Saturday, November 29, 2008

Five Good Years


I turn 25 this week. I realize that turning 25 doesn’t give you any fancy perks the way 16, 17, 18 and 21 did—however—25 is still moderately significant, at least in my case. I’ve long operated under the assumption that I wouldn’t live past 30; an assumption that—given my overall welfare—could prove to be quite generous.

With my “Dead at 30” theory in effect, beginning this Friday the countdown officially launches. I’ve got five years left. My hope is to make ‘em five good years, but given the laundry list of obstacles in my way its going to be an uphill climb.

Here’s what I’ve got to counteract to make this work: I eat like crap. I drink way too many caffeine-laden concoctions. My knees are shot. I don’t sleep well. My back and neck hurt almost as bad as the aforementioned knees. I’ve got what I’m going to call “a fragile lung situation.” I’m probably one corn dog away from a heart-attack. I look silly when I don’t wear hats. I’ve got some of the worst posture this side (or any side, actually) of the Mississippi and, to top it all off, I snore.

Needless to say it’s going to take quite a bit to make the next five years anything more than a slow, continually debilitating death-march. To do this I’m working on a few simple ground-rules for year one and we’ll see where we’re at on these bad-boys this time next year…

PHYSICAL STUFF

-Drink more water and less soda and energy drinks.
-Reinstate my gym membership…and use it.
-Maybe dial back the intensity a little bit when playing sports…maybe?!
-Ice my knees when they hurt!!
-Cut my McDonalds intake by (at bare minimum) 50%
-Start running again—or at least jogging—whatever the knees can handle.
-Get rid of the gut. I’m the skinny-fat guy. Not a situation I’d ever envisioned for myself.
-Find a way to sleep more and sleep better.
-Light beer only. I made that switch once for like a year and it was highly effective.
-Help lead the Bibs to another softball championship.

PERSONAL STUFF

-Write more and try to get published somewhere…
-Call my friends and family more. I’ve gotten really bad about calling.
-Spend more time just hanging out with Mlady.
-Take more pictures.
-Apply for more jobs in baseball.
-Keep rockin’ out to whatever crappy music I’m listening to at the time.
-Read more, a lot more.
-Be a little nicer and more helpful whenever I can.
-Win my f’n Fantasy Baseball league!!
-Keep on rockin’ the “Walter Mitty Syndrome.” Nothing wrong with a little imagination.
-Get Jennifer Aniston to retract the restraining order.
-Work harder, better and smarter. I feel like I’ve done a lot of work the past two years, but don’t feel like I’ve taken any steps forward, quite frustrating.
-Be an awesome uncle.
-Laugh more.


So there we have it. It’s a very simple list, but let’s be honest…this is essentially an ass-load of New Year’s resolutions and we all know how well people tend to hold up to those. I figured the right thing to do would be to start slow. Set some straightforward, easily obtainable goals and lay the groundwork for the four years that will (in theory) follow.

Now folks, this is where all ya’ll come into play. As we know, I can be incredibly passionate about something one minute and incredibly apathetic the next. As such, I implore you—my faithful reader(s)—to keep an eye on me and try to steer me down the right path or at least keep from adding more crap to the already expansive list of ‘Reasons Jeremiah is a Dead-Man Walking Limping.’

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Monday, Monday...

I do love Mondays. For most people, Monday blows. Monday signifies the end of the weekend, the end of sleeping in and the beginning of another long work week. Not for me. No, no…for me, Monday is Sunday and that's my fun-day. My I don't have to run-day. It's just another sweet-ass Monday.

I get to sleep in, take my sweet time getting ready and prepared for the day and then—and this is my favorite part—I’ve got nothing to do!!

That’s right, while the rest of you are at work thinking that five’o’clock can’t come fast enough, I’m probably sitting on my couch watching SportsCenter and eating a bowl of generic, store-brand Trix. While the rest of you are chugging down that first cup of morning coffee, I’m probably still passed out in my bed, snoring like a lumberjack and dreaming about leading the Twins to a World Series victory as their new centerfielder. While the rest of you are finally getting around to microwaving your lunch, I’m probably just getting around to brushing my teeth…or maybe not!

Now that I’ve properly setup an overwhelming sense of jealousy and angst amongst my already limited readership contingent, let me get around to the point of this rambling saga. This Monday, I was all set to get my license switched over to a Massachusetts license…a process that is roughly two years overdue, but I’m not one to sweat the small stuff. So I got up at a fairly reasonable hour—for me on a Monday, that is—at roughly 10:30 and proceeded to shower, shave, brush my teeth and even trim my God-awful ‘70s sideburns as to make a more presentable driver’s license picture.

To be honest, I find the picture very important, because everyone has a friend with one of those unfortunate pictures on their license that is blatantly a half-decade and multiple life-choices old. For example: the ill-fated “Goth” picture taken at some angst-fueled point in college or the hung-over, half-awake picture that you barely remember taking or even worse the “I just got the worst hair-cut ever and broke out” the morning of driver’s license renewal picture. Those pictures will haunt you for the duration of the license and every time you’re at a bar someone is going to be like “hey have you guys seen Billy’s license?!” and everyone will reply “no, bust it out!” and poor Billy will and he’ll be mocked and ridiculed. Generally everyone else follows suit and displays their pictures as well and this is why you want to look your finest for these things!!

