Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Top 10: Eat Me

I think it's been about 2 months since I put up a Top 10 List, and it probably would have been another two months if not for Kupe putting up one on his blog. So, with the Super Bowl just around the corner and the strong possibility that I'm going to receive the forwarded email about the amount of guacamole consumed by the US on Super Bowl Sunday, I bring to you my stupidest list yet:

The Top 10 Foods I Really Don't Eat Often Enough
10. Cheetohs - These things are so damned good, but I guess the fear of Cheetoh fingers keeps me from picking them up more often
9. Jambalaya - It's even nice to say it, but I can't even remember the last time I had some.
8. Chicken Pot Pie - I remember this being on the Elementary School lunch menu about once every two weeks, now it's never on my menu. I mean, it's pie and it's a meal...why do I not eat it more.
7. Ginger Ale - Well, it's not actually a food, but when was the last time you got a Ginger Ale? And why don't they offer it at any restaurants?
6. Croissants - I would have to say that this may be the only food that I would consider to be "feminine" and perhaps that's why I never seem to get it at the grocery store.
5. Celeste Pizza - These things are only $1 each and yet I am still not eating them?!
4. Apple Sauce - Man, this stuff is great. I used to eat a whole bowl of it at a time when I was a kid, and with Potato Latkes around Hannukah. Maybe I stopped eating it because it resembles baby food?
3. Popcicles - I eat a good bit of ice cream, but I always seem to steer clear of your run of the mill popcicles. Hell, I don't even eat the one's with the cream middle any more. Do they still make them?
2. Salami - My grandma is probably turning over in her grave. I don't think I've had a salami on rye in like 8 months...and it's arguably one of the easiest sandwiches to make.
1. English Muffins - With all those nooks and crannies. It's quite possibly the best dough product out there and I can't even remember the last time I had one. I am going to the store right now and making myself an English Muffin for dinner. Come on, Thomas! Get your act together and start promoting your god damned muffins again before these Eggo bastards take over breakfast for good!

And you are all dumber for having read this.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Pool & Spa Show 2006

The reason for the lack of posts during the week last week was that I was in Atlantic City for the 2006 Pool & Spa Show. Every year, there are shows put on by the Pool industry in several different areas around the US. There's one in Atlantic City every year, as well as Orlando (which I went to once) and Las Vegas, among others. Since it's only a three hour drive and I have a gambling problem to begin with, I'm pretty much a regular at these conventions now. Let me give you a quick recap of the week's activities:

Everyone comes into work and we take care of the week's known jobs so that we only have to worry about emergency call-ins while we're gone. All but one of my technicians is coming to the show this year, so he's just on call for the week while we're in AC. Around 1 PM, we all take off, in three separate cars to accommodate the 8 people going.

Three hours later and we're there. As we walk into the Tropicana, we are confronted by the largest lines I have ever seen in AC. Uhh, it's a Monday...in January...fucking pool guys. After trudging through the line for more than 1/2 hour, we make it to front desk and try to get our rooms. Here's where it gets a little weird. We reserved five rooms over two months ago, and when I give them my name, she finds me in their system but they don't have any rooms left. What?! It felt like the Seinfeld episode where Jerry can't get a rental car: They have no problem "taking the reservation," the problem seems to be that they don't know how to "hold the reservation," and really that's the most important part. Luckily, the manager comes over and they free us up a couple of suites, but two of the rooms only have one king bed and two guys sharing it, so they offer to bring up a cot. That sucks...for them. I have my own room, so I'm sitting pretty with my nice couch and refridgerator. Problem avoided, on to the gambling. Ended this night up $180.

We have to wake up at the crack of dawn to make it over to the Convention Center for our technical seminar on Electricity. As is always the case, there are plenty of mustaches and apparently unshowered individuals joining us on this excursion, though there was a suprisingly low number of mullets (only 2, though one was a Spanish guy, therefore changing the pronunciation to Mu-yet, given the "ll"). After pissing off a line of 25 people waiting for coffee and danishes by walking right up to the danishes (I ain't waiting in line when I don't want coffee), we headed into the classroom. Not much really to say about this, though now I know the relationship between Volts, Amps, Ohms, and Watts, which should really prove useful even though they're always written on everything you get anyway, but I disgress.

