What’s the Deal With That?

In the spirit of the Seinfeld banter going on between “Cosmo” and I (below), I have to say, “what’s the deal with pants shopping?”  I had what I thought was a very simple assignment last Friday night:  go to Men’s Wearhouse to buy a pair of black slacks.  I hadn’t owned a regular pair of black pants in years and I needed a pair for an affair which I had to attend the next evening.  I proceded to bounce around to no less than half a dozen stores, but at no point was I more in danger of being dragged out of the mall by a plastic cop in a Smokey the Bear hat than when I was browsing in Banana Republic.

Apparently, the Republic likes to keep their trouser prices a secret.  Or maybe they think the thrill of the chase only enhances one’s shopping experience, like a scavenger hunt.  I nearly tore a pair of pants to shreds when I couldn’t find the price tag.  I’m tensing up just reliving that moment.

Hmmm…these aren’t bad.  How much do they cost?  Is the price printed on this tag hanging down in front?  No, that’s not it.

Is it printed on this little envelope here?  No, that’s where the spare buttons go.  Is it hidden inside the little button envelope?  No, good try, though.

Is it tucked into the hip pockets?  No.  Back pockets?  Wrong again.

If you have to remove the pants from the hanger and rifle through them just to find the price, there’s a problem.  Since I nearly fell over when I finally did find the price, maybe Banana Republic’s (and about a handful other stores’) point is that if you have to look, you can’t afford them.  I will now be accepting applications for a personal assistant – just don’t reveal my pants size to the paparazzi.


The Barometer

Perhaps the best barometer of when a relationship makes that leap is when one or both members of a couple feel close enough to ask their mate if they have anything in their teeth.  This is, of course, followed by a big flash of teeth and a close inspection by the trusted mate.  There is a time at the beginning of a relationship when both members of a couple eat, keep their mouths mostly closed until they can steal away to the rest room to check in the mirror, and then return and commence talking.  That kind of etiquette is nice, but I think being able to show your spinach-laden teeth is also nice in its own way.  It means you’re at that point in coupledom where you know you will not be shunned for having half a pork chop stuck in your canines.  Now, if someone asks you this on the first date and does actually have something in his/her teeth, I’d skip the coffee and dessert and head home…alone.


So, you might notice something a little different about The Diatribe today. That’s right, I’ve gone and added some ads to the site. Now, I’m not trying to make a profit, it’s actually a research project that I’m working on.

Frankly, I don’t intend to make more than a few cents here or there, but what I actually find more entertaining is the fact that all of the ads are for Jesus Christ or some such nonsense. That’s more entertaining than anything, I think.

In any event… I don’t expect them to be around for too long (though you never can tell) — so please don’t start bashing me about them. Over the next few weeks or so, you might see them move about.. don’t panic. I’m just playing around trying to see what can and can’t be done, and how their tags work.

I hereby openly promise to share the revenues made with all of the authors on The Diatribe — I’m not trying to run away with a profit.

First the Captain, Now Cool Jesus, and Soon to Be LTJ’s Turn

Last year I gave Captain Larby a hard time for “abandoning” The Diatribe.  Sure, he was waist deep in wedding planning, but I thought that was a cheap excuse.  Now I know how right he was and how wrong I was.  Swedish Girl and I are marrying on Saturday and by most comparisons, our wedding is intimate and casual.  But that in no way means it is neat and tidy.  I have horror stories regarding reservation snafus, clothing errors, and a slew of relationships to repair.  Contrary to my belief, small does not equal easy.  I owe the Captain an apology.  As you can see, I have been an infrequent contributor to The Diatribe lately.  I haven’t forgotten about y’all, believe me.  I’ve barely had time to remember to breath, let alone compile a semi-entertaining thought for our faithful readers.

My life has been non-stop for a couple of months now.  I don’t usually get to sit down and catch my breath until bedtime.  But the hard part is done and I’m looking forward to Saturday…that is, if anyone is still speaking to me.  I don’t recommend planning a wedding in under two months.  It can be done, but at a price.  I have a few more white hairs, a few less pounds (not complaining), and some nice dark circles under my eyes. 

