Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Last article of the year

I have a bunch of stuff to catch you all up on. They're going to be quick hits, with a bit of explanations, so it won't be the normal well-thought out and well-written tomes that you're used to. I am quite sorry, but that's the way things go.

* Aly got into a car accident last Wednesday. It wasn't anything major, which is why I forgot about it, but it still sucks. Basically she was driving down Harvard Ave. in Brookline when some jackass decided to do a three-point turn in the middle of the road. For those of you who aren't familiar with Harvard Ave., it's probably one of the busiest roads in Boston proper. Always full of cars. Especially at 8:30 am. Why this numbskull decided to do this type of turn is a mystery.

Anyway, Aly saw the car now perpendicular (I love using that word) to her vehicle and started to stop. Notice how I said "started", the car skidded on ice and slammed into the car. The guy gets out and starts yelling at Aly, "Didn't you see my turn signal?" Aly was looking at this guy like he's insane, BTW he's not stupid, he goes to Harvard. So she calls the cops, they cite him for attempting a U-turn under a gigantic sign that says "No U-Turns". And he's responsible for the damages, which include: a new grill, a new hood, a new front bumper and a paint job. Should be about $3,000.

Aly was a bit shaken up, but other than that, she's fine. It's obvious I'm her good luck charm.

* Remember that guy a few weeks back at work who completely flipped out about things going to the Cayman Islands? Last week I asked him where the booth and the other shit was. It's been almost two weeks and I haven't seen anything. Nothing. I asked him what he did with the stuff, "Well, I just filled out the FedEx slip and left it in the room."

"That's all you did?"

"Yeah. That's what I was told to do."


How can this man be a vice president of the company I work for? He is a fucking moron. You know why the stuff wasn't returned? Because he left the equipment in the wrong fucking place because he wanted to go and play. He was seduced by seeing his wrinkled ass wife in a bathing suit and drinking shit margaritas. So for the last few days I had to track this shit down. Today, I finally found it and they sent it back to me. Three weeks it took me to get this stuff back, and does he give a shit? Of course not.

I work with fucking morons.

* Which may not be for much longer. Yesterday I had an interview. I think it really went well. The person interviewing me was impressed with my writing skills (a first) and I only said a few idiotic things. Not too bad.

The place is called Band and Brown, which I called Brown and Band. Give me a break, they both begin with B. Don't I get a mulligan on that? As I was interviewing for this job, a funny thing happened: I really began to want this job. When I walked in there, I knew they weren't going to meet my price and I was like, "whatever, let's do this thing because I haven't had an interview in over four years." But as I was talking and selling myself, I really, really wanted this job.

Which means that they're going to undercut me and I'll say no and get pissed off. If they can match what I'm making right now, I'd take this job in a second. For some insane reason, my parents have this idea that this job has "a lot of travel" involved in it and are nervous about me accepting it.

What the fuck are they talking about? There is virtually no travel in this job and even if there was, who cares? This whole leaving the nest syndrome is starting to bug the shit out of me. If Aly or I even talk about moving, they seriously get pissed. What the hell? I mean, I love them and all, but I don't know if I want to live my life 30 miles from where I was born. I'm glad that they like that type of stability, but do I want to look over my life and know that I've only moved 30 miles in 80 (I hope) or so years of living?

Christ, it's like I have these two people that are pulling me back because they're afraid to let go.

* Speaking of moving along, Jay's girlfriend, Vanessa is moving to Tampa. That's going to suck for Jay, I think he really likes her. I like Vanessa too, she's a real good kid. I hope things work out for both of them.

* Ok, I'm probably going to get a rash of shit for this, but I don't care. I've been pretty involved with the entire wedding, I should, it's my day too. There is one thing that I was not getting into though, that is the flowers. I don't care if we have no flowers or a fucking garden growing in the middle of the dance floor. It is something that I just don't care about.

Yesterday was my last day of a very brief vacation and Aly couldn't use her car (the insurance adjuster was coming between 8:00 am and 4:00 pm -- way to be fucking specific, pal) and she had an appointment in South Boston with a florist. Guess who had to give her a ride and hang out? That's right. Me.

I thought it was going to be for an hour. Zip in, look at a few buds, leave. No big deal right? Wrong. I was there for over two hours. How the hell can chicks give a shit about flowers and colors? How? My head was going to explode it hurt so much. Just the most mundane shit in the world. Tope? Eggplant? Violet? Chocolate brown? Cinnamon? Auburn? Who fucking cares, pick a damn color and go with it.

And then, should the centerpieces be 35 inches tall or 25 inches tall? It matters you know. It matters big time. Just not to me. And what do you want to wear on your tux? I don't know, just don't make me look stupid. Well, do you want this color flower or that color. They're the same thing. No they're not, one's ivory and the other is eggshell.

I was so bored I almost fell asleep, which made me feel bad because the lady was really nice, but man, did that suck. And I also had a milkshake from McDonalds, which killed my stomach. The other thing that blew about that McD's is that it was right next to the Children's Museum, so every kid was so wound up and tired, that all they did was cry. I am not joking, from the time they walked into the restaurant until the time they left, all of the shrieked.

* We picked where we're going on our honeymoon: Hawaii. We also booked our flight today, that was fucking awesome. I can't wait.

* I am going to White Plains to celebrate New Year's Eve (Amateur Night) with Danna and Rick. Just a nice, quiet dinner at Morton's. This is quite a 180 from last year's NYE, where we paid $60 for all you can drink at a comedy club in Manhattan. We got to see Chris Rock (unannounced) and I got to drain five keg cups of Dewar's on ice. Needless to say, I puked my guts out. Fun for all!

* I'll see you in the 05, when I'll tell you what happened in New York and drop some resolutions on your asses. Maybe I'll also figure out how to post pics on here, so you can finally see what I look like.

Monday, December 27, 2004

The holidays are just about over ...

And I'm happy to say that not only have I survived them, but I enjoyed them as well. I have been off since about 2:30 on Thursday, and it's been pretty awesome. Just a great feeling not to have to go to work, even if I wake up at the exact same time just about every day (7:30 am).

Friday was Christmas Eve, and this is my favorite day of the year. I love the anticipation of Christmas and getting things ready. This Christmas Eve was especially nice because Aly and I had to stop at an Italian bakery early in the morning to get some pastries. It reminded me of a Christmas Eve day from about 18 years ago when my mother, my brother and I went to Tripoli's bakery in Lawrence and we got pastries then hung around my aunt's store. Actually, I went to Mahoney's drug store and read comic books.

That's one of my favorite childhood memories and Friday I got to relive some of that, minus the comic books. There's not a lot of opportunities to go back in time and feel the feelings you once did, but I got to do that on Friday. That was a Christmas gift in and of itself.

After wrapping 15 presents, Aly and I took off to Franklin where we met her two friends (Danna and Rick) her family and just had an old-fashioned Italian Christmas Eve. Three courses, lots of fried food, lots of seafood, lots of good food. Had baked stuffed lobster for the first time, incredible. Also had a steak and some pasta. Aly's mom knows how to cook, she really does. And her grandmother is an awesome cook too.

Besides a gaggle of new outfits, Aly got me a digital camera. It is so sweet. It's an Olympus and while I haven't had a chance to really look at everything, but a cursory glance says that it's a great camera. I can't wait to bring it to Fenway next year. Every year Aly gets me an awesome gift. She knows how to pick them.

On Saturday, Danna, Rick, Aly and I went to my parents' house and it was a lot of fun too. My parents really took to Danna and Rick, and my grandmother did too. I'm really glad that every one got along and had a good time.

The one awkward part of Christmas was my Aunt Rita and Uncle Joseph. For the last eight years, I think that the Christmas that has just passed will be my aunt's last. She's not doing well, osteoporosis has destroyed her and senility is more than creeping in. Half the time she didn't know where she was and the other half she was throwing up at the dinner table. I don't want to get old.

And her son, Uncle Joseph, is not doing much better. He closed the family store because he's up to his eye balls in gambling debt, he looks like a beaten man. He used to have it all: women, cars (he had three different Jaguars at once), money, vacations. What ever he wanted. Now he lives in the back of a storefront (that he owns) and had to sell the store that was in our family for three generations.

The worst part is that he is trying to get Jay to get in on a store with him. He wants Jay's money and credit because his is so shot. Normally I say "Family First" but he'll destroy my brother and his future. My Uncle Joseph is an awesome guy, I don't want to completely throw him under the bus, but he's got a bad monkey on his back and he needs to get some help. I only hope he does.

Sunday, Aly and I did nothing. Literally nothing. We made dinner and watched TV and also napped. One of the movies we saw was "Matchstick Man" with Nicholas Cage. Good flick, a bit long, but it had a twist ending, which I sort of saw coming from a mile away. Glad that Jay let me borrow it. We also watched "The Others" with Nicole Kidman. Another good movie, not great though. Sort of like "The Six Sense" times three. I hate giving away spoilers, and these last two movies have them in spades, so just rent them. You won't be disappointed.

Not too much happened today, returned some DVDs that I got for Christmas. Ended up getting "The Best of Triumph the Insult Comedy Dog", "Mr. Show" season four and "Spider-Man 2". After getting the movies, Aly and I took in a matinee, "The Life Aquatic". Typical Wes Anderson film, well written, well acted, pretty funny and touching at the same time. The characters were perfect for their roles.

Here's the thing, as much as I liked this movie, "Rushmore" and "The Royal Tannenbaums" I don't think I want to see them again. They're very good, not great. Sometimes there are slow parts in each of these three movies that make them seem a bit longer than they really are. Out of 19 stars, I'd give it 15.

Tomorrow I have an interview with Band and Brown for a public relations job. I had a phone interview last Wednesday and we spoke for about a half hour. Turns out that he probably can't meet the salary I desire, but he still wants me to come in. I'll listen to what he has to say (he actually doesn't make the salary numbers). Hopefully things will work out.

Monday, December 20, 2004

Let the Christmas season begin

Really good weekend this weekend. No rest for the weary, but that's cool, Aly and I had a ball.

It all began on Friday (isn't that where the weekend usually starts off?) at work. We had our annual Christmas swap, and I made out pretty big. I got the Sox World Series DVD, which is what I wanted. The thing is everyone gave pretty good gifts, and I just gave a Cocoa Puffs chicken bobbing head doll. I thought it was pretty cool, but it was definitely the cheapest gift there. Oh well, Diane liked it (she ended up with it).

In the middle of the party, I was called by a guy from Band and Brown, which is a PR firm in Cambridge. They wanted to phone interview me right there, but I was at the party sitting right next to Monica when he called. I excused myself and told him that I'd call him on Tuesday, but he sounded a bit put off. That's not a good sign for an interview. We'll see about this tomorrow.

Friday night, after Aly and I decided that we were going to move in together in March, we went to Waltham to visit Brownie and Cindy. They met us at the door with a beer and a glass of wine and we didn't stop drinking all night. It was fun, I don't remember the last time we did that.

We went to a Spanish tapas restaurant called Solea. Not too bad, they had a shit-load of tapas and I had the lamb steak. We ordered a lot of food and when the bill came, Cindy ripped it out of our hands and demanded that we let her pay. It was $250. Needless to say, we were quite shocked. That was such an awesome thing to do.

We went to a bar after called the Skelig. The bar was cool, it's just like the Burren in Davis Square, but the band sucked. They were called the Swinging Johnsons and they were a goofy-ass cover band. And they just weren't good. After a few beers we went back to Brownie's where I kicked his ass in Madden.