Anywho, back to my preparation…in my previous license, I look disheveled, confused, moderately Amish and—worst of all—twelve. So I was determined to not only look more stately and grown-up, but like a man who belongs behind the wheel of a car…not someone who belongs strapped into a child’s safety seat. I contemplated putting some eyelash goo in my prepubescent mustache to make it pop, but figured that was more sad than stately and passed on that plan. Instead I snagged my finest blue shirt, to ensure major poppage of my peepers in the picture. (Alliteration is our friend!)

Then, after gather all of the necessary paperwork…which for an out-of-state transfer includes…a social security card (preferably your own), your birth certificate, your out-of-state license and/or a recent copy of your driving record, a document providing proof of age, a document providing proof of signature, two documents proving residency and—of course—my checkbook.

I made one last check of the RMV website to ensure that I was headed to the right place and wandered out the door. It was a little odd riding the subway, because I realized I haven’t been on the ‘T’ or in Boston in like a month-and-a-half; which is really weird considering I used to be on the ‘T’ everyday and in Boston all the time. Anyway, I got out, wandered down the street and—despite the blowing wind—managed to ensure the structural integrity of my hair for the picture…only to find when I got to the RMV that they were closed down for the day due to some computer meltdown.

As one might expect, with that much pre-game preparation, I was pretty pissed. (Again with the alliteration!) I figured that in lieu of a new license, I’d go out to eat and buy myself a nice lunch. Heck, if I’ve actually left the house on my day off, I might as well enjoy it, right?!

So I wandered around downtown Boston for awhile trying to find the perfect place for lunch. I contemplated Chinese, burgers, Mexican, a hot dog from a vendor and then it dawned on me…I was pining for some pulled pork piled high! (Okay, now I’m just showing off…)

So I wandered to ‘Champions’ by the Prudential Building for what I’ve deemed the best pulled pork in all of Boston and/or Cambridge. I sauntered in, pulled up a chair ordered the aforementioned pulled pork sammitch and a tall Budweiser. I spent some time watching the various mid-afternoon sports shows that were on the tube and then devoured my sammitch. I was about ready to leave when a group of older dudes—mostly in their fifties I’d say—asked me to help them resolve an argument within their posse.

“Hey Kid,” one of the old dudes yelled, “you got a second?!”
“Sure…what’s up?!” I said before polishing off the last of my Bud.
“We need you to settle something for us. Should the Sox re-sign ‘Tek or let him walk?!” another of the old dudes asked.


At this point, I basically turned into the Grinch at the end of the book when his heart grows like 10 times or something…which if you think about it…would probably have killed that green bastard right there on the spot. However, that’s not the point. The point is a bunch of old, buzzed Red Sox fans wanted my opinion on the Sox. So I wandered over and gave them my opinion on the situation. An opinion that about half the group seemed to love and the other half hated. Then someone from the half that loved it asked what I’d been drinking and ordered me another and asked me to sit down and talk some baseball...so I did.

Basically I spent the rest of my afternoon talking baseball with a bunch of awesome old dudes who were paying to get my all-kinds of drunk. We took turns talking about free-agents, who should sign where, what moves different teams should make and they even went so far as to dub me “Theo 2.0”…which for those of you out there aren’t baseball savvy is a pretty solid compliment coming from Red Sox fans.

They bought me four beers before I headed to the restroom and decided that I was a little too stumbly and should head home. But when I’d come back from the restroom, there was another tall Bud waiting for me. So they kept me around for another half-hour or so in which I was peppered with more compliments for my vast baseball knowledge and then good-natured insults when I finally revealed my allegiance to the Twins. At this point I wandered off while they finished their third “last round.”

Whether or not this seemingly lengthy yarn served any real purpose can be debated, but in the end the moral of the story is this: “even when it seems like things aren’t going to go my way…my Mondays are still soooooo much cooler than yours!!”

Friday, November 14, 2008

Library Life...

I'm a big fan of the comic strip "Unshelved" and given some of the crazy shiznit that goes on in our library and the random (read: stupid and/or borderline psychotic) questions we get I'm thinking maybe these guys are camped out somewhere around here and taking notes.

Enjoy a sample from this week...

Manly, Much?!

Okay, so early today I stumbled across a link from ‘Popular Mechanics’ listing the 100 essential skills any competent man should have. Well, because I felt moderately…um…emasculated upon initially reading the list, I figured the only way to really find my place on the Manliness Meter would be to go through, skill-by-skill and determine whether or not it’s a skill that I possess. So here we go friends…

Automotive

1. Handle a blowout
- Sure, that one’s not too hard.

2. Drive in snow
- Hell yes, Iowa-represent! Maybe this won’t be so bad.

3. Check trouble codes
- No…

4. Replace fan belt
- No, again.

5. Wax a car
- Maybe?!

6. Conquer an off-road obstacle
– Like a bear?! Because I was not informed that bears would be involved in this line of questioning!!

7. Use a stick welder
– I don’t swing that way.

8. Hitch up a trailer
– Sure, why not.

9. Jump-start a car
– Been there done that!

Man-Score: 3 ½ out of 9

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Emergencies


10. Perform the Heimlich
– I think so.

11. Reverse hypothermia
– As opposed to forward hypothermia?

12. Perform hands-only CPR
– Meaning no make-out session?!

13. Escape a sinking car
– Wha…at?!

Man-Score: ¾ out of 4

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Home


14. Carve a turkey
– I can eat it like a champ! That should count for something.

15. Use a sewing machine
– If it’s all threaded and stuff, sure.

16. Put out a fire
– Hell yes, an easy one!

17. Home-brew beer
– Damn…no. That’s a cool one too!!

18. Remove bloodstains from fabric
– If I’ve got clothes with blood stains, there’s a good chance I’m going to get around to disposing of those things before anyone starts asking questions!

