone who couldn't care less about you. If we were more in-touch, as a nation, with what is going on around the world, we may better understand how our country is viewed by those abroad. Perhaps enhancing some of those views in the process.
It's time we docked this ship and spent a week on shore... to see what all the commotion is. You never know, you may find something to your liking.
With that, I'll admit to this being a somewhat hypocritically ironic post, this evening... as I've been quite enjoying my holiday here at home... alone.
Happy Independent Day!
Wednesday, June 21, 2006
The view of the harbour during our descent was stunning. Picture one of those helicopter fly-by shots of a dark, placid, blue-green sea littered with the tips of a thousand icebergs. Add the arctic sun, barely extricating itself fully from the horizon, providing spectacular back-lighting and forget it. Some sights may match its beauty but, dare I say, none will ever surpass it.
It was as if we'd flown, directly and unequivocally, into one of those documentaries you'll find on The Discovery Channel, The National Geographic Channel, et al. If it was the opening scene of a movie, it'd be discarded as cliché.
That was my first glimpse of Iceland. I was jazzed up.
After landing, deplaning, regaining our luggage, and undergoing the necessary but awkward and nerve-wracking pass through customs, we head for the bus to Reykjavik. Once aboard, we're treated to a 45 minute ride through a Flintstone-esque landscape of lava fields. Each mile, excuse me, kílometrar, is practically indistinguishable from the next. But it's beautiful. I've never seen anything like it. I'm mesmorized.
We arrive at the hotel and check in unceremoniously, unpack, settle in, and rest for a spell. We'll be needing our strength for the horseback riding session I've just booked for this afternoon over the phone from my hotel room.
After one or two hours and a short taxi ride outside the city, we're at the farm. Upon entering we all realize that we need to get a picture of all of this. So, here is that picture :
This is the view as we enter the pen of the horses we'd soon be riding. We settle down and after an acceptably thorough instructional presentation, we lot are ready to mount. It's a fairly relaxing ride amidst a landscape of mostly lava fields and small ponds with faint traces of golf course on the outskirts of the trail.
Here's a snapshot of the surrounding landscape, which is also representative of alot of the landscape we encountered on our bus trip from the airport. I'm still fascinated by it this early in the trip :
And for posterity's sake, here's a bit of our group on the trail :
This is day one. Maybe it's eight hours after landing at the airport. Whenever it is, it's the beginning of an adventure like no other.
Stay tuned... The excursion continues.
Friday, June 16, 2006
But that's the least of my worries.
Or the worst of my worries; I've yet to decide.
Nonetheless, I've made it to work and everything's keen. Until after I've pulled round the entrance-way and I'm making my way up to the employee parking area. Apparently, today, the 'employee' parking area isn't so open to allowing the 'employees' to park. Yes, I understand that today is the "CIO Workshop" ... but, whatever a "CIO" might be, did we need to invite each and every one of them !? From every state in the entire United States of America? Apparently, we did. And here they are. Taking up even the most precious 'late comer' spots in the lot. Curse them!
So, that's settled. I've managed to find a pretty sweet spot in the farthest reaches of the parking lot, right next to a stairwell that leads to the farthest end of the Swan Pond... right around North Dakota, I'd say.
Don't be! or, at least, let me explain. There is a man-made pond (two, actually) on the grounds of my office building. Enjoyable. I'll continue.
These ponds support resident swans... real, live swans which live in this pond year-round. It's amazing in mid-January or February when it's cold as a witch's tit and these swans are just floatin' about... heads tucked in below a wing. And you're dyin' just gettin' to your car! Fuckin' Cold!!! There they are. Floatin' around.. taunting humans.
"Screw you sans-downy beasts! I've the hide to keep alive!" is what you imagine hearing them screaming from the pond on your way out. Yet, they're really more freezin' to fuck, as if they had a choice. They don't move. Still floatin' and still alive come spring, though. Friggin' swans. Tough bastards, them. Swans.
So, in this particular pond here's what's going on - "Two 'parent' swans teaching six or seven 'baby' swans how to survive in the dangerous confines of a man-made pond with a feeder machine easily accessible to most floating fowl." Nature at its finest. But I love the swans. Don't get me wrong... them little cygnets is somethin' to see. Love 'em. Then, they all disappear once they're older (about six weeks?) and it's looking to next June. For the next cygnet batch. It's science.
The above quote (in addition to everything written here, i'm talking about the stuff that's actually in " - quotes - ") was provided by me, earlier, while thinking amongst myself and is, therefore, thoroughly copywrighted. Or so you better believe it is.
