Dec 20, 2006

Six weird things

Normally I don't do these things, but Lizzie was feeling kinda invisible so...

Here is my entry into this weird "six weird things" about yourself game that is all the rage with the kids these days.

- I have a real difficult time spelling "weird". Well not just "weird", but any word that contains the letters "e" and "i" next to one another. I know there was some real simple grade school rhyme that most of us learned at the tender age of 7 or so which works like 99.2% of the time, but it is still a bit lost on my. Never looks right until I spell check it. Wierd, huh?

- My middle toe on my left foot is the longest on said foot. It is a constant source of ridicule by some and disgust by a choice few. I try to wear sandals or flip-flops as often as possible to rub it (the middle toe) in their faces. Hah!

- I have an irrational fear of the water. As in "swimming in it". Not pools or hot tubs, mind you. Those I dig. I'm talking about oceans, bays or lakes. Anything that has any kind of life living below the surface. I don't like that. Not one bit.

- I bite my fingernails. But only two of them. The middle finger on my left hand and the ring finger on right hand. Seems arbitrary, right? Well I used to bite all ten (and sometimes my toenails when I was younger and more, ya know, flexible), but quite a few years ago I decided to restrict my nail-biting to just those two digits. Now all of my fury and anger is directed to those two nails alone. I call them my "bad fingers".

- I love anyone with any kind of harmless physical abnormality. Nothing that is going to affect their everyday life, but just the little things that make my life more enjoyable. Big, bulbous it. A bit cross-eyed? You made my day! Big birthmark or pencil eraser-sized nubbin somewhere on your head...I can't stop staring. I love combinations too. Give me a cross-eyed, big-nosed, nubbin-sportin' sales clerk while I am doing my Christmas shopping and I will be smiling for the rest of the day.

I, NO ONE with this thing. Maybe the madness will stop here. Just maybe.

Edit - I guess I have a hard time counting to six as well. Only five weird things up there. Oh well.

Dec 17, 2006

Signs, signs, everywhere the signs

One of the recurring themes of my trip to Key West this year was running into funny signs. Now you have to remember that I took these with my crappy camera on my cell phone, so hopefully you will be able to read them all.

Hippies must use the side door at the Green Parrot!

We passed by this warning every day. It was on the gate behind a gay nightclub just off of Duval Street. I laughed every time I saw it. When I was drunk I would act out the poor victim getting caught in the gate with a really effeminate "Aaaaagggghhh".

Here is a sign outside of a bathroom that had the original "Men's Room" sign missing. Stick figures rule!

There is a serious chicken problem in Key West. This little buggers are everywhere and the roosters don't just crow at sunrise, my happens all day and all fucking night. Some of the locals are taking action.

And no matter where you go, bad spelling and grammar is just plain funny!

Dec 7, 2006

Still wasted...

...but checking my e-mail, so I figure I would post something old from my last trip to Key West. So without further ado:

Tales Of The Black Sock (originally posted on
By B.E. Earl
12/16/2005 7:51 PM EST

Hey kids! It’s Earl again with some non-movie related silliness for your reading entertainment. I took my usual early December vacation last week to do some additional damage to my liver, and this year’s hot spot was Key West, Florida. I’ve been to Key West a number of times of the past dozen years or so, and its’ always one of my favorite places to be. Great weather, great restaurants and bars, friendly locals and there is sure to be some kind of weirdness going on whenever I’m there. I’ve seen Jimmy Buffett perform on the street, I’ve seen drag queens galore, I’ve seen manatees up close and personal, but nothing…nothing prepared me for what I saw this past week at Fantasy Fest.

Let me give you a little background on Fantasy Fest in Key West. Fantasy Fest is their off-kilter version of something like Mardi Gras in New Orleans or Carnivale in Rio. It’s a chance for many, many people to come down and unwind in the warm sun and warmer nightlife of Key West and dance to their own tune, so to speak. Mind you, Key West is more than a little friendly to those with an alternative lifestyle, so you can imagine what happens when the city throws a party and asks everyone to REALLY let loose.

I’ve never been to Fantasy Fest before. I love Key West, but I prefer it during the down times when the streets aren’t clogged with tourists and there is no need for reservations at Louie’s Backyard. It’s just how I like/liked New Orleans. Great town, but I would never go during Mardi Gras. I like to actually be able to get into the bars and restaurants rather than shuffling along the sidewalks with all the other sweaty drunks. I had not planned on going to Fantasy Fest this year either, however, Mother Nature pointed her magic wand and made Fantasy Fest come to me.

You see, it was supposed to be the week before Halloween like it is scheduled every year. Costume parties, parades, Pimps & Ho’s parties, leather fetish nights, toga galas, the works. It happens every year culminating with the fat lady singing on the Sunday prior to Halloween. Hurricane Wilma begged to differ. While the hurricane hit the little island four days before the Fest was supposed to start, the city was a few feet underwater and there was no way it could support the influx of Fest-ers. When I read that city officials were planning on re-scheduling the OddFest, I knew that it would be during my trip down there. I mean I just KNEW it! I viewed this scheduling change with equal part dread and fascination. What we saw down there also turned out to be equal parts dread and fascination.

The official website for Fantasy Fest warns that nudity is illegal in the city of Key West and that all revelers were encouraged to remain clothed at all times. Apparently body paint is ok for the ladies as long as your privates remain private. The first night of Fantasy Fest, this seemed to be the case. As the days wore on, however, all bets were off. On Day 2 we saw a woman of 45 or so pedaling down the street on her bike wearing nothing but a smile. The cops didn’t seem to mind, and oh yeah…it was still 11:30 in the morning! Lady Godiva was getting the party started early.

I’ve never been to a nudist colony or beach before, but I had heard horror stories of flabby old men and women, most of whom you would prefer to see wearing quite a few layers of clothes. This describes the majority of those that chose to be naked during Fantasy Fest. Whoops…there goes grandma and grandpa, and…ouch…she’s actually wearing more than him. How does he keep that black sock on? Yeah…you read it. One black sock. That scene played itself over and over again during our time at Fantasy Fest.

Oh sure. There were some attractive folks who decided on going au natural, but they were few and far between. There was one woman we kept running into who was mostly nude and very attractive and she seemed content with just standing around while everyone under the moon posed for pictures with her. To that young lady I say well done. Most of them, however, liked going to the gym as much as they disliked wearing clothing. Don’t get me wrong. I had a pisser down there! These people had no hang-ups whatsoever and they all looked like they were having a wonderful time. I often wondered how they purchased drinks since none of them had any place to put money, but they all seemed to be appropriately liquored up so maybe folks were just giving up booze. I dunno.

So if you are ever thinking of attending Fantasy Fest, let me plant this little thought in your head. Go down to the local supermarket sometime during the day when all the retirees are out shopping for kitty litter and prune juice and picture all of them wandering the streets of Key West wearing g-strings and the aforementioned black sock. If you are able to keep your lunch down, then take a trip and keep your sense of humor because a sense of humor is all that you need to keep you going. Oh…and one black sock of course.

Nov 30, 2006

Wasting Away Again....

I'm off tomorrow morning for my vacation. If you need me, I'll be here. Check out the webcam daily to watch me in action. I'm the chubby dude with the scruffy beard, ripped cargo shorts and tattered Titleist baseball cap. Er, wait...that could describe most of the locals there.

Anyway, it's the greatest bar in the world. Just a few feet away from Mile Marker Zero on US1. It is the first (or last) bar on that famed roadway. Been around since 1890 or so in one form or another.

The jukebox is the stuff of legends, as are the bartenders. The same crew has been there forever, well, at least since I started partying there in 1994.

The live music is fantastic for such a dive bar as well. Really great blues, rock and funk bands play here all the time. I'm looking forward to seeing the Eric Culberson Blues Band, Harper, Corey Harris and Sleepy LaBeef while I'm down there.

I'm also updating my links section to include the Green Parrot Bar Blog. I really just can't say enough about this place. And the house that we are renting is on the next blog.

Danger, Will Robinson....Danger.

I'll catch y'all when I get back. Maybe I'll post a few pics while I'm down there, ya never know. Ta ta!

Nov 28, 2006

I give the Thanks now....

Just a few things I am thankful for this season.

- Sliding Glass Doors - This deserved to be mentioned twice. Because every once in a while a loved one will drunkenly walk right into one because they don't see it. Maybe it will happen on your birthday. Maybe, just maybe, it will be the funniest thing you will ever see in your life. God, I love sliding glass doors!

- Jeff Bridges - Because he should have won an Academy Award for The Big Lebowski. His work in the bathtub with the "nice marmot" was priceless. The Dude abides.

- December in Key West - Yeah, I know I'm repeating things....whatever. Slyde keeps talking about his three week vacation this coming December. Yeah, but is he gonna spend it drinking in cool bars in a semi-tropical setting? Don't think so! HA!

- Blogging - when I'm supposed to be working. Fuck!

- All of my nieces and nephews - One of them drew me a birthday card this past weekend with gas coming out of ass with this little birthday message: "Happy Birthday, Uncle Farty Lumpy!" Yeah...that's special. Don't even ask me where Farty Lumpy comes from. It had nothing to do with me...initially.

- Guinness - I know I could probably live without it, but who the hell would want to?

