Sunday, November 30, 2003

So this Thanksgiving, I was the lucky family member to semi-maim myself. Usually my dad does the honors, when he's cutting the turkey or something like that, and accidentally slices into his hand. This year, it was all me. A glass piece of our now-antique Corningware smashed all over the kitchen floor earlier in the day and later that afternoon, my dad handed me a piece of cooked turkey skin, one of my most absolute favorite things in the world, and it falls to the floor. Deciding to employ the three second rule, I lunge down to grab it, and that's when I feel something searing my left index finger tip. Yes, somehow in my love for turkey skin, my finger managed to find the lone piece of glass we'd missed earlier in the day. It bled a lot at first and all I could think was "I'm not missing Thanksgiving dinner for stitches," but then it subsided, much like the other nasty cuts my fingers have gotten in the past two years (the bagel slicing incident and the tin can incident of Astoria come to mind). This one, though, makes it hurt a little to type but what can you do?

I also managed to whack myself in the eye with the seat belt buckle today (don't ask) but I don't have a black eye. I was going to make up all these crazy stories if I did.

Wednesday, November 26, 2003

Thanksgiving WEBS today! On NJ Transit! What fun!

I seriously cannot wait until this day is over. I'd like to thank the Pilgrims and Indians for having the foresight to know that we'd need a 4-day weekend at the end of November. Now if we can only start having weeklong Thanksgiving celebrations like they did back then, and I'd be so much happier.

Tuesday, November 25, 2003

So we were just watching the American Idol Christmas special, with your favorite former American Idol contestants and "those children", when Fox comes on with this crazy ass commercial for one of their special pieces during tonight's news -- "Perverts -- and they want your children for Christmas." Can I tell you how hard I laughed at this? That has to be the classic Fox commercial of the year, hands down.
Isn't it great when adults regress to middle-school like behavior? Especially when they're supposed to be professionals? Sigh.

The Red Sox can totally have Curt Schilling. I don't trust his health. He's getting old, and the Yanks need a young pitching staff instead of a retirement community. If David Wells taught us anything in the World Series, it's that. The A-Rod thing is tempting, but what are the Yanks going to do with two shortstops? And the whole "The Yanks buy every championship" whining would NEVER go away if it happened. If the Sox get Schilling and A-Rod, doesn't that mean they're trying to buy a championship too? Oh, I forgot. Only New York is guilty of such things because of it being New York, the most "greedy" city in all the land. Forgive me for forgetting that.

Monday, November 24, 2003

It is so funny at the office when Oprah's Favorite Things episode comes on. I've heard several co-workers snark "Shut Up" to the crazed audience when the latest expensive thing that they're getting is announced. Someone just said she can't watch it anymore because it's driving her nuts. I don't know if it's the constant screaming of the crowd or envy over the mountains of free, cool stuff they're all getting. Probably a mixture of both...
It's so much easier to come to work on a Monday knowing it's only going to be a 2 1/2 day week. Yay Thanksgiving!

It's also one of the only weeks I actually like working in midtown because all the Macy's parade acts rehearse in Herald Square. You see kids in band uniforms running all over the city, and I don't know if it's related or not, but I saw these two clowns chasing a guy through the streets this morning. That must be the biproduct of someone's bad dream because even in New York where all the big bad things happen, there is nothing scarier than the idea of being chased by clowns.

And Delaware's going to the IAA football playoffs! Carolyn and I were mucho psyched when the alma mater played Villanova on Saturday and it was actually on TV. And they showed clips of the UD/Villanova game I covered back in 1998, which is funny because one of the only things I remember about that game was that it was hot and there were all these bees in the press box and the only way to get rid of them was to trap them under cups. And that one of the UD players gave the crowd the finger and we printed it in the school paper and the player got in deep ca-ca.

