Sunday, October 31, 2004

Gas Station Prices

I got into a discussion with someone lat night that threw me off a bit. I couldn't help myself but I giggled at their theory right to their face and almost felt bad afterwards.

We were discussing the increasing gas prices and why some gas stations charge more than others.

I offered up the suggestion that among other things, gas is like buying things in the supermarket -- you have brand names such as Exxon or Mobil and you have generic type gas stations like Raceway or Blue Star. In the long run, it doesn't matter where you buy your gas but the brand names with their advertising and promotional methods make you feel as though their product is better.

This person I was talking to just couldn't bring themselves to buy gas at a more generic place. They know deep down that there isn't a difference but they just can't get themselves to buy that gas. The inherent belief that the brand names are better is apparent to them and me.

We then diverged and began to discuss why some places are cheaper besides the generic vs brand issue. This person's main theory is silly to me, but I wanted to ask you my humble readers what you think...

They believe that gas stations are enabled to charge more if they are "on the corner." Being on the corner makes it easier for them to charge you more because of "convenience." If the gas station is only available on a road like Route 1 South and you have to take various jug handles to get to the place, they have to charge you less to make themselves more enticing to you.

It made me laugh. I will give this person one thing. If the busines is the first gas station after getting off of a major road, I can see the price being high as people are often looking for the first available gas station to just fill up their car as soon as they can. That just makes good business sense.

I cannot however agree that just because a gas station is on a corner with two points of entry that they can charge more than the gas station that is 1500 feet south with only one point of entry.

What do you guys think?

Saturday, October 30, 2004

Blog Something

Blog Something

Here's something that I haven't done for awhile...

Watching television at 7:15 on a Saturday morning.....

One of the more disturbing issues I saw this morning was in an ad by the New York State Health Department. It was an anti-smoking ad and it featured about 15 different animals like monkeys, ducks, and pigs smoking cigarettes. It said something like... "do you think this looks silly... what about when you do it.." First of all...if a dog with a cigarette in its mouth can stop a kid from smoking, then great. Second of all, I might be scared by a duck smoking. Really, the long ash and the cute blank eyes spooked me more than the first time the shark appeared in Jaws.

I swear... no matter how much older I get, I still think that Honey, I Shrunk the Kids is one of the best kids movies ever made. I wish they never made the sequel, but I love watching that dopey kid try to tell his neighbor that he loves her while fighting the evil ants of death.

Why didn't The Critic do better with the people? That show is still funny some 10 years later. On a side note, it features pictures of the Twin Towers. Thank goodness they left them in there.

I saw a commercial for the Hot Air Brush. The brush uses batteries and goes around in circles and circles to ensure proper curly hair. Did our society get so lazy that we need battery operated brushes? I think so.

After all these years, Clifford the Big Red Dog is still the Biggest Red Dog on television. At least some things remain constant.

Friday, October 29, 2004

Halloween and Horror Movie Recommendations

Halloween is coming up in a couple of days and I have to admit that I love that holiday. I don't necessarily love the dressng up part or the candy part or the trick or treating part.

I love that it means that it gets darker earlier... I love that it represents the smell of dead leaves on the ground that crunch when you walk on them. I love that it represents putting on a light jacket and visiting a scare fest someplace in a local town where you voluntarilly allow yourself to be spooked and you pay for it!

I guess what I am trying to say is that I love the months of October and November. The pumpkins and leaves of the same color make me smile and remind me of how awesome and beautiful Mother Nature is.

Who am I kidding... I really love it because it gives me a damn fine excuse to pull out some of my favorite horror movies. I got some wacky ones that I love too... as I have seen so many of them. I used to work in a video store on 10 hour shifts where we would get 5 or 6 customers a day. I watched everything I could in that store.

I decided to compile a list of some classic and not so classic horror movies that you might want to pick up this weekend from your local Blockbuster. Good luck if you are a Netflixer... I tried getting a few..but they are all of a sudden on the "Short Wait" list.

Legitimate Horror Movies

1. Fright Night -- The film stars Roddy McDowall as an Elvira type movie host who befriends a kid who has a vampire move into his neighborhood. The vampire is played by Chris Sarandon -- the evil Prince in the Princess Bride. the sequel is just as much fun, but the original is a cult classic. It is scary... and just fun.

2. The Shining -- Stanley Kubrick and Jack Nicholson combine to deviate from Stephen King's original book but create a movie that still makes me jump every time I see it. How can you not be scared every time those little girls ride the Big Wheels down the hallways that fill up with blood? Gets me every time...I will only watch this movie in the daytime.

3. NIghtmare on Elm Street -- The first one is truly a scary flick before Freddy became a national icon and favorite son of sorts. I refused to listen to my walkman and lie on my bed for almost two years after watching this film. Not good... not good... heck... in case you didn't know... Johnny Depp is in the original. Also... little known trivia... Kevin Bacon gets wasted in the first Friday the 13th.

