Saturday, July 31, 2004


How Much is Too Much Information?

I heard the best thing last night at the Trenton Thunder game. For those of you from across the country, the Trenton Thunder is the AA affiliate of the New York Yankees and a pretty cool llittle team to go see.

The game was over and I was walking into the men's room. Leaving the men's room was an obese gentleman with his little son.
The son said -- Daddy, you didn't wash your hands.
The father replies -- I don't have to. I didn't touch it.
The son says -- Why not?
Father educates his son by saying -- I am wearing pants with an elastic band.

Would you believe that the man also had on a wife beater type tank top and was chewing on what looked like a piece of wood? I swear to you that is the truth.


I mentioned earlier that I am reading another book by Christopher Moore and it is entitled "LAMB: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal." As I am only about 90 pages into the book, I do not know what the rest of the book holds but it follows Jesus and his buddy Biff at the age of ten. It is funny watching and reading the kids talk like normal ten year olds... but.. one of them just happens to be the Messiah. I really give this guy Christopher Moore credit. So far, he is keeping the religious part of the book to a minimum and maximizing the humor. None of us really think of Christ before the age of 30 but this book is offering a fu n look at it. He is quite an author. GIve him a shot... with any of his books that I hvae read so fa. The Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove, Blood Sucking Fiends: A Love Story and now... LAMB.


Creed broke up. I saw that coming for years. The new band Alter Bridge without the guy they got rid of is cool.


I just saw the video again for "Somebody Told Me" by The Killers. That is a catchy song. Hello One Hit Wonder, bye bye cool life forever.

Friday, July 30, 2004


This site never gets old to me.


Wacky Wednesday on Friday!!!

Wacky Wednesday on Friday!!!

Muh honey and I sat down to watch a movie last night.  It was actually a pretty surreal experience now that I think about it the next day.  We watched the original "The Manchurian Candidate."  The movie starred the incomparably evil Angela Lansbury (you read that correctly), the extremely dull Frank Sinatra, the endearing Janet Leigh and the masterful Lawrence Harvey. 

I was disappointed to see that a remake was being made of the original and that remake starring Meryl Street and Denzel Washington debuts today.  The reviews are mediocre and from what I can read, it modernizes a story that is still eerie no matter what time period it is set. 

Anyway... I wanted to see and I wanted muh honey to see the original before we got tainted again by the remake.  The movie was just as eerie as I remember it, and I am more scared now that someone can so easily manipulate our fellow man to do such atrocious things in the name of power.

I saw this movie for the first time in 1994 and I had impressions of Angela Lansbury. She was the sweet murder writer in Murder, She Wrote.  She was the lovely sweet witch in Bedknobs and Broomsticks.  She was just smily and someone that I would trust with my kids.  However, when you see her in her version of the Manchurian Candidate, you will revisit your impressions of her.  She is Evil with a capital E and she makes this movie.

Many people have problems with black and white pictures -- why.. I do not know... but I implore you to see this flick.  It may not move as quickly as many movies do today, but this movie is truly one of the greatest ever made.

Thursday, July 29, 2004

HRm... Be sure...

... to read to the last paragraph.

Interesting. Perhapes this is a good example of what NOT to do.

Yahoo! News - Body Of Woman Found In Rural Area Identified

Things I Suggest to Make Political Conventions More Exciting

Things I Suggest to Make Political Conventions More Exciting

I read a disturbing article today that said that viewership for political conventions is on a steady decrease over the past 20 years.  Here are just a few of my mundane suggestions.

I would hand out BINGO cards to attendees with various pieces of rhetoric on them.  Every speaker that gets up there initiates a new BINGO card and if there is a winner, the convention comes to a halt while volunteers run out to the winner and announce the card.  For example, a winning card might read.  "Weapons of Mass Destruction, Environmental Destruction, Free Space, Evil Doers, and Osama."  BINGO!  You win a T-shirt.  T-shirts liven any live event up immediately.

Strippers -- Yeah...I know.. a convention isn't a convention without strippers, but imagine the possibilites if each speaker had two strippers on their arms?  I have seen movies like the Full Monty with male strippers and the women go bonkers!  That could happen in your own home!  A stripper comes out -- BAMN! Party in your house... and with 25,000 screaming folks?  Party in the world.

Puns -- I want to hear everyone refer to the Democratic party as they "ketch-up" in 57 different categories to the Republican Party. Ouch... that was just bad.

Top Five Tuesday -- We know how the Thoughts of the Smelmooo blog gets super exciting on Tuesdays...imagine what it could do for the political conventions!  Top Five Mispronunciations of W.  Top Five Ways Kerry and Edwards Will Show Their Love For Each This Week.  Top Five Methods of Public Manipulation.  I want Michael Moore to write at least two lists and David Sedaris to write the rest.

Public Beheadings -- No... scratch that idea.  I would hate to make the Republican convention more intelligent by lopping off all that unused space.

Trading Cards -- At many conventions, people trade lapel pins with others to come home with pin collections.  I don't get it, but they do.  Let's make political party trading cards!  Yes you too can get your Bill Clinton and W trading cards!  Collect Condoleezza Rice and Colin Powell and re-enact your favorite testimony collusion session!  Collect Hillary Clinton and Rudy G cards to see who really is the most popular New York politcal powerhouse!  Not the best suggestion -- but as with everything else... it is what you make of it.  Perhaps these trading cards can be like Garbage Pail Kids and totally rip new ones of each of the great leaders...

Water Balloons -- I say that at random moments, giant water balloons should be dropped from the rafters... especially on any of those people from Mississippi.  I don't care what party convention it is.  Those people from Mississippi are extremely messed up.

Beer Funnelling -- A mandatory requirement for any future presidential candidate is the ability to funnel beer.  On the final night of the convention, the party's nominee must funnel an entire beer without spilling a drop.  This will help attract the coveted 18-22 age group.  They need a reason to vote...a reason to identify with the candidate...and I have found it.

Nap Time -- After all the stripper screaming, everyone will need a good 15 minute power nap to "sleep".  You tell me what you will do during that time.   

That's it for now.

What do you suggest?

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Ouch... Follow Up

Someone made this joke to me about my bruise.  I can't let it go.

"Gives a new meeting to Blue Moon... doesn't it?"

heh heh.


... my ass hurts.

For a simple reason too.  I was rushing around yesterday morning getting ready for work when I noticed the time.

I went downstairs to find my pants and my socked foot slipped our from underneath me.

It is amazing that when a horrific thing is about to happen to you, things seem to slow down.  It is this feeling that leads me to believe that if I ever do get into an extremely dangerous and/or stressful situation, I will have the cool head to prevent serious tragedy to myself and/or others.

(I seem to like "and/or" today.)

As my rump was making two foot descent from the air to the wooden staircase, I remembered back to a time when I fell and I hurt my tailbone.  That sucked for about 2 weeks.  I wasn't about to let that happen again so I shifted my ass in mid-flight and landed squarely on the squishy right cheek. 

It still hurt like a &$$#%$%.  I am happy to report to you today that it is more than 24 hours later and my touche still hurts with the appropriate big black and blue bruise.  

Falling down stairs is something that I haven't done since I was about 10 years old when I fell down the stairs in my parents' basement. 

That hurt a bunch and I don't remember if there was any serious dain bramage done.  Their meyeght have bin but eye am not shure.

I know you people out there have fallen on your proverbial asses as well.  What did it feel like?  What were you doing that you lost the ability to walk down STEPS?!?!?  What was the initial reaction and did you cry like a little baby? 

For the record -- I did NOT cry like a baby, but I wished muh honey was there so I could whine a bunch.

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Top Five Tuesday Returns

Top Five Tuesday was popular last week so I decided to revive it!

Thanks to the special people that gave me ideas for this week.

Post your own top five lists/ideas in the comments section!