Saturday we started Christmas partying at 1:30 pm and didn't stop until after midnight. Our first party was the Chili's bash and that was awesome. I haven't seen most of my friends since Stacy's wedding, so it was great seeing them again. Skaus and Sara hosted the party, and their new place is really nice.

As far as the grab, it was more cut throat than work's was, but I still got some cool stuff: the new Onion book and the first season of Arrested Development. We were the last ones to leave because we were looking at S&S's honeymoon pictures. They're going to Hawaii and we have decided that that is where we're going too.

After that we went to Aly's roommate's (Sara Wells) friend's Christmas party in Brookline. I thought it was going to be a real cheesy affair, mainly because it was a house full of lawyers, but it was a good time. I really think that I should give people more of a chance and not prejudge them based on occupation.

They were all really down to earth folks with good attitudes. If we weren't so tired from the night before and Skaus' shindig, we probably would've stayed later. We left around midnight.

On Sunday we went to church and saw Fr. Brian. He told us that he had our compatibility test done and we had to meet with him soon. Aly got real nervous and wondered whether we passed. I think that we did, Fr. Brian was smiling when he saw us. Unless he's really peverse, but I don't think that he is.

After that, we went to Franklin because we still had Christmas shopping to do, so after saying hello to Aly's folks, we went the Wrentham outlets. The first place we went to was Banana Republic. Some bitch with a baby carriage slammed it into the back of Aly's knees. Aly turned around and the woman gave her a half-hearted "sorry". Aly sort of looked at her and then the lady said something again, so I yelled, "Hey! You're the one that slammed into her!" And she gave me a dismissive wave of her hand, so I told her to take her hand and "shove it up her ass."

I was fucking pissed, who the fuck does that bitch think she is. I really hate Christmas shopping. People (including me, I guess) are such dicks. Then we went to the Nike store, which was just as bad. Everyone was literally tripping over each other trying to get their "awesome new kicks". What the hell, they're just shoes, they're going to be there whether you run over someone or you wait.

I think I just may shop on line for the rest of my life.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

I sound like a broken record, but ...

I know that I write this a lot, but it's true. Pop culture just sort of rots now. And it's creeping into things that I once really loved.

Take for example Howard Stern. I used to love this show, it was literally the best part of my day. I would flip it on and just cruise to work laughing my ass off or being enthralled with an interview or just generally fascinated by the ball busting that occurs between the cast of regulars. I would try and figure out when he was going to be on one of his umpteen vacations and get sort of depressed.

Not any more.

The past month or so has been god-awful boring radio. I dislike George Bush and his right wing, jack booted thugs as much as the next guy, but if I have to listen to Stern tell me about how they're infringing on his free speech one more time, I'm going to freak out. That's all he talks about is the delay button and how much it sucks. Yeah, we get it, you want to swear. For fuck's sake, quit being such a whiny bitch about everything.

And when he's not crabbing about George W., he's going on and on about how his radio station won't let him talk about Sirius satelite radio. Next year, Stern is going to pay radio where he can swear all night and day. Ever since he signed his contract he's been talking about it. Not surprisingly his current employer is not too happy about this.

They (rightly) feel that by him continuingly talking about Sirius, they're going to lose customers. Stern is shocked and appalled that he isn't allowed to turn his radio show into a five-hour comercial for satelite radio. So he talks about that for 20 or 30 minutes a day.

Then he brings in the same tired shit like strippers and farters. I've been listening to this dude for eight years and it's the same thing. This guy farts "Feliz Navidad" that girl queefs "O Holy Night". It's been done. But the strippers are the worst, he fawns over each and every one like they're not the biggest skanks on the planet. And then when they do get naked, it's like who cares, it's radio, I can't see anything.

He is literally just stealing money from his employers because he doesn't care. It's obvious. He's saving all of his energy and good ideas for next year. And of course, every day we have to hear, "This might be my last day on the radio. Yup, it really could be. I am so outta here." Fine. Just go. I'd rather listen to music or Dennis and Callahan. (I never thought I'd say that.)

I don't hate the guy though, because when he feels like putting in an honest effort, he still is quite entertaining, but that is becoming less than the norm now.

You know why I'm so bitter about these things? I just saw "A Charlie Brown's Christmas" tonight. I love that special, it's such a great show and was so far ahead of the curve. Charlie Brown is a kid who's completely depressed about Christmas, which was unheard of. Man, I wish I could do something like that. This is what I aspire to.

There are many things that suck; shaving, shoveling snow, going to work, but nothing is as bad as wandering the mall thinking of ideas for Christmas presents. During my day off yesterday, Aly and I went to the mall. I never want to see another mall again. The place was packed. I don't understand why there were so many people there. It's a Wednesday in the middle of the day, don't you people have jobs? Seriously.

So, we were supposed to get gifts for like 13 people. I ended up getting Nina's gift, my work Yankee swap and two gifts for the Chili's people. That's it. I still have to get a bunch of shit for more people. Guess when I'm going? Sunday. At the outlets. This is going to be like the Battan Death March. Not good times.

So, I'm at my parents' house tonight. I went to the doctor's about my potential Graves' Disease, looks like I don't have. Dr. K wants me to come back to his office in six months, but otherwise it looks as if I'm in the clear. That's really good news, I'm pumped.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Pedro's gone with the wind ...

Look at what time it is and check your calendar, I'm playing hookey today.

I still haven't done any Christmas shopping, and Aly really hasn't done that either. So guess what we're doing today? That's right, we're going to the Museum of Science. Actually I'm just giving you "the business", we're going Christmas shopping, which totally sucks.

The mall sucks, walking around sucks, crowds suck. It's a hat trick of suckiness.

That's not to say that I'd rather be in work, I wouldn't, but this is pretty close.

Not too much has gone on during the past few days, it's actually been pretty quiet. The one disappointing thing is that the Sox lost Pedro Martinez to the Mets. To say that this turn of events is disappointing is an understatement. I really can't believe that he left Boston. I literally can't believe it.

For the last week every report from Red Sox camp has been, "Pedro is going to sign with us, there's no way that he's going elsewhere." This is especially because the Red Sox guaranteed a third year at the price he wanted. But those fucking Mets swooped in and threw in a fourth year.

Pedro did what most people would do, he took the money. I honestly can't blame him. It sucks, it totally sucks. That's what I feel in my heart. The Sox couldn't give him a fourth year, that just doesn't make good business sense. According to an report by Jayson Stark, 90% of Pedro's labrum is torn. There is no way that he'll make it through that contract without a major injury.

Three years might have been too much, but four years is insane. Mets GM Omar Minaya is a terrible general manager. He was always getting screwed in Montreal when it came to trades (Cliff Floyd, Bartolo Colon, Javy Vazquez) and he would always throw money at the wrong free agents (Carl Everett, Grahme Lloyd). Of course the excuse was, "He doesn't have the money. See what he's like with money."

Well, in New York he has money and he's spending it like a drunken sailor. Completely fucked up the market with his contracts for Kris Benson (an underachieving pitcher with a sub .500 record who wanted to come back to NYC) and Pedro. The guy spent too much money on damaged goods. It's as simple as that.

With all that said, Pedro leaving is like ripping the heart out of the Sox. His first years with the Sox were unbelievable. Just a constant buzz around the park. Is he going to throw a no-hitter? Strike out 21 guys? Throw a perfect game? No one knew, but with Pedro it was always theatre.

Even as he got older, he still brought that buzz to the park. Even on days that he didn't pitch. He was a funny guy who walked the walk and he could talk. Easily the smartest guy on the Sox. He said things that were eloquent and true, even when he was being outrageous. Even when he bitched and moaned you had to listen to him because it was probably true.

The buzz is not there any more. Sure Schilling says stuff, but it's not the same. And Schilling is a great pitcher too, but he's not Pedro. I don't know if we'll ever see another Pedro. He is/was one of the greats.

Sunday, December 12, 2004

A little bit of culture

Friday night Aly and I did something that we don't normally do, we went to the theatre. Not the movie theatre, the theatre theatre. It was something very different, and it was pretty cool.

A girl I work with named Ann Marie used to work at the North Shore Music Theatre and she sent out a company-wide email asking if anyone wanted free tickets to see Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol". I had never gone to the NSMT and I assumed that it was sort of a step up from community theatre, but surprisingly, it's not.

During the intermission, I read the Playbill and found that most of the actors were on Broadway, had bit parts on television and had been in movies. The cast was really good and the show was awesome. For one thing, it's my favorite Christmas story (the best one will always be the Mr. Magoo version) and for another thing I needed a bit of the old Christmas spirit.

For some reason, I haven't been able to get into Christmas this year. It's already the 12th of December and I haven't done any Christmas shopping, nor do I even know what to get for anyone. And just thinking of all the bills is enough to drop me into a cold sweat.

But after I saw that performance, I started to feel more in the holiday spirit. The other night I told Aly about how I wasn't looking forward to Christmas and that I needed to be visited by three ghosts, and last night I was.

This morning the Sox put their four-game packs on sale for the coming season. I woke up at about 9:00, jumped on the computer and was ready to get moving. Only my modem was busted. This happens every once in a while, so I had to keep my ear to the phone and listened to a busy signal for an hour. Totally sucked.

All of a sudden the modem started to work again and I was able to get a package for me, Ryan, Skaus and Nick. Games against the Blue Jays, Yankees, A's and Reds. Brownie got the same package and another one. Not too bad, but the one shitty thing was during that one-hour blackout I missed getting opening day seats. Man, I would've loved to have those seats. Sucks that I can't go. Maybe I'll get them for Christmas?

The Winter Meetings are being held now and the Sox have made a bit of a splash, they've signed pitchers David Wells and John Hallama. Don't care about the latter, he should be good coming out of the bullpen, but the Wells signing has me 50/50. For one thing, the guy is a die-hard Yankee, he bleeds pinstripes. Another thing is that he's pretty old, 41-years-old to be exact and his back is not exactly ship-shape. The one saving grace is that Theo signed him. In Theo I trust.

There are also reports coming out of Anaheim that the Sox have deals with Varitek, Pedro and Cardinal shortstop Edgar Renteria, which is why the Sox lost Carl Pavano to the Yanks. If it's a swap of Pavano for Renteria, Varitek, Wells and Pedro, than I am completely cool with that. Like I said, in Theo I trust. ITIT.

Aside from getting my haircut, Aly and I did nothing today. She watched a marathon of "America's Next Model" and I read and goofed around on the net. She needed this because she's starting to come down with a cold and unless I put my foot down and tell her to chill out, she's always bouncing around, getting herself sicker.

Good news yesterday, it looks as if she's getting a job offer from Bank of America on Monday. She spoke with that company's HR director and it's just about a done deal. We won't be celebrating until all of the T's are crossed and the I's are dotted. But for now she'll probably be starting January 3.

Since we did nothing, we were a bit stir crazy by about 6:00. We were originally supposed to go out with Brownie and Cindy, but Cindy found out today that her sister has MS. That put a damper on things, so we didn't go with them. Then we called Sara and Skaus, they said no because Sara had to work.

Aly and I were on our own, which actually worked out better. We started off at a really good Mexican place in Somerville called Tu Y Yo. Good food, stuff sticks to your ribs. I chowed like no one's business. I had a steak dish with two helpings of beans and rice. She had the pork dish and we had an appetizer and drinks. Total cost $35, without tip. Pretty cheap.

After that we got some ice cream, it hasn't been very cold out, which is why we went to JP Licks, then we went to the movies. We took in "Oceans Twelve". Good popcorn movie, yes there were a bunch of plot holes, but it was enjoyable, lots of fun. For one thing, I love heist movies ... they're probably my favorite kind of picture because I enjoy the cleverness needed to a. think of the plot and b. pull it off.

