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Showing posts from 2009

The Hangover

No, this is not a movie review. I didn't like the movie and apparently I'm in a small minority, so I'll leave it alone. This is my story about drunken stupors and the morning after.

I don't know when it started. I honestly can't remember, but it might one day be my demise. I do not get hangovers? Sure I wake up wishing there were more sleep hours, but honestly, I never wake up with the pounding headache, the fear of light and the horrible sensation that the smell of alcohol will make me re-enact the pie eating scene from Stand By Me. There are times when I open my wallet the next day and wonder. What happened? There are times I find food in my bathtub or my clothing on top of my computer. I've woken up with a chicken cutlet in my hand with one perfect bite taken out. I've woken up in the bathtub with the shower on. I've woken up in my car (after my brother's wedding). I've even woken up in somebodies bed and not been 100% sure whose it was when I…

Happy Birthday Jesus

Over the past few weeks, we've all been inundated with the holiday bullshit that swamps TV and the airwaves. In this time, spirits are high and low depending, usually, on financial situations. Nobody can avoid this time completely. All we can do is grin and bear it or openly accept and enjoy it. I'm somewhere in the middle, but I'm doing my best to enjoy the awkwardness when people try to be politically correct or stand up for their religion.

For the past two weeks I've made a concerted effort to say Happy Holidays to people I know celebrate Christmas. It burns their ass and they get so flustered, because you're being nice, but it's not what they want to hear. I also have wished many of my Jewish friends a Merry Christmas. They usually don't react negatively, but it's funny, especially when they know I know they are Jewish. I do this for fun and because it shows how much has been lost in the marketing of this season.

I think the absurdity of Christmas hit…

The Tooth Fairy, Santa Claus and God

Over the recent Thanksgiving break, my brother brought up the subject of someone being too old to still believe in Santa Claus. The child is nine and the family goes through a slightly elaborate scheme to keep his belief thriving. My brother has a problem with it, I do not. It did get me to thinking though. Unless your parents go out of their way to provide you with evidence of the existence of Santa, the belief naturally dissolves fairly quickly. It's only when the facade is played up that these childhood beliefs stay intact. It's my feeling that we first stop believing in the tooth fairy, because we're either awoken or we see a note in a familiar handwriting. This happened to me at a very young age. I'm pretty sure I never truly believe a fairy flew into my room, but who was I to argue with cold hard cash under my pillow? Santa Claus...I'm not sure I ever really believed. Seemed to improbable and the fact my grandmother didn't have a fireplace kinda ruined th…

Letter to November

Dear November,

You came and went so quickly, I hardly got to know you. You made the ridiculously quick month of October seem like an eternity in comparison. Your first two weeks held nothing special. Your third week brought me illness and a slightly new outlook on my evening and weekend endeavors. Your final ten days brought my father's 75th birthday and Thanksgiving. A restful final weekend capped off the month. As the year draws to a close, I am finally starting to feel (and possibly even act) my age.

Sickness hit me for the first time since last November. A healthy year aside from some minor allergies in early spring. A week's worth of coughing, but a few OTC drugs and all was fine. I'm really starting to believe that this Swine Flu was nothing more than a government hoax to appease the pharmaceutical companies and doctors before the hammer drops and we join the 21st century with some, dare I say it, socialized medicine. One full year of useless blood tests to generate so…

The Kiddies Table

Thanksgiving just passed and hopefully everyone had a wonderful time. Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday for a multitude of reasons. Thanksgiving in my house was always a time where we invited many of those close to us that didn't have family nearby. Sometimes we'd even pass up the opportunity to be with our own families to be with those who might otherwise be alone. This lead to some wonderful experiences growing up and made me value friendships as much, if not more than family itself. I also like Thanksgiving because it lacks all the religious nonsense that our other big holidays include. This to me is very important. It's a time to give thanks to those real people around us and those who are not. We don't have to worship false idols and thank them for all the hard work we do. We can thank our mothers and fathers for that meal that has been put in front of us. Sure some do, but the only time I say Grace is if someone with that name happens to be present…

The Proust Questionnaire

I had been contemplating doing this as a facebook note, but decided it might be a little personal and I'm just to shy to have my life displayed on facebook....OK I'm just fucking with you. Here it goes, the famous questionnaire that tells you everything you wanna know about someone, but really didn't care to ask.

WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST FEAR? Mine is nothing symbolic or some cliche like to die alone. We all die alone in some way or another. Unless of course, we die in a car crash with others, but metaphorically, we all die our own deaths. My true fear is very strong winds. I shit you not. I'm probably less likely to be blown away than 95% of the world, but strong wind scares me. I've seen hurricane winds, but the thought of a tornado absolutely paralyzes me. There was a street sign on my corner that would flap in the breeze every time a bad storm came through and I swore that one day the sign would dislodge and kill me, Final Destination style. Serious, wind. Scares t…

Confused and Torn

So many times I start one of these blogs and I write a paragraph, sometimes two, I've even written whole blogs and then erase them. Sometimes they are too personal. Sometimes they might hurt the feelings of a friend or someone else I deal with. I do not know who reads this and since I started the feedback has become less, so I write for myself. That being said, it's not penned into a book and hidden under my bed, but on the Internet for the public to see. Sure in my delusions of grandeur I believe that thousands of people hang on my every word. I'm spoken about at parties in the highest of circles, but the reality is that maybe 20 people read this at most. Some have signed on as followers, but my own family needs to be reminded of this damn thing. My ex-girlfriend wouldn't ever read it unless I read it to her. And yes I've thought of her terminal blindness jokes, but they aren't there.In recent weeks I've started blogs bashing the true teachings of Sesame S…

Double Standards, Ironies and Quandaries

If a guy goes out wearing sweatpants, a baggy sweatshirt and a team cap on, he's a bum. If a girl does it, she's hot.

It's OK for a woman to wear tight short skirts in order to climb the corporate ladder, but it is completely inappropriate for a guy to look up that skirt while she's on said ladder.

30-something moms dancing to Miley Cyrus in the car...cute. Me dancing to Miley Cyrus in the car - Amber Alert.

Remember the 1980 World Series when the headlines included George Brett and 'Roids and the article was about Preparation H?

Why are the same people who want Roman Polanski's head defending Michael Jackson?

They say never wear white after labor day. Isn't every day "after" labor day until the next one?

If a guy drinks five beers, gets completely drunk by halftime and goes home, he's a social drinker. If a guy drinks 20 beers is completely coherent and goes home 10 hours later, he's a drunk.

I lived in an apartment that had a row of three light…


Dreams are truly magical. I know there are books that interpret them and people think they know what they mean, but honestly, it's one of life's magical moments. In dreams we fight our fears, we see people we can't see in reality and we deal with pressure, real and imagined. All of us have had similar dreams. In school naked, teeth falling out, being chased, falling, etc. We always escape unscathed. Maybe an increased heart rate, maybe a yell and some sweat, but we awake invigorated.

Dreams have always fascinated me, because when I was younger I was told "in your dreams you never die, when you fall, you wake up before you land, because if you die in your dreams, you die in your sleep." Thank goodness this was a falsehood, because I die in my dreams almost on a nightly basis. I have for over 30 years. To my knowledge, I am no Dr. Malcolm Crowe, but who knows, maybe I am. When I was younger I would dream I was falling and on a few occasions I landed on the floor upo…

A Letter to October

Well October, you went by like a blur. I think you carried over to November, because a week is nearly gone and I'm just now sitting down to write you. You started me off very nicely. The end of the regular season in baseball and my afternoon gig at the school started. I did however start the gig a day late due to a golf outing. A great time was had and I actually played pretty well.

Being around the kiddies, even if for only nine hours a week has rejuvenated me. It's given me that little boost of energy and sunshine in what's been a tumultuous time. I'm financially strapped and emotionally drained from the last few months, but for those hours I'm responsible for the happiness of others. It's a duty I cherish. I have however found that it's a lot more tiring than it used to be. My odd sleeping habits, my nocturnal vices, and my general malaise have caused me to become quite the napper recently. The only real beneficiary of these naps is those who battle me in…

Optimism Vs. Pessimism

We've all heard the saying about the optimist seeing the glass as half full and the pessimist seeing the glass half empty. It seems like an easy way to throw everyone in to two groups and in my humble opinion it is a great way to separate the two. One is correct and one is incorrect. Before I tell you which group is correct, I ask that you picture yourself in a restaurant. This restaurant asks you if you are an optimist or a pessimist when you entered and put an "O" or a "P" on your forehead so they would remember. You order your food and a fine bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon. The wine nicely compliments your meal and you both are enjoying it. The waiter walks by and sees that both of your glasses appear to have half the amount originally poured. He lifts the bottle from the table and pours it into the glass of the person with the "P" on their head and returns the bottle to the table. He walks off to tend to another table. The point is, in his opinion t…

Sleeping With The Enemy

Have you ever been in a situation where for the right cause you hide your loyalties and you jump on the bandwagon? I have not, but I know a man who has. This man is a happily married man with a handful of kids who loves his Yankees, but for the right price, can jump on the Red Sox bandwagon. A few martinis and a hot blonde can make me do a lot of things, but root for the Yankees is not one of them. Sit back and enjoy the tale.