19. Move heavy stuff
- Duh.

20. Grow food
- Um, I’ve planted veggies before and lived on a pig farm…I’m totally counting this one!

21. Read an electric meter
- It’s just numbers…I don’t know what they mean…but “technically” I can, in fact READ the meter. Counting it!

22. Shovel the right way
- There’s a wrong way to shovel? Damn, I think that’s probably going to count as a no.

23. Solder wire
- Duct tape?! No…shit. Another one down!

24. Tape drywall
- Sure, I’d call my Pappy and ask him to do it.

25. Split firewood
- No probs…half for you, half for me. Simple!

26. Replace a faucet washer
- Dish washer, I know. Clothes washer, I know. Faucet washer, nothing…

27. Mix concrete
- Doesn’t it do that itself in the big truck?!

28. Paint a straight line
- It’s been a while since I got one of these, I’m taking this one!

29. Use a French knife
- I don’t know where our knives come from, but I’m going to assume somewhere in the French countryside. Point!

30. Prune bushes and small trees
- Not well, but yes.

31. Iron a shirt
- Oh come on, I’m not retarded…yes I can iron a shirt! Man points galore!

32. Fix a toilet tank flapper
- Ironically enough…yes. I rule at fixing toilets. Perhaps I’m in the wrong profession?!

33. Change a single-pole switch
- Who?!

34. Fell a tree
- Meaning knock one over? Don’t you just chop at it?!

35. Replace a broken windowpane
- Shit…

36. Set up a ladder, safely
- And then leap off of it onto a prone enemy laid out on the announcer’s table? Sorry, flashback to my hardcore wrestling past…Sure, I can set up a ladder.

37. Fix a faucet cartridge
- Come on, what’s with all these faucet questions. If every man could do it, plumbers wouldn’t have a job!

38. Sweat copper tubing
- Bring it on a treadmill?

39. Change a diaper
- How does this correlate with any of the previous skills? And yes…I can change a diaper.

40. Grill with charcoal
- No probs. It takes forever and a day—but I can do it.

41. Sew a button on a shirt
- Nah, just wear the shirt open…it’s a cool look, right?!

42. Fold a flag
- Properly, no. Folded, like end-to-end-to-end-to-end-to-end…sure!

Man-Score: 12 ½ out of 29 (not too shabby!)

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Medical


43. Treat frostbite
- Go to the doctor?

44. Treat a burn
- Rub up against someone with frostbite?

45. Help a seizure victim
- Stand back and call an ambulance. Oh and make sure they don’t hit their head and they don’t swallow their tongue. But don’t try to hold them or make them stop moving! BAM!

46. Treat a snakebite
- I know the correct answer is to like tie off the bitten area to keep the poison from spreading and then suck it out, but honestly, it’s going to depend on how well I know the person…otherwise ‘call an ambulance’ might suffice.

47. Remove a tick
- I think you’re supposed to either freeze them or burn them. Not totally sure.

Man-Score: 2 ½ out of 5

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Military Know-How


48. Shine shoes
- Go to an airport. Fork over $15.

49. Make a drum-tight bed
- What? I couldn’t make a tambourine-tight bed if my life depended on it, let alone a drum-tight one…Jebus!

50. Drop and give the perfect pushup
- If by perfect you mean bitching and moaning whilst keeping my ass four feet in the air and touching my face to the ground like some sort of newly-born calf, then sure…I can do that.

Man-Score: 0 out of 3

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Outdoors


51. Run rapids in a canoe
- Pffffffft….

52. Hang food in the wild
- Rope + Cooler + Tree = Problem Solved

53. Skipper a boat
- TeeHee…like Gilligan’s Island!!

54. Shoot straight
- Handgun, sure. Rifle, whatevs…

55. Tackle steep drops on a mountain bike
- If by ‘tackle’ they mean roll end-over-end down the side of a mountain until my demise, then sure…

56. Escape a rip current
- Stay out of the water. Damn, I’m a real outdoorsman!

Man-Score: 2 out of 6

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Survival


57. Build a fire in the wilderness
- Without some sort of fire-starting device?! Fat-chance!

58. Build a shelter
- Nope…I knew I should have read “The Hatchet” another time!!

59. Find potable water
- Do you guys mean potato water? Oh wait…that doesn’t make any sense either. I guess no. Son of a bitch. I just went 0-for-Survival!!!!

Man-Score: 0 out of 3 (aka: death)

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Surviving Extremes


60. Floods
- Get a boat. Stay on a roof. Don’t go in the water. Nah, dead.

61. Tornados
-Yes! Thank you Midwest! Go the basement, stay away from windows and doors. Keep flashlights, some water and food around. If you can, open some windows so that the pressure doesn’t make your house implode.

62. Cold
- Stay inside and turn the heat-up.

63. Heat
-Get a fan or find a friend who has A/C…idiots.

64. Lightning
-Again…hang out inside. Duh!

Man-Score: 2 ½ out of 5

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Teach Your Kids


65. Cast a line
- Fishing blows anyway. No child of mine or any child I’ve abducted from a busy mall will ever learn to fish from me!!

