Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Work Week

I've been giving a lot of thought to the work week that has become the standard and feel it needs to be tweaked.  Obviously there are some jobs that require you be there at specific times due to things like hunger.  So my dear friends in the food service business this is not for you.

I'm talking about 7-3, 8-4, 9-5ers.  The typical eight hour day shift people.  It's kinda silly. Just based on my experiences and things I'm told be people in offices, this could be significantly cut and would enhance production and job happiness.  The average person, other than answering phones and going to meetings, most likely doesn't have eight hours of actual work.  So why should they be there for eight hours?  To me, they'd be much more happy sitting on their recliner than sitting in a cubicle, so let them.  Here's the first thing.  The damn water cooler/break room morning.  It does nothing but promote animosity through gossip and hearsay.  Instead of coming in dreary-eyed at 9am, have your breakfast at home and arrive at 9:30 ready to go.  You're not doing shit until then anyway, so enjoy it at home.  Then, enough with the pre-lunch coffee break.  Drinking coffee doesn't require you to tell an annoying story or show endless pictures of your pets.  Work through it you over-burdened slacker.  You have lunch in 60-90 minutes anyway.  Lunch breaks?  Who needs an hour to eat lunch?  Today I went to the deli, ate meatloaf with mashed potatoes and the entire sessions, from going to the deli to wiping my gravy soaked chin took about 25 minutes.  And I was doing work eating. I'm a multitasking badass.  Bring your lunch or grab a sandwich and eat at your desk.  Half hour later you're done.  So already you've knocked 45 minutes off your workday and you got to come in a half hour later.  Bathroom breaks are fine, but don't spend 20 minutes talking about last nights game or who shot who on Desperate Housewives on the companies dime.  Piss, shit, do your line of blow and get back to work.  We've shaved an hour off your day.  So now, you've banged out your work and being that you didn't spend an hour doing nada, you get to leave an hour early.  This hour can be spent throwing a ball with your kid, making dinner for your wife or having an elicit affair with the chick you'd normally only get to flirt with in the break room.  The perks are endless.  Plus, you teacher friends can't gloat about their being home before you.

Also, while we're at it.  Screw this five day work week.  Let's get it down to four.  None of this long weekend bullshit either.  Wednesday is a new weekend.  Imagine how motivated you'd be at work, knowing you basically had two Fridays every week.  Tuesday you'd be a machine at work.  Not to mention the extra day off would help the economy.  Tuesday night would be a big night at the bars and restaurants and that's change we can believe in.  Seriously, it's not working the way it is.  Nobody that has a job is happy to be there.  Nobody wants to work.  So let's cut down on this work thing and let's make our time there more productive with the promise of more free time.  You think Ted Kaczinski would have been as crazy if he didn't have spare time.   You think Einstein would have created those wonderful children's tapes?  Seriously, look at people like Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan.  They have more time (and have done more time) that they know what to do with.  They seem to be productive adults.  I read about them weekly.  They have to be doing something right.

It's about time we all form some type of non-working union.  Four 6.5-hour days instead of five 8-hour days.  Tell me you wouldn't work harder and spend less time playing fucking solitaire and free cell on company time?  I know if I had a four day work week, I'd be psyched to come to work.  I'd be giddy.  Then again, I'd know it was the only 26 hours of the week I wasn't travelling down the road to cirrhosis.  Not to mention your boss wouldn't be such a hard ass, because he wouldn't see you every five minutes walking to the break room with the hopes to catch a glimpse of the cutie down the hall who always seems to forget to wear panties on Friday mornings.  I don't know the answer, but mine has to be better than the system we have now.  Hell in some countries in Europe they have a feast and go to sleep for a few hours before going back to work.  Every time people go away and show me pictures, everyone is smiling.  Not in this country.  We're misery stricken, because for the most of us it's a daily grind.  We work week to week, hoping that one day we'll get that lucky scratch off and win just enough that we blow it and  live a life of solitude and shame.  So if we're going to be miserable, let us only be miserable for four days a week.