Top Five Reasons to Heart Asphalt 
 1.  Quieter than other types of pavement
2.  Cheaper to construct than other types of pavement
3.  Pays for muh Buick
4.  Kept me in this state.
5.  More durable than other types of pavement

 Top Five Bizarre Items I've Sold On eBay That Sell For a LOT MORE Than You Would Think
1.  Used Shower Head ($16.00)
2.  Mini Cooper Magazine Ads (As high as $18.00)
3.  Claymation Christmas Video ($33.00)
4.  Set of 30+ mismatched knives, forks and spoons -- ($17.00)
5.  Special Edition Entertainment Weekly Magazines on Friends while the magazine was still int he store for $3.50.  -- (Sold for up to $23.00)

Top Five Annoying Things NJ or PA Drivers Do (All things I saw this weekend)
1.  Merge across THREE lanes of traffic.
2.  Flip Me Off for driving normally.
3.  Call me a tool for not letting them skip 50 cars of traffic and letting them in front of me.
4.  Toss out a glass bottle onto the road.
5.  Read a newspaper at 50+ m.p.h.

 Top Five Things That You Enjoyed As A Child But Now Cringe About
1.  Thundercats (HO!!!!!!!!!!!)
2.  Fluffernutters -- Those things are really disgusting.
3.  Sleigh Riding -- If you look at the list of do's and don'ts... all three of us kids should be dead or paralyzed.  Sledding in the woods THROUGH trees with a 10 foot drop into a creek at the very edge of the bottom of the hill is the more fun way of going down! I swear it!
4.  Magic Garden and Romper Room -- I really wanted them to see me through their mirrors.
5.  Ronald Reagan's presidency

Top Five Guilty Pleasures You Don't Want Other People Finding Out About (Until Now)
1.  I like to Iron.
2.  Freddie Prinze, Jr. movies.
3.  I know how to play every casino game in AC except Baccarat
4.  Nicholas Sparks' books kick ass
5.  I like giong to the dentist.

Top Five Reasons to Hate Your Friend about Fantasy Football
1.  They bug you every freaking minute about the next guy who needs to draft.
2.  They bug you every freaking minute about the next guy who needs to draft.
3.  They bug you every freaking minute about the next guy who needs to draft.
4.  They bug you every freaking minute about the next guy who needs to draft.
5.  They bug you every freaking minute about the next guy who needs to draft.

Monday, July 26, 2004

I was disappointed today.  Entertainment Weekly often sends out contests for prizes to its email customers that it things might interest them.  For some god awful reason, I got this one today.

"Dear Brian,Entertainment Weekly and Def Soul Classics celebrate the release of PATTI LABELLE's, "Timeless Journey," in stores now!"Timeless Journey" features 13 all new songs sung by Patti Labelle, including the amazing first single, "New Day". Click here for your chance to win a PATTI LABELLE "Timeless Journey" CD!! (Click here for Official Rules.)"Timeless Journey" in stores now!Please also visit the official Patti Labelle website at and check out these links to listen to the song "New Day". Click here to listen through Real Media or Windows Media players. "


I thought she was dead.

How Long is Your Commute?

With the purchase of a new house, I have been blessed with a 4 minute commute to work.  I can go home for lunch and I can sit around laughing as I think of all the other people who have long commutes.

Ha ha... enjoy the traffic ... Ha ha... enjoy the "birds" you see when you creep forward another 15 feet in as many minutes.  Ha ha... enjoy the coffee you just spilled on your pants.

For the record, if you work at home, it doesn't count as a commute.

I love the new short ride.  Muh honey's ride is now over 45 minutes but that was a concious decision on her part when we decided to move into that part of the state. 

The shortest commute I know is someone who lives above the bar she works in.  Nice commute.  She just walks downstairs.  No driving, but hard to fake sick.

I have heard of some long commutes in my time, but I heard of the longest one yesterday at lunch.  I will tell you about him later.

A guy I work with commutes from Hershey, Pennsylvania to Atlantic City, New Jersey every Monday, stays in a condo in Brigantine, and then goes home on Friday night.  That is a long commute and a bit too far from his (not muh) honey.  Bless him.

I met another guy recently who commutes from Philadelphia to New York City every single weekday.  He is on the train for about 2 hours a day.  Now that is insane.

Today, I heard about the longest commute.  I met a guy that has at least a 13 hour commute.  He and his wife have lived on the Big Island in Hawaii for over 40 years and about 4 years ago, he got transferred to New Jersey.  He lives here for 2 months and goes back for like 3 weeks.  THAT IS ONE HELL OF A COMMUTE.

So.. if your commute is 45 minutes or so... let me call the WHHHAAAAmbulance for you.  It doesn't even compare to this guy's commute.

P.S.  Mine's only 4 minutes.  Suckers.

Sunday, July 25, 2004

The Power of the Mullet

It has come to my attention that a great injustice is being done in this world. Instead of spending time on educating kids to learn how to cure cancer or fighting racism in our schools, this school sued to stop a particular haircut of a kid. This haircut -- the mullet.

The mullet is my favorite kind of haircut. For the unitiated, it is simply a haircut with a short do on the top and long hair in the back. It is business in the front and a party in the back. This is a haircut that can only be worn by a special breed of person but it is fun nonetheless.

The Pawtucket Times (a joke in itself) reports that a private Catholic school can regulate a student's appearance, the state Supreme Court said today, reversing a lower court ruling that barred the school from expelling a teenager for refusing to cut his long locks. Russell Gorman III, whose blond hair extended down his back, went to court nearly two years ago contesting the regulations at St. Raphael Academy in Pawtucket. Two years of court cases and lawyer's fees and efforts made all because of a mullet.

Why does this need to be done? Like I said earlier.. just let the man ruin his own life with the horrible hair. It is a funny hairdo. The made a t.v. show based on the hairstyle. It was about a pair of brothers with obvious mullets that had the last name of MULLET. I can't see how this is hurting anyone.

Priorities people... priorities....

Please leave this mullet alone.

Here is a picture of the horrible hairdo.

Saturday, July 24, 2004

Saturday Morning Quiz Results

Mara of New Jersey was the first to correctly guess the answer in the blog right under this.  The answer is in the comments, but perhaps you would like to guess yourself.

her prize?





Saturday Morning Television Flipping

Saturday Morning Television Flipping

I was flipping again this morning before the 8:00 am hour and was astonished to see what is on television.

1.  When I turned on the television, I was surprised to a quick love song performance by John Denver.  He sang love songs?  I thought he just sang crap.  Get  your copy of Time Life's Romance classics here!  This informercial actually lasted an entire half hour.

2.  Polar Express is a new animated film with creepy looking human beings in it.  I remember the first time I saw the preview.  I thought the humans -- the prime subject of the film -- were extremely odd looking and moved without any natural movements.  I was right, but now I have found something else that is more appalling!  The movie stars Tom Hanks, but it also stars another super star -- PETER SCOLARI!  That's right! The Bosom Buddies are reunited!  Pigs are flying and Satan just asked for a sweater.  Go Peter... Go Peter... go go go!!!

3.  In an effort to be hip, the Ab Lounge sells its products by telling us that it produces "AWESOME results."  As a Gen Xer, I must buy this product.  If I have awesome abs, I will therefore be awesome and people will like me.  I will believe anything an attractive woman tells me.  Right muh honey?

4.  Right now -- 97% humidity.  Jesus.

5.  Did anyone else know that Gilligan's Island was once in black and white.  No... really.

6.  No matter how many people tell me that it was hilarious enough to spawn two sequels, Look Who's Talking was NEVER a funny movie.  Kirstie Alley was the only redeeming feature of this movie.

7.  What was really the best part of Risky Business?  Was it the scene on the subway?  Was it when Tom Cruise dances around in his underwear?  Was it whenever Rebecca DeMornay was on the screen?  No... It was whenever Barry a.k.a. Bronson Pinchot spoke.  The man is/was a genius.  "Are you stoned?" I wish Perfect Strangers was on tv someplace.  Cousin Larry is still the greatest cousin ever. (Sorry kneel)

8.  Has anyone else ever just left HBO Latin on?  Why is it so hypnotizing?

9.  What movie features the "Great Tri-County Bake Off & Pie Eat"?  First one to guess correctly gets a prize.

10.  PBS on Demand.   nutty...

Phillies game today... let's see if its rained out.


