Tuesday, March 31, 2009

So I was in Albany for work last week. I was taking a training class. I had never been to Albany before. Here is my initial assessment: it looks a lot like Cleveland. The first night I was there, I found a PF Chang's and got some food to go. While I waited, I sat at the bar. I turned to the old guy next to me and said, "Do you mind if I sit here?" He shook his head so I sat down. Five minutes later his egg rolls came and he silently prayed over them. Five minutes after that I sneezed a few times (remember I was sick) and without saying a word he handed me a cough drop. At this point, I didn't know what to do. On one hand, you never take candy from a stranger. On the other hand, I really wanted it because I felt like shit. I threw caution to the wind and took the cough drop. That's just how I roll, you guys. "Mild To Almost No Danger" is my middle name. Finally my food came and when I left I said to the guy, "Thank you for the cough drop, sir." He silently saluted me. I have never been saluted before. It was nice.

Things I wanted to steal from PF Chang's:

- a big bottle of grenadine
- my wine glass
- olives and cherries from the bar garnish tray
- every guy who worked there

Seriously every guy who worked there was totally hot. What's that about, Albany?

Johnny Virgil was in training with me so that was fun. I think he rather enjoyed my excessively runny nose and heavy mouth breathing. Also nothing is more appealing than dirty snotrags scattered all around you. Sorry, JV. It was fun to see you, though, even though I was sick and you were having a crappy week.

Other notable things about my trip to Albany:
- Someone farted on the plane on the way there and by someone I mean the guy in front of me. I literally thought I was going to die. I was trying to find a way to activate my oxygen mask.
- I got room service. I have never had room service before. It is delightful. I want it all the time please. Is there a service where you can hire someone to bring you room service? Wait yes. I think they are called Papa John's.
- We had to take a test at the end of our training. It was impossible. I spent hours upon hours of studying, and I have no idea if I actually passed. I texted JV afterwards: "That sucked balls." His reply: "Big hairy ones."

A couple things I must mention:

1. Last Wednesday, my little sister turned 30. 30! That makes me feel ancient. We had a huge party for her last weekend-thanks to everyone who came out. It was a great time, and Diane had so much fun. It meant so much to her for all of you to be there. Also thanks to my mom for making rice krispie squares and cupcakes. You are never too old for rice krispie squares and cupcakes, you guys. And also thanks to Dan who showed up to the bar early to drink beer and watch basketball and ended up having to blow up balloons and hang up birthday signs because we needed someone really tall. Tomorrow I will post pictures of Diane when she was little.

2. Speaking of Diane, she is at a work conference in Seattle today. Drew, her husband, is on spring break. So what did he do? Saturday night at 3am he boarded an Amtrak train and rode it across the country to Seattle. He literally rode it for 40-some hours, by himself. Like he just got to Seattle this morning. That. Is. Awesome.

3. Steph is leaving for Ireland Thursday. She is going by herself. This girl can't even eat dinner by herself, but she is going to Europe for 5 days by herself. Isn't that fantastic? Also she is convinced Drew scheduled his across-the-country train ride this week to one-up her and take away the attention. Awesome. My friends are awesome.

Also next time you guys go to Houlihan's can you mention to them that you are angry they got rid of the Mandarin Chicken Salad from their menu? Thanks.

Friday, March 27, 2009

I'm alive! And in Albany

I'm still here! I'm sick and in Albany and have been studying my ass off for an exam I have to take today for a work training class. I'll tell you all later about the joys of Albany, NY and also what Diane, Steph and I did last week. A hint: it involved a radio show. Awesome.

How y'all doin'?

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Still kickin' it in the Cleve

Guys, the pace at which I am living my life the past couple months is something I literally cannot sustain for much longer. I am headed toward a major nervous breakdown from being entirely burned out. That being said, St. Patrick's Day was awesome. It was just Meg, Steph and I this year-a sad commentary on just how old we are getting, but it was still great. Obviously I was drunk by 11:15am thanks to Meg and her ordering me doubles. Plus we got to see a bagpipe band, and let me just say this right now: I would totally make out with a dude who played the bagpipes. I mean, unfortunately, this group was a mix of 70 year olds and 18 year olds, but if we can find a bagpiper in the middle somewhere, I am all over that. Steph brought us these stickers that we could put on people's drinks. They said things like Cool, Dirty, Captain, Scandalous, Fabulous, etc. It was fun handing them out. But later that night I did wake up on Drew and Diane's couch with the label Bitch on my arm. Drew, Sharda, Matt, Cube and Laura met us out for dinner at which time Meg, Steph and I serenaded them with "I Wanna Dance With Somebody" by Whitney Houston. Then I fell asleep at the table, and Steph suddenly had to throw up. So it was nighty-night time for us by 7pm which is a-okay with me as I am, ahem, 30+ and have a full time job and drank my weight in vodka.