I was at my favorite bar watching a mid-season game between the Sox and Yanks when I struck up a conversation with another local. I don't think it was the first time we had chatted, but this was definitely a turning point in the friendship. If my memory serves me right the score was tied and I was talking an immense amount of shit about the Yankees. Apparently, my incessant chatter had gotten to a very attractive young lady at the bar. She left her stool and walked over and said she would bet me that the Yankees would win. I asked her what she wanted to bet a…

The Best Day Off

Songs, stories, cliches about the weekend are everywhere. Hell, they even named a restaurant chain after one of them. Everybody looks forward to their days off and rightly so. A hard week's work should be rewarded with some relaxation or entertainment. Sometimes there are just moments that occur, usually insignificant at the time, that come back to us. One of these very recently came to me, almost like a dream. I don't know what the feeling was that day, or why it took place, but it mattered. That is all I know.

I was away in New Hampshire, working at Pierce Camp Birchmont. I don't recall which summer, but I do know it was a Monday. Our day off was always Monday. The bus took us into one of the harbor towns, I believe Portland. We ran off the bus and into one of the local pubs. Drinks were poured and swallowed at an alarming rate. The new staff did their shopping, while the old guard sat and downed pint after pint. Eyes became glassy, speech became slurred and everyone was …

A Letter to September

Well September, you showed signs of bringing me out of the doldrums at times and for the most part you did, although you left more doubts in my mind about certain aspects of my life. I don't really know what to make of you. Maybe that's why I have put off this letter.

I looked forward to you. An elongated weekend filled with BBQ's and other festivities was on the agenda. The holiday weekend had me laboring at home, fighting what started as a bad stomach ache and progressed to something worse. It cost me a day with some good people, eating and relaxation, always a good duo. A little respite from the bar as my social outlet. I took it with a grain of salt, as I figured it was better to be sick this weekend than the next. A few days later, my brother's birthday arrived with little or no fanfare. He had bigger things ahead.

In this time I also "met" someone new. An acquaintance from a time long ago. A friendship was born. Two hearts and minds that thought alike, bu…

Autumn Morning: A Metaphor

Saturday morning I awoke with a refreshed feeling. I decided on an early departure from my favorite watering hole and in return I received a decent night's sleep. Seven hours to me is the equivalent of a mini coma, minus any brain deficiency (although some would say it's already too late to save me). I lounged in bed briefly, got up and checked my e-mail, had some coffee and headed out for some breakfast.

I stopped at a neighborhood deli and ordered my bacon, egg and cheese sandwich. I couldn't help but notice the woman standing next to her very muscular boyfriend. She was wearing black leggings and a heavy sweatshirt. A very attractive face and a very toned physique. She paced up and down the deli and I was admittedly too distracted by her appearance to pay any attention to the conversation she, her boyfriend and the man behind the counter were having. A few seconds later, a boy walked in with a high school football jersey on. The boyfriend wished him good luck and told hi…

Money doesn't buy happiness in Bronxville

My apologies for any Bronxville-ites who may be offended, this is absolutely a generalization.

Today, I had some change I wanted to cash in and I knew that there was a bank on Bronxville Road, right on the Bronxville/Yonkers border that had a change machine. I jumped in my car and headed south on White Plains Road over to main street. I headed down the hill around the funeral home onto Midland Ave. As I crossed over the threshold into Bronxville the scenery changed quite a bit. No moms or babysitters pushing baby carriages, no landscaping trucks or vans with ladders on them. Nope, we were in Bronxville. On the maybe half mile stretch from the corner of ICS to Bronxville High, I must have passed seven women, all above average in looks, and two men jogging. Mind you it was about 2:15, schools were getting out, it was well past lunch. So nine individuals, with nothing to do in the middle of the day, but jog. Nice life, I thought. As I approached the track, I saw another half dozen or so. …

Food Snobbery

I grew up in a bit of an odd house. While most of my friends were diving into a pepperoni slice in their 8-10 year old years my family had a different tradition. Escargot. Every week my father would bring home 18 deliciously prepared (and then frozen) snails. We had the special dishes and utensils for plucking the juicy mollusks from their protective shell. For every six shells we cleaned and returned, we received a free snail. So every two weeks, we'd have 24 of these delectable creatures. I loved them. Friends of mine could not believe I could eat this.

Like everything you can't continue having the same thing every week for your entire life. The escargot soon lost it's luster and we moved on to sushi and sashimi. Each week my father would buy an assortment of sushi and a nice slab of sashimi grade tuna. I used to get excited as my mother or father would unwrap the paper to reveal the bright pinkish/purple meat. They'd delicately slice it into bite size pi…