It's lunchtime and nothing says Atlantic City better than Hooters. The waitress is decently hot (has anyone else noticed a dramatic decrease in the quality of women working at Hooters? I guess the alternative of setting up your own internet porn site and working from home is much more attractive, but come on?!) and the wings are bound to give me some impressive diarrhea...though nothing will ever compare to my bout two weeks ago. After our lunch, it's back to the Convention Center for the trade show.

This part is the reason to come to the show. It's a giant arena full of all the pool & spa vendors and the sheer comedy of some of the things you see going on here is amazing. Let me just give you the highlights:

  • Pool star Jeannette "the Black Widow" Lee is there promoting a billiards company (you see swimming pool guys sometimes sell billiards pool stuff to help keep them busy in the Winter) and is allowing over confident rednecks to challenge her in pool, and then bitchslapping them, most of the time not even allowing them to take a shot. Two of my employees got a picture with her, which was nice.
  • The largest crowd was not around any of the vendors, but rather the beer line. Class. A whole lot of class.
  • One pool guy was walking around wearing a tank top, with a completely shaven bald head, and ridiculously jacked muscles. What's the name of his company..."World's Strongest Pool Service." Wow. Not much else I can say there. Wow.
  • At the end of each day of the show, they give away door prizes. This year's prizes included iPods, Laptop Computers, Tivo, and the grand prize...a giant Plasma TV. However, in addition to these prizes, some of the vendors contribute items such as 300 waterbags, 4 cases of a chemical no one uses, and a vinyl liner. Not surprisingly, all of these busch league gifts required several names to be called before some poor schmuck actually went up to claim them. People even started heckling the announcer, yelling, "Nobody wants that crap!" You can really only find this type of quality jeering at the Pool & Spa show

So, we finish up here and head back to the casino for some more Blackjack. Sadly, I sat at the table for 7 hours straight, got comped 2 free meals, and walked away at 3 AM up $700.


I probably shouldn't have even gone to sleep as I roll out of bed at 7 AM to make it to the second day of classes. This technical seminar is on Underground Pressure Testing and thankfully it's only 3 hours long. The Hooters wings are now trying to escape and I oblige them when I get back to the hotel room, then I take a nice nap before heading down for lunch. Sadly, we can not decide on any place in particular and once again end up at Hooters (yeah, we have issues). Today, however, several of my employees are taking advantage of the fact that there will be no classes the next day, so they begin to drink like fish. Three pitchers done, and it's only 1:30 pm...on to the tables.

Today's gambling isn't going as well, as there are two Russian ladies who are absolutely clueless sitting at the table. Everyone of us sitting with them is completely disgusted, but no one will throw out the typical sighs and groans to make them feel uncomfortable. It's probably because they both had really big boobs. I mean, who wants to intentionally drive that away...even though we're losing money. Penis=1 Brain=0

We sit there for a couple hours, before I need to head out, thankfully I've pulled out a winner, leaving AC with a net total of $820. Solid work. Solid show.

Only 361 days til I can do it all over again.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Sweet Best Buy

I'm sitting at home last Saturday, killing time doing absolutely nothing and surfing the internet. So I'm on the Best Buy website looking to see what new DVD releases are coming out so I can put them on my Blockbuster Online queue, when I see an add for TV sales. The deal they're offering is 0% financing on all TV purchases above $999 until 2009. Yeah, that's not a typo, 2009!! Well, I've been interested in getting myself a Plasma or LCD television since my brother and my buddy Mike got one a while back, but the cost has always sort of kept me at bay. But, Christ, if I've got no interest being added on for 3 years, I can buy a pretty damned good TV for $60 a month. I can handle that.

Yeah, yeah. I know. Sucked in by the marketing...but why not. So Saturday night, I drive myself over to the Best Buy in Germantown (it's bigger and nicer than the ones in Rockville and Gaithersburg...plus I can't deal with the parking situations at both those places) and get a crash course on plasma vs. LCD. For those of you who are not versed in the differences, here's the key points I took from the discussions. Plasma TVs are a better picture but are only available in big sizes and generate a lot of heat. Plus, they may require some maintenance to the bulbs? after a couple years. Cost wise they're about the same.

Since I was originally planning to put it in my living room, I was stuck with a TV no bigger than 32", which pretty much took plasmas out of the equation, so my shopping experience was cut in half right off the bat. So, I proceeded to do what any normal TV shopping male would do when confronted with this dilemma. I stood in front of about 10 different LCD TVs for about 20 minutes watching white water canoeing and highlights of last year's Super Bowl. I'm pretty sure I came in my pants twice as they panned to the crowd and I could make out the faces of every screaming fan.