And when I say cleverness, I don't necessarily mean the guys who actually pull off the caper, I'm talking about the guy who wrote it. That's the man who has to have the idea. The way I figure it, he probably walks into a museum, scopes the place out and figures out how to get in and steal a work of art, money or whatever.

The only problem is, he's too much of a wuss to do it. Not that I'd do it, I'm just as big of a pussy, but he has the imagination to write something plausible. For the movie, there were a few lulls (out of about 12 scenes, Julia Roberts had about three that weren't annoying, but she was really good in those three scenes.) Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Matt Damon, Bernie Mac, all those dudes seemed like they had a fun time doing this movie and it show on the screen. And what can you say about Catherine Zeta Jones? She's fucking smoking. Good addition to the cast.

We saw the movie where we saw "Alexander" two weeks ago, at the Assembly Square theatre in Somerville. This may be on the list of ghetto theatres, which already includes the Fenway theatre. For one thing, it was packed. Not a big deal, it's Saturday night, this is a big movie. But the place was packed with idiots.

The two burly guys next to Aly each brought a six-pack, pounded them in about 45 minutes then left the theatre. The guys behind us brought two little kids and each person in that little foursome had Chinese food. How the fuck do you bring in Chinese food and beer?

And they didn't eat quietly, I felt like I was at a slaughter house and it was time for the cows' last meal. To borrow a phrase from Public Enemy, it was louder than a bomb. Then one of the guys pulls out of phone and started to call someone. In the middle of the fucking movie! I turned around and almost asked him if the movie was too loud, but I think he was Asian and was speaking a different language, so I didn't want to waste a good line on someone who couldn't understand it.

I know I asked these questions after we saw "The Village", but what the fuck is up with people? Why do people go to movies and talk on the phone? Can't they see that there is an entire auditorium full of people who paid $10 a ticket to watch a movie? It's obvious that they don't give a fuck.

There was one guy in front of me who constantly was sending emails on his Blackberry. Pandora's wireless box has already been open, there's nothing we can do about it, but please, I beseech you, relax for two hours. Get lost in a movie, leave your shitty fucking life with all of it's mundane melodramas at home. I promise you, it will be there when you get back. Just quit subjecting people to your stupid boring crap.

Thank you.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Wrapping things up

Ok, you're probably sick of me writing about work, and actually pretty sick about writing about that subject too, so just bare with me for two or three paragraphs and I'll write about other stuff, I promise. Yesterday was the end to the Cayman Islands Saga and guess who was right? Me. The booth didn't get down there until 3:00, just like I knew. However, if we were allowed to do the original plan none of that would've happened.

So, I think I'm moving my job search from passive, to agressive. I'm sick of my job performance being determined by the boys at FedEx and not being listened to by my coworkers. Starting tomorrow I'm flooding the markets with my resume. If you happen to know of a job contact me in the comments box at the end of this page, it goes right to my inbox. I would really appreciate it.

Speaking of getting jobs, Aly had another interview today. That's three in four days, not too shabby. This one didn't start off on the right foot, but I think it got a bit better. Around 9:10 I get a frantic call, "I can't find my pants!" I saw Aly bring in her suit from the car yesterday, but she can't find her suit pants. She decides to go look for them in her car. She found them all right, it's in the trash.

Apparently, she dropped them on the way into my house last night and they spent the entire night gettng soaked until someone picked them up and threw in the trash of the half-way house that is next door to my house. Since we don't have a dryer she had to get them dry by using a hair dryer.

About 20 minutes later I get another call, "I'm lost!" The directions we got off Mapquest weren't very good (surprise, surprise), so she's driving around Cambridge not knowing where the hell she is. I looked up a map of the city on line and directed her to Kendall Square. She also lost her resume and contact information for the person she was supposed to interview with.

Aside from those mini tragedies, things went well. The company is small and they will meet her salary requirements and they don't have a lot of girls in the office, which I think bodes will for her. She should hear back within a few days. I really hope she gets the job, she's starting to get a bit stir crazy, and I can't blame her. It must suck to be home, by yourself all day. I'd be begging for shit to do.

I am absolutely exhausted tonight. For the second straight Wednesday I played hoops. I wasn't intending to do so, but Chuck (a buddy of mine at the gym) grabbed me from the eliptical machine and we ran full court, three on three. I have no wind anymore. I played ok, last week I played much better (after being off the court for like four months). Tonight I made a few shots, started to get cocky and then I was missing a lot of bunnies. That's frustrating as hell.

Sometimes I TiVo things for Aly so that she'll have something to watch while I work on my cartoon (finished the second one last night, and it looks really good ... I can't wait to get this web site up and running). She records some of the dumbest shows and I had to listen to them. Last night was a "Nick and Jessica Christmas" and an epsiode of "Growing Up Gotti" double bill.

Nick and Jessica was predictably cheesy, bad puns, terrible jokes and more oversinging than the last three seasons of American Idol. Of course the worst being when Ashlee Simpson came out to "prove" to the world that she can sing. I think what would make the Ashelee Simpson SNL faux-singing a bigger deal is if she has talent. She just doesn't and it's obvious that she's riding her sister's coat tails.

Another thing she doesn't have is her sister's charisma. Ashlee looks as if someone has put a gun to her and is forcing her to be famous. She'll probably OD in about three years after her next album flops.

But the "Nick and Jessica Christmas Special" looked like Seinfeld compared to "Growing Up Gotti". As much as I think that Paris Hilton is a no-talent skank, these Gottis are worse. For one thing their grandfather was a mob boss, he robbed, raped, murdered and sold drugs to pay for their oppulant lifestyle. And for this, they're famous? How can this be?

And the daughter, the so-called matriach of the family, is just as classless as her old man. Besides dressing like she's an 18-year-old prostitute, she has to watch over her three guinea (and I'm Italian, and these kids are fucking guineas) kids who don't give a fuck about the world or anyone in it. In this episode, the mother takes her boys and a bunch of their friends to Miami for a vacation.

As you can expect, madcap hilarity ensues and when the boys get in trouble, their chaperone threatens the security guard. This pisses off the mother, but she doesn't make a huge deal out of it. Then the chaperone starts telling everyone that one of the guinea kids is wasted. For some reason the mother goes off the handle and concocts this scheme where her brother (who's probably a crime boss) is going to call the chaperone and scare the shit out of him.

Of course she does this in front of her kids, setting a good example and making sure that they have a healthy respect for someone that she puts in charge of them. The guy does almost craps his pants. Which gets a chuckle out of everyone because as we know Italians can't solve their problems peacefully, they have to have "a talk witchoo" which means that violence is going to ensue. Yup, that's one thing every dumb Italian understands, the fist.

And I forgot about this, she's a "writer" for the Star tabloid and she's trying to break a story about Mike Piazza and whether he's married or not. All during the show she's talking about how proud she is of her writing and how well she does at her job. Of course as she is commenting about this she is using every cliche known to man and thinks that she sounds very profound.

But her profoundity doesn't end with cliches, here is an actual quote to one of her guinea sons, "My very own father, your grandfather (they never use his name BTW) took me here for my first trip. Isn't that ironic?" No. That's not ironic. Buy a fucking dictionary.

You would figure that a "writer" even someone who writes for that piece of shit rag that is the Star would be able to properly find irony in every day life. Unfortunately, that just isn't the case. I felt that this show actually made me dumber as I watched it. I would love for these kids to die in a horrible, horrible, horrible manner. And if they have any fans, I wish that they'd die too.

This country is going to hell.

Monday, December 06, 2004

The dawn after the darkness ... so far

The weekend was good, by Saturday I had pretty much forgotten about the previous week, though my stomach was in a knot about today on Sunday night. The good news was that today went pretty well at work, but tomorrow will be the real litmus test. That's when the Cayman Island confernece is set to begin and after I tracked the booth and the materials on it said it was on the island, but not at the hotel. All I know is that it better be there.

But back to the weekend, Saturday and Sunday were both filled with friends and games. During the day I laid down the pencils for my second strip, which came out really well ... much better than I thought it would. I'm starting to use space a lot better now than I did a week ago. All I have to do is ink, which is probably what I'm going to do tomorrow night.

I picked Aly up at the airport around 4:30 Saturday and we went to her house to help her roommate (Sara) and her boyfriend (Chris) set up for the first annual trivia/chili party. I think it might be the last. People had fun (it was mostly Sara's lawyer friends, with a sprinkling of Aly's pals and Jim and Sara from my crew), but I don't think they had a great time. The one good thing was that Aly and I and Jim and Sara beat the hell out of a room of lawyers in trivia.

I can't say that I was the star of the team, I was still in a fog, but I didn't embarrass myself. One of Sara's friends was there and she was fucking obnoxious. A know-it-all and a bore and she didn't mind telling you exactly what she thought at any given moment. These people are a dime a dozen and are about as interesting as watching paint dry.

After everyone left, and interesting story was told about her, apparently her father was an oil guy and lived in Saudi Arabia. She, and the rest of her family, went to live with her dad when she was a kid. One day she was at an outdoor market with her sisters and this chick was kidnapped. A bag was thrown over her head, she was dragged away kicking and screaming and was held for ransom. I'm not sure if the kidnappers got their money or they just let her go because she wouldn't shut the fuck up, but that's a good story.

She has also had breast cancer, her dad died two years ago and has lived in Louisiana. I don't know what's the worst tale.

One of Aly and Sara's friends, Niall, was at the party too and he just came back from Rio De Jinero. I told him that I thought that place was a danger to everyone and he said that that was a lie. Everyone down there was nice and while there were some bad parts you stay out of them. Niall is Irish, and as a European, he, unlike many Americans, understands that not every country is going to be Disney World where everything is completely sanitized. There are shitty parts of every city in every country, but that doesn't mean that you shouldn't visit that city or country, just stay the fuck out of the bad places.

On Sunday we went to Bill and Ellie's for the annual (this is a long-running tradition) Christmas/Guts party. I didn't do too bad, probably lost $10-$20, but Aly won $40 and Jay's girlfriend walked out of Charlestown with $140. My mother lost $130, which is par for the course for the elder Magranes. My mom and my dad either suck or have the worst luck when it comes to cards.

I bet it's a mix of both.

Ellie and Bill always do a good job with the party, they usually order a couple of trays of macaroni and chicken parm and we eat like pigs before the gambling begins. It's always a fun time and I hope this continues for a long time.

Ryan's two-year-old son Liam called me "Uncle Panda" last night, that cracked me and just about everyone else up. He's a real cute kid, especially now that he's talking a lot. Ryan's other son, Aidan, is pretty awesome too, though a little more shy than his younger brother.

So, I finally finished another Richard Russo book today: "The Straight Man". Not as good as "Empire Falls", but an ok tome. I've read two Russo books and three blurbs about his other ones and the one thing this guy likes to do is write about depressing, blue-collar northeast towns. It gets boring.

Like EF, TSM is wrapped up too quickly in a pretty little package and has another sullen teenager being brought to justice. Unlike EF, the main character in TSM is an asshole. The first 50 or so pages, I thought he was just sort of a jerk who'd grow out of being obstinate, but there he was almost 400 pages later still an asshole, still doing stupid shit to piss people off.

And yes, I do get the irony of the novel being called the straight man, while he is the protagonist. In comedy, the straight man doesn't act, he reacts to his partner's barbs and jokes.

Also like EF, there is a ton of symbolism and other literary devices that first-year comp students use to make their stories seem more "meaningful" and "real". So in summation, it wasn't a bad book, I blew through it and it kept my interest, but I don't think that I'll ever read it again. Out of 19 stars, I give it 11.

