Tuesday, September 30, 2008

From the Onion. This killed me.

Members Of Twisted Sister Now Willing To Take It

September 29, 2008 Issue 44•40

NEW YORK—In a stunning reversal of their long-stated reluctance to take it, members of heavy-metal band Twisted Sister announced Monday that, after 24 years of fervent refusal, they are now willing to take it. "I acknowledge that we promised not to take it anymore, but things change. The world is a different place today, and with that in mind, we would like to go on record as saying that, starting right now, we are going to take it," read a statement released by the band's lead singer, Dee Snyder. "To clarify, we would still prefer not to take it, but as of now, taking it is an option that we would be open to. That is all." Bassist Mark "the Animal" Mendoza also stated that, in regards to what he wants to do with his life, he no longer solely wants to rock, but would instead prefer doing other things, such as raising a family and working as a claims adjuster in Rye, NY.

It's almost time to start blogging regularly. Stay tuned.

Friday, May 2, 2008

New President of Neighborhood Watch

I think it should be my mom. Evidently, just last night, a deadly brush fire swept through the town of Viera, FL.. putting 4 subdivisions of homes in intense danger and causing residents of said subdivisions to be barred from entering their developments as firefighters bravely battled the blaze. Exacerbated by high winds and very dry conditions (we have had more than a sprinkle of rain here in 3 weeks or so,) the blaze burned up an estimated 60 acres of property. Check out the photo.

The house you see in the background of this press photo IS my mother's house. Not the same development, etc... that's HER house. When my brother Rich, who lives only a few miles away, saw the story on the news, he started calling over to my mother's house to make sure the place wasn't in jeopardy. He was getting no answer and started getting really nervous when finally, she called back. Apparently, she'd been watching Grey's Anatomy and eating almond M&Ms the entire time this was going on (including at the moment this photo was taken) and had no idea that there even was a fire. The chair she sits in to watch TV, incidentally, is right under a window that faces in the direction of that ominous orange glow you can clearly see in the background of that picture.

Good looking out, Mom. I believe it was your grandmother who was once quoted as saying : "Stop being a jerk-off, O'Leary !! Leave the damn lantern by the cows.. what's the worst that could happen?"

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

From the "Huh?" files...

Exited a local place of business yesterday evening and walked to my car, only to see a young boy, about 6 or 7 years old, leaning up against it. His mother was leaning into the back of their car (adjacent to my own) apparently tending to a younger child in a car seat in back. Judging by her accent, she seemed to be Haitian or Jamaican. After a minute or so, I, key in hand, cleared my throat and said : "Excuse me..."

No response.

Then, I looked down at the kid leaning against my car and realize that both his pants and underwear are pulled down and the kid is slowly rubbing his bare buttcheeks up and down the driver's side door of my car.

What the hell do I do now?

I basically just said : "O...........K....." and then looked away. After a few more seconds, the kid pulled up his trousers and walked off. Seconds later, Mom emerged from the backseat with her 4-5 year old, mumbled an apology (I think) that I couldn't understand, and walked away, leaving me finally, mercifully, free to depart.

2008 NFL Mock Draft

This will appear on nfldraftguys.com soon, but blog readers get the first sneak peek. Now that the heavy lifting on this is done, there should be more blog coming here. Each pick has a Star Wars quote along with it that describes the state of the franchise, the mood of the fans, or the thought process surrounding the pick. Enjoy

1 – Miami – Jake Long, OT, Michigan

“If money is all that you love, then that’s what you’ll receive.” – Leia

This one’s all about the negotiating. It’s pretty much a foregone conclusion that Long is the pick here, but the rub now is to negotiate a contract that pays Long less than what JaMarcus Russell received last year. Ego will get in the way, but in the long run, Long will realize he stands to make more as the #1 pick without the traditional yearly raise than he does as the #2,3, or 5 pick.

2 – St. Louis – Chris Long, DE, Virginia

“The Force is strong with this one…” – Vader

Much like Luke, Chris Long has the pedigree to be great. Of course, while Luke’s dad Vader was once an annoying kid who grew up to be a helmet-wearing maniac for an evil Empire who chokes people at the drop of a hat, Chris’ dad Howie Long was (probably) an annoying kid who grew up to be a helmet-wearing maniac for an evil empire who pitches products at the drop of a hat. Long’s non-stop motor and pass-rushing skills are just what the doctor ordered for St. Louis, who needs D-line help in the worst way. This pick can only go one of two ways – draft Long and keep Carriker inside or draft Dorsey and move Carriker back to end. I think they go with the safer pick.

3 – Atlanta – Glenn Dorsey, DT, LSU

“We seem to be made to suffer. It’s our lot in life.” – C-3PO

Atlanta fans have to be wondering what the hell is going on. Their $100 million man is sitting in prison for dogfighting, they have question marks at QB, WR, on both lines, in the defensive backfield….. good Lord. It’s a DAMN good thing this team has a boatload of draft picks, because they need to reload this team badly. Personally, I think there’s going to be a lot of talk about Matt Ryan here, but when all is said and done, they’ll do the wise thing and get the stop-gap at tackle. Dorsey is a difference maker, and they have the ammo to move up and get a QB towards the end of the round. Yes, that is foreshadowing.

4 – Oakland – Vernon Gholston, DE, Ohio St.

“Who’s the more foolish? The fool, or the fool who follows him?” – Obi-Wan

Yes, Al Davis is probably insane. Yes, this team is a mess. However, they’re on the brink of building something special defensively. They already added DeAngelo Hall to what was one of the NFL’s better defenses, and Davis won’t be able to pass up a specimen like Gholston to provide an edge rusher to the investments he’s made at DT and CB. With Kelly moving inside in the wake of his monster deal, and with two blazing fast corners capable of playing man, all the Raiders need is someone to consistently get to the QB. I know people are expecting McFadden here, but I think the Raiders are secretly high on injured RB Michael Bush.

***** TRADE ALERT *****

Baltimore, panicking that either the Chiefs or someone trading up into New England’s spot is going to deny them their QB of the future, sends picks #8 and #38 to Kansas City in return for picks #5, #66, and #105.

5 – Baltimore (from KC) – Matt Ryan, QB, Boston College

“Good against remotes is one thing. Good against the living? That’s something else.” – Han Solo

Ryan’s stock has soared in the offseason and during the combine/Pro Day process to where he’s now the clear-cut #1 choice at QB. However, it wasn’t long ago that Brian Brohm and Andre Woodson were considered better choices and Ryan’s going to have to prove on the field that he can be a franchise QB. I have my doubts, but with the amount of money that gets thrown to these top picks, a QB always goes high, because it’s one of a couple of positions that teams can justify spending that kind of money on. Of course, since he’s going to Baltimore here, I hope he sucks like Jenna Jameson trying for an AVN award.

6 – New York Jets – Darren McFadden, RB, Arkansas

“She’ll make point 5 past light speed” – Han Solo

McFadden’s 4.31 run at the combine made him a lead-pipe lock for the top-10, and even though RB is not a huge need for the Jets, with Gholston off the board at #4, I think Mangini and company go for the best available talent. Thomas Jones is a capable back, but not a superstar, and Minnesota showed last year that having one capable back doesn’t mean you don’t draft a potential monster when the opportunity arises.

***** TRADE ALERT *****

That’s right, not one but TWO trades within the top 10. Sound far-fetched? Maybe so, but I think they’re both entirely possible. Here, New England looks to move down as they often due, for future consideration and to recoup the pick the NFL penalized them. The guy they want will very likely be there a few picks later, so they trade with a team that has never been afraid to move up for the guy they want, and always seems to have a surprise up its sleeve on draft day. New England gives pick #7 to Denver in exchange for pick #12, pick #108 and Denver’s 2009 2nd round selection.

7 – Denver (from NE) – Sedrick Ellis, DT, USC

“Until this battle station is fully operational, we are vulnerable..” – General Tagge

Denver surprises everyone by moving up here, but not for the guy most people would have expected them to take. Jumping ahead of KC would seem to signal Ryan Clady, but the Broncos also have a need at DT and Ellis is an elite talent who would never have dropped past Cincinnati at #9. The Broncos make this trade while holding onto their second-round pick, at which point they can grab Sam Baker (ideal for their zone blocking scheme.) The drop off at DT from Ellis to whoever might be around in round 2 is greater than it would be at OT.