Goofy Horror Movies

1. Dead Alive -- This is one of the original films that Peter Jackson of Lord of the Rings fame made in his home country of New Zealand. The cinematography is horrible because it was made for nothing, but you can see the sense of humor Jackson had when he made a movie about a "zombie virus" going around town and the kid that tries to keep all the zombies happy and living in his mom's house. The climax involves PUDDLES of blood but it is all cartoonish. Trust me... you can really see Jackson's genius in this early flick.

2. Evil Dead 2 -- Sam Raimi of Spider Man and Dark Man directorial fame directed the first one (truly scary and intense) and this second one with a budget. It is still a scary movie at parts but he allowed his buddy Bruce Campbell to show his goofy side as well. The whole three movie series is a hoot. The third one is entitled Army of Darkness and is more of a comedy.

3. Shocker -- Yeah... that's Skinner from X-Files who plays a psychotic killer that can go through power lines and kill whomever he wants. Yeah... Wes Craven directed it and yeah... it is supposeded to be scary... and yeah.. .it isn't... it is funnier than it should be... but it will make you jump a couple of times... not always at the plot but sometimes because of Peter Berg's horrible acting.


If you want to just watch glorified crap for Halloween, I recommend watching anything by Troma Films, Sorority Babes in the SLime Bowl A Rama or Slumber Party Massacre II (starring Crystal Bernard of the Wings)

I have so many other movies I could recommend if you want me to...

What is your favorite legitimate horror movie and fun horror movie? I want to hear someone say People Under the Stairs. Classic Misguided Wes Craven.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Survivor Obsession... Week Seven.. Two in as Many Days!!

Phew... I was lucky to have my opponent tape Survivor for me so I could watch it upon my return from the honeymoon. It was a bitter sweet episode as it was exceptional, but I lost my second player. Lisa -- the fake boobed real estate agent went on a tour of her own... back home. .

Tonight was Week Seven. It was another good episode and I am happy to report that last night's loss was counteracted tonight as John "Pretty Booy" K was booted. I wish I could say more... but bless my lead... bless it.

CURRENT SCORE -- Pork Chop Express (7 Remaining) -- MB's team (3 Remaining) -- The number in parenthesis was the position that person was drafted.

Pork Chop Express (Smelmooo)
Leann Slaby (2)
Ami Cusack (7)
Chris Daugherty (10)
James 'Chad' Crittenden (11)
Eliza Orlins (14)
Dr. Scout Cloud Lee (15)
Twila Tanner (18)
Lisa Keiffer (3) BOOTED. WEEK SIX!
John Palyok (6) BOOTED. WEEK THREE!

Ashhhfault (MB)
Lea 'Sarge' Masters (4)
Julie Berry (5)
Rory Freeman (9)
John Kenney (16) -- BOOTED!!! WEEK SEVEN!!!
Travis 'Bubba' Sampson (17) -- BOOTED!!! WEEK FIVE!!!
Brady Finta (1) -- BOOTED!!!! WEEK FOUR!!!!
Mia Galeotalanza (12) -- BOOTED!!!! WEEK THREE!!!!
Dolly Neely (13) --- BOOTED!!!! WEEK TWO!!!!!
Brook Geraghty (8) --- BOOTED! WEEK ONE!!!

What to Blog About Today

What to Blog About Today

As I was working on posting pictures of 8 of the 11 days of our honeymoon last night, I was blessed to watch the World Series final game.

I watched the tenacious Red Sox battle for 3 runs and the supposedly dominant Cardinals fold like a cheap suit.

I was impressed with how the misfit Red Sox finally won a World Series. I have never seen discipline or maturity come from this club but somehow they pulled it all together and won a game -- 8 games actually and all in a row.

There was a neat set of facts last night that enabled them to break the World Series curse on them. Stay with me here. My co-worker insists this
was the reason the curse was lifted.

1. Last night was the anniversary of the Bill Buckner misplayed ball in 1986.
2. It has been 86 years since they last won a World Series.

That's right folks. That is the sole reason the Red Sox won the World Series last night. It is all about the numbers and you can't argue them
with me. I will simply not stand for it.

Congrats to the Red Sox. Now let's see if they can keep all those big time players that will probably want to exodus.

Who's Your Daddy might be a Yankee next year... you never know...

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

What a surprise...AND Sports From Europe...

I want to admit to you that I was surprised when I came home yesterday from the honeymoon to see that the Yankees had not finished off the Red Sox while we were out of commission with the rest of the world.

There was a rather New York looking couple also on the cruise line that apparently had to check the internet each day to see how their teams were fairing. He broke the news to me on Day 7 or 8 while we were in the middle of the bay in Santorini, Greece.

I had flipped on the only English station in our Venice hotel room to see that the Yankees had taken a three to zero lead over the Red Sox. I then went on the cruise.

