Monday, February 27, 2006

Live from the San Diego Convention Center

I am writing this from the Cyber Cafe (that just wreeks of geek) at the San Diego Convention Center where I just picked up my registration materials for the "Blackboard World 06" conference and am killing time until my 3pm workshop (40 minutes from now).

I had lunch at the San Diego branch of Dick's Last resort...that was fun, especially since they killed the Boston one by moving it from its longtime anchor at the Prudential Center to ultra-touristy (more conservative) Faneuill hall.

I'm pooped! Catchya all later.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Email from Jerry

My, let's use the word eccentric, friend Jerry send an email today that I got a kick out of. I enjoyed it so much in fact, that I decided to share it with all of you here:

Passing on a very cute email from a friendly Swami I know....Enjoy, Jerry

Consider These 3 Thoughts

(1) Zero Gravity-When NASA first started sending up astronauts, they quicklydiscovered that ball-point pens would not work in zero gravity. To combat thisproblem, NASA scientists spent a decade and $12 billion developing a pen thatwrites in zero gravity, upside-down, on almost any surface including glass and at temperatures ranging from below freezing to over 300 C. The Russians used a pencil. Your taxes are due again--enjoy paying them.

(2) Our Constitution-"They keep talking about drafting a Constitution for Iraq. Why don't we just give them ours? It was written by a lot of really smart guys, and it's worked for over 200 years. And, we're not using it anymore."

(3) Ten Commandments-The real reason that we can't have the Ten Commandments in a Courthouse is that you cannot post "Thou Shalt Not Steal," "Thou Shalt NotCommit Adultery" and "Thou Shall Not Lie" in a building full of lawyers, judges and politicians . It creates a hostile work environment.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Sail On through the Depths of Emotional Outrage and Forge Ahead with Your Reality before it Ends

Considering my score of 27, I thought I'd title this post with a catchy album title.

What follows is a fun little quiz I found in the March edition of SPIN magazine. Have fun and play with me...

What's Your Rock-Star Personality?
Are you destined to share the stage with a bunch of smelly freaks in bear costumes? Determine your true calling!
BY BRIAN RAFTERY

1. Your most recent Internet-only EP was described on Pitchfork as...(A) "Soft-hearted and even softer endowed, it's emotional oat bran for the premature male-menopause set: 4.5"
(B) "Stripped-down, primal, and antagonistic, like the rain-of-blood denouement at Carrie's high School prom: 7.3"
(C) "Inhabited by screechy gnomes and pleading goddesses, it's akin to being on a hell- bound spaceship of jazz-rock fusion: 8.0"
(D) The best listenable electro-acoustic lap-rock album so far this week: 9.7"

2. During a recent sold-out New York City show, you spotted David __________ in the audience.(A) Gray
(B) Bowie
(C) St. Hubbins
(D) Cross

3. Your last backstage brawl was causec by a debate over...(A) Dostoevsky vs. Nabokov
(B) A new two-tone color scheme
(C) A missing Flanger effects pedal
(D) Whether to hire a third trombonist

4. In interviews you're always being asked...(A) "What's Jennifer Love Hewitt really like?"
(B) "Do you ever, you know, do it backstage?”
(C) "Does playing in 7/8 time with a 4/4 accompaniment help create that King Crimson-like 'off-balance' tempo?"
(D) "Why is everyone dressed like a panda?"

