17 December 2013

"The world as I see it..." --Jason Mraz

From the 'things I've seen this week' file:

A clever name for a new cafe or advice from Rob Ford?   

I've heard that most of Hallmark's audience is women but I didn't see this category of card coming... 

 And, finally, I get the whole nine lives thing...

04 December 2013

"Yummy, yummy, yummy..." --The Archies

You know how all your life you're in one category and then one day BAM you're in another?

Yeah, I just switched categories.  I am no longer someone who doesn't eat food from a food truck.

My current job location is in the heart of DC... well, maybe the lower intestine of DC... and come lunchtime the road in front of my building is filled with food trucks.  Today there was an Indian food truck and I succumbed.  I knew it was quality Indian food because it said so right on the truck: FINE INDIAN FOOD.   No name or identifier of any sort, just that.

Officer:  So, you want to sue the people that gave you ptomaine?
Me, weakly:  Yes.
Officer:  And the name of the vendor?
Me:  Um... Fine.  The family name must be "Fine".
Officer:  Fine??
Me:  ...Nevermind.

But so far so good.  The portions were reasonable but hearty, the sauces hot enough to make my nose run, and the mango lassi was yummy!!  The only thing that didn't work was the naan.  It was more like a thick old pita.  I guess expecting to have a proper tandoori oven in a food truck in order to make naan might be a wee bit unreasonable.

Question du jour:  Do you eat food truck food?

I'm still not eating at any of these:

07 November 2013

"Waiting at the station with the work day wind a'blowin'" --Carole King

                          [Me, looking forward to another day at work.]

                           [Clearly he went to the wrong Subway.]

We ride in silence on the subway, absorbed in phones/readers/books/newspapers.  And, I gotta tell you, I'm loving this part of my day.  Getting a chance to read for 20 minutes in the morning and evening does wonders for me. This is much better than the frothing at the mouth, speed demon I am behind the wheel.

But today, the train is more sluggish than usual, making stops between platforms and making longer stops than normal on the platforms.  We grim little hamsters have no choice but to wait, pawing at our phone buttons for the magic pellets that make our lives complete. 

After what feels like a rather lengthy wait on a platform, the doors close and we start to move.  At this point the conductor says over the speaker, "Do you SEE the train that's DIRECTLY BEHIND ME??"  We look up in surprise.  Clearly he is not talking to us but still...


So, today I am thankful for the subway train driver who decided not to wait for clearance to get moving again. 

06 November 2013

"He was a lowdown cheap little punk" --R.H.P.S.

You want to know what causes gun violence?  This, right here.

This video is all over the Interwebs and it's the second year in a row that parents are filming their kids freaking out when they are told (incorrectly) that said parents have eaten all their Halloween candy.

Thanks, Jimmy Kimmel.

Because kids don't scream and cry and hit enough?  Couldn't we just slam there little heads into brick walls and film those reactions, too?  Or maybe hit them in the crotch with a baseball bat? That way we could submit the tape to America's Funniest Home Videos.

WTF, parents??  Do you want your kids to trust you or not?!

Question du jour:  Am I the only one that doesn't understand the "punked" mentality?  What is this desire to lie to someone who trusts you and film them reacting negatively?  Is there something wrong with me that I don't think watching people getting hurt to "booiiing" noises on America's Funniest Home Videos is even a little bit funny?

05 November 2013

"Knock, knock, knockin on heaven's door" --Bob Dylan

I am so not a fan of the "Knock! Knock!"

Not the joke because how can you not be a big fan of the Knock! Knock! joke?!  Classic comedy, that's what it is.  One of my favorites:

Knock! Knock!
Who's there?
Interrupting cow.
Interrupting cow wh--

*slaps knee and wipes tear from eye*  Now THAT'S comedy!

No, I'm talking about the unfunny "Knock! Knock!"

Now that I am in a new role and have moved to a different work location for a year, I have moved from a private office to a cubicle.  One of the peculiar things I've discovered in cubicle living*, is that people come to my cube entrance and say "Knock! Knock!"  The hell?!  What is wrong with saying "Excuse me"?  Why must people say "Knock! Knock!"?

And, as long as I'm feeling peevish, let me add that "Excuse me" should not be followed by a steady stream of whatever topic the person is on about.  It should be followed by a pause to determine if, indeed, the badgeree wishes to be interrupted. On the plus side, I don't have Medical Mel next to me...