When the hairy fella let me know the results that the Red Sox had found a way to win four straight and win the series, I was dumb founded. I can't say that I was really that shocked or upset but I was certainly dumbfounded. How could this happen? It did.

Oh well... here's to next year. If the Sox find a way of blowing their 3-0 lead in the World Series this year... then there is truly a curse... I haven't believed it totally... but if it happens this year... I think all Red Sox fans should just up and quit.

Now... back to the only English speaking station in all of Venice. The station was CNN Europe. They have a totally different set of reporters and cover the United States pretty much from their studios. Not a bad deal.

Their sports coverage was pretty weak and you were lucky if you got any American sports scores. I was mostly surprised by the sports they chose to lead with. In the 5 minute sports segment every hour, they covered a Cricket tournament, an F1 race won by an Italian, and some sort of German Football league. That's about it...

At least they sometimes covered the ACLS. They didn't say anything about the NCLS... I didn't even know who won that until we arrived yesterday.

Peace out and time to go to work.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Top Five Tuesday-ish

We are home!

Buena Sera and Gratzi!!!!
Prego and Canolli!!!

I am too tired to do a real TOp Five Tuesday... so I decided to come up with the Top Ten Things I Learned About Europe... That Maybe Other People Knew That I Didn't.

1. The security guys in the airport in Frankfurt involves an overzealous fella with a wand and roaming hands that literally touched and scanned EVERY single inch of my body.

2. Toilets or W.C.'s are interesting for four main reasons. A. Many bathrooms are unisex in public places. B. Almost every single toilet in Europe that we saw was a stall. I only saw two urinals in four different countries. C. These stalls also contained their own sinks in addition to the ones in the main area. D. Almost all toilets had two flush buttons -- one for four liter flushes and one for 10 liter flushes -- you decide!!!

3. The DaVinci Code can be translated into 10 different languages and Nicholas Sparks' books can be in Italian.

4. In terms of soda, they don't have any "Diet" anything. Everything is "Light."

5. In many places, wine is cheaper than soda and water!!!

6. Cover Charges -- Most of the restaurants that we went to charged cover charges and that includes the bread and silverware set up. Wacky.

7. English is everywhere. We had very few no English interactions.

8. Orange juice has gas in Europe. Why is that?

9. In our many many many meals in Italy -- all in different restaurants -- why was the bread different in each of them?

10. You think cars are compact here in America? WOW ARE THEY SMALL IN EUROPE!!!

Monday, October 25, 2004

Hello From Venice!!!

Muh honey and I are here testing out thisdisturbing inrnet access thing through the T.V. from Venice, Italy.

Buena Sera!!!

We fly home tomorrow and we all know you miss us.

Should we type up a blog of our misadventures?

Friday, October 15, 2004


Go Governor!!!

Thoughts of the smelmooo... On Hiatus...

For the first time since I started this thing, I am going to miss some days.

Mr. and Mrs. Smelmooo will be in the Mediterranean on our honeymoon.

Peace out....

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Survivor Obsession... Week Five -- Then a Break

Muh honey and I sat down tonight to watch Week Five of Survivor knowing full well that we wouldn't be able to watch it again until we return from our honeymoon. Good times... good times...

Plain and simple... although it is not as good a season for charater development.. I am finding myself hating people just as much as normal. I am also the proud owner of a team that has taken a FOUR person lead over my competition. This week after a shake up on the island in the form of an earthquake and then a shake up in tribal line ups, I am now grounded and sitting at my computer.

The tribes got all mixed up and because of his own stupidity... Bubba was booted. I will give Ashfault one thing.. it was his last pick... pretty much what he was left with. Bubba blew it by trying to communicate with his former tribemates and he was caught by my new girfriend.. ex-Playboy model Ami Cusack. God bless America.

Thank you Survivor for the early honeymoon present... bless your hearts....

CURRENT SCORE -- Pork Chop Express (8 Remaining) -- MB's team (4 Remaining) -- The number in parenthesis was the position that person was drafted.

Pork Chop Express (Smelmooo)
Leann Slaby (2)
Lisa Keiffer (3)
Ami Cusack (7)
Chris Daugherty (10)
James 'Chad' Crittenden (11)
Eliza Orlins (14)
Dr. Scout Cloud Lee (15)
Twila Tanner (18)
John Palyok (6) BOOTED. WEEK THREE!

Ashhhfault (MB)
Lea 'Sarge' Masters (4)
Julie Berry (5)
Rory Freeman (9)
John Kenney (16)
Travis 'Bubba' Sampson (17) -- BOOTED!!! WEEK FIVE!!!
Brady Finta (1) -- BOOTED!!!! WEEK FOUR!!!!
Mia Galeotalanza (12) -- BOOTED!!!! WEEK THREE!!!!
Dolly Neely (13) --- BOOTED!!!! WEEK TWO!!!!!
Brook Geraghty (8) --- BOOTED! WEEK ONE!!!