Friday, July 23, 2004

It's Hot Outside

It's Hot Outside

It isn't just hot outside.  It is like walking through a waterfall hot outside.

I know it is hot outside for one simple reason.  When I got out of my car after my three minute ride over to work, my glasses fogged up.  I then walked in a crooked line as my work bag made me stumble off balance and I slammed my hip into the neighboring S.U.V.


In all seriousness though, I believe the funniest way of expressing hot weather was by Neil Simon in Biloxi Blues.  I can still hear Matthew Broderick saying.  "Man it's hot. It's like Africa hot. Tarzan couldn't take this kind of hot."  (Side Note -- Neil Simon is/was a genius.)

1.   It was hot last night too.  It was so hot that I remember one thing.  At 10:00 last night, I hadn't significantly moved in about two hours and I was just fine with that.  I was sitting comfortably in front of a fan and my butt wasn't going anywhere except to read another 50 pages in the book I can't put down.

2.   It was so hot last night that I had every intention of opening up the grill and cooking up some burgers for dinner for us last night.  I never made it.  I ate a piece of toast instead.  Damn fine toast I must say... damn fine.

3.   It is so hot today that a guy I see everyday wasn't wearing his suit.  He ALWAYS wears a suit -- even on casual Fridays.

4.   It was so hot this morning that I was grateful that we have a ceiling fan in the new bathroom.  It actually takes the humidity out of the room so that I don't start to actually sweat until I go into the hallway.

5.  It was so hot this morning that my next door neighbor's dog didn't want to go for a walk.  He just sat there.  Hot as a dog... hot dog... get it?

I know.. I know... the main reason I am experiencing all these hot problems is because the humidity is 95% out there, and it looks like the sky is going to open up in a torrential thunderstorm, but I am still aware that the humidity wouldn't be an issue if it wasn't so dang hot outside.

I hear all the time that the heat we experience is inferior to heat in other parts of the country.  "It isn't 'hot' in New Jersey," they say.  "90 degrees isn't really hot.  You should experience the hot in Arizona."  Hell no... that is HOT HOT.  That is 120 frigging degrees hot.  "But Brian... that is a dry heat.  It isn't like the humidity you guys have in New Jersey."  Yeah... you are right.  It is a different kind of heat.  We have that kind of heat in New Jersey too.  It's called an oven... and you don't see me sticking my head in an oven... do you? is hot today... or did you guys already know that?

P.S.  It isn't too hot for me to drive up to Hot Dog Johnnys to get some dogs though.  Maybe this weekend... maybe.

Thursday, July 22, 2004



This guy is pretty funny... and for the most part.... right on.

131 and 10 for me.

Meat Hook Anyone? - Meat hook dangling craze mystifies police - Jul 18, 2004

So... they aren't breaking any laws... aren't causing any kind of ruckus and it is a daily thing for them.

What the hell is going on in this world?

P Diddy finally does something ... right.

Look, I am not a P Diddy fan.  He annoys me with his self absorption and his goofy mohawk, but when a man does something right, he has to be recognized.

This was in a recent news report.

Getting Out the Youth Vote: A New Approach #  The problem with most get-out-the-vote campaign slogans is that they are too subtle. "Rock the Vote" doesn't give you any idea of what consequences you might face should the vote fail to be rocked. And "Choose or Lose," while appearing to spell out a worst-case scenario, neglects to take into account that you might choose and lose (n.b. Florida 2000). And to judge by both of these slogans, you would think that you could not vote and still live. Not so, it turns out. According to the youth voter drive just launched by Sean Combs/Puff Daddy/P. Diddy/Puffy, the options are stark: "VOTE OR DIE."   P. Diddy Launches Black, Youth Voter Drive [Reuters/Yahoo]

This is finally a message that is going to resonate with some young folks in the cities and in some rural areas.  The images coming out of Iraq are brutal.  Kids that signed up to defend this country are fighting a seemingly unnecessary and relentless war. 

The message of P. Diddy is somewhat murky in terms of application.  Who's to say that if Kerry is elected, the United States won't remain in  Iraq for sometime, but who is also to say that another war/problem area will not pop either? 

I am just impressed with the use of rhetoric here.  It comes down to something simple -- VOTE OR DIE.  That is the over simplified message of course because what it really means is -- VOTE or continue to perpetuate a society that uses its most disenfranchised to maintain the status quo  of legalized oppression and poverty.

I have always been a proponent of voting and this is the most harsh explanation for why a portion of the population should vote. 

Rock the Vote didn't work because it isn't cool to vote.  Cool implies that you are above everyone else.  You are a status above the others.  Voting is necessary in the republic that we live in today. 

VOTE OR DIE implies something dire and should resonate with many.

It will also be looked upon as a joke, and it is to many.   P Diddy is a joke in his own right, but at least he is making an effort to encourage voting by a population that is often disregarded in a time when theirs and your votes mean so much. 

I preach every year... but be sure to vote on election day.


Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Missed Movie Wednesday

2003 had its fair share of good movies.  2003 also had its fair share of crappy movies. 

Last night, I was reminded of one of the great ones of 2003 that was neglected in the Best Picture category of the Oscars but it was recognized in a few other categories like Best Director.
That movie was City of God.  Based on true stories, City of God is a movie set and made in Brazil about the rise to prominence of a local newspaper photographer.  The movie is not so much about the photographer but more about the slums that he grew up in and the drug lords that ruled the town. 

Movies at Yahoo describes the film as such.  "Set on the mean streets of a Rio de Janeiro slum (in the "Cidade de Deus" housing project), this film follows two boys who grow up down differing paths (stretched across over 15 years, from the late 1960s to the early 1980s). One, Buscape (Rodrigues), becomes a photographer, the other becomes a drug dealer. The film follows their paths through a series of short stories, as we learn about the violent, often short lives of those wrapped up in the dangerous world of drugs and crime on Brazil's cruelest area."

City of God is in Portuguese and is a beautifully staged movie that follows the violent lives of these two kids... one that leads to success and the other that leads to failure.  It is simply the best movie of 2003 aside from the special effects driven Lord of the Rings -- Return of the King. 
The movie seamlessly tells its story in a series of vignettes and doesn't slow down for a minute.

The movie is violent and harsh, but needs to be recognized for its brilliance.

The language difference and unfortunate label of art house flick will keep many of you away, but it shouldn't.  It is a gritty and powerful film that will make you view life and other cultures differently.

Please check it out.  I ask nicely.  Benny's Farewell Party is what makes this movie.

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Top Five Tuesday

I was in the car today driving to a meeting that had the location changed and I didn't know until I arrived there. Good times.

While driving... I was thinking about my favorite book -- High Fidelity by Nick Hornby. The main character in the book makes top five lists with members of his record store staff. I started making some top five lists in my head. Let me share some with you. I also encourage you to suggest some top five lists here... the same as mine or make up a new category for me to think about. These are in no particular order.

Top Five Movies to Quote
1. Big Trouble In Little China
2. Evil Dead I/Evil Dead II/Army of Darkness
3. Fletch
4. Pee Wee's Big Adventure
5. Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure

Top Five Musical Acts To Take To A Desert Island
1. U2
2. Neil Diamond
3. Better Than Ezra
4. Cowboy Mouth
5. Barenaked Ladies

Top Five Deal Breakers With Chicks
1. Smoking
2. Stupidity
3. Cackling
4. Oprah Worshipping (This also applies to Martha Stewart)
5. Missing Tooth

Top Five Guilty Pleasure Movies
1. A Walk to Remember
2. Babe
3. Pee Wee's Big Adventure
4. Showgirls -- For the acting.... I swear..
5. Twin Peaks -- Original Movie

Top Five Writers (as of today)
1. Stephen King
2. David Sedaris
3. Jonathan Kellerman
4. J.K. Rowling
5. Chris Moore

Top Five New Jersey Towns
1. Metuchen
2. Ringoes
3. Sergeantsville
4. Camden
5. Newark

Top Five Reasons To Get Up In The Morning (Thank you Kelly)
1. Muh Honey
2. Our House
3. Cheese and its Powers
4. Ice Cream
5. Friends

Until next time... be sure to post and if you do anonymously... be sure to add your name at the end of the actual post!