Here are some random thoughts for you:- I just bought Kelly Clarkson's new album, and I have this to say: Kelly, I pledge my eternal devotion to you. My life would suck without you (I totally sang that out loud just now).

- I'm so deeply upset by Natasha Richardson passing away that I really can't talk about it. I'm praying for her family. Those poor kids. Her poor hot husband. Ugh it's too much.

- I didn't watch "Lost" obviously because I am never effing home, but how about a couple of "Lost" related facts?

1. I went to see the play Spring Awakening with my mom last week, and for the whole first half of the play I was watching one of the main guys like, "How do I know that guy? He looks like that guy from "Lost"." And then I found out, he totally is that guy from "Lost". Which guy? Carl. Remember Carl? Alex's boyfriend? Yeah apparently he's also in musicals. He has a good voice, a unique kind of New Found Glory-ish voice. Sidenote review of the musical: It was...interesting. I'm not sure how I felt about it. The music was fantastic (and written by Duncan Sheik! What?), but the story itself was...meh. I think my problem was that it couldn't decide what kind of play it wanted to be. A raunchy sex comedy or an intense drama? It started out as the former and took a decidedly dark turn which didn't fit with the mood they were originally trying to create. I am all for dark stories-all genres are important-but this just didn't flow for me. The performances were absolutely astounding, though. I was thoroughly impressed. I mean I'm pretty much a gay man so any day at the theater is a pretty good day.

2. Did you know that Sawyer was originally going to be played by Forest Whitaker? Wha??? Yeah, um, talk about a completely different show. Kate and Forest...doing it in a bear cage? Does not compute.

They're laying off a ton of people at my company yesterday and today. Everyone cross your fingers I don't get the boot and also that they don't find the porn on my work laptop*.

*That was a joke, Mom and Dad.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Skee trip

So as you know, when Steph isn't purchasing men, she's the captain of our skeeball team. Christy and I are the other players, Diane's our sub and Meg is our coach/cheerleader/statistician/future team driver. We play at the Winking Lizard and there are four different leagues: a Lakewood Thursday night league, a Lakewood Tuesday night league, Mentor league and Independence league. At the end of each skeeball season, there's a tournament. Everyone gets to play in it-no matter what league you're from, no matter your record.

This past Friday was our tournament, and I'm just going to lay this out there: we are terrible. If we aren't last in our particular league, we must be close. Let me quickly describe our individual style of play:

Steph: Only goes for 100's. 100's are nearly impossible to get and when you miss, you get a 10-the lowest number you can get besides 0. Steph has had some amazing scores. Steph has also had the worst scores of anyone on our team. Steph's motto: "I play skeeball like I live life." That prompts Christy and I to say things like, "You mean you fail a lot?" to which Steph's angry reply is, "No-I take chances. Dammit!"

Me: Opposite of Steph. I play it safe all the time only going up the middle because I've decided I can get a better score by trying for straight 40's. I usually get good scores, but I am truly boring.

Christy: Somewhere in between Steph and me. Mostly plays it safe;, branches out for 100's sometimes; not the highest scores, but a great consistent utility player.

Even with Steph's sometimes amazing scores, we are not good. Going into the tournament on Friday, we were in 37th place out of 52 teams. And we're completely fine with that. We've accepted our place in the annals of skeeball history. So our plan for Friday was to go to happy hour at the Winking Lizard where the tournament was taking place, meet our "fans" there (a group of our friends), eat some dinner, drink some drinks, play our first game at 7pm, lose and head out at about 8:30pm to go home and be old by falling asleep on our respective couches. Awesome plan for a Friday night especially since all of us were exhausted.

Here's what happened:

Yeah see where it says Ball Busters? That would be us. We made it to the final fucking four.