8 – Kansas City (from Baltimore) – Ryan Clady, OT, Boise State

“Easy? You call that easy?” – Han Solo

Yes, I do. This would be an absolute no-brainer pick. The Chiefs probably collectively had a heart attack when Denver moved ahead of them, but sighed with relief when they realized their guy is still on the board. Clady is a big, athletic LT prospect and is just what the doctor ordered for the KC line, and for Larry Johnson, to whom they're committed in the running game with a large cap figure.

9 – Cincinnati – Keith Rivers, LB, USC

“We’re wanted men! I have the death sentence on twelve systems!” – Dr. Evazan

The Bengals had to have had their hearts set on Sedrick Ellis, and are going to have to settle for this consolation prize, the draft’s best pure LB. A WR is a possibility here with the exile of Chris Henry, but there really aren’t any wideouts worthy of a top-10 selection, IMO. Of course, this being the Bengals, the odds are currently even money that Rivers shoots up and picks up a transgendered prostitute, stuffs him in his trunk and drives off a bridge within 7 days of being selected.

10 – New Orleans – Leodis McKelvin, CB, Troy

“That’s the idea. I’ve been looking forward to this for a long time..” – Greedo

New Orleans has tried just about everything to fix a patchwork secondary besides actually drafting a top corner. Here, they have the rare opportunity to grab the #1 guy at the position. McKelvin has perfect size/speed numbers and gets the nod over Rodgers-Cromartie due to his lethal return skills, second in this draft only to diminutive DeSean Jackson.

11 – Buffalo – Derrick Harvey, DE, Florida

“I’m taking an awful risk, Vader. This had better work.” – Grand Moff Tarkin

Buffalo could use a WR to complement Lee Evans and a CB to replace the long-since departed Antoine Winfield, but they take a chance on securing quality at those spots in the later rounds and grab the pass-rusher from Florida. A quality end that can pressure the QB is in shorter supply than receivers or corners in this draft, and Harvey is a guy many feel may actually be the 2nd best end in this draft behind Chris Long. This is a situation in which quality usurps need, though Buffalo could definitely use another guy who can pressure the opposing QB.

12 – New England (from Denver) – Branden Albert, G, Virginia

“You can’t win Darth. If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine.” – Obi-Wan

There’s no sinking the Patriots. In a case of the rich getting richer, the Patriots grab the most versatile OL in the draft to add athleticism to a line that was exposed in the playoffs and Super Bowl last year. A CB or LB are distinct possibilities here, but the patriots have historically shown disdain towards drafting those positions this early, preferring to find solutions later in the draft or in free agency, while using high picks on the lines.

13 – Carolina – Chris Williams, OT, Vanderbilt

“It’ll be like old times, Luke. They’ll never stop us.” – Biggs

Carolina’s got to feel like they can vault back into contention sooner rather than later. An ill-timed injury to Jake Delhomme showed the error of their ways in trusting the franchise to back-up David Carr. With a healthy Delhomme and a devastating weapon in Steve Smith, the Panthers can hang with anyone if they can block. Moving Gross back to the right side and Wharton inside to guard becomes possible with the addition of the athletic Williams, who is clearly a LT prospect. They’re only a couple years removed from being an NFC power and can get back in a hurry if they stay healthy.

14 – Chicago – Jeff Otah, OT, Pittsburgh

“These aren’t the droids you’re looking for…” – Obi-Wan

Despite the fact that Rex Grossman and Cedric Benson rank in popularity somewhere between George Bush and syphilis right now in the Chicago area, the team would be wise to tune out the fan base clamoring for a replacement at one of those spots and look to fix an OL which isn’t doing either any favors. Otah may have the highest upside of any tackle prospect in this draft, and while raw, could potentially be an All-Pro LT with his rare blend of enormous size and sheer athleticism.

15 – Detroit – Rashard Mendenhall, RB, Illinois

“It’s just a pl0y to motivate Tatum Bell” – Red Three

Don’t recall that quote from Star Wars? Me either. However, after having released Kevin Jones, the Lions can’t possibly be too excited about the detritus they have remaining at the RB spot. Both Tatum Bell and T.J. Duckett have shown repeatedly that they don’t have what it takes to carry an offense, and Mendenhall is the type of every-down back that could solve their ills at the position for years. Matt Millen’s propensity to draft skill guys carries Mendenhall to #15.

16 – Arizona – Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, CB, Tennessee State

“I’m not such a bad pilot myself….” – Luke

DRC couldn’t have come along at a better time. With his cousin blowing up in San Diego, and a set of terrific measurables at the combine, Cromartie has seen his draft stock soar, despite being a small-school prospect. I think Mendenhall might have been the pick here if Detroit hadn’t grabbed him, as Edgerrin James isn’t getting any younger and Whisenhunt and crew would love to balance the offense, but Arizona has a hole at CB if they move Rolle to safety, and the chance to nab the guy some feel is the draft’s best corner prospect is too much to pass up.

17 – Minnesota – Philip Merling, DE, Clemson

“Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi. You’re my only hope.”

A position that was a major need has become a gaping hole when Kenechi Udeze was diagnosed with cancer. Having (wisely, in retrospect) passed on a defensive end last year to nab rookie sensation Adrian Peterson, the lack of a pass rush can simply no longer be ignored. If the Vikings can generate any pressure, they become clearly the team to beat in the wide-open NFC North, and Merling is a complete end, with terrific potential. This is a no-brainer pick in my opinion.

18 – Houston – Mike Jenkins, CB, South Florida

“What re you lookin’ at? I know what I’m doing.” – Han Solo

Houston has traditionally passed on opportunities to enhance the running game by drafting lineman or running backs, in favor of building the defense first (see Bush, Reggie) so Jenkins seems like the pick here. Jonathan Stewart has to look pretty appealing, and had the toe issue not come up, he would likely be the pick here, but Houston is as close to contending as they’ve been in their history and Jenkins can help right away. He may not have the physical tools of Cromartie or McKelvin, but he may be the CB most well-suited to help immediately.

19 – Philadelphia – Aqib Talib, CB, Kansas

“I have a very bad feeling about this…” – Luke

That’s likely the feeling in the Eagles War Room when it comes to drafting a WR in round 1. Despite having their pick of the litter at the position, I expect that Lito Sheppard will be moved on or before draft day, making secondary the top priority. Safety is clearly an issue, but without a safety that wouldn’t be considered a reach at this point, I think they may well opt to grab the last of the group most draftniks consider to be legit first-round talents at the CB spot.

20 – Tampa Bay – Devin Thomas, WR, Michigan St.

“Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid.” – Han Solo

The Tampa Bay offense is old. Jeff Garcia is old, Joey Galloway is old. The Cadillac is still busted up and they have spare parts manning the tailback spot. Gruden has all but put a neon sign up that the Bucs are looking for a playmaker on offense, and I doubt they pass up the consensus #1 WR in the draft. Thomas exploded from almost out of nowhere his senior year and with excellent size at 6’2” and legit 4.4 speed, he could be the field stretcher the Bucs are looking for, as well as a #1 WR to replace Galloway, who doesn’t have much tread left on the tires.

21 – Washington – Limas Sweed, WR, Texas

“The last remnants of the Old republic have been swept away” – Tarkin

Joe Gibbs is gone and figurehead Jim Zorn is in as head coach, meaning Snyder retakes the reins of player personnel decisions. The Redskins Smurf-ish receiving corps is not scaring anyone and leaves too little space for Clinton Portis to operate. The Skins need a bonafide #1 receiver who can make the tough catches and anchor their receiving corps and Sweed fits the bill better than anyone. Indiana’s Hardy is even bigger, but Sweed plays tougher and is more of a natural leader.

22 – Dallas – Felix Jones, RB, Arkansas

“You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villany.” – Obi-Wan

Dallas seems like they’re going to continue loading up on talented, low-character guys as they have reportedly just upped the offer for Pac-Man Jones. I believe the deal will go down, meaning CB is not as big a priority as it was, and can be addressed in round 2. Jerry Jones may not be able to pass on the idea of having one of his beloved Hogs in the fold, and honestly, Felix is probably the best complement to Marion Barber available at this point. Jonathan Stewart is also a consideration, but his style is more like Barber’s and Jones is the type of home-run threat they’d ideally like to pair with Barber’s battering-ram running game.