Be good.

Monday, July 19, 2004

For all you clown lovers and haters...

For clown fun, you should click here. Trust me. You won't be disappointed to check out what you can buy on Ebay!

Behold the Power of Cheese

For my birfday this year, muh honey got me a fun T-Shirt.

It simply declares -- Cheese is Good

I wore said shirt to the Barenaked Ladies concert this weekend, and I have to behold the power of cheese. More importantly, I have to relate the power of cheese and how a simply stated addiction on my chest can cause the most interesting reactions from some folks.

Cheese Rocks

It may have been the confluence of pot or mushrooms, but I would say that the majority of people reacted in a manner reserved for rock band T-Shirts. I sear to God that in a short walk to the bathroom, I heard all of these statements...

1. "Dude, Cheese Rocks!" This was accompanied with a Hang Loose finger sign.

2. "Duuuuuuuuuude!!!!!!!!!!!" Then... he cackled.

3. "Great shirt man..."

4. "Behold the power of cheese...." This young gentleman dropped to his knees and jokingly bowed. I dubbed him the Knight of Swiss.

5. "I love ________" Insert type of cheese here.

Those were my favorite random statements. Most other people would do double takes and simply smile.

Courtney Is My New Girlfriend

It was in between acts and I decided that the yummy burgers from earlier in the afternoon were completely through my system, so I took my Cheese IS Good shirt, said good bye to muh honey and made my way to the concession line to pay too much for a dish of french fries and chicken fingers (None compare to the ones you get at Trenton Titans games though).

Once firmly planted on line, I was treated to the drunk young woman in front of me. This was how we met.

Drunk Girl (DG) -- You know... Cheese is good... (This was accompanied with her poking me in the chest right where it says cheese.)

Me-- You are right... all cheese is good except for swiss...

DG -- Nah... I like swiss (Here is where I am torn... was she looking at me flirtaciously or because she wanted to eat me or my shirt?) It's Feta that I don't like.

Me -- You kidding me? It's great... especially with some small tomatoes and in a white vinegar and basil? (Thank you Kelly and Tracie -- Lunch today.)

DG -- No no no no... (how does one actually stumble while waiting on line? I am not sure..but Courtney was able to. ) too close to blue cheese.

Me -- oh ok... you don't know what you are missing.

She seemed to be a nice girl but she was too drunk to not continue to talk to. I had a good 20 minutes before I was going to make it to the front of the line anyway.

DG -- My name is Courtney. What is yours? Mozzarella?

Me -- (With my best fake polite laugh, I pretended that was hilarious.) No... It is Brian.

DG -- That is a nice name. You from around here?

Me -- (subtlely dropping hints) No... WE live in Middlesex County. You?

DG -- I am from the Toms River area.

Me -- Area? What town?

DG -- Beachwood. You ever hear of it?

Me -- Of course! I know where that is.

DG -- Really? (Her eyes lit up big time here and if she wasn't so excited, she might have stumbled again.) No one has ever heard of Beachwood before. Wow... someone who knows where Beachwood is. That's great.

Me -- Mmmm hmmm... (You guys should know what the punch line is by now.)

DG -- Where is it? (This was the first time she wiped the sweat from her brow.)

Me -- Near Toms River.

I will end that conversation right there. She was impressed by my knowledge of geography and continued to converse with me wiping the now profusely sweating forehead. She eventually made it up to the counter and was joined by her two friends who made her order more food. Courtney did as she was told and ordered four french fries each with a cheese cup and a large Coke with no ice.

I love watching drunk people. I should say... friendly drunk people. The mean ones I can do without but friendly drunk people are really really really fun to watch. One of the things they do that is the most fun to watch is when they pay for stuff. They generally take all the money they have in their hands and firmly hold it with two hands. They stiffly move their arms with their money and move as though it weighs 50 pounds. The best part is when they put the money down on the counter as though it is a major accomplishment. People behind the counter could totally take more money than they were entitled to when they see the Drunk Two Handed Payout.

Courtney did that. That cracked me up.

So... Courtney now has french fries and four coups of cheese to carry... she grabs a carry tray and puts the cheese cups into it. She then wiped her brow again. Only this time... she didn't wipe the sweat away... Instead, she applied a huge glob of cheese to it. I learned of this when her friend was like... "Courtney... You got cheese on your forehead... "

Pour Courtney... she had professed her love for cheese and discussed the merits and cons of different types of cheese just twenty minutes before and now... she was a cheese covered drunk girl. Her second attempt to wipe her brow failed and she wiped even more cheese on her head.

She grabbed a napkin, wiped her forehead clean and turned away quickly. She barely got out... "It was nice meeting you Ryan" before she fled from the line.

Cheese had brought Courtney and I together and cheese was going to be the very reason that Courtney and I would never see each other again.

Behold the power of cheese.

Sunday, July 18, 2004

BNL Concert Notes

The Smelmooo and his honey went to see BNL and Alanis Morrisette last night at the PNC Bank arena. Good times were had by all, but there were several things of note.

1. Beer is $7.

2. When standing in line for the ladies' room... go in the exit..pretending you are looking for "Genine" thus bypassing all the other ladies who were good enough to actually wait on line.

3. BNL puts on a much better show whe they are the headliner.

4. Alanis can ruin BNL's "Call and Answer"

5. Alanis is a grat performer.

6. Big girls in orange shirts sure can jump high when Alanis comes out.

7. Aside from my own shirt and muh honey's, the best shirt I saw was a "I (HEART) Nerds" shirt.

8. Courtney needs her own blog tomorrow.

Until then... GO BNL.

Saturday, July 17, 2004

When Your Favorite Music Gets Lame

As many of you know, I am a huge fan of music. I can't play it with any skill at all, but I love listening to music. Here is my evidence.

1. 1000+ CD's.
2. I have attended 100's of live shows.
3. I have two bands on my blog.
4. I run a CD exchange so that people who don't know each other can exchange their favorite music.
5. I have a pile of CDs on my desk at work that rotate through the computer.
6. I have a ton on my computer that I just let run randomly whenever I can.

Music is fun for me. With that, I obviously have some favorites and some other bands that I really like but can't break my top five acts of all time.

These top five acts -- In no particular order -- are:

1. U2
2. Barenaked Ladies
3. Neil Diamond
4. Better Than Ezra
5. Cowboy Mouth

I have seen them all in concert in big venues and for some -- in smaller venues.

My problem came a couple of days ago when I got an email message from my favorite concert search engine POLLSTAR. This site is great and you can find out where our favorite bands are playing whenever they post anything on their site.

Pollstar informed me that Better Than Ezra had a concert coming to New Jersey! "Kick ass!" I thought. I have seen Better Than Ezra play to a sold out Irving Plaza as the headliner, at a baseball stadium, and in an arena. They have had several Top Ten hits as well...including one about 2 years ago.

Here is where I got depressed. The will be playing in Ortley Beach, NJ at a place named Joey Harrison's Surf Club. What happens when your one of your favorite bands begins the slow decent to obscurity and abysmal performances? What do you do?

Do you continue to support them?
Do you help the bleeding by just letting them die forever immortalizing them as you remember them?
Do you just drop your head and pray?

I wish I could make that show on the 13th of August but I can't. It would probably just depress me anyway.

I hope they make another "comeback."