Basically here is what happened: Christy became the Rain Man of skeeball. I have no idea how, but it's like her body was taken over by the soul of a kid who used to work at Chuck E. Cheese and spent all his breaks playing skeeball. She was unbelievable. I was unbelievable in the opposite way. I was absolutely atrocious. Like literally when I was 4 I played skeeball better than I played Friday night. But it didn't matter because Christy was on fire.

Folks at the place were calling us the Cinderella team and our previous opponents were sticking around to watch us play. But you know once you start winning, the haters come out, too. One group of guys accused us of cheating. And a team of bitter old ladies were talking smack about us. Matt had to almost get in a bar fight with them to defend our honor. They were just mad that we were in the final four and didn't care that we were. The bottom line, ladies, is that if you are that worked up over skeeball you need to take a minute and assess where your life went wrong.

With each win, our "fans" (friends) were losing their enthusiasm exponentially. Here is an artist's rendering of what that looked like:

That...is a pretty sweet drawing.

My favorite moment of the night was when Meg heard our third opponents say, "You guys won." She threw her purse down in disgust and angrily yelled, "Are you serious?!?" There is nothing like the support of your coach, you guys.

Now don't be too hard on Meg or our fans. We had all planned to be home by 8:30pm. At 12:15am, we were all wondering if our bracket busting would ever end...so we could sleep. It's too bad none of our fans drove their own cars to the bar and lacked the free will to leave at any time. Oh wait...

By the way, unrelated, my feet were hurting like a mothereffing bitch.

After our final four game, which we lost, we were told we had one more to go to determine if we got 3rd or 4th place. It was 12:15am. It had been 7 hours, and the final game would take 1 more hour. Would we forfeit our chance at 3rd place and let our exhaustion win? Or would we step up to the challenge-just like the Mighty Ducks did against the Hawks? You guessed it-we forfeited and took fourth place so we could go home. Look I love Meg with all my heart and soul, but she is no Emilio Estevez.

So after 7 hours of grueling skeeball play, blood, sweat and tears-okay there wasn't any blood but I did break a nail-what did we walk away with? Pride and this:

A Miller Lite t-shirt in a Miller Lite glass. Worth it? Who's to judge? Me. And I judge: totally worth it. I love free t-shirts.

P.S. We are totally going to pitch an idea for a movie about our rise to skeeball glory to Disney. This is a can't-lose plan. Meg will be played by John Candy, and Steph, Christy and I will be played by Jamaicans. Hmm...perhaps my John Candy statement is a tad in poor taste, but I'm sorry-"Cool Runnings" jokes never go out of style.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


Thursday night Steph, Meg, Diane and I went out to a bar for charity. I know it sounds fake, but for real we really went for the charity. I mean obviously we got there 3 hours early to drink, but I think that just means we are more committed to helping people than others are. The fundraiser was for a 2 year old little girl who's been diagnosed with cancer. She had to have a lung removed. A lung! Removed! So it was really happy. Seriously her cousin told her friends about it, and they just kind of ran with it and put together this fundraiser, and it was really incredibly sweet and touching. Also it was a bachelor/bachelorette auction so now maybe you see why we chose to spend our time and money at this particular fundraiser. For those of you not familiar with a bachelor/bachelorette auction, let me explain. You buy people. For one night. Usually they come with a built in date-like a gift certificate to a restaurant and a box of condoms. Just kidding about the condoms. Probably.

All week leading up to it we jokingly talked about all the men we would purchase. Guess which one of us actually bought a man. If you guessed Steph, you a) are right and b) have obviously read this blog before. She got into a bidding war with a gay friend of ours, and there was no way she was going to lose. At one point I literally had to hold her back from all the smack-talking she was doing. She spent the next 20 minutes begging Meg and me to buy men so there could be some sort of double date. Awesome.

Now I admit, I did bid on a guy because we went to high school together and I wanted to help him out, but I did not win. However, watching Steph have to talk to the guy she just bought while I drank something called Peach Bellini Tini made me feel like a winner through and through.

After that we went to Lolita-owned by Chef Michael Symon-because they have happy hour from 5-6:30 and then from 9:30-close. 9:30-close happy hour! Greatest idea ever. Steph ordered some dessert for us to share called Chocolate Pot du Creme, and literally would not stop talking about how good it was. She kept saying things like, "You have never tasted anything this good." and "You won't be the same after this." Pretty bold claims. There was no way a tiny dessert could ever live up to that hype. So when it came I skeptically took a spoonful, and then...I was changed. Remember how in "The Wizard of Oz" the first part of the movie was in black and white and then she gets to Oz, and it's in color? I feel like my whole life before the dessert was in black and white then I ate it and suddenly I was in Technicolor. Seriously, you guys, if you are ever in Cleveland you must go to Lolita and get this dessert. I will go with you and order one myself-you know, for moral support.

