Birthday Wishes

I just want to take a moment to make send a very special birthday wish out to the lovely Miss Possible. Who, despite all of our issues with a certain piece of jewelry, is still my loving Fiancee who I care for so much.

Happy Birthday Little Monks.

Finally!


It’s about damn time. Tomorrow is the 31st of July, and let me say that I can’t wait. I’m not going to go on the record and say that this was the worst July of my life — because I think that’s certainly reserved for the tragic July 1990 when I found myself driving an ATV straight into a barbed wire fence. That July is certainly going to take the cake for the worst on record.

This month has been pretty stressful and I have to say that I firmly believe that it has been a result of Mercury in Retrograde. Without going into any obvious details, I just want to welcome the month of August with open arms.

I look forward to the adventures that await during the coming month, and bid a fond farewell to July and all its mind-changing nonsense.

The things people do..


Unbelieveable. I remember back in college there was a group of guys that had an intermural sports team called “Team Glade.” I had nothing to do with it, believe me.. but they were big into “huffing” Glade (the aerosol polish) to get high.

Why? To this day I’m still not quite sure. But this is the latest in teenage drug antics — Mothballs.

CNN reports:
The teenagers had been using the mothballs to get high, inhaling air from the bag for about 10 minutes a day because classmates had recommended it. The sicker of the young women also had been chewing half a mothball a day for two months.

I don’t know how this could be considered fun.. I can’t stand the smell of mothballs, let alone fathom the idea of chewing on one? Disgusting.

On an unrelated note.. I happened to come across this story on Yahoo News about a stripper from New Jersey facing criminal charges after police found a severed hand and six human skulls in her home. The best part of the story is that it takes place in the lovely Union, NJ.

Ripped off and pissed off

I may not have mentioned this before, but Swedish Girl has a penchant for cheap eats. Don’t get me wrong, she loves fine dining, but she’s strangely fond of dives like IHOP. I’ve tried to put my foot down several times, but we keep finding ourselves at IHOP. The one in my old neighborhood is filled with thugs, punks, crying babies, angry waitresses, annoyed patrons, and after sitting in maple syrup for the last time, I think I’m safe from ever having to go back there. But that only means more trips to Bickford’s! Yeah for me. While in my old neighborhood yesterday, Swedish Girl had a hankering for breakfast and we found ourselves in a marginally more civilized version of IHOP.

We walked in to find the place empty, save for one table of diners, so I thought we were in good shape. I couldn’t have been more wrong. The teenage waitress, Marie, was a nightmare. From the opening bell, we were in for trouble. The glass of water she brought Swedish Girl had some black specks in it. Strike 1. I encouraged Swedish Girl to ask for another glass. Afterall, why put up with that nonsense, right? Next, she brought my sandwich without the fries that come with it. Strike 2. It took me 10 minutes to get that rectified. Then, the cranberry sauce (Cool Jesus can’t live without cranberry sauce, soy sauce, and garlic powder) was left off my hot turkey sandwich. Strike 3. That was a quick fix, but her spit might have been consealed within. Once all this was taken care of, I had to ask for my raspberry iced tea that I had ordered 25 minutes earlier. Strike 4. With each request, this girl was getting more and more exasperated. And that’s putting it kindly. Her short “okay” retorts were sufficiently vicious. “Can I get anything else for you?” No, Marie, you’ve done quite enough already.

I won’t really call this strike 5, but Marie put so much whipped cream on Swedish Girl’s strawberry pancakes, that one would have thought that Swedish Girl requested extra, extra, super duper, keep it coming whipped cream. I asked her to scoop all the excess right onto the table so Marie would have to clean it up, but she wouldn’t do it. Eventually, we finished our food, Marie’s spit and all, and got the check. By my calculations, lovely Marie overcharged us by over $5. Strike 5. Taking my life into my hands, I brought this to Marie’s attention and asked her to double-check it for me. My stupid error was to also leave the money on the table, which she grabbed, returned with our “change,” and told me she was right all along. I should have pressed further, but I backed down. I regret it still. We should have left no tip or a teeny tiny tip, since she already pocketed a sweet tip by overcharging us, but I broke down and left a borderline standard tip (a shade less than 15%, but if you factor in what she stole from us, she made out with over 40%).

We couldn’t approach the manager, because he looked to be no more than a couple of years older than Marie, in addition to looking pretty chummy with her. We knew he’d side with her. I regret not leaving a pocket change tip, but I had the opening sequence from Reservoir Dogs racing through my head, not to mention The Incident. Cool Jesus has zero luck with waitresses. Thanks for letting me rant. I’m off to Arbie’s!

Some Weekend Fun

Looking for some fun this weekend? I’ve got just the thing.. I happened to find this post on Wired’s Table of Malcontents and had to share. It’s a collection of Big Lebowski Mashups. Not familiar with a Mashup? It’s a creature of the new Web 2.0’s information sharing, where two seperate types of content are combined to form a new one (Wikipedia definition).

In this particular case, it’s a list of cartoons or other videos that have been edited with the Big Lebowski soundtrack. If your familiar with the film, you’ll probably know that this is not safe for work if you don’t have headphones.. the vulgarities are plenty — and I’m not talking about what happens when you find a stranger in the alps.