Has this happened to anyone else?

Friday, July 16, 2004 -- A writer with spelling mistakes....

I find it amusing that the world's most prolific WRITER has spelling mistakes on his website.

Riding the Bullet: Currently in post-production. This movie is tenatively slated for a theatrical release around Haloween 2004.

Giving Blood

I know that when I normally write for this here blog, I write with my tongue firmly planted in cheek, but today, even though.. I am feeling slightly preachy...I have added some humor... but the final point remains the same... Giving Blood = Good.

I was fortunate again today to make it to the Community Blood Council today. I have been giving blood for almost a decade now, and I think that it is a great and simple thing for all of us to do.

I love giving blood and for many reasons. Trust me... it ain't for the long needle they stick in my arm or for the worst part -- the test for iron levels. Why does that long needle hurt far less than when they stick that little prick on the end of your finger? (For you dirty folks.. I mean needle.)

1. Cheese Crackers -- Need I say more? These delectable crackers make giving blood completely worth it. Whoever thought of providing blood donors with an item filled with blood clogging cheese is a genius or a moron. I haven't decided.

2. Naps -- Although a large needle is pumping your life blood out of my body, I find it a soothing time to just close my eyes and lie back and relax a bit. Very enjoyable...very.

3. Choice of many, many, many drinks -- I think I counted 8 different kinds of drinks that they give you when you are giving blood. They range from water to Tang to iced tea to real orange juice. You know I gotta go with the water on that one. We are talking about a blood center. I want to make sure the liquid I am getting is clear.

4. Irene -- Irene is a 60+ nurse that has probably taken my blood about 1/2 the times I have gone in there. She rocks and always remembers who I am. GO IRENE!!!

5. Drinking -- You may be thinking... didn't I already post about drinking liquids and the lovely choices? I did... but I mean ... BOOZE. You have one less pint of blood in your system. That means that you have that less blood to counteract the wine or beer you will drink that night. I fully expect the beer I consume tonight to fully affect my abilities to operate a motor vehicle. Go QUICK BUZZ!!!

6. Feeling Good -- I don't know who benefits from the 45 minutes I donate every 9-10 weeks, but it makes me feel all warm inside to know that I have helped someone live for at least 15 more minutes.

Preachy... Preachy...Preachy... Give blood folks... It is good for everyone.


You have possibly seen them in your latest magazines. Citibank has an ad out there that is a bumper sticker with the "I (symbol of a heart)" and the rest is blank....They encourage the finder of this ad to put something in there.

Whatever you may heart. I might put in cheese or blogging or Nicholas Sparks' books. You never know...but I would never put it on my car!

That leads me to my ride back to work from a meeting today.

I passed a 1980's Buick being driven by a rather elderly lady that had the ad on it. It said.


I think that is fabulous.

Thursday, July 15, 2004

The end of the Internet.

Just when I thought that I had more to blog about... I have been informed that the Internet is over.

Click Here

How Much Does Money Mean To You? -- A Test

I got into a conversation yesterday with someone and it got me to thinking about how important money really is to us as individuals.

We have seen a lot of press and attention made recently about who owns what and what CEO's were the most greedy and which Saudi each of the Bush's were friends with, but what does money mean to you?

I ask your opinion in a crude but thought provoking manner.

What is the lowest denomination of money that you would retrieve from a toilet bowl with clean water in it?

I have thought of this often. Money is important to everyone but how important? Is it worth putting your hand into a dirty toilet to retrieve it however? If so... what is your total that you would write off as lost?

I think that with clean toilet water... I would say $5. I guess it would also have to do with the type of bathroom but the average public bathroom isn't too bad so I will go with $5.

The next question is. What is the lowest denomination of money that you would retrieve from a toilet bowl with your own urine in it?

That is taking on a whole new level. I think the monetary value would double at that point. We would be talking at least $10. At least I would know that I had used some other money to buy whatever product had created the pee in the first place.

It gets harder folks. What is the lowest denomination of money that you would retrieve from a toilet bowl with your someone else's urine in it?

ARGH! A couple hundred... at least. right? I would like to believe it would take that much money.. but I am not sure. I can certainly say that if I saw at least 1000 bucks in the toilet...I am going fishing and then telling people about it later on over a round of drinks that I BOUGHT!

The hardest question is... What is the lowest denomination of money that you would retrieve from a toilet bowl with anyone's poo in it?

Depends on the poo. Click here for types. I will leave you to judge.

I hope you have learned something about yourselves today.

Keep up the good work and stay rich... poo diggers.

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

I Heart Asphalt. Even if it kills...

Asphalt is the best but... it can kill. Click - Pelicans mistake Arizona asphalt for lakes - Jul 12, 2004">here. to see why.

Dopiest Woman on the Internet?

I saw this picture in a listing for a Weber Grill.

I have found the dopiest looking woman on the internet.

Click here.

It is an ad for a low energy lamp.

She looks so peaceful.

Are those Jelly Sandals? No way...

Things You Should Know About the Smelmooo... Part... Whatever..

Now it is time for another Things You Should Know About the Smelmooo installment. Today's edition will focus on absolutely NOTHING!!!

1. Muh honey and I went out for a bite to eat last night at a local Spanish restaurant. The two best things about Spanish restaurants are CHORIZO and leftovers. I love to order the paella because then I am eating for three days.

2. Snapple tops have overrun my desk at work.

3. My new author of the moment is Christopher Moore. If there was a guy that should win literary awards just for the titles -- it is Christopher Moore. I have read "Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove" and "Bloodsucking Fiends -- A Love Story" and I laughed out loud at them. I will be reading "Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal" in a week or so. The guy knows how to write funny novels that you think and laugh. Thanks Tom and Laura for introducing him to me.

4. I don't nap. It ruins my day.

5. I am so angry at myself. I have to admit something dreadful. I really enjoy "Accidentally in Love" AND the video by the Counting Crows. God... it sucks... but I love it.

6. The guy who just won $1 million on Jeopardy is the same age as me. At least I have my Snapple facts.

7. The Kushner scandal is interesting. I would have made shit up if I knew I was going to get hookers out of the deal.

8. "The All-Star game was Roger Clemens' time to shine in Houston, his hometown. The AL had different ideas. The Rocket was roughed up in his lone inning of work, serving up two homers and taking the loss for the NL in a 9-4 defeat." (From MSN) Serves you right for leaving the Yankees in the way that you did. Pr*ck. On the flip side... also from MSN... "Soriano wins MVP award --In New York Alfonso Soriano was just another star. In Texas he's become a superstar and the All-Star game's MVP." Good for him!

9. My most revealing statement of the day. I use only the finest Colgate products. They are quality... at least until my buddy stops working there.

10. Grill shopping is tough. So much to consider. So much to balance.

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Brutally Honest Personal

So... I am reading Esquire and I see one of my favorite sections: Brutally Honest Personals.

They get regular people to be brutally honest about themselves. This one made me laugh out loud.

"Weight: I have an hourglass figure, only it's about 2.5 hours."

She also wrote:

"I am a grossly overweight, divorced single mother with more issues than The National Enquirer. I am a crier. I hate to cook, and I love to sleep. The best part about me is that I don't know how truly fat I am (i.e., I have yet to give up my bikini). I live paycheck to paycheck while driving a car I can barely afford. I am happy to say that I finally moved out of my parents' home, just weeks before my 30th birthday. As for relationships, watch out. I'll be trying on your last name the second I know it. I will assess you for your genes and determine what our children will look like and share it with you 15 minutes into our first date. I will furnish your home with my toothbrush and bad taste in art just after I tell your mom every intimate detail of our previous night. "

Go hit on Alison Griffith or submit your own at

One Year

How many anniversaries can I have?

Well.. muh honey and I have been engaged for a full year.


Googling Your Own Name

Yesterday, a friend of mine went searching for my registry and found that there were other Brian Tobins on the internet. It seemed to surprise her and she felt as though my name wasn’t that common. I have always lived with the fact that was kind of common. There were 4 Tobins at Rutgers during my four years. Two were girls and the other two were named Brian.

