Friday, September 21, 2007

The End of Summer Lent

I'm headed off for vacation today to Italy, somewhere I haven't been in over twelve years. Actually, I have never been to Europe in late September, so I am looking forward to some comfortable temperatures during this trip!

Today also marks the end of Summer Lent. Thank God. Well, technically the day ends at midnight, but since it will be after midnight at my destination, I'm thinking that an 8pm cocktail at Newark Airport is permissible.

I believe I will be much more tolerable to my friends once I resume drinking. I plan to put that experiment to test often with much chianti and limoncello during my time in Tuscany.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Open Letter to Red Sox Nation

Dear RSN,

I truly am rooting for your team to make the playoffs. And I do think it's going to happen this year.

But limping across the finish line is a tough way to enter the post season.

And I don't want a 3-and-out first round for you guys. I, too, want to see Sox-Yanks in the ALCS.

Unfortunately, your team is not winning.

This is your chance to with the first AL East Title in 10 years. A full decade! All it takes are a few more wins.

I have seen this story before, though. Not just the monumental collapse, but the bullpen that failed. Okajima last weekend, Gagne last night, Papelbon tonight.

If your team had not won on Saturday, they would now be in second place.

As implausible as climbing back from 14.5 games behind sounds, we're just 1.5 back now. Less than a sweep of a double header.

Please get with the program. I want to see Yanks-Sox in the ALCS. I really do.

You are ruining it.

Please begin to win.

Thank you,
A concerned Yankees fan.

Another Match Game death

I'm a couple days late with this, but I just caught wind that Brett Somers died on Monday. First Charles Nelson Reilly, now her. Granted, the Match Game crew is way up there in years, but they live on in their own little time capsule on GSN.

I remember moving to my first apartment in Princeton, NJ over ten years ago, and my cousin Bryan and I discovered a live cable line after a long day of moving my stuff up three flights of stairs. We sat in my one air-conditioned room, and watched Match Game for hours.

I have always loved classic game shows - whether it's their simplicity or memory of my childhood, I never picked up in the adult overtones (and overall stupid humor) of Match Game. I still think its one of the funniest shows on TV, and (along with The Brady Bunch) just one of those shows that when flipping past, I always stop and watch.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Neck Pillow

I just checked my calendar, and by the time I'm ready to leave for Italy on Friday night, it will have been 81 days since my last flight. I am truly not used to these huge gaps of time between visits to Airworld, and the irony is that Platinum Elite was conceived in an airport, meant to depict the lunacy of business travel.

Hard to do that when the job becomes more of a Boston endeavor (or getting to other nearby cities via car). I believe that will be changing once again come the fall and beyond, as our corporate team is growing, and I will be able to resume hitting the road and working on-site again.

So Friday marks my first overnight flight in quite some time (probably since Athens last year), and I should be switching my schedule to adjust for being super tired around 10pm. Rather, I'm up until 12:30 as usual. I bought a neck pillow at the outlets a couple weekends ago, so I'm going to be joining the legions of silly looking Airworldians who have probably been less weary than I, due to the added comfort. I thought of adding some NyQuil to the mix to knock me out.

But Friday also marks the end of Summer Lent, which means red wine. Is it bad to mix NyQuil and red wine at 35,000 feet after not having drunk in over a month?

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Bad decision

I came into a last-minute Sox-Yanks ticket yesterday. The seats that our managing partner has are incredible - 5th row to the right of the Sox dugout.

I ran into Doug while entering the gates, so I knew he was there at the game too. During the 5th inning, my boss, his wife, and son had to leave for a few reasons, so I texted Doug to come join me if his seats were bad. He brought a friend over, and stayed for a couple innings.

This game is a loooong one (it's almost 11pm and we're still in the 7th), I'm a bit tired and at the end of a cold, and the Yanks are losing 7-2, and once again sitting there alone.

I left during Take Me Out To The Ballgame in the middle of the 7th.... awake to the headline:

"Mammoth Rally carries Yanks past Red Sox"

The Yanks scored 6 in the top of the 8th, and I was home watching The DaVinci Code.

I deserve to have my Yankees membership card rescinded. I feel empty.

Burger Countdown

I had the strangest thought today during lunch.

The closest eatery to my office in UBurger. For a fast food burger joint, they have very tasty burgers, onion rings, and fries. Their frappes look great too, but I'm in my final seven days of my Summer Lent, and frappes are not an approved beverage.

Upon sitting down to eat my cheeseburger, I looked at it and wondered how many more burgers I will eat during the remainder of my life.

I don't usually eat more than one burger each week (actually, this is a liberal estimate). Let's say three per month. 12 months in a year, 36 burgers per year.