Friday, December 03, 2004

Finally, it's over

This week that is.

What a shitty week. Seriously, all of the stupid, crappy things that happened this week (nothing really major) just came together today. Besides the fact that a bunch of not-so-great stuff happened, it just seemed like the longest week ever. It literally felt like three weeks were jammed into this week. I know something rotten happened on Monday, but, honestly, I can't remember what the fuck it was.

I spoke to Dave today about yesterday. I gave him some bullshit line about how things got a bit heated yesterday and how I didn't want it to effect our working relationship, etc. He was like, "You know I wasn't mad at you, blah, blah." And I said, "Yeah, I know, but it was still a tense situation and I didn't want it to ruin how we interact."

He hated my predecessor and made shit pretty difficult for her. In fact, he told me that she sucked. Aly is right, these people are so unprofessional, it's not even funny. So, I walked out of there feeling a bit better that I addressed the situation like a rational person and that he wasn't really pissed at me.

Around 1:30 or so, my boss called me into her office. Apparently I screwed something up in October and this cunt (yes, I'm dropping the c-bomb) decided to tell my boss about it today. So Moni starts giving me one of her dressing-downs where she tries to be your friend, but at the same time lets you know she's not happy. So finally I say, "Do you want to just look over everything I do? I don't care. If that's what you want to do, you can do it."

And she's like, "I don't want to be controlling and micromanaging", which is funny because those are the exact two words I'd use to describe her managerial style. But here's the thing, while that can be annoying at times, I don't care. Just be fucking consistent. You want to micromanage me? Fine, it's less responsibility for me. You want me to be on my own? That's cool, just don't be pissed when I don't do something the exact fucking way that you'd do it.

Then she asked, "Did you talk to Dave?" I answered in the affirmative and explained to her what happened. And this is the thing that sucks the most, she is such a suck up to the company that it's hard to have a discussion with her about any problems at work. I told her that I didn't think it was very professional for a vice president to have a complete hissy fit breakdown and she comes back with, "Well, you should know it's a boy's club."

For one thing, that's the wrong metaphor, you dip shit. If he flipped out while he was drinking a beer and sitting in his boxer shorts, that's one thing. But, what the fuck does that "explanation" have to do with anything? And then she proceeded to tell me all these stories about how she was sworn at. Who cares? I then told her that my problem wasn't getting yelled at, hell I've gotten yelled a bunch of times and chances are pretty good that it's going to happen again. It wasn't even the swearing, I swear more than a drunk sailor.

It was just the incident that brought along the time bomb. She just could not understand my point, no matter how much I tried to explain it to her. Remember on Tuesday when I said it's nice to have my boss on my side? Well, that's pretty much gone by the wayside.

I really think that she thinks that I'm either on drugs or I'm fucked up, because she kept asking me if I was "ok" after we had our discussion about Dave. At first I said I was cool, but I eventually told her that I was having a bad week and that next week I should be better. I have to get out of this place, find a nice job and get my career path started. It's that simple.

But first, next week I have to sharpen up and make sure that I'm on the beam for my present job. I spoke to Aly today and she really didn't have a good day today either. Which made me feel bad because she called earlier and probably wanted to talk, but I was "too busy" at work to speak to her. I told her that I think I should probably see a career counselor soon. Any port in a storm.

To make herself feel better, she went to see the new Bridget Jones movie and she looked to her left and this one girl had her hands down the pants of another chick. They noticed that Aly was looking at them and they stopped, but when Aly looked again they were going at it again only this time they were completely making out with each other. Aly thought it was gross, but I thought it was fucking hot. She said these girls weren't bad looking either. I should go see more crappy Rene Zelwigger movies.

Tonight I had a few beers and I went to take a leak. As I was zipping up my fly, I was looking at myself and the mirror and I got my dick got in my zipper. It fucking killed. Really, really, really, really bad. Removal was just like "Something About Mary", I had to do it very quickly. And yes, it killed just as much. I hope I never do it again.

Two cool things have happened in the last 24 hours:

1. I finished my very first cartoon. It came out awesome. It looks exactly how I wanted it to. Honestly, I don't think I've ever been more proud of something in my life. It looks professional and after it was done I just stared at it for a few moments. Normally I don't pat myself on the back, but this was a job well done.

2. I was watching VH1 Classic (probably my favorite channel) and there was a back to back to back block of LL Cool J's "Mama Said Knock You Out", The Beastie Boys "Hey Ladies" and Urban Dance Squad's "Deeper Shade of Soul". Awesome, awesome. awesome set of music. I was only planning on having two beers, but I had to crack another one when UDS came on. I took a sip, closed my eyes and it was like I was back in 1991 again. It was nice.

I also found out that when MTV started one of my favorite shows, "SuperRock", it was intended to be THE replacement for Headbanger's Ball. I did not know that. The only thing I know about SuperRock is that I would come home from college parties fucking bombed, crack a beer and watch it. They always had the best videos. And that's not nostalgia talking. Beasties, Pearl Jam, UDS, it was like I was programming the show.

Speaking of MTV, tonight I checked out what was on MTV2, expecting to see just videos. But it was full of reruns of old MTV shows. Is this necessary? I mean really. There is already one channel of crap ass shows, why does there need to be two? I thought MTV2 was created to play the videos that MTV doesn't play anymore. Viacom is fucking retarded.

As Jim Morrison once said, "Cancel my subscription to the resurrection." This really has nothing to do with my anti-MTV rant, I just thought it sounded cool and probably one of his best lines.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

I think I'm a narcoleptic

Why? Because for most of my life I have been able to stay up pretty late and just watch TV or read or listen to tunes. For the last week or so I've been crashing in the middle of my favorite shows: the Chappelle Show, the Daily Show, Family Guy ... I'm just falling asleep. And it's not like these things are on really late between 10:30 and midnight. I just don't know what the hell it is.

So for the past two days I haven't had the best days. They haven't been horrible, but there has been a few things that have just rubbed me the wrong way. And they're starting to add up.

For instance, yesterday morning I wake up and go out to my car and there's a ticket on the windshield. Why? Because I didn't park 20 feet from an intersection. I park in this spot all the time and now I get a ticket for this? What the fuck? I mean, don't the Somerville cops have anything better to do than to give tickets to people who are parked ok, but aren't 20 feet from the curb?

I was so fucking pissed, and what made me even more mad is that I was thinking about this as I was driving to drop Aly off at the airport. This is why I don't really respect a lot of cops, most cops are good, but there are a lot of fucking pricks who are on a power trip and just want to bust balls. From their arrogant smirks while they hold up traffic to their holier-than-thou attitudes, fuck them.

It sounds like I'm just spouting sour grapes, and I am, but these things really pisses me off.

There were a few weird things that happened at work over the last few days, if you remember I wrote about my boss who was freaking out because Lisa left and she felt insecure in her managing abilities. The other day she told me that she was pissed that people were going out for Lisa's last day. I was going to go, but two things made me think twice: 1. it was on Tuesday, which was Aly's last night before she went away. It was 5:30 and Lisa hadn't even thought of leaving work yet. I would rather spend time with Aly. 2. I've never been friends with a boss before, why would I want her on my bad side? I just gave her a hug and went on my way.

So, I'm in early on Wednesday and I see Monica. She looked really sad and asked that I give her a hug. I say ok and then ask her what's the matter. She's still broken up about this Lisa thing. She'd be wise to read EPMD's 1992 CD "Business Never Personal". I'm sort of worried about her.

This is other story is long and sort of confusing, so please follow (if you want). There is a dude that I work pretty closely with, his name is Dave and he's a vice president of sales. Next week he's going to the Cayman Islands for a conference, tough fucking job, eh? For his trip he wanted a banner stand, which is basically a screen that has our company's name on it. We had a chance to get this for free as long as we bought a ten-foot booth with two graphic panels.

The people who make the panels also make the banner stand and for some insane reason, these people won't send the banner stand without the graphic panels. It's completely ass backwards and is a pain in the ass, but it's not a huge deal. Today, I told him about this and he completely lost his shit. I mean he totally lost it.

He was like, "This is fucking bullshit. I can't believe that I have to do this. Fine. Fuck it. I'll just leave the panels down there" and then he slammed his fist on the desk. I was like, "Those panels cost about $1,000, you aren't leaving them down there."

"Well, I'm not sending them back. That's bullshit." And he had a hissy fit for five minutes. He was like a child. And it's weird to sit there and watch a grown man (he's like 50 or so) completely lose it over something so small. I was literally speechless. I didn't know what to say. It certainly wasn't my fault, that's just the way this company does business, but he would not listen to reason.

Aside from the fact that I really thought he was going to cry, the weirdest thing is that Dave is a pretty relaxed guy and professional as all hell. For him to do this is bizarre behavior. I have to meet with him tomorrow and I'm not sure what I'm going to say. I really want to say something about his professionalism and how I shouldn't have to be talked to that way. But I don't want to turn this into a huge deal.

And since this is my stupid office, he ran to my boss, who sort of took his side but understood where I was coming from. To be honest, I was pretty disapointed with her reaction. She definitely should've been on my side and told this dude to chill the fuck out. BTW, all he had to do was slap an extra mailing label on the panel box and send it back to Marblehead. And this thing doesn't weight that much, maybe seven pounds total.

So even though Moni said she knew what I was trying to do (save the company money) I ended up calling the shipping company and told them to ship it overnight to Marblehead and then I'd express ship it to the Cayman Islands tomorrow. So basically we're spending a lot more money to ship something because so fuckface didn't feel like putting a sticker on a box while he's down in the Cayman fucking Islands. Boo fucking hoo.

I told Aly about this and she assessed the situation perfectly, she said that my company is the place people go who have been kicked out of real companies because they don't know how to act professionally. For a person who has spent zero time at my office, Aly hit this dead balls center. I can't wait to get the fuck out of there.

And here's the thing, I know I'm going to carry a grudge about this, unless he apologizes. That's just the way I am. This could get very interesting. I'm glad that I spoke to Aly tonight, even though she is in Atlanta, she made me feel a lot better about myself and this stupid situation.

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Can I get a drink?

Have you ever tried to get rid of an old sweatshirt, but it always turns up somewhere else? Some times this occurs with friends. With that, I bring you another installment of Aquaman's Blog.

Thanks, asshole. A lot of people like old sweatshirts, and a lot more like Aquaman. I want you all to look at something.

Do you see how happy I was? That's right during the ceremony. There are a few things that I've noticed since that day. One, Wonder Woman isn't wearing any breathing aparatus in this picture. She's a pretty tough chick and apparently she can bully the laws of physics. She should be dead.

Also, look where Robin is. He's directly across from Batman. "Young ward" my ass. They were making googly eyes at each other during my wedding. And the worst part is that they have no visible pupils.

But the strangest thing is how great Mera looks. Long, red hair. Big cans. Smoking body. Now she butched up her hair, her boobs are sagging into the Marianas Trench and she's gained 30 pounds. That's what marriage can do to a gal, but what can it do to a guy? I'll tell you what it can do, it makes you swim 340 miles to the nearest bar. And I don't mean a sand bar.

There is a place called Speedy's where the boys from the Justice League and the Legion of Doom go to relax and kick it old school. I know what you're thinking, "Kick it old school with the Legion of Doom? What the hell?" Yeah, we hang out with them some times, they're really not that bad of guys.