Text message received March 6th, 2009 at 7:56am from Steph: "Remember that time I outbid a gay man at an auction to buy a man of my very own? That was weird, right?"

Not really, Steph. It's just your life.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

I'm a pretty together person

What I was wearing when the cable people showed up at my house 2 hours early yesterday:

- bright red flannel reindeer pajama pants
- Strongsville Mustangs t-shirt; minimum 22 years old
- no bra
- giant nerd glasses that I only wear when I'm alone at night to watch TV

Luckily I had taken off the tiara to answer the door (seriously).

Also last night I drank a bottle of wine and was drunk by 6:15pm. By myself. Then I attempted to cook and do the treadmill. Good thing no one had a video camera, or I'd already be on YouTube. Also good thing it wasn't a Tuesday night, and I'm not an alcoholic.

I just went to the bathroom and realized my underwear is on inside out.

This is my new happy song: "Watching the Sky" - Jesse Harris. It fills me with an intense yearning for spring. I'm not sure why, but seriously can spring get here already? This song wins my award for Best Use of Brass Instruments Since "Something Happened on the Way to Heaven" by Phil Collins.

I don't know if any of you watch "Reaper", but it happens to be one of my favorite shows, and last night there was a scene with Ray Wise, who plays the devil, dancing by a Firebird to "You're the Best Around" from Karate Kid. I know, right? Why aren't you watching this show?

Okay I'm finally caught up on "Lost". Holy shit I missed a lot in 3 weeks. Okay here's my quick reaction to the two episodes before tonight:

Kate and Jack making out/having sex = holy effing awesome. I was totally nervous when they all got on the plane. Why were Hurley and Sayid there? Why did Ben have the crap beat out of him? Kate's annoying and a drama queen. Newsflash: you are hot and have hot men after you including Jack Shephard: Hottest Man Alive. The least you could do is smile once in a while. Holy poopsticks-Frank's the pilot! I've decided Lost isn't complete without some Fahey action. Locke's broken leg with the bone sticking out and the subsequent setting of that leg made me almost pass out from how awful it was. All of Whidmore and Ben's wheelings and dealings are giving me a headache. Why does the island need Locke? Why is Walt special? Why is Walt 37? Why did Ben talk Locke out of killing himself only to stage his suicide? Why is Ben pure evil? I swear to baby Jesus if everyone keeps telling Locke how important he is and then we get to the end of the series and he's not important I will hunt down all the Lost writers and producers and deliver a swift kick to the trachea to each of them.

Okay so tonight...

- So they're stuck in the 70's. I think I'd want to be stuck in the 80's if I had to be stuck somewhere. Okay fine I'm already stuck in the 80's.

- Sawyer needs hair product. The only thing worse than Sawyer's hair sans product is Horace's hair. Yikes.

- I'm having trouble with the pregnant lady being married to anyone but Tony Almeida. Like I'm sorry your hubby's dead on this show, Michelle, but your real hubby is still alive over on "24" and he is saving the world with Jack Bauer because he is a badass sexy mofo.

- Juliet + Sawyer = Definitely doing it in 2009. or 1974. Whatever-they are totally gonna do it. <-- That is what I wrote right before I was proved 100% correct in every single way. Do not mess with me on matters of who is going to jump in the sack together! I know what I'm talking about. Wait what? They love each other? Okay I didn't really see that happening, but wow-I really like that. It's nice to see them both happy. Damn you, Juliet, for making me like you.

- Sawyer talking about Kate: "She's just gone and she ain't never coming back." Uh-oh!

- Oh God now Kate will ruin everything for Sawyer and Juliet. Bah!

- Where is Daniel Faraday?

- Okay so there are the Dharma folks and the natives. Both, as far as we are concerned, are Others. Ben was with Dharma then switched sides-that's how the natives won originally. But how are they natives if they were with the army? Explain this. I don't get it. My brain can't handle the jumbledness of this show (yeah I just made up a word) so if someone can lay it out for me that would be great.