I'm turning 33 in November, and hope to have another good 50 years at least. Some quick math, carry the three, and I'm thinking I have about 1,800 burgers left in me.

Of course that's assuming I don't go all vegan or anything during my upcoming Autumn Lent.

Friday, September 14, 2007

New look, still sick

Something got screwed up with my template (perhaps Jason Fox, the rapper, did not like being called out), so I had to shift some things around, bite the bullet, and switch over the the new Blogger Beta templates, which I customized to look similar to how I like things.

I had a perfect rant set up for this morning, but I'm kind of dragging with this cold (day 4), and it has entered the sore throat phase. Pudding and soup this weekend! I'm half considering working from home today. Actually, I'm 75% considering it...

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Jason Fox

Somehow, my freshman year in college, I selected the name Jason Fox as my radio name.

It stuck.

And it's cheezy.

I made sure to note that Fox was spelled with one X and not two, thereby avoiding a serving on cheeze on top of cheeze.

But I'm at home, catching up on my Entertainment Weekly magazines, and I see a half-page blurb about some rapper also named Jason Fox, who has some stupid song called "Aunt Jackie," complete with a ridiculous dance.

This is clearly old news, as this video was posted on YouTube months ago.

But nonetheless, I feel strangely violated. Jason Fox was MY cheezy alter ego. Who is this poser?

Monday, September 10, 2007

NFL Opening Weekend

Opening day of the football season, anticipation of a couple months of awesome football and baseball overlap, and in a very un dude-like manner, I find a way to dart off to the Wrentham Outlets for the day.

We drove down there early, which was perfect. When I saw an empty parking lot around 10:30, I figured that everybody was home watching the Pats. What I didn't realize is that the mass of shoppers just hadn't shown up yet, undoubtedly off at church or brunching banana chocolate chip pancakes.

After we ate lunch around 12:30 at the Pizzeria Uno's near the entrance and drove back up the hill for more shopping greatness, we realized that about 17,000 cars had just arrived and taken all of the prime spots. Luckily, this wasn't around the holidays, and there were still spots off in the end cap lots. Additional walking balanced the guilt of buffalo chicken quesadillas and an extended credit card workout.

When it was all said and done, somehow I ended up with eight new pairs of pants, an umbrella, a few shirts and socks, a neck pillow for airplanes, and a bundt pan.

And afterward, I managed to see the Giants defense forget to fly to Dallas last night, and half of their team end up hurt in the locker room. It's rare that Eli Manning puts up 35 points in one weekend, so I'm classifying this as a missed opportunity.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Internet People!

This video is definitely worth investing just over three minutes of your life into watching.

It's a brief history of funny or stupid internet clips, and the people who earned 5 minutes of fame because of them (it can't be 15 minutes...things move faster with the Internet).

It's pretty amazing how many references I remembered...

Dealing with idiots

I spent much of Friday dealing with idiots. And in most cases, I was not a nice person to them.

Literally 5 hours on the phone or by email to start my day - many people from different radio stations looking for commercials that they already had somewhere in their respective buildings.

See, Wednesday night, I distributed about 130 unique radio commercials to stations across the country, through a secure commercial distribution interface that they use all the time. Delivery confirmation is readily available in the reporting feature, so it's easy to see if and when somebody from the station has accessed the email.

The problems - I did not tell the sales reps that I was going to do this (I shouldn't have to), they seem to communicate poorly (or, not at all) with their in-house co-workers who are responsible for opening these emails, and those responsible for opening these emails didn't always open them (or, for that matter read the instructions in clear bold text that accompanied each order).

The whole point in using this mechanism was to avoid individual emails to each station, and worrying that my emails will end up in spam boxes (as seems to occur with our business domain sometimes).

I almost hit the bottle last night, but Summer Lent is all about will power, and I'm close to its end.

Things seem fine for now. I'm expecting, however, some more fireworks on Monday, when our ads are supposed to begin. Happy times, serenity now. 13 days until some booze.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Add one more to the Veto List

The veto list has grown.

With the reasoning that life is too short to deal with crap that makes me unhappy, I am adding Bruegger's Bagels in Kenmore onto the list as a conditional veto - conditional simply because we often order bagels and coffee from them for morning meetings when we have guests, and I'm fine with consuming that portion of their menu.

Their stinginess with portions is what kills me. Whoever runs this joint has their employees on a very tight leash. Perhaps it's watching them assemble sandwiches and salads that reveals the actual quantities of how much (or how little) actually goes into what they peddle.