Before the internet went even crazier in terms of scope and size, I used to sit and google my name. (If that makes me arrogant... then call me Roger Clemens or Pedro Martinez.)

I used to see my name come up in the weirdest of locations and I learned a lot about who else has the name that I have.

Last night... I went through the process again...and oh boy did I find some fun stuff.

I located about 100 different Brian Tobins and I wanted to share with you the five I found the most interesting...myself excluded.

Brian Tobin of Canada

The majority of the websites that I came up with focused on this fella. I had first come across him when I was in Montreal in 1993. I picked up the Montreal newspaper and there was a headline that said something like: “President of the United States? Some Canadians think it is Brian Tobin.” That would get your attention I would think. It went on to say that they did a poll of Canadians about who the President was. 49% thought it was Bill Clinton, 49% thought it was George Bush and 2% thought it was Brian Tobin. The internet has brought me closer to this man. I feel as though I could be him.

The Lavin Agency describes him as follows – “One of Canada's best-known political figures, Brian Tobin shot to national and international fame in 1995, when, as Fisheries Minister, he forced the captain of a Spanish trawler to retreat beyond Newfoundland's fishing boundaries. Mr. Tobin's bravado, combined with his passion for Canada and colourful style, have made him one of the country's most popular speakers. After a four-year term as Premier of Newfoundland, Mr. Tobin returned to the federal arena in 1999. As Minister of Industry, he was instrumental in developing an innovation agenda for Canada and was one of the first Canadians to promote the idea that research and innovation are the keys to long-term success for Canadian business. Since leaving politics, Mr. Tobin has continued to contribute to the national agenda - through his recently published memoirs, All in Good Time, and a regular column in The Globe and Mail.” (Source:

These other two sites aren’t as exciting but I did learn something about him. The press loves to quote him … a lot. Site #1 and Site #2

Brian Tobin of Tennis

The other most common Brian Tobin was this ex-tennis player. He was inducted into the International Hall of Fame in 2003 and was quite the fella. The Tennis Hall of Fame website describes him as: “Born:December 5, 1930 in Perth, Australia Citizenship:Australia BIOGRAPHY Brian Tobin has devoted over forty-five years of his life to the game of tennis. He has been a member of Tennis Australia since 1964, serving as President from 1977 to 1989, overseeing the building and opening (1988) of the current stadium for the Australian Open. The stadium features a retractable roof, thereby eliminating match cancellations due to inclement weather. Tobin was involved with the International Tennis Federation (ITF) for over 20 years, serving as its President from 1991-1999. Upon his retirement in 1999 he was designated its Lifetime Honorary President. Under his leadership, the ITF and its principal activities, including the worldwide operation of the Davis Cup, Fed Cup, and Olympic tennis, were greatly enhanced and developed. His business foresight and progressive thinking prepared the ITF to carry out its mission as a governing body, ensuring future growth of the organization.”

I am beginning to think I have a tremendous name.


Brian Tobin of UMBC

This guy isn’t that exciting but he is a lacrosse player at the University of Maryland in Baltimore County. He is being groomed to be defensive mid-fielder. Eww…. Groomed. Anyway, his description shows his commitment to excellence and he is a tremendous player for his age. The Retrievers’ website describes him as “A mid-year transfer to UMBC from Virginia Wesleyan...a First Team Catholic Conference All-Star in 2000, 2001, and 2002...the 2000-01 Midfielder of the Year and the team captain for the Lancers...also a recipient of the Brother Kevin Kennedy Award as an Outstanding Student-Athlete...also lettered in track and field and football at Malden Catholic...a fan of the Boston Red Sox and the Celtics’ Paul Pierce...enjoys snowboarding...sister, Melissa, 21, is the captain of the women’s lacrosse team at Colby-Sawyer College…transferred to UMBC for “its commitment to winning”...born April 25, 1984.”

Oh crap. I am 11 years older than him.

Brian Tobin of

I jokingly found this site not to long ago and this guy just makes me embarrassed to have the same name. Just read his stuff. It will drive you batty. I thought I had issues.


I don’t know anything about this guy but he likes his photos.


It took me more than 12 Google pages before I finally appeared. That amazes me. It took a bunch of entries too for me to appear when I added the word Asphalt. That should prove that I don’t have an uncommon name.

Have a nice day and google yourself!

Monday, July 12, 2004

My Heart Will Explode

When I die of a massive heart attack -- remember this.

I just fried an egg and put shredded mozzarella cheese on top of it.

Easily Amused by Snapple

I like Snapple as much as the next person and I really enjoy the "Real Facts" that they put on the inside of their caps. These are interesting and provide me with hours of entertainment.

I really do mean hours. I love typing one up and copying and pasting it for others to read on IM or in email. They can spark hours of discussion about that specific fact or other stupid facts that we sort of know.

However, I have been disappointed recently by the quality of facts coming out of the Snapple folks. I guess they are running out of material, but I don't see how when they have an entire world to work with.

For example, Real Fact #395 was "It is impossible to sneeze with your eyes open." We know that. We learned that in 3rd grade and spent the next three years trying to disprove it -- much to the chagrin of our teary and blood shot eyes. This isn't anything new to most people.

Real Fact #266 informs us that "Manhattan is the only borough in New York City that doesn't have a Main Street." I spent $1.39 for this information? You gotta be kidding me.

Not all Real facts are poor. Take these two. They make me shake my head for another reason. Who the hell decided that these were important enough to even consider for a Real Fact?

Real Fact #256 states "There are more saunas than cars in Finland." Ow. That was my actual reaction to that Real Fact. It actually made my brain hurt. I thought... the Snapple folks weren't drinking Snapple when they thought up that bad boy. Probably something with a bit more 'kick.' Who would think to compare saunas to cars except a drunk finnish fella?

Real Fact #356 just plain made me laugh. "You exhale air at 15 m.p.h." I had a vision of a cop sitting there with a radar gun pointed at my mouth and every 3-5 seconds, he would tell me how fast my breath was coming out. "Excuse me sir... this is a 5 zone. Your body is fine but I am really going to have to ask you to slow your breath down. Consider this a warning." I don't sleep much.

Interesting Real Facts alo appear once in awhile. These two are the best examples and speak for themselves.

Real Fact #313 says that "'O' is the oldest letter of the alphabet, dating back to 3000 B.C." The big O. O boy howdy. Ohhhh... Tomorrow tomorrow... or even my favorite... Oh Susanna...

Real Fact #237 informs us "The number of times a cricket chirps in 15 seconds plus 37, will give you the current air temperature." Awesome! But have you ever tried to do this in Hunterdon County? If I counted right... umm... I think it is 937 degrees outside. I am going to have to go buy a cricket now and just count that cricket's chirps. I must know.

Until next time... may you have to pee as much as I did after drinking all of this Snapple.

Sunday, July 11, 2004

Searching For an Xmas Tree

I was at Home Depot with a couple of friends today buying wood to repair our front steps. One said to the other... "we are going to leave you here with the cart while we go look for something better."

That immediately made laugh out loud, and when I tried to explain why, I immediately stopped trying knowing full well that it was one of those things that was only funny to me and my family. It reminded me of when we used to go hunting for Christmas trees when I was a child.

I grew up way out in the middle of nowhere or as the geography folks call it -- Hunterdon County. When it came time to buy a Christmas tree, there wasn't an empty lot next to an automobile dealership converted to a tree farm for a month like in Middlesex County. No. You had to go to a tree farm and find and cut down your own tree. As good Hunterdon County residents, this is how we shopped for our tree.

I have a lot of fond memories of Christmas tree shopping, and it has been a long time since I was part of the tree farm experience. I remember the overwhelming smell of the pine. I remember watching my Dad cut the tree down. I remember unloading it from the car when we got home. I even remember loving to watch the tree be thrown into the netting machine.