I’ll be back to The Diatribe in earnest before long.  Afterall, we’re going to have to pick up the slack for Brother LTJ.  I may have brushed off Larby’s reasons as mere excuses, but now I know better.

A prediction

I’m not going to go out and put the current US equivilant of $1,000 on the line or anything.. but walking through the city the other day I saw a Virgin MegaStore advertising an a CD sale.

Why do I feel as though it’s quite possible that I will have to explain to my kids that, “Yes, believe it or not, they used to have stores that sold music.”

Pop goes the question

For quite some time now Miss Possible and I have been discussing our future and marriage. We’ve gone ring shopping, surfed the net for ideas, etc.. After getting a good idea of what she wanted, I was able to go to a small jeweler in Hoboken to custom-design a similar ring to Tiffany’s example that she had found — making a few adjustments to the stones, etc. Fortunately for me, the jeweler opened at 6am, which allowed me to leave for work a few minutes early and conduct all the business in the morning — so that MP was unaware that anything had been done.

Over the course of this month time, I struggled come up with the appropriate time and place to do this ceremonial presentation — as she had been expecting to receive the ring during our two-week camping trip next month. As it later turns out, she had even ruled out this expectation as she had thought that I had made no progress in terms of the ring at all. In order to surprise her, I had to come up with another adventure in which I could propose.
Continue reading Pop goes the question

I got that OCD

Okay, so I’m obsessive-compulsive.  I can’t deny it.  Although I have to ask Captain Larby if the fact that I know about my OCD means that I’m not that far gone.  I can’t recall exact pecadillos, but I’m sure I must have exhibited some OCD behavior in my college days, too.  At first, it was often in the back of my mind that Larby would be sizing me up as fodder for his Psych papers.  I don’t have to wash my hands 10 consecutive times or touch the door knob 100 times with my left pinky knuckle before I can leave my apartment.  But I’ll share with you one facet of my OCD…

The weather up here in New England has been cold, gray, and rainy for a week now.  I broke down and wore a sweater today.  I thought that I was saved from wearing this thing until November, but I found myself pulling it out of my closet this morning without so much as a quick inspection.  Anyway, here I am at my desk at work and I’ve been picking the pills and fuzzes off this fucking thing for over a half hour.  I started picking them off while still wearing the sweater, but then I could see more little fuzzies around the back, so I had to remove the sweater and proceed to clean it off unencumbered.

I don’t put clothing such as this in the dryer for fear of shrinkage, so I end up with this pill & fuzz problem.  These are impervious to lint brushes (but you already knew I had a lint brush, I’m sure).  I had to get rid of a couple of old blankets I used to put on my bed because I’d spend nearly an hour removing pills and fuzzes that I could feel as I scanned my hand over the blanket.  Then I’d end up with a mountain range of colored fuzzies on the floor, so I’d have to get out of bed to pick them up.  It was not exactly the restful bedtime experience one longs for.  But I now use only bed clothes that do not accumulate such demonic bumps.

It took me longer than usual to type up this diatribe, but I think I’ve gotten most of the fuzzies off my sweater.  Now what?  Ah, yes, I think I’ll liberate my desk with that air duster.  Please excuse me.

More death and destruction

It seems as though we highlight the negative things in these “Today in History” events.. but I guess those are typically the most memorable and the most reported. So, in a meme to Cool Jesus, I give you.. This Day in History.

Today is Thursday, May 11, the 131st day of 2006. There are 234 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:
Twenty-five years ago, on May 11, 1981, legendary reggae artist Bob Marley died in a Miami hospital at age 36.

