All the way from Novi Sad

Just recently, I found a cool tool that looks at the last 20 visitors to the site, and puts it on a Google Map (Link). You can also access this link by clicking on the “Where the readers are link” in the right rail of the site.

Looking at this, someone came to the site from Novi Sad, Vojvodina (Part of Serbia / Montenegro). I know we’ve been worldwide, but.. that’s crazy. I thought it I’d share this great service, with some of our loyal readers — as it’s definitely a cool service.

Oh New York? What part?

When I first started making friends at Northeastern, a large number of people that I met were from the New York City area. I always would get frustrated by the fact that “EVERYONE” lived in New York City, but nobody technically lived in New York City. It’s ironic that I live in this area now, because I struggle to come to grips with my physical location, and how I disclose this information to other people. A remember several conversations in college that went like this:

Me: “Hey, where are you from?”
Them: “New York”
Me: “Oh, me too.. where abouts? I’m from Rochester”

Them: “Oh, I’m down by the city.”
Me: “That’s cool.. Must’ve been fun growing up in the city.”
Them: “Well, technically it’s [New Jersey, Connecticut, Long Island, insert other surrounding area here], but it might as well be New York.”
Me: “So, you’re not from New York then, you’re from [insert surrounding area].”
Them: “Technically, yes.. but it’s New York.”

This bugged me. The fact that so many people that did not live in New York, claimed they did, even though they lived in another state, or dozens of miles away from the actual city. A lot of my friends at the time also felt the same way, you have to call a spade a spade. If you live in NJ, you live in NJ — not New York City.

But, this is where my conflict comes in. Residing in Hoboken, NJ, I live less than 4 miles (driving) from Times Square — probably less as the crow flies. But, I do still live in New Jersey — not New York. So, when asked, I tell people that I live in New Jersey. I feel somewhat dirty about that though — less so, than if I said I lived in New York City — but Jersey has just such a bad rap. But, when I come home from work every day, and walking up to my apartment I can see the Empire State Building just over the river, it reminds me that I don’t just live in New Jersey.. It’s New York.

When you say “I live in Hoboken, just across the river from NYC” — it doesn’t really resonanate with them how close you really are. You get the same “Oh, so you’re not in the city” type of response, but.. it’s SO close. I can almost touch it.

Oh well, until Hoboken becomes the 6th Burrough, I live in New Jersey. I guess I’ll have to try to come to grips with that.

Scammy Scam

Okay, so I’m officially done with roommates.com.  I found a new message in my in-box this morning and my hopes were high.  Afterall, it is almost September 1 and we’re still in need of a roommate.  The initial message from Janet Lauren was brief and credible, so I emailed her.  This gibberish below then found its way into my email.  She must be related to the Australian freak from yesterday.  Just read on…

From: janet lauren <janet_lauren@iwillrobyou.com>
To: Cool Jesus <Cool Jesus@gmail.com>
Date: Aug 24, 2005 2:31 PM
Subject: Response
Reply | Reply to all | Forward | Print | Add sender to Contacts list | Trash this message | Report phishing | Show original
I got your message Brian I will like you to send me some pictures of the house and the total move in cuz right now i am out of country I am in Ireland Dublin I came to see mom she was involved in an auto accident so it affected her brain.. I tried calling your number but i could not get through maybe due to distance or whatever. I am planning to move in on the 4th of september and i will be staying there for at least 8 months or more it depends on the environment please kindly get back to me asap.I am into modelling and photography. I have attach one of my picture hope you will like it.
 
Best Regard
Janet
From: Petro <KIR@gmail.com>
To: Cool Jesus <Cool Jesus@gmail.com>
Date: Aug 24, 2005 3:50 PM
Subject: Re: Response
Reply | Reply to all | Forward | Print | Add sender to Contacts list | Trash this message | Report phishing | Show original
Dude, no way this is real…too funny.
From: Cool Jesus <Cool Jesus@gmail.com>
To: Petro <KIR@gmail.com>
Date: Aug 24, 2005 3:38 PM
Subject: Fwd: Response
Reply | Reply to all | Forward | Print | Add sender to Contacts list | Trash this message | Report phishing | Show original
Dude, I don’t even know if these are for real anymore.  Why would I
care what she looks like?  Why is she sending me a photo and telling me she’s into modeling and photography?  What should I do?