Plus, if I hear one more person quote Office Space and say "someone has a case of the Mondays," I'm going to beat them with a stapler.  And enough of this TGIF.  Friday sucks, because it's the longest day of the work week.  The clock slows down and the light at the end of the tunnel is made by Coors.  Fucking Nazis.  What's so great about Friday?  Nothing. Saturday kicks Friday's ass because you get to sleep late and go out not having to worry about the ramifications.  The only great thing about Friday is the plethora of drunken females who have apparently left the inhibitions and dignity at the office. Amen for that.  But even better is Saturday when you get to tell your friends about how she was gorgeous at 11pm, but you had to pull a coyote ugly to get your arm free Saturday morning.  And Saturday's are special because of breakfast in bed.  Although granted, it's usually something I bought or made the night before thta I wake next to, half eaten and calling my name.  Imagine if we could do this on Wednesday too?  I think I'm on to something.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Curious Case of Jon Hopper

Like all of us I have gotten older.  I'd like to think wiser, but that's up for debate.  In the past I used to get in trouble, get in fights, and on occasion got people to hate me.  I still do, but with much less frequency.  I love debates, but hate fighting.  Fighting is a tiring process.  Physical fights are usually less stressful than yelling matches, because at least there's an outlet for your anger.  When you have a verbal argument there is a level of stress that you achieve that isn't healthy, because in the end, both parties are most likely going to agree to disagree and that is just damn frustrating.

When I was younger i used to get into a lot of physical fights.  I mean a lot.  I noticed something very strange about it.  I'd almost get aroused when there was about to be a fight.  It was an adrenaline kick that I got very excited about.  Most of these fights lasted a few seconds, but the thrill was always exhilirating.  These days, as I've entered my forties, the last thing I ever want to do is fight.  I guess I'm growing up in that sense.  That may be the only way I am.

When I was 13, some friends of mine took me to a party where I stuck out like a sore thumb.  The group was about 16-25 years old, so I was the baby.  Oh and did I mention I was the only white person in the room?  This was an old school house party.  In a basement, electrical cords running out the window the the house upstairs and a dj was scratching and mixing records.  I was in the corner drinking gin.  This was not a wise choice.  From what I was told I was grinding on some girl who was about 20 and thought I was adorable. A few hours later my friends walked behind as I literally crawled four blocks to my house.  My parents made me drink a bloody mary the next day to teach me a lesson.  The lesson learned - everything is more fun with alcohol.

As I entered my teen and college years I would go through a process almost every night I went out.  Drink as much beer as I could and then puke.  Then go home, because the thought of another drink would make me puke again.  As I got a little older, I could drink a little more and I'd puke a little less.  So when did it happen that I started becoming a fucking professional drinker.  It's been years since the last time I got sick from drinking and I can pretty much drink anything, for incredibly long periods of time.  It's not a stretch for me to go ten to fourteen without really showing the effects.  In some cases this is good.  In others it's horrifying.  There's something depressing about knowing the one thing you're really good at is going to kill you one day.  Until that day, I'll keep living the dream.  The dream of being the world's oldest frat boy.  OK, not as inspirational as MLK's dream, but hey you gotta start somewhere.

I also have noticed that my sleeping habits have become unnaturally odd.  I can literally go three or four days in a row without getting more than four hours of sleep a night.  When I was younger I'd sleep twelve hours a night easy.  I can even drink, not sleep and function the next day.  Today probably isn't the best day to brag about this, since I went out til 3am, woke up at 7:45 and thought I texted my boss to say I would be late.  I awoke at 1:20pm to see I hadn't sent the text.  The rest of the day was spent in bed.  The funny thing is I never sleep, but I love to sleep. I love naps especially.  Maybe it's my age, but if I could sleep from 5-6:30pm every day, I don't think I'd need sleep at night.  A 90-minute power nap makes the whole world brighter.

I've also notived with age, my sarcasm has reached new heights.  Maybe it's because as a teen I wasn't clever enough to use it properly.  You know when sarcasm is really fun?  When the person it's aimed at isn't smart enough to realize.  It's hilarity at its finest.  I also think my sense of humor has evolved.  I've grown tired of the nut shots and petty insults.  I find that wheat really makes me laugh is situations.  Situations that when you relive them in your mind, you can't help but chuckle.  So many times something happens, that may not actually be that funny, but the perfect situation occurs and it's hilarious.  This is what I crave.

