Category Archives: Diatribe 1.0

All diatribe’s written prior to the Wordpress Upgrade in December 2005.

Punkins and other goodies


Last night, MP and I ventured on a trip back to our childhood.. Well, maybe her childhood, I did this just a few years ago. Anyway, we carved pumpkins. While I think she neglected to remember how much cleaning and de-gunking there was involved in the whole carving process, she managed to make one of the scariest pumpkins I’ve seen. A co-worker actually asked me if she was a KISS fan — to which I answered “uhhh… no.” Mine is the messed up ‘scary’ tree which isn’t so scary, and doesn’t look that much like a tree.

Things that are getting on my nerves as of late:

I cannot wait until WNYC ends their pledge drive. I’ve given them money.. I think it’s the first time I’ve ever considered making a pledge for public broadcasting. It felt good. Now let’s get back to the programming. It’s been going on (for what seems like) years!

I absolutely detest CNN’s newest temporary anchor. Every morning for the last 5 years I’ve watched CNN’s morning show. I’ve always loved the cast: Jack Cafferty (wherever he has gone), Miles O’Brien, Soledad O’Brien (no relation), Anderson Cooper (yes, he started on CNN AM), Bill Hemmer (another MIA), Paula Zahn (the one who started it all), Sanjay Gupta, Chad Myers, Andy Sewer (minding your business!) and Jefferey Toobin (on law). Every once in a while someone will go on vacation, which will lead to someone filling it. Usually this filler-inner is a future host of the show (at least from what I’ve seen).. But, this new person Zain something-or-other is horrible. She’s driving me nuts. She flirts with everyone on the show, and makes stupid side-remarks at everything that is said. I can’t stand it. CNN — TAKE HER AWAY!

Yesterday I went to go buy a cookie at the weekly Journal Square Farmer’s market. After giving the nice lady $1.50 for my Hamentaschen (yes, they have them there year round — strange), a woman comes out of nowhere and askes me “Can I please have a dollar.” I’ve got my wallet in my hand, and she’s seen my 3 singles that I have. What am I supposed to say? Next time: No. Definitely not. Sorry. I don’t care. This time: Umm.. yeah, I guess (with a sigh, and a disgruntled look towards the woman selling me my Jewish treat). Since when is it acceptable to ask for a dollar. I thought it was “Can you spare some change?!” Since when is a dollar “Change.”

Things that have made me happy as of late:

Flickr now supports print ordering. Now you can go and order 4×6’s of any Flickr photo (including my own), for just 20 cents! Not only that, for $16.99 you can order a 20 pack of stamps with that photo on it. About time!!!

A new video from Grandaddy (a band that I found at Bonnaroo) filmed entirely on an Apple II computer. Excellent.

Guinness – for strength

So, while I haven’t had anything substantial to post (besides snakes and snakes biting off people’s dale sveum’s and other nonsense) .. I figured I’d continue with that trend. Posting nonsense is better than not posting — right?

Rumor has it, we’re supposed to be getting a Northeastern. It’s been coming up the coast, and it just started raining here in NJ this evening. How exciting!

The heat has kicked in, and my slippers are on. Summer is over. (How not exciting).

But finally, they’ve aired this new commercial in England for Guinness. I find it very exciting!

(All this — and I was still able to adjust my periodic scripts using Tiger’s launchd plist’s to perform maintenance at a more appropriate time, and repair all of my disk permissions without having to do anything! HOW EXCITING!)

Being Subservient

One of the most amazing Internet Marketing campaigns ever launched has got to be the Subservient Chicken. For those of you unfamiliar with this famous chicken, it’s a Burger King “ad” for their chicken sandwhich (which was new at the time of launch, now — not so much).

Either way, it’s amazingly clever. I just thought I’d have to share with everyone, in the event that you’re unfamiliar with our friend the chicken. Now, if you’d like to talk about Burger King’s latest marketing campaign &emdash; The King.. Well, let’s just say that he’s the pretty damn scary.