When all was said and done, I went with the best one they had, which was a Sony 26" (Amy talked me down from 32" and out of putting it in the living room) so it now sits beautifully in my bedroom, allowing me the luxury of crystal clear movies as I fall asleep.


Friday, January 20, 2006

Car Sickness

For those of you that know my younger brother, you know his love of cars and his hatred of having one for any long period of time. Well, he set a new record this week, as he gave up on his last car after only 11 months of ownership. Let me give you all a quick recap to bring you up to speed on his sickness.

When my brother turned 16 (1998), he was able to buy my grandmother's 1994 Mitsubishi Eclipse from her, giving him his first car...a decent one to start with for sure, it even had a spoiler. By the time he was 18, he had added one of those loud, ridiculous mufflers to it, which made it offensive to drive next to, and downright painful to drive in. I think he started to feel that way too, so he quickly ditched that car, and bought my mom's 1991 Nissan 300ZX from her.

The Z was definitely a pimpin ride, even at its age, and since my mom babied it since she had always wanted a Z, he again got himself a pretty good car to work with. Unfortunately, he was still in his "souping up cars" stage and after he blew one speaker and killed the battery on the car four times because of the woofer he bought, it took only the few minor scratches caused by the tornado that came through College Park before he had once again moved on to another car.

This time, he picked out a brand new 2002 Silver Nissan XTerra. It was a nice car, and the first SUV that anyone in my family had gotten. But we knew it wouldn't last, and sure enough, it got keyed outside his fraternity house, plus it was that fast, so he traded it back to Nissan's parent company, Infiniti, and grabbed himself another brand new car, a 2003 Infiniti G35 Sedan. This one he got fully loaded with the luxury and sports package, and every other whistle and bell, with only the exception being the GPS system. It was a damned sweet car, and even I was a bit jealous of this purchase (not so much with the incredible money loss he was enduring)

I liked the G35 so much, I took it off his hands when, of course, he grew tired of it, and decided he wanted to go back to an SUV. So in February 2005, I bought his car from him, and he stayed in the Nissan/Infiniti family again, and bought a brand new 2005 Nissan Pathfinder. This time, he did get the GPS and now he's a family joke, and we're wondering which car he's going to get the following year.

Well, here we are, less than a year later. Kevin just got his Pathfinder back from the body shop after someone smashed his whole front end, costing that guy over $8000 in repair costs, and of course, this leaves Kevin less than happy with his car. So, so long Pathfinder...

Hello, 2006 Black Lexus IS350. Now it's just got silly. This car is ridiculously sweet looking, but how in the hell is he able to afford all this switching? I'm insistent he won't tell the family how the deals with the car guys really ended up, but I've figured that in all his exchanges, he's cost himself over $10,000, money he could be putting aside to get a condo or something.

But, unfortunately, he has a sickness, and I'm not sure if he'll ever get better. Certainly, the remedy is not more cowbell.

Thanks, Ike

Yeah, I know. I'm going to hell.

Monday, January 16, 2006

A Whole Lot of Crap

Let me start off by saying that this particular blog entry is a bit graphic and may be offensive or gross to some you. That being said, you have been warned...now let me tell you about the last 48 hours of my life.

I woke up on Saturday morning feeling pretty good. I had gone out Friday night with my buddies Scott and Kupe, had a few (7, but who's counting) Capt. & Cokes and closed out the night with an empanada before jumping on the metro and running through the monsoon type rains to get home.

Amy had already left for work, so I had the place to myself. I headed downstairs and made myself some breakfast/lunch (it was about 11:30 when I got up) of soup and goldfish crackers. This was actually a tougher process than usual because I could barely move my arms. You see, as mentioned in a previous post, I joined the gym this week and started lifting weights, something I haven't done since my senior year in college. My chest and triceps were hurting the most and it was difficult to lift my arm up and even harder to pull my hand towards my face to put a spoonful of soup in my mouth. Probably shouldn't have tried to keep up with my brother, who has been lifting for over 5 years, but I'm too competitive to not at least try to do all the same exercises as him.

After I finish my soup, I begin to feel worse, now my shoulders (which I worked on Friday) and my abs are starting to ache, and overall I'm not feeling that well. Actually, before I started this lifting program, I told my brother that every time I try to start lifting, I get sick. The last time I got so sick, I was in bed for a week and missed my fraternity's beach party and the Super Bowl. Oh boy, here we go again.