66. Lend a hand
- Help people? Seriously. Like will the kid be brain-dead…does it really need me to show it how to help people?! Either way this one’s a big-fat yes.

67. Change a tire
-Yeppers…

68. Throw a spiral
- Occasionally…I’m more of a receiver than a quarterback and when I am chucking the ball, I prefer to run short routes over the top and in the flats to keep the defense off their game.

69. Fly a stunt kite
- Stunt kite? Shit, I can’t make the most basic of kites stay in the air for more than 8 seconds at a time.

70. Drive a stick shift
- A lil bit. I could give it a go, but it’s been quite a while and I’m pretty sure I’d burn out the transmission in like 10 minutes or less.

71. Parallel park
- Actually, yeah, I’m a pretty solid parallel parker.

72. Tie a bowline
- A what?! Like a bow for a present? They just have a little sticky thing on them that you peel off and then smash it down onto the box. Silly ‘Popular Mechanics’…you guys have so much to learn.

73. Tie a necktie
- If I am staring at a detailed drawing that illustrates the process in as few simple steps as possible…then sure. Without the drawing…not so much.

74. Whittle
- You mean do I know how to push a knife against a piece of wood. I have a college education…so I think I can figure it out.

75. Ride a bike
- Seriously?! Rid a bike makes the list?! Did you guys just run out of ideas or what?! Is ‘walk’ going to be in there somewhere? How’s about ‘talk’ or ‘eat’ or ‘poo’…come on.

Man-Score: 6 ½ out of 11

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Technology


76. Install a graphics card
- Not even a little bit.

77. Take the perfect portrait
- Pay someone to do it?

78. Calibrate HDTV settings
-I’ve got basic cable and up until it died I had a TV from Goodwill…I think not.

79. Shoot a home movie
- Is this a porn question?

80. Ditch your hard drive
- Destroy with hammer. Scatter various pieces amongst the four corners of the earth.

Man-Score: 0 out of 5

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Master These Key Workshop Tools


81. Drill driver
- Yes, I can rock a drill!!

82. Grease gun
- Squeeze trigger, goo comes out. Done and done.

83. Coolant hydrometer
- Not even gonna pretend I know what the hell they’re talking about.

84. Socket wrench
- The fact that I had to Google ‘socket wrench’ makes me think I should go with no, but I do know how to use one…just couldn’t picture it? Half-credit me thinks!

85. Test light
- As opposed to real light?

86. Brick trowel
- Honestly, I can’t even think of anything witty for this one. *sigh*

87. Framing hammer
- I can only assume this is a bloody, yet fingerprint-free hammer you would place in someone’s house after you’ve bludgeoned a co-worker to death with it?!

88. Wood chisel
- Chisel. Simple. Done.

89. Spade bit
- Let’s be honest, a Spade bit just isn’t the same without a Farley bit right alongside it.

90. Circular saw
- Yeah, I know better than to touch that…I appreciate having 10 digits upstairs and downstairs.

91. Sledge hammer
- I used to sleep with a sledge hammer under my pillow during my freshman year of college…true story!

92. Hacksaw
- I think my Pappy panicked when we were young and gave us all a hacksaw for Christmas…until we started cutting shit up all over the place…it seemed really cute.

93. Torque wrench
- Riiiiiight, next!

94. Air wrench
- Come on now, throw me a bone here.

95. Infrared thermometer
- Infrared thermometer?! That’s you throwing me a bone? Thanks a whole f’n hoot Popular Mechanics. Kiss my non-tool-loving ass!!

96. Sand blaster
- Whatevs, I don’t need you to throw me a bone. Tools are overrated anyway. But seriously…if you’d ask about a ‘hammer’ or perhaps a ‘phillips head screwdriver’ I wouldn’t complain.

97. Crosscut saw
- All this does is make me think of how sick I am of all the ‘Saw’ movies…

98. Hand plane
-Without going to flight school…I think not!

99. Multimeter
-No, no…I hate the metric system.

100. Feeler gauges
-TeeHee…that sound dirty!

Man-Score: 5 ½ out of 20

Total Man-Score on the Manliness Meter: 35 ¾ out of 100


Well folks. I honestly don’t know what to say. I mean, logically I could ramble on about how I’m shocked and appalled and demand a recount, but let’s be real, a recount would probably take away some of the very iffy yes answers I gave and kill my score even more.

I suppose I should feel ashamed or something, but let’s be honest here, I work in a library. Working in a library requires like half-a-dozen of these skills—at best—and I’m pretty sure I had at least half of those!!

So fear not friends, despite my unfathomably low rating on the ole Manliness Meter I think I’m going to be okay. I mean, obviously I’m never going near a garage or workshop of any kind. And I don’t believe I’ll be planning any excursions to large, desolate wooded areas any time soon, but I’ll carry on, and do the best I can as a 35% male.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Sleep Seeker

Sometimes, I can’t sleep. It’s a big problem, one that’s plagued me for a very long time actually. I’ve found that the problem comes and goes in waves, as it were, but when it’s bad…oh it’s bad.

Wednesday night for instance, I laid in bed for nearly four and a half hours before I finally fell asleep. Then—POOF—my alarm was going off and it was time to go to work. Luckily, thanks to lots of practice—and the invention of energy drinks—I’ve gotten pretty good at functioning with little or no sleep. Now don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I enjoy long periods with no sleep—okay, scratch that. I do; but just a little bit.