- The 12 Bars of Christmas - It's this amazing annual Holiday party that we throw. We visit 12 bars in our little town in one night. A half hour and at least one drink at each place. Plus, we sing the 12 Days of Christmas at each bar. But we only go up to the bar number that we are at. Get it? So at the fifth bar we start with "On the fifth day of Christmas my true love gave to me...." and so on. We start out with maybe 20-25 revelers, but by the 8th or 9th bar we usually grow to twice that number. Just from people that are out and think what we are doing is cool. Even though it's not. Actually, it's kinda gay.

Nov 26, 2006

Odds and Sods

A couple of things on a lazy Sunday:

- I'm a little distraught at the loss to USC by my beloved Irish. I'm trying not to take it out on random sales clerks or waitresses, but it's hard. Fuckin' Trojans!

- Thanksgiving was awesome. I made two different kinds of mashed potatoes to bring to the family dinner. Sour cream and chive mashed spuds with roasted garlic and wasabi. And red-skinned mashed spuds with olive oil, roasted garlic, lemon zest and fresh parsley. The latter got the higher marks, but both were consumed whole-heartedly. Yum!

- One week until my Key West vacation. You all need to be jealous right now. It's always the best time. Ever.

- Gia walked into a sliding glass door last weekend. It was the funniest thing I've ever seen in my life. (FYI - no girlfriends were hurt in the making of this post)

Nov 21, 2006

How My Brain Met Your Mother

I wrote about the show "How I Met Your Mother" (HIMYM, from here on) a while back on Slyde's blog. I was joking about how they "stole" some dialogue from a previous post of mine. Oh, it, then get back to me.

I Knew Someone Was Reading (posted on
By B.E. Earl
05/12/2006 11:00 PM EST

Hey kids! Earl here again, while Slyde is vacationing. There is a new show on CBS that I've become a fan of in recent days. It's called How I Met Your Mother and I started watching because I've had this little crush on Alyson Hannigan ever since I started watching Buffy a few years back. It's a harmless bit o' fluffy TV sitcom made watchable mostly by the hilarious turn of Neil Patrick Harris as the suited-up Barney. Funny stuff.

But check out this fishy bit o' dialogue that was used in this past week's episode. The main character, Ted, is bemoaning the fact that he is single because he is too picky with women. He wants the perfect woman, and he goes into deep detail about the type of woman she is. He finishes it up with the following:

Ted: "And she plays bass guitar like Kim Deal from The Pixies."
Marshall: "Or Kim Gordon from Sonic Youth."
Ted: "Any Kim from any cool band, really. Cant' be too picky."

Whoa, whoa, whoa...doesn't that sound a little familiar? Let me refresh your memory from a post of mine back on March 31, 2006. The topic was Sonic Youth and Pauley Perrette, but I originally started the whole thing by talking about Kim Director when I wrote this:

B.E. Earl: "Some of my favorite all-time women have been named “Kim”. Kim Deal from The Pixies, Kim Gordon from Sonic Youth, and I could go on."

Am I being ripped off here by the writers of a major TV show? What the hell! Where is my royalty check?

Actually, the chances that anyone who was a fan of that type of music back in the day were probably fans of both The Pixies and Sonic Youth, and if they were male they most likely had a bit of a thing for the aforementioned Kims. Still, I thought it funny and weird enough to write in about.

OK. Done? Well, they are continuing to amaze me by writing shows that have previously taken place in my brain.

One of my friends has a wife who works in NYC. Her boss hangs out with her all the time. She's an attractive older woman and some of the guys that ride the train with my friend's wife have been calling her "Cougar" for years. Apparently it's a term that applies to any older attractive woman who hangs out in bars or something like that. We've had some fun with the term whenever we see her. Stupid fun.

Well, back in October the writers at HIMYM did an entire episode about Barney's experience in hunting Cougars. Here is a brief write-up on Barney's Blog if you care to read about it.

It doesn't end there. Before my trip to Vegas last month, my only experiences with gambling have been slots in New Orleans, Paradise Island and one ill-advised trip to Atlantic City. When we were in AC, me and my friend each brought a significant amount of cash to gamble with. Why not?

Once we got there we realized that we had no idea what we were doing, so we wound up watching much more than gambling. There was one game that really intrigued me. Lots of Asians playing the game. Dice, dominoes, cards and a whole lot of shouting. They looked like they were having a blast. But I had NO IDEA what was going on. Didn't matter. The more I told the story, the more I embellished the ridiculousness of the game. "Seriously, at one point they did a version of the walnut shell game with a real diamond!"

Well, last week the writers on HIMYM did an episode that took place in AC where Barney winds up playing a made-up game with some of his old Asian gambling buddies with ridiculous rules that looked eerily similar to how I described the game I saw. But funnier!

Anyway, the show is great. I was thinking about it because last night's episode contained a video from a pop song that one of the ladies on the show did when she was a teen. It's hysterical and you can see it here. Believe's worth it.

PS - Yes, I did go there. I referenced a previous post of mine that referenced a previous post of mine. I think I just ripped a hole in the space/time continuum. Oh God! I'm such a geek for writing that last line.

Nov 20, 2006

The Biscotti

Hey y'all! This little girl's name to the right is Sammi. She is one of our cats...adorable ain't she?

She got her name because of her messed up left eye. Don't know if you can see it in the picture because I took it with my cell phone camera, but she fought down a raccoon or something when she was a bitty kitten and it healed up a bit glassy.

Hence, Sammi Davis Jr. There's that Gia humor again.

I've been messing with her name since I've met her. It's a long story, but it has gone from Sammi Biscuit to The Biscuit and now to The Biscotti. She answers to all of them.

Oh yeah, right before I took this picture she was asleep between us with one paw on Gia's arm and the other over her eyes. It would have been the cutest picture ever. Goddamn. Camera. Across. The. Room. This is what you get.

You'll get to meet her best friend Syd sometime in the future. He is a lion trapped in a Ragamuffin's body. Rowr.

Nov 18, 2006





Nov 14, 2006

Thrillogy of Terror!

Finishing up our short series of conversations on grand moments at rock concerts. We are up to my experiences at a Radiohead concert that opened up with the Voluptuous Horror of Karen Black.

Great name for a band, eh? For those that don't recall, Karen Black is an actress who played some terrific B movie roles in the 70's. Well, she still does some pretty awful B (and C) films to this day. But most folks remember her from the wonderful Burnt Offerings or the made-for-TV tour-de-force (Wow...lots of dashes there) Trilogy of Terror.

In Trilogy of Terror, she played three, well four, roles in three separate little Horror films. The most well known is the tale of the woman who brought home a Zuni Fetish warrior doll that comes to life and viciously attacks her. It's campy and awesome!

Just like the Voluptuous Horror of Karen Black. Campy and awesome. I had never even heard of them before the concert, so we made our way upstairs to sit down in the balcony for their act. I was with my brother and two of my friends.

So the lights dim and the band comes out. The women on stage (not sure how many) are dressed all in blue with big flower petals around their heads to give the impression that they are playful, colorful flowers dancing around. Weird, but I've seen weird before so I wasn't too interested.

We start chatting about the band, when I take another look at the ladies. I'm now concentrating on exactly what they are wearing when I realize something. They're nekkid!

Well, they are wearing panties and those ridiculous flower head-dress thingies, but mostly they are just painted blue. Now, let me set one thing straight. Most of them are not attractive women. Not at all. Not necessarily un-attractive, just normal women in an abnormal setting.

But semi-naked women at a rock show is something I really don't pass on. So, I get up to go get a closer look. This would involve a trip downstairs and an ample amount of wading through the humanity that was on the floor. Whatever. Naked women, people!

That's when this conversation takes place:

Me: "Um, does anyone, um, like want a beer or something from downstairs?"

My brother: "Sure, but they sell booze up here I think."

Me: "Yeah, I know, but, um, I just wanna stretch my legs a bit, you know...walk around."

Friend1: "We just came up here to sit down because you said you were tired. Didn't we?"

Me: ", right. I dunno...just getting a little antsy, so I figured I would explore. OK? Anyone want a beer?"

My brother: "What's going on?"

Friend2: "I think he just figured out that the disgusting women on stage are kinda naked, and he wants to go check it out."

Friend1 and my brother at the same time: "They're naked??!!"

They practically fall over themselves trying to get out of the seats as they rush down to the floor ahead of me. We leave Friend2 groaning to himself in his seat about our immaturity. And he is, by far, the youngest of us all.

We were just younger in our heads and in our pants. The way it should be.

Good show, though. I think there were songs and stuff. But there was also beer and blue boobies. Good show, indeed!

Nov 11, 2006

Cramped up!

Spent the other night at a lesbian bar, but more on that another time.

Back to our short series of fun moments at rock shows. I think we are up to, yes, The Cramps:

They were playing at CBGB's one night as part of some anniversary celebration. Gotta tell you, nothing brings out the weirdos like a Cramps show at CBGB's. Lots of questionable fishnets and false eyelashes going down, if you know what I mean. The show was great! It was filmed by some independent company to distribute to video, but I've never run across it. A good time was had by all.

At one point during the show, I excused myself from my friends to go to the bar for some more liquid refreshment. I sidled (that's right!) up to the bar next to this mountain of a man. Big dude. Tattoos up and down his arms. Piercings all over his face. Angry look on his face. Wearing a hat that said "Homicide" on it. The wrong guy to mess with.

But I had my drink on, so I say "Hey...nice hat, dude."

He turns and looks down at me with that angry look and says "What did you just say?"

Still undeterred, I repeat myself "NICE HAT, DUDE!"

Then the Grinch transformed right in front of my face. He smiles and says "Thanks! Do you watch the show?"