And, speaking of strange things to listen to:  Am I the only one that misses the public pay phone?  Remember when there was a Plexiglas barrier between the caller and everyone else so we didn't have to listen to things we should never be subjected to listening to??

I am old.

I am crotchety.

Hear me (and Katy Perry) roar.

* How comes there's no magazine entitled "Cubicle Living" in the vein of Martha Stewart's "Living" or all those other Living magazines ("Country Living", "Southern Living", "Coastal Living", "Whole Living", "Healthy Living","Subway Grate Living", ...)?  There could be columns about cubicle etiquette and ways to decorate your cubicle and 5 exercises you can do while in your cubicle and.... Oh yeah. Print is dead.

20 August 2013

A Quickie

Under this palapa in Punta Cana...

Me, getting up but managing to trip over the edge of the lounge chair, barely catching myself before I fall.

Him:  Honey!  Are you okay?!

Me:  Yeah.  That's me...  graceful as a gazelle.

Him:  Yeah...  an epileptic gazelle.

15 July 2013

"'Cause I want it that way" --Backstreet Boys

I was on the road last week.  At home, I know what I can eat and where in order to manage my post-Insanity weight (yes, I finished it!  9 weeks of intense workouts.  Can you believe it?*)  But here I was--out of town; away from the usual haunts.  I saw an Applebee's and remembered the recent TV commercials touting their new menu.  So, I stopped in for a salad.  Here were my choices under the section labeled SALADS:

  1. Fiesta Chicken Chopped Salad
  2. Seasonal Berry and Spinach Salad
  3. California Shrimp Salad
  4. Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad
  5. Oriental Chicken Salad
  6. Fried Chicken Salad
Long-time readers will no doubt remember I'm a pain in the ass pescatarian. I eat fish and seafood but I don't eat meat.  Meat includes chicken.  There goes numbers 1, 4, 5, and 6. 

Okay, so that leaves 2 & 3, not so bad.  Both titles sound promising.  I read the descriptions for them. 

The Seasonal Berry and Spinach Salad has "Grilled Chicken Breast" as its third ingredient.  You know, for those people that want chicken in their salad but don't want it in their salad title.**


What's this?  The California Shrimp Salad has no chicken!  Huzzah!!!!!  A salad without chicken!!!!

However, the third ingredient in the California Shrimp Salad is "Crumbled Bacon".

That's right.  Every single Applebee's salad comes with meat.  By default.  Because nothing says 'salad' like meat!

I ordered the California Shrimp Salad.  Without the bacon.  Without the avocado.  With the dressing on the side.***  And, to their credit, they brought the salad quickly and exactly as ordered.  I tipped well.

Question du jour:  Will you risk being perceived as a pain in the ass high maintenance to get food the way you really want it or do you figure you'll just get it as written?

* Well, you don't have to be that surprised.  I have been known to finish exer... um, there was that once I... er... I see your point.

** Whaaaa...?

Sally Albright: But I'd like the pie heated and I don't want the ice cream on top, I want it on the side, and I'd like strawberry instead of vanilla if you have it, if not then no ice cream just whipped cream but only if it's real; if it's out of the can then nothing.
Waitress: Not even the pie?
Sally Albright: No, I want the pie, but then not heated.

28 June 2013

"And make me burn the candle right down" -- The Rolling Stones

I saw a great show this week.  If you were in the DC area on Monday, I don't have to tell you about the big concert in town.

And, yeah, I'm all about satisfaction and gettin' me some but I didn't spend the evening looking at this:

 or this:


I spent the evening looking at an entirely different geezer:

We saw Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers who have teamed with Edie Brickell.  Extraordinarily impressive musicians and vocalists (the Rangers) and Steve even threw in a joke here and there.  But, even though we traded the debauchery of rock and roll for the low-key dignity of bluegrass, I still felt the need to write:

7 Reasons You Know You Are Getting Too Old For Concerts

1.  The lawn looks less 'cool, party space' and more 'uncomfortable, mosquito chow'.

2.  A Morning Star veggie burger in a cardboard container costing $10 doesn't raise an eyebrow.  (It came with a pile of greasy potato chips! Score!!!!)

3.  You're THRILLED to take a shuttle from mass transit because it means you don't have to deal with the parking.  THRILLED!!!

4.  You actually spend some time reading the brochure they handed you on entry.

5.  As the night goes on, instead of thinking "This is AWESOME!" you think "I have to get up at 5:30 tomorrow to make that meeting."

