Saturday, December 31, 2005
Whenever I have to take a flight anywhere, it is usually my time to catch up on some reading. I usually don't read much outside of box scores, sports articles, and the occassional blog, so I somewhat look forward to this time. I've been in a rut the last few trips, reading the cop stories of Stuart Woods, which are light and easy to read. I've read about 10 of his books now, and just finished "Reckless Abandon" on the flight over.
Recognizing the impending boredom of my one week stay here in Colorado, I realized a new book (or three) would be needed, so Amy's family was nice enough to drive me to a used book store to locate a few others. I immediately went to my fallback, and grabbed Stuart Woods' "Swimming to Catalina" and then began searching the store for something new and different.
It is at this time that I saw a section labelled "Occult." Well, that sounds like something new and different for sure. Most of the books were about UFOs and Roswell, but then I saw it...the book I had actually been wanting to look into for some time...L. Ron Hubbard's "Scientology: The Fundamentals of Life."
After seeing the South Park episode about Scientology, I have been curious as to what exactly the whole thing was about...it couldn't be about the alien creatures they talk about, right?! Plus, anything that can drive a man like Tom Cruise insane is worth purusing...I mean this is the guy who got over Goose's death to save Iceman from the MIGs, dammit. So, I grabbed the book as well as a book about the power and mystery of Pyramids, and was on my way.
I read pretty quickly, when I actually read, and within a few hours I have completed this piece of garbage, disgusted that I wasted $2.50 on it in the first place. Allow me to enlighten everyone.
To begin with, I was a psychology major in college and have some pretty strong, though very loose (I strongly believe that organized religion and rules are bullshit) beliefs of my own, so I'm likely not L. Ron's target audience for this. Within a few 'chapters', about 30 rules or concepts have been discussed, each one very simplistic in nature, though organized in a way to confuse the reader. Some of the ideas are foundations of psychology, though they are intermingled with completely absurd thoughts as if both are to be considered fact.
Having lied often in my life, especially when dealing with clients, I recognized this technique immediately. Let me explain: Say you want to lie to someone and you want it to seem true or believable. The easiest way to help validate the lie is to encircle it with undeniable truths. To the listener or reader, they hear a bunch of things that they agree with and therefore lump the other crap in with it and take for granted that it must be true as well. Well played, L. Ron, well played. But wait, what else have we here?
He's employing the technique of using the anti-negative. This technique was used by Nazis as well as by George Bush in dealing with the war. For Bush, it was the manner with which to prevent anti-war sentiment. He grouped the troops with the war, and to protest against the war would mean to turn your back on the poor troops. Nobody would do that, right? Well, here's the great one, Scientology puts itself in direct contrast with the destruction of the world using nuclear weapons. WHAT??!!!! I kid you not, listen to this shit,
"The primary race of Earth is not between one nation and another today. The only race that matters at this moment is the one being run between Scientology and the atomic bomb. The history of man, as has been said by well-known authorities (who?), may well depend upon which one wins."
Well, I don't want to continue to bore you with this, but needless to say, there was no talk of aliens as South Park had suggested. They did talk about "thetans" which are the spirits that control our mind and body, and pass from one body to the next following death. I'm not gonna argue with this, because many people believe in this sort of thing, though the necessity to give it a new name is pretty funny. I'm naming my new fantasy baseball team the Thetans by the way...don't try and steal it.
Also, I finally realized why only the filthy rich and celebrities are heard of doing this. In order to be a part of this, you need to be "processed" which appears to be a VERY time consuming (i'm talking 25 hours to complete one task) process of stupid and basic question and answer series. And I'm sure no one will sit there and do this with you for that many hours for free?!!
Well, I've ranted enough about that. I enjoy learning about other people's beliefs and such, but this one just seems a bit too hokie and based off of lies and half-truths. Guess I'm not converting...but maybe I'll want to build myself a pyramid tomb????