Now I'm confused. What the hell is he asking? So I ask "What show?"

"Homicide: Life on the Street on NBC" he replies.

"Oh, um, yeah...I've seen it. Good show" I tell him.

"Thanks...we work hard on it" he says. He goes on to tell me that he does some kind of set production or something for the show and he is really proud of it.

Turns out to be the nicest guy in the world. Tells me stories about the cast and the guest stars. Robin Williams was on the pilot episode and he said he spent his entire time on set cracking jokes with the crew. I buy him a beer and we hang out for like a half hour.

When I finally go back to my friends, they tell me that they were watching the whole thing. They thought I was going to get my ass kicked by the biggest dude in the place...and they wanted no part of it. Thanks, guys!

Next: The Voluptuous Horror of Karen Black.

Nov 9, 2006

Sonic, er, Donut

I've been listening to alot of my old music recently. Ever since I bought my iPod and burned a whole shitload of my old CDs onto the 'puter. I can't even begin to tell you the memories that all that great music has brought up to the surface.

Well, maybe I can begin to tell you. So I am going to start a short series of posts where I will go into excruciating detail about stuff that I thought was funny and/or noteworthy at shows I've been to in the past. OK?

Sonic Youth
I was at a Sonic Youth show at the Roseland Ballroom in NYC some time back in the early 90's with my friend Dave and his girlfriend at the time. She was nice. But she wore like a "little black dress" that would have been more appropriate at a lounge or club than a Sonic Youth show. Anyway. Roseland Ballroom is exactly what the name says...a former ballroom. It's got this series of old iron railings around the perimeter of the old dance floor.

We were hanging in the back of the old dance floor...away from the inevitable moshing that was going to take place closer to the stage. This was just after the "Dirty" album came out and Kool Thing, from their previous album "Goo", was probably their biggest "hit".

When they started this one up, Dave's girlfriend was sitting on the old railing hanging onto one its posts. Well, the whole crowd...I mean the WHOLE CROWD...immediately started to mosh together. Even us old farts in the back. We were instantly separated from Dave's girlfriend on the railing by about 50 feet. We were kind of stuck in that old punk paradigm. Everybody moves...nobody gets hurt!

At one point, I took a look back and I see Dave's poor girlfriend hanging on to her post for dear life while the entire audience swirled and moshed around her. Seriously, all I could think of was Billy Crystal up in that small tree in City Slickers during the stampede scene.

After the crowd calmed down, we made our way back to her. She was crying and really fucking pissed.

I don't think that relationship lasted very much longer. Don't worry. Dave's happily married with two little ones. And our moshing days are long gone. Sigh.

Alice Donut
For a few years, CBGB's was a favorite hangout of mine. I would head there after work on a weeknight with a friend of mine just to catch some great music and hang with the weirdos.

On one such evening, a few us us went to go see a NYC punk band called Alice Donut perform. I had one of their albums and I really dug some of their stuff. They had the longest title to a song that I had ever seen. It was called "The Son of a Disgruntled X-Postal Worker Reflects on His Life While Getting Stoned in the Parking Lot Behind a Winn-Dixie While Listening to Metallica as Loud as He Can" or something like that.

Anyway. The show was boss! Everyone was having a great time. Then they took a little break which afforded us some time to booze it up at the bar.

Then we noticed the drummer from the band come in the front entrance holding a trombone high above his head. As he made his way through the crowd, you couldn't help but be drawn to him. He was carrying a freakin' trombone, fer crissakes!

He gets to the stage and the spotlight hits him. Just him. The rest of the band is still on break. He warms up a bit and then he starts to play. Softly at first, but gradually getting louder. We all recognize the tune...and it's AWESOME!

He's doing a solo of "Helter Skelter" by the Beatles! And it kicked ass! When he got to the "Do you don't you want me to love you" section, he was blasting it out...rocking on his heels! I still hear it in my brain whenever I come across the original version.

It was such a weird and wonderfully unexpected moment at an otherwise fairly normal punk show. Love it!

Next: The Cramps and The Voluptuous Horror of Karen Black (intrigued?)

Nov 8, 2006

Dear Slyde

Dear Slyde,

This is an open letter to my good friend, Slyde. How ya doin', buddy?

We chatted about this the other day, but I think its time that you shared some of your more embarrassing moments with the rest of the blog-world. You have so many.

I know that some friends and family of yours visit your site. Tough shit!

Time to fess up. You have sooooo many great stories to share. Embarrassing stories. Funny stories. Stories that make me look foolish and hateful. Share those. So I will start with a teaser. Three stories which I won't go into detail about that you could entertain millions with.

Or just me. Either way.

Here goes:

1. The "Road Rage" incident. Surely THIS one will make me look bad, but hey...its fun.

2. Moriarty. He's evil...and he needs to be discussed. Hard!

3. The "Red Lobster" protocol. Might be my favorite. This one is going to take coaxing from all of you.

Three simple stories. They are his, not don't ask. I was involved in all three, but Slyde was the protagonist. He is the only one who can share. So really...don't ask.

OK...ask. But ask Slyde. Hehehehehehe!

Nov 4, 2006

Rage against machines

I know that it's Saturday, and there appears to be some kind of unwritten Blogger rule against new posts on the weekend. Maybe folks actually have lives. Go figure. Not me. Just sitting at Gia's watching Notre Dame vs North Carolina and I felt like posting.

Anyway, I have this odd anti-fascination with anything new. I'm still running an ancient PC via phone line. I drive an old car. I was the last kid on my block to buy a cell phone with a camera. New technology has never really had a hold on me.

But it wasn't until the other day that I decided to join the rest of the modern world and buy an iPod. Yup. It's over for me. The straw that broke the proverbial camel's back was the long flights to and fro Las Vegas. Sure, we flew Jet Blue so we had TV to watch, but as I looked around I noticed that 80% of my fellow passengers were happily spending the flight listening to their favorite tunes.

So I went and bought an iPod Nano the other day. Grey, if you must know. It's very itty-bitty. Can't believe that it can hold around 1000 songs. I don't even think there are 1000 songs that I like!

So I spent the evening last night (after Gia went to sleep) burning all my CDs into iTunes and creating playlists and generally having fun. I haven't even listened to anything yet, and I had a blast. I copied over 600 tunes on to this little credit-card sized thing and I still have plenty to go.

Now, I'm on the iTunes website buying songs left and right. See...this is what I feared. I still haven't even really played with my toy yet and I'm hooked.

Next: Tivo! (that was for Slyde)

Oct 31, 2006

Vegas, baby???

Alrighty, then. Got back from Vegas last night with a few observances about Sin City that I would like to share with y'all:

  • Vegas is awful! Truly hideous. I've never been a fan of these "artificial" cities (like Orlando), and Vegas has to top the charts. Fakeness abounds in historical levels. It's too bright, too loud and too stupid for me to deal with ever again. I did have a good time because of the friends that I was with, and a rockin' Jimmy Buffett concert (Mickey Hart from The Grateful Dead and Bill Payne from Little Feat were on hand) on Saturday night. But that's the only reason I had a good time. Vegas is awful!
  • I was ready to punch any and all of those folks flicking their little "escort" cards at me while walking on the Strip. I dreamed of a gigantic version of myself stomping through the strip, kicking and stepping on all those little fuckers! Man, that would have been sweet.
  • The cab lines are ridiculous. Everywhere! After we found our bags at the airport, we walked outside to see a 1/2 mile long, meandering stream of visitors on the cab line. It took roughly 45 minutes to get in a cab. To a lesser extant at the casinos, but there was still a considerable wait. No fun there.
  • Had dinner at Bobby Flay's Mesa Grill on Friday. Not bad, but I've never been to a restaurant before that delivered our food in less than 10 minutes after we ordered it. Entrees, I'm talking about! Veal chops, steaks and pork loin medallions. Couldn't help but think that we had just eaten heated-up food. Weird. We walked into the place at 9PM and were done by 9:45. Just weird.
  • Made up for that dinner with a great steak dinner at Smith & Wollensky on Sunday night. Yeah, I know. Go to Vegas and eat at a steakhouse that is a standard right here in NY. But we tried to get into a few others like Delmonico's and Prime. They just didn't have any reservations early enough for us. And they sat us before the Euro-trash that came in before us with a hooker. The Euro-trash complained, but our waiter said "Yeah, right! Like we're gonna sit the hooker before you guys." Good man!
  • Saturday, we were up and drinking at 9AM thanks to an early start to the Notre Dame game. Don't think I could handle that on a weekly basis. Wait, wait...yeah. I probably could handle it.
  • Not a lot of great sports bars in Vegas. Not that I'm complaining that much. I kinda figured there wouldn't be, but then I thought about the gambling angle and it seems that they would be a natural. Went to one about 3 miles south of the Strip called Steiner's that was pretty good. Of course, they put that goddamn video poker game on top of the bar wherever you go. Evil temptation when you are sitting in a bar for 5 hours, drinking and watching football. Yeah...I donated. I'm weak.

So, I don't think I'm going back. I can understand the allure of the place, but it's just not me. On vacation I like nice restaurants with a warm ocean breeze. Great nightlife at unique and funky bars. Lots of local color and flavor.

Therefore, in December, I am heading back to my favorite haunt. Key West. Purists will say that it's no longer the piece o' wonderful weirdness that it used to be (I beg to about my last trip there here. It's in the archives section. Second story down in December 2005. Can't link to the exact page. Sorry!), but it still is a blast every single time I go there. I'm sure that this year won't disappoint as my girl is going with me. Nice! Can't wait!