Liana had her birthday party on Saturday night, which was awesome. The lesson I learned for the evening happened when Vicki, Dexter and I were talking to a friend of Liana's who started trying to challenge Dexter on his knowledge of early 80s TV. Just know that when you question somebody on this topic, the reunion episodes DON'T COUNT. Especially when it's a Dukes of Hazzard question, and it refers to the reunion episode that was on in 1997, which clearly is WAY out of range for an early 80s trivia question.

Friday, November 21, 2003

I'm so oblivious in the mornings. Today, I was standing on the corner of 37th and 6th waiting for the light to change, when the guy next to me goes, "Hey, look at that." Straight ahead, two blocks up, is this taxi engulfed in flames. I don't know how I missed it before he pointed it out as it was, like, big and orange and smokey, but there you go. It's not exactly something you see every day, even by New York standards. It must've been burning for awhile because I could smell it when I got to my office, a good two avenues away from it...

Thursday, November 20, 2003

Can I tell you how irate I am that only now are the SATs introducing a written part of the test? Because I totally would have kicked ass at that part and I would've felt a hell of a lot better knowing I was being judged on something I'm good at instead of something I completely suck at, like math. Sure, I did OK on the verbal, but with a third part added, and a part I could've done well with, my scores probably would've been MUCH better than they were.

That said, I still feel the SATs are an unnecessary evil that only exist to stress kids out and then make them feel like crap when they can't do well (like me with math). If a college is so lazy that it only looks at a test score rather than a kids entire transcript, what kind of message does that send? Some schools are finally ditching it, and thank god.

I don't know why this actually bothers me, considering I got into my school of choice despite my lousy math score, graduated, and now have my very own job and income, but it does. I must learn to let go, I guess.
Anyone who really thought Kelly Jo was going to win last night obviously hasn't watched other seasons of The Bachelor. In EVERY one thus far, one Bachelorette gets more play than the other, and she's usually the one that gets rejected. That was Kelly Jo this season. The second they showed her kissing him on that first night, you could tell she was going to fit the crazy "let's show her a lot and make people think she'll win" formula.The producers have to find another way to "trick" us because I was totally not surprised by last night's outcome and I'm sure there were others who felt the same way.

Shirley did an awesome job with her housewarming party last night. I learned so much about what packing tape could be used for, how to cut basil in an easy way, and a great new chicken recipe. Her and Jason's apartment rocks, by the way. I'm not partial to Mets colors, but they so worked in their paint scheme. After their last apartment fiasco, here's hoping they get to stay in this nice place for a long time!

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

So I'm looking at the top-20 rated high school football teams in the state of NJ (as rated by the Start Ledger) and while I'm happy to see my old high school at No. 8, it is so discouraging to see that 4 of the 5 top-ranked schools are private. Does the "Hello! These schools can recruit their players while public schools can't!" thing ever creep into the minds of the people who do the rankings? It's like this in all the high school sports, and to me, it totally sucks. How is a public school team going to stand a chance against a team of all-stars?
If you have not watched MTV's Rich Girls, I seriously wish you would. Only because you will feel so much better about yourself afterward. Sure, you may not have the money these two brats do, but you are way more with it. These girls actually sit around, pontificating about life and how much smarter and hipper they are because they are from New York and know how to dress well. For example, one girl, Jaime, was all trying to theorize about cargo pants in last nights episode, saying that she wears them for style, while people in the Midwest wear them for all the pockets when they're farming. Mind you, right before that, she and her friend Ally (Tommy Hilfiger's daughter, who gets to go to work with him and dash all the hopes and hard work of his employees when she sticks her nose up at their latest design efforts and Tommy agrees with her. Because she's 18 and from New York, ya know, and therefore knows what girls all over the world would want to wear) were discussing how great it is to be as worldly as they are, because so many people don't get to travel like they have. I assume this means they've never been to the midwest. All those people in Chicago, Minneapolis and St. Louis wearing cargo pants for farm work must be too much for them to bear.