I went onto webmd.com and checked into over-exercise and it mentioned that you can get sicker if you are already under the weather and stress your body with exercise, and it said it was normal to be sore 24-72 hours after first starting to work out, so maybe I just need some rest.

I turned on a hot bath (yeah, I took a bath, got a problem with a man taking a bath? And yes, there were bubbles in this bath, scented like oranges) in hopes that it would sooth my aching muscles and maybe give me some relief. I had a busy day planned, with the Redskins game and my buddy Greg's housewarming party. Unfortunately, things took a turn for the worst...and this is were things start to go downhill quickly.

I am freezing and shivering as I get out of the bath and now I can barely stand. Something is definitely wrong and I'm worried that maybe I have some unknown diabetic condition (my dad is diabetic) and all the working out and drinking has done something to my blood. I quickly get dressed, grab an Aleve, a Megaman vitamin, and the thermometer and head to grab some lemonade and an apple. Maybe I need sugar?

The thermometer beeps while I'm cutting my apple (which was very difficult and somewhat dangerous given how my muscles were acting) and I've got a temperature of 100.7. Fuck! I still have no idea what is going on so it's back to webmd to check on blood sugar and symptoms of high or low blood sugar. Did you realize that muscle pain and fever are the symptoms of pretty much every single ailment? How the hell is this supposed to help me fix my problem if I could technically have every problem out there? Stupid computer doctor. At this point, I have nothing else I can do but go back to bed and hope that the Aleve fixes the problem. I call Amy and ask her to pick up some flex-all and orange juice on the way home (OJ fixes everything) and I try to rest. By this point, the Redskins are on and looking pathetic on offense as usual. At least, Shaun Alexander is out...we have a chance.

Amy gets home to find my pathetic ass laid up in bed. She gets me some orange juice and here's where things start to get REAL bad. After I finish my second glass, my stomach starts to rumble. I know where this is heading and it's off to the bathroom. Dumb and Dumber style explosions are coming out of my ass (told you I would be graphic, just wait...it gets worse) and it's sapping the remaining bit of energy out of my body. When I'm done, I try to stand up, but I double over in stomach pain and collapse to the ground. It's a matter of minutes before I am now adding puke to the toilet (I've flushed already, that would be too gross). After emptying my stomach and then a few more dry heaves for shits and giggles, I am a sweaty, exhausted mess. WHAT THE FUCK!!!

Amy helps me back to bed and now I want just water, and lots of it, because I'm sure I'm really dehydrated at this point. The next 17 hours (no, I'm not kidding) have me curled up in bed shivering from fever, which topped off at 102.7, drinking as much water as possible, and visiting the bathroom to shit every forty or so minutes (again, I'm not kidding).

So, you're probably asking yourself, how can you shit every forty minutes when all you're doing is drinking water? Well, you see, after about 3 hours worth of shitting, the idea of solid shit has long left your thoughts. When you get up to about 8 hours, you start to wonder (it could be the fever or drugs doing the wondering) why your ass needs to be involved at all...you could piss this out just as easily. By hour number 15, you are now starting to dislodge food that has been trapped in your intestines since you were 5 years old. The smells associated with this type of shitting are inexplicable, and would be grounds for vomiting, if I had anything left in my body to throw up. They even put my dog's farts to shame.

Thankfully, around 1 PM on Sunday, my fever broke and the shitting went to a once every hour and a half cycle. I was actually able to get some sleep last night, as it diminished even further to once every three hours, which is about where I am right now.

On a positive note, I am now five pounds lighter and got the benefit of a colon cleansing without the awkward doctor visit and related bills...and you all got the benefit of reading about me taking a whole lot of craps. You're welcome.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

WhY iS ThAt?

WhY iS iT tHaT eMaIl FrOm PeOpLe TrYiNg To MaKe My PeNiS LaRgEr Or FrOm NiGeRiA Is WrItTeN lIkE tHiS?

dO yOu GeT a DiFfErEnT kEyBoArD wHeN yOu WaNt To Be An AnNoYiNg AsShOlE?

Monday, January 09, 2006

Mitch Hedberg

I have added a link on the right side to a site that has most (if not all?) of my favorite comedian, Mitch Hedberg's, appearances. If you have never heard him before, you should definitely link to it or link to the Comedy Central Links below.