6.  You go to concerts where the most suspicious smell is that of the unwashed folks seated near you.

7.  At the concerts you go to, you don't have to yell "Down in front!" because no one bothers to stand up.

Question du jour:  What are you getting too old for? Or desperately clinging to as if you are not?

11 June 2013

"Who are you... who... who... who... who..." --The Who (of course)

I received the following email:

Dear Eric,
Recently you and/or members of your household entered the Southern Lady Sweepstakes which is partnered with VisitSarasota.org.  You would’ve received an envelope in your mailbox from VisitSarasota.org containing a brochure with information about our area that was mistakenly addressed to the incorrect individual.  We apologize for this error and have corrected our system.
If you would like us to resend another VisitSarasota.org brochure, please click the link below and enter your complete name and mailing address and we will send one to you right away.
Thank you for your interest in the Southern Lady Sweepstakes and the Sarasota area.

Of note:
  • It was sent to Eric
  • They say they had previously sent me information addressed to the incorrect individual but they've corrected that now!

Dear Eric,
Recently you and/or members of your household entered the Southern Lady Sweepstakes which is partnered with VisitSarasota.orgYou would’ve received an envelope in your mailbox from VisitSarasota.org containing a brochure with information about our area that was mistakenly addressed to the incorrect individual.  We apologize for this error and have corrected our system.
If you would like us to resend another VisitSarasota.org brochure, please click the link below and enter your complete name and mailing address and we will send one to you right away.
Thank you for your interest in the Southern Lady Sweepstakes and the Sarasota area.


I guess you can call me Eric from now on.*  I didn't think I had gender confusion but apparently Southern Lady Sweepstakes saw through my denial. 

I always wanted a good reason to march in a parade.

Questions du jour: 
  1. Is the sun too hot in Florida?  Global warming, you know...
  2. If you had to have a name for yourself that was associated with the opposite sex, what would you pick?

* It sure beats "Dick". **
** Not that I'm an expert on beating Dick. ***
*** This has taken an ugly turn.  Look away from the footnotes. ****
**** WHAT?!

28 May 2013

"Why you have to go and make things so complicated?" --Avril Lavigne

Today we got a new washing machine.  Isn't she lovely?

This became necessary when the old one shook, rattled, did the electric slide into the middle of the room, leaked, and squealed repeatedly.*

This is the simplest, cheapest name brand washing machine we could find with an okay energy rating.

Check it:  4 knobs and a button.  That was the simplest.  I swear.  In addition to a power button on the right, you have:

your 6 "load size" settings, your 6 "temperature" settings, and your 5 "options".  Enough for any one's needs, right?

Apparently not.  Because you also have this:

because how could you live without a Jeans setting?  How did we live without a Jeans setting?  We were animals.

What I really want in a washing machine:
                      Small, medium, large.
                      Hot, warm, cold.
                      Wet, swish, rinse, and spin.

That's it.  The rest is fluff.** 

It's like a blender having a frappe setting.  For all your constant frappe-ing needs.  When it's the same blade in the same container no matter what you set it on.  The only thing changing is the speed.  So, why not have a speed button that goes from 1 to 10 and be done.  Or better yet, 1 to 5.  Or 1 to 3.  Or On and Off!  Life is so damn complicated!!!

Question du jour: How often do you frappe? ***

* Sure, when the baby does it, everyone thinks it's adorable.

** Oh, wait, that's a dryer setting.

***  Do you do it in sight of the neighbors?

21 May 2013

"I need my love to translate" -- Steve Winwood

Freshman year, I lived down the hall from someone named Debbie who came from Long Guylind.

That's the way she said it.  Honest.  Here's what I remember:  She had super long, always manicured nails, such that opening a can of soda was impossible.  Not sure why anyone would incapacitate themselves like that but she did.  I guess I value soda more than talons.  More positively, she introduced me to Steve Winwood's Arc of a Diver.  For that alone, I'm wishing her well, wherever she is.

This was before the Internet and before easy access to lyrics so when I sang along with Steve I got at least 50% of the words wrong but, hey, as I said, this was before easy access to lyrics so who could prove me wrong?

Imagine my delight when I came across TLC's Long Island Medium.   Have you seen this show, my cheeky monkeys?  Theresa Caputo is delightful!  Truly so likable in a loud Long Island way.  Big hair and bigger personality.   And note the size of her nails!!!

                                                                                      LOVE her!

And a medium on top of it?  FABULOUS!  This is my new guilty pleasure.  What other show can make you both laugh and cry in the course of a half hour?

Or should I say "half owwah"? 