23 – Pittsburgh – Gosder Cherilus, OT, Boston College

“Not a bad bit of rescuing, huh? You know, sometimes I even amaze myself..” – Han Solo

Ben Roethlisberger had to pull off repeated heroics last year to avoid the opposition’s pass rush and the running game suffered from a lack of power on the right side as well. There’s no doubt that the line is the single biggest cause for concern for this team, and that’s why they’ll pass on Balmer and Cason for the last of the top tackles. The addition of Hartwig means the Sean Mahan experiment at C is mercifully over, but they still need help at G and T. Cherilus is a prototypical RT prospect whose stock has dropped because many feel he lacks the footwork to make an eventual move to LT. However, Max Starks has already shown he’s better on the left than the right, so this is not as much of a concern.

24 – Tennessee – Kentwan Balmer, DT, North Carolina

“One thing’s for sure.. we’re all gonna be a lot thinner” – Han Solo

Tennessee’s defensive line is the heart and soul of this team, and they took several offseason personnel hits, making Balmer a terrific pick here. Many are projecting a wideout, but with Vince Young’s one-time battery mate off the board here, I think Balmer becomes an easy choice. He should start from day 1 alongside Haynesworth and the value at WR in this draft resides in round 2 anyway, so the Titans can look there to add a threat on the flank.

25 – Seattle – Jonathan Stewart, RB, Oregon

“Well, he’d better have those units in the South Ridge repaired by mid-day or there’ll be hell to pay.” – Uncle Owen

If not for an ill-timed toe surgery, Stewart would have gone much higher. His is a unique blend of power and speed, clocking sub 4.4 in the 40 at 235 pounds. I know the Seahawks signed Julius Jones, but he’s already used to being part of a committee and isn’t nearly the feature back prospect Stewart is. This is a simple case of best player available, and passing on TEs like Jones or Keller isn’t much of an issue when there are prospects like Carlson and Cottam (very underrated) that will be around a round or two later.

26 – Jacksonville – Calais Campbell, DE, Miami

“Now don’t you forget this. Why I should stick my neck out for you is far beyond my capacity.” – C-3PO

This pick would be a calculated risk. Campbell had a lousy season for an underachieving Miami team, and many have questioned his strength and his technique. However, this is a point in the round where a team like Jacksonville can afford to take a big swing, as Campbell clearly has upside. He has rare size, versatility, and ability to disrupt in the backfield. If there’s a spot in the NFL where he can be brought along, it will be in Jacksonville, where DelRio will have him on the weights immediately, and the players showing him the ropes are among the best in the business.

27 – San Diego – Kenny Phillips, S, Miami

“Stabilize your rear deflectors” – Gold Five

I know what you’re thinking – that quote was pretty lame. Sorry about that, but I felt I’d be remiss if I didn’t get at least one quote from the mighty Gold Five in there. Plus, it fits. While a replacement for Turner would be a possibility here, and a RT would be ideal, there’s not a ton of value at either of those spots and a guy like Collins or Greco at RT and a guy like Kevin Smith or Ray Rice at RB in the coming rounds would provide better. There are really only two top-tier safeties in this draft, and Miami has done a pretty good job of turning out players at the position of late. Phillips is quick and strong and can hit, but needs some coaching to avoid getting caught out of position.

28 – Dallas – DeSean Jackson, WR, California

“How long before you can make the jump to lightspeed?” – Obi-Wan

For Jackson, about 2 seconds. Many are down on him because of his size (or lack thereof) but he is the premier playmaker in this class both at WR and in the return game. The Cowboys would love to have a dynamic guy to pair with Terrell Owens and provide Romo with another weapon, and they find it here. After trading a 5th round pick for Pac-Man and drafting Felix Jones and now Jackson, Jones will have added three speed merchants to an already dangerous team.

29 – San Francisco – Quentin Groves, DE, Auburn

“This R2 unit has a bad motivator – look!” – Luke

Groves’ recently disclosed heart surgery is bound to scare some teams off, along with a habit of inconsistent play (after registering 9 sacks as a junior, he netted only 3 in ‘07.) However, he is a natural fit as a 3-4 OLB, and in fact, could be the best prospect in this class at that position. Groves has phenomenal speed and explosiveness for his size and may be too small to play DE, meaning a team that runs a 3-4 will be much more likely to snap him up. His fall ends here.

***** TRADE ALERT *****

As is his wont, Ted Thompson trades down again. With a need at CB, he has seen the elite prospects go off the board and has a feeling a guy like Flowers or Cason is going to be sitting there at #37 same as they are at #30, so he gets value for his pick. Green Bay trades pick #30 and their 5th rounder (#162) to Atlanta for picks #37 and #68.

30 – Atlanta (from GB) – Brian Brohm, QB, Louisville

“Someone has to save our skins.. into the garbage chute, flyboy !” – Leia

Atlanta desperately needs a QB and face of the franchise after the Vick debacle. If they’re really going to move on, they need a QB, and they get one in Brohm, without giving up either pick #34 or #48. Brohm was considered a possible #1 pick not long ago, so the value is there, and with all the picks Atlanta has, they can make this move and still address other needs with two early 2nd round choices. Adding Dorsey and Brohm after signing Turner addresses multiple needs and with two of the next 18 picks coming up, they can grab an OL early in round 2 and another defender at #48.

31 – “I felt a great disturbance in the force, as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced. I fear something terrible has happened.”

32 – New York Giants – Reggie Smith, S, Oklahoma

“Great shot kid, that was one in a million!” – Han Solo

Sums up the Giants’ season. I think they were probably hoping Philips would fall here, and Penn St linebacker Dan Connor or Tennessee LB Jerod Mayo would both be excellent fits and very possible selections, but I think the Giants will want a guy like Smith to shore up their secondary. He’s the most versatile DB in the draft and can very easily project to either S or CB, although I feel he’d be better at the former. Despite the lack of elite speed, he is very fluid and has good hip-flip, meaning he could serve as a nickel/dime corner as well as a safety. This kind of flexibility will be very attractive to teams drafting this late in the round.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

More stuff coming

Sorry for the lack of updates, been busy with other stuff lately. I will mention that I like the Steelers' signing of Hartwig a lot, Keyaron Fox - meh. I think Hartwig starts at center the next year or two while Stapleteon tries to prove himself, and a fucking traffic cone would have been more effective than Sean Mahan was last year.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The McMuffin Challenge

Many of you have seen it, some of you haven't - here it is in all its glory.

Things Remembered, North Carolina, Part II

At the aforementioned wedding in N.C., this story was relayed to me by a new friend named Mike, who was one of the funniest SOBs I've met in a long time. It details a drunken adventure he had years ago in South Boston. I retold it a few weeks later before Williams' wedding while (more than) half soused in the pool at Excalibur, but since almost none of you were there, here it is (James, Chris, Barry - I know you know this one...)

Mike was in school to join the Merchant Marines at the time, and he and his buddy used to drive back to school after weekend breaks at about 2 AM on Sundays so they could get hammered all day and make it back just in time for Monday AM activities. Well, this one particular Sunday, Mike decided to go out at about noon to watch the Pats game and proceeded to drink Irish Car Bombs (and Guinness and Bushmills as well) all day long. By about 8 PM, he was completely destroyed. He asks his buddy if he can borrow his keys to go take a nap in the car, and after some ribbing, the dude agrees and gives him the keys. While everyone else was in the bar drinking, Mike had his own adventure.

Mike passes out in the car and wakes up about three hours later. Realizing everyone will be in the bar for another 3 hours, he decides he's going to drive the car to go get something to eat, figuring it will help him sober up a bit. No more than 5 minutes into his drunken sojourn around Southie, he's cruising along at about 45 when he notices the traffic light he's approaching turn red (didn't see the amber stage.) He jams both feet on the clutch of the 82 Camaro he's driving and screeches to a stop, only to see a cop car parked perpendicular to him at the intersection. The cop's light turns green, and he doesn't move. At this point, Mike knows he's screwed.... when his light turns green, he simply goes through the intersection and pulls over immediately. Cop pulls up behind him and doesn't even put on the lights. He walks to the driver's window and shines the light in.

"You been drinking tonight?"

Mike looks directly at the cop and says :"Sir, I'm not saying this to be a wise ass or to mess with you. I'm as drunk as I've ever been in my life."

"Would you like to take a field sobriety test?" the cop asks.

Mike replies : "If you open this door right now, I'm going to fall out onto the fucking street. I cannot impress upon you enough exactly how drunk I am."