"Good" porn.

So y'all know I love my lady love very much...and yes, it's about time I stopped with the whole (shiny!) thing.

Even though I say it in my mind ever time I think of her. I'll just say it in my head every time I type it from now on. Okay?

She doesn't really care for my porn collection, though. Not that she disapproves of porn, in general. Quite the contrary. She is actually way more into it than I am. She just fancies BETTER porn than I have in my house. Gotta respect a woman like that.

And not that I have any pride in my porn collection. Most of it was bought with my head down in some Adult Shop hoping not to bump into anyone I know. She just doesn't care for the stuff I have.

The other night she was bartending at her restaurant when I came in for Monday Night Football. She was spending the night with me and she wanted me to run out and buy some "good" porn for us to enjoy that evening. Of course she said this in front of a great many people that we both know including the parents of a friend of ours.

She has no censor button in her head. None.

As I've previously stated, our idea of "good" porn is pretty different. I simply need attractive females who can fake a good orgasm. Maybe large to extra-large boobs on said attractive female, but that is purely optional. She needs to have her mind blown. She has high standards. Just reference her taste in men. Yeah.

Anyway, I was in no mood to run out to a sex shop at that hour, and I'm slightly embarrassed that it all came up in front of our friends, so I told her I would finance her trip the next day to buy us some "good" porn...something she is into. Maybe a sex toy or two (see Steven Novak's article about this shit here). Something to spice it up a bit...not that we need any spicing up, but what the hey.

So after she spends roughly three times the amount of cash I gave her, we wound up with 4 brand-spanking (well...not spanking) new DVDs, a new vibrator (cute little fella shaped like a dolphin...awww) and a sex toy for both of us that I am too ashamed to describe here. WAY too ashamed to describe here. Let's just say it did the trick. Over and over and over again. Wow!

It's been a couple of days and we still are having a rough time walking around. This is not meant to be boastful in any way. Well, maybe a little...but those things we bought surely have found their way into the bedroom Hall of Fame. Or the living room, in our case. Too much sharing?

The porn was really "good" too. And we only got through one DVD! Janine Lindemulder starred in it, and my girl bought it because she knows how much I dig women with tattoos.

Did I mention how much I love her?

Editor's note - I've been hemming and hawing for a few hours now about posting this. Is it too personal? Is her mother going to read this? Is Slyde gonna be pissed off I never financed one of his trips to the Sex Shop? All these things were swimming in my head. Finally, I just said "Fuck it!". And if any of my family reads was all fiction. I swear!

Oct 24, 2006

Vegas, baby!

Going to Las Vegas for the very first time this coming weekend.

Any thoughts on what to do, and what I should definitely stay away from?


Oct 19, 2006

Ease his pain.

Some of you may recall a little discussion we had on purchasing birth control here on these pages. For you newbies, here is the link.

A few of you (you know who you are) suggested that I ease my embarrassment by going hog-wild and just buying every little heinous thing that they have at the drug store along with my rubbers (always hated that term). Ease the pain, so to speak.

Gotta tell ya, the other stuff ain't so embarrassing. Here's my story:

I was heading to the drugstore the other day on my way to my lady love's (shiny!) house. She has caught my cold (ya mess with da bull, ya get da horns!) so I wanted to be sure to buy her the proper meds she needed to fend it off with. I'm good like that!

So I call her up and ask her what she wants. We settle on some things and then she says "Oh...would you mind picking me up some feminine products?" Ooooookkkkaaaaayyyy!

She wanted the variety pack of know, regular and heavy flow. But not the kind with deodorant. Apparently that shit can mess you up. Who knew? And she wanted some winged maxi-pads. The heavy-flow/overnight type. I thought she was pulling my leg at this point. Nope...she was serious. Oh yeah, and she wanted some shampoo and conditioner. Fah! I laugh at buying shampoo and conditioner. Laugh at you, I say!

I'm cool! I waltz (that's right!) into the store with my SHOPPING LIST FROM HELL and I get to work. Couldn't find the variety pack of the non-deodorized tampons, so I had to punt and get two packages. Cool. The pads were a little harder to find. For some reason, they only had the overnight shit way on the bottom shelf towards the back. Wouldn't that really piss off some crazy lady who really needed them and was experiencing cramping and back pains from her monthly visit from Flo? Having to bend over like that? It sure pissed me off, and I'm a dude!

Anyway, once my basket was properly filled with embarrassing feminine products I see that my retarded friends are back at the checkout counter. Great! Wonder-Retarded-Twins Power...activate! Form of...a dumb blonde. Shape of...a bucket of water. Never understood the whole "water" thing, but it would be a step up the evolutionary chain for either of these nimrods.

I decided not to risk messing with Retard #2's change-making skills and I paid for the entire she-bang on my debit card. Nipped that problem in the ass, ya know what I mean? Still took the stoopid retard forever.

You know what? Wasn't embarrassed at all. She could have included anal-wart medicine, hemmorroid cream and halitosis pills and I would have been fine. In fact, I could have handled all that while farting "Billie Jean" by Michael Jackson AND wiping my nose on my sleeve and I would have been fine.

Anything but condoms. Anything but that!

What did I see? Where have I been?

It's now Week 2 of the famous Earl vs. Chest Cold battle. Thus far Chest Cold is kicking my ass, but I hope to make a strong recovery in the fourth quarter.

So a few weeks ago I was in the midst of a car ride with my lady love (shiny!) when I popped in some music of my own that I had brought with me. We usually listen to her wonderfully eclectic selection o' tunes that she keeps on her iPod, but we were heading into the city so I decided to bring some CDs. Change of pace type shit.

Turns out we both love "Quadrophenia" by The Who. I mean, really love it! This is an album that I have listened to more times in my life than I have masturbated., maybe not that much, but a whole lot.

I have gone through a number of copies of it. I (meaning my older brother) had the original album when I was real young. I then remember buying at least two copies on I kept wearing them out. Then, when CDs hit, it was one of the first that I bought. I also bought some CD by The Kentucky Headhunters and "Attack of the Killer B's" by Anthrax on that trip to the store, so there is no accounting for taste. I then lost those CDs on vacation somewhere and had to re-purchase them at some point years later. I've spent some dough on "Quadrophenia", kids.

Oooh...oooh. I even went to see The Who at Madison Square Garden when they played the whole album on their anniversary/retirement/comeback tour a few years back. Phil Daniels (the actor who starred in the film version of the album) was even on hand to narrate the show. And Billy Idol was there to play Ace Face and sing "Bellboy". Awesome!

Anyway, for some reason this album above all the other albums by The Who really made an impression on me. I guess because I became a fan of it in my early teens and I was real uncomfortable with myself back then. I still am, to a certain degree. But Pete's lyrics really hit home as he was writing about the same kind of things that we all go through now and again...especially in our teen years.

I also like the arrangement of the songs with Pete and Roger going back and forth as the different voices inside our narrator's head. It's just a perfect album. Here are the lyrics to one of my favorite songs on it. Roger does most of the singing with Pete chiming in a few times. Great stuff.


Sea and Sand
by Pete Townshend

Here by the sea and sand
Nothing ever goes as planned,
I just couldn't face going home
It was just a drag on my own.
They finally threw me out
My mother got drunk on stout,
My dad couldn't stand on two feet,
As he lectured about morality.
Now I guess the families complete,
With me hanging round on the street
Or here on the beach.

The girl I love
Is a perfect dresser,
Wears every fashion
Gets it to the tee.
Heavens above,
I got to match her
She knows the style
She wants her man to be
Leave it to me.

My jacket's gonna be cut slim and checked
Maybe a touch of seersucker with an open neck
I ride a GS scooter with my hair cut neat
I wear my wartime coat in the wind and sleet.

I see her dance
Across the ballroom
UV light making stars shine
On her smile.
I am the face,
She has to know me,
I'm dressed up better than anyone
Within a mile.

So how come the other tickets look much better?
Without a penny to spend they dress to the letter.
How come the girls come on oh so cool
Yet when you meet 'em, every one's a fool.

Come sleep on the beach
Keep within my reach
I just want to die with you here
I'm feeling so high when you're near.
I'm wet and I'm cold
But thank God I ain't old
Why didn't I ever say what I mean?
I should have split home at fifteen
There's a story that the grass is so green,
What did I see?
Where have I been?

Nothing is planned, by the sea and the sand!

Oct 12, 2006

Pin the tail on the donkey

The "donkey" being me!

OK...due to the numerous (two that I know of) requests to tell the blog-world which celebrity I look like the most, I have decided to comply. Unfortunately, there is no easy answer to this question. Let's take it in stages.

There are times late at night after I've had my drink on that I really look like this guy. Of course that's how I look in my primordial brain. When I think even the hottest ladies around want themselves a piece o' Earl. Sorry ladies! This prize is taken!

Of course, when I wake up the next morning I look a hell of a lot more like this guy. Especially the hair. I can't seem to grow my hair long, it just seems to grow outwards. And in the morning, especially after a good night out, I tend to resemble Rev. Jim an awful lot.

My lady love (shiny!) wishes I looked like this guy. Hey, but if wishes were fishes we'd all be Pope, right? Huh? I don't even know what that meant.

I guess there are times when I kinda look like this guy. Pudgy and pasty, yeah baby! That's me. We are pretty close to the same age as well, so we got that going for us. I look much better in drag, though. Had to be honest.