Don’t Call Us – We’ll Call You

My “unique” roommate Nurse Mandy moved out last month and I’m still looking for a replacement. ??To be honest with you, I haven’t taken this process seriously. ??J.Lee signed me/us up for a membership with roommates.com, but I didn’t actually look at my account until today. ??Big mistake. ??I didn’t know that potential roommates were actually emailing me at my roommates.com account. ??One of them seems to have already found a place and??I emailed another guy, but the latest seeker has sent Petro and I into a stake of shock/laughter/fright. ??Just read on. ??I’ve changed this poor freak’s name to protect myself from near-certain stalking. ??I’ve also included some running commentary between Petro and I. ??Please keep in mind I have not altered his message in any way.

—–Original Message—–
From: ??Cool Jesus
To: Petro
Subject: RE: funny
23 Aug 2005 ??04:56 PM
Look at this f-cking FREAK who responded to the roommates.com ad. I am f-cking speechless…

Hey,
I am writing just to confirm if you still have the room for rent…………..If YES Please I will like to have answers to the following questions below:
1) I will like to have the description of the room, size, and the equipments in there.
2) I will like to have the rent fee per month plus the utilities.
3) Also I will like to know if there is any garage or parking space cos I will have my own car come over.
4) I will also be coming with some of my furniture, that is if it is allowed, like bed, book shelf cos I read alot, shoe rank etc
5) I will also like to know if I can make an advance payment ahead my arrival that will be stand as a kind of commitment that I am truely coming over and for you to hold the room down for me.
6) If the #5 questions is YES, I will like to know the total cost for the my initial move as in first month rent and if you accept deposit.
7) I will like to know the major intersection nearest your neighborhood.
like shopping mall, bus line e.t.c

Lastly, I will like to know more about you and also I will like to have your pics as for me to know how my roommate to be looks like.

I will be very glad to have all this questions answered with out leaving a stone unturned…
Here is all I can say about my self for now.
I am 30 years old and I work full time,, Monday through Friday and have weekends off exept for once a month. I was born in Ft. Worth, Texas, but I was brought up in Australia. I moved to Australia 20 years ago after the death of my father, one of my cousin who live and work in Australia took me there for my studies since my mother cannot take care of me after my father’s demise.I work in a retirement home as the Activity Director.I am not really a sports person,, BUT I do love basketball Games. I am a VERY out going person and fun to be with. I do play the organ and piano,, and I do have BOTH piano and organ here at my house.I am not a drinker and I don’t smoke and I don’t do drugs. I think you will like living here and YES I would like to go out with you on weekends and weeknights when we are both free. I like going to movies,, concerts ,, plays,,I like camping, hiking, bike ridding, swimming, and I love to travel.
I am a very dedicated individual who is totally committed to human development, friendly, very trustworthy and value relationship above anything.I love travelling,sporting and enjoy meeting people around the world.I am an easy going person and like to have an apartment/roommate who is very responsible and understanding, someone I can really get along with.
I will take my time to get you one of my pics in two days time for you to know how I look like, I am sure you will like me.

I am presently in Adeliade, Australia and I will be moving to the state to fully to start a new life and get my own business after 10 years of service for the retirement home in Australia…. I will be staying in your apartment for a A YEAR or More.

I will be arriving the state on before 5th of september……Fortunately, I saw your advert and I am sincerely interested in the room as advertised I need answers to my 8 questions above as soon as possible so as to arrange for you to get the money prior for my arrival as the company I worked for before I quit wants to arrnage for the payment. As I will like to make an advance payment ahead my arrival so that you can be rest assured that this is real since I am not in the state presently.

If you think I will be a good roommate to you and you are interested in roomie with me kindly email me directly to my private email box at insertfreaknamehere@yahoo.com This is very important cos I don’t really upgrade my roommate account.