What a Day...

Yesterday drained me. A lot of things happened to me that really made me happy to be home at the end of the day...and a few things happened that just made me smile. Let me recount a few for you.

1. I gave blood today again. As you know, I love giving blood. It makes me feel like I have given something to the community and it helps me feel as though I may have saved a life. As I was donating blood, they were decorating the center for Halloween. They had spiders, creepy hands, and monster related items. While I was actually giving the blood, they also decided to hang up a yellow caution tape across the entrance to the blood extraction room that read -- "Caution -- Enter At Your Own Risk" Fun... and slightly inappropriate... and it made me laugh.

2. I was driving to an event in Toms River, New Jersey so I was heading down Route 9 South to kill some time. I was able to kill a lot of time when while seated at a red light, I saw a cute little silver Saturn decide that it wanted to be where my blue Buick was at the exact same time I was there. it sounded like a pretty bad crash but I got out of the car and immediately surveyed the damage. It really looks like nothing is wrong with the car, but I still called the police and filed a report. Her car got it worse. The thing is... she was an old lady -- 87 to be exact -- and her walker was sitting next to her in the car. She claimed that she had her foot all the way down on the brake and it slipped. Riiiiight. Even when she said that to the police officer, he smirked at me. Now... I am going to go on my honeymoon and THEN get it looked at. If there is a problem... it will get resolved... if not... then lucky me. I don't want to get into a rant... but does she really need to have a license?

3. I had to work until 9 pm tonight. Enough said.

4. Because I had to work until 9:00 pm tonight and the event was an hour away, I was blessed to listen to the preseidential debate on the radio. Is it my imagination or has Kerry gotten even better and his message is more defined while Bush is sounding more and more whiny? I turned it off. Go Yankees.

That's it... only one more day of working and then we leave for 12 days of fun. I can't wait.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

What to do?

As the honeymoon approaches, I realize something very important... I am not going to be able to watch the entire Yankees/Red Sox series.

It isn't like I would go out of my way to find the game while on the trip as I will probably not knwo who won until I get back! However, there IS something very magical about the Red Sox and Yankees that makes watching baseball that much more interesting come October. I will miss this very much.

Their history goes back a century, and I need to remind you the reader of something important about this series. I have heard too many people refer to the Boston Red Sox curse as though it is a curse that has something to do with the Yankees. It has nothing to do with the Yankees. The curse is specifically that the Red Sox cannot win the World Series. The fact that the Yankees screw them up a lot is irrelevant.

Alright... last night was an amazing game. Just some I get ready to miss games 3 through whatever...

1. Mussina was pure magic and then the Sox figured him out. Good job Moose.
2. An 8 run lead in games like these mean absolutely nothing. I am telling you. This is just magic.
3. I knew Tom Gordon would be a problem. He has never been a good pitcher in the playoffs.
4. How nervous was I when Ortiz came up to bat in the 8th down by three with two on base> He has the Yanks's number normally and dammit... he got that double.
5. I Heart Enter Sandman
6. Matsui is a God(zilla)
7. At the end there... what can I say? BERNIE... BERNIE... BERNIE....

Whatever... I will just have to root for them in spirit and from 35,000 feet in the air.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Top Five Tuesday -- Post Wedding Edition

Top Five Wedding Things -- Obligatory Wedding Top Five List Three Days Later
1. Yes... I cried... a hell of a lot.
2. Yes... she really is/was the most beautiful bride... EVER.
3. Yes... we had our own shuttle back to the hotel as the one that left right before us was COMPLETELY FULL and they still laughed at us...
4. Yes...our first marital sex was in a Holiday Inn (That is so much fun to say.)
5. Yes... I am so glad that we had Swedish fish in a Rolls Royce. Too cool for school.

Top Five Places You Probably Won't Find Me
1. Places that Wax Body Hair
2. Connecticut -- It really is the most God Awful state in the union.
3. A cucumber farm
4. At a Country Music Concert
5. On a rollercoaster

Top Five Chores You Love to Procrastinate
1. Cleaning the Toilet -- Damn that brown ring around the water... why can't I just piss it away?!?!
2. Sweeping the front steps -- Too many tools for so little work but maximum results!
3. Snow Shoveling -- Please let me convince myself that it will be a snow day if I don't do anything...
4. Weeding -- Those little bastards just won't go away. DIE WEEDS!!! DIE!!!!!!
5. Putting Clean Clothes in Drawers -- I cleaned them, but th epiles will remain.

Top Five Chores I Should Procrastinate But Love Doing
1. Ironning -- Yes... with a bottle of wine and can I go wrong?
2. Laundry -- I do... I love it so much... warm cloths rock.
3. Watering the Lawn -- Boring....but I love setting up that thingy majiggy
4. Mowing the Lawn -- It only takes five minutes and god bless the mulching feature!
5. Fixing a Leak.