I've heard that I sound exactly like this guy. I don't know if it's true or not because I have no ear for that shit. But I've heard it from more than one person. was one person who said it and my lady love (shiny!) agreed with him.

To be truthful...I have heard more than once in my life that I kinda look like this guy. His name is Charlie Steiner and he is a sports radio host and former ESPN personality. The beard, the glasses, the Jewish nose...and I'm Irish Catholic! I met a few of his old ESPN compadres once a few years back. Stuart Scott, Rich Eisen and Dan Patrick. And even they thought I looked like Steiner.

Dammit! I'm gonna get drunk tonight so I can look like that first guy again!

In my head.

At least for a little while.

Oct 10, 2006

Cough, cough...

Feeling a bit under the weather today. Just a chest cold, but I'm the worst sick person in the world so everything is magnified.

Just wanted to give/drop the names of two celebrities that we ran into in our past two trips to the city. The first was Bob Balaban. He was waiting for his car in the same parking garage we were parked in last week. It was a very un-eventful meeting. I pointed at him and said "Hey, Bob Balaban! How are you?" He said "Great. Thanks", and then he moved on.

The second was Danielle Brisebois. For those of you who don't remember her, she was the bushy eye-browed Stephanie on "All in the Family". She has left the world of acting to concentrate on her musical career with some success. I have to admit that I didn't recognize her. We were coming down from our hotel room on Saturday. When we got to the lobby, she and her two friends were heading up. I was staring at her chest, because...well, it was there. But my lady love (shiny!) recognized her right away. Had no doubt, and that's all the confirmation I needed.

Oh yeah, and I was briefly mistaken for a celebrity on Saturday also. We stayed at a hotel directly across the street from the theater where Chicago is playing, and my lady love's (shiny!) uncle performs in the show. So we headed across the street, talked to an usher (Not Usher...who is currently perfoming as Billy Flynn...he was sick that day) and we were told to head down into the musician's area to find him. As it turns out, he was heading out right at that time so we didn't have to look too hard for him.

So as were are coming out of the tunnel back to the front of the theater, I was the first one out of the gate. There were these two Asian women with autograph books and pens waiting for us. Their eyes lit up when they saw me and they raised their pens and books for us to sign, but I had to let them down with a soft "Sorry...I'm nobody."

Sigh. Maybe someday, Asian ladies....maybe someday!

Oct 6, 2006

God Warrior!

I don't know if any of you were lucky enough to see this last year. If not, lemme splain for the un-initiated.

There is this crap show on one of the crap networks called "Wife Swap" or something like that. Anyway, this one show had this 500+ pound, ultra-Christian maniac swap places with a real sweet, Wiccan astrologer (or something equally opposite to the crazy lady).

Wackiness ensued! That's what the point of the show is, I guess.

But the real kicker was the crazy lady's reaction when she finally got home. That's what the clip above shows. She went nuts. It was the best fucking thing ever put on television! EVER!

So I actually saw this episode live because I was spending the night at Mom's house and her and my sister love the show. It's an awful show, but I had seen previews for this particular episode and I was interested enough to sit with them and watch it. Sooooo glad I did!

My sister has a bit of a wacky sense of humor, so she went to the local mall and had a "GOD WARRIOR" t-shirt made up for me. Simple black with large white letters. It's awesome! I don't believe I had ever worn it outside my house, though.

Until yesterday.

Wore it under a sweatshirt when I went to visit my lady love (shiny!) at her restaurant. Sat at the bar for a bit before taking off my sweatshirt (dead sexy) to reveal my God Warrior-ness! Thought it would be a fun night of explaining the shirt, or pretending that I actually was THAT into the man/woman upstairs. You know...just for kicks!

HOLY CRAP! I got so many snide or weirdo looks from people! All from a goddamned t-shirt! It was both hysterical and uncomfortable at the same time. This one guy at the bookstore across the street actually asked if I was a Warrior for God or if I was just a dude that fought against gods. Hmm...never thought of that before. Guess the shirt is a bit ambigious.

Nothing causes folks to judge you more than when you either A) display your religion openly or B) poke fun at someone else's religion in the same manner.

And here I was just making fun at a dumb show with a crazy lunatic on it. Go figure.

Oct 3, 2006

Oh the shame!

So, I'm rapidly approaching 40.

Think I've mentioned that before, but it bears repeating. The thing about it is that you would think that a distinguished gentleman like myself would get over stuff that most people got over in their mid-teens. Not me.

I'm still ashamed to buy birth control.

That's right. Most men consider it a badge of honor. Sort of like announcing to the world "I'M GOING TO HAVE SEX TONIGHT! WELL, IF NOT TONIGHT THEN MAYBE SOMETIME IN THE NEAR FUTURE!" Unfortunately, I've always been really embarrassed by the whole thing. I know the clerk at the store will be snickering as soon as I'm out the door. "What are you gonna do with those? Make water balloons? Mwah-ha-ha-ha!"

I guess from the water balloon comment you can tell that our birth control method of choice is condoms. Sokay with me. I'd wrap my body in latex if it meant having sex on a regular basis. Latex body suit...hmmm? What was I saying? Oh yeah, condoms. Seriously, I've never been a big proponent of birth control pills if my lady love (shiny!) doesn't like how them make her feel and I really don't mind wearing them. Tough to find shoes that matches them, though.

Stupid, isn't it? Well the other day I was in the midst of doing some shopping and random chores about town when I remembered that I was out of condoms. Shit! Then I remembered that my girl (shiny!) wasn't spending the night with me that evening. I had a one-day reprieve. At least!

I did intend on seeing her. She was managing the restaurant that night and I thought I would pop in, have a few beers and bid her a fond good night. So I stroll into town and into her place when she spots me. She immediately comes over for a hello snog and whispers into my ear "I've changed my mind about tonight. Can I stay over? Did you buy condoms?"


So I waltz (that's right!) into the local drugstore where there is not one, but two teenaged girls working the counter. And they are retarded. Not actually disabled, but just stupid as all hell. Great!

I grab my condom box o' choice and a pack of gum. Yeah, I can't even go in and buy JUST a box of condoms...gotta get something else so they can think " least his breath will be fresh". I get to the counter and retard #1 is apparently training retard #2 who is manning the till. Great again! First she has trouble scanning the objects. Then she announces that it comes to $10.80 for the two items. This is all taking forever. And a line is forming behind me. A line of women.

I give her a twenty and a single in the hopes that it will assist her change-making skills. Not so. She looked at me with that retarded look of hers and said "You had enough with just the twenty?"

I sigh and say "Yeah, I know, but I figured you could just give me back a ten and 20 cents. Easier for you, right?" She didn't get it. She actually gave me a five and five singles instead of the ten. WTF? Then she said "Sorry...I'm not good at making change yet."

You know what? I don't think she'll ever be good at making change. Or dialing a phone. Or wiping properly. She's retarded!

So my embarrassing 1-minute chore took almost 15-minutes because of these retards. And a long line of customers got a very good idea of what the rest of my night was going to consist of...chewing gum and drinking away my shame!

PS - Never did use those condoms that night. FUCK!

Oct 2, 2006

Pickled to death!

So yesterday, I went with a friend to a local Pickle festival.

I'll wait here while you giggle amongst yourselves.

Finished? OK. Here's the deal. Apparently, there used to be quite a deal of pickles grown in and around the Greenlawn, NY area. The so-called Pickle King lived here back in the day. Blah, blah, blah...allotta history and shit. If you want to read about it, you can do so here.

I really wasn't interested in the local history of the pickle. I just wanted to buy some fresh pickles. And hang out with the pickle people, because frankly...what an absurd concept. A pickle festival? That's just awesome! And they have been doing it for around a quarter of a century. Pickle people come from all over to celebrate the wonder of the pickle here at pickle ground zero. Once again...awesome!

I bought a bunch of pickles as well as some pickled hot peppers and little pickled green tomatoes. Can't wait to have a Bloody Maria with those tomatoes as garnish. Yum! I was a bit disappointed in that they didn't have any pickle-related items like t-shirts or posters. I would have killed for a pickle shirt like this one.

And the activities were kinda lame. No pickle race, however, there was a pickle proclamation read by a local politician. Yeah, I know...lame. But I kinda like saying "pickle proclamation" out loud. Try it. Fun, right?

All in all, it was a pickle perfect afternoon.

Pickle, pickle, pickle!

Sep 28, 2006

Little Blue Pill

A few years back a bunch of us headed into NYC to see a funk band that was playing at Le Bar Bat. It's this weird tri-level club in mid-town decorated with, well...bats!

Don't really remember who the band was or what the occasion was, all I really remember was the hottest old couple I have ever seen! And I'm talking oooooollllllllddddd! He was in his seventies and she was in her mid-sixties, at least.

But she was crackin' for a sixty-year old. I guarantee you there were dudes in the audience wishing they could hit that. I'll include myself with that group. Fake tits out to here, short little mini-skirt, kickin', I don't remember if she had a face so I can't comment on that.

Her man was not so fact he was decrepit. Bad suit, bad hair, could barely walk, but here he was with his hottie boom bottie younger woman.

What made them stand out was a 30-minute session of dirty dancing right in front of the band that just abso-fucking-lutely freaked everyone in the place out! We were mesmerized. We wanted to look away, at times, but we just couldn't. She was rockin' back and forth on his erect (yes, erect) penis that formed a large tent in his bad trousers. She was grabbing him by the ears and jamming his face into her crotch. She would turn around and bend over while he pantomimed possibly illegal sexual maneuvers behind her. She would stick his face into her ample cleavage while he made motor boat noises. BBBRRRRRMMMMSSSSKKKKYYYY!