Their dome-covered salad bowls (that they make for you under your guidance) are meant to be filled to the brim, not 80% full. I'll have 3 pepper rings, not 2, please. Good lord.

When you order a sandwich and are asked "one slice of cheese or two," you realize that that extra slice will run you another 50 cents. Benevolence be gone.

Today, I received my salad, but not the little piece of bread that usually goes with it. I asked about the bread, and the guy behind the counter responded that they didn't have any today ( are a bakery). To his credit, he sauntered over to the bagels, and cut one up, giving me what appears to be about 15% of a bagel as my bread. Way to underwhelm me, yet again.

Not once have I ever walked into that store excited to be eating there, nor have I ever walked out with a quantity of food that I perceived to be a good value for what I paid.

Not once.

We need a Cosi or Au Bon Pain or something nearby. I don't mind a 10 or 15 minute walk to other options, but I need to multiply those walks by 2 for the round-trip, and sometimes I just don't have that time to spare during business hours. I guess that's what I get for convenience.

The take-away options in Kenmore are limited, which is why it is tough to add one of those few options to this list. But it must be done. Bruegger's Bagels in Kenmore - veto.

Still on the Wagon

Yesterday was Day 22 of my Summer Lent, and I'm still on the wagon.

It's more difficult to avoid soda than it is booze, to be honest. I just never realized how much soda I consumed. Even though most of what I had drunk were diet or sugar-free equivalents of the full liquid candy bars that are main line carbonated beverages, I had a sense that diet sodas weren't the answer to clean living.

The coffee / tea / seltzer / water component is growing a bit old, but at least I know that the liquids I'm putting inside of me were not manufactured by chemistry majors. (Although I did add milk into that equation when I began desiring cereal for breakfast...and lord knows what hormones they give to cows these days)

I am simply amazed at the social role of alcohol in the lives of (relatively) young Bostonians like myself. You meet people for drinks, you have a drink with dinner, you drink on the beach, drink at the game, meet friends for drinks after work - it's everywhere. That's what I miss the most. When "another round" includes your third club soda, that blows.

It's simply no fun being the furthest from drunk among a group of people drinking. And it's definitely not the physical feeling obtained from drinking alcohol as much as the connection with others while drinking.

Now I can (partly) understand how difficult life is for recovering alcoholics - people who have a dependency on the bottle but are able to kick that need must struggle through the social aspects of watching and interacting with friends and family who are drinking.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Two No-Hitters

I have been going to MLB games since 1980 or 1981. Let's say I have been to an average of 5 games every season, and let's say it's 27 seasons. That's 135 games total.

The odds are very low to have seen one no-hitter out of 135 games.

But now, I have seen TWO.

It's well documented that I am from New York originally. The Yankees are my team. I try to put it into perspective with Sox fans who live here and question my allegiance to them while living in Boston. I ask them if they would suddenly become fans of the Yankees if they moved to New york, and then usually it makes sense to them.

I gotta admit, six innings into the game, 8-0 Sox, no-hitter brewing, I absolutely became a fan of the game over a fan of any particular team. Three innings of yelling and screaming for the no-hitter did indeed coincide with cheering for the Sox to win, but truly I just waned to no-hitter. I pledged that if hit #1 came, I'd be done aligning myself with the rest of the crowd there.

But it never came, and it was awfully fun to witness history and to be cheering along with everyone else at Fenway (for me, that NEVER happens).
The other no hitter I witnessed was back in 1997 in Pittsburgh when the Pirates still played in Three Rivers Stadium.
It was fireworks night, they had an extremely rare sellout crowd (we scalped tickets), and the Pirates needed 10 innings before they put up any runs. But when they did, the place went crazy. Two pitchers combined for the no-no, but Francisco Cordova indeed pitched the full nine innings of the regular game. The Pirates just could not score a run to support the effort. It was bizarre. Finally a walk-off three-tun homer in the bottom of the 10th sealed the no-hitter.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

I Touch Myself

Something last night left me speechless. That is rare.

I live in a fish bowl. Well, not exactly...but the density of homes here in Southie permits for easy access to what's happening within neighbors' dwellings.

Last night, I finished watching TV in the living room, and went to drop my glass off in the sink before heading to bed.

My kitchen was dark, and I didn't turn the light on because the trip there was supposed to be a quick one.

Right when I turned to corner to walk toward my sink, I could not help but notice what was going on in the kitchen next door. There is a window above my sink, and their window is about five feet beyond mine.

Their kitchen lights were on, and sitting there in a chair next to laundry piles on their kitchen table was a lady, off in her own special happy place, performing an act.

Let's just say....her headlights were showing, and she was double-clicking her mouse.