Meanwhile, I just found that you can buy the King Mask or a Subservient chicken mask online. Unfortunately the King is sold out, otherwise I’d most definitely wear it out on Halloween. But the Web site, is absolutely out of control. Captain / CJ &emdash; I highly recommend it. Link.

More Things that go slither in the toilet

So, thanks to my loving mother — I’m definitely no longer using any toilet facilities. I realized a day or so ago that I had posted my UK snake item under Miss Possible’s name.. but of course, it’s yours truly that has the incredible fear of the specific reptile variety.

In any event, I thought I’d follow up and share — that there are snakes here in NJ Toilets. If it was Lousianana or Michigan or St. Peterburg, Florida.. I wouldn’t care. But here in New Jersey? Oy.

Six-Foot Snake Makes Toilet Home

New York is the city of…

They say New York is the city of cities, too small to be a country, too large to be a town. The city of possibilities. The city of everything. The city of right angles and tough, damaged people. The city of wakeful dreaming, fortunate accidents, random meetings and sudden engagements. New York is the city of the 20th century.

I have to admit that I haven’t experienced much of this yet. But alas, this is the world according to Google and so NYC according to The Muse Hotel, Amazon, New York Safety and Survival Guide, Lyrics007, the Michigan Land Use Institute, all and all a motley crue (fine, it’s really crew, but I can’t help one 80s reference in this entry).

Of course, what I have experienced is that New York is the city of smokers, and more specifically walking smokers.

LTJ and I were recently discussing this phenomenon. No where have I seen more people walking and smoking than in NYC. They are everywhere at all times of day, but most annoyingly on the way into work.

My morning pace could be described as just one notch below running. I weave through the jammed sidewalks and subway stations like a race car driver on the edge, willing to do anything to reach the finish line first. People who think they are walking fast in the tunnel between Port Authority and Times Sq drop their jaw in disbelief when I breeze past them on the left quickly darting into the oncoming melee to slide back into my lane just in time to avoid a head on collison. No joke.

There is a fine art to the New York commute and most mornings I am on my game. There are only a few things that can gum up the works:

1) People parked in the fast lane: Yes, New York is full of tourists and none of them seem to realize that the left lane is the fast lane and if you are either slow or stopped you better get in the right OR ELSE. This rule applies to escalators, subway tunnels and sidewalks.

2) People with broken tail lights who pull the e-brake: Do not stop immediately after a turnstile, escalator, subway door, or subway platform. Not only is this extremely frustrating, it can also lead to serious accidents. Wake up people!

3) Inconsiderate riders who enter the train while people are still exiting: This is also very dangerous. In fact, one time the subway doors closed on me while I was trying to exit because people pushed me in while entering. I had to force the doors open to escape and it left black marks on me. NYC subway waits for no one!

4) Walking smokers: As I previously mentioned, I walk as fast as possible to work. One of the worst things is getting stuck behind a smoker. Not only am I breathing in lungfuls of air, they are full of smoke. I’m seriously starting to think that banning smoking from the streets wouldn’t be such a bad idea.

Gosh, why do I always write about commuting? Anyone?

You Can Try But You Can’t Divide the Tri

When I was Captain Larby’s original college roommate, my musical tastes tried his patience.  To his credit, he kept his critiques to himself.  He seemed to be okay with hearing The Doors several times a day, every day.  He put up with Green Day, The Cranberries, The Police, and even the Aladdin soundtrack.  It was only years later that he let it slip how my incessant playing of a Best of Frank Sinatra CD nearly drove him crazy.  I was probably a bit more vocal at the time about how I didn’t really want Phish to be the soundtrack of my life. 

While he bit his tongue, he set out on a mission to convert me, or at least get me to play something he would also enjoy.  There was old 70s David Bowie, there was jazz and funk, there was Pink Floyd, and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young (my favorite among Larby’s conversion music.  But sometime in the winter of 1996, something happened that not only got us on the same page, but our whole floor, the whole dorm, and the entire campus.  The Score by Fugees. 