However, I most remember a particular portion of the tree buying process.

My parents and younger brother and sister would all pour into the van and head over to the tree farm about 5 miles away with the goal of coming home with the perfect tree. Every year -- we found it. This was the direct result of due diligence and a careful inspection of most of the trees in the field.

The key to finding a quality tree is not to stop when you think you find the perfect tree. You have to keep looking. The problem then lies in the following question -- how do we remember which tree we originally thought was perfect, especially with other folks in the yard looking for that perfect tree? The answer is simple -- leave your kid there.

My parents would leave one of us kids by the tree and then take the other kids to locate an even more perfect tree. Since I was the oldest, I was usually the one left by the tree.

My job was to read my book and wonder what I would do if someone wanted the tree that I was holding for my parents. I would probably have whined and screamed because that is what 8 years are good at. Peprhaps I would have kicked them mightlily in the balls or shins.

Who knows... but all I do know is that we always had a perfect Christmas tree each year and it was because of my hard work and dedication. Without me... a perfect tree would have been unobtainable.

Saturday, July 10, 2004

Saturday Morning TV Observations

This possibly re-occurring column makes me laugh. This week's column focusses on a Saturday morning. It is dedicated to his quick observations of things I recently saw on television this morning in my flipping.

1. It made me sad when "Ted" cut off Opie's tongue during the Nantucket Regatta Race in One Crazy Summer.

2. Mona Lisa Smile should have been titled Mona Lisa Frown.

3. Dukes of Hazzard wasn't nearly as good as I remember it being as a child.

4. Best Week Ever could very well be the best show on television.

5. A great site is Ron Popeil jumped the shark when he started appearing on his own informercials. Rotisserie Chicken machine anyone?

6. I like dogs but there is a show on New Jersey 12 that spooks me. It is called The Pet Stop and there are grown ups who talk about their pets. This is a bit extreme. It is most upsetting when they have cats on. I hate those most.

7. Jet Tan or is it Tan Jet gives you a smooth look all over your body. Just spray your body down in minutes in the convenience of your own home. oh is time for a live Jet Tan demonstration! Allison looks "sun-tastic!"

8. World Poker Tour is the best poker show on telelvision... hands down. None of this crappy World Series of Poker of Celebrity Poker Showdown. Vince Van Patton and Mike Sexton are my heroes and Shana Hiatt ( is my queen.

Until next time.

Friday, July 09, 2004

Performing In Front of a Live Audience

There was once a time that I used to get up on stage and perform before a large group of people. I wasn't balancing a ball on my head or anything, but I would perform in front of 300-400 people crowds or groups of 20-30. It was something I enjoyed and something that came second nature to me. Improv comedy was one of my main passions and talents.

College and the immediate years thereafter were a time that I did a lot of improvisational comedy. Most of you are familiar with the show Whose Line Is It Anyway? I was a fan of the British show that the American version is based upon years before it was a part of mainstream American culture.

During my Freshman year at Rutgers, a new friend of mine saw some of humor at a party where I was entertaining a group of other theater wannabees. She suggested that I try out for the student run theater's improvisation troupe. I had no idea what that entailed or what I would be expected to do but it sounded scary and I had to be goaded into trying out.

I made the troupe and was taught the art of improvisational theater over the next two months. The show was a tremendous success and I became heavily involved in the troupe for my next three years at college. During my last two years, I was the director of the troupe and expanded the troupe to 12 performances a year. Almost all of them... were sellouts. The sellouts were easy to achieve. I had some highly talented folks who just enjoyed making other people laugh. We also put on free shows at coffeehouses and contest throughout the schools of Rutgers. We even won the talent show at Cook College -- It was great for marketing purposes... we were now the "Award Winning..." improv troupe.

I basically adapted the Whose Line Is It Anyway? concept and adapted it to the small black box theater that was our home. I combined it with the format of Medevial Times Restaurant. As the audience filed into the theater, the 8 actors (4 teams of 2) ushered them to their seats. They were seated in four sections in an "in the round" format. Each section was the "cheering section" for the actors. The audience had no idea who the actors were so the actors were getting to know the audience by fighting for them to sit in their sections. It set the audience up so they would have someone to cheer for when the Improv competition would begin. Once the show began, the audience realized it was a contest and would cheer and boo the respective teams based upon my scoring. I was the "referee" (with shirt and whistle!) and would score them as I went along. It is funny and strange. Every show... there was a tie! Weird. ;-)

Anyway... I eventually got caught up in the rat race and had to give it up. About 2 years ago, my job required that I give a speech. Would you believe that I was petrified and that I barely slept the night before even with all the experience I had!?!?! I was, but I quickly learned that public speaking is like riding a bike... once I got the initial fear out of the way, I was pretty darn good again in front of the live audience. Now, speaking to 200-300 people doesn't bother me at all.

You may be wondering -- Where did this whole post come from?

Well, muh honey and I went to see a friend's band last night and we had a good time. We knew two of the four guys in the band. One we know pretty well while the other one is sort of a mutual acquaitance. I got to meet the second guy at a recent poker game where he was a nice guy but pretty quiet. When he was on stage, a whole new persona came out that muh honey and I never expected. He was all over the map and revelled in his music. It made the experience of watching him even more enjoyable.

I have another great friend who is in a band and a similar thing happens with him as well. He just comes out of a shell when he gets in front of an audience and it is a pleasure to watch.

This got me thinking last night -- I enjoy live music mostly because I love to watch the passion of those performing. The music or the comedy or the drama move me as they are supposed to but it is the sheer performance that makes me enjoy the experience. I admire anyone that will put themselves on the line and stand in front of a group of people and "perform." These are truly brave people.

Admiration is not something I throw around lightly... but with these people... I can't help it.

Thursday, July 08, 2004

Fantasy Football

I have a confession to make...

Each year I play fantasy football. Been doing it for years too.

There are two general reactions to this statement.

1. "What a loser! I just don't understand that!" Fair enough about the understanding thing, but I am still not sure why that indicates that someone is a loser. I enjoy reading the stats and learning about the athletic performances of some of the world's best and fattest atheletes. In fact, the game has taken on a whole level of enjoyability (new word?) for me ever since I was forced to grasp the concept of completion yards and forced fumbles. If that makes me a loser... then I suppose I am. I never knew that taking an interest in something that keeps me off the streets and away from gangs would make me a loser.

2. "Awesome! You got a league going?" There is the other group of people that loves to play as much as I do. They read facts... we cry and laugh over Peyton Manning's come from behind 4TD fourth quarter in a Monday night game last week that either saved fantasy football teams or in my case... killed me. We are the men and women that love the game of football and are willing to make every game on Sunday afternoon interesting. Heck... the Browns suck... I never cared about them before but when William Green gets arrested... so does my team!

Why does something so harmless and simple seem to create so much animosity? I am not quite sure. I think there might be some that fear the game and the merits that it holds. My math skills have never been so honed as they are now and will be come September.

Yahoo has already allowed its users to create a league and start drafting and yes... I have already set one up. My buddies have already started to join from last year and the team formerly known as Schnizzle Fatizzle thinks he has a chance this year... but he is mistaken. The Big Blue Balls will have something to say about it. Too bad he can't back up his words.

That last paragraph wasn't really for you gentle readers... it was meant to make fun of someone who may actually take fantasy football too seriously... and he knows who he is.

Wish me luck friends. The Asphalt Warriors will be stomping a proverbial mud hole into the asses of his opponents... in both of his leagues.

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

My Sexist Trip to the Barbershop

As a new resident of the great town of Metuchen, I decided to try out a local business for a service that is an essential part of my life.

I needed a haircut.

When muh honey and I closed on our house, I took my hometown lawyer aside and I said...

"Rich, now that we are residents of this town, I need to ask you two very important questions."

His face got serious and he said, "Yes?"

I put out my right hand in the shape of a fist and I ripped off my fingers as I listed each question. "Pizza... Haircut."