Top Five Funniest Mispronunciations of Words
1. Epitome
2. Onerous
3. You's guys
4. Idea -- Silly New York and North Jersey people like to add an R at the end of the word. What the hell is that all about?
5. Library -- Libary? WHAT?!?!?!

Top Five Recipes of Biblical Times (Borrowed From Internet -- Just too funny not to share.)
1. Delilah's Angelhair Pasta
2. Solomon's 50/50 Split Peas
3. Judas' Eggs Benedict
4. Noah's Rootbeer Float
5. Satan's Hot Cross Buns

Monday, October 11, 2004

Ringbearer = Cute

Our ringbearer said the cutest thing the day before the wedding. He told his Dad that the wedding could still go on if he (his dad) wasn't there... but it would be a problem if he (the ringbearer) didn't make it because weddings can't happen without ringbearers.

Picking Up My Prescription...

... was never so much fun.

I went to Walgreen's this morning to get a prescription filled. I have never been to this Walgreen's before for a prescription and I planned on just dropping it off and picking it up later in the day.

The fella behind the counter was pleasant and he told me that it would be a ten minute wait if I wanted to wait.

Sure... why not....

In the waiting area, I walked over and sat in one of the plush seats when I realized that one of the chairs had a demo version of a Shiatsu massage device. I went and sat in that chair and for my entire ten minute wait... I was getting the massage of the morning.

I ran the demo three times... and now am really considering buying one of those things.

Too much fun...

Sunday, October 10, 2004

I Introduce You To...

Mr. and Mrs.* Smelmooo....

*Mrs. Smelmoo reserves the right to keep her maiden name of Ms. Muh Honey.

Saturday, October 09, 2004

We Got Married

I know I am cheating and doing this a day early, but I don't plan on having access to my computer.

We made it!

It has been a long 15 months and I wouldn't have it any other way!


Friday, October 08, 2004

Bush's Debate Notes

This frigging hilarious.

Survivor Obsession... Heads Into Week FOUR

Survivor continues... and I am proud to say that I am the proud owner of a team that has taken a three person lead over my competition. The FBI agent that all the women love was booted this week. I even felt bad for him. He was pretty nice. No matter how nice I thought he was.

Something was revealed this week. Ami Cusack -- the woman that I thought had a lot of class and respected -- is a former Playboy model. She did a spread in 1996 and she is totally lovely. She had long blonde hair and was simply devine (he says this 2 days before his wedding... but she was a cutie!) Her new look is deceiving... and wouldn't it be great if she won?

NOT BECAUSE SHE IS A PERSON WHO HAS POSED NUDE... but because she is ON MY TEAM!!! WOO HOO!!! I want 6 in a row!!!

CURRENT SCORE -- Pork Chop Express (8 Remaining) -- MB's team (5 Remaining) -- The number in parenthesis was the position that person was drafted.

Pork Chop Express (Smelmooo)
Leann Slaby (2)
Lisa Keiffer (3)
Ami Cusack (7)
Chris Daugherty (10)
James 'Chad' Crittenden (11)
Eliza Orlins (14)
Dr. Scout Cloud Lee (15)
Twila Tanner (18)
John Palyok (6) BOOTED. WEEK THREE!

Ashhhfault (MB)
Lea 'Sarge' Masters (4)
Julie Berry (5)
Rory Freeman (9)
John Kenney (16)
Travis 'Bubba' Sampson (17)
Brady Finta (1) -- BOOTED!!!! WEEK FOUR!!!!
Mia Galeotalanza (12) -- BOOTED!!!! WEEK THREE!!!!
Dolly Neely (13) --- BOOTED!!!! WEEK TWO!!!!!
Brook Geraghty (8) --- BOOTED! WEEK ONE!!!

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Buying My First Car

I was chatting with muh honey the other day about when we bought our first cars.

Each of us took our respective fathers with us to go buy our cars.

We were both fresh out of college and had no experience in negotiating anything. Her transaction went pretty smoothly and she loves that little Jetta of hers. I, on the other hand, can honestly say. "We almost got kicked out of the dealership."

The story is entertaining on some level and I feel the need to share it with you loyal readers.

My father found an advertisement in the paper for a rather cheap Hyundai Accent for approximately $7500. So... the two of us went into the particular dealership in Flemington, New Jersey and walked around the cars for sale. We were eventually assisted by a slimy salesman. We did a bit of haggling and got the salesman to finally agree on the $7500 price tag that was in the paper.

We went back to the desk and filled out the paperwork. The plan was to use my savings and buy the car outright with a check. The salesman agreed that this would be a terrific sale as we didn't need to fill out any of that pesky financing paperwork.

For the record, car dealerships make a great deal of money on the financing. That is how they can offer such low prices sometimes as the interest on the financing more than makes up for the lower price.