Strangely enough, or maybe just an ironic coincidence (if such a thing exists...), the man-made pond all this fowl thrives upon is made out in the shape of The United States of America. Refer, please, to the Norh Dakota reference above, if you will.
So there's my just getting into work, today. Brilliant. I've made it. Fuck the swans - today, i'm concerned about the penguins! And before you question - I do noe want to get into that, about the swans. Feedin' and that. Fuckin' NGEO channel's for that. Penguins is universal. Penguins... Weasels... you know whom I'm talking about.
It's about mid-day and I'm heading up the hall for a squirt. Same Men's Room I visit once or twice a day... and Holy Mackerel !! What in the fuck has happened here?! Definitely more a question and then - an exclamation. Well documented something.
It's been one of those days where you're left amazed at the undeniable and non-defensable attack on civil and cordial etiquite. Then there's the question... 'What about the toilet?'
Thus, it is told.
And here I lay out the fetid story of the ravaged Men's Rooom.
It was one of the men's rooms that I'd come to enjoy. And I found I had developed a deep discouragement as it became increasingly maligned. Mistreated by guests that were oblivious to their impact on the space, the toilet stall was now a liquified, desolate, place to be.
As difficult a topic as this is, the main point is that these pigs.... these 'men in suits' - and I don't mean the single quotes as a joke.. it's to identify who i'm referring to - are PIGS! Remember, the place is loaded with people 'dressed to the nines'... in suits; ties; pressed pants; the trappings of well-heeled business folk...
I went to check into a stall and there was piss all over the seat. The ceramic part of the seat! Who the F is pissing all over the toilet seat ??!! In a sit-down, practically shyte-only, stall? I know who it is. It's Mr. Genius SmartyPants, the guy who's shown up in a Suit today. Good for you! As if that suit is going to convince me that you're smarter than you really are. Truth be told, you can't even control your own dick when it comes to pissin' !! The fucking toilet is a mess. You've created a health hazard.
You. All of you fucking monkey-suit wearing pricks... Get the F out !!
You don't wash your hands in the bathroom.
You don't care about the people you're meeting with.
Go Fuck Yourself... Please!
Jeez, this seems fairly harsh, looking at it... Maybe they're all right.
Nah. 'Twas one of the most disgusting diplays I've ever witnessed.
Fucking suits... means pissing all over the place and someone else'll clean it all up when you're gone.
Never mind the sinks - where it's as if they're trying to baptize cats! There's enough residual water to supply a small nation, the water spilled upon the surface of the sinks. What are these people doing? How does that much sludge and water find its way to the tableop?
Wash your f-ing hands and keep the tidal wave to yourself! For fuck's sake.... I can't imagine what goes on to get that much water all over the place ??? Seriously, what the F are you doing, that that much water ends up on the outside of the sink?
Wednesday, June 07, 2006
The point here is that I'm experiencing overload.
o I just watched a Stanley Cup game 2 that was a 5-0 shutout - but
I'm optomistic Edmonton can come back at home and tie the
series at 2 a piece.
o I'm not sure if this Raconteurs album is great or just good.
o I just noticed that only the letters 'T' and 'I' have begun every
sentence, so far.
o Thank you for taking the time to verify. (5 'I's and 2 'T's, yeah?
and yet another 'T', here... that's 5 and 3 but who's counting?)
o Obviously, I am.
o I terribly miss traveling. Probably the single-most jones I've
got, right now. I need to go somewhere. If not Prague this
fall, why not Iceland this winter?
o Cooking is good. More cooking needs to happen at The Inn.
o How much would maid service be, saaaaay... twice a month?
o I need someone to explain to me the fascination with celebrity.
What the fuck is so special about these people? I'm lost.
o A good cup of coffee can make a bad day tolerable.
o A great cup of coffee (ohhh, like - homemade espresso one
of me mates makes) can make that same day worthwhile.
o I love The Dome.
That's about all I can muster at this point. There's plenty more but I run the risk of telling too much. Not true. It's just too late.
Thursday, June 01, 2006
That said, the Sox are off tonight and there's a Game 7 between Buffalo and Carolina on OLN. Perfect opportunity to jump back in the game. So, I did. And I am lovin' it. And something tells me the Sox are going to take a back seat during the Cup Finals.
You'll often hear hockey fans, and even sports people in general, proclaim, "There's nothing like playoff hockey." No more veritable words have ever been spewed forth by man nor beast. Especially in a Game 7.