I've also noticed that what I find attractive in women has changed.  I used to go after one type and one type only.  Big chested brunettes were my flavor of choice.  Oddly enough, I find that the more I expand my likes, the less I seem to have success.  To be honest, I don't even really try anymore.  It's somewhat sad, but my "game" as the kids like to call it, is pretty much, well, minor-league.  I like having in-depth conversations with people and actually getting to know them first and usually by the time this happens they've moved on to someone who is more aggressive.  It's been the story of my life.   When I was younger and a bit more of an asshole, I used to actually get a little.  Now, the adult version or Hopper 4.0 as I'm going to refer to myself from now on, seems a little hesitant.  People always say, be yourself, but maybe that's the problem.  I sit and watch as people dumb themselves down, act like jerks and then walk home with the hottest girl in the place.  This has always amazed me and makes me really question women that say men are pigs. Pigs are actually very clean and faithful animals. If that's not enough of a reason to wanna be a pig, there is always bacon!  Because really ladies, if we tasted like bacon, well you know.

So what has happened.  I used to be an angry, beer slugging, sleepaholic, jerk who actually got girls.  Now I'm a calm, intelligent, vodka sipping,  insomniac funny guy who is actually nice to people and I've been single for over a year.  It begs the question.  What the hell have I done to myself? 

Friday, September 24, 2010

Terms: Am I Really Getting That Old?

Texting and instant messaging have taken over the world.  People now text, instant message and e-mail more than they talk.  Talking seems so passe.  Even I am guilty of this. I find it's easier to get an answer from a text than to ask someone, because it cuts to the chase.  I don't have to hear about their day, their wife and kids or the odd growth that has appeared on their under carriage.  Texting has made life simple, but it's also skewed the way we look at some terms.

Remember the good old days when the word WHATEVER was not a sufficient answer? It still isn't but I'll be damned if it isn't the answer to every question for teenagers.  If I ever said whatever as an answer to one of my parents questions, I'd be whacked in the head. It's a not so polite way of saying, fuck you and fuck off.  It's not an answer, ever.

BTW aka By The Way.  It's an IM staple and a phrase I use way too much.  I use this phrase more often than I use shampoo.  I use it in speech, in text and in E-mails.  I use it so much, I start conversations with it.  It's become a joke to some friends, because I use it so often.  And usually, it's used in connection with some bad news. So when you think I'm done talking and you hear!

CUL8R - See you later.  WTF is this you lazy wanker?  WTF is the only acceptable way to say fuck without sounding rude. People write WTF like it's their job. I see more WTF's on Facebook than I see faces. It has become America's slogan. 

ATM - this used to be Automated Teller Machine, but now it's become a sexual situation which some bizarre people take great pride in having achieved.  If you don't know what it is, it's probably is for the best.

Tan - this used to be something you did by laying in the sun for hours on end.  Now it's done by laying in a machine for ten minutes or spraying on yourself.  Has anyone ever noticed that the color achieved by spray tan and the color of cheez whiz is eerily similar?  Makes me want to eat Snooki on a Ritz cracker.

Bitches - this term used to get you chased down the street in fear of getting a heel embedded in your skull.  Now it's an affectionate term for a girl's girlfriends.

Tap - when I was young this was the thing that water came out of.  As I got older, beer came out of it.  Now it's a derogatory term for having sex.  And for the most part, you don't want to drink after that's been tapped.

Cell - Ah, looking under a microscope as a child you learned all about the cells that make up the body.  Remember taking the cotton swab and running on the inside of your cheek and then looking at the weird things crawling around?  Now it's a fucking phone.

Digits - used to be my fingers and toes, but now it's a phone number.  Is everything about the phone now?