5. Your favorite Led Zeppelin song to cover is...
(A) "Tangerine"
(B) "Whole Lotta Love"
(C) "Achilles' Last Stand"
(D) "Kashmir," but stretched out a bit

6.ln between songs you deliver a powerful speech in favor of...(A) Fairtrade
(B) Prenups
(C) The virtues of multiplayer wireless Halo
(D) Free zithers for the homeless

7. At night you dream of...
(A) Anything that will take away the pain of your loneliness; also, a Gap pocket-tee endorsement deal
(B) Separate tour buses
(C) A maiden fair and true, with a butt like Jessica Alba's
(D) All of the above

8. Your tour-rider demands include...
(A) Four (4) boxes of brand-name tea
(B) One (1) drip-ready coffee maker
(C) Six (6) lines of cocaine
(D) One thousand two hundred (1,200) Northern Mexico peyote plants

9. When you look out into your audience, you see...
(A) A line of weepy CosmoGirl! editors
(B) A bunch of guys staring at your wife
(C) Air bass lots and lots of air bass
(D) Confused white people

10. You can't wait to play...(A) One Tree Hill
(B) Coachella
(C) Vengeful Dragon™ Music & Memorabilia Convention, St. Petersburg, Florida
(D) By yourself, godammit, for just once
Scoring
Every time you answer A, add one point.
Every time you answer B, add two points.
Every time you answer C, add three points
Every time you answer D, add four points.

If you scored 10-14, you're a sensitive singer/songwriter. You enjoy kittens and dating twentysomething TV starlets.

If you scored 15-24, you're one part of a husband-and-wife blues combo. Perhaps you're even part of a brother-and-sister combo, but please, just be honest with us

If you scored 25-34, you're in a prog-metal band. Your album titles will probably be more than ten words long, so plan the artwork accordingly.

If you scored 35 or higher, you're part of a two-dozen-strong freak-folk psychedelic collective. We'll look for your side projects!

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Honky Tonk Badonkadonk

Hello everybody, my name is Chris D. and I am a country music fan. It's actually more accurate to say that I am a music fan but I am certain that my fondness for country music is either an obsession or a compulsion. That is why I am here...

Have any of you heard this unusual new song by Trace Adkins called "Honky Tonk Badonkadonk"? Here are the lyrics:

(Spoken:)Turn it up some
Alright boys, this is her favorite song
You know that right
So, if we play it good and loud
She might get up and dance again
Ooh, she put her beer down
Here she comes
Here she comes
Left left left right left
Whoo...

Husslers shootin' eightball
Throwin' darts at the wall
Feelin' damn near 10 ft. tall
Here she comes, Lord help us all
Ol' T.W.'s girlfriend done slapped him outta his chair
Poor ole boy, it ain't his fault
It's so hard not to stare
At that honky tonk badonkadonk
Keepin' perfect rhythm
Make ya wanna swing along
Got it goin' on
Like Donkey Kong
And whoo-wee
Shut my mouth, slap your grandma
There outta be a law
Get the Sheriff on the phone
Lord have mercy, how's she even get them britches on
That honky tonk badonkadonk
(Aww son)

Now Honey, you can't blame her
For what her mama gave her
You ain't gotta hate her
For workin' that money-maker
Band shuts down at two
But we're hangin' out till three
We hate to see her go
But love to watch her leave
With that honky tonk badonkadonk
Keepin' perfect rhythm
Make ya wanna swing along
Got it goin' on
Like Donkey Kong
And whoo-wee
Shut my mouth, slap your grandma
There outta be a law
Get the Sheriff on the phone
Lord have mercy, how's she even get them britches on
With that honky tonk badonkadonk
(Ooh, that's what I'm talkin' bout right there, honey)

We don't care bout the drinkin'
Barely listen to the band
Our hands, they start a shakin'
When she gets the urge to dance
Drivin' everybody crazy
You think you fell in love
Boys, you better keep your distance
You can look but you can't touch
That honkey tonk badonkadonk
Keepin' perfect rhythm
Make ya wanna swing along
Got it goin' on
Like Donkey Kong
And whoo-wee
Shut my mouth, slap your grandma
There outta be a law
Get the Sheriff on the phone
Lord have mercy, how's she even get them britches on
That honky tonk badonkadonk

That honky tonk badonkadonk
Yeah, that honky tonk badonkadonk

(That's it, right there boys, that's why we do what we do
It ain't for the money, it ain't for the glory, it ain't for the free whiskey
It's for the badonkadonk)

Folks, it's a classic. Turn on CMT, GAC, or your local country radio station and hop on the Badonkadonk Bandwagon.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Back Back

My back is killing me! It hurts as bad as it did last August when I ended up doing physical therapy. I am sure it's at least partly my fault. The last month or two I've dropped a bit off on my fitness routine and proper eating habits and I am paying for it not only with back pain, I just feel miserable in general. Time to get back on track - literally and figuratively.