He then goes on to tell the cop everything about how he's training to become a Merchant Marine and that it's his friend's car and the guy is at the bar and they're going back to school right after this, etc.. etc.. The cop listens to all this and says, unbelievably :

"OK, you've been forthright with me and I appreciate that. If I hit you with DUI, you're going to get kicked out of school, it'll ruin your career, and I don't want to do that, you seem like a good kid. But I can't turn you loose on the streets of South Boston in this condition, so here's what I propose. Follow me back to the bar you were at so I can talk to your friend. If your story is legit and he promises not to give you the keys back, I'll let you walk."

Mike, amazed at the break he's being given, thanks the cop profusely and accepts. So he gets back into the car and begins following the cop back to the bar. About halfway there, he pauses to light a cigarette and looks up just in time to see the cop car in front of him stopped at a red light about 20 feet in front of him. He again slams both feet on the clutch with all his might, skids noisily, and......


Hits the stopped police car at about 30 MPH and shoots the cop car right through the frigging intersection. At this point Mike gets out of the car, holding the keys over his head, just preparing to be arrested. The back of the cop car is dented up, and he knows he's going down. The cop gets out of the squad car, yelling :


Mike figures he's done, but what he doesn't realize is that at this point, the cop really can't bust him or he'll have to explain why he was let go in the first place and why his car is dented up. So the cop just yells to him :

"Park that fucking car and get in the back, I'll take you back to the bar, you stupid bastard !"

Mike replies : "I told you 15 minutes ago I can't drive, you think I can goddamn parallel park? You park the fucking car !!!!"

So the cop, grumbling at his own stupidity, I guess, proceeds to parallel park the car, puts Mike in the back seat of his squad car, and drives him back to the bar. When they get back, the cop walks in and pulls the car owner aside to check Mike's Merchant Marine story and admonish him for giving him the keys in the first place. Of course, no one had no idea he was even gone; as far as they knew, the car was still parked out front with Mike asleep in it.

After the cop is done grilling Mike's buddy, he makes his exit. The Camaro owner comes back to the group, pissed as all hell. He starts giving Mike a ration of shit when Mike busts out in hysterical laughter. The dude asks him angrily what's so funny and Mike answers, through panting from laughing :

"I have no fucking idea where your car is !"

It took them 3 hours to find it.

Because Bukowski said it better than I ever could...

the finest of the breed
there’s nothing to discuss
there’s nothing to remember
there’s nothing to forget
it’s sad and it’s not sad
seems the most sensible thing a person can do
is sit with a drink in hand
as the walls wave their goodbye smiles

one comes through it all
with a certain amount of efficiency and bravery
then leaves

some accept the possibility of God
to help them get through
others take it straight on

and to these I drink tonight.

Things Remembered, North Carolina edition

Last June, two good friends of mine, Barry and Ashton, got married in Wrightsville Beach, NC. The matron of honor requested that the wedding guests each create a "page" for a wedding book they were putting together for the happy couple. I assume they wanted the garden-variety, saccharine collection of pithy anecdotes and breezy remembrances of days gone by. Naturally, you know I couldn't go that route, so I penned a bit of prose dedicated to the two and their love. It never made it to the finished album, not having passed the censors, so I figured I'd post it here for your reading pleasure. Enjoy.

The convertible top was down, as it was a balmy afternoon in Las Vegas. Barry glanced at Ashton ever so briefly, careful not to lose control of the large rented vehicle, in which he was achieving an increasingly dangerous speed. Enervated for so long by an unfulfilled yearning that bordered frequently on obsession, their collective thirst was about to be sated. The object of their desire lay just before them, tantalizingly within reach, growing ever larger, and more tangible, with the rapid approach.

The seminal moment in Barry and Ashton’s relationship had taken place many months ago. One evening over cocktails at a local seafood joint in Gainesville called Northwest Grille, Barry had finally decided to share his dream with Ashton. This recurring dream of Barry’s had grown from fascination to preoccupation over the years, and Barry knew that if he didn’t act upon it soon, it would consume him. The debate as to whether or not to share his vision with Ashton had plagued him for months, and he finally wanted to rid himself of the burden of that decision. The only way to do this was to come clean, once and for all. Barry evidently was showing the strain of the anxiety he felt, because Ashton frowned and asked him if something was wrong mere moments after they’d sat down.

It was as if a floodgate had opened. Barry explained the details of his passion with a fervor not unlike the preachers of Ashton’s youth. He watched as she registered what he was saying, a look of stunned disbelief on her face. As he finished speaking, his initial thought was that he had blown it for good. Surely, she’d get up and walk away, never to return. When she stood abruptly, Barry had resigned himself to his fatal error, but instead of running off, she threw his arms around him and held him in a clutch that possessed a warmth that Barry had never before experienced.

“I’ve been dreaming the same thing….” she whispered.

Barry couldn’t believe his ears. “Will you marry me?” he asked.

“Yes!” Ashton responded breathlessly.

Now, months later, they were finally going to realize their dream together. In clear view, on the right hand side of the road, they could see the famous “Chapel of the Bells.” And just in front of it, an elderly man, homeless, carrying his meager possessions in a bandana at the end of a stick, just like the hobos of old. More importantly, just like the man in the dream. The huge engine roared as the drifter turned to face the vehicle at the penultimate moment. Barry and Ashton caught a quick glimpse of a sign – “Will work for –“ as the car impacted the man at 95 miles per hour. The sign was quickly thrown from view as the transient was hurled onto the hood of the car, up the windshield, and launched about 30 feet in the air. Barry jammed on the brakes and the huge auto screeched to a stop as the man landed in the middle of the road with a sickening thud. Barry’s eyes blazed as he turned to Ashton.

“Should I back up?” he asked Ashton, the wanton lust in his eyes enough to frighten anyone but her. His soul mate.

Ashton simply shook her head slowly, her eyes rolling back, betraying her ecstatic reverie. Barry knew what that meant. The man was dead. They held each other’s gaze a moment longer, then the tires screamed as Barry punched the gas and pulled away. The tires caught hold of the road, and the sound of burning rubber was replaced by peals of wild laughter as they both threw their heads back and laughed like jackals as the car tore off, crested a hill, and dropped out of sight…..

Friday, March 7, 2008

A Brave New World (and it sucks)

Yeah, so TBS has gone "national" with its baseball coverage this year, rather than featuring the Braves, which means that I can no longer watch ANY of my favorite sports teams on a regular basis without paying extra for the subscriber-only bonus plans. I put "national" in quotes, since something like 6 of the first 8 broadcasts feature either the Red Sox or Yankees. Like we don't already see them enough on Fox and ESPN. As I prepare to catch at least one Braves game this weekend at Cracker Jack Stadium, I lament the loss of Ted Turner. Since he sold the team, not only have I lost my network, but also a team with the ability to spend with the big-boys in this absurdly non-capped sport. If MLB's goal was to create a two-horse race between the Yankees and Red Sox, with the occasional other contender thrown in, kudos. The National League seems to be headed in the same direction with New York and L.A. Since the Braves' run of dominance in the NL East, we've seen Tom Glavine (30s variety), Rafael Furcal, Andruw Jones, Kyle Farnsworth, Johnny Estrada, Edgar Renteria, etc.. etc.. walk off or traded with only Mark Teixeira , Glavine (40s variety) and Tim Hudson brought in (the former of which is Boras-represented and will never be able to be re-signed long term.) Meanwhile the Mets added Billy Wagner, Carlos Delgado, Carlos Beltran, Pedro Martinez, Johan Santana, et al to the tune of almost half a billion dollars. Philly and Atlanta will never be able to compete with that kind of spending, only the Dodgers seem to be able to (and maybe the Cubs, we'll see.)

Baseball needs to cap itself before it becomes a 5-6 team league with another 20-odd teams only able to compete for brief, shining moments by catching lightning in a bottle, only to see all their homegrown talent bought off by the same 5 teams.

Monday, March 3, 2008

While we're talking war...

Music has been used in American military prisons and on bases to induce sleep deprivation, "prolong capture shock," disorient detainees during interrogations—and also drown out screams. Based on a leaked interrogation log, news reports, and the accounts of soldiers and detainees, here are some of the songs that guards and interrogators chose. I won't even comment.