The only one who doesn't is Superman. He's on some kind of kick where he can't separate his work from his social life. Forget the Son of Krypton, his sense of snobbery also effected by the yellow sun. And let me tell you something, Superman isn't the most liked guy in the Superfriends. Behind his back we call him Super-no-friends.

The best thing about Speedy's is that we don't have to worry about the Norms, that's you, pal. Unless you have some sort of super power, you can't come in. Something is always going down, mostly with the Flash. There are two reasons why they call him that, one is because he's fucking fast. The other is because when he gets wasted and he just whips it out. To anyone. It's funny stuff.

Another cool thing about the Flash is that the drunker he gets, the more brews he steals. And the bartender never can tell. The Flash just pours a beer hella quick and then sits back down in the blink of an eye.

Since the Superfriends had to go all multi-cultural, we had to take the first minority who came along. Unfortunately for us, they all had the characteristics that have plagued their people. For example, Apache Chief always gets wasted. I mean completely shit-faced every time he goes to Speedy's. And he's a complete Indian giver. I know that's not PC, but what do you call a guy who buys you a beer than drinks it while you're taking a leak?

Only you better not say that to him, he goes crazy. Plasticman called him an "IG" and the next thing you know, that fucker was twisted into a hangman's noose. He choked on himself. And after Apache Chief gets his anger out, he gets super horny.

See that giant bitch in the leopard print?

Her name is Giganta, and she can grow to the size of Apache Chief. Have you ever seen a 15 foot vagina? I have and let me tell you something, it ain't that pretty. Apache Chief and her used to screw all over Metropolis, it was absolutely disgusting.

That's why I don't have any kids. I saw them bumping uglies and my testicles went into my chest. I am now sterile thanks to those two freaks. And that's where I'm leaving off tonight.

The next time I'll tell you about Samurai and the Sake, Black Lightning and his Colt 45 and El Dorado and his tequilla.

Sunday, November 28, 2004

I feel like Gene Siskel

Or Roger Ebert. Which ever one isn't dead. For the last three days all Aly and I have done is watch movies. At least it seems that way.

Friday Aly bought her wedding dress. It's weird writing that sentence. Aly bought her wedding dress. Five words ... Powerful shit. There's no going back now, not that I'd want to. While she was buying a dress, I bought the Simpsons season four DVD. Easily the best season and I got it for a song at Target. $17.77. Kick ass.

I'm sure there is some sort of deeper meaning in the fact that Aly bought a wedding dress and I bought four DVDs full of cartoons. You find it, there's something about not being able to see the forest for the trees.

Friday night we went to see "Alexander the Great". I was pumped for this movie for a few reasons: I like gladiator/historic pictures, I like Val Kilmer and Oliver Stone, I've always been a fan of ATG and it had a lot of buzz going into it. Three hours later, the buzz was squashed. It wasn't a bad movie per se. It just wasn't that good of a movie.

Even though Oliver Stone couldn't tell us how Alexander died it may have been the hammy over acting. And it wasn't all Colin Farrell's fault, Anthony Hopkins as Ptolemy, Angelina Jolie as Alexander's mother and Jared Leto were all terrible. There was even a narrator telling us everything going on. Shoddy filming, confusing cuts forward and back and corny dialogue torpedoed this flick.

And the symbolism ... oh the symbolism! A hawk was in just about every scene (no doubt representing war), snakes dominated every bedroom scene(shhhh ... they stand for penises) and the whole son of a former world power leader trying to conquer the mideast so his daddy will be proud (hello G.W. Bush!). Oliver Stone just slammed us over the head with this stuff.

The good: the fight scenes, especially in India and the fact that it was about Alexander the Great. I always think that he gets the short end of the stick compared to Julius Caesar. I'm glad he got some pub, though this isn't going to help him in the long run. Out of 19 stars, I'd give it eight.

On Saturday we woke up early and went to South Hampton, NH to pay our respects to Brownie's grandmother. She died about a week earlier and a funeral mass was being celebrated for her. The preacher did a really good job, even though he admitted that he never knew Brownie's grandmother.

I had driven by this church hundreds of times, but have never been in ... it was very bare and basic. Baptists aren't ostentatious like Catholics apparently. Also old, according to a plaque, the church has been there since 1833. A lot of shit has happened since then.

Another interesting thing was that the preacher was a black guy. Not a huge deal in most places, but this is South Hampton, NH. There is about 350 people in their village and I doubt that any of them are African American. I wonder how this guy came up there? Like I said, he did an awesome job and his sermons must be something to hear. I hope that they keep him.

After the funeral we went to my parents' house for another Thanksgiving dinner. We got there early and I began to get stir-crazy, so we walked around Newburyport for a bit. Aly had never been there and she enjoyed walking around the down town checking out all the little shops. We hit Fowles and it was like going into a time machine with their old-fashioned soda fountain.

We had dinner after that and of course Nina's stuffing was the best. And while the stuffing was top-notch, the most enjoyable part of the day was seeing how happy she is. She loves watching Aly and I interact because she knows how crazy we are about each other. She kept saying that we should always act like we are now. I'm taking that advice to heart.

Saturday night we were supposed to go out with Ryan and a bunch of his friends. I cancelled. I was just too beat from the entire day. Aly and I got a movie instead. In retrospect, we should've gone out. "The Missing" was probably one of the most boring movies both of us had ever seen. Aly fell asleep and then I did too. And I never fall asleep at movies.

Basically, Tommy Lee Jones is a drifter who finds his daughter. She's a healer in Arizona or Colorado or New Mexico in the 1880s and she hates her dad. These rogue Apaches who used to work for the government get sick of working for Uncle Sam, so they decide to kidnap a bunch of chicks and sell them off to the Mexicans as sex slaves. Guess who's grand daughter gets kidnapped? TLJ's, that's who. They have to go find them.

Sounds like a pretty good plot, huh? As Homer once said, "More boring than church." Too much talking (TLJ's bitchy daughter), too much brooding (TLJ), too much of TLJ's other, younger grand daughter. And since this is a western made in the last 20 years, it's Uncle Sam's fault that these Apaches are assholes. Why can't people just be dicks without having someone make them this way?

In any event I shut this turkey off before it ended. Hopefully, everyone died. I doubt that happened though. Out of 19 stars, this one got zero.

Sunday morning we woke up early and popped in "Elf" starring Will Farrell, no relation to Colin Farrell. Which is good because his movie was actually pretty interesting. It wasn't the funniest movie I've ever seen, hell, it wasn't even the funniest Will Farrell movie I've seen. But it was cute and had a lot of heart.

And there definitely were some funny scenes. The only problem is that every one has seen this movie about a million times. Elf is looking for his dad and comes to the big city. Dad doesn't want him because he's so weird. Elf does something that wins his dad over. The end. But like I said there was a couple of funny scenes. Out of 19 stars, I'd give it about 12.

After that movie, Aly and I ventured out of the house to the mythic city of Woburn, where we saw "National Treasure" with Nicholas Cage. This was a Disney flick with sort of a hokey premise, there is a treasure map on the back of the Declaration of Independence that was put their by our forefathers in order to hide the treasure of the Knights of Templar. Since the signers were Masons, they were also super smart apparently, so they were good at hiding shit.

Cage's great, great, great, great grandfather was a stable boy of the last signer and was given a clue as to where the treasure was and since then generations of Cages (actually his name was Gates in the movie) have been obsessed with finding this. So Cage gets paired up with a rogue billionaire who screws him over and then it's a race against time between Cage and the billionaire to see who gets the treasure.

Sounds really dumb, right? That's what I thought too, but it wasn't bad at all. Easily, the best movie I've seen in the last 48 hours. Lots of fun, didn't take itself too seriously and was entertaining. That's all I ask out of a movie. Every flick isn't going to change your life some times it's cool just to go in, shut down your life for a few hours and go home. "National Treasure" did that for me. Out of 19 stars, I'd give it 14.

Following that, we went to Charette's, I picked up some new pens, pencils and paper. It's all happening now, man. I also got to meet Drew's girlfriend this weekend, her name is Alicia and she's really cool. I guess she works at Drew's company. Hopefully she'll be around a bit.

Speaking of roommates, looks like I'm not moving out of here on January 1. I'm sticking around until March 1, at least. The way Aly and I worked it out was this: if she gets a job maybe I'll go back to Amesbury. If she doesn't, she's going back to Franklin. We need a place to hang out, and there is no way both of us are going to live at home. That would suck.

Also, Aly is going to Atlanta on Wednesday for a few days. Her brother is in Russia covering a hockey story and her sister-in-law is very pregnant. Aly's going down to help her. So, I'm a free man for three days. The women of Massachusetts must be very happy.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

How I spent my first Thanksgiving

There should be an "Away From Home" in that title. Unfortunately, I don't have that many keystrokes in the title.

I had a good one. That's the short answer.

The long answer is this: for the first time in my 30 years I did not celebrate an important holiday with my folks. Aly and I went to her parents' house in Franklin where we had the annual turkey day meal. They had a lot of the same stuff the Magranes had, an antipasto course (which was awesome), turkey, peas (DelMonte especially for me), cranberry sauce. But they also had this mashed potato dish made with cheddar cheese and sour cream and sweet potatoes with marshmellows. So good.

It was just me, Aly, her dad, her mom, her grandmother, Bob and Lauren. All we did was watch football and eat.

Yesterday Aly had a bad day. It's odd but there are two things that I really have to get used to about being in a relationship. The one thing is, when she's in a bad mood, inevitably I'm in a bad mood. I'm not saying that she intentionally pisses me off, but I really feel bad for her. And when something is troubling her, it's troubles me too.

And it works in opposite ways: as in when I'm ticked off, she usually gets mad. This is sort of a weird phenomena for me, I'm so used to being solo, when I'm mad, I'm mad that's it. I don't have to worry about someone else also getting angry or sad because I happen to be feeling that emotion.

It's sort of nice to have a symbiotic relationship with someone. I guess that's what people mean when they say, "Two people have become one."

The other thing that I wonder about is money. It's no longer her money or my money, it's really our money. And since she makes more than me (even though she lost her job) I'm cool with it, though sometimes I fall into the trap of "Hey! That's my money." And this isn't to say that Aly spends all of my cash, because she doesn't. While I am the cheap one in the relationship (a title I hold near and dear to my heart) Aly isn't exactly Paris Hilton either.

I was doing some thinking about this in the shower today (where this inner monologue was MUCH better) and I've come to the conclusion that I feel this way because I am the first child and very territorial. That toy was mine, this toy was Jay's. That shirt was mine, this shirt was Jay's. And so forth. We shared, of course we did, but my toys were always in better condition because I took care of them.

Honestly, I'm not sure what the hell I'm trying to say, like I said, in the shower today I thought I had a truly profound point, but it's turned to shit now. I am very happy with the way things are going, but I guess sometimes I fall back to my old, bachelor habits. Oh well that's what three or four beers will do to your thought process, it makes it less lucid.

I'm going to be pumped tomorrow. Aly is going dress shopping all day which means I have a chance to finish up my comic strip. I've been corresponding with a dude from SOSH who is writing a graphic novel (his name on SOSH is Shoeless Joe) and he's been giving me some awesome advice. His best advice so far is: make sure that you set some time every day to do your comic. Otherwise, he said, you're never going to do it. And he's right. For the past two weeks I've been like, "I'll do it next Saturday. I'll do it next Saturday." I don't do it.

It has to be a strong decision to make this strip work. Tomorrow I will.