As I type this, I am proud to say I just finished doing my taxes and have electronically sent them off to my least favorite uncle.

Of note in my Blogs I Frequent section is a new entry called How to Correctly Tip a Cow. Stop on by and support Jammie in her new venture. Jammie is a bright and funny gal whom I respect, admire, and enjoy and I think you will to.

We'll be replacing all of the windows on the 2 main floors of our house. After interviewing 4 different companies and doing an obsessive amount of research, Window World is getting the job. I need to call my salesman Yanni (not the untalented musician) to get things finalized and make a deposit.

Have I mentioned how much I miss Dr. Liz?

Happy President's Day to all of you!

Friday, February 17, 2006

Martina McBride, You Absolutely Rule!

The concert was held at the Tsongas Arena in Lowell, MA about 35-40 miles north of where I live. The commute was surprisingly simple and in fact, almost easier than that to the arena in Boston which is only about 20-25 miles east of my house. It was also nice to only pay $10 to park instead of $20-$30 as you would in Boston.

Upon entering the arena lobby and picking up our front row seat tickets from the WKLB promotions crew we headed over to the WILL CALL booth to retrieve our Meet & Greet passes and then waited until the gates opened to enter the main arena.

Once in the main arena on the floor level, several frighteningly friendly ushers took us to where our seats were before guiding us to the backstage entry area for the meet & greet. I was prepared to find the seats but the ushers were killing us with kindness to the point where it was almost creepy (isn't it odd that nice can be creepy?) and insisted on excorting us to the seats. I thought it was because they were hoping for a tip because I am too shallow apparently to see that there are actually people who just want to be nice. As the guy is leading us, I'm prepping a dollar bill in that little fold you do when you want to "slip it in" on the "thank you" handshake. Well, the guy would have none of that. "No, that's ok - enjoy the show," he said as he waved and skadoodled as I sunk my head in shame.

Overwhelmed at the reality of being front row, center stage was fun while it was sinking in - and I was insisting on taking some photographs and schmoozing with all of the other good seat winners and/or people in the know" (apparently the only way to get those kind of seats) and then it was time to head to the backstage area to meet Martina (yes, even I realize I am sounding like a fag about this).

It was a small crown of about 20 or so waiting to meet Martina and everone was cool, especially the arena and tour staff and security. We all lined up and then from around a corner, there came Martina McBride. I just stared in amazement that she was within reach and I made a mental note of her stylish sense of fashion and her impossible small frame (which seemed even more impossible since she has given birth to three children, including one in the past year). There were about 5 or 6 folks in front of us, then when it was out turn, my wife very uncharacteristically just walked up to her and gave her a big hug as if she were seeing a family member that she hadn't seen in a long time. Oddly, that really is the vibe Martina was sending, that she really was happy to be meeting with us and not that she was just going through the motions of a contractual obligation. Martina put her arm out for me and I awkwardly gave a half handshake, half hug and bragged about how I had met her back in 1992 in Nashville (yes, not only am I being a fag, but a geek as well).

The concert's opening act was "The Warren Brothers" who have spent more time writing songs for other artists but have also released two CD's of their own which have received critical acclaim though not as commercially succesful as the artists whom they write for. Brett and Brad gave a solid performance and effectively warmed up the crowd with a few songs, some entertaining banter, and a practical joke on, of all people, ME! AS they closed their set, Brett leaned off the front of the stage, held out his guitar, and pointed to me with a motion indicating he wanted me to take the cuitar from him. Geek that I am, I got up and went to oblige when he pulled it away; all in fun.