Wednesday, December 28, 2005
Tonight will be no different as a group of us are headed to Hinode Japanese Steak House for some dinner, freshly prepared in front of you by the chef...always fun. This used to be a common dinner option when I was in college, since there were a bunch of date functions and such, and nothing beats a volcano made of onions or flying shrimp when you're trying to impress a new girl. Since college, though, I really haven't been to this type of dining that much (twice in the last five years), so I'm pretty psyched.
Unfortunately, I will be flying dateless tonight as Amy had to depart for Colorado this morning as her grandmother became suddenly ill and very unexpectantly passed away yesterday afternoon. Where today would typically be a very festive and upbeat day, there is a dark cloud looming over it now, and my prayers go out to Amy's family for their loss.
However, in some ways an occurrence like this helps you to appreciate every birthday, and your friends and family that are able to share these times with you. You really don't ever know when you won't be able to share a time like this again...and ironically the last time I ate at Hinode (the second of the two times) was with Amy's grandmother during her only visit to Maryland last September.
Thursday, December 22, 2005
NFC Wild Card Matchups
Washington over Chicago - Washington makes the playoffs as the 6th team after wins against the Giants and Philly to end the season. They'll pull this Week 1 Rematch out in another boring low scoring affair.
Carolina over Tampa Bay - Carolina will host this game and their defensive line will completely shut down Tampa's offense for a relatively easy victory.
AFC Wild Card Matchups
New England over Jacksonville - The Jags got lucky making the playoffs with David Garrard, but one game is all they'll see as the Pats front seven will destroy them.
Cincinnati over Pittsburgh - Too much talent on the Bengal offense to be held back, even by the Steelers.
NFC Divisional Matchups
Washington over Seattle - This one will be a nail-biter, just like their regular season matchup, but the Skins will come out on top with the help of John Hall's leg.
NY Giants over Carolina - Tiki, Tiki, Tiki. Eli may have just as many weapons as his brother, but Tom Coughlin realizes who to give the ball to.
AFC Divisional Matchups
New England over Indianapolis - When is everyone gonna stop sucking Peyton Manning's dick and realize that Tom Brady is the best quarterback in football right now. Did you see what he had to work with this year? Tom and Bill are gonna do it to the Colts one more time.
Cincinnati over Denver - Marvin Lewis should win Coach of the Year honors, and this game will help show why.
NFC Championship Matchup
NY Giants over Washington - Gibbs is good, but the Redskins just don't have enough talent on offense to hang with the Giants.
AFC Championship Matchup
New England over Cincinnati - I swear I've seen this scene before...Pats are going to another Super Bowl. That linebacking core is pretty nasty.
Super Bowl XL
New England over NY Giants - The Patriots organization is just too well run for anything short of a disaster (and it was close this year) to stop them. Tom Brady wins another one and the attention will still be on the fact that Eli Manning (and not Peyton) went to the Super Bowl.
And those are my picks...with two weeks to play, some of these teams might not even make the playoffs, but I'm sticking with it. You may begin berating me....now.
Wednesday, December 21, 2005
Story 1: Prejudice Bitch
Now this story has less to do with my drinking and more to do with another persons drinking, but it's still a classic. It's the third night at the place, and Amy has been losing big at blackjack, so she's not in the best of moods to begin with. We decide to give it another shot and sit down at a table with her co-worker's husband Jim. It's just the three of us and things are going OK for a while, not winning too much, but not losing our ass either.
After about a half hour of this, two other guys from the company group walk over to our table. Both of them are absolutely hammered. The one guy, we'll call him Pete, (because I think that's his name but I'm not sure) is the owner of the company's cousin and apparently recognizes Jim, so he and the other guy (who cares what his name is, he's not important to this story) decide to sit down. This is when the chaos begins.