We signed all the paperwork and the salesman took it back for manager approval. We waited for about 10 to 15 minutes when the salesman and the manager came out from the back. They informed us that they couldn't sell us the car because the $7500 price was only for those people that took advantage of their financing plan. My father's quick response was... "Too bad, we already signed all the paperwork and got a receipt for the check." A heated exchange took place and we were almost escorted from the building.

This brought out the owner of the place as the salesman and manager obbviously had a lot of ass covering to do. After some calmer discussions, I eventually walked out of the dealership with key in hand and went home driving my new car.

This is where I started believing in a conspiracy.

I can only wonder what the dealership did to the car as we argued about it. About 3 weeks into owning the car, problems started to result. I don't want to get into it too deeply, but let's just say that 3 months later, after 4 visits to the dealership, and 4 rental cars, a boss who didn't believe that I had to leave early again to get the car fixed, 239 headaches, a letter to the Department of State asking for the Lemon Law to be applied, the car was finally fixed.

To this day... some eight and a half years later, I still believe that the car was not the problem. It was the dealership(s) that were the problem. I know it is crazy, but I believe that there was some sort of deception going on here. We had "pulled one over" on the dealership and this was the retribution. I really do believe it.

They should have thrown us out. I would have gotten a car elsewhere and had less headaches. I swear by it.

Getting Close

You know you are getting close to the wedding when you stop measuring by years and start measuring by hours.

56 hours....

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Holy Smoly

This person's name is actually... Yfke Sturm

That name doesn't ruin her beauty though.

Animated Cell Phone Users

I was walking to my car recently when I noticed a gentleman that was outside talking on his cell phone. He was seated on a curb that was far away from everyone else but my car. His back was to a huge berm and no one was going to be sneaking up behind him. He had the whole parking lot in his purveyance.

When I originally spotted him from the building entrance, he looked like he was just sitting there listening to his walkman and enjoying the songs on his machine, but as I got closer to him, I realized that he was on his cell phone.

He was quite livid at whomever he was talking to or about.

To make this determination, I used a few context clues. I heard a few choice words coming from his mouth and I was watching his head and arm motions.

I am always amazed that when I talk on the phone and the conversation gets me "going" I tend to get animated. I use my hands and I roll my eyes and somehow... I am expecting the person I am talking to to see and or understand what it is that I am trying to do on the other end.

This gentleman sitting on the curb was similar to me in many ways. A lot of his expressions of anger and malevolence were being lost as the person he was speaking to couldn't see them.

Why do I/we do that? We know better. I especially know better when I am talking on the phone and I figure it out. I should know better than to expect them to see my chopping hand motion which symbolizes my efforts to spell out the steps that one must take to achieve our common goal. You really need to understand what I am doing there folks!

Sometimes...I figure out what I am doing and I stop myself. At this point... I am on the phone with you and I am completely distracted because I feel like a complete and total jackass. AND!!! you have know idea that I am even in that mental & physical state! Once or twice ... I have even gone so far as to sit on my hands... to stop myself. How's that for a bit of entry into my wacky psyche?

I can only hope that the guy I saw recently was able to express his feelings appropriately to the person on the other end of the line. I knew he was pissed from his bobbing head and waving hands... I can only wonder if his phone mate could "see" the same thing.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Top Five Tuesday -- Just Before the Wedding Edition

Top Five Most Amazing Things Said To Me At Our Garage Sale
1. No really. You will sell it to me for $10. (Jedi Mind Trick I See)
2. Can I get this for five cents (original price you ask? 10 cents... come on...)
3. Can I get a bag for this? (It was a spoon. A wooden spoon.)
4. Does this work? (This was for an Amstel Light bar sign... Fair question... but the damn thing was plugged in and lit up!)
5. Why are you selling this!?!?!? (Because the couch is a hand me down from 1970 something. That's why.)

Top Five Reasons That Fall is Muh Favorite Season
1. The smell of leaves that are dry and fallen.
2. The look of the trees as they change colors
3. Halloween Candy is on sale for most of the months of October and November
4. It is almost muh birfday.
5. You can start lighting fires.

Top Five Reasons Why Our Honeymoon May Be Adventurous
1. Venice is sinking and PBS has a Nova special proving it.
2. We do not have any excursions planned for Santorini or Mykonos. Can anyone say PARTAY!!?!?!
3. We are flying on a small plane between Frankfurt and Venice. bum bum bum bum bum...
4. Croatia is a stop. Did that country exist like 5 years ago?
5. All Italian cruise line... all American couple. :)

Top Five Problems I Have With Snapple Fact #319 -- The name for the space between your eyebrows is "Nasion."

1. Someone took the time to name it.
2. Someone identified that spot of skin as something to be named.
3. Snapple reported the name.
4. I made up a whole Top Five List about it -- what does that really say about me?
5. I have no idea how nasion would be pronounced.