I know, I know it’s a little a masochistic. The thing is—as anyone who knows me well can attest to—I’ve got a wee-bit of a competitive streak in me. Thus why I’ve enjoyed countless encounters that transpire something like this:

Random Dreary-Eyed Person: “Oh my God, I am sooooo tired. I stayed up all-night writing that biography paper for the Mass Communications History final.”

Bouncy, Energetic Me: “Do tell…”

Random Dreary-Eyed Person: “Well I woke up yesterday at like 9am and then I stayed up all-night…oh my God…I’ve been up for like 26 hours!!”

Bouncy, Energetic Me: “Wow…twenty-six whole hours, huh?! That’s a mighty long time, don’t you think?!”

Random Dreary-Eyed Person: “I know, right?! So like, what’s the longest you’ve stayed up? Can you top 26 hours?”

Bouncy, Energetic Me: *tranforms into a sleepless version of the Hulk…only blue, not green because it matches my eyes* “QUIET WITH YOUR TALK OF 26 HOURS YOU MERE MORTAL!!! I HAVE BEEN UP FOR MORE THAN TWO DAYS STRAIGHT ON NUMEROUS OCCASSIONS…”

Random Dreary-Eyed Person: *Runs away to go cry…and probably take a nap*


…okay, so not all of the encounters have been exactly like that, but you get the gist. So I am a tad-bit proud of my ability to survive on no sleep and why shouldn’t I be? I’ve earned some mondo-big paychecks thanks to that ability…and as anyone who is an avid reader of my mindless ramblings can tell you I’m become quite the amusing narrator in the wee-hours of the morning. (note: if you don’t know what the hell I’m talking about, go back and check out some of my blogs posted during various Finals week overnight shifts—although full of typographical and grammatical error—they are quiet entertaining.)

Anywho, the whole point of this now-rambling soliloquy is that lately, my sleeping problems have returned. As a result I’ve recently taken up the practice of using sleep aids. Now I know what some of you are thinking...SLEEPING PILLS…but no, no, no…NO!

I don’t like the phrase “sleeping pills” and I hate the connotations that come with it. People hear “sleeping pills” and they picture strung-out Hollywood starlets who are two pills away from a body bag. Well that’s not me folks. I’m taking very generic, very light dose sleep aids…S-L-E-E-P A-I-D-S from CVS…not even the good stuff. Essentially they make me a little drowsy and then I can generally fall asleep in under an hour or so, which is a glorious night’s rest and a well-rested morning.

Where am I going with this you ask? Well you’d think that with more than 550 words down I’d have given some sort of clue, but yeah…not so much. That’s why this is a blog and not a school report a newspaper article…freedom to ramble on and on and on…oh shit, you’ve stopped reading. Let me get focused….

Okay, so the whole reason I started writing this thing is to let you all in on what goes through my lil brain on nights where I can’t sleep and as such, here we are, back to Wednesday night—after being moderately sidetracked for roughly the length of a freshman introductory essay.

Wednesday night I decided that I was going to try and catch some shut-eye without the assistance of my little non-prescription, non-habit forming friend. So there I was climbing into bed around 11ish. Grace was already long-since unconscious so it was a nice and quiet, dark room…perfect conditions for sleeping; unless you own my brain.

For the next four and a half hours or so here’s the crap that went running through my head…

“You know, if I ever win the lottery…I think the first thing I’m going to do is pay off my student loans. Then the second thing I’m going to do is getting some t-shirts printed up for everyone who plays in Christmas Bowl. Heck, if I win the lottery I can get personalized red and green jerseys and flags for both teams!!”

“Wow, that car is really loud. He just keeps driving around the block. Does this hooligan have nothing better to do? Holy crap it sounds really close! Is he going to drive into our house? What would I do if he did drive into the side of our house? Die, probably. Well yeah…”

“Man, I could go for another slice of that blueberry pie.”

“No doubt about it…Jennifer Aniston makes the hottest fake pregnant chick ever!!!”

“Am I having a heart-attack? Oh my God…why is my heart pounding so hard?! Am I dying?! Should I wake Grace up?! Oh, no, I guess that’s just a muscle twitch.”

“I had a ridiculously productive day at work today. I love days like that. Granted, I’m a pretty productive mofo when I want to be…or after four energy drinks and a six-pack of Coke. Either way, raise here I come!!”

“I think we should get a cat, but we can’t afford a cat. Plus what if Tom (note: my cat in Iowa) finds out, would he be pissed or what?!”

“I wish more people read my blogs on the other sites and not just on Facebook and MySpace.”

“I hope the Twins make a trade for a solid right-handed third-baseman. Garrett Atkins could work, if he can hit away from Coors Field. Adrian Beltre makes sense, but only if they can get him to sign for at least three more years. Mike Lowell makes a ton of sense if the Sox sign Teixeira.”

“What the hell is Craiggers doing texting me at this hour…holy shit and to tell me about the new Batman movie?! Is he drunk?! He better be drunk.”

“You know I’d expect a drunk middle of the night text from like Johnny or Steven or maybe even Justin…but Craiggers?! Come on now. I’d put him in the same category as Mike, Jay and Travis. I generally assume those cats are in bed by 9:30 with a warm glass of milk and the latest copy of ‘Parade’ magazine.”

“My posture is awful even when I’m in bed. I can feel my shoulders slumping…I’m a freakin’ primate.”

“Family Guy makes me giggle oh so very hard!”

