Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Support the old Alma Mater

I knew Anne Harris when she was in my class at Vassar. She sang in another acappella group and was also really funny. She and her friend started a band called the "Ukes of Hazzard." They promptly got a letter from the people that own the rights to the Dukes of Hazzard. So know they are simply The Hazzards.

Here is one of their videos. It was a big techno hit in Europe. And yes, I know her friends's voice is a little off-key. That's not really the point now is it. And if you look closely, you can spot Jon Togo, another classmate from VC, who is currently on CSI-Miami. So visit the site, and buy some swag.

I am smarter than a 5th grader

For those of you who are curious as to why this month ends today, Slate has a pretty decent answer here.

I like to think that it gets us to St. Patty's Day faster, for which I am truly grateful.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

I should work for the federal government

I spent last night and today at the Century House Hotel in Latham, NY. It was a decent place, with a surprisingly decent and cheap restaurant. Great crisp bacon on the cheeseburger last night.

But that's where the goodness ended. We were ostensibly there to get answers from our federal counterparts about this giant federal initiative called NIMS. In the end, it ended up that the guy ended up taking a bunch of things back to the "home office." Well I could have told him we needed guidance on a conference call. He was very good at taking hard questions and deflecting them back. Just a hint..."That's a great question" always means "I wish you would have been killed by a massive heart attack seconds before you asked that question." There wasn't so much with the answers. And the guy kept calling me a yuppie, because I was wearing a suit. I should have pointed out that there are very few yuppies in state government. And my suit was from K&G, a place that most yuppies wouldn't be caught dead in. I should have punched him.

So I drove with some colleagues 2.5 hours to basically drink some bad coffee, and see an Albany suburb. And the crisp bacon. Maybe it was worth it....mmmm...bacon.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

I need a longer weekend

This weekend was the annual installation dinner for the Red Oaks Mill Fire Company of the Arlington Fire District. I volunteered there my last two years in college as a Firefighter/EMT. It was a blast, and it's also where I honed my drinking skills. Went down to Poughkeepsie for the dinner this year, and had a good time. But my body can't really handle that kind of drinking much anymore.

I woke up this morning fully clothed on a couch in my friend's Vinnie's house. I was sleeping on a tacquito, and there were beer bottles everywhere. Some things down there never change. One guy's wife was still drinking a lot and groping other men, not me, on the dance floor.

I love the Hudson Valley. It's a really pretty area. I had breakfast this morning with a really nice woman named Susan who works for Vassar College Development. Apparently they want me to be the 10th reunion leadership gifts chair. So I said sure, mostly because I have no idea what that means.

I'm in Latham, NY tomorrow night. Awww yeah. Federal meeting. And they're not paying for lunch. I'm loving it.

Monday, February 19, 2007

What if.....

Talking to a friend over dinner. Wrap your noodle around this one.

Some people think that the Pearly Gates are equivalent to the movie, Defending Your Life, which was a passable flick with Albert Brooks and Meryl Streep. Cute in an "Always on HBO in 1993" sort of way. The premise was basically you are judged upon your acts in your life to determine whether you go to Heaven, Purgatory, or Hell. Your entire life is taped by God's cinematographer and is evidence before a panel of judges.

What if that's not quite what happens? What if you're judged on the deeds and lives of your partners. So all of your ex-boyfriends, ex-husbands lives are screened. Imagine seeing those faces when you walk into that courtroom. Might make you ladies choose fewer bad boys.

Just something to chew on, on this our day of rest.

Awesome Movie

Run, do not walk, to the video store (Netflix queue) and rent or buy Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. One of the darker comedies I've seen in awhile. It stars Val Kilmer and Robert Downey Jr. Both give great performances. It had action and incredible dialogue and editing. My favorite line was probably when Val Kilmer is standing over an evil henchman and utters the line, "This isn't good cop, bad cop. This is fag and New Yorker. You're screwed."

That and where Robert Downey Jr. is complaining about the L.A. women and says, "I swear to God, it's like somebody took America by the East Coast, and shook it, and all the normal girls managed to hang on." Really funny. It was a perfect day-off afternoon film. I'm going to add it to my library.