And finally...Two Girls One Cup.  This used to be the cute picture of two friends sharing ice cream.  Now it's an Internet sensation that nobody should ever have to see. Twice!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Quickie Blog: People That Bothered Me Today

1. People who drive with tickets still under their wiper blades. And we're worried about cell phones?
2. People who pretend not to notice you and then discuss something you'd rather never hear about.
3. People who take up two spots.
4. People who speed up for red lights when they see you are crossing the street.
5. People who walk through parking lots like there isn't a chance of a car driving through.
6. People that don't get to the point.
7. People whose armpits I have to look at while ordering food.
8. People who are orange. Seriously, I saw Snooki again in Scarsdale singing the Lollipop song.
9. People who don't signal - I Know I've covered this.
10. People - for the most part....everyone does something that annoys me....I'm just trying to get you all back.  One person at a time.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Michael Vick: Starting QB

There has been a lot of talk about ex-dog trainer/breeder/killer becoming the starting quarterback of the Philadelphia Eagles. A local newspaper wrote a headline stating Dog Electrocuter Named Starting Quarterback.  Is this really that big a deal?  The man did his time and while I don't condone cruelty to animals, this was a dog, not a person and he paid his price.

Why didn't people picket Matthew Broderick films and plays when they were going on?  You do know he killed two people in Ireland and his defense was "I don't remember."  He received a $175 fine and a slap on the wrist.  What about Kobe Bryant telling three cops that he had consensual sex, but admitting the girl asked him to stop when he tried to go somewhere normally used as an exit and he admitted he didn't stop.  Isn't that rape?  Kobe's sentence?  A huge diamond ring for his wife and an NBA championship.  What about the media men on FOXNews who make stuff up that is slanderous and destroys peoples lives, only to use "we're an entertainment show, not news, so it's OK?"  What about Michael Jackson admitting to sleeping with young boys and giving them wine? People were so outraged they made him the #11 selling artist posthumously.  What about A-Rod using steroids, basically admitting he got them from someone who brought them across the country's border (a felony) and walking away. His punishment?  A shiny diamond championship ring.

The reason why people are so up in arms about Vick and not the others is very simple.  People, especially those in the sports world, really don't think he's that good of a quarterback.  Do you think the NFL was ready to make Ray Lewis the face of the league when he was in trouble with the law?  Of course not, but then he won, so it's OK.  If Michael Vick can bring Philly to the promised land, all will be forgiven. Trust me, it's just the way it is. Antonio Cromartie has eight kids with six different women in five states and people call him a piece of shit deadbeat father.  Larry Bird had seven kids with seven different women and he's labeled the greatest white basketball player to ever live.  That conversation might have a little more to do with just winning, so I'll leave it alone for now.

Winning and success do funny things to us.  Last year when Michael Jackson died, thousands sobbed.  Was he a wonderful entertainer with classic tunes?  Of course.  But, was he a low-life pedophile who used his notoriety to dodge the law.  Absolutely!  If anyone has ever known anyone who has been abused, it's very easy to see why they took the money and ran.  In their minds and the minds of their parents, they only wanted to make it go away.  It's odd, but understandable.  So why is dog fighting bothering so many?  Why is it that this man has been made such a menace? Isn't punching another human being in the face, because they looked at your girlfriend in her skin tight jeans and cleavage revealing blouse a little worse?  I know a lot more people who have done that and walked away unscathed without any legal repercussions.  The difference is that Vick is a celebrity, albeit a minor celebrity.  The same way people hope and pray for the demise of Paris, Kim and Lindsay, they cried for the deaths of River, Kurt and Heath.  When in actuality they all shared the same trait.  They have destructive personalities and beneath the polished exterior they were, at the end of the day, just like you an me. Flawed.