Within moments, it is apparent that Pete is going to have a very hard time focusing on the game. He is slurring his words, not responding to questions from the dealer, and begins to harrass the staff of the casino because his cards were getting "scooped" by the dealer at the Caribbean Stud table, even though he was in. This beligerence carries over to the waitress, who he refers to as "huney" and demeans her for a lack of speed in bringing him a drink. (This was a common occurrence with most of Amy's co-workers). Soon, the table has turned sour and Amy is getting frustrated by the 2-3 minutes that it takes for this guy to make a decision on whether to hit or pass. God forbid the times when he wants to split.
It has become too much for Amy to handle and since her money is dwindling again, I propose that we get up and move to the next table over, which is completely empty. Luckily, the shoe is about to end, and when it does, Amy and I color out and move to the next table. We assumed that the others would stay put, but we were wrong.
Immediately, Jim has colored up as well and has moved to our table, which is not immediately a bad thing...except that ol' drunken Pete is confused by the exodus, and still wants to play with us. He and the other guy also color up and stumble their way over to us. Just great, this can't get any worse. Or can it????
What I hadn't noticed when Amy and I departed was that an older black woman had just sat down at the table next to Jim and was getting ready to play. And almost on cue, all five of us (white people) got up and moved tables. Oh boy!
The lady shoves her way in between Amy and Pete (I've sat at the last position at the table) and throws her money down, glares at each of us and pronounces, "WE are in the Bahamas, trying to have an enjoyable time. Why can't we just put that bullshit behind us and just play a game? My money is just as good as yours, and I probably know how to play better anyway." Uh, awkward.
Amy immediately tries to defend our move, by saying that we did not move because of her, but the lady does not want to hear it and dismisses her with a "You don't have to give me any explanations, you prejudice bitch." This is bad, but it can't get any worse right???
Wrong. The lady begins to win a couple of hands in a row, including a few blackjacks, which leads good ol' drunken Pete to ask this winning line to the dealer, "Are you guys sisters?" Oh, Jeez.
Her response, "Why, because we're both BLACK?!"
Someone, please kill me.
Story 2: Daquiris are 2 for $10
So, it's our last night on the island and Amy's boss has paid for everyone to go to a bonfire party where there will be food and all you can drink Bahama Mamas and Kamakazis. Did someone say, all-you-can-drink? The last time I went to an all-you-can-drink, I ended up scuplting a bowl out of newspaper on the metro as I vomited all over myself, so this was likely destined for disaster from the beginning, but let's continue.
So we get to the bonfire, and not only are the drinks free flowing, they're also really fucking strong. It doesn't take long before I'm loaded, dancing with the fire breather lady and talking to a fat couple about how bad Brett Favre is playing this year. Sadly, the bonfire came to an end a few hours later, but the party can still continue as Amy, Lorrel and Crystal (from the dolphin story) and I all head to the marina bars to grab a few more drinks...like I really needed one.
We had been to the marina bars before and they are much like the bars of New Orleans, where it is just a bar that you walk up to from the street, with no where to go into. In my previous visits to these bars, I had learned that the key is to order multiple drinks. Beers are one for $4 or 2 for $5. That's a deal. So, when we get there, I immediately order myself and Lorrel a beer and turn back to the ladies, who have not had a drink in a while. And this is where things start to turn bad.
Amy looks at the two beers with disgust, and asks, "Where's mine? You didn't even ask?" Uh, oh.
"Oh sorry, I didn't know you wanted anything."
"I do, I'll have a strawberry daquiri."
I ask Crystal if she wants a drink, but she does not. And then I turn to the bar, Daquiris are one for $8 or two for $10. Holy Shit, NOW THAT'S A DEAL. Now here's where things get even worse.
So I turn to my right and see three young girls that have just walked up to the bar, but don't have any drinks yet. Always the thinker, I step over to them and ask if any of them was planning to order a daquiri, because my girlfriend wanted one and they were a deal if you got two.
Now, this probably wouldn't be a big deal if this were three guys (though I probably wouldn't assume they would want a daquiri) or maybe if it were three fat girls (yeah, I said it), but apparently this was a very bad move given the actual circumstances.