Thanks and have a good time.
Warmest Regards,
Peeking Through Your Windows At Night

??????

??—–Original Message—–
From: Cool Jesus
Sent: Tuesday, August 23, 2005 5:11 PM
To: Petro
Subject: RE: funny

??
??B/c I looked at his f-cking profile, dude
Shoe rack, indeed.
I will not even contact this Australian retard. I thought English was his third language judging by that shit.

—–Original Message—–
From: Petro
Sent: Tuesday, August 23, 2005 5:09 PM
To: Cool Jesus
Subject: RE: funny

??
??shoe rack? shopping mall?
why do you say a guy?
my answer is still no… regardless.

????
—–Original Message—–
??From: Cool Jesus??
To: Petro
Subject: RE: funny
23 Aug 2005 05:08 PM

It’s a guy, dude.

—–Original Message—–
From: Petro
Sent: Tuesday, August 23, 2005 5:07 PM
To: Cool Jesus
Subject: RE: funny

hot chick, though…possibly…australian? wait for the pic before you answer…i am very curious

—–Original Message—–
From: ??Cool Jesus
To: Petro
Subject: RE: funny
23 Aug 2005 ??05:04 PM

I am afraid to re-read it.

—–Original Message—–
From: Petro
Sent: Tuesday, August 23, 2005 5:03 PM
To: Cool Jesus
Subject: RE: funny

NO F’IN WAY!!!
I agree with you 100% – speechless
WOW
give me a min to read this again??

The Jazz Singer

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Last week the Future Mrs. Larby and I went to see Neil Diamond live and in concert at Madison Square Garden. It was a sight to behold. When he rose out of the stage — oh yes, he ascended out of the floor like a Phoenix rising from the ashes—you would have thought it was the early ‘90s and Patrick Ewing, Charles Oakley and John Starks were running up and down the basketball court. The Garden came alive. I mean, it thundered to the sound of Crunchy Granola Suite. It was out of this world. He looked good. He sounded good. The ladies in the audience were out of their skulls, hanging on every word and shivering with every sway of his hips. For one rockin’ song, I thought this was going to be a magical show. But for me, the thrill ended with the last note of the first tune.

Love on the Rocks, Coming to America, Sweet Caroline, Forever in Blue Jeans, Red Red Wine, Believer…he performed most of the hits. Unfortunately (okay, fortunately) E.T. didn’t make an appearance because there was no Turn on your Heart Light. And, much to my dismay (seriously) he didn’t sing Solitary Man or Girl, You’ll be a Woman Soon. In fact, let’s clarify things and say that the band played and Neil, well, he spoke, quasi-crooned, belted and yes, occasionally, sang his way through his catalog. At times he was a bad parody of himself. And at other times, I could see the twenty-something talent playing the coffee houses in Greenwich Village, before the sparkles and really bad hair took over. He spoke of his movie career and yet failed to mention Saving Silverman. Now come on! ANY time you share a screen with R. Lee Ermy should be the highlight of your career. Don’t shy away, Neil, you were brilliant!

But I have to hand it to him. This guy had every woman in the audience quivering. He even made out with an audience member. I kid you not. Neil was sprawled out on the floor at the edge of the stage and invited her over for a little longfellow serenade (another gem that he didn’t play). 30 seconds later they were still going at it! Crazy. I don’t know if she was planted or what, but he came off looking like the man. And who knows, maybe Neil Diamond is the Man and I just need to take him for what he is. But I was disappointed. It’s 2005, and at age 64 he’s doing all right for himself. But I prefer the 31 year old, on a Hot August Night, and that’s the way I’ll remember Neil…Forever in Blue Jeans, not as the Jazz Singer.

Wonka bars

Brandon and I went to see Willy Wonka a few weeks ago, in Times Square at the AMC 25, hands down best movie theater ever. It’s got great roomy seating where the seats really lean back. It’s stories and stories high. And you can go outside onto balconies that overlook Times Sq. Atomsphere, digital, surround sound, roomy. Nuff said.