It's funny.  I remember as a kid, going into a butcher shop and you could watch them do their craft.  Aprons covered in blood, parts scatter about the massive butcher block.  It was riveting.  A neighbor a few blocks away bred rabbits and would sell them, freshly skinned out of his garage.  I remember walking through Chinatown in the seventies and early eighties and watching children and adults putting quarters in a machine that would electrify the grate a chicken was standing on.  I remember people with the heads of animals adorning their walls.  Proud of their conquest.  That doesn't fly today and maybe it should never have been the norm.  For thousands of years man has been killing animals for food and for sport.  It has always been the way and it always will.  That's why, every once in a while, when a coyote attacks, or the pit bull strikes back or even an unsuspecting surfer gets eaten, you have to wonder.  Should we feel bad?  Maybe that coyote was the king of his pack.  Maybe that pit bull was beaten. Maybe that shark really is the champion, not only of the sea, but of the planet.  It's been around longer than us, so maybe we should give it a pass and not go after it. 

I'm not condoning what Michael Vick did.  I do like dogs and all animals.  I just think people should either hold everyone to the same standard or shut up.  When he starts Sunday, pat your dog on his head and be thankful that Michael Vick isn't his owner.  But the next time, you or one of your loved ones gets in trouble for something stupid, just remember.  They don't have any rings, titles or awards.  They don't throw a ball or grace the silver screen. So they deserve what they get.  Right?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Laughter Is The Best Medicine

I've been down in the dumps lately.  No money, single for way too long and frankly living in excess that is probably taking years off my life.  At times, I sit alone, think and get down.  I go out way too much in an effort to abort a life of solitude and to get me through this rough patch.  I know it won't go on forever.  It never does.  There is always a silver lining, or so I'm told.  Mine might be bronze, but I'll take it.  I'm usually the one cheering others up, but this past weekend a few events took place that caused me to do what I love to do most.  Laugh.

Sure there are funny things that happen every night, but this weekend, for whatever reason, the laughter was plentiful.  The laughter was the kind that made your cheeks turn red and your eyes run with tears.  Moments like these are special.  Usually it's something that is said or done.  Many times someone is the target of a joke and as long as their is no malice, it's appreciated by all parties involved.  This weekend had so many of these moments. 

Saturday night looked as if it were going to be a quiet night. A woman set up a karaoke stand in a near empty bar.  People looked around and wondered who, if any, would perform.  The music began and an elderly (not too elderly) man got up and started.  His high pitched voice made some smirk, but he was doing it.  Rumors of me redoing my classic Bad Romance butcher job surfaced, but never panned out despite the chanting crowd.  Two of my friends swore they wanted no part of this.  They even left the palce, only to come back when the band at the other place had not been given the opportunity to perform.  All of the sudden I turned and there were nearly forty people in the bar and in the course of the night some of the worst and some of the best singing took place.  But through it all, everyone joined in and laughed.  The night became a sing along with an older crowd version of Glee (in which I took part) sang Don't Stop Believin'.  My good friend sung songs, throwing her own little bits and pieces into it, while her boyfriend played drums with his fingers on the bar, much to the dismay of most around him.  I threw a little Gaga, Hanson and Spice girls into the song I sung (which I couldn't tell you what it was).  I even did a little Shakira hip shake which might have either dislodged my spine or corrected it. People laughed the whole night and when the night ended at 3:45am, with my cheeks hurting and my spirits raised.

Sunday Funday started with many of the same culprits returning to the scene of the crime.  Apparently, my affinity for drinking orange flavored vodka was realized Sunday morning when all the different brands appeared to be emptied from the evening before.  This apparently happens when I go out.  Sunday started with glasses of water replacing shots in the early day.  And then it started. A Sunday regular was overheard with this gem, "Movies that start with C....Seabiscuit!"  And then it began...another evening of laughter that culminated with someone in our inner circle seeing who he thought was the little drummer boy from the previous night and before the patron could walk in the door he yell "hey fuckhead, no more drums."  In about a half a second he realized that this was not actually the same person as the night before and while apologizing for the case of mistaken identity we all began to laugh uncontrollably.  It was classic.

There were other instances of hilarity as news spread quickly about the bottle of hand cream in my car.  Rumors swirled about my love of red lights, incurable chafing and of course my infatuation with Justin Beiber (which I actually believe I started).  Of course some people also noticed napkins on the floor and took it upon themselves to stick the napkins to my dashboard and gear shift.  Thanks. It was both hilarious and degrading at the same time and I'm totally cool with that.  There was one friends inability to read the karaoke words fast enough to muster any words, so he just stuck to the chorus of "I did it all for the nookie, the nookie, you you can take that cookie and shove it up your ass," which if you know the song is about 75% of the lyrics.  Somehow I think it made the song better than the original.