With the series on the line - and a shot at the championship in the balance - players display phenomenal physical stamina and feats of athleticism you wouldn't imagine possible.. The energy is unbelievable. Anything is possible in a Game 7. Every player on the roster has a chance to be the hero. The player that will succeed at just the right moment to propel his team into the next round... or, better yet, to Stanley Cup Champions.
It's too much to explain here (and besides, i've got the game paused during the second intermission - with Buffalo leading 2-1, on the road, after a goal with only 4.7 seconds left in the period - and i'm jonesin' to return to it) but - believe me... if you like sport and don't think you're a fan of hockey - the Stanley Cup Finals begin Monday night with the winner of tonight's tilt hosting the Cinderella Edmonton Oilers (eighth and lowest seed in the West).
Do yourself a favor. Watch it. Watch some of it. You won't believe your eyes. Just watch one period and you'll see for yourself why hockey is, plain and simple, the best game in the world.
Now, if you'll excuse me.... Game on.
Monday, May 29, 2006
One of my good mates makes his living as a professional landscaper. Recently, he sent an e-mail to a group of friends asking if any of us were willing to lend him a hand in a side-job he is doing. In a decision partly made in good will towards helping him out and partly for some self-fulfillment of my own, I agreed to sign on as a hired laborer. With full knowledge that it would undoubtedly put my physical capabilities to the test.
Needless to say, that assessment was spot on. However, the sense of satisfaction I had after finishing for the day made all the expected aches and pains well worth the effort.
My day began with the task of clearing out some pruning behind the row of trees marking the back end of the property. The space was cramped and the seemingly endless trips from behind the trees to the tarp I was to use to transport the refuse were punctuated by branches scraping my face and arms. After the first few trips I became accustomed to the feel and towards the end of my task I felt that I was becoming immune to it. At the same time, I was increasingly aware of the fresh smell of decomposing natural materials. Not at all like rotting garbage but quite the opposite. It was a fresh, earthy smell that held a secret. A secret of the cycle of life, of rejuvenation. A beautiful secret with a beautiful scent.
Next up on the list was what a couple of us hired hands began to jokingly refer to as 'rock farming'. One of the professionals on site had a Bobcat - one of those stout and powerful machines used to move small quantities of earth, boulders, and trees. As he expertly trolled the small plot in an effort to loosen up the soil, rocks of all shapes, sizes, and weights began surfacing. It was our job to clear the larger of them by picking them up by hand, tossing them into wheelbarrows, and trekking them to the edge of the site to be dumped as fill. It wasn't a glamorous job and it held much less introspective qualities than did my previous chore. One unmistakable lesson, however, was that rocks are heavy. Deceivingly heavy. And in seemingly endless supply. Soon, pickings became slim and only the smallest of rocks remained. Mission accomplished. The ground was ready for the next phase in its transformation.
While I was somewhat relieved to be finished with my rock farming duties, I found myself nostalgically remeniscing about 'the good 'ol minutes' after I began "grubbing." Looking back, this was the most difficult task of the day, by far. Grubbing is the term used for removing grass by hand with a large (and heavy) pick-axe type tool. One side comes to a point while the other comes to a flattened blade. By repetitiously lifting and dropping the axe, with the blade side down, small squares of grass are cut and separated from the earth below the roots. It's backbreaking work - and for someone going into it with a foul back to begin with, not a very pleasant task. With three of us on the job we managed to finish in a reasonable amount of time. None of us, I'm sure, was happier about that than I. If i never have to grub again, I'll die a happy man.
The final stage of the day's work consisted of planting three new trees from the nursery. I had been given the task of digging the hole for one of them. Luckily for me, it was to go into a circular stone feature in the center of the driveway which had probably been filled with loose dirt and compost, initially. This made the digging easy. No rocks to farm; no grass to grub. Job done. I was quite proud of my hole. One of the trees, I know, was a birch tree. The other two, I'm not so sure... and by that time of the afternoon, I was too exhausted to really care one way or the other. They were cool looking, though. That I do know. And they were fun to plant.
With just some cleaning up to do - picking up tools that had scattered themselves across the yard, sweeping dirt from the driveway, and collecting any trash that had accumulated - the day was coming to an end. While sweeping the driveway, I also surveyed the area and felt a sense of pride in the work we had accomplished. The ground we had cleared and graded to a natural smoothness. The trees in their new homes. The debris removed. It all looked fantastic. There was alot more to go in finalizing the project, for sure. That would be left for another day. But I was content to take in what we had done on that day.