WIth no discernable break, Martina came out in support of the eight studio recording "Timeless." Timeless is a collection of cover songs that were influential to her and to the history of country music. The entire first set was dedicated to the songs recorded for this CD and all were performed brlliantly by Maritna and her fantastic band.

Here's the setlist for the "Timeless" portion of the show:
Thank's A Lot
I Can't Stop Loving You
I'll Be There (If You Ever Want Me)
You Ain't Woman Enough
Pick Me Up On Your Way Down
You Win Again
Heartaches By The Number
Today I Started Loving You Again
Love's Gonna Live Here
Help Me Make It Through The Night
I Still Miss Someone
Rose Garden
Make The World Go Away
Stand By Your Man

After a 15-20 minute break, Martina came out again to perform a selection of her best known songs. It was just amazing to see and hear these songs that I have know and loved performed just a few feet away. There was one point where she did a "fan's choice" where the Warren Brothers were out in the crowd and sending requests to Martina.

Here's the set list for the second half of the show:
When God Fearin' Woman Get the Blues
Happy Girl
Love's the Only House
Valentine {it was the night before Valentine's Day}
Wild Angels
My Baby Loves Me
Concrete Angels
In My Daughter's Eyes
Fan's Choice (Wrong Again)
Fan's Choice (Hit Me With Your Best Shot)
This One's For the Girls
Broken Wing
Independence Day
Encore: Somewhere Over the Rainbow

This was a terrific concert, a spectacular performance by a beautiful woman. I still can't believe the darn seats I was sitting in - just too friggin' unreal.

Finally, here's a link to the pictures I took...

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

So Much to Say, So Little Time

Some quick bullets:
  • The Martina McBride concert was postponed from Sunday to Monday thanks to a hefty blizzard.
  • I spent most of Sunday moving large quantities of snow around with my snow thrower.
  • Spent another part of Sunday sore from moving all that snow.
  • Spent a good portion of Sunday and Monday disturbed at teh entire concept, neccessity, and methodology of moving snow.
  • Had Monday off from work due to previous days snow.
  • Went to Martina McBride concert Monday night - pics and story to follow when I have more time.
  • Happy Belated Valentine's Day to all.
  • I absolutely hate Valentine's Day.
  • I miss Dr. Liz (formerly referred to on this blog as Dr. Watson) .

Sunday, February 12, 2006

What He Said

My friend Laurel from work is a fellow reality TV junkie and last year she insisted that I check out Project Runway on Bravo. I thought about it, but never got around to it because it was at that time hard enough to keep up with the numerous reality offerings I was already addicted to.

Now that the verb "To TIVO" has become a part of American Popular Culture (which has me wishing that "we TIVO" in Spanish would be pronounced "Tivabamos"), I decided to give Project Runway a shot as the 2nd season began. Oh yeah, there is that borderline psychotic need to view reality TV episodes in the order in which they aired that haunts me...anyway, back on track, I have watched every episode this season and absolutely love the show.

What follows is an article I just finished reading in the Boston Globe which made me laugh and realize that I am not alone. Enjoy...

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
CULTURAL STUDIES
Goddess of the runwayBy James Parker February 12, 2006