Other incidental numbers: The Ford hit 136,000 miles today.
I've lost 10 pounds.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Weekend Update

The folks were in town for my uncle's party last night and so we hit up Hammersley's Bistro on Friday night, in the South End. Had the duck confit app, followed by the roast chicken. I know you're thinking, "Boring. Who the hell goes out on their parent's dime and get chicken?" Well it was really good. It was infused with lemon and garlic. Sooo tasty. Easily as tasty as Casey.

Last night was the party, with the highlights being getting to talk to my cousins. They're great, and one of them is expecting a child in July. Well, it's his wife actually, but I guess that counts. Though he's not squeezing something the size of a watermelon out of his ass, so maybe he shouldn't get credit. The other highlight would be the cute girls who were catering.

And today I went to see a movie with my roommate. We saw "The Last King of Scotland." It was really good. I heartily recommend it to anyone. The scottish kid, James McAvoy, was good. But who cares? This was all about Forest Whitaker from the start. And boy did he pull it off. Go see it for him alone. And as an added bonus, you'll see Gillian Anderson of "X-Files" fame, playing an English doctor's wife. Time has been good to her.

That's all. A much better Sunday than last week. And tomorrow off. Wha-hoo! For those that have to work, I'll think of the President's for you.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

I could skate on my parking lot..

So the snow came and then it turned to rain. And then the rain turned to ice. And because of the deal that the 2005 Red Sox made with the Devil, it won't melt ever. Seriously.

Also to the side, you'll notice a map from Yelp. It's a foodie site mostly. You can track my reviews. The flag all the way down in North Carolina belongs to Yana's Burgers. Top 3 cheeseburgers ever. And this kid likes cheeseburgers.

There's a dinner on Saturday night at my uncle's place. Should be fun. Family dynamics + alcohol = interesting times. Anyone have a better President's Day Weekend planned that possible boozing with relatives?

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Tomorrow is going to blow

So, a little update on the old blog....

The Valentine's Day Storm is coming!
The Valentine's Day Storm is coming!

The National Weather Service is predicting a mix of snow/sleet/rain/armageddon to hit Massachusetts starting around 4AM tomorrow. Snow totals will be around 5 inches around Boston with as much as 2 feet in the western part of the state. The Weather Channel has an omnious looking graphic (pictured above) to explain to those who can't read. Go buy your bread and milk now, kids.

I'll be working a 12-hour shift tomorrow, because sadly not only does my mother think I'm essential, the Governor does too. So I'll let you know if anything good happens. I should be pretty quiet, though.

Tomorrow is also Valentine's Day. A wonderful day that makes those in a relationship shell out money for dumb things like teddy bears and chocolate. Those who are single will shell out money on Cheetos and booze, which is the normal Wednesday night. If you couples took your V-day money and put it in a money market account, you might be able to buy a car in 25 years. Think about that.

And for those single people, myself included, apparently we have a day too. It's February 15th, so we get sloppy seconds. For all those people who are in a couple, have some good lovin' tomorrow night. And for those single folks, make sure you love yourself tomorrow night.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Set the bar low and trip over it...

So the Celtics have dropped 18 straight, with tonights loss to the Timberwolves. This is a franchise record. These guys are awful. The record number of straight losses in a single season is currently held by 1996 Vancouver (Memphis) Grizzlies, at 23. This was their first year as a franchise, so I cut them a little slack. This year marks the Celts 60th year in play.

I say, let's be first at being last. Let's shatter that previous record of dubious distinction. We deserve it. At least we can be in the record books for something.

They should be ashamed of charging for seats. Seriously

Ever feel completely unproductive?

So today I didn't leave the house. I did leave the apartment, as I was doing laundry and had to go to the basement to switch loads. But I never set foot outside the dwelling. Something can't be right about that. I did some homework, did some laundry, and played a lot of video games. Oh, and saw the Punisher on cable. And some of Sniper. I wonder if Chuck was watching it at the same time.

Now, I'm not good alone. Some people love being alone. They yearn for the time to handle their affairs or just spend it in solitude. Not me. I like to be surrounded by people, which I was not today. And while I did okay, it felt like I wasted a day. I made myself a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and reheated some pizza. That and coffee were my daily sustenance.