It was awesome!

We have no idea how the old feller didn't keel over from cardiac arrest right then and there, but God bless 'em! Oh yeah, and the Pfizer Corporation for making it all possible.

I wish every evening could include something like that.

Sep 25, 2006

Booze, a fireplace and Playboy

Busy with work today (shut up Slyde!), but needed a break so I thought I would share with you a little tale from my drunken past. Well, my present is fairly drink-filled as well so maybe I should just say my past. But I was there!

I've been a Playboy centerfold model.

Well, not officially, but I think I made a pretty good case for myself one night. Lemme 'splain.

In my mid-late 20's I worked with a huge group of similar-aged folks at this financial services company. We all hated our jobs and we all liked to drink. Our favorite time to drink was Friday night Happy Hour. Our Happy Hour, of course, lasted for something like seven or eight hours but you get the point.

There was this one joint down the road from us that was our joint of choice every Friday night. Our whole day was planned around leaving work 15 minutes early so that we could get a parkings spot that wasn't 3 miles away. It was right by a local airport so it had a military/airplane theme and a huge outdoor patio area. We loved that place! Many an evening were spent outside near the fire pit drinking un-godly expensive beers and bad shots. Good times.

Anyway, this one night we were indoors towards the back of the bar. There was a little walkway between one section of the bar and another and for some reason there was this huge, un-used, stone fireplace there. It was big...big enough for me to crawl into. That fact will become important a bit later in the story. Made no sense to me why a fireplace would be there, but there it was.

So I'm having drinks with Slyde and a few other friends (Cristina and Alice, I believe). We were sitting in this little cut through area and I am sitting directly on the huge slate in front of said stone fireplace. Don't know what we were talking about, but I looked around and said outloud: "Hey...doesn't this place remind you of something out of a Playboy photo-shoot?"

At this point my friends either pretended to have never seen a Playboy or they just laughed out loud...I can't remember. Most of them just scoffed at me saying things like "What the hell are you talking about?".

That's when I decided to show them.

I whipped off my suit jacket and I started a posedown. Here were some of my favorite poses:
  • On hands in knees, ass towards camera, shyly looking over my shoulder.
  • Sitting down, one hand behind my back to prop me up, the other spreading the privates.
  • Demurely looking into the camera while licking one erect nipple.
  • Laying on my stomach, elbows propping up head, feet in the air crossed above my ass.
  • Standing next to fireplace, one arm covering breasts, the other cupped over privates.

I was a machine. I didn't let the howls of laughter from my friends nor the steady stream of bar customers on their way to the pisser distract me. I was in the zone.

I never did get a call from Hef, though. Nor from any magazine that would prefer to publish pics of pudgy, drunk guys. Sigh.

Sep 21, 2006

Beer me!

Went to a retailer's beer tasting the other night with new lady love (shiny!) and another bartender from the restaurant she manages.

First we stopped off at a decent BBQ joint in Bayshore named Smokin' Als to line our stomachs. I had the St. Louie Ribs and they were just ok. The chili, however, was fantastic. Real smoky (how did they do that?) with chunks of chorizo in it. Delicious! The rest of the stuff was just decent. Nothing to write home about.

We then proceeded to the beer tasting. Only restaurateurs, bar owners and beer distributors and their guests were invited. Got to meet a lot of interesting folks whose main interests were beer, beer and more beer. My kind of people.

There was one guy from Arcadia Ales somewhere in the Mid-West who had a fabu selection of English-style beers. His Double IPA (with a picture of The Green Man on the front) was terrific as was his Scottish Ale and London Porter.

I'm going to screw up the name of this one, but Unibroue (sounds like Uni-brow?) from Canada also was a hit with our crew. They make La Fin Du Monde and Maudite, so some of you may know of them. Great stuff! So were all the beers from Ommegang Brewery in upstate NY. They are owned by Duvel in Belgium and they make all high-quality Belgian-style beers. Our favorite was a Grand Cru (actually made by Duvel) that was of the Flemish sour variety. Awesome!

There was also this great, light, crisp pilsner from the Czech Republic called BurgerBrau. I could see sitting down and drinking 3 or 10 of them one hot afternoon. Let's not forget PBR. That's right...Pabst Blue Ribbon, bee-yatches! They represented as well. Our friend, Brett, got the coolest PBR wristband you ever saw from the sales rep. I'm jealous to death!

We ended up with a decent buzz and a ton of free swag including about two cases of various beers. Sweet! I so dig dating a beer goddess!

Sep 19, 2006

"Awww...that's so sweet!"

Slyde's tale of his trip to NYC to see Martin Short's Broadway show made me think of my favoritist Broadway experience. Hang onto your socks...this is gonna be a long one. And I've told this story before (on Slyde's blog, I think) in short form so it may be repetitive. Oh well. Deal with it, beee-yatchs!

Now, I'm not a Broadway guy. I'd much prefer to hand over 10 bucks at the local movie theater to see a good film than sit through a Broadway play. Sometime, just sometimes, it's really worth it. This one time was more than worth it.

Before "The Producers" came out and became such a huge mega-hit, I had heard that it was being adapted for Broadway. I was/am a huge Mel Brooks fan so I was instantly interested. I also needed something to buy for my girlfriend at the time for Christmas.

So I went online to pre-buy tickets for the earliest show possible. There really wasn't a buzz for it yet as most folks didn't know it was coming. It wasn't Opening was actually the first "rehearsal" night in Manhattan, happening a few weeks prior to the official Opening Night. Cool.

When my friend Cristina found out about it, she asked me to try to score tix to the same show...which I did. Somehow I managed, three days later, to get the two seats right next to me and my girlfriend for her and her husband. Like I said...this was all pre-buzz, but I still found it odd that I could get those.

Anyway, we get to Manhattan some months later for the show and we do the dinner thing at Carmine's, drinks somewhere else before rolling to the show. The lobby was packed and we ordered drinks and settled in towards the rear of the lobby...back by the emergency exits. That's when we hear someone knocking on one of the exit doors to get in.

We didn't know what to do. Should we let someone into a sold-out first night performance of the show? After weighing our options we decided to open the doors. It was Mel Brooks and Anne Bancroft! MEL BROOKS AND ANNE BANCROFT! MRS. FUCKING ROBINSON!

They thanked us and we shook hands (I think I may have hugged her...I dunno) before they joined the party. I was dumbstruck! My friends Cristina and her husband then asked "Who was that woman with Mel Brooks?" AAAAARRRRRGGGGHHHH! I can't stand non-movie people!

So, if that wasn't good enough (and believe me I was high for two weeks after meeting them) the show was fantastic! Mel stood in the first row and conducted comically throughout. Hysterical! But it gets better...much better.

At intermission, we went out to the lobby to get another cocktail. As everyone filed in for the second half, me and my girlfriend stayed at the bar to finish our drink. I had to go tinkle so I told her to wait there and I would be right back. I turned around and there was Sarah Jessica Parker just standing there by herself. So I turned around and smacked my girlfriend to look over there at the Big Star. She was deep in conversation with the bartender so she didn't understand what I was saying. I didn't get that she didn't understand, so I just proceeded on towards Mrs. Broderick.

There were so many things I wanted to say. Her husband was awesome in the play...tell him I said Happy Birthday (don't ask why I knew it was his birthday on that day)...I love your show...I loved "Square Pegs". So many things!

All that came out was "I love you". I wanted to die.

But Sarah Jessica Parker, to her credit, was very kind. Instead of calling Security, she put her hand on my arm and said "Awww...that's so sweet!" with a great big smile on her face. I'm a fan for life because of that moment.

When I left her and went to proceed to the bathroom, I realized that my girlfriend didn't follow me over to the Big Star. I know had a decision to make. Do I A) go back past Big Star and tell girlfriend about her before I pee or B) not tell her and risk her almost certain wrath? I chose option A. So I snuck around Ms. Parker and whispered to girlfriend "Now act cool, but right now the only other person in the lobby is Sarah Jessica Parker". She responded by pushing me out of the way and running over to her screaming to put her in a bear hug in what was certainly the most un-cool act of hero worship ever witnessed. My work for the evening was done. Thank you.

Sep 15, 2006

Cat Power

One of the reasons I went to NYC earlier this week was to see the talented Chan (pronounced "Shawn", I believe) Marshall aka Cat Power play an early show at Irving Plaza.

Recent convert to the church of Cat Power, but damn is this one fine performer. Trying to describe her is like trying to describe your favorite bourbon. Husky, wood-smoked voice with trailer-trash beginnings aged into smooth honey-coated lyrics. She is an angel in blue jeans with a cigarette smoke halo.

Wow! New lady love (shiny!) might have to watch her back! Not like me to wax poetic like that.

One complaint that I have is the crowd at the show. Besides scattered pockets of fun people, everyone else seemed to be watching as if zombie-fied. I know her music is a bit somber and smart, but she was having fun on stage. Smoking cigs and dancing around...having fun! The rest of the crowd treated each song as a dirge and acted accordingly. Not us! We danced and drank Rolling Rock out of cans! Yezzir!

Anyway, here is one of my favorite songs she performed the other night. If you ever get a chance to hear it, enjoy the tempo change towards the end of the song.