Anthony, Stacy's boyfriend, asked me if I wanted to bounce at the Pour House tomorrow night. It is from 8 pm until 2 am at $10 an hour. I was going to do it, but I have to be in South Hampton, NH at 10 am on Saturday for Brownie's grandmother's funeral. I asked him if I could do it another night and I think he said it would be cool. He has been trying to get me a gig there bar tending, but I'm not sure if I want that. I'd rather bounce, even though the money is better as a bartender.

Maybe I can work my way up to that.

Monday, November 22, 2004

I learned something this weekend

I think that this is going to be a long entry, so buckle up buttercup.

Thursday night I went home to Amesbury to pick up some mail and do about 35 pounds of laundry. One of the things that was delivered to me from BMG was a three-disc live CD box set of Led Zeppelin called "How the West Was Won". I wasn't sure if I was going to keep it, so I decided to listen to it on the way to work on Friday.

The verdict? Not that good. It feels like I've heard these songs over and over and over again. I'm bored with Zeppelin. And do I really need a 21-minute drum solo? I mean come on, that is just ego and self indulgence at its worst. What I may do is burn a few songs that I do like and then send it back.

But here's the thing, as I was listening to the disc, I just was getting more and more bored. It's not often when you can actually feel yourself grow out of something. Though I still like Led Zeppelin's studio stuff, it's much more tight, their live stuff is just meandering and sloppy.

I think I'm glad that I never saw them in concert. After 27 minutes of Dazed and Confused, I would've been out the door.

Speaking of art and stuff, I just finished reading "Junky" by William S. Burroughs. Pretty good book though I'm sure when it first came out it must've really blown some minds. You can tell it's dated because he actually had to explain what the words "cool" and "pot" meant when a few younger beatnik's swung by the Burroughs' pad. It's nice to see the entomology (spell?) of a word.

So Lisa is leaving work and Monica is not too happy about it. And to be honest, Monica has a point. Lisa was brought over from what I was doing after two months to her current job of ordering direct mail lists and things like that. (There is a ton more shit that she does, but that's essentially it). It's a pretty important job and she gave Moni five days notice. Lisa was unsure of what to do, but she just said, "Fuck it" and gave less than a week.

I can tell the Moni was a bit pissed because she called me into her office and asked me about Lisa and whether she was happy here and basically wondering whether she was the reason why Lisa left. She sort of is, but I never told her that. Moni's not a bad boss, but she is very hands on and if you fuck up, you're going to hear about it. I think Lisa used to screw up, not a lot, but enough that Monica didn't trust her. That started her out the door.

Normally I don't get involved with work melodrama basically because I don't give a shit and I don't want to deal with this sort of thing, but I can see how some people do get into the gossip game. It was sort of like being in a club when Moni asked me into her office to give her the scoop, and she told me a few things, namely that she feels that Lisa is too immature and that she's tired of hearing her whispering to Diane. Monica felt that Lisa was "talking about her", which I squelched.

The Patriots are on right now on Monday Night Football. This team is too fucking good, they are a machine. Just picking apart the Chiefs. Whether they're down third and ten or first and ten, the Pats just know how to get it done. Corey Dillon just scored ... that's seven points for my fantasy football team.

So what had I learned this weekend? Hmmmm ... aside from office gossip and that I dislike live Zep? I learned that I have awesome friends and family. Saturday night, Aly and my parents threw us an engagement party. All of my family were there like Nina, Uncle Guy, Kyle, Megan, Uncle Bud, Karen, Paige and Aunt Grace. Not to mention Rye and Kristen, Bill and Ellie, Brownie and Cindy, Skaus and Sara, and Jay and Vanessa. Aly's family and friends were there too: her brother came up from Atlanta (the next day he had to drive to East Rutherford, NJ to cover the Falcons/Giants game) as well as Lauren and Bob, Anthony and Heather, Grandma Connie, Sara and Chris, Stacy and Anthony, Chrissie and Mike and Danna and Rick came up from New York.

But the gifts we received, it was like a shower. Everyone was beyond generous. Our entire registry list has essentially been cleaned out and we got anther $200. Between my birthday party and now this, man, I'm just lucky. I shake my head some time as to how lucky I am. And it's just not the gifts, it's the time that people give up on a Saturday night to hang around with me and Aly. I guess you sort of expect family and friends to do that, but when they actually do it, you just feel it.

Forgot to tell you about last Wednsesday, Aly and I along with mom and dad, Bill and Ellie and Sara and Chris all went to Keri and Byrnie's house for dinner. I may have said this before, but it bears repeating, Byrnie and Keri have an awesome house in Stoneham. It's a lot like Jim and Sara's, it's not too small but it's not monsterous. It's a very cozy place ... I would love to have a place like that some time.

In any event, we did the same thing we normally do with those guys, we made fun of each other and shot the shit. Byrnie made a pork roast, with potatoes and corn. Very good food. Just thinking about it ... damn, I'm starving.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

What I've been up to ...

To borrow a phrase from Onion correspondent Jim Anchower, "It's been a long time since I rapped at you, but I've been busier than a one-armed wall paper hanger."

Sort of.

I'm at work, trying to kill some time, so this may be a short entry ... or not. I don't know. It all depends on the quickness of my fingers.

This weekend Aly and I went to visit her friends in White Plains, Danna and Rick. I've talked about them before, cool people, even if they are Yankee fans. It was fucking snowing on Friday night, which didn't make for the best commute, but we made it to their place in about three hours. Not too shabby.

Usually when we get there, we start boozing and talking until 3:00 am. Didn't happen this time, Danna is pregnant. No one knows about it, so don't say anything. It was great news and we were their first friends that they told, which really meant a lot to Aly.

Saturday we just hung around and waited for Rick's 35th birthday party. It was pretty cool, more people were coming up to congratulate me about the Red Sox winning the Series than on my up coming nuptuals. I thought that was pretty funny. Aside from one or two people, everyone was really cool. There was one guy though who was more ignorant than annoying. He was trying to convince everyone that Steinbrenner threw the middle three games of the series in order to pad his pockets. He said that Steinbrenner was getting $1,000 per bleacher seat.

I had to put an end to his bullshit. When I called him on it, he got pissed and said, that he heard it on WFAN and that he was just going with "what he heard" Michael Kay say. Dude, shut the fuck up. You're a moron.

Sunday we did nothing but drive home ... the commute was much better.

While at the gym on Monday I was bitten by the inspiration bug. My comic now has a name, two main characters, and 13 stories. Thirteen fucking stories, I am more than pumped about that. Bruce Beattie, the comic strip guy I've been talking to, says that the art is the easy part, it's the writing that takes the most time. And he's correct. The one thing that I'm really excited about is that I also found the tone, it's a lot like the early Peanut strips that are sort of subtle and world-weary.

I don't want to have a hacky, pun-filled strip ... I mean, it might come to that, but I'd like to start out pretty high brow.

Yesterday the bomb dropped. Aly got laid off. She called the office at about 10 am, bawling. I pretty much dropped everything and went to her house. Apparently, there has been some scandal going on at Putnam and they've been laying people off left and right. She just happened to get caught in the thrashed. And the layoffs aren't going to stop ... there is expected to be another round soon. And it's going to be bigger.

The one good thing is that Aly was given a very generous severance package. She's going to land a job pretty quickly I think, and honestly, we may be able to make out pretty good in this deal if she does. I just feel bad for her because she's taking it pretty hard. It's not her fault, but she has inklings that it is.

Corporate America fucking sucks. Some shit head higher up gets his hand caught in the cookie jar and the little guy has to pay? Real good system we have. Of course no one gets pissed, and if they do, they're called a "Michael Moore".

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

I am a bad friend

About six weeks ago I got this email:


What's up? Not too much down here, I was just chilling pool side (yes, I do have a pool here) and realized that I haven't written anything for your site in a while. Do you want me to do anything?

Your buddy,


BTW, dude Angels and Dodgers in the World Series

With the playoffs and other stuff going on, I forgot about him until I got this email yesterday:

Dear dicknose mouth breather,

What the fuck? I emailed you six weeks ago and you still haven't emailed me back. What the hell is your fucking problem? I just have a bunch of shit on my mind that I want to get out in the open, so let me write something. If you don't, the next time you take a crap, I'll find out and send a school of piranah to bite your scrotum.


BTW, what did I tell you? Red Sox/Cards World Series, just like I predicted!

Since I need my scrotum, with out further complications, here's Aquaman.

Hey surface folk, what's shakin your bacon? Not much is new down in the water, though Atlantis is still rocking from the World Series. I can't believe that the Red Sox did it. Old Neptune was really smiling up on them this year.

I got an email from Frank Weebles the other day and he asked, "Yo AM, since you don't really do the superhero thing that much anymore, how do you stay in the cabbage?" Here's the thing douchebag, I am still in the superhero game, the problem is aside from the Bison Dele incident a few years ago, there aren't many pirates or other nautical crimes going on.

That is why I am pumped for the best word in the English language: residual checks! Your buddy Aquaman was smart enough to tape all of his adventures in the 60s, 70s and the beginning of the 80s. This week I finally got my first DVD set, "The Challenge of the Superfriends" delivered to my underwater palace.

Calling it cool would be doing it a diservice. It rocked. The DVD was loaded with my fights against Black Manta, especially that part in the beginning where we're tussling around in the ocean and I get an octopus and a whale to help me kick his ass. Not that I needed two of the biggest sea creatures around to kick one dude's ass, but whatever.

So after I got done making Aqualad and Myra watch my adventures, I noticed that there was a disc of special stuff. There is no one more special than yours truly, so I figured it would be a lot of footage of me. Actually it wasn't. It was these two guys who worked for DC Comics.

At first they were totally complimentary saying, "What you should remember about Aquaman is that he really is one of the most powerful guys in the DC Universe. He controls 75% of the world. That's a lot for one dude, and he does it well."

See that? I bet you never thought of it that way before. Donald Trump doesn't control 75% of the world, neither does Paris Hilton or Hawkman. It's me, Aguahombre.

But then something happens to these two clowns and they start slagging off on me, "It must've been hard for the writers to come up with stuff for Aquaman to do. With so many heroes, there can't be a lot of water-related plots. So he stands around a lot."

Then they show scene after scene after scene of me just standing there. Seriously? What the fuck? If those assholes knew anything about superheroing, they would've figured out that:

a. I was waiting for something to happen so I could spring into action and
b. No one writes this stuff, it's all real stuff going on

Then they started talking about how in the older episodes, with less teammates, I was a more featured star, now that guys like Black Vulcan, Apache Chief and Samuri were around I got bumped to a bit player. Again, they're wrong.

Who did Batman come to when he and Robin got into a fight? Me.
Who did Hawkman come to when he needed bail money for getting peeping on girls at that woman's college? Me.
Who did Wonder Woman make clean up her room? Me.

If it wasn't for me, the Hall of Justice would stop running. But, you know what? I don't give a crap about what these guys say because those checks just keep rolling, rolling, rolling in. So suck on that, DC guys.

Well, I'm going to get going. I'll talk to you sooner than last time. Peace.

Monday, November 08, 2004

I crave excitement ...

"Excitement, action, adventure ... a Jedi craves not this." -- Yoda

So I'm not going to be wielding a lightsabre any time soon and I probably fucked up that quote, but I need something to spice up what I'm doing or I'm going to go nuts.

Friday night Aly and I went to dinner with her roommate Sara (from the long, boring story I told on Thursday) and her boyfriend Chris. That cat is pretty interesting, though he's not much of a story teller. He went to high school with Nomar Garciapara, saw Sublime play in Long Beach (CA) garages and lives in the house that Vincent Price lived in when he lived in Boston's South End.