I had no idea there were so many Big Lebowski mash-ups lurking out there on the Web, but a few intimate moments with YouTube have corrected my ignorance. A number of people have taken various animated icons, opened up their adorable little throats, and shoved the profane words of the movie's characters right in there. We've got Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, He-Man, Eiken, My Little Pony, Rocko's Modern Life, Monsters Inc., and someone's homemade bunny version.

And for those who find all this animation childish, there's the version edited down to a single swear word, repeated over and over.

Enjoy!

A Row Yo

While working out at the gym last night, I happened to glance up at one of the TV’s and watch a bit of the Met-Reds game. I noticed that Bronson Arroyo was starting for the Reds and found myself excited to see him pitch again.

I would never consider myself a Reds fan, but watching Bronson I was immediately rooting for them. It’s a damn shame that the Sox traded him — especially for Wily Mo Pena — but I’m glad he’s doing so well in the NL.

I generally have no opinion about former Sox players (unless they go to the Yankees, of course) — but I have to admit that I’m a Bronson fan. He’s definitely a fan of the spotlight and while I would probably never buy one of his albums, I just might consider buying a car.

Journal Square, a Mecca of sorts

Having my office located in the beautiful Journal Square area of Jersey City, I see many a strange sight each day. One thing I’ve noticed over the past year is the amount of religious missionaries there are in the area.

Most mornings there’s some random woman belting out fanatical Christian verses from the bible screaming about how we’re all sinners and going to Hell. She’s harmless and and never does anything more than scream — so I usually just ignore her in my hurried rush to get to the office.

The lunch hour is reserved for my “favorite” religious missionaries — the Jews for Jesus. If you live in the New York City area, and you haven’t been locked in your house for the past few weeks, you’ve no doubt seen the teams of green-shirt-wearing missionaries handing out their pamphlets. They must be hurting for new recruits, as their latest efforts have littered the city with their advertisments.

By the time I’m heading home from work, the Mormons have taken over the square and are often debating religious texts with the locals. Some days they have books, other days it’s pamphlets, today they even had a large painting that looked like the Last Supper, except with Native Americans. I just continue my journey to the PATH Train, iPod blaring.

Fridays during the summer the it’s hard to go five feet without seeing a Jehovah’s Witness. They’re not trying to scout out new recruits, but rather have a religious retreat somewhere in the area, where each friday hundreds of people with name tags take over the square.

I wonder if there’s a signup sheet of some kind, as it’s strange that I’ve never seen any of these groups in the square together at the same time. It’d be interesting to bring them all together and watch as they debated and tried to recruit each other. I guess I never realized what a hotbed of religious debate Journal Square actually is…

Breaking News

This just heard on NPR — According to a recent study by the US Government telecommuting is on the rise as a result of 9/11 and other risks.

Inc. adds there’s a resurgence in telecommuting, which was popular immediately after 9/11. Analysts expect the ranks of telecommuters to grow well past ten million by 2009. Source.

This isn’t good news for Matty Ballgame.

Horoscopes

For quite some time I used to be a huge fan of Rob Brezney’s for Horoscopes. I’d send them out to friends on a weekly basis, and found them remarkably accurate. Something has happened over the past few years, however, and I’ve found Rob’s insights slightly less accurate.

Last month during the midst of a particularly trying and confusing period in our lives, Miss Possible brought her favorite horoscope site to my attention. Without going into any detail, as I’d prefer to leave all that out — I found AstrologyZone’s Horoscopes to be incredibly accurate down to the day.

The same holds true for this month, so far.. now, here’s where I begin to question — does believing in a horoscope only further perpetuate it’s truthfulness? Are they just vague statements about any particular person’s potential path that anyone can read into it and find truth? I doubt it. At least not the long analysis that AstrologyZone makes for each month.

I recommend taking a look at their site and checking out their horoscopes — as it’s fairly insightful. If you find any specific truths feel free to leave a comment, as I’m intrigued to see how accurate they are for other people out there.

The Latest in Shaving Technology

A topic of frequent discussion amongst the readers and contributors of the Diatribe has been shaving technology. Some feel that the advancements made by Gillette have been earth-shattering, while others feel that the Schick Tracer (circa 1998) is still the best shaver on the market.

This past weekend I bought the latest Gillette Razor (The Fusion Power). Now, the key that Gillette has learned is that not only can you charge more for the cartridges if you add more blades, but you also must include new features in the cartridges in order to entice buyers into the product. Adding a fourth blade to the Mach 3, just ain’t gonna cut it.

This time the addition was a single blade on the back side of the razor that makes it particularly easy to trim sideburns, around the nose or the corners of your mouth. The four blades also make it a lot closer and cleaner of a shave — which I wasn’t particularly expecting.

And for those of you that have not yet switched to the battery-operated razors, I can’t recommend them enough. The buzz and vibration makes it nearly painless to trim up even the most serious stubble. I can’t speak to the ability of trimming goatee’s or other facial hair designs, but I will tell you that the single blad will certainly make it much easier to groom something like that.

So, I’d have to say, that while making the step to the new Fusion cost about $10 and will cost about $15 for a package of new cartridges.. I think it’s worth it considering how close of a shave I got today. Just my two cents.