How cool is it that we can hop on a bus right outside our house and be in Times Sq in 15 minutes?

Across the street from the AMC is a Loews. Next door is Madame Toussaud’s wax museum. And a million flashing lights and huge ad screens and people and noise and sheer crazy mayhem. Lots of tourists too, all of us.

On to Johnny. I’ve always loved him. His work. His personality. His looks. He appeals to me on so many levels from the types of roles he plays, always on the fringe or edge. But he just continues to impress.

Sure I can’t compare this Willy Wonka to the original. I mean I’m not 10 anymore. The first Wonka came out in 1971. I was born in ’78. Does that mean I grew up with Charlie and the amazing chocolate factory? Certainly. As far back as I can remember it was one of my favorite movies, and it has remained so. I’ve seen it countless times. That and the Goonies. We made my mom rent it every week. I’ll never know why she didn’t just buy it as she spent a small fortune renting that movie. Every Friday, we would go to the movie store and we could get anything. Week after week, we chose the Goonies. We were addicted. It was our time down here with the truffle shuffle.

So I don’t think you can really compare the two, and honestly they please in ways that the other fails so its all good.

Veruca Salt’s extreme brattiness was so fresh in the original. Who ever heard of a schnozberry? Perfect. I love when they lick the wall and its candy. I also love the 3-course meal scene. Violet you’re turning Violet.

The special effects in the new one add a new level of coolness. And I think the creep in Depp’s Wonka works well. But who can beat Gene Wilder’s singsong Wonka? Anything you want to, do it. Want to change the world? There’s nothing to it…

Any Tim Burton movie will be visually stunning. Eye candy. And I think Depp fits with that, with his chameleon abilities.

The audience seemed to like Burton’s take on the Oompa Loompahs. Personally, I was a bit disappointed. To much spoof for the laughs, for my tastes. Kinda chintzy.

But there were some nice touches. Like when all the kids leave the factory and they’re irrevocably, magically changed.

What continues to impress me about Johnny Depp is the range of his roles and how he always morphs himself to the role. Certainly, I picked up various elements of his former selves in Wonka, a little Scissorhands, a bit Hunter S.

Every time I see him, it’s in a movie I enjoy. Edward Scissorhands. Fear and Loathing. Chocolat. Cry Baby (don’t laugh). Benny and Joon. Sleepy Hollow. Blow. From Hell. Pirates. Finding Neverland, which I just saw and was so touching. I look forward for more to come.

Brooklyn Bound

I know. I know. You’re gonna say what Brandon said last night when I got home at 1 a.m, “You’ve really got to stop doing that.” That being the fact I ended up in the inferno of the wrong subway station on the wrong island in – you guessed it – Brooklyn.

How I got there’s not really important. Just take an unmarked train at 11 p.m. in Soho and you’ll find yourself expressed off to somewhere far, far away. I had just wanted to get one stop closer to WTC and therefore the PATH to Hoboken. Instead, I got a ride over the Brooklyn Bridge and then it passed quite a few stops over there before finally stopping.

Thankfully, I wasn’t the only unlucky traveler to find themselves expressed off to Brooklyn. My two trusty companions helped ease the pain of the sweltering heat, which was severely dampering my evening’s buzz. Or at least my head was starting to buzz in the heat.

The dark-haired woman from Texas first said to me they worked in “Immigration”, for the government… for Homeland Security she whispered. The gov’t has brought lots of out-of-state employees in to help New York agencies catch up, as they’re 5 years behind. How nice. They’re helping them catch up on paperwork.

The gov’t pays their regular salaries, plus all living expensives — with maid service to boot. And plenty of opportunity for overtime, paid overtime. Where do I sign up?

I found it somehow reassuring that Homeland Security was lost with me in the NYC subway system. Don’t you?

I learn something new here everyday. Last night I learned to just take a cab to the PATH. It’s cheap and it would have saved me 90 minutes of my life. And if you thought that a NYC subway station is hotter than hell, you should try waiting for the PATH train at 9th St. 120 ° of hot, heavy heat. When the wind blows down the tunnel, you feel how it is to be roasted in an oven.