The weird thing about this show is that the girls produce it themselves and must be in on the editing. Would you really want to look that stupid on national television? Like when they have to watch a videotape to know how horrible things in Ethopia are, then want to send them, of all things, mattresses? Then again, they could just be fame whores who will do anything to get the common folk like me to talk about them.

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

Before I recount my trip to see Hollis in Happy Valley, let me just say that Melissa and I have just returned from the new Shop Rite, and it is the coolest food store in all of Hoboken. Not only did it have my favorite peanut butter granola bars, it had soup bones. Alas, no Stouffer Oven Bakes. Sigh.

OK. So, Friday Night began, um, slowly. The 4 1/2 hour journey turned into 7 hours because of traffic that just appeared to be there to piss me off. No accidents, no foul weather. Just a bunch of drivers who probably thought "Gee, Karen should get in to see Hollis at midnight instead of 9:30, let's cause a huge backup" and so it was. I got through the frustrating hours by text messaging my roommates and Dexter and Vicki, so I thank them for keeping me sane. I was just happy my seat mate didn't want to talk to me. But she decided to sleep halfway through the trip and her ass ended up squashing me a bit.

Hollis and her roomate Nick came to meet me at a truck stop, (yes, truck stop. It was awesome.) where they whisked me away from the crazies (though there were more on the way home) and to Wegmans and then their very nice apartment.

It was a game Saturday the next day, so the town was busting at the seams with people. We sat outside the ginormous stadium at a traffic light and I got to hear the ultra creepy Nittany Lion roar, which Hollis warned me about. We went to this diner that sells the famous grilled stickey on Saturday night, and people, you have to get these things. I got to see the Lion Shrine, which Hollis says people get engaged at all the time, which is kind of beffudling because who wants a Lion statue watching over you when you get engaged? Does the Lion have to give his approval or something? Hmmm...

On Sunday, Hollis had to set up and run a dinner retreat for her hotline students and Nick and I helped bring up the catered turkey affair. It also meant we got to eat said Turkey later on for our helpfulness.

When Hollis took me back to the truckstop (which was still awesome in daylight) yesterday to catch my bus, we beat the bus in by like two seconds. Then we had to wait for all the people to get off and get back on (it was coming from Cleveland) before I could get a seat. In this time, Hollis and I appraised what weirdos would be bad to sit next to. Like the crazy Jesus-looking guy. Or the woman who talked to the bus driver like they were best friends. Or the semi-creepy guy from Youngstown who tried to engage us in conversation. We decided that my safest bet would be to sit next to the normal looking guy our age with headphones. But this little Asian woman beat me to it when it came time to board. I got all nervous as I had to keep going back on the bus, where an empty seat was available right next to Crazy Jesus and across the aisle from Youngstown Semi-Creepy Guy. Luckily, I notice this little Spanish woman sprawled out across two seats in front of YSCG and when I make eyecontact to see if I can sit, she rolls her eyes and huffs and grudgingly moves over. What the hell? Did you pay for two seats? Whatever. At least she didn't talk to me. And the ride back was much smoother, so thank god for that.

And thanks to Hollis for a rockin' weekend!

Friday, November 14, 2003

OK, is anyone really surprised about the whole baseball steroid thing? It's been more than rumored for years and anytime you see a baseball player with no neck (a la Barry Bonds, Jason Giambi and Sammy Sosa) does your mind not wonder? If it doesn't, you have a lot more faith in athletes than I do. With that said, however, Filip Bondy (a writer I used to love, mind you) again pisses me off by bringing up Aaron Boone's homer as something that will now be always under suspicion, or anytime a MLB player hit a home run for that matter. Uh, no, sorry. If Boone was jacking up on the 'roids, he should ask for his money back, because where was that power all season?

My point is, I don't think steroids make you hit home runs. They make you BULK UP to hit a ball more powerfully yes, but do they make you see the ball better? I think not. Yeah, there's more home runs because of all these bulked up players. But there are people out there who speculate about players who don't look like they're on steroids (a la Alfonso Soriano, who I'd be very shocked if he came up positive, as I could probably take on in a fight and win) and it's unfair to lump them in the same category.