AS A STRAIGHT male whose greatest effort on behalf of fashion is the doing of his own laundry, I have been surprised to find myself sinking into an involvement with the second season of Bravo's ''Project Runway." At my house, the finale on March 1 will be bigger than the Super Bowl. In each episode, a gang of designers are given a concept, a budget, and a deadline, upon the expiration of which they must submit a finished garment and have it paraded by a model before a haughty firing squad of fashion insiders. Someone is judged the winner, someone loses, the loser goes home, etc.
But as in all the best reality TV, the real action takes place on the mythic level. In the same way that ''The Apprentice," in the person of Donald Trump, manifested the presence of the great Saturn-god of coining, god of lead, heavy-faced and flat-voiced, sitting there under his strange swoop of coppery hair, filling the boardroom with the drone of his bullion-"Project Runway" gives us a goddess. Supermodel Heidi Klum is the show's host and fairy queen, resplendent in pregnancy, breathing the death-sentence each week (''Oh, you are aut...auf weidersehen") in her fascinating German accent.
Unlike Trump, who liked to be filmed shouting in limousines or lumbering grandly around his golf course, Klum is rarely seen off the ''Project Runway" set. No daylight for the goddess-her realm is the studio, with its perfected lighting and purpose-built catwalk. In there, she rules. The designers, meanwhile, curse and fret and poke themselves with needles in their horribly illumined sweatshop. Tim Gunn, a swan of a man who holds a chair at the Parsons School of Design, mediates between the two planes, acting as coach and counselor to the designers. ''Zulema, where are you with your garment?" he inquires, over his spectacles, from the turret of his wonderful posture. Or, more encouragingly: ''Santino, wow! You're in a new zone! You're there!" Gunn can be austere and condemnatory, frowning at a mannequin, but he can also get down and dish with the designers, as he memorably did about a model named Rachael: ''She's such a problem! She's like this elongated marshmallow....Those Gumby legs!"

It's all very, very interesting. Where the contestants on ''The Apprentice" tended to be noxious go-getters, monsters of American banality who said ''multiple" instead of ''many" and complained that their competitors were ''putting up roadblocks," the designers on ''Project Runway" are a bouquet of exotics blowing kisses. Holding itself aloof, by and large, from interpersonal squalor-relations, friendly or otherwise, among the designers are treated as a mere side-effect-the show also has a refreshing focus on craft. These people can actually do something: They can sew. And when the designers are finally before the goddess and her court, and they see their productions moving down the runway, kinkily animated by the rare-looking models, their faces are filled with a sort of greedy-eyed narcissism. Some part of themselves is on display.

James Parker's column appears in Ideas biweekly. E-mail cultural.studies@globe.com

Saturday, February 11, 2006

It IS possible to WIN a Radio Contest

Being both a country music fan and something of a geek, I am a "member" (that's the official word of geekdom) of the local country music station's something-or-other "club" (yet another word from the land on geekdom). One of the advantages (justification of "club" "membership" is just one more serious side of geekdom) of this is occasional advance notice of events and presale dates for concert tickets and of course, the classic radio promotion - concert ticket giveaway contests.

So, without any second thought, I enter every contest that the radio station sends my way just for sake of entering. In fact, after already having purchased tickets to see Martina McBride, one of my favorites, I entered a contest to win tickets to see her when it arrived in my emailbox just a day after I had shelled out hard cash for tickets of my own.

Jump ahead about 10 weeks into the future and what follows is the text of an email I received yesterday:

Congratulations Chris!

You had entered a web contest a few months ago for FRONT ROW Martina McBride tickets and a meet and greet with Martina McBride. I wanted to let you know that you were chosen as the winner. We have a pair of front row tickets for you for this weekend's show. The show is this Sunday, February 12th at the Tsongas Arena in Lowell. The show starts at 7:30pm on Sunday evening. We will have the meet and greet passes for you and a guest as well. I am not sure what time the meet and greet with be on Sunday. I am working on all that information right now. Please give me a call at the number below if you have any questions.

Marie Miscia
Promotion Coordinator
Country 99.5 - WKLB
So my friends, geeks, I mean, people actually do win radio contests.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Tribute to "The Doctor"

She’s leaving
Going home for a while
She wants us all to be happy
But I can’t hold back the tears
Why does it feel this way?
Through the twists and turns
that life throws us
We constantly find that we are
victims of timing – good or bad
We are forced to ask ourselves what if on a regular basis
Often, the answer is just not obvious
So we must rely on faith
Believing in that which is not so clear cut
I am certain that there was purpose to her being in our lives
Just as I am certain she will always remain there
She has touched our lives in many ways
She gave us joy, friendship, and oh, the laughter
You could hear the laughter ringing through the halls
long after the laughter stopped
The laughter surely can’t stop
She may be leaving
But she’ll never be gone