That was just about all we played for months.  We memorized lyrics and acted out the two thugs in the Chinese retaurant skit.  We ate The Score, we drank The Score, we breathed The Score, we lived The Score, and we debated its significance in the hip-hop canon.  It became the soundtrack for our freshman year and it had the power to bridge the summer break and last into the beginning of our sophomore year.  We couldn’t wait for more material from Fugees. 

That was nine years ago.  Sometime around 1998 or 1999, we all resigned ourselves to the fact that we were unlikely to be treated to another Fugees record ever again.  We just wanted more Fugees to make us feel young.  To make us feel like we did when we were 19.  It was like a time machine.  In fact, I didn’t actually purchase The Score until about a year or year and a half ago.  It still called out to me from the record store.  It is a link to a shared past that I’ll never get back again, but I’ll never forget either.

Today is a glorious day.  Today, I read that Fugees are back together and 2006 will bring their long-awaited follow-up album.  Captain Larby understands where I’m coming from.  Matty Ballgame, Dr. Doop, DJ Cornbread, Sean K., Sarko G., and The Monkey might even have an inkling.  Dr. Little, if you’re out there, you definitely hear me.

New York State of Mind

I don’t know if I can handle this.  Last night was nerve-shredding enough (fucking Catalanotto!!!), but my stomach is already turning inside out just thinking about tonight.  This weekend could either be glorious or tumultuous.  Will Monday, October 3 feel like that Friday in October 2003 after Aaron Boone’s series winner?  Was 2004 just a brief respite from our generations-long birthright of pain and suffering at the hands of the Boston Red Sox?  Are we now destined to return to that old, familiar black magic we knew and loved (?) for 86 years?   Forget about any English football clubs, or India versus Pakistan for cricket bragging rights, or even South Africa versus New Zealand rugby matches.  The world, even the baseball novices among them, cannot deny that the Red Sox versus Yankees rivalry is the most heated rivalry in sporting history. 

I’m both proud and terrified to be part of that rivalry.  I’ve had Yankees fans as friends my entire life and they always had the last laugh.  There are no more nauseating fans in all of sports than Yankees fans.  This even led me to cheer and clap loudly in a Hoboken bar when the Florida Marlins defeated New York in the 2003 World Series.  Despite the possibility of a serious New York-style beat down, I couldn’t restrain myself.  The Yankees could be playing al Qaeda and I’d probably root for bin Laden himself to drive in the winning run. 

Last year was redemption.  Last year erased all those last laughs at the hands of Yankees fans.  Never again will there be a "1918" chant.  Never again will pictures of Babe Ruth and Bill Buckner litter the Yankee Stadium stands.  Now, the shoe is on the other foot.  Now, Boston fans will arrive at Fenway Park this wekeend armed with "Choke" and "2004" signs.  I just don’t want the heroics of 2004 to be diminished by a season ending series loss to New York this weekend.  That would give all Yankees fans the excuse to call 2004 an aberration. 

I’m hedging my bets this weekend by stocking up on beer and Pepto Bismol.  For good measure, I’m also moving all knives and scissors out of my house.  If you don’t hear from me for a while after this weekend, please send someone by to check on me.  Go…[gulp]…Sox!!!

Can We Get Chewbacca to Join the Sox’ Bullpen?

I think some of us are still picking up the pieces after Captain Larby’s raucous bachelor party.  Hats off to Best Man Morgan and Business Traveller John for pulling the strings and showing us all a great time.  I’ve been receiving weekly threats from DeVasto about my lack of blog posts, so here I am.  You asked for it.

What’s the point of a soft top on a car?  Are soft top owners really just people who wanted a convertible, but couldn’t pull the trigger?  I can see the point of a T-top, which is also sort of a wanna-be convertible.  Those were pretty cool, although I guess the old Honda del Sol was the last car to rock the T-top.  Anyway, soft tops have always perplexed me.