Lived in Bars

We've lived in bars
And danced on tables
Hotel trains and ships that sail
We swim with sharks
And fly with aeroplanes in the air

Send in the trumpets
The marching wheelchairs
Open the blankets and give them some air
Swords and arches bones and cement
The light and the dark of the innocent of men

We know your house so very well
And we will wake you once we've walked up
All your stairs

There's nothing like living in a bottle
And nothing like ending it all for the world
We're so glad you will come back
Every living lion will lay in your lap
The kid has a homecoming the champion the horse
Who's going to play drums, guitar or organ with chorus
As far as we've walked from both of ends of the sand
Never have we caught a glimpse of this man

We know your house so very well
And we will bust down your door if you're not there

We've lived in bars
And danced on tables
Hotel trains and ships that sail
We swim with sharks
And fly with aeroplanes out of here

Sep 5, 2006


Was talking to a friend of mine a while back about Keith Moon, former drummer of The Who. Moon died back in 1978 (when I was just a wee lad), and we were discussing the facts surrounding his death.

I had always thought that Moon died in an alchohol-fueled bender that ended with him choking on his own vomit. Don't know where I first heard this, but I thought that was the story. In actuality, Moon was seriously trying to quit booze and he accidentally overdosed on the very drug, Chlormethiazole, that was supposed to wean him off the stuff.

The story goes that Moon would take the drug, pass out, and then forget that he had taken it. Thus the accidental overdose.

Some weird stuff regarding what Moon was doing and where he died:
  • Moon and his girlfriend attended the premiere of The Buddy Holly Story (about a rock star who died too young) with Paul and Linda McCartney the night before his death. After having dinner with the McCartneys, they left the party early and stayed at a flat owned by a friend, Harry Nilsson.
  • Not only did Moon die in this flat, but so did legendary singer "Mama" Cass Elliot a few years earlier. Mama Cass even died in the same bed (!!!) that Moon died in.
  • Nilsson was so upset at the loss of his two friends in his flat that he sold Pete Townshend!
  • Moon's alleged last words were "If you don't like it, you can just fuck off!" to his girlfriend after he asked her to make steak and eggs for breakfast.

I like Moon's last words, but my all time favorite last words were said by esteemed actor Oliver Reed (who performed in the film version of The Who's Tommy, and was a close friend of Moon). When asked if he had any regrets about his life on his deathbed (or so the story goes), Reed responded with "My only regret is that I didn't drink every pub dry and sleep with every woman on the planet."

Man after my own heart!

Sep 4, 2006

Just for Liz...

...and maybe for a few more of you folks (well, Kat and Slyde...the only ones who read this shit)!

You are right. Spending massive amounts of time with shiny new lady love has taken me away from my proper blogging duties. Won't happen again!

Labor Day. Such a non-holiday pour moi. While everyone else is preparing for that last trip to the beach or the last holiday bbq of the season, we decided to sleep in late and go to breakfast around 1:30PM. That's right! That's the way to celebrate "labor" day. By sleeping in and getting bad diner breakfast in the middle of the afternoon.

Know what I'm doing for the rest of the day? Taking a nap. Yeah boy! I'm taking this non-labor thing to the nth degree, boys and girls!

After I awake, I may (or may not) shower. I'll see what mood I'm in. Then maybe I'll watch a baseball game or pop a DVD in and settle down on my couch where I will probably, you guessed it, fall asleep. Drooling on my throw pillows.

What a lazy-ass day! Love it!

Tomorrow, I begin work for a new client. Yuck! That's the way you celebrate the day after Labor Day, I guess. Boo.....

Aug 29, 2006

Rainy days and Mondays...

...usually get me down. Not so with the past couple 'o days.

It seems as if it's been raining here for the past week or so now. After what seems like months of hot, dry weather we are finally getting some much needed rainfaill to make Long Island green again.

After a morning filled with phone interviews, business proposals and mindless spreadsheet crap, I met shiny new lady love out for lunch around 1-ish. Actually, she came by to pick me up in her new Mini Cooper...flash car!

See...we both took yesterday off to go for a ride and wound up in Port Jefferson for lunch. Took the scenic route the entire way there and back. It was semi-crappy out, but we still had a blast! Got some pizza and drinks for dinner and headed back to my place for some lovin'. Just a perfect overall Monday!

Back to lunch today. Afterwards, she was in a mood to see "High Fidelity" so she wanted to rent it and watch it on this rainy afternoon. Um, it's like my favorite movie evah! Duh! Of course I own it! 90% of my daily conversation comes from that film. And I'm soooo annoying to watch it with because I say all of the dialogue a half-second before it actually occurs. Chink in the armor, Ted...but I'm working on it.

She's beginning to see what makes me tick. Hope she doesn't get scared!

Uh oh, it's half past a monkey's ass...gotta go!

Aug 28, 2006


Listening to Sonic Youth tonight...enjoy!

Sonic Youth

I went away to see an old friend of mine.
His sister came over...she was out of her mind.
She said Jesus had a twin, who knew nothing about sin.
And she was laughing like crazy at the trouble I'm in.

Her light eyes were dancing. She is insane.
(Her brother says she's just a bitch. With a golden chain.)
She keeps coming closer saying "I can feel it in my
bones. Schizophrenia is taking me home"

My Future is static. It's already had it I could tuck you in.
And we can talk about it I had a dream.
And it split the scene.
But I got a hunch It's coming back to me.

Aug 26, 2006

Wooden Shoes

Saw a guy tonight who wears only those wooden Dutch shoes. I've seen him around town before and never really noticed the guy. Last week I saw him and finally noticed his footwear. I asked around and he seems to be some kind of mad genius that invented something important in the 70's.

Now he wears wooden shoes.

I need to invent something stupid/lucrative that would allow me to be weird and wear something like wooden shoes. I mean, it wouldn't be wooden shoes because we already got a guy like that. But something like a cape. Or a suit with tails. Or spats.

Something with class. Cuz I'm all about the class, kids!

Aug 23, 2006

None for me, thanks!

I hope my last post didn't give you the feeling that I don't love little Riley or that I'm a bad uncle. The opposite is true for both those statements.

She's the daughter that I will never have. I say that with absolute certainty. I don't want kids of my own and I don't believe I ever will want them. One of the first things that shiny new lady love said to me on our first date was that she never wants to have kids, and was I okay with that.

Okay with that? I almost proposed on the spot. Well, except neither of us believes in the whole marriage thing, but you get my drift. Great for some, just not me.

So, in honor of my beloved neice I am posting the lyrics to one of my favorite Jimmy Buffett songs which he wrote about his youngest daughter. It always reminds me of Riley Grace. Enjoy!

Delaney Talks To Statues
Jimmy Buffett, Mac McAnally, Amy Lee

Delaney talks to statues
As she dances 'round the pool
She chases cats through roman ruins
And stomps on big toadstools
She speaks a language all her own
That I cannot discover
But she knows I love her so
When I tuck her 'neath the covers

Father, daughter
Down by the water
Shells sink, dreams float
Life's good on our boat

Delaney draws me pictures
She finger paints the sand
We chase the dogs and hop like frogs
Then I do my bad handstand
She's growing up too fast for me
And asking lots of questions
Some I know the answers to
And some I'm looking for suggestions

Father, daughter
Born by the water
Surf's up, sun's down
Life in a beach town

And some of the things I've seen
Maybe she won't have to see
But there's a lot I want to pass along
That was handed down to me

Delaney talks to statues
As she dances 'round the pool
She chases cats through Roman ruins
And stomps on big toadstools
She speaks a language all her own
Just a little like her mother
And she knows I love her so
When I tuck her 'neath the covers

Father, daughter
Down by the water
Shells sink, dreams float
Life's good on our boat

Aug 22, 2006

Life of Riley Grace

Well I mentioned a few posts down that I had a long weekend. Actually it's turning into a long week, but that's besides the point.

My youngest sister is on vacation at Disney in Orlando with my nephew to celebrate the little brat's sixth birthday in a few weeks. Uncle Earl, being the great guy that he is, is stuck watching her 3-year old daughter until this Thursday when they return.

Don't get me wrong, I love my niece. Love her, love her, love her. She's is the most adorable thing and she has a way of talking that linguists can't even figure out. She's the best. She also needs more attention than ANYONE I have ever met on the planet! With most kids her age (she will be four in the fall) you can just sit them down in front of the TV with some Barbie movie crap and they will become catatonic. I'm not saying that's a good thing, in fact, quite the opposite. But sometimes you need a little "me time", man!

Not with this kid. She is constantly up your ass. "Play a game wid me", "Let's go fow a wok", "I wan you to sa-pin me" and it goes on. That's last one was spin, by the way. She can't really say words that start with "s" as they were meant to be said. Sleep becomes sa-leep, story becomes sa-tory, and smell becomes sa-mell. You get the drift? Actually, it's kinda cool. Like she invented her own form of pig latin. My sister and I have entire conversations where we substitute our "s" words for her "s" words. It's fun. Try it!

Today she is at day camp for a few hours so I can get some work done (and yet I'm typing this), and then it is beach time where she tries to swim out past anyone else. Yeah, that's fun! Especially considering my previously mentioned fear of sharks on Slyde's blog. Oh, I should mention that we are going to a bay beach, not an ocean beach so there aren't any sharks in the water. But there is seaweed and jellyfish and either touching me will induce a shark attack-like high-pitched scream! Good times!

Is it Thursday yet?

Here's a not-so-recent picture of the little rug-rat. That's not flash-induced "red-eye", by the way. That's the demon who dwells within her, and its trying to get out. Help me!