24. Raspberry Beret, Prince
23. Swan Dive, Hed P.E.
22. Cold, Matchbox 20
21. Click Click Boom, Saliva
20. American Pie, Don Mclean
19. Bulls on Parade, Rage Against the Machine
18. America, Neil Diamond
17. Dirrty, Christina Aguilera
16. All Eyes on Me, Tupac
15. Stayin Alive, Bee Gees
14. Hells Bells, AC/DC
13. Shoot to Thrill, AC/DC
12. Born in the USA, Bruce Springsteen
11. Babylon, David Gray
10. Sesame Street theme song.
9. “The Meow Mix" song
8. Enter Sandman, Metallica
7. Bodies, Drowning Pool
6. Barney Theme Song
5. Kim, Eminem
4. White America, Eminem
3. Take Your Best Shot, Dope
2. Die, Motherfucker, Die, Dope
1. Fuck Your God, Deicide

VH1, can we PLEASE make this a countdown hosted by Sebastian Bach? I'm begging you... I'm sure Scott Ian, Dee Snider, and the director of photography on Hostel 2 are available to do commentary. Can't you just hear Sebastian?

Sebastian : Coming in at number 9 is a brain-rattling mushroom cloud of a song that put the world on notice : cat food was not going to be ignored any longer !

(A computer rendered scene of a graveyard on a stormy night appears on screen. A thunderclap sound effect mixed with a heavy electric guitar chord is heard as a tombstone marked "MEOW MIX THEME" erupts from the black soil.....)

Video clip of an Iraqi soldier ripping his own ears off his head as "Meow, meow, meow, meow.... meow, meow, meow meow.." drones on in the background.

Sebastian voice over : Cat food commercials used to be pretty tame fare, until 4 guys from Wichita, Kansas came along and said '[bleep] all that !!!!'

Scott Ian : 'Meow Mix' is like the soundtrack to hell. I remember back when we first formed Anthrax, we used to get ripped and sit around the van listening to 'Meow Mix' for hours on end to get pumped up for the show....

Some b-horror movie director : I used 'Meow Mix' in "Cavern of Blood 9" because it captured the tortured souls of blah, blah, blah, blah...

Chuck Nice : Did that mother[bleep]er just say "Meow Mix?" Oh no he didn't......

Pleeeeeeeease, VH1.......

Mourning the death of independent thought

I'm tired of all the bandwagon schmucks that are protesting our continued presence in Iraq, when they were all for this war to begin with. I'm not talking about the peaceniks who never thought we should be in there in the first place. If they want to bitch about this war, feel free to do so, you've earned it. I'm talking about the people who were in an all-guns-blazing jingoistic frenzy when Bush announced his ultimatum to Hussein, but now are just as feverishly anti-war because "Bush lied to us about the WMDs." Right. A couple of things...

First off, anyone who uses the cop-out line : "this war was all about oil from the get-go" should be shot. You think? Are you telling me you're naive enough to have EVER believed that oil reserves had nothing to do with this? Do you really think the United States would be interested to the point of military intervention in the injustices perpetrated against the citizens of Iraq unless we had oil interests in the area? If so, why aren't we all over Africa and Asia putting an end to the genocidal regimes in power across the globe? Because they don't have any fucking oil. Further, until hybrid technology and new advances in the automotive and heating industries wipe out our reliance on foreign oil, we HAVE to protect those interests. It's not even about the rich getting richer for the average Joe. Do you really think the Bush family is going to starve to death if there's an oil crisis? No, the rest of us jackasses are going to be paying $6.00 a gallon to get to work every day.

Second, just because there aren't any WMDs doesn't mean we were lied to. Sources close to Hussein have already said that Hussein purposely acted as if he did have such weapons and defied the UN inspectors because he underestimated the severity of the American response and was afraid of letting Iran know that he was more vulnerable to attack than they believed. In other words, Hussein feared Iran more than he feared the U.S. Oops. The fact of the matter is, Hussein and his sick, twisted offspring were murderous despots and the world is better off without them. I regret that any American lives were lost in the pursuit of our goals there, but for those screaming at Bush to get the troops out now, will you be singing the same tune when we bail out and either pro-Hussein Sunni extremists or, better yet, Iran moves in and takes the country over? Christ, even the Democratic Presidental hopefuls won't commit to an immediate troop withdrawal, even though it would probably win someone the election because they KNOW it can't be done. So, let's ease up with all this rhetoric. Again, let me reiterate that I understand some people are anti-war by nature, and that's cool if that's your stance - I respect that. This diatribe, if you will, is directed at the people whose views on war change every time the POPULAR view changes. Think for yourself, take a stance, and stick with it. It doesn't mean you can't admit mistakes if you make them, but have the balls to stand by your convictions and don't be swayed by the herd mentality. There's way too much of that shit these days.

Next up, the fashion industry. Esquire magazine recently had an article detailing 60 fashion do's and don'ts called the "(New) Laws of Casual Style." Google it if you want to read it, I'm not going to repost it here. They did have such nuggets as :

Small holes in jeans? Kind of cool. Small holes in sweaters? Pathetic.

Tennis and baseball are the most influential sports on American style. Discuss.

Animals make the best logos. Match the logo with the brand.

Sunglasses don’t belong on top of your head, folded into the neck of your shirt, or hanging around your neck by some nylon cord. If you have to remove them, hold them or put them on a table.

Jesus H. Christ. Fascinating. OK, so if I'm at the beach and I go into a bar or restaurant, I'm going to carry my sunglasses around all night or put them on the table where I'm sure to forget them because some asscake at Esquire thinks it's uncool to hang them on my shirt or wear them on top of my head? Fuck you, Esquire. But the article itself is only indicative of the larger problem : fashion, fashionistas, and the fashion industry in general. Why TELL people what to wear, in essence? I have no problem with people wearing any kind of clothes for whatever reason - whether it's comfort or the way they look. I dress the way I do because it's comfortable AND I like the way my clothes look. I mean, there are limits - I wouldn't wear a Motorhead shirt and cargo shorts to a wedding- but beyond dressing appropriately, who cares what someone else is wearing? Why be one of these mindless sheep who goes out and spends time and money buying new clothes every year because someone in New York or London decided it was "in" this year? Why should you give a rat's ass what anyone thinks but yourself? If you like wearing football jerseys out, wear them. If you want to tuck your polo shirt in, do it. If you like to wear it out, do that. Honestly, anyone who goes around critiquing other peoples' clothing really needs to find something better to do. Those people belong in the same hell as the morons who call up TV stations complaining that what they're seeing is inappropriate rather than just turning the goddamned channel. There's WAY too much conformity in this country as it is, it seems like every time I turn around, the government, special interest groups, citizens, etc.. are busy telling me what I should and shouldn't do. It's condescending, and frankly really fucking annoying.

Further, take a gander at the people setting the "trends": This guy on the right popped up when googling America's hottest designers. OK, so this is the guy that's determining what looks are "in" this year. I'll pass. And this guy here is apparently the most influential designer in the US. Evidently, he made his bones as the guy who popularized the "grunge" look. Nice. So, HE'S the guy who looked at a bunch of disaffected youth that wore clothing they bought from thrift shops and decided to recreate these tattered clothes at enormous mark-ups? The guy who "decided" it was cool for countless millions of suburbanites to wear the uniform of a scene they had no knowledge of, no association with, nor any understanding of, is the guy who's telling the fashion-conscious what they should and shouldn't wear? Sweet. Fashion and the fashion industry is the single biggest waste of time and money on this planet. Go to the store, take a look at what they have, find something that appeals to you, and buy it. End of story. Who gives a shit what anyone else thinks , be yourself.

And here's my favorite part of the Esquire article :

The man who imparts opinions via T-shirt has neither the intelligence to form a cogent opinion nor the good sense to keep it to himself.

This, while they're foisting their opinions on you simulteanously. Hypocritical? You be the judge. Esquire, blow me.

OK, that's it. I promise there will be more funjinks in the days to come, I'm just pissed off because I lost my keys at Sea World yesterday. Son of a bitch.

Pittsburgh Steelers Offseason - Part 1

Because I know all of you are here for hard-hitting football analysis, particularly as it applies to the Mighty Black and Gold.

Addressing the major developments since the start of the free agent period....

First off, a hearty bon voyage and a load of thanks to perennial All-Pro guard Alan Faneca. The guy's been nothing but an animal for the better part of the last decade, but the time was nigh for him to go. He was dissatisfied with the Steelers' unwillingness to extend him a long-term mega-deal, but the bottom line, Alan, is that the Steelers just don't do that. We all know that they WILL sign their stars to long-term big money deals, but not when you hit your 30s and your play starts to decline. If you're a star already and in your 20s, the Steelers will lavish that kind of money on you, not at this point in your career, when your play has already shown signs of dropping off. Sorry. 4 years at around $25 million is all he could have expected, which is why it was time to move on.