Questions du jour:

Here is a sample of the supposedly accurate, Internet-provided Arc of a Diver lyrics:

Arc of a diver effortlessly, my mind in sky and when I wake up
Daytime and nighttime I feel you near
Warm water breathing she helps me here

This time to the sky I'll sing if clouds don't hear me
To the sun I'll cry and even if I'm blinded
I'll try moon gazer because with you I'm stronger

Question 1)  Did Steve do a lot of drugs?

Question 2)  LIM is the best show ever.  Right?  AmIright??*

* I'm totally right.

20 May 2013


That's right: Two! Two! Two posts in one day!

Don't believe me?!  Check out that adorable hamster doing the cardio below.  But first...

Here's a quick hypothetical:  Say you, and others, get invited to a work lunch to welcome a new person.  You're all invited first thing in the morning for lunch that day, if you can make it.  Everybody is expected to pay their own way.  How hard do you try to make lunch with all the awkward work banter?

No reason.  Just hypothetical.

*pokes head out door, looks left, looks right, and makes a dash for the parking lot*

"Just another manic Monday" -- The Bangles

14 May 2013

"Makes me that much stronger, makes me work a little bit harder..." --Christina Aguilera

So, as of yesterday, I am proud to report that I have completed 22 days of the 63 day Insanity workout.  Impressed?  I am.  I was pretty sure I'd have quit by now.  But I'm seeing results and that spurs me on.  I can do more now.*  Some people say it takes a while to see results but I can honestly say I see the difference already.

I'm pretty sure my calves are thicker.  Yup.  Nice thick calves.  Sexy, no?

Ah, calf guys, they're almost as prevalent as eyebrow guys.

I actually did receive a compliment on my eyebrows from a guy many years ago.  I am not kidding.  He wanted to show his girlfriend my eyebrows so she might learn how to shape them.  Um, ...yeah, okay.  I can see your relationship is at that critical development stage:  the "Let me spend some time telling you what's wrong with you and how you can fix it" stage.  Women love that.

Question du jour:  What's the weirdest body part for which you've received a compliment?

* More sweating, more collapsing, more crying...

08 May 2013

"Says she wanna dance cus she likes the groove" --Young MC

Maybe I'm profiling here.  'Cause I'm going to say something that brands a whole category of people and probably isn't fair.  BUT, I'm saying it.  Because I see it.  I don't want to see it.  But I do see it.  A LOT. 

It isn't that all of them do it, but,... 

And, don't get me wrong, some of my best friends are...

Um, maybe I should just get on with this.

About a week ago, we joined friends at the Bethesda Blues and Jazz Supper Club.   The space is interesting and the food/drink is okay and the bands are enjoyable but what happened... what we witnessed... *shudder*

It's not the club's fault.  Well, it sorta is... they do have that dance floor... 

*deep breath*  Okay.

What is it about middle-aged, white women and bands?  Why do these women insist on dancing, by themselves or with each other, when they can NOT dance?  But, there they were, Cinderella's three ugly stepsisters, lined up in all their gawkiness in front of the stage, getting down. Not one in time with the band.  They weren't even in time with each other.

#1 was doing the "overzealous hip sway with occasional out-of-time clap".

#2 was doing the "step-left-step-right-repeat with your arms up and at odd angles like you are reaching for a light bulb in a closet".

#3 was doing the "'I'm trying to find the beat' toe tap with the wobbly, 270 degree spin around".

WHY?!  Why can't we eradicate this scourge in our lifetime?

At some point in my life, I accepted the fact that I don't have the dance gene.  Wish I did.  I don't.  I moved on.

Questions du jour:  
  1. Why can't most middle-aged, white women dance?
  2. Why do they insist on dancing anyway?
  3. Are they taking Lee Ann Womack's request too literally?

06 May 2013

"Karma, karma, karma, karma, Karma Chameleon" --Culture Club

Act 1)  As we enter the Metro car, I notice a woman is sitting in the first seat of a fairly crowded Metro train, in the aisle seat.  No one is in the window seat.  I make eye contact with her, a clear challenge.  Oh, yeah, I'm all over the glaring.  To my surprise, she moves.  That is, she moves her knees, only, out toward the aisle:  the universal symbol for "you can squeeze by me."  I squeeze by her, thinking "maybe she's getting off at the next stop."  Nope.  We travel past half a dozen stops and wind up getting off before her, which means I get to squeeze by her again.  WTF, lady?!  Do you just crave the feel of strangers awkwardly brushing by you?