Top Five Most Asked Questions/Comments During the Week Before My Wedding And The Answers
1. Nervous? -- Hell No
2. You still have more to do? -- Hell No
3. Ready? -- What for exactly... the wedding or the marriage?
4. I see you haven't run yet. -- Ha ha... I bought a house with her. No running... (gotta stay tough sounding...even though we all know the real answer is..... I love the dame.)
5. What is the mode of dress at the rehearsal dinner? Is a suit too much? -- Tuxes! A suit would make him look too casual.

Top Five Hottest Teachers Growing Up
1. Mrs. Masterson (3rd Grade... she got pregnant half way through... never made it...)
2. Mrs. Beastie (Ironic...isn't it? 8th Grade science rocked.)
3. Mrs. Midget (2nd Grade -- I think she was hot... I don't remember. I was a second grader.)
4. Mrs. O'Hara (She made me read... and I thank her for it.)
5. Mrs. Drazanakis (Contemporary history in Spanish. She had a very exotic look. Not your normal hot woman.)

Asphalt Humor

A man walks into a bar with a slab of asphalt under his arm and says: "A beer please, and one for the road."

Wedding Humor

Two antennas met on a roof, fell in love and got married. The ceremony wasn't much, but the reception was excellent.


... showers are gone!

Back to 67 degrees, partly cloudy, and 10% chance of rain!!!

woo hoo

Monday, October 04, 2004

Keeping It Real... Christopher Moore Real....

I have written numerous times about the genius that is Christopher Moore. Muh friend T.J. introduced me to him and I have tried to read everything by him. The truth be told... I would have read everything by him by now if I wasn't trying to save his books for our honeymoon. They are paperback and so nice and easy to take on a plane.

I was excited to see recently that he was one of the Today Show authors of the week for his book Fluke. That was kind of exciting to see that his books have finally reached a more national audience and are getting some of the credit that they deserve. He is from California and the majority of his fans come from that area.

So... I was flipping through the Sunday Star Ledger yesterday on what could have been a lazy Sunday afternoon but turned into a chore riddled Sunday afternoon when I came across the Book Section. The Star Ledger puts out a column every month entitled, "What We Are Reading In ... (Insert Appropriate Month Here.)" I generally ignore this section but this time around... I noticed they had Christopher Moore's upcoming October release....

It read...

"The Stupidest Angel: A Heartwarming Tale of Christmas Terror Christopher Moore -- Christmas crept into Pine Cove like a creeping Christmas thing: dragging garland, ribbon and sleigh bells, oozing egg nog, reeking of pine, and threatening festive doom like a cold sore under the mistletoe," begins this weird cross between "It's a Wonderful Life" and "Night of the Living Dead." It's Moore's first contribution to the holiday book genre, and typically for him, it's kind of a twisted fit. In the tiny California village of Pine Cove, 7-year-old Joshua Barker has made his Christmas list and checked it for the 137th time when one night he actually sees Santa. Well, he thinks he does, but he's actually watching Dale Pearson, the town's evil real-estate developer, dressed in a Santa suit and arguing with his ex-wife, Lena, over a Christmas tree. When Lena bounces a shovel off Dale's head, Joshua thinks he's seen the end of Santa, and he revises his list to only one fervent wish: that Santa can be brought back to life. Unfortunately, in trying to grant Joshua's wish, the angel Raziel (not the brightest bulb in heaven) manages to raise more than one resident of Pine Cove's graveyard from the dead.
Moore, a science fiction/satire/ comic writer who's been compared to Jonathan Swift, George Orwell, Kurt Vonnegut, Douglas Adams and Dave Barry (not bad, huh?) is like those authors mostly in his uniqueness. He is an underappreciated national treasure. "

I am really impressed with the last sentence. Someone else who has a bigger forum finally said it.


The only day with showers....

Sunday, October 03, 2004

Garage Sale = Success

Muh honey and I hosted a garage sale yesterday. I find garage sales and the whole experience to be fascinating.

The garage sale was a last minute decision when we realized that our town was going to have a fall festival of sorts. Put some signs out on Main Street ... guide them... and sell them our stuff was our goal! We also knew we would benefit from the YMCA from across the street. People were going to go work out and stop at our place on the way in or out. We were right.

Throughout the week, muh honey and I made boxes of stuff and put prices on them and made sure that everyone knew what things cost so there wouldn't be any real debate. We took all the furniture out as well that we wanted to sell. We put prices on the furniture that made them "Priced to Sell!"

We didn't put any advertisements in any papers. We only made some bright pink signs with arrows pointing everyone where they needed to go. The signs stood out and they worked great. We had a good time walking around the town the night before from about 9 to 10 at night hanging up the fifteen brightly colored signs.

The signs read YARD SALE, 9-?, 10/2/2004 followed with a big arrow showing you where to go! At 7:30 that morning, we started putting everything out in the driveway.