I was really interested in the Nomar thing, but he didn't know him very well, Nomar was a senior when he was a frosh and they didn't run in the same circles. He did say that "everyone knew he was going to be awesome." Well, no shit ... I knew my buddy Dan Marshall was going to be a good hoop player after high school, and he put up a bunch of records at Assumption College. That doesn't tell me much. After I asked him two or three questions, and he didn't' know the answers, I gave up.

We ended up going to Giacomo's (I think I spelled it wrong) in the South End. Good grub. Nothing else happened.

Saturday, Aly went wedding dress shopping, so I had the day to myself. I started my comic strip, but was interrupted and stopped after one panel. Other than that I spent a bunch of time on SOSH and watching TV. Totally killed the day.

Then we went to Jim and Sarah's house in Reading. They live in a really nice place. I'm talking fucking beautiful house, lots of room, but not big enough to get lost in. I only wish that we could afford a place like that some day. Sarah made a great meal too, pork tenderloin with sweet potato fries. They also gave us an engagement gift, a wine decanter with a wine bucket. Since Aly checks our registry every day, she knew that they were the first people to get us something.

It was unexpected and really nice. I was very touched. One of the funnier things Jim told me was that one of our friends (I'm not saying who) gave them a check for $42 for their wedding last year. And he brought a date. What the fuck? $42? Is he serious, why would you choose to give someone $42? Was it in support of Jackie Robinson? I must've laughed for 42 minutes.

Sunday we went to Aly's parents' house where I worked like a dog for the entire day. First I put up insulation under their porch (or in the very least I helped) then I raked their front yard then I trimmed the hedges (which hasn't been done in at least five years). It sounds like it sucked, but it was pretty cool. For one thing the Manassos feed me like there's no tomorrow, and they always let me bring stuff home. Secondly, they are having our engagement party in two weeks. That's not going to be cheap, a day's worth of labor is the least I can do.

And thirdly, whenever we buy a house, I'm going to need to start doing this stuff, I might as well get some practice now.

Nick ran the New York City Marathon yesterday, I wonder how he did? I'll probably ask him tomorrow.

I worked out a deal with this dude on SOSH named Dick Pole (the name of a former Sox pitcher and pitching coach), basically I'll give him a copy of Sports Weekly and he'll send me a CD of the audio calls of the Sox playoff games. I'm pumped, that is going to be awesome.

Speaking of SOSH, I owe Napkin $5 for reading my last entry and there is a thread where a SOSHette and a girlfriend of a SOSHer are posting naked pics of themselves (not together). They're both pretty hot. I never thought that I'd see that, but it's pretty cool.

I fucking hate the telephone. Every thing about it. I hate talking on it. I hate how accessible I am to everyone. I hate the technology that more often than not fails as many times as it works. I just hate the phone. Aly loves the phone, she's like my mother, they could talk all day. So, sometimes we get into arguments about that. Case in point, tonight.

I made my usual call to see what's up, she told me she'd call me back. She calls back and we don't have much to say, I'm tired and not really paying attention and she's getting more and more frustrated with me. In turn, I'm getting frustrated because I just want to throw this cell phone through the wall. So, an instrument that was created to lead to better communication has effectively put a block on communication. Strange, eh?

Probably not, this sort of shit happens to millions of people every day. I just tried to be profound and I'm too fucking tired. Ok, I'm out ... I'm going to apply for some jobs.

I forgot to add a postscript to that story about Sara meeting with her ex-boyfriend. Nothing happened. They just caught up with each other and he made a couple of sarcastic comments about how he has to pay her back for all the crap she bought him. On one hand I'm sort of glad because Sara's a cool chick and Chris is a nice guy too. But on the other hand, it would've been cool if he came out (which he is going to, it's just going to take some time ... he's more of a chick than any chick I know) or if they hooked up.

I don't know why the latter would've been cool, and it probably wouldn't have been, but it would've given me something to talk about.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

No baseball is boring

It's been eight days since the Boston Red Sox won the World Series, I just love writing that, BTW I will be doing it a lot during the off season. And there are 102 days until pitchers and catchers report.

That means I have about three and a half months to find something to do. I am bored out of my tree. Tonight I watched a bit of TV, the only thing that was on was Survivor. At first, I thought I may have judged this season a bit too quickly: the whittled-away cast seemed cool, there wasn't a lot of fighting and they merged tonight (that's always the best episode). There are four guys and six girls and it looked as if the guys were going to sway a few girls their way to vote a chick off.

They didn't. This means unless one of the three dudes figures out a plan soon, they're just going to get picked off. How fucking boring. I don't think I'm going to tune in next week. That's just boring.

I have a couple of things I should be doing, but I haven't been doing them. I think I still have a Sox hangover. At least that's what I'm telling myself. I think the truth is that I'm lazy. I wish I had more motivation.

Today at work, I was talking to my friend Diane. She asked why I didn't go to an afterwork party last night, and before I could say anything, she said, "Oh I remember, it's because you said you don't want to have work friends." I think she's right. I like just about everyone I work with, but I don't really want to socialize with them outside of work.

There are two reasons:
1. We're just going to talk about work. I'm there for more than 40 hours a week, I really don't want to talk about work any more than I really have to. I just don't like work that much.

2. Eventually I'm leaving there and when I'm gone, it's adios HCPro friends. Not that I would do it on purpose, but seriously, what's the point? Am I going to see these people any more? When was the last time I saw Briana Curran or Kristen Bolow or any of the other people that worked at HCPro? Never. They're shadow friends, in that they're real enough that I see them every day but there's no depth to the friendship.

Sort of a dick thing to say, but it's realistic. It's completely pathetic when people have to have their best friends at work.

It's fucking freezing in here and I saw that Josh got the oil bill ... $403. What the fuck? He still hasn't collected any money for the last two month's worth of bills. I should owe him about $200. This is going to suck, I don't have that kind of dough. I don't understand why he can't just do bills once a month, it's not fucking hard, I used to do it when I lived in Winthrop.


Last night I woke up at 4:00 with the worst calf strain. It fucking killed. I had to massage it and stretch it out. But when I sleep, I don't really move around too much so it was atrophied. So with this cramp and the early stages of not moving around, it was a painful experience all around. It still hurt when I woke up this morngin.

Here's a pretty good story: Aly's roommate Sara has a new boyfriend named Chris. Her old boyfriend, Justin, was a dude she thought that she was going to marry. He broke up with her after a little over a year in September. Sara was understandably crushed, but managed to find this new dude Chris.

He's a good egg, a total 180 from Justin, who was nice, but was really into himself. And he was a dyed-in-the-wool Republican and kind of a loud mouth. I only really met him three times (because he lived in Washington) so maybe he was really cool and I never go to know him. In any event, Justin is back in Boston and wants to meet with Sara on Saturday. BTW, his reason for breaking up with Sara was that he wanted to find himself, which I think was code for, "I'm going to see if I'm gay or not."

Chris is head over heels in love with Sara and expects to marry her. Sara told him that she has to talk to Justin. He was cool with it. I don't understand this, I spoke with Aly about this and said, "I would completely flip out. There would be no way that I would be cool with this, if we were just starting to date."

Aly thought I was just being posessive and her and Sara talked about it. I guess Sara felt bad that she didn't tell Chris the entire story, so she told him all about Justin, etc. Chris hit the roof. Good for him. This is just a dumb story that sounded better in my head than it looks on the screen.

If you're still reading, I will come over your house right now and give you a five dollar bill. As you can tell, I have nothing to write about. So, I'm going to bed.

In the coming weeks, I want to get another Aquaman story up, another Watching TV with 19 and a look at what I have on my Replay TV. Maybe I'll throw a Wire story in there if he does anything funny.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

For the first time in three weeks ...

I have absolutely nothing to do. No Sox. No going home. No going over Aly's. I'm here all by myself, listening to tunes and just chilling out. It's nice just unwind for a night.

There were two Sox related things that happened to me last Thursday that I forgot to talk about. Last week, Massachusetts was like a giant college town where everyone knew everyone else. Let me illustrate:

Last Thursday, I was walking around Marblehead with my Sox shirt on. It's an old school Carl Everett t-shirt. As I walked by a dude in a truck, the guy honks and points at my shirt and gives me the thumbs up.

Then when I came back from lunch, I saw these two Asian guys whom I normally say hello to. They work in the office building we're in and they take a look at my shirt, yell "Red Sox!" and then "Schilling!" but did it in sort of a cartoony Asian accent.

I woke up sort of depressed today. Fucking George W. Bush won the election. I don't really get into politics on 19 Thoughts, but for so many reasons this is just the wrong thing. Why does the American public think that this guy is doing a great job? Jobs, our economy, scientific achievements, our environment, our standing in the world are in the toilet and we are getting our asses kicked in Iraq. How can a rational person say that this guy is doing the job?

This is a huge, huge mistake.

But the only person worse than George W. are anyone of his minions from Chaney to Rumsfeld to Ashcroft. These guys are just pure, unadulterated evil. Not nice men. You know who else sucks, the conservative cocksuckers who are just reveling in this. Gerry Callhan, Rush Limbaugh, the whole lot of them. Fuck them. I wish that they'd all drop dead.

Last week I finished, "Dark Star Safari" by Paul Theroux. When he wasn't lecturing on the evils of missionaries and how much he hates the city, it was a good book. It's a travel book and tells the tale of how he went from Cairo to Cape Town by rail and automobile. It's a lot like his other book I read, "The Old Patagonian Express", where he goes from Somerville to the tip of Argentina.

Theroux has a gift for writing about conversations between him and the locals and can paint an awesome picture of far-off lands. Like, I said earlier he does seem to sermonize about one or two subjects and continues to go back to them a lot during the book.

Aside from that, I would definitely recommend it.

I went to Stacy and Keith's wedding on Saturday, it wasn't too bad. Here's the thing, since Aly and I are getting married next year, we've become wedding critics, deciding what we want and what we don't want from different ceremonies. There were a lot of things that we liked from Stacy's wedding: she and Keith gave the eucarist at the church, which was interesting. I liked the food. It was damn good.

Oh yeah, last thing (I'm really tired) I told Eddie and Josh that I am leaving Somerville on January 1. I'm moving home to Amesbury to save some money for the honeymoon and our new place. Sort of sucks, but it really shouldn't be too bad.

Friday, October 29, 2004

Redemption and some humble pie

I don't know what to say.

The events of the last two weeks have me flabbergasted and unable to think or write or speak clearly.

The Boston Red Sox

Are the


Read those last three lines again. I'll wait.

Did you read it? What do you think? It's unfuckingbelievable, that's what I think.

I finally read my last entry and it was pretty damn hopeless. The Sox had just gotten smoked, my uncle was dying (more on this in a bit) and I was in depression. A lot of stuff has happened since then. I'm not going to do it justice, but I am going to try and recap the last ten days.

Sunday, October 17:
I am determined to keep my crappy mood going. I don't go to the Pats, I don't go to the concert and I sleep real late. Aly and I meet my folks and both of them try to cheer me up. It works, to a degree. I decide that I'm not watching Game Four. Too painful, we're going to a movie instead. Can't find one we want to see. Whatever, we'll rent one. Aly's VCR is busted.

We watch TV for a bit, Aly falls asleep around 10:30, I start flipping between the game and something else. The Sox are down by one with an inning to go. What the fuck, I'll see how the last inning goes. Here comes Rivera. Millar is up first (easy strikeout I think) he walks. Dave Roberts pinch runs and steals second. Bill Mueller drills a single into center, the Sox tie the game.

The game continues until 1:30 am before David Ortiz wins it with a walk off dinger. Those fuckers, I'm back in. Just like that. I can't fall asleep because I am too excited. Game Five in 14 hours.