As for the Jets, who dropped the monster 5 year, $40 million deal on Faneca, which makes him the NFL's highest-paid OL, good luck. Faneca will be an instant upgrade over whatever turnstile you guys had at LG last year, but at this point in his career, he's not much more than a good pulling guard. He doesn't get to the second level and crack MFs the way he used to in the run game, and he's gone from average to below average in pass protection. This is a deal that looks good now, but in 2-3 years, that $20+ million in guaranteed money may make you wonder if this isn't Neil O'Donnell all over again.

And finally, the big, big news of the day - Mewelde Moore is coming to town! Just kidding. Well, no, he is signing today, but that's not the big news. Roethlisberger has been extended through 2017 to the tune of $102 million ($36 mil guaranteed) over 8 years. This is more money than "Hunky" Tony Romo got and puts him in the high-rent Peyton Manning/Michael Vick (how funny is that deal now?) neighborhood. That gives me pause as a fan of a traditionally cautious franchise, but this is a deal the Steelers absolutely had to make. Roethlisberger established himself last year as probably one of the top 3 QBs in the NFL (definitely top 5 at any rate) and at the age of 26 (yesterday - happy birthday, dude) is entering the prime of his career. This extension guarantees he'll remain a Steeler into his mid-30s, at which point he'll be unceremoniously dumped for someone younger, latch on in Kansas City, Seattle, or New York for 2 years, then retire. The guy is the face of the franchise, one of the faces of the NFL, and a top-tier player at a premium position not yet in his prime. There would have been mutiny among Black & Gold faithful if this guy was allowed to walk, and the Rooneys knew it. While the dollar figures are mind-boggling, that itself serves another purpose, which is to help shed the "overly frugal" tag that often causes potential top free agents pause when considering Pittsburgh. The Steelers will take care of their own when needed (see Polamalu, Troy.)

Now, Tomlin, Colbert, and crew had damn well better turn their attention towards the OL early and often in this draft. Don't be surprised when the Steelers' first pick is spent on one of the following players : Brendan Albert, Gosder Cherilus, Chris Williams (the tackle from Vanderbilt, not the beer-swiller from New Hampshire,) Jeff Otah, Ryan Clady, or Sam Baker. In fact, I'd wager even money right now on one of those 6 guys against the field.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Things Remembered, Key West edition

Join me for a trip down memory lane as we paraphrase a conversation between a drunk John, a drunk James, and a drunk nudie-bar employee out in front of Teasers on Duval St. in Key West, FL.. July 3, 2005. This exchange was prompted by an older (mid-40s) woman who had obviously been around the block a few times and was sitting in front of the staircase up to the go-go bar, attempting to lure customers inside. We'll call her "Barker", since that was, in effect, what she was doing, and also is quite apropos vis-a-vis her appearance.

Barker : "Come on up ! No cover, 20 all-nude females ready to entertain ! Guys, you want to come upstairs?"

James : "Are you representative of the quality of women employed by this bar?"

John : "Ooof."

Barker : "What do you mean?"

James : "I mean... are there a bunch of buffalo chicks in there?"

Barker (now getting annoyed) : "What the fuck do you mean? You trying to say I look like a buffalo? You..."

John (jokingly, trying to defuse the situation) : "Heh heh.. no, he means chicks from Buffalo aren't very attractive..."

Barker : "I'm from Buffalo !"

John (sighing) : "Of course you are......."

Barker : "I rode a motorcycle down here after my parents kicked me out of their house.."

John : "What is this, a fucking A&E biography?"

James : "Look, are the girls in there good looking or not?"

Just then, two dancers come down the stairs.

Barker : "See for yourself, this is Destiny and Amber....."

James : "Those chicks are very, very..................average."

John : "Teasers !! Home of 3 dollar Bud bottles and the world's highest concentration of herpes sores !! Look, she's got one right there...."

James : "Listen, let's cut through the bullshit. Has anyone ever taken a dump on your chest?"

Barker : "What? No......."

John : "That really upsets me. I can't believe no one's ever taken a dump on your chest..."

James : "What if I slide back here when you get off work. I think I can hold this monster back until then. What time do you get off?"

Barker (actually seeming interested in James at this point) : "2 AM. You're really going to come back for me at 2:00?"

John : "Holy shit... is she even listening to you?"

James : "She's drunk. That's right, toots, I'll be back at 2:00 and I'm going to hit you with a Cleveland steamer. I might even do a chili dog - you know what that is?"

Barker : "You won't come back at 2:00 - you're full of shit."

John : "He IS full of shit - that's what he was just saying. You'll see-"

James : "I am fucking coming back. I'm going to take you back to my hotel."

Barker : "Yeah, right..."

James : "I'm serious. You're coming back to my hotel tonight." (John and James start to walk away.)

Barker (calling after James) : "I'm sure I won't see you again !"

James : "You heard what I said. I'll be back at 2:00 and I'm going to take a huge fucking DUMP right on your chest. Bet on it !!!!"

Barker : "I'll hold my breath !!!!"

John : "You're gonna need to !"

Good times, good times.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Savage Beating

For those that asked regarding the poll over there, "The Savage Beating" is a low-bandwidth internet radio show I did with Stephanie and James (usually) and Beef and Rich (occasionally) about 3 years ago. I took it down due to internet problems, but I've been thinking about trying to fix it and put it back up. It's a combination of heavy metal, heavy alternative, and long segments of aggressive drinking and stupidity.

From the "what the fuck were they thinking?" files - 2/25/08.

Just saw a guy walking down a main street in Orlando wearing a shirt that said :

"I taught your boyfriend that thing you like."

No kidding. You'd assume the guy is gayer than a Richard Simmons / Harvey Fierstein oil wrestling match set to 'Air Supply's Greatest Hits', but he certainly didn't look it - he had more of a "thug" look to him. I think he just didn't understand.

Subscribing to this blog

If someone knows how to enable subscriptions, please let me know - I can't seem to find it. In the interim, if you want to be e-mailed this blog when something new is written, send me your e-mail address and I'll add it manually.

My Evening with Giada and Rachel

So, in case you didn't know, the Food Network recently held a contest where one lucky fan got to spend an evening in New York City with celebrity chefs Rachael Ray and Giada De Laurentiis after a taping of Iron Chef America. I sent my postcard in, just like everyone else, figuring I had no shot. Well, imagine my shock when I was informed a few weeks ago that I had won!! I received a first class ticket round-trip from Orlando to Newark, limousine service for the entire trip, and one night's accommodations at the Plaza Hotel. What a treat- I felt like Richard Simmons in a room full of dicks!

I landed at lovely Newark Airport mid-afternoon and was immediately picked up by the limo service and driven to a small café in Greenwich Village. Here is where I was to meet the two vixens of the kitchen, and sure enough I could spot the two of them the minute I walked through the door. Giada's head and Rachael's ass were competing immediately for top honors in the "oversized" category. As I contemplated this with a wry smile, the two greeted me with a warmth and pluckiness that were so seemingly genuine, that I was immediately disarmed. I slid into the booth next to Giada, ordered a mocha latte, and prepared myself for an evening of polite conversation. I sheepishly admitted that I was strictly a dilettante when it came to cooking and asked how they had achieved such levels of success and fame.

"A lot of it's in the catch phrases, to be honest," Rachael confessed. "E-V-O-O was simply supposed to be a way to save time on the program by not having to mouth that cumbersome phrase all the time, and it really took off!"

"You have to have a look too," remarked Giada. "There are a lot of great chefs out there, but not many of them are particularly telegenic. Sad, but true,"

"What about Mario Batali?" I asked. "That guy looks like a partially shaved wookie who stole Ronald McDonald's shoes."

No sooner was the comment out of my mouth then I dearly wished I had it back. Surely, these two would be horribly offended by this. Instead of the expected vitriol, however, the remark was greeted by peals of laughter.

"Ohhhh…that's good," sighed Rachael as she finally got herself under control. "Fuck this, let's go next door and so some shots!"

"Hell yes, I could go for a ….. well, you know…" giggled Giada, and just like that, we were out the door and standing in front of a biker bar called "Mom's Crotch." Mind you, there was no signage to this effect, I guess you have to be "in the know" to obtain this information, and clearly, my hostesses were that. I was, as you can surely imagine, both alarmed and titillated by this sudden change in mood. However, in a flash, a burly, 300+ pound, bearded gentleman with a Hell's Angels jacket and a tattoo of a unicorn being flayed by a broadsword blocked our entrance to the bar.