Monday, February 06, 2006

"Consumed by Candy"

As I have on several Sundays in the past, I am reprinting here (without permission) a column called The Observer written by (the brilliant) Sam Allis in the Sunday Boston Globe. The weeks column just brought me all kinds of joy to read and made me laugh, smile, and crave a pack of NECCO wafers (which coincidentally I purchased alongside the newspaper not yet knowing about this article). I hope you enjoy the column as much as I did. For more info on NECCO wafers and the NECCO company, click on the word NECCO.

--- ---- ----- ---- ---
THE OBSERVER
Consumed by candy
Young, old go hog-wild for Necco delights
By Sam Allis, Globe Columnist February 5, 2006



We should remember as we approach Valentine's Day that it remains the most obnoxious among our many obnoxious holidays designed to alchemize emotion into cash. The upside, of course, is the bald excuse it provides the Observer to visit the Necco plant, where 8 billion candy hearts are made each year, out in the moonscape of Revere.


To drop in on a candy factory these days is like touring a crystal meth laboratory as far as the food police are concerned. (We are our own worst enemy here.) Candy and other delights that hermetically seal our arteries, such as tiramisu and creme anglaise, are reduced to memories in our besotted quest for good health. Recommended consumption at dinner now consists of dead fish and roadside greens.


Halloween aside, candy is a quaint concept in 2006. After-dinner mints are as rare as they are weird. Someone may bring out a box after the bird at Thanksgiving, but that just doesn't happen with takeout from Doyle's on Tuesday nights. Ribbon candy, once a Christmas staple, disappeared with cigars. Life Savers still sell, largely it seems, to ex-smokers resigned to trade cigarettes for wholesale tooth decay. But when was the last time you saw anyone older than 12 take down a 3 Musketeers?


Childhood, after all, was the last time we ate things we weren't supposed to on a regular basis, and common candy is as redolent of this period of our lives as baseball cards. (Forget anything with ''chocolatier" in the label for people who shop for pearls at Mikimoto.) Both carry the scents of a drugstore, all mint and malts and medicine, and attendant misbehavior. Good & Plenty takes me back to the thrill of getting thrown out of a Saturday afternoon movie.


My own theory on candy consumption is that it spikes among the young and the old. The first cohort couldn't care about healthy eating and the second has thrown in the towel on the idea. Middle-aged adults, meanwhile, graze occasionally on Nestle Crunch and pound treadmills like crazed gerbils. I bounced this off of Lory Zimbalatti, Necco's marketing manager, who took no issue with it.


Which brings me to the New England Confectionery Company, which makes Necco Wafers in a mammoth 820,000-square-foot facility that resembles a Lockheed Martin assembly plant. The Observer has been ingesting tons of them since John Foster Dulles was secretary of state. They are to candy what the great Fig Newton is to cookies.


Necco, the oldest candy maker in the country, started churning out the wafers in 1847, and today sells 4 billion of them a year. People consume 120 of them each minute worldwide. (Candy lends itself to fabulous factoids.) I could go on. I will.


During one trip to Antarctica, explorer Richard Byrd took 2 1/2 tons of the wafers with him, according to Necco, which provided almost a pound every week for each of his men for two years.


It's not just humans, either. All of the Necco sugary detritus accumulated from the confection process of wafers and the Sweethearts Conversation Hearts goes to hog farmers, whose pigs crave the stuff. (You can't make this up.) Zimbalatti told me Necco has a contract with a pig farmer from New York State who comes and hauls the sweet garbage away. Cows, horses, and elephants, she adds, also adore it.


Equally arresting, if a bit unnerving, is the shelf life of the wafers. It appears to be eternal. A Necco lab manager recently found a roll made in 1952 and reported that, aside from some loss of flavor, it tasted fine. My question is this: Could a wafer withstand nuclear attack?