All in all, a successful day. I've gained a new appreciation for those of us who work in a more physical profession - but, most importantly, I've also gained a new appreciation for those things that surround us each day. The beautiful, living, breathing, and silent things that only Mother Nature can provide.
Wednesday, May 24, 2006
I'm of the belief that a three-piece suit doesn't make one perform any better or worse in their profession. Especially if said profession doesn't involve any direct interaction with the general public, as is the case in my profession of computer programming. What does a fancy suit add to my ability to program?
However, I do believe that having some pride in personal appearance can positively affect a person's attitude, without it having to cross the line into outright vanity. I'll admit that I enjoy watching the program What Not to Wear. Both the American version and the original, British version. I began watching the original on BBC America mostly because I enjoyed the two women hosts - and the fact that they frequently used the word 'tits' during episodes and weren't afraid to discuss them openly and touch them occasionally. The American version isn't so bad, either, albeit a bit more reserved in the 'tit' department. But I digress.
The point two of us were trying to make is that the people who are enlisted as guests - or 'victims', since they are secretly signed up by friends and family - are typically put off by the idea at first. Admittedly, I understand the initial indignation. No one likes to be told that they look awful and anyone would be slightly offended by such an insinuation. Eventually, however, each guest on the show is converted by the end of the ordeal. Their spirits are enlightened, thier outlook brightened, and over-all self esteem heightened. And what's wrong with that?
The third party in the conversation wouldn't have any of it. "Clothes shouldn't matter. It's what's on the inside that is important," was his general defense. That's partly true. But what's wrong with being who you are and taking some pride in appearance at the same time? It doesn't stand that simply because you're putting on a decent outward appearance that you're selling yourself short... or bowing to the pressures of a material society.
It seems to me that there is some idealism at play, here. His ideal being that clothing shouldn't make any difference, under any circumstances. What we tried to point out was the fact, if one feels better about themselves with certain clothing options, where is the harm? Believe me, I'm no fashion expert. I believe in simple, comfortable clothing. I try to avoid wearing suits at all cost. But a little style here and there isn't a sin, is it?
So, I propose to my idealistic friend, hold yourself up to your own ideal. If clothing is as utilitarian as you profess, why not show up to work in some ill-fitting, out-of-date slacks and an horrendous silk print shirt? Same outfit. Every day. For a week. I'll pick them out for you - and even pay for them. After all, why should it matter? It's just clothing.
Monday, May 15, 2006
My point is that I don't mind the foul weather. People often gripe and moan about the wet springs we endure in New England. And the snowy winters. And the wet and increasingly chilly autumns, come to think of it. Although, the unrelenting heat and humidity that blankets the area perennially for some two-week period or other between June and September tends to burn my britches the most - thank Science for air-conditioning - but in the end, I don't mind that so much, either.
Why do I bring it up? Because it's not the weather that's doin' me head in today. It's just 'one of those days'.
I think it began while making my way to work this morning. The myriad of morons on the roadways was (or should I say is - as I'm sure they're still out there now) unbearable. However, I'll leave that tangent untouched for fear of my fingers falling off.
It's one of those days where no one is welcome. Complete strangers walking down the hall ignite a flame of fury inside me, making me want to erupt with a magma of detestation. I can't stand the sound of the human voice. It's as if a blanket soaked in inanity has been draped over my body and tied with ropes of annoyance. Screw Everyone, I say.
And the people sharing my work area are doing naught to help improve the situation.
One guy had a 10 minute argument with someone regarding selling a house that no one was currently living in. There were problems finding someone to sell it, blah, blah, fucking blah... I don't give a fuck, buddy. And now, to my luck, he's morphed into The Incredible Sighing Machine. Clockwork. Every two-minutes or so, whilst doing whatever the fuck he's doing, he lets out a nice, juicy, woe-is-me, sigh. Fuck off, douche.
And that's not the worst of it. There's this prick of a guy that's been in my area for a while now. Condescending, arrogant, prick of a guy. Seems he's having a bit of a day, himself. Periodically sighing and pounding his fist to the desk in frustration over something... maybe the rain's disrupted the fucking little league schedule for the league he's constantly on the phone about. Mind you, we work at a medical software company.