I insulted some friends of mine, not on purpose. And I spent some time feeling like a chump for that. Today, when you come down to it, wasn't much of a Sunday. I probably could have gone in to work today and gotten some stuff done. Would have made me feel more productive. I guess you need days like this to really appreciate quality times.

I'm thinking about a vacation. Of course, I'm going solo. Any ideas where to go? I want to leave Massachusetts. I'm open to suggestions.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

It's like Remember the Titans, but with basketballs

Tonight, I opened up my latest bright red envelope to find Glory Road. This movie follows the story of Coach Don Haskins, played by Josh Lucas, of Texas Western College, now UT-El Paso. He led his team to the NCAA Championship in 1966. What was remarkable was that he started an all-black lineup for the final game versus Kentucky.

You've seen it all before. It really didn't go into the same character development as other movies of this type might. There were cliches, but at it's heart, it's a feel good story and you want to get hooked. It followed a formula, but on a cold Tuesday night it seemed like a good fit.

Overall grade: B+

Monday, February 05, 2007

It's like Ice Station Zebra Cold

So, I decided to work from home after my morning meetings. I have to do some writing, and work is quite the distracting place. Between the e-mails, and the people stopping by, it's hard to get stuff done.

I just wanted to let those people not in the Northeast and Midwest's fucking cold. The folks at Accuweather are telling me currently it's 17 degrees, but it feels like -11.

Awesome. This is photo, taken at a fire in New Jersey, aptly shows how cold it is.

I like the rainbow in the background. It's too cold for men to go outside. Especially if you're trying to have kids. I fear the boys will retreat far inside you. And they might like it there, make new friends, think about buying a weekend place together, and never, ever come back down.

This frigid day also reminds me of this event, that happened in Portland less than a month ago.

The guy who drove the Volvo SUV(The first SUV in the clip)apparently didn't get the memo in Driver's Ed that said take your foot off the gas when you're sliding. Oh, and he was 79, which I'm sure had nothing to do with it.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

I can't believe it's Sunday night

So this weekend has come and gone quite quickly. Saturday was a good time, and I spent it with Chuck out in Western Mass. We went to the Springfield Armory, which is where John Garand created the M1, which protected our boys in World War 2. Then last night, I went to Target and bought an Xbox 360 from Target.

Good Stuff. Played it some last night and a little bit today for a study break. Had people over for the Super Bowl. Chuck and his lovely wife Sara, Steve, and Amanda were kind enough to join me for the game. Chuck brought a lot of food, and broke the cover to his crockpot on my icy steps. Sorry dude, but what real man carries a crockpot? Your barbeque cocktail wieners were delicious though. The game sucked, as did the ads. About the only thing I enjoyed more than watching Rex Grossman suck like it was his job, was watching all of those CEOs and rich kids get soaked in the rain.

I can't believe it's Sunday night. Man, the weekend went fast.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Everyone Panic. Now Stop. Now Summon Righteous Indignation

So I'm a little late on this, my apologies. Many friends have asked whether I got involved as the dutiful civil servant I am. Asides from monitoring it, the answer is no. I would have gotten involved had these turned out to be more than Lite Brites.

This wasn't a hoax. I hate when the media called it that. They weren't supposed to look like bombs. Bomb hoax sounds better than Bomb mistake. Or poor judgement. I personally think the biggest thing that these kids did wrong was place them under bridges and overpasses. That wasn't too bright.

The guys they arrested called themselves "artists." Maybe so, but not for this. I could have paid a homeless guy two sandwiches and a bottle of Night Train to put up magnets on metal all across the city. That's not art, guys. These guys had the easy out. When asked, they could have said this...

I'm so sorry that this has happened. I am just trying to earn a few extra dollars to help my blind grandmother. I had no idea this would turn out this way. I was just doing a small job.

The city would have embraced these odd looking dudes and turned on Turner as the big corporate monster. Charges dropped and fade into obscurity. However, these guys chose to go this route. sure knocks out the sympathy vote.

To credit Fark, my favorite line about this whole thing:

The only thing that separates an IED from an led is a lower case "l"