By 8:00 am (even though the sale started officially at 9), we had made about $100 from the various "early bird" transients that pick over your stuff right away. Garage sale buyers are a serious bunch and get to places as early as possible.

By 12:30, we were tapped and decided to close up shop. It also started to drizzle and looked as if it was ready to downpour on our heads at any moment. The amount of money we made was enough to justify having a garage sale and to pay for the moving van last week that we rented to move muh honey's big furniture to the new house.

Are garage sales a lot of work? Yes. Are we glad that we did it? Yes. Will we have another one in the Spring? Yes... especially since all of our stuff is already priced. Will we invite more people to set up tables and whatnot? Sure thing!

P.S. Anyone want or know someone who may want a kitchen table and 4 chairs set? The set is in great condition and it was the only thing we didn't get rid of of major size.

Saturday, October 02, 2004

Muh Ebay class

So ... it happened. My lovely assistant and I made the one hour trek to North Brunswick High School so that I could teach -- How to Sell Your Junk on Ebay and Make a Profit Doing So!

With Jeanne rearing her ugly head, we sat in traffic for over an hour and barely made it to the class in time. I wanted to be 45 minutes early. It wasn't my destiny to do so.

The class began simply enough and I realized that I was going to have to start at the most basic level with the majority of the people in the room. We covered many of the basics and even worked through some uncooperative computers. Two hours flew by and we actually had to stop the session short as we ran out of time.

I think the majority of the class had their questions answered. I really enjoyed the give and take of the class. These were people that were genuinely excited about the class and really wanted to learn. IT was a great session.

I also got to get a copy of my class evaluations and let me get a bit arrogant for a minute. Comments included:

(Smelmooo) was excellent!
Very Informative
He gave helpful answers.
Our instructor (Smelmooo) was great.
Instructor was very knowledgable.
The tips and all questions were answered well.
Hands on instructor and explanations. Excellent!
It was a small group and informative.
How (Smelmooo) followed the progression of putting up an item for sale from beginning to end.
The instructor (Smelmooo) was very good.
Open and friendly.

Two hours to introduce myself to these folks and make them experts in selling their Hummels.

I would say... Mission accomplished.

P.S. I have another class coming up in November or December. Should be great!

Friday, October 01, 2004


67 Degrees and Partly Cloudy with 0% chance of rain... for the day after and before too...

Bless you... and don't change... please.

Free Money

I have been told time and time again that ... "Money doesn't grow on trees." Right... after the past couple of months I am inclined to not believe this adage anymore!

In 1998, I got an email from a friend of mine. It told me... sign up here and you will get free stock shares from a company. So... I signed up. I then got three others to sign up. In total... I received 16 shares. Back in 1998...I was far more trusting of email sign ups.

(Side note -- I don't remember who I got to sign up... so you will have to check out if you were one of those people.)

It was for a new website that was looking to get off the ground by giving away free shares. I have suffered through their weekly emails now for 6 years. One email a week -- completely unobtrusive but annoying nonetheless. I heard about a year ago that they went public so I looked up to see if I still had the shares as for 5 years I just discarded the emails not thinking about the stock. I was amazed to see that I still had the sixteen shares.

That was awesome to me. I was so excited that I had 16 shares of a stock that was hovering at around $4-5 a share. Free money! Then... I forgot about the shares again for about 6 months when I started to monitor the stock again. It was up to $9-10 a share at this point! Even better!!! Double muh free money!

This is where the story gets weird.

The shares... about 4 months ago shot up to over $30 a piece. By that point, I couldn't watch it anymore and I had to get the stock certificate. Before the shares were abstract ideas... now... I had to order the certificate so I could sell those suckers! The stock certificate came and I was now on the map... I had 16 shares of a stock that was now in the mid 30 dollar range. Excellent.

(Apparently, every year there is one stock that just does so much better than it should. This year... it was my stock. The profits to earning ratio was 429.6 at one point. According to my business friends, a ratio of 25 is considered risky. )

I then forgot about the shares again as muh honey and I purchased our new home. When I picked up watching them again... I saw that they had jumped up to $50 a share. Jesus... I began to research ways of selling the stock as I have never had any stock before... I eventually got off my ass and opened up an E-Trade account last week. I sent the stock certificate in and they officially went into my account on Tuesday. I immediately went in to sell them as soon as I could since the share price was around $72 a share all week.

Just as I went in to sell them, the price started to drop dramatically. (As of now... it is around $50 a share.) I still cleared over $1000. I had no risk and all return. I don't wanna be but I may get hooked on this stuff. That was a six-year investment that I didn't know I had....

Free money rocks.

P.S. For those of you wondering -- it was Travelzoo, Inc. (TZOO) on the NASDAQ. I really suggest that you go through the investor relations portion of their website and see if you own any... as it is beginning to plummet in value. but still... that is still money that you didn't have yesterday!