This is when Amy appears and gives me a shove, "What exactly are you doing?" (Notice the "exactly." Not sure why, but women use this one alot)
"I was asking them if they were gonna get a daquiri, because it's a deal" (The hole is dug, I'm just digging deeper now)
This is when the barrage of punches begins, starting at my stomach and working its way up to two right hooks to my jaw and cheek, in coordination with her outburst, "Why..are..you..fucking..doing..this shit..on my..company..trip!!!???"
This is followed by a "You're such an asshole" and a "We're through" and the night is now a complete success.
Stunned by everything that just occurred, I had only one recourse but to finish my beer.
Wednesday, December 14, 2005
I've been sick the last two days (go figure: 79 degrees in the Bahamas, 18 here) so I don't really feel like writing a whole story about swimming with the dolphins...so here's a quick summary.
This was one thing I've always wanted to do, so when the opportunity presented itself, I jumped at the possibility and jumped into some relatively cold water to do so. The two dolphins we swam with were pretty cool and did some nice tricks, including hugging, waving, talking, kissing and of course, jumping (after we were out of the water). The dolphins were much bigger than I had originally imagined, but at no point did I ever feel afraid. They are quite cool creatures. Here's some more pics:
Totally got her number, BTW.
Yes I know, that's pretty damned cool. They call me the Beastmaster.
And this is the dolphin spitting at me. The instructor thought it would be funny for me to show everyone the "splash" command.
Monday, December 12, 2005
It's our second day in the Bahamas and one of Amy's co-workers is extremely psyched that he has secured a boat to take us out deep sea fishing. He finds Amy and I eating breakfast with two of Amy's other co-workers, Crystal and Lorrel, and demands that Lorrel join him on this voyage.
I am a complete outsider in this group to begin with, then add onto that the fact that I neither golf (well, I have, but I really suck) nor hunt (which it seemed all of them do??), and I'm basically like the fat kid in gym class. So, of course, no invitation is directly extended to me. However, Lorrel is insistent that I go, so that Amy will go, and therefore his fiance will go, so who am I to argue with that kind of logic? I figure an afternoon of sitting on a boat waiting for the fish to grab while throwing down some beers can't be that bad, so I'm in. I fork over the $175 for Amy and I, and we're in.
Now, there may be some of you that already know what "deep sea fishing" is, but it is not what I had originally thought. The boat does not stop moving. You do not hold your fishing pole. And throwing down beers is a recipe for disaster.
What you do do is sit on a stank boat that is constantly "trolling" the waters with 4 or more lines cast out behind the boat. It's hard enough to stand on the boat when you're sober, so after my first beer, I decide that I'm cut off. Within an hour of our departure, Crystal is puking, I haven't touched anything associated with fishing, and the same four lines are still dragging behind the boat. Another hour passes and now I'm searching for my iPod to take my mind off of the sheer stupidity of this endeavor.
Perhaps the fish like Evanescence, because Amy Lee gets out two words when our first line takes hold, then a second one snags a moment later and the excitement has begun. Lorrel and the other guy quickly spring to a seat and the captain puts the pole in their hands to reel the fish in. Seems simple enough...tug and wind...I take notice of the way to reel it in since I've never done this before and feel a bit more at ease as the fish get pulled in rather easily. When the fish is right by the boat, the captain snags it with a hook (I saw a trident in a store while I was down there, and was very tempted to buy it) and chucks it into a bin. What a blood bath! 2 hours, 2 Wahoos (that's the name of the fish they both caught) and now back to the iPod.
More time passes and Amy's co-worker says I should get into the chair so I can get the next one that grabs. I take my place and wait...and wait...and wait. And then we've got a grab. The captain puts the rod in position in front of me and the instructions begin.
"Let it go until the reel stops moving, then start pulling him in slowly"
Except the reel keeps spinning and spinning. Why is this fish swimming further and further away damn it! Finally, he stops and the reeling must begin. I start turning the reel as I had seen but this whole tug and wind out the slack thing complete eludes me.