“Damn, I left my iTunes running at work with one song on repeat. That song is going to have like 10,000 plays by tomorrow morning, that could skew my top ten rankings something fierce. Wait, am I really thinking about the top ten ranking that I put on Facebook as some sort of important thing? I suck…”

“How much money did I spend on bills last month?! Man, I am soooooo f’n broke!!”

“Why can’t I fall asleep? I need to get to sleep. I’m going to be so exhausted tomorrow. I should have taken a sleeping pill. Non-habit forming, my ass!! Or maybe I should take one now…wait, it’s like 2:30 in the morning. If take one now there’s no way I’ll be able to pop out of bed in time for work.”

“I should blog about all the random shit that’s going through my head…that could be amusing. Or really stupid and make people stop reading forever.”

“Damn, Grace managed to steal all of the blankets and push me to the edge of the bed despite the fact that I’m wide-awake. Unconscious Grace is freakin’ SuperWoman!”

“I need to get my license renewed soon. It expires in like three weeks. Should I get a haircut first? I want a good picture. My hair is getting pretty long in the back and—seriously—what the hell is going on with my sideburns?! Is it like 1976 or what?! So I guess if I go in, I can ask them to trim up the sides and the back. Just trim the sides and back, please. A little of the sides and bring up the back, please. Hi, I’d like to get just a trim…a little off the sides and clean-up the back, please. Why do I keep repeating this? I’m not actually at the barber shop. Why am I so polite? I don’t need to say please this I his job. No one says, ‘can I have a Big Mac and fries, please.’ No one says, ‘take my money in exchange for the gas I just pumped, please.’ What’s wrong with me? You know…you’re belittling yourself in your own head at like three in the morning…do you really want to wander down the ‘what’s wrong with me’ path right now?”

“Seriously though…how did she get the freakin’ blankets?”

“Yeah, I am pretty much a dead-on real-life knock-off of Chandler Bing. Is that good or bad? Do people—other than Grace—assume that my entire life is just a parody of Chandler Bing? Nah…wait….nah…”

“This is going to be SOOOO stupid to blog about. Maybe I should just blog about baseball some more. Let the generic blog sit for a bit and start pimping the baseball. Nah, no one reads that stuff. Which is a shame, b/c finding pictures that are small enough—yet entertaining as well—is often an issue.”

“Holy crap, I have never wanted Taco John’s more in all my life!!”

“Scratch that, I want it more now!!”

“I really hate the whole Rachel and Joey storyline. It’s just not plausible. She loves Ross and Ross sure as hell loves her…it just doesn’t make sense.”

“No doubt…I’m definitely rocking the sleep aid tomorrow night!”

“My stomach is making a lot of noises. It’s so loud. It’s gurgling. Oh wait…it’s doing that whole big, noisy digestion thing it does when you’re asleep and don’t notice. Why the human body is a mystical, magical thing…wait…seriously?! You’re a mystical and magical thing?! Dude…you’re knees are shot, your back and neck hurt every day. Mystical and magical my ass…your body blows. Get a new one…or tell your stomach to shut up so that we can get some sleep up here!”

“…wait..........did I just say…er…think we?!”

“Yes, the Royal ‘we’…not we, we.”

“You said/thought wee-wee!!”

“Ha…yeah, yeah I did!! Good one me, yeah, thanks me!”

“HOLY SHIT I NEED TO GO TO SLEEP!!!”

“Honestly, I think if I were to be like someone on Heroes, I’d most want to be like Peter. Mostly because I want the ability to have all of the powers without having to either kill people or leave them powerless. Wow…all the powers, huh?! How selfish are you? Oh come on…what good is the ability to fly if you’re going up against a dude who can move things with his mind. He’ll just rip you in half. Or what if your power is super-hearing.? Big f’n whoop. Try stopping a dude who can throw fire or even that lame chick who could connect to the internet with her mind. How lame was that?! Yeah, seriously…although I could be blogging whenever I wanted. I’d like think it and it’d be blogged. Yeah, that’d be kinda sweet. It’d save all the time I spend typing. I wonder if I’d still have to mentally Google search for all of the pictures I wanted to post with the blog…and crop them?!”


…let’s be honest here folks (those of you who didn’t stop reading about 2,000 words ago), I feel like that’s more than enough examples.

The long and short—nah, pretty much all long—of it is this: If you see me looking super tired and worn-out in the morning and I’m not in the middle of one of my ridiculously long, up-all-night shifts and/or not in the middle of some cross-country flying excursion, well then you can go ahead and assume that I spent anywhere from three to six hours last night with a whole mess of thoughts—just like the ones you’ve just read (for those of you who actually made it)—running through my fragile, sleep-deprived mind.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

New Purchases…

Let’s be honest, I’m a pretty stingy mofo.

The majority of my cashflow tends to find its way toward fulfilling my college debt, rent, utility bills and ensuring that I’m well-fed. Due to the fact that I’m a horrendous impulse shopper, I also occasionally blow some cash on stupid things. Recently, however, I’ve been in a bit of a money-crunch and I’ve been doing my best to save cash and not blow it on impulse buys.

Unfortunately in the last week I’ve given into three purchases on a random whim. As such, I figure that I should flaunt these purchases in the hopes that at least one of my two faithful readers will tell me that they think I made the right move.