Act 2)  Karma, I love you.  As we are riding and I am questioning what this chick's problem is, a short man with a messenger bag strapped across his back gets on the train and positions himself with one hand on the vertical bar and the other stretched awkwardly up to the overhead bar, his legs trying to stay planted broadly, a la Larry Craig.  He is stretched out like he's playing Twister.  Or maybe desperate to de-wedgie his underwear without actually using his hands.  Because this would be a hard position to maintain for anyone, much less someone of his shortitude, he is anything but stable, the messenger bag swings wildly behind him and very close to the face of my charming seatmate.  Repeatedly.  The trip gets a lot more entertaining.

Questions du jour (pick any or all): 
  1. What is wrong with people?!
  2. Does anyone ever play Twister except as an excuse for physical contact?
  3. Why did our parents buy Twister?!??  What were they thinking?!
  4. Should bags have an indicator to tell the carrier "Hey!!  I'm about to crash into someone!"?
  5. Is karma real?

01 May 2013

"Dress me, I'm your mannequin" --Lady Gaga

This ad popped up on the interwebs this morning with the tag line: "Make a statement.  Stuart Weiztman." 

What statement? 

"I watch too many gladiator movies"?!

I wonder how these ropey, flat heeled things look when she isn't flexing. 

And losing her blouse.

Question du jour #1:  Are boot/sandles (bandles?) sexy?

On another advertising note, have you seen the HTC Facebook phone commercial where the young woman is in the museum but her Facebook updates are superimposed on everything?  I find this really disturbing.  They seem to be saying:  Even when you are in this fascinating museum, you can be totally disconnected from the amazing things around you, including your date, and just focus on your insular little social media world!   WTF?!  Is she forced to go to the museum?  Maybe she should just stay home on her phone all day. 

Question du jour #2:  How is this selling phones?!  Somebody explain this to me, please!

29 April 2013

"I ain't sayin' she a gold digger" --Kanye West

Prior to the presidential election, I decided to support my candidate by making a donation or two to his political party in relation to his campaign.  I was proud that I put my money where my mouth was and pleased with the results.  Now, the election is long over and, like a deadbeat relative, the party continues to ask for money.  All the freakin' time.

Party:  Um, can you spare a few bucks.  I'm kinda short this week.

Party:  Hey, remember how you gave me money a long time ago and how great that was?  Yeah, I need more.

Party:  You know, I wouldn't have to ask for money if the other party wasn't such a jerk.  *cough*

Party: OMG, have you heard what [opposite] party is up to?  Are you outraged?!!!  You should be!!! We won't let them get away with this.  Give me money and I swear we'll stop them.

Party:  So, um, anyway, I don't need a lot of money...

I want to be a good little ideologue and follow the news through the Party's view but I'm hitting the point of unsubscribe me dammit, followed closely by the ever popular cease and desist!  The problem is I foolishly gave Party my address and I fear if I unsubscribe I'll be stalked.  Am I Party's last and only friend?? 

Question du jour:  Ever feel like you need a restraining order just to get rid of someone/something that seemed like a good idea at one point?

24 April 2013

"It's so funny how we don't talk anymore..." --Cliff Richard

 In the news...

"RI tops the list for most stressed state in the nation

Posted: Apr 24, 2013 2:52 PM EDT Updated: Apr 24, 2013 2:52 PM EDT
Rhode Islanders experience the least enjoyment in the country and the state ranks number 2 when it comes to the most stressed states.
According to a new Gallup poll released on Wednesday RI is the second most stressed state in the country..."

That news is bound to help the Rhode Islanders feel better, right?

At a more local level in the area of 'Stress inducing or stress relieving? You decide.', I've decided to pursue insanity.  As in:

Yeah, I ordered the Insanity workout off Amazon (half price! yay!!) and am in the third day.  The bad news is that after three days I haven't gotten totally shredded. ;)  The good news is I'm not dead yet.  Bonus:  Shaun T is much more encouraging than Jillian or Tony H.

Question du jour 1:  Have you missed me as much as I've missed you?  (By the way, I LOVE how you're looking these days!!!  Fabulous!  No, I mean it!  You haven't aged a bit!) 

Question du jour 2:  Do news services do more harm than good?

Question du jour 3:  Any other Insaniacs out there?*

* When I was in undergrad I saw a guy walking around with a pin that said "I'm a Manilow maniac!"  Speaking of "about to get your ass kicked..." **

** I kid, Barry.  I kid.