On this date:

  • In 1647, Peter Stuyvesant arrived in New Amsterdam to become governor.
  • In 1858, Minnesota became the 32nd state of the Union.
  • In 1904, surrealist artist Salvador Dali was born in Figueras, Spain.
  • In 1910, Glacier National Park in Montana was established.
  • In 1943, during World War II, U.S. forces landed on the Aleutian island of Attu, which was held by the Japanese; the Americans took the island 19 days later.
  • In 1944, Allied forces launched a major offensive against German lines in Italy.
  • In 1946, the first CARE packages arrived in Europe, at Le Havre, France.
  • In 1949, Israel was admitted to the United Nations as the world body’s 59th member.
  • In 1973, charges against Daniel Ellsberg for his role in the “Pentagon Papers” case were dismissed by Judge William M. Byrne, who cited government misconduct.
  • In 1985, 55 people died when a flash fire swept a jam-packed soccer stadium in Bradford, England.
  • Ten years ago: An Atlanta-bound ValuJet DC-9 caught fire shortly after takeoff from Miami and crashed into the Florida Everglades, killing all 110 people on board.

    Five years ago: Attorney General John Ashcroft delayed Timothy McVeigh’s execution from May 16 to June 11 because of FBI mishandling of documents. A jury in Pittsburgh sentenced Richard Baumhammers to death for killing five people in a racially motivated shooting rampage. Miss Puerto Rico Denise Quinones August was crowned Miss Universe. Douglas Adams, author of “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,” died in Santa Barbara, Calif., at age 49.

    One year ago: Shouting “Death to America!” more than 1,000 demonstrators rioted and threw stones at a U.S. military convoy in Afghanistan, as protests spread over a Newsweek report that interrogators had desecrated Islam’s holy book at the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay. (Newsweek later apologized for what it termed errors in the article.) Actor Macaulay Culkin took the stand at Michael Jackson’s trial to denounce the molestation allegations against the pop star as “absolutely ridiculous.”

    Today’s Birthdays: Comedian Mort Sahl is 79. Rock singer Eric Burdon (The Animals; War) is 65. Actress Shohreh Aghdashloo is 54. Actress Frances Fisher is 54. Actor Boyd Gaines is 53. Country musician Mark Herndon (Alabama) is 51. Actress Martha Quinn is 47. Actress Natasha Richardson is 43. Country singer-musician Tim Raybon (The Raybon Brothers) is 43. Actor Coby Bell is 31. Weblog Author Brandon Seils is 28. Actor Austin O’Brien is 26. Actor Jonathan Jackson is 24.

    Thought for Today: “No idea is so antiquated that it was not once modern. No idea is so modern that it will not someday be antiquated.” — Ellen Glasgow, American author (1874-1945).

A first visit to The House

Last night was my first experience visiting “The House that Ruth Built,” also known as Yankee Stadium. Upon arriving at the game, I took one look around and realized that this must be some sort of hell. All the thousands of people wearing pinstripes, yankees hats, t-shirts and other garb, really made my stomach turn.

Our seats were way up in the rafters, right behind home plate.. climbing so high, with such steep seats really made you realize how far up you really are. Really a great view of the entire field and game.. I could see every Error that A-rod made.

The game was a dream come true for any sox fan as well.. watching the Johnson and the rest of the crew fall apart.. priceless. By the sixth inning, I really felt like I was on the confederate army.. watching all the yanks head for the hills.. the place cleared out so unbeleiveably fast, it was ridiculous.. and the fans? Relentless. I’ve never heard such heckling as Randy Johnson departed the mound after his horrible outing. Or the boos coming from the stands as Cabrera came up to bat after dropping a fly ball the inning before.

All in all, it was a great experience.. especially considering the victory.. all this, and I get to go back tomorrow. HOW EXCITING!

Thing my mother does _not_ want for Mother’s day

For some reason there’s been a big push this year for Mother’s day gifts that are not really suited for mothers.. I don’t quite understand, but here’s a list of things that I’ve been recommended to give my mom for mothers day — that I can guarantee she does not want:

It’s amazing how much crap they try to market to people to buy on Mother’s day.. Most of which, the majority of mother’s out there probably don’t want.