You know you had a good night when your body aches in a good way.  Your stomach almost cramps from being doubled over so many times.  I'm looking forward to more nights like this, because these are what keep us going.  That get us through the tough times.  That brighten even the darkest of days.  For everyone who took part, who added to the experience, I thank you and look forward to doing again.  Soon!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The End of Summer

OK, this summer actually has a week left in it, but it's winding down.  Kids are in school, the weather has started to change and soon the leaves will become beautiful hues of yellow and orange.  Then again, we could have what we had last year and the beginning of this year and Autumn might go the way of Spring and never actually show up.

Many sun worshipers are saddened by Summer's passing.  I am not one of these people.  I don't like sweating and summer makes me sweat.  There is something special about getting up on an Autumn morning and feeling that slight chill in the air. Having a hot cup of coffee on a brisk Sunday morning, knowing that your day will be filled with football and friends.  I remember when I was younger hitting the field with friends playing tackle football.  Coming home bruised, but refreshed.  A hot shower and some lunch got me ready for a day in front of the tube.  It was a special time. 

Autumn is also the most photogenic of all the seasons.  There's something about taking a ride down a path on a bike or jumping in the car to take a drive along a tree covered highway that takes your breath away.  Little kids playing in the fallen leaves, the sun glistening off the bright treetops, it all feels so peaceful.  In the winter you have to sit and listen to those tell stories of the horrible cold, the snow covered driveways they had to shovel and the near death experiences they had, all because they needed to stock up on toilet paper and bottled water before the white Armageddon arrives.  In the Spring people start saying how hot the summer is going to be and how schools out and they can't handle the idea of actually having to spend time with their children.  Oh, the horror.  In the Summer, I'm always amazed at how all the folks who bitched about the cold have the audacity to complain about the heat. The summer also brings out way too much skin from people who shouldn't ever be shirtless (myself included).  These complaints, these visions of terror don't happen in theAutumn.  The kids are at school, so stay at home moms can get back to banging the gardener. Dad is off the hook because the kids have play dates and he doesn't have to turn off the Internet porn in his man cave to go have a catch with little Joey.  Kids are reunited with their friends their parents don't allow them to see in the summer because of their ethnicity or religious affiliation.  It's a good time for almost everyone.

Everyone smiles in the fall.  Everyone but teachers.  They bitch and moan about their horrible seven hour days, in which they have to endure five 45-minute classes (and do it for about 80 days less than anyone else who works a 9-to-5).  Oh I know, the preparation.  Because you really need to brush up on your quantum physics to teach a six year old that if he traces his hand, he can turn it into a turkey.  Fucking awesome. I know some of you out there actually work hard at trying to get these disobedient little wankers to actually learn something other than the lingo on the Jersey Shore and how to text in class, but I'm just making a point here, so shut it.  Ironically, I love Autumn, because school is back and I get to teach my after school program.  I get to reunite with the wonderful kids I had the year before and meet some new ones.  Every once in a while a kid who has outgrown the program or the school will come back and say hello.  It means the world to me.  It's the only time, for the most part, I'm truly happy.  Sure there are times when Stoli O has me out at a bar, throwing singles at elderly women, but that's got nothing to do with the seasons and in the end, the novelty wears off and I'm sad again. 

Seriously, the cool weather and the two hours a day I'm with "my" kids is the most special time.  It's the only time I feel I make a difference in this fucked up world.  Sometimes it's teaching a kid how to hold a bat, sometimes it's explaining what sportsmanship is or the importance of being part of a team.  Sometimes it's as simple as showing a kid who is down some attention.  It's these little things that sometimes take nanoseconds that make my day.  Being appreciated, even more, being looked up to, is a wonderful feeling.  Overhearing a kid in the hall telling his friends how awesome you are is the single best feeling you can have.  At least for me.  I do this class throughout the school year, but Autumn is special, because it's the birth of a new year and they just seem to get better.