Here goes…

WHAT: Midwesterny painting thingy…
WHERE: MIT Furniture Exchange
WHEN: Tuesday November 4, 2008
WHY: My parents had this exact work of art in our living room throughout my entire childhood. When we remodeled our living room years back, they got rid of it and—to be perfectly honest—I’ve always missed it. The only thing to appear in a frame that reminds me more of home is the photo my parents had taken of my house a few years back. Not gonna lie, I’ve thought about stealing it a few times and perhaps this Christmas is the year. If I can combine the two, I’ll have the ultimate Iowan living room—I’m sure Grace would love that!!

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WHAT: Kelly Green Twins Cap
WHERE: Olympia Sports – Cambridge, MA
WHEN: Sunday November 9, 2008 (Post awful meatball event)
WHY: It was on sale. I don’t buy a ton of hats because I generally pick one and wear it until its death. Although, when I walked into Olympia Sports they had an incredible deal on hats and I was completely awestruck to find a Twins hat sitting on the shelf, just waiting to be purchased by someone who would care for it and love it with the appropriate amount of affection that it deserved. Granted, had it cost any more than $7, I’d have probably just gone ahead and left the store.

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WHAT: Sweet-ass Patriots shirt
WHERE: Olympia Sports – Cambridge, MA
WHEN: Sunday November 9, 2008 (Same time/place as the hat)
WHY: I’ve wanted to snag a Patriots shirt for a while, to complement my Tom Brady jersey. I had my eye on this one incredibly bad-ass Patriots shirt that was light blue with the old school logo. Ask Johnny or Grace, they’ve both seen it and agreed it’s all-kinds of awesome. Unfortunately, the shirt costs over $50…which for a t-shirt is f’n ridiculous!! So when I saw this bad-ass shirt, I had no choice but to pounce and fulfill my craving!!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

When Birds Attack...Me!!

I have a fear of birds.

I'm not proud of it. I'm also not ashamed of it. It's not like I cry and wet my pants every time I see a bird. I do--however--flinch, duck, flail, and swat recklessly and--on occasion--squeal like a prepubescent girl when birds fly in my general direction. Needless to say the Mafioso pigeons in Southie did nothing to stifle my fear of all-things ornithological. No, no…those bastards would strut around the streets as if given some sort of territorial rite by Whitey Bulger, Mayor Menino or perhaps Theo Epstein.

Anyway, moving on…the point of this little rant is that I think the birds are up to something. When I left the apartment yesterday all of the suddenly leafless trees along Pine Street were filled to the veritable brim with birds; birds of all sizes, shapes and colors. And every single one of them was going absolutely apeshit!!

My first thought was to assume they’re planning some sort of attack, directed largely at the gangly Iowan who was running and crying at the mere site of the ginormous flock. However, when I returned to Pine Street, the birds were all gone. If coming out of the house to see a bajillion birds ain’t creepy enough…seeing them all vanish in a matter of roughly a half-hour is equally creepy.

Given the disappearing act of the winged-devils, I assumed that my original thought process was clearly flawed. These flying-rats weren’t plotting some sort of elaborate take over of my home, my corndogs, my Playstation and all of the other cool shizzle I’ve got going. No, no…those little buggers were clearly planning to head south for the winter. I can only assume--with the Midwest getting plastered with snow in the last week—that the greater New England region is due for a shot of some serious winter weather and they wanted to get going while the getting was good.

So instead of preparing for an attack and barricading the windows, I simply dug out my winter coat and prepared for an onslaught of winter weather in the now primarily birdless northeast. I had a delicious supper, watched some television and slept like a baby.

…then it happened again.

I stepped outside today on my way to work and what did I find waiting for me in the trees? I’ll give you a hint, it starts with “Abso-f’n-lutely crazy” and ends with “birds.” There they were once more, filling the branches and staring at me whilst squawking their call of doom and, as one might expect, I reacted the only way I know how…by running away with tears streaming down my cheeks.

But don’t feel sorry for me my faithful readers (both of you)…I will survive this harassment at the hands—er, talons? wings?—of my tormentors. Right now I’m trying to file a restraining order against the entire bird population—a process that is proving to be much harder than one might expect—and I am planning to have a racquet and baseball bat at the ready on my walk home.

I don’t know what the next stages of their harassment hold, but believe you me…I’ll be ready…and hiding under my desk until roughly-mid winter. They’ve gotta fly south sometime, right?!

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Where's the Beef?!

I like food—no, scratch that—I love food. Eating makes me very, very happy. Thus when I heard that well-renowned local restaurant was hosting an event that featured a combination of the phrases: bar, all-you-can-eat, Patriots football and meatballs…I was SOOOOOOOO there!!

Then, today, when I did get there it turned out to be a huge freakin’ crock. And not good crock—think crock-pot—but rather bad crock—think, paying to see ‘Blair Witch 2’ in the theater.

Here’s a rundown on how the event was pimped, directly from the restaurant’s website:

“Bundle up, watch the Patriots game on our riverside patio, enjoy a warm fall cocktail from the bar and taste all the meatballs you can handle.”


Sounds great! Sounds like a wonderful time. The website said that for $20 we were going to get “all the meatballs we could handle.” We were going to get to hang out on the lovely riverside patio to watch the Patriots game and enjoy some beverages at the bar—seriously, it sounds awesome, right?! The thing is…there were a few minor problems with this wonderful little scenario they’d laid out.