(You see, so that you don't strain yourself too hard, you are supposed to tug back with your whole body, then lean forward as you reel so that you're merely reeling in the slack)
Had I thought this through during one of the first two hours of mindless sitting, perhaps my right arm wouldn't be burning as I fight this fish closer and closer. Did I mention that I'm not right handed? The others on the boat are continuing to scream with encouragement as I reel the fish closer and closer, and there is no giving up at this point. Not since the first time I laid my eyes on Swank magazine has my forearm ached, but as the fish gets close and flies out of the water, I see my competitor and I make the last of the reels.
The captain hooks the fish and everyone stares in amazement at the fish I have brought aboard.
A 3 foot, 30 lb. barracuda with teeth like a rabid dog sits in a pool of blood in the bin, flapping and snapping its final breaths. The biggest fish anyone caught that day, and the first fish I have ever caught in my life.
I have felt the power, I must kill again.
Friday, December 09, 2005
- The Pirates of the Caribbean 2 & 3 are taping in the Bahamas so I saw the midget pirate and the funny bearded old guy pirate just walking around and drinking
- I went fishing for the first time in my life and caught a baracuda
- I swam with Dolphins
- Amy was referred to as a "prejudice bitch" by an older black lady in the casino
- I continued to prove that a stingy Jew is a better haggler than any island inhabitant or Mexican
- If you think you have a drinking problem, hang out with Amy's co-workers and you'll realize what a drinking problem really is
- Amy punched me in the face twice last night
Check back soon, I'll give you the sorted details to go along with these headlines in the coming days.
Saturday, December 03, 2005
Amy's work is flying all of the managers and a guest to the island to stay for the week...free of charge. Plus, they're giving us a $600 hotel credit to work with. Talk about a nice Christmas bonus.
So, as you can imagine, there won't be any new blog entries for at least a week. I'm sure I'll have some nice pics and stories when I get back though. In the meantime, when you're shoveling the slush off your driveway, you can think of me sitting on a beach having overpriced drinks brought to me. See you when I get back.
Friday, December 02, 2005
About five weeks ago or so, my right arch in my foot started to bother me. I assume the pain was caused by my 5 year old Timberland work boots which I've been wearing not that it's getting colder, or possibly my 4 year old cleats that I wear to play outdoor football. More than likely, it's a combination of both. The pain started off with just a mild discomfort, but by now it has gotten to the point where I can barely walk barefoot after playing any sort of sport. Something needs to be done.
So, I go to the Wizards game on Wednesday night. No, not to fix the foot problem, I just went to watch the Wizards play...bear with me here. They won the game, and there were some great highlights from the on-court action. But the true highlights for me were off-court, in Section 102, directly to my left.
It was during warm-ups that I first noticed them. Yes, THEM. There were two. Two of my old buddies from high school...none other than JP and Mongo (that's what we'll call him at least, I never knew his name). They are big time Washington sports fans. Some might even consider them superfans with their respective Nationals and Redskins Starter jackets, poorly shaped Capitals and Wizards caps, and large foam fingers. Hell, this is the third sporting event I've personally seen them at this year! Yes, even I would consider them superfans. Retarded Superfans.
I immediately call my buddy Kupe to let him know of my sighting, overwhelmed with joy. And then, I notice him...sitting about 10 rows up from the Superfans, directly to my left at the end of the section. Could it be? Am I so lucky? Yes, there is a dwarf sitting in the same section as two retarded guys. God has truly blessed me this evening. Or has he?
As if from the bible, God is quick to punish me for my mockery. I woke up Thursday morning with more pain in my right arch than ever before. Something definitely needs to be done now.
So Thursday night, I'm at the mall with Amy, buying new shoes with extra arch support and "special" inserts. Yep, special. It's not Down Syndrome special, but the process has now begun. It won't be long now before I get an incurable cramp in my hand, an uncontrollable urge to hug everyone and will spit up on myself.
Crap, that sounds like my typical Saturday night. ("We should have listened!")