So next Thursday, while the radio and TV hosts lament about the end of summer.  The person you work next to begs for "one more week."  Or your neighbor starts his leaf blower at 7am.  Take a moment, go outside and take a deep breath.  There will be no humidity in the air and the crispness of the cool air will fill your lungs with excitement.  Realize that the day will look beautiful and the trees and sky will smile back at you. When the day comes to a close, you can curl up with your Snuggie and watch some Norwegian Nazi Zombie flick (no really, there is one called Dead Cold and it's not half bad), while sipping your favorite soup.  I don't know about you, but that's a perfect day for me.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Favorite Foods A-Z

I'm always thinking about food.  Cooking it, eating it, just watching shows about it makes me happy.  I love talking about food almost as much as I do sports.  Recently, it dawned on me that I spend almost as much time reading cookbooks and magazines about food as I do reading about anything else. I love thinking about something I'm going to make when I win the lotto and have a kitchen big enough to make something other than eggs and bacon.  I know it's an excuse that pretty lame, because I have made some pretty nice stuff in my tiny space. 

Since I'm similar to most in that I'm consumed by reading lists, I'm going to write a little A-Z about my favorite foods.  Some might have descriptions or reasons, some I feel are self explanatory.  Now realize, these are foods, not dishes. So here it goes.  Bon Apettit!

Avocado: I used to hate them, but now a nice slice or two on a burger makes it "california-ized."
Bacon: Everything is better with bacon.
Chorizo: A week doesn't go by that I don't eat something with chorizo.  Usually a Burrito.
Duck:  There are few things more decadent than a perfectly roasted duck.
Escargot: Buttery goodness in every bite and the consistency adds another layer to the enjoyment.
Feta:  Recently I've really been into feta cheese.  Coupled with grapes, figs and a nice bottle of wine. Perfect!
Garlic:  See bacon.
Haricot Vert: OK, So it's French for green beans, but they are thinner and tastier than American beans.
Italian Ice: Although I've always found the ones sold by Spanish street merchants better, it's pretty close.
Jam: I don't love jam, but I'm at a loss with Js. I don't use Jam on toast, but love it to sweeten marinades.
King Crab: I just recently realized how great this lump crab meat is. Makes lobster taste like cardboard.
Lamb: If I was on death row. I'd have lamb chops, with a lamb burger and then a lamb shoulder and mutton!
Mushrooms: This is funny, because I've only been eating them for three or four years.
Nectarines: Can you think of another food that starts with N?
Onion: Sorry oysters, oxtail and okra. The onion can be done so many ways for me to pass it up.
Potatoes: For the same reason as onions, I skip peaches, pineapples and pork. My favorite veggie.
Quail: A slightly stronger flavor than chicken with some oiliness makes this great to fry or in stews.
Rice: I know, pretty boring, but put a delicious sauced dish on a bed of rice and it's like two meals in one.
Scallops: The subtle taste of the sea goes with just about any dish. Sorry shrimp, swordfish and spinach.
Tuna: Raw or seared, I could eat this almost every day.
Ugli Fruit: A cross between a grapefruit and a mandarin orange - only had it once, but it was wonderful.
Venison: For those of you who have been scared off by the word "gamey," it's all a load of bull. It's amazing.
Watermelon: Wasabi is a close second, but nothing is better in the summer than a cold fresh watermelon.
Xia: OK it's Chinese for Shrimp, but I wasn't writing Xantham Gum.
Yuca: If you know anyone of South American decent, you've had this glorious potato like food.
Zucchini: Another childhood nightmare food, I've come to love. Rollatini anyone?

So there you have it. A-Z.  I'm sure others will come to mind and obviously, this almost has to lead into an A-Z of my favorite dishes, but for now I'm going to leave it as best foods.  I should point out I've never tried Foie Gras, can't remember what urchin taste like and have yet to indulge in Ostrich and Kangaroo.  So there are many things waiting to replace some items on my list. Any thoughts?