I like supergroups.  Cream, Blind Faith, Power Station, Temple of the Dog.  Even Toto or Asia was a supergroup; I always get them mixed up.  I’ve always wanted to see a less-than-supergroup – a group consisting of the lame ends of duos.  So far, I have Art Garfunkel (the weak link of Simon & Garfunkel), John Oates (the hairy munchkin from Hall & Oates), and Andrew Ridgely (the boyhood friend whom George Michael took along for the ride with Wham!).  Maybe you could fill out the rhythm section with the original musicians from groups that went on to make it big.  Pete Best (original Beatles drummer) is still around.  Or you could go younger and take Dave Krusen, the original drummer for Pearl Jam).  Can’t think of any nearly-famous bassists, but if you can, shoot me a comment.

The roommate search still continues.  I’ve shown the place to a couple of people and a couple more are scheduled to take a look.  I just want to get this over with soon.  While I’m not procrastinating, I will say that it has been glorious having just one or zero roommates for the last 2+ months.  The place is still just as clean as it has always been.  I haven’t slacked on that front, but I have taken the liberty of making the first floor clothing optional.  Having to share that space again is going to be tough.

Some of you out there have asked for an update on Swedish Girl.  While some of you (hello, Bubba) might find this self-serving and dull, I’m happy to report that Swedish Girl and I are still going strong and getting stronger by the day.  Tuesday marked four months together and we’ll be celebrating that mark the proper way – with drinks.  If you’d like to hear from Swedish Girl herself right here on The Diatribe, post a comment.  Maybe she’ll decide to dip her toe into the water if enough people ask her to jump right in.

I finally saw Napoleon Dynamite last week.  I remember LTJ and Miss Possible raving about this movie, urging everyone within earshot to run (don’t walk) to go see it.  Swedish Girl and I actually rented it a few weeks ago and had to turn it off after about 10 minutes.  It was that bad.  With Swedish Girl being a horror movie fan, I think the only thing that could have saved this movie would be if Pedro hung Summer from a tree and killed her, rather than using a pinata of her.  The Monday after Larby’s bachelor party, I had the day off and ND came on HBO.  I must have still been under the influence because I gave it another shot, just waiting…waiting…waiting for something, anything to happen.  Nope.  Nada.  Zip. 

Alright, I’m back on the horse.  It wasn’t pretty, but there you go.  Thanks for the push, DeVasto.  Now if the Sox lose again tonight, don’t expect to hear from me for another two weeks.  How’s that for keeping the faith!

When Privates Are Made Public

As you know, I work with a menagerie full of colorful and highly annoying (a point that cannot be underestimated in any way) characters.  Well, one of them has earned the name Big Pappy.  No, I didn’t misspell Papi.  No, no, no, this isn’t a David Ortiz fan.  This is a thirty-something year-old woman who has no problem loudly discussing her pap smear on the phone for the entire floor to hear.

Hey, I’m no prude.  Really, I’m not.  But I could totally do without a month’s worth of phone calls to and from Big Pappy’s insurance company, gynecologist’s office, mother, and boyfriend regarding an invasive procedure to her vagina.  The dumb shit can’t even pronounce it.  She’s an editor/proofreader and can’t even pronounce or succinctly describe what her own OB/GYN did to her.  For weeks, Hardytrain and I were stumped because Big Pappy would describe it as "a pap smear but more in depth…it’s called a cuh-cuh-cuh-loss-cah-pee."  We thought she had a colonoscopy and didn’t even know it.  But why would a thirty-something year-old woman have a colonoscopy?

Whatever it was, the OB/GYN decided to code it as a surgery, prompting Blue Cross/Blue Shield to refuse to pay.  My ears have been bleeding ever since.  Would I be complaining if Maria Sharapova were over there talking about her gynecological visit?  Probably not.  But now, one of my co-workers has asked our boss to talk to Big Pappy and ask her to keep her privates private. 

You might think this sort of thing is rare, but you’d be wrong.  Just par for the course at Company X.  Where else could an employee brazenly invite her elderly father to come use the color copier?  Not once, but several times a year.  And I thought I was bad for taking binder clips and ball point pens home.

Calgon, take me away!