Comedy Central, Part 1
Comedy Central, Part 2
Comedy Central, Part 3


Random Thoughts

As you can imagine, following my return from a funeral in Colorado, it has been difficult to find much humor with which to enlighten your lives with. Add to that the fact that my father is going in for heart surgery tomorrow and you would have to say that 2006 has been the most humorless year to date, and we're only 9 days in. God help us.

However, there have been a few bright spots and I always seem to find something to mock or make light of, so here's a few tidbits from my last few days:
  • Saturday brought the first playoff game for the Redskins since I had returned to the city following college. I was pretty psyched for this new experience and was doubly psyched that I would be enjoying it at my favorite football watching venue, Union Jack's. Throughout the entire regular season, my buddies Scott, Kupe and I, along with a spattering (you know, I've used that word twice in like 5 posts...I feel like an old British man or something) of our other friends have been regulars at this bar. And that's saying alot because on average, there's usually about 15 people in the whole place each week. But low and behold, the Redskins are in the playoffs and what is this... The fair weather fans are out in full force. The bar is so packed (at 3:30 PM, no less) that we not only can't get our regular table, but we can't even get into the place. WHAT THE FUCK!!!! Sadly, we are forced to Rock Bottom, where the seats have no backs, the waiters are stuck behind the bar, and the beer is food is not 25% off. Leave it to the snobs of Bethesda to do the "trendy" thing and suddenly decide that rooting for the Redskins is a great way to spend a Saturday. Go to hell, all of you!
  • Well, that wasn't funny or uplifting at all.
  • Tomorrow, I will be joining Gold's Gym, where my younger brother works out, marking the first time in the history of my life that I will be lifting weights on a regular basis with no other purpose than to make myself look better. Looks like I'm one step closer to being gay. Now I've just gotta learn how to be neat and go see "Brokeback Mountain."
  • My mom has decided to start the Nutri-System diet (it worked for Zora from "Joe Millionaire") and she just received the meals in the mail on Saturday. After discussing it with her, I realized that the world needs a new diet plan, that's easy to follow and fun to do. So I give you the J-Man Arcade Crane Diet. It's a real easy-to-follow diet, based on the simple dietary philosophy of portion control...with a hint of FUN! All you need for this diet is to always carry a plate with you...or bowl, your choice. And here's how it works: Eat whatever you want, but when the food is brought to you, you become the "Arcade Crane". Take one hand and reach onto your plate with the fingers pointing down like the arcade game. You get one grasp at your food and then you must move the "crane" over to your second plate. Whatever makes it to the second plate is yours to eat...much like a stuffed Fozzy Bear. It just that simple...trust me you'll lose weight...if not your appetite too.
  • With the nice weather outside today, I took the opportunity to trim back the terribly overgrown ornament grass in my front yard (yeah, I don't work...it's the Winter). I felt like Edward Scissorhands out there hacking away at the mound, which was about four feet high at this point. The only downside is, now my front yard is really bare looking and once again resembles the "dirt mound" I had back before I did all my planting in the Spring. If these perrenials don't pop up again in the Spring...well, it is 2006.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Hail to the Redskins

Though it didn't look pretty at times, the Skins pulled off the victory over the Eagles yesterday with some late defensive heroics to advance into the playoffs. With that win, the Skins are now in line to take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Saturday in a rematch of the biggest bullshit game of the Redskins season.

The way the Skins defense has been playing the last few weeks, it would look like this one should go down much different than the first meeting, where the Skins secondary (without Sean Taylor) made Chris Simms look like Joe Montana. I have faith that they'll be able to pull through even with the very thin corner situation. And since things didn't turn out exactly as I had originally forcasted (all the right teams, not quite the right order), here's my altered predictions for those that weren't quite right before:

NFC Wildcard
Skins over Tampa Bay: This one will likely look a lot like the Philly game, with the Redskins getting beat by a big play here or there, but pulling it out with some key turnovers.

NY Giants over Carolina: Same matchup as I predicted before, but just in the Wild Card round this time.

NFC Divisional
Redskins over Seattle: I had this one before, and I'm sticking with it...even with all the injuries to the Skins.

NY Giants over Chicago: Playing in Chicago will likely make this a much tighter game than it should be, and Chicago could even pull this one out, but I'm sticking with my early prediction and putting the Skins and Giants in the NFC Conference Championship.

And if you didn't notice, that would make my predictions (AFC too) include losses to all of the teams that got a first round bye. Something tells me that's not a good thing. Oh, well.