Friday, September 3, 2010

Droid: A Love Story

Remember when we were young?  You would pick up the phone, stick your finger into the dial and turn it.  Calling a friend was a workout compared to today's technology.  Your friend would answer and you'd get together and hang out.  Chatting away like crazy until you left.  Many times you'd return home and call that same person up and talk even more on the phone.  Wow, how things have changed.

Now you text five friends and hope that someone meets you out.  Once out, you chat lightly, all the while, checking your phone for messages from people you aren't with. It's disgraceful. I am guilty of it too, so I am not judging.  The other night, while laying in bed, recovering from my weekend of debauchery. I was checking my phone. People were saying hello on Facebook to each other and were in the same restaurant.  What have we become?  Sure it's funny, but have we gotten to the point where a 10-step walk to say hello is too difficult?  How is it that we find it acceptable to say hello via technology instead of a handshake or a tap on the shoulder.  I fear that we have lost the ability to socialize the way we used to.  Sure, we go out, laugh and get into debates, but all the while we're checking our phones for some other stimulation.

The other night while discussing who was the greatest quarterback of all-time, the conversation quickly turned, as it must, to Internet porn.  I made a comment about how porn on your phone is so much greater, because on that tiny screen the guy's cock isn't that big. Porn stars scare me.  Not for any other reason than I worry someone I might become intimate with might have seen John Holmes, Ron Jeremy, Peter North or any other of the wonderful actors who have units that resemble a baby's arm holding an apple. How can I, er measure up? (Did I go overboard by naming three male porn stars?)  Anyway, it is my feeling that phones will eventually make their way into the bedroom. I feel that sooner or later, you'll meet someone online, you'll get into separate beds and text (or sext as the kids say) instead of sharing tender moments while handcuffed to a bed post yelling through a ball gag.

I recently entered the new era of cell phones when I lost my piece of shit Versa and acquired a Droid. I didn't get the newest model and I'm somewhat thankful.  I can't imagine having a better phone with more gadgets and gizmos.  I might spontaneously combust.  The damn thing chooses words for me.  OK, sometimes it picks the wrong word, but hey, sometimes I'm just in the mood for a sovereign donut.  I love my Droid. I love the fact it says "Droid" in a robotic voice, I love that it's not a half an ounce and it's dependable. I sleep with the fucking thing for Christ sake.  I don't mean in an intimate way.  My Droid has never been to me what gerbils are to Richard Gere, but I woke up to find it covered in saliva.  God I hope that was saliva!  I do take comfort in it being by my side.  I'm a single male and anything that can tell me the time, let me talk when I want to, let me know the score of the game, beats me in chess and has the ability to watch Laurence Fishburne's little girl having sex, all while I'm sitting at a bar talking to friends is something I can't live without.  I can do without food, shelter, and clothing (although many out there are happy I have some), but I can not live without the one love of my life.  My Droid!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

College and Pro Football Predictions.

Ok, this isn't really a blog, but more like evidence of my brilliance.

So here it goes - first college.  The Preseason Rankings have Alabama, Ohio St, Boise St., Florida and Texas

The final rankings going into the bowls will be
1. Ohio St. - Terrelle Pryor proves he's the beast with the Heisman and a National Championship
2. Florida - undefeated season without Tebow shocks the nation
3. Oklahoma - the post Sam Bradford Era starts with a bang, but nudge even though undefeated
4. Boise St. - loss first game of the season to Virginia Tech ends National champ hops
5. Alabama - early season loss to Florida and late season loss to Auburn dooms them

As for the  NFL

East - Patriots 11-5
North - Ravens 10-6
South - Colts 12-4
West - San Diego 13-3
WC - Miami 9-7, Houston 9-7

East - Cowboys 13-3
North - Minnesota 12-4
South - New Orleans 11-5
West - San Francisco 10-6
WC - Green Bay 9-7, Chicago Bears 9-7 (that's right, three playoff teams from one division)

AFC Championship San Diego over Baltimore
NFC Championship Cowboys over Minnesota
SuperBowl Champs - it kills me to say this, but Dallas Cowboys!