Monday, October 18:
For being down 3-1, people around here are pretty excited. The game starts at 5:00 and doesn't end until 11. In that time, I've gone to the gym, tried not to get too excited and then freaked out when they won again. On another hit by Ortiz. Something is happening in Boston. This is really fucked up. Especially considering they were down by two in the eighth and Rivera blew his second save in the row. That has never happened in the post season.

Tuesday, October 19:
They're in the Bronx and Curt Schilling is pitching. This is the same Curt Schilling who was absolutely rocked the week before in game one and is limping on messed up ankle. They actually sutured a tendon in the wrong place so he could pitch. Read that last sentence again.

ARod shows his true colors by trying to slap a ball out of the hand of Sox reliever Bronson Arroyo. Most bush league play I've ever seen. You suck dude, you're a complete and total bull shit artist. Everything you say is carefully scripted until now when you showed your true colors. You don't deserve to wear the red, white and blue of the Boston Red Sox.

And did he ever pitch. Six shut out innings and the Sox scratch a couple of runs off of Jon "Game two hero" Leiber. They win. The series is now tied at 3-3. Game seven tomorrow in the Stadium. There was a game like this last year, can't recall how it ended.

Wednesday, October 20:
Here is the thing, realistically I wanted the Sox to win game four to avoid the sweep.
Then I wanted them to win game five, so the Yanks couldn't celebrate at Fenway.
Then I wanted them to win game six, just so we could go to game seven and see what happens.
Now I wanted them to win game seven, to make history.

Boston is completely off the hook right now. The Yanks are reeling and our boys (they've always been our boys) are moving in for the kill. The Bombers start Kevin Brown we counter with Derek "Just happy to be on the roster" Lowe. Ortiz hits a two-run dinger in the first. Damon hits a grand slam in the second. Lowe pitches brilliantly, the Sox cruise to the win and the team has done something that has never been done before.

The Yankees have choked in amazing fashion. No MLB team has ever come back from being down 0-3 and won a series. None. Zero. Zilch. Until now. Yankee fans are dying, it's awesome. Now they're the cursed team. Couldn't have happened to a better franchise.

In case you forgot, the Sox are going to the World Series. The first time since 1986. Unbelievable. Ryan came over and Drew flew up from DC. We ended up getting completely shit faced and walked to Davis Square. Unfortunately not much was going on down there, but some girl flashed us. That was the second coolest thing of the night.

I had never been flashed before. The next day at work, I was luggage. This was the first time since New Year's Day that I've been hungover. Not fun at all. I showed up late and took a nap in my car at lunch, not good times.

I also found out that my uncle died. My dad took it very well, but he is sad. I could tell he was sad because he didn't say much. Graveside services were held on Monday. It was weird seeing my uncle and aunt, both of whom I haven't seen in almost 20 years. We went out to lunch with them afterwards and it was really awkward. Thank God for Aly, she is really good at talking to people and did a tremendous job at smoothing over the rough spots.

Saturday, October 23:
It feels like Christmas. Everywhere you go people are asking, "What are you doing tonight? Where are you watching the game? Are the Cardinals that good?" Aly and I started our evening at a really nice Italian restaurant near her house. It was so good we were thinking about using them for our rehearsal dinner next year. Don't think we're going to, they're very expensive.

We ended up going to Keri and Byrnie's house. Aside from Keri, her friend Heather, and Byrnie, I didn't know anyone. Which was cool with me. They had three TVs showing the game, so I grabbed a couch and started watching. The one problem, it was the "girls'" room, so while I sort of looked like a dork as they talked about weddings, dresses and other stuff, I just zoned in on the game.

The Sox beat the crap out of Woody Williams, but the Cards (especially Larry Walker) smacked around Tim Wakefield. Mark Bellhorn, smacked a game winner two-run dinger off the Pesky Pole. One down, three to go.

Sunday, October 24:
Went to Aly's parents for a nice, home-cooked meal. Saw most of the Pats game, they beat the Jets to improve to 21-0 over the last year (that is unbelievable) and was home in time for the first pitch of game two. It's just me and Aly for this one, no on else is around.

The great Curt Schilling was on the mound again. Another six innings of shut out baseball. This guy is Jesus with a glove. The Sox jump all over Cards start Matt Morris and win again. This seems too easy. As Bon Jovi once said, "Oh, we're half way there ..."

Tuesday, October 26:
We are in St. Louis, where we have been told for the one millionth time that they have the best fans in the world. Ok. Whatever. They are very polite and give Sox starter Pedro Martinez a warm welcome. The Sox score first, and thanks to some base running blunders by Walker (thrown out at home by Manny) and Jeff Suppan (forgot to run home and ultimately doubled off), the Sox win 3-1. Pedro was dominant, setting down the last 15 batters who saw him. Keith Foulke gave up a meaningless homer in the ninth and it's one more win.

I watched this game with Aly, Sara and Sara's new boyfriend Chris. Kind of sucked because Sara was getting pissed when I'd get excited about the Sox. That was really fucking annoying. But, whatever, it's her house. She makes the rules, I guess.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004:
This is it. This is the big day. The Sox are looking to do a bunch of shit tonight. One: be the first team to win eight straight. Two: be the first Red Sox team to win a World Series since 1918. If they do it tonight, it's an end to the curse talk, the 19-18 chants, the highlights of Buckner, Bucky and Boone. Basically, it's a new era for Sox fans. If they win tonight, next year and every year after that is a tabla rasa. Clean slate.

Ryan, Andrew, Eddie, Josh, Keri, Byrnie, Skaus, Sara and a bunch of the latter two couples friends meet up at Olde Magoon's Saloon. We get a table in front. Eddie is to my right, Ryan is to my left, Skaus is two seats behind me and Drew is just about in front of me. I'm drinking, but I'm not going to get drunk. That was last week, this is serious business now. I want to enjoy it.

The first guy up, Damon, laces a homer. 1-0, Sox. Derek Lowe comes out and pitches awesomely. Another seven shut out innings. Trot drives in two more in the third. We're up 3-0. The Sox blow a couple of chances to score, which freaks some folks out (Hi Eddie!) and the Cards strand a few. It's the seventh inning and we're counting outs.

At zero, we go bananas. I mean, the entire place loses their collective shit. Champagne is flying everywhere, I'm hugging everyone in sight, my eyes are misting, Ryan is crying, Drew is crying, I bet Eddie crying. The entire bar is a mob scene, people slapping five, yelling, screaming, dancing, shouting, rejoicing. It is like a scene from a movie. I can't believe it. I'm numb. This is not supposed to happen to the Boston Red Sox. They usually only take us so far, and then they kick us out the door. But they did it. They brought it home. I am in love with everyone I see. I can't believe it.

The aftermath:
Here is the thing about Wednesday night, I have been dreaming about this moment for my entire life. And the funny thing is, is that it came out exactly how I thought it would. I knew I'd be in a bar in Boston (or close to Boston), I knew that Ryan would be to the left of me (that's just how I remember it) and I knew that there would be unbridled joy. Ryan, Eddie, Andrew and myself must've hugged and danced for 15 minutes straight. It was that awesome. I've never been so happy for something in my entire life. Just mind-blowing.

But like I said, it didn't sink in until yesterday. During lunch, I went to the beach like I always did and I was listening to the radio ... one of those tributes that has bits and pieces of the season interspliced with a song. I just started to bawl. And cry hard. Baseball is such an important part of my life, and the Red Sox are especially. From February through October, I'm with these guys every day. It feels like I know them, so when they do well I feel great. When they suck, I'm both pissed and sad.

I found out that a lot of my friends cried, including Jay and Brownie, which surprised the shit out of me. Emotional is not a word that I would use to describe either of those guys.

On SoSH, they had a "Win it for ..." thread and I posted in it as well as a thread about 1986. I am going to cut and paste them in here for posterity:

Win it for my mom. The person who taught me how to be a Sox fan and never give up hope.

In a bizarre twist of role reversals (not seen in our home since), it was my mom who told my brother and I to wait out Game Five of the 1986 ALCS, while my father wanted us to come to the table and eat the steaks he cooked. Dave Henderson rewarded our faith with a homer tastier than any steak I've ever had and my mother is the one who started it all.

I remember watching my mom cry when we watched the 1986 Red Sox highlight video in February and coming to the World Series part. I want to laugh with her when we watch the 2004 Red Sox highlight DVD in February and come to the World Series part.

Thanks mom.

I called my mom on Wednesday and thanked her for making me a Sox fan.

Here is the 1986 thing, it is very similar:

1986 was my year too.

I remember really starting to collect baseball cards that spring/summer and wondering why Clemens' Topps card wasn't more "exciting". Riding to Cumberland Farms with $2 in change has never been more fun.

I remember collecting those goofy cartoons of the players that the Globe used to put in the middle of their Sunday comics page.

I remember my mom and dad bringing my brother and I to our first real game as a family in July against the White Sox and marveling at how at ease my dad was in "the big city".

I remember clipping every article, every mention of the Red Sox from three different newspapers in September and pasting them in my scrap book.

I remember my buddy Mike coming to school on Monday and telling me before the doors opened how awesome it was that his uncle took him to Fenway that Sunday so he could watch the Sox clinch the AL East.

I remember thinking, "What the feck" when Schiraldi and the bullpen had their first meltdown in the Angels series.

I remember being hopelessly elated when Hendu hit his dinger.

I remember exactly where I was sitting when the Mets won game six.

I remember being mad that I couldn't stay up to watch Game Seven.

I remember watching my mom cry when we watched the 1986 Red Sox highlight video in February and coming to the World Series part. I remember crying too.

I guess I'm just a sentimental fuck. =)

BTW, there is a reason why I didn't write for 10 days, check it out:

Let me preface this by saying that I don't believe in curses, but I do believe in good mojo. That being said, I did five things since Oct. 17 that I feel were instrumental in this championship.

1. I wore my 1986 Seattle Mariners hat on every game day. Even if it was for three minutes, it worked. During the Yankee series I cycled through my Red Sox hat, my ASU hat and going hatless before settling on the Mariners cap. Don't ask me why it worked ... the ancient Greeks believed that an upside down trident was bad luck. The ancient Greeks never ran into the 2004 Boston Red Sox. 8-0 baby!

2. I wore the same blue windbreaker until today. It was phucking freezing out on some days, but I still wore that stupid thing. Clinging to summer, I suppose.

3. I wore the same black gym shorts all month. No explanation for this, I guess I'm just gross.

4. I didn't write in my Blog since after Game 3. I was so frustrated and tired of them then, that I just didn't want to deal with them. Of course, then Sunday came. I plan on writing a bit tonight.

5. I never told anyone about anything (I did about the hat, because I had to explain why I'm wearing that to the clinching game of the World Series). This includes reading anything in this thread up until now.

Now let me end this entry with an email from my buddy Reddish. This guy is not a sports fan. He doesn't hate them, but he just doesn't have time for it either. Here is what he said about where he was (the Grand Canal in Boston) on Wednesday night:

the scene was just crazy - but not in a destructive way.
i hive fived about 200 people. everyone you walked by was high fiving each other. everyone flocked to fanuiel hall area. there was no road, just people. everyone was just friendly and really happy. as someone here said "it was all love" i didnt go all the way into the madness, i stood on the wall by the jewish memorial. i was already covered in beer from the bar. i thought the bar was gonna be torn apart. just madness when they won.

it was so fun. i so would not have gotten the same experience watching it on tv at home. since im so fairweathered. im more happy for the die hards like you.

That about sums it up.