The topper though, is his headphone set. We've got an open working environment where "cubicles" have walls that only extend about eight inches above the desk - so, everyone's visible and audible. Sometimes a few of us will get into some conversations that don't involve everyone and things can get a bit loud. Recently, to combat this, he's brought himself in some headphones. Not your typical earbud or even slick ear-covering design. These are full-fledged, airport runway tarmac, fucking headphones. They're red. He's resorted to wearing these as if to not-so-subtley tell everyone, "Hey, shut the fuck up loudmouths, I've got important work to do and I don't need your distractions." They look like he could have used him with his reel-to-reel tape machine in college, listening to Grand Funk Railroad or Jefferson Fucking Airplane.
Get the fuck out of here, you annoying prick. And take your Smithsonian 'living legend' earphones with you.
So, it's after lunch and the day's half over. I'm going to put on my headphones (much sleeker and cooler, I'll have you know), bury myself in some Sigur Rós or Ricky Gervais Show podcasts, and try and avoid humanity for the next four hours and hope tomorrow isn't like today. Wish me luck, ass hole.
Monday, May 08, 2006
However, I must admit that compared to Anthony Bourdain's current job - my job sucks. Doesn't even come close. I may as well be quarrying stone to build a pyramid.
Thanks to the ingenius development of DVR cable boxes, I had a few episodes of "Anthony Bourdain : No Reservations" stored on my box. I watched them over the weekend and soon found myself daydreaming about a life as a travel show host. But he's not just any travel show host. He enjoys the best of both worlds... Traveling (all paid for by the Travel Channel, I'm assuming) and drinking and Eating. And I don't mean eating, I mean Eating, with a capital E. It's not the typical travel show destinations in each country and it's not the typical food. He gets down and dirty with the locals and is able to witness amazing - and quite personal, in some cases - ceremonies, rituals, and events.
This isn't saying that he doesn't deserve his job and I should be doing it instead. Far from it. As a chef who's lived a tough life toiling in kitchens across the country, along with living like the proverbial rock star, he's earned his lot. And I'm not so sure I'd be as brave as he was... sitting on the kitchen floor of an Inuit family's kitchen with a freshly caught seal split open, ready for dinner. Family members happily grabbing fleshy bits, covered in blood, and popping them into their mouths like boneless buffalo chicken tenders. Grandparents and young children alike, blissfully gnawing the raw meat off freshly picked bones, faces smeared with seal blood. And, of course, they save the majority of the blood for stew. As the honoured guest he was offered the delicacy of the meal, the eyeball, to be split open with a blade and its insides sucked out... much like eating a chocolate covered cherry, avoiding the chocolate.
You have to see it to believe it. And, believe me, once you've seen it - it isn't nearly as nasty as it might sound. Come to think of it, it's not too far removed from Irish black pudding, which I quite enjoyed while in Ireland last spring. For those unaware, it's not a dessert dish. It's a type of sausage made with some mixture of spices, wheat, and sheep's blood. Quite tasty. Actually, who am I kidding - it's miles away from that Inuit feast.
In any case, I'm not sure if I could manage the seal eyeball, the grilled cow stomach lining he so enjoyed while in China, or alot of the other local treats he's encountered - but I'd love to be given the opportunity. And it's not all blood, guts, and nasty bits. He knows alot of chefs around the world and he's treated to some pretty fantastic meals during these trips, as well.
That's the life. Traveling far and wide, off the beaten track, to mingle with the true citizens of each country and enjoying what they enjoy. Then ducking back to the city for a gourmet meal and a night on the town, overindulging on the region's favourite drink - whatever it may be. Only to awaken the next day and do it all over again... some day, perhaps.
Wednesday, May 03, 2006
We see pregnant woman walking about us all the time. On the streets, in our offices, at the grocery, etc. As most people are aware of how, for the most part, a woman is impregnated it struck me. Might we have some built-in mechanism that defuses our "R-rated" thoughts on the subject? After all, with the overall puritan beliefs regarding sex in this country suffocating us (at least us openly talking about it; advertisers seem to have immunity on the subject), why are we so inclined to gloss over that how.
"ooh, congratulations!" we exclaim upon hearing the news. "Is it a boy or a girl?" typically being the next question asked, as if anyone gives a crap.
The thing with this particular woman in my office, however, is that this will be her third child... within about two and a half years time. Her THIRD ! Think about that. Over the past two and a half years, she's been pregnant for pretty much the entire stretch. Most people would call her a "working mother" but let's call a spade a spade here...
She's a WHORE ! for fuck's sake - get off your back for a minute, will you? Put your friggin' panties back on, fix your hair, and get back to work! We shouldn't be congratulating and asking which sex the baby might be... we should be asking, "Oh, at it again, were you?" and "Great job. Thrown open the gates again, i see. Thanks. Guess who'll be taking over your work while you're out on leave? Well done. Whore."