Testing is way overdue in the sport, because it's the muscles that are helping these guys get all this recognition they don't deserve because they're a bunch of cheaters. But let's remember the guys out there who do hit for power naturally. I just wish MLB would let people know that you inject the illegal stuff into your muscles, and not your eyes.

I'm off to Penn State this weekend to see Hollis. This means 4 1/2 hours on a bus, and since public transportation always provides a few psychotic people for entertainment, I'm sure I'll have lots of stories to tell when I return!

Thursday, November 13, 2003

ESPN takes a cheap shot at Delaware's uniforms. If ESPN had done their research a little bit, they'd find that there's a reason the Hens copied the University of Michigan uni.
Dude, you, like, totally need to take this awesome 80s music quiz. My score was 131 and I only cheated on like 4 questions. Beat that:

Did the temperature drop that much in the past hour that it's cold enough to snow? Because that's exactly what it's doing right now, and when I came in at 9, it wasn't that chilly at all. Hmmmm....

And why do people lick their fingers before turning a page? Some guy was doing that next to me on the PATH today while reading the NY Times, which is just gross because he's licking his finger, getting news ink on it, then licking it again. Ewwwww....

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

You know, I have nothing against Angel Berroa, who beat out Matsui for Rookie of the Year. I just have a problem with the sports writers trying to justify why he won. In today's Daily News John Harper admits he put Berroa above Matsui because Berroa's defense "was critical to the Royal's over-acheiving season." I ask you, when was 24 errors ever great defense??? He had a .968 fielding percentage. Derek Jeter has a .969 and gets lambasted by the media for being not so good defensively. Am I missing something here?

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

In sad news, one of WFAN's mainstays in calling, Doris from Rego Park, has passed away. Even though she was a Mets fan, she was OK with me. She knew her stuff and followed the Mets through the good and the bad. I heard they had a thread about her on the WFAN message board that had to be taken off because people were making fun of her. What the hell is the matter with people? The poor woman suffered from cancer and apparently elephant man's disease, she seemed like a decent human being and these jackasses have to go and practically dance on her grave to get their jollies off. You can only hope that the people who were callus enough to post something rotten about her will get their comeuppance in life. And hopefully sooner than later.
Thank you, thank you, thank you, Mike Greenberg for this excellent viewpoint on the Matsui debacle. At least one sports-oriented person has some common sense.

Monday, November 10, 2003

Bull F'ing Shit! If you give Suzuki the Rookie of the Year, you have to give it to Matsui, too. This is absolute Yankee hating at it's finest, my friends, and that a decent player had to suffer from it because sports writers are bitter asses is just disgusting. Yeah, he's no rookie, but again, you had NO PROBLEM giving it to Suzuki when it was his time. ARGH!
OK, so the air conditioning is on at work today....

I'm wondering which pretty blonde's story made the big ratings last night -- Jessica Lynch's or Elizabeth Smart's? My money is going on Smart because that story invovled really psychotic people and who doesn't love a good psycho story where it has a happy ending? I actually watched a bit of it, and it kind of bothered me in it's portrayal of Polly Klass' father. Apparently, he wanted an interview with the family for Fox News right after the kidnapping and the docudrama made this out to look all kinds of evil. What bugged me was 1)This guy's daughter was brutally murdered so to be portrayed in such a way in this story where the daughter in question was found alive is just tasteless and 2)I'm sure there were tons of journalists bugging them for an interview. Fox News is a bit, um, out of control, but seriously. You can't tell me CNN wasn't banging down their door the minute it happened.

And it's clementine season! Melissa and I each bought cases last night, so we'll be all citrused out by Thanksgiving...