He mimicked my finger roll and replied, "Roberto's....Luigi's."

Muh honey and I followed up on his first suggestion almost immediately and found a pizza joint that we will be calling home for the rest of our time in Metuchen. The pizza is just plain tremendous!

I risked a public flogging for a poor do and went over to the small barbershop owned by a Italian immigrant named Luigi. Rich told me that it would be quite an experience and he was right.

I walked in at exactly 5:00 p.m. and I was treated to a huge hello and greeting by a tall man with a barbershop shirt, gold chains and a thick Italian accent. His hair was well trimmed and he had a pleasant smile that coordinated nicely with his mustache. It was a welcome like no other. Luigi welcomed me into his fold.

As there was a line to get a hair cut from Luigi, I decided to go with Luigi's broad Italian wife who had an affinity for wearing almost nothing up top to cover her ample 60+ year old bosom. That was ... umm... not the best part of the trip.

She started cutting my hair, and the barbershop converstaion began to focus on the movie on the television set. It was 9 to 5 starring the incomparable Dolly Parton. Did they talk about the merits and quality of the film? No. The converstaion began to hover around the quality of Miss Parton's enormous rack. What made it even more amusing was that the lovely Italian woman that spoke a great deal of broken English was essentially leading the conversation.

I use the word "rack" on purpose. It was frequently used by everyone in the barbershop. It was used more than a day's worth of Howard Stern when he has the girls from Scores on. Rack was used as much as the word "the".

Now... I don't mind all of that... I didn't contribute but I found the whole conversation rather amusing.

What was most amusing was the following exchange. I want to make something very clear. If you have an impression of an Italian immigrant that came over here years ago and has a pretty good grasp of the English accent but remains committed to the accent of his Native Italian tongue, then triple that and imagine everything said by Luigi in a deep voice.

Luigi -- "My friend -- why you look so tired?"
Customer (White guy about 50 in a shirt and tie) -- "I didn't sleep well last night."
Luigi -- "You must go home and hit the rack."
Customer -- "Hit the rack? Isn't the phrase... hit the sack?"
Luigi -- "I know the phrase but where I come from, we don't hit the sack."
Customer -- "Oh"
Luigi -- "A sack is..." and he points to his groin. "A rack is what the great Dolly Parton has."
Customer smiles broadly.
Luigi -- "We hit the rack and fall asleep on those beautiful things. Hitting the sack is... you know."

I actually busted out loud with my laughing. I am not sure why that was all that funny but I laughed pretty loudly.

I will have to go back to the barbershop and get further updates on this highly sexist gentleman. It is a commitment I am willing to make for you... avid reader.

They are jackhammering outside my window today.

I apologize now for anything harsh or stupid that I might say.

I am going mad and it is only 8:48 in the morning.

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

S.U.V. = Thinking Person's Car

We borrowed my future sister in law's S.U.V. this weekend to go pick up some new furniture that we bought from IKEA. We got ourselves a nice desk and a huge bookshelf for the office and library respectively.

It was a Ford Explorer and we enjoyed driving it.

When we got to IKEA, we went in, purchased our goods, and then went to wait for the items to be brought out.

IKEA has a loading dock where people back their cars up to to enable drivers the luxury of just plopping their items into the back. It is a neat little set up.

After a good 30-40 minute wait, muh honey went and got the car.

At no time in our driving the car up to this point were we required to ever back up...until she backed it into the space.

When she got out of the car, she asked me..."Did you hear the beeping?"

I told her that I didn't but she should go put the car in reverse again and I will see if I can hear it. She didn't hear the beeping either at that point.

We loaded the car up and went on our merry way.

Long story short, we bought something else from the store (the bookshelves) and went through the aforementioned process again.

The beeping occurred again. For this... I had to get in the car and listen. It was a steady beep that got more rapid as it approached the dock.

Our two college educations (master's in muh honey's case) allowed us to figure it out. The bumper has sensors informing you when you are about to cream something! Jesus... they really have thought of everything.

Remember the old days when you would just put your right elbow on the seat next to you, turn your head to the right and LOOK to see if anyone was behind you?

Even I remember those days.

Gerunds Rock

Gerunds Rock... defines a gerund as follows...

gerund (n.)
In Latin, a noun derived from a verb and having all case forms except the nominative.
In other languages, a verbal noun analogous to the Latin gerund, such as the English form ending in -ing when used as a noun, as in singing in We admired the choir's singing.

As a grammar nerd, I heart gerunds. They are words that make me feel like an active adult and they run rampant through my thoughts and speech.

I heart using them, and I heart hearing them used by others.

In fact, it is easy to say that gerunds brought me and muh honey together. I actually made a joke on our first date that used the word "gerunds" and teased my usage of them.

She laughed.

It was fate.

Regardless, gerunds are great. Let's review my 4th of July Weekend using only gerunds.

1. Driving to BB is fun on the Friday before the 4th of July.
2. Arriving at the house, I drank some soda.
3. Baking in the sun was enjoyable for Friday morning and Saturday afternoon.
4. Groaning after the ninth inning of three Yankee losses to the Mets was appropriate.
5. Slopping on sunscreen was necessary to not get skin cancer.
6. Eating, Drinking and Being Merry were evident all three nights.
7. Borrowing my future sister in law's minivan was an experience for muh honey and I.
8. Constructing a desk and monster sized bookshelf were test of will.
9. Viewing blood and gore in the form of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre alleviated stress.
10. Blogging.

Have a good rest of the day folks...or should I say ... Having a good day is my wish for you! (?)

Verizon... Revisited...

Verizon billed me for installation.

Are you kidding me?

For new readers... please see my only rant on this site... It was about Verizon and it was early on.

Monday, July 05, 2004

Farenheit 9/11

Muh honey and I went to see this film today.

I was expecting a well made film as Michael Moore (aside from his politics) is a tremendous film maker. He has an opinion and it is his American right to let you know what it is. You don't have to watch his work or listen to him.

With that in mind, I set out to watch his new film about the antics of President Bush. There have been many things written about the movie -- opinions ranging from Moore as the new anti-Christ and also as the country's savior. I will not write anything else about the film except this.

No matter what your politics are, you should watch this film. It will create an interesting dialogue and I would appreciate to know what many of you thought.

I think it is a tremendous film and it helped to confirm many of the things that I thought were true. Hell -- if this is 1/3 correct, it really should make you question what is going on in the White House.

Sleep well my fellow Americans. Our ability to do so is a tremendous achievement.

Friday, July 02, 2004

99 More Days!!!

We finally made it to double digits!


Light Sleep

Last night was an interesting night. I was at the shore and it was slightly humid so I left the window open to allow for more air flow through the house. It worked.

At some point, I decided to finally go to bed even though I was hopped up on what was probably the greatest baseball game I have ever watched. The Yankees and the Red Sox played a 13 inning nail biter that actually got me out of my seat.

I had to turn away from the game many times... just because it was so dang exciting.

Well... my heart rate eventually came down and I was able to finally sleep.

What a night it was... it turns out that if I left the windows shut, it wouldn't have mattered anyway.

A surprise thunder storm hit the area and I have never heard lightning that loud before. It was right outside the house and it scared the bejesus out of me -- several times. It was such a surrelaistic evening that I wasn't even sure the entire thing happened until I made some jokes to my next door neighbor.

The forces of nature amaze me. No matter how much we develop as a society, we can still never contend with the forces of nature.

The forces of no sleep are pushing right now.

I need a nap.

Thursday, July 01, 2004


In the past two months, I was sitting in a meeting when I looked at the bottom of my shoes. This happened twice.

In both instances, holes had been worn through. This came as a great surprise to me. It surprised me that I had paid so little attention to my shoes that holes were evident.

How observant can I be when I can't even pay attention to my own shoes?

How long were they like that?

How many people saw them that way and thought the worst about me?

So many questions... so little time to address them in your own paranoia.