I happen to prize licorice and clove (black and purple) over the other six flavors. No one is lukewarm about licorice, Zimbalatti informs me; people either love it or hate it. Chocolate (brown) is the most popular flavor nationally but not in the Northeast, where wintergreen (white) holds sway. In the Midwest, by contrast, ''You can't give away wintergreen," says Jeffrey Green, the company's vice president for research and development. ''They think it tastes like Pepto-Bismol."


The tiny Sweethearts may taste good but, let's be honest here, they're snores if you bother to read them. The 10 new sayings for 2006 include yawns like ''Call Home," ''Sweet Home," ''Go Home," ''Home Soon," and ''Home Sick."


These make Hallmark cards read like ''Lady Chatterley's Lover." Necco clearly needs some pizzazz here. Foodies are already reeling from the disastrous decline in the quality of Chinese fortune cookie messages, which now read like computer prompts. So the Observer floated to Zambalatti and operations czar Bill Leva the nifty idea of a new line of adult Sweethearts with some racy words on them to light the Valentine fires. They blanched.


Never mind. The company will unveil in the next few months a new line of Necco Wafers. This news is huge, right up there with the latest on Iran's nuclear schemes, because aside from its brief experiment with a line of tangy fruit flavors in the mid-'90s, Necco hasn't touched its flavor lineup since the 1930s.


The big question, of course, is what will the hogs think?


Sam Allis can be reached at allis@globe.com

Sunday, February 05, 2006

R.I.P. "Grandpa"



I met him years ago at his NY restaurant, aptly called "Grandpa's". I couldn't help but stare at him because I grew up watching "The Munsters" and there was Grandpa close enough to touch. After a short while, he noticed me staring and came over to my table and broke the ice with an introduction and chatted with me and my date for a bit. Way cool! Rest in peace "Grandpa!"

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Clouds in My Coffee



I saw this unique little diddy on a raid on the inarticulate. You can link to it here.

We went to the Commerford & Sons Kids Fun Fair today and I was extremely disappointed with this shameless rape the parents of little kids festival of fun. We found out about it through coupons that were dangling about in the waiting area of our favorite Chinese restaurant a week or two ago. The coupon offered free admission to Victoria so we though what the heck. We get there, and fortunately I know a little trick about how to park near the DCU center for a buck (as opposed to the venue's lot which is between 5 and 20 bucks).

Admission for adults was $10.00 (and they didn't even have the decency to lubricate). Admission allows to you view the animals which are tortured by food in vending machines that surround there pens. Upon human approach, all these animals know is to nudge the vending machines so as to hint at the humans that if you want interaction, you better have some quarters, and plenty of them.

The rest of the meager setup was chincy carnival rides, a few giant inflatable jumpy things, and the opportunity to ride either an elephant or a pony. The rides were an additional 2 bucks a pop, the live animal rides an addition 4 bucks per run around. Heaven forbid you went in hungry as food was insanely overpriced for greasy crap. Victoria really wanted some cotton candy on the way out so as she and Lucy went to wash their hands, I had the shocking task of spending 5 bucks on a small bag of cotton candy.

I can't understand their need to charge the adults $10 each for admission only for the privilege of wandering about in animal stench and spend ridiculous amounts of additional money to do anything else. Hey shitfaces, how about a pay one price deal or parent's free! Fuck you Commerford & Sons; you're just luck Victoria had fun or I'd really have made a big stink.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Tag, I'm It!

Having been tagged by Corndog, I figure I must participate in the 5 thing meme. Meme shmeme! Hooked on memes! Meme-alicious! Enough already and on with it…

Remove the blog in the top spot from the following list and bump everyone up one place. Then add your blog to the bottom slot, like so.
1) Overread
2) BrightStar
3) dr four eyes
4) corndog
5) From a Whisper to a Scream

Next select five people to tag
1) Jill
2) Egan
3) Jessica
4) Kate
5) Brainerd Q. Bitchslap

What were you doing 10 years ago?
February 1996: I was in a bit of a rut working at a computer shop back in Brooklyn, New York doing custom builds and working as a corporate client liaison.