Friday, November 07, 2003

A woman at work was just saying she thinks 5'7"-5'8" is the average height for a man. Dear god, I hope not. Because while it seems like every guy in Manhattan/Hoboken is shorter than me, I know for a fact that the average height for an American man is 5'10"-5'11". Where are they all? Well, I'm guessing not the metro area. Except maybe Sasquatch and his brother who are pretty tall, and their loud feet are prime example of that.

Someone just brought in a very cute dog to the office and it was like having a baby here with all the ooohing and ahhing. It's amazing how an animal can put you in a better mood.

Thursday, November 06, 2003

Reason No. 5,436 why The O.C. rocks -- Sandy, the dad, has a picture of what looks like Yankee Stadium in his office. Why is this so significant (other than that I'm a Yankee fan)? Well, he's supposed to be a very laid-back, humble guy who comes from a poor background (the Bronx) who tries to keep his integrity among the rich people of SoCal. To have a picture of "the richest team" in baseball on his wall, showing he's a Yankee fan (and remembering his Bronx roots) proves that, yes, even Yankee fans can be decent people. It would've been really cliche if he had a photo of, say, Ebbetts Field on his wall, as everyone associates the "pull-up-by-the-bootstraps" mentality with true blue Brooklyn Dodger fans. I thank the producers for this.

And The Chicken is almost ready to talk about the loss. He doesn't remember Don Mattingly, so there's been little to cheer him up lately. But when he's ready, a Dear Chicken will appear here, which I'm sure delights you all.

Wednesday, November 05, 2003

OK, there totally needs to be some guidelines set when it comes to golf umbrella etiquette in New York City. Because I am sick of getting nearly harpooned by them when they are closed. This morning, for example, this dude on a cell phone (surprise, surprise) had his closed, but he was carrying it horizontally in his free hand. With every movement forward, the umbrella pushed back, the deadly tip of which almost got me in the leg. He's too busy being Chatty Cathy to notice or even care. If you're going to carry the damn thing, carry it close to your person in the upright position. And PLEASE don't use it as a walking stick. That sometimes works in spearing somebody in the foot. Thank you.

I think the only thing weirder than HBO's Carnivale is the fact that I actually like it. They had a marathon this weekend which I got sucked into, despite its completely strange nature. But whoever is writing it has a knack for keeping you waiting and wanting to see what comes about next because you know it's going to be a "holy crap!" moment when you find some of the stuff their hiding out. Even weirder than all that is the fact that dirt can actually make someone good looking because I don't find the show's protaganist, Nick Stahl, all that attractive in real life but the fact that he's filthy on the show pushes him into the range of semi hottness. Go figure.

Tuesday, November 04, 2003

If you want a really good laugh, watch "Average Joe." I didn't think I'd like it, but it totally makes fun of itself as it goes on. Some of the guys are just as annoying as the girls on The Bachelor, so that makes it worth watching, too. My friend Ken just cracked me up by quoting the one cocky-ass dude who was like "Every woman must be approached like a snowflake. Each one is different and delicate" or something cheesy like that. If he weren't arrogant, it wouldn't be funny.

And Don Mattingly is coming back! Even if it is just as hitting coach, how exciting! Does he get to wear his old number even though it's retired? Hmmmm....

Monday, November 03, 2003

We are all suffering from major cases of "swampy ass" here at the office on this 6,000 degree afternoon. Actually, my thermometer says 83 degrees, which is bad for indoors in November. And the fact that some people don't want us to open windows around the office isn't helping...
There is just too much estrogen in my life. I live with two women. I work with women and gay men. This all spells out no straight male interaction on weekdays, and my straight male friends are all busy bees lately, as am I, so getting to see them is tough. I'm not even talking about romance here, I mean normal male-female conversation that I was lucky enough to have from kindergarten to senior year of college and into my McGraw-Hill days. Don't get me wrong, the women I'm friends with and my roommates rock, but there needs to be some testosterone in my day somewhere.

Carolyn's friend Erin ran the marathon yesterday, and finished with a better time than P. Diddy. For some reason, that cracked me up.