In the Ghetto

After work yesterday, I had to make a quick run to the supermarket.  Actually, to call it a supermarket is far too complimentary.  This is strictly a grocery store.  A ghetto one, at that.  Nothing super about it, except for the fact that it is home to Quincy’s first Starbucks.  Sure, there is a newer, nicer, bigger second Starbucks a mile away, but the one at the ghetto Star Market will always be the first.  The Starbucks in the Star Market is like a too-good-to-be-true oasis.  You forget where you are until you turn around and instantly feel like you’ve been cast in Good Times.  Dy-no-mite?  Not exactly.

I keep it real and shop at this ghetto grocery store most of the time, but only because it’s right down my street and I’m often too lazy to drive the extra 2.5 miles to the glorious Super (and yes, it is super) Stop & Shop.  Also, the Star Market is adjacent to the Brooks Pharmacy, complete with full beer, wine, and liquor selection and home of the overly tanned, but friendly older cashier I have mentioned before.

Well I thought I was keeping it real by shopping at this blue collar, ghetto grocery store until I met Mr. Mouthwash last night.  As I exited the store and was walking to my car, I saw a middle-aged man in front of me rear back and take a vicious swig of something.  I mean, he nearly gave himself whiplash.  I glanced over at his left hand to see his spirit of choice.  At first, I thought my eyes were deceiving me, but I looked again and sure enough it was Listerine.  Citrus flavored Listerine in that unmistakable bottle.  But, hey, who am I to judge the difference between $5.00 Listerine and $15.00 Schnapps?  Mr. Mouthwash was just keeping it real.

Searching

So, I was poking through some of the search terms that people use to get to the site. So many Arrested Development references, I love it!

Top Search Terms that people used to get to The Diatribe:
August: “Buster Boys Linuses” – My Personal Favorite. Go Ahead, type it into Google.

July: “Digital Casserole”
June: “Bonnaroo Backroads”
May: “dsm-iv never-nudes”

And 1 person came to diatribe searching for Dougie’s Going Deep. And in honor of that one person, I give you this fantastic link: A day in the life of Doug Mirabelli.

Hey, Even the Sox Were Down 0-3, Right?

A couple of weeks ago, I was desperate for an afternoon snack and my desk supply had run out, so I hit up the office vending machine.  Considering the mark-up on those things, I thought $0.60 for some Goldfish wasn’t so bad.  I love Goldfish.  Love them.  My tastebuds are experiencing a whole renaissance with them that I usually enjoy every ten years or so.  As soon as I begin to get sick of them, I drop them like a bad habit and wait for the urge to strike again in ten years.  I got back to my desk, opened the bag, and popped a couple in my mouth, only to think, ‘wait a second, these don’t taste right.’  Sure enough, the freshness date had been one year prior.  Yummy.  Machine: 1;  Cool Jesus: 0.

The next week, I was thirsty for a cold, refreshing caffeinated beverage, so I offered up my $0.60 (everything in that godforsaken vending machine is $0.60) for a Coca-Cola.  The can had some soda residue on it, didn’t fizz when I opened it, was kind of on the warm side, and kind of on the flat side.  Not very cold and not very refreshing.  Somehow, the machine had been unplugged and some cans exploded both inside the machine, as well as on a co-worker or two.  I was told by some that I should consider myself lucky that I at least got a can I could drink.  I wasn’t buying it.  Machine: 2;  Cool Jesus: 0.

Today, I dropped in my $0.60 to get a ginger ale to go with lunch.  This time, the machine decided to merely eat my money and not distribute a tasty, cold, refreshing beverage.  Seeing as how this antique vending machine doesn’t have a coin dispensing slot, I had to enact drastic measures.  I could see the next ginger ale can inside guarded by a flimsy piece of plastic.  I used a pair of scissors to try to push it down, but ended up puncturing the can instead.  Hey, at least the amount of ginger ale that sprayed in my face was cold and refreshing.  I tried convincing myself that I wanted water all along.  I wasn’t buying it.  Machine: 3;  Cool Jesus: 0.