Aug 21, 2006

Victory is ours...

...victory is ours!

I want all the finest meats and breads brought to my table as we joyously celebrate this historic victory over our most ancient of foes. My men will drink the finest wine and bed the comliest wenches for Victory is ours!

I shall celebrate this day of days with grand festivals devoted to our valiant heroes, and I shall commission the building of the most opulant temple ever devoted to the Gods that walk amongst us!

Victory is ours!

PS - OK, that's the last time I will mention the Yankees historic 5-game sweep of the Red Sox for at least a few days. OK?

Thus far, thus good

After one of the longest weekends of my life (I'll explain later), it brings a smile to my face to see that the Red Sox had an even longer weekend than I.

With one more game to go this afternoon, the Yankees have crushed the hopes of the Sawx and their fans with four straight victories in Boston this weekend. Let's review some of the hi-lites for the Yanks:

- A real nice blowout to start the series on Friday afternoon.
- The longest regular-season 9 inning game in recorded history on Friday night.
- 18 (or 19) pitchers used by both teams on Friday for the double-header.
- Sal Fasano getting some time as a pinch-runner!
- Bobby Abreu reaching base safely in something like 17 or his 23 plate appearances. Not sure of the exact stats here, but it's ridiculous.
- Johnny Damon sticking it to his old team in Abreu-like fashion.
- Glorious comeback win last night with two HRs in the 10th by Giambi (5RBI last night) and Posada.
- Red Sox fans missing their last trains home. Ha! Twice! Ha Ha!

Anyway, probably ruining for the Yanks this afternoon by gloating like this, but so far the Boston Massacre 2 is going exactly as I planned it. Mwah-ha-ha!

Aug 17, 2006

A Bronx Tale

It's time to mention the great love of my life here on this hallowed site. A love that has endured decades, one that never judges me, a love as pure as the driven snow.

I'm speaking of the NY Yankees, of course. Make that the first place NY Yankees, thank you very much!

I became a Yankee fan at the ripe old age of 6. The rest of my family were Met fans, and why not? It was 1973 and the Yankees hadn't done anything of note since the early 60's and the Mets were just four short years off of their first World Series Championship. They made a truly miraculous run to the playoffs in '73 where they played the machine that was the Oakland A's in the World Series.

Having to be different, I chose to root for the A's in that series. Wise choice. At the time, my favorite player was Reggie Jackson so there was some merit to my interest in rooting against the Mets. My family couldn't stand me that year. The A's won and here was this little 6-year old asshole jumping for joy at the Met's loss.

I then made a conscious choice to become a Yankee fan. Couldn't really root for a team across the country, so why not root for the other team in New York? The Yanks were pretty terrible that next year, but they picked it up in '75 and '76 with World Series rings in '77 and '78. That was awesome! And then Thurman died and it all started to fall apart.

A lot of folks equate rooting for the Yankees to rooting for US Steel, but there has always been a sense of pride and dignity with that team...something that most sports franchises yearn for.

The Yankees begin a crucial 5-game set with the hated Red Sox on Friday afternoon. You know what I'm doing this weekend. May the baseball gods smile upon the true love of my life.

Go Yankees!

Aug 15, 2006

I'll take Manhattan

Didn't do my Monday morning Top 5 post like I said I was going to last week. It's a shame when a weekly tradition only lasts one week, isn't it? I listened to no music at all yesterday morning, in fact. Here's why:

So I was supposed to go to a simple dinner somewhere in town on Sunday night with shiny new lady love (we'll come up with a nickname soon) when she decided to kick it up a notch and head into NYC.

At first we decided to drive, but Sunday evening traffic into NYC is horrible due to all those Hampton-ites returning to the roost, so we bailed and hopped on the train. That's when things get interesting for me. Driving into the city is one thing. You have to be good. Can't drink too much because you have to drive home. Also you need to remember where you parked.

Taking the train means all bets are off, and this night...all bets were off. We started out the evening at a lovely seafood joint sitting outside on an equally lovely evening. It was one of those "early in the relationship" freaking awesome dinner dates. Even our waitress couldn't help but notice that we were gaga over each other. Fresh guacamole (sp?), awesome sampler of their four ceviche dishes, black bass in a chipolte sauce for me and a delish swordfish dish for her. Oh yeah, many beers and mojitos as well. Good stuff!

From there it was a short walk to Whiskey Blue in the lobby of the W hotel on Lexington Avenue. It's a nice, upscale hotel bar with a fantastic bartender making expensive drinks...all for little ole us! Tanqueray 10 gibsons were my beverage choice, while shiny new lady love went with vodka martinis. It was about right here when we knew it was going to be a long night.

After 3 rounds of martini lusciousness, I knew we needed to head over towards Penn Station because it was getting kinda late. But I also wasn't ready to head home and neither was she. So I suggested my favorite dive bar in Manhattan. One that I knew would still be open late on Sunday night...well early Monday morning at this point.

I pointed our cab driver over to Rudy's Bar & Grill over in Hell's Kitchen, the king of all NYC dive bars. It's one of those places that I really can't even describe. You have to go there to love it. Cheap draft beer, free hot dogs, worst bar floor in the history of bad bar floors, red tape holding together the pleather on in the booths, awesome juke box, and lots and lots of local flavor. Oooh, see what I did there? I did manage to describe it!

Anywho, in all my drunken days and nights at Rudy's I have never managed to make it to closing time at 4AM. Strike that objective off my list. At a little before 4AM (Monday morning...mind you) we finished our last PBR draft and we were whooshed out with the door getting locked behind us. I knew the next train wasn't for 45 minutes, so we had a nice leisurely stroll back to Penn and our awaiting train.

I still can't believe how many people were still out and about at that time of the morning on a Monday! I know its the city that never sleeps, but jeez there were a lot of folks! Anyway, long story short is that I blew off my work on Monday because we didn't get back to my place until after 6AM. Nothing like being out all night and seeing the sun come up before you hit the pillows. Larry Miller once joked about the 5 stages of drinking and said this "Let's be honest, if you're 19 and you stay up all night, it's like a victory like you've beat the night, but if you're over 30, then that sun is like God's flashlight." True dat...double true!

Anyway, it was one of those totally expected, absolutely magical NYC nights that seem to be getting rarer as I get older. Can't wait for the next one!

Aug 12, 2006

Great Comic Book Covers, Batman!

Hey kids! Slyde and I were in discussions the other day to come up with our Top 5 lists for greatest comic books adapted into film and also the greatest comic book storylines that we own in our collections.

Yeah, yeah...grown men with comic book collections. Deal with it. I have to say that I feel partially responsible for a large portion of Slyde's collection. When we met back in the early 90's, he was buying only a handful of comics each month. Then he came over to the dark side and started collecting dozens each month just like I was. We collected like that for years...going to conventions, meeting up at obscure hobby shops, rooting through back-issue bins. Then I stopped. Just about cold turkey, and I still don't think he has forgiven me.

Anyway, in anticippppation of our posts about the above sometime next week (hopefully), I decided to thumb through my comic book collection and post a little something about my Top 5 Comic Book Covers. I only considered super-hero stuff because there are just too many beautiful covers by Dave McKean, Glenn Fabry and others on some non-conventional titles. Nope, strictly dudes and dudettes in spandex here.

Click on the titles to see a scan of each cover. Here goes:

Top 5 Comic Book Covers (in my collection...that include superheroes)
1. Wonder Woman #199 (vol 1) - art by Jeffrey Jones. OK, not the creepy actor from Ferris Bueller's Day Off Jeffrey Jones, but the fantasy artist. So I cheated a little bit here because there are no actual heroes in tights on the cover, but I just love it so much. It is a simple little noirish cover that could go on just about any pulp magazine from the 50's. A little bondage. Scary dude hanging around in the background. Damsel in distress. It's got it all. I don't believe I ever opened this one up. I bought it solely on the basis of JJ's cover. Awesome!
2. Swamp Thing #7 (vol 1) - art by Bernie Wrightson. This one is great. Not only do you have the familiar horror style of Bernie Wrightson, but you have a cameo in the book and on the cover by Batman! This was also (I believe) Bernie's last work on Swampy. Too bad.
3. Amazing Spider-Man #300 - art by Todd MacFarlane. There may be other covers from Spider-man that were better, but this one was just so iconic. Spidey in the black suit, first appearance of Venom. All those 300's on the cover. OK...that last part sucked, but it was a real fine example of MacFarlane at the top of his game.
4. Marvel Premiere #15 - art by Gil Kane. I'm a sucker for cover art from the 1970's and this is one of my favorites. It's the first appearance of Iron Fist (one of my favorite characters) and the art by Kane is exceptional. Usually is with that guy, whether he is doing Batman or the Green Lantern. He always seemed to be on his game. Check out that dragon tat on his chest. Niiiiice!
5. Doom Patrol #121 (vol 1) - art by Joe Orlando. This one is a little harder to explain. I'm not a fan of Joe Orlando's work, generally. However, this one dealt with the death of the main characters in the Doom Patrol. Big tombstones on the cover with an awesome "You Decide" balloon to put the weight of these character's lives in your hands! This was at a time when you just didn't kill off your heroes. But the title was ending so it made great headlines back in the late 1960's. Turns out three of the four members were found to have not perished (shocked I tell you) when DC brought the team back together in the 1980's. That's alright. Still a great cover! And it was the sixties, so you know that Elasti-girl was hiding a little mini-skirt behind that stupid tombstone. Rowr!