"How many fucking times do I have to tell you two?" he growled. "You're not welcome in this place any more."

"Fuck you, Brutus, I…." was all Rachael could mutter before Giada stepped forward, and with feline-like speed, threw a vicious head-butt right into the center of the bouncer's face. His nose exploded like a water balloon dropped from a 10-story building onto concrete, and before I could even register the scene, the beast was supine on the sidewalk. His only riposte at this juncture was a feeble whimper gurgled through a throat filled with blood and cartilage.

Rachael stood over the flattened giant, and with great sympathy, barked in his face. Giada simply wiped a splatter of blood from her forehead and stepped over his moribund figure into the bar. I stood nailed to my spot, trying to process this turn of events, when I was snapped from my reverie by Rachael's smoky voice.

"Let's go, Nancy….there's shots in them thar hills!" She flashed that now-famous impish grin, and followed Giada into the recesses of Mom's Crotch.

"Three E-V-O-Os. Doubles," Rachael asked, as the bartender eyed us with suspicion. Either he wasn't privy to the scene that had just unfolded outside, or he was. Either way, he wasn't throwing up any roadblocks, and I had to concede that his choice was wise in any case.

"We're drinking olive oil?" I asked, hoping I wasn't showing some middle-class naivete.

"No, asshead," Giada retorted. "It's a shot Rach made up : Everclear – Vodka – Ouzo – Orange Curacao. It tastes like an elephant's asshole, but it gets you severely fucking twisted." I resisted the urge to press the matter and determine whether, in fact, she had first-hand knowledge that allowed her to offer that comparison.

We toasted each other and emptied our glasses. "Three more!" Giada screamed out, as I felt the heinous concoction melting my esophagus as it made its march towards my stomach like the Nazis into Poland. Before I even had a chance to decide whether or not I was going to throw up, another glass was handed to me.

"Bottoms up!!!" Rachael exclaimed, with a coy wink at Giada as she said it. I tried not to allow my curiosity to register on my face as I pondered it.

After about 5 or 6 of these, suddenly, a savage grin spread over Giada's face. She gestured towards a large iron door in the back of the bar and looked quizzically at Rachael. "Is it time?" was all she verbalized.

A smile then began to form on Rachael's lips, slowly blossoming into a grin. It was like watching a dandelion come into its own through time-lapse photography.

"Yeahhhhhh……," she concurred, the word drawn out with a mixture of what seemed like unbridled lust and stark anticipation.

With that, the two walked towards the back of the bar and Rachael turned around, propped the back of her elbows against the door, and began kicking it with the bottom of her foot with grenade force. A mysterious, Russian-sounding voice emerged from the depths behind the door.

"What is it you want?"

"Open the fucking door, Yuri." Giada snapped. "You know exactly what we want, and it had better all be here this time."

With that, there was a snapping of locks and the door creaked inward, ever so slowly. My two lady friends strode through, Giada grabbing my forearm and pulling me along behind her. The door slammed shut behind me with a thud, and a single bulb sprang to life, casting the sparse storage room in a wan glow.

"It's all here, you bitch," said Yuri, spitting the words like venom. "Now you leave me the fuck alone." He slid a rather large box in the direction of my new companions. Giada knelt to survey its contents while Rachael's gaze remained fixed on Yuri. With a click, the lid of the box popped open and Giada looked it over.

"What's in there?" I asked, no longer able to bridle my officious nature.

Giada looked up at me, with eyes sparkling. "Everything we need," she answered. "A cache of automatic weapons, 5 human kidneys, and…. this." She tossed me a bag of fine powder sealed of with a rubber band.

"Are those fucking kidneys on dry ice this time, you Commie cocksucker?" Rachael accused. "The last batch was completely useless."

"You don't…. cook these, do you?" I gulped.

"No, you asshole, they fetch $10,000 a pop on the black market. Yakuza mostly – the organ donor system in Japan is so goddamn corrupt that anyone short of the Emperor and his circle can't get a transplant no matter who he fucks," Rachael said.

"But if they're DOA….. like the last five," Giada continued, stressing the last part for Yuri's benefit, "then they have no value. But we had already paid for them, so that's why the cosmonaut here got us these AK-47s for free. 6 factory-grade Kalashnikovs." She grinned widely at this.

"Yes…. They are top-quality," Yuri added weakly. "I inspected them my-" His thought was interrupted by a swift kick in the jaw from Rachael, who had heard enough.

"Silence!!!!!" she howled as Yuri spit out the portion of his tongue that had been between his teeth at impact. "Give me the bag, Johnny boy."

I tossed her the bag promptly. "Yayo?" I asked.

She just laughed that deep throaty, husky laugh heard so often on '30 Minute Meals.'

"Yayo, my ass. This is China White, motherfucker. You gear up?" I had no idea what the fuck she was talking about.

"Diesel, skag, horse…." she continued, exasperated… "HEROIN ?!?!?!"

"I've never-" I tried to reply, but my response was expurgated by an interruption from Giada.

"You have now, Cochise," she explained, tossing me a glance that let me know in a heartbeat that, as Denzel said in 'Training Day', this was not an option. She took the bag as Rachael tossed it gently to her and immediately opened it and began to ladle the oddly pinkish-brown powder onto the lid of the box.

"It's cut with saffron," she explained, obviously understanding the look on my face and answering my question before it was asked. "And to think, I used that in a potato dish just a few days ago on my show." She and Rachael both laughed heartily at this, as did Yuri, until a boot heel to the throat ended his brief moment of levity. By now, several staggeringly long lines were formed on the box, and Giada was handing me a rolled-up $1,000 bill.

"Hit that shit."

At first, it felt like someone had set fire to an oil well in my nasal passage, but eventually, the burning subsided and was replaced by a euphoric rush I cannot possibly do justice to in words. The first wave felt like my entire body was one giant nerve ending. It was amazing – my senses were completely overwhelmed to the point of non-function. My brain was mush, and my entire body felt like it was floating on a cloud of tits. Each minute felt like both a split-second and a lifetime simultaneously. Slowly, I became more adjusted to it and after several minutes was finally able to see and hear at least somewhat normally again. Both ladies were eyeing me with satisfied smiles on their faces.

"You didn't even puke," Giada commented. "Bully for you, Tex."

My vision focused on Rachael, who had popped a clip of ammo into one of the machine guns and with a grunt, snapped a cartridge into the chamber. I shook my head as if to clear this sight from it, but her eyes were locked into mine with horrifying focus.

"Let's go fucking kill something," she hissed through clenched teeth.

E-V-O-O, indeed.

The night air on my face as we exited the bar through the back of the storeroom was like a bucket of ice water. Suddenly, I felt every neuron in my brain charge into action, every synapse firing like the pistons of a redlining Corvette engine. My mind was a chaotic frenzy of overlapping thoughts, none holding any meaning nor lasting more than a second.

"He's got the fever," Giada said as she smacked my ass. We continued down the street until we came upon two guys holding hands and casually strolling along, obviously in love and enjoying the unseasonably warm and pleasant evening.

"There!" Rachael said. "I don't give a shit if this is SoHo, that's fucked." She leveled the barrel of the AK at the two unsuspecting lovers. I suddenly realized that this was no bluff and opened my mouth in protest, but it, along with Giada's overjoyed laughter, were drowned out as the gun roared to life. The split second between this and the horrible impact of her action was one fraught with the most mind-numbing terror I could ever have imagined. Before this fear could even fully flesh itself out, however, the two innocent guys were thrown violently forward over a garbage can by the impact of the bullets. Their bodies hit the sidewalk at horribly contorted angles, and one lifeless corpus delicti rolled over into the gutter. Blood, brain matter, and bone fragments were scattered about the sidewalk like the objects of desire at a giant Easter egg hunt. Giada squealed with delight as Rachael firmly pressed the barrel of the gun against my arm.

"Jesus fucking Christ!!!!!!!!" I screamed out as the scorching hot metal seared my skin with a sound not unlike sizzling bacon. "What the hell are you doing?!?!?!?"

"Just a little something to remember me by" she said, as she swung the butt of the gun around and across my chin with all her might, and then everything went black.

I awoke several hours later in my suite at the Plaza Hotel. My arm burned like someone had poured acid on it. A glance showed me a nasty burn mark in the distinct pattern of the AK barrel. Someone, though, had rubbed some cream on it, which I imagine was the only thing making the pain manageable. I tried to sit up, only to realize that I had been strapped to the bed, my only freedom of movement being the ability to crane my neck to see what was in front of me. Much to my chagrin, there stood the two Food Network hostesses, dressed only in skin tight black shorts and equally black lace bras.