The inevitable, "When are you due?" question is really a means for us to do some quick math and think, "Okay, three months.... It's early May, so, that's October. Someone sure did get a treat, then, didn't they."
So, next time you see a pregnant woman... remember, it's not really a 'miracle'. pause for a moment and just imagine how it happened. that filthy wench was bent over the rail with her skirt up over her head, recently. And there's no hiding that fact. Congratulations!!
thank you for asking.
ingredients? soon enough.
here's a hint :: horseradish mustard may have been involved.
So, here's the deal - and perhaps this is why I'm at such
a stalemate against what to record next... one of my mates
introduced me to his blog recently. He'd been keeping it for
a few months. I had no idea.
I had come across blogs before and was intrigued by the idea.
I enjoyed his quite a bit and it got me interested in publishing
my own. However, I've quickly learned that it's tough to come
up with poignant topics each day.
This is probably more for my recollection than anything you'd
give a crap about - but i'm curious to see what develops and i
need to remember why i did this in the first place. So, this
space will probably suck for a while. So be it.
But I'm hoping it's a short while. The point is to keep with it.
Get better. In the mean time, I'll continue posting bollocks
while I find my groove...
probably something along the lines of a chilled out entertainer vibe.
With some drum and bass shit mixed in.
Saturday, April 29, 2006
Friday, April 28, 2006
said in the past or whatever agenda he's been pushing
for however long.
but i just caught something on the Eleven O'Clock News
(which, to those of you that grew up before the advent of
CableTV know, was the end-all and be-all of your TV news influence.
It's portrayed in capital letters, for those among us of younger
generations, because it was the place to get the news of the day.
For more explanation and clarity on the subject, i suggest you
view - or re-view - one of the finest films ever to be projected to
the silver screen... "Anchorman : The Legend of Ron Burgundy,"
starring the inimitable Will Ferrell, to gain an understanding
of the relative importance of the Eleven O'Clock News in its hey
day - or the Six O'Clock News, for you early birds.)
that i wanted to share with you...
So, here it is in April of 2006 and one of the stories to break
the lineup is that Rush Limbaugh has relapsed in his effort
to quit his penchant for over-the-counter pain killers - or
whatever it is he's supposedly addicted to. Don't care.
The point is... the man hasn't had any influence on politics
since his 'recovery' period began. So, why the unnecessary
flogging of character? Why is his setback a newsworthy
piece - in as much as news goes? Answer? It's not.
But it "makes great copy" - which may or may not be a
true journalistic catch phrase... so they air the segment,
I'm not promoting the guy or his beliefs, thoughts, or
whatever. I just don't see the need to 'spotlight' the
guy's personal trek.
Okay - let's do an introspective and dig deep into the
personal lives of the 'experts' that disect Hollywood
and the local news anchors (and writers, producers,
et cetera) that seem to thrive on schadenfreude and
depend on it for ratings. Who's first?
Oh, that's right.. it's a different set of rules of judgement,
because you're all here to report the news. yep, forgot that.
Look, personally, I think Rush is a douche. But the
guy doesn't deserve a non-productive bit on the news
just to show that he's havin' some troubles... Imagine
if you flicked on the news at night and some head was
spouting personal details of your life. you, my friend,
would be pissed.
The point here? (yeh... i'm gettin' to it)
The News should be news... not gossip.
There are plenty of places to pick up gossip.
The Eleven O'Clock News shouldn't be one of them.
same thing, really, in my town. when people are driving, anyway.
seems that rich people tend to take their time when they drive.
should i turn when the light turns green or should i wait a while,
while everyone in range gawks in awe at my sweet ride?
i don't have anywhere to go. my money's working for me.
i've got time to crawl around the streets at an ungodly,
seems that old people tend to take their time when they drive.
should i turn or should i admire the intersection's geometric beauty?
a question everyone's asked themselves at some point, yeah? even
if for a mili-second. or a nanosecond but that could be a bit too
technical. or not. i like the use of the dash ("-") as well as other
strange writing (typing, really) quirks i've picked up, so, bear with it...
seems no one in either group is in a hurry to go anywhere.
might be a bit harsh but the underlying fact remains...
in my town, you don't want to get caught on the road behind
the rich. or the old.
they're both here - and we need them both... i'm just sayin'.
i wish i had their patience.
and i can't wait to be one of them.
preferably the latter, i think.