The event—which was slated to go from two to five in the afternoon—was pretty much on its last legs when we arrived at 3:30pm. However, that isn’t something they felt inclined to mention prior to Grace and I each forking over our cash to get in. Once we were in, we fought through the drunken mass of singing frat boys and get our first taste of delicious meatballs. We’d managed to snag meatballs from two more tables and seemed to be on the right path to meatball-filled bliss when we reached the next table, only to find that they’d long since run out of meatballs.

“Huh, that’s weird, they’re only half-way through and they ran out already,” I mumbled to Grace while choking down meatballs that I’m pretty sure were filled with birdseed.

“Yeah, but it looks like there’s more chefs over that way,” she replied.

She was right. The entire other side of the patio was filled with a long row of chef’s tables and empty meatball pans. Turns out they’d long since run out of meatballs. As we continued down the aisle, we found one final chef who had two cold meatballs left on his table.

…and that was it.

Four different stands. Four meatballs. For our $20, we got four meatballs apiece. Honestly, only two of them were any good. The birdseed one made me want to puke and/or purchase a bird just to ensure it is well-fed for the remainder of its days. The final one was cold and just tasted like a McDonald’s hamburger in itty-bitty, cold-ball form.

Within minutes only one stand was still even giving out meatballs and we were pretty pissed off. I mean seriously, who the hell charges you $20 for four meatballs. The last time I checked “all-you-can-eat” implied that you were done when you could no longer eat anymore—a decision to be made at your discretion, not at the hands of ill-prepared meatball chefs who made enough meatballs for roughly one hour of a three hour event.

As if getting ripped off for my twenty wasn’t bad enough, the riverside patio where we were to enjoy a cocktail and the Patriots game was full of the aforementioned drunken, singing frat boys who were pounding shots and beers at a pace generally reserved for house parties, orgies, cult-meetings and—of course—sweet sixteen parties.

Needless to say the event didn’t exactly live up to the billing and as a result, not only will I not be frequenting the restaurant every again; I am also giving up on meatballs for the remainder of the year!!

…okay, I realize that’s only like six weeks, but come on…I love to eat!

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Fool Proof, Never Fail Lottery Tips

I’m a pretty bad gambler.

That might be an understatement. The absolute BEST night of gambling I’ve ever had was when I won $53 on a computerized roulette wheel. My WORST night of gambling ever…I dropped roughly $300 at blackjack, the same roulette wheel, old-lady bingo and a bunch of awful computerized poker machines. Unfortunately more of my gambling adventures have been of the same caliber as the latter scenario.

As such, I’ve taken fewer and fewer trips to casinos since my sophomore year of college and decided that instead I’d do my gambling in the form of buying lottery tickets! I figured that a dollar here and there a few times a week can’t be nearly as bad as dropping hundreds of dollars at a time.

In theory, I was right, but the mental anguish of never winning the lotto is almost as bad, if not worse, than the up-and-down roller coaster of casino gambling. Anyway…being that the Gambling Gods are holding a personal grudge against me, I figured I might as well bestow the rest of you—my faithful blog reader(s)—with my tried and true tips to dominate the lottery.

Enjoy…

• If you don't say, "I'm feelin' lucky!" when you buy the ticket, you will lose. And you have to say it like you mean it.

• The more heartwarming your story will be, the more likely you are to win. So you might want to consider cutting off a leg or shooting your dog before buying the ticket.

• Only play when the jackpot reaches $100 million or higher!! You're only going to win once, so don't waste it on some lame $96 million prize. After taxes and a few sweet parties and a butt-load of firecrackers that will leave you with less than $30 million to play with; totally not worth it.

• You're more likely to win if God wants for you to win. And if you still haven't won, it's because you're doing something to piss Him off, so stop it, Sinner!!

• If anyone questions your buying lotto tickets, tell them the money goes to support schools. The same schools that did such a poor job teaching you math that you think this is a good gamble.

• Don't try to put five dollars on red. That's roulette, and the convenience store clerk will have no idea what you're talking about.

• You have about a one in 175 million chance at winning regardless of how many tickets you buy, so don't waste your money by purchasing multiple tickets with the same numbers.

• A fortune cookie's lucky numbers have never resulted in a lotto victory. The running time to "Lucky Numbers" starring Lisa Kudrow and John Travolta has—however—netted dozens of "Daily Three" victories.

• It may seem like setting up a ping-pong ball machine in your living room could help you simulate the winners beforehand, but this tactic only picks the full jackpot number like a third of the time, at best.

• If baby needs a new pair of shoes, don't worry: this ticket's going to come through.

• If you do end up winning, tell the government you'd like to exercise your right to “let it ride” by collecting your winnings in the form of lotto tickets.

• Tell God that if you win you'll give half the money to charity. Then when it happens, say "Sucker!" and buy a giraffe.

• The Powerball is always 19. It's amazing how many people haven't noticed that.

• Instead of buying a lotto ticket a day, put that money in a bank account, then after 10 years, buy 3,500 lotto tickets in one shot. It feels so good to hold that much opportunity.

• If you have trouble conceiving of the prize's size, put it in terms of what's important to you. “The Powerball tonight is $165 million? Well, golly-gee, that'll buy over 30 million pints of cheap bourbon and bottomless nachos at Denny’s!!”

• You should only buy lotto tickets from Korean ladies. They tend to be magical.

• If your ticket doesn't win, go double or nothing. That way, by the time you've been playing for a few years, you'll hold at least $5,000 worth of tickets for each drawing.

• Don't ever let the store pick your numbers at random. If it were any good at picking numbers it wouldn't be a store, it would probably be a rich human.