"You want to see our tattoos?" Giada asked playfully. The two ladies giggled at each other like school children as they jumped up and down on the foot of the bed. Before I could respond, Giada turned 180 degrees and pulled the top of her shorts down, revealing a Latin phrase, the apropos (for this tale) "Deus Ex Machina" printed on her tailbone in a sort of gothic script that was possibly based on ancient Gaelic. Rachael looked in my eyes, then, with mock shyness, pulled the front of her shorts down, revealing similar ink just above her pubic bone : "AS ABOVE, SO BELOW."

"The Corpus Hermeticum," she offered with a wink. She then turned her gaze to Giada and the two of them began kissing passionately. Slowly, they slid down to their knees and, still locked in a passionate buss, began to tug at my shorts. Things were certainly beginning to take a turn for the better. I felt the cool air in the room touch my naked form, and Rachael seized my manhood with authority. Just then, however, I felt a sharp pain in my unscarred left arm as Giada jammed a needle full of cooked heroin into it, and slowly pressed down the plunger.

"It's a triple dose….heeheehee.." she whispered cruelly in my ear, as the sensation caused by Rachael's attention to my nether regions was replaced by an overwhelming fatigue…….

I awoke the next day, drowsy and aching. I sat up, realizing the bonds that had previously held me had been removed. There was no sign of either Giada or Rachael. I struggled to get out of bed and get to my feet, then slowly made my way across the plush suite to the bathroom. Urinating brought me an immediate blast of burning and discomfort, which I attributed to the shots and/or heroin. That is, until I saw the message scrawled in bright pink lipstick across the mirror over the sink.

"You should probably head to a clinic pretty soon. XOXOXO – G & R"

I fumbled back into the main room of the suite and surveyed the situation. The room was spotless save my clothes and overnight bag, which were in a pile at the foot of the bed. I put my shirt and pants back on, and removed my wallet from the back pocket. All my money was gone, but my driver's license and credit cards were intact. I checked my plane ticket and realized my flight was boarding in less than two hours, so I finished getting dressed and threw the remainder of my belongings in my travel bag. I was walking out the door to see if my limo service was still with me, when I spotted a small Styrofoam cooler by the door. I hesitated for a moment, then set my bag down and opened it. As I saw its contents, I could only chuckle a bit. Seems they'd left me with more than just syphilis and a hideous burn scar to remember them by.

Packed neatly on ice was a human kidney and a bottle of E-V-O-O.

Octoberfest 2006

By the way, if anyone is interested, the 200th Oktoberfest kicks off in Munchen on September 18, 2010. I aims to be there if I can.... but anyway, back to 2006....

You're sitting outside, listening to the runaway hit of 1995 from the nation of India ("Aamchi Mumbai" from Baadmash) on repeat, leafing through the Necronomicon, while a 21-year old college chick dressed in a full-body alien costume, complete with giant alien head, dances suggestively to the music.

"Acid trip?" Wrong. Try "Saturday afternoon."

It all began about 10 AM, as I sipped water and watched "Almost Famous," trying desperately to fend off the hangover brought on by infinitely too many Sam Adams Octoberfests, St. Pauli Girls, shots of Svedka, and glasses of grape/berry moonshine the night before. The phone rang, and after about 4 minutes of jabbering about "cylindrical meats," I realized that Richard was asking me to bring all the leftover sausages from the previous nights Octoberfest bash to his house. So, I struggled through a shower, stopped to load up on Gatorade Rain, and headed forth.
Upon arrival, the grill was not yet ready, so I was able to ease into a lounge chair to enjoy the unseasonably cool 77 degree, breezy, sunny weather. I cracked the Necronomicon, hoping to get through the instructions to summon The Watcher, when James arrived from the house next door. Apparently, around 3 AM, one of the gaggle of 21-year-old USF students that were crashing at Rich's neighbor's house for the weekend (one of them was the daughter of Rich's neighbor's girlfriend - you got all that?) had caught the eye of a drunken Yams. He wasn't sure which one at this point, or what the lass's name was. He COULD, however, tell us that he had awakened on a fold-out sofa in the living room, buck naked, with no covers on him save for the corner of a sheet across his chest. He pulled the sheet over him, only to see that Rich's neighbor, his girlfriend, and the Fire Chief of Melbourne were having breakfast in the dining room, a mere 10 feet away. Convinced that they'd all spied his ass crack and sex-addled junk by this point, he grabbed his underwear and ducked into the bathroom just off the dining room, to take a piss. Quickly, however, he realized that wasn't all, and spun around, unleashing a wallpaper-peeling, Richter scale-rattling dump. Having provided a soundtrack to go with the undoubtedly delightful mental images these poor folks were saddled with at breakfast, Yams scurried off and came next door before having to confront whomever he had laid the pipe to the night before.

As James regaled us with such tales of debauchery, Richard continued to play "Aamchi Mumbai" over and over again (how did it take us 11 years to discover this gem? The Indians sure are on the cutting edge.) Yams finished his tale, and I got back to reading the Book of the Dead.

Moments later, however, one of the coeds next door emerged from the house in a full space alien costume, gyrating and slithering her way next door. Stupified by this new interruption to my summoning, I took a minute to survey the situation. James had bolted inside in fear that this was the girl he'd rogered the night before, Richard sat there cranking up the music, and this girl continued to dance more suggestively with the increase in volume. Deserately needing to re-establish reality, I walked into the house. There was dear Stephanie, watching the video for "Dead Eyes See No Future" by Arch Enemy on Youtube. Confused further, I ran into the living room, where I heard the television :

"Should Rutgers defeat Navy today, they would likely earn a top-20 ranking in the first BCS poll, to be released tomorrow...."

It was at this point that I ran screaming from the house. I'm still not 100% convinced it really happened. I'm thinking it's more feasible that I got addicted to laudanum, got in a huge car wreck, and am actually in a coma right now, dreaming all of this.....

The Karate Kid

If Mr. Miyagi was so fucking handy, why did the apartment complex he was the superintendent for look like complete dog shit? Here, he takes Daniel's bike (the one he threw away because he felt like it, ma....) and has the thing not only repaired, but looking sparkling new within a span of a few hours. He restores a parking lot full of old cars to assembly-line fresh. His backyard was so fucking dazzling that Daniel-san was forced to admit that he had once thought Chung Lee's restaurant was nice, but that Miyagi had beaten his act. Yet, he somehow doesn't possess the ability to paint the building, fix the doors, fill the pool, or anything else. The place looks like a refugee camp, and he sits there, clipping his gay-ass bonsai trees, trying to catch flies with chopsticks, and kicking Cobra-Kai ass. Who's paying him? Is the guy that undemanding, or did Miyagi throw him a savage beating when he had the gall to ask about the state of disrepair that pervaded the entire complex? There's an old woman upstairs washing her armpits in the toilet because the new shower she demanded months ago hadn't been installed, and Daniel's running around the school dance wearing it as a costume, getting hit in the head with eggs, and acting like a complete fucking buttwad. If you run a hose on the All-Valley karate champion while he's dressed in a skeleton costume and rolling a joint, you're begging for an ass-kicking.But back to Miyagi. I won't even get into the fact that the guy does a few shots of sake and starts crying like a little bitch with a skinned knee. Way to handle your high, fruitcake. 4 fucking shots and..... *squish*.....just like-a grape. I'm sure he rolled out of bed nice and early the next morning and got right to work on fixing that leaky faucet in A214. I wonder if there was a kid in there trying to learn karate that he could make fun of. Or maybe he had 4-5 other kids running around the complex "learning karate" with such revolutionary teaching techniques as "Dust The Hamper," "Vacuum Under the Rocking Chair," or "Get The Bottlecap Out Of The Garbage Disposal." How else did he manage to get all his work done when he's running around playing grab-ass with a 16 year old high school kid all day long and spending his nights beating the shit out of other high school kids? Oh yeah, plus he goes fishing a lot, and goes to the beach and shows off by chopping the necks off of beer bottles. That's productive.

New blog.

OK, guys. I grew tired of the myspace blog and its limited viewership, so now I've moved along to this site, which hopefully will allow more people to read my typically incoherent, meaningless ramblings. I'm going to post 3 entries from the old myspace blog to kick things off, and will update this periodically. Enjoy.