What were you doing 1 year ago?
February 2005: Getting back on my feet after a scary bout with Vertigo which kicked in on the very night I turned the big 4-0 back in December.

Five snacks you enjoy:
1) (Just About) Anything Chocolate
2) Rold Gold Honey Wheat Braided Twists Pretzels
3) Yoplait Creamy Custard Style Yogurt
4) Almonds
5) Hot Chocolate with Whipped Cream

Five songs you know all the words to:
1) “Good Riddance” – Green Day
2) "Her Majesty" – The Beatles
3) "Only The Good Die Young" – Billy Joel
4) "Rock and Roll (Part 2)" – Gary Glitter
5) "Friends in Low Places" – Garth Brooks

Five things you would do if you were a millionaire wealthy enough so that money just doesn’t matter:
1) Build a commune for all the people I like to live in
2) Teach
3) Charity work
4) Travel extensively
5) Pay someone to make Blogger have more multimedia capabilities

Five bad habits:
1) Succumbing to anxiety on occasion
2) Swallowing gum
3) Talking with my hands (histrionics/machinations/Heck, I’m Italian)
4) Watching reality TV shows
5) Picking at my Teeth

Five things you enjoy doing:
1) Reading
2) Listening to Music
3) Watching Movies and Reality TV
4) Blogging
5) Hanging out with friends

Five things you would never wear again:
1) Corduroys
2) Spandex/Lycra (see 80’s metal)
3) Hi-Top Sneakers
4) Flip-Flops
5) Braces

Five favorite toys:
1) Wi-Fi
2) DVR
3) SIRIUS Satellite Radio
4) iPOD
5) GPS

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Screwing in a Light Bulb

The title is a reference to the old joke "How many ________________ does it take to screw in a light bulb?" Yesterday morning at work was really bizarre. There was one professor in particular who really rattled my cage and the first question that came to me was, "How many college professors does it take to screw in a light bulb?"

First, xxx calls my desk (instead of the general help desk line) and says that "the projector in the auditorium won't come on." I cringed immediately because I know that xxx didn't get xxx sorry (and absolutely humongous) ass over to the back to bother to check if the fucking power switch was on, xxx just assumed there was a problem and that xxx should call for help (I wonder what kind of crisis it must be to run out of toilet paper on the roll for xxx). So, of course I go down and sure enough, the power switch on the wall, the one that I've shown xxx several times as a result of this being a somewhat chronic problem for xxx, was off. A simple flick of the switch and go fuck yourself under my breath in response to xxx thanks and I was on my way.

Jump fifteen minutes into the future, and I am back at my desk attempting the last few sips at my medium Dunkin Donuts Decaf (no sugar, just cream) when a student comes over as asks, "are you Chris Daniele?" I respond with a, "perhaps, how can I help you?" The student says, "S*%#Y is looking for you over here (pointing to the center staircase against the wall with no entry to where I am)." I go over and it is the same professor who now has another problem in another room. This time, xxx says that the volume on the video that xxx is showing is too loud and it's disturbing the surrounding classrooms. Befuddled, I respond, "then I would recommend that you lower the volume, you don't want the condo board to come down on you (sarcastic humor)." xxx reply was that xxx didn't know how to lower the volume. Damn I wish I had a digital camera to capture the contortion my face must have made. YOU DON'T KNOW HOW TO LOWER THE FUCKING VOLUME! HOW ABOUT TURN THE FUCKING VOLUME KNOB COUNTERCLOCKWISE! Seriously folks, this is a sixty something year old individual here who I would bet has at some point in xxx seemingly miserable life had to lower the volume somewhere at some time.

You know, I'll just stop here - it felt good to let that all out.